The Daily Tejaniya Archives

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❊ JANUARY 2018 ❊

The World is a Creation of Mind
The world is a creation of the mind. So
there is no need to look outside. Everything
is happening right here in our own minds.

Meditate or Complain?
I am finding the heat unbearable these days.
So what do you do? Complain or meditate?

Prime Meditation Time
Whenever the mind complains, it  
is prime meditation time.

Wisdom Neither Likes Nor Dislikes
Wisdom neither likes nor dislikes. It  accepts
the situation as it is and only does something
about it if and when it is really neccessary.  

Losing Our Attachment to Ideas
We see that our behavior and our thinking are govern-
ed by ideas and values we blindly accepted, usually when
we were young. Becoming aware of these ideas and values
gives us a chance to bring in some wisdom which will al-
low us to reevaluate them, to become less attached to
them and, if necessary, to replace them with 
more useful ideas and values.  

Notice What the Mind is Doing
When I ask myself questions like: "What caused
this state of mind?"or "What  is the effect of this
state?", it brings up agitation and restlessness.
Don't ask questions if it makes you feel agitated. Just
trying to understand intellectually is not real! That's
why continuity of awareness is so important. If you
recognize all the minds that are happening, and 
what the mind is doing and feeling, causes 
and effects will become obvious.  

Interest in the Process of Watching
As long as you are interested in the process of
watching, the mind will automatically investi-
gate the relationship between cause and effect.

The Best Way to Watch the Mind
What is the best way to watch the activities of the mind?
Don't focus on any objects! Only if you don't focus can you
notice the mind. When you wear glasses but are not looking
at anything, you will easily notice that the glasses are there. 
However, when you are looking at something, you will not
notice the glasses. The nature of the mind is similar. It either
focuses "outwards" or—when it is not focusing—it very
naturally retreats "inwards." 

Craving Confuses the Mind
Clearly understanding the difference between the obser-
ving and the observed, between mind and object, is a kind
of insight. You can ask yourself, "Which is the object, which
is the mind?" But then you need to let the mind do its own
work. Don't expect answers! If there are expectations or
any other kind of craving, the mind gets confused.

The Mind Clears With No Desire
When the mind has no desire at
all, everything is very clear.

The Best Way to Watch the Mind
For many yogis, not recognizing that some form
of expectation has crept into the observing is their
main problem. So always check the attitude before
you do something. Don't expect results!  

When Things Unfold Naturally
Once the mind is moving in a wholesome direction,
it will keep going and things will unfold naturally.

Seeing Where Feelings Begin
I realized I was getting frustrated because I was lone-
ly.  Once I could see that, the frustration was gone.
When we keep an eye on feelings, they cannot grow, they
cannot become more intense. When you observe a feeling,
you will also find out where it came from, where it began. 
Because you had not been aware of the loneliness, it grew
into something else, into frustration. But then the con-
stant observation of the feeling of frustration led
you back. It made you see where it all began.

The Clear, Calm, Strong Mind
Seeing the nature of mind—i.e., seeing its constant
and quick changes—can happen only when the
mind is very clear, calm, and strong.

The Interaction of Body, Mind and Emotion
The mind is neither in the body, nor out of the body,
but the mind is always connected to the body. It is
always interacting with the body. We therefore ex-
perience that certain emotions affect certain parts
of our body. We might perceive emotions as linger-
ing in the body but in fact there is just
this interaction going on.

Take Care of Your Mind
If the quality of your mind was really important
to you, you would always pay attention to it and
take care of it. You would always check the
state of your mind, in every situation.

Wisdom Never Believes
Wisdom never believes; wisdom always investigates.

Forgiveness Through Understanding
One yogi experienced very strong hatred every time he
remembered a particularly difficult encounter. I suggest-
ed to him that whenever his mind felt really firm, stable
and calm, to bring up the memory in order to see what
he could learn from it. He did this over a long period of
time and, little by little, he began to understand things. 
Then, at some point he no longer experienced any an-
ger when the memory of that event or the image of that
person came up. He was able to forgive because
he had really understood the situation.

Pleasant or Unpleasant? The Mind Decides.
Whether or not something is experienced as pleasant or
unpleasant depends on whether the mind is holding greed
or aversion. When the mind is full of greed, it usually finds
things pleasant but when the mind has aversion, it tends to
find things unpleasant. When we feel cold, we find heat
pleasant but when we then get hot, we'll
find heat unpleasant.

The Defilements Make the Mind Tired
The defilements make the mind tired. That's why
we should not let the mind be idle. That's why I
am telling you to practice continuously all day.

Don't Try to Maintain Equanimity
Don't try to maintain equanimity; 
only try to keep awareness.

No Ideas in the Watching
We need to look at experience in a really
simple and honest way. In the watching there
should be no ideas at all about how things
should be seen or experienced.

Meditation and Eagerness are Opposites
Meditation and eagerness are opposites.

Letting Go of the Old Paradigm
We need to switch from doing to recogni-
zing. This way you will slowly understand
what is actually happening and this will en-
able you to let go of the old paradigm.

If You're Aware, That's Enough
If you're aware, that's enough. No 
need to focus, no need to try hard.  

How to De-Energize the Defilements
When you put energy into the awareness, you
take energy out of the defilement.  

A Power of the Mind
If we continuously cultivate a wholesome qual-
ity of mind, that wholesome quality will become
stronger, and it will come more naturally to the
mind. It will become a habit of the mind, and it
can become a power of the mind. That's
what I call momentum. 

Stay With Whatever You Are Feeling
It is really important to know how you are
feeling while you are listening or talking. Are
you reacting in any way? Simply be present
with that, just stay with whatever
you are feeling.

The Mind Will Start to Expand
Whenever you get the feeling of being stable
and collected, the mind will start to expand
and you will become able to notice other
experiences without even trying.

Let Things Happen Naturally
If you want to understand nature, you have to
let things happen naturally. Bringing our awareness
"back" to something is making a personal effort.

All Things Converge on Feelings (1)
When the mind is full of greed it usually finds
things pleasant but when the mind has aversion,
it tends to find things unpleasant.

❊ FEBRUARY 2018 ❊

All Things Converge on Feelings (2)
When we feel cold, we will find heat pleasant but
when we then get hot, we'll find heat unpleasant. 
The actual mental activity is feeling and I would
like yogis to learn to recognize this reality. We 
need to learn to see that the mind feels, that 
the mind is doing this work of feeling.

MY Home, MY Wife, MY Car
Why are the defilements stronger at home? Be-
cause it is MY home, MY wife, MY car, etc.

How to Turn the Mind Around
I did a lot of retreats trying to develop good qualities.* But
I didn't really change; I didn't become a better person. That's
because I neglected to look at the bad qualities.** The quality
of my mind only started to improve when I began watching
the bad qualities. Watching them really consistently and
continuously enabled me to understand their nature.

* For example, loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity
** For example, craving, anger and delusion

A Litmus Test for Unskillful Thoughts
Sometimes a thought is so subtle that you
cannot know whether it was driven by craving,
anger or delusion—but you can feel it.

Joyful Understanding Leads to Looking Deeper
When the mind feels joy in understanding, 
it will be motivated to look deeper.

Observe the Natural and Animal World
The natural and animal world, if you take the time to observe closely, is a rich source of inspiration and insight.
Drop One Word Into the Mind
If you are struggling and the mind is feeling
dull, then a way to investigate is to maybe drop
one word or a short simple question into the
mind with no expectations of an answer, all
the while maintaining awareness.
What is Important is What Is Happening Right Now
What is important is what is happening right
now—that is all. We can't add to or take away
anything from what is happening in this mo-
ment. What we can do is be aware.
Don't Get Caught in Concepts
Don't pay attention to a particular sound. Just be aware
that you are hearing. If you are aware of hearing you will
be aware of many different sounds. If you focus on one par-
ticular sound you will get caught up in concepts such as 
what caused the sound, or what direction it's coming 
from, and you won't be able to be aware of the mind.

Why Seeing Seems to Happen "Out There"
It's obvious that touching, smelling and tasting oc-
cur in the body. Why is it that we perceive seeing
and hearing as happening "out there"? Actually,
seeing and hearing happens right here, too. But
we believe in the concept of "out there"
that the mind is using.
You Just Need to Be the Supervisor
Don't forget to keep asking yourself whether there
is awareness, whether awareness is at work. But don't
try to be aware. You just need to be the supervisor, you
just need to keep checking whether awareness
is doing its job.

Wanting to Be Lost in Thought (Thoughts #1)
The mind works from habit patterns. You understand a
little bit that this habit causes tension, but wisdom is weak
and the habit pattern is strong. Therefore it is really impor-
tant for you to see what is motivating your thinking. You
need to really watch out and notice the mind is wanting
to think, wanting to be lost in thought.

The Mind Does Not Go Anywhere
We often use the expression "wandering mind" which
seems to suggest that the mind has wandered away, has
moved somewhere. The truth is, however, that the mind does
not go anywhere; the mind is only happening here and now.
All it does is rise and pass away. A thought about someone
far away or about an event in the past or the future is
simply a thought that has arisen here and now.

Happy Valentine's Day
We often don't know how to make people
love us. When we do everything with aware-
ness we start to notice and learn these things.
Everything comes together. You can't miss
anything if you're doing everything
with awareness.

Keep a Watch on Thoughts
Just watch thinking whenever you become aware
of it. As you watch your thoughts, some understand-
ing can arise. You might for example realize that a
thought is completely useless. Such an understand-
ing will make the thought disappear. This is 
wisdom at work; this is not "you" doing 
something to the thought.

We Must See Thoughts as Objects
A thought is just an object* which can help us to
develop awareness, effort, and concentration. If
you don't see it as an object, you will get carried
away by the train of thoughts, you will lose
yourself in the story.
* Awareness is what knows; objects are what is known.

Observing vs Thinking
When you can see how thoughts begin, when you start
understanding that they arise because of certain condi-
tions, you will also realize that this is just the mind at
work. Once you clearly comprehend what is actually
happening, you will always be able to keep a distance
between the observing and the thinking.                

Learning from Unskillful Thoughts
If we can maintain an open and balanced state of
awareness when there is recognition of unskillful
thoughts, and we don't get lost in them, then we
are able to observe and learn something about 
the unskillful thoughts. In other words, this
way of recognizing and observing will
allow wisdom to arise.
The Mind Will Naturally Let Go
How do you tell if a thought
is unskillful?
I get very tense.
When the mind actually understands that,
when the mind clearly sees that a thought is 
unskillful, it will just let go. 

Unskillful Thoughts Will Disappear
When you understand an unskillful thought, 
it disappears because of wisdom. 

Wisdom Will Somehow Tell You
When wisdom understands something
it will somehow tell you. There might be
a thought flashing up saying: "This is
stupid." You will clearly know that 
something has been understood. 

Overcoming Old and Strong Habits
Some defilements are very old and strong habits
and therefore they will keep coming up again and
again. But every time the mind clearly recognizes
it as a defilement, it loses some strength. You will
need a lot of patience and perseverance to over-
come deeply ingrained unskillful habits. 

Wise Thinking is Good and Right
What kind of thinking does the yogi apply 
who uses a lot of reasoning? Wise thinking. The
Buddha encouraged people to think, speak,
 and do what is good and right. 

Thought Arise, That's All
Thoughts arise, that's all. The only
problem is, we think they shouldn't. 
Not to Think is Not the Point
People do not think about the quality
of the thinking, they just hear "no think-
ing." If you do not think at all, what can
you do? You cannot even cook! 

Watch the Quality of the Mind
People who are really interested in the qual-
ity of their minds will watch that quality all the
 time. They will learn how to always keep that
 quality in the best possible state. 

A Natural Desire to Be Aware
If you can clearly see the vast difference
between the quality of the mind when it is
aware and the quality when it is not aware,
you will automatically want to be aware
more and more often. 

❊ MARCH 2018 ❊

The Practice Must Come from Within
You need to understand the benefits of the
practice so that the motivation to practice really
 comes from within. If your heart is not in it, you
will never give your best and you will never 
fully develop your inner potential. 

If There is Interest, Wisdom May Arise
It is very important to know why you are
watching. If you are watching because you
are really interested in understanding what
is going on, wisdom can arise. But if you are
just looking at what is happening with the
hope that this will make the unpleasant
emotion go away, it will not work. 

When Anger is Truly Understood
When through observing our anger we truly 
understand the suffering that it always causes
us, it will become easy to feel compassion when-
ever we are confronted with an angry person.
We know how they feel, we can easily empa-
thize with them, and therefore we will
not become angry anymore. 

Don't Try Too Hard, Just Observe
I am trying to avoid eating certain things as well as
to be aware as much as I can. But I find this very dif-
ficult because I quickly get tired of being mindful.
You are getting tired because the motivation to be 
aware is anxiety and not wisdom. The mind remem-
bers that in the past it suffered a lot because you  
were eating the wrong things, and it does not want
 to suffer again. It is trying very hard to avoid 
making the same mistake and is therefore
putting in too much effort.

Right Thought Must Come First
When the mind is agitated my training is to calm
the mind and the body. Are you saying don't do that?
But rather to turn awareness to the nature of the
experience and agitation?
This paying attention comes later. First you need to
see whether you can accept that this anger or agitation
is not "you." What views are you holding in regard
to the experience? This right thought needs
to come in first.

Right Thought Calms Body and Mind
The purpose of calming the mind and the body
is to enable you to observe. Applying the right
thought, reminding yourself that "this is not
me, this is the nature of this emotion," 
calms the mind and the body too.

Whose Mind Is It Anyway?
The practice is to understand what a whole-
some mind is and what an unwholesome mind
is, to really know for yourself. Whose mind is
the wholesome mind? Whose mind is the
unwholesome mind? Is it your mind?

Understand the Mind as Nature
Having the right thought about an experience is a
wholesome mind; having the wrong thought about
an experience is an unwholesome mind. You are 
going to look at this because you really want to 
know for yourself, because you want to
understand nature as it is.

Why Does a Wholesome Mind Arise?
Why does a wholesome mind arise? Why does an
 unwholesome mind arise? What is this wholesome
or unwholesome mind? Why does a wholesome 
mind increase, why does an unwholesome mind
grow? Why does a wholesome mind decrease
or fade away, why does an unwholesome
mind fade away? This is your field of research.

Don't Hurry, Just Keep Learning
Don't Hurry, Just Keep Learning

Whenever You are Upset, Look Within
Whenever you are upset, look within.
There is nothing and nobody out there
you can blame for your state of mind.

Trace Back to Subtle Beginnings
There are many different levels of unwholesomeness. In
the beginning we need to look at the gross manifestations;
we need to discriminate between what is wrong and what
is right. But if you then take a closer look and trace an un-
wholesome impulse back to where it started, you will see
see that it comes from one of the subtle unwhole-
some habits that you have developed.

Carefully Watch Subtle Desires
As your wisdom grows, you will more and
more realize that even the most harmless-
looking desire is unwholesome and that it
prevents you from seeing the truth.

I Like Chocolate. What's Bad About That?
What about eating something I like? I like
chocolate, what's bad about that?
It's not about eating or not eating certain kinds
of food. It's about watching your mind. You can
learn to eat without greed. You can change your
attitude so that you no longer eat something be-
cause you like it but because it is food.

Never Eat When Greed is Pushing You
Eat something because it is appropriate or because
it is healthy and not because greed is pushing you.
You need to be aware of your liking and disliking,
and your decision what to eat or not to eat 
should never be based on that.

Let Practicality Guide Choice
Under some circumstances you might decide to eat
something which you don't really like, and which you
know is not particularly healthy, but because you know
that eating it will make your host happy. Always make
sure it is neither liking nor disliking but practical con-
siderations which guide your choice. Check your
attitude. Don't let defilements make the
choice, always choose with wisdom.

We Must Practice in Real Situations
If we want to have real understanding
we have to practice in real situations.

Even If You Are Afraid, Go For It!
Think about how to be mindful, don't
think about the experience. Even if
you are afraid, just go for it!

Wear Wisdom Glasses
Whatever can be seen is already there. But you have to
wear wisdom glasses, not colored glasses. If you wear red
glasses, you will see everything red; if you wear blue ones,
everything will be blue. That's why the watching mind, the 
meditating mind, must be of the right nature. Only if it is
without greed or hatred can it see things as they are.

As Many Minds As Objects
As your awareness becomes more and
more continuous, you will notice that there
are as many minds as there are objects.

The Fabric of All Phenomena
If something disappeared because you were
looking at it, it could not be a real manifestation
of impermanence. It would also make you proud
and happy: "I saw impermanence, I made some-
thing disappear." Reality is very different. Na-
ture is impermanent; impermanence is part  
of the fabric of all phenomena.

Keep Learning from All Situations
The mind can only completely drop a defilement
when wisdom has fully understood it. If you have to
deal with the same defilement again and again, there
is not enough wisdom and you need to keep learn-
ing from the situations in which it manifests.

Defilements Lose the Power to Overwhelm
You cannot stop a defilement. But you can
change your point of view, your relationship to
the defilement. Once you have done this, the de-
filement no longer has the power to overwhelm
 you—but it will continue to come up.

Keep Practicing Right View
Keep practicing right view and clearly recog-
nize wrong views. Your object of awareness must
be the mind, not the story. You need to cultivate
 a keen interest in the state of your mind.

Understand the Nature of Attention
Because seeing is happening naturally, you have
the ability to look. This understanding is wisdom. A
blind person cannot see and therefore will not even
try to look. As long as we think that we can see things
because "we" are paying attention, our motivation
is greed, and we do not understand this process.

What is Happening Right Now?
What is happening right now?

At Home Things Seem Permanent
I hear yogis often talk about seeing arising and passing 
away when they are on retreat. When they get back home,
 however, there is no more arising or passing away. At home 
 things are suddenly very permanent again. A true under-
standing of impermanence is very different.

A Deep Knowing That Never Ends
A true understanding of impermanence is a
very deep knowing that everything ends. Does
impermanence only manifest when the leaf is
falling off the tree? Or is the leaf already im-
permanent when it is still part of the tree? 

Skillful Doubt vs Unskillful Doubt
How can we differentiate between doubt 
as a hindrance and skillful doubt, 
which helps us clarify things?
If the doubt is unskillful, it causes more con-
 fusion and agitation. It makes you feel less and
less comfortable. A skillful doubt will make 
the mind curious; it will put it into 
 an investigative mood.

Meditate With Right Information
It is absolutely essential that we meditate with the
right information* working at the back of our minds,
and that we apply our own intelligence. We need to
apply these two kinds of wisdom in order to get in-
sight, the third kind of wisdom. If the first two 
kinds of wisdom are not well developed,
the third will not arise.  
* Dhamma knowledge plus insights from your
own reflections and experience.

Patience + Perseverance = Right Effort
Right effort does not mean putting in energy,  but
practicing with patience and perseverance. 

Nature as Our True Nature
A teacher from the Chinese Chan tradition talks
about relaxing into nature as one's true nature. What
 is your understanding of seeing into self nature?
The way I understand it is that we have made some-
thing that actually is nature into a self. If we understand
that we are making nature into a self—that we are creating
a concept—then what you said would make sense. Also that
if we understand nature, we understand "ourselves." 

Don't Think You Can Take It Easy
If you think you can take it easy, you will suffer. 

We Have to Earn Our Understandings
If we don't learn our lessons when they present
themselves, they will come up again and again un-
til we give them our attention and learn from
them. We have to earn our understandings.
Insights don't happen by accident. 

Whatever Happens, This is Your Practice
When I woke up this morning, I felt really tired. I
asked myself whether I should stay in bed or get up
and practice. I could not make up my mind. This hap-
pens to me quite often. Could you give me some 
 advice about what to do in such situations?
SUT (Advice Part 1):
If you cannot make up your mind, just accept that.
Simply recognize and accept what is happening. It is
OK to feel indecisive, confused or restless. Look at
this mind state and try to learn from it. What-
ever happens, this is your practice. 

Observe Until Things Unfold Naturally
Thinking that you need to make a decision will only
make things worse. If you can just stay with such a
mind state and keep observing it, the mind will even-
tually settle down and make its own decision. Never
try to force an issue. Just acknowledge, accept, and
keep observing until things unfold naturally. 

True Understanding is True Happiness
Only when there is true understanding, will there
be real happiness. Not the kind of happiness people
want to indulge in, but a happiness that arises be-
cause you are at peace with the way things are. 

Continuity of Awareness Brings Understanding
Doubt arises when there is a conflict about what should
or should not be done. The best thing to do is just acknow-
ledge and watch it. Just keep recognizing what is happen-
ing. Continuity of awareness brings stability of mind and
understanding of what is happening. This will enable
the mind to "automatically" come up with the
 right decision or solution.

Faith Keeps Us on the Path
When we practice meditation, faith should increase.
There should be an increase in our ability to do the
practice, and in our understanding of the practice. 
Only if we have trust and confidence in something,
can we actually apply ourselves to it. We must 
recognize the faith we have—however little 
or much. It is what keeps us on the path.

Balancing Faith and Wisdom
Very few people know about, or do any balancing, of
faith and wisdom. Those who are very intellectual and
think too much have very little faith. They do too much
questioning. But if someone has a lot of faith and does
not do any questioning, wisdom becomes weak.

The Real Objective is to Understand
The real objective is to understand things.
Happiness will then follow naturally.

The Meditating Mind Stays With Awareness
The meditating mind stays with the aware-
ness, not with the experience.  

Things Happen When Conditions Are Right
Things don't happen because you want them to
happen but because conditions are right.  

Why Meditation Can Feel Difficult
Many yogis tell me that meditation is
difficult. What they are actually saying
is that they cannot get what they want.
Craving—lobha— is the problem.  

It's Nature, Not "Me"
Right view is the idea that mental and bodily
processes are nature. They have their own nature,
and they're showing that nature to us. That's some-
thing to learn from. If we can tap into this truth, then
we won't struggle so much. We won't be buying in-
 to the story "Why is this happening to me?"

Relax, Really Relax, and Be Aware
I want you to relax, really relax, and be aware. One of
the wonderful things that happens when you’re relaxed is
that you not only notice the things that you’re observing,
you notice the fact that you are observing. We notice that
awareness itself is working to help us be aware.

In Giving, Our Part is Just to Give
In the practice of giving, our part is just
to give. If we have expectations of where
what we have given will go, how it will be
received or how it will be used, those ex-
pectations are a form of greed.

Be With Your Body
Make it a habit to be with your body. When you put on
your clothes, know that you’re putting on your clothes.
Notice whether you put your right or left arm through
first or your head first. When you put on or take off
your T-shirt, does your right or left arm or your  
head go out first? How does it happen? 

Recognize Wholesome States of Mind
When you are in a positive frame of mind, it
is important to recognize it. Recognition tends
to strengthen wholesome states of mind. 

Let the Desire to Meditate Arise Naturally
If you lose the desire to meditate or feel you do
not know how to meditate, don't panic. Don't try
to make yourself meditate. Just remind yourself
to relax. The desire to meditate will come back
after a while. Trying hard will just
 make things worse. 

Become Sensitive to Your Own Needs
Once you know how to relax, you become sen-
sitive to your own needs. You will then know when
 when you are using energy unnecessarily, and
also learn to conserve your energy.
Your Mind Doesn’t Belong to You But …
You cannot leave the mind alone. It needs to be
watched consistently. If you do not look after your
garden it will overgrow with weeds. If you do not
watch your mind, defilements will grow and
multiply. The mind does not belong to you
but you are responsible for it.
Excitement Weakens Mindfulness
Excitement weakens mindfulness.

Be Aware of Peacefulness
Be aware of peacefulness. Be aware of the aware-
ness of peacefulness. Doing so allows you to check
whether or not you are indulging in it, getting
attached to it, or are still aware.

Be Aware With Understanding
No matter what posture you are in, if 
your mind is aware with understand-
ing, you are meditating.
First, Learn How to Relax
If you can't observe, don't force your-
self to do it. Learn how to relax, 
how to be comfortable first.

Be Aware in Any Posture
Learn to develop awareness in whatever posture 
you are in. Try lying down meditation every now
and then. Always remain aware of your experience
 and notice the difference in mental effort needed 
to maintain awareness in different postures.

Don’t Feel Bad About Sleepiness
It is perfectly natural to become sleepy. If you feel
bad about sleepiness it means you have an aversion
towards it and you will try to resist it. This is a wrong
 attitude. Simply recognize and accept sleepiness. As
 long as you observe sleepiness with the right
 attitude, you are meditating.

The Mind Will Know Its Limits
If you are aware of whatever you are do- 
ing, the mind will know its own limits.

Vipassana Always Steps Back
Vipassana always steps back to see things
more clearly. Stepping back and watching
allows understanding to arise.
Never a Boring Moment
If you understand the practice and its bene-
fits you will never have a boring moment.

Watch, Be Aware, Pay Attention
Don’t try to focus, concentrate or penetrate.
Instead, observe, watch, be aware, pay attention.

Every Moment is Always New
If you think you are watching the same thing 
over and over again, you will become bored. In
 fact, nothing is ever the same, every moment is
always new.  Once you can really see this, 
your mind will always be interested 
in whatever it observes.

When You Know You’ve Lost Awareness, Be Happy
Every time you recognize that you have lost awareness
you should be happy. The fact that you have recognized
that you lost awareness means that you are now aware.
Just keep looking at this process of losing and
regaining awareness and learn from it.
If We Can’t Accept, We Can’t Learn
If we can't accept, we can't learn. So
we don't try to change experience.  
We just try to be aware.
 Don't feel disturbed by the thinking mind. 

Recognize and Acknowledge Thinking
You are not practicing to prevent thinking,
but rather to recognize and acknowledge
thinking whenever it arises.

Wisdom Decides What to Deal With
The function of awareness is to recognize every-
thing that is happening in the mind. Wisdom
decides which issues need to be dealt with.
Follow Your Natural Curiosity
Trying to get the mind more interested in what
is happening is 'wise effort.' Follow your natural
curiosity. If a sense of curiosity does not come na-
turally, ask yourself questions. This will help
 the mind stay interested and alert.

Being Aware is Only a Part of Meditation
Being aware is only one part of meditation. You 
also need to have the right information to work
with awareness intelligently. This information
will work at the back of your mind
when you meditate.

Read, Discuss and Reflect on Meditation
Reading about meditation, discussing medi-
tation, and reflecting on how to practice are
all mind work, are all part of meditation.
Watch Eagerness If It Arises
If you become aware that you are
eating quickly, stop eating and watch 
the eagerness or the accompanying feel-
ings for a  while. You need to be reason-
ably calm to find out what the
process of eating is like.

Just Be Natural and Simple
Mindfulness meditation is a learning process
during which you get to know the mind and body
relationship. Just be natural and simple; there is
no need to slow down unnaturally. You simply
want to see things as they are.

Knowing Needs Little Energy
Right now, are you aware of your posture? Are you
aware of you hands? Can you feel your feet? Notice
how little energy or effort you need to know any of
this! This is all the energy you need to remain aware,
but remember, you need to do this all day long.

The Source of the Problem
A meditation student said her meditations were deeply
unpleasant because she had to face a torrent of random
thoughts, distracting fantasies and harsh self-judgments.
"Do you want it to stop?" Sayadaw asked her.  "Yes!"
she said. "That's the problem," he said.
Don’t Practice Too Seriously
Do not practice too seriously, but
peacefully and respectfully.
Try to Recognize Dissatisfaction
Try to recognize dissatisfaction, to fully accept it, and
to watch it very alertly. During this process of observa-
tion and exploration of dissatisfaction, its causes could
 become clear. Understanding the causes will dissolve
the dissatisfaction and will help you recognize
them if they come up again.

Every Experience is A Learning Opportunity
Every experience, whether good or bad, gives you
a learning opportunity to notice whether the mind
accepts things the way they are, or whether it
likes, dislikes, reacts, or judges. 

When Things Are Good—Or Not
When things are good, learn how to de-
tach from them. When things are not
 good, learn how to accept them. 

Be Aware of the Smallest Activity
See all the different activities you can be aware
of in your daily activities, from washing your face,
to brushing your teeth, to combing your hair, to
changing your clothes. Try to be aware of all 
these things down to the smallest activity. 

Be Aware Intelligently
Being aware intelligently will help you to deep-
en your practice, to come to new understandings.
 Ultimately, it will help you to fulfill the objective
of mindfulness meditation: gaining insight
into the true nature of reality. 

Experiencing Freedom
Every time you understand something, you
will experience a sense of freedom. 

How and Why to Observe Pain
You are not observing pain to lessen it or make it 
go away. You are observing it in order to understand
your perception of physical sensations and—most
especially—your mental reactions to
those perceptions.

Pain is Not the Problem
Pain is not the problem. Your negative 
mental reaction to it is the problem.
Relaxed Mind, Less Pain
There is a direct link between your state
of mind and pain. The more relaxed and 
calm the observing mind, the less intense
you will perceive the pain to be.

Understanding True Equanimity
Understanding the difference between true equanimity
towards pain, and being able to bear with pain through
forceful effort, is really important. True equanimity is
the result of understanding the nature of liking and
disliking through observation and investigation.
Emotions are Not Your Emotions
When you investigate emotions, it is impor-
tant that you remind yourself that they are
natural phenomena. They are not "your"
emotions. Everybody experiences them.

When Emotions Are Overwhelming
If you find looking at emotions too overwhelming, you
 can turn your attention to a neutral object or a pleasant 
object such as the breath, a refreshing breeze, or a tree.
Doing this will skillfully distract the mind and stop it
from thinking, or reduce thinking. "You" will no
longer be involved in the "story," and there-
fore the emotion will subside.

Questions Will Come Naturally
Curiosity is an expression of wisdom. Questions 
will come naturally to the mind and give it a sense
of direction in which it will continue to observe. 
Just use the questions that come naturally.

When the Mind Becomes Quiet
hen the mind becomes quiet it does not 
mean there is nothing to do. The mind has 
just become ready to investigate!

Wisdom Does the Job
Always remember that it is not you who re-
moves greed, hatred and delusion; wisdom
 does the job. When you are continuously 
aware, wisdom unfolds naturally.
 Reside in the Ebb and Flow of Nature
The awareness we are seeking is unprompted.
We are not digging for it. We are simply residing
in the ebb and flow of nature itself. See
if you can notice this.

Focusing With Exertion is a Defilement
Many meditators think that being aware means focusing
on an object with a great deal of energy. In fact, exertion
like this causes tension because it's the result of greed,
hatred or delusion—or a combination of these three.

Balance Relaxation with Interest
As you maintain continuous awareness of what-
ever is happening, strike a balance between
being relaxed and being interested.

It’s Easier to Be Aware When Relaxed
When you are relaxed, it is easier to be aware
and it becomes an enjoyable, pleasant
and interesting experience.

Wanting Will Tire You Out
If you are looking for a result or want something
to happen, you will only tire yourself out. It's impor-
tant in this practice to conserve energy so you can
practice continuously. So stay relaxed.
The Meditating Mind is Naturally Calm
The meditating mind is naturally relaxed, calm,
and peaceful. So when you stay with the meditating
mind you naturally learn to not focus, control,
create, constrict or restrict.

Check Often: Are You Tense or Relaxed?
Check yourself often: Are you tense or re-
laxed? Check the mind and the body.
Tension is from Desire, Aversion, Delusion
Any tension in the mind or body is an indication
of greed, aversion or delusion in the mind. It means
you are likely wanting something, disliking some-
thing and wanting it to go away, or you are
feeling confused about something.

Tension in the Mind Will be Felt in the Body
There is never tension only in the mind. If there
is tension in the mind as the result of greed, aversion
or delusion, then it will be correlated with physical tensions
somewhere in the body. If you consciously relax those
physical tensions, that's a kind of meditation. 

Relax and Be Aware
The first instruction I give yogis new to
this practice is to relax and be aware. 

Once You Know, Suffering is Less
We want to know ourselves: "Who am I?" We are
nature, a physical and mental process that is happen-
ing at this point in time. We need to be like a scientist,
researching ourselves: "Why am I so angry? Why am
I so anxious and worried all the time?" Once you
know, suffering becomes less and less.


Something More Important Than Awareness (1 of 31)
There is something in practice that is even more
important than awareness. This is right view. Right
view is the understanding that the mind is nature. It
is not "I." It is not "self." It is not personal—it's not
me, not mine. No "one" is there. This is right view. 
We practice to discover this nature.

The Meditator’s Threefold Task (2 of 31)
Our job as a meditator is really only threefold.
First, have right view. Second, be aware with right
view. Third, continue to be aware with right view.
 There's not a lot to do, just these three.

Initiate Awareness, Don’t Complain (3 of 31)
The attitude we must adopt when working with 
feelings is one of objectivity. We see that feelings, al-
though being experienced in the moment, are there 
because of past causes and conditions that are having
an impact on the present moment. We need to remind
ourselves that it is a process. It is natural and we need
 just to recognize it, and allow ourselves to observe it.
We need to appreciate that we are actually aware,
and to initiate awareness rather than to 
 complain about the experience. This
is practicing right view.

Right View Has No Preference (4 of 31)
Which is better, when it is quiet or when it is
noisy? When the mind judges or has a preference
for something to be better, then it will automatically
develop a reaction if the opposite happens. Right
view is to not have a preference.

“I Can’t Do This. I Will Die.” (5 of 31)
A foreign yogi arrived to practice at our center. It was
just before the rainy season. The heat was very intense
with the temperature at about 105 degrees.
 On the day he arrived, he went into the dhamma hall
in the middle of the afternoon to sit. The men's dhamma
hall is on the second floor so it was even hotter up there.
 At the moment he sat down to meditate, 
his mind said: "I can't do this. I'm going 
to melt into the floor. I will die."
 Before he had even stopped thinking this, he realized that
his mind was cool. It was only his body that was hot.
 A separation had occurred in his mind. He knew that if
he kept hydrated, then there would be no problem.
 He saw the heat as an object,
just nature, not personal.
 An understanding into causes and conditions had 
arisen. Conditions were ripe for this insight to arise.
 This yogi had right view and right 
thought arise in his mind. 

“Why Is That Person Making Noise?” (6 of 31)
Say somebody opens the door and it's noisy
and you think: "Why is that person making noise?"
That's wrong view. If you think, "There's a sound,
I am conscious of it," that's right view. 

In the Beginning, Right View is Borrowed Wisdom (7 of 31)
In the beginning, when we don't really understand right
view, it is borrowed wisdom. This means we need to apply
the appropriate information* intellectually to help us in a
particular situation. After doing this repeatedly over a
long period of time the mind will remember the right
view more and more easily and eventually it will
understand. It becomes your wisdom.
* Such as we are getting in these messages.

Whatever the Experience Is, is Fine (8 of 31)
Anything can come, and anything can be 
the experience. Whatever it is, is fine.

Wisdom Steps Back from Experience (9 of 31)
Wisdom never gets involved in experience, it always
steps back from it. It is right view to detach from
experience to better understand it.

Know the Causes and Conditions Needed for Results (10 of 31)
Always ask yourself if you know the causes
and conditions that are necessary to achieve
the results you want. Then work on fulfilling
those causes and conditions. You need
to have this right view.

Be Interested in the State of Your Mind (11 of 31)
Sometimes I get lost in the story, and some-
times I can see that it is just a memory. 
Keep practicing right view and clearly recognize
  any wrong views. Your object of awareness must
 be the mind, not the story. Cultivate a keen  
interest in the state of your mind. 

Personalizing Experience is Wrong View (12 of 31)
If we view what we are experiencing as personal,
as "I," then that is wrong view. The mind needs
to relate to all experience in the same way. 

The Mind is Responsible For Its Emotions (13 of 31)
Any emotion that arises in the mind is not "my"
emotion. But also, any emotion that arises in the 
mind is 100 percent the responsibility of this mind. 
This mind created the conditions for this emotion
to arise with its views, its thoughts, its attitudes,
and its ideas. In the past it has gone through 
something that has resulted in this. That's 
how the mind is responsible. 

When Someone Calls Us a Fool (14 of 31)
Someone comes and calls us a fool and we get angry, so
we think that this person made us angry. But we don't
see the subtle thought processes that go on: the identifi-
cation with self, the pride that doesn't want to be called
a fool, and all of that. That's what makes the mind 
angry, not anyone calling you a fool. 

Take Responsibility for Your Emotions (15 of 31)
In most situations we attribute our emotions to
everyone else, to every other thing, and we don't
take responsibility for our own emotions, or this
mind's emotions. The lack in this mind is the lack
of understanding of its own processes. That is
the fault that lies within the mind. 

Wanting to Understand is Right View (16 of 31)
Because we want to learn about the nature of the 
mind and objects, we don't try to calm the mind 
down* or to try to remove objects. We don't inter-
fere or control but observe, because we want to
understand the mind and objects in their
natural state. This is right view. 

* If an emotion is overwhelming in a given moment,
Sayadaw recommends paying continuous attention 
to an object such as the breath until the mind settles,
at which point one can return to more open aware-
ness to watch whatever is arising, as per above.

Without Wanting, the Mind is Cool (17 of 31)
When the mind doesn't want anything or is not dissatis-
  fied with anything, it's cool and has right view. It sees
nature as nature. Awareness becomes continuous. 

Wisdom Arises With Right View (18 of 31)
It’s the nature of the mind to have good experiences
followed by bad experiences and vice versa while we
are meditating. With wrong views and ideas, greed
or anger comes in; with right view, wisdom arises. 

“My Body,” “My Mind” is Wrong View (19 of 31)
If you tell people who are completely unfamiliar
with meditation to watch themselves, how do you
think they will go about it? What kind of perspec-
tive will they meditate from? MY body,
 MY mind! This is wrong view.  

It’s Important to Notice Assumptions (20 of 31)
It is important to notice assumptions. Assumptions
are based on wrong views, and they will prevent 
you from seeing the true nature of things.

Don’t Get Entangled, Just Observe (21 of 31)
When we look at our minds, mostly we see a lot of 
negative stuff running around. If we think it is "my"
mind we start feeling depressed. On the other hand, if
if we think we have good qualities of mind, we start feel-
ing proud. We need to remind ourselves frequently that
 these unhealthy states of mind and processes are just
 nature. In this way we can learn how to observe 
  them instead of getting entangled in them.

Every Experience is Something We Can Use (22 of 31)
As a meditator, no experience in the world needs to 
disturb you. Instead, because every experience, whether
pleasant or unpleasant, is something we can continuously
be aware of, we can therefore use it to develop more 
confidence, energy, mindfulness, stability
of mind and wisdom.

See and Learn About Pain (23 of 31)
How can we be with pain? We need to assume the right 
attitude. Which is better: pain or no pain? When we think
 no pain is better, then every time we have pain, we won't
like it. We will become upset and the defilements will take
over. Why will the defilements take over? Because we have 
wrong view. Acknowledge pain as a natural phenomenon
or just nature. If you can see and learn about thoughts,
feelings, and body sensations and how they are related,
then you will be ready for pain when it  
comes—and it will.

Pain is Nature, Neither Good or Bad (24 of 31)
When we come across discomfort in the body or the
mind, we need to see clearly this negative reaction in
the mind and to adjust it by bringing in right view.
We do this by reminding ourselves that pain is not
inherently a negative experience. Pain is
nature. It is neither good nor bad.

The Goal of Meditation is to Know (25 of 31)
The whole objective of meditation is not just to quiet
the mind. The objective of meditation is to know. To
know whatever is happening as it is. If the mind is
quiet, then it's quiet. If it's not quiet, it's not
quiet. Just know that.
See the Mind Objectively (26 of 31)
With practice, we begin to recognize that we can
objectively know "this is mind." We realize "this
is mind, mind is thinking." Once we learn how
to see the mind objectively in this way, then we
 don't get lost in thought. It won't happen.

Be Aware of Thinking While Thinking (27 of 31)
There is a difference between being lost in thought,
which is wandering mind, and being aware of think-
ing while thinking. When awareness expands it begins
to know many things clearly and it is all happening
really fast. The process of mind and matter is really,
really fast. We don't usually see at this speed but
when awareness becomes strong it clearly sees
many things happening very quickly.

When Seeing, Know You Are Seeing (28 of 31)
When you are seeing, know that you are seeing. We
are so used to thinking that meditation has something
to do with having our eyes closed, that we are not used
to the idea that we can be aware of seeing. It may be a
new idea that with our eyes open we can be aware.
It is very important to practice in this way.

Seeing and Thinking Have Similar Natures (29 of 31)
Seeing and thinking have similar natures. Just as we
can very easily get lost in our thoughts, so we can get
lost in what we are seeing. The habitual tendency of the
mind is to think of what is being seen—I see a Buddha
 picture, I see the floor. But this is not the proper object.
The seeing, that's a different thing, and that's what 
 you want to know. Just acknowledge 
 that you are seeing.

Watch Experience Just As It Is (30 of 31)
What are we doing as we go through our daily
life—sitting, standing, walking or whatever?
We are trying to know. Meditation must pro-
ceed naturally by watching any experience
just as it is. This is the way to 
develop right view. 

Stopping Meditation is Wrong Meditation  
Sometimes we sit and stop meditating. To
stop meditation is wrong meditation. Wrong
attitude and wrong meditation is "stopping."
Right meditation is "starting." 

Learn How to Relax
Learn how to relax, how to be comfortable.
Once you know how to relax, you become
sensitive to your own needs. 
See Things as They Are
I struggle with the mind wanting to be somewhere.
It wants to have a place to see from. It wants to hold
on to something. When the object is obvious, like the
breath, it helps the mind know what to be with.  
Otherwise everything is changing all the time 
and it doesn't know where to be.
SUT [emphatically]:
Watch your aversion! The nature of things is that
they are just happening, and you don't like this. Your
 aversion is making you frustrated. Watch the frustration
 or the greed. Leave aside your preferences and your
 ideas, and look to see things just as they are. 
Don’t Personalize Aversion and Anxiety
My meditation is like this: "A sound is heard.
Next, anxiety arises. Then, it's always get-
ting stronger. Aversion arises." 
This is the time for you to learn how to be more
skillful at this. How do we learn to objectively look
at aversion and anxiety, and not personalize them?
How do we watch them and understand their nature?
These are your new lessons. You've arrived at a 
new level, and you have some new lessons.

If Aversion Arises, Stay With It
When aversion arises, usually something more
interesting then quickly comes up and the mind is
like, "Okay, this is good, because I don't need
 to look at the aversion anymore."  
You are trying to avoid watching aversion. [Emphatically]: 
If there's aversion, I don't care what other object comes in, or
how interesting it is, you must stay with aversion. Because for
you, you want to avoid it. But aversion is a very, very impor-
tant lesson. If you don't get this lesson you'll just keep
going in circles, no matter how long you practice. 

Watch the Intensity of Feelings
So if I'm watching aversion, it doesn't mat-
ter what other objects arise, I should stay with
the aversion, the feelings and thoughts?
Don't look at thoughts at this time. Just watch the
intensity of the feelings. The only caveat is if you are
doing this and you are getting very agitated, and much
more averse, then stop. You can't work with aversion for
now so leave it alone for a while. Ignore it and turn to a
neutral object that will calm the mind for a time. But
remember, you'll have to face it again. Say to your-
 self: [Sayadaw switches to a Schwarzenegger
voice]: "I'll be back." 

Train Yourself to Observe Objectively
What are some ways to investigate the
mental quality of aversion?
First, just train yourself to observe it objectively. It's
only when you feel equanimous about watching aversion,
that you can start investigating. You build up the strength
to do that, bit by bit.  This is learning how to practice. It's a
very natural reaction of the mind to be averse to unpleasant
objects. It doesn't want anything unpleasant. But we've  
got to let ourselves become familiar with it,
in order to understand it. 

When and Why Things Happen
Things don't happen because you want them
to happen but because conditions are right. 

If You Don’t Know, Just Wait
Whenever you get the feeling of not knowing
what to do, just wait. Don’t do anything. 

The Less You Focus the More You See
The less you focus,
the more you see. 

When Dharma Takes Over
We always need to remember the difference between
personal exertion and Dhamma taking over. As long
as we are striving, as long as we are trying, we believe
that "we" are the ones that produce the input that 
creates the result. But when Dhamma takes over,
there is no trying to get anywhere, there
is just a doing of what is necessary. 

The Mind Already Knows Things
Only when you step back are you able to see that the
process of awareness is actually happening naturally.
That's why I sometimes ask yogis: "Have you noticed
that you can hear even though you are not listening;
that seeing is happening even though you are not  
trying to look at anything; and that even though 
you are not paying attention, your mind
already knows things?" 

Switch from Doing to Recognizing
I would like yogis to get to the point where they realize
that without focusing or paying attention, the nature of
knowing is happening. They are too busy thinking they
are practicing. They need to step back in order to see
what is happening. They need to switch
from doing to recognizing. 

Watch the Feelings of Desire
If desire arises because of a particular object,
you should stop observing that object. It is not
a Dharma object; it is an object of desire. The
object you need to watch in such a situation is
desire itself. Watch the feeling that
comes with desire. 
Drop A Question Into the Mind
If you are struggling and the mind is feeling
dull, then a way to investigate is to drop a 
short simple question into the mind with-
out expectations of an answer, all the 
while maintaining awareness.

Wanting to Understand is Wisdom
Wanting to understand is wisdom,
wanting a result is greed.

Wisdom Inclines Towards the Good
Wisdom inclines towards the good, but is 
not attached to it. It shies away from what 
is not good, but has no aversion to it.

Don’t Try to Maintain Equanimity
Don't try to maintain equanimity;
only try to maintain awareness.

The Experience of Calmness is Not So Important
The experience of calmness is not so impor-
tant. It is more important to know and under-
stand why calmness does or does not arise.


Is There Identification or Not? (1 of 18)
In meditation, when investigating the mind, it is  
only important to recognize when there is identifi-
cation with an object and when there is not.

Two Different Perspectives of Wisdom (2 of 18)
Does desire, aversion or delusion that is beingwatched continue to be a defilement?
Two different perspectives of wisdom might be working.
There can be the wisdom which frees the watching mind
from identifying with the defilement. In this way, there
can be freedom in the watching. But the defilement does
not go away just by looking at it. Only if there is under-
standing of the defilement itself, if you fully under-
stand the defilement, will it go away.

What Is Happening Now in the Mind? (3 of 18)
In everything you experience, everything you come in 
contact with, remind yourself that this is just how things
are. This is the object, this is what is being known. You
are not going to identify the experience with something 
 or somebody. It's not somebody making a loud sound, 
or something that made you smile, it's just what is
 happening right now in the mind.

Identification Gets Very Complicated (4 of 18)
When you do any investigation, you must always
remember that the mind is doing its own work. If
 you identify with this process it becomes very com-
plicated. But if you just recognize that the mind is
 doing these things, that the mind is making
certain choices, it is easy to observe and
 investigate how the mind works.

Every Moment Is New (5 of 18)
Every moment is new; there is nothing that's old. Every-
thing you perceive right now, you perceive for the first
time. At this level of understanding, many things in life
cease to be a problem. Wisdom sees that there are just
 these minds coming and going. There is no more  
identification and interference; the "I" 
no longer participates.

When My Son Was Born (6 of 18)
       After two years of marriage, my wife gave birth to our son.
       When they first showed him to me, I came to realize how much
       my sense of self had diminished. When I first saw him, I didn't
       have any strong feelings or emotions toward him or his arrival
       into the world. I thought, "So another human being is born into
       the world." I had no strong sense of attachment to him. I didn't
       think, "Oh, this is my son, look at what I have produced." I had
       no sense of pride, just a feeling of great calm and equanimity.
       This attitude might sound harsh to some, but when our personal
       identity or sense of self is lessened in our own mind, then the
       attitude toward others is to see them as nature, with no imme-
       diate emotional attachment apart from empathy, compassion,
       and other wholesome states of mind if and when they arise. We
       begin to see all experience as just nature happening, no identity
       at all. When the mind mind is purified, we can understand. We
       understand that happening is impermanent; that happening is
       dukkha; and that happening is cause and effect—anatta,
       no body, no one there.

Recognize Identification When It Happens (7 of 18)
When you recognize there is identification 
don't try to do anything about it; simply
recognize that it is happening. 

Don’t Identify With What You Observe (8 of 18)
When you observe something, don't identify with it;
don't think of it as "I" or "mine." Accept it simply as
something to know, to observe, and to understand. 

Whose Aversion Is It? (9 of 18)
Sometimes there can be insights after dreams, 
other times I just continue to feel disturbed.
Whenever you feel disturbed, remember the
right attitude to observe this feeling. Whose
aversion is it? If you identify with it, you
will experience it as difficult. 

The Mind’s Identification Habit (10 of 18)
Our mind's natural habit is always to identify
things with words. That's how we know things
or concepts. So when the thought is about what
we are experiencing, that's when we are very
sure that "'I' have experienced this."  

Don't Cling to "I" Thoughts and Feelings (11 of 18)
As long as you keep identifying with your thoughts
and feelings—i.e., if you keep clinging to the view
"I am thinking" or "I am feeling"—you will not
become able to see things as they are. 

They Are Not “Your” Defilements (12 of 18)
Try to recognize that defilements are simply 
defilements; that they are not "your" defile-
ments. Every time you identify yourself with
them or reject them, you only increase
the strength of the defilements.   

Don’t Identify with Desire, Aversion, Delusion (13 of 18)
Get to know the defilements that arise in your
mind. Observe and try to understand them. Do
not attach to them, reject, or ignore them, and
do not identify with them. As you stop identify-
ing with the defilements their strength
will slowly diminish.  

They Are Not Your Defilements (14 of 18)
Try to recognize that defilements are simply 
defilements; that they are not "your" defile-
ments. Every time you identify yourself with
them or reject them, you only increase
the strength of the defilements.   

Thinking and Seeing Are Similar (15 of 18)
Thinking and seeing are very similar in na-
ture. When we think, we get involved in our
thoughts very easily. We identify with
them and with our thinking.   

We Identify With Thoughts for Two Reasons (16 of 18)
We easily identify with thoughts and thinking for
two reasons. Firstly, because of habit. It's our habit
to become interested in what we are thinking about,
the storyline and the concepts. Secondly, be-
cause of identification with the thinker.  

Practice Being Aware of Thinking (17 of 18)
To practice being aware of thinking, you have to
make yourself conscious that you are thinking. You
have to remind yourself, again and again, "Oh, think-
ing is happening, thinking is happening," until you
are able to view thinking objectively and
not identify with the thinker.

Awareness Is Not “Me” (18 of 18)
When the mind is relaxed and spacious, it becomes easier
to observe objects. It can then become clear that the ob-
jects are not "I." But we still maintain identification with
the knower because "I am aware," "I am meditating."
It is only when we begin to know awareness, that
we see that awareness is doing its own work,
and that it is not “me.”

Don’t Try to Observe Every Detail
When you are eating, experience the sensations,
the smells, the tastes, the mental states, what you
like and dislike. Also notice bodily movements.
Don't worry about observing every detail,
just remain aware of your experience.

The Objective of Mindfulness Meditation
Being aware intelligently will help you to deepen your
your practice, to come to new understandings. Ultimately,
it will help you to fulfill the objective of mindfulness medi-
tation: gaining insight into the true nature of reality.

Never Give Up
If wisdom stops, a party of defilements
will just come in and cover everything.
That's why I say, "Never give up.”

Imagine Going All the Way
Either there is momentum on the wisdom side, or there
will be momentum on the defilement side. If you were 
to let go of wisdom momentum for even a little bit, it
will take quite a lot to begin again. Beginning again
is not that easy. Imagine going all the way.

Just Watch What is Happening
Keep checking whether you are relaxed or not. If
there is tension, first relax, then check your attitude.
If there is resistance, feel the resistance and observe
it. Be simple and just watch what is happening.

When Wisdom Grows
When wisdom grows, it leads you by the nose.

Dealing With the Good and the Bad
When things are good, learn how to
detach from them. When things are
bad, learn how to accept them.


The Feeling “Painful” is In The Mind (1 of 14)
Pain is just a physical experience but the feeling,
"painful," is in the mind. For the same physical ex- 
perience there may be aversion in the mind towards
it, or the mind may be equanimous towards it. So,
we need to work with the mind to understand
how the mind is involved in the process.

Take Apart Pain to Learn About It (2 of 14)
How does the mind interpret pain? How does the mind
create the experience of "pain," "painfulness," and all
the attendant pains for itself? For a normal person, this
is all rolled up in one. But for a meditator it's different,
you take it apart to find out more about it.

When Pain Becomes Nature, It’s Not Painful (3 of 14)
When we truly understand what pain is, then when
there is the experience of pain, aversion doesn't come
with it. Pain is just another object to be known, it
doesn't matter. When pain becomes nature,
then it is no longer painful.

When There is Pain, Observe the Mind (4 of 14)
When there is pain, observe the mind. There's a
little discomfort in the mind and it's finding it hard
to live with this pain. Aversion exaggerates the situa-
tion, making the pain seem stiff, hard, or solid.
In reality, it may not be that painful.

Absent Aversion, Pain is Subtle Sensation (5 of 14)
In the absence of aversion, there are just subtle
sensations; pain will no longer seem solid. Even
the initial concept of "pain" may disappear.

Learn on the Go With Chronic Pain (6 of 14)
For those with chronic pain, you have to learn on
the go. What is the mind's feeling toward the pain?
What is the mind's attitude toward the pain? What
stance does it hold toward the pain? What do you
already understand about the pain?  

We Don’t Usually Learn from Pain (7 of 14)
When people are going through mental or phy-
sical pain, they usually don't take interest or
learn. They only want to escape the pain.

When It’s Not “My” Pain, It Doesn’t Hurt So Much (8 of 14)
When pain is not understood as "my pain,"
 but just as nature, it suddenly doesn't hurt
so much, or even at all.  

Never Force Yourself to Observe Pain (9 of 14)
Never force yourself to observe pain. This is
not a fight, this is a learning opportunity.  

It’s Not Important for Pain to Disappear (10 of 14)
It is not important for aches and pains—objects—
to disappear. You want to learn about the mind and
body processes that arise and pass away in the
presence of these aches and pains.  

Positive Thinking Is Not Real (11 of 14)
Positive thinking is not real. You might be feeling pain
and yet saying to yourself "It's okay, it's okay," but it's
not okay. You are trying to change the state of your mind
intentionally and that's not really seeing things as they
are. What I'm saying is, if it is painful, know that 
it is painful. Know how the mind is. 

Pain and No Pain Are Not Real (12 of 14)
If you have the right attitude then everything is no
problem and the object does not disturb you. Any
object is a dhamma object, dhamma nature. Even
pain can be an object; no pain is also an object.
Object is object. If you understand object as ob-
ject, the mind can't attach and can't resist.  

Knowing is Only a Knowing (13 of 14)
Here is an example, when I understood that something
was just an object. I was walking and it hurt. As I took
each step it hurt and stopped hurting, hurt and stopped
hurting, hurt and didn't hurt, hurt and didn't hurt. As
I was looking I suddenly realized hurt is known, when
it is not hurt it is known. Pain is known, no pain is
known, pain is known, no pain is known. And sudden-
ly I realized that that's the nature of an object, to be 
known. When it's known, that's the experience. When
the mind took that view, then suddenly that's all it was.
When it was painful the mind wasn't averse to it, when
when it was not painful the mind wasn't happy about
it, because all it was, was being known.

Hot and Cold Are Blades of Grass (14 of 14)
For one regarding cold and hot
As not more than blades of grass,
Doing what should be done,
Happiness will not be a stranger.  
—The Buddha

Simple Awareness Isn’t Tiring
Simple awareness isn't tiring at all. All it is, is not
forgetting in the present moment, to be aware. 


Meditation Should Be a Source of Joy (1 of 14)
Meditation should be a source of joy. We should find
it interesting and joyful. It should be an exploration,
 it should be fun. Meditation must be like this!

Feel the Joy of Understanding ( of 14)
When the mind feels joy in understanding,  
it will be motivated to look deeper.

Enjoying Mind States Isn’t Meditation ( of 14)
What's the best thing to do when the mind be-
comes really quiet? It tends to get attached
and somehow entangled with quietness.
When that happens you are not meditating anymore.
You are enjoying a mind state. Your attention needs
to be on the awareness and not on the object. You
need to check whether there is still awareness of
what's happening and—equally important—
whether there is right view.

Don’t Practice Too Seriously ( of 14)
If you are dissatisfied with your practice
or if you are practicing too seriously, you
will not experience joy and calm.

No Need to Believe Anything ( of 14)
If you are dissatisfied with your practice
or if you are practicing too seriously, you
will not experience joy and calm.

The Joyful Interest of Meditation
Do you experience happiness and joyful interest
when you are observing with awareness+wisdom?
If we are practicing Dhamma every time we are
 practicing, there is mental and bodily happiness. 

Understanding Brings Peace ( of 14)
Understanding what is happening will bring peace
to the mind. Once you understand the preciousness
of this process, you will feel joy and you will always
be interested in looking deeper and deeper. 

Use A Peaceful Mind to Investigate ( of 14)
When the mind is in a calm, steady state, it is in a
position to do dhamma investigation. It's ready to
practice with intelligence and ready to study and
learn about what is happening. If we don't realize
that this is the way to proceed at this point, the
greedy mind will just step in and enjoy this calm
state, which is exactly what many yogis do! 

Tranquility is a Side-Effect of Meditation ( of 14)
Why are we meditating? Do we meditate to calm
the mind down? Or do we practice to understand
things as they are? Tranquility is not an end goal
but a side-effect in mindfulness meditation. When
we understand dhamma nature very deeply, tran-
quility comes as an inherent part of this wisdom. 

The Joy of Dana ( of 14)
When I was practicing in the market, I noticed that people
didn't really pay attention to where they were going because
they were absorbed in their thoughts, or counting money as
 they walked. We had a lot of people walking around anxious
or lost in thoughts. The kept bumping into me so many times
that I got upset! (Laughs). I had to keep moving out of their
way. There was awareness present as I just gently moved 
for them. As I kept moving out of people's way, I found my-
self starting to enjoy giving over that space. When you start
to have awareness, you'll see these things. What about smi-
ling? What's easier on the eyes: a scowling face or a smiling
face? So dana is not just about money. Giving space is
dana too. Give what you can, if you can. 

The Joy is in the Practice Not the Results ( of 14)
Is it better to delight in a "good sitting" or to have
awareness? It is not about liking the results but about
enjoying the practice itself. You will continue to prac-
tice on your own when you are interested in and
happy to practice, and when you are invigo-
rated by the work you are doing. 

A Flower Gives a Moment of Joy ( of 14)
When we look at a flower, we will often describe
it as "beautiful," when in fact seeing it is just nature.
Why do we describe it as "beautiful"? Because it gives
us joy. The flower is not beautiful; it is just that a
flower can give us a moment of joy. 

Joy Comes from Recognizing Wisdom ( of 14)
It is only a quiet, dedicated, and meditative mind
that can penetrate and find true understanding into
the difficulties that we create in our lives, and from
this see through the confusion and chaos that can 
dominate our minds. With this understanding, the
wisdom that is inherent in all of us is slowly reveal-
ed. The joy that comes from recognizing this wis-
dom will create interest and understanding, which
in turn will motivate us to reveal more. 
The Best Taste is Dhamma ( of 14)
It is said that among all tastes, the best taste
is the taste of Dhamma. The taste of Dhamma
is not just a feeling of peace—it is the supreme
 taste of knowing and understanding. 


What is Our Relationship to Reality? (1 of 14)
First, we must ask ourselves: What is our relation-
ship to reality? What is our understanding of life?
From this, we will find that meditation is really the
only sensible approach to reality and the problems
that can arise from living. 

Attachment to Concept Causes Suffering (2 of 14)
When we finally see that conceptual reality and ultimate
reality work side by side, that they coexist and are in fact
one reality, the mind then begins to balance, preparing 
the ground for understanding to arise. It is only attach-
ment to the conceptual aspect of mind that causes us to
suffer. When we see this, we begin to understand
what meditation really is. 

Wisdom Pays Attention to Reality (3 of 14)
Reality is always paired with the concept that we
lay over it. It has to be understood that the reality
is present with the concept. Defilements pay atten-
tion to concepts; wisdom pays attention to reality.

Delusion Camouflages Reality (4 of 14)
Delusion does two things: first it camouflages
reality, and then it gives us an illusion to take
as reality. It hides what is real and then throws
up an illusion for us to see, and fools us
into believing that is the reality.

Dhamma Reveals the Real (5 of 14)
Delusion not only keeps reality from us but also
gives us a substitute for it. People can live a whole
lifetime in this way. You can feel very fortunate
that you have this opportunity to practice Dham-
ma, investigating what is real and what is not.

Delusion Obscures Reality Like a Fog (6 of 14)
The antidote to delusion is wisdom. In moments
of awareness, you may get a glimpse of what is real,
but if wisdom is undeveloped, delusion will settle in
like a ground fog, obscuring reality. This is why
continuity of awareness is so important.

Reality is Understood, Never Seen (7 of 14)
At a subtle level, reality can only be understood, it
cannot be seen. It will be understood and known to
be so, but it's not like you are looking at it as we ex-
pertinence all the other objects. It's an under-
standing of the reality of that experience.

Are You Aware or Just Thinking? (8 of 14)
Check whether the mind is more aware of the concept
of the experience or the reality of the experience. Know
the difference between the subject of a thought, and re-
cognizing that thinking is happening. If you weren't 
being aware you would just be thinking. But if you're
aware, there can be recognition that thinking is hap-
penning. This is thought, and that's reality.

Vipassana Insights Will Shock You (9 of 14)
When you have a vipassana insight you really get
shocked because you realize something that you
could never imagine possible—but it's reality.

We Can’t Really Know the Body (10 of 14)
Can you see the heat in your body? Can you see
the water element? Can you see the wind element?
Actually, all we can know is the elements, we can't
really know the body. We can only think of the body,
but we cannot experience "body." We experience
the feeling of the elements.

Reality Is Beyond Ideas and Views (11 of 14)
Holding on to a preconceived idea or view of what
insight should be like is dangerous, as it leads to pride
when you have an experience that seems to fit such an
idea. The nature of reality is beyond ideas and views.
Ideas and views are merely the work of delusion.

A Simple, Less Complicated Reality (12 of 14)
No matter how difficult life becomes, we must keep
practicing continuously. This is the only way. Even-
tally wisdom will outweigh the defilements, and you
will begin to gather momentum. The practice will
then become interesting; new avenues of awareness
will open to you. Then you will begin to see and be
part of a simpler and less complicated reality that
you are not separate from but is
actually nature itself.

Your Reality Is This Moment (13 of 14)
This moment is your reality. Your work is to be gently
aware of what is being perceived at all your sense doors
in this moment. That is all! The past has gone, and the
future is yet to come. Both are concepts and have the po-
tenurial for suffering; they are not real. Right now, in
this moment, anything may come and anything
may go—even death! No problem!

Every Experience is a Learning Opportunity (14 of 14)
Every experience, whether good or bad, gives
you a learning opportunity to notice whether
the mind accepts things the way they are, or
whether it likes, dislikes, reacts, or judges.

Why We Do This Work
This is why we do this work: to understand cause-and-
effect relationships and to realize the wisdom that will
help us interrupt and transcend these cycles of becom-
ing that can cause us so much grief and misery.

Nature Experiencing Nature
If we are practicing correctly, then life will always be
new and interesting because we are always seeing more.
We are observing nature happening in the deepest pos-
sible way. This is nature, experiencing nature.

Don’t Meditate By the Clock
Please don't set your sitting meditation by the clock. If
you have determined that you will sit for a set time period, you may begin to worry when you have to break your determination for some reason. The resulting anxiety will destabilize the mind and weaken samadhi. So, don't set any special time. It's enough to know what is happening in the moment. It's also okay to get up and walk if it is difficult to sit. Just remember to maintain awareness of what is happening in the mind and body.

Being Aware of Awareness
Being aware of awareness, we are being aware in a dif-
ferent way than being aware of objects; we use less energy. Before this can happen, we must go through a process of gaining understanding of what actually brings about awareness of awareness. Skillful practice is actual-
ly knowing that process and knowing it well.

Don’t Try Hard to Look for Awareness
Don't try hard to look for awareness. Relax and see that
it is already there. We find being aware of the mind diffi-
cult only because we lack practice. Experienced yogis
find that being aware of the mind is just as straight-
forward as being aware of the body.

Little by Little, Everything Comes In
In the beginning, awareness may be very simple, just
recognizing walking, for example, nothing specific. But
when you sustain that consciousness of being in motion,
after a while you will find that specific things start com-
ing into consciousness—a little sound here, a little feel-
ing there. You become more and more conscious of small
things. Everything starts to come in little by little. Allow
it to enter into your consciousness naturally. All you
need to do is stay with awareness.


Vipassana Invests Intelligence (1 of 31)

Vipassana is a meditation that invests intelligence and
wisdom to develop more wisdom. In vipassana we want
to know what is happening, why it is happening,
and what we should do about it.

What is Object and What is Mind (2 of 31)
What is object and what is mind? Do you know this
very clearly? You need to recognize this while you
are practicing. These are the types of things you
want to ask, investigate and study with
an open, inquiring mind.

Learning About Mind and Body Processes (3 of 31)
We can't say we are practicing insight meditation
(vipassana) when we are just focusing or paying
attention. Vipassana is the practice of learning
about mind and body processes (nama-rupa).

Watch Feelings for Understanding (4 of 31)
You need to acknowledge anxiety every time it comes
up. Watching these feelings will help you understand
something and this will allow your mind to let go. Re-
member that the purpose of vipassana meditation is
not to relieve you from what is happening but
to help you understand what is happening.

Curiosity Energizes Vipassana (5 of 31)
In vipassana, insight meditation, right
from the start you are not there to find
peace. You are curious.

Vipassana Insight is Beyond Concept (6 of 31)
Vipassana wisdom can't be comprehended through
intellectual thinking. The ordinary mind can't bring
about insight through intellectual thinking. Vipassana
insight is not something that can be conceptualized
through images. It is a wholly new understanding
and insight of principles or nature.

Three Kinds of Knowing (7 of 31)
We usually acquire wisdom or knowledge by learning through reading or hearing; by thinking and reasoning; and through direct experience. Reading or hearing gets us started; thinking and reasoning is the process of digesting this information. We need both to practice mindfulness effectively so that experiential wisdom can arise. All three are essential for vipassana.

Just Enough Samadhi (8 of 31)
Many yogis have wrong ideas about how to build sama-
dhi. They focus; they put in a lot of effort. What devel-
ops might be quietness, but it's heavy. There is no light-
ness to it. In vipassana practice all we need is enough
stability of mind to remain aware from moment to
moment. We need just the stability of mind to
know what is happening, that's all.

Vipassana Understands Things as They Are (9 of 31)
The idea in vipassana is to relate to and be aware of as
many objects as possible without trying to create any
particular result or experience. Because vipassana is
the process of understanding things as they are with
the goal of achieving wisdom, it needs an awareness
of whatever object or process happening in that mo-
ment. Awareness collects data and when the picture
is complete, wisdom arises. This openness allows us
to see cause and effect and processes from different
angles, giving wisdom a chance to grow.

Vipassana Monitors the Mind (10 of 31)
In vipassana, instead of paying attention to one object, we pay attention to the mind, specifically the observing, meditating mind. We check the mind to see if there is wisdom present or if there are defilements present in the mind. We are interested in whether the meditating mind is operating with craving, aversion, delusion, or any of their relatives because insights can't arise in the presence of these defilements.

The Vipassana Mind Knows Many Things (11 of 31)
Yogis often start off by concentrating on one object, and
when they start becoming aware of many things they
think the mind is being distracted. This is a problem
for samatha meditation, but for vipassana meditation
it means that the mind has become more receptive,
that there is more awareness.*

Vipassana is a Work of Intelligence (12 of 31)
Vipassana meditation is a work of intelligence. That's
why dhamma-vicaya* is very important. The goal of
vipassana is wisdom. If you want to gain wisdom,
you have to start with wisdom. You have to
invest wisdom to gain more wisdom.

Vipassana Steps Back to See Clearly (13 of 31)
Vipassana always steps back to see things
more clearly, whereas samatha* dives in
and gets absorbed in the object. Step-
ping back and watching allows
understanding to arise.

Vipassana Uses Any Object (14 of 31)
Vipassana always steps back to see things
more clearly, whereas samatha* dives in
and gets absorbed in the object. Step-
ping back and watching allows
understanding to arise.

Wisdom Arises With Non-Attachment (15 of 31)
The samatha* yogi deliberately chooses an object.
The vipassana yogi observes what is happening
and is therefore aware of many different ob-
jets. The samatha yogi gets attached to the
object. The vipassana yogi does not get
attached to any object. Wisdom can
only arise when there is

Allow the Mind to Know Many Things (16 of 31)
Yogis often feel uncomfortable when they notice that
the mind is aware of several objects, and they then
try to force it to be aware of their main object only.
You need to remind yourself that it is natural for a
mind that is stable and has some continuity of
awareness to become aware of several objects.
When you allow yourself to know many ob-
jets, you are moving towards vipassana. 

Samatha Samadhi and Vipassana Samadhi (17 of 31)
There is samadhi that comes from concentrating on and
paying attention to one object exclusively, and samadhi
borne from right view, right attitude, and right thought.
There are two corresponding practices for these two kinds of samadhi: samatha practice and vipassana practice. In knowing about the differences between these two kinds of meditation, you'll begin to recognize what
you are doing in your own practice.

A Journey of Learning and Understanding (18 of 31)
The purpose of samatha is to attain certain
mental states, whereas vipassana is a journey
of learning and understanding.

What is Vipassana Samadhi? (19 of 31)
I heard you talk about vipassana samadhi but
I still don't understand. What is vipassana 
samadhi and how can we develop it?
Samatha samadhi is gained by focusing on one object
again and again. In order to develop vipassana samadhi,
you need to have wisdom. This can be right information
and/or what you have understood through your own re-
flection and experience. Because of this wisdom, the mind
neither wants nor pushes away anything. Because of this
wisdom, the mind feels stable; there is no reaction in the
mind. This is vipassana samadhi and it is only from this
kind of samadhi that wisdom can arise.

Which Yogi Will Have Samadhi? (20 of 31)
Consider two yogis: One yogi is bothered by sounds while
the other yogi considers them as objects or natural pheno-
mena. Which yogi will have samadhi? The yogi with aver-
sion to sounds will become even more agitated whenever 
she hears sounds, with aversion increasing. On the other
hand, the yogi who neither likes nor dislikes these 
sounds will remain calm and peaceful.

Peace or Not, Vipassana Can Be Done (21 of 31)
Can vipassana be practiced only
once the mind is calm? 
Even when it's not calm, vipassana can be done. If
knowledge is not mature, yes, peace is a support to
vipassana practice. But I want to emphasize that re-
gardless of whether or not there is peace, vipassana
 can happen, vipassana practice can be done.

The Steadiness of the Knowing Mind (22 of 31)
In vipassana, you must remember that there are
always the knowing and known minds. The known
minds don't have to be calm, don't have to be peace-
ful. They can be angry, raging, all that can be going
on. All that needs to be steady is the knowing. That's
the only steadiness that you need, the steadi-
ness of the knowing mind.  

When You Don’t Focus You Relax (23 of 31)
When I went to Hong Kong, a lot of the yogis do tai chi
in the morning. I would do tai chi with them. I loved it!
Every moment there are so many things to be aware of
at the same time, you can't focus. You move the hands 
and the legs at the same time and you can know it all
at the same time. That's perfect for vipassana. Aware-
ness is already doing its work, you're aware, you  
can't focus too much, so you relax.

Don’t Be Greedy for Insight (24 of 31)
In vipassana, never think, "How can I observe in order
that an insight might arise?" It will never work. When 
the mind is simple and clear, with no greed, not trying 
to get anything, then understanding can arise.

The Shock of Vipassana (25 of 31)
When you have a vipassana insight you really
get shocked because you realize something that
you could never have imagined possible—but it's
a reality. Our general state is delusion, so we gen-
erally have that view. When, suddenly, the wind-
dow finally opens a little bit and shows us an-
other view, that always feels like something
opposite, and out of the blue.
Mind and Matter Coming Together is “Me” (26 of 31)
To practice vipassana effectively we have to remind
ourselves that these minds, these processes, are nature.
When you observe yourself, you want to remind your-
self that the "me" is actually a process of mind and
matter coming together. We want to understand
this process and that's why we are observing it.

Notice Identification With Thinking (27 of 31)
When you are aware of thinking, it seems difficult
to dissociate the sense of self from it.
There is no need to dissociate because it's about
knowing what is happening in the present moment,
as it is. You know there is thinking, and you know
the sense of "I." Because you recognize
both, you are on top of both.  

Let Wisdom Make the Choice (28 of 31)
Allow the mind to recognize whatever it is noticing.
Once awareness is established, the mind will naturally
be aware of many things. Then a choice can be made.
You can ask yourself, "What is more important to pay
attention to  now?" You will, however, need to check
the mind that is observing. Wisdom must
make the choice, not “you."

On Meditating With Depression (29 of 31)
For most people suffering from depression, first they
need to do a samatha practice in order to gain a measure
of samadhi. With this relatively stable mind they can then
practice vipassana, i.e. they can observe and investigate
the depression. When the emotions and feelings become
too strong to look at, i.e. when the mind becomes agitated,
they should again do a samatha practice until the mind is
calm enough to do more observing and investigating.
They might have to go back and forth like this quite 
often until the mind is strong enough to
just be with the depression.

Bit by Bit Wisdom Grows (30 of 31)
No matter what practice you start with, you will end
up doing vipassana. As long as the defilements are very
strong, never try to see or understand—that's mission
impossible. We can only remain aware of whatever is
going on and collect little bits of wisdom. As long as
the defilements are very strong in the mind, we can-
not develop very deep wisdom. But if we keep col-
lecting these little bits, wisdom will grow.

Just Do as Much as You Can (31 of 31)
Vipassana is a practice you need to keep doing for the
rest of your life. You cannot stop and rest. If, however,
you use a lot of energy, you will not be able to keep prac-
ticing all  the time. You need to keep in mind that this
is a long-term practice which needs to be done
steadily. Just do as much as you
can, but do it steadily.