แสงธรรม 1 Saeng Dhamma The Buddha’s Words พุทธสุภาษิต อตฺตทตฺถํ ปรตฺเถน พหุนาปิ น หาปเย อตฺตทตฺถมภิญฺญาย สทตฺถปสุโต สิยา. (๑๖๖)ถึงจะทําประโยชน์แก่คนอื่นมากมาย ก็ไม่ควรละทิ้งจุดหมายปลายทางของตนเมื่อรู้ว่าอะไรคือจุดหมายปลายทางของตนแล้ว ก็ควรใฝ่ใจขวนขวายFall not away from one’s own purpose for the sake of another, howevergreat. When once one has seen one’s own goal, one should hold to it fastand firm.
แสงธรรม 2 Saeng Dhamma EMPTINESS by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/BhikkhuBuddhadasa_Heart_Wood_from_the_Bo_Tree.htm ...Continued from last issue... P ractising Dhamma is similar - it’s just practice. It is a truth of nature that re-sults always arise in proportion to the practice tation is in line with the etymology of the word, for the word dhamma means ‘a thing which maintains itself’. Dhammas are divided into two done. If one grasps at or clings to it as being ‘I’ categories; those which flow and change and or .mine’ then one falls into more error, creates those that do not. Those that flow and change another spurious self, and experiences Dukkha due to some generative force maintain their no differently than if one were clinging to some- existence within that very flow and change i.e. thing as gross as sexual desire. they are the stream of transformation itself. Reaching the Path Realizations, their Fruits That which being devoid of the necessary causal and Nibbana; They are dhammas, parts of na- factors does not flow and change is Nibbana or ture, that are ‘such-as-they-are’. Even emptiness emptiness. It is able to maintain itself without is a part of nature. If one grasps at or clings to it change i.e. it is the state of changelessness itself. then it is a false Nibbana, a false emptiness be- But the sort of dhamma which undergoes trans-cause Nibbana, true emptiness, is ungraspable. formation and the sort that doesn’t are both Thus it may be said that on grasping at Nibbana merely dhammas, things which maintain them-or emptiness one deviates from it immediately. selves in certain states. So there is nothing more All these examples demonstrate that there is than nature, nothing more than the elements of absolutely nothing at all apart from dhammas. nature, and how can mere dhammas be ‘I’ or The word dhamma signifies nature. This interpre- ‘mine’? In this context ‘dhammas’ means na-
แสงธรรม 3 Saeng Dhammature, the natural, or in other words, dhammas of that group of sankharas (dhammas). Thus it’s are tathata, they are as they are, they can’t be just another dhamma, a dhamma of ignorance, any other way. There are only dhammas. ‘All the grasping and clinging to an illusory self and to things’ are nothing but dhammas there are no things as belonging to self. Don’t forget that it’s dhammas apart from ‘all things’. just a dhamma. Its true essence is emptiness. True Dhamma, no matter what part, topic, A vijja is emptiness just as much as are vijja level or kind must be one with emptiness, com- or Nibbana -they are all equally dhammas. If we pletely void of self. Therefore we must look for look on them in this way we will see their emp-emptiness in all things, or as we call them for tiness of self continually. Dhammas of this level, short, in dhammas. To speak in terms of logic: even though they are one and the same thing all things = dhammas as emptiness may still result in avijja, may still all things = emptiness cause the illusion of self to arise in conscious- dhammas = emptiness ness. So we should be aware of the dhammas It can be put in a number of ways, but the of grasping and clinging and ignorance, which are important point to understand is that there is also included in the phrase ‘all things’. nothing apart from empty nature. Nothing what- If we really know all things, this ignorant grasp-soever should be grasped at or clung to as being ing and clinging won’t take place. If we don’t ‘I’ or ‘mine’. So from this it can be clearly seen know them and just blindly follow our stupid that emptiness is the nature of all things. It is and deluded animal instincts, it opens the doors only by ending every kind of delusion that it can to the dhammas of avijja over and over again. be discerned. To see emptiness there must be We who have grasping and clinging like an panna that is undeluded and undefiled. inheritance that has been passed down for an There is a further category of dhammas - the immeasurable time may see that from the mo-dhammas of avijja, of false knowing, reactions ment of birth we received training from those arising from the contact of the mind with the around us, some intentional and some uninten-world of materiality. As was said earlier, when t tional, solely in the ways of ignorance, solely he dhamma which is mind, comes into contact in the ways of grasping at self and the belong-with the dhamma which is materiality, a reac- ings of self. Never once have we trained in the tion takes place in the form of feeling. In regards ways of selflessness. Children never receive that to that feeling one may follow either the path of sort of training. They are taught only in terms of avijja or of vijja (clear knowing). Its form will de- self. Originally, at birth a child’s mind doesn’t pend on the external conditions and the nature have much sense of self, but it learns it from its
แสงธรรม 4 Saeng Dhammaenvironment. As soon as it opens its eyes or is grasping, when we and grasping are truly just conscious of anything, it is taught to cling to it one thing, what can we do? Who can help the as being my father, my mother, my home, my mind when it is in such a state? The answer to food and even the dish that it eats from has to this question is again nothing else but mind. It’s be MINE, no one else can use it. This unplanned already been stated that there is nothing other process, the arising of ego-consciousness and its than dhammas : falseness is a dhamma, correct-continual development and growth, follows its ness is a dhamma, Dukkha is a dhamma, the own laws. As for the contrary feeling of selfless- extinguishing of Dukkha, the tool to remedy ness, it never arises. Thus by the time that the Dukkha is a dhamma, the mind is a dhamma and child has grown up and aged he is stuffed full the body, is a dhamma. Therefore, there being of grasping and clinging and the mental defile- nothing other than dhammas, the answer must ments which, are their cause, so that for him lie in the mind itself, depending on a mecha-or her ego is life, life is ego. When the instinct nism compatible to it. of clinging to self is the ordinary life, that life is Whether there is merit or demerit is up to us.inseparable from Dukkha; it is heavy and oppres- If contact with the world leads to truth –sive, entangling, constricting, smothering, pierc- discerning awareness then it is merit (punna).ing and burning, all symptoms of Dukkha. If contact with the world leads to an in- So it follows that if there is grasping and cling- crease in foolishness and delusion then it’sing, even if it’s to goodness, then that is Dukkha. demerit (papa).In this sense that which the world assumes to If we observe, we can see that everyonebe goodness is false or evil. Goodness is still is born equal¬ - each and everyone of usDukkha, it has the Dukkha appropriate to it, be- have eyes, ears, a nose, a tongue, a body andcause it’s not empty, it’s still disturbed. Only a mind and outside each one of us, therewhere there is emptiness and one is beyond are forms; sounds, smells, tastes, tactile andgoodness can there be freedom from Dukkha. mental objects; everyone of us has the op-Therefore the main principle of the Buddhist portunity to contact those things and we allTeachings, as elucidated in the phrase ‘sabbe contact them in exactly the same way. Sodhamma nalam abhinivesaya’ is nothing other why is there this division between those whothan the complete elimination of the grasping at follow the path of foolishness, of demeritor clinging to things as being self or as belonging and harm, and those who follow the path ofto self. There is nothing beyond that. wisdom, of merit and benefit? When we are completely identified with There is a good side to it in the sense that
แสงธรรม 5 Saeng Dhammathese harmful dhammas are a real protection are seen, the mind will relax its grip. So the ques-for people, on the principle that if we experi- tion is, have we seen the painful consequences ence suffering become chastened, we remem- of grasping yet? If we haven’t, then we haven’t ber it. It’s like the child who tries to take hold relaxed our grip and if we haven’t relaxed our of fire. Once it has seen the consequences it is grip then we are not empty. On another occa-unlikely to do it again. With material things it’s sion the Buddha taught that whenever one sees easy, but as for taking hold of the fire that it is emptiness, then one finds contentment in Nib-grasping and clinging, the fires of greed, aversion bana. Only when one begins to see the non – and delusion, most of us aren’t even aware that existence of self will the mind learn to find con-we’re taking hold of fire at all. On the contra- tentment in the ayatana of Nibbana. Anything ry we misguidedly believe them to be lovable which can be known through the eyes, ears, and desirable and so we are not chastened, we nose, tongue, body or mind is called ayatana. don’t learn our lesson. Nibbana is called an ayatana here because it There is only one remedy and that is to be is merely an object of knowledge. How can we aware of the true nature of these dhammas, to be so foolish as not to see it? We will be able know that THESE DHAMMAS ARE A FIRE, that to know it from the moment that we see the they cannot be grasped at or clung to. This is state empty of self, because on the relaxation to be on the path of truth-discerning awareness, of grasping and clinging we will be content with learning one’s lesson, remembering that when- the ayatana of Nibbana. But it’s difficult, for as ever anything is grasped at as “I” or “mine’; fire I’ve said, our life is one of constant grasping and is ignited. It is not a fire that burns the hand but when there is no abatement of that grasping a fire that consumes the mind and heart. Some- there is no emptiness and so no contentment times it burns so deep that we aren’t aware that with the ayatana of Nibbana. it’s a fire at all or that it is burning, and so we We can see the truth or this point by tak-sink into the fiery mass that is Vattasamsara (the ing a look at other religions. Other religions do round of birth and death). It is the very hottest not have the word attavadupadana (grasping at life there is, hotter than an electric oven. If we and clinging to dhammas as being ‘I’ or ‘mine’). don’t look on things like a child who has tried Why is this so? It is because they teach a self to take hold of fire and refuses to do so again, it to be grasped at and clung to. Not regarding can be like that. such grasping as wrong it becomes right, in fact Thus the Buddha explained that when the it becomes the goal of the religion or sect. They painful consequences of grasping and clinging teach the attainment of self. In the Buddhist
แสงธรรม 6 Saeng DhammaTeachings however, attavadupadana is specified empty, it is ‘disturbed’ by grasping and clinging. as a defilement, as foolishness and delusion, We will use these two words to help our memo-and the Buddhist practice lies in its complete ries: ‘empty’ meaning free of the feeling of self relinquish¬ment. Consequently the teaching of or that things belong to self; and ‘disturbed’ anatta is found only in Buddhism. Unlike the meaning confused, depressed, in turmoil with sects which teach a self to be grasped at or to be the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. attained, we teach the complete destruction of What are the characteristics of the state self - consciousness so as to perceive the state of empty of ego - consciousness ( In the scriptures anatta, the state empty of self in all things. there is a teaching of the Buddha which lists four So anatta is talked about only by Buddhists. points: Knowledge and understanding can arise only Na aham kavacini - feeling that there is noth-in those people who have been taught that all ing that is me. Na kassaci kincanam kisminci - with-things are anatta and should not be grasped at out worry or doubt that any thing might be me. or clung to. If one is taught that there is a self This makes one pair, the second pair is: Na mama that must be grasped at and clung to then there kavacini - feeling that there is nothing that is is no way that one can practise to realize truth ‘mine’. Kisminci kincanam natthi - without worry the non - existence of self. or doubt that anything might be ‘mine’. (Anenjas- Thus we must examine the point that just as appaya Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya) We are aware that it is necess¬ary to see the danger of fire in order there is nothing that is ‘me’ but sometimes there to be afraid of being burnt, so also must we see is a remainder of anxiety that there is something the dangers of those things which are the root¬ that is ‘mine’. We feel that there is nothing that is causes of all fires, the fires of greed, aversion, mine but we can’t help doubting that there may and delusion, of grasping and clinging, in order in fact be something. There must be an absolute, to become gradually bored with and averse to unshakeably clear awareness that there is noth-them, and be able to relax our grip on them ing that is self and nothing that we need to worry without thought of lighting any more fires. about as possibly being self; that there is nothing Here we reach the word ‘emptiness’ of which that belongs to self and nothing we need to keep it was said that having seen it one will find con- worrying about or doubting or waiting for as being tentment in Nibbana. We must thoroughly un- ours. derstand that on the first level emptiness is ab-sence of the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. If those To be continuedfeelings are still present then the mind is not
A Taste of Freedom แสงธรรม 7 Saeng Dhamma ...About This Mind... A Dhammatalk By Ajahn Chah http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/atasteof.html . .About This Mind.. to those sense impressions; the mind follows them. If it doesn’t follow them, it doesn’t “flut- ter.” If we know fully the true nature of sense A bout this mind... In truth there is nothing really wrong with it. It is intrinsically pure. Within itself it’s already peaceful. That the mind impressions we will be unmoved. Our practice is simply to see the Original Mind. So we must train the mind to know those is not peaceful these days is because it follows sense impressions, and not get lost in them. To moods. The real mind doesn’t have anything to make it peaceful. Just this is the aim of all this it, it is simply (an aspect of) Nature. It becomes difficult practice we put ourselves through.peaceful or agitated because moods deceive it. “... That which “looks over” the various fac-The untrained mind is stupid. Sense impressions tors which arise in meditation is ‘sati’, mindful-come and trick it into happiness, suffering, glad- ness. Sati is life. Whenever we don’t have sati, ness and sorrow, but the mind’s true nature is when we are heedless, it’s as if we are dead... none of those things. That gladness or sadness This sati is simply presence of mind. It’s cause is not the mind, but only a mood coming to for the arising of self-awareness and wisdom... deceive us. The untrained mind gets lost and Even when we are no longer in samadhi, sati follows these things, it forgets itself. Then we should be present throughout...” think that it is we who are upset or at ease or whatever. On Meditation But really this mind of ours is already un- To calm the mind means to find the right moving and peaceful... really peaceful! Just like balance. If you try to force your mind too much a leaf which is still as long as no wind blows. If it goes too far; if you don’t try enough it doesn’t a wind comes up the leaf flutters. The flutter- get there, it misses the point of balance.ing is due to the wind — the “fluttering” is due Normally the mind isn’t still, it’s moving all the
แสงธรรม 8 Saeng Dhammatime, it lacks strength. Making the mind strong end of the breath at the abdomen. This is the and making the body strong are not the same. path of the breath. When we breathe out, the To make the body strong we have to exercise beginning of the breath is at the abdomen, the it, to push it, in order to make it strong, but to middle at the chest and the end at the nose tip. make the mind strong means to make it peace- We simply take note of this path of the breath ful, not to go thinking of this and that. For most at the nose tip, the chest and the abdomen, of us the mind has never been peaceful, it has then at the abdomen, the chest and the tip of never had the energy of samadhi, so we estab- the nose. We take note of these three points lish it within a boundary. We sit in meditation, in order to make the mind firm, to limit mental staying with the One who knows. activity so that mindfulness and self-awareness If we force our breath to be too long or too can easily arise.short we’re not balanced, the mind won’t be- When we are adept at noting these three come peaceful. It’s like when we first start to use points we can let them go and note the in and a pedal sewing machine. At first we just practice out breathing, concentrating solely at the nose-pedaling the machine to get our co-ordination tip or the upper lip where the air passes on its right, before we actually sew anything. Follow- in and out passage. We don’t have to follow ing the breath is similar. We don’t get concerned the breath, just establish mindfulness in front of over how long or short, weak or strong it is, we us at the nose-tip, and note the breath at this just note it. We simply let it be, following the one point — entering, leaving, entering, leaving. natural breathing. There’s no need to think of anything special, just When it’s balanced, we take the breathing concentrate on this simple task for now, having as our meditation object. When we breathe in, continuous presence of mind. There’s nothing the beginning of the breath is at the nose tip, more to do, just breathing in and out.the middle of the breath at the chest and the Soon the mind becomes peaceful, the breath RUAN THAI REATAURANT น�ำโดยคุณป้ำนิด พร้อมลูกหลำน ท�ำบุญฉลองร้ำนประจ�ำปี เมื่อวันที่ ๔ มิ.ย. ๒๕๕๔
แสงธรรม 9 Saeng Dhammarefined. The mind and body become light. This then sukha (happiness). These four things all lie is the right state for the work of meditation. together in the mind established in tranquillity. When sitting in meditation the mind be- They are as one state.comes refined, but whatever state it’s in we The fifth factor is ekaggata or one-pointed-should try to be aware of it, to know it. Mental ness. You may wonder how there can be one-activity is there together with tranquillity. There pointedness when there are all these other fac-is vitakka. Vitakka is the action of bringing the tors as well. This is because they all become mind to the theme of contemplation. If there is unified on that foundation of tranquillity. To-not much mindfulness, there will be not much gether they are called a state of samadhi. They vitakka. Then vicara, the contemplation around are not everyday states of mind, they are factors that theme, follows. Various “weak” mental im- of absorption. There are these five characteris-pressions may arise from time to time but our tics, but they do not disturb the basic tranquil-self-awareness is the important thing — whatev- lity. There is vitakka, but it does not disturb the er may be happening we know it continuously. mind; vicara, rapture and happiness arise but do As we go deeper we are constantly aware of the not disturb the mind. The mind is therefore as state of our meditation, knowing whether or not one with these factors. The first level of absorp-the mind is firmly established. Thus, both con- tion is like this.centration and awareness are present. We don’t have to call it First Jhana, Second To have a peaceful mind does not mean that Jhana, third Jhana and so on, let’s just call it “a there’s nothing happening, mental impressions peaceful mind.” As the mind becomes progres-do arise. For instance, when we talk about the sively calmer it will dispense with vitakka and first level of absorption, we say it has five fac- vicara, leaving only rapture and happiness. Why tors. Along with vitakka and vicara, piti (rapture) does the mind discard vitakka and vicara? This arises with the theme of contemplation and is because, as the mind becomes more refined, คุณณรงค์ศกดิ์ - คุณรัตนำ โชติกเวชกุล ท�ำบุญมำติกำบังสุกลอุทศให้บพกำรีชนผูลวงลับไปแล้ว เมือวันที่ ๒๙ มิ.ย. ๒๕๕๔ ั ุ ิ ุ ้่ ่
แสงธรรม 10 Saeng Dhammathe activity of vitakka and vicara is too coarse either. This is because these five factors have to remain. At this stage, as the mind leaves off become unbalanced and weak.vitakka and vicara, feelings of great rapture can The mind tends to play tricks within these arise, tears may gush out. But as the samadhi levels of tranquillity. “Imagery” will sometimes deepens rapture, too, is discarded, leaving only arise when the mind is in this state, through any happiness and one-pointedness, until finally of the senses, and the meditator may not be able even happiness goes and the mind reaches its to tell exactly what is happening. “Am I sleep-greatest refinement. There are only equanimity ing? No. Is it a dream? No, it’s not a dream...” and one-pointedness, all else has been left be- These impressions arise from a middling sort of hind. The mind stands unmoving. tranquillity; but if the mind is truly calm and Once the mind is peaceful this can happen. clear we don’t doubt the various mental im-You don’t have to think a lot about it, it just hap- pressions or imagery which arise. Questions like, pens by itself. This is called the energy of a peace- “Did I drift off then? Was I sleeping? did I get ful mind. In this state the mind is not drowsy; the lost?...” don’t arise, for they are characteristics five hindrances, sense desire, aversion, restless- of a mind which is still doubting. “Am I asleep ness, dullness and doubt, have all fled. or awake?”... Here, it’s fuzzy! This is the mind getting lost in its moods. It’s like the moon going behind a cloud. You can still see the moon but the clouds covering it render it hazy. It’s not like the moon which has emerged from behind the clouds — clear, sharp and bright. When the mind is peaceful and estab- lished firmly in mindfulness and self- awareness, there will be no doubt con- cerning the various phenomena which we encounter. The mind will truly be beyond the hindrances. We will clearly know as it is But if mental energy is still not strong and everything which arises in the mind. We do not mindfulness weak, there will occasionally arise doubt it because the mind is clear and bright. intruding mental impressions. The mind is peace- The mind which reaches samadhi is like this.ful but it’s as if there’s a “cloudiness” within the calm. It’s not a normal sort of drowsiness To be continuedthough, some impressions will manifest — may-be we’ll hear a sound or see a dog or some-thing. It’s not really clear but it’s not a dream
แสงธรรม 11 Saeng Dhamma What is Samadhi? Essays On The Dhamma By Luang Ta Chi Edited by Du Wayne Engelhart ...Continued from last issue... firmness of mind is a big cause for some people VI. Samādhi: The Training and the Benefits to leave their jobs unfinished, to keep restart- ing and restopping their work too often, and to What Is Samādhi? change their minds and jobs too often. It can be said, therefore, that samādhi is one of the Samādhi is the firmness and steadiness of necessities of human life. As much as food is the mind. When attaining samādhi, the mind absolutely necessary for the growth, health, and stays firm and is not moved back and forth by strength of the body, samādhi is absolutely nec-any feeling or thought that comes in touch with essary for the growth, health, and strength of it. A person’s mind shows the characteristics the mind. It is the Buddhist way of meditation of samādhi when his or her mind is attached that provides the training method needed to firmly and ceaselessly to whatever he or she is develop such strength of samādhi. doing. Ordinarily, most of us have some experi- ence with a naturally developed samādhi. For The Mind Training for Samādhiexample, we usually have some samādhi when we read, write, study, and listen. We have some Training the mind to achieve samādhi—be it samādhi in working and in paying attention to a common samādhi for everyday life’s activities, things of interest. samādhi for jhāna-samāpatti, or the most ad- Normally, we use samādhi often in our eve- vanced samādhi that leads to Buddhist nirvāna ryday living. This is usually a naturally devel- (nibbāna)—follows a similar process in each oped samādhi. If we lack this samādhi, we will case. It is the process in which one uses sati probably not be able to complete successfully (mindful observation): following and controlling any task we are doing. The lack of samādhi or one’s mind to concentrate on one single object.
แสงธรรม 12 Saeng DhammaIf the mind moves back and forth, twists and ānāpāna-sati. To follow this method, one uses turns, or wanders away from the object, one sati to observe one’s own breathing. Inhaling-must hold or pull it back to the object. If the exhaling (ānāpāna), is the object of observation mind moves away again, one must hold it back (sati) used in this method of meditation. again and again. With such an unceasing effort over a rather great length of time, the mind will The Process of ānāpāna-sati Meditationbecome less and less agitated. Finally it will be-come less active and rest on the object at which During the time of training, you should sit one wants it to stay. cross-legged on a mat on the floor, with the A famous Buddhist meditation teacher once body straight up and the eyes closed. Men-compared training a stubborn calf to the mind- tally locate a point on your midsection about training process. To train a wild or stubborn calf, two inches above the navel. When you inhale, the trainer has to tie one end of a rope around your midsection is rising, and it is falling when the calf’s neck and the other end around a stake you exhale. The process of meditation is sim-in the ground. If the calf pulls the stake out of ply to keep one’s mind at all times mentally the ground, the trainer will have to tie it down observing the rising and falling of one’s midsec-again. The calf will struggle again and again. If, no tion. Every time you inhale, mentally observe matter how hard it struggles, the rope does not the rising of your midsection and take notice of break and the stake is not pulled up, the calf will “r-i-s-i-n-g.” Every time you exhale, mentally become weaker and weaker. Finally, it will rest at observe the falling of the midsection and take the stake. After repeating this training often, the notice of “f-a-l-l-i-n-g.” Mentally taking notice stubborn calf will become ready to teach and no of “ris-ing/fall-ing” must be at the same time longer be agitated. It is then tame and can be as, not before or after, the actual rise and fall of used to do useful things. It is a trained calf. the midsection (i.e., the inhaling and exhaling). From this comparison, one should perceive Throughout the time of this sitting meditation the following: the stake represents the object, you must try as much as you can to keep your the calf the mind, and the rope sati (mindful- sati (mental observation) on the object (the ris-ness or mindful observation). The Buddhist ing/falling) at all times to prevent your breathing training of the mind is, therefore, the process in from going unobserved. This is just as when the which one uses one’s sati to “tie” one’s mind rope breaks: you must try to tie it back again. By to a certain object. repeating this practice regularly—every morning There are many objects one may choose for and evening—you will gain more and more ex-training the mind to attain samādhi. The ob- perience in putting a rope on your mind. The ject suggested here is used in the method called mind will not wander without purpose as it used
แสงธรรม 13 Saeng Dhammato do. It will rest and stay with the object, the in other positions. This is best learned by prac-“ris-ing/fall-ing,” for a long period of time with- ticing under the supervision of a teacher whose out much struggle. The more you practice, the special study is mind-training. The teacher more calmness of the mind you attain. An im- should be an expert in both theory and practice portant point to be kept in mind here is that if he or she is going to lead his or her students once the mind becomes peaceful and calm, safely to the desired destination. once samādhi is achieved, one should not feel self-satisfied. One must try to preserve samādhi The Benefits of Samādhiand not allow it to be lost. This is done by keep-ing up the practice every day without exception. Some of the benefits of samādhi have been Such an effort is needed until the samādhi is so described earlier. All kinds of works, worldly strong that you are able to bring your mind to or spiritual, to be successfully completed need samādhi at any time in whatever the position of samādhi as an absolutely necessary part. If your body. those who are studying in schools or colleges train their minds well to achieve samādhi, they will have much more success in their studies. With such a trained mind, they will concentrate well in any subject they study. With samādhi they will learn faster, understand better, memo- rize more correctly, and enjoy their study. Samādhi can be considered as a foundation for success. In the case of persons of equal in- telligence, the one who has samādhi will work much better than the one who has not. For A student of meditation must be able to very exact work, such as the spiritual develop-train his or her mind to reach samādhi in any ment process of vipassanā, samādhi is required position of the body, not only in the sitting po- as a foundation without which one will never sition. Whether he or she is standing, walking, attain the final goal of nirvāna (nibbāna). While sitting, lying, working, talking, or thinking, he or the benefits of samādhi can be told endlessly, she must have sati covering all his/her activities. the Buddha summarized them into four kinds:That is the right way of the mind-training. While 1. Samādhi that one has well developedthe mind-training considered in the previous and which one has well practiced will bringparagraph describes mostly the sitting-position happiness in everyday life.meditation, one should know how to meditate 2. Samādhi that one has well developed
แสงธรรม 14 Saeng Dhammaand which one has well practiced will pro- VII. Dhamma Gloryvide the right knowledge and understandingof the true nature of things. The Importance of Magha Puja 3. Samādhi that one has well developed and which one has well practiced will help The Magha Puja ceremony is an important to strengthen and perfect one’s mindfulness part of Buddhist culture because it honors the and ability to understand. memory of the holy event when, on one partic- 4. Samādhi that one has well developed ular day, without prior announcement or sched-and which one has well practiced will root uling, 1,250 monks traveled from near and far to out the impurities (that produce evil thoughts visit the Buddha and be taught the Dhamma. It and actions) added up deep in the mind, is the custom for Buddhists around the world to leaving only purity, like purified water, clear visit their temples or other holy places on the and clean, free of anything unclean. full-moon day of the third lunar month to ob- serve the Magha Puja ceremony and give honor to the Buddha and his 1,250 followers, all of whom were arahants (enlightened beings) and had been ordained by the Buddha. In the Pāli language, magha means third month, and puja is worship ceremony. Buddhist Activities to Honor the Memory of Magha Puja Day All of us who seek happiness in our everyday Magha Puja Day is a very good day for the lives, therefore, should be occupied with train- whole family to go to the temple to learn about ing our minds to attain samādhi in the right way. and contemplate Buddhist beliefs, and to pay Let us develop samādhi to be a refuge of our respect to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the minds. After attaining happiness in everyday life Sangha. Individuals and families bring food to of-with samādhi, we can then pursue true knowl- fer to the monks and make offerings of flowers, edge and understanding, perfect our mindful- candles, and incense to the monks and to the ness together with clear comprehension and, Buddha. Magha Puja is a happy and joyful day finally, clear our mind of all impurities and evils. for Buddhists, and taking part in the ceremony is Such a pure mind will lead us to Enlightenment important for Buddhists al all ages. Both children and everlasting peace and happiness. and adults can learn about the wonderful results
แสงธรรม 15 Saeng Dhammathat can come from studying and practicing the and other entertainment, and do not sleep in Dhamma. Even knowledgeable and reverent Bud- a high place or one of luxury. The ones taking dhists have the opportunity to learn more about the Eight Precepts stay overnight at the temple the Dhamma and practice their meditation. Like to listen to Dhamma talks, meditate, learn from all Buddhist ceremonies, Magha Puja teaches the the monks, and join in the evening and morn-importance of having respect and compassion for ing chanting. According to custom, much of the all living beings. It is important for all people, night is spent in meditation, with the person especially children, to learn these beliefs handed sleeping very little.down to us, for it is these ideas of perfection that help form the basis for Buddhism. The Story of Magha Puja There are several religious rituals that will according to custom take place in the temple About nine months after the Lord Buddha during the Magha Puja ceremony. Usually per- became enlightened, he was staying in the city of sons attending the ceremony pay homage to Rajagaha, the capital of the country of Magadha. the Triple Gem by taking refuge in the Buddha, The Lord Buddha spent most of his time talking the Dhamma, and the Sangha. After this they with people and teaching the Dhamma. One strengthen their promise to keep the Five Pre- afternoon during the Magha month the Buddha cepts: not to take life, not to steal, not to take was giving a discourse to Kanaakha Achiveskota-part in sexual misconduct, not to lie, and not to va in the cave of Sugara Khata on the Gijjhakuta take intoxicants. The whole group gathered to- Mountain. While the Buddha gave his discourse, gether listens to the monks chant their respect Sāriputta, a monk who had been ordained only and praise for the Buddha, the Dhamma, and fifteen days earlier, sat behind the Buddha, fan-the Sangha. The people then offer food to the ning him to offer him comfort from the heat. monks. Sometime during the day, the people Sāriputta was held spellbound by the discourse, circumambulate the temple, which means they and while listening became enlightened and at-walk around the temple or the main Buddha im- tained arahantship. At the end of the same dis-age three times in a respectful way with flower course, Kanakha Pariphachok attained the state and incense offerings. Usually there will be a of full knowledge of the Dhamma, and having no special Dhamma talk in the temple after the more doubt about the teachings of the Buddha, walk. Many of the people ask in a special way he voluntarily took the Triple Gem as his refuge. to undertake the Eight Precepts. When observ-ing the Eight Precepts, persons hold closely to To be continuedthe Five Precepts, but in addition they do not eat after the noon hour, refrain from dancing
แสงธรรม 17 Saeng Dhamma ขอเชิญทุกท่านร่วมนมัสการพระสารีรกธาตุ ณ อุโบสถ วัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. ิ Those who are interested in Thai Theravada Buddhism and mem- bers 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.ปฏิบัติธรรมประจ�ำเดือน กรกฎำคมณ วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี. 16 กรกฎาคม 2554 ศึกษาและปฏิบัติธรรมตามแนวพระไตรปิฎก � สาธยายพระไตรปิฎก ภาษาบาลี � ฟังบรรยายธรรม - ธรรมสากัจฉา � เจริญจิตตภาวนา - แผ่เมตตา พร้อมกันบนอุโบสถศาลา เวลา 9.00 A.M.