Monks, a wise person, one of great wisdom, does not intend harm to self, intend harm to others, or intend harm to both self and others. Thinking in this way, such a one intends benefit for self, benefit for others, benefit for both, benefit for the whole world. Thus is one wise and of great wisdom. (Anguttara Nikaya II, p179)
Reflecting on Morality
1. How do you relate to the words “morality” and “virtue”? Our attitudes toward ethics and virtue are often conditioned by how ethics was viewed and practiced in the family and culture we grew up in. What ethical training and teachings did you receive growing up that have influenced you?
2. When in your life do feel you were most ethical and when do you think you were least ethical? What important lessons did you learn from times you were most ethical or most unethical?
3. Which ethical virtues are strongest in you? Which are weakest for you? To help with this reflection, here is a list of ethical virtues: compassion, caring, generosity, truthfulness, honesty, integrity, service, purity, gratitude, unselfishness, justice, and morality.
4. Consider the ways others benefit when you are ethical. As you reflect on this and discuss this topic with others, write down a list of the ways others benefit. Stretch your thinking so you can make the list as long as possible.
7- Truthfulness (Saca)
Truthfulness has the characteristic of non-deceptiveness. In speech, its function is to verify in accordance with fact; its manifestation is excellence…Without truthfulness, virtue and the following perfections are impossible, and there can be no practice in accordance with one’s compassionate vows. All evil states have in common the transgression of truth…All perfections are grounded in truth, clarified by letting go, intensified by peace, and purified by wisdom. A Treatise on the Paramis, by Dhammapala
Reflecting on Truthfulness
1. What has been your history with truth? What did you learn about being truthful growing up in your family? What experiences have influenced your attitude and belief about being truthful?
2. How would you assess the strength of your commitment to being truthful? Under what circumstances is that commitment compromised or challenged?
3. Being truthful can mean matching the tone of your voice to your words, avoiding exaggerated speech, not causing anyone any unnecessary hurt, admitting to a truth of your life that you may have been avoiding. Where might you improve your truthfulness?
4. What are the benefits that come to yourself and to the community with being truthful?
During this week work with the intention to be aware of how the qualities of morality and truthfulness influence you and your daily interactions with others. Continue to reflect on the questions during the week and go deeper in exploration with any awareness’s that emerge. You may look for related dharma talks on Dharma Seed and Access to Insight or these specifically:
Source- Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville