I just finished teaching the first Vipassana Course of the year 2020, and it’s the course that I fully taught by myself. I did not invite Phra Khun Chao Sanchai Jittapalo to help or take turns for teaching, like when we had the Meditation for the Country, because at that time I just received my life extension.
In this course, I opened the way for students to try the special method of meditation, just to show them that ‘We can control our mind’. So, students got to see the root of impurities (kilesa) that attach in their minds, to see how massive and powerful they are.
The students who can look into other dimensions had to absolutely accept that the roots of impurities (kilesa) that attach and hold on to their minds are so enormous that they almost had to surrender.
And the roots that they saw were actually just one layer of Sankhara. There are still many layers of kilesa roots that they still cannot access. Some students that have celestial eyes felt so disgusted and tired of seeing tons of kilesa piled up together. To burn all kilesa to the root, you will need to have perseverance and super equanimity.
Now I can’t put all my power into meditation and help open the way for students like before. If I do that my life span that I gain will be shortened a lot. Also, the dark force in the Universe is multiplying from the advancement of the internet development. It’s mixing up the emotional wave of people in the world. As the mind power of students is not strong enough and they have not fulfilled their perfections (barami) yet, there’s no one advanced in their practice in this time. But the students got to see the improvement of their meditation power and could also see that they can “command” their minds. ..
Even though crossing the ocean of samsara becomes harder in this internet era, the good thing is that students get to fulfill their perfections (barami), and develop a strong foundation of their own.
When the foundation of mindfulness is sharp, and meditation is strong, firm and unshaken (equanimous), this will raise their mind power by itself. The mind in neutral state will be powerful and cut off the power of dark force that press your mind, enabling the mind to lift up high. The mind that develops step by step will lay the firm and unshakeable foundation of power and perfection. It is different from the mind that gets too much help, so when it becomes advanced, it will be fragile, and there’s a chance for the Dhamma to lower down or collapse from lack of foundation.
In the past, Techo Vipassana had many students that advanced and reached the stage of enlightenment, but then many of them abandoned their practice. Dhamma did not prosper in them. They took things for granted without knowing how they achieved this level. Also, the students did not work on establishing a firm foundation and easily turned to become ungrateful as their minds were stirred by kilesa.
There are always 2 sides to a coin. If students advance too fast, they tend to fail to appreciate their attainment and cannot maintain their Dhamma. But if they advance too slowly, they tend to lose their will power and might think that reaching enlightenment is not possible for them.
As the condition of my physical body has changed, I had to have life extension twice. Now what I can do is only teaching, guiding the way, and giving supporting power, so students can have determination and power to keep practicing and burn kilesa like a warrior.
Meditators have to develop the power of mindfulness, concentration and equanimity. They must always practice with discipline and perseverance. Only like this they will have the ability to end the cycle of rebirth. While they haven’t reached the shore for goodness, they however through perseverance and practicing hard, they can develop a firm foundation of perfection and have the noble assets to support their lives until they can reach the shore of enlightenment in the end.
In this course, there were two American students who travelled so far to study as new students. The first one from Chicago, he travelled by plane for 26 hours. Another one from New York who traveled for 24 hours.
Dr. Robert Goldman came from Chicago. He is a professional doctor in many fields. He is so famous in the medical and athletic society. He has met many Presidents of the United States, and has received ‘Life Achievement Award’ and just got honor to become knighted as “Sir” as the person who has done good for society.
Another one is Mr. Miguel Forbes, of Forbes Magazine, the famous magazine about financial and business. It’s the magazine that ranks billionaires around the world as we all heard.
They both came to practice in the course from the suggestion of Mr. Hanno Soth, known by students as Khun Hanno, from Germany who has been student for almost 2 years. Mr. Hanno has strong faith until he ordained for my life extension. Mr. Hanno has changed a lot, until Dr. Goldman and Mr. Forbes are surprised what changed him this much. So, when they were invited to come and learn the wonderful Dhamma teaching, they unbelievably decided to leave their very hectic work, and the luxury life in New York and Chicago to practice Techo Vipassana.
That’s make me think of a lot of Thai people who don’t even want to go meditate, because they are afraid of not being able to sleep in the air-conditioned room.
But for foreigners who have duties and high status in society, the kind that people dream of but is hard to reach, they are so brave to leave everything for a while, just to come searching for the answer for their souls.
Both were very attentive and obedient to the teachings without inclining. Dr. Goldman, who came without any expectation, could recalled many of his former incarnations and himself in more than past ten years which was an affiliation to an event clearly seen in details.
I explained to him in the sense of energy that is never lost, even though the event has ended but it was recorded in the form of energy streams in the subconscious mind. Practitioners with good concentration can recollect the past events. And it was a proof that past deeds can result in good and bad karma, because all that were recorded in the subconscious mind produce karmic action. Karma is the driving force, as well as the meritorious action.
For Mr. Forbes, he firstly found peace in his heart because he discharged the heavy karmic formations that was visible as volcanic eruptions and lava flows, which was the result of purification in his mind. Both came to believe in karma and past lives.
When I cited the teachings of Luang Pu Jia Juntoh who taught, “Merit is like money deposit in the bank, if you make a withdrawal everyday soon it run out.”
Mr. Forbes, who is in charge of the family business and enormous funds, asked me how can we know when the money in the bank will run out.
Dhamma of the Buddha is beyond ethnicity and religion. Anyone of any religion, if he opens his heart and takes action to overcome obstacles, then he will discover the meaning of a valuable life. I taught him that,
“Humans are dedicated to learning and using life energy in various sort of things, except knowing their own minds… Practicing Vipassana Meditation will increase clarity to the mind, helping you think, improving the decision making, and living wisely, cleansing sadness, lust, greed, anger, obsession, leading the mind to be calm and find true happiness to be freed from the Cycle of Rebirth.”
When both foreigners brought the garland to me, Mr. Goldman prayed to have the opportunity to help even more people while Mr. Forbes prayed that everyone would be freed from all sufferings.
Wherever the noble love or kindness spreads to, regardless of race or language, anyone can touch and enter the circle of love and compassion under the shadow of Buddhism. Anyone who thinks that practicing Vipassana is difficult or too far from home, please think of those who traveled tens of thousands of miles on a plane for 26 hours. Perhaps the intention of both foreigners could help inspiring others for more or less.
After extended loving-kindness, seeing all three foreigners who took off their postulates, dressed in white, sitting next to each other on the floor as students, talking with friendship, talking about the past before coming here. If it were a movie scene, it was a warm and beautiful scene on the friendship of three men who were very far away, but then reunited in the sacred meditation hall that was once impossible to imagine that all of them would make a journey to be right here.
In the former lifetime, these three men used to be great soldiers, the Three Musketeers, fought to expand the kingdom for the king. But now they have fought in the most important battlefield, fighting with the impurities in their mind. Mr. Hano is a true friend who brought the most valuable opportunities and reminiscences to his friends in past life. On the day he was taught Dhamma under the sacred Bodhi tree, the power of the Triple Gem helped him to experience the extraordinary feeling that he wanted to stay there for a long time.
I hoped that the seeds of Dhamma that had been sown well would grow in their hearts to lead them to experience true happiness, peace and tranquility, away from the sorrowful impurities until reaching the enlightenment soundly.
Every Thai student, too, before you came to this point, you’ve gone through a lot of things in life. Do not let the opportunities that you have more than others make your trip to the destination impossible.
If you are thinking of an excuse for not practicing in the course, avoiding with various reasons, please remember the three foreigners who have overcome all obstacles in their hearts until they reached this point. Then honestly ask your mind if you are deceiving yourselves, what have you done with the Dhamma you received from your spiritual teachers? Are you pampering impurities or what are you doing?…
All things are impermanent and transient because everything is a stream of energy. When the energy changes, as students, you must have perseverance, firm, and stability in building your own perfections. Do not destroy the opportunity of your own mind anymore. Do not leave your mind to be desperate as that had happened before through 28 Buddha intervals…Whether you are Thai or foreign students, may you bring the Dhamma that has already grown in your mind to flourish even more until you are freed from the Cycle of Rebirth.
MasterJanuary 18, 2020 Translator: Wassana Sasakun and Samroeng Thongrong