Freedom From Suffering Venerable Pramote Pamojjo

ในห้อง 'Meditation' ตั้งกระทู้โดย supatorn, 15 สิงหาคม 2017.

  1. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    For You, The Newcomer: A Simple and Ordinary Subject Called Dhamma

    An essay in Thai by “Santinan” (Luangpor Pramote Pamojjo nowadays), 31st August 1999

    It is difficult for us to see that Dhamma (the Teachings of the Buddha) is simple and ordinary. This is because reflection of Buddhism and Dhamma are often less than ordinary. To begin with, the language used in Dhamma teachings is full of Pali words and contains many technical terms. Therefore, understanding the terminology alone is a challenge to everyone.

    Once we are familiarized with the terms, there is another obstacle, in that there are many volumes of the Buddha’s Teachings and an overabundance of interpretations by his disciples. In addition, when one wants to begin practicing, he will be faced with yet another challenge: there are many meditation centers and most of them suggest that their teaching methods most accurately reflect the Buddha’s Teachings on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana). Some places even accuse others of deviating from the actual Teachings.

    The truth is that Dhamma is extremely close to us. It is so close that we can say it is about ourselves. The Dhamma’s aim is simple – How to be free from suffering (dukkha). When we study Dhamma, we should look directly into “where suffering is, how suffering arises and how to end suffering.”

    We have all faced these difficulties. And they are what led me to question myself as to whether it is possible to study Dhamma in a more simple way: without learning Pali, without reading books and without having to join a meditation center.

    Actually Dhamma as taught by the Buddha is quite easy and simple, as his disciples exclaimed, “It is so explicitly clear my Lord! The Truth that You reveal is like turning an inverted object right side up.”

    This should not come as a surprise because we are all born with Dhamma, live with Dhamma, and will all die with Dhamma. We just don’t realize where Dhamma is until it is revealed to us through the Teachings of the Buddha, which provide us with a simple path to follow.

    Another point to note is just how wise the Buddha truly was. He could make the most complicated topic simple and easy to comprehend. He had the ability to convey the essence of the Dhamma in a way which was most suitable for his listeners. Language was no obstacle, for he was able to communicate clearly without relying on complicated terminology. On the contrary, many people who have studied and taught Dhamma in later generations have turned Dhamma into something complicated, out of reach, and not easily applicable as a tool to end suffering. Even the language used in their teachings is difficult for any ordinary person to understand.

    The truth is that Dhamma is extremely close to us. It is so close that we can say it is about ourselves. The Dhamma’s aim is simple – How to be free from suffering (dukkha). When we study Dhamma, we should look directly into “where suffering is, how suffering arises and how to end suffering.”

    To be successful in the study of Dhamma means to practice until reaching the end of suffering, not about the amount of knowledge acquired or the ability to explain Dhamma beautifully!

    By simply observing the body, our clinging to the wrong view that the body is “ours” will eventually fade. Then, we will see that there is some other nature (that we call mind), which knows this body and which resides within it.

    The truth is that the suffering we experience lies within our body and mind. The field of study for Dhamma is actually inside of us. Instead of looking to the outside world for learning, we may look inwardly at our own selves. The method is simple: just to observe our body and mind closely. We can start by simply observing our physical body.

    The first step is to relax. There is no need to be tense or to think about practicing Dhamma. We just observe our own body. It does not matter how much we can notice, we just observe as much as we can. Once at ease, we can be aware of the whole body. We watch it as we might watch a robot… walking, moving, chewing, swallowing food (adding some material thing to the body), and excreting waste.

    If we can watch this robot-body which we call “ours” performs its tasks, as neutral observers we will eventually see that the body is not really ours and moves of its own accord. It is only a material object, which never stands still and never stays fixed. Even the components of this robot change constantly, with substances moving in and out all the time, such as breathing in and breathing out, consuming food and drinks and excreting waste. Thus, the body is just a group of elements (earth, wind, fire, and water) which is not permanent.

    By simply observing the body, our clinging to the wrong view that the body is “ours” will eventually fade. Then, we will see that there is some other nature (that we call mind), which knows this body and which resides within it.

    Once we can see that this body is just a group of constantly changing elements and does not belong to us, why don’t we try to observe that which is hidden inside our physical body. In this way, we can learn about ourselves more deeply and in greater detail.

    That thing which is hidden inside of us can easily be seen. It is the feelings of happiness, unhappiness, and neutrality. For example, as we observe this robot-body moving around, soon we will see aching, pain, thirst, hunger, and some other discomforts arising from time to time. However, once the unhappy feelings pass, we will again feel happy for a time (happiness arising). For example, when we are thirsty and feeling unhappy, we drink some water and the unhappiness caused by the thirst is gone. Or if we are sitting for a long time and begin to ache, we feel unhappy. Once we adjust the body position, the discomfort goes away and the unhappiness disappears with it (happiness arising).

    Sometimes when we are ill, we can be aware of physical suffering continuously for a longer period of time. For example, when we have a toothache for several days, if we closely monitor the pain, we will discover that the discomfort arises from somewhere between the tooth and the gum.

    However, these objects (tooth and gum) themselves don’t produce the pain. The body is like a robot which does not feel pain and suffering, yet the discomfort resides inside the body. We will see that these feelings of happiness, unhappiness and neutrality are not part of the body, but something that can be felt and observed within the body, just like the body itself.

    From there, we can study ourselves in greater detail. We can closely observe that when physical suffering arises, it is our mind which reacts negatively. For example, when we are hungry we get upset more easily, when we are tired we get angry more easily, when we have fever we get agitated more easily, or when our desires are not met we get irritated more easily. We can be aware of the anger that arises when faced with physical suffering.

    On the other hand, when we see beautiful sights, hear pleasing sounds, smell pleasant fragrances, taste delicious flavors, feel a soft touch or a comfortable temperature – not too hot and not too cold – or think pleasant thoughts, we will feel liking and satisfaction with such sights, sounds, fragrances, tastes, touches, and thoughts. Once we are aware of pleasant and unpleasant feelings as they arise, we can similarly become aware of other feelings such as doubtfulness, vengeance, depression, jealousy, disdain, cheerfulness, and tranquility of mind as well.

    If we observe ourselves more and more, we will soon understand how suffering occurs, how to be free from suffering, and how it feels to be without suffering. Our mind will rectify itself without having to think about meditation, wisdom, or the path that leads to the end of suffering.

    When we study these feelings further, we will begin to realize that they themselves are not stable. For example, when we are angry and become conscious of the anger, we can detect the constant change in the intensity of this anger. Eventually, it will fade and disappear. Whether or not the feeling of anger disappears, what is important is that the anger is seen as an object to be observed, not belonging to us. There is no “us” in the anger. We can observe other feelings with this same understanding.

    At this point we can see that our body is like a robot. And the feelings of happiness, unhappiness, and all others are just objects to be observed and do not belong to us. The more we understand about the process of our minds, the more evident is the truth that suffering only arises when there is a cause. We will find that there is a natural impulse, or force within our mind. For example, when we see a beautiful woman, our mind will start to develop a liking toward her. This creates a compelling force toward that woman. Our mind will in turn wander toward that woman, seeing only that woman, and we forget about ourselves.

    (Regarding the subject of mind wandering, a person who has only studied from textbooks may feel puzzled. However, if a person really gets into practice, he/she will see just how far the mind can wander, just as described word-for-word by the Buddha Himself.)

    Or when we have doubtful thoughts about how to practice Dhamma, we will see that we have the urge to find an answer. Our mind will then wander into the world of thoughts. This is when we forget about ourselves. The robot-body is still here, but we forget about it, as if it has disappeared from this world. There may be other emotions inside as well; however, we might not be aware of them because our mind is busy searching for answers to the doubtful thoughts.

    If we observe ourselves more and more, we will soon understand how suffering occurs, how to be free from suffering, and how it feels to be without suffering. Our mind will rectify itself without having to think about meditation, wisdom, or the path that leads to the end of suffering.

    We may not be well-versed in Dhamma or Pali words, but our minds can still be free from suffering. And, even though we still experience suffering, it will be less intense and for a shorter period of time.

    I wrote this essay as a small gift for all those who are interested in practicing Dhamma in order to convey that: Dhamma is ordinary, it is about ourselves, and can be learned by ourselves without much difficulty. So do not feel discouraged when you hear people who are well-versed in Dhamma talking about theory.
     
  2. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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  3. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    A Brief Guideline for Practicing Dhamma
    Many friends come to practice Dhamma with me. I have seen some common problems that incur when they set out to practice. Some are afraid that they will not be able to practice Dhamma correctly if they are not with me. The Bangkok folks are more at ease because they know where to find me; however, my friends living abroad and upcountry are more concerned because of the distance. They asked for a brief guideline with clear instructions on how to practice Dhamma correctly so that when I am not around, they can still practice with confidence.

    Some friends listen to my talks, but get confused and do not understand correctly. Some would apply advice that I have given others to their own meditation. This is often an inappropriate thing to do as the person I’m advising may be at a different stage of practice. The result of applying the answer to another’s question to oneself is no different from taking another patient’s medication. A related problem is that some of my friends have argued amongst themselves about appropriate practices by quoting my suggestions taken from different occasions and at different times.

    I have therefore been requested to systematically put together all of my teachings on Dhamma practice in order to clarify any misunderstandings. I feel that there is a need for a brief Dhamma guideline to summarize the practices that I have suggested to my colleagues and friends. This is to clearly show the whole picture of Dhamma practice from the beginning onward, in order to avoid the above-mentioned problems.

    1. To Understand the Scope of Buddhism
    Friends who have little background in Buddhism need to know that Buddhism is not a medicine that cures all illnesses in the universe. It is not the only tool necessary to survive in society. Therefore if you are a college student, you do not need to quit college just to study Buddhism, because worldly knowledge is essential for everyone to lead a normal life in this world. A student of Buddhism needs to be well rounded in other fields of study as well. Do not misunderstand that Buddhism is the study of something other than suffering and how to be free from (mental) suffering. Buddhism is not limited to providing answers relating to superstition, fate, past lives, future lives, ghosts, angels and other mystical phenomena.

    2. Tools for Practicing Dhamma
    Those who already know the Buddhist teachings on suffering and how to end suffering have already been introduced to the tools for practicing Dhamma, which are mindfulness and clear comprehension (sati and sampajañña).

    Through this mindfulness exercise, the mind gains strength and clear comprehension. And when a mental object arises, the mind will automatically be aware.

    My advice for us is to be aware of the feelings that are happening in our mind. Some examples are feelings of doubt, greed, worry, happiness and sadness. This is the practice of being mindful, which is the tool to be aware of the objects of consciousness that arise.

    We are all encouraged to be aware and not to get lost through the six sense doors, namely, the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body (tactile sense) and mind, of which most common are through the eye and/or the mind doors, getting lost in the world of thoughts or intently focusing on an object. By consistently being aware, not getting lost in thoughts or over-focusing, we can achieve clear comprehension, clarity of consciousness.

    3. Foundations of Mindfulness
    Once we have the tools or weapons for practicing Dhamma, the next step I would like to invite us to do is mindfulness practice or satipaṭṭhanā, which is to have clear comprehension of the body, feelings, mind, and/or mind-objects, depending on each individual’s natural tendencies. Examples of this are mindfulness of bodily movement while doing walking meditation and of the breathe in and out while doing sitting meditation. In the beginning, we can do concentration practice or samatha, focusing at the body in a relaxed way. Once focused, bodily movement and movement of the air when breathing in and out become just objects of meditation. We can see that they change constantly, cannot stay in one state and are not under our control.

    Through this mindfulness exercise, the mind gains strength and clear comprehension. And when a mental object arises, the mind will automatically be aware. For example, when happiness, sadness, wholesome or unwholesome state arises, the mind will know, the same way it knows any physical object.

    once the mind becomes aware of the equanimity, all we have to do is continue to observe. Once mindfulness, concentration and wisdom (or sati, samādhi, and paññā) mature, the mind will advance by itself.

    Once we are proficient at observing mental phenomena or cetasika, we should continue with the practice. But those who prefer to be mindful of just physical objects can continue to do so at will.

    For those who are good at knowing mental objects, continue with the exercise. Otherwise just observing physical object is also acceptable.

    When the mind is continually aware of mental and physical objects, it will gain strength and insight. The mind will naturally react to these objects with content, discontent or indifference. Be aware of these feelings. These feelings will arise and fall away just like all other mental and physical objects we have been observing. The mind will then let go of these feelings and become equanimous. At first it might only experience this evenness for a short time. Once more skillful however, the mind will become equanimous more often and for longer periods, and it will eventually be aware of the equanimity itself. It will be able to distinguish the five aggregates or khandha, which make up the body and mind, in greater detail, seeing them distinctly as form, feelings, memory, mental fabrication and consciousness.

    At this stage in mindfulness development, many practitioners often have one of these two reactions: some become bored and stop the practice, while others are unsure of what to do next, and again stop the practice in search for answers by using analytical thinking.

    Actually once the mind becomes aware of the equanimity, all we have to do is continue to observe. Once mindfulness, concentration and wisdom (or sati, samādhi, and paññā) mature, the mind will advance by itself.

    This concludes the brief guideline for the Dhamma practice.

    4. Incorrect Methods of Mindfulness Practice
    Even using the above guideline, when we start to practice Dhamma, we are often faced with many different problems resulting primarily from incorrect mindfulness practice.

    For many of us, the more we practice, the more we divert from the goal. The main mistake is, instead of being mindful of things as they are, we tend to create a new object of consciousness and then get stuck in it.

    This can happen when we think that our mind is too distracted and therefore need to do concentration practice first. We then do it incorrectly, instead of developing right concentration or sammā-samādhi, we develop wrong concentration or micchā-samādhi. We focus in on one object, letting the mind get absorbed and attached to it instead of just being aware with ease and comfort, and not getting lost or over-focusing.

    With wrong concentration, the mind becomes attached to the object that it has fabricated. And once we progress from concentration to mindfulness practice, because of it’s attachment this mind will no longer be able to see the actual truth.

    Another common mistake is, instead of being aware of whatever arises in a simple and natural way, many people force the mind to be alert, especially in my presence, thinking that this is mindfulness. Thus their minds become too tense and on-guard. This feeling is no different from a runner at the starting line.
    The third most common hindrance is to practice Dhamma with craving, such as a need to show off and to gain praise and acceptance from friends, or a desire to be enlightened quickly. The more we want to excel, the more we try to accelerate the effort instead of allowing mindfulness and clear comprehension to develop consistently and naturally. (In actuality for Dhamma practice, to develop mindfulness and clear comprehension consistently and naturally all the time is the true meaning of accelerated effort.) When we practice with craving, the practice is strained. Though it may look like there is progress, the mind is not at peace. These three mistakes are what cause many of us to get lost in or attached to a mind-object, and mistakenly believe that we are fully aware when we are actually not. Many of us are now able to detect these mistakes and get back on course to just be mindful of things that appear at the present moment.

    There is a funny story of one of my pupils whose mind was fixed to a mind-object. My suggestion was to be aware of this and free the mind by being aware of external objects, hoping that the fixed mind would loosen up. This young man was very troubled by this suggestion as he thought I meant to stop being mindful and let the mind wander off. Fortunately, he came back to clear the misunderstanding with me. Otherwise, had he mentioned this to the elder monks, I would have been expelled from the temple!

    Actually, when a person becomes attached to a mental object, the mind already wanders off from being mindful. I tried to help the young man see that by over-focusing he was letting the mind wander off, in this case to the object of meditation.

    Another problem that a few may face is to get lost in the side effects of meditation, such as getting lost in nimitta, or an inner vision of light, color, sound or even in bodily jerks and gyrations. When these conditions arise, some take pleasure in the experience while others the opposite. I have to guide them further to be mindful of these feelings. With repeated practice the mind will eventually become neutral, instead of unknowingly focus on these pleasant or unpleasant sensations.

    The main mistake is, instead of being mindful of things as they are, we tend to create a new object of consciousness and then get stuck in it.

    To avoid mistakes in practicing Dhamma, we must strictly adhere to the rule, which is to be aware of defilements when they arise, until eventually one day the mind gains wisdom and breaks free. If we practice Dhamma to satisfy our desire to know, to see, to become, to get, to stand out, to be famous or even to attain enlightenment, then the risk for getting off track is higher, all because the mind often times fabricates a new set of conditions instead of simply being aware of things just as they are.

    We need to be observant of the mind. If for example it becomes weightier than the surrounding, then this means that the mind has unknowingly become attached to something. The natural state of the mind should not be heavy, but be the same as its surroundings. It feels heavy only because it is carrying the extra weight. Relax and look around. Everything we see around us, be it building, table, chair, tree, is not heavy because we are not carrying it. The mind, however, is sometimes heavy and other times light. This is because of clinging. The more we cling the heavier the mind becomes. It is this weightiness that causes the mind to appear separate from nature. This extra weight is created by the mind when it fails to notice the defilements.

    Once the mind becomes proficient at being aware, observe further and see how it reacts to these external objects, whether with liking or disliking. Continue the practice until the mind becomes impartial to all objects of consciousness, until the inside and nature are of the same weight, until eventually there is no more weight to carry.

    The Buddha taught that the five aggregates that we assume to be our body and our mind are heavy. Anyone carrying this weight will never find happiness. His Teaching is the absolute Truth. The five aggregates are truly heavy for those with the faculty to see.
    ............... ............. RoseUnderline.gif
     
  4. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

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    "Walk the Path of Wisdom" Venerable Pramote, Dhamma Talk

    Dhamma.com
    Published on Apr 28, 2018
    “To walk the path of wisdom is to see the Three Characteristics of the body and mind. The true nature of the mind is to think and fabricate. Some say "keep the mind empty" Wisdom will never arise in that case. There will be no chance of liberation as that practice is in conflict with what the Buddha taught. The Buddha taught that we become dispassionate towards the body and mind when we see the truth of the body and mind, Once dispassionate, we can let go of the attachment. Once attachment is let go, we can then be liberated. Once liberated, we then know that we are liberated. Thus, if we do not know the truth of the body and mind, it is not possible to be liberated.” -- Venerable Luangpor Pramote Pamojjo, Wat Suan Santidham, Sriracha, 25 February 2017
     
  5. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
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    "The Real Enemies are Within", Venerable Pramote

    Dhamma.com
    Published on May 3, 2018
     
  6. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
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    12,715
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    "The Best Possible State of a Soul" Venerable Pramote, Dhamma Talk

    "Mind-Body Segregation: The First Step of Wisdom Practice" Dhamma talk A. Pramote

    Dhamma.com

    Published on Mar 4, 2018
     
  7. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    12,715
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
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    "Freedom From Suffering" Venerable Pramote, Dhamma talk

    "Learn to Be Happy in Solitude", Venerable Pramote, Dhamma Talk

    Dhamma.com

    Published on May 11, 2017
     
    แก้ไขครั้งล่าสุด: 11 สิงหาคม 2018
  8. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    12,715
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
    161
    ค่าพลัง:
    +26,136
    "How to Develop the Mind to Be the Mature One" Venerable Pramote, Dhamma talk

    Dhamma.com
    Published on May 2, 2017

    "If asked what the essence of Buddhism is, we can respond confidently that it is right knowledge, right understanding. This is wisdom. With right view and right understanding, we will no longer grasp onto body and mind. And once we eradicate attachments to body and mind, we will not grasp onto anything else in this world. Without grasping onto things, suffering can no longer enter our mind."
    -- Venerable Pramote Pamojjo,
    Ramathibodi Hospital, 3 May 2013
     
  9. supatorn

    supatorn ผู้สนับสนุนเว็บพลังจิต ผู้สนับสนุนพิเศษ

    วันที่สมัครสมาชิก:
    14 กรกฎาคม 2010
    โพสต์:
    12,715
    กระทู้เรื่องเด่น:
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    ค่าพลัง:
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    "Happiness is the Key to Meditation Practice" dhamma talk Luang Por Pramote

    Dhamma.com
    Published on Jul 13, 2017
    “Defilements cause all sins. If the defilements don’t take over the mind, we won’t do anything wrong. We need mindfulness, to not let defilements take us over. Whatever defilement arises in our heart, just know it is so. Know often. We will not sin. Our mind will be wholesome. Be mindful whenever defilement arises. When there is craving and we have mindfulness, the craving disappears. We will not sin with no craving. In the moment of mindfulness, the mind is wholesome. When aversion arises in the mind and we have mindfulness, we will not sin out of the aversion. At that moment, the mind is wholesome. We can break moral codes and sin when there’s a deluded mind. When there is mindfulness, the mind is decent. Unwholesome states will disappear. The mind is then wholesome. When the mind is wholesome, morality, Samadhi and wisdom get stronger. Be mindful of any stranger that arises in the mind. Let's see them. When defilements cannot manipulate the mind, we will easily keep morality.”
    -- Luang Por Pramote Pamojjo,
    Wat Suansantidham 11 February 2017
     

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