While there are many books on Buddhist meditation and philosophy, there are few books which are solely dedicated to the perform of Buddhist ethics. the following Subhadramati, an skilled instructor of meditation and ethics, communicates in actual fact either their founding ideas and the sensible easy methods to include them. She starts by means of pointing out that Buddhist ethics do not see human nature as anything to be crushed into submission, tamed, or domesticated. Buddhism isn't really making an attempt "to remedy lifetime of itself." Buddhism is ready enjoyable our human nature, now not diminishing it, and its ethics are either the capacity and the expression of this success. In Buddhism, being moral ability being really human.
Buddhist ethics are hence now not approximately conforming to a suite of conventions, no longer approximately "being solid" that allows you to achieve fabric, social, or spiritual rewards. as a substitute, as Subhadramati outlines, residing ethically springs from the attention that folks are basically no varied from ourselves. we will be able to, if we decide, actively enhance this expertise, via cultivating a growing number of love, readability, and contentment. aiding us to come back right into a better concord with all that lives, together with ourselves, this can be eventually a guidebook to a extra passable life.
Subhadramati is a instructor of meditation and Buddhism on the London Buddhist Centre. this can be her first book.
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Additional info for Not About Being Good: A Practical Guide to Buddhist Ethics
Years ago, when I was teaching in the Dublin Buddhist Centre, someone realized the benefit to his friendships of being trustworthy in a rather charming way. We’d been debating whether or not one should always be truthful in speech. The conversation was in danger of getting a bit literalistic, even legalistic, when suddenly Matt had a ‘light-bulb moment’. ‘If I always told the truth,’ he said, ‘everyone would trust me. ”’ I’ll never forget how Matt seemed to grow in stature as he imagined this, how he embodied positive pride, freedom, and confidence.
It helps to teach me that my actions always have repercussions, whether I’m conscious of that or not. It helps to teach me that my actions aren’t detachable from me. They are part of me and they are modifying me, changing me, all the time, because I’m doing things all the time. I can see that deepening awareness of myself as an ethical agent, as someone who has an effect, would lead me, quite naturally, to take more responsibility for my actions. If you act as though your actions can be detached from you, when they are actually part of you, you are setting up forces of conflict and disintegration within yourself.
It’s similar when someone’s drunk. Any teenage girl will know not to trust her friend’s big brother when, after a bottle of cheap wine, he tells her he loves her. Even though he might believe he means it sincerely – at the time. Someone drunk can’t follow things through; you can’t take what they say seriously. They can’t really handle themselves. In this way they’re a bit like a child too. With luck, they have some more clear-headed friends around who can act as their conscience, take their car keys away, or bring them in out of the cold.