Translated from the Thai by Santikaro Bhikkhu
Thiện Nhựt phỏng dịch
Source-Nguồn: dhammatalks.net, ftp.budaedu.org, budsas.org, thuvienhoasen.org
Today we will study the third tetrad of Anapanasati, which is concerned with citta, the mind-heart. It is known as cittanupassana (contemplation of citta). Please prepare yourselves for studying about citta. (122)
Before discussing the third tetrad specifically, there is a very important point which we sometimes forget to stress. Every time you sit down to practice Anapanasati - every sitting and session - you must begin with step one, the experiencing of the long breath. It does not matter what step you were doing yesterday, today you must start again at the very beginning. Each session is brand new. From the long breath, move on to the short breath, and so on. Progress from one step to the next, completely fulfilling each step before moving on, until you come to the step where you left off last time. Each step depends upon the previous one. If you are unable to do the first step, then there is no possibility of you going on to further steps.
Even now, when we intend to do cittanupassana , we must start at step one. This holds true for all sixteen steps. With every inhalation and exhalation we practice in this way. Do not forget. We always begin practicing with step one - every time, every session, every step that we practice. (123)
After successfully completing the first two tetrads, we begin to work on the third, cittanupassana (contemplation of mind). The first step of this tetrad is contemplating or experiencing the mind in all its aspects. This is called "citta-patisamvedi" experiencing the condition or state of the mind during any given moment. Since the beginning of the practice, up until this point, there have arisen many different states of mind. Finally, we must observe the state of the mind at each step. What is its condition now? How is it changing? What arises in the citta? What are the mind's characteristics at this moment? In previous steps, we have emphasized certain things which the mind knows or experiences. Now, we are ready to observe citta itself. We must observe until directly knowing what the mind is like in that moment. What kind of experience is it? Step nine begins with experiencing the citta through each moment of practice. (124)
DEFILED OR NOT?
There are many different characteristics of the mind to contemplate here, and all of them must happen naturally by themselves. They are observed as they really exist, in the very moment of their existence. The characteristics to note, as specified in the traditional way of speaking, begin with "whether the mind has lust (raga) or is free of lust" You all know what lust means. Besides the usual sexual lust, there is non-sexual lust, also. The meaning of raga is broad. Sexua1 lust is called raga and lust toward things such as money, jewelry, gold, food, housing, and possessions is called raga. There also can be lust toward individuals, for instance, love (non-sexual) of one's employees or servants. The Pali raga has this broad array of meanings. Does the citta have any of these types of raga at this moment or is it free of lust? If there is lust, then contemplate its presence clearly enough to distinguish what kind of lust it is. Know what it is to have raga in the mind. If there is no lust, then contemplate its absence. Breathe in and breathe out while experiencing the actual state of mind in that moment. (125)
The next characteristic of mind to contemplate is dosa (anger, hatred, aversion). The meaning of dosa is broad, also. Sometimes an external object - a person, a situation, or any thing - causes us to be angry. Any dislike in the mind is dosa. It can even arise from within, without any external object. When the mind is oppressed, irritated, offended, or resentful it is called dosa. We contemplate whether this mind has dosa or not. If it has, contemplate, know, and understand this state of dosa. If the citta is free of anger and hatred, then know that state. This is the second characteristic to observe. (126)
The third characteristic to observe is moha (delusion and confusion). Moha is to feel infatuated with something due to not knowing that thing as it really is. For example, when we are doubtful something we cannot help but think about it. Or, when there is hope or expectation or whatever, we cannot avoid dwelling on it. Moha can mean "astray or lost," and it can mean "dark or dim," that is, full of doubt and ignorance. Then, one kind of thought or another will arise out of that doubt or ignorance and will ferment in the mind. That is what we call moha. We should know whether there is delusion in the mind or not. If there is moha, then grab it and contemplate it. If the citta is empty of delusion then contemplate its absence. Always contemplate this state of mind while breathing in and breathing out. This is the third characteristic. (127)
There is a simple way of distinguishing these three states: raga, dosa, and moha. If there is any feeling of wanting, that is, wanting to gather toward, to pull in, to hug, and to hold, such a feeling is raga. It has a most positive character. The second, dosa, does not like, does not want. It has a negative character. Dosa pushes way, knocks away, even to the extent of wanting to kill. Raga pulls in and dosa pushes away. The third, moha, is ignorant. It goes not know what is wrong and right, evil and good, according to reality. It is running around in circles. This is how the three differ. One gathers in, one pushes away, and one runs in circles. Everyone should be able to observe the differences and call them by their correct names. Know raga, dosa, and moha by observing their activities of pulling in, pushing away, and running in circles. (128)
Next is to know whether the mind is distracted or undistracted. You have heard about this word already. The distracted mind has no one-pointedness. It is scattered all around. It is unable to rest and relax. It has no stillness or calm. Further, distraction annoys us. If the mind is distracted it must be bothered, that is, lacking rest. Is the citta distracted? Or is it free of distraction, in a state of normality? Contemplate the mind's character while breathing in and breathing out. Practice in order to know it well, in order to know all types of citta. (129)
COMMON OR EXALTED?
The next pair is whether there is a superior state of mind, one better than usual, or merely a common state? In Pali, the superior state is called "mahaggata." In ordinary language we would say there is an awareness that is better than usual, more satisfying than usual, higher than usual. Does our citta have an awareness like this now? If so, contemplate it. If not, know that there is a common state of mind at that moment. Contemplate this pair while breathing in and breathing out. (130)
The following pair is whether this mind is supreme and unsurpassed, or surpassed? That is, has our citta achieved that furthest state where there is nothing better? Or has our mind not yet reached the furthest state and there are better things still? This one is difficult to know because the supreme, most developed state of mind is the citta of an arahant ("worthy one": fully awakened, perfected, human being). If we are not arahant yet, then common sense tells us whether we have the type of citta that is most satisfying or whether there is still something better. Do we feel that we have achieved final satisfaction? Or do we feel that there should be something even more satisfying than this? This pair is about the citta having something superior to it, or not. If there is this highest mind, contemplate it more and more clearly in order to understand this sort of mind. Breathe in and breathe out with this kind of awareness. (131)
The next pair is whether the mind is concentrated or not concentrated. Is it samadhi or not? Concentrate the citta. Even if it is not in full samadhi right now, still the influence of samadhi probably keeps the mind concentrated. This can be called a concentrated mind, also. Know whether the mind is concentrated or not concentrated while breathing in and breathing out. (132)
The last pair is to see if the mind has been liberated, if it is empty of attachment (upadana) not grasping and clinging at anything, or yet unliberated. Is the mind not attaching or is it attaching? This is what we mean by asking whether the citta is liberated or not. Right now, is there anything arresting the mind, or is it free? Whatever the case, know it clearly. Breathe in and out with this awareness. Make it as distinct as is fitting. (133)
By practicing like this, we will know ourselves and will know what sorts of thoughts are typical for us. Then we will understand ourselves well. What kinds of citta are habitual in us? Generally, the mind’s thoughts tend to follow some object. By observing these tendencies we will know ourselves better. That is a special benefit of this step. Our direct aim, however, is to know our mind as well and completely as possible. Understanding our own citta thoroughly is the specific benefit of this step. This is how to practice step one of the third tetrad, that is, step nine overall. (l34)
DELIGHTING THE MIND
Now we come to step two of this tetrad, delighting the mind (abhippamodayam citta). From the beginning, we have been training in various ways of controlling the mind, particularly in the second tetrad, where the mind developed the ability to be independent of feeling and to have control over the feelings. That means the mind is under control*. Once we know the various mental states and conditions fully, both the positive and the negative, then we can put the citta into any state that is appropriate or desirable.
[* Although this is not yet the highest degree of control.]
Step ten, then, is to make the mind joyful, delighted, and contented. There are many words we could use here. Call it contentment, joyfulness or whatever you wish. The important thing is to be able to control the mind so that it feels satisfied and glad while breathing in and out. (135)
Whenever the mind is sad, sorrowful, or joyless, we can let go of the sorrow and bring the mind into a joyful state. Or even when the mind is in a normal state, we always can gladden or delight it using this technique. This is something very useful. We will not have to endure a sorrowful mind because we can control it. Whenever we must, we can have energy to do whatever work we need to do. We can be joyful at any time. But be careful, the words joyfulness and delight have two types of meaning. There is the ordinary, worldly kind of delight that is based in materialism and sensuality. Although, this is a certain kind of joy, it is not the kind of delight we are interested in. We require the joy of Dhamma that comes with knowing Dhamma and with using Dhamma. We need not depend on material or sensual stimulants, for we have Dhamma to help delight the citta. Thus, there are two kinds of joyfulness: defiled joyfulness and joyfulness free of defilement (kilesa). Both kinds are available to us all. If you want defiled joyfulness it is very easy to get. The delight of Dhamma, however, must be done correctly. For this reason, we ought to examine it more closely. (136)
DELIGHTED BY DHAMMA
It is easy to delight the mind when we understand the cause of joyfulness. Joyfulness comes from the feeling of being successful, of having completed some activity correctly and successfully. An easy way to delight the mind is to go back to practicing steps one, two, and three again. Go back to the beginning and practice each step successfully. Then there will be contentment and joyfulness with each one. This is a kind of gladness association with Dhamma. We return to practicing step one again, but now we focus especially upon the feeling of successfulness, contentment, and joyful delight. Proceed through each of the steps in the same way until arriving at the joyfulness that satisfies us the most. Joyfulness comes from contentment and contentment comes from achieving success in some activity. By giving rise to the certainty that we are safe and liberated from bondage there will be contentment and joyfulness. (137)
An easy method that we can use at any time is to reflect upon getting good things, upon achieving what is good. We have obtained the good life, a life that has come across the Dhamma and is certain to eradicate dukkha. We are the most fortunate of human beings. Those who have found Dhamma and are able to eliminate dukkha. By reflecting in this way, we will be joyful and happy. This is how to be exceedingly glad and delighted. Getting what is good, achieving the good life, being a good human being, discovering enough Dhamma to insure that we will not suffer - this kind of reflection is a simple way for the citta to be joyful. (138)
When we are confident that we can extinguish dukkha certainly, or when we have gotten the best thing that humans ought to get, then it is normal for us to be joyful and content. We study to understand the Dhamma that will extinguish suffering, to realize the best thing that humans should get. Then we are content. We are able to delight and gladden the citta using this skillful technique. (139)
CONCENTRATING THE MIND
Once we can delight the mind as we wish, we train in the next step. The object of step eleven is concentrating the mind (samadaham cittam). This means that we are able to make the mind concentrated, to put it into samadhi, whenever we want or need. This step is not difficult because we have been practicing this from the beginning, especially in step four (calming the body-conditioner) and step eight (calming the mind-conditioner). If we could do it earlier, then we can do it here. Make the mind concentrated in samadhi. We can get rid of any unwanted feelings immediately. Then the citta is concentrated and happy. Further, it is able to perform various duties skillfully. This ability is most advantageous. (140)
This brings us to a common problem. Most people misunderstand that if the mind is samadhi we must sit absolutely still – stiff and unable to move. Or they think that there is no sensation what so ever. This is wrong understanding. To sit still and stiff like a log is only a training exercise. It is merely a training in higher than normal levels of samadhi. Developing the deeper concentrations of the second jhana, the third jhana, the fourth jhana, up to the point where the body does not breathe, is just training exercises. Nevertheless, if the mind is able to develop these very high levels of concentration it should have no problems with the lower levels of concentration. Here in step eleven, making the mind samadhi means a mind that has good qualities and is ready to work. It is prepared to perform its duties as needed. From the previous step the citta knows how to be happy. When it is happy it is highly capable in performing its functions. Do not misunderstand that when the mind is samadhi we must be rigid like a rock or log. (141)
STABLENESS - PURENESS – ACTIVENESS
If the mind has correct samadhi, we will observe three distinct qualities in it. The quality of mind that is firm, steady, undistracted, and focused on a single object is called samahito (stability, collectedness). That mind is dear and pure, not disturbed by anything, unobscured by defilement. Mind empty of defilement is called parisuddho (purity). Thirdly, that citta is most fit and supremely prepared to perform the duties of the mind. This is called kammaniyo (activeness, readiness). It would not hurt to memorize these three words: samahito (stableness), parisuddho (pureness), and kammaniyo (activeness). All three qualities must be present for concentration to be correct. This is the kind of concentration that can be used not only in formal meditation practice but in doing any of the necessary activities of life. (142)
These three qualities can be present while walking or standing or sitting or lying. There is an interesting passage in the Pali texts. It says that if these three qualities are present while standing, then we can call that "divine standing." If these three qualities are present while walking, then that is "divine walking." If all three are present while sitting, that is "divine sitting." If these three qualities are present while lying, then it is "divine lying." Obviously, concentration is more than sitting like a lump of rock or a block of wood - stiff; rigid, and dead to the world. The essence of samadhi is that the citta is perfectly ready to perform its duty, namely, to grow in knowledge and understanding from moment to moment. At a minimum, the citta will be happy when these three qualities are present. Having sukha is a duty of the citta, also. And the citta is ready to do its duty when it has these three qualities. (143)
The practitioner whose mind is concentrated due to these three qualities is known as "one who has a concentrated mind." The Pali word is "samahito (one who is concentrated)." In the Pali, the Buddha is quoted as saying, "When the mind is concentrated, it knows all dhamma as they truly are (samahito yathabhutam pajanati). The supreme benefit of samahito is that the citta is concentrated on knowing all things as they really are. If there are any problems in life that we cannot answer, then concentrate the mind and the answers will come out automatically. Wherever the concentrated mind goes, it sees things according to reality. If we look within ourselves we will see all things according to truth. This means that will see aniccam, dukkham, and anatta easily, if the citta is accompanied by the three qualities of samahito. (144)
You will observe for yourself that these three qualities are interdependent. They are interconnected in a single unity. There cannot be purity of mind without stability of mind. If there is no purity, then there is no stability. And there must be stability and purity for there to be activeness. The three work together. They are the three factors of the concentrated mind. Please try to understand the words stability, purity, and activeness. The three must be equal and unified to be called "samahito." Then they are extremely beneficial, valuable, and powerful. This kind of concentration is able to solve the questions of life, regarding both the natural problems of this material world and the questions of a "supernatural" order above the world. (145)
Finally, please remember and understand the essential point here. When the mind is samadhi, we can walk or stand or sit or lie down or work or taste our labors' fruit or help others or help ourselves. The samadhi-citta can be used on any problem, in any situation. It can be used to solve all problems. Be interested in this word "'samahito" - one who has samadhi. It is able to do every kind of duty. (146)
LIBERATING THE MIND
While breathing in and breathing out, we practice until capable of having the three-factor mind of samahito. Then step eleven is finished and we come to step twelve. Step twelve is liberating the mind (vimocayam-cittam). Liberating the mind means not letting the mind attach to anything. Make it let go of anything it is grasping. Such a mind is spotlessly clean. It is free. Liberating the mind from all attachments has two aspects. The mind can let go of all these things, or we can take these things away from the mind.
The results are the same. Take away all the things which the citta should not hold on to. Then observe if there is anything clinging to the citta. Try to release those things from the mind. This is step twelve. (147)
It is essential that thoroughly understand the thing called "attachment." Maybe we are not familiar with this thing. But if we do not understand attachment, how could we ever remedy it? Would everyone please study this word with special interest. Although it is a mental phenomenon - we use words from the physical-mental realm to talk about it. We use words like attach, cling, and grasp. Yet, it is a mental activity. The mind is ignorant and acts out of ignorance. Thus, it causes the activity we call attaching or clinging or grasping: We ought to study this carefully, for it is something that exists in all people, in everyone's daily life. To describe it in a few words, attachment is to regard something as "I" or "mine." Get a hold on attachment and then the practice of this step will go smoothly. (148)
The most direct way to practice step twelve is to examine the penalty, the danger, the wickedness, the pain, and the suffering in any moment we attach to something as "I" or "mine." Scrutinize the wicked, dangerous, and painful punishment that all attachment inevitably brings. On the other hand, examine and realize the benefits, goodness, and advantages of non-attachment. When we do not attach, what benefits do we get? What kind of happiness is there? Observe carefully. When we go and attach to something, what type and degree of pain and suffering results? Examine both sides of the coin. See the penalty of attachment and the value of non-attachment as they continuously alternate in the mind. Through this kind of contemplation the mind is liberated automatically-: The mind naturally will let go of things and things naturally will let go of the mind by observing these two facts. Observe until seeing the penalty and lowness of attachment. Observe until seeing the advantages of non-attachment. Observe these every time that we breathe in and out. This is how to practice this step. (149)
FOUR KINDS OF ATTACHMENT
The objects of attachment are many, they are excessively numerous. Furthermore, they are subtle and profound. They are difficult to see, hear, and understand. Nevertheless, we can identify (our types or modes of attachment. The first category is all the material objects valued by sexuality (
Observe them and see the lowly wickedness of attaching to them. See the value of not attaching to them. Continually examine every kind of attachment with every inhalation and exhalation. In this way they are released in an automatic letting go. Release the objects of attachment. Let go, let go, let go. (150)
When we look at Christianity we see that it shares this concern about attachment. In fact, the primary symbol of Christianity - the cross - teaches the "I" (the upright) and the cutting of the "I" (the cross-member). This symbolizes the getting rid of attachment. All religions agree in their major goal: the eradication of attachment to "I" and mine. This is the highest, most sub1ime practice. It removes all those problems, selfishness in particular, which are the source of all other problems. Cut out selfishness and problems end. Please get interested in letting go of al1 things. Letting go of the four types of attachments is the best thing one can do. (151)
Another group or set or aspect of the things that the mind must let go of are the things which are disturbing the citta right now in this moment, such as, the nivarana (hindrances). These are moods which arise from within the mind out of our habits and tendencies of thought. The five nivarana are feelings of sensuality, of aversion, of depression and drowsiness, of agitation and distraction, and of doubt and uncertainty. We must get rid of these five nivarana. Further, there are the kilesa (defilements). These emotions of lobha (greed), dosa (anger), and moha (delusion) must go. Any feelings of liking and disliking, any moods of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, any attachments to dualistic things, which are present in the citta, must be removed. Eventually, we will realize that no problems remain to put the citta into dukkha. If there is attachment, there is dukkha. When the mind is empty of attachment, it experiences no dukkha because there is no foundation for dukkha.
Whenever the mind sees something clinging, it releases that thing. Practicing like this every time we breathe in and breathe out is step twelve, the last step of the third tetrad. Altogether there are four steps which deal exclusively with the citta: experiencing the different states of mind, gladdening the mind, concentrating the mind, and liberating the mind. Through them we successfully complete our study of the mind.
Please, allow us to end today's lecture here. (152)