Brother Teoh’s Thursday class dated 13th December 2018 Outline Short Notes
1. Brother Teoh read through last Thursday class outline short notes.
2. Brother Teoh advised all Kalyanamittas to attentively read through this outline short notes which are very important (just as important as the earlier Heart sutra short notes). These outline short notes teaching by Brother Teoh are mostly linked to real life situations. Whereas the heart sutra’s short notes teachings are mainly the essential dhammas as taught by the Buddha and they are important understanding to develop the sainthood way cultivation, leading to the realization of arahantship. To cultivate the Bodhisattva way one has to go deeper via following the blue book, “cultivating the Bodhisattva way” and the other Mahayana sutras such as the 6th Patriarch platform sutra, the Diamond sutra and the Surangama sutra.
3. The Bodhisattva way’s teaching is much deeper and much more profound. Understanding the Diamond sutra’s teaching can enable one to cultivate at a very different level which is way beyond the sainthood way. Sainthood wayonly touches on the realization of the 3 universal characteristics of impermanence, suffering and non self nature. However, the Diamond sutraand 6th Patriarch platform sutra’s teachings as taught by Buddha and Master Hui Neng brings you directly to the true mind to develop your cultivation thereby bypassing all the unnecessary thought based meditation.
4. A lot of cultivators cultivating the sainthood ways are using their thought to develop their meditation. Not understanding what sati is, they use thoughts rampantly. Most of them do not have proper teachers to guide them, thus ending up deviating and entangling themselves in thought based techniques and methods of cultivation. Most of them develop the focusing and concentration (Samantha meditation) via one pointedness concentration, eventually leading them astray. Not understanding that only wisdom frees the mind.
5. To cultivate the Bodhisattva way, you must also go through the sainthood way first. The Bodhisattvas develop profound understanding but not merely to be enlightened via the sainthood way only. They cultivate to penetrate and realize all dharmas, develop the perfection, not only to be enlightened, but fully enlightened, after perfecting all aspects of virtues, understanding and wisdom. Here virtue is not only the usual avoiding of evil and doing good. They have to perfect them all – the 10 perfections. It is a very extensive and rewarding cultivation. With this understanding, you will come beautifully life after life as per what is stated in the heart sutra, ‘true emptiness is wonderful existence’. Meaning when one has realized true emptiness, Life is not only meaningful but becomes wonderful. You can live life to the fullest, experience all of the pristine beauty and wonders of life. You are most of the time happy. You are blessed and grateful with all the virtues and understanding you received from your rather beautifully cultivated karmic and spiritual natures. They will support you all the way.
6. When you cultivate the Bodhisattva way via the six patriarch platform sutra’s teaching, it will brings you directly to the state of no thought. There is complete silence and awareness only. You will realize your true mind, which is beyond your mundane mind. All of your speeches, thoughts and actions are based on the profound understanding developed. As you stabilized your wisdom and understanding, you will come to realize the stage of no mark.There is no mark of a self cultivating, no mark of living beings, and no mark of dhamma. Everything isn’t what you think. The form and mind is unreal. When you have this understanding, you would finally progress to realize the final stage as an advance Bodhisattva to realize the last hallmarks of Master Hui Neng’s teaching of having a mind with non-dwelling. The nature then shines forth, not dwelling anywhere but just aware, either in specific phenomena awareness or spacious awareness without a centre. You will know that the mundane mind is not real. It is just a tool for you to use, thus you are not deluded by it, and you will also know that the form and mind is subject to karma. Hence you will do your duty, perfecting your karmic and spiritual nature. With this understanding, you are a completely a different class of cultivator.
7. For you to have the condition to be born a human being is already very rare and to encounter the Buddha dharma and the higher teaching of the bodhisattva way is even more rare. You must be very blessed with good karmic past. Or else you won’t be able to hear all these special dhamma.
8. This window of opportunity when the sasana is still around is very precious,you should determine strongly with faith, understanding and sincerity to go this way, to have this understanding so that life after life, whether you choose to come or you have to come, this understanding is present.
9. One of the kalyanamitta (Brother Kok Loon) who came for dhamma sharing just about a year ago, shared his experience. He acknowledges his mundane mind. He was then able to be more aware and can see his own fears and delusion. He then turns inward to inquire, “Who am I, what am I”?
10. Brother Teoh stresses the importance of training one’s mind to listen attentively and mindfully so that it will serve you well. When you acknowledge your mundane mind with wisdom, you can use it to arise right thought, speech, action and livelihood via cultivating the 4 right efforts and right views with regards to law of karma and mind. Then you will not be heedless and deluded like before. Neither good nor bad. Not blaming but understanding.You needs to train your mind to be aware and heedful to cultivate following the steps stated in avijja sutta. The avijja sutta is a good sutta to check your cultivation.
11. With faith, sincerity and diligence, you will awaken. With these, you will cultivate appropriately and persevere along the dhamma path, whereby you just do until sati comes. You will know when sati is established. Mindfulness (awareness) is vital for you to investigate the dhamma. When you realize the dhamma stands up to investigation, your faith strengthens. You then develop viriya to cultivate diligently then you will have joy and understanding to see the benefits of what you do. You will know this is the right path leading to wholesomeness, virtues and good life. It also transforms you completely, personality wise, character wise and understanding wise to become a blessing to all.
12. Money cannot buy you wisdom and dhamma understanding. The user of money is most importance. If the user is wise, money becomes useful and wholesome. Not when you have to sacrifice your precious time and life to chase after money until your health is affected. You need to have the balance.
13. When you have developed the dhamma understanding, money will come on its own. You need to have virtue and generosity to receive karmic wealth. Without it, money won’t come. Not with your greed and delusion. With dhamma, your virtue and generosity will be there to bring forth the money. You will have good blessings and everything will go your way. If you do your duty well, you will have good children, good parents, good kalyanamittas, good bosses and colleagues because you have been good to these people in the past. Your subordinates will support and sacrifice for you.
14. Brother Teoh shared that in this life, his form and mind is truly blessed. It has nothing to do with luck but mainly through dhamma understanding which brings about the wonderful inheritance from his well cultivated karmic and spiritual natures. This is what we truly need, to become beautiful human beings.
15. Brother Teoh further shared how Sister Padmasuri develop the understanding of her students and others after she has developed understanding of herself via being heedful. When she marked the exam papers of her students, instead of seeing just their grammar and points, she can feels her student’s mind states and understanding of life in their writings and expressions. Brother Teoh’s lower six’s GP form teacher once commented on his essay as, “Rather deeply thought out”. His thoughts were deep and he understood life deeply even at that early age. After having develop mindfulness and awareness, you will start to know who you are, what you are and how you interact with the world and how you live your life and response to situation.
16. Brother Teoh developed most of his understanding via his own contemplative wisdom. He contemplate constantly and deeply into the dhamma. His teachers’ didn’t really teach him much because brother Teoh was able to pick up the important truths that they shared while listening and talking to them.
17. When he came out to share his understanding, his nature just inquire, how can he let kalyanamitta who attend his class, understand the dhamma. When he inquire and reflected, on what the kalyanamitas need to develop the understanding, he realized that his nature is ahead of time. At first he thought, everyone was like him. But when he started to share the dhamma in 2004, he realized hardly anyone understood what he shared. That’s why he has to reverse his sharing by going back to basic. Starting from basic dhamma leading to the understanding of the essential dhamma (linking them all together) then only go on with the teaching of the 4 noble truth and its 3 turnings cumulating to the 3 types of corresponding wisdom.
18. If you cultivate correctly, you will develop your own understanding. You can then share through your own style and understanding with others.
19. Who are you? In the Buddha’s final summary of the first noble truth, the Buddha said, ‘It is due to our self-delusion that condition us to grasp and cling to the 5 aggregates of form and mind, thinking it is you and it is real that conditioned our suffering. With self-delusion, grasping arise leading to suffering. 5 aggregates of form and mind, 1st aspect of who are you and what are you: As a human being, you have a form aggregate which is your physical body and a Consciousness which is your mind trapped inside. There are 4 aggregates of mind: namely feeling, perception, sankhara and consciousness. This 5 aggregates are impermanent, dependent originating, hence empty and not so real. It is not a permanent unchanging entity but it is subject to karma.
20. When you are conscious you can interact with the world with your senses. You need to meditate to understand if this is you. If it is impermanent and you deludedly cling via worrying about it (your physical form) getting old, sick, and die you will suffer. Thus the 5 daily contemplations are vital.
21. The form and mind comes about through the three conditions of having a physical body, consciousness and karmic force. Without any one of this, death happens. It is a karmically conditioned vehicle and tool for you to come to this world to live and experience life, meditate and realize deeply who you truly are.
22. Within this 5 aggregates of form and mind, you can use it to cultivate the 4 foundations of mindfulness and this is the only way for the purification of being, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentations, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path and the realization of nibbana.
Four foundations of mindfulness:
1st foundation – kayanupassana: mindfulness of the kaya (physical body).
2nd foundation – vedananupassana: mindfulness of feelings.
3rd foundation – cittanupassana: mindfulness of the mind states.
4th foundation – dhammanupassana: mindfulness of dhamma.
23. Brother Teoh has shared these 5 aggregates of Form and Mind teachings back in 2005. The transcript book containing this sharing will soon be printed for free distribution to all. This book explains clearly what this 5 aggregates of Form and Mind is. It also teaches you how to see form, the unreality of form and see beyond form.
24. How does the 5 mental aggregates of Form and Mind arise? How does the external forms enter your mind? Perception brings external form into the mind. The moment you perceive external form, the 4th aggregate (sankhara) becomes active. Law of dependant origination is related to this 5 mental aggregate of form and mind which is happening at every moment of sense experience. Every moment of seeing/hearing etc., there is this 5 mental aggregate of form and mind arising and passing away. The 12-links or law of dependent origination happens very fast, it is multi-dimensional; sometimes the links are not completed.
The 12 links:
Avijja pacaya sankhara – ignorance conditions mental activities. Due to your delusion and not understanding the truth, you think a lot. Thus creating contact with the mind. Your views, likes and dislikes create thinking and then mental volition etc.
Sankhara pacaya vinanam – Mental activities via contact conditions pure mental consciousness. Vinanam is pure consciousness. The moment you input your content of consciousness via your views, opinions and conditioning, the 5 mental aggregates of Form and Mind (Namarupa) will arise.
Vinayam pacaya nama rupa – mental consciousness conditions Namarupa …….
(Above draft is prepared by Sister Phey Yuen).