Questions And Answers Series 2

Sayædaw By Sayædaw Dr. Sunanda

First Edition: 3000 copies (Sep 2009)
The book is for free distribution only. You may copy and redistribute any texts from this book, provided that you abide by these two basic principles: 1. You may not sell any texts copied or derived from this book. 2. You may not alter the content of any texts copied or derived from this book. (You may, however, reformat them)

Buddhist Hermitage Lunas Lot 297, Kampung Seberang Sungai, 09600 Lunas, Kedah, Malaysia www.buddhisthermitagelunas.org
Tel:012-4284811

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Questions and Answers Series 2

Introduction
The contents of this book were transcribed from the

Dhamma talks and Questions and Answers session given by
Sayædaw Dr. Sunanda from January to June 2009 at the Buddhist Hermitage Lunas, Malaysia. It is published here with some amendments. The first book containing six questions and answers by Sayædaw was published in conjunction with the 2009 Vesak celebrations. This second book is prepared specially for the 2009 Ka¥hina celebrations. For Buddhists who sincerely wish to progress well and smoothly in their spiritual practice, they should follow the gradual training prescribed by the Buddha. This training is in the sequence order of Søla (morality), Samædhi (Concentration) and Paññæ (Wisdom). There are two types of meditation i.e. Samatha and Vipassanæ. Vipassanæ meditation is the loftiest and most meritorious practice. It is the only practice that can lead to the realisation of Nibbæna. As such, the contents of this book are compiled in accordance with the gradual training. We put the general topics like Kamma and Dæna first. After the reader has gained some understanding on the benefits of performing Dæna (generosity) and doing other good deeds, he or she can read on “how to deal with anger” and “the practice of Mettæ (loving-kindness meditation)”. Finally, the reader can read more on Vipassanæ practice like applied theory in the practice, how to practise the Noble Eightfold Path, dealing with hindrances and contemplation of phenomena from the six sense doors. 2

We hope the Dhamma knowledge in this book will inspire you to strive harder in your spiritual practice. By practising Saddhamma (true Dhamma), may you attain the eternal bliss of Nibbæna in the near future.

Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

Our Heartfelt Gratitude
Special thanks to Sayædaw Dr. Sunanda for his tireless work in the past 5 years to propagate the Dhamma at the Buddhist Hermitage Lunas, Malaysia. He is praised for his skilful way in delivering the Dhamma and for his Mettæ, compassion and patience. We, yogis are very grateful to have him answering all kinds of questions. He patiently listened to our meditation problems and queries on Dhamma. He tried his best to understand our mind and answer them to our satisfaction. Having him as our meditation teacher to guide us on our spiritual journey, we have more faith in the Dhamma and also the courage and energy to strive on in our practice. We transcribed his Dhamma talks and Questions & Answers session not only for meditators but also for other devotees and truth-seekers so that they can learn from him as well.

Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!
The compiler 15th August 2009

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Acknowledgement
Special thanks to the people involved in this transcription project. English editing: Vajira English transcription: Cheah Soo Jin Chia Chin Leong Klaudia Puskajlerova Lim Khai Yin, Lim Khai Han Tee Chwee Ming Priscilla Chng And all devotees and donors who have contributed to and supported this project. May All Beings Rejoice in the Merits of this DhammaDæna. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

*The Gift Of Dhamma Surpasses All Gifts*

*Sabba Dænam Dhammadænam Jinati* Dhammadænam Sabba

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The Biography Of Sayæ Sayædaw Dr. Sunanda
Venerable Sayædaw Dr. Sunanda was formerly a medical doctor by the name of Dr. U Than Naung. Bhante is of Chinese-Burmese descent and was born on 29 September 1933 at Ahtaung Village, Kyonpyaw township, Ayeyarwaddy division, Myanmar. His parents who were devout Buddhists enrolled him for his primary education and Buddhist studies at the village monastery. From 1947 to 1951, he attended St. John’s Diocesan School in Yangoon (Rangoon). He enrolled for higher education in 1951 and was admitted to the Institute of Medicine. In 1958, he was conferred with the Bachelor of Medicine and the Bachelor of Surgery. He served in various hospitals for ten years before furthering his studies in Dermatology and Venereology at the Vienna University, Austria. He returned to Myanmar as a Consultant Dermato-Venereologist at the Rangoon General Hospital for another eight years from 1969 to 1977. During his service in 1972, he started to practise Vipassanæ meditation at the Mahæs ī Meditation Centre under the guidance of the Most Venerable Mahæs ī Sayædaw U Sobhana Mahæthero and his chief disciples, as a part time meditator in the evenings. In 1977, he resigned from the government service to devote more time to Vipassanæ meditation and the propagation of the Dhamma. He assisted meditation teachers of the Mahæs ī Meditation Centre as an interpreter and translator for foreign meditators.

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On 29 September 1995, he renounced the household life and was ordained as a monk at the Sæsanamalavisodhanī S ī mæ in the Mahæs ī Meditation Centre. He was given the name ‘Sunanda’ which means “a delightful son”. Later, Venerable Sunanda accompanied the meditation masters as a translator and interpreter on foreign missions to Europe, USA and Asia. In 2004, Venerable Sunanda was invited to the Buddhist Hermitage Lunas, Kedah as its resident meditation teacher. Bhante is a sincere, dedicated, active and approachable Dhammaduta.

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of Table of Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. True understanding of Kamma………………………………... The working of Kamma on children........................................... How to encourage family members to do Dæna?.................. Practising Mettæ meditation ………………………….……….. Fifteen qualities of a meditator……………………….……….. Dealing with conceit…………………………………………… What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?.... I feel there is no progress in my meditation. What should I do?……………………………………………………………... Can a person practising Samatha change to Vipassanæ later?.... Applied theory in practical meditation……...…………………. How to apply Noble Eightfold Path in Vipassanæ practice?...... Contemplation of all phenomena from the six sense bases……. Dealing with Five Hindrances; four characteristics of mind…... The subject of Nibbæna…………………………….………….. Can a yogi know for himself the moment of his own attainment? Must a teacher confirm the attainment of the yogi? Appendix 1:Mind-matter Appendix 2: Four Great Elements, 12 Bases (Æyatana) Appendix 3:Summary of Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipa¥¥hæna) 10 16 20 30 40 48 52 60 72 80 92 106 114 122 126 131 132 133

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8

True understanding of Kamma

Mind is the forerunner of all (evil) states. Mind is the chief, mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that, suffering follows one, as the cart-wheel follows the hoof of the draught-ox.

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understanding of True understanding of Kamma
Let us study in detail about Kamma. Kamma is the main teaching of the Buddha so it is very important to understand the law of Kamma. Kamma means intentional action. To every action, there is a corresponding result. When the conditions conduce, there will be the result of Kamma. Having faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sa³gha and a true understanding on the law of Kamma is Di¥¥thijukamma (straightening one’s view). It is one of the ten wholesome deeds. The Buddha in the Abhiñña Sutta, told his disciples, whether householders or those who had renounced the world to reflect on Kamma everyday. In the Cþ¹akammavibha³ga Sutta he also told Subha about the working of Kamma. 1. Sabbe sattæ kammassakæ Kamma is all beings’ true possession. Our only possession is Kamma. We think that material things like wealth, riches, money, house, land etc. are our possession but our real possession is Kamma. Due to Kamma, we obtain these riches and wealth. As long as the Kamma is supporting us, we can enjoy our possessions for a certain time. There are three conditions which will support our livelihood. For example, a three-legged stool needs the support of its three legs to stand erect. Similarly in our life, the three conditions are Kamma, 10

True understanding of Kamma

viriya (effort) and wisdom or knowledge of our work or enterprise. However, the main condition is Kamma. When
these three conditions exist, one can obtain and keep wealth and riches. As such, Kamma is the main cause. One may be intelligent and make effort but if there is no support of Kamma, one might meet failure in earning a livelihood. If the Kamma is supporting and one is intelligent and make effort as well, one will obtain good result and be successful in life. If our Kamma is good and supporting, we can obtain our wealth and prosperity. When we die, we have to leave our material possessions behind. Even before we die, due to some natural disasters, we have to part with our possessions. So the material possessions we own are only temporary. We cannot view them as permanent possessions. The Buddha has said that kammassakæ or Kamma is our real possession in the ultimate sense. 2. Sabbe sattæ kammadæyædæ All beings are inheritors of their Kamma. Superficially we inherit the riches and wealth from our parents. However if you do not have the Kamma, you cannot inherit. What we really inherit is Kamma and it follows us wherever we go. Nobody is able to reject or avoid it. We inherit good or bad Kamma according to what we have done in the past. 3. Sabbe sattæ kammayonø All beings are born due to Kamma. Yoni means womb. We are born from the womb of Kamma. In Abhidhamma, there are four ways of rebirth. One is womb-born (jalæbuja) like human beings, some animals and some peta which are born in their mother’s womb. The second is egg-born 11

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(a¼ðaja). These beings like chicken and turtle are born in egg and hatched out later. The third type is moisture-born (sa sedaja). Some creatures are born in moist places. The fourth type is spontaneous rebirth (opapætika) like brahma, some deva, some peta, asurakæya and hell beings. They are reborn spontaneously in these places with no conception in the mother’s womb.

Kamma. Because of Kamma, we are born in certain realms

The main reason why beings have different rebirths is

or have different destinies. Those who commit unwholesome actions will be reborn in the four woeful states e.g. hell, animal, peta and demon worlds. Those who do wholesome actions will be reborn in the human and celestial realms. Those who practise bhævanæ or meditation and gain jhæna will be reborn in the brahma realm. That is why the Buddha has said, kammayoni, we are born from Kamma. In the Pa¥icca Samuppæda or Dependent Origination, there is this sentence ‘Sa³khæra-paccayæ viññna , viññæ¼apaccayæ næma-rþpa ’. Næma-rþpa means mind-matter and conceiving in the mother’s womb. Sa³khæra means Kamma. So Kamma is the cause as to why we are conceived in the mother’s womb. 4. Sabbe sattæ kammabhandhþ Our true relative is our own Kamma. Our relatives in this present life cannot follow us to the next existence. At most, they can follow us to the graveyard. After the burial and cremation, they have to go back. What follows us from one existence to the next existence is our Kamma. 12

True understanding of Kamma

If you have good Kamma, it will work miracles for you. If you have bad Kamma, you have to pay back your deeds. Kamma is our own true relative. Our relatives in the present life can protect us this life only. However good Kamma will protect us from life to life until we gain Nibbæna in the end. 5. Sabbe sattæ kammappa¥isara¼æ Kamma is our only refuge that we can rely and depend on. Our friends and relatives might desert us in time of difficulties, but Kamma will always be with us and it is our real refuge. Conclusion We cannot pray that Kamma be good to us. If we want to experience good results, we have to do good deeds. That is why the main teaching of the Buddha is to shun all evils, try to do good deeds and purify own minds. If you are afraid of sufferings, you have to avoid all unwholesome actions. If you want to be happy, you have to accumulate wholesome actions. Then Kamma will be our true dependable refuge. With the understanding of Kamma and its working, may you try to do good deeds which will bring good experiences. May you shun all evil actions so that you can avoid all kinds of suffering.

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The working of Kamma on children

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In his outings outside his palace, Prince Siddhattha realises the universal suffering of life: birth, old age, illness and death.

Questions and Answers Series 2

orking of on children The working of Kamma on children
Question: Before a child’s mind is developed, he might not know what is wholesome or unwholesome. So when he does actions, how are his Kammic results?

Kamma is a natural law like heat,
magnetic or gravity energy. It is impartial. Whether the person knows or not, his action will have a corresponding result. Just like fire, it will burn anyone who touches it, whether child or adult. Wholesome (kusala) or unwholesome action (akusala) will bear wholesome or unwholesome result. The intensity of result will vary depending on one’s intention as the main cause of Kamma is intention or volition. In Pæ¹i, intention or volition is called cetanæ. Although children might be ignorant of Kamma and its effect, as long as they have the intention or cetanæ to do some unwholesome action, it will have bad Kammic effect. For example, a child sees some insect crawling on the floor. Out of curiosity, he wants to stop that motion and he kills that insect. His action will create Kamma. However Kammic result depends on conditions. According to the Buddha, everything in this world is conditioned phenomena. Like the seeds planted on the ground is also dependent on many conditions to grow into saplings, fruit trees and then bear fruits. The 16

The working of Kamma on children

conditions are like water, fertility of soil, weather conditions or destruction by external forces. Similarly Kammic action depends on some conditions to give fruit. Surely Kamma will bear fruit when the condition is right. As such, parents have a duty to admonish their children on what is good and bad action, what to do and what not to do. One has to be careful of one’s action. Even taking delight or enjoying in other people’s unwholesome action like harming other living beings can give rise to bad kammic result. Our Lord Buddha himself has experienced it. He often had migraine attacks. He said that the cause was due to vipæka or kammic result. In one of his previous existences as a child, he saw a fishmonger trying to kill a fish while he was passing by a roadside bazaar. The fishmonger used some weighty thing to pound the fish’s head. On seeing the moving fish became motionless and dead from the pounding, this child smiled with delight. As such, in his final life, the Buddha suffered the vipæka of that deed by frequently having migraine attacks. That proves that delighting in other people’s bad deeds can lead to bad vipæka. That child didn’t kill the fish himself but because he enjoyed seeing the fish suffered, that was the cause of the vipæka of having migraine attacks. So the Lord Buddha has always advised us never to belittle any action or Kamma. Whether good or bad, it can accumulate. Any unwholesome action can be compared with faeces. Not only big amount, even a little amount of it is loathsome.

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Another example is a big container that is put outside to accumulate rain water. The rain water fills the container drop by drop. After sometime, the container will be filled up. Similarly our actions, no matter how big or small will accumulate and give result. Never belittle any trivial action. Even trivial unwholesome action will give bad result. So we must be mindful, serious and careful on what is good and what is bad in our daily actions. The Lord Buddha always admonished his disciples: “Appamædena bhikkhave sampædetha”, ‘Do not be heedless. Strive with mindfulness!’ We should always try to do good action and to avoid any bad action.

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How to encourage family members to do Dæna?

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Ascetic Gotama abandons self-mortification and accepts the offering of a bowl of milkrice by Sujata

Questions and Answers Series 2

How to encourage family members encourage members to do Dæna?
The question is how to encourage family members to do Dæna. The short answer is, to encourage Dæna or generosity, you have to give them education or knowledge to arouse their saddhæ or confidence or faith. As I have often stressed in my talks, our Buddhist saddhæ or faith is not blind faith but faith born out of understanding. If a person understands the benefits of giving Dæna or generosity and realises the disadvantages of not giving Dæna or generosity, then this understanding may arouse his saddhæ. One will then encourage not only their family members but others to do Dæna or generosity. In short just give them the Dhamma knowledge to arouse their saddhæ. The second part is how to give the Dhamma knowledge to arouse their saddhæ or confidence to give generosity? Here we have to explain the advantages of doing Dæna or generosity. The Buddha has in many discourses expounded on the advantages of giving Dæna or generosity. Our faith or saddhæ or confidence is based on our belief in Kamma. Kamma is action and result. Good begets good, bad begets bad. Kamma is any intentional action that will give a corresponding result. Any action done with good intention will bear good fruit or good result. If any action is done with bad intention then it can produce bad result and effects. That is the belief in Kamma. Every day devotees come and offer food for breakfast and lunch. They are not our relatives. They don’t expect anything from us in return. It is due to their saddhæ or out of their confidence in the good deeds of Kamma that they come and offer food. So what benefits do they get from just the simple offering of food. When they offer food to others, 20

How to encourage family members to do Dæna?

they offer 5 benefits to the receiver. In return, the Buddha has said that the donor can get 5 benefits.

1) Life Offering of life is æyu deti. Æyu means life or longevity. By offering food, you are offering life to the recipient. Why? Because ‘Sabbe sattæ æhæra¥hitikæ’, all beings rely on nutriment. Without nutrition nobody can survive. One meal can sustain 7 days of longevity. If we can not replenish the food, then it is the time to die. So by offering food, the person is not just offering food but life to the recipient. So what benefit does the donor get? The corresponding benefit is the donor will live long in every existence. He gets longevity because he offers the longevity of life to others. This is the first benefit of offering food. 2) Beauty By offering food one is also offering beauty (vanna deti). If a person does not get enough nutrients or food, his physical body or physical appearance will deteriorate. You might have seen in the newspapers or magazines of some countries facing starvation 21

Questions and Answers Series 2

where the children look ugly, with sunken eyes, or with their skeletons exposed. However these conditions can be replenished by nutritious food and one will gain one’s physical beauty. That is how the Buddha has said that by offering food, one is offering beauty to the recipient. The corresponding benefit one can get is one will be beautiful in every existence. Beautiful doesn’t mean just physically attractive, but one’s features will be pleased to look at or to associate with. This is what is meant by beauty. So according to the Buddha, the offering of food is like the offering of beauty and one will gain the corresponding result in every existence that is to be beautiful. 3) Happiness By offering food the person is offering happiness (sukha deti) to the recipient. We think that sickness or illness is the worst kind of suffering. However, the Buddha has said that ‘Jighacchæ parama dukkha , hunger is the worst suffering’. If you face hunger, you can realise what suffering is. When you are hungry and this hunger is not appeased by food, this is the greatest suffering. By offering food, you are offering happiness to the recipient. So the corresponding benefit is you’ll be happy in every existence. You’ll never find difficulty in obtaining food even in times of scarcity or afflictions. You’ll somehow get your food because of this deed. That is why the Buddha has said that offering food is like offering happiness or sukha deti and so you’ll be happy in every existence. 22

How to encourage family members to do Dæna?

4) Strength Offering strength is bala deti. The Pæ¹i word ‘Bala’ means strength, vitality or energy. By offering food, you are offering vitality, energy or strength to the recipient. So the corresponding benefit you gain is you’ll be energetic, healthy and strong in every existence. That is understandable. Food is our main source of energy that maintains our life’s metabolism. So by offering food, you’re offering health, energy or strength to the recipient. In return, you’ll be energetic and strong in every existence. 5) Wisdom By offering food you’re offering wisdom (pa¥ibhæna deti) to the recipient. This is understandable. Even in the worldly life, before the parents send their children to school, they give them lunch boxes or pocket money to buy food. Without food, they will be hungry and won’t be able to concentrate on their studies. So in worldly education, they need food or nutrition. Similarly people come and offer food here. After taking their food, we meditate and develop spiritual wisdom. So the Buddha has said that by offering food you are offering wisdom to the recipient. So the corresponding result you get is you’ll be wise in every existence. Finally you may even attain Path and Fruition and realise Nibbæna. These are the 5 benefits you gain by the offering of food. This is how you can educate your family members. Doing Dæna is a very advantageous, profitable and skilful action. So you should encourage them to do Dæna or generosity. 23

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Cowherd example

The example of this pa¥ibhæna deti, that is the offering of food is like the offering of wisdom can be cited during the Buddha’s time. At one time, the Buddha went to Alavi because he was invited for a lunch Dæna. After lunch the Buddha usually gave some inspirational talk to arouse the saddhæ or confidence of the devotees who offered food. However on that day, after finishing the food, He just sat quietly without giving any discourse. The people waited patiently and wondered why the Buddha kept silent. Later a man came and joined the crowd. He was a cowherd, an ordinary person attending to other people’s cows on a hire basis and earning daily wage. He was late because he had lost a cow, searched for it and then returned all the cows to the owner. At that time he was hungry as he had gone to work without any food. The Buddha purposely waited for the cowherd and when he arrived, the Buddha asked the householders who had offered him lunch whether there was any extra food left. When the people said yes, the Buddha told them to feed the man. After the man had finished eating and joined the audience, the Buddha started to give the Dhamma talk. The cowherd gained Sotæpatti path and fruition knowledge. 24

How to encourage family members to do Dæna?

The Buddha with his psychic power could see that the cowherd was very hungry. If He were to preach the Dhamma, the man would not be able to concentrate. Thus, hunger is the worst cause of suffering. You cannot concentrate if you are hungry. That shows that the offering of food is like the offering of wisdom because this man gained the supermundane knowledge of Sotæpatti path and fruition after eating some food. The most important part about giving Dæna or generosity is not only the offering of the food but the practice of perfection or Pæramī. As you all know, a Buddhist’s final goal is Nibbæna, the end of all sufferings. To gain Nibbæna you must gain enlightenment or you must become a Buddha, an enlightened one. To gain enlightenment you have to fulfill or practise the ten perfections. The first perfection or Pæramī in Pæ¹i is Dæna or generosity. So you can imagine how important this Dæna or generosity is. Superficially you seem to give away your property when you do Dæna. In reality, you are practising or developing to gain the sublime states of mind. The sublime states of mind are the brahma-vihæra. In the 31 planes of existence, the upper 20 realms are called the brahma abodes. Here brahmas live in abodes with sublime states of mind. These sublime states of mind are mettæ or loving kindness, karu¼æ or compassion, muditæ or altruistic joy and upekkhæ or equanimity. Without these sublime states, nobody can do true Dæna or generosity. If you have no loving kindness towards the recipients you cannot give away anything, however trivial or small .You may not be able to give if you have no compassion in your heart. You cannot do generosity. 25

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Generosity is connected to nekkhamma. Nekkhamma in Pæ¹i means letting go. Everybody treasures one’s possession, riches and wealth gained from hard work. If you don’t have a sublime or open heart, you cannot give away anything. You’ll be grasping and clinging to it. So the profound meaning of Dæna or generosity is letting go of your craving for your property. It is the basis of all perfection practices or Pæramø, in fact the very first one the Buddha has said. The Buddha as a Bodhisatta realised and started practising this Dæna or generosity. He knew that Dæna is the basis of the other 9 Pæramøs, especially the Nekkhamma Pæramø. Nekkhamma means renunciation, renouncing or letting go of your craving or grasping of your possessions. That is how Dæna or generosity proves fruitful and is a very noble practice.

Dæna is the basic practice. In any building, the basic
foundation is the most important as it supports the infrastructure. Similarly Dæna or generosity is the most noble practice out of the 10 Pæramøs or perfections. Another important aspect of this Dæna or generosity is that one should keep happiness or understanding in the 3 phases of time when performing Dæna. Before the offering of food, the devotees have to prepare the food like buying and cooking the food. The full intention or action before offering is pubba-cetanæ. Pubba means beforehand or before offering. The good intention that arises in the mind of the donor before the offering creates good kammic energy. Buddha says ‘cetanæ aha bhikkhave Kamma vædami’. Cetanæ means volition or intention and that creates Kamma. So, one can get good kammic energy from preparing the food. That is pubba26

How to encourage family members to do Dæna?

cetanæ or the intention or volition beforehand. Then the
devotees respectfully offer the food to the monks and Yogis. The middle phase of the Dæna or actual offering is called muñca-cetanæ.

After the offering, if one can remember and rejoice in the Dæna done, one will gain another kammic energy or kammic benefit. This is called apara-cetanæ or after-rejoicing or after-delight of our own generosity. Just rejoicing in the good deeds is like getting interest from our savings in the bank. You create your own Kamma or kammic profit. So the benefits you gain from the 3 phases of time are pubba or before, muñca or middle and apara or after. So how does it benefit you? It gives you benefits if you can keep this cetanæ or volitional intention in the 3 phases of time so that you get the benefits of the 3 phases of life. Supposing your longevity or life-time is 90 years. The first phase of life is from birth to 30 years, the next phase is 31 to 60 years and the last phase 61 to 90 years. When your pubba-cetanæ is good, the benefit you gain is great in the first phase of life. When it is good in the middle phase and

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in the third phase, you will get the benefits in the second phase and third phase of life respectively. If you can keep the volition or cetanæ in the 3 phases of Dæna, you will gain benefits in the 3 phases of life or from birth until the exhaustion of your life-time because Kamma is so exact and effective. So please keep your cetanæ or volition alive, while you’re preparing to offer some Dæna, during the offering and after the offering. Don’t forget to always reflect on your good deed and rejoice. This is how you can increase or develop good Kamma.

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Practising Mettæ Meditation

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With his great compassion and Mettæ, the Buddha brings to submission the ferociously drunken elephant Nælagiri.

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Practising Mettæ Meditation
Let me explain in more detail what Mettæ Bhævanæ (loving-kindness meditation) is as it is an important subject. It can be practised as Samatha (concentration) meditation or Vipassanæ (Insight Meditation). There are two ways to practise Mettæ meditation. The first way is Pa¥isambhidæ method as prescribed by the Buddha. Here in the evening and at the end of the day, we recite the Mettæ chanting (or Mettæ recitation) which contains this method. The second method is based on the Loving-Kindness discourse, Kara¼øya Mettæ Sutta as expounded by the Buddha. In the introduction of this sutta, the Buddha has expounded the 15 qualities of a meditator who is bent on doing Mettæ Bhævanæ (Mettæ meditation) or any meditation. After developing the 15 qualities, the meditator can start practising Mettæ meditation. How is it done? It can be done in two ways, i.e. in a general way or by categories. A. Radiate Mettæ in a general way The Buddha has expounded,

Sabbe sattæ bhavantu sukhi tattæ.
May all beings be happy. The word ‘happy’ covers everything because to be happy, you need to be free from all kinds of suffering. Like in the Pa¥isambhidæ method (as in our evening recitation),

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Practising Mettæ Meditation

Aha avero homi May I be free from enmity and danger Abyæpajjo homi May I be free from mental sufferings Anøgho homi May I be free from physical sufferings Sukhi attæna pariharæmi May I be able to take care of
myself happily. By wishing ‘May all beings be happy’, you are radiating Mettæ in a general way. This method is suitable to practise in worldly life as you are busy with daily chores and cannot give too much time to practise meditation. So, while doing daily chores you can do this short and easy Mettæ meditation by wishing ‘may all beings be happy, may all beings be happy.’ You can either radiate Mettæ mentally or verbally or both. This is the first way to do Mettæ Bhævanæ. Radiate B. Radiate Mettæ in categories Groups of two 1. Fearful, fearless 2. Living near, living far 3. Seen, unseen 4. Exhausted rebirth, still have rebirths Then in the Kara¼øya Mettæ Sutta, the Buddha categorises living beings into pairs (groups of two). If you have time to do some sitting meditation, you can radiate Mettæ to beings in specified groups (as shown above). 1) Fearful, fearless The first group is fearful and fearless beings. Some beings are fearful (still have fear) and some beings are fearless. By Vipassanæ meditation, some beings have attained up to Anægæmø (the third stage of enlightenment). The Anægæmi Magga-phala eradicates dosa (anger). Actually fear and 31

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anger are two faces of the same coin or the two extremes of the same phenomenon as both are rooted in dosa. So by becoming an Anægæmø, a being is free from fear and anger. That’s why Arahant and Anægæmø persons are classified under the fearless type. Other worldlings and noble ones like Sotæpanna and Sakadægæmø still have fear. As the Buddha has said, ‘Sabbe bhæyanti macuno, sabbe bhæyanti dandassa’ (all beings are afraid of death, and danger and harm). So this is the first group of fearless and fearful beings. You can wish ‘may those beings be happy’. 2) Living near, living far The second group is beings living near and living far. Some beings live near to us and some beings live far from us. 3) Seen, Unseen The third group is seen and unseen beings. We have seen some beings around us, but there are some beings invisible to us. We have not seen all the human beings, only human beings in some countries we have visited, or through pictures or videos. However there are many other beings who are invisible to our ordinary naked eyes, like peta, asurakæya, and deva (celestial gods), and brahma (the shining ones). 4) Exhausted rebirth, have rebirths The fourth group is beings who have exhausted rebirth and beings who still have rebirths (still exist in sa særa). Arahants are beings who have exhausted rebirth (Khø¼ajæti). The rest of worldling beings (puthujjana), Sotæpanna, Sakadægæmø and Anægæmi still have rebirths. Sotæpanna has at the most seven rebirths and Sakadægæmø has one more rebirth. Anægæmi (non-returner) will not 32

Practising Mettæ Meditation

return to the sensuous world but will still be reborn in Suddhævæsa (Pure Abodes) realm. The next category is groups of three. According to the body size, the Buddha has categorised beings into three groups.

Groups of three 1. Big size, medium size ,small size 2. Tall, medium height, short 3. Fat, medium, lean By categorising beings into groups of two or three, you radiate your loving-kindness to them. A mother’s love What type of loving-kindness must you radiate or meditate on? The Buddha gives an example of the love of a mother. In our human culture and society, we always give priority to the mother. A mother’s love for her offspring is peerless and incomparable. In case of an emergency, a true mother will not hesitate to sacrifice her life to save her offspring. The Buddha has said,

Mætæ yathæ niya puttamæyusæ ekaputtamanurakkhe
(Just like a mother would protect her baby, the only child, even with her life) 33

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Out of all the mothers’ loves, the Buddha has said, the mother who has only one son has the strongest Mettæ. She will try to safeguard and nurture her son to her utmost and give him all the comforts and security. With that kind of love, we have to radiate Mettæ. We radiate Mettæ by wishing ‘May all beings be happy’ and regard these beings like our only child. Radiate Mettæ in three ways Then we can radiate Mettæ in three ways. 1. Sabbe sattæ averæ ca aññamañña piyæ hontu May all beings be at peace with mutual benevolence or loving-kindness 2. Sabbe sattæ averæ ca aññamañña sukhi hontu May all beings be at peace with reciprocal happiness 3. Sabbe sattæ averæ ca aññamañña rakkhæ hontu May all beings be at peace with mutual protection As explained earlier on, you can radiate loving-kindness in a general way, with ‘Sabbasattæ bhavantu sukhi tattæ’ (May all beings be happy) or you can radiate to all beings in groups of two or three. The second way is, ‘may all beings be at peace with reciprocal happiness’. This means that when you make other people happy, you too will be happy. By making yourself happy, other people will be happy too. Now, let’s study the third way, that is ‘May all beings be at peace with mutual protection’. How do you practise this mutual protection? How very interesting and inspiring, as the Buddha has pointed out that by protecting yourself you protect others. 34

Practising Mettæ Meditation

others By protecting yourself you protect others During the Buddha’s time, in ancient India, the acrobatic performance was one of the popular public entertainments. The Buddha has related that in Sedakanigama (market town) of Sumbha country (or state), there was an acrobatic troupe. The master of the acrobatic troupe trained his assistant or apprentice for a special performance. The apprentice’s name was Medakathalika. In the performance, the master would first shoulder a long bamboo pole and the apprentice would climb up to the top of the pole. After that, the apprentice stood on the top of the pole on one foot, then somersaulted and came back to rest on the top of the bamboo pole. It was quite a risky and dangerous stunt. Extreme precision was needed to safely carry out the feat. In fact, they had trained and rehearsed many times. On the day of the actual public performance, the master began to shoulder the bamboo pole. When the apprentice was about to climb up the pole, the master said to him. ‘Dear Medakathalika, you take care of me and I shall take care of you.’ Probably the master said this because he was afraid that something might go wrong. If there was any mistake, it would be fatal for both of them as one was at the bottom shouldering the pole and the other on the top of the bamboo pole. But the apprentice replied, ‘No master, you take care of yourself and I shall take care of myself.’ This was a very profound answer. The Buddha cited this story as an 35

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example of how to practise Mettæ and he extolled the apprentice’s answer. Yes, we have to take care of ourselves and not to hurt others. Other people can take care of themselves. What is of direct concern to us is our own actions. If we make mistakes, it will be detrimental to other parties or to society. That is the profound meaning of the apprentice’s answer, ‘No master, you take care of yourself and I shall take care of myself. So we can perform a successful feat and gain the praises and cheers of the crowd. ’. The Buddha cited the above example to the monks. ‘As such, you should practise taking care of yourself. By protecting yourself, you protect other people. By protecting other people, you protect yourself.’ That was the Buddha’s additional remark. After admonishing the monks, the Buddha asked them a question. ‘How do we protect ourselves so that it amounts to protecting other people? And how do we protect others so that it amounts to protecting ourselves?’ Actually, the Buddha asked the above question in order to answer it himself and also to draw the attention of the monks. The monks could not answer the Buddha’s question. Then the Buddha gave the answer. Like the meditators here, if you are constantly dwelling in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, you are protecting yourself. By protecting yourself, you are protecting others as well. As a person who is practising Mindfulness Meditation, he will not be a curse to society. In fact he is a blessing to society. 36

Practising Mettæ Meditation

As one is mindful of what good actions are and what bad actions are, one will avoid bad actions and try one’s best to do good deeds. At least one will observe the five precepts. The five precepts are known as Ariya-kanta søla. (the precepts that noble ones adore). By keeping the first precept (not to kill or harm other beings), you are giving a chance to other beings to be free from harm. By observing the third precept, you are letting others live a happy life. By not robbing, stealing and so on, you are creating peace in the society. So, when you are dwelling in the four foundation of mindfulness, you are protecting yourself and protecting others. By protecting others you are protecting yourself How to protect others so that it amounts to protecting yourself? According to the Buddha, you have to develop the brahma-vihæra (the four sublime states). They are Mettæ (loving-kindness), karu¼æ (compassion), muditæ (altruistic joy) and upekkhæ (equanimity). They are called brahma-vihæra because the brahmas (the shining ones) live constantly in these mental states. If you radiate Mettæ to other beings and do it sincerely and honestly, it will work. Even a person who is hostile towards you will change his mental attitude. Thus, you will have a peaceful life. If the person’s hatred and violence are changed, then you are safeguarded by your own good qualities. According to the Buddha, if you want to protect others, you cannot guard them with weapons all day long. You cannot do this as you have to live your own life. By leading your own life and developing the brahma-vihæra (the four sublime states), you are protecting yourself. This 37

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is the meaning underlying the Buddha’s profound answer. If you are protecting others, it amounts to protecting yourself. Conclusion As Mettæ, the Buddha has cited a mother’s love for her only offspring, so we must have that kind of love in our heart and radiate loving-kindness to all beings. If you have no time to do sitting meditation, as part of your daily activities, you can still radiate Mettæ to all beings in the following three ways. 1) May all beings be at peace with mutual benevolence or loving-kindness. 2) May all beings be at peace with reciprocal happiness. 3) May all beings be at peace with mutual protection. As explained earlier on, the Buddha has elaborated on the third way of mutual protection by using the example of the two acrobats to show the importance of protecting oneself. In addition, when you are practising the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, you are protecting yourself, that means, you are also protecting others. By practising brahmavihæra, you are protecting others and that amounts to protecting yourself too. That’s what the Buddha has taught on how to radiate Mettæ in the Kara¼øya Mettæ Sutta. You can practise Mettæ until you gain appanæ samædhi (absorption concentration). You can also obtain eleven benefits. One of these benefits is after death you can be reborn in the brahma realm. However, if you come out of Mettæ meditation and change to practise Vipassanæ, you can even attain Nibbæna in this very life. 38

Fifteen qualities of a meditator

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Ascetic Gotama (Buddha-to-be) with strong faith, determination, effort etc practising asceticsm for six years

Questions and Answers Series 2

Fifteen qualities of a meditator
Every day we conclude our activity by reciting the Mettæ chanting. Actually this practice is not chanting but Samatha or tranquility meditation. In Mettæ recitation and according to Pa¥isambhidæ method, we recite Aha avero homi May I be free from enmity and danger Abyæpajjo homi May I be free from mental sufferings Anīgho homi May I be free from physical sufferings Sukhī attana pariharæmi May I be able to take care of myself happily. The second method to develop Mettæ is according to instructions given in the Kara¼iya Mettæ Sutta (loving kindness discourse). Let us study this discourse now as it is very important for our meditation. In the first part of this sutta, the Buddha describes the 15 mental states or qualities for all meditators to develop in order to help them in the progress of meditation. These mental states are very worthwhile to cultivate or to develop because they are helpful both in spiritual progress as well as to obtain prosperity and comfort in the worldly life. The Buddha begins with parikamma (preparatory) instructions which are not only meant for meditators practising Mettæ meditation, but also for Samatha (Tranquility) and Vipassanæ (Insight) meditation. It is useful for the meditator to develop these 15 mental qualities. He said ‘A meditator who wants to be a noble person should develop these good mental qualities’. 40

Fifteen qualities of a meditator

These 15 qualities are as below: 1. Sakko (able) In this sutta, the Buddha begins with “Kara¼øyamatthakusalena, Yanta santa pada abhisamecca. Sakko ujþ ca…” The first requisite of mental power that the Buddha prescribes for us to develop is “Sakko”. We must have spiritual effort or spiritual striving to gain spiritual progress. In worldly terms, ‘able’ means we must develop willpower. “Sakko” actually means “adhigama saddhæ”, strong confidence or faith in your practice. You must know or you must clearly understand your practice so that your confidence will give you the energy to strive to obtain the benefits of doing this meditation. So “Sakko” means you must try to build your willpower and not to give up easily when facing any discomforts or inconveniences in your practice. The normal tendency is to give up when facing such circumstances. So the Buddha says one must have Sakko that is one must build strong energy or willpower of the mind.

Suhujþ 2 and 3. Ujþ and Suhujþ (Honest, Straightforward) Ujþ means honest. In suhujþ, ‘Su’ is an emphatic word. Hence suhujþ means especially honest or straight-forward. So a meditator must be especially honest and straightforward during the spiritual practice. Actually these two enhance each other’s qualities. One should not be pretentious or superficial and shaky in one’s mentality but one should be honest and straight-forward in striving for spiritual progress.

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4. Suvaco cassa (Must be docile) Assa means ‘must’ while suvaco means “we must be docile”. After a meditator has chosen a correct teacher, he must be submissive to the teacher. Of course, it is not wise to blindly accept everything. However, when you have a reliable teacher, during your practice, you have to be docile and should accept admonishment from your teacher. You must be flexible and accept what is right, logical and sensible. However if one is hard-headed and not openminded, then it is difficult for the teacher to teach this type of person and to give proper guidance for meditation progress. 5. Mudu (Gentleness) The Buddha has said that one who is striving for spiritual progress must be gentle. He or she must be gentle in speech, in bodily action and also in mental state. Gentleness means one must be cultured and civilized. However some people are very coarse, crude and vulgar in speech as well as bodily actions. 6. Anatimæna (Not Conceited) “Anatimæna” means not conceited. “A” is negative prefix in Pæ¹i. “Atimæna” means self-conceit, pride or proud. If one is self-conceited then one will not be submissive to the meditation teacher for proper guidance. The Buddha said one must not have or practise this “atimæna”. One should also avoid vanity and glory. 7. Santussako (Contentment) One must be contented with whatever is available at the moment. If one is very choosy and fussy about the four requisites, i.e. food, clothing, dwelling and medicine, then this attitude will be a hindrance to one’s spiritual progress. 42

Fifteen qualities of a meditator

8. Subhara (Easily Supportable) A meditator must be easily supported. We human beings, being social creatures on this planet, must live interdependently and we have to depend on other people. So while we are in full-time meditation or in intensive meditation to seek spiritual progress, we have to rely on our supporters to help us or to support us with the basic requisites. Hence, we must be easily supported. If we are too fussy and choosy, it will be difficult for the supporters to take care of us. 9. Appakicco (with few duties) “Appakicco” means not to be busy with unnecessary or trivial worldly matters. Some people are the ‘busybody’ type. They are busy with all kinds of matters. When one is striving for spiritual progress, one must give more emphasis to the meditation practice and not to bother with all minor or trivial worldly matters. 10. Sallahukavutti (Frugal Livelihood) One must be able to live with the bare necessity of the four requisites and not to have any elaborate lifestyle. One must be able to bear with any discomforts or inconveniences encountered during the meditation. So when the Buddha said “you lead a frugal livelihood”, he means one should be contented with the bare essentials and to give more priority to striving in meditation. (Sense11. Santindriyo (Sense-restraint) “Santindriyo ” means sense-restraint. We humans are endowed with six sense organs; with the eyes to see, with the ears to hear sound, with the nose to smell, with the mouth to taste, with the body for tactile sensation and with 43

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the mind on mental objects. We must restrain these sense organs or sense doors. However the uncultured or uncivilised mind is not used to meditation. It is usually very inquisitive with whatever object that comes along, such as seeing sights, hearing sound or people talking. Even though we try to concentrate on our actions, we are always interested in the outside world. That is how our mental defilements assail us. Hence the Buddha said we must practise sense-restraint. A meditator should practise according to the instructions contained in the Mælukyaputta Sutta. In this sutta, the Buddha said “Di¥¥he di¥¥hamatta bhavissati, sute sutamatta bhavissati” (In seeing just be seeing, in hearing just be hearing). When the objects like sight or sound appear at the six sense doors, we should just note it and let it go. We should not get involved with these phenomena, e.g. be interested in the sight seen. As the Buddha suggested, ‘in seeing just be seeing’. We should not let the mind judge whether the object is pleasant or unpleasant, or else the corresponding defilements will arise. If the sense object is pleasant, greed will arise. If the sense object is unpleasant, anger will arise. These mental defilements will defile our mind. 12. Nipako (Prudent or wise) “Nipako” means we must be prudent. It means we must have wise knowledge in life; what action is wholesome, what is unwholesome, what is beneficial for us, what is not beneficial for us and then try to understand it and develop it. In order to have right understanding and to educate ourself to have prudence, we can listen to Dhamma talks, 44

Fifteen qualities of a meditator

or learn from books. Otherwise, we will act wrongly and be led astray by others. 13. Appagabbho (modesty) We must be modest and not talk much about our own abilities or possessions.

Kulesvananugiddho 14. Kulesvananugiddho (Not attached to families) This is especially meant for monks in meditation. They must not be too involved or attached to their devotees. Excessive attachment can lead to mental defilements. Ordinary meditators striving in a meditation retreat should keep away from their family, friends and relatives. Passionate thoughts and attachment to them will hinder the progress of meditation. So the Buddha said one should keep away from unnecessary infatuation or relationship during an intensive retreat. khudda15. Na ca khudda-mæcare kiñci The Buddha said, “Don’t take these unwholesome actions as just a minor or trivial thing.” The Buddha said you must see danger in its slightest fault. A fault or an akusala (unwholesome) is like faeces. Not only is a big amount of faeces loathsome, even a slight stain or smallest bit of faeces is loathsome or disgusting.
Similarly, a person who is striving for spiritual purity must take every unwholesome action seriously and not view it as a minor or small matter. That is what is meant by “Na ca khudda-mæcare kiñci” – seeing danger in its slightest fault. If it is a fault, don’t think it is all right. We have a saying “from a small fire, it can spread like a forest fire”. You might have read in the newspaper how a forest fire can cause serious damage to lives and property. 45

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At first the fire starts from just a cigarette butt thrown irresponsibly by someone. Later it becomes a forest fire. So akusala or unwholesome things must be taken seriously. You should not view them as small or minor matters. If you accumulate these unwholesome actions, you will suffer in this sa saric chain of life. Conclusion These are the fifteen mental qualities as stated in the beginning part of the Mettæ Sutta. The Buddha has prescribed them for us to develop as a prerequisite for any type of meditation. They are very helpful to your spiritual practice. The meditators should try to develop as many of them as possible.

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Dealing with conceit

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The Buddha calmly facing the temptation from the Mara’s three daughters who symbolised mental defilements

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conceit Dealing with conceit
Question: After practising for so many years, I realise that I still have some conceit and selfishness. How to reduce and finally eradicate this nature?

Answer: The word ego, self or conceit in Pæ¹i is called Mæna .This Mæna can only be eradicated by the Fourth Enlightenment or Arahant path and fruition. Actually it should be eradicated by the first attainment. However Mæna is usually so strong due to personality-belief that there is still some lingering effect. For example when we eat some very strong tasteful food, even after chewing and swallowing the food, the taste still remains on our tongue for some time. We call it the ‘lingering effect’ because the taste is lingering in the mouth. Similarly from time immemorial or beginingless sa særa, we have been living with this conceit or Mæna. Now we know the Buddha’s Teachings and practise meditation. We are trying to subdue this Mæna. So we will still have this Mæna. How to reduce and finally eradicate the Mæna? The answer is to continue this Mindfulness Meditation or Insight Meditation. In a retreat you must put in strenuous effort to 48

Dealing with conceit

be mindful of the ultimate truth or Paramattha Dhamma. You must observe your meditation object as Paramattha Dhamma rather than in conventional concepts. For example, you hear a clock chiming. Normally you note as “clock chiming”. Actually there is no clock. The ultimate truth is that the sound and the ear are rþpa or material. Hearing consciousness that arises is næma. At that moment there is mind and matter only, there is no ‘I, my ear, clock chiming’. However when we hear a sound, we are inherently inclined and instantly identify as “clock chiming”. When we see a person, we immediately identify as a woman or a man. As such, the person who is bent on eradicating defilements, should incline his mind to identify the meditation object as Paramattha Dhamma or ultimate truth, rather than Paññatti or conventional concepts.

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50

What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?

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Mara, the evil forces, such as: arrogance, anger, hatred, etc., fail to disturb the Buddha

Questions and Answers Series 2

What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?
There are a few ways to deal with anger such as practising mindfulness or Insight Meditation, loving-kindness meditation and wise reflection. attention 1. Mindfulness Meditation and wise attention When a meditator is provoked into anger, he can practise mindfulness by noting as “angry, angry, angry”. When he is in anger but if he keeps his patience and watches the anger as “angry, angry, angry”, the anger will subside and fade away. Any arisen mental or material phenomena must be taken as an object of meditation. This contemplation is the easy and straightforward way to tackle any arisen object. So when one is provoked into anger, as a meditator, the first thing he must try to do is to be mindful of the mental condition that has arisen and make a mental note as “angry, angry, angry”. When the noting is strong and good, the anger will slowly fade away. For a non-seasoned meditator, it is difficult to suppress the anger when it has already arisen. That’s why he must try to practise this important wise consideration or wise attention or yoniso-manasikæra in Pæ¹i. The Buddha has said that if we consider whatever we encounter in life in a wise and skilful way, we can respond better. The mental factors which are rooted in defilements imperil us. They are lobha or greed, dosa or anger, moha or delusion or ignorance. They arise because of ayonisomanasikæra or unwise or unskilful attention to the 52

What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?

circumstances. As such these defilements or negative thoughts can arise in us. That’s why it is important for us develop skilful ways of wise consideration or yonisomanasikæra whenever any object is presented to our six sense organs. We act in three ways 1) With the mind we think - mental actions “mano kamma”, 2) With the mouth we speak - verbal action “vac ī kamma”, 3) With the body we act - bodily actions “kæya kamma”. A person can be provoked into anger by the last two ways as the mental actions of others cannot directly provoke us. However when mental actions in oneself become strong, one will respond either verbally or bodily. One may have spoken uncongenially to the listener or one may behave or execute bodily actions that are not conducive to another party’s welfare. When the six sense objects like sight, sound, smell etc. have arisen, our natural instinct or one who is not mindful is as follows; 1) We feel elated or attached to the pleasurable objects or indulge in good pleasurable feelings. 2) When the object is unpleasant, then aversion or anger will arise. Anything that obstructs our pleasure or prevents us from getting our pleasant objects will cause aversion, hatred or anger in our mind.

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If we want to stop any bodily or verbal provocation, we should guard our six sense doors at the moment of seeing, hearing etc. We can make a mental note as “hearing, hearing, hearing” or “seeing, seeing, seeing”. The Buddha has expounded in Mælukyaputta Sutta and Bæhiyadærucariya Sutta as follows:

“Di¥¥he di¥¥hamatta bhavissati”

bhavissati;

sute

sutamatta

“In seeing, just be seeing; in hearing, just be hearing.” By practising the restraint of the six sense doors, we do not allow anger or aversion to arise. That is how we have to check our mental defilements or these negative thoughts.

Yoniso-manasikæra or wise consideration is thinking or
reflecting on the advantages of being patient, forbearing and forgiving and the disadvantages of being influenced by anger and hatred. When we are influenced by anger, we will make wrong decisions and actions. Thus the angry mind creates worst problems, complications and sufferings in life. To be angry is like adding fuel to the fire. The Buddha has said, “No anger can be appeased by anger. Anger can only be appeased by love or loving-kindness.” By reflecting on such wise sayings of the Buddha or sages, and by reflecting or pondering on the disadvantages of anger, we can suppress our anger. We can learn many lessons from the worldly life. For example, many brotherly friends or close friends can turn into murderous friends just by some provocative speech that is not conducive to the listener who is then provoked into anger. When his anger is unrestrained, he will react 54

What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?

violently. This violent action can create unseen miseries and complications. After considering the disadvantages of being angry and the advantages of developing forbearance, forgiveness, patience and tolerance, we can overcome our anger. This is a very general or normal way to deal with anger in the worldly life. 2. Mettæ meditation For a specific method to deal with anger, the Buddha teaches us the Mettæ or loving-kindness meditation. When there is fire, we must pour water. Anger is like fire that can burn and loving-kindness or Mettæ Bhævanæ is like pouring water on the fire to get some cooling effect. Anger starts by burning one who is angry. Many of us have experienced how anger affects our body physiologically like the beating of the heart, the flushing of the face and even trembling of the body. The angry person suffers the most, not the afflicted party. By considering the disadvantages as above and the advantages of cultivating good qualities like consideration, forgiveness, forbearance, tolerance and patience, we are having wise attention or yoniso-manasikæra and we can curb the anger. When we have curbed the anger, we must continue with this loving-kindness as it is the specific method given by the Buddha to deal with anger. The Buddha has said that hatred can only be appeased by love, not by hatred. We should reciprocate evil by good, not evil by evil. So depending on how we are provoked by others, we can consider the situation wisely with 55

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magnanimity, compassion or loving-kindness to restrain our anger. 3. Reflecting on the past relationships There are many ways the Buddha has expounded on how to curb anger. Here I would like to recommend the Anamatagga Sutta or the Beginingless Sutta as the most important and beneficial example. According to the Buddha, the sa særic chain of rebirths is long and we have been roaming around in this cycle of repeated rebirths and deaths. We have innumerable past lives. One life of existence is just like a drop of water in the ocean. We may be at one time or another related to each other as father and children, as brothers and sisters, as friends or as dear and loved ones. At one time or many times or in many existences, the person whom we are angry with might have had a close relationship with us. As such, it is not wise to be angry with someone we love as it is not conducive to peace and harmony. We can reflect wisely in this way and restrain our anger. 4. Contemplation of death and arouse spiritual urgency of

(sa death (sa vega)
Another effective way of curbing anger that the Buddha has recommended is Mara¼ænussati bhævanæ or contemplation of death.

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What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?

We are all familiar with the fact that ‘our lifespan is uncertain, but death is certain’. We do not know how long we are going to live. At any time or any moment, death can come. So it makes no sense at all for us to pass our time in being angry, hating each other and trying to harm each other as both of us are going to die at any moment. If we have that urgency of death, then our anger can also subside. The next example is similar to running away from a ferocious beast like a lion or a tiger. If from the road side a stray dog barks at us and if we stop running to pay attention to it, the beast will catch hold of us and we will be in serious trouble. So we are like running away as everyday we are growing old, sick and dying as the time passes. With so many troubles and sufferings of our own, why do we worry about provocation from others? We will stop responding to the other person’s provocation if we have the sense of urgency of sa særic danger. In Pæ¹i, this spiritual urgency of death is called sa vega. Keeping in mind this sa vega, we can ignore any provocation that will arouse us into unwholesome action, speech or thought. That is a very effective way to curb anger. Conclusion There is a wise saying “prevention is better than cure”. If we start to take these preventive measures after we have been provoked into anger, it will be difficult for inexperienced persons to curb their anger. Therefore, it is better that before we are provoked into anger, we should 57

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practise Mettæ Bhævanæ or loving kindness meditation daily so as to suppress or weaken the anger. However, complete eradication of anger can only be achieved by attaining the third stage of enlightenment or by becoming an Anægæmø or non-returner. Only by practising Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight Meditation, can we attain Anægæmi Path and Fruition knowledge. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. Those persons who are prone to anger and easily provoked into anger should practise Vipassanæ or Insight Meditation and Mettæ Bhævanæ in advance.

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What should I do when I am provoked into anger by others?

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Prince Siddhartha meditates under the Bodhi tree by the Nerañjaræ River

Questions and Answers Series 2

Progress in Vipassanæ Meditation
Question: I feel there is no progress in my meditation. What should I do? Answer: In answering the above question, we first have to clarify that in Buddhist practice, there are two types of meditation. The first one is Samatha Bhævanæ (tranquility meditation or concentration meditation), where the main goal is to develop concentration, or to calm the mind. The second is Vipassanæ Bhævanæ, or Insight Meditation, where we practise to develop wisdom. Please do not forget this. Why do we want to develop wisdom? We develop wisdom to purify our defiled mind, which is the cause of suffering. Among all the teachings on meditation, we have to rely on the Buddha’s first discourse, the Turning of the Wheel, or Dhammacakkappava¥¥hæna Sutta for the theoretical explanation of meditation. Regarding the practice and practical application, we have to rely on Mahæsatipa¥¥hæna Sutta, the Discourse on Mindfulness Meditation. Now the question is: “I feel there is no progress in my meditation.” First we have to specify what type of meditation the inquiring person is practising. If the person is practising here, we expect, he or she to be practising Insight Meditation or Vipassanæ Bhævanæ. So we stick to this subject: “progress in Vipassanæ Bhævanæ, or Insight Meditation”. How do we analyse or evaluate ourselves as to whether we are progressing in our meditation or not? 60

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Purification of the mind As I have said, the main emphasis of Vipassanæ Bhævanæ, or Insight Meditation is to develop wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is to purify the mind. The impure mind is the main cause of suffering. We are seeking deliverance from Sa særic suffering and to realise the eternal bliss of Nibbæna. What do we mean by “purification of the mind”? The mind is said to be impure when it is influenced by mental defilements (kilesas) caused by the three evil roots of greed or lobha, anger or dosa and delusion or ignorance or moha. So to purify the mind we have to practise the Mindfulness Meditation. That is how you can assess yourself as to whether your practice is gaining ground or not. Compare your mental states before the practice with those during and after the practice. You may not have completely eradicated all the mental defilements but if you have subdued or attenuated these mental defilements to a certain extent, that is the progress you have achieved. To understand this, for example, suppose previously you used to get angry ten times a day. After meditation, you are angry only five times a day or previously your anger was out of control. Now even if the anger arises, the anger is not as violent as before. That means your meditation is progressing well and you are achieving success because our main aim is to purify the mind. At the introduction of the Mahæ-satipa¥¥hæna Sutta, the Buddha said

“Ekayano aya bhikkhave maggo sattæna visuddhiyæ”
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Meaning_ “Sons and daughters, this is the only way.” What is the only way? The Mindfulness Meditation is the only way. For what? To purify the mind of beings from mental defilements or mental impurities or kilesas. So if you can purify your mind, you can eradicate these mental defilements of greed, anger and delusion. Even if you cannot completely eradicate them, but are able to lessen their intensity or to subdue or attenuate some of the defilements, that is the progress you are making. Please remember that. So if your practice is correct and proper, then the progress can be judged by this attenuation or subduing of these mental defilements.

Abhijjhæ means covetousness or greed, domanassa means ill-will, anger or hatred, and moha is delusion. These are
mental defilements. If in any way these mental defilements are weakened, lessened or attenuated, that is progress. If there is no progress, you have to review your practice to see if the practice is correct or not. In the Mahæ-satipa¥¥hæna Sutta, the Buddha also said, “Ætæp ī, sampajæno, satimæ”. Ætæpī means ardently. You must make ardent effort. For what? Satimæ means to be mindful. Of what? Sampajæno means clear comprehension of the object you are contemplating on. So if you practise in the right way and as I have explained before that the right way is to practise the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: They are: 1. Kæyænupassanæ satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation on bodily phenomena 2. Vedanænupassanæ satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation on feelings and sensations 62

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3. Cittænupassanæ satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation on the mind 4. Dhammænupassanæ satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation on the mental factors If your practice is correct, then mental defilements should gradually be attenuated or reduced in intensity. Five hindrances If there is still no progress in your meditation, you have to check on the five nøvara¼as or hindrances. These hindrances can block the progress of your meditation. The Pæ¹i word nøvara¼a means hindrance, obstruction or impediment. They are five in number: 1. Kæmacchanda nøvara¼a – passionate, sensual thoughts, that is lobha or greed 2. Vyæpæda nøvara¼a – Vyæpæda means ill-will or hatred or anger, that is dosa 3. Thøna-middha nøvara¼a – Thøna-middha means sloth and torpor 4. Uddhacca-kukkucca nøvara¼a – restlessness and remorse 5. Vicikicchæ nøvara¼a – skeptical doubts These five nøvara¼as or hindrances can impede and obstruct the progress of meditation. So if the person is sure that his practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness is correct and there is still no progress, then one of these nøvara¼as may be impeding his progress. The next part of the question: “What should I do?” You must develop the five faculties to overcome these hindrances or impediments. What are these five faculties?

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Five Faculties 1) Saddhæ (Faith) The first faculty is saddhæ – confidence or faith. You must have confidence in the practice. You must also have faith in your own capability and that you have the potential power to do it. With that kind of determination and faith you can achieve success in the practice. 2) Viriya (Effort) The second faculty one should develop is viriya. The Pæ¹i word viriya means effort or energy. As you all know, in life nothing can be achieved without making any effort. You must make effort and Buddha himself said: Ætæpi,

satimæ, sampajæno.

Ætæpi means ardent. You must make ardent effort. After
establishing faith in your practice that it is beneficial to practise this type of meditation to gain deliverance from all sa særic suffering, you put forth your ardent energy, or viriya. 3) Sati (Mindfulness) The third faculty is Sati or mindfulness. You must develop mindfulness for it is often stressed here that the main emphasis is to be mindful. What does it mean “to be mindful”? The mind must be fully alert or aware to study and observe the object you are watching or contemplating. So if the technique is wrong, you cannot expect progress. You must fully establish this mindfulness all the time. You cannot afford to be indolent or be in sloth and torpor like some meditators who are sometimes stuck with this “void”. When I ask “what is the state of mind at that time”? Mind is doing nothing and knowing nothing. 64

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Knowing nothing means gaining nothing. So that may also be blocking the progress.

Sati or mindfulness means the mind must be fully alert and
open to grasp all the characteristics and facts that can be known; and the essence that can be extracted from the object. The mind must be fully vigilant or aware. That is what mindfulness means. Not just staying idle, without knowing anything, just sitting through. Many people are contented when they can sit comfortably for a long time. But if there is no mindfulness, it is not meditation, just sitting. 4) Samædhi (Concentration) The fourth faculty is samædhi or concentration and this concentration is very important. Why? Because when meditators talk about meditation, they think of concentration. Of course, we need concentration but in this Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight Meditation, the main emphasis is mindfulness. We need limited concentration, not very deep concentration. Here one should note that there are three levels of concentration. One is called kha¼ika samædhi. Samædhi is concentration, kha¼ika means momentary. Thus we need momentary concentration. Moment by moment concentration is called kha¼ika samædhi, or momentary concentration. The second type of concentration is upacæra samædhi. The Pæ¹i word upacæra samædhi means access or neighbourhood concentration. “Neighbourhood” means neighbouring or nearer to. Like two adjacent houses, we call “my neighbour”. “Neighbour” means the closest or the nearest house. So also this access or neighbourhood 65

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concentration is near to absorption concentration, what people call as jhæna or one-pointedness of mind. Like when a person comes to this building, when one reaches the steps, that is upacæra. With the next step, one will be inside the building that is appanæ. Similarly, after this upacæra samædhi or access concentration, one will come into appanæ samædhi. So the second type is upacæra samædhi (access or neighbourhood concentration), and the third type is appanæ samædhi or absorption concentration which is also called jhænic concentration. These are the three types of concentration. Here what is very important to remember is: if one is practising Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight Meditation, we need only kha¼ika samædhi or momentary concentration or moment by moment concentration. For example, when you are in sitting meditation, you note the abdomen rising and falling. The actual rising of the abdomen and the noting mind, the actual falling of the abdomen and the noting mind concurrently is called kha¼ika samædhi (momentary concentration). At that time the mind is not distracted by any other object or it is not influenced by mental defilements. So that is ‘moment by moment concentration’. At the moment you are noting, the object and knowing mind come in pairs, e. g. ‘rising’ + noting, ‘falling’ + noting. In walking meditation, ‘right step’ + noting mind, ‘left step’ + noting mind, or ‘lifting and putting down’, or ‘lifting, moving, putting down’. If the object and the 66

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noting mind are concurrently established, that is called momentary concentration. That is what we need. However if a person goes into appanæ or jhænic samædhi (appanæ means one-pointedness of mind), the mind is fixed on a single object. The mind is absorbed in the object. It cannot move. It becomes immovable and you cannot do Dhamma-vicaya or investigation of Dhamma. Thus, you cannot develop wisdom even though you have developed strong concentration or samædhi. So this is how somebody can get stuck with this concentration and is unable to investigate the Dhamma of the object. It is explicitly stated by the Buddha that if you do some form of Samatha meditation and if you want to change to Vipassanæ Bhævanæ, you must emerge from appanæ samædhi to take up the Four Foundations of Mindfulness to establish Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight Meditation. For this type of meditation, we only need momentary concentration or kha¼ika samædhi. Please remember this. 5) Paññæ (wisdom) The fifth faculty is paññæ or wisdom. There are two paññæ Magga³ga: Sammæ Sa³kappa and Sammæ Di¥¥hi. These two belong to the wisdom group, or Paññæ Magga³ga. The first paññæ, the basic one which we must have is primary or preliminary knowledge. It is called Kammasakata-sammædi¥¥hi, meaning belief in Kamma and its result. Good begets good, bad begets bad. Bad action will result in bad experiences, and good action will result in good experiences. That is the law of Kamma. So having faith or confidence or strong belief in this law of Kamma is Kammasakata-sammædi¥¥hi. 67

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Always remember: good action will result in good experience, bad action will result in bad experience. Action and result – that is the law of Kamma. This is the basic or primary wisdom we have to develop and accept firmly. Only then will you be faithfully devoted to your practice. This practice of Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight Meditation is the loftiest and most beneficial of all the wholesome practices, or good conduct or actions. So by depending on this Kammasakata-sammædi¥¥hi, only then can you sincerely make good progress in your practice of meditation. This is the basic knowledge you must have. Then the second stage – after you have built up this primary wisdom or knowledge – when you practise, you must develop insight knowledge or ñæ¼a. For example: 1. Næmarþpa pariccheda ñæ¼a = the distinguishing knowledge between mind and matter, (næma and rþpa) or the five aggregates 2. Paccayæ pariggaha ñæ¼a = cause and effect relationship knowledge 3. Sammasana ñæ¼a = the rising and passing away knowledge; realising impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self of all phenomena. The above are insight wisdom or insight knowledge. That is the second stage of paññæ. Finally it will culminate in the realisation of path and fruition knowledge which is supramundane wisdom. So based on basic or preliminary knowledge or Kammasakatæ-sammædi¥¥hi, you practise Insight Meditation to develop Vipassanæ Ñæ¼a or insight knowledge and it will culminate in realising the Path and Fruition knowledge, the supramundane attainment. That is paññæ magga³gæ. 68

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Balancing of the Five Faculties

Of the five faculties, the first one (faith or saddhæ) and the last one (wisdom or paññæ) must be well-balanced. Any excess of the two is detrimental to your progress. So saddhæ and paññæ must be well-balanced. Excessive saddhæ without paññæ can lead one astray. Many people tend to be influenced by other people’s talk. Some people give opinions, saying that they have achieved this and that, and such talk may cause confusion and doubts. That may be another cause of hindrance. So please don’t believe easily what others say. Anybody can say anything. Don’t rely too much on others’ opinions. The Buddha himself said in the Kælæma Sutta: you yourself must analyse sensibly to see if something is correct or not. Don’t accept things blindly. So this saddhæ is important but it must be true saddhæ. And paññæ must be well-balanced with it. The next two faculties of viriya and samædhi must also be well-balanced. Viriya is effort and samædhi is concentration. An excess of either of these two faculties is not advantageous for meditation. That’s why in our programme we usually give the guidance to meditators to practise equal sessions of walking and sitting meditation. This is because sitting meditation is conducive to developing concentration, whereas standing and walking meditation is conducive to generating energy. 69

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To balance these two faculties, one has to do two equal sessions of sitting and walking as well as standing. Here many people are fond of sitting. When they talk about meditation, they only talk about sitting: “I can sit for two hours, three hours.” You may be able to sit for 12 hours but if you fail to scrutinise or examine your object, it is not meditation. So please do not forget: concentration and viriya need to be balanced. If viriya is in excess, one tends to be restless. If concentration is in excess, one can go into sloth and torpor. Mind becomes indolent and cannot examine any object to gain any wisdom. That too, is detrimental to progress. So these two, viriya and samædhi must be well balanced, whereas the middle one, Sati or mindfulness is never in excess. The more mindful you are, the more it is to your advantage. That is why we always emphasise that not much concentration is needed but you must establish mindfulness first. If you can establish mindfulness, concentration follows. So this is the only faculty that need not be balanced as it is always needed. That is why throughout his life, the Buddha said: appamædena bhikkhave sampædetha, “sons and daughters, do not be heedless, be mindful”. Mindfulness is the main emphasis in Vipassanæ Bhævanæ. So once again, saddhæ (faith) and paññæ (wisdom) as well as samædhi (concentration) and viriya (effort) must be balanced. Then you can achieve progress in Vipassanæ meditation easily.

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Can a person practising Samatha change to Vipassanæ later?

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In the Bamboo Grove (Ve¹uvana) at Ræjagaha, the Buddha giving a sermon to his disciples.

Questions and Answers Series 2

Can a person practising Samatha change to Vipassanæ later?
Answer: The answer is yes. There are three ways to attain enlightenment. The first way, samatha Yænika is as the questioner proposed. If one aspires for the realisation of Nibbæna, one must practise Vipassanæ or Insight Meditation. The reason is that Vipassanæ meditation or the practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness is the only way to realise Nibbæna. As the Buddha has said in the Mahæ-satipa¥¥hæna Sutta, ‘Ekæyano aya , bhikkhave, maggo sattæna visuddhiyæ.’ ‘Monks, this is the only way for the purification of beings.’ The three ways to attain enlightenment are:1. Samatha Yænika First, you establish concentration with Samatha Bhævanæ or tranquility meditation. When your mind has reached access concentration, you have to change to practise Vipassanæ. This is because Vipassanæ meditation is the only way to realise Nibbæna. This method is using Samatha as the prerequisite practice to gain Nibbæna. 2. Vipassanæ Yænika The second type of meditation to gain Nibbæna is Vipassanæ Yænika. We do not need to practise Samatha meditation or tranquility meditation as the prerequisite. We directly practise Vipassanæ meditation. The Yogis here are practising this method.

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Can a person practising Samatha change to Vipassanæ later?

3. Yuganaddha (twin meditation) The third method to gain Nibbæna is by practising both Samatha and Vipassanæ together at the same time. In Pæ¹i it is called Yuganaddha or Yuganandha or twinmeditation. Yuga means twin or couple, or yoke together like a wooden pole hooked to two bullock-carts. When you practise Insight Meditation, you see phenomena arise and pass away all the time. The mind becomes monotonous and tired. At that time, you can practise Samatha to gain some jhænic factors which will stimulate or refresh one’s mind. Some people practise this way at times. Let me explain details about Samatha meditation. It is also called tranquility or serenity or calm meditation. Its main emphasis is to develop concentration. However, the main emphasis of Vipassanæ meditation is to develop wisdom. What is this wisdom? This wisdom is the realisation of the Four Noble Truths. Without having any personal intuitive knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, one cannot realise Nibbæna. So the purpose of practising Vipassanæ is not just to enjoy the calmness or serenity. To develop Samatha meditation one has to practise to achieve the five jhænic factors which are initial application (vitakka), sustained application (vicæra), joy/rapture(pīti), happiness (sukha) and one-pointedness of the mind or concentration (ekaggatæ). If one aspires for the realisation of Nibbæna through the practice of Vipassanæ, one has to achieve the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. They are: 1. Sati (mindfulness) 2. Dhamma-vicaya (investigation of Dhamma) 3. Viriya (effort) 73

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4. Pøti (joy) 5. Passaddhi (tranquility) 6. Samædhi (concentration) 7. Upekkhæ (equanimity) It does not mean that concentration is not needed in Vipassanæ or that mindfulness is not needed in Samatha. In fact every meditator has to develop the balance of the five faculties which are saddhæ (the confidence in the practice and teacher), viriya (effort), Sati (mindfulness), samædhi (concentration) and paññæ (wisdom). In any type of meditation, one has to depend on the strength or maturity of these five faculties. These faculties are necessary for proper progress. This is why I use the word ‘main emphasis’ to elaborate that the main emphasis of Vipassanæ practice is wisdom whereas Samatha is concentration. We also need to know the three levels of concentration. The first one is upacæra samædhi or access concentration. It means neighbouring to the appanæ samædhi (absorption concentration). This appanæ samædhi is the second level of concentration in Samatha practice. When you practise Samatha Bhævanæ as the prerequisite, you have to go through these two levels of concentration. First you have to go to the access concentration or neighbourhood concentration before you can enter into appanæ samædhi. We have to develop the five jhænic factors to gain upacæra samædhi. When they become strong and forceful, one will go into appanæ samædhi. So for Samatha Bhævanæ , we 74

Can a person practising Samatha change to Vipassanæ later?

need to develop these two namely upacæra samædhi and appanæ samædhi. Why do we have to develop these 2 levels of concentration? The reason is upacæra samædhi or access concentration has the power to suppress nøvara¼as. This Pæ¹i word nøvara¼a means hindrance, obstruction or impediment. The hindrances can obstruct one’s meditation progress. Why do we need to develop appanæ samædhi? You need to develop appanæ samædhi or absorption concentration to gain jhæna, to enjoy jhænic bliss or to gain psychic powers. The Samatha concentration has 8 jhænas which are 4 rþpajhænas and 4 arþpajhænas. The 4 arþpajhænas can only be achieved after gaining 4 rþpajhænas with appanæ samædhi. When one practises Samatha as the prerequisite and one aspires to realise Nibbæna, one need not go to appanæ samædhi. Even if one enters into appanæ samædhi, one must emerge from this concentration. The reason is that appanæ samædhi is one-pointedness or fixedness of the mind. Mind is fixed on the same object. At that time, you cannot do Dhamma-vicaya or investigation of Dhamma, so you cannot gain any Vipassanæ knowledge. Some people don’t know whether they are practising Samatha or Vipassanæ. They go into a state of mind that is immovable, indolent. During interviews, when I asked them about the state of their minds, they said that ‘the mind knows nothing, just sitting there, mind in void.’ Actually, mindfulness means one must be fully aware and understand the meditation object. I have explained to you 75

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many times how to watch the object. When contemplating the object, you have to realise næma-rþpa or psychophysical phenomena, cause effect, Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. You have to clearly understand and contemplate on your meditation object to gain Vipassanæ Ñæ¼a (insight knowledge). Just fixing the mind on a single object will not let you have Vipassanæ Ñæ¼a. It is specifically mentioned in the text that even if you manage to enter into appanæ samædhi, you have to emerge from it or dissolve that concentration. Then you go back to upacæra samædhi or access concentration to change to practise Vipassanæ. Just fixing the mind on a single object will not let you realise Nibbæna. That’s why according to our Mahæs ī tradition, we don’t prescribe Samatha as a prerequisite. We can do Yuganaddha or twin meditation. If you start with Samatha as a prerequisite, you need skilful guidance to understand upacæra samædhi and appanæ samædhi. You also need skilful guidance by experienced teachers on how to go in and come out of appanæ samædhi. That is why our tradition does not recommend Samatha. If possible please directly practise Vipassanæ. What is the type of concentration we use inVipassanæ Bhævanæ? The commentary called it kha¼ika samædhi or momentary concentration. Momentary concentration means moment to moment concentration. For example, in sitting meditation you are noting ‘abdomen rising, falling’ and ‘sitting, touching’. ‘Rising’ + ‘noting mind’, ‘falling’ + ‘noting mind’, ‘sitting’ + ‘noting mind’, ‘touching’ + ‘noting mind’. It means the noted object and noting mind 76

Can a person practising Samatha change to Vipassanæ later?

arising concurrently or in a pair. This kha¼ika samædhi is the same as access concentration as both have the power to suppress nøvara¼a or hindrances. However, some people insist that appanæ samædhi is necessary for the realisation of Nibbæna. Actually the reason why we develop concentration is to suppress nøva¼aras or hindrances. In Vipassanæ we have momentary concentration or kha¼ika samædhi. Concentration means your mind is not distracted by the five hindrances. Summary In summary, a meditator can practise the three types of meditation to realise Nibbæna. The first one is Samatha Yænika method where one first establishes concentration by practising Samatha or tranquility meditation. However if one’s final destination is Nibbæna, you don’t have to go to appanæ samædhi. After gaining upacæra samædhi or access concentration and the hindrances are suppressed, one can change directly to Vipassanæ. There is no need to waste time to go into appanæ samædhi. Even if you enter into appanæ samædhi, you must emerge from this jhænic concentration to practise Vipassanæ. If your wish to gain appanæ samædhi, to delight in Jhanic bliss and psychic power, then you have to continue to practise to gain appanæ samædhi. You also need to be skilful in going and coming out of jhæna and know how to practise from rþpajhæna to arþpajhæna. Those who practise Vipassanæ Yænika do not need to enter into appanæ samædhi. We use kha¼ika samædhi or momentary concentration to suppress the nøvara¼as or 77

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hindrances. Our mind must actively investigate or apply Dhamma-vicaya on what is cause effect and Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta (impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, nonself) Unless you can master that, you cannot gain any enlightenment. We don’t need appanæ samædhi (absorption concentration) but kha¼ika samædhi (momentary concentration) in Vipassanæ meditation.

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Applied theory in practical meditation

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The Buddha expounding the Dhamma to his disciples

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meditation Applied theory in practical meditation
Question: How to apply theory in practical meditation? Answer: If you have noticed, in our talks, we always emphasise on how to experience or how to apply your theoretical knowledge and your experience of meditation, and the importance of this so-called being to be fully understood as næma-rþpa, or as five aggregates in the spiritual strive for deliverance. From the interviews, I realise that many meditators are confused about how to observe the objects during meditation and also about the two types of meditation. Now I would like to solve the confusion between these two types of meditation, that is Vipassanæ Bhævanæ (Insight Meditation) and Samatha Bhævanæ (tranquility meditation). In Vipassanæ or Insight Meditation, we emphasise the development of wisdom. In Samatha or tranquility meditation the main emphasis is to develop concentration. This must be clearly understood from the very beginning. It is not that we do not need concentration. We need concentration but we do not need that concentration which is strong enough to put the mind into one-pointedness or appanæ samædhi or jhæna. Appanæ samædhi is translated as one-pointedness. The mind becomes one-pointed. Another meaning of the word “concentration” is immersion – if fluid is concentrated, it gradually becomes thicker and thicker. So also the mind becomes concentrated and it cannot move. 80

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In Vipassanæ, our emphasis is to develop wisdom. For that we need Sati. Sati is translated as mindfulness. Mindfulness means that the mind is fully aware of its object. Fully aware means to understand all the things that should be understood in your object. That is the most important thing. Many people are just sitting and when you ask them “what was happening at that time?”, they did not know, they said the mind was void. Void means they do not know anything, they are just sitting like a statue. That is either sloth and torpor or one-pointed concentration but it is not gaining any wisdom. In the Pæ¹ø word Vipassanæ, “passanæ” means watching, contemplating, pondering, observing, being aware, or knowing the object. The direct translation of ‘Vi’ is in many ways, or special ways, or strange ways. It means having full understanding. The Buddha sometimes described it as sampajañña. Sampajañña means clear comprehension of the object and to gain all possible knowledge or insight while observing the object. Three types of knowledge (Ñæ¼a) Here worthy of notice is the Pæ¹i word ñæ¼a– wisdom or knowledge. There are three types of knowledge in the world. The first one is suta maya ñæ¼a. Suta means hearing because in the old days, printing technology had been not developed yet. All knowledge was learned by hearing, or listening to the talks and committing it to memory. So suta maya ñæ¼a actually means general knowledge. Today the knowledge is gained by reading, listening to talks in person, tapes, CDs, MP3s etc. That is second-hand knowledge you are gaining or learning from other people. Like the knowledge you gain now from listening to my 81

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Dhamma talk is suta maya ñæ¼a. That is the first type of knowledge.
The second type of knowledge is in Pæ¹i words cintæ maya ñæ¼a, knowledge gained by thinking. The philosophers can gain knowledge by thinking and expounding theories. Like the scientist Newton who was sitting near an apple tree and saw an apple fall down from the tree towards the earth. And he started thinking: “This apple when it was attached to the stalk of the tree, did not fall. When it was loosened from the stalk, why did it fall towards the earth? There must be some pulling force.” Then he expounded the gravitational theory. That type of knowledge is called cintæ maya ñæ¼a. Gaining knowledge by thinking is the second type of knowledge.

The third type of knowledge is bhævanæ maya ñæ¼a and this is the most important. Bhævanæ here means Vipassanæ Bhævanæ. By your own intuitive personal knowledge or by developing and practising Insight Meditation, you gain this type of knowledge or the true insight. Never forget that when you meditate, you must develop this bhævanæ maya ñæ¼a. What you experience or realise by yourself must be verified by the theoretical knowledge that you have gained by listening to Dhamma talks or in your meditational 82

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experience. That would be bhævanæ maya ñæ¼a. That is what Vipassanæ means: Insight Meditation is to experience, to realise the experiential knowledge and that knowledge is called bhævanæ maya ñæ¼a. That is why we constantly tell you how to watch. If this realisation does not come by itself, you must purposely apply your theoretical knowledge and observe it in your meditation. For example the so-called person or a being is just a concept. In spiritual practice, you must see the ultimate reality of næma and rþpa or mind and matter that make up the so-called being. So in your meditation, you must be able to identify or verify your theoretical knowledge of mind and matter, næma and rþpa. The so-called being is just a psychophysical complex. The physical complex is called rþpa and the psychic part is næma. In simple words, just mind and matter. In Abhidhamma, the Buddha has elaborated this matter or rþpa into 28 types of matter. But never mind, all we need to know about matter or rþpa in our meditation practice is to see the characteristics of the four great elements that constitute the physical body or rþpa .

Rþpa (Four Gross Elements)
What are these four gross elements? The first one is

pathavø dhætu (earth element). The characteristic of earth
element is solidity. Because of solidity, you can see our bodies and we can occupy space. How does it manifest? If you feel or experience hardness, softness, smoothness and roughness, you can understand it as pathavø dhætu (earth element). 83

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The second element is æpo dhætu (water element). Tears, saliva, sweat, and urine are water elements. The characteristics of water element are trickling and cohesion. By these, we can experience the water element. The third element is tejo dhætu (fire element). We can experience in ourselves hotness, warmth or coldness. These three are the three stages of the same phenomenon. The fourth element is væyo dhætu (wind element). When you are noting the abdomen rising and falling, the rising and falling means the movement of the abdomen. In walking, when you are noting and taking steps as ‘left, right’ or ‘lifting, putting down’ or ‘lifting, pushing, putting down’, these are elements of motion. The element of motion is the characteristic of wind element. You must be able to identity the four elements so that you can discard the erroneous view of sakkæya-di¥¥hi (personality belief). It is given as ‘life and death emergency’ that we must be able to discard this sakkæyadi¥¥hi. The Buddha has given the example of a person who is pierced with a spear at the heart or whose head-hair is on fire. It is a critical condition of life and death. Therefore the first thing we should eliminate through Vipassanæ meditation is this sakkæya-di¥¥hi, by analysing ourselves into the four elements. The Butcher and cow simile For a clear understanding of these four gross elements, the Buddha has given a simile. Supposing a butcher is pulling a cow to the slaughterhouse. Half way on the 84

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road, someone asks him, “Hey, what are you pulling?” He will answer, “I am pulling a cow.” After reaching the slaughter house, he kills the cow and dissects it into various bundles of meat, bones and other internal organs. He makes them into packages and comes back to the bazaar, puts his goods on the table and starts selling. If at that time, someone comes over and asks, “Hey, what are you selling?” He won’t say that he is selling a cow. He will say, “I am selling meat, bones or internal organs” as he has lost the concept of the cow. Now, he no longer has the cow. Only when he is pulling the cow and before he slaughters and dissects the cow, he still has the concept of the cow. That is why, if you ask him before he slaughters the cow, “What are you pulling?” He will answer, “I am pulling a cow.” However, after he has slaughtered and dissected the cow, he will not say, “I am selling a cow.” He will say “I am selling meat, I am selling bones.” as he has lost the concept of the cow. That is the benefit for the meditator who is able to analyse or verify the four gross elements. As they are compounded together, we take this body as some solid person, atta or ego, and we become egoistic and selfish and that creates problems in life. So, the most important step in our meditation is to dispel the sakkæya-di¥¥hi. You should be able to identify rþpa (matter) by the four gross elements. You must not only have theoretical knowledge but you must be able to 85

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identify the four gross elements by your own experiential meditation. Mind (Næma) æma) The second part of the so-called being is mind (the psychic part). Let us study about the mind now. Just as the body can be identified by four gross elements, the Buddha has divided the mind into four parts. In the Abhidhamma, the Buddha has classified the mind into 89 or 121 types of mind. The Buddha, because of his great wisdom, can know these different classifications of the mind. But, never mind all these classifications. For our meditational purpose, we should identify the mind (næma) and matter (rþpa ) components. In næma or mind, there is 1 citta (consciousness) and 3 cetasikas (mental concommitants). All together there are four components of the mind. Mind (Næma) 1. Vedanæ (Feeling) 2. Saññæ (Perception) 3. Sa³khæra (Mental formation or volition) 4. Viññæ¼a (consciousness)

Cetasika (mental concommitant) Citta (consciousness)

The first mental concommitant is vedanæ (feeling or sensation). In meditation, we experience different feelings. For example, when sitting down, sometimes we experience pain, aches, tingling, numbness etc. All these are sensations or feelings. In Pæ¹i, it is called as vedanæ. The 86

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Buddha classifies vedanæ into many types but if we can discern the three types of vedanæ, that is good enough for the practice. Sometimes even these three types of vedanæ, might not be easily discerned. These three feelings are 1. Sukha vedanæ (pleasant or pleasurable sensation) 2. Dukkha vedanæ (unpleasant or unpleasurable sensation) 3. Adukkhamasukha vedanæ (neither pleasant nor unpleasant sensation). This is sometimes translated as neutral or equanimous feeling or indifferent feeling. These are misleading terms. It is better to stick to the Pæ¹i word as adukkhamasukha vedanæ, neither pleasurable nor unpleasurable sensation. What we can discern most easily in meditation is this dukkha vedanæ or unpleasant sensation as it is very strong and sometimes excruciating. It can easily attract the mind towards the object. Otherwise our mind, just like the Buddha has said, is like the monkey-mind. It is hopping from object to object and easily runs away. But when we feel this unpleasant sensation, the mind cannot run. So dukkha vedanæ is the easiest to identify. The other two vedanæs can be discerned by relativity to dukkha vedanæ. When the dukkha vedanæ gradually abates and fades away, either sukha vedanæ or adukkhamasukha vedanæ will appear. If you can discern dukkha vedanæ, it is good enough for the practice. The second mental concommitant is saññæ, perception. As we are conditioned, we see things in the conventional 87

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world in conventional terms. Like man, woman, cat, dog, table, chair and whatever names we call objects. These are saññæ. Saññæ is, as a modern example, the data you feed in to the computer for future reference. Just like when we first come into contact with the outside world, we try to learn and collect as much data as possible. A clear example is like when you first see me, whether you know it or not, your mind starts to survey me. My characteristics are already recorded. With that, the next time you see me, you will automatically recognise that ‘he is a monk’, ‘he is Dr. U. Sunanda’. This is the work of saññæ. The commentary also gives the following example on saññæ. Those days in the past, when carpenters made houses, they had to make markings on the wood so that they would know where to cut, to smoothen or to straighten. So saññæ means we collect data into our memory for future reference. That is the work of saññæ. 3. Sa³khæra (Volition) The third category is sa³khæra, volition or intentional action. You are asked to be patient when making changes of body postures, like when getting up from sitting to standing position. First, you calmly watch the mind, the desire or intention to get up will arise. Then you must make a mental note of that intention. You are trying to identify the sa³khæra. The Buddha said, “Manopubba³gamæ dhammæ, mind precedes every phenomenon.” The intention precedes the action. The body will not get up or move by itself. Like 88

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this table, it doesn’t have the mind, it will not move unless you pull or push it. Similarly, the body without the mind is like a statue and lifeless. Because the mind wants to get up, the body gets up. Because the mind wants to walk, the body walks. Because the mind wants to go to the toilet, the body goes to the toilet. Thus if you can catch the intention or note it, you can verify and experience the sa³khæra by yourself. Sa³khæra is also another cetasika, a mental concommitant. These cetasikas accompany any citta, that’s why they are called universal. Without cetasika, the mind cannot arise. According to the Abhidhamma teaching, there are 52 cetasikas. The Buddha isolated these three cetasikas (vedanæ, saññæ, sa³khæra) that accompany the mind, for the meditator to identify during meditation. These three cetasikas are very obvious and very easy to identify if you are mindful of your actions in the practice.

Viññæ¼a 4. Viññæ¼a (Consciousness)

The fourth and last mental factor is viññæ¼a (consciousness). It completes the whole process of næma (mind). For easy understanding, let us take an example of the cabinet in the government. The individual ministers like health minister or education minister function in their own ministries. They have to report to the Prime Minister or President, who finalises the overall administration of the country and thereby completing the work of the ministries. Likewise the mental factors of vedanæ, saññæ and sa³khæra function in their own capacities. Finally, their work is completed by viññæ¼a (consciousness). That’s how the 89

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four mental components can be identified. Briefly, these four together are called næma (mind). Conclusion The four gross elements constitute rþpa . Briefly speaking a sentient being is just næma and rþpa. For scholars, they might want to elaborate the næma (mind) into four categories, that is 1 citta and 3 cetasikas. These are also called 1. Rþpakkhandha (body or material) 2. Vedanækkhandha (feeling/sensation) 3. Saññakkhandha ( perception) 4. Sa³khærakkhandha (volition) 5. Viññæ¼akkhandha (consciousness) These are known as the five aggregates. What exists in reality and is the ultimate truth are the five aggregates, pañcupædænakkhandhæ. These we grasp and cling to as ‘I’, ‘mine’. If someone asks, who are you, you point to the body, and say “I am here”, as we grasp the body as ‘I’, ‘mine’. When you say “my memory is very good”, then you are grasping to the perception as ‘I’, ‘mine’. Actually what exists in ultimate reality are these five aggregates, but we identify the five aggregates as someone permanent, exists all the time, as ‘I’, ‘mine’. This inflates our egos and creates problems in life. Now let’s refer to the example of the butcher. After butchering the cow, he lost the concept of the cow. So, we must also be able to identify and verify these rþpa and næma, or five aggregates, so that we can eradicate the erroneous view of sakkæya-di¥¥hi (personality belief).

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How to apply Noble Eightfold Path in Vipassanæ Practice? Practice?
Question: How to apply Noble Eightfold Path in Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight meditation? Answer: The Noble Eightfold Path was mentioned by the Buddha in the Dhammacakkappava¥¥hæna Sutta. It was the first discourse he delivered after attaining enlightenment. In this sutta he expounded the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are: 1. The Noble truth of suffering 2. The Noble truth of the cause of suffering 3. The Noble truth of the cessation of suffering 4. The Noble truth of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering which is the Noble Eightfold Path. There are eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path. They are: 1. Sammæ Di¥¥hi (right view) 2. Sammæ Sa³kappa (right thought or right inclination) 3. Sammæ Sati (right mindfulnes 4. Sammæ Væcæ (right speech) 5. Sammæ Kammanta (right action) 6. Sammæ Æjøva (right livelihood) 7. Sammæ Væyæma (right effort) 8. Sammæ Samædhi (right concentration) The above is the theoretical teaching of the Noble Eightfold Path. For practical meditation purpose, these eight path factors can be grouped into three trainings. 92

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A. Søla (morality group) B. Samædhi (concentration group) C. Paññæ (wisdom group) A meditator needs to fulfill the above three trainings.

There are three factors in the morality group or Søla Magga³ga. They are: 1. Sammæ Væcæ, right speech, 2. Sammæ Kammanta, right action 3. Sammæ Æjøva, right livelihood. Before you start practising Insight Meditation or Vipassanæ Bhævanæ you need to purify your moral conduct. The Buddha said you must first practise this Søla Magga³ga to purify your moral conduct. Without moral purity, you cannot develop concentration. Without concentration you cannot develop wisdom. As such, we emphasise that the basic practice in any meditation is the purification of your moral conduct. That is why we take pains every morning to administer the eight precepts to the meditators. In a meditation retreat the meditators are observing eight precepts. In the worldly life, if you can observe the 5 precepts, that will be good enough for this purification of conduct or Søla Magga³ga . 1. Sammæ Væcæ (Right Speech) The Søla or morality group has 3 factors. The first one is Sammæ Væcæ or right speech. Right speech means you must avoid 4 wrong speeches. The four wrong speeches are headed by 93

Magga³ga A) Morality Group (Søla Magga³ga)

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i. Musævædæ or false speech or telling lies Besides telling lies, there are another 3 wrongful speeches. ii. Pisu¼avæcæ is slandering or back biting. It is the speech that can cause disharmony among associates, relatives or friends. iii. Pharusavæcæ is harsh or abusive speech or using uncultured and filthy language. iv. Samphappalæpavæcæ is frivolous talk When you observe 5 precepts, one of them is ‘Musævædæ verama¼i sikkhæpadaµ samædiyæmi’. Musævædæ means all kinds of wrong speech. A person who wants to have spiritual development must observe this precept of Musævædæ strictly so that his speech becomes Sammæ Væcæ or right speech. So any speech that avoids wrong speech is regarded as Sammæ Væcæ or right speech. 2. Sammæ Kammanta (Right Action) The second factor in the Søla group is Sammæ Kammanta or right action. What is right action? You must avoid the wrong actions as prescribed in the 5 precepts. The first wrongful action is the first precept of Pænætipætæ verama¼i, killing or harming of living beings. The second wrongful action is Adinnædænæ verama¼i meaning procuring other people’s property unethically or illegally, or stealing or robbing and so on. The third precept is Kæmesu micchæcæræ verama¼i. It usually translated as sexual misconduct because out of the five senses, sexual passion is the strongest one. Actually, Kæma means sense perversion and sense pleasure. So the correct translation should be sensual misconduct. The acts of killing, stealing and sensual misconduct are micchæ-kammanta or wrong practices or wrong actions. 94

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By observing the five precepts, you have already purified your morality. If you avoid these 3 wrong actions or evil actions then your actions become right action or Sammæ Kammanta. 3. Sammæ Æjøva (Right Livelihood) The third factor in the Søla group is Sammæ Æjøva. The Pæ¹i word Sammæ Æjøva means right livelihood. We need to sustain our life by earning a living. However our livelihood must be right and proper. If you can avoid the 4 wrong speeches and 3 wrong actions, then your livelihood can be considered as Sammæ Æjøva or right livelihood. All Buddhists should avoid the five wrong livelihoods. They are: 1. Trading in human beings 2. Trading in flesh or breeding animals for slaughter 3. Trading in arms, ammunition or destructive weapons 4. Trading in poisons 5. Trading in intoxicants like stimulating drug, narcotic drug or anything that can confuse the mind. Ordinary worldly beings who have not developed mental culture or mental practice have minds which are already deluded. If they use alcohol, intoxicants or drug, then their minds will be more confused and they may go astray and do evil actions. The above five trades are regarded as micchæ-æjøva. Those who want to develop the pristine purity of conduct should avoid these wrong livelihoods.

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So they should purify their moral conduct by observing the 5 precepts or 8 precepts. As for the sama¼eras or bhikkhus they have their corresponding disciplinary rules.

B) Concentration group (Samædhi Magga³ga)

After purifying one’s moral conduct or Søla, one has to develop concentration (Samædhi). To develop concentration there are three factors. 1. Sammæ Væyæma (right effort) 2. Sammæ Sati (right mindfulness) 3. Sammæ Samædhi (right concentration) 1. Sammæ Væyæma (Right Effort) The first factor is Sammæ Væyæma or right effort. Why must you make the right effort? You need to make the right effort to be mindful or to have Sammæ Sati, right mindfulness. With the right effort to practise right mindfulness, right concentration or Sammæ Samædhi will follow. These 3 factors in this Noble Eightfold Path constitute Samædhi Magga³ga. How to develop these three factors of Samædhi? The first one is Sammæ Væyæma, right effort. What is right effort? Right effort means you must make right effort in 4 ways. There are two efforts regarding wholesome states. i) You must make effort to arouse the wholesome mental state that has not arisen yet ii) You must preserve and increase the wholesome mental state that has already arisen 96

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The next two efforts are regarding unwholesome mental states. iii) You must make effort to abandon or suppress the unwholesome mental state that has arisen. iv) You must make effort to prevent the unwholesome mental state that has not arisen yet. These four efforts are called Sammappadhæna Bodhipakkhiya. It is also one of the enlightenment factors.

One needs to know what mental states are wholesome or unwholesome. In practical meditation, the unwholesome mental states mean five nøvara¼as. The Pæ¹i word nøvara¼a means hindrance, obstruction or impediment. They can obstruct the progress of meditation. They are five in number: 1. Kæmacchanda nøvara¼a – passionate, sensual thoughts 2. Vyæpæda nøvara¼a – Vyæpæda means ill-will or hatred or anger 3. Thøna-middha nøvara¼a – Thøna-middha means sloth and torpor 4. Uddhacca-kukkucca nøvara¼a – restlessness and remorse 5. Vicikicchæ nøvara¼a – skeptical doubts These hindrances are five unwholesome thoughts. If they have not arisen, one must make effort to prevent them from arising. If they have already arisen, a meditator must make effort to eliminate or abandon them. Hence these efforts are Sammappadhæna or Sammæ Væyæma. What are the wholesome states that a meditator must make effort to develop or grow? In practical meditation, the wholesome mental states mean realisation of the insight knowledge or Vipassanæ Ñæ¼a. A meditator should use 97

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Dhamma-vicaya or investigation of the law to realise the
insight knowledge of: i. Næmarþpa pariccheda ñæ¼a or the distinguishing knowledge between mind and body. ii. Paccaya pariggaha ñæ¼a or the knowledge between cause and effect. You are all asked to note intention before action. Like before getting up from your sitting, you have to note the intention to stand up and then you get up. You are aware that the intention to get up is the cause and the body getting up is the result. This is the cause and effect knowledge. So also, before walking, please do not walk immediately. You must patiently watch your mind. The intention or desire to walk will arise before the stepping of the foot. The intention to walk is the cause. The movement of the foot or body is the result. So you can clearly see the cause and effect relationship. This is paccaya pariggaha ñæ¼a or the distinguishing knowledge between cause and effect. The Vipassanæ knowledges are all wholesome states. They are wholesome because they can lead you to supramundane attainment and realisation of Nibbæna. You must develop these if they have not yet been developed in you. Even if you have developed them, you must maintain, preserve and make them grow. These are the two Sammæ Væyæma or two noble efforts a meditator has to make. So there are two efforts to suppress and abandon the unwholesome states and two efforts to develop and maintain the wholesome states. These are the four efforts that one has to make and fulfill. They are considered as Sammæ Væyæma in the Noble Eightfold Path. 98

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So, the first two knowledge that meditators must develop in them are næmarþpa pariccheda ñæ¼a and paccaya pariggaha ñæ¼a. The next knowledge is sammasana ñæ¼a or knowledge of comprehension. There are three phases in any phenomenon. For example when you note the rising of the abdomen, there is a beginning to rise, actual rising and stopping. Beginning to rise is uppæda, actual movement is ¥hiti and stopping is bha³ga. The rising of abdomen cannot continue forever. The stopping means dissolution. Hence, the three phases of any phenomenon is uppæda, ¥hiti, bha³ga or beginning, middle, dissolution. So also when you are noting the falling of the abdomen, the beginning to fall is uppæda, the actual falling is ¥hiti and actual dissolution is bha³ga. Realising the 3 phases of any phenomenon is sammasana ñæ¼a or realisation of trio of moment. This realisation is a wholesome state. If not yet developed in one’s meditation, one must put effort to develop it. If you have developed it, you must maintain it, preserve it and make it grow. That is the meaning of Sammæ Væyæma in this Noble Eightfold Path. These four efforts are also called Sammappadhæna in the Bodhipakkhiya-dhamma or the Requisites of Enlightenment. 2.Sammæ Sati (Right Mindfulness) The second factor in the Concentration or Samædhi group is Sammæ Sati or right mindfulness. The meditators are practising Vipassanæ or Mindfulness Meditation here. The Buddha has elaborated on the Mindfulness Meditation into Four Foundations of Mindfulness. 99

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The first one is Kæyænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna, contemplation on body phenomena, like in sitting meditation noting the abdomen ‘rising, falling’ or ‘sitting, touching’ or in walking meditation watching on the foot steps. All these are Kæyænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna. The second foundation is Vedanænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna. The Pæ¹i word vedanæ means sensation or feeling like ache, pain, tingling, numbness, itchiness etc. When noting these sensations, one is practising Vedanænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna. The third is Cittænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna. Citta means mind, wondering thought, stray thought, remembering about the past, planning about the future etc. Noting the mind and mental factors is Cittænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna. The fourth is Dhammænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna or contemplation of the Dhamma. This word Dhamma has a very wide implication. In actual practice, Dhammænupassanæ is achieved when one can make a mental note of all the objects that arise through the 6 sense doors. For example, with the eyes see sight, with the ears hear sound and so on. You should note ‘seeing seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking’. This contemplation of six sense phenomena is Dhammænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna. So when you are contemplating on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, you have achieved this Sammæ Sati.

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3. Sammæ Samædhi (Right Concentration) The third factor of the Samædhi group is Sammæ Samædhi or right concentration. Right concentration means you keep incessant mindfulness. The noting mind and the object noted are concurrent. Concurrent means coming together. Like actual rising of the abdomen and noting mind, actual falling of the abdomen and noting mind, stepping (of the foot) and noting mind. When noting mind and the noted object are concurrent from moment to moment, this is kha¼ika samædhi or momentary concentration of Vipassanæ Bhævanæ‘. If you can establish momentary concentration you have achieved Sammæ Samædhi. So these 3 factors of right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration are recognised as Samædhi Magga³ga.

C) Wisdom Group (Paññæ Magga³ga)
1) Sammæ Di¥¥hi (Right View) The remaining two factors of the Noble EightFold Path are Sammæ Di¥¥hi and Sammæ Sa³kappa or right thinking. If you add up the 2 groups of Søla (with 3 factors) and Samædhi (with 3 factors), then the 6 factors are well established. As a result this Sammæ Di¥¥hi is achieved. Sammæ Di¥¥hi means right view or right understanding. We are conditioned from time immemorial to live in a conventional world. We instinctly or habitually identify or verify everything that comes into contact with our senses in the conventional sense. By developing Søla Magga³ga 101

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and Samædhi Magga³ga or morality and concentration, you can change your view or understanding to Paramattha or ultimate reality. For example in conventional terms we use ‘man’ and ‘woman’ etc. If you can identify them as næma-rþpa or mind and matter, five aggregates and knowing how they are arising and passing away, you will have Sammæ Di¥¥hi or the right view. The right view means seeing in ultimate truth not in conventional way. The conventional way is called Paññatti. It is just a name, not ultimate reality and it is not true. It is perversion or in Pæ¹i word vipallæsa. What is impermanent we take it as permanent. What is pain we take it as pleasure. What is ugly we take it as beautiful. If you can see these mind and matter phenomena as they really are, you will have Sammæ Di¥¥hi or right view or right understanding. 2.Sammæ Sa³kappa (Right Thought) The last one is Sammæ Sa³kappa or right thought. For example, our noble meditators here have the right thought to come to this retreat. You are on leave but instead of going out to enjoy sense pleasures, you have come to practise meditation and to learn the Dhamma. That is a very noble thought or noble inclination of the mind. For this Sammæ Sa³kappa, the Buddha has recommended three thoughts. i) Nekkhamma Sa³kappa (thought free from sensual pleasure) Nekkhamma Sa³kappa means renunciation or letting go. You are letting go of all sense pleasures by coming to the retreat to observe søla or morality. You have to let go of one meal in the evening and not adorning yourself with cosmetic, listening to music or entertainment show. You 102

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are letting go of all these sensual pleasures. This is the practice of Nekkhamma or renunciation. The thought of renouncing this sense pleasure is Sammæ Sa³kappa or right thought. ii) Abyæpæda Sa³kappa (thought free from ill-will) Abyæpæda Sa³kappa means to suppress or abandon ill-will or anger or to developing mettæ or loving kindness in your heart. iii) Avihi sa Sa³kappa (thought free from cruelty) Avihi sa means no violence or no cruelty. This thought means developing karu¼a or compassion in your heart. Thus complete the Noble Eightfold Path or the three trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom that our meditators need to develop to gain spiritual achievement.

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Sigala worshipping at the six directions: East, West, South, North, above and below. The Buddha telling him about the duties of parents, children, husband, wife, friends etc.

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Contemplation of all phenomena from the six sense bases
The Buddha has given us instructions on how to contemplate on the six sense processes. He said, Di¥¥he di¥¥hamatta bhavissati (in seeing, just be seeing) Sute sutamatta bhavissati (in hearing just be hearing) Mute mutamatta bhavissati (in contact, just be contact) Viññate viññatamatta bhavissati (in knowing, just be knowing) When we see a sight, we should note as ‘seeing, seeing’ so that the object will stay merely as a visual object. When we hear a sound, we must note as ‘hearing, hearing’ so that the object stays just as a sound. There is only passive awareness of the object, no reflection or reaction to the object. The Buddha has collectively put the three processes of smelling, tasting and touching into the third instruction as ‘Mute mutamatta bhavissati, in contact, just be contact’. This means that the object that comes into direct contact with the sense base just stays as contact only. There is only passive awareness of the object, no reflection or reaction to the object. When we are thinking or knowing, we must note as ‘thinking’ or ‘knowing’ so that there is only passive awareness of the mental state. It is interesting to note that the Buddha has put seeing as the first instruction and hearing as the second instruction. However He has grouped the smelling, tasting and touching processes as the third instruction. 106

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The world

The Pæ¹i word loka means the world and æyatana is the six external bases and the six internal bases. What is this world? It means our six sense bases and their corresponding objects. The internal bases are our six sense organs namely the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. The external bases or outside world are the sense objects of sight, sound, smell, taste, tactile sensation and mental objects. In reality, we communicate with the outside world through our six sense organs. With the eye we see sight, with the ear we hear sound, with the nose we smell some scent, with the tongue or mouth we get the taste, with the body we get some tactile sensation and with our mind we know the mental objects. Conditions for six sense consciousness to arise There are four conditions for seeing consciousness to arise. 1. Eye sensitivity (Cakkhupasæda). The retina at the back of the eye-ball is eye sensitivity 2. Sight as visible object (Rþpæramma¼a) 3. Light (Æloka) 4. Focus attention (Manasikæra) Four conditions are needed for seeing consciousness to arise or for the process of seeing to happen.

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You must have a good eye or eye sensitivity to see. If your eye is good but there is no light, no seeing process will take place. You must focus attention as well. For example if someone sits in front of you and there is light but your mind is somewhere else, then you cannot see that person. In fact, it is the mind that sees, not the eye. The eye is just an instrument for the seeing process to take place. When you hear some sound, you should note ‘hearing, hearing’. For the hearing to happen, there must be four conditions. 1. Ear sensitivity (Sotapasæda) It is the sensitive part in the inner ear that receives sound waves. 2. Sound (Saddæramma¼a) 3. Space (Ækæsa). There should be no barrier between sound and ear 4. Focus attention (Manasikæra) When there are these four conditions, hearing consciousness will arise. For smelling process to take place, we need four conditions. 1. Nose sensitivity (Ghænapasæda) 2. Scent (Gandhæramma¼a) like flower scent, food smell 3. Wind carrying the scent 4. Focus attention (Manasikæra) When there are these four conditions, smelling consciousness takes place. For tasting process to happen, there must be four conditions. 1. Good tongue sensitivity or taste bud (Jivhæpasæda) 2. Taste (Rasæramma¼a) 108

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3. Water (Æpo) or saliva to dissolve the essence of taste so that it can come into contact with taste bud 4. Focus attention (Manasikæra) When there are these four conditions, tasting consciousness will arise. That is why our tongue is always wet. When a person is sick or has a high fever, there is no water to dissolve the food. So he cannot experience any taste. For touching process to happen, we need four conditions 1. Body sensitivity (Kæyapasæda) 2. tactile object (Pho¥¥habbæramma¼a) 3. direct contact 4. focusing attention (Manasikæra) When these four conditions exist, touching consciousness will arise or touching process will take place. For knowing process to happen, we need these conditions. 1. Bhava³ga citta as mind-base 2. Mental object (Dhamma-ramma¼a) 3. focusing attention (Manasikæra) When these conditions exist, the knowing consciousness will arise. As such, when the internal six sense bases e.g. eye, ear, nose etc. and the external objects come into contact, the corresponding consciousness like seeing consciousness, hearing consciousness, smelling consciousness and so on will arise. Direct contact and no direct contact The Buddha grouped the three processes of smelling, tasting and touching under one instruction, ‘Mute mutamatta bhavissati’. For these three processes, there is 109

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direct contact between the sense organ or sense base with the object. That is why we say that the Buddha’s omniscience or wisdom is amazing. In the seeing process, the form and colour of the object is reflected in the eye. There is no direct contact at all. Same with the hearing process. There is no direct contact at all between the ear and sound. Only the vibration of sound wave from the source comes in to contact with the ear. However for the smelling, tasting and touching processes, there must be direct contact between the sense organs and their objects. For smelling to happen, the scent must come into direct contact with the nose sensitivity. We cannot know the taste if the food or taste is far away from us. There must be direct contact between the taste and our tongue sensitivity or taste bud. There must also be direct contact of tactile objects with our body sensitivity. Then we can feel body sensation or touching consciousness can arise. For example, we can feel whether the clothes that we are wearing is soft or rough. Contemplation on phenomena from six sense bases How to practise ‘in seeing just be seeing, in hearing just be hearing’? From beginingless time, we are conditioned or habitually identity any object that comes into contact with our sense bases with conventional concepts and idea. In the beginning of our meditation practice, we cannot completely ignore the conventional concept. For example, when we note seeing, we instinctly or habitually identify the sight as a human being or animal. However those 110

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meditators who are striving for spiritual progress should try to view things as Paramattha or ultimate truth. For example, when we see a visible object, we should try to understand that the eye and the visible object are rþpa or matter and the seeing consciousness is næma or mind. This is the distinguishing knowledge of mind-matter or næma-rþpa. We should also understand that the eye and visible object are the cause and the seeing consciousness is the effect. This is the knowledge of cause and effect. Then seeing consciousness, one after another, will arise and pass away. However, this arising and passing away is more evident in the hearing process. When hearing some sound, a meditator should be aware that the ear and sound are rþpa or matter, and the hearing consciousness is næma. The sound and ear are the cause and hearing consciousness is the result; this is cause and effect relationship. Then one sound after another will pass away. For example, when you hear the clock chiming, you are aware of one ‘ting..’ arising and then passing away. This sound will only stay for a very brief moment. Then another ‘ting..’ will arise and pass away immediately. That is why it is easier to see arising and passing away when you are noting the sound. So the Buddha admonished us, ‘in seeing just be seeing, in hearing just be hearing’. What is meant here is that we should try to be aware of Paramattha or ultimate truth of all objects and not identify them in the worldly or conventional sense.

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If you cannot keep the Paramattha knowledge, defilements will arise. When we hear something, we will identify as ‘the clock is chiming’ or we will think ‘what is the time now?’ In worldly life, you may have an appointment with somebody. So when you hear the clock chiming, your mind starts wandering. If the sound is unpleasant, aversion or anger will arise. If the sound is pleasant, greed and craving will arise. These will defile our minds. As such, a meditator should note all phenomena from the six sense doors to understand as næma-rþpa or mind and matter, cause and effect or arising and passing away, so that mental defilements will not have any opportunity to arise.

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Dealing with Five Hindrances; Four characteristics of mind

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Patacara was overwhelmed with grief over the deaths of all her loved ones. The Buddha preached the Dhamma to her and she overcame her mental defilements, gained purification of mind and became Sotæpanna.

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Dealing with Five Hindrances; Five characteristics Four characteristics of mind
Citta-visuddhi is the purification of the mind. How to
realise the purification of the mind? If the mind is free from the five nøvara¼as or hindrances, then we have achieved the purification of the mind or Citta-visuddhi. The Pæ¹i word nøvara¼a means hindrance, obstruction or impediment. These nøvara¼as impede or obstruct a meditator’s progress in meditation. It is important to know these hindrances as all meditators will certainly encounter them especially when their practice is still not mature. They are five in number: 1. Kæmacchanda nøvara¼a – passionate, sensual thoughts. It is rooted in lobha or greed. For example remembering the past or planning for the future sense pleasures. 2. Vyæpæda nøvara¼a – Vyæpæda means ill-will or anger. It is rooted in dosa 3. Thøna middha nøvara¼a – Thønamiddha means sloth and torpor Sloth and torpor means the mind becomes indolent and immovable. When noting the object, the mind is murky and cannot discern the object clearly. It is like sleepiness. 4. Uddhacca-kukkucca nøvara¼a – restlessness and remorse These two hindrances are mentioned together as they are rooted in the same base and have similar functions. Actually restlessness of the mind is due to remorse, guilt or worry. That is why they are put together as the fourth hindrance. Vicikicchæ nøvara¼a – skeptical doubts 5. 114

Dealing with Five Hindrances; Four characteristics of mind

A meditator may have doubts on the Buddha, Dhamma and Sa³gha, on the practice and himself. These five nøvara¼as or hindrances can impede and obstruct the progress of meditation. All meditators encounter these hindrances frequently during their practice. How to combat these hindrances? The meditator who practises Samatha Yænika method must make effort to gain upacæra samædhi or neighbourhood concentration. If possible, they can develop appanæ samædhi or absorption concentration. Upacæra samædhi is enough to suppress mental hindrances or nøvara¼as. However, upacæra samædhi and appanæ samædhi cannot totally eradicate nøvara¼as. They can only temporarily suppress nøvara¼as. Those who practise Vipassanæ Yænika, must try to establish kha¼ika samædhi or momentary concentration. Kha¼ika samædhi is the same as upacæra samædhi as it also has the power to suppress the nøvara¼as. To differentiate between these two, in Samatha, this concentration is called neighbourhood concentration but in Vipassanæ it is called momentary concentration. Those who practise direct Vipassanæ method can take up any object that arises and make a mental note. For example, if passionate thought arises, please note as ‘passionate thought, passionate thought’. If ill-will has arisen, you can note as ‘anger, anger’ or ‘ill-will’. If your noting mind is strong, the passionate thought or ill-will will stop. Please go back to the main object.

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Actually, you just take up the nøvara¼a as a meditation object and note it. By doing the mental noting, the appeared mental hindrance will stop and you will gain Citta-visuddhi or purification of the mind. At first, a meditator will find it difficult to note the nøvara¼as or hindrances. In this case, he can choose to practise supplementary measures.

1) For the first hindrance (sensuous passion), the antidote is Asubhæ (loathsomeness of the body), Kæyagatasati (contemplation of the 32 parts of the body) or Mara¼ænussati (contemplation of death). Through these practices, one can reduce attachment to one’s own body and also other people’s body. 2) For the second hindrance of ill-will, he can practise Mettæ Bhævanæ. The Buddha has said in the Anamatagga Sutta (the beginingless time discourse) that we have innumerable rebirths and in one of the rebirths, the one having ill-will for the other person might be closely related. They might be parents and children, brother and sisters, uncle and nephew and so on. By reflecting this way, this ill-will can be suppressed. 116

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3) The third hindrance is sloth and torpor. We can use the Buddha’s admonishment to Ven Mogallæna. He was tormented by sloth and torpor. He was nodding in his sitting meditation. There are few methods to deal with sloth and torpor. The first is to take it up as a meditation object and note ‘sleepy, sleepy’. If this method fails, the second method is to change the primary object. For example, if you are noting abdomen rising and falling, you can change to ‘sitting, touching’. If the second method fails, you can open your eyes to see light. However before that, note the intention to open the eyes. On opening the eyes, when you see light, please note as ‘light, light’ or ‘bright, bright’. This method is Ælokasañña and it may relieve sloth and torpor. If that method also fails, you can get up and do walking meditation. Before standing up, please note the intention to stand up. I have also mentioned before that the imbalance of faculties or due to inequality between sitting and walking sections will cause sloth and torpor. The mind becomes indolent and cannot do any Dhamma-vicaya or investigation of the law. Among the four bodily positions, walking and standing are conducive to generating energy while sitting and lying for developing concentration. If one is always tormented by sloth and torpor, then it is a sign of over-sitting. In this case, one should do more walking and less sitting.

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4) The fourth hindrance of restlessness and worry can be countered by Ænæpænasati (contemplation of breathing) and Dhamma-vicaya (investigation of Dhamma). If one is tormented by restlessness, one should sit more and walk less. A meditator should adjust oneself. If there is no problem, a meditator should practise equal sections of walking and sitting. 5) The fifth hindrance is skeptical doubt. You can do

Anussati-bhævanæ to deal with it. The first Anussati is Buddhænussati or reflection on the 9 virtues of the Buddha beginning with ‘Itipi so Bhagavæ araha …’.You can also do Dhammænussati or reflection on the 6 Dhamma virtues beginning with ‘Svækkhæto Bhagavatæ Dhammo …’ and also Sanghænussati or reflection on 9 Sa³gha virtues beginning with ‘Suppa¥ipanno…’.
However, once you attain the first stage of enlightenment or become a Sotæpanna, your faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sa³gha is unshakeable. Four characteristics of mind Let’s try to understand the four characteristics of the mind as it related to Vipassanæ practice. The Buddha has said about the mind as: ‘Durangama , ekacæra , asarira ,

guhasaya ’
1. Durangama (travel far) The direct meaning of durangama is the mind can travel far and reach faraway places. The actual meaning is although the object may be very far, the mind can incline towards the object. For example, you have been to Japan or USA before. Now you are sitting here and when you 118

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think your past experiences in Japan or USA, the mind can immediately recall the scenes.

2. Ekacæra (travel alone)
The direct translation is travel alone. The actual meaning is the mind can take up only one object at a time. We apply this characteristic in our practice. For example, when a hindrance has arisen, we should take it up as an object and note as ‘passionate thought’ or ‘ill-will’ etc. When the noting mind is strong, the thought cannot continue because of this ekacæra characteristic. Mind can take up only one object at a time. Just like when our hand is holding some object, it cannot take up another object. We have to put down the former object to take up the new object. When the mind has one object, it cannot take up another object. We make use of this principle to deal with hindrance. If we make a mental note of the arisen hindrance, then the hindrance cannot continue to assail us.

3. Asarøra (non-matter) Asarīra means non-matter. When you can gain næmarþpa-pariccheda-ñæ¼a or distinguishing knowledge
between mind and body, you can easily understand that mind is non-matter. The body is made up of four gross elements of earth, water, fire and wind while the mind is a kind of energy and has cognitive power. Here is a mnemonic to remember: ‘What is mind is no matter, what is matter is never mind!’ 4. Guhæsaya (Residing in the cave) The meaning of the mind as residing in the cave is the mind arises from the heart-base. The heart being a hollow organ is 119

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compared with a cave as it has empty space in it. Those who have studied science will find this confusing as modern science relates that the mind with from the brain. If you understand that there are two levels of mind, there will be no contradiction at all. For example, a river has two currents, i.e. the upper current and lower current. The upper current is influenced by its environment like heat and wind. The lower current always flows steadily. Similarly, the bhava³ga citta or life-continuum flows steadily like the lower current. When the bhava³ga citta is interrupted by the six sense objects of sight, sound, tactile and so on, vøthi citta or thought process will arise. The bhava³ga citta arises from the heart-base while the vøthi citta arises from the brain. The actual fact is that vøthi citta or thought process is based on the brain while bhava³ga citta is based on the heart-base. This subject might be too theoretical. However if a meditator can accept that the mind arises from the body, it will solve the confusion on the whereabouts of the base of the mind.

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The subject of Nibbæna

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Prince Siddahattha on attaining Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree and becoming the Gotama Buddha

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subject The subject of Nibbæna
Question: Please explain in detail the realisation of

Nibbæna; the characteristics, functions and manifestations.
Answer:

Nibbæna is a subject not to be discussed in detail but to be
experienced by oneself. This is because it is difficult to give a satisfactory explanation to understand what Nibbæna is.

For example, if a person who has never tasted an apple will to ask another who has eaten it. He asks “how does an apple taste like?” How will the other person answer his question? If he says the apple tastes sweet, the questioner may ask “How sweet? Is it sweet like sugar or sweet like honey?” It is difficult to answer his question. The best way is give the questioner a piece of apple and tell him “Eat it yourself, taste it and you will understand better.” Instead of discussing Nibbæna, it is better for you to practise and realise Nibbæna. Then you will understand what Nibbæna is. It is a realisation by one’s intuitive personal experience. That’s why it is difficult to give an exact explanation or answer.

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The subject of Nibbæna

Another example is one who has never experienced fire. If someone will to warn him “hey this is fire, don’t touch it, it will burn you.” He, being ignorant of fire, will only know the concept that this is fire and it can burn. Only when he touches the fire will he experience the burning nature of fire. So likewise for Nibbæna; it is a thing to be experienced by oneself through realisation. The most suitable way to remember about Nibbæna is through its characteristics (lakkha¼a), function (rasa) and manifestation (paccupa¥¥hæna). The characteristic of Nibbæna is peacefulness or freedom from all sufferings. The function of Nibbæna is to penetrate into the Four Noble Truths. The meaning of manifestation is how you show or manifest to others. For example, my manifestation as a monk is a shaven head with a dyed robe. My manifestation let others recognise me as a monk. Similarly, Nibbæna manifests itself by the eradication of fetters or defilements. With the attainment of the streamentry or Sotæpanna path and fruition, you eradicate three factors of personality-belief (sakkæya di¥¥hi), Doubt (vicikicchæ), Clinging to rites and rituals (sølabbata paræmæsa). 123

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At the first attainment of Nibbæna, Magga-citta arises only for one thought moment. It happens so fast you may miss it. Then it is followed by two thought moments of Phalacitta. Again it is so fast you may not be able to appreciate it. However, this is usually followed by reflection or paccavekkha¼æ where you can examine whether defilements still exist or not. That’s how Nibbæna is manifested by the eradication of defilements.

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Knowing one’s own attainment

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The Buddha on attaining Parinibbæna in the Sala Grove, between the twin Sala tress, in the vicinity of Kusinara

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attainment Knowing one’s own attainment
Question: Can a yogi know for himself the moment of his own attainment? Must a teacher confirm the attainment of the yogi? Answer: The answer is Yes. One can know for oneself at the moment of attainment. Must a teacher confirm the attainment of the yogi? The answer is No. I hope you are all familiar with the attributes of the Dhamma.

‘Svækkhæto Bhagavatæ Dhammo, sandi¥¥hiko, akæliko, ehipassiko, opanayiko, paccatta veditabbo viññuhi’
Among the above six attributes, sandi¥¥hiko means one can practically experience by oneself what the Buddha’s Dhamma is. It is not mere speculation or theory or makebelief. One can experience by oneself the Dhamma if one practises according to the letter. This is the attribute of the Dhamma. One can know and experience this attainment. The last attribute of the Dhamma is ‘Paccatta veditabbo viññuhi’. The noble persons who attain the various stages of enlightenment of Sotæpatti path and fruition, Sakadægæmi path and fruition, Anægæmi path and fruition, Arahatta path and fruition, realise and experience the Dhamma by themselves. They can and they surely can. That is why I say YES. One can know one’s attainment by oneself.

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As to the second part of the question ‘must a teacher confirm the attainment of the yogi?’ The answer is NO. The teacher cannot confirm this. The teacher can only make a guess. Only the Buddha can know of one’s attainment. However, one can identity one’s own attainment. The Mirror Discourse

For example, if you look at the mirror, you can see whether your face is clean or dirty. You can know yourself by looking at the mirror. So also the Buddha has given us the Dhammædæsa Sutta or the Mirror Discourse so that we can know our own attainment. During the Buddha’s time, when a devotee passed away, Venerable Ænanda, the Buddha’s attendant used to query the Buddha. “Lord Buddha, last night our devotee passed away. What is her destiny?” The Buddha said, “She, being a Sotæpanna, is reborn in the Tævati sa world.” The next time when another devotee passed away, Ven. Ænanda asked the same question. So the Buddha said, “Ænanda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die. But if each time it happens, you should come to the Tathægata and ask about them in this manner, indeed it would be troublesome to him.” So he 127

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gave this Mirror Discourse so that one could identify one’s attainment. Enlightenment Enlightenment means you achieve three things at the moment of enlightenment. They are: 1. Realisation of the Four Noble Truths 2. Arising of Magga-citta and Phala-citta or path and fruition consciousness taking Nibbæna as an object. 3. Eradication of mental defilements.

The commentaries give the example of lighting a candle where three things are achieved. They are: 1. The wick and wax are consumed by the flame. 2. Light is emitted 3. The darkness is expelled Similarly at the time of enlightenment, the Magga-citta arises and takes Nibbæna as an object. This means the realisation of Nibbæna where defilements will be eradicated. With the first enlightenment of Sotæpatti-magga, three defilements are eradicated. The noble person knows by paccavekkhanæ. This Pæ¹i word paccavekkhanæ means retrospection. After the path and fruition, one will retrospect or reflect on what one has achieved. One knows that one has eliminated the first three defilements of 128

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1. Sakkæya-di¥¥hi (personality belief) 2. Vicikicchæ (doubt) 3. Sølabbataparæmæsa (indulgence in wrongful rites and rituals). By the second enlightenment, another two defilements of: 4. Kæmaræga (sensous desire) 5. Vyæpæda (ill-will) are suppressed, weaken or attenuated. By the third enlightenment, the above five defilements are eradicated. By the fourth enlightenment or the attainment of arahanthood, the rest of the five defilements are eradicated. These are: 6. Rþpa-ræga (craving for fine-material existence) 7. Arþpa-ræga (craving for immaterial existence) 8. Mæna (conceit) 9. Uddhacca (restlessness) 10. Avijjæ (ignorance) So by the attainment of the fourth enlightenment, one has eradicated all the ten defilements. The Buddha has said that this is how one can be sure and can judge to know by oneself one’s attainment. No teacher is needed to confirm. No teacher knows how to confirm except the Buddha. So, may I remind all of you to be careful and not to be misled by uncivilised persons who give false expectations or false evaluation remarks which are very detrimental to your spiritual progress.

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Appendix One: Mind-matter :
Conventional Ultimate truth concept (Paramattha) (Paññatti) )

Body /matter(Rþpa) þ -Earth (Pathavø) -Water (Æpo) -Fire (Tejo) -Wind (Væyo) Mind (Næma) æ -Feeling (Vedanæ) -Perception(Saññæ) -Mental formations (Sa³khæra) -Consciousness(Viñña¼a)

Sentient beings

Four Great Elements

Mental concommitants (cetasika) Mind(Citta)

Five aggregates(pañcupædænakkhandhæ) 1. Matter (Rþpa) 2. Feeling (Vedanæ) 3. Perception (Saññæ) 4. Mental formations (Sa³khæra) 5. Consciousness (Viññæ¼a)

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Appendix 2:
Eements: Characteristics of Four Great Eements: 1. Earth (Pathavø): Hard, soft, rough, smooth, heavy, light 2. Water (Æpo) : Trickling (flowing), cohesion 3. Fire (Tejo) : Hot, warm, cold 4. Wind (Væyo) : Distension (supporting), motion Æyatana 12 Æyatana objects) (6 internal bases and corresponding 6 external objects) Medium Internal External Medium Corresponding base Object Consciousness Eye Sight Light Seeing consciousness Ear Sound Space Hearing consciousness Nose Smell Wind Smelling consciousness Tongue Taste Water Tasting consciousness Body Tangible Touching object consciousness Mind dhamma Mind (mental consciousness objects)

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Appendix 3: Summary of Four Foundations of Foundations Mindfulness (Satipa¥¥hæna)
the (1) Contemplation of the body (Kayænupassanæ) (a) Watching in-and-out breath (Ænæpæna) (b) The four postures (Iriyæpatha) (c) Mindfulness and clear awareness (Sampajæna) (d) Reflection on Repulsiveness (Pa¥ikkþla-manasikæra) (e) The four elements (Dhætu-manasikæra) (f) Cemetery Meditation (Navasøvathikæ) (2) Contemplation of feelings (Vedanænupassanæ) (a) Pleasant (Sukha) (b) Unpleasant (Dukkha) (c) Neither pleasant nor unpleasant(Adukkhamasukha) mind (3) Contemplation of mind (Cittænupassanæ) (a) Lustful / Not Lustful (saræga/vøtaræga) (b) Hateful / Not Hateful (sadosa/vøtadosa) (c) Deluded / Not Deluded (samoha/vøtamoha) (d) Contracted / Distracted (sa³khitta/vikkhitta) (e) Developed / Undeveloped(mahaggata/amahaggata) (f) Surpassed / Unsurpassed (sa-uttara/anuttara) (g) Concentrated / Unconcentrated (samæhita/asamæhita) (h) Liberated / Unliberated (vimutta/avimutta) mind(4) Contemplation of mind-objects (Dhammænupassanæ) (a) The Five Hindrances (Nøvara¼a) (b) The Five Aggregates (Khandha) (c) The Six Sense Bases (Æyatana) (d) The Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bojjha³ga) (e) The Four Noble Truths (Sacca) 133

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