To One That Feels
Luangpor Teean's Sati Meditation
Translated and Edited
Tavivat Puntarigvivat and Bhikkhu Nirodho
Luangpor Teean's "Sati Meditation" (also known as "Dynamic Meditation") takes its name from the Pali word "Sati" which means mindfulness. Mindfulness and awareness go hand in hand and "Sati" is the emphasis of this form of meditation introduced by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho (1911 – 1988) of Thailand. "Sati Meditation" is also named in memory of Luangpor Teean who, during his time, often said "Sati" to his disciples to remind them of mindfulness/awareness.
Sati Meditation is characterized as "dynamic" in contrast to the more conventional techniques of "static" meditation. Sati meditation incorporates rhythmic bodily movements as a way to stimulate and develop mindfulness/awareness. This practice is regarded as a way through which the body and the mind are harmonized. This harmony is the first step to "seeing" thought and is the foundation of the path towards enlightenment.
Luangpor Teean often told practitioners that it is very important in meditation not to suppress thought. Otherwise, though we might find some happiness, we will be unable to see the nature of thought. Thought is the root of greed, anger, and delusion -- the three defilements of a human being. In order to overcome greed, anger, and delusion, Luangpor Teean suggested that we cannot simply restrain them by keeping precepts or an established discipline, nor can we suppress them by maintaining calmness through some form of (non-vipassana) meditation based on concentration. Though these activities are useful to some extent, we need to go to the root of the defilements. He taught that we should let thought flow freely and let awareness see (vipassana) thought and break through the chain of thought and go against the stream of thought. In order to do that, we should properly set up the mind and strengthen mindfulness/awareness through rhythmic bodily movements, one movement at a time. If one persists in this practice, wisdom will arise in an orderly process, level by level. These levels in Sati Meditation are a series of experiences by which the mind progresses step by step towards the end of suffering. Luangpor Teean discovered these experiences which now serve as guideposts for the practitioners of Sati Meditation.
Buddhist Association of the United States (BAUS) located in Carmel, New York, has been sponsoring Luangpor Teean's Sati Meditation since 1989. This form of meditation was introduced to BAUS by Dr. Tavivat Puntarigvivat. While working on his Ph.D. degree in the U.S., Tavivat was also dedicated in presenting Sati Meditation to the general public. In 1992, he initiated the program of inviting Sati Meditation masters from Thailand to the BAUS. So far, the BAUS has invited Reverend Khamkhian, Reverend Thong, Reverend Dha, Reverend Maha-Direk and Achan Khemananda. Most of them have already been invited to the monastery twice. They stay in the monastery for a period of about 3 to 4 months to lead meditation retreats.
The story is told as follows. After Siddhartha had eaten the bowlful of food offered by Sujata, he stood by the river's edge and made the following vow: "If l am to be liberated from all harmful and deceptive mental things and to become fully Awakened, may this bowl float back against the current." When he placed the bowl in the river, it floated against the current, all the way back to the origin of the flow of water.
The meaning of this: the practice that led to the arising of the Buddha was the going against the stream of thought all the way to its origin, the source of thought, and it was there that Awakening occurred.
Luangpor Teean (CE 1911 – 1988) was one of the most remarkable teachers of Buddhist practice to appear in Asia in modern times. His teaching issued very directly from his own experience, intensely personal and original, and in translating the talks collected here from Thai into English we have attempted to achieve the highest fidelity to the original, preserving the talks' style, rhythms, verve and profundity, together with their occasional peculiarities of expression.
Our overriding concern to present as far as possible an exact English equivalent of Luangpor Teean's Thai talks has resulted in a text liberally sprinkled with technical terms. With the exceptions of the Thai words roop, nahm and phra, all the technical terms are given in their Pali forms, and each is translated (in parenthesis) at least once in every chapter (except the final chapter). A glossary of Pali terms has been provided to further facilitate the work of understanding.
For their help in the production of this book we would like to thank the following: Richard Baksa, who typed the first draft of this revised edition of To One That Feels onto computer disk; Nancy Steckel, who designed the cover; Olarn Pinkaew, who provided the rope illustrations; the Buddhist Association of the United States and Kongsak Tanphaichitr M.D., in affiliation with Phra Sunthorn Plamintr, president of the Buddhadharma Meditation Center, who contributed the funds for printing this book; and Ed Stauffer, of COMSET Ltd. Bangkok, whose generosity in donating time, materials and his typesetting and design skills has been invaluable.
Bhikkhu Nirodho Tavivat Puntarigvivat
Thailand Bristol, Pennsylvania
July BE 2536 (1993)
This book is not concerned with words, but with the practice at yourself: the fruit that is received, you receive it at yourself. This method is therefore the most direct and easiest. It is to watch the mind at the moment it thinks, to know the deception in the actual moment, and to resolve it there. It isn't that knowing the thought we evaluate it, because doing so is delusion (anger and greed as well). When we can cut here, there is sati-samadhi-panna complete at this moment.
Practitioners who tried the practice, both Thai and non-Thai, especially Singaporeans, have given donations towards the printing of this book, which is being published for those who have never tried the practice. The practice described in this book is of such value to be priceless, just as the life of humans has no price and cannot be bought or sold.
1 February BE 2527 (1984)
IT RAINS HARD ON A COVERED THING
IT RAINS HARD ON A COVERED THING
IT RAINS NOT HARD ON AN OPEN THING
Today we shall talk about how to end dukkha (suffering) according to Buddhism. The Buddha taught that each of us could come to the very important point of the cessation of dukkha. So I shall talk about a simple and direct method of practice according to my own experience. I can assure you that this method can really release you from dukkha.
When we talk about a method to end dukkha, the words are one thing and the practice is quite another. The method of practice is a method of developing sati (awareness) in all positions: standing, walking, sitting and lying. This practice has frequently been called satipatthana (the grounds of awareness), but whatever you call it the point is to be aware of yourself. If you are aware of yourself, then moha (delusion) will disappear. You should develop awareness of yourself by being aware of all your bodily movements, such as turning your hands, raising and lowering your forearms, walking forward and back, turning and nodding your head, blinking your eyes, opening your mouth, inhaling, exhaling, swallowing saliva, and so on. You must be aware of all of these movements, and this awareness is called sati. When you have awareness of yourself, the unawareness, which is called moha, or delusion, will disappear.
To be aware of the movements of the body is to develop sati. You should try to develop this awareness in every movement. When you are fully aware of yourself, there arises a certain kind of panna (knowing) in the mind that knows reality as it is. To see yourself as you are, to see Dhamma (actuality; the way things are; the truth of nature, of existence). To see Dhamma isn't to see deities, hell or heaven, but to see oneself turning the hands, raising and lowering the forearms, walking forwards and back, turning and nodding the head, blinking the eyes, opening the mouth, inhaling, exhaling, swallowing saliva, and so on. This roop-nahm. Roop is body, nahm is mind. Body and mind are dependent upon each other. What we can see is roop, and the mind that thinks is nahm. When we know roop-nahm, we know reality as it is. When you see with the eyes, you should be aware of it. When you see with the mind, you should also be aware of it.
Dhamma is yourself, everyone is Dhamma, whether male or female, Thai, Chinese, or Westerner, each is Dhamma. The practice is with us, and the Teaching of the Buddha can really lead us to the extinguishing of dukkha. Individuals are Dhamma, Dhamma is the individual. When we know Dhamma, we will understand that everything is not as we think it is. Everything is sammuti (supposition). This is the panna that arises so that the real Teaching of the Buddha can be realized. Whether the Buddha existed or not, Dhamma is there. When you really see this you will be beyond your superstitions, once you that Dhamma is yourself; it is you that lead your own life, not anything else. This is the beginning of the end of dukkha.
Next we try to develop sati in all our movements in daily life. For example, when we make a fist or open it, we are aware of it. And when we are aware of all our movements, then not knowing, or moha, disappears by itself. When there is awareness of our self, there is no delusion. It is like pouring water into a glass. As we pour the water in, it displaces the air; and when we have filled the glass with water, all the air has gone. If we then pour the water out, air instantly goes back into the glass. Just so when there is moha, sati and panna cannot enter. But when we practice the developing of sati, doing awareness of ourselves, this awareness displaces moha. When there is sati, moha cannot arise. Actually there is no dosa – moha – lobha (anger – delusion – greed). Why not? As you are listening to me talking, how is your mind? Your listening mind is natural, and free from dosa – moha – lobha.
Now we come to know sasana ("religion"), Buddhasasana ("Buddhism"), papa ("sin"), and punna ("merit"). Papa is stupidity, punna is cleverness or knowingness: when you know, you can relinquish. Sasana is the individual, and Buddhasasana is the satipanna (awareness-knowing) that enters and knows the mind. The word "Buddha" means one that knows. In developing sati in all our movements we develop total awareness in the whole body. When thought arises we see it, know it and understand it. But in the case of common people, they are part of that thought, so they cannot see the thought. Suppose that we are in a mosquito net, which is inside a room of a house. We must first come out of the room and the house to see that we were also inside them. Thought is the same. We cannot see it if we a part of it. We must come out of it in order to see it clearly. When we see it, thought stops.
It is just like bringing a cat into our house to get rid of the rats that are disturbing us. Cats and rats are enemies by nature. At first the cat may be very small and very weak, while the rats are large and full of energy. So if the cat pounces on a rat, it is dragged along as the rat runs away, and, after holding on for a while, it must let go. We cannot blame the cat, but we must feed it. We feed the cat often, and soon it is very energetic and very strong. Then, when the rats come, the cat can get them. When the rats are caught they die of shock at once, before the cat eats them. Thought is the same. If we develop sati, then when thought arises we become aware of it, and it stops. The thought does not continue, because we are aware of it. It disappears because we have sati, samadhi (setting up the mind; steadiness of mind) and panna all together at that moment. Sati, or awareness, means to be alert like a cat watching for rats. When thought arises we do not have to be a part of it. It will arise and disappear by itself. When there is sati, there is no moha. When there is no moha there is no dosa – moha – lobha. This is called nahm-roop; nahm thinks, and we know the deception, we know it in time, we know the protection, we know the cure: just this is sati.
Sila ("keeping moral precepts") is normality. Sila is the result of a normal mind. This is the same as sati – samadhi – panna. The method to develop the total awareness that can end dukkha, as I understand it, and as I believe the Buddha taught, is to practice in our daily life. So we need not sit cross-legged with eyes closed. If we sit like that we cannot work. If a thief comes, he will succeed in robbing us, so we should open our eyes, and then we can work at any kind of work and all the time we can practice the developing of sati. Whether we are students, teachers, parents, sons, daughters, policemen, soldiers or government officials, all of us can fulfill our responsibilities while practicing developing sati. Everybody can do their duty practicing developing sati. How? Since we do not sit with eyes closed, we can go on with our duties and see our mind at the same time.
The mind has no real self. As soon as it thinks, we see it, we know it, we understand it. To develop sati is to shake the knowing element of a person. Everybody has the reality in their own mind, but if we cannot see it we do not understand it, but it is still there. Now if we look we see it. When we see like this, it is called seeing Dhamma. Seeing this kind of Dhamma can get rid of dosa – moha – lobha.
Magga (the noble path) is the way of practice leading to the cessation of dukkha. The way of practice is to be aware of thought. Our body works according to our duties and responsibilities, but our mind must see thought. Dukkha arises and, because we do not see it, it conquers and enslaves us, it sits on our head and slaps our face, but if we can see it, know it and understand it, then it cannot defeat us. Dukkha is like a leech that attaches itself to us and sucks our blood. If we try to pull it off it is stubborn, it resists, and we hurt ourselves more. But if we are clever we simply use water mixed with tobacco leaf and lime, and squeeze the water onto the leech. The leech is afraid, and drops off by itself. So we don't have to tear it out, or to force it, in order to get rid of it. This is the same. Those who don't know try to stop dosa – moha – lobha, they try to fight and suppress it, but one that knows just has sati to watch the mind and see thought.
It is like turning on an electric lamp. A person who does not know about electricity will try at the bulb instead of the switch, so the lamp does not light. But someone that knows about electricity knows how to use the switch, and the lamp lights up. Dosa – moha – lobha is like an electric lamp, the thought is like the switch. The thought is the cause of this derangement. If we want to eliminate the derangement, we come to the thought. When we have sati watching thought, dosa – moha – lobha cannot arise. Actually, there is no moha, no lobha and no dosa. We touch the switch here in order to have light there. We develop sati here in order to end all dukkha. Dukkha arises from moha. When we have sati there is no moha and so no dukkha. When we move our hands we feel, and the awareness of this feeling is sati and when we have sati we are separate from thought and can see thought.
You should not pay so much attention to the movement, but use sati to watch conceptual thought. Just passively see the thought; do not "stare" at it. When thought arises, let it pass away. Actually there is no moha. Moha arises when we are not aware. It is like when we build a new house, there are no rats, but when we fill the house with things the rats come. Sometimes, when people criticize or blame us, we feel disappointment; in this practice, awareness of the disappointment will arise at the same time, like the cat catching a rat. When we can maintain our mind in this way, dosa – moha – lobha cannot arise. When thought, suffering, or confusion arise, do not try to stop it, but observe it, and we will understand its nature. As soon as thought arises, sweep it away immediately and come to be with the awareness: thoughts, suffering, confused mind, they will go by themselves.
Any time that thought arises we know it, even while sleeping. When we move our body while sleeping we also know it. This is because our awareness is complete. When we see thought all the time, no matter what it thinks, we conquer it every time. Those that can see thought are near the current to nibbana (extinction of dukkha). Then we will come to a point where something inside will arise suddenly. If the thought is quick, panna will also be quick. If the thought or emotion is very deep, panna will also be deep. And if these two things are equally deep and collide, then there is the sudden breaking-out of a state that is latent in everybody. With this occurrence the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are detached from sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and mental objects. It is like uncoupling the drive mechanism of car. When the parts become independent of each other, the car, although it still exists, can no longer be driven.
When this state occurs we do not die. We can still work according to our duties. We can eat, drink and sleep. But now, by the law of nature everything is void, and this is the unchangeable law. Suppose there is a rope drawn tightly between two posts, and we cut it in the middle, so that the rope falls apart. If we want to tie it together again, we cannot. If we untie it from a post to tie it in the middle, then we cannot tie it to the post again. This is like the six senses of one that realizes their original nature. When their eyes make contact with an object there is no attachment, just as a screw that is stripped, without threads, cannot become attached.
All of the Buddha's Teaching aims to put an end to dukkha. If we do not understand this we will be in doubt about his Teaching, and speculation about rebirth, heaven, hell, and so on, speculation that should be ignored, will plague our mind. The Teaching of Buddha is timeless, and is not limited by language, race, nationality, or religion. According to the Satipatthana-sutta, if you practice satipatthana continuously, like a chain – that is, to develop sati at all moments – then arahatta (extinction of dukkha), or the attainment of the anagami ("non-returner"), can be expected within seven years, or in as short a time as seven month or even seven days. If you develop sati according to the method I have explained, and have sati continuously like a chain, then in at most three years dukkha will be diminished by sixty percent, and in some cases completely eliminated. Some may achieve this in as little as one year or even ninety days. There is no gladness or sorrow, contentment or discontent. This way to the cessation of dukkha is an easy way. It is difficult because we do not really know. Therefore we have doubt and lack of confidence.
When we are confident in every step of practice, it is not so difficult. You can practice it anywhere, but you should really know the practice. If you can assure yourself, then you have a refuge in yourself. Religion means this refuge. If you study books for many years, it will still be theory. But if you really practice, it will not take you so long, and you will know it much better than the theorists. In the Pali texts there are two important mental capacities: the first is sati, calling to mind, and the second sampajanna, awareness of oneself. When you are aware of the movements of your hand, you have both sati and sampajanna. The fruit from doing this is very great: it is incalculable. You cannot buy non-suffering, but must practice by yourself, until it arises by itself, because it is already there.
Making merit and keeping precepts are like unhusked rice, which is inedible, but useful because we can use it to grow next year's crop. Making ourself calm is like husked but uncooked rice, and is still inedible. There are two kinds of calmness. The first is samatha (concentration; one pointedness) calmness, the second vipassana (seeing the true nature of personal existence) calmness. In doing samatha meditation you must sit still, close your eyes, and watch your inhalations and exhalations. When the breathing becomes very subtle, sometimes you are not conscious of the breath, and you feel very calm; but the dosa – moha – lobha cannot be eliminated, because there is still not-knowing, and you are not aware of thought. But vipassana meditation can get rid of dosa – moha – lobha, and this kind of calmness can be experienced anywhere and at any time. So we do not have to sit with eyes and ears closed. Our eyes can see, our ears can listen, but when thought arises we see it. This kind of calmness is latent in everybody.
Our mind is originally clean, illuminated and calm. That which is not clean, illuminated and calm is not our mind. It is kilesa (defilement). We try to conquer this kilesa, but in actuality there is no kilesa at all. So how can we conquer it? The only thing that we can do is just to see original mind clearly, to encounter the thought clearly. When we see the mind clearly, there is no moha.
The word "clean" indicates the mind's natural state, not stained or covered by anything. We have satipanna penetrate into the mind and see it, knowing it to be stable and unaffected by anything. This is the cleanness of the mind. The illumination of the mind is like having a bright light that allows us to go in safety wherever we may go. In this radiance we see our life-mind all the time, every minute, every second, every instant. This is the illumination of the mind. "Calm" means cessation, the cessation of dosa – moha – lobha, of all agitation and difficulty; the cessation, too, of seeking any method or system. We need no longer look for a teacher because we really know, for and by and in ourself. When we really know the mind, we know it to be clean, illuminated and calm at all times.
When we know the mind, we know how dukkha arises and how dukkha ceases. We know thought every time it thinks. We are even aware of our heartbeat. And whatever our movements are, we know them. We know by watching naturally, without strain or tension. The knowing is very quick: it is quicker than lightning, quicker than electricity, quicker than anything. The knowing is the same as panna, the same as satipanna; sati and samadhi and panna, they are all the same. The panna really knows everything. Even when the slightest sound occurs, we know it. The wind touches our skin, we know it. Thought arising in any manner, we know it. When the thought is deep, the panna is also quick. However quickly thought arises, the panna knows the thought.
This is called paticcasamuppada (dependent co-arising). When there is no avijja (not-knowing), the structure that gives rise to dukkha is broken, because the knowing is there. You may have heard that the Buddha cut his hair just once and it never grew again. This is a riddle. When hair is cut, it cannot attach itself again. This is analogous to cutting off avijja so that it cannot arise again. This is the inviolable law of nature, just like the rope that, stretched between two posts, cannot be tied once it has been cut. When we see this point, we know that it is latent within each person. Then why is it so difficult? It is not difficult, but it is also not easy. It is difficult and it is easy.
There is a saying in northeastern Thailand, "the poor are rich, the rich suffer." Why suffer? Why poor? The rich are rich in money alone, but poor in not seeing their own nature. The poor are rich with law of nature. Money cannot bring anybody to this point. Every person has the same ability to reach this point, because everybody has it. It does not mater whether we are woman or man, Thai, Chinese or Westerner, and it is not dependent on religious belief. We all have the same original mind. This is the law of nature, just as everybody is composed of the same four elements. I can assure you that each and every person can practice, but you must have a sincere mind.
I believe the saying that Dhamma existed before the arising of the Buddha. The Buddha was the first one to discover it. Before the Buddha, Dhamma was concealed. The Buddha only uncovered Dhamma. This true nature exists in every person. When you stand up, this nature stands up with you. When you sit, it also sits. When you sleep, it sleeps along with you. When you go to the toilet, it accompanies you to the toilet. It goes everywhere with you, so you can practice everywhere. So you should know how to practice: you should know how to see thought. When you know the source of thought, this is a very important point. From this point the way will reveal itself.
When we have the right view and the right path, then certainly we will reach the goal. In listening to a Dhamma talk, in giving charity, in keeping precepts, in practicing samatha meditation or even vipassana meditation, if we do not reach this goal they are good only in a worldly sense, but not in the real sense. If we do not give charity or keep precepts or practice meditation, and still reach this point, then everything is done, like the sky covering the earth: it covers everything. So the eighty-four thousand discourses in the Tipitaka, the Pali Canon, which is the whole Teaching of the Buddha, are included in this point. If you study the entire Tipitaka, you should come to this point. If you finish the entire Tipitaka but have not come to this point, then you still have doubts, and therefore dukkha.
Now we do not have to learn any Sutta (the discourses of the Buddha), Vinaya (the code of monastic discipline) or Abhidhamma (the systematic analysis of the teaching found in the Suttas), which together comprise the Tipitaka, but we have to come to an awareness of this point. When we reach this point, we will know the whole of the Tipitaka. Once the Buddha, walking in front of the forest with a number of monks, grasped some dried leaves and asked those monks: "The leaves in the forest or the leaves in my hand, when compared which are more?" The monks answered: "The leaves in the whole forest are much more than the leaves in your hand, venerable sir." The Buddha then said: "Dhamma that I know is great, like the leaves in the whole forest, but Dhamma that I teach you is like a handful of leaves." Please understand the meaning: the Buddha teaches only dukkha and its extinction, nothing else. Studying texts, giving charity, keeping precepts, practicing samatha meditation or vipassana meditation should bring us to this point, otherwise they are useless. When we reach this point, everything is done.
SO OPEN UP THE COVERED THING
Because every person has doubts in seeking the method to be free from confusion, today I will talk about the method and about the practices that I developed previously.
Formerly, I learned many kinds of kammatthana (meditation; lit. working ground), such as inhale – "Budh", exhale – "dho", and sitting cross-legged with eyes closed, all sorts of methods like that. I learned internal recitation of "samma araham". And I practiced the method of the rising and falling of the abdomen: this is also a method of inhalation and exhalation. And then I came to the method of breath counting, yet another practice of inhalation and exhalation. Then I came to practice anapanasati (awareness of in- and out-breaths), knowing the short inhalation and the short exhalation and also knowing the long inhalation and the long exhalation. These kinds of methods that I practiced, I didn't have any insight. These kinds of methods lead to calmness, but it was a different kind of calmness that I was seeking.
Most people are seeking calmness, but the sitting calmness is the calmness that is not calm. So I continued my seeking to encounter the truth. Truth is the reality that is latent in everybody, regardless of nationality, language or uniform. What is latent in everybody is what I was seeking, until I found it and could see it clearly, could understand it clearly: that is the real calmness.
There are two kinds of calmness. The calmness that is not-knowing needs to sit quietly and to sit alone. That is not real calmness. The calmness that I am going to tell you about today is the calmness that we don't have to seek. Why don't we have to seek it? Because we know the end of dukkha (suffering). This is called calmness. And we don't have to learn from anyone else anymore. Now, everybody, please listen carefully.
First, the method that led me to find real calmness. Without paying any special attention to any point, I just do the movement, and just have sati (awareness) knowing all postures and all movements, such as standing, walking, sitting, lying, bending, stretching, and all the movements. When I have practiced in this way, and have awareness of all my movements, panna (knowing) arises within myself. Aware of myself, not others, I know roop (body), I know nahm (mind), I know the disease of roop, I know the disease of nahm.
There are two kinds of roop- disease – nahm-disease. Disease in the body, such as headache or stomachache, with this kind of disease we have to go to the hospital to see the doctor. The doctor will check the body and the cause of the disease, and, knowing the nature of the disease, can apply the medicine that cures it. Then we recover. Another kind of disease is when the mind thinks and we are content or discontent, glad or sad. This kind of disease cannot be cured by the doctor in the hospital, but you have to study yourself until you know the source of thought. To cure this kind of disease you have to study yourself until you really know.
When I know the source of thought, I have found calmness, but only a small amount of calmness arises. The real calmness is when we can cease to seek, when we don't have to run around to find anyone else: that is called calmness.
I continue to do more awareness of myself, panna rises, and I know dukkham – aniccam – anatta (suffering – impermanence – not self), and I know sammuti (supposition). Whatever supposition exists in the world, know it completely, know it to the end, know it to the whole, and know everything that is in the world. What supposition is is called sammuti-pannatti (convention of supposing), paramattha-pannatti (convention of the touchable), attha-pannatti (the deep meaning of the Dhamma) and ariya-pannatti (agreement between those that have become Dhamma). We have to really know these four conventions completely, really know them to the end, and really know them to the whole.
After I know sammuti completely, I know sasana ("religion"), I know papa ("sin"), I know punna ("merit"), I really know these things. Usually we attach to sammuti, such as we attach to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islam. These things are only sammuti. The real religion is everyone. Buddhasasana ("Buddhism") is satipanna (awareness-knowing), which is in everybody. I can assure you on this point. When I know myself, I know everyone is like myself, because everyone can know.
Now I will talk more about papa. Papa is when one doesn't know oneself. The most papa in the world is any person who doesn't know her- or himself. Punna is somebody that is self-aware. If you are aware of yourself you are one that has punna, and are capable of really making yourself a noble individual (ariyapuggala) – this is called calmness. To be aware of oneself doesn't mean that we are aware that we are male or female, we are Mr. A or Mr. B, but to be aware of oneself is to have sati in every moment. Whatever movement the body makes, we are aware of it. Whatever the mind thinks, we are aware of it.
This awareness really arises from the law of nature. When thought arises we see it, know it and understand it. When we see it, thought stops by itself. When thought stops, panna arises, and we know the source of dosa – moha – lobha (anger – delusion – greed), we know that dosa – moha – lobha is not in ourself. Whenever we cannot see our own life, cannot see our own mind, in that moment we are unaware of ourself, we forget ourself. When we are unaware of ourself, dosa – moha – lobha arises. When it arises we suffer. Everybody hates dukkha, but we don't know dukkha – so we seek calmness.
Therefore we cannot have calmness just by sitting. That is not the way to calmness. The calmness that I mean is the calmness of freedom from dosa, freedom from moha, freedom from lobha, and this kind of calmness is in everybody without exception. Knowing this, I can guarantee that every person can attain this calmness. Whatever nationality, language or religion, whether you are a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Muslim or whatever religion, you can learn yourself, because everyone has body-mind. All of you sitting here now and listening to my talk, the mind of everyone is like this. Our life-mind is already clean, illuminated and calm, but when we say that the mind is clean, illuminated and calm, we just imitate the words of others, we don't really see it. When we really see it, we will be able to guarantee that it is already there in everybody and that anybody, if they really practice, they must know it, they must see it, and they must have it.
When we know it and see it, we can guarantee that this teaching can apply to everybody in any social class and of any age. A millionaire can practice; somebody who doesn't even have one coin can practice. An educated person with many degrees can practice; the illiterate can also practice. I can really guarantee this point, but we have to know the correct method, and see into our mind.
Now, all of you listening to my talk, just look into your own mind, and you will know the characteristic of the mind. Here is a parallel. The seed of any kind of fruit, if we plant it in well-watered soil, under good conditions, it will have issue. And ordinary rice or sticky rice or whatever kind of grain we plant, it too will have issue and grow up. This is like every person. If you listen, and understand it, and bring it into practice, you will know. When we don't know and we don't understand, it is like the thin grain, or the husk without any grain inside: when we plant it in the paddy field it has no shoot, it doesn't grow up. This is the same as when people who come to teach don't really know themselves; they teach others, so other people do not know.
I will raise another parallel. Suppose that during daytime the sunlight is dull, but actually the sun is always bright. Our mind is like the sun, it is clean, illuminated and calm, like the sun all the time. But whenever we lose our way from the source of our life-mind, we will not see where Buddha is, we will not know where Buddhism is, and we will not see where calmness is. When we don't know, we seek teachers, but that is for somebody who doesn't know.
If you want to have calmness, or Buddha, you don't have to do many things. Just come to see the source of you own life. When thought arises, don't enter into the thought, but cut away the thought and come out of the thought immediately. Do it like the cat and rat. When the rat emerges, the cat pounces upon it immediately. The thought is the same. When it thinks, sati or panna will know immediately: thought is stopped. Do it often in this manner. Or it is like boxers. When we face the fighter we have to fight, we punch to the eyes. The fighter will not be able to fight us. Dosa – moha – lobha is the same. When we come to this point, Buddha will arise within ourself.
Buddha is the mind that is clean, the mind that is illuminated, and the mind that is calm. Each of us, we are not angry for twenty-four hours, we are not greedy for twenty-four hours, but only moha, we do not know it. When we come to know this point, we will know more and more. Panna will arise and arise. It is like pouring water into a bottle. The water in the bottle will come up to the brim. When it is full to the brim, we cannot put anything in it. Sati – samadhi – panna (awareness – setting up the mind – knowing) is the same thing. This can be called calmness in Buddhism, or it can be calmness in Christianity, or we can call it whatever we like.
Truth is in everybody. When one knows it, one can live in the world without any dukkha, one can do any work without dukkha. Whether one is a teacher or merchant or parent or worker, only when one knows the method of practice, when one comes to the end it will decrease by itself. It is like a leech attached to our skin. We don't have to force, to tear it out, but just bring some lime and tobacco-leaf mixed with water, squeeze it onto the leech, and the leech will detach by itself. When we come to know this point we will have no doubt, and we don't need to seek any more teachers. We will know that the end of dukkha is here.
Today I have talked about truth, appropriate to the time. I will finish talking now. Anyone that has any questions, feel free to ask.
AUDIENCE: Why are people neurotic?
LUANGPOR: Because we think a lot and we never see thought. We only see outside ourself: that this person is rich, that person poor, this person beautiful, that person not beautiful; somebody who has a car only sees their car, somebody who has jewels only sees jewels, somebody with a watch only sees their watch. They never see their own life, their own mind; this is moha (delusion). To see our own mind clearly, without trying to do anything with or about it, simply seeing it and letting it go, this is the way to freedom from dukkha, freedom from all neurosis.
So we should develop sati. "Develop" means to make much of it. As sati grows, its ability to penetrate into and reveal the mind also grows. If we only practice keeping the precepts or doing calmness meditation, it is still not safe. It is like lighting a candle in a dark cave. The darkness shrinks a little but is still there with us, we are still in the dark, and when the candle goes out the darkness immediately covers everything again. So we should emerge from the cave by having sati all the time, in every movement. This is an easy method. Anyone can do it, and it can be practiced everywhere.
AUDIENCE: When we see thought and the source of thought, will suffering and all kinds of tension end or not?
LUANGPOR: Not end yet, because we only know it but we still do not do anything with it. We only know and see thought, we only know the source of thought, but sometimes we lose the way of it. For example, each day we may know it ten times, but the not-knowing is more. So it is not the end. But it is the beginning of destroying moha in the source of thought.
AUDIENCE: I would like to ask, during Luangpor's practice, before coming to the end, was there any point where you had doubt arising, and was there any sign that released you from the doubt whether there was any more moha or not?
LUANGPOR: It has a sign, but not a physical sign. The sign is that you see yourself and you have no moha. It is as if an overturned bowl had been set aright. Or it is like uncovering something that has been covered over and hidden. Only anyone that comes to this point will know it, and will immediately have no doubt. We don't have to talk about dosa – moha – lobha, because it is quite common, it is a shallow matter. When we talk about seeing thought, most people know thought but they do not see thought. When we know thought, thought will still continue, and we lose our way in the continuity of thought, we have moha in thought, then dosa – moha – lobha comes at this point. So this is why a person who knows thought still has dosa – moha – lobha.
AUDIENCE: In seeing the thought, does the mind talk inside?
LUANGPOR: No, not the mind talking inside. When we see it, it is detached. It is like the leech. When we know thought it is like trying to pull the leech out of the skin. But when we really see it, we don't have to force the leech, but only put tobacco-leaf and lime mixed with water onto the leech, and the leech will detach by itself. So if we really know, we don't have to listen to anybody. It is like we are sitting here now, we don't have any dosa or lobha, and we only have moha, because we do not see our life. When we see and know our own life all the time, dosa – moha – lobha cannot arise. So our mind is clean, our life is not dirty; there is no external sign, people cannot see, but we know and see ourself.
AUDIENCE: Luangpor says that when we see thought, thought will stop immediately. I am not sure about this. If it is true I would like to ask, when we see thought and thought stops, do we know what the next thought is?
LUANGPOR: Don't pay attention to the next thought. Only see the thought: it will stop by itself. Don't pay attention to where the thought comes from. When we see it, dosa – moha – lobha cannot arise.
AUDIENCE: Luangpor teaches to see thought. Who is the one seeing the thought?
LUANGPOR: Don't seek the subject, and we will see that one is the refuge of oneself. And that is the real refuge. We can either say the person knows, or we can say that satipanna knows, whatever we may say, because there is no self that we can catch and take a look at. Because to see and to know are two different things. To know is entering into thought, and thought continues.
AUDIENCE: I have listened to Luangpor, and have the feeling that thoughts, and emotions like gladness and sadness, are something external. They are like rice and curry, which we can make use of, we can eat them, and we can see them. But when these things arise in us, we cannot see them, either thoughts or emotions. This is not a question, but I would like Luangpor to make it clear.
LUANGPOR: To see thought is one thing, to know thought is another thing. When we see thought, we can detach from thought. When we know thought, we still attach to thought. So knowing thought is the knowledge that belongs to avijja (not-knowing), the knowledge of a person who has no panna. But with the knowledge of one that has panna, to know and to see can be separated. It is vijja (knowing) or panna. Panna and vijja will separate thought apart, and that is the end of dukkha. So one that has panna knows like this. But I can assure you that all of you here can do it. Please try it yourself. Just to listen you cannot know it. It is only memorizing. If we practice it, we will come to see clearly, to know really. This is our own knowledge, so it is called Buddho, which means to see, or to detach.
AUDIENCE: When we know truth, and we know it clearly, is there any guarantee that, after knowing the knowledge will not disappear again? When we know, do we know for good, or can it disappear?
LUANGPOR: It is something inside us. It does not disappear. Suppose we know our eyes. We have our eyes all the time. This is the symbol that everyone has it and can teach it to others. I can assure you that all of you here, practicing this method, will not take longer than three years to know.
AUDIENCE: Luangpor, would you please give a blessing to all those here.
LUANGPOR: When a monk gives people the moral precepts and a blessing, that is one kind of goodness, but the real morality and real blessing is alertness and awareness of yourself. Please, each of you, practice the awareness wherever you are, at home or the office, in all movements, and that will become the real morality, the real blessing. The real morality, the real blessing will occur when you know, you see and you understand by yourself, and when you respect yourself.
THEN IT WILL NOT RAIN HARD ON THAT
Today is an important day, that we gather to listen to my talk on truth. What I am going to talk about is what I experienced. I have practiced it, and the result it has given me is that I have no doubts. All of you here want no dukkha (suffering), like myself I suppose. In reality, in actuality, there is no dukkha; we suffer only because we don't know it. All of you listening to my talk right now have no dosa (anger), no lobha (greed), and no moha (delusion). The origin of the mind of human beings in every nation and of every language is as such. Please set up the mind to listen, and bring it into practice.
First of all, we have to practice awareness. Most people do not understand, so they try to find calmness, but without success. I did that also. I sought calmness, but I didn't know where calmness was. Now I would like to talk about another kind of calmness. The calmness of freedom from not-knowing, because we know and because we are alert. The calmness of freedom from uncalm, of freedom from doubt, because when we practice the correct method of awareness we will know the supposition of everything there is in the world, because the awareness of ourself will bring panna (knowing).
There are four kinds of panna: knowing by memorizing, knowing by recognizing, clearly knowing and really knowing. And all these panna are in every person. Sacca means truth. There are four levels of knowing Dhamma: to know sammuti-sacca (conventional truth), paramattha-sacca (directly-contacted truth), attha-sacca (the deep truth) and ariya-sacca (the fundamentally transforming truth). And this can make anybody become a noble individual, regardless of social class or language. The first step is sotapanna, the second step sakadagami, the third step anagami, and the fourth step arahat (the four stages in the change from being hopelessly deceived to fully freed).
Now in the beginning stage of practice, we know vatthu (thingness), we know paramattha (mind touchable), we know akara (changingess). The mind will change to be ariya (noble), because we have clearly seen the source of dosa – moha – lobha (anger – delusion – greed) and then clearly known the source of vedana – sanna – sankhara – vinnana (feeling – percept – conceiving – knowingness). This is called to clearly know and to really know with nana-panna (the knowledge of full awareness-knowing) that arises from the developing of sati (awareness).
Next, we use sati to see the mind: panna will arise, and we will know the source of kilesa ("defilement", stickiness), tanha ("craving", heaviness), upadana (attachment) and kamma (action). Next, use sati to see the mind again; whatever thought arises see it immediately, and we will know the deception, know in time, know the protection and know the cure. We will know how to conquer conceptual thought. Sila ("moral conduct") will occur within our own mind.
It is not the person who observes sila, but sila observes the person. Sila means normality. Whenever the mind thinks abnormally we see the thought immediately: this is called sila observing us. People who only keep the precepts will not know this mind's occurrence. So sila is a tool to get rid of crude kilesa, to destroy dosa – moha – lobha, to destroy kilesa, tanha and upadana. Then sila appears.
Samadhi (steadiness of the mind, setting up the mind) is the tool to get rid of the median kilesa. Median kilesa is the attachment to calmness. I have done breathing meditation, which brings calmness, but it is the kind of calmness dependent upon moha. I did that because I didn't know the real calmness at that time. Now I know calmness. Real calmness is clearly seeing, really knowing and really understanding. This kind of calmness, everyone can do it when they know the source of moha. Whether you are a teacher, student, merchant or homemaker, you can do it. Everybody needs calmness, and this kind of calmness; whatever kind of work you do you still have it, because you know the source of moha.
We don't have to sit with eyes closed to get calmness, but we can have calmness in this very society. Whenever conceiving thought arises, samadhi will see it immediately. Samadhi doesn't mean to sit with eyes closed. Samadhi means setting up the mind to see our own mind, to see our own work.
Now panna gets rid of the subtle kilesa. We know the subtle kilesa when we know the source of thought whenever it arises. Whatever we do now, we have normality in speech and mind. When all these conditions gather, there will arise a kind of nana (insight knowledge) and it will break apart from the person. Only the one that practices will know. All of you sitting here now have as yet no nana, but the non-suffering and non-happiness is already there. When we don't have nana we don't know it, so we seek calmness. Now, as you are sitting here, look at your own mind. You don't have jealousy, ill will, and aggression; now your mind is indifferent, not suffering and not happy, beyond good and evil. This state is in everybody, and this is the calmness that everyone is seeking.
Somebody who doesn't know comes to teach people. A lot of people follow that person and sit with eyes closed, trying to find calmness. This is trying to get something that doesn't really exist, trying to make something that cannot be real become real. It is impossible. So that is only the state of delusion. Now we come to know the real thing. It is called upekkha (indifference, equanimity). It is our own mind. It is like something that is covered over; now, when we come to see our own mind, it will be revealed.
So we don't have to do anything with calmness, because it is already there. The only thing we have to do is know the method of practice. The method of practice is to know the movements of the body – we don't have to watch the movements of our breathing – we have to know the movements of the physical body and then see the movement of the mind.
Breathing is never glad or sad; it never hates anybody or likes anybody. What is angry is the mind that is thinking. What is pleased is also the mind that is thinking. So we come to see only this point. To see this point is to be aware of thought. In order to see thought, don't enter thought. As soon as it thinks, detach from thought, like a cat catching a rat. We don't have to teach the cat to catch rats, but whenever a rat comes the cat will get it. The clear knowing and real knowing is the same thing. Most people understand panna only as memorizing and recognizing. Very few know clearly and know really. Anyone that will clearly know and really know must make an effort always. Wherever they go they always watch thought; going to the toilet, eating food, whatever they do they look at thought. When we watch thought a lot, like a cat watching for rats, then when thought arises sati or panna will clearly see immediately. This is called panna getting rid of the subtle kilesa.
When we come to this point it is like the hidden thing is revealed, and we will know all religion, we will see with self-understanding the teaching of any religion. We will understand Hinduism or Christianity. We don't understand now because we just memorize from the texts. That is only a kind of history. Now we come to study at ourself. Reality is in us. Texts are only the words of other people. We come to see our own mind, and we will be another knowing individual.
I will stop now. Anyone that has questions can ask.
AUDIENCE: Luangpor teaches that when we go to the toilet we also watch thought. Shall we watch our walking, or shall we watch thought or what shall we watch?
LUANGPOR: Thought arises even when we do not pay attention to it. So when it arises we will see it, we will know it, we will understand it. If we pay too much attention trying to see it, it will not think. So we should practice in an indifferent, detached way. When it thinks we will know. Samadhi is also awareness. When you are aware of yourself, that is samadhi. When it thinks and you see thought, that is samadhi.
AUDIENCE: When I sit I can watch the thought, but when I walk to the toilet and intend to see the thought, when thought arises should I stop walking and see the thought or what should I do?
LUANGPOR: You don't have to stop walking, just be aware of yourself. When we are aware of ourself, that is samadhi. Whatever movement we make we will know it. Unintended thought will arise by itself. If we do not see it we will attach to it, and this is dukkha. So we come to know the cause of dukkha. Normally our mind is indifferent. It can think without dukkha, and we know that it thinks without dukkha But when we do not see thought we follow thought, we enter thought, we enter the cave, and that is dukkha. To see thought is difficult for somebody who doesn't understand, but it is easy for one that understands. To see thought doesn't concern any kind of work. We can write and when thought arises we see it. When we walk to the bathroom, or when we are bathing, and it thinks, we just see it. So we don't have to do anything with calmness, because calmness is already there. The real calmness is when we see thought.
AUDIENCE: So we don't have to stop thinking.
LUANGPOR: Right. Just watch the movement of the mind. Don't force the mind not to think, don't try to prevent or force the mind not to think, don't try to prevent or get rid of thought. Many people want to tranquilize the mind; they don't want the mind to think. That is the understanding of others. But in my view we should let the mind think. The more it thinks the more we know.
It is like when we dig a new well; the water is at first full of dirt. So we have to empty out the water, bucketful after bucketful. We don't have to stop up the hole out of which the water is flowing, but we let the water flow, as much water as possible, and we continue emptying out the dirty water. We clean the edge of the well and continue emptying out the water. We do it again and again. We do it until all the dirt is gone and the water flowing out of the hole is clear and pure. If anything were now to fall into the well we should see it and know it immediately.
So we don't have to stop the mind from thinking. Sometimes it thinks this, sometimes it thinks that, but we just see it immediately, like cat catching rat, and the more it thinks the more we empty it out. When thought arises we see it, that is the important thing.
AUDIENCE: When we sleep and when we are awake, do we watch thought in the same way?
LUANGPOR: The same. When we cannot see thought, when thought arises during the day we don't know it. At night when we dream, we also don't know it. Now, when we see thought wherever we go, when thought arises we know it. At night we sleep, and when it thinks we also know it.
AUDIENCE: I am still puzzled. Should we see thought or should we see ourselves?
LUANGPOR: They are the same. We can call it seeing thought, and we are also aware of ourself at the same time.
AUDIENCE: I would like Luangpor to explain the difference between knowing thought and seeing thought.
LUANGPOR: When we know thought we enter into thought, and thought still continues, it doesn't stop. But when we see thought, when thought arises it stops immediately. So we should practice often to see thought. There will arise nana-panna. Do it like boxers. Every boxer wants to be world champion. Boxers need to be very quick. Dosa – moha – lobha is quick in one way, sati – samadhi – panna is quick in another way. When we train sati – samadhi – panna to be very, very quick, it will be world champion, it will conquer the world. This conscious body is the world. Do we want dosa – moha – lobha or sati – samadhi – panna to rule the world? If dosa – moha – lobha rules the world, it is a world of endless sorrow, endless dukkha. If sati – samadhi – panna rules the world, it is a world of radiance and peace.
AUDIENCE: When we watch our movements and thought arises, how can we know it?
LUANGPOR: If you want to know, you have to practice yourself.
AUDIENCE: Is discovery of calmness the same as discovery of oneself?
AUDIENCE: If we can find calmness within ourselves, how can we keep it with us all the time?
LUANGPOR: It is there all the time. What is not there all the time is not calmness.
AUDIENCE: People have kamma and kamma disturbs us. So how can we be calm?
LUANGPOR: No, not in that way. We just think ourself. Kamma just means action, not those kinds of kamma that you did in the previous life.
AUDIENCE: If we don't think about kamma then there is no kamma, is there?
LUANGPOR: Right, we don't have to think of it.
AUDIENCE: People are seeking the same thing, but why are there so many thoughts?
LUANGPOR: Because there are many different teachings, many books, much talking, so all are mixed up, and this causes suffering. This way of calmness doesn't concern studying books. It doesn't concern anything. When we read many books, or listen to many teachers, we only have knowledge for talking, so we don't have the experience of the real calmness.
AUDIENCE: How can it be there all the time?
LUANGPOR: If we add colored dye to water, people say that the water is red, or the water is black, or whatever color it is. But in reality water is colorless, and if what is not water is removed then we see it. Upekkha is the mind's natural state. It is present in everybody without exception. When somebody becomes very angry, upekkha anchors that person just like a ship's anchor and therefore they don't die of shock. When somebody becomes very, very greedy and would like to take a great deal away from others, upekkha is like a ball and chain, holding back and moderating the greed, so that it doesn't totally unbalance that person. So upekkha is already there, we don't have to seek it. It is like the sun when it is hidden by clouds. Dosa – moha – lobha, when it arises, obscures upekkha. But when we clearly see our mind, upekkha is uncovered.
AUDIENCE: Luangpor said that gladness and sadness are the same thing. How can they be the same?
LUANGPOR: They are dukkha. Gladness is one kind of dukkha sadness is another kind of dukkha. Unknowing people live with dukkha, eat with dukkha, walk and stand and sit with dukkha, sleep with dukkha, wherever they go they bring dukkha along. When they see a movie they laugh; laughter is a form of dukkha. When they meet with sadness they cry; crying is a form of dukkha. Gladness and sadness, both of them are forms of dukkha. Just so, I imagine that there are two kinds of darkness, white darkness and black darkness. When we earn a lot of money we are glad. That is dukkha. It is the white darkness. When we lose money we are sad and the mind thinks angry thoughts. This is also dukkha. It is the black darkness. But both are dukkha.
AUDIENCE: In reality there is no gladness or sadness, they just arise from moha, don't they?
LUANGPOR: Just like that.
AUDIENCE: Luangpor said that all kinds of gladness are dukkha. Is there some kind of gladness that is not dukkha, for example love between husband and wife?
LUANGPOR: All are dukkha.
AUDIENCE: How about gladness in Dhamma, or sometimes when we look at the sunshine we feel happy?
LUANGPOR: That is not dukkha, not suffering or happiness, not gladness or sadness. It is indifference, equanimity.
AUDIENCE: I would like Luangpor to explain the thing that is called love. For example, a woman and man who are going to get married.
LUANGPOR: Somebody who doesn't know dukkha will approach dukkha, and dukkha will teach its lesson.
AUDIENCE: When we see thought, it stops. So during which time do we see the three characteristics, anicca, dukkha and anatta? Do we see them when we see thought, or before seeing thought, or when we think of them?
LUANGPOR: When we think of them that is not seeing with nana-panna, it is just memorizing or recognizing. After we clearly know and really know we don't have to ask anyone.
AUDIENCE: How about the intention to do something? Suppose that somebody says something bad to us, and we have the intention to harm them.
LUANGPOR: To harm is stupid. When we know the states of suffering and of happiness, we do not want anybody to suffer. We will help all to live without dukkha.
AUDIENCE: When I am going to give money to beggar I know my thought, which is to give money. To see that thought, is that called panna?
LUANGPOR: That is not called panna, it is called knowing from memory. All of us have mind, so before doing or saying anything just look at our mind. Our real mind or real life doesn't hate anybody and doesn't love anybody. When we hate or we love, that is kilesa arising. So just come to see the mind at the beginning, and dosa – moha – lobha will be destroyed. After that, vedana – sanna – sankhara – vinnana will still be there, but they are pure and have no dukkha. Continue to see the mind. We will see kilesa. Kilesa is like gladness and sadness. When we like something and we give it to somebody, it isn't that this is not kilesa – because we like the person that we give it to, we give it with kilesa, we don't give with indifference. Phra (venerable; noble) is indifference. Phra means one that teaches others to be indifferent.
AUDIENCE: When we give charity we usually think of metta (loving-kindness) and Karuna (compassion). So where is karuna and where is metta?
LUANGPOR: Those are just words for talking. It is not Dhamma. It is social.
AUDIENCE: If we don't have metta and karuna, how can we have the motive to do good for others?
LUANGPOR: That is the beginning stage, or the foundation for ethics of the world.
AUDIENCE: In the case of Luangpor, who is trying to help us to be free from dukkha, isn't it the metta of Luangpor?
LUANGPOR: Not metta. Anybody that would like to have Dhamma, just accept it. We don't have gladness or sadness. It is like when we see someone that is drowning, we jump into the water and help them without thinking anything.
AUDIENCE: When that person sees someone drowning and helps immediately, is it the result of social ethics or is it their own nature?
LUANGPOR: It is their own nature. But when we try to help other people we don't see our mind, but the nature of the mind is already there, the indifference is already there, we never come to see it and we try some other way. That is why we don't have real calmness.
VISIBLE HERE AND NOW
CALLING TO COME AND SEE:
THE DHAMMA OF AN INSTANT
Today I would like to bring to you the truth, as I have heard it from the elders, who passed this truth on from generation to generation. It may be that you've heard it; it may be that you haven't. When listening, please set up the mind to listen: listen with sati – samadhi – panna (awareness – steadiness of mind – knowing). Consider these words, and find their actuality at last.
In everything that happens there must be cause and effect. For example, the cause is that we go to work, the effect is that we earn money; the cause is that we go to study; the effect is that we gain knowledge. So the knowledge is the result of the study. Therefore the cause is to be diligent and the effect will be truly useful.
The elders used to teach that the cause is developing sati (awareness), the result is the knowledge that arises. They have said so. Whether or not the Buddha talks in this way, or whether or not your parents and teachers talked in this way, make the experiment, and discover for yourself whether it is true or not. We have to consider and to really know it: the cause is called the developing of sati, the truth is called sacca. Whether or not we know it, it is still there, like something beneath an overturned bowl: we right the bowl, and what was concealed is revealed. Or it is like opening up what was closed. You should try it, and see for yourself whether it is like this or not.
You can sit with legs tucked back to one side, sit with legs outstretched, sit on a chair, or sit in half lotus. Rest your hand on your thigh. Now turn the hand up onto its edge, having awareness of doing it. Turning the hand is the cause; the awareness of doing it is the effect. Turn the hand back down, having awareness of it. The cause is turning the hand down; the effect is the awareness that coincides with the movement. Turn the hand up, being aware of the movement. Turn the hand back down, being aware of the movement in the movement. The cause is turning the hand up and being aware of it and turning the hand down and being aware of it, the effect is that the knowing will accumulate. So when you are doing this, are in the rhythm of it, developing sati, you can say it is the same as the Buddha's Teaching, the same as the elder's teaching. You should develop sati. When you develop sati, panna will arise.
The elders used to tell us that Buddha taught the four satipatthana (the bases of awareness), or the four major postures, which are standing, walking, sitting and lying down. You have sati in these postures, then you have the sati to know other, minor movements. In all minor movements, stretching, bending, and all other movements, have the sati to know it. The effect will be the knowledge that arises.
Some people may say that this accords with the texts; some may say that this does not accord with the texts, but please listen, and try to practice yourself. If it is useful we use it. If it is useless we cast it away. The knowledge that we have learned, we know it already, but the knowledge we have never heard, please try it and find it for yourself.
This is a practice I have done. Sit comfortably, back erect, hands palm-down upon the thighs. Now turn the right hand up onto its edge, being aware of the movement. Then raise the hand straight up to chest height, being aware of the movement. Then bring the hand down to rest on the abdomen, being aware of the movement. Now repeat these three movements with the left hand. Then, having sati in each movement, move the right hand up the chest, then swing it out to above the right leg, then lower it to rest on the thigh, and then turn the hand back down again. And now repeat these four movements with the left hand. This is rhythmic practice. It is called the minor movements.
Humans cannot stay still, so we find some work for the body to do and then use the sati to be with the movement. You can call it sati or you can call it samadhi. The feeling is called sati, samadhi is setting up the mind. When you do it, have awareness of it. If you don't set up the mind, then you will not know. When you blink you know it.
We've blinked since our birth from our mother's womb, but we don't know it. When we look to the left or look to the right, we don't know it. We don't have sati-samadhi. We have only the usual sati-samadhi but we don't set up the mind to know it. If we set up the mind to know it, the sati will be newly built sati. Samadhi is setting up the mind. We've breathed since we were born from our mother's womb, but we don't know it. Now we set up the mind, and breathe in and out, then we know it. When thought arises, then we know it. The knowing is caused by the developing of sati.
So I would like all of you to take this teaching and use it. Ordained, all right; not ordained, all right; believe any religion, all right; wear any uniform, all right; keep the precepts, all right; don't keep the precepts, all right; give a lot of charity, all right; don't give any charity at all, all right. If you don't develop sati then you will not know, even though you make merit, keep the precepts or practice a lot of calmness meditation. The knowing will arise because of the developing of sati.
When we have more and more awareness, then the unawareness, which is moha, or delusion, will fade away. When we have more and more sati, more and more samadhi, panna will arise. This is called panna-parami ("the perfection of wisdom"). I do not talk according to the texts: panna is already there; parami means the readiness to know, if we practice in the right way. If we practice in the wrong way, then we will not know.
Now if we know we know the real thing, not knowing outside ourself. We know within ourself. We know ourself. Sitting here we know ourself to be roop-nahm (body–mind). Turning the hand up is roop-nahm, turning the hand down is roop-nahm, continuing turning the hand up and down is roop-nahm. This is knowing roop-nahm.
Then we know the action of roop-nahm. When roop acts, nahm acts simultaneously. When roop-nahm acts we know it. We know it because of the developing of sati. Panna arises because of the developing of sati.
We know roop-disease –nahm-disease. This born roop has disease, like headache, stomachache, fever, and so on. Another kind of roop-disease –nahm-disease: thought is nahm, but when it thinks it is the roop. When some people talk and that makes us satisfied or dissatisfied, our mind has disease. Really know this thing. The developing of sati is cause; the arising of panna is effect.
After knowing roop-nahm, we come to know dukkham – aniccam – anatta (suffering – impermanence – not self). People have taught that dukkham – aniccam – anatta is white hair, wrinkled skin, broken teeth. That is true, but not true according to the developing of sati. The developing of sati will cause panna to arise; that turning the hand up is dukkham, lowering it is dukkham. Dukkham is with the roop. Roop is a kind of lump-of-dukkha. Dukkham is unbearable. Aniccam is unstable. Anatta is uncontrollable. It is like that all the time. If we know it, it is like that. If we don't know it, it is also like that.
So Dhamma, which makes a person become a Buddha, is there before the Buddha. Dhamma exists in everybody. It depends on the "owner" of each body to make this knowing happen. If we are able to know it, then we will know it. It is like the overturned bowl: whether it is overturned or set aright is up to us.
Now we come to know sammuti (supposition). Know all kinds of sammuti completely. We know that money is just a kind of metal, just a kind of paper, but we conventionalize it. Woman and man are sammuti as well. When we don't know it, we suppose it to be woman and suppose it to be man. But if we don't suppose it, then we don't know them. Ordination and disrobing, monk and novice, all are sammuti: just take a piece of cloth to wear. The knowing is sati – samadhi – panna and sacca is truth. If it is true by sammuti we know it. If it is true by sammuti, we know it. If it is true by paramattha (direct contact by the mind), we know it.
Ghosts and deities are all sammuti. Have we ever seen them? A ghost is a person who acts, speaks or thinks evil. The body doesn't do anything: it is roop, like a doll. The thing that moves is the mind. Deities are the same, we suppose them. When we don't really know sammuti, we don't know. We really don't know. I can guarantee that we don't know. I myself didn't know. But others may have, I don't know.
I have done many kinds of meditation, like "Buddho", "samma-araham", counting breaths, the rise and fall of the abdomen, and sitting and observing the breath, but I really didn't know, the knowing didn't come, didn't arise. It led to calmness and attachment to calmness. So calmness, or samatha-kammatthana (the working-ground for tranquility), is like putting a rock on top of weeds. When we take the rock off, the weeds will grow better than before, because the soil has been kept moist. Vipassana means clear insight, a complete uprooting. This is the real knowing. Anyone that does it will know it. Anyone that was born as a human being can do it, regardless of race, language or religion. But we have to understand the correct method.
Also we know sasana ("religion"). Sasana doesn't mean temples. The temple is just the supposed sasana. This is called sammuti-pannatti (convention of supposing). Paramattha is the real thing, which exists in humans. Everyone is sasana. They say that sasana is teaching, they teach and the ear hears, then sati – samadhi – panna considers it, and becomes knowing. Really know that, "Oh, everyone is sasana." To destroy sasana doesn't mean to destroy temples or Buddha-images or Bodhi-trees. To destroy sasana means to say bad things to people, to hit people, to kill people, which is great evil. So sasana is humanity. To curse someone is to curse sasana, to injure someone is to injure sasana: that is what evil is.
Now Buddhasasana ("Buddhism"). Buddha means one that knows. The body is like a doll. Sati – samadhi – panna is the knowing. So Buddha means sati – samadhi – panna, or the mind that is clean, illuminated and calm, which exists in everybody without exception.
Now we talk about papa ("sin"). Papa is not knowing, darkness, stupidity. We fear papa, but why don't we make ourself realize, so that we will be free of that fear. Punna ("merit") is knowing clearly. People, when they come too close to monks, they fear papa. It is as if monks are the papa itself. That is just sammuti. Now we don't have to fear papa. If we cannot conquer papa then we will have no chance and no time to conquer it. Don't fear papa, but try to conquer papa. This doesn't concern making merit, keeping precepts, or Vinaya (the code monastic discipline). The developing of sati is Dhamma, is Vinaya, is sila (normality), and is everything. We know all this because we develop sati.
If we do not develop sati, but just study, that is only to memorize, not to see clearly or to see really. The developing of sati is to know clearly, to know really. When one knows, one can assure oneself and others. Anyone that does it will know it, because everyone knows the same thing. The knowledge is the shared object of developing sati. The result of developing sati can end dukkha: we don't attach to sammuti, we will not fear ghosts, we will not fear deities. We don't attach to any sammuti at all, because anything that does not exist we don't have to fear. Ghosts and deities have no real existence, just sammuti. A ghost is somebody who speaks, thinks or does evil. A deity is one that speaks good, thinks good or does good. We know how to be human. Ghosts arise in people while they speak, think or do evil. When anger arises, and we can stop anger, that is human. When we can make our mind calm and clean all the time, that is deity, a mind worthy of respect. When we know like this, we can break through.
So vipassana has this object: the six sense-bases, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind, the five aggregates – that is from the texts – the twelve bases, the eighteen elements, the twenty-two faculties, the four noble truths, and the twelve paticcasamuppada (dependent co-arising). We learn from the texts, we study it, but we don't know it. We just know from memory. When we come to develop sati the knowing will arise, that is the real thing.
When we use sati to watch thought, whenever thought arises we know it, because when we move we have sati. Thought has no real self. When thought arises we have sati and know it, like a cat watching a rat. When the rat emerges the cat catches it immediately. This is the same. When we have sati in each movement, when thought arises we know it, see it and understand it. This means that we can untie it and conquer it. The elders said that to conquer others one hundred or one thousand times has not the benefit of conquering oneself just one time. To conquer oneself is to conquer thought. When thought arises we see it and know it. Then it cannot proliferate. Whenever thought arises we know it. When we develop more and more sati there will arise nana-panna (knowledge arising from full awareness-knowing), to know clearly, to know really.
Vatthu (thingness) means everything in the world and in ourself, we have to know it all. Paramattha means everything that exists in the world and in ourself, seeing it, having it, being it, right now in front of us, touchable with the mind, we have to know it all. Akara means that everything in the world and in us can change. When we clearly comprehend it, then we see, know, understand and touch dosa – moha – lobha (anger – delusion – greed), because it is vatthu – paramattha – akara. After knowing this the mind will be very cheerful, and can see vedana – sanna – sankhara – vinnana (feeling – percept – conceiving – knowingness) not being dukkha. The real phra (noble) inheres in this.
Phra doesn't mean you shave your head, but means the quality of the mind. Paramattha means the real thing. The real phra is in everybody without exception. In this way of developing sati, the feeling of the movement is the cause, the effect is knowing all this. Phra means teacher, one that teaches. When they know this and teach this, there is no dukkha. A real phra knows sammuti-pannatti, paramattha-pannatti, attha-pannatti and ariya-pannatti (the four levels of designation). The mind has changed and we will really know this. If we know other things it is not correct.
We continue the practice. There will arise piti (rapture). We feel comfortable, the mind is light, it is like in darkness there arises the light or the dirty becomes clean again. Or like black and white, or the heavy becoming light. The mind changes from one stage to another. When the knowing arises the not-knowing disappears immediately. When the quality of the real phra arises the quality of not being a phra disappears immediately. When the quality of being deity arises the quality of being ghost disappears immediately. When the quality of being human arises the quality of being other disappears immediately. It arises and substitutes for the other. This is called to be born here and die here. Not being born from the womb of the mother and dying physically, that is another thing. That is also the supposing of dukkham – aniccam – anatta.
Continue the practice. It will be like a pot of water, which has filled to the brim, is now having water removed. When the knowing arises sati will be reduced, not full like the previous stage. In the practice our awareness is full, but when the knowing arises it will attach to the knowing, it will attach to the object. When the object arises we have confidence, and it enters into our memory in the brain and is never forgotten then on. I have known this since I was forty-six, but I haven't forgotten even a little. I know roop-nahm in the morning and know the changing of the mind in the evening. I really know this, and I have the confidence to guarantee that it is the Teaching of the Buddha. The Buddha taught this thing. Making merit, giving charity, keeping precept, that is good in one way, but learning from the texts we do not really know how to practice developing sati, how to deal with mind.
A person who doesn't know teaches a person who doesn't know. The result is not-knowing. One that knows teaches, the result is knowing, because everybody has it, each can become the real phra, a noble individual. Woman, man, child, if they know it they become the real phra, a noble individual. Therefore the phra is a kind of blessing, because she or he teaches people to know. Blessing means noble. The noble knowledge is called giving Dhamma as charity, or giving knowledge as charity. This is the path of the real noble individual.
When we develop sati, and know the movements more and more, nana-panna will occur. When nana (insight knowledge) arises you will really know, you don't have to remember from the texts. You will know kilesa – tanha – upadana – kamma (stickiness – heaviness – attachment – action). Seeing clearly, seeing really, kilesa – tanha – upadana – kamma will reduce or fade away. When we know this point, we don't have to believe anybody. The one that sees it owns it. Suppose that the Buddha comes and tells you that this practice is not correct, you will also not believe him, because it is real. When nana-panna arises you have real confidence.
When you know this point, piti will arise again. When I knew this point during my practice, I went to sleep. After getting up, I started walking back and forth. The cause is walking back and forth, the effect is that the knowing arises again. I walk back and forth and have the knowing. At that time there is a centipede running across my path. The centipede is cause, the effect is that I see the centipede. I light a candle and try to find the centipede. When I cannot find it, I bring the candle back, and then begin to walk back and forth again. Walking back and forth is cause, the effect is knowing sila, silakkhandha – samadhikkhandha – pannakhanda (all that belongs to normality – setting up the mind – knowing). The knowing arises that khandha means vessel, container, to contain, to fight it. You can fight everything. It is like when the container is good and you go to get water, you can have that water to drink. But if the container is broken, when you go to get the water, you cannot get it.
In the texts they call this adhisilasikkha, adhicittasikkha and adhipannasikkha (the training in the higher morality, higher mind and higher wisdom). We can compare them, the texts and the experience. This is called sila has arisen; therefore sila is the tool to get rid of the crude kilesa. Sila is already there in us. So this kind of sila doesn't concern keeping precepts, but only concerns the development of sati. When we practice this kind of developing sati its result will happen in this way. When we know this point, we will understand that sila can really get rid of the crude kilesa. When the crude kilesa is removed, sila will occur. It is like when we plant fruit trees, banana, coconut or palm, the shoots are already there, but to see them we have to wait until they come up. When we see them, that is the result.
Please work diligently and devotedly at developing sati. Whatever people may say, we don't have to pay attention to it. Even though you make merit and give a lot of charity, you will never know this experience. Even though you study a lot, you'll also never know. They do not concern this thing. This can really untie dukkha. When we can cure dukkha, wherever we are we are comfortable. If we are parents, teachers, children, police, soldiers, monks, novices, or whoever, we will be comfortable, because dosa – moha – lobha disappears, the attachment disappears. But we have to go over this object again and again, so as not to forget. But when you really see it you will never forget it. I have seen it, and I have never forgotten it.
Now we come to know samatha (concentration-calmness) or doing calmness. There are two kinds of calmness. Samatha calmness is the calmness of not-knowing. So samatha meditation is only a device to keep the mind calm. Vipassana (liberating insight) means to see clearly, to know really. It is also calmness, but a different kind of calmness. Developing sati, the calmness will arise by itself because it is already there. The arising calmness is the unattachment, not having dosa – moha – lobha.
When people say anything to us, sati will come immediately. It is like having only one chair but there are two people who are running to sit on it. When sati arises sati will sit there: dosa – moha – lobha cannot come because sati – samadhi – panna is already there. It is full. The fullness is already there. The voidness is also already there. It is like an empty glass, which has air inside it but we cannot see the air. When we pour water into it, water will substitute for the air, all of the air. The matter of sati is the same thing. I can really assure you. Suppose there is somebody who says bad things to us. Sati will come, and we can see it clearly. Parents teach us that if there is somebody cursing us or saying bad things to us, we should be patient and not get angry. But we cannot stay still because we don't see it. When there is nobody to say bad things to us, we are already comfortable, because the comfortable is already there. It depends on what we suppose to be the owner of each body to practice and make it occur. When we practice, the clear knowing and the real seeing will occur. I can assure everybody. If somebody does not develop sati and does not make this thing occur, that person doesn't have it, but it is already there. So we should respect each other.
After knowing sila we will know kama (sensuality). Kama means those things that make calmness. Kama is attachment. This is called kama-arammana (the object of sensual enjoyment). It is called kamasava, under the control of kama; bhavasava, under the control of bhava (being) or dukkha: this is bhava and jati (birth); avijjasava: avijja is not knowing. Now we come to know kama, which is deities, rich people, people with authority. They attach to reputation, money, honor, these people who have kama, but I do not blame anybody, I just teach directly. You can bring it into practice, or you might not bring it into practice, it depends on you. When we know kama we see that kama is dukkha, kamasava is dukkha, bhavasava is dukkha, avijjasava is dukkha, because of not-knowing. We also know samatha meditation. People may talk in any manner; we really know the matter of calmness. We know all the stages of it, because it is already in us. We right the overturned bowl, we open up what is covered over, that is to teach the method of practice, the method of arm-movements, the method of turning the hand.
This is one form of the most intensive practice. I have not taught this according to the texts. It may or may not contradict the texts, but I will talk in this way, because doing this way then you know this way. If you study from the texts, when asked about the truth, you don't know. Many of my teachers didn't know. The arm-movement is cause; its result is panna arising. Cause and effect go together.
After knowing this, we know about punna and papa. For any bad bodily action, we know how it is papa-kamma (harmful, benighted action), and, if there is really a hell, into which level we shall fall. For any bad verbal action, we know how it is papa-kamma, and, if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall. For any bad mental action, we know how it is papa-kamma, and, if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall. For any bad bodily, verbal and mental actions together, we know how they are papa-kamma, and, if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall.
For any good bodily action, we know how it is punna-kamma (beneficial wise action), and if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go. For any good verbal action, we know how it is punna-kamma, and if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go. For any good mental action, we know how it is punna-kamma and if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go. For any good bodily, verbal and mental actions together, we know how they are punna-kamma, and if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go.
The shaking of the knowing element is already there in everybody. The developing of sati can apply to everybody. If you don't believe it, just try it. I can guarantee that it will not take longer than three years and you will really know. It is like the fat, fertile grain that we plant in the field. If we practice incorrectly, it is like the empty husk. If you dig the ground, but not in the right place, then you cannot get water. If you dig into the ground in the right place, then you can really get the water. This kind of practice, if you do it correctly you will really get the result. If you do it incorrectly, you will not get the fruit.
When the occurrence happens we know about four elements, earth, water, fire and wind, they come together. When we know this, the occurrence arises. We know the end of dukkha. The end of dukkha is here; it will demolish all and everything. On this thing I do not believe anybody. When we come to the end we will have nana.
Sila is the tool to get rid of crude kilesa. When the crude kilesa comes to an end, sila occurs. Samadhi is the tool to get rid of the median kilesa. When we know the median kilesa, then we know samadhi. Panna is the tool to get rid of the subtle kilesa. When the subtle kilesa is discarded, panna then arises. That arising panna is called nana-panna. Because it is inside us, we know it. If it is not there inside us, then we don't know it. I can assure you that everyone without exception can know it. Women, men, believers of any religion. When I was practicing this method I was not a monk. Sometimes I wore shorts, sometimes I wore trousers. After knowing this Dhamma, I taught brothers, parents, aunts and uncles for three years. They knew, but they knew little, but still they knew the real phra, knew the supposed phra, knew sammuti-pannatti, paramattha-pannatti, attha-pannatti, and ariya-pannatti. The mind changes from commoner to noble individual.
They say that nibbana is tadangapahana (abandoning by substitution of opposites), vikkhambhanapahana (abandoning by suppression), samucchedapahana (abandoning by destruction). Tadangapahana is to come to know oneself thoroughly. There are four levels of knowledge. First, we know until the end of dukkha, but we know only a short time, it doesn't last long. Second, we know longer, like the light of a bigger lamp. Third, we know even longer, like the light of even bigger lamp. And fourth, when we know, we know the end of dukkha, but after we know it is there all the time. It is like the full flame of the lamp, or the light of the sun, the very brightest light.
There are four kinds of nana. We have to really know it. This is learning and practice. Learning means moving the arms. Practice means turning the hand up and down. After learning and practicing this method, the fruit will come, and we will have no doubt, because we know all. We also know the end of dukkha.
Paticcasamuppada (dependent co-arising) is just words. If we want it in our practice we have to come to the cause that is to practice movement until panna arises. When panna arises, when we talk about paticcasamuppada we know it immediately.
So now we come to the conclusion. We practice developing sati, and we come to see thought, we come to see the mind. We do the practice like a boxer: once in the ring, the boxer must box. We do it often, step by step. We do it like a ball in a field. When people do not stop kicking the ball, the ball must continue to roll. When they stop kicking it, the ball comes to rest by itself: it doesn't have to fight nor to escape. We come out of thought, come out of the cave, and we live in the brightness. We see our life–mind at all times. When the mind moves we know it, satipanna (awareness-knowing) is there immediately, like a barrier against all harm. And though the world of others be turbulent and heated, with us the whole world is at peace. Be that way.
TO BE EXPERIENCED BY THE KNOWING
EACH ONE FOR ONESELF:
HOW TO PRACTICE DEVELOPING SATI
The Buddha teaches us to know our duty. The duty of humanity is to practice Dhamma. The duty of humans is to teach humans to be human.
So we should look to ourself first, we should consider ourself first, we should teach ourself first. If we waste our life we cannot buy it again. If we let our life suffer, we waste it. The Buddha teaches us nothing else than to extinguish dukkha (suffering), but when we don't know we seek its cessation outside ourself. But dukkha of that kind doesn't exist.
The teachings of the world-teachers are like all the leaves in the forest, but those leaves that can be used as medicine are few. Don't take them all, together with their roots and trunks. When it comes to the practice of kammatthana (meditation) or vipassana (insight), we should take only that which can prevent dukkha from arising, can extinguish dukkha at its source, can destroy moha (delusion). So we take only the heart. The heart of the teaching I am talking about is to have sati (awareness), to have panna (knowing), to see thought. Whenever thought arises see it, know it, understand it. Know it in whatever manner it comes, and know how to prevent it from deluding us.
Wherever we are, that is where we must practice. Nobody else can do it for us. Wherever we go, we are the one that goes. Wherever we stay, we are the one that stays. Sit, eat, drink, sleep, we alone do it. If we are a person who keeps precepts or gives charity, we can practice. And if we are somebody who never does these things, we can also practice. To help others is good, but it is good only in a worldly way. To practice developing sati – samadhi – panna (awareness – steadiness of mind – knowing), however, is good in every way. So before you teach others you should train yourself, until you clearly and really see, know and understand. When you really see, really know, and really are, then you can teach others comfortably.
So this practice, we have to learn it ourself, we have to teach ourself, we have to see ourself, we have to know ourself, we have to understand ourself, we have to do ourself. So you needn't be interested in others; just do this movement-practice a lot, do it as nothing special, do it without hurry, without doubt, without speculation, do it without expectation of result. Be simple, and just move, one movement at a time, and know. When you don't know, let it pass; when you know, let it pass. Sometimes you know, sometimes you don't know: so it goes – but know. When the body moves, know it. When the mind moves, know it. This practice is a twenty-four-hours-a-day practice, so relax and just be natural, just be normal. Set up the mind to really practice, and practice comfortably.
The method of developing sati in daily life:
When we get on a bus or boat, and are seated properly, we turn the palm up, we turn the palm down, we move the hand, or stretch the hand, or run the thumb over the fingertips; and blinking eyes, breathing, swallowing saliva, and so on, be aware of these movements. This is the way to have awareness returning to ourself. When thought arises be aware of it, and detach it.
The method of developing sati when we are at home:
We can sit with both legs gathered back to one side, or cross-legged, or in a chair, or we can sit with legs outstretched. We can stand or lie down doing the rhythmic practice too. When we walk cankama (meditating while walking back and forth: a length of eight to twelve paces will do) we must not move the arms; fold the arms across the chest, or clasp the hand behind the back. The method of practice in a sitting position is shown in the stylized illustrations that follow:
1. Rest the hands palms down on the thighs.
2. Turn the right hand onto its edge, be aware.
3. Raise the right hand up, be aware, then stop.
4. Lower the right hand to rest on the abdomen, be aware, then stop.
5. Turn the left hand onto its edge, be aware, then stop.
6. Raise the left hand up, be aware, then stop.
7. Lower the left hand to rest on the right hand, be aware, then stop.
8. Slide the right hand up to rest on the chest, be aware, then stop.
9. Move the right hand out, be aware, then stop.
10. Lower the right hand onto its edge on the thigh, be aware, then stop.
11. Face the right palm down, be aware, then stop.
12. Slide the left hand up to rest on the chest, be aware, then stop.
13. Move the left hand out, be aware, then stop.
14. Lower the left hand onto its edge on the thigh, be aware, then stop.
15. Face the left palm down, be aware, then stop.
GOOD IN THE BEGINNING
EXCELLENT IN THE MIDDLE
AND MIRACULOUS IN THE END:
THE OBJECT OF THE PRACTICE
OF DEVELOPING SATI THROUGH
THE METHOD OF MOVEMENT
STAGE 1: SUPPOSITIONAL OBJECT
We must know roop-nahm (body-mind), must know roop-acting – nahm-acting, must know roop-disease – nahm-disease. There are two kinds of roop-disease – nahm-disease. With diseases of the body, like headache, stomachache and wounds, we have to go and see the doctor at the hospital. The disease of the mind is dosa – moha – lobha (anger – delusion – greed). For a cure we must depend upon this method of developing sati (awareness).
Then we must know sammuti (supposition). Whatever sammuti is in the world, know it to the end.
Then we must know sasana ("religion"), we must know Buddhasasana ("Buddhism"). Sasana is everyone without exception. Sasana means the teaching of one that knows. Know Buddhasasana. Buddha means one that knows, one that is awake, one that is blessed with Dhamma, which is sati – samadhi – panna (awareness – setting up the mind – knowing). So we develop panna.
Then we must know papa (sin), must know punna (merit). Papa is dark, stupid, not knowing how it is. Punna is clever, knowing, knowing everything. Whoever doesn't know is called somebody who still doesn't have punna.
End of Stage 1. There will arise an obstacle at this point, because we attach to the knowledge of vipassana-upakkilesa. Vipassana-upakkilesa (defilement of insight) is when we know outside ourself endlessly. We must withdraw. We must not enter thought.
STAGE 2: TOUCHABLE OBJECT
Use sati to see thought. When thought arises know it, see it, understand it, and touch it. As soon as thought arises cut it away immediately. Do it like a cat pouncing on a rat. Or like a boxer that, climbing into the ring, must box immediately. The boxer needn't pay respect to the teacher. Lose or win, the boxer must box. We must not wait for anyone. Or like digging a well. When we find water, it is our duty to scoop out the mud, scoop out the mire, scoop out the water until it is finished. Scoop out the old water to the end. Now new water from inside will come out. We must stir at the edge of the well, clean the edge of the well, clean out the mud, and clean out the mire. Do it often. The water will become clean by itself. When the water is clean, anything that falls into the well we will know, see and understand immediately. The cutting out of thought is the same. The quicker we cut, the better it is.
Then let us see vatthu (thingness), see paramattha (mind-touchable), see akara (changingess). Vatthu means things that exist in the world, everything in humans and the mind of humans and creatures. Paramattha means things that really exist, we are seeing, having, being it, right now in front of us, touchable with the mind. Akara means changingess. Suppose we have a full can of dye, originally of one hundred percent quality. If we dye cloth, it will adhere to the material one hundred percent. When we know, we see, we can touch with the mind, the same full can of dye but the quality declines. Take it to dye cloth; it will no longer adhere to the material. This we must really see, must really know.
Then see dosa – moha – lobha.
Then let us see vedana – sanna – sankhara – vinnana (feeling – percept – conceiving – knowingness), see them, know them, and touch them. Really understand this. We needn't doubt.
Now there will arise a little piti (rapture), but piti is an obstacle in the higher practice of Dhamma. We must not be interested in that piti: we must come to see thought. This is the beginning of the touchable object of this method of developing sati, of one that has panna.
Continue to see thought. There will occur knowledge, or nana, or nana-panna (the knowledge of full direct awareness-knowing).
See, know, and understand kilesa – tanha – upadana – kamma ("defilement"/ stickiness – "craving"/ heaviness – attachment – action). Therefore attachment will lose its taste, loosen its grip and fade, just as poor quality dye cannot adhere to material.
There will again arise piti. We must not be interested in that piti. Uproot satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
Continue to see thought, to see the mind that is thinking. There will occur a kind of nana, to see, to know, and to understand sila (normality), silakkhandha – samadhikkhandha – pannakkhandha (the gathering together, containing of all normality – setting up the mind – knowing), or adhisilasikkha –adhicittasikkha – adhipannasikkha (the training in the higher ethics – higher mind – higher knowing). Khandha means to contain or to fight. Sikkha means to steamroller into powder or to pulverize to extinction.
So sila is the tool to get rid of crude kilesa. Crude kilesa is dosa – moha – lobha, kilesa – tanha – upadana – kamma. When these lose their taste, fade, and loosen, then sila occurs.
Samadhi is the tool to get rid of median kilesa. Median kilesa is calmness.
Which is to see, to know and to understand kamasava – bhavasava – avijjasava (under the control of sensuality – being – not-knowing), because this kilesa is median kilesa, which makes the mind calm.
This is one of the objects of this method of developing sati. When we know and see it this way, we will come to know dana (generosity, giving), keeping precepts, and doing kammatthana (meditation) from every angle and every corner.
There will arise nana-panna in the mind.
For a bad bodily action, know how it is papa-kamma (harmful, benighted action), and, if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall.
For a bad verbal action, know how it is papa-kamma, and if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall.
For a bad mental action, know how it is papa-kamma, and, if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall.
For bad bodily, bad verbal and bad mental actions together, know how they are papa-kamma, and, if there really is a hell, into which level we shall fall.
For a good bodily action, know how it is punna-kamma (beneficial, wise action), and, if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go.
For a good verbal action, know how it is punna-kamma, and, if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go.
For a good mental action, know how it is punna-kamma, and, if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go.
For good bodily, good verbal and good mental actions together, know how they are punna-kamma, and, if there really is a heaven or nibbana, to which level we shall go.
End of the object of this method of developing sati. It will be the greatest, most wonderful unfolding, which is in the mind of everyone without exception. If we still do not know it now, when the breathing is nearly finished we most certainly must know. One that is developing sati, developing panna, has nana and knows. But somebody who doesn't develop sati doesn't develop panna, when the breathing is nearly finished it will be the same, but they will not know, because they have no nana. To clearly know and really see, not just to memorize or recognize, to know with nana-panna of the real developing of sati, is to be able to assure oneself. It is said that at the end nana will arise. Be careful about abnormalities that may occur. Be aware of yourself. Don't attach to happiness or to anything that arises. Don't take happiness, don't take suffering, but just return to reviewing the object often, from roop-nahm until the end of the object, level by level, and know that the object has steps and stages.
Certainly, if you develop sati correctly, the longest time for the practice will be no more than three years, the median time one year, and the quickest time one day to ninety days. We do not have to talk about the fruit of this practice. There is really no dukkha.
BUT THAT IS NOT OBTAINED SIMPLY BY
WISHING – AND THIS TOO IS DUKKHA
There are many different methods of kammatthana. I have practiced many, many methods, but those methods did not lead to panna. Now, the method that we are practicing is the method that directly leads to panna. Anyone can practice it, if they know the correct method. When panna arises you will know, see and understand by yourself. So the method of turning the hand up and down is the method to build up sati, to develop panna. When it has been practiced thoroughly, it will be abundant and spontaneous.
Anyone without exception can practice it, whether they are a child or adult, whatever work they do, whatever religions they profess or beliefs they hold, they can practice. Everyone has body-mind. Body is the matter that we can see with the eyes. We can call it roop. But the mind we cannot see with the eyes, we cannot touch with the hands. It can be called nahm. These two things are the same.
When we build up sati, develop sati, panna will arise and know by itself. Just have the thing that is already there grow up. The thing that is not real, we don't have to do it. When we know roop-nahm we will know everything, and we can really untie dukkha. For example, we will not attach to sammuti. After knowing that, we practice more awareness, doing the arm-movement as I advised you. Now we do it faster. Thought is the quickest thing, it is quicker than electricity.
When satipanna has increased, it will know, see and understand dosa – moha – lobha. When we know it, dukkha in the mind will decrease. Most people misunderstand, and think that dosa, lobha and moha are normal. But one that knows says that dosa – moha – lobha is dukkha, ugly, dirty, so he or she doesn't let that thing come close. This is called knowing one's own life-mind, which is clean, illuminated and calm. When we know this point, it has great potential, like a small stream descending to become a big river.
So the method of practice is to have more and more awareness, knowing the postures of the body, and those minor movements like blinking, looking to the left and right, inhaling and exhaling. All these movements can be seen with the eyes. But we cannot see thought with the eyes. We can only know it and see it with samadhi – sati – panna. The samadhi I am talking about is not sitting with eyes closed. Samadhi means setting up the mind to be aware of ourself. When we have awareness of ourself continuously, that is called samadhi, or it can be called sati. When the mind thinks we will know thought immediately, and thought will become shorter and shorter. It is like plus and minus, increase and decrease. If we talk there is much to say, but I would like all of you to practice the movement, to practice by yourself through the method of movement. The fruit will come by itself.
Glossary Of Pali Terms
The talks collected in this book contain an abundance of Pali terms. Luangpor Teean freely used Pali terms, both in discourses and guidance and in naming experiences that occurred in his practice, and for the most part his use of these terms corresponded more or less to their standard meanings – many of the terms have indeed been absorbed into the Thai language – although sometimes he would use technical terms in an individualistic and non-traditional way.
This glossary adds to and expands upon the brief translation of technical terms contained in the preceding text, and in so doing sometimes provides explication of the meanings of Pali terms that ranges more widely than Luangpor Teean's use of those terms. This glossary would therefore best be regarded as providing a background against which Luangpor Teean's use of technical Pali terms might be highlighted or clarified. Nevertheless, since it constitutes a major editorial intrusion, the glossary has been added to the preceding talks with some reluctance, and it should be used with circumspection; strictly speaking, the talks should be self-illuminating.
Single quotation marks enclose the words of Luangpor Teean.
Some of the Pali terms are given with their Thai versions in brackets; these Thai words are transliterated in a way consistent with customary English pronunciation, with only the following vowel sounds requiring definition: "ah" as in "father"; "o" as in "Tom"; "a" as in "cup"; "oo" as in "book" (except for roop, where the vowel sound is that of "moon").
ākāra [ahgahn]: Condition, state: property, quality, attribute; manner, mode, way; appearance, form, sign. In Thai, the word is used to mean; symptom, condition (as of one's health); manner, outward expression, attitude, behavior. In the seeing of vatthu – paramattha – ākāra it means that 'everything in the world and in us can change'.
ānāpānasati: Meditation in which one focuses attention and mindfulness on the feeling, at the tip of the nose, of the breath naturally going in and out, and the mind becomes progressively stilled and then serves as a refined object for investigation and penetration.
anattā: Not self; without a "soul"; the fact that experience cannot be appropriated, cannot be put under mastery; the fact that there in no thing that is the subject of experience; "even oneself is not one's own" – the Awakened One.
anicca: Impermanence; not stable; all conditions are necessarily subject to change, arising, changing while standing and then disappearing.
arahat: The fully and finally awakened one; the individual that has reached the extinction of dukkha, the end of being; the individual that has "done what had to be done" – the Awakened One.
ārammana [ahrom]: Object; a support, stay, basis, ground; the object of awareness, of knowledge, of sense. In Thai the meaning extends to: mental object, preoccupation, emotion, disposition, mood.
ariya: Noble, distinguished; one that has evolved to true humanity, has been altered through obtaining insight into things as they actually are: one that has seen the cessation of dukkha, and therefore knows what needs to be done.
āsava: Taints: a deep level of distortion in the mind; outflows: defilements flowing out from deep in the mind into thoughts, feelings, emotions, speech, and actions; mental intoxication; mental fermentation, eruption, discharge (as from a sore), corruptions, pollutants.
kāmāsava-bhavāsava-avijjāsava: The taints, outflows, fermentations of, the intoxication of sensuality – being – nescience; 'under the control of those things that make the mind calm – under the control of being and suffering – under the control of not-knowing'.
attha: Meaning, sense, essence; aim, goal, purpose; welfare, gain, advantage, fruitful conduct, acts productive of benefit.
avijjā: Nescience; counterfeit knowledge, wrong knowledge, being deceived; not knowing, ignorance, unawareness; an ignorance of the nature of existence so profound as to itself be beyond awareness.
bhava: Being; the state of existence; being the experience or the subject of experience; the experience "I am this, I am that, I am "
cañkama [jong-grom]: Practicing meditation while walking to and fro.
Dhamma: [tamma, tam]: Actuality; nature; the way things are in and of themselves; the truth of nature, the inherent nature of and actual process of existence, of experience. By extension, "the Dhamma" is used to refer to any doctrine that teaches the way things are in themselves, the truth of nature, and the way to awaken to actuality.
dosa: Hatred; anger; all negative thoughts and emotions, all forms of mental resistance: dislike, aversion, malice, irritability, and so on.
dukkha [took]: Suffering, affliction, sorrow, misery, disease, stress, (inner) conflict, being oppressed; literally, "hard to endure, difficult to bear"; the inherent unsatisfactoriness of all conditions; the burden of personal existence; the hopelessness of the unenlightened person's situation.
dukkha-aniccam-anattā: Suffering – impermanence – not self; 'unbearable – unstable – uncontrollable'.
kāma [gahm]: Sense desire; sensuality; seeking and indulging in sensual pleasures; the hunger for sensual experience, for sense "input"; 'those things that makes the mind calm', the pacifying of the mind by sense experience, by attaching to sense experience, by attaching to the calmness that arises from unawareness of the problem of one's own existence.
kamma [gam]: Action; the Buddha defines action as intention; intentional action; volition. In Thai, gam often implies bad actions, which entail unfortunate consequences.
kammatthāna [gamma-tahn]: Literally, "work-place", "working-ground", "basis for action"; basis for mediation practice; meditation subject; ground for mental culture; that aspect of an experience that is the object of intelligent awareness. In Thai, the act of mediation or contemplation.
khandha [kan]: Aggregate, heap, bulk, mass, totality, group; category, all that is included under " ". In Thai, vessel, container; 'vessel, container, to contain, to fight [against kilesa]'.
sïlakhandha: All that belongs to moral behavior; the gathering together, the containing of all ethical behavior, of all normality; sanity, naturalness.
samādhikkhandha: The gathering together, the containing of all steadiness and stability of mind, of all setting up of the mind, and therefore the eradicating of attachment to things that make the mind calm.
paññākkhandha: The practice of the attainment of the highest knowledge; the gathering together, the containing of all insight knowledge, of thoroughly and completely knowing and seeing all action, mental, verbal, and bodily.
kilesa [gileht]: Defilement, corruption, impurity, impairment; all the things that defile, dull darken and sadden the mind; 'stickiness' in the mind.
lobha: Greed; lust, covetousness, desire; all forms of attraction, of the mind inclining towards things with wanting.
moha: Delusion; confusion, dullness, stupidity, bewilderment, unawareness; being unaware of what is happening here and now, especially unawareness of experience that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
nana [yahn]: Knowledge; wisdom, insight; higher knowledge; insight knowledge.
nana-paññā [yahn-panyah]: The transforming, liberating knowledge that comes from the accumulation of direct awareness-knowing of oneself, of experience, of existence; the knowledge arising from full, complete self-awareness, self knowing.
nibbāna [nippahn]: Extinction of dukkha; extinction of attachment, of craving, of dosa – moha – lobha; extinguishing the fire of being; ending the subtle conceit, "I(am)".
paññatti [banyat]: Designation, name, concept, idea; making know, declaring, proclaiming, manifesting, enacting. In Thai, the term means law, legal act, rule, regulation, to prescribe.
sammuti-paññatti [sammoot-banyat]: The convention of supposing; the designation of the mundane or conventional world, that which is conjured into being by the mind.
paramattha-paññatti [paramat-banyat]: The designation of the sphere of the real, the actual, of what can be touched by the mind.
attha-paññatti [atta-banyat]; 'The very deep meaning of the Dhamma, so deep as to be very difficult to know.'
ariya-paññatti [ariya-banyat]: The designating, making known of experience in which dukkha has been extinguished; agreement between those that have become true humans.
pañña: Knowing, understanding, wisdom; insight, intuitive wisdom, knowing by direct seeing outside of thought, seeing things as they are without conceiving; the knowing that results from dwelling in awareness of oneself.
pāpa [bahb]: Evil, bad, wicked; demerit; "sin";'stupidity','dark, stupid, not knowing how it is'.
paramattha [paramat]: The highest good; ultimate, absolute truth; the real, the actual; the true, unchangeable, invariable; 'the touching of things with the mind'; 'everything that really exists in the world and in ourself, seeing it, having it, being it, right now in front of us, touchable with the mind'.
paticcasamuppāda: Dependent co arising: "But let be the past, let be the future, I shall set you for the Teaching: when there is this, this is, with the arising of this, this arises; when there is not this, this is not, with cessation of this, this ceases" – the Awakened One.
phra: Noble; venerable; worthy of reverence and veneration. This Thai word (pronounced phra) is derived from the Pali vara, noble, splendid, best, excellent.
pïti: Rapture, exhilaration, joy, excited happiness.
puñña [boon]: Merit, inner worth; virtue, righteousness; the sense of well being and contentment that results from having acted rightly or well; 'clever, knowing, knowing everything', 'awareness, knowing oneself clearly'.
puñña-kamma [boon-gam]: Beneficial action; meritorious action; acting with awareness, with insight, acting with seeing thought.
roop-nahm [Pali rupa-nāma]: 'Body-mind'; form and name. In Pali, rupa is inertia, that is to say matter, substance, and therefore behavior, while nāma, name, is the designation, or appearance, of that behavior.
sacca: Truth; true, certain.
sammmuti-sacca: Conventional truth; truth formed by general opinion and agreement; that which is generally received as truth by the general consent of humanity.
paramattha-sacca: Truth that one contacts directly and individually; the truth of present awareness; that which is truth independently of its being supported by the authority of humanity.
attha-sacca: The deep truth, understood by few.
ariya-sacca: The noble truth, the truth that, being seen, alters one fundamentally, radically and irrevocably.
samādhi: Concentration; focusing attention, one-pointedness of mind; mental discipline, 'setting up the mind [to see our own mind, to see our own work, to see thought]', 'steadiness of mind', stability and firmness of mind; practicing the developing of awareness by providing awareness with a single object at any one time and maintaining awareness.
samatha: Calmness; tranquility; quietude of heart, calm, of one kind, can be attained by one-pointedness of mind, singleness of mind; that is, dwelling continuously on a (relatively) unchanging meditation object, training to attain absorbed concentration of mind; calm of another kind, peace, comes from developing the seeing of existence as it actually is, which gives rise to detachment, dispassion, disenchantment, and ultimately to release.
sammuti [sammoot]: In Pali, convention, agreement, general consent, general use, general opinion, conventional understanding; selection, choice; authorization, permission. In Thai, the primary meaning is "supposing", and also: usages commonly designated or agreed upon; conjuring into being with the mind; to assume, to make believe.
sañkhāra: (i) Determinations, conditions: things that determine or conditions other things to be as they are; "all conditions are necessarily impermanent, all conditions are necessarily a burden" – the Awakened One. (ii) One of the five aspects of an experience [rupa-vedanā-saññā-sañkhāra-viññāna]; intention; conceiving, constructing, formulating and fashioning thoughts and other aspects of (mental) life.
saññā: Percept; perception, In Thai, the meaning extends to: memory, recognition, discrimination, mark, concept.
sāsana: Advice; instruction, teaching; message; doctrine; order, command; 'the individual, every individual'. In Thai, religion.
Buddhasāsana: The Buddha's Dispensation; the instruction of the Awakened One; 'satipaññā that enters and knows the mind'.
sati: Awareness; recollection; detached watching; mindfulness; reflexion; calling to mind, presence of mind; alertness, collectedness, not forgetting oneself; reflective awareness of oneself, of experience-existence here-and-now.
satipaññā: Awareness-knowing; knowing that arises from the development of awareness; intelligence with regard to the fact and nature of existence.
satipatthāna [satipatahn]: The foundations, bases, grounds, objects of sati; the four aspects of existence-experience – body, feeling, condition of mind, ideas and images – to which awareness is applied in pursuing the development of self-study for the purpose of curing the fundamental affliction of existence.
sikkhā: Training; study; discipline.
adhisïlasikkhā, adhicittasikkhā, adhipaññāsikkhā: The training in the higher ethics, the higher normality; the training in the higher mind, the higher heart; the training in the higher knowing, the higher understanding.
sïla [seen]: (Right) conduct; virtue; moral precepts; verbal and bodily action in accordance with
Dhamma; character, habits, customs; 'normality', nature, naturalness; 'instead of a person taking care of ethical precepts, sïla – normality – takes care of and protects the person'.
tanhā: Craving; thirst; essentially unsatisfiable wanting(hunger); 'heaviness'.
upādāna [oopahtahn]: Holding; attachment, grasping, clinging; to attach continuously by taking all experience personally.
upekkhā: Indifference; neutrality, impartiality, detachment; equanimity; disinterestedness.
vatthu [wattoo]: Thing, object, substance, matter; grounded in, founded on, made a basis of ; occasion, cause, plot or subject, story, narrative; 'everything that exists inside and outside the mind', 'things that exist in the world, everything in the world and in ourself'.
vedanā: Feeling, agreeable, disagreeable and neutral. In Thai, feelings of pleasure, pain and indifference that result from the mind's savoring of its objects.
vijjā: Science; true knowledge of the nature of existence; being undeceived about the way things really are.
viññāna [winyahn]: Consciousness; cognizance; knowingness. In the Buddha's Teaching, viññāna is neither a thing nor an action.
vipassanā: Literally, "clear seeing"; to see clearly the true nature of personal existence; liberating, transforming insight into the universal characteristic of experience; 'to see clearly, to know really, clear insight, a complete uprooting'.