◉ HOW MUCH PRACTICE FOR A BEGINNER?| China Feb 2014 Retreat Q&A File No: 20140218-3 (15:16-16.39)
If you continue to practice, you will get as much as you do; right?
[Yogi's note: Remember, it is not as much as you want.]
Awareness is getting better. Now we try to cultivate awareness, samadhi and wisdom. Day by day your awareness becomes better and better and likewise, your samadhi and understanding become better and better. You’re cultivating, right? If these qualities becomes better and better, then you can say that there is improvement. This, you can know for yourself right now.
You get as much as you practice. If you practice the right way, the result is already there. The aim is to grow the good qualities of our mind.
◉ CULTIVATE THE RIGHT SAMADHI| SBS 2008 Retreat Introductory Talk
Right Samadhi is a wholesome quality. When there is Right Samadhi, the mind should feel light, energetic, free, clear, and stable. So when someone uses focusing to calm the mind down, what happens is that the mind is so busy focusing that it has not much time to think. The mind calms down because the mind is not thinking, but it is not able to think of anything positive or wise. So wisdom is weak in the mind that is used to focusing. Whether you’re practicing samatha or vipassana, if the mind doesn’t have the right attitude, Right Samadhi will not arise.
Because Right Samadhi is a wholesome quality, you cannot get it with greed. So if you practice to calm the mind down, you focus and focusing stops the mind from thinking. When the mind does not think, it does not think of anything unwholesome or wholesome. So, there is no room for the mind to investigate and learn. That’s why when you’re only trying to calm the mind down, wisdom doesn’t grow.
◉ VIPASSANA SAMADHI VS SAMATHA SAMADHI| China Retreat Feb 2014; File: 20140218 (51:39-53:36)
Samadhi is stability of mind. If you have right thought, right view, samadhi is already there. Also, if there is continuity of awareness, it makes the mind calm down. If you can accept and are willing to observe, that means you already have samadhi. It is vipassana samadhi, not samatha samadhi [yogi's note: concentration from placing the mind on one object]. Samatha samadhi cannot be used in vipassana practice.
◉ AWARENESS AT THE MIND DOOR| Bangkok Retreat – 10 Nov 2015 Dhamma Discussion Group B2 (8:53-11:15)
In Buddhist psychology, there are 6 sense doors: 5 are physical – the eyes, nose, ears, tongue and the whole body. The 6th sense door is the mind itself. Although we begin by being aware of everything through the physical sense doors because they are the most accessible to us initially. But when you keep practicing and become familiar with the mind, then you don’t have to go to the physical sense doors; you stay with the mind door because everything is accessed by the mind through the mind door. All the other 5 senses are accessed through the mind door. So, when you know the mind and you know that that is the mind, then you can know all the other sense doors at the same time.
That’s why you should go back to the awareness, which is the knowing, recognize that you’re knowing; doesn’t matter what the objects are. Know that there is awareness because that’s bringing you back into the mind, to the mind door, making you recognize over and over.
You should observe the object, the knowing and the watching mind to have a complete overview of what’s happening.
There are many ways to practice where you access objects only through the sense doors; so you concentrate on what is being known; but if you’re out there in the objects, then you don’t know the mind.
If you only see the object, you don’t have a complete picture of how the mind works; your understanding is not complete because you don’t have the complete information at your disposal. If you only focus on the object, you can only know what is happening to the object but you don’t know how the mind is working.
◉ MEDITATE AMIDST DEPRESSION| Hong Kong Retreat March/April 2015 Day 8 Q&A Group A(37:27-40:29)
When I was in depression, I was suffering - a lot of agitation and the mind was depressed and not stable – but I could still meditate. For you, your mind is a normal mind; why can’t you meditate?
When I had depression, I didn’t have samadhi or confidence; but slowly, I could meditate. You have a strong, confident and normal mind; you should be able to meditate easier than me.
The only difference was that I already knew how to meditate very well then.
◉ STABILITY OF MIND| China Retreat 2016 03/03 Interview 13 (A4) (33:15-34:34)
If you don’t follow the thinking but can be aware of the thinking, over a long time, the concentration gets better and better. Some yogis know how to watch thoughts as objects therefore their concentration becomes better and better.
People think that watching thoughts is impossible to get concentration. If you understand that it is an object, the same as anapana, then it is possible. When watching anapana over a long time, concentration comes, right? It is the same with watching thoughts.
Don’t pay attention to the concept. We are not interested in the storyline; just know that this is happening, this is happening, this is happening, on and on. Continue to be aware.
Concentration comes because of right attitude and continuity of awareness, whatever the object, any object, physical or mental. If you can use an object with right attitude and continue to be aware, the mind settles down. With right attitude and continuous awareness, the mind settles down.
If you can understand that thinking is also an object, then you can use thinking as the object.
◉ RIGHT CONCENTRATION| Singapore 2014 Retreat File: 141102 Group 3A-3B Discussion (44:28-44:50)
When the mind has right concentration, the mind is not just clear. You will know what awareness is, what object is. You will know what is in the mind. You will also recognise all the different functions of the mind: the activity of perception, the activity of feeling, the activity of volition. Investigate what functions of the mind you know.