Friday, July 22, 2011

Meditation Workshop at Wat Thai,DC. Sat.23 July


08.30 am. Registration
09.00 am. Morning Chanting and take Five Precepts
09.10 am. Dhamma Talks 'How to practice Lovingkindness' Metta Bhavana" By Ven.Dr.Handy Inthisan
09.30 am. Sitting meditation
09.50 am. Walking meditation
10.10 am. Sitting meditation
10.30 am. Walking meditation
10.40 am. Question & answers by Dr. Handy
10.55 am. Spreat lovingkindness
11.00 am. adjern

The meditation is free of charge but donation is accepted and tax deductable .

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meditation Workshop at Wat Mongkolratanaram, Tampa FL

Basic Meditation Instruction & Practice
by PhramahaThanat Atthacharee, PhD,
Transcribed and Edited by Du Wayne Engelhart

Good morning everybody. Today I would like to introduce the meditation technique according to the term in Buddhism. Meditation means the training of the mind. Why do we train the mind? The mind is very important. The mind is master. The Buddha said if we train the mind and get rid of the defilements from the mind, that means we can find peace of mind. Mind is very important. Mind is the chief. Mind is master. If we do or think or act with polluted mind, then suffering will follow us. Or if we act or think or speak with purified mind, so that happiness will follow us. This is the word of the Buddha. In Buddhism we focus on the mind and have to train the mind to become a pure mind. So the technique that I would like to share with you today is the meditation for ? strength, reduction and relaxation. The meditation you might know many, many techniques. But today I invite you explain and demonstrate to you the basic technique The technique today is just for the basic one. The one you want to practice. You can practice at home or anyplace. First of all, I would like to show you how to sit, because there are four postures altogether. One is the sitting meditation, the other is the standing, walking, and lying meditation.

I. Sitting. O.k., start with sitting meditation. Now sitting meditation. You can sit crossing your leg. Put the right one on the top the left one and put your right hand on the left one on top of your leg. Sit straight back and relax. Or you may put your hands on your knees. But you have to sit upright and straighten your spinal cord and relax. When you put your hands on your lap, try to relax your shoulders, relax your neck, relax your whole body. Every part of your body should be relaxed. You may sit on the cushion, or may sit on the chair or sofa, as you feel comfortable. But you are required to sit upright. When you sit comfortably, and then close your eyes and close your mouth up. Try to focus your mind on your breath. When you breath in, focus your mind at the nostril. You will feel the air passing in and out in the nostril, and fix your mind on that spot. This is the first step to focus the mind on the breathing. And then move your mind follow the air. You breath in, take a deep breath. The air will go to your abdomen. The abdomen will fall and rise when you breath in ?and out so that you can fix your mind on that spot. When your abdomen rising, and then notice that rising. When you breath out or exhale, your abdomen falling down, and then fix your mind on that spot. Just observe the falling and rising at your stomach or abdomen. So in this way you can ?develop one-pointedness. Because meditation try to put your mind on only one spot. And then relax your body. When you close your eyes, you visualize your entire body. See your sitting posture in your mind. And then relax from the feet to the head, up and down, up and down. Relax your feet, relax your ankles, relax your knees; relax your thighs and buttocks. The lower parts of your body should be relaxed in your sitting meditation. And then the middle parts of your body from the navel up to your chest. Relax your spinal cord. Sit upright, and your shoulders should be relaxed. So from your shoulders down to your navel, the middle parts of your body, should be relaxed. And then move your mind to your neck, your chin, your face, and your head. Try to relax the upper parts of your body. Set your mind at the top of your head and see or visualize your entire body in your mind. So by this way you can see yourself inside not outside. When you check all your body relaxation, and then back to the normal breathing. Just observe breath in and breath out. You breathe in and you know that you breath in, and when you breathe out, you know that you breathe out. Be mindful all the time. Don’t pay attention to any kind of sound that can distract your mind. Just focus your mind on the breathing ?for the breathing exercise. So you can sit as long as you can. Start about five minutes, and then you can increase to ten minutes, fifteen minutes, or thirty minutes, or one hour, as much as you can. But the important thing is try to relax and take it easy. Don’t stiffen up your body, just relax your mind. So you will find the peace of mind ?this way. Don’t fear and worry in any case, just know it and let it go and relax. So by this way you can sit and get real happiness from the meditation technique.

II. Standing and Walking Exercises. After sitting meditation, practice should be continued by standing and walking meditation. Standing meditation. So you stand and close your eyes. You may put your hands in the front of your body, or you may put your hands in the back. But when you stand, close your eyes and try to visualize your standing posture. Put your mind on the top of your head and see your standing posture by the inner eye or by the mind. And take a note in your mind ? . . . with the word “Standing”. It means you put your mind on the top of your head and see your entire body from the top of your head to the ?tip, and say in your mind “Standing.” Now your mind on the feet. And now you see body upward from the ?tip up to your head and say again in your mind “Standing”. Now your mind on your head. And one more time from the top to the bottom “Standing.” Now your mind on your feet and ready to go. On the one step of walking meditation, only notice right or left. You put your mind on the right foot and step forward . . . , and ?put your mind on the left foot . . . You think and you move at the same time. Don’t move before or after you think. Should be in the same action in the present moment. “Right.” You thin of right and then you move your right foot. Step forward and put down. . . . Left up, forward out. Right forward, up, down. Left forward, up down. Right forward, up, down. Left forward, up down. When you reach the distance you put your feet together, and close your eyes. Visualize your standing, and start from the top of you head again three times standing. “Standing.” “Standing.” “Standing.” “Intending to turn.” Now we are going to turn right. So the position should be continued. Turn right, right foot first. “Turning.” Left foot, “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” Now you are in the same position, same direction. And then “Standing” again three times, from the top of the head to the tip toes. Three times, “Standing,” “Standing,” “Standing.” “Intending to walk.” Now we are going to start walking. Put your mind on the right foot. “Walking.” It means your right foot first. “Walking” [left foot]. “Walking” [right foot]. “Walking” [left foot]. “Walking” [right foot]. “Walking” [left foot]. “Walking” [right foot]. And then standing . . . “Standing”. “Standing”. “Standing.” “Intending to turn.” . . . “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” . . . “Standing.” “Standing.” “Standing.” “Intending to walk.” And then start. “Walking.” “Walking.” “Walking.” Do it in this way. It is walking meditation. But there are six steps all together. . . . The second step of walking meditation as I demonstrate it is the first step, right or left. Step two is lifting and touching. The technique: you have to standing three times and then focus on the right foot and then lifting and touching, left one, lifting and touching, lifting touching [right foot}, lifting touching [left foot], lifting touching [right foot], lifting touching [right foot]. And then when you reach the distance, put your feet together and standing three times as you did before. And turning, turn to your right. “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” Every step try to pay attention. Be careful, be mindful and alert. Every step. The next step is step three. Step three is lifting, moving, and touching. You have to know every step, when you lift your foot up, lifting, moving, touching. Lifting, moving, touching. Step by step, try to observe every step. Lifting, moving, touching. Lifting, moving, touching. Lifting, moving, touching. Put your feet together. Standing three times . . . And then intending to turn. “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” Standing three times. And then walking, step four. Step four, if your heel is up, you know your heel is up. Lifting, you know that you lift your foot, step forward and put down. Your heel up, lifting, moving, touching. Heel up, lifting, moving, touching. Heel up, lifting, moving, touching. Heel up, lifting, moving, touching. Heel up, lifting, moving, touching. Stopping, and standing three times. And then, intending to turn. “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” O.K., step five, put your mind on your right Heel up. Lifting, moving, lowering, and touching foot. Heel up. Lifting, moving, lowering, and touching. Heel up. Lifting, moving, lowering, and touching. Heel up. Lifting, moving, lowering, and touching. Heel up. Lifting, moving, lowering, and touching. . . . Feet together, and standing three times. And turning. “Intending to turn.” “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” Close your eyes and standing three times. After that, “Intending to Walk.” Step six. Step six is very detailed. So try to focus your mind and observe every movement of your foot. Heel up, lifting, moving, lowering, touching, and pressing. The sixth step is pressing. You should know completely your foot on the floor. And after that shift to the left side. Heel up, lifting, moving, lowering, touching, and pressing. And shift to the other side. Heel up, lifting, moving, lowering, touching, and pressing. Heel up, lifting, moving, lowering, touching, and pressing. Heel up, lifting, moving, lowering, touching, and pressing. Heel up, lifting, moving, lowering, touching, and pressing. . . . Put your feet together and standing three times. Intending to turn. “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” “Turning.” And then you walk up and down, up and down. If you like, choose any step. If you like, o.k.? One suitable for you. You can use step three because step three is suitable and the natural way to walk. Lifting, moving, touching is easy to remember, but if you need to control your mind and put your mind in details. . . Step six, you develop your mind, develop your practice, and from the step one to step six . . . So you can divide the time from sitting thirty minutes and standing and walking together thirty minutes, and then go back to your sitting. ?You sit for thirty minutes

III. Lying. Continue from standing and walking meditation. So next . . . . . . The next meditation technique should be lying meditation. When we go to bed we have the technique to practice . . . When you turn from walking, turning, turning, turning, and walk mindfully, slowly, to your bed . . . Walk slowly, mindfully, because you have to continue mindfulness. . . O.K., attention that you . . . take a rest. . . . But before you go to sleep, you have time to . . . O.K., lowering down, right knee, left knee, and sit, slowly, mindfully. You have to pay attention to every step. So you can lie down on your right side, lowering mindfully, and take your right hand like this and put your left hand support your body. By this way you can observe the entire . . . your body. And then when you feel tired, you can slowly, mindfully, put your head to the pillow. And then turn your body up. And it is very important to put your left hand at your stomach and put your right hand on your stomach. Take a deep in breath until you can feel your abdomen rising and observe that. And breathe out, exhale, and then your stomach falling down. And then observe that spot. Like your sitting meditation but this is lying meditation. So close your eyes and observe just the rising and falling. See your hand up and down, up and down as you are breathing in and out until you fall asleep. So if you hold your attention, you will not fall asleep because you pay attention too much. So lying mediation no need to focus like that sitting meditation but just relax your mind and your body and observe your abdomen until you fall asleep. . . . You can sleep easily, peacefully, . . . and get real happiness. So when you wake up, don’t get up urgently. Just open your eyes when you feel you want to get up but o.k., you just open your eyes and observe your entire body first. And then turn to your right side . . . Put your right hand .. your head, and put your left hand like this, and then slowly, mindfully, get up by put your hands support your body. And sitting . . . Know yourself every step. And then put your body forward, put your hands in the front, lift your knees, and . . . stand. . . . So every step should be mindful. And go to walking meditation and sitting meditation . . . It is the technique that we have to . . ., a combination divided into four parts . . . sitting, standing, walking, and lying meditation. I hope that you can develop . . . my training and get the peace of mind by this technique that the Buddha has taught us 2,500 years ago. This technique can help, anyway, anytime, anybody, without regard to American, Thai, or Laos, or anybody, because everybody needs the peace of mind and the real happiness. So meditation can help, especially we live in the society that the people ?broke apart and stressed too much. So meditation can reduce the stress and enhance relaxation. Thank you very much.

Wat Thai Washington,D.C.
August 28, 2010

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Perspective of Happiness by Dr. Handy

Happiness Archive: The Buddhist Perspective on Happiness from Melissa Grance on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mental Detoxification & Relaxation at Wat Mongkolratanaram,Ft.Walton Beach, FL

Clip VDO click here


ดูคลิปวีดีโอ ที่นี่

โครงการธรรมสัญจร โดยสมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยในสหรัฐอเมริกา
(Meditation for Stress reduction & Relaxation)
๒๐ มีนาคม ๒๕๕๓
ณ วัดมงคลรัตนาราม เมืองฟอร์ท วัลตัน บิช รัฐฟลอริดา

นับเป็นความสำเร็จอีกครั้งในการจัดปฏิบัติธรรมแก่ชาวต่างชาติที่วัดมงคลรัตนาราม เมืองฟอร์ท วัลตัน บีช ซึ่งเป็นโครงการธรรมสัญจรของสมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ จัดปฏิบัติธรรมภาคภาษาอังกฤษแก่ชาวอเมริกัน และชาวต่างชาติที่มีความสนใจในการปฏิบัติสมาธิในทางพระพุทธศาสนา มีทั้งผู้ใหญ่และเยาวชนหนุ่มสาว เข้าร่วมกว่า ๕๐ คน งานนี้นำโดย เลขาธิการสมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ ดร.พระมหาถนัด อตฺถจารี วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน,ดี.ซี. หัวหน้าโครงการฯ รับผิดชอบร่วมกับคณะพระธรรมทูตวัดมงคลรัตนาราม ซึ่งมีท่านเจ้าอาวาส พระมหาณันท์มนัส กิตฺติปาโล ได้อำนวยความสะดวกด้านสถานที่และอาหาร สำหรับผู้เข้าปฏิบัติโดยไม่คิดค่าใช้จ่ายใด ๆ เป็นการบริการสังคมอเมริกันแบบให้ฟรี ซึ่งทำให้ชาวอเมริกันมีความประทับใจมาก
นอกจากการเจริญสมาธิภาวนาแล้วยังมีกิจกรรมที่น่าสนใจอีกคือท่านเลขาธิการ ได้มอบหมายให้ พระมหาเอนก อเนกาสี พระธรรมทูตวัดวชิรธรรมปทีป ลองไอแลนด์ นิวยอร์ค เป็นพระวิทยากรสาธิตการหายใจแบบโยคะ และฝึกท่าโยคะเพื่อการผ่อนคลายด้วย พระสงฆ์ทุกรูปให้ความร่วมมือจัดสถานที่และประชาสัมพันธ์เชิญชวนชาวอเมริกัน แอฟริกัน สแปนิช รวมทั้งเยาวชนไทยด้วยเข้ามาร่วมปฏิบัติธรรมในโครงการธรรมสัญจรนี้

รายการเริ่มตั้งแต่เวลา ๘.๓๐ น.มีนักศึกษาชาวอเมริกันหลายคนได้ทยอยกันเข้าลงทะเบียนที่โต๊ะประชาสัมพันธ์ และลงทะเบียนรับเอกสาร เมื่อทุกคนพร้อมแล้วพิธีกรได้นิมนต์เจ้าอาวาส พระมหาณันท์มนัส กิตฺติปาโล จุดธูปเทียนบูชาพระรัตนตรัย พิธีกรนำไหว้พระรับศีล พระมหาเอนก อเนกาสี กล่าวต้อนรับในนามวัดมงคลรัตนาราม และสมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ พร้อมทั้งแนะนำพระวิปัสสนาจารย์ พระวิทยากร จากนั้นฟังธรรมบรรยายนำเข้าสู่การฝึกนั่งสมาธิเพื่อการผ่อนคลาย โดย ดร.พระมหาถนัด อตฺถจารี (Mental Detoxification & Relaxation) โดยเริ่มบรรยายภาคภาษาอังกฤษ Introduction to Buddhism and Basic Meditation & Practice ใช้เวลาประมาณ ๔๕ นาที แล้วนำปฏิบัติเจริญสมาธิแบบการผ่อนคลาย เป็นเวลา ๒๐ นาที จากนั้นพักฉันเพลถ่ายรูปหมู่เป็นที่ระลึก
เวลา ๑๑.๐๐ น. พักฉันภัตตาหารเพลมีญาติโยมนำอาหารมาถวายเป็นจำนวนมาก ให้ผู้เข้าปฏิบัติได้รับประทานอาหารด้วยการเจริญสติต่อเนื่อง ชาวอเมริกันประทับใจในรสชาติของอาหารไทย และการบริการของคนไทยในความศรัทธาต่อพระพุทธศาสนา
เวลา ๑๒.๓๐ น. ดร.พระมหาถนัด อตฺถจารี ได้สอนการเดินจงกรม ๓ ระยะ แล้วนำเดินจงกรมเป็นเวลา ๓๐ นาที แล้วนั่งสมาธิ ๒ รอบ เดินจงกรม ๒ รอบ แล้วได้นำคณะผู้ปฏิบัติเดินออกจากห้องกรรมฐานไปด้านนอกของอาคาร ด้วยบรรยากาศที่ร่มรื่น อากาศเย็นสบาย ได้เดินจงกรมตามทางเดิน และฝึกโยคะเพื่อการเสริมสุขภาพกาย ผ่อนคลายสุขภาพจิต โดยวิถีธรรมชาติใช้สถานที่บนเวที ทำให้ได้บรรยากาศแห่งการผ่อนคลายจริง ๆ โดยท่านพระมหาอเนก ฝึกกายบริหารท่าโยคะต่าง ๆ จากนั้นพักดื่นน้ำปานะ แล้วท่านเลขาธิการ สมัชชาฯ ได้นั่งใต้ร่มไม้ด้วยบรรยากาศธรรมชาติเพื่อถาม-ตอบปัญหาไขข้อข้องใจ มีชาวอเมริกันได้ถามปัญหาเรื่องการปฏิบัติธรรม การนั่งสมาธิ และเรื่องอาหารมังสวิรัติ ได้รับคำตอบจนเป็นที่พอใจ ให้ความกระจ่างและได้ฝากข้อคิดในการปฏิบัติต่อไปเป็นปกติในชีวิตประจำวันจนถึงเวลา ๑๖.๐๐ น. ทำพิธีปิดการอบรม
โครงการธรรมสัญจรนี้ จะจัดหมุนเวียนกันไประหว่าง วัดไทยกรุงวอชิงตัน ดี.ซี. เป็นศูนย์กลาง เปลี่ยนกันเดือนละครั้งระหว่างวัดป่าสันติธรรม รัฐเวอร์จีเนีย วัดวชิรธรรมปทีป ลองไอแลนด์ นิว ยอร์ก วัดมงคลเทพมุนี(สด จนฺทสโร) รัฐเพนซิลวาเนีย วัดมงคลรัตนาราม เมืองแทมป้า รัฐฟลอริดา และวัดพุทธรังษี ไมอามี เป็นต้น ถ้าวัดใดมีความพร้อมที่จะจัดปฏิบัติธรรมนานาชาติในรูปแบบนี้ กรุณาแจ้งที่เลขาธิการสมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ จะได้กำหนดจัดงานเพื่อการเผยแผ่พระพุทธศาสนาแก่ชาวต่างชาติต่อไป
ภาพกิจกรรมปฏิบัติธรรม ที่นี่

An Introduction to
Basic Meditation Instruction & Practice *

By Ven.Dr. Thanat Inthisan Wat Thai Washington,D.C.

Today I would like to introduce a meditation technique for reducing stress and enhancing relaxation. The term “meditation” is used in Buddhism for “mind training” rather than the Western sense of “reflection.” It does not require developing an extremely deep stillness, just relaxation and peace. It does, however, involve studying everything that occurs internally during the meditation practice. Together, the book and the audiocassette explain the technique and provide the tools for putting it into practice.

Modern life is filled with stress. More and more individuals, suffering under social pressures, are turning to meditation as an effective remedy with the ability to relieve stress while also elevating both external functioning and internal peace.

This technique does not require any special religious beliefs or practices. It is founded on scientific principle that work for all, and has been successful tested by a cross-section of international meditators from various cultural and religious backgrounds. It can work for you.

The six steps for stress reduction and relaxation

1. The Sitting Position

Some people prefer to sit on a hard, straight chair, but most sit on cushions on the floor. You can stack up two or three cushions, if that is more comfortable. Sit on the front one-third of the top cushion, so that it helps to keep you from falling backwards.

Make yourself comfortable in any position you like. Usually we use the Lotus Position. Cross your legs – your right leg over the left. Sit upright. That is more important than anything else. Keep your spine straight and vertical. Relax. You may cross your hands and place them in your lap, or hold your knees – whichever is more comfortable. Relax your entire body, just keeping the spine straight. Check your sitting position to make it most comfortable. Lean sideways – to the right and left, then front and back. Finally, return to the center, perfectly upright and balanced.

All of this should be relaxed. Don’t be stiff. Relax, but sit upright. Keep your back straight. Hold your head up, with your chin so that your eyesight is parallel with the floor. Relax. Then, close your eyes and your mouth softly. Check again that you are comfortable and can sit in this position for a long time. This is the sitting position.

2. Relaxing

Visualize that you are the boss. The mind is the maker – the mind is the doer. Set your mind to checking your muscles from your feet up to your head – up and down, back and forth. Makes sure that all of your muscles are relaxed.

Start from your feet, then to your ankles, your legs, your knees, and your things. Then, check from the navel down – this is the lower part of the body. Every muscle should be relaxed.

Now, check from the navel up to the shoulders – this is the central part of the body. Check that the abdomen, chest and shoulders are relaxed. Check the shoulders again – relax further. Check your arms and your hands. Relax all your arm muscles. Relax your hands and your fingers.

Now check your neck and your head – this is the upper part of the body. Lower, raise, and twist your head to stretch the neck. Then, relax the neck muscles. Next, visualize starting from your scalp, your forehead, your eyebrows, your eyelids, your cheeks, your ears, your upper lip, lower lip, and, finally, your chin. Make all of this relaxed.

Check up and down, back and forth from foot to head a couple of times. Visualize checking the relaxation of your muscles. Let your mind work for you. You are what you think you are. Think big – think relaxing.

3. Mental Detoxification

Next, we come to mental detoxification – cleansing the mind and body. You shower to clean your body on the outside. Mental detoxification is the technique for internal cleansing. When your sensory organs come into contact with external stimuli, you use some of the energy coming in, but the left over forces turn into toxins. Toxins enter the body through all six of the sensory organs – the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the skin, and the mind. You must get rid of these toxins everyday to purify your mental and physical facilities and keep them functioning well.

Toxins are the cause of stress – the cause of sickness – the cause of laziness. When you eliminate all of the toxins, you will feel fresh and enthusiastic – ready for action. You will be alert in mind and body.

We get rid of toxins through mental detoxification. As you take a deep breath, visualize that good, clean oxygen comes inside. This is the chemical for cleansing your mind and body. Inhale and hold your breath briefly, to let the oxygen spread throughout every cell in all parts of your body. Then, exhale, while silently reciting to yourself “release.” Visualize that the oxygen cleans up all of the toxins that contaminate your body.

Inhale good oxygen. Hold your breath a little bit, and exhale, with a sense of release. This is the technique for mental detoxification. Relax. Recite for yourself “release” every time you exhale. Sense that you are releasing the toxins. Be your own boss. Use your mind to clean up the body. Also, cleanse any toxins that are clouding your mind. Every time you exhale, recite silently “release,” and feel your mind working for you to clean up your whole system.

When your mind becomes blurred, it is because of unwholesome thoughts – thoughts concerned with desire/greed, or anger/hatred, or confusion/delusion. While you are engaged in detoxification, try to eliminate greed, hatred, and delusion, as much as possible.

Visualization is what makes mental detoxification effective. Your mind must be very strong. Be mindful and use your mind power to clean inside your body and mind. You are what you think you are. Think big. Think success. Think accomplishment. Then, your mind will work for you. Relax. Clean up both your mind and your body. A sound mind and sound body must work together for good, coordinated, functioning.

When you are finished with mental detoxification, go back to checking again. Feel the relaxation of the muscles from your feet up to your head one more time. Repeat checking up and down. Now, you may adjust your sitting position – not too tight, not bending forward or backwards. Arrange yourself into a good, comfortable position in which you can remain for a long time. Now, get back to knowing you body. Visualize that your feet are relaxing – then, your ankles, your knees, your legs, your thighs, the lower part of the body, the central part of the body, and the upper part. All of these muscles are relaxing. Repeat your checking up and down.

The mind is the master – the mind is the doer = you are what you think you are. The mind can work for you. Be mindful, following and knowing the actions of the mind.

4. Knowing Your Breathing

Next, learn to know your breathing system. First, know it while breathing is normal – inhale and exhale normally, knowing your breathing. Next, dramatize
it in order to see your breathing clearly. Take a deep breath and hold it a little bit – follow the breath from your nose all the down to your abdomen. Then, exhale. Now, take a medium breath – just from the nose down to the chest. Then, exhale. Finally, take just a short breath. Force the breath quickly in and out just at the nose. Thus, we have learned to know three rhythms of breathing – deep, medium and shallow.

Breathing can also be coarse and rough, like snoring, or very fine and smooth. Try experimenting. Take deep, medium and short breaths. Then, make your breathing rough and coarse, or very fine and smooth.

Emotions are attached to breathing. When you are in a bad mood or get heated up and almost lose your temper, you take very short, rough breaths. When you take short breaths, you get less oxygen and feel tired. This heats up your temper. That kind of breathing makes you very emotional.

Knowing your breathing is useful for controlling your emotions. Work with breathing rhythms. They become the tools for controlling your emotions. You may have heard one person telling another “calm down, calm down – take a deep breath.” This is, in fact, the technique. To calm down, take deep breaths that are very fine. You will soon get back to normal. The more you keep cool and calm, the more peace and happiness you will attain. When you become hot-tempered and blow your top, you create more stress and feel even worse.

This completes the major components of knowing – knowing your sitting position, knowing your body and relaxing your muscles, mental detoxification, and knowing your breathing rhythms. We shall now discuss two related topics emphasized in Eastern philosophies – knowing the great elements and knowing impermanence.

5. Knowing the Great Elements

Continuing in more detail, according to Eastern philosophies, knowing yourself involves knowing the great elements. The four great elements are earth, water, fire, and wind – solids (organs, etc.), liquids (blood, etc.), warmth, and breath, these combine to form life, or yourself.

In India, philosophers add two more great elements – space and consciousness. Space is similar to cyberspace in information technology. It is the medium in which our body exists. There is also space inside our body. The wind is mixed with the blood and flesh and bones, but the space is between our organs. Consciousness comes with mindfulness. When we become mindful, consciousness is the result of our knowing.

To know yourself thoroughly, think of the four or six great elements. Know how they work together. Then, when we come to talk about suffering, impermanence and non-self, you will realize that all of this is interrelated. When you are in a good mood and are enthusiastic to do something, it means that you have good functioning between body and mind, and proper proportion among the elements.

6. Knowing Impermanence

From observing your breath and your thoughts, know that everything is impermanent – constantly changing. Nothing remains the same from moment to moment. Know, also, that you cannot control this change. You cannot hold your breath very long, or keep your mind from thinking. This is the meaning of saying that everything is non-self (not you or yours) – you cannot control it.

Because we see ourselves as enduring entities, and are usually trying to hold onto something or some state we have achieved, we usually experience this constant change as stress, discomfort, or suffering. This is the delusion we referred to earlier.

On the other hand, know that the pain you may be feeling in your legs is also impermanent. Just know it and wait for it to pass away. This provides a model for dealing with problems in daily life. Know that they are impermanent. Don’t worry, time will take its course. Just take a rest, relax, and forget about it for a little while. You might meditate to clear up your mind. Then, the problem will become easy to solve. It may come to you “Ah, that’s the way to tackle this problem.” This is another technique for preventing stress.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dhamma Talks and Pali Chanting Club in VA.

Why is chanting important to the Buddhists? The connection between chanting and meditation.

"In the first place, it is a way in which the teachings of the Buddha are brought to mind. The chants represent a significant number of Buddhist texts that can teach as well as inspire.

Secondly, chanting is important because it effects the purification of the mind in two ways. Chanting purifies insofar as the words are a guide for banishing evil from the mind and directing thoughts toward the true and the good.... Chanting was taught by the Buddha as a direct route to Enlightenment. In this regard, chanting can help develop the perfections of morality, resolution, truthfulness and generosity.

Thirdly, chanting serves to provide a kind of emotional relief from troubles of daily life and contemporary society. In the way in which it can calm and focus the mind it is somewhat akin to the more powerful sitting meditation. Furthermore group chanting not only provides emotional relief but also a sense of belonging and common purpose as the chanters together engage in the purification of their minds together.

Fourthly, chanting is important because it is a way of paying respect to the Triple Gem, the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha - the Enlightened One, the Path to Enlightenment, and the Community of Monks. For instance, it is out of respect and humility that we fold our hands and bow three times, first to the image of the Buddha, then to the Dhamma and, finally to the Sangha."

Friday, February 05, 2010

โครงการธรรมสัญจร สมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ ที่วัดมงคลรัตนาราม แทมป้า

โครงการธรรมสัญจร สมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ ที่วัดมงคลรัตนาราม แทมป้า

What is Buddhist Meditation ?
Many people misunderstand meditation as an escape from life or as mysticism. In reality, however, meditation is mental development and not an escape from life at all. In fact, one cannot escape from one's own life even if one tried to do so. Whatever one sows and accumulates in life, one reaps the result. Life is not a thing by itself but a compound of things. It depends upon conditions which form its existence. When certain conditions come into combination life is formed. As long as the conditions of life are not brought to an end, just so long does life exist and proceed. Therefore, there is no escape in any particular form.
As human creatures we need right understanding of the true nature of life. By right understanding OUI' attitudes toward life may be directed in a correct and positive way. Right thought or the right way of thinking is based on understanding things as they really are. In order to understand life as it truly is, we need to practice meditation. That is to say, it is necessary and essential for us to develop our minds for the purpose of purification and penetration into truth, as well as for the attainment of perfection in life. Life is not a mysterious thing, but it 1s sometimes difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it is not beyond the ability and intelligence of those who have eyes to see and minds to reason. All that is necessary is simply making the effort with firm and strong purpose to achieve the goal. No one obtains anything without putting forth some effort. Life is something to be known and understood, not to be ignored. Perfect happiness in life can he attained here and now on this earth.
What do Buddhists mean when they speak of meditation? The chief meaning of meditation is to contemplate reality. The word, "contemplate," means to observe, to understand things as they are, to penetrate into the true nature of things. Whatsoever one comes across or experiences in daily life one should notice, looking upon it to "see" what it is. One should attempt further to know how that thing comes into being and how it passes away. That is, the arising or cause of anything seen, heard or thought about should be clearly comprehended. Being vigilant and observing things according to their real nature, whether physical or mental phenomena, bring about this understanding. Everyone of us has the faculties of ear, nose, tongue, skin and mind. Our duty is to develop these six sense-faculties by way of contemplation and observation. We use the five physical faculties as instruments for contemplating the world outside, while the sixth one, the mind-faculty, is available for the world of ideas and thoughts. Reality is found within and not outside these faculties. Another meaning of meditation is to remove resentment.

Ven. Dr. Thanat Inthisan
Wat Thai, Washington D.C.

โครงการธรรมสัญจร สมัชชาสงฆ์ไทยฯ ที่วัดมงคลรัตนาราม แทมป้า

How To Meditate Effectively?

Ideally you should meditate in a quiet place, or a room with no distraction. Wear simple and comfortable clothes and remove your shoes when meditate. Try meditating in the same place every time because that will build up a calm meditative energy, making it easier each time to go within.

Guide to Meditation:-
1. Sit upright on your meditation mat with legs folded. You may find this rather uncomfortable at the start, but after a few attempts you will get use to it.
2. Straighten up your spine and close your eyes.
3. Using both your thumb and forefinger touching each other, place your hands on your knees, one on top of the other.
4. Take three full breaths through your nose, filling up your lower diaphragm and slowly letting it out, again through the nose.
5. Repeat your breaths, always through the nose, feeling your breath go in and go out.
6. Feel your breath enter your body and where it goes inside, then feel it go out of your body again.
7. If your are distracted by a thought, gently bring back your mind to your breathing and start once more to feel the breathing, then the exhaling.

I personally feel that the best time for meditation is the quiet early morning hours – between 6 A.M. to 6.30 A.M. However some people may prefer to meditate in the evening before they go to bed. The choice is yours, as long as you find it comfortable and effective.
It takes an experienced person to explain the wonderful, positive effects of meditation. For me, I want to share with you that meditation has improved my life tremendously over the years. If you think of meditating, ten or fifteen minutes a day for a start can have a powerful effect on you. You will realize how smoothly your day flows and how it transforms you over a period of time.
To improve your meditation atmosphere, you may light incense or a candle. Incense creates a sensory memory that helps draw you inside. You may also sit on a small woolen mat that is only used for meditation and this helps to hold energy.
If you like to light incense for your meditation, here are some facts; some scents encourage calm, while others promote vitality and energy. Sandalwood and frankincense soothe us and pull us inward. Tibetan monks use them for meditating, and also for religious ceremonies. Rosewood, geranium, and lavender calm our fears and ease our anxieties.
Citrus scents like orange, lemon and lime can provide stimulation after meditating. For a quick effect, place a few drops of orange blossom oil on a cotton ball and inhale. Peppermint and spearmint can be stimulating too.
Take the first step to meditate today for better health and younger you!