Seeking Enlightenment

The year is about to end, just one more week only. The year passes by so fast. The average lifespan of people nowadays is around 75 years. Just a slight oversight, and it’s all over. Most people are caught up in routines, never thinking that we might die at any moment. We may die right now, or even die today. Most people try not to think about it, believing that thinking about death brings bad luck. They still believe that they have to live for a long time. This is called ignorance. Imagine, if you might die today, what would you want to do today, or if you might die tomorrow, what would you do with the remaining time?

Some people may indulge in consuming alcohol to the fullest, or engage in extreme wrongdoing. Those are people with mistaken notions. They believe that in this life, death is the ultimate end of everything. Before dying, they seek maximum happiness, do whatever they desire. We Buddhists do not think like that. That is a mistaken notion. They believe that death is just like changing scenes in a play. Sooner or later, there will be a new scene.


Seeking externally has no end

Therefore, before we die, it’s best to hurry and do the most beneficial things. There’s nothing more important than practicing dhamma. This is Luang Por’s viewpoint. You guys may not agree, and that’s okay. Even since my childhood, I have always felt this way. When I was in my childhood living with my parents in my birth place, I had always felt that it was just temporary. No matter how many times we moved, I could feel that it would only be temporary. Someday, I would have to leave. My mind has felt this way since I was young. Therefore, the mind never clung to the past. It realized that would be temporary and would end soon. The person I see here now might not be here in the future. My mind has always felt this way.

Sometimes when I bought a house, I thought I would stay there, believing it’s my true home. I bought it myself, but after a few days, I realized it’s not it. No matter how many times I moved, or how many houses I bought, the feeling repeated itself. It’s still not the true home. Through meditation and practice since the year 2502, I’ve come to understand that everything is temporary. Practicing continuously, delving into my own mind, I’ve realized where the true home lies. As long as the mind still seeks pleasure, it hasn’t found its true home yet. Through meditation and practice, I’ve seen that everything the mind perceives is just temporary. When this perception repeats, the mind releases its attachment and finds peace. Keep practicing. Someday, you’ll return home.

We’re like some wanderer who got lost through countless lifetimes, constantly being born and dying. We keep searching for something, not knowing what it is. The mind only feels that what we are and the thing we possess are not the real thing. That is why the mind still keeps searching. Most people keep searching. They search outside their own minds, be it wealth, partner, or fame. This search has no end because everything is just temporary. It comes, and then it goes. In this world, there’s nothing permanent, only the dhamma, the eight worldly conditions: gain and loss, pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disrepute. People may praise us one day and criticize us the next. Sometimes there’s joy, and sometimes there’s suffering. This is the dhamma of the world, deceiving us into thinking there’s no end to this cycle of birth and death.

We keep seeking wealth, status, praise, and happiness endlessly. When we encounter misfortune, loss of status, criticism, or suffering, we cannot tolerate it. We then desire wealth, status, praise, and eternal happiness. We want something permanent, something that isn’t subject to change. That’s why no matter how much we seek externally, we can’t find it. Instead of seeking outside, we should seek within ourselves, learn about our bodies and minds. If we truly want to be free from suffering and find our true home, we should introspect and contemplate internally. Opānayiko, the noble one, come and find the truth inside ourselves, not letting our actions stray beyond our bodies. Practice within ourselves and feel the body and the mind. There’s no need to keep seeking externally.


“Opānayiko”, Embracing inside oneself

Currently, there are many Chinese people coming here, more and more every day. They come a long way from China. When asked why they come, they say they’re seeking for dhamma. But will they find it? No, they won’t. Dhamma is not in Thailand. Dhamma is not at Wat Suan Santidham. Dhamma is not with Luang Por. Even if they come here to see Luang Por, in search of the dhamma, they’re still seeking it externally. If they truly want to understand the dhamma, they should search within their own bodies and minds, not letting their minds stray beyond their bodies. They should keep learning continuously. As for Luang Por, I learned from Luang Pu Dune for the first time on February 6, 2525 (Buddhist calendar). Luang Pu advised that I observe my own mind. I then tried to do so trying to find the mind. It shouldn’t be external; it should be within this body.
Therefore, from now on, we will learn about contemplation from inside the body and the mind. Do not let our minds wander into forms, sounds, smells, tastes, or external sensations. Just be aware within the body and mind. Like when you feel the cold air touching your body, learn within your body, not in the cold air itself. Our bodies feel cold because of the natural process of heat and cold. It’s the nature of forms to disintegrate due to heat and cold. They disintegrate because of heat or cold. When we learn about dhamma practice, if the cold air affects us and the body can’t bear it. We then see that the body is being oppressed by suffering. We learn right here, not about the external weather.

I used to live in Kanchanaburi. I heard the noise as the villagers loved to organize events though they are quite poor. Whenever there was an event, they would borrow money to organize it. They would rent sound systems with big speakers. Once they turned it on, the ground would shake. At that time, I was still at Suan Po, which was situated amidst the direction of the wind. So, wherever they organized the event, the sound would reach the temple. Even the windows rattled. The noise was so intense and wasn’t just ordinary loudness; it was like waves crashing in. It didn’t just hit the ears; it penetrated the body too. Even the metal cabinets would shake. Everything shook, the windows shook. And I would sit there wondering when it would stop. But if I kept thinking like that, it wouldn’t be beneficial. The crew kept the sound system on because they were paid for. I could feel the suffering in my body. The noise hit my ears so hard they hurt. The pain was felt throughout my body, not just in my ears. I felt the vibrations in my ears, hearing both the high and low sounds.

But if the ears are hurt, this is due to the body’s sensation. The intense sound waves can indeed cause bodily injury. And similarly, the eyes have the function of seeing forms. But if we walk without paying attention and get poked in the eye by a stick, that’s the eye in terms of the body, not the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for seeing forms, while the ear nerve is responsible for hearing sounds. But if the eyes and ears are injured, it’s a bodily impact. When it impacts us, we realize, “Oh, the body is the origin of suffering.” As long as the body exists, suffering exists. Suffering arises due to sensations, whether it’s coldness, heat, softness, hardness, tension, or anything else. These sensations impact the body and cannot be avoided.

The sound that impacts our ears, we cannot choose what we hear. When there’s sound, we can hear it. When the mind perceives the sound, we then can hear it. We don’t get to choose. Look at all the sense doors; even the eyes are not ours to command. We can’t order them. The same goes for the ears. We hear a sound we don’t like; we can’t command not to hear it. We hear an unpleasant sound; we don’t like it. We command not to hear it, but we can’t. The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind that are impacted by emotions, we can’t command them. And what they all have in common is suffering. The body is constantly oppressed by suffering. The mind is constantly oppressed by suffering. Keep seeing and be aware that the body isn’t us. We can’t command it. This is non-self. The mind, we can’t command it either. It’s non-self. Learning occurs within the body and within the mind. We don’t learn externally. It is not really beneficial to learn externally from forms, sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations, and the stories we think about.

However, if you are truly skilled in practicing, the external and internal aspects are considered equal. When you see the external form, you see the Three Characteristics. When you see the Three Characteristics, the mind naturally turns inward to see the internal form. It then also sees the Three Characteristics. When you hear external sounds, you witness the Three Characteristics. The mind is aware of the sound in the ears, it then sees the Three Characteristics. You cannot control it. Whether we hear or not, we can’t command it. If you truly excel in practicing, you can either see dhamma internally, within your body and mind, or externally. Both are equally effective. Therefore, in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, it discusses both the internal and external dhamma, as well as dhamma near and afar.

However, in practical terms, your mental abilities are not yet mature enough to venture out and learn externally in the form of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and physical sensations. This way you won’t quite see the Three Characteristics. It’s easy to indulge in external sensory pleasures. Therefore, the safest approach is to turn inward and learn the dhamma internally, through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. Those external sensories include forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and thoughts. Keep learning both externally and internally. External influences affect the internal perceptions. When the eyes see forms, the mind experiences pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, good and bad impressions, just as when the ears hear sounds. Pleasure and pain arise in the mind, not in the ears alone. Because the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body do not inherently experience pleasure or pain. They remain neutral. However, when the ears are hurt by loud noises, the body is affected. This body experiences pleasure and pain. The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body themselves do not inherently experience pleasure or pain. They remain equanimous throughout.

Once emotions are triggered, they send signals to the mind once again. When the eyes see forms, either pleasure or pain arise in the mind. If the interpretation of the form is favorable, happiness arises. If the interpretation is unfavorable, like when someone is criticized, hearing that criticism translates into displeasure, creating aversion. Pleasure arises from favorable interpretations, leading to happiness, while displeasure leads to suffering. Once pleasure and pain arise, the mind continues to function. If we lack mindfulness, when happiness arises, lust may arise too. The mind may become satisfied. Yet, when suffering arises in the mind, anger may arise. When the mind becomes equanimous, delusion may arise as it’s unclear whether something is good or bad, it becomes difficult to distinguish the emotions clearly. Without clear comprehension of the emotions, there is confusion. Unable to grasp the emotions clearly, there is no love or anger. This is the process by which the mind operates.

Once it begins to operate within the mind, it then fabricates, both good and bad. When fabricating both happiness and suffering, there is still no defilement. However, defilements push themselves through happiness and suffering. When the mind fabricates either happiness or suffering, it will then struggle. When it refines for good, the mind struggles, as in listening to the teachings, it refines well, and the mind wants to listen more. But when you can’t enter the hall, the mind feels dejected. Desire arises, and the mind struggles.

The agitation of the mind, the suffering, can be called the realm of desires or fabrication. It’s the refinement of the mind, the agitation, whether for good or for bad. Trying not to refine, the agitation of the mind can be called the realm of existence. It’s the realm, the operation of the mind, the karmic realm. This one is truly wicked.

When we are about to die, our desires and inclinations will push our mind to refine its existence. The type of mind with which we die determines the kind of mind with which we will be reborn, not the same old mind. If we die with a sorrowful and gloomy mind, and if that gloomy mind ceases in this existence, then a new mind will arise in the next existence, and the first consciousness to arise will be the same sorrowful and gloomy mind. This cycle repeats endlessly.


Keep learning extensively about the body and mind until it becomes crystal clear

As a result, keep practicing until you truly understand the truth. One day your mind transcends the need for fabrication. You asked if there is fabrication, and indeed there is. It’s the operation of aggregates. However, the mind transcends this fabrication because it understands the Four Noble Truths. It sees and comprehends reality. What we fabricate, we do so because we desire certain things and wish to avoid others. Yet, with increasing wisdom, we realize that everything we desire and everything we wish to avoid is ultimately devoid of inherent essence. They are all sources of suffering, nothing more. If we cultivate ourselves to see that besides suffering, there is nothing else arising, nothing else existing, nothing else ceasing, then the mind will lose its desires. When desires are extinguished, so too is the need for fabrication and adornment of the mind.

When the mind is free from the adornments of fabrication, it no longer grasps at the aggregates of form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness. Especially the grasping of the mind itself, it grasps incessantly, yet we remain unaware. It’s like we’re born carrying something, and throughout our lives, we continue to hold onto it without realizing that it’s unnecessary baggage. If we keep practicing, we see everything that arises, abides, and ceases. And it’s all just suffering, just burdens. When the mind sees this clearly, it lets go. Once it transcends the need for fabrication, it releases its grasp on form, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

When Luang Por was still a layman, I reached a point in the meditation where I discovered that the mind could let go. However, this letting go was temporary because the mind would grasp again. It couldn’t let go completely. As I continued to observe, I realized that the mind was always grasping. I saw the mind as the Three Characteristics, and whenever I saw this, I would let go, only to grasp again shortly after. This happened repeatedly because the mind hadn’t yet fully understood the Four Noble truth. The mind didn’t know. What it was grasping onto was suffering, just like how we hold onto our senses, which include sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, without realizing that they are the source of suffering. We grasp onto the mind because we don’t see that the mind itself is suffering. This is called ignorance. We don’t know the truth.

Therefore, keep practicing until you see that apart from suffering, nothing else arises, nothing else remains, and nothing else extinguishes. Practice continuously, observe repeatedly, until one day the mind can see it. Once the mind sees it, there’s no need to grasp anymore. There’s no need to find a way to let go. Commanding it to let go doesn’t work. But if the mind is wise, it knows that the senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and the mind itself—are all suffering. It doesn’t grasp. Therefore, there’s no need to let go. If it grasps, it has already grasped and let go. It grasps and lets go again. But if it fully understands that apart from suffering, nothing else arises, exists, or extinguishes, it won’t grasp. When it doesn’t grasp, there’s no need to think about letting go.

So, if you meditate and still think about how to let go, how to release, without seeing real results, you need to learn more about suffering. There’s no other way. You need to fully understand suffering, what it is, and the five aggregates are all suffering. Then, we need to learn extensively about the body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness until it becomes clear. Apart from suffering, nothing else arises, exists, or extinguishes. If you do not practice, you will see that this body brings both suffering and happiness. This mind also experiences both suffering and happiness. There are two sides: happiness and suffering. If you practice continuously and observe as it falls under the Three Characteristics, eventually, one day, it will become clear to you that everything that arises is suffering.

The feeling of happiness: when people are deluded, they feel happiness. When our minds are happy, like when we listen to sermons or meditate, we feel that happiness. But if we are precise in our practice, we’ll see that happiness is actually a form of suffering, which disturbs the balance of the mind and leads to mental agitation. When happiness arises, we want it to last forever. When it disappears, we feel sadness and sorrow, longing for its return. But when our mindfulness is strong enough, we see that happiness is just another form of suffering, a burden, and ultimately, something impermanent. We seek it desperately, almost to the point of death, yet in the end, there’s nothing left. Some people relentlessly pursue wealth, but in the end, they cannot spend it. They amass fortunes, but ultimately, others enjoy it. Even our own bodies, which we cherish and care for, end up being cremated or buried.

To cultivate wisdom, repeatedly learning within the body and within the mind. Then one day, you will see that this body is suffering. There is only suffering, great or small. This mind is only suffering, both great and small. Even the feeling of happiness, truly, is tinged with suffering. Can you see that sometimes, when you are captivated and then happiness arises, you then laugh and rejoice like madmen. It’s a sign of a deluded mind. The mind loses mindfulness greatly. If this happens to a layman, then it’s not very detestable because it’s quite normal for a layman to be deluded. Yet, if a monk laughs out loud, it’s really disgusting. A monk should do better than that. So, when I witness a monk laughing out loud, I feel rueful. That monk still has more to learn. Still more to practice for a long time.

Therefore, we learn the fundamentals of contemplation not elsewhere but within our own body and our own mind. Keep knowing and observing, then you will continuously see the Three Characteristics. Then, you will cultivate wisdom and clearly understand that this body is nothing but suffering, both great and small. This mind is nothing but suffering, both great and small. Ignorant people, when there’s little suffering, feel happiness. Yet, those who possess wisdom know that when happiness arises, the mind loses balance. The mind becomes unsteady, wavering, agitated, and then it fabricates. Whenever there’s fabrication, suffering arises. The mind has to see this for it to let go. No one can force the mind to achieve enlightenment. It has to achieve enlightenment on its own. Your duty is to lead the mind to learn the truth of the body and mind, which is to learn suffering itself. Once you understand suffering clearly, the mind releases its hold. First, it releases the body, then eventually it can release the mind.

Once the mind is released, it no longer grasps onto it again. It’s not like when we meditate. At first practice, sometimes the mind releases, then it grasps onto it again. When we see the Three Characteristics, it then releases. Yet, when it loses mindfulness and it does not see the Three Characteristics, it grasps onto it again. It temporarily solves the problem from time to time. However, once you can understand fully that this body is suffering, this mind is suffering. This body is suffering. When this is crystal clear to the mind, it won’t grasp onto it again. No need to figure out how to let go. Practitioners often think about how to let go, how to achieve this level or that level. They think only of what to do. It doesn’t work that way. Lord Buddha declared that no one can cause the mind to achieve enlightenment; the mind achieves enlightenment on its own. When the mind has virtues and mindfulness, wisdom then matured.


Do not seek a way to let go, nor train the mind to be empty

Wisdom matured means seeing the ultimate truth. What is the ultimate truth? It is seeing that the Five Aggregates are suffering. If you see this, the mind will not grasp onto the Five Aggregates. There’s no letting go, no releasing whatsoever. It is just that the mind does not grasp the burden of the Five Aggregates, therefore there’s no need to let go. When there’s no grasping, there’s no need to release. Still, if it grasps, it still needs to let go. Why does it grasp? Because of ignorance. Not seeing the ultimate truth, not clearly knowing suffering, it then grasps. But when you see clearly, the mind sees the Three Characteristics and then releases. But later, it grasps again.

Therefore, to let go completely, you do not seek a way to let go, nor train the mind to be empty. Training the mind to be empty is fabrication. There are three kinds of fabrications. First, the process of fabrication by training the mind to be empty or free from attachment. Second, the process of fabrication by negative emotions. Last, the process of fabrication through wholesome actions. Trying to make the mind empty, this is fabrication. To transcend the fabrications, one must destroy ignorance.

Learn to see within the body, learn to see within the mind, learn until you truly see that this body is suffering, this mind is suffering. Then one day the mind will just let go because it does not grasp onto them. This process of letting go is not like when we practice, grasping and releasing, grasping and releasing. But when the mind knows clearly throughout, it will just let go while knowing throughout, at that moment of knowing. So, whenever suffering is known, the mind abandons the cause of suffering (Samudaya). When it abandons the cause of suffering, the mind sees the cessation of suffering (Nirodha). Then the path to cessation of suffering (Magda) prospers.

Now do you see? Knowing suffering, one can apply the cessation of suffering right away. It is not like you separate the process. Both happen simultaneously. Therefore, the thorough knowledge of the Four Noble Truths comes at the same moment. Hence, the four Noble Truths manifest at the same moment. So, whenever you see suffering, the mind doesn’t concoct anything, doesn’t seek anything. When the mind doesn’t seek, it doesn’t grab onto anything; at that moment, the mind expresses the cessation of suffering, all within the same moment. And that moment is the moment of enlightenment. Gradually practice; it’s a bit difficult to comprehend. Today, as there are so many masters who have excelled in practicing gathering here, I must apologize if today’s teaching is rather difficult.

In summary : Learning the fundamentals of dhamma isn’t about studying anywhere outside your body and mind. It is not waiting to receive dhamma from Luang Por, or come to study at the temple. Dhamma is not within me or even solely within the Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha once said whether he had been enlightened or not, the dhamma already existed. Therefore, dhamma is inherent in the world, not belonging to anyone; it’s about training our minds to see dhamma. It’s not about making dhamma happen; it’s about practicing until you see it, see the ultimate truth, which is the Four Noble Truths. As long as we don’t know the Four Noble Truths, we’re still stuck in the cycle of birth, aging, illness, and death.

So, try to learn into the body, learn into the mind, observe them gradually until you see the Three Characteristics. When there are times you don’t understand the mind, focus on the body. When you observe the body, the mind gains strength, then you can go back to observing the mind. Sometimes, you might not grasp the mind or the body; just don’t struggle, don’t try too hard. Practice calmness meditation, cultivate peace within, let the mind rest. When the mind has rested enough, it will naturally rise upright and be able to observe the body and mind. Everyday, strive to do the following. Keep the five precepts. Everyday, practice in a format. The mind will gain strength as you continue practicing. While you sit, be aware of the body sitting. Noticing the body breathing, feeling its sensations. Knowing one feeling is like knowing the body sitting, knowing the body breathing. Then the mind will gain concentration, it will become steadfast.

When the mind wanders away from knowing the body or from knowing the breath, be aware. Once you are aware of the mind that moves, it extinguishes, and the steadfast mind arises instantly. Through continuous practice, the mind becomes steadfast and prominent, becoming the knower, the awakened, and the joyful one. Once our mind is firmly established and steadfast, you can then proceed to train the mind towards insight, guiding it to learn the truth of the body and mind, not just wandering elsewhere. We guide the mind to learn the truth of the body and mind. Initially, it may not fully understand, only grasping partially. But eventually, it will see both the body and mind as they truly are. There are just phenomena arising, persisting, and ceasing. You may not fully understand this yet, but acknowledge it and continue practicing insight meditation.

When wisdom reaches its peak, it’s the wisdom within enlightenment. At this point, you no longer are aware of the Three Characteristics; it is the wisdom within enlightenment, acknowledging the Four Noble Truths clearly. However, before reaching the wisdom within enlightenment, which comprehends the Four Noble Truths, we rely on the wisdom cultivated from insight meditation. We continually observe the Three Characteristics, understanding it more deeply. This image represents the Three Characteristics, and the abstract also signifies the Three Characteristics. By continuously observing this, the mind temporarily ceases fabrications, and it merges into deep concentration. Then, the mind starts exploring wisdom internally, and eventually, it becomes aware and comprehends the Four Noble Truths. Then, the mind lets go.


When practicing, do not skip steps

Luang Por once asked Luang Pu Dune, he called this condition “Jit Yim” (Smiling Mind). When the mind let go and released itself, Luang Pu called it “Smiling Mind.” Smiling Mind blossoms within itself. I asked Luang Pu how many times it needed to occur, and he answered, four times. It happens four times. We cannot force it to happen. He said, “Practice insight meditation diligently. At some point, the mind will naturally become aware and comprehend the Four Noble Truths.” It’s not difficult if you follow the steps. Yet, if you skip steps, it becomes difficult.

Recently, Luang Por encountered the teachings of a certain teacher, Luang Pu Saeng. Do you remember Luang Pu Saeng? There was quite a stir about two years ago when people went to attend his teachings. Luang Pu Saeng taught well and he said that practicing is difficult. He said, “The practice is difficult, but some find it easy because they have accumulated good karma, meaning they have accumulated good deeds and qualities from past lives.” Luang Por continued, “if one practiced in the past life and continued in this life, then that person can practice without difficulty. Nevertheless, if one has not accumulated practicing skills from the past, then practicing is difficult”. Hence, the starting point is that practicing is difficult, except for those who have accumulated merit, accumulated virtue, concentration, wisdom, from past lives. If you have these, it won’t be difficult. Regarding the practice, he said, “Learn to observe within your own body and mind.” That’s such profound teaching. Learn to observe within the body, learn to observe within the mind, until wisdom arises.

Luang Pu advised that we learn in sequence, not to skip steps. He compared this sequence to the growth of a papaya. You might not be able to visualize the tiny papaya as when you spot a papaya in the supermarket, it is pretty sizable. The nature of a papaya, when it first starts as a tiny seed, the size is so minute, like a fly’s head. Then gradually it becomes bigger and eventually, it matures into full-sized papaya. Similarly, when practicing, do not skip steps. Accumulate virtue, concentration, and wisdom continuously. When wisdom arises, it’s like a bright light. Luang Pu mentioned there’s no light as bright as wisdom. Luang Pu’s teachings are concise, just a few sentences. I may have elaborated more. However, his words encompass the entire practice and provide abundant insight.

First and foremost, whether the practice is difficult or easy depends on ourselves. If we have accumulated little, it will be difficult; if we have done a lot in the past, it will be easy. Therefore, whether the practice is deemed easy or difficult is not clear-cut and cannot be fully covered in words. So, in truth, it’s neither inherently difficult nor inherently easy; it depends on how much we have accumulated. And the practice itself is straightforward: learn about the body, learn about our own mind, and proceed step by step, following the sequence and the process.

When we pray, we don’t have to think about how to let go of the mind. We can’t even let go of the body yet. How can we let go of the mind? We might still cling to the body or hold onto the misconception that we exist. We don’t even need to talk about letting go of the body yet; we’re still deluded, thinking that we still exist. So, let’s proceed step by step. The first goal we must strive for is to combat our own misconceptions, particularly the misconception that we truly exist. What we call “ourselves” are just the Five Aggregates: the body, the mind, feelings, perceptions, and mental formations. Learn about the body, and you’ll see that it falls under the Three Characteristics, without a permanent self. Happiness, suffering, good, evil, and even the mind itself arise, exist, and extinguish, all under the Three Characteristics, without a permanent self.

Let’s address this point first, without skipping ahead to how to let go of the body or how to absolutely let go of the mind. You have to practice in an order, not to jump into it and let go of everything. One way to start is to try to make the mind empty. Making the mind empty is like not holding onto anything at all. But in reality, it’s holding onto the empty mind itself. Therefore, learn step by step. Keep practicing steadily; there’s no need to rush. Achieving enlightenment isn’t our duty; our duty is to create the causes, to cultivate mindfulness and wisdom continuously. When the causes are complete, the results will naturally follow. When we truly understand suffering, enlightenment arises effortlessly. It’s accessing the ultimate truth all at once. So, practice gradually; there’s no need to rush. Luang Pu Saeng’s teachings are truly profound.

This year, we’ve lost many masters. In 2566, we lost Luang Pu Haa. Luang Pu was not ordinary. I visited him once, and he was just lying down. We exchanged only a few sentences, then both of us fell silent. Luang Por sat there, and Luang Pu Haa lay down. His mind was normal, and then it blossomed by itself. It wasn’t forced. In Surin province, Luang Pu Eian has also passed away, just like many other teachers who had passed this year. Therefore, we should hasten our prayers. Time is limited, not unlimited. But as Luang Pu Tate once said, “Time is unlimited for those with defilement.” If we want to transcend suffering or achieve anything, when time is limited, we should practice quickly.

Right, today’s sermon is just this much. Is it too difficult? It’s not that difficult. It’s easy to understand when you listen, but it’s difficult to practice. Why is it difficult? Because you don’t have enough accumulated virtue and wisdom. If you have prayed before in past lives, then it’s not difficult. If it is difficult in this lifetime, yet you keep praying, then the next lifetime will be easier. If this lifetime is difficult and you don’t continue praying, the next lifetime will be even more difficult because your minds will sink deeper, and your defilements will be even stronger.

Luangpu Pramote Pamojjo
Wat Suansantidham
23 December 2023