Listening Regularly to Dhamma Teachings # 1

Listening regularly to the Dhamma teachings means to seek out opportunities to hear Buddhist teachings.

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[ Oct 27th, 2011 ] - [ : 15056 ]
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Meditation for Peace
 
Listening Regularly to Dhamma Teachings # 1
 
We should listen to the Dhamma teaching once every seven days.
 
We should listen to the Dhamma teaching once every seven days.
 
The mirror can help reflect the beauty and ugliness of the body.
In the same manner Listening to the Dhamma teaching can help reflect the virtues and imperfection of the mind.
 
Definition of Listening Regularly to the Dhamma Teachings on the eve of the Buddhist holy day.
 
Listening regularly to the Dhamma teachings means to seek out opportunities to hear Buddhist teachings. You should make time to listen to the Dhamma teaching from knowledgeable teachers in order to elevate one’s mind and wisdom. Having heard the Buddhist teachings, we can use the virtues learned as a mirror to examine the presence or absence of those virtues in ourselves and to see how much further we can improve upon the virtues we already have. For example, having heard the teaching about “gratitude” one could use that knowledge to measure the level of gratitude in oneself. In other words, having listened to the Dhamma teaching, you will know instantly which virtue you have room for improvement in.
Appropriate times to listen to the Dhamma     
                           
1. On Quarter-Moon Days:
 
Refers to the Buddhist Holy Days. We should listen to the Dhamma teaching once every seven days. Usually, even if the person is impressed or inspired by a Dhamma teaching or the teaching of the parents or the teachers, they will remember that teaching for only a few days, but at the end of seven days, they will have forgotten what they have learned. For example, if you teacher recommends that you study conscientiously, perhaps you will become a conscientious student for a few days, but by the end of the week you will be back to your own lazy routine. So it is better to listen to the teaching every seven days to charge up our morale before we start to revert to our old bad behavior.
Listening regularly to the Dhamma teachings means to seek out opportunities to hear Buddhist teachings.
 
Listening regularly to the Dhamma teachings means
to seek out opportunities to hear Buddhist teachings.
 
1. Whenever the mind is influenced by Vitakka:
 
Means whenever there are unwholesome mental preoccupations arising in the mind that makes the mind become obscured, depressed and distracted. It doesn’t matter if it is in the morning, late morning, afternoon, in the evening, on the Eve of the Buddhist Holy day, on the Buddhist Holy day or any day try to find the opportunity to listen to the Dhamma without delay.
There are 3 types of unwholesome mental preoccupations that arises in the mind to make it unskillful
 
- Preoccupation with sense-pleasure [kamma vitakka]; when your mind is filled with desire, especially sensual temptation being attached to what we love.
- Preoccupation with violence or cruelty [byapada-vitakka]; when you feel that you would like to steal from people or damage their reputation or even when you are angry.
 
- Preoccupation with violence or cruelty [vihimsa-vitakka]: when you want to hurt or take advantage of others.
 
Whenever these three preoccupations arise in the mind, we should find the opportunities to listen to the Dhamma without delay, otherwise, we might get caught up with unwholesomeness and suffer from its consequence.
 
2. Whenever there is a sermon being given:
Whenever the person or monk who has full knowledge in Dhamma is giving the sermon, you should not hesitate to listen to that sermon. It is so unusual/difficult to have a person who fully understands the Dhamma of the Buddha and be able to give a sermon. There must be the Lord Buddha born in the world first to attain the Dhamma within, and the person studying those Dhamma teachings of the Buddha till they fully understand and able to communicate in order to pass the Dhamma to us. Therefore, whenever there is a sermon being given by the person who has full knowledge of Dhamma, you should not delay to listen.
 
Marks of a good Dhamma Teacher
 
“Ananda, teaching Dhamma is not an easy task. The person who is good at teaching must embeace/adhere to these five Dhamma.”
 
This is the proverb of the Buddha to Venerable Ananda regarding the five qualifications of a good Dhamma teacher
 
Listening Regularly to Dhamma Teachings
 
Listening Regularly to Dhamma Teachings
 
1. Expounds Dhamma sequentially:
 
Not roundabout, not skipping over, but becomes gradually profound. To expound Dhamma sequentially profoundly requires that the Dhamma teacher:
 
-  They have a real understanding of the subject of that Dhamma.
-  They have the skill of communication and the technical ability to convey the subject and to learn what is appropriate for the listener.
-  They must have prepared and planned how and what to teach, not just to speak by heart.
The good Dhamma teacher must have these three characteristics to be abke to give a sequentially profound sermon.
 
2. Gives reasons to the Dhamma teachings:
 
The teacher must thoroughly understand the Dhamma items being taught, not just what is memorized from the textbook or from the scriptures. He or he must be able to explain cause and effect, give description or examples, clearly differentiated and able to address on the issue being asked by the listener.
 
3. Teaches out of sincere compassion for the listener:
 
Even if the listener cannot follow through or is not intelligent enough to absorb, the Dhamma teacher will not be exhausted and not give up in the middle of the course even if he/she has to repeat and explain it over and over again. The teacher must have a good intention / goodwill for the listener.
 
4. Teaching without the motive of gaining something in return:
 
Means not expecting fame, praise, flattery or material compensation, but instead expound diligently regardless of whether there will be compensation in return or how many listeners there are. A bad example is diligently expounding the Dhamma if the host of the event is a famous or powerful person, but diligently expounding the Dhamma if the host of the event is an ordinary person.
 
The person who teaches Dhamma with the motive to gain compensation in return will be considered as a servant of the listener because the teaching will sound favorable to fawn on the host (the boss).
 
5. Teaching without bringing conflict to yourself or others:
 
Means not taking the opportunity to show off oneself or bring up someone’s mistake to demonstrate as an example in order to vilify/revile someone. Not just always boast about one self or criticize the others. The teacher must have a good intention to explain the Dhamma, when an example is required for easy understanding, making sure the example being made will not cause anyone a problem. To use giving sermons as an opportunity to revile someone is against the principle of the Buddha.
 
As we can see that the Lord Buddha had mindfully established the guidelines of spreading Buddhism for his monks so that they never teach in a way that brings Buddhism into conflict with other religions. Instead of trying to attack other religions, the Lord Buddha had precisely stipulated the qualifications of the person who is teaching the Dhamma. This is a very important distinction of how the teachings of Buddhism have always been spread.
 
 
 
 

     
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