Questions And Answers Series 3

By Sayædaw Dr. Sunanda

First Edition: 3000 copies (Apr 2010) 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 3

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 was published in conjunction with the 2009 Vesak celebration while the second book was prepared specially for the 2009 Ka¥hina celebration. This Series 3 with 14 titles is specially compiled for 2010 Vesak celebration. 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 respect, asking for forgiveness, generosity (Dæna) and morality (Søla) 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 about the 31 realms and practising meditation. Finally, the reader can read more on Vipassanæ practice like how to practise mindfulness in daily activities, Dependent Origination and cause and effect, contemplation of Five Aggregates at the six sense doors and seven stages of purification. We hope the Dhamma knowledge in this book will inspire you 2

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 6 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!

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Questions and Answers – Series 3

Acknowledgement
Special thanks to the people involved in this transcription project. General editor : Sayælay Cælæ English editing: Vajira English transcription: Alex Theam Beng Lee And all devotees and donors who have contributed to and supported this project. May all beings rejoice in the merits of this Dhamma-Dæna.

Sædhu!

Sædhu! Sædhu!

*The Gift Of Dhamma Surpasses All Gifts*

*Sabba Dænam Dhammadænam Jinati*

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The Biography Of 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 Mahæsī Meditation Centre under the guidance of the Most Venerable Mahæsī Sayædaw U Sobhana Mahæthero and his chief disciples, as a part time meditator in the evenings. 5

Questions and Answers – Series 3

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 Mahæsī Meditation Centre as an interpreter and translator for foreign meditators. On 29 September 1995, he renounced the household life and was ordained as a monk at the Sæsanamalavisodhanī Sīmæ in the Mahæsī 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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Table of Contents
1. Why do we have to respect our parents?.............................. 2. Expecting benefits from Dæna and performing Dæna within your means ……................................. ……………………. 3. Observing Five Precepts ...................................................... 4. Morality (Søla) ..................................................................... 5. Asking for forgiveness ........................................................ 6. 31 Realms and practising meditation................................... 7. How does meditation affect health?...................................... 8. How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death and also to obtain ultimate freedom?................... 9. Three kinds of defilements and three ways to deal with them...................................................................................... 10. Lotus simile.......................................................................... 11. How to practise mindfulness in daily activities?.................. 12. Dependent origination and cause and effect......................... 13. Contemplation of Five Aggregates at the six sense doors.... 14. Seven stages of purification and ten imperfections in the Vipassanæ practice ............................................................... Appendix 1:Mind-matter................................................... Appendix 2 : Four Great Elements, 12 Bases…………... (Æyatanas) Appendix 3 : Summary of Four Foundations of………….. Mindfulness (Satipa¥¥hæna) 10 16 20 24 36 40 46 50 58 66 74 82 92 104 119 120 121

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Why do we have to respect our parents?

To one ever eager to revere and serve the elders, these four blessings accrue: long life and beauty, happiness and power.

abhivādanasīlissa, niccaṃ vuḍḍhāpacāyino, cattāro dhammā vaḍḍhanti, āyu vaṇṇo sukhaṃ balaṃ.
Dhammapada 109

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Why do we have to respect our parents?
The Buddha has expounded on the 38 blessings in the Ma³gala Sutta. One of them is Garavo or respect. We should respect or revere those persons or objects that are worthy of reverence like the Triple Gems namely the Buddha, his teachings the Dhamma and his disciples known as the Sa³gha. Why should we respect and revere the Triple Gems? This is because the Triple Gems have infinite virtues or attributes. Out of these infinite attributes, the Buddha has formulated his attributes into 9 major attributes as recorded as “Itipiso Bhagava, Araham…”. The second of the Triple Gems is the Buddha’s teachings or Dhamma. The Dhamma too has infinite attributes or virtues which the Buddha has concisely formulated into 6 main virtues beginning with “Svækkhæto Bhagavatæ Dhammo, Sandi¥¥hiko...”. The third of the Triple Gems is the Sa³gha. The Sa³gha are the disciples of or followers or propagators of the Buddha’s teachings. They too have infinite virtues or attributes. Out of these the Buddha has formulated into 9 virtues beginning with “Suppa¥ipanno Bhagavato Sævakasa³gho.....”. We should also respect our parents. The Buddha says that parents too have infinite virtues. One of them is our parents are like Brahmas. In the 31 realms of existence, the uppermost 20 realms are occupied by Brahmas. Brahmas are the shining ones. Parents are like Brahmas Why should the Buddha describe parents like Brahmas? The shining ones or Brahmas live their whole life radiating the four 10

Why do we have to respect our parents?

sublime states of mind known as the Brahma-vihæra. They are: 1. Mettæ or loving kindness 2. Karu¼æ or compassion 3. Muditæ or altruistic joy 4. Upekkhæ or equanimity. Just like the Brahmas, our parents throughout their whole life radiate these four sublime states of mind towards their children. That is why the Buddha extols our parents and compares them with Brahmas or the shining ones. When a child is conceived in the mother’s womb, the mother starts to radiate the first sublime state of mind – metta or loving kindness to her child, “May the child in my womb be free from all kinds of illness, suffering and deformity. May he be able to come out of the womb and join us in this world happily, peacefully and healthily.” That is how our parents especially the mother is like Brahma radiating or developing this sublime state of mind that is loving kindness or metta to her child from the time of conception. The mother has to sacrifice her freedom and comfort by avoiding hasty, dangerous actions and she cannot do things as she wishes. She cannot eat as she wishes and can only consume suitable food to protect the child in her womb. This is also another act of loving kindness. Nowadays the mother has to consult the obstetrician or the child delivering doctor or to attend the maternity clinic to obtain enough information about pregnancy and delivery. She has to safeguard her fetus from danger. These are all acts of loving kindness towards her unborn child. After the safe delivery, the newborn baby is totally helpless and cannot take care of itself. He only knows how to cry when he is uncomfortable or hungry. So the parents especially the 11

Questions and Answers – Series 3

mother becomes compassionate and sympathetic towards the baby. She has to attend to all his needs like feeding, cleaning up his excrement and bathing. When the baby cries, she feels pity or compassion. This is the second sublime state of mind, compassion or karu¼æ. A mother has to sacrifice her comfort to protect, to look after, to cherish and to nourish the helpless newborn baby. Later the baby starts to grow up. He starts to recognise his surroundings and his family. He learns to call ‘papa, mama’, walking, running, talking and eating by himself. His parents are happy to see the child learning and growing up well. When the child is of school going age, they send him to school. When the child does well in school, they are happy for his success and prosperity. Here parents are developing the third sublime state of muditæ or altruistic joy. When the child gradually grows into young adulthood, he is educated with worldly knowledge and later goes out to earn a living. He becomes successful, well-to-do and comfortable in life. His parents become peaceful and happy. At this time, the parents are developing the fourth sublime state of mind – upekkhæ or equanimity. That is why the Buddha expounds on our parents’ first attribute that they are like Brahmas who live in the higher 20 realms of the thirty-one planes of existence. Parents are our foremost teachers The second attribute of our parents is Pubbæcariya meaning they are the first teacher in our life. Normally the child is sent to school only after the age of five. Before the age of five, from the moment the child can notice or begin to learn, the parents are their teachers. Parents teach them life-skills like how to behave oneself, how to eat, how to sleep, how to dress oneself, how to associate with good friends and how to refrain from evil friends. When the child grows up to a marriageable age, the 12

Why do we have to respect our parents?

parents will arrange for a suitable marriage partner and help him settle into married life. In many ways the parents educate their children so that they won’t commit silly mistakes that can complicate their life. According to the Buddha’s teaching, the right way to behave is to have good qualities or conduct and to abstain from evil conduct. The parents try to teach their children what they know. Whatever they cannot teach, they send their children to school. They also send their children to monastery or Dhamma class so that the children can learn what is right, what is wrong, what is good and what is bad. This is why the Buddha extols our parents as the foremost teacher or pubbæcariya. These two qualities of our parents are enough reasons for us to revere and to respect our parents. Then how should we honour our parents? Five Obligations of children towards their parents The Buddha has expounded the five obligations or duties of children towards their parents. 1. The children must nurture and look after their parents with the reciprocal sublime states of mind which their parents have conferred upon them when they were young. So children should take care of their ageing and disabled parents by seeing to their material and mental needs. 2. The second duty of children is to take care of the family enterprise, family responsibility and family burdens which the parents have been shouldering, especially when the parents are no longer able to do so. 3. The third duty of children towards their parents is that they must conduct themselves in such a way to be worthy of their inheritance. Many children today only know how to expect inheritance from their parents but they never try to honour or 13

Questions and Answers – Series 3

take care of their parents. How can children be worthy of their inheritance? They should not just wait to receive their inheritance from their parents as inheritance will come one day. Instead they should be filial with kind and compassionate heart by taking care of their ageing and disabled parents. 4. The fourth duty is that the children must maintain the family tradition, family faith, family belief and family principles. Nowadays due to some untoward reasons like economy or weak faith, the children change the family tradition and customs. So the children must maintain the family tradition, belief and culture to honour their parents. 5. The fifth duty is that children should honour their parents after their death. Children should do meritorious deeds of dæna or generosity or other good deeds and share these merits with their departed parents. So this is how the children must honour, respect and revere their parents. Conclusion What benefits do we get by honouring objects or persons worthy of respect like the Triple Gems, our parents, our teachers or our elderly relatives? The Buddha has said that you will gain four very precious gifts. a. Longevity (æyu). In every future rebirth, you will live till a ripe old age and not die young. b. Beauty (va¼¼o). In every future rebirth you will be very beautiful. c. Happiness (sukha). In every future rebirth you will be reborn in happy or pleasurable existences and d. Strong and healthy (bala). You will be healthy and strong in every existence. Having understood the infinite attributes of the Triple Gems and our parents and also the benefits of respect, may you all always honour, respect and revere them. 14

Expecting benefits from Dæna and performing Dæna within your means

Health is the most precious gain and contentment the greatest wealth. A trustworthy person is the best kinsman, Nibbana the highest bliss.

ārogyaparamā lābhā, santuṭṭhiparamaṃ dhanaṃ. vissāsaparamā ñāti, nibbānaṃ paramaṃ sukhaṃ.
Dhammapada 204

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Expecting benefits from Dæna and performing Dæna within your means
Question: Normally people perform dæna because of its benefits. The usual comment is to give within your means. These two statements are ambiguous. Please advise. Answer: Although Buddhists are inclined to do generosity or dæna, many of them expect some benefits in return. They do dæna with expectation. Actually the main spiritual essence behind dæna or generosity is to fulfil the Nekkhamma pæramø or perfection of renunciation. When you want to do dæna, you have to renounce the craving for your possession or practise letting go. For example, you have to give your hard-earned money or your cherished properties to others or you have to share your things with needy persons. Besides practising the renunciation pæramø, you are cultivating many good mental qualities when you do dæna. You are also fulfilling other perfections (pæramø) as well. For example, unless you have loving kindness or mettæ to the recipients, you cannot give anything especially to a hateful person. Another example is a person who keeps pets. He has to feed them food and take care of them. He has to spend some money on them like buying pet food and he does it out of compassion. So without mettæ or compassion, we cannot do dæna or let go of our craving for our own things. Hence, by doing dæna, you are actually fulfilling some or all of the ten pæramøtas like renunciation, mettæ and compassion. That is why whenever you do dæna or generosity, instead of emphasising on the benefits, you should think of the good qualities of perfections or pæramøtas. Whether you expect results or not, you are sure to experience good results. This is 16

Expecting benefits from Dæna and performing Dæna within your means

according to the Law of Kamma; good begets good, bad begets bad. If you taste salt, it will certainly taste salty. You don’t have to wish for it. If you eat chilly, you don’t have to wish ‘may the chilly be hot and spicy’. It will certainly be hot and spicy. Kamma is just like this natural law, you will get the corresponding results to the actions done. When you do good deed, you get good result or good benefit. That is why if you want spiritual progress and deliverance from sa§særic suffering, you should always incline your mind to the perfection of the ten pæramøs. Then your good deeds can be a support to your realisation of Nibbæna. That is the correct attitude to adopt when doing Dæna. The second part of the question concerns the usual comment to give within your means. This is not the usual comment. It was the Buddha’s admonishment to the rich man, Anæthapi¼ðika. The Buddha preached to him about right livelihood (sammæ jøvita). It means you live within your means. You divide your income into four portions. Supposing a person gets four thousand dollars a month. He uses two thousand (or two portions) to re-invest in his business to increase his income and to accumulate more wealth. One portion is set aside for emergency use. Since birth we are prone to all kinds of problems and troubles like sickness, accident, legal complications and so on. We have a Burmese saying, ‘one may not live a hundred years but one can meet a hundred thousand problems in life’. When we meet problems, we need money to solve them. That is why the Buddha admonishes us to set aside a quarter of our income (one portion) for emergency needs. We only use the remaining portion (a quarter of income) for sustenance of life like buying food, transportation and other daily needs. From this last quarter, we use some money to do dæna or generosity for our future happiness. 17

Questions and Answers – Series 3

Conclusion As human beings, we have to plan for the happiness of our present life. We must also be far-sighted enough to plan for the happiness of our future lives. That is why we have to accumulate meritorious deeds of dæna, søla or bhævanæ so that we enjoy good results in the future. However, you cannot do generosity beyond your means like donate all your money to other people. You need to maintain your life and support your family. If you lack financial support, you will be tormented by worries and complications. These could affect your cetanæ or intention to do dæna. That is why out of a quarter of your income, you can use some of it to do dæna. Suppose you have a bowl of rice. Then you see someone coming for alms round. Even if you give one tablespoon of rice, it is considered as dæna. Please remember that the most important thing while doing dæna is your cetanæ or intention. The quantity, whether big or small, is not that important. By having the correct understanding of doing dæna, may you keep on accumulating good deeds. May your good deeds be a support for the attainment of Nibbæna in the near future. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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Observing Five Precepts

By oneself is evil done; By oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone. By oneself is one made pure. Purity and impurity depend on oneself; no one can purify another.

attanā Va kataṃ pāpaṃ, attanā saṃkilissati. attanā akataṃ pāpaṃ, attanāva visujjhati. suddhī asuddhi paccattaṃ, nāñño aññaṃ visodhaye
Dhammapada 165

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Questions and Answers – Series 3

Observing Five Precepts
Question: Can one observe only part of the Five Precepts or observe the Five Precepts in stages? For example, one still kills small creatures but can observe the other precepts. Answer: The Five Precepts should be observed together because this is the basic essential rule of morality (Søla). Though it is called the five precepts, it is regarded as Ariyakanta-søla or the precepts that are cherished and adored by all noble persons. These five are a complete set. If one is not pious or religious or leading an undisciplined life, one cannot keep all the five precepts. In this case, one can keep four or three precepts or even one precept. Of course one will not get the full benefits of the five precepts. However, one will gain some benefits from keeping some of the precepts even if one cannot keep all the five precepts. The reason is the law of Kamma is very exact. Good action will lead to good result. Even if you observe one precept, you get the corresponding result or benefit. Depending on your aspiration, whether you want to have ordinary enlightenment, to be a Pacceka Buddha or to be a Sammæsambuddha, you have to fulfil the corresponding type of Søla. There are three types of Søla. 1. Ordinary morality (Søla) 2. Supreme morality (Upasøla) – observing Søla by sacrificing part of your limbs or internal organs 3. Ultimate morality (Paramattha Søla) – observing Søla by sacrificing one’s life. 20

Observing Five Precepts

In the case of an ordinary Arahant who is also called the disciple of the Buddha (Sævaka Buddha), he only needs to fulfil the ordinary Søla Pæramø. If one aims to be a Pacceka Buddha, one has to fulfil Upasøla. If one aims to be a Sammæsambuddha like our Lord Buddha Gautama, one has to fulfil the Paramattha Søla. He has to fulfil 30 Pæramø or 10 Pæramøs by threefold. Sometimes one cannot observe all the five precepts because of the nature of their work. For example, a doctor is asked by his dying patient, ‘Am I going to die? Is there any hope?” The doctor cannot say “You are going to die soon.” He will say, “Don’t worry you will be all right. You will get well soon.” In worldly life, it is difficult to keep truthfulness sometimes because we are put in an awkward situation. However, if a person is bent on keeping the true and pristine purity of moral virtues, he will never break his precepts for any reasons. Depending on the person’s maturity of virtues, he can observe the five precepts stage by stage. Generosity (Dæna) and Morality or Virtues (Søla) are the basic practice for Buddhists. Based on them, one can continue to fulfil the other perfections (pæramøs) and practise meditation. An Ariya or Noble One has four virtues. They are total faith and confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sa³gha and the permanent observance of the Five Precepts for the rest of his life. Even at the risk of life or bribery, he will never renounce his faith in the Triple Gems nor transgress his Five Precepts. So we can see the importance of keeping Five Precepts as part of the morality practice.

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Questions and Answers – Series 3

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Morality (Søla)

Conscientiousness is the state of deathlessness, negligence is the state of death. The conscientious ones do not die; those, who are negligent, are as if dead. appamādo amatapadaṃ, pamādo maccuno padaṃ, appamattā na mīyanti, ye pamattā yathā matā.
Dhammapada 21

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Morality (Søla)
In the Dhamma talk just now, Sayadaw told us about a man who practised morality or the Pañca Søla very strictly for the rest of his life. That was why his name was Pañca-søla Samædæniya Bhikkhu. After his death, he was reborn in the celestial or human realms and never fell into the four woeful states. After many aeons, during our Lord Buddha’s time, he became an arahant. The question is: “Why did he take so long to be an arahant after observing the five precepts so strictly?” The second part of the question: “Now I am meditating. How long will it take for me to get enlightenment?” Answer: Here the question looks simple but quite interesting. There are four stages of enlightenment. An arahant is in the final stage. Enlightened ones are called “Buddha” in Pæ¹i. It means the awakened one. There are three types of Buddha. 1. Sammæsambuddha- Perfectly Enlightened One 2. Pacceka Buddha - Independently Enlightened One 3. Sævaka Buddha- Disciple of the Sammæsambuddha like an arahant. To gain enlightenment or Buddhahood, you need to perfect your morality, concentration and wisdom though perfections (pæramø). What are these Pæramøs? There are 10 types. 1. Dæna or generosity 2. Søla- morality 3. Nekkhamma –renunciation 4. Paññæ –wisdom 5. Viriya - effort or energy 6. Khantø or patience, forbearance or tolerance. 24

Morality (Søla)

7. Adi¥¥hæna -determination or resolution 8. Sacca - truthfulness or honesty or sincerity 9. Mettæ – loving-kindness 10.Upekkhæ - equanimity There are 3 levels of Pæramø, namely ordinary Pæramø, superior Pæramø and ultimate Pæramø. To be a Sævaka Buddha or an arahant, one needs to practise ordinary Pæramø only. To be a Pacceka Buddha, one needs to practise twofold Pæramø or superior Pæramø. To be a Sammæsambuddha or a fully enlightened one, one needs to practise threefold Pæramøs or ultimate Pæramø . That means for an ordinary enlightened one or a Sævaka Buddha, one needs to fulfil only 10 ordinary perfections or Pæramøs. To be a Pacceka Buddha, one needs to fulfil 20 Pæramøs (10 Pæramø times twofold). To be a Sammæsambuddha, one needs to fulfil 30 Pæramøs (10 Pæramø times threefold). So we know that to be an arahant, we need to fulfil only 10 ordinary perfections. Let’s us consider the question about Thera Pañca-søla Samædæniya Bhikkhu. In one of his past lives, he emphasised the practice of only one perfection that was Søla or morality perfection. Due to his morality virtue, he was reborn for innumerable times in the human and deva realms. He was endowed with all the life amenities and pleasure. Why did he not gain enlightenment earlier? Probably, he did not practise much meditation. Without practising Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight meditation, one cannot get enlightenment. The Buddha in the Mahæ Satipa¥¥hæna Sutta said, “Practising the four foundations of mindfulness is the only way to gain enlightenment”. That was why even though he observed strict morality, he existed for so long in sa§særa or the rounds of birth and death until our Lord Buddha’s time when he became an arahant. 25

Questions and Answers – Series 3

Craving Many ordinary worldly beings who are not informed of the Dhamma have minds which are always overwhelmed by mental defilements like greed, hatred and delusion. In the Four Noble Truths, craving or Samudaya Sacca is the cause of Dukkha Sacca or this life existence. The Buddha has classified craving or ta¼hæ into three kinds: 1. Kæma ta¼hæ – craving for sensual pleasures, 2. Bhava ta¼hæ – craving for existence, 3. Nibhava ta¼hæ – craving for non-existence. Even when people are doing good deeds, they always aspire to gain something. This is due to craving or ta¼hæ. For example, when they perform Dæna or service, they usually aspire to gain wealth or pleasurable rebirths as humans or devas. That is why they are bestowed with this gift of pleasurable rebirths. They will enjoy these pleasurable existences but they fail to develop their wisdom or to develop further the other perfections. That is why they take a long time to become enlighten. Aspiration for Nibbæna As such, it is very important that when we do good deeds, we should always aspire for Nibbæna. We always instruct devotees to recite “Ida§ me punna§ Nibbænassa paccayo hotu”. This is making a resolution to strengthen our willpower to gain deliverance from all sufferings. We do not need to pray for good results for our good deeds because the law of Kamma is very just and impartial. We will get results for our volitional deeds whether we want them or not. Like if you taste sugar it will be sweet. If you taste honey it will be sweet. If you bite chilly it will be hot and spicy. Likewise if you do good actions, you get good results. If you do bad actions, you suffer bad consequences. That is why the best thing is to aspire for deliverance from all sa§særic suffering that is Nibbæna. So you do good deeds with 26

Morality (Søla)

the intention that you will gain Nibbæna in the shortest possible time. That is why we monks always bless the devotees with “may you all attain Nibbæna in the shortest possible time”. If you aspire for Nibbæna, you will get it faster. Time to gain enlightenment Now the second part of the question is “Now I am meditating. How long will it take for me to get enlightenment?” The Buddha himself has given the answer in the conclusion of the Mahæ Satipat¥¥hæna Sutta (the discourse of Great Foundation of Mindfulness). If you practise according to the letter and spirit of the given instructions in this sutta, that is the four foundations of mindfulness, at the most seven years you can gain enlightenment. If you don’t have seven years to practise, you can practise for six years, five years, four years, three years, two years, one year or six months, five months, four months, three months, two months, one month or two weeks. Even if you practise for 7 days, depending on how you perfect yourself in your practice, you can gain enlightenment. A lot of people say that they are meditating. How to meditate correctly? There are 37 factors of enlightenment (Bodhipakkhiya) for you to perfect your practice. You also need to fulfil your ten Pæramøtas (perfections). If you can perfect yourself with these ten Pæramøtas and practise the four foundations of mindfulness according to the letter of instruction, one can gain within this period of time, provided one has the past perfection and the present perfection. During the Buddha’s time, many people gained enlightenment just by listening to the Dhamma talk. Actually, when they were listening to the Dhamma talk, they were also meditating. Depending on their Pæramøs, some attained within a short time and some took a longer time.

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Different types of Søla Now let me explain in more details about this morality or Søla. If you want to practise perfectly, you must have a true or correct understanding of this subject. There are different types of Søla or moral discipline. In general it is divided into: 1. Layman Søla – code of discipline for ordinary Buddhist disciples in worldly life for example the five precepts 2. Bhikkhu Søla- code of discipline for those who join the Sa¼gha order The Buddha prescribes for lay disciples to practise the 5 precepts (pañca søla) for life. If possible, you can observe eight precepts to fulfil your Pæramøtas by attending meditation retreats or you can observe them on religious occasions or auspicious days. However if you can strictly observe the 5 precepts, you can also achieve Søla Visuddhi or purification of moral virtue. We, human beings, need to have two good limbs to carry out our daily activities. So also in perfecting the perfections for deliverance from sa§særic suffering, generosity (Dæna) and morality (Søla) constitute the two factors which support us to achieve all wholesome deeds. Dæna and Søla are so noble that they become the basic practice for all other good qualities. Let us study perfections now. To practise other perfections, we need to establish ourselves in Dæna and Søla. They are related and mutually supportive. When you observe the five precepts, the first precept is to abstain from killing or harming living beings. By not killing, you are giving a chance for that creature to survive. You are actually offering a gift of life. This is called in Pæ¹i Jøvita Dæna or Ayu Dæna. At the same time you are fulfilling other Pæramøtas as well. Out of lovingkindness ( mettæ) or compassion (karu¼æ), you abstain from killing or harming other living beings. This is how Dæna and 28

Morality (Søla)

Søla form the basic practice for all good qualities or kusala deeds. There is another classification of Søla in our Buddhist practice namely 1. Væritta Søla - practice of morality through avoidance or abstinence of evil actions. 2. Cæritta Søla - practice through conduct. Væritta Søla (Practice through Abstinence) There are two sub-divisions of Væritta Søla or virati. They are sampatta virati and samædæna virati. Sampatta virati means when one encounters a chance of doing evil or transgressing moral discipline, one will automatically abstain from it because of one’s good mental attitude and good will.
1. Sampatta virati To understand this sampatta virati, let us study an example given in the commentaries. A few hundred years after the Buddha’s final Parinibbæna, in Sri Lanka, where the Buddha’s teaching was flourishing, there lived a family in a village. The father had died earlier leaving two sons. They were named Mahæ Cakkana (Elder Cakkana) and Cþla Cakkana (younger Cakkana). These two brothers worked in the farm and looked after their mother. One day the mother fell sick and ended up in bed. They consulted the local physician. Probably the mother was suffering from malnutrition and debility, so the physician prescribed rabbit soup for the patient. The elder Cakkana sent his younger brother to catch a rabbit in the nearby forest. On the way, he saw a rabbit. The rabbit was a timid creature. Out of fright, it ran into a bush and was caught in the creepers. When this junior Cakkana caught the rabbit, it was shaking with fear and cried. He felt compassionate and a noble thought occurred in him. “Oh! how unfair to kill such a creature for the purpose of saving my mother.” So he cut off the creeper to free the rabbit. He went back empty-handed.

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When he arrived home, the elder brother queried him. When he told his brother that he let the rabbit go because it was unfair to kill a being to save another being, the elder brother scolded him. Then he went near his mother and touched her. Later he made an asseveration of truth. He said, “Since the time of my knowledgeable age until now, I have never taken another creature’s life intentionally. If my statement is true, may my mother be well and happy.” Because of his truthful statement, his mother became well. From the above story, we can see how noble his conduct was. Out of his good will, good heart and compassion, he let the creature go free. He was also practising the perfection of truthfulness. This abstinence from killing is called sampatta virati. As for modern examples, we sometimes read about them in the newspaper. For example, somebody left a purse on the bus or taxi car. This taxi driver did not take the money but out of truthfulness, he went to make a report at the police station. They searched for the address and returned the money to the owner. That too is sampatta virati. Out of good-will and loving kindness, one automatically abstains from doing evil. These are the perfection of one’s moral virtues. 2. Samædæna virati The second type is samædæna virati. The example given by the commentary also happened at about the same time in a village in Sri Lanka. There was a family who was very pious. The family members invited a bhikkhu to come for alms dæna everyday. The head of the family earned his living by collecting forest products, cutting fire-wood and selling them. One day as he was about to go to the forest, a venerable monk came to his house. On that day he took the Five Precepts from the monk. While he was climbing a hill, a boa constrictor caught hold of him. 30

Morality (Søla)

A boa constrictor is a very large and strong snake. It doesn’t bite its victim but coils round the victim, squeezes him until he suffocates to death. Only then it swallows the victim. That person had a very sharp sword with him to cut wood. When the boa constrictor was coiling around him and as he was about to chop it, he suddenly remembered that he had taken the Five Precepts from the Venerable who came for alms round. He thought, “Since I have taken the Five Precepts from the respected bhikkhu, I shall not transgress them, so let the boa constrictor kill me’. Actually taking precepts means you are making a vow or promise that you are going to observe these precepts the whole day. That was why he threw away the weapon. Interestingly, the boa constrictor uncoiled, left him alone and went back into the forest. So that type of virati or abstinence is called samædæna virati. Because of his pious faith and out of respect for the honourable bhikkhu, he abstained from killing. We can learn a moral lesson out of the two examples above. These two actions involved the fulfilling of the ten perfections especially dæna and søla perfections. Other wholesome actions are based on these two perfections. When done with real sincerity and truthfulness, our dæna and søla become really powerful. They can save a person’s life from fatal accident or even death. The kusala deeds or good deeds can always be victorious over evil. The important thing is to be sincere, truthful and to cultivate in our heart these four sublime states of loving kindness ( mettæ), compassion (karu¼æ), altruistic joy (muditæ) and equanimity (upekkhæ). All wholesome actions are rooted in these sublime or auspicious noble qualities of the mind. They are wonderfully effective and protect the mind from bad consequences.

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Cæritta Søla (Practice through conduct) The second type of Søla is Cæritta Søla. Cæritta means practice of moral discipline through one’s conduct. The Buddha has prescribed for us to practise certain responsibilities or duties. We, humans are the most civilized creatures on this planet, so we have social obligations to each other even though it is not a written law.
In the Sigælovæda Sutta, the Buddha prescribes many social obligations in society like the five duties or obligations of parents towards the children and the five duties of children towards their parents. Other duties are between husband and wife, employers and employees, government/monarch and citizens, teachers and pupils, and friends to friends. The Buddha has admonished us to practise these social obligations. Other classifications of Søla Another type of classification about Søla is Pæ¥imokkha Sa§vara Søla. These are definite adoptive disciplinary rules for monks and novice (sæma¼era) who join the Sa³gha order to follow. The second one is Æjøva Pærisuddhi Søla or proper livelihood disciplinary rules. For those who are striving for deliverance, they must have pure livelihood and must avoid the five improper livelihoods. The third is Paccaya Sannissita Søla or discipline regarding requisites. When we monks use requisites or allowable items like food, clothing, dwellings and medicines, we must use them or take them with reflection. The fourth is Indriya Sa§vara Søla or guarding your six sense doors. When you are mindfully noting all the objects that arise through the six senses, you are actually guarding your sense doors. So these are the four moral disciplines one has to 32

Morality (Søla)

observe if one aspires for enlightenment and deliverance from sa§særic suffering. Meditators are taken as Bhikkhus or Bhikkhunis because you are all striving to be delivered from sa§særic suffering (sufferings in the cycle of rebirth and death) or defilements (kilesa). That was why when the Buddha gave a Dhamma talk, he always addressed the audience as Bhikkhave (O bhikkhus). Thus anyone whether a monk or a lay person, who is striving to gain deliverance from sa§særic suffering is regarded as a Bhikkhu. So a meditator should try to observe the above mentioned morality or disciplines. Conclusion The Five Precepts are sufficient for a lay disciple to observe in this worldly life. Based on them, one can practise meditation. However, one should try to observe the precepts and safeguard one’s morality as best as one can. This is because by observing morality, you are also fulfilling your other perfections or pæramøs. When your pæramøs ripen in the future, you will attain Nibbæna. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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34

Asking for forgiveness

Therefore, follow the Noble One, who is steadfast, wise, learned, dutiful and devout. One should follow only such a man, who is truly good and discerning, even as the moon follows the path of the stars.

tasmā hi dhīrañca paññañca bahussutañca, dhorayha sīlaṃ vatavantam ariyaṃ. taṃ tādisaṃ sappurisaṃ sumedhaṃ, bhajetha nakkhatta pathaṃva candimā.
Dhammapada 208

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Questions and Answers – Series 3

Asking for Forgiveness
Question: 1. How can one be sure that one has forgiven oneself and others? 2. Is forgiveness essential in the practice of meditation? Answer: You can be sure that you have forgiven yourself because normally people are egoistic or selfish. We always forgive ourselves. It is something automatic because we love ourselves most and the tendency of worldly beings is to forgive themselves. The Buddha says that you must not just forgive yourself but you must see your mistake or misdeed. Then you have to admit to yourself and make a determination or resolution not to make the same mistake again. If you have wronged another person, it is better to admit your mistake and to apologise to that person. To be forgiven by others is important. However, normally it is difficult to forgive other people. The second part of the question is “Is forgiveness essential in the practice of meditation?” Yes, forgiveness is essential. If one does not forgive one's misdeed or other’s misdeed, one can be obsessed by thoughts that are called nøvara¼a or hindrances. These 5 hindrances or nøvara¼as can obstruct or hinder the progress of meditation. They are: 1) Kæmaræga – Sensual passion 2) Vyæpæda – ill will 3) Thøna-middha – Sloth and torpor 4) Uddhacca-kukkucca –restlessness and worry 5) Vicikicchæ- Sceptical doubt 36

Asking for forgiveness

Uddhacca means restlessness with the mind wandering here and there. Kukkucca means worry or anxiety or guilty conscience. Due to this guilty conscience, one can have obsessive thoughts like “Oh! I should not have done that, I should not have said that”.
A person who is going to practise meditation or is in the middle of a meditation retreat should clear this hindrance from his mind. That is why one should forgive oneself and others so that one’s mind will be clear, calm and be able to focus on meditation objects. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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31 Realms and practising meditation

The thirst of a person of careless actions grows just like a creeper. He flows from existence to existence, just like a monkey in the forest desiring fruits.

manujassa pamattacārino, taṇhā vaḍḍhati māluvā viya. so plavatī hurā huraṃ, phalamicchaṃva vanasmi vānaro.
Dhammapada 334

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31 Realms and Practising Meditation
According to the Buddha’s teachings, there are 31 planes of existence of beings. There are the four lower realms and from bottom upwards are the hell realm, the asura or demon realm, the peta realm and then the animal realm. Above these four realms is the fifth realm or the human world. The six celestial or deva realms are above the human realm. Above these are the twenty Brahma realms or the realms of the shining ones. All together there are thirty-one planes of existence. Only beings in the human, Deva and Brahma realms can meditate. The beings in the four lower worlds cannot meditate. Four lower worlds Beings are reborn in the four lower realms due to their past bad Kamma or unwholesome actions, where they suffer most of the time. This is especially true of beings in the hell realm. They are tormented by suffering all the time. Most of the beings in the four lower worlds are not mentally developed, so they cannot practise meditation at all. As you all know, animals have to follow the survival jungle law where big and strong animals prey on the smaller and weaker ones. They are always creating bad kamma by killing other beings for food. They also don't have the wisdom or intelligence to understand Dhamma. They cannot even practise simple meritorious deeds so meditation is completely beyond them. Six Deva worlds The six celestial realms above the human realm are just the exact opposite of the four lower realms. These beings are called devas. Most of the time, they enjoy pleasurable experiences of life due to their past good or wholesome actions of dæna or generosity, søla or morality and bhævanæ or 40

31 Realms and practising meditation

meditation. That’s why most of them cannot practise meditation. We can compare the deva world to our human realm too. For example in the rich developed countries, many of the people cannot practise true religion or have any spiritual practice because they are so preoccupied with material gains and sense pleasures. Only a few are striving in meditation. So also, in the six celestial realms, the majority of the devas are indulging in sense pleasures and only a few are practising meditation. Twenty Brahma worlds Above these six celestial realms are the 20 Brahma realms. Due to their tranquillity meditation, beings are reborn there as Brahmas. They enjoy jhænic bliss and their life span is extremely long. However beings in some of the Brahma realms, like the Suddhævæsa or Pure Abode realms are still practising meditation. They are beings who have practised Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or Insight meditation, attained the third stage of enlightenment and become non-returners or Anægæmøs. They are reborn in the Suddhævæsa realms and continue to practise there until they gain arahantship. Human world Now let’s us look at our human realm. According to the Abhidhamma, we, human beings are the result of a mixture of our past good and bad kamma. That’s why in the human realm, we experience a mixture of pain and pleasure. If we look around us, no one including ourselves is perfectly happy throughout our life or no one is suffering all the time. Sometimes, we are happy with comfortable, pleasurable experiences to a certain extent because of our own capability to obtain enjoyable things. Sometimes we meet with suffering, tragedy, sorrow and difficulties in our lives.

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That is why the human realm is regarded as a mixture of pain and pleasure. This is good for spiritual awakening. Unless we sometimes encounter unpleasurable experiences in life, we cannot be aroused to emotional or spiritual urgency. That is why rebirth in the human realm is regarded as the best opportunity to practise this meditation. That is why when the devas are going to pass away, their relatives encourage them to incline their minds to be reborn in the human realm because the devas or celestial gods regard our human realm as sugati or pleasurable rebirth. The reason is that in the human world, we have a chance to do all good deeds like generosity or dæna. We can observe søla or moral virtues and we can practise meditation. Story of Sama¼a deva To cite an example as recorded in the Tipi¥aka, during the Buddha's time, there was one young monk by the name of Sama¼a. During the Buddha's time, it was customary for monks to take instructions from our Lord Buddha. These meditating bhikkhus had to go to the nearby village for alms foods and usually practised either in the forest under big trees or in the mountain caves. This Sama¼a Bhikkhu also took meditation instruction from the Lord Buddha and he went to practise in the cave. He practised so strenuously that he did not even go for alms foods. One meal can sustain a person’s life for seven days. If it is not replenished in time, the person will die. Because of the lack of nutrition, he passed away in meditation and was immediately reborn in the deva world. Rebirth in the deva realm is called Opapætika in Pæ¹i. Opapætika means instantaneous or spontaneous rebirth. He was instantaneously reborn as a deva in the celestial realm and was still practising meditation there. Due to his good kamma, celestial nymphs were waiting and started to entertain him with 42

31 Realms and practising meditation

celestial music and dances. He was so disturbed that he came down back to human realm to seek help from the Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha gave him instructions to practise meditation and he gained the first stage of enlightenment and became a Sotæpanna. Now he as Sama¼a Deva, is still in the realm of the Thirtythree Gods called Tævati § sa. This example shows that there are some persons in the deva world who are devoted to meditation and some even gain enlightenment. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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44

How does meditation affect health?

Wisdom springs from meditation, without meditation wisdom wanes. Having known these two paths of progress and decline, let a man so conduct himself that his wisdom may increase.

yogā ve jāyatī bhūri, ayogā bhūri saṅkhayo. etaṃ dvedhā pathaṃ ñatvā, bhavāya vibhavāya ca. tathāttānaṃ niveseyya, yathā bhūri pavaḍḍhati.
Dhammapada 282

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How does meditation affect health ?
First of all, we have to understand that a so-called person or a being is made up of a physical body and mind or næma-rþpa in Pæ¹i. Mind (Næma) is mental energy that arises dependent upon this physical body (rþpa). According to the Pa¥¥hæna, the Buddha says that mind and matter arise together and they are dependent on each other. So the mind and body affect each other in both positive and negative ways. Negative effects of mind on the body All the problems of life arise out of mental defilements. The three main evil roots are greed (lobha), anger (dosa) and delusion ( moha). Most people, when influenced by their mental defilements, will abuse their sense faculties in unwholesome ways. The sense faculties or six sense organs are used to communicate with the environment. For example with the eyes to see sight, with the ears to hear sound, with the nose to smell scent. Worldlings indulge in sense pleasures in perverted ways. They drink intoxicants, smoke, take drugs and so on. These unwholesome actions create innumerable, incurable or serious consequences or diseases in their own bodies. That is how the unwholesome mind has negative effects on the body. Even when someone is mildly angry, he can feel his heart pounding and his body trembling. Then other problems will occur like pain in the abdomen. Due to this pain, he will worry that he may have cancer and be neurotic about it. So physical ailments can cause mental derangement and mental derangement can cause physical ailments. This is one kind of suffering called dukkha dukkha. 46

How does meditation affect health?

Dukkha dukkha or double dukkha means suffering in both mind and body. The reason is because we are composed of mind and body. When the body goes wrong, the mind will also go wrong. For example, a person slips and breaks his leg. The broken leg is the cause of his physical pain. Because of this broken leg, his mind starts to worry. Worried thoughts like “I am on daily wages. Now I cannot go to work and earn money. How is my family going to survive? How can I pay for the medical expenses?” will run in his mind. So his physical suffering causes mental suffering and this is called dukkha dukkha.
Positive effects of mind on the body Through meditation, we are trying to cultivate the mind to be more wholesome, to be free from mental defilements and also to suppress excessive indulgence of the six sense organs like smoking, drinking and using drugs. So moderation in our lifestyle and a wholesome mind will have wholesome effects on the body. These will help to improve our health. The Buddha has himself expounded “æturakæyo anæturacitto ”. It means you should conduct yourself in such a way that even though your body might be suffering, your mind is not affected. That is how noble persons like the arahants, Pacceka Buddhas and Buddha, who are skillful in meditation, can conduct themselves. Like us they have the body and like us they also have bodily suffering but mentally they never suffer. This is because they are well into the practice of “æturakæyo anæturacitto” (let the body suffer, but mind never suffer). On the other hand, an ordinary person who is not used to meditation and has not gained any insight, will suffer mentally when faces with physical suffering. He has dukkha dukkha or double dukkha.

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Questions and Answers – Series 3

Conclusion In conclusion, we should strive to maintain our mindfulness by noting whatever phenomena occurring in our body, be it pleasant or painful sensation. When a painful sensation appears, we should note it incessantly as ‘pain, pain’ and try to see the arising and disappearing nature. By being aware that any sensation is impermanent, unsatisfactory and uncontrollable, our mind can be composed and we can face pain with equanimity. Thus we do not have dukkha dukkha and are well into this practice of ‘æturakæyo anæturacitto ” (let the body suffer, but mind never suffer). That is how meditation is very useful or beneficial regarding our health. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death and also to obtain ultimate freedom?

Even gorgeous royal chariots wear out, and indeed this body too wears out. But the Dhamma of the Good does not age; thus the Good make it known to the good. jīranti ve rājarathā sucittā, atho sarīrampi jaraṃ upeti. satañca dhammo na jaraṃ upeti, santo have sabbhi pavedayanti.
Dhammapada 151

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How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death and also to obtain ultimate freedom?
Question: The first question is “How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death?” The second question is “How does mindfulness help us to obtain ultimate freedom?” Answer: We can put these two questions together because their essence is the same, only the presentation is different. Our Lord Buddha’s teaching or Dhamma leads us to the development of ultimate freedom of the mind through mindfulness. Through the practice of Dhamma, we can gain ultimate freedom of the mind from the sufferings of illness, old age and death. Four foundations of mindfulness Mindfulness means practising of Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight meditation which is based on the four foundations of mindfulness. Our meditators here are practising the four foundations of mindfulness in accordance to the Buddha’s instructions as recorded in the Mahæ Satipa¥¥hana Sutta. The four foundations of mindfulness are: (1) Kæyænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation on the physical phenomena or corporeality or body phenomena. (2) Vedanænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation on feelings and sensation. (3) Cittænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna – contemplation of mind and mental factors. (4) Dhammænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna - contemplation of the dhamma. The word dhamma has no exact translation in English so we use the Pæ¹i word as it covers both physical and mental phenomena. 50

How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death and also to obtain ultimate freedom?

What kind of benefits can we gain from practising the four foundations of mindfulness? In the very introduction of this Mahæ Satipa¥¥hæna Sutta, the Buddha gives assurance that meditators can gain seven benefits. They are: 1) Purification of beings (sattæna§ visuddhiyæ). The Pæ¹i word satta means beings while visuddhi means purification. Purification of beings means purification of the mind of beings. Why do beings need purification of the mind? This is because non-meditators’ minds are normally or constantly obsessed or influenced by mental defilements. These are called kilesa in Pæ¹i. They appear through the three main evil roots of lobha or greed, dosa or hatred or anger and moha or delusion. So we need to purify the mind if we want to get liberation or freedom from all sufferings of old age, sickness and death. If we don’t purify the mind, we will be whirling in the vicious cycle of repeated rebirth, ageing and death. By practising the four foundations of mindfulness, the Buddha assures us that we will get the first benefit of Sattæna§ visuddhiyæ or the purification of the mind. 2 and 3) Overcome sorrow and lamentation (Sokaparidevæna§ samatikkamæya). Through the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness, you can overcome sorrow (soka) and lamentation ( parideva). 4 and 5) Overcome physical pain and mental suffering (Dukkha-domanassæna§ attha³gamæya). Dukkha is physical pain and domanassa is mental pain. We beings are composed of mind and matter or næma and rþpa. So pain arises either from physical cause or mental cause. Pain from physical cause is called dukkha while mental anguish or mental sorrow is called mental pain. The fourth and fifth 51

Questions and Answers – Series 3

benefit is that you are able to surmount physical and mental pain. 6. Attainment of path and fruition (¥æyassa adhigamæya) Through the practice of Insight or Vipassanæ meditation, you can gain path and fruition or magga-phala. 7. Realisation of Nibbæna (Nibbænassa sacchikiriyæya) These are the seven benefits you will gain by practising Insight meditation or four foundations of mindfulness. You will be able to gain liberation and freedom from the three universal ailments of ageing, sickness and death. Through magga-phala you will also gain enlightenment. The Meaning of Enlightenment What is enlightenment? At the time of enlightenment while you are doing this mindfulness meditation, you achieve three things. The simile given here is the lighting of a candle or lamp. Three occurrences will happen. 1. Burning of the wick and the wax 2. Expelling the darkness 3. Emitting the light Similarly at the time of enlightenment you will gain three things. 1. Path and fruition consciousness (Magga-phala citta) arise taking Nibbæna as object 2. Extirpating mental defilements (kilesas) 3. Penetration into the Four Noble Truths According to the Abhidhamma, any consciousness that arises must have an object. Without an object no consciousness can arise. When there is no object the mind will sink back to Bhava³ga citta or life continuum.. When an object presents itself at one of the six sense doors, then the conscious mind will arise. 52

How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death and also to obtain ultimate freedom?

At the time of enlightenment, the path and fruition consciousness will arise and they take Nibbæna as the object. You can also penetrate into the Four Noble Truths. This is what we called enlightenment. The Four Noble Truths What is the Four Noble Truths? It is unique in our Buddha’s teaching. All Buddhists should be well-versed with them. 1. The noble truth of suffering (Dukkha Sacca) 2. The noble truth of the cause of suffering (Samudaya Sacca) 3. The noble truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha Sacca) 4.The noble truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering (Magga Sacca) These are the Four Noble Truths which you will personally experience at the moment of enlightenment. How to apply the Four Noble Truths in your practical meditation? When you are noting the mind and matter (næma – rþpa) or five aggregates, you are actually contemplating on the first noble truth (Dukkha Sacca). In the first noble truth, the Buddha elaborates on the sufferings or unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) that we humans experience in our every day life. To be born, to grow old, death, to be separated from loved ones, to associate with those who are not conducive, not to get what you want, getting what you do not want; all these are suffering. Finally the Buddha concludes “In brief, the five aggregates of clinging is suffering” (“sa³khittena pañcupædænakkhandhæ dukkhæ”). When you take the næma and rþpa or five aggregates as objects of noting, you are actually observing Dukkha Sacca (The first noble truth of suffering). That is how this development of the mind can overcome the universal sufferings of ageing, sickness 53

Questions and Answers – Series 3

and death. What is the second noble truth? It is the cause of suffering. The desire or craving is the cause of action and when you do action, it becomes the first noble truth suffering. So the cause of suffering is ta¼hæ or craving. There are three types of craving: 1. Craving for sense pleasure 2. Craving for existence 3. Craving for non-existence Through the practice of mindfulness meditation, we will be able to eradicate the cause of suffering. The third noble truth is Nirodha Sacca or the noble truth of the cessation of suffering. It means the realisation of Nibbæna. At the time of Nibbæna, all sufferings will cease. The fourth noble truth is Magga Sacca or the path leading to the cessation of suffering. Magga Sacca is what our meditators are practising here.

Magga Sacca has 8 factors. 1. Sammæ Di¥¥hi ( right view) 2. Sammæ Sa³kappa (right thought) 3. Sammæ Væcæ ( right speech) 4. Sammæ Kammanta ( right action) 5. Sammæ Æjøva (right livelihood) 6. Sammæ Væyæma ( right effort) 7. Sammæ Sati ( right mindfulness) 8. Sammæ Samædhi ( right concentration)
These 8 factors are grouped into the 3 trainings of søla, samædhi, paññæ or morality, concentration and wisdom. By practising Vipassanæ or mindfulness meditation you are actually practising these Noble Eightfold Path factors.

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How does mindfulness help us to deal with illness, old age and death and also to obtain ultimate freedom?

Conclusion When your eight factors are mature, you will attain Enlightenment and become a noble person or ariya-puggala. Then you keep on practising till you become an arahant. When an arahant passes into parinibbæna, there will be no more rebirths for him. Since there is no rebirth, there is no more aging, sickness and old age. That is how by practising mindfulness meditation or Vipassanæ meditation, you will be delivered from sa§særic suffering and obtain ultimate freedom. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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56

Three kinds of defilements and three ways to deal with them

To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind; this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ, kusalassa upasampadā, sacittapariyodapanaṃ, etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.
Dhammapada 183

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Questions and Answers – Series 3

Three Levels of defilements and three trainings to deal with them
Question: There are three stages or levels of mental defilements or kilesa in Pæ¹i language. Please explain in more details about each of them? Answer: The Buddha in some discourses mentioned about defilements or Kilesas. In some other discourses, he mentioned as fetters or sa§yojana. These sa § yojanas bind beings to the vicious cycle of sa§særic existences like a criminal is chained or handcuffed so that he cannot run away. All beings are tied or bound to this sa§særic vicious cycle of repeated rebirth, old age, sickness and death. In some discourses the Buddha mentioned about oghas. Ogha means outflow, like a river flowing from upstream to downstream or from higher ground to lower ground. These defilements or negative thoughts flow out of us towards sensuous objects. That’s why the Buddha compared them as Oghas. Whatever the terms used, we need to understand that kilesa or mental defilements are just corruptions, stains, impurities, blemishes or anything that is bad. The main causes of defilements are the three main evil roots of greed (lobha), hatred (dosa) and delusion ( moha). Three types of mental defilements These mental defilements impress on our mental stream in three ways. 1. Latent defilements (anusaya kilesa) 58

Three kinds of defilements and three ways to deal with them

2. Obsessive defilements (pariyu¥¥hæna kilesa) 3. Transgression defilements (vøtikkama kilesa) The first one is anusaya kilesa or latent defilements. Anusaya means latent or inherent or dormant mental defilements. It has two types. One is santænanusaya kilesa, the defilement that is impressed in our own næma-rþpa or psycho physical complex. The second variety is æramma¼ænusaya kilesa, the defilement based on an external object or æramma¼a in Pali. When an object comes into contact with one of the sense doors, like with the eye when we see the sight, with the ear we hear the sound, with the nose when we get the smell, with the mouth when we get the taste, with the body when we get the tactile impression, then mental defilements may arise. These are called æramma¼ænusaya kilesa that means defilements that arise based on the object especially sensual object. When this ænusaya kilesa or latent defilement becomes active due to certain conditions, it obsesses the mind repeatedly. It becomes the second stage called obsessive defilement (pariyu¥¥hæna kilesa). When this obsessive defilement gathers momentum or becomes forceful, then the third stage that is transgression defilements (vøtikama kilesa) will take place. Due to this mental obsession, we respond by either verbal speech or bodily action. Example of a Volcano To have a better understanding, we can use the example of a dormant or sleeping volcano. A sleeping volcano is a mountain with a crater at the peak. It is usually dormant without any activities for many years. This is comparable to the first variety of defilement - anusaya kilesa. At this stage, the mental defilement is not active yet, just lying dormant in our mental system. When conditions conduce, the volcano starts its activities and 59

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its environment changes. People living near the volcano can feel the temperature rising. Sometimes they may even find ashes carried by the wind to their houses and sometimes smoke from the peak of the volcano may also be visible. That shows that this dormant or sleeping volcano is slowly becoming active. That is comparable to the second stage of defilement known as obsessive defilement (pariyu¥¥hæna kilesa) because this defilement continuously or incessantly obsesses the mind. When this stage gains momentum, the actual eruption of the volcano takes place with fiery magma (lava) flowing out of the crater. That is comparable to the third stage of transgression defilement (vøtikkama kilesa). Since these defilements or fetters chain beings to sa§særic existence and are the main cause of suffering, we should combat these defilements or kilesa. How to do it? Three trainings The main essence of our Buddha’s teachings is the three trainings of søla, samædhi, paññæ or morality, concentration, wisdom. To counteract or neutralise the mental defilements, we have to train ourselves in these three trainings. By practising morality (søla), we can counteract or suppress the third stage of defilement, transgression defilement (vøtikkama kilesa). The second stage of defilement, obsessive defilement (pariyu¥¥hæna kilesa) can be counteracted by developing concentration or practising Samatha Bhævanæ. If possible, we can train up to absorption concentration (appanæ samædhi), if not, at least to access concentration (upacæra samædhi). Then we temporarily suppress this obsessive defilement The first stage is latent or dormant defilement or anusaya kilesa which can only be eradicated by Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight 60

Three kinds of defilements and three ways to deal with them

meditation. There are two major types of meditation in the world, one is Samatha Bhævanæ or tranquillity meditation and another is Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight meditation. Samatha Bhævanæ or concentration meditation can only suppress mental defilements temporarily and cannot eradicate them completely. Only by practising Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight meditation and when you have obtained path and fruition knowledge can you completely eradicate mental defilements. That is why in the introduction of the Mahæ Satipa¥¥hæna Sutta, the Buddha said “Ekæyano aya§ bhikkhave maggo sattæna§ visuddhiyæ”. Satta means beings, visuddhi means purification. Sattæna§ visuddhiyæ means purification of beings. The purification of beings means purification of defilements.

Satipa¥¥hæna or the four foundations of mindfulness is the only way and there is no other way to purify beings. Other ways can only temporarily suppress but not completely eradicate mental defilements. When conditions conduce and when conditions gather momentum these mental defilements can obsess and can transgress to the third variety that is transgression defilement.
Example of an ascetic : Temporary suppression of mental defilement Out of the many examples recorded in the texts, I want to cite an example of our Lord Gotama Buddha’s past life as the Bodhisatta. Whenever he was reborn as a human being, he always stayed in worldly life just for sometime. In that life, his name was Ahidaja. Later, as usual he renounced whatever he possessed like family, riches and wealth. He went to a forest to practise concentration or Samatha Bhævanæ as an ascetic or hermit. He usually gained 61

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jhæna and psychic powers. So he spent his life in the forest enjoying this jhænic trances.
Since he had temporarily suppressed all the defilements, his deportment or behaviour was like an arahant or a noble person. One day while he was going for alms round, the king of Bæræ¼asø city, Ænanda-to-be, saw this ascetic. The king was attracted by his noble deportment. He invited the ascetic to stay in the king’s garden and to come to the palace everyday to receive food offering. The ascetic accepted his offer of place and food. Every day the ascetic went to the palace for his food. Using his psychic power, he flew through the air to the palace from the garden where his hermitage was. One day before the king had to go to battle to quell a rebellion, he asked his queen, Mudu-lakkha¼a-devø to attend to the ascetic’s needs. In those days, kings usually picked beautiful woman as queen. So the name of this queen meant the one who was very gentle with delicate features. Probably the queen was very beautiful. So the queen agreed. One that day, after the queen had prepared the meal and as there was still time before the ascetic came, she lay down on a couch to take a rest and fell asleep. When the ascetic came through the window with his physic power, she suddenly woke up. As she got up suddenly, her clothes made of long cloth to wrap around the body, fell off. At that time the ascetic saw her features. His latent defilements began to obsess his mind. Due to his obsessive defilements, he was about to transgress but he could stop himself in time. Thus, the first stage of defilements became the second stage and was about to reach the third stage.

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Conclusion Through this example, we know that Jhæna and psychic power gain by Samatha Bhævanæ cannot totally eradicate or uproot latent or dormant defilements. It can only temporarily suppress these defilements. That’s why we have to practise the four foundations of mindfulness or Vipassanæ Bhævanæ to purify the mind. Through the right practice, we can eradicate all the three types of defilements namely latent defilement, obsessive defilement and transgression defilement from our mental stream. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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Lotus simile

The monk who has retired to a solitary abode and has calmed his mind, who comprehends the Dhamma with insight, in him there arises a delight that transcends all human delights.

suññāgāraṃ paviṭṭhassa, santacittassa bhikkhuno, amānusī rati hoti, sammā dhammaṃ vipassato.

Dhammapada 373

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Lotus Simile
Question: How to apply the simile “lotus growing but unsullied by the mud” in daily life? Answer: The Buddha often gives similes from the natural surroundings for example the lotus flower. Lotus flower grows in marshy water. The water usually looks dirty because of the mud and marsh. When it grows and later blossoms, the lotus is always beautiful and sweet smelling. It is never stained or contaminated by the dirty water where it grows. The Buddha also advises his disciples who are striving for spiritual development to behave like the lotus flowers. Though we live in worldly life, we should be cleansed of worldly defilements or Kilesa. Kilesa means mental defilements or mental impurities or worldly conditions. For a person who is not developed spiritually, his mind is usually influenced by mental defilements. The commentaries have elaborated mental defilements into 1500 defilements. They are all rooted in ten defilements which are again concisely rooted into the three main evil roots. As roots are the cause for the tree to grow, so also the three main roots are the cause of all defilements. They are: 1) Lobha or greed 2) Dosa or anger 3) Moha or delusion or ignorance. We, human beings are endowed with the six sense organs; with the eye to see, with the ear to hear, with the nose to smell, with the mouth to get the taste, with the body to get tactile or sensory impression and with the mind for mental objects. We come into contact with the environment or outside world through these sense organs. That’s why these sense organs are called as doors (dværa) in the Abhidhamma. 66

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Like in this building there are many doors through which we enter and exit. Similarly, we come into contact with the outside world. Actually the world means our six sense bases and their corresponding objects. The six sense bases are the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. The six sense objects are sight, sound, smell, taste, tactile impression and mental objects. Mental Defilements Defilements always arise when the sense objects come into contact with the six sense bases of a non- meditator who is not mindful. If the sense object that comes into contact is pleasant, then lobha or greed arises. If the sense object that comes into contact is unpleasant, then dosa or aversion or anger arises. If the contact is not so strong, we may even think that it is pleasurable or we may not know the true characteristics of the object, then moha or delusion or ignorance arises. For example, when we see an object with the eye, the object can be a living thing or an inanimate object. If it is conducive to our liking or if the object is pleasant, then we feel happy. Not only happy but we crave to see it again and again and we want to catch hold of it or grasp it. So the craving (ta¼hæ) develops into clinging (upædæna). Craving is the desire to catch hold of something. Upædæna or grasping or clinging is a stronger form of craving. Thus if one is not mindful, the pleasurable object causes one’s mind to be influenced by craving. If the object, whether living or inanimate, is unpleasant and not conducive to our liking, then we feel aversion or we even feel angry to see it. It is clearer in the sound we hear. When we hear some sounds, if the sound is pleasant, we are happy and want to grasp it. When the sound is unpleasant, we feel aversion and get angry. So that is how the mind, when exposes to sense objects, becomes affected by mental defilements.

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Mindfulness meditation Thus we should all take heed of the Buddha’s admonishment of the lotus flower simile. Like a lotus flower which grows in dirty marshy water but is never soiled by it. Instead it always rises above the water clean and sweet. Similarly we must be able to detach from these sense afflictions of greed and anger. How to get rid of or how to prevent the mind from being influenced by any mental defilements? The way to do it is by practising mindfulness meditation or Vipassanæ Bhævanæ. According to the Dhammænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna or contemplation of dhamma, we should note the six sense activities like seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thoughts. These activities occur when the six sense bases and their corresponding objects come into contact. The Buddha has said: Di¥¥he di¥¥hamatta§ bhavissati In seeing just be seeing.

Sute sutamatta§ bhavissati In hearing just be hearing. Mute mutamata§ bhavissati In coming into contact just stay as contact. Viññate viññatamatta§ bhavissati In awareness just be aware. This is how we have to make a mental note so that the process won’t go into defilements.
So the moment we see, the Buddha says ‘just be seeing’ means not to let the mind go into the stages of identification, evaluation, determination because they are all defilements which will cause greed, anger and delusion.

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Ultimate Truth What is the ultimate truth in the seeing process? For the seeing consciousness to arise or seeing process to take place, we need a few conditions. Actually seeing is by the mind, not the eye. Eye is just an instrument. The eye base (eye sensitivity) and the object seen are rþpa or material phenomena. When they come into contact, this seeing consciousness arises. Seeing consciousness is næma or mental phenomenon. So in ultimate truth, there is just mind and matter (næma-rþpa), there is no ‘I’ or no individual or no person who sees things. If you identify seeing in ultimate truth, there is no time for the defilement to influence the mind. You should be aware of cause and effect as well. The object and the eye are the cause, and the seeing consciousness that arises is the result of this contact. So here rþpa or material phenomena are the cause and the mental phenomenon that arises out of the contact is the result. This is cause and effect taking place. There is no ‘I’ or no person or no self who sees things. There is also no pleasant or unpleasant object. So if you can identify in this way, the defilements of greed and anger cannot arise. The fact that you are aware of Paramattha Dhamma or the ultimate reality of mind and matter, cause and effect and the process of how seeing arises, you have non-delusion or asammoha. So greed, hatred, delusion ( lobha, dosa, moha) cannot influence your mind. That is how like a lotus which remains unsullied even though it grows in marshy water, if you, who live in worldly life can be mindful of this ultimate truth, then your mind will be cleansed of defilements or kilesæ. When we hear sound, we normally identify it in the conventional way like ‘oh the bird is singing, the clock is chiming or a person is singing’. Thus, if the sound is pleasant, we get attached to it. If the sound is unpleasant, we are averse 69

Questions and Answers – Series 3

to it. Thus defilements can influence our mind. In the ultimate sense, these are just sounds. We have to make a mental note as ‘hearing, hearing’. What you hear is just a sound. The sound and ear are rþpa or material phenomena. When these come into contact, hearing consciousness arises or hearing process takes place. Actually, it is the mind that hears. The ear is just an instrument. So hearing consciousness is the mental phenomenon or næma. There is no person or no self or no ‘I’ that hears things. The sound and the ear are the cause while hearing consciousness that arises is the result. This is cause and effect. When you don’t identify that a person or somebody or self is hearing, then you are eliminating moha or delusion. You have seen the true ultimate reality of Paramattha Dhamma. So that’s how you can prevent mental defilements from arising without associating the hearing object as ‘I’ or ‘my’ with the pleasant or unpleasant sound and the corresponding attachment or aversion. When you note the smell as ‘smelling, smelling’, the smell and the nose are rþpa or material phenomena. The smelling consciousness that arises is næma or the mind. There is just næma and rþpa and no person, no ‘I’ or no self. The nose and the smell are the cause, the smelling consciousness or the nose consciousness that arises is næma or effect. If you understand this, then there is no chance for defilements whether pleasant or unpleasant with greed or anger to arise. When you know only næma and rþpa and cause-effect, you have asammoha (no ignorance). So lobha, dosa, moha (greed, anger, delusion) cannot affect the mind. When we note tasting, we should know the tongue and the taste are material phenomena (rþpa) and the tasting consciousness that arises is mental phenomenon ( næma). This is the knowledge of differentiating rþpa and næma. The tongue and 70

Lotus simile

the taste are the cause and the tasting consciousness is the result. You should know this cause and effect relationship as well. Conclusion By knowing the ultimate truth or Paramattha Dhamma that is næma-rþpa and cause-effect, greed or anger or delusion cannot affect or influence the mind. Be aware of the Paramattha Dhamma that takes place and we can prevent defilements from influencing the mind. That’s how you should behave - like a lotus growing in muddy water yet remains clean, sweet and unsullied by its environment. Likewise although we live in a world of sense indulgence, we must cleanse our minds of mental defilements and maintain our inner purity. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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How to practise mindfulness in daily activities?

If one holds oneself dear, one should diligently watch oneself. Let the wise man keep vigil during any of the three watches of the night.

attānañce piyaṃ jaññā, rakkheyya naṃ surakkhitaṃ. tiṇṇaṃ aññataraṃ yāmaṃ, paṭijaggeyya paṇḍito.
Dhammapada 157

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How to practise mindfulness in daily activities?
In the Dhamma talk just now, Sayædaw suggested that meditators should make intensive noting. Intensive noting means to note continuously not only in sitting and walking meditation but in daily activities as well. However, during meals, there is not much time to be very slow and to note everything in detail. What should one do? The answer is: Please don’t forget that this is an institutional training and you are in an intensive retreat. In any institutional training there is a programme in the form of a time schedule for meditators to follow. Yes, as raised in the above question, you have to adjust your mindfulness practice according to the circumstance. As meditators, you are observing the eight precepts of which the sixth precept is to abstain from taking solid food after noon (vikælabhojanæ verama¼ø sikkhæpada§ samædiyæmi). You have to finish eating before 12 noon. As such you have to adjust your noting or practice according to this time factor. This Vipassanæ Bhavanæ or insight meditation as the name suggests is mindfulness meditation or to be mindful of one’s activities. There are two ways to practise mindfulness and noting. The first way: Mental labelling The first way is mental labelling. This means you follow every action by making a mental note. For example in sitting meditation, when the abdomen distends, you note as ‘rising’. When the abdomen relaxes, you note as ‘falling’. When eating, as you are lifting the food to your mouth, you note ‘lifting, lifting’. When you are chewing the food, you note ‘chewing, 74

How to practise mindfulness in daily activities?

chewing’. When you are swallowing, you note as ‘swallowing, swallowing’. If you follow all your actions or all your meditation objects with mental labellings, these will consume time. One advantage about mental labelling is that when you label, you make more effort to anchor your mind onto the object. With this penetrating mind, you are aware of the nature and characteristics of the objects. If you do not label, your noting is superficial and the mind tends to be distracted. If possible, please try to make mental labelling as much as you can. The second way: maintain awareness The second way to practise mindfulness is by maintaining awareness of your actions or by maintaining a presence of mind. During meals especially at lunch time, you have to adjust your practice of noting according to the time factor. You just maintain awareness of your actions like the moving of the hand or the mouth chewing the food. It is not necessary to follow with the labelling. Then you can finish your lunch before 12 noon and also preserve the eight precepts. This is an institutional training and we have people taking care of our food. We have to finish eating by 12 noon so that the workers can clean up the place later. This is how we can adjust our practice instead of being absent minded. Normally in worldly life and at home, while eating, you may be watching television or answering the phone or planning some future activities. This is called absent mindedness. The main action and the awareness of the mind are not concurrent. When you are crossing a busy road or in the case of an emergency, it is not necessary to label because labelling will take time. Only when you are in an intensive retreat, you can slow down your activities and make mental labelling.

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The main object of noting The golden rule to keep in mind is that any predominant object must be taken as the main object of noting. In sitting meditation when you are sitting comfortably, there is no distraction. The rising and falling of the abdomen is obvious. The body that is sitting and the buttocks touching the cushion are always present. Our main object of noting during sitting meditation should be the abdomen ‘rising and falling’ or ‘sitting and touching’ of the body. In walking meditation, the main object to note is the movement of the foot. There are three ways of noting. One phase noting means ‘right step, left step’. When you become more seasoned in your practice, you increase your noting to ‘lifting, putting down’ of each step. In the three phases, you note ‘lifting, moving forward, putting down’. The motion of the foot is the main object in walking meditation. Daily activities are activities outside sitting and walking meditation. These include bathing, eating or going to the washroom. All these activities must be taken as your objects of noting. For example you want to take bath. Before leaving the meditation hall, you have to note ‘intention to get up’. Then note all your bodily actions in getting up. Then you note ‘intention to walk’ and the walking action. You can do one, two or three steps according to your time factor. When you reach the room door, you note ‘intention to open the door’ and the opening of the door. Similarly before changing your clothing, note the intention first. When you are taking a shower, all the movements and sensations arising from bathing, soaping and other predominant actions must be noted. At night, when you go back to the room that will be the time for lying down meditation. According to the Kæyænupassanæ Satipa¥¥hæna or the contemplation on physical action, one 76

How to practise mindfulness in daily activities?

should practise meditation in the four bodily postures of sitting, walking, standing and lying down. In the meditation hall, sitting meditation is one session. At the end of each walking path, you can practise standing meditation. Standing meditation and walking meditation combine together are 2 sessions. Another session is lying down meditation which is done before you fall asleep. After a meal, it is advisable scientifically to do lying down meditation. Go back to the room with the idea of doing lying down meditation but not to sleep. Some meditators complain that they sometimes cannot sleep because of the change in environment. Our mind is like a naughty child. If you force the mind to sleep, you won’t be able to sleep. If you meditate before you sleep, then you will fall asleep easily. After the night recitation, you want to go back to your room. First note the intention to go back. Then try to note as much as you can all the actions like ‘right step, left step, opening the door, preparing the bed’ etc. When you lie down and close your eyes, you can either note ‘abdomen rising, falling’ or note ‘lying down, touching’. In the lying down position, you visualise yourself lying on the bed. You note ‘touching’ by choosing one spot like the head touching the pillow or the buttocks touching the bed. If you fall asleep then it is time to take rest. When you wake up, you should continue noting. In daily activities you should try to keep a presence of mind. Don’t let the mind go astray with wandering thoughts or be distracted by the commotion of the environment. During meal time, you should try to keep your attention on the process of eating. You should be aware of the present action taking place without making mental labelling of every movement. Occasionally, when you have lots of thoughts, you should stop and note ‘thinking, thinking’ and then go back to noting your movements. All actions done during daily activities are your main objects of noting. 77

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Conventional (Paññatti) versus Ultimate truth (Paramattha) In our Buddhist teaching, there are two truths in the world. One is conventional truth (paññatti). The other truth is ultimate truth (paramattha). Labelling is a conventional (paññatti) term. In Vipassanæ meditation, we should try to observe the objects for the ultimate truth. At the beginning of meditation, we use labelling, conventional terms and concepts. We note ‘rising, falling’ or ‘left step, right step, lifting, moving, putting down’, or ‘seeing’. However we have to change our perception or understanding towards the ultimate reality or paramattha dhamma. We must try to discard totally this conventional usage or paññatti. We must be able to identify our meditation objects as paramattha dhamma to gain enlightenment or the knowledge of what is real and what is unreal. For conventional usage nobody needs any extra lesson or training. We have been conditioned or habitually accustomed since very young to identify our environment and experience in this conventional sense. Not only in this life but since beginingless times, we are living in the conventional world with concepts or unreal ideas. When one is bent to seek deliverance from this sa§særic sufferings, one must gradually change this conventional understanding into ultimate reality or paramattha. We need to train our mind to view things in ultimate reality. The main emphasis of Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight meditation is to develop wisdom. Wisdom means paramattha knowledge but not the conventional knowledge that we are used to. However, we are habituated to or we are conditioned to view things as ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘human beings’, ‘cats’, ‘dogs’, ‘animals’ etc. All these are conventional terms or usages. 78

How to practise mindfulness in daily activities?

In Vipassanæ or insight meditation, meditators must change the habit of identifying things in paññatti way or conventional way into ultimate reality. I have always explained in my Dhamma talks as to how to identify this paramattha dhamma in your practical meditation. This so-called living being or this ‘I’ is just a psychophysical complex or a compound of physical elements and mental energy. In Pæ¹i these are called næma and rþpa.

Rþpa or material phenomena can be identified by four gross elements. 1. Pathavø dhætu or Earth element or solidity. The solidity can be identified by feelings of hardness and softness, roughness and smoothness. 2. Æpo dhætu or water element. Water element can be identified through its cohesive properties and liquidity. 3. Tejo dhætu or heat element. There are three kinds of heat: hot, warm, cold 4. Væyo dhætu or wind element - element of motion or support.
When you are noting rising and falling of the abdomen, the words ‘rising, falling’ are just paññatti or conventional terms. The motion of this rising and falling is the element of motion (væyo dhætu). This motion is paramattha dhamma. When you feel the solidity of the abdomen, you are actually feeling the earth element. When you feel heat or cold, it is the heat element. Sometimes you may feel sweat or moisture in the abdomen under your clothing. That is water element. In conventional term or labelling, there is only abdomen rising and falling. However if you could identify the four elements by their own characteristics, that means you are seeing the ultimate truth or paramattha dhamma. Conclusion As mentioned earlier on, there are two ways to practise 79

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mindfulness. The first way is to make mental labelling on the meditation objects like you note as ‘rising, falling’, or ‘left, right’ or ‘lifting, pushing’ etc. The second way is just to maintain awareness of the meditation objects. Whether you are making mental labelling or just maintaining awareness, the most important thing is that you should incline your mind to view things in paramattha or ultimate truth. In this way, you will realise that there is no ‘I’, no ‘me’, no atta. The truth is only næma-rþpa or mind and matter and they are transient, unsatisfactory and uncontrollable/non-self (anicca, dukkha, anatta). By constantly training your mind to see the ultimate truth, you will soon realise the true nature of all phenomena. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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Hard is it to be born a man, hard is the life of mortals. Hard is it to gain the opportunity of hearing the Sublime Truth, and hard to encounter is the arising of the Buddhas.

kiccho manussapaṭilābho, kicchaṃ maccāna jīvitaṃ. kicchaṃ saddhammassavanaṃ, kiccho buddhānamuppādo.
Dhammapada 182

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Dependent Origination and Cause and Effect
If we want to be delivered from sa § sara, that is the vicious cycle of repeated life and death, we must understand causeeffect thoroughly. Let us discuss in detail about Dependent Origination and cause-effect. There are three modes of cause-effect. 1. Dependent Origination or Dependent causation (Pa¥icca samuppæda or pa¥icca samudaya) 2. Kamma causation ( Kamma samudaya) 3. Momentary causation (Kha¼ika samudaya) Every morning we recite the Dependent Origination. We use the word recitation and not chanting. When we do the daily recitation, we are actually doing Dhammænussati or reflection on Dhamma. When the Buddha was meditating under the Bodhi tree near the Nerañjaræ river, he repeatedly reflected on the Dependent Origination. Through thorough penetration into this doctrine, he eradicated all mental defilements and became enlightened as Sammæsambuddha or Omniscient Buddha. It is very important to understand the Dependent Origination and cause-effect as these doctrines are the ultimate truths. In fact, they constitute what the world and beings are. A. Dependent Origination The first link is avijjæ paccayæ sa³khæra (with ignorance as condition, sa³khæra arises). First we have to understand the Pæ¹i word Avijjæ. It is ‘A + vijjæ’ (non-wisdom). Avijjæ has two meanings. The first meaning is ignorance. This is not the worldly or ordinary ignorance of this place, that person, that fact and so on. The actual meaning is ignorance of the Four Noble Truths. The 82

Dependent origination and cause and effect

Four Noble Truths are: 1. The Noble Truth of Suffering 2. The Noble Truth of Cause of suffering 3. The Noble Truth of Cessation of suffering 4. The Noble truth of Path leading to the cessation of suffering When we practise Vipassanæ meditation, our aim is to realise the Four Noble Truths and transform the avijjæ in us to vijjæ (wisdom). The second meaning of avijjæ is delusion. Worldlings with no meditation experience or knowledge of Saddhamma (Buddha’s teaching) are normally deluded in four ways. What is impermanent, they think as permanent. What is suffering/unsatisfactoriness, they think as happiness What is non-self/uncontrollable, they think as self What is undesirable/ugly, they think as beautiful In Pæ¹i, Anicca is perceived as nicca. Dukkha is perceived as sukha. Anatta is perceived as atta. Asubha is perceived as subha. When meditators practise Vipassanæ meditation, they see their meditation objects arising and passing away moment to moment. Then they realise that everything is anicca. However deluded worldlings think that what is impermanent (anicca) as permanent (nicca). This is the first delusion. When the five faculties (faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom) are balanced and meditation is mature, meditators realise that everything is impermanent or transient. They feel insecure and disenchanted. They feel wearisome to their own næma-rþpa that are constantly arising and passing away. They feel dreadful and disgusted. When one 83

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næma-rþpa passes away and no new næma-rþpa arises, then it is time to die. In fact we can say that næma-rþpa is dangerous and full of unsatisfactoriness. However deluded persons conceive that what is suffering or unsatisfactorisness (dukkha) as happiness (sukha). This is the second delusion.
Our meditators will realise that næma-rþpa is impermanent or transient and full of suffering or unsatisfactoriness. They realise that a so-called being or this ‘I’ is just a psychophysical complex or compound of næma and rþpa only. There is no atta or solid entity or self. What really exists in the ultimate sense is only næma-rþpa or five aggregates (material, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness) or twelve bases (six sense doors and their objects). They are uncontrollable because they are conditioned things. They arise due to conditions and pass away when the conditions cease. Worldings also perceive the næma-rþpa as atta, solid entity, self, ego and believe that there is a permanent ‘I’ which exists all the time. In fact, there is no atta. The ultimate truth is anatta. So the third delusion is perceiving anatta (non-self or uncontrollable) as atta (self). The fourth delusion is that what is asubha (non-beautiful) is conceived as subha (beautiful). The Buddha has expounded that the body can be divided into 32 major parts. If we peel off the skin, we will see that the body is ugly. We will not even want to look at the body and be delighted by it. As the saying goes, beauty is only skin-deep. This body is asubha but the deluded or ignorant person thinks that his body is subha or beautiful. So these are the four ways worldlings with no Vipassanæ meditation experience or those who are ignorant of the True Teachings of the Buddha will be deluded in. 84

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The first link in the Dependent Origination is avijjæpaccayæ sa³khæræ. In the Buddha’s teaching, Kamma is sa³khæra. Kamma means volitional or intentional action. We act in three ways. With mind we think ( mano kamma) With mouth we speak (vaci kamma) With body we act (kæya kamma) Any action done with intention will form kamma. Actually Dhamma is very profound. Kamma not only means volitional action, it actually means volitional action and resultant effects. Any action that we do with ignorance or delusion will form kamma-bhava. Bhava means existence. Kamma-bhava has the potential to create any existence and it accumulates like energy. When the conditions conduce, it will give rise to upapatti bhava or rebirth process. Why is it important to practise mindfulness meditation or Vipassanæ bhævanæ? When you are mindful of the ultimate truths that is næma-rþpa, cause-effect (paccaya pariggaha) and the three universal characteristics of all phenomena, i.e. anicca, dukkha and anatta, you can prevent kammic result. When you are mindful of the ultimate truth, your avijjæ (ignorance or delusion) will transform to vijjæ (wisdom or nondelusion). According to your degree of mindfulness, you can attain the different stages of enlightenment. That is why it is important to practise mindfulness. If you are not mindful of the ultimate truth, then the next link in the Dependent Origination will happen, that is sa³khærapaccayæ viññæ¼a§ (depending on sa³khæra or kammic energy, consciousness will arise). What type of consciousness will arise? The first citta (mind) in this life is pa¥isandhi citta while the 85

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last citta is cuti citta. The kammic energy or sa³khæra of past life will condition the first consciousness (viññæ¼a) in this present life. This viññæ¼a is pa¥isandhi citta or rebirth linking consciousness as it links the past existence to the new existence. The next link in the Dependent Origination is viññæ¼apaccayæ næma-rþpa § (mind-matter). According to the Abhidhamma, all beings have both næma (mind) and rþpa (matter). The only exception are those beings born in the asaññasatta realm and arþpa realms (immaterial realms). Asaññasatta beings or mindless beings have only material body but no mind. Those born in the arþpa realms have no material body but only mind and they exist as mental energy. We human beings are composed of a psychophysical complex or næma-rþpa. Rþpa is the material body and mind is the mental energy based on this physical body. Let us look at the human rebirth. At the time of conception, the næma-rþpa co-exist or have a mutual (aññamañña) relationship. The rebirth-linking consciousness or pa¥isandhi citta forms the næma side. The rþpa or material side is constituted from 1 cell of the mother’s side, i.e. ovum and 1 cell of the father’s side, i.e. sperm. These two unite and form a zygote. So næma-rþpa mutually co-exist and depend on each other. The further links of the Dependent Origination are as follow: Næma-rþpapaccayæ sa¹æyatana§ Dependent on næma-rþpa, the six sense organs (sa¹æyatana) will arise.

Sa¹æyatanapaccayæ phasso Dependent on the six sense organs, contact (phassa) will arise. Phassapaccayæ vedanæ Dependent on contact, feelings (vedanæ) will arise. Vedanæpaccayæ ta¼hæ
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Dependent on feelings, craving (ta¼hæ) will arise. A person craves for good feelings. If he experiences unpleasant feeling, he wants it to disappear and for pleasant feeling to occur.

Ta¼hæpaccayæ upædæna§ Dependent on craving, clinging (upædæna) will arise. Once craving has set in, he will cling to it and does not want to let it go. Clinging is the stronger form of craving. Upædænapaccayæ bhavo Dependent on clinging, bhava (new existence) will arise. Bhavapaccayæ jæti. Jætipaccayæ jaræmara¼a § , sokaparideva– dukkha-domanassupæyæsæ sambhavanti. Evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti. Dependent on new existence, rebirth ( jæti) will arise. Because one is reborn, one has to face sickness, aging, death, sorrow and lamentation in the future. Thus the whole mass of suffering will happen again.
The Dependent Origination explains the causation of existence of beings and what the world really means. B. Action causation (Kamma samudaya) The next cause-effect is Kamma Samudaya or action causation. Because of the kamma done in the past, we experience good or bad experiences in the present life. Because of the actions in the past life and the actions in the present life, we will experience the kammic results in the future life. Once, a young man Subha asked the Buddha about Kamma. He asked why beings were born into different states like nobly born and lowly born. Buddha gave a detail explanation. According to the Buddha, if one indulges in killing, he will have a short life. If one abstains from killing, he will enjoy a long life in his future existences. If one is cruel to other people 87

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and animals, he will always be sick in his future existences. If he abstains from harming other beings, he will be healthy in the future life. This is Kamma and its result or kamma causation (Kamma Samudaya). C. Momentary causation (Kha¼ika samudaya) The third mode of cause-effect is momentary causation or Kha¼ika Samudaya. This mode is very important for a Vipassanæ meditator to know as it directly concerns with his practice. For example, in walking meditation, before you walk, you note the intention to walk. At the end of walking, you note the intention to turn. You will realise that the intention to walk is the cause while the stepping of the foot is the result. The stepping of the right foot is the cause and the noting of the right foot is the result. Then the stepping of the right foot is the cause and the stepping of the left foot is the effect. While standing, you will notice that the intention to turn is the cause while the turning of the body is the effect. Next the turning of the body is the cause, and the noting as ‘turning, turning’ is the effect. A meditator can also realise cause-effect relationship when noting the six sense phenomena. For example, when hearing a sound, you note ‘hearing, hearing’. The ear and sound are the cause. The hearing consciousness is the result. Here, the ear and sound are rþpa or material. The hearing consciousness is næma or mind. By maintaining mindfulness and by having clear comprehension, the meditator will realise that at every moment there is cause-effect relationship between næma-rþpa. This is the understanding of momentary causation ( Kha¼ika Samudaya). 88

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Conclusion A meditator should try to see these three modes of cause-effect in their meditation and daily lives. By doing so, the meditators will realise the ultimate truth that there is no atta or ‘I” or a solid entity in ourselves. The ultimate truth is just næma-rþpa or five aggregates, cause effect and the three characteristics of all phenomena namely anicca, dukkha, anatta or impermanence, unsatisfactorisness and non-self. Through the realisation and penetrative understanding of cause-effect, the meditators will be able to overcome various doubts, achieve knowledge of cause-effect (paccaya-pariggaha ñæ¼a) and obtain the fourth purification that is the purification of overcoming doubts (ka³khæ-vitara¼a visuddhi). That is why meditators should thoroughly understand cause-effect and dependent origination. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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Whenever he sees with insight the rise and fall of the aggregates, he is full of joy and happiness. To the discerning one this reflects the Deathless.

yato yato sammasati khandhānaṃ udayabbayaṃ, labhatī pītipāmojjaṃ. amataṃ taṃ vijānataṃ.
Dhammapada

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Contemplation of Five Aggregates at the six sense doors Let us discuss on the Five Aggregates of clinging (Pañcupædænakkhandhæ). The Buddha in his discourses always mentions about næma-rþpa, mind and matter or more elaborately the Five Aggregates. Sometimes, he mentions about the æyatana or the six sense bases and the six sense objects. These are the main topics in the Buddha’s discourses. To attract the attention of the audience, he delivers his talks in many ways but ultimately the main essence is mind-matter (næma –rþpa), the Five Aggregates or 12 æyatanas. Any meditator who aspires to gain progress in Vipassanæ Bhævanæ or insight meditation should be well-versed or familiar with these topics, terms and phenomena. Body or material part Rþpa means material phenomenon or physical body. It constitutes the physical part of an individual. Based on this physical body, næma or the mind or mental faculty arises. The physical body or material phenomenon is constituted by the four great elements (Mahæbhþta). The four great elements are: 1. Pathavø or earth element 2. Æpo or water element 3. Tejo or heat element 4. Væyo or motion or air element These are the characteristics of the four elements which we can identify or observe in our body as material phenomena or the physical part of the psycho-physical complex. Mind or mental part The next part of the psycho-physical complex is the psychic or mind. It is composed of 4 mental categories or mental 92

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phenomena, namely the 3 mental concomitants (cetasika) and 1 citta. Mind
1. Feeling (Vedanæ) 2. Perception (Saññæ) 3. Mental formation (Sa³khæra)

cetasika
(mental concomitants)

4. Consciousness(Viññæ¼a)

citta

The næma or the mental portion of the psycho-physical complex can be identified by the above four mental factors. The mind is the one that can appreciate or experience the object while the physical body or material part is the base for the mind to arise. This is the general set-up of the psychophysical complex. The Buddha sometimes uses similes to explain these phenomena for the better understanding of the dhammas by his audience. Once the Buddha compares the body as foam, feelings as bubbles, perception as a mirage and consciousness as a conjurer’s trick.

Five aggregates

1. Material aggregate (Rþpakkhandha) The first aggregate of the Five Aggregates (pañcupædænakkhandhæ) is the material aggregate (rþpakkhandha). The Buddha says, “phenapi¼ðupamærþpa” means our body is similar to foam or froth (phenapi¼ða). After the dry season with the wind and dust blowing on the surface, bubbles form at the river bank due to the rain. Bubbles when collected together accumulate into a lump of mass. They have no substantial core inside. They are just a group of air bubbles clustering together to form foam or froth. The foam is vulnerable to the wind and it ruptures easily. As new bubbles 93

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are formed, some disappear and some appear later. The Buddha compares our physical body to foam or froth. It is very vulnerable and impermanent but we think that it is permanent and substantial. In fact it is just the opposite. Let’s look at chicken eggs. They seem to be very vulnerable because they are easily broken. However our body is more vulnerable than the eggs. Mosquitoes and other insects can penetrate into our skin and cause diseases but they cannot penetrate into these so-called fragile eggs. Our body is made up of the four great elements which are constantly changing. Our body is like the foam because it can disintegrate easily. That’s why the Buddha compares our body to foam. 2. Feeling or sensation aggregate (Vedanækkhandha) The second aggregate is vedanækkhandha (feeling or sensation aggregate). The Buddha says: “bubbulupamævedanæ”. Bubbula means bubble. The individual bubble just arises and disappears frequently with each drop of rain. When meditators note intensely the feeling and sensation in their body, they can see the constant change moment by moment. This feeling or sensation can change in three ways. a) Change in intensity First when you are mindfully noting mild sensation, it can gradually become stronger and stronger. At the beginning of meditation practice, it can sometimes be excruciating and unbearable. b) Change in nature The second change you can recognise in meditation is the change in its nature. As you keep on noting the pain, it can change to hardness, heat or numbness. c) Change of site You can observe the site of the pain. It may start at the back, it may move up to the neck, or it move down towards the knee or the ankle. 94

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That is how you can see the incessant change while you are noting it. There are also three kinds of sensation. a. Pleasant sensation (sukha vedanæ) b. Unpleasant sensation (dukkha vedanæ) c. Neither unpleasant nor (adukkhamasukha vedanæ) pleasant sensation

These sensations or feelings only arise for a transient moment and immediately pass away. That’s why the Buddha says “bubbulupamævedanæ”, these feelings or sensations are like bubbles which are constantly arising and passing away. 3. Perception aggregate (Saññækkhandha) The third aggregate is saññækkhandha (perception aggregate). The Buddha says “marøcikþpamæsaññæ”. The Pæ¹i word “marøcikæ” is mirage. In tropical country the strong heat before the rain causes the water to vaporise together with dust. The sunray causes an optical illusion or water bed. A thirsty animal may think there is a water bed or some water in the distance. When it goes nearer and nearer, the water bed seems further and further away. This is actually an optical illusion of water known as a mirage. So also with saññæ or perception which the Buddha compares to a mirage. It deceives us to see what is anicca or impermanent, dukkha or unsatisfactory, anatta or not Atta or ego as being permanent, happy or satisfactory, or a solid entity. That’s why the Buddha says this saññæ or perception is like a mirage or “marøcikþpamæsaññæ”. 4. Mental formation aggregate (Sa³khærakkhandha) As for the fourth aggregate sa³khæra, the Buddha says “kadalþpamæsa³khæra”. The Pæ¹i word ‘kadala’ means plantain tree or a banana tree. The inside of the trunk has no core or heartwood but only plenty of spongy tissues. It cannot be used to make furniture or to build houses. This sa³khæra aggregate 95

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constitutes the main portion of the Five Aggregates because it is made up of fifty mental factors. In fact due to the three characteristics of anicca or impermanence etc, they are coreless or have no heartwood like those plaintain trees. That’s why the Buddha compares the mental formation aggregate with kadala or plantain tree trunk. 5. Consciousness aggregate (Viññæ¼akkhandha) The Buddha describes the fifth and last aggregate of viññæ¼a or consciousness as “mæyupamæviññæ¼a”. Mæyæ means conjurer’s trick. Nowadays we seldom see live magic show, only on TV or video. In olden days magic shows were very popular public entertainment. The entertainers roamed about from place to place to perform. The magician had a tall hat which he put on a table. From his pocket, he took out a scarf and put it into that tall hat. Then he pretended to chant some kind of charm. Later when he took the scarf out from the hat, it had turned into a pigeon. In that way he tricked the audience. That’s why magic shows are called “mæyæ”. Mæyæ means tricking or cheating or deceiving. Actually behind the screen and under the table on the stage, his apprentice had exchanged the scarf with a pigeon. In this way, he cheated the audience in the theater or open show. The audience, especially the children really thought that the scarf had turned into a pigeon. Similarly, that is how our consciousness or viññæ¼a deceives us. The ultimate reality of living beings is just a concept or name. What is real is either næma-rþpa or Five Aggregates. However consciousness makes us see the ultimate reality in the conventional sense or make us believe that these are man, woman and so on. So that’s how consciousness is like the conjurer’s trick or deceit.

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How to observe the Five Aggregates?

How to observe the Five Aggregates or Pañcupædænakkhandhæ in your meditation practice? The Buddha prescribes the Five Aggregates as belonging to Dhammænupasanæ or contemplation on dhamma in the Mahæ Satipa¥¥hæna Sutta. Dhamma is a word that is difficult to translate so we prefer to keep the Pæ¹i word ‘dhamma’ as it is. How to do Dhammænupasanæ in actual practice? You can contemplate the Five Aggregates that arise in the six sense bases. The five aggregates are:1. Rþpakkhandha ( material group) 2. Vedanækkhandha (feeling/sensation group) 3. Saññækkhandha ( perception group) 4. Sa³khærakkhandha (mental formations group) 5. Viññæ¼akkhandha (consciousness group) The six sense bases and their corresponding objects:No Sense base Sense object (Internal base) (External object) Sight 1 Eye 2 3 4 5 6 Ear Nose Tongue Body Mind
Sound Smell Taste Tangible objects Mental objects like thinking, planning and others

Seeing process When you see something whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, you have to note as ‘seeing, seeing’. You can identify the 97

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presence of the Five Aggregates at the eye door. 1.The eye and the object seen (rþparamma¼a) are material phenomena (rþpakkhandha). 2.At the moment of seeing any object, there is the arising of pleasant or unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant sensation. This is sensation aggregate (vedanækkhandha). 3.When you see an object you immediately identify it whether it is a man or an animal or a table or a stool as you have learned or have marked in your past experience. Then you try to recall to memory. This perception is the third aggregate or perception group (saññækkhandha). 4.Any volition or intention or inclination or making effort to see belongs to the mental formation group (sa³khærakkhandha). 5.All these complete the process of bare awareness of seeing that is the seeing consciousness (viññæ¼akkhandha). This is how you identify the five aggregates when you note any object that arises through the eye door. Hearing process When you hear a sound, you have to note as ‘hearing, hearing’. You can also identify the Five Aggregates at this ear door. 1.The sound and the ear are rþpakkhandha or physical aggregates or material aggregates. 2.The moment we hear, the feeling or sensation whether it is pleasant or unpleasant or neither pleasant nor unpleasant will also arise. This is called vedanækkhandha or the aggregate of feeling or sensation. 3.Then the moment we note as ‘hearing, hearing’, we have already identified or we tend to identify as we have been conditioned to in our past experience as ‘this is a bird singing, this is the clock chiming, someone is making this sound’. This is the aggregate of perception (saññækkhandha). 4.Hearing consciousness arises because of your manasikæra or focusing attention to the sound in order to hear it. That intention or volition or that effort to hear is the group of mental formation or volition or intention (sa³khærakkhandha). 98

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5.The hearing consciousness which arises through this process is the aggregate of consciousness (viññæ¼akkhandha). That is how when you note ‘hearing, hearing’ you can identify the Five Aggregates. Smelling process Similarly when you smell something, you have to note as ‘smelling, smelling’. You can identify the presence of the Five Aggregates at the nose door. 1.You will know that the nose and the smell are physical aggregates or material phenomena (rþpakkhandha). 2.Then feeling of pleasant or unpleasant in smelling is the aggregate of feeling or sensation ( vedanækkhandha). 3.The third aggregate of perception (saññækkhandha) recognises or recalls the scent we have experienced before such as the smell of a flower, root or a fruit and so on. 4.The action that constitutes the smelling process is the aggregate of volition or intention (sa³khærakhandha). 5.The smelling consciousness that arises is the aggregate of consciousness (viññæ¼akkhandha). Tasting process The next sense base is the tongue. When you are eating, you note as ‘tasting, tasting’. You can identify the presence of the Five Aggregates at the tongue door. 1.The tongue and the food are the material aggregates (rþpakkhandha). 2.The taste of pleasant or unpleasant or any kind of taste like bitter, sweet or spicy taste is due to the sensation of vedanækkhandha or the aggregate of sensation or feeling. 3.The recognition of the object you are tasting or eating is saññækkhandha like knowing whether it is rice or noodle or chicken or pork or vegetable. According to our past experience we identify the food with the taste. 4.All the volition or intention or action regarding this process of eating is sa³khærakkhandha or the aggregate of volition or intention or mental formation. 99

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5.The eating or tasting consciousness that arises through this process is the aggregate of consciousness (viññæ¼akkhandha). Touching process Similarly when you note the touching sensation of the body, you can note as ‘touching, touching’. You can identify the presence of the Five Aggregates at the body door. 1.Touching sensation can arise from any part of the body. The body is the material phenomenon (rþpakkhandha). 2.Sensation aggregate (vedanækkhandha) is all kinds of sensation that arise from the body, like breeze of the wind, the heat of the sun, the bite of insects, roughness or smoothness of clothes. 3.The recognition of the sensation as we have been conditioned before like ‘this is clothes touching or this is an insect bite, itch, tingling, numbness, heat, cold’ is the aggregate of perception (saññækkhandha). 4.The aggregate of volition or mental formation (sa³khærakhandha) is the volition or intention or action that constitutes the arising of this body sensation. 5.The body consciousness that arises through this process is the aggregate of consciousness (viññæ¼akkhandha). Mental process When you are noting mental activities like ‘thinking, remembering, planning’, you can identify the presence of the Five Aggregates at the mind door. 1.The physical base of the mind is this body, either the brain or the heart. This is the physical aggregate or material aggregate (rþpakkhandha). 2.With the mind door, we experience sensation like with some thoughts we are happy, with some thoughts we get angry. These are pleasurable or unpleasurable thoughts and they belong to the group of sensation or feeling (vedanækkhandha). 3.We recognise or identify the thoughts as objects that we have experienced before like ‘this is my family, this is a chair’ and so on. This recognition is the aggregate of perception 100

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(saññækkhandha). 4.All the intention or volition or action that arises in this mental formation is the aggregate of volition or intention (sa³khærakkhandha). 5.Thinking consciousness that arises is the aggregate of consciousness (viññæ¼akkhandha).

Understanding the Ultimate Truth
The Buddha says when you contemplate on the Five Aggregates and the twelve æyatanas, you are also doing contemplation on dhammas (Dhammænupasanæ). Why should we understand the twelve æyatanas or the six sense organs and the six sense objects? The reason is to realise the ultimate truth of the three universal characteristics of anicca or impermanence, dukkha or unsatisfactoriness and anatta or egoless or non self. Any object you note that arises through the six sense organs is just momentary or transient in existence only. After arising, it quickly passes away. Now for instance you are listening to my voice. The sound comes out word by word. You just hear it for a moment. The next moment there is no more hearing. This is hearing and passing away. Everything in this world is transient and momentary. What arises will pass away. That is the characteristic of impermanence or anicca. Being impermanent, it is unsatisfactory, not worth cherishing or being attached to. This is the second universal characteristic of dukkha. Nothing is permanent, not even our mind-matter or the psychophysical phenomenon which is constantly arising and passing away. Being arising and passing away, they are impermanent or anicca. Being anicca, they are unsatisfactory or dukkha. Being impermanent and unsatisfactory, they are anatta or egoless or uncontrollable. There is no person involved and these phenomena arise out of conditions. When there is no condition, there is no arising and 101

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passing away. There is no person involved or no ‘I’ or being that is controlling things. Mind and matter just arise by their own accord and they pass away soon. This uncontrollable characteristic is the universal characteristic of anatta or egoless or non self. That is why the Buddha exhorts us in the Mahæ Satipa¥¥hæna Sutta to contemplate on any object that arises through the six sense doors so that we can incessantly observe the three universal characteristics and soon realise the perpetual bliss of Nibbæna.

Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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Having savoured the taste of solitude and peace (of Nibbæna), pain-free and stainless he becomes, drinking deep the taste of the bliss of the Truth.

pavivekarasaṃ pitvā , rasaṃ upasamassa ca. niddaro hoti nippāpo, dhammapītirasaṃ pivaṃ.

Dhammapada 205

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Seven Stages of Purification (Visuddhi) and Ten Imperfections (or Defilements) (Vipassanþpakkilesa) in the Vipassanæ practice There are Seven Stages of Purification (Visuddhi). They are: 1. Purification of virtue or morality (Søla visuddhi) 2. Purification of mind (Citta visuddhi) 3. Purification of view (Di¥¥hi visuddhi) 4. Purification by overcoming doubts (Ka³khæ vitara¼a visuddhi) 5. Purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and what is non-path (Maggæmagga ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) 6. Purification by knowledge and vision of the path progress (Pa¥ipadæ ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) 7. Purification by knowledge and vision (Ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) The last two purifications are the results of the earlier five purifications. In our spiritual journey, we have to find the right path. Path is called magga in Pæ¹i. There are three kinds of path. 1. Primary/basic path (Mula magga) 2. Preliminary path (Pubbabhæga magga) 3. Noble path (Ariya magga) The Noble path is the path we achieve through striving from primary path and preliminary path. The primary path or mula magga is actually kamma-sakata sammæ di¥¥hi, that is having saddhæ (faith or confidence) in kamma and its results. By investing in saddhæ or faith, you start practising meditation to purify the mind. That is why it is known as the primary path. Unless you have faith in Kamma and its results, you will not make serious effort in your spiritual practice. So, the first thing you need to establish in your 104

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practice is this mula magga. You start your spiritual journey by initiating saddhæ in Kamma and its results till you gain ariya magga. The middle part of the practice is called pubbabhæga magga which is the Vipassanæ practice. 1st Visuddhi: Purification of Virtue or Morality (Søla Visuddhi) The first step in the practice is the purification of virtue. It is a prerequisite practice for a meditator and also to fulfil the ten pæramitæs. For a normal worldling or layperson, he must observe a minimum of five precepts. We recommend that meditators in an intensive meditation retreat observe the eight precepts. For a Sa³gha member of the Buddhist order, he has to observe the 227 precepts that is Pæ¥imokkha. By strictly observing the precepts, one will achieve Purification of Virtue (Søla Visuddhi). 2nd Visuddhi: Purification of Mind (Citta Visuddhi) When meditators start to meditate, almost everyone will encounter hindrances (nøvara¼as). They are: 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 Usually the mind is obsessed by the five hindrances. When one continues one’s effort in meditation, these hindrances 105

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will gradually be suppressed. One will then achieve Purification of mind (Citta Visuddhi) which means temporary suppression of hindrances or mental defilements. 3rd Visuddhi: Purification of View (Di¥¥hi Visuddhi) When these hindrances or nøvara¼as are temporarily suppressed, one can see that the object and the noting mind are actually two different things. For example in sitting meditation, the meditator is noting the rising and falling of the abdomen. The rising and falling is material or rþpa because up and down movement. The distension and relaxation of the abdomen is due to in-breath and outbreath. The motion is the characteristic of wind (væyo) element. This wind element is rþpa phenomenon. The mind that is noting is næma or mental phenomenon. These rþpa and næma are two different things. When one is persistently observing these mind and matter (næma-rþpa) and clearly understands them as two different things, one is convinced that a so-called person is just a psychophysical complex or a compound of mental and material phenomena. This gives one temporary suspension of personality or ego belief (Sakkæya-di¥¥hi). This is the stage of Purification of View (Di¥¥hi Visuddhi). If one inclines the mind to observe the ultimate truth, one can verify by oneself that these næma-rþpa constitute a socalled being or an individual or the ‘I’. In walking meditation, a meditator is instructed to note in three ways. They are ‘left, right’, ‘lifting, putting down’, and ‘lifting, pushing, putting down’. If you see your leg as part of the body, it is earth (pathavø) element. If you are observing the movement of the legs, this motion is wind (væyo) element. Both elements are gross elements or 106

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material (rþpa) elements and the mind noting as ‘left, right’ etc is mental (næma) phenomenon. By this way, the meditator can differentiate the material and mental phenomena. Similarly while you are contemplating Dhammænupassanæ, that is when you are noting ‘seeing’, ‘hearing’, ‘smelling’, ‘tasting’, ‘touching’, ‘thinking’, you can verify the presence of mind-matter. When you are noting ‘seeing, seeing’, you will realise that the sight and the eyes are rþpa; while the seeing consciousness that arises or simply ‘seeing’ is the næma. Actually, seeing is by the mind, not by the eyes. The eyes are just instruments. The eyes cannot see. It is the mind that sees. When you are noting ‘hearing, hearing’, the sound and the ears are rþpa and the hearing consciousness that arises is næma. So mind-matter or næma-rþpa is everywhere. There is no person, no individual and no ‘I’. When one can clearly perceive the mind and matter or næma and rþpa, one will achieve næma-rþpa pariccheda ñæ¼a, that is the first insight to distinguish between mind and matter. One will also achieve the third of the seven purifications that is Purification of View (Di¥¥hi Visuddhi). 4th Visuddhi: Purification by overcoming doubts (Ka³khæ vitara¼a visuddhi) Then the meditators are advised to observe, whenever and wherever possible, the intention in any one posture of the four postures of activities. Like when one wants to change from sitting to walking meditation. Before arising, please note the intention to get up, note as ‘intention to get up, intention to get up’, and then getting up. The meditator will realise intention to get up is the cause and the body that is 107

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getting up is the result. The body cannot get up by itself. It is like an inanimate object eg. a chair or table. We are composed of mind and matter. As the mind dictates, then the body has to move or act. The intention to act is the cause and the bodily action later is the result. If one tries to observe, whenever and wherever possible, the intention and resultant action, one will be convinced of cause-effect or momentary causation. Similarly, when one is observing the six sense phenomena i.e. seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking; in seeing, the visual object or sight seen as well as the eyes are the cause, seeing consciousness that arises is the result. When noting ‘hearing, hearing’, the sound heard and the ears are the cause, while the ‘hearing’ or the hearing consciousness is the result. So also, everywhere you can identify cause-effect relationship. There are three modes of cause-effect relationship. 1. Dependent Origination or Dependent Causation (Pa¥icca samuppæda or pa¥icca samudaya) 2. Action causation (Kamma samudaya) 3. Momentary causation (Kha¼ika samudaya) The momentary causation is what the meditators experienced in their meditation. If one is thoroughly convinced of these three modes of cause-effect relationships, then the second insight paccaya pariggaha ñæ¼a that is the distinguishing knowledge between cause and effect will arise. Then one will overcome various doubts and achieve the fourth purification that is purification by overcoming doubts (Ka³khæ vitara¼a visuddhi). When one goes on one’s spiritual journey by noting clearly the 108

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mind-matter phenomena that arise, one will clearly see the three phases of a phenomenon. Any phenomenon has a beginning, like when you see an athletics’ sports event. The runners have to line up at a certain starting point, then they start to run and after that is the actual running. When they reach the goal, this is the end of their running. Any phenomenon has the beginning, middle and end. In Pæ¹i they are called trio of moments or uppæda (beginning), ¥hiti (middle), bha³ga (ending). For instance, when one is noting the abdomen rising and falling, the rising has a beginning that is beginning to rise, then the actual rising and finally the end of rising. This conditions the abdomen to fall back. There are the beginning of falling, the actual falling and the end of falling. When one clearly perceives these three phases of phenomena, then aniccænupassanæ ñæ¼a or insight wisdom of impermanence will arise. The meditator realises that nothing is constant or permanent.. Anything that arises, stays for a moment and then it must cease. Or any phenomenon has a beginning, middle and finally ending. What appears must disappear, what arises must cease. Everytime, we recite: Sabbe sa³khæræ aniccæti, Yadæ paññæya passati, Atha nibbindati dukkhe, Esa maggo visuddhiyæ All compounded things are impermanent. When one sees this with wisdom, then one becomes disenchanted with unsatisfactorisness. This is the path of purification. 109

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When we see that everything is impermanent, then the insight wisdom of sammasana ñæ¼a which consists of unsatisfactorisness (dukkhænupassanæ) and egolessness (anattænupassanæ) will arise. These three characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and egolessness are the characteristics of all phenomena. So the samaññæ lakkha¼a or the universal characteristics of all phenomena will arise. The meditator will obtain the next insight knowledge of comprehension (sammasana ñæ¼a). 5th Visuddhi : Purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and what is non-path (Maggæmagga ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) When one goes on meditating, one will only be able to identify the two phases of phenomena. The mind cannot clearly perceive the middle part of phenomena, that is ¥hiti. The mind can only perceive the beginning and ending. This is the arising and passing away insight knowledge (udayabbaya ñæ¼a). Supposing you are noting the sound as hearing, hearing, you begin to hear and no more. Like you hear the clock chime, you hear ‘thum..’, just a static moment which is not clear, then the sound disappears. That means the arising and passing away of hearing phenomenon is very clear to the mind. So this is knowledge of arising and passing away. This stage of arising and passing away knowledge (udayabbaya ¼æña) is very important to meditators, Before this stage, meditators have strenuous struggles with the hindrances and unpleasant feelings like aches and pain. Here, at this stage, the pleasurable experiences will arise. Some wholesome states of mind will arise. They are: 1. Light (Obhasa) 110

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2. Insight (Ñæ¼a) 3. Joy/Rapture (Pøti) 4. Calm/Serenity/Tranquil (Passaddhi) 5. Determination/Resolution (Adhimokkha) 6. Effort (Paggaha) 7. Happiness (Sukha) 8. Awareness (Upa¥¥hæna) 9. Equanimity (Upekkha) 10. Delight (Nikanti) One will see light or brightness(obhasa) in one’s meditation which will give one elation. The second is insight or ñæ¼a. When the meditator mindfully contemplates his meditation objects, he can clearly see the insights or the ultimate truths. Like when a yogi is noting rising and falling of the abdomen, he can report ‘Rising and falling is just taking place and the mind is noting as if someone is watching.’ So he can clearly perceive næma-rþpa as two different things. As in the Satipa¥¥hæna Sutta, a yogi is said to have mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampajañña) when noting the object. The mindfulness and clear comprehension of the object is so vivid that one gets full satisfaction of the noting. The result is one is at ease, comfortable and without pain and hardship. So this insight or ñæ¼a becomes so vivid and clear thus bringing joy or rapture to the person. That is the third pleasurable mental state, i.e. pøti or joy will arise. The Pæ¹i word Pøti has many different translations like happiness, peacefulness and so on. Its actual meaning as recorded in the Abhidhamma is delightful interest in the object. The reason is when one clearly sees the truth, or face-to face with the ultimate truth, one becomes elated and emotionally glad.

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When the pøti subsides or weakens, the mind becomes calm and serene. This is another wholesome mental state called passaddhi. After that, the meditator will enjoy sukha. Sukha also has many different translations like happiness, peacefulness, delight and so on. It is best to use the Pæ¹i word sukha. Sukha means the comfort and ease when one meditates. For example, one can sit for hours without feeling any exhaustion or discomfort. Mind is always alert and taking interest in the object because one is seeing the truth. In fact one is enjoying his meditation and never feels bored. Mind is not influenced by sloth-torpor but always keen and delightful in his meditation. This is the state of sukha. After the sukha mental state is adhimokkha or determination or resolution. Since one is convinced by the truth and the benefits one is getting from his meditational effort, then in his mind, there will be an automatic resolution or determination to continue his meditation or to make more effort to reach his determination and gain his aspiration. The next mental state is paggaha. As one makes a resolution or determination to meditate, one makes secondary effort. The example given here is the ‘second wind’ in the sports events. In a marathon or long-distance running, the athletics start by running at regular control speed which means with regular strive and regular effort. The reason is not to exhaust themselves before reaching their destination. However, when they see the goal (destination place), they make secondary effort to gain first position. This second effort is called ‘second’ wind in sports terminology. Because of one’s satisfaction in one’s meditation, one makes resolution to exert more effort. This effort is called paggaha in Pæ¹i. This paggaha will lead to upa¥¥hæna or awareness. In every 112

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noting, the awareness becomes so clear, vivid, easy and comfortable. For example, in the Buddha’s time and in ancient India, people used bullock cart for travelling. If the bullocks of the same strength, age and built were drawing the cart, the driver needed no extra effort. He just held on to the reins and sat back comfortably, as if the two animals were carrying the carts by their own efforts. Or driving a car on good, smooth road and without any traffic, you don’t need to make any effort, just sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. So everything you note is so vivid and the effort is comfortable and easy. The awareness is very clear and convincing. This awareness is upa¥¥hæna. Then this awareness will lead one to equanimity or upekkhæ. This stage of insight is equanimity to all formations or sa³khærupekkha ñæ¼a. Usually good experiences happen at this stage Even if bad or unpleasant experience like hot weather or disturbance by insects, one can face them without any mental disturbance. The last or tenth is nikanti or delight. When the experiences are so vivid, so convincing, so extraordinary and so comfortable, one gets elated and one’s ego maybe inflated. We have to be careful. One can be led astray by the nine extraordinary experiences as stated above, and one can think that one has already attained enlightenment. Some people even proclaim that they have achieved something. That can hinder the progress of meditation. If we can clearly understand these ten mental factors, only nikanti is the real mental defilement. But these ten are called Vipassanæ-upakkilesa or vipassanþpakkilesa. They are defilements during the Vipassanæ practice or Insight meditation. Actually except for nikanti, the rest are all good mental states. 113

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However if a meditator delights in and enjoys these mental states or extraordinary experiences and do not want to continue his meditation, then these mental states will hinder his progress. That’s why they are called vipassanþpakkilesa. A meditator must clearly understand that enjoying these extraordinary experiences is not the correct path. He must understand that whatever good or bad experiences, good or bad objects, his duty is to keep on observing the phenomena happening at the present moment. If he continues noting, he will gain the fifth purification, i.e. Purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and what is non-path (Maggæmagga ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi). ‘What is path’ or the right path means a meditator’s duty is to keep on noting the phenomena taking place. Enjoying his extraordinary and good experience and thinking that he has achieved some kind of attainments is ‘What is non-path’ or the wrong path. 6th Visuddhi: Purification by knowledge and vision of the path progress (Pa¥ipadæ ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) After realising Maggæmagga ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi, one continues his practice to gain the nine upper levels of insights. There are: 1. Arising and passing knowledge (udayabbaya ñæ¼a) 2. Dissolution knowledge (bha³ga ñæ¼a) 3. Fearfulness knowledge (bhaya ñæ¼a) 4. Misery knowledge (ædønava ñæ¼a) 5. Disenchantment knowledge (nibbidæ ñæ¼a) 6. Aspire for deliverance knowledge (muñcitu-kamyatæ ñæ¼a) 7. Reflective contemplation knowledge (pa¥isankhæ ñæ¼a) 8. Equanimity to all formations knowledge (sa³khærupekkhæ ñæ¼a) 9. Conformity knowledge (anuloma ñæ¼a) 114

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One will have clear vision and insight of the sixth purification of Pa¥ipada ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi, that is purification by knowledge and vision of the path progress. 7th Visuddhi: Purification by knowledge and vision (ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) After that will be gotrabhu ñæ¼a that is the change of lineage from mundane to supramundane state, path knowledge (magga ñæ¼a) and fruition knowledge (phala ñæ¼a) of the first enlightenment (sotæpanna). This is followed by the reviewing knowledge (paccavekkhana ñæ¼a). The meditator reviews the path, fruition and Nibbæna. He will also review the defilements abandoned and the defilements remaining. As one goes on meditating, one will gain path and fruition of second enlightenment (sakadægæmø), path and fruition of third enlightenment (anægæmø) and finally path and fruition of arahanthood. How to achieve these seven visuddhis? The commentaries cited the discussion that took place between Særiputta Mahæthera and Venerable Pu¼¼a Mantæ¼iputta (son of the Brahmin lady Mantæ¼i). Særiputta Mahæthera was foremost in wisdom while Venerable Pu¼¼a was an arahant with four analytical knowledges. Whenever these two theras met, they always had Dhamma discussion. Særiputta Mahæthera asked the Mantæ¼iputta Mahæthera, ‘Why do you renounce the worldly life and join the Sangha order? Is it for Nibbæna?”. Mantæ¼iputta Mahæthera’s answer in brief is, “It is for the purification of virtue. The 115

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purpose of purification of virtue is for the purification of the mind. The purification of the mind is for purification of view and so on until the last visuddhi.” A simile is given here. King Pasenadi of Kosala had to travel from his palace in Sævatthø to Sæketa. The distance was about 70 km away. In those days, there were no cars. So the kings had to use stagecoach drawn by thoroughbred horses. If they used only one stagecoach for the whole stretch of the journey, then the horses would be exhausted and there would be delay on the way. So the journey was divided into seven relay stations. From his palace, the king took the first coach. After 10 km at the first stop, the king would change to the next stagecoach and continue his journey. At the next stop, the king would change to the next stagecoach again and so on. Using this method, the journey would be comfortable and not wasting any time. Conclusion When a meditator starts to practise, some are very enthusiastic to achieve Nibbæna straightaway. Nibbæna can be achieved if we go step by step. Even in worldly education, we cannot straightaway attend the final graduation class. We start with primary education, secondary and high school education and then college or university education. As the above simile stated, one should try to achieve purification of virtue, and after making sure that your virtue is perfectly pure, you strive for purification of mind. When you achieve purification of mind, you strive to obtain purification of view and so on. The commentaries stated that the meditators should make emphasis on step by step 116

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process for the seven purifications. By doing so, may the meditators reach their goal of Nibbæna, attaining cessation of all sufferings and ultimate permanent peace in the near future. Sædhu! Sædhu! Sædhu!

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Seven Stages of Purification (Visuddhi) and 16 Insight Wisdom (Vipassanæ ñæ¼a)
Purification 1. Purification of virtue or morality (Søla Visuddhi) 2. Purification of mind (Citta Visuddhi) 3. Purification of view (Di¥¥hi Visuddhi) 4. Purification by overcoming doubts (Ka³khæ vitara¼a visuddhi) 5.Purification by knowledge and vision of path and nonpath (Maggæmagga dassana ñæ¼a visuddhi) 6.Purification by knowledge and vision of the path progress (Pa¥ipadæ ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) Practice Observing precepts Temporary suppression of hindrances or mental defilements (nøvara¼as) 1. Distinguish between mind and matter knowledge (Næma-rþpa pariccheda ñæ¼a) 2. Distinguish between cause and effect knowledge (Paccaya pariggaha ñæ¼a)

3. Comprehension knowledge (Sammasana ñæ¼a) 4. Arising and passing away knowledge (Udayabbaya ñæ¼a) (tender phase) 4. Arising and passing away knowledge (Udayabbaya ñæ¼a) (mature phase) – has overcome 10 Vipassanþpakkilesas 5. Dissolution knowledge (Bha³ga ñæ¼a) 6. Fearfulness knowledge (Bhaya ñæ¼a) 7. Misery knowledge (Ædønava ñæ¼a) 8. Disenchantment knowledge (Nibbidæ ñæ¼a) 9. Aspire for deliverance knowledge (Muñcitu-kamyatæ ñæ¼a) 10. Reflective contemplation knowledge (Pa¥isankhæ ñæ¼a) 11.Equanimity to all formations knowledge (Sa³khærupekkhæ ñæ¼a) 12. Conformity knowledge (Anuloma ñæ¼a) <between 6 and 7 purification> 13. Change of lineage knowledge (Gotrabhu ñæ¼a) 7.Purification by knowledge 14. Path knowledge (Magga ñæ¼a) and vision 15. Fruition knowledge (Phala ñæ¼a) (Ñæ¼a dassana visuddhi) 16. Reviewing knowledge (Paccavekkhana ñæ¼a) Other higher paths and fruitions knowledge

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

Body /matter(Rþpa) -Earth (Pathavø) -Water (Æpo) -Fire (Tejo) -Wind (Væyo) Mind (Næma) -Feeling (Vedanæ) -Perception(Saññæ) -Mental formations (Sa³khæra) -Consciousness(Viññæ¼a)

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 Two:
Characteristics of Four Great Eements: 1. Earth (Pathavø): Hard, soft, rough, smooth, heavy, light 2. Water (Æpo) 3. Fire (Tejo) : Trickling (flowing), cohesion : Hot, warm, cold

4. Wind (Væyo) : Distension (supporting), motion 12 Æyatana (6 internal bases and corresponding 6 external objects) 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 Three: Summary of Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipa¥¥hæna)
(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) (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) (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)

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Lists of Donors 捐助者名单
We appreciate the kind generosity of the donors. May all beings share in the merits accrued through this publication. 我们赞赏信众的慷慨捐助。愿所有众生从出版此书和 CD的法施 中,分享功德。 The below fund is collected for publishing Sayadaw Dr. Sunanda’s books and CDs: 1. Questions and Answers – Series 3 book (English Version) -3000 copies 2. Questions and Answers – Series 3 book (Chinese Version) -3000 copies 3. Compilation of Dhamma Talks and Questions & Answers CD 2008-2009- Part 2 (English version) -1000cds 4. Compilation of Dhamma Talks and Questions & Answers CD 2008-2009- Part 2 by (Chinese version) -1000cds 5. Compilation of Dhamma Talks and Questions & Answers CD 2008-2009- Part 1 (English version) -reprint 1000cds RM1200 IMO of Mdm Tan Ah Swee RM1000 Anonymous RM500 Santisukharama (Kota Tinggi) Loh Chi Lan & friends IMO Mr Tan Ghim Kheng Lim Seok Cheng & Family RM400 IMO Vijaya Teoh Chin Song RM300 Pang Kar Liat Tan Wooi Min Tan Sing Mee RM200 Jhonny Chow & Family Wednesday Dana group Visakha Chow & Ananda Chow RM180 Wong Hong Kiat Ooi Siew Siam RM150 Lim Gaik Kee & Family RM110 BM Chanting group RM100 Loh Aik Hiang & IMO Lim Mee Hoon , Loo Si June,

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Lim Suat Har Wee Gim Hwa Ong Siang King Toh Mei Chern Lim Guat Im Green Family Ang Peck Hoon & Family Ang Chooi Hoe & Family Law Kwai Luan Wong Yin Kay Wong Zhi Hern Teoh Yih Min Teoh Hui Soo Teoh Seok Geem Foo Chin Feng Yee Pee Gow Kee Sor Lim , Darren Ho Shu Yi, Derrick Ho Shu Wei, Tiong Teck Meng, In Memory Of Kee Soy Meng, Ho Koon How, 123

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Lian Ah Siew, Koh Poh Nai, Koh Poh Chow, Low Leng Hong, Jin Seng Mini Market, Fong Lai Teng & Family, Ang Ah Ba & Family, Khor Peh Kee & Family, Tan Tho Kiah & Family , 黄荟芳合家, Chen Yoke Meng,吴芸萍, Goh Hoon Pheng, Cheah Kar Yoke, Goi Kim Tun Family,Heng Si Kik
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Chu Maw Ping Anny Tan Cheng Ley Sim Heah Gaik See Ong Siew Lean Cheow Mei Ling Seow Beng Lay Poon Moy Lim Mooi Hwa Ooi Phaik Geok Eng Fang Fang Leong Yuit Chan Tay Yoke Chew Luah Kim Heah Tan Siew Kew Saw Sai Ching Ch’ng Hooi Eng and family Chin Kah Cheng 124

Lim Boon Hoe, Lee Sok Pin, Lim Yang Zhong, Lim Kai Yu, Lim Cheng Feng, Kee Siew Lim, Tan Boee Kiang, Lim Ai Hwai., Yeoh Moor Ee, Yeoh Kheng Heang & Family, Lee Kuan Nye & Family ,Visittha, Yeoh Jia Wen, Yeoh Wei
Sheng RM18 Ng Soo Gaik Ang Lim Huang 无名氏

RM10 Eou Chin Hui Eou Chuan Ann Tan Leng Klow Tan Choo Keat Wong Kin Hoon Atlas Tiow Lim Siew Yong 巫金兰 Lam How Wei Kang Rou Xuan Ooi Mee Cheng IMO Ooi Sing Hong Char Guit Ee Tang Yik Kong & Family Tang Kar Weng & Family Tang Chong Hooi & Family 江蓮美 Koay Swan Sim Tao Ah Kim Law Yook Lin 卢茂荣 黄月娥 卢国彬 卢国安 卢愛玲 黄炳創 林玉兰 王秀堡 王文雅 林亚琼 Doreen 王文国 南 方 国际 贸 易 郑宇婷 陈育良 陈劲升 郑叔娟 王秀仪 王文俊 王秀慧 伍玉心 林亚凉 叶佩芬 Teoh Siew Phing 阿 B 阿福铁际 祭 黄月芳合家 黄月英合家 Cheng Lai Har Lee Bee Suan Ng Ah Lan Koay Peik Yong Tan Hooi Ming Ng Sian Hwa Fong Kah Leng Teoh Soo Koon Tan Lay See Chuah Boey Sim Chuah Boey Teen Low Bee Leng Gan Chee Meng Ng Gaik Khee Cheok Gaik Mei Cheok Gaik Kean Lee Teik Hsien Sim Kah Seng Ooi Swee Eng Kok Wei Khang IMO Lim Bak Leng IMO Ang Kim Leong IMO Ang Kim Poo IMO Ooi Siew Jong IMO Jan Weng Khim Whong Choon Boi IMO Ooi Kim Lean Wendy Khor Yen Ni Darren Wong Khor Weng Chia Poh Thin Khor Teik Khoon Lim Ai Sim Tan Si Lin Tan Meow Ling Tan Wae Seng Tan Xin Ling Chew Yan Lee James Wong Khor Heng IMO Tan Chin Heik Chong Thean Ler Chong Khang Lee Chong Zi Yang Antony How Chin Hup Adrian How Chin Lee Aaron How Chen Wei How Ah Tek Tang Su Tiang Goh Kok Kim Khor Shwu Wen Goh Rou Qian Khor Hang Phong Ong Bee Lian Goh Ah Eow Lim Siew Chu Goh Kok Seng Koid Li Chen 125

Questions and Answers – Series 3

Tiong Yee Fei, Tiong Yee Kee, Tiong Yee Sheng, Ho Soo Meei, Kua Jin Yuan,Siau Boon Chun, Kee Kok Boon, Kee Siew Kim, Cheng Lai Har, Wong Sioa Eng, Tan Kwee Kek, Hong Sew Cheok, Lim Hoe Hin, Ooi Poh Lan, Lim Yee Wei, Lim Liang Wen, Lim Liang Sheng , Anonymous Aye Simgi,Cheah Aik Kuan, Cheah Aik Tat,Shanse Cheah Jia Ting, Low Hooi Fern, Lau Hooi Cheng, Lau Hooi Choo Chong Ah Fong, Tan Ya Keat, Yeoh Kok Chye & Yeoh Sok Hoon, Vemala, Yew Thuan Heng, Chye Liu Song, Yew Tiam Seong, Yew Tiam Chee, Yew Tiam Ceong, Yew Tiam Lung, Yew Ker Ling, Yew Ker Ming, Yew Sin May 林淑清, Goh Jia Li, Goh Jia Tong, Goh Jia Ni, Cheah Yew Siang, Cheah Yew Tung, Cheah Yew Hung, 郑玉琼, 谢嘉燕, Wong Chee Ming, Leow Mooi Yong, 曾水清, Cheah Yik Tong, 曾香 麟 (已故), 谢国强 (已故), 刘泰培 (已故), 谢延堂 (已故), 許兰, 谢嘉玲, 伍华盛, 伍芳葶, 伍眉娟, 伍媚芬, 伍彣珮, 伍洁湄, 冯桂妹 Tan Kim Hong, Goh Ling Yu, Liew Yeing Lean, Yew Chen Kong, Ooi Geok Chuh, Yem Xing Zi, Yem Ming Fu, Yem Wan Ci, Yeoh Heng Wah, Kong Choo Oon, Tan Kim Wah, Kong Yi Leng, Kong Huann Hung, Tan Kim Lan, Lee Soo Chai, Lee Kai Jiat, Lee Kai Yee, Tan Hock Sim, Tan Kim Kee, Lau Yee Kuen, Lau Tark Thei, Lim Li Ming, Ang Lay Chin, Teoh Lai Teong, Ang Joo Seng, Goh Siew See Rm9.00 Seow Chin Ooi Tean Yan Khang Siew Mei Ooi Geok Hwa Boon Ah Hong Kang Siew Fang Ooi Tyan Lyeen Ong Choon Seng Ong Sing Pei Ong Sing Ying Ooi Soo Giap Ooi Siew Ling Lee Kui Phing Lim Ah Ya Ong Ah Chong Lim Chia Chong Lok Yan Yang Lim Shee Niv Lim Chin Tat Vee Siang Tat Lim Phei San Lee Shawn Lee Joe Ooi Soo Chuan Yeap Hong Lee Song Siew Hoon Ng Jooi Keng Ng Lee Peng Ng Lee Hwa Ng Lee Jye Ng Peng Jun Anna Chiam Cheah Boon Hoe Cheah Ah

126

Bong Cheah Aik Kuan Lim Ah Sim Cheah Aik Tat Shanese Cheah Jia ting Pan Ah Mai Oh Ke Hong Oh Aik Kim Chiam Cha Boh Lee Lin Fong Chiam Henry Chiam Emily Chiam Shu Chin Chiam Siew Huat (IMO) Ang Beng Chu Ooi Lai Kuan Ooi Chong Lim Ooi Chong Liong IMO Ng Soo Meng IMO Khor Gaik Nai IMO Teh Tiang Ching Ng Siew Keang Teh Chang Ooi Teh Hang Chuan Teh Hang Khim Teh Sze Thing Lim Sai Kee Khor Sock Lin IMO Tan Sock Eng Khor Meng Liang Grace Ang Wei Qian Randy Ang Zhao Ken Dennis Ang Zhao Cong Tan Stan Lee Neoh Ee Lim Tan Peng Hai Tan Joo Lee RM5 Thea Ah Heng Lee Chooi Beng Lim Ai Kim Lee Hooi Jo Lee Hooi Yein Lee Zhi Chean Lee Swee Chuan Lee Jing Ling Lee Ping Sheng Lee Cheng En Goh Hun Chong Lim Leong Twin Ong Ah Beng Ong Phaik Imm Tang Ah Moi Ong Hee Hai Ong Boon Teng Ong Chee Chuang Ong Sheau Chin Ng Ai Hoon Tan Hooi Song Tan Teow Hock 洪珮箖 Tao Wan Hin Tao Wan Han Tao Wan Pin Tao Chye Loon Saw Hean Suan and Family 洪慧香,郑联楠, 叶雪湘, 郑文霖, 郑文静, 郑伟康, 郑伟勤, 郑伟祥 RM3Regina Devi Suri

127

Questions and Answers – Series 3

*Sabba Dænam Dhammadænam Jinati*
*The Gift Of Dhamma Surpasses All Gifts* *一切布施中,以法施为最上*

May the merits be shared with all the departed ones and all sentient beings. May all beings rejoice in the merits of this Dhamma-dæna. 愿将这功德与我们的亲友和一切众生分享 愿一切众生欢喜这佛法布施的功德
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