A teaching given on the 5th of September 2016.
At first, we practice properly meditation of the correct mundane view and the supra- mundane view. In particular, while doing the meditation practice properly and single pointedly of the supra-mundane view, through calm abiding and special insight meditations, one remains in an isolated place and relaxes the body and mind. In this way, the mind can abide peacefully and happily. After doing such meditation, one actually needs to go to the city, to the midst of society and has to do various kinds of work, encounter various difficulties, hardships and problems. During such times, the view that was meditated upon previously has to be brought to mind. Through bringing forth the power of this view, one makes sure not to fall under the power of attachment, aversion, ignorance, pride and jealousy etc. Instead, if the view of meditation as was practiced earlier while being on the mountain could be made effective and trained, this is what is called action or conduct.
People who are unable to practice such conduct, despite previously having stayed in retreat and practicing meditation, now when encountering trouble, it is just like before they have done meditation. When encountering difficulties, it is just like before they have done meditation. When things like trouble arise, it is exactly the same as before they have done meditation. If the mind has strong feelings of happiness and suffering, strong feelings of fear and hope, strong conceptual thoughts of desire and anger and a strong competitive mind, the comprehension of the meaning of practicing the Dharma is as non-existent.
This kind of person has got the view in their mental continuum, but it is said that the conduct of meditation practice is missing. Therefore, when encountering those troubles, difficulties, suffering and problems, one should think about the meaning of karma-cause and effect which one knows. This is done by means of thinking that also these troubles and difficulties have arisen due to dependency on causes and conditions. In addition, they have arisen because of negative actions which were accumulated in your previous lives and not only because of others. In this way, the mind can be made to abide peacefully and happily.
Similarly, while encountering problems and difficulties, by bringing to mind the shortcomings of wrongdoings and non virtuous actions, one doesn’t fall under the power of afflictions such as anger and hatred. We make sure not to fall under the power of wrongdoings and non-virtuous actions as well as their cause, the afflictions.
When you attain much wealth, possessions and profit, think: ‘if I accumulate this by cunning and deceiving others, even though temporarily I will get a little wealth and possessions, the future result of that will be inconceivable suffering. Act continuously without actions like cunning and deceiving others, but being honest and sincere. By thus, the actions of correct worldly view will concord with your physical and verbal behaviour. In dependence on that, even though problems and difficulties arise, you will not fall under the power of anger and hatred. Even though you have much financial profit, by not opposing the principal of karma, enhance the power to the best of your ability of virtue with love, compassion, bodhichitta, and bringing benefit to others. At all times don’t allow your body, speech and mind to meet unwholesome non-virtuous karma. Try to abandon unwholesome non-virtuous actions as much as you can. That conjoining of correct mundane view with performance of activities is what is called conduct.
The application of supra-mundane view refers to a situation of going to the city amidst hustle and bustle, where one thinks: ‘All phenomena which appear to me have arisen in dependence on the delusive appearances of my mind. All things such as good and bad, correct and incorrect, are all like a dream and an illusion’. Through this sort of thinking, the mind doesn’t fall under the power of the afflictions of attachment and aversion. Similarly think: ‘All difficulties, trouble and problems are merely appearance to my mind. In actuality, their nature is selfless and empty. Therefore, I do not need to generate pride, fear and anger. Until now, since I didn’t realise profound emptiness, I
have experienced suffering meaninglessly. Meaninglessly I have gotten angry and fought with others-what a pity!’ At times of experiencing directly difficulties and trouble, conjoining the view of selflessness and emptiness with the ability of the mind to destroy the conceptual thought patterns of attraction and repulsion without exception, as well as the ability of the mind to solve difficulties and suffering up to complete eradication of them, this is what is called conduct or action.
Whether the power of such conduct manifests or not, at first, depends on whether the view has been ascertained properly. This ascertainment shouldn’t just be left alone, but rather meditation should be done over a long length of time on that which was ascertained in meditation. Based on the ability of this long-term practice of meditation, naturally, the strength of it will be able to come about.
However, these days, people who have not heard the Buddha Dharma at all earlier in life, then by hearing only a little say:’ I have heard, I understood and realised the meaning’. They have a shallow study of the scriptures and when that is brought to mind, they think:’ it is probably like this and that’ and have great pride towards that thought. They pretend by saying: ‘I have understood the Buddha-Dharma. I have understood the view’. ‘I have understood meditation’. ‘I have understood conduct’. They show off their slight understandings to others. Since no change ever occurs in their mind through the practice of meditation, when facing slight problems and difficulties, it is just like before when they didn’t meet the Dharma. The difficulties and problems are experienced just like the time when the Dharma was unknown to them. This is because the lack of practice of meditation which doesn’t allow the power of meditation to manifest. Not only this but also, people who don’t practice meditation and listen to a lot of Dharma teachings, read lots of books, study many scriptures and know rather well the system of the Buddha Dharma, despite that, since they do not rely on a virtuous spiritual friend, they do not understand the vital point of the Buddha-Dharma.
Hence, by thinking ‘I know ever so much’ with arrogance and pride, while not practicing meditation, your mind will not be able to change. Like that, in dependence on the Dharma, naturally pride and arrogance arise and one wouldn’t have any need and faith towards a virtuous spiritual friend. One would think ‘others don’t know anything at all’. As well, one boasts: ‘I know very profound things’. Even though, such people don’t have the experience of meditating for a few months or years, they are ready to explain and guide others and have extremely great greed being teachers to others. This kind of
behaviour does not benefit the person himself and as for their followers who have faith in the Buddha Dharma, since they can’t be led on to a correct path, there is a great risk that they will be led on to a wrong path.
Due to those reasons, whether one has a powerful practice which can resist difficulties and problems, meaning having good conduct or not, initially depends on the ascertainment of the view. If the ascertainment is not applied to the mind by the practice of meditation, since there is no ability at all to be a good practitioner and have the ability to resist problems and hardships and pacify them, it is very important to practice meditation for a long time until the conduct, the action is good.
It is very important that all of you know this.