The Daily Cushion – A Layperson’s Life Influences the Future by Steve Linder

28 September 2020 – The Daily Cushion

A Layperson’s Life Influences the Future by Steve Lin

    • “These four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives. What four?  Accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom.
    • Insight #1 – The Buddha reminds that all of life is “cause and effect”. Our current thoughts, actions, and speech effect future conditions.
    • Insight #2 – The Buddha considered four things highly important for laypersons to cultivate in the present life and present moment.  
    • Insight #3 – We need to daily invest in these four things because they affect our future.
      • Faith and confidence in The Buddha’s enlightenment and teachings.
      • Virtue, ethics, sila, and morality is essential for mind training and kamma for the future.
        • “Five blessings, householders, accrue to the righteous person through his practice of virtue: great increase of wealth through his diligence; a favorable reputation; a confident deportment, without timidity, in every society, be it that of nobles, brahmans, householders, or ascetics; a serene death; and, at the breaking up of the body after death, rebirth in a happy state, in a heavenly world.”
      • Generosity, gifting, and dana to monks, temples, the poor, homeless is essential for laypersons to become detached from many pleasures and possessions.
      • Wisdom, insights, and discernment is absolutely necessary to gain understanding of the dhamma and how to practice The Buddha’s teaching. Insight helps the layperson to understand how to apply the teaching in their practice. Ultimately, these insights help to influence future states of being, awakening, and states of rebirth.
    • Daily give thanks and take homage in The Buddha’s enlightenment and dhamma teachings. Observe the positive results when you follow these teachings. This builds faith and confidence.  
    • Observe and contemplate on your sila (virtue, morality, ethics). Give thanks for your sila. This is encouraged by The Buddha.
    • Use dana, donations, and gifting to the poor often.  During meditation, contemplate these activities expressing “metta” to them.
    • Observe insights regularly during meditation that help to improve practice, kamma, and future being.
      • Find a comfortable place that is quiet to sit and meditate with few interruptions and distractions to the senses.
    • 🧘🏽‍♀️ RELAX
      • After sitting comfortably on a cushion or pillow or floor, place hands in lap and close the eyes.
    • 🧘🏽‍♀️ TRIPLE GEM (1-2 min)
      • Prepare the mind and concentration by taking “Refuge in the Triple Gem”. 
      • Visualize each one in the mind (as an object) and generate faith and warm feelings with each one. Don’t rush this.
      • I take refuge in The Buddha.
      • I take refuge in The Dhamma.
      • I take refuge in The Sangha.
    • 🧘🏽‍♀️ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)
      • “The Breath”
      • Begin to focus in the breathing without attaching or stressing about it. Just relax and observe the breath.
      • As you breath in… observe it and release.
      • As you breath out… observe it and release.
      • Observing the rhythm of the breath is essential to relax the body and to practice releasing.
      • Use the out breath to practice releasing.
      • Relaxed smiling is good to use to help relax. 
      • I often will use the phrase “Peace” (in breath)
      • “Release” (our breath)
      • Continue observing breathing until it becomes very subtle or almost unnoticeable.
    • 🧘🏽‍♀️ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)
      • “The Body”
      • As the breath fades, the mind relaxes, the body also begins to relax.
      • Observe the body as a (body) form. It’s not self, but only a shell, a rupa, that temporarily supports consciousness.
      • As observing, the body, let the breath and body fade.
    • 🧘🏽‍♂️ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)
      • “The Mind”
      • As the breath fades and the body relaxes, the mind tends to become active or stay busy.
      • As thoughts arise, don’t engage with them. Observe them and then let them fade.
      • They will rise and they will fall unless there is engagement to feed the thoughts.
    • After taking refuge and doing the meditation warm up, now observe your faith and confidence in The Buddha’s enlightenment and his teachings.
      • Give thanks for his enlightenment, insights, and dhamma teachings.
    • Observe your virtue, sila, and ethics.
      • “Furthermore, there is the case where you recollect your own virtues: ‘[They are] untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, conducive to concentration.’ At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting virtue, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on virtue. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.” — AN 11.12
      • Give thanks for your sila and virtue.
    • Spend time cultivating metta and sharing metta to the those who are poor, homeless, and without food. Gain insights on how to share dana or gifts to them.
    • While meditating, keep the mind open for insights to arise that will help improve the conditions of the mind, your practice and future states of being.
    • Finish the meditation with metta to yourself. Smile.

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

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