is time for sitting meditation. Sit in the cross-legged posture;
place the right leg on top of the left leg and the right hand on
top of the left hand. Close your eyes and inwardly recite the
mantra 'Buddho' in conjunction with the breath. Concentrate the
mind on Buddho. Sitting meditation is an important way of paying
homage to the Buddha.
Buddha called all our former experiences, irrespective of their
quality, (presently existing) thoughts of the past. Now, in this
moment, do not allow such thoughts to preoccupy the mind. Let them
all go. Concentrate the mind on the inner recitation of the mantra
and bring the mind to peace in the present, in the immediate
reality. It is the present moment that is important. Future
matters, good and bad, all still lie ahead, for by definition the
future refers to things that have not yet taken place. The
meditator must compose his mind on the present moment. If a
thought surfaces in consciousness simply remind yourself that it
is just a thought of the past, or a thought of the future, as the
case may be. Don't add to or encourage such thoughts. Put good
thoughts to one side for the time being and the bad ones abandon
our bodies are in a tranquil posture. The knowing is abiding
within the heart, and each one of us is aware. This present
knowing is our true mind. The conditioned mind of thought and
proliferation is almost like a demon. Through its actions external
phenomena tend to become preoccupations which then obstruct or
destroy meditation. But if the meditator grounds himself in the
present moment then he is able to make use of the various
meditation techniques. He may develop inner recitation for example
or perhaps focus on parts of the physical body such as head hair,
body hair, nails, teeth, skin, sinews and bones. When
contemplation of the body ensues in perception of its
unattractiveness, or of its constituent elements of hardness,
cohesion, temperature and vibration * then that is meditation.
When the mind is at peace in the recitation of 'Buddho', then that
too is meditation. And the meditator is the mind.
mind itself has no colour, shape, or form, but it has energy. It
is our duty to let go of and abandon the conditioned,
proliferating mind. But the mind of present knowing, that which
concentrates on Buddha, listens to Dhamma and reflects on its
meaning, having been clearly observed, that true mind should be
developed. In this case to 'develop' means to give care and
attention to establishing _t in peace. Peace comes by countering
the out-going stream of mentality and penetrating this present
and air (Trans.)
unrestrained mind is absorbed by the thought-consciousness seeking
distraction. Go against the stream by looking at the source of
mental activity. It originates from this knowing. The source of the
mind lies within us. However this knowing is nothing substantial. It
has no colour, form or shape in the way that material objects do. It
is a formless element. To speak in terms of the five aggregates
these bodies of ours
the experience of objects as pleasant or
unpleasant comfortable or uncomfortable.
discrimination based on memory e.g. that this
is a human being and this an animal; this is red,
this is black.
conditioning mental activity
cognition conditioned by mental activity
formless aggregates of vedana sanna sankhara and vinnana
arise within the knowing. The Buddha taught that during sitting
and walking meditation we should make the knowing converge on
itself, not allowing it to go outwards. Thoughts of good and bad are
all exterior matters and are -endless. In thinking and cognizing we
must know the thinker, know the knower.
proceeds from this present knowing. That being the case, don't be
deceived by these expressions of mind. They are merely shadows,
flitting off into the past and future, thinking about and
elaborating on the things that we like and the things that we don't.
This proliferation is what conditions the mind.
What is it that
the true mind and what
knows the conditioned mind? It is just this one single knowing,
the same thing that hears the sound of the discourse and meditates
on 'Buddho'. As there is just this single knowing, muster your
energies and vow to yourself "I will not indulge the thinking
mind I will gather the mind into itself." Not allowing the mind to
wander means that it stays with Buddho. All you have to do then is
to maintain Buddho.
is the name of the Fully Enlightened One and should be reflected
on. That we have come into contact with Buddhism, with Buddha
Dhamma and Sangha and that we have come to practise, is due to the
Buddha. The Buddha, after realizing supreme enlightenment. gave
to the world the teachings of Dhamma-Vinaya that we call Buddhism.
The great teachers of old and the four assemblies of Buddhists
have carried on the study and practice of the teachings right up
until the present time. In Thailand today, everywhere we go we see
monasteries, monks and novices, eight-precept laymen and
laywomen, and householders with faith and inspiration in Buddhism.
This is all thanks to the Buddha. It has been a long time, over
2,500 years, since the Buddha entered final nibbana. Even
so, the Dhamma and Vinaya, the teachings and the ordinances based
on the 5, 8, 10 and 227 precepts, still remain.
the virtues of the Buddha to mind in order to be able to take him
as an example in our practice. Where did the Buddha come from? He
came from the mind that resolved on Buddhahood and wished to ferry
all beings to nibbana. From the moment of his
resolve. in whatever realm the Buddha-to-be was born into. then
whenever he performed acts of charity. refrained from unvirtuous
actions and speech. or practised meditation. then Buddhahood was
always his motivation. Whenever he was born as a human being he
accumulated virtue. Eventually the power of goodness created by his
dana sila and bhavana. the paramis
(perfections) that he had developed. were strong enough for him to
become Buddha. Now in recollecting the Buddha. we take his virtues
as our object.
refers to the Lord Buddha and the one who inwardly recites 'Buddho'
is just this mind. It is just this mind that recites Buddho. knows
Buddho. knows the breath and is aware while doing so that one is
creating virtue. This mind has always been here. The knowing has
been born into the world countless times. but because ignorance and
craving have overwhelmed it. our dana sila and bhavana
have been insufficient to free us from the mass of suffering with
which the human organism is fraught. So we must muster our energy
with firm resolve. taking meditative calm as our foundation. The
principles that will lead us out of this world and the mass of
suffering are those of samatha (calm) and vipassana
(insight) meditation. The mind must be firmly one-pointed. tranquil:
cool and at ease with samatha before vipassana is
feasible. If the mind is still in movement. - drifting and infirm.
still not tranquil and motionless or one-pointed. it is impossible
for understanding of the nature of things to take place.
example the founder of our religion. the fully self-enlightened
Buddha. Before his enlightenment
practised calm meditation using the breath as his initial object.
On the day of his enlightenment he practised this way. On the
in-breath he focussed intently on the in-breath On the out-breath
he focussed intently on the out-breath. All mental agitation and
movement ceased, leaving only the in-breaths and out-breaths
remaining. The Lord's mind was focussed intently on the breath
until his mind became calm, cool and easeful, attaining the
and ultimately the unwavering appana* samadhi. When
the Buddha-to-be's mind was thus unwaveringly and undeviatingly
single-pointed vipassana took place: there was clear
knowing of the body and mind as impermanent of all beings and
phenomena as transitory. He saw the suffering inherent in being
born with a body and mind and he saw selflessness. He realized
that the perception of an abiding self is based on delusion.
to clearly know these three characteristics of aniccam',
dukkham' and anatta the mind must be firm. Thus the
effort to bring the mind to a secure and steadfast tranquility,
not allowing it to become fascinated by forms, sounds, odours,
flavours, physical sensations and mental phenomena is the essence
of meditation techniques, and something we must all develop. Take
care when the eyes see forms not to let the mind waver: keep up
the inner recitation of
and 'absorbtion' --a threefold classification based on duration
and intensity (Trans.)
Take care not to be deluded when hearing sounds: beautiful or ugly
sounds are all just worldly conditions. Maintain the minds firmness
The pleasant and offensive odours that contact the nose--know them,
don't be deceived by them. No matter how delicious the taste of the
food on the tongue- - remain equanlmous. Be impassive to the various
physical sensations whether hot or cold, hard or soft. This is the
supreme practice in Buddhism. So gather your energies and establish
the mind in the present moment.
general, meditator's minds are not unified and tranquil in the
present moment- - they are wandering up ahead and back behind,
taking up external matters concerning other people and dwelling on
them, finding pleasure and satisfaction in agreeable mental states.
They are caught up entirely in superficialities Although the mind of
simple knowing is already present within us, unless we bring it to
the fore through meditation, we will be unable to perceive the truth
suffering arises In the body, contemplate it so that the mind will
accept it for what it is. When physical illness occurs, the grasping
mind starts clinging to the Idea of being ill. In fact it is the
earth-element that is unwelL If the meditator's mind is stable and
clearly sees the three characteristics he will simply regard illness
as an affair of the elements. He knows that the mind is formless and
not subject to such pains
It is due
to clinging to the idea of self, and that the body belongs to self,
that mental suffering arises. In fact this body is merely elements
and it is the elements that are sick It is the earth, water, fire,
and air elements that are disturbed. If one can separate things in
this way then
rests at ease. Whatever occurs in the physical body, there is no
clinging to it as belonging to self, It is seen as simply a matter
of elements, a matter of aniccam, dukkham anatta, it is
just the nature of things.* The present knowing knows clearly,
truly and constantly, The mind is cool. no longer hot with
someone harshly scolds or maligns us. Even if they abuse us right
to our faces, if we don't cling, it ends right there. What has
arisen passes away? But if the knowing is misled it grasps at this
body and mind as being self, When someone speaks to us harshly we
get angry "That's nothing to do with me!" Due to clinging there is
'me' and 'mine'. It is just this clinging that is the cause of
suffering, agitation, turmoil, and disease.
Buddha taught us to let go of all external affairs during
meditation: whatever physical or mental distress arises is just
the suffering of the aggregates: don't let the knowing suffer.
Meditate in order to attenuate the defilements of greed, hatred
and delusion and ultimately bring them to an end. When the knowing
is still deluded and clings to the idea of self, to ' me' and'
mine', then it takes birth. Perhaps it becomes an animal, a human
being, a celestial being, Indra or a Brahma god, But whatever it
becomes, it suffers just in being that. As long as there is still
clinging to the elements and
author is not recommending a heedless or fatilistic attitude to
illness, One of course, uses those medicines that are available in
the appropriate way, but without fear, anxiety, or desperation.
aggregates, to name and form,
and there is no awareness of the way to abandon defilements, then
there is suffering in the world. The five aggregates are classified
as suffering in the world, for when one clings to them as 'me' and
'mine' then right there the mass of suffering appears. We sit right
on the pile of suffering, in the midst of the fire of craving,
hatred and delusion. The fire flares up and constantly burns our
We are meditating now so as to
gather the mind into the knowing, in order to put out the fires that
are burning our hearts. Don't harbour the fire of anger. Abandon it.
There is no need to get angry with anyone. If you feel any jealousy
or ill-will towards anyone, give it up. Don't allow the mind to
indulge in it. This is cleansing the knowing both day and night,
whether standing, sitting, walking or laying down. It is not
clinging to 'me' and 'mine'. The aggregates do not belong to anyone,
they are something natural to the world. As soon as the knowing is
born with a name and form it tends to grasp onto that name and form
as self. But can that name and form last indefinitely? If it could,
nobody would die, nobody would become ill, nobody would experience
pain or get old, because the aggregates would do what they were
told. It is because the aggregates don't do what they are told that
the Buddha taught us not to
to them but to
see them clearly with penetrative wisdom If there is no clear seeing
then there is suffering. So don't be fooled into clinging onto
things; it is suffering in the world. When the knowing no longer
clings it is empty, it is in meditation. it is cool and at ease.
All the different" kinds of
mental turmoil come
delusion, the agitated striving mind that wants to possess, want
to get, wants to be; in other words the mind of craving. Get rid
of craving and clinging from the mind. Try to prevent anything
from accumulating in this knowing. Make the present knowing
radiant and pure. Meditate. Firmly ground the mind. Gather the
knowing onto it and abandon the cognition of externals. Let the
knowing dwell in the heart. Whatever the posture of the body let
the knowing know itself at all times.
evil thought arises abandon it. If goodness occurs develop it and
here, the goodness we resolve to develop is exemplified by the
mantra' Buddho'. We develop it or concentrate on it internally so
as to make the mind cool and happy. We prevent agitation and
distress with the elements and aggregates, with the bodies and
minds of other people. We don't allow them inside. When the mind
is thus cool and at ease, it is said that 'Buddho' is dwelling in
the heart. In other words the knowing lies within.
produce this firm and enduring tranquillity you must go against
the stream and enter within Then you will understand the practice
of Dhamma with the mindfulness and wisdom that are present in the
heart. If there is no countering the stream and no entry within,
the search for virtue externally is an endless one. Truth and
virtue do not lie beneath the land or sea, or in the sky or in
space. They lie in volitions, the mind that makes effort to give
up evil and do good. When the mind converges right here it become
spacious, cool and easeful. it is established in Dhamma practice.
Sitting there is meditation in the sitting posture, standing there
is meditation in the standing posture, walking there is
while walking and lying down there is meditation until one falls
asleep. As soon as we wake we continue the inner recitation of 'Buddho',
making 'Buddha' our constant concern. Whatever the mind goes we
don't follow it. We give up all the going and settle for dwelling.
The knowing lies right here within us; everything else is merely a
passing affair The truth lies with the knowing. Clearly observe that
since our birth into this world, the knowing has dwelt in the body.
Wherever we go, the body goes too. The knowing cannot escape from
the body and mind It drags the body with it here and there. When we
sit it is the body that sits and when we lay down it is the body
that lays down, and so the knowing is deceived into attaching to
that name and form, to the provisional realities of the world. Not
comprehending the way to withdraw from them and put them down, the
defilements of greed, hatred and delusion steadily accumulate.
studying Buddhism, whether it's the Dhamma or the Discipline,
whatever method it is being taught by, having studied we must put
those teachings into practice. We must compose this knowing firmly
on itself. Keep the mind within, don't allow it to wander about and
become fascinated with sentient beings and the material world,
through delusion and unclear seeing
put forth effort. Aspire to rid yourself of defilements. Greed,
hatred and delusion all lie here within the mind so put effort into
abandoning them just here. Be vigilant and care for the mind right
here. Recite 'Buddho' right here. Compose the knowing. When we have
established the knowing in this way then in whatever posture we are
in there is constant meditation.
here we can inwardly recite 'Buddha', undistracted and undeceived
by external matters. We have been deluded by the external world
for countless lifetimes. Let us not be deluded by it any more.
: The Awakened One; The
fully self enlightened sage who live in Northern India over 2,500
years ago; the 'Buddha-wisdom' present within the human mind.
: The teachings of the historical Buddha; the way things are.
: The Buddha's enlightened disciples; the correct practice of Dhamma.
: Impermanence; transiency
: Suffering; unsatisfactoriness;
discontent; instability; the inability of impermanent phenomena to
provide any true or lasting happiness.
: Not self; impersonality; absence of
a permanent and self-existent ego entity in that which is
impermanent and unsatisfactory.
: Virtue; Morality; Precepts; the
volition to refrain from actions and speech that cause distress to
one-self and/or others.
: Concentration. The peace clarity
and stability of mind resulting from attention to a single object
: Wisdom. Direct non-conceptual
understanding of the impermanent, unsatisfactory and impersonal
nature of conditioned existence.
Meditation on a single object or theme and the peace that results
Meditation on the impermanence unsatisfactoriness and impersonality
of conditioned existence and the insight that results from it