Crossing the Ocean of Life &more / Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo

ในห้อง 'Buddhism' ตั้งกระทู้โดย supatorn, 21 กรกฎาคม 2021.

  1. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
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    Crossing the Ocean of Life / Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo

    translated from the Thai by
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu

    © 1998

    I'd now like to explain the Dhamma as a gift for those of us who have gathered here. All of us, both lay and ordained, have come here with skillful intentions from many different provinces. Our coming here is of two sorts. The first sort is connected with our having received an invitation or notice of this gathering, so that we've come to join in with the merit-making for the past eleven days. The second sort didn't receive any notice or invitation, but as soon as word of this gathering passed by our ears, we gave rise to a good intention — good in one of two ways. The first is that we see that people here are doing something good, and so we should join in. That's why some of you are here. This includes many of the monks and novices who came: you simply heard the news of this gathering and so you came to join your hearts with ours. This is called a skillful intention that has borne fruit in the hearts of all of us.


    And then there are those who considered that this is a gathering of our friends, of our teacher: even though we haven't been called to join, we should go. Some of you have thought in this way and so have joined in our gathering, participating in the various activities up to today. For all of these things, I'd like to express my thanks and appreciation to each and every one of you — because this celebration has involved many duties, many activities of many sorts. If I were to try to do it all by myself, I'm sure I wouldn't succeed. The fact that we have managed to succeed so well is due to the goodness of all of you together.


    Now, the fact that you've succeeded in completing these activities will give you results in two ways: the first is through merit — there's no need to doubt that. The second is through benefaction.


    Results through merit means that we've never been here before, we're not intimate with the people here, but we've learned that what they're doing here is meritorious, and so we've come in hopes of merit.


    The other way is, as I've said earlier: we've come on the basis of being students or friends, or of being students of the same teacher. When we willingly come to help in these activities, this too is meritorious. The results we'll receive will come in two ways: through merit and through benefaction.


    Merit is an individual affair, something for which each person has to be responsible in terms of him or her own self. As for benefaction, the person who has benefited from your help and support won't forget your kindness. The memory will stay buried there in the heart: that when we held the celebration in that year or that time, our friends came to help us. If they have any need for our help, then — to the extent that we're able — we should take the opportunity to return their kindness in line with our ability. Whether they call for our help or not, and whether or not we can actually go to help, we can't escape having the intention to benefit them in one way or another. Even though my body may not be able to go, or my words can't reach you, still my mind — when I hear the news one way or another of any meritorious activities, and there's some way I can help — will remember your kindness, and the merit that I've accumulated myself, and so I'll spread thoughts of good will, dedicating the fruits of that merit to pour down on you all. It's as if all of you were farming in a certain place, planting rice or vegetables, or starting an orchard, and then ran into difficulties, such as a drought. When this happens, there are things that have to be done: finding water, for instance, or repairing the dikes in the rice field. When a person who has received your help in the past learns of your difficulties, but can't carry the water to you or help with the repair work, he'll spread thoughts of good will.


    Spreading thoughts of good will is something subtle and hard to perceive, like the energy that flows out of our eyes. The eyes of every person shoot beams of energy out into the air, the same way that the beams of car headlights light up a road. The energy from our eyes, though, is refined. No matter where we look, we don't see the energy flowing past because the current is subtle. It's because the current is subtle, though, that it can flow far. If the current were blatant, it would go only a short distance. This is why, when people develop solid concentration, they're able to see many subtle worlds. In other words, the nature of eye-energy has no limit, but we simply get no use out of it. Why? Because our minds aren't still. If our minds aren't still, we're like a person preoccupied, all wrapped up in his work. When the mind is wrapped up in confusion this way, then even though the eyes have potential energy, we can't get any use out of it because it's very subtle. The energy can go very far, but the problem is that the mind isn't quiet. If the mind were really quiet, we could immediately see very far. That's clairvoyance.


    This is something ordinary and natural that exists in every human being. If the mind is weak, then outside currents cut off the energy coming from our eyes. If the mind is strong and resilient, the currents of the world can't cut that energy off. Such people can see far regardless of whether their eyes are open or closed. This is a quality that exists in the human body — something of very high quality by its nature, but we can't get any use out of it because our minds are distracted and restless. When our minds are distracted and restless, we're like people who are dead drunk: even though drunk people may have tools in their possession, they can't put them to any use other than as weapons to kill one another. Only if they're good and sober will they be able to use those tools to amass wealth and provide for their physical well-being. But if they're mentally unbalanced, you give them a knife and they'll use it to slice somebody's head open. As a result, they end up in prison. Even if they don't end up in prison, they'll have to get caged or locked up at home.


    The same is true with the human beings born in this world: even though they're endowed with good things by nature, their minds aren't at normalcy. And so the good things within them end up causing various kinds of harm.


    Here we've been talking about physical nature. When we talk about subtle matters, like merit or the mind, they're much more refined than the body. For this reason, helping people by way of the mind is something much more profound. When a person trains his own mind, and trains it well, to the point where he experiences happiness and peace, and then hears that other people are suffering and that there's a way he can be of help, he uses the strength of the mind. He cultivates the mind until it's firmly established and then can send that clean current to be of immediate help.


    The hearts of ordinary people, though, are like salt water in the ocean. If you use it to bathe, you're not really comfortable — although it can help you get by in a pinch. If you try to drink it, it doesn't nourish the body. You use it only if you really don't have anything else at all.


    In the same way, the hearts of human beings in this world are adrift in the ocean: the flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, the flood of ignorance. These four oceans are deep: deeper than the water in the sea. We depend on our minds that are swimming in these oceans, sinking in salt water. That's why, when some people are in really salty water, the waves are strong. If they lie down to sleep, they toss and turn just like waves in the sea. They lie down on their left side and can't sleep. They turn over and lie on their right side and still can't sleep. It comes from the waves. And where do these waves come from? The ocean. In other words, they come from


    — the flood of sensuality: sensual desires, attachment to sensual objects;


    — the flood of becoming: wanting to be this, wanting to be that, struggling to escape from the state we're in;


    — the flood of views: holding fast to our own views to the point of getting into arguments — a sign that we're adrift in salt water;


    — and the flood of ignorance: darkness behind us — not knowing the past; darkness in front of us — not knowing the future; darkness in the present — not knowing what's good and evil within ourselves, letting the mind fall for the ways of the world of rebirth. That's what's meant by ignorance.


    The normal nature of the human mind is to be floating adrift in this way, which is why the Buddha had the great kindness to want us to develop our merit and skillfulness. That's why he advised us to build a boat for ourselves: the boat, here, is the activity of our physical body. As for the provisions that we'll need for crossing the ocean, those are the requisites that we as Buddhists sacrifice in order to benefit monastics in our development of generosity. If you can give a lot, it means that you'll have enough to help you cross over the ocean, for you'll have enough to eat. If you give only a little, you might run out of provisions and start drifting aimlessly with the currents and waves in the middle of the ocean. If you're lucky, the waves may wash you ashore, so that you manage to survive. But if the waves are large, and your boat small, you won't be able to reach land. You'll end up sinking in the middle of the sea.
     
  2. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    (cont.)
    The Buddha contemplated this fact, which is why he advised us to develop our goodness. On one level, developing goodness is involved with the way we use our material possessions. On another, it's involved with the way we look after our actions, improving the way we use our physical body so that it becomes fully trained. The results we'll receive are of two sorts. The first is that our boat won't sink. The second is that we'll have plenty of provisions for crossing over the vast expanse of the sea. But even when people have a seaworthy boat and plenty of provisions, they can still run out of water to drink. When that happens, then although they have plenty of provisions, they're put to difficulties. To prevent this, the Buddha taught us another skill: how to distill salt water so that we can drink it. If we're intelligent, we can distill salt water so that we can drink it. We'll be able to reach America without having to stop off anywhere along the way. If we have discernment, we'll be able to drink salt water. In what way? Salt water comes from fresh water, so wherever there's salt water, there has to be fresh water. They can't escape from each other. Once you realize this, you can travel around the world. If you're skilled at distilling, your salt water can turn into fresh water. Once we can turn salt water into fresh water in this way, we can be at our ease. Even though we're in the middle of the ocean, we'll have fresh water to drink and to bathe our bodies. That way we'll be at our ease.


    In the same way, those of us who are adrift in the ocean of life have to:

    1) caulk our boat so that it's nice and tight,
    2) stock our boat with enough provisions, and
    3) learn how to distill fresh water from salt water.
    The "boat" here stands for our body. It's not a big boat — if it were larger than this, we human beings would have lots of hardships. The body is a fathom long, a cubit wide, and a span thick. This is a boat that we have to caulk so that it's nice and tight. Caulking the boat here stands for restraint of the senses: restraining the eye — being careful not to give rise to bad kamma because of the eye, not letting barnacles build up on it; restraining the ear — don't let anything evil come in by way of the ear, for anything that's evil is like a barnacle. The same holds true with our nose, tongue, body, and mind: we shouldn't take an interest in anything evil or bad, for things of that sort are like barnacles or insects that will bore into the wood of our boat and destroy it.


    This is why we're taught to practice restraint over our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. We abstain from doing whatever shouldn't be done. We have to protect ourselves and practice restraint, considering things thoroughly before we act. If we let barnacles develop all over our body, this boat of ours — this Body Ship — will wear out and sink into the ocean.


    As for the mind, we have to be careful that defilements don't arise in the heart. We have to exercise restraint like this at all times, continually caulking our six sense media, caulking our eyes with the right sights, our ears with the right sounds, our nose with the right smells, our tongue with the right flavors, our body with the right tactile sensations, and our mind with the Dhamma.


    Caulking the eye means that if we see a lack anywhere that will give us a chance to develop merit and skillfulness — whether it's inside the monastery or out — we shouldn't be indifferent to it. We should fill up the lack as we can, step by step. This is called caulking the eye.


    Caulking the ear means that when we hear people say anything — regardless of whether they have the intention of telling or teaching us — when their voices come scraping into our ears, we should tell ourselves that the sound is a chance for us to develop our goodness. In that way, the sound will be useful to us. No matter what kind of person is speaking — child or adult; monk, novice, or nun; tall, short, black, white, whatever: we should choose to pay attention only to the things that will be of use to us. This is called using sounds as pitch for caulking for the ears.


    When we encounter smells passing by our nose, we should search only for smells that will make us cheerful, that will give rise to skillful mental states as a way of caulking our nose. This is what will bring happiness and peace to the mind.


    Caulking the body stands for the way we sit here quietly listening to the Dhamma without moving around or making any disturbance. It also stands for sitting in meditation, sitting and chanting, performing a candle circumambulation ceremony, using the body to bow down to the Buddha. All of these things count as caulking for the body.


    As for caulking the mind, that stands for dhamma-osatha: the medicine of the Dhamma. We caulk the mind by the way we think. If, when we think of something, the mind sours, we shouldn't think about that thing. Whether it's a matter of the world or of the Dhamma, if thinking about it gives rise to anger or delusion in the mind, we shouldn't pay it any attention. We should think instead of the good we've done in the past. For example, we can think of the good things we did together in the celebration of the year 2500 B.E. Even though we've parted ways since then, we've come back together to do skillful and meritorious things once more. This is a caulking for the mind. In addition to that, we foster another form of goodness, called developing concentration. Developing concentration is a way of caulking the mind so that it doesn't develop any gaps, leaks, or holes.


    All of this is called caulking our boat — the boat of the body. In Pali, this is called indriya-samvara-sila, the principles of restraint over the sense faculties. We exercise restraint over our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, so that our boat will float on the ocean without sinking. This is called caulking our boat.


    What do we do next? We have to stock our boat with provisions. Once we're born in the world, our well-being depends on the requisites of life. We've eaten food, worn clothing, lived in shelter, and used medicine to treat the body. That's why we've been able to find as much comfort as we have. When we consider this fact, we have to turn and consider how others are getting along. When we see that we need these things to get along, we start stocking our boat by giving gifts of almsfood and making other donations to provide all four requisites. That's called stocking our boat with provisions. Then we put up a mast and unfurl a sail. In other words, we invite a monk to get up on the sermon seat and teach the Dhamma as a way of inclining the mind in the right direction. The mind will then zip right along in line with the breeze of the Dhamma. And the body will go right along with it. For example, once we've heard the Dhamma we gain a feeling of contentment so that we want to hear it again. This is a sign that our boat has caught wind, and the wind is strong, so we sail right along. This will help our boat reach the other shore easily. If there's no sail to help it along, and we stock the boat with too many things, it may sink. This is why there's the custom, when anyone makes a donation, to have a sermon at the same time as a way of inclining the mind in the direction of the Dhamma. For our boat to get anywhere, it needs a sail. Then no matter how many or how few provisions we haul on board, the boat will head in the direction we want it to. This is the second thing we need to know.


    The third thing is the method for distilling salt water so that it can become fresh. This stands for practicing tranquillity meditation and insight meditation. We give rise to directed thought and evaluation within the mind. And what is salt water? Salt water stands for defilement. The defilements of the mind are saltier than salt. When we try to eat salt — even just a little — we can't swallow it because we find it so salty, but the defilements are even saltier than that. They can crust us over so that we spoil and rot in all sorts of ways. When this is the case, what can we do? We have to filter or distill them. Filtering refers to yoniso manasikara, appropriate attention. Whatever we do, we have to reflect, to be observant, to consider things carefully before we act. This is the first vat in our distillery.


    Our second vat is meditation, contemplating our fabrications by using skillful strategies, giving rise to the factors of jhana. The first factor is directed thought: keeping in mind the preoccupation that can act as a foundation for the mind — its gocara-dhamma, or proper range — as a way of aiming it in the right direction by developing the four frames of reference (satipatthana). This is how we distill salt water.
     
  3. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
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    (cont.)
    The four frames of reference are:

    focusing on the body in and of itself,
    focusing on feelings in and of themselves,
    focusing on the mind in and of itself, and
    focusing on mental qualities in and of themselves.
    All four of these are gathered in the body and mind. This is one way of looking at them, called anuloma, or in line with the standard way. The other way is called patiloma, in reverse of the standard way, in which we take all four and turn them into one. The standard way is when we practice directed thought and evaluation. But when we take all four and turn them into one, we take only one part of the body, as they say in the Great Frames of Reference Discourse: we focus on the body in and of itself as an object of tranquillity meditation. In other words, we take all four parts and gather them into the body: the properties of earth, water, fire, and wind. That's the body. When we see that it has many parts and many aspects, preventing the mind from growing still, making it distracted, we choose only one of the parts. For example, we put aside the properties of earth, water, and fire, and stay still only with the property of wind. We focus down on the wind property as the object we keep in mind: this is called the body in and of itself.


    The wind property here means the in-and-out breath. When we keep the breath in mind and watch constantly over it, that's called developing the body in and of itself. When the breath comes in, we watch it. When it goes out, we watch it. We keep surveying it constantly. Sometimes it's coarse, sometimes it's refined, sometimes it's cool, sometimes it's warm. No matter what it's like, we keep watching it. Sometimes, just as we're about to reach something good in the meditation, we get discouraged. It's like boiling water in our distillery. Normally, two sorts of things can happen. If the fire is too strong, the water starts boiling so fast that it all turns into steam, overflows the vat, and puts out the fire. If the fire is too weak, the water doesn't boil and so it produces no steam at all. Sometimes the fire is just right — not too strong, not too weak — just right in between. The middle way. The fire is just enough to give rise to steam — not so much that it overflows the vat, but enough for steam to come out of the vat, enough for the steam to become drops of fresh water.


    This is why we're taught to be observant. When the desire to succeed in the meditation is really strong, it can prevent the mind from growing still. The breath gets stirred up and can't grow subtle. This is called desire getting in the way. Sometimes the desire is too weak. You sit there, the mind still, the breath refined, light — and you drift right to sleep. The water never comes to a boil. You have to put things together in the right proportions, just right, with mindfulness and alertness monitoring things at all times. When the mind is staying with coarse breathing, you know. When it's staying with refined breathing, you know. When your mindfulness and alertness are constant in this way, the result is rapture: the body is light, cool, comfortable, and at ease. The mind has a sense of fullness, blooming and bright in its concentration. This is where fresh water is beginning to gather in your distillery. The salt water begins to disappear. In other words, the salt water of sensual desire, ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty — letting the mind run to the past, run to the future, not clearly seeing the present — begins to disappear. When the mind is really still and refined, it gives rise to concentration, with a sense of ease and fullness, so that you can sit for many hours.


    This is the same as taking a single jar of fresh water with us in our boat. If we have the intelligence to distill fresh water out of salt water, our one jar of water will become a magic jar, providing us with enough water to drink all the way around the world. In the same way, when we develop concentration by using directed thought to lift the mind to its object as the first step in the first jhana, and evaluation to keep contemplating the object of our meditation to make it subtle and refined — when the properties of the body have been thoroughly evaluated, the mind will be able to contemplate the drawbacks of the five hindrances. The body will grow quiet — this is called kaya-passaddhi, physical serenity; and the mind will grow still — citta-passaddhi, mental serenity. The body will be at ease, with no pains or heaviness: this is kaya-lahuta, physical lightness. This is where rapture arises. The mind will feel full and satisfied, with no restlessness or distraction, like a person who has eaten his fill, or a child who has eaten its fill so that it no longer disturbs its mother or father.


    When the heart has rapture as its companion, it will be free from unrest. It will be cool. It will be able to use the fresh water it has distilled from salt water as a means of washing its clothing, as a means of bathing its body. Then it will be able to wash the earth property — which is like a rag — the water property, the wind property, and the fire property, all of which are like rags: they're always ripping and tearing, always getting dirty. This is why we have to care for them at all times. When the mind has given rise to the factors of concentration, the power of rapture will come to wash our properties of earth, water, wind, and fire. Then, if we want to be warm, we won't have to sit in the sunlight; if we want to be cool, we won't have to sit in the breeze. If, when we're stuck in the sunlight, we want to be cool, we'll be cool. If, when we're stuck in water, we want to be warm, we'll be warm. That way we can be at our ease, like a person who has clothing to cover his body, and so has no need to feel bashful when he enters human society.


    This is why meditators have no fear of difficult conditions. Why is that? Because they have their own source of fresh water: water to bathe in, water to drink. They've got all the water they need to use for bathing their body; for bathing their eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind; for bathing the properties of earth, water, wind, and fire. That's water for using. As for water for drinking: they can develop concentration to an even higher level, to give rise to a sense of inner pleasure: pleasure that arises from within the mind itself. When the mind feels pleasure, both the body and mind will be at their ease. The mind will imbibe nothing but pleasure — and there's no pleasure higher than that of the mind at peace. Thus rapture is water for using, for bathing the body and mind; whereas pleasure is drinking water specifically for the mind.


    So whoever has the discernment to distill fresh water from salt water will experience ease and well-being. This is our first distillery. The second distillery is where we take the water from the first and distill it to even greater purity. This is the same as when they refine sugar: after the first stage, it still contains some alcohol, so they have to refine it a second time. This stands for developing insight meditation, something very refined — so refined that nobody else can see it. You can stand and practice insight meditation, sit and practice insight meditation, you can lie down, you can even be giving a Dhamma talk and practice insight meditation: the mouth speaks, the mind thinks of its topic — when you think of something to say, or thoughts simply arise within the mind, there's no attachment to bodily fabrication, i.e., the processes of the body; no attachment to verbal fabrication, i.e., the thoughts that fabricate words for other people to hear. There's no attachment to your words, and your mind doesn't run out after them. As for thoughts that arise from ignorance and craving, you know them immediately for what they are. The mind in that state isn't involved in bodily fabrication, verbal fabrication, or mental fabrication. The mind is then released from all fabrications.


    All fabrications that arise simply change and then disband. This is true of bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, and mental fabrications. When you see these things in terms of their common characteristics, when you see them as

    inconstant, constantly spinning around,
    stressful, hard to bear, and
    not-self, beyond your control,
    then whether you're standing, sitting, lying down, performing physical work, or speaking — even when you're just sitting and thinking alone by yourself — you'll find all things good and noble flowing to you at all times. This is called practicing insight meditation.


    A person like this can then set up an enormous distillery, turning the water of the sea into clouds. When the water of the sea has been turned into clouds, they'll float through the sky. Wherever people are suffering from hardships, the water in the clouds will come raining down, watering the land where people live so that they can grow food conveniently. In the same way, when people have released their hearts from the power of worldliness, their goodness is like clouds. When the clouds turn into rain, the rain water will help good people live in happiness and well-being. This is one of the benefits that comes from those who have developed discernment.


    So I ask that all of you make a mental note of these three maxims:

    1) Caulk your boat.
    2) Set up a mast, unfurl your sails so that they catch the wind, and then stock your boat with provisions by practicing generosity.
    3) Learn how to take salt water and distill it into fresh.
    Whoever can give rise to these skills within themselves will, at the very least, become good people. If they're not heedless, and make a continual effort, they will be able to take the mind beyond all becoming.


    So, all of you who have gathered together to make merit on this occasion: I ask that you accept, as a gift, the Dhamma described here; take it with you; and put it into practice. You will experience pleasure, flourish, and thrive in the Buddha's teachings.
    .............................. RoseUnderline.gif
    :- https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/ocean.html
     
  4. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    23,278
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
    166
    ค่าพลัง:
    +27,849
    The Mind Aflame
    July 28, 1959
    A single mind moment can't carry out two tasks at once. In other words, the evil you've done is really evil; the goodness you've done, really good. The mind can't carry out the tasks of evil and goodness both at the same time. It's like having only one hand. When the things you're carrying fill the hand, it can't pick up anything else. You have to put down what you're already carrying. Only then can you pick up other things. This is an analogy for the mind.

    If the mind is continually in good shape, evil won't have any place to land or catch hold. But if our goodness isn't constant, evil will be able to find a perch. It's like rowing a boat out into the ocean. If we stay close to shore, crows flying from the shore will be able to perch on the mast of the boat. If you don't want them perching there, you have to row out as far as you can. The crows then won't be able to perch on the mast. If any crow tries to keep flying out to the boat, it'll lose sight of the shore and is likely to die out there in the ocean, because it'll run out of strength, it'll run out of food. It'll have to die.

    In the same way, if goodness catches hold of the greater part of the mind, evil will have to circle aimlessly around with nowhere to land. If it stays close by — meaning that goodness has only a small part of the heart — evil will be able to come flying in. Sometimes it waits on the opposite shore. If your strength of mind runs low, it'll stay right nearby and catch hold of you easily.

    For example, if the goodness you get from coming to the monastery isn't yet enough, when you get back home your mind will order you to do evil in this way or that, and you'll go right along with it. Or while you're sitting here listening to this talk, evil will perch on the handrail to the stairs outside. When you get up at the end of the talk and let yourself get distracted, it'll immediately land right on you. Sometimes even while you're sitting here, it'll come swooping in, just like a crow. If the mind is good and strong, though, evil will wait at a distance. Even when you get home, it won't dare land on you — but it might land on someone else, someone without any Dhamma. As you talk with that person, and your words begin to mesh with theirs, evil might come sneaking in that way. That's because you're goodness isn't yet strong enough.

    If we have a wound on our body — i.e., evil in our mind — we have to wash off the wound, put medicine in it, and cover it with a clean bandage: in other words, observe the precepts and practice meditation. That way the wound has a chance to heal. Washing the wound means that we don't get involved in thinking about the good and bad points of other people. That right there is a skillful mind state arising. The mind will then be at its ease and will develop an inner nourishment: coolness in heart and mind. It's like sitting in a mountain glen with a waterfall streaming down and a pure breeze blowing through a cleft in the rock. The mind will feel cool and undisturbed. The heart will blossom like a jasmine filled with dew in the middle of the cool season. The mind will give rise to strength.

    If the mind doesn't have any inner nourishment, though, it won't have any strength, because it's hungry and thin.

    The Buddha saw that we human beings are thin and malnourished in this way, which is why he felt compassion for us. He taught us, "The mind that goes around swallowing sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations is eating a ball of fire, you know. Not any kind of food." In other words, "The eye is burning." Everything we see with the eye is a form, and each of these forms contains a ball of fire, even though on the outside it's coated to look pretty and attractive. "The ear is burning." All the pleasing sounds we search for, and that come passing in through our ears from the day we're born to the day we die, are burning sounds, are flames of fire. The heat of the sun can't burn you to death, but sounds can burn you to death, which is why we say they're hotter than the sun. "The nose is burning." We've been smelling smells ever since the doctor cleaned out our nose right after birth, and the nature of smells is that there's no such thing as a neutral smell. There are only two kinds: good smelling and foul-smelling. If our strength is down and we're not alert, we swallow these smells right into the mind — and that means we've swallowed a time bomb. We're safe only as long as nothing ignites the fuse. "The tongue is burning." Countless tastes come passing over our tongue. If we get attached to them, it's as if we've eaten a ball of fire: As soon as it explodes, our intestines will come splattering out. If we human beings let ourselves get tied up in this sort of thing, it's as if we've eaten the fire bombs of the King of Death. As soon as they explode, we're finished. But if we know enough to spit them out, we'll be safe. If we swallow them, we're loading ourselves down. We won't be able to find any peace whether we're sitting, standing, walking, or lying down, because we're on fire inside. Only when we breathe our last will the fires go out. "The body is burning." Tactile sensations are also a fire that wipes human beings out. If you don't have any inner worth or goodness in your mind, these things can really do you a lot of damage.
     
  5. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    (cont.)
    Greed, anger, and delusion are like three enormous balls of red-hot iron that the King of Death heats until they're glowing hot and then pokes into our heads. When greed doesn't get what it wants, it turns into anger. Once we're angry, we get overcome and lose control, so that it turns into delusion. We forget everything — good, bad, our husbands, wives, parents, children — to the point where we can even kill our husbands, wives, parents, and children. This is all an affair of delusion. When these three defilements get mixed up in our minds, they can take us to hell with no trouble at all. This is why they're called fire bombs in the human heart.


    But if, when greed arises, we have the sense to take only what should be taken and not what shouldn't, it won't wipe us out even though it's burning us, because we have fire insurance. People without fire insurance are those with really strong greed to the point where they're willing to cheat and get involved in corruption or crime. When this happens, their inner fires wipe them out. To have fire insurance means that even though we feel greed, we can hold it in check and be generous with our belongings by giving donations, for instance, to the religion. Then even though we may die from our greed, we've still gained inner worth from making donations as an act of homage to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha — which is like keeping our insurance payments up. This way, even though our house may burn down, we'll still have some property left.


    Anger. When this defilement really gets strong, it has no sense of good or evil, right or wrong, husband, wives, or children. It can drink human blood. An example we often see is when people get quarreling and one of them ends up in prison or even on death row, convicted for murder. This is even worse than your house burning down, because you have nothing left at all. For this reason, we have to get ourselves some life insurance by observing the five or eight precepts so that we can treat and bandage our open sores — i.e., so that we can wash away the evil and unwise things in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Even if we can't wash them all away, we should try at least to relieve them somewhat. Although you may still have some fire left, let there just be enough to cook your food or light your home. Don't let there be so much that it burns your house down.


    The only way to put out these fires is to meditate and develop thoughts of good will. The mind won't feel any anger, hatred, or ill will, and instead will feel nothing but thoughts of sympathy, seeing that everyone in the world aims at goodness, but that our goodness isn't equal. You have to use really careful discernment to consider cause and effect, and then be forgiving, with the thought that we human beings aren't equal or identical in our goodness and evil. If everyone were equal, the world would fall apart. If we were equally good or equally bad, the world would have to fall apart for sure. Suppose that all the people in the world were farmers, with no merchants or government officials. Or suppose there were only government officials, with no farmers at all: We'd all starve to death with our mouths gaping and dry. If everyone were equal and identical, the end of the world would come in only a few days' time. Consider your body: Even the different parts of your own body aren't equal. Some of your fingers are short, some are long, some small, some large. If all ten of your fingers were equal, you'd have a monster's hands. So when even your own fingers aren't equal, how can you expect people to be equal in terms of their thoughts, words, and deeds? You have to think this way and be forgiving.
     
  6. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    (cont.)
    When you can think in this way, your good will can spread to all people everywhere, and you'll feel sympathy for people on high levels, low levels, and in between. The big ball of fire inside you will go out through the power of your good will and loving kindness.


    This comes from getting life insurance: practicing tranquillity meditation so as to chase the defilements away from the mind. Thoughts of sensual desire, ill will, lethargy, restlessness, and uncertainty will vanish, and the mind will be firmly centered in concentration, using its powers of directed thought to stay with its meditation word — buddho — and its powers of evaluation to create a sense of inner lightness and ease. When the mind fills itself with rapture — the flavor arising from concentration — it will have its own inner food and nourishment, so that whatever you do in thought, word, or deed is sure to succeed.
    :- https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/foodthought.html
     
  7. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    Snakes, Fires, & Thieves
    April 12, 1959

    The dangers faced by the mind are like poisonous snakes, fires, and great thieves — things that are always lying in wait to lay us to waste: robbing us, killing us, and stripping us of our valuables, our human goodness, every day and night.


    "Poisonous snakes" here stand for passion, aversion, and delusion, which have a painful poison that seeps into the minds of run-of-the-mill people. When it reaches the heart, this poison can kill you.


    As for "fires," there are two kinds: forest fires and house fires. A forest fire doesn't have any one owner. It arises of its own accord, by its nature, and spreads its destruction far and wide, without bounds, until it dies out on its own. This stands for the fires of birth, aging, illness, and death, forms of suffering that arise in the bodies of all living beings. This fire can burn up both our worldly treasures and our noble treasures (i.e., the goodness of the mind that we otherwise would be able to develop). As for house fires, those are the fires that arise from within the heart — defilements, ignorance, craving, and clinging — the hindrances that get in the way of the goodness that comes from training the heart and mind.


    The "great thieves" or "500 most wanted criminals" stand for our five aggregates: form, feeling, perception, thought-constructs, and consciousness, which are constantly robbing us, killing us, and oppressing us, destroying both our worldly treasures and our noble ones. In addition, there are the underground criminals that keep sneaking up on us without our realizing it: material gain, status, praise, and pleasure from external things. Whoever gets duped by these criminals finds it hard to work free. This is why they can destroy the goodness that we'd otherwise be able to attain in the area of the heart and mind.


    All of these poisonous snakes, fires, and criminals pose a tremendous danger to the heart. They keep destroying our goodness every moment. If we're not wise to them, we'll have trouble gaining release from them. The only way to prevent these dangers is through the power of the Dhamma: in other words, the practice of meditation, using our powers of directed thought and evaluation within ourselves to the point where we give rise to the discernment that clearly knows and sees the truth of all fabricated things. When we can see the dangers on all sides, we'll learn to be careful and on our guard, to look for ways of destroying them or of escaping from them. When we can do this, our lives will be happy.


    When we practice the Dhamma it's as if we were going through a lonely, desolate forest on the way to a goal that's the highest form of happiness and safety. To get through the forest, we have to depend on the practice of concentration, with our mindfulness circumspect on all sides. We can't be heedless or complacent. We must make the effort to cut away all the concepts and preoccupations that come in to destroy the goodness of the mind. When we know that there are poisonous snakes, fires, and the 500 most wanted criminals lying in wait for us along our way, we have to be mindful, alert, and wakeful at all times, and to get good weapons ready so that we can fight them off.


    At the same time, we need provisions to help us on our way — in other words the factors of jhana. Directed thought is what focuses the mind on what it wants to know. Evaluation is what kills off the Hindrances. These two qualities are like fixing dinner. But if we have only these two qualities, it's as if we've prepared our dinner but don't yet know the flavor of the different kinds of food we have. If we can still the mind until it's one with its object, that's like eating and swallowing our food. That's when we'll know its flavor and be able to gain a sense of fullness and nourishment from it: in other words, a sense of rapture, pleasure, and singleness of preoccupation. The heart will then be able to gain full strength, just like the body when it's had a nourishing meal.


    Outer food is what nourishes the body and gives it strength. When the body has strength, we can walk or run anywhere we want. Whatever we want to do, we'll have the strength to succeed. As for inner food — the Dhamma — that's what nourishes the heart and mind. When the heart and mind are well nourished, the power of the heart is made resilient and strong. Whatever we set our mind on will succeed in line with our thoughts. If the mind is deprived of the food of the Dhamma, it gets feeble and weak. Its thoughts meet with no success, or at best with success in some things and not in others, not fully in line with our hopes. That's why we have to shore up the strength of our own minds as much as we can, for the strength of the mind is the most important thing within us that will take us to our goal of the highest happiness.


    As long as you're still alive and breathing, don't let yourself be heedless or complacent. Don't let time pass you by to no purpose. Hurry up and accelerate your efforts at developing goodness — for when there's no more breath for you to breathe, you'll have no more opportunity to do good...


    You should focus exclusively on whatever thoughts help make the mind firm so that it can give rise to goodness. Don't dally with any other kinds of thinking, regardless of whether they seem more sophisticated or less. Shake them all off. Don't bring them into the mind to think about. Keep the mind firmly set in a single preoccupation: that's your true heart, the true heart of the Buddha's teachings.
    :- https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/startsmall.html#snakes

     
  8. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    Food for Thought
    by
    Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya)
    translated from the Thai by
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu

    © 1995
    Contents



    This book is an introduction to the Buddhist practice of training the heart. It is taken from the talks of Phra Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo, a teacher in the Thai forest tradition of meditation, and is called Food for Thought because it invites the reader to fill in the spaces suggested by the talks — to reflect on how the images and teachings they contain relate to one another and to one's own situation in life.


    Two of the talks included here, "Quiet Breathing" and "Centered Within," briefly describe a technique of breath meditation aimed at giving rise to a centered and discerning state of mind. The rest of the talks deal with how to use such a state of mind in dealing with the problems of life: the day-to-day problems of anger, anxiety, disappointment, etc., and the larger problems of aging, illness, and death.


    In other words, this is a book concerned less with the techniques of meditation than with its meaning and worth: the questions of why should one train the heart to begin with, what personal qualities are involved in its training, and how to make the best use of it as it becomes trained. Readers interested in more detailed instructions in the techniques of formal meditation can find them in Ajaan Lee's other books — especially Keeping the Breath in Mind and Inner Strength — although it is wise to reflect on the sorts of questions raised by this book before actually sitting down to the practice.


    The talks translated here are actually reconstructions of Ajaan Lee's talks made by two of his followers — a nun, Arun Abhivanna, and a monk, Phra Bunkuu Anuvaddhano — based on notes they made while listening to him teach. Some of the reconstructions are fairly fragmentary and disjointed, and in presenting them here I have had to edit them somewhat, cutting extraneous passages, expanding on shorthand references to points of formal doctrine, and filling in gaps by collating passages from different talks dealing with the same topic. Aside from changes of this sort, though, I have tried my best to convey both the letter and spirit of Ajaan Lee's message.


    I have also tried to keep the use of Pali words in the translation to a minimum. In all cases where English equivalents have been substituted for Pali terms, I have chosen to convey the meanings Ajaan Lee gives to these terms in his writings, even when this has meant departing from the interpretations given to these terms by scholars. A few Pali terms, though, have no adequate English equivalents, so here is a brief glossary of the ones left untranslated or unexplained in this book:

    Arahant: A person who has gained liberation from mental defilement and the cycle of death and rebirth.
    Brahma: An inhabitant of the heavens of form and formlessness corresponding to the levels of meditative absorption in physical and non-physical objects.


    Buddho: Awake; enlightened. An epithet of the Buddha.


    Dhamma (Dharma): The truth in and of itself; the right natural order of things. Also, the Buddha's teachings on these topics and the practice of those teachings aimed at realizing the true nature of the mind in and of itself.


    Kamma (Karma): Intentional acts, which create good or bad results in accordance with the quality of the intention. Kamma debts are the moral debts one owes to others for having caused them hardships or difficulties.


    Nibbana (Nirvana): Liberation; the unbinding of the mind from mental defilement and the cycle of death and rebirth. As this term refers also to the extinguishing of fire, it carries connotations of stilling, cooling, and peace. (According to the physics taught at the time of the Buddha, a burning fire seizes or adheres to its fuel; when extinguished, it is unbound.)


    Sangha: The followers of the Buddha who have practiced his teachings at least to the point of gaining entry to the stream to Liberation. To take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha means to take them as the guide in one's search for happiness and to make the effort to give rise to their qualities within oneself.


    My hope is that the teachings in this book will serve as more than just food for thought, and that they will inspire you to search for the inner worth and happiness that come with the practice of training the heart.


    Thanissaro Bhikkhu
    (Geoffrey DeGraff)
    January, 1989




    August 4, 1957

    Most of us tend to concern ourselves only with short, small, and narrow things. For instance, we think that there isn't much to human life — we're born and then we die — so we pay attention only to our stomachs and appetites. There's hardly anyone who thinks further than that, who thinks out past death. This is why we're short-sighted and don't think of developing any goodness or virtues within ourselves, because we don't see the truth and the extremely important benefits we'll gain from these things in the future.


    Actually, the affairs of each person are really long and drawn out, and not at all short. If they were short, we'd all know where we came from and how we got where we are. The same would hold true for the future: If our affairs were really a short story, we'd know where we're going and what we'll be after death.


    But the truth of the matter is that almost no one knows these things about themselves. The only ones who do know are those whose minds are strong in goodness and virtue, and who have developed purity to the point where they gain the intuitive understanding that enables them to see where they've come from and where they're going. These people have the inner eye, which is why they are able to see things past and future. Sometimes they can see not only their own, but also other people's affairs. This is what makes them realize the hardships and difficulties suffered by human beings and other living beings born into this world. They see the cycle of birth, aging, illness, and death. They see their past lives, both good and bad, and this makes them feel a sense of dismay and dispassion, disenchanted with the idea of ever being born again. As a result, they try to develop their goodness and virtues even further so that they can reduce the number of times they'll have to be reborn. For example, stream-winners — those who have entered the stream to Liberation (nibbana) — will be reborn at most only seven more times and then will never have to be reborn again. Once-returners will be reborn in the human world only once more, while non-returners will be reborn in the Brahma worlds and gain Liberation there.


    As for stream-winners, even though they have to be reborn, they're reborn in secure places. They aren't reborn in states of deprivation, such as the realms of hungry shades, angry demons, or common animals. They're reborn as human beings, but as special human beings, not like the rest of us. How are they special? They have few defilements in their hearts, not thick defilements like ordinary people. They have a built-in sense of conscience and scrupulousness. Even though they may do wrong from time to time, they see the damage it does and feel a sense of shame, so that they won't want their various defilements to lead them into doing wrong ever again.


    People disenchanted with rebirth make an extra effort to build up their virtues so that they won't have to come back and be reborn. If you want to cut down the number of times you'll take rebirth, you should steadily increase your inner quality and worth. In other words, make your heart clean and bright with generosity, moral virtue, and meditation. Keep your thoughts, words, and deeds at equilibrium, secluded from evil both inside and out. If you have no vices in word and deed, that's called being secluded from outside evil. If your mind is firmly centered in concentration and free from obstructing distractions, that's called being secluded from inside evil. This way you can be at peace and at ease both within and without. As the Buddha said, "Happy is the person content in seclusion."


    When this kind of seclusion arises in the mind, all sorts of worthwhile qualities will come flowing in without stop. The heart will keep growing higher and higher, until it no longer wants anything at all. If you used to eat a lot, you won't want to eat a lot. If you used to eat in moderation, there'll be times when you won't want to eat at all. If you used to talk a lot, you won't want to talk a lot. If you used to sleep a lot, you'll want to sleep only a little. However you live, the heart will be entirely happy, with no more danger to fear from anyone. This is how you cut down the number of times you'll take rebirth.


    dalberding8.gif

    If you see any areas in which you're still lacking in inner worth, you should try to fill in the lack right away. Be steady in your practice of meditation and make your mind clear, free from the distractions that will drag it down into the dirt. Dirt is where animals live — pigs, dogs, ducks, chickens, and cows. It's no place for human beings. If you're really a human being, you have to like living in clean places, free from danger and germs. This is why the Buddha praised seclusion as the well-spring of happiness. So try to find a secluded spot for yourself to stay within the mind, secluded from hindering distractions. Make your mind as bright as a jewel, and don't let temptation come along and try to trade garbage for the good things you've got. You have to be mindful at all times, so don't let yourself be absent-minded or forgetful.


    dalberding8.gif

    If your mind doesn't stay with your body in the present, all sorts of evil things — all sorts of distractions — will come flowing in to overwhelm it, making it fall away from its inner worth, just as a vacant house is sure to become a nest of spiders, termites, and all sorts of animals. If you keep your mind firmly with the body in the present, you'll be safe. Like a person on a big ship in the middle of a smooth sea free from wind and waves: Everywhere you look is clear and wide open. You can see far. Your eyes are quiet with regard to sights, your ears quiet with regard to sounds, and so on with your other senses. Your mind is quiet with regard to thoughts of sensuality, ill will, and harm. The mind is in a state of seclusion, calm and at peace. This is where we'll let go of our sense of "me" and "mine," and reach the further shore, free from constraints and bonds.


     
  9. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    (cont.)
    An Inner Mainstay
    August 28, 1957

    Normally, our hearts can hardly ever sit still. They have to think about all kinds of thoughts and ideas, both good and bad. When good things happen, we keep them to think about. When bad things happen, we keep them to think about. When we succeed or fail at anything, we keep it to think about. This shows how impoverished the mind is. When it thinks about things it likes, it develops sensual craving. When it thinks about things that are possible, it develops craving for possibilities. When it thinks about things that are impossible, it develops craving for impossibilities, all without our realizing it. This is called unawareness. It's because of this unawareness that we have thoughts, judgments, and worries that form the well-spring for likes, dislikes, and attachments.


    Sometimes the things we think about can come true in line with our thoughts; sometimes they can't. While there's at least some use in thinking about things that are possible, we like to go to the effort of thinking about things that are out of the question. I.e., when certain things are no longer possible, we still hold onto them to the point where we feel mistreated or depressed. We keep trying to get results out of things that can no longer be. When our hopes aren't satisfied, we latch onto our dissatisfaction; when they are satisfied, we latch onto our satisfaction. This gives rise to likes and dislikes. We latch onto thoughts of the future and thoughts of the past. Most of us, when we succeed at something, latch onto our happiness. When we don't succeed, we latch onto our disappointment. Sometimes we latch onto things that are good — although latching onto goodness leaves us some way to crawl along. Sometimes we actually latch onto things that are clearly bad.


    This is what made the Buddha feel such pity for us human beings. In what way? He pitied our stupidity in not understanding what suffering is. We know that red ants can really hurt when they bite us, yet we go stick our heads in a red ant nest and then sit around in pain and torment. What good do we get out of it?


    When we see good or bad sights with our eyes, we latch onto them. When we hear good or bad sounds with our ears, we latch onto them. When we smell good or bad odors, taste good or bad flavors, feel good or bad sensations, or think good or bad thoughts, we latch onto them — so we end up all encumbered with sights dangling from our eyes, sounds dangling from both of our ears, odors dangling from the tip of our nose, flavors dangling from the tip of our tongue, tactile sensations dangling all over our body, and thoughts dangling from our mind. This way, sights are sure to close off our eyes, sounds close off our ears, odors close off our nostrils, flavors close off our tongue, tactile sensations close off our body, and thoughts close off our mind. When our senses are completely closed off in this way, we're in the dark — the darkness of unawareness — groping around without finding the right way, unable to go any way at all. Our body is weighed down and our mind is dark. This is called harming yourself, killing yourself, destroying your own chances for progress.


    Thoughts are addictive, and especially when they're about things that are bad. We remember them long and think of them often. This is delusion, one of the camp-followers of unawareness. For this reason, we have to drive this kind of delusion from our hearts by making ourselves mindful and alert, fully conscious with each in-and-out breath. This is what awareness comes from. When awareness arises, discernment arises as well. If awareness doesn't arise, how will we be able to get rid of craving? When awareness arises, craving for sensuality, craving for possibilities, and craving for impossibilities will all stop, and attachment won't exist. This is the way of the Noble Path.


    Most of us tend to flow along in the direction of what's bad more than in the direction of what's good. When people try to convince us to do good, they have to give us lots of reasons, and even then we hardly budge. But if they try to talk us into doing bad, all they have to do is say one or two words and we're already running with them. This is why the Buddha said, "People are foolish. They like to feed on bad preoccupations." And that's not all. We even feed on things that have no truth to them at all. We can't be bothered with thinking about good things, but we like to keep clambering after bad things, trying to remember them and keep them in mind. We don't get to eat any meat or sit on any skin, and yet we choke on the bones.


    "We don't get to eat any meat:" This means that we gather up imaginary things to think about, but they don't bring us any happiness. A person who opens his mouth to put food in it at least gets something to fill up his stomach, but a person who clambers around with his mouth open, craning his neck to swallow nothing but air: That's really ridiculous. His stomach is empty, without the least little thing to give it weight. This stands for thoughts that have no truth to them. We keep searching them out, gathering them up, and elaborating on them in various ways without getting any results out of them at all, aside from making ourselves restless and distracted. We never have any time to sit still in one place, and instead keep running and jumping around until the skin on our rears has no chance to make contact anywhere with a place to sit down. This is what is meant by, "We don't get to sit on any skin." We can't lie down, we can't stay seated — even though our bodies may be seated, our minds aren't seated there with them. We don't get to eat any meat and instead we choke on the bones. We try to swallow them, but they won't go down; we try to cough them up, but they won't come out.


    When we say, "We choke on the bones," this refers to the various bad preoccupations that get stuck in the heart. The "bones" here are the five Hindrances.

    (1) Sensual desire: The mind gets carried away with things it likes.
    (2) Ill will: Things that displease us are like bones stuck in the heart. The mind fastens on things that are bad, on things we dislike, until we start feeling animosity, anger, and hatred. Sometimes we even gather up old tasteless bones that were thrown away long ago — like chicken bones that have been boiled to make stock: The meat has fallen off, the flavor has been boiled away, and all that's left are the hard, brittle bones they throw to dogs. This stands for old thoughts stretching back 20 to 30 years that we bring out to gnaw on. Look at yourself: Your mind is so impoverished that it has to suck on old bones. It's really pitiful.


    (3) Torpor & lethargy: When the mind has been feeding on trash like this, with nothing to nourish it, its strength is bound to wane away. It becomes sleepy and depressed, oblivious to other people's words, not hearing their questions or understanding what they're trying to say.


    (4) Restlessness & anxiety: The mind then gets irritable and distracted, which is followed by —


    (5) Uncertainty: We may decide that good things are bad, or bad things are good, wrong things are right, or right things are wrong. We may do things in line with the Dhamma and not realize it, or contrary to the Dhamma — but in line with our own preconceptions — and not know it. Everything gets stuck in our throat, and we can't decide which way to go, so our thoughts keep running around in circles, like a person who rows his boat around in a lake for hours and hours without getting anywhere.


    This is called harming yourself, hurting yourself, killing yourself. And when we can do this sort of thing to ourselves, what's to keep us from doing it to others? This is why we shouldn't let ourselves harbor thoughts of envy, jealousy, or anger. If any of these five Hindrances arise in the heart, then trouble and suffering will come flooding in like a torrential downpour, and we won't be able to hold our own against them. All of this is because of the unawareness that keeps us from having any inner quality as a mainstay. Even though we may live in a seven- or nine-storey mansion and eat food at $40 a plate, we won't be able to find any happiness.


    People without any inner quality are like vagrants with no home to live in. They have to be exposed to sun, rain, and wind by day and by night, so how can they find any relief from the heat or the cold? With nothing to shelter them, they have to lie curled up until their backs get all crooked and bent. When a storm comes, they need to scurry to find shelter: They can't stay under trees because they're afraid the trees will be blown down on top of them. They can't stay in open fields because they're afraid lightning will strike. At midday the sun is so hot that they can't sit for long — like an old barefooted woman walking on an asphalt road when the sun is blazing: She can't put her feet down because she's afraid they'll blister, so she dances around in place on her tiptoes, not knowing where she can rest her feet.


    This is why the Buddha felt such pity for us, and taught us to find shelter for ourselves by doing good and developing concentration as a principle in our hearts, so that we can have an inner home. This way we won't have to suffer, and other people will benefit as well. This is called having a mainstay.


    People with no mainstay are bound to busy themselves with things that have no real meaning or worth — i.e., with things that can't protect them from suffering when the necessity arises. A person without the wisdom to search for a mainstay is sure to suffer hardships. I'll illustrate this point with a story. Once there was a band of monkeys living in the upper branches of a forest, each one carrying its young wherever it went. One day a heavy wind storm came. As soon as the monkeys heard the sound of the approaching wind, they broke off branches and twigs to make themselves a nest on one of the bigger branches. After they had piled on the twigs, they went down under the nest and looked up to see if there were still any holes. Wherever they saw a hole, they piled on more twigs and branches until the whole thing was piled thick and high. Then when the wind and rain came, they got up on top of the nest, sitting there with their mouths open, shivering from the cold, exposed to the wind and rain. Their nest hadn't offered them any protection at all, simply because of their own stupidity. Eventually a gust of wind blew the nest apart. The monkeys were scattered every which way and ended up dangling here and there, their babies falling from their grasp, all of them thoroughly miserable from their hardship and pain.


    People who don't search for inner worth as their mainstay are no different from these monkeys. They work at amassing money and property, thinking that these things will give them security, but when death comes, none of these things can offer any safety at all. This is why the Buddha felt such pity for all the deluded people in the world, and went to great lengths to teach us to search for inner quality as a mainstay for ourselves.


    People who have inner quality as their mainstay are said to be kind not only to themselves but also to others as well, in the same way that when we have a house of our own, we can build a hut for other people to live in, too. If we see that another person's hut is going to cave in, we help find thatch to roof it; make walls for the left side, right side, the front, and the back, to protect it from storm winds; and raise the floor to get it above flood level. What this means is that we teach the other person how to escape from his or her own defilements in the same way that we've been able, to whatever extent, to escape from ours. When we tell others to practice concentration, it's like helping them roof their house so that they won't have to be exposed to the sun and rain. Making walls for the front and back means that we tell them to shut off thoughts of past and future; and walls for the left and right means that we tell them to shut off thoughts of likes and dislikes. Raising the floor above flood level means we get them to stay firmly centered in concentration, keeping their minds still with their object of meditation.


    Once people have a house with good walls, a sound roof, and a solid floor, then even if they don't have any other external belongings — just a single rag to their name — they can be happy, secure, and at peace. But if your house is sunk in the mud, what hope is there for your belongings? You'll have to end up playing with crabs, worms, and other creepy things. Your walls are nothing but holes, so that people can see straight through your house, in one side and out the other. Even from four to five miles away they can see everything you've got. When this is the case, thieves are going to gang up and rob you — i.e., all sorts of bad thoughts and preoccupations are going to come in and ransack your heart.


    As for your roof, it's nothing but holes. You look up and can see the stars. Termite dust is going to sift into your ears and eyes, and birds flying past will plaster you with their droppings. So in the end, all you can do is sit scratching your head in misery because you haven't any shelter.


    When this is the case, you should take pity on yourself and develop your own inner worth. Keep practicing concentration until your heart matures, step by step. When you do this, you'll develop the light of discernment that can chase the darkness of unawareness out of your heart. When there's no more unawareness, you'll be free from craving and attachment, and ultimately gain Liberation.


    For this reason, we should all keep practicing meditation and set our hearts on developing nothing but inner goodness, without retreating or getting discouraged. Whatever is a form of goodness, roll up your sleeves and pitch right in. Don't feel any regrets even if you ram your head into a wall and die on the spot. If you're brave in your proper efforts this way, all your affairs are sure to succeed in line with your hopes and aspirations. But if evil comes and asks to move into your home — your heart — chase it away. Don't let it stay even for a single night.
     
  10. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    23,278
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    (cont.)
    People who like to gather up thoughts, worries, etc., to hold onto are no different from prisoners tied down with a ball and chain. To fasten onto thoughts of the past is like having a rope around your waist tied to a post behind you. To fasten onto thoughts of the future is like having a rope around your neck tied to a door in front. To fasten onto thoughts you like is like having a rope around your right wrist tied to a post on your right. To fasten onto thoughts you don't like is like having a rope around your left wrist tied to a wall on your left. Whichever way you try to step, you're pulled back by the rope on the opposite side, so how can you hope to get anywhere at all?


    As for people who have unshackled themselves from their thoughts, they stand tall and free like soldiers or warriors with weapons in both hands and no need to fear enemies from any direction. Any opponents who see them won't dare come near, so they're always sure to come out winning.


    But if we're the type tied up with ropes on all sides, nobody's going to fear us, because there's no way we can take any kind of stance to fight them off. If enemies approach us, all we can do is dance around in one spot.


    So I ask that we all take a good look at ourselves and try to unshackle ourselves from all outside thoughts and preoccupations. Don't let them get stuck in your heart. Your meditation will then give you results, your mind will advance to the transcendent, and you're sure to come out winning someday.
     
  11. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
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    23,278
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    (cont.)
    Trading Outer Wealth for Inner Wealth
    July 1, 1958

    Inner wealth, according to the texts, means seven things — conviction, virtue, a sense of conscience, scrupulousness, breadth of learning, generosity, and discernment — but to put it simply, inner wealth refers to the inner quality we build within ourselves. Outer wealth — money and material goods — doesn't have any hard and fast owners. Today it may be ours, tomorrow someone else may take it away. There are times when it belongs to us, and times when it belongs to others. Even with things that are fixed in the ground, like farms or orchards, you can't keep them from changing hands.


    So when you develop yourself so as to gain the discernment that sees how worldly things are undependable and unsure, don't let your property — your worldly possessions — sit idle. The Buddha teaches us to plant crops on our land so that we can benefit from it. If you don't make use of your land, it's sure to fall into other people's hands. In other words, when we stake out a claim to a piece of property, we should plant it full of crops. Otherwise the government won't recognize our claim, and we'll lose our rights to it. Even if we take the case to court, we won't have a chance to win. So once you see the weakness of an idle claim, you should hurry up and plant crops on it so that the government will recognize your claim and issue you a title to the land.


    What this means is that we should make use of our material possessions by being generous with them, using them in a way that develops the inner wealth of generosity within us. This way they become the kind of wealth over which we have full rights and that will benefit us even into future lifetimes.

     
  12. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    23,278
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
    166
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    (cont.)
    Bodily Debts
    September 29, 1958
    This body of ours: Actually there's not the least bit of it that's really ours at all. We've gotten it from animals and plants — the pigs, prawns, chickens, fish, crabs, cows, etc., and all the various vegetables, fruits, and grains that have been made into the food we've eaten, which the body has chewed and digested and turned into the blood that nourishes its various parts. In other words, we've taken cooked things and turned them back into raw things: ears, eyes, hands, arms, body, etc. These then become male or female, they're given ranks and titles, and so we end up falling for all of these conventions. Actually these heads of ours are lettuce heads, our hair is pigs' hair, our bones are chicken bones and duck bones, our muscles are cows' muscles, etc. There's not one part that's really ours, but we lay claim to the whole thing and say it's this and that. We forget the original owners from whom we got it all and so become possessive of it. When the time comes for them to come and take it back, we're not willing to give it back, which is where things get messy and complicated and cause us to suffer when death comes near.


    If all the various animals we've eaten were to come walking out of each of us right now (here I'm not talking about the really big ones, like cows and steers; say that just all the little ones — the shrimps, fish, oysters, crabs, chickens, ducks, and pigs — came walking out) there wouldn't be enough room for them all in this meditation hall. None of us would be able to live here in this monastery any more. How many pigs, ducks, chickens, and shrimp have each of us eaten? How many bushels of fish? If we were to calculate it all, who knows what the figures would be — all the animals we ourselves have killed for food or that we've gotten from others who've killed them. How do you think these animals won't come and demand repayment? If we don't have anything to give them, they're sure to repossess everything we've got. Right when we're at death's door: That's when they're going to crowd around and demand that we repay our debts. If we don't have anything to give them, they're going to knock us flat. But if we have enough to give them, we'll come out unscathed.


    In other words, if we develop a lot of inner goodness, we'll be able to contend with whatever pains we suffer, by giving back the body with good grace — in other words, by letting go of our attachment to it. That's when we'll be at peace. We should realize that the body leaves us and lets us go, bit by bit, every day. But we've never left it, never let it go at all. We're attached to it in every way, just as when we eat food: We're attached to the food, but the food isn't attached to us. If we don't eat it, it'll never cry even once. All the attachment comes from our side alone.


    The pleasure we get from the body is a worldly pleasure: good for a moment and then it changes. It's not at all lasting or permanent. Notice the food you eat: At what point is it good and delicious? It looks good and inviting only when it's arranged nicely on a plate. It's delicious only for the brief moment it's in your mouth. After it goes down your throat, what is it like then? And when it gets down to your intestines and comes out the other end, what is it like then? It keeps changing all the time. When you think about this sort of thing, it's enough to make you disillusioned with everything in the world.


    Worldly pleasure is good only when it's hot and fresh, like fresh-cooked rice piled on a plate when it's still hot and steaming. If you leave it until it's cold, there's no taste to it. If you let it go until it hardens, you can't swallow it; and if you let it sit overnight, it spoils and you have to throw it away.


    As for the pleasure of the Dhamma, it's like the brightness of stars or the color of gold. The brightness of stars is clear and glittering. Whoever sees it feels calmed and refreshed. When depressed people look at the stars, no matter when, their depression disappears. As for the color of gold, it's always gleaming and golden. No matter what the gold is made into, its color doesn't change. It's always gleaming and golden as it always was.


    In the same way, the pleasure of the Dhamma is lasting and gives delight throughout time to those who practice it. For this reason, intelligent people search for pleasure in the Dhamma by giving up their worthless, meaningless worldly pleasures, to trade them in for lasting pleasure by practicing meditation until their minds and actions reach the level of goodness, beauty, and purity that goes beyond all action, all suffering and stress.


     
  13. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    23,278
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
    166
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    +27,849
    (cont.)
    Nightsoil for the Heart
    July 6, 1959
    Beautiful things come from things that are dirty, and not at all from things that are pleasant and clean. Crops and trees, for instance, grow to be healthy and beautiful because of the rotten and smelly compost and nightsoil with which they're fertilized. In the same way, a beautiful mind comes from meeting with things that aren't pleasant. When we meet with bad things, the mind has a chance to grow.


    "Bad things" here refers to loss of wealth, loss of status, criticism, and pain. When these things happen to a person whose mind is rightly centered in concentration, they turn into good things. Before, they were our enemies, but eventually they become our friends. What this means is that when these four bad things occur to us, we can come to our senses: "Oh. This is how loss of wealth is bad. This is how loss of status, how pain and criticism are bad. This is how the ways of the world can change and turn on you, so that you shouldn't get carried away with their good side."


    When meditators meet with these four kinds of bad things, their minds develop. They become more and more dispassionate, more and more disenchanted, more and more detached from the four opposites of these bad things — wealth, status, pleasure, and praise — so that when these good things happen, they won't be fooled into getting attached or carried away with them and can instead push their minds on to a higher level. When they hear someone criticize or gossip about them, it's as if that person were taking a knife to sharpen them. The more they get sharpened, the more they grow to a finer and finer point.


    Loss of wealth is actually good for you, you know. It can teach you not to be attached or carried away with the money or material benefits other people may offer you. Otherwise, the more you have, the deeper you sink — to the point where you drown because you get stuck on being possessive.


    Loss of status is also good for you. For instance, you may be a person, but they erase your good name and call you a dog — which makes things even easier for you, because dogs have no laws. They can do what they like without any constraints, without anyone to fine them or put them in jail. If people make you a prince or a duke, you're really in bad straits. All of a sudden you're big: Your arms, hands, feet, and legs grow all out of size and get in your way wherever you try to go or whatever you do.


    As for wealth, status, pleasure, and praise, there's nothing the least bit constant or dependable about them. The more you really think about them, the more disaffected and disenchanted you become, to the point where you find that you're indifferent, neither pleased nor displeased with them. This is where your mind develops equanimity and can become firm in concentration so that it can grow higher and higher in the practice — like the lettuce and cauliflower that Chinese farmers plant in rows: The more they get fertilized with nightsoil, the faster, more beautiful, and more healthy they grow. If they were fed nothing but clean, clear water, they'd end up all sickly and stunted.


    This is why we say that when people have developed mindfulness and concentration, they're even better off when the ways of the world turn ugly and bad. If the world shows you only its good side, you're sure to get infatuated and stuck, like a seed that stays buried in its shell and will never grow. But once the seed comes out with its shoot, then the more sun, wind, rain, and fertilizer it gets, the more it will grow and develop — i.e., the more your discernment will branch out into knowledge and wisdom, leading you to intuitive insight and on into the transcendent, like the old Chinese vegetable farmer who becomes a millionaire by building a fortune out of plain old excrement.


     
  14. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    23,278
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
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    +27,849
    (cont.)
    The Honest Truth
    June 23, 1958; August 23, 1958
    When we first meet with the fires of greed, aversion, and delusion, we find them comforting and warm. We're like a person sitting by a fire in the cold season: As he sits soaking up the warmth, he gets more and more sleepy and careless until he burns his hands and feet without realizing it, and eventually falls head-first into the flames.
    *******************
    The pleasures felt by people in the world come from looking at things only on the surface. Take a plateful of rice, for instance. If you ask people what's good about rice, they'll say, "It tastes good and fills you up, too." But the Buddha wouldn't answer like that. He'd answer by talking about rice both when it goes in your mouth and when it comes out the other end. This is why his view of things covered both cause and effect. He didn't look at things from one side only.


    The Buddha saw that the ease and happiness of ordinary pleasures is nothing lasting. He wanted an ease and happiness that didn't follow the way of the worldly pleasures that most people want. This was why he left his family and friends, and went off to live in seclusion. He said to himself, "I came alone when I was born and I'll go alone when I die. No one hired me to be born and no one will hire me to die, so I'm beholden to no one. There's no one I have to fear. In all of my actions, if there's anything that's right from the standpoint of the world, but wrong from the standpoint of the truth — and wrong from the standpoint of my heart — there's no way I'll be willing to do it."


    So he posed himself a question: "Now that you've been born as a human being, what is the highest thing you want in this world?" He then placed the following conditions on his answer: "In answering, you have to be really honest and truthful with yourself. And once you've answered, you have to hold to your answer as an unalterable law on which you've affixed your seal, without ever letting a second seal be affixed on top. So what do you want, and how do you want it? You have to give an honest answer, understand? I won't accept anything false. And once you've answered, you have to keep to your answer. Don't be a traitor to yourself."


    When he was sure of his answer, he said to himself, "I want only the highest and most certain happiness and ease: the happiness that won't change into anything else. Other than that, I don't want anything else in the world."


    Once he had given this answer, he kept to it firmly. He didn't allow anything that would have caused the least bit of pain or distraction to his heart to get stuck there as a stain on it. He kept making a persistent effort with all his might to discover the truth, without retreat, until he finally awakened to that truth: the reality of Liberation.


    If we search for the truth like the Buddha — if we're true in our intent and true in what we do — there's no way the truth can escape us. But if we aren't true to ourselves, we won't find the true happiness the Buddha found. We tell ourselves that we want to be happy but we go jumping into fires. We know what things are poison, yet we go ahead and drink them anyway. This is called being a traitor to yourself.


    dalberding8.gif

    Every person alive wants happiness — even common animals struggle to find happiness — but our actions for the most part aren't in line with our intentions. This is why we don't get to realize the happiness we want, simply because there's no truth to us. For example, when people come to the monastery: If they come to make offerings, observe the precepts, and sit in meditation for the sake of praise or a good reputation, there's no real merit to what they're doing. They don't gain any real happiness from it, so they end up disappointed and dissatisfied. Then they start saying that offerings, precepts, and meditation don't give any good results. Instead of reflecting on the fact that they weren't right and honest in doing these things, they say that there's no real good to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, that the Buddha's teachings are a lot of nonsense and lies. But actually the Buddha's teachings are an affair of the truth. If a person isn't true to the Buddha's teachings, the Buddha's teachings won't be true to that person — and that person won't be able to know what the Buddha's true teachings are.


    dalberding8.gif

    When we practice virtue, concentration, and discernment, it's as if we were taking the jewels and robes of royalty and the Noble Ones to dress up our heart and make it beautiful. But if we aren't true in our practice, it's like taking robes and jewels and giving them to a monkey. The monkey is bound to get them dirty and tear them to shreds because it has no sense of beauty at all. Whoever sees this kind of thing happening is sure to see right through it, that it's a monkey show. Even though the costumes are genuine, the monkey inside isn't genuine like the costumes. For instance, if you take a soldier's cap and uniform to dress it up as a soldier, it's a soldier only as far as the cap and uniform, but the monkey inside is still a monkey and not a soldier at all.


    For this reason, the Buddha teaches us to be true in whatever we do — true in being generous, true in being virtuous, true in developing concentration and discernment. Don't play around at these things. If you're true, then these activities are sure to bear you the fruits of your own truthfulness without a doubt.




     
  15. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    23,278
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
    166
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    +27,849
    (cont.)
    Self-Reliance
    May 22, 1959
    In Christianity they teach that if you've done wrong or committed a sin, you can ask to wash it away by confessing the sin and asking for God's forgiveness. God will then have the kindness to hold back punishment, and you'll be pure. But Buddhism doesn't teach this sort of thing at all. If you do wrong, you are the one who has to correct the error so as to do away with the punishment on your own behalf. What this means is that when a defilement — greed, anger, or delusion — arises in your heart, you have to undo the defilement right there so as to escape from it. Only then will you escape from the suffering that would otherwise come as its natural consequence.


    We can compare this to a man who drinks poison and comes down with violent stomach cramps. If he then runs to a doctor and says, "Doctor, doctor, I've drunk poison and my stomach really hurts. Please take some medicine for me so that the pain will go away," there's no way that this is going to cure the pain. If the doctor, instead of the sick man, is the one who takes the medicine, the sick man can expect to die for sure.


    So I ask that we all understand this point: that we have to wash away our own defilements by practicing the Dhamma — the medicine of the Buddha — in order to gain release from any evil and suffering in our hearts; not that we can ask the Buddha to help wash away our mistakes and sufferings for us. The Buddha is simply the doctor who has discovered the formula for the medicine and prepared it for us. Whatever disease we have, we need to take the medicine and treat the disease ourselves if we want to recover.


     
  16. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
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    The Demons of Defilement
    (Kilesa Mara)


    by
    Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya)

    translated from the Thai by
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu
    © 1998

    It's the nature of the world that nothing is totally bad. Everything has to have at least some good to it. The same holds true with the various forms of Mara, or the demons of temptation, that get in the way of our practice. It's not the case that they always obstruct us. Sometimes they turn into our friends and companions; sometimes into our workers and supporters; sometimes into our slaves, helping us and caring for us. This is why, if you're discerning, you have to walk a middle course. On one hand, you have to focus on their bad side. On the other, you have to focus on their good. Their good and bad sides are realities that have to exist together. As for us, we have to take a stance in the middle, examining things so that we don't act out of suspicion or prejudice. Once we see the good side of these things, we can get more familiar with them. We can get intimate. When we get familiar and intimate, we develop a sense of kinship with them. As the Buddha said, vissasa parama ñati: familiarity is the highest form of kinship.

    Even our enemies, when we become familiar with them, can become our friends. Our companions. Our servants. Our slaves. When we can look at things in this way, both sides benefit. We benefit and our Maras benefit as well. In the time of the Buddha, for instance, the Buddha got so familiar with Mara that eventually Mara got converted and felt favorably inclined to the merit and skillfulness that the Buddha had developed. Once Mara had no more power over the Buddha, he paid homage to the Buddha and found himself transported to heaven. And that's not all. He became a bodhisattva. In the future he'll gain Awakening as a fully self-awakened Buddha. So he benefited and the Buddha benefited. This is the nature of people with discernment: they can take bad things and turn them into good.

    As for us, we still lie under the sway of Maras of various kinds. These intimidating Maras are called Kilesa-Maras, the demons of defilement. The big ones, the really infamous ones, are greed, aversion, and delusion. These are the famous ones. As for the ones that stay more in the background, behind the scenes, those are kama-tanha, craving for sensuality, struggling to get things in ways that are offensive to the Dhamma; bhava-tanha, craving for things to be this way or that; and vibhava-tanha, craving that things not happen. For instance, once we've gained wealth, we don't want to lose it; once we've gained status, we don't want anyone to wipe out the edge we have over others. This is vibhava-tanha. These three forms of craving are also demons of defilement, but they're not very well known. Only once in a long, long while do you hear anyone mention their names.

    As for greed, aversion, and delusion, they're very big, very powerful, very well known. The mother of all these Maras is ignorance (avijja). Everything comes out of ignorance. Goodness comes from ignorance. Evil comes from ignorance. To call things by their proper names, ignorance is the requisite condition for fabrications (sankhara), and fabrications, when they arise, come in three sorts:


    • meritorious fabrications: intentions and considerations that go in the direction of giving rise to goodness;
    • demeritorious fabrications: thoughts that go in the direction of what is evil, corrupt, and improper, defiling the mind and making it lose its luster; and
    • neutral fabrications: thoughts that are neither meritorious nor evil. For instance, when we think about going to the market tomorrow, or about going to work in our field, or about taking a bath or eating a meal. When thoughts like this arise in the mind, they're called neutral fabrications: thinking that isn't yet either good or bad.

    These forms of fabrication are also demons of defilement. They're the children of Mara, but they rarely show their faces in public. They're like the children of nobility, children in the royal palace. They hardly ever show their faces outside, so very few people know their names, very few people have seen their faces. Unless you develop the mind in concentration you won't get to see these beauties. If you develop concentration, you can peer inside, using your discernment to part the curtains, and then you'll get to see these children of Mara.

    The mother of Mara, ignorance, lies even deeper inside. Ignorance means not being acquainted with your own mind — mistaking your thinking for your mind; mistaking your knowledge for the mind; thinking that your thoughts of the past or future are the mind; thinking that the body is the mind or the mind is the body; that feeling is the mind or the mind is feeling; that mental qualities are the mind, or that the mind is mental qualities; that the mind is the self or the self is the mind; not being able to separate these things from yourself, getting yourself all entangled: that's called ignorance. In short, ignorance means getting caught up on the present.

    All of the things I've mentioned so far are called the demons of defilement. They bother us all the time, get in our way all the time, which is why they're called the demons of defilement. How are they demons? When you get really greedy, for instance, it gets in the way of your being generous and giving donations. You simply want to get and don't want to give. That's how greed is a demon. When we get possessive of things, holding on tight, and someone destroys what we're holding onto, we get upset and feel mistreated. This puts our mind into a turmoil and gets it all stirred up. This is how greed is a demon.

    The same holds true for anger. Once it arises, you don't give a damn about anything. You see other people as nothing more than red or black ants: all you have to do is step on them and they're done for. The explosive power of anger is more violent than anything else. Whether or not you'll actually be able to get your way, you don't care. You're brazen and foolhardy. But if anyone comes along at that time and tries to persuade you to act in a skillful way, you don't want anything of what they have to say. The anger has to go its course until it runs out on its own. This is why it's called a demon, because you can't do anything good while you're under its power.

    Delusion is even worse. Delusion seeps into you, the way blood seeps throughout every part of your body. When we do evil, we're deluded. When we do good, we're still deluded. Even though we're well-educated in the Dhamma, we can't yet escape from the power of delusion. No matter who we are, it stays right on our heels. We may want to make merit, but when we're deluded we don't know what's right and what's wrong. We simply want the merit. We observe the precepts because we want to be good, but we don't know what real virtue is. It's the same when we practice concentration. We want to get results, but we can't tell right concentration from wrong. We simply keep on wanting. This is called delusion, in that our knowledge isn't in line with the truth. It's not that we don't know anything. We know, but what we know goes straying away from the truth. We're like a person who has lost his way: he can still keep going; it's just that he's not on the right path. Suppose, for instance, that we want to go to Bangkok but we get confused about the way and start heading to BangPuu. We're off the path as far as Bangkok is concerned, but we're on the right path for BangPuu — and we can keep on going. It's not the case that when you're on the wrong path you can't go. You can, but it's the wrong path as far as the destination you want. You're simply going to end up disappointed. This is why delusion is called a demon.

    The second level of demons are the forms of craving. There are three forms of craving, but they boil down to two sorts. We translate craving as "desire," and desire has two types. One is desire mixed with lust, in the ordinary way of the world. The second has no lust. It's simply a sense of inclination, affection, a liking for objects. For example, we feel a liking for certain sights. We see certain material objects and we like the way they look, so we search for them — in other words, we want to get them. This, too, is a type of craving. The same holds true for the various sounds we like. We struggle to get hold of them. Our desire pulls us, yanks us, drags us along — whether or not we'll get what we want, we have to keep running. If we get what we want, we at least have something to show for our efforts. If we don't, it's a waste of time and energy, and we suffer. This kind of desire is also called craving: craving for objects, for sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations: things we like. This is desire combined, not with lust, but with greed.

    So craving has these two flavors, distilled out of kama-tanha, bhava-tanha, and vibhava-tanha: desire combined with lust, and desire free of lust. These, too, are demons of defilement. Each of them prevents the mind from inclining toward right concentration. This is why desire — chanda — is classed as a hindrance. Desire on the level of a hindrance covers inclination, a sense of liking, without any lust mixed in. But there's another type of chanda — called chanda-raga, or desire-and-passion — which is heavier than chanda as a hindrance. Chanda as a hindrance is light. Chanda-raga is an enemy of the precepts. Chanda as a hindrance is an enemy of concentration. This is why desire in either sense of the word is classed as a demon, a demon of defilement. This is the second level.

    The next level of demons are the forms of mental fabrication. For example, meritorious fabrications: the mind's thoughts of concocting or giving rise to merit. Now suppose that those thoughts don't succeed. The mind sours. Like King Asoka, who ruled over the Indian subcontinent, governing in two ways. One was through his goodness as a person. His subjects respected him, honored him, and so they obeyed him. The other way was through his military power and might. This was why there was law and order among his people. In the area of the religion, he gave tremendous support and encouragement, building a great deal of goodness — so much so that it backfired on him. He gave continual donations to the bhikkhu sangha until one day, toward the end of his life, he decided that he wanted to use some money to buy donations as a form of homage to the Buddha, homage to the Dhamma, and homage to the Sangha. After he had formulated this intention, but before he had had the opportunity to spend as much as he wanted, he fell ill. So he wanted to hurry up and finish making merit in line with his plans. He sent one of his officials to draw more money from the treasury, which held both government funds and the king's private funds. When the official got to the treasury, the treasurer wouldn't hand over the money, because he felt that it should go only to the government.
     
  17. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
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    (cont.)
    So the official returned to inform King Asoka, who got upset. "These are my funds," he thought. He wanted to use the funds as a form of homage to the Buddha, homage to the Dhamma, and homage to the Sangha, but when he couldn't do it, his mind turned sour. And it so happened that while his mind was soured, he died. Now, because he died while he was angry at his treasurer for not letting him make merit, the result was that he was born as a gigantic snake, an enormous python, slithering back and forth around the royal treasury. And there he had to stay, fixated on his possessions, for many days, which prevented him from enjoying the results of the good he had done. When he was alive, he had done good in lots of ways: building temples, building chedis, planting huge numbers of Bodhi trees, giving huge donations to the Sangha, observing the precepts, listening to the Dhamma. When he died, he should have been reborn as a male or female deva, but instead he went and took birth as a snake. This is an instance of how good intentions, meritorious intentions, when they aren't fulfilled, can lead to defilement and rebirth as a common animal. This is why thoughts of making merit, even though they're meritorious, can turn into demons.

    The same is even more true with demeritorious fabrications, thoughts of doing evil. Simply thinking evil is enough to get in the way of our goodness. When thoughts of this kind arise in the mind, even though we haven't yet acted on them, even though we haven't yet spoken under their influence, the simple fact of having a bad intention in the mind is enough to prevent us from reaching the noble paths and fruitions. An example of this is the story of two villagers, two friends, on the Buddhist sabbath. Early in the morning, the people in the village heard the sound of the bell and gong in the local temple, so they got up before daylight and got ready to go give food and listen to a sermon at the temple. One of the friends thought to himself, "If I go make merit at the temple, then when I get back home I won't have anything to eat. I'd better go fishing instead." So he cooked some rice and prepared the food for the other friend to take to the temple.

    As for the friend who went to the temple: while he was placing food in the monks' bowls, taking the precepts, and listening to the sermon, all he could think was evil thoughts: "Will my friend catch any fish for us to eat this evening, I wonder." As he thought about this, he developed a strong desire to eat fish curry, made from the fish his friend was out killing in the stream. That's all he could think about as he was putting food in the monks' bowls and listening to the sermon. He wasn't thinking about the killing. He simply thought, "If my friend catches some fish, I'll get to eat." As for the friend who was out catching fish, all he could think about was, "I wonder if my friend has put food in the monks' bowls yet... By now, he's probably taken the precepts... By now he's probably listening to the sermon and getting lots and lots of merit." That's all he could think about. Now, through the strong meritorious power of his thinking, not a single fish got caught in his net. Every time he heard the gong being struck at the temple, he'd put down his net, raise his hands, and say, "Sadhu!" — all day until darkness fell. Because his thoughts were so lost in doing good, his efforts to do evil didn't succeed.

    As for the friend who went to make merit in the temple, his thoughts were lost in eating fish with his friend, so he ended up getting hardly any merit at all. The returns on his merit weren't worth all the time and effort that had gone into fixing food for the monks, taking the precepts, and listening to the sermon with his hands folded in respect. In other words, his state of mind canceled out his goodness, so he ended up no match for his friend who was out doing evil without really wanting to. Thus his state of mind turned into a demon and harmed him in two ways: The first was that he wanted to eat fish but didn't get a single bite. The second was that even though he did gain some merit from the donations he had made to the monks, it was only a little bit. He simply went through the motions of putting food in the monks' bowls, taking the precepts, listening to the sermon, but his mind was focused on eating murrel-fish curry with his friend. So he didn't get any of the good results that he should have from his actions. This is why it's said that evil thoughts cancel out our goodness. Even if we're doing good, thoughts of this sort cut off our goodness, like a palm tree or a coconut tree with its crown cut off. Or a banana tree that has borne fruit: it won't be able to grow any further, to bear flowers or produce any more fruit. People who think in ways that are evil, even if they do good, don't meet with any progress in life. They meet with nothing but failure. This is called demeritorious fabrication, another kind of demon that prevents us from succeeding at giving rise to goodness.

    The third kind of mental fabrication is thinking that's neutral, that isn't yet good or evil. This kind of thinking can also be a demon of defilement. Say, for instance, that we plan to work on our farm. "We don't have time to go to the monastery," we tell ourselves. "We don't yet have enough to eat." Or if we plan to go selling things. "If we go to the monastery, we won't have time to get a good return." Or we spend our time thinking about some important business we have to do, that we'll have to do this and say that. Or we think about going out to cruise around and relax a bit. When we think in this way, it takes up the time we can use to develop goodness within ourselves. We keep putting it off. In what way? When we're children, we tell ourselves that we can wait until we're older. We're not going to die anytime soon, so we should take the time to study instead. When we become young adults, we tell ourselves that we can wait until we get married. Once we get married and get ourselves established in our career, we tell ourselves to wait until our children are grown and they get married. Going to the monastery can wait until we've aged a bit. We keep on putting it off and turn ourselves into nice sweet pigs for Mara to swallow down easily without our even realizing it.

    Finally, if we really do survive until old age, our children get worried and try to dissuade us from going. "Mom, don't go to the monastery. You're old. You'll suffer all sorts of hardships." And we believe them. "If you feel faint or get sick, it's going to be hard for you." Your eyes get so that you can't see, your ears get so that you can't hear. You can't hear the sermons, can't hear when they're giving the precepts. Your eyes, your ears, every path for doing good gets closed off and sealed up tight.

    This is what happens to people who get all wrapped up in their work — worried about how they're going to eat, sleep, and live; worried about wealth and poverty to the point where they can't develop any skillfulness and see it through. These ways of thinking are a type of mental fabrication that fools us, trips us up, pulls us back, ties us down. That's why they count as a type of Mara, as demons of defilement.

    The demon of defilement on the fourth level is ignorance, not being acquainted with things. We aren't acquainted with suffering and stress; aren't acquainted with the cause of stress; aren't acquainted with the cessation of stress or with the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress. Our not being acquainted with these four noble truths is one aspect of ignorance. Another aspect is not knowing which affairs are past, which ones are future, and which ones are present. These three, plus the four noble truths, add up to seven. And then there's not knowing ignorance itself, which makes eight. These forms of unawareness are called avijja, or ignorance.
     
  18. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
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    (cont.)
    What this all boils down to is not knowing the path. For instance, when we practice the four frames of reference: kayanupassana — we focus on the body in and of itself, but we don't understand the body. We think that the body is the mind or the mind is the body. This is ignorance. It's dark. It closes off the body and closes off the mind, so that we think that they're one and the same thing. We can't separate the body from the mind or the mind from the body. This is called not knowing our path.

    Vedananupassana: we focus on feelings in and of themselves, but we aren't really acquainted with feelings. "Feelings" here means the act of savoring sensations, which sometimes are pleasant, sometimes painful, sometimes neither pleasant nor painful. We think that the pleasure is the same thing as our own mind, or that our self is what has pleasure. Or we think that the pain is the same thing as our self, or that our self is what has pain. We can't separate the pleasure and pain from the mind, so they get tightly tangled up together. We can't separate them, can't tell what's what. This is called ignorance, not being acquainted with the path.

    Cittanupassana: we focus on the mind in and of itself, but we aren't really acquainted with the mind. What is the mind? Actually, there are two aspects to the mind. There's mental consciousness, and then there's the mind itself. We think that consciousness is the mind, that the mind is consciousness. Actually, consciousness is what goes. Say that we see a sight in Bangkok. Cakkhu-viññana — eye-consciousness — is what goes to the sight, but the mind doesn't go. The act of going is what's called consciousness, but there's no substance to it.

    Sota-viññana: Sometimes we remember sounds from the past. Thoughts of sounds appear in the mind and we focus on them, so that we can remember what this or that person said, how beautiful it was. What we've remembered is sota-viññana, consciousness at the ear. Then there's consciousness at the nose. We can recognize what smells are making contact. We can remember what smells there were and what things we smelled in the past. The mental current that goes out to know these things is called ghana-viññana. Then there's kaya-viññana, consciousness at the body. We can recognize hot air, cold air. We can recognize that, "This kind of coolness is the coolness of water; that kind of coolness is the coolness of wind; this kind of heat is the heat of fire; this kind of heat is the heat of hot air; that kind of heat is the heat of the sun." We can recognize these things clearly. We could even write a textbook about them. Knowing these things is called kaya-viññana.

    Mano-viññana, consciousness at the intellect. Our thinking goes out: to Bangkok, to the forest, to the wilderness, all around the world. Our knowledge of these thoughts is mano-viññana, while the mind is what stays right here in the present. It can't go anywhere. The part of the mind that's awareness itself can't go anywhere at all. It stays right here. It goes out only as far as the skin. There's awareness of things beyond the skin, but that awareness isn't the mind. It's consciousness. There's no substance to consciousness, no substance at all, just like the air. So we don't have to get entangled with it. We can separate consciousness out of the mind, separate the mind out of consciousness. The mind is like a fire; consciousness, the light of the fire. The light and the fire are two different things, even though the light comes out of the fire. When we don't understand this, that's called ignorance. We conceive consciousness to be the mind, and the mind to be consciousness. When we have things all mixed up like this, that's called ignorance.

    Dhammanupassana. We focus on dhammas in and of themselves, i.e., the mental qualities that arise in the mind. When unskillful qualities arise in the mind, we don't know how much harm they cause. That's ignorance. As for skillful qualities: which ones give only small benefits, which ones give medium benefits, and which ones give overwhelming benefits, we don't know. This means that we aren't acquainted with the qualities of the mind. When we don't know the qualities of the mind, we can't separate good from evil or evil from good, we can't separate the mind from its qualities or the qualities from the mind. Everything is firmly stuck together in a big, thick mass so that we can't pry them apart. This is called ignorance. Ignorance is a Mara, a demon, a demon that stands in the way, preventing us from attaining the highest good, i.e., nibbana.

    All four of these types of defilement are called the Maras or demons of defilement. The mother of Mara is ignorance. The children of Mara are mental fabrications; the grandchildren of Mara are the three forms of craving; and the great-grandchildren of Mara are greed, aversion, and delusion. Sometimes these members of the Mara family help us develop merit and skill. Sometimes they get up and sit on our heads, lording it over us, ordering us around. Say, for instance, that greed gets really strong. We grab hold of whatever we can get our hands on, with no thought for who it belongs to, or whether taking it is right or wrong. When greed gets really strong, it can pressure us into doing evil. When anger gets really strong, it puts pressure on our nerves to the point where we can hand down a death sentence and commit murder. The same is true with delusion.

    Each of these things is an enemy, blocking off our goodness, but each can also benefit us as well. If we have any discernment, greed can help us. Anger can help us. Delusion can help us. If we have any discernment, craving can help motivate us to develop goodness. Don't look down on it. We've come here to listen to a sermon. Who talked us into coming? Craving, that's who. When people ordain as monks and novices, what forces them to do it? Craving, that's what. We shouldn't focus only on its bad side. As for meritorious fabrications, if we didn't have any of them at all, we wouldn't be able to develop any goodness. Everyone who develops goodness in any way has to start out with the intention to do it. Ignorance is also good. When we know that we have ignorance, we hurry up and find some way to overcome it. Ignorance is what leads us astray, but ultimately ignorance is what will have to lead us back. Knowledge never led anyone to study. Ignorance is what makes people want to learn. When people already know, why would they want to look further? Delusion is what makes us look for knowledge — by joining society, by associating with people. Our knowledge grows broader and broader from the first impulse born in ignorance.

    So when dealing with the demons of defilement, you have to look for both their good and their bad points. Only when you see both sides can you be said to be discerning and wise. When you can take bad things and make them good, that's when you're really outstanding. If you take good things and make them bad, that's no good at all. Even when you take good things and make other good things out of them, that's not really special. There are three levels of goodness: good, excellent, and outstanding. A good person does good. An excellent person takes something good and makes it better. That's excellent, but not outstanding. An outstanding person takes bad things and makes them good, takes good things and makes them excellent. So these are the three levels of goodness: good, excellent, and outstanding.

    So today I've talked about the demons of defilement, after the talk the other day on the demons of the aggregates (khandha-mara). We should all learn to think, to consider things, to ponder things over, so that we can find goodness on every side, in every corner we look. This way, if we look beneath us we'll find treasures. If we look above us we'll find treasures. Looking beneath us means looking at the things that are our enemies. We'll be able to gain treasures from them: goodness on the outstanding level. When we look at the things that are our friends, we can gain excellence from them. We should try to develop all three levels of goodness. If we have discernment, we can gain all three levels of goodness from the demons of defilement and the demons of the aggregates, and we'll gain all three of the benefits I've mentioned.

    For this reason we should develop our mental faculties (indriya) until they're strong, capable, and mature, so that they don't fear Maras of any sort. A person who has studied snakes can pick them up with no fear of their venom. A person who has studied tigers can catch them and they won't bite. In the same way, if we have any discernment, we can capture and tame the demons of defilement so that they support us in being outstanding, all the way to the paths (magga) and fruitions (phala) leading to nibbana. Whoever doesn't have the ability or discernment will get carried off by the demons of defilement to get tortured and killed. So we should use our sharpest discernment to consider these things. That's what will lead us to the noble paths and their fruitions.

    So when we've heard this we should consider what we've heard and take it to heart, bringing it inside to see the ways things actually are inside us and then practicing accordingly, in line with the way of right practice. That's when we can be at our ease. Evil people will help us. Good people will help us. We'll be free of danger. Thieves will be our servants, helping us in our various tasks. Wise people will help us in our work — so how can we fail? If we look to bad people, they come and help us. If we look to good people, they come and help us. If we focus on the Maras who are our enemies, they turn into our friends and companions. When we reach this point, we won't know what's a Mara — because nothing's a Mara in any way at all. Everything's neutral, the common property of the world. Whoever can see things in this way has no more suffering, no more obstacles. Everything is bright, beaming, and easy. If you go forward, you don't get stuck. If you go back you don't get entangled. You can go as smoothly as a boat over water. That's why this sort of person is said to be sugato: someone who goes well, who's well-gone.

    So all of us who are developing our perfections should practice in this way.

    And now that I've explained the demons of defilement, I'll end right here.
    .............. RoseUnderline.gif
    :- https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/demons.html
     
  19. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
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    The Divine Mantra

    by
    Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
    translated from the Thai by
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu

    © 2006

    Introduction
    I have written this book, The Divine Mantra, as a means of drawing to purity those who practice the Dhamma, because the chant given here brings benefits to those who memorize and recite it, inasmuch as it deals directly with matters that exist in each of us. Normally, once we are born, we all dwell in the six elements. These elements are brought together by our own actions, both good and evil. This being the case, these elements can give a great deal of trouble to those who dwell in them, like a child who can be a constant nuisance to its parents. Repeating this chant, then, is like nourishing and training a child to be healthy and mature; when the child is healthy and mature, its parents can rest and relax. Repeating this chant is like feeding a child and lulling it to sleep with a beautiful song: the Buddhaguna, the recitation of the Buddha's virtues.

    The power of the Buddhaguna can exert influence on the elements in each individual, purifying them and investing them with power (kaya-siddhi), just as all material elements exert gravitational pull on one another every second. Or you might make a comparison with an electric wire: This chant is like an electric current, extending to wherever you direct it. It can even improve the environment, because it also includes the chant of the Kapila hermit, whose story runs as follows:

    There was once a hermit who repeated this chant in a teak forest in India. As a result, the forest became a paradise. The trees took turns producing flowers and fruit throughout the year. The waters were crystal clean. Any diseased animal that happened to pass into the forest and drink the water would be completely cured of its illness. The grasses and vines were always fresh and green. Fierce animals that normally attacked and ate one another would, when entering the forest, live together in peace, as friends. Life was joyous for animals in this forest. The smell of dead animals never appeared because whenever an animal was about to die, it would have to go and die elsewhere. This forest is where the Buddha's ancestors, the Sakyan clan, later established their capital, Kapilavatthu, which still stands today within the borders of Nepal.

    All of this was due to the sacred power of the chant repeated by the Kapila hermit. And this is how he did it: First, he faced the east and repeated the chant day and night for seven days; the second week, he faced north; the third week, south; and the fourth week, west. The fifth week, he looked down toward the earth; the sixth week, he raised his hands and lifted his face to the sky, made his heart clear, and focused on the stars as the object of his meditation. The seventh week, he practiced breath meditation, keeping his breath in mind and letting it spread out in every direction through the power of a mind infused with the four Sublime Attitudes: good will, compassion, appreciation, and equanimity. Thus the chant was named the Divine Mantra.

    When all of this was related to me while I was in India, I couldn't help thinking of the Buddha, who was pure by virtue of the peerless quality of his heart to the point where he was able to invest the elements in his body with power, making them more pure than any other elements in the world. His relics, for example, have appeared to those devoted to him and, I have heard, come and go on their own, which is very strange indeed.

    All of these things are accomplished through the power of a pure heart. When the heart is pure, the elements also become pure as a result. When these elements exist in the world, they can have a refreshing influence on the environment — because all elements are interrelated. If we Buddhists set our minds on training ourselves in this direction, we can be a powerful influence to the good in proportion to our numbers. But if we don't train ourselves and instead run about filling ourselves with evil, our hearts are bound to become hot and disturbed. The flames in our hearts are bound to set the elements in our bodies on fire, and the heat from these inner fires is certain to spread in all directions throughout the world.

    As this heat gathers and becomes greater, it will raise temperatures in the atmosphere around the world. The heat from the sun will become fiercer. Weather will become abnormal. The seasons, for example, will deviate from their normal course. And when this happens, human life will become more and more of a hardship. The ultimate stage of this evil will be the destruction of the world by the fires at the end of the aeon, which will consume the earth.

    All this from our own thoughtlessness, letting nature by and large go ahead and follow this course — which shows that we're not very rational, because everything has a reason, everything comes from a cause. The world we live in has the heart as its cause. If the heart is good, the world is sure to be good. If the heart is corrupt, the world is sure to be corrupt.

    Thus, in this book I have written down the way to train the heart so as to lead to our happiness and well-being in the coming future.

     
  20. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
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    (cont.)
    Part I: Worship
    To pay respect to, and ask forgiveness of, the Buddha's relics, relics of the Noble Disciples, Buddha images, stupas, the Bodhi tree — all of which are objects that all Buddhists should respect, both inwardly and outwardly:

    Arahaṃ sammā-sambuddho bhagavā.

    The Blessed One is Worthy & Rightly Self-awakened.

    Buddhaṃ bhagavantaṃ abhivādemi.

    I bow down before the Awakened, Blessed One.

    (BOW DOWN)

    Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo.

    The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One.

    Dhammaṃ namassāmi.

    I pay homage to the Dhamma.

    (BOW DOWN)

    Supaṭipanno bhagavato sāvaka-saṅgho.

    The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples has practiced well.

    Saṅghaṃ namāmi.

    I pay respect to the Sangha.

    (BOW DOWN)

    Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa. (Three times.)

    Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Rightly Self-awakened One.

    Ukāsa, dvāra-tayena kataṃ, sabbaṃ apāradhaṃ khamatu no (me) bhante.

    We (I) ask your leave. We (I) ask you to forgive us (me) for whatever wrong we (I) have done with the three doors (of body, speech, & mind).

    Vandāmi bhante cetiyaṃ, sabbaṃ sabbattha ṭhāne, supatiṭṭhitaṃ sārīraṅka-dhātuṃ, mahā-bodhiṃ buddha-rūpaṃ, sakkāratthaṃ.

    I revere every stupa established in every place, every Relic of the Buddha's body, every Great Bodhi tree, every Buddha image that is an object of veneration.

    Ahaṃ vandāmi dhātuyo, ahaṃ vandāmi sabbaso, iccetaṃ ratana-tayaṃ, ahaṃ vandāmi sabbadā.

    I revere the relics. I revere them everywhere. I always revere the Triple Gem.

    Buddha-pūjā mahā-tejavanto, Dhamma-pūjā mahappañño, Saṅgha-pūjā mahā-bhogāvaho.

    Homage to the Buddha brings great glory. Homage to the Dhamma, great discernment. Homage to the Saṅgha, great wealth.

    Buddhaṃ Dhammaṃ Saṅghaṃ, jīvitaṃ yāva-nibbānaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.

    I go to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Saṅgha as my life & refuge until reaching Liberation.

    Parisuddho ahaṃ bhante, parisuddhoti maṃ, Buddho Dhammo Saṅgho dhāretu.

    I am morally pure. May the Buddha, Dhamma, & Saṅgha recognize me as morally pure.

    Sabbe sattā sadā hontu, averā sukha-jīvino.

    May all living beings always live happily, free from enmity.

    Kataṃ puñña-phalaṃ mayhaṃ, sabbe bhāgī bhavantu te.

    May all share in the blessings springing from the good I have done.

    (BOW DOWN THREE TIMES)

     

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