| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 7 Dhamma Discussion Group A File: 20160403 (7:21-8:20)

Delusion is like this – it must try to get some object to feel like this. Liking is also the same – greed must also get an object to feel liking; it thinks that the object is good, good, good. Anger, resistance, is also the same. It must get some object to express itself.

That is why I say that when we don’t really understand why the meditation is good, then delusion will think this way – because of the place [yogi's note: this place is good], time [yogi's note: morning, evening or night time is better], posture [yogi's note: sitting or walking is better] – because the mind doesn’t know the real cause. When understanding is not coming, delusion thinks what it wants to think; and then the mind believes in it.


| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 9 Dhamma Discussion Group B File: 20160405 (32:27-32:53)

Whatever you think that agitates the mind or makes it panic, that thought is not right. Don’t believe that thought. Whatever you think that agitates the mind, makes it burn, tense or suffer, don’t believe the thought. It is wrong/ (nonsense) thinking.


| China Feb 2014 Retreat Q & A File No: 20140224-3

When you have an understanding, don’t try to figure it out or think too much. If you think too much, your understanding will become weaker and weaker. Continue to be aware, continue to practice; then your wisdom will continue to happen. 


| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 7 Dhamma Discussion Group A File: 20160403 (4:45-6:25)

The nature of the mind – there is always a trigger for mental problems and trauma; it starts with an idea that the mind believes in.

Sayadaw: I watch my mind and I observe other people’s minds. My brother often burped abnormally for a long time. I notice that he intentionally did it. He had the idea that when he burped, it would expel bad wind from the body. So, unconsciously the mind liked and wanted to do it. When he began to be aware of his intention mind, the burping soon stopped.

Unconsciously when you have an idea and the whole mind believes in it, it will then continue to happen. This is the nature of the mind.

Delusion nature is like this – it thinks of an idea and starts to believe this idea, and then the whole mind follows this idea all the time although it doesn’t know the real thing. This is the pattern of the mind. Fear and trauma are also like this.


| SBS 2008 Retreat Opening Talk

Don’t practice in a way that makes your body or mind tired.

Conserve energy; don’t use all out energy. You want to practice all day long; so if you focus, how long can you keep focusing? If you become sleepy and tired at the end of the day means that you have used too much energy.

If you run out of energy, you start to lose mindfulness. Somebody who has wisdom and understands how to do something uses as much energy as is necessary.

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| SOM Vassa 2014 Q&A (File: R05_0003; 33:40 onwards)

It is my wish that all yogis learn and understand the correct way to practice first. I’m afraid of effort exerted by yogis. Having spoken to so many yogis over time, I notice that most effort of yogis is wrong effort. Everybody has craving hence whatever effort they do is wrong effort. No matter how much I explain what is right, what is wrong, they still apply the wrong effort.

I need to explain over and over again because yogis forget. This is habit. Now you start to know that what you’re doing is wrong; then slowly, you can let go and your practice becomes more right. You can only learn from your own experience.

Don’t try to create anything, and don’t reject what is happening. Just be aware. Trying to create something is greed. Rejecting what is happening is aversion. Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped happening is delusion.

Only to the extent that the observing mind has no greed, aversion or anxiety are you truly meditating. Don’t have any expectations. Don’t want anything. Don’t be anxious because if these attitudes are in your mind, it becomes difficult to meditate. You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is. 


| Dhamma Lecture at Aquaplex, Arizona (5-11-2014)

Try to be aware continuously as much as possible without applying too much effort. Excessive effort reinforces the idea of ‘Self’; it is the energy of defilements (craving, aversion and delusion).

Don’t use too much effort. Because of craving, aversion and delusion, that’s why you use a lot of effort. You need to check how much energy you use in being mindful. Also, because you need to practice the whole day, if you use too much effort, you cannot maintain awareness continuously even after an hour, what more the whole day.

The key to mindfulness meditation is continuity of awareness because it develops natural awareness. We need this natural energy; we do not use personal energy all the time. In the beginning, we start with personal effort to be aware. But later when awareness gains momentum and becomes a habit, at that time natural effort grows more and more.

If you are not aware about this natural effort, you will use too much personal effort. Then, meditation will not improve because the idea of “Self” is present all the time. “I’m meditating; I’m meditating.” When awareness becomes natural, you don’t need to use force to be aware. At that time, nature is meditating; you are not meditating and the idea of “Self” decreases.

Meditation is Anatta, non-self. Nobody is meditating because nature is meditating. At that time, Anatta idea is very strong. Then your understanding will increase. So, natural momentum is very important. If you use a lot of energy all the time, the idea of self will not decrease. “I’m meditating, I’m meditating” then right attitude/right idea is not present.


| Spirit Rock Retreat 2015 Group B Session 4 (29:07-29:50)

There is no need to force right view on ourselves. When we notice we have wrong view or when we realize that we don’t know – that’s right view.

This is learning how to meditate from your own experience. It is important that you see yourself how the mind is trying to meditate – when it is striving or when it relaxes or when it understands. 


| China Retreat 2016 02/29 Interview 8 (Volunteers 1) (1:01:00-1:05:00)

A yogi feels let down because his meditation teacher has disrobed.

Sayadaw: Dhamma is Dhamma; a person is a person. Don’t mix them together. We need to think about the Dhamma and respect the Dhamma, not the person.

You don’t understand the meaning of defilements. Defilement is defilement – it does its work very well. He couldn’t continue to be a monk because his quality of mind is only that much. If wisdom were stronger, then he wouldn’t disrobe. This is nature. Don’t look at the person but look at the nature of defilement.

When I was young, I did many bad things because the mind didn’t know any better. The defilements were running the show. Don’t look at the person. Lobha is nobody; wisdom is also nobody. Buddha has explained that the nature of Lobha doesn’t know what is good, what is right; it just wants. So, don’t look at the person.


| China Retreat Mar 2016 02/26 Interview 2 (B1) (35:12-36:37)

Yogi: Initially, the mind pays attention to chanting. After some sitting, pain arises and the mind goes to the body, to the painful leg, and there is aversion. When the pain increases, the mind forgets the chanting.

Sayadaw: The mind doesn’t go here or there; rather, paying attention mind is happening. This idea is very important. Mind doesn’t exist all the time; it rises and passes away, that’s all. The mind never goes here or far away – just paying attention mind is happening.


| SOM 2015 Winter Malaysian Interviews; File: 151223-183908

Yogi: When awareness is lost and when it comes back, if it notices physical sensations like movement, seeing or hearing, no reaction, very satisfied. But when awareness is lost and it comes back and it notices wandering mind, then it gets agitated.

Sayadaw: Some idea is wrong – that is why reaction comes. At the time of contact, there is no reaction, neutral. After some idea – wrong view and right view – is coming, then wholesome mind and unwholesome mind can come.

When the knowing mind and object first contact, at that time, it is neutral.

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| Switzerland Retreat C4 Group Interview 20160527 (1:00:40-1:01:30)

Yogi: I need a lot more practice.

Sayadaw: But to have tasted it, we know that something works, we know the way; that gives us the inspiration to keep going.

The difficulty is when we don’t know if anything will work. That’s when without choice, we will be struggling.

People who don’t know how to be aware are very pitiful.


| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 8 Dhamma Discussion Group D File: 20160404 (1:06:26-1:07:55)

When 2 persons stay together, delusion is growing although they don’t know how much they’re attached to each other. Enjoying life, unconsciously delusion is working – attachment is slowly growing – even though we’re not aware of it, but the mind is doing its job.

When the partner leaves you, then you’ll notice how much the mind suffers because you have been staying with delusion. When the opposite comes, then the pendulum effect [yogi's note: as much as the mind is attached, that much the mind will suffer when it doesn’t get the object] will show you no pity because the mind is not aware, not awake; simply deluded.

So if you’re aware all the time, no matter how much you’re attached, you can relieve your attachment; and then, when any bad situation comes, you can let go easier – ‘okay, bye, bye, da, da, finished’.


| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 5 Dhamma Discussion Group A File: 20160401 (1:18:08-1:19:23)\

We need to know whatever we do, even small actions. If you choose every action, immediately your confidence increases because wisdom is leading. It’s very powerful.

If possible, ‘know’ in detail, including small actions in everything you do – even when your feet are touching or stepping. Don’t let things happen automatically – know and let the mind choose. Even seeing and looking – when you look, ask the mind why it’s looking. There’s a reason.

| (1:14:52-1:17:15)

Automatic means no cause and effect process – automatic means there is no cause. Because people don’t see the cause and effect process, so they say that it happens automatically. Automatic reactions are all delusion because there is no choice involved.

Now, you’re aware what the mind says, you don’t straight away believe in the thought, but rather choose to act the best way, then awareness-wisdom comes, happening naturally, not automatically.


| China Retreat 2014 Q&A (6 March 2014 AM 31:15-35:50)

Defilements grow because of the idea of ‘self’.

When we have lobha, it thinks that this is not enough, “I want more!” That’s how lobha thinks - it’s never enough. And also it thinks that this is very good, should be very good. It thinks that the object is nice & good and wants more of it; it is not satisfied. This is craving nature.

Aversion always thinks that this is not good; aversion wants to destroy, wants to throw away and wants to hurt others.

And every defilement pays attention only to concepts, not nature. When there is the idea of ‘self’ that takes things personally, then the defilement increases.

Behind every defilement is the idea of ‘self’; because of the “I”, the defilement grows. If there is no self, then the defilements do not have the energy to grow; they can only come and go, come and go.


| Gaia House Retreat 2015 – Closing Talk (8:13-8:59)

When we don’t meditate what happens is that the defilements have a field day – they make us tired, they make us suffer and life is really uncomfortable; whereas if we would meditate, if we would use mindfulness in daily life, life would be more easeful, more comfortable. So, why won’t we want to do it?

This is the trick of the defilements; they trick us into not wanting to meditate.


| SOM Vietnamese Group Interview 17 August 2015 (1:08:35-1:09:58)

Yogi: Sometimes I’m interested to be mindful, but suddenly the mind doesn’t want to be mindful. If I try to push the mind by reminding it, even when it comes back, it still goes away. 

Sayadaw: No need to push; just recognize whatever is happening; that’s enough. Notice that the mind likes it when it is interested to practice; and doesn’t like it when the mind is not interested to practice, right?

No need to try and push the mind. Just let it be and continue to watch what is happening. Just be interested in the process. Wisdom must all the time be behind how the mind is watching [what is the attitude of the watching mind?], that’s it. Whatever happens let it happen. 


| Bangkok Retreat 2015 – 8 Nov Group B1 Q&A (53:15-56:30)

It is only hard because you think that you shouldn’t be thinking when you meditate and you don’t like the mind to be thinking at that time. 

What do you find hard? Is it difficult to sit or is it difficult to stop the mind from thinking? To begin with, you have the wrong idea about meditation. The definition of mind is that which thinks and that which knows. So, if there is mind there will be thinking and there will be knowing. When you sit, clearly there is thinking because there is mind; it’s not that you’re not meditating but that you find it difficult because you dislike it. So, it’s not the thinking that is the problem, it is the disliking that is the problem. 

It’s not that meditation is difficult; it is difficult to get what we want. To meditate is just to know and to know is not difficult at all because right then you know that you’re thinking. So, meditation is happening just fine. But what is hard is getting what you want; and what you want is not meditation. 

So if you remind yourself that the goal of meditation is to know what is happening in the body and what is happening in the mind in the present moment, then whatever you know in the present moment is absolutely fine because it is being known and you’re meditating.