The Daily Cushion

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 4

“THE DANGER OF WORRYING ABOUT REPUTATION, TITLES, EDUCATION DEGREES, MONEY, & POWER” by Steve Lin

👉 Soṇadaṇḍa Struggles with His Ego, His Peers, & His Thoughts

“When the Buddha had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, Soṇadaṇḍa took a low seat and sat to one side. Seated to one side he said to the Buddha:

😱 ‘Master Gotama, if, when I have gone to an assembly, I rise from my seat and bow to the Buddha, that assembly might disparage me for that. And when you’re disparaged by the assembly, your reputation diminishes. When your reputation diminishes, your wealth also diminishes. But my wealth relies on my reputation.

😱 If, when I have gone to an assembly, I raise my joined palms, please take it that I have risen from my seat. And if I undo my turban, please take it that I have bowed. And Master Gotama, if, when I am in a carriage, I rise from my seat and bow to the Buddha, that assembly might disparage me for that. If, when I am in a carriage, I hold up my goad, please take it that I have got down from my carriage. And if I lower my sunshade, please take it that I have bowed.’

🙏 Then the Buddha educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired the brahmin Soṇadaṇḍa with a Dhamma talk, after which he got up from his seat and left.”

Read Full Sutta – https://suttacentral.net/dn4/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM FULL SUTTA

📌 Friends and peers can negatively influence our practice and following the dhamma

📌 Our ego, expectations, and insecurities can negatively influence our practice and following the dhamma

📌 Even after hearing clear, powerful dhamma talks by The Buddha, Soṇadaṇḍa still worried about his reputation, image, and wealth more than following The Buddha.

🙏 MEDITATION TIPS FROM THE SUTTA

📌 Concern about degrees, education, wealth, and reputation is a clear sign of attachment and clinging.

📌 Meditation practice and nirvana can be greatly impacted by ego pursuits.

📌 Insights from the suttas and Dhamma talks will be greatly hindered by concerns of reputation and the fuel of ego.

🙏 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

📌 Observe any “desires and craving” for education, title, reputation, power, money…

📌 Observe how these can distract mind from gaining deep insights from the reading of the suttas and dhamma talks

📌 Observe how these can distract mind from gaining deep insights from meditation

📌 Observe how these can distract mind from gaining nirvana and awakening

📌 Release any cravings, attachments and … clinging to reputation … clinging or craving to titles, to power … attachment to money or wealth…

📌 Reflect on the sutta and how these concerns were a downfall and conflict inside the mind of Soṇadaṇḍa.

📌 Observe how your mind may be similar to Soṇadaṇḍa and his thoughts and cravings prevent nirvana and distract from truly following The Buddha’s teachings.

😱 Even after a powerful Dhamma from The Buddha… Soṇadaṇḍa was still worried about reputation. He did not want to be perceived as humble and bowing to the teachings of The Buddha for fear of losing reputation and wealth. He devised a plan of secret symbols to try and show The Buddha he was following him, so his peers would not know… so he wouldn’t lose his reputation and wealth.

Do we do the same??

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