Transcendent Virtue

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Transcendent Virtue

Post by JohnK » Thu May 10, 2018 9:10 pm

"Their hearts dwell in the nourishment of virtue."

"Good and evil are accomplished through the heart; activities are something separate."

The term "Transcendent Virtue" is new to me, so I thought I would share.
Here it is from Ajaan Lee's The Path to Peace and Freedom as quoted in Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Ten Perfections.
Beautiful and inspiring.
I have boldfaced some parts.
He describes levels of virtue, the last one being Uparima-sila: higher virtue.

The last of the qualities to be developed (bhavana-kicca) is ekaggata.
Ekaggatā: …The mind reaches singleness of preoccupation in a state of normalcy and equilibrium. This normalcy of mind...forms the essence of virtue: firmness, steadiness, stability. And the resulting flavor or nourishment of virtue is a solitary sense of calm for the mind. When freedom of this sort arises within us, this is called the development of sīlānussati, the mindfulness of virtue. This is virtue that attains excellence—leading to the paths, their fruitions, and nibbāna—and thus can be called uparima-sīla, higher virtue…
He goes on the discuss transcendent virtue more generally (and refers to the rites and practices fetter).
Transcendent virtue: virtue that’s constant and sure, going straight to the heart, bathing the heart with its nourishment. This arises from the practice of tranquility meditation and insight meditation…
When the heart abandons this Fetter, it no longer fondles theories concerning moral virtue; it’s no longer stuck merely on the level of manners and activities. Good and evil are accomplished through the heart; activities are something separate. Even though people who reach this level do good…they’re not caught up on any of these things, because their hearts have reached the nourishment of virtue. They aren’t stuck on the particulars (byañjana), i.e., their activities; nor are they stuck on the purpose (attha), i.e., the meaning or intent of their various good manners. Their hearts dwell in the nourishment of virtue: tranquility, stability, normalcy of mind… they’ve tasted virtue’s nourishment.This is thus classed as transcendent virtue, the first stage of nibbāna…Anyone whose practice reaches this level can be counted as fortunate, as having received dependable wealth… — Ajaan Lee (The Path to Peace & Freedom) ... 31122.pdf
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: Transcendent Virtue

Post by paul » Mon May 14, 2018 8:24 pm

Sila also means normalcy: ... rmalcy.pdf

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