Words from the transcriber: This dhamma talk from Sayadaw U Jotika is another time-less teachings from Sayadaw. Those simple teachings hold true over the time and serve as the core for any meditators, not just for the beginners as in the title. I got this dhamma talk from the Internet and it has no title. It was a talk Sayadaw U Jotika taught to a group of meditators during a retreat in Melbourne, on 09/03/1997. I has named the title as “Meditation for beginners”, based on the content and the aim of the talk. Yet, please note that the more I listen and read it, the more I meditate, the more I deeply realize the fact that, this is the critical teachings for even the most hard core meditators. I often call it “back to the basics”. And one more important thing is that the talk is very inspiring for whoever want to change your life for the better. I transcribed it here and will continue translating it into Vietnamese. Certainly, there may be in-corrections here and there, during the transcribe. But overall, the key points should be correctly written down. You can also refer to the original talk below. Enjoy the listening or reading.

I’m glad to see all of you. Some of you are new comers. I remember most of your faces. But I see some very young people here today. Are you here for the first time?

[conversations back and forth between Sayadaw and meditators]

I want to know if is there anybody here who has never meditated before, who is a real beginner? Oh, I see quite a few here today. Well, I want to tell you that once I was a beginner, that’s where we begin.

It was a long time ago when I was about 16. Long time ago. About thirty four years ago. So, I’ve come a long way, thirty four years is quite a long time. So, I want to welcome especially to those who are real beginners and also like to come here. Very glad to see you. Welcome, everybody.

So since there are a few people here who are really a beginner, today, I would like to talk about meditation from the very beginning. Actually, I want to have a kind of series of talks so that I can add more details, more ideas and keep it going. Maybe when I have time, I want to make a plan for that, because whenever you want to study something, you need a kind of plan, to have a plan to do that.

Continue reading “Dhamma Talk: Meditation for beginners”

Anyone who is using email surely know about auto-response email. That’s the email one has to use, once being away from office, from work, taking vacation or some days off. Basically, the content should read like “Thanks for reaching out to me. I’m not here right now. And would be back by… Should there be any urgent matter about …, please contact this number…” It’s usually going like that. Then, whenever a person tries to contact him or her through email, the system would automatically send back the auto-response content right away, without any second of thought. Once you receive the auto-response email, it means that the receiver is not there. He or she is absent.

It clicked me one day, once I got one of those auto-response emails like that. It reminds me that this auto-response is not just happening in email, it’s happening many times in our mind.

We auto-respond a lot, without even a second of thought. Once we see a bike, our feeling is immediately right there, instantly: whether we like the shape or not, whether we like the color or not, whether we like the sound of the exhaust or not, or even whether we like the biker who rides the bike or not. Certainly, we miss the whole process of data processing, step by step, about how the shape, the color, the sound,… are received by our body’s senses and how it is interpreted (based on what we have known, experienced, been biased, …) to the point it yields the feeling of love or hatred. We only know the very end result: the feeling. That process is too automatically happening. It seems like we have very less influence on this auto-response system, inside our body. How powerless is that, don’t you see?

It’s similar to the auto-response email is that we are not there, if the response is auto. We’re there, but we are really not there. As we don’t even know the whole process.

Yeah, most of the time we’re not there with our body and our mind. Our body and our mind run many auto-processes without any awareness of us. That’s how it also runs our life. And that’s why mindfulness, the awareness, can help us to “win” back our life. As we would know more into these auto-processes. And that’s when we can have more options to respond, instead of just the option of auto-response, while we’re not there.

Got this meaningful lyrics once listening on the way to a cafe appointment this morning.

The myth is stronger than the truth, and the truth can sometimes lie

To see it all for what it was, you need an uncorrupted eye

Was the journey worth it, only time will tell

The Beat Hotel | Allan Taylor

What would you say? Yes, we are usually overwhelmed by those myths. They seem much stronger and bigger than the truth. And there comes the fear, deriving from the myth – the unknown. Although, most of the time, it is unreal fear.

It’s like a trap for all of us in this world. Fear comes from what we don’t know, from the truth we haven’t known. And because of the lack of known, it keeps haunting us and building more fear in us. Paradoxically, at the same time, we’re kinda addicted to mysteriousness. Then, it would help to strengthen the trap more and more.

Continue reading ““The myth is stronger than the truth…””

Hãy tự thưởng cho bạn những phút giây bình yên quí giá. Đơn giản là bạn chỉ cần tìm một nơi yên tĩnh và theo hướng dẫn trong đoạn thu âm sau.

Tiếng Việt

Reward yourself those peaceful moments which are invaluable for free. Simply find a quiet place and follow the script here.

(English script)

This is the first time I tried this. It is for my two newly met friends, who wanted to meditate in Vietnam. As they are foreigners, I can’t send them the original scripts in Vietnamese of my master, Su Tam Phap. What I did was to translate the script to English and record them by my voice. And here it is. While it is still not the perfect version or translation or such those things, I hope it’s useful and usable to my foreigner friends. Try and let me know… Continue reading “Guided meditation scripts – Theravada tradition”

01

Whether you want it or not, believe it or not, the you today is always different than the you yesterday. It doesn’t need to be New Year to change yourself. You’re already changed in each and every minute. 

So, be the new you and be the change in you each and everyday. Change for the better, change for happiness, change for loving kindness. Things like Happy New Year should be a great reminder to look back and change. Do it now. 

If you’re confused and don’t know what to do next, you can sit down, meditate for 10 mins to calm your mind down. And that’s when you start to see what to do next. Go meditate.

Image credit: http://juicemigourmet.com/meditate/

This is my 10 observations, experiences in the last 5 years from learning meditation and starting doing it. I hope it can inspire you do what I’m doing now by sharing this.