แสงธรรม 1 Saeng Dhamma The Buddha’s Words พุทธสุภาษิต โย จ ปุพฺเพ ปมชฺชิตฺวา ปจฺฉา โส นปฺปมชฺชติ โสมํ โลกํ ปภาเสติ อพฺภา มุตฺโต ว จนฺทิมา. (๑๗๒) ผูทเี่ คยประมาทในกาลก่อน แต่ภายหลังไม่ประมาท เขาย่อมส่องโลกนีให้สว่าง ้ ้ เหมือนพระจันทร์ที่พ้นจากเมฆ ฉะนั้น Whoso was previously negligent but afterwards practises vigillance he illumines the world here and now like the moon emerging from the cloud.
แสงธรรม 5 Saeng Dhamma by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu http://www.liberationpark.org/arts/lpsm/wildmonk.htm Now, don’t have regrets about anything. There isn’t much time left, so you won’t be missing much. Just sacrifice your pleasures and comforts. Try out this natural living which auto- T his is an extremely important and genuine fact. Live naturally and it willbe Dhamma (Natural Truth) and Vinaya (Natu- matically has lots of cleanness, clarity, and calm. You’ve had enough time to read, hear talks, and study the basics of being a monk. Henceforth,ral Discipline), or Nature, in and of itself. Living know especially the things which will have thenaturally is near to Nibbana, more so than liv- most benefit. Then your time as a monk will being scientifically, because Nibbana is already the over, you will have beneficial knowledge whichhighest nature: naturally clean, clear, and calm. is complete, that is, you know in general andLive naturally, it helps make us clean, clear, and in specifics, you know loosely and strictly, untilcalm more easily. you know how the Buddha lived. Now, I want you to hold the general prin- When we speak of the Lord Buddha, neverciple that Nature, the Law of Nature, Duty in forget that he was born outdoors, awakenedline with the Law of Nature, and the Fruit re- outdoors, realized Nibbana outdoors, taughtceived from doing Duty according to the Law of outdoors, lived outdoors, had a hut with anNature, are the most important matter. This is earthen floor, and so on. We give it as much ofBuddhism, it’s the essence of religion without a try as we can. Even now, we see that we’reneeding to call it religion. It’s better to call it sitting on the ground, which is much different“Truth of Nature” or “Natural Truth.” than in the city wats. There they sit on wooden
แสงธรรม 6 Saeng Dhammafloors, on mats, on carpets, depending on the more ability, more strength, more of everything.status of each wat. Some wats spread expensive One can do anything beyond expectations andcarpeting in the temple building for all eternity. personal limitations. Whether writing a book,So they sit in their chapels on carpets. Here, we reading, or thinking, much more can be done.sit on the seat of the Buddha -- the ground. This One lives in the lowest way materially andis one example for you to understand what na- physically, but the mind goes its own separateture is like, and how different it is from the cities, way. It takes a higher course, because when weand how different are the hearts of those who live simply the mind isn’t pulled in. The heartcome sit and interact with Nature. is released so that it lifts up high. If we sleep I’ve tried my best in this matter. When comfortably, like wealthy householders, thatSuan Mokkh was first started, I slept on the comfort grabs the heart. It traps the heart, whichground. I slept next to the grasses in order to can’t go anywhere, can’t escape, is stuck there.know their flavor. I used to sleep on the beach, So live and sleep more lowly, since humbletoo. Then, when I first slept in the “middle hut” things won’t trap the heart. Live humbly andafter it was newly built, I would stretch my hand the mind will rise high, will think lofty things.out the window to fondle the plants next to the Living in a humble condition, in one thatwindow. This completely different feeling is the can’t fall lower, the mind can only proceed in ameaning of “forest wat wild monk.” higher way. It’s easy because we needn’t carry Everything changes. Feelings, sensitiv- or load down the mind with anything. The mindity, standards, what have you, they change by can be “normal” and free. It is free in its move-themselves. Matters of food, shelter, clothing, ments, reflections, and actions. Thus, we canrest, sleep, aches and illness: they changed freely do anything of the sort which is not likecompletely. They caused us to understand Na- anyone else. Through the power of nature, thereture more than when we hadn’t tried yet, un- isn’t any carelessness, we don’t make mistakes.til finally there were no problems at all. Things Since the mind is heedful there are no mistakes.which I had feared all disappeared. Fear of lone- That the heart can find a way out like this mustliness in deserted places, fear of spirits, fear of be considered freedom. Know the mind that isanything, they didn’t last more than seven days. independent, that isn’t caught and held by deli-They gradually disappeared themselves. This led ciousness and pleasure, by the happiness and com-to mental comfort, ease, and other fruits. The fort of eyes, ears, nose tongue, body, and mind.mind became strong, agile, subtle, and refined. Here I want to make a distinction. If some-Those were its fruits. Thus, whatever I thought thing is in line with original nature, and there’sof doing, I could do it better than before I came no indulgence in new pleasures, we’ll call itto the forest, better than in the city. There’s no “natural.” If it goes after new pleasures, if newlycomparison between living in Bangkok and living concocted for more tasty pleasures than nature,here. They’re totally different. I can say there’s we’ll call it “unnatural.” They’re truly different.
แสงธรรม 7 Saeng DhammaIf going naturally, the defilements arise with dif- and all that exceed nature. It’s better not to.ficulty, they can’t arise. If acting in an unnatural And please look, it doesn’t make humanity anyway, it’s easy for the defilements to be born, or better. It doesn’t create peace in the world. Ifelse it’s defilement from the very start. Thus, mental matters don’t progress, if there’s only de-living as nature’s comrade makes it hard for the filement -- delusion and all -- there’ll be no end.defilements. It automatically controls and pre- In summary, make things humble so that theyvents against the defilements (kilesa). don’t trap the mind. Then this heart of ours is free to think, consider, decide, and choose. Please use the mindfulness and wisdom that you receive from this style of living to choose and decide what you must in the future. If you were born in Bangkok, you were surrounded by man-made things and raised far from the forest, much more than people born in the forest. Those born in towns and cities hardly know the meaning of “forest” or “wild.” Those born in the sticks know some- thing, but don’t pay any attention. They This is the spirit of Suan Mokkh, of setting must work, must always be doing something ac-up a place like this. When you want this enough cording to their moods, so they hardly noticeto come here, then you ought to get it. Besides how calm and clean it is. Sometimes they arethis, there isn’t anything. We’ve tried to prevent even dissatisfied with it, although born in theother things from happening, so that there are country. Our hearts don’t like it and always aimonly these things: how to eat, how to live, and to get into “developed and beautiful” areas inhow to sleep. We’ve spoken many times of the the cities and capital. Thus, we don’t know thespecific details of each. taste of the forest and of Nature, even if born I’ve said it before, but nobody believes me in the forest, even when splattered with mud,that to take exactly what nature provides is suf- because the mind is occupied in another way.ficient, is good enough. When we must die, then Now you’re in robes and needn’t workdie. Don’t postpone and make it difficult. It’s like lay folk. The heart has a chance to knowlike the medical care that has progressed to the the peaceful flavors and quiet nooks of Nature,point that people are unable to die, they can’t which is the cause of the mind’s freedom in thedrop. They live inhumanly, but not dead. That’s first place. You ought to use this final chancetoo much. Heart transplants, liver transplants, here to keep walking until knowing the heart
แสงธรรม 8 Saeng Dhammathat is naturally pure, which is something like the grasped, known, or seen it at all.heart of the Arahant. The Arahant’s heart is just The academics only memorize and recite,like that -- natural -- except it’s that way totally. then take examinations, then memorize andNow, we may have a heart like that, but only recite some more. They think only accordingmomentarily, temporarily. The next moment itchanges off in another direction, and we can’t pull it to what they’re told. Their minds don’t reachback. Try to penetrate this heart of nature. cleanness, clarity, and calm at all. From the the- In clear and simple terms, we call it pure oretical studies or scriptures, one just gets storiesnature, nature which isn’t concocted (“cooked and information. To phrase it more politely, oneand seasoned”) by anything. And we don’t con- gets only a map. Actually, they don’t even getcoct that nature either. It exists simply, humbly, the map. I know this well because I’ve tried thatfreshly, peacefully, coolly, however you want to way myself. I’ve taken the full Dhamma Course,describe it. If you know this flavor, you know the studied the Pali language (in which the Thera-flavor of Dhamma, in its aspect of the only fruitworth having, because Dhamma’s reality (liter- vada scriptures are written), and researchedally, “body”) has been captured. Those who continuously. It seems I got only complicatedjust study and take exams never receive Dham- stories -- mostly mixed up and confused to bootma’s reality. All they can do is holler about it. -- without getting even a map. Those who talk ofIf somehow you can catch Dhamma itself, it’s scholarship, of being Pali experts and Dhammalike catching a crab or fish, it’s something tangi- Masters, of having a map, they make it up, imag-ble. Here we can catch the substance of clean- ine, and arrange it themselves.ness, clarity, and calm -- the body of Dhamma.Even temporarily is worth it. To have grasped itand seen it just once is better than never having To be continued ร้าน THAI DERM ถวายเพลทุกวันจันทร์ต้นเดือน ร้าน BANGKOK GARDEN ถวายเพลประจ�าเดือน ฺ
แสงธรรม 9 Saeng Dhamma A Taste of Freedom The Peace Beyond A Dhammatalk By Ajahn Chah http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/atasteof.html ...Continued from last issue... When the Buddha was newly enlightened T he Buddha knew that because both happiness and unhappiness are unsat-isfactory, they have the same value. When hap- he gave a sermon about indulgence in Pleasure and Indulgence in Pain. “Monks! Indulgence in Pleasure is the loose way, Indulgence in Painpiness arose he let it go. He had right practice, is the tense way.” These were the two thingsseeing that both these things have equal values that disturbed his practice until the day he wasand drawbacks. They come under the Law of enlightened, because at first he didn’t let go ofDhamma, that is, they are unstable and unsatis- them. When he knew them, he let them go, andfactory. Once born, they die. When he saw this, so was able to give his first sermon.right view arose, the right way of practice be- So we say that a meditator should not walkcame clear. No matter what sort of feeling or the way of happiness or unhappiness, rather hethinking arose in his mind, he knew it as simply should know them. Knowing the truth of suffer-the continuous play of happiness and unhappi- ing, he will know the cause of suffering, the endness. He didn’t cling to them. of suffering and the way leading to the end of suffering. And the way out of suffering is medita- tion itself. To put it simply, we must be mindful. Mindfulness is knowing, or presence of mind. Right now what are we thinking, what are we doing? What do we have with us right now? We observe like this, we are aware of how we are living. When we practice like this wisdom can คณะแม่บานยุคใหม่ ท�าบุญประจ�าเดือน สาธุ สาธุ!! ้ arise. We consider and investigate at all times,
แสงธรรม 10 Saeng Dhammain all postures. When a mental impression arises As long as we are still unenlightened allthat we like to know it as such, we don’t hold this may sound strange but it doesn’t matter,it to be anything substantial. It’s just happiness. we just set our goal in this direction. The mindWhen unhappiness arises we know that it’s Indul- is the mind. It meets happiness and unhappi-gence in Pain, it’s not the path of a meditator. ness and we see them as merely that, there’s This is what we call separating the mind nothing more to it. They are divided, not mixed.from the feeling. If we are clever we don’t at- If they are all mixed up then we don’t knowtach, we leave things be. We become the ‘one them. It’s like living in a house; the house andwho knows’. The mind and feeling are just like its occupant are related, but separate. If there isoil and water; they are in the same bottle but danger in our house we are distressed becausethey don’t mix. Even if we are sick or in pain, we must protect it, but if the house catches firewe still know the feeling as feeling, the mind we get out of it. If painful feeling arises we getas mind. We know the painful or comfortable out of it, just like that house. When it’s full ofstates but we don’t identify with them. We stay fire and we know it, we come running out of it.only with peace: the peace beyond both com- They are separate things; the house is one thing,fort and pain. the occupant is the other. You should understand it like this, because We say that we separate mind and feelingif there is no permanent self then there is no ref- in this way but in fact they are by nature alreadyuge. You must live like this, that is, without happi- separate. Our realization is simply to know thisness and without unhappiness. You stay only with natural separateness according to reality. Whenthe knowing, you don’t carry things around. we say they are not separated it’s because we’re คณะผู้ปกครอง “09” ถวายเพลทุกเดือน คุณแต่ว-ดอน และคณะถวายเพลทุกเดือน
แสงธรรม 11 Saeng Dhammaclinging to them through ignorance of the truth. this then things are difficult. The Buddha didn’t So the Buddha told us to meditate. This teach like that. He said that right here is the placepractice of meditation is very important. Merely to meditate. When we’re sick or almost dyingto know with the intellect is not enough. The that’s when we can really know and see reality.knowledge which arises from practice with a Other people say they don’t have thepeaceful mind and the knowledge which comes chance to meditate because they’re too busy.from study are really far apart. The knowledge Sometimes school teachers come to see me.which comes from study is not real knowledge They say they have many responsibilities soof our mind. The mind tries to hold onto and there’s no time to meditate. I ask them, “Whenkeep this knowledge. Why do we try to keep it? you’re teaching do you have time to breathe?”Just lose it! And then when it’s lost we cry! They answer, “Yes.” “So how can you have time If we really know, then there’s letting go, to breathe if the work is so hectic and confus-leaving things be. We know how things are and ing? Here you are far from Dhamma.”don’t forget ourselves. If it happens that we Actually this practice is just about the mindare sick we don’t get lost in that. Some people and its feelings. It’s not something that you havethink, “This year I was sick the whole time, I to run after or struggle for. Breathing continuescouldn’t meditate at all.” These are the words while working. Nature takes care of the natu-of a really foolish person. Someone who’s sick ral processes — all we have to do is try to beand dying should really be diligent in his prac- aware. Just to keep trying, going inwards to seetice. One may say he doesn’t trust his body, and clearly. Meditation is like this.so he feels that he can’t meditate. If we think like To be continued คณะผู้ถวายเช้าทุกวันจันทร์ คุณกุญชลี-คุณแแม่ และคณะถวายเช้าวันอังคารต้นเดือน
แสงธรรม 12 Saeng DhammaThe Three Characteristics of Existence By Du Wayne EngelhartThe Three Characteristics of Existence the sound, form the opinion that this particular A s we contemplate in our insight medi- tation the way the world works, wesee certain fundamental characteristics emerge. song is lovelier than a different one we heard last week, etc. Hearing a sense impression leads to having a feeling, having a feeling leads toNature, the totality of the world of human expe- remembering another sound, remembering arience, exhibits three main features that gradu- sound leads to a thought process, and a thoughtally become clear to us: impermanence (anic- process leads to forming an opinion. This kindca); suffering, or unsatisfactoriness (dukkha); and of conditioned activity happens countless timesno-self, lack of a self (anattā). a day as we experience the world. It goes on First of all, we realize the impermanence and on. This is the way our world is; it is a place(anicca) of everything in our world. Nothing where nothing stands still.within the world lasts. Our experience is char- The conditionality of nature does not justacterized by the constant flow of sense impres- mean that one thing leads to another in a con-sions, thoughts, memories, feelings, emotions, stant flow. Conditionality is not merely causal-and so on, that we can call a stream of con- ity in terms of linear progression over a period ofsciousness. All the elements in this flow are time. Things in nature follow one another in aconnected causally, that is, one thing leads to causal connection, but they also condition oneanother. For example, we hear the sound of a another in the sense that they depend uponbird’s song, have a feeling of delight, remem- one another at any given time for their very ex-ber a similar sound we heard yesterday, think istence. Conditionality is the mutual interde-about the species of bird that might be making pendence of all things within nature. For exam-
แสงธรรม 13 Saeng Dhammaple, we read an article in a newspaper because Secondly, we see the suffering, the unsat-there is newsprint, because we have money isfactoriness (dukkha), which exists in our lives.to buy a newspaper, because newspapers are The world of experience being impermanent asnot forbidden by the government, because our it is, we are bound to get frustrated if we try tooptic nerves are functioning properly, because hold on to something within this flow. Nothingwe know how to read, because we believe it is in the world really stays around long enoughimportant to keep up with current events, etc. for it to truly belong to a self. If we try to hangAll these conditions exist simultaneously. Then, on to the world, we are putting ourselves atperhaps, because we have read the article, we odds with the way nature is, so dissatisfaction isremember certain events related to it, we form bound to result. We are asking for trouble.an opinion about what we should do, we decide Anytime we people our world with “I” andto take certain action, and so forth. “mine,” anytime we let selfishness in any form We also get a real sense of the imper- get the better of us, we bring suffering upon our-manence of the world when we contemplate selves. If we get angry and blame an employeeour everyday experience of time. We say that for not following instructions, we suffer. If we“time flies,” and there is a reason for that. Try get upset with a spouse because she is makingas we will, we cannot hold on to it; it keeps us wait, we suffer. If we extend ill will toward agetting away from us. Lazy summer vacation fellow human being rather than the loving-kind-days quickly pass by, and we find ourselves ness we would expect for ourselves, we suffer.back at our jobs or at school wondering what If we spend all our time and energy pursuingbecame of our days off. The carefree days of the accumulation of our material things, weyouth soon enough give way to the responsi- suffer. Until we see that we should cling tobilities of a first job, then, before we know what nothing at all, we will continue to cause suf-happened, to the challenges of retirement. fering in our lives.The strength and agility of our younger years Thirdly, we come to the realization that inchange to the feebleness and unsteadiness of nature there is no self (anattā). The world as isold age. The lady we have seen occasionally shows itself is real enough, but there is no per-at the temple shows up one day looking gaunt during self evident within it. There is no self inand weak; shortly thereafter we hear that she nature; there is conditionality in nature. In thehas died. Our whole life, in fact, is one of be- totality of the world of human experience, thereing constantly on the way to death, the final, are indications that it is not a self that “callsinevitable destination for all of us. the shots,” but it is nature as a whole that does
แสงธรรม 14 Saeng Dhammaso. The ego, the self, the “I,” is not in control “we” impose upon a selfless nature. We comehere: one might say that nature is. The “self,” to realize that nature, the totality of the worldfor example, cannot hold its breath as long as it of human experience, is bereft of any self, ofwants; sooner or later nature starts the breath- any “I” or “mine.” We see that we suffer, ining again whether the self wants to or not. The our selfishness, because we refuse to simply letself cannot jump off a cliff, change its mind, and nature be.go back to the top of the cliff. The dictates We cannot find the self anywhere, for thereof nature say it is too late for that. The self, is only the flux of conditioned phenomena thatfurthermore, try as it will, is never able to find comprises nature as a whole. If we look hardsatisfaction and happiness in the things of the enough at the world of human experience, nophysical world. Nature will always make sure of self is evident. There are discrete sense impres-that. Whether the self likes it or not, nature willsions (e.g., red, salty, hot, etc.), discrete feelingstake away the self’s possessions, loved ones, (pleasure, displeasure, sadness, delight, etc.),and even ultimately the very life of the self’s discrete thoughts (the Buddha lived about 2,500body. However firmly the self tries to keep a years ago, George Washington was the first Pres-grip on things, nature ensures that nothing lasts, ident, E = mc2, etc.), discrete memories (e.g.,that everything is impermanent. The self can do a summer vacation, the day we got married,nothing about this. what we were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated, etc.), and discrete opinions (e.g., Coca Cola is better than Pepsi, Big Foot is a hoax, a low-carb diet is good for you, etc). Where is the enduring self, ego, person, indi- vidual, or soul? We see only nature, the sum total of the “inner” and “outer” dimensions of human experience, unfolding itself in all its con- ditioned complexity. The “inner” dimension is traditionally called “mind”; the “outer” dimen- sion is traditionally called “world.” “Within” Why is the self unable to do anything in this mind-world, which is really one and thethese cases? Because there really is no endur- same world of the totality of nature, there ising self; there is only nature unfolding according no self.to its laws. The self is a fiction, a contrivance THe END
แสงธรรม 20 Saeng Dhamma ขอเชิญทุกท่านร่วมนมัสการพระสารีรกธาตุ ณ อุโบสถ วัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. ิ Those who are interested in Thai Theravada Buddhism and members of the general public are cordially invited to Wat Thai, D.C., Temple to pay their respect to or simply view the Buddha relics on display in the chanting hall.ปฏิบัติธรรมประจำ�เดือนมกร�คม ณ วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี. 21 มกราคม 2555ศึกษาและปฏิบัติธรรมตามแนวพระไตรปิฎก � สาธยายพระไตรปิฎก ภาษาบาลี � ฟังบรรยายธรรม - ธรรมสากัจฉา � เจริญจิตภาวนา - แผ่เมตตา พร้อมกันบนอุโบสถศาลา เวลา 9.00 A.M.