39099Band-aids, Control and Puppy dog Tails ..(with out much Pali for Joop!)
- Dec 1, 2004Dear Phil, (Joop & RobM),
Id 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 dont
clear up or 'take control' and somehow even the yaps seem less yappy these
So Im all for training the trainers and the pups and for all kinds of
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 ones 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 mustnt 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 its 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 wont 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 Ive been saving for you with more on the
abandoning of ill-will which Ill 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. Ill add more here as it
includes the hot poker youve mentioned so appropriately.
Metta and best wishes for the development of satipatthana and all things
From Sammohavinodani (Dispeller), Classification of the Foundations of
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,
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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