Được dạy bởi Sư Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu
Dịch Việt: Việt Hùng
Lời người dịch: Trong các bài Hỏi & Đáp như vậy, tôi sẽ chủ yếu dịch thoát ý, chứ không chặt chữ. Một mặt đây là việc tôi làm để có thể nghiền ngẫm phần trả lời của Sư Yuttadhammo. Một mặt, tôi chia sẻ lại đây, và hy vọng nó hữu ích cho các thiền sinh Vipassana tham khảo.
Bài pháp ngắn này được đăng tải trên Youtube vào ngày 09/05/2011. Phần English transcript ở cuối bài. Link Youtube của bài nói ở đây: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCA9U_nBWQI
Mặc dù đã cố gắng tốt nhất trong khả năng của mình, tôi chắc chắn không thể ghi xuống được một cách chính xác 100% tất cả các từ ngữ, đặc biệt là các từ Pali mà Sư đề cập trong bài pháp. Tôi sẽ tiếp tục cập nhật bản ghi, bất cứ khi nào tôi thấy được những điểm còn thiếu sót.
Con xin thành kính đảnh lễ tạ ơn Sư Yuttadhammo về bài pháp thoại ngắn quí báu này. Con nguyện cho Sư được mọi thuận lợi và sức khoẻ trong hành trình tâm linh của Sư.
Các bạn có thể tìm hiểu thêm thông tin của Sư Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu và các lời dạy của Sư tại trang web: https://www.sirimangalo.org/.
English Transcript (quickly jotting down)
Hello, welcome back to Ask a monk. I assume some of you have noticed that I haven’t really been posting on the in the past few months. And it’s mainly because I’ve been trying to take some time alone and there have been other engagements. I was traveling a little bit and I had to get a ticket and now I’ll be traveling to America. So, yeah, it’s you know, it’s kind of broken up. I’m not just sitting around making videos. So one thing I wanted to say is that for people who are waiting for the next videos or looking for me to make more videos, I just want to be sure that be clear that the purpose is not to listen to the Buddhist teaching or to to listen to talk. People who download mp3s and vast libraries of dhamma talks or who read the whole of the Buddhist teaching again and again… It’s not really the point. So the questions that have been asked, the answers that I’m giving, I’m hoping that they’re for the purpose of taking away to practice meditation. So really, in the end, it’s not about how many questions are answered or how many videos are posted, how many talks you listen to. It’s how much time you actually spend practicing and how clear is your mind and your your awareness of the present moment. So if you’re looking for the next step, the next step is not just to sit around waiting for more videos. I will be doing more. There’s a lot of a lot of questions people have been asking. The next step is to to find a way to take time to actually practice. And once you’ve really and begin to engage in the meditation practice, there aren’t nearly so many questions. Most of the questions that you have answers themselves. So just to make sure that, you know, I’m happy to answer questions. But it’s not really worth it, if people just come back with more and more questions, rather than seeking out the answers which are ultimately within.
So but another thing that comes up, which is great about having this forum to answer questions, is that there are a lot of technical questions which can’t be answered. You can sit down and practice and very easily come up with the technical answer, what should I be doing here? What should I be doing there. Often because it’s it’s quite subjective, you know, what is the technique here? And unless you try it and test it out one way, you won’t be able to tell whether it’s more beneficial to do it this way or that way. It’s the technical questions are always welcome. So all questions are welcome. Just don’t spend all your time asking questions you should spend most of your time finding the answers too. So here are some answers to a couple of technical questions that should be short.
Question: First of all, when you say your mind shouldn’t be in our head, but in our stomach when we contemplate rising and falling, what do you mean? Can you elaborate it more?
The mind is not physical. The mind is that quality of experience or that aspect of experience that knows that is aware of something. So when I say that the mind should be in the stomach, that’s not really correct. Because the mind doesn’t take up space and it doesn’t go here or there. So there’s one moment in the head, one moment in the stomach. It doesn’t move. It is aware of the object. The idea of space only arises when you’re talking about the physical. And that’s really, in a sense, only a concept. The ultimate reality is the experience which has a physical and and a mental, and that doesn’t take up space. Space is only a convention when we’re talking about in the physical realm. So what I mean by that is that it should feel like the mind is in the stomach in the sense that you’re really knowing the rising. So when you say to yourself rising, that’s the mind recognizing and this is the rising into the mind with a clear awareness of what that is. Because this is what the mind does when it becomes aware of something, it immediately recognizes it. First of all, as the basic realities of it, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and thinking. But generally it will go on to recognize it as good, bad, me, mine. You know, a source of pleasure, a source of pain, something that is beneficial, something that is harmful and so on, and so it makes all sorts of judgments and categorizations and it creates all sorts of intentions based on this and eventually leads to to suffering and stress and busyness.
So what we’re trying to do in the meditation is to simply recognize it and to stop there. So the response in the mind should only be rising, shouldn’t be arising and, you know, my stomach is smooth, the rising is smooth or it’s stuck and it’s uncomfortable or this or that or the idea of trying to, I should make it longer. I should make it shorter. I should try to keep it a constant speed and so on. None of these things will arise, if you’re simply recognizing for what it is. So the point of saying that it should be in the stomach is to avoid making it a mental exercise, where you put the brain to work and start to create a concept or a convention or a mental creation based on the rising. Because it’s very easy to sit there and say to yourself, ‘rising, falling’. But it’s very difficult to actually know that this is the rising. This is the calling. And to have a strong awareness, normally our awareness of the rising or the falling or of anything is very superficial. So we know it. And then we’re off on a tangent, thinking and we’re back up in the head, working with actually with the chemicals in the brain to create pleasure and the ones that create pain and stress and so on. And the interactions with our thoughts and our our reactions to what we should have been a very simple object, which would be the rising.
So it should feel like the mind is in the rising in the stomach because there is a clear awareness at that moment of a rising motion which we understand to occur in the stomach and the falling for the clear awareness of it. So you can really tell the difference, the difference between simply saying it and you know it for a second, and then you’re up in the brain doing rising and falling and actually knowing, rising, falling. And that’s really the trick. It’s something that’s quite difficult, if you’ve never done it. And it’s something that takes time to perfect and time to develop.
Question: OK, and another question. I’m going to pack them together here because they’re they’re fairly simple. Second one is sorry. Could you please answer a few questions? Thanks. Only one question. Oh, two questions. When meditating, how to breathe? Can only breathe through your nose or inhale through the nose, exhale through your mouth?
OK, how to breathe the I suppose the simplest answer is to say however you normally breathe when you’re relaxed, when you’re not thinking, and when you’re not forcing the breath, when you’re not running, when you’re sitting still normally how do you breathe? Because the idea of breathing in, breathing in through your nose, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, that sounds like a construct that sounds like you’re actively conscious. You’re making a conscious effort to breathe in and breathe out the other. We normally don’t breathe that way. If you subconsciously, unconsciously breathe that way, then there’s no problem with it. But as soon as you start to say, OK, into the mouth, into the nose, out through the mouth or mouth or through the nose or whatever, you want to do it and you start to say, you know, opening your mouth and trying to breathe through the mouth when normally you breathe through the nose or vice versa, then your mind doesn’t really with the present moment. It isn’t with the breath, it isn’t with the stomach. It isn’t with the body, with reality. It’s on this intention. OK, now through the mouth, now through the nose, it’s not natural. So you have this process on top of the observation. You’re no longer simply observing the motion, which is really what we’re trying to do here. And it should be clearly understood that that’s where the practice is. The practice is in simply observing a motion that is already occurring. And so in the technique that I follow it, it doesn’t really matter what what goes on up here. We’re not focused on this aspect of the breathing. We’re focused on the stomach aspect, the aspect of the contact with the body and the expansion of the body based on the breath going in. And then the contraction based on that going out. So shouldn’t have any difference. But if you’re practicing mindfulness of breathing, I would say you’re focusing on the nose. I would say the same, you’re focusing on the breath area. Then you shouldn’t try to control the nature of the breath. You should be watching it.
And I suppose if you were practicing for another purpose, if your purpose was to develop certain super mundane or supernatural states, magical powers or develop great strength of mind or great and bliss and special meditative states, as opposed to simply trying to understand things as they are, then some control can be useful because it develops your concentration. You know, prana yoga. I don’t know how they say it. They’re very much into deep breaths. And when I did martial arts, we were into deep breaths and so on. And the idea was to slow your breath down to one minute for breath and so on. So in that case, you know, some people even I think, can breathe in through one nostril and out through the other. They have down just that aside. And this gives you great power. Now, this is not what we’re looking for here, because this power is is most often accompanied by delusion. The ego, the idea that I, that this is me, this is I am doing it, through the control idea and it works for a while, but eventually it breaks apart and it breaks down and falls apart and disappears.
And so it isn’t really a self or an ego or me or mine. And this kind of delusion is simply a waste of time. And worse, it leads you on the wrong path. It keeps you from understanding things and letting go of things, seeing things as they are. So, no, the breath should be natural. It should be, I would say, however it happens when you’re asleep or however it happens when you’re just relaxed, when you’re not thinking about it, it should continue on in that in that manner. And what you’ll see is the difference between your normal breath and your meditative breath is the problem that when you’re meditating, that your breath is force, your breath is controlled. And that’s the problem. And that’s why we’re meditating, because anytime we focus on something, there be something inside of us and we pay attention to it. We can’t we’re unable ordinary beings to simply observe and be aware of it. We have to control. We have to obtain possessed and so on. And this is the problem once until we learn that this is suffering. This is a cause for stress, but this is a cause for all of the troubles in our lives. Whether we’ll always have to have difficulties, troubles and stress. Once we realize this, then our breath will come very much back to normal. Our whole body of all our brain, the whole of our being will be very much more natural.
And when we focus on when we are aware of something, it won’t change. When we’re aware of the breath, the stomach rising and falling would be as if we weren’t even paying attention to it. It won’t change in the slightest. Now, this is important. This is the really what we’re aiming for. So, definitely it is not a good idea to try to force it in one way or another unless you’re practicing those kinds of meditation. If you’re trying to understand things as they are, let the breath go as it will and notice when it’s not natural, when it’s not ordinary, when it’s not an unconditioned. And you’ll see that that’s where there is there is delusion. There is the idea of control, of forcing and so on. And it’s a habit. It’s something that we’ve developed and that we’re trying to do away with. Because once you see that it’s unpleasant, that it’s a cause for suffering that’s forcing this control, you’ll let go of it after you repeatedly observe this. Eventually your mind will change the habit. It will say, no, this is not leading to happiness. It’s actually leading to stress and suffering. OK, so there’s two questions. I’ll try to answer some more now. Actually, I’m thinking I’m going to bring my video camera, this little portable video camera that this was donated three years ago and has seen a lot of use. And it’s good little camera. I think I’ll bring it with me when I go to America because I’m not going to be doing so much. So probably I’ll have some time to answer some videos on the road and there’s some questions on the road, and I’ve got I think I’ve still got about 100 questions to answer. I’m sorry. I mean, I’d like to open it up. I’d like to take questions and answer questions that people have. What do you do when you’ve got 100 waiting in the. It just keeps piling up and piling up. So you’ll have to bear with me. And I know a lot of people have as a result of closing it down or stopping to accept questions, they’ve started sending questions to me directly, which I really can’t do. That’s the reason for that’s even worse for me, because then they have to answer the same question when each person asks it. And so I find myself with a far bigger workload than I’m actually actually able to handle. So this is the best I can do. If you really have questions and this is what I’d really like to see, come on out. Come on over to Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful place. I haven’t seen any, at least one poisonous snake, a couple of scorpions, lots of leeches, but other than that, it’s no, no, no worries here. If you come on over, you can ask all the questions you like, and I’m happy to answer them, as long as you dedicate yourself to the meditation practice and join us in our practice. OK, so thanks for tuning in. All the best.