Although there are numerous insightful teachings in Buddhism regarding the reality of natural phenomenon and about the minds, but I hereby like to share my views on the three core training, Discipline, Concentration and Wisdom, of Buddhism and its relativity in modern era.
Definition and fundamental concept of discipline can be referred to vary as stated by different scholars in their own school of thoughts and those definitions and conceptual ideas cannot be denied or overlapped by one another. Moreover, definition of Discipline in Buddhism too has its insights which probably may not be applicable in modern era if one tries to generalize to every other definition.
The most conceivable definition of Discipline can be stated as, “Structuring the internal and external behavior accordingly to moral values irrespective of physical environment you are in.” It is always easier for us to be nice and kind in peaceful environment or when you are not disturbed emotionally than in chaotic situation or with disturbed mind. Moreover, to behaving altruistically will be more challenging when you are with people who are with negative attitude on ethical values. Discipline is in fact, internal character and it is very much needed at any course of life to bring peace and satisfaction to self and to others around. For instance, a student must internally discipline himself to study and behave better in the absence of teacher and that quality is more important than the information he learns from prescribed text books or behavior expressed in conformity.
Second training is concentration and can be defined as “Maintaining the focus on set goal and determined to achieve it without diverting the interest.” Concentration, in fact, is a force that let us finish any work successfully. It is needed in everything that we do or say. Words spoken without concentration or action performed without concentration can probably be menace or unacceptable as the result will not always be fruitful. But, in exceptional case, some works can be done without much concentration. For instance, walking on the ground and thinking about future. In such cases, we should always ask ourselves a question, will such action pay good result? Probably not! In contrary, such action will give you more risk of being hurt or disturbed emotionally and physically as well.
The third teaching is wisdom and I personally consider it as the most important among all. Wisdom can be defined as, “an ability to simplify anything.” We are bound to acquire more and more information about the things around in this modern education system. Besides, our capability and strength are also measured by the quantity of information we have stored in our mind. Sadly, but true, many capable people with poor memory are left behind in this modern world and only informed minds are ruling the world. I believe that such informed mind cannot always be the right person to hold the position of leader if he lacks in wisdom to simplify his information to put into practice. As saying goes, “there is big gap between Idealistic and realistic world.” Informed mind can only be practical mind with the help of wisdom.
These three training of mind can be explained from whole different angle with much more effective examples but I believe, probably, the core meaning of these concepts will remain similar. These training seem the stair cases for success as one lays the foundation for another and so on. Let’s think about a particular action to be done successfully and how these training of mind are needed in it. Let’s say, writing a letter. One must initially discipline himself to decide the time and place to write the letter. If his mind is not disciplined then he will procrastinate and he shall not able to start it. Secondly, once he decided to start his work, he must concentrate on his work to do it well. If he loses his concentration while he is writing, he will neither complete nor do it correctly. Finally, while writing his letter, he must have wisdom to simplify the contents to write it systematically or meaningfully. We often hurt others unintentionally because of lack of wisdom. So wisdom eventually decides what has to be written and how it has to be expressed.
In conclusion, these three training can be applied in any field to attain better output but, unlike concrete things, these training cannot be visually observed. The effects of these training can be observed only by being mindful on self while you are doing some action. You can certainly realize the value and importance of these training if you focus of how our mind affects our action.
- Dorjee Gyaltsen