注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

学习南传佛法

http://user.qzone.qq.com/1745132505/info

 
 
 

日志

 
 
 
 

Why choose Buddhism?---2  

2010-10-04 07:02:20|  分类: Buddhism |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

Why choose Buddhism?---2

Applying the Buddha’s dhamma< xmlnamespace prefix ="o" ns ="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

There are two factors of our spiritual practice which complement each other; they are intellect (pa??a) and faith (saddha). If intellect is too strong, without the devotion of faith, one will just have a mere intellectual understanding of Lord Buddha’s teachings; without the conviction and courage to cross over. Similarly, if the faith is too strong, without the analytical power of intellect, one will just have a blind faith of Lord Buddha’s teachings; without the calm and concentration to cross over.

 

Human beings in this world are adrift in the ocean of samsara: they are adrift in the flood of sensuality, in the flood of becoming, in the flood of views, and in the flood of ignorance. That’s why faith and intellect must be developed equally.

 

The Buddha taught us that mindfulness is the only way for the purification of beings. The clear and lucid mind can observe the arising and passing away of all phenomena including our body and mind; they are constantly changing as the world aroud us does. Unless we observe constantly, we will not see the impermanence of body and mind, and we will not know the Dhamma.

 

We can chant the Pali verses, read the scriptures, discuss or listen to dhamma teachings, but unless we watch carefully the world around us, we will not know the Dhamma. We need to learn this through our own mind. It is a personal experience which comes about through constant observation of oneself. Meditation helps us to inquire into our own reactions and knows why we want one thing and rejects another, if we don’t learn to meditate we would not known the Dhamma. The mind will not have a Right view of impermanence (anicca) because our likes and dislikes are constantly blocking our Right view. We will not understand that they are suffering (dukkha) either. When the mind is not focusd, with a transcending awareness, it creates suffering (dukkha). Only a measureless, illumined mind is free from suffering. The body certainly produces dukkha such as sickness, old age and death, and in other ways such as its inability to remain still. Seeing this clearly will give us a strong determination to know Dhamma by ourselves.

 

Wisdom arises within and comes from an understood experience and inner knowledge, listening to Dhamma teaching can bring it about sometimes. Wisdom has nothing to do with age. Wisdom is an inner knowledge based on self experience. We therefore don’t need to look for somebody else to confirm this. We know it ourself with certainty.

 

Meditation is the most important aspect of our daily practice, the Blessed One said: “Suppose, monks, a large crowd gathers together crying: ‘Oh, the fairest girl, a country beauty!’ Then, monks, that most beautiful girl, expert in dancing and singing, displays all her charms, and still a large crowd flocks together crying, 'Oh, the fairest girl is dancing, she is singing. Then comes a man fond of his life, not fond of death, in love with pleasure and not with pain, and they say unto him: ‘Look here, my man! Here is a bowl brimful of oil. You should carry it between the multitude and the fairest girl. Right on your heels comes a man with uplifted sword. If you were to spill a drop, your head will be chopped off!’

 

“Now what do you think, monks? Would that man, not paying serious attention to that bowl of oil, give his mind to things outside and become careless?”

 

“Surely not, Venerable Sir.”

 

“Well, monks, this is a parable I have made to make clear the meaning (what I have to say). This is the meaning of it: The bowl brimful of oil, monks, is a term for mindfulness relating to the body. Wherefore, monks, thus must you train yourselves: 'Mindfulness relating to the body shall be cultivated by us, shall be made much of, made a vehicle (of expression), established, and made effective. It shall be increased and well applied.”

 

“Thus, monks, must you train yourselves.”

 

There was a test conducted by a doctor Dr. Buddhadasa Bodhinayake (Consultant Psychiatrist, Harley Hospital Essex, UK) and it produced startlingly result; “It has now been proved that high blood pressure and other diseases connected with the heart could easily be cured by Buddhist meditation.” He said that the British Cardiac Society had recently accepted the curative effects of Buddhist meditation. He stated that over 68,000 British patients were now practising Anapanasati meditation. They had found that this meditation treatment did more for them than drugs. He said that all religions had meditation practices, but the Anapanasati (breathing meditation) was exclusive to Buddhism. Unlike other meditation practices, this had an effect on both sides of the brain. Thus it was capable of bringing the marvellous results on patients. He said that 30 minutes of meditation -- 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening gave the patients the body relaxation equal to 6 to 7 hours of sleep.

 

"It had been scientifically proved through electro-encepholograph (EEG) readings that the Anapanasati meditation was capable of synchronising the working of the two sides of the brain. This reduced the patient's oxygen needs, reduced the heartbeat, blood pressure, and the breathing rate. Fifteen minutes of Anapanasati meditation had the effect of three Aldomat tablets (250 mg) on a high blood pressure patient. Dr. Bodhinayake said that it had also been proved that this meditation could be used to get people out of drug addiction. It also greatly helped brain development, thinking capacity and retentive power. And in the < xmlnamespace prefix ="st1" ns ="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />USA a large number of students of Harvard University were practising Anapanasati bhavana for them to get through their exams.

 

Contemplation on the aggregates

 

How do we develop the insight then? Insight is developed by meditating on the five aggregates of grasping daily and continuously. We contemplate on the aggregates whenever they arise in order that we may not cling to them. If we fail to do so clingings will arise. As we cling to them as permanent, happy and self or belongs to self. Through contemplating them continuously our clingings to the aggregates cease, then we are on the path leading to Nibbana.

 

The mind is so closely linked with the body that mental states affect the body's health and well being, so in order to keep our well being, we need to keep the mind pure. At the beginning, we should contemplate on four Noble Truths: birth, aging, sickness, and death as it affect our body. And then we contemplate them in the four postures of sitting, walking, standing or lying down; the mind that is well trained will gradually deepen into concentration. Then contemplate the body as it is and after it dies, where it will disintegrate into the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air. This applies to our own body as well as the bodies of others.

 

We contemplate the various parts of the body as: “This is hair.”; “This is body hair.”; “These are nails.”; “These are teeth.”; “This is skin.” etc., going through the thirty two parts of the body systematically. Then finally we can see these things clearly. When we contemplate in this way repeatedly within and without, visualizing the body newly dead and long dead, with dogs and vultures devouring its flesh, our mind will become calm and eventually gain insight. In the Maha-satipatthana Sutta (The Discourse on great frames of reference) the Blessed One taught the contemplation of the body as above. During the ordination of monk, where a preceptor teach the candidate the contemplation of hairs of the head, hairs of the body, nails, teeth, and skin, these are basic theme of meditation. Because we get obsessed with our body, which is wrapped up by a thin layer of skin from head to toe, the skin is what we are appeared to others. And we think of our body as lovable and precious, and long for it, it is because we are deceived by the wrapping skin. If we can see the body analytically, we will see a different picture, when the body is devoid of skin, we would not see it as attractive.

In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma), the Blessed One teaches us that the body goes through birth, aging, sickness and death, they are suffering. By observing our own body and applying the Dhamma we understand the teaching. Which is why the Dhamma is Akaliko: to be seen here and now. Ehi-passiko: not delay in time, and Opanayiko: inviting one to come and see, and then Paccattam: onward leading (to Nibbana), then Veditabbo vi??uhiti: to be known by the wise, each for himself. This is how we contemplate the body so as to see it as unattractive, and seeing with wisdom the body as composed of various elements and this is clear to us.

Then on contemplating the feeling we have to contemplate body and mental pain as well as body and mental pleasure. Pleasure is more difficult to contemplate than pain because our mind easily goes for it, whereas pain no one likes it. Similarly to physical form, feeling also arises and disappears; it arises with contact, after some length of time it also wanes. Therefore it is of the same nature as form, which is impermanence.

 

He Blessed One said: “So seeing all these things, the instructed disciple of the Ariyan disregards material form, disregards feeling and so on (five aggregates).” (SN, III, 68)

 

Eightfold Noble path is really a self help to salvation and liberation, the Buddhists don’t rely on the God for him to redeem their sins and relieve of their sufferings. They rely on their own effort, there is really no such God. If there is, he is also subject to the operation of kamma.

 

When you know for sure that all five aggregates are impermanent, suffering and not-self, would you still cling to sense objects as permanent, happy, beautiful, or good?

 

At one time the Blessed One told a group of monks: “Material form, monks, is impermanent. What is impermanent, that is suffering. What is suffering, that is not the self. What is not self, that is not mine, then am I not, this is not my self. As it really

comes to be, one should discern it thus by right wisdom” (S. II, 19)

 

The Blessed One explained this to the monks as such: “Why Monks! Do you say Sankhara? Because they are composed or collected together (Abhi-sankharouti). What is compounded (sankhata) and what is the compound that they compose? They compose the material body (rupa) as a compound of form (rupa); they compose the feeling as a compound of feeling (vedana); they compose the perception as a compound of perception (sanna); they compose the activities as a compound of activities (sankhara); they compose the consciousness as a compound of consciousness (vinnanam). Thus they are composed and collected together as a compound. Therefore, Monks! The term Sankhara. ” (SN III,87)

 

The Buddha said: “Conditioned phenomena (sankhara) are impermanent, subject to rise and fall. Having arisen they cease, their stilling (of these) is bliss.” The word sankhara refers to this body and mind. Sankharas are impermanent and unstable, having come into being they disappear, having arisen they pass away, and yet we wants them to be permanent. This is foolishness. Just like our breaths, having come in, it goes out; that's its nature, that's how it is. The inhalation and exhalation have to alternate, when we finish inhalation, then we exhale, it is just natural. But we want things to be permanent, but they can't be, it is impossible. Having been born, we get old and sick and then we die, and that is just natural. All sankharas are impermanent, the Great Teacher saw that all sankharas are impermanent, and so he taught us to let go of our attachment to them.

 

True happiness is not found in the deceptive sense pleasures world, we come to this world not just to pursue pleasures, as they are false, impermanent, and unworthy of our interest. Although there are enjoyments in the world, but worldly pleasures are short lived, the craving inevitably ends up with disappointment and suffering. Without wisdom, our craving will keep us chasig from one disappointment to another.

 

In the Dependent Origination of aggregates the Blessed One said: “The stopping of the six doors leads to the stopping of contact; the stopping of contact leads to the stopping of feeling; the stopping of feeling leads to the stopping of craving; the stopping of craving leads to the stopping of grasping, the stopping of grasping leads to the stopping of becoming, the stopping of becoming leads to the stopping of birth; the stopping of birth leads to the stopping of grief, suffering, sorrow, despair, and lamentation. Thus comes to be the stopping of this entire mass of ill.” (M. I, 337; S. II, 1-3) When we meet up with the pleasurable, we have to stop the six doors from contacting the agreeable sense objects, these require months and years of mindful observation and practice of abandoning.

 

People always have hope, planning for this and that, and running everywhere, ambitions drive them crazy. When we take up meditation we hope to become famous meditators, or become meditation teacher, we fail to realize that they are all in the mind, just play of the mind. Mind does not operate independently from the six doors or the body-mind aggregates, we need to learn to be contemplative in order to observe the rising and ceasing of the mind states, and then we would not be hoping for anything. Why is that? Because it is all transient, it is impermanence. It will all come to naught.

 

Clear insight dos not come about by thinking. It comes through persistent practice of meditation and vipassana. It needs calm and clear mind away from mundane awareness to actualize this. We have to contemplate on everything that comes into our field of consciousness. If we don't contemplate it will not give rise to true knowledge. Just like we contemplate on the body, we have to probe deeply into the ways in which our body is, its physical elements, growth cycle, its reactions to stimulation, its care, etc. This is why we need to understand the body thoroughly, this prevent our mind from straying off the path, and keep the mind defilements at bay.

 

The sensual craving or the desire, lust, and love that provoke our mind in search of new enjoyment based on past sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations. Our perceptions and memories of them bring them back to deceive us as being good, enjoyable, and happy. This is our defiled mental tendencies, we might let go of the minor attachment, but cling tightly to the dear one, so it is not easy to curb our mental defilements. We have to fight hard, or we will lose and suffer longer in samsara. We have to find the Middle Way so we will be able to observe with mindfulness and discernment, and then we will maintain that mind state and keep it with us all the time.

 

We have to gain mastery over our enemies, that cravings and defilements in our mind, and evaluate our strength, because those defilements and cravings have had the power over us for such a long long time. We have to figure out how to overcome them, root them out, so that our mindfulness and discernment can spot them whenever it arises. This battle will go on until we reach the Stainless. If we lose, we have to think of a new strategy, otherwise, we will keep losing. Our defilements and the five aggregates are the hordes of Mara, they come to burn us, keeping us in samsara.

 

The Blessed One said: “Form is suffering; feeling, perception, thought-formations, and consciousness are all suffering.” If we don’t see them as suffering, we have not even started on the holy path. Our mind get deluded and go in search for pleasure, we still don't know the Truth of sufering. But when we realize there's no real pleasure to be found, the mind settles down and becomes still. We need to see the true nature of these aggregates, they are composed of components and supported by conditions, and they are not us or ours. Starting with the body and work our way towards other aggregates, analyze them into various elements, then it will become crystal clear.

 

The Nama Rupa and consciousness are interwoven so tightly that we are often unable to separate them, in SN 47.5.2 the Blessed One said: “by the arising of Nama Rupa comes the arising of mind, by the ceasing of Nama Rupa comes the ceasing of mind.” In DN 11 the Blessed One said: “But, Bhikkhus, you should not ask your question in this way : where do the four great elements; ie. earth, water, fire, and wind, cease without remainder? Instead, you should put the question thus : where do earth, water, fire, and wind find no footing? Where are long and short, small and great, fair and foul, where the Nama Rupa are totally destroyed? And the answer is: Where consciousness is non manifestative, boundless, all luminous; that’s where earth, water, fire, and wind find no footing. There both the long and short, small and great, fair and foul, there Nama Rupa are wholly destroyed. With the cessation of consciousness this is all destroyed.” Therefore the Blessed One shown us clearly that the world arises dependent on the consciousness, the world does not exist independently of the consciousness.

 

Liberation is possible in this very life

 

Prince Siddartha took up the homeless life and wandered in search of the Nibbana which is the total quenching of all dukkha, he studied under two famous teachers of India at that time and found nothing higher than nevasa??anasa??ayatana (the mental state of neither perception nor non perception), a state of mental tranquility with the consciousness switching from being aware to non awareness.  They think that is Nibbana, but he did not accept that. So he decided to search on his own until he discovered that Nibbana is the coolness of our mental defilements. It is the exhaustion of all the heat produced by our mental defilements.

 

Nibbana is not the mind, but is something which the mind can experience, as the Blessed One put it, it is a certain ayatana our wisdom can experience it. Forms, sounds, smells, flavors, and tactile sensations are material or physical ayatana that our body experience. Akasanancayatana (the experience of endless space) up to and including nevasa??anasa??ayatana are mental ayatana our mind experience. Therefore Nibbana is a spiritual ayatana for our mind to realize.

 

We cannot create Nibbana because it is beyond all causes and conditions, but we can create the conditions for realizing Nibbana, i.e., all actions which lead to the abandonment of the defilements. Nibbana is termed: the Deathless, Permanence, Peace, Safety, Health, Diseaselessness, Freedom, Emancipation, Shelter, Refuge, Immunity, Island, Highest Benefit, Supreme Joy, the Other Shore, Cool, etc; nevertheless it is the end of suffering, the end of endless samsara.

 

Helping others

 

Our mind can be developed slowly and subtlely, through the observation of discipline, mind training in meditation and vipassana, then it will accrue merits for us in the consciousness, these are very subtle, more subtle than our gross body. Training our mind to help other people has a profound impact on our mind. When we hear that other people are suffering and in need of some help, if we offer our help, the mind experiences elation and joy, and then happiness and peace, then we can discover the strength of our mind. One who cultivates the mind this way until it is firmly established in the Dhamma, our practice is on the right path.

 

We all need good friend, friend who is selfless, not just helpful, but to be able to lend a helping hand when we are in danger. Developing our mind to lend a helping hand to those in need is noble, holy, and pure.

 

Conclusion

 

Buddhism is certainly not for the ordinary, it is only reserved for those who have the wisdom eyes. Suffering is everywhere but few see it; people die all over the world but few notice that it will come to them. Kamma is operating independently without any superpower directing it but few understand it; the body-mind aggregates are so complex that few manage to untangle it. The holy path is so clear and direct but few wish to walk on it. The worlding tormented by suffering continuously for so long but few wish to get out of it.

 

Only when our heart is truly touched, having trust and with confidence in the Dhamma, then it opens to us the way of the holy path.

 

 

 

References:

1. Tipitaka

2. Buddhist meditation, by Piyadassi Mahathera.

3. All of us, by Sister Ayya Khema.

4. Here and now, by Sisiter Ayya khema.

5. What is the triple gem? By Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

6. Fundamentals of vipassana meditation, by Mahasi Sayadaw.

7. Nibbana for everyone, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.

 

 

Bhikkhu Dhammavaro

Jetavana Burmese Monastery, Ellen Grove, Queensland, 30/5/2008

 

http://chinesetheravadabuddhists.community.officelive.com/  中华南传上座部佛友协会

http://groups.google.com/group/learning-buddhism

http://ti-sarana.blogspot.com

http://bratana.earth.prohosting.com/

 

  评论这张
 
阅读(60)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2018