Guided Insight Teaching
of Venerable Ashin Ottamasara
Delivered at Buddhist Society of Victoria (BSV), Melbourne, Australia
On 15th May 2015
I come from Myanmar. I am a Buddhist monk. I have been teaching meditation for over thirteen years as a monk. I make annual dhammaduta trips to Malaysian and Singapore to conduct Dhamma dialogues and Vipassanā Insight meditation retreats. I also make annual dhammaduta trips to Vietnam and conduct Vipassanā Insight meditation retreats in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. I have been helping experienced meditators in Myanmar to develop their practice. Most of my teachings are about right understanding concerning with meditation and mindfulness and detachment. My teaching focus on the wisdom. Now we will meditate for about one hour and then you can ask any questions.
Close the eyes gently, relax the whole body and mind. Keep the body and head upright. Always lift up the body weight. Don’t let it be heavy down on the ground. Keep the head and whole body straight. Don’t let the head bow down. When we are sitting meditation our body posture is very important. We should try to use our body and mind as using-only or as it should be. We should not use our life or body and mind as we like. We are always using our mind and body with the idea of my life, my body, my mind. We should be careful not to forget the Truth which is not something, not someone, no “I”, no “you”, no “mine”, not “yours”.
In our daily life, as a lay person, we are always using the idea of something or someone. Or “I” or “you”, “mine” or “yours”. We dare not lose using the idea of something or someone. Or “I” or “you”, “mine” or “yours”. This is because of strong attachment for these ideas. Try to meditate without the idea of something or someone. We should not meditate only for oneself. Meditation is for all, for each one. We should meditate with this right understanding. The Original Truth is just Ever New Impermanent Nature. Which is not something, not someone, no “I”, no “you”, no “mine” or “yours”. We should meditate and do everything with this right understanding.
We should meditate in all postures, including sitting meditation. Try to meditate as it should be: doing-only, using-only, experiencing-only, and knowing-only. We should not meditate as we like; we should not meditate as we understand; we should not meditate as we are used to. Try to meditate without attachment. Most of us are used to meditate with attachment on something or someone. Desire to meditate like this or like that is attachment. Desire to meditate in this place or hat place is also attachment. Desire to meditate at this time or at that time is also attachment. We should be able to meditate by using any method at anytime and anywhere.
My teaching is; doing-only without attachment. Keep on practicing meditation and also try to detach from the idea of something or someone. Don’t do it forcefully, let it be naturally. If we are doing as we like, there will be no harmony within us. And then there will also be dispute or quarrels between each other.
Lift up our body weight. Lift up our hands and legs also. Don’t press it down on the ground. The practice of meditation is mostly concerning the mind. We should be mindful with detachment; detachment from oneself or ourselves; detachment from each of the present action. Must detach from all our physical, verbal and mental actions. The Truth is just cause and effect of Ever New Impermanent Nature. No one is teaching and no one is learning. There is just the cause of doing good deeds and the effect of good results is happening.
If we are strongly attached to our daily activities of a layperson we cannot meditate. We should try to detach from our daily activities by sitting meditation without moving. The more we are attached to our habitual job, the more the practice will be difficult. The present condition of difficulty or easiness is not to be attached; keep on practicing meditation. Without attachment on anyone, any method, anywhere, any time and any condition or situation.
The second step is to be mindful on our normal breath. Focus on our own normal breath. This practice intends to detach from the six external senses. If we are not mindful on our breath, the mind will be busy with the external objects. All six senses or objects are to use-only, not to be attached such as something or as “mine”. Attachment to the objects or senses can cause the mind to be unstable and impure. Focus on the breath and try to detach from the senses and objects outside. This is the practice of concentration. If the mind is unstable, there will be a lot of desire. Try it by yourself, try hard.
We can focus on the most evident one; if there is pain just focus on that pain. If the mind is unstable, just focus on that mind. We don’t grasp to something or someone. Try to do it naturally. Be careful not to be thinking of something or someone. Try to be doing-only, without any attachment. We are able to attach to something or someone, we should be able to detach from something or someone also. Keep straight the head and body. Lift up the body weight, don’t let it be heavy down on the ground. Try to be mindful to the most evident thing which is now happening in our body or mind. Each of the action of mindfulness should be doing-only without attachment for something or someone.
The first step is to focus on the natural action of happening. This practice intends to make us abandon our deliberate actions. If we cannot abandon our intentional action, we cannot understand the Original Truth which is Ever New Impermanent Nature. It is necessary to do and to abandon each of our action. By doing many things we develop our ability. By letting go off these actions, we develop the ability to abandon. When we have to do something, we have to use the ability to do; when we use something, we have to use the ability to abandon.
If we dare not use our belongings there will be problems in the mind when we use our belongings. If we dare not lose our life, we will be afraid of our death. We should be able to lose everything and everyone. Ability to lose or abandon everything or everyone or every action is more important than the ability to do. Let go off all our habitual actions and try to find out the Original Truth of Ever New Impermanent Nature. Be mindful on the normal breath. Stop doing in and out breathing deliberately.
Try to abandon all our normal action and focus on our natural happening and action. The Truth is not something, no someone, no “I”, no “your”, not “mine”, not “yours”. Just the Nature of Ever New Impermanent Nature happening. Lay people can never sit in meditation if they cannot abandon their habitual actions. Therefore, the laypeople should meditate in sitting posture. They will have Original Truth detach from their normal actions.
The mind can never be stable and clear if it cannot use the object or sense outside. By focusing within us or on our natural breath, the mind should detach the six senses or objects the mind can never understand the Original Truth which is Impermanent Nature if it cannot abandon its actions. In order to understand the action and happening of Impermanent Nature, the mind should abandon his normal actions.
The last step is to detach from the past, present and future. The time we use is just Created Truth. Which has limits… one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one weeck, one month, one life. Each one has limits. The real time or Original Truth has no limits. Try to accept the Truth of present moment and then try to detach from the limited time.
Don’t dwell in the past, don’t dream of the future. Don’t’ think the present time, present action and present happening are also real. If we are student we should study our lessons but we should not attach to ourselves, to our actions and to our experiences. We should try to be doing-only, using-only, experiencing-only and knowing-only. With detachment or without attachment. All the Created Truth are to use-only, no to reject nor to attach.
The Original Truth, Impermanent Nature is not something, not someone, not one time and not one place. To understand the Original Truth, we must be able to detach from each person, each time and each place. The Truth is just Impermanent Nature. Not one person, not one time, not one thing neither one time and also not one place.
We can use anything but we should not attach to these things; we can deal with everyone but we should not attach to each one. We can use every time, past, present and future but we should not attach to the time. We can stay anywhere, we should not be attached to the place. This practice is the solution to the problems of ignorance and attachment. We all have to suffer because of our ignorance and attachment. I use this teaching to change from ignorance and attachment to Right understanding and detachment.
End of the teaching.