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Re: [SanghaOnline] Awareness of Thoughts

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  • Khammai Dhammasami
    Dear Betnoit, I hope you get a clearer picture by now that both Ven. Khemissara and myself shared some of our own expereinces with you. When it comes to
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 20, 2002
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      Dear Betnoit,

      I hope you get a clearer picture by now that both Ven. Khemissara and myself
      shared some of our own expereinces with you.

      When it comes to thoughts, an English word "train of thoughts" convinces us
      something. The word indicates that thoughts arise in a process, much similar to
      a train with many compartments. As an on-looker far away from the railway, we
      are likely to see all separate compartments as one. This is because our
      eye-sight is weak. The process of observing thoughts is not unlike an on-looker
      watching a bullet train that passes by so quickly.

      So it is hard for us to determine when and how thoughts arise before concentration is fully developed.

      With the practice, you will come to see a certain pattern of thought. For
      instance, if you have anxiety about your work, it is likely that thoughts
      arising in your mind are related to your work. Anxiety causes thoughts to
      occur in a certain pattern. Nevertheless, they may not appear to you that
      way, but rather as fragmented ones that have hardly anything to do with each
      other. So reality and appearance may differ at this stage. So when this happens
      it is not advisable to form any opinion on how the mind works. Our task is to
      watch and watch like some body who watches television without getting involved
      in what he sees on the screen.

      This practice of control and detachment will then help you see more and more
      clearly how and when thoughts arise. The Suttas invite us to verify and we
      must do it.

      As Ven. Khemissara has pointed out thoughts in the past and future are not
      hard to be known. But this is not to deny that the past and the future can become objects of thoughts (dhammarammana). Expereinces in the past and in the
      future may become objects of present mental state. This is what reflection
      (patissati/ paccavekkhana in Pali) means.

      A simple way, to me, to reach the above mentioned stage is to use "noting
      technique" that lables each tought as it arises. This technique has been taught
      by two two famous meditation teachers in Burma, the late Mingun Sayadaw and his
      illustrious pupil, the late Mahasi Sayadaw. There may be other ways,however,
      to achieve the same result. Like Ven. Khemissara, I come from the Mahasi
      tradition, and am familiar with the Mahasi teachings more than anything else.

      Once we are able to see thoughts as occuring in a process, then it will be closer to see the nature of thoughts, how and when they arise. The ability to
      see cause and effect in thought process may arise at this point. We can discuss
      more of it then at that time.

      For the moment, as to the question of when and how thoughts arise, much may
      depends on individual experience, which again is determined by the state of
      concentration. So long you keep your mind open, so long you try to free your
      mind from pre-conceived ideas, it is to be expected that your mindfulness practice will proceed well.


      With Metta,

      Ven. Dhammasami
    • Ashin Acara
      Dear Benoit Thanks for your questions According to Buddhism we must support our parents not only physically but also spiritually.The Buddha advised us to
      Message 2 of 6 , May 4, 2002
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        Dear Benoit
        Thanks for your questions
        According to Buddhism we must support our parents not
        only physically but also
        spiritually.The Buddha advised us to support our
        parents to get higher spiritual stage. Chinese way of
        supporting parents is partially what the Buddha
        meant.
        For your second question in Singalovada Sutta the
        Parents also have five duties toward their children as
        parents will reciprocate: they will restrain them from
        evil, support them in doing good, teach them some
        skill, find them a sutaible wife or husband, and in due
        time, hand over his inheritance to them. Doing these
        duties means they respect the children. Parents
        respected since mother
        avoided eating hot and sour food during pregnancy.Also they took care of
        children since they didn't know what the child is male
        or female.parental lovingkindness changed red blood to
        white as milk.You should focus on what the M.O.T.H.E.R
        means. These are how parents respected the children.
        According to your question that parents mistreated to
        children " is lack of parent's child development
        education not by reverence. Parent's reverence and
        respect toward children is 100 times the
        children respect toward parents. There is nothing more
        to say to mention to respect children because it
        is very clear parents respected and revered children
        with endless love (ananda metta). This is very clear
        that even animals we can see. According to Buddhism
        'whatever a couple enjoy sensual craving,parent is
        parent. We can't say no father or mother. If we say it
        is materiallism and wrong view.

        Therefore,we should treat each other with five duties
        of parents and five duties of children.

        With Metta
        Ven Acara
        --- Benoit Santerre <benoit_santerre@...> wrote:
        > Dear Venerable Sayadaws,
        >
        > I have two questions regarding proper conduct
        > towards
        > parents. In his advice to lay people in Singalovada
        > sutta, the Buddha says we must support our parents.
        > Does that mean simply helping them when they need or
        > give them money regularly no matter what the
        > situation
        > is? Chinese must give money regularly to parents
        > even
        > when they live by themseleves with a husband or
        > wife,
        > and children (i.e. no longer supported by parents).
        > Is
        > this what the Buddha meant?
        >
        > My second question is as follow. There seems to be a
        > strong emphasis in Asia (and in Asian Buddhist
        > discourse) on reverence towards one's parents. Very
        > good! But what about reverence towards one's
        > children?
        > Given that children who suffer mistreatment by their
        > parents (be it verbal or physical), which is quite
        > common in our world, have a big chance to suffer a
        > lot
        > from this psychologically for the rest of their
        > life,
        > it should be very important that parents also
        > respect
        > and revere their children. Why is it not mentioned
        > that reverence to children also lead to the deva
        > world? Or that the view 'there is no children' is as
        > much a wrong view as the view 'there is no mother
        > nor
        > father'? Children are born in the world because
        > couples enjoy sensual craving. Don't they have a
        > huge
        > responsibility for this? As a psychiatric social
        > worker student working also in family therapy, I see
        > too much people suffering from parental
        > mistreatment,
        > and much less suffering from their children's
        > mistreatment. Is it fair to say that discourses on
        > parent-children relations lack a balanced
        > perspective?
        >
        > My question is long but a simple exposition of how
        > parents and children should treat each other
        > according
        > to Dhamma would be very satisfying to me.
        >
        > Thank you,
        >
        > Highest reverence to the Noble triple Gem.
        >
        > Benoit
        >
        >
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      • Benoit Santerre
        Dear Venerable Sayadaws, In your opinion, can practicing martial arts (e.g. kung-fu, kick-boxing) be a hindrance to one s meditation practice/ walking the
        Message 3 of 6 , May 21, 2002
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          Dear Venerable Sayadaws,
          In your opinion, can practicing martial arts (e.g.
          kung-fu, kick-boxing) be a hindrance to one's
          meditation practice/ walking the Noble Eightfold Path?
          Thank you,
          Benoit

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