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The most effective means to ensure that our actions and speech…

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Ajahn Jayasāro's Yellow Pages Teaching

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Twice weekly handwritten Dhamma teaching by Ajahn.
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The most effective means to ensure that our actions and speech remain in harmony with our values is practising mindfulness of precepts. When we commit ourselves to the precepts and frequently reflect on them, we create the conditions for them to pop up in our mind whenever the intention to transgress arises. In even the most busy, complex situation we are thereby able to make wise choices.

 

The five precepts of the lay Buddhist prevent us creating the heaviest kinds of kamma. But we can increase the value of the practice by drawing up a list of our bad habits, big and small, and make determinations, 'I undertake to refrain from ...' The important point is to limit ourselves to actions and speech, and don't make unrealistic vows about mind states. We can't keep a vow never to get angry, but we can undertake not to talk over the other person, or to slam doors.

 

There was once a certain tortoise who could have benefitted from this practice. The time had come for his best friends, a couple of storks, to say goodbye.

 

He said, 'Take me with you!'
'How?'
'You two get a long stick. Each of you hold one end of the stick and I will hold the middle of the stick in my mouth.'

 

The storks agreed and they flew into the air. Later, they passed over a village. A boy looked up and exclaimed, 'What clever storks!' The tortoise shouted out, 'It was my idea - a - a -a -a -a.'

 

- Ajahn Jayasāro

(no human translation)

(no human translation)

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