Authentic Buddhist Teachings

  1. Ajahn Dhammasiha uses the simile of a sewage treatment plant to describe the process of mental purification through meditation. First the water has to be slowed down, to allow the lighter particles to float to the surface, and the heavier particles to sink to the ground. Then they are skimmed off from the surface, and taken away from the bottom.
    Similar, in meditation the mind first has to be slowed down through the practice of samatha/samadhi/calm. Then we contemplate whatever issues rise from the subconscious mind to the surface of our awareness with wisdom, to skim them off and abandon them. The heavier stuff deep at the bottom of our mind represents the 'anussaya', the most deep-rooted attachments and delusions. Once the mind is very calm in deep samadhi, they can be identified and removed through profound insight in the 4 stages of awakening: Streamentry, Once-Returning, Non-Returning, and Arahantship.

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  2. Ajahn Dhammasiha explains 'Loving Kindness' meditation ('Mettā'). Loving Kindness is the intention of unconditional, non-judgemental goodwill to all conscious beings.

    We start by generating this intention to just one being that we find most easy to feel sympathetic towards. Once the intention becomes strong in our mind, we notice a very pleasant feeling, a wholesome, uplifting emotion that is connected with the intention of goodwill. We build up that feeling, that emotion, until it becomes sufficiently stable that we can direct it to more and more beings, neutral and even difficult ones, until we extend limitless loving kindness to all beings without distinction, and throughout the whole universe.

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  3. Ajahn Dhammasiha relates a beautiful story from Sakka Samyutta (Samyutta Nikāya, 11. Sakkasamyutta, #22 "Ugly" = Connected Discourses of the Buddha, page 338).

    An ugly, disgusting little daemon once dared to sit down on the throne of Sakka, the king of the Tāvatimsa Devas. When the other devas notice that, they become upset, irritated and angry. But the more they complain and express their displeasure to the daemon, the stronger and more powerful the daemon becomes.

    Fortunately, when Sakka himself arrives, he realizes that it is an anger-eating daemon. So he approaches the ugly daemon with exquisite friendliness, with utmost respectful and polite gestures. The result is that the daemon gets weaker and smaller with each kind word, and finally vanishes completely.

    There's a profound metaphorical meaning in this story: The more we respond to anger with anger ourselves, the stronger the anger will become in all those involved. Anger feeds on itself, angy retaliation only leads to anger becoming stronger and stronger. The only way to conquer anger is through non-anger, through kindness, compassion and equanimity

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  4. Before his enlightenment the Buddha almost died, while he was pushing ascetic practices to the very limit. Fortunately, a revolutionary insight saved his life: Not all pleasure has to be rejected. Only sensual happiness or any form of pleasure connected with unwholesome phenomena is an obstruction, but the spiritual happiness that is beyond sensuality has to be deliberately developed as a support on the path to Nibbāna.

    The Buddha referred primarily to the rapture & bliss that can be experienced in Samādhi, but there are other forms of spiritual happiness that we can develop even at the less advanced stages of our practice: Generosity; Rejoicing in the generosity of other beings; Paying respect & expressing devotion to those worthy of respect; Noble Friendship; Listening to and studying the Dhamma; Developing Virtue ('Anavajja Sukha = Blameless Happiness'); Sense Restraint ('Avyāsekha Sukha'='Unsullied Happiness') ...

    Ajahn Dhammasīha encourages us to devolop these manyfold forms of non-sensual, spiritual happiness. He explains how we use mindfulness to recognize and correctly identify which feelings are wordly and which are spiritual ('Satipaṭṭhāna', 'Vedanānupassanā'='Contemplation of Feelings'), and then deliberately develop only the spiritual happiness.

    Rather than being stuck on the misleading adage "No pain, no gain", we follow the Buddha's advice and develop happiness by means of pleasure, - only that it has to be the right kind of pleasure. ('Sukhena sukhaṃ adhigantabbaṃ'='Gaining happiness by means of happiness')

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  5. After a guided meditation on Compassion, Ajahn Dhammasīha highlights once more the most important points to develop compassion successfully. Compassion is simply the wish, the wholehearted intention for other beings to be freed from whatever suffering they may experience.

    To develop compassion, we start by cultivating empathy, the ability to feel sympathetically what other beings experience, in this case in particular what forms of suffering they experience. However, compassion does not end with empathy, because else it could lead us into sadness or even depression, when we fully open up to the manyfold hardships other beings undergo. Once we are able to percieve or imagine the pain others experience, then we focus on the wish that they may be freed from that very pain. This intention is the essence of compassion, it is an utterly wholesome and beneficial intention, which doesn't pull us down, but induces an uplifting, positive mindstate even in the face of abysmal suffering that we perhaps may occasionally witness.

    The miracle of compassion is that it can turn around the unwholesome responses to suffering, like ignoring, denying, or else feelings of pity or even shock, disgust & depression, into an utterly beneficial emotion. A beneficial emotion that is so wholesome and positive that it can even lead us into deep samādhi.

    The connected guided meditation is here: vimeo.com/182475538

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Authentic Buddhist Teachings

Dhammatalks Plus

Ever wondered what the Buddha really taught himself?

Then this channel is right for you: Inspiring teachings by Ajahn Dhammasiha, an experienced senior monk, who has trained for many years in the meditative Forest Tradiition of Ajahn Chah, and has…


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Ever wondered what the Buddha really taught himself?

Then this channel is right for you: Inspiring teachings by Ajahn Dhammasiha, an experienced senior monk, who has trained for many years in the meditative Forest Tradiition of Ajahn Chah, and has extensively studied the word of the Buddha in the original Pali language.

He will give us Dhamma as it really is; not catering to contemporary fashions, trends & preconcieved notions, but presenting the Dhamma-Vinaya as it was taught by the Buddha himself to his direct disciples, and then sustained by the enlightened masters of the Forest Tradition for 2½ millenia.

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