The Buddha's Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony: II. Personal Training

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The Buddha's Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony: II. Personal Training

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:18 am

The Buddha's Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony
Bhikkhu Bodhi

See: here for background.

The suttas in this chapter are divided into the traditional development categories of giving, virtuous behaviour, and mental cultivation (dāna, sīla, bhāvanā). Given the emphasis on harmony in this collection, the latter is divided into two: removing defilements and developing positive states.

II. Personal Training


1. Generosity

(1) Miserliness AN 5.254, AN 5.255

(2) Accomplishment in Generosity AN 4.61

(3) Reasons for Giving AN 8.33

(4) A Superior Person's Gifts AN 5.148

(5) The Gift of Food (1) Iti 26

(6) The Gift of Food (2) AN 4.57

(7) The Gift of Dhamma AN 2.141-44

    “Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of gifts. What two? The gift of material goods and the gift of the Dhamma. These are the two kinds of gifts. Of these two kinds of gifts, the gift of the Dhamma is foremost. ... two kinds of offerings ... these two kinds of generosity ... these two kinds of relinquishment. What
    two? The relinquishment of material goods and relinquishment
    [by giving] the Dhamma. These are the two kinds of relinquish-
    ment. Of these two kinds of relinquishment, relinquishment [by
    giving] the Dhamma is foremost.”

2. Virtuous Behavior

(1) Moral Introspection MN 61 MN 61 (ATI)

    "What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?"

    "For reflection, sir."

    "In the same way, Rahula, bodily actions, verbal actions, & mental actions are to be done with repeated reflection.

    "Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then any bodily action of that sort is fit for you to do.

    "While you are doing a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

    "Having done a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful bodily action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.
(2) Accomplishment in Virtuous Behavior AN 4.61

(3) Protecting Countless Beings AN 8.39

(4) The Bad and the Good AN 10.178

    “Bhikkhus, I will teach you what is good and what is bad. Listen
    and attend closely. I will speak.”
    “Yes, Bhante,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One
    said this:
    “And what, bhikkhus, is bad? The destruction of life, tak-
    ing what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, divisive
    speech, harsh speech, idle chatter, longing, ill will, and wrong
    view. This is called bad.
    “And what, bhikkhus, is good? Abstention from the destruc-
    tion of life, abstention from taking what is not given, absten-
    tion from sexual misconduct, abstention from false speech,
    abstention from divisive speech, abstention from harsh speech,
    abstention from idle chatter, non-longing, good will, and right
    view. This is called good.”
(5) Impurity and Purity AN 10.176


3. Removing the Defilements of the Mind

(1) Sixteen Defilements of the Mind MN 7

(2) Two Kinds of Thoughts MN 19

(3) Practicing Effacement MN 8


4. Loving-Kindness and Compassion

(1) The Four Divine Abodes MN 99

    “What, student, is the path to the company of Brahmā? Here a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill will. When the deliverance of mind by loving-kindness is developed in this way, no limiting action remains there, none persists there. Just as a vigorous trumpeter could make himself heard without difficulty in the four quarters, so too, when the deliverance of mind by loving-kindness is developed in this way, no limiting action remains there, none persists there. This is the path to the company of Brahmā.

    “Again, a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion…with a mind imbued with altruistic joy…with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with equanimity, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill will. When the deliverance of mind by equanimity is developed in this way, no limiting action remains there, none persists there. Just as a vigorous trumpeter could make himself heard without difficulty in the four quarters, so too, when the deliverance of mind by equanimity is developed in this way, no limiting action remains there, none persists there. This too is the path to the company of Brahmā.”
(2) Loving-Kindness Like the Moon Iti 27

(3) The benefits of Loving-Kindness AN 11.15

(4) Still More Benefits SN 20.4 SN 20.4 ATI

(5) Loving-Kindness and Right Mindfulness SN 47.19

(6) The Destruction of the Influxes MN 52

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