02 OCTOBER 2020, THE DAILY CUSHION
Laypersons & The Importance of The Eightfold Path by Steve Lin
“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.
“Following the Noble Eightfold Path leads to liberation in the form of nirvana: “Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times.
I followed that path.
Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death.
I followed that path.
Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth… becoming… clinging… craving… feeling… contact… the six sense media… name-&-form… consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness.
I followed that path.”
— The Buddha, Nagara Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya ii.124, Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
– Virtue is kamma that effects the mind and meditation. To improve your meditation, then improve your virtue and kamma.
– The future state of mind and rebirth is directly related to kamma and meditation training.
– Effective Meditation takes
PREPARATION FOR GUIDED MEDITATION
MEDITATION PLACE 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.
SELF-GUIDED MEDITATION- Contemplate the positive results of your virtue and kamma.- Contemplate the positive results of your meditation practice.- Observe ways the mind conditions are being purified and gaining freedom from your training and practice.
Who gives, one’s virtues shall increase;
Who is self-curbed, no hatred bears;
Who so is skilled in virtue, evil shuns,
And by the rooting out of lust and hate.
And all delusion, comes to be at peace.
-Dīgha Nikāya 2.197