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The continuous practice, the silence and the purity of mind that come from many days, weeks or months of formal residential retreat practice, where most distractions and choices are kept from us, allows the mind to become unfettered by small and great remorse, guilt and/or shame. These freedoms simultaneously feed a momentum towards greater purity and more precise meditative attention. The triad of retreat practice, environment and virtue permits yogis a greater opportunity to investigate and train the mind towards wholesomeness.
As a consequence, for those lay meditating yogis who understand how important virtue is to the progress of our meditation, the choice will often be made to take vows of either the Five or the Eight Precepts (pañca-sīla or attha-sīla) as active tools of trainings in their everyday practices. The lay yogi who takes the Five or Eight Precepts is building a Householder’s Vinaya.
To best understand the core structure of this Precept style of practice, we need to cultivate an attitude that is both specific and general, both disciplined and friendly. For a successful Home Retreat/Home Practice, we need more than simply setting our resolve and then looking at our calendars and muddling ahead. The development of a Householder’s Vinaya must always take its root from applied virtue, as taught in the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Speech,
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Right Action, and Right Livelihood which encompasses the Precepts. When a yogi commits to fulfilling the wholesome intentions of the virtue factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, the exercise in and of itself turns a yogi’s mind/heart towards finding ways to cultivate with skillful means applied sati-sampajañña.
The continuous practice, the silence and the purity of mind that come from many days, weeks or months of formal residential retreat practice, where most distractions and choices are kept from us, allows the mind to become unfettered by small and great remorse, guilt and/or shame. These freedoms simultaneously feed a momentum towards greater purity and more precise meditative attention. The triad of retreat practice, environment and virtue permits yogis a greater opportunity to investigate and train the mind towards wholesomeness.
As a consequence, for those lay meditating yogis who understand how important virtue is to the progress of our meditation, the choice will often be made to take vows of either the Five or the Eight Precepts (pañca-sīla or attha-sīla) as active tools of trainings in their everyday practices. The lay yogi who takes the Five or Eight Precepts is building a Householder’s Vinaya.
To best understand the core structure of this Precept style of practice, we need to cultivate an attitude that is both specific and general, both disciplined and friendly. For a successful Home Retreat/Home Practice, we need more than simply setting our resolve and then looking at our calendars and muddling ahead. The development of a Householder’s Vinaya must always take its root from applied virtue, as taught in the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood which encompasses the Precepts. When a yogi commits to fulfilling the wholesome intentions of the virtue factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, the exercise in and of itself turns a yogi’s mind/heart towards finding ways to cultivate with skillful means applied sati-sampajañña.
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Virtue, Morality (sīla): Is a mode of mind and volition manifested in speech or bodily actions. Karma. It is the foundation of the whole Buddhist practice, and therewith the first of the Three kinds of Training that forms the 3-fold division of the 8-fold path, i.e., morality, concentration, and wisdom. Buddhist Dictionary, Nyanatiloka.

Wisdom (pañña): ‘Understanding, Knowledge, Wisdom, Insight,’ comprise a very wide field. The specific Buddhist Knowledge or wisdom, however, as part of the Noble Eightfold Path to deliverance is Insight, i.e., that intuitive knowledge which brings about the four stages of Holiness and the realization of Nibbānna, and which consists of the penetration of the Impermanency, Misery, and Impersonality of all forms of existence. Buddhist Dictionary, Nyanatiloka.

Papañca: Complication; proliferation, objectification: The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues.

Right Intention (sammā-sankappa): The Noble Eightfold Path. Bhikkhu Bodhi. Chapter Three.

Abbreviations in footnotes: AN: Aṅguttara Nikāya, DN: Dingha Nikāya, MN: Majjhima Nikāya, SN: Saṃyutta Nikāya