Below are the audio links to our last Thursday class dated 11.1.2018 recording for sharing by all. The short notes are also enclosed as below.
Short notes to our Thursday class sharing dated 11th Jan. 2018:
- Bro. Eric reported that during meditation, he realizes that he thinks a lot and these thoughts were related to his work and many other personal things.
- Bro Teoh’s explaination:
- These habitual heedless thinking arises due to your lack of the 5 spiritual faculties of Saddha, viriya, sati, Samadhi and panna and because of that the opposite 5 mental hindrances of sensual desire, ill-will, sloth and Torpor, restlessness of mind and doubt (that hinder your mind from entering the meditative state of inner peace and inner awareness) will arise. These heedless thinking arise because of your fear, worries, anxiety and attachment borne of delusion, making your mind restless and When you cling and hold on to your accumulated phobias, what people had said about you and your fear borne of your own thought projection and wrong thoughts, suffering will arise. Your daily unsolved mental activities or thinking can also give rise to heedless thinking caused by attachment.
- Via memories we input our contents of consciousness according to our views, opinions, belief system, traditions, conditioning, fear, scars of memories, phobias, insecurities, etc which we had accumulated into our memories via attachment borne of wrong view. Hence acting according to memory is not acting at all. One should instead act with wisdom and understanding borne of right views as taught by the Buddha under his Noble 8-Fold Path teaching.
- Memories are our accumulation of experiences – both good and bad. Via our wrong mental perception borne of wrong view, all of our life experiences (good or bad) are stored in the brain as memory of If we are mindful and aware (via the silent mind), we can see and understand how thoughts arise and pass away thereby understanding clearly that ‘thoughts are indeed response to memories’ because without memories (like a new born baby) there is no thought. When the content of consciousness inputted into our thoughts has the evil roots of Greed, Hatred and Delusion then wrong thoughts (that condition your fear, worries, anxiety, restlessness of mind, panic attacks, sorrow, lamentation and misery etc. leading to suffering) will arise. This is always the case for unenlightened beings. That’s how our fears, scars of memory, phobias and insecurity (borne of attachment to our mental perceptions deposited into our memories) can give rise to heedless thinking or wrong thought leading to intense suffering and miseries. Our ‘good’ memories can also lead to positive craving and attachment.
- The Practical living dharma that can relate to life and help free people’s mind are more importantbecause theoretical dharma which are not practical are of not much use.
- Conventional truths are relative truths which are not real ultimate truth.
- The Buddha said if we attach to the 5 aggregates of Form and Mind, thinking that they are real; like our body belongs to us, our loved ones, prized possessions and property belong to us, our feeling, perception, mental states, thought processes and consciousness also belong to us then suffering arises.
- Without the 5 spiritual faculties, the opposite 5 mental hindrances will arise.
- Without mindfulness, we cannot see all these because our mind will be lost in thoughts and preoccupied with all those habitual heedless thinking thus clouding it.
- Thought is response to memory.
- Due to our conditioning we cling on to all those wrong views, opinions, belief system and attachment etc. that mould us and make us become what we think we are.
- At every moment of wrong sense door perception, we will stir our mundane mind that is deluded to attach and cling onto the phenomena world via positive or negative emotions of likes and dislikes.
- If we are mindful and heedful, we will be very sensitive and we can feel and sense the slightest movement, stirring and reaction of mind arising from the pure feeling aggregate.
- It is important to train the mind to be aware within the moment to see things as they are to straighten our views so that we don’t cling via delusion. To do that, we must have the wisdom borne of meditation to understand the three universal characteristics of nature.
- We need a silent mind, to be aware within (without the thought as ‘meditator’, ‘thinker’, ‘analyser’, etc. to interfere with the direct seeing). Otherwise the thought will try to control and suppress ‘What IS’ via wanting things their way borne of craving.
- Defilements come from delusion but they are not the real problem. So don’t try to suppress or do away with the defilements because they are there due to your lack of wisdom and only wisdom free the mind, nothing else can.
- One reacts and stirs one’s mind because of wrong view and delusion.
- It is important to understand the law of dependent origination (12 links) to understand how we function as human beings.
- The cause of worry is fear. Without fear one has no problem.
- When facing problems, one has two choices: 1st choice – most people react, panic, project their thoughts and worry about the problems hence mind becomes restless with these proliferation of thoughts. The 2nd choice is – don’t panic, react and project the thoughts (to arise all the fear and worries which does not help), then act with wisdom and right views via following Noble 8-Fold Path.
- An untrained mind with the 5 mental hindrances (especially restlessness and doubt) cannot calm down to enter the meditative state of inner peace and inner awareness.
- Memory should be used to store useful information but human beings have used it wrongly to store their psychological memories of their fear, phobias, scars of memories, insecurities etc. thereby arising all the wrong thoughts. Whether it is right thought or wrong thought depends on the user of thought. If the user is wise then thoughts become right thoughts.
- The Buddha under the Sabbasava sutta said, if one give attention to things that are unfit for attention one will give rise to wrong thoughts that will cause the un-arisen three evil roots and defilements to arise and the arisen defilements will proliferate. Right thought brings about love, compassion, kindness, gentleness, goodness, gratitude, respect, sincerity, generosity, etc and wisdom hence such thoughts like contemplating on the 3 turnings of the Four Noble Truth are fit for attention.
- Through cultivation, the mind can become quiet to enable us to insight into the three universal characteristics of nature.
- One must inquire, ‘how can thoughts which are only consciousness and harmless can have such power over the living beings to make them so sorrowful, miserable and so full of fear. If you truly love yourself then you will not use your own thoughts (as a tool) to harm yourself and hurt yourself or hit out at others. Just like the knife analogy – you must use that knife as a tool and use it appropriately to help you do things that are useful but instead if you use it to harm yourself, hurt yourself and others then that is real delusion and foolishness.
- True action is acting according to wisdom via having right views with regards to the universal laws that govern life and existence. Then Dhammapada verses 1 and 2, 21, 22, 23 and 183 will become very clear.
- Life is very simple. When we accept the reality of the moment which is ‘What IS’, there is no reaction or stirring of mind. There is clarity and calm to act appropriately then we can ask our self – what are our options and how we can resolve all these amicably following the Noble 8fold path and the Law of karma then we can use our right view, right thought, right speeches and right actions to act appropriately to resolve all situations amicably without negativity. We should always act with wisdom or right view. If need to ask for forgiveness, repent and later invoke power of merits to improve our life, do it because if one act with right view one will reap the good karmic fruition.
- To de-condition the heedless thinking leading to the silent mind, we can use the mind sweeping method combining with metta meditation to do it then followed by Anapanasati to stabilize the silent mind.
- When we are mindful, there is not thought. As we relax into every mind state that arises, the mind becomes very quiet and finally very still. With the clarity of mind arising from the silent mind without thought, we become peaceful and fully aware. Then stabilize the silent mind to realize the true mind, until the mind enters sati so that daily mindfulness can come about.
- Once the mind is trained, we can become ever mindful. The meditative mind can understand truth and this is what meditation is all about. Then one will understand, technically there are no right and no wrong because these are only relative or conventional truth. People and the world are just the way they are because when conditions are like that, things will be like that – cannot be otherwise.
(Note: Draft short notes was prepared by Puan Chee)
With metta always,
From: Bro. Swee Aun: If you missed Bro Teoh’s Thurs class Jan11, you can download at:*