Practitioners walking the spiritual path to awakening are often confused as to which meditation method is really correct. Some teachers, each claiming his is the method, tend to dismiss other methods taught by other teachers as wrong. Meditators argue with one another over the same issue. What is the Truth?
Awaken to Truth in Harmony: A Trilogy by Ayasma Aggacitta gives us an overview of this unhealthy state within the Buddhist community today and shows us how we can awaken to a wide range of Truth in peace and with harmony.
In “Coping With a Handful of Leaves”he urges meditators to coexist peacefully each practicing the method that works best for him, as what works for one may not for another. “Harmony in Diversity”shows how, using doctrinal as well as experiential criteria, meditators can be guided along the Path as to the method of practice that is correct for him. “Be Truthful About Truth” reminds us that even if one is right, it doesn’t mean that others are wrong, as no one has a monopoly on Truth – not even Buddhists.
This booklet, published in conjunction with SASANARAKKHA BUDDHIST SANCTUARY’S KATHINA 2003, is the paper that Ven Aggacitta presented in the Forum “Role of the Sangha in the New Millennium” at the Global Conference on Buddhism held in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in December 2002. It explains in detail the rationale and the need for different types of well-trained monks in modern day society.
SASANARAKKHA BUDDHIST SANCTUARY, a monk training centre nestled among secluded valleys and brooks near Taiping, Perak, Malaysia, aims to fulfill this role of the Sangha that Venerable Aggacitta advocates.
Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and taking intoxicants, are universally censurable. One who does these things is considered immoral while one who abstains from them, morally virtuous; and they are karmically responsible for their actions-whether or not they have undertaken the precepts. Nonetheless, undertaking the precepts can help reinforce kindly dispositions and change unkindly ones.
In this booklet, Ayasma Aggacitta elucidates the positive and negative consequences respectively of undertaking the precepts and committing these censurable deeds, giving practical advice on how this is applicable in daily life. And he assures us that it is really not that difficult to keep the precepts – for if we are patient and persevering, they will eventually become so automatic that we need not even have to make any conscious effort to check our behaviour.
The Importance of Being Morally Virtuous is certainly a practical manual and inspiring companion for the aspiring lay Buddhist practitioner.
The ancient Chinese custom of making food offerings to departed relatives, which was also in practice in India during the Buddha’s time, is still very much alive today in Asia. Is this custom in keeping with Theravada Buddhist beliefs? Are such offerings of any use to the departed? What is the proper way of honouring the departed? These are questions foremost in the minds of intelligent Buddhists, especially during religious observances like Qing Ming when the departed are remembered and honoured with food offerings.
This booklet attempts to answer these questions in two parts. In Part 1, the author, Ven Aggacitta Bhikkhu, investigates scriptural and prevalent perceptions of honouring the departed. In comparing scriptural perceptions with popular beliefs and life experiences, he carefully distinguishes canonical evidence from commentarial interpretation.
In Part 2, the author then suggests procedures which Buddhists can follow to honour the departed, reconciling ancient teachings with living traditions and contemporary life experiences.
Honouring the Departed: A Buddhist Perspective will go a long way in resolving conflicts in the minds of modern Buddhists who find themselves at odds with the traditional customs and practices of honouring their departed relatives.
BUDDHISTS are often told to take refuge in the Triple Gem, and many believe that they actually do. Do We Go to the Triple Gem for Refuge? provides indisputable evidence from the Pali Canon as well as sound reasons to show the fallacy of such a pervasive and long-held misconception.
In the process of clearly distinguishing the Triple Gem from the Triple Refuge arid explaining the range of Buddhist faith, Do We Go to the Triple Gem for Refuge? reveals that during the Buddha’s time, Buddhists did not take refuge in the Triple Gem. Rather, they were encouraged to have faith in the abstract ideal qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma and Community of noble ones (Savaka-Sangha) —only some of which are included in the Triple Gem—while they actually went to Gotama Buddha, his Dhamma Teaching and the Community of monk (Bhikkhu-Sangha) for refuge.
With this astonishing revelation, Do We Go to the Triple Gem for Refuge? hopes to alert all practising Buddhists to the need for more caution in their acceptance and practice of what is claimed to be the Buddha’s Teaching.
Can any one method of vipassana meditation claim superiority over another? Then again, is it true that absorption concentration is an absolute prerequisite to vipassana? These are some of the perennial debates that haunt Buddhists walking diverse roads to liberation from samsara.
In Coping with a Handful of Leaves, Ven Aggacitta touches on these issues with reference to the Pali scriptures and contemporary experiences. He reminds us that we should not allow our differences to become a source of disagreement and a cause of disunity. Rather, he urges us to practise unconditional love, mutual respect and sympathetic joy as a means of transmuting our discriminative energy into positive qualities such as strength and unity within the richness of diversity.
Coping with a Handful of Leaves does not only encourage yogis to be brave enough to try other methods of meditation if the first one they have been introduced to is no t suitable. It would also help to bring about a paradigm shift in the mental attitude of yogis, irrespective of their methods of meditation.
Wherever You Are, Whatever You’re Doing, Whenever You Can …
VEN AGGACITTA Explains How The Practice of Satipatthana In Daily Activities Can Lead One To Understand The Workings of One’s Mind & From There Get Insights Into The Root Causes of One’s Mental & Emotional Problems.