To whom is one responsible?
sumanathenovice

There is
in the cosmos

no
secret
place

for one
who has done
an
evil
deed.

Your own self knows, my good man,
whether you are true
or false.
You underestimate the fine witness
that is yourself,
you with evil
in yourself
that then you hide.

The devas & Tathagatas see the fool
who goes about
out of tune with the cosmos.
Thus you should go about
self-governed,
mindful;
governed by the cosmos,
masterful,
absorbed in jhana;
governed by the Dhamma,
acting in line
with the Dhamma.

AN 3.40


The Violence Paradigm.
sumanathenovice
"What my father said to me as he was about to die — 'Don't be far-sighted' — 'Don't bear vengeance for a long time' is what he was saying to me as he was about to die. And what he said to me as he was about to die — 'Don't be near-sighted' — 'Don't be quick to break with a friend' is what he was saying to me as he was about to die. And what he said to me as he was about to die — 'For vengeance is not settled through vengeance. Vengeance is settled through non-vengeance' — My mother & father were killed by your majesty. If I were to deprive your majesty of life, those who hope for your majesty's well-being would deprive me of life. And those who hope for my well-being would deprive them of life. And in that way vengeance would not be settled by vengeance. But now I have been granted my life by your majesty, and your majesty has been granted your life by me. And in this way vengeance has been settled by non-vengeance. That is what my father was saying to me as he was about to die."

Mv 10.2.3-20 Emphasis mine.

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

A joke.
sumanathenovice
Why was the Buddhist coroner fired?

Because he’d always record the cause of death as "birth."

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

On Rebirth.
sumanathenovice
From U. Thittila's translation of the Vibhanga, "According to the teaching expounded by the Buddha, beings, so-called, no matter to which plane of existence they belong, are not possessed of any permanent identity, indiviuality, self, soul or spirit, but are to be considered only as temporary manifestations of several constituents or aggregates which in themselves though constantly changing nevertheless show continuity of process. Thus, although the expression 'rebirth' is frequently used, it is not to be understood that the same being from one existence is reborn into a future existence by virtue of there being a soul or spirit as the factor providing inherent continuity. It is that, after a period during which a group of aggregates have exhibited their continuity of process in mutual association, they separate; and, according to their several qualities at the moment of separation, associate again with other appropriate aggregates to produce in a perfectly automatic way a new being, which, although having no direct relationship to its predecessor, by way of a permanent unchanging soul or spirit, is nevertheless the direct outcome of resultants of the activities of that predecessor, and so on."

From Bhikkhu Bodhi's exposition of the Upanisa Sutta (SN 12.23), "things are seen to arise, not from some intrinsic nature of their own, from necessity, chance or accident, but from their causal correlations with other things to which they are connected as part of the fixed order obtaining between phenomena. Each transient entity, emerging into the present out of the stream of events bearing down from the past, absorbs into itself the causal influx of the past, to which it must be responsive. During its phase of presence it exercises its own distinctive function with the support of its conditions, expressing thereby its own immediacy of being. And then, with the completion of its actuality, it is swept away by the universal impermanence to become itself a condition determinant of the future."

The Buddha, "Whatever causes and conditions there are for the arising of these aggregates, they, too, are impermanent." SN 22.7-9

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

Sutta of the day: Sattatthana, Seven Bases.
sumanathenovice
This (SN 22.57) is a spur to energetic and unceasing devotion to meditation.

The Buddha's words, "...and just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of form, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration." reminds me very much of the active formulation of the 4 noble truths from the Patisambhidamagga.

That is

Suffering to be understood
The Cause to be abandoned
Cessation to be realized
The Path to be cultivated

The 4 truths are not mere statements of doctrine to be affirmed and then dismissed, but are a summation of the way to the cessation of suffering.

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

"Philosopher's Buddhism"
sumanathenovice
Before I took refuge I identified as a run-of-the-mill atheist. Don't get me wrong, I'm still an atheist, but not only the label, but my view of that label occupy a different niche in my life now. My atheism is incidental rather than integral, and my view of labels is "helpful if limited" if only because conventional language, while it has it's use, can only lead to wrong view if relied on as absolute.

What is it?Collapse )

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

Anopama, the Millionaire's Daughter
sumanathenovice
Born in a high-ranking family
with much property, great wealth,
consummate in complexion & figure,
I was the daughter of Majjha, the treasurer.
Sons of kings sought for me,
sons of rich merchants
longed for me.
One of them sent my father a messenger,
saying, "Give me Anopama.
I will give in return
eight times her weight
in jewels & gold."
But I, having seen
the One Self-awakened,
unsurpassed, excelling the world,
paid homage to his feet,
sat down to one side.
He, Gotama, from sympathy,
taught me the Dhamma.
And as I sat in that very seat,
I attained the third fruit
[of non-return.]
Then I cut off my hair,
and went forth into homelessness.
Today is the seventh day
since I made craving
wither away.

Thig 6.5

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

Late update on my visit to the Wat in Temecula.
sumanathenovice
Today, I was up early to go with my girlfriend and my aunt to make some offerings to the monks at the nearest temple. We offered fruit and some baked goods. His dhamma talk was excellent.

I wish I could summarize it easily, but alas, I can't. We talked about happiness and suffering, patience, power, strength, and mental discipline. At the end he exhorted all of us to rely on ourselves, not on blessings or offerings to make our way to nibbāna and extended an invitation to me to come and meditate with them overnight the next time I'm in California.

A picture of me was snapped while I was there that I love so much I've decided to make it my userpic.

pic belowCollapse )

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

The Paradox of Desire.
sumanathenovice
One of the most persistent criticisms of Buddhism, in fact, the one I hear leveled most often is that the very desire to end desire is a paradox and thus the Blessed One's dhamma-vinaya "refutes itself." This couldn't be further from the truth and is only demonstrative of that particular critic's ignorance of the Pali Canon. The subject comes up many times, the most famous mention of it being in the four noble truths.

The natural question that follows is, "Isn't it contradictory to have a desire to end desire?"

Or, as Unnabha asked of Ananda, "If that's so, Master Ananda, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire."

This is an elementary question and one dealt with easily in the remainder of the sutta (SN 51.15):

"In that case, brahman, let me question you on this matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: Didn't you first have desire, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular desire allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Didn't you first have persistence, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular persistence allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Didn't you first have the intent, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular intent allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Didn't you first have [an act of] discrimination, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular act of discrimination allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?"

"You're right, Master Ananda. This is a path with an end, and not an endless one. Magnificent, Master Ananda! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Ananda — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Ananda remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge, from this day forward, for life."

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

On Construing.
sumanathenovice
A few verses for today. I'm working on a longer post for a fellow blogger friend.

How does one construe?Collapse )

May all beings be happy and free from suffering.

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