2022-08-09-22 Ayya Santussika: Avoid All Evil, Do Good, Purify the Mind (2 of 3)
6:26PM Aug 10, 2022
It's Well welcome everyone. It's nice to see you all there.
share my screen and talk a little bit about the topic for tonight. All right, so last time, of course, we talked about avoiding evil, and tonight we're going to focus on cultivating good. And it means a lot more than just doing good things in the world, as I'm sure you're well aware, it's about really embracing the good life embracing a life that is in accordance with dhamma. So that we can really develop our our mind and our our skillful actions, our skillful speech. And this is a little snippet from Majima nicaya 46, which talks about four ways of undertaking things. But the part that I felt like was really appropriate just as a quote to begin with is the Buddha contrasting the en tot ordinary person, the person who hasn't heard the dhamma doesn't have that kind of knowledge and, and that guidance for their life. It says it starts out with one who hasn't seen enlightened beings and are noble ones are people practicing and they don't know what practices they should cultivate and foster, and which practices they shouldn't cultivate and foster. But the educated noble disciple, so yet the Buddha contrasts the uneducated ordinary person with a noble disciple in a lot of places in the suttas. And his teachings. And his he says, they, they cultivate and foster practices that they should, and they don't cultivate and foster practices that they shouldn't. And when they do so, unlikable, undesirable and disagreeable things decrease, and likeable, desirable and agreeable things increase. And this is a something that I, I'm gonna invite you to reflect on later. And I know when I think about my own life, I can really see how, before I met up with the dhamma, even though I was trying very hard to develop myself live a good life be a good person, there were a lot of there was a lot of uncertainty, mixed messages, to know what is good to cultivate and what isn't. And it's really the dhamma that the Buddha's teachings that have helped me get clear about that. And so I'm just starting here, the importance of really being able to hear the dharma, how lucky we all are, that that's been the case. And then these two readings that I asked you to read first, we'll talk about this a Goloka sutta, a little bit. And I just highlighted a couple pieces, if you had a chance to read the SUTA. It's in the Long Discourses that dig into kya. And it's, I think, a very sweet interaction. If you've read it, you know, this young man is up early in the morning, having gotten all wet, his hairs all wet, he's bowing to the prostrating to the four directions, and maybe it's the sixth direction, I guess it's the six directions. And when the Buddha asks him about it, he says it's because his father on his deathbed said that he should do this and so he's doing it. So you know, it's, it's, like so many things in our life, I think, that we may be doing without knowing why are we we are not not really clear about what the results are. And so of course, the Buddha gives him some guidance around this and it's, you can really kind of see that he's speaking and of course, remembering that he's speaking to a young man about how to live life and what to be careful of. So of course, the first part is very much about what we were covering last time, you can have waiting, the pitfalls and the unskillful things. And then I pulled out just just in reflecting on the parts where the Buddha's saying you know, if you live your life this way, if you if you get other friends that are really good friends, and he divides Did the mental four types to help or the friend in good times and bad the counselor or the one who guide you towards good things and helped you develop in a good way, and the one who's compassionate.
Now, this is the translation that I had given links for the one two sutta Central and bhante sujetos translation, the translation of Maurice Walsh is also interesting, it's helpful to kind of see both might be nice sometime, if you have a chance to look at that one published by wisdom publishing, because they use different language and it gives you an even a fuller sense, I think of what the Buddha was trying to say in the polling. And to really, to really think about what what it means to have a good friend to have good friends, friends that are the same with us, whether we're going through good times, or bad times, someone who really wants to help you, someone is really interested in our Well, being someone who's really, you know, takes good care of us, when we aren't able to take care of ourselves, those kinds of things. Did anyone and then, so I wanted to put a little shine a little light on that, and also shine a little light on the when the Buddha talks about the six directions. And, of course, some of the descriptions of the way, parents, you know, the sort of encouragement of how, as a parent, we would treat our children and our children would treat their parents how teachers, we would, we would have this relationship with our teachers and how we would support each other, and partners, and our children, our friends and colleagues, our workers, anyone who works for us, whether we're managing in a company, they're not really our employees, but we are, you know, making decisions that affect them. And spiritual teachers, and I wrote in sustaining relationships, because these are all extremely important relationships in our life. And when I take this as a whole, and I think about the youth these descriptions, even though some of them might feel pretty antiquated, and maybe not the things that we would value, for instance, with our partners, you know, and we may have very different values now, just because we're, we have more freedom, I think, beyond our social mores, sometimes. But when we think about them,
purpose or the thought behind it, you know, how do we really cherish each other? And how do we really support each other? And how are we really solid and sincere and kind to each other? Even though in these close relationships, there are often a lot of things that are really difficult and hard to work through? And how do we how do we do that this is all these are really where the cultivation of good, you know, it's kind of like where the rubber meets the road. This is the day to day stuff that that we really can cultivate to make a huge, huge difference in our lives. And the flip side of it, like with friends, to really pay attention to how much time effort no influence we are under around people who really aren't good friends, the Buddha says, The translation of sometimes fake friends, the ones who really aren't interested in giving back to us or sharing is fairly, you know, being really in a real cooperative friendship, where everyone benefits or the other kinds of things that we read in the ones who are, you know, totally self focused. Of course, there can be a lot of different reasons to spend time with people sometimes we're in a relationship, family relationship, or for some other reason. We're doing it to support someone else, but then to know to not be confused about the kind of relationship it is. And it doesn't mean condemning others, but really being clear about who you spend your time with. So we had a situation recently with you know, someone who was in business, and he wanted to help a couple of people, and he got them involved in his work. And then he found out that they were suffering from addiction problems, they weren't being reliable. They weren't following through on promises, and they were really taking money from him. And, you know, he's talking to us about it. And I think the impression I sometimes can have is, well, wouldn't Buddhist nuns be just endlessly forgiving and compassionate and try to help everyone? And, and the truth is, the Buddha was pretty clear that, you know, there's only so much you can do, you have to be conscientious about that. And that it's not all right, to kind of open the way for people to be dishonest and take advantage and be responsible. And, you know, he was he said, a lot of things about just staying away from people who are, in terms of friendship, it's different if there's an avenue for really giving them some kind of support that they need. But we have to be careful, we're not just facilitating bad behavior. I remember, one of the times before I, early on, when I was exposed to the Domino's spending time in monasteries in Thailand. The abbot was away, this was in the international mastery Lodge, and Shah's and Cabo was away. And then he came back, they had some builders working on making a new kitchen for the monastery. And he said, he's British, he said, we're gonna have to sack the builder. And I thought, Whoa, a monk is gonna, like fire that guy. It felt so unkind. And, yeah, of course, he was not doing the job. So it's something that I had to, like get realistic about. And it's not just being realistic. It's the bringing together of wisdom along with compassion. And so we have to conclude ourselves in the relationship factor, that we are not putting ourselves in harm's way, that we're not allowing this kind of, you know, being taken advantage of. But we're also still, you know, working with compassion. All right, so I'm going to move on here to Majima nicaya, eight effacement.
Now, this is a suitor, I love and have used myself a lot. And I know that sometimes reading it without having any kind of explanation can be a little bit hard to understand, maybe. And, as I've noted here, there are really five sections. I mean, there's the first section where the Buddha is talking about when people are practicing meditation, and they have jhānas. And they think, Oh, I'm practicing effacement. The Buddha said, No, that's not how you practice effacement No, Faceman here, the way I take it is a kind of erasing or rubbing away of defilements you're really rubbing away those unskillful qualities, and you're cultivating good qualities and their place. And sometimes when we have great meditation, we think that our defilements are, are deteriorating, or you know, we're, maybe we think we're much more advanced. And then I have many stories from, from practitioners, monastics, and probably anyone, you, you're off on your own, and you have solitude and you're meditating and it's all great. And then you come home or you get back to the monastery, and there are all kinds of people around and making noise and you just like, unhappy, irritated with them and you realize you're not quite as fully free as you thought. Yeah, and, you know, the Buddha, I think, probably there were some were there were definitely some mendicants in the group who thought they were further along than they were and really kind of, maybe a little puffed up about that and, and the Buddha wanted to let them know Hold on This is there is a way to work with our, our tendencies that are unskillful and our patterns that are unskillful. But it's not going to happen. Meditation, of course helps this is not a, you know, talk on not meditating, because the Buddha was very clear that we, it's important to be meditating. And it helps us but it's not, it doesn't do the whole job. And so he gives these different steps. The first one is just identifying these ways of practicing effacement, based on 44 Different kinds of what do you want to call them qualities tendencies, and these get the Noble Eightfold Path in there, and, you know, these different elements or whatever we want to describe these. And I always, really like the very first one, you know, others will be cool, but here, we will not be cool. And just that one alone, I feel like yeah, if we all lived, according to that, and every place where we would go the community around, it would be committed to that we'd have some, some real benefits from it. And of course, he goes through the other 43 things as well. And, you know, each one we can look at and we can ask ourselves, do I have this tendency? Do I have this tendency towards irritability or envy, could stand doing some, some reflection and work on, you know, speech, right speech, you know, meaning truthful, not malicious, not divisive, not frivolous. That's always an important one for everyone. But it goes, it goes through those precepts, but it also goes through many other characteristics or qualities of our mind, and our and our attitudes and our patterns. And, you know, working with something like anger, working with something like irritability, working with something like,
you know, being arrogant, self saññā, these are really valuable things to recognize, we can see that even if it's kind of subtle, it's a way that we can really be held back. And so we start with just that identification of these 44. And there could be any number more that we might identify. And you have your hand raised. Yeah, I'm
sorry, I'm missing a little context here. So I haven't heard the word effacement. before. So that's part of my first question. And you gave a brief comment about that, rubbing away the defilements. And then we have four categories here. Are those four of the 44 Or are those? No?
Okay, so thank you for the questions. So effacement Can you hear me better now? Maybe, I don't know. If you've had trouble hearing before. I
hope you know, I didn't have trouble hearing. I'm just have trouble understanding.
Yeah, I was just kind of asking everybody because I had forgotten I had the microphone way over there somewhere. Thank you. So notes. Okay, so, the title effacement. The word in Pali is Seleka and bhikkhu Bodhi actually was probably venerable and Jana moly translated it as the face moment. And bhante su JATO translates it as self-effacement. And personally, I like he Faceman better because this isn't, I mean, in a way it does get to dissolving the sense of self but it also is just couldn't be just kind of dissolving or rubbing away. The defilements so when you eat face something like you're facing a statue, you know, you're kind of like destroying the features. And it's like this is really Yury facing these qualities that are unwholesome are these patterns, these are things that are deeply, deeply kind of ingrained in our minds in our, this is sankhāra that can be very, very, you know, well practiced, you might say, and deep grooves in our, in our minds or habits. And then each of these that I have listed here, we've got the 44 ways to practice effacement. And then, so the Buddha has these five, he goes through these same list five times, he has these 44 items that he lists and then he goes through it again as the inclination. So when the mind inclines, gives rise to this thought others will be cool, but here we will not be cool. So he, he lists it in the first in the first 40, you know, lists of 44. And then the next section is the inclination of mine.
This is the SUTA effacement.
Number eight in the Mitch Majima nicaya, the middle length discourses. And this first section is about the Buddha being approached by a teacher who's asking a question on behalf of he sees his students needing this guidance and he taught the Buddha talks about no matter how many attainments in meditation you have, you're not really practicing effacement so we'll scroll down here, and this is how you practice effacement and he goes through this list. So you think about how these these are things others kill loving beings. But here we won't do that. And he goes through this whole list of 44 being and celibate speaking, falsely speaking Manish maliciously and harshly gossiping, being covetous. Having ill will wrong view wrong intention, wrong speech, wrong action, right livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, Wrong Concentration, wrong knowledge. So this goes beyond the Noble Eightfold Path wrong deliverance. So these are these are you know, you're not really you don't really have the knowledge of, of enlightenment yet you don't really have deliverance, freedom from yet but you may think you have. But then you really are working at being clear and honest about what's actually true with yourself. And you're practicing for those things. Then he goes through the five hindrances brings in some more qualities anger, resentment, being contemptuous and insolent, envious and every vicious, fraudulent, deceitful, obstinate and arrogant, difficult to admonish. Hanging out with bad friends. We're not going to do that here. We're going to have good friends and I you know, choosing people who are healthy for us really good. A negligent faithless shameless. No fear of wrongdoing. Little learning, being lazy on mindful, lacking wisdom, holding tightly to our own views, tenaciously relinquishing them with difficulty. But the we're not going to do that here. Okay, so those are the 44. And then the next section covers the same 44. But he says this is the inclination of the mind. So when we want to work with this kind of thing, first, it's not enough to just know kind of a list, but you really incline your mind towards this, and you reflect upon it. And so he goes through all 44 again. And then the next step is, you know, seeing what I'm inclined towards. So person given to cruelty, has non cruelty by which to avoid it. So this avoidance or finding the way around and the similes helpful, I think, you know, if there's a path that's uneven, and there's another path that's smooth, you'd take the smooth path, or if there's a place to cross, a river, our road, you know, and it's very difficult. There it's maybe again uneven or treacherous and In some way, but there's another place that you can go that's really safe and easy to walk over, then you use that. And so this is the Buddhist method for how we change these things in ourself. And it sounds so simple. It's like, well, what does it mean to use non cruelty to avoid cruelty? That kind of, what does that mean? How does that work? So if a person is has the habit of, you know, killing living beings or being cool in some other way, then every time they stop themselves, and every time they don't do it, it helps them overcome that tendency.
I imagine, you've experienced this in your own life. So first time I lived in a monastery, it was the first time I was around people who didn't kill insects, and, you know, it was a common practice for me to swat mosquitoes, if they sat on your arm, or that was what I was trained to do, you might say, taught. Yeah, and then to stop myself. And just, like, gently shoo them away or blow on them. So they believe or just let them buy, you know, and, you know, this is, this is a way to start to let go of that habit that feels automatic, to slap them to take life. And then it starts to have another kind of impact on the heart and on the mind, where you start to feel more gentle and kind, you have some more compassion developing for other living beings. So he goes through the whole list again. And he and it's usually the opposite thing like non cruelty. So it's interesting, like, in the Pāli, you'll have a word and then the opposite, you just add an A on the front of it. So there's cruelty and then not cruelty, the A negates and, and so you'll have a lot of these things, you know, it's like, and to think about non cruelty is it's a different from kindness or compassion, it's actually just the absence of cruelty. Like you can have have more neutral feelings. So there's still the absence of cruelty. And you're not doing that thing That's cruel. And you're no longer thinking in that way, either. So this is purifying our, our, our conduct was also purifying our mind to we'll talk more about next time. So if the person who has the urge who's who's declared that they're celibate, to not to do things that are not in the spirit of celibacy, it doesn't even have to mean that they have sex. But the Buddha even said, if you're celibate, if you're, if you're a man, and you're celibate, and you're standing by a wall, and you're listening to women's talking or singing on the other side of the wall, you're not practicing celibacy, you're still like, looking for that kind of interaction or that kind of no sensual input. And so even things, something like that, now to really work with purifying one's mental and physical content conduct. And so just noticing any of these things that we have, and then, of course, abstaining from harsh speech abstaining from Gossip usually it's just like non ill will instead of ill will right view instead of wrong view and on like that. But you can also when we practice with this kind of thing, really see what it takes. What do I need to employ to be able to avoid this behavior? Yes, Terry.
Yes, thank you. Number 20. Wondered if you can elaborate on the the translation using the word deliverance.
Yeah. I, I sink. I didn't go I don't I'm not gonna go. Let's see. Let's see if bhante said Giteau what he's got. We don't have numbers here. But I think we can Find out where it is right freedom he uses, I think it's probably the Mutti. And so these two kind of added on to the Noble Eightfold Path. So he uses immersion for concentration. So there's our, you know, the, the eighth, this is the whole list of what's in, actually, it's, yeah, this is the whole list of what's in the Noble Eightfold Path. And then sometimes in the suit is this idea of knowledge and freedom or knowledge and deliverance. It's it's really like there's there's the knowing that kind of stands for the knowing that this knowing the way things actually are realizing that and there can be some other steps sometimes in between, but then freedom from the defilements. Even if it's a temporary freedom and may not be the realization of nibbāna fully, but there is a freedom from some level of being caught up in in the world. I think it's probably being ot so here. I don't know if you're used to using sukha Central, but we can change the view. Look at the Pāli we can look at it line by line. And then I have to go back and find that area of text where I was looking because it'll be further down. And let's see what the Pāli word is partially right view right thought right speech, right action, right livelihood, etc. The Freedom Yeah, some of the Mutti so we moved to released emancipated and you can so I clicked on it, I have it set so that the dictionary glossary will pop up the English translation, and then I can click on a mu T. And I can see what the concise Pāli English dictionary says released emancipated. And we mootai is freed released intellectually emancipated. So this isn't like the realization of nibbāna, like I said, but it's a it's a level of freedom from suffering from being caught up in wrong view, perhaps. So then it we Moochie can be associated with other words, like she told me Mutti it's an emancipated heart. Ponyo, emoti, emancipated by insight freed by reason, you can really do some great studying using super Central. Any questions? To the answer your question, Terry. Okay, great. Yes, Shauna.
I don't know if I have a question, but this. I have a comment. There. I don't know much about this. But I remember reading about the antidotes to anger and other hindrances. And this seems to be kind of another way of of approaching that. So that's all I wanted to say.
So yeah, yeah. And it's a good observation. And we will, we do see that the Buddha taught so many different ways to approach things and that it's so valuable because we might be in a different place at a different something might hit us at some point that really is helpful. This is a really simple method. Right? So it's, and it and it does go farther. gonna change our setting here. Like can you see me have to scroll all the way back up, back to plain text so we can read better? Let's see. We've got contents here we can use. So we've talked about the first part About listing the 44th things and then giving the rise rising of the thought about it really the inclination of the mind, and then the way around it. So using the opposite, abstaining from doing this thing, maybe using the opposite approach. And then we're going to go to this part called going up, where you're heading upwards because of this work, to hold ourselves back from doing things that, you know, are cruel, so or killing living beings or whatever it is the very last one where instead of being attached to our own views, and holding them tight and refusing to let them go, we, you know, really let go or not attached to them, and we don't hold them tight, we let them go easily. And by doing that, it leads us upwards. So he says the unskillful qualities lead us downwards. The skillful qualities lead us upwards. And this kind of way of thinking about things is this thing that I'm doing is this thing that I'm contemplating doing, or saying or giving, you know, energy to thought to, is this leading upwards, or is this leading downwards? What's the result likely to be? This is helpful, this is actually really close to the Pāli idea of up Amada. Up Amada is heedfulness. Or, you know, real real care, and in what we're, what we're undertaking, what we're doing, and it includes a kind of an anticipation or a reflection on, where's this gonna go? How's this gonna end up? And a lot of times, when, especially if we find ourselves in a situation where we're really swept up in the moment, or some kind of exhilaration or some kind of strong feeling, we don't think about it. Where is this going to end up? Is anybody going to get hurt, including yourself. And so that's, that's like having the sense that there is this upwards or downwards motion in the, in the trajectory we are taking, and certainly karmically. This, this really is, is true. And so when we're when we're doing this practice, you know, like, if we are really attached to our views, for example, we get into arguments with people who have different ways of seeing things, you know, like really thinking about where does this lead? Is this really lead to any resolution, or is this just causing bad feelings. So it's really helping anyone see more clearly, you know, and so, you know, really working with our own attachments. And so this is has this upward motion. And then, lo and behold, the fifth, the fifth level, or the fifth pass, you might say, is, is really, this tendency, really going away to like the rubbing away is really complete, like you're, you're erasing something, you know how when you get a strong pencil mark, you have to work at it, and is still there kind of gray, and then you work at it some more, and finally, it's gone. And that, and the Buddha does warn here that if, if we're sinking in the mud ourselves, we can't really pull someone else out.
So we really want to completely erase this tendency. And then we can really help someone else from a position of really knowing for sure ourselves. So, in this same way, we become completely free of these tendencies. And I gotta say, I had read this suit SUTA a number of times, and one time I read it again, and I really recognized one of the qualities in my life. And it was when I was taking care of my mom and she was older and that relationship had always been challenging for me and I had been really working on it, but I noticed that I was carrying resentment And, and it was I didn't realize that that's what it was until I was reading the suit. And I was going through these things and looking for where do I have this in my own life? In my own mind? Do I have any of this? Any subtle, you know, vestiges of any of these 44 things. And of course, with some of them, there's more work that can be done right view, right. Right, immersion, right concentration. But it was interesting when I got to resentment. And I and I realized that that's what was really lying underneath some of my irritability with my mother. A feeling and attitude and sometimes it would no show up in my tone of voice or whatever I that I did not want, did not want to say things that were hurtful, and she knew me so well, she knew if I was, you know, even a little negative, but I didn't want that. And then seeing that it was resentment. And, and being able to kind of bring it more to the surface for myself, I could really work through these, these steps. Really, really seeing when it arises, how to avoid any kind of action on it, and then eventually noticing that it's gone. And this is it's really inspiring to notice that we really can work with our own tendencies to the point that they disappear these things and there's something beautiful in their place.
So this is the this is really the the sutta and how it works. Any comments or questions at the moment? If not, I think maybe this is a good time for some meditation.
And maybe afterwards, we can have more discussion. I think our group is fairly small today. So I'm thinking we don't break up into small groups we just we have a conversation as as a big group.
and I'll just, you know, we might delve into a few questions about this whole idea of cultivating good
so let's find a comfortable position. Lot of words and hopefully some helpful ideas breathing in and letting the breath move through your whole body. If that makes sense. We're taking in the air and it's going into our lungs but it also has that breath energy that can really flow through our entire being
and is the time of day when it might feel like you want to nod off a bit that we went out so bring in some energy that helps us to stay alert
relaxed and alert. Such an interesting combination. Mindfulness is established and present. Marie let go of tension in our physical body to the degree that we can and let go of mental tension in our minds. One way to cultivate good of course is by developing the brahmavihāra ans
as we let ourselves relax and let go of whatever has been happening today you can also invite in a feeling of warmth and kindness Buddha suggested there that we fill our whole body or being with that kindness with that mettā One quarter of the time however that makes sense I tend to fill the think of myself as being another kind of cylinder or having this kind of area around me starting at my center core of convertible kind of pull in the middle and from that one quarter What is it like to think of that feeling with this energy of loving kindness maybe it's very odd concept for you. However you invoke it that there is this softness this tenderness and then filling the next quarter I go to my right side
this whole quarter of the
and one quarter at the back and to my left side so really filling up my whole being and the area all around it was this kind of beautiful, kind energy unconditional love and Sam can do unconditional it's not of aimed at anything or connected to anything it's there's nothing to expect from it. Nothing that needs to limit it
imagining it above us and below us the sweet orb of kindness We have our mind immersed and mettā then there's all kinds of things that it's not engaged in
leaving aside all other qualities beautiful contented, pleasant experience mettā Now of course we can have this mettā related to other living beings but as we expand out to any of them we want to do it with that same lack of conditions
equally for all beings the way the sun shines equally on everyone good or bad, larger small younger or whatever you think there is a lot more forgiveness in the dhamma than we recognize there's a lot more kindness in this in this world in this universe and the world systems and sometimes we realize that's what I think so when we create this kind of goodness in ourselves like we're aligning more fully with the dhamma.
So now I'm going to bring our meditation time to an end. I don't have the bell here with me tonight. Then we can begin to prepare ourselves to come back and open our eyes Thank you
may have a couple of questions for you and then go back to To the slides I was gonna invite people to talk about this in small groups. And you can let me know later if that would have been your preference or not. It really varies among people. Sometimes you start to divide into small groups and a quarter that people just decide to leave, because they don't really feel like talking. So you could let me know, I'd be happy to take that into account for next time. But in case you find it useful, be happy to hear about anything you practiced this past month, this past month on not doing unskillful things and what the results were.
Or the second one
here, what are some of the positive changes you've experienced since you picked up the dhamma as a practice, and this is something I think is really valuable to reflect on from time to time, seeing how different we've become maybe even in small things. So if you have any stories about that, I'd love to hear them. And then the third one is what challenges you expect to face if you go deeper into cultivating the good. I shouldn't say yet. As you go deeper into cultivating the good. So many comments, sharing. Yes, Terry.
I, over an hour. Speak to the first question. Okay. So what? What did you practice this last month in the results? Well, I spent more effort. And I've been doing this for a while, but I spent more effort, practicing. Not bringing my ego along with me while I was driving my car. Because that's where my ego wants to hang out. And it was great. It was great. It was some time it wasn't very challenging. And sometimes it was. So that was very nice.
Would you mind telling me if there was anything you did? Exactly like?
while driving my car, if I noticed, I started to generate a story about the other driver or drivers. Right? Then I realized, oh, and are the stories ever Nice. Do they engage in right thought, right speech? That kind of thing? In my mind? No, they'd never do. So I thought, Oh, that's not going to work out. Because what's going to happen is it's going to lead me as a practitioner into thinking in ways about these other drivers that are not positive. And my thoughts can lead me to actions and I don't want to do that. So I would catch myself starting to create a story, a narrative about this other driver, whatever it is. And I would say to myself, I don't really know anything, do I? I don't know. And not in a negative way. But in a way, we're just thinking, Oh, that's okay. I don't need to know. Everything's fine. We're all interconnected. It's going to be fine. So that's sort of it's not too complicated. It's pretty simple.
Yeah, thank you. Thanks. Thank you for sharing theory. Yeah, we've all heard lots of stories about the road. It's amazing how it gets under our skin. Driving. Yeah, Anthony.
Hi. Yes. Can you hear me? I can hear you. Okay, great. So my question is regarding the unwholesome to know if, if you can apply it to the aggregate and how, how our conditioning kind of like, makes it tougher for to get I feel like a Uh, at times, like I have the, the, not the knowledge, but the understanding of, you know, you know, but somehow I think that subtly, my mind gets kinda like, where it kind of like it plays tricks on me to don't see the suffering that is going to be caused in, you know, in the short term, you know, or long term? Both. Yeah.
Yes. And I, I mean, I we see this a lot, of course, in ourselves and in other people and there was a woman who was talking to me on the phone today, she's actually living on the other side of the world. So you don't know her. And she was saying that she's really starting to understand her husband. Because he's, he's a very good person, and he really wants to do things in a good way. And, and where she lives, she feels that a lot of the, in the marriages, a lot of times the husbands are very controlling in her culture. So here's an example of, you know, we learn in our culture, how to behave in certain ways. And that's encouraged. And I've even used as a bit of an aside, I've even seen this, like in corporate culture. Like, for a while I worked for a company where the leadership at the top was dishonest to some degree, they would lie to customers, and they encouraged that kind of behavior in their, in their employees. And it was amazing to me to see how much people working there and how that side of them would come out. And, you know, it's like, when we're in an organization, you can feel a kind of personality there, or in your school that you went to, or, you know, whatever. And, and we can easily kind of see some aspect of ourselves coming out and, and being matching that unless we're really careful and mindful. So she was talking about her husband, and he's, he's really not that way. He's not controlling and dominating in their relationship. But she knows that his father was that way. And she said, when he gets tired, stressed, you know, then something will come out, he'll say something, and he really tries not to do it, you know, so this is the kind of thing where, you know, you know, this is pretty deeply embedded. And even when we want to be different, sometimes it doesn't go that way. And like you said, we're not thinking at that time about the damage, it's going to cause the problems it's going to have even in our own mind is like, oh, man, why did I act like that? I don't like myself when I act like that, or something of that nature. And I think it's really helpful to be forgiving of each other, you know, that, that she could see that it's under certain conditions, and that he doesn't do anything really harmful. It's not like he, I mean, I've, I used to work on the hotline for battered women's organization. And of course, there are horrible things that happened. And it's not like, you ever want to put yourself in kind of harm's way and see how that's all right, you know, so, there are certain things that are just not not okay. And, and we need to get away from them. But if we can, and that's complicated, but in this case, it's not like that. It's more you know, like unskillful comment or something. And so, yeah, this is definitely what we're dealing with all of us and we can even sometimes something can come up in us that we didn't even realize was there may be some kind of old trauma that is still you know, kind of still lurking or lingering in our in our system, and to recognize that it's okay, it's okay to feel what we feel get a handle on it as soon as we can. backtrack and do the best we can to begin to form a new a new riffs response to a new reaction. And to realize that we often have a lot a lot more control than we think, you know, like, I might have told this story last month ajaan Jaya sorrow who's British monk in Thailand, I was giving a talk about anger to the monastics at the monastery. And he said, you know, you feel like anger is just kind of automatic, it comes up so fast. But he said, actually, there's a moment, you do have choice, and there's a moment where you go, you decide to go with it. And just hearing that helped me to have more interest and ability to unpack or bring more space between, you know, feeling something, or having the sensory input, and then dealing with the feeling that was arising before there would be some response. And so, you know, this is, you know, really helps to meditate, it helps us to have more control over our mind and slow things down, it helps to have mindfulness as much as we can through the day. So that we have, you know, we're aware of what we're feeling what we're thinking. And then as we practice patterns, like, you know, trying to extract ourselves from the situation, so that we can deal with our emotions. One time, I knew of a couple, where the husband would say, Okay, I'm going to step away, and I'll be back in 20 minutes. And actually, that's a very mature response. You know, you know, you're having these strong feelings, and you're about to go some direction, you don't want to go, and you're going to like, okay, and you can even even to be able to say I will be back in 20 minutes, it doesn't leave the other person completely, like wondering what's going on, you know, there's some reassurance there. And, you know, we can learn, we can develop these kinds of mechanisms, you know, and the more we work with what we feel, and then we will take the time, after something goes on that we, we would rather have go differently, to really take the time with what it how it feels, really take the time with letting that emotion appear in the body and working with it, as it is presenting itself in the body. So that we can give it a chance to kind of sift out and give ourselves a chance to see that we don't have to be pushed around by such things. We don't have to be pushed around by the feeling, we can be present with a feeling and the feeling will go away. It takes some time. You know, if something like anger shows up, there's chemicals flushing through the system, we have to let that off. Settle. Yes, Anthony.
I really, I really like the five aggregates because it breaks everything and breaks it down to what's happening, you know, and then a question to you is when when we get the the willpower or whatnot to you know, what we those were you were discussing earlier? They're in those five aggregates, do we steer the other way? You know, we're
okay, and it depends a little on how we define that. The aggregates. So first I'll say before I forget that I just did a series on the five aggregates recently and it's on our YouTube channel for Corona Buddha's vihāra. So you might find it interesting cuz we had some good discussions people brought up some interesting points because No, like looking at perception for example. So so, you know, we have contact, if you look, this is partly coming from the chain of dependent origination, but it's also you know, observable in all our experience, you know, we hear see, taste, touch, smell or think something and we're making sense of it. conscious, the sense consciousness is there, and immediately there's feeling and we can't stop that part because the feeling just comes up. That's old karma that's coming from our conditioning. And also perception. So I really, you know, recognize not only are we you know, perceiving something, then you know, there's There's an end. And of course, the sense consciousness is there, you know, making sense of this identifying this thing and the perception is there. I don't just think of it only as the simple act of perceiving. But I think about it, if you want to toss the patterns that we have the perceptions we have of ourself the perceptions we have of other people, the perceptions we have of someone who's tall, short, fat, then black, white, brown, red, whatever, we have perceptions about doctors and lawyers, and farmers and cattle drivers, and plumbers, and whatever, you know, you think of anything, and we've got a whole bunch of perceptions around it. You know, someone can have a look on their face. And we perceive it as negative or positive, or has something related to me, or they've got an attitude about me, or, you know, these kinds of things are built up. From our experience. A lot of it, we've learned from watching other people, like our parents, or whoever was around that we got conditioned, there's some of that conditioning. And frankly, I am convinced that a lot of it comes from past life experience, come in with attitudes, we come in with likes and dislikes, we come in with propensities. And so all of that's happening. And we have to begin to be the, the astute observer of all that. And the more we reflect upon, you know, why do I have this? Why have? Do I have this perception? Is it true? Why am I having this particular story that comes up when I see this other car, the driver, you know, they're driving a Tesla, or they're driving a Volkswagen, and I've got a different perception, you know, why, why is that? And what am I doing with it. And, you know, the more we can unpack, like you're seeing, I think the more we can unpack this, so really, whether we put these things in the category of the conda of perception, or sankhāra. I don't know how much practical difference it makes. But it can help us think of these, these are pieces that come together that add that kind of construct a certain reaction, a certain way of thinking and increasing a certain way of feeling. So there's that initial feeling that we don't have the ability to stop, because it's already ignited immediately, but then whatever we think, brings up more feeling, we can really deepen a felt sense, we can really deepen an anger or affection or whatever, by our thinking. So that's the sunkara and it plays into the feeling and then you've got more feeling and you've got more perceptions arising and it kind of snowballs unless we put some gaps in there. And really, it's you know, Terry was really describing it earlier too and you know, we really
put in a wedge of awareness and then you know, some evaluation This is where the wisdom faculty comes in, is this leading upwards? Or is this leading downwards and we can tell by how it feels this is opening my heart and making making more loving kindness arise and compassion you know, if more wisdom arises of the dhamma you know, this is a good direction. But if this is closing me down, making me more afraid, making more more angry or greedy or, you know, whatever, confused, we're going in the wrong direction. So yeah, it's a great way to use the aggregates.
I think in the in the moment of that when you your brain when your mind gets hijacked, I think it would, it would be a lack of awareness right in that moment.
Yes, I mean, there's the part that you can't stop. But if you don't have the awareness to catch it where you can, then it's going to just keep rolling. And the ability to catch it earlier, is something we develop. We're developing the sensitivity, the awareness, the ability to slow things down. And then we're able to catch it sooner we can even, we can even recruit our best friend or our partner, to remind us when they see it start happening in a kind way you can have the code you know, to really support each other, and it's like, oh, yeah, okay. Okay, take a break. Oh, yeah, there's all this feeling hear? Oh, yeah. I mean, do any of you hear your father's voice or your mother's voice coming out of your mouth? With some way of talking? Or, I mean, not to blame the parents for everything, because God knows what they went through. But, you know, just, we are we so, so easily just follow the conditioning we have? And we can we can catch ourselves. I'm sorry. And did you have anything? Did you have something you wanted to say?
So I was gonna say something, but I don't know how many hands you have raised? Or how many other people think you're the only one? Modere? Okay, so I think it's in the moment. We're talking about that in the moment. So I had an experience today. Were and, and so I'd have to say, I picked up a lot of positive changes. A second question. But today, you know, we're downsizing in this house. And so there was a box that was essentially a draw out of my husband's possessions. And they go, Okay, today, this is the day maybe you can do this. Well, I was watching him do this, and I go, this is going nowhere, is just pulling things out of this box and putting them on the table. So my patience and patience was rising. And I was getting frustrated. And then I thought, okay, he actually doesn't really know he doesn't have the skills to do this. This is not his forte, his forte is hanging on to things. I mean, that's a little overstatement. So I go, Okay, how about if you bought Don't, don't just take them out of the box and put them on the table? How about if this is recycling, this is trash. This is your treasure box, and I produced this small box for him, I said, these are for your treasures. Anyway. It was a successful operation that I could easily have gone into look, there's nothing there important. Let's just get rid of it. And and I thought myself, and so patience is a quality that I think I have significantly improved on. dhamma. So thank you. Yeah,
thank you for sharing that. Yes, I think that's, I think that's true of me, too. I'm much more patient than I was in the past. And yeah, yeah, that's great. I mean, when we've been together with someone for a very long time, we have these patterns with we have shared sankhāra, you know, we've developed this, this whole complex of, of calcified coral that we've got
just the way you behave, and this is the way I behave, but we repeat what isn't necessarily the most constructive pattern. So you know, the way out of that and anticipate it so yes, yeah,
that's right. Yeah. Good on. Yeah, that's great. We have about four more minutes if anybody wants to ask another question or make a comment, or I guess I should also show you what's up for next month.
So I'm suggesting that you find two items in that list in the Faceman SUTA. And really apply it, apply yourself to it. And if it's not in there, if they're not in there, and you have your own version of one, and I noticed that resentment is one of the translations that venerable Jana Molly used, but it's not in bhante sujetos list. So it also depends on how they train slight the Pāli. So find the word or words that really describes what you want to change and see if you can work with it in those sort of five steps, or most of the work is in that one way you're avoiding it by the smooth path and seeing what that antidote really is. And so that's the first one and then increase any other practice that you do this month that cultivates good. And I gave some examples like listening to the dharma, listening to dhamma talks or reading, dharma books, reading suttas active service, maybe increasing your meditation time a little or including a new devotional practice something that stimulates your, your practice your development of good. And then I've given three suitor references to talk about purification of mind. So that's what we're going to talk about next time, of course, purifying the mind. And there are lots of possibilities in the SU tipitaka. But I picked these three from the gutter and nicaya. And if there's any that you find on your own in the sutras that are talking about purification of mind, I'd be happy for you to bring them next time. And we can talk about them. So I think yes, Anthony.
Please get that website. You mentioned that you had the dark dharma talks.
Yes, the suitors are at see if I can. Yeah.
No one you mentioned about that you just recently did about aggregate.
Oh, okay. Yes, not sukha central.net But karunā karunā Buddhist vihāra. YouTube so it's our YouTube channel for karunā Buddhist vihāra Yeah. All right. Okay, everyone. Thank you so much for your practice and your attention. And I hope you have a really great month. It seems like the months are flying by for me. I don't know how that is for you. But before you know it will be here again. And thank you. Thank you, Rob, for your all your support and help to create these programs. So take care everyone