Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rainy retreat and eight precepts

I intend to observe the eight precepts during this rainy retreat- like last year. But actually I feel a little bit uncomfortable in this year. I dont know why... Anyway, I will try my best as I realize a lot of benefit I get from it.

One of my masters said that Sila is at mind. What he means is it depends on your thoughts and the quality of your mind - if it is on the right track or not. I agree with him. But in my opinion, a person who still cannot deal with some cravings and defilements, observing 5 or 8 precepts is the great way to practice controlling your sensual desire. We can see how the feeling or desire arise and pass away.

One benefit I have found from observing 8 precepts (2 days a week and last rainy retreat) is it is more easy to sacrifice/give up both physical and mental happiness. At first, i need to deal with the hunger in the evening, the desire to entertain myself by TV and radio and and the want to look good by putting cosmetic on a face. Since I can do that, i am more confident to deal with the physical needs as I know that they come and go. The next step is to sacrifice the mental happiness. These days i am patient enough to face mental unhappiness and sadness arising from the disappointment. I am dare enough to say 'no' to 'short term' nice sensual feelings which seem to hurt me in the long term. I feel pity (and still attach) for that nice feeling and I can feel that I like to have it. But the eight precepts teach me to sacrifice it and be patient for the suffering arising in the short term. It's a great chance to see how 'it' come and go.

Both physical and mental happiness are very impermanent. The less attachment we have for it, the more REAL happiness we can get - just from the peaceful mind that is not struggling to get any happiness anymore.

Bye for now...

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