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Dhamma Quotes & Guides
in Realizing the Handful of Leaves

 

“Inconceivable, bhikkhus, is the beginning of this samsara.
A first point is not known of beings roaming and wandering the round of rebirth,
hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.”

“Which do you think, bhikkhus, is more:
the stream of tears that you have shed as you roamed
 and wandered on through this long course,
weeping and wailing because of being united with the
disagreeable and separated from the agreeable
– this or the water in the four great oceans?
The stream of tears that you have shed as you roamed and wandered
on through this long course
… this alone is greater than the water in the four great oceans …

For such a long time, bhikkhus,
you have experienced suffering, anguish, and disaster, and
swelled the cemeteries.”
(S.15.3 “Assu Sutta”)

...

Furthermore:

“There will come a time when the mighty ocean will
dry up, vanish and be no more.
There will come a time when the mighty earth will
be devoured by fire, perish and be no more.

But yet there will be no end to the suffering
of beings roaming and wandering this round of rebirth,
hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving.”
(S.22.99 “Gaddulabaddha Sutta”)

...

“Through many a birth I wandered in samsara,
Seeking, but not finding the builder of this house.
Painful it is to be born again and again.

“O house-builder! You are seen.
You shall build no house again.
All your rafters are broken.
Your ridgepole is shattered.

“My mind has attained the unconditioned.
Achieved is the end of craving.

[Builder: craving; House: body (the five aggregates);
Rafters
: defilements; Ridgepole: ignorance]
(Dh.153-154 “Udana Vatthu”)

...

And what, bhikkhus, is craving?

There are these six classes of craving:

   craving for forms (sights),
   craving for sounds,
   craving for odours,
   craving for tastes,
   craving for tactile objects,
   craving for mental constructions.

This is called craving.

...

“Monks, there are four (modes of) clinging.
Which four?

Sensuality clinging,
view clinging,
habit-&-practice clinging, and
doctrines-of-the-self clinging.”

(MN 11)

...

And what are the five aggregates?

  • Rupa (Body),

  • vedana (feeling),

  • sanna (perception),

  • sankhara (mental formations) and

  • vinnana (consciousness).

...

And what are the defilements (kilesa) ?

  • Lobha (greed/lust/passion/wanting/sensual desire/likes),

  • Dosa (hatred/aversion/anger/not-wanting/ill-will/dislikes), and

  • Moha (delusion/confusion/deception/cloudiness/dullness/wrongknowing/not knowing).

...

And what is ignorance?

Not knowing:

  • stress,

  • the origin of stress,

  • the cessation of stress, &

  • the path leading to the cessation of stress.

(SN 12.2)

...

and the way to the end of the stress of
ignorance (avijja), craving (tanha), clinging (upadana), sankhara, kamma
[5 causes of rebirth]

“And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that

— producing vision, producing knowledge —

leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding?

Precisely this Middle Noble Eightfold Path:

right view, right thought,

right speech, right action, right livelihood,

right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Ariya Sacca
[The Fourth: Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering]

(SN 56:11)

...

Avoiding the two extremes, the Middle Path

Bhikkhus, these two extremes should not be followed by one gone forth (into the homeless life). What two? That which is this pursuit of sensual happiness in sense pleasures, which is low, vulgar, the way of the ordinary person, ignoble, not connected to the goal; and that which is this pursuit of self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, not connected to the goal. Bhikkhus, without veering towards either of these two extremes, the One Who Moves in Reality has awakened to the middle path, which gives rise to vision, which gives rise to knowledge, which leads to peace, to higher knowledge, to full awakening, to Nibbāna.

(Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta)

...

Fetters or binders or saṃyojanā

The Five Lower Fetters:

1. Personality (Self) View  2. Skeptical Doubt  3. Attachment to Habits & Practices 
4. Sensual Desire  5. Ill-Will

The Five Higher Fetters:

6. Craving for Fine-Material Existence  7. Craving for Immaterial Existence  8. Conceit
9. Restlessness  10. Ignorance

These ten fetters have been our master since the beginning of samsara.

When the first three are shattered, the Stream Entry is attained.

Release is assured at the most 7 rebirths.

...

Sole dominion over the earth,
going to heaven,
lordship over all worlds:
          the fruit of stream-entry
          excels them.

(Dhp 178)

...

Comparing dukkha remaining in a Stream-enterer (Sotapanna)
with dukkha of ordinary beings (puthujana)

"What do you think, monks? Which is greater: the little bit of dust I have picked up with the tip of my fingernail, or the great earth?"

"The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth — this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail — when compared with the great earth."

"In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That's how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That's how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye."

(Nakhasikha Sutta: The Tip of the Fingernail, SN 13.1)

...

This precious human birth

"Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"

"It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."

"It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state.
It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy &
rightly self-awakened, arises in the world.
It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline
expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world."

"Now, this human state has been obtained.
A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world.
A Doctrine & Discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world."

(Samyutta Nikaya 56.48 "Chiggala Sutta")

So do not waste this precious human birth

...

The Escape

The Buddha once said about Nibbana:

There is that,
which is unborn, uncreated, unformed & unconstructed !
If, Bhikkhus, there was not this unborn, uncreated, unformed and unconstructed,
no escape from what is born, created, formed & constructed could ever be realized...

But since there indeed exists that,
which is utterly unborn, uncreated, unformed and unconstructed,
the escape from this born, created, formed & constructed state can therefore indeed be realized, explained and made known right here and now !

...

Who knows by tomorrow, one may still be living or dead.
Thus reflecting, without procrastinating tomorrow or the day after,
One should incessantly exert right away on this very day.

(Uparipan Bhaddekanatta Sutta 226)

...

For the sake of others' welfare, however great, let one not neglect one's own welfare.
Clearly perceiving one's own welfare, let one be intent on one's own goal.
(
Dhammapada 166)

Go forth! The Vinaya, a whole basket is meant for one's own welfare.

...

Monks, strive with heedfulness.
Rare is it that Buddhas arise in the world.
Rare is it that [one] obtains a human [birth].
Rare is it to have the good fortune of [being in the right] time
[and place to come in contact with the Dhamma].
Rare it is that [one] is endowed with faith.
Rare is [it that there is the opportunity to take] the Going forth.
Rare is [it that there is the opportunity for] listening to the Dhamma.
Thus the Blessed One exhorted daily, thus the Well-fared One exhorted daily.
(Sugatovāda)

Due to the strong paramis of the past, is this successful meeting with the rare Buddha's Dhamma within this infinitesimal period of samsaric's incalculable period of time. 
Having obtained a male body as a treasured pre-requisite to be a Bhikkhu, training of the upasampada sila can only become possible, go forth! Experience the way of life that's geared for one's own welfare and goal.

...

"Confined is the household life, a path of dust; the going forth is open and spacious.
Not easy is it living in a house to lead the religious life absolutely fulfilled and purified, as polished as mother of pearl.
Suppose I were to shave off my hair and beard, clothe myself in ochre robes and go forth from homelife into homelessness.
"

(Heritage of the Sangha, ch.19)

...

Maranasati : Mindfulness on Death

(Ajahn Brahm)

...

Days Fly Past

(Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

...

I teach one thing and one thing only:
that is, suffering and the end of suffering.

...

Birth is perpetual suffering.

...

Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering; separation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering;
in brief, the five aggregates of clinging are suffering.

This is Dukkha Ariya Sacca.
[The First: Noble Truth of Suffering]

...


True happiness consists in eliminating the false view of 'I'.

...

An ascetic called Mogharaja had asked The Buddha how he should look upon the world, in order to escape death.

Let one look on the world as void (suññato), Mogharaja, always mindful;

Giving up the self-view (ego), one may thus outrun death;

Who looks upon the world in this way, the king of death does not see.

...

Having searched in all directions with the mind, one cannot find anyone anywhere whom one loves more than oneself. In this same way do all beings in all directions love themselves more than anyone else, therefore, one who desires his own welfare should not harm others.

(Mallikà Sutta)

...

Develop the mind of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness, the absence of pride.

(Sutta Nipata)

...

The 8 Worldly Conditions :
gain & loss, fame & disgrace, praise & blame, pleasure & pain

These things of humans are impermanent,
not perpetual, they are changing things, the wise know this.
And reflect on the changing nature of things,
not intoxicated with the agreeable, nor averse with the disagreeable.
Agreeability and disagreeability turned out are no more.
Knowing the state that lacks interest and grief.
Thoroughly knows that state of going beyond being.

Staying above these worldly conditions, unperturbedly still.

...

Pay no attention to the faults of others, things done or left undone.
Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone.

...

However, if one were to admonish another one must ever realize within oneself five qualities before doing so thus:

"In due season (Timely) will I speak, not out of season.
In truth will I speak, not in falsehood.
Gently will I speak, not harshly.
To his profit will I speak, not to his loss.
With kind intent will I speak, not with ill-intent."

...

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much
as your own unguarded thoughts.

...

In what is seen, there should be just the seen;
In what is heard, there should be just the heard;
In what is sensed, there should be just the sensed;
In what is thought, there should be just the thought.

(Bahiya Sutta)

...

"Where neither solidity, fluidity, heat nor motion find any footing,
there no sun, moon nor star ever shines.
There is neither any light, yet nor is there any darkness !
When the Noble, through stilling of all constructions,
through quieting of all mental formations (sankhara),
directly experiences this,
then is he freed from both form & formlessness,
then is he released from both pleasure and all pain ..."
(Udana – Inspiration: I - 10)

...

"Practice jhana, monks.
Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret.
This is our message to you."
(MN 106, SN 35.145, SN 47.10)

...

Ceasings, stillings & calmings

"And I have also taught the step-by-step cessation of fabrications (sankhara).
When one has attained the first jhana, speech has ceased.
When one has attained the second jhana, initial application & sustained application have ceased.
When one has attained the third jhana, rapture has ceased.
When one has attained the fourth jhana, in-and-out breathing has ceased.
When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has ceased.
When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the
perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has ceased.
When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the
perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has ceased.
When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the
perception of the dimension of nothingness has ceased.
 
When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have ceased.
When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has ceased, aversion has ceased, delusion has ceased."

"Then, monk, I have also taught the step-by-step stilling of fabrications.
When one has attained the first jhāna, speech has been stilled.
When one has attained the second jhāna, directed thought & sustained thought have been stilled.
When one has attained the third jhāna, rapture has been stilled.
When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breathing has been stilled.
When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of space, the perception of forms has been stilled.
When one has attained the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space has been stilled.
When one has attained the dimension of nothingness, the perception of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness has been stilled.
When one has attained the dimension of neither-perception nor non-perception, the perception of the dimension of nothingness has been stilled.
When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have been stilled.
When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has been stilled, aversion has been stilled, delusion has been stilled.

"There are these six calmings.
When one has attained the first jhāna, speech has been calmed.
When one has attained the second jhāna, directed thought & evaluation have been calmed.
When one has attained the third jhāna, rapture has been calmed.
When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breathing has been calmed.
When one has attained the cessation of perception & feeling, perception & feeling have been calmed.
When a monk's effluents have ended, passion has been calmed, aversion has been calmed, delusion has been calmed."

(Rahogata Sutta)

...

As Jambukhadika, the wanderer, was sitting there he said to Ven. Sariputta:
"'Stress, stress,' it is said, my friend Sariputta. Which type of stress [are they referring to]?"

"There are these three forms of stressfulness, my friend:

the stressfulness of painful feeling [dukkha-dukkha],
the stressfulness of construction [
sankhāra-dukkha],
the stressfulness of change [
viparināma-dukkha
].

These are the three forms of stressfulness."

SN 38.14

[Note: Sankhāra - mental construction/formation/fabrication, conditioned phenomena, cause & effect, volitional formation, kamma]

...

He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill.
Do not injure any being, either strong or weak in the world.
(Sutta Nipata II,14)

...

Conquer the angry man by love.
Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness.
Conquer the miser with generosity.
Conquer the liar with truth.
(The Dhammapada)

...

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of sharing gifts (dana/offering/generosity), they would not enjoy their gifts without sharing them with others, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there. even if it were their last and final bit of food, they would not enjoy its use without sharing it,
if there were anyone to receive it."
(Itivuttaka 18)

...

"Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching.

Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus:

'Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love - thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.'

It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves."

"Monks, if you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind, do you see any mode of speech, subtle or gross, that you could not endure?"

"No, Lord."

(Kakacupama Sutta)

...

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind.
Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten [cease].

...

Just as a mother would protect with her life her own son, her only son,
so one should cultivate an unbounded mind towards all beings,
and loving-kindness towards all the world.
One should cultivate an unbounded mind, above, below and across,
without obstruction, without enmity, without rivalry.
Standing, or going, or seated, or lying down, as long as one is free from drowsiness,
one should practice this mindfulness.
This, they say, is the holy state here.
(Sutta Nipata)

...

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.

...

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
(Sutta Nipata)

...

The fool thinks he has won a battle when he bullies with harsh speech,
but knowing how to be forbearing alone makes one victorious.
(Samyutta Nikaya I, 163)

...

One day Ananda, who had been thinking deeply about things for a while,
turned to the Buddha and exclaimed:
"Lord, I've been thinking - spiritual friendship (kalyanamitta) is at least half of the spiritual life!"
The Buddha replied: "Say not so, Ananda, say not so.
Spiritual friendship (kalyanamitta) is the whole of the spiritual life!"
(Samyutta Nikaya, Verse 2)

...

In Aryans' Discipline, to build a friendship is to build wealth,
To maintain a friendship is to maintain wealth and
To end a friendship is to end wealth.
(Cakkavatti Sutta, Patika Vagga, Dighanikaya)

...

Solitude is happiness for one who is content, who has heard the Dhamma and clearly sees.
Non-affliction is happiness in the world - harmlessness towards all living beings.
(Udana 10)

...

Make an island of yourself,
make yourself your refuge;
there is no other refuge.
Make truth your island,
make truth your refuge;
there is no other refuge.
(Digha Nikaya, 16)

...

These teachings are like a raft, to be abandoned once you have crossed the flood.
Since you should abandon even good states of mind generated by these teachings,
How much more so should you abandon bad states of mind!

...

The Noble Eightfold Path as a raft...in the Similes of the Vipers.

 ...

Free from Fear
by Release from all Anxiety

The young deity Subrahma once asked the Buddha:
  "Always frightened is this Mind!
   Always troubled is this Mind!
   Always agitated is this Mind!
   About present problems...
   About future problems...
   If there is a release from this worry & anxiety,
   please then explain it to me right now!"

Whereupon the Blessed Buddha simply declared:
   "I see no other real safety for any living being,
   except from control of the senses,
   except from the relinquishment of all,
   except from awakening into Enlightenment!"

...

7 Factors of Enlightenment

When the mind is sluggish, it is not the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: 
tranquility, concentration, and equanimity,
because a sluggish mind can hardly be aroused by them.

When the mind is sluggish, it is the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment:
   investigation of phenomena (dhammavicaya), energy (viriya) and rapture (piti),

because a sluggish mind can easily be aroused by them.

When the mind is restless, it is not the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment:
investigation of the phenomena, energy and rapture,
because an agitated mind can hardly be quietened by them.

When the mind is restless, it is the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment:
   tranquility (pasaddhi), concentration (samadhi) and equanimity (upekkha),

because an agitated mind can easily be quietened by them.

"But as for mindfulness (sati), monks, I declare that it is always useful."

(SN 46:53)

...

"When, monks, a monk lives and practices like this, it occasionally happens that, through a lapse of mindfulness, evil and unskilled states arise, memories and thoughts (sara-sankappaa) pertaining to the fetters.

His mindfulness is aroused only slowly, but then he soon abandons that state, drives it out, abolishes it, puts an end to it.

Just as if, monks, a man were to let fall two or three drops of water into an iron pot that had been heated all day, those few drops would soon be wiped out and vanish — in the same way it occasionally happens to a monk living and practicing like this... but he soon puts an end to it.

(Dukkhadhammaa Sutta SN 35.203)

...

"I don't envision a single thing that is as quick to reverse itself as the mind -
so much so that there is no feasible simile for how quick to reverse itself it is."

(AN 1.48)

...

A brahmin once asked The Blessed One:
"Are you a God?"
"No, brahmin" said The Blessed One.
"Are you a saint?"
"No, brahmin" said The Blessed One.
"Are you a magician?"
"No, brahmin" said The Blessed One.
"What are you then?"
"I am awake. See the truth, and you will see me."

...

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
'one who knows the better way to live alone.'
(Bhaddekaratta Sutta)

...

What is this world condition?

Form (Body) is the world condition.
And with form goes feeling, perception, mental fabrications, consciousness,
and all the activities throughout the world.
The arising of form and the ceasing of form--everything that has been heard, sensed, and known, sought after and reached by the mind--all this is the embodied world, to be penetrated and realized.
(Khandha Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya)

...

"Form, monks, is not self (anatta).

If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.' But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible [to say] with regard to form, 'Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.'

"Feeling is not self...
"Perception is not self...
"[Mental] fabrications are not self...
"Consciousness is not self.
(The Five Aggregates - Form [Rupa], Feeling [Vedana], Perception [Sanna], Mental Fabrication [Sankhara], Consciousness [Vinnana])

.........................................................

"What do you think, monks — is form constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant (anicca), lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful (dukkha), lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"...Is feeling constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."...

"...Is perception constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."...

"...Are fabrications constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."...

"What do you think, monks — is consciousness constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...
Any perception whatsoever...
Any fabrications whatsoever...
Any consciousness whatsoever...

that is past, future, or present; internal or external; gross or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrication, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, the hearts of the group of five monks, through not clinging (not being sustained), were fully released from fermentation/effluents.

(Anatta-lakkhana Sutta)

...

The cause of defilements and the cause of purification

[Mahali:] “And what, lord, is the cause, what the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings? How are beings defiled with cause, with requisite condition?”

[The Buddha:] “Mahali, if form were exclusively stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings would not be infatuated with form. But because form is also pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings are infatuated with form. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition.

“If feeling were exclusively stressful….
“If perception were exclusively stressful….
“If fabrications were exclusively stressful….
“If consciousness were exclusively stressful—

followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings would not be infatuated with consciousness. But because consciousness is also pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings are infatuated with consciousness. Through infatuation, they are captivated. Through captivation, they are defiled. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. And this is how beings are defiled with cause, with requisite condition.”

“And what, lord, is the cause, what the requisite condition, for the purification of beings? How are beings purified with cause, with requisite condition?”

“Mahali, if form were exclusively pleasurable—followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings would not be disenchanted with form. But because form is also stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings are disenchanted with form. Through disenchantment, they grow dispassionate. Through dispassion, they are purified. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the purification of beings. And this is how beings are purified with cause, with requisite condition.

“If feeling were exclusively pleasurable….
“If perception were exclusively pleasurable….
“If fabrications were exclusively pleasurable….
“If consciousness were exclusively pleasurable—

followed by pleasure, infused with pleasure and not infused with stress—beings would not be disenchanted with consciousness. But because consciousness is also stressful—followed by stress, infused with stress and not infused with pleasure—beings are disenchanted with consciousness. Through disenchantment, they grow dispassionate. Through dispassion, they are purified. This is the cause, this the requisite condition, for the purification of beings. And this is how beings are purified with cause, with requisite condition.” — SN 22:60

...

The Only Way

The Foundations of Mindfulness
Satipatthana Sutta

Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was living among the Kurus, at Kammasadamma, a market town of the Kuru people. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhu thus: "Monks," and they replied to him, "Venerable Sir." The Blessed One spoke as follows:

This is the only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely, the four foundations of mindfulness. What are the four?

Herein (in this teaching) a monk lives contemplating the body in the body,[1] ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness,[2] ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief.

I. THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE BODY

1. Mindfulness of Breathing

And how does a monk live contemplating the body in the body?

Herein, monks, a monk, having gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree or to an empty place, sits down with his legs crossed, keeps his body erect and his mindfulness alert.[3]

Ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out. Breathing in a long breath, he knows, "I am breathing in a long breath"; breathing out a long breath, he knows, "I am breathing out a long breath"; breathing in a short breath, he knows, "I am breathing in a short breath"; breathing out a short breath, he knows, "I am breathing out a short breath."

"Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe in," thus he trains himself. "Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe out," thus he trains himself. "Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe in," thus he trains himself. "Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe out," thus he trains himself.

Just as a skillful turner or turner's apprentice, making a long turn, knows, "I am making a long turn," or making a short turn, knows, "I am making a short turn," just so the monk, breathing in a long breath, knows, "I am breathing in a long breath"; breathing out a long breath, he knows, "I am breathing out a long breath"; breathing in a short breath, he knows, "I am breathing in a short breath"; breathing out a short breath, he knows, "I am breathing out a short breath." "Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe in," thus he trains himself. "Experiencing the whole (breath-) body, I shall breathe out," thus he trains himself. "Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe in," thus he trains himself. "Calming the activity of the (breath-) body, I shall breathe out," thus he trains himself.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally.[4] He lives contemplating origination factors[5] in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors[6] in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors[7] in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists,"[8] to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached,[9] and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.

2. The Postures of the Body

And further, monks, a monk knows, when he is going, "I am going"; he knows, when he is standing, "I am standing"; he knows, when he is sitting, "I am sitting"; he knows, when he is lying down, "I am lying down"; or just as his body is disposed so he knows it.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in the body.[10] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.

3. Mindfulness with Clear Comprehension

And further, monks, a monk, in going forward and back, applies clear comprehension; in looking straight on and looking away, he applies clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, he applies clear comprehension; in wearing robes and carrying the bowl, he applies clear comprehension; in eating, drinking, chewing and savoring, he applies clear comprehension; in walking, in standing, in sitting, in falling asleep, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, he applies clear comprehension.

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body...

4. The Reflection on the Repulsiveness of the Body

And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hairs down, thinking thus: "There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine."

Just as if there were a double-mouthed provision bag full of various kinds of grain such as hill paddy, paddy, green gram, cow-peas, sesamum, and husked rice, and a man with sound eyes, having opened that bag, were to take stock of the contents thus: "This is hill paddy, this is paddy, this is green gram, this is cow-pea, this is sesamum, this is husked rice." Just so, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hairs down, thinking thus: "There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine."

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body...

5. The Reflection on the Material Elements

And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body, however it be placed or disposed, by way of the material elements: "There are in this body the element of earth, the element of water, the element of fire, the element of wind."[11]

Just as if, monks, a clever cow-butcher or his apprentice, having slaughtered a cow and divided it into portions, should be sitting at the junction of four high roads, in the same way, a monk reflects on this very body, as it is placed or disposed, by way of the material elements: "There are in this body the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind."

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body...

6. The Nine Cemetery Contemplations

(1) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body dead one, two, or three days; swollen, blue and festering, thrown in the charnel ground, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: "Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it."

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.

(2) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, being eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or by different kinds of worms, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: "Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it."

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body...

(3) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton with some flesh and blood attached to it, held together by the tendons...

(4) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton blood-besmeared and without flesh, held together by the tendons...

(5) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to a skeleton without flesh and blood, held together by the tendons...

(6) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground and reduced to disconnected bones, scattered in all directions_here a bone of the hand, there a bone of the foot, a shin bone, a thigh bone, the pelvis, spine and skull...

(7) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, reduced to bleached bones of conchlike color...

(8) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground reduced to bones, more than a year-old, lying in a heap...

(9) And further, monks, as if a monk sees a body thrown in the charnel ground, reduced to bones gone rotten and become dust, he then applies this perception to his own body thus: "Verily, also my own body is of the same nature; such it will become and will not escape it."

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in the body. Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating the body in the body.

II. THE CONTEMPLATION OF FEELING

And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating feelings in feelings?

Herein, monks, a monk when experiencing a pleasant feeling knows, "I experience a pleasant feeling"; when experiencing a painful feeling, he knows, "I experience a painful feeling"; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling," he knows, "I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling." When experiencing a pleasant worldly feeling, he knows, "I experience a pleasant worldly feeling"; when experiencing a pleasant spiritual feeling, he knows, "I experience a pleasant spiritual feeling"; when experiencing a painful worldly feeling, he knows, "I experience a painful worldly feeling"; when experiencing a painful spiritual feeling, he knows, "I experience a painful spiritual feeling"; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling, he knows, "I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful worldly feeling"; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful spiritual feeling, he knows, "I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful spiritual feeling."

Thus he lives contemplating feelings in feelings internally, or he lives contemplating feelings in feelings externally, or he lives contemplating feelings in feelings internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in feelings, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in feelings, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in feelings.[12] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Feeling exists," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating feelings in feelings.

III. THE CONTEMPLATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS

And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

Herein, monks, a monk knows the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate; the consciousness without hate, as without hate; the consciousness with ignorance, as with ignorance; the consciousness without ignorance, as without ignorance; the shrunken state of consciousness, as the shrunken state;[13] the distracted state of consciousness, as the distracted state;[14] the developed state of consciousness as the developed state;[15] the undeveloped state of consciousness as the undeveloped state;[16] the state of consciousness with some other mental state superior to it, as the state with something mentally higher;[17] the state of consciousness with no other mental state superior to it, as the state with nothing mentally higher;[18] the concentrated state of consciousness, as the concentrated state; the unconcentrated state of consciousness, as the unconcentrated state; the freed state of consciousness, as the freed state;[19] and the unfreed state of consciousness as the unfreed state.

Thus he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness externally, or he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in consciousness, or he lives contemplating dissolution-factors in consciousness, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in consciousness.[20] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Consciousness exists," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness.

IV. THE CONTEMPLATION OF MENTAL OBJECTS

1. The Five Hindrances

And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in mental objects?

Herein, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.

How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances?

Herein, monks, when sense-desire is present, a monk knows, "There is sense-desire in me," or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, "There is no sense-desire in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense-desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense-desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sense-desire comes to be.

When anger is present, he knows, "There is anger in me," or when anger is not present, he knows, "There is no anger in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen anger comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen anger comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned anger comes to be.

When sloth and torpor are present, he knows, "There are sloth and torpor in me," or when sloth and torpor are not present, he knows, "There are no sloth and torpor in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sloth and torpor comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sloth and torpor comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sloth and torpor comes to be.

When agitation and remorse are present, he knows, "There are agitation and remorse in me," or when agitation and remorse are not present, he knows, "There are no agitation and remorse in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen agitation and remorse comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen agitation and remorse comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned agitation and remorse comes to be.

When doubt is present, he knows, "There is doubt in me," or when doubt is not present, he knows, "There is no doubt in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen doubt comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen doubt comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned doubt comes to be.

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in mental objects.[21] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Mental objects exist," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.

2. The Five Aggregates of Clinging

And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging.[22]

How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging?

Herein, monks, a monk thinks, "Thus is material form; thus is the arising of material form; and thus is the disappearance of material form. Thus is feeling; thus is the arising of feeling; and thus is the disappearance of feeling. Thus is perception; thus is the arising of perception; and thus is the disappearance of perception. Thus are formations; thus is the arising of formations; and thus is the disappearance of formations. Thus is consciousness; thus is the arising of consciousness; and thus is the disappearance of consciousness."

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in mental objects.[23] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Mental objects exist," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus also, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five aggregates of clinging.

3. The Six Internal and External Sense Bases

And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the six internal and the six external sense-bases.

How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the six internal and the six external sense-bases?

Herein, monks, a monk knows the eye and visual forms and the fetter that arises dependent on both (the eye and forms);[24] he knows how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.

He knows the ear and sounds... the nose and smells... the tongue and flavors... the body and tactual objects... the mind and mental objects, and the fetter that arises dependent on both; he knows how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution factors in mental objects.[25] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Mental objects exist," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the six internal and the six external sense-bases.

4. The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.

How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment?

Herein, monks, when the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is present, the monk knows, "The enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is in me," or when the enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of mindfulness is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of mindfulness comes to be; and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of mindfulness comes to be.

When the enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is present, the monk knows, "The enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is in me"; when the enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects comes to be, and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of the investigation of mental objects comes to be.

When the enlightenment-factor of energy is present, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of energy is in me"; when the enlightenment-factor of energy is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of energy is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of energy comes to be, and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of energy comes to be.

When the enlightenment-factor of joy is present, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of joy is in me"; when the enlightenment-factor of joy is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of joy is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of joy comes to be, and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of joy comes to be.

When the enlightenment-factor of tranquillity is present, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of tranquillity is in me"; when the enlightenment-factor of tranquillity is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of tranquillity is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of tranquillity comes to be, and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of tranquillity comes to be.

When the enlightenment-factor of concentration is present, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of concentration is in me"; when the enlightenment-factor of concentration is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of concentration is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of concentration comes to be, and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of concentration comes to be.

When the enlightenment-factor of equanimity is present, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of equanimity is in me"; when the enlightenment-factor of equanimity is absent, he knows, "The enlightenment-factor of equanimity is not in me"; and he knows how the arising of the non-arisen enlightenment-factor of equanimity comes to be, and how perfection in the development of the arisen enlightenment-factor of equanimity comes to be.

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution-factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-factors in mental objects.[26] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Mental objects exist," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the seven factors of enlightenment.

5. The Four Noble Truths

And further, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the four noble truths.

How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the four noble truths?

Herein, monks, a monk knows, "This is suffering," according to reality; he knows,"This is the origin of suffering," according to reality; he knows, "This is the cessation of suffering," according to reality; he knows "This is the path leading to the cessation of suffering," according to reality.

Thus he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects externally, or he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution-factors in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-factors in mental objects.[27] Or his mindfulness is established with the thought, "Mental objects exist," to the extent necessary just for knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world. Thus, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the four noble truths.

Verily, monks, whosoever practices these four foundations of mindfulness in this manner for seven years, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: highest knowledge (arahantship) here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.[28]

O monks, let alone seven years. Should any person practice these four foundations of mindfulness in this manner for six years... five years... four years... three years... two years... one year, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: highest knowledge here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

O monks, let alone a year. Should any person practice these four foundations of mindfulness in this manner for seven months... six months... five months... four months... three months... two months... a month... half a month, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: highest knowledge here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

O monks, let alone half a month. Should any person practice these four foundations of mindfulness in this manner for seven days, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: highest knowledge here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.

Because of this it was said: "This is the only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely the four foundations of mindfulness."

Thus spoke the Blessed One. Satisfied, the monks approved of his words.

(Satipatthana Sutta)

...

Paticcasamupada

"And what is dependent co-arising?

From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrication. (avijja-sankhara)
From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. (sankhara-vinnana) 
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. (vinnana-nama rupa)
From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. (nama rupa-salayatana)
From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. (salayatana-phassa)
From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. (phassa-vedana)
From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. (vedana-tanha)
From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. (tanha-upadana)
From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. (upadana-bhava)
From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. (bhava-jati)
From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. (jati-jara-marana)

Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.
Dukkha Samudaya Ariya Sacca. [The Second: Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering]

(SN 12.2)

...

And what is dependent cessation?

With the complete cessation of ignorance, fabrications cease.
With the cessation of fabrications, consciousness ceases.
With the cessation of consciousness, mind and body cease.
With the cessation of mind and body, the six sense bases cease.
With the cessation of the six sense bases, contact ceases.
With the cessation of contact, feeling ceases.
With the cessation of feeling, craving ceases.
With the cessation of craving, clinging ceases.
With the cessation of clinging, becoming ceases.
With the cessation of becoming, birth ceases.
With the cessation of birth, ageing, death, sorrow, lamentation, physical pain, mental pain, and anguish cease.

Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering.
Dukkha Nirodha Ariya Sacca. Nibbana. [The Third: Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering]

(AN 10.92)

...

When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

...

HOW DID THE LORD BUDDHA DWELL?

Bhikkhus, Mindfulness of in- and out- Breath (Ānāpānasati) that one has developed and make much of has great fruit and great benefit.

Even I myself, before awakening, when not yet enlightened, while still a Bodhisatva (Buddha to be), lived in this dwelling (way of life) for the most part. When I lived mainly in this dwelling, the body was not stressed, the eyes were not strained, and my mind was released from the asava (corruptions, cankers) through non-attachment.

For this reason, should anyone wish "may my body be not stressed, may my eyes be not strained, may my mind be released from the asava through non-attachment," then that person ought to attend carefully in his heart to this Mindfulness of in- and out- Breath meditation.

(Samyutta Nikaya. Samyutta LIV, Sutta 8)

...


The Buddha praises ānāpānasati thus:
Bhikkhus, this concentration through mindfulness of breathing,
when developed and practised much, is both peaceful and sublime.
It is an unadulterated blissful abiding, and
it banishes and stills evil unwholesome thoughts as soon as they arise.
(Samyutta Nikāya)

...

Things to be fully
understood, abandoned, developed & realized
by direct knowledge

And what things should be fully understood by direct knowledge?
The five aggregates affected by clinging (upadana),
that is the material form affected by clinging, feeling affected by clinging, perception affected by clinging, mental formation affected by clinging, consciousness affected by clinging.
These are the things that should be fully understood by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be abandoned by direct knowledge?
Ignorance and craving (avijja and tanha).
These are the things that should be abandoned by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be developed by direct knowledge?
Tranquility and insight (samatha-vipassana).
These are the things that should be developed by direct knowledge.

"And what things should be realized by direct knowledge?
Clear knowing and release.
These are the things that should be realized by direct knowledge.

(MN#149)

...

From Ānāpānasati to Release

The Four Frames of Reference

"And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

The Seven Factors for Awakening

"And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

Clear Knowing & Release

"And how are the seven factors for awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination?
(MN 118)

...

From Virtues to Release

"What is the purpose of skillful virtues? What is their reward?"

"Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose,
Ananda, and freedom from remorse as their reward."

"Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward."

"Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward."

"Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward."

"Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward."

"Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward."

"Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose,
knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward."

"In this way, Ananda, skillful virtues lead step-by-step to the consummation of arahantship."
(Kimattha Sutta Anguttara Nikaya 11.1)

...

Samma Samadhi
(
Right Concentration)

"And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by initial application & sustained application. (ii) With the stilling of initial application & sustained application, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right concentration."

SN 45.8

...

Samma Samadhi
(Right Concentration)

(www.what-Buddha-said.net)

...

"´This Dhamma is for one with samádhi, not for one without samádhi.´ So it was said. For what reason was this said? Here a monk enters and abides in the first jhána … second jhána … third jhána … fourth jhána." AN 8.30

...

When the Bodhisatta had the insight that Jhana was the way to Enlightenment, he then thought, "Why am I afraid of that pleasure which has nothing to do with the five senses nor with unwholesome things? I will not be afraid of that pleasure (of Jhana)!" (MN 36)

...

 The Buddha said that one who indulges in the pleasures of Jhana may expect only one of four­ consequences: Stream Winning, Once-returner, Non-returner, or Full Enlightenment!
In other words, indulging in Jhana leads only to the four stages of Enlightenment.
(Pasadika Sutta, DN 29,25)

...

"Jhana is to be followed, is to be developed and is to be made much of. It is not to be feared."
(MN 66)

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"One trains in the higher virtue (sila), the higher mind, and the higher wisdom … What is the training in the higher mind? Here a monk … enters and abides in the first jhána … second jhána … third jhána … fourth jhána." (AN 3.84, 88, 89)

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"That one could perfect samádhi without perfecting virtue or that one could perfect wisdom without perfecting samádhi - this is impossible." (AN 5.22)

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"It is impossible to abandon the fetters that bind us to samsára (samyojana) without having perfected samádhi. And without abandoning those fetters it is impossible to realize Nibbána." (AN 6.68)

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"I say, monks, that the destruction of the mind's poisons is dependent on the first jhána … eight jhána." (AN 9.36)

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'For a person with right samádhi there is no need to arouse the wish,
´May I see things as they truly are.´

It is a natural process, it is in accordance with nature that someone with right samádhi will see things as they truly are.' (AN 10.3)

...

'There is no jhána without wisdom,
there is no wisdom without jhána,
but for someone with both jhána and wisdom,
Nibbána is near.' (
Dhp 372)

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Develop concentration, bhikkhus; concentrated, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands according to reality. (Samàdhi Sutta, S.III.I.i.v)

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Silenced in body, silenced in speech,
silenced in mind, without inner noise,
Blessed with silence is the sage!
He is truly washed of all evil ...
(Itivuttaka 3.67)

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And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation / non-ill will / harmlessness arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation / non-ill will / harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.
... first jhana, second jhana ... "

(Dvedhavitakka Sutta, MN.019)

...

"A monk intent on heightened mind should attend periodically to three themes:

he should attend periodically to the theme of concentration;
he should attend periodically to the theme of uplifted energy;
he should attend periodically to the theme of equanimity.

If the monk intent on heightened mind were to attend solely to the theme of concentration, it is possible that his mind would tend to laziness.

If he were to attend solely to the theme of uplifted energy, it is possible that his mind would tend to restlessness.

If he were to attend solely to the theme of equanimity, it is possible that his mind would not be rightly centered for the stopping of the fermentations.

But when he attends periodically to the theme of concentration, attends periodically to the theme of uplifted energy, attends periodically to the theme of equanimity, his mind is pliant, malleable, luminous, & not brittle. It is rightly centered for the stopping of the fermentations.

(Nimitta Sutta, AN3.100)

...

The Great Practice of Right Mindfulness

"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference [body (kaya),  feeling (vedana), mind (citta), phenomena (dhamma) in this way for seven years,
one of two fruits can be expected for him: either arahatship right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-returner (anagami)."

"Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for six years... five... four... three... two years... one year... seven months... six months... five... four... three... two months... one month... half a month..., seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either arahatship right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance — non-returner (anagami)."

(Maha-satipatthana Sutta)


Ye dhamma hetuppabhava

tesa  hetu  tathagato aha,

tesan ca yo nirodho.

Eva vadi mahasama-o

 

Of those things that arise from a cause,

the Tathagata has told the cause,

and also what their cessation is.

This is the doctrine of the Great Recluse.

...

"Whatever phenomena arise from a cause:
              their cause
                          & their cessation.

               Such is the teaching of the Tathagata,
                          the Great Contemplative."

(Ven. Assaji)


Dependent Origination

Dependent Arising of Suffering                     &              Dependent Arising of Enlightenment

(Upanisa Sutta, SN 12.23)

 


"Nothing happens immediately, so in the beginning we can't see any results from our practice."

...

"In our practice we see this desire as either sensual indulgence or self-mortification. It's in this very conflict that our Teacher, the Buddha, was caught up, just this dilemma. He followed many ways of practice which merely ended up in these two extremes. And these days we are exactly the same. We are still afflicted by this duality, and because of it we keep falling from the Way.

However, this is how we must start out ..."

...

"If you are still following your likes and dislikes,
you have not even begun to practise Buddhism."

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"If it isn't good, make it die. If it doesn't die, make it good."

...

"If you find certainty in that which is uncertain, you are BOUND to suffer."

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"If you can learn to make the mind still, it will be the greatest help to the world."

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"When sitting in meditation, say, “That’s not my business!” with every thought that comes by."

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"Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing."

...

"When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing."

...

"Don’t think that only sitting with the eyes closed is practice. If you do think this way, then quickly change your thinking. Steady practice is keeping mindful in every posture, whether sitting, walking, standing or lying down. When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are only changing postures. If you reflect in this way, you will have peace. Wherever you are, you will have this attitude of practice with you constantly. You will have a steady awareness within yourself."

...

"Only one book is worth reading: the heart."

...

"The Dhamma has to be found by looking into your own heart and seeing that which is true and that which is not, that which is balanced and that which is not balanced."

...

"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length.
Let go of love and hate and let things be.

That’s all that I do in my own practice."

...

"We practice to learn how to let go, not how to increase our holding on to things.
Enlightenment appears when you stop wanting anything."

...

"If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will have complete peace."

...

"You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts.
Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside.
Knowing yourself is most important."

...

"Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha."

...

"Our birth and death are just one thing. You can’t have one without the other. It’s a little funny to see how at a death people are so tearful and sad, and at a birth how happy and delighted. It’s delusion. I think if you really want to cry, then it would be better to do so when someone’s born. Cry at the root, for if there were no birth, there would be no death.
Can you understand this?"

...

"All things are just as they are. They don’t cause suffering to anybody. It’s just like a thorn, a really sharp thorn. Does it make you suffer? No, it’s just a thorn. It doesn’t bother anybody. But if you go and stand on it, you’ll suffer. Why is there suffering? Because you stepped on the thorn. The thorn is just minding its own business. It doesn’t harm anybody. It’s because of we ourselves that there is pain. Form, feeling, perception, volition, consciousness all things in this world are simply as they are. It’s we who pick fights with them. And if we hit them, they hit us back. If they’re left alone, they won’t bother anybody. Only the drunkard gives them trouble."

...

"If those who have studied the theory hang on to what they have learnt when they sit in meditation, taking notes on their experience and wondering whether they have reached jhana yet, their minds will be distracted right there and turn away from the meditation.
They won’t gain real understanding.
Why is that?
Because there is desire.

As soon as tanha (craving) arises, whatever the meditation you are doing,
it won’t develop because the mind withdraws.
It is essential that you learn how to
give up all thinking and doubting,
give it up completely,
all of it."

...

"As you contemplate the cause of suffering, you should understand that when that which we call the mind is still, it's in a state of normality. As soon as it moves, it becomes sankhara (that which is fashioned or concocted).

When attraction arises in the mind, it is sankhara; when aversion arises, it is sankhara. If there is desire to go here and there, it is sankhara. As long as you are not mindful of these sankharas, you will tend to chase after them and be conditioned by them."

...

"Whenever the mind moves,
it is aniccam (impermanent), dukkham (suffering) and anatta (not self)
.

The Buddha taught us to observe and contemplate this. He taught us to contemplate sankharas which condition the mind. Contemplate them in light of the teaching of paticcasamuppada (Dependent Origination): avijja (ignorance) conditions sankhara (karmic formations); sankhara conditions vinnana (consciousness); vinnana conditions nama (mentality) and rupa (materiality); and so on."

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"All physical and all mental phenomena and everything that the mind thinks, are sankharas. "

...

"Generally, when we experience a mind-object it stimulates thinking. The thinking is in reaction to the experience of the mind-object. The nature of ordinary thinking and panna is very different.

The nature of ordinary thinking is to carry on without stopping. The mind-objects you experience lead you off in different directions and your thoughts just follow along.

The nature of panna is to stop the proliferation, to still the mind, so that it doesn’t go anywhere."

...

"The knowing that arises is above and beyond the process of thinking.
It leads to not being fooled by thinking any more."

"In the beginning we need to work using thinking, even though later on we go beyond it. When we are doing true contemplation all dualistic thinking has ceased; although we need to consider dualistically to get started. Eventually all thinking and pondering comes to an end."

Seeing the Way

...

"If I’d wanted to stop formal practice, was there any laziness, tiredness or irritation? None at all. The mind was completely free from such defilements. What was left was the sense of complete balance or ‘just-rightness’ in the mind.
If I was going to stop, it would just have been to rest the body, not for anything else."

...

"If you experience different kinds of nimitta during meditation, such as visions of heavenly beings, before anything else it’s important to observe the state of mind very closely. Don’t forget this basic principle. The mind has to be calm for you to experience these things. Be careful not to practice with desire either to experience nimitta or not to experience them. If they arise, contemplate them and don’t let them delude you. Reflect that they are not you and they don’t belong to you. They are aniccam, dukkham, anatta, just like all other mind-objects. If you do experience them, don’t let your mind become too interested or dwell on them. If they don’t disappear by themselves, reestablish mindfulness. Put all your attention on the breath, taking a few extra deep breaths. If you take at least three extra-long breaths you should be able to cut out the nimitta. You must keep reestablishing awareness in this way as you continue to practice."

...

"Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it.
But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you."

...

"There are two kinds of peacefulness :
one is the peace that comes through samådhi,
the other is the peace that comes through paññå.
The mind that is peaceful through samådhi is still deluded.
The peace that comes through the practice of samådhi alone is dependent on
the mind being separated from mind-objects
."

...

"Some of us start to practise, and even after a year or two, still don't know what is what. We are still unsure of the practice. When we are unsure, we don't see that everything around us is purely Dhamma, and so we turn to teachings from the Ajahns (teachers). 

But actually, when we know our own mind, when there is sati (mindfulness) to look closely at the mind, there is wisdom."

...

"Let your aim be Nibbana."

(Ajahn Chah)


Breath subdues pain. Mindfulness subdues the Hindrances.

...

The in-and-out breath is stress --
the in-breath, the stress of arising; the out-breath, the stress of passing away.

...

Once you cut off thoughts of past and future, you don't have to worry about the Hindrances.

...

Some people believe that they don't have to practice centering the mind, that they can attain release through discernment (pañña-vimutti) by working at discernment alone.
This simply isn't true.
Both release through discernment and release through stillness of mind (ceto-vimutti) are based on centering the mind. They differ only in degree.
Like walking: Ordinarily, a person doesn't walk on one leg alone. Whichever leg is heavier is simply a matter of personal habits and traits.

...

You can't do without concentration. If concentration is lacking, you can gain nothing but jumbled thoughts and conjectures, without any sound support.

...

Vedana

1. Watch the arising of feelings in the present. You don't have to follow them anywhere else. Tell yourself that whatever may be causing these feelings, you're going to focus exclusively on what is present.
2.
Focus on the fading of feelings in the present.
3.
Focus on the passing away of feelings in the present.
4.
Stay with the realization that feelings do nothing but arise and fall away — simply flowing away and vanishing in various ways — with nothing of any substance or worth. When you can do this, you can say that your frame of reference is firmly established in feelings in and of themselves — and at that point, the Path comes together.

...

Letting go has two forms:
(1) Being able to let go of mental objects but not of one's own mind.
(2) Being able to let go both of the objects of the mind and of one's self.

To be able to let go both of one's objects and of one's self is genuine knowing. To be able to let go of one's objects but not of one's self is counterfeit knowing. Genuine knowing lets go of both ends: It lets the object follow its own nature as an object, and lets the mind follow the nature of the mind. In other words, it lets nature look after itself. "Object" here refers to the body; "self" refers to the heart. You have to let go of both.

...

Turmoil comes from our own defilements, not from other people.
You have to solve the problem within yourself if you want to find peace.

...

My motto is,
"Make yourself as good as possible, and everything else will have to turn good in your wake."
If you don't abandon your own inner goodness for the sake of outer goodness,
things will have to go well.

...

... we'll see that aging, illness, and death are simply the shadows of stress and not its true substance. People lacking discernment will try to do away with the shadows, which leads only to more suffering and stress. This is because they aren't acquainted with what the shadows and substance of stress come from. The essence of stress lies with the mind.

Aging, illness, and death are its shadows or effects that show by way of the body. When we want to kill our enemy and so take a knife to stab his shadow, how is he going to die? In the same way, ignorant people try to destroy the shadows of stress and don't get anywhere. As for the essence of stress in the heart, they don't think of remedying it at all. This ignorance of theirs is one form of avijja, or unawareness.

...

The mind is the only thing that senses pleasure and pain. The body has no sense of these things at all. It's like taking a knife to murder someone: They don't hunt down the knife and punish it. They punish only the person who used it to commit murder.

...

Don't let defilements inside make contact with defilements outside. If we have defilements at the same time that other people do, the result will be trouble. For instance, if we're angry when they're angry, or we're greedy when they're greedy, or we're deluded when they're deluded, it spells ruination for everyone.

...

Results don't come from thinking. They come from the qualities we build into the mind.

...

If you want to just think buddho, you can, but it is too light.
Your awareness won't go deep...

The Skills of Jhana

...

People who develop jhana fall into three classes:

1. Those who attain only the first level [First Jhana] and then gain liberating insight right then and there are said to excel in discernment (paññadhika). They Awaken quickly, and their release is termed pañña-vimutti, release through discernment.

2. Those who develop jhana to the fourth level [Fourth Jhana], there gaining liberating insight into the Noble Truths, are said to excel in conviction (saddhadhika). They develop a moderate number of skills, and their Awakening occurs at a moderate rate. Their release is the first level of ceto-vimutti, release through concentration.

3. Those who become skilled at the four levels of jhana [Rupa Jhana]— adept at entering, staying in place, and withdrawing — and then go all the way to the four levels of arupa-jhana, after which they withdraw back to the first jhana, over and over again, until finally intuitive knowledge, the cognitive skills, and liberating discernment arise, giving release from mental fermentation and defilement: These people are said to excel in persistence (viriyadhika). People who practice jhana a great deal, developing strong energy and bright inner light, can Awaken suddenly in a single mental instant, as soon as discernment first arises. Their release is cetopariyavimutti, release through mastery of concentration.

These are the results to be gained by meditators.

But there have to be causes — our own actions — before the results can come fully developed.

...

With one exception [Ānāpānassati], all of the [39] meditation themes mentioned here are simply gocara dhamma — foraging places for the mind. They're not places for the mind to stay. If we try to go live in the things we see when we're out foraging, we'll end up in trouble.

When you practice meditation, you don't have to go foraging in other [39] themes; you can stay in the single theme that's the apex of all meditation themes: Ānāpānassati, keeping the breath in mind. This theme, unlike the others, has none of the features or various deceptions that can upset or disturb the heart.

...

As for the four sublime abodes, if you don't have jhana as a dwelling for the mind, feelings of good will, compassion, and appreciation can all cause you to suffer. Only if you have jhana can these qualities truly become sublime abodes, that is, restful places for the heart to stay (vihara dhamma)

Basic Themes

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"To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know & let go."

...

"If a person isn't true to the Buddha's teachings, the Buddha's teachings won't be true to that person — and that person won't be able to know what the Buddha's true teachings are."

(Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo)



When one does what Buddhas do, one is a Buddha.
When one does what Bodhisattvas do, one is a Bodhisattva.
When one does what Arhats do, one is an Arhat.
When one does what ghosts do, one is a ghost.
These are all natural phenomena.
There are no shortcuts in cultivation.

...

If you wish others to know about your good deeds,
they are not truly good deeds.
If you fear others will find out about your bad deeds,
those are truly bad deeds.

(Master Hsuan Hua)
 


Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
(Surangama Sutra)


Compassion is a verb.

...

If we are not empty, we become a block of matter.
We cannot breathe, we cannot think.
To be empty means to be alive, to breathe in and to breathe out.
We cannot be alive if we are not empty.
Emptiness is impermanence, it is change.
We should not complain about impermanence,
because without impermanence, nothing is possible.

...

Meditation is not to escape from society,
but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on.
Once there is seeing, there must be acting.
With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.

...


Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean,
is the moment the wave realises it is water.

...

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.
Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

...

It is possible to live happily in the here and now.
So many conditions of happiness are available
- more than enough for you to be happy right now.
You don't have to run into the future in order to get more.

...

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
     You should be happy right in the here and now.
There is no way to enlightenment.
     Enlightenment should be right here and right now.
The moment when you come back to yourself, mind and body together, fully present, fully alive, that is already enlightenment.
     You are no longer a sleepwalker.
     You are no longer in a dream.
     You are fully alive.
     You are awake. Enlightenment is there.

...

People suffer because they are caught in their views.
As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer anymore.

...

Life is available only in the present.
That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and the now.

...

When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence.
How can you love if you are not there?"

...

The Pure Land is found here & now. One does not need to die before going to Pure Land.

...

The Western Paradise can be experienced right here at this moment. It is not in the west.

...

Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.

...

The purpose of walking meditation is walking meditation itself. 
Going is important, not arriving. Walking meditation is not a means to an end; it is an end. 
Each step is life; each step is peace and joy. That is why we don’t have to hurry.
That is why we slow down. We seem to move forward, but we don’t go anywhere; we are not drawn by a goal. 
Thus we smile while we are walking.


(Thich Nhat Hanh)

 


The direction of the walking path when part of practice (in meditation),
is from the east to the west.
Other directions are acceptable if a suitable direction cannot be found,
except avoid the direction from the north to the south and from the south to the north.

(Ajaan Mun)


The Buddha taught that during
sitting and walking meditation we should make the knowing converge on
itself,
not allowing it to go outwards.
Thoughts of good and bad are
all exterior matters and are endless.

...

Meditate on every inhalation and exhalation.
Determine to practice right at this moment.
If we don't
, the demons of thought and defilement will lead us away into old age and death.

We meditate in order to condense the energies of the mind into this inner knowing.
We put down thoughts and sense-consciousness,
the defiled mind that goes out in search of distractions.

...

In sitting meditation do not be deceived by the thought-demon (sankhara mara).
Those people who only sit a little or don't sit at all are the ones
who believe in the thought-demon.

...

For instance, we decide to sit before dawn and the thought-demon tells us it is too early, why not sit later on. If we believe it then our morning session is lost; we don't sit.

Later on in the morning and perhaps we forget altogether but if we do remember, just as we are about to rouse ourselves and do some sitting meditation, the thought-demon pipes up again. "You don't want to sit yet. You've just had your breakfast, your stomach is still full. Have a rest first. You can always do some sitting in the afternoon." If we believe it, that's delusion.

Before dawn it says meditate later on in the morning. Later on in the morning it says meditate in the afternoon. "If you digest your food first you will feel much more comfortable." If we believe it we don't sit. In the afternoon it starts again. We end up just believing the thought-demon all day and all night and so get nothing from meditation.

...

In order to clearly know these three characteristics of aniccam, dukkham and anatta
the mind must be firm. Thus the effort to
bring the mind to a secure and steadfast tranquility, not allowing it to become fascinated by forms, sounds, odors, flavors, physical sensations and mental phenomena is the essence of meditation techniques,
and something we must all develop.

(Looang Boo Sim)


"The Mind sent Outside is the Cause of Suffering.
The Effect of the Mind sent Outside is Suffering.
The Mind seeing the Mind is the Path: The Noble Way!
The Effect of Mind seeing Mind, is the End of Suffering."

...

"No matter how much you think, you won't know.
Only when you stop thinking will you know.
But still, you have to depend on thinking so as to know."

...

"Knowing is the ground state of the empty mind, which is bright,
pure, quiet, calm, not fabricating, not searching, not urging,
and neither possessed, nor attracted by anything at all..."
 

(Ajahn Atulo)


Q: Could you please explain death contemplation, like how to do it and how often?     Can one realize the Dhamma by death contemplation, and if so, up to what stage?

We contemplate death so as to remember not to be heedless in our lives, therefore attempting to develop and practice virtue to its utmost for as long as we still have life. So, in the course of our practice of keeping precepts, developing virtue, meditation and wisdom in our minds, if we include death contemplation and we give it a lot of emphasis, we shall be able to know and see the Dhamma to the level of sotāpanna, the first stage of enlightenment, without having to contemplate the thirty two parts of the body, the loathsomeness of the body, or the four elements of the body. However, if we wish to go on to a higher attainment, we must revert to contemplating either the thirty-two parts of the body, the loathsomeness of the body, or the four elements.

There was a time when I was still a layman, when I contemplated upon death. This actually hastened my coming to ordain. I thought that if I continued my studies and then started a career, if it happened that I should suddenly die, either due to sickness or accident, I would not have developed virtue and goodness to any real extent. There was this fear that if death came to me, I would not have done enough wholesome deeds, or cultivated enough virtue in my life. So finally, having reflected upon my life like this, and having previously given the possibility of future ordination some thought, it happened that all by coincidence, late one evening, I picked up a Dhamma book that opened at the last words of the Buddha. The Buddha said, ‘Take heed monks, I caution you thus: all things that arise are of a nature to cease. Therefore, strive on ceaselessly, discerning and alert both for your own benefit and the benefit of others.

...

Even the mental formations or the thinking processes are not the mind:
that which thinks is not the mind; that which does not think is the mind.

This is the Path

(Ajahn Dtun Thiracitto)


A Contemplation on the Thirty-Two Parts of the Body
(Dvattimsakara)

There are in this body :

head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin,
flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys,
heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs,
intestines, mesentery, stomach, excrement, brain,
bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat,
fat, tears, grease, saliva, snot,
synovium (oil lubricating the joints) and urine.

Contemplate & visualise their foulness and repulsiveness nature
in groups, forward and in reverse order.

as a direct antidote for sensual lust


This too will pass.

...

All the cravings and desires, (and thus dukkha) come from a sense of ‘self’...

...

Just bare attention, just bare perception, is not enough.
The defilements have already been at work and that’s the problem.
We cannot trust even the first experience that comes to our senses.

...

Remember, wanting is that force which takes you away from whatever you are
experiencing now
, into something in the future, into fantasies or dreams.

...

One cannot will the mind to be still!

...

Remember that the greatest controller of all is Mara (the doer).

...

Understand that Mara is the ‘doer’ inside you.
He’s always trying to push and pull you, saying,
“Come on, don’t get so sleepy”.
“Come on, put forth some effort”.
“Come on, get into a
jhana”.
“Come on, who do you think you are?”
“Come on, how long have you been a monk, how long have you got left of your retreat?”
“Come on, get going.”
That is
Mara!

...

Remember that the jhanas are the places that Mara (the doer) can’t go, where Mara is blindfolded.

...

Mara's Ten Armies

First army : Sensual Passions.
Second army : Discontent.
Third army : Hunger & Thirst.
Fourth army : Craving.
Fifth army : Sloth & Torpor.
Sixth army : Fear.
Seventh army : Uncertainty.
Eighth army : Conceit & Stubbornness.
Ninth army : Gains, Fame, Honour, & Status wrongly gained, and
Tenth army : Whoever would praise himself & despises others.

That, Namuci (Mara), is your army, the Dark One's commando force. A coward can't defeat it, but one having defeated it gains bliss. Do I carry muñja grass? I spit on my life. Death in battle would be better for me than that I, defeated & survive. Sinking here, they don't appear, some priests & contemplatives. They don't know the path by which those with good practices go. Seeing the bannered force on all sides — the troops, Mara along with his mount — I go into battle. May they not budge me from my spot. That army of yours, that the world with its devas can't overcome, I will smash with discernment — as an unfired pot with a stone. Making my resolve mastered, mindfulness well-established, I will go about, from kingdom to kingdom, training many disciples. They — heedful, resolute doing my bidding — despite your wishes, will go where, having gone, there's no grief."

Mara:

"For seven years, I've dogged the Blessed One's steps, but haven't gained an opening in the One Self-awakened & glorious. A crow circled a stone the color of fat — 'Maybe I've found something tender here. Maybe there's something delicious' — but not getting anything delicious there, the crow went away. Like the crow attacking the rock, I weary myself with Gotama."

As he was overcome with sorrow, his lute fell from under his arm. Then he, the despondent spirit, right there disappeared."

(Sutta Nipata: 3.2)

...

Do absolutely nothing and see how smooth and beautiful and timeless the breath can appear !

...

The goal of this meditation (Ānāpānasati) is the beautiful silence, stillness and clarity of mind.

...

Ānāpānasati: breathing in long or short, breathing out long or short
- they are descriptive not prescriptive.
Just watch and know the breath & do nothing!

...

Indeed, one is placing faith in the knowing and taking it away from the doing.
This is the theme underlying the whole of the meditation path.

...

The inclination of the mind outwards is called papanca in Pali. There’s no end to that proliferation or the complexity of that world of papanca.

On the other hand, the mind that inclines inwards into the present moment, the silence, the breath, the nimmitta, and the jhanas, is the mind which knows the end of papanca.

...

When we talk we always talk about the past or the future.
We can never talk about the present.

...

The five hindrances are the cause for the lack of samadhi.
The lack of
samadhi is not caused by lack of effort
.

...

The five hindrances are Public Enemy Number One.
They stop people from becoming enlightened,
and it’s precisely for this reason that understanding these five hindrances
and overcoming them is crucial.
Understand them

...

The First Hindrance - Sensory Desire (kama-cchanda)

The Pali word kama means anything pertaining to the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Chanda means to delight in or agree with. Together the compound kama-cchanda means “delight, interest, involvement with the world of the five senses.”

For the new meditator, the most obvious form of kama-vitakka is sexual fantasy. One can use up many hours, especially on a long retreat, with this type of kama-vitakka. This obstacle to progress in meditation is transcended by realizing, through insight or faith, that total freedom from the five senses (i.e., jhana) is more ecstatic and profound than the very best of sexual experiences. A monk or nun gives up their sexuality not out of fear or repression, but out of recognition of something superior.

...

The Second Hindrance - Ill-will (vyapada)

Maybe you prefer to sit through pain rather than enjoy peace and happiness.
(This is ill-will)

To overcome ill-will do some loving-kindness meditation. Give yourself a break. Say to yourself, “The door to my heart is open to all of me. I allow myself happiness. I allow myself peace. I have goodwill toward myself, enough goodwill to let myself become peaceful and to bliss out on this meditation.”

...

The Third Hindrance - Sloth and Torpor

... the mind is dull. It’s as if there are no lights turned on inside. It’s all gray and blurry.

The most profound and effective way of overcoming sloth and torpor is to make peace with the dullness and stop fighting it!

...

The Fourth Hindrance - Restlessness and Remorse/(Regret)

Restlessness in meditation is always a sign of not finding joy in what’s here.
That’s what restlessness is, going around looking for something else to do, something else to think about, somewhere else to go—anywhere but here and now.

Remorse is the result of hurtful things that you may have done or said.
In other words, it is a result of bad conduct.

...

The Fifth Hindrance - Doubt

more about the hindrances here

...

Kilesas (Defilements)

The biggest of the kilesas are lobha, dosa, and moha, which can be translated as greed, hatred, and delusion.

Delusion is the mind which thinks it’s doing something right but is actually doing something wrong. That is, it encourages more defilements, which encourages more heat in the mind, and that is not conducive to the path.

The only thing that can really oppose that delusion is a sense of hiri-ottappa accompanied by mindfulness. Hiri-ottappa is the sense of shame. The shame of doing something that is inappropriate, knowing that it is going to create suffering for

...

Everyone makes mistakes. The wise are not people who never make mistakes, but those who forgive themselves and learn from their mistakes.

...

Silence is so much more productive of wisdom and clarity than thinking.

...

Give up your thinking, your thoughts; otherwise you get headaches.

...

Great thinkers get great headaches.
The still, alert mind sees deeper than any thought.

...

The mind seeks out silence constantly, to the point where it only thinks if it really has to, only if there is some point to it. Since, at this stage, you have realized that most of our thinking is really pointless anyway, that it gets you nowhere, only giving you many headaches, you gladly and easily spend much time in inner quiet.

...

It is impossible that such a gross activity as thinking can exist in such a refined state as Jhana. In fact, thinking ceases a long time prior to Jhana.

...

Thinking is an obstacle to gaining the samadhi which can know those worlds.

...

The first Twelve Steps of Ānāpānasati

Step 01 – Experiencing a Long Breath;
Step 02 – Experiencing a Short Breath;
Step 03 – Experiencing the Whole of the Breath;
Step 04 – Calming the Breath;
Step 05 – Arousing Joy;
Step 06 – Arousing Happiness;
Step 07 – Experiencing the Breath as a Mind-Object;
Step 08 – Stabilizing the Joy and Happiness;
Step 09 – Experiencing the Mind;
Step 10 – Shining the Nimmitta;
Step 11 – Sustaining the Nimmitta;
Step 12 – Freeing the Mind.

...

Basic Method of Meditation

  1. Sustained attention on the present moment

  2. Silent awareness of the present moment

  3. Silent present moment awareness of the breath

  4. Full sustained attention on the breath

  5. Full sustained attention on the beautiful breath

  6. Experiencing the beautiful Nimitta

  7. First Jhana ...

The second stage of this meditation, then, is 'silent awareness of the present moment'. You may spend the majority of your time just developing these two stages because if you can get this far then you have gone a long way indeed in your meditation.

...

The happiness generated by sensual excitement is hot and stimulating but also agitating and consequently tiring. It lessens in intensity on repetition.

The happiness caused by personal achievement is warm and fulfilling but also fades quickly, leaving a sense of a vacant hole in need of filling.

But the happiness born of letting go is cool and very long lasting. It is associated with the sense of real freedom.

...

You can recognize a nimitta by the following six features:

1. It appears only after the fifth stage (above) of the meditation, after the meditator has been with the beautiful breath for a long time;

2. It appears when the breath disappears;

3. It only comes when the external five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch are completely absent;

4. It manifests only in the silent mind, when descriptive thoughts (inner speech) are totally absent;

5. It is strange but powerfully attractive; and

6. It is a beautifully simple object.

I mention these features so that you may distinguish real nimittas from imaginary ones.

...

WHAT IF PITlSUKHA HASN'T APPEARED?

 Cultivate Sufficient Joy and Happiness (Pitisukha).

Putting Energy into Knowing.

 Watching Out for Discontent.

Focus More Sharply in the Present Moment.

...

When you’re doing the meditation on the breath, when you are watching the breath, when you have the breath in mind, don’t just watch any old ordinary boring breath.

Make a resolution, a gentle suggestion to the mind,
“May I breathe in just experiencing
pitisukha, may I breathe out experiencing pitisukha.”

...

After those jhanas have been achieved, the mind is so powerful, deep, and profound
and it has the ability to really contemplate fully.

...

SUMMARY OF THE LANDMARKS OF ALL JHANAS

                  It is helpful to know, then, that within a Jhana:

                 1. There is no possibility of thought;

            2. No decision making process is available;

            3. There is no perception of time;

            4. Consciousness is non-dual, making comprehension inaccessible;

            5. Yet one is very, very aware, but only of bliss that doesn't move; and

            6. The five senses are fully shut off, and only the sixth sense, mind, is in operation.

...

Don’t use just your thinking mind and all the ideas you had about anicca in the past, because many of those thoughts will not be capable of releasing the mind from the asavas, from the kilesas, the defilements and the fetters. That would be a superficial investigation. If you just suggest anicca to the mind – it’s amazing, even though these will be areas which you’ve never seen before, places where the mind has never gone before – because of the power of the mind you will be able to penetrate those areas of the Dhamma wherein the treasure of Enlightenment lies.

...

When stillness really takes off it’s the flame of jhanas. The mind is so still it generates incredible states of mind and gives you all the necessary data you need. You understand you got there by stopping the ‘doing’ – no craving, no sankharas. Things have disappeared and consciousness is peaceful. This is bliss. All this rushing around that I have been doing, all this wanting and craving, that was the wrong way. You get the message at last about what renunciation truly is and why people are monks and nuns. When you get that message, then you are sweet for the rest of this life.

...

All arisings are of the nature not just to cease but to stop once and for all, to end completely in Nirodha. When one can see the actual ceasing of things, in the same way as Kondanno saw, one sees that, whether it’s the body, feelings, perceptions, formations, or consciousness – all the six types of consciousness – all of these things are of that nature to cease completely without any remainder. You see that all of these things that we take to be real, that we take to be hard and solid, are of the nature to disappear without any remainder. You see anicca to that degree ...

...

The Buddha once said to Upali, ‘Whatever certainly leads to Nibbida, to the turning away from the world of the senses, to the fading away of the world of the six senses, that is the Dhamma’.

It’s Dhamma if it leads to cessation, the ending of things, and that beautiful emptiness that comes with the ending of things.

...

If you read the Theragatha, you will find that some of the monks, for instance Anuruddha, spent many, many years practising before they became Stream Winners. It took them a long time, but they had patience and persistence and anyone with patience and persistence must reach the goal eventually. If you have faith, saddha, it’s only a matter of time before you see that what the Buddha taught is true. If you have confidence that there are Ariyas in the world, and you have confidence in them, then you know that if you practise the Eightfold Path it leads to Nibbana. If you’re practising the Eightfold Path, and following the instructions, you know where it leads.

It’s only a matter of time.

...

You have the world outside and in the middle of that is your body.
... Go into the moment, into the silence ...
Get rid of the body and in the middle of that is the breath.
With the mind going inwards you soon get to the ‘beautiful breath’.
By being with the ‘beautiful breath’, go into the beauty. The beauty is
pitisukha.
You can’t stop there; you have to go right into the
pitisukha, falling inwards.
That’s the experience of many people who get a
nimmitta.

You fall into the centre of the beautiful light of the
nimmitta,
and then enter a
jhana.
You are always inclining inwards, until you go through all the jhanas.
You go so far in that you get to the very heart of things, to cessation.

Then you will know that the core of all this is ‘emptiness’.
There is no ‘self’, there is no ‘doer’, and there is no ‘knower’.
There is only empty phenomena rolling along.

...

This mind, O monks, is luminous, but it is defiled by adventitious* defilements. The uninstructed world ling does not understand this as it really is; therefore for him there is no mental development.

This mind, O monks, is luminous, and it is freed from adventitious defilements. The instructed noble disciple understands this as it really is; therefore for him there is mental development.

(AN 1,1-2)

[ * adventitious : coming from another source and not inherent ]

...

What I’ve got now is enough, my mind is good enough and my body is good enough.
It doesn’t matter how old and sick it is, my body is good enough.
Good enough’ is a cause for contentment.

...

The only thing you can trust is either the suttas or your own experience – not other monks, not me, not any other Kruba Ajahns, nobody, just the suttas and your own experience.

...

NIBBANA, THE END OF All PERCEPTION
 

For within the perception of neither perception nor no-perception [the 8th Jhana] lies the end of all perception, the cessation of all that is felt or perceived, Nibbana. If the mind attends to this, the mind stops. When the mind starts again one gains the attainment of Arahant or Anagami, these are the only possibilities.

...

THE SEQUENCE OF GRADUAL CESSATION

Another way of viewing the Jhanas and the Four Immaterial Attainments is by placing them in the sequence of gradual cessation.

The process that leads into the First Jhana is the cessation of the world of the five senses together with the body and all doing. The path from the First Jhana to the Fourth Jhana is the cessation of that part of the "mind that recognizes pleasure and displeasure. The road from the Fourth Jhana to the Fourth Immaterial Attainment is the cessation, almost, of the remaining activity or the mind called "knowing." And the last step is the cessation of the last vestige of knowing. Through Jhanas and the Immaterial Attainments, first one lets go of the body and the world of the five senses. Then one lets go of the doer. Then one lets go of pleasure and displeasure. The one lets go of space and consciousness. Then one lets go of all knowing. When one lets go of an object, the object disappears, ceases. If it remains, one hasn't let go. Through letting go of all knowing, knowing ceases.

This is the cessation of everything, including the mind.

This is the place where consciousness no longer manifests, where earth, water, fire and air find no footing, where name-and-form are wholly destroyed, (DN 11,85). Emptiness. Cessation. Nibbana, The "jewel" in the heart of the lotus.

(Ajahn Brahm)


Eating after midday makes it difficult to control one's sexual desires.

(Bhikkhu Buddha Dhatu)


Strong concentration is absolutely necessary for liberating insight.
"Without a firm basis in concentration," he often said, "insight is just concepts."

...

An ideal state of concentration for giving rise to insight is one that you can analyze in terms of stress and the absence of stress even while you're in it.

...

To see clearly the connections between stress and its causes, the mind has to be very steady and still. And to stay still, it requires the strong sense of well being that only strong concentration can provide.

...

The best state of concentration for the sake of developing all-around insight is one that encompasses a whole-body awareness.

...

To gain insight into a state of concentration, you have to stick with it for a long time.

...

"When you meditate you're gaining practice in how to die – how to be mindful and alert, how to endure pain, how to gain control over wayward thoughts and maybe even reach the deathless –so that when the time comes to die, you'll do it with skill."

...

"If you're going to teach the Dhamma to people, but they're not intent on listening, or not ready for what you have to say, then no matter how fantastic the Dhamma you're trying to teach, it still counts as idle chatter, because it doesn't serve any purpose."

...

"If you can't have any control over your mouth, how can you expect to have any control over your mind?"

...

"As soon as we're born, we're sentenced to death — just that we don't know when our turn will come. So you can't be complacent. Start right in and develop all your good qualities to the full while you still have the chance."

...

"We all want happiness, but for the most part we aren't interested in building the causes for happiness. All we want are the results. But if we don't take an interest in the causes, how are the results going to come our way?"

...

"Observing the breath is the cause, the pleasure that arises is the result. Focus as much as you can on the cause. If you ignore the cause and get carried away with the result, it'll run out and you'll end up with nothing at all."

...

"If you go teaching others before your own practice is up to standard, you do more harm than good."

...

"If the mind is going to think, let it think, but don't fall for its thoughts."

...

"Even though your views may be right, if you cling to them you're wrong."

...

Some people are afraid to meditate too seriously, for fear that they'll go crazy, but as Ajaan Fuang once said, "You have to be crazy about meditation if you want to meditate well. And as for whatever problems come up, there are always ways to solve them. What's really scary is if you don't meditate enough for the problems to come out in the open in the first place."

...

A young nurse practiced meditation with Ajaan Fuang several days running, and finally asked him one day, "Why wasn't today's session as good as yesterday's?"

He answered: "Meditating is like wearing clothes. Today you wear white, tomorrow red, yellow, blue, whatever. You have to keep changing. You can't wear the same set of clothes all the time. So whatever color you're wearing, just be aware of it. Don't get depressed or excited about it."

...

"When the meditation goes well, don't get excited. When it doesn't go well, don't get depressed. Simply be observant to see why it's good, why it's bad. If you can be observant like this, it won't be long before your meditation becomes a skill."

...

"Good will and compassion, if they aren't backed up by equanimity, can cause you to suffer. That's why you need the equanimity of jhana to perfect them."

...

"Make the mind and the breath one and the same. Don't let them be two."

...

"Ajaan Fuang once told a student who liked to keep in shape with yoga and aerobic exercises every day: "Use the breath to keep in shape instead. Sit in meditation and spread the breath throughout the body, to every part. The mind will get trained and the body will be strong with no need to tie it into knots or make it jump around."

...

"Tell yourself: The reason I still feel suffering is because I still have an 'I'."

...

"You don't have to be afraid of death. You'd do better to be afraid of birth."

...

"Nibbana is subtle and takes a lot of discernment.
It's not something that the force of desire can reach.
If we could get there through the force of desire,
everyone in the world would have gotten there by now."

...

"When they say that nibbana is empty, they mean that it's empty of defilement."

...

 "The breath can take you all the way to nibbana, you know."

(Ajahn Fuang Jotiko)


Reaching the Goodness Within

People who are well-trained in concentration, with their hearts resting on a solid foundation, will maintain that foundation wherever they are. They constantly rest in peaceful meditative states whether they are standing, walking, sitting or lying down. Issues such as tiredness, pain or hunger will never bother or concern them. So try to keep sitting straight with legs crossed no matter how tired, painful or hungry you become while you are meditating. Centering your mind through focused attention and supervising the whole process with continuous mindfulness, is the effort required to bring about concentration, firmness and stability of mind. If you persist in your efforts until the heart finally passes through the threshold to concentration, all your previous concerns will disappear. You will no longer worry about them because your heart is detached from your body when you are resting in concentration [Jhana].

...

Are memories or perceptions [sanna] surfacing in your mind? If they are, they should be understood as enemies that come to destroy your meditation. So you must cut them off quickly.

...

When practicing Jhana, you disengage yourselves from the thinking process so that a sense of peace, happiness and well-being will naturally arise in your hearts. You will then be able to appreciate why the Buddha encouraged his disciples to let go of their concerns and preoccupations, and stay with pure knowing instead. You will see clearly the happiness, well-being and freedom arising from practicing meditative absorptions (Jhanas) - among all the knowledge (Nana) to be developed, you should developed this first !

...

When you are heedful like this without interruption, pure knowing will come to the front and become bright and luminous; thoughts arising in consciousness will vanish immediately - they arise and vanish at the same time.

...

A heart infiltrated by greed, anger and delusion is burning and painful day and night. Provoked by these defiling influences (defilements), one continues seeking the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily sensations and mental objects without a break.

What one obtains in the end, having pursued the rewards promised by the defilements, are just difficulty, pain and affliction.

...

The things that we need to be watchful of are many. Forms, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily sensation and mental objects - all of them are potential causes of lust once they contact our sense doors,· any of them can be the origin of craving, defilement and suffering. But to what extent have you realized the harm latent in your sense doors? How clearly do you see it as your duty to watch over them? Your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are busy receiving forms, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily sensations and mental objects all day every day, but have you realized that the important issue here, the really meaningful approach to be taken, is to stay heedful and remain self-controlled so that you can put out the fire of lust (Ragaggi), the fire of hatred (Dosaggi), and the fire of delusion (Mohaggi) that are waiting to flare up at any moment?

...

The Pali word, Sanditthiko, means to know or to see for oneself. No one knows better than you do about the affairs of your mind. Do not think that it doesn't matter whether you commit wrong-doing if no one else knows what you have done. Don't entertain such a thought. Whatever evil you have done, be it significant or trivial, it won't be able to slip away from your awareness.

...

While you are still young, you have the most suitable conditions for the practice. As you grow older, the practice will become difficult. You should take note of this fact and put the Buddha's teachings into practice before it's too late.

...

The Buddha taught that the training of one's mind should be anchored in concentration or Jhana, which is nothing but a matter of focusing the mind. If you don't discipline yourself, creating the causes and conditions for your mind to become settled and still, there is no way you can cut through the flow of wandering thoughts.

...

It is normal for our minds to jump about from one thought to another when we are just starting out in our practice. It is also common for our minds to get stuck with this memory or that story. Reaching peaceful meditative states may seem hopeless - making it so difficult to find any peace. Nevertheless, we put our trust in the Buddha, who taught that keeping our thoughts, imagination and all other mental concoctions under control, is the way to freedom, the true happiness. As a strategy for stopping the aimless activities of the mind, he advised centering the mind in a meditation object and using mindfulness to hold the mind in check, not allowing it to stray away from the intended focus of attention (Arammana).

...

... you need to remain alert to the activity of your perceptions and memories - are memories or perceptions surfacing in your mind? If they are, they should be understood as enemies that come to destroy your meditation. So you must cut them off quickly - as though wiping them out in the same moment they arise. These are precisely the work and duties that should be undertaken in your practice, so train yourselves accordingly and enter the battle.

...

... you abide taking good qualities of the heart as your principles, upholding the Buddha's teachings as the vehicle for conveying you to the end of suffering - the problem of suffering can be solved, and its remedy starts working right from the moment when you first resist the urge to think, instead of obeying the commands of greed, hatred and delusion.

...

The Buddha warned that, as long as our hearts are not free from defilements, we should not trust our thoughts.

...

The one who knows, pure knowing and Buddho are synonymous with the Pali word Citta.

(Ajahn Uthai Siridharo)


The best weapon for removing anger is to develop loving-kindness, and for removing discursive thought ānāpānasati is the best weapon.

When faith in meditation slackens, and the mind is dull, the best weapon is to develop recollection-of-The-Buddha.

When the sense of urgency is lacking, and you are bored with striving in meditation, the best weapon is recollection-of-death.
 

...

According to this sutta (Meghiya Sutta), foulness meditation is the best weapon for removing lust. If you take a corpse as object, and see it as repulsive, it is called `foulness of a lifeless body'(avinnànaka asubha).

To take the thirty-two parts of the body of a being, and see them as repulsive (as taught in the `Girimànanda Sutta' of the Anguttara Nikàya) is called `foulness of a living body' (savinnànaka asubha).

Both these forms of foulness meditation are weapons for re-moving lust.

...

Is it necessary, in meditation, to have a nimitta?

In some meditation subjects (kammatthàna) like ànàpànasati (mindfulness-of-breathing), kasina meditation and repulsiveness meditation (asubha), a nimitta is necessary. If one wants to attainjhàna in other meditation subjects, like recollection-of-The-Buddha (Buddhànussati), a nimitta is not possible. In loving kindness meditation (mettà bhàvanà), breaking down the barriers is called the nimitta. Only a name, for it is in fact not a nimitta.

...

Differentiating ànàpàna-nimitta and non ànàpàna-nimitta

Question 1.4 Where does the [ànàpàna] nimitta come from? What makes it appear?

Answer 1.4 Most mind states that arise dependent upon the heart-base produce breathing. A real ànàpàna-nimitta comes from the breath. But not every mind state produces a nimitta. Only a deeply concentrated mind produces a nimitta. Therefore, the breath produced by a deep and concentrated mind makes an ànàpàna-nimitta appear. If the nimitta is far from the nostrils, it is not a real nimitta. A nimitta may appear because of concentration, but not necessarily the real ànàpàna-nimitta. If the nimitta produces jhàna, we call it an ànàpàna-nimitta. But if it does not produce jhàna, it is not the real ànàpàna-nimitta. If you concentrate on that nimitta, jhàna will not arise. Usually the concentration cannot become strong and powerful. If you meditate on that nimitta, it will very soon disappear.

...

Mastery (vasī-bhāva) of the jhānas

  1. 1. To enter jhāna whenever desired.

  2. 2. To resolve (adhiññhāna) to stay in jhāna for a determined duration, and carry out the resolve.

  3. 3. To emerge from jhāna at the determined time.

  4. 4. To advert to the jhāna factors.

  5. 5. To review the jhāna factors.

...

In the ‘Pabbateyyagāvī Sutta’ of the Anguttara Nikāya, The Buddha says one should not try going to the second jhāna before mastering the first jhāna. He explains that if one does not master the first jhāna completely, and tries to go to higher jhānas, one will lose the first jhāna, as well as be unable to attain the other jhānas. One will lose all the jhānas.

...

The purpose of Buddhist meditation is to attain Nibbàna ...
the cessation of mentality
(nàma) and materiality (rupa).

...

If you ... try to do Vipassanà by contemplating the arising and passing away of ... the rupa kalàpas, you will be trying to do Vipassanà on concepts. So you must analyse the rupa kalàpas further, until you can see the elements in single ones: in order to reach ultimate reality.

...

When the breath becomes subtle, that subtle breath is better.
At that time do not make the breath clear. If you try to make the breath clear, then because of excessive effort, it will make concentration to decrease.

...

When you are able to discern your immediate past life ... you need in the same way to discern progressively back to the second, third, fourth, and as many lives back as you can.

...

Whenever one's mind wanders, one brings it calmly back to the breath.
One does not get upset when one's mind wanders.

...

One does not follow the breath into the body. It is restlessness. This is very important.

...

Ānāpānassati

The First Tetra in the Practice for the Jhana

The Buddha said the bhikkhu breathes in and out understanding that his breath is long or short. As one's mindfulness of breathing develops, this comes naturally: one comes naturally to understand that one's breath is sometimes long, sometimes short. It is not important whether it is long or short; what is important is that one is calmly aware that it is either long or short.

Then The Buddha said the bhikkhu breathes in and out experiencing the whole body. By the whole body (sabbakaya), The Buddha means the whole body of breath. This understanding also comes naturally. As one's mindfulness of breathing develops further, one becomes naturally aware of the beginning, middle, and end of each in-breath and each out-breath as it passes by the nostrils or at the upper lip. Here again, it is not important whether one's breath is long or short; what is important is that one all the time knows the whole body of each in and out breath: that one knows the whole body of breath from beginning to middle to end.

Lastly, The Buddha said the bhikkhu breathes in and out tranquillizing the bodily formation. By the bodily formation (kayasankhara), The Buddha means the breath passing in and out through the nose.

Tranquillizing the breath also comes naturally, because as one's mindfulness of breathing develops, one's breath becomes more and more subtle, more and more tranquil. So, all one does is to try all the time mindfully to comprehend the subtle breath.

...

How to Calm the Breath? (4th Step of Anapanasati)

1. Concern ................ (àbhoga)
You pay initial attention to the breath, you apprehend the breath, you advert the mind towards the breath, to the effect: 'I will try to make the breath calm.'

2. Reaction ................ (samannàhàra)
You continue to do so, i.e. you pay
sustained attention to the  breath that way, do it again and again, keep the breath in the mind, to the effect: 'I will try to make the breath calm.'

3. Attention ................ (manasikàra)
Literally 'deciding to make the breath calm'. Attention is the mental factor that makes the mind advert towards the object. Attention makes the mind conscious of the breath and know the breath.

4. Reviewing ................ (paccavekkhana)
You
review (vãmamsa) the breath, make it clear to the mind, to the effect: 'I will try to make the breath calm.'

...

The jhāna factors

at the first access-jhāna suppress physical pain (kāyika dukkha vedanā);

at the second, mental suffering (domanassa vedanā);

at the third, physical pleasant feeling (kāyika sukha vedanā); and

at the fourth, mental pleasant feeling or happiness (somanassa vedanā).

This is how we distinguish between the different levels of access concentration, especially the fourth. At that level, the breath is the subtlest, and has nearly stopped. It stops completely at the fourth absorption-jhāna.

...

With the fourth jhana, one's breath stops: that is how one fully tranquillizes the bodily formation.

...

How does the Practice of Anapanassati fulfill the practice of
Satipatthana till Enlightenment?

When one uses anapanassati to practise vipassana (insight meditation), one is also cultivating the thirty-seven requisites of enlightenment including the seven enlightenment factors. How?

  1. To practise vipassana as we have explained is mindfully to contemplate the three characteristics of impermanence, suffering and non-self in four things: materiality, feelings, mind, and dhammas. That is to cultivate the four foundations of mindfulness (cattaro satipatthana).

  2.  

  3. Furthermore, to make effort to remove unwholesome things such as the perverted perceptions of permanence, pleasure, and self; and to make effort to develop wholesome things such as the perceptions of impermanence, suffering, and non-self, to attain the vipassana knowledges, is to cultivate the four right efforts (cattaro sammappadhana).

  4.  

  5. Furthermore, to practise vipassana with either predominantly zeal, or predominantly effort, or mind, or investigation, is to cultivate the four bases of spiritual power (cattaro iddhipada). 

  6.  

  7. Furthermore, to have strong faith in vipassana (which is to have strong faith in the usefulness of knowing and seeing that the true nature of formations is impermanence, suffering and non-self); to make continuous effort to know and see the true nature of formations; to be mindful of their true nature; to concentrate on the true nature of formations; and to comprehend their true nature, is to cultivate the five controlling faculties (panca indriyani). To cultivate them in this way is also to cultivate the five powers (panca balani).

  8.  

  9. Furthermore, to be mindful of the true nature of formations (their nature of impermanence, suffering, and nor-self); to investigate their true nature; to make constant effort to know and see the true nature of formations; to be rapturous at knowing and seeing their true nature; to tranquillize one's mind upon the true nature of formations; to concentrate upon their true nature; and to look upon their true nature with equanimity, is to cultivate the seven enlightenment factors (satta bojjhanga).

  10.  

  11. Lastly, rightly to understand the true nature of formations (their nature of impermanence; suffering, and non-self) is Right View; to apply one's mind to the true nature of formations is Right Thought; to abstain from wrong speech, wrong action, and wrong livelihood by having undertaken the precepts is Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood; to make effort to know and see the true nature of formations is Right Effort; to be mindful of their true nature is Right Mindfulness; and to concentrate on the true nature of formations is Right Concentration. To cultivate those eight things is to cultivate the eight factors corresponding to the Noble Eightfold Path (ariyo atthangikomaggo): at this stage they are only mundane.

That is how to cultivate vipassana using anapanassati (mindfulness of breathing) is to develop all thirty-seven requisites of enlightenment including the seven enlightenment factors. That was the first set of explanations in the 'Anapanassati Sutta'.

Mindfulness of Breathing

...

 

it is a gradual path

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
(Cattaro Satipatthana)

  1. Materiality (rupa)

  2. Feelings (vedana) 

  3. Consciousness (citta)

  4. Mind Objects (dhamma)

The Four Right Efforts
(Cattaro Sammappadhana)

  1. to make effort to remove unwholesome things such as the perverted perceptions of permanence, pleasure, and self;

  2. to make effort to prevent arising of unwholesome things such as the perverted perceptions of permanence, pleasure, and self;

  3. to make effort to arouse wholesome things such as the perceptions of impermanence, suffering, and non-self;

  4. to make effort to develop wholesome things such as the perceptions of impermanence, suffering, and non-self.

Four Bases of Spiritual Power
(Cattaro Iddhipada)

  1. Zeal (Chanda)

  2. Energy (Viriya)

  3. Awareness (Citta)

  4. Investigation (Vimamsa)

 The Five Controlling Faculties
(
Panca Indriyani)

~ providing the balance and harmony of the five

  1. Faith (Saddha)

  2. Energy (Viriya)

  3. Mindfulness (Sati)

  4. Concentration (Samadhi)

  5. Wisdom (Panna)

 The Five Spiritual Powers
(
Panca Balani)

~ providing the strength to overcome and withstand their opposites of non-confidence, laziness, carelessness, distraction & delusion

  1. Faith (Saddha)

  2. Energy (Viriya)

  3. Mindfulness (Sati)

  4. Concentration (Samadhi)

  5. Wisdom (Panna)

The Five Jhana Factors
(Panca Jhananga)

  1. Vitakka (Application)

  2. Vicara (Sustainment)

  3. Piti (Rapture)

  4. Sukha (Bliss)

  5. Ekaggata (One-pointed/One-peak)

The Seven Factors for Enlightenment
(Satta Bojjhanga) - (How to ?)

  1. Mindfulness (Sati)

  2. Investigation (Dhamma-vicaya)

  3. Energy (Viriya)

  4. Rapture (Piti)

  5. Tranquility (Passaddhi)

  6. Concentration (Samadhi)

  7. Equanimity (Upekkha)

Noble Eightfold Path
(A
riyo-Atthangika-Magga)

  1. Right View (Samma Ditthi)

  2. Right Thought (Samma Sankappa)

  3. Right Speech (Samma Vaca)

  4. Right Action (Samma Kammanta)

  5. Right Livelihood (Samma Ajita)

  6. Right Effort (Samma Vayama)

  7. Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)

  8. Right Concentration (Samma Samadhi)

(from various sources)

...

The Workings of Kamma

... if we do not understand the workings of kamma, we cannot understand the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering (Dukkha·Samudaya Ariya·Sacca), the origin of the five aggregates. That means we cannot become a Noble Disciple (Ariya·Savaka), and escape suffering. Therefore, we must attend closely to The Buddha’s explanations of the workings of kamma. But we must always remember that although we must try to understand The Buddha’s explanations of the workings of kamma, such explanations cannot provide true understanding.

To gain true understanding of the workings of kamma, we need, as far as it is possible for a disciple, to know and see the workings of kamma for ourselves by practising proper insight meditation, and attaining the Cause-Apprehending Knowledge (Paccaya-Pariggaha·Ñana) ...

...

 ... even though we have a strong desire to put an end to rebirth, it depends on our parami ...

Parami: ten things requisite over many lives for the future attainment of Arahantship

(1) offering (dana),
(2) morality (sila),
(3) renunciation (nekkhamma),
(4) wisdom (panna),
(5) energy (viriya),
(6) patience (khanti),
(7) truthfulness (sacca),
(8) resolution (adhitthana),
(9) loving-kindness (metta),
(10) equanimity (upekkha).

...

... for us to succeed in our meditation, we need to have accomplished much practice of the three merit-work bases: not only in this life but also in past lives. And that practice needs to have been of a high quality: consistent and continuous.

...

The three merit-work bases (puñña·kiriya·vatthu) are three ways to accomplish wholesome kamma, to develop wholesome consciousness. They are: offering (dana), morality (sila), and meditation (bhavana)...

...

The persistent, strongly held wrong view that alone can lead to rebirth in hell is the view that somehow denies kamma and its result: either an annihilation view or an eternity view.

...

Please do not forget, stubbornness and pride are defilements. Defilements do not produce a high birth, they produce a low birth. Such are the workings of kamma.

...

The Buddha explains the things that need to be known for insight knowledge to arise:

‘When, Ananda, a bhikkhu is in the elements skilled, is in the bases skilled, is in dependent origination skilled, is in the possible and impossible skilled, in that way he can be called a wise man and an enquirer.’

And He explains that skill in the elements is to know and see the eighteen elements (the elements of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, their six objects, and their six types of consciousness); the three elements (the three planes of existence: sensual-, fine-material-, and immaterial element); and the two elements (all formations: the conditioned element; Nibbana: the unformed element). He explains that when a bhikkhu knows and sees these elements: ‘a bhikkhu can be called in the elements skilled.’

Skill in the bases He explains as to know and see the six internal and external bases (eye/ colour, ear/ sounds, nose/ odours, tongue/ flavours, body/ touches, mind/ other objects).

Skill in dependent origination He explains as to know the twelve factors of dependent origination and of dependent cessation.

And skill in the possible and impossible He explains as to understand that certain things are impossible, although their opposite is possible:

...

The Purification of View (Ditthi-Visuddhi)

To develop the seven stages of purification a meditator must first develop the

purification of virtue (sila-visuddhi) followed by purification of mind (citta-visuddhi).

Having achieved purification of mind he can develop the purification of view (ditthivisuddhi).

...

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IN SUMMARY

... If any doubt remains, please allow us to suggest that you see it all with your own direct knowledge.

First undertake morality (sila).

Then develop concentration (samadhi),
- until your mind is full of bright, brilliant, and radiant light of wisdom. Then use that light of wisdom systematically to practise materiality-meditation (rupa·kammatthana) and mentality-meditation (nama·kammatthana). When it is complete, you will have attained the Mentality-Materiality-Definition-Knowledge (Nama·Rupa·Pariccheda·Ñana).

Then discern dependent origination (paticcasamupada),
and attain the Cause-Apprehending Knowledge (Paccaya·Pariggaha·Ñana). With that knowledge, you will have overcome all and any doubt about the establishment of consciousness in the three realms: that is why it is called Doubt-Overcoming Purification (Kankha·Vitarana·Visuddhi).

If you then practise vipassana on the five aggregates (panca-khandhas) of
past, future, and present, internal and external, superior and inferior, gross and subtle, near and far,
your parami may mature, and you will attain a Path & Fruit.

Then continue practising until you attain Arahantship: the defilements Parinibbana. Then at the end of that life, you will attain the aggregates Parinibbana.

...

Now you know what to do. The very first thing for you to do is to develop strong and powerful faith in the workings of kamma as explained by The Buddha. With that faith and understanding, you may then accomplish superior wholesome kammas. With the working of those kammas, you may eventually attain the unworking of kamma.

 The Workings of Kamma

(Pa Auk Sayadaw)


In this stage (the first jhana) there is no thinking - vitaka is not thinking and vicara is not thinking.

...

When memories & perceptions arise, we can see that they are clouded and hazy, like a murky and overcast sky, incapable of penetrating to things as they actually are.

(Ajahn Anand Akincano)


Perfection is not when we do not have any more to add but
when we do not have any more to remove.

...

When we practise a long time in a peaceful environment,
we say we cannot practise anymore at noisy places.
That’s attachment to the peaceful environment.
Sometimes it is good to “rock the boat” to see where we are attached.

(Ajahn Karuniko)


Unhappy thought is further away from the jhana.
Happy thought at least is nearer.
But the joy that comes with thinking is not so good.
The joy that comes without thinking is better.

...

Work on the causes. It is impossible not to progress when the causes are right.

...

As long as the nimitta is changing, not stable, don't look at it.  Because you can never take a changing object to strengthen your concentration to the point of jhana. It is impossible. It must be a static object. You must not look at change. Know that it is impossible and give up hope. If you really take the impossible as impossible & give up (that) hope ... listen to talk

(Bhikkhu Mangala)


Awakening cannot occur without the attainment of jhana in the canonical sense.

Commentaries & The Path of Purification - a cause of controversies on the jhanas

...

(In Breath Meditation) as the mind settles in, its usual nervous energy begins to dissolve. The body actually needs less and less oxygen, because the level of your brain activity begins to grow calm, and so the breath gets more and more refined. It can even grow perfectly still, for all the oxygen you need is coming in through the pores of your skin.

As soon as we think, we shrink up the energy field in certain parts of the body to block them out of our awareness, which is why there's tension in the body every time a thought occurs.

...

When the Buddha describes concentration states, he doesn't use images of single-pointedness. He uses images of whole-body awareness. When a sense of rapture and pleasure comes from the breath, he tells you to knead that sense of rapture and pleasure through the whole body, the way you would knead water into flour to make dough. Another image is of the rapture welling up from within the body and filling the body just like a spring of cool water coming up from within a lake, filling the entire lake with its coolness. Another image is of lotuses standing in a lake: Some of the lotuses don't go above the water but stay totally immersed in the water, saturated from their roots to their tips with the stillness and coolness of the water in the lake. Still another image is of a person wrapped in white cloth, totally surrounded by the white cloth from head to foot, so that all of his body is covered by the white cloth.

These are all images of whole-body awareness, of a sense of rapture, pleasure, or bright awareness filling the entire body. That's what you want to work on when you get to know the breath, because the type of awareness that allows insight to arise is not restricted to one point.

...

Even this refined jhana states are anicca, dukkha & anatta

What is essential is that one develop a sense of dispassion for the state of jhana, seeing that even the relatively steady sense of refined pleasure and equanimity it provides is artificial and willed, inconstant and stressful, a state fabricated from many different events, and thus not worth identifying with.

Jhana thus becomes an ideal test case for understanding the workings of kamma and dependent co-arising in the mind. Its stability gives discernment a firm basis for seeing clearly; its refined sense of pleasure and equanimity allow the mind to realize that even the most refined mundane states involve the inconstancy and stress common to all willed phenomena.

Wings to Awakening

...

The Seven Factors for Enlightenment

"And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body [kaya] in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness (sati) as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities (dhamma-vicaya) as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, unflagging persistence is aroused. When unflagging persistence is aroused in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence (viriya) [energy] as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture (piti) not-of-the-flesh as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[5] For one who is enraptured, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of an enraptured monk grow calm, then serenity (passaddhi) as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated (samadhi) then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[7] He oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity (upekkha) as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

Similarly with the other three frames of reference:

feelings [vedana], consciousness [citta], & mental qualities [fabrications] [dhamma]

(Bhikkhu Thanissaro)


The Meaning of Anatta

 Anything fashioned by conditions, whether physical or mental, is called a sankhara.  All sankharas are unsteady and inconstant (anicca) because they are continually moving and changing about.  All sankharas are incapable of maintaining a lasting oneness: This is why they are said to be stressful (dukkha).  No sankharas lie under anyone’s control.  They keep changing continually, and no one can prevent them from doing so, which is why they are said to be not-self (anatta).  All things, whether mental or physical, if they have these characteristics by nature, are said to be not-self.  Even the quality of deathlessness - which is a quality or phenomenon free from fashioning conditions, and which is the only thing in a state of lasting oneness - is also said to be not-self, because it lies above and beyond everything else.  No one can think it or pull it under his or her control.  Only those of right view, whose conduct lies within the factors of the path, can enter in to see this natural quality and remove their attachments to all things - including their attachment to the agent which goes about knowing those things.  In the end, there is no agent attaining or getting anything.  However natural phenomena behave, that is how they simply keep on behaving at all times. 

When meditators practice correctly and have the discernment to see that quality (of deathlessness) as it really is, the result is that they can withdraw their attachments from all things - including their attachment to the discernment which enters in to see the quality as it really is. 

The practice of all things good and noble is to reach this very point.   

(Venerable Ajahn Tate)


Anapana sati, the meditation on in-and-out breathing, is the first subject of meditation expounded by the Buddha in the Maha-satipatthana Sutta, the Great Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness. The Buddha laid special stress on this meditation, for it is the gateway to enlightenment and Nibbana adopted by all the Buddhas of the past as the very basis for their attainment of Buddhahood.

...

The practitioner of meditation who consciously watches the breath in this manner should never try to control his breathing or hold back his breath with effort. For if he controls his breath or holds back his breath with conscious effort, he will become fatigued and his mental concentration will be disturbed and broken.

The key to the practice is to set up mindfulness naturally at the spot where the in-breaths and the out-breaths are felt entering and leaving the nostrils. Then the meditator has to maintain his awareness of the touch sensation of the breath, keeping the awareness as steady and consistent as possible.

...

In Anapana Sati, the Buddha explained the sitting posture. There are four postures which can be adopted for meditation: standing, sitting, reclining and walking. Of these the most suitable posture to practice anapana sati at the beginning is the seated posture.

...

The Eight Steps

To help practitioners in developing this meditation, the commentators and meditation masters have indicated eight graduated steps in the practice. These eight steps will first be enumerated, and then they will be explained in relation to the actual meditative process.

The eight steps are named:

counting (ganana);
following (anubandhana);
contact (phusana);
fixing (thapana);
observing (sallakkhana);
turning away (vivattana),
purification (parisuddhi); and
retrospection (patipassana).

These eight cover the whole course of meditative development up to the attainment of arahatship.

...

At that time, because of the tranquillity of the mind, the breathing becomes finer and finer until it seems that it has ceased. At times this condition lasts for many minutes. This is when breathing ceases to be felt. At this time some be come alarmed thinking the breathing has ceased, but it is not so. The breathing exists but in a very delicate and subtle form. No matter how subtle the breathing becomes, one must still keep mindful of the contact (phusana) of the breath in the area of the nostrils, without losing track of it. The mind then becomes free from the five hindrances -- sensual desire, anger, drowsiness, restlessness and doubt. As a result one becomes calm and joyful.

...

The learning sign (uggaha-nimitta) is unsteady, it moves here and there, up and down. But the counterpart sign (patibhaga-nimitta) appearing at the end of the nostrils is steady, fixed and motionless. At this time there are no hindrances, the mind is most active and extremely tranquil.

The arising of the counterpart sign and the suppression of the five hindrances marks the attainment of access concentration (upacara-samadhi).

...

There are [three mental] distortions in unenlightened living beings:

  • Sannā-vipallāsa - distorted perception
  • Citta-vipallāsa - distorted consciousness
  • Ditthi-vipallāsa - distorted view
  • It is to correct the above [mental] distortions that satipatthāna was taught.

                                              (A. 4:49)

    (Mahathera Nauyane Ariyadhamma)


    One's own opinion is the weakest authority of all ...

    (Venerable Buddhaghosa) 


    Just having a body is already a heavy burden. To take on the added responsibilities of relationships and of owning and maintaining material possessions is too much extra burden for one to carry. It is almost beyond one’s capacity to bear this extra burden. Expanding clouds of defilements appear to act as a tonic to aid in supporting that burden.

    (Awaken, Oh World!)

    (Sayadaw U. Revata)


    Meditate with the teeth not biting.

    (Sayadaw U. Kovida)


    See with the mind, not with the eyes.

     (Sayadaw U. Punnananda)


    What is and What is Not Path

    It is at this stage, as you apply these methods and your insight becomes stronger, that the ten imperfections of insight may arise. The ten imperfections are:

    1. Light  2. Knowledge  3. Rapture  4. Tranquility  5. Happiness 
    6. Confidence  7. Effort  8. Mindfulness  9. Equanimity  10. Attachment

    With the exception of attachment, these states are not imperfections in themselves;
    however, when they arise, there is a temptation for the meditator to think:
     
    “‘Such [powerful] light…knowledge…rapture…tranquility… etc. never arose in me before. I have surely reached the path, reached fruition [i.e., Nibb
    ana].’
    Thus he takes what is not the path to be the path and what is not fruition to be fruition.”

    If this happens to you, your progress will be interrupted – you will “drop [your] basic meditation subject and sit just enjoying the [light, knowledge, rapture, tranquility, etc.].”

    This is where an experienced teacher can help, by pointing out the imperfection when it arises and encouraging you to overcome this attachment by seeing it as impermanent, suffering and without a self.

    (Bhikkhu Moneyya) 


    Strong concentration is absolutely necessary for liberating insight. "Without a firm basis in concentration," he often said, "insight is just concepts." To see clearly the connections between stress and its causes, the mind has to be very steady and still. And to stay still, it requires the strong sense of well being that only strong concentration can provide.

     

    To gain insight into a state of concentration, you have to stick with it for a long time. If you push impatiently from one level of concentration to the next, or if you try to analyze a new state of concentration too quickly after you've attained it, you never give it the chance to show its full potential and you don't give yourself the chance to familiarize yourself with it. So you have to keep working at it as a skill, something you can tap into in all situations. This enables you to see it from a variety of perspectives and to test it over time, to see if it really is as totally blissful, empty, and effortless as it may have seemed on first sight.

     

    The best state of concentration for the sake of developing all-around insight is one that encompasses a whole-body awareness. There were two exceptions to Ajaan Fuang's usual practice of not identifying the state you had attained in your practice, and both involved states of wrong concentration. The first was the state that comes when the breath gets so comfortable that your focus drifts from the breath to the sense of comfort itself, your mindfulness begins to blur, and your sense of the body and your surroundings gets lost in a pleasant haze. When you emerge, you find it hard to identify where exactly you were focused. Ajaan Fuang called this moha-samadhi, or delusion-concentration.

     

    An ideal state of concentration for giving rise to insight is one that you can analyze in terms of stress and the absence of stress even while you're in it. Once your mind was firmly established in a state of concentration, Ajaan Fuang would recommend "lifting" it from its object, but not so far that the concentration was destroyed. From that perspective, you could evaluate what levels of stress were still present in the concentration and let them go. In the initial stages, this usually involved evaluating how you were relating to the breath, and detecting more subtle levels of breath energy in the body that would provide a basis for deeper levels of stillness. Once the breath was perfectly still, and the sense of the body started dissolving into a formless mist, this process would involve detecting the perceptions of "space," "knowing," "oneness," etc., that would appear in place of the body and could be peeled away like the layers of an onion in the mind. In either case, the basic pattern was the same: detecting the level of perception or mental fabrication that was causing the unnecessary stress, and dropping it for a more subtle level of perception or fabrication until there was nothing left to drop.

    Ajaan Fuang Jotika / Bhikkhu Thanissaro


    The 5 Hindrances and The Maggaphala

    By the "worldling" (puthujjana), however, only a temporary suspension and partial weakening of the hindrances can be attained. Their final and complete eradication takes place on the stages of sanctity (ariyamagga):

    Doubt is eliminated on the first stage, the path of stream-entry (sotápatti-magga).

    Sensual desire, ill will and remorse are eliminated on the third stage, the path of nonreturner (anágami-magga)

    Sloth and torpor and restlessness are eradicated on the path of Arahatship (arahattamagga).

    Hence the reward of the fight against the hindrances is not only the limited one of making possible a shorter or longer spell of meditation, but every step in weakening these hindrances takes us nearer to the stages of sanctity where deliverance from these hindrances is unshakable.

    ...

    Contemplation of the Five Threatening Dangers to Promote ZEAL

    If, monks, a monk perceives these five threatening dangers, it is enough for him to live heedful, zealous, with a heart resolute to achieve the unachieved, to attain the unattained, to realize the unrealized. Which are these five dangers?

    1. Here, monks, a monk reflects thus: "I am now young, a youth, young in age, black haired, in the prime of youth, in the first phase of life. But a time will come when this body will be in the grip of old age. But one who is overpowered by old age cannot easily contemplate on the Teachings of the Buddha; it is not easy for him to live in the wilderness or a forest or jungle, or in secluded dwellings. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in old age."

    2. And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "I am now free from sickness, free from disease, my digestive power functions smoothly, my constitution is not too cool and not too hot, it is balanced and fit for making effort. But a time will come when this body will be in the grip of sickness. And one who is sick cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha; it is not easy for him, to live in the wilderness or a forest or jungle, or in secluded dwellings. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, shall live happily even in sickness."

    3. And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "Now there is an abundance of food, good harvests, easily obtainable is a meal of alms, it is easy to live on collected food and offerings. But a time will come when there will be a famine, a bad harvest, difficult to obtain will be a meal of alms, it will be difficult to live on collected food and offerings. And in a famine people migrate to places where food is ample, and there habitations will be thronged and crowded. But in habitations thronged and crowded one cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in a famine."

    4. And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "Now people live in concord and amity, in friendly fellowship as mingled milk and water and look at each other with friendly eyes. But there will come a time of danger, of unrest among the jungle tribes when the country people mount their carts and drive away and fear-stricken people move to a place of safety, and there habitations will be thronged and crowded. But in habitations thronged and crowded one cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in time of danger."

    5. And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "Now the Congregation of Monks lives in concord and amity, without quarrel, lives happily under one teaching. But a time will come when there will be a split in the Congregation. And when the Congregation is split, one cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha; it is not easy to live in the wilderness or a forest or jungle, or in secluded dwellings. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even when the Congregation is split."

    AN 5:78

    (Bhikkhu Nyanaponika Thera)


    (In meditation) we move
    from diversity to duality,
    from duality to unity, and
    from unity to empty.

    (Ajahn Siripañño)


    As the mind’s focus grows narrower, the currents sent out by the mind grow shorter and more limited. Mae Chee Kaew had investigated and understood conceptual phenomena so thoroughly that the clear, bright essence no longer made conscious contact with them. Thought and imagination within the mind had come to a complete halt. The mind’s essential knowing nature stood out alone, on its own.

    When strange and unusual things occur in your meditation, just let them happen. Don’t become attached to them. Such things are really an external focus and should be let go of. Put them down and move on — don’t hold on to them. All realms of consciousness originate from the mind. Heaven and hell originate from the mind. Pretas and devas, lay people, nuns — all living beings originate from the mind. Because of that, it is far better to focus exclusively on your own mind. There you will find the whole universe.

    In a perfectly still, crystal-clear pool of water, we can see everything with clarity. The heart at complete rest is still. When the heart is still, wisdom appears easily, fluently. When wisdom flows, clear understanding follows. The world’s impermanent, unsatisfactory and insubstantial nature is seen in a flash of insight, and we become fed up with our attachment to this mass of suffering and loosen our grip. In that moment of coolness, the fires in our heart abate, while freedom from suffering arises naturally of its own accord.

    (Mae Chee Kaew)


    Reading dhamma text is to put the dhamma into our hearts. 
    We need to know more about our hearts, to learn about ourselves and respectfully put dhamma into our hearts, not for pride but for the benefit of others.
    Learn the dhamma, learn to be humble.
    You never know how much humility you need in your dhamma practice.

    ...

    Anytime when there is wandering thought, the concentration has already dropped.

    ...

    The appearing of a nimitta is a sign of concentration.

    ...

    When the anapanasati nimitta is bright, clear, transparent like water, diamond or crystal,
    and has approached around the area where the breath touches the upper lib,
    let go of the breath and concentrate on the nimitta.

    ...

    After piti (joy) then only sukha (happiness) can occur.

    ...

    3 Levels of Anapanasati Nimitta

    Level 1:

    coloured nimitta

    e.g yellow, orange, blue, etc.

    Level 2:

    white nimitta

    As concentration improves the white nimitta becomes brighter & brighter, the nimitta will start to move nearer to the nostril.

    Level 3:

    clear (translucent) nimitta

    As concentration improves, the clear nimitta becomes transparent like water or diamond.
    When the transparent nimitta at the nostril is stable, then the mind can do absorption on the nimitta.

    ...

    A clear and stable nimitta is very important. If the nimitta is not clear, it is not good for absorption. One has to be patient. Wait for a clear and stable nimitta before one does absorption. Once one is successful, when one closes the eyes, as soon as one thinks of the breath, the clear nimitta will always be there, for your whole life! 

    ...

    In the 4th jhana, when sukha disappears, equanimity (upekkha) comes in.
    There are 2 factors in the 4th jhana: equanimity (upekkha) and one-pointedness (ekagatta).

    These jhana factors can be discerned in the heart-base when one comes out from absorption.

    ...

    When one comes out from absorption, just for a split second be aware of the heart region.
    And you will notice that there is a streak of 'light' beaming from the heart region to the nimitta at the nostril. That is the heart-base.

    ...

    The heart-base is not in the physical heart. It is somewhere near.

    (The Buddha did not mention the exact location of the heart-base because its exact location would not probably help in the abandoning of craving for the attainment of Nibbana)

    ...

    3 Types of Emptiness

    1) Emptiness of rupa: mind is there, no body

    2) Emptiness of mana: body is there, no mind

    3) Emptiness of mana and rupa: no mind, no body

    Real emptiness is no mana, no rupa: no suffering, no cause and effect (kamma).

    (Sayalay Dipankara)


    Anapanasati takes the in- and out- breath as the meditation object.

    ...

    We do not try make the breath longer or shorter, what is important is to remain mindful on the in-breath and out-breath.

    ...

    Two possible reasons for those practising a long time and not seeing progress:
    1. The way you observe the object may not be correct.
    2. The mind is not powerful enough. Build up your concentration first.

    ...

    Defining Sati (Mindfulness) in Anapanasati

    • Characteristics of sati is non-superficiality of the breath but sinking into the breath

    • Function of sati is non-forgetfulness of the breath

    • Manifestation of sati is confrontation / face-to-face with the breath

    • Approximate cause of sati is strong perception on the breath

    ...

    Greed and hatred cannot coexist in the same mind moment or same cognitive process, as their nature opposes each other. Greed has the nature of grasping and holding on while hatred has the nature of pushing away and destroying. Delusion is always present in every unwholesome state as an underlying root. It is mental blindness towards what is good or bad or the ignorance of the nature of conditional phenomena.

    There are two types of consciousness rooted solely in delusion. One is associated with doubt and the other with restlessness.

    ...

    The size of one rupa kalapa is smaller than an atom.
    With the strength of access concentration, one can penetrate into each particle.

    ...

    What is Ultimate Truth?
    Ultimate Truth means something that cannot be changed or subdivided into other things.
    It is something that really exists by reason of its own intrinsic nature (sabhava).

    (Sayalay Susila)


    "That which can be said is not worth saying, and that which is worth saying
    cannot be said. So there is no way except to become silent."

    (Ancient Sage)


    The Twin Truths won by Dual Consideration:

    The blessed Buddha once said:
    Friends, the first consideration is:
       Whatever Suffering arises, all that is caused by Mental Construction!
    The consequent second consideration is:
       Stilling of all Mental Construction thereby ceases all Suffering completely!

    ...

    The 10 Tricks in the Art of Jhãna Concentration

    1: Making the basis pure: Means clean body, clean room and clean morality. 
    2: Balanced abilities = Energy equals concentration. Faith equals understanding.
    3: Skill in the sign: A moment of absorption is remembered exactly for recollection.
    4: One exerts the mind on all occasions, it advantageously should be pushed forth.
    5: One controls the mind on all occasions, it advantageously should be held back.
    6: One encourages mind on occasions it advantageously should be incited & cheered.
    7: One observes the mind with calm equanimity, when things proceed appropriately.
    8: One avoids all distracted, agitated, frantic, unconcentrated, & stressed persons.
    9: One cultivates company with well focused, determined & concentrated persons.
    10: One is resolutely determined upon that absorption level of jhāna  concentration!

    ...

    Stilling of mental construction (sankhāra) is Nibbâna!

    ...

    Progressive Dilution of Dosa with Metta Meditation

    Meditation on infinite friendliness reduces and evaporates all hate, anger, irritation, opposition, stubbornness and mental rigidity.

    (Bhikkhu Samahita)


    Enlightenment is not something you wish for.
    It is the state that you end up in when all your wishes come to an end.


    The two extremes of sensual pleasure and self mortification (in terms of vedana) should be avoided in every session of meditation, every living moment.
    This is the practice in seeking and treading upon the Middle Path.

    ...

    Keeping to the present will take care of the future and the past:
    for every moment in the present has been the immediate future and will be an immediate past. There is no other time worth to be but the present.

    This indeed is also a characteristic of the Middle Path, between the future and the past, the present.

    So is staying in the middle of gain & loss, fame & defame, praise & blame, pleasure & pain...

    ...

    The breath is a phenomenon that is happening right at the very present moment.
    When the mind is exclusively with the breath, there is only the present.

    ...

    We practice mindfulness of breathing, not concentrate on our breathing ...
    It is ana-pana-sati ... not ana-pana-samadhi !

    ...

    The best way to make the Buddha-Dhamma last longer is
    to practice diligently & realize it for oneself. Strive to be an Ariyasangha.
    One can then be sure the Dhammacakka is still turning
    if one has indeed tasted the releasing Dhamma for oneself.

    ...

    One is genuinely only a Buddhist, with unshakeable faith,
    when one is at least a stream-enterer, Sotapanna.

    ...

    1. Association with people of integrity is a factor for stream-entry.
    2. Listening to the true Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.
    3. Appropriate attention is a factor for stream-entry.
    4. Practice in accordance with the Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.

    (SN 55.5)

    ...

    Ven. Sariputta once said:
    "There are these three forms of stressfulness:

    the stressfulness of pain [dukkha],
    the stressfulness of fabrication [sankhara],
    the stressfulness of change [anicca]
    .

    These are the three forms of stressfulness."

    (SN 38.14)

    ...

    Thoughts are fabrications, mental constructions, sankhara ... stressful, dukkha.

    ...

    Paticcasamupada: The first link ...
    Conditioned by ignorance (avijja), mental construction (sankhara) arises ...

    Whenever there are thoughts, there is already ignorance.
    Even wholesome thoughts are accompanied by ignorance
    because they result in continuing births, although good desired births.

    ...

    All thoughts, wholesome and unwholesome, need to be let go of
    if one aspires to achieve stillness.
    Movement of the constructing mind is unstillness, restless, wandering. Dukkha.

    ...

    Thought talks - verbalising, commentating, discursive.
    When verbal thought ceases, internal silence arises.

    ...

    When silentness is experienced, internal speech is ceasing.
    Considerable dukkha is being overcome. A clear sign of progress in stillness.

    ...

    There is the Cluster of Clinging to Mental Construction (Sankhāra):

    There are six kinds of mental construction dealing with

    • visual objects,

    • hearable objects,

    • smellable,

    • tastable,

    • touchable objects, or

    • thinkable objects.

    Whatever there is of mental construction, whether past, present or future, internal or external, subtle or gross, high or low, far or near, all that belongs to this mental construction group. Desire, craving for and clinging to these objectives, is the cluster of clinging to construction!

    ...

    In meditation, when one's forehead tightens or creases, it's already too much.
    However, all of us need to start this way - the tightness of dukkha.
    This is the reason for the Dhamma... to ease the tightness of dukkha.
    Relax when it is tight. Put forth when it is lax.
    Learn to be in the middle, equanimous.

    ...

    Dreams are like thoughts, sankhara.
    We are affected in wake as well as in sleep.

    ...

    The Lord said that the Citta dwells in the Hadayavatthu (heart base) which is the center of the body. But one should understand that the Citta is Nama Dhamma and it just "knows"
    — it is not a physical object even though it dwells in the Hadayvatthu, so it is not like an egg or a fruit dwelling in a shell. Therefore all one can say is that it just dwells there, although the meaning of this is difficult for one to imagine or to guess.

    (Maha Boowa)

    ...

    Meditation is for the living, peaceful.
    Meditation is not only when the eyes are closed.
    Our eyes are closed only to reduce distraction from a dominant sense.
    Meditation is truly considered successful when it is embedded in all postures,
    even when the eyes are opened.

    ...

    When the jaw drops, it is mostly likely the result of moha.
    Moha: amazement, astonishment, awe, doubt, sloth, unknowing, confusion, fear, darkness, misty, cloudy...

    ...

    Avoid stretching the lazy body.
    It is a cause for the arising & increasing of sloth & lethargy, not for its ceasing and decreasing.

    ...

    Peace is a constant companion of progress in letting go.

    ...

    There is no need to convert others. Convert yourself ! There are already enough Buddhists.
    What is really needed are Noble Ones.
    And this can only be attained by truly converting your own self.

    ...

    Signs of progress:

    goodness, calmness, stillness, peacefulness, harmlessness, quietness, silentness, soothing, cooling, relieving, easing, releasing, evenness, balancing, harmonising, centeredness, stabiling, stilling, unwavering, undisturbing, unperturbing, pacifying, gentleness, flexible, lightness, brightness, clarity, uplifting, composing, abiding, openness, unhiddenness, detaching, dispassioning, disenchanting, abandoning, unbinding, unbending, undistorting, straightening, presentness, contentedness, enoughness, rapturous, joy, serene, tranquilizing, settling, fading, ceasing, converging, equanimous, emptiness.

    ...

    Goodness! Calmness is not enough. Stillness is not enough.
    One has yet to arrive. One has yet to be still & calm ! To be truly good.

    All the -ness and -ing are not enough.
    They are yet to be.

    ... tranquil, peace, faded, ceased, converged, still, equanimity, empty.

    This not-enoughness is attained through letting go, not of wanting.

    ...

    'Stillness,' 'collectedness,' 'quietness,' 'tranquility' of the mind is closer than 'concentration,' 'focusing,' 'one-pointedness' to describe samatha-samadhi meditation.

    ...

    Attending a meditation retreat is not attending a concentration camp!

    (Ajahn Brahm)

    ...

    Knowing only the five senses is not enough.
    Each of this sense knows only its own domain:
    the eye-visual, the ear-audio, tongue-taste, nose-odour & body-touch.
    However, the sixth sense, the mind, knows a few domains:
    the mind-kaya (body), mind-vedana (feelings), mind-sanna (perceptions),
    mind-sankkhara (constructions like thoughts) and mind-vinnana (consciousness).
    Even the body, only the mind knows. The body does not.

    ...

    Sexual lust is but a very powerful desire for sense pleasures.
    Ultimately it is the sense of touch.

    ...

    Even having a gastric pain is the result of the sense of touch.
    The acid touching and irritating the stomach walls.
    The whole body, on and in, is a sense organ of touch.
    Even the remaining four physical sense organs are also organs of touch.

    ...

    When in the sitting posture, try cross-legged, besides full lotus & half lotus.
    Avoid touching or pressing your legs against each other, and feel the difference.

    ...

    The lion's posture :
    Try reclining on the right side, if you are able.
    Covering foot on foot provides the most stability and ease.
    The left arm straight along the body. The right arm L-shape, unpressed.
    If meritoriously possible.

    ...

    Try reclining on the right side ...
    Reclining on the left suppresses the heart giving rise to tenseness & unease. Right or left  has its implications, and some implications take some time to manifest. The immediate benefit if right is optimum rest.

    ...

    We should constantly straighten our views to harmonise with the Truth
    and not to bend the Truth to suit our views.

    ...

    Every session in meditation is never the same.
    Every moment in meditation is never the same.
    One cannot step into the same river twice.

    ...

    All our understanding about the true Dhamma from now till Nibbana is never the same,
    as the final attainment is only known and seen at that Nibbanic moment.

    ...

    The household life is full of difficulties, is a defiling path.
    Going forth is like open space.
    Living in a household it is not easy to lead a holy life complete and pure without being defiled.

    (Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta)

    ...

    Mindfulness of Death

    Uncertain is my life. Certain is my death.

    I will surely die. My life will certainly end in death.

    Life is unstable. Death is for sure.

    (see also Maranassati Sutta)

    ...

    There are dhammas as many as the leaves in the forest that can be known and realised.
    Let there be only the knowing & realisation of the handful of leaves,
    the Supreme Dhamma sufficient for Nibbana, before anything else, for all savakas.
    By the power of the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha,
    let there be only the knowing and realisation of the essentials till Release is attained.
     

    And what are the essentials?
    the 4 Noble Truths

    ...

    When one realises the 4 Noble Truths, one becomes a Noble one.

    (Pa Auk Sayadaw)

    ...

    The 2 aspects of Nibbāna are:

    (1) The full extinction of defilements (kilesa-parinibbāna), i.e. Nibbāna with the groups of existence still remaining. This takes place at the attainment of Arahatship.

    (2) The full extinction of the groups of existence (khandha-parinibbāna), i.e. 'Nibbāna without the groups remaining', in other words, the coming to rest, or rather the 'no-more-continuing' of this nama-rupa. This takes place at the death of the Arahat. Mahaparinibbana.

    ...

    Transient are all compounded things.
    Strive on with diligence.

    ...

    Even this Noble Eightfold Path is a compound of eight components, conditioned & transient.
    The only conditioned path for attaining the unconditioned Nibbana.
    For the conditions can be made right, right here in this precious birth.
    Strive on with diligence.
    Appamadena Sampadetha

    And yet another noble utterance be:

    "Unshakeable is this deliverance of my heart. Destroyed is birth.
    Well lived is the holy life. Done is what that needs to be done. Nothing more is left to be done.
    This is my last birth. There is no more becoming."


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    Anumodana & Aditthana Paramitas

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