Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 10/21/2018

Caganussati as the Antidote to Abuse

It has been rough here the last few days. and, although I certainly haven’t spoken without resentment or shared my feelings I have ever been respectful and avoided denigrating or using harsh speech. My erstwhile partner however has no such compunction about throwing verbal barbs and trying to hurt with words.

Rather than allow myself to boil over with rage and lay waste to my present and future lives my mind turned immediately to recollection of my goodness and generosity as the antidote as I realized I was going to a pretty dark place where I was believing that I was the uncaring father she was telling the kids I am.

I’m no saint but self-flagellation won’t help me to navigate these emotions. Instead, I’ll try to brighten the mind and protect myself, my kids and wife from the kilesa of hatred. I’ve found the following passage which looks to be helpful so I’ll share it:

One who wishes to practice caganussati contemplates the virtues of generosity and frequent donations such as giving away and sharing things. One might start by mentally reciting, “If I cannot give away even a spoonful of rice today, I will not consume anything.” One contemplates his or her own generosity in a quiet, secluded place to develop the virtues of being without stains such as miserliness. One reflects, “When others are overtaken by greed, I will be the one without any stain such as miserliness. I will sacrifice completely. I will have clean hands. I will be happy to be generous. I will be happy to be asked. I will be happy in generosity and sharing. This is my Noble Good Fortune.” When one repeatedly contemplates one’s own kindness, while focusing on the virtues of generosity, he or she will gain the power of virtues such as being without stain or miserliness. The mind will not be disturbed by lust, anger or delusion. It will be filled with generosity and the jhana will be attained to calm the Five Hindrances.

However, generosity virtues are profuse and profound. One who contemplates various virtues of generosity may only reach access concentration, not attainment concentration.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.