Day 6: 22nd October, 2002 (Eighteen Days In Solitude-- Instructional Dhamma Talks in Retreat)


revised on 2019-12-05


We’re arriving at another part of the process for change. It needs to clearly understand the way of practice and the nature of the practice. From samatha practice we’ll develop vipassanā. There exists the process of insight knowledge.

There are two basic knowledges of insight. These are:

  1. Understanding the characteristics of mental and material phenomena (nāma-rūpa pariccheda ñāṇa).
  2. Discernment of conditions for mental and material phenomena (paccaya pariggaha ñāṇa).

These are still not arriving to the insight knowledge yet. This is the part for preparation to change there. For the sixth and seventh days we’ll develop these two knowledges. Why we’re establishing these knowledges. According to Mogok Sayadaw’s instruction we must dispel wrong views. Many meditation systems arose in Burma and no centres based on this point. Only Mogok Sayadaw took it as very important. He said many times in some of his talks that without dispelling wrong views and practiced not attained Nibbāna.

(There were some monks having wrong views as mentioned in some of the suttas. So, the Buddha and Ven. Sāriputta helped them to dispel wrong views.)

Practicing vipassanā is not for the happiness of human and heavenly beings but for killing the craving for becoming (bhava taṇhā), so that not to get another mind and body (khandha). We came here for practice to free ourselves from dukkha. Mogok Sayadaw was helping yogis to dispel diṭṭhi with Dhamma talks. I give vipassanā lectures and help yogis to dispel diṭṭhi. By listening Mogok Sayadaw’s talks also possible. It’s still not a contemplative stage yet. (It’s intellectual knowledge.) Now, we arrive to the stage of how to dispel diṭṭhi with the contemplation. Sayadawgyi said, “If you want to dispel diṭṭhi, there is one thing you had to do.”

That is to understand Dependent Arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) teaching. Not from the book (i.e., in letters), but to understand with practice on the Dependent Arising of the mind and body (i.e. khandha) process. Vipassanā contemplation is on the Dependent Arising process of the khandha; and not the past and future khandhas, but the present arising khandha. And you also have to know what the khandha is. As for the khandha most people take it and mixing up with the self imposed body. What you’re seeing in the mirror is the self imposed body and not the real khandha. Khandha is an intrinsic nature. There are five khandhas. If you carefully observe, the nature of matter are hardness/softness, heat/cold, distention/pressure, cohesion/trickling (these are the four great elements of earth, heat, air and water). These are its intrinsic nature and material elements. These exist in nature as qualities. Talking about the form and the shape of the physical body is by ordinary people. Intelligent people – vipassanā yogis and scientists are talking about the intrinsic nature as matter.

The intrinsic nature of change or impermanence is matter. If we’re talking about matter (rūpa) and you must understand or see it as change or impermanence. These are the interpretations of matter. Consciousness (viññāṇa) is the impermanent of the intrinsic knowing nature. Therefore in this, khandha exists only the changing nature of impermanent matter and the knowing nature of impermanent mind. Vedanākkhandha – feeling aggregate is the impermanent nature of feelings. Saññakkhandha – perceiving aggregate is the impermanent nature of perceptions. Hearing of what I am saying is consciousness. Perceiving of what I am saying is perception. Good for hearing is feeling-vedanā. Wanting to hear again is volitional formation-saṅkhārakkhandha. Therefore the four mind and mental khandhas arise together. The sound and ears are matter. These are the five intrinsic natures. Vipassanā is contemplating of these five intrinsic natures.

From samatha practice you can’t go directly to vipassanā practice. You have to build up two basic knowledges. The first one is nāmarūpapariggaha ñāṇa – Understanding the characteristics, etc., of mental and material phenomena. Separating the five khandhas, you get one matter (rūpa) and four mind (and mental) phenomena (nāma). Condense them together and get mind and matter. You have to contemplate these mind and matter. Contemplate with the penetrative knowing mind and not with the five physical doors. Follow behind sati with knowing. Before was only establishing for good sati. Now, have to develop knowledge that following behind sati with knowing. I’ll tell you how to do it. When you breathe in and at the entrance of the nostrils, touching and the knowing mind arise.

Before, do not think anything and only notice the touching. This was making the mind calm down. Only with the calm mind and knowledge will arise. With the touching and the mind knows it. These two are intrinsic natures. Follow with knowledge for “what’s touching” and “what’s knowing”. You must know the touching and the knowing. You have to understand them with differentiation. The air and nostrils are form (rūpa). These two intrinsic natures are touching each other. These are the touching of hardness of the earth element and the movement of the air element. Knowing of them is the mind dhamma. We’re alive with the arising of mind and matter. We go for shopping. With the eyes see a piece of cloth. We eat foods. With the contact of food and the tongue, and taste consciousness arises. Before their contact it doesn’t arise. It arises now at the present moment. All mind and matter are arising at the present moment. Vipassanā practice is contemplating the present moment, arising khandha.

Thinking about what already has happened is not vipassanā. Vipassanā is to know what’s arising now. Now, you’re sitting here and feeling (vedanā) arises. Is it the back pain or the changing of form (rūpa)? It’s the changing of form and the mind knows it. Do you have to know it as pain, pain? You have to contemplate it as the mind knows the change of form. And it’s not pain and becomes the object of vipassanā. Without knowing the change and you don’t know the pain. In the operation room, the patient doesn’t feel the operation. Only with knowing, feel the pain. Today in the contemplation of the khandha, forms contacts every time, you must know them. Touching is form and knowing is the mind.

Now, you’re sitting here. Why are you sitting here? Because you want to sit. Wanting to sit is the mind and the sitting is form. You’re eating foods. Wanting to eat is the mind and the eating is form. Before I was talking about with the condition of forms and mind arose. Now, is with the condition of the mind and form arises. In breathing in and out, wanting to breathe in is the mind and the breathing is form. Knowing there as mind and matter, etc. The whole day is the working of mind and form, but we take it as we’re doing for it.

Is it me or other, man or woman, who really done it? It is mind and form. We become conceited because of me and other; person and being. Now, you’re sitting here. And are there any mind and form of the sitting still exist if you getting up? It dies away and we’re now with the new mind and form of standing. It’s replacing with new mind and form. Form standing and starts stepping. Is there any standing of mind and form exist? If it’s not there, then it dies away and disappears. How many times you’re dying every day? Are you alive or dying for many times? It’s not the view of ordinary people. Now, we’re arriving to the view of insight knowledge. Therefore the whole day and times many deaths are piling up.

In one life, dying only once is the conventional death. But ultimate death are many times, even you don’t need for sending of to the cemetery. But we’re carrying around these corpses with us. Later you’ll know this khandha is good or bad. If you think you’re alive, that’s the view of eternalism. If you think after dying and everything is finished, that’s the view of annihilationism. Today you have to contemplate every process as mind and matter. And then you’ll get the knowledge of mind and form.

To contemplate the present five khandhas arise is seeing one’s death. Then you’ll not have the view of tomorrow I’ll still alive. Clinging to me and other, person and being disappear. All living beings are only mind and form. Giving names to things are only for convenience and called concepts (paññatti). Vipassanā is not contemplating the concepts. In the mirror, what we see as pretty, ugly, fat, thin, etc., do not really exist, and only thoughts or concepts. These are only mind and form.

We’re looking at things with concepts that it becomes white complexion, beautiful, etc. What really exists is arising and passing away of impermanence. So, it’s dukkha – suffering. It doesn’t follow our desire and not-self (anatta). The views of worldlings and yogis are opposite. The things people think as good are loathsome to yogis. However you see yourself as beautiful and pretty. Do you see the khandha becomes old and degenerated? The hairs become white slowly, the teeth broken and skin becomes wrinkled. The molecules in the body disintegrated and falling apart. Now, you practice to know mind and form arise. Why you have to do it? Because to dispel wrong views.


revised on 2019-12-05; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4021&p=35456#p35456 (posted on 2018-12-14)


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