“Dhamma is something we need to listen to with an open mind and open heart. If we are close- minded or guarded when Dhamma is explained to us, we will not understand it correctly. Just listen with open ears and consider it later. Try it on for size. Believing everything I say certainly isn’t the […]
When we watch the mind correctly, we will see whatever arises as it really is. We will see the true nature of body and mind. We will see that they are not us. We will keep seeing the truth of body and mind until we become dispassionate to their constant flux, their insubstantially, their suffering […]
The only path to freedom from suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, or morality, concentration and wisdom. In brief it is mindfulness practice, or constant observation of one’s body and mind, until the mind gets insight into the truth that this body and mind are the root of all suffering. Only then will the mind eradicate craving, clinging (intense craving), the mental process of becoming (mental formation), rebirth (acquisition of sense-organs), and become liberated.
Many friends come to practice Dhamma with me. I have seen some common problems that incur when they set out to practice. Some are afraid that they will not be able to practice Dhamma correctly if they are not with me. The Bangkok folks are more at ease because they know where to find me; however, my friends living abroad and upcountry are more concerned because of the distance. They asked for a brief guideline with clear instructions on how to practice Dhamma correctly so that when I am not around, they can still practice with confidence.
Some friends listen to my talks, but get confused and do not understand correctly. Some would apply advice that I have given others to their own meditation. This is often an inappropriate thing to do as the person I’m advising may be at a different stage of practice. The result of applying the answer to another’s question to oneself is no different from taking another patient’s medication. A related problem is that some of my friends have argued amongst themselves about appropriate practices by quoting my suggestions taken from different occasions and at different times.
I have therefore been requested to systematically put together all of my teachings on Dhamma practice in order to clarify any misunderstandings. I feel that there is a need for a brief Dhamma guideline to summarize the practices that I have suggested to my colleagues and friends. This is to clearly show the whole picture of Dhamma practice from the beginning onward, in order to avoid the above-mentioned problems.
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…
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.”