THE BUDDHIST STUDY GROUP MEETS EVERY TUESDAY FROM 4PM TO 6PM AT THE WAT YARNEE RANGSEE BUDDHIST TEMPLE IN STERLING,VA, JUST A SHORT DISTANCE FROM THE RTE 28 EXIT.
OUR NEXT MEETING IS THIS TUESDAY Feb.14TH.
WE WILL BE STUDYING THIS WEEK AN AUDIO TAPE BY AJAHN CHAH
"THE PEACE BEYOND' AND DISCUSSING A DISCOURSE ENTITLED "CONVENTION AND LIBERATION"
0UR ENGLISH SPEAKING MONK, BHIKKU PICHAII IS NOW JOINING OUR GROUP WHEN HIS SCHEDULE PERMITS. HIS TEACHING OF THE MORE COMPLEX ASPECTS OF WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT IS INVALUABLE & WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE HIM STOP IN FROM TIME TO TIME.
COME JOIN US. NO CHARGE AND NO NEED TO CALL;JUST SHOW UP
A DISCOURSE BY AJAHN CHAH FROM HIS BOOK "STILL FLOWING WATER" WILL ILLUSTRATE THAT CONCENTRATION IS AT THE HEART OF OF THE BUDDHAS TEACHINGS;THAT WITHOUT IT THERE WOULD BE NO FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS OR EIGHTFOLD PATH. WE RECENTLY COMPLETED STUDYING A VERY LONG COMPLICATED BUT IMPORTANT ESSAY FROM THIS BOOK ENTITLED "INTHE SHAPE OF A CIRCLE"
THINGS ARE INCONSTANT, PLEASURE ISN'T FOR SURE,PAIN ISN'T FOR SURE, HAPPINESS ISN'T FOR SURE.IF WE FIGHT AGAINST THESE TRUTHS OF NATURE WE SET UP MORE SUFFERING.COME TO OUR MEETING TODAY AND WE TOGETHER READ HOW THE BUDDHA COPED WITH THIS SITUATION
WE HAVE RECENTLY BEGAN OUR SECOND STUDY CYCLE REPEATING THE PREVIOUS FORMAT BY STUDYING IN ORDER
THE 4 NOBLE TRUTHS,
THE EIGHTFOLD PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT,
THE 5 PRECEPTS,
THE 5 HINDRANCES
AND THE FIVE AGGREGATES.
THE COURSE IS FREE ;WE PROVIDE ALL STUDY MATERIALS,NO HOMEWORK,NO FORMS TO FILL OUT;JUST SHOW UP ANY TUESDAY AT 4:15 PM AT THE TEMPLE & WE WILL TEACH YOU WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES 2500 YEARS AGO.
He promised neither happiness nor unhappiness but something much greater, ..... PEACE (lack of stress)
Buddhist Study Group spent the month of April reviewing the important facts we have learned about Buddhist Theory during the first 16 months of this unique Study Group.
These are the topics we have studied since the group was formed in October,2015.
1. The Four Noble Truths- We spent 2 weeks on each of these Truths which are the foundtion of Buddhism.
2. The Eightfold Path. Slowly, one week at a time for 8 weeks we dug into the truths which guide our lives towards ultimate enlightenment
3. The Five Precepts which any human being seriously practicing Buddhism must observe.
4. The Five Hindrances- The defilements, character flaws which muddle our minds and keep us from benefiting from our meditations,
5. The Five Aggregates of clinging which invade our body (Rupa) and Mind (Nama) causing the suffering the Buddha taught in th First Noble Truth of Suffering.
NEXT WEEK WE START FRESH BY TACKLING THE 4 NOBLE TRUTHS SLOWLY,METHODICALLY AND INTENSLY. THIS IS A VERY COMPLICATED RELIGION AND WAY OF LIFE AND CAN NOT BE RUSHED
Please scroll down for a fascinating excerpt from Ajahn Chah's "Still Flowing Water" in which he tells us how we can see anything as broken before it is actually broken and how this conceptual experience can ease our suffering when it ultimately does break (Since as Buddhists we know that everything is Annica, i.e. (Impermanent so we know it and everything and body MUST ultimately break)
The Buddhist Study Group for English
Speaking Buddhist Lay
meets every Tuesday from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
at the Wat Yarnna Rangsee Buddhist Temple in Sterling,Va.For full
details about this study
group call Chuck at
Anattalakkhana Sutta-The Buddha's 2nd Discourse
anicca dukkha anatta
(impermanence) (unsatisfactoriness) (not-self)
From his second discourse and through the rest of his teaching life the Buddha outlined the fact that all phenomena ,internal or external,mental or physical have THREE invariable qualities anicca,dukkha and anatta. 1.Everything is changing, nothing can be permanently satisfying or dependable 2. The reality of Dukkha (suffering) and 3.nothing can be said to be mine ours,i, me etc as their is no self (Anatta)
Whoever sees the uncertainty of things sees the unchanging reality of them.Thats what the Dhamma is like. And that is the Buddha. If you see the Dhamma you see the Buddha;seeing the Buddha you see the Dhamma. If you know anicca (uncertainty),you will let go of things and not grasp on to them.................................
From "FOOD FOR THE HEART: by Ajahn Chah
DISCOURSE ON SEEING AN UNBROKEN GLASS AS BROKEN BEFORE IT ACTUALLY BREAKS:
"The practice of Dhamma is like this. It's not that the Dhamma is very far away, it's right with us. The Dhamma isn't about the angels on high or anything like that. It's simply about us, about what we are doing right now. Observe yourself. Sometimes there is happiness, sometimes suffering, sometimes comfort, sometimes pain, sometimes love, sometimes hate... this is Dhamma. Do you see it? You should know this Dhamma, you have to read your experiences.
You must know sensations before you can let them go. When you see that sensations are impermanent you will be untroubled by them. As soon as a sensation arises, just say to yourself, ''Hmmm... this is not a sure thing.'' When your mood changes... ''Hmmm, not sure.'' You can be at peace with these things, just like seeing the monkey and not being bothered by it. If you know the truth of sensations, that is knowing the Dhamma. You let go of sensations, seeing that they are all invariably uncertain.
What we call uncertainty here is the Buddha. The Buddha is the Dhamma. The Dhamma is the characteristic of uncertainty. Whoever sees the uncertainty of things sees the unchanging reality of them. That's what the Dhamma is like. And that is the Buddha. If you see the Dhamma you see the Buddha, seeing the Buddha, you see the Dhamma. If you know aniccam, uncertainty, you will let go of things and not grasp onto them.
You say, ''Don't break my glass!'' Can you prevent something that's breakable from breaking? If it doesn't break now it will break later on. If you don't break it, someone else will. If someone else doesn't break it, one of the chickens will! The Buddha says to accept this. He penetrated the truth of these things, seeing that this glass is already broken. Whenever you use this glass you should reflect that it's already broken. Do you understand this? The Buddha's understanding was like this. He saw the broken glass within the unbroken one. Whenever its time is up it will break. Develop this kind of understanding. Use the glass, look after it, until when, one day, it slips out of your hand... ''Smash!''... no problem. Why is there no problem? Because you saw its brokenness before it broke!
But usually people say, ''I love this glass so much, may it never break.'' Later on the dog breaks it... ''I'll kill that damn dog!'' You hate the dog for breaking your glass. If one of your children breaks it you'll hate them too. Why is this? Because you've dammed yourself up, the water can't flow. You've made a dam without a spillway. The only thing the dam can do is burst, right? When you make a dam you must make a spillway also. When the water rises up too high, the water can flow off safely. When it's full to the brim you open your spillway. You have to have a safety valve like this. Impermanence is the safety valve of the Noble Ones. If you have this ''safety valve'' you will be at peace.".........an excerpt from Ajahn Chah's great book "Still Flowing Water"
We concluded our study of the Five Aggregates (form, feelings,perceptions, mental formations & consciousnesss)yesterday Feb. 22nd. with a 5 page reading from Wahola Rupola epic book "What The Buddha Taught" Here is a copy of that text:
The Buddha says :
'In short these five aggregates of attachment are dukkha'. Elsewhere he distinctly defines dukkha as the five aggregates: 'O bhikkhus, what is dukkha? It should besaid that it is the five aggregates of attachment'. Here it should be clearly understood that dukkha and the five aggregates are not two different things; the five aggregates themselves are dukkha. We will understand this point better when
we have some notion of the five aggregates which constitute the so-called 'being'.
Now, what are these five?
The Five Aggregates
The first is the Aggregate of Matter .
In this term'Aggregate of Matter' are included the traditional Four Great Elements (namely, solidity, fluidity, heat and motion.
The Derivatives of the Four Great Elements include our five material sense-organs, i.e., the faculties of eye, ear,nose, tongue, and body, and their corresponding objects in the external world, i.e.,
visible form, sound, odour, taste, and tangible things, and also some thoughts or ideas or conceptions which are in the sphere of mind-objects . Thus the whole realm of matter, both internal and external, is included in the Aggregate of Matter.
The second is the Aggregate of Sensations.
In this group are included all our sensation, pleasant or unpleasant or neutral, experienced through the contact of physical and mental organs with the external world.
They are of six kinds: the sensations experienced through the contact of the eye with visible forms, ear with sounds, nose with odour, tongue with taste, body with tangible objects, and mind (which is the sixth faculty in Buddhist Philosophy) with mindobjects or thoughts or ideas. All our physical and mental sensations are included in this group.
A word about what is meant by the term ‘Mind’ (manas) in Buddhist
philosophy may be useful here. It should clearly be understood that mind is no spirit as opposed to matter. It should always be remembered that Buddhism does not recognize a spirit opposed to matter, as is accepted by most other systems of philosophies and religions.
Mind is only a faculty or organ (indriya) like the eye or the ear. It can be controlled and developed like any other faculty, and the Buddha
speaks quite often of the value of controlling and disciplining these six faculties. The difference between the eye and the mind as faculties is that the former senses the world of colours and visible forms, while the latter senses the world of ideas and
thoughts and mental objects.
We experience different fields of the world with different senses. We cannot hear colours, but we can see them. Nor can we see sounds, but we can hear them. Thus with our five physical sense-organs - eye, ear, nose, tongue, body – we experience only the world of visible forms, sounds, odours, tastes and tangible
objects. But these represent only a part of the world, not the whole world. What of ideas and thoughts? They are also a part of the world. But they cannot be sensed, they cannot be conceived by the faculty of the eye, ear, nose, tongue or body. Yet they can be conceived by another faculty, which is mind.
Now ideas and thoughts are not independent of the world experienced by these five physical sense faculties. In fact they depend on, and are conditioned by, physical experiences. Hence a
person born blind cannot have ideas of colour, experienced through his other faculties.
Ideas and thoughts which form a part of the world are thus produced and conditioned by physical experiences and are conceived by the mind. Hence mind is considered a sense faculty or organ , like the eye or the ear.
The third is the Aggregate of Perceptions
Like sensations,perceptions also are of six kinds, in relation to six internal faculties and the corresponding six external objects. Like sensations, they are produced through the contact of our six faculties with the external world. It is the perception that recognize objects whether physical or mental.
The fourth is the Aggregate of Mental Formations
In this group are included all volitional activities both good and bad. What is generally known as karma (or kamma) comes under this group. The Buddha's own definition of karma should be remembered here: 'O bhikkhus, it is volition that I call karma. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind.' Volition
is 'mental construction, mental activity. Its function is to direct the mind in the sphere of good, bad or neutral activities.' Just like sensations and perceptions,volition is of six kinds, connected with the six internal faculties and the corresponding six objects (both physical and mental) in the external world.
Sensations and perceptions are not volitional actions. They do not produce karmic effects. It is the only volitional actions- such as attention, will, determination, confidence, concentration, wisdom, energy, desire, repugnance or hate, ignorance, conceit, idea of self, etc.- that can produce karmic effects. There are 52 such mental
activities which constitute the Aggregate of Mental Formation.
The fifth is the Aggregate of Consciousness .
Consciousness is a reaction or response which has one of the six faculties (eye, ear,nose, tongue, body and mind) as its basis, and one of the six corresponding external phenomena (visible form, sound, odour, taste, tangible things and mind-objects, i.e.,
an idea or thought) as its object.
For instance, visual consciousness has the eye as its
basis and a visible form as its object. Mental consciousness has the mind as its basis and a mental object, i.e., an idea or thought as its object. So consciousness isconnected with other faculties. Thus, like sensation, perception and volition,consciousness also is of six kinds, in relation to six internal faculties and corresponding six external objects.
It should be clearly understood that consciousness does not recognize an object. It is only a sort of awareness-awareness of the presence of an object. When the eye comes in contact with a colour, for instance blue, visual consciousness arises which simply is awareness of the presence of a colour: but it does not recognize that
it is blue. There is no recognition at this stage. It is perception (the third Aggregate discussed above) that recognizes that it is blue. The term 'visual consciousness' is a philosophical expression denoting the same idea as is conveyed by the ordinary word 'seeing'. Seeing does not mean recognizing. So are the other forms of
It must be repeated here that according to Buddhist philosophy there is no permanent, unchanging spirit which can be considered 'Self', or 'Soul', or 'Ego', as opposed to matter, and that consciousness should not be taken as 'spirit' in opposition to matter. This point has to be particularly emphasized, because a wrong notion that consciousness is a sort of Self or Soul that continues as a permanent substance through life, has persisted from the earliest time to present day.
One of the Buddha's own disciples, Sati by name, held that the Master taught: 'It is the same consciousness that transmigrates and wanders about.' The Buddha asked him what he meant by 'consciousness'. Sati's reply is classical: 'It is that which expresses, which feels, which experiences the results of good and bad
deeds here and there'.
Replied the Budha, 'have you heard me expounding the doctrine in this manner? Haven't I in many ways explained consciousness as arising out of conditions: that there is no arising of
consciousness without conditions.'Then the Buddha went on to explain consciousness in detail: 'Consciousness is
named according to whatever condition through which it arises.
On account of the eye and visible forms arises a consciousness, and it is called visual consciousness; on account of ear and sounds arises a consciousness, and it is called auditory consciousness; on account of nose and odour arises a consciousness, and it is called
olfactory consciousness; on account of tongue and tastes arises a consciousness, and it is called gustatory consciousness; on account of body and tangible objects arises a consciousness, and it is called tactile consciousness; on account of the mind and mind-objects (ideas and thoughts) arises a consciousness, and it is called mental
Then the Buddha explained it further by an illustration: A fire is
named according to the material on account of which it burns. A fire may burn on account of wood, and it is called wood-fire. It may burn on account of straw, and then it is called straw-fire. So consciousness is named according to the condition through which it arises.
Dwelling on this point, Buddhaghosa, the great commentator, explains: '…so the consciousness that arises on account of the eye
and visible forms arises in that gate of sense organ (i.e., in the eye), only when there is the condition of the eye, visible forms, light and attention, but ceases then and there when it (the condition) has changed, but (the consciousness) does not cross over to
the ear, etc., and become auditory consciousness and so on…'.
The Buddha declared in unequivocal terms that consciousness depends on matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, and that it cannot exist independently from them. He says: 'Consciousness may exist having matter as it means, matter as its object, matter as its support, and seeking delight it may grow,
increase and develop; or consciousness may exist having sensation as it means… or perception as it means… or mental formation as it means, mental formation as itsobject, mental formation as its support, and seeking delight it may grow, increase
'Were a man to say: I shall show the coming, the going, the passing
away, the arising, the growth, the increase or the development of consciousness apart from matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, he would be speaking of something that does not exist.
Very briefly these are the five Aggregates. What we call a 'being' or an'individual', or 'I' is only a convenient name or a label given to the combination of these five groups. They are all impermanent, all constantly changing. "Whatever isimpermanent is dukkha. This is the true meaning of the Buddha's words: 'In brief the five Aggregates of Attachment are dukkha.' They are not the same for two consecutive moments. Here A is not equal to A.
They are in flux of momentary arising and disappearing.
'O Brahmana, it is just like a mountain river, flowing far and swift, taking everything with it; there is no moment, no instant, no second when it stops flowing, but it goes on flowing and continuing. So Brahmana, is human life, like a mountain river.'
As the Buddha told Ratthapala: 'The world is in continuous flux and is impermanent.' One thing disappears, conditioning the appearance of the next in a series of cause and effect. There is no unchanging substance in them. There is nothing behind them that can be called a permanent Self (Atman), individuality, or anything that can in reality be called 'I'.
Every one will agree that neither matter, nor sensation, nor perception, nor any of those mental activities, nor consciousness can be really called 'I'. But when these five physical and mental aggregates which are independent are workingtogether in combination as a physio-psychological machine, we get the idea of 'I'.
The Unique method we use at the Tuesday night Study Group
can best be described as "Methodical" We gently,slowly,yet intently go over & over our subject of the week both the audio mp3 tape and the text study.
These tapes & discourses are very difficult so we must be methodical.The Buddha cautioned us about trying to ingest his entire Tipitaka too quickly.There are a few human minds which can do this but The Buddha organised his sutras to enlightent ALL sentient beings not just the elite.
We welcome all Buddhists or those curious about Buddhism. Students,Working Men & Women,Housewives from all surrounding areas and counties & High Schools & Universities .It is heartening to see that Buddhism is more and more becoming included in the curriculum of our schools as the teachings of our beloved Buddha continues to spread through the Western World.
The Conditioned world of cause & Effect which we walk around in each day, work in,play in ,sleep in ,cry in ,laugh in,age in,decay in and die in is a delusion.This is what the Buddha taught.
While he walked this earth Buddha taught us that when we observe anything,any phenomena through our 5 senses in the everyday conditioned world of cause and effect we MUST keep uppermost in our mind ANNICA,DUKKHA AND ANNITA WHICH MEANs IMPERMANENCE, SUFFERING AND NOT-SELF
The world Ajahn Chah told us we must strive to reach is the UNCONDITIONED World;The World of no cause and no effect. Are you at least curious about this mind boggling concept? If you are please e mail me and I will send you reprints of the texts of what we have studied during the first year of the Tuesday Wat Yarn Buddhist Study Group
Please understand that we do NOT DO meditation practice in our Tuesday Study Group. We teach Buddhist theory without which meditation will be too difficult for lay disciples to accomplish. We are the only weekly Buddhist Group teaching only Buddhist Theory in the Northern Virginia area. Please tell your friends,relatives,educators and anyone else you come in contact with about this unique opportunity for all people to learn Buddhism from the ground up,The Five Precepts,The Four Noble truths, The Eightfold path, The 5 Hindrances,The 5 aggregates ect etc.
We do have many meditation groups being taught at the Wat Yarn Rangsee Temple/Monastery.They are listed on the Meditation page of this website and we encourage you to attend them.Please remember that our new english speaking Monk,Bhikku Pichai teaches a meditation class immediately following the Buddhist Study Group meeting each Tuesday beginning ta 6pm.
Please come to our next meeting on Feb. 23rd.2016 so we can continue to unravel the wonders of Buddhism together.
The Buddha taught us in the 4th Noble Truth that there is a way for very single being (in this very lifetime) to end suffering by eliminating the causes.(Craving,grasping,clinging,desiring)
You may have serious intention to reach enlightenment but you must learn the path to follow to reach that goal. Intention alone will not end your suffering. The cure is broken down each Tuesday at 4:30Pm as we study
1. Right Understanding
2. Right Attitude
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
The Five Hindrances: 1. Sensory Desire 2. Ill Will-Anger 3. Sloth & Torpor (Laziness) 4.Restlessness (worry) 5.Doubt-Lack of conviction or trust
Do not hesitate any longer, a lifetime flies by in a mili-second.It is not easy for an english speaking human being to learn this Eightfold Path.
Wat Yarnee Rangsee is committed to being a refuge for Buddhists of all nationalities who have yearned for so many years for a local Temple where they could come to learn what the Buddha taught.
Many of you are long time Thai-Americans who have supported the Wat Yarn Rangsee Temple/Monastery for many years with your donations of money and volunteer work. Please support this Buddhist Study Group on Tuesdays 4:30 pm to 6pm by attending and learning what the Buddha taught
If you are not sure what we offer you please call me at 571-278-6922 or e mail me at Olympioh2@Gmail.com.
THE ATTENDENCE AT OUR WEEKLY STUDY GROUP is once again very very low.
We only have one or two people each week.
Nevertheless I (Chuck) am at the Temple every week by 3:30 pm although the study group does not begin until 4:30pm. If you want to come and ask me questions in the hour while I am there before the meeting begins,I will do my best to tell you what we are trying to teach
WHICH IS WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT 2500 YEARS AGO.
We need steady members to return week after week. To obtain the benefits of Buddhist Theory (which will help you immeasurely in your meditation practice) you cannot come to the group one week then miss 4 weeks. The Buddha told us that learning to understand his teachings is difficult and requires RIGHT EFFORT. Please help us the open the minds of our Buddhist Lay disciples by spreading the word to your children ,families,friends ,neighbors and co-workers. Tell them there is help for those seeking a proven way to find peace in our chaotic world.
Every single day you see or read on TV news or other media about killings, Terrorist attacks, wars, income inequality,the homeless, the poverty ,& oppression.
If you are a Buddhist or were raised as a Buddhist you have a responsibility to inform people who are looking for solutions. The solutions lie in the teachings of a man who walked this earth some 2500 years ago.These teachings are available here on a weekly basis FREE !! in Sterling,Va.(We even supply FREE Books)
Finally after waiting for so many years we have English speaking teachers right here in Sterling,Va who can help you.
WE POST EACH WEEK A LINK TO ONE OF AJAHN CHAH'S TAPES OR TO THE TEXT OF ONE OF HIS DISCOURSES FOR BUDDHIST LAY DISCIPLES.
WE HAVE A NEW DISCOURSE FOR YOU THIS WEEK WHICH WILL HELP YOU IN YOUR MEDITATION PRACTICE .
THIS WEEK'S DISCOURSE IS THE PATH IN HARMONY WHICH AJAHN CHAH DELIVERED TO A CROWD AT LONDON AIRPORT IN 1979. THE DISCOURSE IS ENTITLED "A PATH IN HARMONY.
VE.CHAH POSES THE QUESTION TO THE CROWD "ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE MEDITATING CORRECTLY? HE THEN ANSWERS HIS OWN QUESTION BY TELLING HIS FOLLOWERS HOW TO MEDITATE IN A MANNER WHICH WILL GIVE US THE MOST BENEFITS:
PRINT A COPY AND CARRY IT IN YOUR WALLET OR PURSE AND READ IT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
The Path in Harmony
TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU ALL. “Are you sure yet, are you certain in your meditation practice?” I ask because these days there are many people teaching meditation, both monks and lay people, and I’m afraid you may be subject to wavering and doubt. If we understand clearly, we will be able to make the mind peaceful and firm. You should understand the eightfold path as morality, concentration and wisdom. The path comes together as simply this. Our practice is to make this path arise within us. When sitting meditation we are told to close the eyes, not to look at anything else, because now we are going to look directly at the mind. When we close our eyes, our attention comes inwards. We establish our attention on the breath, centre our feelings there, put our mindfulness there. When the factors of the path are in harmony we will be able to see the breath, the feelings, the mind and mental objects for what they are. Here we will see the ‘focus point’, where samadhi ¯ and the other factors of the path converge in harmony. When we are sitting in meditation, following the breath, think to yourself that now you are sitting alone. There is no-one sitting around you, there is nothing at all. Develop this feeling that you are sitting alone until the mind lets go of all externals, concentrating solely on the breath. If you are thinking, “This person is sitting over here, that person is sitting over there,” there is no peace, the mind doesn’t come inwards. Just cast all that aside until you feel there is no-one sitting around you, until there is nothing at all, until you have no wavering or interest in 1A composite of two talks given in England in 1979 and 1977 respectively 109 THE PATH IN HARMONY 110 your surroundings. Let the breath go naturally, don’t force it to be short or long or whatever, just sit and watch it going in and out. When the mind lets go of all external impressions, the sounds of cars and such will not disturb you. Nothing, whether sights or sounds, will disturb you, because the mind doesn’t receive them. Your attention will come together on the breath. If the mind is confused and won’t concentrate on the breath, take a full, deep breath, as deep as you can, and then let it all out till there is none left. Do this three times and then re-establish your attention. The mind will become calm. It’s natural for it to be calm for a while, and then restlessness and confusion may arise again. When this happens, concentrate, breathe deeply again, and then reestablish your attention on the breath. Just keep going like this. When this has happened many times you will become adept at it, the mind will let go of all external manifestations. External impressions will not reach the mind. Sati will be firmly established. As the mind becomes more refined, so does the breath. Feelings will become finer and finer, the body and mind will be light. Our attention is solely on the inner, we see the in-breaths and out-breaths clearly, we see all impressions clearly. Here we will see the coming together of morality, concentration and wisdom. This is called the path in harmony. When there is this harmony our mind will be free of confusion, it will come together as one. This is called samadhi ¯ . After watching the breath for a long time, it may become very re- fined; the awareness of the breath will gradually cease, leaving only bare awareness. The breath may become so refined it disappears! Perhaps we are ‘just sitting’, as if there is no breathing at all. Actually there is breathing, but it seems as if there’s none. This is because the mind has reached its most refined state, there is just bare awareness. It has gone beyond the breath. The knowledge that the breath has disappeared becomes established. What will we take as our object of meditation now? We take just this knowledge as our object, that is, the awareness that there’s no breath. THE PATH IN HARMONY 111 Unexpected things may happen at this time; some people experience them, some don’t. If they do arise, we should be firm and have strong mindfulness. Some people see that the breath has disappeared and get a fright, they’re afraid they might die. Here we should know the situation just as it is. We simply notice that there’s no breath and take that as our object of awareness. This, we can say, is the firmest, surest type of samadhi ¯ : there is only one firm, unmoving state of mind. Perhaps the body will become so light it’s as if there is no body at all. We feel like we’re sitting in empty space, completely empty. Although this may seem very unusual, you should understand that there’s nothing to worry about. Firmly establish your mind like this. When the mind is firmly unified, having no sense impressions to disturb it, one can remain in that state for any length of time. There will be no painful feelings to disturb us. When samadhi ¯ has reached this level, we can leave it when we choose, but if we come out of this samadhi ¯ , we do so comfortably, not because we’ve become bored with it or tired. We come out because we’ve had enough for now, we feel at ease, we have no problems at all. If we can develop this type of samadhi ¯ , then if we sit, say, thirty minutes or an hour, the mind will be cool and calm for many days. When the mind is cool and calm like this, it is clean. Whatever we experience, the mind will take up and investigate. This is a fruit of samadhi ¯ . Morality has one function, concentration has another function and wisdom another. These factors are like a cycle. We can see them all within the peaceful mind. When the mind is calm it has collectedness and restraint because of wisdom and the energy of concentration. As it becomes more collected it becomes more refined, which in turn gives morality the strength to increase in purity. As our morality becomes purer, this will help in the development of concentration. When concentration is firmly established it helps in the arising of wisdom. Morality, concentration and wisdom help each other, they are inter-related like this. In the end the path becomes one and functions at all times. We THE PATH IN HARMONY 112 should look after the strength which arises from the path, because it is the strength which leads to insight and wisdom
Both of our study groups meet at at the beautiful new Wat Yarnee Buddhist Temple in Sterling, Va..
Click here for map & Directions
How we are certain that the words the Buddha spoke 2500 years ago are the same teachings we hear today???
Because of the "First Council" OF 544 B.C.
Please read this extremely important discourse"
The First Council
King Ajātasattu sponsored the First Council. It was convened in 544 B.C. in the Sattapaāāī Cave situated outside Rājagaha three months after the Buddha had passed away. A detailed account of this historic meeting can be found in the Cūllavagga of the Vinaya Piṭaka. According to this record the incident which prompted the Elder Mahākassapa to call this meeting was his hearing a disparaging remark about the strict rule of life for monks. This is what happened. The monk Subhadda, a former barber, who had ordained late in life, upon hearing that the Buddha had expired, voiced his resentment at having to abide by all the rules for monks laid down by the Buddha. Many monks lamented the passing of the Buddha and were deeply grieved. However, the Elder Mahākassapa heard Subhadda say: ''Enough your Reverences, do not grieve, do not lament. We are well rid of this great recluse (the Buddha). We were tormented when he said, 'this is allowable to you, this is not allowable to you' but now we will be able to do as we like and we will not have to do what we do not like''. Mahākassapa was alarmed by his remark and feared that the Dhamma and the Vinaya might be corrupted and not survive intact if other monks were to behave like Subhadda and interpret the Dhamma and the Vinaya rules as they pleased. To avoid this he decided that the Dhamma must be preserved and protected. To this end after gaining the Saṅgha's approval he called to council five hundred Arahants. Ānanda was to be included in this provided he attained Arahanthood by the time the council convened. With the Elder Mahākassapa presiding, the five-hundred Arahant monks met in council during the rainy season. The first thing Mahākassapa did was to question the foremost expert on the Vinaya of the day, Venerable Upāli on particulars of the monastic rule. This monk was well qualified for the task as the Buddha had taught him the whole of the Vinaya himself. First of all the Elder Mahākassapa asked him specifically about the ruling on the first offense [pārājika], with regard to the subject, the occasion, the individual introduced, the proclamation, the repetition of the proclamation, the offense and the case of non-offense. Upāli gave knowledgeable and adequate answers and his remarks met with the unanimous approval of the presiding Saṅgha. Thus the Vinaya was formally approved.
The Elder Mahākassapa then turned his attention to Ānanda in virtue of his reputable expertise in all matters connected with the Dhamma. Happily, the night before the Council was to meet, Ānanda had attained Arahantship and joined the Council. The Elder Mahākassapa, therefore, was able to question him at length with complete confidence about the Dhamma with specific reference to the Buddha's sermons. This interrogation on the Dhamma sought to verify the place where all the discourses were first preached and the person to whom they had been addressed. Ānanda, aided by his word-perfect memory was able to answer accurately and so the Discourses met with the unanimous approval of the Saṅgha. The First Council also gave its official seal of approval for the closure of the chapter on the minor and lesser rules, and approval for their observance. It took the monks seven months to recite the whole of the Vinaya and the Dhamma and those monks sufficiently endowed with good memories retained all that had been recited. This historic first council came to be known as the Paācasatika because five-hundred fully enlightened Arahants had taken part in it
The Tuesday Group spends the entire 90 minutes each week
on one topic.For example last Tuesday we listened to ,read about & discussed a discourse by Ajahn Chah on Right View-The Place of Coolness which taught us how Contentment" conquers Restlessness.
The Buddha said that Meditation is not possible without "SATI" (mindfulness)
You can find out why he said this on Tuesday at 4:30 pm at our Study Group.
The Tuesday group concentrates on one single topic each week . Our unique format is to tear apart a topic into 3 segments ,we read about it for 30 minutes,listen to an audio tape for the 2nd 30 minutes and then for the final 30 minutes we discuss excerpts about the day's topic from Ajhan Chah's iconic book
'FOOD FOR THOUGHT".
Please understand we will stay with an announced format each week.If you come in late or miss a week the moderator will help you catch up when the meeting is over but we will not interrupt the format during the 90 minute meeting time so please, take a seat,relax & listen.
WE WELCOME NEW MEMBERS INCLUDING THOSE WHO WERE BORN BUDDHISTS BUT WOULD LIKE TO
REFRESH THEIR KNOWLEGE OF WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT IN HIS 43 YEARS AFTER HIS
WE WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO TRAIN YOUR UNTRAINED MIND. OUR MIND IN IT'S PRESENT STATE IS
UNCLEAN & UNCLEAR.THE BUDDHA LEFT HUNDREDS OF SUTRAS GIVING US GUIDANCE IN HOW
TO RETURN OUR MIND TO IT'S ORIGINAL PURE STATE.
THE CORE OF THE BUDDHA'S TEACHINGS WAS THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS SO WE SPEND MUCH OF OUR TIME LEARNING ABOUT :
DUKKHA (SUFFERING) SAMUDAYA (THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING), NIRHOBHA (THE CESSATION OF SUFFERING AND MAGGA (THE PATH TO THE ENDING OF SUFFERING BY FOLLOWING THE 8-FOLD PATH
YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT
SILA ,SAMADDHI, & PRANNA AND HOW AWARENESS CAN LEAD US BY THE 8 RIGHTFOLD PATH
TO A PEACE IN THIS LIFETIME WHICH TRANSCENDS BOTH HAPPINESS AND SUFFERING.THE BUDDHA TAUGHT THAT THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF BUDDHISM IS NOT HAPPINESS BUT PEACE.
THE TUESDAY GROUP TEACHES ONLY BUDDHIST THEORY (NOT MEDITATION).
THE SUNDAY STUDY GROUP IS A COMBINATION STUDY & MEDITATION GROUP IS LED BY ACHAAN NIPAN WHO HAS A MASTERS CERTIFICATE IN BUDDHIST TEACHING. YOU CAN CONTACT ACHAAN NIPAN AT HER E-MAIL ADDRESS:
THE TUESDAY GROUP IS MONITORED BY CHARLES OLIMPIO AND YOU CAN CONTACT HIM AT:
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE MEET SUNDAYS AND TUESDAYS
AT THE WAT YARNEE TEMPLE .... (Not the Monastery)
There will be a sign in front of the TEMPLE
THERE ARE NO FORMS TO FILL OUT . YOU DON'T HAVE TO JOIN ANYTHING.
JUST COME INTO THE TEMPLE AND HAVE A SEAT AROUND THE DISCUSSION TABLE
WHETHER YOU WANT TO BE A REGULAR MEMBER OR ARE JUST CURIOUS YOU WILL FEEL VERY WELCOME HERE.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO "CATCH UP" AS EACH TUESDAY & SUNDAY SESSION WILL BE AN INDIVIDUAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF. IF YOU HAVE BEEN STUDYING BUDHISM BY YOURSELF YOU MIGHT FIND THE TEACHER HERE TO HELP YOU ADVANCE IN YOUR BUDDHIST PRACTICE.
We have a round table format and use the teachings of noted Buddhist Masters such as Ajahn Chah,
Ajahn Brahm or Buddhist Nun Ayya Khema.
The meeting is open to all Buddhists, Americans, Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, Sri Lanka, Tibet & also "Beginners" in Buddhism regardless of nationality etc with the only requirement being that you speak English as one of your languages.
No need to sign up for the group.If you are curious please stop in any Tuesday or Sunday
REMEMBER CALL ME (CHUCK)at 571-278-6922
or E-MAIL me at OLYMPIOH2@GMAIL.COM for any questions you may have about Budhism.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR PARENTS OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. OUR STUDY GROUPS ARE CONENIENTLY SCHEDULED SO YOUR CHILDREN MAY ATTEND THEM AFTER SCHOOL ON TUESDAYS AND ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS.
PLEASE CONSIDER SENDING YOUR MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS,YOUR CHILDREN TO ONE OF OUR BUDDHIST STUDY GROUPS
WHY NOT HELP SET THEM ON THE EIGHTFOLD RIGHT PATH....RIGHT UNDERSTANDING...RIGHT INTENTION,
RIGHT SPEECH... RIGHT ACTION...RIGHT LIVELIHOOD...
RIGHT EFFORT...RIGHT MINDFULNESS & RIGHT CONCENTRATION.
PARENTS....... Who IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IS TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN BUDDHISM WHICH IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVEN MATH,BIOLOGY,CHEMISTRY,HISTORY,ETC.
SEND THEM TO OUR STUDY GROUPS AND COME WITH THEM. YOU ARE WELCOME. WHAT THE BUDDHA
TAUGHT IS FOR ALL AGES AND ALL ROLES IN LIFE.
THE 12 LINKS OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION
Ignorance gives rise to, Formation,
Formation gives rise to Consciousness,
Consciousness gives rise to Name & Form,
Name and Form gives rise to Six Sense Bases,
Six Sense Bases gives rise to Contact,
Contact gives rise to Feeling,
Feeling gives rise to Craving,
Craving gives rise to Clinging,
Clinging gives rise to Existence/Being,
Existence/Being gives rise to Birth,
Birth gives rise to and Aging & Death
WHAT IS BUDDHISM?
1.Is Buddhism pessimistic?
2.Can a person become a divine being in this life?
3.What's the real meaning of "Merit Making"?
4.Can women attain enlightenment?
5.Why do Monks go on alms round each morning?
The answer to these and many many others about Buddhism in this link:
Sectarian rites and rituals, sectarian beliefs or philosophies, sectarian religious ceremonies or outward appearances have nothing to do with dharma.
Dharma is totally different. Dharma means what your mind contains now. If what it contains is wholesome, it rewards you. If it is unwholesome, it punishes you.