Teaching of ThaBarWa Sayadaw U OttamasaraView blog
Middle Way and Sacca Dhamma Dialogue
with French Yogi
at ThaBarWa Centre (45th Street)
28th May 2013
Question : Is the observer the same as the “moving mind”? Sometimes I can withdraw from the mind and stay in a still place watching the mind going from place to another. Is this mind the same as the observer?
Sayadaw : There is no person, no someone, so there is no observer, no meditator. Someone is to use-only. You should not think about someone or something. Just the truth is ... ever new impermanent nature; not someone, not something.
Question : Is this still mind a bridge between the consciousness and what we call enlightenment?
Sayadaw : You should not pay attention to your mind, not pay attention to something, or to “someone is working”, or to “someone is still”. That is the nature of mind.
Although you are using the mind, you don’t know about the truth of the mind. The truth of the mind is : not to reject, not to be attached but to use-only, to experience-only. There might be stable mind, there might be busy mind, there might be angry mind but you should not pay attention to what is happening to the mind. You should pay attention to the truth of : to use-only, to experience-only, not to reject, not to be attached.
You should know about the truth of the created truth, the truth of the mind, the truth of the body. You take care of yourself. This means that you take care of your mind and body. This is because of the wrong understanding of : there is “I”, there is “you”. We are used to take care of ourselves because there is the wrong understanding of “I” and “you”.
The truth is : to use-only, to experience-only, not to reject, not to be attached.
You should not forget the truth: to use-only, to experience-only, to do-only.
Whatever you do, don’t forget the truth of do-only, not to be attached.
Not to be attached means that if you pay attention to your actions, there is attachment. If you are interested in what is happening, in what you are doing, there is attachment. If you are interested in what is happening to you, there is attachment.
Not to be attached, not to reject also; to use-only, to experience-only.
Pay attention to the truth : to use-only, to experience-only.
Question : Is it Anatta?
Sayadaw : My teaching is mostly concerning the right understanding. It is not about the method or about the experience, not about the mind, not about the body. Body and mind are to be used-only, not to be attached to or to reject.
We are always using our mind and body but without understanding the truth of : neither to reject nor to be attached to. This is why we should pay attention to the truth of not to reject neither to be attached to.
Question : So we develop Equanimity, Uppekha?
Sayadaw : If you pay attention to the right understanding, there will be equanimity between “you” and “me”, between this experience or that experience, between this place and other places. Right understanding is more important.
We will meditate, we will keep precepts or make donations, we will do something but, whatever we do we are using the wrong understanding which is with the idea of “my life”, “my belongings”, “my place”. This understanding is wrong. So if you meditate you will automatically be using “I am meditating”, “my experience”, “I know”, “I don’t know”, “my understanding”; that understanding is not the right understanding.
This is why you must meditate but instead of taking care of a method or experience, just take care of the right understanding.
Question : So not pushing and not pulling…?
Sayadaw : Yes, but also not misunderstanding, there is no something. The truth is there is no something. If you push, there is the idea of something, this is wrong. If you pull there is also the idea of something. The truth is no something but ever new impermanent nature.
If you think about your mind, about your life, about your future that means that you are using the wrong understanding. There is grasping to the idea of “I” or “you”. Using with grasping is wrong. In order to think about your mind you have to use your mind. In this way you are using your mind with attachment, with the idea of something, of “my mind”. That understanding is wrong.
The mind is to be used-only. Just use-it. Just experience-it. Don’t grasp what is happening as “what is this”, “what is happening”, “what will happen next”, there is grasping in those questions, grasping to the mind.
I am not feeling well but just not paying attention to my body and to my mind. Just using-only, just experiencing-only. Because of the right understanding, no attachment to the sickness. Not only to me but also to other people. Later I am going to the hospital, to teach other patients but in this situation also, no attachment to the people, and no attachment to the feeling of not feeling well. No attachment to the hospital.
You must pay attention to the right understanding and you must follow according to the right understanding. You should not think about yourself neither you should think about your mind.
Question : But if I am not well I cannot help people. I have to be well in order to help others so we have to care a little bit of ourselves … if we don’t have energy we cannot give energy to people so we have to be full of energy first ... to keep the body and mind in good shape. Then we have energy to give to people.
Sayadaw : You must try to detach from the life, to the past, to the body and to the mind. If you cannot it means there is attachment. All happenings are because of attachment. If you have attachment to be healthy, there is attachment to the disease and this is why you must suffer with the disease. If you can detach…healthy or not health should not be in your mind. If sickness is in your mind, there is attachment.
Meditation is trying to remove everything from the mind. Your life should not be in your mind. Your life should be only in the human society not in your mind. The problem is concerning our mind. There are a lot of experiences in the mind, a lot of attachment.
The aim of meditation is trying to detach from everything, in this way, mind will be mind only, without attachment. Right understanding is more important. I am not feeling well but I can do good deeds, I can explain. Feeling well or not is not important. How you use the situation is important. How you use your life is important. How you spend your time is more important.
If you can do good deeds, you might be young or old, might be healthy or sick but if you can do good deeds your life is valuable. If you cannot do good deeds your life is not valuable. If you cannot abandon the idea that it is important to be healthy you will have to take care of yourself and in this way you cannot take care of the truth.
The truth is : to use-only, to do-only, to experience-only, to do-only, not to reject or to be attached. That truth is more important. In order to be able to take care of the truth, you must stop taking care of other situations.
I teach you to change your understanding not the action. What you are doing is not the leader. What you understand is the leader. What you are doing is just follower. If you take care of the follower, your mind will be doing mistake. The leader is more important. What you understand is more important, what you are doing is not much important.
You must understand that doing good deeds is doing-only, not to reject or to be attached. Doing only with right understanding. You must try to be able to detach from yourself, from what you are doing, from what happen to you and in this way you are in the right way, you are in the middle way.
End of the interview.