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Tea, Dharma Discussion 5:30 Monday Oct 31

posted Oct 30, 2011, 10:16 AM by Five Stones   [ updated Oct 30, 2011, 10:16 AM ]
Dear Friends,
Let's enjoy our practicing together tomorrow, have some tea, and discussion.  I invite you to read The Discourse on Happiness, included below, and reflect on your own happiness.  Is this discourse complete?  From your life experiences please consider the accuracy and inclusiveness of this discourse.  As Thich Nhat Hahn has suggested, read this sutra at a time when your body and mind are completely relaxed, for example after taking a comfortable bath.  You can light a candle or a stick of incense to give the room a pleasant glow or fragrance.  Then read this sutra slowly to discover its deepest meaning.  This sutra is thousands of years old, but it is only by relating it to your own life's experience that it comes alive and you can understand it.

The Discourse on Happiness

I heard these words of the Buddha one time when the Lord was living in the vicinity of Savatthi at the Anathapindika Monastery in the Jeta Grove.  Late at night, a deva appeared whose light and beauty made the whole Jeta Grove shine radiantly.  After paying respects to the Buddha, the deva asked him a question in the form of a verse:

 “Many gods and men are eager to know what are the greatest blessings which bring about a peaceful and happy life.  Please Tathagata, will you teach us?”

 (This is the Buddha’s answer):

“Not to be associated with the foolish ones,

To live in the company of wise people,

Honoring those who are worth honoring—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To live in a good environment,

To have planted good seeds

And to realize that you are on the right path—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To have a chance to learn and grow,

To be skilful in your profession or craft,

Practicing the precepts and loving speech—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To be able to serve and support your parents,

To cherish your own family,

To have a vocation that brings you joy—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To live honestly, generous in giving,

To offer support to relatives and friends,

Living a life of blameless conduct—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To avoid unwholesome actions,

Not caught be alcoholism or drugs,

And to be diligent in doing good things—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To be humble and polite in manner,

To be grateful and content with a simple life,

Not missing the occasion to learn the Dharma—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To persevere and be open to change,

To have regular contact with monks and nuns,

And to fully participate in Dharma discussions—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“To live diligently and attentively,

To perceive the Noble Truths,

And to realize nirvana—

This is the greatest happiness.


“To live in the world

With your heart undisturbed by the world,

With all sorrows ended, dwelling in peace—

This is the greatest happiness.”


“For the one who accomplishes this

Is unvanquished wherever she goes:

Always he is safe and happy—

Happiness lives within oneself.”

Looking forward to see you tomorrow