Day 14: 30th October, 2002 (Eighteen Days In Solitude-- Instructional Dhamma Talks in Retreat)


revised on 2019-12-05


According to the purification process, today is reaching to the top of the mountain. Therefore, we have to practice up to the level of the path knowledge of the stream entrance (sotāpatti magga). This week the progress of the yogis is at the satisfied level. We’re now arriving to the section of seeing a lot of anicca and become disenchanting. This level is purification of the way – paṭipadā ñāṇadassanavisuddhi, and becoming a noble disciple (ariyasāvaka). You’re on the straight path and might not stray away from it. If you continue with the practice and it becomes the path knowledge. Ñāṇadassanavisuddhi – purification by knowledge and vision is called sotāpatti magga – the knowledge of the stream entrance.

You’re arriving at the distance of one armed length of it. You have to be careful for one thing. Even though it’s sure for arriving there, still can encounter disturbances and become low spirited. The path is straight now but it needs to walk straightly. The main factor is the mind power. It's important for practicing with patience, endurance and perseverance. The main necessity is sati. Except seeing all the arising phenomena with the three universal characteristics and not let other sense objects to come in. Especially it needs to be careful not let other thoughts and imaginations to come in. When the khandha is changing, it shows you extraordinary things which never been seen before. You’re straying away from it if you think it as happening in my body or coming from outside. It’s quite clear that you’re not contemplating what happen in the present moment khandha. This is one way of sticking with diṭṭhi.

Whatever arising is impermanent khandha. It’s the arising of the khandha nature. It shows its own nature. All the arising are saṅkhāra dhammas (conditioned phenomena). After arising and it has to be vanished. Observe with knowledge and seeing it as dukkha. So, it’s dukkha arising. Why is that? There are two reasons for it. First, it’s not stable. And second, it’s oppressive. It has the nature of oppression without any pity. Iron is destroyed by rust. In the same way the phenomena oppressing oneself are in the khandha. Greed, hatred and delusion are the dhammas pushing you down the cliff. These are clear for the yogis themselves. It makes them unbearable. (Advanced yogis experience the oppressive nature of the four great elements.) We must change the way of contemplation.

Now we’re in the section of how to react to impermanence. Let your body pains and not the mind. These words are not for good listening. It’s talking about how to practice. Isn’t it painful when the dhamma arises to oppress the khandha? It’ll, but don’t let the mind pains. I’ll ask you. Whose mind is painful if the body pains? You’ll answer me as I am the one who pains. This is a worldling without knowledge – asutavā puthujjana. A worldling without knowledge will take it this way. But a disciple of a noble one with the knowledge (sutavā ariyasāvaka) sees the khandha as not me and not mine. Someone after seeing anicca becomes a disciple of the noble one. He has the support and comfort in the Buddha’s sāsana (dispensation of the Buddha). It’s like a drowned person, after his feet touching the bottom and then exposes his head above the water. And free from the danger of painful destination for one life. If you encounter with oppressive nature and it’s important how to practice with insight. If the yogi doesn’t has the preparation of how to contemplate with insight, when the body pains and the mind also. You’ll say, I can’t bear it and change the posture. This is the mind pains with the body.

This matter is very important in near death when oppress by illness. To prepare for these things it needs the strength of the mind power. It needs a lot of sati and stable resolution. All difficulties must overcome with resolution / determination. In the world everyone is afraid of death (for common people). Here let me die. I am not afraid. With the khandha exists and never free from dukkha. Therefore I must practice to free from dukkha. I’m daring to say for you. You’ll not die. You must have the courage for adventure. It’s better for dying with practice than dying with stupidity.

What can be happened if you continue to climb up? The yogis become very tired and will say I can’t climb up the mount; and then wanting to put down the burden and the practice to continue. Even some came and told me, “If I can’t get the Path Knowledge, let it be.” They had changed their minds in this matter but in the wrong way. Some saw the faults of the khandha. But there are two ways about it; totally giving up the practice or continue the practice to the end. The right way is I must free from myself from this khandha. If not I’ll drift away and sink in the ocean of saṁsāra. So, I can’t give it up. I must practice to overcome it. Have to reflect in this way.

After you transcend it and arrive to the knowledge of reflecting contemplation – paṭisaṅkhā-ñāṇa. What’ll happen after making the decision and practice? You discern the phenomena not very clear and disappointed with it. Before you encounter the strong experiences and now mild phenomena arise. However, still all of them are dukkha arising and dukkha changing. It’s showing its own nature. You will see the form nature if you contemplate on form (rūpa). Form shows its nature and don’t take it as my arising. Leaving it as a stranger and don’t take yourself in it. Let the body pains are only possible, not the mind; if you contemplate it as stranger. It means put down wrong view (i.e., not identify with it as me and mine).

Your discernment becomes not clear and don’t take it as become easier. It’s like from the mount to climb up another higher point and you can’t jump up from here. You have to go down again and climb up again. In climbing down is comfortable. The phenomena are reinforcing to strike you down. You have to know about this point. Don’t think that contemplation is not good. This means you are going in and feeling with it. The phenomena strike down on you and by giving up can’t achieve the goal. When it come to you and must be in ready for it. It’s nothing to do with me and happen by its way. During the contemplation don’t react with resistance. With the contemplation of separation and there is no resistance.

It is like someone looking at it with ease and separation at nearby. This is equanimity towards the conditioned phenomena. Let it be and do what it wants with the oppression. This time I must separate you forever with the practice (i.e., the khandha – the oppressor). It’s the knowledge of equanimity towards the formations – saṅkhar’upekkha ñāṇa. The slogan here is, “Don’t be in concerns; if concern and out of balance.” You can’t be out of balance even for once; otherwise it becomes fruitless. You can’t make any mistakes. Whatever happening is dukkha sacca. It’s nothing to do with me. Let it happens and dies.

I’ll tell you how to continue with the practice. Let go of your mind for comfort. Don’t sit with usual posture, but with a difficult posture. (for example, from a Burmese posture to half lotus or full lotus postures.) And then practice with equanimity towards whatever is arising. Now it’s only four days left. We’re now arriving to the very good level and can’t practice in an easy way. Like a tiger holding and biting its prey without letting go to climb the highest point. Mind power with persistence is very important. Make a determination, for example, for one hour and one hour. You have to follow it to the end if it’s not ending.

However the severe pain is that you have to follow it to the end. You need the strength of mind. You have to fight it until you win. We’re now climbing up to the highest point of the mountain. You can’t make decision by yourself for what’s happening. Experiencing of something which is strange and don’t make the conclusion as the Dhamma (i.e., Nibbāna). You must inform me what you’re experiencing. I also do not mention these things to you beforehand. You will come and inform me that same thing if I tell you.

A layman experienced a cold bar of energy coming to the head. It was very cold and suddenly he fell down. But the cold bar of energy was still there. In a shock and thought it was attainment; and making the conclusion as the Path Knowledge. The ending of impermanence means doesn’t have anything to contemplate. In a blip everything has ceased. If you still have something for contemplation and not the Path Knowledge. So, you have to continue with the contemplation. Inform me only what you have seen. Today contemplation is let the body pain but not the mind.


revised on 2019-12-05; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4021&p=35464#p35464 (posted on 2018-12-14)


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