by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho
on the Path
Be sure that our objective in practicing Dhamma is self-knowledge.
We should start from the basic stage and go step by step as the Buddha taught. If we do not follow this way, there will be no progress in our practice.
For the beginners, doing rhythmic arm movement is better than walking back and forth. Move the arm rhythmically, slowly, gently and lightly. When it stops, be aware of it. When it is moving, be aware of it. If you move the arm too fast, you cannot catch up with the bodily feeling that arises because the awareness is not strong enough.
We should practice continuously, regardless of tiredness. If we think we are tired and take a break, there will be no chain of continuity.
After you have realized something called Roop-Nahm (body-mind), then you can walk back and forth.
You must really realize it. When thoughts arise, do not stop them. Let them flow, do not follow them buy come back to Roop-Nahm. Always be aware of Roop-Nahm.
Sometimes Piti (rapture) will arise. Piti will carry us away from being aware of Roop-Nahm. As long as we are not aware of Roop-Nahm, our mind will be gradually dulled.
Thoughts will arise, let them arise freely. You might feel dizzy of suffocated if you suppress them. Be relaxed, do not worry whether you are aware or not.
The first stage that one will realize is Roop-Nahm Objects. These are Roop (body) Nahm (mind), Roop acting, Nahm acting, etc. One should review backwards and forwards, over and over.
While we are reviewing these Objects, thoughts will arise. Let them go. Whenever we are aware, the mind will stay with Roop-Nahm Objects. Review them backwards and forwards until they are embedded in the mind.
When thoughts arise, sometimes we are carried away by them which might make walking or doing rhythmic movement faster of quicker. We should be aware and slow down. It does not matter how long it takes.
Seeing Thought-Mind Stage
After one has realizes Roop-Nahm Objects completely, one should keep on observing thoughts.
Speed up the rhythmic arm movement or walk faster.
Do not suppress thoughts. Practice with ease. Observe thoughts with ease.
Whenever thought arises, whether gladness or sorrows, be aware of the bodily movements, then thought will stop immediately.
Generally, when thought arises, the mind will be dragged along like a kitten trying to catch a big rat. The rat (thought) is bigger and stronger than the kitten (awareness). When the rat shows up, the kitten, by nature, will catch the rat. The rat is frightened and runs away with the kitten holding on. After a while the kitten becomes tired and let the rat go. Similarly, thoughts will arise endlessly and stop by themselves.
As we cultivate self-awareness more and more, it is like we keep feeding a kitten until it becomes a big, strong cat. When thought arises, the mind will not be dragged along and thought will stop immediately.
If thought arises powerfully, we have to clench our fist tightly, or do whatever actions that suit us. If it is strong enough, then thought will stop by itself.
Keep on practicing. Whenever thought arises, you will be aware of it immediately. As I have often told you, if there are two men and one chair, the man who is stronger and quicker will occupy the chair. When we cultivate self-awareness more and more, this self-awareness will replace the “unawareness”, so the “unawareness” will gradually decrease.
Let thoughts arise, the more thoughts arise the more we are aware. When self-awareness increases more and more, it will catch up with thoughts.
Suppose that 100 thoughts arise, we are aware of only 10 but we are not aware of the other 90. Next, thoughts are 100, we are aware of only 20 but not the other 80. We continue our practice until we are aware of 80 but not the other 20. Now, we are aware of 90 thoughts, then 95. When we are aware of 95 out of 100, we should practice earnestly. Do not be discouraged or slack or sleep during the daytime.
When thought arises, we are aware of it immediately again and again. Our mind will change at this point. The Path starts from here. It is the beginning of Nirvāna.
Formerly, the mind was in the dark and did not know the Path. When it can overtake thoughts, then the mind will be illuminated. This light is not the external light that can be viewed by the naked eye. The mind itself is free and illuminated. It is called “wisdom eye”, the arising of Pańńā Nāna of Vipassanā (Insight).
We should continue practicing rhythmic arm movement or walking back and forth. We can practice at any speed we like.
Keep on practicing. Let Pańńā (Insight) itself penetrate the Objects of Insight. There is no need to learn from any teacher or scripture.
When Pańńā penetrates the Objects of Insight, the mind will be free step by step. There are 5 steps: the first Jhāna (the stage of seeing, knowing and touching the Objects of Insight with the mind) the second Jhāna, the third Jhāna, the forth Jhāna, and the fifth Jhāna, respectively.
When we know, see and understand these Objects of Insight, thought will arise quicker.
When we reach the last step, Nāna will arise by itself. Once I attained this state, I understood the saying that “the Lord Buddha has his hair cut only once”.
Whenever you have attained “This”, you could understand it. You cannot know it before hand. If you know it before hand, that is knowledge of Jintańāna. It is not “Being”.
When I see, know, and understand “This”, I realized “Oh! the Lord Buddha has his hair cut only once”, that does not mean the real hair. It means “This” was cut off. As we fasten a rope tightly between two poles, when we cut it in the middle, each part will return to its pole and cannot be rejoined.
We will know and see the “Change”. It is absolutely light as if it is weightless. It is the end. When it ends, Nāna will arise and one will realize the End of Suffering.
There are two kinds of thought.
The thought that comes in a flash then goes away. This kind of thought brings anger, greed or delusion. The second kind is the thought that we deliberately think. This one does not bring anger, greed or delusion, because we intend to think with mindful-knowledge.
In this method, do not try to suppress thoughts. Let thoughts arise naturally. The more thoughts arise, the more we are aware. Some people feel annoyed with the distractions and worried that there is no Samādhi (Meditation). This is a misunderstanding. Distraction is a good thing because the more thoughts arise, the more we are aware. Keep on cultivating self-awareness earnestly, but do not concentrate.
When thoughts arise, do not suppress them but detach from by being aware of the bodily movements. Self-awareness will replace the “unawareness”.
Observing thought is the most important thing, which most people ignore. When thought arises, we begin to criticize or make comment on it. This means that we “get into” thought. It is not “letting go” of thought. It is “knowing” thought, not “seeing” thought.
If we keep observing thoughts without any bodily movement, when thoughts arise, we will “get into” them easily. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the bodily movements. When thought arises, we will see, we will know.
Whenever we see ghosts, deities, Buddha images, crystal balls or even the Lord Buddha, that is not true seeing. It happens because the mind wanders away. We do not see the thought so the mind concocts by itself. It concocts because we do not see “the source of thoughts”.
When thought arises without our seeing, it will conjure up ghosts, colors, lights, deities, hell or heaven. Whatever it is, we will see it as such. It is an illusion. It is the mind’s trick.
The seeing is true. What is seen is not true, so it cannot free the mind. Only if we see realities, the mind will be free from suffering.
This is the shortest Path; when thought arises, be aware of it immediately. This is the authentic Dhamma Practice. Doing the rhythmic movement is only the technique (which can help to see thought).
Part Three: Obstacles and Solutions