In the previous post we read about senses restraint (guarding the door of senses)
Mindfulness & Alertness
“And how is a monk possessed of mindfulness and alertness? When going forward and returning, he acts with alertness. When looking toward and looking away… when bending and extending his limbs… when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe, and his bowl… when eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting… when urinating and defecating… when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, and remaining silent, he acts with alertness. This is how a monk is possessed of mindfulness and alertness.Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta” (DN 11), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html .
“And how is a monk content? Just as a bird, wherever it goes, flies with its wings as its only burden; so too is he content with a set of robes to provide for his body and alms food to provide for his hunger. Wherever he goes, he takes only his barest necessities along. This is how a monk is content.Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta” (DN 11), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka
From the above mentioned practices, we should appreciate that the way of living for a Buddhist contemplative is built upon [senses restraint], [Mindfulness and Alertness], [Contentedness] As a layman, we should help provide a conducive environment for their practices and try our best not to create obstacles for them.
If we feel “sorry” for them because we think their life is too harsh and frugal, thus requiring some entertainment or “break”, then we are not helping but placing obstacles in their path. Therefore, it is important for lay people to know about this and not ignorantly play the role of a tempter.
Being a layperson, we live a life that is less disciplined. However, we can also practice the aforesaid virtues in accordance to our personal capacity.
Instead of chasing after sensory stimulations, we learn to be contented and be at peace with our environment and ourselves. We learn to appreciate silence and drink unflavored drinks. Instead of Netflix or HBO, we learn to appreciate the views from our window? Place our phone down and look around us. By not numbing ourselves with sensory stimulant, we became aware of our state of being. We feel our breathe and become aware of our body. Isn’t that living and being alive+?
Then we discover that we can survive and be happy with simple things in life. It is a much cheaper lifestyle. With that knowledge, stress is lifted because we know that we can still survive pretty well without all those unnecessary stuffs in life.
If a bag is meant for carrying things, then it doesn’t matter if it is Prada. But if it is meant for our ego, then no bag is good enough to contain it. Thus, there is an insatiable wanting. So there is suffering in our mind.
May all be well and happy.