Buddhist Meditation – Ashin Ottama

Buddhist Meditation – Ashin Ottama

It is my habit to deal with some inconvenient areas or with some points of controversy which are hanging around for a long time trying to bring some new perspective on these areas to help understanding to resolve some of these areas. But today I am taking a completely classic topic: Buddhist meditation, Samatha and Vipassana. Let me make it clear straight in the beginning:
I will not go into the later developments of Buddhism the Mahayana with the non-duality or the very
specific meditation in Zen, Rinzai Zen bringing koans or Tibetan Buddhism coming with so many visualizations, or tantric practices – not going into that at all, staying with the classic Samatha and Vipassana, actually because this is enough already to deal with. At the beginning we can perhaps make it clear for us what is
the general purpose of formal meditation, when we sit down and devote a specified time for formal practice of meditation. Usually we will answer that purpose is to get more peaceful, to develop more concentration, to develop patience, to develop mindfulness wakefulness, presence of mind… Perhaps the best we would say that the purpose of meditation is to develop wholesome qualities of mind systematically. That’s a wonderful definition covering basically all of the wholesome practices of meditation. But sometimes I bring even a little bit different picture: what is the purpose of meditation? to connect, or to reconnect with deeper layers of our being. Explaining it in the image that we are actually living our life on the surface of our being, meaning that we are spending so much time in our thoughts, in our emotions and feelings, you know, this would be like the noise of the surface of our being. And generally that’s our life giving so much validity to all these concerns of our everyday life. The meditation certainly has the function to pacify and quieten this noise of our brain so that we can see and perhaps even connect with deeper layers of our being. The quite
interesting quality of these “deeper layers” of ourselves is that there is less of “me” and “mine” and ego so that it feels so refreshing and so free and we get the feeling like coming home more and more. Because what is the characteristic of these deeper layers: that we feel to connect with something which is more real, more true. So now, the introduction: It should be clear I will take these two types of meditational development very apart to show the great difference between Samatha and Vipassana, but let’s be clear, mentioning it already
in the beginning, that actually these two important factors of development of our mind need to work together. So let’s go now to the distinctions taking it quite separately: the Samatha as the Tranquility meditation and Vipassana as Insight meditation. So first let’s take Samatha. As the rendering indicates the aim is to develop a kind of peacefulness in the mind so that the mind will get so steady and beautifully relaxed that it will
stay with the meditation object, with the only one chosen defined meditation object for very long time, and it feels wonderful. It may go through different changes and then may come absorption, a kind of a quality jump into fine-material area which is sometimes compared with the god-like consciousness and then it is really blissful abiding in a wonderful peace and purity. The quality which is dominating this practice is the unification of mind – this is the characteristic indeed,
I think the central one, that the mind which is normally scattered
and going here and there And is not quiet, that with the help of a chosen one meditation object it will get the stability and peacefulness. Certainly in the beginning we have to use the applied concentration when we are bringing the mind towards the object again and again it goes off and we bring it back again, because this is also the characteristic of Samatha it is a tunnel (in the beginning) when only the chosen object will flood the mind so to say, there is no space for any distraction there. So, I don’t like the translation of Samatha as Concentration because – it’s correct in a way, but it brings the connotation of forcing the mind towards the object, so I prefer the rendering as tranquility meditation, because that’s one of the wonderful qualities of this practice touching this area of… it’s a kind of nobleness involved as well in that especially when the mind switches towards the fine-material or immaterial; so there is a kind of purity which has a touch of nobleness in itself, beauty, bliss. What else to say about it? The absorptions … of course there are many preparatory stages. Sometimes there is big talking about ‘nimitta’ but in the original Texts there is not much said about nimitta. But definitely there is a mention of ‘upacara samadhi’ which is the concentration before the absorption happens. It’s already
the mind very well shaped, very well prepared staying long time, but still – sometimes it is compared to a small child trying to walk, you know — oops! — so it stands up again: still losing the continuity, still distractions may appear, and then the absorption which is called Jhana, four stages — there are many, many stages of Jhanas, up to the fourth rupa-jhana, then the arupa-jhanas. So there is an enormous possibility of development in this direction. And the great promise: if you die in Jhanas you are straight ahead reborn among the gods (laughter). So this is a big promise, but also a kind of a warning that you will be only reborn among the gods: big deal in one way, but not so big in another way. So, actually, this kind of practices in all classic spiritual practices exists, it’s known in some forms, because Samatha is a huge area, and in some forms of this you can even experience this… when the unification
of mind goes so far it can get into this all-embracing Oneness-experience. It is not an obligatory experience at all for Samatha, definitely not, but it can happen especially if you use as a meditation object some of the “Brahmaviharas”: Metta or Karuna – developing the qualities of heart in the direction of loving-kindness which is boundless by definition so it may get enormous, enormous development. Now, okay, that’s Samatha: Chosen one object – and all other… leaving out everything else, and merging, flooding the mind with the object, nothing else, nothing else, only that. So now, time to speak about Vipassana! Before starting, let me remember one event. Few years ago I was a guest-monk in a monastery, which means also to deal with the people, with the newcomers
who are coming for few days, and my habit was – because I wanted to know
who is in the house – so my habit was to ask if they already have
some practice and what it is, you know, wanting to feel, feel the person. And so I asked one wonderful lady, and she smiled and she said “Yes, I have meditation: just sitting!” Yeah, (laughter) just sitting… Yeah, it can be one of the most wonderful ways and advanced ways of practice on one side, and it can be also… you know, just passing time, letting the mind go wild and stay anywhere and go anywhere. So let’s make it clear that in Buddhist practices we always use a meditation object as a help as a… as a place to anchor our mindfulness, our concentration, our mind – and even if the meditation object disappears, which may sometimes happen, for example with the breath, so still we can take the disappearance or the absence of the meditation object as a meditation object itself, it’s a wonderful meditation. So making this clarification as the first. Now, Vipassana – Vipassana as insight, insight meditation. Let us speak about some clear differences
between Samatha and Vipassana practice. We can use the same meditation object, the in-breath and out-breath also for Vipassana. 0h, by the way, there are many possibilities of meditation objects for Samatha, there are forty in the commentaries but let’s keep it simple: you can take in-breath and out-breath also for Vipassana – but the awareness, the mindfulness are directed toward the object in a completely different direction. We are using the awareness, the mindfulness completely differently. If in the Samatha the in-breath and out-breath go very smoothly, and so it is opening this inner space of great peace and quietude and transparency, Vipassana – completely different. Vipassana is taking notice of any difference, what is happening here and now. The beginning of in-breath is a completely different experience than the middle of the in-breath, the end of in-breath: completely different experience, different sensations, then there is a gap, then the out-breath starts, oh, a completely different experience the in-breath and out-breath feel quite differently. The beginning is this, the middle of the out-breath, mmmh, feels like that! Then there is a change
in the mind, the end of out-breath feels differently, you know: the truth of the present moment. That is the way we are applying the mindfulness in the Vipassana. So any change, any arising and passing away that’s the object of Vipassana meditation. Another quite outstanding difference is that Samatha goes for purity, and beauty
and simplicity, and original mind, you know, this quality, this lucidity. The Vipassana goes for the truth, compromise-less truth. Vipassana goes for wisdom, to understand – but even more: it’s the intuitive insight how the reality, how the actuality really is. Taking one layer of illusions and appearances and constructions which are created by our mind, taking it down, seeing the things as they really are more and more. So this is the path of insight. Now, in the general practice of Vipassana, in the retreats, that what people probably
appreciate a lot are the initial psychological insights: about me, how it is in my life, in my relationships, where I am, you know, doing the same mistake
again and again (laughter), developing some tolerance and detachment, some understanding of oneself – quite nice and meaningful and helpful
in our everyday life, but the real Vipassana practice actually opens after this in the higher stages when we are really encountering mind-blowing things, and pieces of recognition which are completely
beyond the ordinary experience of our existence, of our life. We can say that the aim of Vipassana is to get detached from the identification with the experience so far, that we can feel clearly the three universal qualities of everything conditioned, everything except Nirvana, Nirvana is out of that. And it is the famous: Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta=the impermanence, the unsatisfactoriness of everything in the last end, and Anatta, this kind of self-rolling, hollowness of everything, there is no unchanging abiding entity in anything. And this is the very unique quality in Buddhism: speaking about Anatta – not-self, not-soul. So, it is now a good place to say that Samatha – beautiful as it can get – is not really leading to the freedom of Nirvana. If it is just practiced as a tranquility meditation, it does not lead itself towards liberation. It is the Vipassana, the specific hallmark of Buddhism, which has this quality. Therefore also, comparing Samatha with Vipassana Vipassana is more difficult because it has to purify more deep. Buddha was talking about seven purities. It’s quite helpful to see the difference between Samatha and Vipassana. The basis of everything is spirituality is the Sila-Visuddhi, which means the ethical level of our behavior. I call it the integrity, an ethical moral integrity. Not really putting this moral framework around it, but to have a good self-discipline. That’s really crucial, crucial for any step in a spiritual development. Without that whatever we can experience it will be like, in the best case, like a skyscraper built on the sand. So Sila-Visuddhi is the foundation of anything. Doesn’t need to be absolute because we would never start with another thing. So, to have a constant watch over that area. But then it starts: the second purity
is Citta-Visuddhi which is the purity of mind. And Samatha is indeed a crown of this second purity. For the Vipassana practice it does not need to get into this level of Fine-material or immaterial kind of consciousness. So Samatha, this jhanic absorptions, it purifies the mind enormously – but don’t forget that – though it may be the highest attainment in many spiritual directions – in the whole Buddhist practice it is just the second second purity: there are five more to go! So, Samatha and Vipassana, sometimes I am using actually this difference to indicate the crucial difference between Heaven and Nirvana. It is not the same at all. In the Buddhist understanding all the levels of gods and heavenly divine abidings and all that, that’s still in the sphere of Samsara, of the round of rebirth and Nirvana that’s the only “unconditioned”. Vipassana is a very unexpected direction of mental development and so especially for the Western people when we sit for meditation without getting a clear instruction or without a solid knowledge of Buddha’s teaching, our “natural” meditation will quite certainly go direction Samatha in the best case or perhaps even in some area of astral levels, or – you know… So what is so characteristic or emblematic for Vipassana? Buddha is giving us a message that we are living in deep illusion, we are fooled by our senses, by our perception, and the Vipassana insight practices actually taking down one layer of illusions or one-sidedness or tendential (=colored) interpretations of our mind – taking it down, the construction of our mind, to get into actuality as it really is. And this is the hallmark of Vipassana: to see things as they really are. And in this Vipassana is really different
from all other practices, this is a unique, very unique development in the original Buddhism: to see things as they are, to come to that level of detachment. You know,
this is also very important: how to get into the truth of the reality as it really is: Detachment is the crucial characteristic or skill or condition to see the things clearly. When we are attached to the things or even identifying
with our mind, so we don’t see it as it really is, we are in the swing of this interpretation presented to us by our mind. So the very important condition for insight meditation is to get detached from our mind and body; from the body
it’s not so difficult, but it’s very difficult to get detached from our mind, in the sense to be detached from the contents of the thoughts and interpretations, so that we can observe how the mind actually works, how it creates the image of the world around me, how it creates the image of myself. When I was in the school in Burma
– oh that’s quite long ago – with the help of Bhikkhu Bodhi I have
published a “Wheel”-booklet, and in that I made a drawing “Factory of mind” in a kind of a cartoon giving a picture of advanced stage in Insight meditation. How we are seeing or perceiving that what is happening in our mind. So this cartoon was called “Mind & Matter Ltd”. The “Directorate” is of course not knowing how the things really are, the ignorance or ‘avijja’ – that’s the Pali word for ignorance. And ‘factory of mind’, indeed, in the advanced
stage of meditation it really looks like that, that the mind is fabricating the reality for us, and we as idiots are believing that. And here it’s taken a classic case: perhaps we have a polite talk with our neighbor, but, you know, in a second comes a flash in the mind, “hmm, my big house is better than your house”= heavily dense thought connected with attachment and value judging and ego-centricity and all of that. This is the problem, that the mind is creating all this kind of nonsense, that’s our human condition, but that we are believing it and acting or reacting upon it, that starts to create karma, negative karma in this case. So this would be an example of ‘anatta’ experience, when we perceive the mind and body as something happening by itself, rolling by itself. Body happens, mind happens. We live usually in the illusion that this is my body, I can do with it what I want. In the truth, if we go little bit deeper into the modern medicine, there are so many things astonishing happening in the body, absolutely beyond my control – the whole immune system, the nerves, the impulses, digestion. You know, this breakfast, if I tried to digest it by my own wisdom, I would have to run to the toilet very quickly. So I may have some knowledge of the chewing
and swallowing but that’s it. And I’m very happy that what happens with that after, I have no clear supervision or knowledge about that. So perhaps 98 % of the body happens and perhaps 2 % I have so to say under my control. Intelligent people know it somehow that I am actually not the body. But what even very intelligent people do not know, That, in a similar way, I am not my mind. This is the ladder of insights, the progress along the Vipassana, steps of insights. That we see more and more that similarly our mind happens, and only to very, very little level I am in control normally of that. Now about the word or term ‘Vipassana’. There is certain inconsistency in using or understanding this term, especially in the Western world. Of course Vipassana as insight, that’s in the original texts, but as a special way of meditation or even meditation technique, this is development in 20th century in Burma. There when the colonial time was over and U Nu got … he was the first Prime Minister of Burma. U Ba Khin was one of his most outstanding ministers. So these two persons in the new government they were very devoted Buddhist and they were so enthusiastic with this new freedom, politic freedom which they got, that they wanted to open the high level of Buddha’s teaching for everybody. Because until then it was rather understood or reserved for the monastic people, for the monks and nuns, and the lay people were rather understood
just to support the monasteries and to get good karma from that, and to do some devotional practice. But this new Burmese government wanted to make it available the highest level of Buddha’s teaching, to true enlightenment and freedom, make it available to anybody. So U Nu invited venerable Mahasi Sayadaw into a new Meditation center and U Ba Khin connected with a little bit
different lineage of teachers in the Burmese tradition: Webu Sayadaw, Ledi Sayadaw. So U Ba Khin actually was the person who designed 10 days very intensive practice of insight meditation. Venerable
Mahasi Sayadaw there was a little bit different lineage of Jetavan Sayadaw – he was designing… he had a different philosophy: let’s invite or allow people into the meditation center
and let them practice very intensively as long as they make progress, but when the meditation starts just to run in the circles, let these people go back into their families
and keep the country going. So, this is the understanding of this newly popping up Vipassana courses. It is different from the classic monastic
tradition of Vipassana. The monastic tradition of course has also Vipassana but usually it is presented rather as an inclination of mind towards the insight within the whole practice, and it may concern even every day life, ordinary life of everyday. But that, what is so widely popular, so widely spread now in the Western world
are usually this quite intensive forms of intensive practice coming from Burma originally. So, you know, just making it clear. And because the government was responsible for the country, so therefore it was rather understood for short time, because these people
need to go back into their family and continue the lay life. And also it was understood that lay people actually can very well attain the first and second level of enlightenment (these are the lower stages of enlightenment). Sometimes it was interpreted like to get enlightened and to keep the Mercedes in the garage. And it is clear that for the higher
stages of enlightenment which would be the third and fourth level:
‘Anagami’, ‘Arahat’, it is rather understood that this is for monastic practice, when you can completely devote the life for higher practice of insight and concentration. Then even the concentration starts to be a… high level of jhanas starts to be an obligatory component of the practice. So there has been so much talking about the different characteristics of insight practice, insight meditation, but still many people may correctly ask, “How it works really?”. It’s not so easy to see the connection between watching inbreath and outbreath for hours and the freedom of mind, the promised liberation. And sometimes actually even the practice does not feel very much going in that direction. Let’s understand it – perhaps the first explanation: we can help us with the modern language. Buddha was not speaking about ego, but modern psychology and modern spirituality
actually knows it very well that ego-centricity, egoism, ego, ego, me, mine that this is a real problem a heavy distortion of mind, of actuality as it really is. And that we, actually, by this deformation, we cause enormous problems and suffering to ourselves, to the others. Most of the conflicts actually are not arising because our wisdom is clashing with the wisdom of another. It is usually this greed and grip on the “me-idea”, “my-idea” that causes conflicts and even national conflicts, wars. My religion! Killing the others for the love – – because they have a different teaching about loving kindness. Killing the others! It’s not fault in the religion itself, it is the wrong attitude toward, and the wrong feeling of identification with something which is so charged that it can cause such eruptions of anger, hate, distance from each other. So it’s clear that each serious spiritual system has to address this area somehow. And certainly the Vipassana quite clearly with this training of detachment and the idea of non-self – it’s not an idea,
it’s a realization actually! Anatta is a very high level of realization, that there is nobody in this body and in this mind. So, these two are very helping to loosen the grip around around this area of ‘self’. Good point to understand properly that it is not the sense of individuality itself which is the cause of the problem, but the attachment to it. Nothing wrong with knowing ‘this is my place’ and ‘this is your house’, and ‘this belongs to me and yours is this’ that’s not the problem. It maybe not the last truth about things, but still, this is actually not the focus of Vipassana. Vipassana wishes to correct this heavy distortion caused by the three main roots of all unwholesomeness which exist. This is the genius of Buddha that he could define it so simply and so clearly and so so poignantly that all suffering is caused by greed, by hatred and by delusion. ‘lobha’, ‘dosa’, ‘moha’. Of course this would be like the full intensity heavy distortions in the mind of beings, of people, of any being. But of course in the reality we are actually encountering many of admixtures and different intensities of these three. These three are actually the roots of all unwholesomeness. And its good to know that Buddha also defined three roots, three main roots of all wholesome things, which -not surprisingly- are just the 3 opposites of these. So, the attachment actually is the heavy problem. Another equally serious problem is the delusion, or, as we can say, not knowing how the things really are, because all these negativities, all that comes from not knowing
how things really are. And, so actually, in Buddhism we have two main causes of all evil things: greed or attachment better to say, because attachment is even in the opposite,
negative sense, to want or not to want, it’s just plus and minus of the same. So this is actually the one main cause of suffering defined in the Four Noble Truths,
in the second Noble Truth. But in the ‘Paticcasamuppada’ Buddha even goes a little bit further than that – and the true absolute origin of everything is ‘avijja’, which means not knowing how the things really are. It’s a kind of distorted perception about everything. And Vipassana is actually addressing both these areas, but insight itself actually is really focused and pointed at the ‘not knowing how the things really are’. It is this very specific
Buddhist kind of wisdom, different from the wisdom what we understand
in the West, The Buddhist wisdom actually goes into these supernatural, supra-mundane area, beyond the worldly wisdom. So, quite important to see, that Vipassana is working on the roots mainly. What the psychotherapy is valuating so much on the Vipassana practice is this ability to cut the identification with mental content and just to observe it, just to watch it from a neutral stand point. In the normal life so often we are like slaves of our thoughts and emotions and it will bring us this way, that way
into depression and whatever. This is valuated so much in the psychotherapy this possibility not to act the emotions out, or to swallow it down which would be both unhealthy, but still not repressing it, not inviting it, just watching it! And it is clear that by this pure watching,
not feeding it anymore, the charge behind these emotions will subside. So that’s the thing which is so much valued in therapy. But of course it is still far away from the real meaning and the more advanced stages of insight which are actually the real purpose of Vipassana practice. One of the Burmese special methods of meditation, especially the Mahasi the venerable Mahasi Sayadaw’s meditation technique would even use so-called labeling of the experience as it unfolds, giving kind of a mental label to everything, because the tendency to slide back into the contents of the thoughts
and being carried away with that, is so strong, it’s heavy conditionality in our mind, to be in this chain of associative thinking and commentating and so on. So Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw devised a very interesting tool to note neutrally the happening experience, the experience happening in the mind: thinking, thinking; planning, planning; remembering, remembering; fantasizing, fantasizing; hearing, hearing; itching, itching; pain, pain; you know, always to be able to note something in this way you have to be detached from that to see it. So psychotherapy has an actually quite high esteem for Vipassana meditation; usually
it is presented without any framework of Buddha’s teaching, but the elements of that ancient wisdom are well-known in the modern… modern ways of helping people. But of course it is far away from the real meaning and scope of the true Vipassana insight. Talking about the attachment, indeed we can say… we can express the core of this Buddhist truth in a kind of a mathematic equation (laughs) (don’t take it too seriously…) intensity of attachment equals intensity of suffering. That’s the basic Buddhist truth. The shortest way of Buddhist teaching I ever encountered, and it is interesting, you know… this equation is actually teaching us that even attachments to
the wholesome things will bring suffering… quite good to be aware even of this! Any kind of attachment is something which brings heaviness, limitation narrowness, and has very… Tolerance will be very difficult in that state, to develop. Talking a lot about watching, watching the sensation in the body,
watching the contents of the mind, many people are coming with the question, “well, Buddhism is teaching not-self, no abiding entity in anything, so, who is watching? (laughs) Who is watching the sensation,
who is watching the thoughts?”, and so on. The answer is, it is the characteristic of awareness itself to be aware. You don’t need anybody behind or in it. The mind functions as it functions.
Consciousness, okay – with the help of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a mental factor which sometimes is present, sometimes not. So the Vipassana mindfulness actually means to be already detached. The definition of meditation-mindfulness is: without greed, without hatred, without delusion. This is also quite good, to be aware of: to be aware in the Vipassana way is something different than to be just aware of things. There are many things in life when we are very, very aware and, one would say, even mindful but it is not really the Vipassana mindfulness,
because it is still fully in the identification
with that which is rolling in the mind. So we will speak about Vipassana actually only when the kind of detachment is already achieved
at least to some extent. So the scriptural foundation for insight practice, be it the monastic or these modern Burmese intensive methods of meditation, the scriptural foundation for it is the ‘Mahasatipatthana sutta’, one of these central, monumental talks by the Buddha where He is giving quite a detailed description of this practice. There is one another sutta, very interesting, it is an incident on what happened with Bahiya, Bahiya approaching the Buddha at the wrong time. It was not a time for a talk or teaching, [but] Bahiya approached Buddha and really asked for the teaching. Buddha was clearly saying, it’s not the proper time now, and Bahiya insisted so much that probably Buddha sensed that there is a kind of urgency
in this particular case and He gave a teaching, which is very difficult to understand. He said, “In the seen, there should be just the seen, in the heard, just that what is heard, in the sensed, just what is sensed, in the thoughts, in that what is thought, just that, what is thought.” And, on account of this, Bahiya got fully enlightened. But, you know, with this explanation I’m giving here you may get already the… gist of how actually Vipassana… what is the working of Vipassana. There’s one more thing which I really wish to share with you: in the teachings themselves the teachers — and even I in this particular talk — we are talking about the spiritual ideals, how it would be in the ideal case. But be sure that, in the real world, we have to do with anything but the ideal cases, that in the reality it is usually not at all as clearly cut as it is presented, from the Scriptures or from the teachers. It is good to have it, you know, ‘square-Wise’, so that we can take orientation on it, but be clear that the reality, the practice has many shapes and forms and so. And, another one: that, talking about these great big happenings in the practice it may be in both directions, by the way, in the kind of difficult realizations and in these breathtaking, surprising experiences which are opening new horizons. In this intensity it may happen only once, when the particular stage or realization has been properly arrived at, but with the next, and after time, you know, these things are [becoming]
a new ‘normal’ for you, actually, so even entering, let’s say, the jhanic absorptions after years of practice, this is just like, you know — click — switching the mind,
it is absolutely normal. You know, so also, not to have some distorted images from very flowery descriptions or so, it can also go its own way, it will
always go its own way. – So much talking about Vipassana meditation,
about practice! We are coming now to the closing part of this talk, so let us sum up in the way… here presenting the Samatha and Vipassana, quite purposefully, as two very, very different practices, going enormously far, far away, development possible, enormous, but let’s be clear that in the real practice it is necessary to combine the benefits of both these great practices. The teachers know it, so, just follow the instructions as it is given by the teacher, so just have the trust for the instruction as it is given. Once I came to came to me this thought during practice: if we wish to see very clearly, we have to close our eyes; and if we wish to know very deeply, we have to come out from our thoughts. Now ending up this talking with bringing few of the similes for Samatha and Vipassana – still people sometimes are little bit mixing,
are not clear about it so there have been these similes. One quite classic: the flame of a candle. the steadiness of the flame would be the Samatha, and the clarity of the flame would be the Vipassana. Or another one, the simile of the axe, you know, when splitting wood, let’s say. So the power, the energy of the swing, that would be the Samatha, and the sharpness of the instrument, that would be the Vipassana. You know how they work together?
That’s the right way, that’s the right way. In February I was teaching in Brazil, I brought another simile. You know, sometimes you have some cat on your lap and you are striking the cat yes, yes, frrr – so to strike the cat along the hair – that’s Samatha, and Vipassana is to strike
the cat against the hair. You will certainly not forget this one. Okay wishing also lots of fun, not only success, but also good time in practicing formal meditation, knowing that it is only a part of the Buddha’s teaching. Some people mistake the formal meditation to be the Buddha’s teaching: oh no. The eightfold path encompasses much more than that, but the meditation,
even the intensive practice of meditation, is important part of Buddha’s teaching.


  1. The meditation states leaves them – – – that's the nature of all states. But, not leaving completely, something always stays behind. Step by step a kind of inner lightness, ripening and maturity emerges. AO

  2. One of the biggest misconceptions about Buddhist practice is that it is a purely a selfish act of personal attainment, but believe it or not Buddhists meditate for the benefit of all sentient beings.

  3. Meditation is not going to solve your burning problems. Billions of people are malnutrition all over the world. Life is a tough one to manage for many. Daily survival is a hard fight for millions of us. Meditation is a utter nonsense.

  4. A truth teaching of Buddha.Sayadaw looks calm and peaceful which reflecting on the face. Thank you for spreading and teaching. May you live long, healthy and attain wisdom.

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