Sent: 10 April 2019 08:50
Subject: Re: Thursday class April 4th 2019 short notes
Outline Short Notes for Brother Teoh’s April 4th Thursday class
1. Meditation is to train the mind to be heedful. When the 5 spiritual faculties are developed, you can just straight away meditate. Relax and be aware to realizethe silent mind (which is the meditative mind).
2. First step towards wisdom is to be aware. The moment you are without thought you are already aware. When you are aware that you are heedless (no longer aware), at that moment, there is mindfulness and awareness. This is what sati is. Or in the words of J Krishnamurti, ‘the awareness of inattention is attention’.
3. With this awareness, you can understand how you function as a human being and how you get lost in thought. It is through all this understanding that you can get to know what you are (the 5 aggregates of form and mind) and who you are. See that clearly: ‘When you are without wisdom, the 3 evil roots of greed hatred and delusion are actively conditioning the wrong thoughts to cause you problems in life’. Without the 5 spiritual faculties of saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi and panna, the opposite 5 mental hindrances will arise to hinder your mind from enter the meditative state of inner peace and inner awareness.
4. Mind that is collected and unwavering has samadhi and samadhi can prevents the mind from stirring. With sati and samadhi, you can see things as they areand awaken to the reality of the moment, before the conditioning, views and opinions from memory come in to intervene/interfere with our seeing. Wisdom arises. Without the spiritual faculties and the understanding of the dhamma, mental hindrances will arise causing the mind to react and stir. Pleasant and unpleasant sense experiences (which are the first 2 mental hindrances) will then arise within your mental states. Without viriya, you will feel lethargic to meditate. Without sati, Samadhi and wisdom, you will have restlessness of mind, hence your lack of peace.
5. Real meditation can only starts when ones daily mindfulness is very stable. You need to be heedful and use the ever mindful state to cultivate the noble eightfold path. To progress you need to constantly meditate via having a good religious routine and a very stable daily mindfulness. At the same time constantly reflect and contemplate to straighten your view. Your life is your greatest teacher. The truth is within yourself. You will then understand who you are, what you are and how you function as a human being via the wisdom developed. This is what meditation is all about.
6. With awareness, you have space between thoughts i.e. clarity, silence and hence peaceful of mind. The moment you are aware of your negative thoughts and heedless thinking, the momentum of these negative thoughts to continue the habitual thinking breaks. When there is space between thoughts the conditioned mind can break free. Thus when you are constantly aware, the heedless thinking mind fails to have power over you.
7. Because of heedlessness, human beings tend to react to situations due to their habitual tendencies borne of wrong views. The conditioned mundane mind pulls you into negativity and it is this deluded mundane mind that lives your life. As you realize the unreality of form and mind, you can then straighten your view to break free.
8. Meditation as taught by the Buddha: is to develop a stable sati to see things as they are to insight into the 3 universal characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta to develop the wisdom to free our mind. No more delusion or suffering. Relax into whatever mind states (whether pleasant or unpleasant) that arise. Know that this like and dislikes are due to your mundane mind’s conditioning and habitual tendencies. After having awaken to this understanding and wisdom, you can transform your life for the better. You will have morewholesome mind states that arise via your new heedful way of living which are so different from those of your past rather unwholesome mind states borne of heedless living.
9. The true mind is the tranquil and still mind in pure awareness without thought and such a mind – can awaken to the 3 universal characteristics of impermanence, suffering state and non-self or empty nature of existence.
10. Without wisdom, maras may come and attack you, making you miserable. Most human beings merely existed through life because they are only conscious of life and they are hardly mindful and aware within. But when you are constantly aware, you truly live life.
11. If you do not know who you are, what you are, then who is living your life? Thedeluded thought is living your life. Beforethoughts arise, our nature is just pure awareness, the true mind (or spacious awareness without a center). When you perceive something, a thought arise. From spacious awareness, you zoom into a limited space to perceive something to arise the thought. After you perceive, you input the content of consciousness following your views and opinions. Thought is pure awareness with its content of consciousness. That is how the 5 mental aggregates of form and mind arise.
12. This thought is limited because after you focus, thought arise within this small limited space. This limited and egoic thought cannot see the whole and is incapable of awareness. This thought is not you but merely a dependent originating (or condition arising) thought entity.
13. Upon contact of mind with the sense bases, you can become conscious of what you see, smell, taste, tactile feeling and think. With proper meditativeunderstanding you will understanding that this thought is not you. But when you think they are you, self-delusion sets in. Wrong thoughts cause your lack of peace. The 3 evil roots of greed, hatred, delusion, which comes from your accumulated memories of good and bad experiences are all embedded deep in your subconscious and unconscious. Most deluded people tend to hold onto their negative emotions thus creating more wrong thoughts and suffering. The main cause of suffering is attachment, clinging and craving borne of self-delusion. Thus if you do not know who you are, you can be deluded by these thoughts. These wrong thoughts then live your life.
14. The 5 mental aggregates of body and mind (feeling, perception, mental states, mental form and consciousness) arise and pass away but you did not die. Hence they are not you. You are the pure awareness which is beyond the form and mind.
15. Brother Danny, after our recent retreat at Cameron Highlands shared a book by Paul Ferrini. From John Bradshaw’s commentary on Paul Ferrini’s Heal Your Life books – it is mentioned that Paul Ferrini’s work is a must read for all people who are ready to take responsibility for their own healing. From Larry Dossey’s commentary on his work – Paul Ferrini is a modern day Kahlil Gibran, a poet, mystic, visionary, teller of truth.
16. Excerpt from Paul Ferrini’s book: “Silence is the essence of the heart. You cannot be in the heart unless you are in forgiveness of yourself and others. You cannot be in the heart if you are worried or angry. You cannot be in the heart if your breathing is shallow or labored. When the breath is labored, thinking is driven by fear and anxiety. Your mind-states are rooted in the past or future. Unless you return to the heart, you cannot see with compassion. And one who does not see with compassion does not see accurately. All that is perceived is a fabrication, a hyperbole. It simply feeds your boredom or anxiety.”
17. Brother Teoh further explained that when you forgive others you free yourselfbecause when you forgive others your hatred, envy and jealousy (evil roots)are gone (or rooted out) hence your heart is free. Brother Teoh also did not quite agree with Paul Ferrini’s statement on ‘silence is the essence of theheart’. To be more precise, it should be ‘silence is the essence of our nature or true mind’ – it has nothing to do with the heart. Instead the heart is where theconscience resides. There is also a gateway to our nature within our heart. The conscience comes from our nature. It can only arise when we are withoutthought. You need to be mindful enough to know it. When you are silent in your heart, you can be mindful and aware.
18. Excerpt from Paul Ferrini’s book: “When you return to the heart, you abide in the silence from which all sound comes. Like a boat on the ocean you feel the waves swell beneath you. You move with the waves, but you know you are not the waves. Thoughts come and go, yet you know you are not the thoughts. You abide with the ebb and flow of the ride, moving in and out, feeling the contraction and expansion of thought. Beneath the thinking mind is a pure, non-judgmental awareness. When you discover the awareness, you fall into the heart. Then giving and receiving are effortless.” Meditation is effortless because the last support is truth and all true meditation is by the true mind which is without thought.
19. As you understand who and what you are, it is essential to do the 5 daily contemplations (I am subject to aging; I am subject to illness; I am subject to death; I will separate from all that is dear and appealing to me; I am the owner of my actions. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir) as taught by the Buddha.
20. You make use of this body and mind (as a vehicle and tool) for you to live life. Even when you know this is not you, you need to do your duty in life because this form and mind is subject to karma.
21. The pure nature cannot come out and live life, but everything arises from there. Thus you can only truly live life when you are with the awareness and not when you are constantly lost in thought.
(Above draft short notes is by Sister Angie Chong)
Date: 4 April 2019