Posted by: Upāsaka | 03/04/2017

Right Speech

63. Giving up lying, one becomes a speaker of the truth, reliable, trustworthy, dependable, not a deceiver of the world. Giving up slander, one does not repeat what is heard here, or repeat here what is heard there, for the purpose of causing divisions between people.
Thus, one is a reconciler of those who are divided and a combiner of those already united, rejoicing in concord, delighting in concord, promoting concord; concord is the motive of his speech.
Giving up harsh speech, one speaks what is blameless, pleasant to the ear, agreeable, going to the heart, urbane, pleasing, and liked by all.
Giving up useless chatter, one speaks at the right time, about the facts, to the point, about Dhamma and discipline, words worthy of being treasured up, seasonable, reasoned, clearly defined and connected to the goal.

Digha Nikaya I.

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Posted by: Upāsaka | 03/02/2017

Inappropriate Attention

61. Just as this body is supported by material food, depends upon it, cannot be without it – even so, the five hindrances are supported by their own food, depend upon it, cannot be without it.
And what food gives rise to sense desire, or nourishes sense desire already arisen? It is unsystematic attention to the alluring features of things. And what food gives rise to ill-will, or nourishes ill-will already arisen? It is unsystematic attention to the repulsive features of things.
And what food gives rise to sloth and laziness, or nourishes sloth and laziness already arisen? It is unsystematic attention to regret drowsiness, languor, heaviness after meals, laziness of mind.
And what food gives rise to restlessness and worry, or nourishes restlessness and worry already arisen? It is unsystematic attention to irritation of mind.
And what food gives rise to doubt, or nourishes doubt already arisen? It is unsystematic attention to things based on doubt and uncertainty.

Samyutta Nikaya V.63

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Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/28/2017

Trump Kamma

I’ve been trying to frame the recent election in terms of the Dhamma and it has definitely helped to cope with feelings of powerlessness and despair. Reflecting on the ineluctable nature of kamma has been of great benefit and helps me to recall that I’m no victim; I created the causes and conditions for the situation in which I now find myself. 

I came across the following verse on the Wheel of Sharp Weapons today and thought it was quite apropos. May I be of service to all. 

When I am powerless and suffer in servitude to others, 

This is the weapon of destructive karma turning upon me 

For being hostile to the weak and subjecting them; 

From now on I will employ my body and life in the service of others.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/27/2017

Daily Verse while Traveling 

Namo tassa…

Tisarana.

Imani dvadasa sikkhapadani samadiyami.

I undertake the abhaya-cariya practices. 

May I put the needs of others before my own, be of service to all and cultivate the brahmaviharas towards all beings at all times. 

May I live today as if it were my last. 

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/26/2017

Steps in Making the Ignatian Examen

1. We begin by quieting ourselves. Become aware the simple goodness of the universe, the gifts of life and love. Be thankful. Recall that without faith, the eye of love, the human world seems too evil for good to exist.

2. Look deep within to see clearly, to understand accurately, and to respond generously to what is occurring in our daily history.

3. Review in memory the history of the day (week, month, etc.) in order to be shown concrete instances of our ‘chief characteristic,’ as well as instances of presence and guidance and, perhaps, of the activity and influence of the chief characteristic. These can be detected by paying attention to strong feelings we experienced that may have accompanied or arisen from situations and encounters.

4. Evaluate these instances in which we have either collaborated with deep inner guidance or yielded to the influence of evil in some way. Express gratitude and regret.

5. Plan and decide how to collaborate more effectively with your own inner guidance and how to avoid or overcome the negative influence of the chief characteristic in the future.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 02/25/2017

Selfish Craving 

When selfish craving enters my heart, I will expel it and offer my happiness to all beings. 

If those around me rise in mutiny against me, I will relish it, thinking, “This is due to my own negligence.”

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.

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