revised on 2020-07-10
We’re arriving at the two third (2/3) of the practice, and have to climb up the difficult part. According to Sayadawgyi we had already seen impermanence. After seeing impermanence, we arrive to weariness. Yesterday some yogis experienced the corruptions of insight; developing from the immature stage to the mature stage. If you’re arriving at nibbidā ñāṇa and it’s the stage of the purification of the way (paṭipadā ñāṇadassanavisuddhi). After that, it is the Path Knowledge – purification by knowledge and vision (ñāṇadassanavisuddhi). This is the time of near to the top of the mountain. At this time you must have stable mindfulness.
Sati is not only doing the practice of ānāpāna. You must have sati in everywhere. You’ll encounter with problem and destruction. Loosing of sati, unseen beings (paraloka) will instantly come in and disturb you. (i.e., not for every yogi). After you’re on the path many kinds of counterfeit things can come in. Yesterday I went out for awhile, and after come back a female yogi inform me. She said that during her meditation and heard someone came and told her. She had attained the Dhamma and would propagate the teaching. I told her that it wasn’t. Someone from outside came and possessed her. We have to be careful for these kinds of things. We had these experiences before that and reminding you. The spirits are worrying of the yogis attaining the Dhamma. They think that if this person is liberated and will not come to their spirit world. Therefore they come and disturb the yogis. All these experiences happened before at our centre.
Sayadawgyi (i.e., Mogok Sayadaw) mentioned the three governing principles in his talk. It's on oneself at first, and then the surrounding worlds. You shouldn’t think other beings don’t know what we’re doing. Sayadawgyi said if you know yourself, and from your deity onwards and other beings also could know it. So, stay with sati and stick with it. (Here the words – your deity means not our own deities. These are the spirit world living near or around us – unseen beings.)
Another point to remind you is practicing so good that mind-body becomes peaceful. Any mental object appears have to be contemplated. If you taking pleasure in it is lobha (greed). You have to abandon all of them. Have to be mindful, if not it comes in and disturbs you. Another point is can be fallen into bhavaṅga citta (life continuum mind). Become unconscious is called fall into bhavaṅga. Something like fallen into sleep. It's difficult to attain the Dhamma if you become unconscious. And also not let kelisa come in between the contemplation. You have to be in the process of anicca and magga continuously (i.e., every time dhamma shows impermanence and knowing with the path factors). And you must know them as dukkha.
You will encounter things arising in the khandha you never experienced before. The changing of the physical elements and unbearable things will arise. If they arise, it’s impermanent dukkha sacca. Whatever seeing in the eyes you also have to contemplate. Some spirits will come and want to share our merits. If you see them have to contemplate. Whatever you see is impermanent dukkha sacca. All these are concepts and not the refined impermanent of mind and form. Seeing, hearing, smelling, etc., is impermanent dukkha. sacca. Someone is yawning if he is out of sati, it's the spirit done it. He wants me to know it. So, he reminds me about the loosing sati of my yogis. (This was a tree spirit – and became the protector of the Venerable during his practice in a forest.)
Now it’s arising and now knowing it. It’s in the present moment. In Sayadawgyi’s talk, anicca, dukkha and anatta are the impermanent khandhas. It's not the anicca of the head, body, hands and feet. Because of impermanent, it’s dukkha. It’s unstable that human beings are suffered. It seems, anicca dukkha and anatta are three different dhammas but in reality it’s only one dhamma; one dhamma with three natures. After arising and vanishing, no solid object is leaving behind. Until now what you tell me are with concepts. (i.e., during the interview with the yogis.)
For example, my back is aching; the whole head seems bigger, etc. These are concepts and solidity. During the contemplation don’t include these things. Contemplate to see their intrinsic nature, such as hot, cold, hardness, stiffness, etc.; to catch on the beginning of the arising phenomenon. There is the beginning on every impermanence. From non-existing to existing is impermanent. Also, from existing to non-existing is impermanent. From non-existing to existing, and then move here to there. From the place of the beginning, it's arising and moving to another place. Is it still at the first place? Moving is changing. For example, I had been mentioned about a layman yogi’s experience before (see day 11: talk). A cold bar of energy appeared from his back ankle and started to move upwardly to the head. The changing of the mind and matter at the first place not following to the second place, etc. It has disappeared at the first place.
It’s the same as the impermanent mind and matter of the first foot step not arriving to the second foot step. So, you can’t find back this impermanent mind and form again. In every foot step of mind and matter are dying. Therefore in Sayadawgyi’s talk, you will see anicca, dukkha, anatta, asubha and dukkha sacca if you discern impermanence. You see these five points at the same time.
In the beginning of the sitting, nothing arises yet. And then you move your Samādhi to the top of the head and it starts showing the nature. Wherever it shows you, catch on the beginning of the arising dhamma. It means to be mindful. Sayadawgyi said that ehi-passiko – the dhamma calling at you, came and contemplated me. Sandiṭṭhiko – you would see it yourself. The chaotic situations are impermanent. Is it stopping or moving? It’s never stopping. From small and it becomes bigger. And from big and it can become smaller. You can see its disintegration, movement and change, etc. All these unstable movements are impermanent. In vipassanā contemplation it also needs endurance. These natural phenomena happen by itself that we can’t want them to be liked that. You have to observe and contemplate according to its nature.
For example, the yogi wants the pain to go away. Then he says “I can’t bear it and change the posture.” Diṭṭhi is sticking with the yogi. Why? Because unable to contemplate like a stranger. It’s nothing to do with you. You can’t get it what you want to be. It happens by its nature that you have to observe like a stranger nearby. This point is very important. It needs sati, and always stick with it. Out of sati, the diṭṭhi stick with you. You know the arising dhamma and then the mind leaving it and can move to other place. That is the mind moving towards a stronger object. Don’t become uncertainty as which one have to contemplate. You have to contemplate where the mind is.
Ehi-passiko – have to contemplate where it’s calling you. Then you know it arising and contemplate its continuous process. Follow it and observe. This is following the impermanent process. You know the arising and then observe; not there anymore. Maybe some dhammas arise in this way. Also, other kinds of phenomena can arise. It’ll oppress you – pīḷanaṭṭha; the khandha will show its dukkha sacca. Three or four elements can oppress you. At that time you don’t need to analyze the elements. You have to observe them how it’s changing and happening.
Like a hunter following the foot prints of the prey. It can become slowly bigger and more severe. At that time the yogi can go in and feel it directly; and then want it to be vanished. This is craving-taṇhā. And it turns forwards clinging and action (upādāna and kamma). If lobha arises know instantly and abandon it. Have to contemplate this mental state. Adjust yourself by not letting kilesas come in and follow the process closely. It’ll end at some place. There is nothing not ending. Maybe it takes four or five minutes or half an hour to end. Even can oppress you for an hour (nothing is sure). From that time onwards no need for time table.
If not ending shouldn’t change it. Or if happen too long and have to stop it. At lunch time can stop it. And at other times can’t change it and follow to the end. It’s like mount climbing. If you arrive to the top and it ends. Stiffness, tenseness, etc, whatever it’s slowly growing, to the most painful, the most itching, etc. The ending means it’s not arising again. You can try it out. Feeling (vedanā) increasing or whatever increases, you need courage. You feel like, it comes and oppressing you. At that time should not be annoyed and must be calm. Having the facial expression means, you go in and feel with it. These things are existing not only now but also before. After the abandoning of ignorance (avijjā) and knowledge (vijjā) arises that knowing directly by oneself. It exists before and oppresses us in our whole life. Because of them we become old. We contemplate it carefully with knowledge.
With the contemplation, mind is also changing. Should not change and follow it with endurance. Reflecting as if we get the khandha must suffer like this again. At the ending of it the whole body is feeling cool and happy. After dukkha and sukha exists. We have to follow it until mind and body become peaceful. The process is slowly disappearing. Again it arises one by one like a chain, and following it to the end. After that it can arise another one.
After one and half hours, we will not contemplate it if it arises again. We shouldn’t follow it for two or three hours. Increase half an hour for contemplation, leave it there if doesn’t end. If not, it becomes immune. We follow it in an appropriate way. Next time of follow two hours, then two hours only. We practice Samādhi with walking meditation. In every step of walking, contemplate to see its impermanence. And you’ll become weary about walking. It’s dukkha. Before, you even didn’t know carrying around your own burdened khandha. If you getting old will find out that standing, sitting and going, etc, are great dukkha.
Dukkheñāṇam – after knowing dukkha, and the other side is dukkha-nirodheñāṇam – knowing the cessation of dukkha. You make a decision that it’s really dukkha. Do you want it? You’re wanting it because not know it as dukkha. It’s really dukkha, except dukkha, and nothing exists. You don’t have desire for the khandhas if you really see its faults. At here yogis can have problems. It’s oppressing so much that even don’t want to continue anymore. This can be possible. Become very tired about it. Therefore Mogok Sayadaw had said that if you didn’t want to contemplate still had to stick with it. You will continue to have this khandha if you don’t contemplate. And you can’t free from it. It’s unbearable that you don’t want to contemplate. Diṭṭhi sticks with you again. You only see these things and weary about it and become disenchantment. Like it or not, you have to contemplate. Not wanting to contemplate and you continue your contemplation is non-greed (alobha).
revised on 2020-07-10; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4021&p=35462#p35462 (posted on 2018-12-14)
- Content of "Eighteen Days in Solitude"
- Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo
According to the translator— Ven. 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.
07-10 rev. old: Therefore in Sayadawgyi’s talk, you will see anicca, dukkha, anatta, and asubha 2020-06-25 rev. the 2nd proofread by bhante 12-05 rev. proofread by bhante 2019-11-13 rev. proofread by nanda 2018.12.27 create rst; post on 2019-01-13