Dhamma Talk : Sīla Division of the Noble Eightfold Path : Part II

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New Retreat – The Noble Eightfold Path : Ancient Teachings for a Modern World

I will be doing a retreat in November once more at Buddhist Insights in NYC. The Title of this event is :

*The Noble Eightfold Path : Ancient Teachings for a Modern World*

I want this to be more then just a basic Noble Eightfold Path retreat. I will go over the various aspects of the path, but with a special focus on how you can implement the path in this modern world, and how the path is timeless and as viable today as it was 2600 years ago.

sign up here : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weekend-retreat-the-noble-eightfold-path-with-bhikkhu-jayasara-tickets-38420363341

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

16 (6) The Unmistaken

“Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. 352 What three?

Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. 353 (1) “And how, bhikkhus, 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 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. [114]

(2) “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, and I shall be healthy and blameless and dwell at ease.’It is in this way that a bhikkhu observes moderation in eating.

(3) “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 three qualities is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints.”

 




 

“So too, possessing three factors, a bhikkhu is incapable of achieving a wholesome state not yet attained or of increasing a wholesome state already attained. What three? Here, a bhikkhu does not diligently apply himself to an object of concentration in the morning, in the middle of the day, or in the evening. Possessing these three factors, a bhikkhu is incapable of achieving a wholesome state not yet attained or of increasing a wholesome state already attained. [116]

“Bhikkhus, possessing three factors, a shopkeeper is capable of acquiring wealth not yet acquired and of increasing wealth already acquired. What three? Here, a shopkeeper diligently applies himself to his work in the morning, in the middle of the day, and in the evening. Possessing these three factors, a shopkeeper is capable of acquiring wealth not yet acquired and of increasing wealth already acquired. “So too, possessing three factors, a bhikkhu is capable of achieving a wholesome state not yet attained and of increasing a wholesome state already attained. What three? Here, a bhikkhu diligently applies himself to an object of concentration in the morning, in the middle of the day, and in the evening. Possessing these three factors, a bhikkhu is capable of achieving a wholesome state not yet attained and of increasing a wholesome state already attained.”

 




 

(1) “And what, bhikkhus, is oneself as one’s authority? Here, having gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty hut, a bhikkhu reflects thus: ‘I did not go forth from the household life into homelessness for the sake of a robe, almsfood, or lodging, or for the sake of becoming this or that, 399 but rather [with the thought]: “I am immersed in birth, old age, and death; in sorrow, lamentation, pain, dejection, and anguish. I am immersed in suffering, afflicted by suffering. Perhaps an ending of this entire mass of suffering can be discerned.”[148] As one who has gone forth from the household life into homelessness, it would not be proper for me to seek out sensual pleasures similar to or worse than those that I have discarded.’He then reflects thus: ‘Energy will be aroused in me without slackening; mindfulness will be established without confusion; my body will be tranquil without disturbance; my mind will be concentrated and one-pointed.’Having taken himself as his authority, he abandons the unwholesome and develops the wholesome; he abandons what is blameworthy and develops what is blameless; he maintains himself in purity. This is called oneself as one’s authority.

 




 

As one who has gone forth from the household life into homelessness, I might think sensual thoughts, thoughts of ill will, or thoughts of harming. But the abode of the world is vast. In the vast abode of the world there are ascetics and brahmins with psychic potency and the divine eye who know the minds of others. They see things from a distance but they are not themselves seen even when they’re close; they know the minds [of others] with their own mind. They would know me thus: “Look at this clansman: though he has gone forth from the household life into homelessness out of faith, he is tarnished by bad unwholesome states.”There are deities, too, with psychic potency and the divine eye who know the minds of others. They see even from a distance but are not seen themselves even when close; they too know the minds [of others] with their own mind. They too would know me thus: “Look at this clansman: though he has gone forth from the household life into homelessness out of faith, he is tarnished by bad unwholesome states.”’He then reflects thus: ‘Energy will be aroused in me [149] without slackening; mindfulness will be established without confusion; my body will be tranquil without disturbance; my mind will be concentrated and one-pointed.’

 




 

AN 3.40 Authorities :
“These, bhikkhus, are the three authorities.”For one performing an evil deed there is no place in the world called “hidden.”The self within you knows, O person, whether it is true or false. 400 Indeed, sir, you the witness despise your good self; you conceal the evil self existing within yourself. 401 [150] The devas and Tathāgatas see the fool acting unrighteously in the world. Therefore one should fare mindfully, taking oneself as authority; alert and meditative, taking the world as authority; and fare in accordance with the Dhamma, taking the Dhamma as authority. Truly exerting himself, a sage does not decline. Having vanquished Māra and overcome the end-maker, the striver has finished with birth. Such a sage, wise, a world-knower, identifies with nothing at all. 402

400 Attā te purisa jānāti saccaṃ vā yadi vā musā. Mp: “You yourself know, of whatever you do, whether it is of this or that nature. For this reason, it should be understood that, for one who does an evil deed, there is no place in the world that can be called ‘hidden.’”

 




 

“Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will have a keen desire to undertake the training in the higher virtuous behavior; we will have a keen desire to undertake the training in the higher mind; we will have a keen desire to undertake the training in the higher wisdom.’ It is in this way that you should train yourselves.”

 




 

82 (2) The Donkey518

“Bhikkhus, suppose a donkey was following right behind a herd of cattle, [thinking]: ‘I’m a cow too, I’m a cow too.’519 (1) But his appearance would not be like that of the cows, (2) his braying would not be like that of the cows, and (3) his footprint would not be like that of the cows. Yet he follows right behind a herd of cattle, [thinking]: ‘I’m a cow too, I’m a cow too.’“So too, a bhikkhu might be following right behind the Saṅgha of bhikkhus, [thinking]: ‘I’m a bhikkhu too, I’m a bhikkhu too.’(1) But his desire to undertake the training in the higher virtuous behavior is not like that of the other bhikkhus; (2) his desire to undertake the training in the higher mind is not like that of the other bhikkhus; (3) his desire to undertake the training in the higher wisdom is not like that of the other bhikkhus. Yet he follows right behind the Saṅgha of bhikkhus, [thinking]: ‘I’m a bhikkhu too, I’m a bhikkhu too.’“Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will have a keen desire to undertake the training in the higher virtuous behavior; we will have a keen desire to undertake the training in the higher mind; we will have a keen desire to undertake the training in the higher wisdom.’It is in this way that you should train yourselves.”

 




 

“Bhante, every half-month more than a hundred and fifty training rules come up for recitation. I cannot train in them.”“Can you train in the three trainings, bhikkhu: the training in the higher virtuous behavior, the training in the higher mind, and the training in the higher wisdom?”“I can, Bhante.”“Therefore, bhikkhu, train in the three trainings: the training in the higher virtuous behavior, the training in the higher mind, and the training in the higher wisdom. As you train in them, you will abandon lust, hatred, and delusion. With the abandoning of lust, hatred, and delusion, you will do nothing unwholesome or resort to anything bad.”

 




 

(1) “And what, bhikkhus , is the assembly of the foremost? Here, in this kind of assembly the elder bhikkhus do not become 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, when a bhikkhu is devoted to the higher mind, (1) there are in him gross defilements: bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct. An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been done, (2) there remain in him middling defilements: sensual thoughts, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of harming. An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been done, (3) there remain in him subtle defilements: thoughts about his relations, 556 thoughts about his country, and thoughts about his reputation. 557 An earnest, capable bhikkhu abandons, dispels, terminates, and obliterates them. When this has been done, then there remain thoughts connected with the Dhamma. 558

That concentration is not peaceful and sublime, not gained by full tranquilization, 559 not attained to unification, but is reined in and checked by forcefully suppressing [the defilements]. 560 “But, bhikkhus, there comes a time when his mind becomes internally steady, composed, unified, and concentrated. That concentration is peaceful and sublime, gained by full tranquilization, and attained to unification; it is not reined in and checked by forcefully suppressing [the defilements]. 561 Then, there being a suitable basis, he is capable of realizing any state realizable by direct knowledge toward which he might incline his

 




“So too, when a bhikkhu is devoted to the higher mind, from time to time he should give attention to three marks. From time to time he should give attention to the mark of concentration, from time to time to the mark of exertion, and from time to time to the mark of equanimity. “If a bhikkhu devoted to the higher mind attends exclusively to the mark of concentration, [258] it is possible that his mind will veer toward laziness. If he attends exclusively to the mark of exertion, it is possible that his mind will veer toward restlessness. If he attends exclusively to the mark of equanimity, it is possible that his mind will not be properly concentrated for the destruction of the taints. But when from time to time he gives attention to the mark of concentration, from time to time to the mark of exertion, and from time to time to the mark of equanimity, his mind becomes malleable, wieldy, and luminous, not brittle but properly concentrated for the destruction of the taints. Then, there being a suitable basis, he is capable of realizing any state realizable by direct knowledge toward which he might incline his mind.

 




 

AN 3.107 (5) Wailing

“Bhikkhus, (1) in the Noble One’s discipline, singing is wailing. (2) In the Noble One’s discipline, dancing is madness. (3) In the Noble One’s discipline, to laugh excessively, displaying one’s teeth, is childishness. Therefore, bhikkhus, in regard to singing and dancing [let there be] the demolition of the bridge. When you smile rejoicing in the Dhamma, you may simply show a smile.




 

(3) “And what is mental purity? 583 Here, when there is sensual desire in him, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is sensual desire in me’; or when there is no sensual desire in him, he understands: ‘There is no sensual desire in me’; and he also understands how unarisen sensual desire arises, how arisen sensual desire is abandoned, and how abandoned sensual desire does not arise again in the future.

 




 

“Here, a bhikkhu dwells in dependence on a certain village or town. A householder or a householder’s son approaches him and invites him for the next day’s meal. If he wishes, the bhikkhu accepts. When the night has passed, in the morning the bhikkhu dresses, takes his bowl and robe, and goes to the residence of that householder or householder’s son. He sits down in the seat that has been prepared and that householder or householder’s son, with his own hand, serves and satisfies him with various kinds of delicious food. (1) It does not occur to him: ‘How good, indeed, that this householder [275] or householder’s son, with his own hand, serves and satisfies me with various kinds of delicious food!’(2) It also does not occur to him: ‘Oh, in the future too may this householder or householder’s son, with his own hand, serve and satisfy me with a similar variety of delicious food!’(3) He uses that food without being tied to it, infatuated with it, and blindly absorbed in it, but seeing the danger in it and understanding the escape from it. He thinks thoughts of renunciation in relation to it; he thinks thoughts of good will; he thinks thoughts of non-harming. What is given to such a bhikkhu, I say, is of great fruit.

 




 

“Bhikkhus, wherever bhikkhus take to arguing and quarreling and fall into a dispute, stabbing each other with piercing words, I am uneasy even about directing my attention there, let alone about going there. I conclude about them: ‘Surely , those venerable ones have abandoned three things and cultivated three [other] things.’“What are the three things they have abandoned ? Thoughts of renunciation, thoughts of good will, and thoughts of non-harming. These are the three things they have abandoned.

 




 

IV. A WARRIOR 133 (1) A Warrior

“Bhikkhus, possessing three factors, a warrior is worthy of a king, an accessory of a king, and reckoned a factor of kingship. What three? Here, a warrior is a long-distance shooter, a sharp-shooter, and one who splits a great body. Possessing these three factors, a warrior is worthy of a king, an accessory of a king, and reckoned a factor of kingship. So too, possessing three factors, a bhikkhu is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, an unsurpassed field of merit for the world. What three? Here, a bhikkhu is a long-distance shooter, a sharp-shooter, and one who splits a great body. (1) “And how is a bhikkhu a long-distance shooter? Here, any kind of form whatsoever—whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—a bhikkhu sees all form as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’Any kind of feeling whatsoever …[285] …Any kind of perception whatsoever …Any kind of volitional activities whatsoever …Any kind of consciousness whatsoever—whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—a bhikkhu sees all consciousness as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’It is in this way that a bhikkhu is a long-distance shooter. (2) “And how is a bhikkhu a sharp-shooter? Here, a bhikkhu understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering.’He understands as it really is: ‘This is the origin of suffering.’He understands as it really is: ‘This is the cessation of suffering.’He understands as it really is: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’It is in this way that a bhikkhu is a sharp-shooter. (3) “And how is a bhikkhu one who splits a great body? Here, a bhikkhu splits the great mass of ignorance. It is in this way that a bhikkhu is one who splits a great body. “Possessing these three qualities, a bhikkhu is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, an unsurpassed field of merit for the world.”

 




 

135 (3) A Friend “Bhikkhus, one should associate with a friend who possesses three factors. What three? (1) Here, a bhikkhu gives what is hard to give. (2) He does what is hard to do. (3) He patiently endures what is hard to endure. One should associate with a friend who possesses these three factors.”

 




 

11 (1) Walking639

(1) “Bhikkhus, if a sensual thought, a thought of ill will, or a thought of harming arises in a bhikkhu while walking, and he tolerates it, does not abandon it, dispel it, terminate it, and obliterate it, then that bhikkhu is said to be devoid of ardor and moral dread; he is constantly and continuously lazy and lacking in energy while walking. (2) “If a sensual thought …arises in a bhikkhu while standing …(3) If a sensual thought …arises in a bhikkhu while sitting …(4) If a sensual thought, a thought of ill will, or a thought of harming arises in a bhikkhu while wakefully lying down, and he tolerates it, does not abandon it, dispel it, terminate it, and obliterate it, then that bhikkhu is said to be devoid of ardor and moral dread; he is constantly and continuously lazy and lacking in energy while wakefully lying down. (1) “But, bhikkhus, if a sensual thought, a thought of ill will, or a thought of harming arises in a bhikkhu while walking, and he does not tolerate it but abandons it, dispels it, terminates it, and obliterates it, then that bhikkhu is said to be ardent and to dread wrongdoing; he is constantly and continuously energetic and resolute while walking.

Whether walking or standing, sitting or lying down, one who thinks bad thoughts connected with the household life has entered upon a dire path, infatuated by delusive things: such a bhikkhu cannot reach the highest enlightenment. But one who, whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, has calmed his thoughts and delights in the stilling of thought: a bhikkhu such as this can reach the highest enlightenment.

 

Solidity and Fluidity

I was asked a question via my old tumblr, and I figured it may be of benefit here:
Dear Jayantha, To what extent do you use routine in your practice (in terms of using certain types of meditation and contemplations at set times) and to what extent is your practice free flowing? Your brother in the Dhamma, Simon P.s. I humbly thank you for all that you share online. Your videos and dhamma have been immeasurably valuable on my journey on the path.
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I would say that I have a certain framework I use, but I don’t hold on to it too rigidly.
Routine and structure are a large part in how I keep my life together. I thought that when I became a monk I wouldn’t need to make a daily schedule, but then I realized I wasn’t getting in all my study and practice without one, so I’ve been on a schedule ever since. Days when I’m on my schedule I get in all my meditation and study, days that I fall off schedule due to outside events, I find it hard to get things done.
So that being said, my meditation usually begins with walking meditation and then sitting meditation. Usually I split it 30-30 although I feel the focus of my practice lately has been to develop my concentration so I’m doing a little more sitting then walking. I also get in some metta and mindfulness of death in my early morning and final meditations, so for those periods I usually walk for 10 minutes, metta and mod for 10 minutes, then sit for at least 30.
Throughout the day I also try to maintain basic sati and practice the four foundations of mindfulness in all my actions, to varying degrees of success :).
So in the end I would say that a balance of rigidity and fluidity is required. It is important for the development of strong habits that you are consistent, but it is important for growth that you remain open and flexible.