Day 15: 31st October, 2002 (Eighteen Days In Solitude-- Instructional Dhamma Talks in Retreat)


revised on 2019-12-05


We’re now at the last stage of climbing up the mount, purification by knowledge and vision – Ñāṇadassanavisuddhi. 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, you 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 laywoman came and told me; her whole body was cold. Talking with right attention, then it was khandha arising.

A layman 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 sañña – perception. The pain is feeling (vedanākkhandha). Wanting to change is volitional formation (saṅkhārakkhandha). Knowing is consciousness (viññāṇa). The body or form is rūpakkhandha (body aggregate). If something arises, both of mind and body arise. Knowing the arising is sati. You’ll not know the arising without sati. Taking the arising of khandha as me and mine are wrong attention.

One can strip off diṭṭhi is right attention. Note this point carefully. The way of contemplation is; if the khandha shows you and follow with knowledge (ñāṇa). From the explanation of Mogok Sayadaw’s talks this point was important. Form (rūpa) is changing nature. Viññāṇa – consciousness is knowing nature. These are not my arising and not my knowing. Vedanā – feeling is feeling nature and not I feel. Sañña – perception is perceiving nature. Saṅkhāra – 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 ñāṇa following. Follow with the knowledge of right view. It is sati (mindfulness with right attention), which can strip off diṭṭhi (wrong view). For example, yesterday a laywoman 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 diṭṭhi.

For the other layman, 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 diṭṭhi 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 the practice. He was from Pyinmana (now the capital city of Burma). He was welcome by many people and talking to people by wasting time. At night time for 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 laywoman 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, 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 layman 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 do the Path and Fruit knowledge exist? It exists in the khandha. The ending of khandha is magga (the Path Knowledge). You may take it as in the body. By analyzing the body and you can’t find it anywhere. It exists at the ending of the five khandhas. It exists at the ending of the present khandhas.

Khandha is dukkha sacca. Therefore Nibbāna is the cessation of dukkha. Khandhas not arise is Nibbāna. The ending of khandha is Nibbāna. 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 laywoman 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; you 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 (nibbidā ñāṇa) that not ate the lunch and continued with their practices. Even if we don’t want to eat also have to eat. Another thing does not want to contemplate and tired of it. Mogok 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 (taṇhā). If you have craving, then clinging and action arise (taṇhā → upādāna → kamma). If the not wanting mind arises and it’s a great joy for you (i.e., because it is close to Nibbāna). 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 layman 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. Ānanda’s realization.)


revised on 2019-12-05; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4021&p=35465#p35465 (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.