On virtues

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

On virtues

Postby unspoken » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:44 pm

Can someone tell me that how to know one self's virtue is perfected or well trained? I have been taking up the five precepts and try to abstain myself from unwholesome conducts and acts.
But how do I know my virtue is well developed and taking care of? And maybe perfected my virtue where it can be fully ready for the practice of the Vipassana and Jhana? Any sutta that refer and discuss about distinguishing one's virtue level?

With Metta and some confusion
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Re: On virtues

Postby ground » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:59 pm

I guess when virtue is perfected the way ends.

Better to look at an increase of virtue which is indicated by an increasing development of the enlightenment factors:

mindfulness
investigation of dhammas
energy
joy
tranquility
concentration
equanimity


and a decrease of the hindrances:

sensual desire
aversion
sloth & topor
restlessness & worry
doubt



Kind regards
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Re: On virtues

Postby perkele » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:54 am

Buddhism is not some kind of computer RPG where you have to upgrade your character skills all to level 7 or something in order to achieve enlightenment in the final fight against the Boss enemy Mara.
It is more about reality. You don't always know exactly where you're at. You have to deal with situations that come up in your life, in your mind.
But it is never wrong to practice Vipassana, I guess. Just being aware, without conceptualizing everything. Intention is the key. When your intention is to find peace and insight, that is a good intention.
Keep a keen eye on your intentions. They are not "yours" actually. They just come up. But you can allow and dismiss them with awareness. When they have grown to elaborate plans that mislead you it becomes difficult. Then you have to turn to something else and become a Buddha later. :spy:
Don't mathematize your mind. When there is confusion, acknowledge that and be aware.
:buddha2:
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Re: On virtues

Postby bodom » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:15 am

Can someone tell me that how to know one self's virtue is perfected or well trained?...how do I know my virtue is well developed and taking care of?


The following is a stock canonical passage from the suttas describing what purified virtue consists of...

"Furthermore, there is the case where you recollect your own virtues: '[They are] untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, conducive to concentration.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting virtue, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on virtue. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated." - — AN 11.12


The purpose of observing the precepts is to keep the mind free from remorse and regret so that concentration may be easily achieved. Take a look at your own mind. Is it filled with regret over unskillful actions committed by body, speech or mind? If so, you may want to focus more intently on keeping and observing the precepts. Look at your own mind. This is where you will know whether your precepts are pure or not.

And maybe perfected my virtue where it can be fully ready for the practice of the Vipassana and Jhana?


The Buddha recommended purifying virtue before undertaking meditation...

"First establish yourself in the starting point of wholesome states, that is, in purified moral discipline and in right view. Then, when your moral discipline is purified and your view straight, you should practice the four foundations of mindfulness" (SN 47:3)


This does not absolutely mean though that one must wait until virtue is pure to begin meditating. Virtue reinforces concentration as concentration reinforces virtue. They are mutually supportive of each other.

: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: On virtues

Postby unspoken » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:31 am

I understand now, thank you all for the guidance and advice.

TMingYur,
may I know what's the differences of aversion and ill-will in the hindrance? Because I read that the hindrance is torpor, restlessness, sensual desires, doubt and ill-will in accesstoinsight that website. So I was wondering which would be more accurate? Aversion or ill-will?
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Re: On virtues

Postby ground » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:43 am

unspoken wrote:TMingYur,
may I know what's the differences of aversion and ill-will in the hindrance? Because I read that the hindrance is torpor, restlessness, sensual desires, doubt and ill-will in accesstoinsight that website. So I was wondering which would be more accurate? Aversion or ill-will?


It really depends on the translator. I have taken the translation of Bhikkho Analayo. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates "ill will" too.

To me it appears as if aversion develops into ill-will, that it is still one step earlier. But people may have different "feelings" about words.

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Re: On virtues

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:02 pm

unspoken wrote:Can someone tell me that how to know one self's virtue is perfected or well trained? I have been taking up the five precepts and try to abstain myself from unwholesome conducts and acts.
But how do I know my virtue is well developed and taking care of? And maybe perfected my virtue where it can be fully ready for the practice of the Vipassana and Jhana? Any sutta that refer and discuss about distinguishing one's virtue level?

With Metta and some confusion


Hi Unspoken,

I like this section from the samannaphala sutta ('Fruits of recluseship') describing perfecting virtue. Note that it contains the positive aspects of developing virtue (generosity vs stealing) as well as avoiding the negative:

"And how is a monk consummate in virtue? Abandoning the taking of life, he abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. This is part of his virtue.

"Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He takes only what is given, accepts only what is given, lives not by stealth but by means of a self that has become pure. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Abandoning uncelibacy, he lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the villager's way. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing and pleasing to people at large. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, and the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal. This, too, is part of his virtue.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: On virtues

Postby unspoken » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:12 pm

SADHU SADHU SADHU
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Re: On virtues

Postby mlswe » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:36 pm

well said rowyourboat. And also just saw you dhammawheel name from a new perspective (or maybe THE perspective :) ) and it inspired me, thank you.
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