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សូមទាញយកអត្ថបទជា pdf ខាងក្រោមនេះ
|Posted on November 23, 2010 at 12:16 PM||comments (0)|
ក្រោយពីបានដឹងពត៌មានអំពីឧបទ្ទវហេតុដែលកើតឡើងនៅស្ពានកោះពេជ្រ រាជធានីភ្នំពេញ យើងជា ឈាមខ្មែរគ្រប់រូបមានការតក់ស្លុតរន្ធត់ខ្លោចចិត្តអាណិត ឥតឧបមា ដល់បងប្អូនទាំងអស់ដែលជួបប្រទះ មហាគ្រោះដ៏កំណាចនេះ។បើទុកជាយើង ដឹងថា«ការកើតស្លាប់ ជាច្បាប់ធម្មជាតិ» ប៉ុន្តែសោកនាដកម្ម ក្នុងអកាលមរណៈនេះ មិនអាចធ្វើឲ្យយើងទប់អារម្មណ៍សម្ងំស្ងៀមមិនបៀមនូវសេចក្តីទុក្ខសោកស្តាយ
ស្រណោះ អាឡោះអាល័យបានឡើយ។ សម្លឹងមើលឃើញ រាងកាយស្តូកស្តឹងគរតម្រៀបគ្នាធ្វើឲ្យអារម្មណ៍ ក្តុកក្តួលរំជួលចិត្ត សម្រិតចេញមកជាតំណក់ទឹកភ្នែកដោយមិនដឹងខ្លួន។មិនដឹងជាឳពុកម្តាយ បងប្អូន កូន
ចៅ ប្តី ប្រពន្ធ ឬសាច់ញាតិព្រៀងលាន របស់អ្នកណាទេ ?ម្ល៉េះសមជាញាតិសាច់សា លោហិត របស់ជន រងគ្រោះទាំងនោះ មានសេចក្តីសោកសៅ សង្រេងបរិទេវនាការប្រកបដោយមហាទុក្ខមិនលែងឡើយ។ អ្វីដែលយើងដឹងច្បាស់នោះ គឺជនរងគ្រោះទាំងនោះជាសាច់សាលោហិតរបស់ យើងក្នុងមហា គ្រួសារ ខ្មែរដែលកើតមកពីខេមរត្រកូលតែមួយ។
ការដែលយើងសម្លឹងឃើញនូវសេចក្តីទុក្ខដ៏ធំមហិមានេះធ្វើឲ្យចិត្តយើងមានមហាករុណាដល់អ្នក ដែលបាន ចែកឋានទៅ ដល់អ្នកដែលរងរបួស និងដល់ក្រុមគ្រួសារនៃជនរងគ្រោះទាំងអស់នេះ។ដើម្បីជាការគោរព វិញ្ញាណក្ខន្ធរបស់បងប្អូនដែលចែកឋានទៅដើម្បីផ្តល់កំឡាំងចិត្តដល់បងប្អូនដែល រងរបួសនិងជាការជួយ រំលែកទុក្ខដល់ក្រុមគ្រួសារសព យើងទាំងអស់គ្នាគប្បីផ្តល់នូវទឹកចិត្តអាណិតអាសូរ ផ្សព្វផ្សាយនូវមហា ករុណាធម៌ដល់អ្នកទាំងនោះ។ ជួយគ្រប់មធ្យោបាយដែលអាចជួយបាន ទាំងកំឡាំងចិត្តកំឡាំងកាយ វាចា និងកំឡាំងធនធាន ដើម្បីឲ្យអ្នកដែលបានស្លាប់ទៅ បានទៅសោយសុខក្នុងទីដែលប្រកបទៅដោយ
សុខមាលភាព និងសន្តិភាព និងដើម្បីឲ្យញាតិរបស់អ្នកទាំងនោះបានរស់នៅក្នុងភាពកក់ក្តៅ មិនកណ្តោច កណ្តែងឯកោ។
គួរឲ្យអនិច្ចាណាស់!ជនឱកាសនិយមមួយចំនួន ក្រោយពីឧបទ្ធវហេតុកំណាចនេះកើតឡើងភ្លាម ក៏គិតបង្កើត នូវដំណឹងមិនប្រក្រតីឡើងដើម្បីផលប្រយោជន៍ខ្លួននិងបក្សពួកខ្លួនយកជីវិតបងប្អូនខ្មែររាប់រយនាក់ មកធ្វើជា ឱកាសប្រកបជំនួញផ្នែកនយោបាយ និងអាជីវកម្មទៅវិញដូចជាៈ
ពិចារណា ភិតភ័យខ្លាចស្លាប់ដោយមិនសមហេតុផល។ ដោយឮថា «គេនឹងយក មនុស្សបន្ថែមទៀតដើម្បីបំពេញ តាមកំណត់ដែលគេត្រូវយក ពីព្រោះស្លាប់ប៉ុណ្ណេះមិនទាន់គ្រប់កំណត់ដែលគេត្រូវយកទេ» បងប្អូនមួយចំនួន ខិតខំម្នីម្នារកទិញគ្រឿងសក្ការៈតង្វាយមានទៀន ធូប ផ្លែឈើជាដើម ដើម្បីសែនព្រេន ជាសំណូកដល់មច្ចុរាជ កុំឲ្យយកជីវិតខ្លួន។ នេះគឺជាជំនឿមួយដែលគ្មានហេតុផលទាល់តែសោះ។ អ្នកឱកាសនិយមផ្នែកអាជីវកម្ម គេ បានសិក្សាពីផ្នត់គំនិតរបស់ខ្មែរថាខ្មែរមួយចំនួនធំមានជំនឿទៅលើអ្វី បានបាក់ ស្មារតីទៅលើអ្វី ម៉្លោះហើយគេក៏ បង្កើតរឿងនេះឡើយដើម្បីទាញយកផលចំណេញពីអ្នកមានជំនឿទាំងនោះ។ការជឿដោយមិនបានពិចារណា
ឲ្យបានដឹងដល់ ធ្វើឲ្យខ្មែរយើងមួយចំនូនត្រូវបានគេបោកពីមុខបោកពីខ្នង មិនចេះឈប់ឈរ ហើយជំនឿប្លែកៗ ទាំងនេះ គេចេះតែបង្កើតឡើងជារៀងរាល់ឆ្នាំ គ្រប់មធ្យោបាយបោកប្រាស់។ ហេតុនេះ មុននឹងជឿទៅលើអ្វី
មួយ យើងគប្បីពិចារណាឲ្យបាន ល្អិតល្អន់ជាមុនសិនកុំឲ្យគេជាន់ឈ្លឺលើ វិចារណញ្ញាណយើងខ្លាំងពេក។
ដូចជាពាក្យចចាមអារាមខាងលើនេះយើងគប្បីសួរខ្លួនឯង ឬអ្នកនាំពាក្យនោះថា តើគេ(ដែលចង់យកជីវិតមនុស្ស ) នោះជានរណា? គេមកពីណា?គេយកមនុស្សទៅណា? យកទៅធ្វើអ្វី? ចំពោះសេចក្តីស្លាប់ នរណាក៏មិនអាច ជៀសផុតដែរ គ្រាន់តែមុននិងក្រោយប៉ុណ្ណោះ។កាលសេចក្តីស្លាប់មកដល់ហើយ កុំថាឡើយយកត្រឹមចេកមួយ ស្និត ធូប ទៀន ទៅធ្វើជាសំណូកស៊កប៉ាន់ដល់មច្ចុរាជសូម្បីយកនគរទាំងមូលទៅ ស៊ក ក៏មច្ចុរាជមិន ទទួលយក ដែរ។ អ្វីដែលបម្រុងនឹងកើតត្រូវតែកើតមិនទេឡើយ ហើយអាចកើតឡើងគ្រប់ដង្ហើមចេញចូលទាំងអស់។ មនុស្ស កាលដែលដល់ពេលវេលាត្រូវស្លាប់ហើយទោះបីត្រូវគេចវេះ រត់លូន លាក់ខ្លួនពួន កាយ ហោះហើរដើរលើ អាកាសយ៉ាងណាក៏មិនអាចចៀស ផុតពីសេចក្តីស្លាប់បានដែរ។ បើថ្ងៃមរណៈមិនទាន់មកដល់ទេ ទោះបីជីវិតអ្នក នោះនៅចំពោះមុខចុងកាណុង ក៏ដោយ ក៏អ្នកនោះនៅតែអាចរួចផុតពីសេចក្តីស្លាប់បាន។ហេតុនេះ សូមញាតិ ញោម បងប្អូនទាំងអស់កុំតក់ស្លុតចំពោះពាក្យចចាមអរាមនោះខ្លាំងពេក រហូតដល់ចំណាយ លុយកាក់ ធនធានដោយគ្មានបានប្រយោជន៍អ្វីសោះ។ បើបងប្អូនមានថវិកាគ្រប់គ្រាន់ដើម្បីជាវតង្វាយទាំងនោះ គួរបង្វែរ ថវិកាទាំងនោះទៅ ជួយដល់ជនរងគ្រោះ ដែលកំពុងរងចាំការជួយឩបត្ថម្ភពីគ្រប់ទិសទីនឹងបានប្រយោជន៍ជា អតិបរមា បានជាឩបការគុណដ៏ធំធេងក្រុមគ្រួសារជនរងគ្រោះក៏មានសេចក្តីត្រេកអរ ដឹងគុណ ហើយនៅក្នុង ព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនាព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធទ្រង់សំដែងថា អ្នកដែលបានធ្វើសង្គហធម៌គឺជួយសង្គ្រោះដល់ ជនកំសត់ទុគ៌ត អ្នកជួបប្រទះគ្រោះភ័យ អ្នកនោះនឹងបានបុណ្យកុសលដ៏ប្រសើរ មានមនុស្សស្រឡាញ់ចូលចិត្តច្រើនត្រាច់ចរទៅ គ្រប់ទីកន្លែងរមែងមានអ្នកតាមថែរក្សា បើអ្នកនោះបានជួបប្រទះនូវភ័យវិបត្តិណាមួយនឹងមានគេជួយឲ្យបានរួច ផុតពីភ័យវិបត្តិនោះ។
- ជនឱកាសនិយមផ្នែកនយោបាយ អ្នកនយោបាយមួយចំនួនព្យាយាមយកព្រឹត្តិការណ៍សោកនាដកម្មដ៏អណោចអធមនេះ មកធ្វើជាលេសដើម្បី
ទម្លាក់ កំហុស ទៅលើគ្នានិងគ្នា ក្នុងការទាក់ទាញចំណាប់អារម្មណ៍ពីប្រជាពលរដ្ឋទៅក្នុងនិន្នាការនយោបាយ។ ការចោទប្រកាន់គ្នាទៅវិញទៅមកដោយយកការស្លាប់របស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋស្លូតត្រង់រាប់រយនាក់មកធ្វើជាជំនួញនយោបាយ ជារឿងមិនគប្បីឲ្យកើតមានទាល់តែសោះ។យើងគួរស្រមៃឃើញគ្រាប់ភ្នែកសស្លក់ល្អក់កករ ត្រដរខ្យល់របស់ជន រងគ្រោះមុនពេលលាចាកលោកនេះទៅ តើគ្នាមានសេចក្តីទុក្ខវេទនាធ្ងន់ធ្ងរយ៉ាងណា ពេលដែលពួកគាត់ចែកឋាន ទៅហើយ គួរតែផ្តល់ឱកាសឲ្យគាត់បានរួចផុតពីបញ្ហាចម្រូងចម្រាស់ទាំងនេះហើយឲ្យគាត់បានសម្រាកដោយ ស្ងប់ ស្ងាត់ក្នុងអវសានជីវិតរបស់ពួកគាត់។ គ្រប់បក្សគ្រប់គណៈទាំងអស់គួរចូលរួមដោយស្មោះអស់ពី ចិត្តដើម្បី ជួយដល់ជនរងគ្រោះទាំង នោះអំពើល្អដែលខ្លួនបានធ្វើទៅហើយ គង់តែអ្នកផងគេបានឃើញ បានយល់ដោយ វិចារណញ្ញាណរបស់គេជាមិនខាន។
ក្នុងពេលដែលមនុស្សកំពុងមានមហាទុក្ខគ្របសង្កត់ដូច្នេះក៏នៅតែមានចិត្តរាវរកកំហុសមកស្តីបន្ទោសថា ដោយ សារតែភាពល្ងង់ ខ្លៅដោយសារតែភាពជ្រួលជ្រើម ការភ្លើតភ្លើតជាដើម នាំឲ្យជួបប្រទះនូវគ្រោះថ្នាក់ នេះឡើង។ ពេលនេះជាពេលដែលយើងត្រូវបង្ហាញនូវមេត្តាធម៌ចំពោះជនរងគ្រោះ ទាំងនោះជាពេលដែលយើងត្រូវជួយ លើកទឹកចិត្ត ជួយរំលែកទុក្ខដល់ក្រុមគ្រួសារសពមិនមែនជាពេលដែលត្រូវស្តីបន្ទោសទេ។ អ្វីគ្រប់យ៉ាងកើតឡើង ពីហេតុ ជនរងគ្រោះ ទាំងនោះមានទាំងកសិករ កម្មករ និស្សិត បញ្ញាវន្ត អ្នកទាំងនោះមិនមែនសុទ្ធតែជាអ្នកល្ងង់ ខ្លៅទេ។ ដូច្នេះ យើងមិនអាចសំអាងយកភាពល្ងង់ខ្លៅមកស្តីបន្ទោសបានឡើយ។ ពេលដែលសេចក្តីស្លាប់ត្រូវ
មកដល់ ទោះជាអ្នកក្រល្ងង់ល្ងិត ប្រាជ្ញ បណ្ឌិត កវីនិពន្ធក៏ដោយក៏ត្រូវតែទៅរកកន្លែងដែលត្រូវស្លាប់ទាល់តែបាន។ ទស្សនៈកម្មផល អ្នកដែលមិនជឿលើកម្មផលសូមរំលងវគ្គនេះ ហើយវិនិច្ឆ័យទៅតាមឯកទេសរបស់ខ្លួនរៀងៗ ខ្លួនចុះ។ចំណែកអ្នកដែលជឿកម្មផលសូមពិចារណានូវពុទ្ធវចនៈមួយឃ្លាថា «កម្មុនា វត្តតិ លោកេ» សត្វលោក
តែង ប្រព្រឹត្តទៅតាមកម្ម។ មនុស្សសត្វទាំងឡាយ មានសម្ពាយកម្មជារបស់ខ្លួនហើយសម្ពាយ កម្មនោះរមែងនឹង ឲ្យផលក្នុងកាលណា មួយមិនខាន។ ពេលណាដែលកម្មឲ្យផលហើយសត្វលោកទោះបីជាមិនចង់បាន ក៏មិនអាច បដិសេធបានដែរ គេត្រូវតែទទួលនូវកម្មនោះៗ។យើងមិនបានដឹងថា អ្នកទាំងនោះបានកសាងកម្មអ្វីមកខ្លះទេ ទើបបានជួបប្រទះនូវគ្រោះអកុសលនេះ ចុះអ្នកដទៃដែលគេចូលរួមក្នុងពិធីបុណ្យអុំទូករាប់លាននាក់ទៀតនោះ ម្តេចក៏គេមិនជួបប្រទះនូវហេតុការណ៍នោះដែរ ម្ត៉េចក៏គេមិនទៅទីនោះដែរ? យប់មុនៗ គេទៅកន្លែងនោះដែរម្ត៉េច ក៏មិនកើតហេតុនោះឡើង? ពេលដែលយើងបាន ពិចារណាឃើញដូច្នេះហើយយើងមិនអាចមាន ចិត្តស្តីបន្ទោស ជនរងគ្រោះទាំងនោះ បានឡើយផ្ទុយទៅវិញគឺមានចិត្តអាណិតអាសូរ ប្រកបដោយករុណាធម៌ ស្លុតសង្វេគនូវ ជីវិតដែលកើតហើយរលត់ទៅវិញដោយមិនអាចស្មានទុកជាមុនបានថា ពេលណា កន្លែងណា។ ការពិចារណា រឿងកម្មផល មិនមែនធ្វើឲ្យយើងព្រងើយកន្តើយនឹងបញ្ហាចំពោះមុខ មិនធ្វើអ្វី គិតតែអង្គុយចាំកម្មឲ្យផលនោះទេ គឺឲ្យយើងប្រឹងព្យាយាមរកដំណោះស្រាយនានាដែលប្រាសចាកទោស ព្យាយាមសាងកម្មជាវិជ្ជមានសម្រាប់ជីវិត។ ករណីនេះហើយ ដែល ព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធទ្រង់ប្រដៅឲ្យយើងខំធ្វើអំពើល្អទុកឲ្យហើយទាន់មានជីវិតរស់នៅ។
ក្នុងការចូលរួមនូវមរណទុក្ខដ៏ធំធេងនេះសូមឧទ្ទិសនូវកុសលធម៌ទាំងឡាយដែលយើងខ្ញុំមានទាំងប៉ុន្មាន ជូនដល់ បងប្អូន ទាំងអស់ដែលបានចែកឋានទៅនៅព្រឹត្តិការណ៍លើស្ពានកោះពេជ្រនោះ សូមឲ្យបានចាប់បដិសន្ធិក្នុងឋាន សួគ៌ឋានសុខផុតទុក្ខទាំងពួង។ សូមអោយ បងប្អូនដែលរងរបួសទាំងអស់ ឆាប់បានជាសះស្បើយ រួចផុតពី គ្រោះកាចទាំងពួងកុំបីឃ្លាតឡើយ។
|Posted on November 8, 2010 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
“Mindfulness” is the English translation of the Pali word sati.Sati is an activity. What exactly is that? There can be no preciseanswer, at least not in words. Words are devised by the symbolic levelsof the mind, and they describe those realities with which symbolicthinking deals. Mindfulness is pre-symbolic. It is not shackled tologic. Nevertheless, mindfulness can be experienced—rather easily—andit can be described, as long as you keep in mind that the words areonly fingers pointing at the moon. They are not the thing itself. Theactual experience lies beyond the words and above the symbols.Mindfulness could be described in completely different terms than willbe used here, and each description could still be correct.
Mindfulness is a subtle process that you are using at this very moment. The factthat this process lies above and beyond words does not make itunreal—quite the reverse. Mindfulness is the reality that gives rise towords; the words that follow are simply pale shadows of reality. So, itis important to understand that everything that follows here isanalogy. It is not going to make perfect sense. It will always remainbeyond verbal logic. But you can experience it. The meditationtechnique called vipassana (insight) that was introduced bythe Buddha about twenty-five centuries ago is a set of mentalactivities specifically aimed at experiencing a state of uninterruptedmindfulness.
When you first become aware of something, thereis a fleeting instant of pure awareness just before you conceptualizethe thing, before you identify it. That is a state of awareness.Ordinarily, this state is short-lived. It is that flashing split secondjust as you focus your eyes on the thing, just as you focus your mindon the thing, just before you objectify it, clamp down on it mentally,and segregate it from the rest of existence. It takes place just beforeyou start thinking about it—before your mind says, “Oh, it’s a dog.”That flowing, soft-focused moment of pure awareness is mindfulness. Inthat brief flashing mind-moment you experience a thing as an un-thing.You experience a softly flowing moment of pure experience that isinterlocked with the rest of reality, not separate from it.Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral visionas opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. Yet thismoment of soft, unfocused awareness contains a very deep sort ofknowing that is lost as soon as you focus your mind and objectify theobject into a thing. In the process of ordinary perception, themindfulness step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We havedeveloped the habit of squandering our attention on all the remainingsteps, focusing on the perception, cognizing the perception, labelingit, and most of all, getting involved in a long string of symbolicthought about it. That original moment of mindfulness is rapidly passedover. It is the purpose of vipassana meditation to train us to prolongthat moment of awareness.
When this mindfulness is prolongedby using proper techniques, you find that this experience is profound,and it changes your entire view of the universe. This state ofperception has to be learned, however, and it takes regular practice.Once you learn the technique, you will find that mindfulness has manyinteresting aspects.
The Characteristics of Mindfulness
Mindfulnessis mirror-thought. It reflects only what is presently happening and inexactly the way it is happening. There are no biases. Mindfulnessis nonjudgmental observation. It is that ability of the mind to observewithout criticism. With this ability, one sees things withoutcondemnation or judgment. One is surprised by nothing. One simply takesa balanced interest in things exactly as they are in their naturalstates. One does not decide and does not judge. One just observes.Please note that when we say, “One does not decide and does not judge,”what we mean is that the meditator observes experiences very much likea scientist observing an object under a microscope without anypreconceived notions, only to see the object exactly as it is. In thesame way, the meditator notices impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, andselflessness.
It is psychologically impossible for us toobjectively observe what is going on within us if we do not at the sametime accept the occurrence of our various states of mind. This isespecially true with unpleasant states of mind. In order to observeour own fear, we must accept the fact that we are afraid. We can’texamine our own depression without accepting it fully. The same istrue for irritation and agitation, frustration, and all those otheruncomfortable emotional states. You can’t examine something fully ifyou are busy rejecting its existence. Whatever experience we may behaving, mindfulness just accepts it. It is simply another of life’soccurrences, just another thing to be aware of. No pride, no shame,nothing personal at stake—what is there, is there.
Mindfulnessis an impartial watchfulness. It does not take sides. It does not gethung up in what is perceived. It just perceives. Mindfulness does notget infatuated with the good mental states. It does not try to sidestepthe bad mental states. There is no clinging to the pleasant, no fleeingfrom the unpleasant. Mindfulness treats all experiences equally, allthoughts equally, all feelings equally. Nothing is suppressed. Nothingis repressed. Mindfulness does not play favorites.
Mindfulness is nonconceptual awareness. Another English term for sati is“bare attention.” It is not thinking. It does not get involved withthought or concepts. It does not get hung up on ideas or opinions ormemories. It just looks. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it doesnot compare them. It does not label them or categorize them. It justobserves everything as if it were occurring for the first time. It isnot analysis, which is based on reflection and memory. It is, rather,the direct and immediate experiencing of whatever is happening, withoutthe medium of thought. It comes before thought in the perceptualprocess.
Mindfulness is present-time awareness. It takesplace in the here and now. It is the observance of what is happeningright now, in the present moment. It stays forever in the present,perpetually on the crest of the ongoing wave of passing time. If youare remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory. When youthen become aware that you are remembering your second-grade teacher,that is mindfulness. If you then conceptualize the process and say toyourself, “Oh, I am remembering,” that is thinking.
Mindfulnessis non-egotistic alertness. It takes place without reference to self.With mindfulness one sees all phenomena without references to conceptslike “me,” “my,” or “mine.” For example, suppose there is pain in yourleft leg. Ordinary consciousness would say, “I have a pain.” Usingmindfulness, one would simply note the sensation as a sensation. Onewould not tack on that extra concept “I.” Mindfulness stops one fromadding anything to perception, or subtracting anything from it. Onedoes not enhance anything. One does not emphasize anything. One justobserves exactly what is there without distortion.
Mindfulnessis awareness of change. It is observing the passing flow of experience.It is watching things as they are changing. It is seeing the birth,growth, and maturity of all phenomena. It is watching phenomena decayand die. Mindfulness is watching things moment by moment, continuously.It is observing all phenomena— physical, mental, or emotional—whateveris presently taking place in the mind. One just sits back and watchesthe show. Mindfulness is the observance of the basic nature of eachpassing phenomenon. It is watching the thing arising and passing away.It is seeing how that thing makes us feel and how we react to it. It isobserving how it affects others. In mindfulness, one is an unbiasedobserver whose sole job is to keep track of the constantly passing showof the universe within. Please note that last point. Inmindfulness, one watches the universe within. The meditator who isdeveloping mindfulness is not concerned with the external universe. Itis there, but in meditation one’s field of study is one’s ownexperience, one’s thoughts, one’s feelings, and one’s perceptions.
Inmeditation, one is one’s own laboratory. The universe within has anenormous fund of information containing the reflection of the externalworld and much more. An examination of this material leads to totalfreedom.
Mindfulness is participatory observation. Themeditator is both participant and observer at one and the same time. Ifone watches one’s emotions or physical sensations, one is feeling themat that very same moment. Mindfulness is not an intellectual awareness.It is just awareness. The mirror-thought metaphor breaks down here.Mindfulness is objective, but it is not cold or unfeeling. It is thewakeful experience of life, an alert participation in the ongoingprocess of living. Mindfulness is extremely difficult to define inwords—not because it is complex, but because it is too simple and open.The same problem crops up in every area of human experience. The mostbasic concept is always the most difficult to pin down. Look at adictionary and you will see a clear example. Long words generally haveconcise definitions, but for short basic words like the and is, definitionscan be a page long. And in physics, the most difficult functions todescribe are the most basic—those that deal with the most fundamentalrealities of quantum mechanics. Mindfulness is a pre-symbolic function.You can play with word symbols all day long and you will never pin itdown completely. We can never fully express what it is. However, wecan say what it does.
Three Fundamental Activities
Thereare three fundamental activities of mindfulness.
We can use theseactivities as functional definitions of the term:
(1) mindfulnessreminds us of what we are supposed to be doing; (2) it sees things asthey really are; and (3) it sees the true nature of all phenomena.Let’s examine these definitions in greater detail.
1. Mindfulness reminds you of what you are supposed to be doing. Inmeditation, you put your attention on one item. When your mind wandersfrom this focus, it is mindfulness that reminds you that your mind iswandering and what you are supposed to be doing. It is mindfulness thatbrings your mind back to the object of meditation. All of this occursinstantaneously and without internal dialogue. Mindfulness is notthinking. Repeated practice in meditation establishes this function asa mental habit, which then carries over into the rest of your life. Aserious meditator pays bare attention to occurrences all the time, dayin, day out, whether formally sitting in meditation or not. This is avery lofty ideal toward which those who meditate may be working for aperiod of years or even decades. Our habit of getting stuck in thoughtis years old, and that habit will hang on in the most tenacious manner.The only way out is to be equally persistent in the cultivation ofconstant mindfulness. When mindfulness is present, you will notice whenyou become stuck in your thought patterns. It is that very noticingwhich allows you to back out of the thought process and free yourselffrom it. Mindfulness then returns your attention to its proper focus.If you are meditating at that moment, then your focus will be theformal object of meditation. If you are not in formal meditation, itwill be just a pure application of bare attention itself, just a purenoticing of whatever comes up without getting involved—“Ah, this comesup . . . and now this, and now this . . . and now this.”
Mindfulnessis at one and the same time both bare attention itself and the functionof reminding us to pay bare attention if we have ceased to do so. Bareattention is noticing. It reestablishes itself simply by noticing thatit has not been present. As soon as you are noticing that you have notbeen noticing, then by definition you are noticing and then you areback again to paying bare attention.
Mindfulness creates itsown distinct feeling in consciousness. It has a flavor—a light, clear,energetic flavor. By comparison, conscious thought is heavy,ponderous, and picky. But here again, these are just words.Your own practice will show you the difference. Then you will probablycome up with your own words, and the words used here will becomesuperfluous. Remember, practice is the thing.
2. Mindfulness sees things as they really are. Mindfulnessadds nothing to perception and it subtracts nothing. It distortsnothing. It is bare attention and just looks at whatever comes up.Conscious thought pastes things over our experience, loads us down withconcepts and ideas, immerses us in a churning vortex of plans andworries, fears and fantasies. When mindful, you don’t play that game.You just notice exactly what arises in the mind, then you notice thenext thing. “Ah, this . . . and this . . . and now this.” It is reallyvery simple.
3. Mindfulness sees the true nature of phenomena. Mindfulnessand only mindfulness can perceive that the three prime characteristicsthat Buddhism teaches are the deepest truths of existence. In Palithese three are called anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), and anatta (selflessness—theabsence of a permanent, unchanging entity that we call soul or self).These truths are not presented in Buddhist teaching as dogmas demandingblind faith. The Buddhists feel that these truths are universal andself-evident to anyone who cares to investigate in a proper way.Mindfulness is that method of investigation. Mindfulness alone has thepower to reveal the deepest level of reality available to humanobservation. At this level of inspection, one sees the following: (a)all conditioned things are inherently transitory; (b) every worldlything is, in the end, unsatisfying; and (c) there are really noentities that are unchanging or permanent, only processes.
Mindfulnessworks like an electron microscope. That is, it operates on so fine alevel that one can actually directly perceive those realities that areat best theoretical constructs to the conscious thought process.Mindfulness actually sees the impermanent character of everyperception. It sees the transitory and passing nature of everythingthat is perceived. It also sees the inherently unsatisfactory nature ofall conditioned things. It sees that there is no sense grabbing on toany of these passing shows. Peace and happiness cannot be found thatway. And finally, mindfulness sees the inherent selflessness of allphenomena. It sees the way that we have arbitrarily selected a certainbundle of perceptions, chopped them off from the rest of the surgingflow of experience, and then conceptualized them as separate, enduringentities. Mindfulness actually sees these things. It does not thinkabout them; it sees them directly.
When it is fullydeveloped, mindfulness sees these three attributes of existencedirectly, instantaneously, and without the intervening medium ofconscious thought. In fact, even the attributes that we just coveredare inherently unified. They don’t really exist as separate items.They are purely the result of our struggle to take this fundamentallysimple process called mindfulness and express it in the cumbersome andinadequate thought symbols of the conscious level. Mindfulness is aprocess, but it does not take place in steps. It is a holistic processthat occurs as a unit: you notice your own lack of mindfulness; andthat noticing itself is a result of mindfulness; and mindfulness isbare attention; and bare attention is noticing things exactly as theyare without distortion; and the way they are is impermanent (anicca),unsatisfactory (dukkha), and selfless (anatta). It all takes place inthe space of a few mind-moments. This does not mean, however, that youwill instantly attain liberation (freedom from all human weaknesses) asa result of your first moment of mindfulness. Learning to integratethis material into your conscious life is quite another process. Andlearning to prolong this state of mindfulness is still another. Theyare joyous processes, however, and they are well worth the effort.
[ by Bhante Gunaratana Adapted from Voices of Insight. ]
|Posted on November 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
The main question for a lot of people is how to practice meditation in daily life. How to practice the Dhamma in daily life. The practice of formal meditation in a retreat is primarily intensive training in a very structured environment. This is helpful and important, but the real practice of meditation, if meditation is to be of any real value, is in our daily lives.
In daily life, the full path and the other aspects of cultivating the mind have to be undertaken and practiced as well. It's really in our daily lives, in our day-to-day situations that we need skill and understanding to meet all the challenges that come up: all the conflicting situations, the chaos, the the daily ups and downs.
We have to have a game plan for meeting and facing the defilements that come up within our own minds as well as the negativities and defilements that come at us from others. We have to develop qualities of the mind in addition to meditation.
Many people want to meditate and find peace of mind. But some of those people don't want to really change the rest of their life style. They want to have their cake and eat it too-be able to meditate and get the "bennies," such as peace of mind, but still be able to do whatever comes into their mind according to their whims and their fancies.
But the process doesn't really work that way. For most of us, the mind we encounter as we sit in meditation- all the states that come up, the difficult emotions, other negative mental states, and even the condition of our body, pains and the like- is basically the sum total of what we have been accumulating all of our life. These accumulations are the consequences of our life-long habit patterns, life style, and even of our viewpoints.
There are practices, in addition to meditation, that we can cultivate to help us bring the Dhamma into our habit patterns, our life styles, and our viewpoints. Let's explore some of these other aspects of the Dhamma practice which we have to put into effect in our daily lives as the appropriate situations come up.
We know that the second Noble Truth is that the source of suffering is craving and clinging, unbridled desire. Because of this, one of the main practices in the Dhamma is called Dana. Dana means the practice of giving or sharing with others. It is an antidote to attachment, to holding on tightly, to really holding on to our things. We find this greed and attachment everywhere. We hold on tightly to our possessions, don't want to let go of them. The problem is, the more that we have, the more of a burden it becomes. But the practice of giving helps. It's an antidote to stinginess, and by sharing things that we have with others, or letting go of our own selfish self-centeredness, it also helps to open up our minds in loving kindness and compassion. It is an antidote to clinging and craving.
Giving has different forms. You might say there are three degrees of giving. One is called one-handed giving. With this degree of giving, you give things away because people ask you, or because u are pressured into it, or because people are looking. But you are also holding on with one hand. You may not really want to give, but, reluctantly, you do. Let's say that a beggar keeps on badgering you. To get rid of him, you give him something. If you've ever traveled in India, you've probably encountered situations where beggars follow you around like a shadow and won't let you go until you finally give them something. That is a form of giving, of sharing with others. But it has a limited value, because, of course, the whole spirit of giving is really letting go. This is letting go to some degree, but not fully.
The second degree of giving is friendly giving. That means you give because you like to give. It feels good. You don't have to pressured into it. Whenever you see somebody in a situation of need, if you have enough for yourself, if you have two of something, you give it out of friendliness. If you have two bananas and somebody is hungry, you usually give them one. That's a higher form giving because you're not being pressured into it-it's coming from your own friendliness, and you're not tightly holding on.
The third degree is called kingly giving. In kingly giving, you give anything at any time. You give the shirt off your back. You give the last food you have to someone who is hungrier. Because there's no thought-you give the best that you have. There's no holding on nor even thought of an "I" involved in the giving.
Giving material things may be the easiest form of giving, especially if you have more than enough. Most people, especially in the West, have more than enough. We have closets and garages full stuff; we have clothes that we don't use. Perhaps we clear things out once a year and give them to the Salvation Army or Good Will as a form of giving and generosity. Of course a lot of times, we're clearing our closets of things we don't need because we've got to make room for more things that we're going to accumulate. Giving material things, giving food, giving money to charity, that's all a form of material giving or sharing.
Another form of giving is the giving of your time. That goes a little bit deeper, because your own time is closer to your ego. It's fairly easy to give a beggar a dollar or some extra food if u have enough, but to share your time might be a little bit more difficult. Imagine that your neighbor comes over and says, "Oh, you know, I'm really in a jam, I really need your help this Saturday to help me paint my house."
"Saturday! Oh, my God. That's the football game, the soccer match. Can't we do it on Sunday?" Or, "I'll hire my nephew. I'll give him ten dollars and send him on down to help you."
We cling to our own precious time and to our desire to do only what we want. Letting go of our own desires and time to help a person in need is a deeper form of giving.
Sharing our knowledge or talents with others is another way of giving. All these forms of giving- from the material to the mental- are ways of letting go.
Meditation is also a form of giving, of giving up. You might actually say that when we meditate, that's the highest form of giving, because we're giving up whatever is coming through our senses, especially in mindfulness meditation. We're giving up the sound coming to our ear, whether it's a pleasant sound or it's a painful sound, we're just letting it arise and vanish without holding on. If we do cling to it, we try to let go. We try to let go of our thoughts, let go of the pains in our bodies. And of course, ultimately, each of us tries to let go of the self. We let go of the feeling of self in order to realize unconditioned Dhamma and true liberation of mind. For this, even the sense of self has to be let go.
Surely if we cannot let go of material things, of mental things, of emotions such as anger, of other negative states or even of positive states, then when it comes time for it, we won't be able to let go of the self in meditation, to make that quantum leap to the unconditioned experience. Therefore the practice of giving is a whole and complete practice in itself.
In your daily lives you can find many opportunities for practicing giving. You can be especially giving of your time when somebody is in need, for example somebody at work say: "Can you show me how to work this stupid computer?" Show him how to do this, or help her do that, or give in other ways.
There are three foundations of the Dhamma that help us as we practice giving. They are Right Understanding, the first aspect of the Noble Eightfold Path; Right Mindfulness, the seventh aspect, Right Effort, the sixth aspect. All those three work together.
Right understanding understands selfishness and miserliness as being negative states. Right Mindfulness ensures that when selfishness comes back or intervenes, we see it; we notice when our minds are holding on tightly to things. Having become mindful of selfishness and attachment as unwholesome states of mind, we use Right Effort to abandon them when they arise. Practicing Right Effort, we make the effort to prevent and abandon unwholesome states, the effort to cultivate and perfect wholesome states. [Bhikkhu Yogavacara Rahula]
|Posted on October 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM||comments (0)|
Peace means letting go of mental objects so that nothing comes in to disturb the mind. All that's left is a nature devoid of fabrication. Even the nibbana we want to reach is nothing other than a peace not fabricated by conditions. As for the peace we develop through various techniques by which the mind gathers into concentration, or gathers into stillness, that's the peace of the mind gathering in. It stops fabricating. It stops holding onto the aggregates.
We should view this sort of peace, in which we let go of the aggregates, as a strategy. When the mind isn't at peace, that's because it doesn't let go. It holds onto things as its self or belonging to its self. As a result, it suffers. It feels stress. The mind takes its stance in form, in feelings, in perceptions, in consciousness. It seizes hold of these things, but these things are inconstant. When they change, they lead to disappointment. The mind then thrashes around and piles on more stress and suffering. So we have to view peace as our strategy — the peace we try to give rise to — seeing it as a high level of happiness. As for any lack of peace, we should view that as suffering. The mind lacks peace because defilements disturb it. This happens because the mind isn't skillful, and the mind isn't skillful because of delusion.
So we focus on peace and on the stress of disturbance as our strategies. Peace we regard as the goal for which we're practicing. Stress we use as an object of contemplation, as a means for destroying delusion, intoxication, heedlessness, our hankering for things. The strategy by which we can bring the mind to peace requires that we see the stress and drawbacks inherent in the aggregates. As long as we keep hankering after the aggregates, as long as we're deluded by sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, and ideas found in the aggregates, the peace we want can't last, for these things are inconstant. This inconstancy is what leads to the stress and suffering we see all around us. We take our stance in forms that are inconstant. Or you could say that we seize hold of forms that are inconstant. We live in forms that are inconstant. We take a stance in feeling. We seize hold of feeling.
Why do we seize hold of it? Because we've fabricated it into being from having seized hold of feeling in the past. The cause from the past becomes the effect in the present. To let go of the feeling in the present, we have to examine things until we see the inconstancy, the stress in form, feeling, perception, fabrication, and consciousness. Then the mind won't be deluded. This is our path. This is the right view that fosters discernment. In this way, stress is the means for developing knowledge and vision. If there weren't any stress or suffering, what would we take as our focus? Actually, stress and suffering are already there, so why don't we see them for what they are? Because we haven't heard the Dhamma — or we have heard it, but we've listened in an aimless way, with no truth in our listening, our awareness, our actions.
So we have to be certain, earnest, and true in our heart. After all, suffering is an earnest truth. If we just play at contemplation, simply letting things happen on their own, that's not meditation. It gives us no proof, doesn't develop the mind. If you're going to focus on anything, focus on it so that you comprehend it, so that you see its truth, so that you can grow disenchanted with stress and suffering, and can abandon the origination of stress and suffering in line with its truth. Don't just go through the motions.
When I went to stay with Ajaan Mun, the first thing he spoke about was this: being truthful, earnest. He said, "You've ordained in earnestness. You didn't ordain in play. You ordained with conviction, and did it properly with the Sangha and your preceptor admitting you to the community of monks. Everything was done in line with the Buddha's instructions. So you have your guarantee that you're a genuine monk on the conventional level. But your status as a monk isn't yet complete. You need to be earnest in your practice, to complete all three parts of the Triple Training — heightened virtue, heightened mind, heightened discernment — until you gain true knowledge of what the Buddha taught. You have to practice all the way to the end, so that you can gain true knowledge, through proper discernment, of the noble truths."
Stress, for instance, is a noble truth. It's right there in front of you. Why don't you become disenchanted with it? Because you don't see it, don't see the cause from which it comes. Or when you see the cause, you don't see its connection to stress. Why is that? Because delusion gets in the way. You see pretty sights, hear lovely sounds, smell nice aromas, taste good flavors, and then you fall for them. You get carried away and grasp after them, thinking that you've acquired something. As for the things you don't yet have, you want to acquire them. Once you acquire them, you fall for them and get all attached and entangled. This is the origination of suffering. When these things are inconstant, they stop being peaceful. They become a turmoil because they're inconstant all the time.
Have you ever acquired anything that's constant and lasting? Has anyone ever acquired anything that's constant and lasting? When you acquire money, a home, a car, a boat, whatever — a child or a grandchild — are these things constant? Stable? Do they make the mind constant and stable?
You have to contemplate suffering and stress down to the details and see all the way through. Don't just go through the motions. Focus on sights and sounds in general — everything inside or outside where the mind takes up residence. They're all just like our body — they're all based on form. Hair of the head is a form, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin — every part — the bones. If you took the bones out, how could the rest of the body stay? Even when you don't take them out, they're going to go on their own. Every part is going to fall away. They won't stay together like this forever. Whatever you acquire — good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant — you have to investigate it. Ask yourself: All these things that you hold onto, that you love and delight in, that you have to keep caring for, from fear of hunger, heat, cold,
difficulties, pains, and illnesses, all these things that you've been caring for all along: What have you gained from them? All you've got to show is that you can't meditate and bring the mind to peace, radiance, or purity, all because you're so possessive of these things.
What I'm saying here is a truth that's true for everyone. Each of these words applies to each one of us. This is the truth. It's what the Buddha said when he was summarizing the basic principle of suffering and stress.
We should use suffering and stress as our tool in destroying the origination of suffering, so that we won't be deluded by craving. If we don't make use of suffering and stress, there's no other way we can destroy it. We'll keep falling for it, delighting in it. But if we see how things are inconstant and stressful, we won't fall for craving any longer. We'll see how we've been taking birth and dying, dying and taking birth, endlessly, all because we see this thing as delicious, that as delicious, this as sweet-smelling, that as sweet-smelling, this as soft, that as soft. All of this is the origination of stress. We're deluded about these things, we get infatuated with them. We don't get infatuated with suffering. As long as we're infatuated with these things, there's inconstancy, instability, separation, leading to sorrow and despair, always searching for more. What does this all come from? We have to look for both the cause and the effect, to see how they're connected, if we want to know. That's when we'll be discerning, when we gain knowledge and vision, seeing the long course.
The Buddha taught the Dhamma so as to broaden our mindfulness and discernment, so that it can encompass more than just what's right in our face. For instance, he has us contemplate that we're subject to aging, subject to illness, subject to death. Even though we're not yet old, he has us contemplate aging so as to prepare ourselves for the fact that this is the way things will have to go. We're not yet ill, we're not yet dead, but we have to contemplate these things every day. This is what it means to be heedful, prepared.
Once we see this truth, we won't want to give rise to anything unskillful in the mind. We won't be greedy, angry, or deluded, for what do we gain from being greedy? Nothing but stress. What do we gain from being angry? Nothing but stress. What do we gain from being deluded? Nothing but stress. When we see this, we'll be able to live without greed, anger, or delusion, caring for the body just enough to keep it going, just enough to develop the discernment that will enable us to see the truth. This will put an end to the burden of falling for the cycle of death and rebirth without end. Once we cast off this burden, we won't have to concern ourselves with these things any longer.
We hear that nibbana is happiness, so we want to go there. We hear that meditating brings happiness, so we want to meditate — but we do it without any skillful strategies. We need skillful strategies in our listening, skillful strategies in focusing our awareness, skillful strategies in our practice. Everything requires strategies, intelligence, mindfulness and discernment within the mind.
The intelligence of the mind is something really powerful, you know. It's nothing to sneeze at. But for the most part, we don't apply that power inside. We apply it outside, to material things. Whatever we put our minds to, we can accomplish. We can build all kinds of things, but we devote our power just to things outside, to solving external problems. As a result, we stay deluded about ourselves. We don't really look at ourselves. The Buddha was the first to really turn around and look at himself. He didn't build external power. He didn't claim to be special. He simply turned around to look at the mind, asking himself, "If the mind is really special, why does it have to depend on other things? Why does it have to keep building up other things? Those things are inconstant, so when they change, what's left? It's all a waste of energy."
All you have to do is turn around and straighten out the mind so that it doesn't fall for its fabricating. You don't have to go building anything, fabricating anything. When you see through the process of fabricating, you put an end to it. That's called the unfabricated. Nibbana is the unfabricated. No conditions can fabricate it or dress it up at all. It comes from turning around to know the heart, without fabricating or seizing hold of anything outside.
This is the truth. If we don't reach this state of truth, we'll just keep on circling around. You have to know what disbands and ceases in nibbana. You have to know what you're still deluded about that keeps getting in the way. So be intent on your meditation.
Peace of mind is a strategy that we use to test the truth within ourselves. We see that when the mind lets go of the aggregates, it's happy. If you don't yet believe this, you can give it a try. When you sit in concentration, try letting go. Tell yourself that you're not going to carry these aggregates around; you're not going to get riled up about them. Whatever pains there may be, you don't have to pay them any mind. Pay attention to buddho, or whatever your meditation topic may be, until there's nothing left but the property of knowing. And then keep watching, watching, watching, letting go of anything else that comes along until the mind settles down and is peaceful. A sense of ease and pleasure will appear as your evidence: You've been able to let go of the aggregates of form, feeling, perception, and fabrication.
As long as you're not involved with them, the mind is peaceful and at ease. But as soon as you get involved with them, the mind is immediately in a turmoil. This is your strategy for seeing stress, for knowing stress. When the mind isn't peaceful, that's stress. As soon as we see this, we'll grow disenchanted. Whatever comes to disturb the mind, there's stress in the process of fabrication, which is conditioned by ignorance.
So we should focus on studying the mind, developing the mind. Once you've brought the mind to peace, you should use that peace as a strategy to contemplate stress so as to disband it. See the connection between stress and lack of peace in the mind, along with their relationship to form, to the aggregates, to the origination of stress. See how the origination of stress is related to the eye seeing forms, the ear hearing sounds, the nose smelling aromas, the tongue tasting flavors. When craving arises, this is where it's going to arise, right here at these things, but the only way to see this is through meditation. If you don't meditate, you won't know. The way to know is through the strategy of finding a peaceful place and making the mind peaceful. That's how you'll gain release from suffering and stress.
Now that you understand this, focus on making the mind peaceful as a strategy for eliminating the stress and disturbance. Be circumspect in using your discernment.
Keep on meditating until the end of the hour.
by Ajaan Suwat Suvacotranslated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu