ARE YOU REALLY READY TO ACCEPT CHAN DHARMA?


                      WITHOUT DEDICATION AND ENERGY THE TASK IS DIFFICULT



Do you want both the transcendental and the worldly happiness, but no worldly suffering…and we too want it NOW and perhaps you think highly of your cognitive mind.

 

But who is the Dharma for? For those who want it ALL? For those who believe that they are intelligent? Or for those who want ALL THAT IS NATURAL AND CORRECT?


Buddha gave us a clear answer in the Anguttara Nikaya VIII.30, the Anuruddha Sutta to Anuruddha:

 

Once the Blessed One was staying among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt. And at that time Ven. Anuruddha was living among the Cetis in the Eastern Bamboo Park. One day, a line of unspoken thought arose in Anuruddha while he was alone and in seclusion.

Then the Blessed One, realizing with his awareness the line of thinking in Ven. Anuruddha's awareness -- just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm -- disappeared from among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt, and re-appeared among the Cetis in the Eastern Bamboo Park, right in front of Ven. Anuruddha. There he sat down on a prepared seat. As for Ven. Anuruddha, having bowed down to the Blessed One, he sat to one side.

 

 As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him, "Good, Anuruddha, very good. It's good that you think these thoughts of a great person: 


 

'This Dhamma is for one who is modest, not self-aggrandizing.


It is for one who is content, not for one who is discontent.


It is for one who is apart from the world of the senses, not entangled.


It is for one whose persistence is aroused, not one who is lazy.


It is for one whose mindfulness is established, not for one whose mindfulness is confused.


It is for one whose mind is centered, not for one whose mind is uncentered.


It is for one endowed with discernment, not for one whose discernment is weak.



Examine yourself with regard to these, and if you do not measure up then consider changing your attitudes. There is yet more.

 

 

'Now then, Anuruddha, think the eighth thought of a great person: 'This Dhamma is for one who enjoys non-complication, who delights in non-complication, not for one who enjoys and delights in complication.'

 

                                  THAT’S IT!  NON-COMPLICATION.

 

              Is non-complication consistent with having it ALL, NOW?

 

"Anuruddha, when you think these eight thoughts of a great person, then -- whenever you want -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, you will enter and remain in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation.

 

When you think these eight thoughts of a great person, then -- whenever you want -- with the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, you will enter and remain in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation -- internal assurance...

 

With the fading of rapture, you will remain in equanimity, mindful and alert, physically sensitive to pleasure. You will enter and remain in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.'

 

When you think these eight thoughts of a great person, then -- whenever you want -- with the abandoning of pleasure and pain, as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress, you will enter and remain in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain.

 

Now, when you think these eight thoughts of a great person and become a person who can attain at will, without trouble or difficulty, these four jhanas -- heightened mental states providing a pleasant abiding in the here and now -- then your robe of cast-off rags will seem to you to be just like the clothes chest of a householder or householder's son, full of clothes of many colors. As you live contented, it will serve for your delight, for a comfortable abiding, for non-agitation, and for alighting on Unbinding.


 

"When you think these eight thoughts of a great person and become a person who can attain at will, without trouble or difficulty, these four jhanas -- heightened mental states providing a pleasant abiding in the here and now -- then your meal of alms-food will seem to you to be just like the rice and wheat of a householder or householder's son, cleaned of black grains, and served with a variety of sauces and seasonings... your dwelling at the foot of a tree will seem to you to be just like the gabled mansion of a householder or householder's son, plastered inside and out, draft-free, bolted, and with its shutters closed... your bed on a spread of grass will seem to you like the couch of a householder or householder's son, spread with long-haired coverlets, white woollen coverlets, embroidered coverlets, antelope-hide and deer-skin rugs, covered with a canopy, and with red cushions for the head and feet...

 

"When you think these eight thoughts of a great person and become a person who can attain at will, without trouble or difficulty, these four jhanas -- heightened mental states providing a pleasant abiding in the here and now -- then your medicine of strong-smelling urine will seem to you to be just like the various tonics of a householder or householder's son: ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, and molasses sugar. As you live contented, it will serve for your delight, for a comfortable abiding, for non-agitation, and for alighting on Unbinding.

 

And what is the fruit of having the natural ALL of the human creature with natural sensitivity, discrimination, intelligence and equanimity free from confusion, greed and aversion? The fruit is the Pure Land, which is a complete change of vision and understanding.


Later in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Grove, near Crocodile Haunt Buddha continued with this theme.

 

 

The Blessed One said, "Now, what are the eight thoughts of a great person?

 

 

"'This Dhamma is for one who is modest, not for one who is self-aggrandizing.' 


Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? 


There is the case where a monk, being modest, does not want it to be known that 'He is modest.'


Being content, he does not want it to be known that 'He is content.' 


Being reclusive, he does not want it to be known that 'He is reclusive.'


His persistence being aroused, he does not want it to be known that 'His persistence is aroused.' 


His mindfulness being established, he does not want it to be known that 'His mindfulness is established.' 


His mind being centered, he does not want it to be known that 'His mind is centered.' 


Being endowed with discernment, he does not want it to be known that 'He is endowed with discernment.' 


Enjoying non-complication, he does not want it to be known that 'He is enjoying non-complication.' 


This Dhamma is for one who is modest, not for one who is self-aggrandizing.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one who is content, not for one who is discontent.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk is content with any old robe cloth at all, any old almsfood, any old lodging, any old medicinal requisites for curing sickness at all. 'This Dhamma is for one who is content, not for one who is discontent.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

The Dharma is not for one who wants it ALL, NOW. It is not for one who clings to the brightness of his intellect.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one who is reclusive, not for one who is entangled.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk, when living in seclusion, is visited by monks, nuns, lay men, lay women, kings, royal ministers, sectarians and their disciples. With his mind bent on seclusion, tending toward seclusion, inclined toward seclusion, aiming at seclusion, relishing renunciation, he converses with them only as much is necessary for them to take their leave. 'This Dhamma is for one who is reclusive, not for one who is entangled.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

The Dharma is not for one who wants it ALL, NOW. It is not for one who clings to the brightness of his intellect.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one whose persistence is aroused, not for one who is lazy.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. 'This Dhamma is for one whose persistence is aroused, not for one who is lazy.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

The Dharma is not for one who wants it ALL, NOW. It is not for one who clings to the brightness of his intellect.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one whose mindfulness is established, not for one whose mindfulness is confused.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said? There is the case where a monk is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering and able to call to mind even things that were done and said long ago. 'This Dhamma is for one whose mindfulness is established, not for one whose mindfulness is confused.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

The Dharma is not for one who wants it ALL, NOW. It is not for one who clings to the brightness of his intellect.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one whose mind is centered, not for one whose mind is uncentered.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said?

 

There is the case where a monk, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation.

 

With the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation -- internal assurance.

 

With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful and alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters and remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous and mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.'

 

With the abandoning of pleasure and pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress -- he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. 'This Dhamma is for one whose mind is centered, not for one whose mind is uncentered.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one endowed with discernment, not for one whose discernment is weak.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said?

 

There is the case where a monk is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising and passing away -- noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. 'This Dhamma is for one endowed with discernment, not for one whose discernment is weak.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said.

 

"'This Dhamma is for one who enjoys non-complication, who delights in non-complication, not for one who enjoys and delights in complication.' Thus was it said. With reference to what was it said?

 

There is the case where a monk's mind leaps up, grows confident, steadfast, and is firm in the cessation of complication. 'This Dhamma is for one who enjoys non-complication, who delights in non-complication, not for one who enjoys and delights in complication.' Thus was it said. And with reference to this was it said."

 

The Dharma is not for one who wants it ALL, NOW. It is not for one who clings to the brightness of his intellect.

 

It requires practice. It requires restraint. It requires meditation and, most of all, it requires constant attention to what one is doing in one’s daily life.

                  It requires diligence and an open flexible mind.


The greatest failing is to persuade yoiurself that you do not cling to intellect when you really have pride in your mind. The second greatest failing is to believe that you are not ready when you are. It takes a true evaluation of oneself without being chained to any ideas that you have of your own qualities or the lack of them.


 

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