When we create a habit of being mindful, we change from living day by day in our imaginations and with our distractions, to living a mindful life with continual awareness of thoughts and actions. In this way, we will have an awakened life. The seed of the Buddha will be awakened and grow inside us. We can practice mindfulness while going through all activities of daily life. We use each activity as an opportunity to practice mindfulness, until we achieve an awakened life. When we practice this way, we will find that sufferings diminish and later disappear. Stress, anger, and grief will decrease and eventually disappear. The mind will become stable, happy, light, peaceful, and clear. This brings contentment and refined happiness to our life. This kind of happiness cannot be purchased by any amount of money. It is the true happiness. The more we practice, the more we will have a refined and lighter mind. We will be happy and awakened everywhere we go.
Credit: Phramaha Worapoj Kittiwaro
Precautions in practicing the four Sublime States of the Mind (Brahmavihārā):
Be careful of the close enemies of these four dharmas, which are:
1. Lust is the close enemy of loving-kindness (mettā).2. Sorrow & regret is the close enemy of compassion (karunā).3. Over-joyfulness & restlessness is the close enemy of sympathetic joy (muditā).4. Ignorance & delusion is the close enemy of equanimity (upekkhā).
1. When we are kind to someone, if we are in a situation that can give rise to lust, then we need to watch out for lust. Try to draw a line out to the extent of kindness, and do not let kindness go beyond that line.
2. Compassion is an intention to help someone out of suffering. If we cannot help, then we need to be still. Otherwise, sadness will consume us.
3. If congratulations and joy with others is too much, watch out for restlessness, which is due to too much joyfulness.
4. The mental calmness of equanimity should be controlled by wisdom. If wisdom is lacking, delusion will conquer. Then, the equanimity will be due to ignorance, and be like the indifference of an animal.
The far enemies of the four Sublime States of the Mind correspond to factors that the Sublime States eliminate.Loving-kindness eliminates hatred & vengeance.Compassion eliminates thoughts of harming others.Sympathetic joy eliminates jealousy.Equanimity eliminates chaotic feelings and mind states.
Cr: Wasin Intasara
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.