It is appropriate on the first day of 2014 that we examine “morality” as the first step to creating the conditions for enlightenment to appear. Ponder this: Instead of perusing enlightenment, if we create the right atmosphere, it will appear unaided.
Morality has three subsets; right speech, right action and right livelihood, but lets consider the big picture of morality first.
Practicing morality is abstaining from all thoughts, actions, words and deeds, that harm other people. This benefits society overall, but we also abstain because they harm ourselves and prevent the right conditions for enlightenment to appear.
Attempting enlightenment without good morality is counterproductive because self performed unwholesome action – insulting, killing, stealing – generates great agitation, especially in the mind and body of the perpetrator.
This agitation prevents introspection because, like it’s impossible to see into the depths of the pool of water when it is turbulent, so our mind must be calm and clear to see our inner and outer truths.
Abstaining from all unwholesome actions of thought, action or speech, gives the mind the conditions needed to become peaceful enough for introspection. Meditation can accelerate the process.
There is still another reason why morality is essential: the performer of morality is working toward the ultimate goal of liberation from all suffering.
While performing good morality, we can’t be involved in actions that will reinforce the very mental habits he seeks to eradicate. Any action that harms others is necessarily caused by and conjoined with craving, aversion, and ignorance.
Morality is necessary not only for the good of society but for the good of each of its members, and not only for the worldly good of a person but also to creating a clearing that enlightenment can appear in.
Morality contains right speech, right action, and right livelihood, all topics deserving a new post.
Peace an abundance to all in 2014.