Sacca Dhamma and Middle Way
Teachings of ThaBarWa Sayadaw U Ottamasara
Mogok, 1st February 2014
Question : I don’t understand how to do good deeds. Difficult to apply in practice.
Sayadaw : It needs time. With the time you will be able to do more and more difficult good deeds. Now you all are doing good deeds. This is why the power of doing good deeds will be higher and higher, will improve with the time.
There will be more and more questions like this in the future (talking about an email question to Sayadaw) so you all can help to answer how you understand. Not to represent me, just to answer the question. Try to share your understanding to others. It is very necessary. It will be very useful for the people.
This is why you need to meditate like this and you need to read and write a lot. This is solving the problems of the people in the world. If you can share the experience of your meditation practice, it will be useful for other people like him. In this way we can solve the problems of the people anywhere.
Four or five years ago when I went to Singapore and Malaysia there are also people from other countries who wanted to ask questions but I am busy with my meditation centre and for the patients. This is why I cannot reply the letters. Now it is time for me to teach the people by using email. So you can help. The more you will do like this, the more you will understand. Because it is necessary for me to do like this. This is also helping the people from foreign countries as they cannot come to visit to our centre so this is teaching by internet.
I have been doing like this for over 14 years as I started meditation amongst other meditators. When I became a monk, over 11 years ago and then I have to deal with many people in this country and then I can tell them how to detach from their houses and from their family problems.
By doing this for over 11 years, I already saved a lot of good deeds. This is why I became a leader to establish a meditation centre and to build a pagoda (in Mogok). Now here we must commence the construction of one new pagoda. The foundations are already finished but the construction (of the pagoda) was stopped half way. Now I am restarting again.
Beside this I must establish 3 meditation centres here (in Mogok). Because I am doing a lot of good deeds, people believe in me. Because I have been establishing meditation centres, people donate their land, and also the donations for building as much as they can.
Most of the people know nothing about meditation even in this country. That is why I am very busy by teaching like this. It will be the same for other countries. Now you all are learning how to meditate. This is the progress for everyone.
Now, Sayalay Khema Randi (Sayama Ma Chit Myiet Noe) is doing (conducting) 15 days or one month retreat. She is also trying to establish her own meditation centre. We are in the same way. She can do a lot. This is why she can follow my way.
I am establishing one after another meditation centres. She will also do like this and you also should try to do like this. Not everyone can do like this. This place is also one of the monasteries but there was no daily meditation, not doing other good deeds, not doing good deeds every day.
Our centre is a lot about doing good deeds every day this is why it is developing. You are helping me in what I am doing. This is why you will also be able to do like this and in this way, your life and your actions will be very useful.
Question : When you are teaching people to do good deeds, is it a different way to explain the Paramis or is it something completely beside?
Sayadaw : Fulfilling paramis leads to Nibbana. Doing good deeds alone is not the way to Nibbana, not the way to enlightenment. What I am guiding is to do good deeds with the aim of enlightenment.
Question : Do you mean the way you teach to do good deeds will lead to enlightenment?
Sayadaw : Yes. Now what I am doing is fulfilling the desire of other people. This is why this is the same cause and effect. Whatever needs to do will be fulfilled by these actions. So also you will understand about the middle way by what you are doing every day? What you are doing every day is the way to understand the middle way. What we all are doing is not only fulfilling the desire of other people but also fulfilling the necessities of Buddhism.
When I started my meditation centre in 45th Street, one American girl came and stayed at 45th street for about two years. She had a lot of difficulties at that time. She was the only foreigner at the centre. At that time I was very busy with 45th Street Centre and Thanlyin Centre so I cannot care for her.
This is why I cannot teach her so much. Her mother and sister visited at the centre and they worried about her health. What she was eating was not suitable for her. Beside this, when she was sick we couldn’t care for her. At that time there were not lot of doctors and physicians like this. Because she stayed like this, later when other foreigners like you come to the centre it is not that much difficult anymore compared to the formal time. So also in future there will be other foreigners and it will be more and more convenient for other foreigners.
At that time there was not much place to stay. At the present there are many places, many branches of ThaBarWa Centre. What you are doing now is also for the benefit of the future foreign meditators (yogis). If you continue like this it will be easier in the future, not only for you but also for other meditators. Now we are solving the problems, the real problems of attachment.
(Sayadaw asked her earlier to answer an email about his teaching. The following is with regards to the email):
Sayadaw : “Everything is arising and passing away, everything…” … if you say like this, you accept the idea of something, everything … the truth is: 'just ever new impermanent nature' or 'arising and passing away process'. Believing something or someone is wrong. The truth is not something, not someone, just ever new impermanent nature.
Keep on trying.