The Monk’s Eight Quibbles Laziness

Update: 26/03/2015
The monk with initial determination to seek enlightenment is normally diligent and put mindfulness in controlling his both mind and body.

The Monk’s Eight Quibbles Laziness


In part he concerns the careless mistakes that are blamed by master and other brothers and he does not know how to rectify correctly; so he tries to learn how to adapt the new environment.

 Another part is the power of the initial mind that can help him get easily the monkhood and practice studiously. However, after a long time, he is acquainted with everything then the monotonous work makes him feel boring and the loose just arises. Furthermore, the aspirations which was made before now become too far and illusion. The present enlightened idea is too different in comparison with the idea of initial mind. On the other hand, the initial ideal almost declined now and the tiredness, wandering, laziness in mind gradually showed. It’s the general psychology from the monk who has lost their initial mind. In Zen there is a common sentence “In the first year of practice Buddha is inside, outside in the second year and totally disappears in the third year”.

This is the same case with the secular life. The daughter-in-law in the beginning is always in self-consciousness of her duty, does everything kindly and quickly, often worries about the speech, parents’ and brother’s  consideration, and is careful in every move, hence she finishes her works well. She  seems to be newer, more graceful However, â€œtoo much familiarity breeds contempt”, the girl no longer cares for everything but herself; since, she becomes a lazy and loose woman.

 Therefore Buddha advices the monk should maintain their attitude like the daughter-in-law of the beginning stage during the whole life.

 The neglect and laziness not only come to above cases but whenever, as long as enough combinable condition. Buddha had mentioned the eight quibble laziness of the monk in Aguttara Nikaya:

1. I have something to do: it means when we are going to do something, the laziness will come and arising reason: take a rest is requisite to keep the health for working tomorrow.

2. I had done something: take a rest after working is necessary, we still have other time for cultivation, no need to make every effort.

3. I’ll go somewhere: rest to save energy for the trip.

4. I had gone somewhere: take a rest after a tired trip.

5. Did not get the desired food from almsgiving: deficient food lead to tired out and exhausted, take a rest to recover energy. 

6. Get desired food from almsgiving: desired food makes full up and full is difficult to work and cultivate, wait until hungry to do it.

7. Get minor illness: take good care by rest to prevent from serious illness.

8. Serious ill had just overcome: because illness just gets over, rest to get the really well, cultivation will be later.

 These eight cases above are considered as legitimate reasons for monk to rest. However, in a deeply regard they are the eight deeply implicitness of laziness.

 Buddha has given the eight ways out to rescue the monk from getting stuck in the laziness:

1. If we have to do something tomorrow, raise thinking in our mind: we’ll busy with it tomorrow and will be out of cultivation, we should try to do it today.

2. If our work had been done, raise thinking that we were busy yesterday with no any cultivation, it should be redeemed today.

3. Tomorrow we have to go somewhere, raise thinking in our mind: we should put more effort in cultivation to compensate for business tomorrow.

4. Finish a long trip, should raise thinking: the long trip make us be out of cultivation, now it finishes we should do it.

5. Did not get desire food (or get less food), raise thinking: less food makes a light body and the practice will be easier.

6. Get desire food or enough food, should raise thinking: the more desire food we get, the more effort in cultivation we put to avoid getting into debt the alms-giver.

7. Get minor illness, raise thinking: did not get serious illness try to sit in meditation, if get heavy illness, we can’t do it.

8. The serious disease already overcome, raise thinking: we didn’t do any cultivation during the sick time, now we get well try to do it.

 Through this teaching, we realize that Buddha doesn’t put difficulties to monk and practitioners. In fact, he knows inside the human feeble, it is easy to get corrupt willing and ignorance by the impact of situation. Furthermore, laziness is considered as a serious and chronic disease, always is implicit in our mind, waiting for chance to appear; therefore, Buddha cautions and advises that we should carefully observe everything by reason to prevent lazy emergence. In addition, the laziness not only comes within these cases but in other cases. Buddha’s intention is to advise keeping the mindfulness from the expansion of tiredness and laziness in mind, learn how to adapt in every environment but in full of awakening, identify and control the evolving of bad mental factors and don’t waste of time. In addition, we should patiently live in high endure to get close liberation.

 For us it’s difficult to determine exactly and honestly the rest-time for ourselves. Normally, we always misuse the time, find some reason to excuse working, neglect cultivation, please the impermanent body.

 To progress in cultivation we can’t accept laziness. In the opposite, we must use the sword of wisdom to cut every tie which controlled by ignorance that wraped us in  deep lazy base . Like that, the effort will be got back and then we will step by step to the gate of freedom­ or Nirvana and repay aspiration of our great master before entering Maha-nirvana: “Put the most effort to gain everlasting liberation”

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