Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/22/2017

A Child’s Duty

Children’s duties: (These five ways in which a son or daughter should minister to his mother or father)

1. Support them with four requisites-food & drinks, clothing, shelter, and medication- (Bhato vā no bharissati)

2. Perform their duties such as feeding, giving bath, rubbing body, washing feet, raising them and helping them to do whatever they find difficult to do (Kiccam nesam karissati)

3. Keep up the family tradition, name, image (Kulawamsam thassati)

4. Be worthy of their inheritance (Dāyajjam patipajjissati)

5. Transfer merit to them after their death (Atha ca pana petānam kālakatānam dakkhinam anupadassati). 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/20/2017

Na Tumhaka Sutta: Not Yours

“Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit. And what is not yours?
“The eye is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit. Forms are not yours… Eye-consciousness is not yours… Eye-contact is not yours… Whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.
“The ear is not yours: let go of it…
“The nose is not yours: let go of it…
“The tongue is not yours: let go of it…
“The body is not yours: let go of it…
“The intellect is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit. Ideas are not yours… Intellect-consciousness is not yours… Intellect-contact is not yours… Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.
“Suppose a person were to gather or burn or do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches, & leaves here in Jeta’s Grove. Would the thought occur to you, ‘It’s us that this person is gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes’?”
“No, lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self nor do they pertain to our self.”
“In the same way, monks, the eye is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit… The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The intellect is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit… Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.”

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/17/2017

When the End Comes

When the end comes, what will I do? Maybe there will be fear, panic and disbelief but maybe I can meet the end with calm, knowing: this is my kamma. 

All of us must die. None of us can escape the pain of separation. All of us must be joined with the undesirable. But, regardless of how the dukkha manifests, we can be certain that it is the fruit of seeds once planted. 

Until the end comes, may I see the ripening of suffering as a blessing and a purification. May I not add suffering onto suffering and bear with it if I am unable to comprehend it. 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/16/2017

Thankful for Harm

I have been thinking quite a bit about the married life and, in my case at least, it seems to be the perfect vehicle for developing the qualities that I am so sorely lacking. Seeing my wife add a true treasure, beyond the physical and womanly charms she possesses, had really helped to reframe things. Granted, it’s not easy but when is it ever eau to learn anything of impressive?

When someone disparages or criticizes us, speaks badly about us to others, or spreads rumors or lies about us, we should try not to get angry or retaliate, but to think, “This is helping me to get enlightened.” ened.” In fact, if we practice patience, the person is helping us to get enlightened.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/15/2017

Pleasing Speech

Right Speech is, of course, one of the factors of the Eightfold Path so it should always be at the fore. Unfortunately, I have found that my speech can often be rough and acerbic when it comes to my wife and children. For this reason I’ve made the practice of not just right but specifically pleasant speech one of my daily aspirations. 

Clearly, I don’t intend to contravene the Buddha’s advice on samma vaca so I will be as truthful as possible, avoiding idle chatter and flattery but in terms of tone there is much work to be done. I’m finding that aiming for speech that is not solely truthful and timely but is pleasant in regard to its delivery and affect gives me more to work with and hold onto. Truthfully, this may simply be an aspect of Right Speech that I have previously neglected but, whatever it is, it deserves more attention. 

May I speak only words that are well-gifted, pleasant and truthful. 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/14/2017

Perfection of Generosity at Home

For some time I have help the view that my practice means nothing if it doesn’t bring visible results at home. Although I still have much work to do, it seems that a low hanging fruit of the home life is unstinting generosity. 

Nowhere else is the opportunity to serve so obvious or frequent. Not more than five minutes passes while I’m at home that my wife or kids doesn’t ask  for something. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I often meet these requests with resentment and annoyance. 

So, seeing how short life IS add knowing that most of mine is spent with my family or at work I make the aditthana to give whatever is asked for (as long as out causes no harm) with a heart warmed by a reflection on the benefits of generosity. 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/13/2017

Recollection of Death for the Planet

I read a report last night that asserts that we may only have nine more years until human life becomes unsustainable on this planet. Unfortunately, this is the second such report I’ve read and has to do with the rapidly heating oceans and phytoplankton’s inability to survive the rising temperatures. And without them, we have no oxygen. 

So, in shock and fear on the one hand but tempered with the realization that death will come regardless. No, I don’t want to see my children and loved one’s dying before me but what choice do I have if that’s my kamma? Every day who knows how many children die of sickness or starvation in front  their parents. Why am I different?

Ten years seems to be the outer limit for our continued existence on the planet and I intend to make the most of it by training the heart as well as I can. 

May I let go of all ideas of gain and loss. 

May I be undeterred by praise and blame. 

May I regard all beings with sympathy and affection. 

May I train to be ready to meet death with a clear, still mind. 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/12/2017

Be Like a Flower

Be like a flower that gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushed it. 

~Imam Ali (AS)

Today, seemingly out of the blue, my wife got angry with something I said and brought out the well-worn threat of divorce. 

At this point it had lost some of its immediate impact but it would be a horrible thing to endure, not least for my kids. But, this is samsara after all. If she chooses to take that path then I intend to support her until the kids are grown and strike out on their own or until she find someone else. If, of course, a divorce actually comes to be. 

As the world falls apart around me, I find myself ever more concerned with the purity of my own conduct and intentions. I chose this lay life and ask of its attendant suffering si why make it worse by running away from my responsibilities and creating more akusala kamma?

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/10/2017

Forgiveness Practice 

Every night now,a party of my evening practice, I have been dedicating tinge to reflecting on the harm I have caused in the course of the day. Using a mall of either 36 or 108 beads I dip one round each for harm I have caused by body, speech and mind respectively. I try to recall particular instances and then ask for forgiveness from the party harmed. 

You might think that doing this is simply depressing and would cause me to dwell in negativity but the opposite has been the case. In fact, I find myself being more mindful throughout the day so I can catch my slip-ups and recall them later so I can ask forgiveness of them. Word? Maybe so but it is helping to bring more heedfulness into my life so it is only a good thing. 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/09/2017

Pleasant Speech

Speak only the speech that neither torments self nor does harm to others. That speech is truly well spoken.

Speak only endearing speech, speech that is welcomed.

Speech when it brings no evil to others is pleasant. Truth, indeed, is deathless speech: This is an ancient principle.

The goal and the Dhamma — so say the calm — are firmly established on truth.

The speech the Awakened One speaks, for attaining Unbinding, rest, for making an end to the mass of stress: That is the speech unexcelled.

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