Attadiipaa Sutta: An Island to Oneself

SN 22.43 PTS: S iii 42 CDB i 882

Monks, live as an island to yourself. Be a refuge for yourself, having no other refuge. The Dhamma is an island, the Dhamma is a refuge. There is no other refuge. 

The one who lives as an island to himself, who is a refuge for himself, who has no other refuge; who has Dhamma as his island, Dhamma as his refuge, and has no other refuge: he investigates, searches, and looks deep into the heart of things. “Where do pain and suffering come from?”

The ordinary man, who is no student of the noble ones, who has no respect for their teaching, sees body as the self, or the body as belonging to the self, or the self as being in the body, or the body as being in the self. 

That body of his degrades, deteriorates and breaks down. As that body of his degrades, deteriorates and breaks down, his mind becomes disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair arise in him. 

He sees vedana (feelings of agreeable and disagreeable, and the emotions that are born from them) as the self, or vedana as belonging to the self, or the self as being in vedana, or vedana as being in the self. Vedana changes and alternates, it goes from high to low, from good to bad, from pleasant to unpleasant; it arises and dies in one instant. As this change is happening,  his mind becomes disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair arise in him. 

He sees sañña (memory card and memory files) as the self, or the memory as belonging to the self, or the memory as being in the self, or the self as being in memory. Memory changes; it degrades, degenerates and breaks down; it dies all the time. As this change happens, his mind becomes disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair arise in him. 

He sees sankhara (thoughts and intentions) as the self, or the thoughts and intentions as belonging to the self, or the self as being in the thoughts and intentions, or the thoughts and intentions as being in the self. These thoughts and intentions arise decline and die and constantly change; here one moment, gone the next. They move and turn against his will. As this change is happening, his mind becomes disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair arise in him. 

He sees vinnana (knowing or awareness at the six-sense door) as the self, or the awareness and knowing as belonging to the self, or the self as being in the awareness and knowing, or the awareness and knowing as being in the self. This awareness and knowing degrades and dies and changes every moment, here one minute, gone the next. With this changing, his mind becomes disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair arise in him. 

But the good student of the noble ones, who has faith in their teaching and understanding of their teaching: he does not see the body as the self. He does not see the body as belonging to the self. He does not see the self as being in the body. He does not see the body as being in the self. 

That body of his degrades, deteriorates and breaks down. But as that body of his degrades, deteriorates and breaks down, his mind does not become disturbed and unsettled, and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair do not arise in him. 

He does not see vedana (feelings of agreeable and disagreeable, and the emotions that are born from them) as the self, or vedana as belonging to the self, or the self as being in vedana, or vedana as being in the self. Vedana changes and alternates, it goes from high to low, from good to bad, from pleasant to unpleasant; it arises and dies in one instant. But as this change is happening,  his mind does not become disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair do not arise in him. 

He does not see sañña (memory card and memory files) as the self, or the memory as belonging to the self, or the memory as being in the self, or the self as being in memory. Memory changes; it degrades, degenerates and breaks down; it dies all the time. But as this change happens, his mind does not become  disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair do not arise in him. 

He does not see sankhara (thoughts and intentions) as the self, or the thoughts and intentions as belonging to the self, or the self as being in the thoughts and intentions, or the thoughts and intentions as being in the self. These thoughts and intentions arise decline and die and constantly change; here one moment, gone the next. But as this change is happening, his mind does not become  disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair do not arise in him. 

He does not see vinnana (knowing or awareness at the six-sense door) as the self, or the awareness and knowing as belonging to the self, or the self as being in the awareness and knowing, or the awareness and knowing as being in the self. This awareness and knowing degrades and dies and changes every moment, here one minute, gone the next. But with this changing, his mind does not become  disturbed and unsettled; and pain, suffering, discomfort, anxiety and despair do not arise in him.