Chapter 09: Penance through Contemplation
May happiness be with relatives, patrons and Buddhist laity. The patrons have come to chant, pay homage to the Buddha and practice meditation. Do ask for defunct karma from creditors. Ask them to come to accept the merit transferred and forgive accordingly. We can then be rid of karma, danger and punishment. At the same time, we can be lucky, for a start.
The continuous chanting has the purpose of keeping the mind adhered to the virtues of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. The mind will be calm and cool like that of the sage, with uplifted thoughts. All wrong views can be diminished. We will receive the benefit of continuous chanting for our own good in this way.
The transferring of merit regularly has the purpose of expiating the karma for those who are indebted to the previous karma that we have recalled. We want to repay the karma in order to move on to the future. First and foremost, we know and understand to ask for forgiveness of all creatures. We will not create more vengeance, karma, danger, or take bad luck with us. It is called being empty – being rid of suffering. Then we can reach the great happiness, which is Nibbana.
So, we know that karma follows us. How can we expiate it? How can we realize when karma has overtaken us? How can we counter-act previous deeds? This is the first point. The second point is: do we have to serve the karma after expiation and are we creating new karma? How do we expiate future karma so as to be lucky, with good karma in the future?
Life in the future, we are unable to know. We can only know through one method, that is practising the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Practise until you have mindfulness and clear-consciousness. The practising yogi can only know through his own N~a-n.avithi- (Path of insight). It is personal to him who practises.
The word personal N~a-n.avithi- (Path of Insight) refers to the knowledge that produces fruitful results both in wisdom and capability to practise dhamma. The person can expiate his own karma. Such karma will not have bad effects in the future, definitely. A person who wants to improve himself until he can expiate his own karma has to practice the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Practise the contemplation of the body until one realizes both external and internal body well within one’s own mind. The celestial power of mind results in celestial Body. The word celestial in this case refers to realizing well within the mind about the external and the internal.
The first point, contemplation of the body, refers to the realization of the inner body. That is, it is just the body. It is not a being, a person, a self, I or you. There is a body in the body. The mind then realizes that all body movements depend on the mind only. The mind contemplates on standing, walking, sitting, lying down or turning, bending, stretching. There will be mindfulness and clear-consciousness to control the body. When the mind is clean and clear, it is called Internal Body. If the internal mind is clear, the external mind is clear too.
On the external, then the body moves, it moves slowly with 3 steps of movement. There is the stance wherever it moves, whether the body stands, walks, sits or lies down, there is rhythm, order and discipline, including volitional activities. Since we have a meritorious mind, good concentration and good mindfulness, we have good control over the mind. We will then realize the internal body or celestial body.
Realization of the internal body is done through the object of contemplation such as in noting ‘standing’ five times for example. We will realize the body outside and the natural state inside. Our mind will be cool and calm. We have control over our mindfulness. We are then persons of wisdom with clear and clean mind. It is purity. When the mind enters a pure state, we will know the state of our mind. This knowledge arises internally. It is called the internal body. It will be crystal clear to us. For example, “Right goes thus…Left goes thus”, you watch the movement of external body. This is called ‘natural form’. The form can move and change. Wherever it moves, it ends there. The mind then realizes the internal. Form and name are then separated. These are the external body and the internal body. The mind then realizes the state of name.
The word ‘state of name’ in this case refers to the subtle mind that realizes body movements with good manner and discipline, whereas the body moves according to the natural state. When the body speaks, it speaks with sweet, logical words. All these stem from the mind because the mind is the initiator. It can order the body to move and pick up anything.
When the internal body is mature, form and name can be separated. It is call the state of name. The ‘state of name’ in this case refers to ‘the known’ or ‘the realized’ or ‘the reasoned’. Once the mind of the practitioner is composed of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, it has a good mindfulness that can control the mind. It then realizes the internal body or the body inside.
One with good mindfulness and clear-consciousness is well aware all around, inside and outside. One knows if it is right or wrong. One understands clearly from head to tail. Then, this is called the internal body. There will be celestial power and celestial body. ‘Celestial body’ is this case refers to the state of form. When the form of moving body arises, exists and ceases, it occurs in our mind that it is merely the state of name. The mind in fact is also the state of name that has a qualification to realize the internal body or inside of the mind. It knows where to move and how to bend and stretch. There are 3 steps in the movement. But it can command the body clearly as to how to make each step. Suppose one is picking up a glass, one will be well composed and will not make a noise. This is because one knows the state of name. One has mindfulness to control over one’s mind. One then makes a refined movement. Even when putting down the spoon, plate, pan or jar, one does it neatly. This is called the internal body.
Realizing the movement of the body, contemplating on ‘picking up’ while picking up something and moving slowly before putting it down, is called realizing the inside. This realization of the inside is called ‘acknowledgement’. Since mindfulness and clear-consciousness are good, the awareness itself is ‘realizing the inside’. Understand clearly, knowing what is what and being proper at all times are the correct knowledge that is called celestial body.
This ‘celestial body’ means there is the state of form, the state of mind and mindfulness to control the movements in the state of form. This is called external body. Knowing clearly inside how to move the form, being neat in picking things up, knowing where to place them and how proper it is done are called internal body.
I will talk about the third point. It is not a being, a person, a self, I or you. This is ka-ya-nupassana- sat.ipattha-na (contemplation on the body). The body that understands the internal body is called mind. When the mind knows and has a correct understanding, it is called the state of name. This is the activity of the mind. Once the mind has accomplished its activity, it is clean and clear. When the mind is clean and clear, the body will not do dirty things. It will only speak proper words. This is the correct activity. This falls into the principle that the internal body is not a being, a person, a self, I or you. This is called kayanupassana satipatthana (the contemplation of the body). So what is the ‘not being, person, self, I or you’? It is the internal body. Realizing from the inside that nothing is a being or a person. You cannot feel it with your hand. Separate the form to one side. Separate the name to another side. Then you realize that the internal body inside is celestial body. You cannot see it. So, it is called the state of name that produces activities through form.
One will look lovely because one is glad. One will not look moroseful. One’s heart will not be saddened. The internal body has good mindfulness and clear-consciousness. It is fully aware and understands the body clearly. It realizes properness, thus.
When there is knowledge and clear understanding like this, it sees nothing of self. When someone scolds us, where exactly do they scold? What is body and what is mind? It separates into form and name. Body is one part. Mind is another. Once it disintegrates, there are only earth, water, wind and fire elements left. Liquid form in the body becomes water element. Hard form becomes earth element. Warmth form in the body becomes the fire element. Then coolness arises in mind and flickers, causing the wind to blow. You can feel this wind element deep down in the hair. So, only the four elements perform good deeds in the body and volitional activity dresses them. Where is the self then?
If we cling to the being of I and you, there is bound to be a fight. They scold me. Where is me? Find the ‘ me ’. Thus, it is said that there is no self, a being or a person in the one who has realized the internal body. If they scold, ‘who’ can be angry and ‘how’? For this reason, there is no anger, hatred or lust. There is only loving-kindness inside.
This is the one elucidation for the contemplation of the body, which is the internal body. It arises, exists and moves towards cessation. There is nothing solid; just merit in mind.
The other is the mental body. When we can separate the movement action of the mind, the total movement of the body is called ‘form’. When the mindfulness is good, it controls the mind inside. The mind knows of movements of hands, feet, bending and stretching of legs. The mind realizes that movements are properly done. Then neatness occurs and sullenness disappears. One realizes that it is name. So, the state that one’s mind is controlled by dhamma or mindfulness, it is called the state of name. If we can separate form and name according to ka-yanupassana- (the contemplation of the body), we will then realize that there is no self, them or us. Why do we have to be angry with them then? We are only angry with the self, hate the skin, the sweat, body dirt, earwax or mucus. That is not good. This kind of people is still attached to form, sensual desire and non-sense issue. They cannot separate the form and name. So, they cannot command themselves or use themselves. They cannot be rid of egotism. Since they cannot see the birth and cessation in the mind, they still do not know the truth, thus.
All dhamma practitioners please understand that you have to be mindful in every posture. You will appreciate the taste of dhamma. You will drink the taste of dhamma corporeally and mentally. This means that the practice makes us clearly realize and fully understand about body and self. It is just merely the existence of limbs or forms that exist for awhile and cease. It moves on like this, occurring and ceasing – day and night. How many thousands of times it ceases in the mind over a period is unknown. We then realize this food for thought as celestial body. Celestial power stemming from the mind causes celestial body. It blends body and mind together wherever we move. It can demonstrate the psychic power by making the physical body pass through a small hole when being excited, for one. Secondly it can pass through because the concentrated mind is blissful. Thirdly, when the mind is stupefied and lacks mindfulness the body can pass through a small hole. It is just an excitement and body alert, not mentally alert. The power of bliss can do this.
However, thorough knowledge on the corporeal side is difficult to acquire. The practitioner has to have a firm mindset on dhamma. When practicing the walking meditation, contemplate noting ‘right goes thus…left goes thus’. What is performing the stepping? The foot is. Where is the foot? Place the mindfulness at the foot. This becomes the ‘state of form’. On the outside, there is body posture. But the mind realizes when it contemplates noting ‘right…(realize before moving)…goes…thus.’ This is what we realize. Use mindfulness to control the mind like this.
When you know the correct rhythm of walking meditation and your mindfulness is very clear in your own mind, it knows if you make a long step or short one. It knows where you put your foot down. The mindfulness can really control the movement. This is then called ‘state of name’. The mind inside realizes movements of the body outside. The external body is clearly seen because the mindfulness inside informs the mind. Once the mindfulness is fully alert like this, body moves under control of contemplation. This contemplation, then, is the practice. It practices mindfulness to control the mind. It makes the mind go along the correct path. When you do walking meditation, you will be proficient in doing so. You will not stagger or feel the step is heavy, because there is neither a self, a person, I nor you.
If we cannot separate name and form thus, there will be dislike among each other. ‘That one is not good; this one is bad’, for example. If we realize the internal body, we will sympathize with each other. We realize that all people are alike. They are composed of the four elements, which can be explained in the group of 18 Dhatu (elements), 22 Indri-ya (faculties), 6 A-yatana (sense bases). Once we realize this, merit arises. We can then sip the taste of dhamma because we have a meritorious mind. Our mindfulness is good and clear-consciousness is also good. Wisdom then arises. We will then realize that we have no self.
Our name is merely appointed supposition. We are called a certain given name in order that others can call us. So, we can understand that they call us. That is all. So, naming has no real meaning in this sense. Whether the name is Black, White, Poor or Rich; it is there for others to know and call correctly. It is the appointed name for the purpose of calling. But being good does not depend on the name. Fame does not depend on the name. Fame is about the ‘state of name’. ‘State of name’ is the safeguard in life of those with celestial body.
Celestial power stems from the mind. The mind exhibits logic. If we have a clear and clean mind, once we realize the state of form and name, we can then separate it. What is the form? ‘Right…goes thus’. Right and left is the state of form or body. What knows that it is ‘goes thus’? The mind knows, together with mindfulness and clear-consciousness (Satima- sampaja-no) controlling it. There! It is clear. This is the moving form, the ‘state of form’. And what is the ‘state of name ’ then? When the mind realizes that right goes thus or left goes thus, long or short. Then the mindfulness controls it. Mindfulness improves. The mind is then blissful as well as proficient in meditation. This is called ‘the state of name’. We can separate this clearly.
Once we attain this, we can separate it on our own. It is not that the teacher teaches us to separate. We can separate it into celestial body or internal body. The external body is the form. The internal body is the mind, which is the name. Separate the form, body and volition. Volitional activities dress up defilements like lust, anger or ignorance. It causes lack of mindfulness and clear-consciousness. The mind flows downward. It is a pity that what is pleasing is not necessarily correct.
Once we can separate it, we then realize it on our own. We then know that there is nothing good in the body. There are only form, name and the five groups of existence as objects of concentration and nothing else. There is only an object of consciousness, which is the mind. The mind shows many ferocious appearances. It eats defilements as food, causing destruction to the self. Form and name can be easily separated through dhamma practice. Look at the movement of stretching out the arm and pulling it back. Do this slowly. You then realize that there are 3 steps in doing so. It occurs neatly in rhythm. The form is then separated. The name goes as the other side. Form, name and the five groups of existence or five aggregates are the objects of concentration in the contemplation of the body. Our mind will then be pleasant. We will not have self or any egoistic view anymore. To the question if there is anything, one can answer that there is form and name. There is no anger or blaming on anyone. Serve one’s own karma, if there is any. Then expiate one’s own karma. The Buddha has explained the Only Way for us to follow as such.
The word ‘self’ that one is attached to, causes a person to be angry with others and to punish others not oneself. This is because one cannot separate form and name. People nowadays are ignorant. They cannot separate form and name. So, they are still egoistic and cling to self, without knowing what exactly are the ‘them’ and ‘ us ’. So, people nowadays can be angry with each other easily, quarrel with others easily, as explained above. This is the wisdom stemming from recognizing the internal body.
Vedana-nupassana-(The contemplation of feelings)
On this second point, how do we separate feeling? In principle, there are 3 types of feeling: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral feeling.
When we practice contemplation of the body, we practice walking and sitting meditation, contemplating noting rising…falling. The abdomen rises and falls. The form rises and falls. When the concentration is good, wisdom arises. We know how much it rises and falls. What is the state of mind, long or short? The mind is the creator and the known. Whether wisdom arises depends on each practitioner.
When the mindfulness is good, rising and falling is clear and proficient, then the state of form and name arise. There is a rising and falling mind. Rising is form. Falling is also form. The mind that realizes this is name. Then mindfulness is stable and emotion is good. A‐na‐pa‐nasati (mindfulness on breathing) attains the rising and falling thus. When the mind improves, emotion also improves. The mind is then separated to be the state of name, knowing inside and outside of the whole body.
Then feelings (vedana-) mix in. In one moment you can be happy. In another, you can be sad. In one moment, the mind floats this way and that, lacking mindfulness and clear-consciousness. Happiness is also a feeling because it mixes with suffering. It is not permanent. So, it falls into the law of Aniccata- (impermanence), Dukkhata- (state of suffering) and Anattata- (non-self). On top of that, the painful feeling refers to suffering inside, outside, unsteady suffering or grief. Birth is suffering. Aging is suffering. Illness is suffering. Parting is suffering. It is a fruit of our deeds. This kind of suffering cannot become happiness. You cannot find everlasting happiness in this human world. Then we understand the meaning of ‘being happy’, ‘being glad’ or ‘being sorrowful’ for example. Establish mindfulness and keep contemplating. We then will realize what is happiness and what is suffering. The righteous and wrongful state can be realized in feelings. You feel sorry when you realize a bad deed.
When you suffer, others do not know. If you keep kindling it in your mind, anger and vengeance will occur to you. This is feelings (vedana). There is only suffering without happiness. If happiness occurs this hour, nothing ensures that you will not cry in the next hour. Nothing is certain. Because you cannot separate, you do not know that suffering is about to come around. People nowadays have plenty of permanent suffering, yet they invite temporary suffering into their minds. Sometimes, they suffer with things that are none of their business just because they are egoistic. So, they invite temporary suffering for that matter. When temporary suffering occurs, it loads on permanent suffering. Sorrow increases. Grief, sorrow and heartache occur to us. We then afix grief in our mind. Happiness cannot be found.
A person without dhamma usually inflames his heart with irrelevant temporary suffering. One has to bear with a lot of suffering already. We have to eliminate permanent suffering first. Once that is done, temporary suffering can be easily resolved. The unresolved permanent suffering is severe; temporary suffering is trivial. It piles onto the permanent suffering making it even heavier in your mind.
When monks perform the pamsukula rite, they say, “pancakkhandha rupakkhandho, vedanakakhandho.” (two of the five aggregates: form and feeling). This is very clear. But we have not taken the form, name and the five aggregates into consideration. When we take suffering into our mind, it is not in the form, name or five aggregates as objects of concentration. Then we mix permanent and temporary suffering. So everything is in chaos and can hardly be untangled. Supreme happiness cannot be attained. How can we eliminate suffering if we keep increasing it because we cannot separate the feelings (vedana). There is no need to explain here that once body (kaya) can be separated, feelings (vedana) can also be separated. What is the form and what is the name? Feelings (vedana) has to depend on the form to arise. If there is no form, feeling cannot arise. All the mental factors have volition as a constant factor.
The legs and bones still ache, inside and outside. This is mental formation. Then unpleasant feeling occurs to us at the body and in the mind. When the body aches, the mind is not at rest. But if we can separate the feeling and contemplate on it, ‘aching…aching’, when it aches a lot, we can see the suffering itself. Once we have seen suffering, it ends. What happens when suffering ends? Happiness occurs. Suffering is no longer there. When we can identify happiness and suffering, the mind is clear. It no longer clings to happiness or suffering anymore. It floats above impurities. The mind is then clean and clear.
When the body suffers pain, we have to set our mind on that pain. Setting the mind is an exercise. When the “Vedana- teacher” comes to give a lesson, we have to practice and realize that suffering. The outside suffering is not as important as the inside one. Body aches because it has form to dress it up. Volition depends on form to arise. It arises, exists and ceases. If we cling to it, we cling to suffering. If suffering ends, the aching also ends. The mind is then clear and no longer clings to anything anymore. The mind, then does not ache. The aching is separated as part of feeling (vedana). The state of name is put to another side. The mind does not attach to suffering. It will be elated. When we separate feeling on to one side, the aching disappears. It is aniccata- (impermanance), dukkhata- (the state of suffering) and anattata- (non-self), or, the “Tilakkhan ฺa ”. That is vipassana- (insight meditation). We then know that nothing is self. When self is not attached to the aching, there is no pain. That’s all there is to it. But people cannot attain it because they give up, instead of contemplating when a slight aching occurs.
A person can only know his own law of karma when he knows suffering well. When disintegration occurs, suffering can be realized. When suffering vanishes, the old karma from previous existences arrives. It will indicate clearly what we have done. This is important. I would like to leave it with the practitioner that you have to endure and force yourself against your own will so as to find the dhamma or form, name and the five aggregates as objects of concentration. If we do not force ourselves, letting our minds follow our will, there will be attachment. Then it clings to that point forever. We will not know the truth. Defilements will pile up. How can we be rid of suffering?
Coming to practice meditation should help you get away from suffering. Do no come to increase it. If you look for happiness, it will not come. Suffering is not permanent either. They are all impermanent, suffering and non-self, thus. So, when you are happy and feel well, you have to set mindfulness in order to control your mind. Then you will not be indignant or egoistic. You will not be angry with anyone. Although anger still arises, it subsides quickly. You will continuously acquire merit. This will be fruitful.
Some dhamma practitioners cannot separate form, name or vedana (Feeling). They keep compiling suffering, taking-in problems from north to south. The mind cannot enter the ‘current of purity’ at all. Even form and name cannot be separated, let alone vedana. It is even more difficult than form and name. Actually, vedana is a kind of form and name. Aching is suffering. What do you call each part? There are form and name of the aching because the mind also aches. In fact, the aching is one form of the volitional forms. So, it is a form. But the mind clings to it. That is name. So, this vedana has both form and name.
If the mind attains the insight meditation level, there will be the actualization of the five aggregates, form and name. Then Tilakkhana arises. Form can be separated. That is the form part of vedana, which is mixed with volitional activities. The mind is the separated. It does not feel the bodily aching anymore. The taste of dhamma will be accomplished then. The taste of dhamma that is sipped through vedana will endure all trials. We learn the law of karma from this difficulty. It’s all here.
Citta-nupassana-(The contemplation of mind)
The third point is the contemplation of mind. Why do we call it the contemplation of mind since the mind has no self? It is the nature of mind to think and consume the sense-objects, record them and present them. This is the mind. This kind of nature arises, exists and ceases continuously without our awareness. All things arisen have to change and cease. It is like this.
There are minds that wander astray. So, we have to contemplate noting ‘knowing…thinking’. This is the duty of the mind because the mind is of a nature that thinks of sense-objects. It realizes all sense-objects in the same way as a taperecorder. This is Citta-nupassana- satipat.t.ha-na (the contemplation of mind). It realizes the mind in the mind and the feeling in the feeling. The internal feelings are the state of name. The mind realizes how to separate. It separates form, name and the five aggregates of the feeling on to one side. The mind is separated to a state of name. The mind then is not interested in aching. Why do we have to ache? There is no self to ache. This is the internal feelings.
Normally, we are not aware or do not find the logic when the mind thinks of sense-objects. Mind in the mind means that it is just the mind. There is no being, person, self, I or you. When the mind realizes this, it can separate greed, anger, ignorance, ayatana (sense bases), dha-tu (elements) and indriya (faculties). Senseobjects cause the mind to arise. That is Citta-nupassana- (the contemplation of mind). Indri-ya causes the mind to arise at the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind. Practitioners, do not let these pass. You have to contemplate. When the eyes see an object, contemplate noting ‘ see…ing’. This is Cittanupassana. ‘Sound…sound’. The mind arises. When the nose smells an odour or the tongue realizes a taste or the body senses hot, cold, soft or hard, the mind arises. Which way does the mind arise? It arises from the body. It knows if it is hot or cold, soft or hard. This is the mind arisen from the body. The external mind just realizes it.
The mind in the mind refers to clear-consciousness. If the mind is full of mindfulness and clear-consciousness, it is then called the internal mind. It has no form. On top of that we have the mindfulness to control the mind. The internal mind then will not cling to the external mind. This is why we call them the internal mind and the external mind.
One who has clear-consciousness means that one has the mind inside the mind. One knows the moral principles, wisdom, his own calibre and the way of life. I would like to explicate further. You have to contemplate noting ‘knowing…thinking’. You may not know where the mind wanders. It can go for a walk outside the temple. It can go to sweetheart’s house. The mind can go all over the country and around the world. But if we know the inside, the mind will come to stay inside. This is wisdom. The mind will have wisdom and ability to work. This is the workshop on Citta-nupassana- (the contemplation of mind).
We have to contemplate on realizing and thinking because the mind has to think. The mind has to know. The mind has to understand. If the light arises as the path of dhamma, it is then the state of name. There will be light arising in the mind, which is wisdom. It can only be realized in our own mind. The mind realizes our emotions when greed or anger or ignorance enters. One has to contemplate even when the mind arises from the mentioned sense-base. Dhamma practitioners have to contemplate in every posture. A long-time practitioner can be very egoistic, collecting defilements instead of states of form and name. No benefit stems from such deeds.
Dhamma-nupassana-(The contemplation of mind-objects)
On the fourth point, the contemplation of mind-objects, we will realize meritorious and demeritorious deeds by ourselves because we can separate form and name. We will then separate what is wholesome or unwholesome action by way of the physical, verbal and mental. It will be clear in your mind at that moment that it is just the Dhamma (Nature) that is corporeal, verbal and mental action. Dhamma (Nature) is the value of life. Dhamma (Nature) is suffering not happiness. If we know the suffering clearly, we can eliminate it by the Four Noble Truths. When Dhukkha (suffering), Samudaya (cause), Nirodha (cessation) and Magga (path) arise to us; the mind then separates wholesome and unwholesome action. Physical misconduct, verbal or mental misconduct stems from unwholesome action. Physical right conduct, verbal or mental right conduct stems from wholesome action. The wholesome and unwholesome actions are clear in the mind. It can be realized by one ’s self. Others cannot realize it for one. It is only we who know when have we done bad conduct. It is only we who know what is wholesome and what is not. What is the suffering in our mind like? These are called meritorious and demeritorious actions. Corporeality, sensation, perception, volitional activities and consciousness are here. This is the Vipassana-bhu-mi (insight level), the foothold of dhamma practitioners. We have to understand the practical side of the context, not just only according to the book. When we listen to the chanting of the seven chapters of the Higher Doctrine, there is a context about Citta (mind), Cetasika (mental state), Ru-pa (form) and Nibba-na. But dhamma practitioners have to practise meditation until they realize clearly what is Citta, Cetasika, Ru-pa or Nibba-na.
Nibba-nam. paramam. su๑๑am. . Nibba-na has to be rid of defilement, which is the destruction of mind. Nibba-na has to be free from defilement and desire in order that supreme happiness can arise. That is Nibba-nam. paramam. sukkham. . Other happiness cannot be equal to Nibba-na because Nibba-na is totally free of defilement and desire. It is Citta (mind), Cetasika (mental state), Rupa (form) and Nibba-na as mentioned. It is somewhere simple, yet secretive only.
The past karma can be realized from Vedana (feelings). Karma from previous existences, last year or ten years ago, can be realized from Vedana-.
The present karma that we want to be defunct karma can be expiated by contemplation, for example, ‘sound…they scold us’. Contemplate until there is no vengeance anymore. This is penance in the present.
Previous karma cannot be expiated. You have to repay the debt. It is like when I broke my neck. I realized my previous karma from Vedana- stemming from practicing the contemplation of feelings. When Vedana- (feelings) arises, contemplate until it separates itself into parts. Then suffering disappears, replaced by happiness. The mind is clear. In this way I know the law of karma in the past, that I had taken the lives of animals or kill birds, for example. It is personal to me.
The present karma will cause the future. This means that karma occurs in the present. For example, when we see a person approaching, we happen not to like him, feeling sick of his sight, it is then recorded for the future. Our mind will certainly be tarnished one day. Can we expiate this? Yes, we can. Expiating the present karma by contemplating noting ‘seeing…seeing? I do not like this person. I hate him.’ Expiate it in order that there will be no future. Contemplate noting ‘seeing…’, then the form and name are separated. What is the form? A person walking is the form. What sees? The eyes see. What knows? The name knows. Is the sight form or name? The eye is a form. The sight of a person is a form. But the mind that realizes who is walking is the name. The way to undo the present in order to prevent the future is to contemplate noting ‘seeing…seeing’.
When you are not satisfied with any person, anger arises. Contemplate noting ‘being…angry ’ in order to expiate the karma in order to prevent it from spreading into the future. Set the mindfulness at the chest bone and contemplate noting ‘being…angry ’. Take form and name as the objects of concentration. Separate the sight of that person to one side. Then separate the anger of the mind to another side. So, where is the self you are angry with? Who is the self? Oh! Mr. A. is the self. Feel him. He only has form and name, body and mind. Then your own mind will be changed to the great wholesome mind. The wholesome root of your mind arises. Then your mind will be clear. Anger will drop away, vanishing away before your own eyes. Nothing is hidden in your mind any longer. Your anger will not continue on until tomorrow, the day after or next year.
This is the way to expiate present karma in order to prevent it from happening in the future. Extinguish the fire at the beginning. Extinguish the fire that will spread into the innate character of the mind. Danger will not occur in the future. This means that when you see a person you do not like walking along and you are angry with him, he will be angry with you. When you are angry and sick of his sight, it is like you are angry and sick of your own sight. It increases your own karma. If we cut off the karma by forgiving, by contemplating noting ‘being…angry ’, wisdom, mindfulness and clear-consciousness will teach you. Then you will realize the arising, existing and ceasing at your own eyes. Form, name and the five aggregates become the object of concentration. The form of a walking person has no self that you can hate. Any love, anger, greed or ignorance vanishes. There is only form and name walking.
Our eye is also a form, comprising an eyeball. Can it be the same? There are the outside form, inside form, mental form, and abstract form. Wisdom separates them. We are no longer angry with them anymore. This is how to undo the present karma to prevent it from spreading into the future. But the past karma cannot be expiated. You have to repay it, although you can repay less. When you know that you have the karma, you can ask for pardon. If it is granted, you can repay 50 baht for a 100 baht karma debt. If your wholesome action increases, you may receive more defunct karma. Maybe you can repay 10 baht for a 100 baht karma debt.
Most important, there is no interest.
“Interest” in this case is the collection of karma. Old debt has not been fully serviced yet; a new one is incurred. Why do people keep piling up karma? Do not do so. All righteous people, forgive each other and the karma will not recur in the future. Stop being angry or indignant with each other. Keep good relations for the future’s good turn. Your mind will then be uplifted from your own action. This is expiating present karma to prevent it from spreading into the future.
‘Sound’, have you scolded me? Yes. Oh! Sound and me are different. My ears and your mouth are apart. You can scold at yourself. But the scolding doesn’ t touch me or myself. Where is the self? I cannot feel it. Arising, existing and ceasing at the ears, take the five aggregates, form and name as object of concentration. The sound is then dropped. The sound is different from the ear. It is far apart. When our mind does not take it, it is a defunct karma. No matter how bad you have been scolded, you will not be angry. This is expiating present karma to prevent it from spreading into the future. It is like the fire of lust, anger and ignorance that is burning at present. Extinguish it. The fire will not spread into the future. If we do not put it out, the fire will spread. We will no longer cause karma. We will set our mindfulness firmly. This is Satima- sampaja-no. Dedicate yourselves to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Perform the duty according to the karma from your own deeds.
The previous karma has to be expiated through penance. If Vedana- (feelings) arises, endure it. Endure the outside suffering, inside suffering, grief and happiness. Do not take irrelevant suffering to mix with them, lest you cannot find the end to suffering. If you cannot get rid of suffering you cannot attain the Supreme Happiness, which is Nibba-na.
Realize now, we know that we should not have been angry with him at all. Why do we have to vow vengeance on him? Why do we have to harbour revenge? Then loving-kindness is clear to us. We extend loving-kindness to everybody. Well wishing is auspicious in life. If well wishing exists in any household, that house is auspicious and rich. When the owner thinks of silver, silver floods in; think of gold, gold streams in. People will live happily in that house.
I have given the explanation about meditation to help people know the law of karma and expiate karma by contemplation. Previous karma has to be expiated through penance. Vedana- (feelings) will arise, exist and cease. We will know what karma we have made. Expiating present karma can be done by contemplating on the A-yatana (sense-base), Dha-tu (slement), Indri-ya (faculties) and task so as to end them. Let them incur no longer. The fire of lust, anger and ignorance are extinguished and will not spread into the future. The mind is then firm in the real essence of Buddhism. It is firm in the right action with loving-kindness and well wishing toward each other, not war. People will enhance good actions toward each other that are truth, loving-kindness, unity and discipline. Dignity then occurs to one ’s self and ceases, leaving the five aggregates, form and name as object of concentration. Previous karma can be expiated by repayment because it cannot be eliminated wholly. But do not make new karma. Expiate present karma through sense-base, element and faculties by stopping it. Do not let it be aflame with lust, anger and ignorance in the mind. Separate the mind. Take form, name and the five aggregates as object of concentration. Recognize the state of form and name, which are corporeality, feeling, perception, volitional activities and consciousness. The mind is then pleased as wisdom arises. The light, which is the Noble Path, shines to let us make a safe journey. Since we have wisdom we cannot go astray and everyone can arrive at Nibba‐na.
On the 14th of October 1989, for more than 10 years, from 14th October 1978 up to now, I always present Sanghadhana transferring merit to karmic creditors, commemorating the day I broke my neck on the 14th October 1978. I make merit so as to ask for defunct karma from karmic creditors, asking them not to harbour revenge anymore because I overlooked the karma in the past. I took the lives of many animals. Let all beings that lost their lives from my deeds please give me pardon. Let all of you give defunct karma so that the karma debt will not continue. Defunct karma is like a car running out of petrol. It no longer runs to bad action. We are like cars running out of petrol. When the fuel runs out, the karma ends. I would like to congratulate you on the merit that all meditators have made, both monks and laity. The meditation logic and explanation that I have giving are true. It will truly bear fruit as indicated. Expiate previous karma through penance. Expiate present karma on the spot by not making it spread further. Cut off all karma by contemplating all around the sense-base, elements and faculties, which normally occur to us. Take the five aggregates, form and name as object of concentration. It will certainly work.
May happiness and good fortune bless all righteous people.
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