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A Blameless Life

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2011-01-04
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center


This talk explores how ethical conduct fits into a continuum of practice as we move from the isolated state of projection through the relaxation of sila to the inevitable release of faith.


Depending upon how you use them, the precepts can either aid or inhibit your spiritual growth. Do they foster a greater sense of wise view and connectedness or add to your unworthiness and guilt? Do they encourage a new way of viewing the world or hold you fast to your old self-image? Do the precepts lighten your sense of paranoia and general heaviness of mind or leave you feeling more shameful? Pick an unskillful behavior you have lived with for a long time such as being manipulative or sneaky. Determine that you will not act on that habit. Abstain (let go) from engaging in any thoughts that foster that behavior. Watch the urge to act from these old habit patterns. Take refuge to strengthen your resolve. See them for what they are, past tendencies imposing on the here and now. Get a sense of how the past continually explodes into the present and how your emotions of guilt or shame follow in the wake of this urge. Though they attempt to convince you otherwise, these feelings have nothing to do with who you are in this moment.


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