16. Desire & The 4 Foundations of Mindfulness

16. Desire & The 4 Foundations of Mindfulness

By Venerable Amatha Gavesi

Dated: 17/10/1994

Venerable Bhikkhus, brothers and sisters, the subject of the discourse today is the 4 foundations of mindfulness.  Buddha having attained Buddhahood, having realized the truth, having found a clear path for the attainment of Nibbana, expected any devotees to develop himself in 3 things.  The 3 things are, any devotee must have at least virtue in the observance of the 5 precepts, that’s the least. Base on the virtue, your good conduct, your good behaviour, you must make an effort to develop your mind in samadhi.  Samadhi is essential for the realization of the truth.  One could develop wisdom, gain wisdom through samadhi.  Buddha has clearly stated that the 3 realities of impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and the soullessness can only be realized in samadhi.  It is clear that the worldling mind is so harden with the worldly way of doing things.  And that worldly way of doing things entirely depends upon the false assessment which is permanence, satisfactory and with soul continuity, which are opposite to the 3 realities Buddha had realized.  So one could have a fair idea how much of effort one should make to instill into the mind the true nature of things as impermanent, unsatisfactory nature of things and the soullessness.  Erasing the false values it lived for so many many births, such as permanence, satisfaction and continuity.  Therefore to overcome these states or views held by one planted very deeply into the mind, one needs a certain amount of samadhi.  And he has defined samadhi as the first absorption, second absorption, third absorption, the fourth absorption.  That is the requirement of samadhi. 

Wisdom, as I explained to you earlier, is gained through 4 stages.  Wisdom is the realization of impermanence; realization of the unsatisfactory nature of things; and the realization of soullessness.  These full development occurs in an Arahat.  And this happens in him as the 4th stage of development.  A certain amount of realization take place in regards to these 3 realities at the stage of stream-entry.  A state of better understanding create at the second stage of development, that is, once-returner.  A state of better understanding is created at the third stage of non-returner.  And he finally realize the truth of impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and soullessness at the stage when he gains his liberation.

Now Buddha has not only asked us to prepare ourselves in the way of developing virtue, developing concentration and wisdom in us.  He has distinctly shown you what you should do in order to get rid of desire which is the cause for all your sufferings.  In the 4 foundations of mindfulness, this subject has been dealt in detail.  I explained to you in brief the 4 things subjects of meditation referring to the development of mind in regard to your body and the body of another.  One object there is that the mind has always an attachment to the body, and this is practice of the foundations of mindfulness.  The first one, you get the opportunity of separating the mind from the body.  There onwards, it is the mind that has to be developed to a state when it can get rid of all defilements. In regard to meditation of the body, impurities of the body, with the object to separate the attachment the mind has towards the body, you have 14 subjects of meditation.  After doing that, Buddha refers to the development of the mind.  Your thinking process can do 2 things, and the 2 things are; you can feel, you can create a feeling and you can also think.  These are the 2 conspicuous activities by the mind.  When dealing with the subject of feeling, I explained to you how one should conduct your meditation to, not to succumb to feeling, not to give way to feelings, but realize feeling too as impermanent.  And when thoughts of feelings arise in you to dispel such feeling with the true understanding of what a feeling is.  In regard to creation of thoughts too, I explained to you yesterday, the 2 sections dealt in that under that subject.  One is, clearing of your mind from any hindrance that it is subject to, thereby once you cleared the mind of hindrances, there is a clarity in the mind, clearness in the mind.  And from there onwards, the clearness is directed to develop the mind to a very high states, states of samadhi, connected with the form world and the formless world.  And this chapter concludes in referring to the liberation of the mind.  What is mean by liberation of the mind? Means liberate itself from the defilement the mind is subjected to, up to the point of non-returner.  If you practice the meditation on the body and the body of another carefully, you’ll be able to clearly separate the mind from the body, realistically making the mind clearly see the state of the body.  And from there onwards, Buddha has dealt the 2 subjects which come under the mind.  That is, feeling and creation of thoughts. As persons who are going through this path, lead you to liberation, and in many instances I have explained to you clearly that in regard to dealing with defilements, such as attachment and animosity, you directly deal with these thoughts that arise in your mind, promoting attachment or promoting animosity or aversion.  These 2 things, namely attachment and aversion are 2 subjects which are produced by the creation of thoughts and such thoughts are not the thoughts which occur in you spontaneously in performing an act of a sense base.  Such thoughts are subsequent to the creation of a thought and performing an act of the sense base, like after you have heard something by creation of a thought spontaneously, then other thoughts are created by you with the subject of that act, refers to something pleasant to pursue that pleasant feeling.  If it refers to something which you do not like to create an aversion to that feeling.  Those activities of the mind in promoting aversion and attachment are not spontaneously created by the mind. The only thought that is created spontaneously in the mind is to commit an act of the sense bases.  Either to see or hear or smell or taste or contact or think.  Those 6 activities are created by the creation of a thought.  Subsequent creation of thoughts of aversion and attachment are your activity which you ignorantly do.  About which Buddha said mindfulness is the answer to check such activity being continued.  It is such activity that leads you to the creation of desire.  Therefore, what we do is after you have entered the stream, then under the once-returner’s development and the non-returner’s development, you have 2 things to be done.  The 2 things are, stop the promotion of attachment to aversion.  If you are 50% successful, then you gain the second stage of once-returner.  If you’re fully successful, then you gain the third stage of non-returner.  So we advise you to be watchful about thoughts.  What are the thoughts that you are watchful about?  What the thoughts that you create in the mind to commit an act of sense base like seeing, hearing, smelling, etc?  The reference we give to stopping thoughts is those thoughts that you create after the act has been committed.  Subsequent development by you on your own in pursuance of something pleasant or in pursuance of something which you don’t like.  This create the desire, aversion or attachment, are the 2 things that promote the desire.  And these thoughts, subsequent thoughts that you create they promote either attachment or aversion.  Therefore if you keep your mind silent, that doesn’t mean to say you are keeping away the process of performing act by sense bases, no.  The creation of such thoughts are promptly done and they cannot be interrupted.  That is an automatic occurrence, you hear a noise, there’s a noise and you heard the noise, there’s something to see before you and you saw it, those are spontaneous activities of the mind that no person can stop them unless of course he is subject to some sickness or other.  And that he cannot perform those acts.  Otherwise, those acts normally are performed by the spontaneous activities of the mind in creating a thought.  It is the subsequent developments which you are responsible, being not mindful, pursue that which is, which appears to be pleasant to you and create thoughts of enjoyment; or pursue that which doesn’t appear to be appealing to you and create thoughts of aversion.  These 2 activities promote the desire and it is these 2 activities that we ask you to carefully watch.  And stop them without allowing them to arise in your mind.  And for that operation, what is needed is mindfulness of impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things and the soullessness.  You have to be mindful of these 3 important realities.  And apply those realities to instances when thought arise dealing the subject of that thought as something impermanent, something unsatisfactory, something soulless.  Therefore you interrupt the continuity of that thought by getting rid of it.  Now we are dealing with, if you by the end of that exercise of completely making your mind silent, that clearly indicate that you have drained out of your mind any tendency for you to get attach to an object or create an aversion to an object.  Attachment and aversion are things that you have created in the mind.  When you pursue these 2 things, you promote attachment and desire.  If you interfere with these attachment and desire, thoughts that arise in promoting these 2 things, then you’re suppressing the arising of such thoughts.  These thoughts arise in you now as strong habits, the spontaneous activity of the mind in the event of an object arising before a sense base creates a thought, enabling you to experience that sense object.  Immediately after that experience, what happens is, thoughts arise in your mind pursuing what is pleasant or pursuing what is unpleasant.  When you pursue what is pleasant, you enjoy that and then create an attachment; when you pursue what is unpleasant, you create an aversion, dislike to the object, and this attachment and aversion, the 2 things that create desire.  Now that you’re being mindful, taking special care that to see that no thoughts are permit to arise and those thoughts are not, as I told you thoughts which help you to perform an act by your sense base, those are additional thoughts that you create, to create an attachment to aversion.  You suppress them by realistically analyzing them as impermanent.  And this activity is done by the normal mind.  If you do that in samadhi you’re obstructing the rising of thoughts in your mind freely.  Because samadhi will not permit you to freely create thoughts in your mind, it suppresses.  Therefore this exercise has to be done giving full freedom to the mind.  Permitting the mind to create thoughts.  Thoughts are only created by the mind if there is attachment and aversion, please bear that in mind.  If there is no attachment and aversion, no thoughts are created.  If you experience a deep silence in your mind that indicates that there are no attachment to aversion in your mind.  Subsequent thoughts are promoted as a result of attachment and aversion. If a yogi comes and tells me that he finds difficult to stop the creation of the subsequent thoughts in his mind after an experience through a sense base, then I come to the conclusion that he still has attachment and aversion.  That means, there is strength in the mind to promote desire.  And that promotion of desire is done by attachment and aversion. But once you go on suppressing or once you go on dispelling those thoughts one after the other, treating them as impermanent, impermanent, impermanent, then naturally there is a reduction of creation of such thoughts.  You must always bear in mind all these are the creation of thoughts and other activities by the mind are a pattern which you have got used to in your existence in this cycle of births. That is a pattern, that is the way how the mind reacts.  So if you promote that reaction further and further then your habit become strong and your defilement are very firm in you.  But on the other hand if you stop such activity, mind does not want to promote any, it will promote if you want to promote it, but these incidents are happening automatically without your knowledge. Attachment and aversion without your knowledge they arise, Why?  Because these tendencies have been created, nurtured by you in your mind and maintained.  Now you go on analyzing your mind carefully. As I emphasize again it should not be done when you have transcended the mind to higher state.  Why?  Because you are not giving the freedom for the consciousness to create thoughts.  This exercise should be done while your mind is normally functioning, with full freedom for the consciousness to create thoughts if it wants to create thoughts.  And if there is a reduction in you in the creation of thoughts that means you have convinced the mind that you are at least not accepting any of those thoughts.  And that suppression you went on in the way of stopping further thoughts occurring analyzing them as impermanent, has discouraged the consciousness from creating thoughts.  In other words, by correctly analyzing you have reduced the power of the habit which you have created in the mind in creating more and more thoughts after every incident you experience through a sense base. 

The second stage of development should also be a rise in your samadhi.  May I say the fruition samadhi.  When you have come to maturity befitting the second stage in the realization of impermanence. You may feel that you have now suppressed thinking more than half you have suppressed now and only few more thoughts occur.  But still you feel that you have not reached the fruition stage of second stage of development.  Then what you should do is develop your attention to the development arising-and-passing away on some subject common to you like breathing.  And see whether opportunities given for the mind to create that situation for you to realize the second stage and that will happen only you have developed the fruition samadhi in the second stage.  And subject to the fruition samadhi is arising-and-passing away nothing else, that’s Anicca.  When you come to the third stage, brothers and sisters, you will see that your mind is very silent and is going deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.  The silence is a deep silence.  So to say that if you have drained all your unnecessary thinking in the way of thoughts arising to support attachment or thoughts arising to support aversion.  If you have done this exercise very well and no more thoughts of that nature arise in your mind, you will realize that you, your mind is very silent, it’s going deep into you, and also that sometimes you experience a state of mind where you go into a deep sleep.  You don’t know when you enter that state, but you know when you come out of that state, you feel that you have been sleeping for some time, that is not sleeping.  That is the development of the mind where you have cleared the mind from attachment and aversion.  Also you have cleared the mind of desire and the mind is now free to act in its natural way.  If there are no thoughts then the mind must rest.  It is one subject after the other introduced into the so-called mental condition that create the thoughts.  If controlled by desire, there is no end to such creation.  When you have drained your mind of desire, no more desire in you and the mind comes to rest.  And with no subject to deal with, it naturally resort itself to a deep silence.  And you’re in that sometimes for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, even longer.  When you often you come to ask the question how is it that my mind that I fall asleep?  Do you know that you’re not falling asleep?  That you’re experiencing nirodha and that nirodha exercise can be developed so that according to the scriptures you can live for 7 days without food and water.  That is the highest development nirodha can develop.  A person can enter the nirodha if he or she has attained the third stage of development of non-returner.  In that attainment you have got rid of desire, there’s no desire in your mind.  Therefore, there is no reaction of creating attachment or to creating aversion, the mind is silent.  But you must have the ability to enter a state of equanimity in the fourth absorption and even experience higher formless samadhi.  Very often people ask us the question, “If I have not practiced formless samadhi, the samadhi in the formless world I should say, how is it that I experience this thing?”  The mind can only get into 4 absorptions, that is in the form world.  All the other states of mind in the formless world are your own mental creation, you acquire these skills by thinking. Therefore there is an automatic development of the mind to these states once you have developed the 4th absorption.  That is why a person who has developed the 4th absorption, who has reached the development in the 3rd stage of anagami, no desires occur in him, mind gets into nirodha.  Because circumstances have created in you the ability by thinking or by automatic process for the development of the other 4 formless states of mind to reach that nirodha beyond the 8 samapathi.  This is an automatic development.  It all depends on the 4th absorption.  There are no more absorptions which you can experience in life except the 4th.  Abhidhamma refers to the 5th one also that multiplication of the 2nd to 2.  Now when you are in nirodha, you feel as you are in deep sleep.  To identify nirodha samapathi and the state of mind you experience when you are in deep sleep, it’s that the person who entered the nirodha samapathi, he is not aware how he enter the nirodha.  It automatically happens, but when you go to sleep, deep sleep, you know that you are falling asleep, and it is at the last stages when the mind, the consciousness is clearly in that state of mind of deep sleep that you forget yourself. In nirodha, you are coming out of nirodha, its clear to you.  In deep sleep, you all of a sudden get out.  In nirodha, your activity first is the creation of a thought; second is bodily activity.  That is why you can differentiate nirodha from deep sleep.  You don’t know how you enter the nirodha, that’s an automatic development in you but you are fully aware when you come out of it. 

Now brothers and sisters, once you have finished the 2 meditations on feeling and thoughts in the 4 foundations of mindfulness, you have completed 3 aspects of that discourse pertain to the body, pertain to feeling, pertain to thoughts.  If you have done it with fruitful result, you can enter the 3rd stage of development, that is the non-returner stage, at the conclusion of your development of realities in the 3rd foundation of mindfulness.  That is important.  Then you come to the 4th foundation of mindfulness, in this account or commentary make on the sutta preached by Buddha, there are various conclusions arrived at.  What is important is, what is the reaction in actual practice, these developed in us?  Now there are 4 distinct meditations dealing with the 4 foundations of mindfulness.  One is, hindrances; 2nd is meditation on the 5 grasping groups; 3rd is meditation on the causally created thoughts performing the activities of the sense bases, how thoughts are created as cause-and-effect; and the 4th is the development of 7 factors of enlightenment, leading to the attainment.  One ask the question that in regard to 3rd foundation of mindfulness dealing with feelings and thoughts, the 8 thoughts refer to on the subject of thinking, creation of thoughts, they refer to analysis of your mind, in 8 ways to satisfy yourself that there is no hindrances prevailing now.  Your mind is now developing very well in samadhi, there is no hindrance.  Also in certain places indications given is, that these hindrances are not in regard to samadhi but hindrances are in regard to your attainment of Nibbana.  Like thoughts of attachment, thoughts of aversion, torpor sleepiness, the body and mind very tired, then restlessness in the mind and doubt.  These 5 things, 5 subjects are created by 8 thoughts.  And you analyze those carefully, satisfy yourself that those hindrances are not prevailing in you.  And then you develop your mind as indicated by me yesterday on the discourse about developing of thoughts that you develop your mind to a higher state of or transcend the mind to higher states, like the formless state of mind.  Our question is why is it that  hindrances, observation of the mind about hindrances when there are in operation in your mind, or functioning in your mind, or not?  Why was that subject introduced again?  The conclusion one would arrived at is that in this chapter the 4th foundations of mindfulness you are directing the mind completely for the attainment of Nibbana.  Therefore, one should be fully satisfied that there is no hindrance occurring in the mind which is subject to such development.  There is nothing call aversion in you.  There is nothing call attachment in you.  You have overcome all these basic developments in the mind of a worldling.  Your mind is also active in regard to alertness, is not putting you to sleep as such or making you restless by unnecessary creation of thoughts which promote such behaviour to the mind.  And you have no doubt about the path now, you have full confidence in the Dharma.  Therefore you have cleared the mind of all hindrances, and after going through that exercise which is the 1st exercise on the 4 foundations of mindfulness on Dharma, you go to the 2nd one, 2nd one deals with the 5 grasping groups.  Direct indication has been given in the commentary the 5 grasping groups refer to “sakayadithi”.  “Dithi” means belief, “sakaya” means pertain to your body, the belief of an individual living in you, possessing the body you possess.  Or in that body of yours there is a being, “sakayadithi”, that “dithi” that belief is there in you.  Then one will ask a question if you have developed that in earlier occasion, the first step you took prior to entry into the stream, why are you now referring to that again in the 4 foundation of mindfulness?  In the 4 foundation of mindfulness, there is something more exacting and obstructing your development further and that is your ego.  Your ego is based on your reference to past incidents, when reference to the past incidents, you always refer to those incidents by creating an author, that is your “I”. I did this, I did that, I saw, I met, those are the references you make all about the past and this “I” has been created probably to great extent by 5 grasping groups.  Grasping group of form, grasping group of feeling, grasping group of perception, grasping group of volition, or I should say grasping group of activity, volitional activity and the grasping group of consciousness.  These 5 grasping groups have created that.  Therefore, you’re expected to meditate on these 5 grasping groups leaving no such tendency in your mind.  How do you develop that 2nd meditation in the 4 foundation of mindfulness pertaining to grasping groups?  You meditate every factor in that 5 grasping groups, grasping group of form, grasping group of feeling, grasping group of perception, grasping group of volitional activity and the grasping group of consciousness as impermanent.  One by one you have to deal with this subject, grasping group of form is impermanent, unsatisfactory, soulless, arises-and-pass away, causally created and impermanent. Grasping group of feelings impermanent, unsatisfactory, soulless, arises-and-pass away, created causally as cause-and-effect and it has no substance, it’s just a mental creation. Likewise every such group, the group of form, group of feeling, group of perception, group of volitional activity and group of consciousness.  You go on meditating on that as impermanent, impermanent, take every one of these as impermanent and 2nd as impermanent, 3rd as impermanent, 4th as impermanent, 5th as impermanent and analyze it carefully.  Impermanent, impermanent, impermanent.  And that is to indirectly attack the ego that creation of an “I” in you.  When you speak about an “I” in you, it really refers to that this “I” is yourself!   And who created this so-called “self” in you?   The 5 grasping groups!  Therefore after your 1st meditation cleared the thinking process of hindrances, you resort …

Side B:

5 grasping groups also create a false concept of a being in you, so that is completely removed as a result of this meditation.  Then also there is a question of who is this “I”?  Who is “mine”?  “I” and “mine” are two things that are created as a result of the activities of the 6 sense bases.  The only way to attack this false belief, is to analyze the act of seeing, the act of hearing, act of smelling, act of tasting, act of contacting, and act of thinking.  How?  As cause-and-effect.  How do you do that?  You start with your eyes first.  Eyes are in good condition and they could see.  When an object appears before the eyes, that’s the first cause-and-effect, the reflection of that object get registered in the retina of the eyes.  That is the first incident that occurs there.  When the object get registered in the retina of the eyes, then the reflection appears there.  It gives an indication to consciousness to take over the task.  And the eye consciousness appears there.  Once eye consciousness appears there, it cannot by itself create a thought.  It has to produce the 5 mental factors.  The eye consciousness immediately produce the mental factor – form. It immediately creates the mental factor – feeling.  After that, as a result of the mental factor – contact, you create feelings. As a result of mental factor contact, you create perception.  As a result of mental factor contact, you create volitional activity.  As a result of the mental factor, contact, there is a consciousness.  All these 6 steps occur one after another is as the result of the cause-and-effect. Because this happens, this is happening; because that is happening, this is happening; because this is happening, that is happening.  You go on analyzing it.  Though seeing is something which spontaneously occurs as a result of the creation of a thought.  But the creation of a thought is the result of cause-and-effect.  There is no person who is creating that thought.  It occurs as cause-and-effect.  And you have to analyze this process carefully.  In order to impress yourself that there is no person inside us which create these activities of the 6 sense bases but they are causally created.  And the only way you can do it is one by one, take each case like the eye, then the ear, then the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind.  Go through these things, step by step, step by step, and convince yourself that these are not creations by the mind, but causally created.  This cause has created this situation, this cause has created this situation, this cause has created this situation, therefore you can see.  Likewise the other cases like here in this cause has created this situation, this cause has created this situation, and go on go on, ultimately you hear. In like manner, you have to analyze the other sense base activities also to satisfy yourself that such activity are the result of cause-and-effect.  Then ask the question, where is this so-called ego “I”?  There is no “I”.  No such performance.  Now you are very mindful.  Now your mindfulness must be not of past incidents.  If you are mindful of past incidents, no activity is done by you now during the present moment.  Therefore, you will be referring to any activity done in the past.  The more you refer to the past, you will be creating the “I” more.  Because “I” is the author of the past incident, that’s how you have accepted it.  And you create more of the “I” and that is promoting this false concept of ego.  So to avoid that what you should do is, instead of pushing the mind to the past and referring to any incident in the past, you should keep the mind in the present moment, in front of you.  Past is over.  You can’t recover anything from there.  Future is yet to come.  What is happening is just now, these things are occurring that you will be very concern about the present moment.  So to say, your mind is in front of you now.  Watching what is happening just now, this moment.  There, incident occur you saw or you heard or whatever it may be and it passed away.  Just this moment that happened.  And that is the cause-and-effect.  The cause arose, effect took place; the cause disappear, effect too disappear, just this moment.  And thereby you convince you that there is no person call “I” in you, it’s just a mental creation again.  Along with that, there is, “mine”, that too is a mental creation resulting from the false notion that there is an author to your activity as “I”.  You have to do this in respect of all the 6 sense bases.  And satisfy yourself that there is no “I”.  No “mine”.  And when you perform this meditation carefully, the result is that, there is no “I” in you now.  That emptiness is felt by you.  “Mine” is also not there.  In respect to the eyes, in respect to the ears, in respect to the nose, in respect to the tongue, in respect to the body, in respect of the consciousness, no “I”.  Prove this with practice, brothers and sisters, it’s just not a case of thinking.  You got to go on drilling into the mind the true nature of things and the way to drill into the mind is to practice these things, one after another, I see this way.  You see and giving one after the reason as to how you came to that conclusion that there is no “I”. Then we come to the, then you have got rid of the “I” and “mine”.  That’s a false view created by you in your mind as a result of the manner of thinking by you.  Always giving a place for the person who has created this situation.  Why you give a place, that’s the worldly way of looking at things.  Now you know that there’s no such person as such, as the author of these activities, but these things are causally created, the cause-and-effect is, can be traced easily and convince yourself  that there is no person as author of the activity. 

Now you go on to the next step, now you have in this false belief, false view.  You’ve got rid of “I”, you’ve got rid of “mine”, and you have also got rid of, let us say, any belief in any person within you.  There’s no such thing.  Now you are fairly convinced that all these creations are the result of cause-and-effect.  But there is some important factor which you have to get rid of.  Why? You still think?  You have the ability to think.  Your practice only developing fast as a result of developing this process of thinking.  And still you can think.  And now you come to a wrong conclusion that this process of thinking is, what is permanently in you.  As self, as the attā, soul.  That is the belief that you create, because that is the last thing you have to deal with.  You’ve got rid of all the others connected with the creation of false views and this and the other and the other.  But this remains still firmly in you, that this thinking process has, is the soul I have.  And in other word, it is myself.  Self. 

Buddha very clearly overcame this situation by developing the mental factors.  The object of developing the mental factors is step by step by convincing you of the situation in the mind.  It leads you to a state of pure tranquility.  And the mind is very very peaceful and calm.  It doesn’t entertain any thoughts of any objects, mental objects.  It’s peaceful.  That is a state of tranquility of the mind.  And how do you reach that height?  First of all, you have to be very mindful of all the activities around you.  Mindful of the body, mindful of feelings, mindful of thoughts, and mindful of Dharma consciousness.  You very mindfully observe these things as they occur.  As I told you and emphasize often that, that spontaneous activity of the mind in the creation of a thought, to execute something experience by a sense base, is an automatic incident and you are aware of it.  So you just treat it, treat that too as something which must happen.  It’s an automatic incident and you are mindful.  And I have emphasized this mindfulness is what, that you always consider that this body and mind of yours is impermanent, unsatisfactory and soulless.  That is the essential quality of this mindfulness which you maintain at this stage.  You are mindful watching yourself carefully, thought occurs and pass away. Random thoughts occur.  

After that, you develop your attention to the investigation of Dharma.  What is the 4 foundations of mindfulness?  And what am I expected to perform there?  What is the 5 grasping groups?  What is illusion created by the 5 grasping groups and how it is created?  You just go into the Dharma aspect of it.  And of course, you’re going into the cause-and-effect.  You’re going into the aspect of dependent origination.  All these things flash into your mind.  And you can reasonably separate every link and give a statement to that effect.  How it happens and how it occurs and how it functions.  Your mind is sharp now.  Quite educated in Dharma. After that, you enter the state of viriya, rise of energy in your mind and body, both, viriya, because you are now living in truth.  And the more you realistically understand the truth, the more strength you gather, physical and mental both.  So that also you experience. And with that arises what?  Cheer!  For I see Dharma clearly now.  This is the truth.  The false opinions and false conclusions we arrived at in the past are over and no more in us.  We see the true nature of this so-called being.  The human being.  There is no being as such in me, just causally created activity nothing else.  Likewise you’ve developed yourself and you’re very very happy, cheerful and contented.  And that leads to and you are always happy and cheerful.  You don’t feel the weight of the body.  You don’t feel even your weight of, let’s say, difficulty in thinking that sort of thing.  That is body and mind both are very light.  That is the result of freeing your mind of all defilements, and this empty cast is there.  Mind is also empty of such defilement which weighs you down, and you feel this lightness in you, in body and mind both.  You live in that with a very happy mood.  And there, that lightness of the body and the mind leads you to the development of the mind in vipassana, samadhi develops.  Samadhi develops, and that is vipassana samadhi.  Along with that development arises the realization too.  And you go on.  Living in that truth.  And ultimately, that mind will develop to a very conspicuous height, and gives you the state of equanimity.  There is a force there in the mind, you see that.  But there is no good or bad, nothing like that.  The state of equanimity is developed.  See how Buddha developed his mind to that degree of lightness in the mind that you can clearly understand what it is like.  And when this tranquil state you live in, you will start practising your vipassana on this mental condition, that is the essential thing. Practise vipassana. 

What is Vipassana?  Impermanence, unsatisfactory nature of things, and soulless.  What this mind in equanimity.  And you go on analyzing it as impermanent, impermanent, impermanent, impermanent, impermanent, impermanent, impermanent.  Then this mind will reach a very very delicate state.  And all of a sudden, it will disappear.  It goes beyond your hold.  What do you feel there?  There is no consciousness in the body now, because that is created by the mind, and the mind is also not there.  Empty.  And that is the void.  That is the void they refer to.  The void by itself is not Nibbana!  That you have to develop to a state of development.  Culminating in your realization of the truth, gaining your wisdom, befitting the state of mind it has reached, that is Nirvana.  There is the light that dawns, light comes out of your body and you live in that light.  There’s nothing call the body or mind.  The light is there.  And brothers and sisters, we can’t give any further instructions for him to meditate because he has reached the highest point.  But he must be cautious that he must preserve that condition.  He must not get unnecessary elated by “oh! I’m”, this I’m, that I’m, that “I” doesn’t come in there at all now, that those things he becomes a very humble person.  And the idea dawns to you I have done what I should do, I have completed my task.  I have nothing more to do.  That is the thought that arises in him.  And you would ask me a question, for instance, what is the frame of mind that he is in that condition now.  What is his normal life?  He will be very mindful.  He will not harm anybody even if you slap him and he will just smile and go away, he will never raise a hand to return that blow.  Somebody abuses him, he just smile and go away, he is not disturbed by that abuse.  If you have anything to give anybody, take, take, free to give thing.  And he derives pleasure out of that giving.  So the 3 qualities that you develop in that state is right thought.  What is the right thought?  No attachment, always feeling loving kindness and free from animosity and hatred.  The 3 thoughts referred to the right thinking,  ‘Nekkhamma, Avyapada Avihimsa”. Nekkhamma means there is nothing possess in you now.  You see in the giving of things which you own a great happiness.  Seeing another man happy.  Maybe the most valuable thing you possess if somebody wants it, you’ll never say no, take it.  In another words, there’s nothing you possess in this world.  You have finished possessing.  That which has got accumulated around you are all if somebody wants it, free to give, no possessiveness. You will not harm anybody, “avihimsa”. Even if somebody harms you, you will not harm anybody. “Avyapada”, there is no malice against anybody.  And the key, once in your behaviour, you’re a very very quiet person.  The mind completely turn inward, no world exists for you now; result of a creation by fix project of the mind outwards through the 6 sense bases.  You’re a peaceful being.  But you’ve to be mindful because the fifth, getting rid of your defilement and that is the fixed one is at your death.  So long as you maintain the body and the mind which are meant for the world, you have to be extremely careful, mindful. 

So you see, brothers and sisters, the 4 foundations of mindfulness preached by Buddha has clearly given you a path for you to follow.  The most difficult thing in this path is for you to develop yourself in samadhi, that is all.  And that can be done by a careful approach on in dealing with your mind, not to be too hasty, carefully.  You may have a lot of obstructions; you may have a lot of discouragement because you can’t fix the mind at one point, such things can happen, it may exist for sometimes, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks.  But attend to that peacefully.  And in my experience that’s the difficult aspect of this path, the fixing of the mind at one-pointedness because you have allowed the mind so much of freedom as a worldling.  The mind wishes to enjoy that freedom.  And any effort on your part to fix it at one point, it detests but constant application, patience and perseverance will ultimately be successful and the mind will comply with your requirement, fix it at one point and you can develop your absorptions accordingly.  So that is the last lecture on the 4 foundations of mindfulness.  And this description I give you, I should say not according to some of the interpretations given in the books, but more practical.  And you will see that Buddha has clearly shown us a path for our development.  And one would patiently follow that path, you are sure to gain your liberation in this world.  Just now this moment, you can attain Nibbana. 

Thank you very much.  






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