Stopping and Contemplation

revised on 2019-07-25

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 9th January 1961

This khandha will torture you wherever you are in. From the beginning come out from the mother’s womb carrying on the head with aging and death. Don’t think that whatever life you are in will be good. It is really good only with the ending of khandha or the peacefulness. Don’t think it as good while flattering by taṇhā.

The Buddha mentioned it as the truth of dukkha. It was taught by the all knowing Buddha (sabbaññutā Buddha) that we have to take it as a confirmation.

You must end the khandha if you want to end dukkha. You must do the work of ending khandha, doing the ending of the cause. The Buddha taught people according to their temperaments. So don’t reject any of them.

The ways to heavens, Brahma Worlds and Nibbāna, all these were taught by him according to people temperaments. If you discern impermanence, you will reach toward Nibbāna. Continue forward with persistent practice and no need to give up.

You must get the ending of khandha which is Nibbāna. If you are disenchanted to the khandha and you will get it. Don’t let your doubt come in. Even you don’t get it in this life will get it in next life (to fulfill this point yogis must do their practices without any giving up in this life whatever the reasons may be).

Someone getting it in this life will finish it in next life (as Sayadaw). It is not necessary to perform the funeral if any kinds of life are good. (In Burmese a dead body is use as asubha, the Pali word for foulness. Literal translation will be "no need to throw the corpse away".)

When you are still alive this asubha (foul body) discharges urine and excrement. After death, this asubha (corpse) has to be taken away to outside the village because of the disgusting smell.

The works of ending khandha are the contemplation of impermanence and the stopping method. If you can’t stop with the stopping method and out of reach the target, then contemplate impermanence.

I’ll show you the stopping method of insight (vipassanā). Mālunkyāputta requested the Buddha to give him short instruction to Nibbāna (SN.35.95 Mālukyaputtasuttaṃ). Young and old can realize the Dhamma (At the time of the Buddha, young novices; such as Sumana, Paṇḍita, both of them seven years old and old people; such as Rādha, Bākula, both eighty years old etc., they had the realization). You will realize it by meeting a good teacher and with persistent effort.

You will reach Nibbāna if you don’t give the permission for taṇhā to come in. For example, you see a form, if you see the white color, then just stop at white. That is, seeing white and the knowing. Don’t let the other mind states come in.

You all are good runners (practicers) if you just stop at knowing the sweetness when you eat sweet food, and if you just stop at the coldness when you know cold;. for people mostly can’t stop. So, there are two ways of practice; Stopping and contemplation of impermanence.

Using mindfulness (sati) and wisdom (paññā) are also a kind of stopping (i.e. seeing anicca). In this way taṇhā ceases. In the Mūlapaṇṇāsa (Majjhima Nikāya) with contemplation can dispel āsava (taints).

Mālunkyāputta dispelled āsava by stopping. By stopping the sense faculties are in safety and dispel āsava. You can’t find this in books. Sense faculties are becoming safe and no taints come in. If you can’t stop will give you another method.

For example, in the seeing and knowing, contemplate the impermanence of seeing. Both of them are reaching to Nibbāna in the same way. You can stop by just seeing if you are staying alone in a quiet place; whereas it becomes difficult if you are mixed up with other people.

Indriyabhāvanā (development of sense faculty) and bojjhaṅga or maggaṅga bhāvanā (Development of enlightenment factors or the path factors) are the stopping and contemplation methods.

Sometimes even you can forget to contemplate impermanence. A lot of not knowing (avijjā) come into the practice. If kilesas come in then you will slow to get the knowledge.

(According to Sayadaw, stopping methods were only taught by the Buddha to two disciples, i.e., Bāhiya Dārucīriya and Mālunkyāputta. For most people it’s difficult to just stop at whatever arising in the beginning practice. But contemplation is easier.)

revised on 2019-07-25; cited from (posted on 2018-12-27)

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