Trudy Goodman – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 121 – Śīla: A Way To Love

Trudy offers clear and flowing insight into how the Buddha’s concept of sīla –virtue, ethics – fits into the Noble Eightfold Path, as well as our daily lives.  

In this Dharma Talk from May 4th, 2009 at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center Yucca Valley Spring Retreat, Trudy Goodman explores sīla as a way to love. After sharing how it fits into the Noble Eightfold Path, she reflects on Yoga Sutras, shining mindful awareness, receptivity and leaning back, compassion and wisdom, the Dalai Lama and humility, sexual energy and love making in relation to awakening, and the rewards and blessings of sīla.

This Dharma Talk by Trudy Goodman was originally published on
The Noble Eightfold Path // Śīla as a Way to Love

Harkening Buddha’s Dharma Talks in settings like Vulture Peak and Mango Grove, Trudy elucidates how the Buddhist concept of sīla is pivotal and foundational to the Noble Eightfold Path. Translating sīla as virtue, ethics, goodness, and integrity, she investigates the 3 Aspects of sīla: the sīla of restraint, the sīla of cultivation, and the adhisīla of integrity. From here, she shares moving stories reflecting on sīla as a way to love.

“Sila—which is translated as virtue, ethics, goodness, integrity—is the cornerstone on which the Noble Eightfold Path rests. The practice of Sila is defined by the middle three parts of the Eightfold Path: wise livelihood, wise speech, and wise conduct. That covers how we behave in all that circumstances of our life, how we are. It’s about how to be, how to act, how to behave, in ways that bring us happiness.” – Trudy Goodman

Jack Kornfield explores sila as ‘uprightness of heart,’ on Ep. 161 of Heart Wisdom
Yoga Sutras // Sila & Mindfulness // Receptivity & Leaning Back (16:30)

Trudy reads illuminating yoga sutras, translated by friend and colleague, Dr. Lorin Roche, which accentuate sīla as pointing us towards the clear and shining place of mindful awareness within our beings. Exploring non-self in relation to control and change, she reflects on how practice and guidance can help us access our sincere openness and intention. She then explores generosity and gratitude, desire and receptivity, the thinking mind as a thief of the present moment, and leaning back when you experience acute craving.

“Sila points us to the clear and shining place of mindful awareness. I know sometimes it’s incredibly murky and unclear, but we can find that clear and shining place anytime we’re just a little bit mindful about ourselves.” – Trudy Goodman

For more Trudy on sila as a pillar of practice & happiness, tune into Ep. 18 of the Guest Podcast
Compassion & Wisdom // The Dalai Lama & Humility // Sexual Energy & Awakening (31:08)

Relaying how compassion and wisdom are not personal commodities to accrue or gain, Trudy reads a passage highlighting how the humility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama brings about happiness in the same way Buddha brought peace with his presence wherever he wandered. From here, she explores sexual energy and love-making through the lens of spirituality and awakening. To close, she shares a discourse between Buddha and Ananda on the reward and blessing of sīla.

“The Buddha is still offering his bowl to us with these teachings of sila, samadhi, prajna, and his expression of compassion and generosity—giving freely and showing us how we too can give freely of ourselves for the benefit of all life. This brings happiness – it’s actually one of the greatest joys that a human being can have.” – Trudy Goodman 

Photo via Benjavisa Ruangvaree Art