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Mark Foote

The Early Record

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I have a short study of the teachings in the Pali sermon volumes, that I hope might be of interest.  I wrote the study to teach myself something about the initial states of concentration (the rupa jhanas), and I think I succeeded, even though in practice I focus on "lack of desire" more than the induction of any particular state. 

Here's the introduction, the first few paragraphs, plus the link.   




Post: The Early Record




For me it’s more about readdressing the process we are undertaking as Buddhists (or probably Bon and Daoist for that matter) to see it in a light which actually makes it work a little better(?) , easier (?) – or even kinder …


(Apech, on “The Dao Bums”)

I’m with you on that!


Kobun Chino Otogawa once said:


Washing rice to make pizza is not a good idea! You have to do something that is possible and is related to your purpose. See reality, admit what is there, begin to work on what is missing, what has to be connected with, added, kept, what should remain and what should be cut off. (1)


“Admit what is there”–the early record of Gautama’s teaching is still there, in Southeast Asia, in Tibet, and in China. That’s where I think we should begin.


In that early record, Gautama is concerned with action, a certain kind of action:


…I say that determinate thought is action. When one determines, one acts by deed, word, or thought. (2)


“When one determines”–when one makes up one’s mind, action takes place.


Gautama taught the ceasing of action:


And what… is the ceasing of action? That ceasing of action by body, speech, and mind, by which one contacts freedom,–that is called ‘the ceasing of action’.” (3)


Gautama taught that action ceases first with regard to speech, then with regard to the body, and finally with regard to the mind....




Edited by Mark Foote

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