‘It’s not good,
the doing of the deed
that, once it’s done,
whose result you reap crying,
your face in tears.
the doing of the deed
that, once it’s done,
you don’t regret,
whose result you reap gratified,
happy at heart.’
– Dhammapada Verse 67 & 68
on ‘Right Speech’
by Ajahn Sumedho
You see people sometimes trying to have right speech: ‘I’m going to vow not to talk badly about anybody! I’m not going to gossip any more. If I speak it will just be on the dhamma! I’m not going to talk about worldly things like politics and football or anything like that.’ So I make this vow before the Lord Buddha. It might work for a while. Then you have tea with the bhikkhus and they are talking in very worldly ways about what kind of cheese they like and so on, and you think, ‘I’m not going to join in with them,’ in a rather supercilious way. So you then go and sit, or read a dhamma book, or find someone who wants to talk about serious things.
You might try your very hardest to live up to this vow, but one day you lose it and start talking in foolish ways. Perhaps somebody starts criticising other people and you get caught up in your own views about them. And then suddenly you think, ‘Oh gosh, I got lost again. Here I go gossiping; saying bad things about others; being foolish. Oh, my vow!’ Then comes remorse and often feelings of despair and just hating yourself.
So my suggestion is this: It is all right to make vows, but really the best vow you can make is to determine that as soon as you see your own heedlessness, you stop right at that moment and go into the silence, even just for a second. You just stop that chain. Even if you have said some pretty stupid things, don’t follow even the remorse, go right into the silence. It’s a way of stopping that cycle of indulgence, and the guilt and remorse around things, and the self-hatred.
If you want to make a vow, a suggestion to the mind, a determination, I have found that this one really works. My character is one with tremendous problems around guilt. I was brought up to be guilt-ridden and remorseful. I can be remorseful about anything. The habit in me was so strong, I could feel guilty about anything it was possible to feel guilty about. Even if it wasn’t possible to feel guilty about something, I could feel guilty about it. This was an obsessive habit. It wasn’t like shame which is about doing something really off and then feeling ashamed of yourself. This was an obsessive habit of guilt, just feeling guilty about breathing. Sometimes I almost apologised for breathing the same air or being in the same room, ‘I’m sorry I’m here. I hope I’m not upsetting anyone. . . hope I’m not being a nuisance to you.’ So, with this guilt and wanting to do good and be a good person, I would try but then fail, try but then fail. Then I would fall into a sense of despair and think, ‘I can’t do it! I’m failing! I’m a failure!’ Finally, I began to see the uselessness of that endless self-criticism and guilt, obsession and guilt. It was just another kind of suffering I had created which had no value, no purpose; it was just part of a habit pattern. So I determined to break the cycle of that habit. Whenever I started to feel guilty or self-conscious, I would try to—like in Star Wars—‘remember the force’, ‘the force is with you’. I would tune into that and stop. I was able to break through that relentless, obsessive habit of self-consciousness, guilt and remorse.
The attitude, however, should not be a ‘trying to get rid of’ something. If you want to get rid of something because you don’t like it, you are resisting it. What I am talking about is just seeing that there is no point in continuing and then to stop doing it, not because you are resisting it, but because you know that there is no point in continuing in that mode any longer; it is to no purpose. You don’t have to wallow in guilt and remorse until it kind of wears out. Once you see that there is a way that you can get out of it right now, through awareness, then do that.
– Ajahn Sumedho, from a talk during a retreat at Amaravati in May 1999.
Source : https://buddhismnow.com/2012/11/30/right-speech-by-ajahn-sumedho/
on ‘The Five Hindrances (Nivarana)’
by Ajahn Brahmavamso
‘4. Restlessness refers to a mind which is like a monkey, always swinging on to the next branch, never able to stay long with anything. It is caused by the fault-finding state of mind which cannot be satisfied with things as they are, and so has to move on to the promise of something better, forever just beyond.
The Lord Buddha compared restlessness to being a slave, continually having to jump to the orders of a tyrannical boss who always demands perfection and so never lets one stop.
Restlessness is overcome by developing contentment, which is the opposite of fault-finding. One learns the simple joy of being satisfied with little, rather than always wanting more. One is grateful for this moment, rather than picking out its deficiencies. For instance, in meditation restlessness is often the impatience to move quickly on to the next stage. The fastest progress, though is achieved by those who are content with the stage they are on now. It is the deepening of that contentment that ripens into the next stage. So be careful of ‘wanting to get on with it’ and instead learn how to rest in appreciative contentment. That way, the ‘doing’ disappears and the meditation blossoms.
Remorse refers to a specific type of restlessness which is the kammic effect of one’s misdeeds. The only way to overcome remorse, the restlessness of a bad conscience, is to purify one’s virtue and become kind, wise and gentle. It is virtually impossible for the immoral or the self indulgent to make deep progress in meditation…. ‘
Source : www.budsas.org/ebud/ebmed051.htm
‘… “There is the case, headman, where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing & conduct, well-gone, a knower of the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of those to be tamed, teacher of human & divine beings, awakened, blessed. He, in various ways, criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, ‘Abstain from taking life.’ He criticizes & censures stealing, and says, ‘Abstain from stealing.’ He criticizes & censures indulging in illicit sex, and says, ‘Abstain from indulging in illicit sex.’ He criticizes & censures the telling of lies, and says, ‘Abstain from the telling of lies.’
“A disciple has faith in that teacher and reflects: ‘The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, “Abstain from taking life.” There are living beings that I have killed, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.’ So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the taking of life, and in the future refrains from taking life. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.
“[He reflects:] ‘The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures stealing… indulging in illicit sex… the telling of lies, and says, “Abstain from the telling of lies.” There are lies that I have told, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.’ So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the telling of lies, and in the future refrains from telling lies. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.
“Having abandoned the taking of life, he refrains from taking life. Having abandoned stealing, he refrains from stealing. Having abandoned illicit sex, he refrains from illicit sex. Having abandoned lies, he refrains from lies. Having abandoned divisive speech, he refrains from divisive speech. Having abandoned harsh speech, he refrains from harsh speech. Having abandoned idle chatter, he refrains from idle chatter. Having abandoned covetousness, he becomes uncovetous. Having abandoned ill will & anger, he becomes one with a mind of no ill will. Having abandoned wrong views, he becomes one who has right views. …’
– Saṅkhadhama Sutta SN 42.8
on ‘Four Ways of Letting Go’
by Ajahn Brahmavamso
‘.. Ajahn offers a teaching on how to train your mind to let go, to be peaceful and happy. And reflects upon why we find it so hard to let go of our hurts and difficulties and how beneficial letting go is for us and others.’
Follow this video link … https://youtu.be/USC5MJVZLy8
on ‘Regret Remorse and Resolution’
by Ajahn Bodhipala
Follow this link …
– Posted by CFFong