Sunday, January 1, 2017

practicing high blessing 1

Sutta Nipāta: the Maṅgla Sutta  258, 259
Many gods and many humans
Have thought a lot about blessings,
Wishing for profound well-being.
—Tell us the highest of blessings;

Not consorting with the foolish,
Consorting only with the wise,
And honoring the honorable.
—This is the highest of blessings.

The basics of a good life begin with knowing what and who to pay attention to.
Who are the wise and the honorable?
Am I a good companion? Wise? Honorable?

The Buddha advised good companions, kindness to all, of course. But we need to make careful selection of who we 'live' with. Every interaction matters. Our minds are highly impressionable, taking in whatever is around us before we have even a chance to decide if we will be exposed. In fact, the most powerful impacts are usually unnoticed, powerful because they are unnoticed. With attention we can choose what to foster and what to dismiss.  We are not as separate as we think we are, but we can tip the balance toward wise and honorable by making choices about what influences we intentionally foster.