There are 10 qualities for Apprentices.

To understand Dhamma, you must practice. The first step is to learn how to practice, but just learning how won’t lead to understanding. It’s just knowing how. To go for a treasure hunt, first you must have a map, a compass, and means to travel. If you have all the tools and take no action, you’ll be no closer to the treasure. Dhamma is similar. Once you know how to practice, it’s like having a map. You must develop yourself.

If you are selfish, try to tame that. You must know how to properly practice generosity. You give to tame your selfishness. You share your excesses with others. Some people accumulate many things, like clothing. Some can go for an entire month without wearing the same set of clothes. If you have that many, you need wardrobes. I know a woman who has so much clothing that she needs to buy another house to live in. One house is for her residence and the other is for clothing storage. This is a lot of excess. Owning many houses is burdensome. Whatever is less burdensome is more comfortable. Observe yourself. One life partner is already tiresome enough. Acquire less. Be content with what you have. These qualities will make your life simple. If you’re to trek a long distance, excess possessions won’t get you far.


Making a long journey to seek Dhamma and have a lot of baggage, you won’t go far.

I’m not gossiping, but I’m giving an example. There’s a monk here who has been in monkhood for quite some time. He once wanted to go on a pilgrimage. So, he made a pact with another monk at Thipprasit, who also wanted to go on a pilgrimage. They went to see their teacher about what stuff they had to bring. The teacher replied, “the essential 8.” These 8 essentials are the 3 robes, the food bowl, the water filter, called Dhammakarok, a needle and some threads to fix torn robes. These are the really essential things.

After he got the answer that he just needed the 8 essentials, he didn’t believe it. He asked for many things from the temple’s storage: flashlight, spare batteries, and many other things. He took those because he thought these things would make life easier. After trekking for a while, especially on the way uphill, he found these things too heavy. He started to throw things away, until only the 8 essentials remained. He was on the way up a mountain, while the teacher was way ahead, and had already passed that mountain. He was a city person, unskilled in trekking. He fell down some slope and hurt his legs and gave up.

His teacher, already past that mountain, sent someone to look for him, fearing that he had fallen off a cliff. He gave up, as it was very burdensome. Why was it so burdensome? Because he took so many possessions; he had to put much effort into climbing. All the stuff was already heavy as is. This is a physical example. When you’re on a long journey, if you pack heavy, you can’t go far. If you want to make a long journey to seek Dhamma and have a lot of baggage, you won’t go far. They weigh you down. So, you only need the essentials.

But saving up is essential for lay people. Be prudent. Don’t spend all you earn. That’s not contentment. That’s carelessness. Laypeople must learn to plan, as no one will support us. Monks can go beg for food. Some days they get some, and other days they don’t. But that’s not possible for lay people. You must think about the future, but don’t be blinded by wealth accumulation. Some bought many houses, thinking that they are assets, but they’re expensive to maintain. Things break. Fixing them costs money. Having too many houses is troublesome.

Be careful of what’s not necessary. Think about the future and save up. This is enough. Don’t make yourself a burden for other people. Don’t say “I’m not attached to anything,” while relying on others; That way, you are a burden to other people. So, let go of the excesses. Reduce or eliminate them, so you’ll become lightweight. The excesses can be given away to those in need. It’s practicing generosity and giving, which makes yourself light. Then practice to reduce selfishness.

You don’t have to own more than others. Just having enough in the present and the future is sufficient. Some rich people don’t know how to stop. They work hard to earn money all their lives. They never get to spend it. They start to spend when they get old. How do they spend it? For medical services. Doctors take much of your savings during the late stage of your life. So, be prudent in living, and the extra baggage in your mind will be reduced.

Being loyal to your partner reduces restlessness and burden. If you have more than one partner, life will be hectic. So, the Buddha taught us about Santuṭṭhā (being content with what you have). There’s Sadara-Santuttha (being content with one’s partner). One is enough. There’s no need for many. Life will be comfortable, not having to satisfy many people. Family life will be peaceful and happy.


Must first practice until your mind is peaceful

If you practice and are peaceful outside of your family circle, but furious inside, there’s something wrong. I know a woman who’s a social enterprise worker, helping underprivileged or troubled children. She gave good advice and helped many children, but she became stressed; she’s listening to other people’s problems all day long. So, she vented out her stress at her kids and her husband. In the end, both the kids and the husband ended up leaving her.

If you look good to other people, but are angry with your own family, this isn’t good. You should practice at home. Invite other people in your family to practice. Make your home comfortable. It’s okay that the outside is hot, but when you get home, you have a refuge. You can keep up with life this way. Animals leave their dwellings to fight to live. When they return to their dwellings in the evening, they’re restful and peaceful. They’re ready for tomorrow. There must be a place for you to stay away from the chaos and live in peace. If your home is emotionally blazing, there’s nowhere else to go. Your life will be very difficult. So, keep the moral precepts, and invite other members of the family to have moral precepts. Home will be peaceful. Once your home is peaceful, you don’t want to wander off, because staying home is comfortable. You cannot ask divine beings to bless you with this. You must build it yourself.

So, you must first practice until your mind is peaceful. Once your mind is peaceful, others who are around you will become peaceful. The entire home will then be peaceful and happy. I practiced like that when I was a layperson. My home was peaceful. At the office, people saw my peacefulness. So, they asked why I looked happy. I told them I practiced, so they got interested in practicing. There’s no need to urge someone to practice. When people see that you’re peaceful, they’ll want to practice.

My teaching until today had started from this small starting point: I practiced until I was peaceful. Other family members and coworkers became peaceful. The peacefulness started to spread out. At first, the teaching circle was small; I didn’t intend to make it large. But in 1984, Luangpor Pud asked me to spread the teaching out more. He said there would be many people of my temperament in the future. Not hearing the Dhamma would be their loss. So, at first I did it discreetly. I wrote an article and sent it to a magazine with a pen name. I also asked that the compensation for my writing be donated, and I didn’t send them my address. That’s how it started.

Later, I started writing on the internet. After a while, I got to know a lot people. Some helped me by scheduling people to meet me in small groups. The knowledge then started to spread. At first, people who frequent the internet came. They’re so opinionated, so only a few of them could practice well. Others were too restless and unfocused and couldn’t continue. The more recent generation is much more dedicated than the earlier. People who came recently were more determined. Today, my teaching has reached hundreds of thousands of people. So, peacefulness spreads. When an individual becomes peaceful, their home starts to become peaceful, and this peacefulness spreads out.

I don’t want to be famous or be anything. I do it because it is a Buddhist’s duty. The Buddha taught us to help ourselves and help others when appropriate. Help with mindfulness. Develop yourself and help others develop as you see fit. This is the Buddha’s assignment to all the Bhikkus (monks): practice oneself well and then help others practice.

Older generation teachers since Luangpu Mun developed themselves and then started to teach. This is still ongoing today. I have learned from the more senior masters from Luangpu Mun’s lineage, but my presentation is different. My presentation is geared more towards city people. In the old days, the masters used Samadhi (stability and concentration) as a tool to develop Panna (wisdom). Today, it is not easy to do. People have short attention spans. The practice that’s appropriate for people with short attention spans and very opinionated is to observe the mind.

Luangpu Dune told me that the practice of observing the mind will be popular in the urban environment. Back then, I felt that his prediction wasn’t going to be accurate. But days have passed and the society has transformed into mostly urban life. Even in the rural areas, the societal construct is urban-like. The agricultural sector has turned into agricultural businesses. Society and economy have changed. Politics have become shaky. Things rise and fall. We go through peaceful and chaotic times. This is normal.

People of this generation are very opinionated. If you’re opinionated, your mind is never peaceful. So, the right practice isn’t starting from doing a sitting meditation until you attain peacefulness. In the old days, masters would teach students to silently recite “Buddho” for years as the only practice. Students back then didn’t think about why. They followed the teaching with strong determination. If their minds weren’t calm and peaceful, they intensified their practices.

If one was afraid of ghosts, one went to practice in the cemetery. If one was afraid of tigers, one went to practice in the forests. They stayed in caves. Whatever they’re fearful of, whether it’s snakes, tigers, elephants, they went to practice there. Many have died, but not because of tigers or elephants, but because of Malaria. The ones who met tigers or elephants were mostly fine. This was so because with a calm mind, one isn’t fearful, and predators can sense this. They attack the ones who are fearful of them and stay away from the strong ones. Since these people had strong minds, they could survive.

You can read the biography of Luangpu Chob. I have met and paid respect to him. He’s amazing. His Cetopariyañāṇa (ability to read minds) was very quick. One time in Bangkok, he was surrounded by many monks and laypeople. I couldn’t reach him, but I saw a small opening that I could look through. I saw him lying down with his back facing me. I made a lotus shape with my hands and said in my mind, “I ask for permission to pay respect to an Arahant (the fully enlightened one).” Once I said this in my mind, he turned around and acknowledged me by nodding and he turned back. His mind was very quick.

Luangpu Chob attained deep absorption when he met a tiger. He liked to do pilgrimage walks during the night, when predators go hunting. He was carrying a monk’s lantern made of clothes. The light source was a candle. He was walking in the forest when he met a tiger. At first, he was frightened. But with a well-trained mind, he started silently reciting “Buddho” repeatedly. The mind then entered a deep absorption. His body, the tiger, and the forest then disappeared from his mind’s perception. There was nothing. His mind left the absorption the next morning. He then felt grateful for the tiger’s appearance. Tiger the teacher taught him the mind’s deep absorption well. He then tried to look for this tiger to give thanks, but he couldn’t find it.

The older generations fought the mind’s impurities that way. For our generation, there’s no longer such a place. Forests become national parks for putting up tents and playing guitar. They no longer are peaceful places. So, we make our home peaceful for practice instead. The practice that’s suitable for us is to observe our own minds.


Prerequisites for practicing observing the mind

There are some prerequisites for practicing observing the mind: tame your greediness. If you have insatiable hunger, life is tiring and hectic. The mind won’t be peaceful. Be content with what you have. Give the best for your work and be content with the results. Having 2-3 sets of clothes is enough. When I was working, I only had 2-3 sets of clothes. They’re enough. There’s no need to be complicated. I bought 2 sets of clothes a year. It was comforting.

Acquire less. Be content. Seek quietness. The word Vivek (seclusion) is hard to translate. There are Kaya-Vivek, Citta-Vivek, and Upadhi-Vivek. Kaya-Vivek is physical seclusion. Partying, or even joining in merit making ceremonies, is not Kaya-Vivek. So, you need to have Kaya-Vivek and detach from the chaos and your companions. This path is the path to be walked alone. It is called Ekāyana-Magga, which means the path that one walks alone, and one needs to walk only once. There’s no turning back. Ekāyana-Magga can be translated in many ways. Another is this is the path of the One, which is Buddha.

So, we must have Vivek. Be pleased with seclusion. Chaos doesn’t work. Getting into a group to make merits at 100 temples won’t lead you to any Dhamma. It is Dana (giving/generosity), which makes you feel happy. But if you want Dhamma, you need all Sila (moral precepts), Samadhi (stability of the mind), and Panna (wisdom). Dana only helps in the beginning; it teaches you to acquire less and be content. But if Dana comes with mingling, it is not good enough.

Citta-Vivek is the daily seclusion to formally practice. Let the mind be calm from impurities and sensory excitations. The mind will then learn to develop wisdom to attain Upadhi-Vivek, which is seclusion from the mind’s impurities. Vivek means seclusion, not peacefulness. It is hard to talk about Vivek to people today because they never experience it. In summary, give yourself more time. Don’t mingle. Then seek seclusion. Acquire less. Be content. Take interest in peacefulness. Resolve to practice diligently.

For people who practice, there is a test to see whether you should call yourself an apprentice. The easiest way is to observe yourself when you get up. When you wake up, do you think about how you should practice today? I was like that when I was still a layperson. I woke up and the first thought was “how should I practice today?” The mind was struggling to find a way. That was not practicing, but the mind that seeks liberation will continuously think about how to practice, how to reduce unwholesomeness, and how to develop wholesomeness. The mind is determined to practice diligently.

When you have 5 minutes or 10 minutes, practice. When riding on or waiting for a bus, practice. I was riding a bus to my government job. I didn’t have much money. I was a commoner. I practiced while waiting for a bus. I breathed in silently reciting “Bud,” and breathed out reciting “dho.” When the mind got anxious while waiting for a bus, I knew that restlessness had arisen, stayed, and decayed. When I could get on a bus, I was happy. I knew so. Happiness didn’t last long, because the bus was so packed and uncomfortable, and my mind became unhappy. When I finally got a seat, a monk got on the bus. I felt that that monk was the enemy of my happiness (by having to give up the seat for him.) So, right now, I don’t dare to get on a bus, as the unwholesomeness of my stinginess may yield results. People don’t give up seats for monks anymore, right? I see photos taken from inside the skytrain showing monks standing while the lay people are sitting.

You can practice anytime, anywhere, in any situation. When I was working, like organizing a meeting, after I had finished all preparation, I practiced while waiting for the committee to arrive. I practiced without closing my eyes. If I closed my eyes, people might have thought I was nuts, because we live in a society full of crazy people. If we don’t adapt, they’ll say we’re crazy. People in this world are crazy because they’re always distracted and fully immersed in worldly thoughts all the time. If I had shown behaviors that others viewed as abnormal, life would’ve been hectic. At least I had to keep answering questions about my “abnormal” behaviors. So, I tried to blend in. Practicing is the mind’s work. Who else would know but yourself.

Older masters taught their monk students that, after lunch, don’t go into the abode. They’ll fall asleep. Practice by walking. After my breakfast, I couldn’t nap. There was so much work. But during lunch break, there’s some free time. If I practiced formally by walking, it’d have drawn attention. So, I walked from my office to nearby temples. There’s Wat Sommanat on one side and Wat Benchamabophit on the other. I went to these 2 temples, because I could make round trips in time. Walking there was my formal meditation. I walked with mindfulness. I got there and walked back. If the mind was so unfocused, I observed my body, and saw that the mind was the observer. When the mind gained some strength, I could observe the workings of the mind; I could see the subjects of thought that brought up happiness or unhappiness. I could see that different sounds brought up happiness or unhappiness. This was the practice.

People asked where I disappeared to every day after lunch. I told them I went to these temples. Why, they asked? I said I went to pay respect to the Buddha. I really did it in front of the chapel. People then felt like, “oh, this guy really loves to pay respect to the Buddha.” This was still acceptable to them, but if they knew I liked to practice, they’d have thought that I was crazy. So, blend in. As an apprentice, you must be able to practice in all kinds of environments. You remain mindful of the body and the mind. This is the resolution to be diligent. Whenever you have time, at any time of the day, practice.


Moral precepts are necessary if you want to practice further.

Next, you need to keep up Sila (moral precepts). You must keep the precepts clean. If they’re tainted, it’s very hard to develop yourself. If you practice Samadhi (stability) without Sila (precepts), your Samadhi will deteriorate quickly. Can an immoral person practice Samadhi? Yes, it’s possible, but that Samadhi will be wrong Samadhi and will decay quickly. It’ll develop and cease. Someone like Devadatta was exceptional. He had accumulated a lot of good qualities and merits, and one day will attain Pacceka-Buddhahood (individual Buddhahood–having no disciples). This is very exceptional. But he was very jealous of the Buddha, and this jealousy was the one that drove him into animosity with Bodhisatta Siddhattha (the Buddha before his enlightenment) repeatedly. At first, Devadatta’s mind had Iddhi (superhuman abilities), good Samadhi, and could perform miracles. But after many unwholesome actions, his Samadhi (stability of the mind) deteriorated.

Why did it deteriorate? Because when he observed his own mind, it was full of rage. How can Samadhi (stability) stay? Samadhi won’t co-exist with a tainted, furious mind. Good Samadhi will soon decay, until you have none. So, moral precepts are necessary if you want to practice further.

The essentials for our practice are wanting less, contentment, desire for seclusion, solitariness, and resolution to practice. You need to develop these qualities, then you practice your mind. Keep the moral precepts clean. An easy way to keep them clean is to observe your mind. People violate moral precepts because their minds are overcome by impurities. If the impurities don’t overcome your mind, you won’t violate any moral precept.

When Dosa (anger) overcomes your mind, you get into a brawl. You can destroy other people’s properties or cause a riot. You can seduce your enemy’s loved ones just to hurt them. You can also be verbally abusive. The moral precepts are destroyed by your anger. They can also be destroyed by Raga (greed or lust). When you’re overcome by Raga, you can rob and kill, and violate 2 precepts at the same time. Raga can lead you to commit sexual misconduct. You can cheat and mislead when the mind is overcome by Raga or Moha (delusions). Moha is not knowing what’s right and what’s wrong. Moha can lead you to violate every precept.

Any type of Kilesa (impurity) can lead to violation of any precept. Just one of Raga (lust/greed), Dosa (aversion), or Moha (delusion) can lead to violation of any precept. If you’re regularly mindful, when Raga arises, you know so. The same applies to Dosa and Moha. When you’re regularly mindful, Raga, Dosa, and Moha cannot take over the mind. When they can’t take over the mind, there is no drive for you to violate any precept; there’s no impurity behind your thoughts. So, your speech and actions are pure. So, be mindful to observe the mind, and Sila (precepts) will arise automatically.

Be mindful if the mind becomes unfocused or depressed. Know so with impartiality. Or, if the mind has Kāmacchanda (sensual desires) and is full of greedy thoughts, know so. Nivarana (hindrances) will subside. There are 5 hindrances: Kāmacchanda (sensual desires), Byāpāda (hostility), Uddhacca-Kukkucca (restlessness-anxiety), Vicikicchā (uncertainty about the Three Gems), and Thīna-Middha (sloth-lethargy). These hindrances ruin Samadhi (stability). If you’re mindful, these hindrances can’t stay. Nivarana (hindrances) is the middle level of impurity. When mindfulness arises, impurities cease and the mind will have Samadhi (stability) automatically.


When mindfulness arises, impurities cease and the mind will have Samadhi (stability) automatically.

I didn’t make this up. It’s in the scripture. I have also experimented with this. At first, I learned how to practice Samadhi fully from the older masters. Then, I learned wisdom cultivation from Luangpu Dune when he taught me to observe my mind. I found that observing the mind will yield both Samadhi (stability) and Panna (wisdom). When you’re observing your mind and see hindrances and other impurities arise, hindrances will cease, and Samadhi (stability) will rise.

This fits in with Pra Ajarn Krid’s favorite topic: knowing the mind that wanders off. This principle applies here. The mind that wanders off to think has Uddhacca (restlessness), and most of the time it wanders off to think. When the mind is restless and wanders off, know so. The wandering will cease, and peacefulness will arise. It’s like when a fire is lit, darkness disappears. We don’t chase away the darkness. When we light something up, darkness disappears. The same applies to our mind. When the mind wanders off, it is full of Moha (delusions). It is dark and blurry. All impurities are dark and blurry. When you’re mindful of Moha’s presence, Moha will cease and the mind will light up and become the knower, the awakened, and the blissful.

So, there are many ways to practice Samadhi besides observing the breathing. Is it wrong to follow a strict formula? No, but it is hard for this generation of people. There’s a discourse called Sāmaññaphala-Sutta, where the Buddha taught King Ajātasattu. Ajatasattu was a king, so he had a busy schedule and a busy mind. The Buddha didn’t teach Ajatasattu to observe breathing. He taught Ajatasattu to observe the mind. Once you’re mindful, your mind will be peaceful, and Samadhi (stability) will arise. This is so because the mind’s restlessness is impure. When you’re mindful, impurity ceases, and stability rises.

So, there are many ways to practice Samadhi besides formally practicing. Observing the mind can result in Samadhi. Some people will sometimes see this. When you’re observing mental phenomena rising and ceasing, sometimes the mind suddenly pauses for a little moment. Then, happiness arises in your mind. That’s when the mind switches to practice peacefulness and you’ve attained Samadhi. This Samadhi is happy and gentle.

This happiness is gentler than when you enter the first Jhana (deep absorption). In the first or second Jhana, Piti (joy) is a strong disturbance. But when you observe the mind and Sukha (happiness) arises, it is gentler. Once the mind gets enough rest, it continues to cultivate wisdom. It won’t stop forever. It will keep changing. When happiness, sadness, wholesomeness, or unwholesomeness arises, you know so.


Sila (moral precepts), Samadhi (stability), and Panna (wisdom), arise when you have mindfulness.

So, you keep the precepts by having mindfulness. With it, your moral precepts will be clean. With mindfulness, you’ll have Samadhi (stability). After that, use mindfulness to observe the body and the mind regularly. Once the mind has Samadhi (stability), the mind observes the body without any intention. The mind does so automatically. Wisdom then arises. The mind sees that the body isn’t self. The mind will see Trilaksana (three characteristics of phenomena) of the body. The mind will see the dominant characteristics of the body: Dukkhāta (instability and decay) and Anatta (non-self).

Sometimes, when the mind has stability and mindfulness, it observes the working of the mind. The mind sees itself wandering to eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or the body, and the mind knows so. Sometimes the mind sees the mental compositions that arise, like happiness, unhappiness, wholesomeness, or unwholesomeness. With mindfulness, the mind will see that these mental compositions are impermanent and non-self. Their coming and going are beyond your control or your choice. The mind that wanders to all the senses is also beyond your control and is impermanent. If the mind sees a vision, it does so temporarily, and the mind switches to observe another object quickly. Sometimes the mind focuses on the ears or the nose. This shows the mind’s impermanence, and so does seeing happiness, unhappiness, wholesomeness, or unwholesomeness.

If you can observe that the mind gets happy, unhappy, wholesome, or unwholesome without your control, you see Anatta (non-self). If you see that the mind switches its focus to different senses like eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or the mind itself without your control or your choosing, you also see Anatta (non-self). When observing the mind, you can see 2 different kinds of its action. One is observing the feelings that arise, and the other is observing the mind’s behavior of focusing on different senses.

You’ll see from your observation that all phenomena are impermanent. Happiness, unhappiness, wholesomeness, and unwholesomeness are impermanent. So are the minds that arise to perceive different senses. You see the impermanence and non-selfness. They are not in your control. This is how wisdom arises from mindfulness. But mindfulness alone won’t lead to wisdom. Observe the mind’s impurities, and Samadhi (stability) will rise. The mind will be stable and luminous. With Samadhi, Panna (wisdom) will arise with mindfulness.

So, the prerequisite for Panna (wisdom) is Samadhi (stability). The Buddha said Samma-Samadhi (right stability) is the immediate cause of Panna (wisdom). Samma-Samadhi is Samadhi with Sati (mindfulness). Mijja-Samadhi (wrong stability) is without mindfulness. It is either a dumb peacefulness or the mind’s wandering to see something else besides the present, like the past, the future, or ghosts. It leads the mind to see many things except the body and the mind. That kind of Samadhi is not stable on its base and is useless.

So, can you see the important qualities that you need to develop? You must develop Sila (moral precepts), Samadhi (stability), and Panna (wisdom). These 3 arise when you have mindfulness. So the Buddha said practicing mindfulness (Sati-Patthana) is the only way to purity. I just explained why. With Sati (mindfulness), Sila (moral precepts), Samadhi (stability), and Panna (wisdom) will develop. Once these 3 are full, enlightenment will happen.

So, there are 10 qualities. The first 5 are acquiring less, being content, seeking quietness, seclusion, and resolution to practice. The next 3 are moral precepts, stability, and wisdom. The last two are Vimutti (liberation): Ariya-Magga and Ariya-Phala (enlightenment and its fruit), and Vimutti-Nāṇadassanā (wisdom about enlightenment). Vimutti-Nāṇadassanā isn’t seeing supernatural things; that is restlessness. It is the mind evaluating itself right after enlightenment to see which impurities the enlightenment process has eradicated. How many Samyoja (shackles) have been eradicated and how many are left?

After Arahatta-Magga (the final enlightenment), the mind will see that the mind is pure. There is no seed or dust of impurity left. The mind evaluates itself and the whole practice to see whether there is any impurity left. Everyone has to evaluate oneself. Don’t let others evaluate you; it’s unreliable. You have to evaluate yourself.

For these 10 qualities, the first 5 are for making one’s life conducive to developing Sila (moral precepts), Samadhi (stability), and Panna (wisdom). Sila, Samadhi, and Panna will develop when you practice Sati (mindfulness). So, develop them by practicing Sati-Patthana. Once Sila, Samadhi, and Panna are sufficient, Ariya-Magga and Ariya-Phala (enlightenment) will result. Vimutti (liberation) will result. Wisdom about liberation will result as a bonus. These are the 10 qualities that you must develop. Develop the first 5 and don’t give up, then have mindfulness. Your moral precepts, stability, and wisdom will develop. Guard your mind with mindfulness.

So, can you practice just one thing? Yes, you can. Guard your mind with mindfulness. This single practice can lead you to liberation. The teachings are vast because people are very different, but if you want to summarize into one practice, it is guarding your mind by having mindfulness.

Guarding your mind isn’t really “guarding.” It is the duty of Sati (mindfulness) to guard the mind. You don’t guard the mind. You observe the mind as it is, but observe regularly and frequently. Sati (mindfulness) is the one that knows what’s happening in the mind. If you practice it often, mindfulness will be strong, quick, and clear. This leads to the development of moral precepts, stability, and wisdom.

How can this happen? If you have mindfulness observing your mind regularly, unwholesomeness cannot arise. When you’re mindful, wholesomeness has already arisen. This wholesomeness will develop into moral precepts, stability, and wisdom, and eventually liberation. Vimutti (liberation) is above Lokiya-Kusala (worldly wholesomeness) and is called Lokuttara-Kusala (above worldly wholesomeness). This requires practicing mindfulness. To practice mindfulness, I recommend you to observe your own mind. This is the quickest way. Can you practice by observing the body? Yes, but why do you practice observing the body? You do it so that one day you can observe your mind. If you already can observe your mind, there’s no need to waste time.

Today’s lecture is thorough. It’s up to you whether you’ll practice. Can you acquire less, or do you still want to acquire more? Do you want a newer model of smartphone than the one you currently have? What if the new model explodes when it becomes fully charged? It’s a waste of time. How do you actually use your phone? If you use it to conduct your business, it’s ok to have a good model. But if you only use it to call other people, get on social media, or use it as an alarm clock, there’s no need to overspend on the latest model.

Learn to acquire less. Learn to be content. Being content means knowing whether what you currently have is sufficient. If it is, there’s no need to acquire more. It’s wasteful spending. Don’t be totally immersed in worldly business. Seek peacefulness inside. Seek seclusion. Think about practice. Remind yourself everyday that life is short. If you don’t practice today, when will you? If you wait until you’re old, you won’t have enough strength to practice. Keep reminding yourself, and be observant of your own mind. It’s easy.


Luangpu Pramote Pamojjo
Wat Suansantidham
1 October 2023