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First Noble Truth and the Brahmaviharas

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  • shar_63
    The First Noble Truth is that the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable. All of the aspects of the Brahmaviharas can be seen through
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 20, 2013
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      "The First Noble Truth is that the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable."


      All of the aspects of the Brahmaviharas can be seen through the lens of this statement.  In the simplest possible way, for instance, we can apply loving kindness (nonresistance) toward an illness we may suffer; generate compassion for ourselves and others in a situation of illness; appreciative joy for our times of relative health and others' health, even as we suffer; and finally experience equanimity and understanding that any health status is relative and impermanent.

      Does anyone have an example of this they would like to share?  Intellectual discussion is wonderful, but I'm thinking more of direct application...real practice.


      May this be of benefit.


    • t.sastri
      Hi all - The First Noble Truth does not state that the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable ; otherwise, there is no way to abandon
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 22, 2013
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        Hi all -


        The First Noble Truth does not state that "the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable"; otherwise, there is no way to abandon suffering.


        "These are the aggregate of matter subject to grasping, the aggregate of feeling..., the aggregate of perception..., the aggregate of mental (volitional) formations..., the aggregate of consciousness subject to grasping. These are called, in brief, the five aggregates subject to grasping that are suffering. This is called the Noble Truth of suffering ."

        http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.141.piya.html


        Tep

        ===

      • antony272b2
        Dear Sharon, Here is an unembarrassing version of my illness in1995: In 1995 I moved from Sydney to Melbourne to train to become a teacher of the Alexander
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 27, 2013
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          Dear Sharon,

          Here is an unembarrassing version of my illness in1995:

          In 1995 I moved from Sydney to Melbourne to train to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique. I found cheap accommodation ($30 per week) about one mile from the Buddhist Society and a few hundred yards from the tram line leading to the city.

          The Alexander Technique is a gentle but intense form of bodywork. I have hardly any fat on me so the teachers' hands were right on the muscle. After seven months I had a nervous breakdown with an experience like looking out the window of a moving train at the ground next to the tracks. I quit the Alexander course and went back to my grandmother in Sydney as my parents were on a trip in inland Australia.

          It was about a year before Nana died, and she put her guts on the line which saved me from being committed to hospital with any medication they could have given me would have done more harm than good because the medicine I needed hadn't been invented yet. I later realized that you don't view your grandmother as psychophysical phenomena because that puts you on a par with a person of superior virtue and beneficence. I was only thinking about myself.

          Two weeks before my first nervous breakdown Ajahn Sumedho made a quick visit to Melbourne all the way from England, because Ajahn Jagaro had decided to disrobe and he wanted to say goodbye to him. I was sitting on an Alexander chair at the back of the almost empty meditation hall when Ajahn Sumedho came in on his arrival. Half a dozen of us sat on the floor and he began to talk, with the quote I remember being “It's when you're at your wits' end that the insight comes.”

          Three months after Ajahn Sumedho's visit every aspect of my life gradually fell apart and I decided that I would permanently return to Sydney which felt like going home to die because I was losing all my friends.

          I told an elderly lady at the monastery that I had been trying too hard in my meditation. She replied: “Clydesdales” (see youtube for videos on the awesome momentum of these horses).
           
          Two days before I was due to leave I had my second nervous breakdown with racking pains and a psychotic grief reaction to leaving all my friends at the monastery thinking that the world was going to end.

          I walked two miles to the monastery wearing only my dressing gown and bare feet then after asking the monk if he could ordain me, he went away and I called my parents reverse-charges asking them to call my doctor.

          I offered my bag to the Buddha statue (I was the Buddhist Society's newsletter editor) and lay down in parinibbana position in the empty meditation hall. It was in the middle of a weekend retreat and meditators came in one-by-one, one lady singing a metta song. When the hall was full I asked the teacher at the other end of the room “Is paranoia dosa?” He said yes. I got up, saying “Another day at the office?” He replied “You're on par mate.”

          My doctor arrived with perfect timing and took me home and my flatmate was there to let me in and my doctor took him aside into the kitchen talking in Sinhalese while I went into my room. My parents rescued me the next morning driving six hundred miles from Sydney.

          I didn't live happily ever after, even lacking insight that I was ill, but looking back now I learned a lot and now realize that Ajahn Sumedho, Nana, Mum and Dad, the elderly lady, the retreatants in the meditation hall, and many others, were all sending me metta and karuna.

          I visited Melbourne for the Vesak weekend in 1996. The monk who I'd asked to ordain me had disrobed and married the lady who sang the metta song. I posted from Ven U Dhamminda's talk I transcribed on Right Speech which was given shortly after my departure in post #5234.

          With metta / Antony.

          This post is recorded in mp3 audio in our files section:

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Buddhaviharas/files/Posts_Read_Aloud/

        • shar_63
          I m deeply touched that you are sharing this story. It s a testament to your love of the dhamma that you share yourself so openly with our little online
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 27, 2013
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            I'm deeply touched that you are sharing this story.  It's a testament to your love of the dhamma that you share yourself so openly with our little online sangha, and have continually committed to keeping this list alive for many years.  


            Deep bows to you.


            In lovingkindness,


            Sharon

          • shar_63
            Antony, you are a true dhamma hero. :) On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 4:57 AM, antony272b@hotmail.com wrote: Dear Sharon, Here is an unembarrassing version of my
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 27, 2013
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              Antony, you are a true dhamma hero.  :)


              On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 4:57 AM, antony272b@... wrote:

                 Dear Sharon,

              Here is an unembarrassing version of my illness in1995:

              In 1995 I moved from Sydney to Melbourne to train to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique. I found cheap accommodation ($30 per week) about one mile from the Buddhist Society and a few hundred yards from the tram line leading to the city.

              The Alexander Technique is a gentle but intense form of bodywork. I have hardly any fat on me so the teachers' hands were right on the muscle. After seven months I had a nervous breakdown with an experience like looking out the window of a moving train at the ground next to the tracks. I quit the Alexander course and went back to my grandmother in Sydney as my parents were on a trip in inland Australia.

              It was about a year before Nana died, and she put her guts on the line which saved me from being committed to hospital with any medication they could have given me would have done more harm than good because the medicine I needed hadn't been invented yet. I later realized that you don't view your grandmother as psychophysical phenomena because that puts you on a par with a person of superior virtue and beneficence. I was only thinking about myself.

              Two weeks before my first nervous breakdown Ajahn Sumedho made a quick visit to Melbourne all the way from England, because Ajahn Jagaro had decided to disrobe and he wanted to say goodbye to him. I was sitting on an Alexander chair at the back of the almost empty meditation hall when Ajahn Sumedho came in on his arrival. Half a dozen of us sat on the floor and he began to talk, with the quote I remember being “It's when you're at your wits' end that the insight comes.”

              Three months after Ajahn Sumedho's visit every aspect of my life gradually fell apart and I decided that I would permanently return to Sydney which felt like going home to die because I was losing all my friends.

              I told an elderly lady at the monastery that I had been trying too hard in my meditation. She replied: “Clydesdales” (see youtube for videos on the awesome momentum of these horses).
               
              Two days before I was due to leave I had my second nervous breakdown with racking pains and a psychotic grief reaction to leaving all my friends at the monastery thinking that the world was going to end.

              I walked two miles to the monastery wearing only my dressing gown and bare feet then after asking the monk if he could ordain me, he went away and I called my parents reverse-charges asking them to call my doctor.

              I offered my bag to the Buddha statue (I was the Buddhist Society's newsletter editor) and lay down in parinibbana position in the empty meditation hall. It was in the middle of a weekend retreat and meditators came in one-by-one, one lady singing a metta song. When the hall was full I asked the teacher at the other end of the room “Is paranoia dosa?” He said yes. I got up, saying “Another day at the office?” He replied “You're on par mate.”

              My doctor arrived with perfect timing and took me home and my flatmate was there to let me in and my doctor took him aside into the kitchen talking in Sinhalese while I went into my room. My parents rescued me the next morning driving six hundred miles from Sydney.

              I didn't live happily ever after, even lacking insight that I was ill, but looking back now I learned a lot and now realize that Ajahn Sumedho, Nana, Mum and Dad, the elderly lady, the retreatants in the meditation hall, and many others, were all sending me metta and karuna.

              I visited Melbourne for the Vesak weekend in 1996. The monk who I'd asked to ordain me had disrobed and married the lady who sang the metta song. I posted from Ven U Dhamminda's talk I transcribed on Right Speech which was given shortly after my departure in post #5234.

              With metta / Antony.

              This post is recorded in mp3 audio in our files section:

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