Question and Answer and Dhamma Discussion
with Overseas Disciple from USA
QUESTION : Say supposing, if I contemplate only on 'doing-only', can this be interpreted as 'abandoning'?
Sayadaw : When you contemplate only on 'abandoning' in your mind, it can be considered as 'doing-only'.
In order to achieve 'doing-only' in your mind, you have to carry out your actions with the right understanding, 'abandoning', in your mind.
If you purposely and intentionally force yourself to contemplate on 'doing-only', your understanding could merely be a 'fake understanding' and will never be progressed into a right understanding.
It is somewhat similar to 'saying-only' or 'talking-only' without the right understanding of 'abandoning' in your mind. Without the mental power of 'abandoning', your actions could never be considered as genuine 'doing-only' ... because you might also do other unnecessary actions along the way.
Only when you can abandon considering 'talking' as reality in your mind, you can prevent yourself from talking unnecessary things. You will be able to differentiate between necessary and unnecessary things to say, you will be able to notice when you accidentally utter wrong and unnecessary things ... you will gradually know how to say right things at the right time and the right place.
If you do not have the power of 'abandoning' in your mind, you might always have wrong perceptions such as this thing must be said in this manner; need to say sweet, flowery and polite complements towards others; though they are not true and necessary but you still need to say those traditionally considered as social, cultural and polite words; etc ... These examples are the proof of your incapability in abandoning saying these unnecessary words or compliments but still consider them as the true and correct actions in your mind.
Once you attain the power of 'abandoning' in your mind, you can surely be able to differentiate whether this action is right or wrong or this action should not be done or you should not do this or it is not appropriate to do this way, etc. Due to your mind power of 'abandoning', you will gradually attain this kind of right wisdom or understanding.
The most important fact here is that you need to try your best to do all your actions with right understanding, 'abandoning', in your mind all the time.
In order to achieve 'doing-only', first off all, you need to have the mind power of 'abandoning'.
You need to do 'dana' with the understanding of 'ability that can use living and non-living things as abandoning purpose'.
You need to observe 'sila' with the understanding of 'abandoning power to all physical and oral actions.
You need to listen to dhamma teachings and practice meditation (bhavana) with the understanding of 'abandoning power to all mental actions'.
These are the real and correct way of doing actions in your mind.
As long as you grasp to the idea of 'doing', you will need to do endless of 'doings'. Though you observe endless 'sila' and take precepts endlessly, these habitual way of observing endless 'sila' might never become real 'sila' as long as you place central emphasis on 'doing' in your mind.
The meaning of taking precepts on purpose can also be interpreted as 'you have to take precepts and observe sila on purpose just because you do not have sila or moral discipline naturally'.
As long as you grasp the perception of 'if you do not observe sila on purpose, your sila will not be genuine and pure' or as long as you accept those non-conclusive understandings, you will never be able to experience more conclusive understandings.
QUESTION : Venerable sir, you just told me that we need to practice meditation by abandoning all the actions of you mind. Kindly elaborate please ...
Sayadaw : Yes. You need to listen to dhamma teachings and practice meditation with the right understanding, 'abandoning' and doing nothing but 'abandoning' in your mind. If not, due to your habitual created understanding of 'doing', you will always try to 'do' one action after another in your mind.
You always do all kinds of actions in your mind just because you do not understand the meaning of 'abandoning'.
Due to your wrong habitual created understanding, all your mental actions become 'doing'.
Promote good deeds but detach from merit, attachment and whatever happens.
QUESTION : While doing meditation, we should contemplate on 'abandoning' in our mind . Is it correct?
Sayadaw : Correct.
QUESTION : It is important to use our physical, oral and mental actions with the power of 'abandoning' in mind. Is it correct?
Sayadaw : Correct.
QUESTION : Have to try to become 'use-only' .... it is true?
Sayadaw : Yes. Only when you have mind power to 'abandon all your actions'. Only then, all your actions will become 'doing-only'.
You will attain the mind power of 'abandoning' only when you actually practice 'abandoning' in your mind.
You will never attain the mind power of 'abandoning' without actually practicing 'abandoning' in your mind. Instead, you will only possess the mind power of 'doing'.
To be continued