“Crash” the “I” in order to obtain true happiness

“Crash” the “I” in order to obtain true happiness
My Experience of the 2014 Retreat
By: Jeewaka Manamendra.

                    A famous person, Bruce Lee, once said” Be the water, you can either flow like a river, or crash like a waterfall.”
    I realized during the youth retreat that I would rather crash like a waterfall and end the suffering with the power of the Dhamma, rather than flow like everybody else and indulge myself in sensual pleasures. Return to the Samsara cycle and continue suffering.
      Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) himself used to indulge in sensual pleasures until one day he “crashed” and became enlightened. The Buddha then shared his wisdom of the Dhamma to help others “crash” the “I” in order to obtain true happiness, which is what all Buddhists study to this day. The youth retreat gave me a great opportunity to increase and practice my knowledge in Dhamma.

Day 1
    In the morning, I did Metta meditation, and I had a lot of trouble concentrating, due to the fact I was very uncomfortable, and I was not able to stay in one posture for very long. Consequently, I feel as though I did not do well in Metta; next time I will try to bring my mind back to the Metta rather than the cramps in my leg and the numbness in my feet.
    A famous Sutta the Buddha discoursed was the Madhupindika Sutta, which was among the most interesting topics in Dhamma I learned during the youth retreat which was elaborated perfectly by Venerable Wajirabuddhi. The Madhupindika sutta explains that if someone indulges in their six sense doors, which are the eyes, nose, ears, mouth, body, and mind, they will develop unwholesome thoughts in the mind. However, the Madhupindika sutta also explains that if we guard our sense doors then we will be able to get rid of unwholesome thoughts without any remainder. Once we guard our sense doors there is no craving or delight in sensual pleasures. The reason is that we know what we see, smell, or touch are all unnecessary and impermanent, therefore, getting rid of the  in us.
    Soon after our Sutta discussion we had an Abhidhamma session with Venerable Deepaloka. He taught us about the different consciousnesses that the human brain develops in the mind. Apparently there are three different types of mind sets; there is the immoral consciousness, moral consciousness, and the rootless consciousness. We first studied the immoral consciousness, which talks about how you can either be unprompted or prompted for an unwholesome act. A good example to demonstrate this situation, was if you steal an apple from a tree without anyone telling you steal the apple then it is considered an unprompted unwholesome act. But if any other person told you to steal that apple from the tree, it becomes a prompted unwholesome act. Nonetheless, if someone tells you to steal the apple a specific way but you don't steal that way, you obtain more bad karma   as it becomes an unprompted act as a result the one who ordered the act gets less bad karma.
    Venerable Deepaloka also told us that if we ever do a good deed with the utmost intention, then we will receive the most amount of merits, but if we do a good deed with the lowest intention then we will barely receive any good merits. At the end of the day, I realized that we can use the slightest opportunity to our advantage in order to gain an immense amount of merits. For instance, most days I put out bread for the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds in our backyard.  While I put out food, I do Metta for all of the animals in the universe. From a simple act, I get much joy just knowing that I am enhancing my good merits just by doing Metta in my head with the utmost intention.
Day 2
    As we started the day off with Metta meditation, I was able to concentrate more this time. I still felt quite uncomfortable at times but at least I felt at peace with myself. For some odd reason, during the Metta meditation my mind always wandered off. However, constant reminders from Bhante helped me bring my mind back to the our meditation. Soon we moved on to the breathing meditation, which was easier for me to envision and concentrate on. The way I imagined the breathing  meditation is that I see a diagram of the human body containing the veins and the different organs. In my mind's eye, I visualize air going through the nose and into the lungs from the veins. Although I was able to concentrate on breathing meditation, I found it easier to concentrate on walking meditation. During the walking meditation I also noticed there was much trash from the food carnival, which I picked up during the work period. After work period, we all entered the shrine room for our next Sutta discussion with Venerable Wajirabuddhi.
    This time we have learned about the Eightfold Path, which is a common topic in Buddhism, which caught my attention. Although, we did not study the entire Eightfold Path, we studied the most important part, Sammaditthi. By studying this, I learned that the Four Noble Truths go hand in hand with the Eightfold Path. Once the intention arises to end all suffering, you follow the Eightfold Path to obtain Arahant-hood. In order to follow the Eightfold Path, you have to monitor the sense doors to become mindful which is also part of the Madhupidinka Sutta.
    For our afternoon Abhidhamma session, Venerable Deepaloka excellently elaborated on how knowing the thought process of the human mind allows us to monitor our sense doors. Apparently, there are 17 “minds” in one form of thought, and the first “mind” is the past Bhavanga meaning the default state of the mind. Next comes the vibrating Bhavanga and then comes the arrest Bhavanga, which is the end of the default state of mind. After the default state of mind is gone then you receive information in your mind through the sense doors, which then forms a thought in your mind. Each thought then has an impulsion depending on the consciousness. There are seven impulsions of the thought, but the 4th and 5th impulsions are the strongest impulsion of the mind.  For instance, if I did a good deed with the 5th impulsion of the mind then, I would receive the most amount of merits. Likewise, if I did a bad deed with the 5th state of mind also, then I would receive the worst karma possible. These include the "minds" 9 through 15, but once the impulsions happen then the minds registers the consciousness for 2 "minds". Although, all of this information seemed confusing at first I think Venerable Deeplaoka did a great job explaining something so complicated.

    Before I knew it the retreat was over, and I was quite disappointed because I felt a sense of bliss and peace during the retreat.  The only complaint that I have is I think there was not enough time to learn everything thoroughly. Although the retreat was shorter this time, there are also chances to learn more Dhamma during the poya or sil days in the future. I would also like to take this chance to urge anyone who is reading this article, to always take any opportunity to expound your knowledge of the Dhamma. This mentality came to me when I was looking at the statue of  Maha-Moggallana Thera. I knew that everything is impermanent and that I don't know what terrible deeds I could have done in the past. Therefore, I am lucky to be born in a society like this and to be exposed to the Dhamma, so I have to take this golden opportunity to learn all of the Dhamma that I can. I would like to give a special thanks to Venerable Wajirabuddhi and Venerable Deepaloka (Mr. Deeptha Jayaratne) for giving me this memorable experience. I would also like to thank Mr. Steve, and all of the parents that prepared the Dhanas and motivated their children to come to the retreat and made this retreat possible!

With Metta,
Jeewaka M.

Binara Poya Day Program

Binara Full Moon Poya Program will be held on the Sunday, September 7th, 2014 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.

Please sign up for the program
Check out who is coming!!!! 

Morning Program
7:30 am – 8:30 am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
8:30 am – 8.45 am: Tea & coffee break
8.45 am – 10:00 am: Vipassana Meditation
10:00 am – 11:00 am:  Sathipattana Meditation Discussion
11.00 am – 11.30 am Buddha Pooja
11:30 am – 12:00 nn: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.
Afternoon Program
12:00 nn – 1:00pm Luncheon
1:00 – 3:00 pm Discussion (base on Abhidhamma) by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne
3:00 – 3:15 pm: Break.
3:15 pm – 5:30 pm:  Sutra Discussion: Vimansaka Sutta (English, Sinhala, Pali)
5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja.

Subscribe for Events

* indicates required

Support GBV

Youtube Stream


Blog Archive

Recent Posts

Blogger Credits

This website is hosted on Blogger. Blogger Theme by NewBloggerThemes.com and the template is altered from its original form to Georgia Buddhist Vihara requirements.

Your kind contribution

The Georgia Buddhist Vihara is run by a non-profit tax-exempted organization. All your donations are tax deductible.

Total Pageviews