All are cordially invited to participate
in the meditation programs and Buddhist activities at
Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple
1. To promote Buddhist activities.
2. To foster Thai culture and traditions.
3. To inform the public of the monastery’s activities.
4. To maintain and promote brotherhood/sisterhood.
5. To provide a public relations center for
Buddhists living in the United States.
6. To promote spiritual development and positive
7. to help acquire and inner peace.
8. Wat Thai Washington, D.C. temple is non political.
Activity Day Time
1. Chanting Daily Morning and 6:00 - 6:45 A.M.
Evening 6:00 - 6:45 P.M.
2. Dhamma Talk and Every Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.
Meditation (in Thai)
3. Meditation and Dhamma
Discussion (in Thai) Every Sunday 7:00 - 9:00 A.M.
4. Meditation and Dhamma
Discussion (in English) Every Sunday 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
5. Thai Language Classes Every Tuesday or Thursday 7:30 - 9:00 P.M.
6. Yoga - Meditation Every Friday 7:30 - 9:00 P.M.
7. Thai Music Class Every Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 P.M.
8. Thai Dance Class Every Saturday 2:00 - 4:00 P.M.
9. Buddhist Sunday School Every Sunday 12:45 - 3:30 P.M.
All activities will be held at the upper or lower level of the main temple. For further information
please contact Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple. Tel. (301)871-8660, (301)871-8661
Fax. (301)871-5007 E-mail: email@example.com, URL. www.watthaidc.org
ปีที่ 35 ฉบับที่ 421 ประจ�าเดือนพฤษภาคม พ.ศ. 2553 Vol.35 No.421 May, 2010
�To promote Buddhist activities. สารบัญ
�To foster Thai culture and tradition.
�To inform the public of the temple’s activities.
�To promide a public relations center for
Buddhists living in the United States. The Buddha’s Words................................................ 1
Grasping and Clinging ............... Ven. Buddhadasa 2
Helping Yourself To Help Others........Ven. Prayudh Payutto 7
เจ้าของ : วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี.
ที่ปรึกษา : พระวิเทศธรรมรังษี The Path To Peace.........................Ven. Ajahn Chah 12
กองบรรณาธิการ : วิสาขบูชา “ปัญญา” เพื่อข้ามพ้นวิกฤตร่วมกัน................... 16
ดร.พระมหาถนัด อตฺถจารี ใบสมัคร กรรมการวัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี............. 19
พระสมุห์ณัฐิวุฒิ ปภากโร อนุโมทนาพิเศษ / Special Thanks............................ 20
พระจรินทร์ อาภสฺสโร ปฏิบัติธรรมประจ�าเดือนพฤษภาคม.............................. 22
พระมหาเรืองฤทธิ์ สมิทฺธิญาโณ เสียงธรรม...จากวัดไทย...........................หลวงตาชี 23
พระสุริยา เตชวโร ประมวลภาพกิจกรรมต่างๆ เดือนเมษายน................ 30
พระมหาสราวุธ สราวุโธ เสียงธรรม... จากหลวงตาชี........................................ 32
พระมหาประดู่ชัย ภทฺทธมฺโม ท่องแดนพระพุทธศาสนา 2,300 ปี...ดร.พระมหาถนัด 39
พระมหาศรีสุพรณ์ อตฺตทีโป Thai Temple’s News...........โดย ดร.พระมหาถนัด 42
พระอนันต์ภิวัฒน์ พุทฺธรกฺขิโต สรุปรายรับรายจ่ายวัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. .............................. 46
รายนามผู้บริจาคเดือนเมษายน...........Ven. Sarawut 47
และอุบาสก-อุบาสิกาวัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี. รายนามผู้บริจาคออมบุญประจ�าปีและเจ้าภาพภัตตาหารเช้า... 53
SAENG DHAMMA Magazine รายนามเจ้าภาพถวายเพล / Lunch............................ 54
is published monthly by ก�าหนดการท�าบุญวันวิสาขบูชา.................................... 62
Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple
At 13440 Layhill Rd.,
Silver Spring, MD 20906
Tel. (301) 871-8660, 871-8661 Photos taken by
Fax : 301-871-5007 Mr. Sam & Bank, Ms. Golf,
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Ven. Pradoochai,
Homepage : www.watthaidc.org Mr. Yuttachat,
Radio Network : www.watthai.iirt.net Ven. Ananphiwat, Mr. Kevin,
2,500 Copies Ven. Sanit and Ven. Somphong
แสงธรรม 1 Saeng Dhamma
The Buddha’s Words
อเนกชาติสํสารํ สนฺธาวิสฺสํ อนิพฺพิสํ
คหการํ คเวสนฺโต ทุกฺขา ชาติ ปุนปฺปุนํ ฯ (๑๕๓)
Seeking but not finding the House Builder, I hurried through
the rounds of many births. Painful is birth ever again and again.
แสงธรรม 2 Saeng Dhamma
by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
H ow can we get away from and become
completely independent of things, all of
which are transient, unsatisfactory and devoid of
A s soon as an individual is born, he comes
to know the taste of these six sense ob-
jects, and clings to them; and as time passes he
selfhood? The answer is that we have to find out becomes more and more firmly attached to them.
what is the cause of our desiring those things and Ordinary people are incapable of withdrawing
clinging to them. Knowing that cause, we shall be from them again, so they present a major prob-
in a position to eliminate clinging completely. Bud- lem. It is necessary to have a proper knowledge
dhists recognize four different kinds of clinging or and understanding of these sense objects and to
attachment. 1) Sensual attachment (Kamupanana) act appropriately with respect to them, otherwise
is clinging to attractive and desirable sense ob- clinging to them may lead to complete and utter
jects. It is the attachment that we naturally de- dereliction. If we examine the case history of any
velop for things we like and find satisfaction in: person who has sunk into dereliction, we always
colors and shapes, sounds, odors, tastes, tactile find that it has come about through his clinging
objects, or mental images, objects past, present, fast to some desirable sense object. Actually every
or future that arise in the mind, and either corre- single thing a human being does has its origin in
spond to material objects in the world outside or sensuality. Whether we love, become angry, hate,
within. the body, or are just imaginings. We instinc- feel envious, murder, or commit suicide, the ul-
tively find pleasure, enchantment, delight in these timate cause must be some sense object. If we
six kinds of sense objects. They induce delight and investigate what is it that drives human beings to
enchantment in the mind perceiving them. work energetically, or to do anything at all for that
แสงธรรม 3 Saeng Dhamma
matter, we find it is desire, desire to get things of and torment. Spiritually speaking, attachment to
one kind or another. People strive, study, and earn sensuality is something to be kept under control.
what money they can, and then go off in search of And if all suffering is to be eliminated, sensual at-
pleasure-in the form of colors and shapes, sounds, tachment has to be done away with completely.
odors, tastes, and tactile objects-which is what 2) Attachment to opinions (Ditthupadana). Cling-
keeps them going. Even merit making in order to ing to views and opinions is not difficult to detect
go to heaven has its origins simply in a wish based and identify once we do a little introspection. Ever
on sensuality. Taken together, all the trouble and since we were born into the world, we have been
chaos in the world has its origin in sensuality. The receiving instruction and training, which has given
danger of sensuality lies in the power of sensual rise to ideas and opinions. In speaking here of opin-
attachment. For this reason the Buddha reckoned ions, what we have in mind is the kind of ideas one
clinging to sensuality as the primary form of at- hangs on to and refuses to let go of. To cling to
tachment. It is a real world problem. Whether the one’s own ideas and opinions is quite natural and
world is to be completely destroyed, or whatever is not normally condemned or disapproved of. But
is to happen, is bound to depend on this very sen- it is no less grave a danger than attachment to at-
sual clinging. It behooves us to examine ourselves tractive and desirable objects. It can happen that
to find out in what ways we are attached to sensu- preconceived ideas and opinions to which we had
ality and how firmly, and whether it is not perhaps always clung obstinately come to be destroyed.
within our power to give it up. Speaking in worldly For this reason it is necessary that we continually
terms, attachment to sensuality is a very good amend our views, making them progressively more
thing. It conduces to family love, to diligence and correct, better, higher, changing false views into
energy in the search for wealth and fame, and so views that are closer and closer to the truth, and
on. But if looked at from the spiritual point of view, ultimately into the kind of views that incorporate
it is seen to be the secret en trance for suffering the Four Noble Truths.
อนุโมทนาขอบคุณทุกท่านผูมจตอาสามาร่วมด้วยช่วยกิจกรรมวัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. 11 เมษายน 2553
แสงธรรม 4 Saeng Dhamma
O bstinate and stubborn opinions have
various origins, but in the main they are
bound up with customs, traditions, ceremonies
ment to opinions is to be considered a dangerous
defilement, a major danger, which, if we are to bet-
ter ourselves at all, we ought to make all efforts to
and religious doctrines. Stubborn personal convic- eliminate. 3) Attachment to rites and rituals (Silab-
tions are not a matter of great importance. They batupadana). This refers to clinging to meaningless
are far less numerous than convictions stemming traditional practices that have been thoughtlessly
from long held popular traditions and ceremo- handed down, practices which people choose to
nies. Adherence to views is based on ignorance. regard as sacred and not to be changed under any
Lacking knowledge, we develop our own personal circumstances. In Thailand there is no less of this
views on things, based on our own original stupid- sort of thing than in other places. There are beliefs
ity. For instance, we are convinced that things are involving amulets, magical artifacts and all manner
desirable and worth clinging to, that they really of secret procedures. There exist, for instance, the
endure, are worthwhile and are selves, instead of beliefs that on rising from sleep one must pro-
perceiving that they are just a delusion and a de- nounce a mystical formula over water and then
ception, transient, worthless and devoid of self- wash one’s face in it, that before relieving nature
hood. Once we have come to have certain ideas one must turn and face this and that point of the
about something, we naturally don’t like to admit compass, and that before one partakes of food
later on that we were mistaken. Even though we or goes to sleep there have to be other rituals.
may occasionally see that we are wrong, we sim- There are beliefs in spirits and celestial beings, in
ply refuse to admit it. Obstinacy of this sort is to be sacred trees and all manner of magical objects.
considered a major obstacle to progress, rendering This sort of thing is completely irrational. People
us incapable of changing for the better, incapable just don’t think rationally; they simply cling to the
of modifying false religious convictions and other established pattern. They have always done it that
longstanding beliefs. This is likely to be a prob- way and they just refuse to change. Many people
lem for people who hold to naive doctrines. Even professing to be Buddhists cling to these beliefs
though they may later come to see them as naive, as well and so have it both ways; and this even
they refuse to change on the grounds that their includes some who call themselves bhikkhus, dis-
parents, grandparents and ancestors all held those ciples of the Buddha. Religious doctrines based on
same views. Or if they are not really interested belief in God, angels and sacred objects are par-
in correcting and improving themselves, they may ticularly prone to these kinds of views; there is
simply brush away any arguments against their old no reason why we Buddhists should not be com-
ideas with the remark that this is what they have pletely free of this sort of thing.
always believed. For these very reasons, attach-
แสงธรรม 5 Saeng Dhamma
T he reason we have to be free of such views
is that if we practice any aspect of Dham-
ma unaware of its original purpose, unconscious
ly well concealed. Any living creature is always
bound to have the wrong idea of “me and mine.”
This is the primal instinct of living things and is the
of the rationale of it, the result is bound to be basis of all other instincts. For example, the in-
the foolish, naive assumption that it is something stinct to seek food and eat it, the instinct to avoid
magical. Thus we find people taking upon them- danger, the instinct to procreate, and many others
selves the moral precepts or practicing Dhamma, consist simply in the creature’s instinctive aware-
purely and simply to conform with the accepted ness of a belief in its own selfhood. Convinced first
pattern, the traditional ceremonial, just to follow of all of its own selfhood, it will naturally desire
the example that has been handed down. They to avoid death, to search for food and nourish its
know nothing of the rationale of these things, do- body, to seek safety, and to propagate the species.
ing them just out of force of habit. Such firmly A belief in selfhood is, then, universally present in
established clinging is hard to correct. This is what all living things. If it were not so, they could not
is meant by thoughtless attachment to traditional continue to survive. At the same time, however,
practices. Insight meditation or tranquillity medita- it is what causes suffering in the search for food
tion as practiced nowadays, if carried out without and shelter, in the propagation of the species, or
any knowledge of rhyme and reason and the real in any activity whatsoever. This is one reason why
objectives of it, is bound to motivated by grasping the Buddha taught that attachment to the self-
and clinging, misdirected, and just some kind of idea is the root cause of all suffering. He summed
foolishness. And even the taking of the Precepts, it up very briefly by saying: “Things, if clung to, are
five, eight, or ten, or however many, if done in suffering, or are a source of suffering.” This attach-
the belief that one will thereby become a magical, ment is the source and basis of life; at the same
supernatural, holy individual possessing psychic or time it is the source and basis of suffering in all its
other powers, becomes just misdirected routine, forms. It was this very fact that the Buddha was
motivated simply by attachment to rite and ritual. referring to when he said that life is suffering; suf-
I t is necessary, then, that we be very cautious.
Buddhist practice must have a sound founda-
tion in thought and understanding and desire to
fering is life. This means the body and mind (five
aggregates) which are clung to are suffering. Knowl-
edge of the source and basis of life and of suffer-
destroy the defilements. Otherwise it will be just ing is to be considered the most profound and
foolishness; it will be misdirected, irrational a just most penetrating knowledge, since it puts us in
a waste of time. 4) Attachment to the idea of self- a position to eliminate suffering completely. This
hood (Attavadupadana). The belief in selfhood is piece of knowledge can be claimed to be unique
something important and also something extreme- to Buddhism. It is not to be found in any other
แสงธรรม 6 Saeng Dhamma
religion in the world. The most efficacious way of advanced in spiritual knowledge; in other words,
dealing with attachment is to recognize it when- to employ Buddhist principles until this instinct
ever it is present. This applies most particularly to has been overcome and completely eliminated.
attachment to the idea of selfhood, which is the As long as one is still an ordinary person, a world-
very basis of life. It is something that comes into ling, this instinct remains unconquered. Only the
existence of its own accord, establishing itself in us highest of the Aryians, the Arahant, has succeeded
without our needing to be taught it. It is present in defeating it. We must recognize this as a mat-
as an instinct in children and the small offspring of ter of no small importance; it is a major problem
animals right from birth. Baby animals such as kit- common to all living creatures. If we are to be real
tens know how to assume a defensive attitude, as Buddhists, if we are to derive the full benefits from
we can see when we try to approach them. There the teaching, it is up to us to set about overcoming
is always that something, the “self” present in the this misconception. The suffering to which we are
mind, and consequently this attachment is bound subject will diminish accordingly.
to manifest. The only thing to do is to rein it in as
much as possible until such time as one is well To be continued
คณะญาติโยมวัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. ร่วมแรงแข็งขันช่วยกันขายอาหารหลากหลายเมนู
ในวันสงกรานต์ 11 เมษายน 2553 รายได้ทงหมดถวายวัด ขออนุโมทนาสาธุในกุศลจิตทุกท่านมา ณ โอกาสนี้
แสงธรรม 7 Saeng Dhamma
To Help Others
by Ven. Prayudh Payutto
...Continued from last issue... body and mind. Sensations that arise through the
Becoming aware of sense contact eye are called sights; those entering through the
W e must find a way to treat these dis-
eases by not allowing the defilements
to arise. But how do we prevent the defilements
ear are called sounds; those entering through the
nose are called smells; those entering through the
tongue are called tastes; those entering through
from arising? First we must look on a broader scale. the body are called tactile sensations; those enter-
Just now we looked at things in terms of ourselves, ing through the mind are thoughts and feelings. We
seeing the disease as something that arises in our experience our selves through these sensations.
own minds, in our own lives. We saw defilements Whenever we experience no sensations, such as
arising in our own minds, while conditions, which when we are in deep sleep or unconscious, we are
are impermanent and imperfect, we saw as our- not aware. When we are aware it is through these
selves. But if we look on a broader scale we will sensations.
see clearly that the disease (roga) is based on con- From where do these sensations arise? They
tact with the world (loka). come from the world, our environment. Our en-
The spiritual disease and the world are con- vironment manifests itself to us through the eyes,
nected. What is the connection? Why do greed, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, which in Bud-
hatred and delusion arise within us, how do these dhism we call the six sense bases. Any experience
things come about? Generally speaking, defile- that appears to us must appear to us through these
ments arise from contact with the world. The entrances, as sights, sounds, smells, tastes, bodily
world makes contact with us and we make con- feelings and thoughts.
tact with the world. How do we make contact Now these sensations, or experiences, appear
with the world? We do so through our everyday to us and there is contact, after which follows an
experience, in sense contact, from receiving sense immediate response. All these experiences can
impressions through the eye, ear, nose, tongue, therefore be seen as bases for greed to arise, for
แสงธรรม 8 Saeng Dhamma
hatred to arise or for delusion to arise. If we have properly towards sense impressions. In this regard
no Dhamma medicine, we will fall under the pow- the Buddha taught the initial practice of sense re-
er of sensations and the corresponding reactions straint, indriyasamvara: restraining the eyes, ears,
will take place: when a sensation that is a base for nose, tongue, body and mind, so as to prevent
greed arises, we want to possess it; if a sensation sense impressions from overwhelming us and
that is a base for hatred arises, instead of seducing causing greed and hatred to arise. This means to
us into desire, it upsets us and taunts us into anger. use sati -- to know things as they are, as they arise.
This is how defilements arise in response to sense Whenever a sensation arises, vedana, the feeling
impressions. of pleasure, displeasure or indifference, is there.
In the case of the ordinary, untrained person When a pleasant feeling arises, the unmindful per-
(puthujjana), whenever a sense impression arises son delights in it. When unpleasant feeling arises,
there will initially follow a feeling of pleasure or the mind untrained in sati flows down the stream
displeasure, depending on whether the sensation of proliferations to disapproval, anger, displeasure,
is agreeable or not. If it is agreeable to us there is hatred and so on.
a feeling of pleasure and there follows a reaction The mind of the average person will be in this
of liking or approval. Seeing a pleasant sight, or state all the time, constantly flitting from delight
hearing a pleasant sound, we feel approval. If it’s a to aversion, and in the Tipitaka these two words
sight that offends our eyes or a sound that grates “delight” and “aversion” crop up frequently.
our ears, one that we perceive to be unpleasant, Whenever we experience a sense impression
there is a reaction of disapproval. there is a resulting reaction from the mind. So I say
From these initial reactions of approval and we experience life through the awareness of sen-
disapproval arise mental proliferations, thoughts sations. Thus the experience of sensation is a very
about sense objects which become problems in important aspect of our everyday lives. If we don’t
our mind and cause it to become stained and dull. practice correctly in relation to our experience of
The disease arises. So this disease arises within the sense contact, defilements will arise, resulting in
mind, it’s true, but it comes as a result of experi- problems.
encing sensations, or the world as it appears to us The first defilements to arise will be “delight” and
through our senses. “aversion.” Therefore it is said to cut the stream
at its beginning with sati, restraining the senses.
Restraining the senses to see more clearly In the beginning, we recollect whenever a sensa-
W e must know how to function correctly
in this world. If we know how to func-
tion properly, the disease won’t arise. To func-
tion has arisen. Whether it is to our liking or not
we should not allow that sensation to overwhelm
us, leading us to proliferate under the influence
tion properly in regard to the world is to function of delight and aversion, and from there to further
แสงธรรม 9 Saeng Dhamma
harmful thoughts. This is how to practice properly self is to perceive sensations with clinging. Seeing
in relation to sense impressions, which is also the sensations as ourselves or belonging to us, we ex-
proper relationship toward the world. When we pect them to obey our commands. When we cling
practice like this, the diseases won’t arise. to the world in this way, wanting everything, espe-
This is one aspect of the matter, the disease cially our possessions, to conform to our desires,
which arises within through sense contact. How- to belong to us, then when those things change ac-
ever, if we look more deeply we see that this inter- cording to the natural laws of cause and effect, our
action between ourselves and the world, what we minds manifest a state of turmoil and distress. Suf-
call life, is all sankhara, conditioned phenomena. fering arises. Thus, in the final analysis, the world
The world consists of sankhara, which all come un- causes disease to arise within us because it is sub-
der the domain of the Three Characteristics: they ject to the Three Characteristics.
are all impermanent, stressful and not self. The Summarizing, we can say that there are two
whole world is therefore just the same as our indi- distinct factors which cause the disease of suffer-
vidual lives, all changing and ephemeral. It is not ing. First, kilesa, the unskillful interactions with the
within our power to force it to be any other way world through the influence of delight and aver-
than as conditioning factors direct it (it is anatta). sion, as well as the many kinds of defilements.
Even though the world is anatta, people still The second way is by the very nature of the world
attach to it. “World” here refers to everything we itself, being impermanent, stressful and not self,
come into contact with, not only our bodies but all which causes conflict to arise in the mind of any-
our possessions, both living and non-living. They one who clings to it.
are all impermanent, stressful and not self, just as However, the arising of problems, regardless of
are our very lives. The wrong way to conduct one- whether we look on the level of our own lives, or
กลุมเยาวชนไทย Work and Travel จำานวนหลายกลุม เดินทางมาพักทีวดและเทียวชมวอชิงตันดีซ,
่ ่ ่ั ่ ี
กลุมนักเรียน นักศึกษา จากหลายสถาบันการศึกษา สนใจเข้ามาศึกษาพุทธศาสนาทีวดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. เมษา 2553
แสงธรรม 10 Saeng Dhamma
look outward to the world in general, must ulti- ture of sankharas we can thereby simultaneously
mately stem from one and the same source. The cut defilements in all their forms, because we see
arising of problems in the most elementary sense that they are not worthy of holding onto. When
occurs on a moment-to-moment basis, as the mind we don’t cling to things, they no longer cause us
interacts with the various sensations and becomes, to whirl around, because we’ve seen their ultimate
as a result, spoiled, agitated and tricked by greed, nature.
hatred and delusion.
If one has mindfulness and can cut the flow The development of the mind
of defilements, by not allowing the mind to in-
dulge in delight and aversion, then one can main-
tain the mind in a clear, calm state. The disease
S o on the higher levels of Buddhist prac-
tice we talk about bhavana, cultivation, the
training of the mind. This training also has various
won’t arise. However, on a deeper level, one must levels. Initially one may train the mind simply to
also understand the true nature of this world and be calm by the practice of samadhi. The aim of
our lives in their entirety, as impermanent, stress- samadhi is to focus the mind at one sensation, or
ful and not self. One can thus relax the grip of at- object of awareness. The everyday mind is rarely at
tachment. Once the grip of attachment has been rest, it’s like a monkey, jumping from one impres-
relaxed, one’s mind is no longer swayed or over- sion to another. One moment it has one object
whelmed by the world. No matter how things go, of awareness, then in an instant it flies off some-
they can no longer rule over the mind. Not fol- where else, then somewhere else again. The more
lowing those conditions, the mind detaches itself it jumps around following sensations, the less it
freely from them. is its own master, and the more it is enslaved by
This is an important point. In the end, we must those sensations and caught up in greed, hatred,
be able to free our mind, to make it liberated, clear and delusion.
and calm at all times. If we are able to bring our mind to rest on one
What I’ve been talking about here is the practice object, not jumping around after countless sensa-
of Dhamma on various levels. Firstly, I explained tions, the mind will become manageable. So we
the practice of Dhamma as a medicine for spe- must take one particular impression, anything will
cific illnesses. This includes the various techniques do that is wholesome and not outright harmful,
for counteracting such defilements as maccha- such as a meditation theme. For example, one ob-
riya, selfishness or stinginess. When this arises we ject that is quite neutral and doesn’t cause the
would use one particular technique. If anger or mind to proliferate in unskillful ways is the in and
envy arise we can use other techniques. On the out breathing. Another is the qualities of the Bud-
deeper level, eventually we must know the true dha, which is a very good theme for keeping the
nature of sankharas. Just by knowing the true na- mind from wandering around.
แสงธรรม 11 Saeng Dhamma
When the mind rests with a meditation object such as branches and trees, from its path. Yet
we don’t have to bother with sensations arising again, the calm mind can be compared to still,
from the outside world. Defilements resulting from limpid water, which is completely free of ripples,
value judgments about externals do not arise. perfectly smooth. If one were to look in the water
This is the most elementary level of medita- one would clearly see a true reflection of one’s
tion practice: concentrating the mind on a harm- features. In the same way, the calm mind sees
less object. With the mind coming to rest on that things undistortedly.
object, we can be said to have accomplished our To put it even clearer, when water is still and
aim, the mind is in samadhi, being firmly fixed on calm, any dust or impurities in the water tend to
one object. When talking of samadhi the word ek- sink into a sediment, leaving the water above clean
aggata (one-pointedness) is used, meaning that the and clear. Anything in the water, such as fish, snails,
mind rests with one particular object. When it rests rocks and so on, is readily visible. Similarly, in calm-
on that object it is calm and undistracted. This is ing the mind by practicing concentration (samadhi),
samadhi. there is a further benefit to be derived, apart from
Samadhi has just this much as its initial require- making the mind unperturbed and unmolested by
ment: bringing the mind to a focus at one particular defilements, and that is the arising of wisdom.
sensation. The defilements are subdued and un- Usually, with a restless mind, whatever we look
able to arise. If the mind goes on to more refined at we see unclearly. It is like trying to look at an ob-
levels of concentration, it may enter the jhanas ject while it is swinging back and forth. No matter
(absorptions), but no matter how refined the con- how hard we look we won’t be able see it clearly.
centration becomes it still retains the same basic In fact, the more closely we try to inspect the ob-
qualities -- having one sensation for its object and ject, the more blurred it becomes. If we want to
fixing onto that. see that object more clearly we must hold it as
Qualities of Samadhi still as possible.
W hen the mind is one-pointed, it is said to
be like a magnifying glass which is used
to concentrate the sun’s rays. Using a magnifying
To be continued
glass, a concentration of energy occurs which can
even ignite an object in its path. Again, the mind
can be compared to water which is released from
a great height, such as a mountain. If the water
has no channel it dissipates, but if a pipe is used
to channel the water it flows down in a torrent,
sometimes so strong as to sweep all obstacles,
แสงธรรม 12 Saeng Dhamma
the Path to Peace
By Ajahn Chah
S ila, samadhi and pañña are the names giv-
en to the different aspects of the practice.
When you practise sila, samadhi and pañña, it
short, keeping sila means watching over yourself,
watching over your actions and speech.
So who will do the watching over? Who will take
means you practise with yourselves. Right sila ex- responsibility for your actions? Who is the one who
ists here, right samadhi exists here. Why? Because knows before you lie, swear or say something frivo-
your body is right here! You have hands, you have lous? Contemplate this: whoever it is who knows is
legs right here. This is where you practise sila. It’s the one who has to take responsibility for your sila.
easy to reel off the list of wrong kinds of behav- Bring that awareness to watch over your actions
iour as found in the books, but the important thing and speech. That knowing, that awareness is what
to understand is that the potential for them all you use to watch over your practice. To keep sila,
lies within us. Your body and speech are with you you use that part of the mind which directs your
right here and now. You practise moral restraint, actions and which leads you to do good and bad.
which means taking care to avoid the unskilful ac- You catch the villain and transform him into a sher-
tions of killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. For iff or a mayor. Take hold of the wayward mind and
instance, in the past you may have killed animals bring it to serve and take responsibility for all your
or insects by smashing them with an axe or a fist, actions and speech. Look at this and contemplate
or perhaps you didn’t take much care with your it. The Buddha taught us to take care with our ac-
speech: false speech means lying or exaggerating tions. Who is it who does the taking care?
the truth; coarse speech means you are constantly The practice involves establishing sati, mindful-
being abusive or rude to others -’you scum,’ ‘you ness, within this ‘one who knows.’ The ‘one who
idiot,’ and so on; frivolous speech means aimless knows’ is that intention of mind which previously
chatter, foolishly rambling on without purpose or motivated us to kill living beings, steal other peo-
substance. We’ve indulged in it all. No restraint! In ple’s property, indulge in illicit sex, lie, slander,
แสงธรรม 13 Saeng Dhamma
say foolish and frivolous things and engage in all the heart. It is with the ‘one who knows’ that you
the kinds of unrestrained behavior. The ‘one who look after yourself, because all your actions spring
knows’ led us to speak. It exists within the mind. from here. By guarding your speech and actions
Focus your mindfulness (sati) - that constant rec- they become graceful and pleasing to the eye and
ollectedness - on this ‘one who knows.’ Let the ear, while you yourself remain comfortable and at
knowing look after your practice. Use sati or aware- ease within the restraint. If you practise mindful-
ness to keep the mind recollecting in the present ness and restraint until it becomes comfortable
moment and maintain mental composure in this and natural to you, the mind will become firm and
way. Make the mind look after itself. Do it well. resolute in the practise of sila and restraint. It will
be consistently paying attention to the practice
----------------------------------------------------------------------- and thus become concentrated. The characteristic
To keep sila, you use that part of the mind of being unwavering in the practice of mindfulness
which directs your actions and which leads you and restraint is called ‘samadhi.’ The mind is firmly
to do good and bad. You catch the villain and concentrated in this practice of sila and restraint.
transform him into a sheriff or a mayor. Being firmly concentrated in the practice of sila
----------------------------------------------------------------------- means that there is an evenness and consistency
to the practice of mindfulness and restraint. These
I f the mind is really able to look after itself, it
is not so difficult to guard speech and actions,
since they are all supervised by the mind. Keeping
are the characteristics of samadhi as an external
factor in the practice. However, it also has an inner,
deeper side to it.
sila - in other words taking care of your actions and Once the mind has an intentness in the prac-
speech - is not such a difficult thing. You sustain tice and sila and samadhi are firmly established,
awareness at every moment and in every posture, you will be able to investigate and reflect on that
whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down. Be- which is wholesome and unwholesome - asking
fore you perform any action, speak or engage in yourself “Is this right?...” “Is that wrong?” as you
conversation, establish awareness first. You must experience different mind-objects. When the mind
have sati, be recollecting, before you do anything. makes contact with different sights, sounds, smells,
It doesn’t matter what you are going to say, you tastes, tactile sensations or ideas, the ‘one who
must first be recollecting in the mind. Practise like knows’ will arise and establish awareness of liking
this until you are fluent. Practise so that you can and disliking, happiness and suffering and the dif-
keep abreast of what’s going on in the mind; to the ferent kinds of mind-objects that you experience.
point where mindfulness becomes effortless and You will come to see clearly, and see many differ-
you are mindful before you act, mindful before you ent things. If you are mindful, you will see the dif-
speak. This is the way you establish mindfulness in ferent objects which pass into the mind and the re-
แสงธรรม 14 Saeng Dhamma
action which takes place upon experiencing them. and mind. You can never really do too much of
The ‘one who knows’ will automatically take them this. The practice of mindfulness and restraint with
up as objects for contemplation. Once the mind is body, speech and mind and the consistent distin-
vigilant and mindfulness is firmly established, you guishing between right and wrong is what you hold
will note all the reactions displayed through either as the object of mind. You become concentrated
body, speech or mind, as mind-objects are expe- in this way and by firmly and unshakably attaching
rienced. That aspect of the mind which identifies to this way of practice, it means the mind actually
and selects the good from the bad, the right from becomes sila, samadhi and pañña - the character-
the wrong, from amongst all the mind-objects with- istics of the practice as described in the conven-
in your field of awareness, is pañña. This is pañña tional teachings.
in its initial stages and it matures as a result of the As you continue to develop and maintain the
practice. All these different aspects of the practice practice, these different characteristics and quali-
arise from within the mind. The Buddha referred to ties are perfected together in the mind. However,
these characteristics as sila, samadhi and pañña. As practising sila, samadhi and pañña at this level is
you continue the practice, fresh attachments and still not enough to produce the factors of jhana
new kinds of delusion begin to arise in the mind. (meditative absorption) - the practice is still too
This means you start clinging to that which is coarse. Still, the mind is already quite refined - on
good or wholesome. You become fearful of any the refined side of coarse! For an ordinary unen-
blemishes or faults in the mind - anxious that your lightened person who has not been looking after
samadhi will be harmed by them. At the same the mind or practiced much meditation and mind-
time you begin to be diligent and hard working, fulness, just this much is already something quite
and to love and nurture the practice. You continue refined. At this level, you can feel a sense of satis-
to practise like this as much as possible, until you faction with being able to practise to the full extent
might even reach the point where you are con- of your ability. This is something you will see for
stantly judging and picking fault with everyone you yourself; it’s something that has to be experienced
meet, wherever you go. You are constantly reacting within the mind of the practitioner.
with attraction and aversion to the world around If this is so, it means that you are already on
you, becoming full of all kinds of uncertainty and the path, i.e. practising sila, samadhi and pañña.
continually attaching to views of the right and These must be practised together, for if any are
wrong way to practise. It’s as if you have become lacking, the practice will not develop correctly. The
obsessed with the practice. But you don’t have to more your sila improves, the firmer the mind be-
worry about this yet - at that point it’s better to comes. The firmer the mind is, the bolder pañña
practise too much than too little. Practise a lot and becomes and so on ... each part of the practice
dedicate yourself to looking after body, speech supporting and enhancing all the others. As you
แสงธรรม 15 Saeng Dhamma
deepen and refine the practice, sila, samadhi and make any distinction between the mind, body or
pañña will mature together from the same place speech. As you continue to turn attention inwards
- they are refined down from the same raw mate- and reflect on the Dhamma, the wisdom faculty
rial. In other words the Path has coarse beginnings, gradually matures, and eventually you are left
but, as a result of training and refining the mind contemplating the mind and mind-objects - which
through meditation and reflection, it becomes in- means that you start to experience the body as
creasingly subtle. As the mind becomes more re- immaterial. Through your insight, you are no longer
fined, the practice of mindfulness becomes more groping at or uncertain in your understanding of
focussed, being concentrated on a more and more the body and the way it is. The mind experiences
narrow area. The practice actually becomes easier the body’s physical characteristics as formless ob-
as the mind turns more and more inwards to focus jects which come into contact with the mind. Ulti-
on itself. You no longer make big mistakes or go mately, you are contemplating just the mind and
wildly wrong. Now, whenever the mind is affected mind-objects - those objects which come into your
by a particular matter, doubts will arise - such as consciousness. Now, examining the true nature of
whether acting or speaking in a certain way is right or the mind, you can observe that in its natural state,
wrong - you simply keep halting the mental prolifera- it has no preoccupations or issues prevailing upon
tion and, through intensifying effort in the practice, it. It’s like a piece of cloth or a flag that has been
continue turning your attention deeper and deeper tied to the end of a pole. As long as it’s on its own
inside. The practice of samadhi will become progres- and undisturbed, nothing will happen to it.
sively firmer and more concentrated. The practice of
pañña is enhanced so that you can see things more
clearly and with increasing ease. To be continued
The end result is that you are clearly able to
see the mind and its objects, without having to
กิจกรรมทีนาสนใจในวันสงกรานต์ ฝรังรำามวยไทยโชว์ ฝึกสอนโดยคุณแซม,
่ ่ ่
การแสดงลิเกโดยคณะผูปกครองนักเรียนวัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. โดยการฝึกสอนของคุณครูแต็ก กัญญภัทร