When you truly see sufferings, you will let go of it.

Look nice. Today is unusual, normally, people who come for a dhamma talk on Saturday mostly have scattered minds. Today isn’t like that. The scattered mind is the mind that is lost in mental formations. At first, the mind is lost in mental objects, that is, when it comes into contact with the objects, and it continues to fabricate the formations. Keep on practicing and learn how the mind fabrications are constructed, one day you will be freed from the fabrications and then from sufferings. In funeral, there is a mantra saying that “Once all formations come to an end, there is a happiness”. Here a “formation (sankhara)” is a fabrication. “Come to an end” means that there is no more formation which is conditioned by any cause, and that is “Nibbana”, and at the end “there is a happiness” is to be serene and peaceful.

“Once all formations come to an end, there is a happiness” isn’t a joking statement. Formations are fabrications, which are body and mind. The 5 aggregates are also formations. Formations can be viewed in many aspects, for example, the 5 aggregates (khandha), the 6 sense-bases (ayatana), or the 22 faculties (indriya). Actually, they are just mental (nama) and physical (rupa) phenomena. The mental and physical phenomena can be differentiated into various kinds, like mind and matters, and fabrications, which are all formations. The way to end the formations isn’t that we have to bring the mind running away from all formations. The mind that we have is also a formation which is consciousness (vinnana -khandha).

 

Keep on learning the fabrications until the mind knows that they are all suffering, and it cannot be fooled any more

How to end all fabrications is to keep on learning the fabrications until the mind knows that they are all suffering, and it cannot be fooled any more. The mind then stops holding to the fabrications because it realizes that the fabrications are all sufferings, so to let go of them is to be no more suffered. This is the process of the mind. It just keeps on learning all fabrications to see the truth that all fabrications are sufferings and the mind will let them go by itself. The reason that you cannot let go of the fabrications, mental and physical phenomena because you don’t see the suffering and think that they are all good things.

 

See sufferings and disadvantages, no more sensual desires

In 1982, I went to pay respect to Venerable Grandfather (Luangpu) Thate for the first time with my junior friend who was like brother to me. We started practicing together, and he’s quite good at it, just followed close behind me. I asked him to be ordained but he didn’t feel like doing so, and he thought that he could continue practicing as a layman. But not for Luangpor, the world has nothing and we are fooled every day. When both of us went to see Luangpu Thate, he asked Luangpu Thate that “Luangpu, I wanted to cut off all sensual pleasures, but my mind is still longing for it”. Venerable Grandfather Thate then exclaimed “if you are longing for it, then how could you let go of it”, and Luangpu also explained more that “you have to see the disadvantages of the sensual pleasures in order to let it go”.

He later told Luangpu Dule about what Luangpu Thate taught. Luangpu Dule said “that’s correct but actually it is to see the sufferings”. Some venerable teachers say that it is to see sufferings and disadvantages. Luangpu Dule just got right to the point of seeing sufferings, for example, to cut off sensual pleasures we need to see that it is suffering to be attached to them. The pleasure and enjoyment in form, sound, smell and touch still exist because we don’t see the sufferings and disadvantages of them. If we see that they are suffering and disadvantageous, then we will have no more sensual desires. A person who cuts off the sensual desires is one who has attained the third stage of holiness or a never-returner (Anagami).

A layperson is very rarely to see the disadvantages of sense pleasures. When you want to see, smell, taste or touch, you just do it. When you want to watch movies, you just do it. When you want to listen to a music, you just do it. When you want to have sexual activities, you just do it. That’s why you don’t see the disadvantages or the suffering of the sensual pleasures so you can’t let go of them. Therefore, a fully ordained monk has to live in a holy life (brahmacariya). The holy life is not to respond to the sensual craving, for example, a monk shouldn’t be picky on choosing food or to eat only delicious food because he will eat whatever food that laypeople have offered, a monk can’t choose a beautiful robe even though he wants one because he has to wear whichever robe he is offered, and a monk’s dwelling should be good enough just for protection from rain and sunlight, he can’t choose to stay in a building though he wants so. For laypeople, they can do anything but not for monks. A monk can’t do any sexual activities though he might want to. If a monk has the sexual intercourse, then he must be expelled from the monkhood. In fact, there is no needs to expel him because his monkhood is terminated as soon as he does one of the four defeaters (the Paaraajika offences). However, he has to confess that he is now a layman. This is just about the confession but it doesn’t make his monkhood ended. The reason it is ended because he breaks the grave offense.

An ordained monk can be suffering just from the craving for his favorite foods. Luangpor told this story before about one monk, Luangpor can’t remember exactly whether Luangpor met him at Hin Mak Peng temple or at Tham Pha Plong temple. He was from a rich family, and had faith in Buddhism to become a monk. He liked eating sticky rice with black beans in coconut milk. It was fine for him when he was a new monk, but after sometimes he really wanted to eat it and no one offered the sticky rice to him. Until one day, there was a layperson offered the sticky rice to monks, however, while he was in a line to receive it, the sticky rice was run out before him. He was so sad about that. Nevertheless, there was the day that he received the sticky rice with black beans in coconut milk. There is a tradition in a forest temple that all monks gather all food together, and then they will sit in a row where the first monk will get to choose the food first, it is the same as this temple. Since the monks sitting before him got to choose the food first, the last bag of the sticky rice was collected just right before him. He didn’t have a chance to eat the sticky rice anyway. He told me that he cried as soon as he reached his cabin. He was so sorry for himself that he had to be this much suffering. A bag of the sticky rice with black beans in coconut milk was just 1 baht at that time, but he still couldn’t eat it. After crying, he was determined to practice. Luangpor told you about his story to show that tolerating with craving isn’t easy at all.

For laypeople, you always satisfy all cravings so you don’t see the sufferings and disadvantages of them. You feel good about it because you can eat anytime you want to eat, you can sleep whenever you want to sleep, you can satisfy anything you want. You feel comfortable, feel good when they are satisfied so it is named as “sensual pleasures (kamaguna)”. A monk doesn’t see it that way because he sees the suffering of sensual cravings; he can’t eat whenever he wants to eat, he can’t sleep whenever he wants, he can’t have whatever he wants. It is a hardship for monks. He can’t even have a beautiful rope as he likes. Therefore, the buddha set the rules and regulations (Vinaya) for Buddhist monks so that monks could see the sufferings and disadvantages of sensual cravings. The practice of the holy life helps monks to let go of all cravings easily because they see the disadvantages of the cravings.

Luangpor taught you this issue in advance so that one day in the future some of you become the stream-enterer or the once-returner, then you will know exactly what to do next in order to be in the higher level. To be in the higher level, you need to see the sufferings and disadvantages of sensual cravings. To see the sufferings, you can observe when the mind wants to see, hear, smell or touch that it becomes suffering. This is another way to practice for people who like to observe the mind. You can let the sensual cravings go by seeing the process that when the mind wants somethings, it then gets hold of that things and becomes suffering, and if the mind doesn’t want anything, then it doesn’t get hold of anything, and doesn’t suffer. For people who observe a body, they can see that the body isn’t a good or beautiful thing, it is just impermanent and suffers all the time. The body is just an element, it isn’t a human, animal, or object. It isn’t a person, animal, yourself, or oneself. It is just one element…that’s all. When the mind realizes this fact, then it is no longer getting hold of the body.

Therefore, there are many ways to practice but each of them, doesn’t matter whether it starts from the mind or the body, will lead to the same ending that is to be freed from all formations. Luangpor mentioned the sensual craving to be an example to practice because the higher level is only relevant to the mind practicing. The higher level of practicing above the path of non-returning is for the mind practice only. That is, it doesn’t matter which way you have started, but in the end there is only the mind practicing. From the beginning, there are 2 ways to practice through either a mind or body. In the past, many venerable teachers taught their disciples to start with the body so there were many teachings related to a body. Almost all sects and schools of Buddhism would teach their disciples to keep on observing a body until seeing the sufferings and disadvantages of the body, and realizing that it is no good.

 

Not practice for enjoyment but for seeing the suffering

Some sects are very strict about the way to practice, for example, the technique taught by S.N. Goenka. It doesn’t mean that this way isn’t good, his way of practice is also good. They start from practicing mindfulness of in and out breathing (anapanasati) until the mind is in a state of meditative absorption (Jhana), and then the mind will contemplate the feeling from bodily contact (kaya vedana), such as, they will sit still without moving for hours from night up to morning to torture the body. However, this way isn’t the extreme of self-mortification (attakilamathanuyoga). The extreme of self-mortification means that one has tortured oneself because he believes that it is good to torture the body, this practice is driven by the desire to be good. However, this is not the same. The reason they sit without moving to observe sensations through bodily contact is to see the suffering, and the truth with no desire. If you practice by torturing yourself, that is, to do sitting or walking meditation for a long time driven by desire and greed, then it is no use. This practice is without the right way, the right view and right leading theories.

If one practices by observing bodily sensations in order to see the truth that a body isn’t beautiful and it is full of sufferings and disadvantages, then this practice is for realizing the truth of the body. After seeing the truth, it doesn’t matter whichever the mind will let go. That’s the matter of the mind. This way of practicing is different from practicing by torturing yourself with walking or sitting meditations all night long and then being proud of how good you are to be able to overcome other people. That isn’t the objective. The practice by observing bodily sensations is for seeing that the body is full of sufferings and there is no good in the body. In Thai forest tradition, a monk will recite the mantra “buddho” and then contemplate a body, he sometimes refrains from sleeping and eating, this fasting can be prolonged for many days. Actually, the fasting is suffering only on the first 3 or 4 days after that the body becomes used to it and doesn’t feel hungry or anything, and then the monk can keep on fasting, however, at some point a venerable teacher has to tell him to eat otherwise he will die.

For a monk who likes to sleep, he sometimes tortures himself by sitting meditation for a long time without sleeping. If he becomes so proud of himself and thinks that he is so good that he can tolerate that torture, then it is the extreme of self-mortification (attakilamathanuyoga). If he refrains from sleeping and eating to see the sufferings and disadvantages of a body, then he won’t have any intention to gain anything else and just keeps on seeing this truth. The defilement or the wrong view to think that a body is beautiful and special is just a deception. If we have a wisdom to clarify this and keep on learning the truth of the body, then the mind will eventually see the truth. For all of you, when you do sitting or walking meditations, you can observe whether the body is happy or suffering, this practice only is also enough. Now you are sitting, can you see if the body is happy or suffering?

Just continue observing with the impartial mind. Why the mind has to be impartial? You have to observe like an outsider that you have nothing to do with it. The body that is sitting, is it happy or suffering? Know it. When you are walking, see if the body that is walking is happy or suffering? When you are lying down, see if the body that is lying down is happy or suffering? Why is it lying down? The body lies down because it is tried, painful or sleepy. If you lies down because you feel lazy, then it is another thing, that’s because of defilement. But if the body is fatigued and it needs to sleep, we have to sleep to avoid suffering not for enjoyment. A practitioner doesn’t practice for enjoyment but for seeing the suffering. However, the buddha didn’t teach us to be too suffered because the mind will be chaotic if there is too much suffering. He taught us to practice with proper suffering.

But if a body was too much in pain from practicing, the buddha would let disciples relax a bit. If they were so hungry, they could eat. If they were too hot, then they could take a bath, or practice under a shade area. He would not be too strict to let disciples torture themselves to death. Some creeds in the past during the buddha Era used the way to torture themselves for practicing without worrying about their deaths, and believed that it was the meaning of no attachment to the body. Actually, the attachment existed still but they couldn’t see the way to let go of it, and thought that keeping on torturing the body until it was very suffering was to make the attachment gone. The attachment was there otherwise they wouldn’t have tortured themselves. We can keep on practicing if the body is sitting now, it is happy or suffering. When you have just sat, you were happy, right? Keep on sitting and be clam, then the truth will eventually come out and we will see that.

You will be suffering after sitting for a long time, walking for a while, standing for so long, or even lying down for a long time, that’s why you have to change your side for lying down. Feeling hungry is suffering, feeling thirsty is suffering, wanting to use a restroom is also suffering. Just Observe continuously. Having fever is also suffering. The body isn’t suffering only when we are sick. It’s always suffering every day, but we don’t see that because we immediately get rid of the suffering, for example, if we are suffering from sitting so long, then we change a position to walk instead. If you walk until your legs are in pain, then you find a seat to sit. That is, you heal the suffering as soon as it has arrived without seeing it at all. For the higher level that the sensual pleasures arise, you will also satisfy them without seeing the disadvantages and suffering of them.

 

Keep on reading your body and mind

Therefore, to practice you should first know that the mind wants to change to another object whenever the suffering arises. Know it first. For example, when you want to watch a movie or listen to a music, you enjoy it at the beginning and after some point you become bored and want to change to another song. Before changing a song, know first that the feeling bored of the current song occurs, and want to change to a new one. At least, you know it. This is better than you do not see anything. When you sit and feel stiff, then you want to stand, know it first before moving. You can observe that it is suffering before moving, but no needs to explain more. No explanations. Sometimes you teach your mind too much and it becomes scattered by that. For example, when it is suffering from sitting, the mind is only to know that the body and the suffering of the body, or the body and the bodily feelings are not the same things, and the mind is only an observer.

In stead of separating the mind and body, you think more than seeing that the body is suffering and try to lead yourself with explanation to move step by step when you are moving. While you are explaining, your mind becomes scattered and indulges in the thought, it doesn’t see the current phenomena. The truth gets interfered by your thought. Therefore, when you are sitting and feel painful, you can just know that it is painful and the pain happens only at the body, but the mind wants to move to relieve the pain. The desire of the mind to move is a mental fabrication. Just know it, then whether you should move depends on a reason. If there is a reason to move, then you can move, otherwise don’t move. If it is reasonable to move, then you move, and if it isn’t reasonable, then just stay still.

When you want to eat, it isn’t that you quickly put food into your mouth. At least, you should observe that who wants to eat. The mind wants to eat, so realize that. See that the mind wants to eat until the craving has gone, and then you can eat later. Nobody will steal your food anyway. When you are in a line to get food, the mind wants to eat so know it. When you see a tray containing your favorite food, and there are people in front of you looking at the food, your mind becomes anxious whether they are taking all the food you like, just know it. If you can get the food, then notice the feeling when you have the first bite, and observe your feeling for the second bite, and other bites. You will see that the feeling changes all the time. This way you can combine the practice into your daily life. You can keep on reading your body and mind by just moving, or eating.

Luangpor practiced in this way. There was no fluke or happened by chance. Everything happens under the law of karma. Thus you should be mindful whenever you move. When bodily feeling occurs, be aware of it. Whenever the bodily feeling occurs, distortion or fabrication, which is a mental formation, also occurs, be aware of it. When the fabrication occurs, whether the mind is under the fabrication, be aware of it. Know it, keep on observing. It isn’t too difficult to do. Basically, be mindful. If you are sitting, be aware of it. The body is sitting. In further details, you are breathing, be aware of it, moving or staying still, be aware of it. See the body is moving, the body is staying still. See if comfort or suffering occurs in the body, then be aware of it.

The comfort or suffering occurs in the body, it isn’t the body itself. It just an intruder that gets into the body, and it just comes in, then goes. When there is a happiness or suffering in the body, then here comes the mental formations, like or dislike, or wanting another thing, or wanting to be away from what it is. All of these are in the five aggregates which are all mental formations (sankhara-khandha). You can further study that the mental formations objects of observation. The mental formations, such as anger, are not the mind anymore. The mind is just an observer which is one of the five aggregates, consciousness (vinnana-khandha). You can start from observing the body, but Luangpor didn’t start from the body. Luangpu Dule led me directly to practice at the mind.

For observing through the body, you can see that the body is one thing, a bodily feeling is another thing. When a bodily feeling arises, the mind wrongly perceives that the body is us or ours, and then becomes affectionate and processive of it. This is also a mental fabrication. If you are sitting for a long time and become suffering, then the mental fabrication starts working by telling you to change a position otherwise you would become paralyzed. If you continue practicing, then you will see that the body is one object, the aches and pains, or the enjoyment in the body is another. When the mind perceives that the body is yourself, it is the wrong perception. Then the body becomes yourself, so yourself is suffering, and so the mind becomes anxious and painful. The anxiety is also a mental fabrication. You can further see that this anxiety is an object to be observed, and it isn’t the mind.

Practicing like this, we can clarify all of the 5 aggregates. Thus at the mind, we can see that everything that the mind observes is under the rule of arising and falling, and here is a way to develop the wisdom. It isn’t the same for everyone What Luangpor have just explained is the complete practice to clarify all 5 aggregates. However, Luangpor didn’t practice through this way. Venerable Luangpu Dule taught me directly to practice at the mind. So Luangpor didn’t observe the bodily sensations. Luangpor just passed it, and jumped to observe the mental sensations instead. Luangpor saw that the mind kept changing among happy, suffering, and neutral. When the mind was happy, Luangpor felt that the mind was myself, then Luangpor was happy and wanted the happiness to last long. When the happiness was gone, Luangpor was sorry and hoped for it to come back. All of these were mental fabrications. After keeping on practicing, Luangpor saw that feeling wasn’t the mind. The perception that understood wrongly just perceived randomly by itself, and it wasn’t the mind either. The perception, liking, disliking, goodness, badness were all observed objects, not the mind. Eventually, the practice passed through to see the mind. It didn’t take that long for me. The reason that Luangpor could do it because Luangpor had the right concentration. Because Luangpor had enough power of the concentration. The right concentration (samma-samadhi) is a proximate cause to wisdom. When the concentration is powerful, the mind becomes rooted in awareness, not to wandering all day long. That isn’t going to happen because whenever the mind slips way, the mindfulness arises suddenly. Therefore, when the mind had energy, Luangpor just observed the changing of the mind directly. Then Luangpor saw happiness, suffering, all perceptions including wrong perceptions, and Luangpor kept on observing this fact, later they became right perceptions.

 

Knowing the suffering, let go the causes of that suffering

For example, at first we feel that whenever there is a happiness at the mind, we feel that we are happy, but when we practice correctly, we see that the happiness and the mind are distinct, so it isn’t we are happy anymore, the mind is just an observer, it isn’t happy at all. The happiness here is an object of observation, it isn’t the mind. The wisdom slowly understands the fact. When knowing it, the mind sees the happiness and suffering equal, goodness and badness equal, this is how to observe the mind. For observing a body, Luangpor have taught you already. Through observing the mind, at the state to the path of non-returning (anagami-magga), it sees that when the mind desires, then it is attached and becomes suffering, if the mind doesn’t desire, then it isn’t attached and no suffering. Just continue practicing on contemplating the mind. It is also the same thing for the contemplation of the body, eventually it has to observe the mind. You will see that the mind is impermanent, suffering and not oneself.

These are what to see from the beginning state, but the final state is to see that the mind itself is the suffering, but in different viewpoints individually. Some venerable teachers see the mind is suffering because it is impermanent, it is existent then non-existent. Some see that it is suffering because it is oppressed, those who can see in this way mostly can attain the meditative absorption (Jhana). When people are in the states of the meditative absorption, their mind is happy, this happiness can last for a year or for long time, and if they develop to the insight meditation (vipassana) by seeing the truth, separating happiness and mind, separating satisfactory and mind, and keep on observing the phenomena, then they can see their mind. There is nothing to be happy and the mind itself is suffering.

People who see these phenomena have already seen each of the 5 aggregates, such as, the body is suffering, feeling is suffering, perception is suffering, fabrication is suffering. Now they see that the mind is suffering, and they realize that all sufferings they have encountered are no big deals. At the state to see the mind is suffering, that suffering is really so much that nothing can be compared. In the past, people said that the most suffering for the body was a woman suffering the pains of labor, however these days aren’t that painful anymore because it is like they just fall asleep and wake up later after a baby was delivered already. In the past, it was the most suffering of the body.

When practicing correctly, the mind becomes peaceful, clam and happy, until one day that the wisdom completely blossoms, it sees that the mind itself is actually the suffering. This kind of the suffering cannot be described in words. It’s like the big mountain is crushing the mind, and it is extremely suffering as though the mind is about to explode. As a result, the mind realizes that there is nothing. When the mind sees the suffering, it becomes detached. It sees that the body isn’t beautiful, but impermanent, and there is always suffering to press on it all the time, either a lot of suffering or a bit of the suffering. It’s no good, so the mind becomes detached. The mind can let go because it sees the suffering and disadvantages. It lets go of the body because it sees the suffering and disadvantages of the body, or when contemplating on the sensual craving, it can also let go because it sees the suffering and disadvantages of the sensual craving. There is a sensual craving because there is an attachment to the body. If it lets go of the body, then this sensual craving doesn’t arise as well.

Keep on practicing, whenever you see the suffering, you can let it go. If you see that the sensual pleasure causes the suffering, you can let go of it. Whenever you see the body is the suffering, you let go of the body. To let go of the sensual pleasure is to let go of the body. Then it gets into mind, to let go of the mind is the final step of the practice. It’s just that. To let go of the mind is to know that the mind is the suffering. Therefore, if you don’t see the suffering, then you don’t see the dhamma. When my brother, he is a friend in brotherly relationship with me, just like Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, but in the road of finding dhamma. We searched for venerable teachers together. When he asked Luangpu Thate that what should he do if he wanted to cut off sensual desires, but he still longed for it? Luangpu Thate told him that “you can’t, if you long for it, you just can’t. You must see the suffering and disadvantages of it to let go of it.”

Seeing suffering and disadvantages in order to let go isn’t for the sensual pleasures only. For everything that you are holding, if you see suffering and disadvantages when you are holding it, then you let go. You will let go of it. Thus if you see the suffering clearly, the craving of wanting, having or being in everything is not occurring. If we see suffering, there is no more craving of it. For example, we see that the body is actually suffering, the craving for the body to be happy isn’t arising, the craving for the body not to be suffering isn’t arising. It comes to realize that that it is too naive to want the body to be happy because it’s the suffering. Keep on watching that the craving for the body not to be suffering is naïve. Wanting the body to be happy is also naïve because the body is truthfully the suffering itself. Have you noticed that only if you see suffering, it is clear for everything as well. Whenever knowing suffering, the letting go of the cause of the suffering also occurs.

When knowing the suffering of the body, we let go the causes of that suffering. It is about sensual desire and repulsion. To love our body is to love eyes, ears, nose, and the whole body because we think that they bring us happiness from touching, hearing, smelling, tasting good stuff. However, when the wisdom has been developed, we realize that the eyes exist not only for seeing beautiful things, sometimes they also see unpleasant things, the ears exist not only to hear pleasant noise but unpleasant noise as well, the nose sometimes doesn’t smell nice scents but only bad odors. However, some people with good merits can’t smell any bad odor though many people can smell it. This is about the good karma they made.

For example, Khun Mae planted a tree named Cham-pa-tate next to her Kuti (monk cell) due to a poem narrating that it had a wonderful smell. However, when its flower bloomed, it smelt like poo. Well, the wonderful smell must be for dogs. The poem must interpret its smell wrongly. The smell was strong and blew up quite far away, other people could smell it, but Khun Mae never smells the bad odor. However, for nice scent, Khun Mae can smell it. This is because of the consequence of karma. If karmically unwholesome effects, then you will smell bad odor, see unpleasant object, hear bad sound and taste terrible flavors. If karmically wholesome effects, then you will smell nice scent, see pleasant object, hear good sound and taste good flavors. Whichever food you eat will taste delicious. Who has been like this before? You can just eat anything because they all taste good. Some people cannot eat anything. There is a problem with eating these or those, their life is quite inconvenient. That’s because of unwholesome consequence.

 

The mind lets go when it sees the suffering

Therefore, we only keep on watching and learning. We later know that form, sound, odor, taste, touch, and eye, ear, nose, tongue, body are respectively mutual. They are external and internal sense-fields in the corporeality. They are under the states of impermanence, suffering and being not-self. They are not wonderful things. You have to realize this truth to let go of the attachment to them. In practicing, the mind sees that the mind has the craving for form, sound, smell, taste and touch so it becomes suffering. If the mind has no more craving for form, sound, smell, taste and touch so it has no more suffering. Therefore, if there is a person talking about dhamma that he sees the mind is craving, so the mind is attached and then the mind is suffering, and when the mind has no craving, then the mind has no attachment and so the mind has no more suffering, then Luangpor will know exactly of which level his practice and his understanding are, can you tell?

When seeing the mind is craving, so the mind is attached and then the mind is suffering, and when the mind has no craving, then the mind has no attachment and so the mind has no suffering, it means that one still sees that there 2 types of the mind, the mind that is suffering and not suffering. In this case, one hasn’t seen the truth of suffering yet. If one actually sees the truth of suffering, then one sees that the mind is suffering always, just only much or less. Likewise, the body is also full of suffering but it is sometimes a lot of suffering but sometimes less suffering. This is how to know the suffering. What happens if we know the suffering? The mind lets go by itself because it sees the suffering and disadvantages. We don’t have to order the mind to let go like some of you sometimes randomly say, well… you may say it with concerns but it isn’t by wisdom.

For example, you meet a friend who is suffering from a broken heart, then you console them with compassion and want that person to stop being suffering by saying that “just let go”. It is very easy to say that, but who can let go that easily. If one can let go, then one becomes an Arahant. It can’t let go because it hasn’t seen the suffering and disadvantages, for example, when you have a broken heart, the mind becomes somber and in agony so that you can’t eat or sleep. Why does it happen for a long time? That’s because your mind still thinks about objects in the past, like missing the love, the happiness or whatever happening in the past, however, if the mind can see that it is suffering and it is indulged in the suffering, the mind will immediately become composed. That’s why it lets go when it sees the suffering no matter what happens to you including the broken heart. When the mind sees the broken heart is suffering, it stops being suffering and there is no more suffering.

The mind that craves for form, sound, smell, taste and touch is to crave for sensual pleasures so you can see that whenever the craving occurs, then comes the suffering. Thus it stops the cravings because that cravings cause the suffering. If it keeps on seeing the truth, then at some point it will come to the mind that realize that the mind is the suffering itself, and it isn’t any special or wonderful thing. At first, we thought that there were two choices for the mind to be, either good or bad, happy or suffering. When there were the happy mind and the suffering mind, we searched for how to make the mind happy. The usual way for normal people is to bring about sensual pleasures so that the mind becomes happy.

Those who have more wisdom know that the searching for sensual pleasures from form, sound, smell, taste, or touch does not cause the true happiness, instead it leads to the happiness that is blazing and vacillating, and always depends on objects or others. As a result, they try to develop the inner happiness at the mind through meditative attainments until becoming a non-returner (anagami). Once they are at the Brahma world (brahma-loka), they still feel the happiness of the mind so they cannot let go of the mind, not until they see that the mind itself is the suffering. When seeing that the mind is the only suffering, it doesn’t matter whether the mind is in the sensuous plane (kamavacara-bhumi) like us which is the normal world that still want objects of pleasure, or the mind that is in the form-plane (rupavacara-bhumi) or the formless-plane (arupavacara-bhumi), there is still the mind with suffering.

When there is no attachment to the mind, there is no more place for the mind to be born because where there is the birth there is the suffering. The buddha taught that “Whenever there is the birth, there is always suffering”. If the mind sees suffering, then it will let go of that suffering. If it sees the suffering of a body, the it lets go of the body. If it sees the suffering of the mind, then it lets go of the mind. This is the way to practice. Luangpor teach you so that one day in the future you can prove whether what Luangpor teach you is true or not. You don’t have to believe it now. If you believe it already, then you are unintelligent. If you deny it, then you are really stupid because you haven’t tried it yet. Just try it.

Luangpor don’t tell you to believe in it, instead Luangpor ask you to prove whether it is correct. It is very easy to prove this. Whenever desire occurs in your mind, like wanting to be good or bad, happy or unhappy, you can directly observe if the mind with that desire is happy or suffering. This is the short cut. Luangpor teach you like a tutor that give all solutions but you have to practice by yourself. If you don’t practice, then you never know it. If you practice, then you will know that Luangpor teach you sincerely and uprightly with no hidden. It depends only on whether you will practice or not.

The buddha’s dhamma is the dhamma called “Ehipassiko”, that is, inviting others to come and see. It is not to ask for believing but it is for trying. The desire to be the prime minister is happy or suffering, the desire to be a minister is happy or suffering, the desire to be rich is happy or suffering, the desire to have a beautiful wife is happy or suffering, the desire to divorce with your wife is happy or suffering. Just observe it directly. Wanting to eat, wanting to sleep, wanting that or those, just see it. Every time the desire occurs, the suffering arises as well. Keep on observing it and then you will know that where there is a desire there is a suffering, where there is no desire there is no suffering. Later on at the final step, the mind will realize that where there is the mind there is the suffering. This is the only answer key, and finally the mind will let go of the mind itself.

After the mind lets go of itself, it reaches one kind of elements. It becomes one knid of elements. It is no longer the mind in the 5 aggregates. Luangpu Dule said “the mind is not the mind but it isn’t to not be the mind either”. It means that this element is the pure element because it is clarified by the ultimate wisdom. Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara called it the consciousness-element, it isn’t the consciousness in the 5 aggregates (Vinnana-khandha). The consciousness in the 5 aggregates is the sense-awareness via eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind that we have. Practice until detaching from all fabrications and there is no attachment to anything including the mind. Then you will see the consciousness-element which is the knowing element. This knowing element supports the nirvana, to hold the nirvana.

Some venerable teachers called it “mind”. However, this mind is not the same as the mind we have known. It is the mind which has no attachment to the aggregates. The venerable teachers said that this mind is in the state of the nirvana, it is the mind with the dhamma, and deeper than that they said the dhamma itself lies in the dhamma because this mind is the dhamma, this consciousness-element is the dhamma, and the dhamma lies in the nirvana. Today Luangpor taught for many levels of practice. Basically, you can start with observing that whenever there is a desire there is the suffering as well. Just observe in this manner. It is easy. Next, let check homework. Luangpor intended to teach easy stuff, but it always turn out to be the difficult one. If I were to blame Pra-arjarn for the cause of this, I would have been ashamed of myself.

 

Luangpu Pramote Pamojjo
Wat Suansantidham
2 September 2023