6 February 2016

Traduction en francais: Retraite a Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam 2014


Traduction en francais:
Retraite a Ho Chi Minh,
Vietnam 2014


19 décembre – matin- Au sujet de la Quête de la Vérité – Hanoï
Nous somme au 4eme jour des 10 jours de retraite à Phuoc Son, monastère au Vietnam.

Je vais partager une de mes expériences.

Lorsque j’étais jeune, un fort désir apparût en moi. Je voulais savoir la vérité. Pour cela je lu beaucoup de livres afin de comprendre la vérité.  Ce que j’appris des livres  c’est que tout change. Tout le monde change, tout un chacun  est non-permanent, la seule chose qui soit permanente  c’est la nature du changement ou la nature de l’impermanence. A cette époque, je ne faisais que quelques bonnes actions telles qu’aider mes amis ou ma mère. Connaître la Vérité de cette façon ne me satisfaisait pas, mais j’ignorais où je pourrai trouver l’autre compréhension, l’autre chemin en dehors des livres. J’essayais de trouver la Vérité, comprenant que la Vérité que je connaissais n’était pas complète. Je ne parvenais pas à trouver un autre moyen d’obtenir la Vérité.  C’est pourquoi j’ai arrêté ma quête de la Vérité. Après cela, j’ai étudié à l’université, j’ai appris comment gagner de l’argent avec mon propre commerce. Puis,  l’âge de 29 ans, j’ai été invité à participer à une retraite de méditation de 5 jours qui se déroulait dans un monastère  à 20km de Yangon. 

Comme j’étais très occupé à cette période, je ne pouvais pas rester au monastère. J’y arrivais le matin et repartais le soir. Dès le premier jour de la retraite, j’ai été initié à l’enseignement du Buddha. Ce que je compris de cet enseignement est qu’il n’y a pas d’humains, pas d’animaux, pas d’homme ni de femmes, pas de moines ni de laïcs. La Vérité est un Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente ou bien Nama et Rupa (en Pali).  Je n’avais jamais compris comme cela dans la société, dans mon environnement. Comprendre ainsi me procura un soulagement, car à cette période je faisais face , dans mon commerce, à des problèmes que je  ne pouvais pas résoudre. La compréhension de non “moi”, non “toi, ni “le mien”, ni “le tiens”, pas d’animaux, pas d’humains a allégé mon cœur. Je finis par comprendre que la vie d’un commerçant n’était pas « la mienne », que les problèmes auxquels je faisais face n’étaient pas « les miens ». De plus, je compris que les humains ne sont pas vraiment différents des animaux puisque la Vérité est Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente ou bien Nama et Rupa. Pas d’animaux, ni de chats, de chiens, vaches ou moustiques, juste Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente ; pas d’hommes, pas de femmes. Comprendre cela me procura la sensation de contentement. 


C’est pour cela que je me suis intéressé à l’enseignement de Buddha, puis j’ai commencé à pratiquer la méditation afin de posséder la connaissance de la Vérité. Comprendre la Vérité par la lecture ou l’écoute n’est pas notre propre connaissance de la Vérité. Uniquement en pratiquant la meditation et en performant des bonnes actions nous pouvons acquérir notre propre compréhension de la Vérité. Ma première séance de méditation, j’ai trouvé le fait de s’asseoir sans bouger et en focalisant sur un objet très difficile pour moi. Je ne pouvais pas rester assis sans bouger je ne parvenais pas à tenir mon esprit focalisé sur la respiration. Ceci fût ma première compréhension de la méditation, selon ma propre expérience. Connaître la méditation en tant que laïc ou bien en tant que méditateurs est très différent. La pratique de la méditation  est la meilleure bonne action à faire.  C’est pour cela qu’essayer de méditer et d’avoir sa propre expérience est les meilleures choses que l’on peut faire. 

Apprendre directement à partir de ma propre pratique de la méditation fît un grand changement pour ma compréhension et dans ma vie. Au début de ma pratique, il y eût beaucoup de difficultés et d’incertitudes. Mais après avoir dirigé mon propre commerce durant sept années je n’étais pas effrayé par les difficultés. Lorsque je rencontrais  une difficulté dans ma pratique de méditation, je travaillais durement pour trouver le moyen de surpasser cette difficulté. Ainsi je suis devenu un méditateur permanent et jusqu’à maintenant j’ai performé beaucoup de bonnes actions. En tant que méditateur, j’ai connu les difficultés de méditateur.  C’est pourquoi j’ai essayé ardemment, non seulement pour moi mais aussi pour chaque méditateur. La continuelle action de pratiquer la méditation et faire des bonnes actions est la cause que je dois créer. L’effet ou résultat est que j’acquière ma propre compréhension de la Vérité. Cette Vérité n’est ni quelqu’un, ni quelque chose, ni le temps ; ni ce moment ou cet autre moment, pas cet endroit-ci ni là-bas. La Vérité est Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente.


Savoir que tout est impermanent n’est pas complet. La Vérité est que quelque chose ou quelqu’un est également Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente. Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente est l’unique Vérité pour chaque être vivant et chaque être non-vivant. La Vérité n’est ni « moi », ni « toi », ni quelqu’un, ni cet homme-ci, ni celui-là, ni cette chose-ci, ni celle-là, juste Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente. Savoir que le temps est impermanent, que les lieux sont impermanents que tout et tous est impermanent n’est pas une compréhension complète. Si tu focalises sur quelque chose ou quelqu’un, il y a le malentendu que quelque chose est réel. Que quelqu’un est réel. En fait, le Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente est réel. Si l’on voit du point de vue de la Vérité, qui est Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente, il n’y a ni homme, ni femme, ni humain, ni animal, ni « mien » ou « tiens », juste le Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente.

Nous devons nous efforcer de focaliser sur la Vérité lorsque nous sommes pleinement conscients. Si nous essayons de nous focaliser sur la méthode, sur comment pratiquer, nous serons capables seulement de focaliser sur la méthode. De même, si nous nous efforçons à focaliser sur la Vérité, la Vérité n’est ni quelque chose, ni quelqu’un. La Vérité est à comprendre. La Vérité est Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente. « Ni quelqu’un, ni quelque chose » signifie qu’il n’y a pas de « quelque chose ». Ce n’est pas « quelque chose » qui  est impermanent, ce n’est pas « quelqu’un » qui est impermanent. Uniquement le Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente advient, apparaît, une après l’autre continuellement, naturellement. Nous devons déplacer notre attention de quelque chose ou quelqu’un ou d’une place ou d’un lieu à la Vérité, Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente. Comprendre la Vérité m’a libéré des problèmes avec moi-même et avec les autres et m’a également libéré de mes possessions, de mon centre et aussi des biens des autres.


Je peux focaliser sur la Vérité.  C’est pourquoi je peux utiliser moi-même de la façon juste qui est utiliser-seulement et il en est de même avec les autres personnes. De plus en plus de personnes sont impliquées dans mon centre.  C’est pourquoi il y a de plus en plus de gens et de plus en plus d’actions. Au début, il y avait beaucoup d’erreurs, beaucoup d’actions incorrectes dans le centre. J’étais également très occupé à prendre des décisions et à enseigner. J’étais occupé à parler. J’ai pu faire des erreurs mais j’ai focalisé sur la compréhension juste. J’ai focalisé sur la Vérité qui est expérimenter-simplement, faire-simplement.  C’est pourquoi les actions correctes ou incorrectes de ma part ou de celle des autres n’a pas été un problème. Je compris cela, ainsi j’ai pu travailler avec beaucoup de gens. J’ai enseigné aux autres de comprendre ainsi et d’être capable d ‘agir ainsi.

A présent nous allons méditer avec la compréhension juste. N’oublie pas la Vérité qui est Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente. Nous utilisons la Nature Impermanente ou changeante qui n’est ni « la mienne », ni « la tienne », qui n’est ni quelque chose, ni quelqu’un, ni «moi », ni homme, ni femme. Nous devrions nous ériger pour la Vérité. Nous nous érigeons toujours pour nous-mêmes. Nous nous érigeons pour quelqu’un. En fait, la Vérité n’est pas quelqu’un. « Quelqu’un » est réel uniquement dans l’esprit. De même, « Quelque chose » n’est pas réel.  C’est seulement l’esprit. La compréhension erronée nous dit que « ceci est moi », « ceci est le mien ». La compréhension erronée et l’attachement nous mentent. Savoir cela  c’est savoir la Vérité, se remettre à la Vérité. La Vérité est permanente. Le Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente est permanent. Personne ne peut le détruire. La Nature Permanente est aussi permanente de nature. Personne ne peut la posséder. Nous devrions faire des bonnes actions pour la Vérité. Nous devrions être pleinement conscients de la Vérité, pas pour « moi » ni pour « ma famille », juste pour la Vérité, ne pas rejeter ni s’attacher. Etre en pleine conscience du présent qui se passe avec la compréhension juste. Si l’on est en pleine conscience de la respiration… connaître la respiration comme étant impermanent n‘est pas complet.



Sois pleinement conscient de la respiration avec la compréhension juste que la Nature Impermanent est en train de respirer. Connaître la respiration comme étant impermanente n’est pas complet. La Nature Impermanente connaît la respiration. Savoir que l’action de pleine conscience est impermanente n’est pas complet. L’action de pleine conscience est la puissance (force) de la Nature Impermanente. Savoir ainsi est complet. Personne ne pratique la méditation. Seulement la Nature Impermanente est en train de pratiquer la méditation. L’action de pleine conscience n’est pas non plus « la mienne », ni « la tienne ».  C’est l’action du Continuel Renouvellement de la Nature Impermanente. Avec cette juste compréhension, nous devons nous détacher de la compréhension erronée.

Fin.



Translated by Sayalay Khema Cari

2 February 2016

Teaching Delivered at Buddhist Society of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia


Guided Insight Teaching
of Venerable Ashin Ottamasara

Delivered at Buddhist Society of Victoria (BSV), Melbourne, Australia
On 15th May 2015


 I come from Myanmar. I am a Buddhist monk. I have been teaching meditation for over thirteen years as a monk. I make annual dhammaduta trips to Malaysian and Singapore to conduct Dhamma dialogues and Vipassanā Insight meditation retreats.  I also make annual dhammaduta trips to Vietnam and conduct Vipassanā Insight meditation retreats in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. I have been helping experienced meditators in Myanmar to develop their practice. Most of my teachings are about right understanding concerning with meditation and mindfulness and detachment. My teaching focus on the wisdom. Now we will meditate for about one hour and then you can ask any questions.

Close the eyes gently, relax the whole body and mind. Keep the body and head upright. Always lift up the body weight. Don’t let it be heavy down on the ground. Keep the head and whole body straight. Don’t let the head bow down. When we are sitting meditation our body posture is very important. We should try to use our body and mind as using-only or as it should be. We should not use our life or body and mind as we like. We are always using our mind and body with the idea of my life, my body, my mind. We should be careful not to forget the Truth which is not something, not someone, no “I”, no “you”, no “mine”, not “yours”.

In our daily life, as a lay person, we are always using the idea of something or someone. Or “I” or “you”, “mine” or “yours”. We dare not lose using the idea of something or someone. Or “I” or “you”, “mine” or “yours”. This is because of strong attachment for these ideas. Try to meditate without the idea of something or someone. We should not meditate only for oneself. Meditation is for all, for each one. We should meditate with this right understanding. The Original Truth is just Ever New Impermanent Nature. Which is not something, not someone, no “I”, no “you”, no “mine” or “yours”. We should meditate and do everything with this right understanding.

We should meditate in all postures, including sitting meditation. Try to meditate as it should be: doing-only, using-only, experiencing-only, and knowing-only. We should not meditate as we like; we should not meditate as we understand; we should not meditate as we are used to. Try to meditate without attachment. Most of us are used to meditate with attachment on something or someone.  Desire to meditate like this or like that is attachment. Desire to meditate in this place or hat place is also attachment. Desire to meditate at this time or at that time is also attachment. We should be able to meditate by using any method at anytime and anywhere.



My teaching is; doing-only without attachment. Keep on practicing meditation and also try to detach from the idea of something or someone. Don’t do it forcefully, let it be naturally. If we are doing as we like, there will be no harmony within us. And then there will also be dispute or quarrels between each other.

Lift up our body weight. Lift up our hands and legs also. Don’t press it down on the ground. The practice of meditation is mostly concerning the mind. We should be mindful with detachment; detachment from oneself or ourselves; detachment from each of the present action. Must detach from all our physical, verbal and mental actions. The Truth is just cause and effect of Ever New Impermanent Nature. No one is teaching and no one is learning. There is just the cause of doing good deeds and the effect of good results is happening. 

If we are strongly attached to our daily activities of a layperson we cannot meditate. We should try to detach from our daily activities by sitting meditation without moving. The more we are attached to our habitual job, the more the practice will be difficult. The present condition of difficulty or easiness is not to be attached; keep on practicing meditation.  Without attachment on anyone, any method, anywhere, any time and any condition or situation.

The second step is to be mindful on our normal breath. Focus on our own normal breath. This practice intends to detach from the six external senses. If we are not mindful on our breath, the mind will be busy with the external objects. All six senses or objects are to use-only, not to be attached such as something or as “mine”. Attachment to the objects or senses can cause the mind to be unstable and impure. Focus on the breath and try to detach from the senses and objects outside. This is the practice of concentration. If the mind is unstable, there will be a lot of desire. Try it by yourself, try hard. 

We can focus on the most evident one; if there is pain just focus on that pain. If the mind is unstable, just focus on that mind. We don’t grasp to something or someone. Try to do it naturally.  Be careful not to be thinking of something or someone. Try to be doing-only, without any attachment. We are able to attach to something or someone, we should be able to detach from something or someone also. Keep straight the head and body. Lift up the body weight, don’t let it be heavy down on the ground. Try to be mindful to the most evident thing which is now happening in our body or mind. Each of the action of mindfulness should be doing-only without attachment for something or someone.

  
The first step is to focus on the natural action of happening. This practice intends to make us abandon our deliberate actions. If we cannot abandon our intentional action, we cannot understand the Original Truth which is Ever New Impermanent Nature. It is necessary to do and to abandon each of our action. By doing many things we develop our ability. By letting go off these actions, we develop the ability to abandon. When we have to do something, we have to use the ability to do; when we use something, we have to use the ability to abandon.

If we dare not use our belongings there will be problems in the mind when we use our belongings. If we dare not lose our life, we will be afraid of our death. We should be able to lose everything and everyone. Ability to lose or abandon everything or everyone or every action is more important than the ability to do. Let go off all our habitual actions and try to find out the Original Truth of Ever New Impermanent Nature. Be mindful on the normal breath. Stop doing in and out breathing deliberately.

Try to abandon all our normal action and focus on our natural happening and action. The Truth is not something, no someone, no “I”, no “your”, not “mine”, not “yours”. Just the Nature of Ever New Impermanent Nature happening. Lay people can never sit in meditation if they cannot abandon their habitual actions. Therefore, the laypeople should meditate in sitting posture. They will have Original Truth detach from their normal actions.

The mind can never be stable and clear if it cannot use the object or sense outside. By focusing within us or on our natural breath, the mind should detach the six senses or objects the mind can never understand the Original Truth which is Impermanent Nature if it cannot abandon its actions. In order to understand the action and happening of Impermanent Nature, the mind should abandon his normal actions.


The last step is to detach from the past, present and future. The time we use is just Created Truth. Which has limits… one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one weeck, one month, one life. Each one has limits.  The real time or Original Truth has no limits. Try to accept the Truth of present moment and then try to detach from the limited time.

Don’t dwell in the past, don’t dream of the future.  Don’t’ think the present time, present action and present happening are also real. If we are student we should study our lessons but we should not attach to ourselves, to our actions and to our experiences. We should try to be doing-only, using-only, experiencing-only and knowing-only. With detachment or without attachment. All the Created Truth are to use-only, no to reject nor to attach.

The Original Truth, Impermanent Nature is not something, not someone, not one time and not one place.  To understand the Original Truth, we must be able to detach from each person, each time and each place.  The Truth is just Impermanent Nature. Not one person, not one time, not one thing neither one time and also not one place.

We can use anything but we should not attach to these things; we can deal with everyone but we should not attach to each one.  We can use every time, past, present and future but we should not attach to the time. We can stay anywhere, we should not be attached to the place. This practice is the solution to the problems of ignorance and attachment. We all have to suffer because of our ignorance and attachment. I use this teaching to change from ignorance and attachment to Right understanding and detachment.





End of the teaching.

31 January 2016

A Visit to the ThaBarWa Center By Rev. Corey S. Fields

ThaBarWa
In the eyes of visitors and foreigners


A Visit to the ThaBarWa Center
By Rev. Corey S. Fields,
Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church of Topeka

CBTS and MIT students began our second day of classes with Dr. Marshall this morning. The class shared in some very edifying discussion based on students’ questions that stem from our reading. One of the things I have thoroughly enjoyed about this D.Min program is its concern for the practical; applying sound theological thought to the realities of ministry.  Our discussion this morning was no different. My colleagues from Myanmar brought up fascinating questions such as how to discuss the cross with children and how to preach about the Holy Spirit in animistic cultures that believe in many spirits. 



In the afternoon, in lieu of having a lecture/discussion in our pastoral care class, we drove 1.5 hours across the Irrawaddy River to visit the ThaBarWa Center, a place of refuge for orphans, elderly, homeless, and the sick. It was founded and is run by a Buddhist monk named Sayadaw U. Ottamasara (who was not present during our visit).

It is a 70-acre area that houses more than 2200 families. Children receive an education here and we saw at least 4 large groups of children going through their daily lesson. There was a striking contrast between the glowing children who waved at us and the adults lying in huts who look very sick and despondent.

In the large group dwellings, Buddhist sermons were playing over a loudspeaker for the people to listen to. Although this place was significantly different from the place we visited Saturday (especially in terms of cleanliness), I couldn’t help but remember the many biblical injunctions to care for the orphan and widow and those who are generally helpless. The people who have come here were truly in need and had nowhere to go.

Our Myanmar colleagues have expressed frustration that Christians in Myanmar, being a small minority, are unable to raise funds for such projects and centers. It has cultivated my own appreciation for the many resources the churches in America still have and take for granted.

Thank you for your interest in our experiences! Please remember in prayer today the people at the ThaBarWa Center.


Rev. Corey S. Fields
CBTS D.Min student
Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church of Topeka



Source  …  http://cbts.edu/a-visit-to-the-thabarwa-center/

30 January 2016

Rent Hikes Push Myanmar's Poor Into Homelessness (Video)

Rent Hikes Push
Myanmar's Poor Into Homelessness
Documentary by AFP News Agency



This is a documentary by AFP News Agency with regards to 15-ft Goodwill Village in Thanlyin established by Sayadaw Asin Ottamasara, founder of Thabarwa Centre, Thanlyin, Myanmar for the homeless (helpless) families and individuals.

Original text from AFP News Agency :
Soaring rents in Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon have seen hundreds of poor families shunted from their homes, forcing them to turn to charity as their last buffer from life on the streets.

The narration is in English language.

Thank you AFP News Agency for the documentary ... sincerely appreciate it.


27 January 2016

Empirical Learning in Buddhism and Truth

Empirical Learning in
Buddhism and Truth


Tharbawa Dhamma Centre in Thanlyin, Myanmar would like to share the following announcement:


Experiential Learning in Buddhism and Truth
Date                             :      7th to 16th February 2016  
Topic                           :      Experiential Learning in Buddhism and Truth
Meditation type      :      Insight meditation and loving kindness meditation
Duration                    :      8 days retreat
Course Leader         :      Sayalay Cala (ITBMU)




Monthly Meditation Retreats
Date                             :      1st to 7th of every month
Duration                    :      7 days retreat
Venue                         :      ThaBarWa Meditation Centre,
                                             Shwe Chaung (Pyin Oo Lwin),
                                             Myanmar




Daily Meditation and Doing Good Deeds
There are couple of activities which you can participate on daily basis at Thabarwa Dhamma Centre.  These include :
1)  Guided Insight Meditation Sessions
2)  Buddhism Class
3)  Dhamma Discussion and QA Sessions
4)  Opportunities to do a self-retreat
5)  Plenty of opportunities to do limitless good deeds.




For details information about our centre and to contact us, please kindly refer to our various websites and facebook pages.


Thank you for your kind interests.

Truly,
Sayalay Khema Cari
ThaBarWa Dhamma Center
Thanlyin, Yangon
+95 9 250047330






25 January 2016

"Election" - Part Three (Last Part)

“Election”
Teaching of Venerable Sayadaw Ashin Ottamasara
Delivered on 8th November 2015
at Thabarwa Centre (Thanlyin)

Part Three (Last Part)



(5) Merit-Making Party’s Overwhelming Victory
When the time comes, the charity fundraising concert, USA Cinema Music Event, will come to an end.  Likewise, the General Election of Myanmar will also come to an end.  In contrast, Thabarwa Centre will be ceaselessly doing meritorious deeds, such as offering dana, observing sila and practicing meditation bhavana, round-the-clock without recess.   

At personal level, try to go over and above your usual way of doing wholesome deeds. Also encourage and inspire people, including the yogis from Thanlyin Thabarwa Centre, other Thabarwa Centre branches, other meditation centres and people from all over the world to develop greater interest in doing wholesome deeds.

Since doing wholesome deeds concerns everyone, we need to make a concerted effort in diligently fulfilling our obligations. This is not an impossible task.  As long as we are committed, we will be able to fulfil our merit-making tasks fruitfully.

If merit-making tasks were impossible to fulfill, I would not have been able to establish Thabarwa Centre, a sanctuary doing many wholesome deeds and operating around the clock without recess.  In the past we faced many difficulties and ran the centre on a very limited budget. Though the situation has gotten better as time goes by, we are still facing difficulties and insufficiencies. 

The task of running a centre with more than 2,400 yogis will always be challenging.  The difficulties are meant to be there for us because without them, we would not be able to grow in momentous ways.

Due to our concerted and continuous merit-making effort, Thabarwa Centre Thanlyin has evolved from a piece of uninhabited, stark and barren land to what it is today.  The difficulties that we are currently facing will also fade away as have these conditions of the past.  When the time comes, both the physical appearance of the centre as well as the disposition of the yogis will definitely be transformed.

It is very important for you to be involved in this transformation process with open-mindedness. If you are not willing to change, you will be left behind and others will replace you. 

In the past, Thabarwa Centre was merely an exclusive area for a small group of people. As time goes by, it becomes an area for the general public.  As Thabarwa becomes a community for the general public, many capable people are coming forward to render help and assistance to us.  Gone are the days when Thabarwa had to depend solely on its small group of people to get things done.  Increasing numbers of capable people from far and near are helping and assisting us now. 



Previously, I had no one whom I could rely on to get things done.  So I had to do everything by myself.  It will be an opposite situation from now on.  Many competent and talented people will come forward to assist me in my endeavours.  Hence, I might no longer be perceived as an indispensable person in future.  It could also be the same scenario for Thabarwa Centre.  Even if Thabarwa Centre does not exist anymore, there will be many other merit-making centres established to carry on the torch of doing wholesome deeds.  As long as you have good faith, optimism and confidence, you can successfully do limitless wholesome deeds.

The time when I first established Thabarwa Centre, I only had the vision, perception and belief that it was necessary to do limitless, wholesome deeds.  Though I had full confidence in my vision, it had yet to materialise successfully.  My confidence level underwent a 360 degree turnaround when I started to experience the consequences of doing limitless wholesome deeds.  Indeed, I had successfully cracked the code for lasting confidence in doing limitless wholesome deeds, which in turn boosts others' confidence, too.

My concept is that, if you have confidence in yourself without any visible result, it could just be your own perception and might not be accepted by other people.  In my case, I have proved to many people that we can do wholesome deeds freely, without any limitations, boundaries or barriers.  This is indeed a noble path, which will lead you to a fruitful destination. Work continuously, consistently and diligently until you reach to the noble destination.

In other words, if you do unwholesome deeds until the end of your life, you will receive unimaginable bad consequences (bad karma).  In the same manner, if you do limitless wholesome deeds, you will also receive limitless merits (good karma) and noble consequences. Each and every one of us has a noble duty to do limitless wholesome deeds.  At the same time, inspire other people around you to do limitless wholesome deeds as much as they can. It is indeed a very meaningful and noble task, worthy of your best efforts.

Let’s do mindfulness insight meditation for about 15 minutes.  Sit in a comfortable posture. Keep your body upright, firm and without any tension. Don’t let your body weight press down on the ground. Close your eyes gently. Relax your mind and body. Let go of unnecessary tension in the body. Please be calm, quiet and mindful. Breathe gently, naturally and freely. Be mindful and just know the present happening of the breath. Do only what is necessary to do. 


Be tolerant. 
Be forgiving.
Be compassionate.
We must train ourselves to be harmless and compassionate even towards those who are violent and torturing us.  We must remain sympathetic, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. Take every opportunity to remove hatred, jealousy and violence from the mind.  Even if bandits were to catch us and carve us up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, we should not get angry at them even at that moment.  If we do so, we are no follower of the teachings of Lord Buddha. 


The End …




Credits
Translated by … Hnin Nwe Soe and Maw Maw Than
Edited by … Sayalay Aloka Cari
Team Thabarwa


Note  :  This translation work has neither been read nor edited by the speaker.  Any mistakes and mistranslations in this project are solely the oversight and incompetency of the translator.  Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

18 December 2015

"Election" - Part Two

“Election”
Teaching of Venerable Sayadaw Ashin Ottamasara
Delivered on 8th November 2015
at Thabarwa Centre (Thanlyin)

Part Two


(3)  Cleanest, Freest and Fairest Election
Do not expect to be good if you are doing bad things. Do not expect to gain merit if you are doing unwholesome deeds. Do not expect to gain demerit if you are doing wholesome deeds.  This is the cleanest, the most beneficial and the fairest Wholesome v.s. Unwholesome deeds election.  Anyone can cast their votes. Anyone can run for wholesome v.s. unwholesome election. It is wrong not to participate in this important dual party election. It is worthy of participation. This, indeed, is an election concerning an infinite number of sentient beings residing in this universe.

This election involves everyone, without any exclusion.  Not only the yogis, but also the politicians, entrepreneurs, students, children, senior citizens, infirm, Buddhists, non-Buddhists, free thinkers, multi-racial, multi-ethnicity, multi-faith, multicultural, citizens by birth, naturalized citizens, citizens by substitution and stateless, regardless of profession, age, health status, race, religion, citizenship, everyone can get involved in this extraordinary free and fair election. Each and every one of us needs to try his very best to get involved in this election, which has no bias against race, religion or citizenship, representing an infinite number of sentient beings residing in this universe. 

We should not abandon the mundane General Election of Myanmar.  At the same time, we also should not grasp it as a real election and hit a dead end. As a human being, we have imperfections. For the General Election, we need to be vigilant in choosing the party and candidate who has fewer imperfections, great knowledge, high calibre and who is willing to serve the masses.  

Do not stop at politically inspired General Election dead end. You need to continue participating in the wholesome against unwholesome deeds election, where infinite numbers of sentient beings, including the winners, losers, voters, non-voters, monks, nuns, elders, youths, the healthy, the sick, human beings, celestial beings, Brahmas (the supreme beings) can also unanimously participate. As in the General Election of Myanmar, your participation in this wholesome against unwholesome deeds election is also compulsory.  In order for the merit-making party to claim victory in this election, we must always be mindful and do all kinds of good deeds continuously and diligently.

Always be mindful and cast your vote for the merit-making party. You need to understand and accept the fact that ordinary worldlings tend to have unwholesome attitudes, conduct, and verbal actions, in the past, at present, and that they might also be committing the same mistakes in the future. The powers of our wholesome deeds must unceasingly triumph over the powers of unwholesome deeds.

As a community leader I lead by example. I do a diversity of good deeds continuously.  At the same time, I am also training my disciples, each and every yogi, to follow my merit making footsteps. The improvement or decline of physical and mental states, success or failure, convenience or inconvenience, all are solely depending on you. You must have the right attitude, right perspective, right conduct and right verbal actions at all times. Always try to advocate and pass on these good qualities and moral virtues to yourself, to your own family, to each and every one in the society as well as the society as a whole.


(4)  USA Cinema Music Event


As Myanmar’s General Election was taking place, the Cinema Music Event, a charity fundraising concert to raise money to build hostels for the elders at Thabarwa Centre, was held in the United States of America.

The elders at Thabarwa Centre represent all the elders in Myanmar, as they come from all regions of Myanmar.  By nature, people take care only of their own relatives, grandparents and those related to them. This egocentric nature is not wholesome. Also, instead of condemning or criticising the people who are in distress for their dreadful mistakes, hopeless fate or bad karma, when the opportunity arises, take that golden opportunity to help, assist and look after those who are not related to you, those who are not Myanmar citizens, those who are facing difficulties and need your help.

Thanks to those who are facing difficulties and who are in need, we have the chance to use our money, assets, possessions and labour for a good cause to accumulate merit. By nature, ordinary worldings are not selfless. We need to go against our will, take pleasure in the happiness of others and learn to be selfless even if no one else knows. 

We need to do as many meritorious deeds as possible with right understanding in mind. Since these are not our usual or habitual tasks, we always need to go against our will to do them. By doing so, the outcome will always be meaningful and fulfilling despite facing and enduring numerous sufferings, difficulties and obstacles along the way.

The majority of ordinary worldings habitually spends most of the time, effort and life doing unwholesome deeds, including having an unwholesome point of view, uttering unwholesome words and doing unwholesome actions. By going against mundane nature, if someone or some association takes a lead role in organising merit-making events, assembles people to participate and overcomes difficulties along the way, these actions can also be considered as voting for the merit-making party.

Whilst some people might participate in merit-making activities, the majority will still be leading their usual life, not making any effort to eradicate ugly loba, dosa and moha blemishes. By opposing the nature of ordinary worldings, the Cinema Music Event can also be considered as participating in the election between wholesome and unwholesome deeds on the side of the merit-making party.


The success of the merit-making election should not be measured by how many donations are collected or how lavish an even looks or how much time, money and effort are spent in preparations. You can consider a merit-making event as successful so long as you managed to make it happen.  Due to the self-centred nature of human beings who are not interested in helping others, this merit-making event might face failure at the planning phase or initial execution phase, or half way through, or might be unable to reach completion. 

The path towards this victory is a journey of obstacles, hurdles and difficulties.  As long as you manage to overcome all the disruptions along the way and organise the merit-making event successfully, this can be called an event where wholesome deeds gained a glorious victory over the unwholesome deeds.

Sooner or later, at present or in future, you will experience the favourable consequences and benefits of the wholesome deeds that you have done successfully.  This is very much fulfilling since you will gain as much merit as the effort you put in.

It does not matter where you start. As long as you start doing meritorious deeds, it will not be difficult for you to continue doing them. As long as you do wholesome deeds and vote for the merit-making party, it does not matter whether it receives a single vote or many votes, your effort will not go wasted. 

As long as you manage to convince as many people as possible to participate and do as many good deeds as possible, and continue doing them as long a period as possible, it can be considered as a glorious victory of the wholesome deeds. Indeed, this kind of voting will not be in vain.  Instead, it is very meaningful and worthy of your best efforts.

Note  :  In order to honour Miss Valerie Sheibel, a.k.a. Barbie, the main organiser of the USA Cinema Music Event held at Lowell High School, Carol Channel Theatre, San Francisco, the Mayor of Daly City has announced 7th November as Valerie Sheibels's Day of Daly City.

The total donation received from the generous donors in order to build hostels for the elders of Thabarwa Centre (Thanlyin), was more than USD 22,800 (more than Kyat 270 lakhs).



To be continued …..