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Sri Lanka Revisited, Ch 7, no 5.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, After the Bhante’s sermon Khun Sujin gave Dhamma dåna to us all. She spoke about the deepest cause of all our failures in the development of
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 20, 2008
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      Dear friends,

      After the Bhante�s sermon Khun Sujin gave Dhamma d�na to us all. She
      spoke about the deepest cause of all our failures in the development
      of satipatth�na: our own defilements which we have accumulated for so
      long. She reminded us again of our fundamental inconsistence: we want
      to develop satipatth�na in order to eradicate the concept of self,
      but we still continue to consider ourselves as very important. This
      selfish attitude appears in our manner and speech, it can be very
      prominent. We often speak about realities such as seeing, hearing or
      thinking as anatt�, non-self, but do we realize it when there is
      plain selfishness in daily life? Up till now we did not understand
      very well that less clinging to the concept of self also means being
      less selfish in our daily life. We are so used to thinking of
      ourselves that we do not notice it. Khun Sujin reminded us to realize
      more the moments we think of ourselves and to realize our action and
      speech that are motivated by egoism.

      How often do we find ourselves important? How often do we have
      conceit? Do we think ourselves better than others? Even when we think
      ourselves equal to or less than others we may find ourselves
      important and that is conceit. We may, for example, think: �Why does
      he treat me in that way?� Does this not often happen in daily life?

      The �Vibhanga� (Book of Analysis, Second Book of the Abhidhamma)
      enumerates in the �Analysis of Small Items� (345) many objects which
      can be objects of pride and conceit. Pride is here the translation of
      the P�li word �mada� which literally means intoxication. We read:

      �Pride of birth; pride of clan; pride of health; pride of youth;
      pride of life; pride of gain; pride of being honoured; pride of being
      respected; pride of prominence; pride of having adherents; pride of
      wealth; pride of appearance; pride of erudition; pride of
      intelligence; pride of being a knowledgeable authority; pride of
      being (a regular) alms collector; pride of being not despised; pride
      of posture (bearing); pride of accomplishment; pride of popularity;
      pride of being moral; pride of jh�na; pride of dexterity; pride of
      being tall; pride of (bodily) proportion; pride of form; pride of
      (bodily) perfection; pride; heedlessness; (mental) rigidity;
      rivalry....�

      All these objects can be a source of intoxication and conceit. We
      should consider them in daily life, that is the reason why they are
      enumerated. Is it not true that we want to be honoured and respected,
      that we want to be popular and receive compliments? We are attached
      to other people�s opinion about us. The word �rivalry� used in the
      �Vibhanga� is another word for competition. We do not want others to
      be better than we are, even with regard to kusala and right
      understanding. We may not have noticed that we are so self-seeking,
      but the enumeration in the �Vibhanga� can remind us to be aware more
      often of such moments. We should investigate the deepest motives of
      our behaviour. Behaviour and speech we thought to be correct and
      pleasing are often motivated by selfishness. Khun Sujin told us in
      plain words that we should do something for others instead of doing
      something for ourselves, and that this gradually can become our
      nature. It will condition more kusala in our life. When we consider
      ourselves not as �somebody� we see more the importance of other
      people. A �nobody� or �not somebody� is another word for non-self,
      anatt�. Do we really understand the meaning of anatt� and its
      application in daily life? The sot�panna has realized the truth of
      anatta and for him there are no more conditions to neglect the five
      precepts. When we transgress them there is no true consideration for
      other people�s well-being. The sot�panna has eradicated stinginess.
      We are still stingy, we do not always want to share with others what
      we have because we think of our own comfort. Through satipatth�na
      there will be less ignorance of the many moments of selfishness which
      arise and there will be the understanding that akusala is only a
      conditioned reality, not �my akusala�. We shall develop satipa�tth�na
      with a more sincere inclination, we shall develop it in order to
      understand whatever reality arises, to understand it as non-self.

      ******

      Nina.




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nina van Gorkom
      Dear friends, How often do we find ourselves important? How often do we have conceit? Do we think ourselves better than others? Even when we think ourselves
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 3, 2012
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        Dear friends,

        How often do we find ourselves important? How often do we have
        conceit? Do we think ourselves better than others? Even when we think
        ourselves equal to or less than others we may find ourselves
        important and that is conceit. We may, for example, think: �Why does
        he treat me in that way?� Does this not often happen in daily life?

        The �Vibhanga� (Book of Analysis, Second Book of the Abhidhamma)
        enumerates in the �Analysis of Small Items� (345) many objects which
        can be objects of pride and conceit. Pride is here the translation of
        the P�li word �mada� which literally means intoxication. We read:

        �Pride of birth; pride of clan; pride of health; pride of youth;
        pride of life; pride of gain; pride of being honoured; pride of being
        respected; pride of prominence; pride of having adherents; pride of
        wealth; pride of appearance; pride of erudition; pride of
        intelligence; pride of being a knowledgeable authority; pride of
        being (a regular) alms collector; pride of being not despised; pride
        of posture (bearing); pride of accomplishment; pride of popularity;
        pride of being moral; pride of jh�na; pride of dexterity; pride of
        being tall; pride of (bodily) proportion; pride of form; pride of
        (bodily) perfection; pride; heedlessness; (mental) rigidity;
        rivalry....�

        All these objects can be a source of intoxication and conceit. We
        should consider them in daily life, that is the reason why they are
        enumerated. Is it not true that we want to be honoured and respected,
        that we want to be popular and receive compliments? We are attached
        to other people�s opinion about us. The word �rivalry� used in the
        �Vibhanga� is another word for competition. We do not want others to
        be better than we are, even with regard to kusala and right
        understanding. We may not have noticed that we are so self-seeking,
        but the enumeration in the �Vibhanga� can remind us to be aware more
        often of such moments. We should investigate the deepest motives of
        our behaviour. Behaviour and speech we thought to be correct and
        pleasing are often motivated by selfishness. Acharn Sujin told us in
        plain words that we should do something for others instead of doing
        something for ourselves, and that this gradually can become our
        nature. It will condition more kusala in our life. When we consider
        ourselves not as �somebody� we see more the importance of other
        people. A �nobody� or �not somebody� is another word for non-self,
        anatt�. Do we really understand the meaning of anatt� and its
        application in daily life? The sot�panna has realized the truth of
        anatta and for him there are no more conditions to neglect the five
        precepts. When we transgress them there is no true consideration for
        other people�s well-being. The sot�panna has eradicated stinginess.
        We are still stingy, we do not always want to share with others what
        we have because we think of our own comfort. Through satipatth�na
        there will be less ignorance of the many moments of selfishness which
        arise and there will be the understanding that akusala is only a
        conditioned reality, not �my akusala�. We shall develop satipatth�na
        with a more sincere inclination, we shall develop it in order to
        understand whatever reality arises, to understand it as non-self.

        --------

        Nina.




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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