Part I -- Dhamma Terms, Definitions and Reference Material
DHAMMA TERMS & DEFINITIONS
the quality of being a grateful person; gratefulness; one who is thankful for the benefits received and reciprocates them
one who reciprocates favors receiveed
Reserve Kamma; minor kamma or casual acts that are not serious, or are committed without
Law of Kamma; Law of Karma; Law of Cause and Effect; Law of Action
(kathina) the Kathina ceremony; annual robe presentation ceremony; robe offering ceremony; robe offering.
— Kathina is the wooden frame which monks in ancient India used to sew their clothes on. The clothes thus prepared came to be known as Kathina clothes or Kathina robes. The event in which the robes are offered to the monks is known as the Kathina Ceremony or Robe Offering Ceremony. To complete the ceremony it is required that at least five monks are present to represent the Sangha, the community of monks. Offering of robes by laypeople to the monks is a way to express gratitude to the monks and an act of support for the religion. The event begins after Buddhist Lent and continues for one month.
kamma; karma; action; deed; willed action; an intentional action that has future consequences, including future rebirths; the consequence of one’s actions of body, speech and mind; the consequences of past deeds largely determine one’s general life situation.
— The Buddha defines it as volition (cetana). Each karmic act is the exercise of a choice, good or bad. Think of kamma as “programming” our future. Thus the ‘kammaformations’ (sankharas) are the program which we have—through ignorance—made in past lives. The aim of Buddhist practice is to get beyond all kamma.
vice of conduct; action causing impurity
meditation exercise; the act of meditation
water-pouring ritual; the act of pouring water to send merit to the deceased, usually performed while monks give blessing in Pali
to pay respect with both palms joined together and bow; salutation with joined palms
dissolved into the environment
Sakyans; Sakya clan
(kasina) meditation device; ten meditation aids, consisting of earth, air, water, fire, blue, yellow, red, white, space, and light
a chapter of religious book; a sermon
กัป, กัปป์, กัลป์
an eon; world-age
(kanlayanamitta) virtuous friend; good friend (in a moral sense); helpful friend; supportive friend
causing distress and suffering; causing bad kamma
sense desire; world of sense-desires; world of senses; realm of senses; sensual world
‘subjective sensuality’; moods that are pleasurable
five sensual pleasures
craving for sense-pleasure – wanting to have
sense-sphere; sensuous existence
กามวัตถุ คือ วัตถุอันน่าใคร่
‘objective sensuality’; sense objects that are pleasurable
thought of sensual pleasures
divine body; angelic body; celestial body
spiritual angelic body
physical angelic body
body in body
transcendental human body; spiritual human body
transcendental body; spiritual body; subtle body
physical body (avoid using ‘coarse’ or ‘crude body’)
ask forgiveness from those whom we have committed wrongdoing to in the past
การทำกรรมมี 3 ทาง คือ ทางกาย,ทางวาจา และทางใจ
Kamma is created in three ways: through body, speech and mind
การบ้าน 10 ข้อ
to cause suffering; to cause distress; to cause harm
how to adjust your mind; adjusting your mind; fine tuning your mind
letting your mind wander outside the body
keeping your mind in a still state
merit-making activities; accumulating merits
freedom from defilements
seeing a transcendental mental image
knowing how to utilize one’s time
yellow robe; ochre robe; monk’s robe
extermination of defilements; eradication of defilements; suppression of defilements
(kilesa) defilement (greed, anger, delusion); defilements; mental impurities; hindrances or poisons that cause beings to perform intentional deeds (karma) and suffer rebirth.
impurities; defilements; mental impurities
monk’s living quarters
virtue; virtuous; wholesome; good
wholesome action; beneficial act; virtuous deed; good deed
tenfold wholesome course of action
preliminary wholesome actions
build “provision” (Virtue of Generosity)
เกิดขึ้น ตั้งอยู่ แล้วเสื่อมสลาย
creation, existence and extinction (creation by ‘cause’ or kamma, not by ‘God’); cycle of creation and destruction; existence and extinction
to undo bad kamma
แก้วอันประเสริฐ ๓ ประการ
the three holy gems
ten million (units or years)
to fend off; stave off; drive away; ward off; repel; defend against; eliminate; get rid
size of object; size of mental object
ขอขมา , ขออโหสิกรรม
ask for forgiveness
(khanti) patience; endurance; forbearance
Virtue of Patience
Khandha 5, the Five Aggregates (elements; attributes of being); the five basic components that make up the individual person, viz., corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness.
attaining the Dhamma
attaining the Dhammakaya
attaining the Triple Gem within
Buddhist Lent; rains retreat. Buddhist Lent begins after Asalaha full moon, the beginning of a three-month Buddhist monks’ retreat in monasteries for intensive studies, training and meditation during the monsoon season. Rainy days during the monsoon season in Asia present obstacles and difficulties for monks to travel and for laymen to reciprocate. For practical reasons, overnight travels by monks during these months are discouraged. It is during these months that monks are present in greatest numbers in monasteries. Religious activities usually increase for both monks and laity. It is a high time for young men to enter monkhood in some Buddhist countries, such as Thailand.
Ganges; Ganges River
Sangha; the monastic order
คน สัตว์ สิ่งของ
living and non-living objects (never use “people, animals and things” — this is not a natural expression in English); everyone and everything
‘Weighty Kamma’ — actions that are the most significant or most severe
householder; layman; laity; laypeople
thoughts of sensual matters
the Truth of the Noble
the Truth that makes a person noble
the Truth that is noble
aches and pains
impartial; not to be biased or partial
ความโลภ โกรธ และหลง
greed, hatred and delusion; greed, anger and delusion
keep a neutral state of mind
Right View and Right Intention
state of mindfulness
a scripture; canon
stanza; a verse; magic spell
ill-will; evil thought; aversion
Khun Yay Ajahn Maharatana Upasika Chandra Khonnokyoong (1909-2000), founder of the Dhammakaya Temple. Khun Yay was a student of Phra Monkolthepmuni who had achieved the highest level of Dhammakaya meditative attainment. Her intuitive insight was so profound and accurate that the Great Abbot commended her: “Number one, second to none”. After Phramongkolthepmuni’s death in 1959, Khun Yay continued to teach meditation at her residence near Wat Paknam. Aside from being the creator of The Dhammakaya Temple, Khun Yah was behind its every success.
our partners in kamma; our kamma partners
to venerate; venerated
laypeople; laity; laymen; laywomen; householder
virtues for a good household life; rules of household conduct; Dhamma for laypeople
walking meditation; walking up and down
temperament; intrinsic nature of a person
(cakkhu) the eye
the eye-door; eye-avenue
achievement of charity
generosity; self sacrifice; sacrifice for the good of other
to wander; go on a journey; wanderer
the rains-retreat; Vassa-residence; keeping the Buddhist Lent
to sleep (of a monk or novice)
mind; a state of consciousness
(citta) Attention – (ref. Idhipadha 4) thought; thoughtfulness; active thought; concentration; mindfulness; consciousness; alertness; attentiveness; awareness; consideration; care; determination; active thought; well-directed thought; not wavering; repeating the effort (taking the same amount of time but doing it more effectively).
mind in mind
understanding through reasoning
monk’s robe; any of the three garments of the monk
decease; death; shifting out of one existence to another
(cetiya) pagoda (Buddhist monument)
intention; willfulness; volition
volition is kamma
mental factors; mental states; mental activities
facing an obstacle
Rahula (Buddha’s son)
Princess Yashodhara (Buddha’s wife)
a mind that is still and calm
the ‘standstill of the mind’
the mind is not open; the mind is not free
to eat; to take food (of a monk or novice)
(Chanda) Inspiration; desire; interest (to love what you do); to be happy to work and ready to work at one’s best ability; to have enthusiasm and the love for one’s work.
prejudice caused by love; partiality
matted-hair ascetic (usually worshipping fire)
Aryan race, nomadic people who invaded the Indian subcontinent between 2000-1000 B.C. They introduced the Sanskrit language to the region. The Buddha is of the Aryan race. Aryan or Ariyan came from the word ariya, which means noble.
— It is believed that around 1500 B.C. nomadic people from Eastern Europe, perhaps the steppes of modern Poland & Ukraine, who called themselves Aryans (Ariyan) invaded the subcontinent. Written records of early Aryans frequently mentioned about wandering ascetics and the practices of mind training by the people of the Indus Valley. The Aryans worshiped a number of gods. Their religion was Brahminism an early form of Hinduism. Hinduism retains elements of religious culture inherited from the Aryan tradition, with a small proportion from the religion of the Indus Valley.
gable spire (of a roof)
(jataka) the stories of the Buddha’s previous lives. These texts, from the Khuddaka Nikaya, are often quoted when monks instruct the laity.
previous existence; previous life
future life; next life; subsequent life; life hereafter; future existence (plural: lives)
nun; ordained female
afterlife; life after death
(jhana) absorption; bliss state; a state of serene contemplation attained by meditation; meditative attainment; state of trance
meditation power (jhana)
insight; real knowledge; wisdom
knowing and seeing; perfect knowledge; vision through wisdom
letter of invitation; invitation card
ฐานที่ 1 ปากช่องจมูก หญิงซ้าย ชายขวา
1st base: at the rim of the nostril; on the right side for men and on the left side for women
ฐานที่ 2 เพลาตา ตรงหัวตาพอดี
2nd base: the bridge of your nose at the corner of your eyes
ฐานที่ 3 กลางกั๊กศีรษะ
3rd base: the center of your head
ฐานที่ 4 ปากช่องเพดาน เหนือลิ้นไก่ตรงที่ รับประทานอาหารสำลัก
4th base: the roof of your mouth
ฐานที่ 5 ปากช่องลำคอเหนือลูกกระเดือก
5th base: the center of your throat above the Adam’s apple
ฐานที่ 6 สุดลมหายใจเข้าออกคือกลางตัว ตรงกับ สะดือ แต่อยู่ภายใน
6th base: a point in the center of the body at the meeting point of an imaginary line between the navel through the back and the line between the two sides
ฐานที่ 7 ถอยหลังกลับขึ้นมาเหนือสะดือประมาณ 2 นิ้ว ในกลางตัว
7th base: two fingers’ breadths above the sixth base. This base is the most important point in the body. It is the very center of the body and the point where the mind can come to a standstill. (This point is exactly the same point as the end-point of the deepest breath in mindfulness of breathing meditation (Anapanasati/อานาปานสติ), two fingers’ breadth above the navel.
crystal sphere; crystal ball (crystal ball is a material object; crystal sphere is transcendental)
crystal ball (material object); crystal sphere (transcendental image)
a star in the sky
Dhamma sphere; sphere of Dhamma; sphere of truth; sphere of reality
Primary Path (the beginning path to Nirvana)
sphere of the Primary Path
sphere of the Primary Path; sphere of Initial Path
sphere of wisdom
sphere of morality
sphere of mindfulness
a hermit; ascetic
(Tavatimsa) the Realm of the Thirty-three Gods; name of the second heavenly abode, of which Sakka is the king
(Tusita) the Realm of Delight; name of the fourth heavenly abode, of which Santusita is the king
heretical teacher; an adherent of another religion
to be a part of your merit
(Tathagata) the Accomplished One, referring to the Buddha
religious austerity; ascetic practice; penance
enlightenment; to attain enlightenment
we need to abstain from alcohol and all intoxicants — the Fifth Precept.
alms offering; almsgiving; offering food to monks
(tanha) craving; attachment; desire; thirst; clinging with passion
you are with the Buddha
you are the Buddha
awake with awareness
awake in the sea of merit
fire contemplation; fire as meditation device
shrine; altar; group of tables containing images of Buddha
triple robe; the three robes of a bhikkhu, consisting of the under, the upper, and the outer robes
the Tipitika, Skt,Tripitaka, Buddhist scripture (eleven times the size of the Christian Bible).
— Tipitaka means The Three Baskets. They consist of the Basket of Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka) –rules and regulations of the Order of monks and nuns; the Basket of Discourses (Sutta Pitaka) — discourses concerning social, moral, philosophical and spiritual significance; and the Basket of Ultimate Things (Abhidhamma Pitaka) – dealing with psychological and philosophical aspects of the Doctrine, the four ultimate things, i.e., mind (citta), mental properties (cetasika), matter (rupa) and Nirvana.
the Three Jewels; the Three Gems
the Three Characteristics; the Three Signs of Being consisting of impermanence (anniccata), state of suffering or dissatisfaction (dukkhata), and not-self, non-self, or soullessness (anattata)
to offer, give or present (to a monk)
Nirvana; final destination of Nirvana
stupor; sloth; torpor; sluggishness
Theravada, oldest form of Buddhism guided by the oldest Texts written in Pali
senior monks in general
the ten longest birth stories of the Buddha, regarded as the most important
ten royal virtues; ten virtues of a ruler
one worthy of a donation
passage of merit
Middle Way, non-extreme way of life; also referred to the Noble Eightfold Path
(dana) charitable giving; charitable act; charity; generosity; self-less giving; donation; alms (commonly directed toward the Sangha, which brings merit.)
Virtue of Generosity
merit from alms-giving
make your mind loose and free
to still the mind; to calm the mind; to settle the mind; to make your mind still
make your mind bright and clear; let your mind be cheerful; make your mind radiant
giving; donating; performing charitable deeds; act of generosity
merit-making; to make merit; to accumulate merit; to perform merit; to perform meritorious activity
evil deed; evil action; evil way
to perform morning or evening chanting
whatever you do, you should not overstate or exaggerate
(dithi) a theory; view; belief; dogma; (can also mean false theory or erroneous opinion)
(dibbacakkhu) divine eye
divine; heavenly; celestial; angelic
Digha Nigaya, the Collection of Long Discourses
ที่บริเวณกลางท้อง เหนือสะดือ 2 นิ้วมือ
center of your abdomen two finger-breadths above the navel.
(dukkha) unsatisfactory condition; dissatisfaction; suffering; displeasure; discomfort; sorrow
— The First Noble Truth states that all conditioned existence is characterized by suffering or unsatisfactory condition.
— Suffering exists. Birth, aging, sickness, death, discontentment, disappointments, displeasure are suffering. Impermanence, transiency, attachment to “self” are suffering.
(dugati) unhappy realms; afterlife destinations or qualities of existence that are miserable and full of suffering; they consist of hell, animal world, hungry ghosts and demons
bad conduct; wrong action; corruption
immoral; void of morality
(devas) deities; divine beings; gods; inhabitants of heaven
(deva) a deity who inhabits one of the many celestial realms but who is still subject to rebirth; any celestial spirit; deity; divine being; a god; inhabitant of heaven; angel
celestial realm; world of gods
to preach; to deliver sermon; to teach Dhamma
anger; ill-will; aversion; hatred
one of hating temperament; the hateful
gift; offerings (to monks)
Dhamma; Dharma; the truth; the natural condition of things or beings; the law of their existence; the ethical code of righteousness; the whole body of religious doctrines as a system; the Teachings of the Buddha; the eternal truth that the Buddha realized, his verbal expression of that truth, and the phenomena or elements that comprise reality.
Dhammakaya, Body of Enlightenment; Truth Body; Body of Truth; Buddha-qualities
a portion of the Dhamma; a main article of the Doctrine
eye of truth; eye of wisdom
(Dhammacakka) the Wheel of the Dhamma; the First Sermon
gift of the Dhamma; gift of Dhamma knowledge; giving of knowledge as a form of generosity
Dhamma that engenders (financial) success
giving a sermon; expounding the Doctrine; preaching
(Dhammapada) an Anthology of Sayings of the Buddha
(Dhammayuttika-nikaya) Dhammayutika Sect of the Thai Monkhood
Dhamma Gem (the Teachings of the Buddha; Dhamma sphere in the center of the Dhammakaya. This is a bright, round sphere that resides in the center of the Dhammakaya. The Teachings of the Buddha come from this Dhamma sphere.)
(Dhammavinaya) the Doctrine and the Discipline; the Norm-Discipline
Dhamma in Dhamma
Dhammacakkappavattanasutta, the Discourse of setting in motion the Wheel of the Dhamma; the First Sermon
knowing the cause
recollection of the Dhamma; reflection on the virtues of the Dhamma
an element; natural condition; a relic (of the Buddha)
(dhutanga) austere practices to remove defilements; hard practice for shaking off defilements
salutation; veneration; act of paying homage
gently bring your mind to a point at the center of your body
ascetic; hermit; recluse
Dhamma scholar; Dhamma graduate
sit side-way; sit with both legs folded to one side
(naga) 1. mystical serpent; 2. candidate for ordination
bring your gift of merit to share with the people at home
sect; school (of Buddhism)
(nigantha) ascetic in Jainism
calm and still
talk badly about someone; gossip
Nibbana; Nirvana; the state of perfect enlightenment realized by Buddhas and Arhants. Those who have gained this realization no longer accumulate karmic consequences and will no longer be reborn into samsara when they die.
— The state of ultimate happiness; the happy condition of enlightenment; the end of the cycle of birth and death; the final release from suffering; perfect bliss; extinction of self; the sphere of existence which can be attained by extinguishing all kinds of spiritual defilements and abiding in which the attainer will be inspired with the state of absolute happiness, perfect peace and bliss.
— Nibbana is a supramundane state that cannot be expressed by words and is beyond space and time.
นิพพาน ปัจจโย โหตุ ฯ
“May my merit help me attain Nirvana”
invitation; to invite (a monk)
(Nimmanarati) name of the fifth heavenly abode, of which Sunimmitta is the king
(nimitta) mental image, meditation object
bright mental object
cessation of suffering
the cessation of suffering
complete cessation of thought and consciousness, an experience of a Nirvana-like bliss lasting for up to seven days.
Five Hindrances (pañca nīvaraṇāni). The Five Hindrances are negative mental states that impede success with meditation and lead away from enlightenment. These states are: 1. Sensual desire (kāmacchanda): craving for pleasure to the senses; 2. Anger or ill-will (byāpāda, vyāpāda): feelings of malice directed toward others; 3. sloth-torpor or boredom (thīna-middha): half-hearted action with little or no concentration; 4. Restlessness, worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind; 5. doubt (vicikicchā): lack of conviction or trust.
to be conscious of death; reflect on death
reflect on the merits you have accumulated
imagine in a natural way
extend merit to them
(nekkhamma) renunciation; relinquishment of worldly possessions
Virtue of Renunciation
the teachable, a person who can be guided
field of merit
in the center of our body; center of our abdomen
the Buddha’s relics
ordination of a novice; lower ordination
ascetic; monk; monastic; the ordained
attaining the Dhamma
recitation; to recite; preparation
object of meditation, visualization
(parikamma nimitta) preparatory image
repeating the mantra; reciting the mantra
pure and bright
to be ordained
discarded cloth; rag-robe; a robe made of rags
(pundit) the “wise”; a wise person (in moral sense). A wise one is one who possesses wisdom and good moral standards. He knows how to tell right from wrong, good from bad. He has the right view (sammadhiti), practices generosity, keeps the precepts, and constantly does good deeds. A wise one is one who gives good influence to others. The opposite of a “wise” is a “fool”.
(papa) demerit; evil; negative kamma; bad deed which brings demerit or negative karmic consequences, sometimes called “bad karma”. The word “sin” is not recommended for use in Buddhism (see discussion below). If you find it necessary to use this word, it should always be in quotes: “sin”.
— The usage of the word “sin”’ can be inappropriate or misleading when one attempts to discuss Buddhism, as its concept and meaning have already been ingrained in the mind of a westerner as something everyone is born with.
— Ideas of “sin” in different religions could not be more dissimilar. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, sin arises whenever you disobey the wishes of the Creator. If you don’t believe in the teachings of your religion, then that is a sin. There is also a belief that sins can be transmitted from one person to another. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden apple and so committed the primordial sin, the sin was passed down to all subsequent generations to present day. All mankind has to suffer this sin as a result.
— Buddhist viewpoint is different. A “sin”, can only occur with the person who commits it. It cannot be passed on to someone else. If you don’t commit a wrongdoing then you don’t suffer the consequences associated with that wrongdoing. The consequence of your action is yours alone.
— The more appropriate word for “sin” in Buddhism is ‘evil’ or ‘demerit’ (‘negative karma’ is also acceptable). Its meaning is derived from the Pali word ‘pāpa’. The implication of the word pāpa is one of ‘malfunction’, i.e., malfunctioning of the mind. When the mind malfunctions, it takes on the unpleasant qualities of cruelty, wickedness, and impurity.
fruit of negative kamma ripens; negative kamma takes effect
(parami) ‘Perfected Virtues’; ‘Perfections’; transcendental virtues
บารมี 10 ทัศ
Ten Perfected Virtues (Ten Perfections) consisting of generosity, self-discipline, renunciation, wisdom, patience, perseverance, sincerity, resolution, loving-kindness and equanimity. Pursuit of Perfections is the goal of all Buddhas.
Pali, ancient language used in India, now no longer an active language; the original Buddhist scriptures were written in Pali; Pali texts are used by Theravada school
alms gathering; to go for alms; to go for alms gathering; to go on an almsround; almsfood
Meritorious Actions, consisting of generosity, morality and mental cultivationบุญ
merit will nourish and protect you
Merit is the basis of success and happiness in life.
one who does a favor before; a previous benefactor
cohabitation in previous life; living together in the past; past association
to worship; venerate; revere, pay homage or respect
(Puja Kao Pra) Special Offering to the Buddha, a monthly ceremony held first Sunday of each month. This is a practice by Buddhists who wish to show their devotion to the Buddha by making special offerings to Him. They enshrine the Buddha image on their altar table and present their beautifully-prepared food offering along with flowers and incense to the Buddha image as if the Buddha is still alive. Almsgiving ceremony to the Buddha through the Dhammakaya tradition took place during the time of the Great Abbot of Wat Paknam. The Great Abbot’s students and followers continue this tradition at the Dhammakaya Temple to the present day.
Five Aggregates, the five groups of existence consisting of corporeality, feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness
five-point prostration; method of veneration by kneeling and touching the ground with five parts of the body: knees, elbows’ forehead
joyous; joyful; radiant
to cause suffering, to cause distress, to cause harm
means of reaching a goal; line of conduct; method
an image; figure
kind reception; friendly welcome
the first absorption (jhana)
Primary Path (the beginning path to Nirvana)
aspiration; resolution; determination
to present (something to a monk) with the hand
clock-wise circumambulation; to circumambulate
recklessness; reckless; negligence; heedlessness
properly adjust your mind into balance; appropriately balanced and harmonized
the final or complete Nirvana; the Great Decease of the Buddha
wanderer; wandering mendicant
the Scriptures; study of the Scriptures
knowing the assembly; knowing how to fit in
to confess an offence (by monk)
open, expansive, spacious
to let go; free yourself of
half-month; a fortnight
requisites; necessities (food, clothing, dwelling, medicine)
(Paccekabuddha) a Buddha who has won enlightenment by himself but does not teach others
the five sense-doors: eye, ear, nose, tongue and body
(panna) wisdom; insight; active capacity for spiritual discernment, seeing into the true nature of reality. This faculty is necessary for enlightenment and is central to all Buddhist schools.
(pannacakkhu) eye of wisdom
Virtue of Wisdom
Achievement of Wisdom
(Patimokkha) the Fundamental Precepts; the fundamental rules of the Order; the 227 disciplinary rules binding the bhikkhus; Disciplinary Code; code of rules for monks and nuns
killing; taking life
a grave offense involving expulsion from the monkhood, such as deliberate killing, deliberate stealing, sexual intercourse, and claiming to have paranormal powers
close the doors to hell
Pleasant Speech – Speech that is good in every aspect and from every viewpoint, and benefits both the speaker and the listener.
demons, ghosts, monsters, residents of hell
ปุคคลัญญุตา หรือ ปุคคลปโรปรัญญุตา เป็นผู้รู้จักบุคคล
knowing how to judge people
ordinary person; a worldling
a venerable person; person worthy of honor
an object of worship
a place of worship; religious place; holy or sacred place
“Number one, second to none”.
they are heirs to their Kamma
(peta) hungry ghost; a restless spirit or ghost who suffers extreme hunger and thirst because of attachments in past lives
(parinnu) Pali scholar; Pali graduate
open the doors to heaven
kamma result; kamma effect
merit result; fruit of merit; outcome of merit or virtue
forest robe; discarded cloth
rediscoverer of the Dhammakaya Tradition
to perpetuate; propagate; disseminate; transmit (Buddhism)
triple-robe; monk’s robes
spread the goodness, happiness, loving-kindness
to extend loving-kindness
to extend merit
to train our mind
ill-will; vengefulness; vengeful
a year; rains residence, Buddhist Lent
(Brahma) inhabitant of the higher heavens
celibacy; celibate life; chaste life
(Brahmavihara 4) The Four Lofty States of Mind, consisting of loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekka)
Buddhist monk; monk
a small Buddha image; amuletic Buddha image
virtues of parents
Dhamma, Dharma, the Doctrine; the truth, the Teachings of the Buddha, the law of righteousness
Dhammakaya; body of enlightenment; body of truth; Truth Body
Queen Maha Maya Dewi (Buddha’s wife)
principal Buddha image
(Paccekabuddha) a Buddha who has won enlightenment by himself but does not teach others
Buddha, an ‘awaken one’ who is fully enlightened and who has realized nirvana without the benefit of a Buddha’s teaching in the lifetime in which he attains it. A Buddha is generally regarded as omniscient.
— The name Buddha is a generic term, not a proper name, meaning ‘awakened’, thus ‘enlightened’.
— Gotama was ‘the Buddha’, not just ‘Buddha’, the historical founder of Buddhism whose teachings, the Dhamma, form its core.
— The historical Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. as Prince Siddhattha Gotama, in the Lumbini Park at Kapilavatthu, on the Indian border of present day Nepal. He was the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maha Maya Dewi who lived in the kingdom of the Sakyans, a tribe of the Aryan race that lived in the North of India. At age 16 Siddhattha married Yashodhara who gave birth to their only son, Rahula. At the age of 29 Siddhattha renounced worldly life and left the palace to find an answer to the problem of suffering and a path to liberation from cyclic existence. Siddhattha attained enlightenment and became a Buddha at the age of 35. He spent 45 years wandering up and down the Ganges Valley expounding the doctrine that he has found and establishing the Sangha or Order of Buddhist monks and nuns, which still exists today. The Buddha died at age 80 in the year 543 B.C. in Kushinagara, not far from his birthplace at Lumbini.
— Besides the fully-enlightened Buddha who teaches Dhamma to the world (Samma-Sambuddha) there is the ‘private Buddha’ (Pacceka-Buddha), who is enlightened but does not teach. Buddhas appear at vast intervals of time. There are countless number of past, present and future Buddhas.
Bodhisatta (Skt, Bodhisattva), enlightened being.
— In the Theravada, this refers to the single being striving to realize nirvana and become the next Buddha.
— In the Mahayana, this defines the central ideal for all which is characterized by boundless compassion and a commitment to help all other beings realize Buddhahood.
พระมงคลเทพมุนี (สด จนฺทสโร)
Phramongkolthepmuni, the Great Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, rediscovered the Dhammakaya Tradition on the full-moon day of September 1918. The Great Abbot strove to practice meditation with a determination to a degree that he was willing to lay down his life until he succeeded. He rediscovered the Dhammakaya Tradition, the highest wisdom of meditation taught by the Buddha which has been lost for almost two thousand years after the Buddha’s death. Upon the rediscovery of the Dhammakaya Tradition, Phra Mongkholthepmuni devoted the rest of his life to propagating Buddhism and to teaching his profound meditation technique to the public. It is this technique which has come to be known as ‘Dhammakaya Meditation’ (i.e., meditation for attaining the Dhammakāya). His approach was coined “Stop, so you will succeed” (i.e., stop your mind from wandering). Prior to his passing in 1959, he left the Dhammakaya legacy to his close disciples to further the teaching of the Dhammakaya Tradition to the world.
Phra Raj Bhavanavisudh (Luan Phaw Dhammajayo), Abbot of the Dhammakaya Temple (1944 – ). Luang Phaw Dhammajaya was an avid student of Buddhism and meditation since a young age. After having met Khun Yay Ajahn, he devoted his interest to the training and practice of Dhammakaya meditation until he became so successful in the practice that Khun Yay gave him the task of teaching meditation to the public. Upon graduation from Kasetsart University with a B.Sc degree in Economics in 1969, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen on August 27, 1969. His monastic name is “Dhammajayo”, which means Victory through Dhamma. His Preceptor was Phra Dhepworawetee (currently Somdej Phramaharajmangalajahn, the Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen).
Triple Gem (not Gems)
Triple Gem within; internal Triple Gem
(Vinaya) Monastic Discipline
Sangha, the Order of monks; community of monks; the brotherhood of Buddha’s disciples
(Sabbannu) The All-Knowing
Arahant , “worthy one” who has realized nirvana by following the teaching of a Buddha. The Arhant is enlightened but not omniscient (all-knowing).
the Tipitaka; Skt, Tripitaka
one who has great knowledge; man of great learning; well-taught man; a very learned man
tray, ceremonial tray
(pala) “fool”; spiritually defective person. A fool is someone wicked, weak, or feeble in a moral sense. His discretion is faulty, not knowing right from wrong, good from bad. A fool is one who gives bad influence. You can’t tell a fool by his looks. He could be well-educated and be from a good family. You can tell him by his action or behavior. The opposite of a “fool” is a “wise”.
rite; ritual; ceremony
Induction Speech Ceremony; Buddhist Induction Speech Ceremony
Ceremony to Ignite “The Light of Dhamma”
Foundation for Success
virtue of the Buddha
Buddhist sects; Buddhist schools
the Buddha’s sayings; the words of the Buddha
the Buddha’s sayings
a Buddha-interval, period between the appearance of one Buddha and the next
reflection on the virtues of the Buddha
an intelligent-natured person; the intellectual
evil speech; harmful speech
do what you say; whatever you say, you must be able to do
lunchtime for Buddhist monks; forenoon meal
for all mankind and all living beings
เพื่อนร่วมทุกข์ เกิด แก่ เจ็บ ตาย
fellow creatures in the cycle of rebirth; fellow human beings
supreme knowledge; enlightenment
(Bodhisatta, Skt, Bodhisattva) Buddha-to-be; one who is destined to be a Buddha; enlightened being; one who has resolved to attain enlightenment for the helping of his fellow mankind
restless; restlessness; wandering mind
realms; domains; kingdoms; worlds
realms of the dead
Craving for existence, wanting to be
(bhavana) cultivate; develop; mental development; mental cultivation; meditation
wisdom resulting from mental development; understanding through practice
merit arising from meditation
repeat the mantra ‘Samma-Araham’,
(bhikkhu) Buddhist monk who has received higher ordination and is subject to the full discipline defined in the text, the Vinaya Pitaka; monk
(bhikkhunis) Buddhist nun
plane; plane of existence; plane of consciousness
wealth; riches; possession
(mangala) blessing; prosperity; auspiciousness; good omen; anything that is conducive to success
(manta) charm; spell; sacred words; invocation
(moranasati) meditation on death; mindfulness of death
Path that leads to Cessation of Suffering
path of Nirvana
Noble Eightfold Path, the Path to end suffering, consisting of:
1. Right View (Samma Ditthi) — having a proper understanding of life and the world;
2. Right Intention (Samma Sankappa) — thinking always along good lines;
3. Right Speech (Samma Vaca) — talking only of proper things in a proper way;
4. Right Action (Samma Kammanta) — conducting oneself in a proper way;
5. Right Livelihood (Samma Achiva) — earning one’s living by not causing harm and suffering to others;
6. Right Effort (Samma Vayama) — making an effort in the right things;
7. Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati) – maintaining awareness at all times. Mindfulness can be developed through regular practice of meditation;
8. Right Concentration (Samma Samadhi) – Right Concentration is obtained through meditation. Inner wisdom can be created in this way. It is through meditation that one is able to reach enlightenment.
The Path, ways to end suffering
Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya
(Mahanikaya) Greater Sub-Order of the Thai Monkhood
highly venerated teacher(s)
Mahayana, a school of Buddhism practiced in China, Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore
Khun Yay Ajahn Maharatana Upasika Chand Khonnokyoong
(Mansacakkhu) physical eye
(Majjhimanikaya) Collection of Middle-length Discourses
Magha Puja, Buddhist religious day in commemoration of the Great Assembly of Disciples. Magha Puja Day, full moon day of the 3rd lunar month (February/March) marks the day 1,250 Arahants from different places came to pay homage to the Lord Buddha, each on his own initiative and without prior notification. The fact that these Arahants were individually ordained by the Lord Buddha himself came to the assembly on their own free will and without notice, and the event took place on the full moon day of Magha, the third lunar month, made this occasion unique and remarkable. This is a big day in Buddhism. Some call it the Dhamma Day.
Mara, the Evil One; supra-natural beings in Buddhist cosmology which are responsible for hindering people from performing meritorious deeds; obstacles for doing good deeds
(micchadhiti) Wrong View, opposite from Right View, consisting of the following misconceptions:
1. Generosity is not virtuous and should not be practiced;
2. It is unnecessary to honor people worthy of honor;
3. It is unnecessary to show hospitality to guests who come to our homes;
4. Good and bad actions have no effect;
5. A child has no debt of gratitude to his parents;
6. This world and the next don’t really exist;
7. There is no such thing as being born instantly in full grown form (opapatika), such as heavenly beings and hell beings;
8. Monastics are unable to purify themselves of all defilement
born of their kamma
have kamma as sanctuary
related to their kamma
having the right kind of friends
having kamma (of our own)
precept-pure; having morality
(mudita) sympathetic joy
(muni) a sage; a religious thinker
false speech; lies
Virtue of Loving-kindness
coupling; sexual intercourse
when the mind comes to the right point of balance
a voided person
(moha) delusion; ignorance
one with foolish habits; one of deluded temperament
neither happy nor unhappy
ไม่เอนเอียงเข้าข้าง เพราะชอบ เพราะชัง เพราะหลง และเพราะกลัว
not biased because of love, hatred, obsession, and fear
(yama) death; ruler of the kingdom of the dead
(yakkha) a demon; ogre
(Yamadeva) realm of the Yama; name of the third heavenly abode
a monk’s sack
yogi; ascetic; hermit; one devoted to mental training
a measure of length; distance of about 10 miles or 16 kms.
having thorough method in one’s thought; wise consideration; analytical reflection; thorough attention
bring your mind to be one with the inner Buddha
รักษา เก็บให้ดี (อารักขสัมปทา)
precept-keeping; observing the precepts; keeping the precepts
Triple Gem; the Three Refuge, consisting of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha
Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration correspond to mental development and meditation
incarnation; to recall past lives
lustful-natured; lustful temperament
(rupa) sight; form; matter; materiality; physical self; body; corporeality. Rupa is made up of earth, water, air, fire (heat)
jhanas (absorptions) of the fine-material sphere
‘realm of existence’ (subject to rebirths); realm of form
we are fellow creatures of the world
supramundane matter; transcendental matter
mundane matter; worldly matter (dealing with the five senses)
Inner Dream Kindergarten
transcendental; subtle; spiritual, viz., spiritual body)
ลักษณะมหาบุรุษครบถ้วนทั้ง 32 ประการ
32 attributes of the Great Man
Dhammakaya Cetiya Ground
ลำดับ 1 ครุกรรม กรรมหนัก
‘Weighty Kamma’, actions that are the most significant or most severe.
ลำดับ 4 กฎัตตากรรม กรรมเล็ก ๆ น้อย
‘Reserve Kamma’, minor kamma or casual acts that are not serious, or are committed without intention.
Lumbini (the place where the Buddha was born)
Kamma makes them the way they are (fortunate or unfortunate)
worldly conditions; worldly vicissitudes
a unit of the universe
mundane and supramundane
open mind; the mind is open and free
special merit zone.
Vadjryana, a Mahayana sect (Tibetan Buddhism)
round of existence; cycle of rebirth
The Dhammakaya Temple, established on Magha Puja Day, February 20, 1970, by Phrarajbhavanavisudh (Ven. Dhammajayo Bhikkhu), Master Nun Chand Khonnokyoong (Khun Yay Ajahn Chand), and devotees. It was initially built on an eighty-acre plot of land donated by a lay follower, with a starting capital of only US$1,600.
The Dhammakaya Temple has its starting point from the vision of the Master Teacher Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro,1884-1959), the previous Great Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, who rediscovered the lost Dhammakaya Tradition. It was the desire of Phra Monkolthepmuni to propagate the Wisdom of Dhammakaya Meditation to the world, and for the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha to bring true peace to mankind.
The Temple was built in accordance with the following Buddha’s philosophy: “Build temples to be true temples. Build monks to be true monks. Build people to be good people.” It also follows the Buddha’s concept of Four Favorable Environments, consisting of “favorable place, favorable food, favorable people, and favorable Dhamma”.
With the steady increase of laypeople coming to the Temple to practice meditation, it has become necessary to expand the areas and the facilities to adequately accommodate the people. And because funding for constructions of the temple facilities come entirely from contributions of lay followers, every construction is built with the following ideal: “minimum budget, maximum benefit, longest-lasting”. All buildings and constructions are built to benefit the Buddhist religion in the most worthwhile way and to provide the maximum merits for donors.
Principal buildings at the Dhammakaya Temple:
• Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya, Ceitiya of the Triple Gem (มหาธรรมกายเจดีย์ เจดีย์แห่งพระรัตนตรัย), a dome-shaped pagoda designed to last more than 1,000 years. The exterior dome surface is enshrined with 300,000 “personal” Buddha images. The interior is enshrined with the Buddha relics, the Principal Buddha statute in pure silver weighing 14 tons, along with 700,000 “personal” Buddha images. The surrounding Cetiya ground is used to perform religious ceremonies and meditations during important Buddhist events. It has the capacity to accommodate up to 400,000 people.
• The Grand Meditation Stadium (มหารัตนวิหารคด), a two-story building surrounding the Cetiya Ground. This is a place to perform meditation and religious ceremonies, and serves as a center for Buddhists from around the world. Capacity: 600,000 people.
• The Dhammakaya Meditation Hall (สภาธรรมกายสากล), a place for religious activities. It is a large all-purpose, two-story building used for ceremonial activities and meditation. Capacity: 300,000 people.
• Memorial Hall of Phramongkolthepmuni (มหาวิหารพระมงคลเทพมุนี), home of Phra Mongkokthepmuni’s golden statute.
• Khun Yay Ajahn Century Building (อาคาร๑๐๐ ปี คุณยายอาจารย์ฯ), a center for Buddhism and propagation of the Dhammakaya Tradition to the world.
• The Memorial Hall of Khun Yay Ajahn (มหาวิหารคุณยายอาจารย์), a place that enshrines Khun Yay’s relics and golden statute. Inside the Hall is a jade room. Capacity: 300 people.
• The Main Chapel (อุโบสถ), a place of ordinations for tens of thousands of monks and novices of all nationalities.
• Master Nun Chand Khonnokyoong Refectory (หอฉันคุณยายอาจารย์), dining hall for monks and novice monks, built in accordance with Khun Yay’s foresight to enable monks and novice monks to have time to study and practice Dhamma without having to worry about alms food. The dining hall accommodates up to 6,000 monks and novice monks.
sense object; sensual pleasure the goal for renunciation is to renounce sense pleasures
monastic daily routine or service; function
first day of the rains-retreat; beginning of Buddhist Lent
Buddhist holy day; observance day
last day of the rains-retreat; end of the rainsretreat
Buddhist’s observance day
position your mind; place your mind
let go of everything
void (free of all thoughts); empty
(vayama) effort, mental or physical energy or endeavor that is exerted in order to achieve a purpose or a goal
improper time; afternoon and night
(vijjā Dhammakaya) Knowledge of the Dhammakaya; The Dhammakaya Tradition. This Tradition is based on wisdom gained by those practicing insight meditation beyond the attainment of the Body of Enlightenment. It can be equated with the Threefold Knowledge, Sixfold Superknowledge and Eightfold Supranormal knowledge of the Buddhist Scriptures.
(vinnana) consciousness, there are six: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, mental
a wise man
how to visualize
how to repay the debt of gratitude to our parents
how to recall the virtue of our parents
the way you maintain your mental image
(Vinayapitaka) the Discipline Basket; the Book of Discipline
(vipaka) consequence; effect; result; the fruit which comes from a preceding cause or action
kamma results; kamma effect; results of deeds previously done
the moderately intelligent; a person who understands after a detailed explanation
(vipassana) insight meditation; higher vision; intuitive vision; introspection; insight development; comprehension of reality.
— Insight meditation aims to discipline the mind while fostering a profound clarity about the nature of reality. Enlightenment can only be attained through vipassana.
craving for non-existence; wanting not to be
(vimamsa) analysis; understanding; thoughtfulness; intelligence and common sense; observation; reasoning; investigation; analysis and evaluation.
heavenly abode; heavenly mansion
deliverance; emancipation; release; salvation; liberation; freedom
(vimuti yannathasana) vision of deliverance
path of liberation
bliss of emancipation; bliss of freedom
(viriya) efforts; perseverance; ceaseless application of energy; industry; diligence; hardworking; exertion; commitment; endurance; willingness to work hard and to never give up.
Virtue of Effort
detachment; absence of lust
solitude; detachment; seclusion
(Visakha Puja; Vesak ) Buddhist religious day in commemoration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing. It falls on the full moon day of the 6th lunar month (May). This is one of the most important Buddhist events commemorating the birth, the enlightenment and the passing away of the Lord Buddha, all happened on the same full moon day in the lunar month of Visakha. This event is known as the Buddha Day.
Path of Purity
(vihara) Buddhist monastery; Buddhist Temple; residence of Buddhist monks; monastic residence
(vedana) feelings or sensations; is one of pleasant, unpleasant, neutral
enmity; hostile action
(in meditation) finding the right point of balance; right balance; point of balance
feeling in feeling
samsara, cycle of birth and rebirth; cycle of existence
faith and confidence; belief; confidence based on knowledge of truth
Sakya, the name of a royal race in the northern frontiers of Magadha
Sakyamuni, the sage of the Sakyas, referring to the Buddha
spiritual masters; spiritual teachers; religious figures
(Sila) Precepts; morality; ethics; moral restraint; moral practice; precept is a code of moral conduct that encourages one to abstain from all wrongdoings
precepts are universal goodness
Virtue of Morality
morality; morals; ethics
Five Precepts, consisting of:
1. not to kill
2. not to steal
3. not to commit sexual misconduct
4. not to lie
5. not to drink alcohol and take other intoxicants
moral conduct, manners and duties; moral habits
center of the body
seventh base of the mind
(Sakadagami) ‘once-returner’, one who has attained the first stage of the Path and will be reborn on the earth only once before attaining the final emancipation
water-throwing festival; the old Thai New Year
(samsara) the process of birth and death; the round of rebirth; the round of existence; the Wheel of Life; eternal wandering
peaceful; tranquil; serene; calm
away from sensual matters
(sati) mindfulness; alertness; having consciousness, awareness and attentiveness; a form of meditation practice that leads to a concentrated, direct awareness of transient phenomena as they arise in the present moment
สติ กับ สบาย
alert and relaxed
(stupa) a round Buddhist shrine, dome or tower containing the relics of the Buddha; a relic monument
inner garment or under robe of a Buddhist monk or novice
relaxed; at ease
Great Assembly Hall of the Dhammakaya Temple
natural condition; natural phenomenon
state of mind
spending money wisely
(samana) an ascetic
(samatha) tranquility; calm abiding; quietude. Samatha is concerned with developing concentration, the ability to maintain the focus of attention one-pointedly. Samatha may release paranormal powers, known as siddhis.
(Samantacakkhu) eye of Omniscience
สมบัติของเรา เป็นแค่ของยืมมาชั่วคราว ไม่ใช่ของแท้
All our worldly possessions are not real; they don’t belong to us.
to undertake; observance; acceptance
(Samadhi) concentration; one-pointedness of mind; mental discipline; meditative practice leading to one-pointed concentration; a state of complete concentration and absorbed contemplation
Samadhi is the process of focusing the mind at the center of the body.
even and equal treatment — participating and behaving properly in all circumstances and also with impartiality.
attainment, meditative attainments
Origin of suffering (is caused by craving):
– Craving for sense-pleasure, wanting to have;
– Craving for existence, wanting to be;
– Craving for non-existence, wanting not to be
building virtues; doing good deeds
building Perfected Virtues; building Perfections
persevere in building virtues until you prevail
สร้างวัดให้เป็นวัด สร้างพระให้เป็นพระ และสร้างคนให้เป็นคนดี
Build temples to be true temples. Build monks to be true monks Build people to be good people.
chanting or reciting the Fundamental Precepts
chanting of Abhidhamma excerpts; funeral chanting
to chant; to recite Buddhist verses
chanting to pay respect to the Triple Gem
to build “provisions”
(sankhara) compounded things; component things; conditioned things; kamma formations; mental formations; mental predispositions; essential conditions; conductive factors; conception; notion; thought; volition; disposition
Four Bases of Sympathy; acts of doing favors
สังคายนา ครั้งที่ 1
First Buddhist Council
donations to monks (without specifying the receivers or the purposes of use)
(samsara) cycle of death and rebirth; ocean of birth and death; eternal wandering; the wheel of cyclic existence; the cycle of constant rebirth in which all being are trapped as a result of their intentional deeds (karma); the cycle ranges from hell states to sublime, formless realms.
accumulate more merit
Virtue of Truthfulness
Truth; the truth
(sanna) perception; the six sorts of sensual perception
a good, worthy man; righteous man; gentleman
true doctrine; true Dhamma
faith and confidence
one of faithful temperament; faithful-natured; devout
achievement of faith
shape of mental object
all beings have kamma of their own
Sanskrit, another ancient language used in India; Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit were translated from the Pali language; Sanskrit texts are used by the Mahayana school
virtue of the righteous
the Omniscient One; the All-knowing (referring to the Buddha)
clear comprehension; clear consciousness; awareness
attainment; fulfillment; accomplishment
future life; future existence
sources of happiness in the future life
spirit seeking rebirth; a being yet to be born
Right Action; good conduct: Not killing living beings, not stealing, not engaging in sexual misconduct.
(samma-dhiti) Right View, view and wisdom in accordance with the Truths, consisting of the following beliefs:
1. Generosity is virtuous and should be practiced;
2. It is necessary to honor people worthy of honor;
3. It is necessary to be hospitable to the guests that come to our house;
4. Actions, good and bad, produce consequences. Good deeds produce good results; bad deeds produce bad retribution (law of karma);
5. A child has debt of gratitude to his parents;
6. This world and the next do exist. There will be afterlife and rebirths;
7. There is such thing as being born instantly in fully grown form (opapatika). This is the method of birth of beings in the heaven and hell realms;
8. Monastics are able to purify themselves of all defilements.
Right Speech – To speak the truth, and with kindness; to abstain from lies, slander, harsh language, and idle chatter.
Right Effort – Effort to do good and to avoid bad, not to allow unwholesome action to occur
Right Thought – To have the right intention, viz., thought of removal from the influence of sensual desire; removal from involvement in a family life; thought of ending vengefulness; thought of not causing suffering to others.
Right Mindfulness – To have the right awareness
Right Concentration – To cultivate the mind in the proper way.
Samma-Araham, one who is free from defilements; ultimate state of goodness; the Buddha who has properly attained arahantship
Right Livelihood – To practice an honest and wholesome profession, not to engage in occupations that involve selling weapons, selling humans, selling animals for slaughter and selling poisons.
good; “bless your heart”; a remark of appreciation
general Buddhist people; people
ability to tell right from wrong, good from bad.
(samanera) male novice; novice monk
(samaneri) female novice
sacred thread; sacred cord
(sikkha) training; study; discipline
สิ่งที่จะติดตัวไปเป็นสมบัติของเราจริงๆ ก็คือ กรรม ทั้งกรรมดี (บุญ) กรรมชั่ว (บาป)
The only possessions that truly belong to us—ones that can be taken with us after leaving this world—are our Kamma results, i.e., good kamma (merit) and bad Kamma (demerit).
negative elements that cloud your mind.
Siddhattha, proper name of the Buddha; Prince Siddhattha
achievement of virtue; fulfillment of moral conduct
to leave monkhood
Sukavatti, land of bliss
(sugati) happy realms; afterlife destinations or afterlife existences that are pleasant. They consist of the human world, the heavenly world, the Brahma world.
wisdom resulting from study or learning
proverb; pleasant speech; well-spoken words
(Sutta) Discourse attributed to the Buddha and his early followers
(Sotapanna) ‘stream enterer’, one who has attained the first stage of holiness
graciousness; gentleness; refinement
หมั่น ขยันหา (อุฏฐานสัมปทา)
persistent effort; industriousness
droplet of water
mundane; “physical” (Dhamma sense); coarse, crude, rough (material sense)
standstill, calm and still
“Stop, so you will succeed” (stop your mind from wandering)
delusion; unknowing; ignorance
The Great Abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen
sleep amidst the stream of merit
sleep with awareness
sleep in the sea of merit
deliverance; liberation; freedom from
หัวใจเศรษฐี (อุ อา กะ สะ)
“Millionaire Formula”; millionaire mentality
Hinayana; Theravada Buddhism; the oldest form of Buddhism practiced in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia; also known as Southern school of Buddhism
(hiri) shame of wrongdoing; moral shame;
seeing the crystal ball; seeing the crystal sphere
seeing the Buddha image
to have faith and confidence
give them loving-kindness
look at it casually, naturally, impassively, without emotion or attachment
ให้นึกอย่าง ธรรมดาๆ สบายๆ
imagine naturally, easily, casually
let the merit nourish your mind
let the merit nourish and protect you
place your mental object at the 7th base of the mind
to salute with joined palms; to pay respect by placing the palms of both hands together and bow
unwholesome; immoral; impure; bad
unwholesome action; bad action; wrongful action
immoral consciousness; unwholesome thought
unwholesome course of action; way of bad action
intruded by evil thoughts
prejudice; partiality; discrimination; bias
the Buddha is with you
the Buddha is you
crystal Buddha; crystal clear Buddha
bright and clear Buddha image
(acinteyya) unfathomable or unperceivable through ordinary perception; supramundane phenomena; outside the sphere of natural law; supernatural (unexplainable phenomena)
past life; previous life; previous existence
taking what is not given; stealing
neither happy nor unhappy
(adhittana) resolve; resolution; determination; firmness of purpose; will
to make a wish; make a resolution
Virtue of Resolution
(anatta) non-self; not-self; no-soul; non-ego; without self; selflessness. There is no lasting essence, only illusion of the existence of a self. The idea of “self” causes attachment.
(anantariyakamma) immediacy deeds; heinous crimes that bring immediate retributions; they include matricide, patricide, killing an Arahant, causing a Buddha to suffer a contusion or to bleed, causing division in the Sangha Order
(anagami) ‘non-returner’; one who has attained the third stage of holiness
(anicca) impermanence; transiency. Nothing is permanent; everything is subject to change. Attachment to all things that are impermanent causes suffering.
rejoice; congratulate (rejoice in one’s merit)
unhappy existence; unhappy realms; states of misery
cause of ruin; roads to ruin; gateway to destruction
giving of forgiveness
super-knowledge; ultra-conscious insight; divine power; spiritual power; supranatural power
(Abhidhamma) Higher Doctrine
(Abhiddhammapitaka) the Basket of the Higher Doctrine
(Arahant) the Noble One; the Worthy One; noble or holy being; one who is free from defilements; one who is enlightened; one who has attained Nirvana
spiritual wealth; transcendental wealth; sublime treasure; spiritual treasure
the enlightened; an enlightened person
fruits of the holy life; noble fruits
Path of the Enlightened; Noble Path
The Four Noble Truths — Discovered by the Buddha during his enlightenment, The Four Noble Truths became the foundation for Buddhism. It explains that suffering is a part of all unenlightened beings; that the origin of suffering arises from attachment to desire or craving; that suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases; and that freedom from suffering is possible through the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path.
non-form; formless; non-matter
absorptions of the formless sphere
formless realm; realm of non-form
ignorance; delusion; ignorance of the true nature of reality
the lowest hell
eternal length of time; eons; eternity; infinity
(Anguttaranikaya) Numerical Sayings
sleeveless or one-shouldered cloth of a monk
(atta) self; ego; personal entity; the whole personality
useful conduct; conduct that is beneficial
a useful person
knowing the consequence
a guest; new comer; stranger
Habitual Kamma — recurring actions or deeds that have been repeated over a long period of time.
non-Buddhist ascetics, mostly naked
(atman) the self; soul
mindfulness of breathing
benefit; merit; good result; reward
material thing; materiality
donation of requisites; material gifts
sense object of consciousness
Aryans, ancient people of Asia who spoke an Indo-European language and called themselves Ariyas (“noble ones”). Sometime between 2000 B.C. and 1000 B.C. the Ariyas migrated south from Central Asia into the Indian subcontinent and westward through the Balkan Peninsula. They introduced the Sanskrit language to India.
mental impurities; pollution; mental defilement
Asalha Puja, Buddhist religious day on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month (July).
— This marks the day the Buddha delivered his first discourse known as Dhammacakkappavatana Sutta (“Setting into Motion the Wheel of Dhamma”) to his five original disciples. In this discourse, the Buddha advised that one should live the Middle Way, avoiding the two extremes: sensual indulgence and selfmortification. Here, the Buddha preached the Four Noble Truths (the truths of suffering) and the Noble Eightfold Path (the Path to end suffering). This occasion is considered to be the starting point of Buddhism. It is also the day the Sangha came into existence, thus the Sangha Day.
‘Death-threshold Kamma’, state of mind at the time of death.
(Iddhipada 4) Four Foundations of Success, consisting of:
1. Inspiration (chanda) – to be happy to work and ready to work to one’s best ability; to have enthusiasm and to have for one’s work.
2. Effort (viriya) – industry, diligence, patience, commitment, endurance, willingness to work hard and to never give up.
3. Attention (citta) – concentration, mindfulness, consciousness, alertness, attentiveness, awareness, consideration, care.
4. Examination and Analysis (vimamsa) – understanding, thoughtfulness, observation, investigation, analysis and evaluation.
mental image; learning sign
The highly intelligent — a person with quick intuition
restlessness; unrest; distraction; anxiety
dedication or transference of merit
(upasok) male Buddhist devotee; male lay follower; temple staff/helper
(upasika) female Buddhist devotee; female lay follower; female temple staff/helper
(upekka) equanimity; steady and stable state of mind; even-mindedness; neutrality
Virtue of Equanimity
observance (of the Eight Precepts); consecrated assembly hall
observance of the Eight Precepts
full ordination; to be ordained; entering into monkhood
obstacles in meditation; hindrances
sea of merit
(ottappa) moral dread; moral fear; fear of the results of wrongdoing; fear of wrongdoing
(opapatika) spontaneously-born creatures; creatures that can be born instantly in full grown form (such as heavenly beings and hell beings)
(Ovadapatimokkha) the Principle Teaching; the Fundamental Teaching
Part II – Popular Dhamma Topics
‘The religion in the future will be a cosmic religion.
It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogma and theology.
Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on
a religious sense arising from the experience of all things,
natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.
Buddhism answers this description.’
What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion based on the Teachings of the Buddha who lived in India more than 2,500 years ago. The essence of Buddhism is freedom from suffering.
Buddhism is a practical, logical, scientific and broad-minded religion. It is not a religion based on blind faith, superstition, guilt, or fear.
An intelligent man has the ability to look at situations from a neutral perspective. He does not allow emotions to influence his perception, and remains open minded. The Buddha encourages one to be neutral, not to believe or disbelieve until something is proven to be true or false.
Buddhism encourages self-reliance and self-liberation through good deeds.
Although Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest religions, its principles and teachings are still modern and practical in all situations. Buddhism is a religion of peace, harmony, and loving-kindness.
Buddhists have never gone to war in the name of religion.
Buddhists accept the view of the Universe that time is not linear but circular. Consequently, the Universe is not created out of nothing at a particular point, nor will it be completely destroyed at another. It has always existed and will always exist. In the meantime, however, it goes through endless cycles of creation and destruction, creation and destruction – over and over and over …
Any being that is born into this cyclic Universe is the result of something that has gone before of a preceding cause or willed action (karma). This is the doctrine of creation by causes. In turn, when any being dies, he, she or it creates the causes for the birth of a new being. This is not precisely reincarnation or transmigration, for it is not exactly the same being that commutes from body to body down through the procession of the ages. The appropriate word to describe this process is ‘rebirth’.
Rebirth, therefore, is a process of endless and uncontrollable circulation through a variety of mostly painful situations.
The Law of Karma
Buddhism discusses the Law of Karma (Pali, Kamma), also known as the Law of Cause and Effect. According to this law no one can salvage us from our “sins” nor can anyone pass his sins to us. An action, good or bad, produces a result. Good actions produce good results and bad actions produce bad ones. A person is directly responsible for his/her own deeds.
Samsara — Cycle of Rebirths
Another aspect of Buddhism is samsara, the cycle of rebirths. Buddhists believe that their lives in this world represent merely one stage in an infinite series of births. Any person’s present life has been preceded by countless other lives; at death the process would continue. This recurring pattern of events is known as samsara, a Sanskrit word meaning “eternal wandering.”
Samsara is governed by the Law of Karma. A person who performs good deeds in this life will be reborn in a happy realm in the next life. A person who performs evil deeds in this life will be reborn in an unhappy realm in the next life. Happy realms consist of heavens and human domain. Unhappy realms consist of hells, demon and animal domains. The destination and quality of rebirth is based on the quality of deeds.
The only way to end the rebirth cycle is for a person to tenaciously perform good deeds and build perfect virtues (parami, Perfections) until he reaches Nirvana.
Nirvana (Pali, Nibhanna) is the state of ultimate happiness — the happy condition of enlightenment — the highest spiritual attainment. This is not the sense-based happiness of everyday life; nor is it the concept of happiness as interpreted by Western culture. It is an enduring, transcendental happiness integral to the calmness attained through enlightenment. Once a person has attained Nirvana, he has reached the end of the cycle of rebirths — the final and total release from cyclic existence — never again to be subject to rebirth.
Happy realms consist of heavens and human domain. A person who lives a life of good conduct will be reborn in a happy realm.
Unhappy realms consist of hells, demons, hungry ghosts, and animal domains. A person who lives a life of evil conduct will be reborn in an unhappy realm.
Four Noble Truths
Discovered by the Buddha during his enlightenment, The Four Noble Truths became the foundation for Buddhism. It explains that suffering is a part of all unenlightened beings; that the origin of suffering arises from attachment to desire or craving; that suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases; and that freedom from suffering is possible through the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path is the Path to end all sufferings, leading to enlightenment. It consists of the right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
Right View is view and wisdom in accordance with the Truths. It consists of the understanding that generosity is virtuous and should be practiced; virtuous people are worthy of respect; hospitality is good; the Law of Karma exists; parents are worthy of our gratitude; there is life after death; heavens and hells exist, and enlightenment is attainable.
Dharma (Pali, Dhamma) has many meanings: the Truth, the way of the Nature, the right way of living, proper conduct, the law of righteousness, and the Teachings of the Buddha.
Buddhists follow three basic practices: to do good, to avoid bad, and to purify the mind. Good deeds are achieved through acts of generosity and loving-kindness. Bad deeds can be avoided through observation of moral conducts known as Precepts. Cultivation of the mind is achieved through meditation.
Precepts are the guiding principles that form the framework of Buddhist ethical conduct and the baseline of one’s virtue. A person should at least practice the Five Precepts, which consist of not killing any living beings (including animals), not stealing, not lying, not committing sexual misconduct, and not consuming intoxicating substances (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes).
Meditation is a means of mental development and purification. It is through meditation that our mind is trained, refined, and perfected. In its natural state — when the mind is completely still and void of all thoughts — a mind is pure and perfect, free of any mental contaminants known as “defilements”. A mind that is restless is like stirred water sullied by impurities, losing its clear-seeing quality. Meditation is a process that calms and stabilizes the mind so that it is pure and not disturbed by outside influences. A clearseeing mind has the ability to tell right from wrong, good from bad, and the wisdom for spiritual attainment.
Buddhism places great importance on generosity because it is seen as a stepping stone to wealth. Generosity is the beginning point of all good deeds.
According to the Law of Karma, if we provide for the happiness of others through our generosity, the karmic fruit resulting will be that we will always be provided for in our own happiness and convenience. The more we give, the more we will get.
The practice of generosity is the easiest one to perform, and the fruits of merit are the quickest to materialize. The merit result from the practice of generosity is riches and wealth to the one who gives.
The merit resulting from giving is a force that attracts wealth. The more we give, the more wealth we attract. The more selfish and stingier we are the more wealth we dispel, and the poorer we will become. This is an established belief according to the Law of Karma.
Pali & Sanskrit – Languages of Buddhism
Buddhism has two scriptural languages: Pali and Sanskrit.
Pali is an ancient language used in India during the time of the Buddha. The original Buddhist scriptures were written in Pali. Pali texts are used in Theravada school of Buddhism. Theravada is practiced in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.
Sanskrit is another ancient language used in India. Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit were translated from the Pali language. Sanskrit texts are used in Mahayana school of Buddhism. Mahayana is practiced in China, Taiwan, S. Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
Some Buddhist words in Sanskrit have found their way into the English dictionary. Such words are: dharma, karma, nirvana, and bodhisattva.
To refrain from all evil
To do what is good
To purify the mind
These are the Teachings of the Buddha
THE BUDDHA’S LIFE
The Early Years
The Buddha was born in 566 B.C. as Prince Siddhattha Gotama, the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maha Maya Dewi in the kingdom of the Sakyans, a tribe of the Aryan* race that lived in the North of India. At his birth it was predicted that the Prince would either become a world leader (universal monarch) or a Buddha (an Awakened One). King Suddhodana wanted his son to become a great ruler rather than a spiritual leader. Reasoning that it would be the experience of the hard side of life that would turn the young Siddhattha’s mind towards the religion, King Suddhodana created an environment of pleasure and luxury for his son and kept him far away from the unpleasant side of life.
At age sixteen Siddhattha married Yashodhara, a beautiful princess of the same age from a neighboring state. Around the time that his one and only son, Rahula, was born, curiosity about the conditions in the outside world began to nibble away at him. King Suddhodana responded by arranging for Siddhattha to be driven down to the local village, but he first ordered that all people with any kind of disability be kept out of sight so as not to upset the prince’s sensitive nature. The arrangement miscarried, however, for on the first three visits that Siddhattha made to the village he saw things that had a deeply traumatic effect on his over-protected consciousness. He was initiated into the reality of suffering in three of its most poignant forms: old age, sickness and death. Then on the fourth drive to the village, Prince Siddhattha encountered an ascetic who had renounced the worldly possessions. The air of serenity and nobility of bearing from this ascetic suggested that he had come to terms with life and freedom from the influence of the world.
At the age of 29 the Prince renounced worldly life and left the palace to find an answer to the problem of suffering and a path to liberation from the painful rounds of cyclic existence.
Prince Siddhattha spent the next six years on an intensive spiritual quest in jungle retreats. He studied with the best yogic teachers of the time and learned everything they knew, but soon realized that their knowledge would not lead him to complete liberation. So, he left them and decided to try his own way. Initially he experimented with extreme ascetic practices of self mortification: living in graveyards, sleeping on beds of thorns, frying in the noonday heat and freezing beneath the moon at night. He starved and punished his body in hope that in that way he could root out all desire. He brought himself to the verge of death and realized that he would probably die and still not find what he was looking for. He finally gave up the practice of self mortification and turned instead to the experimentation of pure meditation practice.
He sat himself under a Bodhi Tree and was determined to sit on that ‘immovable spot’ until he found an answer to his problem … or die in the attempt. Persisting in concentration his mind became as calm and bright as a mirror, so that he was able to have clear insight into the basic mechanisms that create and sustain Samsara, the cycle of births and rebirths. He relived his own innumerable past births in the different ages of the world. Then, turning his attention to others, he saw how they circulated through the cycle of births and deaths, and that the way in which they passed on was determined by the moral quality of their actions (kamma).
He then considered how the ‘defilements’ (sensual desire, greed, anger, ignorance) that cause suffering could be eradicated, and seeing that it was indeed possible to do so, he was himself freed. He lastly surveyed the process how birth inevitably leads to aging, sickness and death, which is a prelude to yet another birth – and one that will merely turn the Wheel of Life through another repetitious revolution unless the process is stopped.
He sees that a person is caught up in the notion of separate, individual being or person – self –with a name, history, social role, memories, relationships and so on. At depth, in its true nature, the reality was very different. He was not simply Siddharttha Gotama at all, but something far more marvelous than that. His true self was in fact vast, open, unconditioned and was beyond the dualities of pain and pleasure, space and time, life and death. This was Nirvana.
When, toward dawn, Siddhattha looked up, he saw the morning star rise with new eyes – not the eyes of Siddhattha Gotama but those of the Buddha: the ‘One Who is Awake’, the ‘One Who Knows’ … he was enlightened!
Siddhattha became a Buddha at the age of 35.
The Great Teacher
For the next forty-five years until his death, the Buddha wandered between the towns, villages and cities of the middle Ganges plain giving wise and compassionate teachings. Though many of his followers were lay people, there were also those who wished to give up the world and family life in order to devote their time and energy entirely to the Dhamma. So emerged the Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks. At first the Sangha lived lives of extreme simplicity as homeless mendicants, dressing in rags, living only on alms-food and seeking shelter in caves and beneath the roots of trees. Later, wealthy lay benefactors which included kings, aristocrats and rich merchants provided permanent residences during the Monsoon season. These were the beginning of vihara, Buddhist monasteries.
The Buddha died in the year 486 B.C. in Kushinagara, not far from his birthplace at Lumbini. Surrounded by his disciples, both monastics and laity, his last words to them summarized the heart of his teaching:
“Impermanent are all created things. Strive on with awareness.”
THE TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA
The Teachings of the Buddha are known as Dhamma, a Pali word for the Truth, the law of righteousness. In his first sermon the Buddha emphasized that one should live the Middle Way, avoiding the two extremes: sensual indulgence and self-mortification. He explained that suffering is part of life (the Four Noble Truths), that suffering can be ended through the practice of good deeds (Noble Eightfold Path), and that the ultimate happiness (nirvana) can be attained through the building of perfect virtues (Ten Perfected Virtues). The Buddha emphasized that a person is dependent upon his own action (kamma) for salvation and every action, good or bad, has a direct consequence.
THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM
Buddhism encourages self-reliance, self-development and conduct of high moral standards that lead to self-liberation. Buddhists embrace the practice of moral restraint (sila), mindfulness (samadhi), and wisdom (panna). Moral restraint is achieved through observation of precepts or codes of moral conducts; mindfulness is achieved through meditation, and wisdom is achieved through mind cultivation.
Buddhism acknowledges the existence of suffering as part of all living beings. To liberate oneself from suffering one must be aware of the nature of suffering, its origin, and the means to overcome it.
• Four Noble Truths (Noble Truths of Suffering)
1. Suffering exists – Birth, aging, sickness, death, pain, discomfort, impermanence, transiency, unsatisfactoriness, are suffering
2. Origin of suffering – Suffering arises from attachment to desire, craving (tanha). People themselves create this suffering by trying to cling on to worldly pleasures.
3. Cessation of suffering – Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases. If people set their feelings free and abandoned material hopes and dreams then suffering would end.
4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path.
• Noble Eightfold Path (the Path to end suffering)
1. Right View – view and wisdom in accordance with the Truths; to have a positive attitude about others as well as themselves.
2. Right Thought – to think without selfishness, anger and cruelty; to consider the plight of others with sympathy and understanding.
3. Right Speech – to speak the truth, not to gossip or slander, not to use harsh language, not to say things that are hurtful.
4. Right Action – good conduct earned by not killing or harming humans and animals, not stealing, not committing sexual misconducts, not taking intoxicants.
5. Right Livelihood – to practice honest and wholesome professions; to avoid occupations that involve cheating on others or causing harm or suffering to anyone.
6. Right Effort – effort to do good and avoid bad; living in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha.
7. Right Mindfulness – to be conscientious, to be aware of the consequences of personal actions
8. Right Concentration – to cultivate the mind in the proper way.
• The Three Characteristics of Life
All compounded things are impermanent (annicca), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and nonself (anatta). Because everything is subject to change it eventually brings suffering to those who hold onto it. Once letting go has taken place we are free.
1. Anicca – Impermanence. Transiency. Nothing is permanent; everything is subject to change. Attachment to all things that are impermanent causes suffering.
2. Dukkha – Suffering exists. Birth, aging, sickness, death, discontentment, disappointments, displeasure are suffering. Impermanence, transiency, attachment to “self” are suffering.
3. Anatta – Non-self, without self, not self, egolessness. There is no lasting essence, only illusion of the existence of a self. The idea of “self” causes attachment.
• Ten Perfected Virtues (Paramis):
1. Dana giving, charitable act, generosity
2. Sila morality, ethics, precepts
3. Nekkhamma renunciation; relinquishment of worldly possessions
4. Panna wisdom
5. Viriya efforts, industriousness, hardworking
6. Khanti patience, endurance
7. Sacca truthfulness
8. Adhittana resolution, determination, firmness of purpose
9. Metta loving-kindness
10. Upekkha equanimity, neutrality, emotionless, impassivity
• Sammadhitti — Right View
1. Generosity is virtuous and should be practiced
2. It is necessary to honor people worthy of honor
3. It is necessary to be hospitable to the guests that come to our house
4. Actions, good or bad, produce consequences. Good deeds produce good results;
5. bad deeds produce bad retribution
6. A child has debt of gratitude to his parents
7. This world and the next do exist. There will be afterlife and rebirths.
8. There is such thing as being born instantly in fully grown form (0papåtika). This is the method of birth of beings in the heaven and hell realms.
9. Monastics are able to purify themselves of all defilements.
• Khandha 5 Five Aggregates (elements, attributes of being)
1. Rupa form, physical self, body. Rupa is made up of earth, water, air, fire (heat)
2. Vedana feeling, is one of pleasant, unpleasant, neutral
3. Samjna perception, the six sorts of sensual perception
4. Sankhara conception, notion, thought, volition, disposition
5. Vinnana consciousness; there are six: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, mental
• Kusalakammapada 10 — Tenfold Path of Wholesomeness
1. Not killing – including killing animals and people
2. Not stealing – including cheating, deceiving, corruption, thievery, robbery, intimidation, forgery, and embezzlement
3. Not committing sexual misconduct – including adultery, wrongful sexual behavior, and rape
4. Not lying – including misrepresentation, misinformation, exaggeration, and misleading
5. Not gossiping – including slandering, talking bad about others, and disruption of harmony
6. Not speaking foul language – including swearing, cursing, scolding, talking down, vulgarism, sarcasm, and using words that hurt people’s feelings
7. Not engaging in idle chatters – including talking nonsense and chattering without substance and facts
8. Not envying or wanting to take the possessions of others
9. Not being vengeful – including having destructive thoughts, resentment, bitterness, ill-will, hostility, animosity, and lack of forgiveness
10. Not having the Wrong View – as opposed to having the Right View
• Brahmavihara 4 — The Four Lofty States of Mind
equanimity, steady and stable state of mind, neutrality
• Hiri-ottapa – Shame and Fear of Wrongdoing
Hiri and ottapa are Pali words, meaning ‘shame of wrongdoing’ (hiri) and ‘fearful of the consequence of wrongdoing’ (ottapa). One who has hiri-ottapa is one who has a good moral conscience. One who lacks hiri-ottapa is one who lacks moral conscience.
• Pancadhamma — the Five Virtues
1. Compassion – kindness to others; not causing harm to others
2. Generosity – charitable giving; absence of selfishness
3. Contentment with one’s spouse – faithfulness to spouse; keeping harmony in marriage
4. Truthfulness – honesty to yourself and others
5. Mindfulness – being aware and alert; having good consciousness
• Iddhipada 4 — Four foundations of Success
1. Inspiration (chanda) – to be happy to work and ready to work at one’s best ability; to have enthusiasm and the love for one’s work.
2. Effort (viriya) – industry, diligence, patience, commitment, endurance, willingness to work hard and to never give up.
3. Attention (citta) – concentration, mindfulness, consciousness, alertness, attentiveness, awareness, consideration, care.
4. Examination and Analysis (vimamsa) – understanding, thoughtfulness, observation, investigation, analysis and evaluation.
• Wrong Livelihood
The following occupations are prohibited by the Buddha:
1. Dealing in weapons
2. Dealing in human beings
3. Dealing in flesh
4. Dealing in poisons
5. Dealing in alcohol (and other intoxicants
Anyone who is involved in any of these five wrongful livelihoods is endangering his own spiritual well-being. The evil that one collects for himself will attract bad luck and misfortune to his life. Regardless of how much money that can be made from these occupations, it is not worth the danger and retribution from the bad karma that one has caused.
• Say No to Alcohol
The negative long-term effects of alcohol consumption are difficult to control and overcome. Not only is your own welfare at risk, but also the welfare of those around you, especially your family.
Dangers associated with intoxication are innumerable. Here are some obvious examples:
• Destruction of wealth.
• Destruction of health.
• Weakening of intellect
• Vulnerable to violent behavior and aggression
• Causing shamelessness and indecent exposure.
• Loss of friendship.
• Giving root to negative karma.
Benefits for not consuming alcohol
• Giving rise to good karma.
• Having sound mental and intellectual capacity
• Having clear-seeing quality.
• Having respectability from others
• Having better abilities to perform good deeds.
• Easier to reach Nirvana
• Discipline for Monastics
Monastic Discipline is divided into four components:
• Restraint according to monastic conduct (patimokkhasamvara) – To follow the set of rules of training—the 227 Precepts—which the Buddha established for the monks to restraint bodily actions and speech. To do the things that the Buddha allowed and to avoid doing the things that the Buddha prohibited.
• Restraint of the senses (indriyasamvara) — This means specifically the restraint of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin contact and mind. Monks are not to be affected by any forms of sensual distractions, such as the sight of a woman, the smell of a perfume, the sound of music, or the taste of food.
• Purity of livelihood (achivaparisuddhisamvara): The main duties of monks are to study Dhamma, practice meditation, and teach the Dharma knowledge to the public. The daily subsistence of monks comes from donations, which include food, medicines and other necessities. Monks are not supposed to engage in any forms of worldly professions or to earn a wage, because these activities distract them from their main goal and take away their concentration and purity of mind.
• Reflection on the Requisites (paccayapacavekkhana): This is the practice of moderation. Monks are to realize that the requisites given to them are nothing more than necessities for the survival of the body, not for overindulgence and excess. After all, they have already left behind the material world, and they are not supposed to attach to anything. They are supposed to “eat to live, not live to eat”.
BASIC BUDDHIST PRACTICE
Buddhists follow three basic practices:
1. To do good
2. To avoid bad
3. To purify the mind
Good deeds are achieved through the practice of giving, an act of generosity and loving-kindness. Bad deeds can be avoided through observation of moral conducts known as Precepts. Cultivation of the mind can be achieved through meditation.
• Giving (dana) – Giving is an act of generosity. It is a weapon against greed. Giving can be in the forms of material, such as money, food and clothing, or in non-material forms, such as charitable services, Dhamma knowledge, and caring for someone. The practice of giving helps form a habit to free one from attachment, greed, selfishness, jealousy and ill will, and to promote loving-kindness, sympathy and compassion. If more people are accustomed to giving there will be less cheating, stealing, robbery and crime in our societies. Giving is a first step to peace.
• Precepts (sila) – Precepts are codes of moral conduct. We humans are essentially moral beings. As a first practical step on the Buddhist path, we put our lives in good order. Just doing this in itself makes us feel better, less ill at ease with ourselves and less at odds with the world at large. We become more peaceful, more trusting, and that in turn causes good things to happen back to us – and to those around us. There are 5 or 8 precepts for laypeople, 10 for novice monks (samanera) and 227 for monks (bhikkhu).
• Mental Cultivation (bhavana) through meditation. Mind is the most important composite of the entire human entity. The mind is the source of all actions, good or bad. Good thoughts produce good actions (good kamma); evil thoughts produce evil actions (bad kamma). In its natural state (when it is completely still) a mind is pure and perfect. But the mind is often sullied with mental impurities known as defilements (kilesa). Defilements are the products of greed, anger and delusion. They are the origins of all evil deeds. For the mind to be pure and perfect it has to be free from defilements. Meditation is a process that stabilizes and purifies the mind allowing it to return to its natural state of purity, free of obstructions like a shining mirror. In this peaceful state the mind is able to achieve higher level of awareness, spiritual insight and superior wisdom. It may be safe to say that world peace begins with inner peace. Meditation brings inner peace.
THE FIVE PRECEPTS
The Five Precepts consist of the following:
1. Not to kill living beings (including animals)
2. Not to steal
3. Not to commit sexual misconduct
4. Not to tell lies
5. Not to consume alcohol and other intoxicants (cigarettes included)
1. Killing – Breaking the First Precept
Killing is the worse offense of all wrongdoings, both according to the law of Karma and the law of any land. All living beings love their lives. All living beings fear death. Killing is the worst possible harm one can do to another living being. Because of the seriousness of killing, ‘Not to Kill’ is listed as the first order of practice in the Buddhist Precept.
Not all acts of killing break the First Precept. For the First Precept to be broken, the following five components in the act of killing should be in place:
• The victim is alive
• We are aware that the victim is alive
• We have the intention to kill the victim
• We put in the effort to kill the victim
• The victim dies as intended
Killing – How bad is your Karma?
Not all killings are ‘equal’ in the sense of karmic consequence. The killing of humans is the most serious violation and receives the worst retribution. As for the killing of animals, the degree of seriousness and the resulting retribution is based on the following considerations:
• The size of the animal — To kill an elephant is a worse evil than killing an ant. A large animal as a rule lives longer than a small animal. For example, the lifespan of a mosquito is as short as seven days, while the lifespan of an elephant could be as long as a hundred years. Killing an elephant is certainly a more frightening prospect than killing a mosquito. The retribution for killing an elephant is obviously greater than for killing a mosquito. It is not hard to agree that the retribution from killing animals with a long life has a longer duration than one with a shorter life.
• The usefulness of the animal — If the animal is one that is helpful to us personally in the past, for example, a horse that rides us everywhere, a mule that carries our loads, or a dog that watches our house. To kill such an animal is a worse offense than killing an animal with which we have had no connections to in the past. On the same token, to kill a stranger is less evil than to kill someone who has done us good in the past. To kill a criminal is less evil than to kill a virtuous person. To kill our own parents is unspeakable. The retribution for such a crime will be the most severe punishment in hell forever.
• The intention and cruelty involved in the killing – Killing with a planned effort is more serious than killing unintentionally. If you torture an animal before killing it, or kill an animal in a slow, painful way, the crime is much worse than killing it in one quick move to avoid prolonged suffering.
• The amount of effort put into the killing – It is more evil to intentionally torture someone to death, than to kill in a quick and least painful way. Killing for revenge, or killing with premeditated effort, is more serious than killing by accident or unintentionally.
The retribution for killing is severe. The degree of severity is based on the factors described above. The most severe act of killing will cause the offender to end up in hell or to be born in an unhappy realm, such as the realm of a demon, an animal, or a hungry ghost. Upon being born as human, he may suffer deformity, die prematurely, or die a violent death. On a lesser degree, he may be born with ill health, have a bad complexion, or at the very least to have unpleasant personality.
Benefits for keeping the First Precept – Not to Kill
• You will be free from physical disability; you will have good appearance and beauty
• You will have superior physical attributes and strength
• You will have radiant complexion
• You will have gentle personality
• You will not have enemies, and will not suffer a violent death
• You will not be plagued by illness
• You will enjoy a long life.
2. Stealing – Breaking the Second Precept
Stealing is the act of taking possession of something without permission from the owner. Cheating, taking bribery, corruption and fraud, all fall under the category of stealing. The act of stealing is complete, and the Precept of ‘Not to Steal’ is broken, when the following five components are in place:
• The object has an owner
• We are aware that the object has an owner
• We have the intention to steal
• We put in the effort to steal
• The object is stolen as intended
Stealing – How bad is your Karma?
The seriousness of the offence, and the resulting retribution, are based on the following considerations:
• The value of the object — This can depend on the monetary value, or the refinement, of the object. It is more damaging to steal an expensive object than a cheap one; or a more refined one than a crude one.
• The size of the object — In general, it is more damaging to steal a large object than a small one.
• The debt of gratitude owes to the victim — It is bad enough to steal from a stranger who we never met before, but to steal from someone who has done us favors in the past is a worse offense.
• The degree of the intention to steal — If someone wants to steal something so bad that he would be willing to die for it, the retribution from such stealing is more severe than if his intention less intense.
• The amount of effort put into the stealing — The more effort put into the stealing, the more serious the retribution.
According to the Law of Karma, all actions produce consequences, good or bad. Punishment is designed to fit the crime. Stealing is a wrongful act that causes suffering to others. The more serious suffering caused, the more severe retribution results. In a case where stealing has caused immeasurable suffering to the victim, the offender will receive the worse retribution, i.e. to end up in hell or other unhappy realm. In a less severe case, he may be born poor; or even if he is not born poor, whatever possessions he may have may be lost or taken away from him.
Benefits of keeping the Second Precept – Not to Steal
• You will be born wealthy
• You will be able to acquire riches and support yourself with ease
• You will be able to maintain your riches
• Your possessions will be safe from natural disasters
• You will have the ability to acquire spiritual wealth
• You will not be poor
• You will be free from theft, extortion and fraud
3. Sexual Misconduct – Breaking the Third Precept
The following are behaviors that violate the Third Precepts:
• Having sexual intercourse with a “forbidden” person. A forbidden person includes a married man or a married woman who is not our spouse, a monk, a nun, a blood relative, or a woman who is still in the care of parents or relatives.
• The offender has the intention to have sexual intercourse with that person
• The offender makes the effort to have sexual intercourse with that person
• The sexual organs are joined
Sexual Misconduct – How bad is your karma?
The seriousness of the retribution of breaking the third precept depends on several factors:
• The debt of gratitude between the offender and the victim
• By force or by consent: by force (rape) is a more serious offense than by consent between an unmarried couple
• The strength of intention
• The amount of effort used: the more effort used, the more serious the retribution
Like other violations of Precepts, the most serious breach will result in the offender being punished in hell, or to be reborn in an unhappy realm. Once he is reborn as human he will be ugly, disabled or plagued with illnesses, especially illnesses that have to do with sexual organs. He will also have many enemies.
Benefits of Keeping the Third Precept
• You will not have enemies
• You will be loved by many
• You will not lose possession of your assets
• You will not be born as a woman or a transvestite
• You will have dignity and grace
• You will have good physical makeup
• You will be happy, and not to have to work hard for your success
4. Lying – Breaking the Fourth Precept
The components of lying consist of:
• Speaking something that is not true
• Having the intention to misrepresent the truth
• Making the effort to misrepresent the truth
• The misrepresentation is believed by the listener
Lying – How bad is your karma
The seriousness of the retribution of breaking the Fourth Precept depends on the following factors:
• Whether the result of the lie is very damaging or not: the more damaging the more serious the retribution
• The debt of gratitude between the offender and the victim: the greater the debt of gratitude to the victim, the worse the offense
• The strength of the intention behind the line: the stronger the intention, the greater the offense
• The effort behind the line: the more the effort, the greater the offense.
The most serious breach of this Precept will result in the offender being punished in hell. The less serious breach will cause the offender to be reborn in an unhappy realm. Once he is reborn as human he will be one who is deprived of credibility. People will not believe in what he says. He will find himself frequently blamed or accused.
Benefits of Keeping the Fourth Precept
• You will have a radiant complexion
• You will be well-spoken, and have nice teeth
• You will have healthy body
• You will have pleasant breath
• You will have credible speech
• You will not have speech impediment
• You will have nice lips
5. Consuming Alcohol and Other Intoxicating Substance – Breaking the Fifth Precept
Alcohol (beer, wine, whiskey) and any mind-altering substances, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, opium, and tobacco, all fall under this prohibition. Mind-altering substances are harmful not only to our physical health, but also to our spiritual wellbeing. They destroy our sense of awareness and our ability to make good judgments. The mind is our most valuable faculty. Doing anything to damage the quality of our mind is bringing danger upon ourselves in the worst way. Alcoholism and drug abuse are some of the most serious problems facing our families and societies today.
To determine whether one is breaking the Fifth Precept, the following components are to be considered:
• The substance is alcohol (or intoxicant)
• We know that it is alcohol (or intoxicant)
• We have the intention to consume it
• We make the effort to consume it
• We succeed in consuming it
If all five of these components are present then the fifth Precept is broken.
Intoxication – How bad is your karma?
Alcohol and intoxicants are harmful substances that could destroy our future. Here are examples of damages caused by them:
• Wasting money
• Bringing trouble
• Causing illnesses
• Attracting blames
• Loss of dignity
• Loss of consciousness and sanity
Those who have made a serious breach of this precept will end up in hell or other unhappy realm. As humans, they will be born with mental illnesses, be retarded or stupid, or have memory or speech disorders.
Benefits of Keeping the Fifth Precept
• Having quick perception and good instinct
• Having good awareness
• Having good knowledge and wisdom
• Not becoming ignorant
• Having pleasantness and credibility in speech
• Having honesty in action, speech and thought
THE EIGHT PRECEPTS
The Eight Precepts are intended to be kept by Buddhist householders during times of intensified training (especially on meditation retreats) or for self-purification on a periodic basis, such as once or twice a week. They consist of the following:
1. Not to kill living beings (including animals)
2. Not to steal
3. Not to engage in sexual activities (even with own spouse)
4. Not to tell lies
5. Not to consume alcohol or other intoxicants
6. Not to take meals between midday and dawn
7. Not to indulge in romantic entertainment or immodesty
8. Not to be indulgent in one’s sleeping habits
Everybody wants to be rich, beautiful and smart. Nobody wants to be poor, ugly and dumb. But how come some people are born lucky and other are not? The answer is because of ‘merit’, or the lack of it.
What is Merit?
Merit (punned) is the product of good deeds. Merit is a form of positive energy that is created whenever a good deed is performed: mentally, bodily or verbally. Merit is the force that causes one to be pretty, smart, rich, famous, or fortunate, whichever the case may be.
Merit also means virtue, goodness, happiness, pureness, and fullness, all of which result in ‘good karma’. If you have done good deeds in the ‘past’ you will find yourself in a happy situation in the present, and in the ‘future’.
The ‘past’ is broken down into two stages: the ‘near past’, which took place during this life time; and the ‘far past’, which took place in the previous life times. The ‘future’ can also mean the future in this life time and the future in the lives thereafter.
Different types of good deeds bring different types of good results. For example, if you have done plenty of charitable giving in your past life, you will end up being a well-to-do person in your present life. The more good deeds you have done in the past, the better off you will be in the future.
The opposite of merit is demerit, or ‘sin’. Demerit is the product of bad deeds. Bad deeds cause ‘bad karma’. Demerit is a negative energy that is created when a bad deed is performed: mentally, bodily or verbally. If you have done bad deeds in the past life, you will suffer bad consequences in the present life, and even after. Certain types of bad deeds also bring certain types of bad results. For example, if you were selfish, stingy and mean in your past life, you will be poor and miserable in your present life. If you have killed or tortured people or animals in your past life, you will be born with physical problems and sickness in this life, and so on.
Both good deeds and bad deeds are governed by the Law of Karma. Good deeds bring good karma and bad deeds bring bad karma. You are responsible for your own actions, good or bad. For whatever deeds you have done, you will bear the consequences. You reap what you sow No one can pass on his merit or sin to you, nor can anyone participate or share with you in your merit or your sin. It’s like eating or drinking, you can’t eat or drink on another person’s behalf in order to fix his hunger or thirst.
Merit has a positive effect on the mind. The human mind is the most complex and sophisticated entity. The mind is a form of energy which controls and sends sequels to the brain, enabling us to think, speak and act in either good or bad fashion.
The mind is the origin of all actions, good or bad. It is the source of all success and failure. In its natural state, the mind is pure and perfect and free of any mental contaminants. Mental contaminants consist of ill will, evil thoughts and defilements (greed, anger, delusion). A good, clear mind gives rise to good thoughts, good speech and good conduct. On the contrary, bad thoughts, false speech and bad deeds are all created by a poor quality of mind.
Merit has the ability to purify the mind and improves its overall quality. A mind that is pure and healthy is stable and alert, and is free from worries and negative thoughts that make us unhappy. Thus, a healthy mind is a happy mind. A person with a happy mind is a happy person. Happiness is the fruit of merit.
Our thought, speech and action are controlled by our mind. A wholesome mind leads to wholesome thought, action and speech. Our personality and expressions reflect what is in our mind. When we are content and happy, we project a cheerful, positive and pleasing demeanor that is appealing to people. When we are gloomy, pessimistic or angry, we project a negative outlook that dispels others. No one wants to be near someone who is angry or hateful. When we are happy and content with ourselves, we project a personality of self-confidence and social grace. For this reason, merit can indeed change our personality to be more pleasing and likeable.
Merit brings satisfaction, contentment and happiness to one who performs it. Notice how we feel a wave of joy when we make a charitable contribution or help someone in need? Merit makes our heart full.
Merit belongs exclusively to the one who possesses it. It is the property of the person; is a part of that person; and stays with that person wherever he may be, in this life or the next. Merit is not transferable. It cannot be taken or shared by others.
Merit acts like a wish-fulfilling instrument that turns our wishes into reality. Merit behaves like a magnet that attracts good things in life to us. Merit is the basis for all wealth, health and happiness. It is due to merit that one has the ability to accumulate knowledge, wisdom, social status and financial success.
Merit protects one from physical dangers in precarious situations, such as during an accident or a natural disaster. It is also due to merit that one possesses good physical appearance and strength.
Merit attracts good people to our lives. Merit empowers us, with the ability and mental strength, to fight against defilements and to live a virtuous life. People with merit are sure to be in a happy destination after they leave this world.
Nothing lasts forever, however. Merit is no exception; it can be used up and spent. Like money, the more we spend the less we will have left. The fact that we are enjoying our good life today is because we are “spending” the fruits of our “old” merit. Without creating “new” merit, we will soon be back to square one, i.e. not having any merit left to save the day. It is therefore critical that we keep rebuilding and accruing new merit, whenever and wherever we can; the more the better.
Because merit is the product of good deeds, to create new merit, all we have to do is to keep performing good deeds. In the end, it is the force of merit that frees us from the cycles of birth and rebirth, the sources of suffering.
We benefit from merit in four levels:
1. The mind — improving the quality and the potentiality of the mind.
2. The personality — improving our demeanor and the way we project ourselves. A meritorious person is a likeable person.
3. Lifestyle – providing us with favorable conditions that allow us to achieve good social status, fame and fortune.
4. Society — bringing peace, progress and prosperity to ourselves and our society.
We Are What We Have Done – Law of Cause and Effect
There is a cause for every consequence as dictated to the Law of Karma. Each specific type of deeds brings specific consequence. Here, we will learn the causes that make a person lucky or unlucky, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, smart or stupid, etc.
Long life – not killing people or animals
Short life – killing people or animals
Good health – kindness to living beings; giving food to others
Ill health – cruelty to people or animals
Beauty – being kind, loving; keeping the precepts; forgiving
Ugliness – bad temper; moody; being unkind, hateful, vengeful
Wealth, good fortune – generosity; charity
Poverty, misfortune – stinginess; selfishness; stealing; cheating; taking advantage of others; not charitable
Intelligence/smart – mental development; meditation; association with the Wise; not engaged in any form of intoxication
Ignorance/stupid – resistant to mental development; association with fools; being intoxicated
Being powerful – rejoicing in others’ merit or success; absence of jealousy or ill will
Powerless – being jealous in others’ success; having ill will
High social standing – being respectful to the virtuous; humble
Low social standing – being arrogant and disrespectful to the virtuous; lacking humility; being stubborn
Ten Ways to Perform Good Deeds
The following are ten good deeds that produce great merit:
1. Giving (dana). Giving is an act of generosity. Generosity is a weapon against greed, selfishness, jealousy and ill-will. Giving can be in many forms, such as giving money, clothing, food, or medicine, giving worldly knowledge, giving spiritual knowledge, and giving forgiveness. Even giving a smile brings merit.
2. Keeping the Precepts (sila). Precepts are codes of moral conduct. Keeping the Precepts ensures that we live a virtuous life. At the very minimum, we should keep the Five Precepts: to abstain from killing, stealing, lying, intoxication and sexual misconduct. Just doing this will make us feel better, less ill at ease with ourselves and less at odds with the world at large.
3. Mental cultivation (bhavana). The Mind is the most important composite of the entire human entity. The mind is the source of all actions, good or bad. Good thoughts produce good actions (good karma); evil thoughts produce evil actions (bad karma). In its natural state a mind is pure and perfect. But the mind is often sullied with mental impurities known as defilements (kilesa). Defilements are the products of greed, anger and delusion. They are the origins of all evil deeds. For the mind to be pure and perfect it has to be free from defilements. Meditation is a process that stabilizes and purifies the mind, allowing it to return to its natural state of purity.
4. Being respectful. Be humble and respectful of others. Honor those who are worthy of honor. People favor those who are humble. No one likes people who are arrogant, egotistical, and stubborn. Humility is a virtue that wins goodwill and support from others.
5. Giving useful service. Provide assistance to others. Help others do good deeds. Give knowledge and guidance to others.
6. Rejoicing in the merit of others. Give appreciation and encouragement to those who perform good deeds. This act of appreciation and encouragement attracts support and help, instead of obstacles, from others.
7. Extending merit to others. As we perform good deeds we channel the energy of our merit to others, including our loved ones. This is another form of giving.
8. Receiving Dhamma teaching. Dhamma is the foundation for all moral principles and spiritual wisdom. It is through Dhamma that we get to know the Law of Karma, the cycles of rebirth, and the truth of nature.
9. Giving Dhamma knowledge. By giving Dhamma knowledge, we are providing the moral foundation and spiritual guidance to others.
10. Developing the Right Understanding. Avoiding the Wrong View; adopting the Right View; having the ability to tell right from wrong and good from bad.
These ten good deeds can be summarized into three basic practices:
• Charitable giving (generosity)
• Keeping the Precepts (code of moral conduct)
• Cultivation of the mind (meditation)
If you follow these three practices consistently, you will never run out of merit.
Benefits of Having Done Good Deeds in the Past
• Having abundant means to do good deeds
• Enjoying the fruits of success
• Achieving happiness
• Having merit results to carry us through future lives
Types of generosity (Danavatthusutta)
There are different motives why charitable giving is done:
• Giving to gain favor – Giving because we expect something in return. It is not a genuine form of merit making. For example, a politician looking to gain more popularity and votes from his constituents makes charitable contributions to schools, churches, hospitals, etc., to show that he is a benevolent person. Another example is someone who wishes to gain the fondness of a woman by bringing gifts to the woman’s family. This form of giving produces limited merit. To gain maximum merit, the giving has to be done with pure intention.
• Giving to support – This form of generosity is done out of kindness and love. Parents providing food and shelter to their children; teachers giving education to students; wealthy individuals giving scholarships to poor students, are some examples.
• Giving to pay homage – This form of generosity is to express appreciation, respect and gratitude to those who have been good to us, especially our parents, teachers and monks. This act of generosity could be in the forms of money or gifts, or in the forms of caring for them when they are ill or at the times of need.
No matter how many material possessions we may have accumulated, none of them can be taken with us upon our departure from this world. All of them will be left behind. The only possession we can take with us is our spiritual wealth, in the form of merits. Merits stay with us for many lifetimes. Our life in this world is very short indeed, but our life in the samara is very long. It is wise for us to accumulate as much spiritual wealth as we can, in every opportunity available. One of the easiest ways to create spiritual wealth is through charitable giving as described above.
Reasons for giving
There are eight reasons why people give:
• Giving in hope of getting something in return
• Giving out of fear
• Giving to repay past favors
• Giving to procure future favors
• Giving for giving’s sake
• Giving out of sympathy
• Giving to improve one’s reputation
• Giving to improve the quality of one’s mind
Objects worthy of Giving
The most common things worthy of giving are the four basic necessities, i.e. food, shelter, clothing and medicine. They can be expanded to include:
• drinks (but not alcohol)
• clothing (not all clothing is suitable)
• vehicles, transportation, fares for traveling
• candles, incense
• protective creams and lotions
• fuel, light
Objects not suitable for giving
• Alcoholic drinks and intoxicants, including cigarettes, liquors, and illegal drugs
• Shows and entertainment
• Sexual companions (both for people or for animal)
• Matchmaking, finding a partner for a man/woman
• Pornographic or erotic materials
• Poisons or addictive drugs
Thus, don’t go thinking that whatever you give will bring you merit.
The art of giving – for maximum merit
To reap maximum merit, purity must be present in all stages of giving:
• Before giving — having genuine belief and willingness; give wholeheartedly without restraint
• During giving — having strong faith in the act of giving; give with respect and joy
• After giving — feeling happy after giving, and not regretting for what you have given away
Not all giving is created equal. There is an art to charitable giving that maximizes merit results. To optimize the results, we should take the following into consideration:
• The object is pure – the object that one gives must be obtained through honest means (not stolen from others or through cheating). Giving a small piece of bread obtained through honest means has a far greater merit than giving an extravagant banquet which is paid by money obtained through dishonest means.
• The intention is pure – with full faith in the favorable outcome of a good deed or merit (not for showing off or for winning popularity).
• The recipient is pure – The more pure the person who is receiving our gift, the more merit we will accrue. A gift to a virtuous person gains more merit than one who is not. If the recipient is a layperson, he should be one who keeps the Precepts. If he is a monk, he should be a monk who keeps the Vinaya (monastic codes of conduct) and follows strict monastic disciplines and precepts.
• The giver is pure — The more pure the giver the more merit he will receive in his giving. It is wise for the giver to practice at least the Five Precepts to achieve purity. Purify your mind to gain maximum merit.
Nowadays, it is hard for us to earn enough money in order to both feed ourselves and to offer as donations. When we do come across an opportunity to make donations, do it in a smart way by making sure that the process of making donations must have all four of the factors mentioned above. This will make your donations most worthwhile.
What you give What you get
Food long life, bright complexion, good health, strength
Clothing good complexion, good status
Light good eyesight
Permanent property long life, strength, security of personal property
Timely gift wishes will come through
Forgiving, giving life long life
Knowledge intelligence, attainment of wisdom
“When I’m in peace, everyone is in peace, the world will be in peace.”
Human beings consist of both body and mind. The mind is a form of energy which controls and sends sequels to the brain, enabling us to think, speak and act in either good or bad fashion. A good clear mind gives rise to good thoughts, good speech and good conduct. On the contrary, bad thoughts, false speech and bad deeds are all created by inferior quality of mind.
I. WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is a means of mental development. It is through meditation that our mind is trained, refined and perfected. In its natural state–when the mind is completely still and void of all thoughts–a mind is pure and perfect, free of any mental contaminants known as “defilements”. But the mind is always restless and never still. It jumps quickly from one thought to another. A mind that is restless is like stirred water sullied by impurities, losing its clear-seeing quality. Meditation is a process that calms and stabilizes the mind so that it is no longer disturbed by outside influences.
Once the mind becomes completely still, all impurities settle, and the mind returns to its original state of perfection. This is the state where the mind functions at full potential, possessing insight and higher form of wisdom. It is well accepted that the calm state of mind, which can be attained during meditation, can relieve stress and help sharpen concentration and memory and so increase one’s efficiency.
• What is a mind without a body? A ghost.
• What is a body without a mind? A corpse.
• The mind and body must function in good balance and harmony.
– A body with healthy mind = intelligent, alert, mindful, righteous, wise
– A body with unhealthy mind = unintelligent, unknowing, wrongful, unwise
We take care of our bodies every day (feeding, cleansing, exercising, resting). How often do we take care of our minds? When an engine is left running continuously, how long can it last? Our minds work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How long can the mind stay healthy without proper maintenance and rest?
• It is believed that a person only utilizes 10% of his/her mental capacity. Even at this minimal usage rate, the mind works wonders. Imagine, if we could utilize more than 10%!
• Through the process of proper meditation it is believed that one can tap into the unused portion of the mind and put more of its “power” to work. There are numerous stories about meditation masters who possess extraordinary mind power (ability to read another person’s mind, see into the past or future, voyage into other realms, etc.). These stories have been documented throughout time.
• Meditation also helps a person attain proper insight and awareness. It is this insight that leads to spiritual wisdom, enabling a person to understand the “truth of nature”, the purpose of one’s life, the means to avoid suffering, and the path to reach the ultimate happiness, nirvana.
II. THE NATURE OF THE MIND
The human mind is the most complex and sophisticated entity. The function of the mind is “to see, to remember, to think and to know”.
We must not confuse the “mind” with the “brain”. They are two different entities. The brain has a solid physical form of flesh and blood and is located inside the skull. Although not visible to the human eye, the mind also has a form, but an intangible one, much like electricity or magnetivity. The sanctuary of the mind is in the center of our body. When the mind is at the center of a person’s body it is in a state of void. It is free of all thoughts and sheltered from “mental impurities”. However, the mind has a tendency to wander constantly. It jumps quickly from one thought to another. This is when it loses concentration or mindfulness. Meditation helps keep the mind from wandering.
• A perfect mind is free of any mental contaminants or impurities. Mental contaminants consist of ill will, evil thoughts and defilements (greed, anger, delusion).
• When we are young, our mind is simple, innocent and relatively pure. A young mind has not yet been exposed to many mental contaminants. It is easier for the mind of a child to reach a calm and tranquil state conducive to successful meditation.
• As we grow older we are faced with many burdens of life. Duties, responsibilities, obligations, worries and problems create stress in our lives and unrest in our minds. They become our mental contaminants or impurities. No wonder, an adult’s mind is always restless.
• Mental impurities cloud our mind like dirt clouds water. It is hard to see with a clouded mind.
• Greed, anger, delusion, jealousy, hatred and all negative thoughts are considered mental impurities. They are hindrances to a healthy mind.
• Meditation is the process that stabilizes and purifies the mind. It allows our mind to be empty of all thoughts, and allows the mind to refresh, recharge, rejuvenate and perform at full capacity.
• The power and intensity of a pure, focused mind is likened to the power and intensity of sunlight when applied to a single point through magnification. Focused sunlight becomes powerful enough to burn objects. A mind that is trained and developed through meditation can acquire a similar intensity, enabling it to achieve extraordinary power.
• Meditation has been part of civilization for more than 3,000 years. History has shown that things non-beneficial to mankind do not last. After more than 3,000 years, meditation remains popular practice today. It has stood the test of time.
III. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MIND AND THE BODY
The mind and the body must balance in harmony. The mind can affect the body, and vice versa.
• We know it is important to take care of our bodies daily. We feed, bathe, exercise, and rest our bodies regularly. What about our minds? The mind also needs proper care.
• Meditation is a medicine for the mind. It reduces stress, relaxes the mind and improves mental health.
• The mind never rests. Even when we sleep the mind dreams. The working mind is like a car that constantly runs, never switching off. How long can an engine last if left running indefinitely? The same applies to our mind. How long can our mind function without stopping to be recharged? What happens if a mind breaks down?
• When your body breaks down it becomes sick. Illness of the body only affects the inflicted individual. However, when the mind is sick, many are affected.
• Meditation keeps the mind and body in harmony.
IV. WHY DO WE NEED TO MEDITATE?
We meditate to be happy, to be peaceful, to be worry-free, to sharpen our mind and to achieve spiritual insight. We meditate to reduce stress, improve mental health and increase mindfulness, which leads to superior wisdom.
The following benefits explain why meditation is so important and useful to our daily lives:
V. MEDITATION BENEFITS:
Stress-related: leading to:
• Reduces stress relaxation
• Reduces worries, anxiety, anger inner peace and harmony
• Prevents depression, mental pressure more easy-going personality
• Improves mental health better physical health
• Improves positive mental attitude better outlook in life, better human relations
• Improves physical health less sickness, longer life (e.g. better relaxation, Lower blood pressure)
• Improves self-control inner peace, more harmonious lifestyle
Concentration-related: leading to:
• Sharpens concentration and memory efficiency and intelligence, improves learning and work ability
• Increases mindfulness more conscious of what is going on around elf
• Increases awareness and alertness more responsive, better physical skills
• Improves mental clarity smarter, brighter
Insight-related: leading to:
(better memory + sharp mind = intelligence = right understanding = insight and wisdom)
• Increases insight and wisdom higher form of understanding and clarity
• Increases sub-conscious intelligence extraordinary mental capacity
• Increases self realization and spiritual clarity of purpose
• increases mental power supra-natural capability
HOW TO MEDITATE
How to Meditate
Meditation is a state of ease, inner peace and happiness that we can bring into being, ourselves. It is a practice recommended by Buddhism for happiness, non-recklessness, mindfulness and wisdom in everyday life. It is no mystery, but something which can be easily practiced by all following the technique taught by Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro, Luang Phaw Wat Paknam), the Founder of the Dhammakaya Meditation Method, as follows:
Step-by-Step Instructions for the Meditation Technique
1. Paying respect to the Triple Gem: To start one should soften one’s mind by paying respect to the Triple Gem, before taking Five or Eight Precepts to consolidate one’s virtue;
2. Recollect your goodness: Kneel or sit with your feet to one side and think of all the good deeds you have done throughout the day, from your past, and all the good deeds you intend to do in the future. Recollect such good deeds in such a way, until you feel as if your whole body seems to be filled with tiny particles of goodness;
3. Sit for meditation, relaxing body and mind: Sit in the half-lotus position, upright with your back and spine straight — cross-legged with your right leg over the left one. Your hands should rest palms-up on your lap, and the tip of your right index finger should touch your left thumb. Try to find a position of poise for yourself. Don’t take up a position where you have to force or stress yourself unnaturally — but at the same time, don’t slouch! Softly close your eyes as if you were falling asleep. Don’t squeeze your eyes shut and make sure you have no tension across your eyebrows. Relax every part of your body, beginning with the muscles of your face, then relax your face, neck shoulders, arms, chest, trunk and legs. Make sure there are no signs of tension on your forehead or across your shoulders. Focus on the task in hand, creating a feeling of ease in your mind. Feel that you are entering upon a supreme state of calm and ease with both body and mind.
4. Imagine a crystal ball as the object of your meditation: Imagine a clear, bright, flawless crystal ball as if it is floating at the center of your body (see seventh base of the mind in the illustration). The crystal ball should be pure and soothing, like twinkling starlight to the eye. At the same time, softly repeat the sound of the mantra ‘Samma-Araham’ to yourself as ‘recollection of the Buddha’ over and over again. Alternatively you can start by imagining the crystal ball at the first base of the mind, and gradually move it down to the seventh base via the other six bases (see diagram) while repeating the mantra to yourself.
Once the crystal ball becomes visible at the center of the body, continue to maintain a feeling of ease, as if the mental object seen is part of that feeling. If the crystal ball should disappear, don’t feel disappointed — just keep the same feeling of ease in your mind as before, and imagine a new crystal ball in place of the old. If the mental object should appear anywhere else other than the center of the body, gradually lead the object to the center of the body, without using even the slightest of force. When the mental object has come to a standstill at the center of the body, place the attention at the center of that object, by imagining that there is an additional tiny star visible there. Focus your mind continuously on the tiny star at the center of the object of meditation. The mind will adjust itself until it comes to a perfect standstill. At that point, the mind will fall through the center and there will be a new brighter sphere which arises in place of the original one. This new sphere is known as the ‘Pathama-magga sphere’ or ‘Sphere of Primary Path’. This sphere is the gateway or trailhead to the pathway to Nirvana.
Imagining the object of meditation is something you can do the whole of the time, wherever you may be, whether sitting, standing, walking, lying-down or performing other activities.
It is advised to imagine in such a way continuously at every moment of the day — but imagining without force. No matter how well you manage, you should be contented with your level of progress, in order to prevent excessive craving for immediate results becoming a hindrance to your progress. If you meditate until having attained a steadfast, diamond-bright ‘sphere of Dhamma’ at the center of your body, you should try to maintain it by recollecting it as continuously as you can.
In such a way, the benefits of your meditation will not only keep your life on the pathway of happiness, success and non-recklessness, but also ensure your continuing progress in meditation.
1. Avoid force: Never force anything in your meditation. Don’t squeeze your eyes closed thinking you will see the object of meditation more quickly. Don’t tense your arms, your abdomen or your body — because any form of tension will only cause the mind to be displaced from the center of the body to the place you are tensing.
2. Don’t crave after seeing something: You should always maintain complete neutrality of mind. Don’t let your mind be distracted from the object of meditation and the mantra. Don’t worry yourself about when the object of meditation will appear. The image will appear itself when it comes to the right time, just as the sun rises and sets in its own time.
3. Don’t worry about your breath: Meditating in this technique starts with the visualization of a bright object [Åloka casino]. Once having meditated until attaining the sphere of Dhamma, one continues with meditation by passing through the refined human body (astral body), the angelic body, the form-Brahma body and the formless-Brahma body until attaining the Dhamma body (or Dhammakaya). Only then is one equipped to turn one’s meditation towards insight [vipassana]. Thus there is no need to practice mindfulness of the breath at any stage.
4. Maintain your mind at the center of the body all the time: Even after having finished your formal sitting, maintain your mind at the center of the body the whole of the time. No matter whether you are standing, walking, sitting or lyingdown, don’t allow your mind to slip away from the center of the body. Continue repeating the mantra ‘Samma-Araham’ to yourself while visualizing the crystal ball at the center of the body.
5. Bring all objects arising in the mind to the center of the body: No matter what appears in the mind, bring it (gently) to the center of the body. If the object disappears, there is no need to chase around looking for it. Just continue to rest your attention at the center of the body while repeating the mantra to yourself. Eventually, when the mind becomes yet more peaceful, a new object of meditation will appear.
The basic meditation described here will lead to a deepening of happiness in life. If one doesn’t abandon the practice but cultivates meditation regularly, to the point that the sphere of Dhamma is attained, one should try to maintain that sphere at the center of one’s body for the remainder of one’s life, while leading one’s life in a scrupulous way. It will offer one a refuge in life and will bring happiness both in this lifetime and the hereafter.
Dhammakaya meditation is an approach to Buddhist meditation revived in the early 1900s and practiced by millions of people all over the world. It was described by its founder Phramongkolthepmuni as a samatha-vipassana technique.
The identifying feature of Dhammakaya meditation is the meditator’s attention towards the center of the body, at a point two finger breadths above the navel. This point is exactly the same point as the end-point of the deepest breath in mindfulness of breathing meditation (Anapanasati). It is called an approach rather than a method because any of the forty methods of samatha meditation mentioned in the Visuddhimagga can be adapted to it.
Dhammakaya meditation was re-discovered by Phramongkolthepmuni on the full-moon night of September 1914 at Wat Bangkuvieng, Nonthaburi. This well-respected monk had practiced several other forms of meditation popular in Thailand at the time.
From 1916 onwards, when he was given his first abbothood, Dhammakaya meditation became associated with his home temple of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. Phramongkolthepmuni was the rediscoverer of Dhammakaya meditation tradition. Members of the Dhammakaya Movement believe that the Buddha became enlightened by attaining Dhammakaya, and that knowledge of this was lost 500 years after the Buddha entered Parinirvana.
Historical Development to present
Phramongkolthepmuni devoted his time from 1916-1959 to teaching Dhammakaya meditation. He ran a meditation workshop from 1935-1959 which was reserved for gifted meditators able to perform Dhammakaya meditation on the Vipassana level – to meditate as a team in shifts, twenty-four hours-a-day, with the brief to use the meditation to research the underlying nature of reality.
Since 1959, Dhammakaya meditation has been taught by Phramongkolthepmuni’s disciples at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Wat Luang Phaw Sod Dhammakayarama, Ratchaburi Province, and Wat Rajorasaram, Thonburi . Of these, Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Wat Luang Phaw Sod Dhammakayarama have published instructive books on Dhammakaya meditation in English and offer training retreats for the public.
Dhammakaya Meditation on the Samatha Level
As with many forms of Buddhist meditation(7) Dhammakaya meditation has both samatha and vipassana stages. The goal of Dhammakaya meditation at the samatha level is to overcome the Five Hindrances. When the mind becomes peaceful and stable as the result of successful practice for tranquility, the mind will overcome the Five Hindrances and reach a state of one pointedness (ekaggata) also known in Dhammakaya meditation as the ‘standstill of the mind’ (i.e., to a state where it is free of thought). The indication of reaching this stage is that a bright clear sphere will arise spontaneously at the center of the body. The mind should then be directed continuously at the center of this sphere helping to transport the mind towards the ekalyânamagga path inside. There are several ways of focusing the attention at the center of the body, namely:
• Following down through the seven bases of the mind, namely: the nostril, the corner of the eye, the center of the head, the roof of the mouth, the center of the throat, the middle of the stomach at the level of the navel and two finger breadths above the previous point.
• Visualizing a mental image at the center of the body: characteristically, a crystal ball [alokasaññâ] or a crystal clear Buddha image [buddhânussati] and repetition of the mantra ‘Samma-Araham’ (which means ‘the Buddha who has properly attained to arahantship’).
• Placing the attention at the center of the body without visualizing. When one visualizes the mental object continuously, the mental object will gradually change in nature in accordance with the increasing subtlety of the mind according to the following sequence:
• Preparatory image [parikamma nimitta]: the meditator perceives a vague, partial or undetailed version of the image they have imagined. Such a mental object indicates that the mind is in a state of preparatory concentration [khanikasamadhi] where it is still only momentarily.
• Acquired image [uggaha-nimitta]: this is where the meditator is able to perceive the image they have imagined with 100% of the clarity and vividness of the external image it is based on.
• Counter image [patibhaga-nimitta]: once the mind comes even closer to a standstill, so that it is no longer distracted by external things or thoughts, but is captivated by the image at the center of the body, the image will change to be one which the meditator can expand or contract at will. The image will change from an image that is colored to one which is transparent. The acquired image and the counter image, both indicate a state of mind on the threshold of the first absorption. This threshold state is called ‘neighborhood concentration’ [upacârasamâdhi] and indicates that the mind has become unified or one-pointed.
Although the meditator may start out with as many as forty different paths of practice, once the Hindrances are overcome, all methods converge into a single path [ekalyânamagga] of mental progress, which leads into meditation at the Vipassana level.
Dhammakaya Meditation on the Vipassana Level
Dhammakaya meditation embarks on the Vipassana level at a later stage than some other meditation schools available in Thailand. In this school, insight relies on purity of ‘seeing and knowing’ (ñānadassana-visuddhi) i.e. a mind that is stable, and has penetrative insight into the reality of life and the world. Such insight will allow the meditator to have penetrative knowledge of the Five Aggregates (khanda) , the Twelve Sense Spheres (āyatana), the Eighteen Elements (dhātu) , the Twenty-Two Faculties (indriya) , the Four Noble Truths and Dependent Origination. The meditator sees and knows clearly through their insight knowledge that all things composed of the Five Aggregates exhibit the Three Marks of Existence and for the meditator, there arises dispassion (ekantanibbida] and detachment (viraga) and accomplishes sequential shedding of the defilements until an end to defilements can be reached.
The meditator sees and knows with the latter four of the five eyes the Buddha himself attained(15)– but in Dhammakaya meditation, the level of attainment is usually explained in terms of equivalent inner bodies which start with the physical human body and the subtle human body (astral body or subtle body) and which go in successively deeper layers until reaching the body of enlightenment (Dhammakaya) of the arahant – the number of bodies totaling eighteen.
Five Eyes of the Buddha Equivalent Inner Bodies Equivalent jhana level
physical eye physical human body first jhana
(mamsacakkhu) subtle human body
angelic eye coarse angelic body second jhana
(dibbacakkhu) subtle angelic body
eye of wisdom coarse form brahma body third jhana
(paññâcakkhu) subtle form brahma body
eye of omniscience coarse formless brahma body fourth jhana
(samantacakkhu )subtle formless brahma body
Buddha-eye coarse Gotrabhu Dhammakaya body paths and fruits of Nirvana
(buddhacakkhu) subtle Gotrabhu Dhammakaya body
coarse stream enterer Dhammakaya body
subtle stream-enterer Dhammakaya body
coarse once-returner Dhammakaya body
subtle once-returner Dhammakaya body
coarse non-returner Dhammakaya body
subtle non-returner Dhammakaya body
coarse arahant Dhammakaya body
subtle arahant Dhammakaya body
The process of purification corresponds with that described in the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta where the arising of brightness is accompanied by the inner eye [cakkhu], knowing [ñāna], wisdom [paññā] and knowledge [vijjā]. The meditator will see the nature of the Dhamma (inner mental phenomena). According to the Lord Buddha’s advice to Vakkali “he who sees the Dhamma will see the Buddha”. Thus, in Dhammakaya meditation, the Buddha’s words are taken literally as seeing one’s inner body of enlightenment which is in the form of a Buddha sitting in meditation.