HomeAll PostsMeditation Course week 3: video and transcript

Meditation Course Week 3
Samatha-Vipassana

Rojana Center, Bangkok, 2017


Video and transcript from the meditation course this year.

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OK, so to recap
over the last couple of weeks

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The first week

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I was talking about

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just getting started with meditation

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that the core method

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is to bring your attention back

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to the breathing

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the breathing in fact is only one meditation object

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there are many possible meditation objects

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some people like to use a mantra

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a mantra is a repeated word or phrase

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that you run over and over again in the mind

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so that it will push out,
or drown out

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all the other thoughts, all the other ideas

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and you can attain to quite a feeling, or state of serenity

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by doing a mantra

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there are many different mantras

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that are possible

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very often the simpler the better

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one of the famous ones in Thailand is
‘Bud-dho Bud-dho’

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and you say ‘Bud’ on the in-breath

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then ‘dho’ on the out-breath

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another famous one in Thailand is
‘Samma Araham Samma Araham’

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and I actually use this one

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Om Mani Padme Hum

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there are many of these different mantras

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that is possible to use

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Do you know the Thai mantra?

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‘mai pben rai, mai pben rai’
[Thai saying, meaning ‘don’t worry about it’]

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and because you are concentrating
your mind on a mantra

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it will push out, or drown out

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all of the other kind of thoughts and thinking

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and you attain to something quite ..
a state of serenity

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in some instances the

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the mantra itself has meaning

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and in some instances it’s just a word

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it’s just a sound that you make

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if it has meaning
then you can be concentrating on the meaning

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for example “may all beings be happy”

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“may all beings be well”

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this is a mantra that we can use

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in order to arouse that feeling of ‘metta’
or loving kindness

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other than mantras there are visualizations

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if you are more of a visual person

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you can

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imagine certain things visually

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I tend not to recommend this

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because it’s ..

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for those of you who are visual people

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You can get quite caught up in visions and sights

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and images in the mind

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and usually these are a distraction

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it’s not very often that they are acually

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really real and really useful

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but because they kind of appear magically in the mind

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it can feel as if you are having
some kind of supernatural insight

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actually it’s just vision

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it’s just an image that has arisen in the mind

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so I don’t recommend that you really follow the visual

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things that arise in the mind

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because they can be a real distraction

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and can appear very beautiful
or very intricate

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and very interesting

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but

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they are not usually anything that is really profound or useful

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there are some visualizations [methods]

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I like to visualize light

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In fact I visualize a very tiny,
very bright grain of rice

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down in the center of my body

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this is a practice that I really like to do

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if your mind gets quite refined in the meditation

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what you can discover is

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the breathing becomes too course

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of a meditation object

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if you can switch to light

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light is actually a much more refined meditation object

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there are others.
there are different forms of body meditation

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some people they switch
from certain points in the body

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in another meditation you visualize
a light in the center of your hand

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there’s one where you move your arms

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Luang Phor Tien method

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so there are many different kinds of meditation object

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the object that we would normally recommend
is to use the breathing

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breathing is

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something that’s very close to you

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and so if you have developed
your meditation with the breath

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then you can find and feel your meditation object very easily and very clearly all of the time

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the breathing is also a very good barometer
for the way that you’re feeling

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and our path of meditation is

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is a path of insight

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and by ‘insight’ what we mean is

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the meditation should be turning your vision back

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turning your awareness back on to yourself

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so that you understand your

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processes of body and mind

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and it’s this process of knowing yourself

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that will start to change you

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so if you set forth a

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a resolution of the kind of person that you want to be

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‘I’m going to be perfectly calm
and beautiful and peaceful and holy and …

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that’s just something that you’ve
generated with your ego

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with your willpower

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and it’s very difficult to try and maintain that

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over a long period of time

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because 10 minutes later you’re getting in a taxi

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and he takes you to a different place
than you wanted to go

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or somebody annoys you
or you bang your foot

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and it’s just that intention has gone out of your mind

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so to produce a long term effect; a long term change

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what we do is, we practice this witnessing of yourself

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witnessing of your processes –
your body, your mind

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how it works

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and it’s this knowing yourself that will change you

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so in Buddhism we don’t have “thou shalt”

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“thou shalt not do this”
“thou shalt not worship graven images”

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“thou shalt not ….. live in Thailand without a visa”

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these kind of things

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we don’t really have in Buddhism

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there are precepts and things

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that you may voluntarily undertake as a training

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but the idea is that

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the onus is put back on you

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you need to develop your own wisdom

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and you do this by seeing yourself

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and by seeing yourself – that is real

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that’s not something religious

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it’s not something that we’ve put on to you

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this you seeing, well, your own processes

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this is how it [you] works

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and by generating this kind of wisdom

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what you find is that when you look at things internally

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you start to behave differently
to when you look at things externally

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so you look at things externally and
you want to change them

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you want to change the world

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you look at Donald Trump
and you don’t like Donald Trump

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you think, well, how can I protest,
how can I get him out of office

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can we impeach him

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of course there’s plenty of people
that do like Donald Trump

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probably not many here today, but …

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there’s plenty of people that do like him, so ..

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we have to remember that our opinion is only that

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it’s only an opinion

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but when you turn the vision back inwards,
what you see is

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not the external characteristics

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but what you see it

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well, there’s this anger arising in me

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and there’s this hatred arising in me

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or there’s greed arising in me

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or this obsession arising in me

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and when you see these things as internal qualities

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what happens is you start to get wisdom

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some things are worth developing

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some things are not worth developing

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so you see the greed, you anger,
you see hatred, you see jealousy, you see attachment

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all of the negative qualities

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when you feel them on the inside, you think, well

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I don’t really want to have that quality
in myself right now

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so you are feeling angry

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externally you may have every justification

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for that feeling

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but internally, when you turn the vision back

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you see, well, this is anger

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this is not nice, it’s not pleasant

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somebody may tell you
“don’t be angry, it’s bad”

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it doesn’t have much affect

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but when you see it inside your own self

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because you’ve trained
your attention to turn back

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then you start to want to give it up quite naturally

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the Buddha’s analogy for this was

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imagine a young man or a young woman

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who is very fond of their appearance

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and imagine you were to take a dead

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and rotting corpse of a dog

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and drape it over that person’s shoulders

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what would that young man or young woman

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fond of their appearance
wish to do??

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the answer is

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they would wish to remove that
rotting dead dog corpse from their shoulders

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as quickly as possible

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I love the language of the suttas

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they are really stark, clear metaphors

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so in exactly the same way

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is when you start to see
negative qualities inside yourself

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because you’re watching them
and feeling them directly

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you have this urge to cast them off

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there’s no longer any question of
“how do I deal with anger”

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“how do I remove negative qualities”

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“I’m just so greedy – how can I remove that?”

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you know that man, he went to the Doctor

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and he had a problem with greed

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he said “Dr, I’m just so greedy”

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and the Dr said

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“don’t worry – we have pills for that now”

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and the man said
“give me lots of them!”

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so when you see it directly,
you naturally want to give it up

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greed is interesting because

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other negative qualities

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[you] are quite quick to see them as negative

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if you are really hateful or angry, it’s quite easy

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to see that as a negative quality

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but when you are greedy

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that’s much harder because you think
“well, that thing is really nice”

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it feels like a nice state of mind

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but to a meditator what you see is

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this greed, or this desire is starting to obsess the mind

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it starts to pull the mind into it

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and it’s this losing your wakefulness

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losing your awareness

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as the mind condenses around that thing that you want

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this is what you start to see
as unpleasant and unwholesome

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OK, so …

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20 minutes here counts to your 20 minutes a day

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do try!
Make this period a period where

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you are making that extra effort

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I have a friend of mine
and he insists that he cannot do meditation

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and some years ago

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he said he really tried

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he said for a couple of months he was in a

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Christian Ashram

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there are such things
It’s a kind of hybrid

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and he .. he really tried at that time

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and he said
“you know I felt really good when I did it”

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and I said
“so why don’t you do it now?”

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he said
“oh I can’t meditate”

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“But you did it!”

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he said
“no, I wasn’t any good at it”

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I said
“but you felt really good with yourself”

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“when you were doing it”

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so this is the thing
if you take that 20 minutes

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of time every day, to stop and be with yourself

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you will start to really appreciate it

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it will start to be a beautiful part of your day

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if you do 10 minutes once a week

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that 10 minutes is always going to be difficult, right?

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that 10 minutes is always going to be spent

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just trying to
get any kind of awareness that you can

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your mind is a machine

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it will just so exactly the way that you have trained it

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it will work in exactly the way that you’ve trained it to work

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so from an early age you have always

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been looking for

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things outside of yourself, stimulation

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things to look at,
things to see, things to do

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things to learn …

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and your parents
they congratulate you

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on the new things that you can do

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and that’s what parents are interested in

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I’m thinking of these guys with the baby over here

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That’s what they like to do

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you know what my mother use to do ….

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when I was very young

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under 6 years old
because we moved house when I was 6 years old

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and she trained me to remember my phone number

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353 5536

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I was less than 6 years old
when I memorized that number

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it’s still with me now

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and if I couldn’t say the phone number

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my mother would be very unhappy with me

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when I could say the phone number
I didn’t even get a treat

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I just didn’t get the unhappiness

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my mother was trying to teach me colours

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do you know Smarties?

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they are like M&Ms

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multi-coloured M&Ms

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and she’d line them all up in a row

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between her and I

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and then she’d point to one of them and say
“what colour is that?”

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and if I get the colour right, I can eat it

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and if I get the colour wrong, SHE eats it

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this was horrible! Tears would stream down my face

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“what colour is that?”
“is it blue?”

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“it’s RED!”

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“what colour’s that one”
I’ll go “Yellow!”

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she’d say “are you sure???”

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I’d say “It’s blue!”
she said “it’s yellow!”

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she’d drilled this stuff in to my mind

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this is the way we are trained from a very early age

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to be always looking outside of ourself

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looking at the new thing that we can see

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we can learn, we can do, we can taste

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and to train the attention to come back,
therefore, is difficult

0:17:13.720,0:17:17.000
it’s actually the most natural thing in the world

0:17:17.040,0:17:18.960
just to be aware of yourself

0:17:19.440,0:17:23.080
be happy, present, breathing

0:17:23.680,0:17:26.160
and for those of you who do meditation

0:17:26.840,0:17:30.360
you know that sometimes
the mind just comes together

0:17:30.840,0:17:32.320
and it’s just there

0:17:33.800,0:17:36.240
when the mind has come together,
there really …

0:17:36.640,0:17:39.360
isn’t any need for a meditation method

0:17:39.360,0:17:40.760
you just know

0:17:41.040,0:17:44.360
that you are here, you are awake, you are present

0:17:44.560,0:17:45.760
you are bright

0:17:46.320,0:17:47.960
and very very happy

0:17:50.520,0:17:52.520
but you are not in that state, because

0:17:52.520,0:17:55.920
the mind is a machine
you’ve trained it to always be working

0:17:56.000,0:17:57.840
always be jumping around

0:17:58.600,0:18:01.360
and then you sit for 5 minutes
or you come to the temple

0:18:01.400,0:18:03.320
or you come see me

0:18:04.120,0:18:06.280
and the meditation doesn’t work

0:18:06.280,0:18:07.960
you are like
“well I can’t do meditation”

0:18:07.960,0:18:09.240
of course you can’t!

0:18:09.280,0:18:11.760
you haven’t trained yourself to do it

0:18:13.880,0:18:17.000
it’s only when you do the training
day in day out

0:18:17.000,0:18:19.240
that then you start to get these experiences

0:18:19.280,0:18:21.920
when the mind really does come together

0:18:23.520,0:18:25.720
these experiences are really

0:18:26.800,0:18:28.840
bright and clear

0:18:29.600,0:18:31.320
they are really

0:18:31.960,0:18:34.040
it’s moving into a silence

0:18:34.520,0:18:37.160
all this chattering in the mind

0:18:37.560,0:18:39.360
that you think is you

0:18:41.560,0:18:46.440
you think this is me chattering in my mind
this is me doing things

0:18:47.480,0:18:49.920
but the interesting thing is you are still there

0:18:49.920,0:18:52.360
even when the mind has completely stopped

0:18:53.640,0:18:56.440
so you start to get a sense of yourself

0:18:56.440,0:19:00.280
independent of the things that go on in the mind

0:19:01.640,0:19:04.720
this is important for enlightenment
which is ‘unconditioned’

0:19:04.720,0:19:09.360
but I’ll go into the nature of enlightenment another time

0:19:11.240,0:19:13.520
so moving into this silence

0:19:13.520,0:19:16.400
this is the mystic path

0:19:16.400,0:19:20.320
all religions have the exoteric path

0:19:21.000,0:19:24.280
the teachings that they have ‘outside’
that you should do this ..

0:19:24.280,0:19:26.720
and you shouldn’t do that ..
and the world was created

0:19:26.720,0:19:29.320
in this way, at that time, and blah blah blah

0:19:29.360,0:19:30.480
The stories

0:19:31.920,0:19:33.480
that’s the exoteric

0:19:33.960,0:19:37.560
Buddhism has plenty of stories too

0:19:38.640,0:19:42.200
you know when the Buddha was born,
his mother was standing up

0:19:45.120,0:19:47.240
and then he’s born, and he lands on his feet

0:19:47.240,0:19:49.160
and he takes 7 steps

0:19:49.400,0:19:53.600
and a lotus flower appears under
each footstep as he walks

0:19:55.000,0:19:57.240
Buddhism has it’s stories too

0:19:57.360,0:20:00.640
actually they are beautiful stories

0:20:00.720,0:20:04.000
and stories are not supposed to be literally true

0:20:08.280,0:20:11.080
there comes a point where all of this

0:20:11.280,0:20:13.680
exoteric teachings

0:20:14.000,0:20:16.200
for all religions have these

0:20:16.560,0:20:19.120
but they also have the esoteric teachings

0:20:19.120,0:20:23.360
which is the .. I would call the mystic path

0:20:23.560,0:20:28.240
like most men I like to think of myself
as a bit of a mystery

0:20:28.520,0:20:30.120
bit of an enigma

0:20:31.160,0:20:33.080
still waters run deep
[English saying]

0:20:34.880,0:20:37.200
the mystic path is

0:20:37.560,0:20:40.680
the side of religion
the side of the …

0:20:41.240,0:20:45.040
that turns the attention around and goes inwards

0:20:45.320,0:20:50.440
and every religion
and not even religion – every cutlure

0:20:50.640,0:20:54.720
has a teaching … has a group of people

0:20:54.760,0:20:57.320
that have at some point wanted to

0:20:57.560,0:21:04.240
retreat a little bit from society, to turn the attention around and go into this mystery

0:21:05.200,0:21:07.560
the mystery is ‘What Are You?’

0:21:08.760,0:21:12.280
and the real way to find out what you are

0:21:12.280,0:21:15.000
is to stop all the things that you think you are

0:21:15.880,0:21:18.360
then you start to get this clear

0:21:18.560,0:21:21.160
understanding of the direction

0:21:21.160,0:21:24.280
of what you actually are, what you really are

0:21:26.760,0:21:29.720
So this … path

0:21:30.160,0:21:34.840
in order to turn the attention around and see this silence

0:21:34.920,0:21:36.720
be with this silence

0:21:37.040,0:21:39.520
it’s really the most beautiful thing

0:21:40.640,0:21:43.920
sometimes if you are meditating well

0:21:43.920,0:21:47.080
and you do your meditation before you go to sleep

0:21:47.080,0:21:50.960
which is not allowed by the way!
That doesn’t count to your 20 minutes!

0:21:51.640,0:21:55.120
you have to do the 20 minutes sitting at some point

0:21:56.160,0:21:59.680
then when you go to bed you can do extra

0:21:59.960,0:22:01.600
5 minutes, 10 minutes,

0:22:01.840,0:22:06.040
if you are doing your meditation as you go to sleep

0:22:06.040,0:22:07.120
as your only meditation

0:22:07.160,0:22:10.480
you start to draw that association in the mind

0:22:10.480,0:22:12.280
meditation is falling asleep

0:22:14.720,0:22:16.800
sometimes you can feel

0:22:17.760,0:22:19.600
just as you are waking up

0:22:19.840,0:22:22.120
the meditation wakes up first

0:22:23.240,0:22:25.880
you become bright and clear and mindful

0:22:26.000,0:22:29.920
but you have no memory of who you are
or what you are doing, or

0:22:30.640,0:22:33.960
and just for that time you are very very happy

0:22:34.880,0:22:37.600
and then the mind starts to crank up

0:22:38.120,0:22:40.040
“oh, I’ve got to go to work today”

0:22:40.040,0:22:43.240
“I’ve got to feed the baby, I’ve got to buy the…”

0:22:43.560,0:22:45.840
“something. I have to pay my bills …”

0:22:45.840,0:22:48.640
and this mind that cranks up, and you see it

0:22:48.880,0:22:52.040
like – wow, that’s really, kind of, suffering

0:22:54.160,0:22:55.240
If you

0:22:56.520,0:23:00.520
can really meditate well, as you’re waking up

0:23:01.840,0:23:05.440
you can even know
which breath it was that you woke up on

0:23:05.440,0:23:07.480
the in-breath or the out-breath

0:23:08.200,0:23:09.400
do you believe me?

0:23:12.760,0:23:15.120
I heard this said for many years

0:23:15.120,0:23:19.160
and I was a little doubtful –
I thought this was one of those stories

0:23:19.440,0:23:21.480
meditation teachers tell

0:23:22.880,0:23:25.000
and then one day I woke up

0:23:26.480,0:23:29.840
I knew which breath I woke up on!
This is fantastic!

0:23:30.520,0:23:32.280
and I called my friend and I said

0:23:32.280,0:23:35.080
“you know that thing where you know which breath you woke up on”

0:23:35.080,0:23:37.720
I said “I did it, I did it this morning, I knew!”

0:23:39.120,0:23:41.520
and he said
“which one was it?”

0:23:42.280,0:23:45.520
“I can’t remember now” 🙁

0:23:47.160,0:23:51.400
It’s also said that you know
which breath that you fell asleep on

0:23:52.200,0:23:56.480
I haven’t done that one myself – I haven’t got there yet

0:23:57.560,0:24:04.720
So, how do we start to enter into this mystery?

0:24:06.080,0:24:09.880
according to the Buddha,
the first thing that we have to do

0:24:09.880,0:24:12.520
is dis-entangle from the world

0:24:13.400,0:24:19.920
this dis-entanglement is the job that we are doing
with insight meditation

0:24:20.760,0:24:23.280
and there are various ways that we do that

0:24:23.320,0:24:28.400
but this week I want to concentrate on
the primary way that we can use

0:24:28.400,0:24:30.200
there’s a very clear mechanism

0:24:30.360,0:24:36.880
there’s a very clear tool for this
practicing this dis-entanglement

0:24:37.680,0:24:40.400
this is called Samatha-Vipassana

0:24:42.240,0:24:45.920
the word ‘Samatha’ means tranquility

0:24:47.160,0:24:51.400
it’s closely connected to ‘Samadhi’
which means ‘concentration’

0:24:52.000,0:24:55.160
the idea that when you concentrate on an object

0:24:55.200,0:24:59.240
the mind will become calm
will become kind of damped down

0:25:00.040,0:25:02.600
and become very blissful in many cases

0:25:04.400,0:25:06.720
and ‘vipassana’ is ‘mindfulness’

0:25:07.240,0:25:12.320
or ‘insight’
seeing and knowing what’s actually happening

0:25:12.920,0:25:17.520
so these 2 practices go in tandem
they go hand in hand

0:25:18.400,0:25:22.640
and there is something of a debate
some people say

0:25:22.840,0:25:26.160
you must do concentration first

0:25:26.160,0:25:29.160
until you get to prefect states of concentration

0:25:29.320,0:25:31.000
then you can do vipassana

0:25:32.680,0:25:34.760
and the other side is to say
“no no no”

0:25:34.760,0:25:36.680
concentration – that is just …

0:25:37.000,0:25:38.920
making yourself calm

0:25:39.360,0:25:41.200
doesn’t do anything for you

0:25:41.200,0:25:43.520
what you need to do is insight meditation

0:25:44.000,0:25:45.800
you need to be learning

0:25:46.800,0:25:49.080
developing qualities

0:25:50.120,0:25:52.320
when you go back to the original suttas

0:25:52.320,0:25:55.720
actually there was not really any difference between these 2

0:25:55.720,0:25:58.560
the Buddha himself never made a clear distinction

0:25:58.560,0:26:02.920
he never said this is one kind of practice
and that’s another kind of [right] practice

0:26:03.080,0:26:06.040
both of these were part and parcel of the path

0:26:07.520,0:26:10.800
so in this particular exercise for this week

0:26:10.840,0:26:13.680
Samatha-Vipassana exercise

0:26:14.160,0:26:17.840
what I am suggesting for you to do

0:26:17.880,0:26:22.200
or the tool that I am offering up
for you to pick up and use

0:26:23.720,0:26:27.320
is one of concentrating on your meditation object

0:26:27.760,0:26:31.640
just like we were last week, counting the breaths, focusing on the breathing

0:26:33.960,0:26:41.040
but now start to take more note
of the things that pull you away from the concentration

0:26:43.400,0:26:48.040
bringing those things,
those distractions in to the attention

0:26:48.040,0:26:51.240
that’s how you start to dis-entangle from the world

0:26:52.840,0:26:57.880
it’s this en-tanglement
that makes your meditation difficult

0:26:58.920,0:27:00.960
because you say to yourself
“OK I’m going to sit”

0:27:01.000,0:27:03.440
“I’m going to watch my breath like a big gorilla”

0:27:03.960,0:27:05.400
“just sit and breath”

0:27:06.720,0:27:10.080
and unfortunately your mind has other ideas

0:27:10.760,0:27:14.080
the mind decides:
“no no no – now is the time to go worrying”

0:27:14.680,0:27:17.760
“something my mother said to me 35 years ago”

0:27:18.320,0:27:23.440
“now is the time to start thinking about
my retirement 35 years in the future”

0:27:23.680,0:27:29.440
“now is the time to start planning out
the design of the new building I’m going to build”

0:27:30.160,0:27:31.240
etc

0:27:32.320,0:27:34.800
the mind going like a machine, right?

0:27:34.880,0:27:40.840
so it’s this entanglement that’s
pulling the mind out of the meditation

0:27:41.320,0:27:44.520
and every time something comes up into your mind

0:27:45.760,0:27:48.200
it comes up with an attachment

0:27:48.600,0:27:52.480
now by attachment what I mean, it’s like a little string

0:27:53.960,0:27:59.000
and the idea, the thought, the concept, the hope, the dream, the desire

0:27:59.080,0:28:00.040
what ever it is

0:28:01.120,0:28:03.800
when it arises, it’s only just arisen

0:28:03.800,0:28:07.280
it’s not something that’s actually been there for 20 years

0:28:07.280,0:28:10.360
it is something that has just arisen into consciousness

0:28:11.360,0:28:13.680
and it arises with this attachment

0:28:13.680,0:28:16.960
and the attachment is like a little string that tugs you

0:28:16.960,0:28:18.600
that tugs on your attention

0:28:19.360,0:28:24.000
“come think about me! Come be with me!
Come plan this thing out!”

0:28:25.720,0:28:28.040
maybe a thought – past or the future

0:28:28.120,0:28:30.240
it may be a feeling in the body

0:28:30.240,0:28:33.840
you may want to meditate, but your knee has other ideas

0:28:34.320,0:28:36.800
“oh come and think about me instead!”

0:28:38.080,0:28:41.520
it may be a noise or a sound that’s going on around you

0:28:41.520,0:28:43.480
something you like, or something you dislike

0:28:45.400,0:28:46.800
it’s just arisen

0:28:48.560,0:28:51.640
you know, outside my window in the temple

0:28:51.960,0:28:52.880
are

0:28:54.280,0:28:56.760
did you catch that one??

0:28:58.360,0:29:01.200
are 2500 school girls

0:29:01.640,0:29:03.320
and they make a lot of noise!

0:29:03.400,0:29:07.160
actually the teachers make more noise than they do …

0:29:09.640,0:29:11.120
and I don’t like it

0:29:11.760,0:29:12.880
to be honest

0:29:14.120,0:29:19.320
and I have dreams sometimes of hanging enormous speakers outside my window ..

0:29:20.200,0:29:24.240
what I heard is – if you make a recording
of the sound that’s coming in

0:29:24.320,0:29:27.280
and you play it back but slightly out of sync

0:29:27.280,0:29:29.520
it makes people thoroughly disorientated

0:29:29.920,0:29:32.920
so I’ve had dreams of plans of doing this

0:29:35.160,0:29:36.920
but you know what happens?

0:29:37.800,0:29:41.320
I can’t stay annoyed at that sound for very long

0:29:41.800,0:29:45.560
usually it lasts for an hour or so in the morning
that’s OK

0:29:45.560,0:29:49.080
sometimes they have these concerts that go on all day

0:29:49.080,0:29:52.920
and it’ll rattle the coffee cup across your table
It’s so loud!

0:29:53.920,0:29:56.560
I can’t stay annoyed at it all day

0:29:56.840,0:30:03.560
the annoyance, or the non-acceptance is just those moments when my mind condenses around that thing

0:30:04.440,0:30:07.200
I’ll be sitting there doing my thing, quite happy

0:30:07.240,0:30:10.000
and then suddenly I’ll think
“arrrgh! that noise!”

0:30:10.000,0:30:11.760
or “arrgh! I’m going to move”

0:30:12.160,0:30:15.360
“arrgh! Can I go and stay in Ariyasom!?”

0:30:17.680,0:30:21.360
and just at that moment, when I’ve pulled it into conscious awareness

0:30:21.360,0:30:23.680
That’s
that little string

0:30:24.000,0:30:26.280
that idea has just occurred

0:30:26.760,0:30:28.840
it’s tugging on your attention

0:30:29.080,0:30:34.040
“come think about me! Be with me!
Feel me, feel me! – It’s important”

0:30:35.640,0:30:39.720
and what happens is,
if you don’t follow that line of thinking

0:30:40.080,0:30:41.400
it fizzles

0:30:41.880,0:30:43.160
fizzles out

0:30:43.160,0:30:47.880
even if it’s something very big and important in your life
It will just fizzle out

0:30:47.880,0:30:49.360
all by itself

0:30:50.040,0:30:53.000
unless you feed it with thoughts

0:30:54.000,0:30:58.160
they’re like little trolls –
you know a troll, under the bridge

0:30:58.800,0:31:02.240
on internet forums they say
“don’t feed the trolls”

0:31:02.720,0:31:05.880
when someone’s making
deliberately inflammatory comments

0:31:05.880,0:31:09.600
and you write back –
that just feeds them and gets them more interested

0:31:10.280,0:31:13.320
people do this from time to time on my facebook

0:31:14.160,0:31:16.960
they put in a real troll comment

0:31:17.360,0:31:20.760
and I just don’t respond
and they go and troll somewhere else

0:31:21.800,0:31:23.640
If you don’t feed it

0:31:24.040,0:31:27.400
it will fizzle out by itself
it’s very interesting

0:31:28.000,0:31:28.800
So

0:31:29.680,0:31:33.840
you’re sitting there quite calm,
you’re quite happy, you’re doing your meditation

0:31:33.840,0:31:36.200
and then this thing pops up into your head!

0:31:36.240,0:31:38.480
“come and think about me!”

0:31:39.200,0:31:41.360
don’t feed it with more thoughts

0:31:42.720,0:31:45.560
then it will die out by itself

0:31:47.280,0:31:50.160
why do these things come up?
They come up because of karma

0:31:50.160,0:31:52.080
because you’ve thought about them

0:31:52.360,0:31:57.400
appreciated them, cherished them
you’ve had desire around them in the past

0:31:58.200,0:32:00.840
it’s a habit – Karma is just a habit

0:32:03.080,0:32:07.320
So you feel this tugging in the mind
during the meditation

0:32:07.360,0:32:12.320
and you stop – and you say
I’m not going to follow after that line of thinking

0:32:13.400,0:32:16.360
now it may be there – you don’t have to solve it

0:32:16.760,0:32:18.920
that’s thinking about it right?

0:32:20.160,0:32:24.800
so fighting against it
isn’t really going to work very well

0:32:25.040,0:32:27.240
you can do it in some cases but

0:32:27.240,0:32:29.760
for the moment I wouldn’t recommend it

0:32:31.360,0:32:34.840
but feeling that pull, that tug, that attention

0:32:38.200,0:32:39.160
So …

0:32:42.080,0:32:46.520
where … these ideas are popping up

0:32:46.680,0:32:51.280
due to karma
because you’ve had them in the past

0:32:52.760,0:33:00.040
because of society, because of adverts
because of something somebody said to you

0:33:00.040,0:33:02.320
that you didn’t even notice

0:33:03.800,0:33:06.000
I had this boss one time

0:33:06.560,0:33:11.320
I was working as a wash-up in a restaurant
when I was about 16 I think

0:33:12.440,0:33:15.360
and our head chef – his name was Adam

0:33:16.320,0:33:20.240
and he was quite a tough character actually

0:33:20.960,0:33:25.680
and like all chefs, everywhere in the world
-this is absolute truth-

0:33:25.800,0:33:31.240
no matter what country you’re in
or whatever restaurant you’re in

0:33:31.920,0:33:36.280
chefs are bad tempered egotistical maniacs

0:33:39.360,0:33:44.680
years after this I actually worked as a chef
and I was exactly the same ..

0:33:45.120,0:33:46.800
it’s the nature of the job

0:33:48.520,0:33:52.600
and so when he would get in one of his funks
when things weren’t going right

0:33:52.600,0:33:56.160
I had this sure fired way to calm him down

0:33:56.760,0:34:03.080
I knew that he had this ..
liking for the really stupid song

0:34:03.320,0:34:04.880
She Was Only Sixteen

0:34:05.560,0:34:07.000
do you know that song?

0:34:08.560,0:34:10.480
shall I sing it?

0:34:15.040,0:34:19.440
she was only 16, she was only 16
she was too young to know

0:34:20.960,0:34:23.560
so what I would do is
if he was in a bad mood

0:34:23.560,0:34:26.440
I would go walking by him
and I would go –

0:34:26.760,0:34:31.000
“she was only 16, she was only 16”
and then go off

0:34:31.440,0:34:35.800
within 10 minutes he’d be happy as a little lamb
doing his cheffing

0:34:36.200,0:34:39.800
“she was only 16, only 16 ..”
he had no idea at all

0:34:39.880,0:34:41.760
that idea came from me

0:34:41.840,0:34:44.240
that I’d planted that into his brain

0:34:44.480,0:34:49.200
and flipped him like a remote control
I could flip his mood by doing this

0:34:50.680,0:34:56.200
I hope that one day he sees one of these videos and
“OH – It was YOU who was doing that!”

0:34:57.840,0:35:03.160
where do all these ideas come from?
that pop up into our brain

0:35:03.320,0:35:06.240
there’s too much, it’s too complicated to figure out

0:35:08.320,0:35:10.760
you know of an English breakfast right?

0:35:10.840,0:35:12.440
bacon, egg, sausage

0:35:13.680,0:35:16.000
or an American breakfast

0:35:16.480,0:35:19.080
bacon, egg, sausage x 2

0:35:22.480,0:35:24.720
do you know where that comes from?

0:35:25.520,0:35:27.120
Edward Bernays

0:35:27.720,0:35:30.200
he was Freud’s nephew

0:35:31.000,0:35:34.600
and he was employed
as an advertising man

0:35:34.680,0:35:37.640
by a bacon company
to sell more bacon

0:35:38.560,0:35:44.640
so he invented the whole idea of this English breakfast, where you have bacon for breakfast

0:35:44.640,0:35:49.880
before him nobody would have dreamed
of having this heavy, salty, oily, fatty ..

0:35:49.880,0:35:52.480
thing for breakfast – it doesn’t make any sense!

0:35:52.680,0:35:55.880
he put that idea in your head,
to sell bacon

0:35:58.160,0:36:01.320
and what he thought was
“well, people eat this much bacon”

0:36:01.320,0:36:03.400
“I advertise – they eat that much bacon”

0:36:03.560,0:36:07.440
“but if I make people who wouldn’t
normally eat bacon, eat it

0:36:07.440,0:36:11.160
“or at a time they wouldn’t normally eat it,
to eat it at that time”

0:36:11.160,0:36:13.920
“I will quadruple the the sales of bacon”
and it worked!

0:36:14.120,0:36:15.280
and we still eat

0:36:16.360,0:36:17.800
bacon and eggs for

0:36:18.560,0:36:20.640
English or American breakfast

0:36:21.760,0:36:24.520
same for Claude Hopkins

0:36:25.080,0:36:30.280
he didn’t invent toothpaste
but he made everybody in the world use toothpaste

0:36:31.680,0:36:34.160
I’ll tell you that story another time

0:36:34.160,0:36:38.080
the point is that these thoughts and ideas
that pop up into your head

0:36:38.080,0:36:41.160
you’re doing your meditation
and all these little ideas come

0:36:41.320,0:36:44.040
and when they come into your mind
they have a little tug

0:36:44.040,0:36:45.640
they’re pulling on your attention

0:36:46.240,0:36:49.800
where did the ideas come from?
where does all this stuff come from?

0:36:49.800,0:36:51.880
we don’t need to analyse

0:36:52.840,0:36:54.520
but don’t follow after it

0:36:55.400,0:36:57.800
if you want to enter into the mystery

0:36:57.800,0:37:01.200
if you want to turn the attention around
and bring it inwards

0:37:01.680,0:37:03.760
enter into the silence

0:37:04.000,0:37:06.880
enter into the really beautiful, majestic

0:37:06.960,0:37:11.320
states of meditation
all of these will come through the silence

0:37:13.480,0:37:18.920
so in order to do that we have to practice
letting go of that one small thing at a time

0:37:19.600,0:37:23.160
that idea that has just popped up into your mind

0:37:23.520,0:37:25.160
that you need to let go of

0:37:26.000,0:37:29.920
letting go is not about letting go of big things in your life

0:37:30.800,0:37:35.920
letting go of your children, your health
letting go of your childhood

0:37:36.400,0:37:40.520
try doing that!
you have to pay a therapist a lot of money

0:37:41.320,0:37:43.120
in order to do that

0:37:45.840,0:37:48.640
letting go doesn’t come with big things

0:37:48.800,0:37:52.840
letting go comes with little things
one breath at a time

0:37:52.840,0:37:54.440
one small thing at a time

0:37:56.040,0:38:00.440
so when the ..
you’re sitting in meditation and something comes up

0:38:00.440,0:38:03.560
and starts pulling on your attention – you stop

0:38:04.720,0:38:07.960
make a note of what that thing was

0:38:10.360,0:38:13.880
then drop it,
come back to your meditation

0:38:14.680,0:38:17.720
now when I day “drop it”
don’t worry if it stays there

0:38:17.840,0:38:21.360
what you are doing is dropping
the following after it

0:38:21.560,0:38:25.240
dropping the attention that you are giving to it

0:38:25.960,0:38:27.640
turn away in your mind

0:38:28.880,0:38:32.160
but your attention comes back
to your meditation object

0:38:32.520,0:38:34.160
every time you do that

0:38:34.760,0:38:38.640
you are practicing just that little bit
of the letting go

0:38:40.200,0:38:42.040
of the thing that has arisen

0:38:42.800,0:38:45.680
then later you can let go of big things

0:38:48.040,0:38:54.040
I find that in my life I have plenty of things
that annoy me and get my attention

0:38:54.560,0:38:57.760
if you give me half an hour
just to stop

0:38:57.960,0:39:00.800
do my practice
I let go of everything

0:39:01.880,0:39:06.360
it’s only when you’ve let go of everything that the mind is really able to turn around

0:39:06.680,0:39:09.400
come back inwards
enter into the silence

0:39:10.680,0:39:14.640
and then these majestic mind states start to manifest

0:39:19.200,0:39:25.240
So we do this …
one small thing at a time

0:39:26.040,0:39:29.040
think of it as like exercising a muscle

0:39:30.000,0:39:33.800
my friend over in the dance center,
she is a ballet teacher

0:39:33.800,0:39:36.680
and she says
“if you don’t keep practicing your ballet”

0:39:36.680,0:39:42.480
“you don’t strengthen those particular muscles
around in your legs”

0:39:43.600,0:39:48.520
“and if you don’t exercise them daily
you can never be a ballet dancer”

0:39:48.520,0:39:51.320
so that’s what we are doing with the meditation

0:39:51.480,0:39:52.840
Samatha-Vipassana

0:39:53.080,0:39:58.480
Sanatha – concentration – means you are focusing on the breath as your core

0:39:58.800,0:40:00.960
as your place to come back to

0:40:01.520,0:40:06.520
Vipassana means –
you’re paying attention to what distracts you

0:40:08.120,0:40:11.720
but you are willing to drop that thing and come back

0:40:12.240,0:40:18.640
so pure vipassana – we forget about the meditation object and we just focus on the thing that’s arisen

0:40:19.120,0:40:22.560
but in Samatha-Vipassana
mixing these two methods together

0:40:22.920,0:40:23.800
you are

0:40:24.720,0:40:27.360
noting where your attention has gone to

0:40:27.400,0:40:30.440
and then returning to your meditation object

0:40:32.480,0:40:35.640
so if a sound arises – sound of the baby

0:40:35.840,0:40:37.760
sound of the air conditioner

0:40:37.760,0:40:40.120
sound of someone going to the bathroom

0:40:40.520,0:40:43.000
attracts your attention –
you stop

0:40:43.720,0:40:45.440
“hearing hearing ..”

0:40:46.640,0:40:49.040
come back to your meditation object

0:40:50.440,0:40:52.600
if it’s a thought that has arisen

0:40:53.480,0:40:56.040
you can just note
“thinking thinking”

0:40:56.960,0:40:59.600
if you want you may distinguish between

0:40:59.640,0:41:03.280
past or future
planning or worrying

0:41:03.320,0:41:07.240
if you’re thinking about the past
usually you are worrying

0:41:08.080,0:41:11.160
there’s not many people think about
the good things in the past

0:41:11.920,0:41:15.600
and if you’re thinking about the future
usually it’s planning

0:41:15.600,0:41:20.520
because usually you’re thinking about
the good things in the future that you want to get

0:41:22.000,0:41:28.920
but don’t get too caught up in trying to find the right label for what the experience is

0:41:29.760,0:41:32.600
don’t think
“well is this thinking … is this ”

0:41:32.600,0:41:37.960
“I’m thinking, but I’m thinking about some song that I heard .. is that in the past?”

0:41:38.000,0:41:39.360
“or the present?”

0:41:39.600,0:41:43.160
“and is that hearing, or is that internal or … ?”

0:41:43.360,0:41:45.280
then you’ve lost the meditation

0:41:46.240,0:41:48.440
we’re only using the label

0:41:48.840,0:41:53.440
in order to be able to let go of that thing

0:41:54.520,0:41:57.640
how is it letting go?
well, if something arises

0:41:57.800,0:41:59.840
something that you dislike

0:42:00.160,0:42:04.000
something that happened that you don’t like
and it arises

0:42:04.000,0:42:06.480
and you stop
and you note ‘thinking thinking’

0:42:06.920,0:42:10.520
you’ve separated yourself from that topic

0:42:10.920,0:42:14.200
you’ve become a person who is witnessing

0:42:14.800,0:42:18.320
that thinking, rather than being caught up in the thinking

0:42:20.180,0:42:21.500
if it’s desiring

0:42:21.940,0:42:25.040
you’ve become a person who is witnessing the desiring

0:42:25.040,0:42:27.860
rather than one who is caught up in the desiring

0:42:30.800,0:42:33.360
you know, I was walking past Klong Thom

0:42:33.800,0:42:37.320
a while back
this is my favorite area – Thieves Market

0:42:37.680,0:42:38.840
It’s where they sell …

0:42:39.220,0:42:43.520
the one thing in this world where I have never been able to let go of my desire for

0:42:43.960,0:42:44.840
power tools!

0:42:48.980,0:42:51.440
and I was walking past the Makita shop

0:42:51.440,0:42:57.360
and there was this twin….
14 volt, twin battery, rapid charge

0:42:57.360,0:43:00.260
Makita cordless poser drill with hammer action

0:43:02.160,0:43:04.720
and I just had to have it
I just ….

0:43:05.180,0:43:09.680
this little lawyer appeared on my shoulder and
“you really need this ”

0:43:10.120,0:43:14.120
I haven’t drilled a hole in 10 years, but
no no – you need this!

0:43:15.500,0:43:19.380
then the little monk appears and like
“you don’t need it – you can let go of it”

0:43:19.700,0:43:22.080
and then this guy says
“no no no you can use it!”

0:43:22.140,0:43:24.460
you can drill holes for other people

0:43:27.760,0:43:30.960
“this isn’t selfish!
this is for other people!”

0:43:30.960,0:43:33.080
“you can go and help them with their things”

0:43:33.140,0:43:36.580
“this is an act of compassion if you buy this drill!”

0:43:38.500,0:43:41.200
now I’m in it
I’m in the story right?!

0:43:42.480,0:43:45.180
but if I stop and I label
“thinking”

0:43:46.120,0:43:47.080
or “wanting”

0:43:48.800,0:43:50.720
I’ve suddenly separated from it

0:43:50.760,0:43:55.360
I’m no longer wanting it
I’m witnessing a feeling of wanting arise

0:43:57.080,0:44:00.120
separated from it
I’m one step back

0:44:01.060,0:44:03.480
then I can react with more wisdom

0:44:03.480,0:44:05.420
well do I need it
do I not need it?

0:44:06.760,0:44:08.360
I didn’t get it by the way

0:44:09.880,0:44:13.280
I’m only telling you
just in case you wonder what I want for Christmas

0:44:17.720,0:44:19.820
You know I said this once to a friend of mine

0:44:19.820,0:44:21.920
he said “oh, is there anything I can get you?

0:44:22.100,0:44:24.620
and I said “now you have to be more specific than that!”

0:44:25.140,0:44:27.000
I said “now do you mean like a cappuccino?”

0:44:27.000,0:44:31.860
“or do you mean like a 14 volt, twin pack, Makita cordless powerdrill with hammer action?”

0:44:33.480,0:44:35.760
and he said
“do you want milk and sugar in that ?”

0:44:38.460,0:44:41.380
[you could say it’s to build a temple!]

0:44:41.380,0:44:46.860
Yes! it keeps me awake so I can do meditation, and get enlightened and save all world beings!

0:44:47.300,0:44:48.980
that’s what it was for …

0:44:50.500,0:44:51.860
.. the coffee was for

0:44:54.060,0:44:54.680
So

0:44:55.080,0:44:58.280
by labeling the thing that’s arisen in your mind

0:44:58.660,0:45:00.700
you need to make this into a habit

0:45:01.860,0:45:04.740
just like 353 5536

0:45:04.740,0:45:08.080
that phone number I learned when I was 5 years old
I can still remember

0:45:08.540,0:45:10.860
because I made it a habit in the mind

0:45:11.680,0:45:17.880
so we develop this habit of labeling
what’s actually happening right now

0:45:19.360,0:45:22.260
this will then give you a step back from it

0:45:22.340,0:45:24.980
you are no longer involved in that state of mind

0:45:25.300,0:45:27.540
it may be that you need to follow it

0:45:28.460,0:45:32.440
you may have this thought arise
“oh I’m going to go and write my book today” …

0:45:32.900,0:45:34.920
maybe it’s time for you to write your book

0:45:35.120,0:45:36.960
you can respond with wisdom

0:45:38.320,0:45:40.680
but what it’s doing is
it’s giving you a choice

0:45:40.800,0:45:44.240
it’s giving you a space
between you and your mind

0:45:44.280,0:45:47.160
or between you and the things of the mind

0:45:47.880,0:45:50.240
so a) you can respond with wisdom

0:45:50.660,0:45:52.980
to the things that arise in the mind

0:45:53.440,0:45:57.300
and b) you get used to dis-entangling yourself

0:45:57.800,0:46:01.220
from all those things that
tug on your attention in meditation

0:46:01.560,0:46:07.180
So that your attention can turn around
stop, and start to see the silence

0:46:07.680,0:46:10.280
and these beautiful inward states

0:46:13.280,0:46:17.040
what happens to that thought, idea, emotion

0:46:17.080,0:46:21.160
when it has arisen,
when you’ve labeled it, when you’ve let go

0:46:22.280,0:46:23.680
you don’t worry about it

0:46:24.280,0:46:26.440
we’re not doing psychology here

0:46:26.700,0:46:29.500
we’re not trying to fix your childhood or .

0:46:29.940,0:46:31.380
change your constructs

0:46:32.340,0:46:34.900
meditation is like swimming

0:46:35.200,0:46:37.280
with swimming
all you have to do

0:46:37.280,0:46:39.200
is throw the water behind you

0:46:40.320,0:46:42.320
so meditation is just the same

0:46:42.700,0:46:44.900
whatever those thoughts and things are

0:46:45.100,0:46:46.380
throw it behind you

0:46:47.080,0:46:50.560
don’t worry – you’ll still get on with doing
the things you need to do in the world

0:46:53.420,0:46:54.860
is that clear enough?

0:46:56.520,0:46:59.000
so: very simple meditation practice

0:46:59.440,0:47:03.160
you sit. Watch your
meditation object

0:47:03.860,0:47:06.580
when your attention is distracted

0:47:06.660,0:47:09.300
Note
that tugging on the mind

0:47:10.780,0:47:12.060
that’s attachment

0:47:16.940,0:47:19.980
when we say that attachment causes suffering

0:47:21.080,0:47:23.600
that doesn’t mean that you’re attached to your children

0:47:23.600,0:47:25.340
you’re attached to your house

0:47:25.340,0:47:26.820
you’re attached to your job

0:47:26.820,0:47:28.600
you’re attached to your diet

0:47:28.980,0:47:31.660
all these things are important
those don’t cause suffering

0:47:32.000,0:47:33.680
they may cause suffering

0:47:35.720,0:47:37.660
but that’s not what we’re talking about

0:47:37.660,0:47:41.700
that’s the exoteric teaching
that’s what .. the external teachings ..

0:47:41.740,0:47:45.080
but the internal teaching is
when you see these things inside

0:47:45.460,0:47:47.140
attachment causes suffering

0:47:47.380,0:47:50.660
you can feel that the things that arise in the mind

0:47:51.100,0:47:52.700
pulling you like a leash

0:47:53.320,0:47:56.500
you have a leash around you
and they’re pulling you after them

0:47:57.840,0:48:00.560
freedom is freedom from that attachment

0:48:02.920,0:48:03.960
any questions ?


Comments

Meditation Course week 3: video and transcript — 1 Comment

  1. Many thanks Pandit again you have help me with my meditation ,Unfortunate icant get to your talks now and this was so good.