The Buddha’s Path to Wisdom
February 28, 2011, Class # 4
Chuc Thanh teaching.
Dichotomies, Verses 7-8 and 11-12Key Terms: Mara
There are 5 kinds of Mara: Namely: the 5 aggregates, Moral and Immoral activities, Death, Passion and Diety. Al mentioned the book “The Monkey Mind”. He shared the idea that our mind is our Mara. Mara can be me tempting myself with things that are not balanced. I need to become a better person for me.
Chuc Thanh related to the class the need to find balance between our physical and mental needs. Don’t focus on only our physical needs. Every cell in our body is born and later dies. They must be discarded safely through a healthy body which is dependent upon proper diet. We must be careful about what we eat, and to eat in moderation. Fruits and vegetables should be the primary foods we eat. Animals that are supplied to us as food have suffered cruelty resulting in anger. When we ingest their meat, we ingest their anger.
The Buddha teaches that we should eat less in late evening so that our energy can be focused on our mind rather than on our bodies. Eat the larger meals in the morning and noon time to free our energy in the evening to develop our minds.
The body requires more energy to digest food and function than the mind requires to function. If we eat less we can devote more of our energy to the development of our mind. We should practice not complaining about food that may not be to our taste publicly. We should adjust ourselves to the taste or abstain from the food rather than complaining about it.
What is essential? The class came up with food, sleep, being healthy, being peaceful, kindness. Chuc Thanh advised that the Buddha stressed intellectual essentials of right beliefs, morality, concentration and wisdom.
Some other comments by Chuc Thanh:Learning is a process of adjusting ourselves.
During meditation, our mind creates distractions that manifest themselves physically like itching, numbness in our legs, etc. We can eliminate these through practice.
Everything should be done in moderation. Even computer games can be healthy, when kept in perspective and done in moderation.
Believe in ourselves. Be confident. We have the potential to do good. We are unique. We should learn to correct ourselves first; focus on ourselves. Living by example will impact others. The Buddha teaches self correction.
If we do not know how to love ourselves, how can we love others?
Mark Palamara 3-2-11