Pursuit of Happiness

When I got up here, those who await the homework review session feel like they are the death row inmates awaiting to be executed. I don’t know why you have to be so frightened. Learning dhamma with the presence of a master, you do not have to be overly afraid. Your masters are not cruel. They are only gracious and wish for you to be well. When you wish for someone to be well, you can pursue that in many possible ways. Some masters pamper you well, giving you food and water. Some hit you with a stick. They literally are merciful to all their disciples. They only use different approaches for different people. In the end, those who are patient will succeed.

What matters is that when you learn dhamma, you have to be determined to practice. Lord Buddha’s dhamma requires perseverance, believing in karma, and practicing. Lord Buddha was enlightened to be a Buddha, which means the knower, the awakening and the joyful. Why is he a Buddha? He called himself Buddha as he was enlightened to combat with ignorance. As the world is full of ignorance, so Lord Buddha was enlightened and he announced dhamma to create the knowers.

Those who are not knowers are not all bad. They are just lost and not having a roadmap. They do not know the purpose of life. Most people just only were born but have no idea what they are here for. They just go on loafing around with others, going to school, working and building a family the way others do and finally they just die in emptiness, no virtue to carry along. No purpose in life.


Happiness is like an illusion

Some people actually are aware. They have become smarter and they think life shouldn’t be miserable but be contented. Their primary goal is to be happy. The first group of people live their lives without purpose. The second one wishes for happiness. What can bring about happiness? It can be being able to get what they enjoy in life. Therefore, off they go in search of desirable images, satisfying scents, pleasurable touches and anything to fulfill their joyousness. They feel delighted and feel happy mentally. These people seek happiness. Most people only reach this point. They keep struggling for happiness all through their lives thinking that they will be happy if they can possess this. Or they will be happy if they don’t have to be that and so forth. They keep struggling to acquire more desirable things and to run away from things that are dissatisfying. These have kept their lives so difficult. They keep longing for happiness.

If you keep examining to find out where happiness lies in your lives or which period you have felt happiest, you will see that during the young age, there is no burden or responsibility to make a living. Are kids happy at a young age? They can’t do anything by themselves. They are controlled and enforced. They wish to go out to play or run the rainwater but they can’t. They do not have to earn a living like an adult but they have no freedom and are controlled and enforced by adults.

When they were young, they thought they would be happy when they grew older. However, when they get older, they have to go to school and sometimes they study the subjects they enjoy, then they feel happy. Sometimes when they study subjects that they do not like, they become unhappy. We expect that life will be good after we graduate. We can get a job, make a decent living and be happy. School-life is so tiring. You have to worry whether you will pass the exams. Some people cannot settle at passing. They have to aim for honors. They have to get scholarships. One of my grandchildren, actually the nun’s, who studies at Siriraj’s and didn’t get straight A’s and got so upset. Life is so miserable. That’s quite hilarious. While some people are so glad when they can just pass all exams, others are so upset about not winning a gold medal. All in all, you are not happy when you’re studying as you have no time to do other things you wish to. All the time you have is spent studying. So you have to consider what to do after you finish school. Maybe, making a living by yourself will bring about happiness.

Then you graduate and it’s time to really make a living. Oh, you then feel some hardships in life. You may earn more money. You have more freedom. Yet, you have no time. Almost all of your time is spent completing your job. So, you think about your retirement. You think once you retire from the job, you will be happy. Now you just have to focus on working and making money. But when the time comes and you retire from your job, you start to have some health issues and in the end, it turns bad and you become seriously ill. You think you will be happy once you get over your illness. Still, it feels so painful as you become really sick. You then think it will be better if you just pass away. This is you, pursuing happiness all your life, from birth till death and still cannot find it. You really cannot find happiness. Therefore, the theory that people are born to find happiness doesn’t mean anything. Where is happiness? It is intangible and obscure. One thing can make a person happy while it cannot fulfill the other. Some people feel being famous and having many acquaintances will lead to happiness. Like Diana, Princess of Wales, she was so famous and well known. But was she happy? No, not at all. She was never herself. There were always paparazzi waiting to take pictures of her all the time while she kept running away and finally passed away due to a car crash.

When looking at it, it’s like you were born with a purpose to find happiness. Happiness is like an illusion, a bait that lures us into all the time. But then we get nothing. Lord Buddha’s so highly intellectual. He never has taught us to chase after happiness, which is an illusion. You can never find it. He, on the other hand, declared that the ultimate goal of life is to be free from suffering. Lord Buddha possessed a very high intellect so he knew that everything that arises is neither good nor magical. Once you are born, you bring oldness, illness and death with you all along. We possess a heart and we have satisfaction and disappointment that supervise our mind all the time. Keep observing and you will see that there are many hopes and many cravings each and every day.


Our lives that are full of cravings, are actually full of suffering

When the weather is hot, you wish that it rains. When it rains and the humidity causes you to feel unwell, you wish that the rain would stop. Each day, there are so many cravings circulating in your mind. You crave for the food, you long for those songs, you wish to see this and that friends… so many cravings in your mind all day long. Lord Buddha sees the truth that each and every time craving arises, there is suffering. As a result, our lives that are full of cravings, are actually full of suffering. As Lord Buddha said, when there is birth, there is suffering.

When Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, he addressed desire. When he enlightened, he did not address anyone or any angels, he addressed desire. Hey you, desire, the craftsman of my habitation. By crafting the habitation, it means constructing a realm of existence in the mind. Desire, the craftsman who creates realms of existence. You have created many realms of existence in my mind. I went through so many sufferings that I now know. I can eliminate desire. I can demolish the realms of existence. The Lord Buddha felt the joy of being liberated from desire, thus being liberated from realms of existence. Desire creates realms of existence. Where there is existence, there is suffering.

When a mind arises, there is suffering, right? When there is a body, suffering arises because of the body. When there is a mind, suffering arises because of the mind. When there is an arising, there is suffering as a result. When we say we are alive, what we call life comes from our birth. So, what is life? Why are we born and what for? Some people have no idea why they exist and what for? They just follow others. The others have an idea that they are born in search of happiness. They struggle to be happy. Those with mindfulness and wisdom, they are born with the ability to learn and know that whenever there is an existence, there is suffering. When there is a body, there is suffering. When there is a mind, there is suffering. So, how can we be free from suffering? It is so tiring. Being born to suffer. It is really tiring and boring.

Lord Buddha is not pessimistic. When he reflects that the existence of life is suffering, he sees the world through reality. In reality, everything that exists suffers. When there is a body, there is suffering because of the body. When there is a mind, there is suffering because the mind has cravings. Cravings dictate the mind so the mind keeps struggling and suffering. It craves this and that. Craving for prominence, craving for wealth, craving to be young, craving to be healthy and craving to be immortal. The mind keeps struggling. The mind craves to be loved, to be famous and it suffers. Some suffer as they crave to be a Prime Minister. Their hair has turned gray since before being a Prime Minister. Once there was a person who used to be a good-looking man before he became a Prime Minister. May I mention his name? He was General Prem, when he became the Prime Minister, his hair turned gray due to stress. So, we can actually say that life is all about suffering. Lord Buddha has seen this. He was not pessimistic. He was just being realistic. Those who think that life is full of happiness are not seeing the world as it truly is. They see the world in a dreamy state as in reality, it is not favorable.

As Lord Buddha has taught us that life is suffering, some may say he was pessimistic. However, if we can be reasonable about this, we will see that Lord Buddha was not pessimistic. He was just seeing the world in a realistic way. He was aware of the truth that the self is suffering. The mind is suffering. As he was aware of this truth, he became bored. And because of this boredom, he thereby loosened his adherence to all things. As he no longer had craving and no longer adhered to anything, his mind was then free from suffering.


The knower, the awakened and the delighted

Therefore, it is an important matter for us Buddhists to keep learning about the self and the mind. As you are born in Thailand where the majority of Thai people are Buddhists, and even if your parents are Buddhists, if you have never felt your own body and mind, you are far from being a Buddhist. Whenever your mind is able to see the truth of physical and mental phenomena as they truly are, the mind is then a Buddha, the knower, the awakened from dreamland and the delighted who is free from suffering.

As Buddhists, if we do not set an objective in life and let things take their course, no goal and just keep seeking for happiness, or know nothing about the future but leave it through destiny or fate, then these people are not quite intelligent, to put it politely. If we believe that our lives have been destined and we just live life according to destiny, that is really low.

Next level is that you have an objective in life, but a wrong one. Your goal is to live a happy life. That’s a wrong objective as no matter what you do, you will never find happiness. You may enjoy a short while of happiness from a satisfying mood, then it just disappears. Then you have another craving, and suffering comes about. Like at first you are happy to be elected a Member of Parliament, once you become a Member of Parliament, you then wish to become a Minister, then a Prime Minister and so forth as cravings are never ending.

Nevertheless, Lord Buddha has taught us to be mindful of suffering. Be mindful of self as suffering arises in self. Be mindful of the mind as suffering arises in the mind. Just be mindful and once you realize the truth as it truly is, you will then be bored and loosen the adherence of all things. Your mind then will become Buddha, a knower. What does the mind know? The mind knows the truth about life that this life, this body, this mind is filled with nothing but suffering. Be it big or small, it is still suffering and has no essence. This is when you become a knower, an awakened who awakes from being asleep. Those who are still in search of happiness are those who are still trapped in their dream, dream of happiness, which does not exist.

And Lord Buddha is the blessed one. Blessed from knowing the truth. Blessed from having wisdom and being detached from all things. The mind is filled with immense happiness and is fulfilled without having to respond to any needs or cravings. This is the happiness which stems from not demanding anything. Most people do not know this feeling. They only know happiness which is a result of fulfilling their cravings. They do not know the happiness which derives from not having cravings. To be able to have no more cravings, one has to see the truth and be a knower or the enlightened one.

What is the thing we call the world? It is the matter and the mind. We have a very clear knowledge that apart from suffering, nothing is arising; Apart from suffering, nothing is in existence; Apart from suffering, nothing is extinguishing. This is the knowledge of the enlightened. Once we know, we are disengaged from the dream of futile happiness. We are the enlightened who reside in the substantive world; not a sleeper or a dreamer.

When the mind realizes the truth about the matter and the mind, it puts an end to craving. Remember this, craving is extinguished when we see the truth of the body and the mind. You cannot extinguish craving by responding to it. Once you fulfill one craving, more cravings arise right away. You wish you had 1,000 baht. Once you get 1,000 baht, then you wish you had 10,000 baht. Craving just keeps expanding indefinitely.

But once you see the truth, you realize that life is filled with suffering and no real essence. We are being deceived like circus animals being forced to somersault or jump through the rings of fire or knives. If they can pass through, then they get some small rewards. If not, then the animal suffers in pain. This is the sample of suffering in this world caused by craving. Cravings dictate us to do this or that and we have to fulfill it. Once we follow its order, we are rewarded with a piece of meat and then it commands us to accomplish a new assignment. Yet, if craving arises, and we do not respond to it, we will then be punished. We then have suffering right away. When craving is not fulfilled, suffering takes place straight away. Once we get what we crave, we feel happy, but for only a short while, then we have another craving and so on.

As a result, life is all about strain and no joy. Those who are free from craving possess joy in themselves. They are content and joyful like never before. Originally, we did not know how to practice dhamma. We only knew happiness from craving being fulfilled. We got what we crave for and we felt happy. However, when we learned and really understood how to practice dhamma, we realized that fulfilling craving does not bring about happiness. Cravings only lead us to suffering like a dog being scalded with hot water. It lures us with illusions so that we will comply with its command. Once you truly see the truth, the craving ends. When there is no craving, the mind struggles no more. The mind that is free from struggling is peaceful. In peacefulness, there is a supreme contentment, that is nirvana.

Nirvana is the status where craving is extinct. When craving is extinct from the mind, the mind then reaches nirvana. The attribute of nirvana is peaceful and secluded from defilements, aggregates, and fabrication. In peace, it is where we can find the mighty contentment that we have never experienced.

My master once told me, when practicing dhamma until he could destroy all the cravings, tear down the cycle of birth and death, he could feel it through his chest. His mind could sense an unmatched exhilaration. It’s the feeling of happiness from the four noble fruits which caused a deep contentment, so intense it felt like you could die.

The master then continued, if a layman could practice until reaching this point, he may just die on that very day. However, if it’s during monkhood, then you might not die. Why is that? Because as a layman, you are not in a pure enough state to support such refined phenomena of nirvana. A layman with that state of nirvana may be trespassed unintentionally by others, which results in severe penalties for others. Therefore, a layman in that state of nirvana has no resolution to continue his life and will simply pass away.

However, in monkhood state, at least the mind is used to a state of contentment from meditation. When experiencing a deep happiness from nirvana, it is a next level of happiness but the mind is still bearable. The mind is not parting and therefore the person can continue his life. However, some people who reach this state, once considering that they have no more resolution to achieve, might as well pass away. This is just a matter to share with you.


Our obligation is to keep knowing the body and the mind

So, our obligation is to keep knowing the body and the mind. When we keep knowing the body and the mind, we will begin to see the truth that we do not own the body. It is just the thing that is known and seen, not ours. It is only the possession that we misunderstand. We might realize the truth that this body is not ours, but the possession is still there. It is like we know that this condominium unit is a rental unit, not ours. But we are still being possessive that this is our condo unit. We rent it and we say this is our home. Likewise, we know this body is not ours, but we are still clinging to it that it is ours.

If we can see the truth that this body is not ours and there is no self, that means we can be free from the misconception of clinging to body and mind. The one who is enlightened is free from this misconception and understands that there is no self. The body does not belong to us. Happiness and suffering are not self. Wholesome deeds and unwholesome deeds are not self. Physical condition and perception are not self. We may be aware or remember things or not, we cannot control them.

The mind is also not ours. We cannot control it. Sometimes the mind is a knower, sometimes it is a thinker or a focused practitioner. Sometimes the mind is in a wholesome stage but sometimes it is in an unwholesome stage. We cannot control it. Things can arise in the eyes and then extinguish. Then it arises in the ears and extinguishes. Then it arises in the nose, then extinguishes. Wherever it arises, it extinguishes. The mind sees that and knows this is not true self. Nothing is everlasting.

Ordinary people may think that something is everlasting. You can simply see when a master passes away, people will express their condolences differently. For some masters, we say “may you return to nature”, while for some masters, we say “may you arrive in nirvana”.

What do these sentences reflect? They reflect the delusion of self. Only ordinary people would say those things. Why is that? It is because ordinary people think that there is an everlasting mind. When the body of a master passes away, they think they can send the everlasting mind of the master as the mind is immortal. This is probably too delicate to say. But to explain to you that by saying those sentences, it reflects the degrees or spiritual development of the person who says it. All Arahants or the holy ones, they already have reached nirvana, thus no need to yearn for them to arrive in nirvana. It is like the masters are already home but we say we yearn to send them back home.

Actually, it is wrong just to think that they exist. The Arahants only see that there are 5 aggregates, not selves that exist. They only see that the 5 aggregates exist and then extinguish. Not that when the 5 aggregates extinguish, the spirit will then arrive in nirvana. That is not right.

Just keep on practicing. In the early stage, you will see there is no self. Then you become more intellectual as you keep constant observation of physical and mental phenomena as they truly are by being mindful, upright and neutral. Then you will gain true wisdom which is beyond the world. Wisdom has different layers. The primary level is seeing that there is no self. So, no need to send anyone to nirvana. There is no self so you cannot possibly be any self in nirvana.

Just keep on constantly observing physical and mental phenomena as they truly are by being mindful of the natural phenomena. Then you will become more and more intellectual and will see clearly that the body is not ours. What it actually is? It is suffering. You will see the suffering clearly and the mind will be free from the cause of suffering. The mind understands clearly that the body suffers so it then lets go. No more cravings for the body. No more craving for the body to be happy, to be not suffering. No more such cravings as this is the sentiment of the non-returner.

Next, you can practice by concentrating more on the mind. How to concentrate more on the mind? Just constantly keep observing the physical and mental phenomena as they truly are by being mindful, upright and neutral. Just keep doing that. The intellect will then concentrate on to the mind, which will lead to a phenomenon. Sometimes the mind just let go of itself, then after a while, it just seizes itself again. It cannot let go permanently. Just consider, why the mind cannot permanently let go of itself? It is because there is something the mind does not know. It cannot let go as there is one thing that the mind still does not know.

In the first three months of my monkhood, I thought about one of my masters, which was Luangpu Suwat. Many other masters have already passed away. And I thought of Luangpu Suwat, who was at that time almost passed on too. At the end of Buddhist Lent that year, I then went to pay respect to him. I told Luangpu, “My other masters have taught me to be aware of my mind”. Luangpu, who was very sick and under medication, became fully alerted and listened to me while I continued. “I let go of my mind. I put it down. Then I picked it up again.” He then straightened up from his half-asleep half-awake motion and said “why pick it up? Just drop it. There is nothing in it.” He then went on “Just dropped it.” Then I thought, it’s easier said than done. Luangpu simply said to drop it but I could not.

I looked into my mind. There was one thing my mind still could not comprehend. As long as I could not comprehend this, I could not drop my mind. So, I kept on practicing until one day, I reached the point where my mind could see my own mind clearly. As Luangpu Dune once said, the mind could see its own mind clearly because of constant observing of physical and mental phenomena as they truly were by being mindful, upright and neutral. At the end, I could see the mind clearly as it was previously so clear in my body, then I let go of the self. The self is the suffering, so I let go of the self. Then the mind could see clearly that the mind is suffering, even more suffering than anything else in the world. Even the “knowing mind” is suffering. When this truth has become clear, I could drop my mind. Now that I knew the mind is suffering, I would not hold on to it.

The only small factor that made it hard to drop the mind was the ignorance of the Noble Truth, which obstructed the ability to see suffering clearly. We could not see a hundred percent of suffering that the self is suffering and the mind is suffering. Most of the time, practitioners only see the self suffering, so they tend to drop the self first as the body is the unrefined part. Then they move to the mind. That very point they can see the mind is when they see the suffering. Suffering is rooted from impermanence, oppression and the inability to control.


“You only have to do it step by step like climbing the stairs. You cannot simply jump the stairs but walk up step by step. Likewise, you cannot simply just drop the mind. Do not drop the mind now but raise the knowing, the awaken, and the delighted mind first. Raise the upright mind first”

This morning I asked my staff and the Live team whether they could see their minds being oppressed the whole day? Some could see that their minds were oppressed. Whenever there is craving, then the mind is oppressed. When the eyes see the picture, the mind is then oppressed. When the ears hear the voice, the mind is then oppressed. When the mind feels the thought, it is being oppressed. But this person could only see once in a while, as this mind does not have enough force.

As for all of you, you have heard about this but it doesn’t mean that you have to practice like this. You only have to do it step by step like climbing the stairs. You cannot simply jump the stairs but walk up step by step. Likewise, you cannot simply just drop the mind. Do not drop the mind now but raise the knowing, the awaken, and the delighted mind first. Raise the upright mind first. Once you successfully create a knowing mind. Then a knowing mind can see the self and the mind as they are separating. Feelings or sensations and the mind are separating. Perception and the mind are separating. Mental formations, whether good or bad, and the mind are separating. Even the mind is not only one mind. When one mind arises, the other one extinguishes, and this continues all day all night. Some of the minds are content, some are suffering, some are neutral, some are wholesome while some are unwholesome. Some are knowing minds while some are enchanting minds. Some minds wander to see an image, while some wander to hear some noises. They are all separate. Therefore, even the mind keeps arising and extinguishing. There is not just one mind.

Those who wish to respectfully send their masters to nirvana are those who have the misconception that there is only one, immortal mind. When the master passes away, they think they have to be addressed to nirvana. Therefore, initially, just keep being aware of your body and your mind. Be conscious, not be reckless and not be too concentrated as well. Keep knowing and seeing the body moves and the mind wanders. At first, just be aware of yourselves. Then you start concentration meditation and then practice insight meditation until it results in a stable and natural mind. Like today I told a guy who just came out from monkhood that his mind is a knowing mind and can grow wisdom. His mind possesses wisdom and he has the ability to see the natural phenomena rising and extinguishing.

Therefore, choose one contemplation and be mindful. Keep practicing and in the end you will have a stable and upright mind. When the mind is in that state, the aggregates will separate and you will see that the self and the mind are separating. Contentment and suffering are separating. Good deeds or bad deeds and the mind are separating. The mind is not just one but many. Days and nights, one mind is arising while the other is extinguishing.

You just have to keep seeing. Even the knowing mind or the enchanting mind are impermanent. You just have to develop a knowing mind. If you cannot develop a knowing mind, there will just be a wandering mind. A wandering mind does not know itself as it wanders. However, if the knowing mind exists, it realizes the wandering mind or vice versa. Once you know one, you will understand the other.


The great attribute of a practitioner

Therefore, keep practicing and keep knowing your mind. Then your mind will become more stable and upright, resulting in the aggregates separating. You then will be mindful and see the three characteristics of the self, the three characteristics of the feelings, the three characteristics of mind and the three characteristics of the mental objects. When you see all these, you can see the truth and will eventually let go of cravings. Your mind then gradually reaches the state of purity. Today I teach without reserving anything. You all just have to keep practicing, not keep wandering around.

The great attribute of a practitioner is being modest, not greedy. One wife is enough, but two is greed.

Be detached and be satisfied with what you possess. Like when you go to work and you do your best and get compensated with an appropriate amount and you are happy with it. You have done your best and this is what you get. That is modesty.

Be solitary and know when to detach yourself physically from others. Only mingle when necessary. As for monk, it is expected that monk stays in solitary. For laymen, if your home is attached to others, it is likely to be blaring. So, you have to practice yourself to be in solitude, not be too involved in other people’s business. Just be mindful and keep knowing your own mind. This way you will be able to stay in solitary despite the hassles of others.

Be modest (1), be detached (2), and seclude yourself to serenity (3). Number (4) is to not associate or mingle too much. If you keep mingling, you will go nowhere. I have seen many people who enjoy participating in Buddhist Lent ceremonies or the off-season offering of robes and other needs to monks. These are so chaotic. How much merit can you gain from all these? Maybe a little but your mind keeps wandering along the way. You end up getting so little merit while there are more disadvantages such as accidents. As a result, do not mingle so much but rather practice and keep being aware of yourself so you can be free from suffering.

Number (5) is to have constant perseverance. Keep reminding yourself everyday. Life is short so you’d better keep practicing and be keen to grab the opportunity to practice. The most important thing is to understand the meaning of life and understand the world. If you understand life and understand the world as they truly are, then you will just let go. You understand suffering. Once you see the suffering, you keep knowing your body and mind, then you can let go.

If you possess all these 5 factors, you will advance very quickly. Otherwise you just keep going off track. Whether you are modest or greedy, have a never-ending need or being humble and be content with who you are and what you have, for this I do not mean those who are content with being a thief, this only applies to good deeds. If you have done your best, like you set a target to make a hundred-million-baht profit but only could achieve a million and you accept that. A million-baht profit is better than a loss. This year may not be a good year. It is difficult to make ends meet. Luckily you can still get by with instant cup noodles. Can you see? This is being content with what you have and you are not agitated.

Be modest, be solitary, be secluded and detached yourself. Detaching yourself is avoiding and not mingling. Be persistent and keep teaching and guiding yourself. Life is short so try to reach the highest, which is dhamma. Then try to observe the precepts.

Number (6) is keeping the precepts, practicing meditation to explicate your mind (7) expanding wisdom (8), insight development so the aggregates separate and you can see the three characteristics (9).

Number (10) is being free from suffering. All these 10 factors are the 10 virtues that will prosper when you keep practicing. If you have the first 5, the latter 5 will follow. However, if you don’t have the first 5, the latter 5 will be fruitless. As a result, you have to take this seriously. I keep encouraging you to refrain from unnecessary activities. Even meritable activities, which sometimes are tricks to attract those who are not intellectual to be interested in religious activity. One day when you become more intellectual, then you will get to the path where I just taught. If those of you who are intellectual, but still go off track and mingle in those unnecessary activities which are tricks to attract those who are not intellectual to be interested in religious activities like donation, which is an initial state of sacrificing. What I taught you is the high level of sacrifice, like sacrificing your false view. This is significant. Having the courage to sacrifice your misconception and to let go of your adherence, that is not easy.

Therefore, take what I taught you today into practice. You have to help yourselves. Your master can only give you a roadmap while you have to leave on the journey, before the path of dhamma is gone.

Try to understand your own defilement. We all have defilements. Most people think that defilement is their enemy. It can actually be their teacher. When lust arises, just be aware, then lust extinguishes in front of you. When anger arises, just be aware, then anger extinguishes right in front of you. When enchantment arises, just be aware, then enchantment extinguishes. When indecision arises, just be aware. No need to find the answer. Most practitioners fail when it comes to indecision as they always try to find the answer. That’s a mistake. When indecision arises, just be aware. It is just another phenomena like others. You have to keep being aware of your defilement. Then one day, you will be aware of whatever you are doing. Sometimes, you do things as dictated by your defilement. Sometimes you think what you do is a meritable deed but what lurks beneath is a defilement. Some people lead others to offer robes and other things to monks, either off-season or at the end of Buddhist Lent. They think those are big meritable deeds. They feel so cool being a leader of such meritable events. That’s not wise. Nothing beats being wise in one’s own mind. This way one will not fail by defilement.

Therefore, keep being aware, keep observing yourself. Keep the 5 precepts and practice everyday. Observe your mind and you will progress in no time especially if you do not break these 5 terms.

Modesty, detached, secluded, not mingling and have constant perseverance. Attaching with social media is mingling, not detached. Even when you are alone in the room but your mind travels around the world, that is mingling and distracted. Contemplation of death, life is short. Therefore, you deserve the best for your life. Is it money? When you pass away, all your money belongs to others. Is it fame? When you pass away, people forget about you. Your family will soon belong to others. You have a child, your child is your family but one day, your child will have his or her own family. They do not belong to you. Nothing in the world is worth adhering to. Keep reminding yourself. Life is so short. Go out to find the true quintessence of your life, which is dhamma. It’s time to go back home. Be aware that I invite you to go back home, not to go on a picnic.


Luangpu Pramote Pamojjo
Wat Suansantidham
16 July 2023