Posted by: Upāsaka | 06/03/2020

Andreia or Viriya

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“It is more in accord with nature to emulate the great Hercules and undergo the greatest toil and trouble for the sake of aiding or saving the world, if possible, than to live in seclusion.”
~ Cicero, De officiis, 3.5

I have, for years now, tried (rather unsuccessfully) to practice the paramis in pursuit of a more perfect character and in hopes of meeting the Buddha Metteyya. The truth is, however, that these days in quarantine and, now, in the midst of a city on edge from riots and looting, are much harder than I would have imagined.

I am trying to keep up some semblance of a routine of physical, mental and spiritual culture and am finding it exceedingly difficult as I imagine millions of us are right now. But, knowing that no defeat or victory is ever-lasting in this conditioned world, what other choice do we have but to fight on towards liberation?

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/30/2020

Nothing to Be Sad About

So it really seems like this is it. I am capitulating and taking the steps needed to make this happen as the constant threats, screaming, yelling and criticism are turning more physical. Enough is enough. My kids are suffering and no good will come of it.

She expected me to fight her on these things. She wants sole full custody: she may have it. She wants to get spousal support: so be it. My kids are no less or more mine regardless of what it’s written on poem and ink and if a court determines that I owe such an amount then I will pay it. Small price to pay for peace.

She now wants to mourn and asks why I don’t cry like she does. I ask her: “Where have you been all this time? Why mourn now when everyday was cause for grief?” And I tell her “I’m only sad when there is a chance that something could still turn out differently. There’s nothing to be sad about anymore.”

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/28/2020

Dhammapada 11

How do we develop right view?

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/27/2020

Dhammapada 10

Yo ca vantakasav’assa
silesu susamahito
upeto damasaccena
sa ve kasavamarahati.

Verse 10: He who has discarded all moral defilements (kilesas), who is established in moral precepts, is endowed with restraint and (speaks the) truth is, indeed, worthy of the yellow robe.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/23/2020

Dhammapada 7

Subhanupassim viharantam

indriyesu asamvutam

bhojanamhi camattannum

kusitam hinaviriyam

tam ve pasahati Maro

vato rukkhamva dubbalam.

He who keeps his mind on pleasant objects, who is uncontrolled in his senses, immoderate in his food, and is lazy and lacking in energy, will certainly be overwhelmed by Mara, just as stormy winds uproot a weak tree.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/20/2020

Dhammapada 5

Na hi verena verani
sammantidha kudacanam
averena ca sammanti
esa dhammo sanantano.

Verse 5: Hatred is, indeed, never appeased by hatred in this world. It is appeased only by loving-kindness. This is an ancient law.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/16/2020

Dhammapada 3

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/14/2020

Dhammapada Memorization

Manopubbangama dhamma manosettha manomaya

manasa ce padutthena bhasati va karoti va

tato nam dukkhamanveti

cakkamva vahato padam.

All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, ‘dukkha’ follows him just as the wheel follows the hoofprint of the ox that draws the cart.

I have been feeling as though I have been spending my free time in dissolution. Scrolling through Facebook and Reddit and slowing the mind to alight wherever it likes. I had been slowly making my way through the Anguttara Nikaya but I want to develop an even closer connection and knowledge of the Dhamma and I figure learning the Dhammapada by heart is the way to go. So, prepare to be bored as I will post one verse a day.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/11/2020

Look Inside

Yesterday I did something (or rather I didn’t do something) which would seem completely justified given the circumstances: I decided not to give my wife a card for Mother’s Day because of just how bad things had been between us. I still made sure my kids did so and wanted to ensure that she felt appreciated by them but I decided not to. Yes, she had let it be known that I wasn’t welcome to come visit her family with them. She had also spent the morning engaged in her usual and endless rounds of criticism but, despite all that, I was bothered by my own failure to do what I thought was right.

Yesterday really brought home the lesson that it is more important to follow one’s own inner guide rather than trying to rely on outward conventions and customs. When I let anger and hurt take the wheel I suffered for it greatly. All day, at home alone I was unable to find peace as a result of the remorse I felt. Trying to justify being unkind in retaliation didn’t help. The only thing that has assuaged the pain is accepting that it was wrong and deciding that I must do better in the future.

In sum, not only should I not look outside for approval but I should look inside for censure and follow the Dhamma as my guide.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/10/2020

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