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Archive for April, 2007

A life that does not err

The rode is long.

I’m reading a book named “A Constitution for Living” written by P.A. Payutto. It’s about Buddhist principles for fruitful and harmonious life. The chapter 12 of this book is touching especially in my current situation. It’s “The Unbeguiled One (A life that does not err)”…then I surfed and found the website of “Wat Chairatanaram” presenting the content of this book. The chapter 12 is:

THE UNBEGUILED ONE
( A life that does not err )

A person who is not heedless or so enraptured by life and the world that he is enslaved by them “deceived by the world, drunk on life,” as it were is one who is mindful, who knows how to look and investigate, and knows the right attitude to adopt to the truths that exist inherently in life and this world as the natural course of things, as follows:

A. Knowing the ways of the world: he reflects on, understands and establishes mindfulness properly in relation to the ever-changing conditions in life within the world knows as the eight loka-dhamma (norms of the world, or normal conditions which repeatedly visit worldly beings, and by which worldly beings are constantly being spun around):

Sweet – bitter
1. Gain  2. Loss
3. Repute 4. Disrepute
5. praise 6. Blame
7. Happiness 8. Suffering

These eight worldly conditions are divided into two sides, those that are pleasant, desirable and generally aspired to, known as ittharammana, and those that are distressing, undesirable, and generally abhorred, known as anittharammana. Regardless of whether they are liked or not, these eight worldly conditions can arise for everyone, be they unlearned and unenlightened or learned and enlightened, the only difference lying in the way each person responds to and acts on them. That is to say:

1. Unlearned, unenlightened beings do not know or understand the true nature of worldly conditions and so they mindlessly rejoice and lament over them: whenever they win they become indult-gent and vain glorious, and whenever they lose they become sad and despondent, or even deranged. They let worldly conditions control their lives and overwhelm their minds, so that they are forever experiencing ups and downs and do not transcend sorrow.

2. Learned noble disciples know how to reflect on worldly conditions and see their true nature: that all things that arise, whatever they may be, are without exception unstable, impermanent, imperfect and naturally subject to change. Thus they do not mindlessly indulge in pleasant experiences (ittharammana) or become saddened or depressed on account of unpleasant experiences (anittharam mana); they abide with mindfulness and equilibrium, neither indulging in happiness nor being over whelmed by suffering.

Moreover, the noble disciple may make use of worldly conditions. For example, he may use undesirable experiences as lessons, tests or exercises for training in his own self-development, or use desirable experiences as opportunities or tools for constructive action and the furtherance of beneficial activities.

B. Ignoring no divine messengers: he reflects on the states that always arise among humankind, which are reminders of the natural course of life, something not to be heedlessly indulged in. These states are known as the five deva-duta (the harbingers or heralds of the Lord of Death):

1. A newborn baby: (reminds us) that when we are born this is all we are.
2. An old person: (reminds us) that all people, if they live long enough, will have to experience this.
3. A sick or injured person: (reminds us) that this condition may arise for any of us.
4. A prisoner: (reminds us) that bad deeds cause misery and suffering even in this very life, let alone after death.
5. A dead person: (reminds us) that death awaits all of us, no one can escape it, and no one knows for certain where and when it will happen.

Whenever we see these phenomena as when we enter a cemetery, a prison or a hospital we should not become depressed over or afraid of them, but establish mindfulness, and reflect on them with wisdom so that we are roused to bring forth wholesome actions and lead lives that are free of intoxication and heedlessness.

C. Reflecting on the formula of life: even when he does not see the ‘divine messengers,’ he should constantly reflect according to the five subjects that all people, male or female, lay followers or monastic, should constantly bear in mind (abhinha-paccavekkhana):

1. Jaradhammata: we are subject to aging and cannot excape it.
2. Byadhidhammata; we are subject to pain and illness and cannot escape them.
3. Maranasdhammata: we are subject to death and cannot escape it.
4. Pyavinabhavata: we must inevitably be separated from all people and things that we love.
5. Kammassakata: we have kamma as our own, whatever deeds we do, be they good or evil, of those we will surely be the heirs.

Regularly reflecting in this way helps to prevent infatuation with youth, possessions and life, alleviating heedlessness and attachment, preventing evil actions and inspiring us to quickly work for goodness and benefit.

If you want to read more, you may visit Wat Chairatanaram’s website or read the book .

“There is nothing permanent, except change.” –Heraclitus

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The #4 auspicious sign

Living in  a suitable place.

Sunrise, Thailand

The suitable place is the place that

  • located in good area i.e. good weather, good water, good nature
  • has enough food
  • has good neighbour / no thief / no gangster
  • is a good place for learning i.e. not far from school or university or temple or monk.

If you live in the place like this, you will have a peaceful life. It’s not only good for your daily life, but also good for you in case you want to study more about Dhamma.

place.jpg

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Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Even if one should carry about one’s mother on one shoulder and one’s father on the other, and so doing should live a hundred years…. Moreover, if one should set them up as supreme rulers, having absolute rule over the wide earth abounding in the seven treasures – not even by this could one repay one’s parents. And why! Bhikkhus, parents do a lot for their children: they bring them up, provide them with food, introduce them to the world.

Anguttara Nikaya: Twos, 32

A few days ago, Thai newspapers reported that the average age of Thai people has been increasing. According to such news, the average age of Thai female is 76 and the average age of Thai male is 73. These numbers show us the good trend of health care.

From another news, Thailand will have 7 million senior citizens (> 65 years old)  in this year. And within the next 13 years, it will have 13 million senior citizens.

Another interesting news is a survey of 3.5 million elderly people by the Project to Promote Good Health and Quality of Life of the Elderly found 0.2% of them, or 7,003 old people, have been poorly taken care of by their families.

0.2% maybe not a large number. But do you want to be in that 0.2%????

When I was in primary schoo, my teacher told me that Asian family was the big family ie 2-3 generations lived together. For example, I stayed with may parents and my grandmother, my friend stayed with her parents, her grand parents, and her great grandparents.

In my opinion, it’s good to live together. We can take care of our parents easily when we live together. Our parents brought us up. They showed us the world. They provided us food, education, money, blah blah. Then when they get old, we should take care of them in return. It’s good thing to do. Without our parents, how we could survive. So, we should pay back.

Anyway, at present, we see more and more elderly persons were abandoned.

Being an old person is inevitable (if you live long enough).  One day, we all will be old. You should consider elderly persons’ feeling to understand what they want. And it may be what you also want in the future.

The # 11 auspicious sign is paying gratitude to parents.

Why should we pay gratitude to our parents??

1. It’s a right thing to do. You will be very happy everytime you think about doing that. Our parents gave us a lot of things, it’s good to pay back.

2. You’ll be a patient person. Most of senior persons may be difficult. When we are old we may be also difficult. It may come from our eroded bodies. We should listen to them patiently.

3. It’s a very good example for your kids. You show your kids the right thing, then they may follow you.

4. I believe in the law of reaction – ACT = REACT. You do good thing, you will receive good thing in return.

5. Blah blah.

How can you pay gratitude to your parents?

There are many ways to pay gratitude to your parents. For example:

  • Being a good person. By this way, your parents will be happy and proud of you.
  • To look after them in return.
  • To help them in their businesses and works.
  • To conduct yourslef as is proper for an heir.
  • To do the merit and then devote the merit to them after they pass away.
  • Blah blah.

Plus the best way to pay gratitude to our parents is to show them the right things..

Yet, bhikkhus, whoever encourages their faithless parents, and settles and establishes them in faith; or whoever encourages their immoral parents and settles and establishes them in morality, or whoever encourages their stingy parents, and settles and establishes them in generosity, or whoever encourages their foolish parents, and settles and establishes them in wisdom – such a person, in this way repays, more than repays, what is due to their parents.

Anguttara Nikaya: Twos, 32

Note:

1. bhikkhu = monk

2. To anyone who pays gratitude to his/her parents, trust me!! you do the super good thing.

momdad.jpg

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The #3 auspicious sign

Honour those worthy of honour.

candle.jpg

Who are persons that worthy of honour?

Persons are worthy of honour with different reasons.

  • Buddha – he shows us the truth of nature
  • Parents – they give birth to us, feed us, and show us this world
  • Good teachers – they give knowledge to us
  • Good leaders – they lead us to the right way
  • other good persons.

How to give honour to them

  • pay high respect to them with good word, good manner, good thought
  • follow them by doing the good thing as they do
  • support them for the good things they do

To give honour to those worthy of honour will make us always think of the good things. Since they are good examples or role model, thinking of them or paying high respect to them will remind us to do the same good things as they do.  

honour.jpg

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