Dear Friends, In this Issue...
  • A Horn Blower - Samyutta Nikaya
  • Words of Dhamma
  • Questions-and Answers
  • Centre Re-Opening
  • Dhamma Modana Virtual Monday Group Sittings
  • The Gracious Flow of Dharma, Goenkaji
  • Virtual group and day sittings & Pariyatti free resources
A Horn Blower
Translation title : Linked Discourses, Translation subtitle : A translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Translator : Bhikkhu Sujato

8. A Horn Blower

At one time the Buddha was staying near Nalanda in Pavarika’s mango grove.

Then Asibandhaka’s son the chief, who was a disciple of the Jains, went up to the Buddha, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, “Chief, how does Nigaṇṭha Nataputta teach his disciples?”

“Sir, this is how Nigaṇṭha Nataputta teaches his disciples: ‘Everyone who kills a living creature, steal, commits sexual misconduct, or lies goes to a place of loss, to hell. You’re led on by what you usually live by.’ This is how Nigaṇṭha Nataputta teaches his disciples.”

“‘You’re led on by what you usually live by’: if this were true, then, according to what Nigaṇṭha Nataputta says, no-one would go to a place of loss, to hell.

What do you think, chief? Take a person who kills living creatures. If we compare periods of time during the day and night, which is more frequent: the occasions when they’re killing or when they’re not killing?”

“The occasions when they’re killing are less frequent, while the occasions when they’re not killing are more frequent.”

“‘You’re led on by what you usually live by’: if this were true, then, according to what Nigaṇṭha Nataputta says, no-one would go to a place of loss, to hell.

What do you think, chief? Take a person who steals …

Take a person who commits sexual misconduct …

Take a person who lies. If we compare periods of time during the day and night, which is more frequent: the occasions when they’re lying or when they’re not lying?”

“The occasions when they’re lying are less frequent, while the occasions when they’re not lying are more frequent.”

“‘You’re led on by what you usually live by’: if this were true, then, according to what Nigaṇṭha Nataputta says, no-one would go to a place of loss, to hell.

Take some teacher who has this doctrine and view: ‘Everyone who kills a living creature, steals, commits sexual misconduct, or lies goes to a place of loss, to hell.’ And there’s a disciple who is devoted to that teacher. They think: ‘My teacher has this doctrine and view: ‘Everyone who kills a living creature, steals, commits sexual misconduct, or lies goes to a place of loss, to hell.’ But I’ve killed living creatures … stolen … committed sexual misconduct … or lied. They get the view: ‘I too am going to a place of loss, to hell.’ Unless they give up that speech and thought, and let go of that view, they will be cast down to hell.

But consider when a Realized One arises in the world, perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed. In many ways he criticizes and denounces killing living creatures, saying: ‘Stop killing living creatures!’ He criticizes and denounces stealing … sexual misconduct … lying, saying: ‘Stop lying!’ And there’s a disciple who is devoted to that teacher. Then they reflect: ‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces killing living creatures, saying: “Stop killing living creatures!” But I have killed living creatures to a certain extent. That’s not right, it’s not good, and I feel remorseful because of it. But I can’t undo what I have done.’ Reflecting like this, they give up killing living creatures, and in future they don’t kill living creatures. That’s how to give up this bad deed and get past it.

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces stealing …

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces sexual misconduct …

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces lying, saying: “Stop lying!” But I have lied to a certain extent. That’s not right, it’s not good, and I feel remorseful because of it. But I can’t undo what I have done.’ Reflecting like this, they give up lying, and in future they refrain from lying. That’s how to give up this bad deed and get past it.

They give up killing living creatures. They give up stealing. They give up sexual misconduct. They give up lying. They give up divisive speech. They give up harsh speech. They give up talking nonsense. They give up covetousness. They give up ill will and malevolence. They give up wrong view and have right view.

That noble disciple is rid of desire, rid of ill will, unconfused, aware, and mindful. They meditate spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Suppose there was a powerful horn blower. They’d easily make themselves heard in the four directions. In the same way, when the heart’s release by love has been developed and cultivated like this, any limited deeds they’ve done don’t remain or persist there.

Then that noble disciple is rid of desire, rid of ill will, unconfused, aware, and mindful. They meditate spreading a heart full of compassion … They meditate spreading a heart full of rejoicing … They meditate spreading a heart full of equanimity to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of equanimity to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Suppose there was a powerful horn blower. They’d easily make themselves heard in the four directions. In the same way, when the heart’s release by equanimity has been developed and cultivated like this, any limited deeds they’ve done don’t remain or persist there.”

When he said this, Asibandhaka’s son the chief said to the Buddha, “Excellent, sir! Excellent! … From this day forth, may the Buddha remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

About this license

This translation is an expression of an ancient spiritual text that has been passed down by the Buddhist tradition for the benefit of all sentient beings. It is dedicated to the public domain via Creative Commons Zero (CC0). You are encouraged to copy, reproduce, adapt, alter, or otherwise make use of this translation. The translator respectfully requests that any use be in accordance with the values and principles of the Buddhist community. URL https://suttacentral.net/sn Source https://github.com/suttacentral/bilara-data/tree/master/translation/en/sujato/sutta/sn SuttaCentral publication number scpub4

Dhamma Modana June 2021
 
Words of Dhamma

Words of Dhamma

Aham avero homi, avyāpajjho homi,
Anīgho homi, sukhī attānam pariharāmi.

Mātā pitu ācariya, ñati samūhā
averā hontu, avyāpajjhā hontu, anīghā hontu,
sukhī attānam pariharantu.


Sabbe sattā, sabbe pānā,
sabbe bhūtā, sabbe puggalā,
sabbe atta-bhāva pariyāpannā,
sabbā itthiyo, sabbe purisā,
sabbe ariyā, sabbe anariyā,
sabbe manussā, sabbe amanussā,
sabbe devā, sabbe vinipātikā,
averā hontu, avyāpajjhā hontu, anīghā hontu,
sukhī attānam pariharantu.

Sabbe sattā sukhī hontu, sabbe hontu ca khemino.
Sabbe bhadrāni passantu, mā kiñci pāpamāgamā,
mā kiñci dukkhamāgamā, mā kiñci sokamāgamā.
May I be free from ill-will; may I be free from cruelty;
May I be free from anger; May I keep myself at peace.

May my mother, father, teacher, relatives, the whole community
be free from ill-will, free from cruelty, free from anger;
May they keep themselves at peace.

May all creatures, all living things,
all beings, all individuals,
all persons included,
all women, all men,
all noble ones, all worldlings,
all humans, all non-humans,
all celestial beings, all those in states of woe
be free from ill-will, free from cruelty, free from anger;
May they keep themselves at peace.

May all beings be happy; May they all be secure.
May they all see good fortune; May no evil befall them.
May no suffering befall them; May no sorrow befall them.
Pali verses traditionally recited during the practice of Mettā

Questions and Answers

Sometimes it seems that we are picking up the negativity, fear, etc. from the students we are serving. How does this happen and what can we do?

Goenkaji: You can't pick up anything from others. If you are affected by a student's emotions, it is because you have a stock of the same kind of impurity within you. For example, if a fear complex comes to the surface in a student because of their practice of Vipassana, the atmosphere around them will become charged with that kind of vibration and that stimulates your own stock of fear to arise. Be thankful to the student that this situation has allowed your own impurity to be eradicated. Meditate, observe sensations, and come out of it. Why worry?

Why you are here in this atmosphere, you can work on anything that comes up and eradicate if. If you are free from a particular impurity, nothing will happen when you come in contact with that impurity. Let's say somebody generates anger near a Buddha, anger would not arise in the Buddha because he is totally free from anger. So long as you have the seed of a particular impurity within you, when the same impurity arises in your vicinity it will stimulate your own impurity.

Dhamma servers commonly do not get enough exercise while they are services. Is it permissible for them to practice yoga while serving a course or staying at a centre?

Goenkakji: The physical exercise of yoga are quite compatible with Vipassana, but don't do them at the centres; the students would get distracted if they see you. It is unwholesome to create any hindrance to the progress of the students. If a Dhamma server has a separate room there should not be any difficulty about doing yoga exercises there as long as they do not disturb anybody. But even then, permission must be sought from the assistant teacher on duty; only if the assistant teacher is satisfied that yoga will not become a disturbance can it be done, otherwise not. 

Questions for Assistant Teachers

If you have questions about your practice you may email 
at‑[email protected] indicating whether you prefer an email response or a phone call.

Centre Re-Opening

With the change in provincial government guidelines, Dhamma Modana re-opened it’s doors again to serve the general public. Student course numbers were based on Meditation Hall capacity and the first 10 Day course of 2021, beginning June 23 hosted four Old Students and six new students. In addition, given the extra available space in the men’s dining room, a self-course student was added to the roster. As of Day 8, the students are continuing to work seriously while the course servers and management team have done an excellent job of seeing to the students various and sundry needs.  

The plated meal service will likely switch back to a buffet style we’re all familiar with. The plated service has been very popular with students, and while an added complexity for the servers, it felt very good serving each student their meals. Simplifying the food service will take some pressure off the servers, but somewhat sad to see it go! 

Given the limited space available in the main Meditation Hall, all but two of the course servers meditate in Dhamma Hall 2 while the management team meditates in the Office. 

With the July 1st change in guidelines, there will be a discussion around increasing course sizes, bringing the course servers back into the main Hall as well as general Covid-19 safety concerns for all participants. 

The mood is positive and invigorated at Dhamma Modana, once again being able to fulfill its mandate to spread the Dhamma as encouraged and taught by our late Teacher SN Goenka, in the tradition of Sayagi UBa Khin. Gratitude for all those that helped maintain the Centre while closed to the public, both with volunteer labour and financial support.  

Dhamma Modana Virtual Sitting

Weekly Group Sitting / Dhamma Modana / Followed by Q&A and Discussion

Dhamma Modana's weekly group sittings are on Mondays, 7pm-8pm, followed by AT-led Q&A.  

It is good to meditate together, especially these days with the current restrictions.
All old students are welcome to join virtually (see link) or calling. If you would like the calendar invite emailed to you, please send a request to:  [email protected]

Link: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Or
Phone: +1 647-317-5363   Canada, Toronto (Toll)
Conference ID: 843 089 335#

Pariyatti Free Resources & Newsletters

We recommend using Pariyatti.org as a resource, not only for the purchase of books but also for its large archive of free downloads. These include audio, video and text.

Be sure to check out their Free Resources section.

You may enjoy and be inspired by the Daily Words of the Buddha in your inbox each morning. A lovely way to start the checking email part of your day.

Visit Pariyatti’s archive of featured articles. You can read the latest December Pariyatti newsletter,  available for download here.
Dhamma.org App

There are so many audio, video and written resources now available on the Dhamma.org app to support you in your practice. Here’s a sampling that you may be interested in:
  • Self course FAQs for doing your own self course
  • On the Subject of Happiness
  • Video documentaries “From Myanmar to the World” and many more
More Resources

For more resources, visit the Old Student website. To access the Dhamma Modana old student website and all Vipassana related sites, the username is: oldstudent and the password is always the same. 

 
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This notice is sent to old students of Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka in the North American Old Student Contact Database. You may also receive occasional messages from centers and newsletters via this database.

Best wishes,
Vancouver Island Vipassana Association
Dhamma Modana
2359 Calais Rd
Duncan, B.C. V9L 5V5
Canada
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