INSTRUCTION OF LUANGPHOR PUTT
Translated by Brigitte Schrottenbacher
we note “Buddho, Buddho”. If thinking arises we know we
are thinking and bring the mind back to “Buddho”.
Sometimes we can see our thoughts - that's alright, we can think -
but we should always know about it. If we do not want to use a
mantra, finding it disturbing, then we only know the thinking.
When we sit in meditation it
naturally happens that thoughts come up. We know them, let go of
them and stay with the empty mind. This will happen again and again
we just know there is thinking and we know if there is no thinking.
The mantra “Buddho”
is thinking, noticing the rising and falling of the abdomen while
breathing is thinking. These are thoughts we want to think.
Sometimes we think without wanting to think. If we apply mindfulness
then the value will be the same.
Some new meditators who do not
have much experience yet might be too attached to the kind of
meditation practice they are doing. It might happen that we become
very calm and we think we shouldn't be that calm but the mind enters
samadhi (calmness) - it's as if there is something pulling it into
it. At other times we would like to have a calm mind but we are
thinking and thinking, maybe all night long. So, what we have to do
is train our mindfulness. Thoughts arise, we know there is thinking,
we do not support those thoughts - we do not try to influence them
by trying to bring them into this or that direction, we only know
them and let them go by themselves.
We know and know and if
mindfulness and contemplation becomes stronger, we can see the mind
in its three functions. First: it thinks without end; second: it
sees the thinking; third: it comes back to the state of non-thinking
or emptiness, that means it comes back to the body. The body is
still there, thoughts come and go and mindfulness knows about them -
calmness comes and goes - and we know. All of this happens. Thinking
is vitakka, mindfulness which knows is vicara. If vitakka and vicara
are present, then insight into the Dhamma arises.
The rising and falling, coming
and going in the mind is Dhamma. The mind knows, mindfulness knows
and slowly concentration (samadhi) is getting better. Mindfulness
becomes stronger, joy (piti) arises. When piti arises it will be
accompanied by happiness (sukha). We see the mind is thinking and
there is piti and sukha - we can let it go on like that.
Then it might happen that
thinking stops and there is a bright mind full of light, rapture and
bliss (sukha). The mind becomes more and more refined and even piti
and sukha will disappear. Only one-pointedness and equanimity will
be left. Bodily feelings, joy and happiness will be completely gone.
If we sit here now, we know
there are pleasant feelings, pain, suffering and restlessness
because there is still the body. If the mind becomes more refined
and enters samadhi, then the body disappears and all those
disturbances cannot happen anymore. The base for their appearance -
the body - has disappeared. If the body is still there, piti, sukha,
vitakka and vicara arise when we concentrate the mind. When the mind
enters samadhi and becomes refined until the body disappears and
there is only the bright radiant mind left - then the mind is on the
“Samatha Way”. The mind is full of light, radiant and
bright, it seems as if it is floating in space. This we call “the
mind having space as its base (arammana)”. When this happens,
there are two things: bright light and complete freedom from
thoughts - there seems to be nothing.
Some meditators think that the
mind on the “Samatha Way” doesn't have any knowledge. Up
to that point the mind went through a lot of Dhamma-knowledge -
seeing and knowing the body, impermanence, suffering and non-self
and many more things. At this point the mind enters the peaceful
state of samatha - jhana. Body and self (atta) disappear and only a
bright, floating mind is left.
Sometimes the mind sends rays
of light to the outside world. The meditator sees all kind of things
like mountains, rivers, ghosts, animals, humans and many more things
which exist in the universe. But the mind is no more self, it
floates in space as the sun does. From time to time its rays lighten
up things in the universe. One should not think that the mind
doesn't know anything in this state. The knowledge happening in this
state simply does not judge or name anything (sammuti). It sees the
world but does not call it a world, it sees living beings but does
not name them. When the Buddha's mind reached this state He attained
the knowledge of reviewing His and others' past existences
So, no one should say that a mind on the “Samatha Way”
doesn't have any knowledge. There is no reason to fear that the mind
has entered this way.
We practise to gain knowledge
through our mind. If the mind becomes one, then we have to take care
that it doesn't get attached. One has to determine to let go of
things. If this determination isn't strong, we won't be able to let
go. Only a strong determination can change the mind to work
correctly. Letting go will become an automatic function of the mind.
Morality, mind and wisdom have
to do their duty. If these three factors do their duty correct, then
they build together one power called sativinayo. This sativinayo
should be the leading power. The Buddha taught that carelessness or
the absence of mindfulness is the cause for unwholesome (akusala)
kamma to arise. Mindfulness leads us to accomplish wholesome
(kusala) kamma. So, if we develop concentration (samadhi), attain to
the state of absorption (jhana) and insight knowledge (ñana)
- we gain this through mindfulness (sati). No problem will arise in
our meditation, if we understand that we have to develop right
What now is wrong view
(micchaditthi) and what is right view (sammaditthi)? It's not
neccesary to think much about this. There is a simple way to prove
this. Everything we know and are able to let go of, so that no
attachment, no conflicts and no problems arise in our mind - this is
sammaditthi. Everything leading to attachment, self-belief, problems
and conflicts - like trying to use one's knowledge to look into
other people's mind and wanting to solve their problems and even
blame them - all these are micchaditthi. It leads to unwholesome
kamma for oneself. In short, we know and let go - that's right view.
If knowledge arises and we get
attached, wanting to know - what is that...? why is it so...? - then
we can know it's defilements asking. If those questions arise - let
go of them and do not care further about them. Know that it's a
habit of the mind which we cultivated for a long time, this “wanting
to know”. If we really want to know, we should watch with
mindfulness, without thinking. We know what arises and we know what
ceases - we only know. Let go of wanting to see, wanting to know.
Things come and go in the mind, do not try to sort out all these
things. If mindfulness is strong, it will be able to know what
things are about.
Sometimes it might happen that
we sit down to meditate and because we want to develop wisdom, we
think - this is impermanence, this is suffering, this shows non-self
- but the mind quickly becomes calm and there is only calmness left.
If there is knowledge arising, or seeing, or calmness, mindfulness
or deep insight - all of these are results of our practice, we
cannot influence this. The only thing we can do is set up the right
causes. We support the arising of knowledge and insight. We do this
in three ways: first - we determine to be mindful, the mind knows,
mindfulness knows; second - we determine to think or consider, for
example a physician uses the knowledge he studied to consider an
object, this we call vicara; third - if thinking arises, we allow
the mind to think but we use mindfulness to know all the time.
If one practises meditation
like that, then by itself the practice will progress!