Teaching of Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara
Question and Answer and Dhamma Discussion with
3rd September 2012
Part - Four
In the case of understanding 'dana' as doing actions such as working, earning money and doing good deeds and 'sila' as ability of taking precepts as well as doing whatever you can do and saying whichever you can say, the mind power of 'doing' does not equal to 'abandoning'.
In the case of meditation, practicing meditation by applying all kinds of conventional knowledge and methods can be considered as merely 'doing' actions without abandoning the habit of the mind.
In reality, you always have to remember the truth, 'abandoning', in your mind while carrying out the activities of the body (kaya kamma), oral (vaci kamma) and mind (mano kamma). This is called trying to abandon those activities in your mind while physically doing them.
Your power of abandoning will eventually be improved if you keep on doing 'abandoning' all the time in your mind.
Central emphasis should not be placed on 'doing' or 'not-doing'.
Central emphasis should not be placed on 'doing created actions' or 'not-doing created actions'.
Placing central emphasis on the following actions can merely be called as 'habitual way of placing central emphasis on actions'. They are ... must do meditation, must do routine actions, must seek for medical treatments, must depend on yourself, must depend on doctors, must depend on parents, must depend on teachers, must depend on Buddha, Dhamma and Sanga (Triple Gems), etc ...
The above mentioned examples are the glaring evidences that you are still unable do 'abandoning' in your mind. You are merely 'doing actions' in your mind. By carrying out 'doing actions', your power of 'doing' will eventually be increased. You can merely 'do actions' but unable to 'abandon actions' in your mind.
Mental disorder in human beings is one of the evidences that those people are incapable of doing 'abandoning' in their mind. If people start to do whatever they wish to do and say whatever they wish to say according to their wish and will, regardless of the situation, they will eventually become mental patients.
Only when you can practice 'abandoning' in your mind, you will gradually be able to stop using life as if you are the owner and master of your own life, stop grasping life as if it is your own and stop referring to life as yours.
('abandoning' = abandoning physical actions, oral actions, mental actions, grasping of living and non-living beings as well as stop using things for grasping purpose, start using things for abandoning purpose, using life for abandoning purpose, etc).
The essence is to 'abandon' your habit of using life in a wrong way. As a result of the power of abandoning, you will gradually know how to use things, life, all other actions in a right way of 'using only, doing only, etc'.
Abandon the central emphasis on "happening or not", "doing or not", and "understanding or not" as reality or real importance.
You need to abandon your habitual understandings. Started from the leader, your 'mind', you need to learn to abandon all the actions of 'doing'. If not, your mind will always be busy with 'doing this and that', 'saying this and that', 'contemplating this and that', 'concentrating this and that', 'doing this and that good deeds', 'taking this and that precepts', etc.
If your mind only understand the action of 'doing', your power of 'doing' will be increased. Your ability in doing kamma actions will also be increased. But they are not the genuine mind power of 'abandoning'.
Your power of true 'abandoning' will be increased only when you have the right understanding and faith in 'abandoning'. Hence, you need to start changing the actions of the leader, your 'mind'.
You will always be remained as ordinary yogi (meditator) as long as you practice meditation with the understanding of 'doing' and 'practicing'. You will also be contemplating on and practicing meditation like other traditional yogis.
If you observe 'sila' with conventional understanding in mind, you will only become one of those who take Uposatha in conventional ways.
If you do good deeds with conventional understanding in mind, you will only become one of those who do good deeds in conventional ways but will not know how to do good deeds to achieve perfection (parami).
Starting from the leader, your 'mind', you need to learn to do the right actions such as using living and non-living beings for abandoning purpose.
Change must be started from the leader, your 'mind'. Only then, you will learn to use physical (kamma) and oral (vaci) actions for abandoning purpose ... do actions with the power of abandoning in mind, say things with the power of abandoning in mind, etc.
Started from the leader, your 'mind', you must try to abandon all your physical actions. By doing so, you will gradually be able to 'abandon' all the created actions such as worries, anticipations, suspicions, 'I', me, place, possessions, life, death, health, well beings as well as placing central emphasis on those created actions in your mind.
Placing central emphasis on life and death in your mind can be called as 'placing life and death as prime importance'.
Placing central emphasis on health in your mind can also be called 'placing health as prime importance'.
In order to abandon those actions of your mind, you need to do 'abandoning' at all times ... be it whether you are healthy or sick. Even while listening to dhamma teachings or while practicing meditation or etc, you still need to remember and contemplate on 'abandoning' in your mind.
You need to listen to dhamma teachings and practice meditation with the understanding of 'abandoning' in your mind.
The essence of this teaching is to change the duties and actions of the mind because mind creates everything.
Becoming this and that is also the created action of your mind.
Feeling healthy or sick is also created by your mind. By nature, your physical body will either be healthy or sick. Mind will automatically interpret this nature as feeling healthy or sick. Hence, those feelings are purely the creations of your mind.
If your mind is associated with pleasant feelings, you will feel pleasant. If your mind is associated with unpleasant feelings, you will feel unpleasant.
Unpleasant feeling is created by your mind. Pleasant feeling is also created by your mind.
Good or poor concentration is also created by your mind.
The real duty is to stop doing all those created actions of the mind and perform the single most important action of 'abandoning' all the time.
When the actions of the leader, your 'mind', is changed, all the actions of the followers will automatically be changed.
If the actions of the leader is not changed, the actions of the followers will never be changed.
Since the leader is your 'mind', the leader must do the action of 'abandoning' continuously at all times. Only then, the actions of the followers, physical and oral actions, will be changed.
To be continued .....