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23249Re: [dsg] Re: My time with A. Sujin, 1.

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  • nina van gorkom
    Jul 2, 2003
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      Dear Kio,
      op 29-06-2003 20:42 schreef suzakico op suzaki@...:

      > What I am curious first is to know your vivid, or perhaps inspiring
      > moment you had at the earlier/beginning years with A. Sujin. I read
      > some comment from the book on `daily life.' But more specifically,
      > how was your impression/learning from the first meeting? How
      > skillfully did she bring the technical matter/Abidhamma–if I may say
      > so- into the living/daily practice? Any specific event the you can
      > highlight? Even a tiny incident that brought the message to you –
      > verbally or behaviorally -may be very helpful.
      Nina:I met A. Sujin for the first time in the Wat Mahathaat temple where a
      foreign monk was teaching about the jhanafactors, and also helped us to read
      suttas. We read the Parinibbana sutta and the Kesaputta sutta (mostly called
      Kalama sutta). I was impressed that you do not have to accept anything from
      others, but have to find out the truth for yourself. A. Sujin kept rather to
      the background in this temple. I approached her and said that I wanted to
      learn about meditation that you can apply in daily life. My life was very
      busy, being in the diplomatic service. (In Japan the teachers at the
      language school (nihongo no gakko de) called me "Mrs Party". I felt there
      must something else in life, not just being engaged with parties. A. Sujin
      said, yes, vipassana can be developed in daily life, and she invited me to
      her house. From then on I came several times a week with many questions. I
      asked her about belief in God and how to find out the truth. She answered:
      what is truth will appear. She also helped me to see what is clinging,
      clinging to a belief. I had never considered this before. She said from the
      beginning that in the teaching of Dhamma, the person who teaches is not
      important, it is not the person but it is the Dhamma that matters.
      This was new also for Thais; in Asean countries there is a great respect for
      teachers (sensei!) and people tend to follow what teachers say, especially
      when they are bhikkhus. When teachers wrote about Dhamma in olden times they
      would not mention the source of their quotes. A. Sujin greatly contributed
      to a change in this mentality, always encouraging to looking up the texts
      oneself, verifying the truth for oneself. She started interest in the
      translations of Commentaries and promoted this. I remember our visits to the
      library of Wat Bovornives and our conversations with monks. A friend made
      notes and gradually Commentaries in Thai were printed.
      A. Sujin gave lectures in a temple every Sunday and quoted suttas. She asked
      a monk ahead of time about the Commentary to the relevant text. I tried to
      look up the suttas in my English editions.
      (This is all for now, it will be continued.)
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