Chapter 12. The Threefold Training (Trisikkha)

The Threefold Training (Trisikkha)


Moralise.. our discipline..  Strengthen.. our mindfulness..  
Sharpen.. our wisdom..  These are the Threefold Training in Buddhism.
(Pittaya Wong)


The Threefold Training or Trisikkha is the key teaching in Buddhism which can be subcategorized further into the Noble Eightfold Path which is the ‘heart’ of Buddhism.  

The Threefold Training comprises of:

(i)  Moral Discipline (Sila)

(ii) Mindfulness, Mental Calm & Focus (Samadhi), and

(iii) Wisdom (Panna)

In general, moral discipline is about precept observance for our thought, speech, and action whereas mental concentration or focus is the development of our mind which leads to mental calm.  Lastly, wisdom promotes good knowledge and understanding about Buddhist teaching, life, and the Existence.

The three trainings should be applied into practice for our wholesome daily living, starting from Moral Discipline which creates a good foundation for Mindfulness (Mental Calm & Focus), which eventually yield effective Wisdom.

According to our Dhammonomic equation on the Threefold Training,

Wholesomeness =

(Moral Discipline + Mindfulness + Wisdom) > (Lust + Anger + Delusion)

The equation shows the relativity of doctrine in such a way that the Threefold Training namely Moral Discipline, Mindfulness, and Wisdom have the opposing disvirtues namely Lust, Anger, and Delusion whose quality are the direct opposite.  In the same manner, Lust, Anger, and Delusion can be subcategorized further into many more disvirtues in details. 

Thus, in order to maintain the ‘Wholesomeness’ in our mind, our virtues (the Threefold Training) must be greater than the disvirtues.  

Moral Discipline (sila) develops our Behavioral Quotient
Meditation (Samadhi) develops our Emotional Quotient
Wisdom (panna) develops our Intelligence Quotient
Altogether, they enable our enlightenment experience.  
(Pittaya Wong)

The explanation about the Threefold Training, so far, is in term of practice.  However, the concept of Threefold Training can be explained further in the sublime level of meditative state.  And we express this phenomena with our main diagram where the three circles of Moral Discipline, Mindfulness, and Wisdom, overlap each other.

The importance of this diagram is that when the Moral Discipline and Wisdom are in the meditative state, they become the Sublime Moral Discipline (Adhi-Sila) and Sublime Wisdom (Adhi-Panna).  Most of all, when the Mindfulness or Mental Calm & Concentration develops on Sublime Moral Discipline and Sublime Wisdom as well as developing itself into the meditative state, it becomes Sublime Mind (Adhi-Citta).  These are purely superlative mental qualities or state of mind occurring in meditation.

By Pittaya Wong

7 August 2018