WISDOM (PAÑÑA) – RIGHT InforMATION (2)
◉ CHECKING ATTITUDE| SBS Retreat 2013 Guided Meditation File: 130619-063742 (00:35-8:26)
Check your attitude – are you expecting anything? Meditation mind must be simple; without expectations the mind is more easeful.
If the mind recognizes that awareness is present, awareness becomes better and better. Behind the awareness wisdom must be there.
We should not follow the object; let the object come, arising by itself. Naturally the object is already there. Sight is in the eyes, sound is in the ears – they are already there. We don’t follow the object; we are checking if the mind is aware or not.
◉ WHEN ATTITUDE CHANGES, MIND CHANGES| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 4 Dhamma Discussion Group D File: 20160331 (34:02-35:43)
Why does the mind become better? If you do not do anything about the negative mind, the mind quality becomes worse and worse. So, what did you do?
Because you change your attitude and are aware, that means you change the quality of the mind. This is meditation; because you meditate, that’s why the quality of your mind becomes better and better.
You have been doing it; it’s just that you’re not aware of it. Because you’re meditating; meditation means that we try to cultivate the wholesome qualities of the mind. When you continue to allow the wholesome qualities to happen again and again, the quality of mind becomes better. Good mood comes, and defilements become weaker and weaker, and aversion lessens.
◉ WISDOM IS NOT CONFINED BY THE BRAIN| Hong Kong Retreat March/April 2015 Day 8 Q&A Group A (1:46:50-1:48:37)
The brain also plays a part in memory, but if you have wisdom, even when the brain is damaged, wisdom cannot disappear. Take the example of a meditation teacher who couldn’t find the words to speak due to a brain operation, but the understanding does not disappear.
If awareness becomes very strong and the mind quality gets stronger and stronger, then memory improves tremendously. It is still the same brain, but the quality of mind becomes better and better. Memory becomes very clear.
◉ KEEP TRACK ON HOW YOU ARE LEARNING| Hong Kong Retreat March/April 2015 Day 7 Q&A Group B (37:25-39:09)
I am reminding all yogis to ask themselves what they have learnt from the events that have happened throughout each day. If you can be aware of whatever you’re doing at that time, you can learn something. If you keep reviewing this way, then slowly your practice can improve.
Even when talking, after talking ask yourself what you have learnt from this and how do you feel. Immediately when it’s over, the result is already there. If you speak with the right attitude, the mind is calm and peaceful, no regret and no suffering. If you speak with the wrong attitude, you will feel something after that. Already nature will have shown you.
Learn something from the experience – how to do better the next time, how to prepare. In daily life, I practiced like this. What mistakes have I made today? It is like writing a diary, recalling the whole day’s events and thinking how to do better in future. When awareness becomes better, the mind learns something from every event that has happened in the course of the day. Then you can really improve.
Whatever you do, talk or think, after that, how do you feel? The mind will show you if it is right or wrong. Then you can learn something and change for the better.
◉ WHERE IS THE CHANGE BEING NOTICED?| Hong Kong Retreat March/April 2015 Day 6 Q&A Group A (1:37:20-1:41:10)
Do you know that seeing is changing? You can notice the outside objects changing, but not the seeing. Outside view changing is a concept. Noticing the seeing changing is not easy.
When you continue to touch, do you know that the mind that knows the touching is also changing? If you know the mind is changing, then you can know that sensation also changes.
If you are thinking with the changing, sometimes this becomes concept; because of concentration power you can see everything changing.
◉ THE POWER OF UNDERSTANDING| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 7 Dhamma Discussion Group A File: 20160403 (12:12-14:14)
Ideas are very powerful. Everything people do is because of ideas. Without ideas, they cannot do anything.
Delusion does this: it thinks what it wants to think, and then it believes what it thinks – very deluded and so funny. We don’t know what is right, what is wrong; we just believe in our ideas.
Actually, we meditate to change wrong view to right view; wrong idea becomes right idea, that’s it. When there is understanding, the idea changes.
When I was young, I wouldn’t eat fish because of an idea, the idea that fish have lots of bones. And I was afraid that the bones would get stuck to my throat. So, I didn’t eat fish.
One day, I spoke to my teacher about my fear of fish bones. And my teacher said: you have teeth; so, you can chew and swallow the bones. Then the mind changed immediately – it was a very powerful idea. From then on, I started to eat fish.
◉ ANATTA IS REALIZING MIND PROCESSES| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 8 Dhamma Discussion Group C File: 20160404 (10.44-11-46)
When you’re more aware of mental activities, you’ll realize that this mind is doing this and that mind is doing that. You can see the characteristics – different mind, different function and different job.
For example, feeling just feels the object; it doesn’t do the job of consciousness. Consciousness just knows the object; this is its job - it does its job and it dies. Feeling also does its job and it dies. It is their nature not to be involved in other people’s jobs. They do their job and then it is finished.
When you can see the mind activities like this – different minds, different functions and different jobs – then, you will understand better that the mind is not personal. All are due to cause and effect processes. This is the realization of Anatta, non-self or emptiness.
◉ WISDOM DOES NOT BELIEVE THE ‘I’| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 6 Dhamma Discussion Group C File: 20160402 (52:45-54:10)
Previously, the mind totally believes in ‘I’. Now, you understand that there is no ‘I’, as much as you can understand. Our thoughts are always thinking about the ‘I’. If you check your thoughts the whole day – this is my bottle, this is my hair, this is my hand, this is my leg – whatever you know, you think ‘I’. Wanting, you think ‘I want’, or ‘I’m angry’, or ‘I know’. Whatever happens, you think as ‘I’.
Before the ‘I’ is very powerful; now, as much as we understand, when the mind says ‘I’, the wisdom mind doesn’t believe. Although we need to use ‘I’ as a tool in daily conversation, the mind doesn’t believe too much in the ‘I’ because there is understanding.
When you check your mind, you’ll see ‘I’ all the time. As a layperson in my daily life, I noticed that every thought has an ‘I’ in it. I was shocked. And after I got married, the ‘I’ got even louder.
◉ UNDERSTANDING NIMITTA| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 3 Dhamma Discussion Group A File: 20160330 (45:25-46:42)
Don’t be aware of the brightness or darkness. Brightness is a concept; so, come back and pay attention to the physical and mental process. Brightness is a nimitta (mental image), a concept. The mind expresses the quality of the mind through brightness and darkness.
If awareness quality and samadhi are good, then bright light arises. If the quality of awareness is weak, then it becomes dark. So, this is a concept; just the mind expressing the quality of the mind. So, you need to come back to being aware of feeling or physical process.
If you pay attention to the light, you may see many colors – blue, orange, or white. Color is a concept object.
◉ NATURE OF MIND IS DISTINCT FROM NATURE OF OBJECT| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 3 Dhamma Discussion Group B File: 20160330 (03:33-04:30)
If the mind understands the meaning of object, then the nature of mind and the nature of object become separate. Being known and knowing, right? Being known is the object; knowing is the mind. They have different natures and you can feel like they are separate but they are not separate – they have different natures, not only 1 nature.
When I remind yogis that the object and the knowing mind have different natures, their understanding can become clearer.
◉ INTENTION DETERMINES MIND MOVEMENT| Hong Kong Retreat March/April 2015 Day 8 Q&A Group A (1:20:00-1:20:53)
When the intensity of defilements decreases, then defilement thinking becomes less. You need to check the intention to think. Thinking and intention are different; because of intention to think, then thinking comes. Depending on the intensity of the intention to think, thinking continues.
Thinking is the effect; the intention to think is the cause.
If the intensity of the intention to think is strong, thinking continues to come. When it becomes weaker and weaker, naturally thinking becomes less.
◉ KNOWING WHAT IS CONCEPT AND WHAT IS REALITY| Bangkok Retreat 2015 – 9 Nov Group A2 Q&A (02:49-04:13)
Yogi: Won’t be it dangerous if I don’t pay attention to the direction of sound – a car might run me down.
Sayadaw: We need to use concepts; concepts are not a problem and you don’t have to remove concepts. It’s not that you cannot have concepts; you just need to know what is concept and what is reality.
The mind is expert at knowing concepts, but our normal mind is not so familiar with reality because we’re so lost in concepts. Actually both of them coexist; they are there together.
The mind is so fast that when the sound is heard, you don’t even know it yet that the sound is heard and the mind has thought about where the sound is coming from; one thing happening after the other, but we don’t see the progression of it.
So, it is not to get rid of concepts. You must know what is concept and what is reality. We need to use concepts; otherwise you can’t live, you can’t eat. You won’t be able to walk; you won’t know where to put your feet and you’ll fall.
◉ UNDERSTANDING THE JUDGING MIND| Kalaw Retreat 2016 Day 4 Dhamma Discussion Group C File: 20160331 (19:40-20:49)
You can only watch the mind judging and then see what happens next. That’s it. We cannot stop the judging mind.
In the beginning, we said that we shouldn’t judge or complain. This is at the superficial level; deeply, the process cannot stop – it is happening already. At that time, we can only see the process happening. Slowly, the mind understands what is happening as it is; understanding clearly that this is a process, this is cause and effect. When any understanding comes, after you see the process happening again and again, naturally the defilements stop.
You cannot stop the judging mind or control it; it depends on whether wisdom or defilement is working. If defilement comes, there is already resistance, judging or complaining; if wisdom comes, then there is equanimity.
◉ MAKING USE OF DEFILEMENT TO LEARNShwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya: Malaysian Interviews 12 December 2015
Yogi: Anger arises out of impatience. Although there is awareness of the angry and impatient mind, the watching mind has dosa.
Sayadaw: It means that the mind has not learned from the observation yet. Learning is important. If the mind learns something, the dosa decreases. If the anger does not decrease every time it arises, the mind should ask why it is happening so; then the mind becomes interested and learns something. Whatever you learn about the defilement, future arising will be weaker and weaker. That should be the way.
If the mind is not ready and suddenly the defilement arises, then the defilement overwhelms the mind. But whatever happens, every time you notice, try to learn something.
◉ OBSERVE DEFILEMENTS TO UNDERSTAND, NOT TO ESCAPE| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya: Dec 2014 Malaysian & Asian Interviews; File: 192534
What do you understand about defilements? When you watch defilements, what are you aware of? Defilements or feelings or thoughts?
What are they: defilements, thoughts and feelings? They are just mind at work, nobody; just nature. Feelings are also the mind, thinking is also the mind and defilements are also the mind. Because of cause and effect, they arise and pass away.
It is very important to understand deeper; just defilements going away is not enough. The nature of wisdom understands deeply and in detail. Seeing the process clearly and understanding in detail, that is the nature of wisdom.
◉ EXPERIENCES ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEARNING| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya: Malaysian Interviews 2015 16 Dec. File: 151216-185124
Craving always wants to do something; wanting to do something is the nature of craving. Wisdom knows whether it is necessary or not, should or not, or need or not to do something. Wisdom never does it if it is not beneficial. People don’t understand need or not, necessary or not; they just want to do something all the time.
I don’t try to relax; I try to be aware because the mind understands that if you’re aware of what is happening and wisdom is there, already the mind is relaxed. Awareness is the cause and the relaxed mind is the effect. That’s why my instruction is: try to be aware, try to learn how to be aware; that’s it. But people try to control the experience; that’s the problem. Experience is experience; experience is Nature. I like natural experience – whether good or bad. Even bad experience is interesting.
Sometimes I wake up from a dream and there’s anger in the dream. I have just woken up; I haven’t done anything yet, but suffering is already happening. Whatever, this is also an object. Because of understanding that kusala and akusala are also Dhamma, the mind doesn’t resist – naturally it accepts already. Dhamma means nature; and nature means cause and effect process.
◉ PRACTISE THROUGH WISDOM| Spirit Rock Retreat 2015 Group D Session 1 (21:47-26.02)
When awareness and wisdom is not strong during the practice – that’s when we use intellectual understanding to remind ourselves how to build and apply them; and that is using wisdom to practice.
So, we’re thinking about how to be mindful, what to do in the present moment, what is appropriate for now. We have so much information, but we need to take it out of the bag and figure out which one fits the moment.
A lot of us naturally do use these tools, but often we don’t know we’re using them. We have lots of information and experience and we think through what we should use to support our practice, but there are others who don’t, who think that they have to fix it by putting in more effort. And that’s wrong effort.
Wisdom’s habit is if something changes, it immediately checks what changes. And if something is getting better, why? If something is getting worse, why? Just checking because of the desire to really know, learn and understand.
Someone who finds the practice interesting, they’re always thinking about “How should I do it? What happens when this happens? What is this experience?” If it is greed, it just wants the results; but if it’s wisdom, wisdom is always thinking about the conditions that will bring the result.
◉ METTA MEDITATIONShwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Morning Q&A 19-1-2016
Wishing for someone to be better is the essence of loving-kindness meditation, like the spirit of wishing someone ‘Happy Birthday’.
If I have aversion, I never practice metta; I take care of the aversion first.
Metta object is a concept. First you send metta to yourself; and when your mind is more relaxed, you can send to others. The benefit of metta is that – at the superficial level – it calms the mind down so that the mind can be mindful.
Metta is the opposite of dosa. If anger is there and you watch it till it disappears completely, then that’s when real metta can arise naturally; otherwise, it’s only sugar coating.
◉ DEVELOPING KHANTI (PATIENCE)| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya: Vietnamese Group Interview 28 July 2015 (46:35-50:10)
Real khanti comes from understanding. Without wisdom there is no real khanti. [Elsewhere: wisdom purifies khanti.]
People think that khanti is effort – they try to be patient, to bear with it, but that is not real khanti. Notice that upekkha, equanimity also arises only when wisdom is present.
Your responsibility is to be aware, not try to have khanti. If there is no khanti, just recognise that there is no khanti. That is easier.
◉ EQUANIMITY (UPEKKHA)| China Feb 2014 Retreat – File: 20140201 (44:00-45:55)
First you have to watch pleasant and unpleasant feelings – they are obvious. Everybody knows pleasant and unpleasant feelings. But when there is neutral feeling, everybody says that there is no feeling. But actually there is feeling: neither pleasant nor unpleasant feeling. So, that is the meaning of upekkha feeling. But people don’t know that it is feeling although in reality it is equanimity feeling.
Yogis don’t realize that neither pleasant nor unpleasant feeling is also feeling. Feeling is always there: pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Feeling cannot disappear; it is happening all the time.
Without the mind then there is no feeling; but if you have a mind, feeling must be there.