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.

Nostalgic on a Sunday morning

Hmmm… am feeling a little nostalgic this morning… not understanding why.

Just yesterday evening I was so happy to receive the email from Ajahn G saying that my research synopsis is fine ~ meaning that I would be accepted for their PhD programme! Joy to the world!  🙌

Buddha says nothing is permanent; whether feelings of joy or sadness…. how true indeed.  And everyday we are just repeating the ups and downs and turnarounds!  However, after learning the Dhamma, it is so much easier to deal with them.  🙏

Coming back to the morning… I was recalling my younger days ~ the people, the events, the actions, the decisions… all that had happened, done and made then were due to my ignorance.  Lots to do with the ego and delusions.  No, not that I am regretting them coz they seemed so right at the time though some were pretty stupid and silly!  LOL!  😂

It is indeed amazing how a more peaceful and calm mind can really change a person.  Yes, I was all excited last evening about the email but it was short-lived coz I was composed within minutes.  That is the reason why I will continue striving on this path.  😍

In the Devadaha Sutta (SN22.2), Venerable Sariputta has said thus ….

“….  ‘When one is not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for form, then from any change & alteration in that form, there arises sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair. When one is not free from passion… for feeling… for perception… for fabrications… When one is not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for consciousness, then from any change & alteration in that consciousness, there arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair.

Seeing this danger, our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire for form… for feeling… for perception… for fabrications. Seeing this danger our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire for consciousness…..

Only when one understands and practises what are taught by our teacher, the Buddha, will we free ourselves from further sufferings.  That, to me, is one way of protecting ourselves and also the way to continue walking the right noble path towards liberation… Gambate, Linda!  Gambate, fellow friends who are striving the same!   😇

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…..

“Me”, “My” n “I”

My blog may not be popular… “my” simply means belonging to “me”.  “Me” simply means “I” and “I” is represented by the physical being who is typing the words now.  But is this “being” really a “self” who possesses this blog?  LOL!  You confused ke or you understand my point?  

According to Buddha, there is a conventional self:  that is the being you feel you are and the beings you see around you.  Hence, I “am” Linda coz you know me as Linda who “exists” as the blogger here.  And you “are” you who are reading this blog post.  So, conventionally, we have parents who give birth to us.  We have siblings and friends around us.  We have possessions such as toys, books and properties that we claim belong to us coz they are either being kept by us or in our names….  But, none of the conventional beings and belongings can be taken by us when we die as we will all die eventually due to old age or sickness.  Phew!  A heavy subject today ya!  

Let’s recap… coz I have written a similar post before… that Buddha says living beings are made up of five aggregates.  If we can understand the 5 aggregates, we will be able to understand the opposite of the conventional self; ie. non-self.

The five aggregates are:
(1) body
(2) feelings
(3) perceptions
(4) volitions or determinations
(5) consciousness

The body is made up of 4 elements; ie. water, air, heat and earth.  Give it a thought and you will agree that the solidness of the body is the earth that will decay and return to earth; we will definitely lose heat at our death; no more breathing in of air and the blood will no longer flow when we die…. those are what make up our body ya..  

What make us “alive” to be able to do what we think and intend to is actually the “mind” and it is represented by item (2) to (5) above.

Feelings are triggered by our senses through our eyes, nose, ears, taste and touch which we perceive as either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, which we will react via our volitions or determinations or intentions such as liking ~ so, getting attach to the feelings or disliking ~ so, avoid having to go through the same feeling again…. and consciousness is simply continue to exist as how we are but with the ability to recognise our “true” self; as stated in the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta:
“Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: ‘This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.’ “.

Gee, I hope you are following me so far…   If you are not able to, please re-read the above… if you are able to… great!  Look out for my next post ya… 

Reminder:
The conventional self is not permanent
coz
the body is not
and
whatever are in the mind too are not permanent
… not our feelings, not our perceptions, not our intentions and
not whatever we have been thinking
coz
whatever that arises shall cease
everything that happens are conditioned
they happen when the right conditions arise
they will not happen when the right conditions ceased or not arisen
….till we understand the true nature of “self”….
May you be well and happy

 

Practical use: Sattatthana Sutta(SN22.57)

This morning I woke up feeling a little “down”.  After doing all that I should, I sat down and analyse my feelings… “Why, Linda, are you feeling sad?”

You know?  The moment you can recognise your feeling and investigate it, the feeling is gone!  Coz you did not allow it to linger…

Buddha, in the Sattatthana Sutta (SN22.57), said:
“Monks, a monk who is skilled in seven bases and has three modes of investigation is fulfilled & fully accomplished in this doctrine & discipline — the ultimate person.

“And how is a monk skilled in seven bases?
There is the case where a monk
(1) discerns form,
(2) the origination of form,
(3) the cessation of form,
(4) the path of practice leading to the cessation of form.
He discerns
(5) the allure of form,
(6) the drawback of form, and
(7) the escape from form.

Example of the seven bases ~ using one of the 5 aggregates:
“(1) And what is form? The four great existents [the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property] and the form derived from them: this is called form.
(2) From the origination of nutriment comes the origination of form.
(3) From the cessation of nutriment comes the cessation of form.
(4) And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of form, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
(5) The fact that pleasure & happiness arises in dependence on form: that is the allure of form.
(6) The fact that form is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of form.
(7) The subduing of desire & passion for form, the abandoning of desire & passion for form: that is the escape from form.

And how does a monk have three modes of investigation?
There is the case where a monk
(A) investigates in terms of properties,
(B) investigates in terms of sense spheres,
(C) investigates in terms of dependent co-arising.
This is how a monk has three modes of investigation.

I investigated using the dependent origination
(reference to Maha-nidana Sutta(DN15)):
When this is, that comes to be;
with the arising of this, that arises;
when this is not, that does not come to be;
with the cessation of this, that ceases

I am just thankful that I am able to learn and apply Buddha’s teachings.