Eight Social Practices of the Buddha

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One-day sitting lecture: 1 - Guided meditation; 2 - eight ways of activity and cultivation: 1-4 inward, 5-8 ways to be in the world; four unlimited practices

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desire for it


what i'd like to run again this morning with just a little bit of sitting
can you hear my voice okay online
machine is on yester

the better
so nothing up
the breastbone
so that there's the whole upper body is feels
a sense of rising
her back part of the head crest up toward the ceiling
the shoulders back
how lengthening the spine
what's awareness in the upper part of the back
sweeping our awareness over the whole upper body so that we can feel
how are sitting

then bringing bringing our attention to the belly to the breast and belly
breathing in with awareness and breeding out with awareness
feeling the belly rising and falling as we read them and as we breathe out
hey very close attention to each breath in each breath out
he seeing the whole inhale and the whole exhale
so that all of the inhale and all yet sound is clear
got any
dark places or places where awareness doesn't reach
if we notice or distracting thoughts or any
a rough are unclear spots
in the breath
it just pay attention to that and keep coming back to the hall
griffin and a whole breath out
with peaceful devotion
then longingly clear and stable feeling
the breath to radiate
throughout the body
so that the whole body from the top of the head
the forehead
muscles around the eyes and cheeks and jaw
shoulders and arms and hands
upper back little back lower back
body cavity in the organs all have space
all are vitalize with each in breath
and all aren't brought to peace the each alpha
each press in
vitalizing the whole body and each burnt out
letting go
who the and i enliven
and the whole body
leading up
bring peace and they go
with the whole body
he's letting the years the open listening with the whole body so
letting the sound come in and harmonize
with the breathing the body
hindering so
being entered by sound
when they're letting go of sound and turning
the awareness
into your own heart
your mind
where whatever
arises in the mind and heart
without naming not pursuing
just being attentive
the subtle currents of thought or feeling that arise
in the heart
when they're letting go of that also in simply being present
with no focus
with nothing to be aware of the no one to be aware
what arises to arise and pass away
wouldn't break with me
to do
and i hope that in are sitting during the rest of the day you can practice
just letting go
where the tenderness
when the
the way
the think our in practice and resident teaching emphasizes this
where practice
being nowhere
going no place being no one
appreciating the experience of just letting go of everything
and how this experience is the source of all our lives
what is i am fond of saying
he's true
important experiences are two important practices and then and you can have one without the other one is sitting down
the other ones getting up
we're talking about sitting down and also
we get up and bring this
to our activity
so this morning i would like to talk with you a little bit fat
social practices of buddhism
which have to cultivate if we're going to
tread the path of the buddha
and i'll just
say a little bit about
the important social practices
and then you can study them more later
and see if you'd like to
take one part of what i've said in
go into it very thoroughly
what i want to talk about
the most important
practice social practices of
now buddha dharma
eight ways of activity and cultivation
the first four are
inward things attitudes feelings that we weren't to a train ourselves in and encourage
and the next for are
outward things where's that we would act
and behave in the world
the first for the inward practices
i called before unlimited practices
hum things in the material world
are always limited there's a limited amount of space
a limited amount of time limited amount of material
limited amount of money or
space in our house so forth
but these for cultivation are not limited or unlimited
even when we get old in our body is not working too well and we can't think straight and we fall down when we walk
even then there's no limit
in one moment even the possibility of a limitless cultivation of these practices and is always there
so they're called for unlimited
the first one
this loving kindness
unlimited kindness
which is an inner feeling
a genuine affection
and good will toward ourselves and others
truly wishing ourselves and others well that we would be happy that we would experience joy
that suffering and the causes of suffering would be removed from ourselves and others
even if that's not the case you know having a real genuine wish that it would be so
in it really is impossible to have that feeling for others unless we have it for ourselves
and likewise it would be really impossible for us to truly have that which for ourselves if we didn't have it for others so now goes to get
so we would train our mind
turning toward such thoughts
may i be happy
the iv content
the i'd be free from suffering
the here she
the happening and be content and free from suffering
they all of us sitting here together when each one of us
the happened may we be content
there will be free from suffering
and so on cultivating that were encouraging her mind in that way
when we practice that way
definitely will notice that
we don't always actually feel that way even ever say to ourselves may i be happy if she'd be happy may be happy sometimes we feel crappy about it or nutro boring or or even like the she'll be happy me i know the truth is i really don't really wanna do you have to mention a little miss
and if she were miserable that refinement
sometimes that's really how we feel
so it's very important that we not pretend
that we feel something we don't do
well maybe we have to pretend a little bit actually like use our imagination
to try to bring forth said he thought but it's no good too
will not see what they're seeing what's there is always an important part
combination so if we see know actually
for example it may be very common to feel
may i be happy
do i really deserve it
what's important to notice that we have such a thought
but still go on the i'd be happy
how the second on the for unlimited's is called
a sympathetic joy
this means specifically that when someone
as a fortunate circumstances
that we would share in their joy as if it were our own
usually when something great happens to someone else we have various reactions like down
how come i didn't
get that is very very common reaction and jealousy as if
joy were limited and if the other person had joy than we couldn't have it
is a joy were like a piece of grip they aided so there's nowhere left
so this is like i say quite common thing in that even in the holy buddhist sangha there's jealousy and
how come
she gets to do that and i don't get to do it and so forth
or even maybe we don't feel jealous but we just feel neutral like can care for that he or she
received some joyful news are some
prize or award or happiness this is not me so i'm quite unconcerned about it
the practice of sympathetic joy is to cultivate
the good feeling that others have to to see it as our own good feeling
thereby increasing
our possibilities for happiness think of how many million times over half chances of being happy
if we can see another person's joy and good fortune as our own
we can not only see the other person's good fortune is or own and become happy but also shed the uncomfortable confining feeling of jealousy
so we we kind of like always alert when you practice synthetic joy to see if anybody's
happy you've got some good reason that we haven't only like pounds on everyone's lips
happiness is my happiness also i feel that the same as if it happened to me if it did happen
when she
fell in love
i know if you're good
that's happened to me i feel that joy
so this is the practices
sympathetic joy really connecting
i know that ten re very knowledgeable about birds and sea birds a lot on birds writes about them in the newsletter
i seem to do some bird watching
at whole foods in novell
where there are actually quite a few sparrows who hang around there because of all the crunching
and spouse little sparrow you know have quite a bit of joy in their lives
big trip around you know they seem to be quite happy a gravel crumbs they come right up to you
looking you know anything here in
so i liked practice a superb joy the sparrows
make their simple joy of living in my own
me quite happy thing
to the some spouse
so we practice like that looking for opportunities to increase our own joy as we see join around us
the third of the for unlimited's is compassionate
which is a mirror opposite and were sympathetic joy
when we compassion means
that when we see a person suffering
we take that suffering as our own suffering
and again aren't very natural tendency is to say well first of what not to notice because suffering is painful though
find a way to know ourselves if someone is suffering we don't see it don't want to see it
or if we do see it to say
ah that's pitiful thank goodness that's not me
but when we take up the practice of compassion we actually cultivate the feeling that is me and suffering
this myth is my suffering i feel
as much as i possibly can the personal pain of that suffering that the other is feeling the other is not
not me
then one would think that
dick know who would want to cultivate that practice because that's only going to increasingly misery
well in a way i think that is true and away
if we practice compassion and don't have a heavy heart
then we must not be practicing compassion
when we do have have a harder
it's impossible to be open
in this world and suffering without having a heavy heart
at the same time
the experience of compassion is not
despair or depression or something like that
we really appreciate another person suffering
very acutely where the true suffering that it is
you know we we of course know from our own experience that we put
confused suffering on top of our suffering
but if we really see another person's real suffering
there's a kind of truth in that suffering
a kind of purity
in their suffering
the experience of truth
he's always peaceful and deep so even though we feel
painful feeling of suffering and you also feel peaceful feeling
and also as we practice the unlimited we have an unlimited capacity more and more inside of ourselves so we can accept them in a person suffering and feel the pain of it without feeling confined
and so compassion isn't isn't open
so even know how we feel pain you feel spacious and we feel peaceful and i think that feeling of compassion is a spacious
the peace will feel even though
we feel to sarah
it's not the spirit
so again we cultivate we try to find
a way to practice cultivated in this feeling projecting
self checking are feeling onto another drink than the others feeling on to ourselves
he's called equanimity
this means
evening up
the feeling on the other three practices
so that we all thoroughly
practice them with some people and not other people that we have more even it
because it's very natural get for us to find if we take up these practices that we can practice sympathetic joy
and compassion and loving kindness with some people that we like
but other people
we really don't feel like you know practicing sympathetic joy passion cause
like a meme which he said something to us so we just don't of bottoms
grubbs this wrong so
we're not gonna
sympathetic joy and compassion and loving kindness with with them
well the problem with that approach is that
then if we don't have equanimity
in our practice of the other three unlimited's is only with some and not with others then there's a good chance that mixed in with our passionate
loving kindness
and sympathetic joy
his attachment and aversion
in an attachment and diversion are the basic raw material of suffering
so even as we're practicing compassion were actually planting seeds of suffering
fusion unless we also practice equiniti and tried to even though so even those people that we have antipathy toward naturally karmacally we make an effort even if those people to practice loving kindness
sympathetic joy compassion little by little cultivating moving in that direction the best we can
whatever resistance when they have honestly
what understanding that nevertheless it's important to go in that way
so these are the for unlimited's for kinds of endless attitudes that we are trying to cultivate unlimited means that there's no end to our possibility of cultivating over how much lovingkindness and we cultivate there's always more than we can
cultivate and so points with the end
the for
next turtle so so to speak activities
in relation to others before social
practices externally
i call
the for methods
the body soften for helping really soft this for methods for helping
the first is
the practice of giving
they say traditionally that there are three kinds of things that we can give we can give material things
which are of course very important people need
food and shelter
in many other things that we would give you would actually give those things to others
in the second thing we can get his dharma
encouragement teaching
sharing our experienced during our life with others
sharing our time
then the third is the gift of
a gift
now we could
help someone to let go of all their fear
by seeing them
as the buddha who is the fearless one the buddha is the one who has no fear
because the buddha has nothing to lose
nothing to be afraid of
and the buddha is the manifestation of
the fundamental all rightness
and everything that arises
if we could see each other that way
then we could give the gift of fearlessness some all of us can recognize
that just as we are
there's nothing to fear because there's nothing to gain and nothing to lose
the practice of generosity also extends to
all or activity all activity
in this world
can be the practice of generosity if we would see it that way if we will dedicate our activity
for the benefit of others
then washing the dishes and cleaning the toilet
i'm cooking a meal and serving a meal
are all acts of generosity all acts of doing
all of our activity all of our work whatever it is
can be
generosity and if we would see
that work that we're doing
he's not benefiting others but it's harming others that are practice of generosity would be to set aside that work
can not do it anymore
so we have the practice of dedication dedicated or activity to others in here at gringotts whenever we work you know bow and we offer incense and the value in this means the work that we're about to do
what we're doing as acts of get it for the benefit of others we dedicate this period work
and we can continuously make that dedication in our hearts as we work
we don't need to be in a temple
i'm working this morning and this afternoon
benefit of others really feeling that way in our hearts
enacting record with that feeling
he's also the practice of giving
second and before
methods or for bodies office to help people
is ball the practice of kind speech
all of us in talk all the time
quite a bit even when days of silence we talked
to each other but on days of silence and especially we talk to ourselves
so we're always talking and we think you know that we're talking
about the world
but but it believes in true you know
what dennis moore talking is another world
and it creates a world are words create a world
what can a world are we creating
their own mind
and between ourselves and others are we creating
a world of some happiness of ears or are we creating
can world of misery
so the practice of kind speech begins with our paying attention
how he speak
and beginning to notice the kind of world that we create
in to find and
strengthen the intention
to create a world of happiness and one kindness for ourselves and each other
so kind speech means to try to find a way to speak to ourselves on is that would be
in pleasing
to try to practice
speaking kind words to other people how are you are you all right can i help you
the beautiful day
so you can see that this would take some effort
because you can't just exactly figured i'd been faking it has its place
faking it doesn't have its place in the first hat
the cultivate something we have to make effort in that direction even if we don't feel it sometimes
what doesn't have much of a place is self deception
so the pretend that we feel something when we do it doesn't help too much but sometimes you might have to say good morning and how are you even though we might not guilty as were continent in a feeling
but kind speech fundamentally comes from a kind heart and a kind heart comes from the cultivation of the for unlimited
so as we actively work
to open our hearts
and really genuinely feel
loving kindness and true consideration for others than kind speech becomes something that we just can manifest out of that heart
so don't close together
and sometimes can say the kind of speech can open our hearts to
but the important thing about kind of speeches that it opens other people's hearts
and hi speech
can be enormously
almost miraculously healing
to others
if we can really bring forth kind speech that comes from a truly a kind heart
we can awaken
kindness love and others and help
somehow to feel the ruins of others
after all where does all of our unkind speech come from where does all of our non loving kindness non sympathetic joy non compassion comfort he comes from
hermit scars and wounds
that must be acknowledged to heal
kind speech can help
the third practice
what bodhisattvas to help others
so beneficial activity
this means
very simply
doing something to help someone else
someone needs help we can you try to help them
what can we do to help
we fix something we can we we try to do that
hmm know
the a warmonger
provide something that's missing
so we try to practice and beneficial activity
whatever way we can
in the last
the for practices for body software to help others
it's called cooperation
whole operation
in this means simply
joining in with others as others
completely harmonizing and entering
the thoughts and minds and activity of others
without holding anything back
now many people will be weren't the kind of miracles that happened when people actually cooperate
what happens when sometimes when there's a disaster and people just forget about on their agendas
and then joined together to do something
sometimes that happens
in work
working together in the kitchen
the fields in an office
when we just join our efforts together
to accomplish a task without
and he holding back without any territoriality entering in in cooperating
flowing with the activity seeing how one person's activity
just dovetails into another
it just altogether were like one person
doing something it's a beautiful thing that happens
and one of the ways that a body for helps others is by himself or herself cooperating in that way of fostering a spirit of cooperation making it possible for all of us to cooperate
then truly you know cooperation
is the nature of the world
if we could look and see a bigger picture than just
our own self centeredness
we would see that
he didn't we were walking down the street you know not doing anything in particular
we're in a gigantic cooperation
it's a whole universe with the air we breathe with the pavement other beings removing relation to us and we in relation to them in a beautiful pattern
the birds and trees constant
the more that we would
come from that place
in all of our activity
with compassion seeing that all of our activity is in a dynamic connection and all points in everything
this is the fourth method for thirty soc is have to help on it to demonstrate
when i think one of the you
most wonderful
insights or the buddha
is that conservation of these kinds of attitudes is possible
i think that we don't believe it that much we we very much feel that our attitudes our feelings are kind of like a given
this is how i am he said
and even when we don't say that deep down i think many of us believe that
but there wouldn't be buddha dharma the buddha didn't see
that the feelings and attitudes and activities that reproduce
can be cultivated and worked with we can take or mind and heart
so these a practices this a social practices and buddhism or eight ways a painting the mind and heart cultivating working with ourselves
and as i said before
it's very important in doing this
be very honest with ourselves
because this the these practices can easily be seen as a idealistic
where's we should be you know it's a natural thing that we should be this way we should be that way and this a kind of poison
because then we we do violence that would actually arises in the heart
and that never works out well
that's very important to know that entertaining ourselves in this way and cultivating ourselves in this way we'd have to really look and was truly does arise with words that fooling around pretending
very nice
and a particularly given moment all of us are nice and all of us monotonous isolated
you know they'll be honest
but if we can be aware of all the ways in which we don't
loving kindness compassion
an official action and the rest of it we can be honest about that and let that rise
and just go
without grabbing onto it without beating our breast about it
without being resentful about it without being angry and so forth with just allowing our true feeling to be there in allowing it to pass away as it will
in coming back to our intention of our commitment
to cultivate these practices
little by little it is possible
that we can have a feeling of true feeling inside not a contrived you the true feeling inside of love and consideration compassion and more and more
that can be characteristic of our heart and mind
and when that so there's more and more happiness for ourselves and everyone who comes in contact with
hiroshi settings and mind beginner's mind that
if you want to pay in a car
you should give it a big pasture
the tether the cow tightly
he's not a good message
because when the cow is tethered
he or she will stay put and soon as
the rope is gone
the cow is maybe even more wild than before
instead have a wide pasture and the captain rome
and explore
and see
lots of space
but pasture is fenced
there are boundaries
there are intentions that we are trying to fulfill
there are directions in which we are committed to doing
there was some honesty and some spaciousness and some flexibility and willingness to
but always
seeing the pasture fences ahead or behind
right or left
we can
a truly
cultivate this way
no i know that most of you
even better than either
and then i'm not giving you know it today
but it's a funny thing
that even things that we know very very well
we forget
and we need a remember that reminders are very important always
almost everyday actually almost every day maybe even every single day
we need to remember
those things that we know very well
we need to encourage
those intentions that we really do have in our hearts
what we forget about
even it's it's almost a miracle ten minutes late that trigger
so we need a know that that so
realized that that is how
this somehow world works
and within that to continue practicing little by little
so i would hope that you can everyone of you would think about this
and consider in these eight practices
and one could easily
speak up
ten or twenty
practices within each category
is there one practice
that you feel that you would like to take up for a while
so i would encourage your if that if you find one practice among all of this that you can see please do take it up
study it
speak to your teachers
how you could practice this way and tell your teacher
okay i'm going to practice this one
and i'll come and see you in a week's time and i'll tell you how i didn't
today you know what i'm going to do that that's how we help each other
anyway i hope that you will
test this for yourself
when the meantime
one day of sitting
is a rare and precious opportunity
i feel that one day
dedicated fully and meticulously to practice
really reverberates through our lives
should not be taken lightly
with each
one day retrieved seven day are fighting machine
i practice neatness are like changes
when only a we
give ourselves to our practice it's certainly possible
to sleepwalk through a one-day fishing i'm it listen
a committer
is it
but that would be ashamed
where the rest of the day is considered it
make an effort at its strong
but also joyful and peaceful
here much than the intention of making sit there to on input you