03 OCTOBER 2020, THE DAILY CHAIR
LAYPERSONS PURIFY THE PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT by Sumith Siriwardana
“Faithful, accomplished in ethics,
Saddho sīlena sampanno,
kind, rid of stinginess,
they always purify the path
Niccaṃ maggaṃ visodheti,
to well-being in lives to come.
In Dighajanu Sutta, The Lord Buddha has remarkably stated the importance of following the four good qualities such as Faith, Ethics, Generocity, and Wisdom, in order to purify our path for the well-being of our present and future lives and achieve “Nibbana”. We can also expect two results by following them such as the well-being of our lay life and the well-being of our spiritual life in the present and future. These four good qualities play a major role in our meditative practice to purify our path. The first quality is Faith.
* Faith is what makes us confident in the Lord Buddha. If one does not have faith, he or she does not tend to follow the Lord Buddha’s teachings . Even if someone is following the path without faith, he or she tends to be hindered by doubt and this leads to a failure of his concentration.
* Ethics are what purify our bodily and verbal actions. If one’s moral conduct is not pure, during meditation, the mind is likely to be assailed by various unwholesome bodily and verbal thoughts. They become preoccupied with the mind and they hinder the right concentration.
* Generosity is what makes us free from greediness and keeps our minds happy. When our minds are free from greediness, we can expect a happy and free mind which allows concentration to develop. Generosity is a way to practice let go and this also helps you in your meditation practice to let go of all arisen phenomena including different insight impediments.
* Wisdom is what we gain through observing the phenomena and discern that they are impermanent, suffering, and not-self. This is purely on Insight meditation. Through a gradual practice, your meditative insight makes you discern the three universal characteristics of all phenomena.
– It is important to develop the four good qualities in our meditative practice to find well-being and happiness in this life and future lives.
– Always observe your activities and avoid bad qualities that hinder your progress and allow good activities that help to develop four good qualities.
> MEDITATION PLACE
Find a secluded place. If you are at home, your room is fine but better at a time of less noisy and Busy.
After sitting comfortable on a cushion or pillow or floor, keep your knees in a way that they touch on the floor (Lotus position or half lotus position or Burmese way). However, if you have an ailment or a body pain, better sit on a comfortable position like a small chair.Place your hands on your lap and keep your right palm on top of your left palm. While looking at three feets in front, close your eyes.
Relax and be aware that you are sitting now. Keep your mindful in front.
TRIPLE GEM (1-2 MIN) Take refuge in the Triple Gems.I take refuge in The Buddha.I take refuge in The DhammaI take refuuge in The Sanga
“The Breath” Observe your breath mindfully. Better if you can identify the touching point near your nostrils. Some might feel at the tip of the nose and some might feel inside of the nose or on top of the nose, wherever you feel, keep your attention (Sati Nimmita) on there and allow your breath in and breath out. At the beginning, you might not feel the types of breath like long or short. But it is fine as long as you are aware of breath in and breath out. Advance practitioners can observe the types of breath. Recollection of the qualities of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha (Conviction)Recollection of Buddha
Recollect as ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.
Recollection of Dhamma
Recollect Dhamma as ‘The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.
Recollection of Sangha
Recollect Sangha as The Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced well… who have practiced straight-forwardly… who have practiced methodically… who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.
Recollection of the virtues
Recollect of you virtues as I refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, laying and taking intoxications. Also, recollect that those who preserved virtues which were untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, conducive to concentration, have been born in a happy state. So by doing the same, I will also be born in a happy state with the company of virtuous beings and they finally lead to awakening.
Recollection of Generosity
Recollect generous deeds you did for the well being of the Sangha and the community such as Alms givings, donations and charities. Also, recollect that those who did such generous deeds, have been born in a happy state, so by doing the same I will also be born in a happy state with the company of generous beings and finally leads to awakening.
SELF GUIDED MEDITATION
– Contemplate four good qualities as factors for awakening.
– Contemplate four good qualities as factors that bring peace and happiness in this life and future lives.