What is happiness?
Happiness is thought of as the good life ….freedom from suffering, flourishing, well-being, joy, prosperity, and pleasure. What do we really know about happiness? Can we study it? Are we born with it? Can we make ourselves happier? Who is happy and who is not, and why? What makes us happy?
Defining happiness can seem as elusive as achieving it. We want to be happy, and we can say whether we are or not, but, can it really be defined, studied and measured?
The “feel good” part of happiness or “pleasure” can be fulfilled by doing various activities. For example; travelling abroad, going to cinema, listening to music, buying expensive accessory or a luxury house or car etc.
Some people refers happiness to living a “good life” of work, family, friends, and hobbies. Many think that money is everything and is an essential tool for exchanging their pleasures or to live a good life. So they spend most of their time on work to earn a lot of money. Money allows you to buy fantastic memories. Many would agree that your happiest moments are spent with friends and loved ones. If you have money to travel and be with those you care about, is that not creating happiness? It absolutely is. Somehow, if you lose everything that was mentioned, your happiness would vanish and will instantly be replaced by sorrow. Even the super-rich will lecture us to stop focusing so much on money as more money does not mean more happiness. Money just let us follow our dreams. So where can we find true happiness?
Similarly, using our strengths to contribute to a larger purpose in the exercise of kindness; it is a gratification which is contrast to pleasure. As a gratification, it calls on your strengths to rise to an occasion and meet a challenge, particularly in the service to others. So, how can we use our strengths and virtues to achieve a happy and meaningful life?
Happiness is distinguished differently between the moment-by-moment feeling of happiness produced by positive emotions and how we describe our lives when we think about it. Regardless of whether you had a good day or not, do you describe your life as a happy one? Or, do you describe yourself as a happy person? This depends on the “experiencing of self” and the “remembering of self.” Further study of both to better understand how daily experiences add up to a happy life is an ongoing process.
Nevertheless, if we can find someone who has the experience and guide us to the path to happiness, it will save us time searching for the method. This book is a collection of the meaningful life experiences of individuals who found true happiness and wishes to share them. So we do not have to spend time for trial, just simply follow their footsteps to the Path to Happiness.
Luang Pu Wat Paknam
Searching for father
Something Money Cannot Buy
Dread of Death
How to meditate
Dhammakaya Meditation Tradition
Back in 1969, after the first pioneers of Wat Phra Dhammakaya’s construction received land donations of around 196 rai, they themselves began to make donations. Adding to the original fund of 3,200 Baht (regarded as a very small sum at the time), it was still was not enough to finish the construction of the temple.
In tune with the pioneers’ intention to build a temple for the benefit of all its meditators, they published a book called “The Path to Happiness.” This book was used as a medium to find their team members from previous existences to join the mission once again in accumulating merit for the continuing construction of the temple. It was because of this book that later pioneers arrived and contributed to the successful intentions of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. The key to its success was the faithfulness of these lay people, propagating Buddhism worldwide and attracting a mass attendance of meditators accomplishing good things.
The contents of the book in your hands were selected from individuals from all walks of life. Wat Phra Dhammakaya was derived from their efforts. For example; the Most Venerable Luang Pu Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, Phramongkolthepmuni (Sodh Candasaro) the Great Master practically founded “the Middle Way”. He attained Dhammakaya (the Enlightenment Body) at the main chapel of Wat Bode Bon Bangkuvieng. The Dhamma sphere he found lead to the Buddha … the inner Buddha of all human beings. Another amazing story is that of Khun Yai Ajahn Maharatana Upasika Chand Khonnokyoong. She used the Dhammakaya Body in her quest to save her father in hell. Later, she became the founder of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.
The team chose and published stories of pioneers known to be “the best in the world” in 1969. A resolution was made in conjunction with the publishing of this book to search for the “merit team” from previous existences. You will also read the moving life story of Upasika Tawin (Boonsong) Wattirandkul, former headmaster of Nontreevittaya School in Khlong Toei, Bangkok, and her efforts to propagate the Dhamma to young people with exceptional results. It is advised that this outcome be studied by others in the same field.
Lastly, you will read of Phra Rajbhavanajahn’s (Padej Dattajeevo’s) extraordinary life as a young man when he encountered Mara. He associated himself with the “Dark Arts” such as the invulnerable science, unlocking locks, heat resistance, hypnosis and running mercury into living beings. Later he would find the “White Arts” and the Dhammakaya Knowledge.
In this book, the writers sincerely pass on this knowledge to all readers. As you read this book, you will learn of the initial construction process of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and hear many supernatural stories. But most importantly, you will see that the Dhammakaya Knowledge is available to all those embedded with great intention.
Wat Phra Dhammakaya
Luang Pu Wat Paknam
“Whatever happens, if I cannot attain even a small part of the Truth that Lord Buddha knows, I will sit until death.”
Chapter 1 Luang Pu Wat Paknam
“Ah!….it is so hard like this. This is why no one else could manage to achieve it. Sensation, memory, thought and cognition… all these must be united into one single point. Once the mind is still, it ceases to be. Once it ceases to be, a new one can arise.”
A full moon on the tenth month. The moon’s bright face is suspended motionless against a backdrop of twinkling stars. The mirror surface of a nearby waterway is gently stirred by the night breeze. The ripples catch the light of the moon as they move towards the canal bank. It is early evening on the outskirts of Bangkok. The rain has just stopped. The raindrops still hang on the leaves like jeweled tears twinkling in the moonlight.
Everything is quiet in the main chapel of Wat Bangkuvieng except for the rasping of crickets and the chirping of insects outside the temple compound. A beam of moonlight shines through the largest window illuminating a statue of the Buddha and everything inside. On the floor there is a monk in front of the image of the Buddha. He is sitting equally statue-like, motionless in meditation. Although he has been sitting for a long time, his body remains erect. The moon moves across the zenith and becomes ever brighter. It is clear that the monk is in his early thirties. His forehead denotes intelligence. A draught blowing through the hall catches the corner of his robe. The monk releases a heavy breath audible throughout the building. A half-smile appears on his face as he beams with delight. He murmurs to himself:
“Ah! …. it is so hard like this. This is why no one else could manage to achieve it. Sensation, memory, thought and cognition … all these must be united into one single point. Once the mind is still, it ceases to be. Once it ceases to be, a new one can arise.”
The murmur died away as suddenly as it had come. Delight is the enemy of success in meditation. He was well aware of this. Even so, for this monk with over a decade of experience, it was very hard to contain the ecstasy of fulfillment. He closes his eyes again in silent reflection, contemplating and in deep thought as he relived this revelation and this moment. The experience was the culmination of eleven years of devotion and meditation since leaving the secular life. ‘Sodh Meekaewnoi’ was known and famed amongst other rice traders and farmers for being diligent, sincere and compassionate. A prosperous future awaited him but such wealth was not what he wanted. Instead, he had decided to detach himself from worldly things and don monk’s robes, the flag of an Arahant. He wished to study and attain the Dhamma of the Vanquisher of Mara.
Candasaro Bhikkhu was ordained at Wat Song Pi Nong, Suphanburi Province. The day of his ordination he began meditation practice with Luang Por ‘Noeng’ Indasuvanno who was his anusavanacariya (junior examiner). The following days he studied both meditation and scripture with Luang Por Niam of Wat Noi, Suphanburi province. He studied earnestly and travelled to different temples renowned for their meditation teachers. In his diary, he noted his meditation teachers; the Most Venerable Sangvaranuvong (Eam) (the third) of Wat Rajasitharam, Phra Kru Yanavirat (Poe) (the fourth) of Wat Phra Chetuphon and Venerable Master Sing (the fifth) of Wat Lakorntam, Thonburi. There were many other meditation teachers as well such as, Venerable Master Pleum of Wat Kao Yai, Thamaka district, Kanchanaburi and Phramongkolthipmuni (Mui), the past abbot of Wat Chakkavat. All these famous masters were regarded as the foremost of their time in Buddhist meditation. As a result of their level of discipline, all of them had many students. Candasaro Bhikkhu, later known as “Luang Pu Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen” had studied the teachings of all these masters.
“Venerable sir, is there anything else I should know?” This question was frequently raised by Candasaro at the end of his teachers’ discourses. All too often, the master would answer, “I cannot teach you anything further. You are now my equal. Come and teach alongside me!” He said to himself – “My knowledge is too superficial to qualify me as a meditation teacher.” He humbly refused to teach anyone. He left his old teachers to travel alone, searching for more knowledge, going anywhere in Thailand where there was a reputable teacher. Nonetheless, he still had not attained profound Dhamma and thought to himself that these practices must be an indirect method … there must be a straightforward one. Hence, he tried to study it himself by reading from the Path of Purity scripture.
Before going on alms one morning, he reflected that he had been ordained for eleven long years. Still he felt he hadn’t tasted the Truth found by the Lord Buddha even though he had studied both meditation and the Scriptures without rest during all these time. He resolved that he ought to be called a wastrel if he didn’t continue to try his utmost. Once he has completes his alms round, he finishes his daily duties before going to the main shrine hall of Wat Boat Bon Bangkuvieng to meditate. He resolved that, if he didn’t hear the midday drum (which signaled lunchtime) he wouldn’t break off his meditation.
It was about eight in the morning when he started to meditate with the mantra ‘Samma-arahang’. The intense pain in his legs made him feel that the time passed extraordinarily slow. The pain increased in his body so much so that he felt as if every bone was going to tear apart. The pain increased his agitation until suddenly he realized … I have never felt such pain before. Why? Now that I have sworn not to change my position in meditation, the pain is so much more intense than ever before? My mind has never been as agitated as this. How much longer must I endure this suffering before I hear the sound of the eleven o’clock drum?
The more he thought the more agitated he became. He nearly gave up many times. But because of the strength of his fighting-spirit after making such a resolution, he felt it was essential to carry on to the end. He knew that when the mind is agitated it cannot find peace. Then he thought, “Let it be, it’s the matter of the body.” So he rose to a new level of tolerance and began to let go of the pain, detaching himself from the suffering. Suddenly his mind became still and firmly established at the very centre of his body.
Eventually, he perceived a bright clear shining sphere of Dhamma. The size of the sphere of Dhamma was equal to that of an egg yolk. The experience which filled his whole body was one of inexplicable bliss that washed away all the agony. At that moment he heard the sound of the eleven o’clock drum.
That morning, his midday meal had a special flavor which he had never tasted before … the flavor of spiritual success. This experience in meditation which had arisen in his awareness, uplifted his whole existence. He thought – even as I am sitting here and eating, I cannot avoid concentrating my attention at the very centre of this sphere of Dhamma. Indeed, it is wonderful to observe the stability and security of this sphere of Dhamma. And what brightness too! Even the brightness of the sun is inferior! The light of the sun is as a firefly compared to the huge torchlight brightness of this sphere of Dhamma!
While he was eating he could not avoid smiling at the overwhelming sense of well-being derived from this bliss. He was reminded of a saying of the Buddha: “Natthi santi paran sukhan” … there is no higher happiness than peace itself. When the mind stops, then peacefulness arises; when peacefulness arises, happiness comes. He thought further about the height of this achievement, realizing that for him this was just the beginning…
Another monk was curious about Candasaro Bhikkhu’s beaming face as he ate his midday meal. He asked, “Candasaro, why are you smiling while you are having your lunch? To whom are you smiling, brother?” “No one,” Candasaro Bhikkhu replied. “I’m not smiling at anyone. I am just thinking of the greatness of Lord Buddha and I cannot avoid smiling with delight.”
“Then you brother, could never be accused of being a wastrel,” the other monks observed. “Even as you are eating your midday meal you are still recollecting the virtues of the Buddha. If Lord Buddha were alive today He would certainly praise you as a worthy one amongst His blameless disciples!” They exchanged a pleasant conversation which made his contented mind feel even happier.
Throughout that day he remained in bliss because of the bright clear sphere of Dhamma firmly established inside his body. After his meal he rested briefly and then made the intention to meditate with utmost dedication. He made this resolution:
“Whatever happens, if I cannot attain even a small part of the Truth that Lord Buddha knows, I will sit until death. When I die, my actions will be a model of goodness for monks and Buddhists of later generations. This will be my virtue.”
That afternoon, after chanting the Patimokkha in the temple along with his brethren, he was extremely happy knowing that he had repented all of his transgressions of minor monastic rules. His mind was at ease with the rectitude of his conduct.
Later that afternoon it rained heavily beating down in torrents. Candasaro Bhikkhu bathed and realized that he was detaching himself more and more from the environment. He entered the main chapel later that evening. The rain continued to pour unusually hard as if foretelling good fortune for Bhikkhu “Sodh” foretelling his attainment of Dhamma this evening. The downpour rinsed all the dust and dirt from the buildings and the land leaving no nook or cranny uncleansed. On hindsight, this was a portent loaded with meaning. The secret of Dhammakaya meditation that had been lost to the world for thousands of years was going to be recovered.
He sat down to meditate with a strong resolution to dedicate his life to the goal of insight:
O Lord! Impart to me the Dhamma that you attained on the day of your Enlightenment. If my Enlightenment will be of virtue and benefit to Buddhism, then, please O Lord, give me the greatest Dhamma. I shall be Thy champion to maintain and uphold the greatness of Thy Teaching. But should my Enlightenment be in vain, of no benefit to Thy Teaching, then Lord, I will sacrifice my life in this meditation as the only offering I have for Thee.
Then it rained even more heavily. The atmosphere in the temple became damp. He saw a line of ants escaping from a crack on the floor. For a moment he thought that the ants might come and disturb his meditation. He dipped his finger into a bottle of kerosene and started to draw a circle around himself. Then he realized that he had just dedicated his life for the sake of the Buddha’s Teaching. Should he now falter at the sight of a few helpless ants? In self-disgust, he discarded the bottle and set forth to meditate unprotected.
The bright clear sphere of Dhamma that he had first perceived before his midday meal had become as clear as a flawless crystal orb. Then the Dhamma sphere became as big as the midday sun. He contemplated on this object of meditation for hour after hour… from early in the evening until well after midnight. He found that his meditation could not progress any further because he didn’t really know how to work with this newfound object. In all his past experiences of meditation, there had been no master who had described a technique such as this. Then, coming from the silence at the centre of the sphere of Dhamma, there arose the gentle sound of the ancient words, ‘majjhima-patipada’ – a technical term from Pali meaning, ‘Middle Way’. He thought to himself, Ah! ….The ‘Middle Way’! From my Scriptural study, we define this as a way of life which steers between the two extremes of asceticism and sensual indulgence.
But now this sound came directly from the centre of his body. The centre of the sphere of Dhamma became inordinately bright, brighter than ever. The illumination blazed so that the brightness was multiplied enormously. Deep in the brightness of the sphere of Dhamma he knew there existed something else. A second sphere emerged as the first sphere of Dhamma also gained in size until it became so huge that it reached the horizons and then faded away. When he contemplated deeper at the centre of the new sphere of Dhamma another one appeared at its’ centre. He continued this experiment of expanding and concentrating deeper at the centre of each successive sphere of Dhamma. More and more spheres appeared, thousands of them, each one replacing the last. As he meditated deeper, each new sphere of Dhamma was brighter and clearer than the last.
Going yet deeper to the innermost part of every human beings’ nature nested deep within the myriad of multi-dimensional bodies, there exists the body of the Buddha. This we call the “Dhammakaya.” The top knot of the Dhammakaya is a lotus bud…beautifully clear and pure unlike any Buddha image one has ever seen before. Suddenly, this Buddha spoke in a resonant voice, “That is right!” Having spoken, the mouth of the Dhammakaya immediately closed again. The delight overwhelmed him. He whispered to himself.
He then tried an experiment – he contemplated deeper and deeper at the centre to find the uttermost Dhamma. The more he experimented the more profound he became. He carried on propagating Dhammakaya Knowledge until he until he became an abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen. In the early stages, Dhammakaya meditation caused many points of controversy to be raised among his fellow monks. Some thought that Luang Pu had meditated too much and as a result, was teaching something that was not in keeping with Buddhism. However, no one raised this matter because he was highly revered by people from all walks of life as having the most disciples. Furthermore, it was because he offered breakfast and midday meals to the monks and novice monks throughout the year for his entire life.
As Dhammakaya was rediscovered, Wat Paknam received many criticisms … some were overwhelming, some were anxious and some were accusations of bragging. Luang Pu heard these rumors but was not disturbed by them. In fact, he was very proud to hear them.
He once mentioned being criticized about his Dhammakaya teaching to His Holiness Somdej Phra Wanarat of Wat Phra Chetupon (Bun Punnasiri, the 17th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand) that;
“I am not so stupid that I cannot tell the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong! Why should we tell lies in order to boost our self-aggrandizement in the eyes of others? They only accuse me because they don’t know Dhammakaya for themselves. They know neither the place where Dhammakaya exists nor the meaning of the word itself! This ignorance can be the only reason why they are so misguided and complain about me. When ignorant people who don’t know the real doctrine of Lord Buddha attack my meditation technique, they cannot upset the truth but will succeed only in undermining the faith of weak-minded people. The real jewel of the Buddha’s Teaching is ever-shining. Only the wise can look upon it in true admiration. The results of the truth are derived entirely from the meditator’s own experience. This denotes that at Wat Paknam, the monks in my care not only eat and sleep but also earnestly practice meditation. We do not advertise ourselves in newspapers. Our fame relies solely on our good reputation. But even in spite of the virtue of our temple, people still come to slander us … behavior that will ultimately only cause more trouble for themselves. If we reach the truth and guide people in the right way, then in the end skill in meditation will triumph over slander. I am not upset by all this controversy because Dhammakaya is the truth of Buddhism. It is real. It will appear to all those who attain that level of consciousness. My conviction in the veracity of Buddhism is unshakeable.”
He quoted the Buddha’s Teaching to his disciples; Vakkali:
“Yo kho Vakkali Dhammam passati so mam passati”
[Vakkali, whoever sees Dhamma, sees me, Tathagata].
He went on to give another of the Buddha’s discourses to the novice; Vasettha:
“Tathagatassa h’etam Vasetthadhi-vacanam Dhammakayo iti pi …”
[O Vasetthas! The Word of Dhammakaya is indeed the name of the Tathagata].
The story of Vakkali and the quotation from the Aggaya Sutta gives us the real meaning of the word ‘Tathagata’: The one who sees Dhamma sees the Tathagata. This means the one who sees the Sphere of Dhamma of the Dhammakaya in fact sees the Buddha. The real Buddha is the Dhammakaya, not the physical body of the historical Buddha.
Why should Lord Buddha speak thus to Vakkali? Even if a person looks upon the physical body of the Buddha with his own eyes, does he really ‘see’ the Buddha? It didn’t make any reference in the text to any blindness or physical disability which Vakkali might have possessed. Why then should the Buddha speak this? Indeed, the reason for this Teaching is to prevent confusion. Seeing the Buddha with the physical eye is to see the physical body of the Buddha – the body of Siddhartha Gotama who renounced the world to become a monk. This physical body is prone to decay and death. It should not be confused with the real body of the Buddha which is formed of the very substance of Enlightenment. This internal body of the Buddha is eternal. It can only be seen with the ‘eye of Dhammakaya.’ This is a spiritual eye, not the eye of the physical body. The ability to use this eye is a power we develop by cultivating meditation to its highest.
The Most Venerable Luang Pu Wat Paknam taught Vijja Dhammakaya every single day of his life until the very last. His daily routines were as follows;
- Led monks and novice monks to the chapel for chanting twice a day – morning and evening. Also gave Dhamma teachings twice a day.
- Gave sermons in the chapel at regular intervals on Buddhist Holy Days and Sundays.
- Regularly practiced meditation which, to this day led monks to do the same – day and night at a set place. The same applied to upasika.
- Led meditations regularly at Dhamma square on Thursdays, at 14.00 p.m. for monks, novice monks, upasaka and upasika.
- Organized Dhamma teachers for his disciples.
The Most Venerable Luang Pu Wat Paknam was awarded successively higher monastic titles as follows:
1921 (B.E.2464) Phra Kru Samanathamm-samathan
1949 (B.E.2492) Phrabhavanakosolthera
1951 (B.E. 2494) Honorary Pali Grade Fan
1955 (B.E. 2498) Phramongkolrajmuni
1957 (B.E. 2500) Phramongkolthepmuni
The Most Venerable Luang Pu passed away peacefully on the 3rd of February 1959. This brought great sorrow to his disciples as the light of the world was diminished. Though he has passed away over ten years earlier, the Vijja Dhammakaya still exists. There are more and more people who practice it, from ten of thousands to a million. The fame of Dhammakaya Knowledge resonates not only in Thailand but also abroad. Many foreigners come to practice meditation at Wat Paknam. Furthermore, there are Dhammakaya branches throughout Thailand. “The World Center of the Dhammakaya” that we are currently constructing (now called Wat Phra Dhammakaya) at Khlong Sam, Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani province will be another place that Vijja Dhammakaya is preserved.
Ashram Pandit Academic Section
Searching for Father
“A person with the right view as he was born, is purely for the benefit and comfort of the world nation.
His life is dedicated to the benefit of angelic and human beings.”
Chapter 2 Searching for Father
“May the grace of the merit accumulated, from having staked my life in mediation to attaining Dhammakaya, be dedicated to assist my father break free of his torment.”
The following story is only a fraction of Maharattana Upasika Chand Khonnokyoong’s life. She was the disciple of the Most Venerable Luang Pu Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen (Phramongkolthepmuni). I am one of Khun Yai’s disciples and out of respect call her Khun Yai (a title meaning ‘respected lady master of advancing years’). The stories were narrated by Khun Yai herself at different times. There is no intention to boast about the teacher, but instead to encourage those who seek “The Path to Happiness” by way of meditation from Khun Yai’s example of self-perfection. Her stories may not have any meaning to those still enjoying the secular world but will be meaningful to those who seek the ultimate happiness.
Khun Yai’s father, mother and herself were born in Nakorn Chaisri Province, a rural municipality of Thailand. She was the fifth-born daughter in a family of nine children. Her father called her Chand from the time she was born. The family was generally peaceful and harmonious; her mother never displeased her father. Khun Yai’s father was a good family man and always kind to people. He was a hard worker who, at harvest time, worked continuously from dawn to dusk. Thus, he consumed alcohol, like the other village men, to relive his tiredness from the hard work. He also taught his children to be honest with themselves and others, to be diligent and never to waste time. Farm life taught Khun Yai about hardship and endurance. She was vigorous and strong. Her father trained her to get up early and take the buffalos out to graze in the pasture. Otherwise she was to cook and take meals to him in the field. Khun Yai loved life amongst the open fields. Surveying the sea of rice fields that seemed to extend as far as the eye could see, she felt a special contentment as if something inside her was set free. When the sun rose in the morning and set in the evening, the huge crimson orb looked close enough to touch. She innocently thought that one day she would reach the sun. Little did she know at that time that her dreams might be truer than she ever imagined.
Although Khun Yai’s father would drink his ten satang’s worth of liquor every day, he had an exceptional character that his children respected. Unlike other drinkers, he would never swear, get angry or curse at them. He believed that if parents cursed at their children it would affect them deeply because parents’ words were sacred. It was circumstances in this context of parental respect that awakened Khun Yai to her spiritual vocation.
One day when she was twelve, at about seven in the evening, her father had drunk his usual measure of spirits and was lying down as was his habit. He laid on a wooden cradle beneath the house, guarding the buffalos. (A village house was usually built on stilts to protect it from wild animals and flooding). Dulled by the drink, he mumbled incoherently under his breath. Mother and the children were in the house. Her mother had some words she kept up her sleeve to mock her husband under just such circumstances, to bring him back to sobriety. She would comment,
“The sparrow is scrounging in another bird’s nest.”
In any other family a comment like this wouldn’t have mattered. However, on that fateful day, the teasing touched a sore spot in his inferiority complex as his wife’s family was much richer than his. His feelings were stirred to anger like the snake with a scalded tail. He shouted loudly;
“Kids! Did you hear your mother insult me?”
The children kept in startled silence and no one dared to answer. But father demanded an answer to his question more and more loudly. At last Khun Yai couldn’t stand the tension any longer. She was afraid that if father got very angry he might hurt her mother. In order to protect her mother she said;
“Father, that’s not what mother meant!”
Like petrol poured on a fire, father’s anger turned on his children. He shouted;
“If none of you will admit to your mother’s abuse, may you be born deaf for five hundred life times!”
The curse struck fear into Khun Yai’s heart. A parent’s word was sacred. Father had never cursed his children. She blamed herself, “I am responsible for his anger, I will surely be born deaf in my next life! What can I do? If I apologize to father now, he will only get angrier.” She remembered the folk custom of apologizing to relatives on their deathbed and figured it would be better to save her apology until then.
Two years later, father was weakened by old age. For a further year, the children took it in turn to nurse him. On the morning of the last day of father’s life, all the children were present apart from Khun Yai. She took a boat out into the rice fields, alone, to check the November crops according to her normal duties. However, as she returned home, she found the rest of the family weeping around her father’s bed. All her brothers and sisters had had the chance to apologize to him, except her. She had missed her last chance.
Life went on, but the fear of deafness in her next life lingered like a scar in her mind. “Now, where can I find father in order to offer my apologies?” she asked herself. She had no friends she could turn to for this sort of advice. She cried until there were no more tears. They laid out father’s corpse as was the tradition. Khun Yai prayed and implored father to come to her in her dreams so she might have the chance to apologize to him. But he never came. Her elder cousin advised her instead to make as much merit as possible and transfer it for her father’s benefit. He explained that father would rejoice in the merit she had made, “at the other end”.
Khun Yai kept asking curiously for the meaning of the words, “at the other end.” The answer was that good people go to heaven when they die and bad people to hell. She murmured, “But where are heaven and hell? Where is he? And how can I find him?” These were the thoughts that bothered her throughout her teenage years, so much so that she had very little time to think of anything else.
Khun Yai began to realize from an early age that she did not see the world like other village girls of her age. When young men attempted to court her, she paid them no attention. Instead she felt neutral towards sensual lust. Seeing other girls of the same age getting married, instead of feeling happy for them, she felt pity. Eventually, she managed to escape her marriage proposal. This was the first distinct characteristic of Khun Yai.
Furthermore, being modest, she had no desire for wealth, even though Khun Yai’s mother and elder siblings bought her various golden accessories because of her hard work on the family farm. She never felt pride nor wore them on any occasion. Rather, she left them with her mother. The only thoughts in her mind were those she could not discuss with any one: “Where is father? How can I find him? If I don’t find him I will be deaf for five hundred life times!”
In 1927, Khun Yai was overjoyed to hear news that, “the Great Abbot of Wat Paknam rediscovered the Dhammakaya meditation technique. The Wisdom of Dhammakaya includes the knowledge of heaven and hell, such that the meditator can visit these realms for themselves”. She felt like dropping everything and leaving for Wat Paknam that day. However, leaving her home and her family was not as simple as that. Mother would stand in her way if she were to leave home to practice Dhamma. No one would be able to understand why a young girl of her age should have such a strong vocation. She therefore waited another six years until she was considered old enough to go and stay with her aunt in Bangkok and look for work. If her mother had ever wondered, she would get a hint of Khun Yai’s intention because she said farewell and turned over her share of the family land and gave away her jewelry to others in her family. Khun Yai’s modesty was her second distinct characteristic.
Another distinct character of Khun Yai was determination. Though she saw her mother turn away and cry out in pity, she did not succumb to the power of her mother’s tears. It was not because she did not love her mother. But her determination of getting down to studying the Dhamma to find her father strengthened her commitment to her mission. That was how she came to leave her home, not looking back. She only took 2 baht given by her mother. This was her third distinct characteristic.
It was not by any means easy to be accepted at Wat Paknam. For a stranger to join the temple community normally required being introduced by someone senior. At first she stayed at the house of an acquaintance and worked twice as hard at the household chores. Meanwhile she sought for a chance to become familiar with a person who practiced meditation at Wat Paknam. She waited for an opportunity to present itself. Eventually, her opportunity to start her study of meditation came in the personage of Upasika Thongsuk Samdaengpan. She was the first meditation teacher that Khun Yai held in the highest esteem. Throughout Khun Yai’s stay at Wat Paknam, she treated Upasika Thongsuk with respect and humbleness. They had stayed together sometimes like friends, sometime like elder and younger sisters. Khun Yai took care of her teacher closely until her teacher passed away.
Most disciples noticed and confirmed Khun Yai’s forth distinct characteristic. It was the virtue of gratitude of Khun Yai towards Upasika Thongsuk when she was struck down by cervical cancer. It was observed by many people that Khun Yai nursed Upasika Thongsuk in an excellent manner. She barely slept and never resented her duty in disgust at the stinking blood and lymph fluid. The stench was so strong that the formerly numerous volunteers looking after her dwindled until she was abandoned by all except Khun Yai. She saw this as being the chance in some small way to repay her debt of gratitude to Upasika Thongsuk. She was not concerned about her own health or that her body was gaunt. When Upasika Thongsuk told her, “Chand, I can see Buddha images all around me”, Khun Yai listened and realized that the time had come. Khun Yai organized a funeral of dramatic scale for her teacher. It was an elegant and well-organized ceremony even though she had no money. It was accomplished by means of her wit and the help of disciples and the notable ones. After that Khun Yai fell seriously ill and was near death because of her weakened health from nursing her sick teacher.
The fifth distinct characteristic of Khun Yai was “no worrying”. During her sickness many disciples were startled to have no refuge. Many no longer attended the temple. At the time, Khun Yai had to be nursed in a house with one disciple. She was asked to come back to Wat Paknam to assemble scattered disciples. Nevertheless, she felt at ease, her mind set naturally and said;
“There is no need to worry. If some do not want to come and practice meditation, that is up to them. There are other people who still do want to come. Dhamma is precious. Whoever sees its value would come to it. It is not valueless that it should be for sale.”
Let’s consider Khun Yai’s perseverance in finding an opportunity to enter Wat Paknam in a little more detail. This could benefit those of similar character or be a good example of endurance. Khun Yai came to Bangkok and stayed at the house of some relatives for a while. Meanwhile she sought employment with a family who practiced meditation at Wat Paknam. After due consideration, she decided to work for a wealthy family by helping to keep her mistress’s home in order. Khun Yai saw that this family would be the connection she needed to introduce herself to Wat Paknam. One day, around seven to nine o’clock in the evening, Upasika Thongsuk Samdaengpan, a disciple of Wat Paknam, arrived at the house. Khun Yai planned to stay at the house and help with the chores only to meet the meditation teacher. When the meditation teacher arrived she would ask her mistress’s permission to learn meditation as well. As planned, the house owner—who was kind and had faith in Buddhism—granted her permission.
Khun Yai started learning meditation the same way as the others: by sitting cross-legged and repeating the mantra ‘Samma-Araham’ while visualizing a crystal ball or a clear Buddha image at the center of the body. At first, whenever Khun Yai closed her eyes she found her mind filled with thoughts of work, her mother and the open fields of Nakorn Chaisri. “Thought is the greatest hindrance to meditation”, explained the teacher. Reflecting on the teacher’s words and the desire to find her father, Khun Yai practiced and polished more on her concentration. She was determined to see the crystal ball for herself. Indeed, she meditated too seriously which resulted to feelings of dizziness and a headache. She could see nothing but darkness in meditation and this went on for months without any glimpse of inner light.
The teacher taught her to keep the mind always at peace with the visualization and the mantra. “Do not use force on your mind. Do not squeeze your eyes shut. Do not be afraid of seeing nothing. And, if you do see something at the center of your body, do not get elated or the newfound image will disappear again!”
Nodding in understanding, Khun Yai tried again to find a peaceful mind through meditation as advised by the teacher. Her urgent wish to attain Dhamma, however, kept her thinking about finding her father. Sometimes she felt discouraged. It felt like she was running after a shadow. Sometimes she thought she was destined never to experience meditation. She asked in desperation, “If there is Dhamma, why can’t I see it for myself?” Upasika Thongsuk allowed Khun Yai to understand little by little that Dhamma certainly exists, but we need to work on ourselves to be able to recognize it. With practice, there will come a time when we have done the work needed to attain inner vision for ourselves. Khun Yai continued to train herself in meditation. Her sole aim was to bring her mind to a standstill at the centre of her body, within her stomach, two finger-widths above her navel. Determined to find the center of her body with force and diligence, she focused her mind and would not let it go anywhere. She would only allow the thought of finding the still-point of the mind.
This resulted in tiredness as if she had worked very hard. She was out of breath. Later, Upasika Thongsuk taught that, “When the mind becomes sufficiently refined, it will reach a still-point of its own accord. Just like trying to catch a hen in a chicken coop, in meditation our mind needs to be unwavering in its aim. If we rush to catch the hen, it will fly away. Our efforts will be in vain. By contrast, if we call the hen gently, it will be befriended and easily caught. Similarly, it is impossible to control the mind by force. By slow and careful application of the mantra, regardless of whether we can see the crystal ball clearly or not, in the end the mind will come to a standstill at its point of balance. It is only the coarse and foolish who habitually use force. Inner experience is a subtle thing and Dhamma study needs a light and buoyant mind.”
In meditation the mind needs to be maintained gently at the center of the body—nothing more and nothing less. No preconceptions or anticipations. The centre of the body, gentle application of the mind and no thinking—no more knowledge than this is necessary to embark on successful meditation.
Khun Yai practiced this step but obstacles still remained. Images of home and family would pop into her mind and sometimes other visions she didn’t want to see. Upasika Thongsuk taught her to take no interest in her imagination, “Let the mind take its natural course of transformation and always keep the concentration at the center of the body. Maintain the concentration there with mindfulness. Entertain no other thought. Like the unwelcome visitor who comes to call, if we pay him no attention, he will soon leave of his own accord.”
With persistence, Khun Yai resolved to spend her whole lifetime meditating, if that was what it took. The weeks of practice turned to months and the months to years. The quest for success in meditation entered into her very soul. At first she would just meditate in her free time but before long she would meditate while working, too. Eventually, after two years, on one occasion she saw a bright crystal ball at the center of her body clearly for two or three days, whether her eyes were opened or closed. She reported this to Upasika Thongsuk who in turn taught that looking at the very center of the crystal ball, she would see herself. She did as she was instructed and could see herself brightly and clearly. The teacher told her to go through this form to the angelic body, into the Brahma body and the Formless Brahma body. This she did and inside the Formless Brahma body she could perceive the Dhammakaya Gotrabhu. At this stage, the thought occurred to her that;
“Even though I see only a little Dhamma, I have never known happiness like this before. Not for my weight in gold would I give away this Dhamma I have known today. There is no other refuge for me anywhere, excepting this Dhamma I have attained.” She truly felt in love with the Dhamma.
Having attained Dhammakaya Gotrabhu, Khun Yai remembered her father. She reported her progress to Upasika Thongsuk while divulging her wish to find her father. Upasika Thongsuk went on to teach Khun Yai how to harness the knowledge of Dhammakaya in order to seek her late father. “Keep the mind pure and refined. Bring the body of the Dhammakaya to superimpose on your own and make the determined resolution to meet your father.”
She meditated for a long time until her inner experience was sufficiently refined. Her mind became one and the same as the Buddha image inside which she had attained. The Dhammakaya inside would take her where she needed to go. She felt her body soar across the face of a sea of fire. The fire seemed to become less intense and wan eventually, reduced to smoldering. Her Dhammakaya was shining brightly as the surroundings in which she found herself became more apparent. Around her, on all sides, were living beings and haggard figures. Some were animals. Some were human. Some were human with the heads of animals. Some were animals with the heads of humans according to the individual retribution of the bad karma each had made during their previous lifetime in the human realm. All were tormented by the denizens of hell.
Using the Dhammakaya’s faculty for seeing and knowing, she eventually found her father. His appearance had not changed much and he still wore the same clothes. But he was more emaciated than she remembered. His face was clouded like a man broken by sorrow. When he saw his daughter, he admitted to her, “I am suffering in hell because when I was alive I habitually drank liquor; I drank heavily—ten satang worth a day—a bottle for each day of my life. Not only that, I used to kill animals, too. I often killed frogs, shellfish, crabs and fish. Sometimes I killed a chicken for a meal.” You used to ask me, “Father, aren’t you afraid of the evil of killing animals?” I would reply, “I only kill them for food to support the family. I never sell the meat for profit and would always go to make merit at the temple on Buddhist holy days.” Only now did he realize these evil deeds were too serious to be traded off against the good ones. They were the sort of evil that stayed with one even after death. “Now I am suffering to repay the price of my misdeeds. As I was dying, all the evil I had done during my life flashed before me.” With tears running down his face, he implored his daughter to help. Khun Yai felt sorry and great compassion for her father, but had no idea how to help him. She felt like a non-swimmer, watching someone else drown. She was uncertain what to do and cried out loud. Upasika Thongsuk sensed her hesitation and asked Khun Yai. She replied, “My father is trapped in hell because he used to drink, but I can’t do anything to help!” Upasika Thongsuk advised, “Call upon your merits in attaining Dhamma and ask the power of the Dhammakaya to help your father.” Khun Yai then made the resolution:
“May the grace of the merit accumulated, from having staked my life in mediation to attaining Dhammakaya, be dedicated to assist my father break free of his torment.”
The Dhammakaya, in His resonant voice, told the father to follow the Precepts. Once he had taken the Precepts, the Dhammakaya instructed him to recall all the merit that he had made during his life. Father pictured the merit he had made. This merit, together with the Grace of the Dhammakaya, made his body light as it drifted upwards. As it happened, he had made quite a lot of merits in his life. His body became swathed in angelic garment. He started to drift upwards away from the realms of hell, higher and higher following Khun Yai’s Dhammakaya. He drifted higher, entering the realms of heaven until reaching Tavatimsa. He had his own heavenly mansion there but this was neither bright nor beautiful like that of the other inhabitants. The Dhammakaya told him that his heavenly mansion was not bright because when he was alive, he had done a lot of evil things, as well as virtuous things. He had drunk heavily and the merit of supporting his family had been sullied by killing animals to feed the hungry mouths of his children. The Dhammakaya taught him to meditate using the mantra ‘Samma Araham’ and his body began to look brighter than when he was in hell, developing a heavenly form appropriate to the Tavatimsa heaven.
Khun Yai’s sorrow from the unfulfilled wish to find her father disappeared completely. Released from her quest, Khun Yai found she could see things clearly. She could see things as they are. When we are born, we cannot escape old age, sickness and death. Through our physical existence alone we can gain nothing, because in the end it all returns to dust. Our material wealth is like borrowed property. We cannot take it with us when we go. Through the Eye of the Dhammakaya she could see that when we die, we take with us nothing but the merit and the evil we have collected through our actions during our life. She saw that we are born as a human being, the supreme opportunity in existence, with the aim in life to overcome suffering. The direct route to escaping suffering is by following the celibate life (Brahmacariya), and the highest merit of all is to ordain and keep the purest Precepts. Most people think that it is only appropriate for old people to turn pious, but at the age of twenty-nine, Khun Yai was ready to renounce the lay-life.
Knowing the preciousness of Dhamma, she strongly determined to leave her mistress’s house to go further with her meditation and do meditation research, not letting anyone stop her. Eventually she made an appointment with Upasika Thongsuk to spend a month of meditation at Wat Paknam. That afternoon Upasika Thongsuk took her to Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen to meet the Great Abbot. When Upasika Thongsuk introduced Khun Yai to him, he asked the rhetorical question, “What kept you so long?” Without having to pass the usual examinations of mastery in Dhamma practice, the Great Abbot sent her straight into the meditation workshop. He allowed her to join the most highly experienced group of meditation researchers in the temple. At night she had her hair shaved off by Upasika Thongsuk and became Upasika the next morning.
Keeping the pure Precepts of a nun, it was much easier for Khun Yai to study the high-level Dhamma that the Great Abbot taught. He had Khun Yai do foundation research: the Five Aggregates (Khandha), the Twelve Spheres of Knowing (Ayatana), the Eighteen Elements (Dhatu), the Twenty-Two Faculties (Indriya), the Four Noble Truths (Ariyasacca) and the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada). With no books on her shelves, all Khun Yai’s knowledge arose from seeing these things for herself. The more she practiced, the more her knowledge extended. The more she researched, the more she saw. Nothing the Great Abbot challenged her to do was beyond her ability. It was Khun Yai’s attentiveness and devotion to her Master’s commands that lead the Great Abbot to declare her, “Second to None”, in front of all the others who did the meditation research with her.
Khun Yai narrated her story with joy when she studied high-level Dhamma with Venerable Luang Pu. She discovered many aspects of the knowledge beyond the miraculous. Some of the things she learned cannot be revealed until the time is appropriate.
There were many stories told by Khun Yai that excited her disciples. For example, during the Second World War, Luang Pu Wat Paknam used Dhammakaya Knowledge to save the country and Buddhism. At that time there were about thirty monks and nuns in equal numbers who specialized in Dhammakaya Knowledge. Luang Pu foresaw the bombing targets of the Allies from the power of his mediation. He instructed those specialized in Dhammakaya knowledge to intercept the bombs and have them fall in the ocean or in uninhabited areas instead. They used the powers of meditation to cause the bombardiers to see their strategic targets as forests or open seas so that they would not drop their bombs there. They made the forests and seas appear like cities to the bombardiers so that they dropped their bombs without harming anyone.
Luang Pu himself instructed those specialists of Dhammakaya day and night. Indeed, many of the Bangkok newspapers gave front-page coverage to the manifestation of miracles at Wat Paknam. At that time Wat Paknam was within striking distance of target. The inhabitants of the neighborhood gazed skyward and were surprised to see large numbers of nuns from Wat Paknam floating in the air, intercepting the bombs and apparently patting them with their bare hands, again to fall harmlessly in the water or uninhabited areas of forest.
Khun Yai received such intense training from Luang Pu that he could rely on, and had requested her to teach Dhamma. He mentioned that Khun Yai would go to Nirvana on her own even if she did not teach anyone. Khun Yai was more than pleased. She was illiterate anyway, so how could she teach anyone? If she was questioned on Buddhist scripture she would be stuck. Moreover, Dhamma is very profound. Seeing and knowing is difficult to obtain which is beyond imagination. It requires an individual’s full comprehension to be completely understood.
Khun Yai never missed observing the code of conducts and always had respect for her teacher’s commands. On one occasion the abbot of a temple in Phetchaburi Province asked Luang Pu for help. He needed someone to subdue the ghost’s mediums to exorcise his temple ground, and Khun Yai was sent. We were amazed as she narrated the story. Though she was set to sleep in a hut amidst a graveyard (and she had diarrhea from eating Myrobalan Wood), she managed to subdue the ghost’s mediums using her Dhammakaya Knowledge. On her return to Wat Paknam she was informed that the locals were no longer paid interest in ghost’s medium. It was grateful merit of giving people the right view.
Khun Yai always gave respect to her teachers and strictly adhered to the code of conducts for more than thirty years. This was her sixth distinct characteristic. It was noticeable when she taught her disciples and if they paid her disrespect she would intensely warn them. Sometimes she punished them by not speaking to them for a period of time. Some people thought it trivial but for Khun Yai it was very important.
Not only was strict adherence to the rules important, but also punctuality. Khun Yai was as punctual as a clock. She strictly adhered to the time allocated to her tasks without fail. Even when she was ill, she would still perform her duty and not give in. If worse came to worse she would instruct her disciples from her bed.
Though Khun Yai had no children of her own, she knew how to treat her disciples with kindness. Such kindness was greater than a parent could give to their children. Parents could take care of their children in this life only, but Khun Yai was more to her disciples than many of their own parents. She cared for them in this life and future lives. She often stressed to her disciples to earnestly accumulate merit without pause. She even explained in detail the ways to discard their defilements. Many people might think of the things she talked about as common, but Khun Yai thought differently. She explained it very clearly and in great detail so that we realized these common things were the cause of advanced defilements.
For those still enjoying the secular world, Khun Yai’s teachings for her close disciples might have seemed odd. She taught them to live a celibate life, away from all defilements and the world’s sufferings; to be aware and prevent oneself from becoming involved in sensual lust. Her immaculate celibate life was distinct to all her disciples. Her direct and precise teachings were quite unique. For example, “loving-kindness, compassion and sympathy often make you fall down a cliff. You must throw the creeping plant down the cliff for the loving-kindness and sympathy to climb up.” This was a refined Dhamma teaching to overcome one’s defilements. But we will not go into depth for now.
On one occasion her disciples felt very sorry for Khun Yai as she had to endure the anger of some others. They accused her of brain washing their people to discard secular pleasures and turn to Dhamma study. Some people harshly pointed at her face and ruthlessly abused her. Nevertheless, she remained silent and kept her mind inside her body. She did not reply with anger but performed a high-level of meditation instead. This helped keep her mind clear, cheerful and anger-free. She fight peacefully and said;
“Future lives do exist, but I can only be what I am in this life. I am now receiving retributions of my past. I should bear with it and carry on accumulating merits and not give in. My next lives will never be like this ever again.”
These practitioners of meditation felt pity for those who got angry with Khun Yai. For those who have accused her, they will generate great demerits for themselves while she maintains her mind in meditation.
It was also amazing that though Khun Yai had no knowledge of the secular world (as she hardly ever left her residential area) she managed to help solve all the problems of her disciples. Whether it was personal problems, family matters or work related governmental matters, she was able to give them advice and had never turned anyone down. Her wit in solving urgent matters was especially praiseworthy. Her naive character totally belied her wit but her very close disciples knew.
Originally it was thought that being illiterate was a hindrance to teaching. Her knowledge of Dhammakaya, mainly gained from practice, was not easily understood so she did not want to teach anybody. However, thinking of the dying words of Luang Pu, to help propagate Dhammakaya Knowledge of Lord Buddha, Khun Yai took on the duty to teach those yearning for Dhamma. Even when she reached an advanced age she still performed her teaching role to keep her promise to Luang Pu. Disciples would feel comfortable when seeing Khun Yai’s strong health and vitality. Nevertheless, her age reminded us that time was ticking away and this startled us. She was, “a wonderful example of self-perfection.” How many people could follow in her footsteps?
Ashram Pandit Academic Section
“When thinking about meditation, consider this comparison: The human mind is like a receiver or a radio. A good receiver can tune into any signal or frequency whether the source is near or far. When considering the mind as a receiver, it can tune into “good” energy or “bad” energy….
Chapter 3 Encountering Mara
Initially, I had mistaken the Dark Arts for the White Arts. But it was not my intention to get involved with the Dark Arts! On the other hand, having written this story, I did not have the intention to boost my supernatural ability or insult or blame others. In fact, I wish to praise and glorify Buddhism even more, and to be an exemplar to embodiment for the younger generations not to take the wrong path as I have done before. At the same time, I hope this will help remind those walking down the wrong path to regain their awareness and, in time, walk the right path according to the core teachings of Buddhism.
It is a breathtaking memory reminiscing over my experiences in my meditation practice. For more than ten years I have walked many forests in search of the wise who would teach me advanced meditation techniques. I attended to monks who I thought were well-versed in good moral conduct. They meditated inside the forest’s caves to conceal themselves as Dhamma teachers. When there were news of holy or wise people coming, I would make the effort to meet and pay them my respects. I had been to almost all the institutes of Dhamma practice at that time! Unfortunately, however, it turned out that most of them were teaching either the “True Dark Arts” or a “mixture of Dark Art and the White”. Three or four years ago, however, I was fortunate to have met the “True White Art” of Lord Buddha that I yearned for. If I had met this Art first, I believe my practice would have been far more advanced.
Back in 1955 I was just a young high school lad of 15. This was my age of impetuous adolescence and I wanted to be an important person. To others I possessed the character of a gang leader. I dared to speak and act as I wanted. I was an aggressive young man who often risked life because of self-pride. Nevertheless, I always loved going to temples to discuss Dhamma with monks who were attentive in their meditation practice. Later I found out (after learning that Dhamma meant Law of Karma) that it was the fruit of my past Karma that earned me those characteristics.
In the beginning, I started meditation practice without any guiding teachers by reading books from the library. I started with mindfulness of breathing, meaning I concentrated on my awareness by my breathing in and out. It was the method of the Venerable Lee of Asokaram Temple and was one of the easiest to practice. My experience and practice gradually progressed. There was no hindrance for me.
Many times my mind comes to stillness when I close my eyes. The feeling is like I was falling or the world was empty, or that I did not even exist. On many occasions with my eyes closed, I see a Buddha image floating in front of me. If I want to, I could make the image larger or smaller. At times, I see the bright silvery and golden light of dawn rising at the horizon. Other times I see a bright sphere floating in front of me. I felt so peaceful and refreshed every time I meditated.
Many senior monks were concerned with my meditation practice and kindly warned me to stop doing it as I had no teacher. They said it could be dangerous and may cause insanity. Nevertheless, I thanked them for their kind advice but though stayed vigilant with my practice. I did not know what else I could do to improve. However, to ask me to stop practicing meditation was impossible.
When I had some free time from my study, I persisted in meditation practice on my own. Two years later in 1957, the power of the Dark Arts started intruding into my mind. Whenever my mind had moved away from its resting place it would encounter the omen of my present skeleton. Even my past skeletons have piled up as high as a mountain. If I had been frightened by these images I would have lost consciousness and gone insane. These horrific omens would often appear during my meditation practice. Sometimes there was the omen of a beautiful woman, a forceful tiger and an elephant coming to attack. Nonetheless, I managed to balance my consciousness throughout my practice.
Confident that my level of meditation practice was appreciable, I eagerly went in search for those renowned teachers of the mid-Buddhist era. I wanted to further my study in the power of the mind. I was still at the young age of 17 … a young impulsive and reckless teenager full of defilements.
First science: I bowed at the feet of a layman as a sign of respect to the teacher and asked his permission to learn the “invulnerable science”. Dear readers, I swear that it only took me one hour to learn and make my flesh impervious to all weapons. This was done using red-lime or wax and chanting incantations. I applied the substance around my neck or ate betel leaves and chanted an incantation.
It was challenging and is a must-prove science in order to fully believe it. Therefore, after preparing myself, I pulled a big, sharp trekking knife out of its sheath. I tested its sharpness by shaving; the knife sliced through the hairs on my chin with ease. With focused intent I began to chant the incantations three times. I held my breath and drew the blade across my arm and leg. Amazingly, my skin was really tough. There was no bleeding or even a single drop of blood. There was only a red mark, like a cat scratch.
After bidding farewell and arriving home, I practiced the power of the Dark Arts for my parents, relatives and friends just to show off. I chanted the incantation for myself and applied the red-lime around my friends’ necks (approx. 20 to 30 people). Then I tested them with the knife, one by one, which proved that their skins were as tough as mine. And the affect lasted at least 24 hours. Even the dog’s skin was tough when I applied the red-lime around its neck. This invulnerable science was used in battle to protect animals such as elephants and horses, and was called by the ancients, “Troop Enhancement”.
One day, while a dog lay sleeping, I applied red-lime to its neck and began chanting. Then I pierced the neck with a sword with all my strength. The poor, terrified animal yelped as it ran away. It was unbelievable but there was no bleeding at all. Hence, I was puffed up with self-importance and thought, “I was talented. I was tops and best of the best.” Unconsciously, I did not realize that I was shifting toward the power of the Dark Arts.
If one could see with the Dhammakaya’s eyes when someone recited an incantation to conjure the power of the Dark Arts, one would see the Dark Master nearby. He comes to see the power unleashed. But he is neither a deity, a Brahman nor a monk. He is Mara.
The sinful-minded Mara might look similar to that of a human being but his body is huge, as big as a mountain. He has pitch-black skin, long messy hair, a ferocious face and an aggressive mind. Hell beings are frightening but nothing comparable to Mara! He sends the power of the Dark Arts to conquer our pride because he wants to control and manipulate us.
Unfortunately, at that time I had never heard the word “Dhammakaya”. I believed that what I had learned to that point was the pure White Art – the Dhammakaya Knowledge.
Before you judge, my dear readers, if you were in my position and you were able to cast a spell and instantly become invulnerable by performing only an incantation, you too would wholeheartedly believe that your task was accomplished by the power of the White Arts – The Dhammakaya! You too would then be naïve and not willing to listen to differing views.
Nonetheless, it was understood that that Mara professed to be the Dhammakaya and acted as if he was filled with care and loving-kindness for his followers. If our minds were vulgar and lacked awareness, we might be misled that the serenity of Dhammakaya was in fact Mara. Moreover, one could be mistaken and put the blame on the Dhammakaya’s teachings that aim to detach us from worldly pleasures and anger, for encouraging solitude in the search for peace that could be interpreted as neglecting one’s social responsibility. On the other hand, Mara’s teaching that provokes arrogance, lust, revenge and devastation was considered as reasonable, worth valuing, respecting and following.
This wrong view was in line with our inner defilements and mistaking it as the Knowledge of the Dhammakaya. In my case, my teachers had placed a wrong view into my mind that;
“This Invulnerable Art has long been connected with the Ancients of Thailand. Back when Krung Sri Ayuthaya was our capital, there was a man called Plaikaew who was promoted to Khunphan. He perseveringly studied this Invulnerable Art until his skin became impenetrable to all weapons.
He was awed and respected by his foes that had wicked intentions for Krung Sri Ayathaya. This Art was then handed down to the great King Naresuan. The King applied this Art in the battle in which he eventually regained the country from Burma and in which he escaped from the Burmese troops at Bang Pahun. Therefore, one should inherit and maintain the knowledge of this Invulnerable Art and use it when there is a threat to the country, religion or the king.”
Somehow my dear teachers, I would like to inform you that your science is in fact, a Dark Art. From that you gain much less than what you could reap. There are several reasons why I dare to say that it is a Dark Art.
First, when someone learns this Dark Art, he will become arrogant and he will make assumptions that he is better than others. Hence, he will perform pretentious acts. If he has a depraved character, he will become a ruffian who fears neither weapon nor death. However, if he originally had a humble character he will eventually become careless after possessing this Art. Though he may not start a fight but feels threatened by it or, if he could escape the situation, he will not give in due to his arrogance. He will boast about having a good teacher and a good training. What could have been resolved by forgiveness turns to violence due to vanity. In the end, the loser vows revenge and the cycle continues. Therefore, it is far better not to study this Dark Art at all.
If you are afraid of bullies, it is advisable to chant and spread loving kindness before going to bed. Request the five precepts (the acts of good deeds) before going back and forth from home to work and it is guaranteed that you will not be bullied. As understood in the Law of Attraction, good protects good. However, if you still get bullied it is understood that your sins from the past are bearing their fruit. It is for this reason you should endure their consequences and not commit new sins. Soon your previous sins will be cleared, and good off-springs will bloom.
Learning the Invulnerable Art is not a method of preventing harm. In fact, it causes harm as one neglects doing good deeds and one’s principles. Though one may have vowed to be a Buddhist, one’s behavior is far off the guiding principles and therefore dissociated from the Dhamma.
Second, to utilize the Black Art of Mara, new practitioners learn to breathe at regular intervals and perform magic on a Buddha image in accordance with the desired task. This breath-training will eventually be embedded in one’s character during meditation without one’s awareness. It therefore weakens the possibility of any further advanced meditation practice or the chance to attain enlightenment. Moreover, there are only a few supernatural powers to be gained, as did Devadatta in the Buddha’s era.
Performing “magic” on a Buddha image is simple superstition. This involves holding a Buddha image on one’s palm then breathing at regular intervals while chanting silently. Generally speaking, if our body is short of breath it will start shaking like a fish out of water or that of a dying animal. Nevertheless, the more one shakes the more sacred the Buddha image one is holding is believed to be.
This in fact, should be called “performing magic on a hell being”. The word “Buddha” means holiness. So to perform magic on a Buddha image should in fact be the performance of purifying oneself to be worth of reverence. To be worthy of reverence, one must at least observe one’s own precepts. Therefore when one possesses a Buddha image one should set one’s mind to observe either five or eight precepts rather than practicing unnatural breathing. The more precepts we observe the better we become.
Please bear in mind that strange behaviors such as writhing, jumping up and down, being wild and noisy etc. are not the mannerisms of Lord Buddha’s disciples but those of Mara. Therefore, genuine monks and lay people do not perform “magic” on Buddha images. They do not crave power or passing and fleeting fame. True disciples earnestly practice the White Art – Dhamma – in accordance with the right path in Buddhism. Otherwise, one could be writhing in hell after death for many eons.
Third, learning the Invulnerable Art will encourage wrong views and lead to reverence to the wrong persons. A person worthy of respect and reverence should be one who instills only the right views. They would be one who teaches us generosity, compassion, kindness, forgiveness and all virtuous behaviors. Buddhists should remind themselves that ghosts, demons, spirits, or Mara are not worthy of our attention. Whoever reveres such beings will develop the wrong views.
One would hardly be able to think of goodness and kindness and seek only revenge. If we ignorantly learn this Dark Art, we become the disciples of trouble makers! My dear readers, we are human beings gifted with many great qualities. Why on earth should we pay respects to ghosts, demons or Mara that would destroy our natural virtues?
Back in 1958, I learned the art of injecting a mercury substance into the human body, a practice that can cure many illnesses. Injecting such a substance into oneself could make you become invulnerable for a short time. Unfortunately, the master of this Art who had already passed away, was ferocious.
Whenever any of his disciples make a slight mistake, he commands that this person be punished by death. For example, one day an elderly teacher called Sap applied the mercury substance to cure cancer in a patient. But Sap forgot to perform the ceremony to extol the master. Thirty minutes after he administered the substance to the patient, Sap fell down backwards, unconscious, and spat up half a bowl of blood from unknown causes. Dear readers, was this an act of Dhammakaya or Mara?
Fourth, sometimes a person who has learned this seemingly indestructible Art would like to reform himself and learn the Pure Art of Dhamma. This might include for example, Advanced Meditation practices of the Dhammakaya Knowledge. Thereafter however, he would be ravaged by Mara! No matter how much merit you send him, he will not forgive you for leaving him, and he will always impede or obstruct and hinder your good intentions. The practice of the Dhammakaya Knowledge is especially upsetting to Mara. He will make you feel like you’re being cut and stabbed by a knife, axe or needles on your tongue and soft flesh. These feelings will take years to eliminate!
Fifth, this Invulnerable Art is not a permanent skill no matter how much time you spend practicing it. It is against the nature of truth. Imagine an experiment on an impenetrable skin in which it is shot or slashed. It will be protected only by the magic. However, this Dark Art will be ineffective once a person who has attained Dhammakaya is present. This is because the masters of the Invulnerable Art are in awe of the Dhammakaya and dread it as their power becomes temporarily suspended. At this time, a slight jab from the tip of a knife would cause bleeding. If one is convinced of one’s indestructible power and yet keep accruing misdeeds, then no matter how much good one has done this cannot eradicate the heavy sins one has accrued. When you become useless to Mara, he will ignore you and no longer send you the indestructible power, and your skin will not endure an attack. You alone will suffer for your sins.
Consider the example of a cruel drug dealer or drug lord. Whenever his subordinate becomes ineffective and worthless the subordinate will be ignored and will be easily arrested by the police. The drug dealer will not provide any aid. This clarifies how an indestructible drug dealer could be killed countless of times by the police.
Sixth, a person who studies the Invulnerable Art will possess wrong views to an even greater degree than normal. They become overconfident as they think that to become indestructible is the utmost of Dhamma practice. But of course they never practiced Pure Dhamma at all so they will be unaware of what it means to learn it. Unless there is a supreme holiness that could rightly educate them, they are completely unaware of their actions. Likewise, a person who only associates with thugs would possess the wrong view of bullying others as a heroic action. Vice versa, this person will see kindness and humility as an expression of weakness. As a consequence of this, such a person will never spread loving kindness to anyone.
These six reasons demonstrate that the Invulnerable Art belongs to Mara and the thief and should be avoided. And please do not argue that it is necessary to associate with the thief in order to defeat the gang. When one associates with a thief one will definitely be influenced by them. As the saying goes … “One’s hand will definitely stink if it touches a stool!” Those who study the Invulnerable Art will be on the path leading to hell, regardless if they are a monk or a layperson. It is even worse if that person is a monk as they are more aware of the Dhamma teachings but still persist in doing wrong. They will be reborn in the deeper realms of hell.
The second Dark Art I learned was “to put out burning pain with black magic”. It only took me seven days as an amateur in putting out burning pain. Thereafter, I kept practicing so much so that many sacks of charcoal were used up. A year or two later I could walk barefoot on a bed of burning charcoal. Moreover, I could put my hand in a frying pan of boiling oil to pick up food without feeling any pain. Even a person who gets burned will not have to go to a doctor if I am around. The only things I needed were a handful of rice and 2-3 grains of salt. I’d chew them and recite an incantation. When the ingredients were ground down I would spit them out onto the burning wound. In an instant the patient’s pain is diminished. No other medicine is needed.
The incantation mostly extolled the virtues of the Venerable Moggallana who had the power to distinguish flames in hell. This helps relieve the pain of hell beings. Thus, apart from the difference of meditation method, no sign can be found that this art belongs to Mara.
The principle of Mara’s method of meditation is that it deceives its disciples into thinking the mind is outside the body. If the mind is to visualize objects such as water or fire, for example, one was taught to place the mind on a glass of water or campfire (or whatever is the object of visualization). With deep practice, the object would become a bright sphere but, a bright sphere outside the body. However, when a person utilizes the power to induce invulnerability (with red-lime and chanting), that person has to visualize a bright sphere of red-lime. Likewise, to examine what is underneath the soil one would exercise one’s supernatural power to shine a bright sphere into the soil as if shining a torch. However, there are some disadvantages to this;
- There is only a glimmer of light from the sphere; it is not as bright as a full moon. Therefore, insight to the truth is unclear. But most importantly, one will not see the Middle Way – the path to enlightenment.
- It is very difficult to produce a bright sphere from visualization.
- It generates wrong views. Mara will convince you of the effectiveness of your meditation. In fact, it is not the ultimate truth. Henceforth, the hermit saints Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramputta had been deceived until their death. Both had not reached the utmost meditation practice of Nirvana. Furthermore, they will be deceiving others for many eons.
On the other hand, the Dhammakaya meditation method teaches placing the mind inside by resting it at the center of the body (the abdomen). If you were to visualize an object, recite Dhamma or spread loving kindness. You should undertake that inside your body. Sooner or later, once you stay tuned, you will eventually be at the center of the universe and automatically enter Nirvana. That is not too difficult and the inner brightness is brighter than a thousand suns combined. It is so bright that you could see the realm of Mara. That is why he is scared and runs away if he see monks. It is also much easier to practice visualizing a bright sphere. But the most important thing is that the Eight Fold Path can easily be obtained through the Middle Way. Even a ten year-old child can accomplish this.
Whenever an Arahant wishes to travel to hell he would maintain a cessation of mind at the center of his body. Once in complete stillness, the Dhammakaya body is reached. When the Dhammakaya’s mind is in the right state, the center of the realm of hell is accessible. The cool radiation of the Dhammakaya is endless and will instantly put out hell’s flames. As an analogy, think of dipping a burning jot stick into a frozen sea. This is an affirmation that the Venerable Mogallana had never employed the power of the invulnerable art. It is not only the Venerable Moggallana who can make hell’s flames disappear when arriving in the Dhammakaya form. There are also others who practice meditation and attain Dhammakaya.
Some may argue that the art of putting out burning pain belongs to Dhammakaya because it helps relieve human suffering. The answer to that is no. It is the art of Mara. People who practice this art will normally pay great attention to meditation and Mara has acknowledged this. However, if we practice meditation correctly, we will be free from Mara’s control and can conquer him. He deceives us and tries to get us to place our minds outside the body. Thus, we will be unable to see him clearly and always be under his control. Occasionally, he will enable us to put out a small flame outside our bodies but, nonetheless, increase our inner flame. The inner flame is the ego that makes us mistake ourselves for being extraordinary. For this, we will die in vain.
Nevertheless, to put out a flame outside our body would become a trivial matter if we could extinguish our inner flame. Even the sun can be easily extinguished by any teacher using magic in unlocking locks. But such a teacher is not a disciple of Lord Buddha. You are being deceived by Mara. Turn over a new leaf and earnestly practice Dhamma! You will eventually attain the Dhammakaya body like other Arahants.
As I became skillful in the art of easing burning pain, I was able to channel my mind far outside my body. However, this is very limited compared to the Dhammakaya method. This inflated my ego yet, I carried on making yet another blunder by learning hypnosis. This is the art required by most thieves and criminals. Although I knew it, I nonetheless wished to learn it. I thought I could use it to hypnotize people and believed this would persuade them to follow the Dhamma instructions more closely. Alas, what kind of Dhamma will one teach if one is only second-fiddle to Mara?! Those preaching the Dark Arts—and their listeners— would have the realms of hell as their destiny.
To those who wish to learn hypnosis or have already learned it, I sincerely beg you all to stop! It is a mistake that generates or promotes wrong views in you and to others. This Art surely belongs to Mara. No matter if it is used for medical treatment, for research on spiritual matters or for self-hypnosis, let me say that I have done all of that. I managed to hypnotize a person within ten minutes. Nevertheless, considering its disadvantages in this life and the next, I decided to discard it and turned over a new leaf to learn the truth of spirituality.
The reasons I beg you to stop practicing hypnosis are these:
Firstly, the hypnotist would normally wish the subject to be in an unconscious state and under his control. No matter what the subject is all about—good or bad—that person must obey the order. It is considered very risky especially if the person has symptoms of neurosis as hypnosis could cause insanity or even death. The least effect that could happen is that person could later be absent-minded, forgetful or lack awareness on his or her surroundings. It is advisable not to take the risk.
Secondly, the hypnotist will have to hypnotize himself first to strengthen his nervous system. He may stare at an object for a long time to accustom his eyes, or he may condition his physical body by making himself unaware of his surrounding, like a log laying in a forest. Often the hypnotist will become clumsy and witless as a result of the practice of unconsciousness. Unfortunately, this carelessly closes the door to Nirvana.
Thirdly, although it seems beneficial to hypnotize patients for medical reasons, the procedure carries great risks, perhaps even causing insanity for the practitioner or the patient. Other kinds of medicine might be more effective. Likewise, it is said that a person becomes ill because of their past karma. If it is heavy karma, their illness would be incurable no matter how impressive the doctor is. Nonetheless, light karma could easily be cured by appropriate medicines making hypnosis unnecessary.
Fourthly, Mara’s power is present in either hypnosis method used…Eastern (incantations and black magic) or Western. In like manner, if ever Thailand allows insurrection to separate the country, the invaders would be willing to offer their helping hand. They would bring in weapons so that we can kill each other for their own benefit in the end fifthly, if using hypnosis as part of a spiritual research I must warn you that no truth will be found. Whether you hypnotize yourself or others, the only thing you will be able to see are the actions of the mind.
The spiritual researcher’s process is similar to a blind man groping at an elephant: only a small portion can be perceived at one time and this creates an incomplete picture. Likewise, the spirit is composed of seeing, remembering, thinking and knowing. These four components are called mind.
Where is the mind? Its temporal resting place is in one corner of the physical heart. The seeing is within the physical body, the remembering is within the heart, the thinking is within the soul and the knowing is within the spirit. These four components form the whole body.
The seeing is the principal of knowledge; the remembering is the principal of the heart; the thinking is the principal of the soul and the knowing is the principal of the spirit. This is how it forms but to comprehend this truth one will have to practice meditation with the Dhammakaya method.
The hardest thing for psychologists, hypnotists, or spiritual researchers is that they are not convinced in the power of visualization. Hence, this basic knowledge remains incomprehensible and they see no point in searching further. It follows that, the more they do research the more they are deceive by Mara. On the other hand, if they truly wish to do the research they had better practice meditation. In time they will find the truth.
Sixthly, all hypnotists will be destined to hell as the moment they are dying they will fall into an unconscious state of mind, just as they had practiced in life. And after being reborn in hell they will be absent-minded, scatter-brained, have epilepsy or be insane for eons of lifetimes. Furthermore, if their sins remain during the reincarnation of one of the future Buddhas, they will lose the opportunity to comprehend the Dhamma of Lord Buddha. All because of their gullibility to believe in the Dark Arts.
When I became skillful at hypnotizing, I felt encouraged by Mara to encounter a Dark Arts expert, who was then old and feeble. Nevertheless, I was attracted to him as he taught me the art of unlocking which I could use to unlock padlocks on windows or door latches. It was my good fortune however, to possess enough merit (from a good upbringing) that I never used this skill to harm anyone. Neither had I used it to commit adultery nor steal things from others.
However, I always wanted to conduct experiments as my mind had been contaminated by Mara. One day my teacher told me that one of his senior disciples had learned hypnosis as well as the Art of love potions. He later used this knowledge to commit sins…adultery, for example. Regardless of whom he fancied he would use hypnosis to get a woman to fulfill his sensual lusts. He was also negligent in earning a living. Whenever he had no money he would use the unlocking art to steal what he wanted. Eventually he died in jail.
I dare to say that after 4-5 years of earnestly practicing these Arts, no one could defeat me, not even the famous ancient warrior Khun Phane. Unfortunately, my attitude gradually worsened unintentionally when I progressed with the knowledge of the Dark Arts. I became a gang leader of the village, moving up to the district and then to the province. The more Dark Arts I learned the farther I strayed from Buddhism.
I had also studied the well-known ancient Art called “Tanoo-mue.” This Art requires a specific meditation method of Mara to be able to perform the basic application of writing ancient numbers on palms. This Art is lethal because if anyone was hit by a person who practiced the Tanoo-mue Art, the victim would have been killed or have his bones broken. Any other way, the victim would be in agony caused by the black magic. To make the Dark Art more powerful, the user has to apply sedge and spiritual oil during the process. Alas, dear readers, I destroyed my career and almost became a murderer!
Furthermore, I searched for other skills in the Dark Arts, which included fencing and swordplay. I won a competition at university for two-handed fencing and won a trophy abroad for boxing. After practicing the Pure Arts I found that in many past lifetimes I was reborn countless of times as a thief and as a soldier. In each life I had an interest in the Dark Arts. Nevertheless, at the end of every life I always turned over a new leaf to ordain and concentrate on learning Dhamma. Consequently, the accumulated merits often inspired me to the Pure Arts and vice versa. However the demerits earned motivated me to pursue the Dark Arts.
Although I did not use the power of the Dark Arts to harm anyone, my dignity was lost. It was impossible to do righteous things. The worst sign was that my face radiated a dull aura. I was unaware that my face gradually became gloomy until my parents and relatives mentioned it. My mind had also become rough. At that time, I was somehow fortunate enough to get into university. My demerits however, led me to work with animals. I had to take the lives of cows, buffalos, pigs, ducks and chickens. Countless animals were killed or slaughtered and sent to the public health office.
I worked in this field for two years until one day I took ill and was unable to sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I saw blood flowing from the necks of those animals. Some were writhing in pain on my lap. These disturbances worsened my illness to the point that it could not be cured by modern medical treatment. The doctor prescribed sleeping pills but it did not work. To be effective at all I had to take a lot of them. Once I fall asleep I always had nightmares. In the end I went for treatment from a monk. It was not complicated at all and there was no medicine was needed. All I had to do was accumulating merits and share my merits with the animals I killed or ordered to be killed. I also observed Ten Precepts for seven days and meditated day and night. Soon, I recovered from the illness and stopped killing animals completely.
After I recovered, I carried on studying other Dark Arts with various teachers. This included calling up or expelling ghosts or acting as a medium for spirit communication. I was fortunate to have learned that this kind of skill was one hundred percent false. There are supportive reasons as follows;
Firstly, less than forty percent of spirits use a medium to communicate with humans. The other sixty percent are performances whereby a medium pretends to be possessed by a spirit and then just acts the part. Otherwise, it was the medium’s practice of inhabiting by a ghost therefore, deceiving himself as a ghost before he has actually passed away.
Secondly, an actual spirit that possesses a medium often boasts and calls itself holy, divine, virtuous, or a Bhodisattawa, etc., which is a lie. The spirit of a divine being will definitely not possess a human body. They find a human odor as strong and objectionable. For those spirits that do possess a medium, they are mostly of no kith and kin. They either died unnaturally or that they were a former, vulgar human being.
Some people may wonder how a medium could foretell things correctly as if he had witnessed the events firsthand.
As I have already mentioned, these spirits are not holy but are inferior. They wander around woefully for eons in retribution for their bad karma. As a result, as they have lived so long they can accurately describe our past and / or our life’s story since birth was passed on amongst them through a medium. Therefore, they suppress our dignity so we are in awe of them. Then they will foretell our future to a medium, who will not be able to tell if it is the truth or not. Perhaps it could be partly right or wrong as inferior spirits can only describe the past and the present. If a spirit knows the future they are not born a hungry ghost. Accordingly, whenever they foretell the future they are lying. It is common that when you see a medium they often foretell our future. Therefore, I dare say that a medium is one hundred percent false!
It is disheartening these days that many people still have a great interest in mediums. Many of us perceive that a ghost is a hallucination and thus to associate with a medium is like associating with a liar.
I would like to stress once again for those who are inspired by spirit mediums that they are purely a fallacy. Whoever associates with a spirit medium or a shaman will soon suffer from calamity. Not only people of normal states of mind will suffer, but also those holy ones such as monks, novice monks or advanced meditators. This story is an example of such a calamity;
There was a renowned monk who was very wise and a skillful meditation practitioner. He was known as the hermit of the Khao Suan Kwang meditation convention in Khon Kaen Province. He was theoretically and practically wise and well-known and highly respected amongst other practitioners. He had many disciples. Likewise, he was a senior friend of another renowned monk – Venerable Lee of Wat Asokaram – who had passed away. The hermit’s socalled fame had spread widely and there was a rumor that he was the future Lord Buddha – Ariya Metteyya. Later, I knew of his interest in spirit mediums and felt pity that another person had been deceived by Mara. It was shameful that this was a senior monk who had earnestly pursued self-perfection for many years. I was thinking to myself … it would not be long for his calamity to arrive.
As expected, a few months later I heard of his disrobement. Our inner defilements are disturbing and hard to suppress. Adding to them by Mara is like pouring petrol onto a flame. Please bear in mind that Mara has never wished anyone good luck.
My facial complexion was dull, showing a black aura and my mind heedlessly turned harsh. I wondered why I was so attractive to bullies. Wherever I would go I never made friends with them. I soon found out that there was the law of attraction; individuals of a similar frequency were more attracted to one another. Thus, I had Mara’s attraction and my attitude indicated that, “I was Mara”. So it is understandable to have bullies with the same black aura keen on me. The more I persisted in learning, the more I suffered. There was no happiness for me at all, even when I ate or slept. I became very anxious and restless. In other words, I was desperate for an experiment. I continued to learn the Dark Arts in different places. The last Art I learned was running liquid mercury into the human body.
Mercury is a liquid metal that quivers like water on a lotus leaf. When concentrating the mind and chanting incantations of the Dark Arts, mercury will disintegrate into individual atoms and spread throughout the body. When it enters the body, that person’s wishes will come true. But the power is limited and the effects will soon wear off.
Running mercury into the body is the most advanced knowledge of the Dark Arts. I would also say this is the most lethal Art of all that I have experienced. My teacher told me one of his students, whose personality was indeed evil, had been jailed several times. It was usual for him to run mercury into his own hand when preparing himself for the combat Dark Art (Tanoo–mue). The person punched by him would suffer severely as if being hit by an axe. If he wanted to kill, he only needed to touch a person’s hand and focus through his stern mind. Then the mercury in his body would run into the victim’s indiscreetly. Suddenly, the victim would react to the mercury (which is highly toxic) and twitch and foam at the mouth.
Although the Dark Art mentioned above is lethal and powerful, it is still under the Law of Karma. Everyone has their own karma (action and reaction). You reap what you sow. Respectively, it is only effective to apply a love potion to a person who has similar karma. Likewise, the Torture Dark Art will only be effective on those who have been seeking and taking revenge in past lives. A holy person or a person who has accumulated great merits cannot be harmed.
It has been eleven years since I messed with the Dark Arts. Although I went abroad to study I still associated myself with a wizard and a shaman. This resulted in my mind to become fearless and foolhardy. Each time I practiced the Dark Arts it felt like I cut on my own flesh. Yet somehow I was blessed by my merits in the past and had a guardian angel protecting me who brought me to the right path before it was too late. That was the day I abandoned and stopped practicing the Dark Arts. Still, I continually encountered Mara.
There is a saying … “until one gets hurt by running onto a wall, one will be oblivious of that wall”. In like manner, our Lord Buddha had tortured the King of Nagas and the Hermits with His supernatural power to make them aware of their wrong doings and mistakes. I was that person who ran onto the wall and became aware of it.
The morning of May 10, 1967 was a historic day of my meditation practice when I was demonstrating heat resistance to my friends. The spectators were all my close friends who had seen my demonstration before. I boiled coconut oil as I focused my stern mind and chanted an incantation. Then I dipped my hand into the burning oil which only gave a warm feeling but did not burn me. Nevertheless, I got blisters every time I dipped my hand into the pan. That was the first time in my life I failed the performance. Not only did I fail at the heat resistance Art, but also on the Art of immortality, on running mercury into a body and on unlocking locks. I failed all of them even though my meditation level was still the same. Why, I pondered. One thing I noticed was that the demonstration failed every time there were two particular spectators present. These were Mr. Udom Poolgate, a teacher at Kasetsart University, and Mr. Chaiyaboon Sutthipol, present abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. I realized later that they were the two meditators at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen who had attained Dhammakaya. Their presence not only affected my performance but also to my two renowned Dark Arts teachers as well.
A short explanation given by Mr. Chaiyaboon was, “When thinking about meditation, consider this comparison: The human mind is like a receiver or a radio. A good receiver can tune into any signal or frequency whether the source is near or far. When considering the mind as a receiver, it can tune into “good” energy or “bad” energy. In the case of a Buddhist practitioner, the mind can tune into the Dhammakaya (good energy) or Mara (bad energy). The choice is up to the individual.”
Because I had been receiving Mara’s frequency (bad energy) all the time, my demonstrations of black magic turned into successes. However, the presence of these two viewers turned my demonstrations into failures. They represented the Dhammakaya’s frequency (good energy) that distracted the frequency of Mara resulting to my inability to use the power of Mara. I realized thereafter that I have stopped being a receiver for Mara and started learning Dhammakaya techniques from Mr. Chaiyaboon.
The first three months was my ‘agony stage’ whenever my mind slipped from its standing point (at the center of the body) during meditation. My former teachers would provoke me instantly. Similar to the metaphor of a radio frequency, if it is slightly mistuned it will be disturbed by other frequencies. Mara’s way of disturbing was to create ghoulish images to haunt me. The teacher of heat resistance was as bad because he made me suffer from burning as if I was thrown into a fire. When I open my eyes, the symptom disappears. Sometimes when I close my eyes I feel aching pains, like that being hit by a hammer. It was certainly caused by a teacher of the Combat Art (Tanoo-mue). They would not give up or surrender no matter how often I shared my merits with them. Nonetheless, those agonies disappeared through the help of the teacher of Dhammakaya.
In the end, I followed Mr. Chaiyaboon to Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen to practice pure meditation. This was my second time visiting Wat Paknam. The first time was when I was in high school. During those times my mind was clouded by the negative influence of Mara. The abbot, Luang Pu Wat Paknam, taught Dhammakaya Knowledge, which was the Pure White Art. Even so, I refused to learn the Pure Arts as I thought I would not be invulnerable. I believed the Immortality Art was more powerful anyway. I did not realize however, that by simply becoming invulnerable I would still be unable to escape the sufferings of birth, aging, illness and death.
When I returned to Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen the second time, I felt sadness. By then the most venerable Luang Pu had passed away. However, he had bestowed upon us the Dhammakaya Knowledge for the future generation. The best I could do that day was to bow at his coffin and beg for forgiveness for my ignorance and disrespect. Then I swore to earnestly practice the Pure Arts until the end of my life.
Reasons why I and others were misguided:
Firstly, false teachings (and teachers) are easily noticed; Lord Buddha taught beings to be kind and to wish happiness for others. The Noble One also pointed out that sensual desire is our number one enemy. Yet still, there are so-called teachers who make love potions which cause gullible people to intensify or heighten their sensual lust. This was mistaken for “Great Compassion” resulting in beings born in the realms of hell for sexual misconduct.
Secondly, consider an odd-one-out monk who seldom puts on or wear his robes and lacks basic moral conduct … the five precepts, let alone the 227 monastic conducts. He would easily abandon and renounce his moral conducts for a small fortune or the false and baseless fame of holiness. When presenting himself as powerful and using black magic, he would ‘divine’ lottery numbers etc. to deceive people. That ignorance would be misunderstood as magic jewelry (Takroot) for Dhamma (Pure Art); an inscribed cloth made of black magic for refuge. The person creates these objects for his own holiness. One way or another, the wise would be discouraged from visiting temples even if they have the interest.
Thirdly, this is the worst case of misguiding genuine practitioners whose meditation is more tranquil and insightful or tuned in. However, the other so-called teachers who has lesser competence and understanding in the practice of meditation slanders one another. These ‘teachers’ are neither experienced nor accomplished in the forty meditation methods taught by the Lord Buddha and yet sarcastically condemns each other’s practice. Instead of going to the temple to lessen their defilements, their ignorance increases them. This causes great shame in Buddhism.
All forty meditation methods given in the Path of Purity (Visudhimagga) are appropriate. One only has to choose the most appropriate method suited for one’s temperament. For example, if one loves or gets attached to beauty, one would choose the loathsomeness method so that the mind could quickly detach from it. From there on, one can choose other methods and carry on practicing it until attaining enlightenment. For those who easily get angry, enraged or short in temper, they should choose a meditational device method because this requires concentration of the mind. Practitioners will lose their anger quickly. Either way, both parties often believe their method is better than that of the other creating an unpleasant atmosphere resulting in bickering, falling-out, arguments and misunderstanding. This is because their minds are still narrow and not yet trained well enough to comprehend the truth.
I have been trained by many teachers from Ubasaka, Ubasika, monks and Mara (the obstructer of good deeds). Therefore, I would say that all forty methods of meditation listed in the Path of Purity (Visudhimagga) can be comprehended in various areas. To summarize, they can be grouped into three categories according to the basic practice outcome. They are:
First category; Practitioners would have the awareness of natural conditions but be unable to see their truth. For example, when we switch on a light we understand that electricity runs into the light bulb to make it bright. But we have never seen what electricity looks like. A method in the first category, such as conceptualizing a corpse and focusing on breathing would quickly enable practitioners to be aware of natural conditions. They would know the law of kamma – action and reaction – or you get what you give, and know that heaven and hell exist. Nevertheless, when you ask if they have ever seen heaven or hell or ask what it looks like, they would be unable to answer your questions because they have never seen it. They might also have other erroneous perceptions.
Second category; Practitioners may have seen the truth but have no knowledge about this as the truth itself. For example, children standing by the seacoast or shoreline sees the sun rising in the east and sets in the west. They see this occurrence regularly but may never know that the world is round.
With meditation practice in this category, conceptualizing a sphere of the earth outside the body until the image is clearly visible, practitioners will be able to foresee the future, heaven and hell. While meditating, practitioners may be able to see if a Mr. A, leaving his house today gets killed in a car crash. Or if a Mr. B leaves his house gets lucky. However, practitioners will not have a clue why this happens because they cannot see things clearly. This makes the gullible believe in luck rather than the law of karma.
Finally, on the third category; These practitioners attain knowledge from seeing and knowing. Though it is far more difficult than the other two, there is great benefit. Practitioners could see Mr. A’s deeds done from his past, the present down to the future. Furthermore knowing the fruit of kamma for taking another person’s life caused Mr. A to be killed in a car crash. Also, seeing and knowing that when Mr. B leaves his house he will be lucky is because of the retribution from the generosity of his past. In his present life he has now realized its fruit.
Practitioners on the first category normally disbelieves the second category’s ability to envision supernatural things. Likewise, the latter also disbelieves the first category for what they know. This can result to quarrels, misunderstandings, discords and even vendetta. By that, the third category gives clarification and ends the argument.
Those in the first category who already have the awareness of natural conditions and wish to realize or obtain the knowledge similar to those in category three, it could easily be done by changing the position of the mind. For example, during meditation, one places the mind in front of one’s stomach or nostrils to focus on the breathing. When the mind comes to stillness and a light or bright sphere appears floating in space, bring it inside to the center of the abdomen (imagine stretching two threads, one stretched across from the navel to the back and the other from the right side of the body to the left. At the intersection, raise it up two finger widths; this is the center of the body). In this way, the bright sphere will fully expand.
For those who are used to visualizing with meditational objects (candle flames etc.), just bring the object inside the center of the body. The object will become clearer than focusing the mind outward, as those in the first category. It follows that, there will be no argument anymore.
I would recommend new practitioners to directly practice the third category. This will reduce the time of practice to ten years or so and can also enhance the seeing and the knowing farther than the other two.
Luang Pu Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, who has passed away, also practiced the third category. He was criticized by the ignorance of some members of the Sangha committee under allegations of deceiving others. It was fortunate that Buddhists did not lose the wisest meditation method of the third category. Fortunately, one of the committee members who was sent to investigate at that time was a revered teacher who was a disciple of the Most Venerable Mun Phuritattho. This teacher was proficient in all the forty meditation methods and had confirmed that the method practiced at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen was correct. Therefore, the most venerable Luang Pu was finally exonerated.
Once you have read this diary I hope it helps you decide to abandon and denounce or give up Mara’s knowledge (the Dark Arts) and begin the right meditation practices according to Buddhism. Do not allow a dark aura to catch up with you which will then be difficult to remove (even after death your destination will be hell). When bad karma comes to fruition and you are born human again, you will embrace the wrong views.
Although you have met the future Lord Buddha you may be deceived by Mara and become a religious member outside Buddhism who aims to defame Buddhism and commit other sins. For those who have walked the right path, do not feel weary or be ignorant. The Most Venerable Luang Pu (Phramongkolthepmuni) often mentioned that;
“A bull has a pair of horns to fight with, compare to its countless hairs;
Nirvana was wished for by many but only a few reached it by their earnest efforts.”
Only a few number of people who wish to be free from suffering equal to the number of horns in a bull. For this reason, to be in a group of such small number, one must be vigilant, cautious and practicing self-perfection at all times. To those teachers who fostered me like their own beloved child and who always had good wishes for me that overwhelmed me with their compassion, I thank you. I will treasure your kindness in my heart forever.
And to those who taught me the Dark Arts, regards to your careless and shallow ignorance which will be forgiven by all readers. Whereas reprimanding of the Dark Arts was only to point out the inconsistencies and the truth, there will be an impact on the teachers. Notwithstanding no disrespect is intended.
Nevertheless, I will not trade the invaluable truth of Buddhism with the gratitude received personally from all my teachers. By the same token, I am not the type of disciple who seeks revenge but on whom the teachers could rely.
9 December 1969
Something Money Cannot Buy
“One day your father, your mother, your kids and even you yourself must die. Will you do enough good deeds before you pass away?”
Chapter 4 Something Money Cannot Buy
“Do not think that Dhamma is too complicated for us ordinary people to attain. In fact, if we try, we can. We may not be able to attain the greatest heights but, it is better than not trying to practice at all.”
Nowadays as everyone knows, the cost of living is very high. Many people seldom earn enough money to support their physical and material needs. Everything must be paid for and almost every success can be bought with money. Recently I read an article titled “Something Money Cannot Buy”. I would like to share it with you.
It said that the four things money cannot buy are:
1.) friendship from a newborn baby
2.) the times that has passed by
3.) true love from a fellow human being and,
4.) the path to heaven.
The first three things are quite understandable. The last one, “the path to heaven” brings many questions to our mind: Does it exist? Where is it? Why do we have to go there? How do we get there?
In this new era of space exploration the word “heaven” seems difficult for people to understand: What is heaven? How do we get there? Why do we have to go? However, I always wonder about its’ meaning. If we think about the definition of “path to heaven” in easy to understand terms, it really is something money cannot buy … the path to inner peace.
When we talk about happiness in Buddhism it is divided into 2 categories: 1.) secular or worldly happiness which is not permanent and, 2.) Dhamma or solitary happiness, which is true happiness – permanent.
If we consider practicing Dhamma all alone in the forest, many people might say that this is not a practical approach to life. They have so many constraints such as … economic burdens and a family to take care of that they definitely cannot detach themselves from society. How then can these people deal with the contradictions of the world in order to attain real happiness?
Considering the principles of Buddhism, the Lord Buddha intended to free all beings without discrimination from suffering. The Dhamma given by the Lord Buddha is well organized… from basic to advanced teachings to suit the individuals’ needs, faiths and capabilities. The advanced learner may achieve supreme happiness or inner peace while the novice, who aims at worldly happiness, may achieve a certain level of happiness in his/her life.
As we desire to attain happiness and be free from suffering, these questions must be answered: (a) What is the proper way to be free of suffering? (b) How can one attain and sustain peaceful happiness? These questions are not difficult to answer if you study the Dhamma at Dhamma Prasit House, Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen.
In this Dhamma House there are students of various ages … from 6 or 7 years old to teenagers, from primary school to high school students. Also, there are students with higher education as well. Here you will find both male and female Buddhist faithfuls with a majority in the middle-aged group.
Some people study Buddhism to sustain Buddhism. Some study just to apply the Dhamma teachings to attain happiness in their family life. Some come as a family – father, mother and baby – to make merit and practice Dhamma to gain benefits according to their faith and their capability. The happiness received from the Dhamma Prasit House is… a peaceful mind and true happiness that one can rely on for the rest of one’s life.
One of the masters who has taught us, Upasika Chand Khonnokyoong, has now passed away. Mr.Chaiyaboon who still continues to teach is the current abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Both have the determination to set up the new temple to be a World Buddhist Center to propagate the Dhamma teachings for world peace and happiness.
When the temple is completely built it will be the sanctuary for all who are searching for true happiness in their lives. Whether heaven exists or not … why we have to go there or how to get there … I would like to invite you to practice these teachings by yourself. As you attain advanced levels of Dhamma you will know the answers through your own wisdom.
The way to happiness is not difficult if you search for it correctly. Do not misunderstand however, that we should start searching for true happiness when we are retired. Do not think that Dhamma is too complicated for us ordinary people to attain. In fact, if we try we can. We may not attain the greatest heights but, it is better than not practicing at all.
If you have the strong intention and the faithfulness to keep practicing Dhamma constantly, you will be rewarded with gifts that money cannot buy.
Dr. Sivalai Thanaphat
The Dread of Death
“About building this temple…if my mother would not allow, I will. If my mother would like to give it, then get it soon. If she would like to give the whole plot then please take it all.”
Chapter 5 The Dread of Death
“Somehow, I think people in this world are like chickens in a coop not knowing that they will be taken to death row. When they bump into other chickens, they continue to fight and peck at each other with loud screeches…”
I am a married woman, nearly 40 years old. At present, I am a high-ranking education officer, holding a well-paid job and a high social status. It seemed to be a perfect life. However, my innermost thoughts keep telling me that it is not. I always ask myself… “Why are we born”? If our purpose in life is to be fulfilled, then life is tedious. From my viewpoint, lives seldom change for the better but on the contrary, for the worse. Everyone I know, including myself, move towards decline. For men, they possibly dye their hair to look younger. For women, they need more make-up to deceive both themselves and others.
Looking at my career, I feel dejected. I have realized that what they say about fame and fortune is all for nothing because suffering overshadows it all. At first I was simply a classroom teacher. Eventually promotion followed; as assistant principal, as a head master, as an education officer, as a department head and finally, as a high-ranking education officer. Higher positions mean more responsibility and an increasing salary is not a windfall. The more money one gets, the greater the burden one has to endure, which is directly related to additional income.
I know the perils of fame and fortune only too well: it spoils the mind rotten. Some high-ranking authorities are so into themselves as if things will last forever. They fancy drinking, committing adultery, gambling, and enjoying the nightlife as if there is no Law of Karma (action and reaction). Some engage in professional misconduct as if it is the love of their life. I am so tired of my superiors. Alas, people give credit to fame and fortune yet struggle to obtain it. Once they have it, instead of being its master they become its slave. Somehow I think people in this world are like chickens in a coop not knowing that they will be taken to death row. When they bump into other chickens, they continue to fight and peck at each other with loud screeches…
That does not mean of course that there are no good people out there. One of my superiors, Mr. Chuoy Sangsuchart was the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education. He followed a strict moral code. He was a role model and a Chief Officer. He was very successful in his career and was also interested in studying and practicing Dharma. I was already practicing meditation when Mr. Chuoy Sangsuchart passed away. Upasika Chand, my Dhamma teacher kindly told me about Mr. Chuoy Sangsuchart’s life after his death … that he was a starved earth sprite. When I met Mr. Chuoy Sangsuchart’s wife I asked her about his deeds. His wife said that, when her husband was still alive he offered food to the monks only during his birthday although he had made other merits by printing Dhamma books, donating money to construct a permanent building and so on. My son and I were already in our advanced stages of our meditation practices. When I meditate I can look at other people’s lives. I can tell how their lives are going to be after death. During one of these meditation I met my dead superior, Mr. Chuoy Sangsuchart. I saw his life after his death. He became a very poor sprite, poorer than any other celestial being. I felt very depressed for him as he was really starved. This brought me great sorrow. When he was still alive he used to tell me, “Tawin, watch over me! I will definitely hold my mind onto Nirvana on my deathbed.”
As a result of all this, I have lost interest in achieving high-ranking positions. However, I still continue on teaching because by being a teacher this gives me the opportunity to teach students to be good. For me, fame and fortune are illusive as in the case of this one minister who has passed away and is now burning in hell. Fame and fortune has done nothing to help him. These things cannot give us true happiness.
As I was not able find happiness in my career, I tried to find it in my family life. However, I have had two unforgettable moments in my life; events that caused me to have insomnia. These were the turning points that started my interest in Buddhism.
My first emotional turmoil happened when my eldest son, who was born on May 25, 1961 was just 2 years, 4 months and 14 days old. He was a sweet child and he was just learning to talk. One Wednesday morning he said “farewell” to everyone in the family. That day was October 9, 1963. At first he asked for his playmate ‘Aoy’, the daughter of our neighbor Udorn Weingsamud. She had not played with him for some time now. I decided to tell him the truth that she had drowned and died. He stopped to think and then babbled that he was going to die as well. I did not take notice what he just said but laughed at his innocent understanding of the terminology of the word dying. Instead, he further gave me details that he was going to die from flu on Saturday the second of May. I was aghast as was everyone in our family. I tried to calm down. Then I asked him the year that he said he was going to die. I thought perhaps it was just baby talk as he could not even count 1 to 10. My son slowly repeated the figures one by one that it was the year 1965. I was so shocked because I thought that the day that he mentioned, the second of May in 1965 was likely to be a Saturday. I couldn’t sleep at all that night.
The very next day I poured out my worries to my friends – Mr Patana Pasabutra, the Headmaster of Wat Amarintraram School; and Ms. Woranee Sundaravej, the Headmaster of Darakarm School. Ms. Woranee kindly checked the calendar for me. Fortunately, that year (1965) was a leap year where the month of February has 29 days. Therefore, the 3rd of May was the first Saturday of May in 1965.
I was worried because I have 2 children, my son and my younger daughter. I was astonished at how a two year old boy could state the day, month and year like that. My son was very lovely. He was plump and chubby. Everyone always say that he looked like an abbot or a product brand of a chubby Buddha – Buddha Balm (Yamonk Tra Pra). I cannot express how much love a mother has for her child. I only knew I dreaded death coming on the first Saturday of May 1965. Then I remembered that one of my friends, Mr Boodham, an Educational Officer working at the Dissemination of Education Division gave a small Buddha amulet to protect my son. That made me feel a bit better.
Fortunately, I got the chance to attend the lectures of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu every evening for 10 days at The Teachers’ Council of Thailand Convention Center. I felt remarkably relieved. Sometimes when the lecture is over, I get so overwhelmed with gladness that when I walk back home my eyes gets filled with tears and my hairs stand on end. I had to comb it down with my hand! I felt sorry for myself that I had wasted so much of my time for so long and was not interested in Buddhism (That was only because I saw some monks not strictly adhering to their discipline).
From then on, I learned how to help my child and myself. One day after achieving a tranquil mind, I lit a candle and a joss stick in front of a Buddha image and vowed to take care of my son. I would instill in him a Buddhist way of life and, if he devoted himself to Buddhism, I would have no objection if only to prolong his life so that we could have more happy times together.
This is a happy story for my son “Songboon”. At present he practices meditation and can recall his former life. He said that it was true. If I had not made a wish for my son to be devoted to Buddhism, he was definitely going to die on that date. It is now our good fortune not to be apart from each other.
My second emotional event occurred in August of 1965. I was on duty as an Invigilator for a promotional examination for government teachers in Chiang Mai Province. While I was traveling by train at about 10:00 p.m. I started having severe abdominal pain. I had appendicitis that caused much more pain than childbirth. I was in the last car of the train that swayed more than the others. This doubled my agony. I could not sleep at all that night and was agonizing over in pain, constantly shifting left and right. By dawn my whole body was so stiff and sore that I could not move myself even a few inches. Everyone in the group saw that I was seriously ill.
Accompanying me on this trip was my mother and my son. We were to visit my younger brother who worked in Chiang Mai. The others on this trip were my respected commander – Ajarn Mongkol Puangpong and Ajarn Chuoy Sangsuchart (who has now passed away). My beloved friend, Rayka Tongsawad was also with us including other respected educational authorities such as, Dr. Akewit Na Talang (The vice chancellor of the General Education Department), Prayong Suthirat, and Somjit Soisuriya.
A physician on the train came to treat my symptoms. Everyone was concerned about my condition but they could do nothing to help me.
I felt half-way dead. The pain was so intense that I could have allowed someone to cut my abdomen and remove my intestines without anesthesia! I tried to think about the Dhamma but it was useless for I had only studied the Tripitaka … not meditation. As I was thinking about death, I felt like I was lying down all alone in the high mountains. Although lots of my beloved friends and relatives stood by my side, I felt alone and helpless.
I felt that I was going to die very soon before arriving at Chiang Mai. A “death sweat”, a huge greasy secretion appeared all over my face. Even though the northern morning air was quite cold and foggy, I continued to sweat. I had to wipe it again and again. Simultaneously, I defecated small, sticky, raven-black hardened feces shaped like an eggplant, the so-called “Scybala”, a near death experience for most people with severe illness. I said my farewell to my mom.
Reaching a dead end, I prayed and recalled all my good deeds – gratitude towards my parents, being faithful to my husband, taking care of my children and helping other people according to my means. During these days I was now interested in Dhamma. Therefore, I prayed that if I survived, I would pay more attention to the Dhamma practice for I was clearly aware of my restless mind. Miraculously, as I let go of everything, Mr. Suchart and his wife kindly brought some herbal powder mixed with water for me to drink to relieve my pain. I vomited several times and felt relief from the gastric pain. That prolonged my life long enough to have an emergency operation at Chiang Mai. As I almost died, I realized that nothing else can be a true sanctuary for any being other than the Dhamma practice of the Buddha. No matter how much people love you, those around you cannot help. They can only cry, and that is it.
After these two emotional events, I became even more interested in Dhamma. First I read Dhamma books and listened to sermons and speeches from several monasteries. I then bought a meditation guidebook and started practicing meditation by myself. Sometimes I meditated by focusing on breathing in and out (mindfulness on breathing or Anapanasati). Other times I meditated by focusing attention on the movement of the “rising” and “falling” of my abdomen (mindfulness on abdominal breathing). Finally, I had the experience of seeing a light while my eyes were still closed or seeing through a wall.
I wanted to learn meditation from several temples but I could not find the proper one. I was anxious to find the proper meditation method of a good teacher. Some Dhamma teachers are not admirable and some live too far away. At the same time, I was tired of listening to sermons from this temple and that temple. I have also read a lot of Dhamma books. The more I go to different temples to listen to talks about Dhamma, the more I discovered people’s ego. They boast amongst themselves resulting in my defilements to build up.
I felt lonely and thought I needed a suitable meditation practice for myself; either a direct way or a shortcut to attain Dhamma. Fortunately, I met Mr. Padej, who 10 years earlier was my brother’s classmate. It was around the end of December in 1968 when Mr. Padej by chance met my brother and came to visit him at home. Then on, I have learnt Vijja “Dhammakaya”, an amazing meditation practice. He gave step by step instructions as if it was a meditation science. The practice begins by visualizing all 18 super-imposed inner selves. Other studies and advanced meditation follow. This practice combines both concentration and insight meditation. My Dhamma teachers were Upasika Chand Khonnokyoong, Mr. Chaiyaboon (before his ordination) and several people at the Dhamma Prasit House. They kindly taught me, much to my delight.
I practiced strictly because I desired a radical internal change. Three months had passed yet nothing has happened. I just visualized the light all the time. One day I gave up my Kilesa or Kleshas – a mental state that clouds the mind in unwholesome actions. I thought that no matter what, I could still attain the results sooner or later. I kept on practicing assiduously. At that time, I visualized one thing bright and clear, cool and comfortable, extensively and ceaselessly. Before I had this experience, I felt somewhat like a golf ball dropping into the hole and that made me jump. It is similar to sitting on an airplane that had hit air pockets or air turbulence. I have by now seen this thing daily.
Six months after Mr. Chaiyaboon, one of my Dhamma teacher had taken his ordination, I was able to visualize all 18 inner selves with lots of extraordinary detail. I will not discuss these details further. It would do no good. Instead, this may generate sins for those who do not agree or believe and take out of context the teachings of Buddhism. This may also create wrong impressions for the non-believers criticizing the merits one may have gained through the practice of meditation.
However, I insist that if one starts practicing meditation, one will certainly have a positive outcome sooner or later. Achieving this depends on one’s intentions and efforts as well as one’s pursuit to perfection. Such things as supernatural powers: knowing people’s minds, recalling past lives, the second insight transmigration in the past, present and future of all beings, the celestial eyes to visualize the realms of heaven and hell, as well as the Enlightenment Body (Dhammakaya) of Lord Buddha in Nirvana; all these things are not difficult to learn. It is a very interesting subject. The more you practice, the more you are steering towards the path to Nirvana.
I have practiced meditation for over 6 years and have now found the path to happiness – the Middle Way. Recently, in the past nine months, I was confident that it was the righteous way. I decided to not to lose more time but instead practice more with all my efforts. I made a resolution that when this temple is completely built, I will resign from my government job to join the team who have devoted their lives to teaching Dhamma to everyone who needs a refuge, as I did.
The school where I was once the headmaster is a government school with no tuition fees. They charge only a small administration fee. This school provides primary and secondary education for students from Grades 1 to 7. It is located in a city where most people are unskilled laborers working freelance or as loaders at the port and tank farm. Almost all of the 2,000 students are poor and lack moral training. They get involved in gambling, prostitution, drugs, gangs, theft. These is normal to them. In one incident, some kids stole shopping baskets and some goods from a cargo truck at the port right before an officer’s very eyes. They put the stolen items in the bags and jumped into the shallow canal during ebb tide and vanish within a second.
We cannot rely on the parents of these kids to instill morals and ethics because most of these parents are laborers themselves who work from sunrise till sunset. They are too tired to teach their children although they may scold and punish them if they are upset. Sometimes parents quarrel with each other and end up taking it out on their children. These children have no other refuge. They rely on their friends. However, because they lack good friends they associate themselves or hang around with unethical people who induce them to commit criminal acts. Other times the parents themselves teach their kids to steal. The father lets his kid steal iron rods that were meant to build a school. The kid moves these iron rods close to a barbed-wire fence and when the kid gets enough, he signals his father. The father then grabs these rods and rides away on his motorcycle, leaving people in the work site chasing and yelling behind.
When these children are in school together many problems must be confronted. For example, the money of a teacher will be gone if the teacher leaves her things unattended. Students will steal from each other, even old worn-out shoes. They swear and hurl insults at each other and even to the teachers. Some are disobedient and undisciplined and that can make the teacher cry. Many are not interested in studying but come to school only because they are forced by their parents. Some do not go to classes at all and instead ride public buses all day simply for sightseeing. Others rip up letters from the school causing teachers to spend the day trying to find the students’ homes. These students who are not interested in studying are unhealthy and misbehave because of their poverty.
Looking at my students’ behavior I feel depressed as I foresee that our country will be in trouble … full of bandits and criminals. How can we prevent this from happening? We can force them to read and to write but my heart sinks thinking on how to teach them to be good. They may behave nicely in the presence of teachers, but can cause problems when they are on their own. We cannot be with them all the time.
As I kept thinking how to solve these problems, I decided to train my students by opening a meditation session for them. At first there were a few hundred students. This made it easy to invite a monk to give them training. As the number of students increased to a thousand, it was quite difficult to arrange a timetable because the meeting room was quite small and the study schedule is rigid. Therefore it was inconvenient to invite monks to teach. I assigned some teachers to do this instead. However, the students showed no signs of any behavioral improvement. I decided then to focus on convincing the teachers to learn Dhammakaya practices themselves as I was sure that this knowledge can help our students.
At the moment there are 2 teachers, Boongeur Gokprayoon and Suwadee Nuchaaya who have shown interest and are effectively practiced in meditation. They have become our key people. Furthermore, there are some teachers currently practicing meditation. These include Sujinda Jawananon, Sumalee Tienmanee, Chawee Bawonwongkanok, Orama Titatarn, Premjit Tanomsuk, Sutada Karnpoj and Phannee Saetung. There are another 3 or 4 people who just started and some are secretly practicing at home by themselves. Even the janitor had a very good meditation outcome!
As we have friends who share the same interests, it was not difficult to ask them to teach mind training for our students almost every evening after school. For these 2 or 3 teachers who loves meditation, I have set up a small class for students who are interested. Within a short period, these students started to have good meditation experiences which now encourages us to teach tirelessly.
Now there are about 100 students who are good at meditation. They are an inspiration to their friends and siblings to have integrity and do only good deeds. They tell them about what they see in hell and in heaven, and also about the enlightenment body (Dhammakaya) of Lord Buddha in Nirvana. They describe this as a virtual reality where they can see or touch with their own body. These students look forward to attending meditation sessions with happiness. If we ask them where on earth is the best place to be they unanimously say that to attain Nirvana is the best.
I have listened to lots of sermons. One renowned monk of meditation practice said that Nirvana is nowhere. Those who witness the existence of Nirvana are imagining it. It is an elusive vision. I admit that I myself have to think before I visualize. But amazingly, hundreds of my little students can visualize without thinking. They have only to recite the mantra “Samma-Arahang” and look at their base mind or at the center of their body. One student said that he visualized a crystal ball. Another visualized a crystal Buddha image. Others visualize their inner self. I tell all of them to keep on looking at the center of their body so they can visualize all inner selves correctly as what Luang Pu Wat Paknam (Phramongkoltepmuni) formerly described without knowing it before. Sometimes I tested them by incorrectly describing a Brahma astral body as a female in a costume. “Is it correct?”, I asked. They disputed immediately and said that, “Brahma looks like a male with no costume but wearing marvelous jewelry”.
For those who might think this as hypnosis, I wish them to see for themselves and that the students did see Nirvana and the Buddha’s enlightenment body (Dhammakaya). They see according to their own vision not from the teacher’s guideline. These group of students from Nontri Primary School pays homage to Buddha in Nirvana for blessings every day. Some pay homage by themselves several times a day. Others say that life is boredom. They want to escape from this world to attain Nirvana. Furthermore, they told me that if we impose our own Dhammakaya onto Buddha’s Dhammakaya, our minds would be unutterably serene and comfortable with no suffering, hunger or weariness.
We would sit still with the fullest extent of wisdom. Some students would like to be there forever. I had to explain that we can visit but we cannot live there because we have not yet reached our perfection. As an example, we buy a ticket to visit Bangkok for sight-seeing. We know about Bangkok but we cannot stay there forever because it requires money, a house and a work place to earn a living. Otherwise, we cannot stay in Bangkok permanently. They understand it clearly.
These students particularly adore their Dhammakaya inner-selves. I told them that if they do not observe the 5 precepts, the Dhammakaya will not be with them. Hence, these students seem to be aware of their behavior. There was no need to warn them. This is the best tactic to correct their behavior. In this group there were some naughty children who loved playing noisily. But ever since they visualized their Dhammakaya inner selves, they now spend their break-time sitting so still that their teacher had to ask if they were alright! The students said that it is much better visualizing inner Dhammakaya than playing around. Their teacher came to tell me about this immediately.
In order to cultivate good moral habits for those students who were not interested in meditation, I asked their class teacher to let them pray in the evening and recite the mantra “Samma-Arahang” 5 to 10 minutes a day before they go back to their homes. From days to weeks and from weeks to months, the students who had strong sense-faculties began to pay attention to meditation. This resulted to the increase in the number of students who practiced meditation.
When I started holding meditation sessions, I told students about the existence of the realms of heaven and of hell. Hundreds of students as well as teachers laughed at me and said that, either this was not credible or it was a good story. But once the students had practiced meditation and had seen them for themselves, almost 100 students gave me an affirmation about their existence. During meditation, when a teacher guides them to access these realms and ask them what they see, students who effectively meditated gave exactly the same answer. It is not hypnosis because the teacher did not tell them what to see but only asked what they saw; two different concepts or ideas of the mind as a product of mental activity. Therefore, the protestations about the teacher planting images in their minds declined. Those who were once in doubt were more likely now to believe in the realms of heaven and of hell. This restrained their minds and actions from misconduct.
In my point of view, to teach a student to know what is merit or demerit and to detest all misconduct is an ultimate goal of moral education. But the academic curriculum of the Ministry of Education has mandated there is too much content for students to learn. Even the civics and moral subject is aimed at studying from a textbook only and overlooks actual practices. Teachers can only teach practicalities or the basic essentials of education to their students out of textbooks. As such, some of these teachers may not perform good deeds, hence, they cannot be good role models to their students. A good example is drinking and smoking. A teacher may not be able to restrain himself from these health hazards. Therefore, we must do the research continuously in order to find the best teaching methods to achieve satisfactory outcomes. We make our children study too much about external things and neglect the essential knowledge about ourselves, or our inner selves.
I briefly stated why I teach meditation to students. Practicing meditation can alter a young person’s misbehavior almost immediately. All nuisances from these students are lessened progressively. Meditation is not that difficult. People of all ages and genders can practice meditation if they really have the intention to do so. It would be even better if our kids start practicing meditation from childhood. In the long run, our children would be less likely to make bad karma.
Please do not question whether these students really get good results or not. According to the law of karma, our destinies are caused by our deeds. Amongst thousands of students in one school, there will always be a mix of students with good karma.
These types of students tend to make dramatic progress in meditation that will inspire their friends and siblings to have more interest in practicing meditation. Though perhaps not always attaining the results they wish, they develop the right view about life after death and the law of karma for the rest of their lives.
With my earnest wishes toward the future of our youth and nation, may the power of my good intentions be a vow to ring within the hearts and souls of all education authorities. Please take a look into my efforts, not to praise me but for taking this into consideration. Perhaps it is time to use Dhamma as a tool to solve problems at every level of education. We are insane with worldly knowledge but have gotten little out of it. So let’s go crazy for inner wisdom … perhaps it could settle our restless minds!
Nowadays, academics especially in higher education, are centered on worldly issues, degraded knowledge and, materialism. I feel pity for those who devalue themselves by teaching students that heaven and hell, written about in the three-world book (Trai Bhum Pra Ruang) are untrue and a scare tactic by an older generation. By this it means, they do not believe in the law of action and its’ consequences. As the saying goes, “you sow, so you reap.” This makes me feel ashamed of how foolish and self-centered it is to blame the wise.
May the honorable authorities of education consider including “Meditation” in the curriculum. It is worthwhile and needs no equipment. All we have to do is give our students the chance to learn how to meditate and the benefits they get from it. They will practice it straight away. We know that we cannot rely on parents to teach their kids because they are too busy themselves making a living. Today’s youth will be good or bad depending solely on their teachers. If we can persuade one or two interested teachers in each school to teach meditation, we will definitely have the best ethics curriculum.
In the past, schools were attached to temples where students saw exemplary behavior from monks and novices. Students automatically conducted themselves in the same way. Now-a-days, schools are detached from the temple. If we do not have teachers who are in themselves role models, the students’ minds will deteriorate day after day. It is my impression that, training schools and the teachers known as ‘mold of the nation’ should pay attention to this matter. Even higher education institutes should set up a meditation practice society instead of encouraging the study of Tripitaka only. Dhamma is essential for people in all walks of life and all ages. Why think that it is exclusively for monks and novices?
Thinking back to the time of our current Buddha, there were millions of lay people practicing meditation. Consequently, peacefulness spread throughout many regions of the world. And to those who studied Buddhism evidently realized the greatest understanding. Would you like those peaceful days in our generation? When the world is heated by defilements, I don’t understand why we insist on holding those defilements instead of releasing them.
With my concern about our country and my desire to see our children become good citizens, I was really glad when I heard our team at the Dhammaprasit House was planning to build a temple to propagate Vijja Dhammakaya. My dream would come true after all! May I have the chance to see teachers and teacher trainees come to practice meditation with other good people in this temple! May it be a thousand or ten thousand teachers so that it will be enough to solve the national youth problem in the present as well as in the future!
Let me tell you about this temple. Reviewing the time we did insight meditation we found that our new place was not a meditation retreat but a temple. This temple is very beautiful and more peaceful than any other temple in the world. This information makes everyone seriously think about how to raise funds to build a new temple which costs hundreds of millions of Baht.
We found a location not far from Bangkok. It is a good location and there is a river running through it. Hence, we had to find the owner of this land. One day while I silently sat waiting for other Dhamma learners to join together, I heard Ven. Dhammajayo (Mr. Chaiyaboon), a master of meditation softly proclaim from his insight that this temple’s name would be Woranee Dhammakayo Temple. The name of my dear friend, Woranee Sundaravej, came to my mind immediately. This venerable had never known my friend for she refused to come to the temple.
One time when I achieved some progress in meditation, I had persuaded her to join me. But she refused and said that she had to take care of her senile mother. As I knew that she was not willing to come, I forgot about her but unexpectedly thought of her in the present circumstances. A long time ago I knew that Ms. Woranee was an heir of a landed family. Therefore, she probably had a big plot of land. Whether it is exactly the same plot of land that has a river running through it (as in my vision) or not, I did not know.
Those who excel in insight meditation verified again and again and finally confirmed that our new temple would be settled in her plot of land that is greater than 100 Rai. Her mother and Ms. Woranee will not only donate the whole plot of land but also, provide the funds to build this temple. We thought it as improper to talk to Ms. Woranee about this matter or else she might think that we are insane or trying to defraud her. Instead I would like to admit that our team had to hide this information and simply ask them to sell this land. If they did not want to sell, then we would ask them to lease it. If they did not allow us to lease, then we would ask them to simply use the land. If they deny all these requests, then we would come back again and again every year until we got the land. We endeavored to get this land because we all knew that it was destined to have a temple built on it as it was meant to be in all aspects.
After sorting out all these issues, Mr. Padej Pongsawad and I were assigned to be representatives to buy the land from Ms. Woranee. The budget was far less than one hundred thousand which was the savings of Mr. Padej and his friends who vowed for a holy life. Nonetheless we dared to ask to buy the land for 50 Rai.
That day at the site, Mr. Padej, Ms. Woranee and I were not certain about the deal because the title deed of the land certificate belonged to Ms. Woranee’s mother. Ms. Woranee was her only child. By the time we reached the site and got out of the car, the strong sunlight was blocked by dark clouds and a gentle breeze blew for a moment. After pointing to the landmark, I noticed Ms. Woranee silently considering for a while. She then turned to us and said decisively:
“About building this temple… if my mother would not allow, I will. If my mother would like to give it, then get it soon. If she would like to give the whole plot then please take it all.”
She hardly ended her speech when we all paid our obeisance to rejoice in her merit. I saw a long flash of lightning pass from a cloud to the earth not far from us. It resounded once and vanished. It happened out of the blue only once and no more. Ms.Woranee was looking in the opposite direction. She might not have seen the bolt and I was not even sure whether she heard the thunder either. It was dazzling. Suddenly there was a light drizzle like a miracle from the heavens to rejoice in the merits. I thought I was the only person who noticed this unusual phenomenon. Being afraid of loud bangs due to my past experience of running to escape bombing raids during World War II, I always try to hide. I told everyone to go back into the car for fear of another thunderbolt as we were under a sugar palm tree.
I started to appreciate this unusual event when I drove off out of the property with Mr. Adisak and noticed that it rained only within its borders. When the car crossed the little bridge which is at the end of the property there had not been even a single drop of rain… the road was dry. I was astonished with this unusual event and mumbled to myself. Mr. Adisak and Mr. Padej said that they have already seen and noticed it. I smiled to myself at the thought of how innocent I could be. While still in the car, Ms. Woranee gave us more information. Her mother was pleased to donate the land to build the temple although she was not sure of our perseverance. For this reason, we had the intention to teach her mother meditation so that she can better understand our task and our mission.
Since I had studied Vijja Dhammakaya, I have encountered many more supernatural or transcendental occurrences than what I have written about in this book. My master nun, Chand and Ven. Dhammajayo (Mr. Chaiyaboon) told me that this mystical, divine and celestial power exists and is valid. I know that my masters were more knowledgeable or educated in these powers. We can learn more about it. When they notice anyone showing an interest in this kind of power, they always say that: our path is directly aimed at attaining the righteous way to free ourselves from any defilements by purifying our body, speech and mind until we attain the enlightenment to Nirvana. I had to restrain myself and pretend that I was not interested in this kind of thing. Deep in my heart however, I wanted to know more about this unfathomable phenomenon. I had to keep it out from my mind in order to be a good student.
These days, when I am free of my governmental duties, every breath I take is a yearning to build this temple. I will ask permission from my parents and siblings as well as my husband and my children to spend all of my assets and my efforts to accomplish this task with all of my physical and inner strength, as well as my wisdom. I will make a vow upon this place that, “I will devote my life to study and propagate Dhamma and Vijja Dhammakaya. When this temple is completely built, I will sacrifice everything … my career, my family, and my life to Buddhism.”
We continue to devote our lives in building this temple. We will never turn our back that will stop generating the flow of Dhamma and extinguish the burning passions within people’s minds. We work to propagate Dhamma in order to help and end the sufferings of the world. This temple belongs to everyone who pursues perfection. It is not a Buddhist temple for our country. It is for everyone in this world regardless of religion or nationality. This temple will reflect the “foremost” in every aspect such as, the finest building designed for meditation, with teachings by the most thoroughly disciplined monks and with the most effective of meditation practice.
In Buddhism, no matter where you are living in this world, you already know the three marks of one’s existence … that everything is not permanent, that everything suffers and finally, that everything decays. Buddhism operates under these same laws… it begins with birth and ends with death. Like a flame, it initially glows brightly and then slowly dies down. But before it does, the flame will shine brightly leaving only the reminiscences and firsthand accounts of Buddhism in people’s minds.
At a time when people neglect wholesome deeds and let defilements cloud their minds, our temple will be the last flicker of the flame that will propagate Dhamma … to shine within everyone’s mind before it dies out. Though it might extend Buddhism to last another 100 or 200 years, it will be of great merit for everyone who pursued perfection. Let this be a reminder to you with best regards.
10 December 1969
Most of us have encountered many problems and obstacles in life. Each person is subjective and varies. Some are lucky enough to endure only minimal problems while some have to endure more. Problems include; study, family, economic, financial, work, social engagement and death. Some people learn from ones’ own life experience and others learn from experiences that can be found in books. Only few lucky ones meets the perfect idol or teacher who had lived life to the full that is admiring and worth to follow.
Succeeded in following the wise’s path to the true happiness they had walked in the past. We, too, will find true happiness like they did. It is not a temporally but the true and ultimate happiness. Furthermore, we can also share this happiness to people around us with knowhow shared by those mentioned in this book, “The Path to Happiness”.
How to meditate Dhammakaya Meditation Tradition
The Dhammakaya meditation method was initiated in Thailand 60 years ago by the Great Master Phra Mongkolthepmuni, famously known as Luang Pu Wat Paknam. It is one of the most popular meditation techniques practiced by Buddhists and non-Buddhists around the world. The method is simple, easy, and effective. Everyone can learn how to do it and can achieve inner peace and happiness that you may never know existed.
“Dhammakaya” is a Pali word which means “Body of Enlightenment”. The term appears in many places in the Buddhist scriptures of Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana (Tibetan) schools. The uniqueness of the Dhammakaya meditation is that it teaches about the center of the body as the natural home of the human mind as well as the inner gateway to enlightenment. The stiller the mind is at its natural home, the deeper the happiness one experiences.
Dhammakaya meditation also has a moral impact on the mind. A person who meditates regularly will become gentler, kinder, and more peaceful.
- The sitting posture, which has been found to be the most conducive for meditation, is the half-lotus position. Sit upright with your back straight, cross-legged with your right leg over the left one. You can sit on a cushion or pillow to make your position more comfortable. Nothing should impede your breathing or circulation. Your hands should rest palms-up on your lap, and the tip of your right index finger should touch your left thumb. Feel as if you were one with the ground on which you sit. Feel that you could sit happily for as long as you like.
- Softly close your eyes as if you were falling asleep. Relax every part of your body, beginning with the muscles in 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.
- Close your eyes gently but not completely. Stop thinking about any worldly things. Feel as if you were sitting alone; around you is nothing and no one. Create a feeling of happiness and spaciousness in your mind.
Before starting, it is necessary to acquaint yourself with the various resting points or bases of the mind inside the body.
– The first base is at the rim of the nostril, on the right side for men and on the left side for women.
– The second base is at the corner of the eye, on the right side for men and on the left side for women.
– The third base is at the center of the head.
– The fourth base is at the roof of the mouth.
– The fifth base is at the upper center of the throat.
– The sixth base is at a point in the middle of your abdomen, the meeting point of an imaginary line between the navel through the back and the line between the two sides.
– The seventh base of the mind is two fingers’ breadth above the navel. 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.
- Feel that your body is an empty space, without organs, muscles or tissues. Gently and contentedly rest your attention at a point near the seventh base of the mind at the center of the body. Whatever experience arises in the mind, simply observe without attempting to interfere with it. This way, your mind will become gradually purer and inner experience will unfold.
- If you find that you cannot dissuade the mind from wandering, then your mind needs an inner object as a focus for attention. Gently imagine that a bright, clear, crystal sphere, about the size of the tip of your little finger, is located inside at the center of the body. Maybe, you cannot imagine anything, but later, you’ll be able to see a crystal ball with increasing clarity. Allow your mind to come to rest at the center of the crystal ball. Use the subtlest of effort and you’ll find that the crystal ball becomes brighter and clearer.
- If you find that your mind still wanders from the crystal ball, you can bring the mind back to a standstill by repeating the mantra, “Samma-arahang” silently, as if the sound of the mantra is coming from the center of the crystal ball. Repeat the mantra over and over again without counting.
- Don’t entertain thoughts in your mind. Don’t analyze what’s going on in the meditation. Allow the mind to come to a standstill. That is all that you need to do. If you find that you cannot imagine anything, repeat the mantra “Samma-arahang”, silently and continuously in the mind. If you are not sure about the location of the center of the body, just know that anywhere in the area of your abdomen will do. Don’t be disappointed if you find your mind wandering. It is only natural for beginners. Make effort continuously, keep your mind bright, clear and pure, and in the end, you will achieve success.
- Keep repeating the mantra. Eventually the sound of the mantra will fade away. At that point a new bright, clear, crystal sphere will arise of its own accord. This stage is called “pathama magga” (primary path). At this stage the shining crystal sphere is connected firmly to the mind, and is seated at the center of the body. You will experience a great happiness that you have never known before. With a perfectly still mind focused at the center of the crystal sphere, it will give way to a succession of increasingly purer transcendental inner bodies, until it reaches the “Body of Enlightenment” known as “Dhammakaya”. This is the highest meditative attainment which enables the practitioner to achieve super knowledge and supreme happiness.