- 「Bhāra have pañca khandhā」的意思是:五蘊實在是沉重的負擔。既然如此，在五蘊中又怎麼可能找得到樂趣?既然有生就必有死，那麼來生的五蘊也是負擔。五蘊是使我們承受沉重苦痛的極權霸主，而這就是我們應以觀智去清晰照見的負擔。
- The term Forest Dhamma does
not refer to Dhamma that is learned by rote or memorized from the
scriptures. Rather, it expresses itself according to natural principles
that can be found everywhere in the world. To determine whether what you
experience is true or false you should consider the Dhamma that arises
in your mind and compare that with the Dhamma principles expressed in
- Moral virtue, concentration
and wisdom are principles that are directly linked to the minds of those
who are determined to practice the Dhamma. Moral virtue refers to
normality – normality of mind in the present moment arises as moral
virtue. The calm and concentrated mind experienced in meditation is the
mind in samā As we investigate the nature of natural principles like
anicca, dukkha and anattā that are constantly there in the body and the
mind, wisdom begins to arise in our minds.
- In court cases that involve
legal statements and protections, when a judge gives the final verdict
that is the end of the matter. But in internal cases involving the mind,
we ourselves are the prosecutor, the accused and the guilty party. In
that case, where can we find an unbiased judge to give us a fair
verdict? We are the ones who have brought a case against ourselves, and
the ones who have brought harm to ourselves. Other than our own wisdom,
there is nothing else capable of declaring a fair verdict on what is
right and what is wrong.
- Fundamentally, the mind that
creates good and bad kamma is the root cause of the cycle of rebirth. In
that sense, the mind is like a factory churning out good and bad actions
along with their karmic consequences, which causes all of us regardless
of our race, creed or social status to sometimes experience happiness
and at other times suffering. This happens due to the power of the
kilesas, which are the driving force behind the mind’s creation of kamma.
- Will there be another life
after this one? When yesterday and today both occurred, how can we
prevent tomorrow from occurring? That time sequence is a
self-perpetuating law of nature that no one can change or prevent from
happening. This life and the next life are also subject to the same
unchanging natural law.
- The Buddha advised us not to
underestimate the value of a human birth. The number of possible lower
births in the animal realm are incalculable. Animal species are born in
the water, on land, in the trees, on the tops of mountains and
underground. Because it’s easy to be reborn as an animal, we see animal
life everywhere we look. It’s much more difficult to experience human
birth. For that reason, a human rebirth is the height of good fortune.
- The Lord Buddha was so wise
that instead of teaching us how to prevent suffering, which is a result
of past actions, he taught us how to eliminate the root cause of
suffering, which goes right to the heart of the matter. That root cause
is known as samudaya, which means the birthplace of suffering. When the
root cause of suffering is eliminated, suffering itself will
automatically come to an end.
- All living beings exist with
karmic causes and conditions. They are born with kamma, they live their
lives with kamma and they pass away with kamma. As long as the cycle of
birth and death rules over their hearts, living beings will always be
heirs to the consequences of their karmic actions. The moral
consequences of past actions will always go hand-in-hand with those who
still have kilesas reigning over their hearts. For that very reason, the
world will never be without human beings and animals of various kinds.
- When striving to transcend the
effects of kamma, you must rely on the effort you make. You must
persevere in the practice without easing up. At the same time, you
should not prejudge the results of your efforts. By applying yourself
diligently to causes, the appropriate results will arise on their own.
You should not set up specific expectations in advance.
- Be diligent in meditation but
do not speculate about results like Magga, Phala and Nibbāna, which may
arise from your practice. Don’t assume anything about when and where the
results will arise. When doubts arise, take note of them each time they
show up. Wheneever they show up is the right time and the right place to
deal with them. That is the battleground where victory over the kilesas
- People everywhere in the world
appreciate good things. So we should all try to improve ourselves in a
good and beneficial way. Even if we have not transcended the cycle of
birth and death, we can count on that goodness to keep the momentum
going, making it very likely that we will experience happiness and
prosperity in the future.
- Buddhism is like clean water
used to wash dirty things so that they too can become clean. The mind
can be compared to something dirty because it is defiled by sadness and
despair. The mind is unclean because it is mixed up with those emotional
states. All types of living beings from every realm of existence pollute
their minds in this way.
- The Dhamma appears more superb
at each successive level of the practice. The splendor of Dhamma will
increase in our minds step-by-step as we attain higher and higher levels
of Dhamma. Dhamma is superb in the beginning stage of the practice when
we practice generosity and moral virtue. Dhamma is superb in the middle
stage of the practice when we develop concentration and wisdom. And of
course, Dhamma is incomparably superb in the final stage of someone
whose mind has attained the end of all suffering – Nibbana. At that
ultimate stage of purity, Dhamma is superb beyond all reckoning.
- The Buddha taught us to
gradually accumulate virtuous qualities in our hearts. In that way,
those virtues will eventually grow and flourish until they reach their
full potential. At the same time, he taught us to gradually eliminate
unwholesome qualities until they disappear, leaving no trace behind. In
other words, the Buddha taught us to promote that which should be
promoted and to eliminate that should be eliminated.
- When you are putting forth
effort in meditation, don’t be concerned with external matters. Just be
constantly mindful of the mind’s contact with the meditation object,
without missing a beat. When mindfulness slips from the object, your
diligence is lacking. Diligence does not depend on whether you are
sitting, standing, walking or lying down. Diligence depends on
mindfulness. When mindfulness constantly supports the mind, awareness
follows mental activity to determine if it is heading in the right
direction or the wrong direction. This is the meaning of diligent
- Please take the Dhamma
principles of the Lord Buddha and establish them firmly in your mind.
Then remove the idea of “you” from your mind so that only the principles
of Dhamma remain – pure and simple. After that, wherever you go or
wherever you live you will be a source of peace and happiness to
yourself and everyone else.
- Clearly comprehending the
cause of suffering is called “samudaya,” which has three parts:
kāmataṅhā, bhavataṅhā and vibhavataṅhā. Clearly comprehending the cause
of happiness is achieved by practicing moral virtue, concentration and
wisdom. Clearly comprehending the truth that suffering results from its
causes leads to the understanding that the path of practice which leads
to the cessation of the causes of suffering brings happiness. The clear
comprehension of these basic truths is called “absolute freedom.”
- Intelligent people who do not
know the nature of their own minds are smart only about external
matters, but they are stupid when it comes to themselves. In order to
thoroughly understand their own minds, people must turn their attention
inside to investigate the mind’s knowing nature, which contains the root
cause of the cycle of rebirth. This knowing nature contains the basis of
- It is necessary to investigate
our inner knowing nature to see clearly that it is subject to the three
characteristics of existence just like everything else. Anicca –
constant change everywhere. Dukkha – misled by suffering we become stuck
in pain. Anatta – how can something that is constantly changing and
stuck in suffering be oneself or belong to oneself? Our inner knowing
nature is a reality that is far more subtle than anything else in the
- The amount of accumulated
merit that each person possesses depends specifically on the quality of
that person’s past actions. It is not possible to borrow and use someone
else’s merit. One deserves only that merit which one has earned. That is
the reason why there is such a difference between peoples’ temperaments,
their manners and their behavior; such a difference between their
speech, their knowledge and their intelligence. Those conditions differ
according to each person’s accumulated merit.
- “Bhāra have pañca khandhā”:
The five aggregates are indeed a heavy burden. That being the case,
where can we find any satisfaction in the five aggregates? Those
aggregates that we will have in future births will also be a burden,
since once they are born they will die. The aggregates will be our
overlords burdening us with the weight of their own pain. This is a
burden that we should investigate clearly with wisdom.
- The kilesas that are our
enemies arise only from the ignorance of our own minds. The virtues of
Dhamma are our allies, and they arise only from the mind’s innate
wisdom. Only our ignorance allows the kilesas to tie us up in knots;
only our wisdom allows us to rid our minds of the kilesas.
- What is the root cause of the
kilesas? Deep-seated ignorance is their root cause. Ignorance of what?
When analyzing the various ways in which the mind is ignorant, we find
that when seeing there is ignorance, when hearing there is ignorance,
when smelling there is ignorance and when tasting there is ignorance. In
fact, due to the mind’s fundamental ignorance, we are deceived by
whatever contacts the senses. It is at this point of ignorance that we
must focus our faculties of mindfulness and wisdom.
- Thoughts tend to move in one
of two directions. Thinking can move in a direction that causes
suffering, binding the mind to the cycle of birth and death. Such
thinking is called “the cause of suffering.” Or thinking can move in a
direction that uses wisdom to understand the cause of suffering for the
purpose of unbinding the mind from that cause. Such thinking is called
“the path.” In the first instance the mind thinks in the wrong way, and
in the second it thinks in the right way.
- Faith, effort, mindfulness,
concentration and wisdom – these five factors constitute the path
forward in Buddhist meditation. Anyone who is accomplished in these five
powers, be it a monk or a layperson, a man or a woman, that person has
earned the right to be successful in meditation. The results such a
person gains from the practice will inevitably be full and complete.
- It is disturbing to realize
how we experience birth and death over and over again, life after life.
Our present life is no different: we are certain to die once more. In
that sense, this life is not much different from the next life. Going
through birth and death like this is the nature of our existence. When
we look at birth and death, we are looking at the story of our lives.
- The Four Noble Truths are all
interrelated. Those who investigate one Noble Truth will invariably have
to reflect on the other three at the same time. For instance, by
endeavoring to uproot the cause of suffering, it is necessary to first
understand the nature of suffering itself. Suffering is the most obvious
aspect of the Four Noble Truths that we experience. When wisdom searches
for the nature of suffering it will inevitably discover its cause as
well, since the two are links in the same sequence.
- When you are practicing the
Dhamma, do not look outward and find fault with matters outside
yourself. Instead, notice the worldly matters that arise inside your own
mind. The entire world comes together in your own mind. Your mind
contains the cause of suffering and the path leading to the cessation of
suffering. But your mental world is so extensive that you are not able
to understand the kilesas easily. It is so refined and subtle that you
cannot always see which kilesas need to be solved and which methods
should be used to solve them.
- We practice generosity, moral
virtue and meditation in order to prosper in all our daily activities.
In this way, we continue to increase the goodness in our hearts, even
though we still wander through the cycle of birth and death. Living in
that way, at least we have a means to avoid the worst of suffering and
an opportunity to experience some measure of happiness in a world where
pain and suffering are normal, while we strive to reach the final goal –
the complete cessation of all suffering.
- Wasting time is a useless
waste of one’s human potential. A human birth does not last forever.
Life is constantly changing every instant of every day, never allowing
people to relax and breathe freely even for a moment. Those who do not
observe the great mass of suffering that life entails will fail to gain
any benefits from their lives as a human beings.
- Meditators should see the
importance of reforming their mental defilements. Don’t just follow the
heart’s desires because the heart has bad influences that tend to push
it on a downward course. A moral decline then gradually sets in that
continues to grow worse until it cannot be stopped, and then one is
forced to admit defeat. Such a person knowingly allows bad influences to
drag the mind down. Even though he knows it is wrong, he cannot help but
let these things take their course.
- The words Vimutti and Nibbana
are conventional terms of speech, born out of everyday conventional
language. If we did not use conventional concepts to refer to the Dhamma,
practitioners would not have anything of meaning to hold onto in their
search for Nibbana. For that reason, the concepts are necessary, even
though one who realizes Nibbana abandons all concepts and has no further
- In putting Buddhism into
practice, we should first look at the results we intend to achieve and
then adjust our mode of practice so that it leads to the desired
results. We should do this without being concerned about the
difficulties involved. If we get backed into a corner when faced with
the inevitable hardships of practice, that concern will become a
hindrance to our smooth progress towards the goal.
- Please stay focused in the
present moment and correct your faults immediately to make sure that
those faults do not remain unresolved day after day. In that way, you
will be able to resolve your problems each moment as they arise now and
in the future. In truth, the circumstances we meet in the future are
directly related to our actions in the present. If you cannot improve
the quality of the present moment, then future moments will suffer a
- When developing Buddhist
practice, we must depend on meditation and the established principles of
practice to support our efforts, to give the mind the inner strength
that it needs to progress at each step of the path. In this matter, the
fertile soil of the precepts and the fertile soil of the mind in
meditation always work together in unison. When mental cultivation
receives the right nutrients, the mind will reap good results as it
gradually changes for the better in all respects.