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Contents of Precepts of the Gurus - 1st Seminar

by Sangharakshita

Sangharakshita in Seminar

Section One: The Ten Causes of Regret

[Text to be found in A Buddhist Bible’ edited by Dwight Goddard,
published by Harrap, London, 1956 (Also published by Beacon Press, 1970).]


1 'The Ten Causes of Regret' are read out
3 The Freedoms and the Endowments
The Four Freedoms from fetters within human existence:
The 1st freedom: freedom from ‘Firmly holding wrong views, such as Atheism, Nihilism, or
disbelief in the law of cause and effect'.
4 'Atheism' as disbelieving the possibility of the attainment of Enlightenment
5 You cannot make people respond to you (or Enlightenment) - they have to do that themselves
What are wrong views?
6 The 2nd freedom: freedom from 'birth in a totally non religious or barbaric land'.
Culture and the nature of culture
8 The 3rd freedom: 'freedom from birth in a land where no Buddhist Dharma is taught.
The 4th freedom: 'freedom from birth as a demented or mute person
9 The Four Freedoms from non-human types of birth - in the hell realm, preta realm, animal
realm and deva realm.
10 Deva realms. What distinguishes FWBO people from hippies?
11 What motivates one to lead a spiritual life?
A Deva-like existence, for a short while, has its place
12 Is it better to run away (from the difficulties of the mundane world) than to succumb to them?
Hippies again.
13 Attitudes towards pleasure - not to be puritanical and not to be hedonistic.
The realms seen subjectively and objectively
16 Bhante's vision of a new Buddhist Movement on his return to Britain
Mind over matter
18 The Ten Endowments:
The Five Personal Endowments
20Sanghabheda - causing a schism in the Sangha
Sanghabheda as a positive division of the Sangha
21 Making oneself felt and being an Individual
22 Order Days and what to report-in
25 The heinousness of killing one's father or mother
Killing an Arahant
25 Does one have to be a human to gain Enlightenment?
26 Buddha-seeds in the different realms
27 Having respect for the three baskets of the Dharma (Tripitaka)
The Five Personal Endowments as a sign of the ideal Mitra
The Five Circumstantial Endowments:
The presence of a Buddha in the time in which one lives
The presence of the Dharma
The flourishing of the practise of the Dharma
28 The existence of the Spiritual Community
Having a Kalyana Mitra
Making good use of one's opportunities
The fine balance between not compromising one's spiritual ideals and not discouraging
people - especially newcomers
34 Not to generalise about the whole Order based on experience of one or two Order members
The Kali-yuga - the age of darkness
35 The Three Ages of the Dharma
36 The 'New Age' or the 'Aquarian Age'
37 Historicism
People are not more interested in spiritual life today than they were in previous centuries!
40 The Axial 'Age'?
Buddhist development in China, Japan and Tibet
41 Nichiren
42 The FWBO being misunderstood by calling itself 'Buddhist'
43 Are any other Buddhists actually Buddhists?!
No Tibetans in the West before the Chinese invasion - why?
45 What is the 'Dharmakaya'
Things that get in between us as we are now and Stream Entry
The Four Right Efforts
50 What does one do when you feel dull and flat and need inspiration?
52 Are parties or alcoholic drinks helpful?
Why, broadly speaking, the Metta Bhavana is more important than the Mindfulness of
54 Illusions. The Viparyasas
58 Very little room for adventure in the mundane world
59 The 'Friends' starting light industrial Right Livelihood projects
61 The fear of being converted to Buddhism or other 'philosophy'
62 Separation from the guru
63 No 'personality cult' of Bhante in the FWBO
64 Is it possible to gain Enlightenment in one lifetime nowadays?
65 Should Bhante appear in person at things more often?
Not to underestimate the importance of personal contact
69 You can't organize the artists!
Religious faith and vows
70 Commitment
Uncontrollable passions
72 Making and breaking vows
73 Making positive vows
75 Celibacy and chastity
79 'Grace' or blessing - Adhisthana and Abhisekha - ritual empowerment
82 What is a 'Tantric' initiation?
84 Hindu and Tibetan Tantra
85 The Classical and the Romantic
86 Italian Catholicism and its similarities with Paganism
88 Not the neglect the arts in the FWBO
89 Not all music has a skilful effect on the listener
What is 'Pagan'?
90 The need for energy in one's spiritual life
92 Is the Sevenfold Puja too advanced for the FWBO?
94 Working out a positive version of the fifth precept
95 What does 'Namo Nama' mean
'Male' and 'Female' energy?
99 Selling the doctrine like merchandise
Not charging for meditation classes
103 Milton and Cromwell
Do not exploit your Centre Chairman!
105 Ways of developing metta towards all beings
All beings having been our mother or our father
106 Expressing gratitude
109 Hardy's novel 'The Woodlanders'
111 Not wasting the 'prime of youth'
114 The miccha-ditthi of needing lots of worldly experience as a stage of on the spiritual path
115 Positive counterparts of 'worldly life' in the FWBO

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