Eighteen Days in Solitude
Day 15: 31st October, 2002; By Venerable U Ñāṇaransi ; The translator: Ven. Uttamo
We’re now at the last stage of climbing up the mount, purification by knowledge and vision – Nanadassanavisudhi. We must have right attention (yoniso). With the wrong attention can’t attain the Dhamma. These words are very important for the yogis. With right attention, must climb the last stage. Because yogis have to use knowledge. In practice, one part of it is one’s activities, such as standing, sitting and walking, etc. It’s important to have right attitude. What means wrong attention? Sometimes ago a lay woman came and told me; her whole body was cold. Talking with right attention, then it was khandha arising. A lay woman has said to me; “Isn’t the khandha a self-body?” Khandha is an intrinsic nature, and no body. If something is arising; for example, a mosquito bites. Then we make it as a mosquito bites. Every noting is sanna – perception. The pain is feeling (vedanakkhandha). Wanting to change is volitional formation (sankharakkhandha). Knowing is consciousness (vinnanam). The body or form is rupakkhandha (body aggregate). If something arises, both of mind and body arise. Knowing the arising is sati. Without sati and not knowing the arising. Taking the khandha’s arising as me and mine are wrong attention. One can strip off ditthi is right attention. Note this point carefully. The way of contemplation is; if the khandha shows you and follow with knowledge (nyan). From the explanation of Mogok Sayadaw’s talks this point was important. Form (rupa) is changing nature. Vinnanam – consciousness is knowing nature. These are not my arising and not my knowing. Vedana – feeling is feeling nature and not I feel. Sanna – perception is perceiving nature. Sankhara – volition is motivating. Therefore all the khandhas function their own matters or business, and then all pass away. Don’t include me and other into it. Khandha arises is ehi-passiko – calling you for contemplation. Therefore khandha is calling and nyan following. Following with the knowledge of right view. Can strip off ditthi (wrong view) is sati (mindfulness with right attention). For example, yesterday a lay woman was practicing in standing posture. After feeling a cold sensation on the back without aware she let go of sati and sat down. This was stuck with ditthi.
For the other lay man, he didn’t have sati and fell down to the floor. Even after falling down he continued to experience the cold sensation. Instead of continued with the contemplation and he took it as the attainment. He made a conclusion by himself and become wrong attention. Remember for this point. Whatever khandha arises, don’t stop the contemplation. If it’s really ending and there is nothing for contemplation. The ending also shows its characteristic. I’m not daring to talk about this point here. If I tell it, during the sitting people will expect for it. Even near the last day mention it, can have problems. So you know the importance of right attention. First, don’t let ditthi stick with you. And second, don’t let go off sati. With loosing awareness and it takes more time for the practice. It’s amazing that the khandha shows the things you have never seen before. You’ll know yourself of the khandha has these things. It seems like your internal organs are twisting, wanting to vomit, feeling cold and burning with fire, etc. There was an old man called U Nyo came and practiced with me. I told him that he was old for the practice. But he didn’t listen and stayed for practice. He was from Pyinmana (now the capital city of Burma). He was loved by many and talking to people by wasting time. At night time interview he didn’t know what to say. But he was clever and listening to what others were saying and using them. When I was scolding him and asking me what could be experienced in the practice. Then, I replied to him that it would like experience burning with the fire and feeling cold by pouring icy water on the body. It would like feeling a stone underneath the buttocks. And it would like the back was poking with a wooden plank. Also it would like poking into the calves with an iron rod or needles. And then he thought that this monk was crazy. Without needles and how would it be poked with them. And without fire and how could it be burned with fire. So I put him under the control of a lay woman yogi for his practice. The next day he came to told me and asked forgiveness. He said, I had been insulted you. It happened to me as you had said yesterday. When the khandha tell us, and we have to believe it. This old man really practiced hard and at the age of 72 realized the Dhamma.
Don’t come and ask me how it’ll happen for the discerning of impermanence and its disenchantment. With the practice and you’ll find out. At the ending also the khandha will show you. If you stop it without the ending and the process will take longer period. A lay man was oppressing by wind element in the body. And during the sitting he was nearly jumping up like hit with an electric shock. He asked me had any connection with the unseen being. Then I told him that it was the air element. He continued with the practice and the problem stopped by itself. For the right attention, it depends on right view to the khandhas. Where the Path and Fruit knowledge are existing? It exists in the khandha. Khandha’s ending is magga (the Path Knowledge). You may be taken it as in the body. By analyzing the body and you can’t find it anywhere. It exists at the ending of the 5 khandhas. It exists at the ending of the present khandhas. Khandha is dukkha sacca. Therefore Nibbana is the cessation of dukkha. Khandhas not arise is Nibbana. The ending of khandha is Nibbana. Tension, stiffness, pressure, movement, etc., most of these things will come first. After that cold, hot, like burning with fire arise. The cold here is touching with a block of ice and shivering with cold. A lay woman was not following these things to the end that the process continued to exist. The successive little endings are insight knowledges arising. Even a process is not ending and takes longer time, have to follow it to the end. But at the time of lunch you can stop it. But some yogis had the knowledge of disenchantment (nibbida nyan) that not ate the lunch and continued with their practices. Even if we don’t want to eat also have to eat. Another thing is not wanting to contemplate and tired of it. Mogak Sayadaw said that not wanted to contemplate, still had to contemplate. Also have to contemplate the not wanting mind. You must have the spirit of achieving it. Not wanting is without craving (tanha). If you have craving, then clinging and action arise (tanha→upadana→kamma). If the not wanting mind arises and it’s a great joy for you (i.e., because it is close to Nibbana). Practicing with not wanting mind is non-greed (alobha). With the wanting mind is greed (lobha). If you are practicing with the desire mind and will not get it. The lay man came to see me yesterday was U Myint Htoo, and he told me about his experience. When I heard it and made my heart beating. He said that it was like cutting his feet with the razor blades, and his chest was piercing with a spear. I told him stopped the practice and went to rest. Because he was practicing very hard that I was asking him for a rest. But he decided to continue with the practice. Instead of going into sleep and he was contemplating in the lying posture. I taught the yogis to lie down on the right side. First, he inclined to the right, but his mind wanting to turn to the left. With the turning of the body to the left and the Path Knowledge arose. (It was very similar to the Ven. Ananda’s realization.)
- Content of "Eighteen Days In Solitude"