Bro Teoh’s Thursday class dated 21st June 2018

Dear Kalyanamittas,

Below are the audio links to our last night’s Thursday class (21st June 2018) recording for sharing by all. According to Bro Swee Aun it is  *Highly recommended,  a good summary on what is meditation?* Also attach is the outline short notes as below:

OUTLINE SHORT NOTES for Thursday class dated 21 JUNE 2018


  1. According to Bro Teoh, it is very important that we understand what is meditation and what is it that we are doing in the name of meditation? Essentially Meditation consists of two parts:
  • If we still need to train the mind to be mindful, then train it using the mind-sweeping method followed by metta to decondition the heedless thinking
  • If the mind is already trained, we can meditate straight The key points in meditation are to relax into every mind state that arises, then maintain silence and awareness within to develop the wisdom. The wisdom or understanding will unfold naturally when one is HEEDFUL  2.The mind’s original state before the stirring and reactions of mind, is already stillness, silent and aware. So, just let every mind state that arise settle down on its own. There is no need to do anything (such as focusing, noting, concentrating etc.) but just maintain awareness within. If an object of meditation is needed to anchor the mind, one can use Anapanasati (mindfulness of the in and out breath). Very soon, the mind will calm down and return to its original state of silent inner awareness. When one does not give any mental energy to the thought or mundane mind, the silent mind will develop on its own and one’s meditation will progress naturally leading to sati and The silent mind can meditate on its own. One will then experience piti, sukha and passadhi which is tranquility or stillness of mind (the silent or meditative mind). When passadhi stabilizes the mind will enter sati, then one can be ever mindful in the midst of life and activities to cultivate the daily mindfulness.


  1. Bro Teoh advised fellow Kalyanamittas not to be gullible by following meditation instructions blindly. We have to understand what we are doing in the name of meditation. Without heedfulness, we cannot All meditation starts off with the training of the mind to be heedful as per dhammapada verses 21, 22 and 23.
  2. One needs to understand how to cultivate heedfulness. First, train the mind to be mindful and then stabilize it to be ever mindful. Next, use this trained mind to cultivate the Noble 8-fold Path in the midst of life.
  3. To be ever mindful and constantly meditative are essential qualities of mind states for one to realize the supreme born-free Nibbana as stated by the Buddha via his dhammapada verse 23.
  4. If the mental hindrances are still present, the cultivator must develop the opposite five spiritual faculties to counter them. Puja can help cultivators develop them. Faith in the Buddha and his teaching will arise when we reflect on how wonderful and unique a being, the Buddha is. This will encourage us to have the viriya to strive on diligently to train the mind to be mindful and then stabilize it to arise the Samadhi, leading to the wisdom.
  5. The Buddha emphasized the importance of heedfulness via his dhammapada verse 21.
  6. When the mind settles down, it becomes so quiet that it will enter sati. When that happens, the mind in sati is not only aware but ever mindful. One can then use this trained mind state to meditate via the daily mindfulness while in the midst of life. There is no need to train the mind anymore because this trained mind in sati can be heedful in the midst of life on its own already. This stable mindfulness coupled with the silent mind can enable one to insight into the three universal characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta.
  7. Hence, the word vipassana which means to insight into or awaken to the three universal characteristics is not a practice but an understanding. One cannot practice vipassana to reach enlightenment because it is not a doing. Practice is a repetitive doing via following a series of instructions to do things – which is mechanical in nature.
  8. However, most people have been taught to meditate using thought-based methods and techniques to realize the so-called awakening. These are all samatha and energy field practices involving focusing, concentration and suppression, resulting in jhanic states, absorption of mind and fantastic meditative mind states and experiences.
  9. According to Bro Teoh, there is no need to focus or force the mind into any form of practice. One only needs to relax into every mind state that arises and maintain awareness to realize the silent (true) mind. The moment one is without thought, one is already aware. So, there is no need to try to practice to be aware. Any form of doing or practice is by the thought and by doing so thoughts make the mind active again so sati which is awareness before the knowing cannot be developed via such thought-based practices. Sati is to be understood.
  10. We tend to give meaning to almost everything we perceive hence we accumulate them via memory through our conditioned thinking and attachment. Thought is response to memory so the mind via delusion reacts, stirs, grasps, clings and attaches to everything thoughts create causing one to be heedless most of the time.
  11. Once we see all these happening in our meditation, we will then understand the need to straighten our views via understanding the Buddha proclaimed of: ‘Sabbe sankhara aniccam, sabbe sankhara dukkham and Sabbe dhamma anatta’. That is: all off sankhara (mental states and activities) are impermanent, lead to suffering when we want things our way and understands that even this body and mind also does not belong to us, then the mind with such understanding will starts to behave differently. It will relinquish the grasping and clinging borne of delusion.
  12. One cannot practice to be wise neither can one practice letting go or to have non-attachment because only wisdom frees. Without wisdom one will hold, cling and attached. Who practice? The thought which is egoic practice. Who need to let go? Only the one who holds right? When there is wisdom one will not hold so is there any need to let go? Only deluded people practice letting go!
  13. Similarly, meditation is not about practice. It is about training the mind to become silent so that it can insight into phenomena. But, most people are so gullible that they are impressed by words and flowery dharma to the extent that they meditate without knowing exactly what they are doing.
  14. The four supports for awareness based meditation are: relax, aware, maintain awareness 24/7 (during waking and sleeping moments) and trust. Initially, it is difficult to be aware during sleeping moments. But as one’s mindfulness becomes so stable, it is possible to carry that state into the sleeping states.
  15. Bro Teoh cautioned on the dangers of doing thought based energy-field meditation because though it can make one’s mind very powerful, but it cannot liberate one from suffering. One can be drawn into the psychic field of psychic powers thereby conditioning more craving and delusion leading to suffering later on.
  16. Question by Bro Pan – Why is it important for cultivators to locate the gateway to our self-nature?

Bro Teoh’s answer:

  • This is only necessary for those who wish to walk the Bodhisattva way. The first three supports for awareness based meditation are sufficient for those who wish to walk the sainthood way while the fourth support is for those who wish to walk the Bodhisattva way.
  • The gateway leads to one’s nature and it is a very unique point because whatever energy that one has accumulated or developed will be neutralized once it goes through the gateway before being turned into pure energy. It is a beautiful outlet for trapped energy. The pure energy will on its own activate the chakras and nadis, making one feel fresh, still and energized from within. Transformation of consciousness will occur and even the cultivator’s health will improve greatly because the pure energy has the potential to heal one of all diseases and discomfort during that time. However, the body which goes the way of nature will eventually get sick, grow old and die over time. This again shows the nature of impermanence.
  • Master Hui Neng’s teaching takes us direct to the true mind. Enlightenment is beyond thought and mind so when people lack the understanding that there are two minds, they become gullible, cultivating with the mundane mind – doing thought-based meditation which are still within the field of thought.
  • Bro Teoh advised Bro Pan not to think too much about the question he had asked because when one’s mindfulness is still not stable, one cannot understand what this is all about. Even to see the dependent origination is so difficult because everything happens so fast. When contact arises, it is not just feeling that arises but is accompanied by the 7 universal mental factors (or cetasikas) which arise simultaneously. It is not a single-dimensional event but multi-dimensional. Only a trained mind that is still (having a very stable sati) can detect and understand all these. It becomes so sensitive that even the slightest very subtle mental stirring or movement can be detected straight away. The form and mind which is connected to the true nature will understand what is happening, thus giving rise to the wisdom which is connected to the form and mind. Eventually because of this wisdom connected, the phenomenal world loses its power to deceive the form and mind (or ‘cultivator’) who has realized the enlightenment.
  • Without this training, one can only understand through theory and knowledge. The true mind is clouded by the thinking (sankhara) which are your emotions and thoughts, etc. Through the meditative silence, one can understand how the condition-arising mind has been deceived by avijja again and again. As one keeps on straightening one’s views regarding kamma niyama, citta niyama and dharma niyama, one’s form and mind becomes wise. With this wisdom, it will understand that this form and mind is not me and not real. It is subject to karma and goes the way of nature (anicca, dukkha, anatta).
  • It is important to plant the seed of Bodhi (Bodhi mind) deep within our nature so that life after life when we have to come or choose to come, we can inherit our past spiritual cultivation. Unlike the karmic nature which follows us life after life immediately after birth, the spiritual nature can only be inherited after the body and mind is connected to the true nature through the silent mind via meditation.
  • Trust is most important for one who walks the Bodhisattva path. Through trust, one can connect to the true nature and inherit ones past spiritual cultivations just like what has happened to Bro Song many years ago. When that happens, he can understand a lot of things especially those profound teachings and dharma which he did not understand before, even after reading through them many times.
  • Bro Teoh emphasized the need to understand the basic essential dharma of the Buddha. Otherwise we will be wasting our time going into meditation (just like what happened to the four monks during Bodhidharma’s time who sat in meditation not understanding what they are doing in the name of meditation).                                                                    17.  No amount of sitting can transform us if we lack the wisdom. So, it is not the posture that matters but one’s wisdom which enables one to break free from one’s delusion and suffering. As long as we do not understand that we have two minds and we keep on cultivating using the mundane mind, we are wasting our time.                                       18. All dharmas arise from the self-nature. Wholesome and unwholesome and all forms of duality arise from this nature. If we cannot understand this basic teaching, we can forget about meditation. All forms of thought-based meditation will not lead us to the true awakening.                 19. All the essential dhammas spin off from the Four Noble Truths. So, it is important that we understand the basic essential dharma of the Buddha which have so often been emphasized by Bro Teoh in all his talks. Especially the 3 right views of kamma niyama, citta niyama and dharma niyama.                                                                           20.Finally, this talk is a like a revision for everyone to reinforce their understanding so that your understanding can go deep into their nature. We should continue to aspire, invoke vows and affirmations via power of merits to have the causes and conditions to have these right understanding life after life so that you can still cultivate accordingly with understanding even when the sasana is not around because it is very difficult for this form and mind to encounter the genuine Buddha dhamma to cultivate. Planting the bodhi seed deep within our minds will also create conditions for us to be reborn with this kind of understanding so that we can continue to perfect our nature life after life without having to fear getting lost again during the periods devoid of the Buddha sasana.

(Above draft outline notes were prepared by Sister Puan Chee.)

Bye! and with metta always,


From: Bro Swee Aun
*if you missed Bro Teoh’s Thurs class Jun21, you can download at :
or at:

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