Dhamma to Inspire” : The Buddha’s Words for Monastics : Vol IV

“Bhikkhus, dwell observant of virtuous behavior, observant of the Pātimokkha. Dwell restrained by the Pātimokkha, possessed of good conduct and resort, seeing danger in minute faults. Having undertaken them, train in the training rules. When you have done so, what further should be done?

 




 

(1) “Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu has gotten rid of longing and ill will while walking; if he has abandoned dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt; 640 if his energy is aroused without slackening; if his mindfulness is established and unmuddled; if his body is tranquil and undisturbed; if his mind is concentrated and one-pointed, then that bhikkhu is said to be ardent and to dread wrongdoing; he is constantly and continuously energetic and resolute while walking.

 




Controlled in walking, controlled in standing, controlled in sitting and in lying down; controlled, a bhikkhu draws in the limbs, and controlled, he stretches them out. Above, across, and below, as far as the world extends, he is one who scrutinizes the arising and vanishing of such phenomena as the aggregates. Training in what is conducive to serenity of mind, always mindful, they call such a bhikkhu one constantly resolute.

 




14 (4) Restraint “Bhikkhus, there are these four strivings. What four? Striving by restraint, striving by abandonment, striving by development, and striving by protection.

(1) “And what, bhikkhus, is striving by restraint? Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu does not grasp its marks and features. Since, if he left the eye faculty unrestrained, bad unwholesome states of longing and dejection might invade him, he practices restraint over it, he guards the eye faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the eye faculty. Having heard a sound with the ear …Having smelled an odor with the nose …Having tasted a taste with the tongue …Having felt a tactile object with the body …Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, a bhikkhu does not grasp its marks and features. Since, if he left the mind faculty unrestrained, bad unwholesome states of longing and dejection might invade him, he practices restraint over it, he guards the mind faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the mind faculty. This is called striving by restraint.

(2) “And what is striving by abandonment? Here, a bhikkhu does not tolerate an arisen sensual thought; he abandons it, dispels it, terminates it, and obliterates it. He does not tolerate an arisen thought of ill will …an arisen thought of harming …bad unwholesome states whenever they arise; he abandons them, dispels them, terminates them, and obliterates them. This is called striving by abandonment.

(3) “And what is striving by development? Here, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. He develops the enlightenment factor of discrimination of phenomena …the enlightenment factor of energy …the enlightenment factor of rapture …the enlightenment factor of tranquility …the enlightenment factor of concentration …the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. This is called striving by development. [17]

(4) “And what is striving by protection? Here, a bhikkhu protects an arisen excellent object of concentration: 642 the perception of a skeleton, the perception of a worm-infested corpse, the perception of a livid corpse, the perception of a festering corpse, the perception of a fissured corpse, the perception of a bloated corpse. This is called striving by protection.

“These, bhikkhus, are the four kinds of striving.”Restraint and abandonment, development and protection: these four strivings were taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. By these means an ardent bhikkhu here can attain the destruction of suffering.

 




Having known the exquisiteness of form, the origination of feelings, how perception arises, and where it disappears; having known volitional activities as alien, as suffering, and not as self, truly that bhikkhu who sees rightly, 646 peaceful, delights in the peaceful state. He bears his final body, having conquered Māra and his mount.

 




17 (7) Wrong Courses (1) “Bhikkhus, there are these four ways of taking a wrong course. What four? One takes a wrong course because of desire, because of hatred, because of delusion, or because of fear. These are the four ways of taking a wrong course.”If through desire, hate, fear, or delusion one transgresses against the Dhamma, one’s fame diminishes like the moon in the dark fortnight.




 

 

Having directly known all the world— all in the world just as it is— he is detached from all the world, disengaged from all the world. He is the vanquisher of all, the wise one who has untied all knots. He has reached the supreme peace, nibbāna, inaccessible to fear.67

 




 

25 (5) The Spiritual Life “Bhikkhus, this spiritual life is not lived for the sake of deceiving people and cajoling them; nor for the benefit of gain, honor, and praise; nor for the benefit of winning in debates; nor with the thought: ‘Let the people know me thus.’But rather, this spiritual life is lived for the sake of restraint, abandoning, dispassion, and cessation.”670 The Blessed One taught the spiritual life, not based on tradition, culminating in nibbāna, lived for the sake of restraint and abandoning. 671 This is the path of the great beings, 672 the path followed by the great seers. Those who practice it as taught by the Buddha, acting upon the Teacher’s guidance, will make an end of suffering.

 




 

26 (6) Deceivers673

(1) “Bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who are deceivers, stubborn, talkers, imposters, haughty, and unconcentrated are not bhikkhus of mine. 674 (2) They have strayed from this Dhamma and discipline, and they do not achieve growth, progress, and maturity in this Dhamma and discipline. (3) But those bhikkhus who are honest, sincere, steadfast, compliant, and well concentrated are bhikkhus of mine. (4) They have not strayed from this Dhamma and discipline, and they achieve growth, progress, and maturity in this Dhamma and discipline.”Those who are deceivers, stubborn, talkers, imposters, haughty, unconcentrated, do not make progress in the Dhamma that the Perfectly Enlightened One has taught. But those who are honest and sincere, steadfast, compliant, and well concentrated, make progress in the Dhamma

 




 

28 (8) Noble Lineages678

“Bhikkhus, there are these four noble lineages, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins. What four?

(1) “Here, a bhikkhu is content with any kind of robe, and he speaks in praise of contentment with any kind of robe, and he does not engage in a wrong search, in what is improper, for the sake of a robe. 679 If he does not get a robe he is not agitated, and if he gets one he uses it without being tied to it, infatuated with it, and blindly absorbed in it, seeing the danger in it and understanding the escape from it. Yet he does not extol himself or disparage others because of this. Any bhikkhu who is skillful in this, diligent, clearly comprehending and ever mindful, is said to be standing in an ancient, primal noble lineage.

(2) “Again, a bhikkhu is content with any kind of almsfood, and he speaks in praise of contentment with any kind of almsfood, and he does not engage in a wrong search, in what is improper, for the sake of almsfood. If he does not get almsfood he is not agitated, and if he gets some he uses it without being tied to it, infatuated with it, and blindly absorbed in it, seeing the danger in it and understanding the escape from it. [28] Yet he does not extol himself or disparage others because of this. Any bhikkhu who is skillful in this, diligent, clearly comprehending and ever mindful, is said to be standing in an ancient, primal noble lineage.

(3) “Again, a bhikkhu is content with any kind of lodging, and he speaks in praise of contentment with any kind of lodging, and he does not engage in a wrong search, in what is improper, for the sake of lodging. If he does not get lodging he is not agitated, and if he gets it he uses it without being tied to it, infatuated with it, and blindly absorbed in it, seeing the danger in it and understanding the escape from it. Yet he does not extol himself or disparage others because of this. Any bhikkhu who is skillful in this, diligent, clearly comprehending and ever mindful, is said to be standing in an ancient, primal noble lineage.

(4) “Again, a bhikkhu finds delight in development, is delighted with development, finds delight in abandoning, is delighted with abandoning. 680 Yet he does not extol himself or disparage others because of this. Any bhikkhu who is skillful in this, diligent, clearly comprehending and ever mindful, is said to be standing in an ancient, primal noble lineage. “These, bhikkhus, are the four noble lineages, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

 




 

“I neither approve of your [statement], brahmin, nor do I reject it. [36] Rather, I describe one who possesses four [other] qualities as a great man with great wisdom. What four?

(1) Here, he is practicing for the welfare and happiness of many people; he is one who has established many people in the noble method, that is, in the goodness of the Dhamma, in the wholesomeness of the Dhamma. 693

(2) He thinks whatever he wants to think and does not think what he does not want to think; he intends whatever he wants to intend and does not intend what he does not want to intend; thus he has attained to mental mastery over the ways of thought.

(3) He gains at will, without trouble or difficulty, the four jhānas that constitute the higher mind and are pleasant dwellings in this very life.

(4) With the destruction of the taints, he has realized for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life, the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, and having entered upon it, he dwells in it. “I neither approve of your [statement], brahmin, nor do I reject it. But I describe someone who possesses these four qualities as a great man with great wisdom.”

 




 

37 (7) Non-Decline

“Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who possesses four qualities is incapable of decline and is in the vicinity of nibbāna. What four? Here, a bhikkhu is accomplished in virtuous behavior, guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness.

(1) “And how is a bhikkhu accomplished in virtuous behavior? Here, a bhikkhu is virtuous; he dwells restrained by the Pātimokkha, possessed of good conduct and resort, seeing danger in minute faults. Having undertaken the training rules, he trains in them. It is in this way that a bhikkhu is accomplished in virtuous behavior.

(2) “And how does a bhikkhu guard the doors of the sense faculties? Here, having seen a form with the eye, a bhikkhu does not grasp its marks and features. Since, if he left the eye faculty unrestrained, bad unwholesome states of longing and dejection might invade him, he practices restraint over it; he guards the eye faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the eye faculty. Having heard a sound with the ear …Having smelled an odor with the nose …Having tasted a taste with the tongue …Having felt a tactile object with the body …Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, a bhikkhu does not grasp its marks and features. Since, if he left the mind faculty unrestrained, bad unwholesome states of longing and dejection [40] might invade him, he practices restraint over it; he guards the mind faculty, he undertakes the restraint of the mind faculty. It is in this way that a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties.

(3) “And how does a bhikkhu observe moderation in eating? Here, reflecting carefully, a bhikkhu consumes food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of this body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life, considering: ‘Thus I shall terminate the old feeling and not arouse a new feeling, 700 and I shall be healthy and blameless and dwell at ease.’It is in this way that a bhikkhu observes moderation in eating.

(4) “And how is a bhikkhu intent on wakefulness? Here, during the day, while walking back and forth and sitting, a bhikkhu purifies his mind of obstructive qualities. In the first watch of the night, while walking back and forth and sitting, he purifies his mind of obstructive qualities. In the middle watch of the night he lies down on the right side in the lion’s posture, with one foot overlapping the other, mindful and clearly comprehending, after noting in his mind the idea of rising. After rising, in the last watch of the night, while walking back and forth and sitting, he purifies his mind of obstructive qualities. It is in this way that a bhikkhu is intent on wakefulness.

“A bhikkhu who possesses these four qualities is incapable of decline and is in the vicinity of nibbāna.”Established in virtuous behavior, restrained in the sense faculties, moderate in eating, intent on wakefulness: a bhikkhu dwells thus ardently, unwearying by day and night, developing wholesome qualities701 to attain security from bondage. A bhikkhu who delights in heedfulness, seeing the danger in heedlessness, is incapable of decline: he is close to nibbāna. 702 [41]

 




 

38 (8) Drawn Back

“Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who has dispelled personal truths, totally renounced seeking, and tranquilized bodily activity is said to have drawn back. 703

(1) “And how, bhikkhus, has a bhikkhu dispelled personal truths? 704 Here, whatever ordinary personal truths may be held by ordinary ascetics and brahmins—that is, ‘The world is eternal’ or ‘The world is not eternal’; ‘The world is finite’ or ‘The world is infinite’; ‘The soul and the body are the same’ or ‘The soul is one thing, the body another’; ‘The Tathāgata exists after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata does not exist after death,’ or ‘The Tathāgata both exists and does not exist after death,’or ‘The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death’—a bhikkhu has discarded and dispelled them all, given them up, rejected them, let go of them, abandoned and relinquished them. 705 It is in this way that a bhikkhu has dispelled personal truths.

(2) “And how has a bhikkhu totally renounced seeking? Here, a bhikkhu has abandoned the search for sensual pleasures and the search for existence and has allayed the search for a spiritual life. 706 It is in this way that a bhikkhu has totally renounced seeking.

(3) “And how has a bhikkhu tranquilized bodily activity? Here, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity. It is in this way that a bhikkhu has tranquilized bodily activity. 707

(4) “And how has a bhikkhu drawn back? Here, a bhikkhu has abandoned the conceit ‘I am,’cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no longer subject to future arising. It is in this way that a bhikkhu has drawn back. “Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who has dispelled personal truths, totally renounced seeking, and tranquilized bodily activity is said to have drawn back.”[42] Seeking for sense pleasures, seeking for existence, seeking for a spiritual life; the tight grasp “Such is the truth,”viewpoints [that are] swellings: 708 for one entirely detached from lust, liberated by the destruction of craving, such seeking has been relinquished, and viewpoints are uprooted. That peaceful, mindful bhikkhu, tranquil, undefeated, enlightened by breaking through conceit, is called “one who has drawn back.”

 




 

71 (1) Striving

“Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who possesses four qualities is practicing the unmistakable way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. 766 What four? Here, a bhikkhu is virtuous, learned, energetic, and wise. A bhikkhu who possesses these four qualities is practicing the unmistakable way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints.”

 




 

98 (8) One’s Own Welfare

“Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of persons found existing in the world. What four? (1) One who is practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others; (2) one who is practicing for the welfare of others but not for his own welfare; (3) one who is practicing neither for his own welfare nor for the welfare of others; and (4) one who is practicing both for his own welfare and for the welfare of others. These are the four kinds of persons found existing in the world.”

 “And how is a person practicing both for his own welfare and for the welfare of others? Here, some person is quick in attending to wholesome teachings … he practices in accordance with the Dhamma. Moreover, he is a good speaker with a good delivery … and he instructs, encourages, inspires, and gladdens his fellow monks. It is in this way that a person is practicing both for his own welfare and for the welfare of others.

 




104 (4) Pools of Water

“Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of pools of water. What four? The one that is shallow but appears to be deep; the one that is deep but appears to be shallow; the one that is shallow and appears to be shallow; and the one that is deep and appears to be deep. These are the four kinds of pools of water. 793 So too, there are these four kinds of persons similar to pools of water found existing in the world. What four? The one who is shallow but appears to be deep; the one who is deep but appears to be shallow; the one who is shallow and appears to be shallow; and the one who is deep and appears to be deep.

(1) “And how, bhikkhus, is a person one who is shallow but appears to be deep? Here, someone inspires confidence by his manner of going forward and returning, looking ahead and looking aside, drawing in and extending the limbs, wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; but he does not understand as it really is: ‘This is suffering,’and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’and ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’It is in this way that a person is shallow but appears to be deep. So, I say, this person is just like a pool of water that is shallow but appears to be deep. [106]

(4) “And how is a person one who is deep and appears to be deep? Here, someone inspires confidence by his manner of going forward and returning, looking ahead and looking aside , drawing in and extending the limbs, wearing his robes and carrying his outer robe and bowl; and he understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering,’ and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ and ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’ and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ It is in this way that a person is deep and appears to be deep. So, I say, this person is just like a pool of water that is deep and appears to be deep. “These, bhikkhus, are the four kinds of persons similar to pools of water found existing in the world.””

 




 

(7) Mice

“Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of mice. What four? The one that makes a hole but does not live in it; the one that lives in a hole but does not make one; the one that neither makes a hole nor lives in one; and the one that both makes a hole and lives in it. These are the four kinds of mice. So too, there are these four kinds of persons similar to mice found existing in the world. What four? The one who makes a hole but does not live in it; the one who lives in a hole but does not make one; the one who neither makes a hole nor lives in one; and the one who both makes a hole and lives in it. [108]

(1) “And how, bhikkhus, is a person one who makes a hole but does not live in it? Here, someone masters the Dhamma—the discourses, mixed prose and verse, expositions, verses, inspired utterances, quotations, birth stories, amazing accounts, and questions-and-answers—but he does not understand as it really is: ‘This is suffering,’and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’and ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’It is in this way that a person is one who makes a hole but does not live in it. So, I say, this person is just like a mouse that makes a hole but does not live in it.

 (4) “And how is a person one who both makes a hole and lives in it? Here, someone masters the Dhamma—the discourses, mixed prose and verse, expositions, verses, inspired utterances, quotations, birth stories, amazing accounts, and questions-and-answers—and he understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering,’and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’and ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’It is in this way that a person is one who both makes a hole and lives in it. So, I say, this person is just like a mouse that both makes a hole and lives in it.

“These, bhikkhus, are the four kinds of persons similar to mice found existing in the world.””

 




(3) “And how is a bhikkhu one who patiently endures? Here, a bhikkhu patiently endures cold and heat; hunger and thirst; contact with flies, mosquitoes, wind, the burning sun, and serpents; rude and offensive ways of speech; [118] he is able to bear up with arisen bodily feelings that are painful, racking, sharp, piercing, harrowing, disagreeable, sapping one’s vitality. It is this way that a bhikkhu is one who patiently endures.

 




“115 (5) Deeds

“Bhikkhus, there are these four cases of deeds. 796 What four? (1) There is a deed that is disagreeable to do which will prove harmful. (2) There is a deed that is disagreeable to do which will prove beneficial. (3) There is a deed that is agreeable to do which will prove harmful. (4) There is a deed that is agreeable to do which will prove beneficial.

(1) “Bhikkhus, take first the case of the deed that is disagreeable to do which will prove harmful. One considers that this deed should not be done on both grounds: because it is disagreeable to do and because it will prove harmful. One considers that this deed should not be done on both grounds.

(2) “Next, take the case of the deed that is disagreeable to do which will prove beneficial. It is in this case that one can understand who is a fool and who is a wise person in regard to manly strength, manly energy, and manly exertion. The fool does not reflect thus: ‘Although this deed is disagreeable to do, still [119] it will prove beneficial.’So he does not do that deed, and his refraining from it proves harmful. But the wise person does reflect thus: ‘Although this deed is disagreeable to do, still it will prove beneficial.’So he does that deed, and it proves beneficial.

(3) “Next, take the case of the deed that is agreeable to do which will prove harmful. It is in this case, too, that one can understand who is a fool and who is a wise person in regard to manly strength, manly energy, and manly exertion. The fool does not reflect thus: ‘Although this deed is agreeable to do, still it will prove harmful.’So he does that deed, and it proves harmful. But the wise person does reflect thus: ‘Although this deed is agreeable to do, still it will prove harmful.’So he does not do that deed, and his refraining from it proves beneficial.

(4) “Next, take the case of the deed that is agreeable to do which will prove beneficial. This deed is considered one that should be done on both grounds: because it is agreeable to do and because it proves beneficial. This deed is considered one that should be done on both grounds. “These, bhikkhus, are the four cases of deeds.”

 




 

 

116 (6) Heedfulness

“Bhikkhus, there are four occasions when heedfulness should be practiced. What four? (1) “Abandon bodily misconduct and develop bodily good conduct; do not be heedless in this. (2) Abandon verbal misconduct and develop verbal good conduct; do not be heedless in this. (3) Abandon mental misconduct and develop mental good conduct; do not be heedless in this. (4) Abandon wrong view and develop right view; do not be heedless in this. [120]

“Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu has abandoned bodily misconduct and developed bodily good conduct; when he has abandoned verbal misconduct and developed verbal good conduct; when he has abandoned mental misconduct and developed mental good conduct; when he has abandoned wrong view and developed right view, then he need not fear death in the future.”797 117

 




 

(7) Guarding

“Bhikkhus, one bent on his own welfare798 should practice heedfulness, mindfulness, and guarding of the mind in four instances. What four?

(1) “‘May my mind not become excited by things that provoke lust!’One bent on his own welfare should practice heedfulness, mindfulness, and guarding of the mind thus.

(2) “‘May my mind not be full of hate toward things that provoke hatred!’One bent on his own welfare should practice heedfulness, mindfulness, and guarding of the mind thus.

(3) “‘May my mind not be deluded by things that cause delusion!’One bent on his own welfare should practice heedfulness, mindfulness, and guarding of the mind thus. (

4) “‘May my mind not be intoxicated by things that intoxicate!’799 One bent on his own welfare should practice heedfulness, mindfulness, and guarding of the mind thus.

“Bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu’s mind is not excited by things that provoke lust because he has gotten rid of lust; when his mind is not full of hate toward things that provoke hatred because he has gotten rid of hatred; when his mind is not deluded by things that cause delusion because he has gotten rid of delusion; when his mind is not intoxicated by things that intoxicate because he has gotten rid of intoxication, then he does not cower, does not shake, does not tremble or become terrified, nor is he swayed by the words of [other] ascetics.”800″

 

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“Dhamma to Inspire” : The Buddha’s Words for Monastics : Vol II

“Therefore, monks, I will designate a training-rule for the monks on account of ten reasons: for the excellence of the Saṅgha, for the comfort of the Saṅgha, for the restraint of shameless people, for the comfortable abiding of well-behaved monks, for restraining existent taints51, for preventing taints in the future, for the faith of the faithless, for the increase of the faithful, for the stability of the true Dhamma, and for assisting the Vinaya.”



46 (6) The Restraint of the Pātimokkha

Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”“In that case, bhikkhu, purify the very beginning of wholesome states. And what is the beginning of wholesome states? Here, bhikkhu, dwell restrained by the restraint of the Pātimokkha, accomplished in good conduct and proper resort, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Having undertaken the training rules, train in them. When, bhikkhu, you dwell restrained by the restraint of the Pātimokkha …seeing danger in the slightest faults, then, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you should develop the four establishments of mindfulness. “What four? Here, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body …feelings in feelings …mind in mind …phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.   “When, bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you develop these four establishments of mindfulness in such a way, then, whether night or day comes, you may expect only growth in wholesome states, not decline.”Then that bhikkhu, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, rose from his seat.…[188] And that bhikkhu became one of the arahants.



“In that case, bhikkhu , purify the very beginning of wholesome states. And what is the beginning of wholesome states? Here, bhikkhu, having abandoned bodily misconduct, you should develop good bodily conduct. Having abandoned verbal misconduct, you should develop good verbal conduct. Having abandoned mental misconduct, you should develop good mental conduct. When, bhikkhu, having abandoned bodily misconduct … you have developed good mental conduct, then, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you should develop the four establishments of mindfulness.



9 (9) Disputatious Talk

“Bhikkhus, do not engage in disputatious talk, 378 saying: ‘You don’t understand this Dhamma and Discipline. I understand this Dhamma and Discipline. What, you understand this Dhamma and Discipline! You’re practising wrongly, I’m practising rightly. What should have been said before you said after; what should have been said after you said before. I’m consistent, you’re inconsistent. What you took so long to think out has been overturned. Your thesis has been refuted. Go off to rescue your thesis, for you’re defeated, or disentangle yourself if you can.’For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, this talk is unbeneficial, irrelevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and does not lead to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.



“Bhikkhus, do not engage in the various kinds of pointless talk, 379 that is, talk about kings, thieves, and ministers of state; talk about armies, dangers, and wars; talk about food, drink, garments, and beds; talk about garlands and scents; talk about relations, vehicles, villages, towns, cities , and countries; talk about women and talk about heroes; [420] street talk and talk by the well; talk about those departed in days gone by; rambling chitchat ; speculation about the world and about the sea; talk about becoming this or that. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, this talk is unbeneficial, irrelevant to the fundamentals of the holy life, and does not lead to revulsion, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.



“Therefore, bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu wishes: ‘May the memories and intentions connected with the household life be abandoned by me,’ this same concentration by mindfulness of breathing should be closely attended to.



XII. SEARCHES 111 (1)–120 (10) Searches, Etc.

“Bhikkhus, there are these three searches. What three? The search for sensual pleasures, the search for existence, the search for a holy life….”



Anguttara. Book o 2

15 (5) “Bhikkhus, if, in regard to a particular disciplinary issue, 231 the bhikkhu who has committed an offense and the bhikkhu who reproves him do not each thoroughly reflect upon themselves, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue [54] will lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time and the bhikkhus will not dwell at ease. But if the bhikkhu who has committed an offense and the bhikkhu who reproves him each thoroughly reflect upon themselves, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will not lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time and the bhikkhus will dwell at ease.



127 (4) Bhāradvāja

“Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: ‘Come, bhikkhus, towards women old enough to be your mother set up the idea that they are your mother; 119 [111] towards those of an age to be your sisters set up the idea that they are your sisters; towards those young enough to be your daughters set up the idea that they are your daughters.’ This is a cause and reason, great king, why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously.”

“The mind is wanton, Master Bhāradvāja. Sometimes states of lust arise even towards women old enough to be one’s mother; sometimes they arise towards women of an age to be one’s sister; sometimes they arise towards women young enough to be one’s daughter. Is there any other cause and reason why these young bhikkhus



“Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: ‘Come, bhikkhus, review this very body upwards from the soles of the feet, downwards from the tips of the hairs, enclosed in skin, as full of many kinds of impurities: 120 “There are in this body head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, contents of the stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus , blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot, fluid of the joints, urine .”’ This too, great king, is a cause and reason why these young bhikkhus … lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously.”

Sometimes, though one thinks, ‘I will attend to the body as foul,’one beholds it as beautiful. [112] Is there any other cause and reason why these young bhikkhus …lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously?”“Great king, this was said by the Blessed One who knows and sees, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: ‘Come, bhikkhus, dwell guarding the doors of the sense faculties. Having seen a form with the eye, do not grasp its signs and features. Since, if you leave the eye faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and displeasure might invade you, practise the way of its restraint, guard the eye faculty, undertake the restraint of the eye faculty. Having heard a sound with the ear… Having smelt an odour with the nose … Having savoured a taste with the tongue … Having felt a tactile object with the body … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, do not grasp its signs and features. Since, if you leave the mind faculty unguarded, evil unwholesome states of covetousness and displeasure might invade you, practise the way of its restraint, guard the mind faculty, undertake the restraint of the mind faculty.’This too, great king, is a cause and reason why these young bhikkhus …lead the complete and pure holy life all their lives and maintain it continuously.”



245 (8) The Kiṃsuka Tree

One bhikkhu approached another and asked him: “In what way, friend, is a bhikkhu’s vision well purified?”202 “When, friend, a bhikkhu understands as they really are the origin and the passing away of the six bases for contact, [192] in this way his vision is well purified.”203 Then the first bhikkhu, dissatisfied with the other’s answer, approached another bhikkhu and asked him: “In what way, friend, is a bhikkhu’s vision well purified?”“When, friend, a bhikkhu understands as they really are the origin and the passing away of the five aggregates subject to clinging, in this way his vision is well purified.”Again, the first bhikkhu, dissatisfied with the other’s answer, approached still another bhikkhu and asked him: “In what way, friend, is a bhikkhu’s vision well purified?”“When, friend, a bhikkhu understands as they really are the origin and the passing away of the four great elements, in this way his vision is well purified.”Again, the first bhikkhu, dissatisfied with the other’s answer, approached still another bhikkhu and asked him: “In what way, friend, is a bhikkhu’s vision well purified?”“When, friend, a bhikkhu understands as it really is: ‘Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation,’in this way his vision is well purified.”



XX. Blissful Is Detachment

Blissful is detachment for one who is content,
For one who has learned Dhamma and who sees.

Blissful is freedom from anger in the world,
Restraint toward living creatures.

Blissful is passionlessness in the world,
The overcoming of sensual desires;

But abolishing the conceit “I am”
That is truly the supreme bliss.
All subjection to another is painful;
Full mastery is bliss.
Partners share in affliction,
Bonds are difficult to overcome.



““Above, across, and below, Delight is no more found in them. They boldly sound their lion’s roar: ‘The enlightened are supreme in the world.’””



20 (10) 237 “Bhikkhus, there are these two things that lead to the decline and disappearance of the good Dhamma. What two? [59] Badly set down words and phrases and badly interpreted meaning. 238 When the words and phrases are badly set down, the meaning is badly interpreted. These are the two things that lead to the decline and disappearance of the good Dhamma. “Bhikkhus, there are these two things that lead to the continuation, non-decline, and non-disappearance of the good Dhamma. What two? Well-set down words and phrases and well-interpreted meaning. 239 When the words and phrases are well set down, the meaning is well interpreted. These are the two things that lead to the continuation, non-decline, and non-disappearance of the good Dhamma.”



“And what is the assembly of the foremost? Here, in this kind of assembly the elder bhikkhus are not luxurious and lax but discard backsliding and take the lead in solitude; they arouse energy for the attainment of the as-yet-unattained, for the achievement of the as-yet-unachieved, for the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. [Those in] the next generation follow their example. They too do not become luxurious and lax but discard backsliding and take the lead in solitude; they too arouse energy for the attainment of the as-yet-unattained, for the achievement of the as-yet-unachieved, for the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. This is called the assembly of the foremost.



“So too, bhikkhus, there are these three [places] that a bhikkhu should remember all his life. What three? (1) The first is the place where he shaved off his hair and beard, put on ochre robes, and went forth from the household life into homelessness. (2) The second is the place where he understood as it really is: ‘This is suffering,’and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’and ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’(3) And the third is the place where, with the destruction of the taints, he realized for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life, the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, and having entered upon it, dwelled in it. 343 These are the three [places] that a bhikkhu should remember all his life.”



15 (5) Pacetana349

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Bārāṇasī in the deer park at Isipatana. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”[111] “Venerable sir!”those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this: “Bhikkhus, in the past there was a king named Pacetana.

Then King Pacetana addressed a chariotmaker: ‘Friend chariotmaker, six months from now there will be a battle. Can you make me a new pair of wheels?’–‘I can, lord,’the chariotmaker replied. After six months less six days the chariotmaker had finished one wheel. King Pacetana then addressed the chariotmaker: ‘Six days from now there will be a battle. Is the new pair of wheels finished?’[The chariotmaker replied:] ‘In the past six months less six days, lord, I have finished one wheel.’–‘But, friend chariotmaker, can you finish a second wheel for me in the next six days?’–‘I can, lord,’the chariotmaker replied.

Then, over the next six days, the chariotmaker finished the second wheel. He brought the new pair of wheels to King Pacetana and said: ‘This is the new pair of wheels that I have made for you, lord.’–‘What is the difference, friend chariotmaker, between the wheel that took six months less six days to complete and the one that took six days to complete? I do not see any difference between them.’–‘There is a difference, lord. Observe the difference.’“Then the chariotmaker rolled the wheel that took six days to finish. It rolled as far as the impetus carried it, 350 and then it wobbled and fell to the ground. But the wheel that took six months [112] less six days to finish rolled as far as the impetus carried it and then stood still as if fixed on an axle. 351

“[ The king asked:] ‘Why is it, friend chariotmaker, that the wheel that took six days to finish rolled as far as the impetus carried it, and then wobbled and fell to the ground, while the wheel that took six months less six days to finish rolled as far as the impetus carried it and then stood still as if fixed on an axle?’“[ The chariotmaker replied:] ‘The wheel that took six days to finish, lord, has a rim that is crooked, faulty, and defective; spokes that are crooked, faulty, and defective; and a nave that is crooked, faulty, and defective. For this reason, it rolled as far as the impetus carried it and then it wobbled and fell to the ground. But the wheel that took six months less six days to finish has a rim without crookedness, faults, and defects; it has spokes without crookedness, faults, and defects; and it has a nave that is without crookedness, faults, and defects. For this reason, it rolled as far as the impetus carried it and then stood still as if fixed on an axle.’“It may be, bhikkhus, that you think: ‘On that occasion the chariotmaker was someone else.’But you should not think in such a way. On that occasion, I myself was the chariotmaker. Then I was skilled in crookedness, faults, and defects in wood. But now I am the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, (1) skilled in crookedness, faults, and defects of the body; (2) skilled in crookedness, faults, and defects of speech; and (3) skilled in crookedness, faults, and defects of mind.

“Any bhikkhu or bhikkhunī who has not abandoned crookedness, faults, and defects of the body, speech, and mind has fallen down from this Dhamma and discipline, just as the wheel that was finished in six days fell to the ground.

“Any bhikkhu or bhikkhunī who has abandoned crookedness, faults, and defects of the body, speech, and mind is established in this Dhamma and discipline, just as the wheel that was finished in six months less six days remained standing.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will abandon crookedness, faults, and defects of the body; we will abandon crookedness, faults, and defects of speech; we will abandon crookedness, faults, and defects of the mind.’ It is in this way that you should train yourselves.”

“Dhamma to Inspire” : The Buddha’s Words for Monastics : Vol I

For the past few years  I have been working on my goal to read through all the nikayas cover to cover. As I’ve read I have been copy/pasting hundreds of lines from the nikayas into a google keep compendium of dozens of dhamma topics.

One that I created were for selections I felt would be important for inspiration and reminders on the monastic path. I read through these every once in a while to remind myself what I’m doing and why. So that is what this series will be, simply randomly selected passages from the Nikayas related to monasticism.

Let us Begin:



Just as the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline, in the same way my disciples do not — even for the sake of their lives — overstep the training rules I have formulated for them.
— Ud 5.5



“It is in such a way, bhikkhus , that this clansman has gone forth. Yet he is covetous, inflamed by lust for sensual pleasures, with a mind full of ill will, with intentions corrupted by hate, muddle-minded, lacking clear comprehension, unconcentrated, scatter-brained, loose in his sense faculties. Just as a brand from a funeral pyre, burning at both ends and smeared with excrement in the middle, cannot be used as timber either in the village or in the forest, in just such a way do I speak about this person : he has missed out on the enjoyments of a householder, yet he does not fulfil the goal of asceticism.



94 (2) Flowers

At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, I do not dispute with the world; rather, it is the world that disputes with me. A proponent of the Dhamma does not dispute with anyone in the world.



Silent in body, silent in speech,
silent in mind, without defilement,
blessed with silence is the sage.
One is truly washed of evil.

Itivuttaka 3.67



On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park. Then, in the morning, the Blessed One dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Kosambī for alms. When he had walked for alms in Kosambī and had returned from the alms round, after his meal [95] he set his lodging in order himself, took his bowl and robe, and without informing his personal attendants, without taking leave of the Bhikkhu Saṅgha, he set out on tour alone, without a companion. 128

128 Spk assigns this sutta to the time of the famous quarrel at Kosambī. After he had failed in three attempts to reconcile the factious parties, the Buddha decided to set out alone. For a full account, see Vin I 337-57 and Ñāṇamoli, Life of the Buddha, pp. 109-19.

“Friend, whenever the Blessed One sets out like that he wishes to dwell alone. On such an occasion the Blessed One should not be followed by anyone.”



3 (1) With Yourselves as an Island At Sāvatthī. “Bhikkhus, dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge. 53 When you dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge,”



““He should speak and explain the Dhamma, He should raise high the seers’banner. Well-spoken words are the seers’banner: For the Dhamma is the banner of seers.””



““And how, Elder, is dwelling alone fulfilled in detail? Here, Elder, what lies in the past has been abandoned, what lies in the future has been relinquished, and desire and lust for present forms of individual existence has been thoroughly removed. 398 It is in such a way, Elder, that dwelling alone is fulfilled in detail.” [284]”



If one can find a worthy friend, A virtuous, steadfast companion, Then overcome all threats of danger And walk with him content and mindful. But if one finds no worthy friend, No virtuous, steadfast companion, Then as a king leaves his conquered realm, Walk like a tusker in the woods alone. Better it is to walk alone, There is no companionship with fools. Walk alone and do no evil, At ease like a tusker in the woods.
mn 128



Bhikkhus, dreadful are gain, honour, and praise, bitter, vile, obstructive to achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage.”



““Just so, Kassapa, in the past the elder bhikkhus were forest dwellers and spoke in praise of forest dwelling; they were almsfood eaters and spoke in praise of eating almsfood; they were rag-robe wearers and spoke in praise of wearing rag-robes; they were triple-robe users and spoke in praise of using the triple robe; they were of few wishes and spoke in praise of fewness of wishes; they were content and spoke in praise of contentment; they were secluded and spoke in praise of solitude; they were aloof from society and spoke in praise of aloofness from society; they were energetic and spoke in praise of arousing energy.”



Forgiveness in dhamma:

“But since you see your transgression as a transgression and make amends for it in accordance with the Dhamma, we pardon you for it. For it is growth in the Noble One’s Discipline when one sees one’s transgression as a transgression, makes amends for it in accordance with the Dhamma, and undertakes future restraint.””

“going forth as a thief of the Dhamma in such a well-expounded Dhamma and Discipline as this has results that are far more painful, far more bitter, and further, it leads to the nether world. But since you see your transgression as a transgression and make amends for it in accordance with the Dhamma, we pardon you for it. For it is growth in the Noble One’s Discipline when one sees one’s transgression as a transgression, makes amends for it in accordance with the Dhamma, and undertakes future restraint.””



the monk, nun, male lay follower, or female lay follower who keeps practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, who keeps practicing masterfully, who lives in accordance with the Dhamma: that is the person who worships, honors, respects, venerates, & pays homage to the Tathagata with the highest homage.” parinibbana



“The true Middle Way is not a comfortable highway built out of easy compromises, but a lonely, steep ascent, which requires the renunciation of craving and the ability to endure hardship and discomfort.” – Lives of the Buddha’s Disciples(not direct sutta quote)



Ochre-necks:  monks who don’t act like monks



Discipline is for the sake of restraint,
restraint for the sake of freedom from remorse,
freedom from remorse for the sake of joy,
joy for the sake of rapture,
rapture for the sake of tranquillity,
tranquillity for the sake of pleasure,
pleasure for the sake of concentration,
concentration for the sake of knowledge
and vision of things as they are,
knowledge and vision of things as they are
for the sake of disenchantment,
disenchantment for the sake of release,
release for the sake of knowledge and vision of release,
knowledge and vision of release
for the sake of total unbinding without clinging.
— Parivaara.XII.2 (BMC p.1)———————-



598 “One should resort to remote lodgings, Practise for release from the fetters. But if one does not find delight there, Guarded and mindful, dwell in the Saṅgha.



413 < 334 > 599 “Walking for alms from family to family,Faculties guarded, discreet, mindful, One should resort to remote lodgings, Freed from fear, liberated in the fearless.



414 600 “Where terrible serpents glide, Where lightning flashes and the sky thunders, In the thick darkness of the night There sits a bhikkhu devoid of terror. 415

SN 13 book of verses



However young,
The seeker who sets out upon the way
Shines bright over the world
But day and night

The man who is awake
Shines in the radiance of the spirit
Meditate.
Live purely.
Be quiet.
Do your work, with mastery
Like the moon,
Come out from behind the clouds!
Shine…



If gold and silver are allowable for anyone, the five cords of sensual pleasure are allowable for him. If the five cords of sensual pleasure are allowable for anyone, you can definitely consider him to be one who does not have the character of an ascetic or of a follower of the Sakyan son.



“Few are those among humankind Who go beyond to the far shore. The rest of the people merely run Up and down along the bank.   “When the Dhamma is rightly expounded Those who practise in accord with the Dhamma Are the people who will go beyond The realm of Death so hard to cross.   “Having left behind the dark qualities, The wise man should develop the bright ones. Having come from home into homelessness, Where it is hard to take delight—  “There in seclusion he should seek delight, Having left behind sensual pleasures. Owning nothing, the wise man Should cleanse himself of mental defilements.   “Those whose minds are well developed In the factors of enlightenment, Who through nonclinging find delight In the relinquishment of grasping: Those luminous ones with taints destroyed Are fully quenched in the world.”[25]



“And what, bhikkhus, is asceticism? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view … right concentration. This is called asceticism.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the goal of asceticism? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion. This is called the goal of asceticism.”

“And what, bhikkhus, are the fruits of asceticism? The fruit of stream-entry, the fruit of once-returning, the fruit of nonreturning, the fruit of arahantship. These are called the fruits of asceticism.”



“And what, bhikkhus, is the goal of the holy life? The destruction of lust, the destruction of hatred, the destruction of delusion. This is called the goal of the holy life.”

‘It is, friends, for the fading away of lust that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.’

‘It is, friends , for the abandoning of the fetters … for the uprooting of the underlying tendencies … for the full understanding of the course 31 … for the destruction of the taints … for the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation … for the sake of knowledge and vision … [29] … for the sake of final Nibbāna without clinging that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.’



49 (1) Good Friend At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, [30] for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor for the arising of the Noble Eightfold Path, that is, good friendship. 32 When a bhikkhu has a good friend, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate this Noble Eightfold Path.

At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, one thing is very helpful for the arising of the Noble Eightfold Path. What one thing? Good friendship. [33] When a bhikkhu has a good friend, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.

“Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other thing by means of which the unarisen Noble Eightfold Path arises and the arisen Noble Eightfold Path goes to fulfilment by development so effectively as by this: good friendship. When a bhikkhu has a good friend, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.

12 (2) The Simile of the Sun (1) “Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor of the arising of the seven factors of enlightenment, that is, good friendship. When a bhikkhu has a good friend, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment.

the dawn. So too , for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor of the arising of the seven factors of enlightenment , that is, good friendship.



At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, just as the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the east, so too a bhikkhu who develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbāna



“So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu is developing and cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path, kings or royal ministers, friends or colleagues, relatives or kinsmen, might invite him to accept wealth, saying: ‘Come, good man, why let these saffron robes weigh you down? Why roam around with a shaven head and a begging bowl? Come, having returned to the lower life, enjoy wealth and do meritorious deeds.’Indeed, bhikkhus, when that bhikkhu is developing and cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path, it is impossible that he will give up the training and return to the lower life. For what reason? Because for a long time his mind has slanted, sloped, and inclined towards seclusion. Thus it is impossible that he will return to the lower life.



Now,
if the nature and purpose of this ascetic life becomes overwhelmingly clear to a householder or a householder’s son, he will become an ascetic of his own free will, following his inner urge. “Sunken I am in birth, in old age and death, in distress, lamentation and pain, in grief and despair; sunken in suffering, lost in suffering!
Oh! that it might be possible to make an end of this whole mass of
misery!” In such a state of mind, filled with confidence, he
renounces the worldly life, and such a renunciation is called in the
texts “right-minded renunciation”



The Buddha’s concern and goodwill towards fellow monk : “I hope you are bearing up, Kassapa, I hope you are getting better. I hope that your painful feelings are subsiding and not increasing, and that their subsiding, not their increase, is to be discerned.” [80]



“Bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who are newly ordained, not long gone forth, recently come to this Dhamma and Discipline, should be exhorted, settled, and established by you in the development of the four establishments of mindfulness. What four? “‘ Come, friends, dwell contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, unified, with limpid mind, concentrated, with one-pointed mind, in order to know the body as it really is. Dwell contemplating feelings in feelings … in order to know feelings as they really are. Dwell contemplating mind in mind … in order to know mind as it really is. Dwell contemplating phenomena in phenomena … in order to know phenomena as they really are.’ [145]



6 (6) The Hawk “Bhikkhus, once in the past a hawk suddenly swooped down and seized a quail. 130 Then, while the quail was being carried off by the hawk, he lamented: ‘We were so unlucky, of so little merit! We strayed out of our own resort into the domain of others. If we had stayed in our own resort today, in our own ancestral domain, this hawk wouldn’t have stood a chance against me in a fight.’- ‘But what is your own resort, quail, what is your own ancestral domain?’- ‘The freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil.’[147] “Then the hawk, confident of her own strength, not boasting of her own strength, 131 released the quail, saying: ‘Go now, quail, but even there you won’t escape me.’“Then, bhikkhus, the quail went to a freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil.

Having climbed up on a large clod, he stood there and addressed the hawk: ‘Come get me now, hawk! Come get me now, hawk!’“Then the hawk, confident of her own strength, not boasting of her own strength, folded up both her wings and suddenly swooped down on the quail. But when the quail knew, ‘That hawk has come close,’he slipped inside that clod, and the hawk shattered her breast right on the spot. So it is, bhikkhus, when one strays outside one’s own resort into the domain of others.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, do not stray outside your own resort into the domain of others. Māra will gain access to those who stray outside their own resort into the domain of others; Māra will get a hold on them. 132 [148] “And what is not a bhikkhu’s own resort but the domain of others? It is the five cords of sensual pleasure.“Move in your own resort, bhikkhus, in your own ancestral domain. Māra will not gain access to those who move in their own resort, in their own ancestral domain; Māra will not get a hold on them. “And what is a bhikkhu’s resort, his own ancestral domain? It is the four establishments of mindfulness.



Venerable sir, since I heard that the Venerable Sāriputta has attained final Nibbāna, my body seems as if it has been drugged, I have become disoriented, the teachings are no longer clear to me.”159
“Why, Ānanda, when Sāriputta attained final Nibbāna, did he take away your aggregate of virtue, or your aggregate of concentration, or your aggregate of wisdom, or your aggregate of liberation, or your aggregate of the knowledge and vision of liberation?”160 “No, he did not, venerable sir. But for me the Venerable Sāriputta was an advisor and counsellor, one who instructed, exhorted, inspired, and gladdened me. 161 He was unwearying in teaching the Dhamma; he was helpful to his brothers in the holy life. We recollect the nourishment of Dhamma, the wealth of Dhamma, the help of Dhamma given by the Venerable Sāriputta.
“But have I not already declared, Ānanda, that we must be parted, separated, and severed from all who are dear and agreeable to us? [163] How, Ānanda, is it to be obtained here: ‘May what is born, come to be, conditioned, and subject to disintegration not disintegrate!’? That is impossible. It is just as if the largest branch would break off a great tree standing possessed of heartwood: so too, Ānanda, in the great Bhikkhu Saṅgha standing possessed of heartwood, Sāriputta has attained final Nibbāna.
How, Ānanda, is it to be obtained here: ‘May what is born, come to be, conditioned, and subject to disintegration not disintegrate!’? That is impossible.
“Therefore, Ānanda, dwell with yourselves as your own island, with yourselves as your own refuge, with no other refuge; dwell with the Dhamma as your island, with the Dhamma as your refuge, with no other refuge …(as in §9) …Those bhikkhus, Ānanda, either now or after I am gone, who dwell with themselves as their own island, with themselves as their own refuge, with no other refuge; who dwell with the Dhamma as their island, with the Dhamma as their refuge, with no other refuge—it is these bhikkhus, Ānanda, who will be for me topmost of those keen on the training.”



“It is wonderful, bhikkhus, on the part of the disciples, it is amazing on the part of the disciples, that they will act in accordance with the Teacher’s instructions and comply with his admonitions, that they will be dear and agreeable to the four assemblies, that they will be revered and esteemed by them



“Bhikkhus, once in the past an acrobat set up his bamboo pole and addressed his apprentice Medakathālikā thus: 167 ‘Come, dear Medakathālikā, climb the bamboo pole and stand on my shoulders.’Having replied, ‘Yes, teacher,’the apprentice Medakathālikā climbed up the bamboo pole and stood on the teacher’s shoulders. The acrobat then said to the apprentice Medakathālikā: ‘You protect me, dear Medakathālikā, and I’ll protect you. Thus [169] guarded by one another, protected by one another, we’ll display our skills, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.’When this was said, the apprentice Medakathālikā replied: ‘That’s not the way to do it, teacher.

You protect yourself, teacher, and I’ll protect myself. Thus, each self-guarded and self-protected, we’ll display our skills, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.’168 “That’s the method there,”the Blessed One said. “It’s just as the apprentice Medakathālikā said to the teacher. ‘I will protect myself,’bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. ‘I will protect others,’bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised.

Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself. “And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation [of the four establishments of mindfulness]. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others. 169 “And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, lovingkindness, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself. 170

The Simile of the Ember : Carrying Forth the Ember of Mindfulness

**This marks the first article I’ve written for this wordpress blog. I’ve posted a lot of articles this past half year, but they have been articles from my old tumblr that I felt were important enough to bring forward to the wordpress. I have decided that I will start writing articles on a somewhat regular basis, as upon examining my previous experience writing dhamma articles I noticed that not only did people tell me they benefited from the articles, but I did as well in reinforcing, codifying, and examining my own understanding of the Dhamma. I won’t set myself on a schedule, as this started to feel like work in the past and I lost my desire to write, but I will be attempting to make writing these small articles a regular habit** 

(starting a fire by blowing on an ember)

” Then I will give you a simile, for it is by means of a simile that some intelligent people understand what has been said”

The Simile is a very important aspect in learning, and learning the Dhamma is no exception. The near 5000 pages of Nikayas give us many dozens of similes, often with the same simile being used in various different situations.

I’ve found most often that when we come up with similes to explain complicated ideas in a more simple way, these similes almost always come directly from the day to day experience of the person who thought of it. The Buddha was a master at explaining deep concepts in ways that could be understood via people’s everyday experience.

In the past year a simile came to me, and I have been using it when explaining aspects of mindfulness to practitioners. As a student of history and anthropology, I have long been fascinated with all things ancient human, and the simile of the ember comes from ancient times. I’ve also started and tended to many camp fires, so you may now understand where this simile came from.

Unfortunately this simile requires a bit of explaining to the average modern person who has little experience with tending fires, and therefore would probably fit better in the Buddha’s day then today, non the less I present it here in a much more expanded form,  as people tell me they have found benefit from it.

So what is an Ember ?   – a small live piece of coal, wood, etc., as in a dying fire”. This is the last remnants of a dieing fire, as seen in the picture above, but with the potential to bring a fire back to life, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. This is a brief excerpt from an article : 

The iceman carried a fire-starting kit as well as a container for carrying embers. The fire-starting kit had tender consisting of pulp from a particular mushroom and pieces of flint. There was evidence in terms of dust that pyrite had been used with the fire starting kit but no pieces of pyrite were found.

There was a second birch-bark container that was for carrying embers. This fire-ember container contained some vegetable matter which included fragments and husks of grain

So when our ancestors were traveling across the land, in the morning they would take an ember from one dead fire, and keep it nourished as they traveled all day, only to use that same ember as the basis for rekindling a fire wherever they stopped for the night. Our ancestors mastered fire, which allows us now in more modern times to master mindfulness.

Fire is used as a simile in various ways throughout the teaching of the Buddha, from his proclamation that the world is aflame with the fire of craving, to the simile which equates a person’s head being on fire and their zeal to douse the flames with how diligent and zealous one should practice dhamma. Even within the roots of words related to meditation, we find fire :

Jhāyati : meditation, to burn, to be on fire – connected with the same root for Jhana (deep states of meditative concentration)

Samādahati : to put together, to kindle a fire – connected with the same root for Samādhī ( one pointedness of mind, absorption of mind on object of meditation)

So to meditate is to burn, to be on fire. It is said that this practice burns away the defilements, related to the cleansing aspect of fire, allowing the bright luminous mind to shine through.

With explanations out of the way let us get to the crux of the simile. The Buddha taught us that concentration is the best vehicle for the development of insight. It is the concentrative power of Jhana that allows us to “see things as they are” with the clarity only existing when the hindrances, pleasure and pain, like and dislike, have subsided.

“Bhikkhus, develop concentration. A bhikkhu who is concentrated understands things as they really are” – SN 56.1

Insight rests squarely on the shoulder of concentration, and concentration rests on mindfulness, as we can see by the 7th (right mindfulness) and the 8th(right concentration)  factors of the Noble Eightfold Path. So we see the importance of developing a mindfulness practice that follows us throughout all aspects of our daily lives.

In Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the Buddha teaches us how to examine our experience through our body, feeling, and mind, as well as through the various frameworks he gave us such as the five aggregates, five hindrances, Six senses, etc. This is a complete tool box to investigate the reality of our psycho-physical experience, and it is meant to be done in everything that we do, not just while sitting on the cushion.

Developing this practice allows us to live heedfully, we enhance our Sīla(living by virtuous principles), and we see things with more clarity, allowing us to act more skillfully in the world. When we fully integrate Satipaṭṭhāna into our lives, we also set the groundwork for the development of concentration in our sitting practice.

So let us put this all together. Just as one can carry an ember from a dead fire, keeping it alive through activity, and later using said ember to ignite a new fire, so too we can keep the flame of meditation alive when we leave the cushion and go about our daily lives with mindfulness, and when returning to the cushion we do not have to start the fire from scratch, but use the ember we kept alive throughout the day to quickly ignite the new fire, helping to burn away the defilements.

Normally what do many mediators do? meditation is a thing they do for X amount of time per day once or twice sitting on a cushion. A practice like that means that as soon as you get off the cushion, your monkey mind easily comes back as you go through your day mindlessly on auto pilot. When you come home and try to meditate again, the monkey mind is there and your meditation practice suffers as you have to struggle to regain the calm and tranquility you lost throughout the day.

But when one has fully integrated mindfulness into their day, they continue the practice on and off the cushion, keeping that ember alive, and the monkey mind at bay, so that when they go to sit down, the mind more easily comes to peace and then concentration, just as the ember more easily ignites the new flame.

In this simile the ember is mindfulness, the flame is our meditation practice, in such a way we can understand the importance of living heedfully, practicing mindfulness in all we do. So do not be heedless my friends, practice carrying that ember around with you, just like our ancient ancestors did, and you will see the benefits of a practice fully integrated into all aspects of our lives.

Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already. – Dhp ii 21