Joseph Goldstein teaches us to manifest our intentions of goodwill and loving-kindness through wholesome actions.
This 2004 recording was originally published on Dharma Seed.
Walk the Walk
To begin this episode, Joseph describes how we need to walk the walk. We should not only do our mantras and set beautiful intentions. Instead, we should express these intentions with our actions and bring all that we learn from mindfulness into the world. Joseph reads us a segment of the Dhammapada and we reflect on wholesome actions and integrity.
“It is very important to re-articulate the need for personal integrity and personal responsibility so we don’t simply get lost in our own desires and impulses.” – Joseph Goldstein
Ethics in Buddhism (12:09)
We talk about the first unwholesome action of the body which is killing. The Buddha says quite explicitly to not kill or harm other beings. Joseph says that sometimes Buddha feels like a kindergarten teacher to him because his teachings seem so obvious and juvenile. Yet, this is pervasive in our world so we must need to hear the teaching. If we practiced simple ethics such as this, the world would be a much more loving place. We can not always be perfectly ethical; for example, we may have to exterminate carpenter ants from our home. However, we can still be sure to act from a place of appropriateness and compassion. We go on to discuss stealing, sexual misconduct, and other unwholesome actions.
For another talk on ethics check out Ep. 71 of The Road Home: Finding a Teacher, Becoming a Teacher
Loss and Grief (49:40)
Joseph Goldstein discusses the Buddha’s instruction about letting go of sorrow. Loss and Grief are two distinct things. Joseph Goldstein says that grief is the non-acceptance of loss. Perhaps, if we open to the feeling of loss with acceptance, this would lessen our grief. This is different than avoidance. We can be present with our feelings and where we are in the process of loss without trying to fight against it.
Self-Worth and Wrong View (58:12)
We all have the potential for awakening. Believing that we are not worthy is damaging. Joseph explores how this way of thinking is actually what Buddhism calls an unwholesome action of the mind known as wrong view. Do not decieve yourselves with these negative self-thoughts. The more we believe in ourselves and others, the more we practice right view. By doing so we plant seeds of positivity.
“If we plant a seed, the seed is going to bear fruit. Each of our actions will bear fruit. What kind of fruit to we want?” – Joseph Goldstein