Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Something about Harry porter

Yesterday (Mon 23th July) I went to see 'Harry Porter' after my thesis proposal defense exam.I have been busy and tired for a month actually. And I feel like I need to have a rest. Then I decided to go to see Harry Porter cos it's quite popular. I think there must be some fun or stg interesting. After watching the movie, I was a bit dissappointed. I have found that I am too old to watch this kind of movie. Or this kind of movie is not my favor. I don't know why do I feel in this way. However, what I wanna talk is not about my old age or critisicms about the movie. There are some interesting points (which are unbelievable to get from the movie). You might be able to guess what I would talk about. It's absolutely about Buddhism.

The first point is what a god father of Harry Porter told him. I forgot the situation in the movie. But Harry's God father said that 'there is no completely dark side and bright side in the world nor in a human's mind. Everyone has both sides in themselves. But a good person is the one who can use or spend the bright side of himself'. This is not the exact quatation, but the concept is the same. I really agree with this idea as it's true - according to my experience and to my Buddhist knowledge. Everything in the world has both good and bad things in itself. It will be useless to try to define one thing as 'completely good' or 'absolutely bad' as it is the way to increase your 'self' or 'Atta'. Sometime we might find that a bad or silly thing would lead to the better thing. We might learn to improve ourselves from a mistake we have done. The bad situation will make people looking for the way to cease suffering - then they might change their life's attitde. They might not be attached with things very much. On the other hand, I have met some persons who try to identify themselves as 'completely great'. I have found that actually they are not really good as they try to tell other people. What they want is just to create 'an image' they want other people to see themselves. Their behavior are still not very good. Their mind is still full of craving. The other silly thing is when other people do not 'fall' into criterion they make, they just regard those as 'bad' people. Therefore, 'good' and 'bad' can't separated clearly as some people try to define. Please not try to do it and see things as the way they are. What we can do is to improve ourselves to be the btter person and try to create factors that lead to the better life. Also we should try to reduce what we regard as 'sin' or 'craving' or 'bad'.

The other point in Harry Porter is to control mind. In the movie, Harry had to be trained to fight with the dark lord. You know? His teacher trained him by reminding him about his past life which always suffered his mind. At first Harry couldn't stand for all these things. But his teacher said that the memory about your past life will be your weak points that the devil will attack - by truning his mind into the dark side. I think that this point is quite consistent with Buddhist teachings. Everyone has their past memories - both good and bad. We always enjoy the good memory and hate to think about the bad memory. Some people like to think about the bad memory and let it hurt themselves. The good thing about memory or Sanna is we can learn something from the past - and will do and not to do it again. But sometime Sanna comes up in our mind especially when we meditate. And that always disturbs our peace. Harry Porter teaches me that if we can overcome this bad or even good memory - I mean to ignore it or not to attach that it is the same thing as ourselves - it is just 'Anatta', we will discover that our mind will be much more calm down. The past is only the past. We can never do anything with it. If we always hold/attach with it all the time, that past experience will always be a big barrier to our calmness.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday 13th and my mindfulness

Normally I never believe anything about Friday 13th cos i am Buddhist. But what happened with me yesterday reminded me of the legend of this day. It might me stg concident or it means to happen - I am not sure. But it's bad enough to think about and hard enough to practice my mindfulness.
In the morning, I arrived work late though I waked up early. I waited for my sister as she would go to somewhere near my office and she would pay for a taxi. But she left home too late. A taxi driver dropped me somewhere close to my office, but it's not close enough to get to work on time, though I caught another taxi to work. I was marked as 'Late' which is not good for my promotion in the future. I was a bit unhappy but I thought that it's my fault as I was a person who made a decision. After I got to work, an official who responds for marking 'late' in the checking list told me that one of my colleagues always notices about my arriving time. That person was not happy if I got a chance to sign my name- if I arrive work a bit late. In other word, she would be 'ok' if I a, marked as 'late'. This surprises me a lot cos normally I am good with that person. I am a bit disappointed as i never think that she will do anything that is 'backbiting' like this. My unhappiness arised a bit more and it has been with me for several hours. You might think that this is not too bad. I guess so if there was nothing after that. In the late afternoon, my work submitted to my director was complained that it's not good enough. She said that 'how can you do stg like this?' I met her in the evening and she said to me that 'your work is bad'! I said 'sorry-I will improve it and let you see soon'.
I don't know how would you feel if you would meet stg like this. But after checking and being awared of the feeling. I was surprised that my mind was quite calm. In the morning I was unhappy about my late coming and my colleague. But my opinion about it is 'it's my fault' cos I am late. What I should do is improving myself and coming to work earlier. For what happened in the evening, I was a bit unhappy too. But I told myself that I will try to do a better work next time. Also I should not bind my feeling with someone's emotion esp. my director who is a 'meno pause' woman. When I have these thoughts about people and work, I feel much better than before. However, all unhappiness had stayed for a while and I could see it clearly as you can see dust in clear water. When I see it like this, it cannot disturb me very much-just a bit. Then all the bad feeling has gone at night.
I can tell you that this is the benefit of 'mindfulness' and 'Samma Ditthi' which is the result of mindfulness. I am not very angry/upset and I don't ignore all comments. I also accept them as they's true. I think I should improve myself (I always think like this, but it's hard to do sometime). If this happened in the past, I would be upset at least a few days and complain with people around. I would never accept that it's my fault. But it doesn't happen this time. Bad action and bad thought were stopped. I also see the rising and falling of my feeling which is really impermanent. It changes all the time.
I am so happy with my development. Friday 13th was not too bad as it becomes the day of 'mindfulness'.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My dog and blood donation

You might wonder how these two things relate with each other? I never think until it happened with me yesterday (friday 6 July).
There was a red cross mobile came to my office to get blood donation from students and officers - there are a lot of people here and they can get a lot of donation. I also went to donate my blood and I was so happy that I could do it. Because normally my hemoglobin is a bit low and i wasn't allowed to donate blood. But this time my hemoglobin reached the mininmum requirement. It was a bit painful as a nurse injected needle to your arm and let blood come out. Anyway this is not a point I wanna talk about.
AFter donating blood, I was with my colleague and had a rest. I was in a very good mood because I just did a good thing that can safe other people's life. For a while, my mom rang me and told me that my dog, that has been with me for 7 years just died. At that time, you know? I WAS SHOCKED. I was quiet for a sec and asked my mom what happened. I know that it was sick for a week but I never think that it would die very quick like this. After talking with my mom for a few minutes, I started crying - I felt sorry for my dog. I am not a dog lover. But this year I had more chance to feed it cos my mom wasn't at home sometime. It is like there is some source of bond between us. This can happen with anyone/anything that have been with each other for only a few weeks. While i was crying, a nurse around that area saw me - he gave me some bandage to dry my tear cos there is no tissue. You know? I laughed out- I thought it was funny to give someone a bandage to dry their tear.
When I laughed out again, I realized the very impermanence of my emotion that changed very quickly. I felt good/bad/funny within 10-15 minutes. Vedana happened and my citta responsed to all of them very quick without mindfulness. I was awared of all these things at some stage but I couldn't stop my physical reaction. This really shows that I was not mindful enough and I need to practice more sati (mindfulness).
My point/ or what i wanna write here is it will be very useful if you practice meditation and have more sati. Sati will help you see and notice what happen in your thought/mind. Then your physical and mind reaction will never follow your kilesa/craving/feeling (vedana)/Sangkara (perception)/sanna (memory). Sati will see obviously what happen in your mind - like a security guard sees if there is anyone gets into your place. Then this guard will tell you what to do and how to response to that situation. This time my gurad might take a nap and let both sadness and happiness affected me too much. I will be more careful next time.
Thanks for 'Samorn' - my lovely dog that is still useful for me even the last minute of its life. I hope you will be reborn in a better life esp. become a human. Then you will have more chance to make a merit as we do. I love you.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

How to have a better (love) relationship?

You might think that why do I raise this point? It's not about Buddhism. There are many kinds of love in this world - love friends, love parents, love animals, love partners or etc. However, love in Buddhism we always talk about is love and compassion that is best wishes we have for everyone - no matter who/what/how they are. We always wish them to be free from suffering and never expect to get any thing back from our love. But love in Lokiya level is quite different from love in Buddhism. When we love someone (esp. lover). We always expect their love in return. We always want them to appreciate our love more or less by some actions. This might lead to an argue or conflict as everyone has their own personality. It would be great if our lover/ a person we like love us back. But what happen if it's not.
I just listen to a Dhamma talk (again) and I have the idea for this. Some of you already know it - I am sure. V.Chayasaro said that if we have Metta for a person we love which means we will always wish them to be happy and love them without any condition esp. if you agree to be together. Conditions here might be money, some stuffs, concern, some kind of quality i.e. smart, appearance. In my opinion, it's quite hard as we fall in love with someone cos they have something/conditions/quality we like such as 'she is a good girl' or 'he is nice'. However, I think what V.Chayasaro means is try to use more Metta than only your Kilesa. Why? Whenever you start to bind your love with anything which is impermanent, this means if that thing/condition/quality has gone, you love will be gone too. We can see the example from a lot of couples that divorce because a man has a new one cos a lady is too fat or looks too old. The other reason is 'she doesn't love me anymore' or 'he has changed from the first time we met'.' But if we love them without conditions - love with Metta : always wish them to be happy and try to do anything that make them feel happy.

When you want your lover to be like what you want - ask yourself that you really love him/her or you just love yourself and what them to satisfy your desire.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dhamma talk of V.Jayasaro (2) : A destination of life

As I said before that this time I have listened to Dhamma talk of V.Jayasaro. I like it a lot and become attached at some stage. There are a lot of points in his talk that encourage me. But the important one is about the destination of life. I have met a lot of people who have no idea about their future. I don't like that very much cos I always think that we should have a goal for our lives. Otherwise, life will flow without destination. I really feel pity for that esp. for some potential people. That's why i wanna share this idea with you.

V.Jayasaro states that life that follows kilesa and Tanha or life that follows the Samsara (in my opinion) is a useless life. It is so hard to be born as a human. When you get this chance, you should utilize (economics term) or use it as useful as we can. Usefulness here means to benefit yourself and other beings. To benefit yourself is to develop yourself to have more wisdom which means to understand things as they really are. Then our kilesa and Tanha can be reduced by that wisdom. The ultimate goal is to get enlightened. But at this level - the goal should be to be the developed person as we can. It 's easy to speak out, but hard to practice in my opinion. But my experience is if you practice more meditation, you will have more Sati (mindfulness), then you can see at least the impermanence of yourself i.e. your emotion and your body. If you practice a lot more, your wisdom to understand all these things will really increase. Consequently, you will be more peaceful and happy as you will never attach (again) with Tanha and Kilesa too much. Wrongdoing will be hard to commit. Further, when you see things as they really are, you can see your fault as well. This is quite a weak point of most people. They never accept that they are bad, selfish, unkind or aggressive. But if your mindfulness is strong enough, you will see your fault and then you can try to improve yourself. The other result is you will love and understand other people more as when you understand yourself - your feeling and your emotion, you willl understand others' that they are the sameb as us.

Apart from benefiting yourself is the usefulness for other beings. How to do it? There are many ways to benefit other people - to give (if you have more than enough), to teach and advice (if you have some knowledge), to inspire and encourage (if you behave well enough to be a good example and have some kind of charisma or energy to lead people). To benefit yourself and others are realated with each other unavoidingly. When you are good - behave well, people will be inspired to follow your way or your teaching. The society will be better so far. When other people are better, they inspire you to be a better person too.

Your goal might be in the Lokuttara level such as success, happy family or wealthy. But I am afraid of setting the goal like that because if you bind your goal with people or anything apart from yourself. You might be suffered as all these things are subject to change all the time according to their factors. Everything will never be like what we want (even ourselves). That's why i talk mostly about developing yourself and helping other beings as it is easier to control ourselves than other things.

Some readers here might be monks. Some are laypersons. Some still have no idea about their future. Some have quite clear destination. Some are seeking for it. I really wish everyone to have your own destination for life. It's not easy, but not hard for you guys. Life will be more meaningful if we know where are we going or what are we doing. Do you agree with me?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Dhamma talk of V.Jayasaro (1)

Actually I intend to write about meditation first. But what has impressed me is dhamma talk by V.Jayassaro who is the Englisih monk ordaining in Thailand for more than 20 years. I got an MP3 files of his talk since last year, but I have never listened til Jan 2007 when i was on the way to Sukhotai. It was a long trip and i have nothing to do :P. His Dhamma talk is mostly about mindfulness which is my favorite topic.

Around early of June, I have a problem affecting me a lot. At that time, I cried - and then meditated cos i thought it might help. I also listened to the Dhamma talk a lot more (cos i think it might help too). And both of those things really helped as my mindfulness has come back within a month. The Damma by V.Jayasaro that really impressed me at that time is about 'be patient to do the right thing, though it's not what the liked thing' or 'ทำในสิ่งที่ถูกต้อง แม้ว่าจะไม่ถูกใจ'. He said that we have to be patient to do the right thing, though we are not happy to do it and though we have to be suffered from it. We should not attach to (or identify with) the happiness of mind all the time - we also should not try to avoid meeting unhappiness of the mind all the time too. The first reason is we can control ourselves - not to follow our Kilesa and Tanha that will lead us to the wrong/devil action. The other reason is we might lost a chance to see the nature of mind - impermanent cos no suffering will stay in yor mind forever. We can also learn something new from the suffering that - finally we can pass through it. Then we create a new Sanna (memory) that we can, though we never think we can . When a harder problem happens next time, it will be easy for us to control our mind.

After understanding this point, I realize that what happened with me is the very right thing. I have to accept and respect it happily though it caused me suffering for a few weeks. i am now even happy about what has happened cos i can control myself a lot more. If I wanna do stg that seems to be not very good (i.e. calling to talk with a married man) - then I ask myself - are you sure to do it ?- it might make you feel happy for a while but some problems might come after. Then I stop doing it immediately. What helps me to control my mind is my mindfulness that I got from meditation. The more I meditate, the clearer I notice my feeling and the better I control myself.

Thanks for the sufferings that challenge me to be a better person.
Thanks you V.Jayasaro for you clear Dhamma. I will always appreciate you, though I have no chance to meet you.