A simple and ordinary subject called Dhamma

An essay in Thai by “Santinan” (Luangpor Pramote Pamojjo nowadays), 31st August 1999

It is difficult for us to see that Dhamma (the Teachings of the Buddha) is simple and ordinary.  This  is because reflection of Buddhism and Dhamma are often less than ordinary.  To begin with, the language used in Dhamma teachings is full of Pali words and contains many technical terms.  Therefore, understanding the terminology alone is a challenge to everyone.

Once we are familiarized with the terms, there is another obstacle, in that there are many volumes of the Buddha’s Teachings and an overabundance of interpretations by his disciples. In addition, when one wants to begin practicing, he will be faced with yet another challenge: there are many meditation centers and most of them suggest that their teaching methods most accurately reflect the Buddha’s Teachings on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana). Some places even accuse others of deviating from the actual Teachings.

The truth is that Dhamma is extremely close to us. It is so close that we can say it is about ourselves. The Dhamma’s aim is simple – How to be free from suffering (dukkha). When we study Dhamma, we should look directly into “where suffering is, how suffering arises and how to end suffering.”

We have all faced these difficulties. And they are what led me to question myself as to whether it is possible to study Dhamma in a more simple way: without learning Pali, without reading books and without having to join a meditation center.

Actually Dhamma as taught by the Buddha is quite easy and simple, as his disciples exclaimed, “It is so explicitly clear my Lord! The Truth that You reveal is like turning an inverted object right side up.”

This should not come as a surprise because we are all born with Dhamma, live with Dhamma, and will all die with Dhamma.  We just don’t realize where Dhamma is until it is revealed to us through the Teachings of the Buddha, which provide us with a simple path to follow.

Another point to note is just how wise the Buddha truly was. He could make the most complicated topic simple and easy to comprehend. He had the ability to convey the essence of the Dhamma in a way which was most suitable for his listeners. Language was no obstacle, for he was able to communicate clearly without relying on complicated terminology. On the contrary, many people who have studied and taught Dhamma in later generations have turned Dhamma into something complicated, out of reach, and not easily applicable as a tool to end suffering. Even the language used in their teachings is difficult for any ordinary person to understand.

The truth is that Dhamma is extremely close to us. It is so close that we can say it is about ourselves. The Dhamma’s aim is simple – How to be free from suffering (dukkha). When we study Dhamma, we should look directly into “where suffering is, how suffering arises and how to end suffering.”

Read moreA simple and ordinary subject called Dhamma

Dhamma practice for parents

We can practice while raising a child. Just use our children as a subject of meditation because we have to take care of them and cannot abandon them. When they make us feel love, just know it. When they make us feel frustrated, just know it. Observe our mind that constantly changes. This is Dhamma …

Read moreDhamma practice for parents

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