Wise Sayings of Luangta Maha Boowa
“Everything in the world is constantly changing. Please understand this principle clearly. Nothing ever remains the same in a world of constant change. Our minds are no exception. Thoughts and emotions are changing so often that no certainty can be found in them. Only an earnest meditator is able to keep up with these subtle changes and investigate in detail how the mind moves from external sense impressions to internal thought processes. Only a meditator can contemplate those conditions in a comprehensive manner until the truth of the mind’s activity is thoroughly understood. When the truth is comprehended with total clarity, the mind then lets go of those conditions. Having seen the truth and let go, the mind remains true according to its own nature. Conditions like impermanence, suffering and not-self lead the mind into speculation about the truth. When the mind knows its own true nature, conditions like impermanence, suffering and not-self are no longer an issue. In that case, the mind remains true to its nature while those conditions remain true to their nature. Both being true in their own separate ways, they no longer affect each other. Because of that detachment, the mind does not suffer; it is always happy and contented. That happiness is a result of applying the mind correctly in meditation.”
“No one has ever attained enlightenment by merely indulging in their desires while neglecting to discipline their minds.”
“The proper meditation practice of a monk incorporates both walking and sitting meditation, as he uses mindfulness and wisdom to take care of himself by closely guarding his mind. Such a monk will not easily be heedless; he will always conduct himself as a true monk should. This we refer to as “Dhamma watching over us.”
“Be earnest to your practice. The Paths (Magga), Fruitions (Phala) and Nibbāna reside in the hearts of each of us. They do not exist anywhere outside the heart. It is simply that the defilements which cause suffering have concealed the Paths, Fruitions and Nibbāna, preventing us from seeing them. They have drawn a curtain over the truth, completely obstructing it from view. In this way, the defilements drag us around and deceive us all the time. So be careful, and don’t fall for their tricks.”
“When you are putting effort into your practice, don’t let time become an issue. The defilements are akāliko; that is, they are never constrained by time. They act like a fire endlessly scorching our hearts. Dhamma is also timeless (akāliko) as it continuously acts like water putting out those raging fires in our hearts.”
“The study of Dhamma (pariyatti) draws up a blueprint for the practice. When we put the Dhamma into practice (paṭipatti), we follow the plans to properly erect the structure. The realization of Dhamma (paṭiveda) that follows is comparable to the completed building, which is equivalent to attaining a profound understanding of the true nature of things as they really are.”
“In a few days, a few months or a few years, our bodies are going to fall apart and return to the earth. That is simply the natural course of the physical body. When that time comes nobody can prevent it from happening ― the body will break apart and disintegrate for sure. The only exception to this rule is the heart ― the important essence. Unlike everything else that makes up a person, the heart never dies.
“But that does not prevent anxiety about death from arising in our hearts because the heart is pervaded by poisonous defilements that cause us to feel distress. To prevent that anxiety, we should use Dhamma to extract the poisons now. Permeating the heart with antidotes like tranquility, insight, mindfulness and right effort is required to eliminate the poisons.
“These poisons are the real danger ― not death ― so you should clear them from your mind. Once you free yourself of this danger you won’t have to endure the torment of pain and suffering continually as you have in the past.”
“If you want to be a good person you must forcefully resist following the unskillful habits and behavior patterns that you have been engaged in for so long. Right there is where you must take a stand. When you desire to act in ways that you know are unskillful, resist the temptation. That desire itself is the real enemy. When you are tempted to act in ways that are harmful to your well-being you must apply restraint. Acting on desires that bring you harm can destroy your peace of mind. Such debasing behavior must be brought under control. If you do not resist the temptation to follow those desires, they will drag you down. Restraint in these matters is a form of self-protection.”
“Practicing with great diligence, the Buddha was able to verify the truth of the mind. Following in his footsteps, his noble disciples were able to verify the same truth. They did not verify the truth by merely discussing it. They did not verify it by committing the path factors to memory. They verified it by experiencing the truth directly. Because of that, they were able to take that direct experience of the truth as the basis for teaching the rest of us the well-taught Dhamma.
“I myself studied the Buddhist scriptures extensively, and I don’t disrespect them. I’ve always felt a great reverence for the scriptures that has never diminished. The scriptures present a record of the Buddha’s teachings. For example, they record the names of the various defilements. They explain the Dhamma in terms of the Paths, Fruitions and Nibbāna, and in terms of samādhi and wisdom. But in reality samādhi, wisdom and defilements do not exist in books ― they exist in our hearts. When it’s like that, we must focus our attention inside to find them. That’s where we will understand the nature of the defilements, that’s where we will know the truth about samādhi and wisdom. Only in the heart will we discover their true significance.”