2023-10-02-Gil-Ten Protectors (1 of 10) Virtuous Conduct
3:16PM Oct 2, 2023
Hello, and welcome to this Monday where we begin a new theme for 7am teachings are 7am explorations. And I'll be here for the next two weeks. And then I go back on to teach another week long retreat. So in these two weeks is 10 of these weekday morning sittings. And so I'm inspired to teach us the basis for these 10 days, what's called the 10 protectors that 10 supports. And this word and not the can mean someone who really is a protector, someone who safeguards others. And also someone who helps someone who supports. And the idea is that there are these 10 protectors that we have, in how we live, how we act in the world, how we the attitudes we have the motivations we have, and that these 10 protectors that we have, or something we can call upon something we can have as a protection. And this assumes that there is something worth protecting. And it's not, you know, in ourselves in the kind of general way we might be concerned about ourselves. Because we have all kinds of complicated relationships with ourselves all kinds of complicated, maybe some not so helpful, attitudes about me myself in mind, even selfishness that comes along. And then we're not trying to protect our selfishness. But to protect a deep source within. And I use the word source. Maybe it should be the idea that word should be that concept should be held but lightly. But we have anxiety, for example, that's the source for fretting and worrying about our life in the future. And that's that anxiety could be felt physically somewhere in our body that's activated and tense, maybe we can have a feeling of different kinds of tension inside different kinds of maybe hurt or anger, that can be the source for ill will and even hostility. And we have a sources within or a place or a location or something that some conditions that need to kind of be in place for us to come with, into the world with generosity, with benevolence, with kindness with friendliness, with a sense of care and, and for the for the world and ourselves. And that's that, that's source if we may on inside tends to be overwritten or covered over or obscured by overly active mind that's driven by anxiety or hostility or conceit or desires of what we want lust and greed. And when those kinds of things settle quiet, then these deeper sort of motivations, deeper way of being can show themselves. And it can appear through as we get calmer and more settled. And it can be quite wonderful to feel a kind of deep sense of inner intimacy in the here and now in the present moment with our lived experience that's below the discursive level of thoughts where we might often be caught up in discursive thinking that's driven by these more unhealthy or obscuring attitudes, motivations. So we calm and settle and come into the present moment through her body. At some point there might be a feeling of on home, there's an intimacy there's a place of where there's more wisdom, more sensitivity. And, and so that sense or feeling for that inside which is not meant to be a specific I call it a source is not meant to be, you know, identifiable that's okay, right there is where it is. But sometimes it's more suffused. To place within, maybe somewhere in the torso in the belly, some people might associated with a heart, some people with a belly, some people and some other kind of suffused of way, that spreads through the body, a kind of sense of goodness or wellness that is there. And, and this and so, this is worth protecting this needs a protector for us. Because the way life is the way that we are sometimes caught up in the world, not only can obscure it, but can also kind of limit it or, or even damage it in some ways. And so to know how to call upon those things that will protect it. And, and the first thing that in this list of 10 is virtuous conduct, the actions that we do in the world, that we do actions which are ethical or are wholesome, that have that that are beneficial in the world, that do not cause harm. So not non harming actions in the world. And these virtuous actions and thinking about this, it's useful, I think, to consider that sometimes we will learn more about ourselves through our actions and through our thinking. I think some people in the modern world have become excessively preoccupied with their thoughts, trying to think their way out of everything, or to figure out everything or understand everything. As if thinking is a vehicle for making sense of the world, making sense of oneself, protecting oneself planning better for the future, remembering all about the past, to make it better, or something. And certainly thoughts have a very important role in our lives. But it's not necessarily where we come to the best understanding of ourselves. That many ways we understand ourselves better through actions, but what we do in our lives and how we what we say in our lives, and if we if we see and hear and understand that the actions then become a window, into understanding something deeper about ourselves. And the role the thinking has, is to be a bridge, between our actions, our speech, and some the source within and if their source of then is anxiety and anger and hostility or greed and lust, then the actions have a particular shape and form. But if the source is this place of benevolence, non assertiveness non conceit, non hostility, non greed, non lust, varied, then thinking is the medium is the Met is a bridge for that place to come into the world. And interactions, and it goes in both directions. So, our actions protect this inner place of goodness. And it's really worth protecting. And so the more people meditate, for example, there are other ways of tapping into this, the more we understand this is health. This is a kind of inner health, inner beauty, inner freedom, that's worth protecting. It's a place that where that recognizes the value of being truthful, recognize its truth in ourselves, recognize it and others, it's a place that that resonates with kindness. It's a place that acknowledges or confirms the value of friendliness or generosity. And it can see it and others see it in the world. And, and, and respond to it, it can offer it to the world. And so one of the ways to protect this place is to live a life of virtuous conduct, to live a life that abstains from doing the things that we know are going to harm other people. Or we may be may be suspect might harm other people. And that tradition, certainly lists of five things that are, are harmful. It's harmful to be killing or physically harming others. With violence which
is harmful to others, to steal, to steal for them to take what is not given. It's harmful to others to, to be involved in sexual misconduct, the sexuality, which take advantages of people were what we assert ourselves over people, there's an aggression in the, in the sexuality, there is deceit in it, there's lying, there is a lack of respect for, for the other person, lack of respect for other partners that we have. And, and then there's, we harm by lying. And we harmed not directly but indirectly, ourselves and others, the consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs. And a lot of harm gets done in our society for this. And there might be other ways in which we harm but at least for these five areas, to really, a if you want to protect your, our inner goodness, one, it helped discover it and let it kind of flourish, then these things are really important. So in the list of these 10, protect protectors, our actions can protect the act, there's, and there's a bridge, there's a channel between these actions, that living a life of ethical integrity, and this inner inner life. And that bridge, that channel is our thinking. If we know that we're living ethically know that we're not causing other people harm, intentionally and overt ways. That's to be celebrated as to be appreciated. And so to have thoughts, that, that have inner confidence that we're not causing harm thoughts, that recognize that appreciate that. And letting those thoughts kind of point us back to that place of source within that resonates that recognizes the inner wholesomeness of, of, of living without motivations to harm anyone at all at all, without any hostility or any greed, that that can cause harm. And there is this kind of sensibility sensitivity that exists within us. That, that, that that's what feels the best intuition of our goodness, intuition of our ethical integrity, intuition of a deeper wellspring of benevolence that we can live our life by. So the first protector we have is our actions and specifically, being careful to live a wholesome life, a wholesome, based on the five precepts not to kill or physically harm people, not to steal, not to engage in sexual misconduct, not to lie, and not to abuse and toxic ins. So I hope that on this day, as we go through these 10 protectors that we can have that use them, they're kind of the most obvious because that can be seen. And maybe you can take a look at your actions and your speech and consider where your actions where your speech comes from. And is there a way of speaking and way of acting that you feel safeguard something precious within. So, thank you very much, and I look forward to tomorrow.