Facilitating Harmony

อาจารย์ ปสันโน

Facilitating Harmony

In several suttas, the Buddha points to cāga as a quality that facilitates harmony. Cāga is an interesting word. It means giving or sharing and also giving up. It’s not only the quality of generosity, but also the ability to give up our fears, views, and opinions—things that end up creating moods and feelings of disharmony.

Another quality the Buddha points to that facilitates harmony is piyavācā—endearing, timely, and kindly speech. We use piyavācā in all our interactions, such as when we express our wishes, needs, and requests. With piyavācā, it is said, our speech will be “loved by many.”

It can be a challenge to apply piyavācā when we’re tired or when we’re dealing with a lot of people at the same time. Cāga too, can be difficult, especially when we’re feeling stressed or fearful. But they’re both part of the training. We train to recognize when our speech isn’t endearing or kind and then we reestablish our intention and start again. Likewise, we train to recognize our resistance to sharing or giving up and then make an effort to let go.

By starting over with a new intention of cāga or piyavācā, we again place ourselves in a position of creating harmony.

This reflection by Luang Por Pasanno is from the book, Beginning Our Day, Volume One, (pdf) p.222.

Modesty and Truthfulness

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Modesty and Truthfulness

One of the dangers that can come from shame and honor in admirable friendship is that, out of a desire to look good in your friends’ eyes, you might want to show off your good qualities. To counteract this tendency, though, the Buddha warned that if you do, your good qualities immediately get ruined. One of the signs of integrity, he said, is modesty—to speak as little as possible of your own good…

Where is the Good Person?

อาจารย์ ชา

Where is the Good Person?

Where is the good person? It’s lying within us. If we’re good, then wherever we go the goodness goes with us. People may praise us, blame us or treat us with contempt, but whatever they say or do, the goodness remains. Without goodness, our mind constantly wavers: we’re angered by criticism and pleased by praise. Through knowing where the good person dwells, we have a principle to rely on in letti…

Basic Instructions in Integrity

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Basic Instructions in Integrity

The chief danger, of course, lies in the mind’s creative capacity for self-deception. But—unlike many other religious figures—the Buddha didn’t simply recommend that if we can’t trust ourselves we should place our trust in him. Instead, he provided ways for us to train ourselves to be trustworthy by investigating the areas where we tend to lie to ourselves most: our intentions and the results of o…

Praiseworthy

อาจารย์ สุเมโธ

Praiseworthy

The advantages of community life lie in our ability to be sensitive and caring, to be considerate and thoughtful of other human beings. A life without generosity, respect and giving to others is a joyless life. Nothing is more joyless than selfishness. If I think of myself first, what I want and what I can get out of this place, that means I might live here, but I will not have any joy living here…

The Force of Bhava-tanha

Ajahn Jitindriya

The Force of Bhava-tanha

Moving experientially into the territory of our own heart, we’re moving into those places that actually haven’t seen the light before. In psychological terms, we might call them our own ‘shadow places’, or in Buddhist psychology, as I said before, this is where we meet Mara and all his powerful forces. It is new territory and often we just don’t know where we are, or where it is taking us. This is…

Social Action as Ordinary Activity

อาจารย์ ปสันโน

Social Action as Ordinary Activity

In Buddhist practice, the training laid out for an individual begins with how one practices with others. This is sila, or virtue – not harming others, being honest in the way one deals with others, being trustworthy in one’s actions and speech. The practice of keeping the precepts is already social action. The precepts remind us of the ways our actions affect others. Oftentimes, people may think,…

View as Experience, Not Thought

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

View as Experience, Not Thought

As much as one can justify, and think that one’s views about other people are correct—even when they are (as views)—try feeling the mind-state, the conceit that accompanies them. Then when doing it to oneself, notice how ‘I am…’ leads to ‘I never will be…’ and ‘I always am….’ It’s a trap. The contemplative process then gets used up in conceiving and evaluating in terms of self. That valuable syste…

Is the Past Reality? Is It Secure?

อาจารย์ ปัญญาวัฒโฑ

Is the Past Reality? Is It Secure?

We rely on the past for a sense of security in a changing world. We become very attached to what we remember because it gives a sense of continuity to our lives. It’s as though, if we can remember something, it still somehow exists. Although we can’t actually go back in time, there is comfort in recalling the memory of it. Memories easily become a refuge from the uncertainty of impermanence. But s…

Understanding the Role of Perception

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Understanding the Role of Perception

In the beginning, when you first notice the power of perception, you can easily feel overwhelmed by how pervasive it is. Suppose you’re focusing on the breath. There comes a point when you begin to wonder whether you’re focusing on the breath itself or on your idea of the breath. Once this question arises, the normal reaction is to try to get around the idea to the raw sensation behind it. But if…