Traditionally people tend to associate with all the good and bad feelings with 'I' ... this is good, this is bad, pain, ache, suffering, increasing, decreasing, etc. Mind is always working along those traditional believes because it has been trained to do so over the years. Hence, in order to abandon mind from doing traditional actions and dissociate mind from those actions, you have to try not to forget the truth of 'experiencing only and not to take those actions as reality'.
4 December 2012
Q&A and Dhamma Discussion with Overseas Disciple - 01
Teaching of Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara
Question and Answer and Dhamma Discussion with
3rd September 2012
Part - One
KKL : Vererable sir, how should we contemplate if we experience pain during meditation? Should we contemplate the pain as to be 'experienced-only'?
Sayadaw : The pain is to be experienced-only and not to take it as reality...you need to understand and contemplate in this way. If not, you will be suffering from the pain and take the pain as if it is meant for feeling (suffering). If the sensation is good, you will feel good but if the sensation is bad, you will feel frustrated. In order to avoid this, you have to keep on understanding the truth of just to be experienced only and not to take the pain as reality.
Human mind can only do only one thing at a time or human mind can only focus on one thing at a time. By trying to understand and contemplate on the truth and consider the pain as just to be experienced-only, you will be able to abandon placing central emphasis on pain as reality. By nature, the degree of physical pain could either go up or down, severe or weak, etc as it is beyond one's control. In order not to place central emphasis on this nature, it is important for you to remember and contemplate on the truth of 'to be experience-only and not to centre you attention on them'.
You need to train your mind to do non-routine tasks or works. In this way, your mind will stop working on usual and routine tasks or works.
KKL : If this is the case, should we contemplate as 'things got destroyed just because their time is up and things got created just because their time is up'?
Sayadaw : Contemplating on this way is not complete and conclusive but weak in truth as the content percentage of truth in this statement is small. Superficially, the statement seems correct but it is not a complete and conclusive understanding. 'Just to experience only' is an ultimate truth. The pain is to be experienced only and not to pay central attention on it as the truth.
'To be experienced only' is non-rejection.
'Not to pay central attention on it' is non-attachment.
Not only the pain that you experience during meditation, but also for all sorts of pains, sufferings and happenings due to kamma actions (kammic efforts), you always need to understand the truth of 'experience-only and not to take them as reality'.
As long as you understand and contemplate on the truth, your actions can be considered as 'you are using the truth in a correct or right way' and 'experiencing and enduring all the pains and sufferings in a right way'. It is called 'changing the direction or actions of your mind).
Human mind has the ability to do multiple tasks. Your duty is to try to abandon multi-tasking of your mind but keep on doing only one task of 'abandoning' those multi-tasking of your mind.
Depending on the severity of the pain, your mind will automatically be focusing on the pain and enduring the pain. In order to abandon the habit of your mind, e.g. automatically focusing and enduring the pain, you have to keep on remembering the truth of 'experiencing-only and not to take the pain as reality'.
In other words, you have to try your best not to forget but remember the truth of 'abandoning and not to take the pain as reality' in your mind.
'Abandoning' means to abandon all kinds of created actions and tasks which we always place central emphasis and attention on, e.g. pain, noise (sound), sight, taste, etc. Your duty is to abandon placing central emphasis on those habitual actions and tasks by keep on doing non-habitual action of 'abandoning' continuously.
To be continued ...