Your kamma ~ My kamma

The day I started practising the Buddha’s teachings was the day I started believing “what people do to me is their kamma and what I do to them is my kamma… since we are owners of our kamma and heirs of our kamma [Upajjhatthana Sutta ~ AN5.57].

There is no escape… hence, we are responsible for the actions we take when dealing with people we know irrespective of the relationship.  How they treat us or react to our actions will be their kamma.

To me, as long as I continue to do good, avoid evil and purify my mind, it does not matter how others choose to treat me… after all, in this samsaric world, there is no way we can please everyone with our speech or actions… not everyone has the same thoughts, beliefs and practices as us.

Hence, I believe in continuing to look within and be mindful of my thoughts, speech and actions and give others the benefit of adults for theirs.

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May all beings be well, happy and peaceful always…

 

 

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What is that about Enlightenment?

I felt uncomfortable the first time I heard a lay-devotee at the temple complaining about some monks… about how they are behaving and how they should be behaving…

It occurred to me then that monks are human beings… as long as enlightenment does not take place in them, they would behave like anyone of us even though they have gone forth and be living with rules and conditions that they must abide by… especially habits that are hard to die.

There were times too that I heard praises of some lay-devotees for some certain lay-devotees who are practising the dhamma as taught by the Buddha.  These people did not join the order but whose behaviours are more “noble” than some monks in the temple.  Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

Reading Sadhguru’s words of wisdom this morning triggers me to write this post.

“Your family has nothing to do with your enlightenment,
nor your monkhood has anything to do with your enlightenment.
By becoming a monk or a family person,
you are just choosing a certain atmosphere to live in.
What is within you will not change.”
~ Sadhguru

From what is read from the suttas, the Buddha introduced the Vinaya rules to address misbehaviours of the monks and as time passed the number of rules increased.

To me, if one has the right view and purpose to walk the path, one can still walk the path as a lay person; for wearing the robe does not mean one is nobler than a follower who takes the Precepts (Silā), knows and understands the Four Noble Truth (Cattāri Ariyasaccāni) and the Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda) and knows and practises the 37 Enlightenment Factors (Bodhipakkhiyā Dhammā).

If the mind is not fixed with faith, belief and determination for liberation, an ordained monk can still disrobe to go back to lay life… and, if a lay person does what should, he will be able to achieve one of the four stages of enlightenment living as a lay devotee.

As said by Sadhguru, it is just an atmosphere to live in… what needs to change is within… not without…

 

Smile ~ a glimpse of teeth..

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I remembered attending a Conference and someone asked a monk, at the panel, if it is proper for a monk to laugh.  The monk paused for a while… then said something similar to… as stated in the Sutta below…

Tuvataka Sutta (Snp 4.14)

(U Paññobhāsa of Kabāaye, in the introduction to the Myanmar version of this Sutta,
commented that the Sutta meant to lead the people to be good speedily so as to be relieved from the miseries of the samsāra…
The translation from the Myanmar into English is the first attempt made by a woman Yogī from the Mahāsī Meditation Centre…)

 

ABSTAIN FROM LAUGHING AND PLAYING

There are six ways of laughing: 
(1) Smiling with just open eyes
(2) Smiling with a glimpse of teeth.
These two ways of laughing are also enjoyed by Buddha and Arahats.

(3) Smiling for no purpose should be noted and dispelled.
(4) Making soft sounds while laughing.
Normal people used to laugh this way, but monks should abstain from it,

(5) Laughing with tears rolling down.
(6) Laughing with the body moving back and forth.
These two ways of laughing are often seen in the lesser people, however, they are not to be employed by monks. If there is anything heard or seen to be laughed at note and dispel it.


Iṅguttara Ṭīkā Nipāta (263), Buddha said
,
“Only the young men laugh making loud noises, baring all the teeth and hands clapping.
O monks,
due to something or some happiness if you wish to laugh,
smiling with just a glimpse of teeth is enough for you
“.

 

Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu…

 

 

 

To lose it all so to gain?

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The above quote was mentioned in The Story of Siddhartha Gautama ~ a documentary for PBS by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere.

Do we actually need to… lose it all so to gain?

In Hatthaka Sutta (AN 3.34), the Buddha described that in order to sleep well, one has to lose it all ~ the greed, hatred and delusion. They are known as the 3 poisons which are the actual root cause of unwholesome karma and the entire spectrum of human suffering. “… having cut all ties & subdued fear in the heart, calmed, he sleeps in ease, having reached peace of awareness…”

In the Lokavipatti Sutta (AN 8.6), the Buddha talked about 8 worldly conditions that spin the world… they are gain, loss, status, disgrace, censure, praise, pleasure, & pain. Only when one knows, understands and always remembers that nothing in this world is permanent, one will not be spun by any of the 8 conditions… for gain does not last forever, the loss does not last forever and so on… in other words nothing lasts forever. What is material gain can be lost and what is material loss can be recouped. So, we must learn not to be too happy or too sad whenever we are faced with any one of the conditions. “… knowing this, the wise person, mindful, ponders these changing conditions. Desirable things don’t charm the mind, undesirable ones bring no resistance…”

Best of all is to learn from the Buddha in the Ariyavāsa Sutta (AN10.20), what qualities we should work towards to in order to achieve liberation. It is not to really “to lose it all so to gain”… coz there are some to lose and some to gain… we just have to know, understand and recognise what they are in order to do what is right to walk the right path…

Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

“Take care” = “Goodbye forever”?

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Just the other night, I dreamt of someone I know telling me “Take Care”.  I read that as a sign of telling me “Goodbye forever”.  As long as we know, understand, accept and remind ourselves that nothing is permanent in this samsaric world, Goodbye is just another conventional word… and “partings” or “separations” are inevitable…

If we were taught from young that the word “Goodbye” means “happy to see you”, our perception of the word will give us a different feeling.  Hence, do not cling on to words so much so that you let them affect you… they are just words.

In fact, there is nothing in this world that we can cling on to anyway… coz we have to let them all go when we eventually die from this lifetime… whether they are pleasant or unpleasant… hence, I believe we should not be too petty, too stubborn, too calculative or not forgiving… coz being so, will only put us in an unhappy state of mind… if we can release them all, we will be able to live more harmoniously… and feel happier…

It was found in the Commentary of the Potthapada Sutta (DN 9):
“… the Buddha spoke truth on two levels: conventional and ultimate. In context, though, the Buddha seems to be referring merely to the fact that he has adopted the linguistic usages of his interlocutors simply for the sake of discussion, and that they should not be interpreted out of context.”

Words are merely words until we put meaning in them… so, why should we let some words affect our feelings or mood.  If someone calls me “stupid” and if I do not put much meaning or feelings to that word, I will not be affected by it at all… after all, we cannot stop people of their choice of words… but, we can have a choice to choose if we allow the word(s) to affect us or not.

I interpreted the words “Take Care” as “Goodbye forever”…  How, would you interpret them?

 

Reflect: 3 Most Important Questions

The following quote reminds me of Ajahn Brahm’s talk about the 3 most important Questions:
1) When is the most important time?
2) Who is the most important person?
3) What is the most important thing to do?

“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.
The most important person is always the person you are with,
who is right before you.

The most important pursuit is making the person standing at your side happy,
for that alone is the pursuit of life”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh.

If only people know, understand and practise the above… and live in the present moment with the people they are with, instead of having their senses elsewhere… connecting to the past or the future or having their attention on their handphone connecting with people elsewhere when the one(s) in their presence is/ are being neglected…

In the Mettā Sutta (SN 46.54), the Buddha talked about the four divine abidings which are loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.  To me, when we realise the answers to the 3 questions, when we actually do what we had realised, we will be practising the brahma-vihāra and this will bring joy to oneself and to the people one is with…

Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinging to your 12 year old curry??

Another open-minded lesson ~ that comes with an amusing story…

 

Story of SARAHA – Wisdom of a Dakini

“One day, Saraha asked his wife for some radish curry.
She prepared the dish, but in the meantime Saraha entered a deep meditation from which he did not emerge for twelve years.
He then immediately asked for his radish curry.
His wife was astonished,
“You have been in meditation for twelve years;
now it is summer and there are no radishes.”
Saraha then decided to go to the mountains for more meditation.
Physical isolation is not a real solitude,” replied his wife.
“The best kind of solitude is complete escape from the preconceptions and prejudices of an inflexible and narrow mind, and, moreover, from all labels and concepts.
If you awaken from a twelve year samadhi and are still clinging to your twelve year old curry, what is the point of going to the mountains?”
Saraha listened to his wife and after some time attained the supreme realization of the Mahamudra.”

 

In the Sigāla Sutta (SN 17.8) ~ “That jackal is suffering from mange. He finds no pleasure whether he goes to a bluff, to the foot of a tree, or to the open air. Wherever he goes, wherever he stands, wherever he sits, wherever he lies down, he is sunk in misery….”

Hence, to me, it is not escaping from a place that would make our miseries go away.  It is how we face them where we are that they would eventually go away coz miseries are miseries when we accept and allow them to be miseries to us…. and the source of the state of misery is our mind.

In the Sallatha Sutta (SN 36.6) ~ we were reminded that whenever we are pierced with the arrows of physical and mental pain, if we are well trained, we only need to suffer the physical pain.

The discerning person, learned, doesn’t sense a (mental) feeling of pleasure or pain:
This is the difference in skillfulness between the sage & the person run-of-the-mill.
For a learned person who has fathomed the Dhamma,
clearly seeing this world & the next,
desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.
His acceptance & rejection are scattered, gone to their end, do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state, he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming, to the Further Shore.

Further, as guided in the Girimānanda Sutta (AN 10.60), when we learn how to let them all go, we will no longer suffer… at all…

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Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu…