Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby mettafuture » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:28 pm

I'm ready to give Theravada Buddhism another try. I think if I simplify / summarize what I've learned from books, dhamma talks, and my teachers, it'll be easy for me practice comfortably without being overwhelmed by all the material.

Below is my attempt to outline the essence of what I need to understand. If you see something missing, or written in error, please let me know. Your suggestions would be appreciated.


There are four noble truths, each of which are to be contemplated and understood. The first truth proclaims the prevalence of dukkha (suffering), and the last truth reveals the eightfold path, the blue print for escaping the ignorance and clinging that causes suffering. 

Samatha and vipassana (serenity & insight), in conjunction with right view, are the 2 qualities needed to counter ignorance; both qualities can be cultivated through meditation practices of the same names. These, and other life practices are explained in detail in the Satipatthana, Anapanasati, Metta, Sigalovada, Sabbasava, Magga-vibhanga Sutta, and Sammaditthi Suttas.

Be mindful of the 5 hindrances that can interfere with practice. Live by the 5 precepts. And combat the 3 taints for final liberation from dukkha.
Last edited by mettafuture on Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby Goedert » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:01 pm

Friend,

This is a good start, no doubt. Put your five faculties deep in to it.

May have true wisdom.
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:24 pm

also remember it is a gradual training, no need to have it all figured out right at the beginning.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby Sobeh » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:48 pm

I further recommend the eight precepts on uposatha days, and I recommend making a point to practice walking brahmavihara meditations.
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby bodom » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:43 pm

Keep it simple. Do good, Avoid evil and Purify the mind. Focus on generosity, virtue and meditation.


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby bodom » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:05 pm

At one time the Blessed One was living at Vesali in the Hall with the Pointed Roof in the Great Wood. Then a certain bhikkhu went to the Blessed One...and said: "Lord, every fortnight more than a hundred and fifty rules of conduct come up for recitation. Lord, I cannot train in all those."

"Can you train in three training rules, bhikkhu?" The training rule of the higher virtue, the training rule of the higher consciousness, and the training rule of the higher understanding?"

"I can train in those, Lord"

"Then, bhikkhu, train in those three training rules. As soon as you have completed that training, then, being completely trained, lust hate and delusion will have been abandoned in you. With that you will no more do unwholesome acts or cultivate evil."

Later on that bhikkhu completed that training; then, being completely trained , lust hate and delusion were completely abandoned in him. With that he no more did unwholesome acts or cultivated evil.


AN 3.83


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:55 pm

I was feeling overwhelmed with the huge amount of material on the recommended reading list, and with some of my peers who can cite "chapter and verse" of the entire Tipitaka (so it often seems). I read "The Dhamma: Short Course, Checklists for Buddhist Learning" by Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto." Helped to give me a grasp on the basics.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:21 pm

bodom wrote:Keep it simple. Do good, Avoid evil and Purify the mind. Focus on generosity, virtue and meditation.

:anjali:


Excellent advice.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:34 pm

Find a teacher, develop a daily practice, go on retreat at some point, i might add.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:58 am

Greetings mettafuture,

mettafuture wrote:Samatha and vipassana (serenity & insight) are the 2 qualities needed to counter ignorance.

Not just these things... any aspect of the noble eightfold path when conjoined with Right View helps to counter ignorance.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby mettafuture » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:25 am

Thank you all for the feedback and positivity. 

jcsuperstar wrote:also remember it is a gradual training, no need to have it all figured out right at the beginning.

Good point. Even when I knew about this training, I still tried to inhale the entire dhamma at once. :D I know better than to do that now. The only thing I'm going to focus on for the moment are the 5 hindrances.

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings mettafuture,

mettafuture wrote:Samatha and vipassana (serenity & insight) are the 2 qualities needed to counter ignorance.

Not just these things... any aspect of the noble eightfold path when conjoined with Right View helps to counter ignorance.

Metta,
Retro. :)

You're absolutely right. I'll add the Sammaditthi Sutta to my list. :D
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:14 am

mettafuture wrote:Below is my attempt to outline the essence of what I need to understand...

Looks good to me.

Monkey Mind wrote:...and with some of my peers who can cite "chapter and verse" of the entire Tipitaka (so it often seems)...

My secret is the indexes and search engine at accesstoinsight.org ;)

mettafuture wrote:The only thing I'm going to focus on for the moment are the 5 hindrances.

My two cents... ignore if you wish... I understand ethical conduct tends to provide a strong foundation for calm meditation. Precepts, right speech... these will help.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby mettafuture » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:24 pm

Peter wrote:
Monkey Mind wrote:...and with some of my peers who can cite "chapter and verse" of the entire Tipitaka (so it often seems)...

My secret is the indexes and search engine at accesstoinsight.org ;)

:lol:

I often use In The Buddha's Word's by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Even during my down time from the Theravada, I would often find myself looking through it. I wish there was an electronic version available. I'd love to be able to read it on my iPod touch. Thick, heavy, books are so 1990s. :P

Speaking of iPods and AccessToInsight, did you know there's an iPhone version of AccessToInsight available?
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/access-t ... 25338?mt=8

mettafuture wrote:The only thing I'm going to focus on for the moment are the 5 hindrances.

My two cents... ignore if you wish... I understand ethical conduct tends to provide a strong foundation for calm meditation. Precepts, right speech... these will help.

All comments and suggestions are read and appreciated. I don't ignore anything. :)

Advice taken.
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby phil » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:21 pm

Ben wrote:
bodom wrote:Keep it simple. Do good, Avoid evil and Purify the mind. Focus on generosity, virtue and meditation.

:anjali:


Excellent advice.


Hi all.

If I'm not mistaken, the Buddha actually ordered it "avoid evil, do good, and purify the mind." My apologies if I'm wrong on that, but it seems to me that there are interesting implications in changing the ordering. I think harmlessness is a great way to get back to the basic starting point...which is what I'm also needing to do these days! :smile: Of course "doing good" also involves harmlessness, but it seems to me that if we look at the canon, "doing good" is rarer than "avoiding evil" when you look at the many factors that must co-arise for a deed to be "good" technically speaking. (i.e there can't be lobha involved, which there almost always is I'm sure when I do something that seems to be "good" in my case..)

OK, sorry if that is off topic.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby bodom » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:37 pm

If it means that much to ya I can go back and edit my post. :tongue:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby phil » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:48 pm

bodom wrote:If it means that much to ya I can go back and edit my post. :tongue:

:anjali:


Only *you* can edit your posts, my friend ;) (Actually, thinking of kamma performed in body, speech and mind as "posts" is kinda interesting..)

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby appicchato » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:40 am

Speaking of iPods and AccessToInsight, did you know there's an iPhone version of AccessToInsight available?
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/access-t ... 25338?mt=8

Wouldn't be without it...wherever one might be, it's right there...

Another good one to have tag along is http://buddhismatoz.com...excellent...
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Re: Simplifying Practice for Easy Application

Postby salmon » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:15 am

An easy application one of my teachers taught...

When with others, watch your mouth
When alone, watch your mind.


:anjali:
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~
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