Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient meditation techniques.
To learn Vipassana Meditation one needs to develop one's own experience during a residential ten day course.
Dhamma Surabhi is one of over 120 international centers where the technique of Vipassana meditation is taught and practiced. Ayya Khema talks about death, near death experience, impermanence and the joy of letting go. An abridged version of a farewell Dhamma desana delivered by Venerable Ajahn Anan at Wat Fah Krahm (Cittabhavanaram), Lamlukka, Patum Thani, in November 1984 (2527 BE) as he prepared to depart to continue his practice in Rayong Province at what would later become his present day residence of Wat Marp Jan. Today, with the permission of Venerable Ajahn Piak and my friends in Dhamma, the time has come for me to speak about Dhamma practice in the course of which there will be much food for thought to bring into your own practice of meditation. Having this opportunity to meet here today is because of our interest in Dhamma and our attempt to practise meditation in accordance with the advice and instruction of the Lord Buddha. The first of the `Three Signata,‘ Anicca, impermanence, transitoriness of all things in the universe, is a doctrine constantly and emphatically insisted upon in the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddha Dhamma there is nothing either divine or human, either animate or inanimate, either organic or inorganic, which is permanent or stable, unchang¬ing or everlasting. Der Lotus wurde in vielen Lehren des Buddhismus verwendet, um die wahre Natur der gesamten Menschheit zu repräsentieren. Dharma Chakra oder Dhamma Chakka bezeichnet und wird oft verwendet, um Buddha selbst darzustellen. For most people the conditioned is all they ever really relate to, the unconditioned remains a kind of metaphysical belief, or some abstraction they might accept. We are all very involved with the realm of mortality and what is conditioned is mortal, subject to death, or cessation.
The tendency of Western materialism is to emphasize the importance of the death-bound conditions, even though we wouldn’t put it like that, would we? And yet, from the primitive to the present sophisticated forms of humanity, there has always been a sense outside of the senses, or an intuition that there is something beyond, something transcen­dent. If human beings are not encouraged to realize this truth for themselves, they either go to some authority, or expert on the subject, and accept what they say, or they simply dismiss the whole thing as being totally irrelevant to their lives. Now the Buddha was a sage who tried to convey a particular teaching that would encourage the realization of ultimate reality. This symbol of the Buddha, then, — the knower, the ability of a human being to know the truth, — is most significant for us at this time. When people ask me why I became a Buddhist, I tell them it was because of this oppor­tunity.
Now, admittedly, gnostic forms can be quite dangerous because in some ways anybody can believe almost anything. In the Buddhist convention, we take our own direct experiences and weigh them against the teachings of the Buddha; we measure experiences through the conventions we have. Now, this is sometimes baffling because many people feel that Buddhists are not enlightened any more because they never say so. When the Buddha was sitting under the bodhi tree and realized truth, he knew he was enlightened. He left Bodh Gaya, where the bodhi tree is, and on his way to the Deer Park near Benares, happened to meet another ascetic who recognized his aura of purity. Wat Wana Bodhiyan1 here is certainly very peaceful, but this is meaningless if our minds are not calm. When we take an interest in meditation and hear the teaching of a spiritual guide, it’s not easy to understand.
Einer der signifikantesten Elefanten im Wohnzimmer des westlichen Buddhismus besteht in der Unvereinbarkeit zwischen den erklarten Zielen der nordlichen und sudlichen Schulen. Das Hauptmotiv fur das Eintauchen in diese Unvereinbarkeit besteht darin, dass viele Menschen Vergleiche zwischen dem Arahat und Bodhisattva Ideal anstellen und dann wissen wollen, welchem Pfad sie denn nun folgen sollen.
Ajahn Amaro examines the arguments for and against the arhat and bodhisattva ideals that define and too often divide the Buddhist traditions. One of the more significant elephants in the living room of Buddhism in the West is the disparity between the stated goals of the Northern and Southern schools.
The main reason for delving into this disparity is that people do make comparisons of the arahant and bodhisattva ideal and ask which path to follow.
There are five mental constituents which are chiefly representative of the first meditative absorption, and are therefore called the factors of absorption (jhananga).
Not only the meditative absorptions but also lesser degrees of mental concentration are impeded by these five hindrances.
This widespread harmful influence of the five hindrances shows the urgent necessity of breaking down their power by constant effort. Sloth and torpor and restlessness are eradicated on the path of Arahatship (arahatta-magga). Hence the reward of the fight against the hindrances is not only the limited one of making possible a shorter or longer spell of meditation, but every step in weakening these hindrances takes us nearer to the stages of sanctity where deliverance from these hindrances is unshakable. Though most of the following texts, translated from the Discourses of the Buddha and the commentaries, are addressed to monks, they are likewise valid for those living the worldly life.
Sensual desire is an impediment and hindrance, an overgrowth of the mind that stultifies insight. Without having overcome these five, it is impossible for a monk whose insight thus lacks strength and power, to know his own true good, the good of others, and the good of both; nor will he be capable of realizing that superhuman state of distinctive achievement, the knowledge and vision enabling the attainment of sanctity.
But if a monk has overcome these five impediments and hindrances, these overgrowths of the mind that stultify insight, then it is possible that, with his strong insight, he can know his own true good, the good of others, and the good of both; and he will be capable of realizing that superhuman state of distinctive achievement, the knowledge and vision enabling the attainment of sanctity. One whose heart is overwhelmed by unrestrained covetousness will do what he should not do and neglect what he ought to do. But if a noble disciple has seen these five as defilements of the mind, he will give them up. There are five impurities of gold impaired by which it is not pliant and wieldy, lacks radiance, is brittle and cannot be wrought well. But if the gold has been freed from these five impurities, then it will be plaint and wieldy, radiant and firm, and can be wrought well.
Similarly, there are five impurities of the mind impaired by which the mind is not pliant and wieldy, lacks radiant lucidity and firmness, and cannot concentrate well upon the eradication of the taints (asava).
But if the mind is freed of these five impurities, it will be pliant and wieldy, will have radiant lucidity and firmness, and will concentrate well upon the eradication of the taints. How does a monk practice mind-object contemplation on the mental objects of the five hindrances? To note mindfully, and immediately, the arising of one of the hindrances, as recommended in the preceding text, is a simple but very effective method of countering these and any other defilements of the mind. Just as, monks, this body lives on nourishment, lives dependent on nourishment, does not live without nourishment — in the same way, monks, the five hindrances live on nourishment, depend on nourishment, do not live without nourishment.
There are beautiful objects; frequently giving unwise attention to them — this is the nourishment for the arising of sensual desire that has not arisen, and the nourishment for the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen. There are impure objects (used for meditation); frequently giving wise attention to them — this is the denourishing of the arising of sensual desire that has not yet arisen, and the denourishing of the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen.
In him who is devoted to the meditation about impure objects, repulsion towards beautiful objects is firmly established. Sense objects give little enjoyment, but much pain and much despair; the danger in them prevails. The unpleasant overwhelms a thoughtless man in the guise of the pleasant, the disagreeable overwhelms him in the guise of the agreeable, the painful in the guise of pleasure. There are forms perceptible by the eye, which are desirable, lovely, pleasing, agreeable, associated with desire, arousing lust. Reference is here, in particular, to such friends who have experience and can be a model and help in overcoming sensual desire, especially in meditating on impurity. Reference is here in particular to conversation about the overcoming of sensual desire, especially about meditating on impurity.
If there is water in a pot mixed with red, yellow, blue or orange color, a man with a normal faculty of sight, looking into it, could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. There are objects causing aversion; frequently giving unwise attention to them — this is the nourishment for the arising of ill-will that has not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of ill-will that has already arisen.
There is the liberation of the heart by loving-kindness; frequently giving wise attention to it — this is the denourishing of the arising of ill-will that has not yet arisen, and the decrease and weakening of ill-will that has already arisen. If there is a pot of water heated on the fire, the water seething and boiling, a man with a normal faculty of sight, looking into it, could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face.
There arises listlessness, lassitude, lazy stretching of the body, drowsiness after meals, mental sluggishness; frequently giving unwise attention to it — this is the nourishment for the arising of sloth and torpor that have not yet arisen and for the increase and strengthening of sloth and torpor that have already arisen. In a monk who is accustomed to see the suffering in impermanence and who is frequently engaged in this contemplation, there will be established in him such a keen sense of the danger of laziness, idleness, lassitude, indolence and thoughtlessness, as if he were threatened by a murderer with drawn sword. Once the Exalted One spoke to the Venerable Maha-Moggallana thus: „Are you drowsy, Moggallana? If, monks, a monk perceives these five threatening dangers, it is enough for him to live heedful, zealous, with a heart resolute to achieve the unachieved, to attain the unattained, to realize the unrealized. When the mind is sluggish, it is not the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because a sluggish mind can hardly be aroused by them.
When the mind is sluggish, it is the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: investigation of reality, energy and rapture, because a sluggish mind can easily be aroused by them. If there is a pot of water, covered with moss and water plants, then a man with a normal faculty of sight looking into it could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. There is unrest of mind; frequently giving unwise attention to it — that is the nourishment for the arising of restlessness and remorse that have not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of restlessness and remorse that have already arisen.
There is quietude of mind; frequently giving wise attention to it — that is the denourishing of the arising of restlessness and remorse that have not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of restlessness and remorse that have already arisen. When the mind is restless it is not the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: investigation of the doctrine, energy and rapture, because an agitated mind can hardly be quietened by them.
When the mind is restless, it is the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because an agitated mind can easily be quietened by them. If there is water in a pot, stirred by the wind, agitated, swaying and producing waves, a man with a normal faculty of sight could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face.
There are things causing doubt; frequently giving unwise attention to them — that is the nourishment for the arising of doubt that has not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of doubt that has already arisen. There are things which are wholesome or unwholesome, blameless or blameworthy, noble or low, and (other) contrasts of dark and bright; frequently giving wise attention to them — that is the denourishing of the arising of doubt that has not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of doubt that has already arisen.


Of the six things conducive to the abandonment of doubt, the first three and the last two are identical with those given for restlessness and remorse. If there is a pot of water which is turbid, stirred up and muddy, and this pot is put into a dark place, then a man with a normal faculty of sight could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face.
Being endowed with noble mindfulness and clear comprehension, and endowed with noble contentedness, the monk resorts to a lonely place: to a forest, the foot of a tree, a mountain, a cleft, a rock cave, a cemetery, a jungle, an open space, a heap of straw. Just as when a man taking a loan, engages in a trade, and his trade succeeds, he now not only disposes of his old debt but he has also, beyond that, a surplus for maintaining a wife. Just as when a man is sick and in pain, suffering from a grave disease, his food does not agree with him, and he has no strength left in his body.
Just as when a man has been thrown into prison, but some time later he is released from prison; he is safe and without fears, and he did not suffer any loss of property. Just as when a man is a slave, not independent, but dependent on others, unable to go where he likes, but some time later he is set free from slavery, is now independent, no longer dependent on others, a freeman who can go where he wants. Just as when a man, rich and prosperous, travels through a wilderness where there is no food and much danger, but some time later he has crossed the desert, and gradually reaches safely the vicinity of a village, a place of safety, free from danger.
Similarly, so long as these five hindrances are not abandoned in him, a monk considers himself as indebted, as ailing, as imprisoned, as enslaved, as traveling in a wilderness. But when these five hindrances are abandoned, he considers himself as free from debt, rid of illness, emancipated from the prison’s bondage, as a free man, and as one arrived at a place of safety.
Then detached from sensual desires, detached from unwholesome states, he enters into and dwells in the first absorption which is accompanied by applied thought and reflection, born of detachment, and filled with joy and rapture. Hereby the Blessed One shows the unabandoned hindrance of sensual desire as similar to being in debt; and the other hindrances as similar to being ill, and so on.
In the same way, if a man is filled with sensual desire for a certain person, he will, full of craving for that object of his desire, be attached to it. In the same way, if one of angry temperament is admonished even slightly by his teacher or preceptor who wishes his best, he does not accept their advice. A person has been kept in jail during a festival day, and so could see neither the beginning nor the middle nor the end of the festivities. Similarly, even if a very eloquent sermon on the Dhamma is going on, a monk overcome by sloth and torpor will not know the beginning, middle or end. A slave who wants to enjoy himself at a festival is told by his master: „Go quickly to such and such a place!
Similarly it is with a monk not well versed in the Vinaya (the Disciplinary Code), who has gone to the forest for the sake of solitude. It is similar with one in whom doubt has arisen in regard to one of the eight objects of doubt.[4] Doubting whether the Master is an Enlightened One or not, he cannot accept it in confidence, as a matter of trust. Similarly a monk, perceiving that sloth and torpor do great harm, develops the six things opposed to them, and so removes the hindrance of sloth and torpor. Therefore the Blessed One spoke of the abandonment of sloth and torpor as being comparable to release from imprisonment.
There is a slave who, with the help of a friend, pays money to his master, becomes a free man, and is henceforth able to do what he likes. Therefore the Blessed One declared the abandonment of restlessness and remorse as being similar to winning freedom from slavery. There is a strong man who, with his luggage in hand and well armed, travels through a wilderness in company. They are, according to the Vibhanga: doubt in regard to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, the (threefold) training, the past, the future, both past and future, and the conditionality of phenomena dependently arisen. A description and timetable of a typical ten day course may be found in the Code of Discipline.
It situated on a 56 acre forested property, located 20 minutes south of Merritt, BC, and less than a 3-hour drive from Vancouver, BC.
Additional information is available about Dhamma Surabhi, including a detailed description of the facility, the amenities provided, and directions to get there. In the course of this talk, Ajahn Anan offers the details of his practice as a gift of Dhamma to gladden and. Therefore, let us all be determined to firmly compose the mind, to make it calm and peaceful by trying to focus upon the in-and-out breathing.
Nicht nur uber die Verganglichkeit der Phanomene, die wir von au?en betrachten, sondern vor allem die Verganglichkeit von uns selbst.
Das Banner des Sieges wird benutzt, um die Leute daran zu errinern, dass sie ihren Stolz, ihre Lust und ihre Leidenschaft besiegen müssen, um Erleuchtung zu erreichen. We also identify with the conditioning of our minds, the ways in which we have been trained to think and feel, with values, with habits acquired in our lifetimes, and so on. At the end of our lives, we shall all inevitably experience death when the body stops functioning, when the heat element dies out and the body disintegrates. And this is often speculated about, or believed in; we form metaphysical doctrines about, say, a realm after death, or transcendent truth, or the immortal, or the eternal, the infinite. And the teaching of the Buddha sometimes baffles modern humanity because it does seem somewhat strange to our way of thinking; we are used to regarding religion from the point of view of being told something. This particular way of knowing, or Gnosticism, was, it seems, all destroyed at one time in Western civilization. I felt that if there was God, or an ultimate transcen­dent reality, or an immortal, it could be known directly. Back in the seventies Westerners used to go round Thailand looking for enlightened masters. After a while he thought, ‘This is too subtle; there’s no one I can possibly think of who’s going to understand what I’ve realized.
To train other things is not so difficult, it’s easy, but the human mind is hard to train.
Whether standing, walking, sitting or reclining, the tools you need with which to practice are well-provided, wherever you are. It’s like an insect on a tree that eats through the bark, into the wood, and then into the core, until finally the tree dies. In der nordlichen Tradition wird das Ziel oft als die Entwicklung des Bodhisattva Pfades formuliert, der sich zum Wohle aller Lebewesen uber viele Leben erstreckt und dann in der Buddhaschaft gipfelt.
Das Ziel ist hier nicht, von einer speziellen Position her zu argumentieren und diese dann zu verteidigen, sondern etwas mehr Licht auf die Ziele buddhistischer Praxis zu werfen.
Ein weites Spektrum buddhistischer Lehren steht zur Verfugung, und viele Menschen sind von Meistern verschiedener Richtungen inspiriert worden. In the Northern tradition, the goal is often formulated as the cultivation of the bodhisattva path over many lifetimes for the benefit of all beings, culminating in buddhahood. The aim here is not to argue a particular position and defend it, but rather to shed a little more light on the goals of Buddhist practice and to recount some of what the scriptures and traditions have said about this landscape over the centuries.
A wide spectrum of Buddhist teachings is available, and many people have been inspired by masters of different lineages. Here, deliverance means: the freeing of the mind from all limitations, fetters, and bonds that tie it to the Wheel of Suffering, to the Circle of Rebirth.
According to the Buddhist teachings, spiritual development is twofold: through tranquillity (samatha-bhavana) and through insight (vipassana-bhavana). For each of these there is, according to Buddhist commentarial tradition, one of the five hindrances that is specifically harmful for it and excludes its higher development and refinement to the degree required for jhana; and on the other hand, the cultivation of these five factors beyond their average level will be an antidote against the hindrances, preparing the road to jhana. One should not believe it sufficient to turn one’s attention to the hindrances only at the moment when one sits down for meditation.
And doing so, he is regarded as one of great wisdom, of abundant wisdom, clear-visioned, well endowed with wisdom. Whatever ornaments one wishes to make from it, be it a diadem, earrings, a necklace or a golden chain, it will serve that purpose. Whatever state realizable by the higher mental faculties one may direct the mind to, one will in each case acquire the capacity of realization, if the (other) conditions are fulfilled. By doing so, a brake is applied against the uninhibited continuance of unwholesome thoughts, and the watchfulness of mind against their recurrence is strengthened.
Herein, a monk, having seen a form, does not seize upon its (delusive) appearance as a whole, nor on its details. If the monk does not delight in them, is not attached to them, does not welcome them, then in him thus not delighting in them, not being attached to them and not welcoming them, delight (in these forms) ceases; if delight is absent, there is no bondage. Of a monk, Ananda, who has a noble friend, a noble companion, a noble associate, it is to be expected that he will cultivate and practice the Noble Eightfold Path.
But it applies also to every conversation which is suitable to advance one’s progress on the path. If due to slowness in the application of wisdom or due to non-attainment of the happiness of tranquillity, one’s mind is dull, then one should rouse it through reflecting on the eight stirring objects. After the meal, having returned from the alms-round, he sits down, crosslegged, keeping his body erect and his mindfulness alert. But some time later he recovers from that sickness; he can again digest his food, and he regains his strength. Now, if his creditors, when telling him to pay back the debt, speak roughly to him or harass and beat him, he is unable to retaliate but has to bear it all. If after the sermon, he hears it praised: „How pleasant was it to listen to the Dhamma!
Stopping more frequently than walking, only with toil and difficulty will he reach a place of safety, or he may not even reach it.
Just as one who has freed himself of debt no longer feels fear or anxiety when meeting his former creditors, so one who has given up sensual desire is no longer attached and bound to the object of his desire; even if he sees divine forms, passions will not assail him. Just as the cured patient partaking of honey and sugar appreciates the taste, so also this monk receives with reverence the rules of training, and observes them with appreciation (of their value). Similarly a monk, perceiving the great obstruction caused by restlessness and remorse, cultivates the six things opposed to them, and thus gives up restlessness and remorse. The aroma of pine fills the air during the warmer months, reinforcing the centre's name of Dhamma Surabhi, Fragrance of Dhamma. Meditate feeling content and at ease, allowing the breathing to be comfortable and relaxed.
Today seems the right occasion to speak because for all of us to be sitting here, having lived this far, is indeed a rarity. Such people, although still alive and sitting, standing or walking, are said to have already died because they are dead to virtue and to goodness, to merit and to that which is wholesome. It is the contemplation of these three universal characteristics of all compounded things and processes (sankhara), or of all phenomena (dhamma), that leads to true insight (vipassana) and enlightenment (bodhi¬nana).


But, beyond the conditioned realm is the unconditioned, the unborn, the uncreated, something without form, quality, or quantity. Instead, we get involved in other important social, economic and political issues that we devote our lives to. A sage, or philosopher, or some prophet tells us something, and we either agree with it or not; or maybe we are like the agnostic — not quite sure.
An attempt was made to destroy every bit of Gnostic literature, except it kind of keeps creeping in, doesn’t it? And we need to have a way of pointing to this direct knowing, a way of talking about it that isn’t just subjective. Finally, they would say, ‘There aren’t any!’ That was because nobody proclaimed himself to be such. Our parents taught us grasping and attachment, giving meaning to things, believing firmly that we exist as a self-entity and that things belong to us. Ihre Schriften und Liturgien sind voller Hinweise auf das Bodhisattva Prinzip, und fur diejenigen, die innerhalb dieser Tradition praktizieren, ist es ganz normal, Bodhisattva Gelubde auf sich zu nehmen.
Zusatzlich soll berichtet werden, was die Schriften und Traditionen im Laufe der Jahrhunderte uber dieses Thema gesagt haben. Its scriptures and liturgies are thickly populated with the bodhisattva principle, and for those who practice in this tradition it is normal to take bodhisattva vows.
Tranquillity is gained by complete concentration of the mind during the meditative absorptions (jhana). The relationship between these two groups of five is indicated in this anthology, under the heading of the respective hindrance. Likewise excluded by the presence of the hindrances is the momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi) which has the strength of neighborhood concentration and is required for mature insight (vipassana). Such last-minute effort in suppressing the hindrances will rarely be successful unless helped by previous endeavor during one’s ordinary life. They are: sensual desire, ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse, and sceptical doubt. If his sense of sight were uncontrolled, covetousness, grief and other evil, unwholesome states would flow into him. The same twofold explanation holds true also for the other hindrances, with due alterations.
Have you not come to your present state by your own actions, and will also go hence according to your own actions?
Having given up covetousness (= sensual desire) with regard to the world, he dwells with a heart free of covetousness, he cleanses his mind from covetousness. Just as the bilious person does not enjoy the flavor of honey and sugar, so one who has the disease of anger will not enjoy the taste of the Buddha’s Dispensation consisting in the happiness of the meditative absorptions, etc. How interesting was the topic and how good the similes!“ he will not be able to say a word. Thus he will not be able to enjoy the happiness of solitude because of his being overcome by restlessness and remorse. Thus, as the traveler in the desert is uncertain whether robbers are there or not, he produces in his mind, again and again, a state of wavering and vacillation, a lack of decision, a state of anxiety; and thus he creates in himself an obstacle for reaching the safe ground of sanctity (ariya-bhumi).
After that he neither sends a messenger nor a letter to his creditors; and even if he meets them it depends on his wish whether he will get up from his seat to greet them, or not. Crossing safely the wilderness and reaching a place of safety, he will rejoice in his safe arrival. Perhaps next year, or in the years ahead, we will not have the chance to meet together or see each other again. The realisation of these three fundamental truths can thus be regarded as the key to the highest spiritual perfection afforded by the Buddha Dhamma. So, we give God attributes; we give God all kinds of qualities which are, of course, conditioned.
How we live is also considered to be important; we feel we should be free to do what we want, to develop and have all kinds of rights, privileges and experiences.
We have no way of holding it up, of capturing it, preserving it, or proving it to anyone else.
They keep finding things, like the Gnostic gospel, in old clay pots in caves that have been overlooked all these years! Maybe there is no agreed way of talking about it, or maybe the ability to use perception is never the same; after all, it is something that each one must realize. Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis were totally forbidden to talk about their insights from a subjective place. If a Buddhist monk claims he is enlightened, we have to beware of him because he is not a proper monk! I’ll do that.’ Then he thought, ‘Who do I know who will understand?’ And he considered his previous teachers, but by the power of his own intuition, immediately knew that they had both died. However, a quiet place can help to become calm, by giving one the opportunity to train and thus harmonize with its calm. In der sudlichen Tradition hingegen wird das spirituelle Ideal als die Verwirklichung zum Arahat ausgegeben – die Realisation von Nibbana und das Ende der Wiedergeburt im jetzigen Leben. In the Southern tradition, the spiritual ideal that is extolled instead is the realization of arahantship—the realization of nibbana and the ending of rebirth, in this very life.
For achieving these absorptions, the overcoming of the five hindrances, at least temporarily, is a preliminary condition. But apart from these higher stages of mental development, any earnest attempt at clear thinking and pure living will be seriously affected by the presence of these five hindrances. Therefore he practices for the sake of its control, he watches over the sense of sight, he enters upon its control. Anger towards another is just as if someone wishing to hit another person takes hold of glowing coals, or a heated iron-rod, or of excrement. Having given up the blemish of ill-will, he dwells without ill-will; friendly and compassionate towards all living beings, he cleanses his mind from the blemish of ill-will.
Just as no one can forcibly stop a free man from doing what he likes, so can restlessness and remorse no longer stop that monk from walking the happy path of renunciation (sukhanekkhamma-patipada).
Similarly a monk, seeing that sceptical doubt is a cause of great harm, cultivates the six things that are its antidote, and gives up doubt. This or that person may have left us, some to other places, some because old age prevents them from coming, and some because of death. By speaking in this way, however, we still create images of the conditioned and unconditioned! In other words, each human being is quite capable of realizing ultimate reality, immortal truth, and yet not one of us is capable of proving it to anyone else. Now, the word ‘gnosis’ is related to the Pali word ‘nyana’, which means ‘inside knowledge’, ‘direct knowledge’; it’s not abstract knowledge, it’s not knowledge about something, it’s direct knowing. When one does realize it, then one tends to describe it with the particular perceptions one has, whether they be Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or whatever; one uses what one has, to describe ultimate reality. There is no way we can let a monk say, ‘I am an enlightened person,’ or ‘I have realized ultimate truth.’ Such statements are forbidden. Then he decided that maybe the five disciples who had deserted him just before his enlightenment might understand. Buddha wasn’t lying, or bragging, or trying to make false claims; he was just saying in the most direct form what was true. We hear this over and over again, and it penetrates our hearts and stays there as our habitual feeling. The wise have said that moving a mountain from one place to another is easier than moving the self-conceit of people.
Vom Bodhisattva Ideal wird kaum je gesprochen, abgesehen von dessen Erwahnung innerhalb der Jatakas – den Geschichten aus vergangenen Leben von Gotama Buddha.
The bodhisattva principle is hardly ever spoken of, apart from its mention in the Jataka Tales, stories of the past lives of Gotama Buddha. It is especially in the context of achieving the absorptions that the Buddha often mentions the five hindrances in his discourses. Having given up sloth and torpor, he dwells free from sloth and torpor, in the perception of light; mindful and clearly comprehending, he cleanses his mind from sloth and torpor. Just as that strong man, armed and in company, taking as little account of the robbers as of the grass on the ground, will safely come out of the wilderness to a safe place; similarly a monk, having crossed the wilderness of evil conduct, will finally reach the state of highest security, the deathless realm of Nibbana. The Buddha informed us that the mind of one who frequently contemplates death will become heedful of the truth, recollecting the impermanence, suffering and selflessness of this body. We are thrown back on ourselves, and this is the Buddhist way; it is the way of looking at ourselves, of developing mindfulness, rather than of going around trying to find out whether someone else is enlightened, or not. The eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body all receive sensations and send them into the mind, which is the supervisor of all the other sense organs. We’re taught to get things, to accumulate and hold on to them, to see them as important and as ours. In some cases, subjects of meditation have been added which will be helpful in overcoming the respective hindrances. Having given up restlessness and remorse, he dwells without restlessness; his mind being calmed within, he cleanses it from restlessness and remorse. Therefore the Blessed One compared the abandonment of sceptical doubt to reaching a place of safety. Just this subject of death then, can become a basis for our meditation, a foundation for our practice that we cannot overlook. Being involved in breathing, consciousness and feeling, until the body dies, is a lifetime, a human life span. He too has come to his present state by his own actions and will go hence according to his own actions.
Having given up sceptical doubt, he dwells as one who has passed beyond doubt; being free from uncertainty about salutary things, he cleanses his mind from sceptical doubt.
The statements were said in the way of ‘there is’, rather than ‘I have realized and understood’.
The Buddhist way is never from this position of ‘I have realized,’ or ‘I have experienced this insight.’ We use the formula ‘there is’.



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