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"Right Mindfulness" for progress

by Kantipala, The Buddhist Channel, Feb 2, 2006

I have viewed on television the controversy about editorials of the Muslims founding figure.  This type of controversy is not new, and exists from day to day across the world.  Even politicians know that no matter what action they take some group no matter how small is going to be out raged.  The old phrase "dammed if you do, dammed if you don't" sums this up.  Even in the middle ages, or Puritan new England posting certain thoughts freely would get you an invitation to the next church bar-B-Q.

Human beings only grow with necessity, necessity of course being the mother of all invention. Invention does not jus apply to a machine but to human cultural, economic, and social evolution. When the status quo simply does not work any more a necessity is born to work through the difficulty.

In the world today there are really two types of societies in my view. Type one are societies who allow there citizens to criticize quite liberally, and type two those who brutally crush any dissention. Following the fruits of those two groups even though both groups may know there is a problem only type one has the freedom to bring it to public discussion. All societies are resistant to change, but type one again not only changes the fastest, but also offers more creative ideas from which to choice that new direction. If that direction fails, which to error is human, type one also is the fastest to select a new direction quicker.

I heard a Dharma talk were a forest monk raised many insights the Buddha gave about the nature of the present moment, which is further illustrated by the events of today. The Buddha studied very hard under three of the best Hindu teachers of the time history records; perhaps four, I am not sure. He then abandoned them all to an ascetic life which was after time abandoned as well. This I believe is were the unique insights the Buddha was to offer the world began to take form.

This forest monk mentioned at this point the Buddha divided his phenomena into two categories. Category one was skillful directions that when applied yielded peace of mind and clear thinking. Category two was un-skillful directions which churned up the psychic irritants further. We can now see the eightfold path taking shape for the Buddha to be. "Right effort" was applied when he judiciously pulled apart what was skillful and in his best interest, cultivated those qualities, and brought them to fruition. On the flip side he abandoned what was not in his best interest, and stirred up trouble for his heart and mind.

Before he could start pulling apart skillful from un-skillful, "right mindfulness" needed to be developed to observe these phenomena and there impact upon himself; this of course is insight mediation forming. For mindfulness to observe fully the mind has to be given a tranquil abiding right here and right now. If the present moment is not made tranquil the mind will seek alternate sources of joy out side. Thus the meditative absorptions born of ?right concentration? took shape.

Bringing this full circle back to type one and type two societies we can see the dharma practice there in. On an individual level a type one person is a Dharma follower; investigating skillful and un-skillful. Type two persons lock them selves down in dogmatic absolutes of a religious, political, or social nature. Not only do they lock them selves down but they hold other persons hostage as well.


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