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Author Topic: [En/De] Respect, Confidence,Patient | Repekt, Zuversicht, Geduld, B. Thanissaro  (Read 115 times)

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Respect, Confidence and Patient

Evening talk by Bhante Thanissaro,

given in May 2003 at Wat Metta

~9,3 MB, ~18min

generously shared via dhammatalks.org


Download: http://sangham.net/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=get532




Respect, Confidence & Patience
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
May, 2003

Ajaan Suwat often would begin his Dhamma talks by saying that we should approach the practice with an attitude of respect, an attitude of confidence. Now the respect and the confidence go both ways: respect for the path and respect for ourselves; confidence in the path, confidence in ourselves. Because, after all, what is the basic message of the Buddha’s teachings? It’s that through human effort we can achieve total happiness, an unconditioned happiness. The results of our efforts can go that far. So we should have respect for this potential within ourselves.

At the same time, we should have respect for the experience of people who have been on the path before us, because they can show us a lot, help us save a lot of time and a lot of grief, help keep us on the path. And then we should have respect for the principle of cause and effect itself, for that’s what the Buddha awakened to on the night of his Awakening: the role that human action plays in shaping our experience. It’s not an arbitrary role. It may be complex, but it does follow certain rules. We should have respect for that principle as well.

The principle of kamma means that sometimes our actions bear immediate results and sometimes they take time. In light of that fact, we have to bring not only an attitude of respect and confidence to the practice, but also one of patience. We’re here to learn, and it may take time to learn. So when things aren’t going well, remind yourself that this process takes time. That way you don’t browbeat yourself or get down on yourself. You can be more realistic about what you’re undertaking here, which is the total re-training of the mind, learning radically new habits in how you relate to the body, how you relate to your feelings, how you relate to your perceptions, your thought-constructs, even how you relate to consciousness.

The Buddha points out that we tend to relate to these things in unskillful ways, so we’ve got to learn new skills. Following the path means that, instead of making a burden out of these things, we actually turn them into the path of true happiness. Now that’s going to take time, because some of these issues are very subtle. What is your relationship to feelings? What is your relationship to consciousness? These are subtle issues. It takes time to work them through.

So before you settle down to the meditation, try to develop an attitude of patience, an attitude of respect, an attitude of confidence. We often think of patience and confidence as the end-products of the meditation, but we should have some skill in developing these attitudes already. In ordinary daily life, how do you build up an attitude of confidence? How do you build up an attitude of respect? How do you build up an attitude of patience? You’ve been doing it all along in some areas of your life to a greater or lesser extent, so try to bring these skills to bear on this practice. After all, this is a practice that requires precision. It’s not something you can rush into or bluff your way through. It takes time and patience to develop the kind of detailed skills, the detailed sensitivities that are really required.

When you’re clear about this fact, you find it a lot easier to overcome obstacles on the path. You’re here to learn a skill, and skills often require trial and error, learning from mistakes. A friend of mine once went to Japan to study pottery with one of the living national treasures they have over there. At the beginning of her stay she’d often get frustrated because she’d send her pots into the kiln every evening, and the next morning find that many of them had come out broken or unevenly burnt, whereas her teacher’s pots seemed to come out perfectly every time, every time. Then one morning she came into the studio and found him sitting in the middle of the kiln: Many of his pots from the previous night’s batch had exploded in the kiln, but he wasn’t upset. He was simply sitting there trying to figure out why. That’s what makes the difference between a person who really does develop a skill and a person who can’t quite make it: the ability not to get upset by your mistakes but simply to look at them as learning experiences. If you have that much respect for yourself, that much respect for the principle of cause and effect, you find it easier and easier to be patient.

In other words you don’t take it as a reflection on yourself that you made a mistake, because everybody makes mistakes. Look at the Buddha’s life up until the night of his Awakening: Many times it was one mistake after another. He tried different methods that just didn’t work out, didn’t work out. He listened to other people to learn what they had to offer, and then when that didn’t satisfy him he went off into the forest to make his own mistakes. Only after many years of mistakes did he finally get on the right path. What saw him through this period was his sense of confidence, that there must be a way to true happiness and that if it existed he was going to find it.

Patience, confidence, respect: These things all go together. So try to develop them as an attitude that you bring to the practice, every time, every time, every time.

We sometimes think of the bowing and the chanting here as something extraneous to the meditation, but that’s not the case at all. They help us to develop the right attitude. When we bow to show respect to the Buddha, we’re showing respect for the potential of human beings. It’s like a mirror that reflects back on us. We respect him because he teaches us to respect the best things in ourselves: our desire for true happiness, our abilities in terms of our powers of observation, mindfulness, concentration, compassion, and goodwill. So it’s good to bow down to that reminder everyday. As for the chanting—respect for the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, and then the various reflections we chant in translation—these remind of us of why we are practicing.

The chant this evening on aging, illness, and death encourages an attitude of samvega, which is difficult to translate. It means a combination of dismay over the meaninglessness of life as it’s ordinarily lived, coupled with a sense of awe and a sense of urgency to find a way out. But the chant doesn’t end there. It also reminds us of the principle of kamma in order to develop another attitude: one of confidence. Our actions, and nothing else, are the factors that are going to get us out of this dilemma. So our actions are important.

There are so many voices in the world telling us that our actions aren’t important: politicians who say that they don’t care about what people think, that they’re just going to do what they want to do; scientists who tell us that nothing we can do can change the general course of nature. Then there’s cosmological time, geological time, in which our efforts seem to be very puny and insignificant. But the teaching on kamma reminds us that cosmological time may apply to the world out there, but the world of your lived experience is shaped by your actions, and this is the world that matters. And it’s because it matters that we want to develop these skills, however much time it may take, however much patience it may require. These are skills that are worth mastering even if you don’t get all the way to the end of the path in this lifetime. Whatever progress you do make on the path means that much less suffering, that much more skill in how you relate to the things that would normally cause you to suffer or would normally bring about reactions that would make you suffer.

So a lot of the practice lies in the attitude, the right attitude that underlies all the other right factors of the path. If you catch yourself in the midst of the meditation with the wrong kind of attitude, stop. Think for a while about what you’re doing here and why you’re doing it. You can drop your meditation object for that period of time if you want to. You can change to another topic.

There are classical lists of topics for recollection when you find that you’re frustrated, when there’s aversion, lust, fear, anxiety. There are specific topics you can think about. You can think about the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha to develop a sense of confidence, to overcome any sense of aversion you may have either to your meditation object or to yourself. Think about the members of the Noble Sangha in the past who went through lots of difficulties, years of effort, and couldn’t make any headway, and yet ultimately were able to gain Awakening. They developed the patience needed to do that. They were human beings; you’re a human being. You can develop that patience as well. Once you find that your attitude is more appropriate, then you can get back to the breath.

All of the ten topics for recollection are types of meditation. We tend to think of meditation as only one or two vipassana techniques, but that’s not true. There are lots of techniques for dealing with all different kinds of problems in the mind. When teachers give you just one technique, it’s sort of one-size-fits-all, or Henry Ford’s old maxim: People can have whatever color car they want as long as it’s black. Given the complexity of the mind, there’s no way that one single technique is going to work in all cases, or that one particular person will have to stick to one technique all the time. You have to realize that the Buddha offers a whole toolbox here, lots of different methods, lots of different approaches.

Even within the one topic of breath meditation, Ajaan Lee’s Seven Steps provide many different ways of approaching the mind when it’s out of balance. Sometimes you need to focus on the length of the breath; other times you focus on spreading the breath throughout the body; other times you have to be very careful about where you’re focused in the body. All of these are component factors. Ajaan Fuang once noted that when someone is having trouble in concentration practice, or the concentration of the practice is getting out of balance, it’s usually because one of these factors is lacking.

So it’s not that you blindly follow steps one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. You find which aspect of the mind is out of balance and then focus on the appropriate step until you find that you’ve got all of them covered. Again, this is a question of trial and error, testing to see which recommendation is appropriate for which particular problem. And as I said at the being, trial and error require patience. Equanimity. The willingness to learn. The ability to step back a bit from whatever is going on, when it’s not going well, and taking a good, long look at it.

And try and put yourself in good humor. One of the things I noticed about all the really great meditation teachers in Thailand was that they had good senses of humor. They found it easy to direct that humor at themselves. And as someone has pointed out, the ability to step back from things is what allows a sense of humor to begin with. If you’re totally immersed in your problem, you begin to lose perspective and nothing is funny at all. Step back a bit, learn to laugh at yourself in a good-humored way—not in a sarcastic way, but a good-humored way, a sympathetic way—and then get on with the practice. You’ll find then that things go a lot better.

So all of this comes under the issue of right attitude. It’s not listed as one of the factors of the path, but it underlies everything. After all, the Buddha taught the four noble truths because he had the right attitude toward suffering: that there must be a way for human beings to overcome suffering, to gain release from suffering. He had the right attitude toward the amount of work it might take to do this, at the same time seeing that once this task was accomplished it would be more than worth the effort. Once this one problem was dealt with, there would be no other problems in life.

All problems come down to this one: the unskillful ways we relate to the things we identify with as me or mine. The practice means learning to relate to those things in new ways that are skillful, so that instead of causing suffering they turn into the path to the end of suffering.

So look at this as a friendly path. Think of all the people who have tried the path before as your friends: They are happy to have you join them. And think of the things within body and mind that you’d like to be friendly with, too: your breath, the good qualities of your mind. This is a practice that allows you to develop those friendships—friendships that will never leave you, that will never turn on you, where your friends keep on giving. That kind of friendship takes time but it’s more than worth the effort. To develop that kind of friendship you have to be giving, too. What are you asked to give? You’re asked to give of your patience, give of your respect, give of your confidence. Those are good things to give, because you never run out. When you find the proper object for your respect, you find that respect becomes a strength—something you can rely on, something you can depend on, all the way to the end of suffering.

This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

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Johann

October 19, 2017, 02:41:38 PM
Wenn jemand über das Layout des Entwurfes blicken möchte, ob es im eigenen Browser paßt und übersichtlich ist: Wisdom
 

Johann

October 16, 2017, 05:40:03 PM
Sokh chomreoun, Nyom. (Mag sukha sich für Nyom mehren). Thoamada (Dhammada - naturly, gewohnt). At mean ay pisech te (nichts besonders). Klach dukkh, klach sokh (wohl und weh wechseln sich ab). Nyom sokh sabay dea te? Sokh leumom dea te?
 

Marcel

October 16, 2017, 04:13:43 PM
 :-* ehrwürdiger samana johann! wie ist ihr befinden?  :-*
 

Marcel

October 07, 2017, 01:56:00 PM
 :-* :-* :-*
 

Johann

October 07, 2017, 02:48:39 AM
Der Tathagata tut das, wenn man ihn in seinem Dhamma sieht, und dieser, entgegen Personen, kommt auf wenn man ihn nährt, und einmal da, geht er für einen nicht mehr verloren, bleibt Tor zur Todlosigkeit.
 

Marcel

October 06, 2017, 11:37:24 PM
 :-*
 

Marcel

October 06, 2017, 11:36:31 PM
 :-* ehrwürdiger samana johann :-* mögen sie noch lange leben,   für das wohl vieler.... anumodana, ich freue mich sehr! sie decken auf, was vorher verdeckt. so das vijja entstehen kann, und avijja gehen muss!! geht direkt ins herz!
 

Johann

October 06, 2017, 04:19:37 PM
Nyom Marcel.
 

Sophorn

September 28, 2017, 03:51:05 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
 

Johann

September 27, 2017, 12:17:53 PM
Nyom Sophorn, Roben mag man immer geben können. Im Monat nach dem Vassa Ende, ist es für jene Mönche, die den Vassa gehalten haben, möglich und einfacher für den Eigenbedarf Roben anzunehmen.
 

Sophorn

September 27, 2017, 07:01:23 AM
Bhante, ist dann die Robengabe möglich ab dem 5. Okt. bid zum nächsten Vollmond oder darf man auch danach Roben geben? :-*
 

Sophorn

September 27, 2017, 05:44:45 AM
Wie geht es Bhante heute? Haben die Tropfen geholfen?
 ::) :-*
 

Johann

September 05, 2017, 01:21:44 AM
Gerestet: funktioniert tadellos. Nochmal alle Zugangsdaten gemailt, Nyom.
 

Sophorn

September 04, 2017, 02:06:42 PM
Kana hat mit U. Chamroeun das Login mit neuem Passwort erfolglos versucht.
Daraufhin versuchten kana das über die Veränderung über E-mail, aber da erschien, dass die E-mailadresse nicht gültig war (die hatten Bhante auch an kana in der Mail bestätigt)
 :-* :-* :-*
 

Johann

September 04, 2017, 11:52:03 AM
Sollte email im Posteingang haben, Nyom Sophorn.
 

Johann

September 04, 2017, 11:41:14 AM
Kann nicht antworten auf was, Nyom Maria? Was und wo genauer?

Nyom Sophorn. Nyom Chomroeun kann kurzlich email Daten bekommen. Mal annehmend das PW auch vergessen, (abgesenhen von der Möglichkeit, link zu drücken wenn) wird Atma ein neues anlegen und ihm mailen.
 

Maria

September 04, 2017, 11:30:41 AM
 :-*
Werther Bhante , selbiges Problem was ich schon einmal hatte, Login geht aber kann nicht antworten, bin am Nachmittag bei neuen Computer, dieser hier ist schon über 12 Jahre alt.
 

Sophorn

September 04, 2017, 11:23:14 AM
Kana hat das File runtergeladen und U. Chamroeun gegeben,  der sich um die Kprrektur annehmen möchte. Kana wird auch gern das File den anderen Schülern zum Lesen teilen. Ev. sehen mehr Augen mehr.
 :-* :-* :-*
 

Sophorn

September 04, 2017, 11:17:06 AM
Verehrter Bhante, Chamroeun kann sich nicht einloggen. Ist das Passwort für E-mail oder sangham.net? In beiden Fällen haben kana das erfolglos probiert.
 :-* :-* :-*
 

Sophorn

September 04, 2017, 11:08:26 AM
 :-* :-* :-*
 

Johann

August 20, 2017, 01:37:40 AM
Es ist vielleicht gut eine Pause zu tun, doch kann es gut sein, daß man nicht zurückkehrt, für ein gutes oder schlechtes, für sich selbt und andere. Gut dort wo gut genährt und unterstützt und for allem Konzentration steigt, oder dort wo satt in jeder Hinsicht.
 

Johann

August 10, 2017, 11:31:40 AM
Wenn jemand Lust hat, oder anderen etwas Gutes oder Besseres tun kann und möchte: Korrekturlesen http://sangham.net/index.php/topic,1018.msg9625.html#msg9625 Baue nach und nach, so gut wie möglich ein auf ZzE.
 

Johann

August 07, 2017, 02:24:55 AM
Einen ausübungsreichen Vollmond-Uposatha and Gelegenheit die Mönche zu besuchen wünscht meine Person.
 

Sophorn

July 25, 2017, 03:59:03 PM
... versteht und womöglich sieht, wenn er nicht den Weg hierher
findet.

Großer Dank an alle im Hintergrund.

Mögen all diese Früchte vielfach zurückkommen und inspirieren.

Ayu vanno sukkham balam

 :-* :-* :-*
 

Sophorn

July 25, 2017, 03:55:25 PM
 :-* :-* :-*
karuna tvay bongkum Preah metschah

Herzliches Hallo an alle nach sehr langem!

Ein herzliches Dankeschön aus tiefsten Herzen an alle, die sich hier aktiv und indirekt hier beteiligen. Vor allem ein großes Sadhu an Bhante, der unvergleichliche Arbeit leistet, die kaum jemand ver
 

Johann

July 24, 2017, 03:15:56 AM
Fehlinvestition: Was immer man nicht in die Juwelen, in den Pfad investiert, ist vergeude Mühe, schnurrr einen fest im Rad des Leidens. Prüfen Sie es!   :) Wiederholungstäter...
 

Johann

July 17, 2017, 01:50:17 AM
Moritz
 

Moritz

July 16, 2017, 02:28:02 PM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_
 

Johann

July 14, 2017, 07:07:17 AM
Moritz. Gut ihn früh Morgens und nicht bis in den frühen Morgen zu sehen.
 

Moritz

July 14, 2017, 07:03:53 AM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_
 

Johann

July 13, 2017, 08:12:46 AM
Moritz.
 

Moritz

July 13, 2017, 07:42:39 AM
Chom reap lea
_/\_
 

Moritz

July 13, 2017, 07:40:46 AM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_
 

Johann

July 08, 2017, 02:26:09 AM
Vor mehr als 2500 Jahen wurde a diesem Vollmondtag das Rad des Dhammas in bewegung gesetzt. Anumodana!
 

Mohan Gnanathilake

July 02, 2017, 08:24:13 AM
Sehr ehrwürdiger Samanera Johann,

ich bedanke mich bei Ihnen für Ihre nette Erklärung.

Dhamma Grüße an Sie aus Sri Lanka!

 

Johann

July 01, 2017, 07:43:41 PM
Nyom Mohan. Besser: "Ich hoffe, daß es Ihnen gut geht." und bestens (ohne suggerieren, wenn interessiert) "Wie geht es Ihnen." Oder: "Möge es Ihnen Gut gehen." (wenn metta ausdrücken wollend)
 

Mohan Gnanathilake

July 01, 2017, 10:43:15 AM
Sehr ehrwürdiger Samanera Johann,

ich glaube, dass es Ihnen gut geht.

Dhamma Grüße an Sie aus Sri Lanka!
 

Mohan Gnanathilake

July 01, 2017, 10:32:46 AM
Werter Micro,
herzliche Grüße aus Sri Lanka nach Deutschland!
 

Johann

July 01, 2017, 10:32:17 AM
Nyom Mohan.
 

Johann

June 25, 2017, 01:38:38 PM
Alles Zufälle. Nissaya. Und wenn da keine starke Grundlagenursache aufkommt, upanissayapaccayena, na dann war's das, und alles is weg. Lebewesen sind Erben ihrer Taten (im Geist, Wort und Körper).
 

Johann

June 25, 2017, 01:27:24 PM
Schwupps und weg. Waffen und Nahrung geholt.

Oh, was sag ich. Wenn man's doch nehmen kann, auch ohne das Gefühl zu nehmen... Unsinn hier. Hat doch keiner interesse Verdienste zu tun.
 

Johann

June 25, 2017, 01:21:28 PM
Mirco. Wie geht es?
 

Johann

June 25, 2017, 01:20:43 PM
Es ist doch viel angenehmer, wenn man sich nehmen kann was und wann immer man will, oder? Warum sollte man sich so viel antun, da sind genügend die Anbieten.
 

Johann

June 14, 2017, 06:45:07 PM
Jetzt aber vorerst. Möge jeder guten Unterhalt (ung) im Dhamma und Stärkung finden uud sich davon reichlich nehmen.
 

Mohan Gnanathilake

June 11, 2017, 08:24:45 AM
Werter Harry,

ich freue mich darüber, nach einigen Monaten wieder auf sangham.net Sie zu grüßen.

Herzliche Grüße aus Sri Lanka nach Deutschland!
 

Johann

June 09, 2017, 05:05:59 PM
Mögen sich alle, möge sich Guest der Uposatha-Einhaltung nicht nur heute annehmen, und glücksverheißende Zeit verbringen.

May all, may Guest not only today observe the Uposatha and spend auspicious time
 

Mohan Gnanathilake

June 03, 2017, 01:48:08 AM
Sehr ehrwürdiger Samanera Johann,

es geht mir zur Zeit gut. Ich glaube, dass es Ihnen auch gut geht.

Dhamma Grüße an Sie aus Sri Lanka!
 

Johann

June 02, 2017, 11:19:32 PM
Wie geht es Upasaka Mohan?
 

Mohan Gnanathilake

June 02, 2017, 10:51:50 PM
Wie sehr ehrwürdiger Samanera Johann geschrieben hat, hatte ich am 10. Mai 2017 meinen  Geburtstag, an dem Tag  in diesem Jahr das Wesakfest gefeiert wurde.
Beste Grüße an Sie aus Sri Lanka!
Mohan Barathi Gnanathilake
 

Johann

June 02, 2017, 12:33:54 PM
Wußte doch, daß so Nahrung immer gefressen werden will.  :)
"Sehr gut, weiter hungern."

Freut das Nyom Marcel wohlauf ist.

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