Below are the audio and short notes links to our 3rd Jan 2019 recording for sharing by all.
Short notes link: https://broteoh.com/wp-content/uploads/Short-Notes-Teoh-Thu-190103.pdf
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.)
Bye! and with metta always,