What is that about Enlightenment?

I felt uncomfortable the first time I heard a lay-devotee at the temple complaining about some monks… about how they are behaving and how they should be behaving…

It occurred to me then that monks are human beings… as long as enlightenment does not take place in them, they would behave like anyone of us even though they have gone forth and be living with rules and conditions that they must abide by… especially habits that are hard to die.

There were times too that I heard praises of some lay-devotees for some certain lay-devotees who are practising the dhamma as taught by the Buddha.  These people did not join the order but whose behaviours are more “noble” than some monks in the temple.  Sādhu, Sādhu, Sādhu!

Reading Sadhguru’s words of wisdom this morning triggers me to write this post.

“Your family has nothing to do with your enlightenment,
nor your monkhood has anything to do with your enlightenment.
By becoming a monk or a family person,
you are just choosing a certain atmosphere to live in.
What is within you will not change.”
~ Sadhguru

From what is read from the suttas, the Buddha introduced the Vinaya rules to address misbehaviours of the monks and as time passed the number of rules increased.

To me, if one has the right view and purpose to walk the path, one can still walk the path as a lay person; for wearing the robe does not mean one is nobler than a follower who takes the Precepts (Silā), knows and understands the Four Noble Truth (Cattāri Ariyasaccāni) and the Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda) and knows and practises the 37 Enlightenment Factors (Bodhipakkhiyā Dhammā).

If the mind is not fixed with faith, belief and determination for liberation, an ordained monk can still disrobe to go back to lay life… and, if a lay person does what should, he will be able to achieve one of the four stages of enlightenment living as a lay devotee.

As said by Sadhguru, it is just an atmosphere to live in… what needs to change is within… not without…

 

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“Take care” = “Goodbye forever”?

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Just the other night, I dreamt of someone I know telling me “Take Care”.  I read that as a sign of telling me “Goodbye forever”.  As long as we know, understand, accept and remind ourselves that nothing is permanent in this samsaric world, Goodbye is just another conventional word… and “partings” or “separations” are inevitable…

If we were taught from young that the word “Goodbye” means “happy to see you”, our perception of the word will give us a different feeling.  Hence, do not cling on to words so much so that you let them affect you… they are just words.

In fact, there is nothing in this world that we can cling on to anyway… coz we have to let them all go when we eventually die from this lifetime… whether they are pleasant or unpleasant… hence, I believe we should not be too petty, too stubborn, too calculative or not forgiving… coz being so, will only put us in an unhappy state of mind… if we can release them all, we will be able to live more harmoniously… and feel happier…

It was found in the Commentary of the Potthapada Sutta (DN 9):
“… the Buddha spoke truth on two levels: conventional and ultimate. In context, though, the Buddha seems to be referring merely to the fact that he has adopted the linguistic usages of his interlocutors simply for the sake of discussion, and that they should not be interpreted out of context.”

Words are merely words until we put meaning in them… so, why should we let some words affect our feelings or mood.  If someone calls me “stupid” and if I do not put much meaning or feelings to that word, I will not be affected by it at all… after all, we cannot stop people of their choice of words… but, we can have a choice to choose if we allow the word(s) to affect us or not.

I interpreted the words “Take Care” as “Goodbye forever”…  How, would you interpret them?

 

TIME…

Time passes whether one is ready
Irrespective what one is doing
or not doing …

Time just comes and it just goes
Not waiting
not pausing …

Time makes history moment by moment
When one is not noticing
and there is no reversing …

Times when one is happy or when one is not
There is no freezing
there is no snap shooting …

We must learn to let go of each moment
for time is not for keeping
if we do not understand the teaching
we are the one who will be suffering …

 

~ 8/9/2017

Is it just “me”?

Someone recently made me think if I am an unlikeable person… Personally, I think I am a pretty friendly person and get along pretty well with people… but somehow this person makes me feel differently… 😭

Is it just “me”?  Is it “my” ego?  Why should “I” be affected by this person?

As a practising Buddhist, I understand exactly what is happening to my thoughts but as a worldling, I feel miserable coz I believe I am the only one getting such treatment…   WHY me???

I have advised my friends not to be affected by other people’s behaviours and speeches… yet, I am not able to handle a similar situation… haizzz….  😓

Guess I still got lots to learn and practise… to constantly remind myself of impermanence, non-self and sufferings (Ti-Lakkhana).

This too shall pass
~ whatever I feel now will pass coz nothing lasts forever…

It is not “me”
~ let go of my “ego” to feel that “I” am so important that “I” must be liked by everyone… this body is only a vehicle that this consciousness is borrowing to try walk the path to liberation…

If I continue to torment my mind, I am inducing sufferings to myself…
one should not hurt self with a second arrow (to the mind) if one arrow is already in the physical body, which may not be avoidable… coz the mind can be tamed through meditation…

So, Linda, get over it!  
It is not worth your time and effort to wonder and ponder!
Live in the present and let go of the past!
Focus on what is more important, which can help you one step nearer to liberation ya…
Gambate!!!

Phew!  I feel so much better now!  Now that I have let it out of my chest!  😅

For better understanding of Anatta (Non-self or Egoless), click here ya.

To all my Noble Friends…

Over the past weeks, a MA study group has been formed to do our master synopsis and studies together.  Only 3 of us doing the MA and yet was supported by another two noble friends in the process.  Awesome!

To me, it is not just having fun learning together and helping each other but also endorsing Buddha’s “…. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path….”  This statement is found in the Upaddha Sutta, SN 45.2.

I am really appreciative and thankful to all my noble friends.  I believe that if not for them, I may not be where I am now.  To repay all their encouragement, support, guidance, patience and company, I will continue to strive harder!  We may separate or part somewhere along the path, but I shall always remember all of you…. yes, anicca and anatta… but my gratitude will carry on till end of this lifetime.  For all you know, it was brought forward from previous lifetimes ya….  ☺️

To all my dear, dear noble friends ~ may you be well, happy and peaceful always…
🙏 🙏 🙏

Don’t get attached!

In the Bāhiya Sutta (Ud 1.1)
the Buddha said:
“Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus:
In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen.
In reference to the heard, only the heard.
In reference to the sensed, only the sensed.
In reference to the cognized, only the cognized.
That is how you should train yourself.
When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that.
When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there.
When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two.
This, just this, is the end of stress.”

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I simply love the above sutta!  A great reminder for us not to get attached to what we see, hear or sense coz by doing so, we can avoid suffering of not getting to see, hear or sense them later!  Awesome, right?!

The more we practise the Dhamma, the more we are being released of our sufferings and the most significant of all sufferings (to me) is Attachments – to views, self, things, people and a whole lot…. once we get detached, we will not be affected so much by anyone’s speech or actions… or of impermanence of physical things or people or relationships… Basically, what I want to say is “Just don’t get attached and you will be a carefree person in pursuing your spiritual goal!”  I am trying to achieve that and I hope you will be successful sooner than me, if you are trying too ya…. May you, who are reading this, be well and happy always…  Sadhu!  Sadhu!  Sadhu!

 

 

 

Battling the Mind

Recently I noticed that I am recharged every time I listen to Dhamma talks while driving coz that is the only time I listen to one…. The mind is really a great wanderer and illusionist; always imagining what not and sometimes it can be quite depressing coz deep down I know they are only what I think and not what really is or are.

The next best thing to do, if not listening to Dhamma talks, will be meditation.  Although at times, the mind tries to lure away… somehow, it is able to stay put and be at peace… ahhhh… what a bliss!

This morning, I was reminded of the 7 factors of enlightenment and they are:

  1. Mindfulness (sati)
  2. Keen investigation of the dhamma (dhammavicaya)
  3. Energy (viriya)
  4. Rapture or happiness (piti)
  5. Calm (passaddhi)
  6. Concentration (samadhi)
  7. Equanimity (upekkha)

(Click here to read more.)

Not that I am already so successful spiritually, but am gauging and monitoring my own progress once in a while so that I will not get off track from the path.  I realised that I have some achievements in most of them except equanimity coz I still get excited and moody over certain events… lol!  And every time I noticed it, I have to remind myself to stay equanimous!

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Google for the meaning and you will find that:

e·quan·i·mous

əˈkwänəməs/

adjective
calm and composed

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To me, it is not just being calm and composed physically but also mentally coz I can get really all zealous and excited or just moody over some circumstances!  Ya, ya, maybe it can go unnoticed by others, but I know it is happening so, I must work harder on it… not to get myself mentally affected… gambate, Linda!

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Not that I am aiming to be enlightened this lifetime, but it is no harm practising what the Buddha teaches, to at least be a stream entrant (Sotāpanna) as a goal.

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In the Maha-parinibbana Sutta (DN 16)

“… And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus,
saying:

“Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you:

All compounded things are subject to vanish.

Strive with earnestness!

This was the last word of the Tathagata…

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And strive with earnestness, I shall try…..