Sayadaw U Candima own experiences and teachings are clearing away of the views, opinions, speculations, etc. on samādhi and insight practices by scholars and practitioners. Among modern Buddhists, there is much confusion and doubt about the Buddhist practice of samatha and vipassanā. His interpretation of samatha-yānika way of practice is similar to the lifestyle of the Thai forest monks of Ajahn Mun's tradition. Vipassanā-yānika way is suitable for the long retreat in a meditation center, or in a secluded place for some longer period. His interpretation of the practice as it relates to pain is also reasonable. In Samatha practice yogi can change and correct the posture with pain but not in vipassanā practice. In Samatha practice, the yogi can change or correct postures with pain, but not in vipassanā practice. The reason behind this is that for samatha-yānika it takes time to develop jhāna samādhi with signs (nimitta), but for vipassanā-yānika it takes a shorter time to develop vipassanā meditation and one has to deal with suffering directly. We also see that developing a samma-samādhi is not an easy task.
One of the mistaken view on vipassanā Samādhi is on khaṇika-samādhi which is not the ordinary samādhi of moment to moment sati in daily life. It is the vipassanā jhanic samādhi (or vipassanā jhānas mentions by the commentary) or animitta cetto samādhi or upekkhā eggakkta samādhi which has the quality of the 4th rūpa jhāna.
Another important issue is the authenticity of the Abhidhamma doctrine, which some extreme Westerners strongly deny. But U Candima's direct experiences reject their wrong view, opinion and speculation. Surprisingly, some of them were strongly opposed to Abhidhamma and commentary, yet they readily accepted the knowledge of Western philosophers and used them to study Buddhism. They had faith in some of the well-known western philosophers, but not in the Buddhists who were scholars and practitioners of the past centuries and handed down the teachings.
From the experience and teachings of U Candima, we also know that the views or knowledge of the saints (ariya) (from Buddha to sotāpanna) are quite different from the views of the worldly people; we can even say that they are opposite to each other. The worldlings see the world superficially and very coarse because of their defiled minds. Even with different levels of mental purity, the world is seen differently—from the precise to the more refined and subtle.
If we do not have many of the blessings mentioned in the Discourse of Blessings, then it is not easy to become a Buddhist in the cycle of many lifetimes. Now that we are in this era with Buddha's teachings (Buddha Sāsana), we should not waste our precious time as ordinary Buddhists do. Because we cannot take anything with us after death. As a human being and Buddhist we have three duties—not to do evil (unwholesome dhammas), to do good (wholesome dhammas) and purify the mind. These three Buddhist duties are also related to knowledge and conducts (vijjā and caraṇa). So this human world is a cultivation of goodness and wisdom faculties. (Therefore, this human world is a cultivation of the ability to be kind and wise.) Only as a Buddhist, we have the chances to follow these duties with the education of Buddha Dhamma. The Buddha also warned us that the frequent homes of living beings were the three woeful planes of existence—hell, animal and hungry shades. We are not born as human beings to see the sights and find sensual pleasures in this world.
The Buddha teaching is a way of life. So it is better and more beneficial if we can use the Dhamma in our daily life. Here I want to introduce Ajahn Chah's teachings to the readers. Among all the Thai forest ajahns (teachers) Luang Por Chah is quite unique. He is able to train and teach not only monks and nuns, but also lay community (lay people). He is a wise figure and has many skills in teaching and training people. It seems to me that many Buddhists (and perhaps even non-Buddhists) around the world have benefited from Luang Por's teaching. I have no doubt about it. His teaching is simple yet profound and easy to understand. Simplicity is beauty and a clear mind. It was like Japanese bonsai or Zen Gardens arts.
The last important point with want to emphasize is the teaching of the Maṅgala Sutta—the Discourse in Blessings. This important discourse is important for all people—Buddhists or non-Buddhists. It is a wholesome and noble education for all living beings (even it had a strong influence) on celestial beings who posed the question to the Buddha.). Those who follow this doctrine in this life will not only bring wealth and happiness in this life; but also wealth and happiness in the next life.
Recommendation for reading:
Stillness Flowing-- the Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah by Ajahn JayasaroFor ebook and audiobook download see forestsangha.org
Beyond Birth: An Autobiography by Phra Ajahn Suchart AbhijātoWebsite: phrasuchart.com
Sabbe sattā sukhitā hontu!
revised on 2023-07-30
- Content of "Right Samādhi and Right Insight" (by Sayadaw U Candima)
- Content of "A Noble Search" (Dhamma Talks by Sayadaw U Candima)
- Content of Dhamma Talks by Sayadaw U Ukkaṭṭha and Sayadaw U Candima
- Content of Publications of Bhikkhu Uttamo
According to the translator—Bhikkhu Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.