Teaching of ThaBarWa Sayadaw U Ottamasara
Question and Answer and Dhamma Discussion
with the Yogi from Holland
Part - Two
Question : About how to practice, as she is used to observe the feelings (vedanas)
Sayadaw : There is ever attachment to the mind, to the body, to the time and to the place. There is always attachment but never a detachment. We must go against the attachment. In daily life as well as in practicing meditation. There is attachment to the cause, to the effect, to the knowing and to the not knowing. The Middle Way is trying to do against the attachment. In this way, the power of detachment will appear.
Doing something intentionally or automatically is not necessary. What we must do intentionally is to go against the attachment. We unintentionally pay attention to the attachment. That's why there will be ever attachment because of attachment to the practice ... there is problem with the practice. The real practice is to do-only not to pay attention to doing or not doing, just to do only.
Paying attention to the action is wrong. Stop paying attention to the action, just do-only. Nor more paying attention to the effect ... whatever effect happens, no need to pay attention to the result. Just try to experience-only.
We are usually experiencing with grasping. Grasping to the method : what to do, how to do, how long to do? This means grasping to the time and to the place. We must try to stop the attention, attention to the action, attention to the result. We usually pay attention this means we pay attention to something, to yourself we take care of ourselves or other people, this is attention ... it means attachment.
What we must do is to stop this attention. You can use your life and be friendly with other people but what you must do is not to pay attention to yourself and to other people, not to pay attention to the vedanas, not to pay attention to the mind. All attention is unnecessary.
It is possible to do-only without attention. Experiencing-only without attention is possible. Knowing-only without attention is possible. Without attention, just doing-only. This is the Middle Way.
What we can do (our ability to do) is not the Middle Way. We are doing with attachment, doing with 'I', doing with grasping. Not free. All the actions are to do-only. All the actions must be free from attachment. If there is attachment you cannot control your actions, you cannot stop your thinking because of attachment.
Thinking is ok but attachment to the actions wrong. It is not necessary to be attached to the action. Attaching to the result is not necessary. Try to do without attention ... this is doing without attachment. Attention is the cause of attachment. If there is attention there will be attachment. If we can stop attention, there will be detachment.
The power of detachment is great ... stronger. The power that we are using is the power of someone, the power of mind, of nature. That power has limits. The power of detachment has no limits.
This practice intends to change the power which we are using. Now I am using my mind and body, not very different from you but the power that I am using with my mind and body and the power that you are using with your mind and body are quite different. My power is the power of detachment. We are usually using the power of attachment.
Question : Do you still practice every day or does it becomes an automatic thing?
Sayadaw : That power is very rare. The power of attachment is very easy to find, everybody is using the power of attachment. That's why you need to listen to my teachings. In my teachings I use the power of detachment. So the more you listen my teachings, the more you will understand about the power of detachment.
You must have the courage not to pay attention to yourself and to others. In order to be able to do so, you need to pay attention to me and to my teachings. You must practice as a teacher not as a follower. Don't think about yourself, just try to represent to me and to Buddha.
Doing what we can do with our mind is using the created power. What you must do is trying to abandon all the actions of your mind. Abandoning the actions of the mind is a thing we are not capable to do by ourselves. This is why you need the help of Buddha. You cannot do it by yourself and also not with other people this is why you need connection with Buddha, with me. With my help it is possible to stop all the action of the mind.
Don't think about what to do. Doing something is doing what we can do. Using the power of attachment. So try to change. If you are using the power of attachment, you cannot understand the power of detachment. Try to do against the action of the mind. In this way, the power of detachment will become greater and greater.
Question : You said earlier become a teacher not a follower, can you explain what you mean?
Sayadaw : Now you are following the Middle Way, you are a follower. What you must really do is to detach from the followers. The real Buddha is to be free from the followers and from the Buddha. So you must detach from yourself. There is much attachment to yourself. This attachment must be stopped. If there is attachment to yourself, it is normal, everybody is attached to oneself ... this is the reason of non-freedom. What you must really do is to be free from attachment to anything and to anyone.
The real freedom or enlightenment doesn't depend on the situation or on the time, the place or the person. The real freedom is complete detachment to the situation, the time, the place and the person. If there is attachment there is no freedom. So you must detach from yourself but you cannot do it by yourself, so just pay attention to me and to Buddha. In this way, with my help you will be able to detach from yourself.
Representing Buddha is very difficult. Representing ourselves is very easy. We are always representing ourselves. What we must do is to stop that action, not to take care of ourselves or other people, not to attach to yourself. In this way, the power of detachment will be stronger and stronger. Not to attach to the method or to the result, or to attach to the vedanas, to experience-only. Not to attach to anyone.
But in the beginning it is necessary to be attached to the teacher. You must take care of me in order to not take care of yourself. If you are capable not to take care of yourself, then try not to take care of me. And in this way the power of detachment will be stronger. This is the real Middle Way. If you do it, it is possible, if you think it is impossible ... this can be gain by practice, you cannot understand without practice.
I organize my centre to be like this ... people do things naturally. If you do more you will get more responsibility, more power. You will be a leader. Most of situation goes naturally. Managing by someone is very tiring, not good all the time. Cooperating work is necessary. I train my meditation center to be like this. Very energy-saving, very time-saving.
Natural wisdom is controlling my actions so natural wisdom knows automatically what should be done or not. That's why the whole society of the meditation centre becomes lighter with the time. Very actives but not intentionally. More and more people are cooperating to the centre willingly, not by force. They are very interested to come, to help, to donate, and to meditate here. This is why it is very active, not pretending. They are very willing to cooperate to the centre.
Question : What Buddha thought about determination?
Sayadaw : Having determination is charging the power. If you make a determination you will use more power to get the virtue, not to go backward ... Determination means not to go backward.
Question : This is a kind of attachment?
Sayadaw : Yes but if you ..... the power that you are using is more important. Making decision or not is not much important. If you have a strong power of detachment, you can also detach from determination. Not grasping to the goal. At the beginning or the end, all is to experience-only
Question : Do you have any goal in your meditation center?
Sayadaw : No! no goal, no limits also in my actions. If I decide what I will do or how long I will do there are limits. In my case, no limits..I do according to the situation. My actions are changing with the time and becoming greater and greater. In this way the result is also beyond limits.
Question : You don't really manage your time, do you?
Sayadaw : I work according to the situation. Situation is always changing, so my actions change according to the situation. There is natural wisdom and this natural wisdom understands what should be done first. I use this natural wisdom. For the natural wisdom doing or not doing is to use-only, not to pay attention. No time-limits. I go somewhere, there are no time-limits. If I say I will be there it is for sure that I will be there but at what time is not sure. You must be free from time limits. Your mind must be free from time-limits and place-limit.
Real freedom is to be free from the created truth. We are the prisoners of the created truth. So try to go beyond the created truth. Nobody is free but there is really freedom from created truth. If you are attached to the method, you will be only able to follow this way or that way. You cannot be free from this and that.
The real Middle Way is to be free from this and that. Try to do freely, doing-only, try to experience-only, try to use freely, to use-only. I am using the power of detachment, using freely without grasping. This is the right using of the created truth. This is why my life is invariable because of that power, because of using the created truth in a right way.
Everybody can use the created truth in traditional way, with grasping, so they are the same, not much difference between each other. You must try to go beyond traditions.
End of the teaching.