Friday, June 11, 2010

The Noble One

Last night, I was invited to marry le Comte de Lis, a French Count. In a dream . . . I woke up thinking about the obvious symbolism of the fleur-de-lis as a sign of nobility. And I started to wonder,  what does it mean exactly, to become noble, particularly within the scope of the Buddha's teachings.

 

From  The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Bikkhu Bodhi's translation, on the noble disciple:

[He] regards material form thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' He regards feelings thus: 'This is not mine this I am not, this is not my self.' He regards perception thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' He regards formations thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' He regards what is seen, heard sensed, cognized, encountered, sought, mentally pondered thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' - Alagadupama Sutta 22.16
Touched by that pleasant feeling, he does not lust after pleasure or continue to lust after pleasure. That pleasant feeling of his ceases. With the cessation of the pleasant feeling, painful feeling arises. Touched by that painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, and lament, he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught. When that pleasant feeling has arisen in him, it does not invade his mind and remain because body is developed. And when that painful feeling has arisen in him, it does not invade his mind and remain because mind is developed.- Mahasaccaka Sutta 36.9
[He] knows what things should be cultivated and what things should not be cultivated, he knows what things should be followed and what things should not be followed. Knowing this, he cultivates things that should be cultivated and does not cultivate things that should not be cultivated, he follows things that should be followed and does not follow things that should not be followed. It is because he does this that unwished for, undesired, disagreeable things diminish for him and wished for, desired, agreeable things increase. Why is that? That is what happens to one who sees.- Mahadhammasamadana Sutta 46.4
[He] does not abide with a mind obsessed and enslaved by identity view; he understands as it actually is the escape from the arisen identity view, and identity view together with the underlying tendency to it is abandoned by him. He does not abide with a mind obsessed and enslaved by doubt . . . by adherence to rules and observances . . . by sensual lust . . . by ill will; he understands as it actually is the escape from the arisen ill will, and ill will together with the underlying tendency to it is abandoned in him.- Mahamalunkya Sutta 64.12
[He] does not regard material form as self, or self as possessed of material form, or material form as in self, or self as in material form. That material form of his changes and becomes otherwise. With the change and becoming otherwise of that material form, his consciousness is not preoccupied with the change of material form. Agitated mental states born of preoccupation with the change of material form do not arise together and remain obsessing his mind. Because his mind is not obsessed, he is not anxious, distressed, and concerned, and due to non-clinging he does not become agitated.- Uddesavibhanga Sutta 138.21 

Which I take to mean in plain English:

Having right view of life's impermanence, 
and not clinging to that which cannot last, 
and not resisting that which will not endure anyway. 

Freeing one self from false notion of rigid I 
who would like to think it is in control, 
and adopting instead view of self as interdependent 
with constantly changing internal and external phenomena, 
and people, and things, and situations.

Letting go of hindrances of doubt, and worry, 
and ill will, and craving, and laziness.

Being noble entails being wise,
and following the Four Noble Truths,
and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Makes perfect sense to me, given little I know of life so far. How could I refuse the inner marriage that was proposed to me?

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