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The Buddha's Way of Virtue: A Translation of the Dhammapada from the Pali Text

The Five Precepts are training rules to follow in daily life: To refrain from killing living creatures To refrain from taking what is not given To refrain from sexual misconduct To refrain from harsh and false speech To refrain from taking intoxicating liquor and drugs Someone living in this way develops the self-discipline and sensitivity necessary to cultivate meditation, the second aspect of the Path. Back to top. Meditation, as the term is used in common parlance, is the repeated focusing of attention upon an image, a word or a theme in order to calm the mind and consider the meaning of that image or word.

In the Buddhist practice of insight meditation, this focusing of attention also has another purpose - to more fully understand the nature of the mind. This can be done by using the meditation object as a still reference point to help in revealing the attitudes that are otherwise buried beneath the mind's surface activity.

The Buddha encouraged his disciples to use their own bodies and minds as objects of meditation. A common object, for example, is the sensation associated with the breath during the process of normal breathing.

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If one sits still, closes the eyes and focuses on the breath, in due time clarity and calm will arise. In this state of mind, tensions, expectations and habitual moods can be more clearly discerned and, through the practice of gentle but penetrative enquiry, resolved. The Buddha taught that it was possible to maintain meditation in the course of daily activity as well as while sitting still in one place.

One can focus attention on the movement of the body, the physical feelings that arise, or the thoughts and moods that flow through the mind. The Buddha explained that through mindfulness one realises an attention that is serene. Although it is centred on the body and mind it is dispassionate and not bound up with any particular physical or mental experience.

This detachment is a foretaste of what Buddhists call Nibbana or Nirvana - a state of peace and happiness independent of circumstances. Just as waking up dispels the dream state naturally, the mind that has become clear through mindfulness is no longer over-shadowed by obsessive thoughts, doubts and worries. However, although mindfulness is the basic tool to use, we generally need some pointers as to how to establish the right objectivity about ourselves and how to assess what mindfulness reveals.

This is the function of the wisdom-teachings of the Buddha. Do not be convinced by someone else's apparent intelligence, nor out of respect for a teacher When you yourself know what is wrong, foolish and unworthy, and what leads to harm and discontent, abandon it And when you yourself know what is right, develop it. The most generally used wisdom-teachings of the Buddha are not statements about God or Ultimate Truth.

The Buddha felt that such statements could lead to disagreement, controversy and even violence.

Instead, Buddhist wisdom describes what we can all notice about life without having to adopt a belief. The teachings are to be tested against one's experience.

Different people may find different ways of expressing Truth; what really counts is the validity of the experience and whether it leads to a wiser and more compassionate way of living. The teachings then serve as tools to clear the mind of misunderstanding. When the mind is clear, Ultimate Truth, in whatever way one finds to express it, becomes apparent.

The Buddha’s Way of Virtue

These core teachings, to be measured against one's experience and used for guidance, are known as the Four Noble Truths. The First Noble Truth : There is dukkha. Life as we normally know it must always have a proportion of disagreeable experiences - sickness, pain and distress are obvious examples.

Even in relatively affluent societies people suffer from anxiety, stress or a loss of purpose; or they feel incapable of dealing with life's challenges.

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Brand new Book. About this title Synopsis: "Wisdom of the East - The Buddha's Way of Virtue" contains an English translation of the Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form that represents one of the best known Buddhist scriptures. Store Description Book Depository is an international bookseller. We ship our books to over countries around the globe and we are always looking to add more countries to the list.

Buddhas way of virtue : Wagiswara, W.D.C. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

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Visit Seller's Storefront Terms of Sale: All books are shipped in New condition promptly, we are happy to accept returns up to 30 days from purchase. In a broader sense, virtue, or virtuous living -- as I understand it -- comes very close to the Hippocratic oath that doctors take: First, do no harm.

The earliest and most persistent descriptions of virtue in the Buddhist teachings involve avoiding activities that cause harm to others, including killing, theft, sexual abuse, lying, slander, and gossip. Interestingly enough, they also include activities that may harm oneself, such as overindulging in intoxicants, food, and certain types of habitual activity -- understandings that evolved long before terms like "addiction" or "obesity" were defined by modern medicine.

But the Tibetan word gewa, which is often translated as "virtue," has a deeper, more significant meaning.


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Like the old Middle English word vertue, which was related to the effectiveness of an herb or other plant to strengthen certain qualities inherent in the body and the mind, gewa means making choices that extend our emotional and intellectual strength, illuminate our potential greatness, build our confidence, and enhance our ability to assist those in need of help. A third, and final, understanding of virtue -- which has evolved from conversations with a few friends and students around the world -- builds on this aspect of developing or cultivating our strengths. Artists who exhibit extraordinary skill in their respective fields are known as "virtuosos" -- an English word that comes from an Italian term signifying someone who demonstrates exceptional skill.

However, everything I've learned from my own studies, the teachings I've received, and my own experience as a teacher, counselor, husband, and father suggests to me that what the Buddha discovered during the days and nights he spent meditating under a tree in Bodhgaya, India, was a method through which we can all become virtuosos in the art of living. Each of us is gifted with the ability to recognize within ourselves an astonishing capacity for brilliance, kindness, generosity, and courage.

We also have the potential to awaken everyone with whom we come in contact to the possibility of greatness. We become virtuosos to the extent that we develop our potential to the point at which -- even without our conscious intention -- our actions and our words serve to awaken the "human artist" in everyone.

But in order to do that, we have to understand the basic material with which we're working. A skillful potter has to learn to recognize the qualities and characteristics of a lump of clay with which he or she works.

A virtuoso farmer has to understand the relationship between soil and seeds, fertilizer and water, and implement that understanding in terms of actions. Likewise, in order to become virtuoso human beings, we have to begin by understanding our basic nature -- the clay, so to speak, with which we're given to work.