The Mahanama Sutta

Mahanama, who is not a Monk, has been living with the Buddha during the rainy season which is about to end. This means that they will all disperse and Mahanama wonders how he will manage to practise on his own.

Mahanama asks “ In what dwelling place should I live?” and I take this to mean “How should I live?”

Before suggesting six reflections which can be practised the Buddha reminds Mahanama and the others nearby that in order to practise effectively we need to develop five qualities and that these qualities need to be aroused or alive.

These qualities are                                     Conviction (or confidence or faith)

                                                                          Persistence (or Energy for the Spiritual Life not laziness)

                                                                          Mindfulness (not muddled)

                                                                         Concentration (not uncentred)

                                                                         Discernment (or discrimination or Wisdom)

The six things that the Buddha suggests that should be reflected upon are

                                                                         An enlightened being (or the Buddha).

                                                                        The Dharma ( the teachings of the Buddha)

                                                                        The Sangha

                                                                        Ones own virtues

                                                                        Ones own generosity

                                                                       We can call to mind other Buddhists that we respect who have greater faith or confidence than us in what they practise. 

These reflections can lead to a mind which is 

                                                                    not filled with passion (or craving).

                                                                   not filled with aversion (or hatred).

                                                                   not filled with delusion.

                                                                   Headed straight. (in line with what we truly want).

                                                                   Full of joy (physical).

                                                                   Full of rapture (mental)


                                                                   At ease.


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