understanding morality

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

understanding morality

Postby jason c » Thu May 24, 2012 3:16 pm

hello everyone , it is this meditators experience that by establishing a basic foundation of morality (sila)(5 precepts) one may then begin to work with concentration (samadhi) ; as samadhi developes insights present themselves(wisdom). with this wisdom one dives deeper into the ocean of morality (8-10-infinate precepts), thus strengthening concentration and giving rise to higher wisdoms. when a level of purity of mind has been attained(not perfectly pure) the gates of heaven open (stream entry occurs; the seperation of nama rupa , mind and body) and the meditators mind is given a glimpse of the ultimate reality that lies ahead, (pure mind no "I" can be found). upon returning to body the meditator reviews their previous knowledge with this new knowledge of (no permanent self). with this new understanding one begins the work again (staaarrrrt again) diving deeper into ones morality ( selflessness) with the wisdom that this is the path and selflessness is progress towards the final goal. if anyone agrees with this could we start a discussion on levels of ethical responsibility( ie. eating meat, out of necessity for survival , vegetarianism, veganism, and how each of these topics relate to the precepts one has undertaken (stealing a cows milk for my use as breaking the precept of stealing)). we could do this understanding that each meditator is at there own level of moral understanding; and try to elevate each other with our own experiences and wisdoms. with metta jason.
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Re: understanding morality

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu May 24, 2012 4:39 pm

Welcome Jason. Thank you for your thoughts but there's so much in this tight little paragraph you may want to split up your questions in to different threads or, at least, break up your post with proper punctuation and spacing to allow for ease of reading. Mettaya. :heart:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: understanding morality

Postby jason c » Thu May 24, 2012 5:13 pm

hi khalil bodhi, i will apologise in advance for my poor punctuation. i am a bit of a caveman. it is this meditators experience that by surrendering (non resistance) to the flow of life, the natural gravitational pull of nibbana will take us home. our beliefs or traditional values end up becoming resistance and we create more kamma or veils of ignorance hiding the truth from us. i would simply like to create a discussion about morality, and hopefully we can educate ourselves and become better more loving humans. ie: the precept of no killing: if i lived in a northern cold climate and did not have access to fresh fruits and vegitables i would have to hunt or perish. as i am not fully enlightened and ready to go just yet. i would kill, but i would do it with the understanding that i would not waste this flesh by committing hateful acts. i would try and use this flesh to continue on the path and reach the final goal of full liberation. this act of killing in my humble opinion is free from ignorance and would not impeed progress on the path. but a hardcore vegan yelling at someone for buying meat in a grocery store would be doing great harm to themselves and others. maybe this statement will start a discussion. with metta jason
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Re: understanding morality

Postby befriend » Thu May 24, 2012 5:18 pm

i found it helpful in cultivating virtues to do as ben franklin did, and choose one virtue a week, then focus on cultivating that keeping a journal. i have done this with right speech and it has really helped, i think journaling and taking a heads on approach to working on a virtue is the right way to do it. kind of devote yourself to improving that virtue.
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Re: understanding morality

Postby daverupa » Thu May 24, 2012 5:32 pm

jason c wrote:hi khalil bodhi, i will apologise in advance for my poor punctuation. i am a bit of a caveman. it is this meditators experience that by surrendering (non resistance) to the flow of life, the natural gravitational pull of nibbana will take us home. our beliefs or traditional values end up becoming resistance and we create more kamma or veils of ignorance hiding the truth from us. i would simply like to create a discussion about morality, ... ie: the precept of no killing: ...did not have access to fresh fruits and vegitables i would have to hunt... i would kill, but i would... try and use this flesh to continue on the path and reach the final goal of full liberation. this act of killing in my humble opinion is free from ignorance... but a hardcore vegan yelling...


The bolded portions are some of the things which would need to be unpacked; as-is, they are fuzzy ideas without sharp distinctions, and the assumptions they point toward, when left merely implicit, do not facilitate understanding.

The rest seems to be a mixed message: a desire to talk about morality generally, yet a narrow focus on the procurement of foodstuffs. The great vegetarian debate is probably something worth reading first, before assuming ones line of argument is novel and worth discussing apart from that rather bulky, though comprehensive, thread.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: understanding morality

Postby jason c » Thu May 24, 2012 5:50 pm

thanks for the reply be friend, would you be willing to share an example where journaling helped you to practice right speech. my intention is to try and open a discussion about our personal experiences with the hopes of clearing doubts and uncertainty about the precepts. ie: I never understood the precept about sleeping on high luxurious beds, until one day i realized not everyone has a bed to sleep in, some people are homeless and sleep in the dirt, this selfless way of looking at things helped me to understand my own greed, always wanting to accumulate more, renovate my house, build a bigger bathroom, install a jacuzzi tub. the understanding of this precept has allowed me to find a way of living that all beings can have that is sustainable. with metta jason
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Re: understanding morality

Postby befriend » Thu May 24, 2012 6:32 pm

i marked an x everytime i said something mean, since i made a concious effort to not be mean and by undertakin this project i slowly stopped saying so many mean things, some of it in part because i didnt want to see so many x's in my notebook. my mind did a tipping point on day 5 where i started to like biting my tongue, it felt good to refrain from saying mean things. and my heart mind became very clear and peaceful. i stopped reacting. my mind would catch itself even at the place of thought if it were to lead to harsh speech. this went on for 2 weeks or so. in my experience this is a legitamite effective way of cultivating sila (virtue). it taught me alot about myself and about other people. i saw that i am not different than any other person. other people whom i consider run of the mill worldlings, had the same defilments i had, they just expressed them more. i would always say how could these people be so low as to try and hide there obvious mistakes. then i caught myself trying to hide MY mistakes in my notebook. it was a beautiful thing, to see that this devout buddhist who has such lofty thoughts and complex perspectives is no different than joe shmoe.
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Re: understanding morality

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu May 24, 2012 6:38 pm

befriend wrote:i marked an x everytime i said something mean, since i made a concious effort to not be mean and by undertakin this project i slowly stopped saying so many mean things, some of it in part because i didnt want to see so many x's in my notebook. my mind did a tipping point on day 5 where i started to like biting my tongue, it felt good to refrain from saying mean things. and my heart mind became very clear and peaceful. i stopped reacting. my mind would catch itself even at the place of thought if it were to lead to harsh speech. this went on for 2 weeks or so. in my experience this is a legitamite effective way of cultivating sila (virtue). it taught me alot about myself and about other people. i saw that i am not different than any other person. other people whom i consider run of the mill worldlings, had the same defilments i had, they just expressed them more. i would always say how could these people be so low as to try and hide there obvious mistakes. then i caught myself trying to hide MY mistakes in my notebook. it was a beautiful thing, to see that this devout buddhist who has such lofty thoughts and complex perspectives is no different than joe shmoe.


Sadhu befriend! Anumodana! :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
Dana on the Interwebs:
http://greatergood.com
http://freerice.com
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Re: understanding morality

Postby jason c » Thu May 24, 2012 6:44 pm

thank you for sharing a part of your self with everyone be friend, that technique seems very effective.
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Re: understanding morality

Postby hanzze_ » Fri May 25, 2012 6:46 am

The joy of virtue (blamelessness) is the fourth joy a householder can obtain.

The work on Debtlessness to clean the way to finally release even in this present existence, if he bears that wish not only for a later time.
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