23352Re: [dsg] Re: My Time with A. Sujin 4.
- Jul 9, 2003Dear Kiyo,
I am only taking out one remark from your letter.
op 29-06-2003 20:42 schreef suzakico op suzaki@...:
> practicing the `process' (may I also say, sila-My time with A. Sujin. 4
> samadhi-panna?) will lead to elimination of suffering.
A. Sujin taught me what is kusala and what is akusala by her example. The
observing of precepts is not a matter of rules one has to follow. She
explained that there is no self who can direct the arising of kusala, that
it is sati which conditions refraining from akusala and performing kusala.
Since I was in the diplomatic service I went to cocktail parties and took
drinks. A. Sujin would never say, don¹t drink. She would explain that it is
sati that makes one refrain from akusala. Gradually I had less inclinations
to drinking, and this happened because of conditions. I did not know that
killing snakes or insects was akusala. When I was in A. Sujin¹s house, we
were having some sweets, and when flies were eating some crumbs on the
floor, A. Sujin said, we let them enjoy these too. I had never considered
before to give flies something they would enjoy, it was a new idea to me. I
learnt more in detail what was kusala, what akusala. I began to refrain from
killing insects and snakes. She also taught me that it is kusala sila to pay
respect to monks, because the monks observe so many rules. She taught me to
kneel down and pay respect in the proper way, touching the floor with
forehead and hands three times. She taught me the importance of the Vinaya,
and she explained that we laypeople should help the monks by our conduct to
observe the Vinaya. We should not give money to them, but hand it to the
layperson in charge. When we are in conversation with the monks we should
not chat on matters not related to Dhamma. Together with her elderly father
we visited temples and offered food. We often had lunch with her father in
his favoured restaurant where they served finely sliced pork (mu han in
Thai). We did not talk on Dhamma very much at such occasions, but I noticed
A. Sujin¹s feeling of urgency, never being forgetful of the Dhamma, whatever
she was doing. I was clinging very much to Dhamma talks, but throughout the
years I learnt that we do not need to talk on Dhamma all the time, but that
we should reflect on Dhamma and apply Dhamma in our life. A. Sujin is always
such an inspiring example of the application of Dhamma.
When we read the Visuddhimagga we see the three divisions of sila,
concentration and panna. We may think of a specific order. However, A. Sujin
explained that this is the order of teaching, that there is not a specific
order according to which we should practise. When we carefully read about
sila, we see that all degrees of sila are dealt with, from the lower degrees
up to the highest degrees: the eradication of all defilements.
Having kindness for flies and abstaining from killing is sila. Being
respectful to monks is sila. Being patient in all situations is sila.
Satipatthana is sila: we should remember the text about restraint of the six
doors by mindfulness. It is satipatthana which is the condition for
abstaining from akusala.
As to concentration or calm, this has many degrees. There is calm with each
kusala citta. Calm is not a feeling of calm, it means the absence of
akusala. When we cling to silence and to being calm, there is lobha, not
calm. Panna has to be very keen to know exactly which moment is akusala and
which moment of kusala, otherwise we shall not know the characteristic of
calm. When there is awareness of nama or rupa there is also true calm at
that moment. As panna grows, calm grows as well. The eradication of
defilements is the highest degree of calm. A. Sujin often stressed: when
there is right awareness of a nama or rupa there is at that moment higher
sila, higher calm and higher panna.
(to be continued)
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