we make things more and more complicated.
To meditate is very simple, can you do that?
Are you willing to be simple?
Now I will give you a chance to ask questions. When I spoke about consciousness and object it is actually Næma-rþpa-pariccheda-ñæ¼a, the first insight, no being, no name, no shape, just sensation and awareness. You know that there is a sensation and there is awareness. Sensation is nature, natural phenomena and awareness is also natural phenomena. This consciousness is not a being. You are not creating it. It is happening because of the conditions. When you see the two things very clearly that
is the first insight. I’ll try to talk about the first four insights again and again to get them very clear; I don’t want to leave anything out. After the fourth the rest is quite simple. There are ten insights; the first four are the most important ones.
Awareness of object and consciousness, seeing them as natural phenomena, not a being, not a man, not a woman,
this is the first insight.
A NSWER:Buddha talked about walking meditation and said that it gives you samædhi and it is very strong, because you are moving all the time, you need to have more energy, you need to put in more energy to be in touch with the process. When something is stable it is easier to be with it and you can just relax. When something is changing and moving you have to put more effort, more energy into it and once you have developed that sort of energy, effort and developed that sort of mindfulness and you go and sit, it is quite simple and easy.
If you do that yourself you will find why. If you have a place where you can walk ten steps it is enough to do walking meditation, because each step will take a long time.
Do it with deep interest and then you go and sit mindfully and see what happens. You’ll get calmer, more peaceful and
more mindful. I suggest that you do walking meditation first and then do sitting meditation; you’ll really feel the differ-ence. For beginners it is very important to do both. But as you develop deeper and deeper samædhi, after a while you can sit for two hours and walk for one hour, and after a while you sit for three hours and walk for one hour just to give your body some exercise and you can get deeper and deeper in your samædhi.
A NSWER:In the section of Satipa¥¥hæna, there is one section about walking meditation and if you can find the commentary of that section it will give you more detailed instructions.
A NSWER:The sensitivity of the body, the skin actually, also deep in the muscles you feel something. Whatever you feel on your body you feel it because of the sensitivity of the body. Sensitivity of the eyes, sensitivity of the ear, sensitiv-ity of the nose; the nose is sensitive to smell, the tongue is sensitive to taste, the eye is sensitive to light and colours, the ear is sensitive to sound-vibration, the body is sensitive to hot or cold, hard soft, movement, vibration, tension.
A NSWER:Yes, vedanænupassanæ means you are aware of the pain; not only pain, sukhæ-vedanæ, dukkhæ-vedanæ and upekkhæ-vedanæ. What I am saying is that you are with the pain but you are not naming it anymore. In the beginning you are naming it, but after a while you don’t name it any-more, you are with the pain, whether it is dukkhæ (painful), sukhæ (pleasant), or upekkhæ (neutral), you are with the pain. Being with the pain is vedanænupassanæ; you are doing it without naming it.
A NSWER:I see… three kind of vedanæ, in the body you feel all three, dukkhæ, sukhæ and also upekkhæ. Most of the time there is some sort of light pain in the body all the time, but we don’t pay attention. When we pay attention we feel it. When there is no pain anymore you feel very light. Some-times in meditation you feel so peaceful and calm and so light, all the pain is gone: that is sukhæ-vedanæ. Sometimes there is upekkhæ vedanæ, neither pleasant nor unpleas-ant. In the eye, for the sensitivity of the eye, the vedanæ is only upekkhæ. For the smell also; the smell comes into your nose you don’t really feel pain there. You are aware of the smell only, so there is no sukhæ or dukkhæ. When you smell something terrible, your body and mind reacts to it, which is another process.
One of my friends had an accident and after that he couldn’t smell anything anymore. He might be working in a place with very bad smell but he does not react.
A NSWER:You feel more weight on another leg? Heaviness you mean, when you lift? Because it has weight you have to overcome gravity, you have to overcome the resistance, and you have to put in some effort to lift it. You know, we are so used to moving that we don’t really know how much effort it takes. To give you an example, a long time ago, we friends agreed to arrange a situation where one of us could meditate without doing anything at all for a month; it meant we just put out the bowl in front of the door, closed the door and sat and meditated. A monk took away the bowl, put in the food, and filled up all the water pots, cleaned everything and brought them back and left the bowl there. When we felt ready to eat, we opened the door, took the bowl and ate. Nobody would come and disturb us. We did that for a long time, just sitting and meditating many hours and just going out to get exercise, walking for a few minutes only to stretch your legs and then come back and continue to meditate. The eyes just dropping, the whole body becomes so relaxed that after a while it is difficult even to open your eyes. It takes so much effort to open the eyelids; you need so much energy to open your eyes. When we started talking again, you needed to develop so much energy just to talk.
The cheek muscles also became so soft, even smiling is so difficult! We are so used to this burden that we do not really know what it takes.
A NSWER:Not really, actually. In the beginning, if you do that for a few months and you start thinking, you find that it is difficult to think. It is only for a while, because we do it again and again. When I lived in my place in Myanmar, I lived there alone for at least four months. When you come out of that in the beginning it is a little bit difficult, because you don’t want to think. It is not necessary to think. But when you have to say something, you know exactly what to say without going around. You stay short and to the point, you are clear. When you want to say something you get in touch with what you want to say and say it very clearly.
Also, before we meditate we take these names, ideas, and associations very seriously but after
you meditate you know that these are just interpretations and don’t take them very seriously.
But you know the meaning.
You interpret in the same way, in the right way; you use it appropriately without taking it too seriously. You use it without being imprisoned by the concepts, ideas and names.
Concepts, idea, names, are prisons, they are useful but they
are also prisons. If we really want to free our mind we have to know what the limitations are. This is one form of reality.
It is important for our survival; if we don’t interpret things in the right way we will not survive. In the evolutionary process we have learnt to interpret things in the right way.
Especially in the forest, you are sitting there and you hear something, if you don’t interpret it the right way you’ll be eaten up by a tiger. When you hear a tiger you just shut the door. If you keep it open maybe you’ll be in trouble.
To interpret things in the right way is useful but when you want to go beyond ordinary reality
you need to leave all that behind.
A NSWER:Yes, that is true. If you can do that it is very useful to develop deep insight. For beginners I would not suggest doing that, because it is better to develop gradually.
If suddenly you ask a person go and live in that cave, in a small room, don’t come out, we will bring food, stay there for four months, that person will go crazy. We are always trying to run away from ourselves. We can’t face what is inside; there are so many things inside, all sorts of memories, emotions, feelings and desires; so much inside. If you sud-denly do that, everything will explode.
Gradually learn to do that.
It is not easy to be with yourself all the time.
If you have learnt to live with yourself, just watch and let go, without reacting.
You can develop very deep samædhi and very deep insight.
A NSWER:…it comes naturally actually, you don’t have to deliberately do anything. It happens.
If you can just do one thing, honestly, be aware of what is happening without misinterpreting anything, the rest will happen.
That is the beauty of the practice.
You know that if I am mindful honestly the rest will happen naturally.
Whatever difficulty comes into your mind, if you can be aware of that difficulty, a question comes into your mind…
I don’t know what to do… be aware of that question and let go. If you can do that your mind becomes calm again.
After a while you know what to do, you find out what to do without thinking.
Many people when they practiced with my teacher kept coming and asking one question after another. He was very patient, very kind and he answered every question but
after a while he said “be more mindful, you’ll find your own answers”. That is really very important, because now he has passed away, who is going to answer the questions?
The real name of my teacher is Venerable Dhamma-nandiya.
A NSWER:Yes; when you become very, very mindful, your mind sometimes cannot think especially when you develop some sort of samædhi and insight, although you try to divert your mind to another object it will not go there, it will come back! What do you do? Just leave it, stay there for a while and after when you feel ready to do other things, do them.
When the mind is not ready to do it, don’t force it. It is something like a hypnotic state. When you are in a hypnotic state you should not come out quickly. It is a kind of absorp-tion so take your time and slowly come out of it.
In vipassanæ also you can get very absorbed, when you are in that state; don’t force yourself
to come out quickly. Take your time.
A few minutes are enough;
just prepare your mind to come out of it.
Thinking is a burden. If you are very calm and peaceful, if there is no thought, no agitation, it is ok to stay there. It is so nice to go away from the world.
Welcome to meditation class, I am glad to see you.
Some of you come here quite early and sit and meditate. It is very encouraging to see people com-ing here to meditate. It shows that you really want to meditate, that you really like, love what you are doing.
I am only here to help you, not really here to teach you.
Only if you really want to learn you learn.
Nobody can really teach you, this is very important thing to understand.
To begin today’s meditation class I would like to begin with a question, a very simple question and the answer also is very simple. But think for a while. What is the biggest burden we are carrying? Just take a few minutes to think about it. It is very important to ask the right question and also it is very impor-tant to live the question. This idea, to live the question it is very important. Only if we live the question will we get a living answer and then we have to live the answer again. Only if we