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Tuesday Class

Reading Material  :  Buddha & His Teachings – Narada     pdf

Teoh Tue 200114

(Short Notes pdf)

Teoh Tue 200107

(Short Notes pdf)

Teoh Tue 191217

(Short Notes pdf)

The Important of Taking Bodhisattva Vows

Teoh Tue 191210

(Short Notes pdf)

The Difference between Practice & Cultivation

Book Ref: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 42 – Brahmavihāra – The 4 Sublime States, Page 635).

Mudita – to rejoice with wholesomeness (e.g. positivity, goodness).

Sis Yoon Chun shares an opinion that most religions are jealous of one another, hence not many people can    have mudita.

Bro Teoh advise that even when encountering unwholesomeness of mind states (e.g. cruelty, unfairness), forgive those who do not comprehend or are not refine in their responseAccept ‘What IS’* – the ISness of things so as to be at peace with the reality of the moment. Have compassion for human weaknesses and do show genuine kindness by rejoicing moreRadiate love and metta. Develop compassion and equanimity of mind more and more.

* ’What IS’ is Suchness. The reality of life within the moment.
*When conditions are like that, things will be like that or thus.
*The world is the world, people are just the way they are.

*Tathata (Suchness)

To accept people for what they areNo judging basing on relative truth:
i.e.   No more “supposed to be” (a certain correct way), and  no more “not supposed to be” (a certain incorrect way)

To be “Right” and to be “Wrong” are both relative situations. Such duality is a relative truth.
These are merely conventional truth, and not ultimate truth.

Conventional or relative truth = based on some generally accepted convention by an individual or society.

Ask this: “Right according to whom?” and “Good according to whom?”

Thought divides, and create duality through words and concepts like race, religion, nationality, etc.

Without wisdom, the form and mind become deluded (is heedless).

With wisdom connected, the form and mind become beautiful and always wholesome.

It is therefore important for us to take care of the form and mind through:

  • Developing the training of the mind to be heedful.
  • Developing the Dhamma understanding, then cultivate it to awaken to it.

Without the dhamma to understand the way things are, we cannot comprehend what is going on within life. Then Evil roots manifest through our thoughts, actions, and speeches. E.g. selfishness, cunningness, deceitfulness, greed, hatred, violent, angry, emotion, fear, worry, anxiety, sorrow, lamentation, etc.
When negativity of mind state arises; one becomes evil.

This ‘form and mind’ is subject to Karma. So, when you plant the seeds of evil, you reap the fruits of evil.

Always act with wisdom and understanding, following the Noble 8-Fold Path.

This teaching can help us truly understand life:

  • Develop self-knowledgeof who you are and what you are (the form, mundane mind and the true mind).
  • Meditate using the true mind to see things as they are, to awaken to the universal characteristics.
  • Develop wisdom to straighten our views, understand life deeply, so that we can attend to life appropriately.
  • Transform us into a heedful and wise living being who is always peaceful, very calm, tranquil, still, aware, having clarity, full of understanding, love, and
  • Heedful – ever mindful, Constantly meditative, cultivating the Noble 8-Fold Path(4th Noble truth).

Bro Teoh clarifies that the 4 brahma vihara (e.g. metta), is not something to be learnt, through thought.

These are virtues that you must train your mind to develop the understanding through wisdom, in order to manifest the qualities.

E.g. when you understand the beauty of metta, only then can you experience that mind state.
With metta, you are actually purifying your mind. The evil roots lose its hold over you. You no longer get angry, nor break precepts anymore.

When you see the importance of it, you will go all out to develop it.

Hence, no need to “learn” nor “practice” metta (which denotes mimicry rather than experiential investigation)

e.g. like a parrot trying to speak, without understanding the significance and the deep meaning of the words.

Genuine kindness can only manifest through understanding and cultivation, and understanding the impact it has.  Same is true with unconditional love, rejoicing, keeping of precepts, etc.

Imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti, imasmi asati, idam ahoti. When this arise, that arise, when this ceases that also ceases.
(e.g. When you create the duality of “violent”, then the opposite which is “non-violent” comes into existence and when you do not create any “right”, then there is no “wrong”)

To “Cultivate” is to develop the wisdom to act with understanding, which awaken and frees the mind.

On the other hand, to “Practice” is be repetitive, mechanical and thought based, leading to suppression.

Sis Chwee enquired whether meditation can be practiced?

Bro Teoh: To meditate is to develop wisdom to awaken the mind to truth. So how can one practice meditation?

It is just like the question, “Can you teach me how to meditate?”  This is a wrong question!

Sis Chwee reflected and realize that the question lack understanding of what she is trying to do.

Bro Teoh: Instead, the correct question is, “Can you explain to me, what is meditation?”  Without understanding what is meditation, how can you start the meditation? It is as simple as that.

If I understand that heedfulness is the basis of meditation then I will work on that because heedfulness is the path to the deathless (Dhammapada verses 21 and 23). This way, your will cultivate your mind to be ever mindful and constantly meditative then every instance, every moment, with such understanding, your mind states will become very different leading to heedful living instead of heedless living.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 191203

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS

Chapter 42: THE SUBLIME STATES  Page 629

KARUNA – is COMPASSION, the 2nd of the 4 Sublime States or Virtues. Described as that which makes the hearts compassionate and caring when seeing suffering and wanting to help relieve the woes and suffering of others. Compassion compels one to serve and care for others with an altruistic mind. This is good as long as one is not too gullible to be compassionate without the right understanding. Do not be a ‘Good-hearted Fool’, as mentioned by Late Chief, K Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera of Brickfield Maha Vihara, Kuala Lumpur.

People suffer when they are faced with Sickness, Aging and death, inevitable situations. So, we should offer help when conditions are present. As advised by the Buddha: He who serves the SICK serves me. When one helps the sick, it is like assisting Buddha attend to the sick.

The Materially rich should help the Materially poor, likewise the Spiritually Rich who have compassion should help the Spiritually poor, although they may be rich materially. Wealth alone cannot give Happiness, but Peace of Mind can.

The Vicious, Wicked and Ignorant deserve compassion too, as they are spiritually and mentally Sick. They need more compassion. An example is Ambapali and Angulimala during Buddha’s time, who managed to convince and convert them to be his disciples. Another example is King Asoka who was very cruel in his younger days but was changed with the words of a Novice monk and became a strong follower of Buddha’s Teaching. Compassion embraces all sorrow-stricken beings, whilst Loving kindness embraces everyone.

Sis Tammy shared her visits to the Homeless with the Kechara Soup Kitchen teams. They were an eye opener to the suffering of the Urban poor and Destitute.

Bro Teoh related the causes and conditions behind their present life situation, which is mainly due to their past Karma’s delusion.

(Above draft was prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 191126

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS


METTA – LOVING KINDNESS, BENEVOLENCE, UNIVERSAL LOVE – is the first of the 4 Sublime States of Virtuous mind states. Also known as the 4 illimitable (Appamanna). They are virtues of Brahma beings.

Metta means that which softens one’s heart. It is the sincere wish for the welfare and genuine happiness of ALL beings without exception, just as a mother who would protect her ONLY child, even at the risk of losing her life. It is not the passionate love of the mother towards her child that is stressed here but her sincere wish for the genuine welfare of her child.

SWEET METTA transcends all kinds of narrow Brotherhood, it is limitless in scope and range.

REAL METTA is Boundless love towards all beings as well as Oneself equally, making no difference between others and Self.

ADVICE by Buddha: Hatred do not cease with Hatred, but with LOVE alone. Metta can conquer Anger, Ill will and aversion. A person with metta do not think of harming or condemning others, nor instil fear in Others.

Selfish Affection can turn into LUST. One must be wary of that. This is not to be mistaken for the Natural affection between parents and children or spouses. Grief springs from Affection but not metta.

Metta can be a very powerful virtue, having good influence on Others. An example is when Buddha radiated metta to subdue a drunken Elephant who was attacking him. In another case, Buddha advised that even when one’s 4 limbs are cut off by bandits, one should not bear any hatred.

Benefits of cultivating Metta:

  • One sleeps and wakes up happily.
  • One has no bad dreams
  • Is loved by Others and animals
  • immune from poisons
  • protected by Deities
  • can quickly get into Samadhi
  • Have beautiful facial appearance that gladdens others hearts
  • Die peacefully and be reborn into a blissful state
  • Gain Magnetic power and influence

Metta Meditation

We radiate love towards oneself first, to be well and happy, free from harm and danger, free from suffering, fear, worry and anger. After radiating these positive thoughts, we can then radiate to our dear ones, individually and collectively. Next, we radiate to a neutral person, then to our enemy or someone we dislike. Lastly, to all beings within our vicinity, country and worldwide.

We can visualise our own radiant smile in a mirror and see everything with genuine love and joy.

We can radiate metta to beings in all the 10 directions. We must have metta in our hearts so that we can radiate this metta force outwards from there.

(Above draft short notes is by Sister Yoon Chun).

Teoh Tue 191119

(Short Notes pdf)


Bro Teoh went through the outline short notes of his last Sunday (17 November 2019) dhamma talk in SJBA entitled Understanding Life, Its Purpose and Meaning from a Buddhist perspective.

He then asked for our understanding of how should we cultivate and plan to live our life as a true Buddhist. 

Sis Alicia answered that we should cultivate following the advice of all Buddhas to Avoid all Evil, Do Good and Purify our minds. We should develop mindfulness, leading to heedfulness to cultivate Noble 8-Fold path. To avoid all evil, we should understand what constitute evil and diligently keep our 5 precepts. To cultivate wholesomeness, we should understand what constitutes wholesomeness of right thoughts, right speeches, right living and right actions then cultivate the 4 right efforts. To develop wisdom, we should constantly listen to the true dhamma to develop the 1st and 2nd turnings initial wisdom of yoniso manasikara to straighten our views. Then to purify mind we should cultivate daily mindfulness and the formal silent awareness based meditation to transcend duality and awaken to the truth. That is to understand that technically, there is no Right and Wrong, no division, as this only leads to arguments, conflict and misunderstanding because these are relative/conventional truth, not ultimate truth. It is always right according to who? We can then Transcend Duality. Wisdom leads to acceptance of ‘what is’, the reality of the moment so that we are at peace and will not stir our mind to react to sense experiences.

Sis Tammy then shared her experience as a coordinator to resolve differences of opinions.

Sis PG also shared that she has reduced her reaction to views that differed from her understanding and have developed more patience with the understanding of the Dhamma.

Without wisdom, we are deluded and we tend to have Criminal tendencies borne of the 3 evil roots of Greed, Hatred and Delusion. We should remove these latent vices which will cause our karmic downfall by cultivating our dormant virtues (virtues that are still not in you), especially the 4 Bramavihara of metta,  karuna, mudita and uppekkha.

  • ANGER, (Dosa) is subdued by Loving-Kindness (METTA).
  • CRUELTY (himsa)’s antidote is COMPASSION (KARUNA)
  • Positive Carving (Sensual desire) is Attachment to pleasant sense experience &
  • AVERSION is negative craving or dislike/unpleasant sense experience and their antidote is EQUANIMITY (UPEKKHA).

These are the 4 Sublime mind States that will elevate us. Other virtues are generosity, sincerity, contentment, respect, humility, gentleness, pleasantness, kindness and goodness, appreciative mind, etc.

(Above short notes draft were prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 191112

Metta – The Universe Love YouTube

(Short Notes pdf)


Teoh Tue 191105

(Short Notes pdf)


Bro Teoh went through the outline short notes of his last Sunday (17 November 2019) dhamma talk in SJBA entitled Understanding Life, Its Purpose and Meaning from a Buddhist perspective.

He then asked for our understanding of how should we cultivate and plan to live our life as a true Buddhist. 

Sis Alicia answered that we should cultivate following the advice of all Buddhas to Avoid all Evil, Do Good and Purify our minds. We should develop mindfulness, leading to heedfulness to cultivate Noble 8-Fold path. To avoid all evil, we should understand what constitute evil and diligently keep our 5 precepts. To cultivate wholesomeness, we should understand what constitutes wholesomeness of right thoughts, right speeches, right living and right actions then cultivate the 4 right efforts. To develop wisdom, we should constantly listen to the true dhamma to develop the 1st and 2nd turnings initial wisdom of yoniso manasikara to straighten our views. Then to purify mind we should cultivate daily mindfulness and the formal silent awareness based meditation to transcend duality and awaken to the truth. That is to understand that technically, there is no Right and Wrong, no division, as this only leads to arguments, conflict and misunderstanding because these are relative/conventional truth, not ultimate truth. It is always right according to who? We can then Transcend Duality. Wisdom leads to acceptance of ‘what is’, the reality of the moment so that we are at peace and will not stir our mind to react to sense experiences.

Sis Tammy then shared her experience as a coordinator to resolve differences of opinions.

Sis PG also shared that she has reduced her reaction to views that differed from her understanding and have developed more patience with the understanding of the Dhamma.

Without wisdom, we are deluded and we tend to have Criminal tendencies borne of the 3 evil roots of Greed, Hatred and Delusion. We should remove these latent vices which will cause our karmic downfall by cultivating our dormant virtues (virtues that are still not in you), especially the 4 Bramavihara of metta,  karuna, mudita and uppekkha.

  • ANGER, (Dosa) is subdued by Loving-Kindness (METTA).
  • CRUELTY (himsa)’s antidote is COMPASSION (KARUNA)
  • Positive Carving (Sensual desire) is Attachment to pleasant sense experience.
  • AVERSION is negative craving or dislike/unpleasant sense experience and their antidote is EQUANIMITY (UPEKKHA).

These are the 4 Sublime mind States that will elevate us. Other virtues are generosity, sincerity, contentment, respect, humility, gentleness, pleasantness, kindness and goodness, appreciative mind, etc.

(Above short notes draft were prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 191029

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS

Chapter 41:  PERFECTIONS – Continue Page 596 onwards

The first 3 Perfections were reviewed in the previous week, namely, Generosity (Dana), Virtuous Conduct (Sila) and Renunciation (Nekkhamma). Generosity is to eliminate selfishness, create joy in service and to alleviate suffering.

The fourth area to be perfected is Wisdom (Panna). Wisdom is in relation to the 3 universal characteristics of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. Need to understand these characteristics to root out Self- Delusion. This is the beginning of Wisdom. This is realized internally via the silent mind which is not a conditioned arising phenomenon. It is just an awareness nature – a Oneness or Buddha Nature.

We must understand the 5 Natural laws (panca niyamas) that govern all of life and existence, especially on Karma niyama. Also to understand the 5 Aggregates of Form & Mind (its two aspects). This will help us establish the Right View with regards to the law of Karma, law of mind and the 4 Noble Truths.

The user of Mind and Thoughts is most important. It must have wisdom otherwise the thought will be wrong thoughts borne of self-delusion leading to suffering. Need to train the mind to root out Defilements or Kilesas. Need Heedfulness or Sati and Spiritual faculties to purify our minds so that we can live life fully. Cultivate the Noble 8-fold Path to complete the cultivation.

Truth can only be realised by the Wise by themselves. Still possible, within this lifetime because of the Buddha sasana. This dhamma or the truth is timeless (akaliko) and it stands up to Investigation, leading inwards towards the heart.

The 4 bases of Accomplishment or Success are: a) Passion (Chanda)   b) Zeal (Viriya)  c) Will Power (Citta) and d) Investigation (Vimansa).

The next perfection is Viriya or Spiritual Zeal, Mental Vigour or Strength of Character. 

Use wisdom to provide service to others that tends to universal Happiness. A lot of this teaching is found in the Karaniya metta sutta: 

This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness, and who knows the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech, Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied, Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.

Peaceful, calm, wise and skillful, not proud or demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing that the wise would later reprove.

Wishing: ‘In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease.

Whatever living beings there may be; whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,

the great or the mighty, medium, short or small, the seen and the unseen, those living near and far away, those born and to-be-born’

May all beings be well and happy and at ease! 

Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state.

Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another.

Even as a mother protects with her life, her only child, so with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings. 

Radiating kindness over the entire world: Spreading upwards to the skies,

And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded, Freed from hatred and ill-will.

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down, free from drowsiness, one should sustain this recollection. This is said to be the sublime abiding.

By not holding to fixed views, the pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, being freed from all sense desires, Is not born again into this world.

Khanti patience endurance of suffering caused by others and the forbearance of others’ wrong. Patience not to be provoked even when facing great suffering. Also bear no grudges against those who harm one. Instead forgive him and harbour no ill will against him. Needs wisdom to be in this state of mind.

Sacca or Truthfulness relates to the fulfilment of one’s duty and promise. One acts as one speaks and vice versa. A Bodhisattva upholds this perfectly and is therefore trustworthy. There is perfect harmony in his thoughts, words and deeds.

(Above outline short notes are prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 191022

(Short Notes pdf)


Teoh Tue 191015


Teoh Tue 191008

The Reality of Life Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)


Teoh Tue 191001

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SUTTA NIPATA: Work for the Welfare of Others.

There are 10 Transcendental Virtues or Perfections that are cultivated to gain Supreme Enlightenment.

The 10 Perfections are: Dana, Sila, Nekkhamma, Panna, Viriya, Khanti, Sacca, Adhitthana, Metta and Upekkha. They are to be cultivated with compassion, unselfish motives, no self-conceit and guided by wise understanding and altruism. A Bodhisattva who walks this path must have a selfless heart with great compassion. He came for the living beings and is dedicated to service the world at large.

All the 10 Virtues have three levels of Practices.

There are 3 types of Dana or Generosity parami:

  • give of possessions and materialistic wealth like food, clothes and money;
  • give of Life like blood and organs donation;
  • give of Truth or Dhamma…not just teaching personally but it includes facilitating the printing of

books, help organise and inform others of dhamma talks and events;

All wholesomeness starts with Generosity. With dana, Sila can be developed. One needs merits to aspire for causes and conditions to avoid the foolish, meet with the wise to cultivate the Dhamma.

For keeping Sila or Virtues, we need to maintain the minimum of 5 Precepts to prevent one from committing Evil and maintain our good kamma. It is the foundation for other virtues. 

Renunciation is not just being a monastic but to have the ability to renounce everything to root out attachment borne of self-delusion. Patience Endurance is very important for cultivation of this virtue. We should just do what we are supposed to (base on wisdom), despite the difficulty. Don’t try to know.  Accord & flow with the conditions and situation. Have no desire and craving to progress. Just do. This is wisdom.

Truthfulness (Sacca) and sincerity is to root out selfishness.

Adhithanna is the Affirmation of Truth by making vows/aspirations and invoking the power of merits and wholesomeness for causes and conditions to arise to deal with difficulties and help in spiritual progress.

We should cultivate till we realize the state of no thoughts to understand the self-Nature, then realise No Mark of a Self-cultivating, no mark of others and Life to realise Non-self and true Emptiness. Finally, to realize the mind with no Dwelling to be completely free of all suffering borne of attachments and clinging. We are guided by Understanding and wisdom, especially of both the conditioned and unconditioned dhamma clearly. 

Contentment is the Highest Wealth. 

(Above short notes is drafted by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190924

How to develop Wisdom when Fear arises Youtube

Application of the Buddha Dharma to overcome the delusion of superstition and traditional beliefs Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)

Review of past 2 Tuesday class short notes (10 Sep 2019 and 17 Sep 2019).

Interesting stories from Sis Yoon Chun, Sis Adeline and Sis Padmasuri (covering Tudong on a highway, Mae Chee Amy’s encounter with a ghost, a Brahmin’s obsession with orderliness within his rest house, etc.)

Whatever that is rigid, is not the true Dhamma. True Dhamma stands up to investigation and it is not rigid because it is an understanding which accords and flows with conditions according to wisdom. (Knowledge, opinions, and superstitions when attached to, makes one rigid).

Sis Padmasuri shared her recent retreat experience in Thailand, on issues she learned and faced while there. She shared how she experience good mind states and also how she deals with fear while there.

Bro Teoh shared that fear can be confronted with understanding to develop the wisdom. Chanting metta sutta to overcome fear must be done with understanding. Better to find out first, as to how chanting this metta sutta can help. Bro Teoh shared a real life example of how this can be done. He shared how he resolved an episode in 1989, when his son on one occasion made crying sounds while in his sleep, which was related to the pre mature death of his third child (due to Rubella) some months before that incident. (For details on this story and other stories about non-human encounters and superstitions shared during the class, please listen to the recording. Bro Teoh also shared how, dhamma can be applied to help resolve problems concerning non-humans and superstitions etc.)

Chanting is merely a skilful means to keep calm and do away with the fear but it is usually not a full proof solution.

To apply the Dhamma: one needs to remember (or understand) that Fear is not intrinsic to you. If fear arises, stay with the fear (or whatever emotion like anger, hatred etc.)  When you can be silent (without thought), and able to be with the fear, fear will dissipate and finally cease because it is dependent originating (a causal phenomenon) borne of delusion. After realizing this in the meditation then enquire and investigate it; only then will you be able to develop the stable contemplative wisdom/understanding to overcome it.

It is the thought that fears: Sankhara movement is a projection of thoughts due to self-delusion, and this is what conditions your fear. If you are just aware without the wrong thoughts, fear will cease.

Only Virtue borne of cultivating the Noble 8-fold path protects. All your merits borne of your virtuous thoughts, speeches and actions protect. Example, importance of Right speech (wrong speech not only offends people, but non-humans as well. It will also condition karmic negativity).

Non-humans also have delusion. They are without a physical form so they can’t really harm you but they are capable of intensifying your fear. So keep calm, have faith in triple gem and do not fear.

Sis Alicia asks whether fear is response to accumulated conditioning/phobias/memory/ habitual tendencies.

The form and mind, is not you? Investigate into this statement: Before fear arises, there was no fear. Who fears? What fears? Trace its origination factor via mindfulness.

Sis Padmasuri shares moments in the retreat when she is able to maintain clear awareness, feeling relaxed/natural.

Bro Teoh cautioned kalyanamittas not to grasp / seek the conditioned state. It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to use it to benefit your cultivation.

Make use of that mind state (silent inner awareness), to reflect and contemplate the Dhamma; to develop the understanding and cultivate heedfulness (ever mindful and constantly meditative). This is the state of mind you should have throughout every day, not only when you are in retreats (which is a conditioned state, i.e. temporarily induced by the conducive environment and tranquil setting there).

The daily religious routine is very important. Constantly listen to Dhamma, cultivating the N8FP (1st/2nd/3rd turnings wisdom); reflect and contemplate, inquire, straighten your view and apply this understanding while in the midst of life. Until it is part of your nature, until you embody the N8FP.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190917

Tackling Craving and Attachment with Understanding Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)

Reporting of retreat experience by yogis who attended the 10-day retreat at Wat Marp Jam, Rayong, Thailand

Bro Song has finished his sharing in the previous week. So have Chin How, Adeline and PG on the previous Sunday class. Sister Yoon Chun gave a brief account of their stay there, which differed from her previous visits, as this time around there are various English-speaking monastics around to share their experiences and Mae chee Amy was there to facilitate & make their daily chores more interesting, especially for the ladies.

During the stay there, Ajahm Anan advised his monks why he wants them to do their daily chores mindfully and with understanding. It is for them to develop sati sampajanna while in the midst of life.

Bro Teoh concurred with his advice and added as follows: Chores can develop real meditation if done with understanding. Right duty is Right Dharma.  We have a duty towards the Law of Nature. We should perform our duties with right understanding, wholesomeness and mindfulness. In this way we can be ever mindful and constantly meditative leading to heedfulness. When we no longer complain, the 3 Evil Roots can be rooted out. Otherwise our mundane mind will give arise to comparison, leading to duality and cause division leading to un necessary conflict, misunderstanding and argument.

Reporting on her practice, she said, on one occasion she was disturbed by a negative unwholesome thought until she resolved the matter. This thought interfered with her meditation and she was affected by it. She can’t meditate because this is a clinging thought that conditioned her unhappiness and anxiety. She clings to her this unresolved problem.

Bro Teoh advised that the thought surfaced due to her un-mindfulness and lack of initial wisdom when the matter arose.  Her inquiry should be why this thought? She should just Silent your mind to find out, to see clearly the birth and formation of such thought. To understand how Grasping and Clinging had occurred leading to the arising of such thought. She should have immediately reflected And contemplated on the cause of this thought appearing, not others, to realise the attachment borne of wrong view via not able to accept the reality of the moment (or what happened within the moment). Reflect and inquire via the second turning of the 4 Noble Truths to arise the wisdom and understanding to free the mind with wisdom.

Once there is Clinging and Grasping, the so called problem (or accumulated phobia) will be difficult to remove unless with wisdom or temporarily through a dream (via subconscious release).

As quoted by J. Krishnamurthi: The mind must have Order. Otherwise the trapped or accumulated phobias, fear and anxiety (borne of attachment) will cause disorder in the brain. A dream cannot permanently dislodge it altogether as without wisdom the same dream will recur. Attachment is holding it inside with unhappiness borne of fear, worry and anxiety. Eventually, it can cause depression with suicidal thought tendencies. When the mind is silent, it will see the birth and formation of such thoughts due to attachment and then with this understanding (borne of the 2nd turning contemplation), develop the understandingto accept the reality of the moment via seeing things as they are’ as taught by the Buddha to release them. Then the dreams will not appear.  According to the 2nd Noble Truth Craving leading to Clinging and grasping will entail suffering.

Next, Han reported that she was able to experience stillness and calmness during her stay there. She could feel the oneness with Nature and could easily switch between her chores and sitting meditation.

Bro Teoh cautioned her to check and make sure her above ability is developed via a Free Mind and not a conditioned state of calmness borne of Samatha meditation because she used to have that tendency in the past. The free Mind (with understanding) can quieten down and be completely relaxed, tranquil and still with no thoughts. This mind state does not rely on Samatha concentration to develop it.  In this state, the mind is always aware with specific phenomenon awareness and have no Dwelling. Then wisdom can arise via seeing things as they are, to give rise to Equanimity or the upekkha enlightenment factor which is borne of wisdom. Mindfulness and the Silence, must be very stable to see them.

Bro Teoh further advised that we should maintain continuity of whatever mindfulness and inner awareness, we have developed in the retreat until the mind enters sati.  We must determine to be aware throughout the day. Also develop Yoniso Manasikara via the 1st and 2nd turning wisdom (through constantly listening, reflection, contemplation and inquiry into dharma). Then our minds will not stir with likes and dislikes. Having no more mental chattering and verbalization the mind will become very quiet and still (on its on borne of wisdom). This free mind state (borne of wisdom) will help us realise passaddhi (the tranquillity and stillness of mind) leading to our ability to realise truth/reality via the direct seeing (to see things as they are). When our mind enters sati all our seeing, hearing, etc. will be in sati. Then all our movements (physical and mental) and nature’s phenomena will appear to be like flowing in slow motion (like in a continuous flow). Everything is connected and like magnified. Then we will transform.

Tammy requested for Bro Teoh’s further elaboration on the 2 aspects of the 5 Aggregates of form and mind.

Bro Teoh: The 1st aspect is as a human being and the 2nd aspect is as the 5 Mental aggregates of form and mind which arises when the Perception aggregate brings the external form into the mind. Bro Teoh further explained that the 4th link of the 12 Links of paticca samuppada which is the Nama Rupa (the thought) link, is the 2nd aspect of the 5 aggregates of form and mind. It is the Mental consciousness (pure consciousness with its content) which arises upon contact of mind with the 6 respective Sense Organs. Contact conditions feelings to arise then without wisdom (yoniso manasikara) it will condition or causes craving (followed by the other links of grasping/clinging, becoming and birth leading to the whole mass of suffering) to arise. All these links can be clearly seen or observed when we have the stability of Sati (daily mindfulness) in pure awareness. With this understanding and sensitivity and stability of mindfulness, the link will stop at Feeling, and feeling will remain as pure feeling without conditioning craving. Hence no more stirring of mind with likes and dislikes to arise the mental hindrances of sensual desire and ill-will. Without attaining this quality of mind and understanding, most people went through all the links to experience Birth (transgression) leading to suffering without seeing the links in between. These movements are so fast, without the requisite wisdom and a very stable sati one cannot cope with sense experiences arising in daily life.

(Draft for above short notes was prepared by sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190910

Meditation and Cultivation Q & A Session (Body & Mind) Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)

(Sharing from participants of their recent 10 days retreat at Ajahn Anan’s way place in Rayong, Thailand).

Bro Song recollects that on the 1st day, he suddenly became aware while resting, due to the strong energy reverberating at the way place, from 3am to 6am.

As he started his day paying respects at Kuan Yin’s vihara, the mundane mind became active and started “running wild”. He relaxed and stayed with the phenomena without resisting until it stopped. As soon as it became quiet, the thought proliferation began again. This cycle repeated, and upon the 3rd cycle, he can feel that there was corresponding physical tension, around his shoulders area, when the mundane mind was running wild. This is usually a test. Then a message surfaced from within his nature, prompting him with the answer, that “only wisdom frees, nothing else”. This allow him to develop the faith and understanding to deal with the situation.

His mind then became very peaceful throughout the subsequent meditation session. Then, he threw up an enquiryWith so many deluded beings, how can everyone become Buddha?” Contemplating the enquiry, suddenly he realised the understanding, that within everyone, there is the same Buddha nature, and thus, we are all capable of being enlightened.

While maintaining his daily routine of chanting and taking of the bodhisattva vows, the energy reverberation continued and it became more and more subtle, until every word being chanted becomes crystal clear with strong affirmation, and everything seems bright/illuminated; the heart overflowing with deep gratitude for having the affinity with great beings to cultivate and walk the path of Dhamma.

While lying down in meditation, his breathing became slower and longer, and his body felt light. For about 20 minutes, his mind (after settling down) become completely still, without thought, while in a free mind state (i.e. not in a conditioned state of concentration).

Sis Yoon Chun adds that towards the end of the retreat, Ajahn Anan commented that a dewa hinted to him that one of the cultivators at his way place has seen the Dhamma.  (…For more details, please listen to the audio recording)

Bro Teoh explains that the reverberation described by Bro Song can occurs when one has detected the gateway to one’s true nature (near the heart area) and draws the wisdom energy (that is the pure energy). If one can just relax and allow the nature to develop the meditation from within via ‘trust’ (without the interference of thought) then all the external Yin and Yang energies will ‘melt’ into the gateway thereby becoming pure wisdom energy with perfect yin and yang balance.

This wisdom energy will slowly transforms the nature within until its vibration is so fine that the mundane mind (which is too gross) will collapse, until the whole thing (like a layer of consciousness at the forehead) just drops off. Then the form and mind, with the true nature within will shine forth, thereby enabling it to have the ability to really “see” the world as it truly is and becomes very potent at Dhamma investigation. After that Wisdom and understanding will keep arising, at every enquiry and contemplation (into the phenomena around and within you).

After going through the cessation of consciousness (or glimpses of it), and later experiencing its re-emergence (of the consciousness), the form and mind connected to it will have the understanding. It can then “see” clearly how the sense data approaching the form and mind to form sense experience in slow-motion before the momentum of “thought-generation” picks up, then you will start to understand what this form and mind is all about including understanding “who you are” and “what you are”.

Later on when your nature strengthen and stabilize, cultivators around you will be able to draw your nature’s energy too. There’s no need to worry, as it never depletes, and on the contrary, it only keeps expanding to become stronger as they draw from your nature. In fact, the more it is drawn, the stronger your wisdom energy grows.

Without yoniso manasikara (wise attention) at the moment of sense experience one will continue to cause immediate stirring and reaction of one’s mind, leading to habitual tendencies. With yoniso manasikara, one’s mind will not stir and one will have more moment of space between thoughts and peace leading to a stable mind that is in sati most of the time. When this happens the daily mindfulness will arise and stabilize, then we will be able to be aware at the moment of sense experience. Then one will understand, ‘In the sense experience, there is just the respective sense door consciousness, without the concept of “I see, “I hear”, “I feel”, etc. as yet’ because the egoic mind has not inputted the content of consciousness borne of self-delusion as yet.

With yoniso manasikara and daily mindfulness established, there will be sense restraint, as you won’t be deceived or drawn by the sense experience. Thus, allowing you to overcome covetousness and grief (i.e. you won’t break your precepts anymore). And thus, being able to arise the 3 ways of right conduct automatically (i.e. right thought, right speech, and right action). Hence, with wisdom comes true virtue.

Upon reaching the 3rd stage of Bodhi mind development (Bodhi mind that illuminates Buddha nature as enlightenment – meaning you not only awaken but you manage to illuminate that true nature within until it is so clear; which means you manage to connect to the gateway to your nature within), then you will no longer regress. With this you are able to transform and illuminate that nature within until it is very stable.

When you can be at the moments of “No thought” in a free mind state (borne of wisdom), you will realise the silent mind (your true mind). Upon detecting your nature’s gateway with the silent mind, you will do the gateway cultivation via ‘Trust’ to realise the understanding of “No mark”.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190903

(Short Notes pdf)

Bro Teoh recounts how the kalyanamitta group started and how it has grown, as well as the background for him to come out to share the dharma via setting up the 3 conditions supporting our dharma sharing sessions. The 3 conditions are: 

First condition: Call it a sincere Dharma sharing or discussion and not ‘a one-way traffic’ talk so that there is genuine learning and no authority is involved.

Second condition: ‘No right and No wrong’ so as to avoid unnecessary argument and misunderstanding via mutual respect for each other’s cultivation and understanding during the Dharma discussion/sharing sessions. 

Third condition: To have an open mind to listen attentively and to take in or make use of whatever that is useful and beneficial to progress along the path of Dharma.

Bro Teoh did a review of his 27 Aug 2019 Tuesday class Outline Short Notes.

Bro Teoh shared some of Master Hsuan Hua’s dharma sayings as follows:

  • The difference between the Buddha and living beings is just a single thought of ignorance (相差一念之间)
  • ‘Buddha is mind, mind is Buddha. If you don’t understand mind, you don’t understand the Buddha’.


  • The true mind is the Oneness nature or the Buddha nature. The mundane mind, after it has rooted out ignorance and perfected itself, is Buddha. That’s why in the conditioned world, there is such a thing as a Samma Sambuddha when they arise. The 3 bodies or Trikaya of the Buddha are, the Nimanakaya, Sambogayakaya and the Dharmakaya.

The 5 Mental Hindrances* impede or hinder us from entering the meditative state of inner peace and inner awareness, while the direct opposite 5 Spiritual Faculties** supports us in our cultivation.

*   Sensual desire, ill-will, Worry or Restlessness of mind, Sloth and Torpor and Doubt or indecision.
** Faith, Spiritual Zeal, Mind in full awareness, Collected and unwavering free mind and Wisdom.

Within the moment, without thought there is no sorrow, fear, worry and anxiety; thus, we are able to experience the pristine beauty, tranquillity, stillness and wonders of life. Every moment one’s nature is fully aware. With this silent inner awareness (within), we are fully aware and conscious about life. Our mind is full of clarity, love, and joy. The tranquillity and stillness borne of wisdom, will bring us much joy.

When you look at living beings, they are so heedless. Without Dhamma, living beings are like “blind”, and cannot deal/cope with life.

The summation of each and every individual’s consciousness, is the World’s collective Consciousness. Therefore for the world to change, the individual must change.

Right thoughts are all your virtuous thoughts, covering your thought of goodness, sincerity, honesty, gratitude, pleasantness, kindness, gentleness, contentment, humility, respect, faith, love and joy, etc.

Wrong thoughts are thoughts that condition your fear, worry, anxiety, sorrow, lamentation, insecurity, selfishness, cruelty, hatred, envy, jealousy, prejudice, covetousness, suffering, emotional negativity, etc.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190827

What is Anatta (Non-Self)? Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 39 – The State of an Arahant, Page 560; and Chapter 40 – The Bodhisattva Ideal, Page 565)

This so called living being (5 aggregates of form and mind) is just a karmically conditioned ‘vehicle and tool’ for us to come to this existential world to live life, develop the cultivation and experience the beauty and wonders of life; to use it with wisdom to arise the right thoughts, right speeches, and right actions to be a blessing to all and not be deluded by it. For those without wisdom it is for them to come and pay back their karma.

There 3 category of enlightenment:

– sound hearer, sainthood way leading to the Arahant ideal.


– awaken to the 12-links / condition-arising Dharma on their own (without the help of sasana)

– Difficult for other beings to understand as there’s no existing framework/structure/foundation to teach the dharma understood by them.


–  Those cultivating the Bodhisattva way leading to the Bodhisattva ideal of realizing samma Sambuddhahood.

10 Dhamma realms:

  • Realms 1-6 (covers the 31 planes of existence of the Theravada tradition)
  • Realm 7 (realm of Sound Hearers)
  • Realm 8 (realm of Pacceka Buddhas)
  • Realm 9 (realm of Bodhisattvas)
  • Realm 10 (realm of Samma Sambuddhas)

There are 3 types of Bodhisattva ways of cultivation:

  • Emphasised Panna/Wisdom perfection (perfected over 4 world cycles)
  • Emphasised Viriya/Spiritual Zeal perfection (perfected over 8 world cycles)
  • Emphasised Saddha/Faith perfection (perfected over 12 world cycles)

All 5 spiritual faculties (Saddha, Viriya, Sati, Samadhi and Panna) are crucial mind states needed for cultivation (to enable us to understand spiritual teaching of the Buddha). Building on top of each one until they become Balas (or powers) to aid us in times of tribulations.

Sis Tammy asks about the true meaning of defining “this ‘form and mind’ as non-self, yet not no-self and nothingness” as stated in our last Thursday class outline short notes.

Bro Teoh clarifies further that, within the conditioned world/phenomena world of consciousness of ours, there is such a thing as life. There is such a thing as a human being within the conditioned world but this human being is nothing but just a fleeting or a momentary condition-arising causal phenomenon which is not so real (not a permanent unchanging entity) which is subject to karma. As real as it can be, it is only within the moment. Moment to moment, life passes by and that Present moment is the only reality because the past is already gone and future yet to come. Yet how stable is the present moment? As real as it can be, split second the moment is ‘dead’ and gone. This is the true meaning of empty nature of existence.

Yet, if we have the wisdom to make use of our good and blessed life for the good of the many, to continue our cultivation and to fulfil our vows then this form and mind (of our this “segmented life”) can serve us well to enable us to live the beautiful 3rd phase of dharmaPativedha, the noble life.

Understanding the wisdom of both the conditioned and the unconditioned dharma, we will know how to truly live. Even though anatta/empty, but there is such a thing as “life” within the conditioned world. This is the reason why it is not no-self and nothingness. There are things but they are not so real. It is just a phenomena world of consciousness. Dependent originating.

Sis Tammy asks about her observation of the 6 senses and an inkling she has that it is distant or disassociated from the self.

Bro Teoh implores us all to enquire deep into all our senses experiences (which forms our experiences of the world), and how the form and mind functions with the sense bases and the mundane mind.

Inquire how do we know the world and how do we interact with the world? Through our senses right? And what is thought? Who thinks and what thinks? Is there a ‘thinker’ behind the thought? Silent your mind to find out. Find out what the “mind” is, and discern the true mind.

Only after investigating deep into our nature to understand clearly who are you and what are you? E.g. how do we know the world, will we understand the external “world” as manifestations of mind. Mind make are they and mind is the forerunner of all things. When mind arise, all things within the phenomena world arise. Exist already and everything is like real.

To be able to see “things as they are”/ “reality”/ “truth”, without the perception through our memory-lens is true wisdom which is truly beautiful.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee) – Sadhu! And very good!

Teoh Tue 190820

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS

Chapter 38/39 : STATE OF ARAHANT Page 551

An ARAHANT continues to live until his Kammic Force in that life is spent. He doesn’t create any fresh negative Kamma and is no longer deluded. He has rooted out ignorant. When he passes away, his life force and consciousness become extinguished, like the path of Birds in the air…cannot be traced. He is neither Reborn (as all Passions that condition Rebirth are eradicated) nor NOT Reborn because there is nobody inside there. It is just a phenomenon which is dependent originating, like a flame being extinguished when conditions cease to be.

A living Arahant is Non-grasping with Wisdom connected to his Form and Mind. He uses the Five Aggregates of form and mind to cultivate, to gain wisdom and to realise the truth. He exists in a perfectly peaceful and Happy State. He is calm in Mind and lives the noble life with appropriate right Speeches and Actions.

Beyond the Arahant stage, the advance cultivators (especially Bodhisattvas) will cultivate until they realize their true nature and finally locate the gateway to their nature to continue their cultivation of the Bodhisattva way.  Their wisdom then transform until their wisdom consciousness’s vibration becomes very fine. This Fine vibrations he experiences will cause his mundane mind (which is too gross) to collapse. Without the mundane mind inside, he is not obscured by anything. His True mind from his true nature then shines forth to see things as they are clearly. Words cannot describe this state.

(Above draft outline short notes was prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190813

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS

Chapter 38: The way to realize Nibbana   Page 543

Transient and Sorrowful are all Conditioned Things

Soulless are both the Conditioned and the Un-conditioned.

  • Impermanence is a Universal Characteristic of Nature that is to be realised. Non-Self (Anatta) means it is not a permanent unchanging Entity. It also implies Empty Nature of Existence.
  • Both the conditioned and unconditioned Dhamma must be understood to enable one to Truly understand life.

Jhana (Jhanic state) only suppresses and inhibits the mental hindrances temporarily. Hence Evil tendencies can still surface anytime in the future when there is condition. Only Insight born of Vipassana meditation can wholly eradicate them with Wisdom (Panna) after realising the 3 Universal Characteristics of Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness and Non-Self.

Our present existence is due to past causes of Ignorance (Avijja), Craving (tanha), Grasping (Upadana), Kamma and Physical food of Present Life, etc.

Everything is in a state of constant flux within the conditioned arising and dependent originating world.

Eventually, when one realises cessation (a glimpse of Nibbana) for the first time, one becomes a Sotapanna or a Stream Enterer. With this change of Lineage one becomes an Ariya (a Noble One). One has eradicated the first 3 Fetters of the 10 fetters that bind living beings to samsara. They are:

  • Sakkayadithi, – Wrong understanding (self-delusion) that believes in a permanent unchanging Self.
  • Doubt with regards to the existence of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, Disciplinary Rules, Past and Future and the law of Dependent Origination.
  • Adherence to Wrongful Rites and Rituals

A Sotapanna will not violate any of the 5 Precepts and will have a maximum of 7 more lives to live in the sensual Realms till it becomes an Arahant.

With further cultivation he will progress to a Sakadagami (a Once-Returner) stage by weakening 2 more Fetters, Sense Desire and Ill will. He may still show occasional signs of subtle anger and craving. He will be born in the Human Realm only once before realising Anagami leading to Arahantship.

The third stage of sainthood is an Anagami (a Non-returner). He would have uprooted the next 2 fetters of the previous stage entirely with the balance of the last 5 fetters of minor conceit or Pride (Mana), Restlessness (uddhacca), Ignorance (Avija), attachment to Form Realms and Formless Realms remaining. After death, he is reborn in the Pure Abodes to complete his cultivation.

Those in the first 3 Stages of Sainthood are term Sekhas as they still require training. However, an Arahant do not need any more training and is known as an Asekha (beyond training). He is not subject to rebirth as he does not have any more avijja.

The Anagmis and Arahants can go through uninterrupted Nibbanic Cessation for 7 days or longer. In this cessation (which is the unconditioned) his mental activities (including the pure awareness) all ceased. His stream of life force consciousness also temporarily ceases to flow, but the body’s vitality and faculties are still intact. He appears to be dead with no respiration, no heart beat (pulse) and perception, but his life force will return to his body eventually.

Bro Teoh reviewed the outline short notes of August 8 2019 Thursday class regarding awareness, daily mindfulness and how to develop the requisite wisdom to see and accept things as they are.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190806

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS

Chapter 36: THE WAY TO  NIBBANA through Meditation Page 530

There are 40 objects of Samatha meditation (kammathana) are:-

10 kasina; 10 impurities (Asubha or corpses), 10 Reflections or Anussati

4 illimitable (4 Brahmavihara), 1 loathsomeness of Material Food

  • Analysis of 4 Elements, 4 Arupa Jhanas.

Above meditation leads to concentration of mind and energy field. They are thought based in nature. Not awareness based type of mindfulness meditation.

The 10 Kasina are:

  • earth (paṭhavī kasiṇa),
  • water (āpo kasiṇa),
  • fire (tejo kasiṇa),
  • air, wind (vāyo kasiṇa),
  • blue, green (nīla kasiṇa),
  • yellow (pīta kasiṇa),
  • red (lohita kasiṇa),
  • white (odāta kasiṇa),
  • enclosed space, hole, aperture (ākāsa kasiṇa),
  • bright light (āloka kasiṇa)

The 10 Anussati are:

  • Buddhanusatti- reflection on the Virtues of the Buddha
  • Dhammanusatti – Reflection of Buddha’s teaching/ doctrine
  • Sanghanussati- Reflection on the virtues of its Pure disciples
  • Silanussati – Reflection on ones’ Virtues
  • Caganussati – Reflection on one’s own charitable nature
  • Devatanussati – Reflection on Faith and Virtues with Deities as Witnesses
  • Upsamanussati – Reflection on the attributes of Nibbana-Cessation of Suffering
  • Masrananussati – Reflection on Death, fleeting Nature of Life. (This practice makes one realise the urgency to cultivate, especially when we exceed 70 years of age).
  • Kayagatasati -Reflection on the 32 Impure Body Parts. Leads to Dispassion
  • Anapanasati -Mindfulness on respiration and the 4 postures.

The 4 Brahmavihara (Sublime states) are:

Metta (Loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic Joy) and Upekkha (Equanimity).

(With Universal Love, the heart opens to radiate love to all beings. This pure metta energy flows out soothingly from the heart. It goes beyond boundaries. Even animals and non-humans     can feel the metta/love).

Through samatha bhavana or meditation one can develop the following 5 Supernormal Powers (Abhinna):

  • magical powers (iddhi-vidha),
  • divine ear (dibba-sota),
  • penetration of the minds of others (ceto-pariya-ñāna),
  • remembrance of former existences (pubbe-nivāsānussati),
  • Divine eye (dibba-cakkhu).

But the above supernormal powers does not lead to enlightenment. To realize enlightenment one must release their jhana concentration out to normal awareness to cultivate insight meditation.

Many people can attain Arahantship without developing Jhana. Instead they cultivate vipassana insights leading to the real abhinna of extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya).

       The 8 Worldly conditions are:

  • Gain & Loss,
  • Pain and Happiness,
  • Fame & Ill-fame,
  • Praise and Blame.

These dualities are the worldly phenomena of life. Cultivators must learn to transcend them with wisdom. Don’t attach and cling to them, otherwise suffering will be the result.

Panca Nivarana (5 mental Hindrances) – they are: Sensual Desire, Ill-will, Sloth & Torpor, Restlessness & Worry and Doubt or Indecision. These mind states hinders our mind from entering the meditative states of inner peace, calmness and awareness to develop the meditation.

Need Wisdom to root out these mental hindrances via cultivating the opposite 5 Spiritual Faculties to counter them.

  • The spiritual faculty of Faith in the Buddha and Dhamma will help overcome the mental hindrances of Restlessness and Doubt,
  • The spiritual faculty of Viriya (or Zeal) will help us overcomes the mental hindrance of Sloth & Torpor; drives one to cultivate Sati.
  • The spiritual faculty of Sati (which is the silent mind in tranquillity) can help us overcome the mental hindrances of sensual desire and ill-will.
  • When we stabilise Sati, our mind will be composed, collected and unwavering, leading to Samadhi. At this stage, we can see things as they are and the reality as it is, understand how we function as a Human being, via seeing clearly the 12 links of the Paticca samuppada.
  • With sati and Samadhi, wisdom or the panna spiritual faculty will arise. With wisdom all the 5 mental hindrances will cease and the mind will be in the meditative state all the time because no more mental hindrances.

(Above draft outline short notes prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190730

(Short Notes pdf)


Teoh Tue 190723

(Short Notes pdf)

Recap of last week’s sharing. 

Brother Teoh did a revision and recap of last Tuesday class’s (16 Jul 2019) outline short notes by reading through it again.

Wisdom which is an understanding (awakening) connected to the form and mind is not a knowledge.

Without going through the cessation of Nibbana, one can never understand the true depth and meaning of the Buddha’s’ teaching. Even a glimpse of it (the cessation) is good enough.

Without the wisdom, this form and mind cannot cease. When the form and mind cannot cease, it cannot understand what Nibbana is.

When the form and mind cease, it is fully aware of the whole process. This form and mind after the cessation, after the consciousness comes back (or return to the form and mind), will understand everything very clearly. The consciousness will undergo an extraordinary transformation.

不生不灭 (Non-arising and Non-ceasing) is a Nibbanic ‘state’. One need to go through this ‘state’ of ‘Non-arising and Non-ceasing’, to realise the unconditioned.

Beyond the conditioned world is the unconditioned which is not possible to express with words.

E.g. similarly there’s a famous saying from the Tao’s teaching that goes as follows:

Whatever that can be described, spoken or talked about, that is not the true Tao ().
Yet nothing is apart from the Tao (
Everything arises from the Tao (

Sis Yoon Chun asks “At the first glimpse of Nibbana, is that person already a Sotapana?”

Yes, that form and mind is at least a Sotapana. The glimpse of Nibbana is very powerful; resulting in a significant change of lineage, from a Puthujana (a lay person) to an Ariya (an enlightened being). In pali it is called ‘Gotrabhunana (one needs to realize this Gotrabhu insight leading to change of lineage).

After the glimpse, everything the person see/feel/think becomes totally different. With the direct seeing, all Dhamma becomes so clear and easy to understand, especially self-delusion or sakkayaditthi. The mind becomes so fine, so sensitive, and will keep going into cessation (cessation keeps happening, lasting longer and longer).

According to Bro Teoh this year 2019, marks his 15 years of dharma sharing with the world since 2004. This coming 6 October 2019 – annual Lunch gathering of kalyanamittas @ F1 Kitchen, Puchong will be our 15th anniversary celebration. As such, all kalyanamittas are encouragement to join our coming 6 Oct 2019 Lunch cum Birthday annual gathering of kalyanamittas celebration.

Sis Adeline asks, “If someone goes through cessation, would there be changes to their chakras?”

Cessation has nothing to do with external opening of chakras because cessation can only happen when wisdom is realized. Opening the chakras before having the wisdom, is equivalent to “tempering” with the chakras and this tempering can cause Yin & Yang energy imbalance.

Only wisdom is required for Cessation to happen. The mind must become very fine and still, with a very stable mindfulness and wisdom connected via an awakening. At the moment of sense contact, the wisdom would not allow the mind to move, stir or react. The mind becomes very beautiful, because it is well trained and skilful. It already has the understanding.

The true internal opening of chakras occurs after you have connected to your true nature (via your gateway to your true nature). The pure nature’s very fine stillness cum wisdom pure energy will activate the chakras and nadis within on its own via trust.

Without interference from the mundane mind, just trust your nature and let the external Yin & Yang energy flow through your gateway, “turning” it into pure energy. This is using the 4th support of trust to meditate.

When the mind (with the wisdom energy) becomes so fine, the gross energy of the mundane mind is no longer able to withstand it; then the mundane mind will collapse, falling off like a layer of consciousness (“Veil of ignorance”) occurring in front of your forehead.

  • Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 35 – The Way to “Realise” Nibbāna, Page 512)

Middle path or way has 2 meanings:
– to avoid the 2 extremes of self-mortification and self-indulgence.
– to transcend duality via wisdom (not judging; having instead a natural acceptance for “what is”).

Right thought and Right efforts are still thought-based, hence should be categorised under Sila.

Sabba pāpassa akaranam. Kusalassa upasampadā. Sacittapariyodapanam. Etam Buddhāna sāsanam.
All evil must be avoided. Whatever that is wholesome, if there is condition, do. Purify the mind.
That is the advice of all Buddhas.

Q for the class: When an animal kills due to animal instincts, is it excusable? Or would there be karmic consequences?

Karma is, ‘You reap what you sow’, hence there is always karmic consequences.

The 5th daily contemplation as taught by the Buddha: ‘We are born of our karma, heir to our karma, conditioned and supported by our karma; we are what we are because of our karma’.

Sense restraint borne of understanding is very profound; it’s NOT blindly suppressing/controlling/bottling-up without being aware of the evil roots causing the internal conflict within oneself.

The real cultivation is the 5 Spiritual Faculties and the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness (daily mindfulness).

For the sharing of true-life stories during the class, please listen to the recording.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190716

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS. Chapter 34: CHARACTERISTICS OF NIBBANA page 498

NIBBANA is the destruction of Lust, Hatred & Delusion. It is the unconditioned and thus, it is not subject to becoming, change and dissolution.

Man desires to live peacefully and happily with their Dear Ones, surrounded by amusement and pleasures. But when faced with misfortunes, the inevitable sorrow and suffering will devastate many of them. All sensual pleasure is a prelude to suffering. Everything experienced by the Senses is Sorrowful. Even pleasurable states can turn to misery when those states disappear. Craving and desire is a bottomless pit. If they understand the Dhamma and apply it, they can steer clear away from sorrow.

Material Happiness is merely gratification of Desires. Desires are insatiable. However, Nibbanic Bliss is different. It is permanent. There are 10 grades of Happiness, starting from the Material happiness that is derived from the stimulation of the senses, to the more sublime (8 types of jhanas) and exalted one which is transcendental and with equanimity borne of wisdom type of Happiness. The highest Happiness is NIRODHA SAMAPATTI which experiences the cessation of Nibbana, which is the Highest Bliss.

WHERE IS NIBBANAIt is not a place, nor is it a Supra mundane state of Mind. It is a Blissful abiding of full release from the ills of Life. The best way to know it is through self-Realisation by the form and mind.

With Cessation, one realises Nibbana. Bro Teoh recounted his experience of such Cessation again. Initially it was just a glimpse of it. He noticed his thinking (sankhara activity) reducing as he straightened his views and improved on his understanding of the Dhamma. He continues to meditates with a free mind rather than a conditioned one.  Firstly, he noticed his Brain activity slowing to a halt. Mind was very quiet. There was only spacious awareness without a centre while in formal meditation.  Later on, his whole Brain shuts down completely and his Form & mind ceased for a moment then the pure awareness (without thought) came back. He felt one with everything. He could perceive all distant sounds or vibration if he chooses to. After that, Transformation occurred and he can understand all dhamma very easily and clearly on his own. Initially it was just a glimpse of the Nibbanic bliss. Later, his cessation keeps happening and they lasted longer. Then 9 months later the mundane mind collapsed and His Nature’s pure awareness (or supra mundane mind) shined forth. After that awareness is like automatic and the mind does not dwell anymore because there is no more sankhara or mundane mind to cloud it. Initially he has to learn how to use this supra mundane mind which is so fine (as if there is not mind at all).

After he connect to his true nature, his internal movements and transformation happened and he then inherited the spiritual understanding of his past lives’ cultivation from his spiritual nature very fast. He then became constantly aware in the midst of life from then onward. The direct seeing is so clear after that. Truth is everywhere (in the midst of life and nature) and he started seeing them all the time. Before that (even though nothing within nature has changed) he can’t see them. But after that the seeing came and he was so amazed that everything has become so clear and so vivid.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by sister Yoon Chun).

Teoh Tue 190709

(Short Notes pdf)

Session 1: MEDITATION Instruction by Brother Teoh

Relax body and mind completely. Mundane thinking mind will slow down and settle down on its own. Then it will become very quiet and still. This is the meditative mind. For cultivators who have developed their Sati, if they can just let things be, their minds will drop into this silent awareness state very quickly. Stay in that mode. Maintain awareness and relax. Continue to be aware of the breath until the mind’s awareness finally drops to the heart area. Then if you can detect any bodily vibrations or heart beat around the heart area, stay with it. It will be very gross at first but if you can maintain the silence, it will slow down by itself and become very subtle and quiet until only awareness remains. Anchor the mind there. Maintain awareness until the mind enters sati and realizes passaddhi (the tranquility and stillness of mind). Then this silent mind in awareness will be able to meditate on its own. It can be aware  of all the sense door activities that arise upon contact of mind with their respective sense bases and sense data. When this is stabilized, you will understand how your mind works following the 12 links (paticca sammupada). You can also understand how you function as a human being. There must be contact for consciousness to arise. Upon contact, how you input your content of consciousness following your memory, views & opinions, belief system and conditioning initially. We can then become aware of our aggregates of mind. It is very clear. This is Real sati.  You will eventually come to understand who you are & what you are? How your physical form and mind interact?  How your 6 sense bases give rise to consciousness.

Without wisdom you can only act according to memory following your views, opinions and conditioning etc. One can only act according to understanding if one has developed the wisdom (especially the initial wisdom of yoniso manasikara) borne of the 1st and 2nd turnings wisdom. This initial wisdom or wisdom at the moment of sense experience can be develop through listening to the true dhamma followed by constant wise reflection and contemplation of the dhamma heard. One need this initial wisdom to straighten one’s views. However, this is not the penetrative wisdom as yet but it is very useful because this can prepare the base for us to receive the penetrative awakening later on. We then won’t react to sense experience like before because this wisdom will spontaneously arise to prompt you with the right understanding. Our Mind becomes different with this understanding. We won’t act with memory, views, opinion & conditioning after that. We will act according to understanding and wisdom after that.


 NIBBANA is the unconditioned, unborn, uncreated, and unoriginated. Thus, it cannot be described or expressed in words. It is not a state of Nothingness nor a special mind state that can be experienced. What it is, cannot be understood in conventional terms. It can only be realized by the Wise’s form and mind each for themselves.

Sopadisesa Nibbana Dhatu is realized by an Arahant with the 5 aggregates of form and mind still remaining in the world. It means not his time to parinibbana as yet.

Anupadisesa Nibbana Dhatu occurs when an Arahant attains Pari-nibbana and ceases.

Those who can get a glimpse of Nibbana become either a Sotapanna or Sakhadagami whilst the Anagami and Arahant experience it for a much longer duration.

Bro Teoh described his experience of such Cessation as follows: Everything ceases, there was no heartbeat, no mental activity and even the pure awareness also no more but one is not dead. The body is not cold. There is a pure energy preserving the body from being destroyed. When cessation ended, the consciousness comes back, and from the heart area it splits into 3 areas of main consciousness: one part goes to the Brain, one part goes to the Navel (Tan Tien) and the rest remain at the heart area. The moment the consciousness comes back it activates back the brain, navel and heart area to reanimate the human being.

Tammy asked: Is the Chinese saying on the ‘spirit’s Life Force being destroyed’ the same as experiencing the Nibbanic state? Brother Teoh replied: No! it was not. Nibbana is totally different.

WISDOM is an understanding which is not rigid. Wisdom is not a Knowledge which is Rigid.  Wisdom is having Right Understanding with regards to all the nature’s laws that govern all of life within this existential world of ours. They are the 5 Panca niyamas (universal orders of nature). They are Utu niyama, Bija niyama, Karma niyama, citta niyama and dhamma niyama. The first 2 are scientific laws and the last 3 are spiritual laws as stated in the 1st path factor of the Noble 8-Fold path of Right view or Right understanding. Having wisdom is having Right View or right understanding to accept the reality of the present moment and not be attached to anything through an understanding.

Wisdom can be developed in 3 ways, viz:

  • 1st turning wisdom (Suttamaya panna): through listening to or reading of the true Dhamma leading to.
  • 2nd turning wisdom (Cintamaya panna): through constant reflection, contemplation and inquiry into the dhamma learned to develop a more stable and clearer understanding of the dhamma.
  • 3rd turning wisdom (Bhavanamaya panna): Realization through the direct seeing via insight into the 3 universal Characteristics of nature.

(Above draft short notes was prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190702

What is Nibbana? Youtube

Understanding Life and way of practice Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)


Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 33 – Nibbana, Page 492)

Only the form and mind that goes through the cessation will understand what Nibbana is. The wisdom will be connected to the current form and mind, but this form and mind is not “you” (i.e. not a permanent unchanging entity).

  • The form and mind is just a vehicle and a tool, karmically conditioned for “you” to come into this world.
  • “Your” karmic nature conditions a ‘form and mind’ to manifest (again and again).

Sis Adeline shares that Nibbana is a state of total freedom with no duality, and the 5 aggregates completely cease.

“Enlightenment with residue” – is when one realised Nibbana (goes through cessation) but the lifeforce is still there (as it is not yet time for the 5 aggregates to disperse), so the consciousness will come back to the physical form.

A glimpse/moment of cessation is enough to awaken the form and mind to realize the 1st and 2nd stage of sainthood enlightenment.

Nibbana is the unconditioned/unborn/unoriginated/unmade, it is the highest bliss, no more suffering to confront.

“As there is an unborn, unoriginated, unmade, and unconditioned, an escape for the born, originated, made, conditioned is possible.”

This form and mind need a lot of sustenance to survive, and must confront suffering (illnesses, aging), experience separation, and experience problems that comes with life (e.g. relationships, career, loneliness, etc.)

If you don’t have a form and mind that needs air to breathe, water to survive, food to sustain, etc; would you want to stay in this world?

For us, Dhamma friends, we are very lucky because we know the Dhamma and is able to apply the teaching to avoid all those tragedies (unnecessary mental suffering). We know how to plan our life, through following the beautiful advice of the Buddha to avoid all evil, cultivate wholesomeness, and keep the 5 precepts so that our karmic nature is taken cared of.

When one walks the Bodhisattva way, one is able to live life to the fullest. Having realised cessation and yet still able to return to society with such beautiful understanding. Life becomes meaningful, beautiful and wonderful.

The sainthood-way is important, to understand that escape from suffering is possible; that there is such thing as the unconditioned.

The conditioned and the unconditioned are complete opposites. Yet understanding of both (the conditioned and the unconditioned) are required to fully understand life. That is how to live the good and wonderful life of an enlightened being and for oneself to come into life again in future with such understanding.

We are indeed very blessed to have the opportunity to live in this golden era; especially to have the Dhamma, the merits and the financial means to experience all of the beauty and wonders of life in this transforming digital civilisation (with its vast possibilities and great potential).

This understanding is priceless and completely liberating. With the Dhamma, you will have the parami (to live the good life) and life becomes smooth-sailing and beautiful. You will know how to take care of your karmic nature and time will be on your side.

The true mind never dies, its spiritual nature grows with wisdom.

You don’t have to be rich to be happy. Dhamma makes you truly richer than any materialistic wealth can give. Happiness derived from material things may be stolen or loss, but spiritual happiness will never be loss.

Sis Adeline asked for clarification of the phrase “You need to have the condition to realise the unconditioned”

Condition does not mean you need to renounce to become a monk/nun. It is not the robe that makes one a monk.

Having the condition means to have the serious resolve to choose the spiritual path and to cultivate sincerely with strong faith and understanding. Even as a lay person, if you have the resolve/faith/sincerity, you will progress really fast. In fact, progress will be even faster because of the myriad life’s conditions and relationships available to test you.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190625

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 33 – Nibbana, Page 490)

Nibbana (enlightenment) is not a mental state, and it can’t be attained. Nibbana is complete cessation of form and mind. – It is a realisation of the unconditioned. Through wisdom the form and mind realizes itself and cease.

If there is no such thing as the unconditioned, then escape from the conditioned world is impossible.

Enlightenment can only be realised if you can transcend duality through wisdom.
– transcending good and evil / birth and death / hot and cold / etc.

When wisdom arise, then delusion/ignorance that conditions craving is no more.

Empty nature of existence. Emptiness is not nothingness. There are things but ultimately there is no reality for everything is dependent originating. Nothing really exist because it is just a phenomena world of consciousness that arise and pass away continuously. There is no permanent unchanging entity that we can call the ‘Me’ and the ‘I’.

When the form and mind realizes itself and cease, it realizes nibbana and returns to the source (original mind/true nature/oneness nature).

From zero comes One and this One is a single thought of ignorance that gives rise to infinity of consciousness.

Inconceivable is the beginning of the first thought of ignorance that condition life.

This mundane mind is tool for you to come to this existential world and you must learn to use it, but not be deceived by it.

How amazing! This original nature is already complete by itself, and nothing is apart from it.

All Dhamma arise from it.

Our universe is so immense; even after venturing 15 billion lightyears away, there is still no sight of a boundary
– human beings on this earth are but an insignificant speck of dust in this rather immense universe.

Cessation or Nibbana: the 3 areas of consciousness return into one (at the heart area) and ceases. Even the pure awareness is also no more. Everything (the whole form and mind) cease.

During the death process, the energy or craving force that binds our consciousness to our body starts to dissipate and finally cease then the remnant of consciousness will be free to come out. If one has the dhamma understanding to realize that nothing dies, one will be able to laugh and feel joy (instead of fear) when confronting death.

 Bro Teoh did a review of 13 Jun 2019 Thursday class outline short notes.

Sis Tammy shares her experience regarding pain during meditation; observing it as a pulling sensation until there was no more pain.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190618

(Short Notes pdf)


Teoh Tue 190611

(Short Notes pdf)


Reference Book: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS. Chapter 31: KAMMIC DESCENT & ASCENT Page 473

Kamma differentiates living Beings into higher and lower birth. Man can be reborn either as an animal, Peta, Deva or Hell being depending on their kamma. Example of activities in hell can be seen on the murals at the Haw Par Villa Park in Singapore. The Present life’s form is the successor of its past life’s form, being linked by its kammic energy’s manifestation. Our physical body’s activities are the external manifestation of our mind. It is one’s kamma that determines the nature of one’s physical form and character. We create kamma at every moment of sense door consciousness and this consciousness conditions and influences our subsequent thought moments. One, who may be a criminal yesterday, could today become a saint. Having existed for so many, many eons, one would have acquired many diverse karmic characteristics and experiences. Some of these may be dormant in some lives. An example is Venerable Devadatta, a noble prince (the Buddha’s cousin) and a monk, can be overcome by jealousy (conditioned from their past encounters) to attempt to kill the Buddha. Another case is that of Queen Mallika who had led a holy life but a bad last thought moment at death brought her down to a woeful state for about a week only due to her good karmic inheritance. This doctrine of Kamma and Rebirth is so intricate and complex that most of us, know NOT where we came from, where and when we would go. But we are only certain that we must go. When we go, we will leave all possessions and relatives (loved ones), fame and glory behind.

When the Buddha Sasana disappears, it would be difficult to encounter and practise the Dhamma. Bro Teoh advised us to have the right view with regards to this law of Kamma, law of mind and the law of dhamma (truth). We must also aspire sincerely with strong faith to make the Bodhisattva vows and aspirations as taught by him so as to continue to associate with the Dhamma to walk the path of dhamma successfully. In this way we can continue to improve our cultivation in every birth independent of whether the Buddha sasana is still around or not.

Sister Tammy asked how to develop the wisdom (panna) spiritual faculties as stated by the Buddha in his teaching of the 5 spiritual faculties. Wisdom arises naturally when Sati and Samadhi are properly developed. Faith will drive us to cultivate through viriya to be ever mindful. Train our mind to be very stable in Sati until we realize Passaddhi, the tranquillity and stillness of mind (Silent Mind). We will then stabilize it to develop Samadhi – a collectedness and unwavering mind, which is a free mind, and not in absorption or concentration. This Samadhi must not go beyond upacara Samadhi (access concentration) leading to appana Samadhi.

With the Silent mind without thoughts, understanding will arise. Through hearing the true dhamma the 1st turning wisdom (suttamaya panna) may arise. We should reflect, contemplate and inquire to arise the 2nd Turning of the 4 Noble Truths wisdom of cintamaya panna. This reflection, contemplation and inquiry can stabilize our 1st turning wisdom thereby enabling us to assimilate this stable understanding into our nature to arise the initial wisdom (yonisomanasikara). With this initial wisdom, our mind will not stir and react to sense experiences like before then there will be more moments of peace and silence while living our daily. This will enable us to stabilize our Daily Mindfulness leading to our ability to have sense restraint and the 3 ways of Right Conducts.

Then when the 1st Noble truth realities are encountered, the mind will not stir like before. You will have Sense Restraint and you are incapable of committing any Evil deeds (like breaking the 5 precepts, etc.). By then you (your 5 aggregates of form and mind) must have at least realize the 1st stage of sainthood (Sotapannaship). After that you would have overcome covetousness and greed to enable you to cultivate the 4 Foundation of mindfulness to reach the higher stages of enlightenment.

(Above draft outline short notes are prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun).

Teoh Tue 190604

Understanding Karmic Nature and Moral Responsibility Video

Important Pointers for Cultivation Video

(Short Notes pdf)

Reference Book: The Buddha & his Teachings: Chapter 30: Moral Responsibility   Page 469

By SELF is one defiled, by SELF is one purified… Dhammapada Verse.

Question: Does one who commit offences, with kammic retribution manifesting in the next life, escape from its retribution as another “form & mind” bears it?

Answer: Not really because the new “form & mind” is from the same karmic nature (Karmic stream of Life) as the original One which has died. They are connected by this karmic stream. The invisible Stream of Consciousness continues to flow uninterrupted even after death. One bears one’s own moral responsibility in future lives if retribution did not materialise in the current life. It may be a different ‘form and mind’ but the karmic delusion will condition their suffering.

At Death, one is reborn subject to Karma, when we do not have wisdom. When we are born we immediately inherit all its good and bad karmic actions from our karmic nature. But this nature of ours cannot come out and live life, without a form and mind.

  • Important pointers for Cultivation:

Bro Teoh advised us not to come to class to listen to Dhamma and go back to lead our usual heedless life as before. It is imperative to listen to the recording again and again, then contemplate on the subject matter to understand its deep meaning. We should listen from our hearts attentively (with awareness), even though we may not remember the details. Once we have understood the real meaning, wisdom will arise.

  • 1st Step: After having associated with dhamma friends, listen to the true Dhamma attentively.
  • 2nd Step: Reflect on the 5 daily contemplations, the 3 turnings of the 4 Noble Truths, (especially the first and second turnings) and its 12 modes. Of importance is the first Noble Truth of Suffering with its 8 realities and its final summary. Understand not to attach and cling onto the 5 aggregates of form and mind.
  • 3rd Step: Develop strong faith in the Buddha and his teachings.
  • 4th Step: Initial Wisdom will arise when the mind is more at Peace. It will then not stir and react to sense experiences like before.

We need initial wisdom for mindfulness to stabilise. Determine to be aware at every moment. This will help us develop Sati. Reduce unnecessary thinking so that the space between thoughts will increase for us to be more aware of our kaya and our mental movements. We will gain peace as with having the ability to drink tea with full awareness without thoughts as per the Zen sayings, “Drinking tea is zazen (meditation)”.

Then we can develop Clear comprehension of sincerity of purpose, domain of meditation, Suitability of Actions, etc. in the here and now and clear comprehension of non-delusion. Wisdom will arise.  You will have more wholesomeness of mind states with more and more right thoughts and be a blessing to all. Choose to be happy then Happiness and joy will follow you. Determine to train with viriya to constantly cultivate the 4 Right Efforts to purify until even the subtle evil roots cannot arise. You will be beautiful after that.

Go all out to develop Daily Mindfulness until there is Sense Restraint. It will prevent us from breaking precepts.

(Above outline short notes draft prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun).

Teoh Tue 190528

Understanding Death / Dying Video

(Short Notes pdf)


Question by Sis Quinni : How to deal with Death? And is there any significant in keeping the ashes of the deceased?

Response by Bro Teoh:  This borders on Filial Piety. We should be filial by spend more time with our parents when they are alive. Express your appreciation and gratitude towards them for they have given you this life, raise you, care, sacrifice and provide for you and make them happy and feel loved especially in the later part of their lives. Spend time with them and care for them when they are old and sick. When they depart, we do not need to hold an elaborate funeral. Make sure that it is conducted harmoniously and peacefully with understanding. No hot disputes with siblings as to what form of ceremony to hold. Decide base on consensus of the majority if there are differing opinions to resolve them amicably. Avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and conflict. If we feel like offering foods that they enjoy, go ahead, although it doesn’t serve a dhamma purpose. Also, there is no need to grieve and wail, as no amount of sorrow and lamentation will bring back the dead. Just offer our gratitude and express our kindness towards our parents and accept their death as a first noble truth reality. We can instead do things following the dhamma way like making donations and offerings in their names then share and transfer merits to them, etc. which are more meaningful and tangible. Avoid unnecessary rites and rituals.

At death, the Consciousness separates from the physical Form. The physical body, consisting of the 4 elements, will disintegrate and go the way of nature, whilst the remnant of consciousness will leaves the body. These remnant of their consciousness are likely to stay at the wake and funeral for some time. They are without a visible physical form but still have their senses like hearing and seeing. They can speak but can’t be heard by ordinary people. So, avoid bad-mouthing the dead. Will anger them. They understand all languages. However, they can’t really harm us because they don’t have a physical body. So, no need to be afraid of them. They exist as consciousness (energy) so do not fear them otherwise they have power to intensify your fear.

In accordance with the Tirokudda Sutta, the Buddha advised King Bimbisara to offer a meal to his Sangha so that he can transfer merits to his departed relatives. These relatives have been awaiting for these merits to reduce their suffering.  The Buddhist practice is to make offering of robe, food and other requisites to sangha members at the wake and transfer merits to the departed ones. One can also invoke the power of merits to help the departed ones to have better birth and better life.

The dead can be buried or cremated, according to their wish. Their ashes bear not much significance and can be disposed of in a columbarium, temple and forest or thrown into the sea. This is the choice of the family. There is no need to burn huge paper houses, hell money, cars, servants, etc. It only enriches the sellers of such articles and have no benefit to the dead. One should also avoid mediums who go into trance and perform rituals. They are unenlightened and deluded beings like many of us. Upon death, form and mind separates and cease to be so no more so and so.

Sis PG shared her experience at her mum’s death.  She had to clean her mum’s body to wear clean clothes but couldn’t bend her stiffened arms. By imploring her mum to soften her body, she managed to finish her duty. So the departed can hear and respond.

(About draft short notes prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190521

Understand the Spiritual Nature and Karmic Nature Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)

Chapter 29: WHAT IS REBORN?   Page 465

The Buddhist Doctrine of REBIRTH is different from the theory of REINCARNATION, which implies a permanent entity transmigrating from one existence to another. To illustrate this point, Ven Nagasena and Buddhaghosa used the Simile of the Flame via a dialogue with King Milinda.  Other similies are also given like, echo, Light and Mirror reflection. A modern day example is the billiard ball that hits a stationary ball to send it moving but the original one slows to a stop (dies). It is the movement of the first ball (its momentum, its karma) that is reborn in the stationary ball or “form and mind”. Thus rebirth is just the continuity of a particular LIFE-FLUX. The new being is neither totally the same nor different but with the same stream of Karmic consciousness. This is according to the Law of Motion.

Our body is impermanent. It arises due to conditions and it goes the way of nature. The REAL entity is of an eternal Nature.  We must use our body with understanding. Our body is subject to Karma so we have our duties to do. Duty towards our family members, love ones, friends, workmates and the environment, etc. Right duty leads to right Dhamma. We should use it with wisdom to live the noble life.

Karmic Nature and Spiritual Nature. The Karmic Nature is the summation of one’s karmic volition over their entire existences since the distant past till now.  These volitions shape one’s karma resulting in the form and quality of existences that one experiences. One can only inherit from one’s Spiritual Nature after one is able to develop the meditation to connect to one’s True nature. Details can be heard from video and audio links sent to our Whatsapps group.

(Above draft short notes prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190514

Understanding the 5 Aggregate of Form & Mind Youtube

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – What is it that is Reborn? (No-Soul) (Chapter 29, Page 456-465)

With Technology advancement came a distortion in our planetary consciousness where the emphasis on thought based studies are very popular and rather dominating. The “Awareness” based cultivation is somewhat side-lined (still strong only for those who are spiritually inclined.)

Thought with its mental intention is subject to karma

Thought is response to memory

A Human Being consists of the 5 Aggregates of Form and Mind. This is the first aspect of the 5 aggregates of Form and Mind. As a human being it has:

4 Aggregates of Mind – to understand this we must inquire “What can our mundane mind do?”
The mundane mind is like a tool for us to use and it can arise:

  • Vedana – Feeling (pleasant and unpleasant)
  • Sanna – Perception (brings the external form into mind)
  • Sankhara – content of consciousness (Mental states, mental activity, mental volition and mental formation, etc. The aggregates of Feeling, and Perception are also part of this sankhara aggregate.)
  • Vinnanam – Consciousness (like a receptacle)

Aggregate of Form (physical form)

  • The physical body, karmically conditioned for our nature to arise in this existential world
    (the form is like a vehicle to take us around)

When the perception brings in the external form to mind then the mundane mind at the mental level also has the 5 aggregates of Form and Mind. This is how the 2nd aspect of the 5 aggregates of Form and Mind comes to be.

Sis Chwee describe that she views consciousness as having 2 levels.

Bro Teoh emphasised that the True mind is the unconditioned and it cannot be described in words or come out to live life. As far as the “5 mental aggregates of form and mind” is concerned, it is only about the mundane mind.

Before enlightenment, the 5 aggregates are “grasping” in nature

“Grasping” onto everything that arise via “Identification” with the 5 aggregates of form and mind

– “Identification” creates the sense of self (personality/egoic entity)

  • Through name, gender, race, religion, marital status, family relationships, career etc.

-Self-delusion that cling/grasp/attach to the 5 aggregates of form and mind is suffering

  • Sankhara creates suffering when one cling, attach and grasp on to them.
  1. When enlightened, the aggregates are non-grasping in nature

Non-grasping = not identifying with the form, feeling, perception, etc. as the self.

– The human being experience pure aggregates because of the wisdom connected to it.

3 phases of Dharma understanding:-

Pariyatti – 1st phase of dharma (the learning of the teaching via reading and listening to the teaching).

Patipatti – 2nd phase of dharma (the challenge / hard work via putting the teaching into practice including contemplation, reflection, inquiry and investigation) to develop the 1st, 2nd and 3rd turnings wisdom to insight into phenomena.

Pativedha – 3rd phase of dharma (experiencing the fruit of your hard work. Able to use the Enlightenment’s understanding to live the noble life of an enlightened one.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190507

(Short Notes pdf)

Bro Teoh goes through the outline short notes Summary Teachings of the previous Tuesday class and did a review of it.

Question from Bro Vincent: Does chanting and singing help one be aware of one’s mind? He enjoyed listening to Chanting especially the Mahayana Chanting of the 88 Buddhas held at WPCS. 

  • Response: The vibration from the chanting (if done with faith and understanding) can help ‘open’ up our heart and strengthen our faith in the Dhamma. It can also calm our mind and help us develops the spiritual faculties needed to receive spiritual teaching. So does Singing, especially when it is done with the pure feeling from our hearts. The location of our feeling (or emotional) body is very close to our gateway to our It can help ‘open’ up our hearts too. It also energises us. This attentive and energised mind is not heedless but instead it is awareness with clarity within. Speaking from experience, Bro Teoh recalled a Mahayana chant that came to him once whilst he was driving. He felt the chant arising in his brain then it merged with his Awareness together as one. His mind became very quiet, still and just aware. There was No one chanting because the awareness and the chant has become one.

Question from Tammy: She wanted to contemplate on how thoughts arose but was distracted by another    thought instructing her to do it, and then another directed her to reflect on its cessation, etc. When she silenced her mind, she noticed her thoughts. She also felt some uneasiness.

  • Response: Her Sati has improved for her to notice that her thoughts were “doing” the   However, her Silent Mind and awareness are not stable enough to realize her True mind yet. She should not enquire while in the formal meditation but only do so after coming out of it. If she is observing something while in the formal meditation she must not enquire. Instead she should just be aware of it and if perception arise then stop at perception and move on to be aware again, she should not analyse or think at that time. Also don’t try to know while in the formal meditation. Just relax and allow the Awareness to be one with the emotion. Without thought in silent observation, develop the wisdom or understanding.

When feeling uneasy, one should just silent the mind. It will cease and one will then realize the true mind. Within that silence, understanding arises.

When one is more mindful (or less heedless), usually during retreat, we may think that we have a lot of defilements and craving thoughts (especially towards the end of the retreat) that we thought were not there before, although they were there all the time. The reason being before you have the sati you cannot see. We should develop our Sati via a free mind in silent awareness, not as a conditioned or a suppressed mind state of quietness. With mindfulness properly developed we can understand how defilement borne of self-delusion conditioned us into mental negativities leading to suffering following the 12 links. We will also be able to notice our subtle desires, cravings, selfishness, fear etc.  These arise on account of wrong views. Straightening our views to accept the reality of the moment with wisdom can help us liberate our mind. Then we will not judge, react, condemn and criticize via wrong views borne of self-delusion like before. See clearly that all these negativities of mind states are all dependent-originating and conditioned arising entities, hence impermanent and not real.  People are the way they are and the world is the world. When conditions are like that, things will be like that. It cannot be otherwise. When we can understand our selves we can understand others. In this way, we will understand both ourselves and others clearly. Our mundane mind with the wisdom connected sees and understands duality and thoughts clearly and how wrong thoughts always cause suffering. This understanding will enable us not to be deceived by the phenomenal world.

When we are aware of our wrong and evil thoughts, use the 1st right effort to abandon them. There are 5 ways to abandon them. The 3rd way which is the meditative way will bring about their cessation via being just aware and not doing anything because all these wrong thoughts are dependent originating hence impermanent and it will cease when we are not deluded by it anymore. The 4th ways is to trace their origination factors via mindfulness of the 6 internal and 6 external sense bases to develop the wisdom than retrospectively reversing it via this wisdom. This wisdom together with the earlier initial wisdom (yoniso manasikara) will reduce the thinking and reaction or stirring of the mind further. Then we will have more moments of mindfulness with more space between thoughts leading to a very stable daily mindfulness with clear comprehension. With this developed, there will be sense restraint leading to the 3 ways of good or right conducts. After that one is ready to cultivate the Four Foundation of Mindfulness leading to true awakening.

Nothing frees the mind except wisdom. With wisdom one will be able to Accord & flow with understanding to all the conditions that arise within the moment.

We must not suppress or control the heedless thoughts because they arise due to Ignorance (avijja). Instead we must straighten our views to weaken ignorant to free. To do this, we need to establish a very stable daily mindfulness. Due to the sensitivity of mindfulness, we will be able to feel all the subtle greed and various emotions and mind states that arise within our form and mind. The slightest movements of emotion from the pure feeling can be felt by the silent mind very fast. Hence allowing the mind to be at peace straight away the moment it is aware of such emotion coming for it already understood how Avijja stirs and conditioned suffering. Wrong thoughts need mindfulness to see them first and then wisdom to prevent them from arising.

We should be aware that Motive is always selfish, as long as we are not enlightened. We have to overcome covetousness & greed which is latent in us. Our subtle ego is still around. Awareness can detect it and brings about sense restraint to overcome covetousness and grief via the initial wisdom (yonisomanasikara) developed.

Above short notes draft was prepared by Sister Yoon Chun

Teoh Tue 190430

Listening brings freedom

(Short Notes pdf)

Contemplation on J Krishnamurti’s quote “Listening brings freedom

When there is “effort” in listening = you are not listening

The thought “tries” to listen with its views, opinions and conditioning by comparing, justifying, condemning, etc.

The “effort” is a distraction that prevents listening.

If you know how to listen, your mind must be a free mind which is still and completely silent/aware

Listen through awareness/attentiveness (without forcing oneself into any pattern of thought e.g. likes, dislikes, etc.)

The awareness within will understand the truth/non-truth during true listening.

This is similar to meditation in daily life, wherever there is “effort” there is no mediation

  • The very “trying” to meditate creates movement of thought.
  • The thought “tries” to know, creates movements to become this and become that which is not the reality or ‘What is’.
  • “trying” to achieve a particular state (e.g. calmness, peacefulness)
  • “trying” to capture certain experience (e.g. jhana, nimitta)

Sati or mindfulness is pure awareness before the knowing or perception (without words, concept or thought, also no verbalising – hence there is no concept or idea of good/bad meditation. Just an awareness to see things as they are without any word and conditioning!)

Sis Adeline asks: “If cultivators get Alzheimer’s, what happens to their awareness?”

  • Bro Teoh threw an enquiry to the class: “What is the main difference between a true cultivator and others?”
  • Having the Dharma, a true cultivator with their understanding and wisdom developed will not suffer or be afflicted by what happened.
  • Ability to accept the reality of the moment and having inner awareness will help the cultivator to recollect what has transpired. In that sense a true cultivator with awareness and wisdom can cope with Alzheimer (as a physical condition) much better.

Discussions on medication, drugs, supplements, etc. prescribed by doctors and psychiatrists to treat depression patients:

  • They usually prescribe chemical imbalance drug to reduce the impact of fears, which may lead to panic attacks due to chemical imbalance caused by certain hormone releases.
  • The mind has become too active or restless (constantly preoccupied with the wrong thoughts) leading to fear, worry, anxiety and insomnia (inability to sleep). Doctors will then prescribe sleeping pills (tranquilliser) which are basically drugs. Patients will become dependent and addicted to such drugs after a while. Then they need higher dosage as time goes by leading to more dependency on such drugs.
  • Mental suffering is conditioned by Unwholesome Thoughts with the 3 evil roots > forming a cocoon of wrong thoughts borne of accumulation of experiences (good and bad) via memories and the conditioned mind with its views, opinions, phobias, envy, jealousy, insecurity, resentment, all kinds of emotional negativity, etc.) leading to depression and panic attack.
  • If you treat your thoughts as a friend for you to use appropriately with understanding, you will have wholesome thoughts borne of right views Then you will be beautiful and you will have the good life.
  • Thought is a good tool for you to use to help you live life. Do not use it to harm yourself and hit out at Thought is neither good nor bad, it depends on the user of thought. Without wisdom, thoughts will become wrong thoughts. Reason why cultivators must straighten their wrong views to develop wisdom.

4 types of wrong speeches:

  • False speech
  • Harsh speech
  • Back biting and
  • Frivolous speech

Sis Yoon Chun recounts walking down the precarious steps of Fanjing San from her recent GuiZhou trip. She heard fearful comments like “wah! So steep!” – To which she responded with “Don’t look down and don’t think. Just walk”; this enable her to successfully complete the descending circuit.

  • Bro Teoh added that we should walk mindful and really get to know our own body. If need to rest, then rest. Be attentive and walk mindfully so that you will not lose your balance. If need to hold on to the railing or chain to ensure safety, then just do it.
  • It is important to maintain awareness during the climb (e.g. be aware of our breathing)
    with wise attention (recognise what is fit/unfit for attention).
  • When you are mindful (mind in full awareness), there is naturally no thinking and you are fully aware and more sensitive.
  • As emphasised in J Krishnamurti’s daily quote: “Listening brings freedom” …. > Be simple, don’t let wrong thoughts (habitual tendencies) complicate matters (or cloud your awareness and dull your mundane mind).

Sis PG shares her experience from the early morning after the rain, at the FanjingSan, Borui resort. It was so still, so beautiful, with exceptional energy. Also, when sitting in meditation in the main hall of the Golden Buddha temple (where the golden statue of Maitreya Buddha was located), the mind could become so silent and still so fast.

Bro Teoh recap last Thursday’s sharing by his daughter of a donation she made to the heart foundation some time ago.

  • She had the thought “kena cheated”, and her mind was caught in mental negativity (e.g. “How can people do this?”) for quite a while, festering into emotional turmoil.
  • She recalled an enquiry from the Cameron retreats “Why this thought, and not other thoughts?
    This enquiry freed her, through understanding, by reversing the thought that trapped her; choosing to perceive all live situation with wholesomeness and understanding instead of negativity. (e.g. “Maybe it is genuine?”, “Even if not genuine, maybe they need my money?”, “What’s done is done, let it be”)
  • Feel with awareness > whenever you are not peaceful and unhappy, the wrong thoughts and evil roots are there.
  • True Cultivators are sensitive because they are constantly aware. Any stirring of thoughts (wholesome or unwholesome) leading to emotions, will be easily detected.
  • With wisdom at the moment of sense experience (yoniso manasikara), thought will have no power over you.

Take care of kamma

Everything arises and ceases due to causes and conditions (dependent originating)

Realise the beautiful empty nature of existence (anatta).

Everything within the condition world are condition dhamma;

  • No reality, dream-like, illusions, bubbles and shadows.
  • Like a morning dew (very transient), like a lighting flash (very fast), impermanent.
  • Contemplate it thus.

Take care of mind

  • Mind is the forerunner of all things,
  • When mind arise, everything arise

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190409

(Short Note pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings –WHAT IS IT THAT IS REBORN? Chapter 29, Page 453 – 454)

Apart from the 5 Aggregates or Mind & Matter, there is NO eternal Soul, or a permanent Unchanging Entity. Buddhism refutes the theory of an Almighty and all-powerful God. If that was so, we should be living in a Utopia, without all the nature’s disasters, diseases, problems, conflict, fighting, wars and suffering in this World. This was corroborated by a very famous and popular Physicist, Steven Hawkins too. His rationale is that if a Creator God did exist, then how did he come into existence and what was he doing before he created the World and Man?

So, what is reborn? What dies and Who dies? Death is just the separation of the consciousness from the form (body) after the death consciousness has occurred. The physical form which consist of the 4 elements will disintegrates and go the way of nature at Death. The rebirth consciousness which immediately occur after the death consciousness will seeks out another body (a new form and mind or segmented life) to start another life according to the law of karma. Technically, No one is reborn because the new form and mind is dependent originating and it is not a permanent unchanging entity. It is connected to our karmic nature but it is not us. It is just a karmically conditioned form and mind (‘vehicle and tool’) for us to come to this existential world to live life. It is the craving force that binds the consciousness to a Form for life to exist.

We should make our own investigations into such matters with our Silent Mind or with our True Nature. Through proper meditation we will gain understanding of the truth and come to realize who and what we are clearly.

(The above draft short notes is prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun).

Teoh Tue 190402

(Short Note pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – HOW REBIRTH TAKES PLACE     Chapter 28, Page 446 – 451)

At the point of death, the good and bad deeds or thoughts that occurred during a person’s life time or immediately before his death (habitual actions) determines where he will be reborn. This is usually the case unless he has committed one of the 5 heavy kamma or the 5 heinous actions (Garuka Kamma) which are killing one’s parents, hurting a Buddha, causing schism in the sangha community. The very strong good action is being in Jhana. These 5 heavy kamma and such strong mind states override all other actions to determine rebirth destination.

Signs/vision of habitual tools used like knife of surgeons or butchers or food for dana may appear to the dying person. These are Kamma Nimitta. He may also see symbols of destiny (Gati Nimitta) like fire, forest, mountains, mother’s womb or celestial mansions, etc.

Towards the end, his Bhavanga & mind door consciousness are interrupted & pass away, leaving 5 very weak thought moments to condition & regulate rebirth. After this last thought or death consciousness (Cuti Citta) death occurs. The Wind element of the Body dissipates first, then heat, water and lastly earth. The body finally turns into Dust. The remnant of consciousness then leaves the physical body immediately after the craving force that held it to the body dissipates.

The gender of the new being is determined by kamma.

Bro Teoh mused that women with higher average mortality age tend to live longer than men and asked for the possible reasons. The responses are women tend to have higher pain threshold and they experience less stress as they are usually housewife or simple career ladies.  They also like to express their displeasure more easily (to reduce their discomfort) because they are more emotional and they also takes less risks thus have fewer worries. They have more love because they can sacrifice for their loved ones.

(Above short notes draft prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 1903226

(Short Note pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – PLANES OF EXISTENCE Chapter 27, Page 435 – 444)

There are 31 planes of existence which beings manifest according to their moral and immoral kamma. Of these planes, 4 are states of unhappiness or Kama Dugati and they are:

  • Hell realm, with endless suffering,
  • Hungry ghosts (Peta) realm, dominated by greed. Can only receive merits transferred from their relatives (Tirokudda Sutta)
  • Animal realm, dominated by ignorant.
  • Asuras or demon realm, dominated by anger.
  • The Happy planes (Kama Sugati) are:
  • Human Realm with both happiness and pain

6 heavenly realms – abode of devas

(Together with the 4 unhappy planes, they are known as KAMALOKA, sensual realms or planes)

  • Brahma Realms -16 realms of Rupaloka, resided by those who practise jhana
  • Arupaloka (formless) Realms

Sis Padmasuri enquired which plane would those taking the Bodhisattva vows be reborn.

Bro Teoh replied that they can be reborn in any realm but they prefer mainly either the human, animal or deva realms.

Sis Han asked if it is easier to meditate without form. Logically there is no suffering without form. But devas enjoy life so much that they normally don’t have the conditions to think of cultivating.

Sis Adeline shared a little about her experiences during the recent Cameron Highlands Retreat.

Bro Teoh commented that the 5th patriarch taught that All Dhammas arise from Self Nature and we have to know how to use our mind (especially our mundane mind) but not be deceived or deluded by it.

(Above draft is by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190312

(Short Note pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – MODES OF BIRTH & DEATH      (Chapter 26, Page 432 – 434)

Bro Teoh introduced a Mahayana teaching called Sutra on repayment of Kindness (Ullambana Sutra). This sutra relates to Maha Moggallana’s falial piety to rescue her mother who was born in the hunger ghost realm.

According to the Buddha there are 4 types of Kindness which are difficult to repay, viz. kindness by Father, Mother, the Buddha & Dhamma Teachers.

Sis Chwee enquired how authentic is this sutra since it is not recorded in the Theravada text. Bro Teoh explained that not all Buddha’s teachings were propagated under the Theravada texts. The Mahayana teachings were mainly from some great beings and Bodhisattvas who received them from other source.  One of it is from Tusita heaven when Sakyamuni Buddha was preaching the dhamma to his mother using his transformation body. Fortunately, some teaching were also brought into China by people like the 1st Patriarch of China (Master Bodhidharma) and Kumarajiva and other teachers.

Sis Tammy covered this lesson on the modes of death, via:

  • Reproductive Kamma having exhausted
  • Expiration of Life Term
  • Both of the above causes occurring simultaneously
  • Destructive kamma that causes Sudden Death.

Modes of birth are either via egg, womb, water or spontaneous rebirth

(Above prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190305

(Short Note pdf)

Paticca Samuppada Video

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – PATICCA SAMUPPADA (Chapter 25, Page 429 – 431)

Bro Teoh summarised the Arising Cycle of the Dependent Origination (12 links) teaching, followed by the Cessation Cycle where he linked it to the end of all Suffering leading to the enlightenment. At the link of Cessation of Form and Mind (Nama-Rupa), one realises Nibbana. Bro Teoh explained the processes leading to this cessation (enlightenment) very clearly then he also gave a very detail explanation of this 12 links teaching again so that it can be video and download for viewing to help you develop the clear understanding. The video will be out soon so do view the video to develop a clear understanding of this 12 links teaching. This is a complete revision by Bro Teoh on this 12 links teaching.

Sis Tammy enquired about the condition of a Bodhisattva who has not realized arahantship taking rebirth. Bro Teoh explained that a Bodhisattva is by definition an enlightened being with no avijja. But there are cases where sincere cultivators (with great faith and having good teachers and guides), who have yet to realize arahantship may decide to take the Bodhisattva vows to go this way. Initially such Bodhisattvas are reborn as living/human being with avijja like normal unenlightened beings.  Bro Teoh explained very clearly how such Bodhisattvas can have the clear advantages of having prior understanding of the Bodhisattva way before they realize arahantship because of their vows taken earlier.  Bro Teoh also explained very clearly how the enlightened Bodhisattva take rebirth without ignorant (avijja). Please view the video and listen to the audio recording for full details.

Bro Teoh emphasized on the importance of having the right view with regards to the law of karma to avoid ALL evil by keeping the 5 precepts with a very stable daily mindfulness closely. This Right View will lead one to cultivate the Right Thoughts, speeches and action. Similarly with right views with regards to law of mind (citta niyama) and law of dhamma (dhamma niyama) leading to the right cultivation.

Sis Yoon Chun shared the difficulty in avoiding ALL EVIL. She sighted a person who was embarrassed by her boss for shouting at her, in front of her other colleagues. Angry wrong and unwholesome thoughts kept arising whenever she thought of the incident. Bro Teoh rejoice with her rather good example because it can help explained very clearly how the mind function as per the 12 links or dependent origination teaching. The content of consciousness input at the 4th link  are always negative because of the ignorant leading to stress and suffering caused by the grasping mind (Sankhara sanna) concocting or ‘cooking’. So evil kept appearing in her thoughts and overflowed into her speeches although she tried to abandon them due to her lack of understanding of the dhamma. Bro Teoh also gave some very good examples to illustrate the workings of the 12 links teaching. Please do listen to the audio recording for full details.

(About draft is by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190226

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – PATICCA SAMUPPADA (Chapter 25, Page 429 – 430)

1st session: Meditation 

Bro Teoh gave very clear instructions on how to develop the meditation as taught by the Buddha.

Bro Teoh also explains the stages of anapanasati training leading to the subtle breathing and the silent mind. How mind enters sati and becomes the meditative mind which is very sensitive and different.

The 4 supports for awareness base meditation are i) Relax, ii) Aware (Sati), iii) Maintain awareness for as long as we can (24 hours) and iv) Trust. 

2nd session: Dhamma sharing

Bro Teoh continued to explain the dependent origination teaching from both perspectives of the 3 lifetimes (as explained by the text) as well as within every moment of our current life (as explained by Bro Teoh via his meditative training) in much greater details this time.  The explanation becomes much clearer when all the 12 links were written on the whiteboard followed by clear explanation of each link in great detail by Bro Teoh. To understand them better please do listen to the dhamma audio recording and sharing from the 52 minutes onward.

With ignorance (Avijja) & Sakkayaditthi (self-delusion), the so called good we do will continue to be tainted with the hidden greed and delusion behind our thought processes.

We should develop right views via wisdom to use our conscience to decide on meritorious actions. This will remove the greed and delusion elements in our actions. Please do listen to the audio recording from 1:20:00 onwards to develop the clear understanding. The next new transcript book to be printed – ‘Understanding the Heart and the Mind’ was also introduced.

He re emphasised the importance of following the 10 steps as stated in Avijja Sutta’s enlightenment sequence closely to develop the cultivation leading to enlightenment in the here and the now.

The first step is to have dhamma friends to help us remain on the path of cultivation to receive the Buddha’s teaching. This will enable us to keep the 5 basic precepts and constantly listening to the true dhamma, leading to having right views to develop our unshakable faith in the Triple Gems. We should then follow the rest of the practice steps till we reach enlightenment. The full explanation on the Avijja sutta by Bro Teoh is from 1:23:00 of the audio recording onward. Please do listen to it attentively to develop the clear understanding of the 10 steps leading to enlightenment via the Avijja sutta as taught by the Buddha.

(Above draft prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190219

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – PATICCA SAMUPPADA (Chapter 25, Page 419 – 427)

Bro Teoh reviewed the 12 links or dependent origination teaching of the Buddha. Although the text book described it as occurring over 3 life times but Bro Teoh emphasised that this 12 links teaching are consistently occurring within every moment of our lives. Birth as described in this 12 links teaching is not physical but mental birth manifesting into speech and actions (transgression). Upon contact, feelings immediately arise. Without wisdom it will condition craving and grasping, then becoming, thereby being: “born” i.e. manifesting into transgression. These are all mind-made.

For puthujjana, their thinking (sankhara) are based on ignorance (avijja) and they tend to act from memory of past experiences via their views, opinions and mental conditioning. Whereas the ariya (enlightened noble being) having realized wisdom, view the world from their true nature and understanding. Their volition, perception and thinking are with wisdom i.e. no evil roots and their 5 aggregates are non-grasping (pure aggregates).

Ignorance is not understanding Non-self and the 4 Noble Truths. It is also latent in moral activities.

Human birth takes place when the following 3 supporting conditions are present:

  • A pysical body (after conception of ovum and sperm) b) a rebirth consciousness c) kammic force (which becomes the life force) that comes from our karmic nature to pump our heart. (Reason why our blood also has this life force energy)

Thus with Sati, we can be aware of our whole body where there is blood. Our nerves is spread throughout our body to signal to us when any problem appears in our body. When we have our mindfulness (Sati) developed we can detect these signs quickly and take action to heal ourselves.

When the 3 supporting conditions are in place, the being will arise. But at conception the cells only start to subdivide. The being is not formed at this time yet…because No heartbeat. Soon the heart is the first organ to be formed with the life force within. Heartbeat begins by the 3rd week of conception. According to science the process of conception leading to foetus development are as follows:

Month 1

  • The first month marks the conception with the implantation of the zygote on the uterine wall
  • Some of the multiplying cells develop into a baby while the rest form the placenta that nourishes the baby
  • The heartbeat begins by the 21st day and the spinal cord, nerves, and muscles start developing by the fourth week

Month 2

  • As you enter the second month, the tiny life is no more called a zygote but an embryo, which is just a fraction of an inch long
  • The heart and a basic blood circulatory system are in place
  • Pancreas, liver, and stomach are formed
  • The limb buds are distinct now
  • By the end of this month, all the facial features start developing

Month 3

  • Starts developing muscles and bones, tooth buds, and fingers and toes. After ten weeks, the baby is called a fetus
  • By week 12, the fetus will measure around 3in and weigh an ounce
  • The skin is transparent
  • Eyelids are closed
  • Muscles and nerves are developing

Month 4

  • Begins to suck with the mouth
  • The eyebrows, eyelashes, and fingernails have grown
  • Fingerprints are evident
  • The skin has a wrinkled appearance
  • The kidneys start functioning by producing urine
  • Sex determination is possible by this month through an ultrasound scan
  • Bowel movements start and meconium is produced in the intestinal tract

Month 5

  • Measures 6in and 9oz
  • The movements become more distinct and frequent
  • The skin develops fine hair called lanugo and a waxy coating called vernix for protecting and covering the thin skin
  • Can start hearing and swallowing

Month 6

  • Measures around 12in and weighs about 2lb
  • The bone marrow begins formation of red blood cells
  • Taste buds are formed
  • Lungs develop but not completely
  • The eyes begin to open and the hair starts growing
  • Develops reflexes
  • Genitals are developing faster with boys having testicles descending into scrotum and girls having ovaries with eggs for the lifetime

The Gateway to our nature and the Seat of Consciousness are within our heart area. The feeling or emotion body also resides within this heart.

(Above draft is by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190129

(Short Notes pdf)

You and nothingness are one

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings – The Wheel of Life (Paticca Sammuppada) (Chapter 25, Page 419)

Bro Teoh discussed J Krishnamurthi’s quote: ”You and Nothingness are One”

Through a very stable awareness (mindfulness) we can see clearly the “Empty nature of existence” and come to understand that the observer is the observed hence its anatta nature. One needs to experience/realize this state of nothingness in one’s meditation to awaken.

Sis Adeline shared her experience on that realization of total stillness at her recent retreat in Wat Na Luang, Thailand. She said the first few days were mainly theory but because of her stability of daily mindfulness developed earlier on (over the last 2 plus years) she was able to easily understand what was shared. Then on the last day when they have this fairly long meditation session she was able to settle down very fast and within a short moment she was in the state of total stillness without thought. She felt so light, so free and there was just still awareness without any thought at all. She sat for almost two hours without any pain or mental hindrances and there was hardly any thought then later she experience only complete stillness and joy borne of a free mind. She realised the state of no thought, no mark (of a self) and no dwelling as stated by Hui Neng in his 6th Patriarch Platform sutra. She had also earlier on developed a very good understanding of the Heart Sutra as taught by Kuan Yin. The J Krishnamurti quote that Bro Teoh shared that night (on ‘you and nothingness are one’) was so clear to her because that was what she realized while at Wat Na Luang. She said during the early years, she cannot understand J Krishnamurti quotes at all but then suddenly nowadays J Krishnamurti quotes were so beautiful, so profound and so clear to her. Suddenly she can under them so well.

Bro Teoh rejoices with her rather good progress and explain that she was able to realize all these was because she had diligently developed the stability of daily mindfulness with great faith (two plus years ago) after understanding what Bro Teoh had shared with her (mainly his Heart Sutra short notes teachings) while attending Bro Teoh’s last two years Cameron Highlands retreats.  Bro Teoh also shared 5th Patriarch’s message to Hui Neng. The 5th Patriarch told Hui Neng, “He who had realized their True Nature is the Buddha”. That is the reason why Bro Teoh always shared with us this important understanding – unless one realises one’s true mind or true nature one can never understand the true dhamma (teaching of the Buddha) especially those of the Heart sutra and the 6th Patriarch’s Platform sutra. That is, one must connect to one’s true mind or true nature to awaken. Only the true mind can awaken one’s nature. We have to reflect and contemplate on this deeply and Bro Teoh also reminded us on the importance of cultivating a very stabilize daily mindfulness leading to heedfulness to gain true insights.

Bro Vincent enquired whether a thinker can be separated from thoughts. Bro Teoh replied that one needs to realize this state of no ‘thinker’ behind the thought via a very stable daily mindfulness. The truth of the matter is the thought thinks itself because there is no separate thinker, they are join phenomena and thoughts arise through response to memory.

(About short notes was prepared by Sister Hooi Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190122

(Short Notes pdf)

Book Reference: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 25 – The Wheel of Life – Paticca-Samuppāda, Page 419)

Importance of stability of daily mindfulness, with references from Avijja sutta.

Bro Kok Loon shares his dream-like experience, hinting on past lives. He had a vision of being in a desert area by a cliff, in a place carved out from within the mountains, and the people there were from an ancient civilisation. It felt familiar, like he built that place and saw how it ended, with mixed feelings. Turns out it was an actual place that existed 600 years ago, in Central America.

Bro Teoh also draws similarity to Sister Anne’s dream about Bodhgaya temple and her affinity with that place and the Dhammacakkappavattana sutta.

4 bases of success as taught by the Buddha are: Chanda (passion), viriya (zeal or driving force), citta (willpower) and vimansa (investigative understanding). Here vimansa is a more general non-spiritual investigative understanding towards self-improve, in that sense it is slightly different from dhamma vicaya which is dhamma investigation.

7 factors of enlightenment (satta bojjhanga) are:

    • Sati – mind in full awareness/attentiveness before the arising of thoughts
    • Dhamma Vicaya – Dhamma investigation
    • Viriya – spiritual tenacity/energy/zeal to cultivate this noble path
    • Piti – spiritual joy
    • Passadhi – tranquillity / stillness of mind
    • Samadhi – stabilised mindfulness (mind is collected and unwavering mind)
    • Upekkha – equanimity of mental formations borne of wisdom

8 types (4 pairs) of enlightened beings:

  • Beings of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Stage of Sainthood.
  • A pair for each stage (total 4 pairs). Path and fruition for each pair.
    • Those on the Path are already enlightened but their wisdom has not stabilised.
    • Fruition means their wisdom already stabilised and they are able to share their understanding.
  • These 4 pairs of noble beings have Good conduct, Upright conduct, Wise conduct and Dutiful conduct
    • They will act in accordance with Nobile 8 Fold Path.
    • They will understand that even though this Form and Mind is not them but it is not entirely separate from their nature in the sense that it arise from their karmic nature hence it is still subject to the law of Kamma. (A good example is the story of arahant Maha Mongalana being clobbered to death after having committed heavy kamma in his past.)

Whole of life and existence is not so real because it is “only mighty nature rolling by hence we have to choose to accept everything as natural to avoid suffering.” Acceptance is wisdom.

  • All Causal phenomena and Condition arising entities exhibit the 3 universal characteristics of nature (Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta).
  • They are governed by 5 universal orders of nature namely: i) Bija niyama (the Biological order), ii) Utu niyama (the Physical order), iii) Karma niyama (the Law of Kamma), iv) Citta niyama (the Law of Mind) and v) Dhamma niyama (the Law of Dhamma).

Sis Wendy asked about the scenario of getting angry during a traffic jam; whether this constitutes kamma.

Bro Teoh clarifies that this is an example of heedlessness that creates condition for higher possibility of accidents to happen. Alternatively, if we can remains patient and allow things to be, our parami will have the chance to manifest via not creating the conditions for karmic negativity to arise. Then to your surprise, suddenly you will be able to go on the correct lane and the traffic will clear quickly for you to move on.

If you are mindful, sensitive and aware, you will be able to see the signs of karmic debt approaching – better ask for forgiveness and repent, then cultivate wholesomeness via following the advice of the Buddha to avoid all evil, do good and purify your mind. If need to pay back, then pay it back.

Bro Teoh also shares a few incidences of karma he has witnessed and experienced while he was young.

Paticca-Samuppāda (or Iddapaccayata) is a very important 12 links or Dependent Origination teaching of the Buddha. It explained the Law of Mind (about how the mind functions/operates):

  • 1st link is avijja (ignorance of the Dhamma) and the Buddha said, Dependent on ignorant it condition (or paccaya) Sankhara;

– Dependent on sankhara (content of consciousness, everything the mind can do*) it conditions vinnana.
– Dependent on vinnana (pure consciousness before the input of its content) it conditions nama rupa.
– Dependent on nama rupa (2nd aspect: 5 mental aggregates of form and mind) it conditions salayatana.

– Dependent on salayatana (sense bases) it conditions Phassa.
– Dependent on phassa (contact) it conditions vedana.
– Dependent on vedana (feeling) it conditions tanha.
– Dependent on tanha (craving due to 3 evil roots) it conditions upadana.
– Dependent on upadana (obsessed, grasping) it conditions bhava.
– Dependent on bhava (becoming, becomes that thing) it conditions birth (jati).
– Dependent on jati (birth or transgression via action, speech or thought) arises the whole mass of suffering or jaramarana …. (Whole mass of suffering)

  • This flow is multi-dimensional, i.e. Non-linear. It arises at every moment of sense door consciousness while living life. The mind can shift very quickly from one sense consciousness to another sense consciousness.
  • The linear representation is only to aid initial recognition and introduction of its phases.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190115

(Short Notes pdf)

Ref. Book: The Buddha and His Teachings by Narada (Chapter 24 – Reasons to Believe in Rebirth, Page 416)

Bro Teoh shares his perspective on the topic of rebirth, through his observations (with mindfulness) of how his current life experiences unfold so beautifully with many signs and hints on influences from past lives and also how he inherited a lot of understanding (both mundane and spiritual) which he never learn this life.  Such understandings borne of past vows and aspirations are rather unique and they do give inferences to possible good understanding to live future lives. He also discuss with us the below topics:

  • Examples of special beings (great beings) that are born with very clear purpose, intent and affinities into our present world.
  • Power of aspirations and vows.
  • Vastness of our universe and beyond. Our universe having such immense infinite space – even after viewing space as far as 16 billion light years away there is still no sign of a boundary or
  • Prior civilisations of the earth’s history – the Sumerian and Atlantis
  • Difference between reincarnation and
  • The beauty of the 4 Noble Truth and its 3 turnings as taught by the Buddha (the essence of the Buddha’s teaching). 

Sis Yoon Chun shares that the mind has to be very quiet in order to contemplate/reflect. Brother Teoh adds on the following:

  • One also needs to have a stable mindfulness in a quiet setting to cultivate the 2nd turning contemplation and reflection wisdom.
  • Contemplation on life enables one to develop the requisite wisdom needed to understand life and to see clearly the pristine beauty and wonders of life.
  • 2nd turning wisdom (cintamaya panna) borne of contemplation and reflection on the dhamma proclaimed by the Buddha is very important. It sets the base for us to receive subsequent truth.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)​

Reasons to believe in rebirth pg 416 

The theory of heredity should be supplemented by the doctrine of karma and rebirth to explain infant prodigies, familiar people and surroundings (of places) never seen before and inequality of mankind. Without the doctrine of karma many happenings in life cannot be properly explained.

We have existed many life times, even before the past civilizations of Sumeru and Atlantis. The Buddha said, ‘Inconceivable is the beginning of the 1st thought of ignorance that conditioned birth.’

Bro Teoh shared his experiences in such cases and recalled the power of past vows and aspirations.

We are reborn either with avijja in a conditioned state or as a bodhisattva based on our vows. As a bodhisattva it is best to cultivate until we can connect to our true nature and realize the cultivation stage of no mark.

(Above 2nd part of the outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Yoon Chun)

Teoh Tue 190108

(Short Notes pdf)

Reference Book: The Buddha and His Teachings by Ven. Narada (Chapter 24 – Reasons to Believe in Rebirth, Page 412)

Brother Teoh shares a few stories about encounters with mediums (people getting into trance with body possessed by non-humans).

Multiple questions regarding the formless state of non-humans were clarified and discussed.

Sister PG shares her experience of sensing non-humans (feeling sudden chill).

Bro Teoh shares that there is no need to fear non-humans as they do not have a physical body to harm you. Non-humans usually only have negative energy field, which may be used by them to amplify your fears. They can sense your fear. With mindfulness and no movement of thought, there will be no fear in you. Virtue, precepts and loving kindness (metta) protects.

Sis Stephanie shares an occasion about difficulty sleeping in an accommodation that used to be a church.

Sis PG asks regarding eerie places of redevelopment, e.g. the redevelopment of Pudu Jail.

Communication with non-humans and remnant of consciousness that came out of the body after death is possible, as they exist even if you don’t see them. They can see and hear you very clearly and they have emotions too. Because of their delusion, sometimes they do get angry. Be sensitive and considerate in seeking their kind understanding and cooperation.

  • g. you can talk to them explaining: “In our society, after we have bought the place, we own the building, and we have the right to do renovation, etc. I understand you were here before me and that this has been your dwelling. Please understand that we don’t mean any harm. I seek your forgiveness if I have offended you. You are welcome to stay and I hope you can help protect and keep this place safe.”
  • Bro Teoh shared a few more examples from his life’s experience with the class.

(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sis Soo Yee)

Teoh Tue 190101


Tuesday Class Recordings 2018 – 2014

Diamond Sutra (Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra) 10 Mar 2015 – 2 May 2017