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Archive for the tag “life”

kamma, how we do it?

What is Karma! anything we do or say? NO way! 

At the Time when His holiness lord Buddha borne, in India Karma was taught by some famous teachers like “Niganta Nathaputta” that karma as anything that is done or said by a person. AS some believed it they  had  tried to keep away from doing any bad karma to an extreme extent. So this teacher is said to had his followers sweep the path before he walked anywhere. So that, he won’t be killing any animals that he’d not able to see by mistake. Also some teachings had prevented followers from drinking hot water.  Saying boiling water would kill very small beings that live in water even though  they could not be seen by human eye.

It’s true that such living beings, that are not able to be seen without special aids, do exist. What that amazes me is  how these ancient people had such knowledge when we never would have seen such things if not for the modern science. Its true, so much things  beyond any sciences (like about universe) have been told by His holiness lord Buddha. Still it keeps me wondering (in awe) about the knowledge at the time before his holiness’ enlightenment, that existed with people.

Again, when I read about nowadays vegan living style,  I wonder whether it is also based on the same theory that those other teacher’s perception. However it is, it is really off my current topic, and also it’s their liking.

So, do we have to face consequences for all we do and say in our lives? (I think I’d rather be dumb and disabled to do anything if it is so.)

Well, “Chethanahan Bikkawe, Kamman wadami‘ “is what Buddhists are taught, in answering that. So it’s a relief 🙂 . If a person do, say or think something with an intention it is what karma is, not just anything. So if a person has no intention to kill or harm another however  something like that happened, then  it will never become a killing according to Buddhism. So no consequences for that incident for that person involved.
 It’s not his Karma.

Also I’ve seen some sayings like  chethana or thoughts are not karma. But, considering Dhamma I know,  as a thought is needed to happen any Karma, and if taking it abstract, Karma is the thought but not the vise versa. when we have pleasant/pure mind good Karma happens and  if mind is opposite bad karma. So best thing is to know how to keep your mind pure and keep it. So happy consequences and easy comfortable living.

Meditation on Walking -2

I saw that there are lots of instructions on ‘walking meditation’ on the web, so here are some few I found today:-

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/silananda/bl137.html

http://shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=17903.

http://taoism.about.com/od/meditation/ht/walking.htm

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=894

http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/articles/instructions-for-walking-meditation/

http://www.mindfulnessmeditation.org/2012/03/04/how-to-do-a-walking-mindfulness-meditation-technique/

 

However, from all what I read so far, I see, some instructions, mostly in the west, walking meditation, of course as well as many other types, has been turned out to become reformed. Well, anyway, it’s their perception, and their levels of luck of course, so for us, let’s make some clear boundaries to what I would have written how to do it.

first of all, walking meditation is no near to walking  in the nature or what we call taking a stroll. it’s true, that it use walking, but it’s still meditating on this posture of our body. so as on any meditation we still need to concentrate comprehensively on  what we do. So if you do not need distractions or accidents, the best thing to do is find a peaceful place about twenty, thirty feet and walk back and forth on bare foot. I practice inside the house, so no one’s going to disturb me and nothing to worry about. Short steps and keeping legs a bit apart  parallel helps  when it comes to balance. If you feel hard to focus and your mind seems to wonder a lot, you could increase the pace, so that your mind would have more work to do.

from the four steps below:

(i) lifting the foot;

(ii) moving it forward;

(iii) putting it down; and

(iv) touching or pressing the foot on the ground.

      A new beginner should start only  with concentrating on  (i) and (iii) at the beginning. It’s advised to be practiced until very comfortable with it. say , one never mistakes any of it. It could take days or months depending on the person. But what’s important is the gaining the full concentration. Afterwards can  practice on (i), (ii), (iii) and after got comfortable with it can move to the whole four together.

When meditating we should always be with the foot that on action. That is, if you’re lifting the left foot it should be the one you focus on until you put it down on earth, then leave it and move the focus to the right as it would be the one that would be walking next, like that. I once read that keeping eyes closed could help more at the beginning and found that it to be very effective with my progress.

finally as many of our teachers say, how you practice and what you do is individual, as it’s your own work on your own mind, and it is you, who would achieve from it. The best thing of this meditation type is that you got an action to focus on, so when you put your mind on to it, it’s lot easy to save yourself from distractions  and to keep your mind clean and safe and ready for more meditation or to move on to more strong positive thinking. As mind is what makes us, gaining control of mind is gaining control of oneself.  So, as I’ve mentioned at the beginning, when our minds are occupied with anxiety or depression or whatever uncomfortable feelings that seemed to conquer it at any moment, practicing this or any type of meditation (that can be easily practiced in the surroundings) can become unbelievably handy everyday, to live with a peaceful, contended mind.

Buddhists are poor?

 His holiness lord Buddha had advised lay people to earn by a righteous living and spend those earnings intelligently. But people who had left lay life to achieve their enlightenment were given completely different instructions. Like that, to let go everything that are not needed in such a life style. And also his holiness Lord Buddha had admired that kind of  life style.

 But still we have to understand that his holiness had never admired a person, who had or have not a willingness to give up lay life to join monk-hood,  having poverty in his life. What his holiness admires is simplicity and that it never should be mistaken for poverty.

And if a layman really study and follows the philosophy of Buddhism, they should be really happy and contented in their lives in every way, including  financial success in it, too.

The best Buddhist meditation type? Samatha or Wipassana!

There are two major categories of Buddhist meditations.  Samatha (Samadhi) and Wipassana. Why are there two?  and,  what could be the best?

As I ‘ve already mentioned before,  meditations similar to types in Samatha had had already existed before the time of His holiness Lord Buddha. It is clear from the history, that there had been some meditators who had achieved it’s  highest level at that time. One such person was the teacher of king Suddhodana, Asitha Kaladewala ( father of prince Siddhartha:His  holiness lord Buddha’s laymen life’s). He was said to had the ability to travel to the heavens by his mere wish, additional to achieving the furthest state  of Samatha meditation. A lot of such meditators are heard of having many supernatural abilities by developing mind using meditation knowledge that existed at that time.

But then, Wipassana meditation type had been never known before his holiness lord Buddha himself discovered and taught it to this world. Which unveils the path to Nirvana / final enlightenment. And unlike those meditations, that were kept and shared only  among higher casts, His holiness lord Buddha let anyone to learn and practice his holiness’s teachings to enlightenment.

His holiness lord Buddha himself had tried all those  knowledge that existed at the time before starting to look for a new method  to achieve the liberation from sufferings. So his holiness had also tried various available types of Samatha meditation at the time. And after achieving enlightenment, his holiness had recommended to use Samatha meditation to develop mind,  needed for the path. But had given own instructions on how to practice them differently from those ways known where needed. So original teachings of Buddhist Samatha meditation types are known different from those were before that time.  However it seems that some of the elder teachers had/have introduce and teach their experiences and beliefs when teaching their students.

So when considering  about the second one,  deciding the best. The reality is, in general, when we are to meditate as beginners these both types could come in handy. Because one type could help to reduce different unwanted qualities in mind and other some other qualities.
So Samatha which is the very best to achieve qualities  like consciousness or calm,  and then  Wipassana for qualities like insight or prajna,  both,  could be specified for a particular person based on his personality.

The first to decide, the best for a person, is to know exactly what he or she wants to achieve by meditating. If he is interested in achieving the depth of wisdom of Buddhist teachings, then sticking to Samathya will never take him to his desired destination.So practicing it even after achieving the status of mind he need to move on the path, would only  delay his desired journey.   Wipassana or insight meditation, on the other hand, would help to achieve any stage of enlightenment, where Samatha will never give any of the stages, despite of how much or how long he may practice it. The status that are available to a samatha meditator are the status of Dhyana/jhana. That would  increase his mind to various status and reduce negative qualities of mind, but all in  temporarily, but still which would definitely determine his next birth place.

So if a meditator is interested in ending, permanently, his sufferings  and rebirth, he should definitely chose Wipassana and should consider Samatha only as some mean to improve his meditation and to distract any unwanted qualities in his mind.

About Meditaton more – what is and how to

earlier post on meditation  : On Meditation

Statue of Lord Buddha meditating - from an ancient temple in Sri Lanka

World’s Greatest Teacher of Meditation

Well, first of all, meditation is a method to deal with the mind. People nowadays seem to go to various kinds of therapists to deal with many issues in it.  This is good and really is a very helpful way. But as I’ve seen the  progress of it depends on the communication between both parties and the ability and experience of the therapist. If those were excellent you’ll get great outcome.  But it depends. Anyway it also is depended on you if you are the one who have the therapy. As I understand it, because of the way you allow yourself to understand how your mind works, how past has affected you and also the environment, i.e. society has affected your mind. Means how much you’ll allow to see with openness, honesty,  etc about yourself.

It’s the same when it comes to meditation. If you allow yourself to see with an open, honest mind without accepting or rejecting what you experience, and  if you got the right resources, you’ll get more success from meditation, than anything else in dealing with mind. But then, you have to have the proper guidance for the real success. But it is you who find answers. You’ll only have to have guidance from an experienced meditator to deal with the difficulties that occur in your path.

It doesn’t say you’ll always have to have such a person to start meditation. There are a lot of types, that can be started with simple instructions gained, like from a book or site, and be developed successfully on its early stages. But this is something that most of experienced teachers say when they advice in public in my country ” you better have some one to guide you” so I’m also repeating it here as I’m not a one to challenge them in it in my stage.

However, when looking into the history at his holiness lord Buddha’s time, there had been lot of  Bhikkus who had gone to faraway places after having learned how to do a suitable type of meditation from his holiness lord Buddha. So they had deal with it alone after having instructions first. But then they had world’s greatest teacher’s instructions. Also there were incidents  Bhikkus returning  with problems, like what led to the incident of Karaneeya Mettha Sutta. But that doesn’t say everyone had problems. If you got the intellect even with some knowledge you should succeed, that is as to what I’ve learned about Buddhism. Because It all circling around basics of Buddhist Philosophy. So it’s better you get some knowledge if you are interested in going into deep in meditation, because it would be just a hanging in the same stage thinking you doing great but without.  And in short what I’m trying to say is, try to learn the basics of this Philosophy if, you are serious. Listen to Damma or read good books and get to know it, then you’ll have some idea of how you should proceed when you practice alone.

Having said that, there are lot  of resources in the web for free to learn Buddhist teachings. And if you ask me about free, they should be for FREE ( not solid books, they cost, you know that!) , because if anyone is thinking otherwise, well theirs may have great content but I doubt they are truly the followers. Also you can check my posts on Resources tab under ” THE BUDDHIST ” tab on this blog. If you ask me ” http://www.dhammatalks.net  ” is a great one that I’ve used.

A method to escape from suffering

OK this is not smart but I’ve edited my last post. I couldn’t make myself read it again to see what I’ve written there, so I split it in to two and edited. If you’ve found that it’s dull to read the same post, sorry for bothering you. Anyway I felt this as better.

In ( the beginning of last week’s) my last post, I discussed that the way feelings occur, improve and disappear could be used to deal with sufferings. But it’s not the final solution or the reason for  sufferings that is taught in Buddhism. Because this method may not help to vanish them forever, but suppress , and they may rise to surface again, later. But we’ll have the ability to easily make our lives better, by freeing mind from unpleasant conditions.

But, how could we release our mind from an unpleasant condition?

Majority of Lord Buddha’s teachings are concerned with, ending sufferings in this life and in the round of rebirth, and also on developing mind and on achieving a comfortable and contented life. So there are many sections in Dhamma, on how to end or escape from sufferings. ” Vitakkasanthana Sutta ” in Majjhima Nikaya of Dhamma can be used for us even you are a Buddhist or not, or have knowledge of Dhamma or not. If you think intellectually, it could be used in daily life to find relief from sufferings that play in your mind

This sutta says, one can  use, one or more of the following five, to escape from an unwanted thought ( a feeling or an emotion in our case ) or avoid occurring more thoughts (developing the feeling ) on it.

In such a situation you only have to,

  1.  Give attention to something else that change the condition of your mind (use the opposite thought ),
  2. Think about the dangers and bad effects that could result from your thoughts ( consider the resulting damages ),
  3. Avoid from recalling that thought in to your mind and  avoid from thinking in the same way on it repeatedly (Avoid recalling that thought ),
  4. Find out how that thought have started in your mind (find the origin ),
  5. And If any of above does not work with it , you  have to just suppress that feeling  by dictating your mind to get rid of it (When doing this, do not react to what’s going on inside mind ), ( try this by pressing tongue on the palate, that’s said to be most effective).( Firm determination ).

These instructions, in the sutta, are on how to deal with a negative or evil feelings in the mind and how to purify mind by clearing demerit thoughts and replacing with merits, to move on the path to enlightenment. So a Buddhist, who practices Dhamma, could use the knowledge of Buddha’s teachings, when trying specially on  1, 2,and 4  of above.

When talking about them generally, I think the fourth one may deliver more benefits. If we take the situation you’ve been angry, how did you start to feel angry? Did it exist before? When we take the example from last post, anger has started, most probably from what you’ve seen or heard  about that person. and remembering that reason, is the fourth of above:- the  origin of the thought . It may lead us to see how we behave in such situations and re-think about our decisions and the steps. We may realize that before that reason occurred,  we had no aversion (dislike) towards her in your mind. Not just hearing it but agreeing with your next thought ( probably about her being bad to you)  had started that anger that developed in to a hatred. In such occasions developing metta or loving kindness would relieve your mind.( this the first one :- (use the opposite thought )

Aversion is one of three ( Aversion, desire and delusion ), that would start a living being suffer. When you give them the opportunity to stay longer in mind, it develops more and more and make you suffer. Every time you involve with the object that was the reason for your hatred or longing, more it develops making it unbearable to stay away from reacting to it. More you play with your thoughts on that idea more they grow. So best way is to not let that thought enter in to your mind, never think further with it. If you can avoid from things that recall it until you can handle it in your mind. Just avoid from giving it a place in your mind, when a thought is ignored it becomes lessen. (Third one:- Avoid recalling that thought ).

Until we free our mind from such a negative feeling it could make us restless, Lose peace within mind. If you react with such feeling in your working place it might deliver you bad reputation. Some co-workers might start to see and treat you  differently from  the way they have used to and you may feel its oddness. A promotion that was due to come might be reconsidered affecting your career, and so on. So it’s always smart to think of the results that may badly affect you after your reaction or of the disharmony occurred in your mind  by having that feeling, then it may start to lose its impact on you.  (Second one:- consider the resulting damages ).

Enjoyments and Sufferings

So everybody taste enjoyments in lives, we saw that earlier.

So why do we suffer in this life, generally we do suffer don’t we?

When talking about sufferings, someone could have a job but then feel it’s not the greatest one to have. So he suffers not having a better one. When he long for a better job, there are some who wish like ” Oh if I  had a some kind of job, then I’d be so grateful to have it “. So they suffer from not having any kind of job don’t they? . Both  suffer by same thing, a job, but differently,  Something to think…

Don’t we also wish like that  “oh if I had something better and then I would have been so much happy”.  But don’t we sometime get those things as we wished, and then do we feel so much happy or don’t we ? Well, If you asked me, yes I would feel so much happy, because I finally have what I wanted so much. So I’ll enjoy it’s comfort with a relaxed mind.

Isn’t happiness a great enjoyment in this life? 

It can relax our minds and cure our bodies. So good to have it for ever. But would it last for ever? If we take me, first week definitely ” I’ll be  so much happy ” and then next or two  ‘ much’ may be get lost  leaving only “I’ll be so happy”, with me. I think in about a month  gradually I’ll get accustomed to that feeling of happiness and It may affect lesser and lesser afterwards and then  occasionally it may come into mind and then remind me  slightly of the happiness I’ve experienced. As I remember, this is  same with everything, not only with happiness or comfort but also with other feelings. This is what happens in the life, with every feeling what ever it is, an enjoyment or a suffering. we feel something so heavily or considerably at one time and then there are times even it is hard to be remembered.

So what happens to those feelings with the time. (Do they diminish because, time feed on our feelings ? ). Doesn’t this show the effect of a feeling at one time is not the same at another time. If it is same, then it should affect us the same way at every-time. Can we keep how we feel towards something  unchanged forever ? To feel the same way about it in whole life time.  Have you ever tried to watch that the way we think, changes? I think one should try that, watching thoughts is a game with better competition than any other. You would learn how much dedication you would need to keep track of the straying mind.

If you watch, you’d notice that like some emotions  fade with time,  some others do  sharpen with time. Sometime it happens so, with the same emotion. Why is this so? Think of a situation that you have become angry with someone ( say a colleague). You might have not liked to talk with her and resented her for some days and then may be with some time flown, some of her nice ways had come into your memory and earlier emotions might have been lessen. But what if,  again in a short time, you’ve heard of her another action that affects your life badly. Then again those lessened anger and other emotions may arise won’t they? Each time you’ve come across a new fault with her those emotions will be increased.  The more she comes in to your memory, the  more your hatred for her grows. This is what happens with all emotions. The more they are refreshed in memory, then more they are brighten. If  other feelings that supports or connect to them occur the more they are developed, making them grow like a jungle. But if you don’t let your emotions grow in that way, distracting your mind from thoughts on them, eventually they will fade away.

We can use this to escape from sufferings in our lives.

Contd.

Is life all about sufferring?

Have you heard anyone say, life is all about sufferings. Well, I have. I’ve heard some Buddhists say and even read, on some sites and books,  such expressions that say, that is what Buddhism teaches. Is this true or not?

Well as to my knowledge, it should be another myth spread as Buddhism. However our great teacher  has taught, that the life has enjoyments. I was reminded of this ,as I recently read in a book. It included details  of a sutta called ” Nochedang ” which  is on this matter , but sadly I was unable to find it in Tipitaka (may be, due to misspelling  or a printing  error ) and the book  has not mentioned how to find it .( If anybody happens to  know  about this sutta, please be kind to tell me. Thanks. )

We have six doors of senses : eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and mind. They help us to  recognize this world we live. Say any of them never existed  and then there’s no possibility for our existence either. We do not only sense this world through them, but sometimes we long for those experiences  to feel again in future.

Why do we long for things?. Isn’t it because we have identified them as comforts?

Lord Buddha has shown, that the reason, for a living being to long for any experiences,  is that they have tasted enjoyment in them and If no enjoyment, no one would have long for anything.  His holiness had emphasized that there is enjoyments to living beings in this world.

We can analyze if this is true, if we haven’t realized it yet. Just  think of any of bellow situations or such you have gone through.

  •  The first interview being a success,
  • The day, you got the first job, haven’t it given happiness ,
  • The day you earned first income,
  • Time you bought the vehicle you dreamed always to own,
  • After you accomplished the dream of your life.

But all these seems as big events, so what about

  • Just spending some time with someone you are interested in or a dear friend or family member,
  • Playing with your kids,
  • Eating something delicious  for dinner,
  • playing  games
  • relax of being free of some difficulty
  • having a leave from work

or any such happenings in the daily life

So, anybody’s life must have felt at least a small bit of happiness even that life is so poor and miserable . So saying life is all about sufferings , can’t be proved to be true in this world.

So why is there such a saying?

as I see it may be, who says so, just like to ignore the truth, being biased. Whoever be biased to something ( who attach themselves to  ditthis ) are  always blocking themselves from seeing the truth of it, as it is.

Early life of Lord Buddha : Childhood – part two

I have started to tell about His holiness Buddha’s early life in my post: Lord Buddha :Early Life – Childhood  I’m going to add tell little more in this one.

When Prince Siddhartha was only seven days old, his mother “Mahamaya devi” had passed away. Afterwards he had been raised by his mother’s younger sister “Prajapathi Gautami”,  who also was already married to  his father. In ancient India kings could have many wives. Prince Siddhanta’s father King Suddodana had also married  the two daughters of a king of a nearby country. From a  conversation, with  his holiness Buddha   and aged Prajapathi theri, It can be understood that even the prince has lost the warmth of his own mother, he had received so much love and warmth from every one else, specially from his aunt Prajapathi.

Threshing

Threshing

Bullocks tied with yoke

Bullocks tied with yoke

There is a story about a sowing feast, when the prince was an infant. First harvesting had been  done as a festival attended by the king. Everyone in the palace had come to see this festival  So  prince  was also brought and kept  in a tent where festival can be seen. While he was asleep, nannies  had gone out to have a close look. Meanwhile the prince had  waken up  and no one else were nearby.

image : Buffaloes Threshing

Buffaloes used to Thresh in a field

Picture of a Yoke, today

Picture of a Yoke, today

The prince could have seen the buffaloes threshing, and men after them with sticks. Watching how the animals suffer with the weight of yoke and beatings with sticks  had made him remember what he had learned and practiced in his previous lives. So he had seated and started meditating based on  breath. When nannies came back to check on him they were shocked to see the young prince meditating and they had alarmed the king and the others.

It says that the king honored the little prince for the second time touching his feet, seeing that the prophecy could become true. Even it was a  pleasure to see by a father,  it had also increased his fear about his son becoming the savior of the sufferers, other than the great king he wished him to become one day.


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