Tuesday, 29 June 2010

CAST NOT YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE...

COMMENT ON LAST PROJECT: Cast not your pearls before swine…

MATTHEW 7:vi : Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Jesus came. He healed the sick and said, “Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  The Jews “turned again” and had him crucified.


NEW PROJECT:
Sabbapāpassa akaranam kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanam etam buddhāna sāsanam.

Not doing all sins, perfecting (all) wholesome deeds,
Purifying one’s own mind; this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

Don’t do bad. Do good. Purify your mind.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Adhitthāna

COMMENT ON Adhitthāna

The man who gets off the train is not the same man as the one who crosses the platform. The man who gets on the next train is someone else again.

That's the problem. Now I see things one way. I understand them very clearly. I make a decision. Tomorrow's man inherits this. But his viewpoint, feelings and understanding then are likely to be different from mine now. He may come to a different conclusion. If he does, he will make a different decision.

What's the answer? One has to work until one really does understand something through and through. 100 percent. Then one has to make an effort to fix this understanding in the endless flow of selves so that, although the selves continue to change, this decision is constantly inherited by each in its turn and is always there. Then one can move smoothly towards one's goal.

The effort to fix a decision is called in Buddhism - Adhitthāna. This is usually translated as “determination”. But this is not practical enough. Literally it means "place, foundation". That gives us a clue. If you use something as a foundation, everything you build on it remains durable and in place. Even if you keep changing the superstructure, the foundation remains constant. If you make an adhitthāna about something, all the succeeding selves rest on it and inherit it. So it appears as a foundation for each of them. The Buddha made an adhitthāna under the bodhi tree to the effect that he would sit there until he had either found the truth or died. He also made adhitthānas before each of his last ten births as to which of the Perfections he intended to perfect in that lifetime.


NEW PROJECT: Cast not your pearls before swine...

Monday, 14 June 2010

BREAKTHROUGH!

COMMENT ON LAST WEEK'S PROJECT:

To achieve a breakthrough, you need

1. a clear idea of what you want to achieve

2. a definite intention to achieve it

3. the right tool(s) for the job

4. clear understanding of the tool(s) and how to use them.

5. perseverance to see it through.

Why "breakthrough"? It implies resistance and difficulty (Up the Down Staircase). If you have tried and failed again at something, it suggests there is a ceiling that you yourself have put there. The difficulty here is that one is pitting one's energy against oneself.

If you failed last week, look at 1 - 4 above and try and pinpoint the cause(s).


NEW PROJECT: ADHIṬṬĀNA

Monday, 7 June 2010

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE

COMMENTS ON "UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE"

It could be that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In that case you ought to go to an Up Staircase which is either empty or has people travelling in the same direction as you (up).

It could be that you are doing the right thing but are out of step with the rest of the world/people around you. In this case you should look for an Up Staircase even if there are hordes of people coming down it.

It could be that you are right but not only are many other people wrong but they have succeeded in taking over the escalator.  The problem is therefore more difficult than you had thought.  The honourable answer is to use your free will and persevere with great patience.

On a purely personal level, you might be a meditator and find that when you sit down to move towards total peace of mind and happiness, you find hordes of thoughts, memories and feelings rushing towards you, getting in the way and trying to push you off course.  These are Mara's children.  Many are defeated by this and give in.  The honourable course is never to give in if you are right.

The honourable is always to try to be right.


NEW PROJECT: BREAKTHROUGH!

One spirals upwards until one reaches a barrier which at some stage one has put there oneself or allowed others to do so. This has become a ceiling.  One bangs one's head against it again and again until one loses momentum and ceilings-out.  One then spirals down until one can summon up enough momentum to have another go.  This can go on for a long time until one feels defeated and gives up.  One then spirals down and ultimately goes through the floor.  Thereby creating another ceiling .  Lower down.

This is the week to set yourself a worthwhile goal AND ACHIEVE IT!  If you succeed it will give you the momentum to try something and, in this way, gradually/quickly reconstruct your life.