The days pass by quickly. We’re in mid-March already. The years fly by. Our life gets shorter and shorter each day. If we take a look at our life, we’ll see that death is approaching. Those who have hectic lifestyles think that they’re not going to die. If we know that one day we will have to abandon everything, we won’t be ravenously scrambling for scraps so desperately. Some people, when they think of death, their mind grows unwholesome, others grow wholesome. Those that believe that there is nothing after death, feel they have to enjoy as many things as possible before death, and consume as much as they can. That’s for those that believe that life doesn’t continue after death. But us Buddhists believe in the cycle of birth and death. When we think of death the defilements won’t be too harsh. How many millions and billions are we going to want to acquire? When in the end, we can’t take it with us. The mind will think in this way for Buddhists.
What will help us determine whether our mind becomes filled with defilements, or in a gentler and more wholesome place, is when we think of death and what our beliefs are regarding it. Those who believe death is final will have certain responses, and those that believe there is rebirth will have other responses. Those that believe death is final have a wrong view, and those that believe we are reborn after death have another type of wrong view. There is a belief that in our life there is something that is permanent inside of us, and that upon death, our soul exits our body and finds a new body to be born in. Once that new body dies, then it seeks another one. Buddhists believe in the cycle of birth and death, but not in the way I just described. That is wrong view. It is easy to see that no life after death is wrong view, but saying that dying and then being born again is also wrong view is harder to understand. We’ll understand it when we practice until we can separate the aggregates. We’ll see that our life is comprised of merely five aggregates. There’s form, feelings, perception, formations, and consciousness.
All things arise and fall
Form is the material things. The feelings are the pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings. Perception is memory and interpretation. Formations are the fabricating of good, bad, and neutral states. Consciousness is the receiving through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. When we separate the aggregates we will see that each of them are arising and passing away in the present. Arising and falling sequentially at all times. The mind itself arises and falls. Each mind arises and then falls away all day and all night. We will see that. Before seeing that each mind arises and falls, we’ll see them one at a time. The mind that is happy arises and falls. The mind that is unhappy arises and falls. The mind that is neutral arises and falls. The mind that is greedy or not-greedy arises and falls. The mind that is angry, and the mind that is deluded arises and falls. All things arise and fall. When we see that over and over we will know that the mind itself arises and falls all the time.
Some people see the mind arise and fall by way of the sense organs. They’ll see that the mind goes to see, and then that mind falls away. The mind that hears, the mind that smells, the mind at the tongue, the mind that knows tactile senses; these all arise and fall, as well as the mind that thinks, it arises and falls. That’s harder to see then the mind that is happy, unhappy, good, or bad. The mind that is happy or un-happy arises and falls right in front of our eyes. To see the mind arising at the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and in the mind we need a considerable amount of samadhi and mindfulness to do so.
When we don’t see these things we will easily fall into wrong view. We will believe that there is one mind in here. That it runs to the eyes to see forms, then runs back, then runs to the ears to hear sounds. It will appear as if the mind is like a spider going to the left, the right, up and down. One spider that runs to and fro. So if we practice seeing the mind at the sense organs and our samadhi is not considerable it is easy to fall into wrong view. We’ll think that there is one mind running from place to place. But seeing the mind that is greedy and not-greedy and such, we’ll see arising and falling easily.
When we see the arising and falling of the mind it’s easier to see the mental factors and formations; including happiness, unhappiness, wholesome, and unwholesome states. The happy mind is one mind. The unhappy mind is another. The neutral mind is yet another. They’re each separate minds. It’s easy to distinguish them as different minds. The angry mind is another mind. When we have mindfulness that is quick enough, the angry mind arises and then falls quickly. The knowing mind will replace it. That is a wholesome mind. The unwholesome mind arises and falls and then a wholesome mind arises and falls in its place. They each last for a moment and then pass. Then the mind gets lost by way of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, thought, or gets lost in happy, unhappy, good, or bad states once again. So observing the mind by way of noticing feelings and formations is easy.
It is harder to observe the mind at the senses. If we have strong mindfulness and concentration we’ll see that at first the mind is knowing, and then our eyes see something moving, but we don’t know what it is yet. Then the mind gets curious and wants to know. That’s another mind arising. At first we’re just simply knowing, but then the mind wants to know and wants to see. Once the mind is wanting to see there is becoming and existence at the eyes. So that is desire creating existence. The mind that goes to see is born. The mind seeing lasts temporarily, then passes, and now another mind will send a signal into the heart. The next mind will arise and interpret the signal. What we saw was this or was that; a person, an animal, ‘him’ or ‘her’, it’s a pretty form, an ugly form, and so on. It’s a beautiful sound or a noisy one. It is another mind that decides and gives value, and another mind relays to the next mind whether there will be a mind that feels pleasant, unpleasant, good, or bad. From the moment of sense contact the mind then works quite a lot. There’s many minds in succession. If our mindfulness is not quick enough then we will not see that the mind is working and there are minds sequentially arising and passing. There are so many of them and we don’t see it. We will see when the mind is good or bad at the end instead. It’s much easier to just see at the end when the mind is either good or bad. There’s no need to rush and have mindfulness and concentration to that degree.
These are easy things to talk about but hard to practice. Seeing the mind arise and fall so quickly sequentially. Asking, “The eye went to see, do you see that?” At that point so many mind moments have already passed. So let’s keep it simple. The Buddha taught cittanupassana. The mind has craving or the mind does not have craving. The mind has aversion or doesn’t have it. The mind has delusion or doesn’t. The mind is restless or the mind is stuck. This is the practice for those who are not skilled in jhana, or deep concentration. The next eight aspects of cittanupassana are for those who have strong concentration. If we aren’t one of those people then we practice with those first four pairs I mentioned. The mind has craving or does not. The mind has aversion or does not. The mind has delusion (which is the mind that gets lost) or the mind that is not lost. The mind that is restless is paired with the mind that is stuck and depressed. Keep observing and we’ll see the mind with craving arises and falls. The mind without craving arises and falls. The mind with aversion arises and falls. The mind without aversion arises and falls. The mind that is lost arises and falls. The mind that knows arises and falls. The mind that is restless and the mind that is stuck both arise and fall. Just seeing that is sufficient. We don’t need to see incredible detail.
Once we become quite skilled in observing the mind more and more and our mindfulness is sharp and with quality concentration, we will see the mind arising and falling at the senses. We’ll see it arise at the eyes and fall at the eyes, and arise at the ears and fall at the ears. Arising at the nose, tongue, body and in the mind—wherever a mind arises it falls right there. It is not one mind that runs to the eyes and then runs back, or runs to the ears and runs back. We’re not developing wisdom correctly if that’s all we see. It’s not genuine wisdom until we see the discontinuity. If it still appears that there is one permanent fixture of a mind running from place to place to see, to hear, to think, etcetera, then eventually that forms into a wrong view that the mind is a permanent self (sassatha ditthi).
The wrong view by those who believe that everything ends at death is called a materialist (ucceda ditthi). The materialist view is easy to see is wrong. But those that believe we are born again, what is it that is born? If we see that there is just one mind or soul and that once the body dies that same mind or soul then leaves our body and is born in a new one, that is the wrong view of eternalism (sassatha ditthi). So even career practitioners that watch their minds must be careful about this. If we are observing the mind at the senses and our concentration and mindfulness are not sufficiently strong, we’ll feel as if there is one mind running to the eyes, to the ears, to the nose, to the tongue, to the body, and to the mind and we’ll conclude incorrectly that consciousness is the self. That is wrong view (miccaditthi).
So observe the mind that is happy, unhappy, good, or bad. These things are easy to see. We could simply observe the feelings (vedana). One moment the mind is feeling pleasure, and the next, displeasure. The next it is neutral. Even just that is sufficient. Or we can observe the formations (sankhara). If we have an angry temperament we’ll see one moment the mind is angry and the next it’s not. If we’re greedy we’ll see the mind has greed and then it doesn’t have greed. That’s sufficient. As we become an expert we will see clearly that all types of mind arise and fall. There aren’t any minds that arise and don’t fall. Seeing that the mind arises and falls we will gradually wash away wrong view of eternalism — believing that the mind, or consciousness, is a permanent self. That is not Buddhism. It is a belief system that existed prior to the Buddha.
The only teacher that was able to show us that the mind arises and falls and then another one arises and falls all day and all night, that was only the Buddha. It is a subtle truth to see indeed. So when we practice let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If our mindfulness is not sharp and quick and if our concentration is not strong and sturdy, then there is no need to observe the arising and falling of the mind at the six sense bases because we’ll misunderstand what is going on. We won’t see that each mind arises and falls. We’ll believe there is just one consciousness. Keep practicing and we’ll see the truth for ourselves.
Our lives are quite short. Our lives are not 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 years. Our lives are arising and passing each moment. A life that is happy arises and falls and then a life that is unhappy arises and falls. A life that is neutral arises and falls. A life that is greedy arises and falls. A life not-greedy arises and fall. Keep watching. We’ll see that the truth is that we only have life for a moment at a time. Seeing that our lives are longer we are being fooled by perception (sañña). It shows us that we live 70, 80, 90, 100 years before we die. That we live long lives before we die. Once we can truly practice correctly we’ll see that death is happening all the time. Birth then death. Birth then death. It isn’t that hard if we practice but we must be patient.
Moral precepts as the foundation
Firstly, keep the moral precepts as a minimum requirement and foundation for our practice. If we don’t have the precepts our concentration will be short lived. Some people have strong merit with good concentration, like Devadatta. He accumulated great merit and qualities. He did good and he did evils. He was not stupid. He was exceptional. One would have to be in order to become a true adversary of the Buddha. If he was shoddy he would be no opponent. He was exceptional and could attain jhana. He had the five great psychic powers. He could levitate and shape-shift and such things, but he did not have morality. He was jealous of the Buddha and tried to kill him. He wasn’t able to, but still just the attempt was enough to break moral precepts. Evil intentions towards other people and beings is enough for the mind to be covered in darkness and immoral. Along with his lack of morality his concentration then resultantly started to falter. He even lost all his mobility and wanted to go see the Buddha when he was older, but required his students to carry him there. He laid in a stretcher and they brought him. He wanted to go ask for forgiveness at the end of his life but he couldn’t make it to the destination. He died in front of the monastery and wasn’t able to meet with the Buddha. His karma wouldn’t allow it. When he died the Earth sucked him down. His entire body sunk down and only his head was left above ground. His arms were unable to prostrate at the Buddha. His chin rested on the Earth so he requested to prostrate the Buddha using just his chin. So he was not stupid. When he saw that he was wrong he wanted to change and tried to make amends. Because of this one day he will become a pacceka Buddha with more merit than even sariputta.
So if our morality is not of a high standard then any meditative and concentration abilities that we had will deteriorate. Usually precepts are broken because of sense desire. Sense desire and concentration are enemies. We break precepts because we covet the possessions, lovers, and spouses of others. We thieve or steal because we want to gain something or benefit. We take, kill, or harm others hoping that we get something out of it. Mostly people snatch other’s possessions for their own advantage, and that’s all out of sense desire. Sense desire is the enemy of concentration. If the mind is absorbed in sense desire then concentration will not last long. It will fade. Our monks here practice a lot of walking meditation. Sometimes at night they’re hungry and they think, “When’s it going to be morning and I’ll go for the alms walk? And when I do, will I get food tomorrow? Will I get to eat?” At times they are daydreaming about what it is they are going to eat, “Will a lay follower come and put pizza in my bowl?” When hungry the mind will think about sense pleasures. Is there any concentration while that’s happening? No way. It shatters and can’t compete with the sense desires.
So try to keep fighting and don’t get defeated by the defilements. Whatever defilements arise have the mindfulness to know that they have, and the defilements will lose their power over us. When we have mindfulness that knows the phenomena that arise, like greed, anger, and delusion, and we have the mindfulness that sees them, they will disappear. Defilements will disappear and the mind will become wholesome. The mind that is wholesome has concentration (samadhi) within itself. The mind will gradually become the stable observer and become bright. It is natural that samadhi arises with each mind so even unwholesome minds have concentration, but an unwholesome type. Wholesome minds have a wholesome type of concentration (samadhi), and that is the stable observer, the knower. Samadhi is unlike mindfulness, unlike wisdom, unlike effort (viriya), and unlike faith (saddha). Those qualities arise only with wholesome minds, but concentration can arise with a wholesome or unwholesome mind. Like if we are a sniper going to shoot someone then we need concentration, but it is concentration outside of our self. But if we have mindfulness that knows phenomena that are arising within, stable concentration will arise automatically.
The masters have taught us to train to achieve the stable mind. The primary way that they teach to do that is to see and know the mind that thinks. Like Luang Por Thien taught to move our hand and come to know when the mind goes to think. The mind that runs away to think and then knowing that, the thinking mind will fall away and the knower mind will be born. That is the mind with correct concentration. It is the knower, awake and elated. Luang Pu Dune taught, “However much we think, we will never know. We must stop thinking to know, but we require thinking to do so.” He didn’t say, “Don’t think.” However much we think, we will never know. We must stop thinking to know, but we require thinking to do so. So let the mind think as it naturally does. We try to stop the mind from thinking but we cannot because it is unnatural. But when the mind is thinking and we are lost in the world of thoughts, the knower mind is not present. When the mind is thinking and we have the mindfulness that knows that it is thinking, then the thinking mind disappears and the knower mind is born. So we require the thinking mind. That’s why he said so. Let the mind think and then have the mindfulness that knows that. Then the knower mind arises.
I practiced as Luang Pu Dune described and I started to notice that if the mind is angry and mindfulness knows that the knower mind arises then too. If there’s greed and there is knowing the greed then the knowing mind arises. I was able to conclude and understand that whenever the mind knows mental or physical phenomena as they actually are and knows them in the present – correctly – then the knower mind will occur automatically, because that mind is a wholesome mind. There are two types of wholesome minds. One has wisdom as a component and the other does not. So sometimes the knower mind arises and it is just knowing. That is a mind that is wholesome but wisdom is not a component.
Some masters have some tactics to resolve that. Once the mind is the knower the masters might say to contemplate the body demonstrating the three characteristics. Now each master had their own tactics in this regard. Some masters survey or scan the whole body and whatever part is the clearest they learn from that part and focus there. Other masters follow the formal teaching of contemplating the hair on the head, hair on the body, the nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, and bones patiently and gradually observing each of these aspects. Sometimes taking months with each aspect. Taking lots of time to investigate the entire body bit by bit. This is a particular tactic of some masters to stimulate wisdom so that when the mindfulness sees the body while the mind is a stable one, there will be insights into the three characteristics of the body. So for any of us that observe the mind; if the mind becomes the knower and it is just remaining knowing but still, then we can contemplate the mind, “This mind that is the knower right now, how long can it remain so? It’s going to be the thinker.” See that. The knowing mind is temporary. The thinking mind is temporary, and whether the mind is the knower or the thinker is not under anyone’s control. It is non-self.
If our mind has mindfulness and is knowing phenomena correctly, as they really are, and the knower mind arises with the stable observer then have a look and see; is the mind developing wisdom, or not? Just knowing and being still is not useful. Some people teach that we should just be knowing and still. Now the mind that is knowing and still is a wholesome mind but it doesn’t have wisdom as a component. There are two types of wholesome minds, like I said. There’s wholesome without wisdom and wholesome with wisdom. Wisdom is the best thing. It is vipassana, seeing the three characteristics. If the mind won’t observe the body and can’t observe the mind and see the three characteristics, then we have to teach it to do so. We have to talk to it. Teach it Dhamma. Teach it that the body is the three characteristics. The mind is the three characteristics. Let it hear and teach it, but don’t teach it constantly. Just teach it for a little while and then stop. Then make the mind calm and peaceful again. If we teach the mind too much it will get too busy. We’ll just get lost in myriads of thought. There needs to be some calmness meditation. If we’re just contemplating and contemplating that the body is the three characteristics, then when concentration does arise it will be concentration outside of ourselves. It won’t be rooted in awareness, not truly.
So we have to come back to awareness at times. Breathe and “Budo”, or observe the body and the bones. Notice the body breathing or whatever it is we are accustomed to doing in our meditation that produces the stable observer mind. Choose whatever works for us. No need to copy anyone else. Don’t copy me. I would practice watching the breath with “Budo”, so some people hear that’s what I’ve done, but it doesn’t mean you have to copy it. Some people don’t like the breath. They feel uncomfortable or stressed when they use it. So use any meditation object. Have the mind be with it happily and continuously. Choose an object that doesn’t tempt the defilements. So that’s all you need to do to train in samatha. So keep training and when the mind becomes peaceful and stable as the knower, but doesn’t develop wisdom, then do some contemplation of the body or the mind. Just a little bit is enough to encourage the mind and put it on track for wisdom.
Luang Por Phut taught that contemplating is not vipassana. He said that clearly. Contemplating is not thinking, and contemplating is not vipassana. Vipassana begins at the end of thinking but thinking and contemplating puts the mind on track in order to see the three characteristics of the body and of the mind. So when the mind is accustomed to seeing the three characteristics and when mindfulness is able to know phenomena as they really are, samadhi will occur. The mind will be stable immediately and the mind will come to see (with mindfulness) the body. It will see the body demonstrating the three characteristics. When mindfulness knows the mind it will see the mind demonstrating the three characteristics with the mind as the observer, the knower. Train in this way and after a long time you’ll be good at it.
If we have effort, mindfulness, and samadhi all correctly, then the mind will develop wisdom correctly.
Then insight will occur. Wisdom will occur and then release will occur.
At first we’re all a bit clumsy with it. When we start training we’ll do two things wrong. We’ll get lost and we’ll over focus. Neither are correct meditation. The concentration that we achieve from holding tight and focusing stresses the mind and makes it tense, so we won’t achieve the true knower. So let’s train in knowing phenomena as they are. Know the body however it is and know the mind however it is. If we observe the body standing, walking, sitting, laying down, then we are observing the posture that it is in in that moment. Like the body is bending, the body is stretching, the body is breathing in, the body is breathing out. If we watch the body then we watch in that way. It’s easy. Once there is mindfulness that knows that the body moves the mind will be the stable one on its own. Once it is stable, and if the mind is accustomed to practicing wisdom, then it will see that the body arises and falls and the mind that has moved in that way has passed away now. The body that is breathing out has passed, and the mind that has breathed in has passed. The body that stands, walks, sits, or lays down exists temporarily and then passes. Or seeing the mind that is happy, unhappy, good, or bad is there and then it passes.
Keep observing. The tools that we need to develop are correct mindfulness, correct samadhi, and then we need to develop wisdom correctly as well. Those are the three things we need to train in and once we’re able to do them, let’s do them a lot. So there’s one more thing and that is effort. We have to do this a lot and keep improving. If we have effort, mindfulness, and samadhi all correctly, then the mind will develop wisdom correctly. Then insight will occur. Wisdom will occur and then release will occur.
I keep saying, “Correct, correct”. There are eight correct aspects on the path: correct view, correct thought, correct speech, correct action, correct livelihood, correct effort, correct mindfulness, and correct samadhi. Once there is correct samadhi then the mind that has practiced wisdom already will have insight wisdom occur. This means that seeing things correctly will occur. Now is there incorrect wisdom? Well, like I said, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and discontinuity hasn’t happened yet so we see the mind running from here to there, and the false wisdom will occur that the mind is a permanent or eternal thing. So this is not Buddhist wisdom. We have correct insight knowledge and correct wisdom that must arise and correct release. The fruit of the path will arise.
Keep observing and whatever you do, don’t stop practicing
So keep practicing. This is a big deal to cross over out of samsara. We need to be experts in these practices I explained. We don’t need to know everything about Dhamma. The Buddha taught so many Dhammas. Some things he taught were especially for angels to hear and not for humans. Some things were for very intelligent people. He just said one or two sentences and they got it. Some things he said were for regular people with some examples to help explain. Some things he taught to those without much intelligence or understanding at all and so he would teach very easy things and in very easy ways. So he had his ways of teaching. Those that wouldn’t be able to understand at all, he wouldn’t teach them. He wouldn’t teach those that were hopeless. Why would he? If he taught them they would have a chance at scolding him, so instead of getting merit or mindfulness and wisdom they’d end up sinning. So he wouldn’t teach such people. So when teaching Dhamma we don’t teach everybody. Only teach those that are appropriate for it. Those that aren’t appropriate we’ll believe what they want to believe. That’s their business. Don’t mind them. Let them be who they are. We can’t carry everyone along with us.
So firstly, don’t forget the five precepts and practice meditation formally each day. This is a must if we want to attain enlightenment. People who say, “No, I just practice mindfulness in daily activities.” The mind won’t have enough power for that to be successful. It won’t have enough samadhi. So we need formal practice. We need to sit or do walking meditation until we’re seeing the body walk and the mind is the observer. We’re walking in meditation and the body is walking and the mind is the watcher. Or the body is breathing out and the mind is the watcher. The body is breathing in and the mind is the watcher. After a while we realize, “Oh, the mind isn’t observing the body at all right now.” The mind went to think of something else. So then we know that’s what happened and come back to breathing or Budo or walking once again. Keep practicing in that way until the mind is an expert and soon enough when the mind moves out – just as it moves out – mindfulness will know on its own.
If we do walking meditation every day in the evening then keep walking and walking and being aware, being aware. For example, the monks walking and watering the plants. That is awareness meditation as well. Each step that they carry a bucket of water and water the trees they are to have mindfulness aware of the body that is walking, and if the mind has enough power to it at any moment it will come back to seeing the mind. Or if there is a strong feeling that comes up we will see it. Like the mind being very happy when it’s watering the plants, or if it’s hot and sunny out and the mind gets irritated. So it’s important to do formal practice. It makes us able to practice well during the day. Like when we’re practicing walking back and forth in meditation, and then when we’re just watering the plants we’ll be able to be aware just the same. Or if we’re sitting and breathing in formal meditation then whatever else we do we’re still breathing, so mindfulness will be able to see that too. So practicing formally is something we must do so the mind will become used to practicing. It will be used to having mindfulness automatically and the mind will become stable automatically. Then we are truly prepared to be out there in the world as a practitioner. There’s contact with the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body, and the mind and we will be ready. When contact occurs at the senses and the mind reacts, mindfulness will know on its own without any intention to know necessary. So keep training and eventually every step we take will be like walking meditation. Whenever we are sitting down it will be like meditation. Even laying down we’ll see the body breathing. That’s the practice.
The practice has no exceptions where we say, “Now I shouldn’t be practicing.” This morning I heard some students washing their monk bowls behind the meditation hall and one monk said he’s stuck in focusing. Then he declared to the others excitedly, “I’ll stop practicing for a day!” After hearing that I wanted go out there and knock him in the head with the bowl lid. The practice he had done was not a waste and is something that we must always do. What was wrong wasn’t practicing it was the focusing. Take a look and see, “What is the cause of the focusing?” It is greed. It is wanting to be good and wanting to be aware all the time. So it’s the greed that is wrong, not practicing. There is no excuse to stop practicing.
So let’s keep practicing, so that we’ll be mindful with each breath. That’s what it takes if we truly want to become free from suffering. Because this mind of ours is something that moves very quickly. The more we practice the more we’ll see how quick it actually is. If our mindfulness and concentration are not sufficient the mind will escape and create unwholesome states very quickly. It’s so fast and all the good states are not quite as clever. These bad states are very quick to act.
Keep observing and whatever you do, don’t stop practicing. Even if you are terribly ill you keep practicing. If you are a meditator that does walking but are very ill and cannot walk, then just make some small movements. Luang Por Phut taught this. He told of a monk that did walking meditation every day, when fell illl and couldn’t walk, laying on the floor he would shift a little this way and shift a little that way. One can still practice mindfulness of the movements. A truly good practitioner monk will even perform his daily duties (like those that sweep the temple each day) if too sick to do so. When it is the right time for sweeping he would set the intention that it was time to do temple duties and then would just move his hand to dust the floor beside him as a replacement. He would just do whatever he could do to keep to his duties.
So let’s keep practicing until mindfulness is automatic and not let our practice slip. If we let our practice slip we fall way behind. We have to practice until there is the automatic knower mind and automatic mindfulness. Automatic samadhi is what we need and then train in practicing wisdom well by encouraging the mind to do so. But some people don’t need to encourage the mind. Some people have been practicing wisdom since their past lives so as soon as the mind becomes the observer mind they will see that the body isn’t them. They’ll see the truth that the body is just something sitting there. It’s not a person, a being, ‘him’, or ‘her’. So the mind that has practiced previously, when mindfulness sees it, they’ll see it as not a self.
Some people have reported brushing their teeth and the mind becomes the stable mind and they can feel their arm as just some mass of some kind. Not a ‘me’, not ‘us’. Normally it’s ‘our hand’ or ‘our arm’, right? But once the mind has samadhi and is the stable mind and sees the movement, then the mind that is used to developing wisdom (maybe from the past life or from this life having practiced) will sense it as if it isn’t a self. We’ll see the whole body as not a self. We’ll see happiness, unhappiness, good and bad states are things outside. They’re things that are known and not us, and this mind that is the knower arises and falls. It isn’t us either. Then we will conclude that the five aggregates don’t have a self. They are not a self and there is no self outside of them either. When that is seen clearly we will attain the first level of Dhamma and become a stream enterer. So be patient. Keep training and be determined. That is enough for today.
13 March 2021