Posted by: Upāsaka | 01/04/2020

The Importance of Discipline

Whoever through desire, hate or fear,
Or ignorance should transgress the Dhamma,
All his glory fades away
Like the moon during the waning half.
Whoever through desire, hate or fear,
Or ignorance never transgresses the Dhamma,
All his glory ever increases
Like the moon during the waxing half.

Sigalovada Sutta

I’ve been thinking a lot about discipline and how much my wellbeing depends upon it. I remember when I was giving up intoxicants that I had the thought that indulging in them would only make me weaker and less able to deal with the difficulties of life; I now feel the same about akusala and adhammic behavior.

In other words, I am noticing that my well-being and happiness is directly related to my lack of remorse that comes as a result of assiduously keeping the Precepts and doing my best to cultivate the mind and being generous. Dāna, sīla, bhavana.

I’ve found that when I’ve broken a precept it is harder to keep up my self-discipline overall. I lack the energy and actually feel dirty or poisoned. I suspect this is exactly what it’s meant in the Suttas when they speak of a lack of remorse as being a requisite for samadhi. Mettacittena!

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