Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

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Stiphan
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Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Stiphan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:35 pm

*I posted this earlier today on Facebook. Thought it would make sense to post it here as well.*


OK, this one is graphic, I must admit, and it may be a bit controversial or it may be liked, I don't know. My hope is to make people think twice before they think. Not that I am a teacher or anything, so I probably shouldn't even share this; as a matter of fact, it was intended solely for my own use, but seeing how it actually works, it may be of benefit to others. I came up with this simile (quite humourous we must admit) while I was in the bathroom this morning! I find great benefit from it because it greatly encourages me to think only wholesome, positive thoughts and avoid and abandon all unwholesome and negative thoughts -- not even one of those latter ones is allowed!

And later, I recalled that Ajahn Brahm taught the same thing, only he used the simile of the two chicken farmers -- the one who collected only the chicken shit of the past [negative memories] and the one who collected only the eggs [the past positive memories], so I believe my simile is valid.
Also, disclaimer: people change; so anyone can become a jewel, no matter what they used to be in the past by transforming their negative mindset into a positive one!

(Another disclaimer, both pictures were downloaded from the Internet, in case anyone was curious...)

_______

Any negative thought (or word, deed or anything else that is bad) is like a used toilet paper full of shit, and your mind becomes like the rubbish bin that holds it. Imagine a bin full of used toilet papers! It is bound to drive you crazy and drive people away from you because your mind stinks!

A positive thought (or word, or deed, or anything else that is good) is like a beautiful and precious jewel or gem, and your mind is like the showcase used to keep the jewel. Imagine a whole jewel gallery! It is bound to make you blissed out and ecstatic and make people want to come, stay with you for as long as possible and never leave you out of sheer admiration and respect for your inner beauty!

So which one would you rather be? A rubbish bin full of stinky toilet paper full of poo to be thrown away in the dump -- or a huge jewel gallery in Milan frequented by the high life?

It's your choice, you know.

Always keep in mind the simile of the toilet bin before you think of complaining, or being negative about something that's happened, or doing something which you know you will regret.

And always try to think lofty, beautiful thoughts of loving-kindness and great compassion, uttering words full of sense and meaning, and performing acts that benefit and help yourself and others.

And also -- if you are not doing one, you are doing the other -- so beware of being lazy as you're just putting more stinky stuff in the bin of your mind!



"To think jewels, or to think stools, that is the question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to think of bags of crap,
'Who said what and who did what and how awful did all that make me feel',
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them:
And to think of diamonds, rubies and pearls:
Thoughts of letting go, love and kindness for all living beings,
Compassion and harmlessness for all that lives,
Recollecting the Noble Buddha, the Blessed One, the Fully Self-enlightened One, the Dhamma and the Sangha,
And thus bring our minds purity and inner peace,
Benefiting all of human (and non-human) race,
Must give us pause."
jewel-or-shit.jpg
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You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Nicolas
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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Nicolas » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:35 pm

This makes me think of the following:
Dvedhāvitakka Sutta (MN 19) wrote: “Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, it occurred to me: ‘Suppose that I divide my thoughts into two classes. Then I set on one side thoughts of sensual desire, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of cruelty, and I set on the other side thoughts of renunciation, thoughts of non-ill will, and thoughts of non-cruelty.

“As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of sensual desire arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of sensual desire has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’ When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.

[Similarly with ill will and cruelty.]

“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of sensual desire. [Similarly with ill will and cruelty.]

“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the crops thicken, a cowherd would guard his cows by constantly tapping and poking them on this side and that with a stick to check and curb them. Why is that? Because he sees that he could be flogged, imprisoned, fined, or blamed if he let them stray into the crops. So too I saw in unwholesome states danger, degradation, and defilement, and in wholesome states the blessing of renunciation, the aspect of cleansing.

“As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of renunciation arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of renunciation has arisen in me. This does not lead to my own affliction, or to others’ affliction, or to the affliction of both; it aids wisdom, does not cause difficulties, and leads to Nibbāna. If I think and ponder upon this thought even for a night, even for a day, even for a night and day, I see nothing to fear from it. But with excessive thinking and pondering I might tire my body, and when the body is tired, the mind becomes strained, and when the mind is strained, it is far from concentration.’ So I steadied my mind internally, quieted it, brought it to singleness, and concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind should not be strained.

[Similarly with non-ill will and non-cruelty.]

“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of renunciation. [Similarly with non-ill and will and non-cruelty.]

“Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been brought inside the villages, a cowherd would guard his cows while staying at the root of a tree or out in the open, since he needs only to be mindful that the cows are there; so too, there was need for me only to be mindful that those states were there.

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Nicolas » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:57 pm

But also this:
Dhammapada, Pāpa Vagga wrote: 121. Think not lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.

122. Think not lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
and this (my bolding):
Sikkhattaya Sutta 1 (AN 3.89) wrote: “And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue.

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Stiphan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:47 pm

Nicolas wrote:This makes me think of the following:
Dvedhāvitakka Sutta (MN 19) wrote: “Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, it occurred to me: ‘Suppose that I divide my thoughts into two classes. Then I set on one side thoughts of sensual desire, thoughts of ill will, and thoughts of cruelty, and I set on the other side thoughts of renunciation, thoughts of non-ill will, and thoughts of non-cruelty.

“As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of sensual desire arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of sensual desire has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’ When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.

[Similarly with ill will and cruelty.]

“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of sensual desire. [Similarly with ill will and cruelty.]

“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the crops thicken, a cowherd would guard his cows by constantly tapping and poking them on this side and that with a stick to check and curb them. Why is that? Because he sees that he could be flogged, imprisoned, fined, or blamed if he let them stray into the crops. So too I saw in unwholesome states danger, degradation, and defilement, and in wholesome states the blessing of renunciation, the aspect of cleansing.

“As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of renunciation arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of renunciation has arisen in me. This does not lead to my own affliction, or to others’ affliction, or to the affliction of both; it aids wisdom, does not cause difficulties, and leads to Nibbāna. If I think and ponder upon this thought even for a night, even for a day, even for a night and day, I see nothing to fear from it. But with excessive thinking and pondering I might tire my body, and when the body is tired, the mind becomes strained, and when the mind is strained, it is far from concentration.’ So I steadied my mind internally, quieted it, brought it to singleness, and concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind should not be strained.

[Similarly with non-ill will and non-cruelty.]

“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of renunciation. [Similarly with non-ill and will and non-cruelty.]

“Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been brought inside the villages, a cowherd would guard his cows while staying at the root of a tree or out in the open, since he needs only to be mindful that the cows are there; so too, there was need for me only to be mindful that those states were there.

Precisely. Thanks for reminding me of this sutta. Yes, it is the exact same thing (only, the Buddha, of course, said it in such a profound way, whereas mine was a bit humourous but also to the point, and if you think carefully about it, the mind will feel immediate need to change from its negative ways of thinking and towards positive ones, because it would be repelled and humiliated just by realizing the danger as well as the rewards depending on the quality of the thoughts (but also actions by body and speech).

In my humble opinion, this is the base for the rest of the practice, its foundation. It's an incredibly powerful and profound realization, also because it leads to sīla (which then leads on to the other factors of the Path) and fosters the belief and trust in the law of kamma.

And of course, these insights are born out of contemplation of reality and one's personal experience. One needs to be honest with whatever is occurring in one's mind, life, and experience -- whatever it may be, however unpleasant or undesirable. When one looks at it all with utmost honesty, then one investigates the problem, or the fault, and then one looks for a solution. When one has the realization of the cause of the problem, and then finds the solution, one must then follow through with those insights and put forth the effort.

So, I believe that, to overcome any type of suffering, or any type of personal wrong conduct -- whether mental, verbal or physical -- one needs these two qualities -- honesty and effort -- as the base, after which one can proceed with other qualities such as a deeper wisdom, letting go of the craving and aversion which cause lack of peace of mind and make said problem worse, then arouse love, kindness, compassion, and care -- first towards oneself and then towards others, and then proceed with purifying one's virtue, and on to the more advanced steps of mental purification.

If one lacks this honesty, one is incapable of dealing with the problem, because one is denying it, and so one will continue to linger in it. Honesty by itself is not enough, because one must also do something to change the situation, and this requires effort. At first, it is not very easy to enter into the wholesomeness of phenomena, it does take some courage and determination, desire, an act of will, self-confidence, and concern for one's self and for others, realizing that one affects the wider Universe and all beings within it -- either directly or indirectly. The first step is always the hardest; it is like there is a barrier, a fence, or even a wall between where you are -- the undesirable situation -- and where you want to be. But in actual fact, it is not that difficult to make the first step. It takes some effort to just overcome the mind's natural resistance to change, since the mind is used to wallowing in its defilements and indolence. But once one actually musters the effort and makes that crucial first step, one has jumped over the hurdle, the fence, and is now free. It is an amazing feeling that fosters one's self-worth and self-esteem, knowing one has just accomplished an incredibly difficult thing -- going from wrongness to rightness. Despite this, one must know that this is only the first step, and that one must not become complacent but continue striving.

Therefore, I believe that the realization and distinguishing between the two types of thought (and other actions, states of mind, and feelings), is the first step out of dukkha and toward a brighter Path leading one on an ever-evolving upward spiral that could take one all the way to the final goal.

This is why, the Buddha put Right View first, and the first type of right view is the mundane right view of knowledge with regard to the law of kamma, which is about good and evil, right and wrong, wholesome and unwholesome, skillful and unskillful -- and their consequences (happiness and suffering, success and failure, fortune and misfortune), thereby allowing one to have the idea in one's mind formulated clearly that one must change their unwholesome, unskillful ways into wholesome, skillful ways, if one is to attain happiness, peace, and success for oneself, and thereby affect other people in more positive ways, and further alone the Path to actually be able to help them from her or his own experience.

The Dhamma works. This is the Path. It is an amazing thing to know, giving one a sense of security -- what Refuge is all about. "Yes, this is all true. It works, and I can see it in my own experience. Being honest about my condition -- absolutely honest -- can only be of benefit because then I was able to change and turn everything around, by having the courage to change and by making the effort. And having made the first steps, I must now continue and never stop. The profundity of the Dhamma is in putting into practice and once one does that, one is assured of oneself -- 'Yes, the Dhamma is true, it works, therefore the Buddha was fully enlightened indeed, and I can place even stronger trust in Him, and His Noble Disciples who will be able to help me advance and progress further along the Path, not just for my own benefit, but for the benefit of all beings since I affect them all -- directly or indirectly -- and once I progress to an advanced enough a stage, I would then be able to help them myself just as the Noble Ones helped me."

Thus one's confidence and faith in the Triple Gem grows, allowing one to develop the Path the right way, and thus make great progress along the Path.

To me, it is a miracle. I truly wish that more people knew about Buddhism and the Dhamma, and that those who are actually studying and contemplating it, put it into practice, because it would be of enormours benefits, and allow one to experience things one never knew were possible or existed; not only that, the effect that has on the people around her or him would be tremendous, and thus the benefits for the world as a whole would be beyond any good one could have imagined.

And it all started with being utterly honest with oneself, distinguishing right from wrong and knowing their consequences and then making the effort to change, beginning with the first step -- a single first step, which is not easy, but also -- surprisingly -- not so difficult.

Where would we be without Buddhism?

My deep gratitude goes to the Buddha, to the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha! :anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Stiphan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Honesty and effort. These two qualities remind me of the meaning behind the Buddha's own name for the religion he founded: Dhamma-vinaya.

Think about it.

Dhamma Vinaya = Doctrine and Discipline = [Four] Truth[s] and [Eightfold] Path = Understanding and Practice = Honesty and Effort

Dhamma is the doctrine of the Buddha, but it also means Truth. Honesty is acceptance and recognition of that truth. Sometimes truth really hurts. It is unpleasant. But it can be liberating if one is courageous enough to admit it. "Rather be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie." When you're asleep (mind defiled, wallowing in dukkha) and you're slapped with the truth (honesty and knowledge of the consequences of continuing in that comatose state, what happens? You wake up! Bodhi, awakening. But to wake up, you must also make the effort.

As I contemplate the Dhamma from so many angles, it becomes clearer and clearer to me, even though for me it all started on 10 November.

Friends, we are incredibly fortunate to have come across the Dhamma. Let us not waste our precious time and human existence but work hard towards our liberation and the liberation of our fellow beings lost in the cycle of birth and death!
You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Jojola » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:05 pm

Nicolas wrote:This makes me think of the following:
Dvedhāvitakka Sutta (MN 19) wrote: ...

..."But with excessive thinking and pondering I might tire my body, and when the body is tired, the mind becomes strained, and when the mind is strained, it is far from concentration.’ So I steadied my mind internally, quieted it, brought it to singleness, and concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind should not be strained"....


...“Just as in the last month of the hot season, when all the crops have been brought inside the villages, a cowherd would guard his cows while staying at the root of a tree or out in the open, since he needs only to be mindful that the cows are there; so too, there was need for me only to be mindful that those states were there.
Interesting....
The unwholesome thoughts come up and you endeavor to abandon them before they secure so that you may cultivate wholesome thoughts, then when wholesomeness is secured in its stead you merely acknowledge it and then endeavor to merely abide.
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Stiphan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:33 pm

Consider this simile.

A man is in his car, deeply asleep, his car on autopilot, going in the wrong direction, the wrong side of the road. The man is fast asleep and doesn't realize that there is danger ahead -- 1km ahead there is a cliff, a drop-off, a precipice. If he doesn't wake up -- and fast -- he is going to plunge over that cliff and, in actual fact, end up in hell.

Only he can do something about the situation, since only he can regain control over the car. There are three types of people outside, by the side of the road: the benevolent, the malicious, and those don't care. The malicious are abusing him, taunting him, ridiculing him, and laughing at him "You jerk, you're an idiot, a worthless man." And what is more they contribute to his going on and on towards the cliff. The people who don't care -- which happen to be the vast majority of people -- they just ignore, it's none of their business, they mind their own business instead. The benevolent beings -- the wise and good people -- have concern for that man, they can see he is on the wrong side of the road and they know that unless he wakes up he is going to fall over the precipice and go to hell.

There are three types of benevolent beings: those who have concern about that man, but do not know how to help him or what to do, nor do they have the confidence or the faith that he will wake up, but nevertheless they care about him and have compassion for him and want to see him avoid the danger ahead. The second type of benevolent beings is those who are actually doing something to wake him up, they are trying and making efforts, but they are simply not wise or capable enough to help him. They also do not believe that the man is capable waking up. "He might be blind anyway" they think, "So even if he wakes up, what would be the point." Since they do not believe that is capable of waking up, they are not able to help him, although they are making an effort.

The third type of benevolent beings are the Buddha and the Arahants. They know what to do to help him. They know that the man is not blind (i.e. he is not crazy, stupid, or worthless -- he is capable and has innate insight and wisdom, it is just that at the moment he is deeply asleep). What they do then is this:

"My good man, please listen. You are a wise man, you are a capable man, you have done a lot of good kamma, you have what it takes. But you are currently asleep (your mind is lost in a lot of defilements, and you are lazy, indolent, complacent, lacking in energy)! Also, you are going the wrong way!! You are making bad kamma, you are not doing what is right and you are doing what is wrong! THERE IS DANGER AHEAD!!! 800m head of you there is a cliff! And unless you wake up -- AND FAST -- you are going to fall over that cliff and suffer in hell for eons! You have what it takes to avoid this peril! You are a wise, capable person! Here, WAKE UP, open your eyes by arousing insight into the basic facts of existence - knowing where you are (saṃsāra) and what you are doing (avijjā (asleep), saṅnkhāra (good and bad actions), taṇhā (wanting things that won't satisfy you), and upādāna (clinging to things that are impermanent)) and what the consequence would be if you continue doing it (futher birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, despair, and the possibility of animal womb, hungry ghost realm and even hell). Now that you have opened your eyes -- don't worry there's still 500m -- turn off auto-pilot, gently put on the brakes, and move to the right side of the road (the man happens to live in the UK), preparing for a U-turn. Give a signal to the other road users that you are planning for a U-turn, then wait for oncoming traffic to pass. Once it's clear gently turn the steering wheel clockwise and press the gas pedal. Perform the U-turn with mindfulness. Now you are in the correct side of the road. The cliff has been avoided, and now all you must do is continue to drive (vīriya), eyes open (sammā diṭṭhī), mindful (sammā sati), careful (appamāda), having good control of the steering wheel (sammā saṅkappa), calm and concentrated on the road (sammā samādhi) and with your foot always on the gas pedal (sammā-vayāma), avoiding getting into dangerous situations that could lead to road accidents (sīla). Do not stop until you have reached your destination (Nibbāna)."


So, I myself wrote all this. I had this very insight and simile last week. I managed to follow through with it, and I have made that U-turn. I am safe from the cliff, and that has given me incredible happiness. I am on the Right Noble Eightfold Path, but I know full well that I must continue walking on it and never stop.

And it's not jsut for me, but for all the beings who are involved, and for all beings in saṃsāra as a whole. Ultimately, I know that in the beginning I may not be able to help them too much other than to be kind, caring, gentle, respectful and friendly, but as I continue down this Path and gain personal experience -- and this will take a lot of practice and, I am quite certain a long time, with a lot of ups and downs that I am prepared for -- I will be able to actually help other people the same way so many people have been helping me over the course of this lifetime -- something I truly appreciate and am grateful for -- and I want to do the same for the countless people that are deeply asleep, unaware they are heading for a danger and peril of unimaginable proportions -- immense suffering and pain -- and yet they are driving in the wrong direction, doing bad kamma, living heedlessly, occupying themselves with petty concerns and never-satisfying sensual pleasures, working hard to earn a living, struggling with relationships, financial, work-related, family, health, and all sorts of problems; and yet believing (because they are asleep) that this world is actually a nice place, I mean, "It's okay. Life is beautiful!", and yet they are heading for the greatest danger in their life and their saṃsāric existence -- ever greater suffering that could actually lead to hell. And I know, that EVERYONE, has the ability to wake up (by being honest with themselves and their condition), and make the appropriate effort to make a U-turn and avoid the cliff.

One just needs to wake up first. To wake them up, you have to make them aware that they are capable of waking up -- they are not blind (stupid, crazy, etc.), they can do it. When you praise them like this -- in a genuine way, because you know they have the innate understanding and insight, THEN you alert them to the danger in VERY STRONG TERMS. This is important. You need to let them know that they are making bad kamma and they are going in the wrong direction that would -- very soon -- lead to their death. When they are criticized this way, and knowing that you believe in them, they will listen to you, and they will wake up and turn the right way. You would have saved their lives, and they would be on the Path to Nibbāna walking upon which they could then be able to help others...


I met Ven. Ajahn Brahm in London a month ago. He saved me from going off that cliff and put me on the Path to Nibbāna. It was thanks to my effort, though, and through the fact that I woke up in the first place, having realized I actually have it in myself.

And I have to thank Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi for staying with me throughout the past 2.5 years and never ceasing to have faith in me. Through email,m however, it is more difficult. I had to meet a great monk in person, and even though I only spoke with him briefly, that was enough.

I also thank all the other people who have been so kind and compassionate, including the wise people on this very forum.

Thank you so much.

WIth mettā,
Stefan / Stephen / Sumana
Last edited by Stiphan on Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.
You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Nicolas
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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Nicolas » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:39 pm

Sumano wrote:[...]
Excellent thoughts; sadhu! :anjali:
I find that sutta particularly powerful in its categorical aspect. When non-Buddhists would not endeavor to purify their mind, here we have a simple roadmap for purity of virtue (through right view, right intention, right effort, and well-established mindfulness) and then the resulting samadhi!

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by Stiphan » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:54 pm

Nicolas wrote:But also this:
Dhammapada, Pāpa Vagga wrote: 121. Think not lightly of evil, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool, gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.

122. Think not lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me." Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
and this (my bolding):
Sikkhattaya Sutta 1 (AN 3.89) wrote: “And what is the training in heightened virtue? There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault. This is called the training in heightened virtue.
Nicolas,

Quite interestingly, Dhammapada 121 and 122 are not just my favourite Dhammapada verses, they are, indeed, my favourite words of the Buddha, and hence my all-time favourite quote by anyone!

Also of note is that I recently made three things my main focuses of practice, one of which is 'immaculateness', which you refer to with your second quote (the other two being strong self-discipline, and firm effort).
You can call me "Stiphan" (correct spelling: Sṭīphan) or Stephen. May you be well and happy. :heart:

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Re: Jewels or Crap? That is the question.

Post by spacenick » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:53 am

Seeing that jewels cannot last forever and will inevitably cause suffering, you then realize that having anything in your mind actually comes down to only having shit in your mind. Maintaining an empty shelf is a source of tension, distress; so in the end you want to get rid of the container altogether.

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