All are cordially invited to participate
in the meditation programs and Buddhist activities at
Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple
1. To promote Buddhist activities.
2. To foster Thai culture and traditions.
3. To inform the public of the monastery’s activities.
4. To maintain and promote brotherhood/sisterhood.
5. To provide a public relations center for
Buddhists living in the United States.
6. To promote spiritual development and positive
7. to help acquire and inner peace.
8. Wat Thai Washington, D.C. temple is non political.
Activity Day Time
1. Chanting Daily Morning and 6:00 - 6:45 A.M.
Evening 6:00 - 6:45 P.M.
2. Dhamma Talk and Every Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.
Meditation (in Thai)
3. Meditation and Dhamma
Discussion (in Thai) Every Sunday 7:00 - 9:00 A.M.
4. Meditation and Dhamma
Discussion (in English) Every Sunday 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
5. Thai Language Classes Every Tuesday or Thursday 7:30 - 9:00 P.M.
6. Yoga - Meditation Every Friday 7:30 - 9:00 P.M.
7. Thai Music Class Every Saturday 10:00 - 4:00 P.M.
8. Thai Dance Class Every Saturday 2:00 - 4:00 P.M.
9. Buddhist Sunday School Every Sunday 12:45 - 3:30 P.M.
All activities will be held at the upper or lower level of the main temple. For further information
please contact Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple. Tel. (301)871-8660, (301)871-8661
Fax. (301)871-5007 E-mail: email@example.com, URL. www.watthaidc.org
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ก.ค. วันเข้าพรรษา - วันอาสาฬหบูชา
๕๓ • แห่เทียนพรรษา
• ถวายผ้าอาบน�้าฝน • ฟังพระธรรมเทศนา
ทุกเช้าวันอาทิตย์ เวลา ๗.๐๐ น.
ณ วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี.
ปีที่ 36 ฉบับที่ 423 ประจ�ำเดือนกรกฎำคม พ.ศ. 2553 Vol.36 No.423 July, 2010
�To promote Buddhist activities. สำรบัญ
�To foster Thai culture and tradition.
�To inform the public of the temple’s activities.
�To promide a public relations center for
Buddhists living in the United States. The Buddha’s Words................................................ 1
THE THREEFOLD TRAINING Ven. Buddhadasa............ 2
เจ้าของ : วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี. Helping Yourself to Help Other....Ven. Prayudh Payutto..... 7
ที่ปรึกษา : พระวิเทศธรรมรังษี Evening Sitting Ven. Ajanh Chah............................... 11
กองบรรณาธิการ : แนะน�ำครูอำสำสมัครจำกจุฬำฯ ปี ๒๕๕๓ ........................ 18
ดร.พระมหำถนัด อตฺถจำรี อนุโมทนำพิเศษ / Special Thanks............................. 21
พระสมุห์ณัฐิวุฒิ ปภำกโร ปฏิบัติธรรมประจ�ำเดือนกรกฎำคม............................... 22
พระจรินทร์ อำภสฺสโร เสียงธรรม...จากวัดไทย...........................หลวงตาชี 23
พระมหำเรืองฤทธิ์ สมิทฺธิญำโณ ประมวลภาพกิจกรรมต่างๆ เดือนมิถุนายน............... 30
พระสุริยำ เตชวโร เสียงธรรม... จากหลวงตาชี........................................ 32
พระมหำสรำวุธ สรำวุโธ ท่องแดนพระพุทธศำสนำ ๒,๓๐๐ ปี ดร.พระมหำถนัด 39
พระมหำประดู่ชัย ภทฺทธมฺโม บทความพิเศษ งดเหล้าเข้าพรรษา .......................... 43
พระมหำศรีสุพรณ์ อตฺตทีโป Thai Temple’s News...........โดย ดร.พระมหำถนัด 45
พระอนันต์ภิวัฒน์ พุทฺธรกฺขิโต รำยนำมผู้บริจำคเดือนมิถุนำยน .........Ven. Sarawut 48
และอุบำสก-อุบำสิกำวัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน, ดี.ซี. รำยนำมเจ้ำภำพถวำยเพล / Lunch............................ 54
SAENG DHAMMA Magazine ก�ำหนดกำรท�ำบุญวันอำสำฬหบูชำ-วันเข้ำพรรษำ........ 62
is published monthly by
Wat Thai Washington, D.C. Temple
At 13440 Layhill Rd.,
Silver Spring, MD 20906 Photos taken by
Tel. (301) 871-8660, 871-8661 Mr. Sam & Bank, Ms. Golf,
Fax : 301-871-5007 Ven. Pradoochai,
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Yuttachat,
Homepage : www.watthaidc.org Ven. Ananphiwat, Mr. Kevin,
Radio Network : www.watthai.iirt.net
แสงธรรม 1 Saeng Dhamma
The Buddha’s Words
คหการก ทิฏฺโฐสิ ปุน เคหํ น กาหสิ
สพฺพา เต ผาสุกา ภคฺคา คหกูฏํ วิสงฺขตํ
วิสงฺขารคตํ จิตฺตํ ตณฺหานํ ขยมชฺฌคา ฯ (๑๕๔)
นายช่างเอย บัดนีเราพบท่านแล้ว ท่านจะสร้างเรือนไม่ได้อก จันทัน อกไก่
เราทําลายหมดแล้ว จิตของเราบรรลุนพพาน หมดความทะยานอยากแล้ว
O House Builder, you have been seen, you shall not build the house again.
Your rafters have been broken, your ridge pole demolished too. My mind
has now attained the Unconditioned and reached the end of all craving.
แสงธรรม 2 Saeng Dhamma
by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
THE THREEFOLD TRAINING Just what is concentration? No doubt most of you
I n this chapter we shall examine the method to
be used for eliminating clinging. The method
is based on three practical steps, namely Morality,
have always understood concentration as imply-
ing a completely tranquil mind, as steady and un-
moving as a log of wood. But merely these two
Concentration, and Insight, known collectively as characteristics of being tranquil and steady are not
the Threefold Training. the real meaning of Concentration. The basis for
The first step is morality (Sila). Morality is sim- this statement is an utterance of the Buddha. He
ply suitable behavior, behavior that conforms with described the concentrated mind as fit for work
the generally accepted standards and causes no (kammaniya), in a suitable condition for doing its
distress to other people or to oneself. It is coded job. Fit for work is the very best way to describe the
in the form of five moral precepts, or eight, or ten, properly concentrated mind.
or 227, or in other ways. It is conducted by way The third aspect is the training in insight (Pan-
of body and speech aimed at peace, convenience na), the practice and drill that gives rise to the full
and freedom from undesirable effects at the most measure of right knowledge and understanding of
basic level. It has to do with the members of a the true nature of all things. Normally we are inca-
social group and the various pieces of property es- pable of knowing anything at all in its true nature.
sential to living. Mostly we either stick to our own ideas or go along
The second aspect of the threefold training is with popular opinion, so that what we see is not
concentration (Samadhi). This consists in constrain- the truth at all. It is for this reason that Buddhist
ing the mind to remain in the condition most con- practice includes this training in insight, the last as-
ducive to success in whatever he wishes to achieve. pect of the threefold training, designed to give rise
แสงธรรม 3 Saeng Dhamma
to full understanding of and insight into the true
nature of things.
In the religious context, understanding and in-
sight are not by any means the same. Understand-
ing depends to some extent on the use of rea-
soning, on rational intellection. Insight goes further
than that. An object known by insight has been ab-
sorbed; it has been penetrated to and confronted
face to face; the mind has become thoroughly ab-
sorbed in it through examination and investigation
so sustained that there has arisen a non-rational the insight. It is a fact of nature that the presence of
but genuine and heartfelt disenchantment with genuine, clear insight implies the presence of genu-
that thing and a complete lack of emotional in- ine disenchantment. It is impossible that the process
volvement in it. Consequently the Buddhist training should stop short at the point of clear insight. Dis-
in insight does not refer to intellectual understand- enchantment displaces desire for the object, and is
ing of the kind used in present day academic and bound to arise immediately.
scholarly circles, where each individual can have his Training in morality is simply elementary prepar-
own particular kind of truth. Buddhist insight must atory practice, which enables us to live happily and
be intuitive insight clear and immediate, the result helps stabilize the mind. Morality yields various
of having penetrated to the object by one means benefits, the most important being the preparing of
or another, until it has made a definite and indel- the way for concentration. Other advantages, such
ible impression on the mind. For this reason the as conducing to happiness or to rebirth as a celes-
objects of scrutiny in insight training must be things tial being, were not considered by the Buddha to
that one comes into contact with in the course of be the direct aims of morality. He regarded moral-
everyday living; or at least they must be things of ity as primarily a means of inducing and developing
sufficient importance to render the mind genuinely concentration. As long as things continue to disturb
fed up and disenchanted with them as transient, the mind, it can never become concentrated.
unsatisfactory and not selves. However much we Training in concentration consists in developing
think rationally, evaluating the characteristics of the ability to control this mind of ours, to make use
transience, unsatisfactoriness and non-selfhood, of it, to make it do its job to the best advantage.
nothing results but intellectual understanding. Morality is good behavior in respect of body and
There is no way it can give rise to disillusionment speech; concentration amounts to good behavior
and disenchantment with worldly things. It must be in respect of the mind, and is the fruit of thorough
understood that the condition of disenchantment mental training and discipline. The concentrated
replaces that of desiring the formerly infatuatingly mind is devoid of all bad, defiling thoughts and does
attractive object, and that this in itself constitutes not wander off the object. It is in a fit condition to
แสงธรรม 4 Saeng Dhamma
do its job. Even in ordinary worldly situations, con- degree of concentration appropriate to our abili-
centration is always a necessity. No matter what ties. Ultimately we shall gain much better results
we are engaged in, we can hardly do it successfully in our work than can the average man, simply be-
unless the mind is concentrated. For this reason cause we have better tools at our disposal. So do
the Buddha counted concentration as one of the take an interest in this matter of concentration and
marks of a great man. Regardless of whether a man don’t go regarding it as something foolish and old-
is to be successful in worldly or in spiritual things, fashioned. It is definitely something of the greatest
the faculty of concentration is absolutely indispen- importance, something worth making use of at all
sable. Take even a schoolboy. If he lacks concen- times, especially nowadays when the world seems
tration, how can he do arithmetic? The sort of con- to be spinning too fast and on the point of going
centration involved in doing arithmetic is natural up in flames. There is far more need for concentra-
concentration and is only poorly developed. Con- tion now than there was in the time of the Buddha.
centration as a basic element in Buddhist practice, Don’t get the idea that it is just something for the
which is what we are discussing here, is concentra- people in temples, or for cranks.
tion that has been trained and raised to a higher Now we come to the connection between the
pitch than can develop naturally. Consequently, training in concentration and the training in insight.
when the mind has been trained successfully, it The Buddha once said that when the mind is con-
comes to have a great many very special abili- centrated, it is in a position to see all things as they
ties, powers and attributes. A person who has really are. When the mind is concentrated and fit
managed to derive these benefits from concen- for work, it will know all things in their true nature.
tration can be said to have moved up a step to- lt. is a strange thing that the answer to any prob-
wards knowing the secrets of nature. He knows lem a person is trying to solve is usually already
how to control the mind, and thus has abilities present, though concealed, in his very own mind.
not possessed by the average person. The per- He is not aware of it, because it is still only subcon-
fection of morality is an ordinary human ability. scious; and as long as he is set on solving the prob-
Even if someone makes a display of morality, lem, the solution will not come, simply because his
it is never a superhuman display. On the other mind at that time is not in a fit condition for solving
hand the attainment of deep concentration was problems. If, when setting about any mental work,
classed by the Buddha as a superhuman abil- a person develops right concentration, that is, if he
ity, which the bhikkhus were never to make a renders his mind fit for work, the solution to his
display of. Anyone who did show off this ability problem will come to light of its own accord. The
was considered no longer a good bhikkhu, or moment the mind has become concentrated, the
even no longer a bhikkhu at all. answer will just fall into place. But should the solu-
To attain concentration necessitates making sac- tion still fail to come, there exists another method
rifices. We have to put up with varying degrees of for directing the mind to the examination of the
hardship, to train and practice, until we have the problem, namely the practice of concentrated in-
แสงธรรม 5 Saeng Dhamma
trospection referred to as the training in insight. On quently disenchantment and boredom. It results in
the day of his enlightenment the Buddha attained a backing away from all the things one has former-
insight into the Law of Conditioned Origination, that ly been madly infatuated with. If one has insight,
is, he came to perceive the true nature of things or yet still goes rushing after things, madly craving for
the “what is what” and the sequence in which they them, grasping at and clinging on to them, being
arise, as a result of being concentrated in the way infatuated with them., then it cannot be insight in
we have just described. The Buddha has related the Buddhist sense. This stopping short and back-
the story in detail, but essentially it amounts to ing away is, of course, not a physical action. One
this: as soon as his mind doesn’t actually pick
was well concentrated, things up and hurl them
it was in a position to away or smash them to
examine the problem. pieces, nor does one go
It is just when the running off to live in the
mind is quiet and cool, forest. This is not what
in a state of well- be- is meant. Here we are
ing, undisturbed, well referring specifically to
concentrated and fresh, a mental stopping short
that some solution to a and backing away, as
persistent problem is ar- a result of which the
rived at. Insight is always dependent on concentra- mind ceases to be a slave to things and becomes a
tion though we may perhaps never have noticed free mind instead. This is what it is like when desire
the fact. Actually the Buddha demonstrated an for things has given way to disenchantment. It isn’t
association even more intimate than this between a matter of going and committing suicide, or going
concentration and insight. He pointed out that con- off to live as a hermit in the forest, or setting fire
centration is indispensable for insight, and insight, to everything. Outwardly one is as usual, behav-
indispensable for concentration at a higher inten- ing quite normally with respect to things. Inwardly,
sity than occurs naturally, requires the presence however, there is a difference. The mind is inde-
of understanding of certain characteristics of the pendent, free, no longer a slave to things. This is
mind. 0ne must know in just which way the mind the virtue of insight. The Buddha called this effect
has to be controlled in order that concentration Deliverance, escape from slavery to things, in particu-
may be induced. So the more insight a person has, lar the things we like. Actually we are enslaved by the
the higher degree of concentration he will capable things we dislike too. We are enslaved insofar as we
of. Likewise an increase in concentration results in cannot help disliking them and are unable to remain
a corresponding increase in insight. Either one of unmoved by them. In disliking things, we are being
the two factors promotes the other. active, we are becoming emotional about them.
Insight implies unobscured vision and conse- They manage to control us just as do the things we
แสงธรรม 6 Saeng Dhamma
like, affecting each of us in a different way. So the ex- the mind, rendering it independent and incapable
pression “slavery to things” refers to the reactions of becoming bound, enslaved, overpowered by an-
of liking and disliking. All this shows that we can ything whatsoever, including God in heaven, spirits,
escape from slavery to things and become free by or celestial beings. No other religion is prepared to
means of insight. The Buddha summed up this prin- let the individual free himself completely, or be
ciple very briefly by saying: “Insight is the means by entirely self reliant We must be fully aware of this
which we can purify ourselves.” He did not specify principle of self-reliance, which is a key feature of
morality or concentration as the means by which Buddhism.
we could purify ourselves, but insight, which ena- As soon as we see that Buddhism has everything
bles us to escape, which liberates us from things. that any other religion has and also several things
Not freed from things, one is impure, tainted, infat- that none of them have, we realize that Buddhism
uated, passionate. Once free, one is pure, spotless, is for everyone. Buddhism is the universal religion.
enlightened, tranquil. This is the fruit of insight, the It can be put into practice by everyone, in every
condition that results when insight has done its job age and era. People everywhere have the same
completely. problem: to free themselves from suffering-suffer-
Have a good look at this factor, insight, the third ing which is inherent in birth, aging, pain and death,
aspect of the threefold training. Get to know it, suffering which stems from desire, from grasping.
and you will come to regard it as the highest vir- Everyone without exception, celestial being, hu-
tue. Buddhist insight is insight that results in back- man being, or beast, has this same problem, and
ing away from things by completely destroying the everyone has the same job to do, namely to elimi-
four kinds of attachment. Those four attachments nate completely the desire, the unskillful grasping
are ropes holding us fast; insight is the knife that which is the root cause of that suffering. Thus Bud-
can cut those bonds and set us free. With the four dhism is the universal religion.
attachments gone, there is nothing left to bind us The End
fast to things. Will these three modes of practice
stand the test? Are they soundly based and suita-
ble for all in practice? Do examine them. When you
have another look at them you will see that these
three factors do not conflict with any religious doc-
trine at all, assuming that the religion in question
really aims at remedying the problem of human
suffering. The Buddhist teaching does not conflict
with any other religion, yet it has some things that
no other religion has. In particular it has the prac-
tice of insight, which is the superlative technique
for eliminating the four attachments. It liberates
ขอขอบคุณ Mr. Gary Henderson ทีชวยซ่อมแอร์วดไทยฯ ดี.ซี.
แสงธรรม 7 Saeng Dhamma
To Help Others
by Ven. Prayudh Payutto
...Continued from last issue...
Sati and Vipassana comes the past, so it is said that the mind which
T he practice of vipassana meditation em-
phasizes the use of sati. If there is no sati,
pañña cannot function. Sati itself has many dif-
proliferates has fallen into the past.
Just as the mind falls into the past, it can
also float off and begin projecting fantasies
ferent functions. First, sati allows us to be aware about the future. The mind which is not aware in
of the sensations that enter our consciousness the present moment is the mind which delights
as they arise. Usually our minds are trapped by and feels averse. The mind, either delighting or
delight and aversion. When a sensation arises feeling averse, must clutch onto some particu-
which produces pleasant feeling we feel happy lar sensation. As soon as it clutches onto any
and we like that sensation. If another type of particular sensation it falls into the past, even if
sensation arises, one that produces unpleasant only for a second.
feeling, we don’t like it and give in to aversion.
Whenever our mind delights or is averse, or likes Keeping awareness in the present
or dislikes anything, it gets stuck on that sensa- Delight and aversion arise dependent on
tion. The mind fixes itself onto the sensation some particular sensation. For instance, if we
but, being temporary, in a moment the sensa- see something we like, the mind proliferates
tion has passed, becoming a past experience. around that liking. If aversion or dislike takes
Immediately there follows a new sensation, but over, the mind proliferates in a different way.
the mind, being stuck on the sensation which In other words, the mind doesn’t see things the
just passed, does not follow the new sensation way they are. When we say the mind doesn’t
that is arising. That which has just passed be- see things the way they are, we mean that the
แสงธรรม 8 Saeng Dhamma
mind is under the influence of delight and aver- ceeds to paint things into something more than
sion, which make the mind either fall into the what they are. We don’t see things as they are.
past or float off into the future. Saying that the Without the staining effect of desire and aver-
mind falls into delight and aversion or saying sion, we see things as they are.
that the mind doesn’t see things the way they Thus sati facilitates the arising of wisdom,
are, is to say one and the same thing. Either way helping our mind not to fall into the past or
the mind does not have awareness with each float into the future with delight and aversion,
sensation as it arises. but seeing things as they are, which is a function
Now if we experience a sensation in the of pañña, wisdom.
present moment, but do not attach to it with The practice of satipatthana is said to help
delight or aversion, then the mind will simply eradicate desire and aversion and to see things
follow each sensation with awareness. Delight as they are. Now when we are more adept at
and aversion do not have a chance to arise, seeing things as they arise, we will notice their
because of sati, which causes the mind to stay arising, existence and cessation. When we per-
with the present moment. ceive the various sensations coming and going
as they do, we will be seeing the process by
which they function, seeing that they are con-
stantly arising and ceasing. They are imperma-
nent. Seeing impermanence (anicca) we will
also see dukkha (suffering) and anatta (selfless-
ness), the Three Characteristics. So the practice
of satipatthana on deeper levels enables us to
see the arising, changing and dissolution of all
things. This is seeing the Three Characteristics
of conditioned existence, which is the arising of
When the mind doesn’t proliferate under wisdom. The mind will then no longer clutch
the influence of delight and aversion, then we on to or be influenced by external sensations.
do not see things through the “colored glasses” The mind becomes its own master and breaks
of our likes and dislikes. We see things as they free, and that freedom is the fruition of wisdom
are. It is said that all things in this world are sim- development.
ply as they are in themselves, nothing more. But As I said in the beginning of this talk, if mind
the mind defiled by delight and aversion pro- knows the truth of life, the disease of avijja will
แสงธรรม 9 Saeng Dhamma
not arise. The disease of the mind is caused by sive experiencer, but also learning to get up and
avijja, ignorance, which causes the mind to pro- go outside to meet the world also. This means
liferate. practicing toward the world in a good way.
Now this is the practice of Buddhism. Notice One who practices like this practices correct-
that it all relates to us. The practice I’ve been ly in relation to himself and also, having seen
talking about here is based on this fathom-long the truth, practices in the world in such a way as
body. The truth can be seen right here. Living to be helpful, not harmful. Helping others also
in this world we experience the environment as helps us to develop good qualities in ourselves.
sensations. If we don’t practice appropriately The mind tends toward skillful reactions in its
towards those sensations we experience prob- everyday contact.
lems. In this way the practicer sees the relation-
ship between his own personal practice and
the practice of relating to the world. One sees
that all beings are related, and so deals with
them with metta, goodwill, and karuna, com-
passion, helping them in their need. Further-
more, we understand that all other beings are
afflicted with the same illness as we are, they
are bound by the Three Characteristics just as
we are. Therefore it is proper that we learn to
help each other as fellow travelers on the path
In one sense, it’s almost as if we “lie in wait” of practice.
for sensations to arise, and relate to them in Dhamma practicers should therefore not
such a way as to not give rise to defilement. It’s only consider the right way to relate to the vari-
as if we were a passive receiver of sensations. In ous experiences they encounter in the course
this sense we may feel we should sit and wait of their lives, but should also help others.
for things to happen and do our best to avoid This type of practice was recommended by
getting involved in anything. This is one way of the Buddha, even up to the level of those who
looking at Dhamma practice. have experienced insight. At one time the Bud-
Another way is to use our practice to improve dha compared the Stream Enterer (sotapanna)
the world, by training to see it in a more skillful to a mother cow. The cow eats grass to feed
way. So the initial practice is not only to be a pas- itself, and also to feed the calf which follows
แสงธรรม 10 Saeng Dhamma
her around. “Eating the grass” can be compared sorrow and all human suffering. The Buddha, as
to one’s own personal practice of Dhamma. a “surgeon,” cut out the arrowhead. We also
Even though she is eating grass, the mother cow must accept the responsibility of removing our
doesn’t neglect her calf, she is constantly look- own respective “arrows,” by practicing the
ing after it and watchful to keep it from fall- Dhamma. If we practice the Dhamma correctly
ing into danger. Likewise, one who practices the we will realize the real benefit of the Buddha’s
teaching of Buddhism practices primarily to train “medicine.”
oneself in the correct practice, but also gives The Buddha has bequeathed us this well-
consideration to one’s fellow men and all other expounded teaching. It remains up to us to
beings, so as to help them with goodwill and make the most of his kindness, by taking up that
compassion. teaching and practicing accordingly. In this way
So this fits in with the principle I mentioned we can cure the disease of the five khandhas,
at the beginning of this talk: In helping oneself remove the arrow, and experience peace, clarity
one helps others, in helping others one helps and purity, which is the goal of Buddhism.
oneself. All in all the practice boils down to be-
having in the right manner, both to oneself and The End
to others. In this way Dhamma practice leads to
progress both for oneself and for others.
T oday I have spoken about the general
principles of Buddhist practice, begin-
ning by comparing the Buddha to a doctor, one
who both administers medicine and also who
operates. “To operate” means to “remove the
dart.” In the past, one of the most important
operations was performed during times of bat-
tle, when people were often shot by arrows, ศิษย์วดไทยฯ ดี.ซี. รุนจิว ร่วมแสดงมุทตาสักการะ
ั ่ ๋ ิ
sometimes dipped in poison. The victims would โดยการเล่นลำาตัด อย่างสนุกสนาน ได้รับเสียง
experience great agony and even death as a re- ปรบมือเกรียวกราวจากผู้ชมล้นหลาม ควบคุมการ
sult of their wounds. แสดงโดยคุณครูแต๊ก กัญญภัทร
The Buddha used the arrow as a simile for
แสงธรรม 11 Saeng Dhamma
By Ajahn Chah
...Continued from last issue...
dukkham and anatta. None of it is certain at all.”
D eveloping samadhi so that you can just sit Discard it right there.
there and attach to blissful mental states
isn’t the true purpose of the practice. You must with-
draw from it. The Buddha said that you must fight
this war, not just hide out in a trench trying to avoid
the enemy’s bullets. When it’s time to fight, you re-
ally have to come out with guns blazing. Eventually
you have to come out of that trench. You can’t stay
sleeping there when it’s time to fight. This is the
way the practice is. You can’t allow your mind to
just hide, cringing in the shadows.
I have described a rough outline of the prac-
tice. You as the practitioners must avoid getting
caught in doubts. Don’t doubt about the way of
practice. When there is happiness, watch the hap-
piness. When there is suffering, watch the suf-
fering. Having established awareness, make the
effort to destroy both of them. Let them go. Cast I would like to ask you about your practice.
You have all been practising meditation here,
them aside. Know the object of mind and keep but are you sure about the practice yet? Ask your-
letting it go. Whether you want to do sitting or selves, are you confident about the practice yet?
walking meditation it doesn’t matter. If you keep These days there are all sorts of meditation teachers
thinking, never mind. The important thing is to around, both monks and lay teachers, and I’m afraid
sustain moment to moment awareness of the it will cause you to be full of doubts and uncertainty
mind. If you are really caught in mental prolif- about what you are doing. This is why I am asking.
eration, then gather it all together, and contem- As far as Buddhist practice is concerned, there is
plate it in terms of being one whole, cutting it off really nothing greater or higher than these teachings
right from the start, saying, “All these thoughts, of the Buddha which you have been practising with
ideas and imaginings of mine are simply thought here. If you have a clear understanding of them, it
proliferation and nothing more. It’s all aniccam, will give rise to an absolutely firm and unwavering
แสงธรรม 12 Saeng Dhamma
peace in your heart and mind. When developing samādhi, fix attention on the
Making the mind peaceful is known as practis- breath and imagine that you are sitting alone with
ing meditation, or practising samādhi (concentra- absolutely no other people and nothing else around
tion). The mind is something which is extremely to bother you. Develop this perception in the mind,
changeable and unreliable. Observing from your sustaining it until the mind completely lets go of the
practice so far, have you seen this yet? Some days world outside and all that is left is simply the know-
you sit meditation and in no time at all the mind is ing of the breath entering and leaving. The mind
calm, others, you sit and whatever you do there’s no must set aside the external world. Don’t allow your-
calm - the mind constantly struggling to get away, self to start thinking about this person who is sitting
until it eventually does. Some days it goes well, over here, or that person who is sitting over there.
some days it’s awful. This is the way the mind dis- Don’t give space to any thoughts that will give rise
plays these different conditions for you to see. You to confusion or agitation in the mind - it’s better to
must understand that the eight factors of the Noble throw them out and be done with them. There is no
Eight-fold Path (ariya magga) merge in sīla (moral one else here, you are sitting all alone. Develop this
restraint), samādhi and paññā (wisdom). They don’t perception until all the other memories, perceptions
come together anywhere else. This means that when and thoughts concerning other people and things
you bring the factors of your practice together, there subside, and you’re no longer doubting or wander-
must be sīla, there must be samādhi and there must ing about the other people or things around you.
be paññā present together in the mind. It means that Then you can fix your attention solely on the in-
in practising meditation right here and now, you are breaths and out-breaths. Breathe normally. Allow
creating the causes for the Path to arise in a very the in-breaths and the out-breaths to continue natu-
direct way. rally, without forcing them to be longer or shorter,
In sitting meditation you are taught to close stronger or weaker than normal. Allow the breath
your eyes, so that you don’t spend your time look- to continue in a state of normality and balance,
ing at different things. This is because the Buddha and then sit and observe it entering and leaving the
was teaching that you should know your own mind. body.
Observe the mind. If you close your eyes, your at- Once the mind has let go of external mind-
tention will naturally be turned inwards towards the objects, it means you will no longer feel disturbed
mind - the source of many different kinds of knowl- by the sound of traffic or other noises. You won’t
edge. This is a way of training the mind to give rise feel irritated with anything outside. Whether it’s
to samādhi. forms, sounds or whatever, they won’t be a source
Once sitting with the eyes closed, establish of disturbance, because the mind won’t be paying
awareness with the breath - make awareness of attention to them - it will become centred upon the
the breath more important than anything else. This breath.
means you bring awareness to follow the breath, If the mind is agitated by different things and
and by keeping with it, you will know that place you can’t concentrate, try taking an extra-deep
which is the focal point of sati (mindfulness), the breath until the lungs are completely full, and then
focal point of the knowing and the focal point of the release all the air until there is none left inside. Do
mind’s awareness. Whenever these factors of the this several times, then re-establish awareness and
path are working together, you will be able to watch continue to develop concentration. Having re-estab-
and see your breath, feelings, mind and ārammana lished mindfulness, it’s normal that for a period the
(mind-objects), as they are in the present moment. mind will be calm, then change and become agitat-
Ultimately, you will know that place which is both ed again. When this happens, make the mind firm,
the focal point of samādhi and the unification point take another deep breath and subsequently expel all
of the path factors. the air from your lungs. Fill the lungs to capacity
แสงธรรม 13 Saeng Dhamma
again for a moment and then re-establish mindful- sitive in many different ways. You will see the mind
ness on the breathing. Fix sati on the in-breaths and in the centre of that place (the breath), one-pointed
the out-breaths, and continue to maintain awareness with awareness focused inwards, rather than turn-
in this way. ing towards the world outside. The external world
The practice tends to be this way, so it will have gradually disappears from your awareness and the
to take many sittings and much effort before you mind will no longer be going to perform any work
become proficient. Once you are, the mind will let on the outside. It’s as if you’ve come inside your
go of the external world and remain undisturbed. ‘house,’ where all your sense faculties have come
Mind-objects from the outside will be unable to together to form one compact unit. You are at your
penetrate inside and disturb the mind itself. Once ease and the mind is free from all external objects.
they are unable to penetrate inside, you will see Awareness remains with the breath and over time it
the mind. You will see the mind as one object of will penetrate deeper and deeper inside, becoming
awareness, the breath as another and mind-objects progressively more refined. Ultimately, awareness
as another. They will all be present within the field of the breath becomes so refined that the sensation
of awareness, centred at the tip of your nose. Once of the breath seems to disappear. You could say ei-
sati is firmly established with the in-breaths and ther that awareness of the sensation of the breath
out-breaths, you can continue to practise at your has disappeared, or that the breath itself has disap-
ease. As the mind becomes calm, the breath, which peared. Then there arises a new kind of awareness -
was originally coarse, correspondingly becomes awareness that the breath has disappeared. In other
lighter and more refined. The object of mind also words, awareness of the breath becomes so refined
becomes increasingly subtle and refined. The body that it’s difficult to define it.
feels lighter and the mind itself feels progressively So it might be that you are just sitting there and
lighter and unburdened. The mind lets go of exter- there’s no breath. Really, the breath is still there,
nal mind-objects and you continue to observe inter- but it has become so refined that it seems to have
nally. disappeared. Why? Because the mind is at its most
From here onwards your awareness will be refined, with a special kind of knowing. All that re-
turned away from the world outside and is direct- mains is the knowing. Even though the breath has
ed inwards to focus on the mind. Once the mind vanished, the mind is still concentrated with the
has gathered together and become concentrated, knowledge that the breath is not there. As you con-
maintain awareness at that point where the mind tinue, what should you take up as the object of med-
becomes focused. As you breathe, you will see itation? Take this very knowing as the meditation
the breath clearly as it enters and leaves, sati will object - in other words the knowledge that there is
be sharp and awareness of mind-objects and men- no breath - and sustain this. You could say that a
tal activity will be clearer. At that point you will specific kind of knowledge has been established in
see the characteristics of sīla, samādhi and paññā the mind.
and the way in which they merge together. This is At this point, some people might have doubts
known as the unification of the Path factors. Once arising, because it is here that nimitta1 can arise.
this unification occurs, your mind will be free from These can be of many kinds, including both forms
all forms of agitation and confusion. It will become and sounds. It is here that all sorts of unexpected
one-pointed and this is what is known as samādhi. things can arise in the course of the practice. If ni-
When you focus attention in just one place, in this mitta do arise (some people have them, some don’t)
case the breath, you gain a clarity and awareness you must understand them in accordance with the
because of the uninterrupted presence of sati. As truth. Don’t doubt or allow yourself to become
you continue to see the breath clearly, sati will be- alarmed.
come stronger and the mind will become more sen- At this stage, you should make the mind un-
แสงธรรม 14 Saeng Dhamma
shakeable in its concentration and be especially withdraw at your ease, rather than because you are
mindful. Some people become startled when they feeling lazy, unenergetic or tired. You withdraw
notice that the breath has disappeared, because from samādhi because it is the appropriate time to
they’re used to having the breath there. When it ap- withdraw, and you come out of it at your will.
pears that the breath has gone, you might panic or This is samādhi: you are relaxed and at your
become afraid that you are going to die. Here you ease. You enter and leave it without any problems.
must establish the understanding that it is just the The mind and heart are at ease. If you genuinely
nature of the practice to progress in this way. What have samādhi like this, it means that sitting medita-
will you observe as the object of meditation now? tion and entering samādhi for just thirty minutes or
Observe this feeling that there is no breath and sus- an hour will enable you to remain cool and peaceful
tain it as the object of awareness as you continue to for many days afterwards. Experiencing the effects
meditate. The Buddha described this as the firmest, of samādhi like this for several days has a purify-
most unshakeable form of samādhi. There is just one ing effect on the mind - whatever you experience
firm and unwavering will become an object
object of mind. When for contemplation. This
your practice of samādhi is where the practice re-
reaches this point, there ally begins. It’s the fruit
will be many unusual which arises as samādhi
and refined changes and matures.
transformations taking Samādhi performs
place within the mind, the function of calm-
which you can be aware ing the mind. Samādhi
of. The sensation of performs one function,
the body will feel at its sīla performs one func-
lightest or might even tion and paññā performs
disappear altogether. another function. These
You might feel like you are floating in mid-air and characteristics which you are focusing attention on
seem to be completely weightless. It might be like and developing in the practice are linked, forming
you are in the middle of space and wherever you di- a circle. This is the way they manifest in the mind.
rect your sense faculties they don’t seem to register Sīla, samādhi and paññā arise and mature from the
anything at all. Even though you know the body is same place. Once the mind is calm, it will become
still sitting there, you experience complete empti- progressively more restrained and composed due to
ness. This feeling of emptiness can be quite strange. the presence of paññā and the power of samādhi.
As you continue to practise, understand that As the mind becomes more composed and refined,
there is nothing to worry about. Establish this feel- this gives rise to an energy which acts to purify sīla.
ing of being relaxed and unworried, securely in Greater purity of sīla facilitates the development of
the mind. Once the mind is concentrated and one- stronger and more refined samādhi, and this in turn
pointed, no mind-object will be able to penetrate or supports the maturing of paññā. They assist each
disturb it, and you will be able to sit like this for as other in this way. Each aspect of the practice acts as
long as you want. You will be able to sustain con- a supporting factor for each other one - in the end
centration without any feelings of pain and discom- these terms becoming synonymous. As these three
fort. factors continue to mature together, they form one
Having developed samādhi to this level, you complete circle, ultimately giving rise to Magga.
will be able to enter or leave it at will. When you Magga is a synthesis of these three functions of the
do leave it, it’s at your ease and convenience. You practice working smoothly and consistently togeth-
แสงธรรม 15 Saeng Dhamma
er. As you practise, you have to preserve this energy. ter you get up from the formal sitting practice and
It is the energy which will give rise to vipassanā (in- go about your business - walking, riding in cars and
sight) or paññā. Having reached this stage (where so on - whenever your eyes see a form or your ears
paññā is already functioning in the mind, independ- hear a sound, maintain awareness. As you experi-
ent of whether the mind is peaceful or not) paññā ence mind-objects which give rise to liking and dis-
will provide a consistent and independent energy in liking, try to consistently maintain awareness of the
the practice. You see that whenever the mind is not fact that such mental states are impermanent and
peaceful, you shouldn’t attach, and even when it is uncertain. In this way the mind will remain calm
peaceful, you shouldn’t attach. Having let go of the and in a state of ‘normality’.
burden of such concerns, the heart will accordingly As long as the mind is calm, use it to contem-
feel much lighter. Whether you experience pleasant plate mind-objects. Contemplate the whole of this
mind-objects or unpleasant mind-objects, you will form, the physical body. You can do this at any time
remain at ease. The mind will remain peaceful in and in any posture: whether doing formal medita-
this way. tion practice, relaxing at home, out at work, or in
whatever situation you find yourself. Keep the med-
itation and the reflection going at all times. Just go-
ing for a walk and seeing dead leaves on the ground
under a tree can provide an opportunity to contem-
plate impermanence. Both we and the leaves are the
same: when we get old, we shrivel up and die. Oth-
er people are all the same. This is raising the mind
to the level of vipassanā, contemplating the truth of
the way things are, the whole time. Whether walk-
ing, standing, sitting or lying down, sati is sustained
evenly and consistently. This is practising medita-
tion correctly - you have to be following the mind
closely, checking it at all times.
Practising here and now at seven o’clock in the
Another important thing is to see that when you evening, we have sat and meditated together for an
stop doing the formal meditation practice, if there is hour and now stopped. It might be that your mind
no wisdom functioning in the mind, you will give has stopped practising completely and hasn’t con-
up the practice altogether without any further con- tinued with the reflection. That’s the wrong way
templation, development of awareness or thought to do it. When we stop, all that should stop is the
about the work which still has to be done. In fact, formal meeting and sitting meditation. You should
when you withdraw from samādhi, you know clear- continue practising and developing awareness con-
ly in the mind that you have withdrawn. Having sistently, without letting up.
withdrawn, continue to conduct yourself in a nor- I’ve often taught that if you don’t practise con-
mal manner. Maintain mindfulness and awareness sistently, it’s like drops of water. It’s like drops of
at all times. It isn’t that you only practise medita- water because the practice is not a continuous, un-
tion in the sitting posture - samādhi means the mind interrupted flow. Sati is not sustained evenly. The
which is firm and unwavering. As you go about important point is that the mind does the practice
your daily life, make the mind firm and steady and and nothing else. The body doesn’t do it. The mind
maintain this sense of steadiness as the object of does the work, the mind does the practice. If you
mind at all times. You must be practising sati and understand this clearly, you will see that you don’t
sampajañña (all round knowing) continuously. Af- necessarily have to do formal sitting meditation in
แสงธรรม 16 Saeng Dhamma
order for the mind to know samādhi. The mind is becomes fully apparent. This would provide the im-
the one who does the practice. You have to experi- petus for you to take a step back and change your
ence and understand this for yourself, in your own ways. Then you would find some real peace. To ex-
mind. perience peace of mind you have to clearly see the
Once you do see this for yourself, you will be disadvantages and danger in such forms of behav-
developing awareness in the mind at all times and iour. This is practising in the correct way. If you
in all postures. If you are maintaining sati as an do a silent retreat for seven days, where you don’t
even and unbroken flow, it’s as if the drops of water have to speak to or get involved with anybody, and
have joined to form a smooth and continuous flow then go chatting, gossiping and overindulging for
of running water. Sati is present in the mind from another seven months, how will you gain any real
moment to moment and accordingly there will be or lasting benefit from those seven days of practise?
awareness of mind-objects at all times. If the mind I would encourage all the lay people here, who
is restrained and composed with uninterrupted sati, are practising to develop awareness and wisdom, to
you will know mind-objects each time that whole- understand this point. Try to practise consistently.
some and unwholesome mental states arise. You See the disadvantages of practising insincerely and
will know the mind that is calm and the mind that inconsistently, and try to sustain a more dedicat-
is confused and agitated. Wherever you go you will ed and continuous effort in the practice. Just this
be practising like this. If you train the mind in this much. It can then become a realistic possibility that
way, it means your meditation will mature quickly you might put an end to the kilesa (mental defile-
and successfully. ments). But that style of not speaking and not play-
Please don’t misunderstand. These days it’s ing around for seven days, followed by six months
common for people to go on vipassanā courses of complete sensual indulgence, without any mind-
for three or seven days, where they don’t have to fulness or restraint, will just lead to the squander-
speak or do anything but meditate. Maybe you have ing of any gains made from the meditation - there
gone on a silent meditation retreat for a week or won’t be any thing left. It’s like if you were to go to
two, afterwards returning to your normal daily life. work for a day and earned twenty pounds, but then
You might have left thinking that you’ve ‘done went out and spent thirty pounds on food and things
vipassanā’ and, because you feel that you know in the same day; where would there be any money
what it’s all about, then carry on going to parties, saved? It would be all gone. It’s just the same with
discos and indulging in different forms of sensual the meditation.
delight. When you do it like this, what happens? This is a form of reminder to you all, so I will
There won’t be any of the fruits of vipassanā left by ask for your forgiveness. It’s necessary to speak in
the end of it. If you go and do all sorts of unskilful this way, so that those aspects of the practice which
things, which disturb and upset the mind, wasting are at fault will become clear to you and according-
everything, then next year go back again and do an- ly, you will be able to give them up. You could say
other retreat for seven days or a few weeks, then that the reason why you have come to practise is to
come out and carry on with the parties, discos and learn how to avoid doing the wrong things in the fu-
drinking, that isn’t true practice. It isn’t patipadā or ture. What happens when you do the wrong things?
the path to progress. Doing wrong things leads you to agitation and suf-
You need to make an effort to renounce. You fering, when there’s no goodness in the mind. It’s
must contemplate until you see the harmful effects not the way to peace of mind. This is the way it is. If
which come from such behaviour. See the harm in you practise on a retreat, not talking for seven days,
drinking and going out on the town. Reflect and and then go indulging for a few months, no matter
see the harm inherent in all the different kinds of how strictly you practised for those seven days, you
unskilful behaviour which you indulge in, until it won’t derive any lasting value from that practice.
แสงธรรม 17 Saeng Dhamma
Practising that way, you don’t really get anywhere. Actually, I’m not fond of giving talks like this.
Many places where meditation is taught don’t really It’s because I feel sorry for you that I have to speak
get to grips with or get beyond this problem. Really, critically. When you are doing the wrong things, it’s
you have to conduct your daily life in a consistently my duty to tell you, but I’m speaking out of com-
calm and restrained way. passion for you. Some people might feel uneasy
In meditation you have to be constantly turn- and think that I’m just scolding them. Really, I’m
ing your attention to the practice. It’s like planting a not just scolding you for its own sake, I’m helping
tree. If you plant a tree in one place and after three to point out where you are going wrong, so that you
days pull it up and plant it in a different spot, then know. Some people might think, ‘Luang Por is just
after a further three days pull it up and plant it in telling us off,’ but it’s not like that. It’s only once in
yet another place, it will just die without produc- a long while that I’m able to come and give a talk -
ing anything. Practising meditation like this won’t if I was to give talks like this everyday, you would
bear any fruit either. This is something you have really get upset! But the truth is, it’s not you who
to understand for yourselves. Contemplate it. Try gets upset, it’s only the kilesa that are upset. I will
it out for yourselves when you go home. Get a sap- say just this much for now.
ling and plant it one spot, and after every few days, -----------------------------------------------------
go and pull it up and plant it in a different place. It Footnotes,
will just die without ever bearing any fruit. It’s the Nimitta 1
same doing a meditation retreat for seven days, fol- Nimitta: a sign or appearance, that may take
lowed by seven months of unrestrained behaviour, place in terms of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting,
allowing the mind to become soiled, and then going touching or mental impression, and which arises
back to do another retreat for a short period, practis- based on the citta (mind), rather than the relevant
ing strictly without talking and subsequently com- sense faculty. Examples of nimitta include: the see-
ing out and being unrestrained again. As with the ing or hearing of beings in other realms of exist-
tree, the meditation just dies - none of the whole- ence, precognition, clairvoyance, etc.
some fruits are retained. The tree doesn’t grow, the
meditation doesn’t grow. I say practising this way The End
doesn’t bear much fruit.
เปิดเรียนแล้ว.. โรงเรียนภาคฤดูร้อนวัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน,ดี.ซี. (Summer School) ร่วมกับครูอาสาจาก
คณะครุศาสตร์จุฬาฯ ผู้ปกครองที่สนใจ ส่งบุตรหลานมาร่วมกิจกรรมได้ตั้งแต่บัดนี้เป็นต้นไป
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.
17 กรกฎาคม 2553
พระมหาถนัด อตฺถจารี และคณะ
All are welcome to participate in the
next retreat which will be held on
July 17, 2010