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Preparing the Mind

As I see most of you are in your thirtys, fortys and fiftys.
You have done and experienced quite a lot in
your life, you have had your own successes and disappointments.
ow, I thin! you are ready for something "etter. In
fact you have "een doing this for quite a while, developing your
inner qualities and spiritual nature. As today is our first day it is
going to "e an introduction.
#efore we really meditate we need to prepare ourselves.
$henever we want to do something we need to "e prepared,
this is very important. It is something I learnt a long time ago,
and I teach this to my friends and students% "e prepared. If you
really prepare for what you are going to do it is really surprising
how natural and easy it "ecomes. &ust li!e a farmer or a gardener
who wants to grow flowers or any crop, first of all he needs to
prepare the land. $ithout doing this if he 'ust goes and scatters
the seeds, some of them might sprout "ut they wont "ear fruits,
very soon they will die out. (hey cannot ta!e root properly
"ecause there is not enough fertili)er, not enough nutrients for
the plant and not enough water.
* . A MAP +, (-. &+/0.Y
In the same way the person who wants to cultivate his inner
qualities must do the same. (he two have many similarities.
May"e you !now the meaning of the P12i word "h1van1. +ne
of the meanings is cultivation. #h1van1 literally means to ma!e
something grow. (he root of the word "h1van1 is "h3 meaning
to grow, i.e. cultivation. $hen you grow something it implies
that you have the seed, either in the form of a grain or another
part of the plant li!e a "ranch. 4o, you already have something
to grow. If you dont have the seed you cannot grow anything.
&ust to have the seed is not enough5 you also have to prepare
the land. $hen you prepare the land first of all you pull out the
weeds, clear the land. (his is something we should also do in our
life. It is very natural for weeds to grow. 6oo! deeply into your
life, into the way you are living and find out what !ind of weeds
are there. 4ome of them have "een there for a very long time
and have grown strong roots, it might ta!e sometime to dig those
roots out, 'ust li!e a "ad ha"it, ta!ing intoxicants, drin!ing, etc.
Pulling out weeds and removing stones is very important.
If you love doing something dont "argain. A lot of people
as! me how long you need to sit in order to develop sam1dhi
7concentration8, how long do they need to meditate to attain
i""1na. -ow can any"ody tell how long9 If you really love doing
it, you are happy "ecause you are doing it5 this happiness and 'oy
gives you a lot of motivation. Please dont "argain: People want
to give as little as possi"le and get as much as possi"le. I thin!
this is not the right attitude especially in meditation. In other
areas of our life as well, li!e in relationships, if you want to give
a little and get a lot you wont get anything. (he truth is that
you get as much as you give. If you give a little youll get a little,
if you give yourself totally youll really get a lot. $hen practicing
meditation loo! deeply into your mind, why are you doing
it9 Are you really willing to do it9 $hen you do something, no
matter what, there are some sacrifices you need to ma!e. You
need to give up something in your life. 6i!e for coming to this
class, you have already given up something.
+ur human nature is "asically spiritual5 within us we have
very "eautiful qualities li!e loving !indness, compassion, mindfulness,
peace of mind. $e already have the seeds and we want
those seeds to grow. -uman nature is very mixed, on one hand
we want to en'oy sensual pleasures and on the other we dont
want to en'oy anything at all. $e want to give up:
$hen the student is ready the (eacher will appear,
I have heard this saying and I li!e it very much,
I thin! it is very true.
6oo! very deeply, a lot of us here are not so young anymore,
we have done already many things in our lives and we
!now that there is nothing really fulfilling. $e have never really
found anything, either in possessions or pleasure that has given
us any real lasting satisfaction. 0eally we are loo!ing for something
else. $hen we are truly ready to receive, what is needed
will "e availa"le. As! yourself ;am I truly ready to receive9<
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . ?
#efore we meditate there are few things we need to reflect
on in order to prepare our mind. In our daily life we get distracted
"y so many things. (o ma!e our mind suita"le for meditation
one of the things we need to do is to reflect on death.
6ife is very short, very soon well "e gone, considering our age
here, for some very soon life will "e over. If we have awareness
and clarity "efore we die, we can reflect on what we have done
in our life. $hat would we find really satisfying9 I have "een
very close to death a few times. +nce when I was very sic! with
malaria for a few months, I was living in the forest and medicine
was not availa"le. I couldnt eat and my "ody was very wea! and
I was a"out to die. My friends were around me and they were
saying% ;he is unconscious, he is in a coma<. I was a"le to hear
"ut I could not move anymore. At that time I reflected on what
I had done with my life and I felt that I hadnt done anything
really satisfying. I had a degree, had a 'o", married and did many
other things. In many ways I had "een successful "ut all that
didnt mean anything anymore. (he only thought that came
to my mind which was really meaningful was that I had learnt
to meditate. At that moment I turned my mind to meditation
and I felt that if I died it was o!, "ut I wanted to die mindfully,
I wanted to die meditating. (hat was the only thing that gave
me some peace of mind, something I could rely on, all the other
things were not around me anymore.
(o prepare our mind for meditation we need to reflect on the
shortness of life. o matter how long we live, even one hundred
is not very long. If we thin! of our life and compare it with the
life of this world it is li!e a split second. (hin! of the shortness
of life and tell yourself that there is no time to waste, time is very
precious and time is life. If we as! someone% ;do you want to live
a long life9< (he answer would "e ;of course I want to live a long
life:< $hat are you going to do if you live a very long life9 ,or
most of us we dont have a clear answer, we dont really !now
what we want to do with our life5 we 'ust want to live a long life.
(his shows our attachment to life "ut we dont really !now how
to ma!e the most of it. If we live really mindfully and ma!e the
"est use of our time then we can achieve something. ,or example,
something that would ta!e someone five years to achieve
we could do it in one year. $e can ma!e one year equal to five
years. If we live for a"out sixty or seventy years and ma!e the "est
use of our time it is li!e we lived for two @ three hundred years.
4o much of our time is wasted "ecause we are so unmindful.
$hen we understand that life is short and
time is precious and if we will have developed
some understanding of the >hamma,
it "ecomes more precious.
>o not procrastinate, do what should "e
done today, we dont !now whether
we will "e still alive tomorrow.
(oday, now, do what should "e done,
try to accomplish, to do.
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . A
A''eva !iccam 1tappaB. C M iii.DEF
An earnest meditator doesnt procrastinate.
o matter where you are or what you are doing5
that is the time and the place to meditate.
$e should reflect on the qualities of the #uddha. (he more you
learn a"out the #uddha the more you !now a"out -is nature, -is
purity, -is wisdom. $hen we thin! of the qualities of the #uddha
the mind reflects the o"'ect of the mind, for example when we thin!
a"out something that ma!es us unhappy, naturally we will "ecome
unhappy. (he happiness or unhappiness of our mind depends
on the o"'ect and how we loo! at the o"'ect. $hen we thin! of
someone that we love we develop loving !indness, we feel love.
In the same way when we thin! a"out the #uddha, -is freedom,
-is wisdom, -is peace, -is purity, what will happen to our mind9
A similar nature will arise. It is very important to find out more
and more a"out the #uddha. $hen we thin! of the #uddha we
appreciate -is qualities and we ourselves would li!e to have them.
It ma!es our mind attracted to them, and it can "ecome our goal,
;I want to "e free, peaceful, and wise<. Although we wont "ecome
a #uddha we will develop those qualities to a certain extent. $hen
we "ecome enlightened, in a certain way we "ecome a #uddha.
$hen we ta!e #uddha as a teacher,
-is purity, wisdom and freedom gives us a direction,
;$here am I going, what is my goal<9
0eflect on the >hamma as well, on what the #uddha taught.
As you have "een meditating for a while you have some experience
of the (ruth of the (eaching of the #uddha, you !now
that it is true. You !now where it leads. -is teaching is not
something we listen to and we "elieve in, it is not "lind faith.
You can find it out for yourself5 it is a very practical (eaching,
reflect on it. 4tudying >hamma and practicing meditation, it is
worth doing. 4ometimes we waver, ;should I meditate or should
I go out and do something<9 If you really !now the value of
meditation you can let go of distractions, en'oyments and pleasures
and give more time to meditation. Geep thin!ing a"out the
"enefits of meditation.
$hen youve really see that meditation is worthwhile
youll give your life to it. (he more you give,
the more you get. >o it with all your heart:
(his is another requirement for success in whatever you do.
If you do something whole heartedly youll succeed. If you do it
half heartedly, after a while, "ecause you are not ma!ing much
progress youll thin! that although you have "een doing it for
a long time it hasnt ta!en you anywhere. You "ecome discouraged.
If you do it half heartedly you dont develop enough motivation
to ma!e any progress, and "ecause you dont ma!e any
progress you wont "elieve in it anymore.
Another requirement is restraint. I !now some people dont
li!e to hear this word "ecause they thin! that restraint is the
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . F
opposite of freedom5 that is not true. If "y freedom we mean to
do whatever we want, this is not real freedom.
,reedom really means !nowing what is useful,
what is "eneficial and worthwhile,
!nowing what is wholesome and what is unwholesome
and choosing what is wholesome, good and right
and doing it whole heartedly.
0estraint has many meanings and one of them is !eeping
the precepts. $hy do we need to !eep the precepts9 ,or lay
people it is five or eight precepts and for mon!s more then two
hundred. In the "eginning when we try to !eep the precepts we
feel very cramped, we feel as if we dont have enough room to
move. $e cant do anything: $hen we !eep training our mind
after a while it gets used to living with them. At this point we
dont have to try anymore to !eep them, actually it "ecomes our
nature and we feel very free.
$hat happens when we dont !eep the precepts9 $hat
happens when we !ill, steal, commit adultery, tell lies or ta!e
intoxicants9 $hat happens to that person9 $hen a person does
not ta!e the precepts he does not have self respect. aturally,
deep inside us we !now what is proper and what is not. $e give
in to the temptation5 we give in to greed, to anger, and to other
sensual pleasure. $hen we dont restrain ourselves we do things
that are improper. $e harm ourselves and we harm other people.
In the process of harming others we harm ourselves "ecause
there is no way to harm others and not harm ourselves. It is
impossi"le. I have noticed this even in minor things. +nce in my
monastery it was raining and there was a foot mat outside my
door and a little dog, 7which Ill call he, "ecause for me dogs are
li!e people, they have consciousness and are also very sensitive8.
#ecause of the rain he wanted to "e in a dry place 'ust li!e me.
$hen it rains I want to "e in a dry place "ecause I dont want to
get wet. (his little dog came up to my !uti 7little hut8 and slept
on the door mat and whenever I wanted to go out I couldnt
open the door "ecause he was sleeping there and sometimes I
got very upset. I thought I must teach this dog not to come and
sleep here. >o you !now what I did9 I got a "uc!et of water,
opened the door and threw it on the dog, 'ust to teach him that
he would get wet if he came here. $hen I was doing it, suddenly
my awareness came and I caught my state of mind, ;what am I
doing9< I found that I was feeling some sort of pain. I was feeling
li!e I was not a good compassionate person, actually I was very
cruel. (hat feeling hurt me very much, it was very painful to "e
a cruel person and not to "e a compassionate loving one. $hen
I caught myself I reali)ed that I was harming the dog, "ut "y getting
wet he is not really harmed, "ut what harmed me most was
loosing my peace, tranquility and self respect.
(hat is more harmful. In many instances I have noticed
this again and again. 4ometimes I was not deli"erately harming
any"ody, for example when some"ody came I was not feeling
very friendly, I didnt want to give my time to that person. (his
person came again and again, I didnt have any time for him,
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . H
and so I didnt go out and receive him. $hen I loo!ed into
my mind I found that I could give some time to this person if I
wanted to, 'ust a few minutes, "ut I felt very cold inside me, not
loving, not !ind, and not warm. $hen I watched that, I found
it to "e very painful. Ignoring a human "eing is very painful. ot
ac!nowledging, not feeling loving and !ind it is very painful.
$henever we do something li!e that we lose our self respect,
this is very painful and harmful. It is true that in some cases we
have to put a limit. #ut when we do that we should do it with
understanding, with !indness and not with coldness.
$hen we dont !eep the five precepts
we harm others as well as ourselves.
(hese precepts are not imposed
"y some"ody. It is nature.
>eep inside us we !now that not !eeping the five precepts
is improper, harmful. .ven though a person may not "e !eeping
the five precepts, deep inside him he has respect for those
who !eep them. -e has respect, admiration and appreciation
for those who are loving, !ind, and generous. $hen we lose
our self respect we dont feel worthy. $hen we dont feel worthy
what happens9 .ven though we do something, "ecause we
dont feel worthy we dont give ourselves whole heartedly, we
do things half heartedly. (hose who feel unworthy wont really
try their "est, they will feel themselves pretending that they are
doing something "ut actually they are not. (o feel worthy of
something it is very important to feel worthy of love, of freedom,
peacefulness, deep wisdom, and understanding. You can only
rise as high as your self esteem. (his is very important.
4o, how can you develop your self esteem9 You do what
is right. You avoid doing what is wrong. $hen you have self
esteem you also have self confidence and self respect. $ith this
you "elieve that you are a good person. $hen you do what is
good and when you avoid what is not good then you feel you
are a good person. $e have to train ourselves not to do what
is unwholesome and to do what is wholesome with right attitude,
whole heartedly. Iultivating the quality of loving !indness
towards anyone, animals included will nourish the heart and
give a lot of energy. It will ma!e you feel that you are a loving
person, and at the same time you feel worthy of receiving love.
(o feel worthy of mett1 7love8, to feel worthy of something good
it is very important5 unless you have that you cannot meditate.
>o something to develop that quality more and more.
6et go of the past and "e willing to
fully live in the present.
#e willing to change and to grow.
+ften we are afraid to change, to grow,
and "ecause of lac! of confidence
we dont try our "est.
$e are responsi"le for ourselves and our lives,
no matter what happened in the past,
without "laming any"ody.
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . DD
I have met many people who are always "laming others for
their unhappiness, "ut they dont try to learn anything that will
help them to "ecome more happy and peaceful. (ry always to
thin! a"out wholesome thoughts although it is very difficult to
do. Most of our thoughts are unwholesome% greed, anger, pride,
envy, 'ealousy. >uring the day try to "e aware of what you are
thin!ing a"out without wanting to control it. $henever you
catch yourself thin!ing a"out something unwholesome a"out
someone or a"out something, try to loo! at it from a different
angle and see if you can learn something from that situation
and "ecome positive a"out it. You determine to thin! something
positive as much as possi"le. All this is 'ust preparation
for meditation. If you thin! unwholesome thoughts all day and
then sit and meditate and expect to "e peaceful and happy, it is
not possi"le "ecause you have not prepared your mind. (hin!ing
in a positive and wholesome way is reflecting and thin!ing
It is a natural thing for every "eing to experience
good and "ad things in life, reflecting on this it
helps to let go, to not get attached.
Another important thing is restraint of the senses. $e see
so much5 hear so much, so limit yourself. $atching television,
reading, do only if it is necessary, try to limit it. If we dont put
a limitation in our daily life, well not have enough time and
energy to meditate. (o avoid agitation try to restrain the senses.
Purity of livelihood is very important, loo! after your needs in
a proper way. A friend who is a meditator told me that in his
office he used to use the copy machine for personal needs "efore
he started meditating, "ut since he has "een meditating and is
very aware of his mental states he has noticed that whenever
he used the machine for himself he felt guilty, he felt as if he
was stealing. Although no"ody said anything, the purpose of the
machine was for office use, he stopped using it. It does not matter
if other people do it, let them do it, "ut you are developing
your spiritual qualities, and ma!ing yourself "e worthy of real
peace, real insight, real li"eration.
(ry to ma!e your life as simple as possi"le, in eating, in
clothing, in everything. $hatever you do, whatever you have,
it demands your time and energy, and it may cause some sort of
agitation. My teacher in his housing in the monastery has literally,
nothing. -e has only three ro"es on his "ody and washes
them in turn. (here is no furniture at all, the floor is very clean.
If you live in an empty room your mind "ecomes empty. $hen
you go to a supermar!et what happens to your mind9 In an
empty room there are no distractions. If you want to develop in
meditation as much as possi"le live a very simple life.
Meditation is li!e cultivating the land.
6oo! very deep into your mind every day, and try to weed,
"ecause every day seeds are coming in the mind. (hey will ta!e
root and if you let them stay there long, their roots will "ecome
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . D?
very strong and it will "e harder for you to root them out, "ut if
you can throw away the seed "efore it germinates it will "e very
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In the "eginning I wont suggest that you give
it up completely. =ive up little "y little "ut "e very honest.
4ee if you can give up something, especially tal!ing a"out
music. I told you that I love music. I was a musician when
I was young and "ecause of my love for music I came in
contact with another person who was a musician and also
a very good meditator. You can "e a musician and a good
meditator. My first meditation teacher was a layman who
was a music instrument ma!er and a musician. .ven when
he was ma!ing musical instruments, playing instruments he
would do it with all his attention, with real care, real love.
(he !ind of music he played was very soothing and calming.
If you li!e music, find the !ind of music which is calming
and soothing for the mind. You dont need to give up everything5
you can give up 'ust as much as you can.
>o it slowly and gradually.
If music is your livelihood and it distur"s your meditation
practice you have to ma!e a decision.
J/.4(I+% #y the way, what happened to the dog9
A 4 $ . 0% I gave him a proper place to sleep on. I felt
very happy a"out it. Any time you show any !indness to
any "eing it ma!es you very happy, it is very nourishing, it
helps your practice. As much as possi"le "e !ind. 4ometimes
you might get angry or upset "ut we can learn from those
experiences as well. 6earn to forgive yourself. $ell never
"e perfect. As! yourself ;am I trying my "est9< You all have
"een meditating for quite a while, try your "est.
.very moment of peace has a tremendous
effect on the mind. Peace of mind, no matter how
momentarily is of great value.
.very time the mind "ecomes peaceful even for a few seconds
it gives you a contrast. In life we are always ma!ing
choices, so choose to "e peaceful even for a few seconds.
.very day, every moment I choose to "e a mon!. It is not
easy "eing a mon!. If it was, so many would not disro"e.
/ntil the person attains An1g1mLMmagga 7nonMreturner8, a
mon! can always chose to "e a layman. 4o, we choose to "e
mindful. All psychological pro"lems are "asically spiritual.
If you have the right attitude and the right understanding
you can do away with a lot of psychological pro"lems. I have
come here to spend four months. Ioming here is also part of
my learning process. It is necessary for my growth.
P0.PA0I= (-. MI> . DA
In our life we need "alance5
we need time for ourselves and time for others.
If we live only for ourselves we wont feel satisfied.
If you really want to "e happy,
help others to "e happy, in whatever way.
(he more you can give the more you "ecome mature. (he
"iggest distur"ance comes from unwholesome thoughts and
#asic 4!ills K
I want to remind you of what we tal!ed last wee!, may"e
some of you have good memories and will remem"er quite
a lot. Memory lasts a very short time, some people say that
if you hear something once, after one day you remem"er ten
per cent, after two or three days you remem"er five per cent,
after a wee! you remem"er one or two per cent. 4o to ma!e
your memory stronger you have to revise things again and again,
especially when you get older it is difficult to remem"er things,
especially short term memory. 4o, I want to remind you of a few
things I tal!ed a"out last wee!.
>o you remem"er the simile I gave a"out gardening9 It
is always very important to remem"er that simile, always to
remem"er that meditation is cultivatingN "h1van1 means cultivation,
to ma!e something grow. 4o, in order to cultivate you
need to prepare the land, remove all the weeds, roc!s, stones, all
the ru""ish, until the land "ecomes soft, then enrich the land,
put some natural fertili)er especially, and water the land, prepare
the land properly so that when you put seeds in it, seeds
will sprout easily, will ta!e root easily. .ven after that you cant
forget a"out it, you cant leave it li!e that, you have to go and
chec! every now and then to see if some weeds are growing
again, "ecause it is quite natural for weeds to grow easily, it is
harder to grow a flower, a vegeta"le or a crop, than to grow
weeds. $eeds grow naturally, weeds are very hard to !ill, very
hard to uproot. (hats why farmers spend a lot of time weeding
and weeding.
$hen we meditate that is
what we do most of the time,
we are weeding most of the time, and
enriching the soil also.
$hat do we do to enrich our mind9 $e cultivate mett1,
!aruO1 7compassion8, to "e more thoughtful, !inder, and more
considerate to yourself and others. $e do not have a right to
"e cruel even to ourselves. 4ome people say ;I suffer for other
people< I thin! this is not right attitude, I thin! no"ody should
suffer: 4o cultivate !indness to yourself and !indness to other
people, and that means also !eeping the precepts. If you are
really !ind to yourself and if you are really !ind to other people
then you are already !eeping five precepts "ecause you cannot
"rea! precepts without "eing un!ind to yourself and to others.
+ne person saidN ;I dont !ill, I dont steal, I dont commit
adultery and I dont cheat, "ut I drin!NI am not causing harm
to any"ody. I 'ust li!e to drin! a little "itN< "ut then you are
harming yourself and indirectly, when we are harming ourselves
we harm others too. $e are all connected, related, you cannot
harm yourself without harming other people, without harming
your parents, without harming your spouse, without harming
your children, without harming your friends.
4o we are all related, connected.
$e cannot harm any"ody
without harming ourselves or
without harming some"ody else.
ot harming is very important.
-ere is a very "eautiful poem which expresses what I am
trying to say%
;$hat power of man can grow a rose9< this is the question
;what power of man can grow a rose9< ;Prepare the soil<, that is
what I am tal!ing a"out ;and the rose itself will grow, "rought
into "eing "y some force within<, so prepare the soil::
(o achieve peace it requires that we have the courage of
our convictions5 we have the courage to value somethingN 4o
what do we value9 As meditators we value mindfulness, peace
and quietness of mind, we value contentment, we value deep
insight, we value li"eration, freedom and to use another P12i
word we value i""1na, ultimate peace, ultimate freedom.
4o, if achieving peace requires we have the courage of our
convictions it also requires an unrelenting consistency, very
importantNunrelenting consistency. If we really value mindfulness
we have to try our "est to "e mindful always. It is very
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . DH
important, unrelenting consistencyN we cannot say thatN
wellN now this is the time from four o cloc! to five ocloc! Ill
"e mindful and after five ocloc! Ill "e unmindful, we cannot
say that.
(he person who really understands
what meditation means, what mindfulness means,
has no timeta"le for meditation.
$hat does that mean9 A person who really understands
what it really means, what happens in the mind when it is really
mindful and what happens to the mind when it is not mindful,
if the person understands the difference, then he will never say
that ;this is the time to "e mindful and that is the time not to "e
mindful<, there is no choice.
(o "e unmindful, means you are allowing your thoughts to
create all sorts of negativity, "ecause in our surroundings there
are a lot of things contri"uting negativity, contri"uting greed,
contri"uting selfishness. (hey are ma!ing us "ecome greedier,
more selfish, more unsatisfied, and more discontent. $hen I
tal!ed a"out discontentment in America I said ;If you are content
you can reduce the cost of your living to half, "ecause we
are spending so much unnecessarily.< +ne person said ;If you
reduce spending to half, that will cause a "rea!down in the
economy, you should not do that, you should spend more.< (hey
are only thin!ing a"out the spending for the economy only, not
spirituality. -ere you have to ma!e a "ig choice, what do you
value9 Is it to develop your inner qualities, your spirituality or
'ust to !eep up with the &oness9
(here is no short cut to really
developing our inner qualities, there is no easy way.
In America they advertise meditation courses% in three days
youll "ecome enlightened, you have to pay a thousand dollars,
it will ta!e you only three days to "ecome enlightenedN.
there is no short cut li!e that, you cannot "uy enlightenment.
You have to develop your inner qualities slowly, and slowly to
understand very deeply a"out all the good things and all the "ad
things a"out yourself.
.ven when you see "ad things in you, you have to "e very
open and very compassionate, with acceptance you see it as
something not personal, see all the greed, anger, frustration,
pride, 'ealousy, as something natural. $hen you feel guilty a"out
such !ind of thoughts you are reinforcing ego again. $hen you
can see greed, envy, 'ealousy and pride as something natural
then this seeing mind has equanimity. It is not upset5 it is not
happy or unhappy a"out it.
If you can see with mindfulness,
with equanimity then whatever comes up that
tries to ta!e over, the ego does not feed the defilements.
>efilements are not afraid of "eing attac!ed.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . *D
o matter how much you try
to attac! defilements they will not lose the "attle,
they "ecome even stronger.
>efilements which mean greed, anger, frustration, envy,
'ealousy, pride are afraid of "eing loo!ed at very straight, loo!ed
at with equanimity, loo!ed at with wisdom, and loo!ed at as
something natural, not a "eing, not me, not mine, not myself.
$e have to "e mindful all the time, doing the right thing all the
As a meditator, even when we are not really trying to concentrate
on something we should at least maintain some sort of
awareness all the time. $henever thoughts come in we !now
what !ind of thoughts they are and 'ust "y watching them sometimes
they go away and sometimes if they dont go away, we can
turn our mind to something wholesome.
In the PiPa!a texts it also says to read >hamma "oo!s. 4ometimes
the emotions, the defilements are so strong that we dont
!now what to do. (hen in that sort of difficult situation read a
>hamma "oo! to divert your mind to wholesome thoughts. +r
if that is not possi"le or you dont want to do that, then tal! with
some"ody who is very mindful, very peaceful.
(o come into contact with some"ody
who is mindful and peaceful ma!es you
"ecome more peaceful and mindful.
It is very important.
(he #uddha tal!s a lot a"out a spiritual friend, to "e in contact
with some"ody who is mindful and peaceful.
(his is my experience too5 my first experience with my
teacher also was that he was very mindful and peaceful all the
time even when he was wor!ing. I have told you often a"out
my "est friend, my first teacher who was a musician and musical
instrument ma!er. I still thin! of him quite a lot, so mindful
he was. I never saw him getting upset a"out anything at all. I
never saw him doing anything in a hurry, always ta!ing his time,
doing things very mindfully and slowly, perfectly. -e was always
perfect in whatever he did. I never heard him "oasting a"out
anything, a"out any accomplishment or qualities or s!ills. -e
was a very s!illful person too, "ut he never tal!ed a"out himself
or his s!ills. -e never tal!ed a"out money.
4o, everyday choose some little thing that you can do to
"uild up your confidence and put it into practice. (his self confidence,
self respect, feeling of worthiness is very important. If
you dont feel worthy, even if you do something, you will not
get good results especially in meditation and in other cases too.
If you are not confident, if you dont respect yourself, dont feel
you are worthy of something you will not achieve it. >ont forget
that, to "egin is half done and half won5 ma!e a start today.
(he nature of wisdom,
the nature of insight is such that
if you !now that something is good and
you dont do it, you loose your insight.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . *?
(his is something very deep, we should understand it very
well, if you !now that something is good li!e meditation or generosity,
morality and loving !indness anything that you !now is
good, do it: If you !now that something is good and you dont
do it, your mind gives it up. May"e you sometimes get interested
and you thin!, ;+h Ill do that someday<, "ut youll not do it.
(he nature of wisdom is li!e that, all of us are in some ways
very intelligent and wise. +nce in a while we !now what to do
"ut we get diverted to something else and we dont do what we
thin! is good to do right away. 4o if you put into practice what
you feel is a good thing to do then you develop deeper insight,
even a small thing.
.specially with what happens in meditation. You sit and
meditate5 your mind "ecomes very calm and peaceful. (hen a
flash of insight comes into your mind, you see that you made a
mista!e, or you see that there is something you needed to do and
you forgot to do it. Immediately get a piece of paper and write it
down, dont let it "e forgotten, it is very important. +ur nature
is that we are naturally and spiritually intelligent, "ut this forgetfulness
and other things that ma!e us greedy, very often ta!e
over our minds. 4o we forget to do good things. $henever some
flash of insight occurs in your mind, get it, catch it, get a piece
of paper and write it down. (hen try to put that into practice as
soon as possi"le. In your meditation when you realise you have
made a mista!e or you have said something wrong, said something
which is not really true5 you must correct that mista!e as
soon as possi"le.
If you want to develop deep insight,
put into practice as soon as possi"le what
you understand to "e the right thing to do.
If you do 'ust this one thing I assure you that you
can develop your very deep spiritual qualities.

(his is something that my teacher told me a long time ago
and I found it to "e true in my own practice.
Many people came to him and as!ed him many questions
and he answered hundreds of questions every day. 4ome people
even as!ed him very simple questions li!e ;my !nee hurts,
should I go and see a doctor< Juestions li!e that5 they came and
as! to my teacher "ecause they cannot decide for themselves.
#ut he was always very compassionate he always gave them the
answer that they needed. (hen many times he said,
;#e more mindful, your mind will tell you
the right thing to do<.
It sounds very simple, un"elieva"le, "ut if you really do the
right thing that your mind tells you to do, it will tell you more
and more. I call it Qit as it is not something personal5 your mind
is not something personal. It will tell you the right thing to do
"ecause in our nature we !now what is right and what is wrong,
in most cases, I mean we !now it.
ot only humans. I read a "oo! a"out some"ody training
a chimpan)ee, (he .ducation of Ioco they made it into a
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . *A
television show. I !now the trainer who trained the chimpan)ee.
(hey have many trainers "ut one of them was the chief
trainer, an anthropologist I thin!. +ne of the trainers, when
leaving his shift, said to the trainer who was ta!ing over, that
the chimpan)ee that day was causing a lot of trou"le, that he
was very naughty, something li!e that. (his chimpan)ee was
so intelligent that she could understand human language and
she was so angry, 'umping, "ecause some"ody was saying that
she was "ad. (hen she said ;noN telling a lieNlyingN lying.<
that the trainer was lying. (hen when this first trainer left 7she
does not li!e this first trainer8 the other trainer was more sensitive
to the chimpan)ee, she could understand the chimpan)ees
feelings more intimately. 4o she tried to calm Ioco down and
as!ed what happened, Ioco said ;I was "ad< she admitted that.
.ven the chimpan)ee !new she was "ad, she got into trou"le.
-ow much more a human "eing can !now:: Although we !now
what is right and what is wrong we dont always do the right
thing we dont always try to avoid the wrong thing and if we
!now something and we dont do it, what is the point of trying
to !now more and more.
o matter how much
we !now if we dont put it into practice,
what is the point of !nowledge.
Another day when the trainer came, the chimpan)ee was very
upset again. (he trainer as!ed the chimpan)ee what happened
and the chimpan)ee said ;cat "ad<, 7she can spea! sign language,8
the trainer as!ed why9 (he chimpan)ee said ;cat !illed
"ird< she can ma!e all the signs even spea!ing in sentences. You
see the chimpan)ee !nows that it is not good to hurt another
"eing, and she was very upset a"out it, "ecause she felt for the
"ird. Another day many visitors came to see Ioco, "ecause she
was "ecoming very famous, many people came to see her and
one visitor loo!ed at Ioco and said ;"eautiful< 7using sign language8
and when the visitor said Ioco is "eautiful, do you !now
what Ioco said9 Ian you guess9 $ith American 4ign 6anguage
she said ;lying<. 4he scratched her nose, so they understood,
;lying<, and she didnt li!e that, for even a chimpan)ee which is
very close to a human "eing, can understand that it is not good
to lie5 it is not good to !ill.
$e !now that, if we dont put into practice what we !now
there is no point in trying to find out more. If you put into practice
what you !now is the right thing to do, then your mind will
let you !now more and more5 this is very encouraging. $hen I
first found out a"out this truth I felt very happy a"out it. I have
the quality, the a"ility to !now. $hen many people as!ed my
teacher many questions my teacher said ;try to "e more mindful
and your mindfulness will let you !now the right thing to do<.
/nless you do something everyday to ma!e yourself feel that
you are "ecoming a "etter person, which means, to "e more loving,
more compassionate, more caring and sharing, more mindful,
more understanding, then there is "ound to "e a feeling of
failure. /nless you do that you may feel your life is a failure.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . *F
;$hat am I doingN 'ust going around and around<. As you
get older and older you feel the failure more and more. If we
develop our inner qualities every day we feel "etter and "etter
a"out ourselves. ;+h: Another day has gone and I have developed
some good qualities. I am "ecoming more understanding
more loving, more caring, more sharing, more compassionate<
and that will ma!e you very happy.
(a!e small steps to improve yourself every day,
consistently and with determination,
it gets easier as you go on.
As long as you head in the right direction and
!eep going youll get there.
Actually, we !now quite a lot "ut many of us li!e to procrastinate.
;Ill do it later<, many of us procrastinate li!e that hoping
that if we delay well "e "etter equipped to ta!e up the 'o" later.
$e need to learn more and more a"out how to do thisN how
to do thatN we thin! that if we !now more then we will "e a"le
to do it more easily, "ut that is not the truth. If you do what you
!now, that will ma!e it easier for you to learn more and more.
4o, doing and !nowing should go together. If you 'ust do one
thing that you !now how to do, if you ta!e "ut one step forward
something will happen to ma!e the second step easier.
(here is a power within you greater
then you reali)e, it awaits you,
4o do what you !now now and it will ma!e
it easier for you to do the next thing.
As we use what is in hand, then greater opportunities are
given. /se your !nowledge now5 if you use it, then you will get
more !nowledge, from yourself and also from your teachers
too. (eachers will come to you, or you will "e there where your
teacher is, so, use what is yours to use today, your motivation,
!nowledge, a"ility, todays resources are sufficient for todays
tas! and what you need tomorrow it will come, which means
dont wait until tomorrow, you already !now what to do now,
do it now: (his is the most important thing.
I got very simple instructions from my meditation teacher,
'ust to sit very relaxed, deeply "reathing in, "reathing outN
feeling more and more relaxed, !eep the mind on "reathing,
very simple instructions li!e that. After that he said go through
the whole "ody from the head to toes, chec! all the sensations
in the "ody. (hose simple instructions I practiced for six years,
no more instructions5 that was 'ust enough. &ust sitting "reathing
in and "reathing out, feeling more relaxed and after that
going through the whole "ody, seeing whatever sensation there
is. It might "e cold or hot, pain, tension, ache or it might "e
'ust feeling good. 4ometimes it feels very good, so I am aware of
that, feeling very relaxedN very peacefulN sometimes thoughts
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . *H
come inN 'ust watch the thoughtsN see the nature of them
and they will go away.
.verything comes and goes,
we dont need to push it away,
and it will go away "y itself.
I did that for six years, not in a hurry and later another
teacher told me that you can practice meditation while wal!ing
too: I didnt !now a"out it "efore. I thought at first to meditate
meant to sit in full lotus, so I tried to sit in full lotus and, actually
it was not difficult for me. (he first thing I heard a"out meditation
wasN you sit li!e thisN and !eep your hands li!e thisN
and meditate, I thought this is the only position that you can
meditate. (hen later some"ody told me that you can meditate
while wal!ing, that was a surprise for meN so, I said ;0eally9
-ow do you do that9< (he person was actually my friend, we
were living in a hostel in university<. -e was next to me and
sometimes we tal!ed a"out >hamma and he said ;You can meditate
while wal!ing<N ;-ow do you do that9< -e said ;You
can "e mindful of "reathing while wal!ingN quite simpleN you
dont need to change your o"'ect of meditation, try to "e mindful
of "reathing while you are wal!ing< or he said ;You can "e
mindful of each stepN you can do that too<. 4o, when every"ody
was asleep I 'ust wal!ed around the university campus trying,
'ust very happy to experiment with it. I was very interested
in doing that. It was very nice, quiet and cool also. I thin! it
was in >ecem"er and in the northern hemisphere it is a cold
season. $al!ing around the university campus very excitedN
;+h really it wor!s: It really wor!s:<
6ater we discussed a"out meditation and he said that you
can meditate anywhere.
o special place, "ut
if you have a special place it is good,
"ut if you dont it does not matter
you can meditate anywhere.
(here was a Ihinese cemetery in the east of our university,
a "ig cemetery, we crossed over the hill and went there. It was
very nice li!e a par!, even clean. $e would sit and meditate
there for a while and then come "ac!. 4ometimes late in the
night when we could not go to the Ihinese cemetery, I went
to the tennis court where there were "enches to sit and no"ody
there at night. 4o I meditated there, very peacefully.
6earning a few things at a time and
immediately putting them into practice.
(hat is the most important thing to do,
dont wait for more !nowledge.
>o what you !now right now,
that will ma!e you !now more and more.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . ?D
4o when you are really doing something and some"ody gives
you advice, you !now the value of that advice "ecause you are
already doing it. If you are doing something and are having difficulty,
and some"ody comes and tells youN ;+h, if you do it
li!e this it will solve your pro"lems<, immediately you use that
!nowledge and solve the pro"lem and you !now the value of
that advice. -owever if you are not doing anything and some"ody
tells you how to do something again and again, you wont
learn anything, you dont value their advice.
It is very, very important to prepare. (here are many things
we should thin! a"out. $hat you eat affects your mind and "ody.
A meditator should "e aware of that and should "e sensitive to
that. 0ecently some"ody told me that his meditation was very
good. -e felt very calm and peaceful and he as!ed me, why9 In
fact he should as! himself ;$hat have I done right9<, and if it
is not good you have to as! yourself ;$hat have I done wrong.<
You should thin! a"out how much you ate and if you ate a "ig
meal "efore you sat and meditated, I am sure that wont "e a very
good sitting. .ven the quality of your food, if you eat for instance
too much fried, oily fatty food it will ma!e your mind dull, and
it affects your mind. If you drin! too much coffee it ma!es your
mind agitated. It depends on the right "alance. If you li!e to
drin! coffee, drin! 'ust the right amount, 'ust to !eep you alert,
"ut dont drin! too much "ecause it will agitate your mind.
Also what you tal! a"out it is very important. If you tal! a"out
something that causes agitation in the mind, then you go and sit,
your meditation will not "e very good. It is quite natural that what
you tal! a"out affects your mind very much. (hats why in #urma
7Myanmar8 in some meditation centres, here also, the teachers
instruct the students not to tal!. In our daily life it is not possi"le
for us not to tal!, so we should "e careful what we tal! a"out and
how much we tal!. If we tal! mindfully and we are tal!ing a"out
something not useful we will "e a"le to cut it short.
I am not trying to push you
to live an ideal daily life, it is not possi"le.
I understand how difficult it is for
a lay person to live daily life.
-owever if you are mindful
youll !now how and what you tal! a"out affects
your mind, affects your meditation.
If you tal! a"out something unwholesome, something that
ma!es you greedy, angry or upset, it ma!es you feel hopeless
and depressed and it will affect your meditation. If possi"le, tal!
a"out something positive, something encouraging, and even
though the situation is not a happy one, you can see it from a
positive angle and learn something from itN ;(his is a lesson I
need to learnN this is something that is teaching me to "e more
patient. (his is teaching me to "e more content<. .ven when
some"ody says something "ad a"out youN ;+h this person is
testing my forgiveness, how much I can forgive, how much I can
maintain my equanimity<. If you loo! at it from that point of
view it helps your meditation.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . ??
Your peace of mind also depends with
whom you are associating,
if you associate with those people who are loving,
!ind, generous, mindful and peaceful,
it helps your meditation.
#ut if you are associating with people who are unmindful,
'umpy, tal!ing a"out one thing after another or un!ind, angry,
upset, greedy or proud, they will affect you negatively. 4o whatever
happens to us in our daily life affects our mind and affects
our meditation.
,or meditation it is very important to
understand how food affects your mind.
I do that all the time. I watch what I eat and how much I
eat5 sometimes I eat too much "ecause I dont want to throw
things away. $hen people throw away food I feel very "ad a"out
it. #ut very carefully as much as possi"le I try to get the right
amount of food, the right !ind of food. $hen I eat the wrong
food my stomach wont digest, it will stay a long time in the
stomach, I dont have energy, and the mind gets dull. If you
eat the wrong !ind of food it "ecomes poison to your "ody. ,or
example I cannot eat anything made with mil! "ecause I cannot
digest lactose. $hen I eat mil! or anything made from mil! my
stomach "ecomes poisoned.
ot only food "ut
what we see poisons our mind as well.

$e are more concerned a"out our physical "ody only. $e
thin! so much a"out our physical "ody "ut not enough a"out
our mind. $e are careful enough not to poison our "ody, however
many people are poisoning their "ody eating the wrong
food, 'un! food. 4imilarly what we see can poison our mind,
what we hear can poison our mind "ecause ideas are coming
into our minds5 ideas are poison for the mind. $e need to "e
very careful of how our ideas affect our minds especially with
our children. #e careful of what they are getting on the television,
what they hear from their friends, what !ind of ideas they
are getting. Also "e very careful a"out how, what you see and
what you hear affects your mind. A good meditator should "e
careful of that.
Ilothing is important5
when you meditate it is much "etter to
wear loose fitting clothes, not very expensive,
'ust simple clothes.
,ood affects you, what you tal! a"out affects you, what you
see affects you, what you hear affects you, what you wear affects
you and your surroundings affect you. It is "est to meditate in a
very peaceful and clean place.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . ?A
(he place should "e very clean,
li!e this, it is very clean here,
with a quiet peaceful atmosphere,
"ecause a lot of people here are trying to
cultivate their spirituality and
that affects the place too.
4ometimes we have no choice and the place is not suita"le
to meditate in. In that case what shall we do9 Ill tell you what
I did. It is very useful5 I do it all the time, every day. Ill tell you
the story so youll get the idea very well. +nce I was in America
living in a monastery and there were a"out seven or eight
mon!s and more than twenty people in the place. It had "een a
school for children "ut this meditation group "ought that school
and made it into a monastery, actually into a meditation centre.
I was the only .nglish spea!ing mon! in that monastery and I
tal!ed a lot all day, from a"out five ocloc! in the morning until
eleven or twelve in the night. 4ometimes I got very tired and
distressed, sometimes so many people around ma!ing so much
noise, it distur"ed my mind. I told one friend it is very difficult
to meditate here and to relax and sometimes I want to relax
I cant ignore the noise and relax. 4o when I wanted to relax
I wrote on a piece of paper Qplease dont distur" and I would
stic! that paper on the door outside my room. #ut there were
so many people who needed to tal! to me they would come and
!noc! at the door, ta!e off the paper and show it to me saying
that ;May"e you forgot to ta!e off the paper<.
4o no time to restN all dayN tal!ingN tal!ingN I want
to run away, to go away, I cant do it anymore. I told my friend
;$hat to do now9 I cant go on doing li!e this for a long time,<
so my friend saidN ;I am very sorry: 6ets go into the redwood
forest<. (he monastery is in a redwood forest, we wal!ed up
the hill, it was a very nice place, the moment we wal!ed outside
it was forest, no houses. In that area they dont allow many
houses. +ne house here and you wal!ed one mile and found
another house. $e wal!ed out of the monastery, the path was
very simple, 'ust roc!s and gravel and up the hill we go, down
the hill and then clim" another hill and found a very nice spot.
(hey had cut down the trees and when they did that small trees
grew again from the roots, and they grew li!e a ring and inside
that area the redwood tree needles filled the gap and it is li!e
a "ed, soft. $e spread a cloth on there and we sat there and
meditated. It is very nice to meditate in the redwood forest, very
quiet and peaceful. 4ometimes we lay down and too! a nap in
the afternoon and then came "ac! to the monastery.
(hat helped quite a lot, "ut sometimes I could not go out
so what I did was I 'ust sat in my room imagining that I was "ac!
in my monastery in #urma. >ont thin! that imagination is uselessN
it affects my mind very much. 4o I sat thereN "reathing
in, "reathing outN relax and relaxingN the mind "ecame a
little "it calmerN. (he way to my monastery goes through rice
paddy fields, on the left and on the right green paddy fields, very
wide and the wind "lowing, very cool and I can hear the "irds.
I go slowly and slowly imagining that I was really there wal!ing
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . ?F
are "ecoming "igger and "igger "ecause people dont cut down
trees in the monastery. +utside the monastery they are cut
down. As I go into the monastery trees "ecome taller and taller,
you go into the trees it "ecomes quieter, cooler. (hen I would go
deep into my monastery. In the middle of the monastery there
is a clear space without trees. ear that place is the shrine room
and the meditation hall, not as "ig as this, it is quite small. I go
into my meditation hall shrine room and close the door. As I go
into my monastery, even physically when I go there, I feel that
on that road, feeling the temperature, the wind, the sound, the
smell of the rice fields and then going across a small wooden
"ridge. (here is a small waterfall near the "ridge, in my imagination
I would "e there and sit there for a while, listening to the
water falling and also the wind "lowing very cool. (hen from
there after I crossed the "ridge I clim"ed a very gentle slope
going up the hill to my monastery. It goes through a small opening
and on the side there is a cliff, so in "etween there a small
road a"out eight or ten feet wide with "am"oo groves and other
small trees growing. 4o I would go through that place, clim" the
hill very slowly and I get to the top where it is flat. ot many "ig
trees up there so I can loo! and see everything around. I loo!
far away and see the mountains to the east, the 4han hills and I
!eep going slowly and slowly, feeling everything in that area in
the surroundings and then after that I have to go slowly down
the hill again to get to my monastery. (he slope goes down
slowly and slowly and as I go down into my monastery the trees
shadier and also quieter "ecause the trees a"sor" noise, so as
I am leaving the whole noisy, "usy world "ehind, N the noisy,
"usy worldN it has nothing to do with my place. My monastery
is 'ust outside the world. ot disconnectedN it is in touch with
I go into the monastery and I feel that the noisy, "usy world is
left "ehind. I get into the place, pay respect to the #uddha, sit
down and meditate. (hat ta!es a"out five minutes to imagine
"ut that imagination affects my mind very much. If you cannot
that you are into your ideal meditation place. (a!e your time,
slowly and slowly. $hen your mind "elieves that and accepts
that it affects your mind.
the world "ut outside the world5 that is the way we feel a"out it.
find a suita"le place to meditate, try to do that. You imagine
You !now that you are imagining,
you !now that it is not real "ut
even though it is not real
it has real effect on your mind and
that is the most important thing.
You sit down and meditate5 the mind "ecomes very calm
and peaceful. If you imagine "ad things it affects your mind in
a "ad way, if you imagine good things it affects your mind in a
good way, it is quite natural, so try to do that.
6ast wee! I tal!ed a"out wholesome thin!ing% any !ind of
thought that is wholesome. $e cant ma!e ourselves not thin!
a"out anything at all "ecause thoughts are coming and going
all the time, "ut sometimes we have a choice to turn our mind
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . ?H
towards wholesome thoughts. (ry as much as possi"le throughout
the day to do that. $hen you get used to doing that your
mind will stay in that wholesome state mind more and more and
whenever unwholesome thoughts come to your mind you find
that your mind "ecomes uneasy, not peaceful, agitated, tiredN
you feel the difference.
4ome people are so used to thin!ing unwholesome thoughts
that they li!e to thin! unwholesome thoughts, they li!e to "e
angry and upset most of the time. I !now some people li!e that.
I as!ed one of them, ;$hy do you want yourself to get angry,
you are ma!ing yourself angry, do you !now that9< -e said ;Yes
I !now Im ma!ing myself angry< and I as!ed him ;$hy do you
do that9< (his person !nows that he is ma!ing himself angry,
deli"erately thin!ing a"out "ad things, and he said that ;$hen
I am angry I feel I have more energy<. 4ome people do that to
ma!e themselves angry so that they have more energy and this
person will try to thin! a"out all the things that go wrong a"out
government, weather, food, a"out everything in the newspaper,
in the television, something is always wrong for him. I as!ed
him ;$hy do you want to see all the faults9< $e are very close
friends and we can tal! very openly. -e said ;If you dont !now
what is wrong then you are stupid:< $hat is he trying to prove9
-e is trying to prove that he is not stupid "y loo!ing at all the
things that go wrong.
$hen we get upset, try to loo! deep inside.
$hy are we doing that9
$hat are we are trying to prove9
$hat do we get from that9
$henever we do something we expect something,
soN what do we get from getting upset9
-e was trying to prove that he is not stupid5 also he wanted to
"e more energetic. Another thing I found out was that this person
was not doing anything wholesome. $hen you are really interested
in doing something wholesome and useful whether worldly
or meditation, then you have no time to have unwholesome
thoughts, no time to loo! around and find faults in people. (hose
who are not doing something wholesome will naturally do something
unwholesome, you cannot stay in "etween. ,or most people
there are only two ways% to "e wholesome or to "e unwholesome.
$hen you "ecome used to !eeping your mind peaceful and
calm and relaxed, the moment any !ind of
unwholesome thoughts come into the mind
youll see the difference.
You "ecome unpeaceful agitated,
hot, you "ecome tired.
$hen I tal!ed a"out !eeping the five precepts with another
person that person as!ed me ;-ow long do I need to !eep the
five precepts intact to start to meditate9< (his is a very valid
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . RD
question, a good question. 4ome people say that first of all you
have to develop your sLla 7morality8, you have to !eep the five
precepts, your sLla intact "efore you meditate "ut how long9 It is
very difficult to say how long, so I as!ed this question to some of
my teachers, and I also tried to find out what the texts say and I
got a very reasona"le answer.
(he answer is it does not matter how long5
the only thing that matters is your sincerity.
If you decide right now
;I will not harm myself, I will not harm any"ody else<
from that moment you can start to meditate.
If you still have in your mind that youll harm some"ody even
though you meditate you cannot really develop deep concentration,
peacefulness and insight "ecause you need the intention
not to harm yourself and others. Intentionally ma!e a decision
and that is a necessity. -onestly ma!e a decision ;Ill not harm
myself and I will not harm any"ody else<, with sincerity.
If you can ma!e the decision from
that moment you are ready to meditate.
It all goes together, sLla, mett1 and vipassan1 "h1van1
7morality, loving !indness and insight meditation8,
they all go together, and you cannot leave
anything separate.
$e have a tendency to !eep things separate.
.ach aspect of our life is connected with
other aspects of our life,
this is very important especially for meditators.
.ach aspect of our life it is connected to
every other aspect of our life.
$hatever you do, it will affect your meditation,
either in a good way or in a "ad way.
(his truth is the "asis for our awa!ened life.
(his is the "asis.
4omeone who was a mem"er of a meditation centre in
#urma, he was a "usiness man and in his "usiness dealings he was
dishonest. 4o one of his friends pointed that out5 ;6oo! you are
meditating to develop your spiritual qualities to attain li"eration,
something very no"le and high "ut in your "usiness dealings you
are not really honest<. -e was cheating a little "it and every"ody
does that5 he was not exceptionally "ad "ut he was 'ust normally
"ad. 4o this "usinessman said ;(he two are different, when I go
to the meditation centre I meditate and I try do develop my spiritual
qualities to attain li"eration "ut when I am doing "usiness it
is "usiness, it is another matter:< o way can you do that:: Geep
this in mind and see what you are doing and see if what you are
doing is appropriate to your spiritual ideals, what your ideal is,
and always !eep your ideal in your mind and always chec! with
everything you do whether what you are doing now will harm
your spiritual practice or will support your spiritual practice.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . R?
$hat counts is how we live our daily life.
-ow constructively we use the resources that we have and
how lovingly we treat the people around us. (he two !eys to
successful living are attunement to spirituality and service to
our fellow man, the two go together. If we harm any"ody in any
way it will harm our spiritual practice. 4Lla has many aspects.
Geeping five precepts and whenever we use something we have
to reflect why we are using it. $hen we eat something we have
to reflect on it, ;$hy do I eat9< $hen we use clothing also ;why
do I use this clothing9< If we dont reflect on that then greed will
ta!e over, and we will eat greedily and we will wear clothes with
greed, 'ust to show off. $henever we see or hear something
try to "e very mindful, so that we will not react automatically.
$hen you go down the road, go down to "usy shopping centres
try to "e mindful. 4ee what happens. +ur eyes loo!ing here and
there all the time and we try to listen to many things. $e are
not trying to "e mindful at that moment and when we are not
mindful then we "ecome more and more agitated.
(here are other things that hinder our spiritual attainments.
+ne is !illing ones mother. If one has !illed ones mother one
cannot attain maggaMphala 7the path and fruition8, one can
meditate and he will not achieve supramundane consciousness,
"ecause to !ill a mother, to !ill a father, to !ill an Arahant and
to cause in'ury to a #uddha affects the mind very "adly. $rong
views are also very important: If some"ody thin!s that there is no
such thing as wholesome or unwholesome actions, everything is
the same, if some"ody "elieves that if you do something good it
will not give any good result, if you do something "ad it will not
give you any "ad results, if a person "elieves that sort of wrong
view he cannot attain any spiritual goal. I !now you dont have
those sorts of wrong views.
If even mentally you have accused any"ody, any fellow
meditator even, if you have any "ad thoughts a"out that person,
remem"er that, and as! for forgiveness. Please tell yourself
;I have made a mista!e<. It is very important to have positive
thoughts a"out each other. If you have any negative thoughts
a"out each other or any other people who are meditating, that
un!ind negative thought can hinder your progress. (hats why
when we sit and meditate first of all we try to develop this feeling
of "elonging, connectiveness, support, loving !ind thoughts.
It is very important to do that. $henever we sit and meditate
whether in group or alone, first thin! of those people and try to
develop mett1 for them, ;I support their practice<. If you dont
support their practice then you feel isolated, you feel very selfish.
$hen some meditators accuse each other, I have noticed that
that caused them guilty feelings and agitation and that destroys
their concentration.
(his is another important point here5 some"ody as!ed me a
similar question few days ago. (here are some people who have
"een meditating for quite a long time "ut mostly they are doing
only one thing for example sitting and trying to "e mindful all
the time of "reathing, "reathing in and out, 'ust one thing.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . RA
(he #uddha said
;Iatt1ro 4atipaPPh1n1 7M i.AS8,
,our ,oundation of Mindfulness<
$e have to practice all four foundation of mindfulness not
'ust one. (o really develop deep insight we need to develop all
four. (he first is !1y1nupassan1, mindfulness of the "ody and
Ill go into that later in detail, the second is vedan1nupassan1,
mindfulness of feelings, even in !1y1nupassan1 there are many
aspects. Another is citt1nupassan1, mindfulness of thoughts5
another is dhamm1nupassan1 which generally means the content
of any consciousness. (ry to develop as much as possi"le
all four.
(he 4atipaPPh1na meditation is all inclusive,
it is not exclusive.
4amatha meditation is exclusive,
you choose one thing and you leave everything else out.
#ut vipassan1 meditation is that first you start with one thing
slowly and slowly you ta!e in more and more, "e aware of everything
happening in your "ody and in your mind, in your eyes,
ears, nose, tongue, "ody, everywhere.
$henever we want to learn how to do something we need
a method from some"ody. $e have enough methods in the P12i
texts and there are a lot of teachers around as well. (o learn the
method is not very difficult anymore.
-owever one important thing is to clarify
whether you have understood it well or not,
you must as! questions.

>ont 'ust listen and ma!e notes and go away5 as! questions.
(his is the "est way to learn. .ither in meditation or any
other !ind of learning, those who really as! more questions, I
mean really thin!ing and as!ing questions and really listening,
do understand more. And as!ing again and again until you get it
very clear is the "est way to learn. >iscussion is very important.
6earn the method5 as! questions to clarify and practice5 and as
you practice youll find some difficulties coming up. $henever
you have difficulty as! your teacher, tal! with your teacher, ta!e
their advice.
In most cases if you !eep on practicing you get your own
answers, this is true. $e lived in the forest most of the time and
we were very far away from our teachers. $e can only see our
teachers once a month. 4o, when we meditate and have difficulties
we say ;I will as! this to my teacher when I go to see him<
and then we go on meditating and one day the answer comes in
the mind and we dont have to as! anymore. $ith many other
of my students also, I go to their city sometimes and when I go
away and they have difficulties, they write down their questions
a"out their difficulties thin!ing that ;Ill as! my teacher when
he comes<, "ut they !eep meditating really earnestly, honestly,
whole heartedly and then they find their own answers. 4o when
I go and see them many of them say ;I wrote down a lot of
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . RF
questions to as! you when you came "ut as I !eep meditating I
find my own answers so now I dont have many questions 'ust
one or two<.
If you !eep meditating youll find your own answers.
A good friend5 a good teacher is a good friend, a teacher
and a friend they are the same, not two different things. .ven
#uddha tal!ed a"out himself as a good friend. (o have a good
teacher, to have a good friend, to "e in touch with the teacher
to as! him questions, to ta!e his advice all this is very important.
$ithout a teacher and without a friend, without a guide it
will "e very difficult for us to go on this path. $ell ma!e a lot of
mista!es, well sidetrac! a lot.
In the "eginning stage of meditation naturally well try to
!eep our mind concentrated on one o"'ect. ,or example "reathing
in and out, we try to !eep our mind there as much as possi"le.
As we !eep our mind there, slowly and slowly we develop
more concentration, our mind stays on that o"'ect longer and
longer. As our mind "ecomes a little "it calm we can see the
changes in the nature of this sensation, of this o"'ect. .ven in
this mindfulness of "reathing there are many steps. If you do
each step systematically it is much easier to develop mindfulness
and concentration.
,or example the first thing you !now is that you are "reathing.
If you !now that you are "reathing, then you have ta!en
one step "ecause most of the time although we are "reathing we
dont !now it. $hy9 #ecause we are thin!ing a"out something
else all the time, thin!ingN thin!ingN $hat do we thin!
a"out most of the time9 4ometimes we dont even !now what
we thin! a"out. Most of the time we dont !now what we thin!
a"out, it happens so unconsciously. $henever we !now that
we are "reathing, it helps to "ring our mind "ac! to this present
momentN ;I am "reathing<N that is one step. (he next step
is "reathing in and you !now that you are "reathing in, "reathing
out, you !now that you are "reathing out, another stepN
"reathing in and out.
(he next step is, when you "reathe in, it ta!es a"out three
or four seconds if you "reathe in slowly, "reathing out ta!es
another two or three seconds, in that time two or three seconds,
your mind can go out many times. (o help your mind
not to go away you can do another thing. You can "rea! down
your "reathing in into five sections so that you can "e mindful
five times. You can "ring "ac! your mind five times when you
"reathe in and also the same thing when you "reathe out. You
count five times5 it helps you to "e more aware of your "reath.
(here is a misunderstanding a"out this method. 4ome people say
when you "reathe in and out count one and when you "reathe
in and out again count two. (hat means that you are counting
how many times you "reathe. It also helps you !eep your mind
on "reathing, "ut the real purpose is that you are trying to "e
more aware of your inM"reath, so that your mind cannot go away
in "etween. If you are aware of your inM"reath five times then
it is more difficult for your mind to wander away. 4ometimes
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . RH
and again on the "reathing. >ont try to reach the num"er, this
is very important. >ont try to count faster so that youll finish
counting as you finish "reathing5 'ust count naturally, evenly.
when you "reathe in you are aware in the "eginning and you
are not aware in the middle and in the end, it can happen. 4o
in order for that not to happen, you count in your mind again
and again, five times at least. It can "e more then five "ut the
maximum should not "e more than ten "ecause if you count ten
times then you count very fast and it causes agitation. >epending
on how long you "reathe in and how long you "reathe out
you count a minimum five times and somewhere "etween five
and ten. (he num"er does not matter. You need to understand
the purpose of counting5 the purpose is to !eep your mind again
Geep your mind there and when you !eep your mind there
where do you !eep it9
Geep your mind on the sensation, not on the concept,
"reathing is actually a concept, an idea5
in P12i it is called paTTatti, and
I will explain this word again and again.
PaTTatti and Paramattha these two words need to "e explained
quite a lot "ecause in many cases instead of !eeping the mind
on paramattha most meditators !eep the mind on paTTatti
"ecause that is what they have "een doing, !eeping the mind on
paTTatti. I have tried to translate this word many times and I discussed
a"out this with Uenera"le V1Oavisuddhi. In translation
they say paTTatti means concept. $hat does concept mean9
$hen you hear the word concept, how do you understand it9 A
word, a name, we tried to find out the meaning and we couldnt
really find a really exact translation in .nglish and so Uenera"le
V1Oavisuddhi suggested the word Qdesignation.
ames are paTTatti, any name is paTTatti5 in and out
direction is paTTatti5 when you call something air that name is
paTTatti, "ecause in fact what you call air it is a com"ination of
many elements.
4o when you ta!e things together,
give it a name or understand it as one thing then
you are understanding paTTatti
not real paramattha.
$hen you "reathe in, the direction is not important, naming
it is not important "ecause "oth of them are paTTatti. $hat
is paramattha is what you feel directly. $hat do you feel when
you "reath in9 $here does that sensation, that feeling happen5
sensation is what is real: $hat do you feel when you "reathe
in, "reathe out9 4omething gently touching, ru""ing, pushing,
these sensations are the real things to !eep your mind on.
(emperature also, coolness, warmthN Around your nose somewhere
you can feel something happening when you "reathe in
and when you "reathe out. Geep your mind there and try to
!eep your mind there many, many times "ringing it "ac! as you
"reathe in and as you "reathe out. >o that for a short time only
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . AD
"ecause even the counting is another paTTatti. um"ers are all
paTTatti not paramattha. $hen we use the num"ers we "rea!
down our "reath into smaller pieces so that we can "e more
continuously aware of it. (hat is the most important point, to "e
continuously aware of the "reath without any "rea! in "etween.
If you understand the purpose of a method then you can let go
of the rest of the things and 'ust do that.
Geep your mind on when the air comes in and goes out,
!eep your mind on where it touches,
!eep it there continuously, without any "rea!N
try your "est:
+nly in the "eginning, try to count or to say ;in< and ;out,<
"ut after a while let go of ;in, out< and let go of the counting and
try to "e 'ust with the "reath, without any ideas.
As you develop a certain level of concentration you "ecome
aware of the changing nature of the "reathN I mean the sensationN
even what we call "reath is paTTatti. $hat we directly
!now is the sensation. Ihec! and see whether you are doing
that when you are meditating. $here is your mind9 $hat are
you thin!ing a"out9 If you have any questions a"out this it is
very important to as! and ma!e it clear "ecause if you are not
!eeping your mind on paramattha, then although your mind
can "ecome calm, peaceful and concentrated, you cannot see
(here are two parts in meditation.
(he first part is to calm down,
to develop concentration so
that your mind does not get distracted,
to calm down the thoughts and
!eep the mind on one o"'ectN
that is the first o"'ect,
the first purpose of meditation.

And the second which is more important is
to understand the way things are,
whether you call it reality or whatever,
to understand the way things areN
sensations, thoughts, feelingsN
to understand things as they are.
If we !eep our mind on paTTatti we can get calm and peaceful
and concentrated "ut we will not see n1ma 7mentality8 as
n1ma and r3pa 7materiality8 as r3pa, we are not trying to "e in
touch with the nature of n1ma and r3pa, we are 'ust !eeping our
mind on paTTatti Qa designation. 4hape, si)e, small or "ig are
paTTatti5 east, west, north, south are paTTatti5 to give you more
idea of what paTTatti meansN Monday, (uesday, $ednesday
etc they are all paTTatti, 'ust names.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . A?
$hen you meditate and !eep your mind on
what you can really directly experience,
all that disappears.
4ometimes you dont even !now where you are sitting
whether you are facing east or west, we dont !now that anymore.
4ometimes very strange feelings happen5 you dont even
!now who you are sometimes, "ecause who you are is another
idea you created in your mind. #ut to get to that point you need
to have deep insight of anatta 7non soul, non self8. $hen your
mind has developed this wisdom of anatta, sometimes you dont
even !now your name. You have to thin! a"out it for a while. It
ta!es time to thin! a"out itN "ut that will come later.
If you have any questions a"out paramattha and paTTatti
please as!, it is very important. $e discuss a"out this in the
night sometimes, it ta!es many days to discuss, very interestingN
Uenera"le V1Oavisuddhi and IN we sit and discuss a"out
paTTatti and paramattha and the o"'ect of vipassan1. 4ometimes
it ta!es a long time, we forget a"out time evenN we sit
and discuss a"out it from nine ocloc! in the evening thin!ing
that we will have a discussion of a"out one hour and we forget
a"out time "ecause time is paTTatti. $hen we loo! at the cloc!
we realise it is a"out eleven thirty. If you have more questions,
please as!. ow is the time to as! questions. Is there any question9
Please feel very freeN
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 6ong and short 7"reath8 is paTTatti. (his is a
very good question, than! you for as!ing that. $hen we
thin! a"out long what do we mean9
(he important thing is not
to !eep your mind on the word.
(he important thing is
when it is long you !now the whole thing
from the "eginning to the end.
You !eep your mind on the touching sensation, the
place where the inM"reath and the outM"reath touches and
!eep your mind there no matter how long it ta!es, whether
it is short or long. In the "eginning only, you !now that it
is long, you !now that it is shortN this is only in the "eginning
stage. &ust to !now that you are "reathing, it is the first
stage5 'ust to !now that you are "reathing in, that you are
"reathing out is another stage5 'ust to !now that you are
"reathing in long, "reathing out long is another stage5 or
"reathing in short, "reathing out short5 "ut after that you
let go of long and short, "ut "e with the "reath continuously
from the "eginning to the end.
(he counting should not "e more then tenN dont try
to count to a certain exact num"er. -ow many num"ers is
not important. (he important point is that your mind stays
thereN. (his is only in the "eginning.
#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . AA
+nce you get to a certain level of concentration, let go of
the counting and see if your mind can stay there. #ecause we
have the ha"it of thin!ing so much and it happens so quic!ly
and easily that when we "reathe in a long "reath well "e
aware of "reathing in. In the "eginning we num"er one, two,
three, and forget a"out four, five, six, seven, eight etcN we
forget and we thin! a"out something else. In order that we
dont slip away we try to catch it "ac! again and again and
!eep it on our "reath5 that is the purpose of countingN then
we let go of the counting and stay with the "reathN
Nand if you can stay with the "reath
without counting dont count anymore, "ecause
counting "ecomes another hindrance later5
"ecause it is 'ust num"ersN
we are not trying to understand num"ersN
we are trying to understand the "odily sensations.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes, to !now that you are "reathing is paTTatti5
in and out is paTTatti5 to !eep your mind on counting is
also paTTatti5 long or short is another paTTatti. (his is good
in the "eginning. And when you can stay with the "reath
without thin!ing of any word that is the "est thing to doN
without thin!ing of any word, "ecause long and short is
another ideaN. It is comparisonNthe main thing that we
should do is "e with the "reath continuously5 if you can stay
with that let go of everything else: 4hort, long, in out, does
not matter:
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% &ust to help your mind from "eing distracted,
to help your mind to quieten down. +nly in the "eginning
stage when you sit for a while, 'ust for a few minutes try
to do that and then let go: #ecause we have "eing going
around doing so many things that naturally our mind has
speeded upN is thin!ing too muchN. $hen you "egin sitting
meditationN "reathing inN "reathing outN then try
to count a little "it onlyN
N see if you can stay with the "reath,
if you can stay with it, let go of all the words,
all the ideas.

#A4II 4GI664 A> />.04(A>I= . AF
(he $ay into
Uipassan Meditation
$elcome to the class. I am very happy to see you. As I
told you "efore, the most "eautiful thing to see is a
person sitting and meditating, very "eautiful. 4ince
I was a young "oy whenever I saw someone meditating, I 'ust
wanted to stop and loo! at that person5 sitting so still, his "ody is
still and also so "alanced and dignified. 4itting li!e this it loo!s
li!e a pyramid to me, so sta"le, so firm, unsha!a"le5 it represents
the mind also, so sta"le, so still. (he posture of the "ody helps
the mind5 it ma!es you go towards sta"ility, calm and peace.

$hen I see a #uddha statue,
a #uddha meditating, it ma!es me very peaceful.
I have collected some pictures,
#uddha images that loo! very peaceful.
#efore I go on tal!ing a"out meditation o"'ects and different
!inds of sam1dhi 7concentration8, I want to answer one
question that some"ody as!ed me last wee!, which is a very
important thing to remem"er. It has also a deeper meaningN
the "eginning stage. (his is very hum"ling, to understand that,
thin! that we !now everything, we have gone very far. If you
havent overcome a certain stage you are still in the "eginning
a"out the nature of our mindN. I tried to find out in some "oo!s
a"out meditation, experienced meditators have made records,
and they have found that 'ust as the stillness of meditation is
coming to him or her, the mind is "ecoming still, the thoughts
slowing down, you "ecome unaware of the surroundings @ it
means your mind is "ecoming more and more collectedN. You
are going towards the sam1dhi state of mind @ "ut 'ust as that
happens5 do you !now what happens next for some people9 &ust
as the stillness of meditation is coming to him or her, the "eginnerN
XA "eginner does not mean a person who is 'ust starting
meditating, a "eginner means a person who has not gone
"eyond that5 so you may have "een meditating for a long time,
"ut if you havent gone "eyond a certain stage you are still in
"ecause if we have "een meditating for a long time we want to
4o, 'ust as the stillness of meditation is coming to him or
her, the "eginner suddenly is "rought "ac! to material realities.
Material realities mean the ordinary realityN soN "rought "ac!
to ordinary reality "y a sudden 'er! of the whole "ody and why
does that happen9 It happens to some people5 it used to happen
to me. 4ometimes it happened li!e thisN I am very stillN and
then suddenly I hear some noise and "ecome shoc!edN and
wa!e up:
(-. $AY I(+ UIPA44AY M.>I(A(I+ . SD
$hen you meditate, you go into a different world, into a
different reality, and this is something you should understand.
It is very similar to Qa trance state, a !ind of hypnotic state "ut
not really a hypnoti)ed state. It is very similar to that. 4ome
doctors understand very well. $hen you stop thin!ing and you
are paying attention to one o"'ect, slowly and slowly your mind
"ecomes collected and you go into a different !ind of reality.
4o, on the threshold of that reality, you find a lot of difficulties.
Your mind goes "ac! and forth "ecause we are so familiar with
our ordinary reality. $e feel safe in this ordinary reality and we
want to ta!e hold of it, !eep hold of it, we dont want to let go of
itN this is a protective reaction. $e want to protect ourselves.
+ne way of protecting ourselves is
to !eep ourselves in our conscious mind,
to !eep our surroundings in our conscious mind,
we want to !now what is going around, and
we want to !now the state of our "ody too.

;-ow is my "ody now9< $hen you meditate and your mind
"ecomes very collected, slowly and slowly you lose awareness
of your surroundings. $hen you get more and more collected
you lose awareness of your "ody too sometimes. I meanN you
are aware of the sensations "ut you are not aware of the shape
anymore. 4ometimes the shape and si)e of your "ody dissolves
"ecause shape and si)e is paTTatti. (he mind puts it together it
ma!es it into an idea5 paramattha has no shape, no si)e.
If you find that difficult to understand I will give you a
simile @ an example from physics, ewtonian science. $hen
you read that, you find that there is shape, si)e, and movement,
everything is there. You can predict everything according to
ewtonian physics% the planets move around, you can predict
any time, say ten years from now, that a certain planet will "e in
a certain place, you can tell that. It has shape, si)e and movement
regularity. #ut when you get down and down to su"atomic
particles you lose all that. (here is no shape, and you cannot
tell anything for sure, you can only say that there is a certain
percentage of pro"a"ility for a certain thing to happen. +nly
pro"a"ility, nothing is sure anymore.
In meditation also it happens li!e that. In our ordinary state
of awareness we are aware of the surroundings, the shape, si)e,
"eing, people, east, west, north, south, time, day, and year.
$hen we meditate we forget a"out
what year it is, what day it is,
what day and time it is and sometimes also
we forget a"out where we are.
$e are not aware of that anymore,
"ecause all these are 'ust concepts.
You dont !now where you are sitting5 you dont !now
whether you are facing east or west. 4ometimes very strange,
you dont !now where you are and that is very scary and it
sounds li!e a !ind of mental sic!ness. 4ome people forget who
they are "ecause they are mentally sic!, "ut in this state also
sometimes when you go "eyond ordinary reality, who you are
does not matter anymore.
QI is 'ust an idea, you lose all that too.
As you go into that state you come "ac! again and again
"ecause you are very scared of itN. I have to !now who I amN.
I have to !now what is happening around me "ecause otherwise
I am so unprotected. $e try to feel secure "y trying to !now
what is happening around us and "y trying to !now what is happening
to our "ody, "y trying to "e conscious of our "ody or self,
this is paTTatti actually. (his is very important to understand
"ecause if you dont, you fear more and moreN ;I am afraid
to meditate<N. (his happened to me, suddenly with a 'er! I
wo!e up and I had tremendous fear: $e are afraid to go "eyond
this ordinary reality, although we want to experience something
deeper, something "eyond. Although we are meditating 'ust for
that, the moment we cross that threshold some people are afraid
and feel very insecure.
$e feel secure "y "eing in control of our "ody and
our surroundings. +ne way of "eing in control is to !now
what is going on, we want to !now what is going on around
us and we want to !now what is going
on in our "ody. (his is a protective reaction.
$hen we have "een tense for a long time, we "ecome accustomed
to holding on to ourselves. (his happens more to people
who are anxious and insecure.
Imagine for example that you are in a deep forest and there
might "e tigers, sna!es, and other animals around5 I lived in the
forest and there were tigers. Xow hunters say that tigers are
afraid of human "eings and run awayW. $hen we first go into a
place which is new to us we feel very insecure "ecause there is
real danger% the tigers, the sna!esN tigers we can protect ourselves
if we are in an enclosed area. #ut sna!es, it is very difficult
"ecause they are so small and they can squee)e in and come into
your hut "ecause the huts are made of "am"oo, not really sealed.
Irawling insects, animals can come inN. 4o when you sit and
you hear noises li!e shiN shishN, suddenly you wa!e up and
you are really afraid, your "ody reacts5 ;what is that9< You feel
very insecure. $hen you find out that its 'ust a li)ard then o!
you go "ac! and meditate "ut still your mind is not totally in
your meditation, you are still !eeping alert. If you !eep yourself
alert and try to find what is going on in your surroundings it is
very hard for you to develop deep sam1dhi. You are still aware,
you are mindful to a certain extent only. You cannot go "eyond
(o go "eyond that you need to
develop some !ind of trust and security5
this is very important.
It is very good to meditate with another person whom you
trust, your teacher, a family mem"er or a good friendN you feel
that if ;anything should happen to me, some"ody is around to
help me,< for "eginners this is very important. In #urma when
we meditate many teachers say surrender your "ody to #uddha.
4ym"olically you give yourself away to the #uddha5 it is not mine
anymore, so if it is not mine anymore I dont need to worry a"out
it. (his is sym"olical giving away. (ry to find out some ways to
ma!e yourself feel secure and to trust your surroundings. In this
place you dont need to "e afraid of anything. .very"ody around
here is a meditator and the place is very safe and secure. #efore
you meditate it is important to develop some !ind of mett1 7loving
!indness8, "ecause mett1 ma!es you feel quite secure.
I live in the forest sometimes with no "uilding, no dwelling
place. 4ometimes sitting under a tree, sometimes 'ust a simple
hut, sometimes made from ro"es. $e sit and meditate and when
we develop strong mett1, that strong mett1, ma!es us feel very
secure. I have "een living in the forest for more than twenty
years and never "een hurt "y anything, real deep forest sometimes,
only a few huts surrounding, to get my food. I want to
get deeper and deeper into the forest, far away from civili)ation,
"ecause civili)ation is so distur"ing.
AnywayN if you trust yourself, that means you feel
more secureN trust yourself, trust your practice:
,or "eginners it is very important to find
very secure surroundings.
4o we "ecome accustomed to holding on to ourselves, we
"ecome so attached to ourselves, we try to protect ourselves all
the timeN !eeping a grip of ourselvesN see if you can really feel
that ;I am trying to "e in control of my "ody and mind<, we are
all trying to "e in control, "ut in meditation if you try to do that
you cannot develop deeper understanding and go "eyond.
You learn to let goN
let whatever happens happen, "ecause
some of the things you experience in meditation are so
extraordinary that if you try to "e in control you "ac! off.
You cannot go further: ;Geeping a grip on ourselves<
we do this unconsciously, that is the pro"lem.
#ecause consciously you try to give up the control, to let go,
"ut unconsciously you are afraid, you are insecure. 4o you are
still trying to "e in control "ecause this fear, anxiety has "een
ingrained in us. $e dont !now how long, it might "e millions
of years, it is ingrained in our >A I thin!5 this is not an easy
thing% to unconsciously guard against the threat of psychological
QPsychological disintegration what does that mean9 Integration
means we have the idea of who we are. >isintegration
means it is anatta, no self5 no control. Are you willing to go into
that stage9
(here is no self, there is no control,
there is 'ust physical and mental process going on:
(he moment you try to control it you are out of it,
you are out of your meditationN
Meditation is a !ind of surrender.
$e always want to "e in control of ourselves ;I !now who
I am, I !now what I am doing< with that attitude we cannot
cross the threshold: (here is no QI anymore, there is no QI meditating
anymore, and you are not in control of your meditation
even. You are 'ust purely aware of what is happening, 'ust purely
aware without control, 'ust li!e you are loo!ing at the road. You
are sitting outside and loo!ing at the road, you are not in control
of any car. (hey are 'ust coming and going, you can 'ust sit
and watchN I !now what is going on "ut I have no control:
You need to develop that !ind of mental state, no control, that
is why I try to tell people dont resist, dont control, 'ust let go
and "e 'ust an uninvolved o"server.
(he moment we see we are losing control, the moment we
dont feel QI am anymore, we have a certain !ind of fear developing.
#ut this does not happen to every"ody. +nly to some
people it really happens. (hen, we let go into the meditative
processN. $henever that happens try to calm down again and
'ust tell yourself that there is no danger, no fear. (rust yourself,
trust your practice, and go on. $e are no longer holding on to
ourselves. $hen we are meditating we are not holding on to
ourselves, or !eeping a grip of ourselves. 4ee if you are doing
that, trying to "e in control, trying to do something. +ur mind
suddenly feels that we are in danger and the sudden 'er! of the
"ody is a protective reaction to put us on guard again. 4o the
moment we cross over to another reality we wa!e up with a
'er!, we want to "e in control again. (his is a !ind of protective
reaction of "ody and mind. (his sudden 'er! of the "ody it is not
very common "ut it may "e quite frightening. &ust tell yourself,
encourage yourself that it will go away as you develop deeper
peacefulness and deeper wisdom, it will go away. (his will happen
a few times, going "ac! and forth.
4ometimes the "eginner may "e distur"ed "y a sudden feeling
of acute panic. (he first thing is that your "ody wa!es in a 'er!,
your "ody reacts, "ut in other cases the "ody is still very quiet, it
does not sha!e. (he "ody is in a still position "ut the mind reacts.
4ometimes the "eginner may "e distur"ed "y a sudden feeling of
acute panic 'ust when the stillness of mind comes to him. (he
meditation is a"ruptly "rought to a halt, it comes to a stop5 you
wa!e up. (his is another variety of the unconscious protective
reaction. (he person who is chronically tense and anxious feels
that if he was to let go something terri"le would happen to him
mentally. -e feels that ;If I let go I dont !now what will happen,
may"e something very strange can happen and I may not "e in
control, I may not "e a"le to come "ac! to my normal way of
"eing<, there are many such a people among us.
(hat is why in order to develop self confidence and courage
we need to practice, to !eep five precepts, that ma!es you feel
very courageous.
If you are !eeping the five precepts
you have less fear, this is real.
If you "elieve that you are a !ind, virtuous person,
it gives you a lot of strength and courage.
Also develop mett1, when you are a loving person it ma!es
your mind very calm and peaceful. $e are protected "y our own
mett1. 4ometimes you feel there is a !ind of protection around
you, li!e radio waves, li!e a magnetic field, you feel li!e you
are protected "y your loving !indness. $hoever comes into this
field will not hurt you. .ven though they come to you with the
intention to hurt you, when they cross into your field of !indness,
they change their mindN ;+h, I am not going to say anything,
I am not going to do anything<, this is very real: (ry to
develop loving !indness. (he stronger you try to develop this
!indness the stronger your field of mett1 will "e and you will feel
protected "y your own mett1. Many people as! me ;-ow do I
protect myself9<
You protect yourself "y developing mett1 and
also "y developing mindfulness.
#oth of them can protect you and also
trust in the #uddha, trust in the practice.
#efore you go into deep sam1dhi, sit down and reflect on
your good qualities. >evelop mett1 and reflect on the qualities
of the #uddha and then tell yourself ;I will go deep into
my practice "ut if any real danger comes I will wa!e<. You can
determine that and if you do that a few times youll find that
if something happens, you are already awa!e. (his is very real
"ecause in some places where we live we have to do that, not
only for danger "ut if you wish to get out of your sam1dhi at a
certain hour you can do that too. You sit and meditate, and
"efore you meditate you say ;I am going to sit for two hours after
that I will wa!e up< and you go deep into sam1dhi and meditate
and when the time comes you are already awa!e. 6oo! at the
cloc! and you see it is the right time, 'ust one or two minutes
plus or minus.
$hen you go into real sleep also, many meditators can do
thatN You have meditated and you want to go to sleep, normal
natural sleep, so you tell yourself ;ow I am going to sleep "ut
after four or five hours sleep I will get up<. $ith that determination
in your mind slowly go to sleep and youll wa!e up
at the determined time. May"e you have heard or read a"out
these things. (his is real, you can do this. (he same thing you
can do if any real danger comes, ;I will "e awa!e, and Ill !now
what to do<. In some cases when people meditate for a long time
@ sometimes they can meditate all day without getting up even
@ they have to do that. In the meditation instruction "oo!s
they say that you have to do that, you have to do this !ind of
determination "ecause there can "e real danger. $hat happens
if a fire "rea!s out in the forest9 It is quite a common thing to
happen, so you determine that ;If there is any danger I will wa!e
up<. 4o, this is a very good question some"ody as!ed last wee!.
Please as! me questions li!e this and give me time to prepare so
that I can give you a very clear answer.
(his wee! I would li!e to tal! a little "it more a"out paTTatti
and paramattha again and then I would li!e to tal! a"out three
different !inds of sam1dhi.
Paramattha is something you experience directly
without thin!ing a"out it.
Paramattha is that inherent quality of
mental and physical process.
In fact paramattha is the qualities and you
cannot !now anything "eyond qualities.
4cientists are trying to find out what is ultimate reality.
/ntil now they have not found it "ecause the deeper they go
the more it "ecomes illusive5 matter has no shape, no si)e. (he
smallest particle of matter, something li!e photons5 light is photons,
'ust pac!ets of energy that have no mass. Ian you imagine
something with no mass9 &ust pure energy, this is light5 what is
"eyond that no"ody can tell. (he only thing we can !now a"out
it is the quality, nothing more than that.
In meditation also, direct experience is the quality.
,or example when you touch something what do you feel9
You feel it is warm, that is the quality. You feel it is soft, that
is also the quality. You feel some sort of vi"ration, movement,
which is also the quality. #ut we cannot touch leg. 6eg is something
you put together in your mind. You cannot tell the quality
of your leg. You cannot even touch your leg actually. (ry to
understand this. In the "eginning it is very hard to understand
this. ;$hatN I cannot touch my leg9 -ere it is:::< #ut how do
you !now that this is a leg9 It is "ecause you put together many
ideas. If you touch something, you close your eyesN and touch
somethingN can you tell what it is9 Ian you tell the shape9
You cannot, you can only tell the shape only when you get in
contactN it is a flat surfaceN "ut you cannot tell the shape of
the "all: -ow do you tell the shape of the "all9 #ecause you loo!
at it and put the idea together, or you can touch and you can
say thatN ;+h I !now the shapeN it is a round "allN it is hollow
insideN it is a"out one cm thic!N.< -ow do you tell that9
You put so much data together, "ut if you ta!e only one datum
you cannot tell anything, except the qualityN it is hardN it is
coldN nothing more than that.

In meditation we come down to
this simple pure sensation, nothing added.
(hat is what I tried to tal! a"out (hursday, "ut I dont
expect that people can understand it right wayN. othing
added, 'ust direct experience, that is what we are trying to
get "ecause this is really what is happening all the time. (he
moment we experience something we try to put together many
ideas, to form an idea a"out it from the past memories, from the
eyes and from other information too. (ry to understand the idea
of what paramattha is, "ecause this is the o"'ect of our vipassan1
/nless you can !eep your mind on paramattha you cannot
really develop deep insight. You can develop deep sam1dhi "y
concentrating on any o"'ect% sound or shape, colour, a word,
an idea, even nothingness. +nce I tried to meditate on nothingness,
tried to develop some sam1dhi "y practicing 1n1p1na
7concentrating on the "reath at the nostrils8, and then tried to
develop some sam1dhi "y staring at a dis!, a light "rown earth
colour dis!, staring at it and !eeping my mind into it and even
when I close my eyes it is in my mind. 4o I try to get inside that
image. 6ater I got a piece of wood and cut a circle inside and
put that on the window, so that I cannot see anything outside,
trees or houses, and loo! at the hole and see that this is a hole.
-ole meansN. there is nothing there, so 'ust staying in the hole
and thin!ing that there is nothing thereN nothing is there5 and
it is very strange, your mind can get a"sor"ed in this nothingness
and it "ecomes very peaceful, very, very peaceful. .ven
now I would li!e to do that5 however I dont want to do that
anymore "ecause you cannot develop deep insight5 you can get
a"sor"ed and get very peaceful. >o you !now why it is peaceful9
#ecause where there is nothing, there is nothing to distur"
your mindN you cannot thin! a"out nothingnessN it is the
mean is that you can develop sam1dhi "y concentrating on any
o"'ect5 you can 'ust sit and recite ;coca cola, coca cola<N the
whole day. Your mind can get a"sor"edN any word, any sound,
any shape, any image, any idea5 once you can get a"sor"ed into
end of everything: It is very similar to "ut it is not i""1na. You
are 'ust loo!ing at nothingness and trying to !eep that nothingness
idea in your mind. 4ometimes you close your eyes and you
can still see a "right hole and you are thin!ing nothingN 'ust
nothingN hard to tal! a"out "ut it feels really peaceful. $hat I
it you develop sam1dhi.
4o that is the meaning of sam1dhiN
to get a"sor"ed into some concept,
some non changing sensation or idea even.

$hen you want to develop deep insight a"out reality5
you have to "e in touch with reality.
#ut in fact we are always in touch with reality5 always.
#ut we change that reality into a concept.
All the time we are changing reality into concept.
$hat do we see9 $e see reality actually, "ut immediately
after that we change it into concept. $e see only colours @
"lac!, red, "rown, white @ "ut from our past experience we
!now this is a human "eing and this is some"ody I !now. If you
forget a"out your memory you dont !now who it is5 if you see
something you havent seen "efore what idea do you form9 ,or
example here people "ring many different !inds of fruits and
ca!es and "read. 4ometimes I dont !now what these things are,
I have to as! peopleN what is this9 I want to !now, what I am
eating: I feel insecure if I dont !now what I am eating. $hen
we dont !now something we feel insecure, we want to !nowN
what is thisN how do you ma!e thisN is it agreea"le for me, I
want to !nowN if people "ring something and put it downN
fruit, ca!eN any !ind of pastry very "eautiful shapesN it loo!s
li!e a prawnN and I was loo!ing at itN what is this9 4ometimes
they "ring swine meat "ut if they dont tell me I wont !now and
"efore I eat it, can I guess the taste9 o way:: I can sit there and
thin! a"out what it tastes li!e and spend the all day and will
never find out. Ian I as! another person ;(ell me what it tastes
li!e9< (his person will "e telling me the whole day what it tastes
li!e and I would "e listening and still wouldnt !now. (he only
way to find out is to put it into your mouth, chew and then you
will !now what it is.
$e are always in contact with reality "ut immediately we
change it into concept. $hen I see some very strange fruit I
have never seen "efore li!e !iwi. (he first time I ate !iwi was
here in Australia. I dont !now what it is "ut I can see the colour
and when I put all the different colours together I get the shape.
In painting there is a system called pointillism5 you ta!e a very
sharp something and then you ma!e a small point and then you
put the points together and then ma!e a picture, so to ta!e this
as an example. $e see only small colours then put it all together
and create a shape in our mind. It is our mind which creates a
shape. +ur eyes cannot see shape. (his is also another difficult
thing to understand. If you ta!e away colour what is there to
see9 othing left, everything disappears. It is the same thing
with sound. $e hear sound which is real, we dont hear words.
$ords are something we create in our minds5 we learnN it is
a learning process, depending on our memory. $hen you go to
a country where people spea! a language you dont understand
you hear the sound "ut you dont understand the meaning.
(he sound is real "ut the words and
the meaning are something we createN
It is very useful, I dont mean that it is useless "ut
when we want to develop deeper understanding of
the reality which is "eyond the reality of ordinary reality
we need to go "eyond words and meanings.
$hen a meditator is meditating and he is really mindful and
really sharp on the point, on the moment, if some"ody spea!s
near"y, this person can hear the sound "ut will not understand
the meaning, this is one of the tests.
In some monasteries in #urma they do that. $hen some"ody
develops some sort of sam1dhi5 the teacher will say ;go and
sit near a group of people tal!ing and meditate.< >eli"erately
the teacher puts the student in a noisy place, li!e you go and sit
in the !itchen and listen to people tal!ing and if you can really
"ecome mindful you can hear the sound "ut you dont understand
the meaning. It does not distur" you anymore, "ecause
it does not create any idea in your mind5 'ust sound passing
awayN passing awayN. ,or a "eginner it is difficult. .ven here
there are cars going along the road, you get distur"ed ;+h, so
many cars going along the road< "ut when you "ecome really
mindful you hear the sound "ut it does not distur" your mind.
(ry to find that out more and more, what paramattha is, and
what is paTTatti.
You cannot see movement even.
(his is another thing very strange to understand,
"ecause we always thin! that we see movement.
Movement is the domain of your "odily sensation,
not the domain of your eye.
-ow do we thin! that we see movement9 4omething appears
and disappears, another thing appears and disappears. 6ets say
you have a computer screen and you have a program which will
flash a very small dot and it will disappear, another flash very
close to the same dot, not on the same space "ut very close
near"y5 flash it disappears5 another dot flash and it disappears.
It happens very quic!ly5 what do you see9 You see a dot moving,
"ut actually it is not a dot moving. (ry to understand this5 there
is no such thing as movement. $e cannot see a movement5
something appears and disappears, another thing appears in a
different place and disappears5 another thing appears in a different
place and disappears. ow lets ta!e another example5 light
a candle. Ian you move the flame from this place to that place9
(hin! of the flame only, dont thin! of the candle, and try to
get your mind on the flame. (he flame is something "urning
and disappearing all the time, so you cannot move the flame of
a candle from this place to that place. $hen you "rought it here
that flame disappeared a long time ago "ut something gives that
continuity, !eeps "urningN try to get closer and closer to this
idea of impermanence.
(hats why #uddha said ;niccaB nav1va saZ!h1r1<,
all conditioned phenomena are always new,
there is nothing old.
+ld means the same thing, there is no such thing as the
same thing. You might have read in some philosophy "oo!s, I
dont remem"er who said it, "ut someone said that ;you cant
get into the same river twice<5 "ut I would li!e to say that you
cant even get into the same river once. $here is the river9
$hat do you mean "y you9 $hen you ta!e the "ig picture of a
river, you get the idea of river. $hen you ta!e that of a person
as something enduring then you can say that this person goes
into that river and he comes "ac! again and he cannot go "ac!
into the same river again "ecause the water is moving. .ven the
idea of river is something you put together in your mind and
the idea of a person also is something you put together and it is
always changing all the time.
(a!e another example so that youll have many examples
and get the meaning very clear. (a!e a "ig canvas "ag, fill with
sand, very fine sand and tie it with a rope and hang it on a long
rope5 ma!e a small hole at the "ottom. $hat will happen9 (he
sand will fall down, what do you see9 Youll see a line. Is that
line real9 Is that line really there9 o5 it seems li!e a line and
then you ta!e hold of the "ag and push it again. $hat will you
see9 Youll see a line moving. Is that moving line real9 o, there
is no moving line. (here are 'ust fine grains of sand falling in
different places, an illusion of a line moving "ac! and forth, "ut
there is no line, only fine grains of sandN fallingN fallingN. If
you forget a"out the "ag of sand and loo! at the line you get a
"etter idea, there is no line actually.
It is the same thing with our "ody5
it is always arising and passing away.
(he shape is not the domain of your eye5
it is something the mind puts together.
Also smell5 you can smell the smell and we say ;this is rose<,
"ut the smell is not rose. 0ose is an idea that we create in the
mind. (he smell is real, "ut the name is something you have
learnt and you put this smell with the shape and colour of the
rose, ordinary reality rose. If you dont put things together how
do you understand pure sensations only9 4ometimes my teacher
as!ed me ;Is sugar sweet9< -e as!ed me again and again when I
was studying meditation. I said what a question to as!N. I said
;Yes, sugar is sweet<5 he said ;0eally9< I thought ;$hat does
he mean "y that9 I cant understand that question, why is he
as!ing me if sugar is sweet<5 he said ;is the name sugar real or is
that a concept9< I said ;(he name is 'ust a name, concept,< then
he said ;(he name is not sweetN.< I said ;Yes, you are rightN
the name is not sweet.< (hen he said ;$hat is sweet9< It is not
sugar anymore. You can only say that sweet is sweet and even
this name sweet is a name only, and what is that5 some sensation
on your tongue which you call sweet and you put that idea
together. If you show it to some"ody without telling the name
or the taste and as! what is the taste of this9 -e will not "e a"le
to tell you.
$e create our own reality, this is necessary,
important for functioning in our ordinary way of "eing
"ut it "ecomes a hindrance in understanding
extraordinary reality.
(his reality is also reality5 I am not invalidating this ordinary
reality, "ecause #uddha spo!e a"out different levels of reality.
(here is agreed upon truth or conventional truth. It is a truth, it
is not a lie "ut when you want to understand paramattha reality,
which is a !ind of transcendental reality, we have to go "eyond
this ordinary truth. #ut we get stuc! in this ordinary truth we
dont want to let it go. $e get trapped in this ordinary truth. 4o
my teacher many times he tells me that we are trapped in concepts,
we are imprisoned "y concepts. $hen first he spo!e a"out
that I could not understand what it meant. $e are trapped, we
are imprisoned in conceptN "ut I tried to understandN what
does he mean9 -ow are we imprisoned in concept9 After a few
months I "egan to understandN.

Yes, we are imprisoned in concepts5
ideas are what ma!es you happy or unhappy.
If you really get in touch with paramattha
there is nothing to ma!e you happy or unhappy.
4o I found out5 all the idealisms all the isms @ communism,
democracy, #uddhism @ are actually a prison. $hatever ismN
"ecause we get attached to the idea5 we are imprisoned, we are
not free. You can function even "etter in this ordinary reality
"ecause you are not imprisoned anymore5 you !now what is going
on5 you can function very well5 adapt in any place. It is much
easier if you understand the other reality. $e ta!e this reality so
seriously that it hurts5 we cannot let it go "ecause it hurts.
(ry to understand why we are meditating,
what we are aiming at, and
what !ind of reality we are trying to understand.
(his is 'ust another step from this conventional reality to
anotherN how do I say itN the real reality, "ecause I dont want
to use the word Qultimate reality "ecause Ive discussed a"out this
with Uenera"le V1Oavisuddhi a"out this word Qultimate and we
got so confused, that we had to drop the word ultimate.
$hat do we mean "y ultimate9 It is very difficult to tal!
a"out. It is a deeper reality which is not created "y our mind.
.ven then we have to understand this reality and go even "eyond
that, there is another reality there, which is "eyond mental and
physical process. ,rom this conventional reality we go to paramattha
reality where there is 'ust process, 'ust phenomena, nothing
lasting, not "eing. ,rom there we go into another reality
where there is no phenomenaN which is also another reality
which is very difficult to understand and very difficult to tal!
a"out, "ut that will come later. Ill try my "est to tal! a"out it
and hope that I wont ma!e you more confused "ecause they are
things that are "eyond words. $e try our "est to tal! a"out it.
6ater we will tal! a"out this paramattha more and more.
ow I will tal! a"out the three different !inds of 4am1dhi
(he first sam1dhi that I want to tal! a"out is 'h1na. You
have heard a"out the word 'h1na. &h1na is, to get a"sor"ed into
some idea, li!e mett1.
You develop mett1 "y thin!ing of loving thoughtsN ;May
I "e happyN may I "e happyN may I "e peaceful,< and after a
while you really feel thatN ;I really want to "e happy<, "ut it
is very strangeN people are very strangeN do you really want
to "e happy9 $e should as! these simple questions again and
again5 do you really want to "e happy9 $hat do you mean "y
happy and do you !now how to get this happiness9 $hatever
we do every day we are doing it "ecause we thin! that it will
ma!e us happy. $e have "een doing that for so long. -ave
you found that happiness9 $e can develop that happinessN
;I want to "e happy< and you can share that wish with other
people alsoN ;&ust li!e me, he also wants to "e happy, she also
wants to "e happy<, so, you are putting yourself and another
person on the same level, you are not ma!ing any difference.
;&ust as I want to "e happyN he wants to "e happyN she wants
to "e happy, no difference: Ian I have the same equal wish for
another person, no "etter or no worse9< You cannot say ;I wish
other people happier than me<, noN (hat is not real mett1, we
have to "e together. 4o after a while you can really feel thatN
;+hNI really want that person to "e happy.< In the "eginning it
is difficult to have that sort of !indness towards total strangers,
so 'ust thin! a"out your parents, your teachers or your "rothers,
sisters or your spouses.
(his is another difficulty again. #ecause I once tried to
teach mett1 meditation to some"ody and that person said ;I
dont want to thin! a"out myself<. I said ;&ust develop mett1 to
yourself5 may I "e happy5< and that person said ;I want to forget
a"out myself, I hate myself<, "ecause she had done so many terri"le
thingsN she was very aggressive and un!ind, she cannot
even "e !ind to herself. I as!ed her ;Ian you have mett1 for
your parents9< 4he said ;I hate my father. -e was an alcoholic
he left the family and he died, so we were very poor and we had
a difficult time when we were young5 he didnt care a"out us, he
didnt love us.< 4o I said ;$hat a"out your mother9< ;+h5 when
my father left her she went to live with her "oy friend<N ;4o
what happened to you9< ;My "rother and I somehow we tried
is very difficult to develop mett1.
to survive, and my mother sometimes came and gave us some
money to eat.< I said ;what a"out your teachers9< 4he said ;I
cant thin! of my teachers, I cant thin! of them as some"ody
who has done something good to us.< Uery difficult for her to
have real mett1 for herself and others5 I felt so disheartened.
I thought this is something very strange, "ecause normally we
thin! we love ourselves and at least we love some"ody. (here is
some"ody in our life that we love, "ut this person says that there
is no"ody that she can love, no"ody for whom she has loving!indness.
At last I as!ed her ;Is there any"ody in this world that
you can really feel !indness for9< After a while she said ;$ellN
I love my dog, and it is not my dog actually, it is a dog of a person
with whom I share the house. It is not really my dog, "ut I love
that dog.< I found out slowly and slowly that some people find it
Mett1 meditation it is very important for vipassan1.
(hat is why I try to emphasi)e it.
If you dont have mett1 your heart is dry,
you cannot even practice vipassan1.
You need the "ase, the foundation% mett1 and also trust,
respect for #uddha, trust and respect for yourself and for your
teacher and trust in the practice, also the method you are practicing.
If you dont have those things there is no point in practicing
meditation. 4ometimes you can fool yourself 'ust imagining
;I am happy, I am peaceful<, "ut you cannot get "eyond that,
you 'ust imagine5 it is not real and you can get a"sor"ed in any
idea, even mett1.
Also #uddha, sometimes I get very a"sor"ed in thin!ing
a"out the qualities of the #uddha, it ma!es me feel very
happy, very peaceful5 "ecause the state, the quality of your mind
depends a lot on the o"'ect of your mind. $hen you thin! a"out
some"ody that you hate you feel hatred, you feel anger, you
dont feel peaceful "ut when you thin! a"out some"ody who
is very loving, !ind and peaceful, some"ody li!e the #uddhaN
'ust imagine some"ody li!e that. I dont have any direct contact
and relationship with the #uddha "ut I had a personal relationship
with my meditation teacher, my first meditation teacher. I
dont !now whether he is still living, he was a layman, a musician
a musical instrument ma!er and everyday I thin! a"out
him "ecause he made a "ig turning point in my life. -e was so
calm and peaceful all the time, it is not so ama)ing to see a mon!
calm and peaceful, it is not something extraordinary to see5 "ut
it is to see a layman so calm, peaceful and so !ind. I never saw
him "ecoming upset or arrogant, putting down another person,
getting angry, saying "ad things a"out peopleN he !ept five precepts
without effort, he never tal!ed a"out that and he was !ind
to every"ody "ut he never spo!e a"out mett1. (hat is something
very extraordinary5 he does not say ;I am a very loving person<.
People love him very much "ut he was not "iased to any"ody,
a very unusual person, a very highly developed person, he does
not get attached to any"ody, young or old, he treats every"ody
equally. -e was not married5 he was living with his mother, an
much and he was the only son and his father had died. -e is
not 'ust as a duty. -is mother loves him very much also. (o see
some"ody li!e that also ma!es you understand something very
deep. It is "eyond words. .ven to tal! a"out loving !indness is
also very difficult. I had a very "ad relationship with my parents5
many times I really hated them for not doing enough for me.
(his person, my teacher loved his mother with all his heart and
this mother loved her son with all her heart, they were really
devoted, "ut not too attached, this is very unusualN not too
this person is extraordinary:
old mother. -e said ;as long as my mother lives I will loo! after
her, after that I will "ecome a mon!<. -e loved his mother very
really loo!ing after his mother very lovingly, with real mett1
attached. $henever I thin! of him it ma!es me very peacefulN
Another teacher was an old 4ay1daw who died when he
was ninety years old. -e was also very mellow, !ind and sweet.
-e never treated any"ody with disrespect. I never saw him getting
upset or worried a"out anything. 4ometimes I got worried5
when I went to America with him, 'ust "efore we went, the
time was getting very close, we already had our plane tic!ets
and flight schedule "ut we didnt have our passportsN so, I said
;4ay1daw, in a wee! we have to leave "ut we dont have our
passports yet<5 he said ;dont worry< very simple, dont worry.
-ow can he 'ust say li!e that without worrying9 It was very hard
for me to understand in the "eginning. People 'ust loved him.
-e could not spea! a word of .nglish. Many westerners loo!ed
at him and felt very ama)edN ;6oo! at this person<, so gentle,
so mellow, even in his voice he didnt have any tension, very
soft and sweet voice, very calm, "ut with a lot of energy and
strength, not wea!ness5 it is gentleness and softness together
with strength and confidence. You cannot learn something li!e
that from a "oo!. You have to "e with that person, and you can
see that, he is li!e this and I can "e li!e him. (hat gives you a
lot of courage, hope.
It is very important to learn meditation from a teacher.
Although you can learn "asic meditation instruction from any
"oo!, "asic instruction is not very difficult to learn. #ut to really
develop these higher qualities you have to "e with a teacher,
who is a living quality, a living example of loving !indness, living
example of contentment, serenity, peacefulness, li"eration
and he is so free. You have to live with that person for a long
time. I lived with my teacher for a"out five years. (he longer
you live with that person the more you learn this is real5 he
is not playing a role. Any"ody can play a role, you can watch
a movie and some"ody is there, he is acting the part of a very
serene and developed person, "ut this is 'ust actingN only after
you have lived with that person for a few years then you really
find out.
$hen you thin! of the #uddha try to find out more and
more a"out the #uddha, his purity, his freedom, his wisdom,
his mett1, his !aruO1 7compassion8 and his selflessness, get
immersed in his qualities and youll feel themN. #ecause the
mind consciousness depends on the o"'ect, when you !eep a
sym"ol, this is a sym"ol, an idea, #uddha is an idea for us. $e
thin! a"out itN the idea of the #uddha, his purity, his freedom,
his serenity, his wisdom, his mett1 and !aruO1,N (he more you
thin! a"out it the more your mind will tune into that quality and
you feel that quality in you, inside you, "ecause the more you
thin! a"out the #uddha mett1, the more you feel it. It "ecomes
yours and you aspire to that sort of thingN ;I want to "e li!e
that<N so you set a goalN ;this is my idealN although I will
never "e a"le to reach that high ideal li!e the #uddha, at least I
can get to a certain stage.<
Any"ody who "ecomes enlightened,
a disciple of the #uddha even, is called a follower.
-e was the leader you are a follower,
-e was enlightened and you can also "e enlightened5
you are also enlightened if you have attained
(o have a very clear idea of what we want to do and what
our goal is, is very important. #eing vague5 ;+h well, I want to
meditate and I want to "e happy< you dont have a very clear
idea, you dont have enough energy. (he more you can define
your goal, your ideals, the more energy youll have, the more you
can put time and energy into what you do. #e very clear a"out
what you want to do. I am giving you 'ust a general idea so that
you can develop it.
#efore you meditate, 'ust for a few minutes reflect on the
purity, the serenity, the peacefulness, the freedom, the wisdom,
the mett1 and !aruO1 of the #uddha, and you can get a"sor"ed
into that, feel very calm and peaceful. After that if you meditate
on a vipassan1 o"'ect, your mind will stay there longer, "ecause
this idea of the #uddha conditions your mind to let go of other
worldly cares and you dont thin! that they are important anymoreN
a"out my car, a"out my "usiness, a"out this and thatN
those things can waitN #ecause sometimes when you sit and
meditate you start thin!ingN ;I have to pay that "illN I need
to ma!e a call, it is very important<N 'ust when you start to
meditate something important comes into your mind that is distracting.
(hat is why I am telling you to prepare your mind.

(his preparation is very important.
>ont thin! that you are wasting your time "ecause
you are preparing, "ecause the more you prepare
yourself the easier it is for you to meditate.
You can let go of all those thingsN that "ill is not important,
that phone call is not important anymore, it can wait for
two hours, or any other thingN. Youll find the "est way to deal
with it, "ut right now leave everything "ehindN. You can let
go of all that.
$hen you thin! of some"ody li!e the #uddha
who is so free, it ma!es it easier for
you to let go of other things.

,or me my real experience is my teacher. $hen I thin!
a"out him I can let go, I get some feeling of his freedom, of his
detachment, his contentment. Prepare your mind li!e that.
$hen you can get really a"sor"ed in this o"'ect, a dis!
white or "rown or 'ust even a hole or even mett1 meditation or
meditating on #uddhaN when your mind gets really a"sor"ed
and stays there without getting distracted that is called 'h1na.
&h1na has two meanings,
one is getting a"sor"ed and another meaning is "urning.
It "urns the defilements, temporarily at least.
You get really a"sor"ed and forget a"out anything else, your
mind really gets into that o"'ect and stays with it, it is unsha!ea"le.
4ometimes you cannot even move the mind into another
o"'ect. It goes "ac! into the same o"'ect and stays there, very,
very strong a"sorption "ut that is quite difficult to develop. #ut
you can develop access concentration quite easily. Access concentration,
means closer, you are not inside "ut very close. 6i!e
you come to this place, you are not inside this hall "ut you are
'ust near the door. Access concentration is li!e that, very close
to a"sorption, which means that your mind can stay with that
o"'ect for a few minutes then you get distracted for a while and
you come "ac! againN get a little "it distractedN come "ac!
againN it goes on and on li!e that. (his is enough to practice
(o "e a"le to practice vipassan1 you dont really
have to develop a"sorption 'h1na, "ut
you need a certain amount of quietness and
sta"ility of your mind.
.ven if you havent developed that amount of sam1dhi you
can 'ust go ahead and meditate on a vipassan1 o"'ect. 6ets say
when we meditate, we concentrate our mind on "reathing, one
"reathN twoN for quite a long time you can stay with your
"reath. In the "eginning when I meditated I tried to "reathe
in very deeply, unnaturally. I !new it was unnatural, "ut it was
very useful "ecause when I "reathe deeply li!e this I stay with
my "reath easier. You cannot run away "ecause it ta!es up your
whole mind. You stay with it "ut you cannot do it for too long
"ecause you get very tired after a while and the "ody gets very
hot. In the "eginning I sat only for ten minutes doing that deep
"reathing. It is tiring in the "eginning, "ut after you do it for a
while you dont get so tired anymore. You dont even feel that
you are "reathing in very hard. You are very calm and your "ody
is doing the "reathing. (he mind is with the "reath. You are
not thin!ing a"out anything anymore. You cannot thin! a"out
anything anymore.
After you develop a certain level of concentration, go "ac!
to normal "reathing "ecause if you stay with this gross false
"reathing you will "e aware of this gross sensation and your
sam1dhi will "e gross "ecause sam1dhi depends on the o"'ect.
$hen the o"'ect is very gross the sam1dhi also is very gross,
added, no concept added. You are not even thin!ing a"out aris
ing and passing away, you are not even thin!ing a"out sensation
and awareness even.
very coarse. $hen you "reathe normally your "reath "ecomes
very soft and slow. If you can stay with that soft and slow "reath
your concentration "ecomes stronger and stronger. (he more
the o"'ect "ecomes su"tle the more you can stay with that su"tle
o"'ect, the stronger your concentration "ecomes. (he false
"reathing is useful "ut you have to let go of it after a while. You
need to !now what is useful and when to let go of it. If you do
that without developing any sam1dhi you can develop some sort
of concentration and after a while you feel this air moving in
and out, you can really feel it, you can feel it as 'ust pure sensation.
In the "eginning you thin! that ;I am "reathing<. (he air
is coming in, the air is going out. I feel it near my nose. After
a while you forget a"out I am "reathing. (here is no QI and no
"reathing anymore. (here is no air coming in, there is no air
going out. (here is no nose any more. (here is sensation and
awareness and that "ecomes pure sensation and pure awareness,
not thin!ing a"out sensation anymore. You are directly
in touch with this sensation and it is 'ust sensation, not even
air anymore. Air is an idea, nose is an idea, coming in is an
idea, going out is another idea, and ;I am meditating< it is also
another idea. All of that goes away and your mind is directly in
touch with one sensation and there is pure awareness, nothing

>ont thin! a"out anything at all "ecause we are in the ha"it
of thin!ing, trying to understand "y using this thin!ing process.
(his thin!ing process happens in our left side of our "rain, if you
want to get a clear idea, an interesting idea, we thin! and we use
the left side of our "rain5 "ut meditation is intuitive. 4o when
we meditate we use the right side of our "rain. If you understand
how these two sides of the "rain wor! youll understand what
you are doing when you are meditating. #e very clear a"out this5
when we are really meditating we are not trying to understand
anything intellectually. o intellectual process. (hin!ing is an
intellectual process. $e have to go "eyond that. If we still try
to use or ta!e the help of this intellectual thin!ing we will "e
stuc! in this ordinary reality, "ecause thin!ing is ordinary. If we
really want to experience extraMordinary reality we have to let
go of thin!ing.
#efore you meditate, read "oo!s, try to find out what sam1dhi
means, what n1ma means, what r3pa means, what anicca 7impermanence8
means, what du!!ha 7suffering or oppression8 means,
what anatta means.
#ut when you really meditate, let go of all that.
&ust "e directly in touch with whatever is5
"e very, very simple:
You have to "e as simple as possi"le. &ust "e in touch with
the sensation dont try to thin! whether it is arising or passing
away, whether it is du!!ha or anatta, whether is n1ma or r3pa
even. $ithout thin!ing, if you can stay li!e that for a long time
it will appear spontaneously, intuitively, what it is and Qwhat it is,
is something you cannot tal! a"out. You cannot really tal! a"out
anicca. You cannot thin! a"out anicca actually, "ecause when you
really experience it5 it is something you cannot tal! a"out. (he
moment you try to thin! a"out it, it is not there anymore. (hats
why when you are meditating you cannot say ;+hN something
is arising and passing away, that is anicca.< At that moment you
are not meditating anymore, you are using your thin!ing process5
you are in ordinary reality again.
It will happen, naturally many, many times in your meditation
practice "ecause we are used to thin!ing and analysing. $e
thin! that only when we thin! a"out something that we can
understand it. $e try to go "ac! to thin!, analy)e and understand.
It will happen many, many times and when it happens 'ust
loo! and 'ust sayN ;thin!ing<N. .ven thin!ing ;this is n1ma<,
this is a thought and when you thin!, ;this is r3pa< this is also
a thought. If you thin! ;this is arising and passing away, this is
anicca<, it actually is another thought.
$atch those flashes of thoughts coming into your mind.
(he more you can see the more you can let go.
It wont go immediately, it is very difficult, "ut gradually
those flashes of naming will go away slowly and
slowly and then with no words arising in your mind
you can "e directly in touch with what is and
you understand it without conceptuali)ing.
If you can do that the rest is quite easy. (he difficulty is that
we always try to thin! a"out it and we get distracted. If we can
"e really in touch with one sensation, one awareness, the rest
will come quite easily.
=radually Ill explain a"out the stages of vipassan1 T1Oa
7insight !nowledge8, how they develop. It is very interesting,
very natural, although it is "etter for you not to !now a"out this
and 'ust meditate. #efore I meditated I didnt read these things.
I 'ust went to the forest to meditate and my teacher told me
not to read any "oo!s. Juite often I would go and listen to his
dhamma tal!s and after a while he said ;dont come to dhamma
tal!s<. -e wouldnt let me come and listen to dhamma tal!s
even, ;go away and 'ust meditate, if you have any questions,
come, if you dont have any questions 'ust meditate<. 4ometimes
I tried to get a "oo! "ecause I li!ed to read, and tried to
hide the "oo! somewhere, and then some days he would as! me
;are you reading9< ;ot muchN not much<N "ecause I was
really scared that he as!ed me, he said ;dont read, you have got
enough to do and youll have more time to read later, give up
reading, 'ust meditate, "e in touch with your "ody and mind<.
After I had meditated for three years I started reading >hamma
"oo!s and found out that it was really trueN what is in the
"oo!, I have experienced all those things and now I find out it
is in the "oo!s. (hen I have more confidence in the teaching
N this is real:
$hat did I do when I meditated9 I did something very simple,
actually. I didnt do anything. I 'ust tried to "e in touch with
what is happening right now5 when I found myself thin!ing I
tried to get in touch with my thoughts. At first I would "e thin!ing
for a long time and then I remem"ered ;I am thin!ing<N
and I thought ;where did I start9< And then I would try to trace
"ac! the thoughts. It was very interesting, how it lin!s one thing
to another, thoughts and ideas they lin!. (hen when I got to
the starting point I thought ;I started here, ended there and the
two have not anything to do with each other:< And then slowly
and slowly I would start thin!ing and catch myself thin!ing and
it stoppedN It is very hard to stay in that state. I had to get
in touch with some other sensations immediately otherwise I
would start thin!ing a"out another thing. (hen slowly, in slow
motion I see the words forming in my mind. It is very interesting,
slow motion words, ideas coming in my mind, one word
after another and then stop thin!ing again:
6ater I found out that whenever I thin! a"out a word there
is some sort of emotion that comes with it, which is "eyond
words. 6ater I found out that "efore I thin! a"out something
there is already some vague idea in my mind a"out what I want
to thin!, whether a"out a person, a"out food or a"out something
to do. #efore I form a word in my mind I have a very
vague feeling of what it is, something is coming up, it is very
su"tle. $hen I "ecome aware of it, something coming up, it
disappears againN and I settle down again. #ecause there is
something coming up I was not in a really settled state. My mind
has some sort of agitation. It is 'umping, and something is pushing.
$hen I "ecome aware of this feeling or emotion or a desire
to do something, even a desire to drin! a cup of water, I can see
the desire and it disappears. 4ometimes, I see the image of the
cup of water in my mind. $hen I want to drin! I see the image
of the water pot, the cup of water and I feel the thirsty sensation
and when I "ecome aware of that, it disappears again and my
"ody and mind settle down again. All the time there is something
churning inside li!e a pot "oiling. (he more you "ecome
aware of that the more it settles down and then I 'ust stopped
thin!ing, not doing anything.
(he awareness is 'ust there,
not trying to "e aware of anythingN 'ust there,
li!e a "ig piece of mirror, everything that passes in front
of the mirror is reflected in the mirror.
(he mirror is not trying to ta!e any o"'ect.
(he o"'ect passes, sensation happens and automatically it
is aware of it and it goes away. (he awareness is 'ust there. You
are not doing anything. At that stage meditation is not something
that you do. Meditation is something that is happening
naturally. #ut it will ta!e sometime to get there. +ne person
said ;You have "een meditating for a long time and may"e you
forgot how hard it is for a "eginner<5 I thin! that is true. $hen
I thin! a"out all that again I remem"er that in the "eginning I
wanted to run away. I felt so hopeless and I thought ;this is not
for me although I really want to do it<. I had the ha"it of thin!ing
too much5 I li!ed to read psychology, philosophy, comparative
religions, which had me thin!ing too much. I wanted to "ecome
a writer also. 4ometimes I would "e sitting and I would "e writing
an article, a dhamma article, wonderful thoughts coming
in my mind, wonderful ideas developing in my mind. I thought
;ohN this is wonderful, I have to write this. o"ody has ever
thought li!e me:: I can really explain this, I can really inspire<.
(hen my teacher said ;dont write, dont even ma!e a record of
your meditation,< "ecause if you try to !eep a record when you
sit and meditate youll thin! ;uh haN this is wonderful, I will
write it down< and at that moment your meditation is gone. You
cant go "eyond that.
You even have to let go of your insight,
;this is happening, o!, let go, let go<.
>o you see how much you have to let go9
$e get attached to our understanding,
our deep understanding.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (he word !haOi!a sam1dhi is very difficult.
Most people dont understand clearly what it means "ecause
when you translate it, it means momentary concentration,
and what does the word momentary mean9 It has this name,
!haOi!a sam1dhi so that we can tal! a"out different sam1dhi.
In 'h1na sam1dhi, appan1Msam1dhi or upac1ra sam1dhi,
a"sorption concentration and access concentration, the
mind is in touch with a concept that does not change. (he
o"'ect of sam1dhi is something that does not change. (he
o"'ect of vipassan1 is a process, not a thing, which means
the o"'ect of vipassan1 is something changing. 4omething
changing means it stays for a while and it goes away. ,or the
time "eing the o"'ect is there and the awareness is there.
(he awareness of that o"'ect is there, "ecause awareness
and o"'ect arise together. $hen the o"'ect is not there anymore,
the awareness of that o"'ect is not there anymore.
#ut a new o"'ect arises and the mind is aware of that also.
#ecause the o"'ect lasts only for a moment the awareness or
sam1dhi for that o"'ect lasts only for a moment, naturally.
(his awareness repeats again and again on different o"'ects5
it might 'ust "e "rief "ut is continually aware of it.
In "reath and out "reath are two different things. .ven
the sensation that is happening in one "reath is changing. It
ta!es a"out two three seconds. It changes quite a lot. .ven
though the same thing repeats again and again there is a
!ind of change. ,or example you touch li!e this many times.
.ven though you felt the same thing every time, it is a new
sensation. If you are aware of every time you touch yourself
li!e this youll develop !haOi!a sam1dhi and you can stay
with this !haOi!a sam1dhi for long time. It might "e for a
few seconds and it will "ecome a few minutes and it can
"ecome a few hours even. 4ome people when they develop
very deep sam1dhi in meditation, vipassan1 meditation,
the awareness and the o"'ect "ecome li!e glue5 it is li!e
something very stic!y that you throw to the wall and stic!s
there. In the "eginning it is li!e you are throwing a tennis
"all to the wall. It touches the o"'ect and "ounces "ac!.
#ut after a while you throw something and it stays there.
Although the o"'ect is arising and passing away your awareness
is continuously aware of that arising and passing away.
(here is continuity there. #ecause the o"'ect is changing we
call it !haOi!a sam1dhi.
It does not mean that 'ust "y developing a few minutes
of concentration we can develop deep wisdom or attain li"eration.
#ut we "egin with a few seconds of concentration
and develop it into more and more seconds and it "ecome
one, two, three minutes and so on. It will stay for one or two
minutes and you get distracted for a few seconds and you
"ecome aware of that and you are "ac!5 it happens li!e that.
In 'h1na sam1dhi you can determine that ;I will "e with
this o"'ect for an hour without distraction<. It is li!e you
are hypnoti)ing yourself and giving yourself suggestions, and
you can stay with that o"'ect for one hour without moving.
#ut with vipassan1 the o"'ect is always changing. o matter
how many changes in o"'ects it does not matter, as long as
you are aware of it, it is o!.
In a certain stage of vipassan1 meditation when you
have developed awareness so that you are aware of one
thing after another arising and passing away in front of you,
'ust li!e you are sitting loo!ing out from the window and
you see one car after another passing. You are not trying to
thin! a"out the car whether it is a (oyota, Ma)da, yellow or
white. You are aware of that, one thing after another going
away, no choice.

In the "eginning of meditation
you choose a suita"le o"'ect of meditation @
"reathing, rising and falling or touching sensation
in your "ody, whatever is suita"le @ and
after a while you have no choice anymore.
You stay aware:
(he o"'ects might change all the time "ut
your awareness is continuous.
In meditation things always change.
(he meditation experience does not stay
the same all the time.

4ometimes your mind can get a"sor"ed into one thing
and you see the same type of sensation @ not one thing "ut
the same type @ for example, you touch li!e this, it is the
same type of sensation although it is not one sensation, "ut
the same type of sensation arising and passing away. You can
see the o"'ect, you can see the awareness "oth arising and
passing away, very quic!ly. 4ometimes you "ecome aware
of different things arising and passing away, not the same
type of o"'ect, different types of o"'ects arising and passing
away very fast, "ut no matter how fast they arise and pass
away, you can !eep up with it 'ust li!e a 'uggler, 'uggling
"alls and rings, many things at the same time. (he awareness
"ecomes li!e that.
>ont expect that your meditation will "e the same
always. 4ometimes your awareness "ecomes very "road5
sometimes it closes down and down to one thing only, to
one very su"tle thing. 4ometimes you need to understand
when the scope is too "road and you cannot !eep up with
it anymore, you lose your concentration, you get distracted5
at that time you should understand ;now I need to close
down<. $hen you close down and down to one thing, the
more you "ecome concentrated on one o"'ect, the more
su"tle the o"'ect "ecomes and after a while it seems it is
disappearing, you cannot experience it anymore. It happens
sometimes, the sam1dhi "ecomes too strong and you lose
the clarity of the o"'ect. In that !ind of situation you need
to choose another thing, two things so that you !eep awa!e.
4ometimes you get a"sor"ed and it "ecomes li!e samatha.
You dont see arising and passing away anymore. You get
a"sor"ed and you stay there.
In vipassan1 sam1dhi 'ust to "e a"sor"ed and still and
calm it is not enough, we need to see the characteristic of
the o"'ect.
(here are two characteristics of the o"'ect in meditation.
+ne is the natural characteristic and another
one is the shared characteristic.
atural characteristic means, lets say hardness, softness,
heat and cold. -otness and coldness are not the same as
heat and cold, they are different, "ut what is common is
that "oth arise and pass away. (hat is common, shared. (his
natural, inherent characteristic is a shared characteristic,
meaning whatever it might "e, everything arises and passes
away, and they are common in that regard.
Approaching the ,irst Insight
Awareness of Ionsciousness and +"'ect
It is nice to see you coming here, learning >hamma. 4eeing
you meditating ma!es me feel very happy. You want to "e
'oyous, and of course we all want to "e 'oyous and satisfied,
we are loo!ing for satisfaction, we are trying to loo! for satisfaction
all our life. If you really as! ;have I found any thing really
satisfying, lasting, which gives me lasting satisfaction9<N most
of us will say ;no<. $e do one thing after another and we feel
satisfied for a "rief period, may"e a few hours, may"e a few days,
and after that, that satisfaction is gone. If you want to "e 'oyous,
satisfied and fulfilled 7that is the most difficult thing to do5 to "e
fulfilled, to "e full, to "e filled, not wanting anymore, not lac!ing
anything anymore5 to "e fulfilled is the opposite of to feel
empty. ,ulfilled is full and filled, to feel full, to "e satisfied8 "e in
touch with the spiritual part of yourself. >ont go and loo! for
something out there to ma!e you feel fulfilled. $e need many
things to survive, to live, to "e healthy.
#ut to feel fulfilled, dont go out and loo! for things out
there. othing out there will ma!e you feel fulfilled.
(he only thing that can ma!e you feel fulfilled
is to get deeply in touch with your spiritual nature,
very no"le nature, very "eautiful nature.
$e human "eings have two different natures so to spea!5
lower nature and higher nature. If you study A"hidhamma
youll find that there are two different categories for the mental
factors. +ne is Q"eautiful, and the other is Qnot "eautiful. $e
have "oth of those qualities. 6ets say selfishness is not "eautiful
"ut generosity is very "eautiful, hurting other "eings is not "eautiful,
restraint is very "eautiful, unmindful is not "eautiful. If you
loo! into your mind youll see that, when you are unmindful the
mind is very agitated, going here and there, li!e a homeless person,
going around, going nowhere, living here and there, doing
things that are not healthy.
$hen the mind is not mindful it feels li!e
a homeless person, very insecure, very unhappy.
$hen you are mindful, you feel really at home,
so, mindfulness is my home.
$hen you are mindful you are at home, when
you are not mindful you are on the road going nowhere.
=et in touch with the spiritual part of your self,
the "eautiful part of yourselfN "e mindful.
If you want something "adly enough there is a way to get it.
(his means, if you really want to "e mindful there is a way to do
APP0+AI-I= (-. ,I04( I4I=-( . D[F
it, not difficultN if you really want to "e mindfulN. $e need
to ma!e very clear our o"'ect or goal5 do you really want to "e
mindful9 /nless we "ecome more and more mindful there is no
way to feel happy, 'oyous or fulfilled.
(he world is a place for opportunities. Yes, it is an opportunity
to "e here, to "e in this human world as a human "eing.
$hen I read some of the stories a"out #odhisattvas, I found
that #odhisattvas dont want to live in a place which is perfect.
$hy is that9 I thin! it is quite easy to guess: You have nothing
to learn. .verything is perfect. >eli"erately they go to places
where they face difficulties. $hen I read a"out #uddha and his
cousin who gave him a lot of trou"le, who was that9 >evadatta,
he gave a lot of trou"le to #uddha. I am very grateful towards
>evadatta 'ust for doing that. It might sound very paradoxical,
why is that9 #ecause of >evadatta we !now more a"out the
good qualities of the #uddha. +therwise how would we !now9
In some ways he made it possi"le for #uddha to manifest and
show his perfection.
(his world is a very good place to learn "ecause
there are so many difficulties and imperfections.
(he world is a place for opportunities and I loo! forward
to opportunities for learning and growing. .very difficulty is an
opportunity for learning and growing. If you really understand
this one thing youll never is feel that your life is meaningless no
matter what happens. $hether things are going well or whether
things are going "adly, you can always learn something and grow
and actually we learn and grow more when we face and overcome
those difficulties properly, in a proper way. If we react to
difficulties and ma!e more unwholesome actions then we dont
learn we dont grow.
>ifficulties are opportunities to learn,
to grow and to "ecome a "etter person.
If you see your life as a long learning process,
nothing that happens in your life will "e meaningless.
.verything will "e meaningful.
(hat is what we are doing here, to "e mindful all the time,
all dayN seeingN hearing many things and our minds reacting.
&ust from watching how our minds react to
all these experiences, 'ust "y doing that
we learn and we grow.
4tart thin!ing a"out yourself as a lifetime student at a large
/niversityN your curriculum is your total relationship with the
world you live in, from the moment you are "orn to the moment
you die. It is an informal school. .ach experiment is a valua"le
lesson to "e learnt, and each experience also is a valua"le experience
to "e learnt. (he tric! is simply to ma!e whatever place
you are in, your educational forum.
6earn everything you can a"out yourself
and the world around you.
Actually this is true education%
to learn a"out yourself and
to learn a"out the world around you and
the relationship "etween you and the world.
(he world includes everything living and non living.
(his is the highest education.
ow we !now that our o"'ect of meditation is paramattha
which is the natural quality of mental and physical phenomena.
6ets ta!e for example, seeingN every"ody has sight, every"ody
sees "ut a meditator sees things very differently. $hat do you do
when you meditate5 awareness of seeing5 you loo! at something
and you are totally in touch with that without thin!ing a"out
it. (his is very important, without thin!ing a"out it. (hin!ing
is not vipassan15 it could "e samatha5 "e very clear a"out these
two things. 4ome people read a"out meditation and they say
when you meditate you thin! a"out something. Yes, this is one
type of meditation which is samatha5 li!e mett1M"h1van15 you
thin! a"out people and you thin! a"out your loving thoughts.
#uddh1nussatiM"h1van1 also, you thin! a"out #uddha and his
qualities and when you get a"sor"ed in the qualities of the
#uddha, your mind automatically is in that quality, and it has
that quality somehow, to a certain extent. .ven with mett1.
4ometimes when you develop mett1, and you get used to doing
that and sometimes even though you dont thin! a"out any"ody
or any thoughts you feel some sort of feelings of love. You can
get into that state5 that is a higher state of mett1 actually5 you
dont thin! a"out it anymore "ut you feel it. You feel very warm,
!ind, soft and generous.
4o, there is a !ind of meditation in which you thin!, and
there is another !ind of meditation where you dont thin!, and
vipassan1 is not thin!ing. #ut we are so used to thin!ing that
even when we are practicing vipassan1, in "etween, thoughts
come in again and again, even a"out vipassan1 or a"out other
things. $e comment on our experience. (here is something in
our mind which li!es to comment, a commentator, li!e when
you watch the news or a movie, there is some"ody tal!ing,
explaining what is happening5 it is li!e that in our mind.
+ur mind is always explaining things%
this is this, this is good, and that is "ad.
A commentator is always commenting in our mind.
You are meditating and things are going well and the thought
comes, ;+h, it is so nice now, things are going so well.<
$hen we meditate, we need to !now that we dont need to
thin!5 thoughts will come, "ut do not encourage thin!ing, no
matter how "eautiful. 4ometimes when I was a "eginner meditating,
such "eautiful thoughts came into the mind, one thing
after another, with very "eautiful connections, very interesting
connections. I got so attached to these >hamma thoughts that
I could not let them go. I loved them, I wanted to remem"er
the teacher would as! me ;how is your meditation9<5 ;othing
very special< I said ;"ut I feel happy<5 I didnt have anything to
say apart from feeling a little "it happier.
these thoughts, "ut that "ecame a "ig hindrance. $hen I meditated
together with my friends, many of them are not so intellectual
and dont read many "oo!s, they read some >hamma
"oo!s, "ut they dont read much a"out any other su"'ect and
they dont thin! so much. And especially "ecause when I was
young, I wanted to write articles, thoughtful articles, good
>hamma articles5 "ecause of that am"ition, aspiration, when I
meditated "eautiful >hamma thoughts would come in my mind
and I cannot let them go. I want to write them down. #ecause
of that reason it too! me much longer than all my friends, who
were not very well educated, who were not intellectuals. (hey
developed deeper sam1dhi and got in touch with the reality and
developed very deep sam1dhi. 4ometimes I felt very ashamed,
;these people who have no education are doing "etter than me<.
Iompetition starts coming into the mind, ;he is doing "etter,
and I am not doing as well<. $hen we went to see our teacher,
+nce, a very simple and clear insight came into my mind,
which was that I was always afraid of something. My mind
"ecame very calm and peaceful for a few moments, and after
that I could remem"er I had never felt that peace "efore in my
life. It was not a deep insight, not any !ind of T1Oa 7!nowledge8
actually5 it was 'ust calmness, mindfulness, totally mindful, calm
and very much at ease, not thin!ing a"out anything, not thin!ing
a"out the future or the past, "ut right in the moment, very
calm and peaceful for a few moments only. $hen I came out
of that state, I !new that I had never felt this peace "efore. All
my life I was afraid of something. I was afraid of not "ecoming
a successful person, not loving, not "eing loved, many fears.
4ometimes it is very vague5 you cannot even tal! a"out it "ut
you feel it, you are carrying fear. Anyway, when we meditate, we
dont thin!, when a thought comes, we 'ust ac!nowledge that
thought and let it go. 6ater when you practice another !ind of
vipassan1, citt1nupassan1, you can loo! into that, "ut for "eginners,
do not follow thoughts, "ecause if you follow thoughts it
will go on and on.
,or example, when we are seeing something, what do we
really see9 $e see only colours, and this colour is the reaction
of our retina. 4cientifically explained, it is the reaction of our
retina which our "rain interprets as colour. 4o what is it that
comes into and stri!es the retina9 (hat is r3pa. 03pa is not out
there, and we dont !now what actually is really there. $hen
we see, it is something happening in our eye, also in our "rain
and in our mind. (hey are all connected together. It is photons
with different energy, different frequency to which our nervous
system reacts and produces different intensities of electrical
impulses and that creates colour. (hose who are colour "lind,
although you show them different colours, they cannot see all
the colours, and they will see only a few shades of colour. (he
colours are there so to spea!, "ut they dont experience colour.
$hat we mean "y colour or what we mean "y seeing, is
our experience, not something out there, try to understand this
idea. $hat we see is our experience only5 we dont really see
something out there. (here might "e something out there, there
is something out there, which is the "asis for our experience "ut
we dont really !now what that is. $e experience something
falling on our retina and there is a reaction, the retina produces
some impulse and the nervous system carries that impulse into
the "rain. $ith the "rain in connection with the mind, we
interpret. It is very difficult to explain a"out these things. $hen
we see a human "eing that is an interpretation of our mind, not
of our eye5 the eye does not !now anything "eyond colour.
(he #uddha gave a very concise
meditation instruction, ;when seeing only seeing<
7diPPhe diPPhamattaB "havissati C/dn E85
there is only seeing, nothing added, no interpretation.
$hen we meditate, that is what we try to do5 we try to "e
aware of what we see. In the "eginning thoughts will "e going
on% this is "eautiful, this in nice. After a while as you watch these
thoughts coming, they will slow down, slow down and then they
stop. $hen you stop thin!ing in the "eginning you dont feel
li!e you are experiencing anything5 the experience "ecomes very
vague, without thoughts. It "ecomes meaningless5 actually it is
meaningless: $e create meaning5 at a certain level it is important
for us to create meaning, "ut when we are meditating vipassan1,
we are trying to experience something which is "eyond
normal experience, not normal reality, natural "ut not normal.
$e create meaning, we interpret, and actually we understand
our own interpretation. $hen we understand something,
it is our own interpretation. $e agree our interpretation with
many people. You interpret something in a certain way and I
interpret something in a certain way. $e have an agreement
there, and we thin! Qyes, that is it "ut actually it is 'ust agreement
on interpretation. $e dont really !now what is out there.
$e 'ust agree on interpretation.
$hen we meditate, we "ecome very simple,
the mind "ecomes extremely simple.
(hin!ing is very complicated.
$ithout thin!ing, experiences, sense impulses
"ecome very simple. $e go down to that simple level.
$e 'ust loo! at something without thin!ing a"out it.
If I loo! at the carpet li!e this, without thin!ing, then when
thin!ing stops I am aware of what I see, which is colour and
patterns, even the pattern is a !ind of put together and I dont
thin! a"out carpet anymore. (hen there is no carpet anymore.
(here is only what I see. (here are only different colours, no
carpet anymore. $hen you get to that level, you are in touch
with paramattha. ,or a "eginner it is not so easy to do.
4o when we see something we are aware of the o"'ect so
to spea!, coming in the eyes and when you stop thin!ing and
"ecome more and more aware of it, you "ecome aware of this
awareness which is aware of this o"'ect. (here is something
which !nows that something is there. You "ecome aware of
awareness: (his is very important. +nly then the process
"ecomes complete. (he o"'ect, you are aware of the o"'ect and
you are aware of the awareness of the o"'ect% two things going
on. (his will happen slowly. (his is what we are trying to do.
,or a "eginner when you see something, immediately the
mind starts interpreting it ;+h, this is niceN I li!e this, this
is "eautiful.< It could "e a painting or an apple, a car, a man
or woman, anything. Immediately you see that you have interpreted.
$hat do you do when that happens9 You dont get upset.
Immediately when that thought comes you are aware of it. If
we dont li!e something, when the thought comes, ;I dont li!e
this, this is terri"le<, immediately you are aware of that thought,
not li!ing, aversion, disappointment. It goes on li!e that, it will
go on for a long time, you interpretN you react, you interpretN
you react, "ut if you stop interpreting you wont react anymore.
Geep doing that for a long time until
you stop reacting and interpreting.
Youll see that there is only the o"'ect and
there is the awareness.
After a while you will see that "ecause of this o"'ect this
awareness happens. You shut your eyes, you are aware of something
else, you can see some sort of vague image in your eyes,
"ut you are not aware of whatever is out there. Although your
memory tells you that there are a lot of people sitting there,
a"out sixty people sitting there, "ut that is your memory saying
it. $hen you shut your eyes you are not aware of that o"'ect
anymore. You open and suddenly there is awareness. (his
awareness is conditioned "y this o"'ect% this o"'ect, this awareness.
Also when you turn around you can see that, "ecause of
this awareness, awareness of the o"'ect happens. $ithout this
awareness you cannot see that there is an o"'ect, you cannot
!now that.
You loo! from "oth sides, sometimes you loo! at the o"'ect
and see that there is an o"'ect and this is awareness,
"ecause of the o"'ect there is awareness and
"ecause of awareness you can tell there is an o"'ect.
You are aware of the awareness too.
-ow does this o"'ect affect your mind9 $hen you see something
"eautiful it attracts your awareness, it attracts your consciousness,
you want to see more, you dont want to turn away,
you want to "e with that o"'ect, with that sensation. You !now
that, these images, these r3pas 7matters8 attract the consciousness,
so you turn your mind to the o"'ect. It is the mental factor
7which in A"hidhamma is called manasi!1ra8 which turns
your mind, gives you a direction. 4o you !now that "ecause of
the o"'ect, the mind turns to the o"'ect. $hen you cannot see
something clearly, you try to loo!N. (here something there.
$hat is it that is ma!ing you loo! li!e this9 Attraction of the
o"'ect5 the mind, the consciousness is attracted to the o"'ect.
You !now that this o"'ect has some power. It attracts your consciousness.
$hatever happens in the whole process, try to "e in touch
with it: (ry to do it again, close your eyes, there is no awareness
of an o"'ect out thereN you open your eyes5 and if you do that
a few times very mindfully, youll find that as soon as you open
your eyes something happens in your mind, immediately the
awareness appears. You experience that immediate appearance
of the awareness. $e are in the ha"it for doing it for so long that
we dont really !now that. $hen I do that, I sit in a chair loo!ing
outside into the forest and the hill, !eep my eyes opened and
I try to get in touch with this awareness of seeing, aware of the
o"'ect, aware of the colours. (hen I close my eyes it disappears:
(he o"'ect disappears and the awareness disappears.
$e tend to "elieve that although we close our eyes there is
some"ody inside who was aware of it and who is still there. $e
give it continuity. $hen we do that very mindfully, we close
our eyes, the o"'ect disappears and the consciousness disappears.
(hen another consciousness is arising there, another one,
a new one. As I told you last wee!, everything happening in this
world is always new.
All the conditioned phenomena are always new:
othing is old.
Always new, means always arising and passing away,
"ecause if it does not pass away
it cannot "e new:
It has to "e old5 if something stays for
a long time it "ecomes old.
(o say that something is always new it means
that it arises and passes away.
(o "e new means to arise and to pass away.
$hat happens when I !eep my eyes opened9 Is the consciousness
always there9 o, it is not always there, it is arising
and passing away so quic!ly that we thin! that it is always there
"ecause it is the same type of consciousness. #ecause the type
is the same, we have the feeling that it is the same. It is not the
same5 'ust the type is the same. (he two things are very different.
After you practice for a long time you come to experience
thisN this awareness itself that is arising and passing away has
a gap "etween.
,or a "eginner it is not easy to do this. After you practice
meditation for a long time, many days, you can experience that
there is a gap always there. $hen you see things li!e Qthis it
appears very solid, "ut when you "ecome more and more mindful
you dont experience solidity anymore. .verything "ecomes
sha!y and moving. +ur retina also is always on and off, on
and off, going li!e that, and then you "ecome aware of something
happening inside your eyes. It is li!e watching a television
tu"e, dots arising and passing away. You "ecome more and
more aware of that. 4ome people when they get to that stage
complain that there is something wrong with my eyes, ;I cant
see things clearly, I cannot focus my eyes<. If that happens to
you, 'ust remind yourself that this is natural to happen. As we
"ecome more and more mindful, things that we dont normally
feel "ecome very o"vious.
It is the same with hearing. $hen we sit and meditate, we
should learn to meditate with open eyes as well, "ut for a "eginner
it is "etter to close the eyes.
#uddha taught meditation of hearing, seeing, tasting,
smelling and feeling on the "ody and thoughts also,
all six, nothing left out.
(rain yourself to "e mindful of all these six senses.
#ut for a "eginner it is good to !eep the eyes closed. $hen
you sit you cant switch off your hearing, you hear sounds. In
the "eginning you interpret them% this is a truc!, this is a man
tal!ing, and this is some"ody wal!ing there. You interpret that.
$henever you interpret you react, you dont li!e that some"ody
wal!ing, ;some"ody tal!ing so loud, it is so noisy here, so many
cars going "y on the road, what shall I do now,< all sorts of
thoughts coming in the mind. &ust "e aware of thoughts coming
in the mind, and see that you are interpreting and commenting.
$hen you "ecome more and more mindful of the reaction,
of the interpretation of your mind it will "ecome less and less.
After a while, the moment you start interpreting and reacting
you are aware of it and it stops: After doing that for a few times
you stop reacting. ,or a while you hear something "ut you dont
interpret. If you dont interpret for a very long time, something
strange happens again. It seems that you are not experiencing
things very well. Your experience, it is not strong anymore.
#ecause of our thoughts we experience something more
intensely. 4o when we stop thin!ing and 'ust "ecome aware of
it we dont really feel anything anymore. $hat I mean to say is
that, things dont have intensity anymore. .ven with pain, say
you have pain in your !nee when you are sitting and meditating5
the more you react the sharper it "ecomes. $hen you stop
thin!ing a"out it and 'ust "e in touch with it, without trying to
do anything, not trying to overcome it, not interpreting it, 'ust
"eing with the pain, after a while you feel that the pain "ecomes
vague5 it is not as painful as "efore. +ur thin!ing process ma!es
the sensations stronger.
$hen you stop thin!ing and 'ust get in touch with it, it
"ecomes so vague, that we feel that something is missing.
$e want to ta!e hold of something.
,or example, if you have a "ig round "all, can you hold it
with one hand9 You cannot. It is a "ig round slippery "all. #ut
if you put a handle on it you can gra" it "y the handle. (he
name, the tag, the interpretation is 'ust li!e the handle. $ith
the handle we grasp things very strongly, we wont let it go "ut,
without that handle everything is slippery, you cant hold to it.
$hen you stop thin!ing, you get in touch with it, you cant
grasp anything anymore. It "ecomes slippery and vague, that is
the way it should "e.
4o, stop interpreting the sounds, get in touch with it and
youll !now that "ecause of that sound there is hearing going
on. $here does hearing happen9 In the "eginning you feel that
hearing happens in your ear. You can even feel the sound waves
hitting your ears. You can really feel it. $hen you "ecome very
sensitive you can even feel the sound waves on your "ody s!in,
not only on your ear, "ut it comes and touches your s!in. You
"ecome very sensitive to sound and after a while it is very painful
as well. +ne of my friends who is a good meditator and also a
doctor, 7I thin! that doctors wor! very hard and "ecause of this
they get into the ha"it of wor!ing hard. In fact to "ecome a doctor
you have to wor! hard and when they meditate they wor!
very hard as well8 said that ;when I meditated at first I thought
there is a sound out there 7he lives in a very crowded area where
there is a lot of traffic, 'ust li!e here, also on a corner8 and the
sound is coming to me, and I feel it in the ear<. 6ater he thought
;the sound is happening in the ear< and later after a while he
noticed that the sound is happening in the mind. -e could feel
it in the mind. Your consciousness of the sound and the o"'ect
itself, they touch each other, you feel the impact, the o"'ect and
the consciousness touching each other. (ry to do that. #e very
mindful of the noise, the different !ind of sounds. >ont thin!
a"out it. In the "eginning youll feel that there is a sound out
there. After a while youll find there is a sound happening in the
ears. After a while again youll feel that it is in the mind.
$ithout mind you cannot experience anything at all.
#ecause of this awareness arising you feel
you experience sound.
(ry to experience the whole process, and in that process
you might react with li!ing or disli!ing, so "e aware of that
tooN. I li!e this sound, I dont li!e this sound. $henever you
react li!e that "e aware of that tooN this is nice to hear, this
is so terri"le5 it is so painful to hear this sound. ormally our
eyes dont experience pleasant or unpleasant sensation. (he
eyes experience only neutral sensations. #ut, when we see we
interpret and when we li!e it we feel happy, when we dont li!e
it we feel unhappy, that is not eye consciousness5 that is mind
consciousness. $hen we dont interpret that way, when we stop
where the eye consciousness stops, we dont experience any
pleasure or displeasure. .verything "ecomes neutral. $hen we
see something there is nothing pleasant or unpleasant. +nly the
interpretation ma!es it pleasant or unpleasant. $hen we see
something very "right li!e welding it is very painful to the eyes.
(he question arises whether this is an eye o"'ect which is painful
or r3pa which is painful. Actually it is not the retina which is
interpreting the pain5 it is another part of the "ody which feels
the pain. (he same thing happens with the ear. It is aware of the
sound only, not the pain "ut they are all together in the same
place. (hey are all homogeneously mixed.
(ry to understand these things very clearly "ecause these are
the classical commentaries that I want to give explanation of.
$hen you meditate
you dont need to thin! a"out these things,
only now try to understand what happens.
$hen you meditate you dont thin!
and try to understand,
you 'ust get in touch with it directly.
(he same thing with your nose, with smell, for example when
you sit and meditate sometimes, you smell something "urning
"ecause mostly in the meditation hall we "urn incense. 4ome
people li!e it and some people dont li!e it. You feel the smell
and then you thin! a"out it. (his is sweet, good, and sometimes
when you dont li!e it you say ;these people li!e this terri"le
smell. $hy do they "urn these things9 It is not good for your
lungs5< you start thin!ing. $hen you start thin!ing li!e that, "e
aware of that thought5 li!ing and not li!ing is our interpretation.
$e are conditioned to li!ing something5 we are conditioned to
not li!ing something, and so, it is our conditioning. If you really
feel that it is not really good for your lungs @ some people are
allergic to smell @ then you can sit in some other place.
(he important thing is not to react, not to interpret.
$hen you smell something, you are 'ust aware of it% "ecause
of this smell there is this consciousness5 "ecause of this part of
your "ody which is sensitive to smell this consciousness arises.
+"'ect, sense "ase and consciousness, you can "e aware of all
these three, in your meditation, "ut dont try to thin! of these
three different things. Any of these three you can "e aware of
and if you are aware of one it is enough. >ont try to see all these
different things. ,or some people, it is easy to see one aspect
of it, another person will see another aspect of it "ut it is the
same process. As long as you are aware of one aspect of it, it is
enough. If you try too much you get agitated, you start thin!ing
a"out it.
(he same thing with your "ody, you feel something on
your "ody, "e in touch with it without interpreting it.
ormally when we sit and meditate we dont taste anything
particularly. 4ometimes we might feel sour taste in our mouth
"ut not very o"viously, so it is not really important. #ut when
we eat, if it tastes good we li!e it, and when it doesnt taste good
we dont li!e it. (here is a reaction going on. $e get the smell
of the food we li!e it or we dont li!e it. ormally when we sit
in the meditation hall there is no eating5 we dont need to do
that. $e feel something on the "ody all the time. ,or example
when we "reathe in and out that is a !ind of feeling sensation5
very gently the air rushes into your nostrils and it rushes out of
the nostrils, there is some sort of sensation going on there. 4o,
we get in touch with that sensation, without thin!ing a"out it, it
may "e long, it may "e short, "ut the main o"'ect is to "e aware
of the whole process. In the suttas it is said, when you "reathe
in long you !now that you are "reathing in long 7>LghaB v1
assasanto% dLghaB assas1mLti pa'1n1ti CM i.AS8. If you read that,
it sounds that you have to thin! a"out it ;I am "reathing in
long, I am "reathing out long<. If you try to do that youll get
agitated5 you are doing too much. ,or a "eginner it is helpful 'ust
to say ;"reathing in<, or 'ust ;in< and feel the whole "reath from
"eginning to end.
,eel it, dont thin! a"out it.
$hen you really stop thin!ing and
start "eing in touch with it, immediately the mind shifts
into another !ind of mode, a different mode
7in your television you have many different modes8,
the mind has also a different mode of wor!ing.
$henever we use a word we are functioning in this ordinary
reality. $hen we stop using any !ind of word or any !ind
of shape or image, our mind wor!s in a different mode and in
meditation we are wor!ing in a different mode. $e try to understand
things in a different way, not in the normal way that we
used to. As soon as you use a word you are "ringing your mind
"ac! to the ordinary way of wor!ing and seeing. (his happens
in the "eginning of meditation. $e cannot eradicate it immediately.
$henever it happens, "ecome aware of it.
Also, thin!ing, la"eling, naming is useful for a "eginner "ut
after a while we have to let go of it.
&ust li!e using a wal!ing stic! when you wal!. $hen you
feel wea! you need something to support you% a wal!ing stic!
or even a rope. 4ome people who are disa"led, or with some
in'uries when they are reha"ilitating, learning to wal! again,
they need to hold on to something so that they wont fall down.
(hey hold on the rope and then wal! slowly. #ut after they have
learnt to wal! they dont need a rope, they let go, "ecause if they
!eep doing that what happens9 (hey "ecome dependent on it
and it "ecomes a hindrance. 6ets say you are wal!ing and you
are using a wal!ing stic!. .ach step you ta!e you put down your
wal!ing stic! and then you ta!e another step and you put your
wal!ing stic! down again. If you are very wea! and you wal!
very slowly it is very useful and helpful "ut when you have learnt
to run and you try to do that, to ta!e a step and put down your
wal!ing stic! and then ta!e another step and put it down again,
can you do that9 If you try to do that you have to slow down.
4o, you 'ust put the wal!ing stic! away. It was useful "ut now it
is not necessary.
You need to "e very s!illful in the way you practice.
,or a "eginner it is useful ;"reathing in, "reathing out, 7la"eling8
"reathing inN "reathing out<, it is very useful "ecause
your mind is so scattered and agitated. (o !eep your mind on
one "reath is difficult, so you use the word to "ring your mind
"ac! again and again to "reathing.
After you have learnt to stay with the "reath,
let go of this long "reathing in, 'ust use Qin Qout.
After a while let go of that even,
no need to say anything anymore.
,or a "eginner there are many ways of developing some
concentration and awareness. As I told you "efore, even in one
"reath you say one, two three, four, five, six, up to ten. (ry to do
that. As you "reathe in you count in your mind, the minimum
five and the maximum ten. $hy do you do that9 #ecause you
want to !eep your mind on "reathing5 "reath after "reath. If
you dont do that, one second you are aware of it and another
second you are away, thin!ing of something else. In order not to
go away, not to thin! of something else you try to count. 4o, it
is useful for a "eginner.
After a while you do not need to count,
you dont need to name,
you dont need to do anything anymore.
&ust "e with the "reath.
As you are meditating, youll feel sensations in your "ody.
4ometimes you feel hot, sometimes you feel cold, sometimes
tingling sensation, sometimes 'ust pain. $hen the sensation
"ecomes very strong, naturally your mind goes to that sensation.
You cannot stop it from going there. $hen it goes there,
"e with it, no pro"lem. Uipassan1 can change o"'ect. As long as
you are aware of the o"'ect, as long as you dont thin!5 it is o!.
(hat is why vipassan1 concentration it is called !haOi!a sam1dhi5
it is translated as momentary concentration. Momentary
concentration means that the o"'ect changes, "ut the concentration
is still there. +ne o"'ect lasts for a few moments, and you
are with that o"'ect, it disappears and your mind is on another
o"'ect, which lasts for a few moments, for a moment actually
and you are with that too.
Momentary concentration does not mean
that you are aware of it only for a moment5
that your concentration lasts only for a moment.
It means that your concentration is%
momentN momentN momentN momentN moment,
it goes on li!e that, without any "rea!.
$ithout any "rea! means without getting distracted,
that is !haOi!a sam1dhi.
$hen any !ind of very strong and o"vious sensation happens,
whether it is a sound, whether it is a pain, "e with it, no
$hen you meditate whatever is happening right now is the
o"'ect of your meditation5 not what happened "efore or what
will happen next. (his is a very good example% on a rainy cloudy
day and there is thunder all the time, if you go out and loo! at
the s!y, once in a while you see a flash, and it lasts for a few
seconds and disappears. You cannot tell what shape it will "e.
$hen it happens you are aware of it. $hen it is not there, it is
not there any more and you dont have to thin! a"out it.
#e ready, "e present and o"'ects will come
and you are aware of them.
>ont expect what will happen next,
dont try to create experience,
dont ma!e your meditation experience "etter,
"ut "e with whatever is happening, completely,
that is the most important aspect of meditation%
to "e with whatever is.
$e cannot sit all the time. +ur "ody needs to move, needs
some exercise, change of posture, it is very important, "ecause
#uddha said, when you !eep your "ody in one position for too
long @ I dont !now how long is too long, it depends on the person
@ it "ecomes painful and when the "ody "ecomes painful,
un"eara"le, the mind gets agitated, when the mind gets agitated
there is no calmness or peacefulness, there is no sam1dhi anymore
and without sam1dhi no insight, no insight no li"eration:
$hen the pain "ecomes un"eara"le you dont have to "e with
it. Ihange your posture. $hen you change your posture do it
very mindfully. ,rom sitting you want to move a little "it, you
can do that. 4lowly move and as you move you can see the pain
getting less and less. ,eel that pain getting less and less5 dont
change your posture immediately, without "eing aware of the
changing and lessening of the pain. If you do that there is a gap
you are not aware of, not mindful of. $hen there is pain in your
lim"s, your mind does not li!e it. You want to get rid of it. (his
is the ha"it "ut actually it is useful as well "ecause if you dont
do something a"out it you might hurt yourself. ,or example,
when we pic! up something very hot we immediately let go of it,
"ecause if we dont do that it will "urn. (his is a !ind of survival
reaction that we have learnt. $hen sitting and meditating we
!now that there is no real danger.
$hen you experience pain,
as long as you can "e with the pain to endure it,
see how your mind reacts.
(his is a very important learning process.
#uddha gave a very deep and profound teaching, ;although
my "ody is in pain my mind is not in pain< 71tura!1yassa me
sato, cittam an1turam "havissatLti C4 iii.D8. (his is something
you should practice: $e cannot really get rid of all the pain
in our "ody. As you grow older and older you !now that you
have to live with pain. People have arthritis5 there is no way you
can run away from pain. If you ta!e too much medicine it will
destroy your liver, !idneys and many other things. If you want
to ta!e medication it is o!5 that is not what I am saying. ,or
normal pain it is not going to hurt you very much, so, try to "e
with the pain and see how the mind reacts. In some cases, we
try to move not "ecause the pain is un"eara"le "ut "ecause we
are restless. $e move "ecause we are not in the ha"it of "eing
in touch with the pain.
$hen you feel pain, without thin!ing of pain, without even
using the word pain, although in the "eginning you can use
the word pain, "ut I have noticed that when you use the word
pain it "ecomes more painful, "ecause you are interpreting it as
Qpain. Pain is something that you dont li!e. 4o automatically
you react to the word pain.
If you stop using the word pain and
'ust get into the pain, "e with the pain,
youll find that it is very interesting,
your mind can stay there for a long time.
4ome of my friends, who are very scared of pain, dont want
to meditate "ecause they thin! it will "e very painful. 4lowly
and slowly they have learnt how to meditate and after a while
they come in touch with the pain and stay with it, and found out
that it "ecomes very interesting. (hey get a"sor"ed in the pain.
If you are willing to "e with the pain,
it is not so un"eara"le5 if you are unwilling it
"ecomes more and more un"eara"le.
It is the way that your mind loo!s at experience.
$henever you feel pain, "e with it, it will not !ill you, actually.
$hen you find that ;this is my limit< and I cant really go
on sitting li!e this anymore, move very slowly, move a few millimeters
and see the pain getting less, the whole experience, and
the mind also. $hen the pain gets a little "it less your mind
"ecomes a little "it relaxed, ;+hN It is nice nowN feeling "etter
now<, then move a little "it again5 feeling "etter now. Move
again, and then you find another position where you dont feel
pain anymore, you feel happy, you feel very relaxed and then you
continue to meditate5 sitting for an hour or sometimes even for
two hours. In #urma some people sit for five, six hours and some
people sit even more than that, you may not "elieve it. 4ome
people sit for twenty four hours, without eating or drin!ing.
$hen I see people that cant even sit for one hour, if they
want they can train their "ody, "ut they thin! that they cannot
do more than this. $hen you thin! that this is your limit, when
you come to that point, your "ody reacts too much.
$hen you !now that ;I can do more than this<
your mind does not react.
4lowly you can learn to stretch your limit.
After you can sit for three hours you find that meditation
can get very deep, very, very deep. It "ecomes more and more
clear. You stop thin!ing, you get deeper and deeper in touch
with the reality and you can see very fine su"tle things happening.
It is important to learn to sit longer and also to do standing
meditation. -ere I dont see people standing. I see people sitting
on the floor or sitting on a chair. (ry to meditate standing for a
while, "ut if you are afraid that youll fall down, try to put your
hands on a rail or a ta"le that will help you to !eep "alance.
4ometimes it is very good to do standing meditation. 4tand as
long as you can and then you wal! and when you wal! also do
it very mindfully.
#egin from the intention to wal!. $hen you stand for a long
time, your "ody really wants to change the posture. You really
want to move and that intention is very strong. You cant stand
anymore. You dont want to stand anymore. ,eel that energy,
the energy of wanting to move. 4ometimes you feel li!e your
"ody is moving although your feet are not. You feel li!e your
"ody is pulling, something is pulling. You can feel that energy in
the mind and in the "ody. (he moment that your mind thin!s
of moving, immediately something happens in your "ody. (hat
part of the "ody that is going to move "ecomes very different.
All the nerves and the muscles "ecome immediately ready to
move. You feel the energy there, the "lood, the nerves and muscles
"ecoming tense and when you "ecome aware of that you let
go of it. After a while, a few seconds, that desire, that urge to
move comes "ac! again and you !now that desire coming, you
feel something rushing up and then after a few times you really
decide to move.
$hen you move, move very slowly and see the feeling, the
sensation, the tension5 you feel something happening in your
muscles. =et in touch with the feeling, not the shape, you sayN
Q$al!ingN, Qwal!ingN, Qwal!ingN, for a "eginner it is o!.
-ere you are not "eginners. (his is a class for advanced meditators
"ut I want to go "ac! to the "eginner stages also. $hen you
say ;left, right, left, right<, it is 'ust words. You call this Qright
and you call this Qleft, it is 'ust a name and you are also aware of
the shape, this long and round leg, moving forward, stretching
and moving again. ,or a "eginner it is o!. After a while it is not
the shape, it is not the name, it is the sensation while you move,
it is the sensation which should "e the o"'ect of meditation.
-ow do you feel in your muscles, and also how do you feel in
the mind9 $hen you try to do it very mindfully youll find that
even to move you thin! a little "it and you need the cooperation
of your whole "ody5 without the cooperation of your "ody and
mind you cannot move even an inch. 6ets say you are standing
there and you have decided to move5 what is happening9 You
shift the "ody weight on to the other leg5 that leg has got to ta!e
the whole "ody weight and to feel the cooperation "etween the
two legs.
(o move it is not very simple5
there is a very complex process going on.
=et interested. >o not "e in a hurry to do anything.
$hat you are doing is to see what is happening in
your "ody when you ta!e 'ust one step.
>o it with deep interest. $hat is happening now9
If you do that you can get very interested and "ecause of the
interest the mind "ecomes calm and a"sor"ed. #ecause of this
a"sorption, sam1dhi, you also feel more energy. 4ometimes a
!ind of 'oy too, "ecause 'oy is very close to interest. If you have
no interest you have no 'oy. +ne translation of pLti is interest.
4o, get very interested. $hat happens if I try to move9 4ee what
happens to the whole "ody and mind, "efore you move even. If
you do that and lets say you wal! from here to there, do it very
slowly. You can get very a"sor"ed. 4am1dhi can "ecome very
strong. 4ome people say that wal!ing meditation is not good
"ecause you dont develop sam1dhi. May"e that person has not
tried to wal! with deep interest. If you do it with a deep interest
you develop very strong sam1dhi.
#uddha said that the sam1dhi that you develop
from practicing wal!ing meditation is much stronger
than the sam1dhi you develop while you are sitting
7caZ!am1dhigato sam1dhi ciraPPhiti!o hoti CA iii.?[8.
(his is very important to !now, "ecause in
the moving process, when you can stay with it,
your awareness is stronger.
$hen you change posture, when you hear, you see, try to
"e in touch with the whole process as much as you can, without
thin!ing a"out it. In that process youll find that there is the
intention, the decision, the desire, the wanting arising in your
mind, the wanting to move, wanting to see, wanting to listen,
wanting to drin!. 4ometimes you are sitting and meditating and
you feel so thirsty, you want to drin!5 that desire is very strong.
You feel the desire, sometimes you see a glass of water, and it
would "e so nice to drin! a glass of water: 4ometimes you are
sitting and you feel itching somewhere in the "ody, you want to
scratch5 "efore you scratch you can see the wanting to scratch.
+nce you have decided to move your hand, "efore doing it youll
feel very different, feel the change in energy in the hand, something
is happening there. In your mind image you also see your
hand moving "ut your real hand has not moved yet. #ecome
aware of all this. Move slowly, scratch and slowly put "ac! your
hand and continue meditating.
$hat I am explaining now is actually extremely simple,
"ut it is hard to do simple things,
we ma!e things more and more complicated.
(o meditate is very simple, can you do that9
Are you willing to "e simple9
ow I will give you a chance to as! questions. $hen I
spo!e a"out consciousness and o"'ect it is actually 1maMr3paparicchedaM
T1Oa, the first insight, no "eing, no name, no shape,
'ust sensation and awareness. You !now that there is a sensation
and there is awareness. 4ensation is nature, natural phenomena
and awareness is also natural phenomena. (his consciousness is
not a "eing. You are not creating it. It is happening "ecause of
the conditions. $hen you see the two things very clearly that
is the first insight. Ill try to tal! a"out the first four insights
again and again to get them very clear5 I dont want to leave
anything out. After the fourth the rest is quite simple. (here are
ten insights5 the first four are the most important ones.

Awareness of o"'ect and consciousness,
seeing them as natural phenomena,
not a "eing, not a man, not a woman,
this is the first insight.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% #uddha tal!ed a"out wal!ing meditation and
said that it gives you sam1dhi and it is very strong, "ecause
you are moving all the time, you need to have more energy,
you need to put in more energy to "e in touch with the
process. $hen something is sta"le it is easier to "e with it
and you can 'ust relax. $hen something is changing and
moving you have to put more effort, more energy into it
and once you have developed that sort of energy, effort and
developed that sort of mindfulness and you go and sit, it is
quite simple and easy.
If you do that yourself you will find why. If you have
a place where you can wal! ten steps it is enough to do
wal!ing meditation, "ecause each step will ta!e a long time.
>o it with deep interest and then you go and sit mindfully
and see what happens. Youll get calmer, more peaceful and
more mindful. I suggest that you do wal!ing meditation first
and then do sitting meditation5 youll really feel the difference.
,or "eginners it is very important to do "oth. #ut as
you develop deeper and deeper sam1dhi, after a while you
can sit for two hours and wal! for one hour, and after a
while you sit for three hours and wal! for one hour 'ust to
give your "ody some exercise and you can get deeper and
deeper in your sam1dhi.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In the section of 4atipaPPh1na, there is one
section a"out wal!ing meditation and if you can find the
commentary of that section it will give you more detailed
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (he sensitivity of the "ody, the s!in actually,
also deep in the muscles you feel something. $hatever you
feel on your "ody you feel it "ecause of the sensitivity of the
"ody. 4ensitivity of the eyes, sensitivity of the ear, sensitivity
of the nose5 the nose is sensitive to smell, the tongue is
sensitive to taste, the eye is sensitive to light and colours,
the ear is sensitive to soundMvi"ration, the "ody is sensitive
to hot or cold, hard soft, movement, vi"ration, tension.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes, vedan1nupassan1 means you are aware of
the pain5 not only pain, su!h1Mvedan1, du!!h1Mvedan1 and
upe!!h1Mvedan1. $hat I am saying is that you are with the
pain "ut you are not naming it anymore. In the "eginning
you are naming it, "ut after a while you dont name it anymore,
you are with the pain, whether it is du!!h1 7painful8,
su!h1 7pleasant8, or upe!!h1 7neutral8, you are with the
pain. #eing with the pain is vedan1nupassan15 you are doing
it without naming it.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% I seeN three !ind of vedan1, in the "ody you
feel all three, du!!h1, su!h1 and also upe!!h1. Most of the
time there is some sort of light pain in the "ody all the time,
"ut we dont pay attention. $hen we pay attention we feel
it. $hen there is no pain anymore you feel very light. 4ometimes
in meditation you feel so peaceful and calm and so
light, all the pain is gone% that is su!h1Mvedan1. 4ometimes
there is upe!!h1 vedan1, neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
In the eye, for the sensitivity of the eye, the vedan1 is
only upe!!h1. ,or the smell also5 the smell comes into your
nose you dont really feel pain there. You are aware of the
smell only, so there is no su!h1 or du!!h1. $hen you smell
something terri"le, your "ody and mind reacts to it, which
is another process.
+ne of my friends had an accident and after that he
couldnt smell anything anymore. -e might "e wor!ing in a
place with very "ad smell "ut he does not react.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% You feel more weight on another leg9 -eaviness
you mean, when you lift9 #ecause it has weight you have to
overcome gravity, you have to overcome the resistance, and
you have to put in some effort to lift it. You !now, we are so
used to moving that we dont really !now how much effort
it ta!es. (o give you an example, a long time ago, we friends
agreed to arrange a situation where one of us could meditate
without doing anything at all for a month5 it meant we 'ust
put out the "owl in front of the door, closed the door and
sat and meditated. A mon! too! away the "owl, put in the
food, and filled up all the water pots, cleaned everything
and "rought them "ac! and left the "owl there. $hen we
felt ready to eat, we opened the door, too! the "owl and
ate. o"ody would come and distur" us. $e did that for a
long time, 'ust sitting and meditating many hours and 'ust
going out to get exercise, wal!ing for a few minutes only
to stretch your legs and then come "ac! and continue to
meditate. (he eyes 'ust dropping, the whole "ody "ecomes
so relaxed that after a while it is difficult even to open your
eyes. It ta!es so much effort to open the eyelids5 you need
so much energy to open your eyes. $hen we started tal!ing
again, you needed to develop so much energy 'ust to tal!.
(he chee! muscles also "ecame so soft, even smiling is so
difficult: $e are so used to this "urden that we do not really
!now what it ta!es.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% ot really, actually. In the "eginning, if you do
that for a few months and you start thin!ing, you find that
it is difficult to thin!. It is only for a while, "ecause we do
it again and again. $hen I lived in my place in Myanmar, I
lived there alone for at least four months. $hen you come
out of that in the "eginning it is a little "it difficult, "ecause
you dont want to thin!. It is not necessary to thin!. #ut
when you have to say something, you !now exactly what to
say without going around. You stay short and to the point,
you are clear. $hen you want to say something you get in
touch with what you want to say and say it very clearly.
Also, "efore we meditate we ta!e these names,
ideas, and associations very seriously "ut after
you meditate you !now that these are 'ust
interpretations and dont ta!e them very seriously.
#ut you !now the meaning.
You interpret in the same way, in the right way5 you use
it appropriately without ta!ing it too seriously. You use it
without "eing imprisoned "y the concepts, ideas and names.
Ioncepts, idea, names, are prisons, they are useful "ut they
are also prisons. If we really want to free our mind we have
to !now what the limitations are. (his is one form of reality.
It is important for our survival5 if we dont interpret things
in the right way we will not survive. In the evolutionary
process we have learnt to interpret things in the right way.
.specially in the forest, you are sitting there and you hear
something, if you dont interpret it the right way youll "e
eaten up "y a tiger. $hen you hear a tiger you 'ust shut the
door. If you !eep it open may"e youll "e in trou"le.
(o interpret things in the right way is useful "ut
when you want to go "eyond ordinary reality
you need to leave all that "ehind.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes, that is true. If you can do that it is very
useful to develop deep insight. ,or "eginners I would not
suggest doing that, "ecause it is "etter to develop gradually.
If suddenly you as! a person go and live in that cave, in a
small room, dont come out, we will "ring food, stay there
for four months, that person will go cra)y. $e are always
trying to run away from ourselves. $e cant face what is
inside5 there are so many things inside, all sorts of memories,
emotions, feelings and desires5 so much inside. If you suddenly
do that, everything will explode.
=radually learn to do that.
It is not easy to "e with yourself all the time.
If you have learnt to live with yourself,
'ust watch and let go, without reacting.
You can develop very deep sam1dhi and
very deep insight.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Nit comes naturally actually, you dont have to
deli"erately do anything. It happens.
If you can 'ust do one thing, honestly,
"e aware of what is happening without
misinterpreting anything, the rest will happen.
(hat is the "eauty of the practice.
You !now that if I am mindful honestly the rest
will happen naturally.
$hatever difficulty comes into your mind, if you can "e
aware of that difficulty, a question comes into your mindN
I dont !now what to doN "e aware of that question and
let go. If you can do that your mind "ecomes calm again.
After a while you !now what to do, you find out what to do
without thin!ing.
Many people when they practiced with my teacher
!ept coming and as!ing one question after another. -e was
very patient, very !ind and he answered every question "ut
after a while he said ;"e more mindful, youll find your own
answers<. (hat is really very important, "ecause now he has
passed away, who is going to answer the questions9
(he real name of my teacher is Uenera"le >hammanandiya.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes5 when you "ecome very, very mindful, your
mind sometimes cannot thin! especially when you develop
some sort of sam1dhi and insight, although you try to divert
your mind to another o"'ect it will not go there, it will come
"ac!: $hat do you do9 &ust leave it, stay there for a while
and after when you feel ready to do other things, do them.
$hen the mind is not ready to do it, dont force it. It is
something li!e a hypnotic state. $hen you are in a hypnotic
state you should not come out quic!ly. It is a !ind of a"sorption
so ta!e your time and slowly come out of it.

In vipassan1 also you can get very a"sor"ed,
when you are in that state5 dont force yourself
to come out quic!ly. (a!e your time.
A few minutes are enough5
'ust prepare your mind to come out of it.
(hin!ing is a "urden. If you are very calm and peaceful,
if there is no thought, no agitation, it is o! to stay there. It
is so nice to go away from the world.
,irst K 4econd Insights
Awareness of Ionsciousness and +"'ect K
Iomprehending the Iause of Phenomena
$elcome to meditation class, I am glad to see you.
4ome of you come here quite early and sit and
meditate. It is very encouraging to see people coming
here to meditate. It shows that you really want to meditate,
that you really li!e, love what you are doing.
I am only here to help you, not really here to teach you.
+nly if you really want to learn you learn.
o"ody can really teach you,
this is very important thing to understand.
(o "egin todays meditation class I would li!e to "egin with
a question, a very simple question and the answer also is very
simple. #ut thin! for a while. $hat is the "iggest "urden we
are carrying9 &ust ta!e a few minutes to thin! a"out it. It is very
important to as! the right question and also it is very important
to live the question. (his idea, to live the question it is
very important. +nly if we live the question will we get a living
answer and then we have to live the answer again. +nly if we
live the answer we will find another very deep and meaningful
question. And, we live the question again. 6iving the question
is the right way to find the answer. >o you have a question9 Are
you living a question9 Any !ind of question, "ut the question
must come out of your life5 it must come out from your heart. It
must "e a living question, not 'ust a theoretical or hypothetical
question5 it must "e something very real.
(hose who have real questions and
those who live the question live their life very seriously,
very meaningfully, very deeply.
After they have lived the question for a long time,
their life will give them the answer.
It is your life that gives you the answer5
you cannot find real answers from "oo!s or
from some"ody else.
(hey may give you some hints only, "ut to see the truth of
the answer you have to loo! into your life again.
(he truth of the answer does not lie in the sentence5
it lies in your life.
(he question again, what is the "iggest "urden you are carrying
around9 -ave you as!ed that question to yourself9 If not,
'ust as! it now, what is the "iggest "urden that I am carrying
around9 Ian you guess9
,I04( A> 4.I+> I4I=-(4 . DRF
0ight, the "iggest "urden
we are carrying around is QI.
>o you feel that9 If you can 'ust let go of that QI youll feel
light again. (hat is the "iggest "urden: (hat is why the first
thing we learn in meditation is to see that there are only natural
phenomena% pure mental and physical phenomena. +ne phenomenon
is mental which is very distinct from another phenomenon
which is physical or material.
(he first insight is to see that there are 'ust phenomena,
nothing permanent, no "eing, no entity, no QI, no ego, no personality,
'ust pure phenomena. (hat "rings tremendous relief,
it un"urdens the mind. (his QI is the creation of the mind, it
creates its own "urden. (he first stage of enlightenment totally
eradicates this IMness, the wrong view of IMness, sa!!1yaMdiPPhi. It
does not eradicate greed, this is an important point to notice,
and it does not even eradicate anger or competition li!e pride.
It eradicates the wrong view of QI. 4ometimes people say ;these
people are meditating "ut they are still very greedy.< Yes, they
can still "e very greedy, "ut that greed has no "ac!ing of QI. .ven
though they are greedy they will not go and steal or cheat. (hey
will get what they want properly, in a proper way. Ill review
what I have said last wee! and continue from there.
1mar3p1naB y1th1vadassanaB diPPhivisuddhi n1ma.
1mar3panaB is a compound word, n1ma and r3pa. 1ma is
a process, not an entity or a "eing, not permanent. It is not always
there. 1ma is something that arises. 03pa also is not a thing.
03pa actually is a quality. Please !eep this in mind. $henever we
use the word r3pa we are not tal!ing a"out a thing. $e are tal!ing
a"out a quality, li!e heat, is a quality not a thing, cold is not
a thing, it is a quality and it is a process. It is something going on
and on continuously. It has continuity "ut it is arising and passing
away, arising and passing away. (hat is why it is called a process.
(hese two processes, n1ma and r3pa are distinct, they are not the
same. 4ometimes I hear a"out this non duality, saying that there
is no such thing as n1ma or r3pa, "oth of them are the same. (hat
is not true. (hey are not the same. (hey are very distinct. 1ma
is a !ind of consciousness, !nowing. 03pa is 'ust an o"'ect without
this quality of !nowing5 it doesnt !now. 1ma is that quality
which !nows5 r3pa does not !now anything, it is 'ust pure material
quality. (hey are two different things, material and mental.
In the meditation practice, the mind "ecomes very quiet
and still although sometimes a few thoughts might come and go,
the mind stays on the o"'ect for a long time. It "egins to focus
on one thing5 it does not put things together. (his not putting
anything together is very important.
$hen we put things together we get a concept,
we get paTTatti. $hen we dont put things together,
when we see something purely as it is5
then we are really seeing the quality,
either n1ma or r3pa.
$hen the mind "ecomes so still and sees pure quality, we
can see that this is 'ust pure quality, not a "eing, not a man, not
a woman. (his is the first insight, it is very important. /nless we
can get to this first insight, there is not hope of any progress. $e
come to see that there is this consciousness which is aware of
this o"'ect. ,or example, this sound, when I ma!e a sound, this
sound is pure physical quality, it is a process. You can hear the
ringing going on and on and then it goes away.
#efore I ma!e a sound there is no awareness of this sound.
(his awareness arises "ecause of this sound. You can see the two
very clearly, very separately. And the awareness arises now. It
is not already there, to "e aware of. It is not waiting to hear the
sound. (he awareness arises when the sound arises. #efore the
awareness of the sound there is another awareness, which is also
a condition for the next awareness to arise. #ut they are not the
same. $e thin! that there is some sameness all the time, something
that is always there. (his is the way we create continuity
in our mind. (houghts create continuity and they create this
idea of sameness. $hen we totally stop thin!ing and "ecome
mindful and concentrate and pay attention to whatever is happening
right now, we see that something is arising right now. It
was not there "efore. It is right now.
;1mar3p1naB y1th1vadassanaB diPPhivisuddhi n1ma<%
Y1th1va means truly, properly rightly, as it is. >assanaB means
to see. (o see n1ma and r3pa, mental and physical phenomena
as they are, truly, properly, rightly is called diPPhivisuddhi. >iPPhi
means view. Uisuddhi means purity or purification. And here the
7second8 word n1ma means ;it is called.<
$hen we see this P12i word 1ma, we have to !eep in mind
that it has many meanings, a different meaning in different contexts.
In some cases, some people translate n1maMr3pa as name
and form, which is wrong translation. I discussed this with Uenera"le
V1Oavisuddhi and it too! us two days. $e went through
many translations. 1ma does not mean name. ame is a concept.
#ut another meaning of n1ma is name. And in another
case it means Qit means. In the "eginning of the sentence, n1ma
means mental process. In the same sentence 7at the end8 n1ma
means Qit means.
4o to translate this P12i sentence, it means diPPhivisuddhi
7purification of view8 means seeing as it is, truly, properly, rightly
the process of mental and physical phenomena. 4o n1maMr3pa
doesnt mean name and form. ame is a concept. ,orm and
shape is also a concept. (heyre not reality.
$hen we meditate and develop this n1maMr3paMparicchedaT1
Oa, it does not mean that we !now the name and the form5 it
means that we see mental and physical process. $rong translation
gives us a very wrong idea, it is very confusing sometimes.
,or example we are sitting and meditating and "reathing in and
out, at first we are aware of the shape of our "ody, the shape
of our nose, sometimes we even imagine the shape of the air
long, li!e a rope, going in and out. (his Qlong is something you
imagine. $here is the long air going in and out9 o long air.
#ut sometimes it feels li!e that. 4lowly and slowly we overcome
all this imagination of shape and name and we come to the pure
awareness of sensation, something rushing in, touching, pushing
and this touching, pushing is a process, a very simple process.
.ven in this simple process, we have wrong view.
(o purify this wrong view, we see this simple process
without mixing it with anything else.
$e see that this is 'ust pure sensation.
And after a while we see that there is this consciousness,
which is aware of this sensation. (he sensation can "e warm,
can "e cold. $hen we "reathe in, it is a little "it cool, when we
"reathe out, it is a little "it warm. (his warm or cool, pushing,
touching,N you "ecome aware of it, we are not thin!ing a"out
it and we see that there are two very distinct processes going on,
and neither of them is a "eing, an entity, and neither of them
lasts a long time. (hey are arising now and disappearing now.
In the "eginning we dont emphasi)e on arising and passing
away, we emphasi)e on 'ust pure process. (his physical process,
this materiality has no volition, it has no intention. ,or example
the hair does not !now that it is in the head and the hair does not
want to go anywhere5 so who wants to go9 mind, consciousness.
(his materiality has no volition, no intention. 4eeing that consciousness
goes to the o"'ect and it reaches the o"'ect. $e want
to hear, we pay attention, and this paying attention is a quality
of n1ma, ta!ing the o"'ect !nowing the o"'ect. (here is something
which does not !now anything, which is physical process
and there is another process which !nows the o"'ect. (he two
are very different. 1ma arises "ecause of the o"'ect. $ithout
any o"'ect there cannot "e any consciousness. (he consciousness
is not already there.
,or example when I touch li!e this, the sound does not
come out of this stic!, it does not come out from the "ell even.
(his means that the sound is not already there. >epending on
how hard I hit, the quality of the sound will "e different5 it is not
already there sitting and waiting to come out one after another.
If it is already sitting there waiting to come out, no matter how
hard I hit, the same sound will come out. If I change the condition
the result will "e different. 4o, the sound is not in the
stic!, it is not in the "ell, and it is not waiting there. It happens
when the stic! hits the "ell, which means everything is new. (o
understand it as something new is very important. It is the same
thing with seeing, when there is no awareness, when you !eep
your eyes shut, you do not see what is in front. (he moment you
open your eyes, something stri!es your eyes and this awareness,
this seeing consciousness arises. It arises at this moment5 you
can see the two different things, the o"'ect and the consciousness.
(his is called, n1mar3paMparicchedaMT1Oa.
In another case, for example when you want to move, first
consciousness arises, the intention to move and then the hand
or the leg moves. In the case of the sound, the sound preconditions
the consciousness, "ecause of the sound, consciousness
arises. In the case of moving it is your intention which preconditions
the movement, physical process conditioning mental process,
and mental process conditioning physical process. It wor!s
"oth ways. $hen we feel hungry and we want to eat, we ta!e
the food and put it in our mouth. #ut who is eating really9 (he
function of eating it is done "y the "ody, the physical process.
(he hand ta!es the food and puts it in the mouth. If you dont
move the hand and 'ust sit and loo! at the food and tell the food
to go to the mouth, it wont go.
(he mind intends and gives directions, instructions to the
"ody5 so the mind intends and the "ody eats.
Mind and "ody eating, not QI eating,
mind and "ody eating, "ut we thin! that I am eating.
In truth it is 'ust mind and "ody process eating.
If you can understand that as a process then
you have this purity of view.

$hen you want to drin! it is the same process. $hen you
want to wal! it is the same thing. 6i!e you are standing for a
long time and you feel very tired, you legs "ecome very stiff, you
want to move, and the intention is coming, move, move, it
really pushes the "ody. You decide to move, lift your leg, move
it forward and place it, soN mind and "ody moving, not a "eing
moving. (hat way of seeing is n1maMr3paMparicchedaMT1Oa.
In truth there is no "eing. (here is a reality where we see
the "eing as a truth, this is sammutiMsacca 7mundane reality8.
>ont mix the two realities. In mundane reality there are "eings,
there are men, there are women. $hen we come to paramattha,
when we meditate we go "eyond that, and loo! into the
qualities only. #ut when we meditate we dont thin! a"out it.
(he important point is to try and thin! "efore you meditate,
"ut when you sit and meditate dont thin! a"out n1maMr3pa
anymore. As you "ecome more and more mindful, as your mind
stays more and more on the process, it will appear naturally,
spontaneously, and the understanding will "e there very clearly%
two processes going on.
/nderstanding or seeing n1maMr3pa process properly, rightly
means seeing that ;(his is n1ma, this is a mental process<, this
means that this is not a "eing. (his is mental process. And n1ma
means 'ust this 7process8. It does not mix with physical process,
no mixing and no adding. ormally we mix all things together
and we have a vague idea a"out things. #ut here we come to a
very clear cut seeing% this is n1ma, 'ust n1ma and it does not
mix with r3pa. Although they are interrelated they are not the
same, they are two distinct processes. (here is nothing more
than this. 1ma is 'ust this n1ma. Its not more than that, and
seeing, ;(his is r3pa, physical<% heat, cold, movement, pressure,
heaviness, anything, these are 'ust physical process. (his much
is physical, not more than this. It has a limit to it. (his much is
physical. It doesnt mix with mental, although it is also related
with mental process. Qo more than that.
Q&ust seeing the inherent quality of nature, many different
qualities5 'ust seeing the different qualities of nature. Ilean the
impurity of seeing the process as something, ego or QI and to
remove it. 4o remove the impurity of the wrong view of QI, or
the wrong view of soul, of "eing of entity. 0emoving this wrong
view of "elief in a soul should "e understood as diPPhiMvisuddhi.
$hen a person reaches this insight, n1maMr3paMparicchedaT1
Oa, this state of insight is purity of view 7diPPhivisuddhi8. (hat
comes with the first insight.
(he second insight is PaccayaMpariggahaMT1Oa. Paccaya
means cause, and pariggaha means grasping, understanding.
V1Oa means understanding. (his .nglish word grasping has
many meanings. +ne of them is to grasp something in your
hand, to ta!e it very firmly, "ut it also means understanding.
4o, grasping the cause of the phenomena, seeing, understanding
the cause of the phenomena, they are related. ,irst we see the
o"'ect as o"'ect and the consciousness as 'ust consciousness and
then slowly when this insight "ecomes mature, without thin!ing
a"out it, the meditator starts seeing that "ecause of this o"'ect,
consciousness arises.
(his o"'ect is the cause of this consciousness. (he consciousness
does not arise "y itself5 no"ody is creating it. It is
not arising 'ust without any reason5 it is arising "ecause it has
a cause to arise. >epending on the persons intellectual development
or !nowledge, different people see different aspects of
causes and some people see more, some people see less "ut it
does not matter. (he thing that does matter is that no matter
what arises you see that it has a cause. ,or example, ta!ing the
sound again, the consciousness of the sound arises "ecause of
the sound which is quite o"vious. #ut we may thin! that every"ody
!nows that, why do we need to go and meditate9 $e dont
need to meditate to find that out. $e !now it intellectually, "ut
it is quite different.
Intellectual understanding does not
remove this strong "elieve in self.
$e thin! that we hear the sound, ;I hear the sound<.
#ut in meditation this QI disappears.
You see that this consciousness arises 'ust now "ecause of this
sound, no QI hearing. 4ometimes you come to the understanding
that "ecause of the ear, there is hearing5 hearing is a consciousness.
4ound and ear, the ear drum which is the sensitive part of
the ear, is the cause of hearing. If you go on meditating for a long
time, you come to understand that, ;only when I pay attention, I
hear the sound<5 I am using the word QI in a conventional sense.
4ometimes there is a lot of noise going on around, people tal!ing
etc., "ut if we dont pay attention we dont hear.
$e come to understand the mind turning to the o"'ect,
paying attention 7manasi!1ra85
without paying attention we dont hear.
$hen we are sleeping although the ear drum is still wor!ing
and there are many sounds happening we dont hear, "ecause
we are not paying attention. (his is a very o"vious example.
Also when we are awa!e and we are very a"sor"ed in reading, if
some"ody near us calls our name, we dont hear, "ecause we are
not paying attention. 4ound, sensitive ear and attention conditions
the hearing.
(he same with seeing, we thin! that we see, "ut when we
develop this insight and we are loo!ing at something, we !now
the consciousness5 we !now that "ecause of the o"'ect there is
this consciousness. After a while, without thin!ing it may appear
to you and "ecause the eye is sensitive, we see. 4ometimes people
come and tell me ;it is so ama)ing, we see<. 4uddenly the
person finds out that it is really ama)ing that we see. -ave you
have experienced that9 (his is so marvelous, miraculous5 suddenly
we feel something in a new way.
$hy not seeing9 +ne philosopher, $ittgenstein, have you
heard of him9 -e was a contemporary of #ertrand 0ussell. In fact
he was a student of 0ussell and he replaced 0ussell in his professorship.
$ittgenstein said something which is very deep and
meaningful, he said ;$hy not nothing instead of something<9 If
you really understand this, sometimes youll "e really shoc!ed5 it
is so ama)ing that there is something: 4o ama)ing that there are
flowers, there are trees, there are insects and animals, there are
human "eings and there are planets. $hy not nothing9 $hy is
there something9 &ust that something is there is really ama)ing.
In the same away a meditator "egins to find out that seeing is
happening and it is really ama)ing. (he person sees the seeing as
a new process, a new experience. Most of the time we go a"out
doing things unconsciously, li!e in a dream5 suddenly we wa!e
up and see thatN there is seeing and this is really ama)ing. You
experience seeing as something really new. It really stri!es you,
and it hits you. I really feel happy when some"ody comes and
tells me ;+h, it is ama)ing, we see, we hear, we thin!<. $hy is
that happening9
.tass eva pana n1mar3passa paccayapariggahaOena
tLsu addh1su !an!haB vitaritv1 PhitaB T1OaB
Gan!h1vitaraOaMvisuddhi n1ma.
.tass eva pana n1mar3passa% of that n1maMr3pa that we tal!ed
a"out 'ust a few moments ago.
paccayapariggahaOena% 4eeing the cause of it
tLsu addh1su% past, present and future. $hen we meditate we
pay attention to the present only. $e dont pay attention to
the past "ecause it has gone. And we dont pay attention to
the future "ecause it is not there. #ut when we understand
the present properly, we also understand the past and the
!an!haB vitaritv1% $hen we see that n1maMr3pa arises "ecause
of the conditions, "ecause there is a cause to arise, seeing
this very clearly eradicates all dou"ts5 !an!haB means
dou"t. Uitaritv1 means to overcome. $e overcome dou"t.
$hat are the dou"ts that we have9 $e thin! a"out this QI,
;was I "orn "efore9 Am I going to "e "orn in the future9< #ut
when you see the n1maMr3pa, the process and the causes for
the n1maMr3pa to arise, we understand that as it is happening
now, it has happened "efore, and it will happen in the
future if there are sufficient causes for it to happen. If there
are conditions it will happen, if there are no conditions it
will not happen.

$hen we as! the question ;was I "efore<9 It is a wrong question.
;$ill I "e there again9< 4ome people as! what happens to
the Arahant after death. If we are as!ing this question with the
idea of a person, this question is a wrong one. In reality there
is no such thing as QI, "ut there is process. If you understand
process happening now and the cause of the process happening
now, youll understand that no matter what the story is, what
we call a man, a woman, a mother, a father, this and that, if
we leave out all those names and concepts "ut loo! at it as 'ust
process, youll find that in the past also there was n1ma process,
and r3pa process arising and passing away, 'ust the way they are
arising and passing away 'ust now. /nderstanding the present
completely, eradicates dou"ts a"out present and future. It also
eradicates the dou"t of ;who created this<9 It is happening 'ust
out of the "lue, 'ust for no reason, no cause, or is there some"ody
who is ma!ing it all happen9
(his is a question that is also cleared away,
"ecause we !now no"ody is creating it,
it is 'ust natural causes and natural effect only.
>epending on the persons !nowledge sometimes, say if a
person has studied >ependent +rigination 7paPiccasamupp1da8,
they start to see the reality of it. #ut if the person has not studied
it, it does not matter. (he "asic idea of >ependent +rigination
is that "ecause of this cause, this result arises, if there were
no cause, there would not "e any results. If the cause ceases, the
result ceases. In "rief this is >ependent +rigination. If the person
has a wide !nowledge, he will understand that "ecause of
this sound, and "ecause of this ear, and "ecause of this coming
together of the sound, ear and consciousness, there is a contact.
#ecause of this coming in contact, there is vedan15 there is some
sort of pleasant or unpleasant sensation or feeling. #ecause of
this pleasant or unpleasant feeling, desire or aversion arises.
$e can see the reality of it very clearly, we may not "e a"le
to see it completely "ut we will see part of it very clearly. If
you have never heard or seen something "efore and having no
expectation see or hear a"out it, can there "e any desire for that
thing9 You dont even !now what it is, so no desire for it. -ow
does desire arises9 #ecause you have heard a"out it or you have
seen it "efore. #ecause of coming into contact there is vedan1,
"ecause of vedan1 there is taOh1 7craving, desire8.
>epending on a persons !nowledge, during meditation
without thin!ing much, suddenly a flash of understanding
comes up, very short and "rief, sometimes even a very short
P12i word or even an .nglish word if you read in .nglish will
come up in your mind. >ont thin! too much of these thoughts,
although they are very deep and profound, if you go on thin!ing
it interrupts your continuity of mindfulness and o"servation. In
"etween your meditation practice these thoughts will come up
again and again, watch them, thin!ingN reflectingN. (hese
thoughts in those moments can "e very powerful and have a lot
of energy, very deep, very clear and very inspiring too, so that
sometimes we want to tal! a"out it5 we cannot stop tal!ing a"out
it. $hen that sort of thing happens to you, it is very important
to understand that if you start tal!ing a"out it, you lose your
mindfulness. >uring the meditation retreat or any other situation
if you really want to develop deeper insights dont thin!
or tal! a"out it, although it is very hard to control. $e develop
such clear insights and feel so happy a"out it, so relieved and we
want the same thing to happen to our friends, whoever is close
to us. $e !now that if this person understands this, they will "e
really relieved, "ecause you have experienced yourself that !ind
of relief.
(his "urden of QI, once you see n1maMr3pa,
once you see the cause of n1maMr3pa
arising and passing away, you feel tremendous relief.
(here is a lot of 'oy, rapture, a lot of saddh1 7faith8
and also you "elieve in the #uddha.
4ome"ody told me that, when he first experienced this
he felt a lot of 'oy and rapture in his "ody and immediately he
thought of the #uddha% ;#uddha was really right<. Many people
in that moment want to "ow down and pay respect to the #uddha,
real respect, real veneration, true saddh1 appears. You dont
force yourself, it happens so naturally. Another friend also who
is a good meditator, he was sitting and meditating and when he
developed deep insight said ;I pay respect to the #uddha who
taught this mindfulness<. It is a very new way of paying respect5
very personal5 not "ecause of any reason or other causes "ut 'ust
"ecause he taught this mindfulness practice.
In the texts there are many different dou"ts mentioned, "ut
it is not necessary to go through all of them. (he first thing
is that, "efore this life was there QI9 (his is one dou"t. #efore
this life wasnt there QI9 (his is actually the same question from
a different angle. If there was an QI how was that QI9 In what
shape, in what form, was that a man or a woman9 All sorts of
dou"ts people have. 6ast wee! I spo!e a"out a friend of mine
who was a woman and now is a man.
>ont "e too proud of "eing a man and
dont "e unhappy a"out "eing a woman.
o"ody is "etter.
It is your practice, it is your understanding,
and it is your heart which really counts.
4o ;was I a woman9<, ;was I a man9<, ;was I a .uropean or
an Asian9< (here are all sorts of dou"ts, "ut when you understand
this very deeply, youll see that these names are 'ust conventions,
something that happened "efore. As long as there are
sufficient causes there will "e results.
;$ill I "e re"orn again9< ;$ill I not "e re"orn9< (he same
dou"t. ;Is there a soul inside, living somewhere9< (hat is also
another !ind of dou"t. $hen you loo! very deeply into the
physical and mental process, youll find that everything is always
arising and passing away. (here is no such thing as permanent
entity, everything is changing, arising and passing away. $here
does this QI come from9
$hen we use the word re"irth it is very different from reincarnation,
although sometimes we use the two as if they are the
same. (he two words are not the same. 0eincarnation means,
some permanent entity ta!ing a new "ody. It means that a soul
is going into a new "ody5 there is no such thing as the soul going
into a new "ody, there is only consciousness, mental process and
physical process. In the text it is explained in great detail repeating
the same thing again and again. It is a two volume text on
meditation. If I go through every detail it will ta!e quite a long
time. &ust try to understand this in any other context, smelling,
tasting, sensation on the "ody, in the sound and seeing as I have
explained "efore. (a!e that as an example and try to understand
any other process in the "ody and mind.
&ust "riefly, for some people who have a very deep understanding,
they see the >ependent +rigination from the "eginning,
so, avi''1 which means ignorance or not !nowing, not !nowing
what9 ot !nowing the truth, not !nowing the reality. #ecause
we dont !now, we thin! that if I do this Ill get something that
will ma!e me happy. (his is called Qnot !nowing5 "ecause there
is nothing that can really ma!e us happy.
If you thin! a"out it, it is very depressing5 we have "een
deceiving ourselves for too long. &ust wa!e up and grow up:
-ave you ever found anything that really ma!es you satisfied
always9 $e loo! for that all the time, something that would
ma!e us really satisfied, really happy, have you found it9 Is there
anything li!e that9
#elieving that something will ma!e us happy and
doing things in the hope that it will ma!e us happy,
it is a delusion, it is avi''15 also not understanding
the ,our o"le (ruths which is the same thing.
I want to put things in a very simple way so that you can
relate to it. ,or example, we do d1na here, every 4unday5 people
come and offer to me. .very day people come and offer that is
a good thing to do5 generosity is great: $e need to help each
other, to give to each other. $e give money, we give food, we
give clothing, we give time, we give attention, we give !nowledge,
teaching is also giving, and it is good to do. #ut what
do you expect from it9 (hat expectation is very important. ;If
I offer this food to this venera"le "hi!!hu 7mon!8 then "y the
result of this !amma, Ill "e re"orn as a very rich person, Ill "e
very happy, I will "e very satisfied<5 this is delusion. It will "ring
results "ut it will not really ma!e you happy.
.ven in doing d1na sometimes we are doing it with a lot of
avi''1, thin!ing that it will "ring us real happiness, real satisfaction.
$hy do we do that9 $hat do we expect when we do that9
(he "est to expect is that,
;"y the power of this generosity may I get
the opportunity to practice and understand the reality<,
that is the reality that we can hope for.
In many stories youll hear that some"ody offers a small
amount of this and then he got so much. It is a good investment.
It is "ased on greed and QI5 Ill get a lot again, it is a good investment.
6oo! deep into that, "ecause if you expect so much, it is
greed. You are doing d1na "ut it is rooted in greed, in this wrong
view of QI. #ecause of that sort of view, we do something good
and sometimes we foolishly do "ad things, unwholesome actions,
stealing, !illing, all rooted in the "elief that if we get it we will "e
happy5 such as ta!ing intoxicants, "elieving that it will ma!e us
happy. .ither good or "ad !amma, if we dont understand deeply,
well "e doing it with the "elief of ;I will get some result<.
$hen a person meditates deeply, he or she will
"egin to see that% avi''1Mpaccay1 saZ!h1r15
4aZ!h1r1Mpaccay1 viTT1OaB, and
the whole process of >ependent +rigination goes on.
(o explain >ependent +rigination there should "e another
class, in order to explain it very deeply. #ecause this paccayapariggahaM
T1Oa is tal!ing a"out cause and effect, and >ependent
+rigination is also cause and effect5 it is related.
-ere is something very interesting and very deep%
Gammam n atthi vip1!amhi, p1!o !amme na vi''ati,
ATTamaTTaB u"ho suTT1, a ca !ammaB vin1 phalam.
GammaT ca !ho up1d1ya tato ni""atttate phalaB.
a h ettha devo "rahm1 v1 saBs1rass atthi !1ra!o,
4uddhadhamm1 pavattanti hetusam"h1rapaccay1 ti.
CUsm S[?
Gammam n atthi vip1!amhi, p1!o !amme na vi''ati% (he cause is
not in the effect, in the cause there is no effect. It is not one
in another. (he two are not the same. If you thin! the result
is in the cause or the cause is in the result, you are ta!ing the
two as together. (hey are not together, they are separate.
ATTamaTTaB u"ho suTT1% +ne is devoid of the other, this is not
in that5 that is not in this5 they are devoid of each other.
a ca !ammaB vin1 phalam% "ut without the cause there is no
effect. It is a very "eautiful g1th1 7verse85 it is li!e a qui),
very deep and meaningful.
GammaT ca !ho up1d1ya tato ni""atttate phalaB% #ecause of the
!amma the result happens.
a h ettha devo "rahm1 v1 saBs1rass atthi !1ra!o% (here is no
creator which creates saBs1ra 7cyclic existence8.
4uddhadhamm1 pavattanti hetusam"h1rapaccay1% 'ust pure
dhamma, and pure nature happening, "ecause of suita"le
>epending on the persons intelligence, !nowledge, a lot of
these things appear in the mindN it is arising "ecause it has sufficient
causes. In this stage of meditation a lot of thoughts arise,
naturally, "ecause you "egin to see something that is so true, so
profound. Again and again many lin!s appear in the mind, very
important to remem"er, not to thin! too much a"out it, "ecause
you have developed some sam1dhi and some mindfulness you
can see things so clearly that it ma!es you thin! very deeply.

You can get very attached to your own insights,
;+h, now I see it so clearly, it is so true<,
you !eep repeating things li!e that, and
you want to thin! a"out it.
A person who has understood these two insights is called
a minor 4ot1panna. 4ot1panna means stream winner. (he real
sot1panna is the person who has attained the first maggaMphala
7!nowledge of entering the stream of the Path and fruition8.
(his is not really maggaMphala "ut a person who has understood
n1maMr3pa and the cause of n1maMr3pa, has eradicated a lot of
gross wrong views of permanent entity, QI, self. #ecause of that
purity this person is very similar to a real 4ot1panna. 4o he is
called a minor 4ot1panna.
(his is something very inspiring%
Imin1 pana T1Oena samann1gato vipassa!o
#uddhas1sane laddhass1so laddhapatiPPho niyatagati!o
CUsm S[A
(he meditator 7vipassa!o8 who has 7samann1gato8 this
understanding, with this insight 7T1Oena8, has got relief 7laddhass1so8,
meaning that "efore he was "urdened, now he has
"een relieved from this "urden. -e has something to stand on
7laddhapatiPPho8, some deep insight to rely on. A person who
has attained and maintains this insight, he is niyatagati!o which
means that he will not "e re"orn in a lower realm. Your re"irth
depends on the quality of your mind, the quality of your consciousness.
(his deep insight has tremendous power and gives
you a !ind of purity of view, and "ecause of this purity of view
the quality of mind is so high that it cannot "e re"orn in a lower
realm. Your life depends on your quality of mind. (he two
have to match. A lower quality of consciousness, gets re"irth
so to spea!, in a lower realm, lower quality of life. +nce you
have developed a deeper insight and pure understanding and
also have purity of 4Lla, purity of your clear mind, purity of this
insight5 the quality is so high that you can not "e re"orn in a
lower realm. #ut if you lose your 4Lla, if you lose your 4am1dhi
and you lose this wisdom then it is unsure. If you can maintain
this insight it gives tremendous relief "ecause you wont "e
re"orn in a lower realm.
+ne of my friends who was a meditator, I dont !now if he
is still a meditator now "ecause he is very "usy. I hope he still
is. +nce when he penetrated into these insights he came and
told me that, ;"efore I understood this, I thought that when I
want something I have to have it, I wouldnt "e happy without
it, I have to go and get it<. (his Qhave to, to have to is a "ig
"urden. ow he said ;even though I am still very greedy<, 7he
is a very greedy person actually8, ;whenever any greed comes
in my mind I !now this is greed, "efore that I thought I really
want this<. If you identify QI and this want together it "ecomes a
"ig pro"lem. #ut when you dont identify with it, you see it as a
process, a desire, a strong wanting arising. -e said ;now I !now
that I dont have to do anything a"out it<. At first he thought if
he didnt get it he would not "e happy, ;I want this and I will "e
happy if I get it and if I dont get it I wont "e happy<. ow he
says he can 'ust watch it and it is a tremendous relief. If you can
do that much you can eradicate ninety per cent of your unhappiness.
You can see the greed and desire 'ust for what it is.
$ithout getting the "ac! up of this wrong view of QI,
any defilement "ecomes wea!.
>efilements "ecome very strong whenever
they get this "ac! up of QI, wrong view,
;I am angry, I am upset, I want to "e "etter<.
$henever that !ind of thought appears in your mind, if you
can 'ust "ac! away, detach, not identify, and watch it 'ust as a
mental process it loses its power. You can maintain your dignity,
your equanimity and if you really need it you can find a good
way to get it.
#etween what we need and what we want there is a very
"ig gap. $hat we want is limitless, what we really need is very
little5 you wont "elieve how little we really need to "e happy. I
told you a"out my teacher once, may"e some of you remem"er.
-e lives in a very small place. -e is a very learned mon!, exceptional.
I am very fortunate to have met quite a few teachers.
(hey practice what they teach and they teach what they practice.
(hey are not teaching from the head or from the "oo!s,
they teach from their life. 4o, this teacher lives a very simple
life. -is place is empty, 'ust a "are empty room. -e sleeps on
a piece of wooden "loc! and puts a towel on it and uses it as a
pillow. o carpet, nothing on the floor. -e will spread a piece of
cloth on the floor and sleep there. o furniture, nothing in his
place. 4ome people, who came to visit him, found he had nothing.
(hey said that they had heard a"out this mon! not having
anything "ut when they got there and loo!ed in the place they
really found that truly he had nothing. -e eats one meal a day,
vegetarian, most of the time a little rice, a "it of tomato salad,
"ean sprouts, very small amount of "oiled "eans and a very
small amount of some other vegeta"les. People offer him ca!es,
"iscuits "ut he does not eat them. -e says that these things are
not agreea"le. .ating 'ust one meal a day, he has "een doing
that for more than forty years and is very healthy. I have !nown
him for twenty years now and he was sic! only twice and that
"ody chopped some por! meat in small pieces, and the person
offering him food that day didnt !now that he didnt eat meat
and as it was mixed with the vegeta"les he didnt !now. 4o he
'ust ate it and got diarrhea. Ama)ing, if you tell a doctor that a
person can eat such a simple meal once a day and stay healthy, I
will suffer from all !inds of malnutrition, "ut he didnt have any
of those signs. I cannot "e li!e him, "ut he lives li!e that. .very
thing he possesses can "e carried in a small "undle.
was "ecause of food poisoning. 4ome"ody gave him something
not agreea"le once and the second time it was "ecause somethin!
that ninety nine percent of them will say that this person

#etween what we want and what we need there is a tremendous
gap, "ut these days people are increasing their wants
more and more.
If you understand your mind,
if you understand this greed, then let go,
you can ma!e your life very simple and easy.
6ife will not "e such a "ig "urden anymore:
Actually, the "urden of life is not so "ig5
the "urden of greed is "igger.
I thin! I should stop here today and let you as! a few questions.
+n our next meeting Ill tal! a"out the third and the
fourth insight. (he third and fourth are very important, the first
and second are very important also. (hey are the "ase. $ithout
understanding the first two we cannot move on.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% If you !eep practicing you can maintain that.
It is the practice that maintains them. Also, once you have
developed that sort of insight you can see the importance
of it. (hat insight also can help ma!e your life very simple.
$hen we dont have that insight, we ma!e our lives very
complicated5 you are doing too many unnecessary things,
thin!ing too much unnecessarily, seeing, hearing, eating,
and going here and there.
+nce you develop this insight it
will ma!e you see that there are important things in
your life and there are things that are not important.
Youll see the two very differently.

Mostly, we put everything together and thin! that everything
is of equal importance and we get involved in so many
things that we dont have enough time, not to meditate
even. A lot of our worries, worrying a"out the children, the
hus"and, the wife, a"out wor!, are not necessary. +nce you
develop these insights you worry very little. Your worries
are only immediate pro"lems. +nly when you get sic! you
need to worry a"out it and see a doctor. #ut you dont sit
and thin! of what will happen in the next ten years or thirty
years. You do what you need to do, what you have to do and
you can let go a lot, very simple.
(hats why I said that most meditators,
real meditators who !eep the insights,
live a very lead a simple life5
they cannot live a complicated life.
+ne of my friends who is a good meditator said that
she is really afraid of getting something new in the house,
"ecause that new thing will occupy her mind, will ta!e her
time. Most people when they go to the city, they see many
stores, full of so many "eautiful things, useful thingsN ;I
want this, I want that<N no end to it. (his person said that
whenever she goes down the road and loo!s at the stores
she sees so much 'un!. $ho needs these things9 $ho is creating
these needs9 People are creating need and ma!ing you
"elieve that you really need it and if you dont have it you
wont "e happy5 you are conned: People who understand
this mental process deeply !now that they dont need it.
You can do away with so much and let your life "ecome
very simple and youll have more time to meditate.
It is important to maintain the insight and the only way
to do it is to !eep practicing.
If you can develop deeper and deeper and reach the
first stage of enlightenment, there is no way of coming "ac!
again. /ntil we reach the first stage of enlightenment we
have to !eep practicing.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% I said that n1ma has many meanings. $e
already !now that n1ma means name, r3pa means form5
n1ma, mental process, r3pa, physical process. /se the meaning
according to the context. 1ma has many other meanings
too, it is confusing. +nce you understand that there are
many meanings and you use the right one for that context,
it wont confuse you anymore.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In "rief the first insight is to see that there is a
physical process, which is not a "eing and there is another
process, consciousness, mental process. (he two are distinct5
physical process is not mental process, mental process is not
physical process "ut one conditions the other. ,or example
when you hear something the sound conditions the hearing,
the ear conditions the hearing, the sound and the ear which
is the ear drum is r3pa, physical process. You pay attention
to the sound and this hearing consciousness arises which
is n1ma. Another example is when you want to move, the
intention to move arises which is consciousness and the
"ody moves. .ven when you close or open your eyes there is
the intention to open and to close. Intention and consciousness
arising with it is n1ma. 4econd insight is very close to it.
You see that this n1ma arises "ecause of this r3pa, and this
r3pa, physical process arises "ecause of this mental process,
depending on the situation5 the two condition each other.
4eeing the conditioning, seeing that it arises "ecause of conditions
is the second insight. I have not spo!en a"out the
third and the fourth insight yet, "ut since you want to !now
Ill explain them very "riefly. (he first insight is Anatta, seeing
n1ma and r3pa as a process, not a "eing, not an entity,
not soul, it means Anatta. 4eeing that it arises "ecause of
sufficient causes it is also Anatta. It is not created, so this is
also AnattaMT1Oa. (he third insight sees all three, Anicca,
>u!!ha and Anatta, seeing this process arising and passing
away. +nly in the third insight the person "egins to see real
anicca, arising and passing away, "ut not really mature. (he
fourth insight emphasi)es more on Anicca, not >u!!ha and
Anatta. Although it comes together, it emphasi)es more on
arising and passing away. ext wee! Ill tal! a"out the third
and fourth insight in detail. As I repeat things, I hope it will
get clearer and clearer.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% .ven the first two you will not "e a"le to get
them "y 'ust reading. It is easy to understand when you tal!
a"out them, "ut it is not real insight, it is !nowledge. $hen
you experience them youll !now "ecause at that moment
you are not thin!ing a"out them. You are really seeing very
clearly. It is really ama)ing how clear it is. It is really surprising
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% A few people that I have !nown that dont
read much have reached the first insight, "ut it is very difficult
to reach deeper insights. (hey see that thoughts are
'ust thoughts, there is no "eing there. I !now one person
li!e that. -e didnt go to any meditation centre "ut when
I spo!e with him, the way he spo!e a"out it ma!es me feel
that this person has real deep insight a"out 'ust process. -e
said there are 'ust thoughts, they are not mine, they come
and go.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Minor insight, according to my understanding of
what you meanN #uddha spo!e a"out three different !inds
of understanding. ,irst you understand something when you
listen to some"ody tal!ing, or when you read. (hat is a !ind
of minor insight. 4econd when you thin! deeply, you get a
deeper insight and the third is real meditative insight. (he
first two levels you can 'ust read listen and thin!, you can
clear away a lot of wrong views 'ust "y reading and thin!ing.
(hats why it is important to read, to listen and to thin!, to
as! questions and to ma!e things clear. (hats why we are
here to get minor insights. 6istening and reading can give
you deep insight "ut there is one more stage to go% meditative
T1Oa. (his is the "eauty of the teaching of the #uddha.
#uddha ac!nowledges the !nowledge or understanding you
get from reading and listening and the !nowledge that you
get from thin!ing and mostly people stop there, especially
western philosophers, they stop there. #uddha goes one step
further% meditative T1Oa.
J/.4(I+% N "ut you cant get really deep insight unless
you are meditating.
A 4 $ . 0% (hats right. (hats why #uddhism is practical.
If you really want to understand n1ma, r3pa, anicca,
du!!ha, anatta there is no other way to get it.
(he only way is to really meditate,
to "ecome really mindful.
(hats the profundity of the #uddhist teaching.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 4amatha meditation is a "ase, a very strong
"ase, very good if you can develop that.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% #uddha tal!ed a"out mindfulness every day,
and mindfulness is vipassan1. #uddha has repeatedly spo!en
a"out loo!ing deeply. 4atipaPPh1na is vipassan1. (hese
four foundations of mindfulness have four different types of
o"'ects. In practice we cannot really categori)e them li!e
this, "ecause they get mixed. $hen you sit and meditate
on "reathing it is !1y1nupassan15 and then thoughts come,
and you watch a thought, it is citt1nupassan1. You feel
something in your "ody, which is pleasant or unpleasant,
that is vedan1nupassan1. 4ometimes your mind "ecomes
very calm and you see, oh, it is calm, which "ecomes dhamm1nupassan1.
$hen you are mindful and you !now there is
mindfulness it is dhamm1nupassan1.
u is a short form of anu which means repeatedly, passan1
means to see% to see it again and again.
$hen you see something 'ust for a "rief moment
you are not really sure of what you have seen,
"ut when you see it again and again,
it "ecomes more and more clear.
If I have something in a cup and I cover it, show it to
you for a "rief second, cover it again and as! you what is in
there, you may not "e very sure. If you have some time to
loo! at it, you !now what it is. 4o, it is !eeping your mind
again and again on these processes @ !1ya, vedan1, citta,
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% $ithout a cause, nothing can arise. $hen you
have a pleasant sensation it is "ecauseN for example, the
most o"vious is unpleasant. If you pinch yourself there is an
unpleasant sensation. #ecause of the pinching, something
coming in contact, it is hard so you feel pain. $hen you sit
on a very soft mattress it is very pleasant. $ith the eye you
have only neutral feeling, neutral vedan1, it has no pleasant
or unpleasant "ut when you interpret it as pleasant or
unpleasant it "ecomes another process, a mental process.
$hen you li!e what you see it is not eye consciousness anymore.
(his li!ing is another consciousness. $hen you see
something, purely seeing is eye consciousness and at that
moment you dont even !now what you see, there is only
pure seeing. Another step is when you identify with what
you see, and then you decide whether you li!e it or not.
Ionsciousness is 1ma, the o"'ect is r3pa which is colour.
$hen we see, we only see colour, eye consciousness
is only colour5 it does not see man or woman or anything,
only colour. (he next step happens in the mind, which is
interpretation. $hen the mind interprets, it is not seeing
consciousness anymore, it is mind consciousness. #ecause
of your past experience when you see something you !now
what you see. #ecause you li!ed it "efore you li!ed it now. If
you see something totally new and you dont !now what it
is, you dont have either li!ing or disli!ing. You 'ust thin!5
what is this9 4o, it is past conditioning. ,or example in
#urma a lot of people li!e this fish sauce, ground fish paste5
ground li!e flour. It is stic!y and very smelly. People li!e it
very much and I hate it very much. 4o it is conditioning.
$hen seeing is not mixed with anything,
not mixed with memory5
that is pure consciousness of seeing.
It has no li!ing or disli!ing.
+nly the memory which comes with a thought
ma!es li!ing or not li!ing happen.
$hen you see something and you li!e it, it is "ecause
of your past conditioning. $hen you see something and you
dont !now what it is then you have only this consciousness
of, Qwhat is it9
You ma!e no decision on whether you li!e it or not.
4o, li!ing or not li!ing is conditioned.
$e can deMcondition that too.
,or example, you have lived here for many years and
until you came here there were many things of which you
didnt have experience. ow after a long time you are
used to eating, seeing, hearing so many things, now you
li!e them. #efore you didnt !now whether you li!ed them
or not. 4ometimes we eat something and we are not sure
whether we li!e it or not. #ut if we eat that thing again and
again, slowly we acquire the taste, and we "egin to li!e it.
,or example, "efore I came here, I didnt have any taste for
soy mil!, and now I am "eginning to drin! a small quantity
of it and I am "eginning to acquire the taste. I am "eginning
to li!e it, I am developing greed now.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (hat is a very good question. $ithout developing
sufficient intensity in the first insight you cannot
move into the following insight5 one insight leads to another
when it is ready, when it is sufficiently developed and strong
enough it leads to another insight. #ut we cannot voluntarily
go into another insight. $e cannot do that, it will happen.
(han! you very much for that question.
>ont "e in a hurry.
4tay where you are and develop deep enough,
you cannot push yourself too hard.
(hird Insight
Gnowing Anicca, >u!!ha, Anatta
through >irect .xperience
$elcome every"ody to our meditation class. It is
good to come in a little "it earlier and to meditate
for a"out ten minutes, to calm down the agitation
of the "ody and the agitation of the mind.
$hen the mind is calm and peaceful it
"ecomes more receptive. More receptive means that
it can receive more, it can a"sor" more.
$hen I was younger, studying at university, "efore studying
anything difficult I meditated for ten minutes, then I would
read the "oo!s and study. It helped quite a lot. $ithout meditation
if I read a "oo!, I could "e reading many pages without
!nowing what I was reading. 4o, every time I studied, specially
when I studied something difficult, I would meditate for a"out
five or ten minutes. $hen I had to ta!e exams, I didnt carry
any notes or "oo!s. I 'ust carried a pen, pencil, identity card,
ruler, that is all. 4ome people want to read and study until the
last minute. I didnt do that5 I 'ust !ept my mind very light and
it very slowly, not in a hurry and then answer everything very
finish it. (hat is the secret of doing things in a relaxed way, at
ease, not in a hurry and "eing a"le to finish them quic!ly, using
calm and wal!ed to the examination hall. $hen the "ell rang I
went into the room, sat in my place and after the examination
papers were distri"uted, I used to !eep the paper upside down.
I would not read it immediately. I 'ust sat in my place meditating
for a"out five minutes without closing my eyes, not thin!ing
a"out anything, not thin!ing a"out the exam, 'ust "reathing in
and out, to calm down. 4lowly I would turn the paper over, read
slowly. If you do it slowly and mindfully, you spend less time to
less time.
6earn to "e more efficient, not 'ust in one thing
"ut in everything you do, and the "est way
to "e efficient is to "e calm and peaceful.
If you are in a hurry, if you are agitated it
ta!es more time to do everything.
If you are creative, you can use meditation
in everything you do.
.verything will "e of "etter quality.
Juality is very important in our life, without quality
we will not feel satisfied with our life.
-ow can you find satisfaction if you dont see any quality9
$hen you are after quantity only, you dont have respect for
what you do or for what you use. $hen I do something, I want
(-I0> I4I=-( . DEA
to use good quality, and I will use it respectfully, lovingly and
with care and it will last a long time. Juality in our relationships
too, not casual relationships, really getting to !now each other,
really respecting and caring, valuing each other. In everything
you do 'ust pay more attention. As! yourself ;how can I do this
with the "est attitude, with the highest quality of mind9< In that
way youll find great satisfaction in whatever you do.
If you have a high quality of mind whatever
you do will have high quality.
6ets tal! a"out vipassan1 now. 6ast wee! we finished at the
second insight which is seeing mental and physical phenomena
conditioning each other. +ne "ecomes the cause of another.
Mental phenomena "ecome the cause for physical phenomena
and physical phenomena cause mental phenomena. $hen the
meditator develops deeper and deeper insight into these mental
and physical phenomena causing each other and he has enough
strength in this insight and enough clarity in this insight, automatically
the mind moves forward. (he meditator "egins to see
things arising. In the "eginning he can see only the natural quality5
he cannot see something arising right now. $henever he
pays attention he can see something that is happening there
"ut he cannot see when it "egins to happen. +nly very vaguely
sometimes, after something has happened, this person "ecomes
aware of the fact that something is happening now "ut he cannot
see the very "eginning. $hen the insight develops stronger,
he "egins to see something appearing and then another thing N
appearingN and then another thing appearingN. After a while
a person starts seeing something appearing, staying for a while
and disappearing.
.verything "ecomes slow movement5 thoughts, sensations
"ecome slow movement, such as you have seen in slow motion
in movies. (he person can see arising, staying for a while and
passing away5 sometimes changing slightly and passing away.
(his change is also one aspect of impermanence.
(he person starts seeing as well that things arise,
last only for a short moment and then they pass away.
-ow can you find any satisfaction in this9
4eeing that things are not satisfactory:
In this stage if a person listens to music he will hear one
note arising and passing away, another note arising and passing
away without continuity. -e cannot really en'oy the music and
he also thin!s that ;I thought that this was really good "efore,
"ut now it does not ma!e sense<. $ithout continuity we cannot
en'oy anything.
At this stage the person "egins to see ;how can we en'oy
anything, things dont last<. $hether they are pleasant or
unpleasant, this person "egins to see that things arise, last for a
very short moment and pass away. #ecause they arise and pass
away they are unsatisfactory.
4o here I will give you the P12i from the PaPisam"hid1magga%
AtLt1n1gatapacuppann1naB dhamm1naB saZ!hipitv1
vavatth1ne paTT1 sammasane T1OaB. CPts i.AR
>hamm1naB means mental and physical phenomena5 AtLta
means past5 An1gata means future5 Pacuppann1naB means in
the present.
You can see it is not in sequence% past, future and present.
(his shows that, you dont have to watch these things in this
sequence. $hatever happened in the past or whatever will happen
in the future or whatever is happening now, this person ta!es
the whole 7saZ!hipitv1 means ta!ing as a whole in a compact form8
and vavatth1ne means seeing it as anicca, du!!ha, anatta. (his
wisdom or paTT1 is called 4ammasanaMT1Oa, contemplating mental
and physical phenomena, seeing anicca du!!ha and anatta.
$here do we "egin9 $e "egin in the present, seeing whatever
is happening right now in our "ody in our mind and understanding
it as pure natural phenomena, natural qualities. $e
can only see qualities, we cannot see concepts "ut we cannot
directly experience concepts. $e can only thin! a"out them.
4o, we experience the quality, li!e hardness, softness, coldness,
heat, pressure, movement, heaviness and many others. $e
can experience these qualities directly, without thin!ing a"out
them. Also mental qualities, greed has its own quality, reaching
for something, desiring for something, without the word for
them, you can feelN desire for something, frustration, aversion,
wanting to destroy, wanting to push awayN any !ind of quality
in the mind or in the "ody, we can see it as a quality, not a
"eing5 as a process, not a "eing. $e see them as conditioning
each other, arising "ecause of causes. After a while you see that,
it arises, lasts only for a short duration and passes away.
After seeing it in the present we can understand that in the
past also the same thing happened. o matter how long ago,
the same thing happened. (he story might "e different, "ut if
you 'ust loo! at the quality, hardness, softness etc. or any other
mental quality also, happiness, unhappiness, greed, aversion,
pride, envy, 'ealousy, even wisdom, even mett1, any quality you
see, you find that they arise and pass away5 they do so "ecause
they have sufficient causes to arise. (here is no "eing. (he person
"egins to see also that in this stage of insight there is a lot
of thin!ing that arises, "ecause now the person is "eginning to
see as a whole, all the three characteristics, anicca, du!!ha and
anatta and all three times, past, future, present. -e sees the
whole picture and simplifies it also.
o matter what happened "efore,
it is all mental and physical process, 'ust phenomena.
o matter what happens, either good or "ad,
everything arises and passes away.
(hey do that "ecause they have sufficient causes to arise
and "ecause they have the nature to pass away.
In order for things to arise we need a cause, "ut to pass away
no cause. ,or example, to ma!e a sound you need a cause for
that. 4ome"ody must hit the "ell. 4o some"ody hit the "ell and
there is a sound and you can hear the "ell ringing and the ringing
sound getting softer and softer and it passes away. 4o, to pass
away we dont need any cause, it is the nature. I thin! there
is a similar law in physics. (he second law of thermodynamics
says, things disintegrate, that is their nature. $e dont need any
cause for that.
4o, the person "egins to see everything happening in the
whole of saBs1ra 7cyclic existence8, in a compact form, at a
glance. o matter what mental and physical phenomena arises
"ecause of sufficient causes then it passes away. (he story might
"e different, the story is paTTatti. Process is paramattha, what is
real. $hen you interpret the process it "ecomes a story. In this
meditation we do not interpret anything, we dont put things
together, and we loo! at each moment, at each phenomenon
separately. $hen you can see each moment and phenomenon
separately, then you can really see the nature of it. If you put
things together it "ecomes an idea.
$hen the person develops this paccayaMpariggahaMT1Oa,
seeing the causes for mental and physical phenomena to arise,
the insight "ecomes really strong and automatically it moves forward.
(he person sees arising and passing away, unsatisfactoriness
and also 'ust sees that there is no control. (hese natural
phenomena will not follow any"odys wish. You cannot say ;may
my "ody not move<, it is always moving, there are always very
su"tle vi"rations and movements in the whole "ody. $hen there
is a sound, you cannot say ;may I not hear<. If there is a sound
and you have ears and you pay attention youll hear it. If there
is sufficient cause it will arise. (he same thing with any other
natural phenomena, they do not follow our wish. 4ometimes we
li!e to thin! that if we develop psychic powers we will have total
control over natural phenomena. You might have heard of some
people in the past especially, that "ecause they spent a lot of
time developing strong mental powers, it seems as if they could
control phenomena. #ut they passed away, they could not control
.very one of them passed away, even the #uddha passed
away5 they cannot stop themselves from dying.
$e only have seeming control. $hen you loo! at the su"tle
mental and physical phenomena happening, anywhere in the
"ody or mind, do you really have any control9 &ust tell your mind
to stop thin!ing for one minute. $e have "een thin!ing for so
many years5 'ust tell your mind to totally stop thin!ing now for
sixty seconds. You will not "e a"le to do it. #ut if you practice
for a long time youll "e a"le to do it. ot "ecause you wish it,
"ut "ecause of the conditions. (he practice is also a condition.
&ust "ecause we have "een practicing for a long time and we
can !eep our mind still for a while does not mean that we are in
control. #ut "y repeated conditioning 71sevanaMpaccayo8 you can
ma!e something happen.
In this insight the person "egins to see and accept that
things are really impermanent, anicca, ;I have heard a"out it so
many times for so long, I thought I understood it and I "elieved
in it, only now I see it is really impermanent, and it is really
unsatisfactory<. -ow can we find any real, lasting satisfaction
in such phenomena9 $e also see that there is no real control,
there is only seemingly 7apparent8 control. $e cannot control
ourselves not to grow old. If I had any control I would li!e to "e
twenty five years old all the time. ow I have dou"led that, "ut I
am only half way through, which means I am going to live to one
hundred if I can. If I loo! after myself I may live longer, "ut no
control, no real control. (hat does not mean that we shouldnt
loo! after ourselves.
;$hen I die, I die5 I dont care<N.
that is not the right attitude.
6oo! after yourself, ma!e yourself healthy,
live long, and learn more.
$e have invested so much in this life5
get the most out of it.
$hen very clearly we see things arising in the present
moment, immediately the thought comes ;this is really true,
arising and passing away, unsatisfactoriness, it is really true<.
And then noticing it again and again, we see that there is no
real control. (hings arise and pass away. $e cannot say ;arise
now and dont pass away<. And we cannot say ;dont arise<5 they
arise. In "etween the right noticing, contemplation or thoughts
of dhamma arise, many times. It is very important not to encourage
thin!ing too much. It will happen, even in the following
insights. $henever you have some new insights you "egin to
thin!, "ecause it is something new and you get excited. You
feel that you have achieved something. Although, thoughts of
dhamma arise, watch those thoughts also, thin!ing of dhamma,
thin!ing of du!!ha, thin!ing of anicca, thin!ing of anatta. In
some cases a very short moment of contemplating encourages
you to practice more, "ut do not encourage thin!ing.
.ncourage real seeing, right in the moment.
-ere is another thing that is very important%
.!asaZ!h1rass1pi aniccat1ya diPPhaya Qsa""e saZ!h1r1
anicc1 ti avasesesu nayato manasi!1ro hoti.
If you see one anicca, one phenomenon and see it as anicca
7aniccat1ya diPPhaya8, even 'ust one conditioned phenomenon
7.!asaZ!h1rassa pi8 if you see it arising and passing away, really,
clearly see it5 it convinces you that everything is the same. It is
li!e if you want to ta!e down a "ig wall "ut its too "ig you cannot
reach the edges. 4o you ta!e out one "ric! in the middle. If
you are a"le to ta!e one "ric! from the middle the next "ric! is
easy. (hats why dont try to understand everything at once. (ry
to understand one thing first, any !ind of natural phenomena
in your "ody li!e "reathing sensation or any movement. (ry to
!eep your mind on one thing as long as possi"le.
(he longer you !eep the mind on one phenomenon,
the more clearly you see, the clearer you see
the arising and passing away.
+nce we see it in one aspect of the natural phenomena, it
will spread to other aspects 7avasesesu nayato manasi!1ro hoti8 as
well. >ont "e in a hurry5 'ust let it happen, 'ust !eep your mind
on one phenomenon as long as possi"le. $hen you see one anicca
and you can "e convinced that Qsa""e saZ!h1r1 anicc1, all
conditioned phenomena are impermanent. (hat means that you
dont have to go and see all the saZ!h1r1s. (here are too many,
only a #uddha can see all. (hose who are very intellectual can
see more variety, more widely, many things arising and passing
away, many aspects of anicca, du!!ha, anatta. It depends on the
persons intelligence, intellectual a"ility, learning, !nowledge.
(hat means,
the more !nowledge you have
and the more you thin!,
the slower you go.
Although you have a lot of !nowledge
a"out the #uddhaM>hamma,
while you are meditating
dont thin! a"out it.
4ome people misunderstand5 they thin! that they can 'ust
thin! a"out anicca, du!!ha, anatta. (hey count with a rosary
saying anicca, du!!ha, anatta repeatedly, for thousands of times,
"elieving that "y doing that they will understand or see anicca,
du!!ha and anatta. (here is no way you can do that. You cannot
thin! a"out anicca, du!!ha, anatta. You can only see it.
#ut, when you see it then you start thin!ing a"out it5 dont
thin! a"out it. 4ome people thin! that to understand anicca,
du!!ha, and anatta completely one needs to understand all the
things that happened in the past. (here is a meditation centre
in #urma which encourages that. (hey encourage the development
of very high 'h1na, fourth 'h1na, and train the mind to go
"ac!, to recall past lives. (hey recall one life and see the end of
it, the last moment, the last consciousness and then see the first
consciousness of the new life5 recall that life and see the last
consciousness again, and then the first of another life. Uery few
people succeed in doing this and it is not necessary5 you need
many months and to spend a"out twenty hours a day meditating.
You cannot develop such a strong sam1dhi 'ust meditating
for a few hours a day. (otal concentration, no distraction and
you can direct your mind to one thing and guide it to wherever
you want to go. .specially for mon!s who have nothing else to
do5 who are also healthy and can sit for a long time and concentrate
for months it is feasi"le. ,or lay people it is not easy to do
that and not necessary.
In this stage of T1Oa, very "eautiful dhamma discourses
can also come into the mind. #ecause of the concentration
and "ecause of the insight developing, thoughts "ecome very
deep and profound. >hamma thoughts "ecome very deep and
profound and also one can see ones whole life, and see all the
meaning, and see what happened and how temporary everything
is. You can see how you got so unhappy a"out such and such a
thing and with this detachment you see it as 'ust phenomena,
not personal, not "elonging to you, not me or mine. $hen you
can see things from that detached point of view, you can see
that there is no need to get excited. And that gives you a lot of
relief, tremendous relief. .ven some !inds of mental illness disappear.
All of us are mentally sic! in different ways5 "elieve it. A
totally healthy "ody does not exist5 the doctors !now that there
is not even a totally healthy mind, "ut it doesnt mean you are
cra)y5 you are 'ust normal, normally unhealthy. $hen you get
this type of detached insight, your mind "ecomes very healthy.
(o "e really healthy means to have really
clear understanding, there is no other way to
"ecome mentally healthy.
4ome people with some sorts of mental depression, when
they meditate and come to this stage5 depression 'ust disappears.
Again I remind you not to thin! too much, especially a"out
du!!ha. $hen you see anicca, you thin! a"out it, it is o! in a
way, you see more and more anicca5 it "ecomes more and more
clear, you feel very convinced. $hen you see du!!ha, you can
see that there is no satisfaction, there is nothing satisfactory5
in a glimpse you understand it very clearly. #ut if start to thin!
a"out it, you lose that detachment you get involved and that
;du!!ha thin!ing< ma!es you depressed again5 with the help of
some sam1dhi you can "ecome very involved in it. 4am1dhi can
"e used in a good or "ad way. It is very important not to thin!
a"out du!!ha.
$hen seeing this phenomenon, the meditator can see
very clearly that there is no such thing as
permanent ego, permanent soul entity.
.verything is always changing.
You see everything as process.
If you put it into a very concise category, you find only two
categories. +ne is physical and one is mental5 physical process
and mental process5 "oth of them arise and immediately pass
away. #efore we meditate we have some idea of things not lasting.
My happiness of last year where is it9 $e can understand
that happiness does not last. $hat a"out unhappiness9 /nhappiness
also doesnt last. 4eeing, hearingN doesnt last. 4o it is
quite o"vious, "ut in meditation when there is a sound, which
is a physical process, you hear it immediately and immediately
you see it passing away. $e also see the hearing consciousness
which is mental process arising right now and immediately
passing away. 4eeing "oth, together arising and passing away it
really convinces us, it is really anicca, it is really unsatisfactory,
du!!ha5 no control and it is really anatta, 'ust a process. $e can
see it arising now and passing away now.
(here is no hard core inside 7as1ra!aPPhena8. Anatta has
many meanings. 41ra means something lasting in the middle.
If you ta!e a "ig tree and cut it in the middle you get this hard
essence of the tree, that is also called s1ra, the hard core, the
essence something that lasts5 as1ra!a means no essence, nothing
$hat is anicca is du!!ha also and
what is anicca and du!!ha it is also anatta.
#ecause there is no control, it is also du!!ha5
you see, du!!ha is in the middle.
#ecause it is anicca it is du!!ha,
"ecause it is anatta it is du!!ha again.
If we can wish for something
we wont see it as du!!ha.
(here is another important word% /daya""ayaMpL2ana. PL2ana
means oppressing, hurting. /daya means arising, vaya means
passing away. (his arising and passing away, it really is li!e a
torture. $hen you thin! a"out it, it is very difficult to really
understand it, "ut in your meditation you can see that things are
arising and passing away repeatedly, it is a torture 7pL2ana8, not
giving any peace at all. Youll see this udaya""ayaMpL2ana also in
the higher meditation insights, especially when you get to the
highest, you can see even this mindfulness @ it "ecome so sharp
and clear @ and you can see phenomena arising and passing
away very quic!ly "ut also very accurately, and you can feel that
even !nowing this anicca "ecomes du!!ha again. ;I dont want
to !now this anymore, I dont want to see this anymore, this
arising and passing away it is oppressive, it is torture.< #efore
we !now this, when we hear something pleasant we thin! ;oh,
it is so nice, I li!e it< "ut when you get to this deep insight, to
have to hear is du!!ha. At one point we dont want to hear
anything anymore. $e dont want to see, we dont want to hear
anything anymore, to feel anything anymore and we dont want
even want to !now anything anymore, enough of this !nowing:
#ut you cannot stop that. You still !now one thing after
another5 phenomena are arising and passing away. You cannot
run way from these phenomena, and there is no escape. You see
these phenomena of arising and passing away it is such torture.
#ut dont thin! a"out it. $hen you see it youll understand it. I
am 'ust giving you a hint.
4ometimes you will see this consciousness also5 we want to
"e happy, we want to ma!e ourselves happy and when you see
that thought coming in you can watch it and immediately it
You can see that even this thought arises and passes away.
-ow can this thought ma!e any"ody happy9
(here is no"ody there.
(his thought itself is impermanent.
(here are lot of thoughts coming in. $hen we see consciousness
arising and passing away, we can see that it arises
and it passes away without changing its nature, without changing
its natural, unique characteristic. (he meaning of this is
that if any !ind of desire or greed arises, it cannot change into
another nature. #efore it can change into another nature @ it
cannot change actually @ it passes away as desire. >esire arises
as desire and it passes away as desire only. In some "oo!s I read
a"out mental states and consciousness and wisdom and they
say that you can change your anger into love5 that is impossi"le:
You cannot change your anger into love, into mett1, you
cant change dosa 7hatred, aversion8 into mett15 dosa arises and
passes away as dosa.
6oving !indness 7mett18 arises as loving !indness
and passes away as loving !indness5
it cannot change its nature.
Its unique, natural characteristic does not change.
It only arises and passes away5
that is why it is impermanent 7anicca8.
(here is a lot of confusion even among meditators a"out this
point5 some people thin! that they can change one thing into
another. In a definition of anicca they say that paramattha does
not change. (here is a P12i sentence that says that paramattha
does not change. 4ome people are confused a"out the meaning
of this. If reality, paramattha does not change it means that it
is permanent. o, it doesnt change its nature, "ut it arises and
passes away. Arising and passing away, impermanence and not
changing nature does not contradict. (his is a very important
point especially for those who are potential teachers.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (hat is a very good question, than! you for
as!ing. $hat do we mean "y hydrogen9 #y hydrogen we
mean5 we have a theoretical structure, a model of an atom
with one neutron, one proton and one electron, "ut when
we loo! at this hydrogen atom only, we can see that even
this one atom is always changing, nothing can stay sta"le5
it is always changing. #ecause it is always changing so fast
it appears to "e the same. If you loo! deeper into the structure
of the hydrogen atom youll find that even this electron
is always gaining photons and giving away photons, always
ta!ing and giving away, receiving photons and giving away
photons, so that the energy level of the electron is always
changing. $e can not thin! of electrons as a thing. I have
studied physics for many years, and I am very interested in
it. I remem"er one physicist, in whom I am very interested,
0ichard ,eynman, who also was a o"le Pri)e winner, passed
away very recently and was a mem"er of A4A organi)ations,
7I !now other physicists have said the same8. -e said
;an electron is not a thing, it is a theoretical model, there
is only energy and energy is always changing<. 6oo! deeper
into the nucleus also and youll find that the nucleus itself,
these neutrons and protons are giving and ta!ing energy
all the time. othing can stay the same, "ut if we ta!e the
whole picture it seems as if it stays the same. If you loo!
into the energy pattern youll find that it is always changing.
$e cannot thin! of anything as a Qthing, the whole
/niverse is a process, not a thing. $hen we loo! at something
as a thing, it seems as though it is not changing, "ut if
you loo! at electron, neutron, proton as a process you can
see that they are always changing. $hen they com"ine also
they change. (hey even change their nature, their natural
unique characteristic. (he natural unique characteristic of
hydrogen and the natural characteristic of oxygen are not
the same, and when you com"ine the two you get a new
quality and even that does not stay always the same.
In vipassan1 we are tal!ing a"out the quality only, we
dont tal! a"out Qa thing "ecause there is no such thing as
a Qthing. $e can never tal! a"out a Qthing "ehind a quality.
$e can only thin! a"out it. (he purpose of vipassan1%
meditation is to "ecome detached. $e get attached to things
and that is why we suffer. $hat do we get attached to9 $e
get attached to things that we experience. $e cannot get
attached to things that we dont really experience. $e get
attached to sight, smell, and taste. Anything that is related to
the QI, we get attached to that as well. $hen we loo! at the
direct experience in our daily life, we can see that no experience
lasts. (his is a very important point. $e dont need to
see that nothing lasts, what we need to see is that no experience
lasts. .xperience is impermanent5 can you agree on this
point9 (hat is the most important thing to !now and other
than experience what can we "e really and definitely sure of9
(here is nothing else we can "e sure of. .ven in physics theories
are "eing modified and changed. Physicists are not even
sure a"out electrons. I was trained as an electrical engineer
and I was thin!ing5 ;what is electricity9< and they said it is
the electrons moving and then I said ;what is an electron9<
I have "een loo!ing deeper and deeper into these electrons
and up to now I have not "een a"le to find a real answer. (his
is still very interesting for me. In vipassan1, we are loo!ing at
direct experience, "ecause that is what we get attached to.
$hat do we mean "y QI9
(hese experiences put together and we call it QI.
$ith no experience there is no QI.
$hen a wholesome mental state arises, the meditator
can see it as a wholesome mental state and it passes away as a
wholesome mental state, without changing its nature. $ithout
changing its nature is a very important point. It means
that unwholesome mental states do not "ecome wholesome
and wholesome mental states do not "ecome unwholesome.
In this stage of insight the meditator can see this very clearly,
and profoundly.
$hen you can see arising and passing away,
you can see that if any unhappy thought arises
in the mind it passes away.
You dont need to do anything a"out it.
.ven when any !ind of desire arises,
you can 'ust watch it and it passes away.
You dont have to do anything a"out it.
You are not compelled to act upon that mental state5
you dont need to o"ey that mental state.
You have a choice.
If you thin! that this is the right thing to do5 do it. #ut
you dont have to5 otherwise we are compelled to do a lot
of things.
$e are compelled, we have no choice,
we see something and we get greedy, we have no choice.
$e hear something and we get upset, we have no choice.
#ut when we can watch our mind we have a choice.
$e dont get greedy, we dont get upset5
we are free.
(his is a tremendous freedom.
In this stage there are many things important to !eep in mind.
+ne is, not to thin! too much. 6oo! more closely at the passing
away of the phenomena, "ecause we have seen the arising and
staying and passing away. At this point pay more attention to
disappearing. $hen it disappears there is a "lan! there and another
thing arises, it disappears and there is a "lan! there, a gap.
If you pay more attention to the passing away
of phenomena, you develop sharper awareness,
your o"servation "ecomes sharper.
(o ma!e it sharper is very important.
If you thin! too much it "ecomes dull.
Also, choose suita"le situations, conditions for your
insight to "ecome stronger. Your dwelling place is very important
and food is very important. .at the right !ind of food and
the right amount5 if you sleep too much you lose your sharpness.
You need a certain amount of sleep, at least four hours,
a day, which is quite enough. Meditators can stay healthy 'ust
sleeping four hours a day. ot to loo!, to listen to unsuita"le
sensations. (hat means, if you really want to meditate dont
watch television, dont read maga)ines or any other thing that
distur"s your mind. >ont listen too much to news. Avoid
tal!ing5 we cannot live without tal!ing "ut especially in a
serious meditation situation tal! as little as possi"le, and only
a"out dhamma. (his will help you to develop sharper insight.
Associate with people who are mindful, who are really honestly
trying to "e mindful. If you associate with some"ody that
does not really want to practice, 'ust wants to tal! a"out it,
you lose your sharpness, and lose your intensity of mindfulness.
4uita"le temperature is very important as well. If you are
there in the middle of the night may "e it is not proper. $hat
you tal! a"out and the people you associate with are very
lie down for too long you lose your sharpness. (ry to ad'ust all
those things. Geep alert, !eep awa!e and "e "alanced.
living in a very hot temperature, it is very difficult to develop
deep sam1dhi and mindfulness and also if it is very cold, it
is not suita"le. (emperature should "e within a comforta"le
range. >ont go to places which will distur" your meditation.
You have to consider5 ;is this a proper place for me to go,
a proper time for me to go9< .ven though some places are
proper to go, you have to consider the time also. If you go
important. You have to ad'ust you posture as well. If say, you
(he meditator naturally finds out that if he stays mindful,
right in the moment it helps him see things more clearly.
(his is very o"vious. If you !eep your mind right in
the moment, it stays there more and more and the
mindfulness and clarity "ecomes stronger and stronger.
4ometimes when the person "ecomes a little "it la)y, Xit
happensW, one has to motivate oneself. 4elf motivation is very
important. If you have a good friend and a good teacher they
can help you to put more energy into the practice. 4elf motivation
is the most important thing. (hin! of the good opportunity
you have to "e a"le to meditate. I have met many people.
4ome of them my friends actually, I encouraged them
to meditate, many times and they said ;I am too "usy, I am
wor!ing very hard, I have too many responsi"ilities, I 'ust had
a promotion 'ust a few days ago and I am learning to cope
with my new responsi"ilities I have no time<.
A person told me he had no time5 he was a year older
than me5 he died five or six years ago. I repeatedly told him
to ;meditate, meditate, while you have time<, he always said
that he was too "usy, no time. +ne day he reali)ed that he had
"ecome very tired5 no energy. -e went to the hospital to get
a medical chec! up and found out that he had !idney cancer.
-e had an operation, a !idney was removed and he too! long
sic! leave and too! ro"es and he tried to meditate for a"out
a month and felt a "it "etter, may"e "ecause of the operation
and the medicine and pro"a"ly meditation. -e went "ac! to
wor!5 he felt that his cancer had "een cured. -e got very
"usy again and no time to meditate. After a couple of years he
"ecame sic! again, went for a medical chec! up and found out
that the other !idney had cancer, and he was hospitali)ed.
I went to visit him in the hospital twice a wee!, sometimes
once and encourage him to meditate5 do you !now what he
did even in the hospital9 -e would 'ust lie down and watch
television. Poor guy5 he "ecame more and more sic! and I told
him to meditate. 4ometimes I sat next to him and said ;lets
meditate now<. =ave him very simple instructions, he tried to
meditate and said that he was feeling very happy and peaceful
in that moment, I said ;I am going now5 try to meditate a few
times a day<. After that I as!ed his wife whether he meditated
she said that he didnt, he 'ust watched (U. -e got more and
ing so many different !inds of medicine and they made him
very dull, drowsy, cannot !eep himself alert. -e said ;I try to
meditate "ut I fall asleep<. &ust "efore he died I went to see
him again and he said ;it is a little "it too late for me to medi
tate<N too late: (his is very important, you !nowN.
more sic!. I went to visit him again and again and then he
said ;I want to meditate, I want to meditate< "ut he was ta!
A few wee!s ago a man came here, late in the night, he
rang my "ell. I thought it was something important if some"ody
comes at this hour. I saw two men, I opened the door
and I as!ed them why they came and one of them said ;this
person is a newcomer here and he wants to !now something
a"out meditation<. I thought, all right, if he really wants to
learn I am willing to teach him. $e came and sat here in
this hall. I tal!ed to him and I gave him some meditation
instructions. -e said ;my mind is so agitated I cannot sit<.
I told him wal! up and down here, wal!ing is easier, ta!e
each step mindfully. I as!ed him ;what are you thin!ing9<
-e said ;I am thin!ing of tomorrow<5 what are you thin!ing
a"out tomorrow. -e said that he had a Iourt case and he
had to go there. -e was very agitated, and he came in the
night to meditate, isnt that too late9
#efore anything li!e that happens, meditate5
train your mind to "e peaceful,
to have a very clear understanding,
to have some sort of detachment.
(hen even though things li!e that happen in your life,
youll "e a"le to cope with them5
you can improve things also in some cases.

4o it is very important to motivate yourself, ;I am healthy
now, and if I want to I can find time<. It depends on you5 if
you are willing you can find time. If you are not willing you
can find hundreds of excuses. 4ometimes even in meditation
you "ecome a little "it tired. You are meditating, you are
willing to meditate "ut your "ody "ecomes a little "it tired.
In that case try to ta!e a rest "ut dont let go of your mindfulness,
dont indulge in sleeping:
Another very important point especially for teachers
in meditation, different teachers have different ideas and
sometimes a lot of arguments, this is rightN no thats wrong
and so on.
+ne argument is that5 in P12i it is ;la!!haOam 1ropetv1<
CUsm S[F5 la!!haOam means anicca, du!!ha, anatta. Yropetv1
means to put it on top. 4o some people thin! that this means
you have to thin! a"out it. You see phenomena, mental or
physical and you thin! a"out it, this is anicca, this is du!!ha,
this is anatta, and some people thin! that this is the proper
way to do it. $hat is meant "y ;la!!haOam 1ropetv1< first is
that in order to put something on top, you must have something
already there. 4o what have you already there9 You
have already developed n1maMr3paMparicchedaMT1Oa, seeing
mental and physical phenomena, seeing that they arise
disappearing. $hen wal!ing, you try to move, watch it and
it disappears. I want to remind you again and again that it
is the movement that disappears, not the shape. Movement
appear, when you move something there is some sensation
happening there, looseness, tightness, sensations disappear.
You move a "it more and sensation disappears. Movement
itself is a !ind of sensation.
"ecause they have conditions for them to arise, and on top
of that, later you develop deeper insight and see this mental
and physical process as anicca, du!!ha and anatta, all three.
(hat does not mean that you thin! a"out it. It means to
loo! more deeply and find that out, not to thin! a"out it.
$hen you get to that stage it is so good to thin! a"out it,
thin!ing "ecomes so clear and precise. In wal!ing meditation
at this stage one can feel that every movement disappears.
You see movement as segments of movements, not
'ust one movement. (he consciousness, this mindfulness
is ta!ing notice of this movement and each time it ta!es
notice of one movement it disappears. $hen you move your
hands, you can see many small segments of the movement
itself has no shape. Movement disappears, sensations dis
$hen you eat also, you "ring the food to your mind5
every sensation in the movement disappears. $hen you
hear something, hearing disappears. ,or example you ring
the "ell and can hear many sounds disappearing, not 'ust
one sound. (hings "ecome segmented, discrete, no continuity,
nothing is continuous. Uery surprisingly also, at this
ful, you wont indulge too much in thin!ing.
stage, when you drin! a glass of water, you ta!e a glass of
water, drin! it, if it is a glass of 'uice you can feel it "etter,
and watch what happens5 it goes down to the stomach, you
can feel it going down. You can feel the sensation there, and
after a few minutes you can feel it all over the "ody the effect
of that glass of water or 'uice. You can feel it going into every
cell of your "ody, you can feel it changing, you can see that
every moment energy changes. .very time you eat, you can
see the effect of the food5 when the weather changes you
can feel the "ody changing. #y "ody I dont mean the shape
"ut the sensation. .ven with thoughts, when you thin! one
thought you can see that it affects the whole "ody, every
cell in your "ody participates with the thought. #ody and
mind participate, they wor! together5 we can never separate
"ody and mind. .very thought affects every cell in your
"ody and you can feel it, it is not 'ust a thin!ing theory. It is
very interesting, very deep and profound. $hen you get to
that depth of seeing and understanding, youll find it very
difficult to find a good "oo! to read. Youll find that many
of the "oo!s written are 'ust thoughts. If you can "ecome
so sensitive up to the level that every thought affects your
"ody, youll "e very weary of thoughts. Youll not let them
come in. Youll "e more mindful and there will "e less and
less negative thoughts. If you "ecome more and more mind
4ometimes we indulge in thin!ing too much. I have a
friend who is always angry and upset, not satisfied with
something or another, with some"ody or another. I as!ed her
many times, ;why are you ma!ing yourself so angry all the
time9 >o you !now that you are doing it9< 4he said ;yes I !now
I am ma!ing it<. ;$hy are you doing that9< 4he said ;when
I get angry I have more energy, when I dont get angry I feel
depressed<. #laming another person and feeling smarter, she
is actually very intelligent and that is her pro"lem, "ecause
she is so intelligent she thin!s she is smarter and that she
can see everything wrong. -er idea is if you dont see that
something is wrong, you are stupid. 4he is very smart "ut she
is always unhappy. $hat is "etter to "e smart or to "e happy9
You have a choice, so, dont "e so smart.
>ont loo! for something wrong all the time.
It is very important when you can see it, you !now,
it is not worth getting upset a"out anything at all.
May"e some"ody is really wrong, really evil, "ut what is
the point of ma!ing yourself unhappy a"out it.
(his technique explains and emphasi)es how the mind
affects the "ody. -ow matter affects your "ody, how mindfulness
affects your "ody, you can see when you are unmindful
and when you are mindful. 4uddenly you "ecome mindful
again, you can feel your "ody and mind "ecoming more
relaxed, more su"tle, less agitated, you can really feel it and
you reali)e that it is "etter to "e mindful than not.
(here is no "etter way to live:
(he "est way to live is to "e mindful always.
As soon as you "ecome unmindful your "ody and mind
"ecome more agitated, more stressed.
(he person sees that when something passes away it
does not go anywhere, it is not collected somewhere.
(hings arise and pass away, where do they go9
owhere, it 'ust disappears.
$here are things "efore they arise9
(hey are nowhere.
(hey come from nowhere and they go to nowhere.
(his is also very profound. $hen you see it yourself
then you can see the profundity of this. Any mind moment,
any phenomena, not the shape "ut the sensation, the experience,
comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. #efore
you experience something where is that experience9 It is
nowhere. After you have experienced something where
does that experience go9 owhere: -ere we are tal!ing
a"out direct experience of the phenomena, not any a"stract
thing, "ut real direct experience. A sound is an experience,
hearing is an experience, touching is an experience, movement
is an experience, all these experiences arise now and
they pass away now.
Anidh1nagat1 "hagg1 puT'o n atthi an1gate,
i""att1 ye pi tiPPhanti 1ragge s1sap3pam1.
CUsm S*A
(hey dont come from anywhere, they dont go anywhere.
4o Anidh1nagat1 "hagg1% this means5 when they pass away
they dont go and stay anywhere, they are not collected
puT'o n atthi an1gate% #efore they come they are not in a
storehouse anywhere.
i""att1 ye pi tiPPhanti% $hen it happens it does not stay.
1ragge s1sap3pam1% 6i!e you put a mustard seed on the top
of a needle5 how long will that stay9 It will fall off immediately.
(here are many g1th1 li!e this, very "eautiful and profound
"ut they all mean the same. .ven !amma arises and
passes away. (here is a !ind of energy which is very difficult
to tal! a"out. .ven this energy it is not a thing, it is always
in a flux. It will ta!e sometime to tal! a"out this. 4ome"ody
as!ed me the same question a few days ago. ,or example,
now we have this computer dis!, you can put a lot in a computer
dis!, sound and images. $hen you put words, sounds
or images in the computer, actually in that dis! there is no
sound. .ven in cassettes there is not any sound there. (he
"est way we can explain it is that there is some sort of magnetic
coding there. $e change sound into electricity and
electricity into magnetic coding. Put magnetic coding there
and if you loo! into this computer dis! there are only two
signals there, two messages, yes and no, on and off, only
two and "y com"ining these two you can ma!e anything in
the computer. In the computer dis! there are only different
com"inations of onMoff, offMon and what is the material that
the computer dis! is made of9 May"e it is a !ind of plastic
"ase and on top of it very fine magneti)ed iron coating. I am
not exactly sure a"out that "ut it must "e something made
from iron compound, and if you loo! into this iron compound
again it is atoms and if you loo! deeper into atoms
youll find that electrons etcetera are always changing. #ut
even though these computer dis! atoms are always changing,
it still maintains some sort of continuity, and you can
retrieve the data.
It is very difficult to tal! a"out !amma. (hats why the
#uddha said the most difficult thing to tal! a"out is !amma.
In 4aBs1ra, also we tal! a"out no "eing, so how come, people
are going through the saBs1ra process9 You say there
are no people and yet you say that people are going through
4aBs1ra9 I want to discuss this as a separate issue5 it is a
very interesting topic. -owever in this stage the person
sees mental and physical process, "oth of them arising and
passing away, not 'ust one. oticing the sensations and the
awareness, "oth passing away this is called Qdual method of
o"serving5 this is o"serving this dual process. In the "eginning
the meditator feels that QI am meditating. It is a very
real feeling. ;I am sitting here meditating and trying very
hard<, "ut as the insight develops deeper and deeper he
starts to see that even this consciousness that I call meditation
7what is meditation9 It is a consciousness5 an awareness8,
this awareness is momentary5 sometimes it is there
sometimes it is not there. Meditation is not something long
and "ig. It is moment "y moment consciousness. 4eeing that
even this awareness is anicca, du!!ha and anatta, there is
no QI meditating, and only then the person develops real
insight of anatta. Previously he can see the o"'ect arising
and passing away. +ther thoughts arise and pass away "ut
not this awareness, not this meditating consciousness.
$ho is meditating9
It is consciousness, a series of consciousnesses.
(hen seeing that there is only a series of mindfulness,
a series of meditating consciousness,
not a "eing, not QI5
that seeing completes the understanding of anatta,
otherwise it is not complete.
(o get to this point it is very important.
+nly when a person gets to this point can he develop
a peeling off of wrong view, really peeling off wrong view, I
am not meditating, what I call meditating it is only a series
of consciousnesses, awareness. /nless a person gets to this
point, he cannot develop to the next point.
I expected to finish two insights today, "ut I could not
finish even one. I want to give you a very clear "asic understanding
"ecause if you dont understand the "asics there is
no point tal!ing a"out higher states. +nce you understand
this completely the rest is quite easy. (hat is why I told you
that I will tal! a"out four insights very deeply and the rest
I can ma!e it very short. It is not difficult anymore, 'ust a
variation on the theme. (he first four are the most important.
Another point is that meditators "ecome
very proud of their meditation development, insights,
;I !now, I understand, and those other people they dont
!now as much as I do<, it is a !ind of conceit.
$atch that mind ;I !now I can meditate, I am a good
meditator, and I can !eep my mind on the same o"'ect continuously
for a long time<, which is a !ind of pride or satisfaction
also. Pride and satisfaction come together. $hen that
!ind of thought comes, ta!e the opportunity to watch it. If
you can see it you can overcome it and "ecome even freer.
.ven that QI, QI !now, QI can, it limits you, it confines you.
If you really want to "ecome more and more free watch that
thought. It will definitely come.
In any !ind of accomplishment that we ta!e pride in, and
we thin! that we are "etter, this is QI. In some cases this ta!ing
pride is very stic!y. (hat is why m1na 7conceit8, can only
"e totally eradicated "y the fourth stage of enlightenment5
"y only "y an Arahant. M1na is comparison. You compare
yourself with another person, QI am a "etter meditator, I can,
I !now, see that thought arising5 if you can see it coming
and passing away the identification with that thought will
go away slowly and gradually. $e identify with everything
happening. (his identification it is called m1na or diPPhi
7false view8. $hen you are meditating continuously if you
can overcome these things, it ma!es it easier to go through
otherwise it "ecomes a !ind of o"struction, a hindrance.
Another thing is attachment.
$e get attached to good sittings good experiences.
$e get attached to the very clear seeing.
It is so nice to see clearly and once you experience this
clear seeing and you lose it you feel very frustrated "ecause
seeing clearly gives you tremendous satisfaction, not seeing
clearly it is very frustrating. $e get attached to this clarity5
this is a !ind of lo"ha, 7greed, and desire8. Any !ind of
attachment, watch that thought, getting attached to this
clear seeing, good meditation experience.
I will stop here for today, next wee! Ill tal! a"out only
one insight. It is "etter to "e patient and to go in detail
slowly, in the first four stages of insights. If you have any
questions, if you are not clear a"out any point please as!.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Paramattha does not lose or change its inherent
quality, characteristic. .xample% heat changing into
cold. It is not possi"le5 heat arises and passes away as heat.
-ardness can not change into softness, although they are
in the same continuum, it cannot arise as one thing and
change into another. $hen another thing arises it is something
new. All the conditioned phenomena are always new.
(hey arise and pass away without losing their inherent characteristic.
(hings arise and pass away in such short duration
that there is no time to change into another.
,ourth Insight
.xperiencing the Arising and
Passing Away of Phenomena K
>iscerning $hat is the Path and
$hat is ot the Path
(oday I would li!e to start "y tal!ing a"out the fourth
insight, /daya""ayaMT1Oa the insight into the arising
and passing away of phenomena. In the third insight,
when you are meditating you see all the three characteristics of
natural phenomena, anicca 7impermanence8, du!!ha 7unsatisfactoriness8
and anatta 7not "eing in control8. (hey arise "ecause
there is a cause for them to arise, pass away "ecause it is their
nature to pass away. $e cannot wish that something should not
arise or pass away. o permanent entity, no hard lasting core,
no entity, no soul5 everything is a process5 this is the unique
aspect of the #uddhaM>hamma. In some ways, people want to
"elieve that there might "e something lasting, something that
does not change and exists for ever. In the all teaching of the
#uddha, there is no such thing as a Qthing5 only process. $hen
we tal! a"out a Qthing try to understand what we mean "y it.
(he word thing has got many meanings.
(here is Qno thing, there is only process.
(his is something very deep and important.
(his is where the #uddhaM>hamma "ecomes
very different from other spiritual ideas and
other teachings.
In some other teachings you hear a"out impermanence in
some ways and you hear a"out unsatisfactoriness also. $hen
they tal! a"out impermanence, they tal! a"out impermanence
of shape or form. ,or example% you "rea! a glass into pieces, and
people say, ;oh, it is impermanent<, "ut was it permanent "efore
it "ro!e9 o. .ven "efore it "ro!e it was impermanent.
Impermanence is happening all the time, impercepti"le.
$hen we thin! of a shape, as long as the shape is the same,
we thin! of it as permanent. In the teachings of the #uddha,
impermanence is not impermanence of shape, "ut impermanence
of the qualities, heat, cold, hardness, softness etc. these
are always changing.
4o in the third insight we see all three characteristics in
a general way. And the same characteristics, anicca, du!!ha,
anatta will "e "ecome deeper and deeper as we develop higher
insights. (he fourth insight is called /daya""ayaMT1Oa. /daya
means to arise and vaya means to pass away, to disappear.
Another way of defining anicca is ;hutv1 a"h1vaPPhena anicc1<
7Usm. S*E8. -utv1 means Qhaving come into "eing5 that means
happening, arising. A"h1va means not existing anymore. 4o in
this insight impermanence doesnt mean existing in a different
,+/0(- I4I=-( . **D
form. Impermanence means totally disappearing. (his where
people get very confused, they misunderstand that.
Ihanging is one aspect of impermanence
7in a general way8.
#ut the real impermanence means
it does not exist anymore.
As long as we have the idea of something changing, "ut still
existing in some form, we are still clinging to the idea of something
lasting. Although it is a little "it different from what it was
"efore we still thin! that it is the same5 therefore anicca really
means Qnot existing anymore.
In this insight the meditator has developed very strong
concentration, very strong mindfulness and very little thin!ing
is happening. +nce in a while you thin! a"out the phenomena,
not anything else. At this stage, the meditator has almost
stopped thin!ing a"out other things. #ut occasionally he thin!s
a"out the meditation practice and experiences. #efore reaching
this stage the meditator has a lot of concern a"out whether he
is doing right or not. Is this n1ma9 Is this r3pa9 Is this anicca9 Is
this du!!ha unsatisfactoriness or not9 (his !ind of wavering is
still going on. #ut when one gets to this stage all this has gone.
Meditation "ecomes very natural and goes on without very
much effort, which is why the mind has "ecome so "alanced. It
has this upe!!h15 very strong equanimity develops. (his equanimity
has many characteristics and aspects5 one of these is no
terror or delight. >elight is a !ind of lo"ha, li!ing. o excitement,
neither happy nor unhappy. (he mind has "ecome very
calm and "alanced.
Meditation has "ecome automatic, not much effort necessary.
(he mind stays there most of the time. +nce in a while the
mind wanders. $hen the meditator notices it, that is enough to
"ring it "ac!, no need to struggle. #efore this stage the mind 'ust
wants to wander and thin! a"out something else. You "ring it
"ac! and in a few seconds it has gone again. It is a struggle5 we
are fighting with our own mind. #ut after a while the mind settles
down and stays there5 we are not fighting with our thoughts
anymore. .nergy also "ecomes "alanced. #efore this stage we
dont have enough energy and not much interest. #ut at this
stage, energy is "alanced and we have enough of it. #efore
this, we tried too hard, we put in too much effort and the mind
"ecomes irritated. (oo much effort and energy causes agitation5
too little effort and energy cause sluggishness and la)iness. At
this stage there is "alance in energy, 'ust enough to maintain
awareness to !eep the meditation going. +ne can do long sittings
without difficulty, "ecause at this stage there is no restlessness
in the mind. In most cases when the person cannot sit still
it is an indication of restlessness, not 'ust pain in the "ody. Pain
in the "ody comes and goes even at this stage, "ut "ecause the
mind is settled there is no restlessness, there is no desire to do
anything else. (he mind 'ust stays with the meditation, watching
everything arising and passing away right on the spot, on
the moment. (he o"'ect of meditation also "ecomes more and
more refined5 it appears very fine and very su"tle. #efore this,
very gross sensation and thoughts appear "ut now the sensation
"ecomes very fine. (houghts also "ecome very slow, fine and
4o there are six qualities of the mind here% no terror, no
delight5 no li!ing, no disli!ing5 neither happy nor unhappy
7which means not excited a"out anything85 meditation "ecomes
automatic, energy "ecomes "alanced, sitting for a long time
without difficulty5 the o"'ect of meditation "ecome very refined
and su"tle and no distraction. (here are many !inds of upe!!h1
7equanimity8. (his is called the upe!!h1 with six qualities.
4o the definition of this insight is%
Paccuppann1naB dhamm1naB vipariO1m1nupassane
paTT1 udaya""ay1nupassane T1OaB. CPts i.AF

(his word paccuppanna is very important. It means present,
at present. (o see mental and physical process right now, not
thin!ing of what happened "efore. 4ome people thin! that if
you thin! a"out the past and see that all that has "een happening
in the past has gone, they feel that they understand anicca.
#ut this is not real wisdom, real insight into impermanence.

0eal insight into anicca
has to happen in the present,
in what is happening now:
4o paccuppann1naB means happening now. >hamm1naB
7dhamma has many meanings8 here it means mental and physical
process. 4o seeing the disappearance 7vipariO1m1nupassane8
of those dhamma that are happening right now 7paccuppann1naB
dhamm1naB8 and understanding it truly 7paTT18 is called udaya""ay1nupassane
T1OaB or /daya""ayaMT1Oa, the insight of
4o at this stage whenever the meditator pays attention or
notices something arising, the arising "ecomes very clear and it
disappears immediately.
(he noticing is very sharp and clear,
clearly seeing arising and clearly seeing passing away,
immediately arising, immediately passing away.
(he meditator can see that it arises here and
passes away here without "ecoming otherwise.
&1taB r3paB paccuppannaB, tassa ni""attila!!haOaB
udayo vipariO1mala!!haOaB vayo CPts AR

(he characteristics of arising 7ni""attila!!haOaB8 of that
r3pa happening now 7&1taB r3paB paccuppannaB tassa8 is called
udayo5 its characteristics of disappearing is called vayo. (he two
7udayo and vayo8 together ma!es the word /daya""aya.
(here are many !inds of paccuppanna 7present8 actually 7Usm.
R?D8. +ne is called santatiMpaccuppannaB, ta!ing things as a group.
,or example if we listen to this sound 7"ell ringing8N it ta!es a
few seconds to disappear. (he first sound we hear ;tooong:< then
slowly it disappear. If we ta!e it as a whole, it ta!es a few seconds,
this is called santati5 santati means a series, ta!ing the whole
series as one. 4o this is a very gross understanding of anicca. #ut
if you pay more attention to the sound, you will hear the ringing,
many small rings, one after another arising "ut each one is
wea!er and wea!er5 new sound arising each moment. .very second,
many sounds arise, many sounds pass away. And if you can
thin! theoretically, you can see that the vi"rations happen a"out
a thousand times a second, very short, very quic!. GhaOaMpaccuppanna
is very short. #ut the material and mental phenomena,
they arise and pass away so fast that we cannot really experience
or see as quic!ly as that. #uddha said that physical process arises
and passes away in a num"er of one thousand "illion per second.
Arising and passing away one thousand "illion per second: (o
experience that much is impossi"le for an ordinary person. $ith
mental process it is a"out twice faster. -owever if in one second
we can experience a"out ten anicca, we can "e satisfied that we
have understood it. ormally we can see a"out two in a second,
"ut when we "ecome very concentrated and calm, time stretches
out, one second can "ecome a long time. 4ometimes meditators
feel li!e they have "een sitting for an hour "ut when they see
the cloc! they reali)e that it is only five minutes. 4ometimes in
another stage of meditation, you have "een sitting three or four
hours "ut you have the feeling that you have "een sitting for an
hour only.
(ime "ecomes very unreal5
it can stretch out as your mindfulness "ecomes
very quic! and sharp. 4ometimes when you get into deep
sam1dhi time disappears. >istortion of time starts
to happen at the "eginning of this stage.

At this stage, when you experience something and "ecause
you have the ha"it of sometimes thin!ing and noting using the
name, you try to name it, "ut the moment you try to name it, it
is not there anymore. 4o you feel that you cannot name things
anymore, you can 'ust see them5 watch them without thin!ing,
without doing anything. (o the "eginner, the teacher teaches
to note everything% hearing, thin!ing, etc. $hen you get at this
stage the moment you try to note, it is not there anymore. 4o
you cannot note anymore, you give up the noting and you stay
aware, loo!ing deeply.
At this stage, you are 'ust loo!ing, seeing5
no noting anything as you cannot note anymore,
"ecause noting is very slow and seeing is very fast.

At this stage, meditators sometimes experience very "right
lights 7o"h1sa8 which are the sign of a very concentrated mind.
(hese "right lights could have different shapes and different
colour. 4ometimes a very "right star appears and quic!ly passes
away, sometimes it appears from one side and it moves across and
the meditator gets very interested. 4ometimes he sees that "right
light moving, getting "igger li!e a moon. In samatha meditation
this !ind of light can "e experienced also. It is a sign of concentration
and of energy in the mind.
4ometimes time appears to go very fast which means that your
mind is wor!ing very fast. In "etween the mental processes, always
at the end of the process there is a gap which is called "havaZga.
$hen a person has too many "havaZga, there is a "ig gap. In one
second for example if a person has many gaps in "etween, then
in one second he can only experience a few things. If there are
fewer gaps then he experiences more. $hen you experience more
things it feels li!e time "ecomes slow. If you have studied quantum
and relativity youll understand it more easily.
$hen the mind wor!s faster
you feel li!e time has slowed down, this is very real.
In another stage 7of meditation8 when
the mind goes "eyond time and "eyond phenomena,
at that moment you dont see arising and passing away,
for you time does not exist, timeless.
(here is a !ind of state where time "ecomes non existent.
Another aspect of this stage is that wisdom 7T1Oa8 "ecomes
very clear, seeing mental process 'ust as a pure mental process,
not a "eing. You dont thin! a"out it, you 'ust see it happening,
its 'ust a process, not a "eing. $henever you experience a
physical process you see the same thing very clearly, without any
dou"t, without any thin!ing. You see it as 'ust a natural process
and you see arising and passing away very clearly, without effort,
it is so simple and natural. Uery clear sharp !nowledge, clear
wisdom, it is ama)ing. +ne is surprised that it is possi"le to see
it so clearly. Mostly, we are very dull and cloudy, very confused,
we dont see anything clearly. #ut at this stage of meditation
without thin!ing, when we pay attention to something we see it
very clearly as it is. $e feel very happy and satisfied sometimes.
PLti, a lot of 'oy and interest, sometimes rapture arises all
over the "ody. (he mind "ecomes so still that thin!ing stops,
o"serving "ecomes very clear and insight !nowledge "ecomes
very sharp and clear. In that moment a !ind of 'oy arises. #ut too
much 'oy ma!es the mind too agitated and this can "ecome an
impurity. (hat is why these states are called vipassanupa!!iles1,
the impurities of insight. #y themselves they are not impurities.
If we pay attention and dont "ecome attached to them,
we dont "ecome proud of those states, and we dont have any
wrong understanding of these experiences then they 'ust arise
and pass away, 'ust phenomena.
#ut if we "ecome attached to these states and
"ecome proud of them, sometimes these states
can "e misinterpreted for i""1na5 then it
"ecomes an impurity, wrong understanding.

(hen passaddhi, tranquility5 "ody and mind "ecome very
cool, real cool, so much so that you feel li!e you are sitting in an
air conditioned room, and sometimes you can feel drops of cool
water on the "ody, even the "ody temperature can go down. In
my monastery I have thermometer, "lood pressure and "lood
pulse counter. 4o sometimes I 'ust strap myself with these things
and try to measure the "lood pressure, pulse and temperature,
and really the temperature, pulse and pressure go down, which
shows that the "ody meta"olism slows down. +nly the mind is
very active "ut not with thin!ing.
(hat shows that thin!ing uses more energy.
$orry also uses a lot of energy. If you dont thin! and
dont worry, the mind "ecomes very sharp using
the minimum amount of energy.

4u!!ha, happiness, "liss are also experienced, as in that
moment the mind is not attached or thin!ing a"out anything,
it feels very free and happy. (his is li!e a paradox. -ow can
a person feel so happy seeing everything is arising and passing
away immediately9
You feel happy "ecause you are totally detached.
>etachment "rings real happiness.
Attachment is a "urden.
Most people mainly feel that when
they get what they want then they feel happy.
0eal happiness is, not wanting anything.
(his is very hard to understand. If we dont practice meditation
and 'ust thin! a"out it, we would not "elieve it. At this
stage you dont want anything at all. o desire for anything
more than the "are necessities.
(here is adhimo!!ha, a deep confidence, resolution. At this
stage the meditator has really deep confidence in the >hamma.
0eally this is true.
(his practice really leads to
deep understanding and freedom.
You have no dou"t a"out it anymore5
total overcoming of dou"t.
(hen paggaha5 you experience a lot of energy and you dont
feel la)y anymore. (he "ody does not feel heavy anymore. You
want to !eep meditating, no fatigue anymore, and no sleepiness.
4ome people dont sleep at all, and they can meditate all day
and night. $hen you lie down to sleep, dont plan to sleep, "ut
"e mindful as much as possi"le and when you fall asleep it is o!.
Your "ody needs to sleep. After a few hours when you wa!e up,
you feel ready to meditate and you dont feel sleepy anymore.
/paPPh1naB, awareness, mindfulness is very sharp, very strong.
Mindfulness and concentration although they are in a way similar
they are different. $hen you are concentrated your mind stays
on one thing, "ut you dont really see sharply the arising and passing
away. $hen you are very mindful, you see arising and passing
away very sharply, and stay on the process. 4amatha meditation
gives you deep concentration "ut does not give you clear !nowledge,
clear insight. $hen the mind "ecomes very mindful, concentration
also grows. $hen the mind "ecomes more and more
concentrated the mind stays on one o"'ect only for a long time.
$hen it "ecomes even more concentrated it "ecomes only "arely
aware of the o"'ect and stays there. 4ometimes you lose awareness,
"ut the mind does not "ecome distracted. (he mind is very
still and calm and still very aware of the o"'ect. In that case, if
you !now that this is happening try to develop more awareness "y
noticing another phenomenon. If you ta!e two phenomena you
can !eep more alert and "ecome more mindful.
$hen mindfulness "ecomes very strong, you can "e aware
of a lot of things happening at the same time, you are not trying
to notice one or two o"'ects anymore, you are not trying to
notice anything, you are not selecting the o"'ect, you are 'ust
aware. $hen you are aware and there, you see everything coming
and hitting 7touching8 that awareness, o"'ects are coming
and hitting awareness. #ut when too many o"'ects are coming
and awareness cannot handle those things very well, the mind
"ecomes agitated. $hen you experience the mind losing clarity,
try to limit the o"'ects, calm down and pay attention to one or
two o"'ects. You need to ad'ust a little "it.
In the "eginning we tried to pay attention to one o"'ect and
the mind wandered away. $e noticed that wandering mind,
"rought it "ac! and put it on another o"'ect again. $e had
to wor! very hard. ow at this stage the mind stays there, it is
always present.
4ometimes you feel that awareness is li!e a mirror,
and everything that passes in front of it is reflected,
automatically you aware of it.
You have no worry a"out "eing mindful.
4ati 7mindfulness8 and sampa'aTTa 7comprehension8 is very
strong at this stage "ut even "efore this also. -ere it means mindfulness
is present and ready all the time. You are not selecting
any o"'ect anymore. Mindfulness is there and it is automatically
aware of whatever is arising and passing in the moment. Meditation
"ecomes very easy.
Another thing, actually the most important is ni!anti,
attachment. All the a"ove nine experiences happen more or
less to every meditator. (his is the sign that the mind is "ecoming
more and more concentrated, more and more aware. (hats
why you experience light sometimes, sometimes very sharp
insight, sometimes a lot of 'oy, tranquility, happiness, "liss, a
lot of confidence, energy, etc. (hese are all very good. (here
is nothing wrong with it, "ut if you get attached to any one
of these, it "ecomes impurity. 6ight itself is not impurity. Ilear
insight is not impurity. (hey are pure, very good. #ut only when
you "ecome attached to them, they "ecome impure.
4ometimes when you get attached to this clear,
sharp seeing, you "ecome proud of it and
you want that experience again.
(hat wanting is ni!anti and it is an impurity.
Any of the following experiences can cause attachment,
taOh1 7craving8, m1na 7pride8, diPPhi 7misinterpretation or wrong
understanding8. $hen we see "right clear lights, sometimes it
is a diffused light with no shape, we feel very "right in the mind
and "ecause the mind is so alert we experience "rightness. 4ome
people misinterpret this for enlightenment. ;ow I am enlightened,
my mind is so clear, so peaceful, calm and free< the insight
is so sharp, it couldnt "e any "etter. If we interpret it that way
this is Qwrong understanding, taOh1, m1na or diPPhi arising, these
are impurities. (here are ten impurities of vipassan15 the first
nine are not impurities in themselves, only the tenth one is.
Please understand this. #ecause even in upe!!h1 7equanimity8
we "ecome so "alanced that we dont have to try and meditate.
Meditation 'ust happens. 4ometimes we thin! that we dont need
to do anything, "ut 'ust relax. If you do that in the "eginning, it
feels very good5 you dont have to try, so relaxed, peaceful and
calm, so free. #ut after a while the mind loses energy, it "ecomes
dull and sleepy and it loses sharpness and awareness and after a
while you lose concentration. $henever you experience this, it
is important to remind yourself that in itself this is not impurity.
+nly attachment, pride or wrong understanding is impurity.
(he "right lights can happen in samatha meditation, through
'ust pure concentration, and they can also happen "ecause of
vipassan1 insight5 the understanding "ecomes so clear and sharp
that you feel very "right inside. In fact, we experience these
things from the very "eginning in vipassan1. .ven in the first
insight when the mind "ecomes quiet and clear, mindfulness
and sam1dhi "ecome quite strong, sometimes we "egin to experience
light or pLti, 'oy, interest also, however at this stage it
"ecomes so strong that, some people depending on their personality
see different images li!e #uddha images, peaceful scenes.
As I myself li!e "eautiful scenes in nature, I love nature, I
tend to see mostly those, mountains, la!es, and sometimes the
surface of the la!e is as clear as a mirror. >epending on peoples
personalities, images li!e those appear in the mind, so sharp
and vivid, as if you are there loo!ing at it. In some cases you
can interpret this, "ut interpretation is not important. You can
interpret your personality also. A person, whose "asic nature is
aversion, will see terri"le images li!e dead "odies, ugly faces. A
person who has a lot of saddha, confidence might see a lot of
"eautiful #uddha images5 sometimes live #uddhas, real, wal!ing,
moving and doing things. You are not really seeing the real
#uddha, your mind creates it.
$hen you see things, no matter what,
'ust note or notice them, dont interpret anything,
"ecause when you interpret you thin!.
$hen you thin! you lose awareness, concentration,
mindfulness will go down.
$hen you experience these lights you feel very light too.
You thin! "ecause I am experiencing enlightenment these
lights are appearing, that is a misunderstanding "ecause the
person feels very happy and delighted a !ind of greed arises.
4ometimes, thoughts arise as well, we see phenomena the way
it is arising and passing away and we "egin to thin!, ohN this is
really impermanent. .ven though we are thin!ing, awareness is
still very sharp and we thin! Qmy understanding is very sharp.
You identify with understanding. It "ecomes my understanding,
my wisdom, my insight, and this ;my< is impurity. (he insight is
not impurity, "ut the ;my< "ecomes impurity.
Uery strong rapture might arise5 it can go through the whole
"ody, or 'ust part of the "ody, li!e waves. 4ometimes you feel
li!e your "ody is floating up, or that there is no weight anymore,
or the whole "ody disappears, only the mind, the awareness is
there. (he person might "ecome unconscious and not aware
of anything anymore. In some cases people feel that "ecause
all the mental and physical phenomena stop and disappear this
is enlightenment. +ne aspect of enlightenment is cessation of
mental and physical phenomena, "ut at this stage it is not real
enlightenment. ,or a "rief moment the mind 'ust stops, there is
a !ind of "lan! there, "ut immediately you "ecome aware again
and see that there was a gap.
(he difference "etween this and
enlightenment is that after you see this gap,
your sharpness and clarity stays the same,
you see the same phenomena
in the same way again.
After the real enlightenment when it happens, the mind
slows down a little "it, it is not as sharp as it was. Although mindfulness
and concentration are still there, the mind is not sharp
and fast anymore. 4o this "lan! is not real enlightenment.
4ometimes the tranquility also "ecomes very strong, mind
and "ody "ecome very tranquil and then it "ecomes unconscious,
for a very "rief moment only. 4ometimes sam1dhi
"ecomes very deep and the o"'ect of meditation "ecomes very
dim and it disappears, and the mind "ecomes "lan!, unaware.
(he "ody stays the same, very calm, not moving or falling down.
$hen you "ecome sleepy the "ody falls down. #ut with this
!ind of sam1dhi, the "ody does not fall down, even though for
a few moments you fall asleep. 4ometimes "ecause of upe!!h1,
equanimity, you dont worry a"out meditation anymore. In the
"eginning you worry a lot, ;am I "eing mindful, is my mind here,
is my mind wandering9< (here are a lot of thoughts and worries
a"out meditation, "ut at this stage, no thoughts or worries a"out
(he mind "ecomes very tranquil and relaxed, and relaxed,
and after a while it "ecomes unconscious. $hen you "ecome
too relaxed you "ecome unconscious. 4ometimes it is 'ust real
sleep: (his sleep is very different from normal sleep. ormally
when you sleep your "ody cannot maintain a sitting posture, it
"ecomes very limp. $hen you meditate the mind can "ecome
very calm and peaceful and concentration "ecomes very strong,
when you fall asleep your "ody does not "ecome limp, it maintains
posture. $hen you wa!e up your mind is still very clear,
you dont have any drowsiness. You are ready to meditate again.
A lot of people that I !now, and sometimes I have experienced
it myself, after sitting for many hours a day 'ust fall asleep,
sometimes for a long time. $hen wa!ing up the mind is very
refreshed, alert and clear and automatically the moment you
wa!e up, you "egin to meditate again. ormally when people
wa!e up they dont really !now that they are awa!e. Uague
dreamsMthoughts happen for a long time and one slowly wa!es
up5 "ut for a meditator as soon as he wa!es up, with the first
consciousness meditation is together5 hes ready to meditate. It
is a very good thing.
4urprisingly at this stage some people meditate in their
dreams. -ave you ever heard of it9 Ian you meditate in your
dreams9 As a way of testing me, my teacher often as!ed me
;do you meditate in your dreams9< I said ;not yet<, he said ;o!
try to "e more mindful, more mindful, meditate more<. I try to
meditate and meditate, and once I meditated in my dream and
I was so happy "ecause I had something to tell to my teacher.
$e want to please our teacher and we also want our teacher
to thin! very well of us. 4o I went to his place and waited for
a while and when he came out I said ;I have something to tell
you<. I was very young, very childish in some ways, very immature
too, "ut I was very happy, so I told him. -e sat and listened
very pleased, smiling, saying very good, your mindfulness
is "ecoming stronger.
4o, we can meditate unconsciously even,
it "ecomes a ha"it. In dreams we dream of
what we have done during the day.
A doctor would dream of events such as operating, giving
treatment, in'ections, advice. People wor!ing in department
stores in their dreams they might dream of selling things. A
student studying for an exam, many times I dreamed of having
exam, it was terri"le, something missing, I cant answer my question:
It is quite natural to dream a"out things that we are used
to doing. 4o, meditating in your dreams is a sign that indicates
that meditation is "ecoming a ha"it. (he moment you wa!e up
you are ready to meditate. After a while, you dont dream much
anymore, very rarely you dream, you fall asleep and when you
awa!e up you are ready to meditate5 in "etween no dreams.
An Arahant does not dream anymore.
>reaming is a sign that there is some sort of moha,
something unconscious happening5 moha has many
meanings5 stupidity, confusion and delusion are some.
,or an Arahant there is nothing unconscious.
Ionscious and unconscious "ecome one.
Most people are more unconsciousness than
consciousness5 a lot of unconscious thoughts going on
even while were awa!e5 "ut for a meditator those
thoughts "ecome conscious.
In that way a meditator can change the unconscious mind,
which is a very strange idea for most psychologists. (hat is how
this meditation influences peoples personality. (here is no other
way as effective as meditation to do this. A lot of mental sic!nesses,
neurosis, 'ust disappear5 you dont have to do anything
a"out it. (his is really a good way to develop good qualities, to
overcome "ad ha"its. A lot of people at this stage, they even
quit smo!ing. 4mo!ing is not really "rea!ing any of the precepts,
"ut a lot of people give it up. (hey even give up drin!ing
too much coffee or tea. Any !ind of attachment or addiction is
given up. Actually you dont even try to give it up, "ut you dont
feel li!e doing it anymore. A lot of people that I !now, some of
them are friends of mine and they used to "e alcoholics, smo!e
a lot of cigarettes, they 'ust gave up.
At this stage also, many !ind of "odily sic!ness disappear,
not only mental, "ut real "odily sic!ness disappear also.
(ranquility, and pLti 7'oy, rapture8 which are very close, have
tremendous therapeutic powers. (hat is why you hear of people
overcoming diseases after they meditate. A lot of pho"ias,
insomnia, also are overcome. $hen there is a lot of tranquility,
passaddhi, people dont want to go to places that are very noisy
and crowded. (hey try to avoid unnecessary activities, distur"ances.
(hey want to 'ust go away and live in a very quiet and
peaceful place and 'ust meditate.
At this stage, even when you wal! you feel li!e your "ody
has no weight. You thin! of ta!ing a step and the leg is already
moving. You are aware of it "ut you dont feel the weight. +ne
step after the other, you feel li!e you are wal!ing in the air,
your feet 'ust "arely touching the ground, you feel the touching
sensation "ut you dont feel the weight, and you can wal! very
fast5 you feel li!e running. o aches, pains, or feeling hot. (he
mind is not distracted. -ere is a g1th1 from the >hammapada,
a very good one%
4uTT1g1raB paviPPhassa, santacittassa "hi!!huno,
Am1nusL ratL hoti, samm1 dhammaB vipassato.
C>hpd ?F?
A person meditates in a very quiet place 7suTT1g1raB
paviPPhassa, santacittassa "hi!!huno8. -e experiences happiness
and 'oy "eyond that of a normal man 7am1nusL ratL hoti85 "ecause
he experiences the >hamma 7samm1 dhammaB vipassato8.
Yato yato sammasati, !handh1naB udaya""ayaB,
6a"hati pLti p1mo''aB, amataB taB vi'1nataB.
C>hpd ?FR
$henever he watches the !handhas, the five aggregates, seeing
arising and passing away 7Yato yato sammasati !handh1naB
udaya""ayaB8, he experiences 'oy and dhamma pleasures
76a"hati pLti p1mo''aB8. (his is a tonic for those who are wise
7amataB taB vi'1nataB8. (hey experience that this is the way to
li"eration and they are very convinced that this is the practice
that leads to li"eration.
You are sure a"out it. (hat is why I told you that when
you reach this stage you are on the right path. You have really
learnt how to meditate5 the meditation practice is very strong.
(his stage is called "alavaMvipassan15 "alava means very strong.
#efore this stage it is called taruOaMvipassan15 taruOa means
wea!, young, immature. At this stage it is mature, very strong
vipassan1 7insight8.
Another thing that can distract the meditator at this stage
is, "ecause he has so much faith, confidence in the practice,
"ecause he has experienced so much lightness, freedom and 'oy,
he wants to tell, to encourage other people to meditate.
;Meditate, meditate, let go of all those things you have "een
doing for so long, stop doing them and meditate:<
-e wants to encourage and teach others also.
#ut if you go and do that you destroy your meditation.
>ont stop to go and teach. &ust continue your practice.
>ont encourage other people. You can do that later.
#ut it is very hard not to do that5 it is very hard to resist.
At this stage you experience the awareness 7mindfulness8
and the o"'ect, they go for each other and then they touch.
(he o"'ect comes and touches or hits the mind. (he coming
in contact of the consciousness and the o"'ect "ecomes very
clear. #efore this stage we dont understand what phassa, contact
means. $eve heard and thought a"out it "ut havent really
experienced it. -owever at this stage we can really experience
clearly the contact "etween o"'ect and mind. 4ometimes the
mind goes into the o"'ect. ,or example, "efore this stage it is li!e
throwing a tennis "all to the wall. It hits the wall and "ounces
"ac! "ut at this stage you throw a very stic!y "all. $hen it hits
the o"'ect it stays there. Mindfulness does not run away or get
distracted. #efore this stage, sometimes we had to try to find
the o"'ect to meditate on, "ut at this stage we dont have to do
that. (he o"'ect comes to the consciousness, to awareness and
sometimes awareness is 'ust there ready. -owever "ecause of so
much interest, 'oy, energy and clarity we get attached to that
state and we dont want to stop meditating, although in a way
this is very good "ecause we are not la)y or distracted anymore,
in another way we can get attached to it. Mostly we dont interpret
that as attachment.
$e 'ust thin! ;I am very happy to "e meditating,
I li!e meditating<. -ow do you discriminate9
$hen you dont experience those things anymore,
you feel unhappy a"out it, ;I want it again,
what can I do to get it again9< these are
indications that you are attached to it.
(he more you try to get it again,
the harder it "ecomes. It is a very tric!y thing.

At this stage it is very important to watch your intention.
6oo! in to your mind and see, ;what am I trying to do now9
Am I trying to get to that state9<
4ometimes for example you have to go out to get your food
and eat and more or less you are distracted. $hen you finish
and you go "ac! and meditate and you expect to go "ac! to the
same state, that expectation is a hindrance.
$henever we meditate we have to remind ourselves,
;I am not trying to do anything. I am not trying to
get anywhere. I am not trying to experience what I have
experienced "efore5 I am 'ust trying to "e aware of
what is happening now:< (his is very simple.
$hat we do is not trying to get something or
to get somewhere. $hat we do is to "e here and now,
to pay attention to whatever is happening now.
-owever no matter how much we are warned "y our teacher,
when things happen li!e this we still get attached, we still misinterpret
it. (his is something that we have to go through. (he
most important thing is not to get stuc! there. $hen this is
happening, if you are with a teacher and discuss it with him, he
will say ;loo! you are getting attached, watch that attachment
first< he will not tell you to give up that attachment, "ecause if
you dont see the attachment how can you give it up9 It is happening
unconsciously. (he first thing you have to do is to ma!e
that attachment "ecome conscious.
(his advice has a very wide meaning. $hatever we want
to overcome, first we must "ecome conscious of it. $ithout
"ecoming conscious of it, we cannot overcome it, no matter
what. 4o the teacher will point out, ;6oo! into your mind and
see that attachment<. If you can see it after a while it "ecomes
wea!er and goes away, "ut it will come "ac! again, you see it, it
goes away and then comes "ac! again. After a few times it will
go and it will not come "ac! anymore.
Youll understand that getting attached to these happy states,
to these good experiences is not the right path.
=etting attached is the wrong path, no matter what.
.ven meditation experiences, if you get attached
to them you are on the wrong path.
If you can see and overcome your attachment
you understand that paying attention to whatever is
happening right now, "ody or mind is the right Path.
(his understanding is called Magg1maggaMT1OadassanaMvisuddhi.
Magga means the path, amagga means not the path, seeing
that this is the path, this is not the path. /nderstanding the
two very clearly is a !ind of purity of mind, purity of understanding,
T1OadassanaMvisuddhi5 visuddhi means purity.
All of us, now and then, go on the wrong path, its o!, it
will happen, "ut see it and then come "ac! to he right path.
Ma!e mista!es, learn from them, correct yourself and do the
right thing. (his is the way we learn and grow.
$ithout ma!ing any mista!e, without
correcting our mista!es we cannot learn and grow.
4o, it is o.!. to ma!e mista!es: #ut dont !eep on
ma!ing the same mista!es again and again.
Ill 'ust give you a "rief idea. In the "eginning stage of meditation
first you see the natural quality of physical and mental
phenomena. 6ater we generally see impermanence and unsatisfactoriness
and no soul, no permanent entity, no control, emptiness
in a way. 6ater we see arising and passing away very sharply,
very clearly. After that you see passing away. $hen we "egin
to see phenomena arising and passing away, first we see arising
"ut we dont see passing away. #efore we see one phenomenon
passing away, we see another phenomenon arising5 it goes on
li!e that5 one thing arising, another thing arising. After this we
see an arising a passing away, a gap, another arising and passing
away, one gap, we see the gaps also. After a while you pay more
attention to 'ust passing away, passing away. You dont pay so
much attention to the arising anymore. In that stage impermanence
"ecomes more and more clear, everything is passing away
very quic!ly.
$hen you see very clearly impermanence, in that insight
you also see unsatisfactoriness, why9 #ecause something
arising and passing away so quic!ly, how can you find any
satisfaction, how can you rely or depend on it9
You can see that every moment is "irth and death. (here is
nothing you can !eep, and there is nothing you can hold on to,
"ecause things are arising and passing away so quic!ly and it is
not under your control.
.very experience, every sensation, every thought,
every mindMmoment, even this awareness,
everything is always passing away.
4o, in this stage, meditation "ecomes very complete. You
see the o"'ect arising and passing away. You see the consciousness
arising and passing away. You see this meditation consciousness
which is experiencing or seeing this vipassan1 wisdom,
even mindfulness you can see arising and passing away.
At first we see that these physical phenomena are not me, not
mine5 this thought it is not me, not mine. #ut you still see that
this awareness is there in the mind5 it is me, I am meditating, I
am seeing, I am aware. $hen you come to this stage you also see
that even this meditating consciousness, even this awareness is
passing away. (here is a simile for this. $hen you "urn a dead
"ody, first you use a very long stic! to turn over the "ody. $hen
the "ody has "urnt you throw away the stic!, let it go, you dont
!eep anything, you cannot !eep anything.
.ven this meditation consciousness, this awareness,
you put it into anicca5 this is also anicca.
(hen only Qanicca understanding is complete.
If there is any part of your experience which you feel is yours,
you have not fully understood and experienced anicca very well.
.ven this awareness, T1Oa is arising and passing away and one can
do that repeatedly. In the texts it is said that you should do that
ten times, "ut you dont have to do that many. +"'ect, consciousness,
wisdom, seeing them arising and passing away, watching
that wisdom again and again up to ten times "ut we dont have
to do it for ten times. $atching this vipassan1MT1Oa and seeing it
as impermanent is called paPivipassan1. (he first vipassan1MT1Oa
is called vipassan15 watching that vipassan1MT1Oa, that wisdom
and seeing it as impermanent is called paPivipassan1. (his vipassan1
wisdom "ecomes the o"'ect of vipassan1 again. I thin! I
have made the meaning quite clear, right9
.ven wisdom is impermanent,
even awareness is impermanent5
at this stage you can see it.
You dont even get identified with
this meditative awareness,
'ust li!e after you "urn the "ody
you then "urn the stic!.

ext wee! I will try to give details a"out the fifth insight
#hangaMT1Oa, seeing dissolution. After this fourth insight its
much easier. If you have any questions a"out this fourth insight,
if anything that is not clear, please as!.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (he first T1Oa it is called 7D8 1maMr3paparicchedaM
T1Oa, seeing n1ma as a process, mind as a process
and r3pa, physicality, as a process5 seeing it as not a "eing,
it is not a man or a woman5 there is no shape, no colour.
-ardness is 'ust hardness5 you cannot say that this hardness
is a mans hardness or a womans hardness. -ardness is 'ust
hardness5 4oftness is 'ust softness5 movement is 'ust movement,
it is not a man or a woman.

(hese phenomena have no shape, no form,
they are 'ust qualities. Please pay attention to this again.
$hen we meditate we are paying attention to the quality,
any quality is not a "eing.
1ma also you can see that it is 'ust mental phenomena
also5 it is not a "eing5 greed is not a woman or a man5 greed
is 'ust wanting something. $hether it happens to you or me
it has the same quality, Qwanting.
$anting this or wanting that it does not matter,
it is 'ust the nature of wanting.
Any other !ind of mental state also is 'ust a mental state,
not a "eing, not a thing, not a man or a woman. 4o seeing
n1ma and r3pa is called 1maMr3paMparicchedaMT1Oa.
(here are two things happening. +ne is r3pa, one is n1ma.
After that you see the cause of these mental and physical
phenomena5 that is called 7*8 PaccayaMpariggahaMT1Oa, seeing
the cause. After that you see anicca, du!!ha, anatta, generally,
which is called 7?8 4ammasanaMT1Oa. In this stage a lot
of thoughts a"out dhamma arise, thoughts a"out n1ma, a"out
r3pa, a"out anicca, a"out du!!ha and also a"out anatta. After
this stage, those thoughts are no more. You see things arising
and passing away very sharply5 very clearly5 this is called 7R8
/daya""ayaMT1Oa and is the fourth insight and the fifth is called
7A8 #hangaMT1Oa, dissolution, passing away, disappearing.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% o, not yet, 'ust half way now. #ut actually
this is the real "eginning of meditation. +ne requirement
to "ecome enlightened is seeing arising and passing away
very clearly. (his is strong vipassan1 stage, "alavaMvipassan1
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In order, yes it happens in order, "ut some people
go through very slowly and stay in one insight for very
long time and then go through very quic!ly another insight
and then go through very slowly another insight. It happens
li!e that, "ut it has to "e in this series, in this order. ot
every"ody experience things in the same way. 4ome people
spend a long time in the first insight and second and
third very quic!ly, and then they may spend a long time for
the fourth to develop. Actually the first insight ta!es a long
time to develop, second and third not so long. (he fourth
ta!es some time to develop "ecause there are of a lot of
hindrances, a lot of attachments and distractions during the
experience. After that it can "ecome faster until another
stage where people get stuc!. I will come to that stage later.
(his is the order of the development of insight.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% If you dont !eep practicing you lose them.
Mostly you go "ac! to the first 7insight8,
"ut you dont go "ac! to )ero.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (hat means that you have gone "eyond the
first stage of enlightenment. #efore that you can lose it
7the insights8. #ut even if you lose it you maintain some
deep wisdom and even if you die, this experience has great
power. -owever you will "e a"le to revive it again. >ont "e
discouraged. .ven if you stop meditating, you dont get so
confused anymore5 you still maintain some awareness and
when you meditate again you develop easily.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 4ome awareness yes. $ith 'ust pure sam1dhi
you cannot see impermanence. You can see only the quality
without seeing the arising and passing away. +r you can
!eep your mind on some concepts5 you can even !eep your
mind on emptiness. I tried it for a long time, and I li!ed it
very much. >o you !now why it is good to contemplate on
emptiness9 .mptiness does not ma!e you unhappy. (here is
nothing there to ma!e you unhappy. Yes, you can do that
"ut when you get attached to it and you cannot get it, then
you feel unhappy. #ut when you !eep practicing you can go
into that state very quic!ly.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% You have to !eep practicing.
$hen you get to this fourth stage of meditation
you cannot ma!e mista!es anymore. You !now what to do.
(hats why the last thing I told you was, you !now
Qwhat is the Path and you !now Qwhat is not the Path.
You cannot ma!e mista!es anymore5 !eep going youll
"e there. (hat is a !ind of relief, "ecause "efore that you
are not sure of what you are doing, ;may"e I am ma!ing a
mista!e, is it right or wrong9<
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% o, no set amount of time. It depends on
your clarity and on your maturity also. 4ome people ta!e
a long time to develop one insight to its maturity. .ven in
one insight there is a !ind of range, for example this fourth
insight has a wide range. In the "eginning stage of it you
see the rising and passing away and there is a lot of thin!ing.
If you develop more and more, this arising and passing
away "ecomes more and more clear and after a while it goes
"eyond that and you see dissolving, dissolving, passing away,
passing away more and more.
.very insight has a range, it depends not only on
the factor of time "ut as well the quality of
your meditation is very important.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% If you can develop 'h1na you can use that 'h1na
concentration to practice vipassan1 and with the help of this
strong concentration you can ma!e progress very quic!ly,
"ecause the mind is not distracted as you have developed a
very concentrated mind. #ut to develop 'h1na is also quite
difficult. (here are two ways of meditating, one is to first
develop 'han1 then meditate on vipassan1. (his is called
samathaMy1ni!a, using samatha as your vehicle. -owever
in vipassan1 only, when you get to this fourth insight you
develop strong enough sam1dhi which is very similar to
'h1na. Mindfulness "ecomes very strong.
$hen mindfulness "ecomes very strong,
concentration also "ecomes very strong.
(he two are very similar in quality.
You dont have to develop 'h1na.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% I cannot tell you exactly why #uddha did that,
"ut for vipassan1 meditation if you can develop concentration
it helps quite a lot. #ut if you cannot develop 'h1na you
can still practice vipassan1 which is called su!!haMvipassan1
which means vipassan1 without 'h1na. 4o there are two
ways of practicing, first developing 'h1na and then vipassan1.
(he other way is, without developing 'h1na concentration,
'ust straight away meditating vipassan15 you can do
it either way.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% $hen you practice samatha what is the o"'ect
of your meditation9 It is a !ind of concept, an idea or an
image. ,or example when you practice mett1 meditation
you can develop 'h1na "ut the o"'ect is a person, which is
in its own way a !ind of reality, sammutiMsacca. $hen you
want to meditate vipassan1 you have to let go of this concept
or idea of person and switch to either natural physical
or mental phenomena. ,or samatha meditators after they
have developed samatha 'h1na mostly they go straight to
citt1nupassan1, not to !1y1nupassan1, "ecause after that
'h1na they watch that 'h1na consciousness and see the
qualities of the 'h1na consciousness. (hey let go of the
'h1na o"'ect and watch that consciousness which is 'h1na
,ifth to inth Insight
from >issolution to >anger
to >isenchantment,
then $anting to "e ,ree K
the $isdom to ot 0un Away
#efore I tal! a"out the Uipassan1 insight I want to clear
my mind of something that I have "een thin!ing for the
last two days. +n the evening of *Fth of March I heard
some very terri"le news and since then I have "een feeling very
sad for the people involved in what happened. In 4outhern
Ialifornia, ?H people committed suicide. $hy9 I do not !now
the details of the story "ut no matter why they !illed themselves,
it is not a good thing to do. (his shows that people want
something more then 'ust money and sense pleasure. (hey want
guidance and teaching. (hey want good leaders. #ut they did
not have a good leader. (hey were misled. >eath is not a solution.
(here is no good reason to die.
I will tell you a few things a"out the #uddha and some of his
disciples who had attained Arahantship. $hen the great disciples
of the #uddha attained Arahantship and then they lived as
long as they can live, as long as it is natural for the "ody to live,
they !now when they are going to die, that means when they
are going to Parini""1na. ,or an Arahant death is not the same
as for the ma'ority of people. (he ma'ority of people when they
die some qualities are re"orn again 7the process continues8. #ut
Arahants 'ust pass away and that is the end of the process. ot
a "eing dying "ut a process coming to an end. 4o, these great
disciples came to the #uddha and said ;I am going to do my
Parini""1na on such a day, at such time<. (he #uddha never said
to do it or not to do it5 "ecause to tell them not to do it is to "e
attached to life, to living, which the #uddha never encouraged.
#ut telling them ;it is a good thing to do< it would "e praising
death. >o you !now what the #uddha said in those situations9
;You !now your time for Parini""1na:< It is very important to
understand why the #uddha said this. -e never said ;>o your
Parini""1na< or ;>ont do it<. -e never praised either.
>eath is not a solution.
$e cannot solve anything "y dying.
If it was a good solution it would "e very nice. $hen I was very
young I thought that if there was no life anymore it would have
"een good, 'ust to die. #ut you will "e re"orn. (his is the truth.
$hat you do now and how you die will affect your future life.
.ven if we have to die we should learn how to die well,
with awareness. >eath should never "e used as a solution.
#uddha never praised death.
I feel very sad for those people who committed suicide. (hey
really wanted something and they were prepared to pay with
,I,(- (+ I(- I4I=-( . *AF
their lives. (hey wanted to give up, give up sense pleasure and
even their life for something "etter. (hat is not a good solution
and that also shows that society is very unsatisfactory. A lot of
people have money and en'oy sense pleasure "ut they are not
I do encourage people to 'oin a group, "ut you have to
choose very carefully. You have to !now what the goal is and
what the teaching of the group is. -ere we !now what we are
doing. $e !now our goal.
ever follow a teacher "lindly, not even me.
(he #uddha did not encourage people to
follow -im "lindly.
Most of you !now the G1l1ma sutta. #uddha spo!e a"out
not "elieving. (hat is very important5 that teaching is very revolutionary.
It is very important to understand the >hamma very
well. .ven a #uddhist sometimes misinterprets the teaching to
suit their ideas. o"ody can stop it "ut if you !now the real "asic
teaching of the #uddha you can find out whether it is true or
not. (here are many salient points "y which it can "e tested.
ow, continuing our discussion on Uipassan1. $hat I am
trying to do is this, "ecause when some people write or tal!
a"out vipassan1, I have noticed that what they wrote or said
is incorrect. (hey were trying to tal! a"out vipassan1 "ut what
they said is not really accurate. $hat they interpret as insight
or enlightenment is not true. (hats why I am trying to give, in
simple language a very clear explanation of what insight means
and what enlightenment means, so that you can understand if
any"ody tal!s to you a"out it, whether it is true or not. (hats
why I am also giving the P12i quotations, which are the #uddhas
words5 these are the criterion. You can test it.
(oday Ill tal! a"out the fifth insight. (he first four are very
important. $e need to go slowly and in detail. #ut once you
reach the fourth the rest "ecomes easier. (he first insight is difficult,
the second and third not very difficult, the fourth difficult. If
you !eep practicing, the fifth will follow naturally. #ecause in the
fourth insight you see arising and passing away very clearly, "oth
arising and passing away, and then arising and passing away, very
clearly. In the fifth insight the arising and passing away "ecomes
quic!er, faster. 4o, after a while you see passing away and arising
passing awayN. You dont pay as much attention on the arising,
although you can see it if you pay attention, "ut you pay more
attention to the passing away, disappearing, not there anymore.
You pay attention and it is not there anymoreN.
(he moment you try to note, to see something
you see it is gone. You cannot really see it anymore.
You only see a glimpse of it and its not there anymore.
4o that is one aspect or factor of the fifth insight.
Another important factor is that, when you notice something
li!e a sound, you hear the sound and it is gone. You notice
any !ind of sensation in the "ody, and the moment you notice it
7o"'ect8 is gone and T1Oa also is
person pays attention, he sees "oth of them together without
any effort, without trying to see "oth of them passing away. &ust
is gone, it is not there anymore. #ut you also !now that the noting
mind is also gone. In the same process without any interruption,
without any thought coming in "etween, you can see "oth
gone. 4o Ill give you the P12i word. V1ta% T1ta means !nown,
something noticed. $hen you pay attention to an o"'ect that
o"'ect is called T1ta, that which is !nown or noticed. 4o first the
meditator sees that this o"'ect is gone, passed away. (hen V1Oa5
T1Oa means the consciousness with wisdom, which notices that
something is gone. 4eeing that something is gone it is wisdom,
it is aniccaMT1Oa. 4o this meditator watches the o"'ect and sees
that this o"'ect arises and passes away, "ut he sees the passing
away very clearly5 its gone, its not there anymore. And also
the vipassan1 wisdom, the consciousness 7accompanied "y that
wisdom8 also is gone. 4o T1ta
gone. In the same process with every noticing, every time the
in one noticing one follows the other automatically without any
thought in "etween. (hat is a very important and distinct factor
of the fifth insight which is called #hangaMT1Oa. #hanga means
dissolution, disappearing.
At this stage, every time the meditator is meditating, no
matter what the o"'ect is, even the movement, 7without paying
attention to the shape anymore "ut to the sensation8, the
meditator is aware of the sensation and the very fast passing
away one after another very clearly. All the shapes and solidity
disappear, which means that you dont pay attention to shape
and solidity anymore. You pay attention only to sensations and
their passing away very quic!ly. 4eeing the o"'ect passing away
very quic!ly is the first "hangaMT1Oa, paPhamaM"hangaMT1Oa.
4eeing the wisdom passing away is the second "hangaMT1Oa,
dutiyaM"hangaMT1Oa. (he two together ma!e the "hangaMT1Oa
complete. In any insight there is the "eginning and the maturity
of insight. In the "eginning you see the o"'ect passing away very
quic!ly. $hen this "ecomes more mature, stronger you see the
passing away of consciousness, vipassan1 consciousness, and the
wisdom also passing away together.
You notice one thing, that passes away and
that consciousness which is aware of
that passing away also passes away.
Passing away does not mean changing into
another form5 this is a point I would li!e to clarify.
Anicca does not mean changing and
existing in another form. $hat anicca means is
disappearing, not "eing there anymore5
non existence 7a"hava8 of the phenomena.
(he phenomena arise and pass away, and
do not exist anymore in any other form.
In quantum physics a"out su"Matomic particles you can understand
this. o form, no shape, 'ust energy. 0o"ert +ppenheimer
said that if you as! ;does an electron stay in the same position9<
(he answer is, no. >oes it change9 (he answer is, no. >oes it
stay9 (he answer is, no. >oes it move9 (he answer is, no. An
electron is 'ust a theoretical model5 something disappears and
something arises. (here is a lin! 7"etween them8 "ut they are
not the same anymore.
(o explain #hangaMT1Oa there are many P12i words used.
Ghaya means something that comes to an end, something used
up. Uaya has the same meaning5 "heda the same meaning, dissolution5
nirodha coming to an end. All these words mean the
same. 4o in P12i ;!hayato vayato disv1 CUsm SRD< seeing that it
doesnt exist anymore. It exists for a very short moment, thats
all, and then it doesnt exist anymore.
You can see this in all your six dv1ra 7senseMdoors8% eye, ear,
nose, "ody, tongue and also the mind. In all those six sense "ases
whatever you notice, you notice it "arely and it is not there anymore.
You can see that in all sense "ases, not 'ust in one.
4o the o"'ect passes away and this 7vipassan18 consciousness
is aware of that o"'ect passing away, and another consciousness
is aware of that vipassan1 consciousness passing away also.
4o, seeing the first o"'ect passing away and seeing the consciousness
which "ecomes an o"'ect of the next consciousness
7purimavatthuto aTTavatthusaZ!aman18, and that consciousness
also passes away, one can see many layers, many times. #ut it
is not necessary to see so many times. #ut at least you see the
o"'ect passing away and the vipassan1 meditating wisdom consciousness
also passing away. (hat is quite enough actually, "ut
it can go on many times.
(he person is seeing passing away so clearly that he is not
even paying attention to the arising anymore. In the fourth
insight he pays attention to the rising and passing away very
clearly and in the fifth he pays attention only to the passing
away5 he does not pay attention to the arising anymore. In the
very "eginning of the practice we see arising only, not passing
away. #efore we see something passing away we see something
else arising again. After a while we see arising and passing away.
After this, we see only passing away. (hat is how the maturity
of insight develops.
/dayaB pah1ya vaye santiPPhan1. CPtsA i.*AE
Ignoring 7pah1ya8 arising 7udayaB8 the mind stays
7santiPPhan18 in passing away 7vaye8. (he mind o"serves passing
away only. (hat ma!es the understanding of impermanence
very strong. (hat is the culmination of the understanding of
In the seeing of the passing away there is nothing "etween.
(he mind does not get distracted to anything else5 very few
thoughts come in at this stage. In the first insight meditators
thin! a little "it. In the second they thin! a lot a"out the cause
of the arising, noticing and thin!ing. In the third insight there
is more thin!ing a"out the meditation, a"out anicca, du!!a and
anatta. (he fourth insight has less thin!ing. In the fifth insight,
there is almost no thin!ing at all. You cannot thin! a"out it.
Passing away is "ecoming very fast and there is no time to thin!
a"out it. It goes on li!e that until it comes to the ninth insight.
In the eight and ninth insight some thin!ing comes "ac! again,
"ut it is only a"out >hamma, not worldly affairs.
-ere are some similes given a"out #hangaMT1Oa%
D8 Into a very hot iron pot you throw some sesame seeds and
each seed "urns and ma!es a quic! sound.
*8 0ain drops falling in a la!e. You see many rain drops falling
very quic!ly.
It does not mean that when you are meditating you see
these images. (his is 'ust a simile. $hen the rain drops hit
the water sometimes a "u""le appears and disappears immediately.
(here is not so much more to tal! a"out in this fifth insight.
(hats all it is. You see things passing away very rapidly. You see
the awareness also passing away very quic!ly. And this is happening
continuously, not 'ust one thing passing away and then
you stop and thin!.
You can see the passing away for hours, repeatedly. #ecause
of seeing this passing away, passing away, continuously you feel
that this process is dangerous5 it is passing away so quic!ly you
cannot rely on it. You cannot identify with it. You see it as dangerous
"ut you are not afraid of it. ot "eing afraid is very important.
If you start "eing afraid, there will "e too much fear youll
stop meditating. (his does mean that it is an insight, "ecause
real fear comes due to identification. If there is no identification,
and you see things as 'ust passing away, impersonal, then it has
nothing to do with you. You see that no"ody can identify with
this and hold on to it and rely on it. (here is no reliance. (here
is nothing relia"le in these mental and physical phenomena.
Is seeing of danger fearful9 o5 "ecause fear is
a !ind of dosa, defilement, that comes from identification.
You see that there is danger "ut you are not fearful.
,or example, if you see a tiger in the forest, you feel really
afraid and you run for your life, "ut if you see a picture of a tiger
in a )oo, you see that this "east is dangerous "ut you are not
interested in it, you dont run away.
4ome people when they "ecome very fearful
they mista!e this fear for a !ind of insight.
(he real insight has no fear.
6i!e a wise person, seeing that a child is playing with
something dangerous says ;dont play with it
"ecause it is dangerous< "ut the wise man is not fearful.
It is in the sixth insight, #hayaMT1Oa, Qseeing it as a danger,
that meditators dont "ecome very 'oyful, not elated. In
the fourth insight you have a lot of 'oy, you feel very elated
and happy. In the sixth insight there is no strong happiness
or 'oy anymore. 4ometimes you feel very calm, not depressed,
not excited. $hen this #hayaMT1Oa of Qseeing the mental and
physical process as danger "ecomes mature, it moves towards
seeing the disadvantages. In fact it is 'ust tal!ing a"out the same
thing, "ut loo!ing at it from a different perspective.
>isadvantage in P12i is 1dLnava. You see that well that there
is no advantage in this mental and physical process, it cannot
ma!e you happy. At this stage the meditator can see, that no
matter what happened in the past, everything passes away, 'ust
li!e now. In the future also, no matter what will happen, good
life, "ad life, everything will pass away, 'ust as it is happening
now. 4o you dont even wish for a "etter life.
=enerally people thin! that if they could
"e re"orn in a "etter place it would "e so nice.
#ut if you really see very closely and clearly this
mental and physical process passing away, you can see
;what for9 everything is passing away so quic!ly,
what is the point of wanting anything at all:<

You dont want any !ind of life at that moment. #ut if you
lose this insight you still want. At the moment when you have
that insight you can see that nothing is worth having, you cannot
have anything.
$henever the person ta!es notice, it passes away5 there
is no attachment, no desire to !eep it. (he person sees that
arising is danger 7upp1do "hayaB CPts i.AH8. #ecoming is danger.
-appening is danger 7pavattaB "hayaB CPts i.AH8. $hatever
happens is dangerous. .ven thin!ing anything can "ring
satisfaction, then trying to get it is danger 71yuhan1 "hayaB CPts
i.AH8. 4ometimes very "rief thoughts come in, and in a glimpse
the meditator understands the teaching of the #uddha if they
have read anything. Uery "rief short words or sentences come
into the mind also. +nce, when I was meditating, the concluding
part of PaPiccasamupp1da 7>ependent +rigination8 arose in
my mind spontaneously. At that moment you are not thin!ing
a"out the meaning "ut its meaning "ecomes very deep and
profound. (he thing that came into my mind was% ;.vametassa
!evalassa du!!ha!!handhassa samudayo hoti< and ;.vametassa
!evalassa du!!ha!!handhassa nirodho hoti.<
.vametassa means in this way. Gevalassa, this is a very important
word, means not mixed with anything. >u!!ha!!handhassa
means 'ust a heap of du!!ha.
4o it means Q'ust a heap of du!!ha arises,
not mixed with any "eing,
not mixed with any satisfaction.
ot mixed is very important.
It means what arises is 'ust pure du!!ha and
what passes away is pure du!!ha.
ot a "eing, not anything en'oya"le, purely du!!ha.
In this way, this process, that is
very unsatisfactory, arises and passes away.
You dont see it as me or mine, not a "eing or a thing, 'ust a
process. You dont have any control over it5 you cant say ;dont
happen<. +ne thing or another will happen depending on conditions.
4ometimes people with a lot of !nowledge will remem"er
a lot of other things.
otMarising is safe 7Anupp1do !hemaB CPts i.AH8. If nothing
happens it is quite safe. If anything happens it will pass away.
(here is no safety. GhemaB also means i""1na. An idea that is
very hard to understand is QnotMarising is happiness 7Anupp1do
su!haB CPts i.AH8.
Mainly people thin! of happiness as something to en'oy.
-ere happiness means no suffering.
(hats why in the ,our o"le (ruths you find
>u!!haM4acca, "ut there is no 4u!haM4acca.
In each of the (ruths there is the word du!!ha 7du!!hasamudayaM
sacca, du!!haMnirodhaMsacca, etc.8 (here is no su!hasacca.
#ut su!ha means the a"sence of du!!ha. $hen there is
no du!!ha anymore, that is the happiest state.
Anupp1do ni""1naB. CPts i.S[
ot arising is i""1na.
After seeing the disadvantages of this arising and passing away
the meditator moves into the following insight, named i""id1T1
Oa, Qdisenchantment, the wisdom that is disenchanted or not
delighted in anything anymore. In some ways ni""id1 also means a
!ind of "oredom, not "oredom a"out meditation, "ut in the sense
that seeing this arising and passing awayN rising and passing away,
there is Qnothing to get excited a"out, the same thing happening
again and again, without an end. (he person sees that there is
nothing en'oya"le there. In the "eginning stages of the meditation
people "ecome very happy, they experience a lot of pLti, 'oy, rapture
and a lot of peacefulness. At this stage the mind is calm, "ut
it does not feel anything anymore. You see that everything is gone.
It "ecomes very disenchanted and it doesnt even want to thin!
a"out anything anymore. In the "eginning you want to thin!.
(hin!ing even "ecomes very en'oya"le. You can thin! so well.
#ut at this stage when you thin! and you watch the thought, it has
gone, so you are left with emptiness. o thoughts anymore. .ven
thin!ing "ecomes "oring. It is neither interesting nor en'oya"le. 4o
some people express that% ;I dont want to thin! anymore. $hy
thin!9 It is not necessary to thin!. $e are thin!ing too much.<
.ven thin!ing a"out >hamma is a !ind of du!!ha.

In this stage one can understand it from these verses also%
4a""e saZ!h1r1 anicc1 ti,
Yad1 paTT1ya passati,
Atha ni""indati du!!he,
.sa maggo visuddhiy1 C>hpd *FF
4a""e saZ!h1r1 anicc1 ti% 4aZ!h1r1 means anything conditioned,
any !ind of phenomena is saZ!h1r1. 4a""e saZ!h1r1 anicca
means all the saZ!h1ras are anicca.
Yad1 paTT1ya passati% $hen one sees this with wisdom.
Atha ni""indati du!!he%(hen you "ecome very disenchanted
with du!!ha, with suffering.
.sa maggo visuddhiy1%(his is the way to purity. #ecause you dont
get attached to it, you dont get upset a"out it anymore, you
are totally detached.
4a""e saZ!h1r1 du!!h1 ti,
Yad1 paTT1ya passati,
Atha ni""indati du!!he,
.sa maggo visuddhiy1. C>hpd *FE
(he first verse 7>hpd. *FF8 is a"out anicca the second 7>hpd.
*FE8 is a"out du!!ha, the meaning is almost the same. #ut the
third verse is a very important one%
4a""e dhamm1 anatt1 ti,
Yad1 paTT1ya passati,
Atha ni""indati du!!he,
.sa maggo visuddhiy1. C>hpd *FH
In the first two verses you see sa""e saZ!h1r1 anicca, sa""e
saZ!h1r1 du!!ha "ut the third is sa""e dhamm1 anatta. -ere it
7dhamm18 includes everything there is.
I have met a few people who have argued that the #uddha
said that the five !handhas 7conditioned aggregates8 are anatta,
"ut he didnt say that there is no atta 7soul8. (hey came and
as!ed me whether the #uddha said that the five !handhas are
not self 7anatta8, "ut there is something else which is self, which
the #uddha didnt deny. I answered Qno.
#uddha said sa""e dhamm1 anatta, everything,
every concept, even i""1na is anatta, nothing left out.
(he word dhamma includes everything5
nothing is left out. 4o everything is anatta.
(here is no such thing which we can call atta.
4o this verse is very important.
#hayatupaPPh1naB e!ameva tLOi n1m1ni la"hati.
#hayaMT1Oa, 1dLnavaMT1Oa, ni""idaMT1Oa @ these three
insights are really the same insight 7e!ameva8 which gets 7la"hati8
three names 7tLOi n1m1ni8.
Y1 ca "hayatupaPPh1ne paTT1 yaT ca 1dLnave
T1OaB y1 ca ni""id1, ime dhamm1 e!atth1,
"yaT'anam eva n1naB. CPts ii.S?
$hen you see something as danger 7Y1 ca "hayatupaPPh1ne
paTT18, when you see the disadvantages 7yaT ca 1dLnave T1OaB8,
when you see something as very disenchanting 7y1 ca ni""id18,
all these are 'ust one thing 7ime dhamm1 e!atth18, only 7"eing
called "y8 different names 7"yaT'anam eva n1naB8.
4o there are three different names for one insight.
You can see this one insight from
three different perspectives%
danger, disadvantages, nothing to "e happy a"out.
(he meditator after seeing everything as danger, every arising
and passing away as something disadvantageous, seeing everything
as not worthy of getting enchanted, he wants to "e free
from all these things, he wants to get out from it, he gets very
tired of it. (his is called muTcitu!amyat1MT1Oa Qwanting to "e
free. (his is the next insight. $atching this "ody, all the five
!handhas, the meditator can see that it is not worth getting
attached to even one of them. -e wants to "ecome free from
all saZ!h1ras, he wants to escape. ,or example, if you are not
happy in some places, youll thin! of going away, finding another
place more happy and peaceful. You cannot find any happiness
in these five !handhas, so you want to "e free from them. 4ometimes
you find as well that, even this noticing is so tiringN,
noticingN, watchingN, meditatingN, this is so tiring:
You see how far you have come. In the "eginning you get
excited a"out the sense pleasure. $hen you start meditating you
want to let go of this sense pleasure. #ut in meditation you "ecome
calm, peaceful and happy and then you get attached to that.
#ut when you get to this stage,
you are not even attached to meditation anymore.
.ven that "ecomes very disenchanting.
You want to "e free from meditation also.
(his is rightly so, it is good.
You want to "e free from the o"'ect of meditation and from
the meditating consciousness5 you want to "e free from "oth.
You want to "e free from the o"'ect and the awareness which is
meditating. (hat means that you dont want to ta!e notice of
anything anymore.
In some cases people get so fed up with this watching of the
phenomena of arising and passing away, that they thin! it would
"e nicer not to watch it anymore. (hey stop watching, they stop
paying attention. 4ometimes the mind 'ust "ecomes "lan!. (he
mind does not get distracted towards any o"'ect, "ecause this
persons mind is so disenchanted that it cannot get interested in
anything at all. If he stops meditating, the mind is still calm "ut
cannot see the arising and passing away anymore, he finds this
much "etter, more peaceful, and more en'oya"le.
(he mind is still calm, 'ust living in that "lan! space,
in the void. -owever if the person stays
in that state long, he will lose clarity and then
he will "e "ac! in hell again, no escape.
4topping the meditation is not the way to escape.
4o, the person pays attention again, seeing that everything
lasts for a "rief moment only. It lasts only "etween the rising and
passing away, so short5 it is 'ust the process that ma!es things
appear as something lasting.
If you watch a screen movie, in a second it will pro'ect a"out
twenty frames. ,or twenty times in a second the screen "ecomes
dar! "ut you dont see the "lan!, "ecause our eye cannot detect
it so quic!ly. $e see some"ody there moving. Actually there is
no movement, 'ust one frame after the other all a "it different
from each other. #ecause we dont see the gaps, it appears the
same person moving. ,or a very short moment a frame comes,
then it goes away, and then another one comes.
In meditation you can see as much,
for in one second you can see twenty frames gone.
,or a meditator with such a concentrated mind
one second is a very long time.
(ime "ecomes much distorted.

ormally we have vLthiMcitta and "havaZgaMcitta. ULthiMcitta
means the mind that o"serves whatever is happening here, now.
#havaZgaMcitta is a !ind of ground state of the mind which has
no clear percepti"le strong o"'ect5 it 'ust maintains life and the
continuity of the consciousness without any present o"'ect.
ormally people have this gap very wide, of long duration, this
maintenance of consciousness which is called "havaZgaMcitta.
+ne consciousness arises and passes away, noticing whatever
is happening now or thin!ing a"out something and then a gap,
and then another consciousness process arises, passes away and
in that process is also awareness of some o"'ect or any !ind of
idea or thought and then a gap again. ormally people have a
wide gap. (he wider the gap the less we !now, the more a"sent
minded we are.
$hen we meditate more and more,
the mind "ecomes sharper and sharper and
the gap in "etween "ecomes smaller and smaller.
4o, in the same time process we have more
awareness in "etween5 awareness "ecomes
compacted into this time span.
,or example in the "eginning, we can pay attention to one
moment of awareness in one second then after a while five, ten,
fifteen, twenty etc. (he more awareness you have the longer
time appears to "e. $hat is time9 (ime is actually 'ust an idea.
$hen you are totally unaware of anything happening, totally
unconscious your mind is not aware of any time.
+nce in a while, in this !ind of insight state, very "rief short
thoughts come, such as, Qnothing is sta"le 7cala8, Qeverything is
moving and sha!ing and it does not last, thoughts li!e these arise
in the mind. Also Qthere is no lasting su"stance there 7as1ra!a8,
Qeverything is insu"stantial. 4ometimes also 7saZ!hata8 Qthings
arise "ecause there are causes for them to arise. Uery "rief
thoughts li!e these come inN. 4ometimes the meditator feels
that this continuous arising and passing away is oppressing, li!e a
torture, giving no "rea!. Its li!e some"ody is ma!ing a very sharp
sound continuously5 after a while it "ecomes very irritating, li!e
a torture. -e o"serves arising and passing away so long that he
feels li!e he is trapped in the arising and passing awayN this is
'ust a trap, a torture. 4ometimes this is un"eara"le. (his o"'ect
is du!!ha. (his arising and passing away is painful. -aving to
watch it arising and passing away is also painful.
4ometimes you see that life is a chronic disease5 it goes on
and on, no matter how healthy you thin! you are, it is always
arising and passing away. >ont thin! too much a"out it otherwise
you "ecome depressed.
4o these glimpses of thoughts come naturally5 ta!e notice of
them, let them go. >ont stop and thin! too much. If you stop
and thin! you can thin! very well, "ecause the mind is not distracted5
you can write dhamma "oo!s. #ut dont stop and thin!.
If you thin! too much youll "ecome very depressed.
$hen you thin!, you identify.
(hin!ing ma!es you feel that Y+/ are thin!ing.
(hin!ing ma!es you feel li!e there is continuity,
thin!ing connects. If you dont thin! there is
no connection "etween one happening and
another happening.
If you thin! you connect. 4o thin!ing is what ma!es us feel
li!e there is a continuity and connection. If you dont thin!
there is no connection, no continuity5 something arising and
passing away, thats all, no meaning.
4ometimes you feel this arising and passing away is li!e a
thorn in the flesh. 4ometimes also you feel that life is a sic!ness.
$hen you tal! a"out these insight states, it sounds so negative,
very pessimistic. You see it as a danger without warning. Its li!e
a time "om". You can die any moment.
Anything can happen at any moment5
so unpredicta"le is life. (his process is not something
where you can go and hide and feel safe 7at1Oa8.
o hiding, no refuge.
(hese are the !ind of glimpses that come.

$hen people get attached to these o"'ects, which are the
o"'ects of attachment, they defile the mind. You can see them
as o"'ects of defilements. .ven in this stage you see du!!ha,
"ut it is different from the !ind of du!!ha that you experience
in the "eginning stages of the practice. In the "eginning stages
you dont see du!!ha as each moment arising and passing away.
-owever in this stage whatever arises and passes away you see
it as du!!ha, unsatisfactoriness, "ut you see it as one thing after
the other very clearly.
All the vipassan1MT1Oas are actually only
anicca, du!!ha and anatta.
If you tal! of vipassan1MT1Oas in "rief there are only three.
You can even ma!e them into one T1Oa%
it is all arising and passing away.
-ere were explaining it in detail.
Actually any insight is anicca, du!!ha or anatta.
.ven after the first stage of enlightenment youll experience
the same thing in more depth, more profoundly. 4ometimes you
see that this process does not "elong to any "ody5 there is no"ody
who owns it. (hese processes have no owner. You pay attention
to hearing5 it arises and passes away. You !now that you dont
own this hearing, its already gone. $e thin! that this "ody is
mine 7feeling of ownership8, an QI here. In these insight stages
you can see that no"ody owns these natural processes. Also you
see that you cannot overrule it. You cannot tell the process ;happen
li!e this, dont happen li!e this5 stay and dont come.<
(heres no ruler.
You can also see that they are empty, void of "eing,
of selfMatta, no soul, not a man not a woman.
4o there are different aspects of anicca, du!!ha, anatta.
Although once in a while the meditator feels li!e stopping
meditating, ;what is the point of loo!ing at these things that are
so unsatisfactory9 You see the same again and again.< #ut after a
while the meditator comes to understand that stopping is not a
solution. It is "est to !eep going, to !eep noticing, to !eep moving,
there is no other way.
,or some people each insight ta!es quite a long time. ,or
some people it ta!es a "rief moment, may"e a few minutes, a
few hours, a few days. (o some it might ta!e a few months. It
depends on the persons motivation. If you thin! that you have
a long time and you want investigate one insight slowly and
thoroughly, it may ta!e a long time. If you dont want to do
that, you can pay more and more attention and speed up the
4ometimes in this stage meditators "egin to thin! that
;my meditation is not as good as it used to "e<5
this is very dangerous.
4ometimes they feel unhappy a"out their meditation.
Actually they are unhappy a"out the process, "ut this
unhappiness is switched over to another o"'ect, thin!ing that
;my meditation was very good "ut now its not very good anymore5
I dont see things very clearly<. #ecause when something
goes slowly it stays and you can see things very clearly. #ut in
this stage it goes so fast that you dont !now what to do. You
cant even see it "ecause it is goneN gone5 so fast. .verything is
so uninteresting. In the fourth insight, things were very interesting.
#ut now its not so interesting anymore. It "ecomes a little
"it "oring.
#e very careful5
when you feel "ored 'ust remind yourself
;it is getting "etter<.
4ome people stop and quit. And many teachers said ;$hat
a pity. -ow sad. (hey have to go on meditating. (hen they will
"rea! through. #ut they 'ust stop and quit. (hey "ecome very
4o dont "e discouraged, !eep going:
(his is paPisan!haMT1Oa, the ninth insight.
#hangaMT1Oa @ passing away.
#hayaMT1Oa @ seeing danger.
YdLnavaMT1Oa @ seeing disadvantages.
i""id1MT1Oa @ "eing very disenchanted.
MuTcitu!amyataMT1Oa @ wanting to "e free.
PaPisan!haMT1Oa \ going "ac! to meditation.
If you want to "e free you cannot run away, so go "ac! to
(he next insight will "e 4aZ!h1rupe!!h1MT1Oa, which is very
deep, very important and very interesting. After the tenth there
are other insights "ut they happen in a split second, so you cannot
do anything a"out it. #eyond the tenth insight there is no
coming "ac!, it goes on very quic!ly.
+ne very interesting and surprising thing is that when the
potential #uddhas come to this tenth insight, they will stop here,
they wont go on. And the a"ility to stop here is really ama)ing,
that one will stop there and not cross over. #ecause an Arahant
does not "ecome a #uddha:
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% I feel very strongly for people. 4ometimes I
"ecome very sad. You overcome sadness when you "ecome
an An1g1mL. I am not an An1g1mL. 4o I feel, "ut I !now it
will "e over and dont get caught in it. I dont get angry, I
'ust feel very sad, which is a !ind of dosa also. (hese people
are loo!ing for something "eyond sense pleasure, "eyond
money. (hey have very good intention, very "eautiful intention
and I feel sad "ecause they have wasted their life5 such a
waste. If people li!e these get good guidance they can learn
and grow. (hey have missed a very valua"le opportunity.
Also I was thin!ing that there might "e many other people
li!e them, see!ing something spiritual, see!ing some !ind
of freedom, "ut they dont have a good teacher, good guidance.
(his incident is 'ust the tip of the ice"erg. (his can
happen again. 4omething needs to "e done. I dont mean
that one person is responsi"le for it5 the whole community
is responsi"le for it.
$e cannot do anything for the whole world,
"ut lets thin! of what we can do here and now.
$hat can we teach our friends, our children9 4aying
that it is their !amma does not solve the pro"lem. $e need
to find a solution5 it might happen to your children or grandchildren.
People are feeling lost. (hose who died were not
poor. I have heard a lot a"out them. (hey were very rich.
$hy did they die9 $hy did they !ill themselves9 $hy did
their leader, their teacher tell them to !ill themselves and
help them to die9
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In #uddhist teaching "laming totally on past
!amma is not the right view. If we say we cannot do anything
a"out it, why try to do anything at all: If I say I have
the !amma to "e enlightened why "other at all with meditation9
$e are doing something that with the help of past
!amma and what we do now which is present !amma, we
can do something. .ven if the past !amma has some sort of
"ad effect, if we do something now it can change the direction
of the past !amma, "loc! the past !amma. $e need to
have a lot of confidence in our present !amma. (otally su"mitting
to past !amma is a !ind of micch1MdiPPhi, wrong view.
#uddha did not teach that we cannot do anything.
In some cases, when someone died #uddha said
that he had enough past !amma to "ecome an Arahant
"ut he didnt try. If you dont try it wont happen.
Past !amma plus present !amma is very important. o
matter what happened in the past, you need a good teacher
now, you need to practice now. It is li!e guiding an aeroplane.
(here are many other forces li!e windstorms, and
many things happening, and the plane also has its own
energy. May"e one engine stops, with the other engine the
pilot is trying to guide the plane, ta!ing into account the
wind and all the other things, trying always to ad'ust. (his
is what we do in our life. $e are always ad'usting. $e can
guide our life towards a goal. $e have partial control and
partial freedom. $e need to understand this very well and
ma!e the "est use of it. $e can guide our lives towards a
goal. $e need to understand this very well and do the "est
we can.
$e are "orn here, we had no choice of parents in a way,
we have no choice of our colour, stature, "ody or
whatever, "ut we do have some choices.
$e have the choice of developing our qualities.
(his is very encouraging. +ur !amma is in our hands.
$e are very much affected "y past !amma, I !now this
very well, what I did in my past lives affects me very much,
very strongly in either good and "ad ways. After I understood
!amma I thought that whatever happens in my life it is perfectly
o!, it should happen that way, "ut it doesnt mean that
I have no control. It happened, and the way I understand it
and I respond to it is my present !amma. /nderstanding
and proper way of responding is very important and that is
in my hands. If I have good teachers, good guidance and if
I can understand things properly I can guide my life. (his is
very encouraging, and also very empowering.
$e are not powerless5 if we develop mindfulness
and wisdom we have a lot of power. $e dont need to
"e depressed and give up. ever give up.
$hen I was young I was unhappy a"out many things. I
had a very painful childhood, not 'ust childhood "ut until my
late twenties I have had many painful experiences and many
times I thought of ending my life, "e over with it. 4omething
deep in me said not to do it, that this was 'ust a stage I had
to go through, a learning process, to do something good now
and learn out of this experience.
$e need these experiences. $ithout painful experiences,
we dont learn we dont grow up.
ow, when I loo! "ac! into my life I see that I have
"een exposed to many different things, many teachers,
many different religions, interests, different painful experiences.
ow I understand that all this helped me to "ecome
a "etter person. I have learnt many lessons and I am happy
a"out it. It is very important to understand this.
J/.4(I+% $hen you tal! a"out having sharp awareness,
the length of "havaZgaMcitta is shortened5 also relating to
perception of time, could you explain it9
A 4 $ . 0% >uring sleeping, deep sleep we have continuous
"havaZgaMcitta. ,or that stretch of time we have no awareness
of time anymore. $e dont !now how long we have
slept. 4ometimes we thin! we have slept for a long time and
loo! at the cloc! and it is only a few minutes. +ther times
we feel we havent slept enough "ut actually "y chec!ing
the time we reali)ed we slept for many hours. $e lose trac!
of time. (he longer the "havaZgaMcitta, the more we lose
time. $e dont get the time that we spend on "havaZgacitta.
(he longer we spend noticing the more time we get.
$hen we meditate we develop vLthiMcitta or process
citta, which is the citta that is aware of the present. (he
more we practice, although it will go to the ground state
7"havaZgaMcitta8 again, it will not stay there long5 another
consciousness will arise with full energy. 4o the "havaZgacitta
span "ecomes shorter and shorter. 4ay if you are aware
once every second, in ten seconds, you can have ten consciousnesses
only and in "etween only "havaZga. If you pay
more attention it can "ecome a hundred. (hat means you
get more time there. You get to do more things in that time
span. You can ta!e notice of more phenomena. In that way
you feel li!e you have more time. In one second four insights
can happen, 7the DDth, D*th, D?th, DRth insight8 how can
that happen in such a short duration9
J/.4(I+% Ian you cultivate these insights without "eing
in a monastic situation9
A 4 $ . 0% Yes, it is possi"le. It depends on a lot of other
factors too. 4ome people at the time of the #uddha and
even now, and I !now some of them who are lay people
have developed very deep insights.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% +nly thin!ing ma!es you identify. (hat is
why I warn you so many times not to thin! too much. #rief
thoughts naturally come5 'ust notice them and let them go.
(hin!ing ma!es you identified with them. $hen thin!ing
arises 'ust !now it. In "etween insights, flashes of thoughts
come which are very clear. You are not deli"erately thin!ing.
Ionceptuali)ing is as well one of the functions of the mind.
It happens naturally. In any insight "rief flashes of thoughts
come. In a way it is 'ust clarifying the insight. It is useful "ut
when it "ecomes too much it "ecomes a hindrance.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Path and not Path happen in the fourth insight,
"ecoming attached to the pleasura"le meditative experiences
and seeing that this is not the right Path, and then
"ac! to meditation. (his is also a !ind of reflection, thin!ing,
"ut this is right thin!ing. 4amm1MdiPPhi, samm1MsaZ!appa,
are necessary factors. In .nglish, right seeing, right thin!ing
or right reflection.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 4ome people leave meditation, they want to
escape. 4ome people really get up and go away. (hey want "e
free, free from what9 o matter where you go youll always
carry your five !handhas with you. 4ometimes the desire
for freedom, the desire to go away is misdirected into going
away from the surroundings. (his can happen un!nowingly.
In my experience, when I got to that stage in practice, I
didnt want to live in that monastery anymore. I thought
this is not a good place. I wanted to find a "etter place,
quieter, more remote, more peaceful, too many distractions
here. 4o, wanting to go away from this process is misdirected
to wanting to go away from the meditation place. 4ometimes
very sad things happen5 people quit 'o"s, leave marriages5
even that happens, they want to "e free, "ut free from what9
It happens "ecause they start thin!ing and see everything as
unsatisfactory. (hey find that the 'o", the person they are
living with, the place were they are living is not good. (hey
want to go away, to "e free. $e cannot go away and live
on the moon5 we have to "e in the world, live with people.
(hats why when in meditation when the person comes to
that stage it is very important to warn them not to thin!, to
'ust meditate, "ecause if you thin!, you direct the desire or
Qthe wanting to "e free to another o"'ect which can cause
a lot of confusion.
Its very difficult to explain actually even to yourself.
4ometimes it can happen very quic!ly5 you dont !now
what happened, you feel very different "ut you dont !now
what happened. It is very important to discuss it with your
teacher who has meditated and has had all those experiences
and who has studied, to "e a"le to understand how
these things happen and why they happen. Also discuss with
other meditators who have really, wholeheartedly meditated
and experienced all those things. +ne person cannot experience
everything in detail. 4o if you have other people and
teachers with whom you can discuss and if you have had
that experience for a long time then you understand it very
deeply. 4o when a meditator "ecomes very disenchanted
and loo!s very sad and not interested in anything anymore,
sometimes one does not feel li!e eating, even food is not
interesting, a good teacher can see that he is going through
the disenchantment feeling, and can encourage and warn as
well, ;!eep practicing, dont get upset, and dont go away, it
is something you have to go through<.

4ome people thin! that after the
fourth insight everything will "e more en'oya"le,
happier, more exciting, and more 'oyful.
o, that does not happen. It goes down.
$e develop deeper insight and we dont feel happy,
"ut this is not depression.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 6iving in a secluded please with not much to
do is very useful to develop quic!er sam1dhi and insight.
#ut #uddha was very compassionate as well. +nce I told
my teacher that instead of "ecoming a mon! I would rather
"ecome a hermit, "ecause a mon! is too dependent on people.
#eing a hermit I could grow my own vegeta"les and
coo! my own meals, and "e independent "ecause if you live
a very simple life you need very little. My teacher said not
to "ecoming a hermit, instead he suggested I should "ecome
a mon!. At that time I wasnt yet a mon!. -e as!ed me
whether I !new why #uddha didnt allow mon!s to grow
and coo! any food5 I said I didnt really understand why
considering that the #uddha himself had "een a hermit for
a long time. My teacher said yes, "ut that was "efore he
"ecame a #uddha. If you mon!s grow your own food and
coo! your own meals and stay away from people who will
carry on the teaching9 As you wont "e in contact with people,
who will teach them9
(o "e in touch with people is very important "ut it is also
as important sometimes to "e on your own.
My teacher explained this to me very !indly, very gently
and very compassionately. -e convinced me to "ecome a
mon!. I said that I didnt want to teach and that the only thing
I wanted to do was to live my life peacefully and quietly.
Actually, you !now I am a very shy person, some of you
might have noticed it. $hen I was young I didnt tal! much.
If I was as!ed to give a tal! even for five minutes I would get
so agitated that I said things I didnt mean to say and I was so
ashamed of it that I thought I would never give a tal!. 6ater
when I "ecame a mon! some people as!ed me to give the
five precepts, I couldnt even do that. I mixed everything up
and made many mista!es with the precepts. I really thought
;this is not for me, I dont want to give tal!s, and I cant
tal!<. My teacher gently encouraged me to go and give tal!s.
Actually I ran away. Many times my teacher said come and
stay with me and help and teach. I said, no.
+ne evening I went to him, I said I am going away, I
will pay respect to you, I as! for your forgiveness if I have
done anything wrong. I ran away and hid for a few years. ,or
six years "ecause he wanted me to stay near him and teach.
-e wanted to ta!e me to the west, to America5 I told him I
didnt want to go. $hy did I need to go there9 Uery slowly,
patiently and compassionately he encouraged me to teach.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Actually I didnt come "ac! on my own. I was
sic! with tonsillitis and malaria and I happened to "e in the
same city that my teacher was. I was very sic! with high
fever every day and a friend said to go to the city and get
good treatment "ecause if I stayed there I would die. I went
to the city and got the tonsils removed at the hospital. (en
days after the operation when I was starting to recover and I
could spea! a little "it I was told that my teacher was in that
city. My teacher heard that I was in that city and had had an
operation, so he inquired a"out my health. I thought% what
shall I do now, I cant run away. I went and paid respect to
him and he said to stay there. I thought, oh goodness, I cant
say no again: -e said that in two years he would "e going to
America again and to "e prepared for that. I said. ;+! Ill go
there with you and come "ac! with you<, "ecause I !new he
wouldnt stay there. -e said that was o! and that he would
not leave me there. 4o I prepared for two years "ecause I had
totally stopped reading. 0eading is such a "urden, you have to
understand, remem"er and translate it into .nglish, and I had
to !now the equivalent of P12i words in the .nglish language.
(rying to find P12i \ .nglish dictionaries and to memori)e
thousands of wordsN so much du!!ha to memori)e things. I
gave up learning and thin!ing for so long and it was so nice.
It too! two years of preparation, studying every day.
$hen we went to America he said that we would "e there
only for four months and I thought that was o!. After four
months that we had "een there he said that he would "e going
"ac! and that I was to stay. -e said this very compassionately,
and it is very difficult to say no to my teacher. -e would say
something in such a gentle way5 he didnt expect you to say
no, he never expected any"ody to say no. -e said people here
are very happy that you are here, please stay if you can. I said
all right, I will not as! permission from you anymore and I
want to !now that you have already given me permission to
go "ac! when I want to go "ac!, whenever. -e replied o!, you
can go "ac! when you want to. I thought three more months,
all together that made seven months, "ut I could not leave for
fourteen months. I then thought this is enough for me, I am
very glad to have come here, I have learnt a lot "ut I have to
go "ac!. Many of my friends said ;we will ma!e you feel guilty
for a"andoning us<5 they are great P12i scholars "ut cannot
spea! .nglish. I told them that I had done as much as I could
and I as!ed them to give me permission to go.
$hen I came "ac! my teacher said that a mon! needs
some time to spend alone and do his own practice, and "e in
touch with people as well. Many times I told my teacher that
I hadnt learnt enough yet, he replied that if I waited until I
learnt enough I would die "efore I had learnt enough. -ow
much is enough9 -e also warned me not to identify myself
with "eing a teacher, to "e very hum"le. (his is very important.
I !now a lot of people made a lot of mista!es. A lot of
teachers ma!e the mista!e of "eing proud of "eing a teacher.
(hey are not hum"le enough. -umility is very important. I
am helping you as much as I can, I dont !now everything, I
!now something and I try my "est to help you. I cannot give
you complete !nowledge, "ecause I have only partial !nowledge.
I dont !now everything "ut as much as I !now I want
to share with you. +ther teachers will come and help you to
learn some more. (hats all I can hope for. Ill "e here for four
months and as much as it is possi"le, Ill help you.
(enth Insight
.quanimity to All ,ormations "ecoming
the >oor to the Insights 4urrounding
i""1na and #eyond
6ast wee! I spo!e a"out dissolving, "hangaMT1Oa5 seeing
danger, "hayaMT1Oa5 seeing disadvantage in the mental
and physical process, 1dLnavaMT1Oa5 "eing very disenchanted,
ni""id1MT1Oa5 wanting to "e free from the process,
muTcitu!amyat1MT1Oa5 and paPisan!haMT1Oa is very important.
(o "e free from something, first we need to understand it, and
to understand something we need to loo! at it very carefully,
otherwise there is no way to overcome anything, even on a
mundane level, in our "ody, in our life, in any situation.
(he first thing necessary to overcome anything is
to loo! at it very carefully, to understand it very deeply,
completely and then to overcome it.
$e cannot run away. 0unning away it is not overcoming.
(here is no place to hide, nowhere to go.
In #urmese we say Qthere is no land you can escape to.
$herever you go you are in the process, you ta!e it with you,
physical and mental process. +nly through understanding can we
overcome. $hen we feel that we are trapped in this process and
we want to escape, sometimes we might have thought that, ;if I
'ust dont pay attention to these things, 'ust turn away and forget
a"out them, I will "e free<. o, this is not the right thing to do.
(he meditator comes to a point when he feels that watching
this mental and physical process it is so "oring, so disenchanting,
there is nothing good a"out it. &ust "y watching it we dont
really get peaceful. +nly in the "eginning, you feel very calm and
peaceful "ecause the very gross defilements have su"sided for a
while. #ut after a while 'ust watching the mental and physical
process is very tiring, not 'ust "oring5 it is a !ind of "eing trapped
in the process. $e dont want to see it anymore5 we are really
tired of it. #ut there is no other way to escape from it, other
than paying it even closer attention, loo!ing at it even more
closely. 6oo!ing at it with deeper and stronger attention the
mind "ecomes more calm and quiet. Mindfulness and sam1dhi
"ecome stronger, and then the mind "ecomes very detached,
which is called saZ!h1rupe!!h1MT1Oa.
You are still watching it very closely "ut
with a totally detached mind, a totally detached attitude,
a total disMidentification. You dont see it as a self,
"ut with total detachment, with total equanimity,
"ut very strong attention.
4aZ!h1ra means anything conditioned, actually it means
mental and physical process.
(.(- I4I=-( . *HA
(his process is called saZ!h1ra and upe!!h1 means equanimity.
(here are many aspects of equanimity% the energy of "alance5
you are not trying too hard5 you are not relaxing too much,
"ecause "oth extremes are un"alanced. (rying too hard is un"alanced5
relaxing too much and also ta!ing it easy is un"alanced.
#efore that stage, you are too anxious to overcome, ;I want to
get out of it, I want to overcome it, I want to escape<, that is also
a !ind of agitation, im"alance in the mental attitude.
$hen you come to this saZ!h1rupe!!h1MT1Oa you are not
too anxious to overcome it. $ith total equanimity you 'ust pay
complete attention to it. .ven "efore this stage, in the fourth
insight which is /daya""ayaMT1Oa, seeing arising and passing
away very clearly, you have some sort of equanimity, upe!!h1,
sometimes "ut in that T1Oa it happens sometimes, only. 4ometimes
you have a lot of 'oy, sometimes you feel very happy,
sometimes you see very clearly and even get attached to that
clear insight. In this stage you are not even attached to seeing
things clearly, you are not even attached to this equanimity. In
the /daya""ayaMT1Oa stage you feel so calm and "alanced and
you li!e it very much. Meditation is so easy, it is 'ust happening,
"ut you lose it again and again. In this stage you dont lose
it anymore. You !eep practicing and maintaining it and it stays
for a long time, equanimity stays for a long time. You feel so
detached that this equanimity is compared to the equanimity of
an Arahant. An Arahant stays in that mental state all the time.
A person, who is not enlightened, can stay there "y maintaining
constant awareness, "ut for an Arahant the awareness is
natural. -e never loses this equanimity, this awareness.
Actually, in Uipassan1MT1Oa there are only three T1Oas
i.e. anicca, du!!ha and anatta,
"ut different degrees of experiencing anicca, du!!ha and
anatta ma!e the insights different.
In #urma, a teacher who taught meditation spo!e a"out
only these three T1Oas% seeing impermanence, "ecoming disenchanted
with impermanence and ending of impermanence.
.ven "efore this stage of insight the meditator has experienced
to a certain degree some aspects of this equanimity. +nly at this
stage it is complete, total.
4aZ!h1r1va saZ!h1re vipassanti. CUsm S*E
Uipassanti means to loo! at it very deeply in a very extraordinary
way. +rdinarily we see and understand things "ut in this
stage we see things extraordinarily, very clearly. 4aZ!h1r1va
means the saZ!h1ra only. 4aZ!h1re means Qat the saZ!h1ra.
(he first saZ!h1ra means the mind that is watching. (he second
saZ!h1re means Qat the saZ!h1ra or Qtowards the saZ!h1ra
which is the o"'ect. It could "e r3pa or vedan1 or citta, any
of the five !handhas. Uipassanti means watching. +ne process
is watching another process, no you anymore. In this stage it
"ecomes so clear that you really feel it, Qthere is no I watching
this. (o "rea! through, this sort of total disMidentification is
necessary, and requires this !ind of strong "alance.
/pe!!h1 has many meanings, happiness, unhappiness5 neither
happy nor unhappy is also called upe!!h1. -appiness is
one extreme, unhappiness is another extreme5 neither happy
nor unhappy is a !ind of upe!!h1. In this stage the meditator
is neither happy nor unhappy. #efore this stage sometimes you
get very happy a"out the way you see so clearly. 4ometimes you
feel unhappy a"out "eing trapped in the process, "ut now there
is no happiness or unhappiness5 total "alance, total equanimity.
#efore this stage, sometimes the energy is too much, or too
little5 now not too much, not too little, 'ust right. #efore this
insight we see saZ!h1ras, any !ind of process as disadvantage, as
not good, this process is not good. $e "ecome sort of unhappy
a"out it, "ut not the negative !ind of unhappiness. $e "ecome
#ut in this stage there is no unhappiness a"out it anymore.
#efore this stage, there is the Qwanting to escape
and thin!ing of what to do a"out it.
ow wanting to escape or doing anything a"out
it is not there anymore. ow there is total complete
attention only, which "ecomes even simpler.
Meditation "ecomes very simple now.
4ometimes, "efore this stage, "ecause you see mental and
physical process as disadvantage, you dont want to pay complete
attention. 4o you turn away thin!ing that meditation is
not satisfying anymore or that it is not as good as it used to
"e, "ut now this is not present anymore. (he mind is totally
detached, totally disMidentified, no desire to "e otherwise anymore,
'ust watching it, very simply. (his is the "est state of
mind, not wanting to do anything anymore, 'ust paying total
attention. &ust try to imagine that state of mind and see how free
you can feel5 you dont want to "e otherwise. o matter what
happens it does not matter, 'ust total attention. .ven thin!ing
or imagining ma!es you very peaceful.
All our life, we are gra""ing or grasping or pushing things
away. All the time we are doing these two things% reaching out
and gra""ing, trying to !eep things or pushing them away. (hat
is very tiring.
In this state of mind we are not gra""ing or reaching for
anything anymore, we are not pushing things away,
and we are 'ust paying total attention.
In a way it is a !ind of total surrender to the process.
6et anything happen, Ill 'ust pay complete attention.
(his is 'ust the right attitude.
At this stage you are not worrying a"out
anything anymore. .ven if you die at that moment
you feel completely o! a"out it.
$ell die one day, and the "est way to die is to "e in that
mental state, to accept the process completely, to pay total
attention and to understand it, no resistance, and no fear: (his
is the "est mental state to have when one dies.
I told you once, I was very sic! a few times, with malaria, tonsillitis,
chronic dysentery, it went on for many months. I "ecame
very wea! and sic! and a"out to die. At first I was really worried
and afraid to die. I didnt want to die. I said ;no, no, I want to
live<. #ut the harder I tried to hold on to life the more tiring it
"ecame, "ecause I worried too much. ;4ome"ody must do something
for me, no"ody is doing anything for me, why have they
given up5 no"ody is around.< As I couldnt move, I couldnt call
any"ody. I was thin!ing, ;why are they 'ust leaving me, going
away and doing nothing for me9< that !ind of thought made
me even more unhappy and tired. At last I thought, ;may"e
they have given up "ecause they cannot do anything anymore<
and one of my friends said ;he must "e in coma< "ecause I was
not moving anymore. ,or a long time I 'ust tried to hold on to
life, "ut at one point I was very tired and I thought it would "e
really nice to 'ust sleep5 to go to sleep peacefully. I determined
to let go. #ut I made a very important determination. I thought
;if I have to die, I will die mindfully< and let go of all thoughts
and !eep the mind as relaxed and calm as possi"le and maintain
mindfulness. 4lowly and slowly the mind "ecame more and more
peaceful and I noticed that I was not so tired anymore5 tiredness
was gone as well, the mind "ecame more calm and peaceful and
I fell asleep. $hen I wo!e up again the mind was very calm and
peaceful again. I could not move or say anything and I thought
that if I died at that moment it would really "e o!.
$hy are we afraid to die9 #ecause we are attached, if we
have no attachment there will not "e any fear. Meditation is a
very good preparation for death, it is necessary, it is very important.
People do not want to thin! a"out death. $henever they
hear a"out death they dont want to hear a"out it, they dont
want to tal! a"out it, they 'ust want to tal! a"out living.
#ut those who are prepared to die, they are ready to live.
Most of us although we are alive, we are not really living5
we are resisting life so much.
$e are not really paying attention and
learning enough from our lives.
$henever I thin! of this insight I find it to "e the "est
insight. #ecause we cannot die with the mental state of magga or
phala, even #uddha didnt do that, he couldnt do that. At this
stage the mind has no fear5 it is very pure and clear. (he mind is
very "alanced and it feels very peaceful too, no excitement, no
'oy, no elation, no happiness 'ust very peaceful. (here is nothing
in worldly states of consciousness that is compara"le to it.
o effort, no tension, no tightness. #efore this state we try very
hard to concentrate, to meditate, we "ecome tight, we have to
remind ourselves to relax, "ut in this stage everything is so soft,
gentle and relaxed. Although the mind is very peaceful, there is
no attachment to it. (his is a very important point. #efore this
stage we feel peacefulness even in the fourth insight, "ut we get
attached to it and it "ecomes a hindrance.
Peacefulness in itself it is not a hindrance "ut
attachment to it is a hindrance. At this stage there is
no attachment at all. (hat is why it is so pure.
Attachment is a !ind of desire, a !ind of lo"ha, craving.
And the mind is not excited a"out anything at all. In the fourth
insight sometimes the mind gets excited and so happy a"out it
"ut now there is no excitement anymore.
Uery su"tle, very clear, very precise, 'ust on the right
moment, on the spot, every noticing is 'ust right, not "efore, not
after. In the "eginning stage, sometimes the awareness or attention
is lagging "ehind. 4omething happens, later we remem"er
that something happened and we didnt pay attention. 4ometimes
we are expecting something to happen, and say ;4omething
will happen and Ill pay attention to that<. 6i!e when we
are moving, we are thin!ing that ;I am going to move and Ill
pay attention to it<. +ur attention is a little "it off, not right on
the spot. At this stage it is naturally always ready and on the
point. 4omething is happening and !nowing and attention is
already there. (hat is why we are not trying or "ecoming too
anxious even to paying attention, it is 'ust happening perfectly.
.vamev1yaB sa""asaZ!h1rehi muTcitu!1mo hutv1
paPisan!h1nupassan1ya saZ!h1re pariggaOhanto%
ahaB, mam1 ti gaheta""aB adisv1, "hayaT ca nandiT
ca vippah1ya, sa""asaZ!h1resu ud1sino hoti ma''hatto.
(hus 7.vameva8 wanting to "e free 7muTcitu!1mo hutv18
from all the saZ!h1ras 7sa""asaZ!h1rehi8, "y watching the
saZ!h1ra again 7paPisan!h1nupassan1ya8, o"serving the saZ!h1ra
7saZ!h1re pariggaOhanto8, not seeing Qme or Qmine 7ahaB, mam1
ti gaheta""aB adisv18. =aheta""aB means to ta!e, to grasp, to
!eep5 adisv1 means not seeing5 ahaB is QI, mama is Qmine.
$henever you watch saZ!h1ra you !now that this is not
me, not mine, nothing to get attached to, you cannot !eep anything,
not worth the trou"le. In every noticing you see that this
is not me, not mine, you are not concerned with it and you
are totally indifferent. #efore this stage you see it as a danger,
at this stage no danger, no li!ing, not disli!ing also. Uippah1ya
means eradicating, overcoming, overcoming fear 7"hayaT ca8
and attachment 7nandiT ca8. #eing 'ust in the middle 7ud1sino
hoti ma''hatto8 in all the processes 7sa""asaZ!h1resu85 not to this
side, not to that side.
(his is the middle path actually5
we are getting very close to the real middle path.
#efore this stage, the mind is on either one side or
the other, not in the middle.
Ma''hatto means right in the middle.
4ometimes when you relax for a while or even when you
are relaxing, your mind is still mindful. A thought might come
in very "riefly5 it might not even last for a second. $hen I say
a thought, dont thin! that at that moment you are thin!ing in
a sentence or words. At this point there are no words or sentences5
you are 'ust clearly seeing that this is 'ust empty process,
no "eing, no QI, devoid of "eing, devoid of soul.
4uTTamidaB attena v1 attaniyena v1 ti. CM iii.*S?
(his process is devoid of QI or mine or mine "elonging. 4imilar
thoughts and insight come "efore "ut at this stage it is more
and more clear. (his process does not o"ey any"odys wish5 you
can also see that, it is something that is 'ust happening.
Puna caparaB, "hi!!have, ariyas1va!o iti paPisaTci!!hati
@ QnahaB !vacani !assaci !iTcanatasmiB, na ca mama
!vacani !ismiTci !iTcanaB natthL ti. CM iii.*S?MR
\ nahaB !vacani !assaci !iTcanatasmiB% (here is nothing that
I need to worry a"out and, no"ody needs to worry a"out me.
4ometimes in our ordinary everyday thin!ing we worry a"out
other people, and sometimes we worry that others worry a"out
us and we li!e that also, ;oh, some"ody is concerned a"out me<.
#ut now you can see that ;I dont need to "e concerned a"out
anything or any"ody and no"ody needs to "e concerned a"out
me<. (here is nothing there. (here is 'ust process.
(here are many detailed explanations in the text, "ut it is
useful only for scholars. #ut here at this stage%
.vam eva sace saZ!h1rupe!!h1T1OaB santipadaB
i""1naB santato passati, sa""aB saZ!h1raMpavattaB vissa''etv1
i""1nam eva pa!!handati5 no ce passati
punappuna saZ!h1r1rammaOam eva hutv1 pavattati.
At this stage the meditator sees that the end of this process
is real peace 7santipadaB i""1naB santato passati8. $e want
to "e in a certain form, in a certain life, in a certain state. $e
crave for that. $e dont want to let go of all forms, all existence.
#ut at this stage the mind can see very clearly that the
end of the process is real peace. #efore the mind has developed
enough energy and clarity to give up the process, although the
meditator can understand that every process is unsatisfactory,
the mind still falls "ac! into watching the process.
$hen the mind develops enough energy, it gives up all
saZ!h1ras and goes into i""1na 7sa""aB saZ!h1raMpavattaB
vissa''etv1 i""1nam eva pa!!handati8. If the person cannot do
that, the mind again and again comes "ac! and watches the
saZ!h1ra, the arising and passing away of mental and physical
process 7no ce passati punappuna saZ!h1r1rammaOam eva hutv1
pavattati8. (his happens again and again. (he mind sometimes
wants to reach into i""1na "ut there is not enough energy to
do that. It falls "ac! and watches physical and mental process
are not watching the physical and mental phenomena anymore,
and you are seeing that the mind is going towards total cessa
tion, the end of physical and mental phenomena.
arising and passing away until it "uilds up more and more clarity.
$hen this happens, one should understand that process.
4ome people "ecome discouraged and say ;I fall "ac! again and
again<. -owever this is very natural. A few wee!s ago I told you
that you hold on to a rope, there is a very deep gorge, a deep gap
"etween two mountains, li!e a deep opening in "etween5 there
is a tree and some !ind of very thic! vine hanging there. You
ta!e hold of the rope and swing5 "ut when you feel that your
swinging is not strong enough you are afraid that you will fall
in "etween. 4o you cannot let go of the rope and come "ac! to
this side again. (hen you "uild up more momentum and swing
again. After a few times you feel that you have developed enough
momentum, then you swing and let go and you are going very
fast, very fast and thenN you let go of the rope. At that moment
you are not on this side and not on the other side either. You
are in the middle "ut you have let go of this side. Ian you come
"ac!9 o, no way you can come "ac! "ecause you have let go
of the rope. Although you are not on that side, you are going
there with all the energy and momentum you have "uilt up. o
way to stop it anymore. -aving let go of this side means, you

4o from this saZ!h1rupe!!h1MT1Oa the next T1Oa which,
if and when it happens, is this state where you have already
let go. (his swinging state is called saZ!h1rupe!!h1 and pari!amma
anuloma gotra"h3. Pari!amma means trying again and
again, preparing your mind, developing momentum and anuloma
means the same mental state "ut with more momentum.
=otra"h3 means you have let go, that means you are cut off from
this side already "ut not yet on the other side.
(hen you fall into the cessation of mental and physical process,
i""1na, which is called magga consciousness. It happens
very quic!ly, in a succession of very short moments, "ecause
each mental state lasts for a very short period, may"e a thousandth
or a millionth of a second. .ach mental state happens
consecutively and at that moment you cannot return anymore.
After that, there is total quietness, total stillness, nothing arising,
nothing passing away, no watching anymore, "ecause you
cannot watch anymore.
#efore you go into the ni""1nic state you can see from the
outside what it could "e "ecause you understand that if this
mental and physical process stops there will "e total peace, "ut
you are not yet in it. $hen you are in it you are not o"serving
it anymore. #ecause to "e a"le o"serve it you must "e out of it.
(hats why when the person is in this ni""1nic state one is not
watching i""1na anymore5 one cannot watch it. +ne cannot
even watch ones mental state.
+nly after this state, there is another insight which is called
paccave!!hana, where you reflect, ;something has happened: a
moment ago it was very peaceful, there was no arising no passing
away, very calm, very clear, total peace<. (hat )ooming into and
going into cessation is a very powerful state of mind. +nce that
has happened, you feel totally different. After a while, when
you come out of it, "ecause magga happens one moment only,
phala happens for two moments, may"e three depending on the
energy. (hen after that you reflect on what happened. $hen
this reflection is happening the mind is very calm and peaceful,
you loo! "ac! and thin! a"out it. (his paccave!!hanaMT1Oa is
actually a !ind of thin!ing. You thin! and understand that total
peace is total cessation from mental and physical process.
(he person reflects on many things, on magga, phala,
i""1na and eradication of defilements and those defilements
that are still left. (he first stage of enlightenment eradicates
wrong view of self and dou"t, diPPhi and vici!icch1, total eradication.
.ven in the first insight you have overcome some of diPPhi
and vici!icch1, wrong view of self and dou"ts a"out what happened
"efore and later, and many other dou"ts. In this state
there is total eradication of dou"t and wrong view.
4o heres a few very important words, a few sentences.
(i!!havisadas3ra"h1vena saZ!h1resu a''hupe!!hane
si''ham1ne taB panetaB saZ!h1rupe!!h1MT1OaB
ane!av1raB pavattam1naB parip1!agamanena
anulomaT1Oassa paccaya"h1vaB gacchantaB.
(i!!ha means very sharp. Uisada means very clear, and s3ra"h1vena,
which is very important, s3ra means very "rave. $e
are so attached to things that even if they are very painful we
cannot let go. .ven to let go of them we need a lot of courage,
trust and courage in the process5 that is why sometimes people
can feel that something is going to happen and if it does, everything
will "e changed. ;I will not "e the same anymore<, and
they stop there, they dont want to change5 they want to "e the
$e have very conflicting motivations.
$e want to change, we want to "e free,
we want to "e peaceful "ut we want to stay the same.
Many psychologists point this out.
4ome people are in a neurotic state, "ut they are attached
to their neurotic state it. 4ome people are in depression "ut they
are attached to their depression. Its very difficult to understand
"ut it is really true. Although we !now that this process is tiring,
so painful "ut when the moment comes, when we can see that
something is going to happen and we will "e totally changed,
that we wont "e the same anymore, that we wont feel the same
anymore, we are afraid:
$e need a lot of courage to change.
$ithout changing how can we really grow:
If we want to stay the same we cannot grow.

4o this word s3ra"h1vena is very important. $ith a lot of courage
we !eep watching the saZ!h1ras 7saZ!h1resu a''hupe!!hane8,
watching the phenomena, the process, arising and passing
away. (hat insight of the process 7taB panetaB saZ!h1rupe!!h1T1
OaB8 happens many times 7ane!av1raB pavattam1naB85 again
and again, it "uilds up more and more momentum and energy,
"ecoming ripe 7parip1!agamanena8.
,or some insights to "ecome really ripe and mature it needs
to happen again and again, so that it "ecomes stronger and
stronger. It is li!e anger. If you thin! of something that ma!es
you angry, the more you thin! a"out it the angrier you "ecome
and you explode. It is a similar process, you loo! at the saZ!h1ra
and "ecome more and more detached, until you are really ready
to let goN then you let go now:
(he moment you let go, you are free.
$e want to "e free and we are holding on to
QI want to "e free, I want to "e free "ut
why dont we let go9
$e thin! that in this mental and physical process there is
something worth !eeping, there is something that "elongs to
me, there is something that I li!e, although I dont li!e part of it
"ut there is a part of it that I li!e.
$e are holding on to it, "ut when you really see
that there is nothing to !eep, nothing to hold on to,
it does not "elong to me, I dont want it anymore,
when you are totally in that state you 'ust let go.
A lot of people used to come to my teacher, they used to say
;Uenera"le 4ir, I really dont li!e to "e re"orn anymore, I am
totally disenchanted with life, it is so tiring, very small en'oyment
and too much pain, too much "urden<. At that time I was
a very young mon!, ordained only a few months. My teacher
said ;if you really dont want it you wont get it<, I was very
surprised, I dont want it "utN. Is it that simple9 6ater I understood
that although we say we dont want it, we are still holding
on to it ;I dont want it, I dont want it<. $hy dont we let
go9 My teachers way of tal!ing was very gentle. -e never put
in too much energy. -e never tried to convince any"ody. -e
never tried to convert any"ody. $hen many of his supporters
and students as!ed the same questions, mon!s and lay people,
he would say ;if you really dont want it you wont get it5 you are
getting it "ecause you want it<. It is that simple.
$e are getting it "ecause we want it.
$e are unhappy "ecause we want unhappiness,
"ut we are denying it. $e say we only want happiness, "ut
what do you mean "y happiness9 ,ulfilling desire9
If we really dont want it, then we are free:
(he courage to change is very important,
we need a lot of courage,
to change, to learn, to grow.
I thin! there is a lot of psychological significance in this
point% to "e "rave, and also to "e pure.
(o want to "e free means to want to "e pure.
If we really want to "e free, we must purify ourselves%
Purifying sLla, purifying sam1dhi and purifying wisdom.
$ithout purification we cannot "e free.
(hat is why this "ig text "oo! on meditation is called the
(he Path of Purification 7UisuddhiMMagga8. #y purification we
"ecome free, this is very clear.
If we really want to "e free we have to really loo! deep
inside, what am I doing and with what motivation9 Are my sLla,
precepts, "ehavior and motivation pure9 Is my mind clear and
pure9 Am I "rave enough9 If we are worthy of it, we will get it.
4o we need to live our lives in such a way that we are worthy
of it. $e want something "ut if we are not worthy of it we will
not get it. Any !ind of thing, e.g. if I want your respect, if I am
worthy of it, I will get it. If I want your mett1, your loving !indness,
if I am worthy of it I will get it. 4o whatever happens in
our life happens "ecause we deserve it. $e dont get anything
undeservedly. A lot of us complain ;+h: $hy should this happen
to me9< &ust tell yourself ;"ecause I deserve it<.
$hether it is good or not good,
hings happen to us "ecause we deserve it.
+nce you understand this very clearly you stop "laming.
You even stop "laming your !amma.
You stop "laming your parents or the government.
$e are "laming, we are putting responsi"ility
on another person or situation.
$e are not ta!ing enough responsi"ility.
+nce you see that things happen to you "ecause
you deserve it, then you learn and grow and change.
(hen things get "etter and "etter.
(his right mental attitude is very important
in everything we do.
In the last few moments of this "rea!through, among these
three characteristics of process, anicca, du!!ha, anatta, one of
them will "ecome very clear. ,or example if a person can see
anicca, arising and passing away, more clearly, they will see anicca,
anicca, anicca very clearly, and will not switch to another
characteristic. (his is another important point to remem"er.
In the "eginning stage sometimes you switch from anicca to
du!!ha or anatta and "ac! and forth. (hen, "y staying with one
characteristic only, the characteristic "ecomes clear.
(hese things are very difficult to understand if you havent
experienced them, "ut once you do it is quite natural. You see
that it is quite natural that things should happen that way. In
that last moment you either o"serve physical process 7r3pa8 or
mental process 7vedan1, saTTa, saZ!h1ra or viTT1Oa8. ,rom the
five !handhas you o"serve only one "ecause you cannot o"serve
all five in the same moment, as one consciousness can o"serve
only one o"'ect at a time, "ecause you have to o"serve it repeatedly.
If for example you are o"serving vedan1, youll o"serve
vedan1 and anicca, or vedan1Mdu!!ha, or vedan1Manatta. If you
are o"serving r3pa you see r3pa as anicca, du!!ha or anatta5
only one o"'ect and only one aspect of the three characteristics
repeatedly. You dont switch to another o"'ect or another characteristic.
(hese are very important points to !now.
(hats why when in your meditation you are paying attention
to vedan1, and it "ecomes more and more clear, stay with
it, it is very important to ma!e it even clearer. $ith any !ind of
mental state, pay attention to it again and again5 ma!e it more
and more clear. You understand all those things in general, "ut
if you understand one thing completely that is enough.
,rom the moment of letting go, the mind cannot o"serve
any of the five !handhas5 it cannot see impermanence, unsatisfactoriness
or nonMself, non ego anymore. It can only see total
quietness, cessation. (hen the person understands that i""1na
means total cessation of phenomena. (his is very difficult to
tal! a"out5 it is not something that does not exist5 "ecause if we
say that i""1na means ;nothing exists<, then we can also say
that i""1na does not exist.
i""1na is an experience.
At that moment, the o"'ect and the watching stop,
the two things stop. A person feels that
everything has come to an end.
-ow do you give an example of that9 (his state is "eyond
words. $e cannot tal! a"out it. It is li!e as if you are carrying a
very "ig "urden and you drop it: +r you are pulling something
very heavy and the rope snaps:
A P12i sentence which is short and clear%
YaB !iTci samudayadhammaB,
sa""aB taB nirodhadhamman ti. C4 v.R*?
4amudayadhammaB means the nature to arise. $hatever
7YaB !iTci8 has the nature to arise, all that 7sa""aB taB8 has
the nature to disappear 7nirodhadhammaB8. You see this very
clearly% anything that has the nature to arise has the nature to
completely pass away.
After that insight the person reflects on the experience and
sees that the ending of saZ!h1ra is total i""1na, total peace.
And after a while one comes "ac! to meditation again. $hen
the person comes "ac! to meditation again, he "egins from arising
and passing away again, not from saZ!h1rupe!!h1, the tenth
insight, "ut he "egins from the fourth insight again. (his is also
another aspect of the "rea!through. After the "rea!through you
can see arising and passing away again, very clearly.
(here are a few important things a"out what changes. (he
person has overcome sa!!1yaMdiPPhi, "elieving in self, vici!icch1,
dou"ts. Also sLla""atapar1m1sa is very important. (here
are many methods of meditation and many people are meditating.
$e can say that they are meditating, meditation has
many aspects. #ut if the person "elieves that 'ust practicing
samatha can "ring total freedom, this is a !ind of sLla""atapar1m1sa.
(here were some ascetics in the time of the #uddha,
who "elieved that 'ust "y "ehaving li!e a cow it would free you5
you would 'ust "urn out all your defilements. Practicing li!e an
animal, and torturing the "ody youd "urn out all your defilements,
youd "ecome pure. (hat is a !ind of wrong practice.
4Lla""atapar1m1sa means wrong practice, practicing something
wrong and "elieving that it will lead to freedom.
+nce a person has "rea!through,
at this point he can understand that
no other practice can really lead to li"eration.
+nly that practice which has this .ightfold o"le Path
can lead to li"eration, freedom, to the experience of
i""1na5 no other practice can lead to that.
Any practice which does not have this eightfold o"le Path,
although it can give you some sort of quietness and peacefulness
of mind, can never lead you to li"eration. It has its own value,
'ust li!e practicing samatha it has its own value "ut it will not
lead to li"eration. It might "e a stage of your practice "ut not
the end stage5 it cannot lead to the real end, the real goal. (here
are many other practices and many people say that, if you practice
that path, that will also lead to i""1na.
o, the only way that leads to i""1na is
watching your own mental and "odily processes.
,or the foundation, you !eep your sLla pure5 you !eep your
livelihood pure, "ecause without that sort of purity the mind
will never "uild enough courage, momentum and clarity. If you
live with guilt youll never "e free to o"serve things clearly and
let them go. =uilt is a prison5 it traps you where you are. $henever
you feel guilt or shame you cannot ma!e any progress.
Geeping sLla pure, your livelihood pure,
!eeping your mind very pure is necessary.
$ithout that sort of purity there
cannot "e real freedom.
4ome people meditate and thin! that it is not really important
to !eep the five precepts5 they dont really try their "est to
!eep them. If you dont !eep the five precepts and you meditate
and "elieve that will lead you to li"eration5 that is sLla""atapar1m1sa,
wrong practice, clinging to wrong practice, "elieving
in wrong practice.
4ome people in their meditation sometimes experience a
very pure and peaceful mental state once in while, and they
mista!e it for real i""1na. $hen the person experiences real
i""1na, he can see that it was not real i""1na. Mista!es
a"out i""1na are also overcome. +nly in the third stage of
enlightenment, can the person totally overcome greed, anger
and frustration. (he first stage of enlightenment does not eradicate
desire, greed, anger or frustration, only wrong view and
dou"ts. A sot1panna still en'oys sense pleasure, "ut he has his
sLla very pure and he will never "rea! his sLla, not even the
desire to "rea! his sLla. ,or example, he en'oys good food too,
"ut he will never "rea! his sLla to get his food or any other thing
li!e that. -is livelihood is very pure also. .ven if he is still doing
"usiness he will never cheat. -e may get upset, sad, and angry
"ut whenever he ta!es time to watch that mental state, he can
see that it is 'ust a mental state and come out of it very quic!ly.
-e will not "e trapped in that mental state.
(he second stage of enlightenment, does not totally eradicate
any defilements. It only wea!ens lo"ha and dosa. It wea!ens,
greed anger, frustration. .ven after the third stage of enlightenment
this person still has some defilements, still clinging to a very
special life, a pure existence, not en'oying his sense pleasure, no
anger, "ut he still en'oys pure peaceful happiness. Also there is
some sort of satisfaction which is very close to a !ind of pride.
You are very satisfied "y your achievements5 this is a very su"tle
form of pride and clinging, a !ind of desire. You see some very
su"tle forms of pride, of attachment and that can "e overcome
only "y the fourth enlightenment stage. If a person is a 'udge and
he "ecomes a sot1panna, he will never do anything wrong, never
ta!e "ri"e or "e corrupted, he is very fair and honest.
(he first enlightenment stage eradicates the hindrance
7nLvaraOa8 of vici!icch1 7dou"t8, and the hindrances of very
strong greed 7!1macchanda8, very strong aversion 7vy1p1da8.
0egret 7!u!!ucca8 is overcome "y the third stage of enlightenment.
(his is a very important thing to thin! a"out. In some
other teachings we hear that if a person has done something
wrong and he thin!s a"out his misdeed and feels unhappy a"out
it, laments, cries and "eats himself up, they thin! that this is a
good thing to do, that regret is a good thing. #ut in the teachings
of the #uddha, this is not good. $hat do we mean "y that9 If a
person has done something very wrong, then is it very good not
to regret9 0egret that comes with deep understanding is good,
which means that you dont go on crying a"out it, "ut you learn
from it, ;yes I have done something wrong and I will not do it
again. If I have to suffer for it, o! I am "rave enough to suffer for
my own deeds, "ut I am not going to cry for it anymore.<
o use in 'ust dwelling on what you have done,
feeling unhappy a"out it without "eing a"le to
do anything else, dont waste your time.
If you have done something wrong learn from it and
correct yourself, go on and do something good,
go on, go ahead with your wor!.
You see, the #uddha teaching is to go ahead
and to learn and to grow.
You !now the root meaning of the word !u!!ucca9 Although
we translate it as regret, remorse, the root word for !u!!ucca is
!ud and !ata, the two together ma!e the word !u!!ucca. Gud
means "ad, !ata means done. #ut that doesnt explain the meaning
very clearly. (he real meaning of this word is that if you are
in remorse and that is something very ugly, that in itself is something
unwholesome. 6oo! deep into your mind, when you are
in remorse, what is your mental state9 Is it peaceful9 o: If you
loo! at it very deeply, you see that the more you regret, the more
it shows that you are clinging to it and that you are clinging to
self also. It is very interesting to loo! at these things. .ven a sot1panna
cannot really overcome, !u!!ucca, not even the second
stage of enlightenment, sa!ad1g1mL, can overcome that, only
the third stage, an1g1mL, can eradicate regret and remorse.
Moral shame, moral dread is associated with understanding
and wisdom. #ecause of this, you are not going to do that. #ut
what if you have done something wrong, and you feel regret9
And when you feel ashamed why do you feel ashamed9 Is it
"ecause some"ody has found out9 If that is the reason, then that
is not real moral shame. (his is 'ust protecting your self image,
even "igger ego5 it is protecting your ego.
0eal moral dread and shame is
associated with wisdomN this is shameful,
I wont do that.
If you have done something you reali)e
is very shameful then you wont do it anymore.
You dont go on living with that shame and regret and not
"eing a"le to do anything "etter. You have to overcome that
shame and regret and go on and do something "etter, change
yourself, correct yourself.
+ne must understand it with compassion and forgiveness
"ecause it is natural for us to ma!e mista!es. .ven Uenera"le
Ynanda did something very terri"le when he was fulfilling his
p1ramLs. .ven the #uddhaMtoM"e, did something terri"le, he
seduced a woman. Uenera"le Ynanda was once a goldsmith and
a lot of rich and "eautiful women came to him to ma!e 'ewelry,
and he seduced a lot of them. (hat does not mean that it is
o! to do that, "ut "ecause of greed, desire, lust people do such
things. .ven from those mista!es you can learn and grow and
"ecome li"erated.
(he person, who is enlightened, !eeps his sLla pure and
intact with no need for 'ustification: I hear a lot of 'ustifications,
people say ;although he is enlightened, "ecause of too
much temptation he did this and that<, 'ustifications: ,ive precepts
is the minimum, there is no 'ustification. In the time of
the #uddha there were many other religious groups and some of
them "elieved that, although the person has attained the first
stage of enlightenment, "ecause he still has greed, anger, frustration,
pride he can "e re"orn in the lower realm. #uddha said,
no. Although there is still some greed, anger, aversion, pride,
the mind is pure enough not to deserve such a lower life.

+ur life is the result of our mind.
$hen the mind "ecomes pure and no"le,
it cannot manifest in a lower form of life.
(hat person can feel that, ;I cannot "e re"orn in the lower
realms<. (he first stage eradicates as well telling lies 7mus1v1da8
"ut the rest of the ver"al misdeeds can still happen, a sot1panna
can still tal! a"out things in the newspaper, all ru""ish: Misdeeds
7micch1M!ammanto8 li!e !illing, stealing, committing adultery,
no: a sot1panna can never do that, and also wrong livelihood
7micch1M1'Lvo8, cheating in "usiness or things li!e that.
(he second stage of enlightenment does not eradicate
any defilements, it only wea!ens them. And the third stage of
enlightenment eradicates wrong thoughts 7micch1MsaZ!appo8,
slandering 7pisuO1v1c18 and very harsh words 7pharus1v1c18.
+nly the fourth stage of enlightenment can eradicate samphappal1pa
Qtal!ing a"out newspapers, and micch1Mv1y1ma 7wrong
effort8, micch1Msam1dhi 7wrong concentration8, micch1Mvimutti
7wrong li"eration8, micch1MT1Oa 7wrong !nowledge8.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% .ven though the person has reached the first
stage of enlightenment, he still has some defilements, please
understand that. Many people say that, ;this person is supposed
to "e enlightened and loo!, he en'oys reading the
newspaper, and he en'oys good food< or whatever. As long
as he !eeps his five precepts it is good enough.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 4ome people as!ed even the #uddha exactly
the same question in a slightly different way. (hey as!ed
;are there Arahants in other religious groups9< #uddha
didnt say that there are or there are not Arahants in other
religious groups. -is answer was ;any"ody who practices the
.ightfold o"le Path completely can "ecome enlightened
and can "ecome an Arahant<. (he criterion is the .ightfold
o"le Path. &ust study the .ightfold o"le Path and see
if you leave out even one aspect of the Path, see what will
happen. (his is 'ust very natural.
(hin! of the eight factors and see if you can
leave even one of them out, and still "elieve that
without practicing that one factor one can
"ecome really enlightened or li"erated.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In the .ightfold o"le Path, vipassan1 is
included as samm1Msati and samm1Msam1dhi. As for right
livelihood, right view, right thin!ing, how can a person
with wrong view and wrong thin!ing "ecome enlightened9
$ithout right livelihood, without right speech, without right
action, without right concentration and right mindfulness,
without right effort, without sLla, sam1dhi, paTT1, all three,
no"ody can really "ecome li"erated. A person "efore "ecoming
enlightened must at least "e practicing completely the
.ightfold, o"le Path5 it does not matter for how long or
how short a time.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% .nlightenment goes stage "y stage, "ut it can
happen in a few moments, in a few minutes, in a few hours
from one stage to another. In the texts, I have also read that
some people "ecame Arahants even in one sitting. (heir
spiritual qualities are very highly developed. +nce they
!now how to practice, they practice it and "rea!through all
the four stages, in one sitting.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (here is no gap in "etween. You are not thin!ing
a"out anything else. +ne consciousness after another
is repeatedly o"serving very strongly, very clearly, only one
aspect of the three characteristics, so that clarity "ecomes
stronger and stronger, and at lastN total let go: (hese are
very strong and powerful insights. .ven "efore that you can
see anicca, du!!ha or anatta in a series, without any gap in
"etween, "ut the insight is wea!. #ut in the last few insights
watching "ecomes stronger, stronger and stronger. At last
the mind is really ready to let go:
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% $e can see one aspect at a time, not all at the
same time.
J/.4(I+% -ow do you really !now that you are not thin!ing9
A 4 $ . 0% $hen you really see, you are not thin!ing.
(here is no thin!ing at all. &ust li!e a dar! night, you are
loo!ing up at the s!y and suddenly there is a flash of lightning,
you see it and it disappears. At that moment you are
not imaging, "ut you are really seeing it and experiencing it.
$hen it happens its very different from imagination.
In the "eginning stage it happens once in a while "ecause
you cannot "e mindful continuously all the time, and even
if you meditate regularly sometimes you see, sometimes you
dont see, with different degrees also. 4ometimes you see it
vaguely, sometimes its clearer.
/pe!!h1 is necessary, total equanimity,
total detachment, total "alance, 'ust very clear, detached,N
watching, watching, not thin!ing at all when
the mind "ecomes very close to "rea!through,
no thin!ing at all, things "ecome very fast.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% ,rom the fourth insight the mind "ecomes
more and more calm, more and more concentrated. +nly
"riefly in "etween you might "e thin!ing, "ut you notice it
and it goes away. It is not persistent anymore. It comes very
wea!ly and you can see it and it goes away. In later insights,
especially 1dLnavaMT1Oa, you "egin to thin! a lot, ;oh, so
many disadvantages, what is there to en'oy, what is there
to "e happy a"out9< If you thin! too much you "ecome very
unhappy. ot to thin! is very important. $hen you feel
disenchanted and "ecome unhappy a"out the process, if you
stop meditating and thin! a"out the unhappiness in your
daily life you feel li!e it is un"eara"le. You feel upset a"out
many things and from seeing the disadvantages and "eing
disenchanted or unhappy a"out the physical and mental
process you "ecome unhappy a"out your life situation and
that "ecomes very depressing.
$hen you are experiencing that stage it is very important
not to thin! at all.
(hin!ing is very dangerous, thin!ing can create so much.
You "ecome emotional also. 0eal insight is not emotional,
it is clarity of understanding, wisdom,
here is no satisfaction, there is no en'oyment in this
process anymore and that is very clear.
#ut if you thin! a"out it, you "ecome emotional, unhappy
and depressed and all things irritate you more and more,
people, noise, and other things irritate you. You get angry
sometimes and that "ecomes an unwholesome mental state,
not wholesome anymore. (he insight is very wholesome, "ut
when you "ecome angry, upset and depressed it "ecomes
unwholesome. (hat is why it is very important not to thin!.
(hin!ing process, com"ined with some sam1dhi ma!es things
"ecome even more intense. 4am1dhi ma!es everything very
intense. If you want to en'oy anything ma!e your mind calm
and concentrated and you can en'oy it more.
$hen I read "oo!s and my mind is very agitated, I cannot
en'oy them. If I really want to en'oy a "oo!, a story, a poem
or a saying, I need to ma!e my mind very calm and peaceful.
.very word "ecomes very rich in meaning5 I can really en'oy
what I am reading. .ven scenery, if my mind is calm and I
loo! at the sun rising or sun setting I can get a"sor"ed and it
"ecomes so wonderful, the world is so wonderful. $hen the
mind is agitated, you cannot en'oy it. (he same thing, when
the mind is concentrated and you thin! of something frightening,
it "ecomes even more frightening. $hen you are too
agitated, you are not frightened, you are not angry, you are
not anything at all, you are too distur"ed. A distur"ed mind,
a very agitated mind cannot ta!e in anything strongly. (here
is a lot of moha. /ddhacca is very close together with moha5
uddhacca means scattered mind, agitated.
$henever the mind "ecomes quiet and concentrated,
do not imagine anything, "ecause imagination "ecomes very
real, good or "ad. (he most important thing is that, when a
thought comes pay very close attention to that thought. If
you pay very close attention to it, it will go away. $henever
it comes, 'ust pay very close attention.
&ust paying attention to the thought will ma!e it go away,
and then you "ring the mind "ac! to
the o"'ect of meditation.
4o dont encourage the thin!ing. 4ometimes people
en'oy thin!ing. If you find that you are en'oying thin!ing,
watch that en'oyment, and watch the wanting to thin!.
(hin!ing is what creates the QI am. $hen you stop thin!ing
you "ecome very unreal sometimes, you feel that something
is missing, nothing to hold on to. In a way thin!ing is holding
on, grasping, even when you are angry a"out some"ody,
you !eep thin!ing a"out that person. It means that you are
attached to that idea, you are attached to what happened
and you cannot let go.
More A"out
i"" na K #eyond
$hen I do something I li!e preparing. Preparation is
very important. In whatever we do5 to "e prepared
is very important, "odily and mentally. $hatever
you want to do, if psychologically you prepare yourself, the rest
happens so naturally. If you are very well prepared, you dont
struggle so much. I loo! forward to this retreat and I hope youll
en'oy it. I hope youll experience calmness, peacefulness, clarity,
'oy. Ilarity also means, seeing things very clearly. I would
li!e to continue the discussion from last wee!, regarding insight
=oing "ac! to some of the insights again, you see that in
your meditation you come to a point where you see that arising
and passing away is so tiring, and you dont want to "e with it
anymore, you want to "e away from it, get out of it, escape from
it. (his stage it is called MuTcitu!amyat1MT1Oa, which means
Qwanting to escape. 4ometimes you thin!, ;if I 'ust stop meditating,
if I dont watch those things arising and passing away, Ill
feel more peaceful<. $hen you do that, you do feel more peaceful,
"ecause the concentration, the equanimity, the detach
etness, peacefulness, is so much "etter. 4o, you come "ac! to
meditation. You pay attention to any sensation in the "ody, any
!ind of feeling, any !ind of thought and any !ind of emotion.
#ut here, mostly, there are only very su"tle emotions5 this want
so you want to get out from it, ;get me out of here<.
ment it is so great, that even though you stop meditating you
feel more peaceful, and you can experience this peacefulness
;+h: (his is peaceful< and you can en'oy this peace. #ut doing
that it is not the right thing. Meditation is very en'oya"le, "ut if
you 'ust en'oy it you lose it. It is something li!e a Qcatch twenty
two, you reali)e that 'ust stopping meditating is not real escape,
"ecause you are still in the arising and passing away, you are still
in the process. After a while you even lose your clarity and you
feel your mind "ecoming painful and agitated again. You understand,
;I dont want to feel that agitation anymore<, "ecause
agitation is so painful, distraction is so painful. Ialmness, quiing
to escape is li!e an emotion. You feel trapped in the process,
(his is li!e an emotion. 4ometimes it can cause slight agitation,
"ut you understand that the way to get out from it is to
watch it even closer.
People are loo!ing for escapes in many of lifes situations
also. $hen we have difficulties, frustration5 we try to escape
from them. Many people try to escape in such a horri"le way.
$anting to escape is o!ay, "ut what is the right thing to do to
M+0. A#+/( I##YA A> #.Y+> . ??D
(he right thing to do is to watch the process more closely,
to understand it more thoroughly.
o matter what, even in your life any situation which
is painful, if you want to escape or overcome it,
the "est way to escape is to pay more attention,
to study it more thoroughly,
to understand it in every detail, completely.
Iomplete understanding is the only way to overcome it.
(here is no other way "etter than that,
no matter what the situation is, either meditation or
other worldly situation. (his is the right attitude.

+nce you get to this point in meditation, and understand
that, the only way to overcome any painful situation is to pay
more attention to it, to understand it even more deeply, thoroughly
and completely. After that, even in your life, when you
face a difficult situation you dont try to run away from it, you
dont turn away5 you dont shut your eyes. You try to loo! at it
more closely ;$hat is happening now9 I want to understand it
even more deeply<.
(he insight you get in meditation is applica"le in
your every day life, in your worldly pro"lems.
You develop the right attitude to live
the whole of your life, not only in meditation.
,or your whole life this is the right attitude.
After paying even more attention Qwillingly, and this is very
important, "ecause you are willing to loo! at it again, "ecause
you pay so close an attention, there is no other desire anymore,
no agitation anymore5 you dont even want to escape from it anymore,
"ecause you are paying such a close attention. 4o, see this
point very clearly. You pay so complete attention that there is no
other desire anymore. (hat complete attention ma!es the mind
very "alanced5 there is no split or division. #efore this when you
meditate, you want to escape ;I dont want to do this anymore,
I dont want to see it anymore5 what shall I do now9 4hall I stop
meditating9< Your mind is not really whole5 you are not paying
whole attention. #ut when you come to this equanimity state you
pay complete attention, ;o matter what happens, even if I die in
this process it is o!<. You dont want to do anything else, you 'ust
want to pay complete attention and then the meditation "ecomes
really mature. (he culmination of meditation, ;nothing else I
want to, do no matter what happens, even if I die in this process I
am willing to loo! at this process, loo! at itN loo! at itN<.
(hat sort of whole hearted attention ma!es the mind really
settle down. .ven in your life situation when you decided ;$ell
this situation is very difficult now, very painful, "ut I will really
pay all my attention, I will really loo! at it<, the moment you
decide that, youll find that you calm down, not so agitated
anymore. (hat decision is very important. $hen you are paying
complete attention, willingly, your mind calms down and
"ecomes more "alanced, no extremes, no attachments. #efore
that when your mind calms down, you feel so happy, you feel
so much 'oy that sometimes you get agitated and get attached
to that happiness and 'oy. #ut now peacefulness "ecomes even
greater "ut you are not even attached to that peacefulness. Your
equanimity, your "alance is so great.
It is very peaceful "ut
without any attachment even to peacefulness,
and there is no desire to escape.
It sounds very paradoxical, "ut when you are willing to loo!
at it, everything comes into "alance. $hen you pay more and
more attention, things "ecome more and more clear, the mind
"ecomes stronger and stronger, mindfulness "ecomes stronger
and stronger, and every noticing "ecomes so sharp that with
every noticing, without any thoughts at all, you see very clearly
the nature of it, either impermanent, unsatisfactory or no "eing,
no ego, no self, no lasting essence, no control. You can see any of
these aspects, very clearly with every noticing without thin!ing. It
is so ama)ing that in a very short moment @ one noticing is very,
very short @ when noticing is very sharpN in that momentN
this wisdom and clarity can "e so clear without thoughts.
All our life, when we understand something, we understand
it with a thin!ing process. $e thin! a"out it and we understand
it, "ut in this moment although we dont have any thoughts at
all, every noticing "rings so much wisdom, so much clarity. (his
is "ecause there is not thought, "ecause whenever you thin!,
your mind is divided.
+nly when you stop thin!ing then your mind is whole.
$hen you stop thin!ing and start paying more and
more attention every noticing "ecomes
very clear, very clear, very clear.
And for the last three moments, very sharp,
powerful clarity, and then the mind lets go:
(he mind is ready to let go.
At that moment you are not seeing or experiencing any "odily
or mental process anymore. Your mind is plunging intoN.
IessationN. In that moment everything comes to a stop, and
there is a very deep peacefulness and calmnessN of a very short
duration, and when you come out of itN againN. A very few
moments of peacefulness and calmness still go on, may"e three
or four mental states, mind moments. After that some thoughts
come again and we can thin! a"out itN something has happened,
very powerful, "ut very calm and peaceful.
,rom that experience you understand the nature of it very
clearly5 this is real peacefulness, real calmness, and real freedom.
(hen you reflect a"out yourself again, something has
changed: .ven if you havent read any "oo!s, or dont have
any !nowledge a"out it, still when you thin! a"out yourself you
!now something has changed. It changes your personality, your
perspective. You !now that there isnt anything that lasts, there
is no ego, there is no self. aturally, your morality, your !eeping
the precepts "ecomes more natural for you. You dont have
to try to restrain yourself, from "rea!ing the precepts, and you
!now that you will not "rea! them5 it 'ust "ecomes natural. You
!now that you dont have dou"ts a"out nonMself, future lives or
a"out the #uddha, >hamma and 4aZgha. +ften, for those who
have no !nowledge even, they spontaneously feel a very deep
gratitude, very deep and powerful gratitude for the #uddha and
his teachings, and for the 4aZgha also that !eeps this teaching
alive. A feeling of tremendous gratitude arises. +ne person told
me that there was so much gratitude that he cried tears of 'oy N
;(his teaching is so true: (his is true freedom:< Many thoughts
can come, these are the main ones.
If you have reached that stage you have eradicated micch1diPP
hi, "elief in self, in permanent ego. (here is no such thing
as permanent ego, self. .verything is in a flux in a change. And
vici!icch1, or dou"t whether I will "e "orn or will not "e "orn or
this or that, all the vici!icch1 is gone. #elieving in other !inds of
practices which dont have these .ightfold o"le Path characteristics
or "elieving even in samatha meditation. 4ome people
"elieve that, if you practice samatha and get a"sor"ed in some
states, that is freedom, li"eration, i""1na.
-owever when you have experienced
this through vipassan1, you can understand that
there is no other way to "e li"erated.
(he only way to "e li"erated is to watch these
"odily and mental processes through and through.
(here is no other way for li"eration.
(o "e a"le to watch this "odily and mental process, you need
to purify your conduct, !eep your sLla very pure. You need to
concentrate your mind on some o"'ect, which is "ody or mind,
or any other o"'ect as a foundation, li!e "reath or whatever.
Ialm your mind down and ma!e it very clear and pure% purification
of mind, of thought. &ust "y watching this "odily and mental
process you purify yourself more and more% purification of views,
purification of whether this is Path or not Path. #y purification
only you "ecome li"erated, there is no other way. If we want to
"e free we need to purify ourselves and you understand that this
is the only way to li"eration.
&ealousy or envy 7iss18 and macchariya 7stinginess8 are overcome
as well. (his means that you are willing to share whatever
you have with others and you are not envious a"out others. If
you have something extra and some"ody needs it, you are willing
and happy to give it away. #ut that does not mean that you
give away everything you have. If some"ody really needs it "adly,
you are willing to share it with that person. $hen some"ody is
doing well and is happy, you are not 'ealous. I dont !now the
exact meaning of the words 'ealous and envy "ut what it means
here is that, when some"ody is doing well and you are not, how
do you feel9 You dont feel happy ;+h: If I were in that place, if
I get that instead of him< you thin! in that way. #ut when you
have "ecome enlightened you never thin! li!e that.
You actually thin! how fortunate that person is, he is en'oying
all that goodness, you are very happy for that person. (his
mudit1, sympathetic 'oy also "ecomes very natural.
Most of us, more or less, "efore we "ecome enlightened, feel
that were unhappy a"out others doing "etter than us. $hat an
ugly state of mind. And what do we get out of it9 $e cannot
love that person, we cannot appreciate that person. $hy do
people feel so lonely9 #ecause of 'ealousy, envy, covetousness,
we feel so lonely. (here is so much enmity and danger in the
world. $hy9 #ecause some"ody has got something that I dont
have and I want it, I will even get it unlawfully. 4ome people are
so clever that they can twist the whole thing and ma!e it loo!
very "eautiful. 4o this mind is very tric!y and deceitful.
+nce you see it so clearly, you cannot do it anymore, there
is no deceit or tric!ery anymore. You "ecome very honest5 you
can see things so clearly. You may still feel desire for something
"ecause the first stage of enlightenment does not eradicate all
the desires, all the greed. =reed is still there "ut it is not strong
enough to "rea! your precepts. Youll not !ill or steal in order
to get something, you wont tell lies or commit adultery or ta!e
intoxicants. (here is no desire at all for doing this.
You are not controlling yourself5 you 'ust dont want to do it.
It "ecomes so easy and natural that
no struggle or effort is needed to control yourself.
#efore enlightenment we !now that its not good to "rea!
the five precepts and we try hard to !eep the precepts. 4ometimes
the temptation is so strong, that we struggle. It is very
tiring, sometimes we give in and regret it again and ta!e the
precepts again. +ne of my friends said ;why do you ta!e the precepts
every day9 >o you "rea! them every day9< After the first
stage of enlightenment it 'ust "ecomes natural, and there is no
desire to "rea! precepts. Ian you see how free you can feel9 .ven
though you have desire to en'oy your sensual pleasures, "ecause
you have no envy, 'ealousy or covetousness, youre so free. And
even when you en'oy those desires it is not the same anymore.
#efore, we would thin! this is real happiness, real pleasure, real
'oy, "ut after that, even though you can let yourself en'oy sensual
pleasures, you !now that this is not the real thing. You dont get
caught in it. .ven if you en'oy it, you are somehow free, free to
en'oy it. And when something unfortunate happens, you meditate
and you can see that this is another mental state, you can
"ecome free very easily again.
#efore meditating we thin! that things last, that they are
pleasura"le and can "ring us happiness. $e really "elieve in
permanence% permanent person, permanent ego. #ut after that
this micch1MdiPPhi is gone. #ut micch1MsaTT1 and micch1Mcitta still
lingers. 4ometimes the experience feels li!e it is permanent "ut
when we loo! very closely, we reali)e that it is not. It is li!e you
are living all the time on the "order line, when you are willing,
you can seeN.
4o when you feel happiness, when you en'oy sensual
pleasures, the experience seems the same "ut when
you really loo! at it you !now that ;no, this will never
really "ring happiness5 no real happiness there.<
Although sometimes you en'oy it you can also let go of it easily
"ecause you !now that there is no real, lasting happiness there.
A friend of mine said that after one "ecomes enlightened,
one can really en'oy sensual pleasure5 it is great "ecause you
dont get so caught in it. Its very difficult to tal! a"out it, "ut
this is the way it feels.
(hats why we can see some people en'oying
senseMpleasures even though they are enlightened.
(hey are not caught in it.

Its the same with anicca, du!!ha, anatta. (heres no attadiPP
hi anymore "ut the person "ehaves the same way li!e a person.
(hey will say QI, QYou. (hey use the same language "ut
always !nowing that there is no such thing as real, lasting ego.
4o this is the difference5 very deep. #ut this will "e eradicated in
the fourth stage of enlightenment.
4o you "ecome very free5 sometimes youll laugh,
sometimes youll cry "ut you are not caught in it.
You can overcome it very easily.
4ometimes even crying feels good.
Is that possi"le9
Anyway when you come across that you will understand it.
Its very hard to tal! a"out these things. 4o you have eradicated
diPPhi, vici!icch1, sLla""atapar1m1sa, iss1, macchariya.
You dont want anything unlawfully from another person.
If you have extra you want to share that
with another person. #eing very generous,
"ut not wasting anything.
You dont go and throw away everything you have on the
street. If you !now that some"ody really needs it you will give it.
4o this reflection goes on for a long time again and again5
reflecting on your sLla ;I cannot "rea! any precepts anymore, I
dont want to "rea! them<. And reflecting on the impurities you
have eradicated. You can see that there is no diPPhi, vici!icch1,
sLla""atapar1m1sa, iss1, macchariya, "ut you can also see what is
left. You can see that there is still desire for sensual pleasure, and
that you can still get upset, "ut even though you have craving
you will not "rea! any precepts. .ven though you get angry you
will not go and !ill. Your anger or craving is not strong enough
to harm another "eing, or even yourself. (he more you reflect
on #uddha, >hamma, 4aZgha the more gratitude you feel. It is
very hard to explain the feeling. 4ometimes people reflect only
on one aspect, not necessarily all of them. 4ome people reflect
on one of the experiences only, li!e the moment when the mind
"ecomes free, or the nature of that freedomN it is so freeN
there is no rising and passing away, total silence, quietness. (his
is thin!ing of i""1na again% that moment when the person has
experienced i""1na. $hat is i""1na9 -ow do you tal! a"out
it9 (here is no rising, no passing away, there is no mental process,
there is no physical process, you are not experiencing any
a"out it.
mental process, you are not experiencing any physical process,
you are not even thin!ing, ;ohNthis is so peaceful<N. "ecause
at that moment you cannot thin! a"out anythingN. (he mind
"ecomes very quiet and peaceful and experiences that peacefulness
without even thin!ing a"out itN only later you can thin!
4o, what is the nature of i""1na9 Is it non existence9 o
it is not: It is not nothingness. #ecause if it was, any"ody could
experience it at any moment, 'ust thin! of nothingnessN and
feel free. o, you cannot do that "ecause when you thin! of
nothingness there is thin!ing.
$hen you are experiencing i""1na
there is no thin!ing at allN not even of i""1na.
$hat is the nature of i""1na9
In most texts the simile given is a flame
which has gone out:
A flame "urning andN went out, what is left9
ot nothingness::
+r, if I ma!e a soundN you pay close attention to the
soundN now there is no sound anymore, what is there9 &ust
quietnessN is quietness real or not9 -ow do you understand
that9 Ian you experience quietness9 Yes: 4o its very similar
to quietness or the flame which went out. (heres no "urning
anymore. (o understand silence or the nature of the flame that
went out, first you have to pay attention to what was happening
"efore5 to understand silence first you pay attention to the
soundN that is the process. (o understand what happened
when the flame went out, first you pay attention to the flame.
(here is a process that leads to this state5 it is not 'ust an idea
of nothingness. It is the nature of the process which has come
to an endN the end of a process which is real peace, "ecause
whenever something is happening, arising and passing away
there is no quietness, there is no peace.
+nce you experience that, even though sometimes you are
not experiencing it, you can get caught in other worldly things
or excitements, whenever you pay attention you !now that this
is not the real thing, not the real happiness. You can always go
"ac! to that very quiet and peaceful state.
After you have experienced this state,
when you meditate again, you ma!e a determination,
;Ill meditate and get "ac! to that quietness,
to that peaceful state where the whole process stops.<

You can determine the length of time @ five minutes, ten
minutes @ to stay in that state. 4o, meditate again with the
determination that ;I am going to experience that state of quietness,
peacefulness again for five minutes<, and then forget
a"out it. $hile you are meditating, dont thin! a"out anything
anymore. &ust pay attention to whatever is happening in the
"ody and in the mind, do whatever you are used to doing. It
does not matter what o"'ect, anything can "e the o"'ect of med
itation. Pay attention to whatever o"'ect you are used to which
comes naturally and easily to you. $atch itN watch itN and
it "ecomes clearer and clearer, very fast, very fast and it stops
again andN you can get into that very peaceful state again and
stay there for a"out the duration you have determined. (his
determination is very important, "ecause if you have determined,
then "y practicing it you can stay there for completely
five minutes or ten minutes as determined and you can !eep
practicing and extend the duration for half hour, an hour, two
hours, the whole day:
You need to practice in order to "e a"le to
get to that state and stay in that state.
If you dont practice regularly, sometimes you might
find it very hard to get there again.
#ut even though you practice and you go into that state, if
you dont determine for how long youll stay there, your mind
will come out again and again, in and out,N in and outN it can
happen li!e that all the time. If you want to stay there for a long
time you have to ma!e the determination. 4o, you meditate,
ma!e the determination ;Ill get into that state again for five
minutes, "ut if any danger should happen, I will come out of it<.
(his is a !ind of suggestion also, when you are deep inside there,
if any danger happens, spontaneously you will come out of it
and deal with the situation. If you dont determine li!e that, you
might not "e a"le to come out of it.
In the texts, there are many detailed instructions% this is
what you should do5 such as the right way to determine, the
right way to meditate, and the requirements also such as when
you want to come out of it5 sometimes you have to determine
;If my teacher calls me, Ill wa!e up.< You do any !ind of determination
necessary that you need to do, you do that and !eep
practicing. .ven an Arahant finds it difficult to get into that
state sometimes, if there is anything worrying him.
(here is a story a"out two mon!s% one a very old teacher
and the other a very young one. #oth had attained enlightenment,
and when they reached a monastery, the teacher "ecause
of his seniority got a very nice place to stay. #ecause the "est
place goes to the senior mon! and the worst place goes to the
most 'unior mon!. (he younger mon!, "ecause he is younger,
naturally, got a place which was not very good. #ut he was very
content with the place he got, he was very happy, no choice, no
preference. -e lived in his place and meditated and en'oyed this
calmness, peacefulness and quietness for the whole duration of
three months, the rains retreat. #ut the teacher !ept thin!ing
;+h: My little mon!, his place is not very good5 may"e hes
not feeling very comforta"le.< #ecause of that worry the teacher
could not get into that state.

$hen you want to meditate,
first you must reflect on the fact that
nothing is important,
let go.
(hat is why I emphasi)e this point again and again, in many
different ways. $hen you meditate you must thin! that nothing
is really important. 4o psychologically you distance yourself.
.ven when you are meditating, not only in that !ind of a"sor"ed
state, "ut even when you sit for an hour, tell yourself ;nothing is
really important, I dont need to worry a"out anything at all.< o
worry a"out 'o", no worry a"out home for 'ust one hour5 it wont
hurt any"ody5 'ust let go of every"ody for one hour. $hen you go
for the retreat, 'ust let go of everything for those nine days.
othing can really happen seriously.
othing is important5 we have done it
for innumera"le life times.
$hy is it so important9
$hy cant we 'ust let go for nine days:
If you can do that in every sitting, youll find that your sitting
"ecomes very easy and natural and you wont get so easily
distracted. 4o, ma!e the determination. $e have "een doing
the same thing for how many years, how many life times9 $hy
do we thin! that this is so important9 And we will continue
to "e doing the same thing, we dont !now for how many life
times. 4o this !ind of determination, preparing and distancing
the mind is very importantN "ut, ;if anything serious should
happens, I will deal with it<. 4ometimes people thin! of very
insignificant things, and !eep themselves worried all the time.
$hen they tal! a"out it, it is so laugha"le.
If you want to develop deeper states of enlightenment, when
you sit and meditate, you should determine, ;I am not going
to get a"sor"ed into that state that I already have for a certain
amount of time, for a day, for two days, for ten days<, you have to
determine that. (his determination is very important. If a person
is meditating with the intention to experience the next stage of
enlightenment, he should say that ;I am not going to get a"sor"ed
into that state, "ut I am going to meditate for the purpose of the
next stage of enlightenment<. And when you say ;I am not going
to get into that a"sorption state<, you have to put a time limit,
how many hours, how many days, "ecause if you dont do that,
you sit and meditate and you get a"sor"ed into that same state
again. And if you get a"sor"ed into the same state you cannot get
to the next stage. (hats why a determination is very important.
#uddha taught mon!s to ma!e a determination
even "efore going to sleep.
$hen you go to sleep you tell yourself that
;ow I am going to meditate and relax and
let go of everything<.
4leeping is also a !ind of letting go. -ave you thought a"out
it9 ,alling asleep is a !ind of letting go. $e dont hear, we dont
see, we dont feel anything anymore. $e dont !now whats
going on around us anymore. If you really thin! a"out it, it is
very scary5 you have lost touch with the world. 4o this is a !ind
of letting go and we are actually doing it all the time. ,or some of
very happy a"out it. (he moment you wa!e up youre mindful,
not thin!ing of anything. (he mind is very clear and awa!e5 no
drowsiness anymore. Most people when they wa!e up they still
feel sleepy. (his is not a good way to wa!e up.
the people who cannot go to sleep, one of the reasons is "ecause
they cant let go, they want to !eep control over their "ody, over
their surroundings. (hey dont feel safe and secure. 4o whenever
you dont feel safe and secure in a place you cant go to sleep. 4o
#uddha said that when a mon! wants to go to sleep, he should
meditate, relax, let go, and determine, ;I will wa!e up at four
ocloc! in the morning<. If you do that regularly, youll find that
exactly at four ocloc! in the morning you wa!e up. You set your
alarm, and "efore your alarm goes off youre awa!e. You loo! at
the cloc! and its 'ust the right time. #ut mostly you wa!e up
"efore the alarm. I !eep my alarm on all the time 'ust in case,
"ut always I wa!e up "efore the alarm. =et into the ha"it of it.
You can also ma!e the determination ;the moment I wa!e up in
the morning, I will "e aware and mindful, I wont "e dreaming
or thin!ing anymore, 'ust a very clear, awa!e, mindful mental
state<. It means that from the moment you wa!e up, your meditation
is there. You can determine that. If it hasnt happened
today !eep determining and it will happen and you will feel
>etermination is very important5
"ecause once you determine it
wholeheartedly your mind o"eys.
(his is the way we need to train ourselves in order to get
positive results. $e can do it5 in many ways we can train our
mind to get positive results. (his is 'ust some additional !nowledge
for you.
4o that person meditates again and determines% ;,or a certain
amount of time I will not get into the a"sorption of the first
enlightenment stage "ut I intend to go further to get to second
stage of enlightenment.< If you cannot get to that stage in that
time period it is o!5 you can still get a"sor"ed into that a"sorption
state that you have already achieved. ,or a few hours, for a
few days you can do that again and then after that go practice
the determination to go further. $hy do you need to en'oy the
a"sorption9 #ecause it is so peaceful. Paying attention to get to
the next stage is useful, "ut its a !ind of "urden. 4o let go of everything
and go into this quiet, peaceful space, it is very restful.
Gilesesu diPPhi vici!icch1 paPhamaT1Oava''h15 doso
tatiyaT1Oava''ho5 lo"haMmohaMm1naMthLnaMuddhaccaahiri!aM
anottapp1ni catutthaT1Oava''h1ni.
Among the !ilesas 7!ilesesu% unwholesome mental states8,
dou"t 7vici!icch18 and wrong view 7diPPhi8 are eradicated "y the
first enlightenment 7paPhamaT1Oava''h18, anger 7doso8 is eradicated
"y the third stage of enlightenment 7tatiyaT1Oava''ho8. (he
second stage does not eradicate anything5 it only wea!ens whatever
is left. And if you notice in the third stage of enlightenment,
only anger is eradicated, not even lust. (here is no desire for
sense pleasure "ut still there is desire for a very pure, peaceful,
"lissful higher existence. (hats why we do not consider that the
third stage of enlightenment eradicates all craving "ecause this
desire for higher existence is also a !ind of craving5 see how su"tle
it can "e. (his last craving, the desire 7lo"ha8 for this pure,
peaceful, "lissful state of life is eradicated "y the fourth stage
of enlightenment 7catutthaT1Oava''h1ni8. #ecause there is still
some sort of desire, it shows that there is still some sort of delusion
there. $ith any !ind of desire no matter how small there is
delusion. (hat is why delusion 7moha8 is totally eradicated only
"y the fourth stage of enlightenment.
.ven from the first stage, certain aspects of delusion are
already eradicated5 only very su"tle delusion is left. (he fourth
stage of enlightenment totally eradicates lo"ha "ecause even
lo"ha for this peaceful, "lissful, pure state of life is eradicated.
Moha, which means delusion or avi''1 which means ignorance
are totally eradicated "y the fourth stage. M1na. $hat does that
mean9 ot comparing with another person, not "eing proud,
not "eing conceited. #ecause of our achievements sometimes
we feel very pleased a"out that ;+h: I achieved that.< (hats a
!ind of m1na also. ot comparing with another person "ut 'ust
"eing very pleased a"out what you have done, even that is eradicated
in the fourth stage of enlightenment. &ust imagine how
free that mind state can "e, totally free. (hLnaMmiddha, drowsiness
is totally eradicated "y the fourth stage only5 therefore
"efore that stage the person can still feel drowsy. An Arahant,
does not feel drowsy. -e can stay awa!e a long time, even for
days if he wants, "ut if he wants to sleep he does so out of will.
If we can do that how wonderful. /ddhacca means agitations of
the mind. .ven after the third stage, 7An1g1mL8 the mind can
still get agitated. It is only after the fourth stage that agitation
is no more5 there is only total calmness and total mindfulness.
.ven after the third stage the person is not a hundred per cent
mindful. Iomplete mindfulness happens after the fourth stage.
4hamelessness 7ahiri!a8 and fearlessness 7anottappa8%
#ecause after the third stage of enlightenment there is still
some m1na, some sort of pride, "ecause there is still some sort
of greed. According to the A"hidhamma it means that person
is still not ashamed, still ta!ing pride in his own achievements.
(his word shame is not the shame that people normally mean in
their daily life. $hen you meditate, you can understand it.

$hen something happens and
you can see in your mind that this is
unwholesome and you feel ashamed of it.
You feel ashamed, not "ecause
someone else has found out,
"ut "ecause you !now this is not "eautiful.
Mostly we dont experience this, as it is overcome
only after the fourth stage of enlightenment.
4o, we are still very shameless.
Micch1diPPhiMmus1v1do miccha!ammanto micch1M1'Lvo ti
ime paPhamaT1Oava''h15 micch1san!appo pisuOav1c1
pharusav1c1 ti ime tatiyaT1Oava''h1. Ietan1 yeva c ettha
v1c1 ti vedita""1. 4amphappal1paMmicch1v1y1maMsatisam1dhiM
vimuttiT1O1ni catutthaT1Oava''h1ni.
$rong view 7micch1MdiPPhi8, lying 7mus1v1da8, doing something
which is harmful 7micch1M!ammanta8 li!e !illing, stealing,
wrong livelihood 7micch1M1'Lva8 are all eradicated "y the first
stage of enlightenment 7ime paPhamaT1Oava''h18. It is wonderful:
$rong thin!ing 7micch1san!appo8, slandering, ma!ing people
fight 7pisuOav1c18 and harsh and strong words 7pharusav1c18
are eradicated "y the third stage 7ime tatiyaT1Oava''h18. .radicate
means the intention is eradicated 7Ietan1 yeva c ettha v1c1
ti vedita""18 not 'ust restraining. Mostly we restrain not to say
anything li!e that, restrain not to ma!e people fight. #ut in the
third stage of enlightenment it means that there is no intention
even to do that. (he fourth stage of enlightenment eradicates
7catutthaT1Oava''h1ni8, samphappal1pa 7frivolous tal!8, micch1v1y1ma,
micch1Msati, micch1Msam1dhi, micch1Mvimutti and
micch1MT1Oa. (hat means that sometimes we remem"er things
in the past ;+h: I have done this and that, I have en'oyed this or
that,< even that sort of recalling is gone. $e dont thin! a"out
the past anymore, only what we find useful, li!e we have learnt
dhamma, and we thin!, ;#uddha said that<. (his is a !ind of
samm1Msati 7right mindfulness8. .ven after the third stage of
enlightenment, the person still wants to thin! of what happened
"efore, not a"out >hamma, "ut a"out something else.
If you thin! a"out anything "eyond >hamma it is some !ind of
useless thin!ing, useless remem"ering 7micch1Msati8.
Micch1Msam1dhi also, the mind gets a"sor"ed in any !ind of
thin!ing, in any !ind of o"'ect, even reading a "oo!, this also
goes with the fourth stage. (he mind does not get a"sor"ed in
anything useless.
Micch1Mvimutti% 4ometimes people experience "lissful states
in their meditation, which is not really a li"erated state, "ut they
"elieve it is. $hen a person has "ecome fully li"erated he !nows
that those are gone, they are not true li"eration.
Micch1MT1Oa% People are very clever in doing something
terri"le. (hey can plan for it so well, very cleverly, very intelligently
in some ways, wrong wisdom or wrong intelligence, and
this is eradicated "y the fourth stage.
4o it goes on and on li!e that 7in the (ext8 what is in which
stage. It is very interesting to !now all these things, "ut my
emphasis is 'ust until the first stage, "ecause that is what we can
expect, "eyond that it is very difficult. Most teachers emphasi)e
not to stop there, to !eep going, "ut I !now very few people
!eep going. (hey feel so content that they 'ust en'oy it.
i""1na is not a place, not even a mental state. $hen
someone reaches the fourth stage of enlightenment and passes
away completely 7parini""1na8, he does not exist anywhere. In
many "oo!s I read that some people are saying that even after
that an Arahant en'oys it and stays in that "lissful state forever.
>o you !now why they say that9 (hey are still attached to the
"lissful state5 still want to go on living, which I can understand
very well. Its not too difficult to understand that, "ut you can
see that there is still attachment there, to go on living. (hey
have even "een saying that the #uddha still exists somehow,
somewhere, may"e in the -imalayas. o5 these things are very
important to understand even as !nowledge, "ecause there are
so many misconceptions and wrong ideas floating around.
o matter how "lissful, how pure the person is,
still the #uddha said that is not what total li"eration is.
4o it 7i""1na8 is not an a"ode, not a state.
(he nature of i""1na is totally opposite to the nature of
mental and physical phenomena. (his is also important. 4ome
people say that i""1na and 4aBs1ra are the same. o, very
clear noN. #ut to understand i""1na you have to understand
saBs1ra. 4aBs1ra means, physical and mental process, this is
called saBs1ra, not the story actuallyN. (he real saBs1ra, the
real going around and round, means this mental and physical
process going on and on5 this is called saBs1ra. (he end of it is
i""1na. You can still say that i""1na is related to saBs1ra.
i""1na is somehow related to the mental and physical process,
"ut i""1na is not in the process. It is 'ust out of the process,
'ust at the edge of the process. #y that much you can say that
i""1na is related to saBs1ra.
(hats why the #uddha said
;I claim i""1na in this "ody 7C4 i.S*8<,
which does not mean that there is i""1na inside us.
It means that "y understanding this "ody completely,
"y understanding the five aggregates,
this mental and physical process completely,
we can reach i""1na5
there is no other way to reach i""1na.
$hen we say that this state of enlightenment eradicates
those defilements, what do we mean9 Ian we eradicate those
defilements that happened "efore9 $e cannot, "ecause it has
already happened, "ecause it is in the past. Ian we eradicate
those defilements happening now9 $e can thin! that this could
"e possi"le. #ut do you thin! they will stay if we dont eradicate
them9 $hatever happens, lets say you get angry now, what can
you do a"out itN and anger goes on from moment to moment.
+ne mental state is a single anger actually, and "ecause it goes
on very fast we thin! of it as a "ig anger. (here is no such thing
as "ig anger, "ut small angers put together. $hen it happens in
this "rief moment, it will go away "y itself, it will never stay. $e
cannot say anger please stayN stay. It will go away. $e dont
need to eradicate that anger which is happening now. 4o when
we say that this stage of enlightenment eradicates this defilement,
it does not mean that it eradicates the present defilement
happening now. >oes it mean it eradicates defilements happening
in the future9 You dont !now what defilement will happen
in the future, "ecause it has not happened. $e cannot eradicate
what has not happened. (his means that the enlightenment
stage does not eradicate past, present and future defilements. It
eradicates the potential. (he potential to arise is there "ut it has
not arisen yet, and if you eradicate the potential, it is finishedN
it wont arise 7anymore8.
#ecause of past defilements, "ecause of past !amma were
here now. And this !amma that we are somehow carrying, in
what form are we carrying our !amma9 In what form are we
carrying our defilements9 As a potential only, this is something
very su"tle to understand, only potential, it has not manifested.
(hin! of a seed as a potential, it has the potential to "ecome
a "ig tree. 4ay you want to eradicate that tree. In the past it
appears and dies so you dont have to eradicate it. And in the
present, say if the tree is dying, 'ust let it die. #ut in the future
it has not yet "ecome a tree. 4o if you want to destroy it 'ust
destroy the seed. You dont have to destroy the tree, you 'ust
destroy the seed. 4o the potential is li!e the seed. Ian you
definitely say that, say now it is four minutes past five, exactly
an hour later what !ind of defilements will arise in your mind9
o"ody can tell, "ecause it is not definitely sure. #ut theres the
potential for anything to arise. If you can destroy that potential
then it is finished.
(his potential is not in the past, and you cannot say that
it is in the present, "ecause it has not manifested. (his potential
is something very hard to understandN it could manifest,
there is only the possi"ility, the potential. (hats why "ecause
it is this defilement which the enlightenment stage eradicates
and "ecause we call this the ni""1nic state, we cannot say that
i""1na is the past or the present or the future.

i""1na is timeless, "eyond time,
not in the domain of time.
(his is very confusing and hard to tal! a"out.
May"e some su"Matomic physicist can understand that.
Gamma is also a potential. $hen we reach a certain stage of
enlightenment, certain !amma cannot give result anymore. +ur
"ad !amma which we have accumulated, after a certain stage
of enlightenment will not give results anymore. $here is the
!amma9 -ow are we carrying that !amma9 $e are carrying it as
a potential. It is very hard to understand. 6ets say that we have
a potential to get angry, "ut we are not angry now. #ut any"ody
can push our "uttons and ma!e us angry. $e cannot tell when
we are going to get angry. $e are eradicating the potential for
this defilement to manifest, the seed of the manifestation of
the defilement. .ven very learned mon!s sometimes could not
understand it, it ta!es a long time.
In order to understand, the "est way is to practice.
(hats why the #uddha said its unthin!a"le.
You cannot understand it 'ust "y thin!ing.
i""1na is not something that arises or that happens.
$e cannot say when i""1na happens.
i""1na is a reality which a person who
has developed enough wisdom can experience.
It depends on his clarity of wisdom.
(he more clear wisdom is,
the more clearly youll experience it.
(hat is why in the first stage of enlightenment, the experience
of i""1na is not the same as the second, the third and the
fourth stage. (he nature of i""1na is the same, "ut "ecause of
the purity of wisdom, you experience it differently. 6i!e seeing,
the clearer your eyes "ecome, the more clearly you can see. It is
very hard even to find a simile.
(hats why the #uddha said that there is no example for
i""1na. o words, no concept, no language can really explain
it. i""1na means Qquenching. In the 0atanaM4utta% Qi""anti
dhLr1 yath1yaB padLpo, it is li!e a flame that has gone out and
nirav1na, no craving, no striving, no craving anymore.

J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (he #uddha gave a sutta, the >hamm1d1sa
4utta, the Mirror 4utta. #uddha said that a sot1panna has
these qualities% -e has confidence in #uddha, >hamma,
4aZgha, he will never "rea! his precepts. If you feel that
you have these qualities, you can tell yourself ;I am a sot1panna<.
#ut if you dont have this !nowledge, "oo! !nowledge,
or if you have not heard a"out it, although you have
the experience you dont !now how to call it. You have all
those qualities and experience, "ut to have that experience
and qualities doesnt necessarily means you !now what it
is. 6ets say if I give you something to eat. I as! you to close
your eyes and give you something that you never tasted
"efore and I tell you to open your mouth and put it in your
mouth and you chew it. You can tell the taste. I can as! you
how it tastes. You can say ;+h: It tastes a little "it sweet
and it has a little "it sour taste also, it tastes good.< And if
I as! you what is it, youll say ;I dont !now, "ut I !now the
taste5 I dont !now the name.< 4o you !now the taste "ut
you dont !now the name for it which is quite natural. A
sot1panna is a word for an experience. (o "e sure Ill quote
6edi 4ay1daw again% ;&ust wait long enough5 for a few years
even5 "ecause youll "e tested in the world and in your daily
life<, even though you cannot exactly say right now. ;+h:
May"e Ive attained the first stage of enlightenment<, dont
"e in a hurry to ma!e the decision. &ust wait long enough
and youll "e tested and you may find out ;+h: o, I still
have to meditate.< (his is also called micch1Mvimutti% youre
not li"erated "ut you thin! you are. #ut any"ody can ma!e
that mista!e. $e dont "lame that person. #ut if that person
is honest hell !now later, "ecause in the world so many
people and so many situations are pushing your "uttons all
the time and you react. If youre honest you !now. #ut if
youre dishonest no"ody can tell you. Its li!e cheating, very
su"tle, telling very su"tle lies.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% >ifferent people experience the different
!handhas in different ways. 4ome people experience vedan1
more arising and passing away. 4ome people experience
citta more arising and passing away. It depends on personality
too. ,or "eginners it is "etter to start with sensations.
Anything you experience in the "ody is a sensation. And in
the mind you have emotion. I emphasi)e more on sensation
"ecause for a "eginner thats where they "egin. ,or a "eginner
it is very difficult to "egin from thoughts and mental
states. 6ater, it depends on your personality. .ven though
you "egin from !1y1nupassan1, "odily movements and sensations5
or vedan1nupassan1, if you do that long enough it
goes towards where you are more inclined to go, it happens
naturally. In the "ody we feel su!haMvedan1, du!!haMvedan1
and upe!!h1Mvedan1, pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. In
our mind we feel emotions% pleasant emotions and unpleasant
emotions. And sometimes the two are related. $hen
you feel pain in your "ody you feel unpleasant emotion in
your mind5 you feel so much anguish ;+h: o this is so painful.<
4o they are related. #ut they are not always related, not
necessarily, "ecause if you are a good meditator, not to say
an Arahant, although the "ody is in pain, the mind is peaceful.
Arahants are not affected "y "odily pain. It depends on
how you have trained your mind.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% /prooting of greed and hatred happens in the
third stage of enlightenment, uprooting of greed for worldly
pleasure. #ut greed for a "lissful life is still there. =reed for
sensual pleasure is eradicated "y the third stage of enlightenment.
All anger and frustration are eradicated "y the third
stage of enlightenment. In the "eginning of our practice
we cannot eradicate this. $hen it happens we pay attention,
loo! at it very closely and "y paying close attention,
it "ecomes wea!er and wea!er. (hen sometimes it doesnt
arise and the mind "ecomes very clear and peaceful, then
pay attention to more neutral sensations and feelings. #ut
when there is strong desire or anger, its important to watch
them "ut when they are very strong we are not very clear
anymore, though we can still pay attention.
0eal good insight happens when they are not there
anymore or when they are at least temporarily not there.
(hats why in the tenth stage of insight theres total equanimity5
no greed, no desire, no frustration, no agitation.
(he mind "ecomes very pure, then "rea!through. 4o "efore
this "rea!through to enlightenment this is necessary. #ut in
the "eginning of our practice it can come again and again,
we have to go through it. .ven frustration a"out meditation,
even attachment to our peaceful state of meditation,
we have to overcome, give up, let go. (hats why its very
important to watch these things and let go. $henever we
have anger we can see that "ecause we have some !ind of
expectation, attachment, or desire, we are upset. $e can
see "oth. $henever one is there the other is there. $hen
we want something there is the anxiety a"out whether we
will get it or not5 this is very painful. Actually desire itself
is pain, incompleteness. $henever we desire something
we feel incomplete and this incompleteness is pain. In the
tenth stage of insight, nothing li!e that happens, no desire,
no anger, no frustration, totally clear and "alanced.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% In the retreat I wont have time to explain
Qwhys, I can only tell you what to do. If you have done
preparation, you have done half of your wor! already. $ell
prepared is half done. 4o, come prepared, sit now, and prepare
your "ody also. If you are not sitting now, in the retreat
you wont find very easy to sit even for an hour, your mind
will get agitated. You need to start preparing now, preparing
your mind, your muscles and your nervous system. You
cannot expect it 'ust to happen li!e that, even a runner has
got to prepare. 4o, meditate now everyday. (his is a very
exciting experience5 it is not something you do very often.
It is only nine days5 nine precious days. I dont want to
waste a minute, "ut I need all of you to participate. -ow
can we all cooperate together and ma!e the retreat the "est
it could "e. I would li!e to ma!e it a friendly and relaxed
atmosphere. 4ome"ody said a retreat is a Qtreat. It is something
very special. I do hope youll experience something5
something very precious. (he time does not really matter.
In a few days some people can experience something very
deep and meaningful.
,inal (houghts K
Preparation for
the 0etreat
As you !now I have tal!ed so much a"out preparation.
Preparation is very important. If you really thin!
a"out it, we go through life without "eing prepared
for anything at all, everything happens to us 'ust "y chance. I
dont thin! this is a good way to live our life. +f course there are
many things that happen in our lives which are unexpected so
we have to do something a"out it immediately5 there are things
happening li!e that once in a while. #ut mostly if you thin!
a"out it, we !now that something is going to happen or at least
we have a high percentage of pro"a"ility that something is going
to happen. $hat is something that is really sure to happen in
our life9 It is death. >eath is definitely sure5 there is no dou"t
a"out it. Are we preparing for it9
Mostly I li!e to say positive, encouraging things that can
motivate people to do something good.
#ut death is a "ig motivation,
a "ig lesson.
I !now quite a few people who got very close to death. I too!
them to hospital so I !now how they felt. (hey were very sic!,
almost dying. I too! them to the hospital and loo!ed after them
and I found out that those that experienced death very deeply
came "ac! a different person. (his is very important. 4o even
though we are sure we are going to die, we dont !now whether
its going to "e today or fifty years later, we dont !now. It could
happen today, who !nows: It is "etter to "e prepared.
(his retreat also we !now is going to happen
"ecause we are going to ma!e it happen.
It is "etter to "e prepared and understand that your
meditation does not "egin on the first day of the retreat.
It has "egun a long time ago.
(he retreat is part of the whole process and
even after the retreat your meditation practice will go on
until you die, until the last moment.
(his is something I am really preparing for.
I want to !now how the last moment feels,
how its going to "e, and what my mental state
will "e at the last moment one second "efore I die.
I want to !now it and also "e aware of it and then die.
(hat is the "est way to die.
4o I am really preparing for that. If you have prepared well
enough your wor! is half done. If you ta!e a very simple example
,IA6 (-+/=-(4 A> P0.PA0A(I+ ,+0 (-. 0.(0.A( . ?SA
hall, I too! pencil, pen, ruler and my identity card5 thats all.
o notes, "oo! and paper, no need to study anymore, too late.
from my life, "ecause most of us have studied for many years and
got university degrees also% you !now some people who dont
study well, they dont attend lectures well, they dont go to the
practical as well and they dont try to solve their pro"lems very
well. (hen when the exam is very near, what do they do9 (hey
panic, they worry, and they have so much anxiety they cant
sleep or eat. (hen the moment "efore they go into the exam
hall, theyre sha!ing. In the exam hall they loo! at the question
paper and say ;I dont !now this, I dont !now that<5 too
agitated to do anything anymore, no time to thin! anymore.
.ven when I was a student I tried to prepare quite a lot, may"e
this is 'ust part of my personality. 4ome people want to prepare
and some people 'ust want to ta!e a chance. (o ta!e a chance
is not really very good. If you ta!e a chance there is only a very
small pro"a"ility that it will happen. 4o even when I was young
I studied very well for my exam, and when I got to the exam
If you still have to study, its too late for you. Youre 'ust ma!ing
your mind more agitated and tired. (his is the time when you
need to "e very relaxed.
$hen I went into the exam hall I did not loo! at the question
paper immediately. 6eave it there and 'ust sit there and
meditate for five minutes. (hen when the mind is very calm,
loo! at the questions and see ;Ah: (his is something I can
answer< and then write down slowly, not in a hurry, when its
finished, ;+!, well done already.< If you have done one thing
well, it gives you so much courage, ma!es you more confident,
ma!es you calm also. (hen I loo! at another pro"lem ;Ah: (his
is something I can do< and I do that and when I find it too hard
;o! I will come "ac! to it later<, then another one. 4o this is the
way we should live our life.
.ven though we prepare very well in life
we cannot really "e sure that everything will happen in
the way we expect. $e have to prepare for this also.
#ut if we have prepared very well we can at least feel sure
that it wont "e too "ad5 it wont come out too "ad. At least
it will "e satisfying. 4o preparation it is very important and in
some ways we go through life preparing and preparing5 there is
no end to preparation. Actually this preparation is also our life.
I am even preparing for my next life, "ecause I !now it is going
to happen. If you !now how to prepare for it you can feel very
confident that it is most li!ely to happen the way you prepared
for it.
(hat is how a #uddha "ecame a #uddha,
"ecause he prepared for it.
And p1rami, what is p1rami9
P1rami is preparation, it is perfection.
You practice something so well that it "ecomes perfect and
actually it is a preparation. $ithout fulfilling the p1ramis, which
means without preparing yourself, without ma!ing yourself worthy
of it, it will not happen. If we want something to happen, we
have to prepare for it and feel that we are ready and worthy of
it. (hen we can feel very relaxed and happy, even happy to "e
tested. You have to go through a very difficult condition now. 4o
if you are prepared you feel very happy and excited a"out it. If
you are not prepared then you feel terrified. You have more anxiety,
more worry. 4o weve prepared for a long time and we still
have to go on preparing for it. (his is a very "eautiful g1th1. (his
is something very encouraging for meditators, #uddha said%
AtLtaB n1nv1gameyya,
nappaPi!aZ!he an1gataB.
Yad atLtam pahLnan taB,
appattaT ca an1gataB.
PaccuppannaT ca yo dhammaB,
tattha tattha vipassati,
asaBhLraB asaB!uppaB,
taB vidv1 manu"r3haye.
A'' eva !iccam 1tappaB5
Go 'aTT1 maraOaB suve9
a hi no saBgaran tena
Mahasenena maccun1.
.vaBvih1rim 1t1piB
Ahorattam atanditaB
(aB ve "hadde!aratto ti
4anto 1ci!!hate munLti.
CM iii.DEF
Q>o not pursue the past 7AtLtaB n1nv1gameyya8 which means
dont 7na8 go 7gama8 to the past 7AtLtaB8 repeatedly 7anu8. (hat
doesnt mean that we have to forget the past totally. (he meaning
is very clear actually, if you really loo! or listen to it carefully.
>ont thin! a"out the past repeatedly, going nowhere, 'ust going
round and round thin!ing and thin!ing. If there is anything useful
that you can remem"er from the past, remem"er it, ma!e
use of it. $e have to remem"er so much% telephone num"ers,
addresses, so many things. 4o many things we have done or happened
in the past, we have to remem"er. #ut remem"ering those
useful experiences and ma!ing use of it is a part of our life. (hat
is o!. #ut thin!ing a"out the past repeatedly and ma!ing yourself
unhappy, that is what we should not do.
(hin!ing, recollecting something that has happened in
the past and using it wisely is what we should do.
.ven #uddha tal!ed a"out his past lives.
Its useful to tal! a"out it, "ut dont thin! too much
a"out the past, ma!e it a ha"it.
$hen you find yourself thin!ing a"out something that is
useless loo! at it very carefully, loo! at the thought very carefully5
loo! at your attitude, why do you !eep thin!ing a"out it9
Is there fear, or attachment9 $hen you are afraid of something
you thin! a"out it quite a lot, you cannot forget it. $hen you
have great attachment to something then you !eep thin!ing
a"out it. 4o there are many reasons for people to thin! a"out
something repeatedly. 6oo! into your mind and see why you are
thin!ing a"out it so much. ,irst loo! at the thought and then
your attachment to it% $hy are you so attached to that happening
or experience9
Q>o not lose your self in the future 7nappaPi!aZ!he an1gataB8
(his is not exactly the P12i translation "ut it is close enough.
(hin!ing a"out whether something is going to happen or not,
worrying a"out the future is also quite useless.
#ut that doesnt mean that you should not plan for the future.
Many people repeatedly as!ed me ;(he #uddha tal!ed a"out
not thin!ing a"out the past, not thin!ing a"out the future5 how
can we live our life9< (hey dont understand the correct meaning.
#uddha didnt say dont thin! at all a"out the past. #uddha
didnt say dont plan for the future. (hin! a"out the past and
get some useful lessons and use them. #ut dont thin! repeatedly
of the past and ma!e yourself unhappy5 you "ecome so unhappy
that you cannot do anything useful. You are 'ust wasting your
time and energy. ,or a meditator this is not a proper thing to do.
#ut when you naturally thin! a"out it, loo! very deeply. Your
attachment5 its your attachment that ma!es you !eep thin!ing
and thin!ing a"out it. 4o we plan for the future, e.g. we are
planning for the retreat, I plan for my trip "ac! to 4ingapore5 we
have to do that. #ut worrying too much is not useful. >ont need
to worry. Plan carefully, find the facts and do what is needed to
"e done as "est you can "ut dont worry too much.
Q(he past no longer is 7Yad atLtam pahLnan taB8 and of course
we !now that the past no longer is, "ut still we cling to our past
and we thin! a"out it and ma!e it as if it is present here. $e want
to thin! of something we li!e that happened and we imagine the
thing and ma!e it li!e its happening now. +nly thin!ing ma!es
the past come into the present. $e imagine the past and ma!e it
as if it is in the present, ma!e it real. If we dont thin! a"out it, its
not real anymore, its not there, and it is only a memory.
Q(he future has not yet come 7AppattaT ca an1gataB8. $e
!now a"out this too.
4o we prepare for it and then may"e something unexpected
is going to happen and we also expect that.
$e expect something unexpected.
(his is also part of our life%
6oo!ing deeply at life as it is.
In this sentence Q6oo!ing deeply at life as it is what do we
mean "y life9 Its not seventy or eighty years "ecause thats 'ust
a concept. 0eal life is here and now, and if you really loo! at it
more closely, real life is what we see now, we hear now, we smell
now, what we feel on our "ody now, what we taste now, what
we thin! now.
0eal life is in the present.
6ife is not 'ust an idea or a concept,
"ut it is our sensations, our perceptions here and now.
$hen we meditate what do we do9 $e pay complete attention
to our sensations.
(oday I want to ma!e the word sensation very clear. -ave you
understood the word as I mean it9 $hat I mean is% when you feel
cold that is a sensation, when you feel hot that is also sensation,
when you feel pain anywhere on your "ody, that is also sensation,
when you feel pleasant, that is also sensation, when you see something,
that is sensation also, when you hear that is also a sensation,
when you smell, that is sensation, when you taste something that
is also sensation. (hat is what I mean "y sensation.
4o when we meditate
we pay complete attention to sensations.
4o youre now getting a gist of what meditation is.
$hen we pay close attention to say feeling cold, is there any
shape9 (here is no shape5 a sensation of cold has no shape. 4o when
we pay attention to feeling cold we dont thin! of the shape. $e pay
attention to the sensation only. 4o direct experience is something
unthin!a"le5 this is another point5 do you agree with that9 >o you
have any dou"t a"out that9 Is there any confusion9 >irect, immediate
experience is unthin!a"le. You can only thin! a"out a concept,
an idea. $henever you thin! a"out the past its not your direct
experience anymore. Its a concept, an idea you have formed in your
mind, your interpretation of the experience you are thin!ing a"out.
You cannot really thin! a"out the real experience actually. Its only
your interpretation of the experience that you can thin! a"out.
(he same thing with the future5 you are pro'ecting your past
into the future. 4o you can only thin! a"out ideas and interpretations
not direct experience.
$hen we meditate we pay complete attention to our direct
experience in our "ody and in our mind. $henever thoughts
arise we pay direct attention, complete attention to the thought.
4ometimes there may "e no thoughts, the mind is 'ust calm and
quiet and peaceful, and you pay attention to that mind also,
that mental state5 not a thought, its a mental state, no thought,
very clear, very calm, very peaceful, you pay attention to that
too ;(his is happening now<. $e dont do anything a"out it5 we
dont try to change it.
$hen we meditate
we are not trying to do something, to ma!e something happen,
we are trying to pay attention to what is happening as it is.
4o this is a very important point% loo!ing deeply at life as it is5
loo!ing deeply only, not doing anything a"out it.
Many people as! what to do when meditating.
&ust pay attention:
#ut most people are surprised "y the answer. (hey thin! they
have to do something, they have to create something. >oing is
something we do in our daily life. #ut when we meditate we
dont do anything at all. $e 'ust pay attention. It is so simple
that it is so hard for people to do, 'ust "ecause it is so simple. $e
have the ha"it of ma!ing things so complicated. $hen we try to
do something the ego is in the way. You cannot do that in meditation.
=et yourself out of the way and let meditation happen5
no ego, not doing anything, 'ust paying complete attention5 this
is very important.
6oo!ing deeply at life as it is in the very here and now.
In the very here and now there is no story.
Ian you ma!e a story a"out something
happening right here now9
(here is no story here and now,
there are only sensations arising and passing away,
only immediate sensation.
4o this verse is very clear. If you understand every word, this
is the instruction.
Q6oo!ing deeply at life as it is in the very here and now, the
practitioner dwells in sta"ility and freedom 7PaccuppannaT ca
yo dhammaB, tattha tattha vipassati, asaBhLraB asaB!uppaB8. If
you can !eep your mind in the here and now with all attention,
theres sta"ility there. (hat means your mind is not going to
the past, its not going to the future, so there is sta"ility. If you
are thin!ing a"out the past or the future that means there is no
sta"ility. $hen your mind settles in the very here and now, paying
attention to whatever is happening in your "ody or in your
mind you have sta"ility and freedom also. #ecause when you are
paying total attention there is no thought.
Actually thought is a prison we are in.
$hen we pay full attention there is no greed in the mind,
greed is actually a thought.
$ithout thin!ing can you actually ma!e yourself
"ecome greedy9 (ry it.
$ithout thin!ing a"out a story or a person, a situation, we
cannot "ecome greedy. 4o greed accompanies a thought. (he
same thing with anger5 without thin!ing anything a"out it you
cant get angry. 4o right here and now there is nothing to "e
greedy a"out, there is nothing to "e angry a"out. (hat is freedom
actually% no greed, no anger, full attention. (hats why no
delusion, no a"sentMmindedness.
Q$e must "e diligent today, to wait until tomorrow is too
late. >eath comes unexpectedly, -ow can we "argain with
it9 7A'' eva !iccam 1tappaB5 Go 'aTT1 maraOaB suve9 a hi no
saBgaran tena, Mahasenena maccun18. (his reminds me of a line.
Q(o wait until tomorrow is too late is a line in a song somewhere%
QIts now or never5 this song. $ho sang that9 I dont
remem"er. 4o we must "e diligent now, to wait until tomorrow
is too late. 4o its now or never. >eath comes unexpectedly5 we
dont !now when we will die, we 'ust "elieve that we will live for
a long time ;+h: I am quite healthy and I am going to live for
at least another twenty, thirty, forty years.< I even hope to live
for fifty years5 fifty more years, I want to wor! until the last day,
the last moment. Anyway, no matter when it happens it can
come unexpectedly. Most people die unexpectedly, "ut some
well5 whenever they meet some"ody, they relate to that person
with real care, love and compassion, "ecause they !now that
they are only going to "e together for a few days, may"e for a few
months, then theyll "e gone and wont see them anymore.
people !now that they are going to die "ecause they have "een
sic! for a long time. Actually these people are very fortunate.
(hose who !now that they are going to die, many months or
perhaps years in advance, they are very fortunate. 4ome people
have told me ;I want to die instantly so that I dont have to suffer.<
#ut I have noticed that those people who !now they are
dying slowly5 in the "eginning they are very sad and depressed,
"ut especially if they are meditators, they come out of depression
very quic!ly and they meditate. (hey ma!e use of each
moment, each day very well. (he moment they wa!e up they
feel so happy, ;I am still alive.< (hey ma!e use of their time very
$hy thin! a"out things that frustrate us5 rather thin! a"out
the nice things that we can do for each other, which we have
done for each other and treat each other with respect, !indness,
honesty and openness, "eing very real. (his is something I am
trying to do also. I dont !now how you feel "ut for a long time,
for many years in my life I felt I was not real. I was 'ust acting a
role very well, so well that every"ody "elieved it. #ut you !now
that as long as you go on acting, pretending, you feel not real.
You dont feel satisfied with your life. #ut I want to "e real, I
really want to find out what I want to do, how I feel, who I am,
where I am going. 4o death comes unexpectedly, how can we
"argain with it9 o "argaining:
Q(he 4age calls a person who !nows how to dwell in
mindfulness night and day% +ne who !nows the "etter way
to live alone 7.vaBvih1rim 1t1piB, Ahorattam atanditaB, (aB
ve "hadde!aratto ti. 4anto 1ci!!hate munLti8. (he sage is a wise
person li!e the #uddha or an Arahant, any"ody who is wise.
If we live in mindfulness night and day it means
that mindfulness "ecomes our home.
Q+ne who !nows the "etter way to live alone. (he "etter
way shows that there is another way. (here are many other ways
to live alone e.g. 'ust go into a forest, "uild a small ca"in and live
there alone with no"ody around. (hats not the "etter way to
live alone5 although that might "e useful for some people for a
certain amount of time, "ut you cannot do that all your life. You
have to "e related with others. .ven mon!s have to "e related
with other mon!s, teachers, villagers, supporters.
4o what does this mean Q+ne who !nows the "etter way to
live alone9 Most people feel lonely "ut they dont live alone.
(hey are 'ust feeling very lonely "ut they are not living alone.
You can live alone "ut not feel lonely.
(hats what a meditator learns to do and
thats a very useful thing to learn to do%
live alone and not feel lonely.
(hats what we do. $e live in a forest in a small place mostly
alone, "ut never feel lonely. .ven here I live in my room most of
the time. Uery rarely I come out of my room. I live alone "ut I
dont feel lonely. I feel connected, I feel related. 4o how do you do
that9 (hats what we learn to do. A meditator learns to do that.
(hat means when you are not thin!ing too much a"out the past or
future, when you are not feeling greedy or angry, when your mind
is quiet and mindful that is the "etter way to live alone. (here
might "e a lot of people around. In the retreat we will "e sitting
together5 Ill "e sitting with you too, "ut each of us is alone "ecause
we are meditating we are very mindful and we are not reacting.
$hen we dont react with
greed, anger, pride, envy, 'ealousy we are alone.
(he moment you start reacting we are not alone anymore.
$hen we are greedy or angry were not alone anymore.
$hen you are mindful and not greedy, not thin!ing too
much a"out the past or the future5 sometimes you thin! a"out
the past or future. If it is useful, thats o!. (hen we are psychologically
independent. (his word Qpsychologically independent
is very important. I am dependent on you in many ways "ut
psychologically I am not dependent on you. I dont expect you
to come and ma!e me happy. I am happy 'ust the way I am. #ut I
expect you to help me when I need something or when I want to
go somewhere. I expect that5 I am dependent on you for those
things. 4o you give me all this help and I appreciate it very much
"ut I am not dependent on you psychologically, I am independent,
and that means to "e alone. $hen you are dependent on
another person, even though that person is not near you, you
are not alone.
4o when you meditate and develop these qualities, you
"ecome alone "ut you are not lonely. (ry to understand the difference5
theres a "ig difference. #uddha encouraged mon!s to
go and live in seclusion, "ut he did not encourage mon!s to "e
totally alienated. (hats not the !ind of thing #uddha encouraged.
4o you meditate and ma!e your mind very calm and peaceful,
no greed, no anger, no pride, envy, 'ealousy5 that is alone "ut
you are related to other people. You go to the village everyday to
get your food. $hen people come to you, do things for you and
as! for advice, you give them advice. #ut you are not dependent,
so youre alone. As long as you are independent, you are alone.
(o "e alone is very good, to "e lonely is not.
(hese are two lines from a verse I read a long time ago5 its
a very long verse, three pages long I thin!. I can only remem"er
the first two lines, a very "eautiful two lines and I am living
those two lines. (his is what I do5 I live poems and my life
"ecomes a poem. (hose two lines are%
;(he great way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences<
C-sinMhsin Ming "y 4engMtsan the ?rd ]en Patriach
I am trying to live that. Preferences are not that "ad. eeds
are very "ad actually. $e say ;I need this, I need that< or ;I
want this, I want that.<
$ant is not that "ad.
eed is more "ad "ecause when you say ;I need<
that means you cannot live without it.
In most cases we dont need much. $hat we really need is so
little that its funny we tal! a"out it5 we dont even want to tal!
a"out it. $e dont need much. &ust a small amount of rice, some
green vegeta"les, a little "it of "eans% thats enough. &ust fill your
stomach. Your stomach is quite happy, only your tongue is not
happy. $hat we need is so little. And for clothing, you see I wear
the same clothes. If I need to wash, I wash one in the morning
and it dries in the evening and then I wear it again. .veryday
I wear the same clothes, no need to change. &ust wash it and
wear it again and again, no pro"lem. My "ody is quite happy "ut
may"e my eyes are sometimes very unhappy a"out it. (hats only
my eyes "ut my "ody, as long as it feels warm5 its perfectly o!5
only my eyes causing so much du!!ha. 4o, now I am "ecoming a
"it wiser. I dont listen to my eyes and my tongue "ut I listen to
the eyes when I wal! so that I dont fall into a pit.
$hen you say ;I need it<, loo! very deeply and as! yourself
;>o I really need it9 Iant I let go of it9< Are you really sure
you need it9 If you as! that question may"e your answer will "e,
ninety nine out of a hundred, ;o I dont need it. I want it.<
4o "e very honest a"out it. ;I want it< thats very honest. And
even "etter if you say ;I prefer it.< #y saying that it means that
it is not so demanding, you can change your preference. ;Its o!
I can change it. I prefer this "ut as I cant get this I will "e quite
satisfied with what I get.< And even then you say ;If you have
no preference at all, you are so peaceful and free.< 4o why are
you ma!ing yourself so unhappy, so unfree9 You are letting this
happen. $hen we go to the retreat and meditate, you may not
get so many things that you are used to getting5 food, drin!s and
many other things too, you may not get. 4o prepare your mind,
;Ill practice these two lines< @ (he great way is not difficult for
those who have no preferences. You will not die in the retreat.
#uddha said even if you die, !eep wor!ing, wor! hard, even if
your "ody is reduced to s!in and "ones, wor! hard. #ut I am
only afraid that you will put on weight for not having enough
exercise. 4o dont worry a"out that. Youll have enough to eat.
,ill your stomach5 dont listen to your tongue. &ust listen to your
stomach. It will "e quite happy no matter what you put in as
long as it is a healthy, fresh vegetarian meal5 its quite happy.
4o these are 'ust a few things 'ust to get your mind in the
right frame.
Its very important% framing your mind is very important.
Ireating the mood is very important.
If you are in the right mood,
in the right frame of mind, things are very easy.
Also during the retreat we may not tal! to each other
unnecessarily. $hen it is really necessary you can tal!. You can
tal! with me, you can as! me questions. If you do not wish to
as! ver"ally you can as! on a piece of paper. $rite it on a piece
of paper and !eep it near my seat. Ill read it and answer the
question. You dont need to put your name there, if you dont
want to, and if you need to tal! with me personally, youll get a
chance to tal! a"out that too, depending on the situation, Ill
ma!e time. 0ight now I dont !now where the place will "e. Its
good to do that in the meditation hall, the place we will "e meditating
"ecause according to the plan we have one and a half
hours to wal! in the morning and evening. (hats long wal!ing.
In "etween too, one hour wal!ing and one hour sitting. $hen
others are wal!ing and you have a question I thin! if its suita"le
we can do the question and answer in that time also. +therwise
we can ma!e another time 'ust for question and answer.
$e will not "e tal!ing to each other during the retreat so
I thin! its good now for you to get to !now each other, if you
dont !now any"odys name. I want to have your names also
so that I !now who you are. I !now all your faces "ecause Ive
seen you many times "efore "ut some of you I dont remem"er
the names. 4o each one of you here now, feel that we are
friends, feel that we are "rothers and sisters. (his feeling is also
very important. &ust practicing mindfulness vipassan1 practice
alone is not enough. $e need to practice more than that5 practice
loving !indness, mett1 meditation, and with that comes
compassion also5 the two are so close. Also we reflect on the
and relaxed, it is very important.
qualities of the #uddha which ma!es the mind so calm, peaceful
and pure. $hen we thin! of some"ody pure, our mind, our
heart tends to "ecome li!e that. $e can let go of more and
more. $hen you thin! of the #uddha, his freedom, his purity,
his wisdom, his compassion instantly you want to "ecome li!e
that. &ust wanting to "ecome li!e him ma!es you want to let go
of other things that are hindering you. 4o along the way in the
process we will practice that too for only a few moments, a few
minutes. $hen we practice mett1 meditation its not 'ust words.
$e thin! of each other, each person and radiate our !indness,
any !ind of !ind thought we radiate on each other so that we
feel very friendly and secure and relaxed. 4o get to !now each
other5 I thin! most of you !now each other already. 4o were
already friends or you may even feel li!e we are "rothers and sisters,
were a family. (his feeling also ma!es you feel very secure
+ne meditation helps another meditation.
Mindfulness helps you "ecome more mindful,
more peaceful, and more sensitive.
It helps you to "ecome more loving, more !ind,
and more considerate.
$e need to "e very considerate.
(here are so many people living together in the same place
for so long, for nine days, if you have not prepared your mind
properly it can cause a lot of friction and frustration. .ven with
times we forget. 4o get to !now each other now and feel that
we are part of a "ig family. (his is mett1. Mett1 doesnt only
mean 'ust thin!ing ;May all "eings "e happy5 oh, except him:<
two people living in the same place you have to "e so patient,
considerate, forgiving, understanding. 4mall things may happen
every now and then that irritate you and you !eep thin!ing
;+h: (hat person, I wish that person hadnt come to the
retreat, he said hes going to come and sit and meditate "ut loo!
hes moving every minute.< 4o many thoughts will happen in
your mind. If some"ody eats, I !now a lot of people dont eat
correctly, they eat together and they come and tell me ;(hat
persons so greedy you !now, he too! so much of the nice things,
and he ate the whole plate of desert.< (hings li!e that happen,
it is quite human. Many things will happen, even closing the
door, "anging the door. 4ometimes people forget, even myself,
sometimes I forget and "ang the door, such loud noise and I feel
very ashamed, ;so unmindful<, although no"ody was around
actually. 4o its very important to feel that we are helping each
other, supporting each other. 4o every day for a few moments
in our sitting we radiate our !indness, loving thoughts, understanding,
forgiving, ma!ing each other feel very safe and secure
so that you dont feel 'udged. If you do something wrong you
!now ;+h: o"ody will "e upset a"out it.< $e !now "ut someIn
#urma they have a verse for that, I forget the whole verse.
;.xcept those of "ad "irth, mosquitoes, "ody lice and crows,
may all other "eings "e happy.< Uery funny, "ut it so happens.
I hope that you have understood the "asic instructions a"out
meditation5 you still have a chance to as! questions now. If you
still have dou"ts a"out the "asic meditation technique, method
or instruction, please as! now.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes we have time for interview. You can as! a
question or express your experience and get some guidanceN
you may as! a question privately. I am willing to help you in
any way I can. (his preparation is to help you ma!e the most
out of your nine days in the retreat, "ecause its such a precious
nine days, each day is so precious. (his is not something
you do all the time. (his is something very special actually,
very rare. I want you to ma!e the most of it, to really en'oy
it, to really feel that ;+h: It was so worthwhile< and youll
remem"er it later ;+h: I am so happy I did that.< Its so rare
to get a chance to do that. As a memory later youll feel happy
a"out it and it will help you to !eep on meditating. Youll
really learn to meditate. Youll experience some deep insight
that will help you for the rest of your life and, I thin!, even
for the next life "ecause every deep insight has tremendous
power, it can affect you for many lives. If you 'ust understand
that this is 'ust pure physical phenomenon not a "eing, not a
thing and this is 'ust pure mental phenomenon not a "eing,
not a thing, 'ust that understanding, very deeply, clearly can
affect you for many life times. .very time you hear >hamma
you will !now instantly that ;Yes, this is right.< 4o it has tremendous
power5 wisdom has very strong power. 4o wisdom,
mindfulness, clarity is something most of us dont do all the
time. $e have lived many lifeMtimes "efore. I dont !now
exactly "ut 'ust to ma!e a learned guess, we can tell that we
have not meditated much even in our past lifeMtimes. May"e
we have done a lot of merits, giving things, supporting other
people, helping other people, !eeping the precepts and all
those good things we might have done that, quite pro"a"le,
"ut very rarely we really meditate. Uery rarely when we really
meditate we penetrate and see the way things are. 4o if you
really thin! a"out it, what you are going to do is something
you have never done "efore may"e. And even in the future I
would li!e to do that, longer retreats, fifteen, twenty days. If
we can plan for it I am really happy to help you when I come
"ac!. If possi"le we will do it, "ut we cannot really "e sure
that we will "e a"le to do it. #ut if we really put our mind and
heart in doing it, it will happen.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% People ta!e a lot of pride in their seats and in
most cases their seat shows who they are. (o give you an
example, some people told me in some offices if you go into
the office, the si)e of this office tells you who this person is.
And if you see a pot plant in the room, the rarity and the
expensiveness of the pot plant tells you who this person is%
the "oss. And if there are more and "igger pot plants then
hes the "igger "oss5 not enough room left, the whole room
filled with pot plants. $e ta!e so much pride in what we
wear, in the seat we use to sit or the "ed to sleep. $e discriminate
against each other "y using different seats. ;You
shouldnt sit in that chair, thats for some"ody special.<
$hen we ta!e the eight precepts we deli"erately ma!e ourselves
hum"le, we dont show off with our clothes or seat5
so no high and luxurious seats. It affects our mind also. I am
glad that you mentioned that.
.ight precepts are not meant
to deprive you of your necessities.
(hey help you to meditate, to ma!e your life simpler.
If you are not used to !eeping eight precepts you may
thin! that ;+h: Its so hard<. #ut if you are willing, even
though you are not used to it, youll find that after the second
day its o!. +nly on the first day you feel li!e you are
missing something. Instead of the meal you can drin! a lot
of 'uice. If you "ecome used to doing that you may not even
feel the need to do that anymore. &ust water is enough. #ut
its o! you can drin! 'uice, have a "ig meal for your "rea!fast
and another "ig meal for lunch and after that in the
evening, drin! 'uice. >rin!ing 'uice is good for meditation
also. 6iquid does not ma!e you feel heavy and tired5 it gives
you a lot of energy5 feels very light. 4o to ma!e your life very
simple, to save time also, is very important. (hin! a"out it,
how much time we spend to eat. $hen I eat it ta!es a"out
fifteen minutes. I give myself twenty minutes "ut in fifteen
minutes I finish eating my meal. $hen I thin! a"out how
much time people spend for coo!ing I thought ;$hy spend
so much time 'ust to coo!9 &ust "oil it, put a little "it of salt
and oil and eat it.< &ust spend ten minutes to coo! and ten
minutes to eat.
Its o! to have enough energy,
to !eep yourself healthy,
"ut dont spend too much time doing
too much thin!ing a"out food.
I did that too when I was young whenever we met each
other we tal!ed a"out this and that and I dont !now how
the conversation slipped into food, again and again a"out
food e.g. what we ate this morning. After a while wed notice
that ;-ey: 6oo! we tal!ed a"out something else and ended
up tal!ing a"out food.< 4o its a "ig part of our life, our "ody
needs. $ere not depriving ourselves or destroying and ruining
our health "y not eating. $e are eating enough.
N Actually dairy products are considered a !ind of food.
+nly fruit and vegeta"le 'uice is actually allowed 7after midday8.
Plain or "lac! tea I thin! is o!. -oney, cane sugar
'uice, coconut water, orange 'uice, "anana 'uice is allowed.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% (o ma!e your life very simple, that is the main
point. $e dont spend time to coo!.
(he main purpose is to ma!e your life very simple,
'ust to let go of your craving for food.
>o you !now anything a"out Ging Milinda9 4ometimes
he !ept eight precepts. -e was the one who as!ed so many
questions to Uenera"le 1gasena. (he Gings name was
Milinda or Menander. In P12i it is Milinda. (his Ging, you
!now how careful and wise he was9 #efore he as!ed the
Uenera"le 1gasena the questions he !ept eight precepts
for a"out a wee! and lived in a very simple room, not in the
decorated palace room and he wore simple clothes and he
even covered his hair with something li!e this5 'ust covered
it not to ma!e it "eautiful. -e !ept eight precepts, meditated
for a while and then he as!ed the questions. $hen
you prepare yourself li!e that, your mood and perspective
change. You dont feel you are a !ing anymore. You feel
li!e you are a person who wants to !now the (ruth and you
prepare your "ody and mind for it. 4o these things are very
important to ta!e notice of5 if he felt that he is a Ging, then
from that feeling if he as!s questions, hell as! stupid questions.
4o he deli"erately distanced himself from "eing a !ing.
$ithout giving up power he stopped attending court and he
'ust meditated for a"out a wee!, !ept eight precepts and
then as!ed the questions. (hen he has a very important and
meaningful question to as!. 4o these are the things which
I thin! we should remem"er and learn and do. If I didnt
meditate it would "e very difficult for me to tal! a"out meditation.
And if you dont meditate it would "e very difficult
for you to as! a"out meditation. If you are doing it with all
these preparations then you !now what needs to "e as!ed,
and if I have to say something Ill !now what to say. Also
dont "ring anything valua"le. It 'ust worries you too much.
J/.4(I+% $hen we watch sensations are we still aware
of the "reathing9
A 4 $ . 0% If you can stay with your "reath alone stay
with it as long as possi"le. $hen some other sensations on
the "ody "ecome very strong and attract your attention naturally
your mind will go there again and again. In this case
pay attention to that sensation for quite a long time, stay
with it for a long time, for as long as you can stay. It does
not matter with what sensation you stay with, the only thing
that really matters is to stay with it for a long time and see
the nature of it. 4ee that it is 'ust a natural phenomenon. It
has no shape, no name and it doesnt "elong to any"ody.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes it might disappear5 sometimes it might not
disappear, most of the time it disappears. $hen it disappears
then go "ac! to "reathing again. 4ometimes you !now even
"reathing disappears5 only very clear peaceful state of mind is
there. (hen you pay attention to that. othing is there anymore,
no "odily sensation, no "reath even. Although you are
still "reathing, it "ecomes so su"tle that it cannot come into
your awareness anymore. Also "ecause you are paying more
attention to your mental states, the more you pay attention
to your mental states the more you get a"sor"ed into that
mental state, the mind stays in the mind. Your "ody disappears
from your focus so you are not aware of it anymore,
you dont feel anything in the "ody. You can only feel the
mind, very clear and calm. 4ometimes something li!e a ripple
comes. You can see that, feel that and it goes away, stay
with that. #ut it happens only in the later stages.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% 4tay with it as long as you can. If you can stay
with a sensation stay with it as long as you can. #reath is also
one sensation. $e choose "reathe "ecause it is always with
us. +ther sensations they are there sometimes and sometimes
they are not there. $hen thoughts come pay attention to the
thoughts, "ut if you can pay attention to the sensation completely
that is good enough. $hen you pay attention to your
"reathing, its also a sensation. $hen you "reathe in and out,
the sensation you are paying attention to is not the in and out
direction, that has no shape. You are not thin!ing a"out the
"reath5 you are paying attention to the sensation happening
while this process of "reathing is going on. #reathing in and out
you feel something, a sensation5 even when you are "reathing
in and out you are paying attention to the sensation, this one
of the sensations. #ecause it is so natural and it happens all the
time we ta!e it as our focal point, "ut when another sensation
happens in the "ody we pay attention to that. If you can stay
with that sensation as long as it lasts, !eep doing that. $e
dont say that this is "etter than that, "ecause only in samatha
meditation you have to stic! to one o"'ect. $ith vipassan1
meditation you can switch from one o"'ect to another as long
as you dont thin! a"out it or anything else. You can pay attention
to any sensation and stay with it as long as possi"le, and
when it disappears come "ac! to your focal point.
4ometimes it doesnt disappear. 6ets say for example
pain, it "ecomes more and more painful, after a while you
thin! that ;I cant "ear this anymore, it is too painful and it
is ma!ing my mind agitated.< 4ometimes people even trem"le
"ecause of the pain. (hey endure and endure and after a
while they thin! ;I cant ta!e it anymore.< 4o some people
sha!e with pain. 4ome people sweat with pain. 4ome people
are very "rave. (hen at last when you thin! that this is the
limit, its not really useful anymore, change your posture very
slowly and mindfully. As you move even a centimeter you
can feel the sensation and difference, ;Its getting "etter.<
4o you can change position slowly, feel it changing, changing,
changing, disappearing, disappearing. (hen you find
another position in which you feel comforta"le and you can
see also your mind "ecoming more relaxed. $hen you are
feeling pain naturally your mind "ecomes very tense. ow
your mind "ecomes very relaxed and then "ac! to "reathing.
Its quite natural5 the whole process is quite natural.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% &ust see the thin!ing, thin!ing a"out food,
a"out home, a"out wor!, a"out friend. You 'ust notice the
thin!ing, and enough, "ac! to sensation. 6ater in your meditation
you can 'ust stic! with a thought, "ut that happens later.
,or a "eginner, if he stays with the thought it 'ust goes on and
on with no ending, "ut after youve developed some sam1dhi,
if loo! at the thought, you can see it very clearly, each word
going on in your mind5 its li!e tal!ing inside, you can even
hear it, one word after another. If we "ecome really exact on
the point it stops and disappears5 no thought anymore. $hen
there is no thought anymore, if you can, you can see the mind
with no thought. ,or example its li!e you are watching a
television and the programme ends or you switch to another
channel where there is no programme. $hen there is no programme
what is there9 o picture yes, "ut something is there.
Its a "lan! and "right screen. (he mind "ecomes li!e that%
"lan! "ut "right. #right means you are there, awareness is
there, the mind is alert "ut very quiet, no thought, no picture,
no sound, no words. Its very quiet, very clear. You can feel
that and stay with that. (his is the clearest state of mind.
(hat "ecomes your o"'ect of meditation again. If you can stay
with that longer and longer, it helps very much. (he longer
you can maintain that clear, quiet state of mind when something
else happen it "ecomes clearer.
4o you "egin with "reathing for a few minutes and then
you pay attention to your "ody also, after a while when you
develop some mindfulness and sam1dhi, your mind "ecomes
very calm and peaceful, you watch your mind, one thought
comes slowly and goes away, another thought comes slowly
and goes away. You watch it and watch it and as you watch
it really directly, right on the present moment, it stops and
your mind "ecomes suddenly clear5 no thought anymore. You
can see that mind, no thought. A very clear state of mind, if
you can touch with your mindfulness, awareness, that state of
mind stays. (his means no thoughts coming in anymore. You
can stay with that thought and after a while you can maintain
it. You can tune and ad'ust your mind and maintain that
clear state of mind and stay for a long time.
Your mindfulness "ecomes stronger and stronger, and
from that space you can experience anything else happening
without this space disappearing. $hen a sound comes,
without losing this clear state of mind you can experience
the sound and it disappears immediately. .ven without losing
this clarity of mind if any sensation happens in your "ody
you can still experience it. ,rom that clear state of mind you
experience that sensation and it disappears. #ut this happens
in the later stages, not in the "eginning. 4o its very natural.
You stay with what happens, even unpleasant sensation or
some !ind of distur"ing questions.
>istur"ing questions also come, a question coming again
and again, ;$hat is this9 $hat is that9 $hat shall I do now9<
And if you pay attention to that question, after a while it
disappears and you feel that ;o need to as! any question<.
$hatever comes next 'ust pay attention, it disappears and
another thing comes, pay attention. If you are willing to do
that then 'ust go on doing that. >ont need to do anything
else, 'ust pay attention to whatever comes. $hatever happens
in your "ody or in your mind has to "e o"served. All you
need to do is to o"serve it, to loo! at it, to pay attention, to
see what it is. o need to change it or to push it away. >ont
create anything. It is very simple. If you can do that your mind
"ecomes very calm, very still. You are not doing anything at
all. (hats a !ind of sam1dhi, very calm. 4ometimes nothing is
happening. (he mind is very calm and clear. You can see that
mind more and more clearly, you can see that its very calm.
You experience calmness. You experience sam1dhi again.
(his is sam1dhi5 the mind is "right, its li!e a flame, its li!e a
candle in a cave, very deep cave with no wind. Its very still,
you light a candle, its "urning "right "ut the flame is so still
it is li!e it is painted. You can sometimes see your mind li!e
that% very calm, it does not move at all. 4ometimes you feel
your mind very tranquil. Its cool, very cool. 4ometimes you
feel that its so "alanced that you dont have to do anything
at all5 its 'ust "alanced, so much equanimity. 4ometimes you
feel a lot of motivation, saddh1, to !eep meditating. You
dont want to get up. You dont want to go out and do anything
else. You 'ust want to go on meditating. 4ometimes you
even tell yourself ;I can sit li!e that forever now.< If the mind
stays li!e that, you really can sit forever. +nly sometimes it
"ecomes wea!er again. Actually things change.
J/.4(I+% $hen we feel drowsy and we !now we are
not getting anywhere is it "etter to get up and do wal!ing
A 4 $ . 0% #efore you "ecome sleepy pay attention to what
happens to your mental state. (his also is an o"'ect of meditation.
In P12i it is called saZ!hittaB. 4aZ!hittaB means the
mind going away5 not going out, its going in. It is not sam1dhi
"ut the mind is "ecoming more and more sleepy. May"e sometimes
it feels li!e "eing sleepy and la)y. $hen youre sleepy
youre la)y actually, "ecause there is no energy, no motivation.
4o firstly, when it is happening, see that mental state
also. 4eeing whatever is happening now is more important
than overcoming it. 4o when it happens pay more attention.
4ometimes 'ust "y paying attention and ma!ing yourself alert
;Ill pay more attention now<, that ma!es you wa!e up again.
4ometimes as you pay more and more attention for a "rief
few seconds you fall asleep5 you are not aware of anything at
all. (hen you wa!e up again and notice that ;+h: ,or a "rief
moment I fell asleep.< And when something happens and
you notice, you wa!e up again. 4o try first to do that.
#ecause sitting meditation is only for one hour, if you try,
you can sit for one hour. (ry to stay with the sitting. After that
you wal! for one hour. #ut youll find that after a few days
you can sit longer and longer. (hats why although it is not
included in the programme, later in the retreat, after may"e
five, six or seven days, if you want to and if you can, you may
sit without going for a wal!. #ecause we have many times for
wal!ing, four or five times, if you want to s!ip some you can 'ust
go on sitting. #ut "e very careful. >ont do that 'ust to prove
it. >o it if it is really useful for you to do. You are not proving
anything to yourself or even to others. You are not proving
that ;I can sit for two hours.< You dont need to prove that.
$hether you are sitting or wal!ing the most important thing
is to "e really mindful, to pay real attention to what is happening
in the "ody and mind now. I dont mean to say that sitting
is "etter than wal!ing5 not necessarily. 4ometimes during the
wal!ing meditation session, youre more mindful. 4ometimes
during the sitting meditation session, youre more mindful.
(o "e mindful is more important than
'ust to "e sitting or wal!ing for a long time.
4o time doesnt matter actually.
(his alternating "etween sitting and wal!ing is a very good
schedule. Its good for your health too. If you sit for too long
your whole "ody as relaxed as possi"le, your arms very relaxed,
'ust there, and maintain the standing posture and meditate
sometimes your "ody and also your mind "ecomes very dull.
#ut as I said, after a few days, if you li!e to sit longer, sit longer,
its alright. $al!ing one and a half hours in the morning and
the evening, thats a long wal!. You can go out and wal!. #ut
in "etween there are many wal!ing sessions too. F%[[ to E%?[,
thats one long wal!ing5 then D[%[[ to DD%[[, one hour wal!ing5
D%[[ to *%[[, one hour wal!ing5 ?%[[ to R%[[, one hour
wal!ing5 and there tea and wal!ing together, one and a half
hours, so you 'ust drin! a cup of tea which ta!es five minutes
and then go for one hour and twenty five minutes of wal!ing.
After a while, naturally, you tend to sit more and more. You
get very calm and peaceful you 'ust sit for the whole one hour,
one and a half hours. 4ometimes, some people, later in the
retreat, especially when they are doing a long retreat, sit for
three sessions together, one hour of sitting, one hour of wal!ing
and another hour of sitting, if they dont get up for the one
hour wal!ing "etween, they can go on sitting for three hours.
4ome people do that. Youre not required to do that. #ut some
people li!e to do that and they do it. (hats o!. ,rom F%?[
onwards, sitting or standing. 4tanding meditation is also good
and necessary, in some cases. -ere also, H%[[ to D[%[[ am sitting
or standing5 you may stand also, its o!, no pro"lem5 its
equally good if you can do that. &ust stand somewhere with
'ust li!e sitting. In the "eginning you may find it hard to stand
for half an hour, so 'ust stand for fifteen minutes and then
when you feel ready, sit down slowly, quietly. (ry that.
Actually after wal!ing for an hour, if you do wal!ing
meditation really mindfully, if you go and sit, that sitting is
very good. #ecause the sam1dhi and mindfulness that you
have developed during wal!ing helps you even more when
you sit. 4o no matter what happens try to do "oth regularly
without preferring one or another. 4ee what happens9 4o
first try to sit and wal! regularly. (ry to "e on the schedule.
J/.4(I+% $hat do we do after the retreat, "ecause some
of us will have to go to wor! the next day9
A 4 $ . 0% Yes, this is also very important. I thought of
tal!ing a"out that on the last day. #ut its o!5 we can tal!
a"out it now. Its very good that you as! this question now.
If you dont as! this question now, you !now what will happen9
You will "e thin!ing a"out it during the retreat. (hats
not a good thing to do. (hats why I want to "e here now
to tal! a"out it. 4o naturally if you really pay more and
more attention, after the first day you "ecome more calm
and peaceful. +r may"e you thin! a"out this or that for a
while, and then after a few days, three four days, your mind
"ecomes settled and very quiet and peaceful. After eight or
nine days, youll thin! ;+h: It would "e wonderful if I dont
have to leave, that I dont have to go "ac! to that "usy
life.< aturally it happens. And your "ody and mind also
"ecomes very sensitive. 4o when you go out suddenly its
very painful5 rushing, driving, seeing this, hearing that, its
very painful. 4o expect that. After the retreat is over, stay
there for a while and tal! a"out something so that you get
use to tal!ing and ad'ust yourself "ac! to normal.
+n Monday also, the momentum and strength of your
meditation will still go on for a few more days. 4o even on
Monday if you have to go to wor!, youll feel li!e you dont
want to tal! much. .ven the way you do things "ecomes slow5
this is quite natural. If you can, tell your friends a"out this,
that this is something that happens naturally. 4o when you
come "ac! for wor!, your friends !now that today and for
a few more days youll "e a little "it quiet and slow, not so
tal!ative. 4ometimes you dont want to pay attention to what
others are tal!ing a"out, "ecause to pay attention to so many
people tal!ing a"out so many different things is so tiring. You
feel that ;+h: Its so tiring.< 4o tell them that ;If I dont pay so
much attention please understand it and forgive me. Ill "e o!
in few days.< (al! a"out this also with your family mem"ers.
4ay that ;I am going for a retreat and when I come "ac! this is
something that happens naturally. 4o dont thin! that I have
"ecome a )om"ie. >ont thin! that something has happened.
Its 'ust normal.< After a few days you will get used to going
on the way you have lived "efore and may"e a little "it more
detached. 4ometimes this detachment goes on for many days,
sometimes months. If you !eep on meditating it can go on.
#ut you can still go on doing your wor!, and even "etter. Your
relationships also will get even "etter "ecause you dont react
so much anymore. If you can maintain you awareness, when
some"ody tal!s, you can pay full attention and understand it
very well and then respond appropriately not automatically.
(here is one thing that a lot of people complain a"out.
(his is also something important to discuss. People say that
when you "ecome very mindful you lose your spontaneity,
you are not spontaneous anymore. You are more deli"erate.
#efore you say something you thin! for a few more seconds.
#efore this you 'ust tal! on and on without thin!ing, without
even !nowing what you are tal!ing a"out. #ut after, as you
"ecome more and more mindful, "efore you say something
you thin! a"out it. 4ometimes you wont say anything anymore,
its not necessary. 4o people around you sometimes
thin! that ;It loo!ed li!e he was going to say something "ut
I dont !now what happened.< You !now what you want to
tal! a"out and you see this and you thought ;ot necessary,
'ust stop.< 4o these are a few things that we need to !now.
May"e these "ecome a !ind of difficulty in your life. #ut
as you go on with full confidence and !eep on meditating,
later it will not "e a pro"lem anymore and your life "ecomes
even more meaningful, more structured, more disciplined,
less agitation, less waste of time, less waste of energy.
You dont get interested in doing too many things also.
.ven going here and there too much, you lose interest,
"ecause these things are really not necessary and not useful.
I dont !now why people thin! that they have to "e doing
something5 they have to !eep themselves "usy all the time.
(his is "ecoming an addiction, a disease actually. $hy do
you need to do so much9 Many people these days, especially
in the $est, when you are not "usy, they say that something
is wrong with you. (heyll thin! ;what, you are not doing
anything9< ;$hat do you do in your wee!ends9< ;+h: othing,
I 'ust stay at home.< ;+h: You did nothing9 &ust stayed at
home9 4omething is wrong with you.< othing is wrong. (hey
are 'ust cra)y a"out rushing here and there and you are not.
You are sane and they are cra)y and they thin! you are cra)y.
#ut "e very patient and !ind. &ust understand them. 4o thats
what I mean5 when you developed mindfulness and concentration
and deeper understanding, your world "ecomes different,
you "ecome different also. #ut "ecause you are the one
who is developing and growing you need to "e more patient
and understanding and !ind and forgiving. 4o understand
other people and forgive them even though they dont understand
you. Many people told me that ;You try to understand
us and we feel that you understand us. >ont you feel that you
want us to understand you9< I said ;Yes if you understand me
Ill "e so happy. #ut if you dont, I can understand that too.<
$e want understanding from each other. Misunderstanding
is also very painful. 4ince we are the ones who are trying to
meditate with mindfulness, !indness, and from that deeper
understanding, insight, we try to understand others too. $ith
that understanding your life will not "e a pro"lem actually.
In the "eginning they may not !now how to ad'ust to your
change of "ehavior, so in some ways you can help them.
J/.4(I+ K
A 4 $ . 0% Yes, when it comes up during the last day 'ust
after the meditation we can tal! a"out a few things 'ust to
conclude the session. (hats why it is very important that
the last day after the last sitting meditation, itll "e for discussion
again. 4ome !ind of clearing things to ma!e it feel
li!e this is the conclusion% a "eginning and a conclusion. 4o
this is another thing5 when you do something, ma!e it complete,
li!e drawing a circle, ma!e it a complete circle. If you
draw a circle and leave a small part disconnected, when you
loo! at it, it doesnt loo! "eautiful. $hen you complete it
you feel the completion. Its very important to ma!e it complete.
Also ma!e a determination, and this determination is
a very useful tool also. +ne of the ten p1ramis is the p1rami
of determination, adhiPPh1naMp1rami. 4o addhiPPh1na, what
does that mean9 (he P12i language and P12i words are very
interesting, very profound. .very word when I loo! into the
deeper meaning is very profound. (he word Ph1 means to
stand. Adhi means strong. (hat means to stand firm. 4o you
are very strong, you stand firm, ;(his is what I am going
to do.< You ta!e a stand. And even in the $estern language
they use this idiom Qto ta!e a stand i.e. to ta!e a firm
position. 4o its important not to "e wishyMwashy or lu!ewarm.
4o when you want to do something, first you learn
a"out it very carefully ;Yes this is what I am interested in
doing.< $hen you have learnt enough then you decide ;I
am going to do this.< And after you have decided to do it,
dont change your mind anymore5 "ecause if you change
your mind again and again it "ecomes a ha"it. .specially
when things "ecome difficult, people tend to give up ;+h:
o, its not wor!ing anymore, its not useful anymore.<
4ometimes the mind "ecomes very tric!y. It gives you very
good excuses, more excuses and more excuses. 4ometimes
it will say ;It will harm your health. (a!e it easy< or ;4top
for a while. You can do it later. &ust ta!e a "rea!.< (he mind
is so tric!y. 4o ma!e a firm determination ;I am going to
do this< and go for it. You will not die in nine days. othing
will happen. Actually you feel even healthier, fit, happy,
and peaceful. +nly the first few days, "ecause you are not
used to sitting so much, you might feel some pain in your
"ac! or your !nees, minor pains. I have a slipped dis! and
I can still sit for hours, it is o!. .ven with the slipped dis!,
when it first happened it was so painful, "ut even with that I
can meditate, "ut it went away slowly, it too! three months.
Anyway, we can do more than we thin! we can.
6ets pay homage to the #uddha
I pay homage to the #uddha
"y this very practice which leads to li"eration.
I pay homage to the >hamma
"y this very practice which leads to li"eration.
I pay homage to the 4angha
"y this very practice which leads to li"eration.