By Subhadramati

While there are many books on Buddhist meditation and philosophy, there are few books which are fullyyt dedicated to the perform of Buddhist ethics. right here Subhadramati, an skilled instructor of meditation and ethics, communicates truly either their founding ideas and the sensible ways to include them. She starts through pointing out that Buddhist ethics do not see human nature as whatever to be crushed into submission, tamed, or domesticated. Buddhism isn't really making an attempt "to medication lifetime of itself." Buddhism is set pleasing our human nature, now not diminishing it, and its ethics are either the ability and the expression of this success. In Buddhism, being moral ability being really human.

Buddhist ethics are therefore no longer approximately conforming to a suite of conventions, no longer approximately "being reliable" to be able to achieve fabric, social, or non secular rewards. as a substitute, as Subhadramati outlines, dwelling ethically springs from the notice that people are basically no diverse from ourselves. we will be able to, if we decide, actively advance this wisdom, via cultivating increasingly more love, readability, and contentment. assisting us to come back right into a larger concord with all that lives, together with ourselves, this can be finally a guidebook to a extra passable life.

Subhadramati is a instructor of meditation and Buddhism on the London Buddhist Centre. this can be her first book.

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Extra resources for Not About Being Good: A Practical Guide to Buddhist Ethics

Example text

Once I got over the shock (I had been hoping for some sympathy), I realized that I felt surprisingly exhilarated. In fact that exhilaration is still having a ripple effect nearly twenty years later. It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard this notion of taking responsibility before, but in that moment it entered my mind and heart more deeply. In that moment I realized there was the potential for freedom. I realized a little more deeply that things that happen to me, whether they are pleasant or painful, whether they’ve arisen from external circumstances or in my own mind, just are.

He’d realized that he himself was part of the world and that he himself could have an influence in it. And this process of growing up enough to realize that we ourselves are agents in the world is of greater significance than just being able to communicate with others, for example – important though that is. In fact it forms the foundation principle of Buddhist ethics and therefore of Buddhist practice. At the Buddhist Centre, I rarely talk about ethics without inviting people to do a simple exercise first, so that they get an actual experience for themselves of this principle rather than it just being something I’m telling them – see the exercise ‘Reflection: actions and consequences’.

The unease and nausea I was experiencing had everything to do with how I was living my life. I went away and began to sort out the mess I’d got into. This was the beginning of me realizing that what I get up to in the rest of my life has everything to do with my meditation and that meditation has everything to do with what I get up to in the rest of my life; they can’t be treated as separate activities. The spotlight of awareness that meditation can shine upon our lives is not always entirely welcome.

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