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39099Band-aids, Control and Puppy dog Tails…..(with out much Pali for Joop!)

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  • sarah abbott
    Dec 1, 2004
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      Dear Phil, (Joop & RobM),

      I’d like to add a little more to all the other fine posts on these topics.

      I always follow your threads with interest too. Please keep up the Park
      walk series. We always smile a lot whilst reading them, even if they are
      about evil thoughts;-).

      This morning we went for an early morning walk along Puppy Dog Trail (aka
      Snake Path) and came across quite a few yappy dogs, but not yet in their
      winter coats in Hong Kong yet. We have new fines for trainers who don’t
      clear up or 'take control' and somehow even the yaps seem less yappy these

      So I’m all for training the trainers and the pups and for all kinds of
      band-aids too.

      Whenever a student visits me squealing about a cut or a bruise or even a
      headache, I reach for the band-aid packet and administer it with a little
      TLC and it seems to do magic;-) End of squeals for the class.

      Some arrive these days with their own fluorescent coloured varieties of
      band-aids and other remedies already administered by school nurses,
      mothers or maids. We all have our preferences and special methods for
      dealing with all those daily troubles that come our way.

      Is there anything wrong in using band-aids, in training pups, in turning
      off the War saga, avoiding eye contact with beggars in India (as Christine
      was taught) or sealing one’s lips(or even those of a few teenage boys as I
      confess to having done at times!!)? No!! Is there one band-aid that suits
      all, of course not either.

      We all have our own styles, preferences, methods or techniques for
      managing our lives and indeed we often swap band-aids or recipes too. If
      we think that we mustn’t apply a band-aid or follow a recipe, it would be
      indicative of a kind of wrong view of anatta meaning let pups or teenagers
      or loud mouths run wild.

      Anatta and no control simply means that whether or not we apply the
      band-aid, which colour gets to be applied and whether it will have any
      desired effect or not will depend on many, many factors. Every thought,
      intention, effort, act, speech, movement, like or dislike, as well as
      every other mental and physical element, is dependent on numerous
      conditions. The self, which only appears in our fantasies, never has
      existed and never will exist to exert any say in the matter at all. This
      is the illusion that only a Buddha could discover and teach us.

      So apply as many band-aids as you like (or rather, as conditions allow)
      and develop awareness of the realities appearing at these times too, so
      that gradually understanding can grow which knows the difference between
      when there is and is not any awareness, regardless of whether it’s a pink
      florescent or a a spotty green band-aid (or no band-aid at all!) that is
      being applied at the time.

      Gradually, by developing more understanding, the world of realities will
      be clearly distinguished from the world of concepts and there won’t be any
      question about what actions should or should not be followed, who is
      applying the remedies, whether band-aids have anything to do with the Path
      or whether pups can really be trained.

      You made many of these points beautifully in your tranquilizer comments to
      Bhante V. The Middle Way is following the Path regardless of the
      tranquilizers used along the way.

      Phil, I liked a comment Nina made recently on another thread:

      “Through the development of right understanding we notice more and more
      how deeply rooted clinging to self is, no matter what we do. We see
      ourselves as sitting, we cling to the posturs! I want to be good, I again.
      I study, I again, I write, I again. And so on.”

      I also have a textual quote I’ve been saving for you with more on the
      abandoning of ill-will which I’ll type out below, to be understood in the
      light of anatta and the development of satipatthana, of course!! I quoted
      briefly from it in a post to Mike recently. I’ll add more here as it
      includes the hot poker you’ve mentioned so appropriately.

      Metta and best wishes for the development of satipatthana and all things


      From Sammohavinodani (Dispeller), Classification of the Foundations of
      Mindfulness, 1257f
      “Furthermore, six things lead to the abandoning of ill-will: 1) the
      acquiring of the sign of amity, 2) devotion to the development of amity,
      3) reviewing ownership of kamma, 4) much reflection, 5) good friendship,
      6) suitable talk.
      1) For ill-will is abandoned in one who acquires amity in any of the forms
      of specific or general directional pervasion.

      2) and also in one who develops amity by limited and unlimited directional

      3) also in one who reviews the ownership of his own or others’ kamma thus:
      ‘And if you are angry with him, what will you do? Can you destroy his
      virtuous conduct, etc? Have you not come by reason of your own kamma, and
      will you not go, too, by reason of your own kamma? Becoming angry with
      another is like wanting to strike another by picking up red-hot coals, a
      hot poker, excrement and so on. And if he is angry with you, what will he
      do? Can he destroy your virtuous conduct, etc? He has come by reason of
      his own kamma and will go, too, by reason of his own kamma. Like an
      unaccepted present, like a handful of dust thrown against the wind, this
      anger of his will fall back on his own head only;’

      4) also in one who remains in reflection after reviewing the ownership of

      5) Ill-will is abandoned also in one who cultivates good friends who
      delight in the development of amity like the Elder Assagutta.

      6) Also it is abandoned through suitable talk while standing, sitting,
      etc, which is based on amity.
      Hence it was said [above]: “Six things lead to the abandoning of ill-will:
      the acquiring of the sign of amity, devotion to the development of amity,
      reviewing the ownership of kamma, much reflection, good friendship,
      suitable talk”.

      But he understands that it is through the Never-Returner path that there
      comes to be the future non-arising of the ill-will abandoned by means of
      these six things.”
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