The Leopard

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

The Leopard

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:13 am

157. And this bhikkhu is compared to a leopard. For just as a great leopard king lurks in the grass wilderness or a jungle wilderness or a rock wilderness in the forest and seizes wild beasts - the wild buffalo, wild ox, boar, etc.-, so too, the bhikkhu who devotes himself to his meditation subject in the forest, etc., should be understood to seize successively the paths of stream-entry, once-return, and Arahantship; and the noble fruitions as well. Hence the Ancients said:
    "For as the leopard by his lurking [in the forest] seizes beasts
    So also will this Buddhas' son, with insight gifted, strenuous,
    By his retreating to the forest seize the highest fruit of all"
    (Miln. 369)
-- Visuddhimagga VIII: 157


Bhavatu Sabbe Mangelum!
"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."

- Hereclitus


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Re: The Leopard

Postby Tex » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:54 am

That really resonates with me. It's such a simple analogy, but it's interesting that even an animal killing another animal contains a lesson, if you look at it from just the right angle.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: The Leopard

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:57 am

Yes, it is great inspiration.
I'm glad you resonate with it Tex.
metta

Ben
"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."

- Hereclitus


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Re: The Leopard

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:09 am

Greetings Ben,

Not that it's entirely relevant, but are you in the process of reading the Visudhimagga 'cover-to-cover'? I noticed in the Dhamma Book Reading topic that you mentioned you were reading it. Or were you 'pointed' to this chapter by another book, essay or talk you were reading.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Leopard

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:16 am

Hi Retro
If only I had the time to read the Visuddhimagga cover-to-cover! The last time I attempted I got through 2/3rds before putting it down. I now use it as a reference. I'm currently reading the section on Mindfulness of Breathing Ch. VIII in preparation for a ten-day vipassana retreat I am attending in a few days. I've also been digging into it recently on 'Repulsivenss of Nutriment' and Ch. XIV: Aggregates. If I get tme before I go, I'll re-read the section on Dependent Origination and Perhaps Ch 20 & 21: What is and what is not the Path, and Knowledge and Vision of the Way.
metta

Ben
"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."

- Hereclitus


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Re: The Leopard

Postby Freawaru » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:02 pm

Ben wrote:
157. And this bhikkhu is compared to a leopard. For just as a great leopard king lurks in the grass wilderness or a jungle wilderness or a rock wilderness in the forest and seizes wild beasts - the wild buffalo, wild ox, boar, etc.-, so too, the bhikkhu who devotes himself to his meditation subject in the forest, etc., should be understood to seize successively the paths of stream-entry, once-return, and Arahantship; and the noble fruitions as well. Hence the Ancients said:
    "For as the leopard by his lurking [in the forest] seizes beasts
    So also will this Buddhas' son, with insight gifted, strenuous,
    By his retreating to the forest seize the highest fruit of all"
    (Miln. 369)
-- Visuddhimagga VIII: 157


Bhavatu Sabbe Mangelum!


Hi Ben,

thank you for the quote. Very interesting aspect. The analogy to a leopard seizing it's prey ... it stresses both the "hunger" (for Enlightenment) part as well as the "taking/holding" aspect of the paths. Not something that just happens by itself, out of control, without intention or will, but something one has wanted and waited for, recognises, and seizes intentionally the moment it comes into sight.

Good hunting!
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