25 January 2016

"Election" - Part Three (Last Part)

Teaching of Venerable Sayadaw Ashin Ottamasara
Delivered on 8th November 2015
at Thabarwa Centre (Thanlyin)

Part Three (Last Part)

(5) Merit-Making Party’s Overwhelming Victory
When the time comes, the charity fundraising concert, USA Cinema Music Event, will come to an end.  Likewise, the General Election of Myanmar will also come to an end.  In contrast, Thabarwa Centre will be ceaselessly doing meritorious deeds, such as offering dana, observing sila and practicing meditation bhavana, round-the-clock without recess.   

At personal level, try to go over and above your usual way of doing wholesome deeds. Also encourage and inspire people, including the yogis from Thanlyin Thabarwa Centre, other Thabarwa Centre branches, other meditation centres and people from all over the world to develop greater interest in doing wholesome deeds.

Since doing wholesome deeds concerns everyone, we need to make a concerted effort in diligently fulfilling our obligations. This is not an impossible task.  As long as we are committed, we will be able to fulfil our merit-making tasks fruitfully.

If merit-making tasks were impossible to fulfill, I would not have been able to establish Thabarwa Centre, a sanctuary doing many wholesome deeds and operating around the clock without recess.  In the past we faced many difficulties and ran the centre on a very limited budget. Though the situation has gotten better as time goes by, we are still facing difficulties and insufficiencies. 

The task of running a centre with more than 2,400 yogis will always be challenging.  The difficulties are meant to be there for us because without them, we would not be able to grow in momentous ways.

Due to our concerted and continuous merit-making effort, Thabarwa Centre Thanlyin has evolved from a piece of uninhabited, stark and barren land to what it is today.  The difficulties that we are currently facing will also fade away as have these conditions of the past.  When the time comes, both the physical appearance of the centre as well as the disposition of the yogis will definitely be transformed.

It is very important for you to be involved in this transformation process with open-mindedness. If you are not willing to change, you will be left behind and others will replace you. 

In the past, Thabarwa Centre was merely an exclusive area for a small group of people. As time goes by, it becomes an area for the general public.  As Thabarwa becomes a community for the general public, many capable people are coming forward to render help and assistance to us.  Gone are the days when Thabarwa had to depend solely on its small group of people to get things done.  Increasing numbers of capable people from far and near are helping and assisting us now. 

Previously, I had no one whom I could rely on to get things done.  So I had to do everything by myself.  It will be an opposite situation from now on.  Many competent and talented people will come forward to assist me in my endeavours.  Hence, I might no longer be perceived as an indispensable person in future.  It could also be the same scenario for Thabarwa Centre.  Even if Thabarwa Centre does not exist anymore, there will be many other merit-making centres established to carry on the torch of doing wholesome deeds.  As long as you have good faith, optimism and confidence, you can successfully do limitless wholesome deeds.

The time when I first established Thabarwa Centre, I only had the vision, perception and belief that it was necessary to do limitless, wholesome deeds.  Though I had full confidence in my vision, it had yet to materialise successfully.  My confidence level underwent a 360 degree turnaround when I started to experience the consequences of doing limitless wholesome deeds.  Indeed, I had successfully cracked the code for lasting confidence in doing limitless wholesome deeds, which in turn boosts others' confidence, too.

My concept is that, if you have confidence in yourself without any visible result, it could just be your own perception and might not be accepted by other people.  In my case, I have proved to many people that we can do wholesome deeds freely, without any limitations, boundaries or barriers.  This is indeed a noble path, which will lead you to a fruitful destination. Work continuously, consistently and diligently until you reach to the noble destination.

In other words, if you do unwholesome deeds until the end of your life, you will receive unimaginable bad consequences (bad karma).  In the same manner, if you do limitless wholesome deeds, you will also receive limitless merits (good karma) and noble consequences. Each and every one of us has a noble duty to do limitless wholesome deeds.  At the same time, inspire other people around you to do limitless wholesome deeds as much as they can. It is indeed a very meaningful and noble task, worthy of your best efforts.

Let’s do mindfulness insight meditation for about 15 minutes.  Sit in a comfortable posture. Keep your body upright, firm and without any tension. Don’t let your body weight press down on the ground. Close your eyes gently. Relax your mind and body. Let go of unnecessary tension in the body. Please be calm, quiet and mindful. Breathe gently, naturally and freely. Be mindful and just know the present happening of the breath. Do only what is necessary to do. 

Be tolerant. 
Be forgiving.
Be compassionate.
We must train ourselves to be harmless and compassionate even towards those who are violent and torturing us.  We must remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. Take every opportunity to remove hatred, jealousy and violence from the mind.  Even if bandits were to catch us and carve us up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, we should not get angry at them even at that moment.  If we do so, we are no follower of the teachings of Lord Buddha. 

The End …

Translated by … Hnin Nwe Soe and Maw Maw Than
Edited by … Sayalay Aloka Cari
Team Thabarwa

Note  :  This translation work has neither been read nor edited by the speaker.  Any mistakes and mistranslations in this project are solely the oversight and incompetency of the translator.  Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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