| GOOD DEEDS BRING HAPPINESS
GOOD DEEDS BRING HAPPINESS
Here she rejoices, hereafter she rejoices.
In both states the well-doer rejoices.
She rejoices, exceedingly rejoices, perceiving the purity of her own deeds.
In the Buddha's teaching, we are taught the importance of knowing our mind, so it stands to reason that as we clear it of adverse states joy rises --- and we know it. As we perceive how harmless we are becoming it is automatic. But, how do we become harmless? By following the Noble Eightfold Path. This is much easier said than done!! It is not that it is complicated, it isn't. It is that to do so we need to have the courage and the perseverance to fly in the face of most, if not all, of what we have been taught about "life." That is why the Buddha laid down a path for us to follow and stressed that it is a gradual path; a process of learning. Learning to the point where we are able to see the mechanism behind the production of what we call "life" and to become disenchanted with it enough to lose interest in the production. He didn't say, "Just let it go." He said, "See how it works, see how it is maintained and decided if you want to continue maintaining it."
The first step on the Noble Eight Fold Path is understanding the path itself. It starts with Right View. He clearly outlined Right View in two very different ways. Although we often hear of the second way that the Buddha taught Right View, "not self", he knew that to start at that point could cause great difficulties. He understood the importance of starting where one is at, and that most of us have the desire to be happy and free of suffering, but not the understanding of how to arrive at that state of mind. Thus, Right View starts with the understanding that actions have consequences, and then gives us the means to clear our minds of the qualities that block the understanding. These qualities (greed, hatred and delusion) are worn away as we practice the five basic precepts upon which morality is based --- the foundation upon which the entire practice rests.
In the Pali Canon, the five precepts are stated as:
I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life.
I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given.
I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct.
I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.
I undertake the training rule to abstain from intoxicating drinks and drugs.
When we choose to make these precepts the guiding principle of our practice, it is worth noting the way in which they are worded. They are training rules. This is very important to understand because, within the process of learning, errors will be made. When an error is seen as an error, instead of an inadequacy, choosing not to do it again becomes easier. As we progress, we can truly rejoice as greed, hatred, and delusion, is replaced by loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.