So even though we are living in the monastery, we are still far away
from correct practice—very far away. When I went abroad I saw a lot of
things. The first time, I gained some wisdom from it to a certain
extent, and the second time to another extent. On my first trip, I made
notes of what I experienced in a journal. But this time, I put down the
pen. I thought, if I write these things down, will the people at home be
able to bear it?
It’s like us living in our own country and not being very comfortable.
When Thai people go abroad, they think they must have some very good
karma to have gotten there. But you have to consider, when you go to a
place that is strange to you, will you be able to compete with those who
have lived their whole lives there? Still, we go there for a little
while and we feel it is so great, and that we are some special kind of
people who have such good karma.
The foreign monks were born there, so does that mean they have better
karma than we do? This is the kind of ideas people get from their
attachment and grasping. What it means is that when people contact
things, they get excited. They like being excited. But when the mind is
excited it is not in a normal state. We see things we haven’t seen and
experience things we haven’t experienced, and the abnormality occurs.
When it comes to scientific knowledge, I concede to them. As far as
Buddhist knowledge goes, I still have something to tell them. But in
science and material development, we can’t compete with them…
In practice, some people have a lot of suffering and difficulty, but
they keep on in the same rut that has been making them suffer. That’s
someone who hasn’t made up his mind to practice and get to the end; it’
s someone who doesn’t see clearly.
The practice isn’t steady or continuous. When feelings of good and bad
come, the person isn’t aware of what is happening. “Whatever is
disagreeable, I reject”—this is the view (conceit) of the Brahmin.
“Whatever is pleasing to me, I accept.” For example, some people are
very easy to get along with if you speak pleasingly to them. But if you
say things that disagree, then there’s no getting along. That’s
extreme conceit (ditthi). They have strong attachment, but they feel
that’s a really good standard to live by.
事，我排斥。」 這是婆羅門的想法(見)。 「可意的事，我接受」，舉個例來說，
So the ones who will walk this path are few indeed. It’s not different
with us who live here; there are very few who have right view. Samma
ditthi, right view (kwam hen chorp): when we contemplate the Dhamma, we
feel it’s not right. We don’t agree. If we agreed and felt it were
right, we would give up and let go of things. Sometimes we don’t agree
with the teachings. We see things differently; we want to change the
Dhamma to be different from what it is. We want to correct the Dhamma,
and we keep working at that.
This trip made me think about many things… I met some people who
practice yoga. It was certainly interesting to see the kinds of postures
they could get into—I’d break my leg if I tried. Anyhow, they feel
their joints and muscles aren’t right, so they have to stretch them
out. They need to do it every day, then they feel good. I thought they
were actually giving themselves some affliction through this. If they
don’t do it, they don’t feel good, so they have to do it every day. It
seems to me that they are making some burden for themselves this way and
not really being aware.
That’s the way people are—they get the habit of doing something. I met
one Chinese man. He didn’t lie down to sleep for four or five years. He
only sat, and he was comfortable that way. He bathed once a year. But
his body was strong and healthy. He didn’t need to run or do other such
exercises; if he did, he probably wouldn’t feel good. It’s because he
trained himself that way.
So it’s just our manner of training that makes us comfortable with
certain things. We can increase or decrease illness through training.
This is how it is for us. Thus the Buddha taught to be fully aware of
ourselves—don’t let this slip. All of you, don’t have grasping
attachment. Don’t let yourselves be excited by things.
I was empty inside since somebody came and went..
I am empty inside since nobody comes and goes.....
I will be truly empty inside
When the day I set free from century-old attachment
and the day I no longer learn....