Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to maintain one's livelihood in tune...


"And what does it mean to maintain one's livelihood in tune? There is the case where a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' Just as when a weigher or his apprentice, when holding the scales, knows, 'It has tipped down so much or has tipped up so much,' in the same way, the lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income.' If a lay person has a small income but maintains a grand livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman devours his wealth like a fruit-tree eater*.'If a lay person has a large income but maintains a miserable livelihood, it will be rumored of him, 'This clansman will die of starvation.' But when a lay person, knowing the income and outflow of his wealth, maintains a livelihood in tune, neither a spendthrift nor a penny-pincher, [thinking], 'Thus will my income exceed my outflow, and my outflow will not exceed my income,' this is call maintaining one's livelihood in tune.

AN 8.54

Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: To Dighajanu
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

*
one who shakes more fruit off a tree than he can possibly eat.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just like a horse trainer trains his horses....


Then Kesi the horsetrainer went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: "You, Kesi, are a trained man, a trainer of tamable horses. And how do you train a tamable horse?"

"Lord, I train a tamable horse [sometimes] with gentleness, [sometimes] with harshness,[sometimes] with both gentleness & harshness."

"And if a tamable horse does not submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, Kesi, what do you do?"

"If a tamable horse does not submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild and harsh training, lord, then I kill it.

Why is that? [I think:] 'Don't let this be a disgrace to my lineage of teachers.' But the Blessed One, lord, is the unexcelled trainer of tamable people. How do you train a tamable person?"

"Kesi, I train a tamable person [sometimes] with gentleness, [sometimes] with harshness, [sometimes] with both gentleness & harshness.

"In using gentleness, [I teach:] 'Such is good bodily conduct. Such is the result of good bodily conduct. Such is good verbal conduct. Such is the result of good verbal conduct. Such is good mental conduct. Such is the result of good mental conduct. Such are the devas. Such are human beings.'

"In using harshness, [I teach:] 'Such is bodily misconduct. Such is the result of bodily misconduct. Such is verbal misconduct. Such is the result of verbal misconduct. Such is mental misconduct. Such is the result of mental misconduct. Such is hell. Such is the animal womb. Such the realm of the hungry shades.'

"In using gentleness & harshness, [I teach:] 'Such is good bodily conduct. Such is the result of good bodily conduct. Such is bodily misconduct. Such is the result of bodily misconduct. Such is good verbal conduct. Such is the result of good verbal conduct. Such is verbal misconduct. Such is the result of verbal misconduct. Such is good mental conduct. Such is the result of good mental conduct. Such is mental miscondut. Such is the result of mental misconduct. Such are the devas. Such are human beings. Such is hell. Such is the animal womb. Such the realm of the hungry shades.'"

"And if a tamable person does not submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, what do you do?"

"If a tamable person does not submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then I kill him*, Kesi."

"But it's not proper for our Blessed One to take life! And yet the Blessed One just said, 'I kill him, Kesi.'"

"It is true, Kesi, that it's not proper for a Tathagata to take life. But if a tamable person does not submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then the Tathagata does not regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. His knowledgeable fellows in the holy life do not regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing*. This is what it means to be totally destroyed in the Doctrine & Discipline, when the Tathagata does not regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing, and one's knowledgeable fellows in the holy life do not regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing."

"Yes, lord, wouldn't one be totally destroyed if the Tathagata does not regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing, and one's knowledgeable fellows in the holy life do not regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing!

"Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."

AN 4.111
Kesi Sutta: To Kesi the Horsetrainer
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

These are the four unconjecturables...


"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them.

Which four?

1. "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas1 is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

2. "The jhana-range of a person in jhana...2

3. "The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

4. "Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."


Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.077.than.html

1. I.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha.

2. I.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We suffer because...


We suffer because we don't like the change. But change is the reality of all conditioned things, animate or inanimate alike.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's all about coming to our senses..


Suffering is a result of clinging, clinging is a result of craving, craving is a result of feeling, and this all goes back to our senses. If we "come to our senses," our ignorance will be gone. So will be our craving and suffering. We then will be free.

The footprint of the elephant



Ven. Sariputta said: "Friends, just as the footprints of all legged animals are encompassed by the footprint of the elephant, and the elephant's footprint is reckoned the foremost among them in terms of size; in the same way, all skillful qualities are gathered under the four noble truths. Under which four? Under the noble truth of stress, under the noble truth of the origination of stress, under the noble truth of the cessation of stress, and under the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.

"And what is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; not getting what is wanted is stressful.1 In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful. And which are the five clinging-aggregates? The form clinging-aggregate, the feeling clinging-aggregate, the perception clinging-aggregate, the fabrication clinging-aggregate, & the consciousness clinging-aggregate.

Maha-hatthipadopama Sutta: The Great Elephant Footprint Simile
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
To read the full sutta:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.028.than.html#inlaw

Monday, December 7, 2009

You can't gain wisdom by shutting the eyes...



You can't gain wisdom by shutting the eyes, closing the ears... and so on (same is true for all the six senses) but understanding (realizing) how they really work...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We have fallen into a "river rapid" called...


We have fallen into a "river rapid" called the dependent origination, a chain of reactions that causes this whole mass of suffering. Every moment we are accumulating kamma that will generate our future birth. However we are not aware of it because of our ignorance. Only the ones who realize this, can unchain this series of unfortunate events. The key link is getting rid of craving.... this is our fina goal... Nirvana.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One drop at a time....


Keep reflecting mindfully on the Dhamma you have learnt. Dhamma is everywhere around you. Then just apply it to your life, every moment, one drop at a time.

How to grow a tree of wisdom....




This is the method how you grow this tree to bear tasty fruits.

1. Before you plant the seed, you need to prepare the soil (fertile).

2. Then you need to water it well.

3. When the tree grows you have to clean the roots.

4. Then you have to remove the worms that may damage the tree.

5. Finally you have to remove the spider webs from the tree for it to grow to full potential and bear tasty fruits.


In the simile here: Preparing the soil is morality (Sila), watering is acquiring knowledge of Dhamma (Sutha), Cleaning the roots is discussing Dhamma and clearing doubts ( Dhamma sarkach-cha), Clearing the worms is breath meditation (Samatha) and suppressing the five hindrances, and finally removing spider webs is mindfulness meditation (vipassana).

This is taken from a sutta I have heard called, "Anngghita sutta.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.025.than.html
Note: I did not find the simile in the translation here...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cutting the fetters that tie us down....


Dhamma teaches us the the path, that finally liberate us (Nirvana) from Samsara. This is our final goal! Fetters tie us down to the Samsara. Cutting the fetters off using the practice of Dhamma is the art of liberation.

Dhamma is like a "shap knife" for this purpose... But you need to grab it from the right end !

Friday, November 27, 2009

Like wind would leaves from a tree...


He has become calm and at rest, Wise in speech and not self-centered; He's shaken off unwholesome states — Like wind would leaves from a tree.

Sariputta Thera: Keeping the Wheel Rolling
translated from the Pali by
Andrew Olendzki

How to be FREE (from samsara)?


“When you see you only see, when you hear you only hear, when you taste you only taste, when you smell you only smell, when you feel (touch) you only feel, when mental objects arrive at the mind, they only arrive”…if you realize this as a direct knowledge, you are NOT HERE…if you are not here you are NOT THERE, if you are neither here or there, you are NOT IN-BETWEEN, you are then “FREE” (from this Samsara)- Buddha

Monday, November 16, 2009

The right technique will give results whether you wish or not ...


"Suppose a man in need of fire, looking for fire, wandering in search of fire, would take a fire stick and rub it into a wet, sappy piece of wood. If he were to take a fire stick and rub it into a wet, sappy piece of wood even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, he would be incapable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an inappropriate way of obtaining results.

"In the same way, any priests or contemplatives endowed with wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, & wrong concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are incapable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an inappropriate way of obtaining results.

"Suppose a man in need of fire, looking for fire, wandering in search of fire, would take a fire stick and rub it into a dry, sapless piece of wood. If he were to take a fire stick and rub it into a dry, sapless piece of wood even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, he would be capable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an appropriate way of obtaining results.

"In the same way, any priests or contemplatives endowed with right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish [for results], they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when both having made a wish and having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an appropriate way of obtaining results.

Bhumija Sutta: To Bhumija
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.126.than.html#butter1

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just as a Lute....


"Suppose there were a king or king's minister who had never heard the sound of a lute before. He might hear the sound of a lute and say, 'What, my good men, is that sound — so delightful, so tantalizing, so intoxicating, so ravishing, so enthralling?' They would say, 'That, sire, is called a lute, whose sound is so delightful, so tantalizing, so intoxicating, so ravishing, so enthralling.' Then he would say, 'Go & fetch me that lute.' They would fetch the lute and say, 'Here, sire, is the lute whose sound is so delightful, so tantalizing, so intoxicating, so ravishing, so enthralling.' He would say, 'Enough of your lute. Fetch me just the sound.' Then they would say, 'This lute, sire, is made of numerous components, a great many components. It's through the activity of numerous components that it sounds: that is, in dependence on the body, the skin, the neck, the frame, the strings, the bridge, and the appropriate human effort. Thus it is that this lute — made of numerous components, a great many components — sounds through the activity of numerous components.'

"Then the king would split the lute into ten pieces, a hundred pieces. Having split the lute into ten pieces, a hundred pieces, he would shave it to splinters. Having shaved it to splinters, he would burn it in a fire. Having burned it in a fire, he would reduce it to ashes. Having reduced it to ashes, he would winnow it before a high wind or let it be washed away by a swift-flowing stream. He would then say, 'A sorry thing, this lute — whatever a lute may be — by which people have been so thoroughly tricked & deceived.'

"In the same way, a monk investigates form, however far form may go. He investigates feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness*, however far consciousness may go. As he is investigating form... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness, however far consciousness may go, any thoughts of 'me' or 'mine' or 'I am' do not occur to him."


*Five aggregates (see labels)



Friday, October 9, 2009

Just like in a guest house....


"In a guest house, O monks, people from the east may take lodgings, or people from the west, north or south. People from the warrior caste may come and take lodgings there, and also Brahmans, middle class people and menials.

"Similarly, O monks, there arise in this body various kinds of feelings; there arise pleasant feelings, painful feelings and neutral feelings; worldly feelings that are pleasant, painful or neutral, and unworldly* feelings that are pleasant, painful and neutral.

translated from the Pali by
Nyanaponika Thera

* Spiritual

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

These are the four drains on one's store of wealth:




"These are the four drains on one's store of wealth:


1. debauchery in sex

2. debauchery in drink

2. debauchery in gambling

3. evil friendship, evil companionship, evil camaraderie

Just as if there were a great reservoir with four inlets and four drains, and a man were to close the inlets and open the drains, and the sky were not to pour down proper showers, the depletion of that great reservoir could be expected, not its increase. In the same way, these are the four drains on one's store of wealth: debauchery in sex; debauchery in drink; debauchery in gambling; and evil friendship, evil companionship, evil camaraderie.

These are the four inlets to one's store of wealth:


1. no debauchery in sex

2. no debauchery in drink

3. no debauchery in gambling

4. admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie

Just as if there were a great reservoir with four inlets and four drains, and a man were to open the inlets and close the drains, and the sky were to pour down proper showers, the increase of that great reservoir could be expected, not its depletion. In the same way, these are the four inlets to one's store of wealth: no debauchery in sex; no debauchery in drink; no debauchery in gambling; and admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.


Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta: To Dighajanu








Leave that sound alone....


Leave that sound alone...it is not disturbing you but you are disturbing the sound! Leave that object alone...the object is not distracting but you are distracting the object! The same goes to our other senses too.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Muddy pool of water is like a....


"Suppose there were a pool of water — sullied, turbid, and muddy. A man with good eyesight standing there on the bank would not see shells, gravel, and pebbles, or shoals of fish swimming about and resting.


Why is that?


Because of the sullied nature of the water. In the same way, that a monk with a sullied mind would know his own benefit, the benefit of others, the benefit of both; that he would realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction of knowledge & vision: Such a thing is impossible.


Why is that?


Because of the sullied nature of his mind."

Like shedding leaves from a tree...


He has become calm and at rest,
Wise in speech and not self-centered;
He's shaken off unwholesome states —
Like wind would leaves from a tree.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Like a water-pot full of water up to the brim...


"Now, suppose that there were an empty, hollow water-pot set on a stand, 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?"

"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 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
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu


*Mara is the Buddhist "Tempter-figure"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dhamma is like a "GPS" but....


DHAMMA* can be seen as a "GPS" in a car. Having GPS alone will not help us to arrive at the destination. We still have to DRIVE the car safely using "GPS" as our guide. Driving is similar to the PRACTICE of the Dhamma, mainly "Dana" (generosity or giving), "Sila" (morality) and "Bhavana" (meditation).

*DHAMMA: teachings of the Buddha

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The three essential ingrients to gain wisdom ...


The three essential ingrients to gain wisdom are, the right effort, a clear comprehention and the right mindfulness. It is just like a plant needs sunlight, water and soil for it to grow to it's full potential.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How can clinging survive ?


Why do we cling to what we see? This is because of craving. If thre is no more craving how can clinging survive ? It is like a tree that always needs water to survive.

Friday, August 21, 2009

There is pressure in what we see...



Sure...there is pressure in what we see. This is why we cling to it. This same clinging will lead to our own suffering... at the end. Same goes to our other senses.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Build the house from the bottom up...


"Monks, if anyone were to say, 'Without having broken through to the noble truth of stress as it actually is present, without having broken through to the noble truth of the origination of stress... the cessation of stress... the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress*, as it actually is present, I will bring about the right ending of stress,' that would be an impossibility.

Just as if someone were to say, 'Without having built the lower story of a gabled building, I will put up the upper story,' that would be an impossibility; in the same way, if anyone were to say, 'Without having broken through to the noble truth of stress as it actually is present, without having broken through to the noble truth of the origination of stress... the cessation of stress... the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress, as it actually is present, I will bring about the right ending of stress,' that would be an impossibility.

*The Four Noble Truths (see labels)


-Kuta Sutta: Gabled
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.044.than.html

Grow "flowers" not "weeds" in the mind



Consider your mind as your garden. It is very easy to grow weeds but it is hard to grow nice flowers. You need constant effort and mindfulness to keep the garden free from weeds. Weeds are like our defilements in the mind. Flowers are like the good moral values and virtues of the mind.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just as a man with good eyes.....


"Now how, Ananda, in the discipline of a noble one is there the unexcelled development of the faculties?

There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable. He discerns that 'This agreeable thing has arisen in me, this disagreeable thing... this agreeable & disagreeable thing has arisen in me. And that is compounded, gross, dependently co-arisen. But this is peaceful, this is exquisite, i.e., equanimity.' With that, the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing ceases, and equanimity takes its stance.

Just as a man with good eyes, having closed them, might open them; or having opened them, might close them, that is how quickly, how rapidly, how easily, no matter what it refers to, the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing ceases, and equanimity takes its stance. In the discipline of a noble one, this is called the unexcelled development of the faculties with regard to forms cognizable by the eye.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Not even if it rained gold coins...


Not even if it rained gold coins would we have our fill of sensual pleasures.
'Stressful, they give little enjoyment' — knowing this, the wise one finds no delight even in heavenly sensual pleasures. He is one who delights in the ending of craving, a disciple of the Rightly Self-Awakened One.

-Dhammapada

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Characteristic of consciousness...


The king asked: "Venerable Nagasena, what is the distinguishing characteristic of consciousness?"

"The distinguishing characteristic of consciousness, your majesty, is cognizing."

"Give me an analogy."

"Just as, your majesty, a city-superintendent sitting at the crossroads in the middle of the city could see a person coming from the eastern direction, could see a person coming from the southern direction, could see a person coming from the western direction, and could see a person coming from the northern direction, then indeed, your majesty, does a person cognize with consciousness a form he sees with the eye, cognize with consciousness a sound he hears with the ear, cognize with consciousness a scent he smells with the nose, cognize with consciousness a taste he savors with the tongue, cognize with consciousness a touch he feels with the body, and cognize with consciousness a mental state he cognizes with the mind. Indeed thus, your majesty, the distinguishing characteristic of consciousness is cognizing."

"You are clever, venerable Nagasena."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/miln/miln.2x.kell.html#miln-2-3-08-cymbals

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Like a water bead on a lotus...


Not to gain or loss not to status or honor,
not to praise or blame,
not to pleasure or pain:
everywhere they do not adhere — like a water bead on a lotus.
Everywhere they are happy, the enlightened, everywhere un- defeated.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just as if a man were to grasp a branch with his hand ...



"There is the case where a monk enters & remains in a certain peaceful awareness-release. He attends to the cessation of self-identification*, but as he is attending to the cessation of self-identification his mind doesn't leap up, grow confident, steadfast, or firm in the cessation of self-identification. For him the cessation of self-identification is not to be expected.

Just as if a man were to grasp a branch with his hand smeared with resin, his hand would stick to it, grip it, adhere to it; in the same way, the monk enters & remains in a certain peaceful awareness-release. He attends to the cessation of self-identification, but as he is attending to the cessation of self-identification his mind doesn't leap up, grow confident, steadfast, or firm in the cessation of self-identification. For him the cessation of self-identification is not to be expected.

"Now, there is the case where a monk enters & remains in a certain peaceful awareness-release. He attends to the cessation of self-identification, and as he is attending to the cessation of self-identification his mind leaps up, grows confident, steadfast, & firm in the cessation of self-identification. For him the cessation of self-identification is to be expected.

Just as if a man were to grasp a branch with a clean hand, his hand would not stick to it, grip it, or adhere to it; in the same way, the monk enters & remains in a certain peaceful awareness-release. He attends to the cessation of self-identification, and as he is attending to the cessation of self-identification his mind leaps up, grows confident, steadfast, & firm in the cessation of self-identification. For him the cessation of self-identification is to be expected
* First fetter
(to understand fetters see lables below)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just as a hen expects...


"Suppose a hen has eight, ten, or twelve eggs: If she doesn't cover them rightly, warm them rightly, or incubate them rightly, then even though this wish may occur to her — 'O that my chicks might break through the egg shells with their spiked claws or beaks and hatch out safely!' — still it is not possible that the chicks will break through the egg shells with their spiked claws or beaks and hatch out safely.

Why is that?

Because the hen has not covered them rightly, warmed them rightly, or incubated them rightly.

In the same way, even though this wish may occur to a monk who dwells without devoting himself to development — 'O that my mind might be released from (Taints) effluents through lack of clinging!' — still his mind is not released from the (Taints) effluents through lack of clinging.

Why is that?

From lack of developing, it should be said.

Lack of developing what?

The four frames of reference, the four right exertions, the four bases of power, the five faculties, the five strengths, the seven factors for Awakening, the noble eightfold path.


Nava Sutta: The Ship
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.101.than.html#hen

So hard to see the mind...


So hard to see,
so very, very subtle,
alighting wherever it likes: the mind.
The wise should guard it.
The mind protected brings ease.

-Dhammapada

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sensuality is like picking fruits off a tree...



"Now suppose that, not far from a village or town, there were a dense forest grove, and there in the grove was a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, but with no fruit fallen to the ground. A man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit. Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree... and the thought would occur to him, 'This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, but I know how to climb a tree. Why don't I climb the tree, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?' So, having climbed the tree, he would eat what he liked and fill his clothes with the fruit. Then a second man would come along, desiring fruit, looking for fruit, searching for fruit and carrying a sharp ax. Plunging into the forest grove, he would see the tree... and the thought would occur to him, 'This is a tree with delicious fruit, abundant fruit, and there is no fruit fallen to the ground, and I don't know how to climb a tree. Why don't I chop down this tree at the root, eat what I like, and fill my clothes with the fruit?' So he would chop the tree at the root. What do you think: If the first man who climbed the tree didn't quickly come down, wouldn't the falling tree crush his hand or foot or some other part of his body, so that he would 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 the fruits of a tree, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is present, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hidden treasures of this city...


A city made of bones,
plastered over with flesh & blood,
whose hidden treasures are:
pride & contempt,
aging & death.
-Dhammapada

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Store the "weapons of Dhamma"...



"Just as the royal frontier fortress has many weapons stored, both arrows & things to be hurled, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way...



.....the disciple of the noble ones has heard much, has retained what he has heard, has stored what he has heard. Whatever teachings are admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end, that — in their meaning & expression — proclaim the holy life that is entirely complete & pure: those he has listened to often, retained, discussed, accumulated, examined with his mind, and well-penetrated in terms of his views.



With learning as his weapons, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an07/an07.063.than.html#learning

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sorrows grow like wild grass if....


If this sticky, uncouth craving
overcomes you in the world,
your sorrows grow like wild grass
after rain.


-Dhammapada

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A simple whish for Sri Lanka at this time of crisis...


I wish all Sri Lankan's will contemplate these beautiful words of the Buddha at this time of crisis...

"Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

"He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred."


"He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred."


"There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels."

-Dhammapada

May all beings be well, happy and live peacefully in Sri Lanka.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Contemplation of the body...as a cave


Staying attached to the cave,
covered heavily over,
a person sunk in confusion
is far from seclusion —
for sensual pleasures
sensual desires
in the world
are not lightly let go.

Guhatthaka Sutta-The Cave of the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.4.02.than.html

Contemplation of the body...as a boil


"Monks, it's just as if there were a boil that had been building for many years with nine openings, nine un-lanced heads. Whatever would ooze out from it would be an uncleanliness oozing out, a stench oozing out, a disgust oozing out. Whatever would be discharged from it would be an uncleanliness discharging, a stench discharging, a disgust discharging.

"'A boil,' monks, is another word for this body composed of the four properties*, born of mother & father, fed on rice & porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing & massaging, breaking-up & disintegrating. It has nine openings, nine un-lanced heads. Whatever would ooze out from it would be an uncleanliness oozing out, a stench oozing out, a disgust oozing out. Whatever would be discharged from it would be an uncleanliness discharging, a stench discharging, a disgust discharging. For that reason, you should become disenchanted with this body."

Ganda Sutta-A Boil
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.015.than.html

*
See labels

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A man constrained by conscience...


Who in the world
is a man constrained by conscience,
who awakens to censure
like a fine stallion to the whip?
Those restrained by conscience
are rare —
those who go through life
always mindful.
Having reached the end
of suffering & stress,
they go through what is uneven
evenly;
go through what is out-of-tune
in tune.
Hiri Sutta-Conscience
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn01/sn01.018.than.html
Note:

The Pali word "Hiri" is translated as conscience here. This is also translated
as shame and is compared to a moat in Nagara sutta (the fortress)... see below:

"Just as the royal frontier fortress has
a moat, both deep & wide, for the protection of those within and to
ward off those without; in the same way, the disciple of the noble ones
has a sense of shame. He feels shame at [the thought of engaging in]
bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, mental misconduct. He feels shame
at falling into evil, unskillful actions. With shame as his moat, the
disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what
is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless,
and looks after himself with purity. With this second true quality is
he endowed.
Nagara Sutta

Abandoning shamelessness is also a initial step in the path that leads to abandon birth, old age, death (enlightenment) according to Thyodhamma sutta: please see the post below for more details:

"One bad Brick" - The fault finding mind

To listen to MP3 of Thyodhamma Suttahttp://www.gautamabuddha.ca/bana/english/14_Kitariri_Sutta.MP3(In the link it should read Thayodhamma sutta, not Kitagiri sutta)

Definition From "
A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms"
hiri-ottappa [hiri-ottappa]: "Conscience and concern"; "moral shame and moral dread." These twin emotions — the "guardians of the world" — are associated with all skillful actions. Hiri is an inner conscience that restrains us from doing deeds that would jeopardize our own self-respect; ottappa is a healthy fear of committing unskillful deeds that might bring about harm to ourselves or others.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The difference between the two chariot wheels...


On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Varanasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "Once, monks, there was a king named Pacetana. One day King Pacetana said to his chariot maker, 'My good chariot maker, in six months time from now a battle will take place. Can you make me a new pair of chariot wheels?'

"'Yes, your majesty, I can,' the chariot maker replied to the king.

"Then in six months minus six days the chariot maker finished one wheel. King Pacetana said to him, 'In six days time from now the battle will take place. Will the pair of chariot wheels be finished?'

"'Your majesty, in these six months minus six days, I have finished one wheel.'

"'But can you finish the second wheel in these six days?'

"'Yes, your majesty, I can,' the chariot maker replied to the king.

"Then, after finishing the second wheel in six days, the chariot maker took the pair of wheels to the king and, on arrival, said to him, 'Here is your new pair of chariot wheels all finished, your majesty.'

"'And what is the difference between your wheel that took six months minus six days to finish, and your wheel that took six days to finish? I don't see any difference between them at all.'

"'There is a difference between them, your majesty. Look at the difference.' Then the chariot maker took the chariot wheel finished in six days and set it rolling. Going as far as its momentum carried it, it twirled around and around and fell to the ground. But then he took the chariot wheel finished in six months minus six days to finish and set it rolling. Going as far as its momentum carried it, it stood still as if fixed on an axle.

"'Now what is the reason, my good chariot maker, what is the cause, why the chariot wheel finished in six days, when set rolling, goes as far as its momentum carries it and then, twirling around and around, falls to the ground? And what is the reason, what is the cause, why the chariot wheel finished in six months minus six days, when set rolling, goes as far as its momentum carries it and then stands still as if fixed on an axle?'

"'Your majesty, as for the wheel finished in six days, its rim is crooked, with faults & flaws. Its spokes are crooked, with faults & flaws. Its hub is crooked, with faults & flaws. Because its rim... spokes... [&] hub are crooked, with faults & flaws, when set rolling it goes as far as its momentum carries it and then, twirling around and around, falls to the ground. But as for the wheel finished in six months minus six days, its rim is not crooked, with no faults or flaws. Its spokes are not crooked, with no faults or flaws. Its hub is not crooked, with no faults or flaws. Because its rim... spokes... [&] hub are not crooked, with no faults or flaws, when set rolling it goes as far as its momentum carries it and then stands still as if fixed on an axle.'

"Now, monks, the thought may occur to you that the chariot maker on that occasion was someone else, but it shouldn't be seen in that way. I myself was the chariot maker on that occasion. I was skilled in dealing with the crookedness, the faults, the flaws of wood. Now I am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, skilled in dealing with the crookedness, faults, & flaws of bodily action; skilled in dealing with the crookedness, faults, & flaws of verbal action; skilled in dealing with the crookedness, faults, & flaws of mental action.

"Any monk or nun in whom the crookedness, faults, & flaws of bodily action are not abandoned; the crookedness, faults, & flaws of verbal action are not abandoned; the crookedness, faults, & flaws of mental action are not abandoned has fallen away from this Dhamma & Discipline, just like the wheel finished in six days. But any monk or nun in whom the crookedness, faults, & flaws of bodily action are abandoned; the crookedness, faults, & flaws of verbal action are abandoned; the crookedness, faults, & flaws of mental action are abandoned stands firm in this Dhamma & Discipline, just like the wheel finished in six months minus six days.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will abandon crookedness, faults, & flaws in bodily action. We will abandon crookedness, faults, & flaws in verbal action. We will abandon crookedness, faults, & flaws in mental action.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Not startled, like a lion at sounds...



Not startled, like a lion at sounds.
Not snared, like the wind in a net.
Not smeared, like a lotus in water:
wander alone...

Khaggavisana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.03.than.html#lion

Thursday, May 7, 2009

For one who is born there is no freedom from death


"'Just as a river flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it, so that there is not a moment, an instant, a second where it stands still, but instead it goes & rushes & flows, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a river flowing down from the mountains — limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this [truth] like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.
Arakenanusasani Sutta
Araka's Teaching

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an07/an07.070.than.html#river

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just as a person who is skillful in dressing wounds in the cows...


One who is skillful in looking after a cow herd is also very skillful in dressing wounds in the cows to maintain a healthy cow herd (read the sutta for the other 10 methods and similes).

Just like that...

"How does a monk dress wounds?

There is the case where a monk, on seeing a form with the eye, does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. He practices with restraint. He guards the faculty of the eye. He achieves restraint with regard to the faculty of the eye.

On hearing a sound with the ear... On smelling an odor with the nose... On tasting a flavor with the tongue... On touching a tactile sensation with the body... (same as for the eye)

On cognizing an idea with the intellect, he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. He practices with restraint. He guards the faculty of the intellect. He achieves restraint with regard to the faculty of the intellect. This is how a monk dresses wounds.

To read the full sutta:
Gopalaka Sutta
The Cowherd

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an11/an11.018.than.html#eggs

Monday, May 4, 2009

Aging and death are rolling in...


"What do you think, great king? Suppose a man, trustworthy and reliable, were to come to you from the east and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the east. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings [in its path]. Do whatever you think should be done.' Then a second man were to come to you from the west... Then a third man were to come to you from the north... Then a fourth man were to come to you from the south and on arrival would say: 'If it please your majesty, you should know that I come from the south. There I saw a great mountain, as high as the clouds, coming this way, crushing all living beings. Do whatever you think should be done.' If, great king, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what should be done?"

"If, lord, such a great peril should arise, such a terrible destruction of human life — the human state being so hard to obtain — what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?"

"I inform you, great king, I announce to you, great king: aging and death are rolling in on you. When aging and death are rolling in on you, great king, what should be done?"

"As aging and death are rolling in on me, lord, what else should be done but Dhamma-conduct, right conduct, skillful deeds, meritorious deeds?

Pabbatopama Sutta
The Simile of the Mountains

Friday, May 1, 2009

Impurities in gold...


"There are these gross impurities in gold: dirty sand, gravel, & grit. The dirt-washer or his apprentice, having placed [the gold] in a vat, washes it again & again until he has washed them away.


"When he is rid of them, there remain the moderate impurities in the gold: coarse sand & fine grit. He washes the gold again & again until he has washed them away.


"When he is rid of them, there remain the fine impurities in the gold: fine sand & black dust. The dirt-washer or his apprentice washes the gold again & again until he has washed them away.


"When he is rid of them, there remains just the gold dust. The goldsmith or his apprentice, having placed it in a crucible, blows on it again & again to blow away the dross. The gold, as long as it has not been blown on again & again to the point where the impurities are blown away, as long as it is not refined & free from dross, is not pliant, malleable, or luminous. It is brittle and not ready to be worked. But there comes a time when the goldsmith or his apprentice has blown on the gold again & again until the dross is blown away. The gold, having been blown on again & again to the point where the impurities are blown away, is then refined, free from dross, pliant, malleable, & luminous. It is not brittle, and is ready to be worked. Then whatever sort of ornament he has in mind — whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain — the gold would serve his purpose.


"In the same way, there are these gross impurities in a monk intent on heightened mind: misconduct in body, speech, & mind. These the monk — aware & able by nature — abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them, there remain in him the moderate impurities: thoughts of sensuality, ill will, & harmfulness. These he abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence. When he is rid of them there remain in him the fine impurities: thoughts of his caste, thoughts of his home district, thoughts related to not wanting to be despised. These he abandons, destroys, dispels, wipes out of existence.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Like a noble-warrior, well trained...


"What do you think, great king? There is the case where you have a war at hand, a battle imminent. A noble-warrior youth would come along — untrained, unpracticed, undisciplined, undrilled, fearful, terrified, cowardly, quick to flee. Would you take him on? Would you have any use for a man like that?"

"No, lord, I wouldn't take him on. I wouldn't have any use for a man like that."

"Then a brahman youth... a merchant youth... a laborer youth would come along — untrained, unpracticed, undisciplined, undrilled, fearful, terrified, cowardly, quick to flee. Would you take him on? Would you have any use for a man like that?"

"No, lord, I wouldn't take him on. I wouldn't have any use for a man like that."

"Now, what do you think, great king? There is the case where you have a war at hand, a battle imminent. A noble-warrior youth would come along — trained, practiced, disciplined, drilled, fearless, unterrified, not cowardly, not quick to flee. Would you take him on? Would you have any use for a man like that?"

"Yes, lord, I would take him on. I would have use for a man like that."

"Then a brahman youth... a merchant youth... a laborer youth would come along — trained, practiced, disciplined, drilled, fearless, unterrified, not cowardly, not quick to flee. Would you take him on? Would you have any use for a man like that?"

"Yes, lord, I would take him on. I would have use for a man like that."

"In the same way, great king. When someone has gone forth from the home life into homelessness — no matter from what clan — and he has abandoned five factors and is endowed with five, what is given to him bears great fruit.

"And which five factors* has he abandoned? He has abandoned sensual desire... ill will... sloth & drowsiness... restlessness & anxiety... uncertainty. These are the five factors he has abandoned. And with which five factors is he endowed? He is endowed with the aggregate of virtue of one beyond training... the aggregate of concentration of one beyond training... the aggregate of discernment of one beyond training... the aggregate of release of one beyond training... the aggregate of knowledge & vision of release of one beyond training. These are the five factors with which he is endowed.

"What is given to one who has abandoned five factors and is endowed with five factors in this way bears great fruit."

Issattha Sutta-Archery Skills

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn03/sn03.024.than.html#warrior

*The five hindrances (see labels)


Thursday, April 23, 2009

A man wounded with a poisoned arrow...


"Suppose that a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon. The surgeon would cut around the opening of the wound with a knife and then would probe for the arrow with a probe. He then would pull out the arrow and extract the poison, leaving no residue behind. Knowing that no residue was left behind, he would say, 'My good man, your arrow has been pulled out. The poison has been extracted, with no residue left behind, so it is not enough to do you harm. Eat suitable food. Don't eat unsuitable food, or else the wound will fester. Wash the wound frequently, smear it with an ointment frequently, so that blood & pus don't fill the opening of the wound. Don't walk around in the wind & sun, or else dust & dirt may contaminate the opening of the wound. Keep looking after the wound, my good man, and work for its healing.'

"The thought would occur to the man: 'My arrow has been pulled out. The poison has been extracted with no residue left behind, so it is not enough to do me harm.' He would eat suitable food, so the wound wouldn't fester. He would wash the wound and smear it with an ointment frequently, so blood & pus wouldn't fill the opening of the wound. He would not walk around in the wind & sun, so dust & dirt wouldn't contaminate the opening of the wound. He would keep looking after the wound and would work for its healing. Now, both because of these suitable actions of his and because of there being no residue of the poison left behind, the wound would heal. With the healing of the wound and its being covered with skin, he wouldn't incur death or death-like suffering.

"In the same way, there's the possible case where a certain monk thinks, 'Craving is said by the Contemplative to be an arrow. The poison of ignorance spreads its toxin through desire, passion, & ill will. I have abandoned the arrow. I have expelled the poison of ignorance. I am rightly intent on Unbinding.' Because he is rightly intent on Unbinding, he wouldn't pursue those things that are unsuitable for a person rightly intent on Unbinding. He wouldn't pursue unsuitable forms & sights with the eye. He wouldn't pursue unsuitable sounds with the ear... unsuitable aromas with the nose... unsuitable flavors with the tongue... unsuitable tactile sensations with the body. He wouldn't pursue unsuitable ideas with the intellect. When he doesn't pursue unsuitable forms & sights with the eye... doesn't pursue unsuitable ideas with the intellect, lust doesn't invade the mind. With his mind not invaded by lust, he doesn't incur death or death-like suffering.

"I have given this simile to convey a meaning. The meaning is this:
1. the wound stands for the six internal sense media
2. the poison, for ignorance
3. the arrow, for craving
4. the probe, for mindfulness
5. the knife, for noble discernment
6. the surgeon, for the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened."
-Buddha