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How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:56 am
by No_Mind
ATI defines sila as - "The practice of sila is defined by the middle three factors of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood."

How do you train for sila? What exactly does it encompass? I have found most confusing sila with being restrained, quiet, not putting out their opinions in public (or in some cases not having an opinion at all). If sila was being quiet and restrained we would all have mastered it by now. So it is obviously more than being quiet and restrained.

Can you give some idea about how you train for sila?

Kindly do not copy paste large chunks of ATI website e.g. unless it has specific information about how to train for sila because no single passage defines what is sila and what is breaking sila.

:namaste:

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:12 am
by dylanj
"And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action.
"And how is one made pure in four ways by verbal action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech. When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty, if he is asked as a witness, 'Come & tell, good man, what you know': If he doesn't know, he says, 'I don't know.' If he does know, he says, 'I know.' If he hasn't seen, he says, 'I haven't seen.' If he has seen, he says, 'I have seen.' Thus he doesn't consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large. Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This is how one is made pure in four ways by verbal action.
"And how is one made pure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is not covetous. He does not covet the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears no ill will and is not corrupt in the resolves of his heart. [He thinks,] 'May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease!' He has right view and is not warped in the way he sees things: 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made pure in three ways by mental action.
Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.176, Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:36 am
by budo
Off the cushion - mindfulness in the moment, if I know if the event coming ahead will not be good or productive then I'll cut off all intention and not let it fabricate/form into an action. This does require a lot of mindfulness built from momentum on the cushion from samadhi. If I don't practice for a while then it will be hard to pull this off.

Usually before the sequence of events happen I ask myself "Is this what I really want?", and the answer is no and then the desire disappears. Like for example do I really want to waste time trying to win an internet argument? No, I don't. Do I really want to always be right? No. Do I really want to waste time and energy on this task? No, I don't. Is this going to lead to me feeling good? Nope.

You get the idea.

On the cushion - Brahma viharas

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:19 am
by seeker242
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:56 am
Can you give some idea about how you train for sila?
By keeping the precepts. :smile:

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:52 pm
by No_Mind
budo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:36 am
Off the cushion - mindfulness in the moment, if I know if the event coming ahead will not be good or productive then I'll cut off all intention and not let it fabricate/form into an action. This does require a lot of mindfulness built from momentum on the cushion from samadhi. If I don't practice for a while then it will be hard to pull this off.
So early morning on the cushion? I usually do my meditation later on due to my peculiar shift (somewhat graveyard shift)
seeker242 wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:19 am
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:56 am
Can you give some idea about how you train for sila?
By keeping the precepts. :smile:
Actually the precepts are quite easy to keep (for most serious Buddhists). That does not mean one has sila.

I remember a member here calling another "you violent fatty" but I have no doubt he/she keeps all the precepts (he/she is a real serious practitioner)

Precepts are the baseline below which one must not fall.

:namaste:

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:38 pm
by befriend

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:18 pm
by budo
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:52 pm
budo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:36 am
Off the cushion - mindfulness in the moment, if I know if the event coming ahead will not be good or productive then I'll cut off all intention and not let it fabricate/form into an action. This does require a lot of mindfulness built from momentum on the cushion from samadhi. If I don't practice for a while then it will be hard to pull this off.
So early morning on the cushion? I usually do my meditation later on due to my peculiar shift (somewhat graveyard shift)

Yep, start with 1-3 hours right after I wake up. I find that's the best time to start because my mind is fresh and hasn't developed any formations/fermentations yet. I look at every day like I'm born a new. Some days you read the news or get attached to things and you can see how these things taint your mind and causes suffering. I don't know if you have the same experience, but when I'm in bed in the morning I just think about how my mind is a blank slate and that I have to be very careful not to tilt that blank state once I get out of bed, because then you have bills, responsibilities, work, etc..

So I try to keep that blank slate / fresh state as much as possible through out the day.

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:06 pm
by No_Mind
budo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:18 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:52 pm
budo wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:36 am
Off the cushion - mindfulness in the moment, if I know if the event coming ahead will not be good or productive then I'll cut off all intention and not let it fabricate/form into an action. This does require a lot of mindfulness built from momentum on the cushion from samadhi. If I don't practice for a while then it will be hard to pull this off.
So early morning on the cushion? I usually do my meditation later on due to my peculiar shift (somewhat graveyard shift)

Yep, start with 1-3 hours right after I wake up. I find that's the best time to start because my mind is fresh and hasn't developed any formations/fermentations yet. I look at every day like I'm born a new. Some days you read the news or get attached to things and you can see how these things taint your mind and causes suffering. I don't know if you have the same experience, but when I'm in bed in the morning I just think about how my mind is a blank slate and that I have to be very careful not to tilt that blank state once I get out of bed, because then you have bills, responsibilities, work, etc..

So I try to keep that blank slate / fresh state as much as possible through out the day.
Let me try meditating after I wake up. I have been very one pointed in my practice for last month but what I find is stray judgemental/disturbing thoughts enter my mind through the day, especially towards the end of the day when I am tired.

I take sila to mean self-control/self-discipline rather than morality alone.

:namaste:

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:27 pm
by James Tan
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:06 pm



I take sila to mean self-control/self-discipline rather than morality alone.

:namaste:
Sila is calming and cooling down . Doing unwholesome deed make you stressful , agitated and heated up (angry) , the sila preventing the arising of unwholesomeness .
Sila also is the beginning of the journey towards Nibbana which is total extinguishment(of greed hatred and ignorant) ie Peace .

:namaste:

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:38 pm
by santa100
No_Mind wrote:I remember a member here calling another "you violent fatty" but I have no doubt he/she keeps all the precepts (he/she is a real serious practitioner)
Notice the precepts apply to all three gateways: mind, body, and speech. One who calls another "violent fatty" apparently still needs to work more on his speech gateway.

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:02 pm
by Mkoll
The foundation for sila for laypeople is the 5 precepts. Upholding the precepts and being mindful of them is training for sila. If they are easy for someone personally, that is great. But being easy doesn't diminish their worth, importance, and the respect we should afford to them. This is especially the case when encouraging others to refrain from breaking them. We wouldn't not tell non-Buddhists to "uphold the 5 precepts," but we can encourage refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and using intoxicants when the subject arises.
AN 8.39 wrote:"There are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans. Which five?

"There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans...

"Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift...

"Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is unfaulted by knowledgeable contemplatives & brahmans."
If you want to practice sila beyond that, you can fully practice the sila limbs of the Noble Eightfold Path: right speech, right action, and right livelihood. Right speech is definitely not easy. Beyond that, you can ordain and practice the monk's sila of the training rules.

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:12 pm
by JohnK
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:56 am
Can you give some idea about how you train for sila?
I consider practicing metta to be a training for sila. A heart of goodwill is less likely to have intentions that result in actions that harm -- this seems to be why protecting (establishing) one's goodwill is so important.

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:36 pm
by seeker242
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:52 pm

Actually the precepts are quite easy to keep (for most serious Buddhists). That does not mean one has sila
It may not mean one has perfected sila, but it is a training for it. The skill that is needed to easily keep the precepts is the same skill that can be applied to things beyond them.

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:51 pm
by Sam Vara
seeker242 wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:36 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:52 pm

Actually the precepts are quite easy to keep (for most serious Buddhists). That does not mean one has sila
It may not mean one has perfected sila, but it is a training for it. The skill that is needed to easily keep the precepts is the same skill that can be applied to things beyond them.
Good point. It might just be a question of semantics and what the pali terms mean, but my teacher was quite insistent that keeping the precepts was just the beginning, and that people should not think they had somehow "completed" that part of the path just because they could exercise some physical and verbal restraint. He said that most people had very little understanding of the full scope of sila, and this tended to be a common source of delusion.

Re: How do you train for Sila?

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:37 pm
by paul
Misunderstanding about sila results from a residual concept of obligation in Christian morality. In Buddhism, sila is a purely functional element.

A practitioner trains for sila by first understanding that morality in Buddhism is anything that takes the mind towards nibbana. In MN 19, The Buddha discovered a twofold division of thought and those which took him towards nibbana were of renunciation, loving-kindness and harmlessness. These are forms of releasing attachment to samsara.

The second step in training is to actually experience how those thoughts result in advancement in the practice, which is achieved by studying their cause and effect consequences on the mind over the longer time frame, and developing this durational recognition is pivotal.

In that way sila becomes the driving force for mindfulness.