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The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, Volume 2


Ethical discipline is an attitude of abstention that turns your mind away from harming others and from the sources of such harm. Therefore, you bring about the perfection of ethical discipline by progressively increasing your habituation to this attitude until you reach completion. However, it is not the case that you bring the perfection of ethical discipline to completion in the external world by establishing beings in a state free of all harm. Otherwise, since there are still living beings who are not free from harm, the conquerors who visited in the past would absurdly not have completed the perfection of their ethical discipline and would therefore also not be able to guide these beings to freedom from harm. Hence, whether all living beings in the external world are freed or not freed from harm makes no difference in this context; the practice of ethical discipline is just the habituation within your own mind to the attitude of abstention which turns away from harm to these beings.


From The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, edited by Joshua W. C. Cutler and Guy Newland, translated by Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, ©2004 Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications Inc., Boston, MA.

This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. For more information on the published version, visit Shambhala Publication's Website.

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