Friday, December 16, 2016

The 7 Factors of Awakening (2)

Listen deeply to the following Dharma talk on The 7 Factors of Awakening by Thay Phap Dang.
The followings are excerpts from the podcast.

(from 16:00)
So, if we are practicing mindfulness, we are on the right track. Nothing to be confused. Nothing to be worried about. Sometimes we have learned this very important practice (mindfulness) from Thay and from the Buddha, but for a while we begin to feel like we are not trust, we are not confident in our practice. Because the way Thay makes the practice is so simple. And we thought that it (mindfulness) doesn't work. Something simple, it doesn't work. Something sophisticated, something mystic, it will work because the enlightenment is something high. So, that is a trick that we easily fall into a trap of doubt (maybe this doesn't work for me). Exactly like what I did when I was at a monastic after 4 years. 

(from 17:18)
And mindfulness, anybody knows mindfulness and you already practice mindfulness, it's also like an enlightenment, not an idea. It's not a notion. It's not a thought. Mindfulness is the energy you can do it, you can generate. Mindfulness is the spiritual energy that we like with it. You can define as the clear awareness that you can see, you can hear, you can feel. And you can really touch this energy. So, this is the right teaching, right practice of the Buddha who passed on his disciples and now it comes to us. So, I'd like to share with you like this, so that you would have faith in your own practice

(from 18:27) Mindfulness is defined as body and mind come together. One breath, breathing-in, and if we are aware of the in-breath from the beginning to the end, that is mindfulness. You know it. You can feel the energy. And mindfulness is not just the breathing, the way of breathing. Mindfulness is also to see the flower. You see the flower. That's exactly like that. That's mindfulness. You feel the wind resting your body. And that feeling that (?) of the refreshing of the wind. That is also mindfulness. And you walk in the nature. You feel the sunshine on your face, your shoulder.That is also mindfulness. It's the spiritual energy. It's very clear in our mind. It's a clear awareness. It's the essence of the Buddha. People talk about the Buddha nature. But this is the real Buddha nature. You can touch it. It's not a thought. ... 

Mindfulness is something that the Buddha really did almost every day and his monks were practicing every day. The steps feel the earth. That is mindfulness. So, mindfulness sometimes does not come from the head (brain). Mindfulness comes from the bodyYou know, more like you feel it, you touch it, experience it. Not above for sure. So, actually thinking about mindfulness, is not mindfulness.

(from 21:05)
That's why there is a state of Dhyana, the second state of Dhyana. There is no thinking. I said thinking is confusing. Thinking is taking us away from life. We are sitting there, thinking a lot of things. And the flower right in front of us, we don't see it. 

(from 25:10)
So, mindfulness is that mind goes back to the body and stays in the present moment. Mindfulness is that you do whatever you have to feel it. It sounds simple but it takes a lot of training because our mind likes to do many things at a time. Multi-tasking. Our mind likes to run away into the distant, into the past, into the future. Our mind is very good at thinking and planning. And the Buddha said that our mind is like a white horse running and running. 

(from 26:55)
The Buddha said the horse is like our mind. Training mindfulness is actually the training of mind to come to play of stopping, stop running, stop even thinking. It's nothing wrong with thinking. But we think too much. Most of thinking is not productive. And most of our thinking is very negative. It has a lot of anxiety and fear in it. A worry.

So, mindfulness is just to be. Just do one thing at a time. ... Really just to be. Because our mind is very crazy. So, just to be is a training, not easy at all. Training a horse, the horse within, is mindfulness.

(from 34:28
The second enlightenment factor is the investigation of the Dharma. So, the Buddha was very clear in defining enlightenment. The first is mindfulness, to come back to oneself to be in the present moment. The body and mind come together. So, without mindfulness, no enlightenment. O.K.? For sure. So, moment to moment awareness. Mindfulness is real enlightenment. Real life!

(To be continued)

(My commentary)
Mindfulness is to stop thinking. When we concentrate on our action (intransitive action such as breathing and walking is the best to stop thinking because the objective, or the object of mind is not required.), we can stop thinking and awareness automatically revives upon non-thinking. Then we (awareness) can touch the wonders of life and the true nature of reality inside and around us. So, we can attain insight and generate love and compassion anytime. As a result, our mind is always calm and clear, which brings about peace, joy and happiness. However, this stage is still the temporary enlightenment, not the full enlightenment through the extinction of all notions.

In order to be mindful by stopping thinking, we need to understand the root cause of our fear and insecurity through insight. That's because we can't stop thinking unless we understand the root cause. And I understand that conscious breathing or walking is helpful for stopping thinking temporarily and attaining insight of the root cause of suffering as a supplemental method. But conscious breathing or walking is not so easy for those who have fear and insecurity. That's because it's very difficult for them stop thinking even during conscious breathing or walking.

Thích Nhất Hạnh

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