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A Taste of Salt Selections. From the Sutta Pitaka Discourses of the Buddha

A Taste of Salt Selections. From the Sutta Pitaka Discourses of the Buddha

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01/12/2013

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1
 A Taste of Salt 
Selections from the Sutta Pitaka.
 
2
 Just as the ocean has a single taste:the taste of salt.In the same way, this Dhamma andDiscipline has a single taste:the taste of freedom.
Udanna 5.5
 
As the lotusis unsmeared by water & mud,so the sage, an exponent of peace,without greed, is unsmearedby sensuality & the world.
Sutta Nipata 4.9
But whoever overcomes this wretched craving,so difficult to overcome,from him sorrows fall awaylike water from a lotus leaf.
Dhammapada
As a water bead on a lotus leaf,as water on a red lily, does not adhere,so the sage does not adhereto the seen, the heard, or the sensed;for, cleansed, he doesn't construein connection with the seen,the heard, or the sensed.In no other way does he wish for purity,for he neither takes on passionnor puts it away.
Sutta Nipata 4.6
You shouldn't chase after the pastor place expectations on the future.What is past is left behind.The future is as yet unreached.Whatever quality is presentyou clearly see right there, right there.Not taken in, unshaken,that's how you develop the heart.Ardently doing what should be done today,for — who knows? tomorrow death.
M 131
All dhamma have mind as their precursor. Mind is theirchief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind aperson speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheelthat follows the foot of the ox.All dhamma have mind as their precursor. Mind is theirchief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind aperson speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.
 
"He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, herobbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not stilltheir hatred."He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, herobbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts stilltheir hatred.Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.There are those who do not realize that one day we allmust die. But those who do realize this settle theirquarrels.
Dhammapada
This Dhamma is directly visible, immediate, inviting one tocome and see, applicable, to be personally experienced bythe wise.
S 1.20
Over there are the roots of trees; over there, emptydwellings. Practice jhana. Don't be heedless. Don't later fallinto regret. This is our message to you all."
M 152
 
3
Editor's Forward
I still remember my first experience of reading translationsof the Pali Suttas in the back of Walpola Rahula's What theBuddha Taught. After reading the Four Foundations of Mindfulness I realized it went to the heart of the Buddha'steaching in a way many modern authors did not. With mycuriosity perked I began a long process of reading throughthe Sutta Pitaka. I was struck by the clarity and novelty of the original Buddhist message. I also realized that theproject of wading through thousands of pages made theseteachings inaccessible to most readers. My purpose incompiling this reader is to make the Buddha's centralteachings more accessible in their original format.The Sutta Pitaka is the collection of suttas, or discourses,attributed to the Buddha and his closest disciples,containing all the central teachings of Theravada Buddhism.The suttas are divided into five collections--Digha Nikaya -the "long [discourse] collection"-Majjhima Nikaya -the "middle-length [discourse]collection"-Samyutta Nikaya -the "grouped collection"- organized bysubject-Anguttara Nikaya -the "further-factored collection"-organized by number.-Khuddaka Nikaya -the "collection of little texts"- includingsome of the first Buddhist works to be put in writing.Monks transmitted the Nikayas orally for hundreds of yearsbefore they were written down, around 100BCE. Part of the style of oral teaching was built on exhaustive repetitionof the elements to be learned in their many combinationsand permutations. Most translators remove some of therepetition to make the suttas more readable. The suttasalso contain a great deal of traditional cosmology, legends,stereotypical story telling motifs, and ancient systems forunderstanding the natural world. There are a number of sutta collections that attempt to give a good representationof the wide variety of stories and themes presented in theNikayas. The suttas and excerpts I have chosen aredesigned to give the reader an introduction into Buddhistpsychology and meditation. They focus on The Four NobleTruths, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness, The Fourright Efforts, Causation (Dependent Co-arising), The FiveAggregates, The Six Sense Bases, The Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and The Eightfold Path. These ideas arerepeated many times throughout the Nikayas. Theyprovide a practical framework for meditation and living thatremains compelling and relevant 2,500 years after theirbirth.The central message of the suttas describes a path to self-awareness and self-mastery. In its essence it is a deeplypractical and moral vision. The Kalama Sutta advises,
 
Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities areskillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by thewise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & tohappiness" — then you should enter & remain in them.” A 3.65
 
Rather than relying on doctrine were are asked to look deeply at our own experience.
 
This Dhamma is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experienced by the wise.” S 1.20
Metaphysical questions such as ‘are the soul and body thesame?’ or ‘is the universe eternal?’ are described as, “athicket of views, a wilderness of views.” At numerouspoints in the suttas the Buddha steers seekers away fromthese questions to focus on the five aggregates, dependentco-arising, and the four noble truths. In the Simsapa grovethe Buddha instructs his monks,
What I have revealed to you is only a little…What I have revealed is: 'This is Suffering, this is the Arising of Suffering, this is the Cessation of Suffering, and this is the Path thatleads to the Cessation of Suffering.' And why, monks, have I revealed it? Because this is related to the goal, fundamental to the holy life,conduces to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquility, higher knowledge, enlightenment and Nibbaana, therefore I have revealed it.S 56.31
Choosing material from such a vast source as the SuttaNikaya requires not-choosing a vast body of writing. Thiscollection is meant as a starting point, an introduction tothe “Dhamma that is directly visible, …applicable, to bepersonally experienced.” I encourage anyone whoseinterest is perked to dig deeper and read more of thesuttas as well the history behind them.Where I have removed short repetitive sections I havefollowed the tradition of many translators by indicatingmissing sections with three periods... The meaning in thesecases can be deduced from previous repetitions. WhereverI have edited larger sections, I have noted the selection as aexcerpt or indicated missing sections with three asterisksset apart:
* * *
This collection includes work from many translators. Eachtranslator invariably brings a unique character to his or herwork. Hopefully, seeing the variation in interpretations willhelp the reader get a fuller sense of the original Pali. In theinterest of clarity I have occasionally consulted othertranslations for alternate choices of words or phrasing.I give special thanks to Thanissaro Bhikkhu and the othertranslators for their amazing work which has brought theseteachings to a modern English speaking audience. I alsowant to thank them for making these translations availableto everyone at no cost. This project would not have beenpossible without their efforts and generosity.-Mark Breneman 1/15/10

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