Daily recollection/reflection [part1]

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Daily recollection/reflection [part1]

Postby starter » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:14 pm

Hi friends,

Many of you have given me very helpful advice on my question concerning the path to stream entry. Thanks a lot!

I’m preparing a list of my daily recollections and reflections. In addition to this daily reflecton, I also study suttas (mainly MN) and listening to Ven. Bodhi's teaching classes on the suttas, do sitting and walking meditation. I’d like to share with you what I’ve prepared for my morning lesson/chant. I hope that my mistakes/wrong understandings can be corrected if you notice, and anything you feel helpful can be added to my list. I also hope this collection can be of some help to the beginners like me.

My Daily Recollections (for the morning):

"Established in these five qualities [conviction, mindfulness, persistence, concentration, discernment], you should further develop six qualities:
[1] "There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata:

“Iti pi so Bhagavā Arahaṃ
[Thus indeed is the blessed accomplished one]
Sammā-sambuddho
[Rightly awakened one]
Vijjā-caraṇa Sampanno
[Endowed with true knowledge and virtuous conduct]
Sugato [well gone]
Lokavidū [the Knower of the worlds]
Anuttaro Purisa-damma-sārathi
[peerless trainer of the tameable ones ]
Satthā deva-manussānaṃ
[Teacher of gods and men]
Buddho
[Awakened and awake others]
Bhagavā ti
[Blessed]. ”

[2] … recollect the Dhamma:
Svākkhāto Bhagavatā Dhammo Sandiṭṭhiko
Akāliko Ehi-passiko Opanayiko Paccattaṃ
Veditabbo viññūhī ti

The Dhamma of the Blessed One
Is well expounded,
To be seen here and now,
Timeless,
Encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation
To be realized by the wise for themselves.


[3] … recollect the Sangha:

Supaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
Ujupaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
Ñāyapaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
Sāmīcipaṭipanno Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
Yadidaṃ cattāri purisayugāni aṭṭha
purisa-puggalā, esa Bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho
Āhuṇeyyo, pāhuṇeyyo, dakkhiṇeyyo,
Añjalikaraṇīyo, anuttaraṃ puññākkhettaṃ
lokassā ti

'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples have practiced well,
have practiced straight-forwardly,
have entered the right path,
are accomplished in the practice;
That is the Four Pairs, the Eight Types of noble beings,
these are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples:
worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect,
the incomparable field of merit for the world.’

[4] … recollect own virtues:
First 5 precepts [Pañca Sīla]
Pānātipātā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
Kāmesu micchācārā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
Musāvādā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
Surā-meraya-majja-pamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi

I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from killing sentient living beings [intentionally].
I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from taking things not given.
I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from sexual misconduct.
I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from false speech.
I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from liquor causing intoxication and heedlessness.

'(May my virtues be) untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, untarnished, liberating, praised by the wise, conducive to concentration'

“Seeing danger in the slightest fault, he undertakes & trains himself in the training rules.”

Khamāyācanā [Forgiveness of Faults]
Kāyena vācā cittena [If by deeds, speech or thoughts heedlessly]
Pamādena mayā kataṃ [I have committed any wrong-doing]
Accayaṃ khama me bhante [Forgive me, O Venerable]
Bhūripañña tathāgata! [O Victor, Greatly Wise!]

[5] … recollect own generosity:
'It is a gain, a great gain for me, that — among people overcome with the stain of possessiveness — I live at home, my awareness cleansed of the stain of possessiveness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in being magnanimous, responsive to requests, delighting in the distribution of alms.'

[6] … recollect the devas:
'There are the devas of the Four Great Kings,
the devas of the Thirty-three,
the devas of the Hours,
the Contented Devas,
the devas who delight in creation,
the devas who have power over the creations of others,
the devas of Brahma's retinue,
the devas beyond them.
Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there,
May the same sort of conviction be present in me as well.
Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there,
May the same sort of virtue be present in me as well.
Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there,
May the same sort of learning be present in me as well.
Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there,
May the same sort of generosity be present in me as well.
Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there,
May the same sort of discernment be present in me as well.'

The Blessed One said, "Because I teach the Dhamma through direct knowledge and not without direct knowledge, because I teach the Dhamma with a cause and not without a cause, because I teach the Dhamma with marvels and not without marvels, there is good reason for my instruction, good reason for my admonition. And it is enough for you to be content, enough for you to be gratified, enough for you to take joy, that the Blessed One is rightly self-awakened, the Dhamma is well-taught by the Blessed One, and the community has practiced rightly." — AN 3.126

[The joy and confidence induced by these 6 recollections can bring the mind to concentration and cleanse it of defilement: “He lives with Brahma [= the Buddha] [Dhamma, Sangha, virtues, devas] … . It is owing to Brahma [Dhamma, Sangha, virtues, devas] … that his mind is brightened, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. ”

"Sabba-dukkha sabba-bhaya sabba-roga vinassantu,"
"All sufferings, all dangers, all diseases can be destroyed through the power of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha."

"But I tell you this: If — when you have gone into the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — there should arise fear, terror, or horripilation, then on that occasion you should recollect me: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' For when you have recollected me, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is will be abandoned. Why is that? Because the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — is devoid of passion, devoid of aversion, devoid of delusion. He feels no fear, feels no terror, feels no dread. He doesn't run away."

“you should develop this recollection of the Buddha [Dhamma, Sangha] while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children.”
“For a disciple who has conviction in the Master's message & lives to penetrate it, it is a principle that, 'The Blessed One is the Master, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I.' For a disciple who has conviction in the Master's message & lives to penetrate it, the Master's message is healing & nourishing. For a disciple who has conviction in the Master's message & lives to penetrate it, it is a principle that, 'Gladly would I let the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, but if I have not attained what can be reached through human firmness, human persistence, human striving, there will be no relaxing my persistence.' For a disciple who has conviction in the Master's message & lives to penetrate it, one of two fruits can be expected: either gnosis here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.” — MN 70

[7] Reflects on aging and death
“When he/she often reflects on this [illness, aging, death and the rare opportunity to gain the human body during the cycle of samsara], the (factors of the) path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it, cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it and cultivates it, the fetters are abandoned, the latent tendencies destroyed."— AN 5.57

[Because there is no way of knowing when death will come, one should focus each day on which skillful qualities of mind most need developing, and which unskillful qualities of mind most need abandoning].

“Are there any evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die in night?' If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. … training himself day & night in skillful qualities.”
[unskillful qualities: e.g. ignorance, delusion, confusion, doubts, greed – wanting to know/learn more, do/accomplish more, gain more/get the best; sensual desire for beautiful clothes/scenes and delicious food …, heedlessness, laziness, envy/ jealousy, rivalry, anger, aversion, … ]

"'I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.' ...
"'I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.'

[8] Recollection on peace – deathless

“Which is a more worthwhile use of one's time, the pursuit of objects and ideals subject to change and death, or the pursuit of the Deathless?”

“There's no fire like passion, no loss like anger, no pain like the aggregates, no bliss other than peace. Hunger [craving]: the foremost illness. Fabrications: the foremost pain. For one knowing this truth as it has come to be, Unbinding is the foremost bliss.”

“How inconstant are compounded things! Their nature: to arise & pass away. They disband as they are arising. Their total stilling is bliss.” — DN 16

"Whereas formerly he foolishly had greed — as well as desire & infatuation — he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Whereas formerly he foolishly had malice — as well as ill-will & hatred — he has now abandoned them... Whereas formerly he foolishly had ignorance — as well as delusion & confusion — he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for stilling, for this — the stilling of passions, aversions, & delusions — is the highest noble stilling."— MN 140

"Among whatever qualities [dhammas] there may be, fabricated or unfabricated, the quality of dispassion — the subduing of intoxication, the elimination of thirst, the uprooting of attachment, the breaking of the round, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, the realization of Unbinding — is considered supreme. Those who have confidence in the quality of dispassion have confidence in what is supreme; and for those with confidence in the supreme, supreme is the result."

"I tell you, the ending of the fermentations depends on the first jhana... the second jhana... the third... the fourth... the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness. I tell you, the ending of the fermentations depends on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.

"'I tell you, the ending of the fermentations depends on the first jhana.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk, secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'

"Staying right there, he reaches the ending of the fermentations. Or, if not, then — through this very Dhamma-passion, this Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting away of the first five Fetters [self-identity views, (wrong) grasping at precepts & practices, uncertainty (doubt), sensual passion, and ill will] — he is due to be reborn (in the Pure Abodes), there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world.”
[So it’s possible to reach unbinding from the 1st jhana?? It’s impossible to reach unbinding without 1st jhana??]

“View the world, … as empty — always mindful to have removed any view about self. This way one is above & beyond death. This is how one views the world so as not to be seen by Death's king.” — Sn 5.15

Get up!
Sit up!
Train firmly for the sake of peace,
Don't let the king of death,
— seeing you heedless —
deceive you,
bring you under his sway.
— Sn 2.10

By the way, I have a question about the deathless. Is my following understanding right?
The deathless (our common original nature) has no fabrications, no acquisitions, is unconditioned, uncompounded …and … has no self – no difference. What’s different is not self; what’s not different has no self.

Your advice and help has been most appreciated. May you succeed in the practice!

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Re: Daily recollection/reflection [part1]

Postby Anicca » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:42 pm

starter wrote:By the way, I have a question about the deathless. Is my following understanding right?
The deathless (our common original nature) has no fabrications, no acquisitions, is unconditioned, uncompounded …and … has no self – no difference. What’s different is not self; what’s not different has no self.


Howdy Starter!
I too am a novice, but to my understanding the deathless is not a common original nature - if it were that means we have 'fallen' from it - and could fall from it again once attained. It is a something/nothing beyond all where we have never been before.

Others can help straighten this out or fill in the details.

Quite ambitious for a Starter!

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Re: Daily recollection/reflection [part1]

Postby Reductor » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:26 pm

Anicca wrote:
starter wrote:By the way, I have a question about the deathless. Is my following understanding right?
The deathless (our common original nature) has no fabrications, no acquisitions, is unconditioned, uncompounded …and … has no self – no difference. What’s different is not self; what’s not different has no self.


Howdy Starter!
I too am a novice, but to my understanding the deathless is not a common original nature - if it were that means we have 'fallen' from it - and could fall from it again once attained. It is a something/nothing beyond all where we have never been before.

Others can help straighten this out or fill in the details.

Quite ambitious for a Starter!

Metta


I believe there are two common positions. The first is that the deathless is an absolute object separate from samsara, while the other is that the deathless is the cessation of the five aggregate without an absolute object at the end of it. Just a pfffttt!

Like I've said elsewhere, don't twist your head over the exact nature of 'the deathless' just yet. Focus on the three characteristics of the five aggregates first.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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