Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

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SarathW
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Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by SarathW »

Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila (observing fie precepts) and Dana (giving)?

It is strange to think that recollection of giving is more profitable than the actual giving.
In this way, you can give just one gift in your lifetime and can think about it all your life!
This argument is presented by Ven. Vijithananda in one of his Dhamma discussions.
what is your understanding on this?
Last edited by SarathW on Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by DooDoot »

SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:27 amIt is strange to think that recollection of giving is more profitable than the actual giving.
Its like saying thinking about when you physically exercised once is better than regularly exercising. :)
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SarathW
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by SarathW »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:18 am
SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:27 amIt is strange to think that recollection of giving is more profitable than the actual giving.
Its like saying thinking about when you physically exercised once is better than regularly exercising. :)
Agree. :twothumbsup:
But then how Anussati Bhavana works?
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by robertk »

genuine bhavana is much higher level than mere giving.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by SarathW »

robertk wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:43 am genuine bhavana is much higher level than mere giving.
Agree.
The question is how the recollection of giving is greater than actual giving.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by SteRo »

SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:58 am The question is how the recollection of giving is greater than actual giving.
If recollection of giving leads to giving it is greater than initial giving that was not based on recollection. If recollection does not lead to correspoding action then it might be comparable to mental practice of love, compassion or rejoicing. Mental practice of love, compassion or rejoicing might be greater than actual giving, too.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by char101 »

If after donating and practicing caganussati, one does not have the inclination to donate more in the future I'll say that his caganussati practice has failed. Caganussati is practiced to develop one's generousity (caga) not to dwell on past givings and expanding one's head and ego to the moon.
In this way, you can give just one gift in your lifetime and can think about it all your life!
This is either narcissistic or delusional thinking.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by SarathW »

Is it better to give $10.00 hundred times instead of giving $1000.00 at once?

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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by char101 »

SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:45 am Is it better to give $10.00 hundred times instead of giving $1000.00 at once?

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Truly generous person will decide it based on the benefit gained by the receiver not by the merit gained by the giver. Thinking which one will benefit me more is dana imbued with lobha, which actually will decrease the merit gained.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by WindDancer »

I have two perspectives on this topic:

1. I have heard many Dhamma talks where the teacher said that when giving one should feel joy in the thought of giving, feel joy in the giving and feel joy in having given. Similarly, teachers say that one of the benefits of Sila is the joy it brings when one reflects on that instead of doing harm, one has chosen to do the opposite. Instead of acting in greed and stealing, one chooses to be generous. Instead of doing harm to others out of anger, one chooses to act with loving kindness. Instead of doing sexual harm to others, one gives the gift of safety, being a safe person others can trust. These teachers encourage the practitioner to mindfully experience the joy in these choices when they happen, and they recommend that we cultivate this joy in meditative reflection. Lastly, these teachers say that it is good to share these joyful experiences with others in a non-ego inflating way. The joy we experienced in the moment of each action is not only experienced again by us, others get to feel joy as we share our experiences with them. This is one way that the joy of reflecting on each action can bring ongoing greater joy than the joy we felt when we had the experience. Another benefit is that we naturally move in the direction of joy, happiness or pleasure and away from pain and suffering. The process as recommended by these teachers encourages us and others to continue practicing Sila and Dana so we get to feel more and more joy and happiness and less pain, suffering, grief and remorse.

2. My experience mirrors the suggestions made by the Dhamma teachers, as mentioned above. As I practice mindfulness in daily living, I experience the pull of doing things that are based on greed or aversion. I feel joy when I follow the precepts, choose to act out of generosity and choose to engage in acts of loving-kindness or compassion.

For example, when I lived in Wyoming, I would feel awful some days due to illness and depression. Instead of staying at home and wallowing in self-pity, I frequently would take my dogs up into the mountains and take them on a walk. I focused on mindfully being present, taking in all the sense experiences in each moment, and I cultivated gratitude by offering spontaneous prayers of thanks. I focused on getting out of myself and cultivated loving-kindness toward my dogs as they enjoyed the gift I was generously giving them. The dogs were totally in the present moment. They were not filled with remorse of the past or worry of the future. They were full of life, tails wagging with big smiles on their faces as they eagerly raced forward with noses to the ground following wild game scent trails, or they were plunging into the mountain stream, splashing and running around chasing each other in a playful spirit. I could have stayed home and remained swamped in self. Many times I chose to act out of generosity, loving-kindness and practiced being mindfully fully present. I experienced joy when I took those hikes, and the dogs experienced great joy. Their joy reflected the gift I had given them and lifted my spirits even higher. I experience joy when I reflect on making those positive choices, and I experience joy when I share these experiences with others.

In addition to cultivating joy, these types of experiences build my faith and confidence in the Buddha's teachings, and they renew my resolve and determination to keep practicing this Path of liberation. And according to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the positive energy we cultivate by the process mentioned above, creates the very energy and motivation we need to keep practicing These positive experiences enable us to let go of the lesser happiness we might find in satisfying sensual desires so that we can experience the greater happiness found in practicing the Buddha's Path.

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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by WindDancer »

SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:45 am Is it better to give $10.00 hundred times instead of giving $1000.00 at once?

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=34353&p=513079&hilit=
I have found that it is important for me to take each opportunity for generosity and reflect on it in meditation. I get settled and ask simple questions such as: Why do I feel led to give? How much do I feel led to give? Am I acting out of ego, wanting to look good or wanting that person to give me something in return? If I give this gift, will I do harm to myself or others? Do I have expectations of how the gift should be used? Do I have the resources to give this gift? Other questions will come up depending on the situation. The time I pause to do this reflection could be as brief as a few minutes, or it might take multiple days, depending on how complicated the situation.

Here are a few guidelines that I find helpful:

1. Do I feel joy in the thought of giving, feel joy while giving and feel joy having given? If so, I am making a good choice. If not, I may want to pause and do a little more meditative reflection or talk to a good spiritual friend to get their input. The needs of the person and the other factors of each situation will determine whether it is best to give the help all at once or in increments.

2. I am a compassionate person and have a giving heart; however, I have life altering chronic illnesses which create significant limitations of health, energy, time and money. If I consistently give beyond these limits, I am harmed. As I pay a higher and higher price by giving more than I can sustain, I start setting expectations. These expectations can turn into resentments, especially if what I have given is wasted or used unwisely. I have found it is important for me to give with an open and loving heart that is free of demands and expectations. To do this, I need to live in humility and give what I can freely give.

3. If there is a true emergency, I feel at peace to temporarily go beyond my limitations until the crisis has passed. If I do this, I know that I will need time to recuperate after the emergency is over.

4. I have been taught that Kamma and merit are related to our intention or volition. If I am giving for selfish self-centered reasons, the results will not be the same as if I give the same amount of my time, energy or money with pure intentions based on compassion.

5. I look for opportunities to be of love and service. For example, each year I look for the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. I give a gift of $30.00 to $40.00 to someone in real need. A few years ago, a teenage girl was kicked out of her house for revealing to her parents that she was gay. She was living in her car and had little to eat. I reached out to help her by providing some food and money. The next year, I helped a young woman and her brother. They were driving an old beat up pickup truck across the country, trying to get home for the Christmas holidays. They ran out of money. They had no food, and their truck was almost out of gasoline. I put enough gas in their tank for them to get home, and I gave them a $10.00 gift card so they could get something to eat at McDonalds. The following year, an older woman in early recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction was going to have the water shut off at her home if she did not pay the overdue bill. I gave her the $40.00 so she would not have her water turned off and so she wouldn't have to pay the $100.00 re-connect penalty. I have very little money, so for me these are big gifts given with an open, loving and compassionate heart. I don't fixate on this type of giving. I keep my heart open and mindfully listen for an opportunity to make a difference.

6. Sila and Dana don't just relate to money. I have three Great Pyrenees. I regularly look for opportunities to use them as a way to practice loving kindness and compassion as I take them out into the world with me. These 3 big white hairy dogs frequently get people's attention as we drive down the road or when I am out walking them with their leashes. I watch for the opportunity to wave and smile back at the person who is sitting in their car at a stoplight, smiling and pointing at the huge dogs sitting in the passenger seats of my car. This small act of generosity and loving kindness is a small way I can make a positive difference in someone else's life. I regularly stop when out on a walk in a park or other dog walking areas and let people come up and love on these 138 pound dogs. As an act of loving kindness and generosity, I seek the opportunity for my big boys to share their love with others. People tend to be filled with delight and joy as they give to and receive love from my dogs. Typically my pups help people feel safe to open up and share a little about themselves or their animal friends. In these interactions, I get the opportunity to be loving and kind to people who would otherwise have likely just passed me by.

These are just a few ways that I practice Sila and Dana in daily life. By living a life of love and service, I do what I can to make a positive difference in the lives of others, and I benefit greatly by this type of daily life practice of the Buddha's Path. The positive ripples created by living this way go outward and touch the lives of countless others, far beyond the benefits one experiences in the present moment.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

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:goodpost: WD
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by frank k »

Wonderful insights! Thanks for sharing.
WindDancer wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:44 am I have two perspectives on this topic:

1. I have heard many Dhamma talks where the teacher said that when giving one should feel joy in the thought of giving, feel joy in the giving and feel joy in having given. ...
...
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by robertk »

SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:58 am
robertk wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:43 am genuine bhavana is much higher level than mere giving.
Agree.
The question is how the recollection of giving is greater than actual giving.
Are you thinking of " recollection" of giving ( translation of cagasati) as heing a simple remembrance?
It is actually bhavana - the development of samatha- repeated wise attention to giving.
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Re: Why recollection of your Sila (Silanussati) and Dana (Caganussati) is better than observing Sila and Dana?

Post by WindDancer »

robertk wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:33 pm
SarathW wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:58 am
robertk wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:43 am genuine bhavana is much higher level than mere giving.
Agree.
The question is how the recollection of giving is greater than actual giving.
Are you thinking of " recollection" of giving ( translation of cagasati) as heing a simple remembrance?
It is actually bhavana - the development of samatha- repeated wise attention to giving.
robertk, Can you explain what you mean by what you shared?

Thanks,

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