Friday, 2 November 2012

A couple of dhamma talks

These are notes from memory of a dhamma talk.

Than B:
Before meditating, and a hundred times throughout the day, I remind myself of the following things:

1) I am going to die. Everyone is going to die.

2) The unsatisfactoriness of samsara. This gives me motivation to practice.

3) The foulness of the body. The foulness of everyone’s body. Bringing to mind an unpleasant aspect of it, such as the undigested food in your stomach, you detach from the body and its beauty or ugliness. This was very difficult to understand at first. The point of it is to realize that the body is temperamental, and subject to ageing. So, the body is not a refuge.

4) Finally, everyone’s favourite: Metta, or loving kindness meditation. I wish to be happy, healthy and wise. I wish you to be happy healthy and wise. I wish everyone to be happy, healthy and wise.

Why give up attachments? Are there good attachments? We imagine so. We think that without the attachment to our mother, we won’t be a good son. Without the attachment to the body, we won’t look after it. In fact, the opposite is often the case. When you give up the attachment, you still have a deep sense of caring.

Luangpoh Sudhiro:
People have an image of monks as meditating all day, but it is not like this. From ten in the morning till ten in the evening, monks in Thailand often do hard manual work. They wake up at three for morning chanting, then a bit of housework around the monastery to wake up. At eight, they go out on alms round. Alms round can be quite long. I once went walking for four hours on alms round. Then, after eating, work begins. One meal is not enough for the whole day. I find that too. In the first year, the body protests. But the mind is strong — it’s ok! Later body and mind come closer together. The mind is the source of self-confidence or faith. If we are not certain, we can also tell a friend. There’s a famous saying of Ananda saying to the Buddha that admirable friendship was half the holy life. And Buddha responded, no, it is actually the whole of the holy life. Doubt is also a good teacher. Because whenever there is doubt, it is a sign we do not know yet. Something which works for me, if I have fear or desire, is “walking with eyes closed”. I used to do this on the mountain, and it was actually quite dangerous. But for me it really woke me up. Once we see and know, then we can let go.

See, know, let go.

Source: Based on a discussion with Buddhists about meditation, and “living the dream”.

Regard all phenomena as like dreamsExamine the nature of unborn awarenessIn life, be a child of illusion
Lojong Slogans of Atisha:

1st Meditation.
Regard all phenomena as like dreams: Isolate the five sense doors in meditation. Close your eyes. Feel the touch of your feet on the floor. If you hear the sound of footsteps, experience it as pure sound, not footsteps, disengaging the mind from the perception. Let there be lightness of touch in our reactions to experience. Like in dreams, experience the objects of the mind without judging them.

2nd Meditation.
Examine the nature of unborn awareness: Let us do a breathing meditation. Focus on the breath. Who is breathing? Let go… there is a possibility we generate an image of ourselves with a lot of judgmentalism attached… let it go…

3rd Meditation.
In life, be a child of illusion: Let us do a metta meditation, extending loving-kindness outwards to ourselves, to those we love, to the whole universe. May I be well and happy. May you be well and happy. May everyone be well and happy.
In the sense of dream-like awareness, the solidity of the self dissolves. True awareness offers us a place to stand. Ego can’t examine ego, but if we enter a sense of flow, we can experience effortless ego-less awareness. From this place, we can feel a greater unity and compassion with all around us.


  1. These are great reminders Okei Thank you very much I am going to listen to the talks.

  2. I didn't record them unfortunately, and didn't even take notes on the first talk, which means there's much that I must have forgotten, as well as the way things were said. On the plus side, this is a very short read, so two hours of talks is compressed into the things that stayed with me.

  3. I enjoyed reading this Okei. Some of it is very very interesting. The part on St Mat (The sound current) I am aware of. I have a friend who practices this.

  4. Oh, that wasn't written up by me (only the stuff above), but indeed very fascinating it is and glad you enjoyed! Tumblr must be very confusing because it encourages "re-blogging", so lots written by others, that particular post re-blogged from

  5. Some wonderful talks there, Okei. I can see how they each suit your temperament. They are all quite deep / profound. You're a mystic, in-the-making. : )

  6. I visited the monks yesterday for the first time, in their little temple they are hoping to set up. It was a 90-minute walk away, and then I got a lift back. It turned out it was the last evening Sudhiro would be here before going back to Thailand, and returning maybe in a few months.

    I happened to have a book of poems with me by Korean Buddhist poet Ko Un whom I'd met the previous evening, so I gave it to him. :)

  7. I've met a Thai monk called Sudhiro, who's popular in a Buddhist group I'm involved in from time to time, the Samatha Association. If it's the same monk, it's a small world. I kept him company one night he was in the Manchester (lay) centre.

  8. And I also go to the Samatha organised events.