Meditation for BeginnersThe Relationship of Core Values to the Eightfold Pathit will lead to a cycle of ever-increasing purity of mindPositive Core Values, or ‘Right View’ as it is called in Buddhism, will motivate one to practise in unhesitating accordance with the teachings of spirituality, our creativity and life assumptions corresponding more and more to the guidelines of the spiritual purity. There will be no thought to harm others, and on the contrary the only thoughts arising in the mind will be the thought to accumulate wholesome karma, so that one day in the future, one can attain the same virtues as those exemplified by the Lord Buddha. One will want to be virtuous for virtue’s sake, not to look as if one is doing good for some ulterior motive. These are the characteristics of Right Intention.Once Right Intention becomes habitual in our mind, it will take on the power to control even the communicative characteristics of our self. When speaking, we will be motivated to restrict ourselves to skilful speech, rather than telling lies-speech with all the characteristics we refer to as ‘Right Speech’.This effort, to improve ourselves without end, is what we refer to as Right Effort.Once Right Speech becomes habitual in our mind, it will take on the power to control our physical conduct. We will be motivated to restrict ourselves to good manners, rather that lapsing into wicled or impolite behaviours. It might not be immediately obvious how speech acts as a tinderbox for physical behaviours-but if you imagine a parent annoyed by a child who has knocked over and broken a cutglass ornament , the moment that parent succumbs to insulting or reproaching the child with harsh speech, the chances that the parent will resort to aggressive physical punishment will be greatly increased, as compared to how the situation could have been overcome if the parent had restricted themselves to reproaches incorporating Right Speech. Supposing, although annoyed, the parent can find the heart to say “Never mind” ,or, “Be more careful in future” the risk of resprting th beating will be greatly reduced. The Parent will not deviate from the good intention to bring the child up to comstantly improve its behaviour and become less reckless. At the same time the parent will reduce their own tendency to anger, not punishing the child merely out of vengeance.This is merely one example of how Right Speech can lead one in the direction of Right Action. That the mother in the example was able to keep her temper is, of course, only possible upon the foundation of Right View, Right Intention and Right Speech built up for herself in her past.Once Right Speech becomes habitual in our mindEven though hunger forces everyone in the world to have to go out to work in search of a livelihood, of we have done the ground work of Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech and Right Action, there is no need for ‘earning a living’ to bring us into conflict with our skilful aim in life. In this connection if we can avoid unscrupulous means of livelihood, restricting ourself to scrupulous forme of livelihood, this can be referred to as Right Livelihood.Practising correctly according to all of the foregoing steps will lead the level of inner illumination to increase. Such inner brightness will bolster the enthusiasm of the practitioner to strive to uproot bad habits from the mind while making the effort to replace these with ever increasing good habits. At the same time, one will be inspired to maintain the good habits one already has and protect oneself from picking up any further bad habits. This effort, to improve ourselves without end, is what we refer to as Right Effort.Having cultivated ourselves according to the preceding steps the increasing precision of mind we gain will lead us increasingly to appreciate the value of mindfulness, the ability not to let our mind slip away from the centre of the body. If we can train ourselves properly in mindfulness, we will find that our mind is more conscious before doing, speaking or thinking about things. Just as a rudder keeps a shipon course, our new-found awareness will keep our actions of body, speech and mind on course for self development. Such awareness is somethin we refer to by the name of Right Mindfuless.We will be motivated to restrict ourselves to good mannersHaving trained ourselves in all the foregoing steps to the point we can achieve Right Mindfulness, we will find that our mind which used to wander endlessly to all manner of distractions, will automatically become firmly established at the centre of the body, unified and concentrated in a way which we refer to as Right Concentration.When our mind is in a state of Ringh Concentration, steadfast at the centre of the body, it will lead to maximum illumination of mind, because it will allow the defilements in the mind to be temporarily overcome. However, it has not yet reached the point where the defilements can be uprooted. However, this special illumination of mind will allow the degree of Right View (or core values) to be deepened to a new level, giving one the wisdom to know that if one cultivates the mind according to the eight factors already mentioned without any backsliding, it will lead to a cycle of ever-increasing purity of mind (see diagram p.37). Such practice is the process by which a person can transform themselves from someone with a defiled mind [putuchana] to be a person of transcendental attainment [ariyapuggala], eventually to come to an end of all deflements-following in the footsteps of all the Buddhas and arahants.Because the majority of people fail to achieve positive core values, even at the most basic level, not knowing their own aim in life, people throuhout the world have lapsed into the unwholesome karmic action. Thus, instilling a true understanding of core values lies at the heart of upgrading the quality of the human mind.
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The Relationship of Core Values to the Eightfold Path
Positive Core Values, or ‘Right View’ as it is called in Buddhism, will motivate one to practise in unhesitating accordance with the teachings of spirituality, our creativity and life assumptions corresponding more and more to the guidelines of the spiritual purity.Dhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Beginners
[ Apr 26th, 2011 ] - [ : 10592 ]