Hello from Bangkok. Sawasdee krub. My name is Joe. I’m making this video to share what I consider the best gift one human being could possibly give to another, and it’s about what you really, really need to see in your meditation. I find it astonishing that a lot of people meditate but not that many have heard of this.
But first of all, what is meditation really?
Before we get to that, let me ask this. Who do you think is your worst enemy? Is it someone who you didn’t vote for? Is it someone who makes fun of what you hold so dear? Or, is it someone who insults your race, gender, or sexuality? While insults or things like that are absolutely uncalled for, from what I’ve seen so far night after night for the past 2 years, my answer would be my worst enemy is my own mind and I encourage everyone to look into this. 4-5 years ago, people said I had a good life. I knew it wouldn’t last and I was right. One by one, my international friends left the country. Two years ago, my partner died. Same year, I self-published a book that went nowhere. Last year, I lost my job. Now pushing 40, I don’t feel immortal anymore. This hair is artificially black.It’s not vanity. It’s for job interviews and whatever gigs I could get. I was born and raised a Buddhist, but for the most part, I was comfortable with my reservation. Eventually, when the pain of life was too much, I went back to what I’d heard before, That your mind is the forerunner of all things, and, That, true, people, incidents and the physical world feed materials to this (eyes), and this (ears), but it’s your mind that does all the rest. Throughout his teaching, the Buddha maintained, Don’t believe him because he said so. He said, You’ve got to see it for yourself. Through my own investigation, folks, it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that what he taught is true.
So, meditation is the way to train and turn your mind into an ally. It’s all fine to meditate to relax or to be able to focus more on your day-to-day life and responsibilities, but those are the tasks that are never done. You’ve got to do it again and again. You don’t want to waste your precious time. You want to get in there and see how your worst enemy rolls. Lucky for us, the Buddha discovered that it spins on five wobbly wheels.
Breath all the way!
It sounds tedious, I know, but I can’t stress enough that if you do it properly, you’ll know for yourself that it’s the greatest investment. Allow me to recommend you my teacher. He doesn’t know me, but that’s another story. He’s an American. His name is Thanissaro Bhikkhu. You can find him on accesstoinsight.org
4 to 5
Considering you meditate to dissect your mind, your meditation is nothing but an active probe, a thorough examination, not a bliss-out time. According to my teacher, there are 4 steps to get there. Let’s have a look.
Step 1. Ardent
means “enthusiastic, or wholehearted”.
Step 2. Alert
means “being aware of what is happening at all times”
(this refers specifically to your breath – when it’s long, you know it’s long, when it’s short, you know it’s short, when it’s deep, you know it’s deep, when it’s shallow or faint, you know that as well at all times)
Step 3. Mindful
(mindful in a meditation means being with your breath from start to finish, in and out, in and out. You’ll know when to bring your alertness back up when it’s starting to slip, and when it’s becoming strenuous, you’ll know it’s time to bring it down a notch or so. You see, alertness leads to mindfulness and in turn mindfulness keeps alertness just right.)
Step 4. Insightful
(when your mind moves inside your breath like that long enough, an insight is guaranteed. Through the porousness of your breath, the mind will come undone, exposing the 5 unreliable wheels it is clinging to when it shouldn’t)
Alright, so, what are these 5 wheels I keep saying?
After his Awakening, the Buddha had no intention to teach. True. He initially couldn’t see how anyone at all would understand what he had discovered. What he witnessed with absolute clarity is that the idea that everyone has a soul is just…an idea. You heard it right. Soul, according to the Buddha, is only notional or a complete illusion. So, when he finally decided to teach, he presented his argument using what I would translate as “The Five Collections”. This is one of the first things that came out of his mouth so now you see how crucial it is. Without a full understanding of this core teaching, your meditation will remain an investment with no results.
The Five Collections
1 The Collection of Forms
2. The Collection of Feelings
3. The Collection of Perceptions
4. The Collection of Mental Fabrications
5. The Collection of Consciousness
Let me repeat, Forms, Feelings, Perceptions, Mental Fabrications, and Consciousness. Throughout his teaching, the Buddha stressed that there is NO underlying, unchanging entity behind any of us. We are what we are and can exist from one split moment to the next because of these 5 empty collections coming together to shape our experience of the world. But because the mind doesn’t know any better yet, it stubbornly mistakes these assorted parts for itself and we take it as our soul, as ourselves. I need another video to properly discuss this. And when I see you next, I will take you to one of most fitting locations on the planet to fully explain to you why Soul or Self is nothing but fiction. Time to show the silly old beast that is our mind who’s in charge. Sawasdee krub.
Special Thanks to
Utmost Thanks to
Practitioner: Chaiyaporn Ruamklang (Joe)