“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.

A crushed crush!

Since I am not enlightened yet, not surprise if I still get crushes, right? After all, I am still human ya.  LOL! 

However, crushes at this age is so different from crushes when I was young… especially after learning about Buddhism and practising it.  Not that I am holy, holy with the precepts and all but just that I am more mindful about my feelings, speeches and actions.

The reminder of impermanence, non self and unsatisfactory make it easier to take my focus away from the person.  And meditation definitely helps alot coz the mind can be tamed from delusions and attachments.  Awesome!  Buddhism is simply awesome! 

Nothing is permanent, so is feelings…. the crush just disappeared as quickly as it appeared.  I just crushed the crush!  LOL!!  

It was not difficult at all…  coz everything begins and ends with the mind… you think it is, it is; you think it is not, it is not… simple!  

Always remember that you cannot control another person’s feelings but you can control your own… by understanding the nature of life, the truth of the Dhamma, by seeing things as they really are, you will not harp on the feelings and continue life with more meaningful things coz life is not just about feelings or perceptions… it is about understanding why we feel such and why we perceive such… if we can see craving and attachment, we will understand, we are simply being selfish wanting.

We are (by nature) not permanent and we always end up chasing for something that is not permanent (another person) too and this will only cause unsatisfactory…. which is known as sufferings too… learn and understand the Dhamma more and you will know what I am sharing with you today.

If I have more time, I will try elaborate more of the above Dhamma in my next post ya…

Till then, may you be well and happy  

 

Birthdays

Recently there were many birthday celebrations and of course, that simply means more dinners to celebrate the special day for and with the birthday boys and gals. 

Last Friday, during Brother Tan’s talk at BMV, he said he was touched when his students chose to observe 8 precepts on his birthday and then transfer merits to him… I think that was awesome!  In fact, it is an wholesome act for the birthday boy and/ girl to observe 8 precepts on the day.  

Having said that, I have stopped celebrating my birthday since I touched 50 coz I became a Buddhist scholar then to understand that sufferings began from that day!  Hence, to me, it is not a date for celebrations! 

Though I may not want to celebrate the day, I cannot stop my friends from wanting to celebrate it with / for me though… still feel thankful ya … 

I do not know how I would spend my birth date this year… when the day come, I shall know… till then, I shall practise to live in the moment…. 

We are all mentally sick!

Recently, I have been searching hard for more materials on Buddhist psychology coz exams coming soon and I still have no idea about the subject. ..sigh…when I came across Ajahn Brahm’s talk (https://youtu.be/oLlNEYYzvIE) which in it, he said all of us are mentally sick unless we are enlightened! LOL!!

True indeed, if you listen to him of Buddha’s teachings, that having greed, hatred and delusion will eventually make us crazy if we do not know how to handle them…mentally…

Practise, dear friends, meditate and calm your mind, learn the Dhamma and understand that all things are impermanent, there is no self and cravings for them are sufferings….

May we walk ourselves out of those illness to the path of enlightenment…a step a day….all the way…

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Girimananda Sutta (AN10.

The other day, during one of the MA classes, sister Tan shared her experience with us ~ which I would like to share with you here….

She said,” One night, my eczema was giving me great itch on my arms and I was scratching it profusely when I suddenly remembered what I studied earlier in the day and I started meditating ~ this is not I, this is not mine, this I am not…and the itch simply went away and I slept like a log!” (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.060.than.html)

I tried doing that during nights when I have difficulties in sleeping after having coffee or tea too late in the day and it had worked! I managed to sleep well too! Thanks, sis Tan, for sharing your experience with us!

May you be well and happy always! 

Buddha’s genuine teachings

Buddha said,
“As for the qualities of which you may know,
‘These qualities
1) lead to dispassion, not to passion;
2) to being unfettered, not to being fettered;
3) to shedding, not to accumulating;
4) to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement;
5) to contentment, not to discontent;
6) to seclusion, not to entanglement;
7) to arouse persistence, not to laziness;
8) to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’:
You may categorically hold,
‘This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.'”

If you are not sure if what you heard are the true teachings of the Buddha, refer to AN 8.53
PTS: A iv 280 Gotami Sutta: To Gotami translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu © 1996.

Any of the teachings which are directly opposite of the above, are NOT Buddha’s genuine teachings ya… may you be a wise follower of the Buddha.