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Paṭiccasamuppāda - Dependent Origination - Ajahn Brahmali - Part 1

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    I'll talk a little bit about
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    meditation practice
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    and then we can try to do some
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    afterwards together.
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    So, I think the most important thing
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    to realise about meditation practice
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    is that it's supposed to be
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    a positive experience.
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    Right?!
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    This may seem obvious,
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    because why else would you want to do it
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    if it isn't a positive experience?
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    It may seem obvious,
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    but as a matter of fact,
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    many of people don't experience
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    meditation as a positive experience.
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    When you start to read
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    the word of the Buddha,
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    and you start to see how he explains
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    what you might call
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    the psychology of meditation,
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    how meditation is supposed to be
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    experienced by yourself,
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    personally
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    you start to realize
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    the incredible emphasis
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    the Buddha has on this thing
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    which is called the positive experience.
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    You'll probably have a look at
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    one of those suttas later on.
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    But basically, one of those suttas
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    which talks about the psychology
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    of meditation,
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    when you read it,
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    it starts off with:
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    okay,
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    you are a virtuous person,
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    this is the foundation of all meditation,
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    is to practice virtue.
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    One of the things that unfortunately
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    is forgotten around the world,
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    people talk about mindfulness
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    and they forget about the virtue aspect.
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    Virtue means both being kind
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    and avoid doing bad things.
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    That is the foundation,
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    so once you have that
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    you can start your meditation practice
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    And then, from that virtue,
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    the Buddha starts to explain
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    from virtue you have non-regret,
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    right?
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    Non-regret is obviously
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    a positive experience already.
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    From non-regret you get gladness.
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    From gladness you get rapture, pīti.
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    From pīti you get calm,
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    calm of the mind and the body.
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    From calm comes even more happiness.
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    Gladness, rapture, happiness, calm,
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    and then from that
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    comes what is called samādhi,
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    which is the unification of the mind,
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    when the mind goes into a profound
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    state of meditation practice.
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    What you can see there,
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    one of the very important facts about this
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    is that meditation is all about happiness!
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    Almost every word the Buddha uses there
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    on how were supposed to experience it
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    is one type of happiness after the other
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    arising through
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    the right practice of meditation.
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    So make sure that when you are here
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    you don't do things which causes you
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    to feel ill at ease,
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    not relaxed
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    which created too much pain
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    and all these kind of things.
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    Because if you do that
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    there's no way you're going to be able
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    to access those positive states
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    that the Buddha is talking about.
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    This is so important,
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    and, your know,
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    it sort of seems obvious,
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    but I think human psychology
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    often gets in the way,
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    human psychology blocks you
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    from seeing that.
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    So,
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    for this reason
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    the very first thing I want to talk about
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    in regards to meditation practice
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    is what to do with the body.
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    The physical body is really the first thing.
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    What you need to know
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    about how to deal
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    with the physical body
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    is for the body to be comfortable,
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    not to sit with too much pain
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    and these kinds of things.
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    For this reason we have
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    all these great chairs at the back.
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    Don't feel shy about using the chairs.
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    You know this is not competing
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    with anyone else, right?
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    Do what you need to do to make
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    sure your own practice makes progress;
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    this is what it's all about.
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    So there's no competition here.
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    It doesn't matter what everyone else does,
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    forget about everybody else.
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    Do what you need to do.
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    It's wonderful
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    more and more these days
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    you go on meditation retreats
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    you see that chairs are coming out.
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    It's natural.
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    Most of us have grown up
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    in a society,
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    in a culture,
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    where we sit on chairs all the time.
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    When you've grown up
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    sitting on a chair all the time
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    and suddenly
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    you're told to sit on the floor
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    it actually can be very difficult.
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    So please don't be shy about
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    using the chairs.
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    Much better to be a little bit
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    more comfortable,
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    extra comfortable
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    than to be a little bit on the pain side
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    while you're sitting.
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    That is much better, so please
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    use that and please do that.
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    There's so many horror stories
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    that I've heard over the years of people
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    who don't get this kind of very basic thing.
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    One of those stories
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    when I was in Singapore
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    a few years ago...
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    One of the things as a monk,
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    you travel a lot
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    it may seem strange
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    but you actually travel a lot
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    because there's so much demand
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    for English speaking monks everywhere
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    English speaking monks
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    are very few and far between
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    so you get ferried around the world
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    by plane everywhere
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    to talk to people.
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    It's very nice,
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    it's a very nice thing to do to
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    be able to give that kind of service.
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    But it means that
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    sometimes you're in Singapore,
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    and when you're in Singapore,
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    of course, you meet Buddhist people,
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    just like here,
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    just like everywhere else.
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    I was staying in the apartment of this man.
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    He was from Kuala Lumpur originally,
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    but he was working in Singapore
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    and he was travelling back and forth
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    and very kindly offered me
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    to stay in his apartment.
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    Then one day while I was there
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    he comes to me and says
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    "Bhante, I have a question for you,
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    have you got a few minutes."
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    And of course I'm staying in his apartment
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    so of course I have a few minutes for him
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    and he says to me that,
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    "a few years ago
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    I was on this meditation retreat
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    and
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    it was the worst experience
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    of my entire life.
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    It was terrible!
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    I was in pain all the way through,
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    I felt so
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    tense
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    and so non-relaxed
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    and so completely ill at ease
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    for nine days.
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    Never, ever in my entire life do I ever
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    want to go on meditation retreat again."
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    I said, "ooh!
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    Wait a minute,
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    you're talking it too far.
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    Just because you had one bad experience
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    doesn't mean you should never
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    ever go on meditation retreat again.
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    Retreats are different.
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    There are different types of teachers
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    that teach in different ways.
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    You can't just assume
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    that everything is the same,
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    that everything is so bad."
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    But he insisted that, no,
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    he never ever wanted to meditate again
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    because the experience had been
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    so terrible, was the worst thing
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    he'd ever done in his life.
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    I couldn't really persuade him
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    so he asked me, "what should I do,"
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    Well, I don't know
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    what he should do in that case.
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    But, essentially he was turned off for life
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    in regards to meditation practice.
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    That is a very unfortunate thing
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    because the idea with meditation,
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    the idea with the spiritual path
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    is that is something
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    which develops over time.
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    When you keep practising these things,
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    when you keep doing things
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    especially in the right way,
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    when you understand what morality is
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    on the Buddhist path
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    you practice that in the right way
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    and you combine that with
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    making the mind peaceful and calm
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    then these things together are
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    incredibly powerful.
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    The longer you do it
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    there's a gradual transformation
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    of your entire character,
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    of your entire person
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    and, essentially, you are creating
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    a new personality for yourself
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    as you go through this.
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    But the effect really is most powerful
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    when you keep on doing it,
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    month after month,
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    year after year,
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    the results become very powerful
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    after a while.
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    So please make sure that you do this
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    in such a way that it encourages you
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    to keep on doing it also in the future
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    and when you feel encouraged to do it
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    also in the future
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    then the long term benefits
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    will be incredibly powerful for you,
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    and something very beneficial
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    will come out of this.
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    So don't do what this man in Singapore did.
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    He was maybe an extreme example,
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    but this is what happens sometimes
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    to people.
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    I know that there are certain types
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    of meditation retreat where only a very
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    small fraction of the people
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    come back to those retreats
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    precisely because of the amount of pain
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    and problems and tensions that
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    people experience as a
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    consequence of that practice.
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    So this is the first step,
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    allow the body to be relaxed.
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    So please use the chairs.
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    Another way, if you want to sit cross-legged,
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    it's nice to sit sometimes
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    against the wall.
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    Sit with your back against the wall.
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    Sometimes when you sit with your back
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    leaning against something,
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    you can relax a little bit better;
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    that's a nice way of doing it.
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    And, especially at the beginning
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    of any retreat.
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    I don't know what you
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    have been doing today,
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    some of you have probably been working,
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    you're probably tired.
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    When you're tired and have been working,
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    usually you need to relax first of all.
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    A good way to relax
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    is just to lean back.
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    Some of the best meditaters I know
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    they always do like that,
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    they lean back, they relax.
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    Many of you would know Ajahn Brahm,
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    Dr. Tan you would know Ajahn Brahm,
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    and Ajahn Brahm tells me that
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    when he starts out meditating
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    he always leans back.
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    Not always,
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    but when he is tired
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    or has been working hard
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    he always starts off by sitting back
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    and leaning again the wall.
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    So if Ajahn Brahm does that
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    you can do that.
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    Ajahn Brahm is just about
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    one of the best meditaters around
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    he gets into these incredibly profound
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    meditations, so if he can do that
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    anybody can do that,
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    because it is about relaxing.
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    It's about knowing what you need,
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    understanding that you need
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    to relax first of all.
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    So sit back, lean back against the wall
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    and you're okay.
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    Another monk I know,
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    is a good friend of mine,
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    he says that every time he meditates
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    every time he meditates
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    he starts off with nodding.
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    He nods for about 10 or 15 minutes
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    and then after you have nodded
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    for about 10 or 15 minutes
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    the mind clears up.
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    And then when the mind clears up,
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    then his meditation starts.
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    He's also a very good meditator,
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    but it's natural to feel tired
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    at the beginning
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    because you've been active
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    you've been socialising,
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    you've been doing all of these kind of things
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    which tire the mind,
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    so it's natural.
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    So allow the mind to be.
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    Just relax.
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    Allow the mind to be,
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    don't do anything in particular.
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    Wait for mindfulness to arise.
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    And when mindfulness arises by itself,
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    it becomes very powerful
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    and very useful.
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    So, what all of this is about,
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    and I'm going to relate it a little bit to
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    the teachings of the Buddha.
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    I'm sure you have probably heard
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    of the middle way.
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    The middle way in Buddhism
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    is essentially, in a way, on the one hand
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    not to torture the body.
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    In India in those days people would
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    torture themselves. You know, sometimes
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    you think that people lying on these
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    beds of nails, you think it's some kind of
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    cartoon caricature of India,
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    and then you open the suttas
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    and it says right there they were
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    lying on beds of nails.
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    It's actually the reality,
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    it's actually what people where doing.
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    So this was one of the ways that people
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    were practising at that time.
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    The Buddha says this is the wrong way.
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    And the other wrong way
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    is then to indulge the body.
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    Here, on a meditation retreat like this
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    you're not really going to be able to
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    indulge the very much.
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    Especially if you keep the eight precepts.
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    So forget about the indulging side.
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    The side to be careful about, is the side
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    which has to do with experiencing
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    too much pain, torturing yourself
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    thinking that: "by torture, I'm going to
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    make quick progress".
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    This is the problem,
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    the classical problem in meditation.
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    What happens when you find that middle way,
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    where you neither torture yourself,
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    nor you indulge the body
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    what happens is that the body becomes
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    irrelevant.
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    The reason why the body
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    is important to us,
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    is because either,
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    we get some pleasure through the body
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    when you get pleasure through the body
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    the body is important because
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    that's where you get your happiness.
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    Or, the body is important because
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    you get pain through the body.
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    If you get pain through the body,
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    there's something to be done with the body.
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    There is a problem there, a problem
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    that needs to be resolved.
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    The mind will always tend to go out
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    to the body, out into the world
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    rather than staying inside and watch
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    the breath, or whatever it is.
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    So this is the idea of the middle way.
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    The middle way, is a way where your body
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    is no longer important.
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    The body falls by the wayside.
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    The body becomes irrelevant.
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    Of course, we all know that meditation
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    in the end is about the mind,
  • 12:10 - 12:12
    and because the meditation
  • 12:12 - 12:13
    is about the mind
  • 12:13 - 12:15
    then getting rid of the body is precisely
  • 12:15 - 12:17
    what we want to do.
  • 12:17 - 12:19
    And that is what the middle way is about.
  • 12:19 - 12:21
    It's kind of strange, the two extremes
  • 12:21 - 12:24
    in a sense are quite close to each other
  • 12:24 - 12:26
    because the two extremes are about the body
  • 12:26 - 12:28
    and the middle way is where the body
  • 12:28 - 12:31
    falls away and the body is irrelevant.
  • 12:32 - 12:33
    So this is the point here,
  • 12:33 - 12:34
    this is what the middle way is,
  • 12:34 - 12:36
    the body is gone,
  • 12:36 - 12:37
    and when the body falls away
  • 12:37 - 12:40
    you feel so at ease.
  • 12:40 - 12:41
    So watch that.
  • 12:41 - 12:44
    If you do feel pain
  • 12:44 - 12:46
    in your meditation practice, please
  • 12:46 - 12:47
    change your posture,
  • 12:48 - 12:49
    don't think that
  • 12:49 - 12:50
    you're going to be some superhero
  • 12:50 - 12:52
    and just get enlightened now
  • 12:52 - 12:54
    on this retreat.
  • 12:54 - 12:55
    It's not going to work.
  • 12:56 - 12:57
    I know Ajahn Brahm did that.
  • 12:57 - 12:58
    He always said that when he was
  • 12:58 - 13:00
    a young man he would sit down and say:
  • 13:00 - 13:03
    "okay, I'm going to sit until I get enlightened"
  • 13:03 - 13:05
    and, of course, it didn't work.
  • 13:05 - 13:06
    But everybody has these ideas sometimes.
  • 13:06 - 13:07
    Please don't try that.
  • 13:07 - 13:09
    Enjoy the practice.
  • 13:09 - 13:11
    Sit down, if you have pain somewhere
  • 13:12 - 13:14
    get up, change your posture,
  • 13:14 - 13:16
    go out, do some walking instead,
  • 13:16 - 13:17
    do something else, if you find that.
  • 13:17 - 13:20
    These are general guidelines
  • 13:20 - 13:21
    for meditation practice.
  • 13:22 - 13:24
    Don't sit with pain, especially
  • 13:24 - 13:26
    when you feel the mind gets obsessed
  • 13:26 - 13:28
    with that pain, it goes back to it
  • 13:28 - 13:29
    again and again, you can't deal with it,
  • 13:29 - 13:32
    then the time is right to change the posture.
  • 13:34 - 13:36
    So this is number one,
  • 13:36 - 13:39
    and I am always surprised
  • 13:39 - 13:41
    how tenacious this idea is,
  • 13:41 - 13:43
    that it's okay to sit with pain,
  • 13:43 - 13:44
    how many people think
  • 13:44 - 13:46
    it is a good thing to do.
  • 13:46 - 13:47
    I think there is something deep
  • 13:47 - 13:48
    in the human psyche
  • 13:48 - 13:50
    that tends to think that
  • 13:50 - 13:51
    if you torture the body
  • 13:51 - 13:53
    you are freeing the spirit.
  • 13:53 - 13:55
    The body is like the sinful thing
  • 13:55 - 13:57
    that keeps you tied to the world
  • 13:57 - 13:59
    and if you torture that evil body a little bit,
  • 13:59 - 14:01
    then you can free the spirit,
  • 14:01 - 14:03
    then the mind gets developed
  • 14:03 - 14:05
    and you get spiritual practice from that.
  • 14:05 - 14:07
    Because it's so common in the world!
  • 14:07 - 14:08
    In Christianity they do that.
  • 14:08 - 14:11
    Christianity is famous in the Middle Ages
  • 14:11 - 14:13
    for having these people who torture themselves.
  • 14:14 - 14:16
    In Hinduism,
  • 14:16 - 14:18
    very, very famous for all the torturing;
  • 14:18 - 14:19
    you find that in the suttas.
  • 14:19 - 14:21
    In Islam, apparently, you find the same thing,
  • 14:21 - 14:23
    people torturing themselves.
  • 14:23 - 14:25
    And then you come to the one religion
  • 14:25 - 14:26
    where the emphasis is on getting away
  • 14:26 - 14:28
    from suffering, it's all about happiness
  • 14:28 - 14:30
    which is Buddhism, and then you find
  • 14:30 - 14:31
    people still do the same thing!
  • 14:31 - 14:33
    People still torture themselves
  • 14:33 - 14:34
    even in Buddhism.
  • 14:34 - 14:36
    This should be the one religion
  • 14:36 - 14:38
    where torture is absolutely prohibited,
  • 14:38 - 14:40
    and yet it still happens.
  • 14:40 - 14:43
    So I think there is something in the human
  • 14:43 - 14:46
    psyche which basically makes us feel
  • 14:46 - 14:49
    that this is the way to develop the mind.
  • 14:49 - 14:51
    If the body gets a bit tortured
  • 14:51 - 14:52
    that's okay
  • 14:52 - 14:53
    because that's just the body.
  • 14:53 - 14:55
    But actually, no, it's the other way round,
  • 14:55 - 14:58
    it's a hindrance for meditation practice
  • 14:58 - 14:58
    to work.
  • 15:00 - 15:02
    Okay, that's point number one.
  • 15:02 - 15:04
    I've said a lot about that and the reason
  • 15:04 - 15:06
    is because in my experience
  • 15:06 - 15:07
    people still don't get it.
  • 15:07 - 15:09
    Even if you talk after half an hour,
  • 15:09 - 15:12
    it still hasn't sunk in.
  • 15:12 - 15:13
    Sometimes it takes years before
  • 15:13 - 15:15
    the basic message sinks in.
  • 15:15 - 15:17
    I'm just talking from my own experience,
  • 15:17 - 15:19
    I know how stupid I am,
  • 15:19 - 15:21
    how stubborn sometimes you can be.
  • 15:21 - 15:23
    It takes a while for these things to
  • 15:23 - 15:24
    actually become clear.
  • 15:26 - 15:29
    So that is number one.
  • 15:29 - 15:31
    The second point in meditation practice
  • 15:31 - 15:35
    is, once your body is at ease,
  • 15:35 - 15:37
    the body doesn't have any pain,
  • 15:37 - 15:41
    the next thing to do is to relax the body.
  • 15:43 - 15:44
    This is one of the things you will find
  • 15:44 - 15:47
    as well, is that you come into your busy life
  • 15:47 - 15:50
    and the business of life
  • 15:50 - 15:51
    always is felt in the body.
  • 15:51 - 15:53
    You feel tensions.
  • 15:53 - 15:54
    You feel tensions in the stomach,
  • 15:54 - 15:56
    you feel tensions in the shoulders,
  • 15:56 - 15:57
    you feel tensions in the face.
  • 15:57 - 16:00
    The muscles tighten up.
  • 16:01 - 16:02
    So the first thing we need to do,
  • 16:02 - 16:03
    is to relax.
  • 16:03 - 16:06
    Again it's about finding the ease.
  • 16:06 - 16:08
    Not only do we not have any pain,
  • 16:08 - 16:10
    but you want to find the ease in the body,
  • 16:10 - 16:12
    where the body feels really nice,
  • 16:12 - 16:14
    and really good.
  • 16:15 - 16:17
    What is happening here,
  • 16:17 - 16:18
    the reason why
  • 16:18 - 16:20
    the body is tense
  • 16:20 - 16:23
    is because the mind is tense.
  • 16:23 - 16:25
    The mind is what controls the body.
  • 16:25 - 16:26
    So, if you get very stressed, of course,
  • 16:26 - 16:28
    during daily life,
  • 16:28 - 16:30
    stress will always reverberate,
  • 16:30 - 16:32
    or will make itself felt
  • 16:32 - 16:33
    in the body afterwards.
  • 16:33 - 16:36
    Mind and body are so closely connected.
  • 16:36 - 16:38
    This idea that these are separate things
  • 16:38 - 16:40
    is really a non-starter.
  • 16:40 - 16:42
    They are very, very closely connected
  • 16:42 - 16:43
    to each other.
  • 16:43 - 16:46
    It's a very useful way of learning
  • 16:46 - 16:48
    how to deal with the mind,
  • 16:48 - 16:50
    by working with the body,
  • 16:50 - 16:51
    because with the body,
  • 16:51 - 16:53
    it's very obvious what is going on.
  • 16:53 - 16:54
    You know what is happening in the body,
  • 16:54 - 16:56
    you can feel if there is any tension there
  • 16:56 - 16:58
    you can feel if there's a problem there.
  • 16:58 - 17:01
    With the mind, everything is a bit more
  • 17:01 - 17:02
    difficult to pin down.
  • 17:03 - 17:05
    So start by feeling the body.
  • 17:05 - 17:06
    What does the body feel like?
  • 17:06 - 17:09
    Start every meditation,
  • 17:09 - 17:10
    every time you do this,
  • 17:10 - 17:11
    go through the same process
  • 17:11 - 17:14
    because then you get used to a good
  • 17:14 - 17:16
    procedure of doing things after a while.
  • 17:16 - 17:19
    Start off, by just feeling the body
  • 17:19 - 17:21
    and then making the body at ease,
  • 17:21 - 17:23
    making the body relaxed,
  • 17:23 - 17:24
    feeling good about yourself,
  • 17:24 - 17:27
    feeling really, really relaxed.
  • 17:30 - 17:33
    There are many ways of doing this.
  • 17:33 - 17:36
    One way is just to take some deep breaths
  • 17:36 - 17:38
    and allowing yourself to relax.
  • 17:38 - 17:39
    Make sure you sit in a comfortable
  • 17:39 - 17:42
    posture, like leaning back so that you can
  • 17:42 - 17:44
    actually allow the body to relax.
  • 17:45 - 17:47
    Use a guided meditation with somebody
  • 17:47 - 17:51
    whose instructions you trust
  • 17:51 - 17:52
    and voice you like to listen to,
  • 17:52 - 17:54
    again that makes you feel nice and relaxed.
  • 17:54 - 17:57
    And the last part is the attitude you have.
  • 17:57 - 17:58
    The attitude is probably
  • 17:58 - 18:00
    the most important thing of all.
  • 18:00 - 18:01
    With the right attitude
  • 18:01 - 18:02
    you will relax,
  • 18:02 - 18:03
    without it, it's very, very hard.
  • 18:04 - 18:05
    Spend time doing this,
  • 18:05 - 18:08
    spend however long it takes
  • 18:08 - 18:09
    even if you spend the whole
  • 18:09 - 18:11
    meditation just relaxing
  • 18:11 - 18:12
    especially at the beginning
  • 18:12 - 18:13
    of a retreat,
  • 18:13 - 18:14
    that's fine.
  • 18:14 - 18:15
    That's good.
  • 18:15 - 18:16
    At least you feel at ease
  • 18:16 - 18:18
    and relaxed when that happens.
  • 18:18 - 18:19
    The idea, here,
  • 18:19 - 18:22
    is really to take the relaxation
  • 18:22 - 18:24
    deeper than what you normally
  • 18:24 - 18:25
    are used to.
  • 18:26 - 18:29
    Ordinary relaxation and ordinary life
  • 18:29 - 18:30
    actually often isn't all that relaxed
  • 18:30 - 18:32
    at all.
  • 18:32 - 18:32
    And you only find that out
  • 18:32 - 18:34
    once you start to meditate
  • 18:34 - 18:35
    and you get into deeper states
  • 18:35 - 18:36
    of relaxation.
  • 18:36 - 18:37
    You start to realise,
  • 18:37 - 18:39
    wow, this is really relaxed
  • 18:39 - 18:41
    I didn't know it was possible
  • 18:41 - 18:42
    to get this relaxed.
  • 18:42 - 18:43
    I had no idea, now I understand
  • 18:43 - 18:46
    what relaxation is all about.
  • 18:46 - 18:48
    The deeper your meditation goes,
  • 18:48 - 18:48
    the more you think,
  • 18:48 - 18:51
    "whoa, this is really nice!
  • 18:51 - 18:53
    The body feels so at ease."
  • 18:53 - 18:55
    The idea here is to start off
  • 18:55 - 18:56
    that process of relaxation
  • 18:56 - 18:58
    as soon as possible.
  • 18:58 - 19:01
    And the sooner you get that done
  • 19:01 - 19:02
    the more easily
  • 19:02 - 19:05
    the rest of the meditation flows along.
  • 19:05 - 19:09
    So, get that depth of relaxation
  • 19:09 - 19:11
    deeper than you had it before
  • 19:11 - 19:13
    at the very beginning,
  • 19:13 - 19:14
    by focusing on the body,
  • 19:14 - 19:16
    by sending metta to yourself,
  • 19:16 - 19:17
    having a sense of kindness
  • 19:17 - 19:19
    and compassion for yourself,
  • 19:19 - 19:20
    and you start to feel the body
  • 19:20 - 19:21
    become so easy,
  • 19:21 - 19:23
    so light.
  • 19:23 - 19:24
    It becomes so light.
  • 19:24 - 19:27
    It becomes like a tuft of cotton almost.
  • 19:27 - 19:29
    It's almost like it starts to disappear.
  • 19:29 - 19:30
    That's what I was talking about before,
  • 19:30 - 19:32
    disappearing of the body
  • 19:32 - 19:34
    which you do by not having any pain,
  • 19:34 - 19:36
    but it disappears even more
  • 19:36 - 19:38
    when you feel really at ease
  • 19:38 - 19:39
    about the body.
  • 19:40 - 19:43
    You find yourself so light,
  • 19:43 - 19:44
    so easy,
  • 19:45 - 19:46
    unless you fall asleep,
  • 19:46 - 19:47
    in which case you feel heavy,
  • 19:47 - 19:48
    that's the alternative.
  • 19:48 - 19:49
    That's okay.
  • 19:49 - 19:50
    If you fall asleep that's fine.
  • 19:50 - 19:52
    Please, fall asleep,
  • 19:52 - 19:54
    falling asleep is not a bad thing.
  • 19:54 - 19:55
    It is very, very common,
  • 19:55 - 19:56
    you've in very good company if you
  • 19:56 - 19:58
    fall asleep. Allow that tiredness
  • 19:58 - 20:00
    to wear off and then the
  • 20:00 - 20:01
    lightness of the mind comes afterwards.
  • 20:02 - 20:03
    So, either you feel very heavy
  • 20:03 - 20:05
    when you do this and you fall asleep,
  • 20:05 - 20:08
    or the mind tends to feel light.
  • 20:08 - 20:10
    It tends to go either one way or the other.
  • 20:12 - 20:13
    When this happens,
  • 20:13 - 20:16
    because you are feeling so much at ease,
  • 20:16 - 20:18
    you are feeling so good about yourself,
  • 20:18 - 20:20
    so good in the body, good in everything,
  • 20:20 - 20:23
    mindfulness starts to arise.
  • 20:25 - 20:26
    What is mindfulness?
  • 20:26 - 20:27
    Mindfulness is basically
  • 20:27 - 20:29
    about the ability to stay in the
  • 20:29 - 20:32
    present moment, to be aware
  • 20:32 - 20:33
    of what is happening in the
  • 20:33 - 20:35
    here and now, that is what mindfulness
  • 20:35 - 20:37
    is about. Mindfulness is not about
  • 20:37 - 20:39
    fantasizing. If you think about future,
  • 20:39 - 20:40
    or you think about the past,
  • 20:40 - 20:42
    or you fantasize about all kind of things,
  • 20:42 - 20:43
    that's not mindfulness.
  • 20:43 - 20:45
    Mindfulness is about the ability to
  • 20:45 - 20:46
    just be here and now.
  • 20:46 - 20:48
    Be in this present moment.
  • 20:48 - 20:49
    Be in this room.
  • 20:49 - 20:51
    Be right here in front of you,
  • 20:51 - 20:52
    being able to watch the breath,
  • 20:52 - 20:54
    that is what mindfulness is about.
  • 20:54 - 20:58
    And mindfulness arises especially
  • 20:58 - 21:00
    when you feel good.
  • 21:00 - 21:01
    If you don't feel good
  • 21:01 - 21:03
    the mind wants to escape,
  • 21:03 - 21:05
    but if the present moment is the
  • 21:05 - 21:06
    pleasant moment...
  • 21:06 - 21:07
    It's an easy one to remember:
  • 21:07 - 21:09
    present moment is the pleasant moment
  • 21:09 - 21:12
    then the mindfulness tends to arise
  • 21:12 - 21:14
    as a consequence.
  • 21:14 - 21:17
    So this is a very easy path.
  • 21:17 - 21:18
    All you have to do is relax.
  • 21:18 - 21:21
    All you have to do is just to feel at ease,
  • 21:21 - 21:24
    and when you do that in the right way,
  • 21:24 - 21:27
    then mindfulness comes all by itself.
  • 21:27 - 21:28
    This is the trick of this path,
  • 21:28 - 21:30
    this is the trick of this whole practice,
  • 21:30 - 21:33
    is that you don't actually have to do anything,
  • 21:33 - 21:34
    you don't have to exert yourself,
  • 21:34 - 21:36
    you don't have to use a lot of will power,
  • 21:36 - 21:38
    there's not a lot of stuff that you have to do,
  • 21:38 - 21:40
    because the whole doing business, actually,
  • 21:40 - 21:42
    is what tires you out in the first place.
  • 21:42 - 21:44
    All this doing makes the mind busy
  • 21:44 - 21:45
    it makes you active,
  • 21:45 - 21:46
    then when you come back home after
  • 21:46 - 21:48
    a long day's work, you feel
  • 21:48 - 21:50
    completely exhausted, that's because
  • 21:50 - 21:52
    of all the doing that you've been doing.
  • 21:52 - 21:54
    So this is the natural way
  • 21:54 - 21:55
    for mindfulness to arise
  • 21:55 - 21:58
    and when mindfulness arises naturally,
  • 21:58 - 22:00
    it is easy, it is pleasant, it is happy
  • 22:00 - 22:03
    and you feel so good about these things.
  • 22:04 - 22:06
    So this is the way.
  • 22:06 - 22:09
    And one of the things to avoid here...
  • 22:09 - 22:13
    this is almost becoming a kind of
  • 22:13 - 22:16
    taboo word in Buddhism, in meditation,
  • 22:16 - 22:18
    is the word 'concentration'.
  • 22:18 - 22:20
    I'm sure you have heard the word 'concentration'
  • 22:20 - 22:21
    being used.
  • 22:21 - 22:23
    People say I've got to concentrate,
  • 22:23 - 22:24
    concentrate on the breath,
  • 22:24 - 22:26
    concentrate on things,
  • 22:26 - 22:29
    but be very careful with words like that
  • 22:29 - 22:32
    because, the word 'concentration'
  • 22:32 - 22:34
    in the English language, very often
  • 22:34 - 22:36
    implies a lot of will power.
  • 22:36 - 22:38
    When you go to work,
  • 22:39 - 22:41
    or you do whatever in ordinary life,
  • 22:41 - 22:42
    if you go to work,
  • 22:42 - 22:44
    your employer expects you to read certain things
  • 22:44 - 22:45
    and write certain reports
  • 22:45 - 22:47
    and all these kinds of things,
  • 22:47 - 22:49
    and because your employer expects that
  • 22:49 - 22:50
    you have to do it because you
  • 22:50 - 22:53
    have to earn your salary et cetera, et cetera,
  • 22:53 - 22:54
    but when you're doing things
  • 22:54 - 22:56
    that you're not really enjoying
  • 22:56 - 22:57
    all that much,
  • 22:57 - 22:58
    maybe it's an incredibly boring report
  • 22:58 - 23:00
    that you have to read,
  • 23:00 - 23:01
    you kind of have to force yourself
  • 23:01 - 23:04
    through it, that is what concentration
  • 23:04 - 23:06
    usually means. You're forcing attention
  • 23:06 - 23:09
    on to something which isn't 100% natural.
  • 23:09 - 23:12
    That is why people who have jobs
  • 23:12 - 23:14
    that demand a very high degree of
  • 23:14 - 23:17
    alertness, and awareness and concentration
  • 23:17 - 23:19
    often feel incredibly tired after
  • 23:19 - 23:21
    a long day's work.
  • 23:21 - 23:22
    I think these flight controllers,
  • 23:22 - 23:25
    you know - what is called? The people
  • 23:25 - 23:28
    who sit in those tall towers at airports?
  • 23:28 - 23:30
    Whatever.
  • 23:30 - 23:30
    Anyway, they sit up there
  • 23:30 - 23:32
    and they have to watch the screen
  • 23:32 - 23:34
    to make sure none of the planes collide.
  • 23:34 - 23:36
    If the the planes collide in midair
  • 23:36 - 23:38
    you feel a bit bad about it afterwards
  • 23:38 - 23:40
    So, you really have to focus on this
  • 23:40 - 23:44
    and this is one of the biggest
  • 23:44 - 23:46
    stress jobs, because you have to
  • 23:46 - 23:47
    concentrate so much and people
  • 23:47 - 23:49
    feel very tired after doing
  • 23:49 - 23:50
    that kind of job all day.
  • 23:50 - 23:52
    This is how we all feel to a certain extent,
  • 23:52 - 23:54
    when you use force
  • 23:54 - 23:57
    to watch and to be in the present moment.
  • 23:57 - 23:59
    So there's an idea of allowing mindfulness
  • 23:59 - 24:01
    to arise naturally, rather than
  • 24:01 - 24:03
    to force mindfulness.
  • 24:03 - 24:04
    If you force mindfulness,
  • 24:04 - 24:05
    after a while
  • 24:05 - 24:06
    you're going to feel exhausted
  • 24:06 - 24:08
    in meditation practice and you're going to
  • 24:08 - 24:10
    sleep for the rest of the retreat
  • 24:10 - 24:12
    and it won't be all that interesting for you.
  • 24:12 - 24:13
    You still may have a good time,
  • 24:13 - 24:15
    but you lose out on all the good fun
  • 24:15 - 24:17
    that everyone else has.
  • 24:17 - 24:19
    So learn natural mindfulness,
  • 24:19 - 24:21
    that is where it's all at.
  • 24:21 - 24:25
    That is what we're trying to get to.
  • 24:26 - 24:29
    Again, when you have no pain in the body
  • 24:29 - 24:31
    - I'm just recapitulating very briefly -
  • 24:31 - 24:32
    no pain in the body,
  • 24:32 - 24:34
    and you are at ease, and you are relaxed
  • 24:34 - 24:38
    natural mindfulness arises as a consequence,
  • 24:38 - 24:40
    or rather I should say, it can arise.
  • 24:40 - 24:42
    It doesn't always arise.
  • 24:42 - 24:44
    The last reason why it doesn't arise
  • 24:44 - 24:47
    is because the attitude.
  • 24:47 - 24:48
    The attitude is probably
  • 24:48 - 24:50
    the most important thing of all
  • 24:50 - 24:52
    in meditation practice.
  • 24:54 - 24:55
    You have to look at the world,
  • 24:55 - 24:58
    look at the people around you,
  • 24:58 - 25:00
    feel the situation in the right way.
  • 25:00 - 25:02
    When you have the right attitude
  • 25:02 - 25:03
    in this way, that is when meditation
  • 25:03 - 25:05
    really becomes possible.
  • 25:05 - 25:07
    It has to be a positive attitude.
  • 25:07 - 25:09
    You have to have a sense of well wishing
  • 25:09 - 25:11
    to the people around you.
  • 25:11 - 25:14
    You have to have a sense of
  • 25:14 - 25:15
    mettā,
  • 25:15 - 25:16
    karuṇā,
  • 25:16 - 25:18
    this means loving-kindness,
  • 25:18 - 25:19
    compassion
  • 25:19 - 25:20
    all of these positive qualities,
  • 25:20 - 25:22
    a sense of friendliness.
  • 25:22 - 25:23
    When you have all of these
  • 25:23 - 25:24
    qualities inside of you,
  • 25:24 - 25:25
    that is when
  • 25:25 - 25:27
    meditation becomes possible.
  • 25:27 - 25:28
    If you feel negative,
  • 25:28 - 25:30
    or you are upset with somebody,
  • 25:30 - 25:32
    or you're angry about something,
  • 25:32 - 25:34
    absolutely no way that your meditation
  • 25:34 - 25:36
    is going to work.
  • 25:36 - 25:38
    So you get this out of the way first of all,
  • 25:38 - 25:39
    and then meditation
  • 25:39 - 25:40
    becomes possible.
  • 25:40 - 25:42
    If we have the chance,
  • 25:42 - 25:43
    I don't know if there will be much time
  • 25:43 - 25:44
    during this retreat,
  • 25:44 - 25:46
    but this is one of the most important
  • 25:46 - 25:49
    things in the entire Buddhist path
  • 25:49 - 25:51
    is learning how to use your mind
  • 25:51 - 25:53
    in a skilful way,
  • 25:53 - 25:54
    so that you can
  • 25:55 - 25:57
    move away from the unskilful.
  • 25:57 - 25:59
    It takes a lot of training,
  • 25:59 - 26:00
    it takes years, often, of training for
  • 26:00 - 26:01
    people to be able to do this.
  • 26:01 - 26:02
    Isn't this what they call
  • 26:02 - 26:04
    cognitive behavioural therapy
  • 26:04 - 26:06
    in psychology?
  • 26:06 - 26:07
    Basically, it's a similar kind of thing,
  • 26:07 - 26:09
    but it's more intense
  • 26:09 - 26:11
    and it's a life long process
  • 26:11 - 26:13
    to keep on doing these kind of things.
  • 26:13 - 26:15
    So the idea is to shift your mind,
  • 26:15 - 26:17
    gradually, more and more away
  • 26:17 - 26:18
    from the negative things towards
  • 26:18 - 26:20
    the positive things.
  • 26:20 - 26:21
    When you have a positive attitude
  • 26:21 - 26:23
    in meditation,
  • 26:23 - 26:25
    then it becomes very powerful.
  • 26:25 - 26:27
    There's a nice sutta which I always
  • 26:27 - 26:28
    like to quote.
  • 26:30 - 26:33
    A sutta is the word of the Buddha
  • 26:33 - 26:35
    and one sutta means one
  • 26:35 - 26:37
    particular instance when he was giving
  • 26:37 - 26:39
    a talk as one sutta,
  • 26:39 - 26:40
    is basically what it means.
  • 26:40 - 26:41
    And in this one sutta,
  • 26:42 - 26:44
    he talks about what happens
  • 26:44 - 26:45
    when you are a good person,
  • 26:45 - 26:47
    when you live a good life,
  • 26:47 - 26:47
    when you have a good heart,
  • 26:47 - 26:50
    and you treat people in a kind way
  • 26:50 - 26:51
    and all of these kind of things.
  • 26:51 - 26:53
    This sutta is Majjhima Nikāya 129,
  • 26:53 - 26:55
    for those of you who are into this.
  • 26:55 - 26:58
    It's called The Wise And Foolish People.
  • 27:00 - 27:02
    So if you're interested in how to be wise,
  • 27:02 - 27:03
    and how to avoid being a fool
  • 27:03 - 27:04
    it's a great place to start;
  • 27:04 - 27:06
    Majjhima 129.
  • 27:07 - 27:08
    What he says there,
  • 27:08 - 27:12
    is that the wise person, the wise person
  • 27:12 - 27:13
    in Buddhism means somebody who
  • 27:13 - 27:15
    acts well,
  • 27:15 - 27:16
    acts with kindness
  • 27:16 - 27:19
    avoids acting in the bad ways,
  • 27:19 - 27:20
    speaks with kindness,
  • 27:20 - 27:22
    avoids speaking in the bad way
  • 27:22 - 27:23
    and crucially,
  • 27:23 - 27:24
    thinks with kindness,
  • 27:24 - 27:28
    doesn't think thoughts which are
  • 27:28 - 27:30
    greedy, or angry, or full of hatred
  • 27:30 - 27:31
    and this kind of stuff,
  • 27:31 - 27:33
    thinks positive things as well.
  • 27:33 - 27:34
    In Buddhism, the idea of morality
  • 27:34 - 27:36
    is stretched the the absolute limit.
  • 27:36 - 27:39
    It includes also morality of the mind.
  • 27:39 - 27:40
    So in Buddhism it's about developing
  • 27:40 - 27:42
    your whole character.
  • 27:42 - 27:45
    The word sīla, in the Pāli language
  • 27:45 - 27:47
    is much broader than the word 'morality'
  • 27:47 - 27:48
    in English.
  • 27:48 - 27:50
    It basically includes your entire character.
  • 27:50 - 27:52
    It's development of character,
  • 27:52 - 27:53
    development of personality
  • 27:53 - 27:55
    it what it really is about.
  • 27:55 - 27:58
    So what this sutta, this discourse,
  • 27:58 - 28:00
    of the Buddha, what he says there
  • 28:00 - 28:02
    is that, it's like a good person.
  • 28:02 - 28:04
    In the evening, when they come back home
  • 28:04 - 28:05
    they might be tired
  • 28:05 - 28:08
    and they might take a while as they sit down,
  • 28:08 - 28:09
    or they lie down on their bed
  • 28:09 - 28:11
    or sit down on a chair, or whatever,
  • 28:11 - 28:13
    and when they do that,
  • 28:13 - 28:14
    and when they relax,
  • 28:14 - 28:16
    all the good actions they have done,
  • 28:16 - 28:18
    the fact that they have
  • 28:18 - 28:19
    avoided the bad actions
  • 28:19 - 28:21
    all that comes back to them.
  • 28:21 - 28:23
    Because it comes back to them,
  • 28:23 - 28:26
    they feel a natural sense of happiness,
  • 28:26 - 28:28
    because a sense of happiness is basically,
  • 28:28 - 28:30
    well, you know that you're a good person,
  • 28:30 - 28:32
    you know that you've done the right things.
  • 28:32 - 28:33
    You have nothing to regret.
  • 28:33 - 28:34
    You feel a sense of,
  • 28:34 - 28:36
    "wow, I've done good things."
  • 28:36 - 28:38
    You feel a sense of joy about that.
  • 28:38 - 28:40
    It is just a natural consequence
  • 28:40 - 28:42
    of living a good life.
  • 28:42 - 28:44
    The more you purify that good life,
  • 28:44 - 28:47
    the more you feel that natural joy.
  • 28:47 - 28:50
    The Buddha says it's like a mountain.
  • 28:50 - 28:52
    In the evening, when you have a mountain
  • 28:52 - 28:56
    and the sun goes down behind the mountain
  • 28:56 - 29:01
    then the shadow is cast from that mountain.
  • 29:01 - 29:04
    The entire earth in front of that mountain,
  • 29:04 - 29:05
    the ground in front of the mountain
  • 29:05 - 29:07
    is engulfed, is enveloped
  • 29:07 - 29:09
    and completely surrounded by the shadow
  • 29:09 - 29:11
    from the mountain,
  • 29:11 - 29:13
    completely engulfed in that.
  • 29:13 - 29:14
    In the same way,
  • 29:14 - 29:15
    when a good person
  • 29:15 - 29:17
    comes back a long day's work
  • 29:17 - 29:19
    you sit down, you rest,
  • 29:19 - 29:20
    or maybe you meditate a bit
  • 29:20 - 29:23
    and then the mountain of good actions
  • 29:23 - 29:25
    come back to you!
  • 29:25 - 29:27
    Then you feel satisfied,
  • 29:27 - 29:29
    you feel a sense of joy inside.
  • 29:29 - 29:30
    You feel gladness
  • 29:30 - 29:32
    because of that mountain
  • 29:32 - 29:33
    of good actions is there.
  • 29:33 - 29:35
    So what we have to do is
  • 29:35 - 29:37
    build a mountain. That's what each
  • 29:37 - 29:39
    one of us has to do.
  • 29:39 - 29:40
    When you build that mountain,
  • 29:40 - 29:43
    the you have that foundation
  • 29:43 - 29:44
    of happiness and joy
  • 29:44 - 29:46
    which also you can bring into your
  • 29:46 - 29:48
    meditation practice.
  • 29:48 - 29:49
    So this is what it's about,
  • 29:49 - 29:51
    we have to build this mountain.
  • 29:51 - 29:53
    This is what our ordinary life,
  • 29:53 - 29:55
    if you are interested in Buddhism,
  • 29:55 - 29:57
    or spiritual practice, or meditation,
  • 29:57 - 29:58
    or whatever it is,
  • 29:58 - 30:01
    this is what our whole life is really about.
  • 30:01 - 30:03
    It's about building up this mountain
  • 30:03 - 30:05
    of goodness inside of us.
  • 30:05 - 30:05
    Then you have no choice,
  • 30:05 - 30:07
    you have to feel happy!
  • 30:07 - 30:08
    Isn't that great, you have not choice
  • 30:08 - 30:10
    but to feel happy?
  • 30:10 - 30:11
    I find that such a wonderful thing.
  • 30:11 - 30:13
    You can sit back, and sometimes
  • 30:13 - 30:14
    if you're a bit grumpy you think,
  • 30:14 - 30:15
    "aw, I don't want to be happy",
  • 30:15 - 30:16
    but you have no choice,
  • 30:16 - 30:18
    happiness just comes to you
  • 30:18 - 30:20
    and you just feel good about yourself.
  • 30:20 - 30:21
    What a wonderful thing that is,
  • 30:21 - 30:23
    when you have no choice about the matter,
  • 30:23 - 30:25
    And it always comes your way.
  • 30:25 - 30:27
    Then, of course, the spiritual path
  • 30:27 - 30:29
    really works as a consequence.
  • 30:29 - 30:30
    So that is one of those
  • 30:30 - 30:32
    similes that I think are so powerful.
  • 30:33 - 30:34
    The Buddha is a master
  • 30:34 - 30:36
    of creating beautiful similes
  • 30:36 - 30:38
    that are so much to the point
  • 30:38 - 30:41
    and show you how these things work
  • 30:41 - 30:44
    in a very beautiful way.
  • 30:46 - 30:49
    So this is what happens
  • 30:49 - 30:50
    when you generally speaking
  • 30:50 - 30:52
    have the right attitude.
  • 30:52 - 30:53
    We were talking about
  • 30:53 - 30:54
    the precepts before
  • 30:54 - 30:56
    and these precepts are very much
  • 30:56 - 30:58
    about having right attitude.
  • 30:58 - 31:00
    I will perhaps very briefly
  • 31:00 - 31:02
    talk about them.
  • 31:03 - 31:04
    The first precept is about
  • 31:04 - 31:06
    not killing any living beings.
  • 31:07 - 31:08
    Okay, so we assume that you're
  • 31:08 - 31:10
    not killing any human beings.
  • 31:11 - 31:12
    If you kill human beings, I would
  • 31:12 - 31:14
    recommend you to stop that very quickly.
  • 31:14 - 31:17
    That is going to be a big obstacle.
  • 31:17 - 31:20
    There is another discourse in the suttas,
  • 31:20 - 31:22
    the word of the Buddha. Actually there
  • 31:22 - 31:24
    was a man who was killing all these beings.
  • 31:24 - 31:26
    He was a mass murderer
  • 31:26 - 31:27
    at the time of the Buddha.
  • 31:27 - 31:27
    It's a very famous sutta,
  • 31:27 - 31:28
    you may have heard about
  • 31:28 - 31:30
    Aṅgulimāla Sutta.
  • 31:31 - 31:32
    But he also stopped doing that
  • 31:32 - 31:34
    and as a consequence of stopping that
  • 31:34 - 31:36
    he actually attained very high
  • 31:36 - 31:39
    spiritual states as a consequence.
  • 31:39 - 31:41
    So even if you are killing human beings
  • 31:41 - 31:43
    there's still hope,
  • 31:43 - 31:46
    which is a very positive message.
  • 31:46 - 31:48
    But it's not just about avoiding killing.
  • 31:50 - 31:52
    So you avoid killing humans,
  • 31:52 - 31:54
    you avoid killing animals and even insects,
  • 31:54 - 31:57
    but it's about being kind as well.
  • 31:57 - 31:59
    This is one of the most fundamental
  • 31:59 - 32:01
    and important facts about
  • 32:01 - 32:02
    the Buddhist idea of morality.
  • 32:02 - 32:04
    It is not just about avoiding doing
  • 32:04 - 32:06
    the bad stuff.
  • 32:06 - 32:08
    It's actively doing the good things
  • 32:08 - 32:09
    as well.
  • 32:09 - 32:11
    Being kind.
  • 32:11 - 32:12
    Being helpful.
  • 32:12 - 32:14
    Being compassionate, to animals
  • 32:14 - 32:17
    and human beings wherever you can find.
  • 32:17 - 32:19
    This is really what gives power
  • 32:19 - 32:20
    to the meditation practice.
  • 32:20 - 32:21
    If you don't do the bad stuff, okay,
  • 32:21 - 32:23
    you don't feel bad about yourself,
  • 32:23 - 32:24
    but, if you do the good stuff you actually
  • 32:24 - 32:27
    actively feel good about yourself.
  • 32:27 - 32:29
    I have noticed in my own life,
  • 32:29 - 32:32
    I try to live up to these things myself.
  • 32:32 - 32:34
    I try not to be the ultimate hypocrite
  • 32:34 - 32:35
    and sit here and tell you
  • 32:35 - 32:36
    to do all these things and
  • 32:36 - 32:37
    do nothing myself,
  • 32:37 - 32:39
    that would be terrible wouldn't it?
  • 32:39 - 32:40
    Of course, you don't know me,
  • 32:40 - 32:41
    so maybe I am a hypocrite, but
  • 32:41 - 32:43
    from my own perspective
  • 32:43 - 32:44
    I don't think I'm a hypocrite.
  • 32:45 - 32:48
    I have always found that
  • 32:48 - 32:50
    it is very powerful sometimes.
  • 32:50 - 32:52
    Sometimes you are in the right mood
  • 32:52 - 32:54
    and you just want to be kind,
  • 32:54 - 32:56
    and you want to be compassionate.
  • 32:56 - 32:58
    Sometimes it's a very powerful force
  • 32:58 - 32:59
    inside of you. Other times you don't
  • 32:59 - 33:01
    really feel compassionate at all,
  • 33:01 - 33:02
    but sometimes you feel very kind.
  • 33:02 - 33:04
    And then, sometimes, when you do
  • 33:04 - 33:07
    something kind, there's an insect that
  • 33:07 - 33:09
    you save or something like that,
  • 33:09 - 33:10
    something very, very small,
  • 33:10 - 33:12
    but because you are in the right mood,
  • 33:12 - 33:14
    and because you are mindful,
  • 33:14 - 33:16
    and because you feel it's coming
  • 33:16 - 33:17
    naturally from you,
  • 33:17 - 33:19
    it often has a very powerful impact
  • 33:19 - 33:21
    on your mind.
  • 33:21 - 33:22
    It's like you do this little act,
  • 33:22 - 33:24
    you think it's nothing and still
  • 33:24 - 33:26
    you feel this joy connected with that,
  • 33:26 - 33:28
    because it is done at the right time,
  • 33:28 - 33:30
    at the right place.
  • 33:30 - 33:31
    The right time and the right place
  • 33:31 - 33:33
    is always usually...
  • 33:33 - 33:34
    you should always do these things,
  • 33:34 - 33:37
    of course, but the powerful times
  • 33:37 - 33:38
    are when it comes naturally.
  • 33:38 - 33:41
    So if you ever feel like being kind,
  • 33:41 - 33:43
    if it comes from your heart and you
  • 33:43 - 33:45
    want to do something kind,
  • 33:45 - 33:46
    do it for goodness sake!
  • 33:46 - 33:47
    Don't hold back.
  • 33:47 - 33:49
    Don't have some cynical thought,
  • 33:49 - 33:50
    "yeah, they don't deserve it or whatever".
  • 33:50 - 33:52
    Please don't think like that because
  • 33:52 - 33:53
    it's going to destroy
  • 33:53 - 33:56
    a wonderful opportunity to do what is right
  • 33:56 - 33:57
    and do what is kind.
  • 33:57 - 33:59
    Always take the opportunity.
  • 33:59 - 34:00
    If other people think
  • 34:00 - 34:02
    you are a bit strange, so be it.
  • 34:02 - 34:03
    It's their problem,
  • 34:03 - 34:05
    you just do what is right.
  • 34:05 - 34:07
    And then you find, that when
  • 34:07 - 34:08
    you do these things again and again
  • 34:08 - 34:10
    there are times when it becomes
  • 34:10 - 34:11
    very powerful.
  • 34:11 - 34:13
    Because you are mindful,
  • 34:13 - 34:15
    you are clearly aware, you're driven
  • 34:15 - 34:17
    by a powerful motivation of compassion
  • 34:17 - 34:18
    inside of you.
  • 34:18 - 34:19
    It makes a very powerful impact
  • 34:19 - 34:20
    on the mind.
  • 34:20 - 34:22
    You sit down to meditate
  • 34:22 - 34:23
    and these things come back to you,
  • 34:23 - 34:24
    because they have made a powerful
  • 34:24 - 34:25
    impact on the mind.
  • 34:25 - 34:27
    And then, that gives rise
  • 34:27 - 34:29
    to the ability to meditate because
  • 34:29 - 34:30
    you have the joy there.
  • 34:31 - 34:32
    This is how it works.
  • 34:32 - 34:33
    This is what kamma is all about.
  • 34:33 - 34:35
    Kamma is about when your intention
  • 34:35 - 34:37
    is pure, when mindfulness is strong,
  • 34:37 - 34:41
    then the impact is very great one the mind.
  • 34:41 - 34:43
    So when you sit down afterwards,
  • 34:43 - 34:45
    it comes back to you very powerfully.
  • 34:45 - 34:47
    That's the idea of kamma.
  • 34:48 - 34:50
    Powerful presence when you do it,
  • 34:50 - 34:52
    gives rise to a powerful result later on.
  • 34:52 - 34:53
    You can see it for yourself
  • 34:53 - 34:55
    happening in reality, it's very easy,
  • 34:55 - 34:57
    very straightforward
  • 34:57 - 34:58
    and you see how these things work.
  • 34:58 - 35:00
    So be kind.
  • 35:00 - 35:02
    On this retreat, if you have
  • 35:02 - 35:03
    an opportunity to be kind
  • 35:03 - 35:04
    to the people around you,
  • 35:04 - 35:06
    take every opportunity, never miss
  • 35:06 - 35:09
    an opportunity to be kind in your life,
  • 35:09 - 35:11
    here or anywhere else, because it is
  • 35:11 - 35:13
    incredibly powerful.
  • 35:13 - 35:15
    And then, of course, the second factor
  • 35:15 - 35:17
    is about not stealing.
  • 35:18 - 35:21
    I'm sure none of you have the intention
  • 35:21 - 35:23
    to steal anything on this retreat,
  • 35:23 - 35:26
    but the opposite is generosity, right?
  • 35:26 - 35:28
    Be sharing, sharing of yourself,
  • 35:28 - 35:30
    and being generous.
  • 35:30 - 35:32
    One of the incredibly important factors
  • 35:32 - 35:35
    on the Buddhist path is generosity.
  • 35:36 - 35:38
    It is something the Buddha talks about
  • 35:38 - 35:39
    all the time. That's one of
  • 35:39 - 35:41
    the foundation stones of the path.
  • 35:41 - 35:42
    And generosity can be done
  • 35:42 - 35:44
    in some many different ways.
  • 35:44 - 35:45
    There's very little distinction
  • 35:45 - 35:46
    between kindness and generosity.
  • 35:46 - 35:48
    They kind of flow into each other.
  • 35:48 - 35:50
    When we talk about generosity,
  • 35:50 - 35:52
    we talk usually more about material things
  • 35:52 - 35:55
    and kindness is more about helping out
  • 35:55 - 35:57
    in a general sense, but they are really
  • 35:57 - 36:01
    part of the same... different ends of the
  • 36:01 - 36:02
    same spectrum, basically.
  • 36:03 - 36:05
    So generosity.
  • 36:05 - 36:07
    The third precept is about
  • 36:07 - 36:09
    no sexuality on this retreat.
  • 36:10 - 36:13
    The idea here is to turn the mind
  • 36:13 - 36:15
    in a different direction.
  • 36:15 - 36:18
    Usually, in the world we find pleasures
  • 36:18 - 36:20
    through the senses, the five sense,
  • 36:20 - 36:22
    through the food that we eat,
  • 36:22 - 36:24
    through the relationships that we have,
  • 36:24 - 36:26
    through music, or whatever it is.
  • 36:26 - 36:28
    Here, the idea is instead of finding
  • 36:28 - 36:29
    happiness in that realm,
  • 36:29 - 36:31
    is to turn the mind
  • 36:31 - 36:32
    in a different direction,
  • 36:32 - 36:33
    turn it inwards instead,
  • 36:33 - 36:35
    and find the happiness and joy
  • 36:35 - 36:37
    inside of you instead.
  • 36:37 - 36:41
    Now, if we indulge in the five sense
  • 36:41 - 36:42
    it is impossible at the same time
  • 36:42 - 36:44
    to turn inwards because they are two
  • 36:44 - 36:46
    different directions.
  • 36:47 - 36:49
    If you find happiness in the five sense
  • 36:49 - 36:51
    it means your mind is going out
  • 36:51 - 36:53
    into the world, by it's very definition.
  • 36:53 - 36:55
    But mediation is precisely about
  • 36:55 - 36:57
    going inside. It's about watching
  • 36:57 - 36:58
    the breath, about being still
  • 36:58 - 37:00
    in the present moment.
  • 37:00 - 37:02
    It's about not being attached to the world.
  • 37:02 - 37:04
    So, if you are finding pleasure
  • 37:04 - 37:06
    in the five senses, it means that your are
  • 37:06 - 37:07
    attached to them.
  • 37:07 - 37:08
    Wherever you find pleasure is also
  • 37:08 - 37:10
    where you are attached.
  • 37:10 - 37:11
    Because you are attached, you can't
  • 37:11 - 37:13
    let go, and because you can't let go
  • 37:13 - 37:15
    you can't focus inside.
  • 37:15 - 37:17
    These are two opposite things.
  • 37:17 - 37:20
    It's very important to understand that.
  • 37:20 - 37:22
    That you cannot do both at the same time.
  • 37:22 - 37:23
    Sometimes people say, "yeah, you know,
  • 37:23 - 37:25
    I want to get really deep meditation,
  • 37:25 - 37:27
    I want to live a kind of ordinary life
  • 37:27 - 37:29
    with my partner and all these kinds
  • 37:29 - 37:31
    of things at the same time".
  • 37:31 - 37:33
    It cannot be combined at the same time.
  • 37:33 - 37:36
    It's impossible to have
  • 37:36 - 37:38
    the full benefit of meditation practice
  • 37:38 - 37:39
    on the one side,
  • 37:39 - 37:41
    and living a completely ordinary life
  • 37:41 - 37:43
    at the same time.
  • 37:43 - 37:46
    They have to be separated from each other.
  • 37:46 - 37:49
    That's why we do this kind of precept
  • 37:49 - 37:51
    on retreats like this.
  • 37:51 - 37:54
    The fourth one is about silence,
  • 37:54 - 37:56
    and silence is a wonderful thing.
  • 37:56 - 37:57
    You find that it's so wonderful
  • 37:57 - 37:59
    not to have to talk.
  • 38:00 - 38:02
    Our society is based on communication,
  • 38:02 - 38:03
    you have to talk all the time.
  • 38:03 - 38:04
    It's great not to have to talk,
  • 38:04 - 38:05
    just to be quiet.
  • 38:07 - 38:08
    It's like you go into
  • 38:08 - 38:09
    your own little bubble
  • 38:09 - 38:11
    and it doesn't really matter,
  • 38:11 - 38:13
    everybody else can do their own thing,
  • 38:13 - 38:13
    you don't have to
  • 38:13 - 38:15
    worry about that any more.
  • 38:16 - 38:18
    The precept is actually not to lie,
  • 38:18 - 38:19
    but because you are silent
  • 38:19 - 38:21
    that's what it becomes.
  • 38:21 - 38:24
    That's the positive aspect of that.
  • 38:24 - 38:26
    And think of it also... sometimes
  • 38:26 - 38:27
    people find it hard to be silent,
  • 38:27 - 38:28
    it should be easy enough,
  • 38:28 - 38:31
    it's only a day and a half this retreat, but
  • 38:31 - 38:33
    sometimes people find it hard
  • 38:33 - 38:34
    and find it oppressive.
  • 38:34 - 38:36
    If you do find it a little bit oppressive
  • 38:36 - 38:40
    think of it as an act of generosity
  • 38:40 - 38:42
    to the people around you.
  • 38:42 - 38:43
    On a retreat like this,
  • 38:43 - 38:45
    there's always some people who
  • 38:45 - 38:46
    get nice meditation, so think,
  • 38:46 - 38:48
    "okay, I'm going to help you,
  • 38:48 - 38:49
    I'm going to do this to help
  • 38:49 - 38:51
    everyone here, to encourage you
  • 38:51 - 38:52
    and to support you
  • 38:52 - 38:54
    in your meditation practice."
  • 38:54 - 38:56
    Then you have a positive attitude
  • 38:56 - 38:57
    about silence.
  • 38:57 - 38:59
    It becomes another positive thing.
  • 38:59 - 39:00
    It becomes a gift
  • 39:00 - 39:01
    to everyone around you.
  • 39:01 - 39:02
    So you're kind of combining
  • 39:02 - 39:05
    these precepts a little bit.
  • 39:05 - 39:05
    The fifth precept is about
  • 39:05 - 39:07
    not using drugs and alcohol.
  • 39:08 - 39:10
    Again, meditation practice is about
  • 39:10 - 39:13
    clarity, it's about presence of mind
  • 39:13 - 39:15
    and drugs and alcohol are about
  • 39:15 - 39:16
    the exact opposite of that.
  • 39:18 - 39:20
    Not using a high...
  • 39:21 - 39:23
    the next one is vikala bhojana,
  • 39:23 - 39:25
    I have to get my sequence right here,
  • 39:25 - 39:26
    which means not eating
  • 39:26 - 39:27
    in the afternoon.
  • 39:27 - 39:28
    Again, the idea is to move away
  • 39:28 - 39:30
    from too much sensuality.
  • 39:30 - 39:32
    It's not a major issue...
  • 39:32 - 39:33
    There's going to be some soup,
  • 39:33 - 39:34
    is that right, in the evening?
  • 39:34 - 39:35
    Okay, you get some soup,
  • 39:35 - 39:36
    so that's good,
  • 39:36 - 39:38
    that should keep you going.
  • 39:40 - 39:41
    Then we have the precept about
  • 39:41 - 39:44
    not using any entertainment,
  • 39:44 - 39:46
    or adornments of the body,
  • 39:46 - 39:47
    which is another very useful one.
  • 39:47 - 39:49
    Entertainment is all about going out
  • 39:49 - 39:50
    into the world,
  • 39:50 - 39:52
    it's about enjoying the senses.
  • 39:52 - 39:54
    That's what entertainment is about.
  • 39:54 - 39:57
    Again we're trying to withdraw from that.
  • 39:57 - 39:58
    And the last precept about
  • 39:58 - 40:00
    sleeping on a high or luxurious bed,
  • 40:00 - 40:02
    is also, of course, about the same thing.
  • 40:02 - 40:03
    It's about not indulging too much,
  • 40:03 - 40:06
    but, you know, the beds here are fine.
  • 40:08 - 40:09
    Back to the seventh one, again,
  • 40:09 - 40:12
    the seventh precept, not adorning yourself.
  • 40:12 - 40:14
    This is also one of the nice things
  • 40:14 - 40:16
    about going on a retreat,
  • 40:16 - 40:19
    just to have simple clothes,
  • 40:19 - 40:20
    no make-up,
  • 40:20 - 40:20
    no jewellery,
  • 40:20 - 40:22
    no trying to impress anybody
  • 40:22 - 40:24
    by the way you look,
  • 40:24 - 40:25
    or anything like that.
  • 40:25 - 40:27
    It's like you can become anonymous.
  • 40:27 - 40:29
    You don't have to worry about
  • 40:29 - 40:30
    all these things that we're always
  • 40:30 - 40:32
    concerned about.
  • 40:32 - 40:33
    It makes you self-conscious,
  • 40:33 - 40:35
    if you always have to worry about
  • 40:35 - 40:36
    what you look like, right?
  • 40:36 - 40:37
    And here you can let go of that
  • 40:37 - 40:39
    self-consciousness completely,
  • 40:39 - 40:40
    and you can be
  • 40:40 - 40:41
    nobody!
  • 40:42 - 40:43
    Isn't that nice to be nobody?
  • 40:43 - 40:46
    We always have to try to be somebody.
  • 40:46 - 40:47
    We always have to try and live up to
  • 40:47 - 40:50
    our own or other people's expectations.
  • 40:50 - 40:52
    Always trying to be a certain person.
  • 40:52 - 40:55
    Now, one of the things about
  • 40:55 - 40:57
    trying always to be somebody,
  • 40:57 - 40:59
    is this sense of self that we have
  • 40:59 - 41:00
    inside of us
  • 41:00 - 41:03
    always needs to be defended.
  • 41:03 - 41:04
    If somebody challenges us
  • 41:04 - 41:07
    and says, "aw, okay, you are no good.
  • 41:07 - 41:08
    What are you doing?
  • 41:08 - 41:09
    This isn't good enough".
  • 41:09 - 41:11
    Or somebody tells you
  • 41:11 - 41:12
    you're not looking your best today,
  • 41:12 - 41:15
    or whatever, we feel upset.
  • 41:15 - 41:16
    And the reason we feel upset
  • 41:16 - 41:18
    is because our sense of self
  • 41:18 - 41:19
    is challenged.
  • 41:19 - 41:21
    So this sense of self is something
  • 41:21 - 41:23
    that always needs to be bolstered,
  • 41:23 - 41:24
    always needs to be kept up.
  • 41:24 - 41:27
    We need to think, how much of the time
  • 41:27 - 41:28
    do we think about ourselves,
  • 41:28 - 41:29
    are we concerned about concerned
  • 41:29 - 41:30
    about ourselves.
  • 41:30 - 41:32
    Stupid little things, right?
  • 41:32 - 41:33
    But this is just life,
  • 41:33 - 41:35
    everybody is like that.
  • 41:35 - 41:36
    Now, for once, you don't have to think
  • 41:36 - 41:38
    about yourself any more.
  • 41:38 - 41:39
    You can start to let go
  • 41:39 - 41:41
    of that sense of who you are,
  • 41:41 - 41:43
    your sense of identity.
  • 41:43 - 41:44
    How you are, who you are
  • 41:44 - 41:46
    compared to other people.
  • 41:46 - 41:48
    When you reduce that sense of identity
  • 41:48 - 41:50
    what you find is that
  • 41:50 - 41:51
    you become more peaceful,
  • 41:52 - 41:54
    because you don't have to think about
  • 41:54 - 41:56
    all those issues
  • 41:56 - 41:57
    concerning yourself any more.
  • 41:58 - 42:00
    So reducing your sense of self
  • 42:00 - 42:01
    is actually one of the great ways
  • 42:01 - 42:04
    of starting to feel peaceful as well.
  • 42:04 - 42:05
    This is what you do,
  • 42:05 - 42:06
    this is why adornments,
  • 42:06 - 42:08
    just wearing ordinary clothes
  • 42:08 - 42:10
    and not adorning oneself,
  • 42:10 - 42:12
    actually is a great benefit
  • 42:12 - 42:14
    and a wonderful thing to do.
  • 42:14 - 42:15
    So,
  • 42:18 - 42:21
    those are the eight precepts
  • 42:21 - 42:22
    and they give you some idea
  • 42:22 - 42:24
    what right attitude means
  • 42:24 - 42:25
    in meditation practice.
  • 42:25 - 42:27
    All this is about right attitude.
  • 42:28 - 42:29
    So this is one of the things
  • 42:29 - 42:31
    we try to build up.
  • 42:32 - 42:34
    Some very general things about
  • 42:34 - 42:36
    right attitude that I can maybe add
  • 42:36 - 42:38
    to what I've been saying before:
  • 42:38 - 42:41
    one of thing things I often remind myself
  • 42:41 - 42:44
    when I do my meditation practice
  • 42:44 - 42:47
    is that when I meditate,
  • 42:47 - 42:49
    that is when I come closest
  • 42:49 - 42:51
    to the meaning of life.
  • 42:51 - 42:52
    That is where I'm touching
  • 42:52 - 42:54
    what life is all about.
  • 42:54 - 42:56
    This is quite radical
  • 42:56 - 42:57
    because most people think,
  • 42:57 - 42:58
    "yeah, I'm going to meditate
  • 42:58 - 43:00
    so I can improve my life,
  • 43:00 - 43:01
    so the rest of my life
  • 43:01 - 43:03
    can become better"
  • 43:03 - 43:04
    That's what most people think.
  • 43:04 - 43:06
    But, no! It's actually the
  • 43:06 - 43:08
    other way round, it's actually
  • 43:09 - 43:10
    when you meditate you're getting
  • 43:10 - 43:12
    closer to the very essence of the
  • 43:12 - 43:14
    purpose of life itself.
  • 43:15 - 43:16
    Why is that?
  • 43:16 - 43:17
    The reason is, is because
  • 43:17 - 43:19
    in meditation practice,
  • 43:19 - 43:20
    what you are finding is
  • 43:20 - 43:22
    you're finding the sort of happiness
  • 43:22 - 43:25
    you're finding the sort of contentment
  • 43:25 - 43:27
    you're finding the sort of satisfaction
  • 43:27 - 43:28
    that you actually,
  • 43:28 - 43:29
    each one of us,
  • 43:29 - 43:32
    always is actually searching for.
  • 43:32 - 43:34
    If you look inside of yourself,
  • 43:34 - 43:35
    look inside of your mind
  • 43:35 - 43:36
    you will see that we are often
  • 43:36 - 43:39
    run by desires, all kind of things, right?
  • 43:39 - 43:40
    From the moment you wake up
  • 43:40 - 43:40
    in the morning,
  • 43:40 - 43:41
    you have to choose what clothes
  • 43:41 - 43:42
    you're going to wear,
  • 43:42 - 43:43
    from breakfast...
  • 43:44 - 43:45
    Everything is run by
  • 43:45 - 43:48
    desires and cravings in our life.
  • 43:48 - 43:49
    Those desires and cravings,
  • 43:49 - 43:51
    they are pointing towards one thing:
  • 43:51 - 43:53
    we want to be satisfied.
  • 43:53 - 43:55
    That's why you want to fulfil that craving,
  • 43:55 - 43:57
    fulfil that desire.
  • 43:57 - 43:58
    Except that it never happens,
  • 43:58 - 44:00
    the desire always comes back to us again.
  • 44:00 - 44:01
    Then suddenly one day
  • 44:01 - 44:03
    you sit down and meditate
  • 44:03 - 44:04
    and you find
  • 44:04 - 44:06
    that satisfaction in meditation.
  • 44:06 - 44:07
    At least a little bit more,
  • 44:07 - 44:08
    than you find it by running
  • 44:08 - 44:10
    around in the world.
  • 44:10 - 44:11
    This is what I mean,
  • 44:11 - 44:13
    you're actually touching here
  • 44:13 - 44:14
    the meaning of life,
  • 44:14 - 44:17
    the purpose of all the running you do
  • 44:17 - 44:18
    in the world, you find it,
  • 44:18 - 44:20
    you find the result,
  • 44:20 - 44:22
    you find what you're searching for
  • 44:22 - 44:24
    in the meditation practice,
  • 44:24 - 44:26
    rather than by actually getting
  • 44:26 - 44:27
    the results in the world around you.
  • 44:29 - 44:30
    So here you are touching
  • 44:30 - 44:31
    the meaning of life.
  • 44:31 - 44:33
    This is what life is all about,
  • 44:33 - 44:35
    this is what you really searching for.
  • 44:35 - 44:36
    This is what you have.
  • 44:36 - 44:37
    Your innermost yearning,
  • 44:37 - 44:38
    actually comes...
  • 44:41 - 44:43
    that yearning actually gets fulfilled
  • 44:43 - 44:45
    finally when you are sitting down
  • 44:45 - 44:46
    and doing your meditation practice.
  • 44:46 - 44:48
    Or rather it can do.
  • 44:48 - 44:50
    Often it doesn't happen,
  • 44:50 - 44:51
    but it can happen.
  • 44:51 - 44:52
    And when it happens, you think,
  • 44:52 - 44:54
    "WOW! This is really it!
  • 44:54 - 44:56
    Now I'm coming to what everything
  • 44:56 - 44:57
    really is all about."
  • 44:57 - 44:59
    And that is very powerful,
  • 44:59 - 45:01
    because when you understand that,
  • 45:02 - 45:03
    when you understand that
  • 45:03 - 45:05
    instead of sitting down and meditating
  • 45:05 - 45:07
    and then fantasize about all the things
  • 45:07 - 45:08
    you're going to do in the world,
  • 45:08 - 45:10
    it's kind of crazy, becuase now
  • 45:10 - 45:11
    you've got the meaning of life
  • 45:11 - 45:13
    so why are you going to fantasize
  • 45:13 - 45:14
    about all those things that
  • 45:14 - 45:15
    have got nothing to do
  • 45:15 - 45:16
    with the meaning of life.
  • 45:16 - 45:17
    In fact, it should be the other
  • 45:17 - 45:18
    way round.
  • 45:18 - 45:20
    When you're running around in the world
  • 45:20 - 45:22
    in daily life, going doing this, doing that
  • 45:22 - 45:23
    you should fantasize about meditation
  • 45:23 - 45:24
    practice.
  • 45:25 - 45:27
    That's the way it should really be,
  • 45:27 - 45:28
    because you understand
  • 45:28 - 45:31
    that everything you do in your ordinary life,
  • 45:31 - 45:33
    that if you can think about
  • 45:33 - 45:34
    your meditation practice,
  • 45:34 - 45:35
    it will give you
  • 45:35 - 45:38
    a guide in your ordinary life
  • 45:38 - 45:39
    to how you should behave.
  • 45:39 - 45:41
    Is this going to lead to an improvement
  • 45:41 - 45:43
    in meditation, which is the purpose of life,
  • 45:43 - 45:45
    or is it not?
  • 45:45 - 45:46
    Is it going to lead me away,
  • 45:46 - 45:48
    or lead me in the right direction.
  • 45:48 - 45:49
    So please fantasize a bit
  • 45:49 - 45:51
    about meditation in ordinary life:
  • 45:51 - 45:53
    "ooh, wouldn't it be nice
  • 45:53 - 45:54
    if I could now go back and
  • 45:54 - 45:56
    be on retreat and just sit peacefully.
  • 45:56 - 45:59
    Wow, maybe as soon as I get a chance,
  • 45:59 - 46:00
    an opportunity I will do that."
  • 46:00 - 46:03
    And then you have this guide,
  • 46:03 - 46:05
    to also guide you throughout life
  • 46:05 - 46:06
    in a sense.
  • 46:06 - 46:07
    So remember that,
  • 46:07 - 46:08
    while you're sitting here
  • 46:08 - 46:09
    on this retreat.
  • 46:09 - 46:10
    This is it!
  • 46:10 - 46:11
    You are touching
  • 46:11 - 46:13
    the meaning of life itself.
  • 46:13 - 46:13
    You're not going to get
  • 46:13 - 46:15
    any closer than this probably,
  • 46:15 - 46:17
    so this is your opportunity.
  • 46:17 - 46:19
    Why waste that opportunity
  • 46:19 - 46:21
    by thinking about
  • 46:21 - 46:23
    all kind of other stuff instead.
  • 46:28 - 46:31
    This is going to be the first talk
  • 46:31 - 46:34
    about the theme of this retreat.
  • 46:34 - 46:37
    The theme is dependent origination,
  • 46:37 - 46:41
    known as paṭiccasamuppāda in the Pāli language.
  • 46:43 - 46:45
    What I thought of doing tonight,
  • 46:45 - 46:49
    is just to do a general overview.
  • 46:49 - 46:49
    Is it loud enough?
  • 46:49 - 46:51
    Can everybody hear alright?
  • 46:54 - 46:56
    I'll just do a general overview
  • 46:56 - 46:58
    of what this teaching is about
  • 46:58 - 47:00
    so that we have a kind of a background.
  • 47:00 - 47:02
    Then we can draw out the details
  • 47:02 - 47:05
    over the few sessions after that.
  • 47:06 - 47:07
    So that is going to be the main purpose
  • 47:07 - 47:09
    of tonight.
  • 47:09 - 47:11
    As I said before,
  • 47:11 - 47:13
    if you have any questions this
  • 47:13 - 47:14
    please write them down
  • 47:14 - 47:16
    and put them in the basket at the back.
  • 47:17 - 47:18
    Good.
  • 47:18 - 47:20
    So, one of the things about
  • 47:20 - 47:22
    dependent arising,
  • 47:22 - 47:24
    it is well known,
  • 47:24 - 47:26
    everybody thinks it is very profound.
  • 47:26 - 47:27
    Everybody says,
  • 47:27 - 47:28
    "ooh, this is very profound stuff."
  • 47:28 - 47:31
    And, of course, there is a reason for that,
  • 47:31 - 47:33
    and the reason for that is that,
  • 47:33 - 47:34
    that's what it actually says
  • 47:34 - 47:35
    in one of the suttas.
  • 47:35 - 47:37
    I don't know if any of you read
  • 47:37 - 47:39
    these suttas already.
  • 47:39 - 47:42
    If you have, then you may have come across,
  • 47:42 - 47:44
    or you probably would have come across,
  • 47:45 - 47:47
    the way things start off
  • 47:47 - 47:50
    in the sutta called the Mahānidāna Sutta,
  • 47:50 - 47:52
    which is The Great Discourse on Causation,
  • 47:52 - 47:53
    found in the Dīgha Nikāya.
  • 47:54 - 47:56
    In that sutta, it starts off
  • 47:56 - 47:58
    with Ven. Ānanda...
  • 47:58 - 48:00
    Ven. Ānanda, of course,
  • 48:00 - 48:01
    is the Buddha's right-hand man.
  • 48:01 - 48:03
    He's always present,
  • 48:03 - 48:05
    always hearing the discourses
  • 48:05 - 48:07
    and he's the one who eventually
  • 48:07 - 48:09
    makes sure those discourses are
  • 48:09 - 48:10
    recorded, if you like,
  • 48:10 - 48:12
    recorded in memory for posterity.
  • 48:14 - 48:15
    He says to the Buddha, he says:
  • 48:15 - 48:18
    "It is wonderful and marvellous, Bhante,
  • 48:18 - 48:20
    how this dependent arising
  • 48:20 - 48:23
    [or if you like, dependent origination]
  • 48:23 - 48:26
    is so deep and appears so deep,
  • 48:26 - 48:28
    yet to myself it seems
  • 48:28 - 48:31
    as clear as clear can be.”
  • 48:31 - 48:33
    And then the Buddha says:
  • 48:33 - 48:35
    “Do not say so, Ānanda!
  • 48:35 - 48:37
    Do not say so, Ānanda!
  • 48:37 - 48:39
    This dependent origination, Ānanda,
  • 48:39 - 48:42
    is deep and it appears deep.
  • 48:42 - 48:44
    Because of not understanding and
  • 48:44 - 48:47
    not penetrating this teaching, Ānanda,
  • 48:47 - 48:49
    this generation has become
  • 48:49 - 48:51
    like a tangled skein,
  • 48:51 - 48:53
    like a knotted ball of thread,
  • 48:53 - 48:57
    like matted rushes and reeds,
  • 48:57 - 48:59
    and this generation
  • 48:59 - 49:02
    does not pass beyond saṃsāra
  • 49:02 - 49:04
    with its plane of misery,
  • 49:04 - 49:05
    unfortunate destinations,
  • 49:05 - 49:07
    and its lower realms."
  • 49:09 - 49:11
    So this is where it comes from,
  • 49:11 - 49:12
    when everybody says,
  • 49:12 - 49:14
    "aw, this dependent origination is so deep".
  • 49:14 - 49:15
    This is actually the
  • 49:15 - 49:17
    canonical reference to that.
  • 49:18 - 49:20
    It's quite interesting because Ven. Ānanda,
  • 49:20 - 49:23
    of course, he knew almost all the suttas,
  • 49:23 - 49:27
    all the discourses of the Buddha by heart.
  • 49:27 - 49:28
    He was also well known for
  • 49:28 - 49:30
    having become a stream enterer.
  • 49:30 - 49:32
    A stream enterer is somebody who has
  • 49:32 - 49:34
    penetrated and understood the teaching
  • 49:34 - 49:36
    on their own.
  • 49:36 - 49:39
    He was a stream enterer fairly early on
  • 49:39 - 49:40
    and here is one the Buddha's
  • 49:40 - 49:41
    chief disciples
  • 49:41 - 49:42
    saying
  • 49:42 - 49:45
    this is really deep, but I understand it,
  • 49:45 - 49:46
    and the Buddha says,
  • 49:46 - 49:48
    be careful what you say,
  • 49:48 - 49:50
    don't be so quick,
  • 49:50 - 49:51
    because this really is profound
  • 49:51 - 49:54
    and it because of not understanding this
  • 49:54 - 49:57
    that people are stuck in saṃsāra.
  • 49:58 - 50:00
    That is fascinating. It makes us wonder,
  • 50:00 - 50:00
    "well, what is the chance
  • 50:00 - 50:02
    of me understanding this if Ven. Ānanda
  • 50:02 - 50:05
    couldn't understand it, what is my hope?!
  • 50:06 - 50:07
    That's a fair question actually.
  • 50:07 - 50:09
    It is a fair question,
  • 50:09 - 50:11
    but remember the idea
  • 50:11 - 50:13
    with a retreat like this is not to grasp
  • 50:13 - 50:16
    these things absolutely fully,
  • 50:16 - 50:18
    in their full depth and all their details.
  • 50:18 - 50:21
    The idea is to get enough understanding
  • 50:21 - 50:24
    that you are moving in the right direction.
  • 50:24 - 50:26
    This is the whole gist, the whole purpose
  • 50:26 - 50:28
    of the Dhamma, is always to move
  • 50:28 - 50:30
    in the right direction.
  • 50:30 - 50:32
    As you keep moving in the right direction,
  • 50:32 - 50:33
    doing some meditation,
  • 50:33 - 50:35
    doing some practice,
  • 50:35 - 50:36
    understanding what the teachings
  • 50:36 - 50:37
    are about,
  • 50:37 - 50:40
    all of these things come together,
  • 50:40 - 50:42
    and one day, who knows, one day
  • 50:42 - 50:43
    you might also,
  • 50:43 - 50:45
    each one of us might also
  • 50:45 - 50:47
    understand the full
  • 50:47 - 50:49
    profundity of these teachings.
  • 50:49 - 50:51
    The reason why they are so profound
  • 50:51 - 50:53
    is basically, just what it says
  • 50:53 - 50:54
    at the end there:
  • 50:54 - 50:56
    it is because of this that people
  • 50:56 - 50:58
    don't make an end of saṃsāra.
  • 50:58 - 51:00
    What that means is that
  • 51:00 - 51:01
    if you are an ariya,
  • 51:01 - 51:03
    if you are a noble person,
  • 51:03 - 51:05
    who has penetrated and understood
  • 51:05 - 51:07
    these teachings through your own insight,
  • 51:07 - 51:08
    through your own understanding,
  • 51:08 - 51:10
    that is when you have that
  • 51:10 - 51:11
    full penetration.
  • 51:11 - 51:13
    So Ven. Ānanda, my guess is that
  • 51:13 - 51:15
    at this point he hadn't yet
  • 51:15 - 51:17
    become a stream enterer,
  • 51:17 - 51:18
    maybe it was later on,
  • 51:18 - 51:21
    or, the alternative is that
  • 51:21 - 51:22
    he was a stream enterer,
  • 51:22 - 51:25
    but even as a stream enterer you understand
  • 51:25 - 51:28
    the general principle for how it works,
  • 51:28 - 51:29
    but you make not be clear
  • 51:29 - 51:31
    about all the details.
  • 51:31 - 51:33
    This is one of the things that is so
  • 51:33 - 51:35
    fascinating about this teaching,
  • 51:35 - 51:36
    is all the details,
  • 51:36 - 51:38
    all the things that actually
  • 51:38 - 51:39
    come out of it once you
  • 51:39 - 51:41
    start to investigate.
  • 51:41 - 51:44
    There are so many aspects to this teaching.
  • 51:44 - 51:46
    To give you some examples
  • 51:46 - 51:48
    of the aspects that I'm thinking of,
  • 51:48 - 51:49
    this teaching,
  • 51:50 - 51:52
    contrary to what some people say,
  • 51:52 - 51:55
    it includes the law of kamma.
  • 51:55 - 51:56
    The law of kamma is very central to
  • 51:56 - 51:58
    this particular teaching.
  • 51:58 - 52:01
    It explains kamma in a very beautiful
  • 52:01 - 52:03
    and very meaningful way.
  • 52:03 - 52:03
    That's one of the things
  • 52:03 - 52:05
    I want to draw out of this teaching,
  • 52:05 - 52:07
    especially if you look at
  • 52:07 - 52:09
    the first three factors
  • 52:09 - 52:10
    of the dependent arising.
  • 52:10 - 52:12
    The first three factors are from...
  • 52:12 - 52:14
    I'll go through the factors latter on,
  • 52:14 - 52:16
    but from ignorance,
  • 52:18 - 52:19
    saṅkhāra, like activities,
  • 52:19 - 52:20
    and consciousness.
  • 52:20 - 52:23
    That is all really about kamma
  • 52:23 - 52:25
    and how kamma works.
  • 52:25 - 52:27
    It's very interesting to understand
  • 52:27 - 52:28
    how kamma works because
  • 52:28 - 52:30
    it's something which is very practical,
  • 52:30 - 52:33
    something we can use in our own lives.
  • 52:33 - 52:34
    So it brings out kamma
  • 52:34 - 52:36
    in a very detailed way.
  • 52:37 - 52:38
    This is one of the things
  • 52:38 - 52:40
    that makes in so interesting.
  • 52:40 - 52:41
    The second thing, which of course,
  • 52:41 - 52:43
    makes in very interesting,
  • 52:43 - 52:46
    is that it shows us how this saṃsāra,
  • 52:46 - 52:50
    how the process of continuous existence,
  • 52:50 - 52:54
    how it is sustained without a self in it.
  • 52:54 - 52:55
    This is one of the key things
  • 52:55 - 52:57
    about dependent arising,
  • 52:57 - 52:59
    it shows us how this is possible
  • 52:59 - 53:02
    that you can go on, and go on, and go on
  • 53:02 - 53:04
    keep on going, but there's no self in there
  • 53:04 - 53:06
    there's no substance,
  • 53:06 - 53:08
    there's no essence to it
  • 53:08 - 53:09
    which is always present.
  • 53:10 - 53:11
    This is one of the things that
  • 53:11 - 53:13
    makes people stop.
  • 53:14 - 53:16
    One of the classic counter arguments
  • 53:16 - 53:18
    against the Buddha's teaching,
  • 53:18 - 53:21
    against rebirth, is the idea that
  • 53:21 - 53:22
    if there was rebirth
  • 53:22 - 53:24
    there must be a self in there,
  • 53:24 - 53:25
    "and you guys,
  • 53:25 - 53:26
    you say you don't believe in a self
  • 53:26 - 53:30
    so you're contradicting yourself."
  • 53:30 - 53:33
    But actually, no, the point of the Buddha
  • 53:33 - 53:36
    is precisely that such a thing as rebirth
  • 53:36 - 53:38
    can exist without a self.
  • 53:38 - 53:40
    This is one of the things that precisely
  • 53:40 - 53:42
    makes it so profound.
  • 53:42 - 53:45
    This is found in the third and the fourth
  • 53:45 - 53:48
    factor of dependent arising:
  • 53:48 - 53:50
    consciousness and
  • 53:50 - 53:52
    conditions, what is some times called
  • 53:52 - 53:54
    name-and-form. We will discuss that term
  • 53:54 - 53:55
    later on, what it actually means.
  • 53:55 - 53:59
    But that kind of nexus between those two,
  • 53:59 - 54:01
    because they mutually condition each other,
  • 54:01 - 54:05
    shows you how this thing sustains itself
  • 54:05 - 54:07
    without a self in there.
  • 54:07 - 54:09
    In fact, the whole dependent arising,
  • 54:09 - 54:11
    the whole chain of factors,
  • 54:11 - 54:13
    is also an example of that.
  • 54:13 - 54:16
    So these are two very important things,
  • 54:16 - 54:18
    crucial aspects of Buddhism which are
  • 54:18 - 54:22
    explained in detail in dependent arising.
  • 54:22 - 54:24
    But the most important thing,
  • 54:24 - 54:25
    and what makes dependent arising
  • 54:25 - 54:27
    so interesting,
  • 54:27 - 54:29
    is that the overall structure
  • 54:29 - 54:31
    shows you...
  • 54:31 - 54:32
    the first factor of
  • 54:32 - 54:33
    dependent arising as I said before
  • 54:33 - 54:34
    is ignorance,
  • 54:34 - 54:38
    the last one of the 12 factors is suffering.
  • 54:39 - 54:40
    What that does
  • 54:40 - 54:42
    - I'll talk more about that in a second -
  • 54:42 - 54:45
    it shows us how suffering arises
  • 54:45 - 54:47
    out of lack of understanding,
  • 54:47 - 54:48
    out of ignorance.
  • 54:49 - 54:52
    This is probably the main purpose
  • 54:52 - 54:54
    of dependent arising
  • 54:54 - 54:55
    and why it is so powerful
  • 54:55 - 54:56
    because it shows us that,
  • 54:56 - 54:58
    if you don't understand things
  • 54:58 - 54:58
    in the right way,
  • 54:58 - 55:00
    you're going to suffer.
  • 55:00 - 55:02
    So you want to try to understand things
  • 55:02 - 55:03
    in the right way.
  • 55:03 - 55:06
    If you don't you have a serious problem.
  • 55:07 - 55:11
    Now, before I go into more detail
  • 55:11 - 55:12
    about these things,
  • 55:13 - 55:15
    I thought that the mistakes that people
  • 55:15 - 55:17
    sometimes do about dependent arising,
  • 55:17 - 55:20
    they think it's a very profound teaching
  • 55:20 - 55:22
    and people sometimes ask:
  • 55:22 - 55:26
    what is Buddhism? Should it be considered a
  • 55:26 - 55:27
    philosophy?
  • 55:27 - 55:28
    Is it a religion?
  • 55:29 - 55:30
    What is it?
  • 55:30 - 55:32
    How do we make sense of Buddhism?
  • 55:32 - 55:33
    What kind of teaching is it?
  • 55:35 - 55:36
    Of course, you can say it's just a
  • 55:36 - 55:38
    wisdom teaching, but that doesn't
  • 55:38 - 55:39
    really say very much.
  • 55:39 - 55:42
    So the first question I want to ask:
  • 55:42 - 55:43
    well, if it is so profound,
  • 55:43 - 55:45
    could it then be said to be a philosophy?
  • 55:45 - 55:47
    Is that an appropriate way
  • 55:47 - 55:49
    of regarding Buddhism?
  • 55:49 - 55:51
    Is it a philosophy or not?
  • 55:52 - 55:53
    The answer to that,
  • 55:53 - 55:54
    is a philosophy or not,
  • 55:54 - 55:58
    is that the early teachings of the Buddha,
  • 55:58 - 56:00
    the teachings that we talking about here,
  • 56:00 - 56:02
    the ones that are found in the four nikāyas
  • 56:02 - 56:04
    and not the later teachings,
  • 56:05 - 56:06
    as far as I can see,
  • 56:06 - 56:08
    they are not a philosophy.
  • 56:08 - 56:09
    The philosophy of Buddhism
  • 56:09 - 56:11
    is something that arises later on.
  • 56:11 - 56:14
    That is what the Abhidhamma is all about,
  • 56:14 - 56:15
    that is really philosophy.
  • 56:17 - 56:19
    You may have heard about very famous
  • 56:19 - 56:22
    simile of the Buddha, the Buddha is
  • 56:22 - 56:24
    in the place called the Gosinga Wood
  • 56:24 - 56:26
    and he takes a handful of leaves
  • 56:26 - 56:28
    and he says, "these handfuls of leaves
  • 56:28 - 56:29
    I have in my hand, compared to
  • 56:29 - 56:32
    all the handfuls of leaves in the forest,
  • 56:32 - 56:34
    which is more?"
  • 56:35 - 56:36
    So the monks obviously say,
  • 56:36 - 56:38
    "the handful of leaves in your hand are few
  • 56:38 - 56:40
    and ones in the forest are great
  • 56:40 - 56:42
    in comparison."
  • 56:42 - 56:43
    And then the Buddha says,
  • 56:43 - 56:45
    "what I have taught you
  • 56:45 - 56:48
    is comparable to the leaves in my hand,
  • 56:48 - 56:50
    but what I know is comparable
  • 56:50 - 56:52
    to all the leaves in the forest."
  • 56:52 - 56:54
    So what is going on here?
  • 56:54 - 56:55
    What about the rest of the stuff?
  • 56:55 - 56:56
    Wouldn't you guys be interested
  • 56:56 - 56:58
    in hearing about the rest of the stuff?
  • 56:58 - 56:59
    If the Buddha has all this knowledge,
  • 56:59 - 57:00
    it would be interesting
  • 57:00 - 57:02
    to hear about all the other stuff.
  • 57:02 - 57:03
    Why does he only teach us
  • 57:03 - 57:04
    these little few things?
  • 57:05 - 57:05
    And the point here,
  • 57:05 - 57:07
    remember that the purpose of the Buddha,
  • 57:07 - 57:10
    he is a compassionate teacher
  • 57:10 - 57:12
    he has understood the one thing
  • 57:12 - 57:14
    everybody in the whole world
  • 57:14 - 57:16
    wants to know about.
  • 57:16 - 57:17
    He has understood about
  • 57:17 - 57:18
    happiness and suffering to the core.
  • 57:19 - 57:20
    Look in your heart,
  • 57:20 - 57:21
    what is it that you want?
  • 57:21 - 57:23
    What is it that you yearn for?
  • 57:24 - 57:27
    We are always trying to move towards
  • 57:27 - 57:30
    more contentment, more satisfaction,
  • 57:30 - 57:32
    more pleasure, more happiness,
  • 57:32 - 57:34
    less depression, less sorrow,
  • 57:34 - 57:36
    less pain.
  • 57:36 - 57:37
    Everybody wants that.
  • 57:37 - 57:38
    I've never met anybody who
  • 57:38 - 57:39
    wants more depression.
  • 57:39 - 57:41
    Unless they are really messed up
  • 57:41 - 57:44
    psychologically, possibly, but then
  • 57:44 - 57:45
    they have other problems.
  • 57:45 - 57:47
    The point is we all want to move there.
  • 57:47 - 57:49
    And the Buddha knows, "I have the answer."
  • 57:49 - 57:53
    So then he decides to teach
  • 57:53 - 57:54
    out of compassion,
  • 57:54 - 57:57
    to help people overcome their problems,
  • 57:57 - 57:59
    and give rise to the highest happiness.
  • 57:59 - 58:01
    That is what nibbāna is all about.
  • 58:01 - 58:03
    So it's pragmatic!
  • 58:03 - 58:05
    The teaching is purely pragmatic.
  • 58:05 - 58:07
    It has a very clear purpose, and
  • 58:07 - 58:09
    you don't want to distract that teaching
  • 58:09 - 58:11
    with things that have nothing to do
  • 58:11 - 58:13
    with that pragmatic goal, which is to
  • 58:13 - 58:15
    alleviate suffering in all beings.
  • 58:16 - 58:19
    This is why the Buddha doesn't philosophise.
  • 58:19 - 58:20
    What is philosophy?
  • 58:20 - 58:23
    Philosophy is about Plato,
  • 58:23 - 58:25
    and Aristotle,
  • 58:25 - 58:26
    and Socrates,
  • 58:26 - 58:28
    and we find people in the present day.
  • 58:28 - 58:30
    We find it not only in the West, of course,
  • 58:30 - 58:32
    you find it also everywhere.
  • 58:32 - 58:33
    This is what the later
  • 58:33 - 58:34
    Abhidhamma people did also.
  • 58:34 - 58:36
    It's philosophising, it's creating,
  • 58:36 - 58:39
    it's speculating about the world.
  • 58:39 - 58:41
    It's based a little bit on fact,
  • 58:41 - 58:42
    because you have a little bit
  • 58:42 - 58:44
    of science and put these kind of things,
  • 58:44 - 58:45
    but a lot of philosophy is
  • 58:45 - 58:47
    thinking out systems,
  • 58:47 - 58:49
    castles in the air
  • 58:49 - 58:51
    that are built up,
  • 58:51 - 58:53
    often with no foundations,
  • 58:53 - 58:54
    a little bit of foundations,
  • 58:54 - 58:55
    but not much.
  • 58:55 - 58:57
    This is what philosophy is all about.
  • 58:57 - 58:59
    And the Buddha, I think he knew...
  • 58:59 - 59:00
    I'm not saying the Buddha
  • 59:00 - 59:01
    would have built up anything
  • 59:01 - 59:03
    without foundation, on the contrary,
  • 59:03 - 59:05
    he probably would have good reasons
  • 59:05 - 59:08
    for saying what he would have said
  • 59:08 - 59:10
    if he had said so, but he didn't.
  • 59:11 - 59:13
    Even though he knew what he was talking
  • 59:13 - 59:16
    about, he knew that it would detract
  • 59:16 - 59:18
    from the actual practice,
  • 59:18 - 59:20
    because, once you start to present
  • 59:20 - 59:22
    a philosophical system
  • 59:22 - 59:24
    a system which explains everything
  • 59:24 - 59:25
    in the world,
  • 59:25 - 59:26
    that's very fascinating, right?
  • 59:26 - 59:28
    I just said before,
  • 59:28 - 59:29
    who of you wouldn't be interested
  • 59:29 - 59:31
    in hearing about all the other leaves,
  • 59:31 - 59:32
    Everybody went,
  • 59:32 - 59:33
    "yeah, that would be exciting"
  • 59:33 - 59:35
    I think the same,
  • 59:35 - 59:36
    it would be exciting for me, too.
  • 59:36 - 59:37
    This is the problem,
  • 59:37 - 59:39
    you get sidetracked.
  • 59:39 - 59:40
    You start to philosophise.
  • 59:40 - 59:41
    The Buddha would've probably
  • 59:41 - 59:43
    had to spend the rest of his life
  • 59:43 - 59:46
    answering critics, saying,
  • 59:46 - 59:47
    "well, you know, this doesn't make any sense",
  • 59:47 - 59:49
    "well, actually it does make sense"
  • 59:49 - 59:49
    "oh, no"
  • 59:49 - 59:50
    and then back and forth,
  • 59:50 - 59:51
    back and forth.
  • 59:51 - 59:53
    So you focus on the essentials.
  • 59:53 - 59:56
    I think this is a very important point.
  • 59:57 - 59:58
    This should remind us that
  • 59:58 - 60:00
    we should really try to be
  • 60:00 - 60:04
    in a similar kind of mindset,
  • 60:04 - 60:07
    where we don't philosophise too much.
  • 60:07 - 60:09
    It means that dependent arising itself,
  • 60:09 - 60:11
    origination itself,
  • 60:11 - 60:13
    is not really a philosophy.
  • 60:13 - 60:14
    The primary purpose of
  • 60:14 - 60:17
    dependent origination is pragmatic.
  • 60:17 - 60:19
    It is to show us that there is a problem,
  • 60:19 - 60:21
    that there is a solution to that problem,
  • 60:21 - 60:23
    and how to apply ourselves.
  • 60:23 - 60:24
    Of course, it also gives
  • 60:24 - 60:25
    a little bit more than that,
  • 60:25 - 60:27
    it gives a little bit of understanding
  • 60:27 - 60:29
    for how it all works,
  • 60:29 - 60:30
    which sometimes gives rise
  • 60:30 - 60:32
    to confidence and faith because
  • 60:32 - 60:34
    you feel that there is a system
  • 60:34 - 60:35
    which is complete.
  • 60:35 - 60:38
    But, essentially, it is a pragmatic thing.
  • 60:38 - 60:41
    It is about release from suffering
  • 60:41 - 60:42
    and a movement towards happiness,
  • 60:42 - 60:44
    and getting out of saṃsāra.
  • 60:44 - 60:46
    This is the purpose of this.
  • 60:47 - 60:49
    So the Buddha didn't philosophise.
  • 60:50 - 60:53
    This is the thing about the Abhidhamma,
  • 60:53 - 60:54
    I don't know what kind of ideas
  • 60:54 - 60:56
    you have about the Abhidhamma,
  • 60:56 - 60:58
    but as far as I am concerned,
  • 60:58 - 61:01
    and I read Pāli,
  • 61:01 - 61:03
    I have read parts of the Abhidhamma
  • 61:03 - 61:03
    not the whole thing
  • 61:03 - 61:05
    because I find it too boring,
  • 61:05 - 61:07
    to be perfectly honest with you,
  • 61:07 - 61:09
    and I've also read the suttas,
  • 61:09 - 61:10
    pretty much everything in Pāli, and
  • 61:10 - 61:13
    in English and in other languages as well,
  • 61:13 - 61:16
    and it is very clear to me,
  • 61:16 - 61:18
    that the Abhidhamma is later
  • 61:18 - 61:18
    than the suttas.
  • 61:18 - 61:21
    It arose over a long period of time,
  • 61:21 - 61:22
    because this is a very complex
  • 61:22 - 61:24
    type of literature.
  • 61:24 - 61:25
    It started arising
  • 61:25 - 61:27
    probably fairly soon after the Buddha
  • 61:27 - 61:28
    and went on being developed
  • 61:28 - 61:30
    for many centuries,
  • 61:30 - 61:31
    perhaps millennia
  • 61:31 - 61:33
    after the Buddha passed away.
  • 61:35 - 61:36
    I'm not going to go into that now,
  • 61:36 - 61:37
    if you are interested
  • 61:37 - 61:38
    you can ask in the Q&A,
  • 61:38 - 61:40
    but there are many, many good reasons why
  • 61:40 - 61:41
    the Abhidhamma is not
  • 61:41 - 61:42
    the word of the Buddha.
  • 61:42 - 61:44
    But the Abhidhamma is precisely
  • 61:44 - 61:45
    a philosophical system.
  • 61:46 - 61:47
    Why?
  • 61:47 - 61:49
    Because it is about creating
  • 61:49 - 61:52
    a system which explains the world
  • 61:52 - 61:53
    completely.
  • 61:53 - 61:54
    So you have this division of
  • 61:54 - 61:57
    mind-moments, or mind-states
  • 61:58 - 62:01
    96 cittas, or something like that,
  • 62:01 - 62:03
    and then you have the various
  • 62:03 - 62:05
    types of mind-factors
  • 62:05 - 62:07
    called the cetasikas,
  • 62:07 - 62:09
    which are 70 or whatever it is,
  • 62:09 - 62:12
    I'm not even sure how many there are,
  • 62:12 - 62:13
    maybe it's only 40.
  • 62:13 - 62:14
    Shows you how much
  • 62:14 - 62:15
    I know about the Abhidhamma.
  • 62:15 - 62:17
    And then you have
  • 62:17 - 62:19
    the factors of materiality,
  • 62:19 - 62:20
    the physical world.
  • 62:20 - 62:22
    There's 28, or something,
  • 62:22 - 62:23
    or 20 something. 24 perhaps.
  • 62:26 - 62:28
    First of all, it's divided up
  • 62:28 - 62:30
    into all the elements of reality,
  • 62:30 - 62:32
    and then you have all these books
  • 62:32 - 62:34
    that show how these things fit together.
  • 62:34 - 62:36
    There is a book called the Paṭṭhāna,
  • 62:36 - 62:39
    which is a book, basically, translated
  • 62:39 - 62:41
    into English as 'conditional relations'.
  • 62:41 - 62:43
    What that book does,
  • 62:43 - 62:45
    it shows you that all of these categories
  • 62:45 - 62:47
    I just talked about before,
  • 62:47 - 62:49
    how they are related to each other
  • 62:49 - 62:52
    through various causes.
  • 62:52 - 62:54
    24 causes are enumerated
  • 62:54 - 62:55
    in the Pāli.
  • 62:55 - 62:58
    And the book, the Paṭṭhāna, is so long
  • 62:58 - 63:00
    because there are so intricacies,
  • 63:00 - 63:01
    so many ways these things
  • 63:01 - 63:03
    can relate to each other,
  • 63:03 - 63:04
    it is so long that if you wrote out
  • 63:04 - 63:05
    the whole thing
  • 63:05 - 63:06
    - somebody apparently calculated this -
  • 63:06 - 63:08
    if you wrote out the whole thing,
  • 63:08 - 63:11
    the book would be so long
  • 63:11 - 63:11
    that it would stretch
  • 63:11 - 63:13
    from Sydney to Melbourne,
  • 63:13 - 63:14
    or something like that.
  • 63:14 - 63:15
    That's how big it is.
  • 63:16 - 63:18
    So this is thought out
  • 63:18 - 63:19
    by the human mind.
  • 63:19 - 63:21
    This is what they call philosophy.
  • 63:21 - 63:22
    And this is what happened
  • 63:22 - 63:23
    later in Buddhism.
  • 63:23 - 63:24
    Of course, the sad thing is that
  • 63:24 - 63:27
    if you travel around the Buddhist world,
  • 63:27 - 63:29
    you find that a lot of people,
  • 63:29 - 63:30
    that's what their interested in.
  • 63:31 - 63:33
    It's exactly why the Buddha didn't teach it.
  • 63:33 - 63:34
    He saw the attraction in that,
  • 63:34 - 63:35
    the danger in that,
  • 63:35 - 63:37
    creating philosophical systems,
  • 63:37 - 63:39
    building them up,
  • 63:39 - 63:40
    and it's never finished.
  • 63:40 - 63:41
    This is the other problem,
  • 63:41 - 63:44
    there's always some hole in the system.
  • 63:44 - 63:44
    Somebody says,
  • 63:44 - 63:46
    "oh, what about this?
  • 63:46 - 63:47
    You haven't thought about
  • 63:47 - 63:47
    this problem over here."
  • 63:47 - 63:49
    And then you have to write a new
  • 63:49 - 63:52
    sub-commentary to fill in that little gap.
  • 63:52 - 63:53
    Then somebody finds a hole
  • 63:53 - 63:54
    in the sub-commentary and the more
  • 63:54 - 63:56
    literature you have,
  • 63:56 - 63:57
    the more holes there's going to be.
  • 63:57 - 63:59
    So for every book you add,
  • 63:59 - 64:00
    there going to be another whole.
  • 64:01 - 64:02
    And it keeps on going like that
  • 64:02 - 64:03
    and there's no end.
  • 64:03 - 64:05
    This is the problem with philosophy,
  • 64:05 - 64:06
    it never, never stops.
  • 64:07 - 64:09
    So the Buddha, very, very wisely,
  • 64:09 - 64:11
    skipped that whole area.
  • 64:12 - 64:14
    So dependent origination
  • 64:14 - 64:16
    is not philosophy.
  • 64:16 - 64:18
    It's pragmatic, it's practical,
  • 64:18 - 64:20
    it's to be used in a practical way.
  • 64:20 - 64:22
    So please keep that in mind.
  • 64:22 - 64:23
    It's so easy to get sidetracked
  • 64:23 - 64:25
    with philosophising.
  • 64:26 - 64:28
    So what is Buddhism?
  • 64:28 - 64:30
    Maybe just very briefly: what it is,
  • 64:30 - 64:31
    because I think it is interesting
  • 64:31 - 64:34
    just as a point of general interest.
  • 64:34 - 64:36
    Is it a religion?
  • 64:37 - 64:38
    Is it a religion?
  • 64:38 - 64:38
    People say,
  • 64:38 - 64:40
    "aah, yeah, maybe,
  • 64:40 - 64:41
    maybe not it's a religion."
  • 64:41 - 64:43
    I think it's a fascinating question.
  • 64:43 - 64:45
    Personally, I think it's fascinating,
  • 64:45 - 64:46
    whether it's a religion or not.
  • 64:46 - 64:48
    Obviously, the answer is,
  • 64:48 - 64:49
    it all depends on how
  • 64:49 - 64:51
    you define the word 'religion'.
  • 64:52 - 64:53
    I looked up the Oxford Dictionary,
  • 64:53 - 64:54
    very recently,
  • 64:54 - 64:57
    at how that defines 'religion',
  • 64:57 - 65:00
    and it says any kind of system
  • 65:00 - 65:00
    where there is some kind of
  • 65:00 - 65:04
    supernatural agency is a religion.
  • 65:04 - 65:06
    From that point of view,
  • 65:06 - 65:08
    is Buddhism a religion?
  • 65:08 - 65:11
    I would say no, it is not, because, certainly
  • 65:11 - 65:14
    from an internal point of view of Buddhism
  • 65:14 - 65:15
    everything is part of nature.
  • 65:15 - 65:17
    Nothing is supernatural,
  • 65:17 - 65:19
    Nothing is outside of nature.
  • 65:19 - 65:20
    If you go to ordinary religions,
  • 65:20 - 65:23
    like, Christianity or Islam, of course,
  • 65:23 - 65:25
    the idea is that God stands outside
  • 65:25 - 65:26
    of nature.
  • 65:26 - 65:28
    That's why he can break all the laws of nature.
  • 65:28 - 65:30
    He doesn't have to care about
  • 65:30 - 65:31
    gravity or whatever.
  • 65:32 - 65:33
    He can just do whatever he wants.
  • 65:33 - 65:35
    Quantum mechanics, no problem,
  • 65:35 - 65:39
    he can do what he likes with the world.
  • 65:39 - 65:40
    He is supernatural.
  • 65:40 - 65:41
    But from a Buddhist point of view,
  • 65:41 - 65:43
    everything is part of nature.
  • 65:43 - 65:44
    So in that way,
  • 65:44 - 65:46
    Buddhism is not, really, supernatural.
  • 65:46 - 65:50
    But, if you're not a Buddhist and you say,
  • 65:50 - 65:51
    "aww, you guys believe in all kind
  • 65:51 - 65:54
    of weird stuff, you believe in devas,
  • 65:54 - 65:55
    okay; supernatural."
  • 65:55 - 65:57
    So from an external point of view,
  • 65:57 - 65:58
    maybe Buddhism is a religion,
  • 65:58 - 65:59
    because other people might think
  • 65:59 - 66:02
    that we believe in supernatural stuff.
  • 66:02 - 66:05
    So it depends on the angle you take.
  • 66:08 - 66:11
    I must admit, I prefer to be very careful
  • 66:11 - 66:12
    when using labels like 'religion'
  • 66:12 - 66:14
    on Buddhism, because the word
  • 66:14 - 66:16
    'religion' has so much baggage,
  • 66:16 - 66:19
    and a lot of that baggage does not
  • 66:19 - 66:20
    apply to Buddhism.
  • 66:20 - 66:22
    So we are taking on this baggage
  • 66:22 - 66:24
    by calling ourself a religion;
  • 66:24 - 66:26
    I'm not sure that is very suitable,
  • 66:26 - 66:27
    or very useful.
  • 66:27 - 66:28
    Sometimes it's better to say,
  • 66:28 - 66:30
    "yeah, I'm not sure we're a religion,
  • 66:30 - 66:31
    maybe we're something else."
  • 66:31 - 66:34
    So what is that something else?
  • 66:34 - 66:36
    I would say that something else is that,
  • 66:36 - 66:38
    Buddhism is essentially...
  • 66:38 - 66:39
    this is maybe something I need to
  • 66:39 - 66:40
    reflect a bit more about, but
  • 66:40 - 66:43
    it's really a type of psychology.
  • 66:43 - 66:44
    That's what I'd call Buddhism.
  • 66:44 - 66:46
    All of Buddhism is about
  • 66:46 - 66:48
    how to use the mind well,
  • 66:48 - 66:50
    how to move from suffering
  • 66:50 - 66:51
    to more happiness,
  • 66:51 - 66:54
    how to eventually end all suffering.
  • 66:54 - 66:56
    It's all really mental stuff.
  • 66:56 - 66:57
    It's all about developing the mind,
  • 66:57 - 66:59
    doing something with the mind.
  • 66:59 - 67:00
    It's a kind of psychology.
  • 67:00 - 67:02
    Maybe not anything like
  • 67:02 - 67:04
    anything we have in the world
  • 67:07 - 67:08
    apart from Buddhism,
  • 67:08 - 67:10
    it's different obviously, but it really is,
  • 67:10 - 67:12
    I think, at the end of the day,
  • 67:12 - 67:14
    possibly a type of psychology.
  • 67:14 - 67:15
    Although, I must admit,
  • 67:15 - 67:16
    I haven't really
  • 67:16 - 67:18
    thought about that carefully enough
  • 67:18 - 67:21
    to really make an absolute statement
  • 67:21 - 67:22
    about that.
  • 67:23 - 67:27
    Anyway, Buddhism is a psychology,
  • 67:27 - 67:28
    and, of course, that includes then
  • 67:28 - 67:30
    dependent origination.
  • 67:31 - 67:34
    So where does this fit in to this picture
  • 67:34 - 67:35
    of psychology?
  • 67:36 - 67:38
    What is it all about?
  • 67:39 - 67:42
    Dependent arising, the first thing,
  • 67:42 - 67:44
    of course, to understand about it,
  • 67:44 - 67:46
    is that it is an important teaching
  • 67:46 - 67:48
    of the Buddha.
  • 67:48 - 67:48
    How do you know
  • 67:48 - 67:50
    it's an important teaching of the Buddha?
  • 67:50 - 67:52
    Well, usually, you know because
  • 67:52 - 67:54
    somebody else says so.
  • 67:54 - 67:55
    That's how people often know
  • 67:55 - 67:56
    it is an important teaching,
  • 67:56 - 67:58
    "this is important because they say
  • 67:58 - 67:59
    it's an important teaching."
  • 67:59 - 68:01
    But is there any objective way
  • 68:01 - 68:02
    of deciding this, apart from just
  • 68:02 - 68:04
    listening to people like me
  • 68:04 - 68:05
    saying it is important?
  • 68:06 - 68:08
    The objective way of deciding
  • 68:08 - 68:10
    whether a teaching is important
  • 68:10 - 68:13
    in Buddhism or not, is to see how often
  • 68:13 - 68:15
    did the Buddha talk about this.
  • 68:15 - 68:17
    How many different audiences?
  • 68:17 - 68:18
    How many different places
  • 68:18 - 68:20
    did he give this particular teaching?
  • 68:20 - 68:22
    And dependent arising is one
  • 68:22 - 68:23
    of those teachings that you see
  • 68:23 - 68:25
    throughout the suttas.
  • 68:25 - 68:27
    You see it in all the four nikāyas.
  • 68:27 - 68:29
    You see it in the Majjhima Nikāya.
  • 68:29 - 68:30
    You see it in the Dīgha Nikāya.
  • 68:30 - 68:32
    You see it in the Aṅguttara, in the Saṃyutta.
  • 68:32 - 68:34
    In the Saṃyutta Nikāya,
  • 68:34 - 68:35
    there is a whole section just about
  • 68:35 - 68:37
    dependent origination.
  • 68:37 - 68:40
    This is how you make a decision
  • 68:40 - 68:42
    about whether a sutta is important
  • 68:42 - 68:43
    or not.
  • 68:44 - 68:46
    This is actually a very useful tool,
  • 68:46 - 68:47
    because sometimes people say,
  • 68:47 - 68:48
    "ah, this is really important."
  • 68:48 - 68:50
    But why is it important?
  • 68:50 - 68:52
    "I don't know, it just is important."
  • 68:52 - 68:53
    There should be some objective
  • 68:53 - 68:55
    criteria for deciding these things.
  • 68:55 - 68:57
    So dependent arising is
  • 68:57 - 68:58
    one of those things.
  • 68:59 - 69:01
    The second question is then:
  • 69:01 - 69:02
    how does it fit in with
  • 69:02 - 69:05
    the rest of the teachings?
  • 69:05 - 69:06
    Because we need to sort of
  • 69:06 - 69:08
    tie it together with everything else.
  • 69:08 - 69:10
    One of the wonderful things
  • 69:10 - 69:13
    about the Buddhist teaching, is that
  • 69:13 - 69:15
    it all fits together into this one picture.
  • 69:16 - 69:18
    It's basically one picture,
  • 69:18 - 69:19
    then you take out a little piece here
  • 69:19 - 69:20
    a little piece there,
  • 69:20 - 69:22
    it's almost like a jigsaw.
  • 69:22 - 69:22
    It's not really like a jigsaw.
  • 69:22 - 69:25
    A jigsaw is a very imperfect simile,
  • 69:25 - 69:28
    or metaphor, because really, often,
  • 69:28 - 69:29
    the different pieces they overlap,
  • 69:29 - 69:31
    or one fits into another one
  • 69:31 - 69:34
    and it's not really quite like a jigsaw,
  • 69:34 - 69:37
    but still, it is an overall picture.
  • 69:37 - 69:40
    And it is the picture that you realise
  • 69:40 - 69:42
    when you awaken to the Dhamma.
  • 69:42 - 69:43
    When you, one day, become a stream enterer
  • 69:43 - 69:45
    and you get a flash of insight,
  • 69:45 - 69:46
    BANG!
  • 69:46 - 69:48
    What is it that you see?
  • 69:48 - 69:48
    What you see is:
  • 69:48 - 69:49
    the Dīgha Nikāya, the Majjhima Nikāya
  • 69:49 - 69:51
    the Saṃyutta Nikāya, the Aṅguttara Nikāya.
  • 69:51 - 69:52
    All in one!
  • 69:52 - 69:53
    That's what you see!
  • 69:53 - 69:54
    Whoa!
  • 69:54 - 69:55
    You're head is going to explode!
  • 69:55 - 69:57
    Imagine seeing all that is one moment.
  • 69:57 - 69:59
    But the point, of course, is that
  • 69:59 - 70:01
    the insight is quite simple,
  • 70:01 - 70:04
    but when you draw out all the implications
  • 70:04 - 70:06
    of that one single insight,
  • 70:06 - 70:08
    you end up with an enormous thing.
  • 70:09 - 70:10
    That is what is so amazing.
  • 70:14 - 70:17
    So dependent origination is part of that.
  • 70:17 - 70:19
    It is part of that big picture,
  • 70:19 - 70:20
    but it is only one little thing.
  • 70:20 - 70:22
    So where does it fit in?
  • 70:23 - 70:25
    One easy way of understanding
  • 70:25 - 70:27
    where it fits in is to look at
  • 70:27 - 70:29
    the Four Noble Truths.
  • 70:30 - 70:31
    Noble Truth number one,
  • 70:31 - 70:32
    is the truth of suffering.
  • 70:33 - 70:35
    Usually, most people shake their head,
  • 70:35 - 70:37
    "okay, I'm not a Buddhist, I don't suffer."
  • 70:37 - 70:39
    That is number one.
  • 70:40 - 70:43
    Anyway, once you get passed the first one,
  • 70:43 - 70:44
    you say, "okay, yeah, life is a bit
  • 70:44 - 70:47
    unsatisfactory sometimes, okay, fair enough."
  • 70:47 - 70:49
    Once you get passed the first one,
  • 70:49 - 70:51
    the Second Noble Truth:
  • 70:51 - 70:54
    the cause of suffering.
  • 70:54 - 70:56
    The cause of suffering is taṇhā, craving,
  • 70:56 - 70:59
    according to the Second Noble Truth.
  • 70:59 - 71:01
    Now, in some suttas,
  • 71:03 - 71:05
    that fact that
  • 71:05 - 71:07
    taṇhā leads to suffering
  • 71:07 - 71:08
    is expanded out,
  • 71:08 - 71:10
    and it is expanded out
  • 71:10 - 71:12
    into dependent origination.
  • 71:12 - 71:14
    Dependent origination is what shows you
  • 71:14 - 71:16
    that suffering arises.
  • 71:16 - 71:18
    It's an alternative way of understanding
  • 71:18 - 71:20
    the Second Noble Truth.
  • 71:20 - 71:23
    So dependent origination fits,
  • 71:23 - 71:24
    bang in there.
  • 71:25 - 71:28
    It is basically another way of speaking
  • 71:28 - 71:30
    about the Second Noble Truth,
  • 71:30 - 71:31
    dependent origination.
  • 71:31 - 71:33
    That's already quite interesting
  • 71:33 - 71:35
    because normally you look at
  • 71:35 - 71:37
    the Second Noble Truth,
  • 71:37 - 71:39
    craving gives rise to suffering.
  • 71:40 - 71:42
    Okay, fine,
  • 71:42 - 71:44
    first of all maybe it's a little bit
  • 71:44 - 71:46
    hard to understand why that is the case,
  • 71:46 - 71:48
    so one thing that dependent origination
  • 71:48 - 71:51
    does, it spells out exactly why it is
  • 71:51 - 71:54
    that craving gives rise to suffering.
  • 71:54 - 71:56
    It puts in all the little pieces in between
  • 71:56 - 71:58
    to show you how this conditionality
  • 71:58 - 71:59
    actually works.
  • 72:00 - 72:01
    That's the first thing that's
  • 72:01 - 72:02
    interesting about it.
  • 72:02 - 72:03
    The second thing is,
  • 72:03 - 72:07
    okay, if craving is the cause of suffering
  • 72:07 - 72:08
    the Third Noble Truth says that
  • 72:08 - 72:10
    when you remove that craving
  • 72:10 - 72:11
    suffering ends.
  • 72:12 - 72:16
    But, how do you get rid of craving?
  • 72:16 - 72:18
    If craving is the cause of suffering,
  • 72:18 - 72:19
    you want to get rid of craving.
  • 72:19 - 72:20
    It's not very obvious, right?
  • 72:20 - 72:22
    Everybody has desires,
  • 72:22 - 72:24
    everybody has cravings in their life.
  • 72:24 - 72:25
    How do you get rid of that?
  • 72:25 - 72:27
    And this is the other thing that
  • 72:27 - 72:29
    dependent arising, dependent origination
  • 72:29 - 72:30
    shows you.
  • 72:30 - 72:31
    It shows you all the links,
  • 72:31 - 72:34
    all the causes that eventually
  • 72:34 - 72:35
    give rise to craving.
  • 72:35 - 72:37
    So it shows you have craving
  • 72:37 - 72:38
    can be removed.
  • 72:38 - 72:40
    And, of course, what it does,
  • 72:40 - 72:42
    it takes it all back down to ignorance
  • 72:42 - 72:44
    I was talking about before,
  • 72:44 - 72:46
    which is the first factor of
  • 72:46 - 72:47
    dependent arising.
  • 72:47 - 72:49
    So if you remove ignorance,
  • 72:49 - 72:50
    then everything else
  • 72:50 - 72:52
    starts to disappear.
  • 72:52 - 72:53
    Craving, and then
  • 72:53 - 72:57
    eventually also suffering itself.
  • 72:58 - 72:59
    So it fills in the gaps.
  • 72:59 - 73:01
    It makes it clear what is going on.
  • 73:01 - 73:03
    This is the power of dependent origination
  • 73:03 - 73:04
    in this case.
  • 73:04 - 73:06
    The second thing that is fascinating
  • 73:06 - 73:08
    about this, and often you will hear
  • 73:08 - 73:10
    people argue about whether
  • 73:10 - 73:12
    dependent origination includes
  • 73:12 - 73:14
    things like rebirth.
  • 73:14 - 73:15
    Is it about rebirth?
  • 73:15 - 73:17
    Is it about one life?
  • 73:17 - 73:19
    Is it about what happens in one moment?
  • 73:19 - 73:20
    People have all these different theories
  • 73:20 - 73:22
    about dependent origination.
  • 73:22 - 73:24
    I don't know about you here,
  • 73:24 - 73:26
    I'm not sure what you think.
  • 73:26 - 73:27
    I'm not going to ask you.
  • 73:28 - 73:31
    I, personally, don't have any doubt
  • 73:31 - 73:32
    that it refers to rebirth.
  • 73:32 - 73:35
    The rebirth process is part and parcel
  • 73:35 - 73:37
    of dependent origination,
  • 73:37 - 73:38
    and you can actually see that
  • 73:38 - 73:40
    if you consider the Second Noble Truth,
  • 73:40 - 73:43
    or at least one hint is found right there
  • 73:43 - 73:45
    because, the Second Noble Truth says
  • 73:45 - 73:48
    it is the craving that leasts to rebirth,
  • 73:48 - 73:50
    which is the source of suffering.
  • 73:50 - 73:52
    It's not just any old craving,
  • 73:52 - 73:55
    it's specifically called ponobhavika
  • 73:55 - 73:58
    Pono is from puna which means 'again'.
  • 73:58 - 74:00
    Bhavika means existence.
  • 74:00 - 74:02
    So the craving that has to do with
  • 74:02 - 74:04
    re-existence.
  • 74:04 - 74:06
    So because dependent origination
  • 74:06 - 74:08
    is just an expansion of that
  • 74:08 - 74:10
    Second Noble Truth,
  • 74:10 - 74:11
    dependent origination, too,
  • 74:11 - 74:14
    has to do with rebirth
  • 74:14 - 74:16
    and re-existence in the future.
  • 74:16 - 74:17
    It becomes very clear once you whack it
  • 74:17 - 74:20
    into that formula and they obviously
  • 74:20 - 74:22
    have to equate with each other,
  • 74:22 - 74:23
    it's the same thing,
  • 74:23 - 74:25
    so it deals with rebirth.
  • 74:25 - 74:27
    That's one thing I've been saying before,
  • 74:27 - 74:28
    I talked about the various
  • 74:30 - 74:32
    things that dependent origination points to
  • 74:32 - 74:34
    such as kamma et cetera,
  • 74:34 - 74:36
    of course, rebirth and kamma
  • 74:36 - 74:38
    are here closely connected to each other.
  • 74:40 - 74:42
    So this is where it is then,
  • 74:42 - 74:44
    it is part of the Second Noble Truth,
  • 74:44 - 74:45
    and straight away you see some
  • 74:45 - 74:46
    interesting things coming out,
  • 74:46 - 74:48
    just by considering that.
  • 74:48 - 74:50
    Third Noble Truth.
  • 74:50 - 74:51
    The Third Noble Truth is about
  • 74:51 - 74:53
    the ending of suffering.
  • 74:53 - 74:55
    It's great that there is a Third Noble Truth.
  • 74:55 - 74:56
    Without that it wouldn't be so great,
  • 74:56 - 74:59
    just the cause of suffering and suffering.
  • 74:59 - 75:00
    So the third one is like,
  • 75:00 - 75:01
    WOW!
  • 75:01 - 75:03
    This is the power of the Buddha's teaching
  • 75:03 - 75:05
    that we have the Third Noble Truth
  • 75:05 - 75:06
    and the fourth on, of course,
  • 75:06 - 75:07
    which is the path.
  • 75:07 - 75:08
    Now the third one
  • 75:09 - 75:12
    shows us that the cessation of suffering
  • 75:12 - 75:16
    comes from the cessation of craving.
  • 75:16 - 75:19
    Again, the sequence of dependent arising,
  • 75:19 - 75:20
    it has a forward order
  • 75:20 - 75:22
    and it has a reverse order.
  • 75:22 - 75:25
    And here it operates in the reverse order.
  • 75:25 - 75:25
    It shows you that
  • 75:25 - 75:27
    when you eliminate avijjā,
  • 75:27 - 75:29
    ignorance, at the bottom
  • 75:29 - 75:31
    all the factors get eliminated
  • 75:31 - 75:32
    until you eliminate craving
  • 75:32 - 75:34
    and then it fills in the gap
  • 75:34 - 75:36
    between craving and dukkha.
  • 75:36 - 75:38
    All of those factors get eliminated
  • 75:38 - 75:40
    and eventually suffering itself
  • 75:40 - 75:41
    gets eliminated.
  • 75:41 - 75:43
    There are two ways that
  • 75:43 - 75:45
    dependent arising works:
  • 75:45 - 75:46
    in the forward order,
  • 75:46 - 75:48
    which shows you how suffering arises
  • 75:48 - 75:49
    and the reverse order,
  • 75:49 - 75:51
    which shows how suffering ends
  • 75:51 - 75:53
    as a consequence of all the other
  • 75:53 - 75:54
    factors ending.
  • 75:55 - 75:59
    Second Noble Truth and Third Noble Truth.
  • 75:59 - 76:02
    I hope I'm making sense to you.
  • 76:02 - 76:03
    I'm not sure how much you
  • 76:03 - 76:04
    know about these things,
  • 76:04 - 76:05
    or how much you don't.
  • 76:05 - 76:07
    I apologise if I go too fast;
  • 76:07 - 76:09
    just let me know later on,
  • 76:09 - 76:10
    write a little complaint or whatever
  • 76:10 - 76:12
    and I'll try to go more slowly.
  • 76:13 - 76:15
    Sometimes it's hard because you have
  • 76:15 - 76:17
    people at different stages,
  • 76:17 - 76:19
    different understandings.
  • 76:19 - 76:23
    So this is, then, where... now you can see
  • 76:23 - 76:25
    why it is very much a psychology.
  • 76:25 - 76:28
    It's all to do with craving, desires,
  • 76:28 - 76:30
    how that causes suffering in the end
  • 76:30 - 76:32
    and about how it's ignorance,
  • 76:32 - 76:34
    which is another mental thing,
  • 76:34 - 76:36
    at the very beginning
  • 76:36 - 76:37
    which causes this whole thing.
  • 76:37 - 76:40
    It all revolves around things in our minds
  • 76:40 - 76:44
    and the why our psyches actually work.
  • 76:49 - 76:53
    Very briefly, perhaps, ignorance itself
  • 76:53 - 76:54
    even though we have this whole chain
  • 76:54 - 76:55
    of things starting with
  • 76:55 - 76:57
    ignorance, what about ignorance itself?
  • 76:58 - 76:59
    Where does that come from?
  • 76:59 - 77:01
    Can we say anything about ignorance?
  • 77:02 - 77:03
    The Buddhist idea is that ignorance
  • 77:03 - 77:05
    has always been there.
  • 77:05 - 77:07
    There is not first cause of ignorance.
  • 77:08 - 77:10
    I'll talk more about this later on
  • 77:10 - 77:11
    but this is one of those things
  • 77:11 - 77:13
    that always has existed
  • 77:14 - 77:17
    You cannot find the first cause of it.
  • 77:17 - 77:18
    Not really always has existed,
  • 77:18 - 77:20
    but you cannot find the first cause.
  • 77:22 - 77:23
    But, that does not mean
  • 77:23 - 77:24
    it cannot be eliminated.
  • 77:24 - 77:26
    It can still be eliminated, even though
  • 77:26 - 77:29
    there is no first cause to it.
  • 77:29 - 77:31
    So that is how it fits into
  • 77:31 - 77:33
    this big jigsaw puzzle.
  • 77:33 - 77:35
    It's directly there.
  • 77:35 - 77:36
    Part and parcel of the
  • 77:36 - 77:38
    second and the third Noble Truths.
  • 77:38 - 77:41
    And this becomes the importance of
  • 77:41 - 77:44
    dependent origination.
  • 77:44 - 77:45
    So now,
  • 77:46 - 77:48
    I thought of maybe talking,
  • 77:48 - 77:51
    very briefly today, just about
  • 77:51 - 77:53
    the various links of dependent origination,
  • 77:53 - 77:55
    starting from the beginning and show
  • 77:55 - 77:56
    just very briefly
  • 77:56 - 77:58
    how the whole system works.
  • 77:58 - 78:00
    Once we have this overview,
  • 78:00 - 78:02
    then we can start to focus in
  • 78:02 - 78:05
    on the details maybe tomorrow morning.
  • 78:05 - 78:07
    So let's have a look at the overview
  • 78:07 - 78:09
    of this whole sequence.
  • 78:09 - 78:12
    As I said, it begins with avijjā,
  • 78:12 - 78:14
    usually translated as ignorance;
  • 78:14 - 78:16
    not a good translation perhaps,
  • 78:16 - 78:17
    - I'll talk more about that tomorrow -
  • 78:17 - 78:19
    and it ends up with dukkha.
  • 78:20 - 78:22
    In between, you have ten other
  • 78:22 - 78:23
    factors in between.
  • 78:23 - 78:26
    There's 12 links in dependent arising,
  • 78:26 - 78:28
    and they are linked,
  • 78:28 - 78:30
    there's like a pair-wise linkage.
  • 78:31 - 78:32
    Each one of these factors is linked
  • 78:32 - 78:34
    to the one which comes after it,
  • 78:34 - 78:36
    and it's a causal linkage:
  • 78:36 - 78:38
    one thing leading to the next one,
  • 78:38 - 78:40
    leading to the next one.
  • 78:40 - 78:41
    So the first thing to understand is
  • 78:41 - 78:46
    this idea of causality that actually drives
  • 78:46 - 78:49
    this thing called dependent origination.
  • 78:51 - 78:53
    We start off with avijjā
  • 78:53 - 78:56
    and the point here is that once you have avijjā
  • 78:56 - 78:58
    the second factor comes into effect
  • 78:58 - 79:00
    then third factor all the way to the
  • 79:00 - 79:02
    twelfth factor which is called dukkha
  • 79:02 - 79:04
    which is suffering.
  • 79:05 - 79:06
    The kind of causality you are talking
  • 79:06 - 79:09
    about here, and this is spoken about
  • 79:09 - 79:12
    in brief also in the suttas themselves,
  • 79:12 - 79:14
    It is a type of causality you can call
  • 79:14 - 79:17
    sufficient causality.
  • 79:17 - 79:19
    Sufficient causality means that
  • 79:19 - 79:23
    when the factor preceding another one exists,
  • 79:23 - 79:24
    the factor that comes after
  • 79:24 - 79:27
    must also exist as a consequence.
  • 79:27 - 79:28
    That's what it means to be sufficient.
  • 79:28 - 79:30
    In other words, ignorance is sufficient
  • 79:30 - 79:33
    for the next factor to exist.
  • 79:34 - 79:36
    And then, the next factor is sufficient for the
  • 79:36 - 79:39
    third factor to exist, and so on
  • 79:39 - 79:41
    all the way to the last factor.
  • 79:41 - 79:44
    Each one is sufficient for the following one,
  • 79:44 - 79:46
    and what that means is that
  • 79:46 - 79:48
    if you have ignorance,
  • 79:48 - 79:49
    you have no choice,
  • 79:49 - 79:51
    you have to suffer.
  • 79:51 - 79:54
    From ignorance comes suffering.
  • 79:55 - 79:56
    What is that stupid English saying?
  • 79:56 - 79:57
    Ignorance is bliss.
  • 79:57 - 79:59
    It's completely wrong!
  • 79:59 - 80:00
    It's a mistake.
  • 80:01 - 80:03
    It's got it completely the wrong way round,
  • 80:03 - 80:04
    ignorance is not bliss.
  • 80:04 - 80:06
    If it is bliss, it's a very kind of
  • 80:06 - 80:08
    shallow form of stupid, silly bliss.
  • 80:08 - 80:12
    The real problem is ignorance must
  • 80:12 - 80:14
    cause suffering. That's what we mean
  • 80:14 - 80:16
    by sufficient conditions,
  • 80:16 - 80:18
    one must lead to the next one,
  • 80:18 - 80:19
    one after the other.
  • 80:19 - 80:22
    If you have ignorance, you have to suffer.
  • 80:22 - 80:23
    It's interesting, right?
  • 80:23 - 80:25
    It means that there is only
  • 80:25 - 80:26
    one solution to this whole thing.
  • 80:28 - 80:29
    But there is the other side,
  • 80:29 - 80:30
    which I mentioned just before,
  • 80:30 - 80:31
    and that side is that
  • 80:32 - 80:35
    once you take away the ignorance
  • 80:35 - 80:37
    once you give rise to knowledge
  • 80:37 - 80:38
    and understanding instead,
  • 80:38 - 80:41
    the second factor also disappears,
  • 80:41 - 80:43
    also ceases as a consequence.
  • 80:43 - 80:45
    This is another type of conditionality.
  • 80:45 - 80:47
    Both types of conditionality
  • 80:47 - 80:48
    apply at the same time.
  • 80:48 - 80:51
    This is called necessary conditionality.
  • 80:51 - 80:52
    Sufficient conditionality
  • 80:52 - 80:53
    and necessary conditionality.
  • 80:53 - 80:55
    Necessary conditionality means that
  • 80:55 - 80:58
    the preceding factor is necessary
  • 80:58 - 81:01
    for the subsequent factor to arise.
  • 81:01 - 81:03
    So if you take away avijjā,
  • 81:03 - 81:05
    if you take away ignorance,
  • 81:05 - 81:06
    the second factor,
  • 81:06 - 81:08
    which is called saṅkhāra in Pāli,
  • 81:09 - 81:10
    cannot exist any more,
  • 81:10 - 81:12
    it must disappear as a consequence.
  • 81:12 - 81:15
    This is called necessary conditionality.
  • 81:15 - 81:18
    Take away the necessary cause,
  • 81:18 - 81:20
    and the subsequence effect
  • 81:20 - 81:22
    also has to disappear.
  • 81:22 - 81:26
    This is in brief what all of dependent arising
  • 81:26 - 81:27
    really is about.
  • 81:27 - 81:30
    It's about this interplay of these two causes:
  • 81:30 - 81:31
    sufficient causality
  • 81:31 - 81:33
    and necessary causality.
  • 81:33 - 81:35
    When you understand those two causes,
  • 81:35 - 81:37
    it's fairly straightforward.
  • 81:37 - 81:38
    When you understand what's going on
  • 81:38 - 81:40
    you can understand how the whole thing
  • 81:40 - 81:41
    comes into being and also
  • 81:41 - 81:43
    how the whole thing ceases
  • 81:43 - 81:45
    as a consequence.
  • 81:47 - 81:49
    So that is in brief what it is,
  • 81:49 - 81:51
    and it's not just dependent arising
  • 81:51 - 81:53
    which works like that.
  • 81:53 - 81:54
    There are many things in life
  • 81:54 - 81:55
    which work on the basis of
  • 81:55 - 81:59
    necessary and sufficient conditionality.
  • 82:00 - 82:02
    In Buddhism, as well, there are other sets.
  • 82:02 - 82:05
    I have included some of those other sets
  • 82:05 - 82:06
    in here as well.
  • 82:06 - 82:08
    They're not called dependent origination
  • 82:08 - 82:10
    because they're not the same set of 12 factors,
  • 82:10 - 82:13
    but the same type of causality
  • 82:13 - 82:14
    is sometimes relevant
  • 82:14 - 82:15
    for those sets as well.
  • 82:16 - 82:17
    Sometimes there are other types of
  • 82:17 - 82:19
    conditionality, which are more loose.
  • 82:19 - 82:21
    If you do this, then usually you get that.
  • 82:21 - 82:22
    Which is not as strict.
  • 82:22 - 82:25
    Dependent arising is a very strict kind of
  • 82:25 - 82:26
    conditionality.
  • 82:26 - 82:27
    Very, very strict.
  • 82:27 - 82:29
    If you have that, that must follow.
  • 82:29 - 82:31
    Haven't got that, that will not follow.
  • 82:33 - 82:35
    So that is the overview.
  • 82:35 - 82:36
    You get the idea of how
  • 82:36 - 82:38
    this process works.
  • 82:38 - 82:42
    Let us briefly have a look at
  • 82:42 - 82:44
    the various factors in this chain,
  • 82:44 - 82:48
    and see roughly how it works out.
  • 82:50 - 82:54
    The first factor is called avijjā in Pāli.
  • 82:55 - 82:58
    As I said, often translated as ignorance.
  • 82:58 - 82:59
    It basically means that you
  • 82:59 - 83:03
    don't understand reality as it actually is.
  • 83:03 - 83:04
    Reality is one way,
  • 83:04 - 83:06
    the world works in one way;
  • 83:06 - 83:07
    you think it's different.
  • 83:07 - 83:09
    Of course, what the Buddha is saying
  • 83:09 - 83:11
    is that we are all like that.
  • 83:11 - 83:12
    We all have this avijjā.
  • 83:12 - 83:15
    We all have this blockage inside ourselves,
  • 83:15 - 83:17
    that make us not see reality
  • 83:17 - 83:19
    as it actually is.
  • 83:19 - 83:20
    What that means is that
  • 83:20 - 83:22
    we are running around like blind people.
  • 83:22 - 83:23
    We are in the dark.
  • 83:23 - 83:25
    We think that we are pursuing happiness,
  • 83:25 - 83:27
    but actually, we're usually pursuing
  • 83:27 - 83:28
    suffering instead.
  • 83:28 - 83:30
    We have got no idea what we're doing.
  • 83:30 - 83:33
    This is basically what ignorance means.
  • 83:33 - 83:35
    Because we don't know what we're doing,
  • 83:35 - 83:37
    it means that we start doing
  • 83:37 - 83:38
    all kind of stuff which leads
  • 83:38 - 83:39
    in the wrong direction
  • 83:39 - 83:43
    this is saṅkhāra. Saṅkhāra is often
  • 83:43 - 83:44
    translated with this terrible translation...
  • 83:44 - 83:46
    this is my opinion, right,
  • 83:46 - 83:48
    I apologise for anybody who
  • 83:48 - 83:49
    likes this translation.
  • 83:51 - 83:52
    The usual translation is,
  • 83:52 - 83:54
    'volitional formations'.
  • 83:54 - 83:57
    At least it leaves me stone cold
  • 83:57 - 83:58
    when I hear 'volitional formations'.
  • 83:58 - 84:00
    It doesn't do anything for me at all.
  • 84:00 - 84:02
    I feel like I could be on Mars
  • 84:02 - 84:04
    when I hear that translation.
  • 84:05 - 84:07
    Some people maybe it means something to,
  • 84:07 - 84:10
    but I find it doesn't really grab you,
  • 84:10 - 84:12
    grab your heart when you hear that.
  • 84:12 - 84:13
    Basically, what it means is the
  • 84:13 - 84:16
    activities of body, speech and mind.
  • 84:16 - 84:18
    The things that we do, especially
  • 84:18 - 84:21
    intentional things that we do.
  • 84:21 - 84:23
    So saṅkhāra can be translated...
  • 84:23 - 84:24
    I'll talk about it tomorrow
  • 84:24 - 84:25
    what a proper translation is,
  • 84:25 - 84:27
    but I will leave it for now.
  • 84:27 - 84:29
    So because we don't understand,
  • 84:29 - 84:31
    we do all these kinds of things, right?
  • 84:31 - 84:33
    And all this doing that we do,
  • 84:33 - 84:36
    from not understanding, has consequences.
  • 84:36 - 84:38
    One of the consequences it has...
  • 84:39 - 84:41
    Because all the doing is based on craving,
  • 84:41 - 84:44
    it's about propelling us into the future.
  • 84:45 - 84:46
    One of the things it leads to,
  • 84:46 - 84:48
    is it always leads to rebirth.
  • 84:48 - 84:49
    Quite literally,
  • 84:49 - 84:51
    always propelling ourselves,
  • 84:51 - 84:54
    projecting ourselves into the future.
  • 84:54 - 84:55
    The saṅkhāras are always about
  • 84:55 - 84:57
    what we want, not about now,
  • 84:57 - 84:59
    it's about the future.
  • 84:59 - 85:01
    From this, we get the idea of viññāṇa.
  • 85:01 - 85:03
    Viññāṇa, which is consciousness,
  • 85:03 - 85:06
    then gets established as a consequence of that.
  • 85:06 - 85:07
    I'll take much more in detail
  • 85:07 - 85:08
    about this tomorrow.
  • 85:08 - 85:12
    This is just very kind of rudimentary.
  • 85:13 - 85:16
    Because viññāṇa is then established,
  • 85:16 - 85:17
    in this case we're talking about
  • 85:17 - 85:20
    established in a new life in particular,
  • 85:21 - 85:23
    in that new life,
  • 85:23 - 85:25
    depending on where that life is
  • 85:25 - 85:27
    you'll have certain experiences, right?
  • 85:27 - 85:30
    If you get reborn as a deva, a god,
  • 85:30 - 85:32
    wow, you have these wonderful experiences,
  • 85:32 - 85:34
    so much happiness, right?
  • 85:34 - 85:36
    If you get reborn as a kangaroo,
  • 85:36 - 85:37
    it's not so great.
  • 85:37 - 85:38
    Maybe you think kangaroos are cute,
  • 85:38 - 85:39
    but actually,
  • 85:39 - 85:41
    kangaroo life is pretty miserable.
  • 85:41 - 85:43
    I live in the middle of the bush,
  • 85:43 - 85:44
    I see what they are like.
  • 85:44 - 85:46
    They are greedy, they are angry,
  • 85:46 - 85:48
    they fight over food.
  • 85:48 - 85:50
    The reality of kangaroo life is pretty,
  • 85:50 - 85:51
    pretty bad.
  • 85:51 - 85:53
    So when you see a cute animal,
  • 85:53 - 85:54
    what you see on the surface
  • 85:54 - 85:55
    is only one thing.
  • 85:55 - 85:56
    But if could be worse, you could be
  • 85:56 - 85:58
    reborn as an insect.
  • 85:58 - 85:59
    Imagine that!
  • 85:59 - 86:03
    Whoa! You get reborn as a mosquito,
  • 86:03 - 86:04
    you're flying around, find this big
  • 86:04 - 86:06
    lump of flesh in front of you and then,
  • 86:06 - 86:09
    smack! You get swatted because of that.
  • 86:09 - 86:10
    All you're doing is trying to get
  • 86:10 - 86:11
    some nice food, right?
  • 86:11 - 86:13
    You're just doing what everybody
  • 86:13 - 86:16
    wants to do, and then that's it,
  • 86:16 - 86:17
    end of story.
  • 86:18 - 86:19
    So the point is that,
  • 86:20 - 86:22
    once you establish consciousness
  • 86:22 - 86:25
    in a certain place, your experience
  • 86:25 - 86:27
    of the world is set within certain limits.
  • 86:28 - 86:29
    That is what nāmarūpa is,
  • 86:29 - 86:31
    called 'name-and-form',
  • 86:31 - 86:33
    also called 'mentality-materiality'.
  • 86:33 - 86:35
    It's all our experiences, basically,
  • 86:35 - 86:37
    and they are set within certain limits.
  • 86:37 - 86:40
    Because we have name-and-form,
  • 86:40 - 86:42
    we have the sense basis.
  • 86:42 - 86:44
    You see things, you hear,
  • 86:44 - 86:45
    you taste, you touch things
  • 86:45 - 86:47
    and through that, through the sense
  • 86:47 - 86:49
    is how we contact the world.
  • 86:51 - 86:52
    All our contact through the world
  • 86:52 - 86:53
    is through our sense.
  • 86:53 - 86:55
    I see all of your, you seem me,
  • 86:55 - 86:56
    we see each other,
  • 86:56 - 86:57
    we hear the sounds,
  • 86:57 - 86:58
    everything is through the sense.
  • 86:58 - 87:01
    It's called contact in the technical term.
  • 87:01 - 87:03
    Phassa in Pāli.
  • 87:04 - 87:06
    The previous term I forgot to say in Pāli,
  • 87:06 - 87:07
    I don't know if you're interested,
  • 87:07 - 87:10
    it's called saḷāyatana, the six sense bases.
  • 87:10 - 87:13
    Phassa, contact in the world.
  • 87:13 - 87:16
    Phassa leads to vedanā.
  • 87:16 - 87:18
    Vedanā means the feeling tone
  • 87:18 - 87:20
    of experience.
  • 87:20 - 87:21
    Is it happy?
  • 87:21 - 87:22
    Is it suffering?
  • 87:22 - 87:23
    Is it neutral?
  • 87:23 - 87:24
    It leads to much more.
  • 87:24 - 87:26
    Contact also leads to all kind of things.
  • 87:27 - 87:28
    We see forms,
  • 87:29 - 87:31
    we have volition, will,
  • 87:31 - 87:34
    drives in us, will in us,
  • 87:34 - 87:35
    it leads to many other things as well,
  • 87:35 - 87:37
    but it's interesting, the Buddha here,
  • 87:37 - 87:39
    picks out vedanā,
  • 87:39 - 87:42
    this idea of the feeling tone of experience.
  • 87:42 - 87:44
    He picks that out specifically
  • 87:44 - 87:45
    because it is much more important
  • 87:45 - 87:47
    than the other ones.
  • 87:47 - 87:48
    Why is it so important?
  • 87:48 - 87:49
    Because, it is vedanā
  • 87:49 - 87:51
    which tends to drive us.
  • 87:52 - 87:55
    Vedanā decides if you like it or not.
  • 87:55 - 87:56
    If you don't like it,
  • 87:56 - 87:58
    you will want to get rid of it.
  • 87:58 - 87:59
    If you like it, you will crave for it.
  • 88:01 - 88:03
    So vedanā makes us act.
  • 88:03 - 88:04
    The feeling tone makes us act,
  • 88:04 - 88:06
    through craving.
  • 88:06 - 88:07
    So you crave and then you act
  • 88:07 - 88:10
    and part of that action is upādāna.
  • 88:10 - 88:13
    Upādāna is how we react to craving.
  • 88:13 - 88:15
    What do we do with craving in the world?
  • 88:16 - 88:17
    We do things.
  • 88:17 - 88:17
    We take up things.
  • 88:17 - 88:19
    We start things.
  • 88:20 - 88:22
    Almost all the things we do
  • 88:22 - 88:24
    are, big picture things,
  • 88:24 - 88:25
    come from this idea of upādāna.
  • 88:25 - 88:28
    Taking things up, almost in a
  • 88:28 - 88:29
    literal sense.
  • 88:29 - 88:33
    You take up having a job,
  • 88:33 - 88:34
    or you take up hobbies,
  • 88:34 - 88:35
    or you take up Buddhism,
  • 88:35 - 88:36
    you take up meditation.
  • 88:36 - 88:37
    You do things.
  • 88:37 - 88:38
    And then because we take up
  • 88:38 - 88:40
    all these things we live in a certain way.
  • 88:40 - 88:42
    It's called bhava, existence.
  • 88:42 - 88:45
    So we live in a certain way,
  • 88:45 - 88:48
    our mind is kind of set in a certain way.
  • 88:48 - 88:49
    This is very similar to what we were
  • 88:49 - 88:51
    talking about at the beginning
  • 88:51 - 88:53
    of consciousness being established.
  • 88:53 - 88:56
    We're established, through the way we exist,
  • 88:56 - 88:58
    and because of that establishment
  • 88:58 - 89:01
    we are reborn in accordance with that
  • 89:01 - 89:03
    establishment later on.
  • 89:03 - 89:04
    Because you are reborn,
  • 89:04 - 89:06
    you must die, right?
  • 89:06 - 89:07
    With birth comes all the problems.
  • 89:07 - 89:10
    With birth comes human life
  • 89:10 - 89:11
    and once you have human life
  • 89:11 - 89:13
    you have to have human experiences.
  • 89:15 - 89:16
    I don't know what you human experience is,
  • 89:16 - 89:18
    but it's a bit of everything, right?
  • 89:18 - 89:20
    Sometimes you are happy,
  • 89:20 - 89:21
    and everything is great.
  • 89:21 - 89:23
    Sometimes it's absolute misery.
  • 89:23 - 89:24
    You go through divorce,
  • 89:24 - 89:26
    you get fired from your job,
  • 89:26 - 89:28
    your closest family members
  • 89:28 - 89:30
    and your friends, they die,
  • 89:30 - 89:31
    or you get really sick yourself,
  • 89:31 - 89:32
    or whatever.
  • 89:32 - 89:34
    Life goes through all these ups and downs
  • 89:34 - 89:35
    all the time, there are
  • 89:35 - 89:36
    so many problems there.
  • 89:37 - 89:39
    I think it is very important
  • 89:39 - 89:41
    to be realistic about that.
  • 89:41 - 89:43
    Sometimes you hear people say,
  • 89:43 - 89:44
    "aww, yeah, in my life I won't have
  • 89:44 - 89:45
    any suffering."
  • 89:45 - 89:48
    It's a very shallow, to say the least,
  • 89:48 - 89:51
    shallow outlook.
  • 89:51 - 89:51
    You haven't really looked
  • 89:51 - 89:53
    very carefully if you think
  • 89:53 - 89:54
    you have no suffering.
  • 89:54 - 89:55
    You really haven't.
  • 89:55 - 89:57
    You, kind of say "aww, don't want to see,
  • 89:57 - 89:57
    don't want to see."
  • 89:57 - 89:59
    That is basically what you're saying there.
  • 90:00 - 90:01
    I'm a monk, you could
  • 90:01 - 90:03
    argue that my life is probably quite easy.
  • 90:03 - 90:05
    Ajahn Brahma is probably
  • 90:05 - 90:07
    the most happy person I can imagine.
  • 90:07 - 90:09
    He always is very light hearted,
  • 90:09 - 90:12
    he always jokes, he always messes around,
  • 90:12 - 90:14
    but when he talks about suffering,
  • 90:14 - 90:15
    he says, "life is suffering!
  • 90:15 - 90:17
    Life is really dukkha.
  • 90:17 - 90:18
    It's really, really bad."
  • 90:18 - 90:19
    He's the happiest person,
  • 90:19 - 90:20
    so if he says it's suffering,
  • 90:20 - 90:23
    okay, I'll believe it.
  • 90:23 - 90:25
    I can feel it myself anyway.
  • 90:25 - 90:27
    So no problems there.
  • 90:27 - 90:31
    Okay, so that is dependent arising in brief,
  • 90:33 - 90:35
    just to give you an overview.
  • 90:35 - 90:37
    Those are the 12 links.
  • 90:37 - 90:39
    All the terms and how they all
  • 90:39 - 90:40
    connect together.
  • 90:40 - 90:41
    And then, of course,
  • 90:41 - 90:43
    the cessation mode as well.
  • 90:43 - 90:44
    So that you have the opposite happening
  • 90:44 - 90:46
    when it ceases at the beginning,
  • 90:46 - 90:49
    each one of these links will cease,
  • 90:49 - 90:52
    until you get to the last one eventually.
  • 90:54 - 90:59
    So, I think I will probably stop there
  • 90:59 - 91:02
    because I don't want to go into any more
  • 91:02 - 91:05
    details about things at this particular point.
  • 91:05 - 91:07
    It's probably lots and lots of information
  • 91:07 - 91:09
    for you anyway, maybe way too much.
  • 91:09 - 91:10
    I've always been a bit worried about these
  • 91:10 - 91:11
    one hour talks.
  • 91:13 - 91:15
    You can say a lot in an hour,
  • 91:15 - 91:16
    so that's part of the problem.
  • 91:16 - 91:19
    Anyway, for tonight,
  • 91:20 - 91:22
    have a nice, good night's sleep
  • 91:22 - 91:23
    remember that meditation
  • 91:23 - 91:25
    and going on retreats is about enjoying
  • 91:25 - 91:27
    yourself, having a good time.
  • 91:27 - 91:30
    Meditate until you feel that you are tired,
  • 91:30 - 91:32
    have a really good night's rest,
  • 91:32 - 91:34
    sleep as much as you like,
  • 91:34 - 91:35
    you feel is necessary,
  • 91:35 - 91:38
    and tomorrow you'll be clear and ready
  • 91:38 - 91:39
    for another day.
Title:
Paṭiccasamuppāda - Dependent Origination - Ajahn Brahmali - Part 1
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
01:31:47

English subtitles

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