Meditation for BeginnersCreating the virtuous society for which the world awaitsThe kind of Society the World AwaitsThe kind of Society the World AwaitsIn this chapter we will not only meet the word’ Good Friend’ [kalyanamitra] in addition to the ‘True Friend’ we have already met we will see how the Target character traits can be put into practice on the level of the home, school and temple, in order to bring about the wholesome core values in society.The word ‘society’ means a group of people that live together in a certain area such as in a community, country, or even the world, It also means a group of people that have certain kinds of relationship based on some common rules, backgrounds, or interests.The sort of society the world needs is a virtuous society that consists of virtuous members who can make the world a better place. All members in that society must have morality in their minds. Even if only a single person in the group is unscrupulous, that society cannot be referred to as a virtuous society. In particular, if the society’s leader is morally a bed person, there is no chance for that society to become a virtuous one. The question is then what kind of person is a virtuous person, what kind of person does the world need? As mentioned in chapter Two, a virtuous person must have with at least Four key Character Traits:1. A virtuous person must realize and be responsible for their dignity as a human being by abstaining from the Four Defilements of Action which are killing, stealing, committing adultery and telling lies. Human beings must not best of human nature. Only those who lack human dignity can commit any of these wrongful actions. These people are comparable to savages who lack spiritual development.Furthermore, a virtuous person refrains from actions that cause trouble to others such as fighting, taking advantage of others and speaking badly of others. These actions have less impact on others than the Four Defilements of Action, however, these behaviours indicate that the person’s mind lacks purity and is still full of defilements. Such a person is prone to commit even worse mischievous actions.abstaining from the Four Defilements of Action which are killingIt is fair to say that a person who does not commit any kind of unscrupulousness is a person with peace of mind, whose actions are based on righteousness as well as sincerity. Such a person will be well aware of what actions are appropriate or inappropriate and does not pretend to be nice just to be liked by others, but will do everything from the heart. These are the characteristics of a person who is responsible for their own human dignity these being the basic elements that will help the person easily to develop the Sixteen Characteristics of the True Friend.2. A virtuous person must realize and be responsible for dignity of others by avoiding Four Forms of Bias, namely, bias because of desire, bias because of hatred, bias because of ignorance and bias because of fear. Bias is the cause of injustice. Unity cannot arise in any society that lacks justice, injustice. Unity cannot arise in any society that lacks justice, because injustice not only prevents progress, but also causes never-ending social problems.One of the reasons for social, economic, and political problems in countries such as Thailand is the prevalence of bias in different groups of people in society. The more favoured usually work together to make sure that they and their friends or allies gain more and more profits from their business without ever considering whether their actions will have negative impact on the society as a whole. In many cases, people who are less well-favoured are vulnerable to manipulation, causing them to become poorer, In order for one social group to become richer in an poorer, In order for one social group to become richer in an unfair game, others must become much poorer since there are limited resources available in this world This kind of action is an example of bias because of desire.A virtuous person must avoid all four kinds of bias by defending justice and thinking how their actions might affect others when deciding to do something. When one has firm belief in justice, one will not be afraid of any consequences that might result in troubles arising from biased opponents. All these characteristics of a person who has a sense of responsibility for the dignity of others are basic elements that will help that person develop the Six teen Characteristics of the True friend easily.
The Parent-Child Relationship3. A virtuous person must realize and be responsible for economical ethics by abandoning the Six Roads to Ruin which comprise: drinking alcohol; roaming the streets at unseemly hours; frequenting shows; gambling; associating with bad company, and being too lazy to work for a living.The Lord Buddha taught that the worst of the Six Roads to Ruin is associating with bad company since False Friends will negatively influence associates to become involved in other Roads to Ruin and ultimately become as bad as those False Friends.Any person who leads a mischievous life is a person who obscures the path to heaven for himself. As member of a society, such a person is considered as a danger, because they always cause problems to the society. A person who is labeled by the society as unscrupulous will lack support, and confidence in doing anything beneficial. Thus, there is a good chance that the person will continue to do even more unscrupulous things, degrading their life to a yet lower level.It should be noted that gambling serves only to destroy the economy of society members. There are examples of formerly responsible citizens who later turn to bank robbery just to pay-off gambling debts. Some lose their homes and their savings because of gambling. Although a their homes and their savings because of gambling. Although a few gamblers win money occasionally, when they become rich, they cannot call it ‘quits’ and thirst for yet more winnings, reinvesting that money in further gambling, until even that money disappears, leading them eventually to bankruptcy.At present, gambling has spread unabated to nearly every culture regardless of gender, age or financial status. It is time to get to grips with this problem. Some have proposed controlling gambling by legalizing it. However, although legalizing it. However, although legalization may be a way to control gambling, it is not a way to stop the numerous problems caused by gambling itself.A person who can abstain from all the Six Roads to Ruin is a person whose mind is sufficiently well trained to have the wisdom to see the danger of the Six Roads to Ruin. Such a person will never sink to poverty since they know how to manage what they earn. All these characteristics of a person who is responsible for economic ethics are basic elements that will help the person develop the Sixteen Characteristics of the True Friend easily.The Student-Teacher Relationship4. A virtuous person must realize and be responsible for one’s surroundings. Rhere are two forms of surroundings:1. People around us which can be categorized into six groups (the Six Directions);2. The natural environment;Being responsible for the social groups of the Six Directions refers to a smooth interaction between the person and the six groups of people.Being responsible for the natural environment refers to the interest and willingness to conserve and develop the environment to the best of one’s ability by, for example, keeping one’s house, public roads and the landscape clean and free of pollution, while avoiding making loud noise that might disturb others.Any person lacking responsibility for the six groups of people or the natural environment cannot be considered as virtuous person. On the contrary, a person who is responsible for their surroundings and cares about others and the environment must be sensitive, open-minded, unselfish and able to recognize the values and importance of the two kinds of surroundings. Such a person will have sufficient wisdom to realize that one can live peacefully in a society and leads a virtuous life only when the surroundings are in good condition. All these characteristics of a person who is responsible for their surroundings are basic elements to help that person develop the Sixteen Characteristics of the True Friend easily.In essence, the kind of society the world needs is a virtuous society that consists of members that have the Four Target Character Traits. These Character Traits are fundamental to success in developing the Sixteen Characteristics of the True Friend, In any case, the Four Target Character Traits are only basic characteristics of a virtuous person. When living in a society, a person must also develop the Characteristics of a Good Friend [kalyanamitra].Characteristics of a Good Friend [kalyanamitra]abstaining from the Four Defilements of Action which are stealingThe Lord Buddha mentioned characteristics of a good person with whom others would benefit from associating. These characteristics can be summarized into Seven Characteristics of a Good Friend as follows:1. Endearing [piyo]: attractive and making others feel at ease, ready to ask questions and seek advice;2. Respectable [garu]: one who makes others feel that they can take safe refuge in the Good Friend;3. Cultured and emulable [bhavaniyo]: others who see the educated quality of such a good friend would like to be like that too;4. A counselor [vatta]: the one who has the ability to give wise counsel through knowing the way to speak to get results, through knowing how to explain spiritual matters so that others understand, through knowing the appropriate time to give praise and mention criticisms;5. Being a patient listener [vacanakkhamo]: always ready to hear out advice & questions and to take criticism without being irritated;6. The ability to treat profound matters and explain difficult matters in a way which can be understood [gambhiranca latham katta];7. Never speaking of things without reason or leading conversations to a useless end [no catthane niyojaye].In this chapter we will not only meet the word’ Good Friend’ [kalyanamitra]Applying training for the Benefit of SocietyThe most influential figures in a young person’s life are their parents. Besides bringing their children into the world and raising them to adulthood, parents also affect the way their children think, speak and act. The children inherit physical appearances as well as character, habits, behaviours, attitudes and other qualities from their parents. Parents are the first teachers a child ever has. Thus, home or family is the first important venue where wholesome core values need to be fostered.When children go to school, teachers start to play an important role in fostering a broader range of core values in the children. Besides gaining knowledge and skills from lessons taught by teachers through the books they read and the activities they do with teachers and friends, the children also develop creativity, habits, and values from them, For this reason. Teachers are considered as the second parents for children. Consequently, school is another important place to cultivate the noble disciplines.A person must have both knowledge and morality in order to live happily and succeed in life. With the knowledge, one can earn a living and survive in this world. But there is no guarantee that a knowledgeable person will earn a living righteously. Without morality, one may use one’s knowledge in the wrong way, causing trouble to oneself and society. Furthermore, moral study will guide one to understand one’s life and the world the way they truly are.From the six Directions outlined in Chapter Six and the problems shown in Chapter Seven, it can be seen that the most readily available places to cultivate sound core values are within three particular relationships:1. The Parent-Child Relationship: Core values can be cultivated in children via appropriate family activities. A house where such activities are carried out should be called a ‘kalyanamitra Home’.2. The Student-Teacher Relationship: Core values can be cultivated in school children via appropriate school activities. A school that organizes such activities should be called a ‘kalyanamitra School’.3. The Spiritual Mentor-Devotee Relationship: Core values can be cultivated in the general public via appropriate temple activities. A temple that organizes such activities should be called a ‘kalyanamitra Temple’.
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Creating the virtuous society for which the world awaits The kind of Society the World Awaits
In this chapter we will not only meet the word’ Good Friend’ [kalyanamitra] in addition to the ‘True Friend’Dhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Beginners
[ Jun 23rd, 2011 ] - [ : 11617 ]
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