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India ch 1, no. 4

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    India Ch 1, no 4. Acharn Sujin reminded us also time and again to have patience (khantí). She remarked that people may be able to be patient when they have
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2002
      India Ch 1, no 4.

      Acharn Sujin reminded us also time and again to have patience (khantí). She
      remarked that people may be able to be patient when they have lack of sleep
      or when they have to sit for a long time, but that it is most difficult to
      be patient with regard to the development of right understanding. Usually
      people wish for the arising of mindfulness and right understanding and they
      are impatient when they do not notice any progress. Acharn Sujin often
      recited the text of the ³Dhammapada²(vs. 184) about patience which is the
      highest form of ascetism:

      Forbearing patience is the highest asceticism, nibbåna is supreme say the
      Buddhas; he verily, is not a recluse who harms another; nor is he an ascetic
      who oppresses others.

      Patience is the highest ascetism (tapo). We read in the Commentary to the
      Cariyåpiìaka, about the perfection of patience the Bodhisatta developed 5 .
      It is defined as follows:

      Patience has the characteristic of acceptance; its function is to endure the
      desirable and undesirable; its manifestation is tolerance or non-opposition;
      seeing things as they really are is its proximate cause.

      We can have patience with regard to the desirable and the undesirable when
      there is no attachment to a pleasant object nor aversion towards an
      unpleasant object. When there is more understanding we can see that whatever
      arises is conditioned, no matter it is pleasant or unpleasant, and then
      there are conditions for patience. As we read, ³seeing things as they really
      are is the proximate cause of patience². The Dhamma can be our refuge when
      we have patience while listening to the Dhamma, while studying and
      considering it. Then there will be conditions for mindfulness of realities
      and the development of right understanding. Time and again Acharn Sujin said
      that understanding very gradually develops. During this journey we listened
      to the Dhamma and heard things that we had heard before, but do we have the
      patience to really consider what we hear? We are still able to listen to the
      Dhamma, but the Dhamma will not last forever. Therefore, we should not waste
      time but develop more understanding now.
      We are reminded to be aware of the realities that appear by the following
      text in the ³Gradual Sayings² (Book of the Ones, Ch X):

      Monks, I know not of any other single thing that conduces to the confusion,
      to the disappearance of true Dhamma as does negligence. Negligence indeed
      conduces to the confusion and disappearance of true Dhamma.
      Monks, I know not of any single thing so conducive to the establishment, to
      the non-disappearnace of true Dhamma as earnestness 6 . Earnestness indeed
      conduces to the establishment, to the non-disappearance of true Dhamma.


      1. This has also been explained in the Commentary to the ³Dialogues of the
      Buddha², the ³Sumangala Vilåsiní² (III, no. 28, the Faith that satisfied).
      2. The Abhidhamma and the Suttanta.
      3. The five aggregates or khandhas are: rúpakkhandha, all physical
      phenomena; vedanåkkhandha, feelings; saññåkkhandha, remembrance or
      perception; sankhårakkhandha, formations or activities, including all
      cetasikas other than feeling and perception; viññånakkhandha, consciousness,
      including all cittas.
      4. At the final passing away of the Buddha there was the extinction of the
      khandhas; they would not arise again because there were no more conditions
      for rebirth.
      5. Translated by Ven. Bodhi. See the All-Embracing Net of Views, B.P.S.
      6. Earnestness is a translation of the Påli appamåda, non-negligence. It
      means non-forgetfulness, mindfulness.

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