When facing a difficult situation, look at it from the viewpoint of Dhamma3.
Don’t be victimized by the influence of defilements.
Reflect on Dhamma at all times. Wisdom gained from meditation will lead
you to the right knowledge and awareness.
Time flies by quickly. Days, weeks and months go by, and all of a sudden
a year is gone. Ask what you have done for yourself. Are you conducting
your life in a way that fulfills your goals? What should you strive for? What
should you refrain from? Are you doing the things appropriate for who you
are? Always be mindful. Don’t become deluded in yourself.
Cr: Khun Yay’s Teaching
Examine yourself before bedtime each night, take a few minutes to meditate upon your day.
Reflect on everything you have done throughout the day, from the time you
wake up, to the time you go to bed (i.e., waking, eating, working, meditating,
keeping the precepts, giving alms).
Reflect on how much merit you have accumulated and how many bad deeds
you have committed today. Resolve to relinquish all the negative actions that
lead to bad Kamma. Don’t even let one particle of your demerit linger with
Contemplate on giving up. Give up wrongdoings. Give up bad actions.
Give up everything evil. Give up the slackness in your meditation.
Contemplate on improving. Improve on doing more good deeds. Make the
effort to improve yourself and build up good kamma every day. Think of this
life as your final existence and your last opportunity to capture all the merits.
September 31, 1976
Excerpt from Khun Yay’s Teaching
Dhamma Talk Given by Venerable Medhigo in Meditation Class on Feb. 27, 2016
Before meditation session, Venerable Medhigo shared his way of thinking that keeps him happy and help him progressing in his meditation. Here is the summary of his talk:
We don’t live in this world alone. We interact with others who may have different points of view both at home and at work. Sometimes we have a tendency to notice other people’s faults prior to their virtues. These negative thoughts create unpleasant feeling and disrupt the otherwise peaceful mind. During meditation it is rather difficult and takes a long time to get rid of the readily lingering negative/unpleasant feeling. The better approach is to prevent the unpleasant thought to happen at all. We need to shift our focus to observing the goodness and kindness of others. It is challenging but the benefit makes it greatly worthwhile. Not only that we will have better relationship with others but we will also have a peaceful mind throughout the day. When we meditate, we can reach the point of stillness easily and eventually obtain the happiness inside.
Dr. Aaron Stern
My two daughters were born during my doctoral program and despite the joy they gave both my wife and I, all parents know the amount of time and energy required for children-rearing. Meditation helped me maintain my patience when handling the strain of a temper tantrum, a near sleepless night tending to a sick child and many other responsibilities associated with parenthood. My introduction to Dhammakaya meditation began about five years ago when I first learned about the basic method from a monk at the Meditation Center of Chicago. I had meditated many years earlier using Vipassana meditation (essentially focusing on my breath) and had not returned to any regular meditation practice until learning about Dhammakaya meditation. I did some background reading and directed questions at various monks and people know ledgeable about the Dhammakaya method before starting to practice it regularly. Similar to other people who had their minds consumed by the vicissitudes and influences of daily life, it was not easy to meditate initially. A key element of the Dhammakaya method was to the mind, clear out mental clutter and let the mind become still.
A mind trained to “multi-task” (a good description of my mind) needs time to slow sown so that it will not wander from thought to thought, memory to memory and worry to worry. I struggled with this mental wandering (and still do) for many months before I experienced my first moment of true mental stillness. That brief moment demonstrated the happiness associated with a still mind; a sense of being relaxed and at peace with the world, without feeling the need to escape from the world. I continued to meditate, although I felt a little annoyed on some says at my wandering mind. There were also physical concerns with meditation. In my initial efforts to meditate, my legs would go numb and my back would start to ache. Monks recommended that I stretch regularly, especially found I could greatly reduce my back pain by sitting with my back against a hard surface and lodging a small pillow against my lower back. Once I had addressed my physical discomfort, my meditation sessions grew longer and more relaxing. Initially, I did nearly all my meditation at home. I was fortunate to have the opportunity in July 2005 to participate in Wat Phra Dhammakaya’s Dhammadayada International Ordination program in Thailand.
Life is full of suffering. Most of them come from our own desire. We all want to get rid of this suffering and gain peace and happiness in our lives. Venerable Wuttipong used the analogy between monkey trap and mind trap to help you find the solution. He talked about the monkey trapping technique that Thai gardeners use to catch monkeys destroying their crops. The monkey is an animal that is usually very active. They run away and climb up trees very quickly. The gardener used coconut shell to trap them. They made a small hole, and put grated coconut or their favorite nut inside. The monkey ran up to the scent that they love, reached inside the coconut shell and grabbed their favorite tightly such that they could not pull their hand full of nuts out. With their hand stuck inside a heavy coconut, they can’t run away fast. This made it easy for gardener to catch them. Many people laughed at the silly monkey. If they want to get their hand off the coconut shell, they just release the nuts that they clutch tightly.
Today, we don’t let go all the suffering that we are have. We are like monkeys clutching our belonging, our desire, our hatred, our anger, and our opinion so firmly. We hold on to what we want despite of our loss even more. We are immersed in the grief that we used to be rich, have relationship, or be powerful such that we miss the chance to start a new life that could be better than the past.
If the monkey trained itself to observe its mind, it would have seen that its hand was stuck inside the coconut shell since it grabbed something firmly. Just release its favorite nut, it would have many choices to choose from. There are other fruits around it. Or find a rock to smash a coconut. It was better than locking itself in trouble or in coconut without any solution.
No one gives us a problem except ourselves. Everything is just the events that can happen to anyone at any time. When it happened to us, we suffered because we wanted it to be the same as we wanted. When we are not aware of our trap, we hold on to our desire so firmly. We forgot that it is our craving that makes us suffering. We create conditions that trap ourselves and don’t see a way out .
What we can do in this situation is to be aware of our desire, acknowledge it, stop it, and let it go. Practice these process daily. When we relax our mind, we will see what is going on. We will have an insight to see the cause of the suffering. Some problem we can fix by ourselves, some problem takes time to fix, and some problem cannot be resolved. Just let go the desire, and use insight to see it through.
June 13, 2015