Do not neglect your own mind

Dhamma is something you learn and have to practice. What our masters taught us or what we learn from the scriptures are not meant to be just for the exams. It is meant for us to practice. There are two parts, the morality, and the procedure to practice. We practice with the purpose to be free from suffering. The information in the morality part is mostly compiled in Navakovada, a book for the novitiate in the Buddhist priesthood. You do not just memorize it for the exam, but you need to practice.

As we are in an organization, we have to find a way to live together harmoniously. There are quite a number of Dhammas like dhamma which teaches how people live together in unity. There are also many other dhammas that guide us what our duties towards our parents, our families, our friends and colleagues are. There are dhammas for all. However, there is no benefit if you just learn all these but not practice. If you only memorize the lessons and take the exam, you will soon forget as Lord Buddha’s teachings are all meant for practicing. Whether you wish to live happily in the world or wish to be released from the world, there are dhamma for both as long as you practice.


The Lord Buddha’s dhamma are all meant for practicing

Once I met with one master known as Luangpu Maha Kien who resided at Rungsi Palawan temple in Kalasin Province. I had heard that Luangpu was the disciple of Luangpu Mun and a younger brother of Master Maha Pin. I headed to see him wishing to learn dhamma from him. Luangpu had graduated Pali IX, the highest level of Buddhist dhamma. He told me that he had tried to memorize all the Lord Buddha’s teachings. In the beginning, Luangpu Mun had invited him to go practice dhamma but he denied as his goal was to learn all Buddha’s teachings first. He wanted to study, practice and accomplish. Luangpu Maha Kien then went on to study and finally graduated Pali IX and became the abbot at one of the royal monasteries. Then Master Maha Pin called on him to make good on the promise he made that he would go back to practice after graduation. And so he did and became an expert in both the Buddha’s teaching and practice.

On the day I went to see Luangpu Maha Kien, he mentioned to me that he wondered how Venerable Ananda could memorize all the Lord Buddha’s teachings. There were numberless of them. He then tried to prove this by memorizing all the Lord Buddha’s teachings as appeared in the Tripitaka, Buddha teachings divided into three parts. When I went to see him, Luangpu Maha Kien had already memorized more than half.

Then Luangpu Maha Kien had concluded that the Lord Buddha’s dhamma are all meant for practicing. There are dhammas for living the world in happiness, in peace and in tranquility. Likewise, there are dhammas which release one from the world. But no matter which direction you aim towards, you have to practice.

Therefore, as Luangpu Maha Kien mentioned, all dhamma of Lord Buddha are meant for practicing. I myself am not as knowledgeable as Luangpu. For that reason, you all who have heard and learned dhamma, have to be hands on and practice. Some study dhamma in order to be disconnected from the world. However, while we are still laymen, it would make sense to learn dhamma for living in the world. Otherwise it would mean we have not completed our job.

For example, we are entitled to take care of our parents, our spouse and our children. We cannot just say we no longer want to take care of them but rather practice so we can be free from suffering. That is not right. While we are still laymen, we have to perform our duties as well as to practice the way we are supposed to. Please look for a book titled Navakovada. It is a book which portrays dhamma or principle of living in the society for laymen composed by His majesty Vajirayanavaroros. This book is meant for all monks to study as in the old time, all men ordained as monks. While being a monk and studying Navakovada, a man then learned dhamma that he could later apply in daily life as well as in an organization. The way to live in peace and in harmony with others is taught thoroughly in this book. You should go check it out.

It is hard to just focus on dhamma that releases you from the world and neglect basic dhamma. There are a number of women who came to confide with the nun that they wanted to practice dhamma and do not want the husbands to touch them. They felt it would be a stigma. Soon the husbands went out to find other women. This is like gearing oneself towards disconnecting from the world while still not ready. Therefore, you must be cautious and realize your position. While you are still a layman, do what is right for being a layman. In brief, dhammas for a layman are charity, observing the precepts and practicing. These are the general ideas.

There are details to these ideas. Like charity or giving, it consists of 3 stages. First, you have to have faith in giving. Second, you have to feel delighted while giving. Lastly, you have to be content after giving. If you feel sad as your money and belongings are gone from giving them away, then your mind will be depressed. If you feel so zealous to make merit but later feel sad that your money’s all gone, then your mind becomes sad.

Or sometimes you practice only partially. For example, you have so many meritorious activities like offering robes and other needs to Buddhist monks, presenting robes to monks at the end of Buddhist Lent, always busy with so many meritable activities. Yet, later you realize your mind is so distracted and shattered. What you have practiced, be it praying or walking meditation, all go down the drain. Hence, when making merit, beware that your mind is not in a mournful stage. If before and during making merit, your mind is in virtue but after your mind becomes sad, then the merit is not complete. It is just a fragmentary merit. It is not complete in 3 stages which are before, during and after making merit. This kind of merit is only substandard.

In Buddhist reference book, it is clearly stated that if you make merit and later you feel dejected, you may end up being born a disabled human. I say this without meaning to oppress or bully those who are disabled. I just quote this from the book. Nevertheless, I could not verify this as I do not have such intuition to know how all living creatures evolve. It is all clearly stated in the treatise that before making merit, be joyful; during making merit, be merry. Should one feel sad after making merit, then the merit becomes minute. If there are no other outstanding merits during the time one passes away, then this small merit could yield a disablement. For that reason, when making merit, no matter what good deeds, do not feel distressed afterwards.

Sometimes we make merit while our friend does not participate. Sometimes, our friends are so dedicated to practicing. Sometimes, it happens that you and your friend have started practicing at the same time. Yet, as time goes by, your friend has progressed while you are still the same. Then your mind becomes sorrowful. Therefore, be mindful. I keep exhorting you as I do not want to see you go downhill. Being good but not completely will just translate into merit adulterated with harm.

Observing the precepts means having a strong will to refrain from 5 physical and verbal malignant. Observing 5 precepts is sufficient. Some people try to observe 8 precepts while they are still in marriage. A woman then does not allow her partner to touch her, which is not appropriate. Soon the husband sees another woman and causes her to feel sad. Thus, observing precepts that are reasonable with yourself. It is alright to keep 8 precepts occasionally but not always. For instance, observing 8 precepts on your birthday or once a week. This is good enough. If you try to observe 8 precepts all the time while you are still struggling in the world, such as working very hard and not having enough meals, then you have dyspepsia and it leads to family problems. Therefore, be reasonable in observing precepts as well as in giving.

Another thing is practicing dhamma. Practicing dhamma does not only mean chanting Bud-dho, Bud-dho… Practicing dhamma means to be prospered. When we are determined to observe the precepts and we succeed and become more prosperous, that is the concept of practicing dhamma. Some misunderstand that practicing dhamma is merely sitting or walking meditation only. That is not the case.


The wrong direction

When you practice sitting meditation, if you are still not capable of deep meditation, you should be cautious if not practicing under supervision of your master. Otherwise it could be harmful as there could be a pitfall and some may experience a mental image or vision such as seeing oneself turned into a skeleton. Some see ghosts and feel scared. There actually are no ghosts. It is your mind playing tricks and when it happens, you cannot distinguish between the real thing and the artificial one. Then you could flip out and become eccentric.

The easy way to practice safely is to pray. It could be a long one or a short version of chanting like Bud-dho Dham-mo Sang-kho. Whenever you have some free time, you can just keep chanting Bud-dho Dham-mo Sang-kho. This is just right and safe. If you keep on chanting, it is rather safe and a chance to have a mental image is quite slim. However, should you prefer to seriously practice like mindfulness with breathing, it could be a bit reckless. You might wonder how this could be reckless. I have experienced that before. I walked in the wrong direction but fortunately I was able to turn back.

When you start meditation, you can practice breathing. Your breathing will be deep and long. At first, you inhale Bud, then you exhale Dho. The breathing is long and it runs down to your lower belly. Then your mind becomes at peace. Your breathing becomes more and more shallow and it stops at the tip of your nose. Then the breath turns into light. When you see the light and without the presence and the guidance of your master, your mind sinks into the light. Then curiosity takes over and your mind wanders into different directions. Now you can see it all, be it mental image, heaven or ghost. You cannot really tell if those are real or your mind is playing tricks.

While you are joyful, your mind moves away from yourself and wanders around. Every time you start to practice, your mind wanders around to see this and that. If you keep practicing until your mind gets to its base and not wandering around, then it is not a problem. There once was an Arahant. Since before he turned Arahant, he used to always have his mind wandering around. He would look at a dead animal and see how the animal was reborn. When our friend, our family members or our parents pass away, we tend to want to find out how they reincarnated. The mind becomes curious. This Arahant, when he reached the first level of dhamma, as known as Venerable Anurutha, he then went on and had his mind wander around.

Luckily, during that era, Lord Buddha was still around. There were also many masters and many Arahants. As Venerable Anurutha obtained supreme virtues, even he went on and had his mind wandering around, he had an inkling why he still could not attain Arhatship. Unlike him, should we play around and let our minds wander like that, we would be in trouble.

Venerable Anurutha then asked Venerable Sariputra, “I am clairvoyant, I possess a second sight that is superior to those super humans and angels. I can see the elements in the whole world come to existence and perish in a flash. How come I cannot attain Arhatship?” Remember the question Venerable Anurutha asked? He affirmed that he possessed a second sight that was superior to those super humans and angels. He could see the elements in the whole world come to existence and perish in a flash. All things in the world are images and names. Venerable Anurutha could see thousands of images and names came into existence and perished in a very sudden manner. He could spot a man who passed and could tell where the deceased went. He could tell straight away. So, he wondered why he could not become an Arahant. This was a result of his retrospection. When he got retrospection from meditation, he could witness a proportion and a light which led him to see and to know about things.

If we based this event upon Luangpu Dune’s teaching, it would be that Venerable Anurutha’s mind wanders away from his own self. Venerable Sariputra, however, due to his great wisdom, could clarify to Venerable Anurutha that the way Venerable Anurutha declared that he possessed a special ability that was superior to those other humans and angels was from his own ego. This is one of his defilements. Venerable Anurutha could not see his own ego while he could spot the whole elements in the world came into existence and perished in a sudden, that was his own distraction. The second defilement that he could not see was the distraction. To answer the question why Venerable Anurutha could not become an Arahant, that was due to his ego and distraction.

Venerable Sariputra then pinpointed that the question Venerable Anurutha asked could be digested into 3 defilements. “I possess a second sight that was superior to those super humans and angels.” That’s the ego. “I could spot all the elements in the world that came into existence and perished all in a sudden.” That’s a distraction. You only see outside matters, not your own self. “Why could I not become an Arahant?” That’s your frustration.

Like all of you practice by sitting or walking meditation for a while, then you become frustrated “Heck! How come I cannot make progress?” You become so disappointed. That is because you cannot see your own defilement. This is harmful as you practice meditation and then your mind wanders around to see things outside self. Unlike Venerable Pra Anurutha, he possessed complete charisma so he could resolve this and achieve Arhatship.

When Venerable Anurutha achieved Arahatship, his base’s dhamma is seeing all the elements in the universe. No one could ever doubt him since then as his mind was at its base and not wandering around. His mind became one with emptiness and there was no more movement. He then achieved supremacy in a clairvoyance and he was recognized by Lord Buddha as one with superior second sight to all.

Having a second sight does not mean being able to see something extraordinary. It merely means being able to see the rebirth of life. It is not beneficial to be able to tell what is in the closed box. It is the ability to know the birth and the death of all creatures and how life evolves and reborn due to its karma. When you can understand this, your mind will no longer be distracted while practicing.

That is the reason why I keep telling you. As you are not around your masters and nowadays it is also quite rare to find and to be near masters who keep you safe. Therefore, I keep stressing on the cornerstone of practicing. During practicing, if you experience a light, do not follow it. Following the light will bring about a premonition, which could be true or not. Sometimes it can be true in the beginning and later just your own desires which are unreal.

There was once a master whose name was Venerable Thong-in. He was the most senior disciple of Luangpu Sim. He later on became the abbot of Santidhamma Temple in Chiang Mai located near Chang Phueak Gate. I am very accustomed to him as we could discuss dhamma well. He could see the mind make its part out and glow into light. I also see the same thing so we understand each other.

Master Thong-in told me the story during the time he first went on a pilgrimage after he left Luangpu Sim. He would meditate in the cave all alone. In the morning when he went to receive food offered from the villagers, they always asked him if he could see the winning lottery numbers or dream about those numbers. He did not really see those numbers but his mind became distraught. Then he could see the numbers in his meditation. He saw a 6 digit number, not just 2 or 3 digits but all 6.

During that time the lottery had 6 digits, not 7. But later it turned back to 6 digits again. I never bought a lottery as I know it is a probability game and the chance to lose is far more than a chance to win. When master Thong-in told the villagers that he saw a 6 digit number, they all laughed at him. They thought this monk knew nothing as normally they expected only 2 or 3 digits. Later the lottery result came out and those 6 digits account for first prize. The villagers became overexcited. They missed the opportunity so they kept asking him for the numbers. Then master Thong-in saw another 6 digit number and this time, the whole village won the lottery. The lottery dealer became upset and thought about getting rid of master Thong-in.

Then more villagers came and this time, those from other villages also joined. Master Thong-in told me at that time he was in high spirits. He was prideful that he could see the exact winning numbers. Then the third time, when all the villagers bet all-in and the dealer was ready to eliminate him, it happened that all the numbers he saw were false. When all the villagers were about to tackle him, master Thong-in went back to see Luangpu Sim. Luangpu was cross and master Thong-in was reprimanded for his action.

Master Thong-in told me many good stories. Once there was an incident not too related to dhamma. Like the story I told about lottery’s, never trust the prognostication. When it happens, just know it and disregard it. Once during the time he was still a young fellow, master Thong-in was on a pilgrimage to the woods. Then his mind craved lust. He could not help it. It was the hormone pumping which caused the mind to crave for lust. He had a vision of a beautiful woman. Then that beautiful woman turned into a ghost. Actually that was a ghost, who wanted to strangle him. He was petrified and was unable to eliminate it even when he tried to pray. The ghost kept strangling him harder and harder.

So he thought about Luangpu Sim. “Luangpu help me please”. Then he imagined Luangpu meditating and floating in the air towards him. The ghost then disappeared. He rushed back to see Luangpu Sim and was yelled at. “How come you went on practicing and not supervising your own mind? You were lucky the ghost did not strangle you to death. Should you let this happen again, I will let the ghost finish you.” Luangpu Sim was a master in this area. He knew about having a vision and was very good at meditation as well. When there is a lustful desire, practicing meditation alone may not help.


Wisdom can exterminate defilements

What can eliminate lustful desires is wisdom. Wisdom can really exterminate all defilements. Wisdom is the ability to see the truth. It is not about ingeniousness like being an expert in physics and so forth. In Buddhism, that is not wisdom. Great wisdom stems from practicing insight meditation. By keep knowing the truth about your body and the truth about your mind, you will eventually see the 5 aggregates, which are the form (or body), sensations (or feelings), perceptions, fabrication (or mental activity), and consciousness of sensations through your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. All the 5 aggregations are impermanent, suffering and non-self. This is the principal wisdom. If you keep on practicing, it sets you free from suffering.

When we keep practicing, the mind can see clearly that self or body is suffering. The mind will lose faith in the body. Like when you are still a young fellow. You have active sex hormones even when you already have achieved the third level of dhamma. Sometimes you can feel lust. Still, your mind can see that the body has no essence.

For the mental part, your mind has the insight wisdom to tell whether the mind is desiring, the mind is not desiring, the mind is suffering and so on. Then when you feel lust and your mind has the appetite to follow the lust, your mind then sees the suffering. Once the mind sees the suffering, the lust then fades away. No more lust. It only flows through and then fades away completely. No more suffering. This is wisdom. However, if you feel lust and you cogitate on things that are unpleasant so that the lust disappears, that is not wisdom. It is merely a meditation for calmness.

If this is wisdom, when the lust arises, it cannot be in existence. Where can lust or desire exist? It exists in the self, which are the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body. When the wisdom is absolute, it detaches itself from the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body. Then there is no place for them to hold on to. Same applies to when the lust arises and there is no place for lust to hold on to, then it is just extinguished. No need to cogitate on things that are unpleasant. If you still need to do that, it means the lust does not fade away naturally. You still need to amend your mind. If the wisdom is absolute then there is no need to mend anything. Whatever happens, it’s just distinguished right there.

Therefore, when you practice, if you use your body as a home base, then you will see that your body is suffering and is not self. Then you will leave it alone. If you use your mind as a home base and keep seeing your mind, when you reach this point, you will see your mind craving, possessing and suffering. You will also see your mind not craving, not possessing and not suffering. When you see all these, the result is the same, which is breaking free from suffering. The mind is free from lust and anger as it sees and understands the predicament.

When you hear people say “the mind is craving, the mind is possessing, the mind is suffering, the mind is not craving, the mind is not possessing, the mind is not suffering” do not felicitate them just yet. Don’t assume that one who can say this is an Arahant. As that person still sees that the mind has 2 conditions which are suffering and not suffering. That means the person has not deeply understood dhamma. If the person deeply understands dhamma, he or she will know that the mind is an agony. There is no such thing as suffering and not suffering minds. Dhamma has sequence of phases. You have to keep observing each phase in order to gradually progress.

For laymen, I recommend that you chant Bud-dho, Dham-mo, Sang-kho. Just keep chanting. When lust arises sharply, consider the things that are decayed and spoiled such as a rotten corpse. This way it is not too dangerous. However, there could be one menacing step, which I should tell you guys. So that when you go out to practice without a master to guide you, you won’t be in trouble.

When you consider the rotten corpse, sometimes you see something really ghastly like seeing yourself decomposed, like seeing a ghost or something. Then you are frightened. Just know that it is a mental image. When this happens, just look into your own mind. Your mind is frightened, know that it is frightened. Remember this well. Your mind is frightened, just know that it is frightened. Or when you do sitting meditation, if you experience the light, then you spot an angel and feel pleased, just know that your mind is pleased. Do not disregard yourself. If you disregard your own mind, that is considered the most dangerous thing. You can become insane. Therefore, never disregard yourself and you will not make a mistake.

Again, be smart when you donate, and never feel sorry later on. Be willing to keep yourself away from bad deeds and observe the precepts that fit with your lifestyle. Observing 8 precepts only occasionally as you still have to live in the world. Practicing in forms that are not harmful like chanting Bud-dho, Dham-mo, Sang-kho. Keep chanting as it can do no harm and will not cause a mental image.

Or you can bring about mercy so you can reach a fixed concentration but not through virtual temper. For example, you make good wishes towards all by chanting Metta Kunnun Arahant Metta.. Metta Kunnan Arahant Metta.. just keep chanting until it results in a stable and natural mind. The mind will bypass the light and enter the stage of calm and exquisite phenomena and above. This stage is not too dangerous. However, you still have to be aware as danger can follow.


Hold on to the principle and see your own mind

This is like walking on the verge of a deep space. If you keep walking along your master’s footsteps, even the path is vicious but you are still fine. If there is no one to lead you, then there is a chance that you will make a wrong step. So, be careful. I try to pinpoint the fragility so you can watch out especially for the visuals which can happen in the forms of image, voice, scent, taste, physical contact. It can also happen in the form of mental awareness all through 6 sense doors.

Visuals can be a mental image. I myself experienced that during the time I was a monk at Cholprathan Rungsarit Temple. At that time I was assiduous in meditation practice. The master there taught us to focus on abdominal inflating and deflating. However, I did not follow that method as I was more accustomed to breathing in chanting Bud, breathing out chanting Dho. I kept going with Bud-dho until my body ached so much. I tried to be patient. Then the pain grew stronger and so I switched from sitting cross-legged to stretching my legs out and sat back to relax my posture a bit. Then I experienced a mental image that a guy walked over to me and raised his hand to pay respect. Then he started massaging my legs. During that time, I was still meditating with my eyes closed. Yet, I could feel someone massaging my legs and when he pressed his thumb on my aching leg, I opened my eyes and could see an impression of his thumb, which caused an indentation on my leg. Then he went on to press for about 40 seconds. Once he released his thumb, the aching pain was gone as well as the leg cramps. I wondered if an angel had given me a massage. But then I just ignored it and I guess that was also another mental image.

Visuals can happen in many forms. Sometimes it can be a mental image that affects the body. Sometimes you sit and experience hot or cold flush or feel the wind blow right at you. Or you feel some ants crawling on your skin. These are all mental images. Like when you meditate and all the sudden you feel itchy all over like some ants crawling on your skin. These are mostly the results of former karma of killing some animals and are mostly a small retribution from the past. The bigger ones may have yielded its karma results earlier. Sometimes it comes in the form of voice, either real or unreal. If your mind is still full of defilements, do not believe in those voices as they are more likely unreal. On the other hand, if the defilement is scanty, then it is more likely that the voices are real. And if there’s no more defilement, then the voice is real and does not frightens your mind.

Mental visuals also appear in the form of images, voice or scent. You may smell the scent of flowers from the running water while you are showering. Or you may smell the stench of corpses from your body, that is also mentally visual. Mental visuals can also arise in the form of taste. When you eat and feel an exceptional taste, like the angel has elaborately seasoned your food. That is just visual and more like you being lost and going off track. So, remember that visuals can also be in the form of good taste.

Mental visuals in the forms of image, voice, scent, physical contacts or mental images like seeing this and that. Try not to believe in those visuals. Hold on to the principle that all these visuals, even if they are real, are not beneficial to you. They are more likely unreal. Like when you have a visual that this woman was your wife from the past life, that basically is your defilement playing tricks. Many practitioners have fallen apart from a phantasm that this woman was once my wife, this kid was my child, this person was this or that, all connected and related. For one you do not like, he or she used to be your enemy from the past life. All these are unlikely real and could be just hallucinations.

As a result, do not believe in all visuals but rather look back into your own mind. Hold on to the principle and see your own mind. If you experience an unusual elaborate taste and you feel happy, just know that you are happy. You wonder what is happening, just know that you are wondering. Just reflect back into your own mind and you are safe. Do you remember the principle? Just go on practicing and if you experience a visual, disregard it whether it is real or not. Nevertheless, reflect your own mind and those mental images will all be gone.

During the time you practice sitting meditation, if you see lots of angels showing up, do not focus your mind on those angels. Just look back into your own mind. Your mind then wonders whether those angels are real. If you can reflect back into your mind and then look out again, this is the art of practicing.

If those visuals are unreal, then they will all be gone the moment you reflect back into your own mind. Therefore, whenever you feel the mental visual, look back into your mind. Then if you wish to see the outside, you can look back out. The real object will still be there while the counterfeit one will disappear. However, all these are pointless. What benefit do you get even if there is an angel coming for real? All you get is an ego, you are great, you are awesome, even an angel pays respect to you… All of these are defilements. For that reason, do not be entertained by those mental visuals. Whatever takes place, just reflect your own mind.


It is pointless if you learn dhamma but not practice

I give you broad and important principles. You just have to put it into practice. It is pointless if you learn dhamma but not practice. Just by acquiring knowledge, you only get more defilement. You not only cannot save yourself but will moreover oppress others. You may do a meritable thing like giving to others. Yet, giving is not like paying. Giving is more like condoning others when they make you angry. There is no point being angry. It only saddens your mind. Do not get angry or when you are cross at someone, try to look at that person in his or her own perspective. Why could he or she be so unpleasant? If you c an see that it comes from his or her hardship or indigent background, then you can understand and pardon him or her instantaneously and automatically. You can pardon through your own wisdom and this is just perfect. This brings about great merit. Any meritable deeds that consist of mindfulness and wisdom are considered great merits. On the other hand, any meritable deeds that are not accompanied by mindfulness, are more likely minute ones.

To observe the precepts, you have to pick the right amount that suits yourself. When you practice, if the master is not available to help you, then you have to hang on to the principle that you have learned and heard. Choose one object of consciousness as a home base such as Bud-dho, Dham-mo, Sang-kho and keep chanting. If your mind wanders off and you forget Bud-dho, Dham-mo, Sang-kho, just be aware that your mind wanders off. Bud-dho, Dham-mo, Sang-kho and your mind sinks, just be aware that your mind has sunk. This results in a stable and natural mind. If you keep practicing, your mind will possess strength and whenever you practice, your mind will not wander off easily. Therefore, in the beginning, just practice safe meditation when you are alone. And when you can access your masters, then it is a different story as you can ask them for help. But nowadays it is quite worrisome as you have no one to turn to.

In conclusion, hold on to the principle. That’s the safest fundamental. As for a true friend, you never really know who your true friend is. The only thing that you can count on is to consider the truth carefully in your heart and be ingenious in observing yourself. If you see a mental image, just consider and look back into your own mind. Never neglect your own mind and you will not make a mistake.

Everybody has defilements more or less. These are all that we have accumulated over time. We have pampered the defilements so they have power. You have to keep knowing their tricks. Once you know, those defilements become powerless. You might suffer many setbacks today but you have to keep practicing and never give up. One day you will win this battle. When you fight in the battle, at first you are still not very strong so you keep fighting with those minor defilements. Then you become stronger and in the end you can destroy defilement that resides in the enlightened mind, that is the most difficult part. You will see that the bandit leader is not anywhere far, but in your own mind. You have to fight from outside in. Fight from the roughest to the finest.

The way to advance is to listen and then practice. If you don’t practice, there is no advantage and no progress. If you keep practicing, your mind will be lifted up and you can see the progress. Can you see it? This is the way to go. If you have work to do, then do it and when it’s done and nothing necessary to do further, go back to yourself and practice. If your mind is distracted, always chaotic with this and that, then you will progress very slowly.

There is a classification of dhamma which consists of 3 factors that delay the progress of dhamma practice, including greediness, ego and pride. These 3 factors decelerates the progress. Greediness, wanting to own this and that. Ego, wanting to stand out, wanting to be famous. Pride, wanting to give opinions. If you possess even one of these 3 factors, it is already bad. Therefore, the road to practice will be smooth if you can do away with all three.


Luangpu Pramote Pamojjo
Wat Suansantidham
23 July 2023