In Theravada Buddhism, it is taught that Bhavana (Mental Development) has Five Conducive Conditions:-
1 Suitable Accommodation
2 Equable Climate
3 Agreeable Food
4 Agreeable Company
5 Hearing the Dhamma
These conditions are powerful supports for a devotee when striving to attain dhamma.
The Theravadin Buddhist Practice begins with Taking Refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha and the Five Precepts. This Buddhist practice may develop a Knowledge of Sila (Morality) through to Samadhi (Concentration), and Panna (Wisdom).
Theravadin Buddhist Practice is not just about sitting in isolated Meditation, and being a full-time practitioner of the Dhamma. The Householders are advised to go to the Vihara to listen to the Ordained Sangha chanting the Scriptures. Theravada Buddhism may also be known as The Hearers' Vehicle.
Theravada Buddhism is vast, it is not necessary for the Householder to complete an intellectual survey of the whole Canon.
Buddhist Householders are required to be in paid employment as a means to Right Livelihood. The development and maintenance of professional skills can take up a vast amount of a person's time.
The issue of lying involves the kind of company one keeps. Agreeable company means that one needs to discriminate between true friends and false friends. Being compromised by so-called friends is not exactly friendly, especially if they are using the questions as an inquisition of your faith.
The Singala Sutta was intended for Householders. It includes a Teaching on how to discriminate between False Friends and True Friends by learning how to observe behaviour.
Volition is silent and cannot be heard.
An artful person becomes skilful in controlling his speech and facial expressions when being deceitful. But, he is signed by his behaviour. False friends are artful.
A true friend means what he says, his yes means yes and his no means no. He is also signed by his behaviour.
Taking Refuge in the Triple Gem and Taking the Five Precepts gives protection to the Theravadin Buddhist with regard to all of the issues taught in this Sutta, helps the meditator to develop.
While I have many flaws, I consider myself ,an honest person. The only time I would lie, is if the truth would cause real pain, and there, was no compelling reason to to be totally honest.
Without faith in the Triple Gem, it is not possible to practise the Dhamma.
To defer to the Triple Gem under the trying circumstance of compulsively telling lies calls for an act of faith.
Theravada Buddhism teaches that these four things are rare:
1 The Arising of a Buddha
2 Human Birth
3 Having faith in the Buddha's Teaching and ordaining as a Bhikkhu
4 Having faith to practise meditation.
For Buddhist Householders, it is auspicious to meet with the Ariya Sangha and receive the Dhamma.
In Theravada Buddhism, there are two kinds of person:
1 The Ariyas (Monks and Householders) 2 The Puthujjanas (Monks and Householders)
The Ariyas are those who have realised one of Eight Stages of Holiness, and are supramundane.
The Puthujjanas are worldly human beings, any monk or householder who has not reached any of the eight stages of holiness. Puthujjanas are mundane.
To defer to the Triple Gem by taking refuge transfers the responsibility for one's moral protection. Therefore, it destroys the conceit that 'Ego is the best judge of circumstances'. But, it does not transfer one's responsibility for questioning the Dhamma, nor developing one's Faith so that it is rooted and reasoned in understanding. Practice is under the guidance of a Qualified Teacher of the Dhamma.
The Qualified Teacher is a guide, someone who knows the Whole Path to Nibbana.
The Dhamma is infallible but the Ego is fallible. The Dhamma is grounded in perfect wisdom but the Ego is not. The Buddha taught that whoever sees the Dhamma sees him.
After his demise, the Buddha advised people to take the Dhamma as their Teacher. The Dhamma does not Teach people to tell lies, it Teaches people to abstain from telling lies.
Telling lies is an act of defilement which is eradicated by sytematically Taking Refuge and the Five Precepts every day. Every time a meditator performs this meditation, she develops merit.
In Theravada Buddhism, it is normal practice to share merit with all beings, with this formula:
'May all beings live in peace and harmony,
May all beings be happy.'
In Theravada Buddhism, there is a compelling reason to be honest, for without a Truthful Mind, the realisation of Nibbana is impossible.
I read your post, and it gave me pause to reflect on my own experience. Do I lie to myself, my heart in the telling of an untruth? Hmm. Would I intentionally hurt myself or someone else? Why? There are many, many paradox to turn us back to our inner world and guide us. No one else is accountable for us, than us. Just breathe, you already know the answer to your question.
Just breathe, you already know the answer to your question.
There are basically two ways of carrying out breathing meditation:
1 Without Mindfulness on In-and-Out-breathing
2 With Mindfulness of In-and-Out-breathing
If one is sitting and just breathing in and out without paying attention to the breath, then this is not Buddhist Meditation, because nothing is happening.
Listening to the 'inner voice' is okay but only up to a point. Eventually, one becomes aware that the voice has Atta, and is just another Ego that one is grasping at, either as God or some other deity. But it is all just personality belief, which is eradicated by real Buddhist Meditation.
Anapanasati means 'Mindfulness of In-breathing and Out-breathing'. This Buddhist practice is used both in Samatha Meditation, and for Vipassana Meditation and is best carried out under the supervision of a qualified Buddhist Teacher.
The Eightfold Noble Path is in Three Categories: Sila, Samadhi, and Panna. But the whole process of Theravadin Buddhist Practice is actually in Four Categories:
Sila (Morality), Samadhi (Concentration), Panna(Wisdom), Vimutti (Liberation).
These are the Four Dhammas that totally eradicate all wrong views.
Telling lies arises from Wrong View.
But, where does the Theravadin Buddhist practice begin?
It actually beings with one of the Ten Perfections developed by the Buddha: Dana, alms giving. The person who gives alms will bestow a fourfold Blessing:
1 Long Life
2 Good Appearance
And in return will receive a Fivefold Blessing:-
1 The Affection of Many
2 Noble Association
3 Good Reputation
5 Heavenly Rebirth
Offering Dana (food, robes, etcetera) to the Bhikkhus is a fundamental virtue which suppresses greed and selfishness (ego belief).
Offering Dana is the First Kind of Meritorious Activity (Development of Good Kamma)
The Development of Sila is the Second Kind of Meritorious Activity (Development of Good Kamma)
The Development of Bhavana is the Third Kind of Meritorious Activity (Development of Good Kamma).
Bhavana means Mental Development. There are two kinds of Bhavana:
1 Samatha-Bhavana - The Development of Tranquillity
2 Vipassana-Bhavana - The Development of Insight
The Dhammapada is the Way of the Dhamma, the first two verses make it clear that to follow the Way of the Dhamma, one must discriminate between those Volitions which develop Good Kamma and those Volitions which develop Evil Kamma.
The actual practice of Theravada Buddhism begins with Dana and Sila. One develops Three Kinds of Knowlege in this way:
Intellectual Understanding of Dana and Sila
Practical Understanding of Dana and Sila.
Penetration of Dana and Sila - only this final stage of Development can be considered to be Right View of Dana and Sila.
Beginners Stage: If one has Right View of Dana and Sila, there is no need to practise. In this case, the beginner would be perfect in his practices of Dana and Sila. He would be unflinching in his charitable giving and he would practise the Five Precepts perfectly. This would also include Refraining From Lying.
Most beginners do not have Right View of Dana and Sila and it can take up to 25 years to develop this Stage of the Path. The actual practice is simple and it is not complicated. But, like most simple things, it is very hard to put into practice.
Without this Development in Dana and Sila, sitting and breathing will not be of much value regarding the Way of Theravada Buddhism.
if you are in touch with your own conscience, you know what a lie is.
you need no outer definition.
Definitions are for lawyers and academics and scammers who want an excuse to do as they please without being subject to any moral constraints.
The more we practice the spiritual life, the better off we are. And through that practice, all morality comes to us naturally and spontaneously. That is a higher path because it is direct. Discussing what a lie is or what a truth is...is an abstraction from the truth, not the truth itself.
Living a life of truth is what teachs us what a lie is and what our duty to honesty is.