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Buddhadharma : Spring 2006
buddhadharma| 49 |spring 2006 blAnche hArtmAn: Not buying into them is a very key point. In the Mahasatipatthana Sutra, it says, “When anger arises, the monk says, ‘Anger has arisen.’ ” Generally, that’s not our experience. Our experience, before practice, is that when anger arises, we erupt. To begin by being aware – “Oh, this is anger” – can give us space so we don’t erupt and cause all the karmic consequences that involves. There’s a great bumper sticker, “Don’t believe everything you think,” which I pass on to all my students. We have a lot of thoughts that could get very destructive if we believe them to be true. If we can just see them as thoughts, they don’t cause as much distress. buddhAdhArmA: It seems when we discuss klesha activity, it is helpful to understand it as a con- tinuum, from the first moment a klesha arises to full-blown action. Beware of the SlighteSt FaultS training according to the Patimokkha, the buddha’s codes of discipline then a Certain bhikkhu approached the blessed one, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the blessed one would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the blessed one, i might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.” “in that case, bhikkhu, purify the very beginning of wholesome states. and what is the beginning of wholesome states? here, bhikkhu, dwell restrained by the restraint of the Patimokkha, accomplished in good conduct and proper resort, seeing danger in the slightest faults. having undertaken the training rules, train in them. when, bhikkhu, you dwell restrained by the restraint of the Patimokkha − seeing in the slightest faults, then, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you should develop the four establishments of mindfulness. “what four? here, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body ... feelings in feelings ... mind in mind ... phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. “when, bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you develop these four establishments of mind- fulness in such a way, then, whether night or day comes, you may expect only growth in wholesome states, not decline.” then that bhikkhu, having delighted and rejoiced in the blessed one’s statement, rose from his seat. and that bhikkhu became one of the arahants. from the Sattipatthanasamyutta Sutra in The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, by bhikkhu bodhi. Published by wisdom Publications. blAnche hArtmAn: The karmic results of a thought arising and that of punching somebody in the nose are different. The resulting stress and the resulting disturbance are much greater if you act it out. It’s very important for us to notice there’s no way we can act without experiencing a result. When we become very clear about that, it helps temper our actions. rinGu tulku: Recently, I was reading a sutra called the Definitive Vinaya, which comes from the Maharatnapuka collection of Mahayana sutras in the Chinese Tripitaka. It equates the three basic kleshas – ignorance, attachment, and anger – to the elements of earth, water, and fire. I find it very help- ful to look closely at the different natures of the kleshas and to see how they can be worked with. Ignorance is like earth. It’s the ground of all the other kleshas. As long as ignorance persists, The main purpose of meditation is to uproot the kleshas. If nothing happens to the kleshas, the practice isn’t working. — Ringu Tulku