Sunday Class WPCS

RECORDINGS OF CLASSES

Tuesday Class
Thursday Class

Sunday Class WPCS

If you wish to listen to the Sunday talks from 29 March – 14 June 2020, please visit  Unique Dhamma Quotes by Bro Teoh

Reading Material :  The Path to Truth — For the Modern-day Bodhisattva Practitioner
24 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 20 Sep 2020    YouTube

Page 174 – 177

23 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 13 Sep 2020    YouTube

Page 166 – 173

22 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 6 Sep 2020    YouTube

Page 161 – 166

21 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 30 Aug 2020    YouTube

Page 147 – 160

20 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 23 Aug 2020    YouTube

Page 133 – 146

19 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 16 Aug 2020     YouTube 

Page 128 – 132

 

18 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 9 Aug 2020     YouTube

Page 119 – 127

17 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 2 Aug 2020     YouTube

Page 115 – 118

 

16 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 19 July 2020    YouTube

Page 110 – 114

15 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 12 July 2020    YouTube

Page 101 – 109

Mini Video :

How Awareness Nature enables one to understand the Essential Dhamma & leads to the awakening

14 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 5 July 2020   YouTube

Page 88 – 100

Mini Video :

How to resolve life situations through Dhamma application

The right way to inquire into Dhamma cultivation

13 The Path To The Truth For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 28 Jun 2020     (Short Notes pdf)    YouTube

Page 76 – 85

Brother Teoh informed Kalyanamittas of Brother Chin How’s rather good suggestion to gather some kalyanamittas to help produce shorter videos of about 10-30 minutes’ durations with selected Dharma topics from Brother Teoh’s full length Heart Sutra class videos to benefit others as they are more effective and impactful to attract people’s attention and interest. A working group of volunteers will be formed to carry out this project. Those interested to join can contact brother Chin How or Swee Aun direct to register their interest. A preliminary discussion cum brain storming session was held, starting today.

It is important to train the mind in heedfulness. Heedless people do not live life but merely existed through life, as their mind are overwhelm by mental hindrances. Mental hindrances stir the mind and make it reactive when confronting sense experience without the requisite wisdom. From our nature the mundane mind arises due to ignorance/self-delusion. This is the beginning of the mind’s separation from the pure state, causing us to get entangled with the phenomena world of consciousness. Through ignorant, we create mundane thinking. We think the phenomena/conditioned world is real and grasp at it, resulting in suffering. We need wisdom to understand that the phenomena world is not real because it is dependent originating and illusionary. We therefore need to develop the wisdom to return all external forms back to mind consciousness then from mind consciousness back to the pure awareness nature. We need to understand that the mundane mind also exhibits the 3 Universal Characteristics of annica, dukkha and anatta (impermanence, suffering and non-self) just like the physical form/body.

The cessation of the form and mind leads to the realization of Nibbana (the unconditioned) where the pure awareness also no more (completely cease to be).

Meditate with the silent mind in pure awareness (sati) to observe the movements of the mundane mind (thoughts) so as to develop the wisdom needed for us to straighten our wrong views.

Psychological time arise when thoughts arise. Therefore, psychological time is just mental time or mental thinking. When thought ceases, psychological Time stops then one realizes the timeless.

Sister Alicia asked Brother Teoh about the brightness she experienced after she came out of her formal meditation. Please do listen to the audio recording for full details.

Sister Poh Cheng confirmed Brother Teoh’s prediction of what will happen to her after she had located the ‘gateway’ to her nature. She will experience more frequent release of gaseous emission from her bodily system and improvement to her health after her transformation is very true. Brother Teoh inform her that there is nothing to be embarrassed about the frequent release of gas because that release of gas as a result of the pure energy is without the foul smell. The Yin and Yang energies that ‘melt’ through the ‘gateway’ will be transformed into pure energy which will heal the body. Sister Poh Cheng will also be able to have the clear and rather stable mindfulness (sensitivity of mind) to feel and sense others. Brother Teoh advised Sister Poh Cheng to continue to use her silent her mind to diligently cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.

Sister Poh Cheng has developed the strong faith and determination to cultivate seriously and diligently during the recent covid-19 pandemic while in Singapore. She understands the urgency and importance of cultivation during this sasana’s window of opportunity. She then just does it via following exactly what Brother Teoh advises, i.e. to have a good daily religious routine to cultivate and meditate throughout the day; do the 5 Daily Contemplations; cultivate Marananusati (contemplation on death); to develop the urgency to cultivate non-stop daily to development a very stable daily mindfulness leading to heedfulness to help her transform.

(The draft for this outline short notes were prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

12-The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 21 Jun 2020     (Short Notes pdf)     YouTube

Page 73 – 75

The title should be ‘The development of Mindfulness.’ Mindfulness cannot be practiced as practice means to do something repetitively in a mechanical way without proper understanding. Because the doing is always by the thought and when thought is active how can one be mindful or be in sati? The commonly taught methods and techniques of meditation to anchor the mind in sati so that it is not heedlessly loss in thought is just a skillful means to train the mind so that it can be mindful of the object of meditation. However, when there is understanding, mindfulness can be developed without the need of such skillful means. It is therefore more appropriate to develop mindfulness base on the understanding that ‘the moment you are without thought, you are already naturally aware. So just relax and maintain awareness to realize the true mind which is just an awareness nature within.

When we are relaxed, at ease and without thought, our mind will return to its original state of pure inner awareness. Due to our lack of the 5 spiritual faculties, our daily life will not be in order due to our heedless thinking borne of the 5 mental hindrances; we will then develop a lot of habitual thinking/tendencies. Due to a life of perpetual disorder, it will take the heedless a long time to do away with these habitual thinking.

Meditation will only kick in when there is understanding. When we understand that without thought we are naturally aware; we are already in the meditative state of silent inner awareness. Therefore, just relax and maintain awareness to stabilize this meditative state so that we can be ever mindful and constantly meditative throughout the day.

When our mind is composed with faith, the spiritual zeal (viriya) will arise to drive us to cultivate sati. With viriya, sloth and torpor cannot arise. Instead there will be mindfulness (sati). When mindfulness stabilizes, we will be able to see clearly the mind’s movements, thereby understanding how we function as humans, following the 12 links (Paticca Samuppada). How we form our wrong views and opinions and accumulate them into our memory. How our cultures, traditions, belief systems, education and scars of memories etc. conditioned us and make us rigid and have a certain predictable pattern of behavior to stir our mind. We then act according to these accumulated memories, experiences and conditionings. That is how we re-act to sense experiences and develop conflicts in life. We have to realize all these in the meditation and understand how the mundane mind arises and passes away based on nature’s conditions. How we get ourselves entangled in life leading to suffering. The cause of suffering is always craving which arises from wrong views/self-delusion. When we realize this, our mind frees. We will understand the 4 Noble Truths and its 3 turnings and the Noble Eightfold Path (Meditation) as taught by the Buddha.

We need to stabilize our sati until it becomes Samadhi, i.e. at the moment of sense experiences, our mind will not stir based on our accumulated memory that we have accumulated. Instead we must act according to wisdom via seeing things as they are. We know that before we perceive, there was nothing in the mind. Then how did those views and opinions and conditionings come about? From memories due to our lack of right views/wisdom as taught by the Buddha, isn’t it? We then straighten our views to transcend duality. Wisdom liberates the mind. The mind is not agitated, does not cling or gets entangle with phenomena world of form and consciousness.

If we do not apply the Teachings, they remain as knowledge. When we apply the Teachings, we live our life according to Buddha’s wisdom and advices, i.e. we will have the embodiment of the N8FP. We can apply right mindfulness to investigate whatever that arise in the mind and be awaken to the truth and reality of the moment.

You must constantly check whether your actions, speeches and thoughts can still harm yourself and others.

Awareness is the wisdom light. Without awareness, we are lost in thoughts, hence heedless. Our mind lacks awareness or space between thoughts. This space or awareness is wisdom light.

There are 2 types of time:

  • Physical time is a measurement of the time our planet Earth takes to go round the sun – 365 days in a year, 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour etc.
  • Psychological time is mental time. When we are lost in thoughts, we are creating mental time. The mind without thoughts has no mental It is tranquility, stillness and just an awareness nature within and there is no mental movement – timeless Akaliko (beyond thoughts beyond psychological time). 

The true mind is never born, therefore never die. It is the unconditioned. The true mind never accumulates   memories, it is just aware, lives in the presence and is ever shining with clarity and awareness. This is the mind that Enlightened Being realized. All of us have the potential to realize this mind leading to the enlightenment.

The real meditation can only arise when there is stability of daily mindfulness, i.e. ever mindful and constantly meditative while in the midst of life.

Brother Song shared how he tackled a case in the office where his boss wrongly blamed him. He is aware that his heart was not at ease initially. He then silent his mind and be with the agitated mind state. He is then at peace again.         Reverse your negative thinking if your mind is agitated. Always have right views to be at peace with the reality first.

Please do listen to the recording for full details.

Bother Teoh advise Brother Song not to use the thought to reason or find out why his heart was still not at ease initially. But instead just to silent his mind and be with the agitated mind state straight away. Do not do anything and just let the mind settle. Understand that his mind is agitated due to his attachment to the thought of his boss blaming him. His thought will then say, “But the problem is still there”. Bro Teoh said, ‘Yes, and the form and mind has to resolve the issue. Resolve it amicably with a settled mind with wisdom following Noble 8-Fold Path (N8FP)’. Use the silent mind to investigate into what happened. We will understand that things are just the way they are. Conditions like that, things will be like that. Arise the appropriate right thoughts and speeches to resolve the matter amicably. Even if it is your fault, there is no need to panic. If you need to apologize, just do it. Radiate metta. Do not perceive the issue negatively. Just apply the N8FP. Do not use the mundane mind/knowledge to resolve the matter, e.g. by asking, “How come I can still get agitated?”   This is a common mistake of cultivators.

(Draft outline short notes for above was prepared by Sister Chow Mun Yuen)

11-The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 23 Feb 2020    Understanding the different between Sati, Awareness & Attention
10-The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 9 Feb 2020     (Short Notes pdf)

Book Ref. The Path to Truth for the Modern-day Bodhisattva Practitioner by Master Cheng Yen, page 59-65.

We need to check our mind all the time. Is our mind tranquil and still (without thought)? Are there grievances or negativities? Have I deviated from my intended cultivation path?

All beings have the Buddha nature. We just need to have faith, sincerity and perseverance then all obstacles can be overcome to achieve our noble wishes.

From the Surangama Sutra:

  • From 0 comes 1, then from 1 comes ∞ (infinity). This is how mind creation.
  • 0 is the Source/True Nature/Original Nature/Oneness/Void/Emptiness.
  • 1 is the first thought of ignorance/One Dharma/mundane mind.
  • stands for infinity – is the Infinite Dharma borne of mind’s inventions.

We must understand the 2 aspects of mind. Namely the Mundane Mind and the True Mind.

The Mundane mind must cease to realize Nibbana/Emptiness (Enlightenment).

On the Mundane mind – the Buddha said, ‘Mind is the forerunner of all things. When mind arises, everything arises. Mind made are they. Everything is created by the mind. Everything in the phenomena world arises from the mind. The Mundane mind is the Thinking mind which is subject to karma.

  • Meaning of Life/Existence – Existence created by mundane mind is Illusionary and without mark hence it is not so real. Through consciousness, they arise. Mind made are they. Impermanent, non-self and empty.

To be enlightened, one must cultivate from the True mind, to develop the Pure awareness needed for us to see things as they are so as to understand how we become deluded via wrong views to stir our mind and how consciousness created the phenomena world of consciousness.

Silent your mind to realise the True mind which is without thought. Awareness before the knowing.

When we had awakened to the 3 Universal characteristics of nature, the mundane mind will cease to have power over us. This awakening’s wisdom will prevent us from being deceived by it. Then the whole creation as explained in note 7 above can be reversed, by returns all phenomena world of consciousness to the mundane mind and then to the true mind. You will then understand Existence and Life very clearly. Including who are you? What are you and how you function as a human being?

Mundane mind is a manifestation of the true mind. Without wisdom, the mundane mind will stir and comes to be. The mundane mind is the 5 mental aggregates of form and mind (the thought). Once wisdom is developed, wisdom will protect the mundane mind so that it understands.

The true mind is not cessation or enlightenment yet.

Sister Tammy asked whether the mundane mind and the phenomena world of consciousness are the same. Brother Teoh explained they are not the same. The phenomenon world is as what is perceived by the mundane mind through the sense consciousness.  The phenomena world of consciousness becomes like real. Without wisdom, the mundane mind will not understand this Truth and will keep on creating evil roots (Greedy, Hatred and Delusion) in response to the way it perceives the world.

Sister Tammy asked how the vows of the Bodhisattva can sustain for many kalpas.

Brother Teoh explained that there is no issue if the Bodhisattva has reached the 3rd stage of Bodhi mind development (Bodhi Mind that illuminate our Buddha nature as Enlightenment). As by then, the Bodhisattva would had understood that Samsara is not real. Stage 1 & 2 Bodhisattva may still give up because their mind is not so stable yet (wisdom is still limited) and they may decide to cease the form and mind (at Arahant level) before realizing Samma SamBuddha.

(Above draft short notes were prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

9-The Path To The Truth-For the Modern Day Bodhisattva 12 Jan 2020     (Short Notes pdf)

Only beings which are not enlightened struggle between good and evil in this mundane world. For Enlightened Beings, Dharma does not give rise to duality but gives rise to wisdom and understanding.

Just a few influential evil people acting negatively can bring about conflict and misunderstanding leading to war thereby causing suffering to living beings. Hence, we must cultivate a pure stream of pure love and compassion borne of wisdom to cleanse living being’s heart to counter such destructive force.

A single good mission/deed from a virtuous being can help transform millions of living beings to be virtuous beings. We should not underestimate the power of a virtuous thought.

Instead of seeking help outside, like asking for blessings from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas through our affinity with their natures, it is better to seek within our hearts to realize the truth/wisdom.

We have to understand the mind first in order to understand Dharma.

After 43 years of expounding the Dharma, the Buddha expounded the Lotus Sutra and explained that there is only one vehicle and one path, which is the Bodhisattva Path leading to Buddhahood.

Sister Karen reported her meditation experience, where she was experiencing intense joy and happiness. Brother Teoh asked: how she was able to be so joyous as reflected on her face during her meditation. Sister Karen informed that it was due to her ability to imbued her mind to have such intense gratitude and joy/happiness after understanding the precious dhamma. Brother Teoh then said, Sister Karen had developed the gratitude, joy and metta very well and this can help her do away with all the negative tendencies in her mind. Brother Teoh advised Sister Karen to continue with her good progress by relaxing more and maintaining awareness. The awareness will stabilize and eventually transform into equanimity, i.e. the collected and unwavering mind borne of wisdom.

Nature is full of loving kindness. Nature just give, give and give. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we partake all come from Nature. When there is no more negativity, nature can heal itself.

Sister Qinni shared on her recent trip to India where she experienced a lot of joy without feeling tired. Brother Teoh explained that this is due to her faith in the Buddha. Brother Teoh advised Kalyanamittas to have faith in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and our own nature. If the Buddha can gain perfect Enlightenment, so can we. Faith is most important. With faith, the Dharma will unfold. The Buddha was just like us before, as He also started off as a normal human being. We only need to strive on with Heedfulness. When we have faith, we can draw and tap the energies of all the holy places we visit.

Sister Adeline shared her recent Cameron Highland retreat where she was able to settle down quickly on the first day. However, on the second day, her mind became dull and she felt sleepy. She then tries to do metta meditation instead and successfully overcome her sleepiness and experienced the spiritual faculties again. Brother Teoh advised her to focus on her own understanding to meditate accordingly and not to simply follow new method or ways that she is not familiar with. That is the reason why she felt sleepy and her mind became dull. The other understanding is, just accord and flow with nature’s conditions, as she cannot be expecting her meditation to be always good or the same. She needs to find out why things changed and not to dislike / reject / resist the ‘bad’ meditation. She needs to stay with whatever mind state she is experiencing (via maintaining awareness) and then the shift of consciousness would come. When we accord and flow, there is no resistance hence no thinking/reaction of mind and we are in sati. However, the moment we perceive and try to do something (via thinking), we are no longer in sati/mindful.

Brother Teoh advised us to be wary so as not to be drawn into thought-based meditation. Do not be attracted to the words. Just relax and maintain aware. The moment we perceive, verbalize and chatter we are not meditating. Only the silent mind can have the ability to see things as they are, which is not the thought telling us about the things. Investigate with understanding. Do not be gullible.

(Above draft short notes were prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

Only beings which are not enlightened struggle between good and evil in this mundane world. For Enlightened Beings, Dharma does not give rise to duality but gives rise to wisdom and understanding.

Just a few influential evil people acting negatively can bring about conflict and misunderstanding leading to war thereby causing suffering to living beings. Hence, we must cultivate a pure stream of pure love and compassion borne of wisdom to cleanse living being’s heart to counter such destructive force.

A single good mission/deed from a virtuous being can help transform millions of living beings to be virtuous beings. We should not underestimate the power of a virtuous thought.

Instead of seeking help outside, like asking for blessings from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas through our affinity with their natures, it is better to seek within our hearts to realize the truth/wisdom.

We have to understand the mind first in order to understand Dharma.

After 43 years of expounding the Dharma, the Buddha expounded the Lotus Sutra and explained that there is only one vehicle and one path, which is the Bodhisattva Path leading to Buddhahood.

Sister Karen reported her meditation experience, where she was experiencing intense joy and happiness. Brother Teoh asked: how she was able to be so joyous as reflected on her face during her meditation. Sister Karen informed that it was due to her ability to imbued her mind to have such intense gratitude and joy/happiness after understanding the precious dhamma. Brother Teoh then said, Sister Karen had developed the gratitude, joy and metta very well and this can help her do away with all the negative tendencies in her mind. Brother Teoh advised Sister Karen to continue with her good progress by relaxing more and maintaining awareness. The awareness will stabilize and eventually transform into equanimity, i.e. the collected and unwavering mind borne of wisdom.

Nature is full of loving kindness. Nature just give, give and give. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we partake all come from Nature. When there is no more negativity, nature can heal itself.

Sister Qinni shared on her recent trip to India where she experienced a lot of joy without feeling tired. Brother Teoh explained that this is due to her faith in the Buddha. Brother Teoh advised Kalyanamittas to have faith in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and our own nature. If the Buddha can gain perfect Enlightenment, so can we. Faith is most important. With faith, the Dharma will unfold. The Buddha was just like us before, as He also started off as a normal human being. We only need to strive on with Heedfulness. When we have faith, we can draw and tap the energies of all the holy places we visit.

Sister Adeline shared her recent Cameron Highland retreat where she was able to settle down quickly on the first day. However, on the second day, her mind became dull and she felt sleepy. She then tries to do metta meditation instead and successfully overcome her sleepiness and experienced the spiritual faculties again. Brother Teoh advised her to focus on her own understanding to meditate accordingly and not to simply follow new method or ways that she is not familiar with. That is the reason why she felt sleepy and her mind became dull. The other understanding is, just accord and flow with nature’s conditions, as she cannot be expecting her meditation to be always good or the same. She needs to find out why things changed and not to dislike / reject / resist the ‘bad’ meditation. She needs to stay with whatever mind state she is experiencing (via maintaining awareness) and then the shift of consciousness would come. When we accord and flow, there is no resistance hence no thinking/reaction of mind and we are in sati. However, the moment we perceive and try to do something (via thinking), we are no longer in sati/mindful.

Brother Teoh advised us to be wary so as not to be drawn into thought-based meditation. Do not be attracted to the words. Just relax and maintain aware. The moment we perceive, verbalize and chatter we are not meditating. Only the silent mind can have the ability to see things as they are, which is not the thought telling us about the things. Investigate with understanding. Do not be gullible.

(Above draft short notes were prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

8-The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 22 Dec 2019      (Short Notes pdf)
7-The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 8 Dec 2019      The Difference between Practice & Cultivation     (Short Notes pdf)
6-The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 1 Dec 2019      Let Things Be n Don’t Do Anything. This is True Patient Endurance.     (Short Notes pdf)

Ref. book: The Path to Truth for the Modern-day Bodhisattva Practitioner by Master Shih Cheng Yen     (page 26).

When we learn, we must learn with the correct approach. It is a trap to learn with all our past memories and conditionings. If we learn from this mindset, we will not have the confidence and will fail to learn successfully because we will keep on questioning via our views and opinions and in do so we are not listening, e.g. comparing with our past experiences. We have to enquire whether the questions we put forward are important and relevant or are we just questioning based on past conditionings which is not relevant to the current new learning. To learn we must listen attentively with an open mind to develop the new understanding then put it to test or investigation before accepting it.

When we learn, we need to learn from someone who is proven to be successful in that field. Not just chase after people that we hear is famous with a string of qualifications.

Brother Teoh shared his story about him teaching his brother-in-law on how to make good money from stock market investments. He realized how his brother-in-law was hindered by his past failures in the stock market investment that prevents him from listening attentively with an open mind.

We tend to learn from the level of knowledge (following the old way) that we had acquired previously. We think we understand and start to improve ourselves through using the newly acquired knowledge from the level we are at previously. However, when we learn this way, we are wasting our time as this is thought based learning that is not effective. We are still doing things the same old way because we are trying to improve from our current level of wrong understanding, which is not from a clean slate to learn new understanding to do things differently (i.e. with understanding) instead of speculating which is a form of punting and this is not investing. For investing is to grow our investment with proper and good understanding.

To learn successfully, we must start with a clean slate. We should throw away all our old rubbish which is not effective and irrelevant. We start from zero base, and investigate the truth of the new teaching with an open mind. We should not be comparing our old way of learning with the new way. Understanding the new way which is the successful way is most important.

Strive on with heedfulness to awaken, so that we do not have to suffer. As Master Cheng Yen says, “Just do it”. Brother Teoh said, ‘Don’t try to know’. Why? Because the thought is trying to know through memory. The thoughts will make your heedless and hinder progress. ‘Just do it’ or ‘don’t try to know’ means just silent your mind to develop the sati, understanding and awakening. When sati is developed or mind has entered sati, the form and mind will understand. Then the understanding will arise. This is true cultivation. Don’t ask irrelevant question before that, because all this question come from your thoughts and they are your doubts.

What is relevant is to cultivate the 5 Spiritual Faculties leading to a very stable sati.

Ask questions with understanding. Learn the Teaching first. Then put it into cultivation/practice. Ask questions after we have developed the cultivation then all the questions will be self-answered.

Strive on to develop sati first. Then stabilize this sati by having a good daily religious routine – e.g. Upon waking up and before sleeping, maintain awareness, pay respect to triple gem, do some puja chanting, meditate, share merits, transfer merits, make aspiration and develop daily mindfulness training: mindfulness of 4 postures and all actions and movements in present moment in daily life.

Listening to dhamma. Then reflect and contemplate on the Teachings. That will enable us to straighten our views to develop yoniso manasikara (initial wisdom borne of 2nd turning wisdom). Apply the 2nd Effort to prevent the unwholesome thoughts from arising via this wise attention at the moment of sense experience. Only understanding and wisdom frees the mind. Then cultivate following the 10 steps as stated in the Avijja Sutra.

We will start to understand, there is no point in arguing. We will just want to resolve all issues amicably following Noble 8-Fold Path.

We will accept things and people as they are with understanding.

It is still alright for some of you to only have this dhamma understanding when you are already quite old, as this understanding can be brought forward to our next life through our vows and aspiration. Vow to have such right dhamma understanding early in all our future lives’ coming.

We only need to have faith, sincerity and diligence to stay on the Path. Have patience endurance to let things be (different from suppression) and don’t do anything. Patience endurance is wisdom. Let things be means accept the really of the moment with understanding. Don’t do anything means don’t react or stir your mind or become emotional so that no evil will take root and thoughts will lose its power to delude you. After that, act with clarity and wisdom to resolve issues/matter amicably. If you insist to be right, you will suffer.

Everything starts from zero. From the great void all things come. Tzu Chi also started from zero when they started but was able to establish itself to its current strong position after 40+ years due to its founder’s sincere determination. From a backward country, China also becomes the world’s 2nd biggest economy after about 40 years. All Buddha and all Bodhisattvas also started as a normal Puthujjana. Everyone has the Buddha nature. Just do it! Don’t underestimate your great potential. You can be a Buddha too!

The 5 aggregates of form and mind (guests) are not you. Remember that you are the host and not the ‘guests’ of the mind. Since you are the host, how can you suffer when the 5 aggregates of form and mind arise and pass away? You only suffer when you grasp and cling on to them with delusion. When you are not deceived by them, you are free.

Understanding must be established so that wisdom (wise attention at the moment of sense experience) spontaneously comes out and prompt you to act appropriately when confronted with any life situation.

Please refer to the very good Thursday class outline short notes dated 24 October 2019, prepared by Sister Tammy for further understanding of the topic.

Also, to refer to page 17 of the transcript book: ‘Lesson 75 of the 6th Patriarch platform sutra’ for more explanation on the topic.

Meditation is the journey towards self-actualization via the silent mind in pure awareness (just aware).

The moment you think or verbalize, there is no meditation.

Being conscious of life, may not mean, one is aware within. There is thinking in being conscious whereas there is no thinking when one is just silently aware. When one is conscious, one merely existed through life but when one is aware in life, one truly lives life with understanding.

(Above outline short notes draft was initially prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

5 The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 3 Nov 2019    Art of Listening     Understanding Seeking – J. Krishnamurti Quote          (Short Notes pdf)

Teachings learnt (Pariyati) must be put into practice (Patipatti).

Rare indeed, is to be born as a human during the Buddha Sasana and able to encounter the Buddha dhamma. Therefore we need to seize upon this opportunity to cultivate sincerely.

We should make strong aspiration and resolve to come with this dhamma understanding, life after life.

Life itself is the cultivation because life itself is our best teacher. Wisdom borne of meditation can enable us to develop the understanding of life. Perfection of this understanding can lead one to realize Samma SamBuddhahood.

There are 2 aspects to the Teachings. The first aspect is for lay people to improve their lives. Lay people are taught to avoid all evil and to do more goodness. For this purpose, the Law of Karma is taught to lay people initially. However, having merits alone may not be enough, as merits only provide better conditions in life but when lay people are confronted with the First Noble Truth realities of life, they can be easily afflicted as they have not developed the wisdom to free their mind.

The second aspect is to develop wisdom so that we are not deluded by the phenomena world of consciousness, so that we do not cling to these sense experiences and suffer as a result. For this, the Teachings taught us to purify our mind. On this aspect of the cultivation, many cultivators are trapped in thought based meditation.

What we need to do, is to understand the Teachings clearly, then put them into practice to reap the fruit of our hardwork/cultivation.

Brother Teoh also discussed J. Krishnamurti’s quote on seeking Truth to understand the deep meaning of seeking truth. Many cultivators are trapped in such seeking. According to Bro Teoh, you can only seek with understanding. Not when you are confused. To seek from within the field of thoughts or the known (knowledge) is futile (or a waste of time and effort).

What happens if the ‘seeker’ is the seek? Seeker always seeks outside of themselves, not from within. When we look within, we can realize our true nature (within us), which is beyond this mundane mind or the thoughts. This is the unborn / true nature / the unconditioned. We just need to silent our mundane mind, to realize this Nature within. Then Meditate from that silent awareness nature within.

When we have wisdom we will not cling or hold, so there is nothing to let go. Who needs to let go? The deluded one who holds and clings, right? So this statement on practicing ‘letting go’ is a delusion, a fallacy although it may appear logical. We just need to realize this.

We cannot seek from the known, basing on the past (via our memory and knowledge) or thoughts. That Nature is without words or concept. It is just an awareness that can understand reality and the movements of thoughts from within.

Brother Teoh reminded us to read again Appendix 3 of the Heart Sutra to understand Sati and meditation clearly (all as shared and pointed out by Bro Song in his earlier sharing).

The moment you are attentive without thought you are already aware (in sati). So when you are attentively listening without thought that is true listening. This is what we call the art of listening. When you listen without verbalization, without chattering, without any reaction from our knowledge and memory, that is the silent mind listening. You just listen with an open mind. Then whatever you listen you can absorb very clearly. You will not prejudge. So dhamma is about learning how to silent our mind more and more and be more attentive.

When we attend Dharma classes, we get the chance to perform all the 10 meritorious deeds, needed to generate wholesomeness and build spiritual wealth. We do our puja offerings and chanting to develop the faith and understanding. We pay respect, rejoice, renew our precepts, make aspiration by invoking power of merits, share and transfer merits, listened to dhamma, straighten one’s views and meditate. All these are meritorious actions.

The Bodhisattva vows when cultivated properly will take us along the Path. Technically we do not need to do anything.

When we keep precepts and cultivate virtues, we have no negativities in us. We develop sati more easily. When sati stabilize, our mind can receive the Teachings more easily.

Sila, Samadhi and Panna are the Noble Eightfold Path equivalent.

Sila (Morality) – consist of Right Speech, Right Action, Right Thought, and Right Living path factors.

Samadhi (Meditative path/Bhavana) – consist of the Sati, Samadhi and 4 Right Efforts path factors.

Panna (Wisdom / right understanding) – consist of Right View which is the first path factor in the N8FP.

Buddha also taught us to practice Dana (generosity). So to complete the training we need to cultivate Dana, Sila and Bhavana (Samadhi + Panna).

When we more heedful, having less thinking, restlessness and stirring of mind, it is a sign of good progress in our cultivation.

(Above draft prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

4 The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 20 Oct 2019           Understanding Meditation & the True Mind YouTube    (Short Notes pdf)

If we attach and cling to the 5 aggregates of form and mind, we will suffer. Although the 5 aggregates of form and mind are not real, but it is subject to the nature’s law of karma. This 5 aggregates of form and mind is dependent originating and dependent on its user’s content of consciousness inputted, will decide the type of karma that is associated with its arising. Hence, we need to know how to use it appropriately with wisdom to live the righteous life via avoiding bad karma.

Must live life following the Dharma way or righteous way. To avoid all evil, we must develop mindfulness and wisdom to put a stop to all negativities (to avoid negative karmic fruition in the future). To cultivate wholesomeness and blessings so that they will become our good inheritance in the future. When this happens, we will have the good life and our faith in the teaching will deepen and we will progress very fast along the Path of dharma. Our understanding will increase, along with joy and love, then we can be a blessing to all.

Planting the seed of Bodhi firmly to arise the Bodhi mind is very important and meritorious as it sets one firmly on the Bodhisattva path leading towards Samma SamBuddhahood.

It is important for cultivators to understand that attachment and heedlessness borne of delusion and ignorant will result in suffering. Therefore, one must develop Mindfulness leading to heedfulness and wisdom to root out delusion and ignorant.

Cultivate the third Right Effort to develop the virtuous thoughts of gratitude, contentment, respect, love and compassion, truthfulness, sincerity, generosity, righteous conduct, kindness and gentleness. Learn to be humble and appreciative of life and others who had helped us in one way or other.

When the mind has become agitated, just maintain awareness. Silent the mind. The agitation will cease. When you do not do anything (no more conditions to support the agitation), you will realize your true mind. This is right view. You will not have any of those negativities of mind states as you do not feed the negative thought with more delusion. You do not react based on the habitual tendencies, especially the psychology memories, thereby stopping the continuation of this dependent originating thought process.

Brother Teoh shared the collection of his very unique dharma quotes taken from his years of Dharma sharing by Sister Eng Bee. These quotes would greatly benefit kalyanamittas and they will be available to Kalyanamittas soon.

Whenever we are unhappy and not peaceful, the evil roots are there. Develop Mindfulness to check on the evil roots and arise the 4 right efforts to deal with them. When we input the wrong content of consciousness, we will grasp and attach to the 5 aggregates of form and mind (the wrong thought).

Understand the instructions clearly then just follow the instructions and do. When you are very still and quiet, find out in the meditation, “without thought, who are you?” The true mind can understand via seeing things as they are, without delusion. The true mind will understand how the unarisen mental hindrance comes to be. When we do not accept things as they are, we suffer because of our wrong view. For the world is the world. People are just the way they are. When conditions are such, things will be such. When we can accept things as they are, the mind does not stir. There is no more craving. We are able to see things as they are to accept the reality of the moment.

We must respond to karmic negativities with right view, by asking for forgiveness and vow not to repeat those mistakes again via cultivating the Buddha Dharma as advised by the Buddha. We invoke power of merits for causes and conditions to turn around and then we cultivate affinity with all Buddha and Bodhisattvas to help speed up our cultivation.

Our old conditionings from Dharma knowledge (not borne of awakening) are an obstruction to understanding Truth. We failed to check against the Essential Dharma and investigate into life.

Psychological Time is a movement of thought. Therefore timeless means no movement, no thought activity. Thought is a movement and that is psychology time. When we are loss in thought, we are never with the true mind because we are preoccupied with the thinking so how can you be aware, to understand what is going on in life via the direct seeing. Truth or the dharma is akaliko (timeless).

Thought arises when the mundane mind arises. That is why thought based meditation cannot awaken.

Sister Alicia shared that the Great Compassionate Mantra chanting finally kept arising by itself at the back of her head. Her awareness and the mantra chanting is as one. Brother Teoh explained that her mind must have entered sati, for her to have such ability.  Together with wise attention (yoniso manasikara) at the moment of sense experiences developed, she will progress very fast.

Wisdom is never ending. Wisdom continues to evolve with civilization’s transformation and progress.

Brother Teoh went through the 6th Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra class transcript book (lesson 75) and emphasizes the importance of the Dharma contained in that book.

We should straighten our views to stop the grasping. Have right view with regards to the law of karma, law of mind and dharma are very important. It will lead to the understanding of impermanence, suffering state and non-self or empty nature of the 5 aggregates of form and mind. Having right view is very important as it will lead to right thought, right speech and right action to live life. To do this, we must constantly arise the 4 right efforts to cultivate it. After that work on the 5 ways to overcome unwholesome thoughts and emotion as taught by the Buddha (especially the 3rd and 4th ways which are the meditative ways).

(The above draft short notes was prepared by Mun Yuen)

3 The Path To The Truth-For The Modern Day Bodhisattva 29 Sept 2019     (Short Notes pdf)

Through the Bodhisattva Vows, we come to this world with understanding, not ignorance. The Vows and understanding will take us along the Path and shorten our cultivation process when we have the understanding.

We need to perfect love and compassion, patience endurance, renunciation and wisdom to fulfill our Bodhisattva vows.

The Bodhisattva way is not about self practice and being a hermit but to go beyond the Sainthood way into Life to realize Buddhahood.

When Tzu Chi’s activities are been performed with love and compassion, volunteers start to truly understand the Dharma. Through these activities, volunteers witness suffering and the Law of Karma.

The upcoming Brother Teoh’s 15th Annual Gathering of kalyanamitta (6 October 2019) will be an occasion for joy and wholesomeness, an opportunity for fellowship and interaction, a time to express our gratitude, joy, appreciation and thanks, sharing of cultivation experiences, counsel and motivating each other leading to deepening of faith and witnessing of noble characters and personality as express by the true Kalyanamitta who already has the dharma. True cultivators of the way is a blessing to all.

When precepts are kept, there are no more negativities of mind states. The world is not polluted by negative consciousness. These are blessings to the world which bring forth positive mind states for humanity. Develop the wisdom to free the mind. When we (the individual) change for the better, the world will also change for the better because we will influence the collective consciousness. When the individual changes, the totality will change.

When you have the dharma, others will feel good and safe when around you.

Tzu Chi’s 4 missions are:

  • Mission of Charity (Educating the rich to help the poor; inspiring the poor to realize their riches)
  • Mission of Medicine (Patient-centered medical care that respects patients as teachers)
  • Mission of Education (Educating children to be moral and upright)
  • Mission of Humanistic culture (covers giving of food, shelter and other support to relieve sufferings, recycling, disaster relief, saving the environment and helping the sick and disabled).

Kalynamittas are free to join Tzu Chi and activities organized by other Buddhist organizations.

Sister Tammy shared her experiences of understanding the Teachings which evolved over the years of attending Brother Teoh’s classes and activities. Please listen to the audio recordings for the full details.

Just do it! Don’t try to know because the mundane mind will not understand. It will question why we need to take the trouble to do all the wholesomeness, etc. But when Tzu Chi volunteers go down to the field to see the sufferings, they will start to understand the Dharma.

This is similar to what Brother Teoh has been telling us all these while, i.e. don’t try to know while in meditation as we will create thoughts to prevent us from being just aware.

Brother Teoh went over the Avijja Sutta again. Just do step by step without the thought interfering. Just practice according to the Avijja Sutta. Free yourself from knowledge. Start from a clean slate. Narrow down to steps 2 (Listen to the Dharma) to develop the 1st and 2nd turnings wisdom leading to step 4 (Yoniso Manasikara) and step 5 (Sati Sampajanna).

Sister Alicia developed her understanding of the Teachings when she taught children to make lantern. The children are innocent and naïve, do not have much conditioning and followed instructions step by step. So it was not hard for the children to learn when they have no preconceived ideas. Learning the dharma is the same, be simple and start from a clean slate free of all knowledge and conditioning.

(The above draft short notes was prepared by Mun Yuen)

2 The Path to Truth-For the Modern-Day Bodhisattva Practitioner 190922    Dharma is Life Itself Youtube     (Short Notes pdf)

Lesson 2: ‘The Path to Truth for the Modern-day Bodhisattva Practitioner’ by Master Shih Cheng Yen, page x

Life itself is our greatest teacher.

Meditation is to be cultivated in the midst of life itself.

Dharma is life itself, for Truth is within life itself.

  • The Noble Eightfold Path (N8FP) is about life. Without life, there is no need for Noble Eightfold Path.

Every encounter in life can bring about spiritual practice.

  • Meditation can be developed in all postures, under all circumstances and at all times in daily life (clear comprehension of the domain of meditation). We only need to be heedful which is to be ever mindful and constantly meditative following dhammapada verse 23.

Tame your mind via cultivating the 5 spiritual faculties, especially mindfulness to train your mind to go beyond mere thought conception (thinking) to realize the true mind (a place of pure, undistracted tranquility and well-being) with no thought.

Straighten your views so that there is less ignorance. This will reduce thinking. Straightening of  views via the initial wisdom can be cultivated as follows:

  • Constantly listening to the True Dharma to develop the first turning wisdom (suttamaya panna) to straighten one’s views.
  • Then, reflect, contemplate and inquire deeper to develop the second turning wisdom (Cintamaya panna).

Together, these two turnings wisdom will result in yoniso manasikara (initial wisdom) which is wise attention at the moment of sense experience. This initial wisdom will lead to a stable daily mindfulness with clear comprehension (sati sampajana). With sati sampajanna, sense restraint will come to be and then comes the three ways of right conducts. With yoniso manasikara, one becomes more heedful, composed, have less thinking, more aware to experience the tranquility and stillness of mind more easily.

One can then Root out habitual tendencies (borne of heedfulness) to transform how one lives life (from heedless living to heedful living).

Heedful living will Nurture our wisdom-life.

The above clears the misconception of Buddhism as being a religion that promotes escaping from society and the mundane world.

We only need to have Faith, Sincerity and Perseverance to cultivate successfully.

The following simple virtues are very conducive for cultivation and they are also very effective for cultivators to develop right thoughts and do away with all the negative tendencies associated with one who is without such virtues:

Appreciative of life (When one is appreciative of life one will have gratitude)

Contentment (With contentment one will not have crave, envy, jealousy and lust)

Cherish your blessings (then one will heed the advice of the Buddha to take care of karma)

With these simple virtues one will arise mostly right thoughts, then evil thoughts cannot take root. These simple virtues will help overcome a lot of negative tendencies like envy, jealousy, craving, lust, lack of contentment and gratitude towards others, etc.

The Bodhisattva Way has 3 stages:

  • Stage 1 is planting the seed of Bodhideeply into one’s consciousness to arise the Bodhi mind.
  • Stage 2 is to nurture the Bodhi mind
  • Stage 3 is to use this Bodhi mind to walk the path of dharma (Walk the Bodhi path)

From 0 (source) comes 1 (first thought of ignorance). From 1 comes infinity (the myriads creations). When mind arises, everything arise. So take care of mind or suffering will follow.

Acting from memory (often are your accumulated wrong views, opinions and conditionings including your fear, worry, anxiety, phobia, insecurity, scars of memories, etc.) is not acting at all.

Act according to understanding or the Dharma way following N8FP is true action. One need to cultivate wisdom to transform and free. To do this one must meditate to develop the contemplative and direct seeing WISDOM to awaken to the Truth.

Sister Karen shared how her life and fate changed for the better after cultivating the beautiful Dharma as taught by Bro Teoh. She was full of joy, when told by an old friend of her who can read palms very well – who compared Sister Karen’s palm lines when she was 35 year old to her current age palm lines. According to her friend, her palm lines have improved a lot compared to her earlier palm lines. The unwholesome palm lines were all gone and replaced with good and wholesome palm lines.

(The above draft short notes was prepared by Mun Yuen)

1 The Path to Truth-For the Modern-Day Bodhisattva Practitioner 190908    Why most Samma SamBuddha choose to realise Buddhahood in the Human Realm? Youtube     (Short Notes pdf)

Lesson 1: The Path to Truth for the Modern-day Bodhisattva Practitioner’ by Master Shih Cheng Yen.                                                                

Brother Teoh introduced and explained the reason and significance for using the above new reference book. It is mainly to develop the understanding of how the various Buddhist traditions with their unique specialty of understanding had contributed to world peace and help transformed our world for the better. To do this work, we need to train more Bodhisattvas with the proper understanding to do this work. These are Modern-day Bodhisattvas who live among fellow living beings and integrate with society to be a blessing to all.

Blessings that we received are not due to luck but mainly due to our virtues borne of wisdom because without wisdom, there is no real virtue.

Our Taiwan spiritual trip in 2014 led by Brother Teoh visited 4 great Buddhist traditions/organizations, each with their own specialty of understanding. Fo Guang Shan excels in Buddhist education, Tzu Chi emphasizes compassion in action, Fa Gu Shan focuses on meditation and Zhong Tai Chan Shi advocates planting the seed of Bodhi to walk the Bodhisattva way.

Each and every Bodhisattva is different and they have their own ways. Brother Teoh’s mission this life is to share the special unique Truth that his nature had understood to help Bodhisattvas progress faster along the path of dharma.

We need to aspire to have certain understanding of some of the important essential Dharma whenever we choose to come or have to come to this world, if not we will be wasting a lot of our time trying to develop such understanding every time we come to this mundane world.

Whatever we had cultivated will be stored up in our spiritual and karmic Natures. The wisdom, merits and blessings that we have cultivated, can help us in our cultivation if we know how to make use of them through invoking the power of merits and blessing for us to progress successfully along the path of dharma.

Among all the different schools of Buddhism, the common ground is the Four Noble Truths, although the emphasis is different. All subsequent teachings originate from this Four Noble Truths.

There is a discussion on “Why all Samma SamBuddha choose to realize Buddhahood in the human realm?” (Please refer to the audio/video recording for the details).

A good and virtuous mind is enough to do wholesomeness. There is no need to insist on having money to do or perform wholesomeness. When we radiate love (metta), have wholesome thoughts, cultivate the four right efforts, meditate, being mindful and heedful, we can perform all the 10 meritorious deeds, including rejoicing and providing service etc. to help promote dharma activities and cultivation; these are wholesomeness that can be done without having to spend any money.

Sharing by Kalynamittas who return from their recent 10-days retreat at Ajahn Anan’s forest monastery (WMJ) in Rayong, Thailand:

  • Brother Chin How shared his experience of how his nature let him understand the deep meaning of  (bu jiu) – not seeking  and (wu jiu) – no seeking, leading to the realization of peace when the mind is no longer seeking. He also shared how he understand conditions to do wholesomeness (the feeding the fish experience). When there is no craving or expectation to do it, then something unexpected can just happen. When we have the dharma and the parami, things will fall into place naturally and if they are meant to be it will manifest beautifully.
  • Sister Adeline shared her experience on the importance of having this constant reflection and contemplation of dharma with a stable daily mindfulness to be sensitive to enable her to realize that she was suffering due to her complaining mind on the duties that yogis have to perform versus her wish to have more time to meditate. These are wrong thoughts as taught by Bro Teoh: ‘whenever you are not peaceful and unhappy, the evil roots are there’. She also shared her experience of how she was able to develop deeper understanding of the cultivation through refinement or fine-tuning of her cultivation while there.
  • Sister PG shared her experience of adjusting to meal times and having expectation while at the Guan Yin hall due to stories she heard previously. She also share how she was able to have very peaceful and good sleep (without thought) while there, despite being there for the first time. Normally she can’t sleep well at new places.

(Please listen to the audio/video recording for details).

Brother Teoh explained that all their above sharing have a common root cause. That is, when you seek, that seeking is a form of craving. Actually, there is no need to seek (wanting things our way and feels frustrated when it does not turn out in our favour). If things are meant to be, they will happen according to our parami. When we change the way we live life for the better (following the dharma way which is the righteous way), our karmic nature will change for the better too to improve our life.

We need to be able to see clearly the root cause of our sufferings so that we can free ourselves and be at peace. Enquire deeply on: “Who is unhappy? Who is complaining?” It is the egoic mind with the self-delusion.  When we understand, we can just accord and flow with conditions to be at peace at all time.

When we feel negativities, we have self-delusion. Wrong thoughts are thoughts that condition our greed, craving, anger, hatred, fear, worry and anxiety, etc. and these thoughts with the evil roots made us evil. This is how we can check our cultivation. We must have mindfulness and understanding when these wrong thoughts arise. We must also understand what constitute evil. Because of these negative wrong thoughts, the ego complains.

Signs of progress are, when we don’t react and complain anymore. When we can have more love, peace within, joy and happiness through our own understanding of the dharma (the essential dharma) as taught by the Buddha. No more seeking.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)

Cultivating The Bodhisattva Way   7 Oct 2018 – 14 Jul 2019

6th Patriarch’s Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra  14 Jun 2015 – 9 Sep 2018

WPCS Recordings 2015

Satipatthana Sutra Recordings  12 Jan 2014 – 19 Apr 2015

Heart Sutra 2012 Recordings   12 Feb 2012 – 19 May 2013