Subject: Re: Short notes for Tuesday class sharing dated 9th January 2018
Dear Sister Yoon Chun,
Thank u so much for your below draft short notes and I am pleased to forward herewith the edited version below for our sharing. A word file attachment is also enclosed above.
Short notes summary of Bro. Teoh’s Tuesday class Dharma sharing dated 9.1.2018:
Session 1: Puja and Meditation
1.1 Puja (Buddhist devotional practices)
The main purpose of Puja chanting is to develop the following:
- To cultivate Faith (saddha) in the Buddha and his Teaching;
- To cultivate the spiritual zeal (viriya) to learn the Dharma after seeing the importance of learning such teaching;
- To develop mindfulness (sati) and cultivate wholesomeness like generosity, paying respect to great beings and rejoicing (in the goodness, kindness and generosity of others) during puja;
- To renew our 5 precepts and the taking of refuges in the Triple Gems;
- Making of puja aspirations (via understanding the significance of all our puja offerings) to help us progress along the path of Dharma;
- Puja can help us calm and compose our mind to develop the Faith and wisdom.
- The main purpose of Meditation is to train the heedless thinking mind to be peaceful, calm and aware within (the silent mind) to see things clearly (or as they are) to develop the wisdom to liberate our mind.
- Important Meditative instructions were given to help yogi understand what they are doing in the name of meditation.
- Always remember to Relax body and mind to experience the silence and the peacefulness. Just Feel with the silent mind and relax.
- The purpose of mind sweeping method is to de condition the heedless thinking; then combining with metta to bring about inner peace and inner well-being (positive energy field) and Anapanasati training is to stabilize the sati (silent mind).
- A well trained mind listens to you and can serve you well.
- Mind experiencing piti, sukha, tranquility and stillness (passadhi).
- What are methods, techniques and objects of meditation for? They are only skillful means to train the mind to be in sati and in the state of heedfulness.
- One only need to train the mind when the 5 spiritual faculties are not stable yet.
- Without the spiritual faculties the opposite 5 mental hindrances will be there to make one heedless and think a lot – reason why these people need methods and techniques and object of meditation to anchor their mind so that it does not wanders off and become heedless.
- If you do this type of meditative training via just relaxing and silencing your mind, your mindfulness can become very sensitive and it can even detect your heart beat or pounding of your heart without the need of a stethoscope. Then as you silent your mind and relax into it more and more, the pounding will slow down.
- ‘…Then you move your attention back to your chest or heart area. This is a very important location within your body. This is where your life-force arises and passes away. This is where the seat of consciousness resides and how you become conscious – from there it arises. This is also where your heart beat is; your life-force pumps your heart beat. Your life-force comes from your supportive karma that you inherit. If this supportive karma or life-force energy does not come then your heart will stop it will not beat.
- So we have to silent our mind and just feel our heart area, feel it soothingly relax and silent everything. If you can detect whatever vibration or your heart beat, you just silent everything and stay there to develop the stability of your silent mind. If you do this type of meditation or meditative training… (Normally as doctors they need the stethoscope to magnify the heart beat pulse so that they can feel it)… but if you can meditate to be mindful and very aware you don’t need any stethoscope. You can just relax and silent your mind then u can feel and be aware of your own heart beat very clearly including its pounding etc. Then as you silent your mind more and more, the pounding will slow down until it becomes very quiet and very still. Then you don’t need to do anything but just stay there and silent everything to meditate because this is the silent mind which is also the meditative mind.‘
- Continuous mindfulness leading to absorption of mind …..
- Uppacara and appana Samadhi …..
- Relax into every mind state that arise and let the mind return to its original state of stillness, tranquility and silence.
Session 2 Dharma sharing proper and Q and A
- Try to maintain whatever inner peace, inner calmness and inner awareness that you have developed through this meditative training. You need to make use of these trained mind states to live your life then your life will change; your life will become very different. If you can have this type of mind which is always peaceful, calm (with very little or no thinking), constantly aware and sensitive to life; sensitive to your inner thought movements; your emotion and everything else, then you will become a very beautiful being. You will understand many things then you will have no more problems because the slightest movement of your mind towards the 2 extremes you can feel it straight away. We call this mind the trained thinking mind, the worldly or mundane mind.
- There are 2 aspects to our mind; one is your true mind, the silent mind that can be aware and can understand many things; and the other is the mundane mind, the thinking mind, the worldly mind that thinks a lot and creates a lot of problems and emotions for us because of our lack of understanding. But the moment we understand, this thinking mind becomes different, it understands and it can be trained; and when it is trained it becomes very quiet and still which means – previously it does what it like but now it listen to you and it can serves you just like a trained dog.
- In a similar way if we train our mind, it will listen to us. If you want it to be silent, peaceful it will just do that. You want to be relaxed, at ease and do whatever you want to do, it will just obey you. So this mind will serve you well (be a very good servant to you.)
- Meditation is to learn to transform this heedless thinking mind that is full of wrong views and delusion into a mind that has the clarity, the wisdom and the understanding not to be deceived by what you see, hear, smell, tactilely feel and think. This is what the Buddha called wisdom or understanding.
- When you understand you are no longer foolish; you won’t get yourself into trouble anymore. The Most important thing one need to do is to meditate to understand clearly what is life all about. All of nature’s laws that govern all of our life and existence need to be understood first. When we understand these laws it is like we understands the secret of life then we will know how to live in accordance with these laws.
- Importance of understanding the Law of karma (moral causation) to realize the importance of taking care of karma and how via taking care of karma one can improve and transform one’s life.
- If you take care of karma, karma will take care of your life.
- Various types of Dukkha or suffering caused by the 8 realities of life and existence when one confronts them without proper understanding.
- Caused of suffering is due to one’s attachment to the 5 aggregates of form & mind via one’s self-delusion.
- Nature always gives and gives. Nature is full of Love and compassion.
- We should appreciate, have gratitude and cherish what nature has given to mankind. Man & Nature must harmonize because we come from Nature and we are actually ONE with Nature; if man destroys nature, then nature will destroy the human race. We should live in harmony with Nature then we will not be faced with much nature’s disasters and environmental problems.
- Understanding the 5 Aggregates of Form and Mind as taught by the Buddha. Its two aspects: 1st aspect as a physical human being and the 2nd aspect as a mental 5 aggregates via understanding the thought (consciousness and its content).
- To understand the 4 aggregates of mind one must inquire – what can your mind do?
- Our true mind is just spacious awareness (when the mundane mind is not or ceases to be) – when we are without thoughts, when our views, opinions and the conditioned mind are not interfering with our pure perception.
- Thought which is focus awareness and its content is limited, narrow and finite because it is based on the mundane mind’s perception that shrinks our true mind’s spacious awareness into a finite spot where the conditioned mind’s content of consciousness are inputted or deposited.
- Enlightened beings act according to understanding n wisdom. They don’t discriminate or act according to memories because ‘acting according to memory is not acting at all’.
- This Buddhist teaching is based on Natures laws and it is experiential and very scientific, not base on tradition, superstitions and beliefs.
- Did anyone suffer from depression during Buddha’s time?
- There is no such thing as a ‘Problem’ if we do not perceive it with fear and negativity. When we accept what happened as part of life realities then we can be at peace. Then our mind will not stir and our thought will not project the fear, worry and anxiety etc. then we can have clarity of mind to make better decision and act with wisdom and understanding following Noble 8-fold path via inquiring further: How can we resolve this amicably and what are our options? How can we resolve issues there and then via making good decisions to move on?
- This body of ours is not a permanent unchanging entity hence it is not “Me”. It is makeup of the 4 elements that goes the way of nature, subject to old age sickness and death.
- Do not view life through our wrong views, accumulated memories and delusion. No need to arise the fear and worry for they will not help us resolve issues amicably. Will instead cause anxiety and fear leading to depression. It is better to take the necessary steps to address issues via wisdom and accept whatever the outcome via doing what need to be done to take care of karma.
- Life can be really meaningful and beautiful when we have the Dharma understanding. One can then live life to the fullest to experience all the pristine beauty and wonders of life.
(Note: The draft short notes for the above was prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun)
- Bye! and with metta always,Teoh