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23694Re: [dsg] Re: My time with A. Sujin 8.

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  • nina van gorkom
    Jul 27, 2003
      Dear Kio,
      here is the last of my series. Unless you have more questions :-)
      op 29-06-2003 20:42 schreef suzakico op suzaki@...:

      > Such insight will enable us to become
      > aware of what is going on – in terms of cause and effect
      > relationship to see the cause of suffering, etc. Such cause and
      > effect relationship lead to the experiential understanding of four
      > noble truths. So, practicing the `process' (may I also say, sila-
      > samadhi-panna?) will lead to elimination of suffering.

      My Time with A. Sujin. 8.
      My husband and I took part of many excursions with A. Sujin and other
      friends whenever we visited Thailand again. We went to nature reserves in
      the north of Thailand, to Nakom Phanom and other places in the provinces.
      For our Dhamma discussions A. Sujin always tries to arrange for pleasant
      surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere. With the help of her sister Khun Jeed
      and our friend Khun Duangduen she sees to it that we have delicious and
      well-balanced meals. There is no end to their hospitality. The right climate
      and suitable food can be favourable conditions for the citta that develops
      right understanding. During our visits to Thailand and during our
      pilgrimages to India we discussed Dhamma and whenever we talked about
      personal problems in daily life, she would give us the most practical
      advice. This helped us to see our problems in the light of the Dhamma. When
      we discussed deep subjects of the Dhamma such as the Dependent origination
      and the four noble Truths, she would always relate these to our daily life.
      We read in the Tipiìaka about the four noble Truths: dukkha, the cause of
      dukkha which is craving, the cessation of dukkha which is nibbåna and the
      way leading to the cessation of dukkha, which is the eightfold Path.
      A. Sujin stressed that we should not have merely theoretical understanding
      of the four noble Truths. Dukkha and the cause of dukkha pertain to our life
      at this moment. The way leading to the cessation is the development of right
      understanding of the realities appearing at this moment. When insight has
      been developed stage by stage nibbåna can be attained.
      We read in the "Kindred Sayings" (V, 420, Dhamma-Cakkappavattana vagga, §1),
      that the Buddha said, ³in short, the five khandhas are dukkha². When the
      arising and falling away of nåma and rúpa , thus their impermanence, is
      realized, dukkha can be understood. What falls away immediately is not worth
      clinging to, it is dukkha.
      We have to develop insight stage by stage. We have to develop understanding
      of hardness when it appears through the bodysense during all our activities
      in daily life. We do not have to think, this is hard, and we do not have to
      think of the place where it touches; its characteristic can be known when it
      appears. Gradually we can learn that the characteristic of nåma is
      different from the characteristic of rúpa. When we take nåma and rúpa as a
      whole, the arising and falling away of nåma and rúpa as they appear one at a
      time cannot be realized. They can not be realized as dukkha and we shall
      continue to take them for a person or a thing that exists.
      Craving, the cause of dukkha, arises time and again and it causes us to
      continue in the cycle of birth and death. A. Sujin reminded us to be aware
      of clinging at this moment. We should know when there is clinging to
      awareness, to having a great deal of understanding. If we do not realize
      such moments we do not follow the right Path. Intellectual understanding of
      the fact that each reality arises because of its own conditions can help us
      to follow the right Path, and then we shall not be inclined to try to select
      particular realities as objects of mindfulness and try to make mindfulness
      arise. It arises because of its own conditions. She said, ³Awareness is like
      an atom in a day², meaning that there are not many moments. How could this
      be otherwise; we have accumulated such a great deal of ignorance.
      We are in the cycle of birth and death, and during this cycle, cittas arise
      and fall away, succeeding one another. Each citta that falls away conditions
      the arising of the following citta, and in this way all wholesome and
      unwholesome qualities of the past have been accumulated from moment to
      moment. Even so all wholesome and unwholesome qualities that arise at the
      present are accumulated and they will condition our life in the future. When
      ignorance arises today, it does so because it is conditioned by past moments
      of ignorance, even during aeons. When understanding arises today, it does so
      because it is conditioned by past moments of understanding. Even if there is
      a short moment of right understanding now, it is not lost, it is accumulated
      and thus there are conditions for its arising later on. A. Sujin said that
      this is like saving a penny a day, which can become a big fortune.
      During all our journeys and visits to Thailand she stressed that the four
      noble Truths are realized in different phases. First there should be firm
      understanding of what the object of right understanding is and how right
      understanding should be developed. This is the first phase (sacca ñåna,
      understanding of the truth). When understanding of the truth, the first
      phase, is firmly established, one will not deviate from the right Path, that
      is, right awareness and precise understanding of the characteristic of the
      reality that appears. The first phase is the foundation of the practice,
      which is the second phase (kicca ñåna, understanding of the task). This
      again is the foundation of the realization of the truth (kata ñåna,
      understanding of what has been done).
      I remember that we were walking in India with one of the Thai monks and that
      A. Sujin was repeatedly stressing these three phases. Hearing the Dhamma
      again and again helps us to remember what was explained and to reflect on
      it. When we read about the four noble Truths we may not realize that they
      can only be understood and applied in different phases and that we can begin
      right now. A. Sujin would always remind us that there is seeing at this
      moment. We do not have to be in a quiet place to understand seeing; there is
      seeing no matter where we are. Seeing can gradually be known as a reality
      that experiences only what appears through the eyes, visible object. This is
      the beginning of the first phase of understanding the four noble truths.
      The Buddha taught the development of understanding of our life at this very
      moment. The Abhidhamma is not technical, not theoretical, it teaches about
      citta, cetasika and rúpa, realities arising all the time. I am most grateful
      to A. Sujin for pointing out to us time and again that we should understand
      our life at this very moment. What she explained is completely in conformity
      with the Buddha¹s teachings.
      Nina.
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