Don’t Obey Your Desire
Teaching of ThaBarWa Sayadaw U Ottamasara
Delivered at Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple
Singapore, March 2014
Part - One
You must be mindful of the breath and you must detach from other objects. If you are focusing on the breath, just pay attention to the breath and then stop paying attention to everything except breathing.
What I am guiding is to be doing-only, without attachment. We should try to abandon the habit of paying attention to the things and to the actions. We are used to paying attention to living beings, used to paying attention to non-living beings. That is why there are strong attachments in our mind about living beings and non-living beings.
There are also strong ideas of something or someone. We believe the idea of something as being true, someone as being true. In fact, the Truth is just Ever New Impermanent Nature, not something, not someone. We strongly believe in something, in someone. That is why when we use the living beings and non-living beings we are using with the idea of 'I' or 'you', 'mine' or 'yours'. We must try to abandon these ideas. We see from the view of someone. Whatever we are doing, we do it for us, for our family, for our society, or for our country. We are grasping the idea of something in whatever we do.
We all have strong belief in the idea of something and someone. This is attachment for something or someone. We can use ourselves, we can use our life, we can use other people also but we should try to detach from the idea of something and someone.
If we are not doing good, we are doing mistakes. If we are not abstaining from evil things, we are wrong. If we don’t try to purify our mind it is also wrong. Most of us are making these mistakes. We want to do what we want. We are doing what we want to do. We obey our desire. All our actions come from our own desire. We will eat when we want to eat, we will sleep when we want to sleep.
That means that all our actions are based on something, which is our present desire. That means we are working for ourselves. We are trying to fulfill our own desire. That is not doing-only but doing for something. Doing to fulfill our own desire, working for ourselves. Doing with the idea of something or someone. I am not trying to stop you: 'do it' or 'don’t do it', I am trying to detach from the idea of something or someone.
As a human being, you will learn, you will work, that is not the problem. But if you are not doing good…the teaching of Buddha is true, so if you are not studying the teaching of Buddha you are making a mistake. If you are not practicing meditation or mindfulness you are making a mistake. If you are not trying to purify your mind you are making a mistake. These mistakes are usual for laypeople. That is why there are a lot of problems in the mind of people.
They use the mind as they want. We want to be angry. Using as normal people, using in the usual way is not the right way. So we should study the teaching of Buddha and we should practice according to Buddha’s teaching. When we do in this way, we must be careful to detach from ourselves and from our actions. If you are mindful, you are making a mental action. You are using your mind. That is right but in order to be doing-only, you must not pay attention to your mind and to your practice of mindfulness.
You must not pay attention to the practice of mindfulness but you must be mindful. When you are mindful, you must try to abandon the habit of paying attention to what you are doing now. You might like to meditate or sometimes you might dislike to meditate but you must do it without taking care of your mind, your desire. You must try to detach from your own desire.
You must not obey your desire, you must not obey your mind because normally our mind is not pure, it has a lot of attachment. If we obey our mind, we must work like other normal people. We should not forget Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Then we must practice as a Sangha, as a yogi. You might not be in a meditation center, you might not be a yogi, but it is not important. It is not a problem. You must work at the practice of mindfulness and detachment. You should detach from yourself, from your action, from the place where you are staying or using.
The practice of detachment is not paying attention to yourself, to your present life, to your actions, including physical, verbal or mental actions. You must not pay attention to the present happening in the mind and body. This is the practice of detachment. In order not to be rejecting, you must be mindful. You must try to be mindful of your mind and body every moment. If you are not mindful, you are rejecting the right action of mindfulness. In order not to be rejecting you must be mindful. In order not to be attaching you must not pay attention to your mind and to your mental action of mindfulness.
The practice of mindfulness is also not to be rejected nor attached to. You must be mindful but you must not pay attention to the practice of mindfulness. I mean the more you pay attention, the more attachment there is for the action of mindfulness.
Now you are interested in meditation. This is why meditation is in your mind. That is attachment for the practice of meditation. Although you are not rejecting–if you are not interested in meditation you are rejecting. You will not think about meditation. This is also wrong. Now you pay attention to meditation. This is why there is attachment for meditation in your mind. So you must try to detach. You must be mindful and stop paying attention to meditation.
To be continued