Just thinking about morality; something which is of greatest benefit to oneself living in this world. It rarely occurs to most of us, I should think, that we could truly end up as a dog sitting out on a porch at night scratching fleas (yes, there's a dog on my porch tonight). But the smallest deed bears karmic potency, if accompanied by intention, for, at the least, it will mould our character into the future. If we accumulate enough dog-like traits we might join "Luuk Dtaan" (sugar baby?) the dog they dropped off on my porch.
For this reason, they say, "paapakamma.m naameta.m appakanti naavama~n~nitabba.m" - "verily, that deed which is evil should not be looked down upon as 'small'."
But tonight I was specifically thinking of the good benefits of a moral norm, for oneself and one's society. Siilena sugati.m yanti - by morality they go to a good destination. Siilena bhogasampadaa - by morailty they come to possess wealth. Siilena nibbuti.m yanti - by morality they go away from suffering. Indeed how much suffering is avoided through simple morality! If we could make it a norm in our world, there would be no more suffering.
But, of course, true morality is not a simple determination, vow or promise; it is a quality of the heart - abstinence through wisdom, which in turn necessitates meditation, an establishing of the mind in the present moment again, and again, until that too becomes a norm. "When one sees with wisdom that all formations are impermanent... unsatisfying... uncontrollable, and becomes disenchanted in regards to things which bring only suffering, this is the path to purity." It is only by training the heart in clear vision, moment to moment, that true morality can be reached. For this we practice; may we practice together, everyone!