Teaching

Phramongkolthepmuni

“…. The mind comprises perception, memory, thought and knowledge – these four aspects combined in a single point – that’s called the mind. The mind is located at the centre of the body. The perception element lies at the center of the body. The memory element is at the centre of the perception sphere. The thought sphere is at the centre of the memory sphere. The knowledge sphere is at the centre of the thought sphere. The elements of perception, memory, thought and knowledge are altogether four. The vision element is where seeing is situated; the memory element is the place for memory; the thought element is the place for thought; and the knowledge element is the place for knowledge. The knowledge sphere has the same size as the pupil of the eye. The memory sphere has the same size as the iris. The memory sphere has the same size as the eyeball. The perception sphere is larger still and has the same size as the eye socket. So, perception, memory, thought and knowledge – these four aspects combined in a single point – that’s called the mind ….”

“....When we say ‘pay attention’, it can be understood literally as ‘putting’ our attention in a certain place. Our attention needs to be brought to a standstill at the centre of the body – so, paying attention when practising generosity we need to put our attention at the centre of the body; when keeping the precepts, putting our attention at the centre of the body; when meditating, putting our mind at the centre of the body and bringing our mind to a standstill there. If the mind doesn’t come to a standstill, we need to make use of a meditation object to anchor the mind. This stopping of the mind is the origin of all success in worldly or spiritual ways. To bring worldly happiness, the mind needs to be brought to a standstill at the worldly level. For happiness at the spiritual ways, the mind needs to be brought to a standstill at the spiritual level. This is the origin of the Buddhist proverb ‘Natthi santi param sukham’ – there is no higher happiness than the stopping of the mind. This is why we need to bring the mind to a standstill. Having achieved a standstill of the mind, we must explore the ‘standstill within the standstill’, never looking back ….”

“…. When you come up against danger or suffering, focus on the sphere of merit (inside you). Don’t let your mind be distracted by anything else. Recollect the merits you have done in the past – they can be your true refuge and really help you ….”

“…. Any person endowed with merit, no matter how they earn their living, will overcome obstacles to achieve wealth. Without merit, whatever a person does, they will encounter obstacles. This is why every person needs to cultivate merit – to extricate themselves from poverty and eventually escape hardship and suffering ….”

“…. Dhamma will take care of those who practise it – especially for those who attain Dhamma (in their meditation). It will ensure that the practitioner doesn’t slip into the unfortunate realms. Make sure not to get separated from the Dhamma – the destiny of those far from the Dhamma is not guaranteed – only those close to the Dhamma are guaranteed to become pure in body, speech and mind ….”

“…. Contentment with the stopping (of the mind) is the essence of meditation to calm the mind (samatha) – and is the secret of success, whether on the mundane or transcendental paths of life ….”

“…. Every person who comes into this world arrives alone. No-one arrives together with a child, a husband or a wife. We come into this world alone and leave it alone – alone in birth and alone in death ….”

“…. The more you give, the more you get. The more you withhold, the more you forego. (For a stingy person) when stuff runs out, it won’t replenish. However, if we are generous by nature, hardship will only be temporary – even if we are left with nothing, it will soon be replenished ….”

“…. If in meditation the mind comes to a standstill even for the blink of an eye, or reflecting on the impermanence and loathsomeness of the Five Aggregates – the merit is more than building whole schools or temples ….”

“…. If you are impatient, you cannot reach Nirvana. You need to practise by treating what you see as merely what is seen; treating what you hear as merely what is heard; treating what you smell as merely what is smelt; treating what you taste as merely what is tasted; treating what you touch as merely what is touched, and; treating what you know as merely what is known. If you take things personally you’ll never get to Nirvana. In the meantime, treat everything without attachment ….”

 

Luang Por Dhammajayo

“…. Succeeding in meditation is our real purpose in life – our human birthright in order to uproot the defilements from the mind in order to attain Nirvana, in order to really know ourselves and our destiny….”

“…. As soon as we cross our legs and bring our mindfulness to a standstill at the centre of the body for meditation – even if we sometimes fall asleep or sometimes suffer from distraction – we are one million percent paving the way to our attainment of the Dhamma….”

“…. in this cycle of existence, essentially it is all about whether wholesomeness or unwholesomeness get the upper hand – everything is decided by wholesomeness and unwholesomeness. The Buddha concluded that for all of us living in this cycle of existence, we need to avoid unwholesome habits, practice only good habits and purify the mind. This is the advice of an enlightened one and ought to be the blueprint for our lives – to ensure our best possible traject through this cycle of existence….”

“…. Everyone needs to meditate until attaining the Dhammakaya, attaining the Triple Gem inside oneself. Once you have attained the Dhammakaya, the merit of your attainment will help dilute any unwholesome karma in your past, while the substantial merit of meditation attainment protects you from any retribution….”

“…. The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta is like the locomotive pulling the train of all the other 84,000 items of the Buddha’s teachings – all the rest of the teachings are like the carriages. So, whoever can chant this Sutta has a special merit equivalent to sitting close by the Buddha himself….”

“…. whenever the full moon day comes around, we need to purify ourselves in body, speech and mind by giving alms, keeping the precepts and meditating, to keep up the wholesome traditions of our ancestors who regarded the full-moon day as a day of purity to recollect the virtues of the Triple Gem – Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha – as one’s highest refuge. On the full moon day, we should therefore try to avoid recklessness in life and make the most of our remaining days on this Earth to gain the highest benefit from having taken human birth, from dawn ‘til dusk regularly keeping the precepts and purifying the mind ….”

“…. the least benefit of training the mind in meditation is immediate access to happiness in the present, which will lead to true happiness that cannot be found in any other way ….”

“…. on the day we see the moonrise at the centre of the body, at the seventh base of the mind and feel the happiness shared from the inside, it will be a turning point for the world. Whenever we experience brightness inside, the world too will be brightened ….”

“…. Dharma cultivated through meditation is the most important thing in life – more important than the air we breathe – because if we suffocate we disappear only from this planet, but if we lack the Dharma we die from everything ….”

“.... The correct way to practise meditation is to start from a place of happiness, and allow small happinesses to inspire us to meditate further, while remaining observant of any hindrances holding us back and the possibilities for success. In short, constantly make sure you are on the right track and make sure your practice meditation a little each day ....”

“…. If you don’t cultivate merits continuously, unwholesomeness will find a way to intervene. We must avoid recklessness in the cultivation of the Perfections. Don’t complacently think you have already cultivated a lot of merits in your life and it is time for a rest. Just the thought of ‘taking a rest’ means our mind has already fallen under the sway of unwholesomeness. However, if we take a rest, then the merits generated in our life also stop being able to help us. Since wholesomeness and unwholesomeness are always competing to get the upper hand, if merit is on pause, then unwholesomeness will win out. This is why we cannot afford to rest from the continuous cultivation of good deeds, as we were born to attain Nirvana, to cultivate merits and pursue Perfections ….”

 

Teachings of Luang Phaw Dattajeevo

“.... Train yourself to be true in all things – be attentive, be earnest in everything you do. Our ancestors recommended trying to put ourselves in others shoes. You can never be earnest if you don’t consider how others want to be treated. Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. If you think and act in this way, it will bring forth habitual truth and earnest in our character. ....”

“.... Whenever someone disappoints us or conflicts with us, and three years or five years later we still haven’t forgotten, let alone forgiven them, it is like we are keeping them prisoner in our heart. We may have many such prisoners cluttering up our heart to the point we can no longer think clearly. If we can forgive them, we can avoid having their faces constantly popping up in our mind when meditating.....”

“.... It is very precious to take human birth – if you doubt it, compare the number of people in each house compared with the number of creepy-crawlies. So, having taken human birth, we need to take good care of our health. We cannot heal the karma of our past behaviours, but we can change our future to be filled exclusively with good behaviour. We need to realize and augment the value of our human lives, never relapsing into previous unwholesome lifestyle patterns, while using our life to fulfil the highest goodness. ....”

“.... Be sincere in everything you choose to do – as an ‘act of truth’ that will stay with you. Whenever you need to make a wish, such sincerity will bring that wish to fulfilment with ease. ....”

“.... Early in life, every person needs to learn the difference between wholesome and unwholesome behaviour. Only in this way can unwholesome habits with their contingent suffering, hardship and deterioration be avoided. Only in this way can wholesome habits with their contingent happiness and prosperity be brought into being....”

“.... Everyone in the world is searching for direction. Without good friends such as ourselves to shepherd them towards a wholesome path in life, towards a refuge in life and attaining the Dhammakaya, who will help them? It is therefore not yet time for us to rest. ....”

 

Khun Yay's teachings

“.... Having surveyed the whole world and the universe, I have seen no-one who can be my refuge but myself. This is why I had to meditate until attaining the Dhamma – to be a refuge against suffering. In the same way, you must learn to help yourself and channel the Dhamma attainment in yourselves to overcome all hardship. ....”

“.... It was a the thought of my own mortality that spurred me to lead the Kathina ceremony (of 1988), realizing I did not have much longer to live. I offered Kathina robes so that the merit would stay with me, because when we die, we can take nothing with us but our merit and demerit. After death we are reduced to being like a puppet. If we have made merit, merit will pull our strings – if we have demerit, demerit will pull our strings. ....”

“.... In our lives, we need to bring some kind of benefit – at the very least to ourselves. If we have succeeded in bringing ourselves benefit, we should try to bring benefit to others too, to make our lives worthwhile. ....”

“.... Cultivate contentment and thrift. Greed makes people dishonest and I have never been able to stand liars. If you crave bad things, you will not find happiness. Instead try to cultivate purity and cleanliness of mind. If it is your merit, the things you need will come to you by providence. You won’t need to chase after them. Nonetheless, if your only wish is to cultivate a lot of merit, this is an ambition worth keeping. ....”

“.... Even if those lacking knowledge and virtue become famous, the fame will not stay with them for long, because they don’t have a foundation of goodness to support it. The more publicity they get, the more they will ‘shoot themselves in the foot’. ....”

“.... I try never to get on the wrong side of anyone, because I’m afraid it will carry over into vengeance next lifetime. I take a long-term view of every relationship – that is why I try to get along with everyone, no matter how difficult. ....”

“.... I started out in poverty, but I always loved cleanliness. The love of cleanliness stayed with me even as I founded Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Cleanliness inspired the faith on which the temple was built. That is why you need to keep up the standards of cleanliness I established. ....”

“.... You can search the universe and galaxy, but you won’t find anything but the Dhamma that can help you. If you can hold tight to the Dhamma, it can help you break free of suffering. Even a glimpse of the inner brightness of the Dhamma will turn your life around – a merit as enormous as the horizon is large. ....”

“.... I never cultivated good deeds to win the praise of others – only as refuge to break free of suffering. It has never been my intention to ‘stand out’ or earn fame – peoples’ virtues speak for themselves – but generally they speak gently. The sort of fame shouted from the rooftops is generally earned at the expense of other – infamy, not fame. If you already have goodness within yourself, just cultivate ever greater goodness, and fame will come to you by itself. ....”

“.... Don’t think cultivating goodness is going to be easy. When cultivating good deeds, you need to be both patient and precise to bring those good deeds to fruition. Where there are obstacles, I have only ever resorted to wholesome strategies to overcome them – to the point I have won others’ acceptance. ....”

“.... You have to understand yourself first, to succeed in understanding other people. Look deeply into your own mind because the whole of the world can be studied from within. When we see our own mind clearly, we will easily understand the mysteries of all beings in the world, together with how to solve problems and overcome irritation. We have to engage with obstacles from the inside out. If we spend all our time engaging with problems external to ourselves we will never reach an end of them. If we can tackle them from inside, using only peaceful means, our victory will be definitive. ....”

“.... No-one can foretell the date and time of their death. For this reason, we should not delay visiting the temple to do good deeds, before they carry us there feet-first. Our life is ebbing away day-by-day, so we are going need to cultivate the maximum merit, to take as much of it with us when we go. Merit is beyond the reach of mental impurities – so even if your life is in trouble, find meritorious things to do and apply that merit wisely. ....”