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 19/03/2015. Phần English transcript ở cuối bài. Link Youtube của bài nói ở đây: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH24PmL2VKg
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)
[Question] How do I meditate when I don’t want to meditate? Basically, I know it sounds like a foolish question. But it’s a serious issue for me because when I when I sit down, I can do it for like a short time. But eventually it’s like, you know, I get frustrated, my muscles cramp up. It feels like my head is shaking. It becomes just really difficult. So I end up just like, you know, getting, you know, whatever it is. It really gets very difficult. So I guess my ego is against that or something. I guess I don’t know. I hope that’s not a foolish question. People like a man just sitting through it. But, you know, either I don’t have the willpower for it or I’m just lazy. But so is there any advice for that?
I think there’s something we miss and that’s the forcing ourselves to meditate, which can be. You know, it’s not always the best idea. Because you will cultivate a aversion to meditation and that’s no good. Um, that being said in the beginning, you don’t know what’s good for you. You can think of it as the learning process of a adolescent, you know. As a child, you have to force them to learn, you have to push them to learn, not force, but you have to at least direct them, even still, forcing doesn’t generally have the desired effect, and as a result, parents who push their children too hard find them break and rebel or worse, can destroy their lives out of just the intense stress.
But you should look at it that way. The mind, for all intents and purposes, we’re children. We never really grow up. Many of us never really grow up. Many parts of us never really grow up. The spiritual part for most of us is quite young. Especially if you acknowledge that you don’t like to meditate, then you have to treat yourself as a child. You know, you have a child’s mind, which is for most of us, the kids. And so in the beginning, you have to be a little bit insistent. And if you think of it as a child, how would you teach a child. Hopefully, you wouldn’t beat the child or force the child to, you know, into the extent that it caused the child stress and repression. But on the other hand, you wouldn’t just let the child sit around eating candy all day or watching cartoons all day. You’d try to direct them in a wholesome direction. So there’s no easy answer in the beginning, except to answer ‘no, don’t simply force yourself to meditate’. You have to understand that you’re still a child and you’re not going to want to meditate. On the other hand, don’t say, well, then I just won’t meditate. Obviously, I’m sure you know that’s not the case. Otherwise you wouldn’t be asking this question. You want to meditate, you just don’t want to meditate.
You see the problem. You you know, it’s good for you. You’re all grown up intellectually, but part of you is still, you know, a child. Um, a big part of it is our disconnect with the actual benefits of meditation. We’re not machines where you can input the benefits of meditation and have that stick. You can tell yourself you can listen to a talk on how great meditation is and just say, yeah, meditation is awesome, I want to meditate. Ten minutes later, you’ve forgotten it. And it just won’t be in your psyche. That won’t be an input. So you’ll be saying, why am I doing this again? You know, you just don’t have any desire for it, which is kind of absurd, because just ten minutes ago you were clear. Meditation is awesome. I’m clear that it’s a good thing. It’s really going to help me that can go on in the meditation course. You’ll be practicing. Wow, this is so wonderful. Meditation just helps me so much. And then the next day I like I’m going to leave. This is useless. This is what am I doing. Because we’re organic. This is because the mind is is biological at the start, not biologically, but basically the mind is a part of the organism and, it’s not like a computer. It’s going to act irrationally. And so a part of it, you know, part of it is going to be stepping back. And saying, OK, yes, I don’t want to meditate, I acknowledge that, ignoring that and pushing on.
Um, and I guess the meaning is except that part, accept or not accept but but observe and acknowledge is the word. Acknowledge that part that I don’t want to meditate. And you’ll find if you can truly acknowledge that, that you’re able to actually meditate on it. You meditate on the frustration, meditate on the disliking, and you find it evaporates. At the same time as you do that, as you accept or not accept, acknowledge, you know, and focus more on the fact that you don’t want to meditate than on actually meditating through it. Um, at the same time, you know, you ask yourself the question honestly and openly. Is meditation good for me? Bring yourself back to that question that you’ve probably answered in the past. But answer it again for yourself. Why am I doing this? You know, is it really good for me? And don’t just accept some answer that you heard on the Internet, but really ask yourself, you know, what do I want in life? Is this really going to benefit me? And sometimes that takes a little bit of soul searching, soul searching, a bit of introspection, you know, and saying, no, I really just want to play sports and have sex and eat food all day. Well, but then you say, OK, yes, I acknowledge I want all that. But but really? And then you say to yourself, then if you’re honest with yourself, you say, but no, that doesn’t actually satisfy me. That isn’t actually benefiting me. And so eventually coming to the conclusion that meditation is something I want to do. So there’s room for having this sort of introspection and reflection, um, sort of [in Pali] means, adjusting, you know, reflecting on your activity and ensuring that you’re directing yourself in the in the right way.
So I guess two parts, you know, try to be very, very aware of the aversion to the meditation and understanding that after some time you really if you do grow up, and again, this is an insult most of us are in this situation. As you grow up, you’ll want to meditate more. Um, but understand that in the beginning you’re going to have to finesse, you know, and you’re going to have to play games to help the child grow up. And on the other side, also have these kind of philosophical, um, conversations with yourself about, you know, I don’t know if it’s so much a conversation, but it’s still just an acknowledgement. You know, you have to accept the argument like a judge. And you can’t just ignore one side. If you know this side is guilty, then you can’t just ignore them and say, I’m only going to listen to the prosecution. That you’ll be a mistrial. You see, it’s not the outcome, isn’t it? No one is sure. No one is going to come out and say, yes, it was proven that this person was good, that you didn’t even give them a chance to present their case.
The mind is like that if you don’t give the defilement and their chance to speak. Hmm, maybe not quite so much. But in a sense, yes, once the aversion, for example, to meditation arises and it’s too late. It’s already unwholesome. So pushing it away isn’t going to help. This is why the Buddha said when there’s aversion arises in the mind, the key is to to see that aversion has arisen in the mind, not to judge it at all. This is how a judge works. They don’t judge, they observe, and they come to a decision based on the facts, not based on any kind of judgment. So that’s really what you have to do. And you’ll feel this. You’ll feel that the difference between forcing yourself to do something and just, you know, it’s like how religious people feel when they’re kind of believing in God just because they’re afraid to go to hell or because their parents have told them or because they know intellectually they believe in God or whatever, as opposed to actually truly, um, accepting something or understanding something. You’ll feel this you’ll feel the difference between accepting meditation because someone told you or because intellectually you believe it’s right and actually getting a sense of how good meditation is for you, it’s much more important. So it’s a very good question. Thank you.