Hello, and welcome to the second talk on a 10 part series on the, the Pali word is translated into English as the protectors, that which we can rely on or call upon for certain kinds of protection, safeguarding, support, and these things support and safeguard our inner life and our outer life. And it's a way of living in the world, protected from harm, inner harm that we caused ourselves and outer harm. And there was an interesting list that the Buddha came up with for this purpose. Yesterday, it was virtuous conduct, that if we live with a life that doesn't harm others or harm ourselves, there is a kind of protection we're protecting something that is protect worthy in ourselves, the sense of compassion, care respect we have for ourselves at others. And also, we tend to lessen the anger, hostility and even violence that others will harm that others will do to us. And so, the today, the second on the list, is to be well learned. And the ancient language, the literal meaning is to be to have heard a lot. And in a why it says that is why it's worded that way, is in in the old time of the Buddha, there were no books, there were no people weren't reading. And, and so the only way for learning something information was to hear it. So to have heard a lot means to be well learned. And, and so for people who are doing Buddhist practice that this, I think this implies that learning, learning about Buddhism, learning about the dharma. And this can be you know, have benefits and be distractions to do this too much learning too much studying Buddhism, and it's a distraction, it becomes sometimes an abstract exercise and philosophy and doctrine. But there are many ways in which learning about the dharma teaches us where to be oriented. The values we want to have the practice of we want to do the ways of being in the world that protect us from ourselves and protect us from mitigating the possibility of harm from the world around us. So for example, it's one thing to learn mindfulness. It's another thing to learn how mindfulness is integral to the eightfold path, to right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right, right mindfulness, and then right concentration. That these, learning these and learning how to practice these are bringing them forth into our life, helps develop the mindfulness more strongly it gives kind of feet to the mindfulness, it also shows us more of what we bring in, bring ourselves into the dharma more completely, so that the mindfulness can be more effective, can be more effective in recognizing what's going on inside of us outside of ourselves. And so we're living a life, a life a lifestyle, that is more beneficial. So studying the dharma and learned the Eightfold Path provides that kind of support. Some people come to Buddhism with erroneous ideas, some of them which are can be harmful for them. I've known people who've come to Buddhism from a religion, the religion they grew up with, where the understanding was that if you were part of a religion, you had to believe everything that religion said, and there was no questioning it. So they come to Buddhism and they think well, now I have to believe all of this. And some of the some of Buddhism is hard to believe for many people. And so then they're struggling and and maybe I can't be a Buddhist. But if you study Buddhism, you realize quickly that there's no need to believe all of Buddhism that Buddhism has a pragmatic, practical aside, that is the emphasis which is you Inc, we study Buddhism, in order to help us on the path to liberation to freedom With Freedom from attachments, and we can a little bit pick and choose. within Buddhism, what we want to study what helps us and supports us is a vast, vast supply of teachings and practices in Buddhism. And then we are responsible for our own practice and how to navigate the different choices of practice and finding what is most useful for us finding what teachings are most useful for us. So for example, learning well might be to learn not only mindfulness practice for learning loving kindness, practice or compassion, practice or equanimity practice. And, and then knowing when those are useful to practice when they're useful to support us. It also helpful to know and learn that we don't have to believe all the Buddhism. Some people come to Buddhism and believe that the precepts are these hard and fast rules that you if you commit yourself to the precepts that if you break them, you're kind of doomed, it's kind of like you create so much bad karma or sin almost, if he can, people coming with other religious ideas and, and using them to understand Buddhism. And in in Buddhism, the precepts are actually literally called trainings. And so it learned their trainings rather than Commandments can make a huge difference for how people approach Buddhism, Buddhist precepts. So part of learning is to learn the importance of the motivation for which we're practicing. And so then learning motivation is very important. Then we do the inner work of ourselves, what is my motivation? Is my motivation useful? And and what motivations does Buddhism encourage us to have? And why does it want the motivations, for example, to liberation, liberation from suffering, there are some people who feel like the end of suffering is not really spiritual, even its end of suffering is nice, it's therapeutic. But it doesn't connect us to what they think is a spiritual world of deities or cosmic, ultimate meanings and different things. And but why does Buddhism early Buddhism put such a big emphasis on the end of suffering as being really the ultimate goal of the practice. And so that might be really no that can give, can help kind of refine how a person is involved in Buddhism, or maybe decide that Buddhism is not for them, they have other purposes they want. And there's other completely worthwhile religious practices orientations that the person could have. But by learning, learning the teachings of Buddhism studying them, then a person can know Oh, this is actually not for me. And I think I would rather have some other approach to how to live my life. So to study Buddhists to study, to study well, and also in daily life, to not take things on, on faith, to not read something or learn something, and have opinions about it, without having studied it. I know in my life, I've had opinions about things that I actually didn't know too much about. And then I felt quite kind of, you know, kind of, you know, quite concerned about myself, that I would do this. And so, one of the purposes of reading and studying is so that we don't rely on unfounded opinion. Even if opinions seem logical, or seem like a lot of people believe them. There are all kinds of opinions, opinions that travel around in our society around the politics, and economics and racism and all kinds of things. Some of these opinions and ideas don't even present themselves as opinions and ideas are presented as a truth. And if some person of authority says them, then they must be true. But to go behind, underneath and see where did the ideas come from and what history do they have.
And it doesn't mean you have to do an extensive study of something. But even even a small study of kind of a summary of some of the background for some of the opinions people have, can be eye opening. And it can be a safeguarding the truth to safeguarding ourselves from holding onto opinions tightly without really knowing. Or if we keep the opinion, then we're better informed. And so then we're safeguarding the truth that when we when we say, I have this on, you know, I believe this because I read it in this book, or heard this teacher say it. I believe it because I've reasoned it out and my reasoning leads me to believe this You know, said, the Buddha emphasized something called safeguarding the truth, being really clear about the basis upon which you're having an opinion or a belief. And that's the same is true for Buddhism itself. On what basis do you believe your your beliefs, there's something you know, from experience is something you know, from a book. And so to say that, as opposed to saying, Buddhism says, or the Buddha said, you can say the Buddha said, in a particular SUTA. And that's kind of creates a little context for what you're what you're doing. So I like to think that this teaching on learning a lot, learning well is away from not a way of becoming complicated and filling her head with ideas. But it's guided with the idea that if you study well, it actually allows the the mind to become simpler, quieter, not simplistic, but wisely simple, wisely. appreciating the depth and the great value of showing up with the simplicity of being with mindfulness and care, in situation of all the situations in our life. And so safeguarding, our inner simplicity of being or any inner sense of being at home with ourselves, at peace with ourselves, and sending study to learn a little bit about all the beliefs we have that take us away from that, and understanding a little bit, how it's appropriate to find the simplicity of being to rest in and to be with that, there's so much goodness that flows from that. And then the simplicity of being that protects some of the most beautiful qualities of who we are. And so they can be shared with the world. So I do recommend that people who want to do regular Buddhist practice, spend a little bit of time sometimes studying Buddhism, getting the basic ideas. And one of the consequences of that is that even if we don't understand all the teachings now, as the practice continues, as we are practiced matures, we'll be able to identify and recognize what's happening to us. Because we have the language, the context, the concepts, to oh, this is good. This is what's happening. So one example was that, you know, I had learned a little bit about mettā, kindness, loving kindness, just the ideas of it. And at some point in my meditation practice on retreat, this unusual feeling arose up me and at first, I didn't know what it was. And then, because I had learned about loving kindness, which I had no idea about, before I started Buddhism, I said, Oh, this is what it is. And having that simple recognition, made it come alive, and really let it grow for me. So part of the purpose of being well studied in Buddhism, well enough, is to learn the basic ideas, so that when it's appropriate, we can recognize them and see how they grow in us. So for, again, one, one example would be to learn what the seven factors of awakening are. And then it's as your practice at some point that each of these seven factors of awakening might appear for you and you can read Oh, this is what it is that this is useful, this is something to safeguard. So, so these of these 10 protectors. The second one now is being well studied, well learned, and, and then I'll continue with this series tomorrow. Thank you