The balancing act

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The balancing act

Post by Jechbi » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:08 am

VM 4.47 translated by Ven. Nanamoli wrote:However, what is particularly recommended is balancing faith with understanding, and concentration with energy. For one strong in faith and weak in understanding has confidence uncritically and groundlessly. One strong in understanding and weak in faith errs on the side of cunning and is as hard to cure as one sick of a disease caused by medicine. With the balancing of the two a man has confidence only when there are grounds for it.

Then idleness overpowers one strong in concentration and weak in energy, since concentration favours idleness. Agitation overpowers one strong in energy and weak in concentration, since energy favours agitation. But concentration coupled with energy cannot lapse into idleness, and energy coupled with concentration cannot lapse into agitation. So these two should be balanced; for absorption comes with the balancing of the two.
And from 4.49:
Strong mindfulness, however, is needed in all instances; for mindfulness protects the mind from lapsing into agitation through faith, energy and understanding, which favor agitation, and from lapsing into idleness through concentration, which favors idleness. So it is as desirable in all instances as a seasoning of salt in all sauces, as a prime minister in all the king's business.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The balancing act

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:30 am

Thanks for posting that Jechbi.

It's certainly interesting to read the Visuddhimagga from time to time to see that most of the advice that modern teachers give has been around for thousands of years... The instructions for the Brahmaviharas are another good example.


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