A Little Restraint

Something I found in the book, What The Buddha Taught, specifically quoted from the Dhammapada (法句経):

361. Good is restraint of the body. Good is restraint of speech. Good is restraint of the mind. Restraint everywhere is good. The bhikkhu (monk) restrained in every way is freed from all suffering.

One night recently, I stayed up after wife and daughter had slept. I wanted to stay up and watch a movie that I hadn’t seen in a long time, but I also had to get up early the next morning. So, then I thought about this quote and realized that staying up late to watch the movie would bring temporary happiness, but would also mean that I would be tired and miserable the next day. I didn’t feel the “cost” was worth it, so I want to bed instead.1

The point is is that restraining the mind, body and speech seems hard to do, but it also creates a lot fewer problems in your life.

Namo Shaka Nyorai

1 I watched the movie the next weekend, when I had more time.

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

One thought on “A Little Restraint”

  1. So I’ve been reading a book from BJ Gallagher titled “Why Don’t I Do the Things I Know are Good for Me?” – didn’t realize it was a book for women. Anyway, one of the daily lessons is self-acceptance. It relates the story of others who weren’t able to do anything about the things they didn’t like about themselves until they learned to accept those undesirable aspects. For me, I immediately thought of Japanese Pure Land, and accepting one’s “Bonbu” (defiled, foolish) nature. Many read these teaching, see them as accepting failure, and see this as encouragement to follow one’s desires. After reading this book, I think I may have stumbled upon the brilliance of the method. In other words, we can’t change until we accept who we are. If we keep fighting against our nature with artificial external rules to govern our behavior, we’ll never change, we’ll eventually fall back into old patterns. It’s only once we accept our nature that we’ll be able to guide ourselves into doing what is most beneficial. Until we make doing wholesome behaviors the “path of least resistance” we’ll constantly be at risk for falling back into old patterns. Probably not what you want to hear right now, but I found it helpful. 🙂

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