Defilements increase when we pay attention without right view

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-17 English Interviews (1:03:06-1:05:06)

Sometimes awareness is present but there’s no right attitude – that’s why defilements increase

Paying attention and awareness could be different. Defilement can pay attention – when we’re eating, craving pays attention to the taste and feeds it. Craving also pays attention to the object, thinking it’s nice and enjoy.

This is not awareness. Meditation awareness is awareness with right attitude – then meditation is happening.

That’s why I remind yogis: are you aware, or feeling the object? Feeling the object is either craving or aversion towards the object – and paying attention is already happening.

Paying attention is either in the wrong way or right way.

Now you’re paying attention but without right attitude.

Defilements also pay attention to the object; defilements also notice the object – without the object, defilements cannot grow.

You think in the wrong way, and the mind feeds it and craving increases.

Taste is very obvious – when you like the taste, craving pays attention to the taste and the mind feeds it: nice, nice, nice, good, good, good, yummy, yummy. It knows the object. 

Defilement is already working, paying attention is there too; so, we only need to change the attitude. Because of right view and right information, then meditation is happening.

We should be careful that we don’t pay attention without right view because it is dangerous.

A yogi thinks she makes no progress

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-1 Q&A Chinese & Malaysian Yogis (33:30-36:46)

If you continue to practice, improvement is sure to happen. When you stop, the quality of mind goes down. As much as you have practiced, you have already got the result. If you understand this nature, you’re bound to improve if you continue to practice.

Yogis say that they have not improved because they want to see special things. Improvement means that the quality of mind improves, not getting any special experience. Because of expectation, you become bored – you want something new, and that’s craving. Because of craving, you get upset or bored.

If you don’t have expectation, naturally wholesome qualities increase when you continue to practice. Joy, interest, and confidence will grow naturally – it won’t be boring because the mind will be happy and interested to practice. Boredom arises because of craving.

The experience is not important, awareness is important

| Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary Retreat 2013 - Guided Meditation Part 2

When the mind recognizes that there’s defilement, there’s right view. When the mind recognizes that there’s defilement happening, it is the right view.

We’re not trying to stop anything; we’re not trying to create anything. We are trying to know. So don’t complain about what is happening in the mind; we need to appreciate that we’re aware of the defilement.

see things as they are means not to fix, change, manipulate or control

|Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 5 Discussion Group D (33:25-34:15)

Change doesn’t come because we want to change. Change happens when the ability to change happens.

The work is to see things as they are; not to fix things, or change things, or manipulate things, or control things. That’s not what the practice is about. The practice is about seeing the way things are. And when the understanding comes, then maybe something will change. Our work is just to be aware so that we can learn.

A yogi is afraid to lose the awareness and lose the practice

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-1 English Q&A (02:30-03:28)

This attitude is not right – if you practice with fear, awareness will not be good.

Try as much as you can – if you lose awareness, you can try again, and you can start again. Try as much as you can – that’s enough.

If you’re afraid to lose awareness, then the mind becomes tense; it is not free.

In the beginning, the exercise is just to bring back awareness every time it is lost.

Right attitude for home practice – any awareness IS No waste

| IMS 2014 Dhamma Discussion Group A1 (57:10-58:44)

At home, we’re not so dedicated to watching with so much attention. We might find that at home the defilements are much stronger and we’re not able to watch them.

At home, you might find that whatever happens, you’re not able to stop the bad TV (yogi’s note: the defilements) but you’re aware.
The attitude you have to keep is that as long as you’re aware, it doesn’t go to waste.

You may not be able to win the war today, but you’ll come back for another day. So just keep being aware as much as you can.

Learning still happens as long as awareness continues.

You have to be patient for wisdom to come for that sort of thing; and when wisdom comes, wisdom will help to stop the defilement.

wait and watch

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa 2015 Oct. 4 English Interview (41:10-41:51)

When any defilement comes, wait and watch. At the retreat, you have the time, right?

In daily life, you’re busy and don’t have time; that’s why sometimes defilements overwhelm you.

Now you have time; there’s no need to hurry.

Every time defilement comes, you need to watch the defilement first. Don’t follow what the defilement wants and pushes you. Wait and watch.

Make it a habit.

how to be aware When at work and havING to solve problems

| Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 8 Discussion Group A (0:30-2:51)

You have to watch out for the defilements that might be motivating the thinking. You need to know your thoughts and your feelings so that you can identify if there are defilements in the process and clear the defilements so that you do the thinking you need to do without the defilements.

When you need to think you cannot not think. At that time, you have your thoughts and your feelings – and you want to check if there are defilements; and if there are defilements, you want to clear them first. You clear them by watching your feelings and when the feelings are cleared, then you continue what you need to think.

That’s what you have to do at work – you can’t work without thinking. You have to plan.

You’ll know that defilements are there because you can feel them – it’ll not be comfortable; there will be suffering, tension, stress. Basically, if it’s stressful, there’s defilement.


| IMS 2014 Dhamma Discussion Group B1 (41:30-42:28)

The feelings that you have are a reflection of the hindrances in the mind. And to access that hindrance, you want to start by watching the feeling.

If you are thinking about the thoughts as hindrances like aversive thoughts or anything that is motivating the whole thing, you can get into thinking.

You use the feelings as an anchor to recognize what the hindrance is.

Continue to watch that to see how it changes, watch how the feelings change and then you can see how the hindrance changes.

When you see lots of defilement, don’t forget that awareness is present

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 8 September 2017 (43:20-46:35)

You forget that the awareness is working – you’re only thinking that the defilement is happening and judging that the defilement is not good. ‘My mind is full of defilement’ – then you become worried. Because you’re only thinking about the defilement, the object; you forget how much you’re aware.

You don’t have a complete view – you only see the experience, and you forget that awareness is working.

You need to appreciate that awareness is present. You are not concerned over how much defilement is there because it is not your responsibility. It is already there even if you’re not aware, it’s already happening. Now awareness is present, now you know that it is happening. So you should be happy that you’re aware – you need to appreciate that awareness is working. We’re trying to cultivate this awareness quality.

You forget what you’re doing. You only see half the picture – only the experience part; then your thinking cannot be right. You see only the defilements and become upset because you don’t see the wholesome quality that is there. Defilement is unwholesome but watching mind is wholesome. Don’t forget that awareness is present.

If the person only looks at the experience, then liking and disliking are bound to arise. If the person is more aware of the awareness, he appreciates the awareness more and more. The mind is happier that the awareness is still there because it knows that awareness is working.

don’t try to change anything, but watch and learn

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 15 July 2017 (7:35-9:15)

Everybody, when upset and depressed in daily life, try to change their mood by, for example, sleeping. When they wake up, they feel better. But they cannot learn anything this way.

What is the meaning of meditation? We try to be aware and learn about this mental state. Good or bad quality of mind, we need to know what it is, how it is working, why it is happening. We want to know. So, you need to change your attitude to “I want to know this nature”; and then, the mind will be more interested to watch.

So, the first step is for yogis to learn how to watch their mental states. Normally, when all experiences come, the mind is either liking or disliking the object. This is a very strong habit. Now, we are learning how to watch the pleasant and unpleasant situations with equanimity. You need to learn this first to be skillful in meditation.

Whatever comes, if we can watch with equanimity, only then, understanding can come.

Don’t set targets in your practice

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-17 English Interviews (15:05-16:27)

Don’t target anything in your practice. You shouldn’t target what you want to see in Vipassana practice. Whatever happens, stay with the experience. Your responsibility is to maintain the awareness – have right view and continue to be aware.

How long? From the time you wake up till the time you sleep. It is very important that you don’t set a target for what you want to see. When you have a target, the mind starts to imagine this, and you cannot see as it is. We want to know nature as it is.

You should not think about the future – e.g. ‘I want to sit for an hour and not move.’ Whatever happens, your responsibility is to be aware of the present moment; any situation, any time. That’s all.

when the IDEA changes, FEELING changes

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-1 Q&A Chinese & Malaysian Yogis (21:16-22:00)

When the idea changes, feeling changes. Feelings change not because of different objects. It happens so fast, you don’t see the change in the idea; you only see the change in feelings.

Thinking is so quick, so fast; and then, the feelings change. Different ideas, different minds, different feelings – it is not that this feeling changes to that feeling because of different objects.

The mind is not in the body

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-13 Q&A Chinese & Malaysian Yogis (1:07:36-1:08:27)

The mind is not in the body – the mind relies on the body to happen.

You think that the mind is in the body because you want to see the mind clearly. This is a habit. Much later, the mind won’t think over the concept of locating the mind.

The mind comes and goes, period. Objects also come and go.