Along the Path

Morality, Concentration, and Wisdom are the summation of the 8-fold path - the cure for all human suffering as detailed by The Buddha.  No other information is required to succeed - but it is precisely it's simplicity that makes it not entirely clear to everyone, so Buddha gave many sermons to support his explanation.  The following is a few basic instructions and pieces of Wisdom to help guide us along the path.

     The Five Hindrances

Buddha described five negative mental states that impede meditation, hinder our spiritual progress, and perpetuate suffering. 

These same two lists from the same book demonstrate that it is not important to cling to the letter of the teaching, but to the spirit of the teaching.

(1) Sensual desire, (2) ill will, (3) sloth and torpor, 4) worry and restlessness, and (5) confused doubt.[1]

(1) Greed 2) Anger 3) Idleness 4) Distraction 5) Skeptical doubt[2]

How to overcome the hindrances

Lust[3] – concentration

Ill will – bliss

Sloth – applied thought

Agitation – happiness

Doubt – sustained thought

     The Jhanas

The nine levels of jhana are:


1. Delightful Sensations
2. Joy
3. Contentment
4. Utter peacefulness
5. Infinity of space
6. Infinity of consciousness
7. No-thingness
8. Neither perception nor non- perception
9. Cessation

The different kinds of people in the world

4 kinds of people[4]

·        Those who because of not knowing the way hurt themselves

·        Those who by their actions harm others

·        Those who cause others to suffer along with themselves.

·        Those who do not suffer themselves and save others from suffering. 

 

     “These people of the last category, by following the teachings of Buddha, do not give way to greed, anger, or foolishness, but live peaceful lives of kindness and wisdom without killing or stealing.”

 3 kinds of people[5]

·        Those who are like letters written in rock, they easily anger and retain their angry thoughts for a long time.

·        Those who are like letters written in sand, they also anger, but their angry thoughts quickly pass away.

·        Those who are like letters written in water, who do not retain their passing thoughts and let abuse and gossip pass by unnoticed; their minds are always pure and undisturbed.

 

 3 other kinds of people[6]

·        Those who are proud, act rashly and are never satisfied; their natures are easy to understand. 

·        Then there are those who are courteous and always act after consideration; their natures are hard to understand.

·        Then there are those who have overcome desire completely; it is impossible to understand their natures.

“Thus people can be classified in many different ways, but nevertheless, their natures are hard to understand.  Only Buddha understands them and, by His wisdom, leads them through varied teachings.” Page 90 100%.

 

There are five evils in the world[7]. 

·        Cruelty

·        No clear demarcation of what belongs to whom

·        No clear demarcation for the behaviour between men and women.

·        There is a tendency for people to disrespect the rights of others, to exaggerate their own importance at the expense of others, to set bad examples of behaviour and, being unjust in their speech, to deceive, slander and abuse others.

·        A tendency for people to neglect their duties toward others.  They think too much of their own comfort and their own desires; they forget the favours they have received and cause annoyance to others that often passes into great injustice. 

“People should have more sympathy for one another; they should respect one another for their good traits and help one another in their difficulties; but, instead, they are selfish and hard-hearted; they despise one another for their failings and dislike others for their advantages.  These aversions generally grow worse with time, and after a while, become intolerable.”  Page 97-98

 

 

 

 



[1] The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom.  Page 50

[2] The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom.  Page 110

[3] Isaac Newton believed that when you focus on something you also receive its opposite, so by taking grand measures of celibacy you would automatically receive more lustful thoughts in its place.  So how he overcame this problem was to busy his mind with scientific and mathematical thought so that he simply had no time to spend his energy otherwise.

[4] Man’s Nature; The Teachings of Buddha.  Page 89

[5] Man’s Nature; The Teachings of Buddha.  Page 89

[6] Man’s Nature; The Teachings of Buddha.  Page 89

[7] Reality of Human Life; The Teachings of Buddha.  Page 97