About the Mind

revised on 2019-10-02

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 17th June 1962

[Sayadaw gave this talk with his instruction on the contemplation of the mind — Citta-anupassanā (or Cittānupassanā), and based on the sutta, the Sheaves of Reeds, Nidanavagga Saṃyutta (SN.12.67 Naḷakalāpīsuttaṃ). In the sutta Ven. Sāriputta and Mahākoṭṭhita were discussing on the relation between consciousness and name and form (viññāṇaṁ and nāma-rūpam), and practice. Sayadaw gave a simple instruction on cittānupassanā.

The six external guest minds are : ① Eye-consciousness ② Ear-consciousness ③ Nose-consciousness ④ Tongue-consciousness (seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting) ⑤ + ⑥ Body-consciousness, pleasant and painful consciousness of the mind, arise in the whole body except the hairs, the nails and the dry skins.

These consciousnesses are called external guest minds because they don’t arise all the times. With the knowing of the place of arising and will know the passing away.

The six internal guest minds are: in the heart; ① Greed — lobha ② Hatred — dosa ③ Delusion — moha (restlessness — uddhacca) ④ Non-greed — alobha (giving, offering) ⑤ Non-hatred — adosa (love, kindness) ⑥ Thoughts (thinking, planning, etc.).

All these twelve minds have to contemplate when they arise. Without them arising there are always two host minds exist. These are: ① The mind wanting to breathe in, and ② the mind wanting to breathe out. These are totally 14 minds for contemplation.

Minds arise depending on forms. Seeing consciousness arises in the form of the eye. So, note it as name and form (nāma and rūpa). The others also know in this way. They arise accordingly at their places as name and form. The internal guest minds and the host minds are arising depending on the heart base; they are also name and form.

Whatever mind arises depends on form. So, note it as name and form arise, name and form (nāma and rūpa) are seeing, name and from are hearing, etc. So, you get the knowledge of mind and form — Nāma-rūpapariggaha ñāṇaṁ (ñāṇa). Again all minds arise with the contact of sense-objects and sense-doors.

So, they are cause and effect process. Therefore, doubt falls away. Knowing as only mind and form exist and wrong view falls away. You get the two knowing knowledges

(i.e., Nāma-rūpa pariggaha ñāṇaṁ and Paccayapariggaha ñāṇaṁ) = (knowledge of mind and matter and knowledge of the conditions)

You don’t get the contemplative knowledge yet. For the contemplation of impermanence, still need the teacher to show you the knowledge of comprehension and rise and fall (Sammasanañāṇaṁ and udayabbaya ñāṇaṁ)

Sayadaw using the Milindapañha text for vipassanā instruction. King Milinda requested the instruction from Ven. Nāgasena. He answered to him that when tiger wanted to catch its prey would not chase them. But waiting and watching behind a bush to kill its prey. In this way the yogi-tiger behind a samādhi bush watching and observing the cittas-preys which are arising from the six senses-doors.

Behind the samādhi-bush, the yogi-tiger has to catch the minds of the preys. Here the tiger represents the yogi or knowledge (ñāṇa); the preys represent the minds or impermanences, or feelings, etc. Ñāṇa catches on the impermanence, or magga is in accordance with the passing away. Not all of the 14 minds arise together.

In every mind moment only one mind arises that there is no way not to catch on it. Cittānupassanā — hiding and catching the minds; catching the minds with samādhi and paññā; contemplate of the minds again and again. Anupassanā means contemplate for many times.

The commentary encouraged to use cittānupassanā because most people take the mind as a self or soul (this point is quite evident because even some Buddhists are using the mind as a soul and a self to teach people. I met an elderly Mahāyana monk before; he said that how you could take rebirth if you didn’t have a soul. The mind as a soul is a very deep rooted view in the religions and philosophies.

Even western scientists making research on rebirth had this wrong view. The Buddha condemned it strongly in the sutta (see the monk Sāti in the Mahātaṇhā­saṅkhaya Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya, MN.38/(8) Mahātaṇhāsaṅkhayasuttaṃ). Also, the first stage of realization is abandoning wrong views. A yogi whose nature is diṭṭhi carita and dull faculty is suitable for cittānupassanā.

But for most yogis' experiences, the mind is quite subtle in the beginnings of practice. So in the suttas of mindfulness, it started from the coarser one to the subtler one, i.e., form → feeling → mind → dhamma. ]

Watch with good samādhi. You can’t contemplate without samādhi. After establish good samādhi, watching and contemplate behind the bush of samādhi. The tiger of Yogi/knowledge is watching and catching the preys of impermanence. Here I give you the clear instruction.

The tiger of knowledge is eating the preys of the mind or contemplate impermanence. Therefore the knowledge is in accordance with the impermanence. The 14 types of minds are preys. If you are waiting and catching them and will get it. You caught them in dead or the vanishing. Cittānupassanā means watching and catching the minds again and again is contemplation of the minds.

In the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta the Buddha also included the ariyan minds. Can you contemplate them which you don’t have? (As a teacher he had to teach in a complete form. It doesn’t mean we have to do all of them). The worldlings only have these 14 types of minds. Therefore it’s necessary to justify the text. These were teaching for the worldling and the ariyans, etc.

You have to note this one, vipassanā is watching and catching. Ven. Nāgasena taught king Milinda in this way. If you contemplate it with searching and it’s a concept (paññāti). If you are watching and contemplating whatever arising is ultimate reality (paramattha).

The two arahants were discussing on the contemplation of the mind (here, Ven. Sāriputta and Mahākoṭṭhita). The Buddha also supported them. So you have to practice it without any doubt. And also looking for a teacher who can teach the Dhamma becomes not wanting and revulsion toward the mind. Then he is a speaker of the Dhamma (Dhammakathika).

If you can practice become not wanting and revulsion towards them is a person practicing in accordance with the Dhamma (Dhammānu-dhammappaṭipatti). You may realize Nibbāna in this life if you can continue to practice towards the end of the mind or abandoning clinging. We can’t conquer the mind that arriving to this plane and that plane. It happens accordingly to the mind. In saṁsāra, it makes us shameful and no benefit at all.

So we shouldn’t associate with this mind. I am teaching you become revulsion and disenchantment toward the mind. We can‘t control our minds that with birth consciousness and become chicks (get the birth of a chick). The beak, wings, etc. are making by this mind. It is in accordance with the clinging of the mind.

In the same ways, you do not become a human being if you are arriving into a cow’s womb. And you become a calf according to the mind. Kamma is throwing you there. After arriving there and the mind creates the shape and form. Becoming different animals are creating by the minds, and not kammas. Doing the rebirth-linking (paṭisandhi) is kamma. Become different kinds of beings are by the mind. Kamma sent you to human life and your human form was made by the mind.

If kamma creates there is only has one kind of hell. But there are many different kinds of hells and make by the mind. Between kamma and mind, the mind is more fearful. When we are speaking, we don’t say I can’t control my kamma. Instead we are saying; “I can’t control my mind.”

The Buddha gave the example of an artist’s mind. Many fancy pictures arise from the artist’s mind.

(We can see this in modern art; some strange stories and novels create by human minds. Even some later Buddhists used this important of the mind and postulated extreme theory of the mind. Everything is mind made and it‘s the only real existence. This is an extreme theory if we careful study D. A. process.).

Therefore, the Buddha said that mind was the creator and making many different kinds of fancy things. At night seeing a tree stump and taking it as a ghost and frighten.

This is making by the mind. Some people can’t control their minds and commit suicide by hanging themselves. Not kammas hang them. People talk about suicide as it will repeat again for 500 time in five aeons (It is a Burmese saying). This was never mentioned in the text books.

They frighten people not to commit suicide. Next life, if having the chance to meet good teachers even can become arahant. The mind in pain is more fearful than physical pain. For an example, if someone hits with a thorn in the dark and takes it as bitten by a snake and it’s more difficult to treat.

(Continue to talk on cittānupassanā) You only become for death if you are talking about no mind to contemplate, because beings are alive with the minds (except only the non-percipient Brahma God — without mind).

So don’t make yourself becoming a fool. Contemplate the death (mind) with the alive (mind). Minds which disappear are dead (mind). Contemplate one’s own death with the ñāṇa mind which is connecting by kamma (i.e., the near death kamma from last life sent to this life).

We have to send the body to the graveyard if the next mind is not arising. The mind now is the next new mind of Ko Saw Maung (a disciple in the audience). Contemplating the dead (mind) with the alive (mind) is vipassanā.

Do you become disenchanted after seeing a lot of deaths (i.e., one’s own death)? Sure you will. And then you don’t want these kinds of mind again. In this way, you become a person practice in accordance with the Dhamma.

revised on 2019-10-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4192&p=35952#p35952 (posted on 2019-02-15)

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