Basic Buddhism
Habits & Practice
July 13, 2013
13/07/2013 10:39 (GMT+7)
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The task of each and every Buddhist is first to make the Buddha-Dhamma a living reality, by studying it and practicing it in everyday life. When we live in accordance with the Dhamma we can speak about it with authority. Secondly, a Buddhist’s task is to spread the pure Buddha-Dhamma, or to help the Sangha who devote their whole lives to the study, practice and spreading of the pure Dhamma – which is excellent in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. Thereby we become helpers of humanity and messengers of peace and happiness.

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Buddhists should be good examples to others by practicing what they preach; examples are better than any preaching.

It is by the life which a man lives that he determines for himself whether he is proceeding on the right road, or wrong; it is therefore necessary that a man should first understand himself, self-analysis. Rather as a traveler up a difficult mountain path must rearrange his baggage and discard much that will be merely a hindrance, so must the traveler on the road to deliverance examine his own character and decide what he must discard from it.

Any physical action if repeated for some time becomes a habit. In the same way, any thought which is allowed to rise up again and again gives rise to a definite tendency to reproduce that type of thought, and therefore becomes a habit. To think habitually of a certain virtue is to become that virtue, and to allow the mind to dwell on thoughts of vice for any length of time is to become guilty of that vice.

We can sometimes judge our own character by our habitual thoughts and acts. When we do certain things again and again, that is a sign of our character.

we should aim to make counter-habits whenever we have a tendency to be angry by developing loving-kindness and compassion. These mental states, if repeated again and again, will in the end become habits so much so that we will never entertain thoughts of hatred, anger, jealousy and the like; such evil tendencies will disappear before the tendencies of living-kindness, even as the darkness of night fades away before the dawn of the rising sun.

Morality makes a man gentle, it regulates his words and deeds; concentration controls the mind, makes him calm, serene and steady; but it is wisdom that enables the spiritual man to annihilate completely the passions which are ever creating a turmoil within him.

Habits, whether good or bad, become second nature. At leisure moments one frequently reverts to a characteristic type of thought; a miser, for instance, will constantly be thinking about his money, a spiritual man will be intent on his spiritual work. We should practise, therefore, doing good things over again, so that good actions become our habit, thus establishing the cause for the arising of good future result.

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