This meditation is for life, no need to hurry
Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary, Taiping, Perak,
June 16, 2013
Transcription and editing by Chiu Sheng Bin
Check your mind, what is the mind knowing? Naturally the mind knows the object. When you are mindful, when you are aware, you can see this process happening. Object and mind, object and mind; they are happening at their sense door/every sense door all the time. If you are aware, you can see this process, you can know that it is happening.
Don’t forget a yogi’s job, a yogi’s responsibility: only 3 things. Whatever happens, you must have the right view – right view means whatever happens, you must think as nature.
Seeing process is nature, seeing is happening. Hearing is happening. Seeing process, hearing process; this is a process. They are happening their way, their cause and effect. Cause and effect process is just nature.
Without sound, you cannot hear. Because there is a mind, we can know the sound. This is a conditioning. Seeing consciousness, hearing consciousness is happening because of conditioning. There must be object, light, attention and also the eye must be good, then these 4 causes happening, because of these 4 causes then 1 eye consciousness can happen.
This is conditioning. Seeing process is happening; hearing process is happening. If any one of these 4 causes is not happening, then seeing consciousness or hearing consciousness cannot happen. It is cause and effect process.
When we hear and see, we think that hearing is me and seeing is me. We believe it is me. This is wrong view. Actually it is conditioning – just that seeing process is happening and hearing process is happening. You should think that it’s nature; so, you must have right view.
Everything is experience or object, there is nobody there. It is impersonal. Because we think it is “I” and take what is impersonal as personal, then defilement can arise – liking and disliking, fear, anxiety, worry – because of concept or wrong view. So, you must have right view. This is understanding.
Wisdom must be present followed by awareness, right view first and awareness is second, third is effort. Right effort is maintaining awareness continuously moment by moment. Don’t give up. You do again, again and again; moment by moment you try to maintain awareness. That is right effort.
You must be aware continuously. If you are not aware continuously then defilement becomes involved and our good quality of mind cannot gain momentum.
Nature of the mind is happening and gone, happening and gone. If you allow good quality of mind to happen moment by moment again and again, then the quality of mind becomes better and better. Same with bad quality of mind. The mind is rising and passing away. But the first mind gives the energy/quality to the next mind ; so, if you allow the first mind to give to the second mind, to the third mind, then the next mind becomes more powerful, stronger and stronger. We call this parami.
The mind is rising and passing away. Wholesome or unwholesome mind, if they happen repeatedly, the quality becomes stronger and stronger. Therefore you need to practice continuously. Allow this awareness, samadhi and wisdom to arise again, again and again.
So there are the 3 yogi’s jobs:
- First, to have right view, i.e. don’t forget to think as nature.
- Second, you need to have awareness – in the present moment be aware.
- Third, maintain that awareness moment by moment.
To have right view, you must have intelligence/wisdom. There are 3 types of wisdom nature.
First, we must have right knowledge, right information. Knowledge is power because it is some kind of understanding. Because of knowledge, we have right information, we can think the right way.
2nd is intelligence. Everybody has natural wisdom/intelligence/ understanding. We can use our wisdom to think what is right, what is wrong; what is good, what is bad. Sometimes, we have to use our intelligence to think how to do better. It is our own intelligence.
3rd is insight/understanding/realization. This insight is the conditioning/effect – when the causes are complete, insight arises. When knowledge is complete, then insight can arise.
These 3 kinds of understanding, the first and second when we are practicing we can apply. We take the information and apply our intelligence to think how to apply, to practice, how to do. Understanding how to practice is also wisdom level. If you do not know how to practice the right way, then insight cannot arise, deeper understanding cannot arise.
So, about the practice, you must have right understanding. If you practice the right way nonstop, then understanding can grow bit by bit. Slowly your understanding level will be wider and wider.
When you practice you must have awareness, samadhi, effort, faith and wisdom. Also, these 5 faculties must be working together in a balanced way. Then understanding can arise. In the practice, also there must be wisdom. There must be interest how to think the right way. It is a kind of wisdom. To know, to understand how to practice is also understanding level. How to practice, how to do, how to talk; understanding these is also wisdom.
Understanding is many levels. You can understand what it is. You can understand how it is going. You can understand why it is happening. In many ways. So, you must practice with wisdom. Insight also arising with wisdom. To see clearly the detail of every process you must have wisdom.
Every time you see the mind process and physical process, it is easy to understand anatta. They come and go all the time, you cannot hold them, cannot stop them. They are happening their way.
Every intelligent person when they see the mind process, they can easily understand anatta. There is nobody there, just cause and effect process.
Whatever mind arising and gone. Any mind cannot stay for a long time. Knowing, after knowing and finished. New, new. Knowing mind is always new. Object and mind arise together, a new experience, a new mind. There is never an old one. Old one does not exist.
If you think old one, that’s a concept. Reality nature is always new. New arising and passing, new arising and passing. Because the physical and mental processes are happening so fast, we think that it is one and personal. When you see the mental process, different function, different nature, different job. Many minds, they do their job – knowing knows the object, feeling feels the object, perception marks the object, intention is volition wanting something to happen, it is very wide.
That is why when we are practicing we must think. We use our thinking to support awareness. We should not think about defilement nature, we should think about wisdom nature, we should not think about the experience, we should think about the meditating mind. Because of this thinking, awareness becomes better and better.
This wisdom thinking supports awareness work. Awareness becomes awake and alert. There is interest and more clear. This happens more continuously. We are not blindly aware or mindful. We are intelligently aware, wisely aware. Behind awareness, wisdom must be giving orders, wisdom must motivate awareness. Wisdom nature is always checking.
Dhamma means nature. We call nature Dhamma. If we understand nature as it is, we understand Dhamma. How we practice is Dhammanupassana. Object becomes Dhamma or nature. Physical object or mental object becomes nature. We call Dhammanupassana practice.
Cittanupassana and Dhammanupassana practice are very close. Rupa also dhamma, nama also dhamma. Because of dhamma, we can see that it’s impersonal. There is nobody there. Another way of saying is: dhamma is right, adhamma is wrong. Dhamma and adhamma: right and wrong or wholesome and unwholesome.
We are cultivating wholesome qualities of mind, it is dhamma. If we practice with defilements, this we call adhamma. When nature is happening, we call it dhamma. If personal effort is too much to control the experience, this is not dhamma. It is adhamma. We try to change, we try to control nature, it is adhamma.
Because of defilement, we are judging, we are controlling. If defilement motivates, it is adhamma. If wholesome mind motivates, it is called dhamma. But actually defilement is also nature. When we think that defilement is also nature, that is dhamma. Wholesome mind and unwholesome mind are both dhamma – kusala dhamma and akusala dhamma. Kusala is also dhamma. Akusala is also dhamma. That time dhamma becomes nature.
So whatever you do in daily activities, be mindful. You must recognize what you are doing – posture, action, feelings, intention and awareness. Checking every detail as much as you can – try to be aware of every movement, every thought, every feeling.
Every time you check your thoughts, there is nobody there, just image, it is not important. It is nothing, just image appearing in the mind. We must understand imagination is imagination. Then no defilement can arise.
If you think image is personal, who or what, then defilement can arise. Attachment, anger, fear, worry – any defilement can arise. So, you watch your thoughts. There is a lot of imagination or memory appearing – somebody, someone. This is imagination - just imagination like a smoke arising and passing, nothing. But if you think it is personal, then a lot of suffering comes.
Every defilement pays attention to concept. Imagination is a concept. Every defilement object is concept. Every wisdom object is reality, nature. We must know thinking as just thinking. Feeling just feeling. If you think feeling is personal, then more feelings arise. Maybe due to past conditioning, emotions can arise. But the moment you have right view, this imagination cannot overwhelm you. It decreases and stops.
Kamma is action – there are 2 types of action. One is past kamma, we call vipaka. Everything happening in the present is due to vipaka, the effect of past conditioning.
Past kamma and present kamma, which is more important? We cannot go back to the past; past already finished. So we must accept the effect of past kamma. We have no choice, we cannot change it. So, let it be. Because you are attached to the past too much, you cannot get what you want. So, you suffer.
Suffering is feeling. You cannot avoid. You can change present kamma. This is manokamma, mental action. If present mental action is wisdom, have right view, we can reduce our suffering.
Thinking is just thinking, feeling is just feeling. There is nobody there. Because of understanding, because of right thought, suffering becomes object. Suffering is not personal. When feeling becomes object, we can watch mindfully and the present kamma is awareness, samadhi, and wisdom together, then slowly suffering is relieved.
So present kamma, we can do now. We can think. Thinking is also manokamma. Because of right thinking, we can prevent defilement from arising or stop it. Defilement cannot overwhelm us. Us means the whole mind. If you think the wrong way at the present moment, think as personal, then the effect is doubled. The effect of past kamma and present kamma together are added and suffering increases.
If the present kamma is thinking the right way, then suffering process stops or can decrease. So present kamma is important. Thinking also kamma. Right thinking, wrong thinking. If you don’t have wisdom or right view at the present moment, you cannot change the suffering process.
Suffering feeling, so what? If we do not follow the story line continuously, then suffering cannot grow. If you’re thinking about the story line and pay too much attention to the concept, then suffering increases. Feeling increases and you suffer a lot. If you want to decrease your suffering, think the right way and practice being mindful, and then suffering stops.
So what do you want? You want to feed the suffering or you want to be mind and peaceful? This is your choice.
You can only learn from the past. You cannot do anything about the past, so you can only learn from the past. If you’re too much attached to the past, you get a lot of suffering.
When we learn, we can prevent more suffering. How to do, how to think? Because there is not enough wisdom, the mind is too attached and causes a lot of suffering.
There is no body there. Because of craving, because of aversion there is suffering. It is actually not personal. Feeling, just feeling. Thinking, just thinking. They come and go all the time. Mind also cannot suffer all the time, cannot be happy all the time because they come and go.
Past is past. Present is present. Past is finished already. Past feeling, past sensation, past mind. Now, they don’t exist; all are finished. Now is always new – new feeling, new mind, new object, new sensation, new thinking. All the time, it is a new thing – new, new, new. There is no old one.
If you stay in the present moment, understand the present moment, the mind is free.
So stay with the present. Every time, be mindful all the time. Be aware with wisdom together. Keep growing our good quality of mind, moment by moment. Sometimes defilements can arise because of conditioning. Let them do their job, you do your job.
Your job is only 3 things: think the right way, be mindful and maintain the awareness. Later, you can try to investigate. When the mind becomes peaceful, awareness is good and the mind is settled down, at that time, you can investigate everything about the experience, about the mind, how the mind is meditating, what state of mind do we know. How many minds do we know; just investigate.
Then interest grows. Meditation is a learning process. You can say meditation is the highest education.
We try to learn from nature – every movement, every moment, every action, every process. You want to see clearly and learn sometime; any time any where we can practice. So practice with interest. This meditation is for life, no need to hurry.
So keep going with your practice.