Source : Simply So – Talks by Looang Boo Sim Buddhacaro


Looang Boo Sim Buddhacaro

Wat Turn Pah Blong Amphoe Chiang Dao Changwat
Chiang Mai


Looang Boo Sim Buddhacaro was born on the 26th November 1909 in Sakhon Nakhon Province, North-East Thailand.

His parents were farmers and dedicated supporters of the local monastery. At the age of 17 Looang Boo Sim took novice ordination and shortly afterwards became a disciple of the great Ajahn Mun. Looang Boo Sim stayed with Ajahn Mun and various of his senior disciples for many years, taking full ordination at the age of 20 at Wat Sri Candaravasa, Khon Kaen.

In later years he has been the Abbot of a number of monasteries in various parts of Thailand and was given the ecclesiastical title of Phra Khroo Santivaranana in 1959. In 1967 he established a monastery in the remote mountains of Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai province and that has remained his residence until the present day.





In 1986 a collection of Dhamma discourses, culled from talks that I have given over the years, was printed for free distribution. It was entitled

The compiler of that book, Upasika Somjy Chayarach, has now arranged for the translation and publication of two of the talks that appeared in it.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for this wholesome act. Through the power of the merit that has been created, may she be freed from all suffering. May all those who read this short book take its teachings to heart, reflect on them and practise accordingly so as to realize true liberation.






Now it is time for meditation. Sit in the cross-legged posture. Place your right leg on your left and your right hand on your left one. Sit up straight. The time of sitting meditation is a time to stop. Close your eyes: right now there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, you have no need for them. Once your eyes are closed, recollect that the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha all lie within our minds. Don't conceive of them as existing outside our­selves. It is just this mind that inwardly recites 'Buddha' on every inhalation and exhalation. It is just this mind that is the foundation of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. It is here that the practice takes place. The Dhamma-Vinaya, all the vast number of teachings that the Buddha gave, all share the single purpose of bringing our minds to peace, the attenuation and abandonment of greed, hatred and delusion.

The teachings of the Buddha were given over a period of fourty five years, from the time of his enlight­enment until the day of his death (parinibbana). In the Buddhist scriptures there is a grouping of the teachings into three sections: the Discourses, the Monastic Re­gulations and the Abhidhamma. In all it is said there are 84,000 teachings. Considered according to the principles of Dhamma, our bodies are like the carved wooden cupboard in which the scriptures are kept.








The Discourses, ­the Monastic Regulations and the Abhidhamma are each persons' action, speech and mind. We can make this comparison for the reason that every single teaching was given in order to be actualized by the dis­ciple who received it. So in our practice let us keep the precepts--5, 8, 10 or 227 according to our situation. Let us practise samadhi and cultivate wisdom Spiritual prac­tice was summarized by the Buddha as the three-fold training of sila, samadhi and panna. If sila is pure and samadhi is firm enough to give rise to panna, then the path to liberation from defilements is manifest.


In sitting meditation do not be deceived by the thought-demon* (sankhara mara). Those people who only sit a little or don't sit at all are the ones who believe the thought-demon.

 For instance, we decide to sit before dawn and the thought-demon tells us it is too early, why not sit later on. If we believe it then our morning session is lost; we don't sit. Later on in the morning and perhaps we forget altogether but if we do remember, just as we are about to rouse ourselves and do some sitting meditation, the thought-demon pipes up again "You don't want to sit yet. You've just had your breakfast, your stomach is still full. Have a rest first. You can always do some sitting in the afternoon." If we believe


* The word 'demon' is used here figuratively. It is not meant to refer to any real malignant entity, but as an image to bring out the disruptive effects of this mental defilement. (Trans.)







it, that's delusion. Before dawn it says meditate later on in the morning. Later on in the morning it says meditate in the afternoon. "If you digest your food first you will feel much more comfortable." If we believe it we don't sit. In the afternoon it starts again. We end up just believing the thought-demon all day and all night and so get nothing from meditation.

Before the Buddha's enlightenment it was this belief in the thought-demon that obstructed him. He just kept continually procrastinating It took six years from the time of leaving home until he finally came to his senses and stopped believing the' thought-demon. Just picture it now. On the day of his enlightenment the Buddha-to--be sat down with his back to the bodhi tree, facing slightly north of east. Then he made a solemn vow, an absolutely firm resolution that his sitting that night would be a life-or-death affair: under no circumstances would he rise from his seat until he was enlightened. He would die first. The Buddha-to-be had seen through the thought-demon's tricks. He had realized that it was because of falling for the constant lies and deceptions of the thought-demon that he was still unenlightened

On that Visakha Puja night the Lord did not move 'from 'his seat; he just sat. Even so it says in the scriptures that the daughters of Mara, all the hosts of temptation, attacked him strongly. But the Buddha did not give in. They urged him to get up but he would not. The Buddha focussed his attention on his breathing. If he did get up he knew that all that awaited him was death, at most he might postpone it for eighty or a hundred years, and so he just looked intently at his breathing.






He reflected that if after inhalation some obstruction or other prevented the exhalation, then he would die. If after exhalation some blockage in the lungs prevented inha­lation then also he would die. The Buddha just stayed with the breath, seeing death in every inhalation and exhalation. There was still no Buddha, Dhamma or Sangha. The Buddha was not yet the Buddha, his mind had been pushed around for so long by the thought­demon. So he took up the subject of death to teach his mind with every inhalation and exhalation until a strong conviction and clarity of mind arose in him that death is indeed certain, that with the cutting off of the breath, death is inevitable.

The Buddha looked intently to see the inevitability of death with every breath. He reflected "there is no one born into this world that does not die. If people do not die as children then they die as youths. If they do not die in their youth they die in their old age. If they die then I must die. I must completely abandon the defile­ments of greed, hatred and delusion before death. I must realize enlightenment." The Buddha-to-be made a firm and unwavering resolve. He brought to mind all the virtues that he had developed to perfection: those of giving, morality, renunciation, wisdom, endurance, truth­fulness, resolution, kindness and equanimity, and he al­lowed them to converge in the mind, as it was aware of the breathing. The Lord's mind was as solid as the earth, more so perhaps because the earth is still subject to tremors. As for the mind of the Buddha-to-be, as he recollected the charity, morality and meditation that he had practised and concentrated them in this firm mind, more solid than Mother Earth, absolutely immoveable,






then he felt ready even to sacrifice his life. If death had come to him at that moment he would have felt no fear. The teachers of old described that moment with an image. They say the earth goddess squeezed waters from the bun of her hair that swept away the hosts of Mara into the/ jaws of a fabulous crocodile. This is putting it figuratively The earth goddess is the earth. When our minds are firm and stable like the earth we can vanquish the thought-demon, the defilement-demon, overcome all the myriad forms of craving and clinging. Consider the nature of the earth. The rain falls in the monsoon season and the earth is unaffected. The sun blazes in the hot season, hot enough to cause fires, and in the winter the weather is so cold that frost forms on the grasstips, and yet the earth remains unmoved. Mankind appears and divides the world up into countries. It digs and mines and burns the earth, does all sorts of things, even drops atom bombs on it. But the earth remains impassive.

If the mind of an ordained or unordained person has a true and clear conviction in the Buddha's teachings, then it will not waver in any way. For such a person tiredness and exhaustion is merely an affair of the aggregates. * Wherever the body or form aggregate exists there is going to be hunger, weariness and exhaus­tion as a matter of course. The body has to eat, it has


* The Buddha explained human existence in terms of five aggregates (Khandhas) : those of form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness





to sleep, it needs all kinds of things. That is a matter of aggregates, a matter of elements. We should not let the mind waver in the face of those conditions. When you set out to do something, sitting meditation for example, don't let the demons of thought and defilement fool you. Or if as a monk you make a resolution to keep the ascetic practice of not laying down then make your resolution firm. Don't start worrying about the effects it might have on your health. No illness transcends death. Death is the worst that can happen. If you miss your sleep, even if you really suffer you'll just die, that's all. Let the thought-demon know that you are ready to battle with death and it won't come to deceive you again.

 Sit and cultivate 'Buddho' with every inhalation and' exhalation. If meditators' minds are firmly establi­shed in this way they will feel a lightness in body and mind and a brightness and clarity as if a powerful force has arisen within them. Such a mind is brave and courageous, without fear of death or fear of tiredness, not frail and timid.

 When you have spare time, rush to meditate. Hurry, it's urgent. If you don't wish to do it urgently you won't do it at all. You will believe the thought-demon or believe people not interested in meditation, and they will discourage you. The Buddha said "turitturitam singhasing­ham "-- Rush, hurry, it's urgent! Meditate on every inhala­tion and exhalation. Determine to practise right at this moment. If we don't, then the demons of thought and defilement will lead us away into old age and death. Even on the day of death we still won't have the time. The people who have no time to practise are the people who believe the thought-demon.






All of you who are practising Dhamma, don't believe the thought-demon. Teach it at every breath "This is the breath. It may cease at any moment." The Buddha himself used the breathing process as the subject of calm meditation and the foundation of insight meditation. It was the ground of his Dhamma practice. All of us too are inhaling and exhaling, we too all have body and mind. As the Buddha did, if we overcome the defilements in our hearts we will clearly perceive Nibbana. This is certain. Why bother doubting about it? Indecision, unwillingness to commit oneself to Dhamma practice or to put forth effort at this very moment: it's just that sort of mental state that the Buddha called doubt. Get rid of your doubts!

The Buddha taught us not to reach out towards the past or future. If we do we get stuck. We don't get anywhere at all. But if we ground the mind in the present we can testify to the inner knowing that lies within us all. If that knowing didn't exist then how could we talk, how could we come and listen to Dhamma? It exists and it is right in that knowing that lie virtue and accumulated purity. We meditate in order to gather the energies of the mind into this inner knowing. We put down thoughts and sense-consciousness, the defiled mind that goes out in search of distractions. We give up thinking of friends and families, forests and streams, everything that lies outside of the present moment. It's all false and wrong. What is right, what is straight is that which the Buddha called 'tattha' or 'in that place.'' In that place refers to the knowing that lies within our mind.

When the energy of the mind is pacified, unified and grounded on the knowing, a firm faith and confidence







in that knowing arises. There is sila- and it is the knowing that keeps sila that cares for actions and speech. There is samadhi- and it is the knowing that is firm. There is panna- and it is the knowing that has direct knowledge of the mass of physical and mental con­ditions. There is nothing that lies beyond the mind.

This mind can both know truly and know deludedly. When we just allow it to blindly follow forms, sounds, odours, flavours, tangible objects and ideas it is deceived day and night, from birth until old age, from old age until death. It can be fascinated by those things for innumerable lifetimes. When we come to meditate, we put effort into burning up the defilements in our hearts so that they diminish and finally come to an end. Thus our effort is concentrated on this mind. We keep reminding ourselves that apart from this knowing that is established in the present moment. everything be it past or present. good or bad, is all impermanent. There is nothing lasting to be found in the world. Everything outside of this knowing is unsatisfactory and impersonal. Even the knowing itself is still not sure if the masses of defilement cram and encompass it. We must put effort into burning up the defilements right here. We must develop generosity, morality and meditation right here, here in the mind of present knowing. Be wary of the forms that come into our line of vision and the sounds that enter the ears -- don't follow them. Odours that enter at the nose, flavours that pass by the tongue, sensations hot and cold, hard and soft -- don't be deluded by them. Don't be misled by discursive thought. Don't be fooled by conditions.

Why did the Buddha not want us to be deluded? Because he wanted us to know. By now all of us in the






course of time have come to know all sorts of things. But what have we got from it? All we have got is old age and death. Death and then birth and then death and then birth over and over again. Can you see this? All human beings are born and then they die, just like a sound that having arisen disappears or a form once created comes to an end. Wherever there is arising there must be passing away. The Buddha taught us to know this truth. It is the knowledge taught by the Buddha. and all his noble disciples. They all instruct us to know our minds, to be aware of ourselves, not to be intoxicated by mental states, thinking or craving.

The Buddha described three kinds of craving: the craving for sense-pleasures, the craving to become and the craving not to become i.e. coarse, middling and subtle craving. All of its forms lie within the mind and their abandonment is dependent on effort and close attention, burning up the cravings rather than being swept along by them. Thus practice implies not following the cravings, desires and wishes that arise. When craving starts to cause distress and turmoil in the mind we pacify it. know it clearly within. 

The Buddha taught us to clearly see into this mind, and also to see the things outside of it. He wanted us to see that there is nothing permanent or substantial anywhere at all and there is nothing that can provide us with lasting happiness. All there is unsatisfactoriness or dukkha. We sit and there is dukkha in the sitting pos­ture. We lay down and there is dukkha in the laying. We stand up and there is dukkha in the standing. We walk and there is dukkha in the walking. Even when we talk or give a Dhamma-discourse dukkha is present.




There is no real happiness. All those things which we assume to be happiness are all false. If they true happiness why is death followed by birth. There is no real happiness. What people call happiness is a delusion of the worldly. The enlightened ones that it's all just stories of dukkha and unknowing. Thus the Buddha and his disciples, enlightened and enlightened, practise calm and insight meditation in every posture. They put energy into their meditation at times, continually accelerating their efforts. They go without sleep. If in the inner struggle with defilements just indulge in rest and sleep the defilements will trample all over us, we will be unable to overcome them. If we get up and sit in meditation, contemplate unattractiveness (asubha) or the elements (dhatu) so as see the unsatisfactoriness inherent in the body and mind, point out and reveal these things to our intoxicated, indulgent mind; then we will be able to put forth effort to burn up the defilements of ignorance and delusion. Whenever we are deluded or intoxicated with something, then we lose our self-awareness and then there is pitch-black darkness. There is no path that will take us into such utter darkness as that of delusion, knowing the nature of the mind and body, not receiving the three characteristics, not seeing clearly in present moment. The deluded mind puts no effort into eradicating defilements in the present moment. It is engrossed in the pleasures derived from forms, sounds, odours, flavours, physical sensations and mental states, taking them to be happiness. But that happiness is bound up with materiality, it is not true happiness. The Buddha said that true happiness is the happiness of Nibbana.







The happiness of nibbana is a non-clinging happiness. It does not depend on obtaining or rejecting any­thing. It is the complete annihilation of desire, hatred and delusion, both internally and externally. It is because there is not a single remnant of defilement that it is called happiness. It is a true unchanging happiness, not fickle and deceitful. As for happiness in the world, however intense it may be, it is still deceitful. Even millionaires, multi-millionaires, kings and emperors must all still suffer through the power of defilements. The Buddha called the defilements 'fires'. Fires are hot and wherever the fire of desire occurs, then that place is hot. Whenever the fire of aversion and delusion occur then those places are hot. Where do they occur? In the mind that doesn't know and see clearly, the mind that does not let goes, the mind that does not abandon and release.

The mind tends to cling to the idea of self It clings to the body as being self, but after death the body lies rotting on the ground and is cremated. Have you ever seen that? If you haven't yet realized that the same fate awaits you, then look at other people. Parents and grandparents, where have they all gone? They are dead. After they died where did their bodies go? They went to earth. In the end, this body that we cling to as being 'me' ,and 'mine' will turn to earth, and there's nothing we can do to prevent it. We can't forbid old age, sick­ness and death. The Buddha said that what we can do is to prevent the mind from being deluded by it all.

Create clear knowing in the mind. Apart from this knowing mind, everything is aniccam; imperma­nent. Don't be deceived by it all at any cost. Apart from this knowing mind everything is dukkham: it's all





unsatisfactory and unstable. Apart from this knowing mind, there is no atta, no independent entity. Self and others is a convention of the world, In truth none of it is self, there is nothing that is really 'me' or 'mine'. Experiment with separating out hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh and bones, Divide things up into the elements of earth, water, fire and air. Have a look at what is what There is nothing substantial there, just agreed conventions. Don't be misled by those conditions.

Go against the out-flowing stream of the mind, Enter samadhi and pacify the mind. Establish yourself in the practice of Dhamma and keep burning up the defilements of 'desire, aversion and delusion. As long as they still remain keep trying to gradually eliminate them. This is called not backsliding 'viriyena dukkhama­centi' said the Buddha. Dukkha is transcended through effort'. When there is effort in our minds we can free ourselves of suffering. If those who practise Dhamma believe this saying with all their hearts, don't slacken but firmly resolve to practise calm and insight medita­tion to the best of their abilities, when their spiritual faculties and accumulated purity are fully mature, then they will realize enlightenment. Of this there is no doubt. So having listened to these skillful means that I have outlined and clearly appreciated the truth of them in your hearts, then impress them in your memory and take them away and practise accordingly, for your welfare and happiness.


*************  EVAM *************







 Buddha : 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.

 Dhamma : The teachings of the historical Buddha; the way things are.

 Sangha : The Buddha's enlightened disciples; the correct practice of Dhamma.

 Anicca : Impermanence; transiency

 Dukkha : Suffering; unsatisfactoriness; discontent; in­stability; the inability of impermanent pheno­mena to provide any true or lasting happi­ness.

 Anatta : Not self; impersonality; absence of a per­manent and self-existent ego entity in that which is impermanent and unsatisfactory.

 Sila : Virtue; Morality; Precepts; the volition to refrain from actions and speech that cause distress to one-self and/or others.

 Samadhi : Concentration. The peace clarity and stabi­lity of mind resulting from attention to a single object or theme.

 Panna : Wisdom. Direct non-conceptual under­standing of the impermanent, unsatisfactory and impersonal nature of conditioned exis­tence.

 Samatha  : Meditation on a single object or theme and the peace that results from it

 Vipassana : Meditation on the impermanence unsatisfactoriness and impersonality of conditioned existence and the insight that results from it

 Evam  : thus like in "thus have I heard - evam me sutam"



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