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2013.10.19 SNN The Nine Bonds (Part 7)

posted Oct 14, 2013, 9:08 AM by Seminar Coordinator   [ updated Oct 19, 2013, 2:09 PM ]

Group Study Curriculum 2013.10.19

Discussion Topics

  1. Think about the Story of the Blind Man visiting the Temple: "....But why did he need a lantern to go home? He wanted to prevent others from bumping into him. He trusted himself but he was unsure of others, so he needed a lantern on the way home. To trust ourselves as well as others requires a high level of wisdom...." Think about our everyday Life. When we have doubts about someone, or something, or some institution...what begins to happen in our minds? What thoughts does one begin to acquire? Why? Your thoughts on any of the above!
  2. "...The seventh of the Nine Bonds: In delusion, sentient beings become suspicious of the Treasures of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, so they do not practice Right Actions. They refuse to believe. The Three Treasures are guiding us but if we have doubts, we are unable to follow. If we do not follow the proper practice or the right path, then we stray and commit a wide range of bad deeds. If we do not walk the path correctly, it becomes a deviant path.." Can you think of something Trainees do in the Training Program which promotes Proper Practice or the Right Path?
  3. What kinds of doubt are there? There are many kinds. Let us discuss two of them. The first is self-doubt. We have doubts about ourselves. We have low self-esteem maybe because we are short or have some bodily imperfection. So we fear interacting with others. Or we think we are less capable, so we are afraid of socializing. Thus we doubt every aspect of ourselves.

    If someone looks at us briefly while speaking, we suspect they dislike us or are judging us. We may often suspect that others are disparaging us or are doubtful of us. We constantly make assumptions about what others think of us based on our views, because we lack confidence in ourselves.

    Such thinking dulls our minds and causes us to close ourselves off. The darker our minds, the harder it is to be inspired by wisdom; thus we become even duller. Such darkness and dullness causes afflictions to arise, suspicions to grow, etc. Then we develop low self-esteem, and become anti-social. We develop many incorrect perspectives which can stir up trouble. We are confused about right and wrong, so we doubt ourselves.
    This results in incorrect behavior. Nobody looks down on us. It is we who belittle and give up on ourselves. Is this last sentence (IN RED) a new way to look at the issue of Self Esteem? Is it a new perspective? What do you think?
  4. It is often said, "In a group of three, we shall find a teacher." Everyone, Anyone can be our teacher, not only Dharma masters. We need to emulate Never-Disparaging Bodhisattva. Someone who throws rocks at us or hits us with a stick can still be our teacher if we respect him and his potential of enlightenment. Why is the perspective better than what our everyday culture teaches? What does it do for us in our everyday lives? Is it hard to adopt this kind of mindset? What do you think?

2013.10.19 SNN The Nine Bonds ‎(Part 7)‎