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Basic Principles

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Basic Principles
Phenomena are preceded by the Heart, ruled by the Heart, made of the Heart. If you speak or act with a corrupted Heart, then Suffering follows you — as the Wheel of the cart, the track of the ox that pulls it. Phenomena are preceded by the Heart, ruled by the Heart, made of the Heart. If you speak or act with a calm, bright Heart, Happiness follows you, like a shadow that never leaves.

— Dhp 1-2
Heedfulness: the path to the Deathless; Heedlessness: the path to Death. The heedful do not die; The heedless are as if already dead. Knowing this as a true distinction, those wise in heedfulness rejoice in heedfulness, enjoying the range of the noble ones.

— Dhp 21-22

There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?

"I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging"...

"I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness"...

"I am subject to Death, have not gone beyond Death"...

"I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me"...

"I am the owner of my actions (Kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for Evil, to that will I fall heir"...

These are the five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that "I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging"? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] youth's intoxication with youth. Because of that intoxication with youth, they conduct themselves in a bad way in Body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that youth's intoxication with youth will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that "I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness"? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] healthy person's intoxication with health. Because of that intoxication with health, they conduct themselves in a bad way in Body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that healthy person's intoxication with health will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

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Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that "I am subject to Death, have not gone beyond Death"? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] living person's intoxication with Life. Because of that intoxication with Life, they conduct themselves in a bad way in Body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that living person's intoxication with Life will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that "I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me"? There are beings who feel desire and passion for the things they find dear and appealing. Because of that passion, they conduct themselves in a bad way in Body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that desire and passion for the things they find dear and appealing will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that "I am the owner of my actions (Kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for Evil, to that will I fall heir"? There are beings who conduct themselves in a bad way in Body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that bad conduct in Body, speech, and mind will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

Now, a noble disciple considers this: "I am not the only one subject to aging, who has not gone beyond aging. To the extent that there are beingspast and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging." When he/she often reflects on this, the [factors of the] path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it, cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it and cultivates it, the Fetters are abandoned, the latent tendencies destroyed. (Similarly with each of the other contemplations.)

— A V.57
The non-doing of any Evil, the performance of what is skillful, the cleansing of one's own mind: This is the Buddhas' teaching. Not disparaging, not injuring, restraint in line with the Patimokkha, moderation in Food, dwelling in seclusion, commitment to the heightened mind: This is the Buddhas' teaching.

— Dhp 183, 185

I do not see any one quality by which unarisen skillful qualities arise, and arisen unskillful qualities subside, like Friendship with admirable people. When a person is friends with admirable people, unarisen skillful qualities arise, and arisen unskillful qualities subside.

— A I.72

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Now what, TigerPaw (Byagghapajja), is Friendship with admirable people? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders' sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction [in the principle of kamma) in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate Generosity in those who are consummate in Generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called Friendship with admirable people.

— A VIII.54

A female noble disciple who grows in terms of these five types of growth grows in the noble growth, grasps hold of what is essential, what is excellent in the Body. Which five? She grows in terms of conviction, in terms of virtue, in terms of learning, in terms of Generosity, in terms of discernment. Growing in terms of these five types of growth, the female noble disciple grows in the noble growth, grasps hold of what is essential, what is excellent in the Body.
Growing in conviction and virtue discernment, Generosity, and learning, a virtuous female lay disciple such as this takes hold of the essence within herself.

— S XXXVII.34

'Kamma should be known. The cause by which Kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in Kamma should be known. The result of Kamma should be known. The cessation of Kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of Kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. Why was it said?

Intention, I tell you, is Kamma. Intending, one does Kamma by way of Body, speech, and intellect.

And what is the cause by which Kamma comes into play? Contact...

And what is the diversity in Kamma? There is Kamma to be experienced in Purgatory, Kamma to be experienced in the realm of common Animals, Kamma to be experienced in the realm of the hungry shades, Kamma to be experienced in the human World, Kamma to be experienced in the celestial worlds...

And what is the result of Kamma? The result of Kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here and now, that which arises later [in this lifetime), and that which arises following that...

And what is the cessation of Kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of Kamma...

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And what is the way leading to the cessation of Kamma? Just this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, Right Action, Right livelihood, Right effort, right Mindfulness, Right concentration.

Now when a noble disciple discerns Kamma in this way, the cause by which Kamma comes into play in this way, the diversity of Kamma in this way, the result of Kamma in this way, the cessation of Kamma in this way, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of Kamma in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy Life as the cessation of Kamma.

— A VI.63

The Buddha: What do you think, Rahula: What is a mirror for?

Rahula: For reflection, sir.

The Buddha: In the same way, Rahula, bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts are to be done with repeated reflection.

Whenever you want to perform a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I want to perform — would it lead to self-Affliction, to the Affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-Affliction, to the Affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause Affliction... it would be a skillful bodily act with happy consequences, happy results, then any bodily act of that sort is fit for you to do.

(Similarly with verbal acts and mental acts.)

While you are performing a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I am doing — is it leading to self-Affliction, to the Affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-Affliction, to Affliction of others, or both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

(Similarly with verbal acts and mental acts.)

Having performed a bodily act, you should reflect on it... If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-Affliction, to the Affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy Life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to Affliction... it was a skillful bodily act with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

(Similarly with verbal acts.)

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Having performed a mental act, you should reflect on it... If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-Affliction, to the Affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful mental act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should feel horrified, humiliated, and disgusted with it. Feeling horrified... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to Affliction... it was a skillful mental act with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

Rahula, all the brahmans and contemplatives in the course of the past who purified their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts, did it through repeated reflection on their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts in just this way.

All the brahmans and contemplatives in the course of the future... All the brahmans and contemplatives at present who purify their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts, do it through repeated reflection on their bodily acts, verbal acts, and mental acts in just this way.

Therefore, Rahula, you should train yourself: 'I will purify my bodily acts through repeated reflection. I will purify my verbal acts through repeated reflection. I will purify my mental acts through repeated reflection.' Thus you should train yourself.

That is what the Blessed One said. Pleased, Ven. Rahula delighted in the Blessed One's words.

— M 61

These five things are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, and hard to obtain in the World. Which five? Long Life... Beauty... pleasure... status... Rebirth in Heaven... Now, I tell you, these five things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It is not fitting for the noble disciple who desires long Life to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the noble disciple who desires long Life should follow the path of practice leading to long Life. In so doing, he will attain long Life, either human or divine. (Similarly with Beauty, pleasure, status, and Rebirth in Heaven.)

— A V.43

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I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then a certain Deva, in the far extreme of the night, her extreme radiance lighting up the entirety of Jeta's Grove, approached the Blessed One. On approaching, having bowed down to the Blessed One, she stood to one side. As she was standing there, she addressed him with a verse.
"Many devas and human beings give thought to protective charms, desiring well-being. Tell, then, the highest protective charm."

[The Buddha:]

"Not consorting with fools,
consorting with the wise,
homage to those deserving of homage:
This is the highest protective charm.

Living in a civilized land,
having made Merit in the past,
directing oneself rightly:
This is the highest protective charm.

Broad Knowledge, skill,
well-mastered discipline,
well-spoken words:
This is the highest protective charm.

Support for one's parents,
assistance to one's wife and children,
Consistency in one's work:
This is the highest protective charm.

Giving, living in rectitude,
assistance to one's relatives,
deeds that are blameless:
This is the highest protective charm.

Avoiding, abstaining from Evil;
refraining from Intoxicants,
being heedful of the qualities of the mind:
This is the highest protective charm.

Respect, humility,
Contentment, Gratitude,
hearing the Dhamma on timely occasions:
This is the highest protective charm.

Patience, compliance,
seeing contemplatives,
discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions:
This is the highest protective charm.

Austerity, Celibacy,
seeing the Noble Truths,
realizing Unbinding:
This is the highest protective charm.

A mind that, when touched
by the ways of the World,
is unshaken, sorrowless, dustless, secure:
This is the highest protective charm.

Everywhere undefeated
when acting in this way,
people go everywhere in well-being:
This is their highest protective charm."

Source

www.accesstoinsight.org