Below are the above edit outlines short notes for sharing by all.
A. Outline short notes for Bro Teoh’s Sunday class dated 10th March 2019
Brother Teoh’s transcript book: Cultivating the Bodhisattva Way, pages 55-62
1. Karmic fruitions can trigger karmic obstructions and they can be very powerful obstructions.
2. To clear karmic obstructions, one need to sincerely ask for forgiveness from the Triple Gem and all beings and vow not to repeat all these karmic negativities via following the advice of the Buddha to avoid all evil, cultivates wholesomeness and meditates to purify one’s mind. Then invoke power of merits for turn around and recovery.
3. The 10 Perfections cultivation are generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, spiritual zeal, patience endurance, truthfulness, determination/aspiration, loving kindness and equanimity.
4. Dharma is not just theory. It has to be cultivated while in the midst of life because it is a living dharma, not theory or knowledge which is not the true dharma. Investigate the Dharma in our daily life activities. When the Dharma stands up to investigation, there will be understanding and faith.
5. Only Bodhisattvas have precepts to break because Bodhisattvas have very extensive vows and work to do.
6. It is very important to understand what constitute evil so that they can be recognised and abandoned.
7. Strive on with heedfulness to connect to our true nature early in every life. Learn the Dharma fast so that the Bodhi mind or seed can be activated early to perfect our karmic nature until it cannot fall back any more.
8. Long or short period of cultivation time is of no significance for a Bodhisattva who had realized the Enlightenment.
9. Question from Sister Tammy: Is Adhitthana and Law of Attraction the same?
10. Brother Teoh explained that the Law of Attraction does not give the whole perspective of things as it does not take into account the law of karma. Even though the thoughts are positive and motivating but with evil roots, negative karma will arise. Then, those positive thoughts (with evil roots) may only work for a while in the beginning until the negative karmic fruition kicks in. (Do view and listen attentively to the video recording which is very clear and complete to understand this topic better. This video recording is available in our broteoh.com website under recording of classes.)
11. Question from Sister Soo: What is cetasika? How can cetasika help in our cultivation?
12. Brother Teoh explained that cetasikas are just mental concomitants/states/content of consciousness which we must be aware of while cultivating our daily mindfulness. (Do view and listen attentively to the video recording which is very clear and complete to understand this topic better. This video recording is available in our broteoh.com website under recording of classes.)
13. Brother Song shares his cultivation experience, where he experienced heightened awareness and understanding of the Dharma. His consciousness experience bright lights and was aware of even the birds flying high above his head but he was not distracted by such experiences. He continues to relax and maintain awareness until he can be aware of his very subtle greed, resentment and dislike including all the very fine mental movements and mind states within his mind.
14. Brother Teoh rejoiced with Brother Song’s rather good progress and understanding and cautioned others against attaching to the manifestation of bright light (consciousness very bright) which is one of the 10 defilements of insight because it is just a conditioned state. Clinging will block progress. Silent the mind until the mind enters sati. Stabilize the daily mindfulness until one can develop the direct seeing from their pure nature. (Must listen attentively to the audio recording from the 2hr 7 minutes onward to develop the clear and deep understanding of the actual cultivation.)
15. At the moment of sense experience and feeling, if there is the initial wisdom (yonisomanasikara) the mind will not stir and one will then have sense restraint and more moments of silent awareness.
16. Sister Soo asked why for a period she can have no feeling and thoughts during her recent spiritual trip to India. She also asked why at one stage she at the same time also has so much dislike or aversion towards those beggars that harass her and causing her to cringe. Later she can also see other people’s suffering, desire and greed for blessings and fame. She then decides to reverse the light and look within or inwards to see her own defilements.
17. Brother Teoh explained that her faith and conditioned mind brings about the initial calm state of mind that conditioned her to associate every encounter with equanimity. If she is mindful with a free mind it will not be
the same. If she had relaxed into it and maintain awareness, it will change into a free mind. Regarding the beggars, there must be understanding to overcome or root out the aversion. The last part she did – to reverse the light and see within was good. Actual cultivation is usually the opposite way. One must reverse the light and look within to see our own defilements and how these defilements condition us via our own self-delusion to stir and project our thoughts leading to all the fear, worry anxiety and suffering borne of wrong thoughts. Through understanding ourselves we will be able to understand others. (Must listen attentively to the audio recording from 2hr 26 minutes onward to develop the clear and deep understanding of this cultivation.)
18. Bro Teoh introduced and shared the 3-Fold Lotus Sutra (Fa Hua San Bu Jing) with kalyanamittas.
B. Outline short notes for Bro Teoh’s Sunday class dated 7th April 2019
Brother Teoh’s transcript book: Cultivating the Bodhisattva Way, page 62 to 65
1. We are all connected in existence. Everything within the conditioned world is interdependent. All our natures contribute to what the universe is today. Reason why it is often said, ‘one is all and all is one’.
2. The egoic mind that separates us from the Whole causes us suffering. Enlightened Beings can see clearly this truth or reality of life, i.e. no mark of a self, living being and life and also all phenomena are conditions arising and dependent originating following nature’s laws.
3. Explanation by Bro Teoh on – the importance of the 5 Daily Contemplations as advised by the Buddha.
4. Accept the law of karma. Don’t react to karmic fruition with negativity. Develop the right view. Follow the Noble Eightfold Path to resolve all issues and so called problem amicably. When one can understands this, one’s mind can be liberated. If this is not understood, one will suffer and become miserable. With the Dharma, life is beautiful and wonderful.
5. We cannot just want to help everyone that is suffering because there are so many suffering beings in the world and it is beyond our means. When there is no condition, nothing will be done. When there is condition developed via wisdom, help can be offered. A true cultivator must learn to differentiate between the desire to help (which is a craving) and true wisdom.
6. Relationship is considered important only for the form and mind which is subject to the law of karma.
7. Buddha hood is realized upon the completion of the cultivation of the Bodhisattva way.
8. Cultivate and investigate the Dharma to have the understanding to live life. To cultivate repentance to break karmic obstructions.
9. Do no continue to gullibly play the game of suffering, i.e. to indulge and cocoon oneself in wrong thoughts via holding on to one’s negative thoughts of previous experiences like fear, worry, phobia, insecurity, anxiety, sorrow and lamentation, etc. which impacted so much suffering on them. Re-playing all these negative memories again and again through wrong thoughts can lead to depression. Need to be aware of all these and abandon all these wrong thoughts which has become so habitual and so harmful via applying the 4 right efforts.
10. Whenever we are not happy and not peaceful, the evil roots and wrong thoughts have arisen. There are defilements. When one is caught in a cocoon of wrong thoughts one will be severely afflicted.
11. Question from Sister PG: How to establish affinity with Great Beings besides invoking power of merits?
12. Brother Teoh explained that we can pay respect to them and chant names of the Great Beings with faith.
13. Brother Teoh went through the Q&A section of an ealier Klang talk on understanding meditation where Sister Jeanne’s son asked whether anapanasati as taught by the Buddha is a technique or a meditation.
14. Meditation is to train the mind to be heedful to cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path (N8FP).
15. Heedfulness is to be ever mindful and constantly meditative of the N8FP.
16. The cultivation of the 4 Foundation of Mindfulness (after overcoming covetousness and grief) is the only way for the purification of beings, for overcoming of sorrow and lamentation and to realise enlightenment:
(1) First foundation – Kayanupassana or mindfulness of the physical body:
· The Buddha recommends us to start with anapanasati which is just a method and technique that serve as an initial skilful means to train the mind to be mindful so that it does not wander off and be lost in thoughts.
· After anapanasati is developed, do not continue to do it without understanding. Use it to develop Passaddhi (the silent mind in stillness) until the mind enters sati.
· Then move on to cultivate the mindfulness of the 4 postures followed by mindfulness of all the movements between the 4 postures leading to the sati sampajanna practices. This daily mindfulness cultivation must reach the stability of mindfulness that can enable one to see one’s own mental intentions and mental defilements clearly (starting with the gross tending towards the subtle ones) to understand the spiritual teachings as taught by the Buddha clearly.
(2) Second foundation – vedananupassana or mindfulness of feelings
(3) Third foundation – cittanupassana or mindfulness of the content of consciousness
(4) Fourth foundation – dhammanupassana or mindfulness of the following essential dhamma:
- Mindfulness of 5 mental hindrances
- Mindfulness of 5 aggregates of form and mind
- Mindfulness of 6 internal sense bases and 6 external sense bases
- Mindfulness of the 7 factors of enlightenment
- Mindfulness of the 4 Noble Truths (N8FP is the last Noble Truth)
(Above draft short notes were developed by sister Mun Yuen)
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