Friday, May 12, 2006

And on this day...

Listening to: silence (yes, still)

Today, I did something I hadn't done in eleven years. My reasons were in part justifiable - my physical condition doesn't allow me to stay in one position for long (i.e. I have to get up and walk around), and that can cause problems when following a set programme with about three thousand other people around you. Now this reason was only valid until I left my junior school. After that, the opportunity never arose. Either that, or I was revising for exams and not really in a mood to wander on down to the temple for an entire day.

Since coming to university, it hasn't been an option either. In my first year, I had lectures. In my second year, it was a week before exams. In my third year, I was in the middle of Design Project. This year, I decided to forget the excuses and actually do it. OK, so there's no temple nearby...but that doesn't matter. Should there be witnesses? Why? Do I not trust myself to adhere to the precepts? I would be my witness. My conscience would guide me through a day of reflection...and revision, of course.

Those of you who are familiar with Buddhist practices in Sri Lanka will probably guess what I'm on about. Observing Sil is a tradition for most practising Theravadan Buddhists: it is a time to focus on our Buddhist way of life and remind ourselves of the path that we walk along. This Access to Insight page can explain The Eight Precepts and the significance of observing Sil better than I can.

So how did I combine religious observances with revision? Well, took the Eight Precepts at about 10am, revised till 11am. Went and got a sandwich and ate that before noon. Back to revision. At about 4.30pm, I was feeling a bit, well, I took my copy of Ven. Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught, and I read a few chapters. Then I went back to revision. Stopped revision at about 5.30pm, read some more of the book, and ended my observance at 6.30pm. I've more ways than one.

You may or may not agree with the teachings of Lord Buddha, and that is your choice. You may or may not consider yourself a Buddhist, and that is also your choice. However, I urge you...if you do agree with His teachings, and if you do consider yourself a Buddhist, observing Attanga Sila is a very rewarding experience. Please don't deny yourself of this experience by making excuses like I have for the past eleven years.

Sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā!

1 comment:

  1. this is pretty impressive. good on ya!! Im afraid I was one of those too lazy and lacking motivation this wesak.


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