Verse 1
SN 143

One who is skilled...

In Verses 1 - 3.5 the Buddha describes the basic virtue , the ethical qualities to be cultivated.

What different responses do these different phrases evoke in you: “You should do this…;” “You must do this…;” “This is to be done if…?” Does the change of idiom make a difference to your openness to the message that follows?

How do you generally regard the presense of well-being or goodness in your life? Is it something that one gets if one is lucky? Does it come and go according to factors beyond your control? Is the sutta’s suggestion that it is a skill to be learned something you can relate to, or does it sound unrealistic?

What can you recollect or point to in your own experience that might correspond in some way to a “state of peace” or a “condition of calm?” What do such moments feel like? What causes and conditions are generally present when you experience them? What might it take to encourage and develop these conditions in your life?

Reflect upon each of the six virtues or qualities mentioned in the last lines. Can you get a good sense of what each one means and feels like as distinct from the others? In what ways do these qualities overlap with one another; in what ways are they clearly distinct?


From these translations, pick out the words and points that seem most important to you and use them to create your own translation. You can keep all your translations in your course journal:

Listening to this verse

London Buddhist Vihara —
Ven. Saddhatissa

Washington Vihara — Sri Lankan devotional style

Dhamma Ruan, Lankan boy

Buddhist Missionary Society, Malaysia

Bikkhus from Wat Saket, Bangkok

Nuns from
Amaravati
Monaastery

Nuns from
Amaravati
Monaastery

- English -