Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.


do we need to be virtuous before meditate?



  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2016

    Um ...an interesting question ....I guess (coming from a Western perspective) in some cases, there has to be an inkling of virtue in order for motivation...
    However it's also possible that there are some for whom the desire to meditate might be purely for selfish reasons ie, to de-stress one self in order to cope better in the rat race... virtue not being the forerunner, but it creeps in further along the "spiritual" path....

    Some military groups use mindfulness practice to enhance their military skills...and whether this can be considered virtuous or not would depend upon what lies behind the military leaders line of thought....

    "One man's virtue is another man's immorality "


    However...From a Buddhist perspective Sila ...If one is a Buddhist and following the 8FP then cultivating a virtuous nature is part and parcel of the whole(some) package deal ie, "Right" Speech-Action-Livelihood :) So I guess, cultivating/developing the Sila one already has would be the motivation behind ones meditation practice...

  • Yes.

    Sila is an important aspect of the dharma behaviour/methodology.
    In the Sufi tradition there are stages of self ...
    The 'accusing self' is probably the closest Buddhist equivalent that will be familiar.

    As a serious practitioner @upekka we need to quieten the karma by doing good or at least avoiding unskilful behaviour.

    We can of course ignore our ignorance as unimportant. Meditation can be practiced by assassins like the Shinobi, the Zen killing class (samurai) and rogue lamas, selling virtue ... but not by example. How far does that go?

    For most of us turning our 'mind spotlight' on our behaviour is better than worrying about/judging others.

    'be good'
    as mothers everywhere tell the children ...

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 2016

    I think we can start meditating just out of curiousity and it may lead to more interest in sila later.

  • Good luck trying to sit still while thinking of committing robbery, murder, adultery or slander.

  • howhow Veteran

    @upekka said:
    do we need to be virtuous before meditate?

    Virtue, like meditation, is an immeasurable expanse,

    which offers no way to explore either
    except what you can, right here, right now.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    What do you mean by 'virtuous'?
    Do you mean it as a long-practised habit, or some form of 'ridding myself of my vices before I sit' kind of thing?

  • If you want to fly properly you need the plane parts to work together. If a piece is missing then it wouldn't be a very long flight if any flight at all. I feel virtues are as important as the wings on a plane.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Virtue is not for Buddhists.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I'm of the opinion that virtue is important, that if one is too caught up in base instincts or thoughts then the connection with inner peace and deep kindness becomes obscured by the turbulent energies it generates internally. It is about where you put focus, how you choose to spend time.

  • ZeroZero Veteran

    @upekka said:
    do we need to be virtuous before meditate?

    Not just before, but also during and after.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @federica said:
    What do you mean by 'virtuous'?
    Do you mean it as a long-practised habit, or some form of 'ridding myself of my vices before I sit' kind of thing?

    the time before this moment is history and we can not change anything we have done before with intentionally or unintentionally


    now we can determine to practice five precepts or eight precepts or ten precepts and keep up the determination

    that genuine determination to practice precepts is more than enough to make success the meditaion

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    Virtue is not for Buddhists.

    what do you mean exactly?

  • @genkaku said:
    Virtue is not for Buddhists.

    Some Buddhists.

    Virtue is eventually inherent and may require no expression. Sila is for training purposes but not for attachment or outward show.

    For example let us say we develop a quality. Are we attached to it as progress? Does it become a token Buddha? Better to have behaviour ... or none? Was the Buddha just another slaphead?

Sign In or Register to comment.