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Buddhist Approach to Mindful Leadership through An Auspicious Day

Tham luận Hội thảo Vesak LHQ lần thứ 16 tại Chùa Tam Chúc - Hà Nam
Buddhist Approach to Mindful Leadership through An Auspicious Day
Bhikkhuni. Dr. Tinh Van
             Nowadays, we all care about finding Responsibilities for Sustainable Peace (santi). It is called Truth, Fact, Reality, Standard, Settlement… and in this proposal/ offer means objective / universal truth: ‘Truth is one, there is no second.’[1] Because of this quality/ value, Truth is also considered as the noblest gift/  truth in the ultimate sense (paramattha) for the Self-guided Way of the Sublime Teaching of the Buddha/ the way of life, i.e., the way out of universal suffering/ Ariyasacca/ the Path to Freedom (free from negligence/ carelessness/ pamāda). With the goal of the Buddha’s teachings to create instead of following the micchā/ blind belief/ unreasonable faith/ ignoble search/ conventional truth (sammuti-sacca). By this reason, my main proposal/ offer will be aimed at ‘Mindful Leadership for Sustainable Peace’ with the title ‘Buddhist Approach to Mindful Leadership through An Auspicious Day’.
As usual, Buddhism is a religion of peace (santi), compassion (karuṇā) and wisdom (paññā). It teaches man’s emancipation depends on his own realization of Truth/ existing thing that man wants to learn and follow Ti-sikkhā (sīla, samādhi and paññā)/ his requisites of footsteps, not in a power/ untruth/ domination/ authority path, that is though he revives/ restarts the past/ builds his future:
Let not a person renew the past 
Or on the future build his hopes; 
For the past has been left behind 
And the future has not been reached’.[2]
And with his own insight (paññā/ vipassanā/ ñāṇa) in this present life (diṭṭhadhamma-hitasukha), he himself will fulfill/ achieve his moral duties and social responsibilities in a spirit of kindness (karuṇā), sympathy (samasukhadukkhatā), and goodwill (hitakāmatā):
‘Let him know that and be sure of it, 
Invincibly unshakable’.[3]
Or 'steps of training' will prevent suffering:
‘Evaṃ bho purisa jānāhi, pāpadhammā asaññatā;
Mā taṃ lobho adhammo ca, ciraṃ dukkhāya randhayuṃ’
Therefore friend remember this - Hard to restrain are evil acts,
Don’t let greed and wickedness - Down drag you long in suffering/ dukkha
                                                            (Dhp. 248)
By training of the mind and cultivating of wisdom, the Buddha has been fully explained in the wheel of life (Paṭiccasamuppāda formula), the difference between past and future/ death (maraṇam) and birth (jāti )… is like a thought-moment (khaṇa). The last thought moment in this life is also conditioned the first thought moment in the so-called next life. So, the process of rebirth (punabbhava) essentially exhibits a definite lawfulness in this very life.
As above-mentioned, there are four kinds of persons[4] to be found existing in this very life:
1) A person does ten immoral deeds (akusala) by body, speech and mind at the present life, holds wrong view and either earlier (the past) or later (the future) he did an evil action (akusala) to be felt as painful, at the time of death he acquired and undertook wrong view (micchādiṭṭhi). Because of such action, after death he has reappeared in a state of deprivation (duggati).
           
2) A person does ten immoral deeds (akusala) by body, speech and mind at the present life; either earlier (the past) or later (the future) he did a good action (kusala) to be felt as pleasant.  And at the time of death he acquired and undertook right view (sammādiṭṭhi), totally rejected the  imperfections of the mind.[5]  Because of his gain, after death he has reappeared in a happy destination (sugati).
           
3) A person who abstains from ten immoral conducts (the present)/ (kusala); either earlier (the past) or later (the future) he did a good action (kusala) to be felt as pleasant. And at the time of death he acquired and undertook right view (sammādiṭṭhi). With his achievement, after death he has reappeared in a happy destination (sugati).
           
4) A person who abstains from ten immoral conducts (the present)/ (kusala); but earlier (the past) or later (the future) he did an evil action (akusala) to be felt as painful. At the time of death, his wrong view (micchādiṭṭhi) is arisen. Because of that, after death he has reappeared in a state of deprivation (duggati).
           
The following chart shows the actions people have done in past, present and future, at the time of death (the present moment) their destinations will be shown:
 
Kinds of persons Past Present Future At the time of death Rebirth
1. akusala akusala akusala micchā         
 diṭṭhi
duggati
2. kusala akusala kusala sammā
diṭṭhi
sugati
3. kusala kusala kusala sammā
diṭṭhi
sugati
4. akusala kusala akusala micchā
diṭṭhi
duggati
 
            That is why kamma should be known and understood: ‘Each man reaps/ collects his own fruits’, this detailed explanation of morality (sīla) relates to the law of kamma. If man is lacking in right understanding (sammādiṭṭhi), man may lead to wrong views (micchādiṭṭhi).
        - Kamma (action) should be known – ‘Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body (kāya-kamma), speech (vacī-kamma), & mind (mano-kamma)’.[6]
       - The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known / What is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact (phassa)/ connection is the cause by which kamma comes into play.[7]
       - The difference in kamma should be known / what is the difference in kamma? There is kamma that ripens in hell; kamma that ripens in the realm of the animal world; kamma that ripens in the realm of the hungry ghosts, kamma that ripens in the human world, kamma that ripens in the world of the heaven/ devas…[8]
       - The result of kamma should be known / what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three kinds: 1/ ripening during the life-time (diṭṭha-dhamma-vedanīya kamma) 2/ ripening in the next birth (upapajja-vedanīya kamma) 3/ ripening in later births (aparāpariya-vedanīya kamma).[9] 
         - The cessation of kamma should be known / what is the cessation of kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of kamma.
          - The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known when a disciple of the noble ones discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of kamma.
In the ultimate sense (paramattha), a wise/ a noble man should know what action to make and what not to make is his goodwill/ beauty/ morality. When his sīla is sufficient, he may rise upward and dwell in bliss among the gods; when his sīla declines or his merit is exhausted, he may sink again to miserable depths. However, there exist only ever-changing (anattā) physical and mental phenomena, flashing up and dying every moment. We notice that the mind at the time of death (āsanna-kamma) is very important. If we do our best with the right time we are in right belief (sammādiṭṭhi), others will take hope in our example. That is meant in which state man will take rebirth, because of:
                        ‘Manopubbaṅgamā dhammā, manoseṭṭhā manomayā,
                        Manasā ce paduṭṭhena, bhāsati vā karoti vā
                        Tato naṃ dukkhamanveti, cakkaṃ’ va vahato padaṃ’.
            Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states. Mind is chief, mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoof of the draught-ox.
                                                                                                        (Dhp. 1)
                        ‘Manopubbaṅgamā dhammā, manoseṭṭhā manomayā,
                        Manasā ce pasannena, bhāsati vā karoti vā
                        Tato naṃ sukhamanveti, chāyā’va anapāyinī’
            Mind is the forerunner of (all good) states. Mind is chief, mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one’ s shadow that never leaves.                                            
(Dhp. 2)
            Mind is described as being fickle, fluttering, subtle, faring far and wide, hard to understand, hard to check and extremely swift. Man wants to attain welfare and happiness pertaining to the next life (samparāyikahitasukha), he should firstly know the mind, then after that protect and use it for spiritual advancement.
Sududdasaṃ sunipuṇaṃ, yatthakāmanipātinaṃ
Cittaṃ rakkhetha medhāvī, cittaṃ guttaṃ sukhāvahaṃ
            The mind is very hard to perceive, extremely subtle, flits wherever it listeth. Let the wise person guard it, a guarded mind is conducive to happiness.                                                                                                                   
(Dhp. 36)
Subsequently as occasion arose, it is easy to recognize that ‘there is no fear, no danger, no disaster for the wise’[10]  because the wise (paññā-cakkhu)/ the noble one/ the spiritual elite/ the model (ethically) person/ who obtains the occasion not from birth, social station … but from their inward nobility of character, he who possessed invincibly unshakable mind/ the most excellent state of mind, habitual disposition, constant practice and he found the searching for the ‘unborn, aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, undefiled’.[11]
This noble search (ariya-pariyesanā) builds upon the transformed understanding and deepened perspective on the nature of the world that doesn’t connect with the five strings of sensuality (kāmaguṅā): ‘1. Forms cognizable by the eye… 2. Sounds cognizable by the ear... 3. Odours cognizable by the nose... 4. Flavours cognizable by the tongue... 5. Tangibles cognizable by the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, lust’.[12]
What about ignoble search (anariya-pariyesanā)? There is the occasion where a person, being subject himself to birth (jāti)… aging (jarā)... illness (vyādhi)... death (maraṇa)... grief (soka)... lamentation (parideva)… pain (dukkha)… painful feeling (domanassa)… despair (upāyāsā), he seeks [happiness in] what is likewise subject to defilement of birth, aging, illness, death,  grief,  lamentation, pain, painful feeling and despair.
For example: ‘being subject to birth, aging, illness, death, grief, lamentation, pain, painful feeling and despair… are these possessions/ gainings/ achievements … such as: men & women slaves, goats & sheep, sons & daughters, gold & silver… and a person who is tied to them, grasps them, who has totally fallen for them; being subject to birth… seeks what is likewise subject to birth… It is called binding/ attachment by an anariya-pariyesanā/ puthujjana.[13]
In this regard, what may be said to be subject to defilements/ cankers/ taints (āsava) ?
 ‘Puttā m'atthi dhanaṁ m'atthi iti bālo vihaññati
Attā hi attano natthi kuto puttā kuto dhanaṁ’                     
‘I have sons, I have wealth' — the fool torments himself.
When even he himself doesn't belong to himself, how then sons and wealth’?
(Dhp. 62)
As a consequence, these sublime teachings donate the moments of consciousness which man cultivate merit (puñña)/ wholesomeness (kusala)/ fruition (phala) for leading to safety/ welfare as well as happiness for a long time.
               A brief account of the Teaching of the Buddha additional: Not to do evil (Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ) - to cultivate merit (kusalassa upasampadā). An action illustrates by his moral quality (kusala-kamma) is finally certain to result in happiness and a favourable conclusion.
               It is also clear that the theory of kamma is the theory of cause and effect of action and reaction; it is a natural law: ‘volition (cetanā), O Monks, is what I call action’ (Cetanāhaṃ bhikkhave kammaṃ vadāmi),[14] for through volition man performs the action by body (kāya-kamma), speech (vacī-kamma) or mind (mano-kamma): ‘Beings are owners of their actions (kammassako), heirs of their actions (kammadāyāda); born of their actions, related through their actions, and have their actions as their refuge/ peacemaker. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that they will fall heir / Those actions that distinguish beings as inferior and superior.’[15]                           
               The way leading to the liberation of kamma is an awakening: ‘whatever is the nature of arising, it is the nature of cessation’/ Yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhammaṃ.[16] Turning back to the Buddha’s definition of kamma, man needs to ‘purify his mind’ (Sacittapariyodapanaṃ) out of good and evil, there will be neither arising nor ceasing, there is neither coming nor going:
‘Attanā’va kataṃ pāpaṃ, attanā saṃkilissati.
Attanā akataṃ pāpaṃ, attanā’va visujjhati.
Suddhi asuddhi paccattaṃ, n’āñño annaṃ visodhaye’.
            By oneself, indeed, is evil done; by oneself is one defiled.
            By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself, indeed, is one purified.
            Purity and impurity depend on oneself.  No one purifies another.                       
                                                                                                                 (Dh. 165)
            Quotes the Buddha’s teachings as an example: ‘A disciple of the noble ones/ wise man (paṇḍita) considers he is not the only one who is owner of his actions, heir to his actions, born of his actions, related through his actions, and has his actions as his refuge/ peacemaker; who — whatever he does, for good or for evil, to that will he fall heir: ‘Not in the sky, nor in the middle of the ocean - nor in the cave of a mountain (Na antalikkhe na samuddamajjhe - na pabbatānaṃ vivaraṃ pavissa); nor anywhere else, is there a place - where one may escape from the consequences of an evil deed - (Na vijjatī so jagatippadeso - yatthaṭṭhito mucceyya pāpakammā).[17]
            To the extent/ boundary/ level that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are the owner of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and live dependent on their actions. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.'
‘Yo pāṇaṃ atipāteti, musāvādaṃ ca bhāsati
Loke adinnaṃ ādiyati, paradāraṃ ca gacchati

Surāmerayapānaṃ ca,  yo naro anuyuṃjati
Idh’evaṃ eso lokasmiṃ, mūlaṃ khaṇati attano’
            He who destroys life, tells lies, takes what is not given him, commits adultery and takes intoxicating drinks, digs up his own roots even in this very life.                                                                                                                                                               (Dhp. 246, 247)
            When the man often reflects on this matter (Pāpa), the Factors of the path (majjhimā paṭipadā) / Enlightenment (bojjhaṅga) surely take birth. He sticks/ deposits with that path (Aṭṭhaṅgika Magga); develops / cultivates it (magga). As he sticks/ deposits with that path; develops and cultivates it; the fetters /āsavas / nīvaraṇas… are abandoned, the obsessions (amanussagāha)/ passions (rāga; kāma; āsava) destroyed’.[18]
            At any time when his mind is headed straight, based on virtue, the wise/ noble man (paṇḍita) gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma ‘In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease/ easiness. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.[19]
            For this reason, the wise should have some direction in his life and some control over the sort of events that must be concerned:
Today the effort must be made; 
Tomorrow Death may come. who knows?’[20]
               Frankly to say, the effort must be made here is open the four right efforts (sammā-vāyāma) with the two following essential:
               1/ avoiding (saṃvara-vāyāma) and overcoming (pahāna-vāyāma) unwholesome / demerit / sin / unskilful / bad actions (akusala-mūla).
               2/ developing (bhāvanā-vāyāma) and maintaining (anurakkhaṇa-vāyāma) wholesome / merit / good / skillful / profitable actions (kusala-mūla).

               Consequence, the Four Noble Truths (cattāri ariya-saccāni) are the gerneral frame of the entire teachings of Buddhism, in which may be summarized :
Maggānaṭṭhaṅgiko seṭṭho, saccānaṃ caturo padā;
Virāgo seṭṭho dhammānaṃ, dvipadānañca cakkhumā

The best of Paths is the Eightfold Path
The best of Truths are the Four Noble Truths.
Non attachment is the best of qualities (Nibbāna).
The best of two-footed beings is the Seeing One (the Buddha).
(Dhp. 273)
When a man/ disciple of the Noble ones develops the Ariya Aṭṭhaṅgika Magga (the Noble Eightfold Path), the six remaining sets of principles (bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā)/ Thirty-seven Requisites of Enlightenment, also come to fulfil: 1/ the Four Foundations of Mindfulness/ Awarenesses of Mindfulness (sati-upaṭṭhāna) 2/ the Four Right Efforts (sammappadhāna) 3/ the Four basis of psychic power (iddhipāda) 4/ the Five Spiritual Faculties (indriya) 5/ the Five Mental Powers (bala) 6/ the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhaṅga).
‘Uṭṭhānavato satimato - sucikammassa nisammakārino
            Saññatassa ca dhammajīvino appamattassa yaso' bhivaḍḍhati’.
            If a person is energetic, mindful, pure in his thought, word and deed, and if he does everything with care and consideration, restrains his senses, earns his living according to the Law (Dhamma) and is not unheedful, then, the fame and fortune of that mindful person steadily increase.                   
(Dhp. 24)
The method which the Buddha proposed for this process of ‘Mindful Leadership for Sustainable Peace’ is self-examination/ self-consciousness and realization by each one independently for ‘wakefulness of mind’, with regard to  the well-known simile of the man shot by the poisoned arrow.[21]
His teachings gave due credit to human being for using his common sense to lead a life free from sufferings/ transforming human being thought and guiding his life towards proper conduct of Tisikkhā (three trainings): ‘Svākkhāto Bhagavatā dhammo (well-expounded by the Blessed One is the Dhamma), sandiṭṭhiko (having visible results in the present), akāliko (a timelessly true teaching), ehipassiko (a teaching to come-and-see for oneself), opanāyiko (leading inward from one excellence to another), paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhī’ti (to be realised by the wise, each one for himself)’.[22]  
In the teaching, ‘Qualities of the Dhamma’ make man come to the unique distinguishing feature/ quality of the Buddha’s teachings, its ‘super-mundane’/ ‘world-transcending’ (lokuttara) path to liberation (mutti)/ attain sammāsati (Mindful Leadership). Such method taught human being of the world to live according to the Dhamma/ existing things and behave in the path that he can gain goal knowledge (attha-veda), gains knowledge of dhamma (dhamma-veda), gains gladness connected with the Dhamma (dhammūpasaṃhitaṃ).[23]
The man is now worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world by practising the good conduct (su-paṭipanno), practising the straight conduct (uju-paṭipanno), practising the true conduct (ñāya-paṭipanno), practising the dutiful conduct (sāmīci-paṭipanno).[24] Hence, ‘let not two go the same way. Teach the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing’.[25]
‘No bargain with Mortality, Can keep him and his hordes/ groups away’ [26] is the statement known through the heart of the Buddha’s teaching which lies in the Cattāri Ariyasaccāni (the Four Noble Truths): ‘Both formerly and now, monks, it is only dukkha/ suffering that I describe  and the cessation of dukkha/ suffering’.[27]
On the other hand, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Buddha's first sermon), it is said that: the first truth / truth about dukkha (suffering) is to be fully understood (taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkhaṃ ariya-saccaṃ pariññeyyan’ti); the second truth / dukkhasamudaya (craving) to be abandoned (taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkha-samudayaṃ ariya-saccaṃ pahātabban’ti); the third truth / dukkha-nirodha (Nibbāna) to be realized (taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkha-nirodhaṃ ariya-saccaṃ sacchī-kātabban’ti); the fourth truth / dukkha-nirodha-gāminī-paṭipadā (the path) to be cultivated (taṃ kho panidaṃ dukkha-nirodha-gāminī-paṭipadā-ariya-saccaṃ bhāvetabban’ti).[28]
In brief, man needs to dwell enthusiastically, ceaselessly to cultivate his unmovable faith, unshakable vision and transform/ convert it into the purifying vision of truth/ wisdom for destroying all his defilements:
Whoever lives thus ardently, ceaselessly both day and night - has truly had an auspicious day – He is, the Peaceful Sage (Santo Muni)/ who has one fortunate attachment’.[29]
With his efforts based on the Buddha’s teachings are worthy of his call Mindful Leadership for Sustainable Peace’ / the Seeing One who has had a right mindfulness (sammāsati) / (Mindful Leadership) and is really named ‘Buddhist Approach to Mindful Leadership through An Auspicious Day’.
At last, man should recognize the Truth about life and to control his destiny:
‘Appamādo amatapadaṁ -pamādo maccuno padaṁ
Appamattā na mīyanti - ye pamattā yathā matā’.
‘Heedfulness is the path to the deathless - Heedlessness is the path to death
The heedful do not die - The heedless are like to the dead.’   
(Dhp.21)
 
[1] Sn. 884
[2] M. 131 (Bhaddekaratta sutta)
[3] Ibid
[4] M. III. 136 (Mahākammavibhaga sutta)
[5] M. I, 7 (Vatthūpama sutta) 1. Covetousness and Unrighteous greed (abhijjhā-visamalobha), 2. Ill  will (vyāpāda), 3. Anger (kodha), 4. Revenge/ hostility (upanāha), 5. Contempt (makkha), 6. a domineering attitude (palāsa), 7. Envy (issā), 8. Avarice / stinginess (macchariya), 9. Deceit (māyā), 10. Fraud (sātheyya), 11. Obstinacy (thambha), 12. Presumption (sārambha), 13. Conceit (māna), 14. Arrogance (atimāna), 15. vanity  (mada), 16. negligence (pamāda).
[7] Ibid
[8] Ibid
[9] Ibid
[10] A. III, 1
[11] M. I, 26
[12] M. III, 105
[13] Ibid
[14] A. III, p. 415
[15] M. III, 135 (Cūlakammavibhaṅga)
[16] M. III, p. 280
[17] Dhp. 127
[20] M. III, 131 (Bhaddekaratta sutta)
[21] M. II, 63 (Māluṅkyāputta)
[22] M. I, 7.
[23] Ibid
[24] Ibid
[25] S. 4.453
[26] M. III, 131
[28] S. V, 420
[29] M. III, 131

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