Thursday, December 18, 2008

Listening well to Buddha Dhamma


Buddha said "Endowed with these six qualities, a person is capable of alighting on the lawfulness, the rightness of skillful mental qualities even while listening to the true Dhamma. Which six?

"When the Doctrine & Discipline declared by the Tathagata is being taught,

1. He listens well
2. Gives ear
3. Applies his mind to gnosis
4. Rejects what is worthless
5. Grabs hold of what is worthwhile
6. Endowed with the patience to conform with the teaching

(AN 6.88)
Sussusa Sutta-Listening Well

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.088.than.html

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rewards in listening to the Dhamma...


Buddha said : "There are these five rewards in listening to the Dhamma. Which five?

1. One hears what one has not heard before.
2. One clarifies what one has heard before.

3. One gets rid of doubt.
4. One's views are made straight.

5. One's mind grows serene.


"These are the five rewards in listening to the Dhamma." -AN 5.202

Dhammassavana Sutta
Listening to the Dhamma

How do you awaken to the truth ?



"When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities based on greed, hatred and delusion, he places conviction in him.

1. With the arising of conviction
2. He visits him & grows close to him
3. Growing close to him
4. He lends ear
5. He hears the Dhamma
6. He remembers it
7. He penetrates the meaning of those Dhammas
8. He comes to an agreement through pondering those Dhammas
9. Desire arises
10. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing.
11. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares")
12. Contemplating, he makes an exertion
13. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment

" To this extent one awakens to the truth. I describe this as an awakening to the truth." -Buddha
Canki Sutta -With Canki

Monday, December 15, 2008

Overcome craving...like water falling off a lotus leaf




Whoever is overcome by this wretched and sticky craving, his sorrows grow like grass after the rains.

But whoever overcomes this wretched craving, so difficult to overcome, from him sorrows fall away
* like water from a lotus leaf.

-Dhammapada


(
*water does not "stick" to the lotus leaf)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The sequence of events in the mind that lead to quarrels, conflicts, disputes, or even wars in the world? A sample of Buddhist wisdom



craving is dependent on feeling,
seeking (investigating/research) is dependent on craving,
acquisition (gain) is dependent on seeking,
ascertainment (inference and give value) is dependent on acquisition,
desire and passion is dependent on ascertainment,
attachment is dependent on desire and passion,
possessiveness is dependent on attachment,
stinginess is dependent on possessiveness,
defensiveness is dependent on stinginess,
and because of defensiveness,
dependent on defensiveness,
various evil, unskillful phenomena come into play: the taking up of sticks and knives; conflicts, quarrels, and disputes; accusations, divisive speech, and lies.
-Maha-nidana Sutta- The Great Causes Didclourse
(Please note that I have added some addition meanings to the original translation after listening to a Pali version of the sutta)

How can we apply this to our day to day life?

A child:
A child sees an "X box"...craving arises...researches about it...buys it..passion arises about it...attachment to it occurs...stinginess develops...defensiveness happens...another sibling tries to play... may result in an argument or even physical fight.

An Adult:
Man sees a beautiful woman.. may be you can fill the rest of the sequence as stated above!

A country:
A leader of a country...sees a another country adjoining to him... craving arises...rest of the sequence just as above.. but may end up in a conflict or a war.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden...


How is a monk content?

Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden; so too is he content with a set of robes to provide for his body and almsfood to provide for his hunger. Wherever he goes, he takes only his barest necessities along. This is how a monk is content.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to deal with bullying? A sample of Buddhist wisdom.



If somebody calls you a name, in school, at work or even while you are on the road how would you react to it? Would you retaliate with a name, anger or even physical violence?

Is there another way ? Can we RESPOND to it rather than REACT to it?

Buddha showed this amazing way how you can deal with it. It is the training of the mind thorough a process called insight (Vipassana) meditation.

For example, somebody tells you a stupid idiot! You know it is just a “sound”. It is impermanent and subject to change. You have to contemplate “if I hold on this will lead to suffering, and does not belong to me anyway. Bingo! The “sound” is gone!...in a flash. No anger arises in you. You are peaceful and you are ready for your next encounter.

Sounds fun isn’t it? It is not easy but it can be done. It needs a little bit of work. This is where insight (Vipassana) meditation comes in to play. This training can be put into practice in our day to day life to save us from suffering. Mindfulness plays a big role in here.

In essence we create our own suffering. We receive the sound, interpret it, keep thinking about it, making thought after thought…you become a “kamma machine.” You need to switch off that kamma machine. This is the only way.

The path to final freedom from suffering! The ultimate happiness.

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Please click on the labels below:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happiness is infectious



The graph shows the largest component of friends, spouses and siblings in 2000. Circles are females, squares are males and the lines between them indicate relationships (black for siblings, red for friends and spouses). Colors show the average happiness of a person and all of his or her social relations, with blue for sad, yellow for happy and shades of green for inbetween. Credit: James Fowler, UC San Diego

Happiness is infectious from PhysOrg.com

If you're happy and you know it, thank your friends—and their friends. And while you're at it, their friends' friends. But if you're sad, hold the blame. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego have found that "happiness" is not the result solely of a cloistered journey filled with individually tailored self-help techniques. Happiness is also a collective phenomenon that spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion.

Source: Harvard Medical School

Read more:Happiness is infectious

Monday, December 8, 2008

Life is like whatching a "movie".....check out how it works !


When the eye meet an object, the eye consciousness arises.

The union of three: The eye+ the object + the eye consciousness = contact arises
(The same is true for all other 5 senses).

Contact gives rise to feeling, perception and mental formations.
In every step there is this “glue” which makes it ”sticky” (craving)

Feeling then give rise to more craving …to clinging…to becoming…births…(Dependent Arising/Origination)
(see previous post)

In day to day life all these processes with our sensors happens at an incredible speed. It is almost impossible for us to recognize these steps, especially for an “untrained mind”. Invariably you are going to end up with feelings, perceptions, and mental formations. These will lead to carving …clinging …. existence in this samsara. It is just like you are watching a movie and getting emotionally involved, not realizing how it is generated at all.

In Samatha meditation (breath meditation) you eliminate the background noise and only focus on your breath (aware of breath). When the mind has achieved a state of smadhi (one pointed concentration) you can start observing how your sensors and their respective stimuli work at a much slower a pace. It is like you are watching the movie in slow motion now.

Now if you want to know what is really happening, you need to get to the projector and examine it. You will find it is a plastic tape going through between a powerful light and a lens, frame by frame. This is some thing like what we do in Vipassana meditation.

Dependent Arising

Sunday, December 7, 2008

When the eye meet an object...


The whole “world” is our six senses.This is where it ALL starts.


When the eye meet an object, the eye consciousness arises.


The union of three: The eye+ the object + the eye consciousness = contact (arises)

(The same is true for all other 5 senses).


Contact gives rise to feeling, perception and mental formations.


In every step there is this “glue” which makes it ”sticky”


Feeling then give rise to craving …to clinging…to becoming…births…(Dependent Arising/Origination)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Why do Buddhist monks fast ?


Buddha said to the monks to refrain from the night meal. Here are the reasons why:

"Monks: I abstain from the night-time meal.
As I am abstaining from the night-time meal I sense"-

1. next-to-no illness
2. next-to-no affliction
3. lightness
4. strength
5. a comfortable abiding

"Come now. You too abstain from the night-time meal. As you are abstaining from the night-time meal, you, too, wil: sense"-

1. next-to-no illness
2. next-to-no affliction
3. lightness
4. strength
5. a comfortable abiding

-Kitagiri Sutta-At Kitagiri

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.070.than.html

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What anger can do to you....

When anger does possess a man;

He looks ugly;

He lies in pain;

What benefit he may come by

He misconstrues as a mischance;

He loses property (through fines)

Because he has been working harm

Through acts of body and speech

By angry passion overwhelmed;

The wrath and rage that madden him

Gain him a name of ill-repute;

His fellows, relatives and kin

Will seek to shun him from afar;

And anger fathers misery:

This fury does so cloud the mind

Of man that he cannot discern

This fearful inner danger.

An angry man no meaning knows,

No angry man sees the Dhamma,

So wrapped in darkness,

as if blind, 

Is he whom anger dogs.

Buddhist meditation 'as good as drugs' at beating depression


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A piece of timber...


"Now, suppose that there were a dry, sapless piece of timber, and a man were to come along with an upper fire-stick, thinking, 'I'll light a fire. I'll produce heat.' What do you think — would he be able to light a fire and produce heat by rubbing the upper fire-stick in the dry, sapless piece of timber?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, in whomever mindfulness immersed in the body is not developed, not pursued, Mara gains entry, Mara gains a foothold.

"Now, suppose that there were a wet, sappy piece of timber, and a man were to come along with an upper fire-stick, thinking, 'I'll light a fire. I'll produce heat.' What do you think — would he be able to light a fire and produce heat by rubbing the upper fire-stick in the wet, sappy piece of timber?"

"No, lord."

"In the same way, in whomever mindfulness immersed in the body is developed, is pursued, Mara gains no entry, Mara gains no foothold.

Kayagata-sati Sutta
Mindfulness Immersed in the Body

Monday, December 1, 2008

Like an inscription in rock...


"Monks, there are these three types of individuals to be found existing in the world. Which three? An individual like an inscription in rock, an individual like an inscription in soil, and an individual like an inscription in water.

"And how is an individual like an inscription in rock? There is the case where a certain individual is often angered, and his anger stays with him a long time. Just as an inscription in rock is not quickly effaced by wind or water and lasts a long time, in the same way a certain individual is often angered, and his anger stays with him a long time. This is called an individual like an inscription in rock.

"And how is an individual like an inscription in soil? There is the case where a certain individual is often angered, but his anger doesn't stay with him a long time. Just as an inscription in soil is quickly effaced by wind or water and doesn't last a long time, in the same way a certain individual is often angered, but his anger doesn't stay with him a long time. This is called an individual like an inscription in soil.

"And how is an individual like an inscription in water? There is the case where a certain individual — when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way — is nevertheless congenial, companionable, & courteous. Just as an inscription in water immediately disappears and doesn't last a long time, in the same way a certain individual — when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way — is nevertheless congenial, companionable, & courteous. This is called an individual like an inscription in water.




Sunday, November 30, 2008

Calm is his mind...


Calm is his mind,
calm his speech
& his deed:
one who's released through right knowing*,
pacified, such.


-Dhammapada

*The right knowing is the same as The Right View (Samma Ditthi), the first step in
the Noble Eightfold Pathway

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post...


"Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around and circling around that very post or stake; in the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...
"He assumes perception to be the self...
"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...
"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"He keeps running around and circling around that very form... that very feeling... that very perception... those very fabrications... that very consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from feeling... from perception... from fabrications... not set loose from consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set loose
, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

Gaddula Sutta
The Leash

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It is a sticky business !



Suffering arises when the mind becomes too "sticky" to the sensory "foods" (five sensors and their respective stimuli). The practice of Insight meditation will help us to "let go" of these "foods" with ease. The contemplation of the three characteristics (impermanence, suffering and non-self) is the key to it's success.

I guess that is why it is called "Crazy Glue" (Crazy=delusion)!
craving is "the glue"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Time runs out fast...be heedful


"Monks, suppose there were four strong archers — well-trained, practiced, & drilled — standing in the four directions, and a man were to come along saying, 'I will catch & bring down the arrows let fly by these four strong archers — well-trained, practiced, & drilled — before they have fallen to the ground.' What do you think? Would that be enough to call him a swift man, endowed with the foremost speed?"


"Even if he were to catch & bring down the arrows let fly by one archer — well-trained, practiced, & drilled — before they fell to the ground, lord, that would be enough to call him a swift man, endowed with the foremost speed, to say nothing of four such archers."


"Faster than the speed of that man, monks, is the speed of the sun & moon. Faster than the speed of that man, faster than the speed of the sun & moon, is the speed of the devas who rush ahead of the sun & moon. Faster than the speed of that man, faster than the speed of the sun & moon, faster than the speed of the devas who rush ahead of the sun & moon, the force of one's life span comes to an end.


Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will live heedfully.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

As a mountain of rock is unmoving...


As a mountain of rock is unmoving,
firmly established,
so a monk,
with the ending of delusion,
like a mountain,
doesn't quake.


Thag 14.1
Revata's Farewell

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Like fish in the mouth of a trap...


Blinded by sensuality
covered by the net,
veiled with the veil of craving,
bound by the bond of heedlessness,
like fish in the mouth of a trap,
they go to aging & death,
like a suckling calf to its mother.

Kamesu Satta Sutta
Attached to Sensual Pleasures

Thursday, November 20, 2008

House-builder, you're seen!


Through the round of many births I roamed
without reward,
without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
Painful is birth
again & again.

House-builder, you're seen!
You will not build a house again.
All your rafters broken,
the ridge pole dismantled,
immersed in dismantling, the mind
has attained to the end of craving.
Jaravagga
Aging

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A man was being carried along by the flow of a river...


"Suppose a man was being carried along by the flow of a river, lovely & alluring. And then another man with good eyesight, standing on the bank, on seeing him would say: 'My good man, even though you are being carried along by the flow of a river, lovely & alluring, further down from here is a pool with waves & whirlpools, with monsters & demons. On reaching that pool you will suffer death or death-like pain.' Then the first man, on hearing the words of the second man, would make an effort with his hands & feet to go against the flow.

The meaning is this: the flow of the river stands for craving. Lovely & alluring stands for the six internal sense-media. The pool further down stands for the five lower fetters. The waves stand for anger & distress. The whirlpools stand for the five strings of sensuality. The monsters & demons stand for the opposite sex. Against the flow stands for renunciation. Making an effort with hands & feet stands for the arousing of persistence. The man with good eyesight standing on the bank stands for the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened."

Even if it's with pain,
you should abandon
sensual desires
if you aspire
to future safety from bondage.
Alert,
with a mind well-released,
touch release now here,
now there.
An attainer-of-wisdom,
having fulfilled the holy life,
is said to have gone
to the end of the world, gone
beyond.

Iti 4.10; Iti 114

The wandering solitary sage...


The wandering solitary sage,

uncomplacent, unshaken by praise or blame.

Unstartled, like a lion at sounds.

Unsnared, like the wind in a net.

Unsmeared, like a lotus in water.

Leader of others,

by others unled: The enlightened call him a sage.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

There lived a large herd of deer...


"Suppose, monks, that in a forested wilderness there were a large low-lying marsh, in dependence on which there lived a large herd of deer; and a certain man were to appear, not desiring their benefit, not desiring their welfare, not desiring their rest from bondage. He would close off the safe, restful path that led to their rapture, and would open up a false path, set out a male decoy, place a female decoy, and thus the large herd of deer, at a later time, would fall into ruin & disaster. Then suppose that a certain man were to appear to that same large herd of deer, desiring their benefit, desiring their welfare, desiring their rest from bondage. He would open up the safe, restful path that led to their rapture, would close off the false path, take away the male decoy, destroy the female decoy, and thus the large herd of deer, at a later time, would come into growth, increase, & abundance.

"I have given this simile in order to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: 'The large, low-lying marsh' is a term for sensual pleasures. 'The large herd of deer' is a term for beings. 'The man not desiring their benefit, not desiring their welfare, not desiring their rest from bondage' is a term for Mara, the Evil One. 'The false path' is a term for the eightfold wrong path, i.e., wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, & wrong concentration. 'The male decoy' is a term for passion & delight. 'The female decoy' is a term for ignorance. 'The man desiring their benefit, desiring their welfare, desiring their rest from bondage' is a term for the Tathagata, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One. 'The safe, restful path that led to their rapture' is a term for the noble eightfold path, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration.

Dvedhavitakka Sutta
Two Sorts of Thinking

Monday, November 17, 2008

Still sustained thoughts...as rain would, a cloud of dust


Three skillful thoughts*
should be thought,
three unskillful thoughts
rejected.


Whoever stills sustained thoughts
— as rain would, a cloud of dust —
through an awareness with thinking stilled,
attains right here
the state
of peace.
Iti 3.38; Iti 82

*Skillful thoughts
1.Renunciation
2.Non-ill-will
3. Harmlessness
Related Sutta:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whoever takes a rod...


Whoever takes a rod
to harm living beings desiring ease,
when he himself is looking for ease,
will meet with no ease after death.

Whoever doesn't take a rod
to harm living beings desiring ease,
when he himself is looking for ease,
will meet with ease after death.

Dhammapada -Dandavagga -The Rod

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just as when two or three drops of water fall onto an iron pan heated all day...


Just as when two or three drops of water fall onto an iron pan heated all day: Slow is the falling of the drops of water, but they quickly vanish & disappear.
In the same way, there is the case where a certain person is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of acquisitions. As he is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of acquisitions, then — from time to time, owing to lapses in mindfulness — he is assailed by memories & resolves associated with acquisitions. Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but then he quickly abandons [those memories & resolves], destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence.

Latukikopama Sutta
The Quail Simile

As a water bead on a lotus leaf...



As a water bead on a lotus leaf,



as water on a red lily,

does not adhere,

so the sage does not adhere to the seen,

the heard,

or the sensed.

Jara Sutta
Old Age

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Meaningless is your perception...


Like a mural you've seen,
painted on a wall,
smeared with yellow orpiment,
there your vision has been distorted,
meaningless is your perception of a human being.
Like an evaporated mirage,
like a tree of gold in a dream,
like a magic show in the midst of a crowd — you run blind after what is unreal.

Thig 14.1
Subha Jivakambavanika
Subha and the Libertine

A man falls sick...



"Now suppose that a man falls sick — in pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals, and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was sick... Now I am recovered from that sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Suppose that a man, taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining his wife. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, taking a loan, I invested it in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I have repaid my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.


"Now suppose that a man is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery, subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, I was a slave... Now I am released from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where I like.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

"Now suppose that a man, carrying money and goods, is traveling by a road through desolate country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, 'Before, carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through desolate country. Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of my property.' Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.


"In the same way, when these five hindrances* are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a sickness, a debt, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as good health, free from debt , release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

Samaññaphala Sutta
The Fruits of the Contemplative Life



*The Five Hindrances:
1. sensual desire or covetousness (kamacchanda)
2. Ill-will (byapada)
3. Sloth and torpor (thina-middha)
4. Restlessness and remorse (uddhacca-kukkucca)
5. Sceptical doubt (vicikiccha).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Like a fire hidden in ashes...


An evil deed, when done,
doesn't — like ready milk —
come out right away.
It follows the fool,
smoldering
like a fire
hidden in ashes.
-Dhammapada

Mindfulness immersed in the body...


"Now, suppose that there were a water-pot set on a stand, full of water up to the brim so that crows could drink out of it, and a man were to come along carrying a load of water. What do you think — would he get a place to put his water?"
"No, lord."
"In the same way, in whomever mindfulness immersed in the body is developed, is pursued, Mara gains no entry, Mara gains no foothold.

Kayagata-sati Sutta
Mindfulness Immersed in the Body

There's no companionship with a fool...


Going alone is better,

there's no companionship with a fool.

Go alone, doing no evil, at peace,

like the elephant in the Matanga wilds.

-Dhammapada

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's just as if there were a man blind from birth...


"Magandiya, it's just as if there were a man blind from birth who couldn't see black objects... white... blue... yellow... red... the sun or the moon. Now suppose that a certain man were to take a grimy, oil-stained rag and fool him, saying, 'Here, my good man, is a white cloth — beautiful, spotless, & clean.' The blind man would take it and put it on.


"Then his friends, companions, & relatives would take him to a doctor. The doctor would concoct medicine for him: purges from above & purges from below, ointments & counter-ointments and treatments through the nose. And thanks to the medicine his eyesight would appear & grow clear. Then together with the arising of his eyesight, he would abandon whatever passion & delight he felt for that grimy, oil-stained rag. And he would regard that man as an enemy & no friend at all, and think that he deserved to be killed. 'My gosh, how long have I been fooled, cheated, & deceived by that man & his grimy, oil-stained rag! — "Here, my good man, is a white cloth — beautiful, spotless, & clean."'


"In the same way, Magandiya, if I were to teach you the Dhamma — 'This is that freedom from Disease; this is that Unbinding' — and you on your part were to know that freedom from Disease and see that Unbinding, then together with the arising of your eyesight you would abandon whatever passion & delight you felt with regard for the five clinging-aggregates. And it would occur to you, 'My gosh, how long have I been fooled, cheated, & deceived by this mind! For in clinging, it was just form that I was clinging to... it was just feeling... just perception... just fabrications... just consciousness that I was clinging to. With my clinging as a requisite condition, there arises becoming... birth... aging & death... sorrow, lamentation, pains, distresses, & despairs. And thus is the origin of this entire mass of stress.'"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sensuality is like a lump of flesh...


"Now suppose a vulture, a kite, or a hawk, seizing a lump of flesh, were to take off, and other vultures, kites, or hawks — following right after it — were to tear at it with their beaks & pull at it with their claws. What do you think: If that vulture, kite, or hawk were not quickly to drop that lump of flesh, would it meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain?"

"Yes, lord."


"In the same way, householder, a disciple of the noble ones considers this point: 'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a lump of flesh, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.'

Blow away the impurities...


Just as a silver smith step by step,

bit by bit,

moment to moment,

blows away the impurities of molten silver
—so the wise man, his own.
-Dhammapada

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A fast horse advances...


Heedful among the heedless,
wakeful among those asleep,
just as a fast horse advances,
leaving the weak behind:
so the wise.

-Dhammapada

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A man running from...




"Monks, suppose there were four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom. Then a man would come along — desiring life, desiring not to die, desiring happiness, & loathing pain — and people would tell him: 'Good man, these four vipers, of utmost heat & horrible venom, are yours. Time after time they must be lifted up, time after time they must be bathed, time after time they must be fed, time after time put to rest. And if any of these vipers ever gets angered with you, then you will meet with death or death-like suffering. Do what you think should be done.'

Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom — would flee this way or that. They would tell him, 'Good man, there are five enemy executioners chasing right on your heels, [thinking,] "Wherever we see him, we'll kill him right on the spot." Do what you think should be done.'
Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners — would flee this way or that. They would tell him, 'Good man, there is a sixth executioner, a fellow-traveler, chasing right on your heels with upraised sword, [thinking,] "Wherever I see him, I'll kill him right on the spot." Do what you think should be done.'
Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners, afraid of the sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword — would flee this way or that. He would see an empty village. Whatever house he entered would be abandoned, void, & empty as he entered it. Whatever pot he grabbed hold of would be abandoned, void, & empty as he grabbed hold of it. They would tell him, 'Good man, right now, village-plundering bandits are entering this empty village. Do what you think should be done.'
Then the man — afraid of the four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom, afraid of the five enemy executioners, afraid of the sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword, afraid of the village-plundering bandits — would flee this way or that. He would see a great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. The thought would occur to him, 'Here is this great expanse of water, with the near shore dubious & risky, the further shore secure & free from risk, but with neither a ferryboat nor a bridge going from this shore to the other. What if I were to gather grass, twigs, branches, & leaves and, having bound them together to make a raft, were to cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with my hands & feet?' Then the man, having gathered grass, twigs, branches, & leaves, having bound them together to make a raft, would cross over to safety on the other shore in dependence on the raft, making an effort with his hands & feet. Crossed over, having gone to the other shore, he would stand on high ground, a brahman.

"Monks, I have made this simile to convey a meaning. Here the meaning is this: 'The four vipers of utmost heat & horrible venom' stands for the four great existents: the earth property, the liquid property, the fire-property, & the wind property. 'The five enemy executioners' stands for the five clinging-aggregates: the form clinging-aggregate, the feeling clinging-aggregate, the perception clinging-aggregate, the fabrications clinging-aggregate, the consciousness clinging-aggregate. 'The sixth fellow-traveling executioner with upraised sword' stands for passion & delight.
"'The empty village' stands for the six internal sense media. If a wise, competent, intelligent person examines them from the point of view of the eye, they appear abandoned, void, & empty. If he examines them from the point of view of the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... the intellect, they appear abandoned, void, & empty. 'The village-plundering bandits' stands for the six external sense-media. The eye is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable forms. The ear is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable sounds. The nose is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable aromas. The tongue is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable flavors. The body is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable tactile sensations. The intellect is attacked by agreeable & disagreeable ideas.

"'The great expanse of water' stands for the fourfold flood: the flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance.



'The near shore, dubious & risky' stands for self-identification. 'The further shore, secure and free from risk' stands for Unbinding. 'The raft' stands for just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. 'Making an effort with hands & feet' stands for the arousing of persistence. 'Crossed over, having gone to the other shore, he would stand on high ground, a brahman' stands for the arahant."

Asivisa Sutta -Vipers

Skilled in reading your own mind ?

"Even if a monk is not skilled in the ways of the minds of others, he should train himself: 'I will be skilled in reading my own mind.'


"And how is a monk skilled in reading his own mind?


Imagine a young woman, fond of adornment, examining the image of her own face in a bright, clean mirror :




If she saw any dirt or blemish there, she would try to remove it. If she saw no dirt or blemish there, she would be pleased, her resolves fulfilled: 'How fortunate I am! How clean I am!'

In the same way, a monk's self-examination is very productive in terms of skillful qualities [if he conducts it in this way]: 'Do I usually remain covetous or not? With thoughts of ill will or not? Overcome by sloth & drowsiness or not? Restless or not? Uncertain or gone beyond uncertainty? Angry or not? With soiled thoughts or unsoiled thoughts? With my body aroused or unaroused? Lazy or with persistence aroused? Unconcentrated or concentrated?'


Sacitta Sutta -One's Own Mind

Friday, September 5, 2008

Suffering returns if...


If its root remains
undamaged & strong,
a tree, even if cut,
will grow back.
So too if latent craving
is not rooted out,
this suffering returns
again & again.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I followed that path...


"It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king's minister, saying, 'Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path... I followed it... I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital... complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!' The king or king's minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.

"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times?
Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

Nagara Sutta -The City

Saturday, August 30, 2008

You make things worse...


You make things worse when you flare up at someone who's angry.
Whoever doesn't flare up at someone who's angry wins a battle hard to win.
Akkosa Sutta -Insult

Excellent are those self-tamed


Excellent are tamed mules,

tamed thoroughbreds,

tamed horses from Sindh.

Excellent,

tamed tuskers,

great elephants.

But even more excellent are those self-tamed.
-Dhammapada

Focus not on the rudenesses ...


Focus,
not on the rudenesses of others,
not on what they've done
or left undone,
but on what you
have & haven't done
yourself.
-Dhammapada

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

As a great flood..


The man immersed in gathering blossoms (sensual pleasures),

his heart distracted:death sweeps him away — as a great flood,

a village asleep

-Dhammapada

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Make an island for yourself


Make an island for yourself!

Work quickly!

Be wise!

With impurities all blown away,

unblemished,

you won't again undergo birth & aging.


-Dhammapada