Meditation is part of the three-fold path that breaks down into Right Effort, Right Concentration and Right Mindfulness, three of the limbs of the eight-fold path.
But before we can begin to dip our toes fully into these three limbs, we do need to be aware of our ethical life. If we are struggling in our meditation, if we are having frequent outbursts of reactivity, irritation, resentment, anger and / or craving, then, as my teacher Sangharakshita said, we must pay attention to our ethical life.
This makes sense! What we do off the cushions we will bring onto the cushions, and what we do on the cushions we will bring off
When exploring our ethical life, we have to get honest. If we want to move beyond just dwelling in nice intoxicating blissful states, we have to become aware of what is going on in our life. Are we doing something that we shouldn’t be doing? That, if we were caught, would have ramifications for our family and for our lives? Are we harming ourselves or others with some of our unskilful actions? Are we taking things from work, with the that attitude nobody will notice? Are we having secret affairs? Are we gossiping, slandering someone, speaking harshly? Are we indulging in intoxicants?
Yes, you will recognize the five training principles to help train the mind. And it’s through this training of the mind, that we begin to meditate informally.It’s through this training that meditation becomes part of the fabric of our lives, rather than something we do daily for 20 minutes on our cushion.
Don’t waste any more time. Let the training principles become the landscape of your mind. Go to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refuge. The flowering of these actions will be an ethical life, and a life full of meditation.