In the essay entitled "The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest" by Ven. Nyanaponika, he wrote:
Not only the meditative absorptions but also lesser degrees of mental concentration are impeded by these five hindrances. So is the "neighborhood" (or "access") concentration (upacarasamadhi), being the preliminary stage for the fully absorbed concentration (appana) reached in jhana. Likewise excluded by the presence of the hindrances is the momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi) which has the strength of neighborhood concentration and is required for mature insight (vipassana). But apart from these higher stages of mental development, any earnest attempt at clear thinking and pure living will be seriously affected by the presence of these five hindrances.
This widespread harmful influence of the five hindrances shows the urgent necessity of breaking down their power by constant effort. One should not believe it sufficient to turn one's attention to the hindrances only at the moment when one sits down for meditation. Such last-minute effort in suppressing the hindrances will rarely be successful unless helped by previous endeavor during one's ordinary life.
The above excerpt and this video featuring a talk by Ven. Dhammavuddho, implies that the Five Hindrances (panca nivaranani) not just affect meditation. They could also habitually obsess one's mind and prevent progress even outside meditation. I also see that they are among the ten fetters (samyojana).
- What is momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi)? Is it the kind of concentration that was found in those listening attentively to the Buddha who attained stream entry at the end of the discourse (although they did not have any meditation experience)?
- How does one cultivate momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi)? I guess one also needs to overcome the five hindrances (panca nivaranani) in the process of cultivating momentary concentration.
- What is wise reflection (yoniso manasikara)? Is this the kind of reflection that was found in those listening attentively to the Buddha who attained stream entry at the end of the discourse (although they did not have any meditation experience)? This is implied in Ven. Dhammavuddho's talk.
- What is the relationship between wise reflection (yoniso manasikara) and momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi)? Is it like applying momentary concentration to wise reflection (outside meditation)?
- What is the relationship between mindfulness (sati) and the other two - wise reflection (yoniso manasikara) and momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi)?
- Do these factors make it possible for one to understand the Dhamma and attain stream entry without meditation, simply by wisely reflecting on the Dhamma with momentary concentration (which could only occur when the five hindrances are not present)? This is implied in Ven. Dhammavuddho's talk.