Posted by: Upāsaka | 03/17/2010

Recollection of the Dhamma

Svākkhāto Bhagavatā Dhammo Sandiṭṭhiko

Akāliko Ehi-passiko opanāyiko paccattaṃ

Veditabbo viññuhi ti

There’s a great passage by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu in an essay of his called “Gladdening the Mind” where he talks about the benefits of recollection of the Dhamma. It’s really a great essay to read when your energy is low and you’re looking for a theme to breathe some life into your practice. I’ve included the sections relevant to Dhammanussati below but you can find the article at the link provide at the bottom of the page.

So when you’re getting discouraged about the path, think about the other paths you might be following in life and realize there’s nothing quite like this one. Even when you haven’t yet reached the end of the path, it’s still a good path to be on.
And the same holds true for recollection of the Dhamma. Think of all the good things the Dhamma has you develop inside. Of course, being on the path means that they’re not fully developed yet, but at least you’re headed in the right direction; your trajectory is headed to the right place. The Buddha talks about the
grief that comes from not having attained your goal on the path, but he said, Look, it’s a lot better than the grief that comes from not having sights or sounds or smells or tastes or tactile sensations that you like—he calls that “householder grief.” And where does that grief lead? It leads people to struggling and fighting and grabbing after things that are just going to slip through their fingers. Whereas the grief that comes from being on the path doesn’t cause strife and it leads in the right direction. Just that thought should inspire you to practice further on the path. The only problem is when the grief gets too heavy, the discouragement gets too heavy—that’s when you need to gladden the mind, by reflecting on all the good things you’ve done as part of the path.
And the path is asking you to do only good things, things you can be proud of, things that feel noble, honourable. You’re not being asked to compromise your ideals when you practice the Dhamma. In fact, you’re being asked to raise your ideals to a higher standard.

Source:

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writings/CrossIndexed/Published/Meditations3/040902%20M3%20Gladdening%20the%20Mind.pdf


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