Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Buddhism in America

Excerpts from "The Lotus in the New World: Buddhism in America", Part One - The Three Jewels, featuring Geshe Michael Roach. This has been a work in progress since 1997 and donations are welcome via Paypal ( to support production of all planned 4 one hour episodes. Thanks for your help. (

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Resolute Determination is the Eighth Mental Perfection

Only determination can completely fulfill the other mental perfections!
It's characteristic is an unwavering decision, it's function is to overcome
it's opposites, & it's manifestation is unfaltering persistence in this task...
The proximate cause of determination is strong willpower to succeed!
Only the vigour of resolute determination lifts any praxis to perfection...

When the Future Buddha turned his back to the trunk of the Bodhi tree,
then he right there made this mighty decision:
'Let just the blood & flesh of this body dry up & let the skin & sinews
fall from the bones. I will not leave this seat before having attained the
absolute supreme Enlightenment!' So determined did he invincibly seat
himself, which not even 100 earthquakes could make him waver from.
Jataka Nidana

A female lay follower (Upasika) at the time of the Buddha kept the
precepts, comprehended the nature of impermanence, the consequent
fragility of the body and thereby won stream-entry (Sotapanna).
After passing away, she re-arised as the favorite attendant of Sakka,
the king of Gods. Reviewing her own merit, she remembered her prior
admonition to herself:

‘Let this body break up as it may,
herein will not be any excuse or
relaxation of the effort...!!!’

Whose mind is like a rock, unwavering, immovable,
without a trace of lust of urging towards the attractions,
without a trace of aversion of pushing away the repulsive,
from what, can such a refined mind ever suffer ?
Udana IV - 4

Using the tools of Faith, Morality, Effort, Determination,
Meditation and true Understanding of this Dhamma,
one gradually perfect first knowledge & then behavior.
So equipped & aware, one may eliminate all of this great
heap of suffering once and for all ...
Dhammapada 144

What is being determined for right Motivation ?
The decision for being motivated by withdrawal,
The decision for being motivated by good-will,
The decision for being motivated by harmlessness:
This is being determined for right Motivation.
Samyutta Nikaya XLV 8

My mind is firm like a rock,
unattached to sensual things,
no shaking in the midst of a
world, where all is decaying.
My mind has been thus well developed,
so how can suffering ever touch me?
Theragatha 194

The four determinations:
One should not neglect the Dhamma,
One should guard well the Truth,
One should be devoted to Withdrawal,
and one should train only for Peace.
Majjhima Nikaya 140

Fearing being predestined for Hell if he became a King, who had to
punish criminals violently, the Bodhisatta determined not to show any
intelligence, and play dump, deaf and cripple for sixteen years, only
showing his abilities, when he was on the verge of being buried alive!
This was his ultimate perfection of resolute determination...
The Basket of Conduct: Cariyapitaka