Monday, June 21

List of 10 Things


A list of 10 things compiled from DN 2, Samannaphala Sutta, from the intermediate section on virtue.

It is significant that the standard formulation for all of these includes the phrase, "contemplatives, living off food given in faith." That is very important, I thnk. Householders who are not living off food given in faith can enjoy their wealth blamelessly (and practice generosity & the other duties of a householder, such as to one's family & community, etc.)

However, it seems likely that a householder who is serious about practice would probably want to gently let go of these sorts of things, to whatever degree possible. Accordingly one should let go of one's addictions to these things:

1. Damaging seed & plant life
2. Consuming/using stored-up goods (clearly that would be much harder for householders, but perhaps not impossible...)
3. Watching shows for entertainment
4. Playing heedless and idle games
5. Luxurious furnishings
6. Scents, cosmetics & adornments (the list in DN 2 includes being massaged with oils)
7. Lowly talk about lowly topics (standard list: kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; etc.)
8. Debating
9. Running messages & errands for other people
10. scheming and persuading [improper ways of trying to gain material support from donors]

So: plant life, stored-up goods, entertainments, games, furnishings, adornments, lowly talk, debating, errands, and scheming.

Interesting: much of this is covered for a lay person when they keep the 8 precepts... On retreat, especially, one has extra support in this regard.

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