THE FOUR SATIPATTHANA
THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF MINDFULNESS
(A guided meditation given by Venerable Luang Phor Sanong Katapunyo,
Make up your mind! Calm down your Heart for a moment and make your self-awareness sharp. Direct your complete mindfulness towards your body and your Heart. Be conscious that you’re making yourself calm now. Your body sits still, your mind is quiet. Be aware of your body being in a sitting posture now. Try to see your face, look with your inner eyes at your body now. How is it dressed?........Remember a Buddha-image sitting in meditation, now your living body sits in the same shape, legs crossed, your right leg is on top of your left one. Check your right hand whether it lies on top of your left hand. Sit straight and close your eyes as if you’re asleep. Close your outer eyes, but open your inner eyes. Make an effort to let go of thinking. Empty your Heart from outer circumstances.
Instead of thinking, try to bring your complete attention to your sitting body posture. Try to investigate into your body from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. We can separate our body into 32 body parts and organs. This is the science of anatomy as a present reality of your own sitting body. Sweep with an X-ray eye from the top of your head to the soles, and from your feet up to the crown of your head again. Look all around inside your body. Think and see your body sitting here like a crossed-legged Buddha image. Investigate into this body and into the Heart. Set up the complete attention of your Heart towards the analysis of your body.
Now your body sits still, make your Heart still in the same way. Contemplating the truth of the anatomy of your own body and calming it is a merit that you can do now. By not letting the Heart goes astray and by putting in your whole effort to investigate calms the Heart and is a merit that you are doing now.
The body sits like a Buddha, so make your Heart awake and alert like a Buddha. Your body is still and one; make your Heart to be still and one with it. Practicing in this way keeps the Heart from going out to any other outside object. Stay within your body! Try seeing how your body is sitting here now, as if you’re seeing your reflection in a mirror. See your shape from outside and also inside the body. Bring your complete attention to focus on the body. Investigate its anatomy and sweep over it with your inner X-ray eye from up to down and from down to up. This is our mental exercise. Make the Heart look at the truth of our physicality. Make an effort to sustain the application of mindfulness and investigate into your body. You can circulate the whole body or just choose any part that catches your interest. For instance, you can choose your spine and look at each bone singly. Follow the chain of bones from the base up to the scull and down again. Or try to see or just imagine your pelvic bone and look at the chain of bones down through the legs until the tip of your toe bone and up again……..
Look at the bones of your legs, your hips and your spine. See them from the front-side until you arrive at the middle of the chest. This is where the spiritual Heart lies. The Lord Buddha, you will find him within your Heart. The Dhamma, his teachings, appear in your Heart and the Sangha, the Noble Disciples, you will locate them within your Heart.
Make your Heart still. Collect your mind to be centered like a bud of a lotus flower. Your Heart beats quickly, you know, or your Heart beats slowly, you know. Now, look at your physical Heart, try to see it. Don’t allow any other thought to arise. Old stories, new stories, things that have already passed by, we don’t hold onto them, we don’t keep them and think about them again because this is of no value at all. To re-think and repeat thoughts of the past, disturbs, saddens and darkens the Heart. Don’t think of the future or project things there. These thoughts are fashioned and unreal; everything may develop completely different then what we are thinking of now. Now, at this present moment, you are sitting here. Try to calm down this wandering mind. Forming thoughts is an action that obscures and stirs up the clear evenness of the empty nature of your Heart.
Try to see your body sitting here with every in-breath and every out-breath. The breath comes in a long way, you know, the wind goes out a short way, you know. The breath comes in cool, you know, the wind comes in hot, the breath comes in gross, the breath comes in subtle and smooth, just notice this.
Focus on your nostrils and down to your upper lip. When you feel the wind there coming in you note “BUD-“, when you feel the wind going out, you note “DHO”, breathe in “BUD”, breathe out “DHO”…Establish a light of pure awareness on your nostrils. Imagine seeing a tiny round clear white spot of light, to the size of a sesame seed on the tip of your nose. Train to look at your nose and see it at every in- and out-breath.
Breathe in “BUD”, breathe out “DHO” until your Heart gives in and becomes empty of all thoughts. Meanwhile, direct your inner eyes to see your nose, see your face, and see your whole body in the sitting posture. See how it is dressed and remember that now your living body sits in the same shape as a crossed-legged Buddha image.
Your body feels heavy or your Heart feels heavy, you know, you distinguish this. You apply your awareness towards your body and towards your Heart. Note “BUD” as you breathe in, note “DHO” as you breathe out until your Heart gets free from thought formations and surrenders to the pure observation of phenomena.
“BUDDHO” is the one, who knows;
“BUDDHO” is the one who observes alertness, wakefulness, and awareness;
“BUDDHO” is the Heart in blossom.
Now that you are calm, make the effort of awareness and look at your sitting posture. This physical object can be separated into 32 anatomic parts and organs. The first five to start with are: the hair of the head, the hair of the body, the finger and toe nails, the teeth and the skin that wraps everything in.
The breath is hot, is cool, is gross, is subtle, is short or long, note ”BUDDHO” as you know this without break. Have awareness towards your own body; recall your actual body posture.
“SATI” translates as recalling and bringing to mind. Sati, or awareness, must be fixed on the body and the Heart.
“SAMPAJANYA” translates as the right understanding of the nature of things. Sampajanya knows and identifies everything concerning body and mind.
“SAMADHI”, or collectedness, resides within the Heart and you don’t go out thinking. Past time events, let go, future events, let go, new things, old things, don’t hold onto them.
Know your Heart essence in this moment. The pure Heart is not holding on to anything. It is still and empty; it’s neutral, without tendencies and its nature is quiet. Make an effort to let go of thinking! You use this method to sustain your complete mindfulness and observance. This means you make wisdom arise. Bring attention to your posture and your state of Heart. You feel bodily suffering - that you can know, your Heart observes without getting involved - that you can know. The body is not still, the Heart is not still; notice this. Know happiness; know suffering in the body or in the Heart. Have Sati, recollect yourself, know everything concerning your body and Heart.
To fix your mind on your sitting posture means to set up mindfulness towards the body in its present reality. This is the first foundation of mindfulness. The body is sitting is walking, is standing, is lying down, eating, digesting, urinating… we notice how it is acting. A hot body, a cool body, a hungry and thirsty body; the body is painful, the body aches, note the states you can feel and how they momentarily appear and go. Know your feelings distinctively and examine their changing reality by practical experience. The function and duty of the body is to show us happy feelings, suffering, pain and aches. It shows us heat and cold, hunger and thirst according to our physical conditions. It must be like this all the time, every in- and out-breath. Listen, it must be like this all the time!
When we look at the feeble conditions it’s the task of the Heart to ponder about them. It thinks of past events and the future, thinks of goodness and evil, about merit and sin. We notice and acknowledge; this is the task of the Heart.
(The Pali word) “KAYANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA” (the first foundation of mindfulness which notices physical realities) is a mode of practice in the field of mindfulness that concerns the body. Examine the body from outside as a task of your awareness, examine the body from inside as a field of your attention. See and scrutinize the body from outside and inside, using both as a field of exercise for your awareness. Make yourself alert with it and while you examine, always bring your attention back to yourself. Bind your Heart-attention onto the subject of this body until the Heart becomes calm with it; until the Heart gains pure awareness, oneness, intuitive knowledge and insight towards what is body.
Investigate inside the body by starting from the top, which is the hair of your head, downward to the soles of your feet. Set your mind on the body-field or on the field of the Heart. Have awareness that always recalls momentary body and Heart states. Use Sati (mindfulness), complete attentiveness, alertness, wakefulness and awareness. Apply Sati to your body and your Heart; notice their tasks.
Sampajanya is clear comprehension, is clarity of consciousness in the domain of body and Heart. Be with the essence of your Heart and don’t let it think! Let go of past and future tasks; leave behind old and new stories! Just know and be alert in the present!
Knowing your Heart in this way is to recover its silent nature. See it quiet, calm and still, see it empty and uninvolved. See the Heart in its neutral function of acknowledgement. Experiencing this, you understand how to let go of thinking. Believe that you can learn to let go by practicing this exercise and wisdom will arise. Recollect your awareness again and try to see your body and Heart sitting here and now. You know happiness in your body; you acknowledge suffering in your body. Notice a quiet body, note a silent Heart or know that the body is not beautiful or the Heart is not yet beautiful. Notice the happiness and suffering of both the body and the Heart. Have awareness; bring your attention back to see yourself. Try to have clear comprehension and non-delusion about body tasks and the states of the Heart.
Look at the group of the Five Body parts, “PANCA KAMATHANA”, which are: Hair of the Head, Hair of the Body, Nails of the Fingers and Toes, Teeth, and Skin.
Forward: And in reverse:
Pàli English Pàli English
of the Head TACO Skin
LOMA Hair of the Body DANTA Teeth
NAKKHA Finger and Toe Nails NAKKHA Finger and Toe Nails
DANTA Teeth LOMA Hair of the Body
TACO Skin KESA Hair of the Head
Hair, body hair, nails, teeth, and skin are dirty things and are never clean.
If you don’t take care of them they will become very ugly. Examine inside your body and you will find: flesh, sinews, ligaments, skeleton, a heart, lungs, and the liver. Look inside to your skeleton, the bones are something that will change. How you foresee them to change, they will really follow to be like that. If you just hold the pictures of the bones, this will be Samadhi, but if you investigate into their changing nature, this will cause wisdom to arise. See the changing condition of your body according to the states of body and mind. As you see your body and organs change, look at the plain elements within them. You just note the different things you find within your body and put them right in front of you.
The skin is one mountain, the flesh another mountain, sinews and ligaments are still another pile; liver, kidneys, intestines, the abdomen -- separate them into piles. Blood, pus, bile, clear water, and saliva -- separate each of them into parts. The fluid part is Water, the hard part is Earth, the part with temperature is Fire, the moveable part is VAYA, or the Wind element.
When the body dies the elements fall apart. When the breath stops and leaves the body, only 3 elements remain: Earth, Water and Fire. So we see the outer condition of the body as rising, staying for a while and ceasing. The inside of the body follows this same law of impermanence. So we see that we should not hang onto them as me or mine, as his or hers, as a being, as a person.
Bring it all back to yourself. Every time you examine like this you will see it like that. Separating the body into its parts and portions, you will not find a Self, a being. See how your legs go one way, the arms another way, nose and eyes go different ways. When you distinguish hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, skeleton separated into different parts and portions, already you will not find me or mine, him or her or any person anymore.
You know the Heart, the Heart is the One who knows. Know happiness, know suffering, know calmness, know no calmness. The Heart has the wisdom to distinguish these things. The Heart has the wisdom, the ability to see through and distinguish the real conditions of the inner and outer body. The body is happy, the body is suffering, and the body has aches and pain. Inspect the body and you know a suffering feeling if you sit unmoved for a long time. This is a physical feeling. If we sit with pain in the body, the Heart will be affected and become restless. This is then a mental feeling.
Investigate the physical aspect. The body as the basis of awareness is “KAYANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA”. Think of this basis as composed of the 4 elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Wind.
The basis of our awareness in the Heart is our body. From here investigate further the feelings that arise from this physical contact and within your Heart. Both suffering and happiness change constantly. There is nothing lasting and straight. You think like this and it disappears, you think like that and it disappears. There is no happiness and suffering that last for long. You gain calmness and it disappears. Now it’s calm, then it becomes restless. See KAYANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA. Also see VEDANANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA [the second foundation of mindfulness that notices feelings].
Investigate into your body and into your Heart. The phenomena there (in body) arise all the time and change their modes continuously. Mental feelings also have a changing nature. Think like this and think like that. Know when there is liking and disliking or happiness and suffering. The Heart indulges in hot and cool continuously. So we investigate into this indulging Heart. It just clings to form and sound. If you have mental pain, investigate on a more refined level. Examine your body and see how it sits here. See your body posture, your face, and your clothes. Whatever you think, note BUD-DHO, BUD-DHO.
Always bring your awareness back to yourself. How is your inner feeling? How is your outer feeling? Outer feeling is in the body, inner feeling is in the Heart. In case of bodily feeling, the Heart has already gone outside. If it stays inside, feelings quickly arise and cease continuously. You can see it dreaming good and evil, see it increasing and creating happiness and suffering.
This is “CITTANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA” [the third foundation of mindfulness that notices mind states]. Sometimes calm, sometimes not calm; the Heart, the One who knows, is still and empty. The Heart thinks about the past, thinks about new things, the Heart has greed, has anger, it indulges to the degree of forgetting itself. All of this you can see, you can notice. Put your awareness inside your body and Heart. Know whether your Heart stays inside or outside. Have Sati to see how far it has already gone out in its thinking. You notice it’s gone out, bring it back in. Notice when your Heart has self-awareness, when it knows itself as not thinking. Then it has equanimity, is empty and still and calm all the time.
Exercise CITTANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA. Scrutinize your Heart over and over again. Train to know your Heart states, see your moods. Don’t try to see the Hearts of others. Gain the skill in self-observation before you can start to understand theirs. Gain the skill to introspect your Heart. Whatever it thinks, be abreast of it. If we have no skill to read it, then we should return to our own body. Now does it
have happiness or suffering? Is it hot or cold? Does it have pain and aches? Examine to see your physical conditions in their true nature. Be clever in examination of the body, be clever in investigation of feelings, and be clever in introspection of the Heart.
To be clever in investigating feelings, you should be able to name them every instant you direct your awareness towards them. Every time you have a look you are sure to understand your body and Heart. Wherever you put your awareness you are conscious about that. Very calm, you realize; little calm, you notice; a light body, you see; a light Heart, you are aware. Whether your body is heavy or light, your duty is just to note it.
You will find the Dhamma in your body, in your Heart; it is not with others outside. To inspect the body, feelings, and Heart; this is most important. The Heart knows the Heart, sees the Heart, it focuses on itself again and again. The Heart is satisfied or unsatisfied, liking or disliking. The same instant you think your awareness is with it, hold your awareness, hold your Heart with BUD-. Whenever it goes out to take birth in thought, bring it back to its empty nature with BUD-DHO. At the time BUD-DHO stops by itself, the Heart also stops to take birth outside. BUD-DHO when you’re Heart takes birth. What is a Heart that takes birth? Well, it is a Heart that thinks about this and that. It thinks nonsense. If you are abreast with it, the nonsense stops. Stop and be still. You walk quietly, you stand quietly, or you do any action; you see the body and introspect into the Heart: nothing has arisen. The Heart is still, it knows itself to be alert.
Sampajanya is the inspector that works hand-in-hand with it. It holds the principle of Sati. Sati doesn’t go anywhere, it is inside the Heart. When Sati arises, well, there’s calmness. This is Sati, is Samadhi, and is PANYA [wisdom]! The Heart stays within, knowing itself.
If you already have good precepts and concentration, well, this is the condition for the Heart to introspect itself. But if you are absent-minded, you go straightaway into greed, anger, sensual desire, and aversion. If the Heart goes to indulge in outside objects, it’s like a ghost or like a spontaneous rebirth into another world. This means the Heart is born and dies away.
The Heart generates birth in the realm of thought. If it has greed or strong desires, the Heart generates itself to be in a state like a hungry ghost. If you get angry and let your thoughts get hotly involved into that story, then the Heart generates a birth like in hell. It burns itself like a red-hot iron. Your face is not joyful. The Heart that indulges into outside stories is absent from itself, unaware and deluded. In this state it becomes completely forgetful about pains, aches, aging and dying. It is absorbed in finding happiness for itself and neglecting the wisdom to know itself. So if we have Sati-Sampajanya arising from our awareness with BUD-DHO, then we will have the mindfulness to recall to ourselves: “what am I thinking at this present moment?”
When we have Sati to bring the Heart back, then we can see… Oh! I just think about old stories, new stories, think about bad things, greed, anger and delusion. If you really see them with awareness, then you are able to stop them. Let them go and just stay uninvolved. If you cultivate this state of an uninvolved witness for a certain time, then your Heart will get still and go deep into itself. How deeply still you will be, be witness to that. See that your Heart has gone far now.
The light Heart, the heavy Heart, the calm Heart: the One who knows these states becomes more stable and calm. The Heart goes straight and deep inside, it doesn’t think about anyone’s face anymore, it even forgets its own face. You know only that your Heart is still and calm and it knows itself inside by itself.
The Heart at this state features emptiness, lightness, and calmness. It has no tendencies in any direction. This Heart is Buddha; real awareness, concentration and wisdom melting all together into this one Heart. The Heart has no comings and no goings. Well, this is how you should practice. You just need effort and diligence to train yourself in knowing the Heart. If you arrive at this thoughtless state, well, that’s good already, don’t try to create further consideration. Every thought brings the Heart outside again, to formations, to consciousness, to new births. This is suffering. Our tendencies that drive us to want this and that, want to smell this fragrance, want to taste this flavor, or want to feel this touch is known as a “KAMA-TANHA” Heart.
Kama-tanha is the tendency toward sensual desire, which makes the Heart cling to form and sound. Such a Heart is still spinning toward the outside. It creates feelings, creates stories, and creates annoyance and no calmness. You must bring awareness inside and practice it again and again. Have “UBEKKHA”, or equanimity and “Choey”, or indifference, in whatever you see. With awareness you know it without losing your peace.
To see your own Heart states within is CITTANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA. Try to refine this practice. Don’t let your Heart get engrossed; rather, imagine your Heart to be like “a Noble One”. Such a Heart has morality, has principles, has collectedness, and has wisdom, heedfulness and shame. It lets go of evil and increases merits. Try to come back home to yourself. You progress in wisdom by not forgetting your body and not being deluded with it. Be witness to the states and conditions of your body and Heart.
You must be born, you must get old, you must get pain, you must die, and you must undergo changes and fall apart in the end. There will be nothing left, be it your own body or someone else’s body. It’s all the same.
If you look deeply and clearly into the Heart, by and by it becomes "DHAMMANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA " [the fourth foundation of mindfulness which notices Dhamma]. Reflect on Dhamma and BUD- arises in the Heart and “Bucchavisachana”, a Dhamma question and its answer, appears by itself in the Heart. Such a Heart tends to have more diligence, PATI (rapture) arises, SUKHA (satisfaction) arises together with EKAGGATA (the one-pointed mind). The Heart reflects on Dhamma and wisdom arises.
We can see our Heart wandering all around so let that go. For example, you might come to see the Dhamma of the Fire element. Then you must distinguish: Fire is matter, matter is built-up by mind, consider the matter and see its empty nature. If you realize this, only Dhamma will be left in the Heart. This is letting go. See that all matter and your body are bound to change and break up in the end. It’s not me; it’s not mine, not a self or a person.
Instead, we have good feelings of rapture, gladness, and fulfillment. We have a happy Heart because we can let go of all liking and disliking of outside things. The Heart dwells in Dhamma and becomes equanimous and even. The Heart sees itself and Dhamma increases, but when the Heart starts to open to the outside again this Dhamma will decrease. We will know that at that time our meditation and our awareness have dropped away. If this happens - that your awareness has gotten lost - then the Heart will be weakened. Only by restarting our meditation will we lift up the Heart again. If we arrive at an equanimous state again, the Heart will dwell in Dhamma again. We observe this process and follow the ways of the Heart further. This is DHAMMANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA. If we dwell in Dhamma and consider this Dhamma we will find that everything that arises will vanish by its own nature. There is nothing we can hang on to as theirs or ours.
In standing, walking, sitting and lying, keep the meditation subject of noting your body postures. Don’t forget your body! And if the Heart thinks, know this Heart and try to get to the equanimous state. But you must be connected to the present moment and you must be aware of the current flow of things. Don’t let the
Heart think without noticing this. Don’t let it go out of bounds! You must acknowledge and then step back from things.
The wise, the one who has eyes, sees Fire and catches it. Learning that it is hot, he immediately drops it. This is like someone who can see the Heart, who can know his own Heart states. If there appears greed, anger, delusion or any kind of thought, the Heart knows itself as doing so. If you don’t identify with your thoughts, you will feel light and at ease, bright and calm.
The fool who is deluded has no eyes to see that the red-hot iron firmly holds our Hearts because he does not know that this iron will burn him. When he realizes that he is already burned, the body will feel pain and suffering. The one who lacks awareness and wisdom clings to greed, anger and delusion. He strongly holds and clings onto the self and so causes the Heart to get hot and upset. This is suffering, is restlessness and unsteadiness all the time.
CITTANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA means to train us to let go of the clinging and identification in the Heart because we understand to investigate and differentiate the mind states from the One who knows them. If we are able to follow the current flow of mind states with an uninvolved knowing, then our greed, anger and delusion will decrease and diminish. If you are diligent in this practice, intuitive knowledge and wisdom will spring up. Things that you never knew before will come up and things that you never saw will show because we have diligence in our subject of noting body postures in the SATIPATTHANA.
We have walking, standing, sitting, lying and the mental process of thinking. Recall awareness to come back to the knowing Heart. Dwell like this in the FOUR SATIPATTHANA. Direct your Heart to VIPASSANA [clear knowing or bare awareness] and develop your [meditation] skills. In this way you can be successful because you don’t stick to only your Kammathana object. In this way, SAMATHA [one-pointed concentration] and Vipassanà will work hand-in-hand on your path to liberation.
If there arises pictures, lights or visions, note that you are seeing them and stay empty. All kinds of pictures or lights are phenomena that arise together with Pati (rapture) or Samadhi (collectedness). Seeing them as conditioned phenomena you will be able to let them go and not be forgetful about yourself. See your body sitting, see your breath coming in clear and deep. The breath is the physical part and the Heart that knows it is the mental part. The real Heart is the One who knows and lets go. If you can instantly separate this knowing, then you already have the wisdom to drop all phenomena. The Heart that is empty and still, that doesn’t go out thinking to the future that is the Heart in Samadhi, stable and unshakeable. It has Pati, Sukha and Ubekkha as its signs.
In doing your meditation don’t ask only to go deep. Train your Samadhi in coming and going and train it to overcome the hindrances. You must master the 5 Hindrances [clinging, aversion, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and skeptical doubt] and constantly train in Samadhi without clinging. Investigate your body sometimes from the outside, sometimes from the inside. Look at your feelings outside of the body and inside the Heart. Also look at your Heart, see it from outside, as it dwells in thought; see it from inside, as it is empty and uninvolved.
Investigate the Dhamma that arises in the Heart. The Dhamma that is inside and outside. See the Dhamma that arises in the Heart and see the Dhamma that falls away from the Heart. We don’t hold on to anything, whatever comes and goes, our duty is just to know. To call it me or mine or person will not work out because we will only find the rising and falling away of phenomena. We bring our mind to this knowing centeredness until we arrive at the pure Heart that is free from all phenomena.
The Heart that is equipped with morality, awareness and wisdom drops the past and the future and stays with emptiness, brightness and calmness. The Heart is one, is a presence, and is the present Dhamma. In this way works the investigation of Dhamma. It leads to wisdom and to overcome the hindrances. It prevents the Heart from pondering on outside objects. When there is movement and creation started in the Heart, we don’t follow, we don’t let this thing take over. However far out the thinking goes, we bring it back with BUD-DHO and recall our body and our Heart conditions again.
What are we doing at just this moment? Just now we’re setting up our awareness. We know that we already have awareness and Samadhi with every in- and out-breath. In doing your meditation on the Four SATIPATTHANA, don’t forget the body! Let the body be your first object and then reflect on the Heart until you can distinctly distill the pure knowing. You will then be able to drop all thoughts, greed, anger and delusion. For this reason we have to start with the consideration of our own body and also of our own Heart as the tools to strengthen and exercise our capacity for Samadhi. Then nothing will match this Heart. Nothing will make it spin or follow in any direction. So it can’t be sad anymore. This is the result of strong morality and strong Samadhi.
We know ourselves and we know our mind states whether there is happiness or suffering, or more or less calmness. To see whether your body has happiness or suffering, you just look at it - neither forgetting to know the phenomena of body and Heart nor forgetting to set up your awareness to control them. The state of:
“Pu Ruh” - the One who knows;
“Pu Deun” - the One who is alert;
“Pu Boeg Ban” - the One who is open like a blossomed flower;
This state is the basis for controlling your meditation and to be with the current flow of phenomena. From this basis you are able to practice all the time. During eating, standing, lying, in every posture, you will be like a monk, one who is calm, one who is satisfied, and one who sees the truth of mental phenomena. If we use these body positions without mindfulness and meditation, we will not be able to see our Heart. It will think and wander all around. It will follow its moods: it sees anger and gets angry, it sees greed and gets greedy, it sees delusion and drops into those fashionings forgetting itself. Liking and disliking it will follow those tendencies. This happens when we lack Sati (awareness), Samadhi (collectedness) and Panya (wisdom). Then there is no more way to solve the problem.
But no! We can stop that! Panya is marvelous. Vipassana that reflects on liberative knowledge is perfect and splendid. Your precepts are a tool to sharpen your awareness. Samadhi makes your awareness stable and complete. Panya enables you to drop the thinking process, it helps you to not cling to any person, any them or us. Sati is the guardian of every action. We can see our Heart even when we are worn out. Just know we are sleepy, so that’s the object we get to know - sleepiness. We observe the Heart without a break, even the subtle hindrances. Every tiny thing we will see if our Heart stays empty and uninvolved. Oh!, we know the Heart can be empty. We see our own Heart; we see the hindrances that arise in this Heart. They are the subjects of our observation.
Who can know and see things better then ourselves? This we call meditation that is not lacking MAGG-POHN (the path and fruition of liberation). Continue your practice in this way until Sati, Samadhi and Panya arise in your Heart because nobody knows this Heart better than you. Wherever it goes we are like a shadow, we follow all its movements. The knowing Heart stays just here because we know ourselves. A thought escapes just for an instance over there, the Heart knows now there is thinking. The thought goes there. Ah! There is thinking. This ability to follow all movements we call divine Heart.
The Heart is like an angel, is like a monk. The ear hears a noise nearby, we know there is a nearby noise. The ear hears a noise far away, we know this as heaven’s ear that can receive far distant noises. We hear a very close noise, we bring it back to the ear. Now the ear is Dhamma. The eyes look inside, they don’t look outside and are not interested in other people’s affairs. We focus on what is ours: the liver, kidneys, intestines, and belly. See the old food, the just eaten food, bile, blood, and pus. We use our inner eye. This is the awareness-eye, is the concentration-eye, is the wisdom-eye. When you focus inside, your Heart lets go and doesn’t go wandering. The Heart drops greed, anger and delusion. We can examine very well in every moment. The nose, eyes, ears, tongue, body and Heart; come to see yourself know that these are really yours. See them as Dhamma of the inside. This is the way of progressing in the Dhamma without regressing. We grow in our meditation because we bring it all back to ourselves, all back inside the body.
The precepts, concentration, moral rules, and the Tripitaka all come together in this very body and Heart. To examine the 32 parts of the body is a merit. Whatever you consider is wholesome, with morality, concentration and wisdom, they all come together within you. This thing, the practicing of Dhamma, is the basis. It is the best object to proof, is the best object to practice, is the best tool to find out, and is the best text. Nothing is as good as self-investigation. We have merit, fortune, awareness and wisdom that bring us to listen to the Dhamma now. This we call a Heart that has decreased its defilements. It already belongs to someone who has such a disposition and such a support from his past lives. In this life he does more and more good.
If you cannot understand what I am talking about now, cannot get a clue, I am now teaching how to practice Sati (awareness) within the Heart. If we cannot follow this because our minds are not calm and settled so that it doesn’t stay with us, then we have to try. It shows that the Heart lacks a principal focus-point, such as the repetition of a word or the breath. It lacks awareness and collectedness. So you must try to have more diligence so that you have wholesomeness.
On the other hand, the one who understands this principle of Dhamma is called someone who has Sati and Panya. It’s someone who has already built up morality, generosity and meditation in one’s past lives until in this life one understands the Dhamma. This is one of the greatest gifts and is the path to progress further and further in the Dhamma.
So we don’t lose our path, we must understand the way of the Heart. Morality, Samadhi, and calmness, how do they feel? We know them. If we have never practiced, then we cannot tell what calmness is; we cannot know our mind states. But here, in our meditation, we know what we are thinking. We follow every in- and out-breath and the more we have mindfulness of the breath at our nostrils, the more we are aware of our mind states.
Whenever we see our body, we also can see the Heart. If you forget the body you also lose contact with the Heart. So bring it back to yourself all the time. Then you can start to have calmness.
In summary, we have come here to do the meditation subjects of:
1) KAYANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA - which is the contemplation of the body from inside and outside. And we practice…
2) VEDANANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA - as we investigate the feelings in the body and the Heart. See how they arise, how they always change, how they stay, and how they disappear. We see suffering and happiness in our body and Heart.
3) CITTANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA - we know and follow the current flow of our mind states. Think of old and new stories, think to the outside and to the inside, even if there is only the sign of rising, rising, falling, falling in the Heart - we know this.
4) DHAMMANUPASSANA SATIPATTHANA - consider the Dhamma that arises in your Heart because you’ve trained it to have calmness. By seeing the arising in the Heart we are increasing our perfections. We see Piti, Sukha, and Ekaggata. We can make it empty. Make the Heart as if nothing has happened. There is nothing to hang on to. There is Samadhi, wisdom, merit, heaven and NIBBANA in our Heart. That’s all. The monk is the one who understands to have calmness. So we just observe body and Heart that means we know RUPA [form] and NAMA [mind]. We see how things change, fall apart, and separate because of Sati, Samadhi, Panya. Just as the Lord Buddha saw it.
Any time you want to stop your sitting session, go back to sweep over your body from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head and from the head back down to the feet. Try to see yourself and have all-around awareness. See yourself sitting here before you go out of Samadhi. When you have already looked at your body from inside and outside and know it all-around, then with your inner eyes look at how you slowly move your right hand out of its position and slowly put it on top of your right knee. Then slowly move the left hand and put it on top of your left knee. Try to see this. Then bring your right hand in front of your Heart and lift-up the left hand so that the palms touch each other and give the shape of a lotus bud.
Be earnest and make a steadfast resolution (Atthithan). Be upright with your Heart and think of the goodness of your conduct and try to do better and better as you intend to do. Make a resolution in your Heart [to practice] until you can see the Heart. If you cannot see it, then Panya has not arisen yet and also the path of practice has not opened yet. One cannot yet see the Heart thinking.
If you just sit still with common calmness, then this is the Heart that sees JHANA [high concentration]. In the beginning, the Heart is just collected and still, but then, if you try to know and see yourself more and more and follow the body in all its positions and movements (eating, walking, sitting, lying, etc.) soon you will also see the Heart pondering and thinking on coarse and refined levels. Even if a tiny bit of anger arises in the Heart that does not yet show on the outside, we know it. If there arises liking or disliking, we don’t have to follow them because we can drop the moods of the Heart. If you can drop the moods and see clearly, this is called “seeing the Heart” with Sati and Panya. This kind of practice is the most important because we are helping ourselves.
But don’t believe that this is the Dhamma yet. We must often fix the Heart to be empty and to observe our moods until the Heart really lets go. We must train to see thoughts and observe the things the Heart gets involved with until we are able to really drop those things. Before, we didn’t see the anger arising in the Heart so it took a long time until we succeeded in putting it down. In former times we were just unable to drop the anger because we didn’t see the path of practice yet. We got angry, but could not drop the anger. People who don’t understand the training can get angry, but can’t drop the anger. Greed arises but you cannot drop the greed because you don’t understand how to use awareness.
If we have mental training, then whenever anger arises, we are able to just let it pass by. We see clearly that at the moment of anger, hell is born into the Heart. People who fear evil are able to drop anger. People who don’t fear evil are those who are easy enflamed by anger and even more, they produce and increase this mood in their Hearts. They like to infuriate other people until those others look for revenge and have hate in their Hearts. They call and build up this evil energy to harm others and themselves every day. We also call it looking down and putting fault onto others, but they can never see the negative energy of looking-down in their own Hearts. They never see in their Hearts that the moods of anger and aversion are harmful and not good. This point here is very important! Indulging in bad moods burns the Heart too much. Hey!!!! It’s too hot, too much suffering.
But if we as a practitioner see anger in the Heart, we quickly leave it and thus we are already good in our training. A good practitioner knows when he gets angry and is able to remedy his mood. If you are able to drop the anger, then you are able to know happiness and suffering and so you can overcome suffering. You can stop the fires of hell in your Heart. Not knowing the anger or getting angry but not being able to drop it means that you must get more diligent in your meditation practice. Really try not to keep such a mood. Don’t grow this in your Heart, it’s suffering! The Dhamma will arise at the time when you can successfully release these moods from the Heart. This is what a Dhamma talk aims to teach. Think good, let good things arise. Thinking in this way is meritorious, is wholesome, is moral, is generous, and is practicable. We can even think like this until Nibbana (liberation).
Oh Ho! We have never been like this. Suddenly, we only think of doing well! The Heart that never thought of merit starts to think positively. This is when wisdom arises. Dhamma is born, but still you should not believe everything. There will come visions of bodies, of teachers and of angels who approach you to teach you. If the Heart remains calm those visions and sounds will come up, but if you believe them you will go astray. You will be following the general defilements (16 UPAKILESA) and the inside defilements (VIPASSANUPA KILESA). This Dhamma arises but we don’t cling to it. Sounds and visions come, but we continue to contemplate and train with body and Heart. Set up your awareness to know what arises, but you don’t get involved. Don’t follow them.
If we are able to receive those sounds and visions without wanting to do anything with them, then we are already wise. If we can’t keep abreast of current phenomena, then the defilements will intrude to indoctrinate your Heart. If we can’t keep up with the present, then the delusion of the inside covers the brightness, covers the collectedness, the awareness, and the wisdom.
So try to harmonize your practice with the Four SATIPATTHANA. Sit for one hour, then change to walk for one hour, and then stand for a further hour. If you constantly change the four body postures (Iriyabot Seeh), each for the same length of time, and let awareness follow without break, then anger will hardly spring-up. Greed will be reduced, anger will be reduced, and delusion will be diminished. We can keep our Heart in the middle, uninvolved or BUD-DHO. Like the monk taught this morning: if BUD-DHO is recited the young Chinese girl disappears from the mind. If the young Chinese girl appears, BUD-DHO disappears from the mind. So we can see if anger arises BUD-DHO disappears and if BUD-DHO comes up anger is dropped.
We can continue to repeat BUD-DHO until it disappears at one point or we may be practicing walking and then the ground seems to dissolve and then BUD-DHO disappears; [no matter what happens] you must still keep up with the practice. Don’t let it drop. The time that BUD-DHO dissolves and anger dissolves together with it is unpredictable. You have to practice up to this level. Hold your repetition-practice. Make it your main object and then you will win and not give up.
Conversely, if you are not straightforward or you think you can’t practice, then your thoughts will spread all over and you will really give up. So then, (na!) try to hold onto the repetition-practice and everything will end with morality and collectedness until the Heart gains calmness.
So it’s really up to you whether or not you arrive at Dhamma with your practice. It’s simply whether we do it or not. If we don’t do it, we give up. Young monks have awareness and wisdom and the diligence to do the practice. This is their merit of diving themselves into the TRIPLE GEM (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha). If there was no BUD-DHO, then there would be no Dhamma for you to listen to now. The young Chinese girl would have already taken us to help with her job in the market. People who have BUD-DHO can come to the temple because BUD-DHO does away with unsatisfactoriness.
There’s a saying that the one who gives is rich and the one who doesn’t give is poor. How is he rich and how is he poor? You give to others and they will give to you, too. Instead, if you keep your things, don’t want to share anything, you will cultivate selfishness. The mother doesn’t give to her child, the child doesn’t give to her mother, the younger and the older ones don’t take care of each other….. they will have a narrow Heart and be stingy. This is a cause for fighting and harming each other. We see something and we only want it for ourselves. See!, this is the cause. The one who doesn’t give from childhood to adulthood starts to go wrong and harms out of selfishness.
The one who has the habit of giving will become rich because everything will return to him. This will create METTA (loving-kindness). We give as if we have friends that are dear to us. If this positive openness and non-attachment spreads, then it will inspire a whole community to have wholesome habits. The one who gives is the meritorious one. Thai culture teaches us to give easily and to have generosity, kindness and sympathy so that we can say the one who gives is the rich one. Rich for himself and also for others.
Giving away the best thing is not comparable to giving away anger. Don’t hold this mood in your Heart. Give forgiveness to those when they have bad moods and blame us. May they progress and get well, because if they get better, they will also be nice to us. In case we react to the blaming by putting a bad spell on them or wanting to break their bones and smash their faces, then our own Heart is already broken, our eyes are swollen and blue, and our chin is hooked. To give a bad spell and break another’s bones means our Heart harms itself in exactly the same way.
To conclude, take care of your Heart and give friendship and forgiveness. Only then will your meditation progress. You must be able to give forgiveness.
The meditation that leads to irritation and aversion coupled with always wanting to be the first in getting a good thing is wrong. Meditation should lead to contentment; we don’t need to ask anyone for anything. Even if we starve, we are ok with that. If in our practice anger still arises, we have to endure and try to learn how this mood arose in the Heart then ceased there without a trace. If during your practice anger arises, then you have to endure. Don’t ever let that come out through your speech and action. You must understand how this thing arose in your Heart in the first place. It has to be cured in that same place for it to cease there too.
If a practitioner gets angry and starts to shout or do any action, then he has failed in his practice. If anger is in the Heart, however strong and intense or right this feeling may appear, try to remedy it on an inner level. If you are able to do this then you have won, you have passed the first lesson.
This practice is the way to make the Heart happy and calm, try to do it, na! That’s it! Try to see your own Heart when it has greed, anger and delusion. See the Dhamma in the Dhamma and see how you progress in your practice. You will see more and more calmness and coolness, you will see more Piti and more automatic diligence. At the time we feel lazy and unable and discouraged, we know that the Dhamma has degenerated. So we should set-up our awareness towards the current flow again. Don’t let your Heart fall into old habits. If it drops to the low level of a person who is greedy, angry and deluded, then you are really a foolish person. Such a Heart doesn’t come to the temple, it doesn’t know the value of precepts, of giving, and of practicing. We don’t want to be this kind of person. We want the Heart to come to be present and to be wholesome. If the Heart has the qualities of a monk; has morality, charitability, and meditation practice, that’s good, na!
If such a person dies there will be an immediate rebirth as an angel because the Heart has seen the quality of a blossomed flower or of one that will open as one soon. So, in your behavior and practice you must understand merit and sin. There is nothing else to do but to come back to see and to understand your own Heart. If you want to know yourself, bring the awareness back to the present Heart state. We tend to look at the outside world, see this one as good, that one as bad. To look at the world outside can’t cure you. It also doesn’t make you calmer and it will make you think all over, na! See this one as good or that one as bad. These qualifiers will reflect in your Heart and make you think a lot. If you consider that person as good, you are not calm, but if you recognize yourself as good or bad, ok, this is awareness. You see wisdom as the one who knows and who is able to let go.
This Dhamma is the tool to remedy unsatisfactoriness and suffering. You don’t have to study Dhamma here or there, it’s all done in your own Heart. Just look at your body, speech and Heart. Study the repetition of BUD-DHO only. If we don’t know our own Heart, who else's could we know? See yourself, that’s it! You know everything!
The Lord Buddha saw the matters of his own Heart! So I’ll finish, na!