Dear Puan Chee and ALL,
Below are the edited outline short notes for sharing by all:
SHORT NOTES OF TALK ON 13TH SEPTEMBER 2018
A. INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE MEDITATION
1. Bro Teoh gave some simple instructions before meditation. First, relax body and mind. Then, maintain silent awareness within. If there is a need to train the mind, go ahead, otherwise, just relax and maintain silent and let the mind settle down on its own to arise the heedful mind that is just aware within. (Note: When we are without attachments or thinking, the mind will return naturally to its original state of inner awareness and stillness before the stirring.)
2. Meditation is very simple when one understands. Keeping precepts is very importantbecause it is the source of spiritual joy (Silena sugatim yanti), spiritual wealth (Silena bhogasampadam) and spiritual peacefulness of mind (Silena nibbutim yanti). Reason why Meditation must always start with Sila or morality following the prescribedformat of Sila, Samadhi and Panna).
3. Remember the 4 supports for awareness-based meditation: they are Relax, Aware, 24 hours and Trust. First, relax (1st support) into every mind state that arises and let things be. When the mind has settled down and returned to its original state of quietness and calmness, awareness (2nd support) will arise then maintain awareness for as long as you can (24 hours awareness or 3rd support). The meditative mind is the silent mind without thought. It is just the essence of mind within. We need this mindto arise the wisdom needed for awakening. When we have this understanding, we will not create unnecessary thought during meditation or use thoughts to do thought-based meditation. Thought-based meditation will not lead to heedfulness and awakening.
4. Without realizing the true mind, we cannot have the state of no thought. Then, we cannot develop the 4th support of Trust to develop the ultimate meditation. Trust means allowing the nature to move or meditate by itself without the interference of thought. Just relax, aware and silent.
B. Questions & Answers AFTER MEDITATION
5. The problem with most Buddhists is they don’t know how to apply the dharma in real life to truly live life. Last night Bro Swee Aun brought a lady (with certain 1st noble truth problem) to see/consult me to get my advice. The lady came with a friend from SJBA. This lady was having some serious personal problems and she was sufferingvery badly and she found life to be very difficult. She finds it so difficult to even confront life’s 1st noble truth realities of pending separation form loved ones and when she is with people whom she doesn’t like she becomes miserable. Bro Teoh agrees with her comment that if one doesn’t understand life, then life can be pretty difficult (really not easy). But when one understands, then life can becomes beautiful, wonderful and rather meaningful. When we have the Buddha Dhammacultivated, there is joy and understanding within. This Dhamma understanding cantransform a person completely into a very wise and virtuous human being with great character and personality to become a blessing to all. There is no more need to go through suffering anymore and one can then live life to the fullest. One only needs to understand the Buddha’s teaching or dhamma deeply.
6. The lady left with much better understanding of the Buddha Dhamma after talking to Bro Teoh for about two hours. She became more calm, confident and peaceful. She felt much better. Bro Teoh just explained to her the Law of Karma & the 4 Noble Truths to let her understand her present problem and situation and how she can apply the Buddha’s teaching to help her overcome her problem and life situation; to do what she needs to do to turn her life around. Bro Teoh also explained to her that she is not the only one who suffers this way for every human being who lives long enough will also have to confront the eight 1st noble truth realities and they will also suffer if they don’t have this understanding. Some suffer less and some suffer more – it all depends on their karmic past. How life can become so miserable for some people. The application of dharma is very important because when we understand that we hold the key to our life’s destiny and to be happy or miserable is entirely our choice then we will know how to come out of this predicament.
7. Bro Teoh told her – there is so much more to life than just worrying and going through such misery via allowing people to mentally torment you. If we cling on to all these wrong or unhappy thoughts as memory and problem then we will definitely suffering. It is better to forget the whole thing and let it pass via resolving such issuesamicably with understanding and then move on with our new life which is much more meaningful instead of holding on and clinging to such wrong thoughts/memory. Life had so much more to offer. We can choose to be happy and live life to the fullest with love and understanding. We can travel and do the things we like to do.
8. Memory is necessary for us to store important things but not to store psychological memories of fears, phobias, insecurity and scars of memories, etc. that brings about suffering and make us miserable. The commonly used words, letting go is a fallacy or myth because: ‘who wants to let go? The one who holds, right? So how can the person who is still holding and clinging, let go?’ If we don’t understand that those wrong thoughts are tormenting us and making us miserable, then we will continue to hold via worrying about them. We must see this with understanding to break freefrom the recurring wrong thoughts that always come up with ideas and words to tell us things which are very negative and not the reality. Hence our problem can’t be resolved amicably with understanding because of the way we react to such situation via the evil roots of selfishness, anger, emotion and delusion.
9. When we can see clearly how our wrong thoughts with the 3 evil roots are causing us so much suffering through our reaction to sense experiences and life, we will wake up straight away. Understanding the Law of Karma and the Buddha’s essential dhamma/teachings can help us break free from our deluded habitual thinking patternwhich has been deluding us all these while. However, many Buddhists cannot seethis, and that is the main reason why they don’t know how to apply the Buddha’s teaching to help them live life.
10. When we take care of karma via avoiding all evil, doing good and purifying the mind, our life changes. There is no point believing in feng shui and fortune tellers because the main thing that matters most in life is karma and nothing else. Whatever that happens to us at any one time has its causes and conditions behind and these causes and conditions are mainly due to karma because according to the Buddha, ‘we are all born of our karma, heir to our karma, conditioned and supported by our karma and we are what we are because of our karma. The 1st Noble truth 8 realities of life and existence that afflict us are also mainly due to karma. We have to accept these realities because our life misery is not caused by somebody else.
11. Most people think karma is just: – Do good begets good, do evil begets evil; you reap what you sow; but, is that what karma is really all about? This is only a very small part of the real understanding.
12. Karma is not like what people think, only cause and effect. Whatever causes that arises due to karmic volition will give rise to karmic potential. Its effect is not immediate most of the time. Whether good or bad, it will create the karmic potential which is stored in one’s karmic nature. Within one complete thought process, there are usually seventeen thought moments. The seven determining thought moments during volition are called javana. If it occur on the first javana then if there is not condition for it to ripen in this life, it will cease. If it is on the seventh javana, then its karmic potential will only be active until the next life. If there is no condition for it to ripen, it will also cease. The second to the sixth javana will follow us for eternity.
13. The past is already gone and we cannot change our past karma. So how do we deal with life? Understanding that we need conditions for karmic potential to ripen. Otherwise, they will not happen or cease to take effect if the karmic potential is already over. With this understanding, we are in a better position to understand how karma can ripen or cease. If we can avoid the conditions for evil karma from ripeningvia following the advice of the Buddha then we can have better life conditions. Which means when things don’t go our way or when we are confronted with the 1st noble truth’s 8 realities, we should via right views (wisdom) with regards to this law of karma remain calm and peaceful without reacting to stir our mind to become emotional via self-delusion. If we can do this then there is not evil roots to condition our karmic negativities; then we will not create the conditions for the negative karmic potential of ours to have a chance to ripen. That’s how wisdom frees. Karma is such, when there is no more condition to afflict one then the karmic effect will reverseitself. In order to have this ability we must not create karmic negativity when confronted with the 1st noble truth realities (which most human beings don’t understand). Most people when hit with the first noble truth realities will react with anger, violence and fear, etc., thus arising the karmic negativities with the evil roots of greed, hatred and delusion. These will arise the very conducive conditions for negative karmic potential to ripen. This is the reason why most human being sufferswhen they do that via ignorant.
14. Bro Teoh himself went through the tests many years ago. So, karma is not something cast in stone. If we don’t give rise to the conditions, we can avoid the karmic potential or consequence from arising.
15. Knowing how to apply the dhamma in life is very important. Many people don’t understand how this can be done. The lady whom Bro Swee Aun brought to see Bro Teoh kept saying that, ‘this guy had done so much wrong yet nothing bad had happened to him’. Bro Teoh explained, when the karmic potential hasn’t ripened yet (because there is no condition) then it will appear that way but when there are conditions, karma will take its effect. This is just like the politicians in our country who may be powerful at one time but recently after 9th May 2018 when conditions change, their karma will ripen accordingly because of the dawn of a New Malaysia.
16. Causes and conditions from the past can give rise to karmic potential in the future. Bro Teoh mentioned the case of Moggallana (one of the Buddha’s chief disciple) who finally succumbed to his karmic repercussions from the past and was clobbered to death though he had psychic powers.
17. Understanding the Law of Karma and the other essential dhammas enables one to have the understanding to apply the Buddha dharma to life thus transforming oneself to become a blessing to all. With this understanding, one will have the ability to share this understanding to help others.
18. In the Diamond sutra, these four lines stanza are very potent and powerful : –
All are conditioned dharmas within the conditioned world;
They are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, and shadows,
Like the morning dew and a lightning flash;
One should contemplate them thus.
19. This poem can bring about wisdom to help us break free from delusion from the existential world.
20. Dhammapada verses 1 and 2 also highlight the importance of right thought : –
Dh Verse 1 – All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain or suffering will follows him, as the wheel follows the hoof print of the ox that draws the carriage.
Dh Verse 2 – All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
21. Everything within the conditioned world is in a state of flux so we cannot cling and attach. But within the conditioned world there is such a thing as the law of karmaand our 5 aggregates of form and mind (the human being) is subject to this law of karma. That is the reason why right duty is very important within the conditioned world as explained by the Law of Karma because the law of karma recognizes relationships and not everything is non-self and empty within the conditioned world.
22. `Right duty is right dharma,’ as advised by Bro Teoh’s teacher Phra Ajahn Yantra to him in the late 80s. But, this understanding is seldom or hardly taught among Buddhists. Reason for the lack of understanding to live life.
23. It is important that we cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path which can leads to the end of all suffering. When one becomes enlightened, one will have the embodiments of all the Noble Eightfold Path’s path factors of right view with regards to the three spiritual laws (Law of Karma, Law of Mind and Law of Dharma), right thoughts, speech, and action, etc.
24. Without this right view, one cannot start to live one’s life. Right view will condition the right thought because one won’t violate the Law of Karma but instead will use the 4 right efforts to purify one’s thoughts leading to right speech and action. Yoniso manisakara or wisdom at the moment of sense experience is able to help check one’s thoughts. Eventually, we still have to cultivate the right thoughts, speech and action that are still not in us. With this understanding, life itself is the meditation/cultivation and meditation is never apart from life.
25. Based on the above right view the Buddha always advised us to avoid all evil, do good and purify the mind. But, if we don’t understand how all these are inter-related, we will not be able to apply the dharma in life.
26. Byron Katie uses her 4 lines of questioning to help people overcome their problems via questioning their thoughts : –
- Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do you react or what happens, when you believe those wrong thought?
- Who would you be without those wrong thought?
27. We can abandon the wrong thought using the third way or the meditative way of awareness as taught by the Buddha. Just relax and silent your mind and be aware to realize that thoughts and emotions like anger, hatred and fear, etc. are dependent originating hence impermanent and not you. Without wrong view, we won’t reactand stir our mind. But, a lot of meditators even after having gone in and out of retreats still cannot transforming their minds because they failed to develop the meditation correctly to realize this truth. If we are trapped in duality created by the mundane mind just like Shen Xiu who was practicing at the thought level, it is very difficult to break free.
28. Instead, allow whatever mind states that arise to cease on its own. Then using the fourth way to trace the origination factors via mindfulness of the six internal and six external sense bases to develop the wisdom to straighten our views. Without wisdom we tend to act according to memory (which are our views and opinions, our culture and traditions borne of our conditioning; our belief system, fear, insecurities and phobias etc.) to react to situations via our wrong thoughts. Eventually, when we have cultivated and developed the wisdom and understanding, we can then accept the world as what it is; for the world is the world and people are just the way they are.When conditions are like that, things will be like that. We can then accept the reality of the moment which is ‘What IS!’ – The IS-ness of things. We can then act with wisdom following the Noble 8-fold path; the dhamma way.
29. With this wisdom, there is no need to suppress the anger or use the charms and amulets to ward off fear anymore.
30. The dhamma must be learned and understood via phase 1 of dhamma (Pariyati) then put into practice in daily life via phase 2 (Patipatti). When we awaken, we will receive the fruit of our hard work to live the noble life which is 3rd phase of dhamma (Pativedha).
31. Sometimes if there are karmic obstructions, we need to ask for forgiveness(repentance) and vow never to repeat all these negativities again. Since according to the Buddha whatever that arises in life, there are causes and conditions behind hence there is no need to lament. Instead, ask for forgiveness and determine to change via following the Buddha’s teachings to avoid all evil, cultivate wholesomeness and develop wisdom to improve our life and transform our self for the better. When we repent, grow in virtues, meditate and develop wisdom via this cultivation, we can then invoke the power of such merits for our life situations to improve. But if we continue to have the wrong mind states, we are just arising the conditions for the bad karmic potential and repercussions to ripen.
32. When one has faith and asks for forgiveness, Mother Nature will response accordingly regardless of whichever religion one is having.
33. Do it for at least for 3 months to see the result and change in you and your life situation. Then invoke power of merits for turn around. This is not psychic or magic but only an understanding of how nature’s law function via the dhamma way.
(Above outline short notes draft is by Puan Chee)
Bye! and with metta always,Teoh
From: guityeng <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 15 September 2018 08:26
To: Teoh Kian Koon; chin how teh; Pheyyuen Chong; TanKeatHoon@imu.edu.my
Subject: short notes of 13th september talk
Dear Bro Teoh,
Attached are the short notes for the talk below (13 Sept 2018) as well as an audio file which I have resized (cut and shrunk for easy sharing through whatsapp). Hope it is useful.
With deep gratitude and metta always,
Link to the 13th September talk : –