7

Vitakkasanthana Sutta (MN 20) Please keep in mind that one's effort should be of ardency and urgency. You have to act like a hero and free yourself from these. You need to have wisdom about defilements, otherwise you will find excuses and dwell in them even further. 1) "Divert your attention to something more skillful". Now, this doesn't necessarily mean ...


7

(this is 100% based on my first teacher's instructions, not my personal interpretation) Ego. All these thoughts come from the ego. Ego wants to destroy anything that hurts it. You should develop a habit to recognize thoughts that come from the ego. When you have an attachment that you strongly identify with, and someone acts against that attachment, your ...


7

The starting point of Buddhism is the idea that everyone begins in a state of ignorance. It is our ignorance that creates tanhā and dukkha, and it is the cessation of tanhā and dukkha that brings about wisdom and enlightenment. But ignorance, by its nature, comes in a multitude of forms. Your ignorance is not the same as my ignorance, his ignorance is not ...


6

Unfortunately (because it doesn't answer your question), I'd guess it's better to find "practical solutions to everyday suffering" that don't contradict Buddhism. When my father died, there's a couple of things people did for my mum which she appreciated (i.e. these are stories which she retold, of examples of how to help people who are grieving ...


6

As a counter to the other answer, Wikipedia's article on upāya ('skillful means') describes the Parable of the burning house: The Lotus Sutra contains a famous upaya story about using the expedient means of white lies to rescue children from a burning building. There's a similar, modern. non-Buddhist term for this called Lie-to-children: Because some ...


4

It is for this reason that upaya, skillful means, exists. Sometimes you have to trick people onto the right path by appealing to what makes sense in their subjective universe. Perception is subjective (~illusory), so creating the right perception can be very effective. This is the true meaning of the "rainbow body".


4

The answer comes in the Abhaya Sutta from the Buddha himself, on the topic of Right Speech: [1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them. [2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, ...


4

The suttas say to teach Dhamma only to those who ask for it. Therefore, you are forbidden to preach Dhamma to your neighbour (unless he wishes you do). Etadaggaṃ peyyavajjānaṃ yadidaṃ atthikassa ohitasotassa punappunaṃ dhammaṃ deseti. And this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again and again Dhamma to those who wish for it and who listen ...


4

Justice system is driven by unskillful intentions, but a necessity to maintain society. Essentially any action rooted in hatred, greed or ignorance is not skilful. For many justice is a form of retribution for some action done by another which is based on hatred which and unskillful root. If you are judge you are expected to judge justly. Reporting crime ...


3

AFAIK, breaking precepts that result in unwholesome Karma is never excused in Theravada Buddhism. Especially the five precepts. Here are few examples of the Buddha using Upaya: Showing nymphs to prince Nanada to break his attachment towards Janapada Kalyani. Breaking Khema's infatuation with beauty by showing a beautiful maiden deteriorate in front of her ...


3

'Dhamma' means 'that which upholds' society & individual minds. Without law, there would be chaos & anarchy. Therefore, it is proper to report criminals. The Buddha appeared to take it for granted society punishes criminals. For example: And what, mendicants, is the fear of punishment? It’s when someone sees that the kings have arrested a bandit, a ...


3

A strong craving (Taṇhā) for enlightenment would not get you there as it is unwholesome. You need some desire or motivation (Chanda) to get to enlightenment. But when you get there this desire is also no more. Say you want to go to the park you need some desire to get there. When you are there you no longer have the desire to go there. Craving for ...


3

I empathize with you, having grown up around such people. My advice would be to show this neighbor the same love and compassion you feel towards the rabbits and others. You may think of him as just another creature, acting out his natural tendencies, much like a tiger or alligator. Reflect on his positive aspects. Be mindful of your own reactions, feeling, ...


3

While you may not be able to emulate Buddha's psychic powers, the Buddha recommends in the Sigalovada Sutta on how good friends are. The role of mentor and compassionate friend applies to your case. "Young man, be aware of these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate ...


3

An aspiring bodhisattva would use Upaya and do anything to ease the suffering of another without breaking the five precepts. Only when another person's mind/hearth is calmed and malleable would it then be able to receive/absorb dharma. Even then he can only act within the limits of his own wisdom, so his intention, skilful or unskilful, is very important. ...


2

Well in one sense impermanence is ultimately true. In the other sense though it's just a concept, an idea, used to make a point. The objective of the point is to preempt grasping for things as if they were permanent, and the purpose of non-grasping is prevention of suffering. But even prevention of suffering is merely one of many motives that leads a person ...


2

Is it skillful to not intervene in his acts of killing, knowing he will not understand? You should tactfully intervene. One should point out animals also feel pain and one should not do to animals what one does not like done to oneself. What is an appropriate response to him asking if I "love Jesus only" or if I'm a "good Chrisitan"? You can ...


2

I have read in a book by Ajahn Jayasaro that cravings or desires can be divided into two groups, which are tanha (unwholesome desires) and chanda (wholesome desires). Desire which drives you towards dhamma practice and motivates you to stay on the Path certainly falls within the second group. Nevertheless, there should be a subtle balance between effort and ...


2

Upaya can be found in the 1st Turning, that is, the Nikayas of Theravada or Agamas of Mahayana, roughly. Examples (please if someone knows and refers the Pali Canon): Buddha told the woman who's only son died to beg for some mustard seeds from a family who never had anyone died to make medicine to feed her dead son so he could become alive. (Didn't the ...


2

In the Mahayana, the apparent contradiction of craving enlightenment for one's own benefit is resolved by the notion of Bodhicitta, the mind that seeks enlightenment specifically for the benefit of others. One who is has this motivation and constantly acts to manifest it is called a Bodhisattva. Often but incorrectly interpreted simply as compassion, ...


2

Protecting the victims The justice system exists in order to reduce crime and protect victims. It's important to realize that not only our actions can harm others, but also our inaction can cause harm. Yes, reporting a culprit will most likely cause them suffering e.g. expulsion from school, jail time, etc. However, not reporting a culprit will most likely ...


2

MN 28 says: Now this has been said by the Blessed One: “One who sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination.” Obviously dependent origination is not skilful means. SN 12.20 says dependent origination is the sabhava or sadhatu law of nature about how suffering arises, as follows: Uppādā vā ...


2

If so, how approximate is it? If by "DO" you mean "the 12 nidanas", I found the exposition of that in the suttas barely intelligible -- little more than a dry list of the 12 items, saying that each depends on the previous. So for that and other reasons I think of those as like chapter titles (without the text), or items on a powerpoint -- i.e. I expect ...


1

You might reflect that "beings are heir to their own kamma". Ideally too it wouldn't be the case in society that "the cure is worse than the disease" -- perhaps it's better, when you're at school, better for a bully and for their victims, that a bully might learn justice and mercy early than not. Incidentally, one of the Zen stories is The Thief Who Became ...


1

Part of a definition of "skilful" might be "adapted to specific features of the actual situation", so perhaps this isn't a question which can be answered in general. Speaking of "handling poison", in case you didn't know, there's a verse about that in the Dhammapada: If on the hand there is no wound, one may carry even poison in it. Poison does not ...


1

As others have said, people distinguish between an always-unwholesome "craving" (tanha), compared with a potentially-wholesome "desire" (chanda). I guess the difference might be two-fold: Whether the object of the desire is wholesome Whether there's a corresponding skilful effort I suppose you're right that the pre-enlightened Gautama ...


1

The answer given by Val is excellent. In addition to all the methods mentioned in the first answer , it also helps to contemplate on the states of the lower realms such as hell realms and animal realms. But it can be scary and if you have misunderstood the teachings of the Buddha on these realms its best not to do so. There is an excellent Dhamma teaching on ...


1

Tenzin's was a very Gelugpa answer. Correct and itself an example of upaya but hard to see the forest behind the trees. In Nyingma/Kagyu tradition we are not as sophisticated and a lot more straightforward. Maybe because Eastern Tibet is far from the capital? See my answer to this question. This is a typical example of skillful means in TB, leading from ...


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