Below are the audio links to our 5th July 2018 Thursday class recording for sharing by all. The outline short notes are also as below:
Below are the edited outline short notes for 5th July 2018 Thursday class for sharing by all.
Outline short notes of Bro Teoh’s talk dated Thursday 5th JULY 2018
- Bro Teoh said: questions asked by Bro Chin How and Sis Tammy (at last Sunday talk dated 1st July 2018) gave rise to causes and conditions for those beautiful dharma to unfold.
- Brother Teoh explained that the Buddha taught nanadassana (direct knowledge and vision of the reality or seeing things as they are to realize the wisdom). This is similar to J. Krishnamurthi’s quote on `extraordinary seeing’.
- Extraordinary seeing (by J. Krishnamurti)
- So we are asking, as at the beginning, can the mind come to that extraordinary seeing, not from the periphery, the outside, the boundary, but come upon it without any seeking? [Comment by Bro Teoh – there is no craving involved.]
- And to come upon it without seeking is the only way to find it. Because in coming upon it unknowingly, there is no effort, no seeking, and no experience; and there is the total denial of all the normal practices to come into that center, to that flowering. So the mind is highly sharpened, highly awake, and is no longer dependent upon any experience to keep itself awake. [Bro Teoh’s comment – so this mind is aware, ever mindful, very sharp,and sensitive. When there is the slightest movement within, it will know and understand.]
- When one asks oneself, one may ask verbally; for most people, naturally, it must be verbal. [Bro Teoh’s comment – Every time we want to understand something, most of you tend to use the word first. This is the problem with living beings because words have become more important. We have been so conditioned by our education system and by our society. We give so much meaning to words, concept, and ideas and we even commit them to memory. This is knowledge and not wisdom.]
- And one has to realize that the word is not the thing—like the word “tree,” is not the tree, is not the actual fact. [Bro Teoh’s comment – the moment we perceive something, we do not perceive the actual thing. Through our conditioning, the word has given the meaning so we never really see via the direct perception or seeing. The pure perception orawareness of the thing cannot be explained through words.. Hence, if we are not silent to perceive it via the direct seeing, we will cling to the words to give meaning to what we see. It becomes knowledge making one clever and smart but not wise. Memory cannot give rise to wisdom.]
- The actual fact is when one touches it, not through the word but when one actually comes into contact with it. Then it is an actuality—which means the word has lost its power to mesmerize people. [Bro Teoh’s comment – Pure awareness before the knowing allows us to see things as they are without the word and the concept. We rely on words for communication and for practical purposes but not for the arising of wisdom. Awareness does not involve any thought process. There is clarity and one can even recall or recollect what one has perceived if there is a need to. But most people are habitually heedless (hardly aware) – this is the reason why they cannot recall where they have place certain things or items earlier on. There are two types of awareness : spacious and specific phenomena awareness. When one is observant and not lost in thought, one is sensitive due to the mindfulness.
- For example, the word God is so loaded and it has mesmerized people so much that they will accept or deny, and function like a squirrel in a cage! So the word and the symbol must be set aside.
4. Bro Teoh said the direct seeing cannot come about through practice. It can only happen when our understanding and daily mindfulness are very stable. The mind that seeks (has craving) is a thought hence it cannot see things as they are to realize the dharma which is beyond thought and beyond time. We need to understand this clearly. We should be ever mindful, constantly meditative for such penetrative understanding to arise. Otherwise, it becomes mere theory and knowledge.
5. Just as when a very skilful player plays a game of badminton, his moves are executed without any thinking involved. His strokes are spontaneous because he has acquired the skills and understanding. Cultivating mindfulness is analogous to the developing of skills by a skilful player. When you are skilful your movements and strokes are very graceful (body and mind moves as one without thought).
6. Lee Chong Wei can execute his smashes so fast (at almost 300 km per hour and spontaneously). Of course, to be a good player one must plan how to strategize before and during the game by observing both our opponent’s and our own strength and weaknesses then work on improving one self’s weaknesses and skill.
7. Similarly, if you are a wise cultivator, you will observe your `opponents’ which are your defilements. How they delude and deceive you and condition you into negativity and constantly stir your mind. Hence, if you are mindful and observant of your own mental states, just like a skilful player, you will know how you get yourself into trouble. After that, you can correct yourself like a skilful player via straightening your views.
8. So, meditation is quite the same as playing a game of badminton. Through meditation, we observe ourselves and develop the wisdom to understand why our minds stirred via delusion. Then we will know how to liberate our mind via wisdom or right views. We can become so skilful until the `opponents’ (our defilements) have no power over us.
9. Even his opponent (Kento Momota) who lost to Lee Chong Wei (LCW) commented that LCW has the stamina and agility of a man much younger than his age because LCW said he don’t feel he is old even though he was 12 years older than Kento Momota.
10. When we truly understand life, we can have so much joy, love and compassion. We can also see the importance of having wisdom and virtue despite age catching up with us. We will know how to apply the dharma to live life and to develop the wisdom via the silent mind in careful and attentiveness observation without interpretation, judgment or condemnation. We can perceive without the conditioning.
11. A cultivator must not look down on others. The Mahayana approach is best because they dare not offend any living being, course if they do so, they may be offending a potential Buddha because everybody has the Buddha nature within. It is told that Manjusri Bodhisattva always likes to come as a beggar. So, if we have prejudices, we may miss the chance to meet such great beings. Even if we meet them, chances are we do not have the sensitivity of mindfulness to know who they really are.
12. Bro Teoh shared his experience on how he came to understand that the `word’ that described the thing is not the thing. After the transformation happened in 1989, he came to realize that his `seeing’ was so different and things looked so fresh, pristine and beautiful. It was the direct seeing without words. The silent mind could just observe and perceive without the word and the concept via seeing things as they are.
13. Those temple monks who sat in meditation with Bodhidharma, they did so without understanding what meditation was. It was only after Bodhidharma’s wise analogy (of trying to grind the glaze ware to become a mirror) that they realized their folly. So, meditation has to done with understanding. (To wait for the lesson 75 of the 6th Patriarch Platform sutra’s transcript book which is to be printed soon to have the full description of the said dharma sharing.)
14. The Buddha is the Buddha because of his perfections of wisdom and virtue. It is not abouthow he sits, walks, and meditates or what he does during his time. These are all form dharma not wisdom dharma.
15. Bro Teoh encouraged fellow Kalyanamittas to cultivate diligently and with understanding.When we cultivate with the correct understanding, not only do our characters change for the better, our lives change too. By following the advice of the Buddha to avoid all evil, do good and purify the mind, the transformation of mind will happen to make us wise so that we can become a blessing not only to ourselves but to the planetary consciousness as well.
16. If we have love, compassion, sincerity, kindness, gentleness, pleasantness, gratitude, contentment, respect, etc. (and the list of wholesome thoughts goes on) we will have great virtues and blessings which can help us in our cultivation.
17. The silent mind will lead the form and mind to gain insights via the direct seeing or extraordinary seeing as explained by J. Krishnamurti. Eventually, every dharma becomes so clear that one can go through the different stages of path and fruition. These paths and fruition happen very fast for the Great Beings who inherit their past cultivations.
18. Bro Teoh encouraged us to ask questions so that it can give rise to causes and conditions for dharma to flow just like what had happened when Bro Chin How and Sis Tammy asked their questions during the 1st July 2018 talk.
19. Again, Bro Teoh reminded us to cultivate with understanding. Do not be gullible to follow the old ways. Inquire into what has happened and ask ourselves what we are doing in the name of meditation. Hence, the key words are `understand what we are doing in thename of meditation’. Do not follow what others are doing without understanding. It is good to bear in mind that no amount of sitting can free us from delusion if we do not understand why we sit and that only wisdom frees nothing else.
20. It is crucial that we bear in mind the 4 supports of relax, aware, 24 hours and trust for awareness based meditation. These are pointers that will keep us on the right track.
21. When awareness becomes very stable, we can see how our mental stirring is caused by our wrong views and mental conditioning. The understanding will lead one to the direct seeingvia the silent mind to realize that everything is impermanent, dependent originating and empty.
22. If we don’t understand the true intent of meditation, we may end up just enjoy sitting blissfully with the beautiful mind states. Then when things happen in the midst of life, the mind will stir again. Thus meditation is to be done with understanding. Otherwise, we would just be like the four monks who sat ignorantly during Bodhidharma’s time.
23. All meditation should lead us back to the cultivation of the Noble Eightfold Path.
24. Whatever situations that arise, always perceive it with wholesomeness and resolve issues amicably with right understanding. It is never worthwhile to perceive a situation with negativity or wrong view leading to transgression of karma..
(Above outline short notes were prepared by Puan Chee.)
Bye! and with metta always,
From: Bro. Tune
Tonite’s Thursday class (5July2018) sharing by Bro. Teoh is ready for download: