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แสงธรรม 1 Saeng Dhamma The Buddha’s Words พุทธสุภาษิต โย สาสนํ อรหตํ อริยานํ ธมฺมชีวินํ ปฏิกฺโกสติ ทุมฺเมโธ ทิฏฺฐึ นิสฺสาย ปาปิกํ ผลานิ กณฺฏกสฺเสว อตฺตฆญฺญาย ผลฺลติ. (๑๖๔) คนทรามปัญญา มีความเห็นผิด ติเตียนคําสอนของเหล่าพระอริยะผูอรหันต์ ้ ผูมชวตอยูโดยธรรม เขาย่อมเกิดมาเพือฆ่าตัวเขาเอง เหมือนขุยไผ่ฆาต้นไผ่ฉะนัน ้ ีีิ ่ ่ ่ ้ Whoso on account of false views scorns the teaching of the Noble Ones, the Worthy and Righteous Ones, he, the foolish man, destroys himself like the bamboo, seeding finds its end.
แสงธรรม 2 Saeng Dhamma EMPTINESS by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books/BhikkhuBuddhadasa_Heart_Wood_from_the_Bo_Tree.htm I n the previous talk I spoke of emptiness as being an important subject but the oc-casion didn’t permit me to give it the special mind, be it pleasant or unpleasant. Only one familiar with the observation of mind can really understand Dhamma. One who merely reads attention necessary for a thorough understand- books cannot understand and what’s more may ing. So as some aspects of this subject of empti- even go astray. But one who tries to observe the ness remain obscure, today I have come to talk things going on in the mind and always takes about it specially. that which is true in his or her own mind as a Emptiness is the most difficult to understand standard has no way to get, muddled. Such a of all the Buddhist Teachings because it is their person will be able to comprehend Dukkha and innermost heart. Being called a heart it must ob- the cessation of Dukkha and ultimately will un-viously be something subtle and profound. Its derstand Dhamma. Then if books are read they understanding does not lie within the scope of will be understood well.mere conjecture or the sort of pondering that From the moment of birth to the time of ordinary people are accustomed to. It can only death we must train ourselves in this way, ex-be understood by determined study. amining the contact of the mind with the ob- The most essential meaning of the word jects that surround it and the nature of the re-‘study’ is of the unceasing, dedicated observa- sults of that contact, for in that natural process tion and investigation of whatever arises in the there will inevitably be both pleasure and pain
แสงธรรม 3 Saeng Dhammaand observing them will make ‘the mind wiser also the freedom from disease. There is nothing and more resilient. To keep observing the na- beyond emptiness. ture of our thoughts generates a mind emptied The medicine which cures the disease is the of Dukkha, and so, is the very best knowledge knowledge and practice that gives birth to emp-there is. Through it we gain familiarity with the tiness. When emptiness has appeared it will be realization or awareness of emptiness. the cure of the disease and alter recovery from Please think back to the point made in the the disease there will be nothing save empti-last talk that the Commentators all called the ness, the state void of Dukkha and. void of the Buddha the ‘Spiritual Doctor’ and divided dis- mental defilements that are the cause of Dukkha ease into two kinds: that of the body/mind and This emptiness, which has that wide breadth of that of the spirit. Both diseases of the body and meaning, is self-existent: nothing can come to those of the mind such as are treated in men- touch it, develop it, improve it, or do anything tal hospitals were considered to be Physical to it. Thus it is a timeless state, for it mows nei-Disease. Spiritual Disease, or Mental Disease as ther birth nor death. Its ‘being’ is not the same they called it, refers to the disease that must be as the being of things which are born and die treated with Dhamma. So I would like to make but since we have no other word to use, we the point that if you are really to understand dis- say that it has being characterized by immutable ease you must make this division: take diseases emptiness.of the body and of the mind (the mental body) If anyone realizes, that is to say if anyone’s as being both physical disease. As for spiritual mind realizes this thing, then it will be the medi-disease it is not a disease of the brain or nervous cine that cures the disease and the immediate system but is an illness affecting truth¬ discern- recovery from disease, a state time¬lessly emp-ing awareness (satipanna), that which knows our ty. It is true health. life and the world as they truly are. So it refers Please keep trying to grasp the meaning of this to Ignorance or the wrong understanding that word emptiness, or sunnata as it is in Pali, as I springs from ignorance and causes the wrong ac- explain it point by point. tions that lead to Dukkha:, even if physically and Firstly, consider the point that the Buddha .mentally we are quite healthy. declared that every word that he, the Tathagata When we are suffering from Spiritual Disease , spoke referred to the subject of empti-with what must we treat it? We must treat it ness. He spoke of no other matter, either di-with emptiness. What’s more, emptiness (sun- rectly or indirectly. Any talk unconnected with nata) is not only the cure of the disease but is the subject of empti¬ness is not the speech of
แสงธรรม 4 Saeng Dhammathe Tathagata but of disciples of a later time the highest thing. Anyone who wants to be with-who liked to speak at great length to show how out problems concerning Dukkha and death, clever and articulate they were. should look on the world, i.e. “on all things, One can, if one wants to, add much more, for as they truly are namely as empty, neither ‘I’ example: that emptiness is the absence of self nor ‘mine’. The statements of the Buddha that or what belongs to self, for the word emptiness follow on from show the benefits: ‘Nibbanam has a whole host of applications. Although the paramam sunnam and ‘Nibbanam paramam su-characteristic of emptiness remains constant, kham’, which translate as ‘Nibbana is the su-its expressions are innumerable. That being so, preme emptiness’ and ‘Nibbana is the supreme we will aim to examine emptiness only as ab- happiness’. You must understand that Nibbana sence of Dukkha and the de- is the remainderless extinc-filements that are the cause of tion of Dukkha, means the Dukkha and as the absence of same as supreme emptiness, the feeling that there is a self and that it is possible to know or that there are things which and realize an emptiness that are the possessions of a self. is not supreme, an emptiness This is emptiness as it relates that is in some way deficient to our practice of Dhamma. or false. The truth-discerning If we enquire which of the awareness must be so impec-Buddha’s utterances dealing cably clear that one has not with this matter can be taken the slightest feeling of ‘self’ as authoritative statements we or ‘belonging to self’ for it to will find that in many places be called paramam sunnam, the Buddha taught us to know how to look on supreme emptiness. Supreme emptiness is Nib-the world as being empty, as in the phrase if bana because it completely extinguishes the ‘Sunnato lokam avekkhassu mogharaja sada things that are on fire, the stream or whirlpool sato’ which means “You should look on the of flowing and changing phenomena. Thus the world as being empty. If you can be always supreme emptiness and the supreme extinction aware of the emptiness of the world, death will are one and the same thing.not find you.” As for the saying that Nibbana is the supreme These words of the Buddha enjoining us to happiness, it is an expression in the language of see the world as being empty show that it is relative truth, a sort of enticing propaganda in
แสงธรรม 5 Saeng Dhammathe language of the common man used because happiness of Nibbana that is emptiness. So in in general people are infatuated with happiness, hearing the phrase ‘Nibbana is the supreme they want nothing else. So it is necessary to tell happiness’ don’t go jumping to the conclusion them that Nibbana is happiness and what’s more that Nibbana is exactly what you’re looking for it’s the supreme happiness. But truly speaking and start dreaming about it without taking into Nibbana is greater than happiness, beyond it. It consideration that it is also supreme emptiness. is empti¬ness. It can’t be said to be either happi- The saying of the Buddha which deals with ness or suffering because it lies beyond both the the practice in regard to emptiness is the one suffering and the happiness known by the com- that is the heart of the Budd¬hist Teachings: mon man. But when one speaks like this, peo- ‘Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya’ which ple don’t understand and so it’s said instead, translates literally as ‘No dhamma whatsoever in the language of เจ้าภาพดอกไม้วันสงกรานต์ กลุ่มพลังบุญ should be grasped the worldly, that at or clung to’. If it is ultimate hap- one amplifies the piness. This being meaning a little it so, when using the may be rendered word happiness as ‘no one should you must be care- grasp or cling to ful to use it in its anything as being I proper sense. It is or mine’. ‘No one’ not the happiness means that there that people generally see or aspire to. It is a are no exceptions; ‘should grasp or cling’ means different sort of happiness it is the state empty to give rise to ego-consciousness; ‘as being I’: of every single thing that proliferates, flows, and refers to the feeling called ahamkara, the grasp-changes. Thus it is truly lovely, truly refreshing ing at a (non-existent) soul or abiding ego-enti-and truly desirable. For if there is still flowing ty; ‘as being mine’ refers to the feeling called and changing, a constant swaying and rocking, mamamkara, ,the grasping at phenomena as how can there be happiness? being connected to ego. So don’t have aham- Thus the feelings of pleasure arising from con- kara or mamamkara with regard to anything at tact with the various sense-objects are illusory, all starting from a worthless speck of dust up to they are not the ultimate happiness. The hap- valuable objects such as diamonds, sapphires, piness of the common man is not the supreme gems and the objects of sensual desire, and on
แสงธรรม 6 Saeng Dhammato things higher than that - Dhamma, its theory, ferring to was this principle of not grasping at or practice and attainment, the Path - Realizations, clinging to anything as being self or as belonging their Fruits and Nibbana. Nothing whatsoever to self. should be grasped at or clung to as being ‘I’ or To have heard this phrase is to have heard ‘mine’. This is the heart of the Buddhist Teach- every phrase because all subjects are condensed ings and was affirmed to be so by the Buddha within it. Of all the things that the Buddha taught himself. there wasn’t one that didn’t deal with .Dukkha He said that to have heard the phrase sabbe and the elimination of Dukkha. Grasping and dhamma nalam abhinivesaya, is to have heard clinging are the cause of Dukkha. When there is every phrase of the Teachings, to have put it grasping and clinging there is Dukkha. The prac-into practice is to have done every practice and tice is to make the non- arising of grasping and to have reaped the fruits of that practice is to clinging final and permanent, so that the mind is have reaped every fruit of the Buddhist Teach- unceasingly empty. Just that is enough. There is ings. So we don’t need to be afraid that there is nothing else to do. too much to understand. The Buddha made the ‘This practice is every practice’. Try to think if comparison that the things that he had realized there’s anything that remains to be practised, At were as many as all the leaves in the forest but any moment that any person, whether it’s Mr. those which he had brought out to teach were Smith or Mrs. Jones or anyone at all, has a mind a single handful. The ‘single handful’ he was re- To be continued คุณวิชต-คุณวนิดา-คุณวารี หิรัญกิจ ิ คุณสมร-คุณทิพสร-น้องฌอนฌอน นามสวัสดิ์ ทำาบุญอุทิศให้คุณพ่อวงศ์ หิรัญกิจ ซึ่งจากไปครบ 2 ปี ทำาบุญอุทิศแด่บุพการีชน ถวายปัจจัยเข้าวัด ทั้งสิ้น $450
แสงธรรม 7 Saeng Dhamma About Being CAREFUL A Dhammatalk By Ajahn Chah http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/About_Being_Careful.php ...Continued from last issue... well, practicing correctly. Supatipanno means About being careful those who practice well. Ujupatipanno means ‘’Giving up all evil, practicing what is good, those who practice directly. Ñāyapatipanno purifying the mind.’’ Giving up wrongdoing first, means those who practice for the realization we then start to develop the good. What is the of path, fruition and Nibbāna. Sāmīcipatipanno good and meritorious? Where is it? It’s like fish are those who practice inclined towards truth. in the water. If we scoop all the water out, we’ll It could be anyone. These are the Sangha of get the fish - that’s a simple way to put it. If true disciples (sāvaka) of the Lord Buddha. Lay-we scoop out and pour back in, the fish remain women living at home can be sāvaka. Laymen in the barrel. If we don’t remove all forms of can be sāvaka. Bringing these qualities to fulfill-wrongdoing, we won’t see merit and we won’t ment is what makes one a sāvaka. One can be a see what is true and right. Scooping out and true disciple of the Buddha and realize enlight-pouring back, scooping out and pouring back, enment. we only remain as we are. Going back and forth Most of us in the Buddhist fold don’t have like this, we only waste our time and whatever such complete understanding. Our knowledge we do is meaningless. Listening to teachings is doesn’t go this far. We do our various activi-meaningless. Making offerings is meaningless. All ties thinking that we will get some kind of merit our efforts to practice are in vain. We don’t un- from them. We think that listening to teachings derstand the principles of the Buddha’s way, so or making offerings is meritorious. That’s what our actions don’t bear the desired fruit. we’re told. But someone who gives offerings to When the Buddha taught about practice, ‘get’ merit is making bad kamma. he wasn’t only talking about something for or- You can’t quite understand this. Someone dained people. He was talking about practicing who gives in order to get merit has instantly ac-
แสงธรรม 8 Saeng Dhammacumulated bad kamma. If you give in order to the other person says that if we drop it, then we let go and free the mind, that brings you merit. can get something better. The two have a hard If you do it to get something, that’s bad kamma. time communicating. Listening to teachings to really understand the If we make offerings and practice good deeds Buddha’s way is difficult. The Dhamma be- in order to get something, it doesn’t work out. comes hard to understand when the practice What we get is becoming and birth. It isn’t a that people do - keeping precepts, sitting in cause for realizing Nibbāna. Nibbāna is giving up meditation, giving - is for getting something in re- and letting go. If we are trying to get, to hold turn. We want merit, we want something. Well, if on, to give meaning to things, that isn’t a cause something can be gotten, then who gets it? We for realizing Nibbāna. The Buddha wanted us to get it. When that is lost, whose thing is it that’s look here, at this empty place of letting go. This lost? The person who doesn’t have something is merit. This is skillfulness. doesn’t lose anything. And when it’s lost, who When we practice any sort of merit and vir-suffers over it? tue, once we have done that, we should feel Don’t you think that living your life to get that our part is done. We shouldn’t carry it any things brings you suffering? Otherwise you can further. We do it for the purpose of giving up just go on as before trying to get everything. And defilements and craving. We don’t do it for the yet, if we make the mind empty, then we gain purpose of creating defilements, craving and at-everything. Higher realms, Nibbāna and all their tachment. Then where will we go? We don’t go accomplishments - we gain all of it. In making anywhere. Our practice is correct and true. offerings, we don’t have any attachment or aim; Most of us Buddhists, though we follow the the mind is empty and relaxed. We can let go forms of practice and learning, have a hard time and put down. It’s like carrying a log and com- understanding this kind of talk. It’s because plaining it’s heavy. If someone tells you to put Māra, meaning ignorance, meaning craving - the it down, you’ll say, ‘’If I put it down, I won’t desire to get, to have, and to be - enshrouds have anything.’’ Well, now you do have some- the mind. We only find temporary happiness. thing - you have heaviness. But you don’t have For example, when we are filled with hatred lightness. So do you want lightness, or do you towards someone it takes over our minds and want to keep carrying? One person says to put it gives us no peace. We think about the person all down, the other says he’s afraid he won’t have the time, thinking what we can do to strike out anything. They’re talking past each other. at him. The thinking never stops. Then maybe We want happiness, we want ease, we want one day we get a chance to go to his house tranquility and peace. It means we want light- and curse him and tell him off. That gives us ness. We carry the log, and then someone sees some release. Does that make an end of our us doing this and tells us to drop it. We say we defilements? We found a way to let off steam can’t because what would we have then? But and we feel better for it. But we haven’t gotten
แสงธรรม 9 Saeng Dhammarid of the affliction of anger, have we? There is it’s the happiness of fools. It’s the way that some happiness in defilement and craving, but fools stop their suffering. There’s no wisdom it’s like this. We’re still storing the defilement here. These different confused conditions are inside and when the conditions are right, it will mixed in the heart that has a feeling of well-flare up again even worse than before. Then we being. If the mind is allowed to follow its moods will want to find some temporary release again. and tendencies it feels some happiness. But this Do the defilements ever get finished in this way? happiness is always storing unhappiness within It’s similar when someone’s spouse or children it. Each time it erupts our suffering and despair die, or when people suffer big financial loss. will be worse. It’s like having a wound. If we They drink to relieve their sorrow. They go to a treat it on the surface but inside it’s still infect-movie to relieve their sorrow. Does it really re- ed, it’s not cured. It looks okay for a while, but lieve the sorrow? The sorrow actually grows; but when the infection spreads we have to start cut-for the time being they can forget about what ting. If the inner infection is never cured we can happened so they call it a way to cure their mis- be operating on the surface again and again with ery. It’s like if you have a cut on the bottom of no end in sight. What can be seen from the out-your foot that makes walking painful. Anything side may look fine for a while, but inside it’s the that contacts it hurts and so you limp along same as before. complaining of the discomfort. But if you see a The way of the world is like this. Worldly tiger coming your way, you’ll take off and start matters are never finished. So the laws of the running without any thought of your cut. Fear of world in the various societies are constantly re-the tiger is much more powerful than the pain in solving issues. New laws are always being es-your foot, so it’s as if the pain is gone. The fear tablished to deal with different situations and made it something small. problems. Something is dealt with for a while, You might experience problems at work or but there’s always a need for further laws and at home that seem so big. Then you get drunk solutions. There’s never the internal resolution, and in that drunken state of more powerful de- only surface improvement. The infection still lusion, those problems no longer trouble you exists within, so there’s always need for more so much. You think it solved your problems and cutting. People are only good on the surface, in relieved your unhappiness. But when you sober their words and their appearance. Their words up the old problems are back. So what hap- are good and their faces look kind, but their pened to your solution? You keep suppressing minds aren’t so good. the problems with drink and they keep on com- When we get on a train and see some ac-ing back. You might end up with cirrhosis of the quaintance there we say, ‘’Oh, how good to see liver, but you don’t get rid of the problems; and you! I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately! then one day you are dead. I’ve been planning to visit you!’’ But it’s just There is some comfort and happiness here; talk. We don’t really mean it. We’re being good
แสงธรรม 10 Saeng Dhammaon the surface, but we’re not so good inside. We knowing the world clearly. Then samudaya, the say the words, but then as soon as we’ve had cause of suffering, is not created, and tanhā is a smoke and taken a cup of coffee with him, not born. There is vijjā, knowledge of things as we split. Then if we run into him one day in the they really are, and it illumines the world. It il-future, we’ll say the same things again: ‘’Hey, lumines praise and blame. It illumines gain and good to see you! How have you been? I’ve been loss. It illumines rank and disrepute. It clearly meaning to go visit you, but I just haven’t had illumines birth, aging, illness, and death in the the time.’’ That’s the way it is. People are su- mind of the practitioner. perficially good, but they’re usually not so good That is someone who has reached the Dhamma. inside. Such people no longer struggle with life and are The great teacher taught Dhamma and Vi- no longer constantly in search of solutions. They naya. It is complete and comprehensive. Nothing resolve what can be resolved, acting as is appro-surpasses it and nothing in it need be changed priate. That is how the Buddha taught: he taught or adjusted, because it is the ultimate. It’s com- those individuals who could be taught. Those plete, so this is where we can stop. There’s noth- who could not be taught he discarded and let ing to add or subtract, because it is something of go of. Even had he not discarded them, they the nature not to be increased or decreased. It were still discarding themselves - so he dropped is just right. It is true. them. You might get the idea from this that the So we Buddhists come to hear Dhamma Buddha must have been lacking in mettā to dis-teachings and study to learn these truths. If card people. Hey! If you toss out a rotten mango we know them then our minds will enter the are you lacking in metta? You can’t make any Dhamma; the Dhamma will enter our minds. use of it, that’s all. There was no way to get Whenever a person’s mind enters the Dhamma through to such people. The Buddha is praised then the person has wellbeing, the person has as one with supreme wisdom. He didn’t merely a mind at peace. The mind then has a way to gather everyone and everything together in a resolve difficulties, but has no way to degener- confused mess. He was possessed of the divine ate. When pain and illness afflict the body, the eye and could clearly see all things as they re-mind has many ways to resolve the suffering. It ally are. He was the knower of the world. can resolve it naturally, understanding this as As the knower of the world he saw danger in natural and not falling into depression or fear the round of samsāra. For us who are his follow-over it. Gaining something, we don’t get lost in ers it’s the same. If we know all things as they delight. Losing it, we don’t get excessively up- are, that will bring us well-being. Where exactly set, but rather we understand that the nature are those things that cause us to have happi-of all things is that having appeared they then ness and suffering? Think about it well. They are decline and disappear. With such an attitude we only things that we create ourselves. Whenever can make our way in the world. We are lokavidū, we create the idea that something is us or ours,
แสงธรรม 11 Saeng Dhammathat is when we suffer. Things can bring us harm our families where we have to pay attention. Or or benefit, depending on our understanding. So what do you think? These days, where do you the Buddha taught us to pay attention to our- experience suffering? Where are you involved selves, to our own actions and to the creations in love, hate and fear? Control yourselves, take of our minds. Whenever we have extreme love care of yourselves. Watch out you don’t get or aversion to anyone or anything, whenever we bitten. If they don’t bite they might kick. Don’t are particularly anxious, that will lead us into think that these things won’t bite or kick. If you great suffering. This is important, so take a good do get bitten, make sure it’s only a little bit. look at it. Investigate these feelings of strong Don’t get kicked and bitten to pieces. Don’t try love or aversion, and then take a step back. If to tell yourselves there’s no danger. Posses-you get too close, they’ll bite. Do you hear this? sions, wealth, fame, loved ones, all these can If you grab at and caress these things, they bite kick and bite if you’re not mindful. If you are and they kick. When you feed grass to your buf- mindful you’ll be at ease. Be cautious and re-falo, you have to be careful. If you’re careful strained. When the mind starts grasping at things when it kicks out, it won’t kick you. You have and making a big deal out of them, you have to to feed it and take care of it, but you should be stop it. It will argue with you, but you have to smart enough to do that without getting bitten. put your foot down. Stay in the middle as the Love for children, relatives, wealth and posses- mind comes and goes. Put sensual indulgence sions will bite. Do you understand this? When away on one side. Put self-torment away on the you feed it, don’t get too close. When you give other side. Love to one side, hate to the other it water, don’t get too close. Pull on the rope side. Happiness to one side, suffering to the oth-when you need to. This is the way of Dhamma, er side. Remain in the middle without letting the recognizing impermanence, unsatisfactoriness mind go in either direction. and lack of self, recognizing the danger and em- To be continuedploying caution and restraint in a mindful way.Ajahn Tongrat didn’t teach a lot; he always told us, ‘’Be really careful! Be really careful!’’ That’s how he taught. ‘’Be really careful! If you’re not really careful, you’ll catch it on the chin!’’ This is really how it is. Even if he didn’t say it, it’s still how it is. If you’re not really careful you’ll catch it on the chin. Please understand this. It’s not someone else’s concern. The problem isn’t other people loving or hating us. Others far away somewhere don’t make us create kamma and suffering. It’s our possessions, our homes, ทำ�บุญวันเกิดคุณสร�ยุทธ ฤทธิ์ถ�วร 23 เม.ย. 54
แสงธรรม 12 Saeng Dhamma Tomorrow Man Essays On The Dhamma By Luang Ta Chi Edited by Du Wayne Engelhart ...Continued from last issue... Meditation to achieve concentration is a way of filtering and clearing the mind to be able to IV. Supraman one wha Who Has see the truth. The great obstacles to concen-wisdom tration that leads to peace of mind are the five hindrances: M ind that lacks concentration is influ- enced by things in the world. When things outside contact the senses—eyes, ears, 1. Kāma-chanda—satisfaction in loving, want- ing, and deep longing. This burns in the mind and causes constant unrest like a rabid dog.nose, tongue, and body—the mind is moved by 2. Vyāpāda—dissatisfaction with everything. It these things. These create the feelings of love, leads to restlessness, constantly burning and suf-anger, confusion, and addiction. The one who fering mind like a sharp weapon stuck into your lacks concentration has great obstacles prevent- heart.ing him from undergoing scientific experiment on 3. Thīna-middha—sloth and torpor, caused the mind. It is necessary to practice concentra- by delusion. It makes the mind indifferent to tion so that the mind can be stable, pure, and everything, tired, and constantly sleepy.suitable for the scientific mental experiment to 4. Uddhacca-kukkucca—distractedness and recognize things as they are. worry. Worrying about events in the past and Just as a person will not see the oyster, the events yet to come, and complaining that draws abalone, the sand, and the fish in the muddy the mind away from the present. As in the rainy water, So too will the person be unable to see season the clouds come from all directions to the reality of things when the mind is clouded. block the sunlight, causing darkness. Just as a person can see the oyster, the aba- 5. Vicikicchā—hesitation and doubt which lone, the sand, and the fish in clear water, So, block the arising of wisdom. There is always too, can a person with a clear mind see the truth. doubt as to whether the path to Enlightenment
แสงธรรม 13 Saeng Dhammaand Nibbāna (Nirvāna) truly exists. There is ques- the part of the mind that pertains to the sense of tioning of the meaning of physical and mental the beautiful. They create beautiful images such phenomena and the cessation of suffering. This as colorful flowers, golden pagodas, devas, and is similar to the traveler who comes to a fork in heavenly abodes which fill the mind with bliss. the road and, not knowing which way to go, sits Whoever is attached to these is caught in the there forever, wondering which road to take. To wheel of samsāra, just like a bird caught in the overcome the five hindrances, we need the three hunter’s net. These images will disappear when instruments mentioned before: awareness reveals things as they are. 1. Atāpī—the strong effort to overcome de- 3. Images that are frightening. Wild animals filements, or to die trying. like a charging elephant, a tiger about to claw 2. Sampajañña—universal knowledge; per- you, a snake about to strike, a dog trying to bite forming moment to moment with universal you, or a skeleton, or a rotting corpse—all terrify-knowledge of the truth of existence so as not to ing images. To rid ourselves of these images, we be led astray by defilements. must be aware of the present moment. 3. Satimā—to be in constant awareness, ob- 4. Images that are purposely created. When serving the mind at all times; never letting mind we think of something, it appears to us. We think think by itself; paying constant attention to what of the moon, and it appears; we imagine objects arises in mind. We watch moods and thoughts to be larger or smaller, and they become so. We arising and disappearing and know how they af- think of heaven and hell, and they appear. When fect the mind. we think of the enlightened ones or the Buddha, When we use these three instruments, the five their images appear. Whatever we think of auto-defilements will disappear from our minds. The matically appears. These are all just created im-mind will be at peace and keep up concentra- ages, not natural conditions. Having awareness tion. Too much concentration, however, without will make them disappear.awareness can lead to mental images, of which 5. Images that implore. These arise from lack there are five types: of awareness. They can be souls experiencing 1. Images that copy oneself. These are reflec- great mental pain and asking for merit. Or they tions of ourselves seen by the mind. The image can be corrupted, misguided spirits that keep vis-does what you do: stand, walk, sit, bend over, iting us with frightening images and scary howls. stretch, or move. If you ask it to do something, it Loving-kindness together with awareness will mi-will do as you wish. To make this go away, you raculously make these images disappear.have to use your awareness. When awareness is Once the five hindrances have been over-as strong as concentration, these images will dis- come and the five types of mental images de-appear because they are not real. stroyed, the obstacles that are preventing us from 2. Images that are blissful. These come from entering the “supramundane state” are removed.
แสงธรรม 14 Saeng DhammaFrom here the mind can establish concentra- One should certainly do one’s job today. Who tion to attain peace, purity, and clarity. Thus we knows, tomorrow death could come. Absolutely can proceed in our scientific experiment on the no way can one come to an agreement with the mental phenomena to discover the truth of all mighty Lord of Death.things. We can test the truth in this body that Past is past, do not desire for it to turn back. is six feet long, one hand thick, and a forearm What hasn’t come, do not treat in an indifferent wide. So we can look at ourselves, talk to our- manner, it’ll come. Yesterday will never take the selves, and use ourselves to test and prove the same road again.truth of anicca (impermanence, always changing), “Tomorrow will have yet to arrive.”dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), and anattā (no-self, Thus one should seriously perform one’s duty not under anyone’s control). These are the true today. Who would know we will live tomorrow? characteristics of all that exists in nature. When Impossibly can a person come to an agreement the mind has grasped the true nature of things as with or influence Powerful Death to allow him or explained here, it will be free of all attachments her to stay.and enter the path toward Enlightenment leading There are in a year 365 days or 12 months, to Nibbāna. One is no longer under the power of December being the last one of the year. It is the defilements and craving. The mind is free of the custom for most of us to consider the pass-all attachments and enters the “supramundane ing year to be the “old” year and call the com-state,” and thus one has become truly “supra- ing year, beginning with January, the “new” year. human.” “Old” and “new” are only ideas that we make From the point of view of the Dhamma, one up for having easy communication; otherwise we becomes a “supra-human” because he or she is would hardly understand each other. No forces “above” all worldly influences. Even while living can stop their motion. They constantly and du-in the world, the mind is no longer a slave to de- tifully move as they do; they never stand still. filements and craving, and one lives in freedom— Thus it is “life” that loses its hold to time, as complete freedom from suffering. And thus this shown in one of the Buddhist proverbs:person has earned the title “supraman.” Kalo khasati bhutani sabbaneva sahattana Time eats up, together with its own self, the V. Tomorrow Man lives of all beings. To be continued Ajjeva kiccamatappam Ko janna maranam suve Na hi no sangharantena Mahasenena maccuna
แสงธรรม 15 Saeng Dhamma VISAKHA PUJA DAY The Birth of the Buddha, Peacemaker for the WorldThe Significance of Visakha Puja Day By Phramaha Thanat Inthisan, Ph.D.The Significance of Visakha Puja Day to celebrate Vesak. It was the same Dharmapala, On behalf of The Council of Thai Bhikkhus in however, who in May of 1897, following the World the U.S.A., as the Secretary of the Council, I would Parliament of Religions four years earlier, presided like to join in this year’s Visakha Puja celebration. over the first Vesaka Puja celebration in America This year Vesak is especially significant because it is in San Francisco. Then in 1999, sixty-six years af-the commemoration of the 2600th anniversary of ter the death of the great Buddhist preacher, Vi-the Enlightenment of the Buddha. Under the aus- sakha Puja received the worldwide recognition it pices of the Mission of the Republic of Sri Lanka to deserves. On December 15 of that year at the the United Nations and of the United Nations Gen- behest of the country of Sri Lanka, Dharmapala’s eral Assembly, special events have been planned homeland, the fifty-fourth United Nations Gen-in New York to celebrate this auspicious occasion. eral Assembly declared Vesak Day, the full-moon Today Vesakha Puja is recognized as an inter- day in May, an International Day. Buddhism was national day of celebration of the life of the Bud- recognized as one of the oldest religions in the dha. This May, 2011, we have the Vesak ceremony world, a religion that should be praised for its in all the Buddhist countries, Thailand, Vietnam, concerns about the welfare of human beings.Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, China, Visakha Puja commemorates three important and others. In fact, Visakha Puja is celebrated events in the life of the Buddha, all occurring in across the globe. different years on the full-moon day of May: his It was not always this way. When Anaga- birth, his Enlightenment, and his passing away. rika Dharmapala, arguably the greatest preacher These events can serve as lessons for us today. of Buddhism in modern times, was a boy in the I would like to begin with the event of his 1870s in his native Sri Lanka, then the British col- birth. After the Buddha was born, he walked sev-ony of Ceylon, he was caned by the headmaster en steps and said, “I am chief in the world, I am of the Christian school he attended for taking off best in the world, I am first in the world. This is
แสงธรรม 16 Saeng Dhammamy last birth. There will be no further rebirth.” The message of Visakha Puja Day is a message of This statement expresses the Buddha’s aim in his loving-kindness and compassion that bring peace. life. His words are not just the silly boasting of a We celebrate Vesak day, or the Buddha’s day, be-child. Rather, they signify that we are all individu- cause of his great loving-kindness and compassion ally responsible for what we make of our lives. not only to the Buddhist people but also to all the Think about that. Do you take this responsibility people of the world. The Buddha was a great man seriously? If you do not, you should reflect on who walked on the earth and preached to the peo-this matter today. ple 2,500 years ago about how to live happily and Let us talk about the second event commem- peacefully. After he realized the truth, he did not orated on Vesak. After the Buddha achieved En- keep it to himself; he spread the truth for forty-five lightenment, he said to himself, “Through the years of his life. That is why we gather together round of uncountable births, I wandered and celebrate on this day. without finding the house builder I was Visakha Puja Day commemorates seeking. Rebirth again and again is the birthday of the Buddha as the painful. House builder; you are arising of the Buddha to bring seen! You will no longer build peace. The Buddha-to-be was my house. All your rafters are born into the Brahmin tradi-broken. The ridge pole is de- tion, but he left this tradition stroyed. Mind attains the un- behind. He tried to get rid of conditioned. Mind achieves the all unwholesome things inside end of craving.” The Buddha rec- and outside people, for exam-ognized what causes problems for ple, the castes in the society of us. We should also recognize that his time. He traveled throughout the problems we encounter come the Middle Area for forty-five years from inside the mind. The problems teaching people, and then he passed start there—with our thoughts. away in final Enlightenment. He visited the The third event recalled on Vesakha Puja Day poor, his enemies (for instance, Devidatta), and is the Buddha’s passing away. Before he passed kings because of his great compassion and be-away, he told his disciples, “All component things cause of his wisdom. are subject to decay and destruction, work out the The message of Visakha Puja Day is also that of real freedom with earnestness.” These were the overcoming egoism. The Buddha worked without last words of the Buddha. We should work hard to egoism, giving people the opportunity to light the understand that nothing in life is permanent, that inner light in their hearts and reach their final goal. nothing can be counted on, so that was can free He found truth and liberation and destroyed ego-our minds from greed, hatred, and delusion and ism. He destroyed all the defilements in his mind thereby attain peace and freedom. and found freedom from the self. As a result, he
แสงธรรม 17 Saeng Dhammacan help society today find its freedom and can that he woke up. The word Buddha means to teach society liberation from the self. He can en- wake up and to know. Last month a husband able society to find peace. and wife took their children to the temple. When At Visakha Puja the birth of the Buddha is cel- they saw the monks, they paid respect and told ebrated in two senses: the Buddha-to-be’s being their children to pay respect, but they called the born from the womb of his mother, and the Bud- monk, “my Buddha.” I did not have a chance dha’s being born as the Awakened One, having to explain to them that they should not call the destroyed the defilements, especially egoism, atta. monk “Buddha.” The more I think about what The Buddha has the answer to the question of how they said, however, the more I realize that they the people of the world can attain inner peace. were expressing a great truth. They are reminding In Buddhism, we have two ways of worship us to be the Buddha, that is, the Awakened One, and celebration. The first one we call material insofar as we wake up from the sleep of igno-worship, the worship that uses candles, flowers, rance, greed, hatred, and delusion. There is a story about the Buddha after he achieved Enlightenment. He decided to go teach at Varanasi. On the way to Varanasi, one Brahmin asked him, “Are you a god?” “No,” said the Buddha. “An angel?” “No.” “A saint?” “No.” “Then what are you?” The Buddha answered, “I am awake.” The Buddha defined himself as the one who had woken up. As we celebrate this Visakha Puja Day, then, we do not forget the Buddha, but we follow his incense—material things. The second is practi- advice as his disciples. Learning something from cal worship, the way that we apply the Buddha’s our great teacher, we build the Buddha within our teachings to our lives, that we put the teachings minds. It is never too late to change our ways of into action. The worship or celebration that the thinking, speaking, and behaving, ways that cause Buddha admires more is practical worship. us problems. Practical worship is truly the way in which Let us spread loving-kindness and compas-egoism is overcome. The Buddha wants us so to sion. Let us overcome egoism and wake up. practice so that we can benefit from his teachings These are the ways to find the Buddha’s peace.and free ourselves from suffering. The Buddha’s overcoming of egoism means
แสงธรรม 21 Saeng DhammaWAT THAI WASHINGTON D.C.STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES AND NET CASH FLOWSFOR THE PERIOD OF JULY 1, 2010 - MARCH 31, 2011 Income: Sub-total Total Donations: Donations-General Support 271,118 Donations-80th LT’s Building Funds 66,562 Donations-Education 10,826 Total Donations 348,506 Investment: Dividends 829 Interest 1,628 2,457 Total Income $350,963 Expenses: Utilities: Electricity 29,642 Oil & Propane Gas 2,998 Solid Waste & Refuse Collection 4,331 Water 6,182 Total Utilities 43,153 Printing & Distribution: Equipment Leasing and Repairment 6,141 Postage 8,634 Printing Services 28,071 Supplies 2,028 Total Printing & Distribution 44,874 Insurance: Automomile 1,267 Health Insurance 27,626 Property and Liability 4,137 Total Insurance 33,030 Equipment Expenses: Equipment Purchases 360 Equipment Rental 2,093 Maintenance Contracts & Repairment 8,620 Total Equipment Expenses 11,073 Automobile 2,679 Bank Charges 120 Building and Ground 366 Contributions/Hospitality & Gifts 1,965 Dilivery & Cargo 1,854 Food & Grocery 1,655 Fund raising 8,595 Medical-Monks 5,354 Miscellaneous 1,804 Office Expenses 2,411 Security Services 946 School Expenses 5,580 Telephone and Internet 2,413 Travel 5,421 Total Expenses $173,293 Net Income and Expenses 177,670 Less Cash Provided for: -Operating Expenses (Accounts Payable) (14,849) -80th Luangta Chi’s Year Building (55,979.0) Net Cash Flows $106,842 Pachara Tuangsethevut Phramaha Thanat Inthisan Treasurer President
แสงธรรม 22 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. ปฏิบ ัติธรรมประจ�ำเดือน พฤษภำคมณ วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี. 14 พฤษภาคม 2554 ศึกษาและปฏิบัติธรรมตามแนวพระไตรปิฎก � สาธยายพระไตรปิฎก ภาษาบาลี � ฟังบรรยายธรรม - ธรรมสากัจฉา � เจริญจิตตภาวนา - แผ่เมตตา ขอเชิญพุทธศาสนิกชนร่วมดับร้อนผ่อนคลายทุกข์ด้วยธรรมโอสถ ขององค์สมเด็จพระสัมมาสัมพุทธเจ้าโดยพร้อมกัน เวลา 9.00 A.M.
แสงธรรม 30 Saeng DhammaThis acapella singing group, Six Degrees Singers, is a local community choir that performs in the D.C. metropolitan area.สรงน้ำ�พระพุทธรูป เพื่อเป็นสิริมงคลวันปีใหม่ไทย นางสงกรานต์วัดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. ประจำาปี 2554คณะผู้ปกครองโชว์นาฏลีลาอันอ่อนช้อยงดงาม มือกลอง/นางรำามาร่วมขบวนแห่สร้างสีสนอย่างรืนเริง ั ่
All are cordially invited to participate in the meditation programs and Buddhist activities at Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple Objectives 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 thinking. 7. to help acquire and inner peace. 8. Wat Thai Washington, D.C. temple is non political. Activity Day Time1. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, URL. www.watthaidc.org