3rd Jan 2019 Thursday class sharing
4 reflect on it to develop the initial wisdom (yonisomanasikara) via the above 3rd and 4th ways to enable you to do it. 3rd right effort is to cultivate the right thoughts, speeches and actions that are still not in you.To do it you need to understand what constitutes right thoughts, speeches and actions.Right thoughts are thoughts without the 3 …
Outline short notes for Brother Teoh’s Thursday class dated 3rd January 2019
- Are you able to develop the meditative mind? Are your spiritual faculties developed? Do you still have mental hindrances? These are important questions for cultivators to contemplate and reflect upon. Brother Teoh reminded yogis to understand that the purpose of them attending meditation classes is to initially train their mind to be more peaceful, calmer, and happier; to develop inner awareness leading to wisdom and joy within. If you are miserable during meditation it means you are not doing it correctly. The key to successful meditation is to relax, maintain awareness and trust your nature while doing it; have stable spiritual faculties as well as being mindful in midst of life. Meditation is basically to develop the training of the mind to be mindful and aware all the time.
- You need to have clear understanding to develop the meditation with ease. You don’t have to always sit to meditate. If you can be mindful in the midst of life and you are always peaceful, aware and calm within, with very little or no thought at all, that is good meditation. When you have done it correctly, your meditation will progress. You don’t have to sit rigidly because meditation can be done in any posture (as long as your mind is serene, peaceful and aware).
- Buddha taught the 12 links or paticcasamuppada. The first 2 links are: avijja (ignorant) paccaya sankhara (mental activities or thinking and emotions). I.e. Ignorant condition mental activities, which cause you to think and become heedless. You do this because of ignorance, ignorant of the truth (dhamma). Wanting to understand, you keep thinking and this leads to heedlessness borne of self-delusion.
- The first two links can be weakened via Right View. You need to straighten your view to develop vijja (understanding) via meditation (the direct seeing) and contemplative wisdom. With wisdom you will understand that this form and mind is not you (because hey no you and hey no me) and you are not deluded by what you see, feel, taste, smell and think. This form and mind is impermanent, and it can’t be you because it is dependent originating and it goes the way of nature. You don’t have control over your body and mind. Thus the 5 daily contemplations are vital. Body and mind is only a karmically conditioned vehicle and tool for you to come to this world. Thus don’t worry about it getting old, sick and die, but use them with understanding to live life well.You maintain good mind states for a good immune system.
- When you have understood the essential dhamma, you won’t attach and cling to your body and mind anymore, but you will use it well with right view. Body and mind must harmonize and co-exist harmoniously, to experience the good life. With wisdom to accept the reality of the moment, you don’t suffer. It is a universal reality for your body to grow old, get sick and succumb to death. With this understanding, you won’t be afflicted. Even as you age and get more prone to illness, you are still peaceful. Your mind is not sick nor miserable. You are grateful and contented with life.
- Sister Pat shared her experience where she was told by her doctor that she might have cancer. She was not worried but approach it wisely. She prayed for guidance from Buddha. She never worried and continued eating healthy and felt healthy and well. After a few months, she went back for checkup and the results came in negative for cancer. As she did not want anyone to worry for her, she made sure she lived her life well and took good care of her diet and lifestyle with good mind states throughout.
- Brother Teoh shared that we should not believe just based on one test results or one doctor’s assessment. Even if really you do have cancer, so what? Don’t panic because that is a universal reality. If you understand, you can take it positively via having right view. If you need a second opinion, do it. If it is reconfirmed positive, accept it. You should reflect positively via contemplating all happenings with understanding, then it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. With understanding, you are able to cope with this reality. You can then ask for forgiveness and repent via living the proper life, don’t neglect your life anymore, instead cultivate a healthy lifestyle, do more meritorious actions, then invoke power of merits for turn around. If you have fear, worry and anxiety borne of wrong thoughts, it will only cause your immune system to fail. But with positive mind states, it will bring about good immune system for recovery instead.
- If your diet and lifestyle are not right, your body has its own way of alerting you. You must be more sensitive to feel it. Medical checkup is important. If you don’t feel well, please go for a medical checkup. Don’t believe all the test results just like that. Sometimes it is karma that you meet with doctors who are not ethical and give wrong assessment. Thus it is vital to keep the 5 precepts to enable one to avoid all evil, then cultivate wisdom and wholesomeness. This can help one mitigate one’s karmic negativities. The precepts are for your own good (to protect you from committing evil). To have good life, one must follow the advice of the Buddha to take care of karma.
- You cannot stop thinking if you have avijja. To weaken avijja, you need wisdom to straighten your views. You need to meditate and be mindfulto do so. Then when you confront the 8 realities of life, you will know how to deal with them calmly. You are not affected by them because you know, thoughts are respond to memories. Fear leads to anxiety, sorrow, and lamentations. Fear exists only because you think you are real, the atta is so real. When you understand anatta, you will ask, who fears? It is the thought that fears. It arises due to wrong view and it is conditions arising hence fear is not you. When you stay with that fear, it ceases because there is no more wrong view and you are simply just aware. When there is no movement of thought, there is peace. Fear, anger, disease all are never a part of you. The body goes the way of nature. Just like the car, if you don’t take care or maintain it well, it will cause you problems.
- With spiritual faculties of saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi and panna established, your mental hindrances will cease and you will be peaceful with clarity of mind to see things as they are to develop the wisdom needed to free your mind.
- One who does not suffer have the understanding of the dhamma to accept the reality of the moment; to confront whatever situations with wisdom. You are constantly aware, can perceive things with wholesomeness only, can see things as they are, no negativity, no fear, nor worry. Thus right reflection is important. Have gratitude that this body has served you well, and it will continue to serve you well if you take care of it well. With clarity of mind, you can act with wisdom via following noble eightfold path. If there is a disease, accept it as a reality. Then ask yourself, how can I move on? If it’s karmic, you should ask for forgiveness. You change your diet, seek advice, and do what you need to do. You understand that this form and mind is not you. You understand anatta, sunyata and emptiness. Empty nature of existence. Yes you have gone through life, since birth until now; all your experiences – is there any reality? You can only recall via memory, they’re only your thought and consciousness. Thus how real can it be? The world continues on according to nature’s law, with or without you.
- To exist is to go through time. Thus existence is time related; and thewhole spectrum of time can be defined by Past, present and future. Past is already gone (not a reality), future yet to come (also not a reality). The present moment, now is the most important and the only reality. Moment to moment it passes by. How real and stable is the present moment? Split second it arises, next moment it is dead and gone. Thus every arising moment has this empty nature of existence. Contemplate deep and see it (via the direct seeing) clearly to awaken. Then no more self-delusion.
- There is this nature within us, which never dies (the eternal nature). This is the unborn. You should realize this nature in your meditation and understand that the rest are mind made hence unreal. Then nothing in this world can deceive you into misery or suffering. You can realize this understanding via deep contemplation and meditation.
- The kalyanamitta’s Consciousness has evolved beautifully, and if you all read our transcript books again (now) you can have penetrative understanding. Our coming March 2019 annual Cameron Highlands Meditation retreat will be very interesting, because of this higher consciousness among kalyanamittas. This time around many of you can awaken to your true nature if you have the faith and strong resolve to cultivate sincerely when there.
- The Buddha taught the 4 right efforts in his Noble 8-Fold Path teaching and they are:
- 1st right effort – to abandon the wrong thoughts that has arisen. Thought with the evil roots of greed, hatred, delusion that condition your fear, worry, anxiety, sorrow and lamentation, etc. are all wrong thoughts. Greed is not only greediness, but it includes selfishness, desires, lust, covetousness, possessiveness and cravings. Cunningness is mainly delusion caused by selfishness. Hatred are negative tendencies like envy, dislikes, resentment, unhappiness, other negative emotions, unpleasant reactions to sense experiences, etc. Self-delusion (moha) are your fear, worry, anxiety, phobias, insecurities, sorrow and lamentations, etc.
To abandon them, there are 5 ways:
- 1st way is to think of the direct opposite wholesome thoughts i.e. radiate metta, compassion and contentment. Example, someone asked, what to do when attacked by wild animals or snakes. Take refuge, chant or silent mind. When there is no fear, animals and snakes can sense it then they won’t attack you.
- 2nd way is to reflect on the consequence and danger of holding onto the wrong thought. It would make you evil and cause karmic negativity, result in karmic downfall. Determine to abandon these wrong thoughts.
- 3rd way is the meditative way whereby you just aware and silent your mind. The evil roots will then cease to be as there is no more mental energy, no thinking and no perception. When there is no thought, there is no duality. The evil roots of greed hatred delusion is no longer there. Thus it is important to stabilize your sati in meditation. Whenever you are feeling emotional in daily life, you need to silent your mind, just be aware. Meditate and don’t feed it with anymore thought energy. When emotion ceases, you will realize, fear was never you but is dependent originating. When you perceive something with negativity it led to fear. That’s why you must straighten your view and not stir your mind. You then accept things as they are – that is deluded people do deluded things. Sankhara was never you, but dependent on ignorant, it arises.
- 4th way is for you to trace the originating factor of fear, then retrospectively reverse it via right view. You trace how fear arise. Fear was never there until you perceive something negatively via one of your sense door experiences. It was mainly via memory, attached to the past, and you stirred your mind because of wrong view. Thus you straighten your view via see things as they are. Then you know, the world is the world, and people are just the way they are. If you can accept things or them as they are, there is no more suffering.
- 5th way is – if you can’t do the above 4 ways, then you have to determination strongly to abandon it with your will power so that these wrong thoughts won’t affect you.
- 2nd right effort is to prevent wrong thoughts from arising. To do this you need to have yonisomanasikara which is the wise attention or wisdom at the moment of sense experience. You need awareness to see it first then to reflect on it to develop the initial wisdom (yonisomanasikara) via the above 3rd and 4th ways to enable you to do it.
- 3rd right effort is to cultivate the right thoughts, speeches and actions that are still not in you. To do it you need to understand what constitutes right thoughts, speeches and actions. Right thoughts are thoughts without the 3 evil roots; all your virtues, honesty, gratitude, kindness, love (metta), compassion, equanimity, other wholesome thoughts are your right thoughts. Including all your kind, pleasant and gentle speeches and actions that bring about understanding, harmony, joy and happiness.
- 4th right effort is to refine upon and bring to perfection all these right thoughts, speeches and actions. Improve on them until they become a part of your nature. You need understanding to develop these wholesomeness. Only with wisdom and understanding can one develop such wholesomeness and goodness. When you are aware, incapable of evil deeds, you are already good. So don’t try to be good because without wisdom, good according to you may not be the real good.
(Above draft outline short notes was done by Sister Angie, Puan Chee’s daughter.)
Latest book launched – ‘The 5 Aggregates of Form and Mind’
March 2019 Nine days annual Meditation retreat at Sam Poh temple, Cameron Highlands.
Brother Teoh’s Thursday class dated 28th Dec 2018
Brother Teoh’s 20th Dec 2018 Thursday class
Brother Teoh’s Thursday class dated 20th December 2018 outline short Notes
- Sister Angie concluded that developing wisdom is most important in cultivation. Wisdom can enable us to have the right views to cultivate appropriately leading to good decision making to live the noble life.
- Brother Teoh confirmed that the whole of dhamma cultivation is centered on developing wisdom for nothing frees your mind except wisdom (panna).
- Sila, Samadhi and Panna is basically the Noble eightfold path. Sila is morality or precepts. Sila/Precept is the source of spiritual joy, spiritual wealth and spiritual peacefulness of mind. Without Sila, Samadhi cannot kick in. Samadhi is the meditative discipline. Panna is wisdom. Without wisdom, you are heedless and end up being entangled in life, leading to suffering. Human beings tend to accumulate more knowledge instead of wisdom, thinking that through cunningness and intellect, you can become successful. It is definitely not the case. In fact Knowledge which is rigid binds and it does not free you. If you cling onto knowledge, it makes you think you are smart and clever. However you are not wise for you do not understand life, end up getting into trouble. A PhD holder or a noble prize winner’s life without dhamma (the spiritual understanding) can still be miserable.
- With right view born of wisdom, you will be able to live your life well. You know how to navigate around not getting into trouble. Wisdom is about understanding nature’s truth as taught by the Buddha. Nature’s truth are: the 5 universal orders of nature that govern life and existence. If you abide by these nature’s law, you will know how to live life well. Utu niyama and bija niyama are the first 2 scientific laws of nature – scientists know these laws, and thus flourish based on these understanding. The other three are Spiritual laws (karma niyama, citta niyama and dhamma niyama) – the Buddha is an expert in such spiritual laws. Reason why the Buddha has such great wisdom.
- Buddha saw the law of karma clearly. We are all born and heir of our karma. Thus it is vital for us to take care of our karma for we reap what we sow. Do good begets good. Do evil begets evil. We must live in accordance with this law. Or else we get into trouble. We must always do our duty well. What we do onto others, parents, friends, kids, fellow beings, – we reap what we sow. If we are respectful, grateful and help them, the law of karma will reward us accordingly via its appropriate fruition where we are cared for and respected in return. It is vital to follow advice of the Buddha to avoid all evil and do good. Thus Sila is very important.
- Dana parami (generosity) is also very important because it creates good condition for us to cultivate dhamma. Without it, you are born poor. You have to work hard for money (food and shelter) hence no time for meditation because the basic need of life which is food and Shelter is more important. But with dana parami, you have the luxury of conditions and time to listen to dhamma and meditate to transform yourself and bring about a good life. If you don’t take care of karma, your life won’t change. All these understandings come from wisdom.
- Reason why the Buddha later taught Dana, Sila and Bhavana (Samadhi + Panna). When you can see things as they are and see the truth of impermanence, suffering state and non self, you will awaken and develop wisdom. Wisdom is right view in regards to the law of karma, law of mind and law of truth. You need to have sincerity of purpose, so that when you meditate, you don’t deviate but stay on the right path. If you go into psychic field, without wisdom, you will get into trouble. If you use it for own selfish purpose it will lead to karmic consequences. Without a proper teacher, mara will attack you and create more problems for you.
- Instead, develop virtues, kindness and good karmic nature (with understanding) to support you all the way in your cultivation. Dana parami performed through merits making like materialistic giving, generosity (by offering flowers or incense or fruits, etc. to the altar and during puja), keeping precepts, meditating, listening to dhama, straightening view, rejoicing, sharing and transferring of merits, helping out in community service via contributing towards the growth of the sasana and the gift of truth are all meritorious actions. These 10 meritorious actions you can get to perform them when you attend any of our dhamma classes and activities.
- Instead of living life heedlessly and being deluded, wasting time in materialistic and sensuality indulgence of life, you should always be heedful and wise to live a balance life. If you have the means via your dana parami, it is alright to ‘pamper’ yourself to some extend but need to be mindful and heedful always. If you have the means and condition, you can make use of your dana parami to have the good life. You can provide for yourself, your loved ones and also donate to help others. It is important to open up your rather loving and compassionate heart and be kind and generous to others.
- The 10 paramitas (or perfections) to realize Samasambuddhahood: – as you walk the path and develop understanding of the Bodhisattva way, the 10 perfections can be developed naturally via understanding. The first most important step is to plant the seed of bodhi (the Bodhi mind) with great faith and sincerity. Then develop it further through the 5 stages of Bodhi mind development. The 1st stage is to plant the seed of Bodhi to walk this way via taking the 4 basic vows of a Bodhisattva. Bodhi seed will mature through faith and determination. Vow with love and compassion to liberate all beings from suffering. Vow to endure and sever all sufferings to develop the wisdom to know how to free your mind, only then can you take others across. Vow to penetrate and perfect all wisdom. And finally vow to complete the 10 perfections. (All these are explained in Brother Teoh’s blue transcript book – ‘Cultivating the Bodhisattva way’).
- To renounce all things: materialistic wealth, views, opinions etc. meaning no attachments, cravings & delusions. Renounce to enter monk hood to cultivate dhamma is just physical renunciation. As for mental renunciation meaning to be meditative and to realize your true nature. Mind in seclusion. With wisdom, form and mind become beautiful. User of form and mind become a blessing to all, leading to the noble life (wisdom renunciation).
- As you go through sainthood way, you can become an Arahant then you cease. But with the Bodhisattva way, you can choose to come back through the Bodhisattva vows.
- When you cultivate continuously with faith sincerely, the Bodhi mind will continues to grow and progress leading to the realization of the 2nd stage of Bodhi mind development (Bodhi mind that subdue all afflictions). When you enter the 3rd stage, you are already so beautiful because by then you would have definitely gone beyond the sainthood way (or the Arahant stage) already. You realize your true mind and get to connect to your true nature (Bodhi mind that illuminates your true nature). The 4th stage of Bodhi mind development is even more beautiful (Bodhi mind thatrenounces samsara), you don’t have to worry about how long the journey takes because you know samsara is not real. You have gone beyond the normal cultivation and reached the stage of cultivation of no thought, no mark and no dwelling as taught by the diamond sutra and the 6th Patriarch, Master Hui Neng (via his 6th Patriarch’s Platform sutra teaching).
- When you cultivate at this 4th stage, your perfection of the 10 parami will happen by itself naturally and with ease. The 1st vow to liberate all sentient beings will help you to develop love and compassion and the 2ndvow will help you develop the perfection of renunciation. The 3rd vow develops wisdom. Precepts (Sila), Patience endurance (Khanti) and generosity (dana) paramis are all part and parcel of the meditative way (Dana, Sila and Bhavana) of cultivation which comes naturally. The balance of paramis of viriya, sacca, Adhiṭṭhāna and Upekkhā are also part and parcel of the meditative way once we have understood the cultivation via right view.
- Sister Tammy shared her experience of her chanting Buddham Saranam Gachami…. Etc. while in Burma. She pondered its meaning. When she was young, she felt protected by her parents but later she came to know even they are subject to karma so they can’t really protect her. Instead the real protection is via taking refuge in the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha) where the real teaching of the Buddha can be found. With the realization of this teaching one can transcend birth and death.
- Brother Teoh further explained that only refuge safe is true protection. Taking refuge means seeking protection somewhere like a refugee seeking refuge in a foreign country. Parent’s protection is not real refuge because they themselves are also subject to birth and death, but with refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, the wisdom that you can have will lead to virtue and understanding which truly protects. Thus cultivating goodness(virtues) and avoiding evil gives the highest protection according to Buddha. With virtue and wisdom, you are incapable of harming others, you are kind, considerate and you have metta (love) and compassion. This parami protects you. With wisdom, you will follow advice of the Buddha to avoid all evil (bad karma) which lead to misery and instead cultivate goodness via cultivating Sila, Samadhi and Panna (Noble 8-fold path).
- All the teachings are inter connected cumulating into wisdom. Wisdom comes from understanding the dhamma. According to the dhammapada, there is no refuge safe, not even in the mountains or temples, the only refuge safe is in the triple gem, where you can find the 4 noble truths(which is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching). Taking refuge is also to cultivate affinity with triple gem, whereby life after life when you come and there are conditions, you will meet up with the Buddha, his enlightened disciples and his teachings. Even without the sasana, you will have the conditions to meet up with them if they are around. You will still connect. When you take the Bodhisattva vows, you will be able to come regardless of the existence has sasana or not. You have nothing to lose but everything to gain when you take the Bodhisattva vows. With faith and sincerity, these vows will take you along the path of dhamma and becomes a true gem to serve you well.
- It was in 1971 when Brother Teoh started his probe into the mystery of life. He loved looking at the night sky. His mind was contemplative knowing that he was just like a speck of dust in this planet. The universe is so immense and there is basically no boundary in this universe. Being so insignificant he inquired: who am I? What am I? Why am I here? His inner voice told him to meditate to understand although at that time he did not know what dhamma and meditation is as yet. But because of his past cultivation he knew as a kid, he was not normal as others. Almost everything he did was like opposite of the popular convention of society. He looked at things differently. That was why he could understand truth very fast. When he inherited his past cultivation’s understanding later, his nature came to know that, truth is always the opposite of the world’s popularly accepted convention. All that is enticing in this world do not last. For everything is impermanent, goes the way of nature, ends up in suffering, because without wisdom you will cling. All is merely an illusion (a world of consciousness) which come and go, arise and pass away. Your deluded mind perceives, attach, clings and creates misery. But with dhamma, all these cease to delude and deceive you.
- Sister Padmasuri talked about her daughter abroad who misses them (parents) and still cry. As an undergraduate who is emotional it is normal to cry. All this is part and parcel of life. How to deal with such life situation? Bro Teoh shared that we need to understand, what is emotion? Emotion pertains to mental feeling which develops into good and bad emotion according to our views. All the good memories with parents are accumulated. When you are alone abroad, when you recall those good memories you will miss them. It is natural for human beings without wisdom to be emotional. But with dhamma, you understand that these are just emotions borne of memory (thoughts) and the Buddha’s advice is not to attach. When there is condition you can be with them, without condition you accept it. When parents are not around, you can develop positive reflection like, I can be independent to survive alone when parents are not around. This is good training. Technology is beautiful and helpful, we can use it (social media) to contact one another even though far away.
- The wise verses the intellectual with scholarly knowledge. The latter needs to put into practice what they have learned (knowledge). With the right teacher, you can reflect and investigate into truth. When you realize that they stand up to investigation your faith and spiritual zeal will be strengthened. You will be more diligent in your practice to become a better person. This is the real change. The real dhamma will arise when you are mindful. With dhamma, you are different from those with mere knowledge. You will see clearly with awareness, the 3 evil roots as they arise, your own selfishness, greed, delusion etc. and you are determined to change via following the advice of the Buddha to abandon those wrong views and bad habits borne of heedless living. You will develop right speech, actions, and thoughts and cultivate virtues. You are incapable of negativity, you will keep to your precepts via heedful living. You will do your duty well, and you can count your good blessings, as with dhamma, you can love and care not only for yourself, but others as well. If you have the means, you can pamper yourself and your loved ones. But don’t crave to indulge when there are no more conditions to have them. Enjoy and live the good life when you have the means and conditions to have them.
Bye! and with metta always,
Bro Teoh’s 16th Dec 2018 Sunday class
Outline short notes for Sunday class dated 16th Dec 2018 Audio : https://broteoh.com/wp-content/uploads/6-Cultivating-the-Bodhisattva-Way-20181216-.mp3 Reference book …
Outline short notes for Sunday class dated 16th Dec 2018
Reference book: Bro Teoh’s transcript book, ‘Cultivating the Bodhisattva Way’, pages 37-41
- After one realized Nibbana in the here and the now, one will understand what this 5 aggregates of form and mind is. For the sotapana they usually experience only a glimpse of this cessation (Nibbana) but this is already profound enough.
- The eternal Nature is never born, therefore never dies.
- The mundane mind cannot conceptualize or express in words what Nibbana is?
- Dharma is just the teaching pointing towards the realization of Nibbana.
- Only the form and mind that has gone through this cessation can understands, otherwise, it’s just knowledge based on ideas and concepts.
- We must meditate and cultivate sincerely and diligently to realize this cessation.
- To walk the Sainthood way, refer to the Heart Sutra Short Notes Book.
- Have faith, sincerity and perseverance to develop the cultivation until Sati comes.
- Daily mindfulness (Sati Sampajana) is very important – it must be cultivated before one can move on to cultivate the 4 foundations of mindfulness. With Sati, one will have wise attention at the moment of sense experiences, leading to sense restraint. Sense restraints enables one to develop the 3 ways of right conduct.
- Only after overcoming covetousness and grief, can we begin on the cultivation of the 4 Foundations of mindfulness.
- Please refer to the very important Thursday class outline short notes dated 6 December 2018 to check your progress in the cultivation. These notes put forth the guidelines for you to be awakened. The short notes talk about the Avijja Sutra.
- The Dharma sharing has to be repeated because the important messages have not been sunk in as yet. Most of you are still having your old habits, reacting the same way (with fear, worry, anxiety etc.) to sense experiences. When one lack understanding of the cultivation one tend to seek for teachers and teaching everywhere without any clear focus. When the Dharma is not put into practice with understanding one can never progress. Reason why pariyatti is the 1st phase of dhamma is very important.
- We must have gratitude and thank our good karmic nature to have met up with the true Teachings this life.
- After we have trained the mind to develop sati via formal meditative training,stabilized it to develop the daily mindfulness until you are ever mindful and constantly meditative. Determine to be aware all the time.
- The 2nd session is meditation for 45 minutes followed by a review of the 6thDecember Thursday class outline short notes which are very important. Please do listened to the recording for detail of its sharing.
(Above draft by Sister Chow Mun Yuen)
Bye! with metta always,
Brother Teoh’s 13th Dec 2018 Thursday class
Brother Teoh’s Thursday class dated 13th December 2018 Outline Short Notes
1. Brother Teoh read through last Thursday class outline short notes.
2. Brother Teoh advised all Kalyanamittas to attentively read through this outline short notes which are very important (just as important as the earlier Heart sutra short notes). These outline short notes teaching by Brother Teoh are mostly linked to real life situations. Whereas the heart sutra’s short notes teachings are mainly the essential dhammas as taught by the Buddha and they are important understanding to develop the sainthood way cultivation, leading to the realization of arahantship. To cultivate the Bodhisattva way one has to go deeper via following the blue book, “cultivating the Bodhisattva way” and the other Mahayana sutras such as the 6th Patriarch platform sutra, the Diamond sutra and the Surangama sutra.
3. The Bodhisattva way’s teaching is much deeper and much more profound. Understanding the Diamond sutra’s teaching can enable one to cultivate at a very different level which is way beyond the sainthood way. Sainthood wayonly touches on the realization of the 3 universal characteristics of impermanence, suffering and non self nature. However, the Diamond sutraand 6th Patriarch platform sutra’s teachings as taught by Buddha and Master Hui Neng brings you directly to the true mind to develop your cultivation thereby bypassing all the unnecessary thought based meditation.
4. A lot of cultivators cultivating the sainthood ways are using their thought to develop their meditation. Not understanding what sati is, they use thoughts rampantly. Most of them do not have proper teachers to guide them, thus ending up deviating and entangling themselves in thought based techniques and methods of cultivation. Most of them develop the focusing and concentration (Samantha meditation) via one pointedness concentration, eventually leading them astray. Not understanding that only wisdom frees the mind.
5. To cultivate the Bodhisattva way, you must also go through the sainthood way first. The Bodhisattvas develop profound understanding but not merely to be enlightened via the sainthood way only. They cultivate to penetrate and realize all dharmas, develop the perfection, not only to be enlightened, but fully enlightened, after perfecting all aspects of virtues, understanding and wisdom. Here virtue is not only the usual avoiding of evil and doing good. They have to perfect them all – the 10 perfections. It is a very extensive and rewarding cultivation. With this understanding, you will come beautifully life after life as per what is stated in the heart sutra, ‘true emptiness is wonderful existence’. Meaning when one has realized true emptiness, Life is not only meaningful but becomes wonderful. You can live life to the fullest, experience all of the pristine beauty and wonders of life. You are most of the time happy. You are blessed and grateful with all the virtues and understanding you received from your rather beautifully cultivated karmic and spiritual natures. They will support you all the way.
6. When you cultivate the Bodhisattva way via the six patriarch platform sutra’s teaching, it will brings you directly to the state of no thought. There is complete silence and awareness only. You will realize your true mind, which is beyond your mundane mind. All of your speeches, thoughts and actions are based on the profound understanding developed. As you stabilized your wisdom and understanding, you will come to realize the stage of no mark.There is no mark of a self cultivating, no mark of living beings, and no mark of dhamma. Everything isn’t what you think. The form and mind is unreal. When you have this understanding, you would finally progress to realize the final stage as an advance Bodhisattva to realize the last hallmarks of Master Hui Neng’s teaching of having a mind with non-dwelling. The nature then shines forth, not dwelling anywhere but just aware, either in specific phenomena awareness or spacious awareness without a centre. You will know that the mundane mind is not real. It is just a tool for you to use, thus you are not deluded by it, and you will also know that the form and mind is subject to karma. Hence you will do your duty, perfecting your karmic and spiritual nature. With this understanding, you are a completely a different class of cultivator.
7. For you to have the condition to be born a human being is already very rare and to encounter the Buddha dharma and the higher teaching of the bodhisattva way is even more rare. You must be very blessed with good karmic past. Or else you won’t be able to hear all these special dhamma.
8. This window of opportunity when the sasana is still around is very precious,you should determine strongly with faith, understanding and sincerity to go this way, to have this understanding so that life after life, whether you choose to come or you have to come, this understanding is present.
9. One of the kalyanamitta (Brother Kok Loon) who came for dhamma sharing just about a year ago, shared his experience. He acknowledges his mundane mind. He was then able to be more aware and can see his own fears and delusion. He then turns inward to inquire, “Who am I, what am I”?
10. Brother Teoh stresses the importance of training one’s mind to listen attentively and mindfully so that it will serve you well. When you acknowledge your mundane mind with wisdom, you can use it to arise right thought, speech, action and livelihood via cultivating the 4 right efforts and right views with regards to law of karma and mind. Then you will not be heedless and deluded like before. Neither good nor bad. Not blaming but understanding.You needs to train your mind to be aware and heedful to cultivate following the steps stated in avijja sutta. The avijja sutta is a good sutta to check your cultivation.
11. With faith, sincerity and diligence, you will awaken. With these, you will cultivate appropriately and persevere along the dhamma path, whereby you just do until sati comes. You will know when sati is established. Mindfulness (awareness) is vital for you to investigate the dhamma. When you realize the dhamma stands up to investigation, your faith strengthens. You then develop viriya to cultivate diligently then you will have joy and understanding to see the benefits of what you do. You will know this is the right path leading to wholesomeness, virtues and good life. It also transforms you completely, personality wise, character wise and understanding wise to become a blessing to all.
12. Money cannot buy you wisdom and dhamma understanding. The user of money is most importance. If the user is wise, money becomes useful and wholesome. Not when you have to sacrifice your precious time and life to chase after money until your health is affected. You need to have the balance.
13. When you have developed the dhamma understanding, money will come on its own. You need to have virtue and generosity to receive karmic wealth. Without it, money won’t come. Not with your greed and delusion. With dhamma, your virtue and generosity will be there to bring forth the money. You will have good blessings and everything will go your way. If you do your duty well, you will have good children, good parents, good kalyanamittas, good bosses and colleagues because you have been good to these people in the past. Your subordinates will support and sacrifice for you.
14. Brother Teoh shared that in this life, his form and mind is truly blessed. It has nothing to do with luck but mainly through dhamma understanding which brings about the wonderful inheritance from his well cultivated karmic and spiritual natures. This is what we truly need, to become beautiful human beings.
15. Brother Teoh further shared how Sister Padmasuri develop the understanding of her students and others after she has developed understanding of herself via being heedful. When she marked the exam papers of her students, instead of seeing just their grammar and points, she can feels her student’s mind states and understanding of life in their writings and expressions. Brother Teoh’s lower six’s GP form teacher once commented on his essay as, “Rather deeply thought out”. His thoughts were deep and he understood life deeply even at that early age. After having develop mindfulness and awareness, you will start to know who you are, what you are and how you interact with the world and how you live your life and response to situation.
16. Brother Teoh developed most of his understanding via his own contemplative wisdom. He contemplate constantly and deeply into the dhamma. His teachers’ didn’t really teach him much because brother Teoh was able to pick up the important truths that they shared while listening and talking to them.
17. When he came out to share his understanding, his nature just inquire, how can he let kalyanamitta who attend his class, understand the dhamma. When he inquire and reflected, on what the kalyanamitas need to develop the understanding, he realized that his nature is ahead of time. At first he thought, everyone was like him. But when he started to share the dhamma in 2004, he realized hardly anyone understood what he shared. That’s why he has to reverse his sharing by going back to basic. Starting from basic dhamma leading to the understanding of the essential dhamma (linking them all together) then only go on with the teaching of the 4 noble truth and its 3 turnings cumulating to the 3 types of corresponding wisdom.
18. If you cultivate correctly, you will develop your own understanding. You can then share through your own style and understanding with others.
19. Who are you? In the Buddha’s final summary of the first noble truth, the Buddha said, ‘It is due to our self-delusion that condition us to grasp and cling to the 5 aggregates of form and mind, thinking it is you and it is real that conditioned our suffering. With self-delusion, grasping arise leading to suffering. 5 aggregates of form and mind, 1st aspect of who are you and what are you: As a human being, you have a form aggregate which is your physical body and a Consciousness which is your mind trapped inside. There are 4 aggregates of mind: namely feeling, perception, sankhara and consciousness. This 5 aggregates are impermanent, dependent originating, hence empty and not so real. It is not a permanent unchanging entity but it is subject to karma.
20. When you are conscious you can interact with the world with your senses. You need to meditate to understand if this is you. If it is impermanent and you deludedly cling via worrying about it (your physical form) getting old, sick, and die you will suffer. Thus the 5 daily contemplations are vital.
21. The form and mind comes about through the three conditions of having a physical body, consciousness and karmic force. Without any one of this, death happens. It is a karmically conditioned vehicle and tool for you to come to this world to live and experience life, meditate and realize deeply who you truly are.
22. Within this 5 aggregates of form and mind, you can use it to cultivate the 4 foundations of mindfulness and this is the only way for the purification of being, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentations, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path and the realization of nibbana.
Four foundations of mindfulness:
1st foundation – kayanupassana: mindfulness of the kaya (physical body).
2nd foundation – vedananupassana: mindfulness of feelings.
3rd foundation – cittanupassana: mindfulness of the mind states.
4th foundation – dhammanupassana: mindfulness of dhamma.
23. Brother Teoh has shared these 5 aggregates of Form and Mind teachings back in 2005. The transcript book containing this sharing will soon be printed for free distribution to all. This book explains clearly what this 5 aggregates of Form and Mind is. It also teaches you how to see form, the unreality of form and see beyond form.
24. How does the 5 mental aggregates of Form and Mind arise? How does the external forms enter your mind? Perception brings external form into the mind. The moment you perceive external form, the 4th aggregate (sankhara) becomes active. Law of dependant origination is related to this 5 mental aggregate of form and mind which is happening at every moment of sense experience. Every moment of seeing/hearing etc., there is this 5 mental aggregate of form and mind arising and passing away. The 12-links or law of dependent origination happens very fast, it is multi-dimensional; sometimes the links are not completed.
The 12 links:
Avijja pacaya sankhara – ignorance conditions mental activities. Due to your delusion and not understanding the truth, you think a lot. Thus creating contact with the mind. Your views, likes and dislikes create thinking and then mental volition etc.
Sankhara pacaya vinanam – Mental activities via contact conditions pure mental consciousness. Vinanam is pure consciousness. The moment you input your content of consciousness via your views, opinions and conditioning, the 5 mental aggregates of Form and Mind (Namarupa) will arise.
Vinayam pacaya nama rupa – mental consciousness conditions Namarupa …….
(Above draft is prepared by Sister Phey Yuen).
Brother Teoh’s 11th Dec 2018 Tuesday class
Brother Teoh’s Tuesday class dated 11th December 2018 Outline Short Notes
Reference Book: The Buddha and His Teachings – REASONS TO BELIEVE IN REBIRTH (Chapter 24, Page 412)
1. The text highlighted cases that indicated the existence of past lives through:
- special children with some memory of their previous births;
- people with multiple personalities, spirit communication & possession
- past life regression via hypnosis;
- Special people & prodigies like the Buddha, Confucius, Mozart, etc.
2. To contemplate. Who is reborn? To find out for ourselves whether there is really rebirth base on what we can see and observe in life and not depend on the Buddha’s teaching.
3. Sis Han asked how Anita Moorjani’s consciousness left her body. Was it with mindfulness? Bro Teoh replied that it was through her past cultivation and affinity with her dead father’s nature that enable her to have that type of experience of her true nature manifesting. She actually died but because of her special condition she was able to develop the understanding before returning to her body to become alive again.
4. Sis PG mentioned about the dark side of certain illusionists.
5. Bro Vincent asked about good and bad luck (‘Yi wan tai’ in Cantonese) that we face. According to Bro Teoh, it is all our good and bad karma ripening, nothing to do with “Feng Shui” and our luck or predestined horoscope or fate. It is only our virtues that will protect us.
(Above draft outline short notes are by Sister Yoon Chun)
Brother Teoh’s 6th Dec 2018 Thursday class
Subject: Re: Thursday class outline Short Notes (6th December 2018)
Bro Teoh Thursday Talk 6th December 2018 Short Notes
1. The main purpose of the Buddha’s teaching is to help living beings overcometheir life problems and be free from all suffering. Especially mental suffering of fear, lamentations, sorrow, as well as confronting the realities of birth old age, sickness and death as experience in life. Our physical body goes the way of nature. When you don’t understand this law of nature, you will have wrong view, attaching to the body thereby worrying about this body of our getting old, sick and die. You need to apply the dhamma (the 5 daily contemplations) to overcome this wrong thoughts and when you understand it, there is less suffering and your mental states are more calm and peaceful. Then when you have progressed along the path of dhamma the 7 enlightenment factors will keep on arising. You are mindful, heedful and peaceful, your actions, speeches and thoughts are in accordance with the right views borne of wisdom. You will have yoniso manasikara (wise attention) at the moment of sense experiences. You are then able to communicate and act appropriately and beautifully with people through the 3 ways of right conduct after having diligently cultivated the 4 right efforts to purify the mind. With the daily mindfulness cultivated you will have sense restraint, leading to the 3 ways of good conduct to cultivate the 4 foundations of mindfulness within life itself. With sati sampajana stabilized, you will have clarity of mind to develop the understanding and wisdom. Thus you will awaken and transform.
2. The 3 important qualities of mind for progress in cultivation and meditation are: Faith, sincerity and diligence.
- Faith (Saddha) in the Buddha and his teaching via knowing clearly who He is and how unique and special a being the Buddha is and how great his teaching is.
- Sincerity – means you don’t waiver to develop the understanding of the essential dhamma especially the 5 spiritual faculties and the 3 phases of dhamma (Pariyatti, Patipatti and Pativedha to awaken.
- Diligence – means to persevere diligently and sincerely.
3. Faith will drive you. With sincerity, you won’t deviate into fame, psychic powers etc. because of your right view/understanding that only wisdom frees and liberates our mind – nothing else. You will cultivate diligently, the 3 turnings of the 4 Noble Truth leading to the awakening/enlightenment.
4. With the above 3 qualities of mind you can then use the Avijja sutta to further check on your progress along the path of dhamma. Avijja sutta highlighted 10 important steps leading to enlightenment in the here and the now. As kalyanamittas, most of you would have completed the first 4 steps of:
- Having associated with noble friends and dhamma friends.
- With dhamma friends, you will have the conditions to constantly listen to the true dhamma to straighten your view and develop the faith.
- You will then have Faith in the Triple Gem.
- With faith comes the development of the initial wisdom (yonisomanasikara) via having cultivated the 1st and 2nd turning wisdomof suttamaya panna and cintamaya panna.
5. With yonisomanasikara, mental hindrance won’t arise, mind won’t stir. You are calmer, and will have the stability of mindfulness to see things as they are.You are diligent in cultivating sati sampajana (ever mindful and constantly meditative). When mindfulness and clear comprehension has stabilized, it further leads to sense restraint. Sense restraint enables you to develop the 3 ways of right conduct. By then you would have realize at least Sotapanaship.
6. As you move on practice, you can cultivate the satipatthana (or the 4 foundations of mindfulness) with relative ease because of your stability of daily mindfulness already developed. You will find that the teaching is easy to understand and those Enlightenment factors keep arising. Sati (1st enlightenment factor) is always there. You then use it to investigate dhamma(dhammavicaya, the 2nd enlightenment factor). You are able to reflect andcontemplate constantly to develop understanding to straighten your view. When you realize that the dhamma always stands up to investigation, yourfaith is deeply strengthened and this will conditions viriya, the spiritual zeal(the 3rd enlightenment factor) to arise. You will then cultivate diligently to experience piti (spiritual joy, the 4th enlightenment factor). As you relax into it, your mind becomes calmer and more refined, you will then experience sukham(spiritual blissfulness of mind). If you continue to relax into it, the mind becomes more tranquil leading to the realization of the silent mind (passadhi, the 5th enlightenment factor). When you realize the silent mind (which is also your true mind), you will come to know clearly, who you are and what you are. You are home. There is wisdom. When passadhi is stabilized, the mind becomes collected and unwavering leading to Samadhi (the 6th enlightenment factor). Mind can then see things as they are and your memory, conditioning etc. won’t interfere. One can then insight into phenomena to realize the 3 universal characteristics of impermanence, suffering and non-self. This awakening and wisdom bring about the final (7th) enlightenment factor of Upekkha(equanimity borne of wisdom) whereby the mind becomes peaceful and equanimous because it understands. You will not react or become emotional anymore. Nothing affects you anymore. There is no more suffering. You are free. You can confront the 8 realities of life easily. Life is simple. You will come to understand that finally there is – ‘hey no you, hey no me’, only mighty naturerolling by.
7. One will see the power of wrong thought to divide via words, concepts and mundane conventions leading to dualities and conflict. Division will lead tochaos because one lack wisdom to bring about harmony. You will see these wrong thoughts clearly. The beauty of dhamma is, it can lead one to arise the right thoughts, speeches and actions, right livelihood, etc. borne of right views. One is able to apply dhamma in life via following the noble eightfold path toresolve all problems and issues amicably. Dhamma can liberate one’s mind, bringing about awakening in the here and the now. One is transformed from a heedless being to an enlightened being (an ariya) who is wise and very noblein all aspects of life, always heedful and mindful. One also has the embodiments of all the noble 8-fold path factors.
8. All ariyas have good conduct, upright conduct, wise and dutiful conduct. They do their duty well. They know form and mind is not real, but is subject to karma. Thus one can’t simply do things inappropriately while living life so having right duties to avoid all karmic negativity is very important for the Law of karma recognizes relationship and there is such thing as life, loved ones, right thoughts, speeches and actions etc. in life.
9. Within the mundane world, law of karma exists. Life itself has its own reality.But in true emptiness, the realization is different because it is the unconditioned wisdom. As stated in the Heart Sutra, in true emptiness there is no old age, no sickness and no death. Within ultimate reality or in true emptiness, there is ‘hey no you hey no me’. No one is born, no one sick, no one old and no one dies. There is also no 4 noble truth: no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation and no path leading to cessation of suffering. When onerealize these profound truth of the conditioned and the unconditioned one will awaken and one will know how to live the noble life of an ariyabeautifully. With this understanding, you won’t attach and cling deludedly to the conditioned world and the phenomenal world of consciousness. In theDiamond Sutta, the Buddha said, “everything is conditioned dhamma. And all conditioned dhamma are not real, impermanent, and lead to suffering, empty and non-self. They are dreamlike, illusionary, like bubble (arising and gone) and shadows”. Feeling is like bubble, arise and pass away very fast.
10. It is one’s mind through ignorance which clings and develops sorrow leading to suffering.
11. You can have faith and confidence in the Buddha and his teaching throughunderstanding clearly who Buddha is? He is not only enlightened but He is thefully enlightened one. To have such a wise and great teacher to be your guide, you will have great gratitude and deep respect for him and you will also deeply cherish his teaching because his teaching is so unique for it can brings about liberation from all suffering and delusions. Money cannot buy such understanding. Humanity needs this. Without comprehending this teaching, you will suffer in life. But with dhamma, everything becomes simple and clear.You are able to live life well. You will know the importance of following the advice of the Buddha, in regards to the law of karma to live the good life.
12. Faith leads to balas which is the unshakable faith. With sincerity, you won’t go astray and become gullible in your search for truth. Nothings frees except wisdom. Thus your sole purpose in cultivation is to develop wisdom. Without wisdom, Psychic powers only entangles you more. Through faith, sincerity and diligence in cultivation, the way will be there and you will definitely progress along the path of dhamma.
13. It is important to have kalyanamitta (dhamma friends) to help strengthen our bond and dhamma understanding via learning to counsel, motivate, encourage and help each other to develop the fellowship faith, sincerity and diligence to cultivate the dhamma. This brings about wholesomeness. It can also arise the causes and conditions, so that in future, there will be kalyanamittas who will motivate and help you to walk this path in return. They will share all their understanding with you just like what you did unto them now. We should count our good blessing and have gratitude for our ability to be part of the big kalyanamitta family.
14. Having true dhamma/noble friends, is an important prerequisite for enlightenment. Remind yourself to constantly listen to the true dhamma to develop the 1st turning wisdom of suttamaya panna. Then contemplate diligently to develop the 2nd turning wisdom of cintamaya panna to straighten your view and develop the initial wisdom to stabilize your faith in the triple gem. You will then be able to cultivate the rest of the cultivation following theavijja sutta steps leading to the enlightenment in the here and the now.
15. There are 10 important steps stated in the avijja sutta. As kalyanamittas, you would have completed at least the initial 4 steps via having kalyanamitta (noble friends) as the first step. The 5th step is to cultivate the daily mindfulness. The6th step is sense restraint developed via cultivating the 4 right efforts. The 7thstep is to arise the 3 ways of right conduct. The 8th step is cultivating the 4 foundations of mindfulness. The 9th step is when the 7 factors of enlightenment keep arising. The 10th step is knowledge and vision, leading to enlightenment in the here and the now. In this era with the Buddha sasana still around, it is quite easy to realize such truth.
16. Meditation reporting – A sister asked regarding the meaning of sati being defined as ‘awareness before the knowing’. She realizes in daily activities, she only is aware after something happens. Brother Teoh answered that it is good for her to ask – for him to know where she is at with her practice. He further explained what Sati means. Awareness before the knowing mean awareness before perceiving something. For example, just be aware of your hand movement. It is not the concept of perceiving what the thing is. But just aware. Mind and movement move as one. For example, body and mind as one while bowing. The moment you are without thought, you are already aware because you are not perceiving. The 4 supports for awareness based meditation is: relax, aware, 24 hours and trust.
17. Relax body and mind and let things be. Awareness is mindfulness, being silentbecause without thought you already aware. Whatever heedless thinking, let it arise, don’t fight, control or suppress it, just let it be and it will slow down. These are habitual tendencies arising due to your lack of mindfulness. Whenmental hindrances arise, they hinder mind from becoming aware. But if youjust let it be, and don’t give it meaning, it will die down and you willexperience the tranquility or stillness of mind after that. Bow until body and mind as one. Do until mindfulness comes. Then the form and mind will know what sati is, when it has arisen. There is no thought involved so don’t try to know for thought based mediation is doomed to fail. Sati is there when everything you do, you are aware. Mind sweeping method in combination with metta can also help one to decondition the heedless thinking.
18. Train via anapanasati until the awareness stabilized, and breathing has become so subtle until the silent mind arise. Mind then enters sati. After coming out of meditation, you will come to realize that your mind (awareness) and all your physical movements, they move as one. Your mundane mind needs to be trained. The 5 spiritual faculties are vital. Just do and don’t try to know, until sati arise.
19. When you live life, you have to perceive and interact with others. Mindfulness must come naturally. Thus you train during formal meditation or while at home when you are alone, when your senses are not so active. You need todevelop awareness of all actions and movements in daily life. Maintain awareness at the heart area, aware of outside from inside. This is your new way of living life – heedful living. You can’t think when you are aware. When you cultivate – just do (walk, standing, sitting and lying down etc. aware), you do until the sati comes. Not until your mind has entered sati, you can’t do daily mindfulness. When sati is there, whether walking, bending, stretching, etc. you are always aware. Sati becomes very natural for it has become a part of you already. You then use it in living. Then only your sati sampajana (or mindfulness and clear comprehension) practices can come to be. There must be a sincerity of purpose – that is you are not doing this to develop fame or psychic ability, but to train the mind, to develop wisdom only. This is daily mindfulness and it can see a lot of things thereby arising the self-knowledge or initial wisdom needed to awaken. You can see how you (the form and mind) function as a human being. How you become emotional, fearful, sad etc. How your wrong views and opinions condition you to react to sense experiences to arise the duality of likes and dislikes which are your mental hindrances of sensual desire and ill-will. You can see them in real life. You know how you become afflicted, when things don’t go your way. How when your thoughts project, fear, worry and anxiety arise to makes you miserable/suffer. You will come to know that thoughts are respond to memories. Hence acting according to memory is not acting at all! Instead you should act with wisdom and understanding (right view). Right view with regards to the law of karma (karma niyama) and law of mind (citta niyama). We are what we are because of our karma. Sokarma is very important. Thus you need to understand what constitutes good and wholesome karma. The 3 ways right conduct are vital. Buddha advices us tocontemplate this law of karma via his 5 daily contemplations. To take care of karma we must follow the advice of Buddha to avoid all evil, cultivate goodness and purify our mind to arise a beautiful karmic nature. To avoid evil it is vital for us to keep the 5 precepts, deeply reflecting on each precepts to understand clear why we must keep our precepts well.
20. Why do you take the precept to abstain from killing? It is because those who kill are evil people with the 3 evil roots. If you break this precept, it constitutes evil karma. Precepts is to protect you so that you will not be miserable or afflictedby these potential evil karmic fruition. Do good begets good, do evil begets evil. You reap what you sow. Thus you need to be mindful to cultivate wholesomeness instead. Virtuous thoughts, actions, and speech bring about goodness. When you are sincere, kind, generous and caring towards others, others will respond the same to you. For parents, if you sacrifice for your kids and do your duties well, in future, you will have parents who will provide, sacrifice and care for you. This is karma. Thus it is important to do your duty. For children, if you care for your parents, in future, you will have kids who will take care of you.
21. Thus be determined to follow the advice of the Buddha. Make vows for causes and conditions, that life after life when you come, you will have these right views and understanding. You can follow the Bodhisattva vows as given by Brother Teoh in his blue transcript book – ‘Cultivating the Bodhisattva way’. You are supposed to renew your vows daily, then later once a week, then once a month, and finally repeatedly once over 3 to 6 months. If you do this with understanding sincerely and invoke power of merits for causes and conditionsfor it to arise, then even when there is no Buddha sasana, you will still have these right views and understanding when you come, either by choice or by karmic.
22. When daily mindfulness is there, you will have clarity of mind to perceive, to be aware and move. There is no more fear and anxiety. You only perceive when needed. There is no need to worry about your problems because no amount of worry can help you solve your problem (won’t help). Also when you worry, you are not aware, you are preoccupied with those thoughts or lost in thought. For example when you are driving and thinking, in those moments of heedlessness, you could end up in an accident. Thus you need to discipline yourself especially when driving. It is not wise to get addicted to phone messages or calls which is dangerous. If you have to please stop at the road side to answer urgent calls or wait until you are home to do so. To be on the safe side, don’t use phone whilst driving unless it is hands free.
23. It is important to listen attentively, then reflect to develop the understanding.Determined to be constantly mindful. Brother Teoh advised us to cultivate daily mindfulness. The moment you know you are lost in thought, you should anchor your awareness back to the movements (physical, mental and nature’s) in daily life. For example, when you observe people, your awareness and their activities are as one (specific phenomena awareness). Like the moving car, your awareness and the car move as one.
24. You need to be tested in real life – your relationship with nature, society and fellow human beings. You need to interact with them. While living life, if you are aware you can see clearly your own delusion, selfishness, emotions etc. You also understand how your mind stir because of your wrong views and self-delusion. When you have this understanding, your mind need not stir or react to sense experience like before. The mind reacts and stirs because of your like and dislike or mental hindrances of sensual desire and ill will. Without these wrong thoughts, you won’t have mental hindrances. Instead with mindfulness,you can live your life heedfully. No more panicking nor reacting. You arepeaceful within, always aware with little orno thought when you have developed the initial wisdom through listening and reflecting on the dhamma. You will have the right view to ‘accept people as they are’ and ‘the world as the world’. You will smile more, have gratitude towards all things. You will be more sensitive, sincere, kind, contented and appreciative of life. There will no more conflict.
25. If you are contented, there is no more desire or craving. Your mind won’t always want things your way because you are contented with the way things are and your karmic nature in life. Without wisdom, the ego always wants to become something better leading to cravings via your strong and deluded views.
26. Contentment is your greatest wealth. A rich person not contented is poor because he still wants (has cravings). Brother Teoh shared about him retiring early via having contentment – with enough savings to live a simple, yet decent and relatively comfortable life. He does not need much to sustain himself and his family after having paid his mortgages. Brother Teoh retired in May 2001, after his eldest daughter graduated; when he did not have any more burden. He is contented with what he has and spends time do things he likes to do. Life is simple. Later he came to realize after his retirement is, he makes more money after retiring as compared to when he was working. He did it through investment. With wisdom, one will also know how to grow one’s moneythrough proper investment understanding.
Bye! and with metta always,
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