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Intuitive A

Intuitive AIntuitive Awareness


Intuitive AIntuitive A
Ajahn Sumedho
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Buddha Dharma Edu(ation Asso(iation In(&
Intuitive Awareness
Ajahn Sumedho
Dedi(ations
Dedi(ated to Ajahn Sumedho on his seventieth
$irthda) with "ove and res*e(t&
In "ovin+ memor) o, m) *arents- David and
Shei"a .i"es& And m) son Ri((ardo /atta$iani-
with +ratitude ,or ever)thin+ the) have tau+ht
me&
'ith +ratitude ,or the "i,e o, Sritorn Ha+)ard&
.a) she 0now the *ea(e o, Nirvana&
Intuitive Awareness
Ajahn Sumedho
Intuitive Awareness
Ajahn Sumedho
)
A
AAAAAwar
AAAAAeness is )our r
eness is )our reness is )our reness is )our reness is )our reness is )our re,u+e#
e,u+e#e,u+e#e,u+e#e,u+e#e,u+e#
A
AAAAAwar
warwarwarwarwareness o, the (han+in+ness o, ,ee"in+s-
eness o, the (han+in+ness o, ,ee"in+s-eness o, the (han+in+ness o, ,ee"in+s-eness o, the (han+in+ness
o, ,ee"in+s-eness o, the (han+in+ness o, ,ee"in+s-eness o, the (han+in+ness o, ,ee"in+s-
o, attitudes- o, moods- o, materia" (han+e
o, attitudes- o, moods- o, materia" (han+eo, attitudes- o, moods- o, materia" (han+eo, attitudes- o,
moods- o, materia" (han+eo, attitudes- o, moods- o, materia" (han+eo, attitudes- o, moods- o, materia"
(han+eand emotiona" (han+e#
and emotiona" (han+e#and emotiona" (han+e#and emotiona" (han+e#and emotiona" (han+e#and
emotiona" (han+e#
Sta) with that- $e(ause it1
Sta) with that- $e(ause it1Sta) with that- $e(ause it1Sta) with that- $e(ause it1Sta) with that- $e(ause
it1Sta) with that- $e(ause it1s a r
s a rs a rs a rs a rs a re,u+e that is
e,u+e that ise,u+e that ise,u+e that ise,u+e that ise,u+e that isindestr
indestrindestrindestrindestrindestru(ti$"e&
u(ti$"e&u(ti$"e&u(ti$"e&u(ti$"e&u(ti$"e&
It1s not somethin+ that (han+es&
It1s not somethin+ that (han+es&It1s not somethin+ that (han+es&It1s not somethin+ that (han+es&It1s not
somethin+ that (han+es&It1s not somethin+ that (han+es&
It1
It1It1It1It1It1s a r
s a rs a rs a rs a rs a re,u+e )ou (an tr
e,u+e )ou (an tre,u+e )ou (an tre,u+e )ou (an tre,u+e )ou (an tre,u+e )ou (an trust in&
ust in&ust in&ust in&ust in&ust in&
This r
This rThis rThis rThis rThis re,u+e is not somethin+ that )ou (r
e,u+e is not somethin+ that )ou (re,u+e is not somethin+ that )ou (re,u+e is not somethin+ that )ou
(re,u+e is not somethin+ that )ou (re,u+e is not somethin+ that )ou (reate&
eate&eate&eate&eate&eate&
It1
It1It1It1It1It1s not a (r
s not a (rs not a (rs not a (rs not a (rs not a (reation& It1
eation& It1eation& It1eation& It1eation& It1eation& It1s not an idea"&
s not an idea"&s not an idea"&s not an idea"&s not an idea"&s not an idea"&
It1
It1It1It1It1It1s ver
s vers vers vers vers ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver
) *ra(ti(a" and ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver) sim*"e-
$ut
) sim*"e- $ut) sim*"e- $ut) sim*"e- $ut) sim*"e- $ut) sim*"e- $uteasi") over"oo0ed or not noti(ed&
easi") over"oo0ed or not noti(ed&easi") over"oo0ed or not noti(ed&easi") over"oo0ed or not
noti(ed&easi") over"oo0ed or not noti(ed&easi") over"oo0ed or not noti(ed&
'hen )ou1r
'hen )ou1r'hen )ou1r'hen )ou1r'hen )ou1r'hen )ou1re mind,u"-
e mind,u"-e mind,u"-e mind,u"-e mind,u"-e mind,u"-
)ou1r
)ou1r)ou1r)ou1r)ou1r)ou1re $e+innin+ to noti(e-
e $e+innin+ to noti(e-e $e+innin+ to noti(e-e $e+innin+ to noti(e-e $e+innin+ to noti(e-e $e+innin+ to
noti(e-
it1
it1it1it1it1it1s "i0e this
s "i0e thiss "i0e thiss "i0e thiss "i0e thiss "i0e this&
2or 2ree Distru$ution
3u$"i(ations ,rom Amaravati are ,or ,ree distri$ution&
In most (ases- this is made *ossi$"e $) individua"s or
+rou*s ma0in+ donations s*e(i,i(a"") ,or the *u$"i(ation
o, Buddhist tea(hin+s- to $e made ,ree") avai"a$"e to
the *u$"i(&
Amaravati 3u$"i(ations
Amaravati Buddhist .onaster)
4reat 4addesden
Heme" Hem*stead
Hert,ordshire
H35 6B7
En+"and
ISBN 5 89:;:< 59 :
= Amaravati 3u$"i(ations ;::>
www&amaravati&or+
www&,orestsan+ha&or+
www&dhammata"0s&or+
/ontents
Editor1s 3re,a(e
5
Introdu(tion
6
Intuitive Awareness
5?
Identit) 69
'hen ou1re an Emotiona" 're(0 <5
Su,,erin+ Shou"d $e 'e"(omed @<
Sound o, Si"en(e 8<
The End o, Su,,erin+ is Now ?9
Don1t Ta0e it 3ersona"") 555
/ons(iousness 566
Trustin+ in Sim*"i(it) 5>9
O$servin+ Atta(hment 5@5
Not Loo0in+ ,or Answers-
Not as0in+ 2avours
5@?
4"ossar) 59<
Bio+ra*h) 585
Editor1s 3re,a( e
This $oo0 is (om*i"ed ,rom ta"0s +iven most") in ;::5
$) Ajahn SumedhoA the) (onve) an intuitive
understandin+ o, the Buddha1s tea(hin+ whi(h has
arisen ,rom over 6< )ears o, *ra(ti(e as a Buddhist
mon0&
This a**roa(h starts with a((e*tin+ ourse"ves as we
are- not as some idea" o, whom we thin0 we shou"d
$e& B) doin+ this a re"aBation (an ta0e *"a(e that
(reates s*a(e ,or insi+ht to arise& 2or some *eo*"e
this s*a(e arises as the sound o, si"en(e- or sim*") a
Cuiet or em*t) mind& However it mani,ests- this *oints
to the un(onditionedA $e)ond $od) and mind o$je(ts&
2rom this *"a(e o, s*a(iousness- so(ia" and *ersona"
(onditionin+ (an $e investi+ated or re,"e(ted u*on-
thus ,reein+ the heart ,rom the de"usion o, identi,)in+
with the *ersona"it)& This is not a *ro(ess o, reje(tin+
ourse"ves or o, (onsiderin+ (ertain thou+hts and
,ee"in+s as wron+- $ut o, "earnin+ to $e a si"ent
witness to a"" that arises without atta(hin+ to that
eB*erien(e or reje(tin+ it&
In essen(e it1s a$out trust- a((e*tin+ what arises in
eB*erien(e as Dthe wa) it isE or- as Ajahn Sumedho
Intuitive Awareness
"i0es to sa) a "ot- Dwe"(omin+ the su,,erin+E& It is a$out
"istenin+- $ein+ re(e*tive to and ,u"") in("udin+
ever)thin+&
"i0es to sa) a "ot- Dwe"(omin+ the su,,erin+E& It is a$out
"istenin+- $ein+ re(e*tive to and ,u"") in("udin+
ever)thin+&
So the re,u+e is not in a tea(her or s(ri*tures $ut in
the heart1s own *urit)- the *oint that never (han+es-
whi(h has no views and o*inions and is not a,,e(ted
$) an)thin+ and )et is ,u"") a"ive- res*onsive-
s*ontaneous and (om*assionate F ,u"") here and
now&
This $oo0 has $een trans(ri$ed- edited and desi+ned
$) various San+ha mem$ers and "a) *eo*"e& The
editor wou"d "i0e to than0 them ver) mu(h ,or the hours
o, wor0 *ut into this& 'hi"st the ta"0s have $een edited
to aid ("arit)- the) ma) not $e +rammati(a"") ,"aw"ess&
This is to 0ee* the teBt as ("ose as *ossi$"e to Ajahn
Sumedho1s manner o, s*ea0in+& An) misunderstandin+s
or errors arisin+ ,rom this rest with the editor& This
$oo0 is o,,ered as a sharin+ ,rom the various *eo*"e
who have $ene,ited ,rom Ajahn Sumedho1s tea(hin+s-
his +reat devotion to dhamma and his en(oura+ement&
.a) whatever merit that arises ,rom this $oo0 $e
dedi(ated to the $ene,it o, a"" sentient $ein+s&
Intuitive Awareness
Introdu(tion
T'ENT EARS A4O- in 5?8>- the +ermina" monasti(
(ommunit) o, the new") o*ened Amaravati Buddhist
/entre sett"ed into a ("uster o, $arra(0!"i0e $ui"din+s
on a wind) hi""to* in Hert,ordshire& The name o, the
new monaster) Gmeanin+ DThe Death"ess Rea"mEH
had $een (hosen $oth as a resonan(e o, the an(ient
Buddhist (it) in Andhra 3radesh- in southern India-
and as a (ountera(tive ,or(e to the D.utua"") Assured
Destru(tionE o, the nu("ear arms ra(e- then +"ee,u"")
$ein+ *ursued $) Rona"d Rea+an- .ar+aret That(her
and the Soviet Union&
The meditation s*a(e that we used at that time was
the ,ormer s(hoo" +)mnasium and assem$") ha""& The
windows were (ra(0ed- *at(hed with *"asti( and
se""ota*e- dra,t) or missin+ (om*"ete")A +)m mar0in+s
(riss!(rossed the (o"d wooden ,"oorA the "ar+e +o"den
Buddha ima+e sat u* on the o"d s(hoo" sta+e- s*ot"it
and surrounded $) ,i"m) $"ue (urtains that we had
introdu(ed in an attem*t to $eauti,) the shrine and
su++est the Cua"it) o, in,inite s*a(e&
Sin(e 5?85- when the (ommunit) was "ar+e") $ased
at /ittavive0a .onaster)- in /hithurst- 'est SusseB-
it had $een our (ustom to set aside the mid!winter
Intuitive Awareness
months- a,ter the New ear- to $e a time o, (ommuna"
retreat& At that time o, )ear the En+"ish weather does
not a""ow mu(h in the wa) o, $ui"din+ wor0 to +o on-
visitors are ,ew and the da)s are short and dar0 F it is
thus a *er,e(t situation to use ,or turnin+ the attention
inward and ta0in+ time to (u"tivate ,orma" meditation
*ra(ti(e in a ver) thorou+h wa)&
months- a,ter the New ear- to $e a time o, (ommuna"
retreat& At that time o, )ear the En+"ish weather does
not a""ow mu(h in the wa) o, $ui"din+ wor0 to +o on-
visitors are ,ew and the da)s are short and dar0 F it is
thus a *er,e(t situation to use ,or turnin+ the attention
inward and ta0in+ time to (u"tivate ,orma" meditation
*ra(ti(e in a ver) thorou+h wa)&
The winters o, 5?8>- 18<- and I8@ were s*e(ta(u"ar")
i()A winds how"ed down ,rom Si$eria- seemin+")
uninterru*ted $) an) so"id o$je(t unti" the) $it into our
$ones& It was not un(ommon to $e wearin+ siB or
seven "a)ers o, ("othin+ throu+h the da) and then to
("im$ into our s"ee*in+ $a+s at ni+ht with most o, it
sti"" on& 'e sat $und"ed u* in thi(0 ro$es and $"an0ets
,or meditation and to "isten to instru(tiona" ta"0s& The
air was i() $ut vi$rant as there was a *ower,u" and
*ervasive sense o, (ommunit) s*irit amon+ us&
Sometimes- in those da)s- it seemed that the main
sour(e o, ener+) in the who"e s)stem- and (ertain")
what our hearts were warmed and +uided $)- was
Intuitive Awareness
Ajahn Sumedho1s a**arent") "imit"ess (a*a(it) to
eB*ound on the Dhamma- es*e(ia"") durin+ the winter
retreats& Natura"") enou+h in that situation a "ot o,
+uidan(e was needed F the majorit) o, us were ,air")
new to meditation and monasti( trainin+ and needed
a"" the he"* we (ou"d +et- *arti(u"ar") within a routine
o, no$"e si"en(e and wa"0in+ and sittin+ meditation
a"" da) F thus Ajahn Sumedho +ave eBtensive
instru(tion- o,ten two or three times a da)& There
wou"d $e Dmornin+ re,"e(tionsE durin+ the ,irst sittin+
o, the da) $e,ore dawn- o,ten more re,"e(tions a,ter
the $rea0,ast o, +rue" and tea- sometimes DCuestions
J answersE at a,ternoon tea!time- and ,ina"") a ,orma"
Dhamma ta"0 in the evenin+&
Ajahn Sumedho1s a**arent") "imit"ess (a*a(it) to
eB*ound on the Dhamma- es*e(ia"") durin+ the winter
retreats& Natura"") enou+h in that situation a "ot o,
+uidan(e was needed F the majorit) o, us were ,air")
new to meditation and monasti( trainin+ and needed
a"" the he"* we (ou"d +et- *arti(u"ar") within a routine
o, no$"e si"en(e and wa"0in+ and sittin+ meditation
a"" da) F thus Ajahn Sumedho +ave eBtensive
instru(tion- o,ten two or three times a da)& There
wou"d $e Dmornin+ re,"e(tionsE durin+ the ,irst sittin+
o, the da) $e,ore dawn- o,ten more re,"e(tions a,ter
the $rea0,ast o, +rue" and tea- sometimes DCuestions
J answersE at a,ternoon tea!time- and ,ina"") a ,orma"
Dhamma ta"0 in the evenin+&
K K K
Even thou+h those da)s now seem a "on+ wa) o,, in
some res*e(ts- and mu(h has (han+ed- there are
some e"ements that have remained sta$"e to the
*resent da)- "i0e a (onstant") returnin+ *hrase or
rh)thm in a musi(a" *ie(e or- more a((urate")- "i0e the
de,inin+ st)"e o, a master *ainter that instant") te""s
)ou# this is a .onet- that is a Lan 4o+h&
Intuitive Awareness
Now at Amaravati the site o, the o"d Dhamma Ha""M
+)mnasium is o((u*ied $) the Tem*"e- the new
meditation ha"" (onstru(ted in sta+es throu+h the ?:1s&
The orientation is s"i+ht") di,,erent F the $ui"din+ now
,a(es the east rather than the north F and it is a soarin+
*)ramida" stru(ture- rather than a uti"itarian
re(tan+u"ar $oB& The +reat "i+ht o*en s*a(e within is
*un(tuated with a $road rin+ o, so"id oa0 *i""arsA it is
so si"ent and sti"" it seems to sto* the minds o, those
who visitA the ,"oor is a $"an0et o, warm white ro(0-
and a $arn!"i0e "atti(e o, thi(0 trusses and $eams
"a(es the hi+h (ei"in+ and the wa""s& However- the
trees a(ross the (ourt)ard are sti"" the same- just a
"itt"e ta""er and ,u""er- and the $rown weather!$oardin+
on the remainin+ o"der $ui"din+s is ed+ed $) ,rost in
the winter mornin+ "i+ht just as it was $e,ore&
Now at Amaravati the site o, the o"d Dhamma Ha""M
+)mnasium is o((u*ied $) the Tem*"e- the new
meditation ha"" (onstru(ted in sta+es throu+h the ?:1s&
The orientation is s"i+ht") di,,erent F the $ui"din+ now
,a(es the east rather than the north F and it is a soarin+
*)ramida" stru(ture- rather than a uti"itarian
re(tan+u"ar $oB& The +reat "i+ht o*en s*a(e within is
*un(tuated with a $road rin+ o, so"id oa0 *i""arsA it is
so si"ent and sti"" it seems to sto* the minds o, those
who visitA the ,"oor is a $"an0et o, warm white ro(0-
and a $arn!"i0e "atti(e o, thi(0 trusses and $eams
"a(es the hi+h (ei"in+ and the wa""s& However- the
trees a(ross the (ourt)ard are sti"" the same- just a
"itt"e ta""er and ,u""er- and the $rown weather!$oardin+
on the remainin+ o"der $ui"din+s is ed+ed $) ,rost in
the winter mornin+ "i+ht just as it was $e,ore&
Intuitive Awareness
2irst o, a""- these ta"0s were +iven to eB*erien(ed
monasti(s and a ,ew we""!seasoned "a)!*eo*"e& .an)
who were "istenin+ 0new Ajahn Sumedho1s ,avourite
themes ver) we""- and he 0new that the) 0new them
we""- there,ore o,ten eB*"anator) materia" is "e,t unsaid
and mu(h 0now"ed+e is assumed& Nust as a musi(ian
mi+ht *"a) a ,ew notes to evo0e a ,ami"iar *ie(e and
0now o, their audien(e# The) (an ,i"" in the rest- the)
0now that o"d themeO Or a *ainter mi+ht use a
trademar0 moti, thin0in+# 3o* in that $ow"er hat a+ain-
the) 0now a"" the other *"a(es it a**earedP Simi"ar")
here- Ajahn Sumedho is o,ten eB*"orin+- des(ri$in+
and eBtem*orisin+ on ver) ,ami"iar themes so that- i,
the reader o((asiona"") ,ee"s a "a(0 o, eB*"anation- i,
the meanin+ es(a*es one- the en(oura+ement is to
"et the musi(- the $a"an(e o, tones and (o"ours tide
)ou over&
2irst o, a""- these ta"0s were +iven to eB*erien(ed
monasti(s and a ,ew we""!seasoned "a)!*eo*"e& .an)
who were "istenin+ 0new Ajahn Sumedho1s ,avourite
themes ver) we""- and he 0new that the) 0new them
we""- there,ore o,ten eB*"anator) materia" is "e,t unsaid
and mu(h 0now"ed+e is assumed& Nust as a musi(ian
mi+ht *"a) a ,ew notes to evo0e a ,ami"iar *ie(e and
0now o, their audien(e# The) (an ,i"" in the rest- the)
0now that o"d themeO Or a *ainter mi+ht use a
trademar0 moti, thin0in+# 3o* in that $ow"er hat a+ain-
the) 0now a"" the other *"a(es it a**earedP Simi"ar")
here- Ajahn Sumedho is o,ten eB*"orin+- des(ri$in+
and eBtem*orisin+ on ver) ,ami"iar themes so that- i,
the reader o((asiona"") ,ee"s a "a(0 o, eB*"anation- i,
the meanin+ es(a*es one- the en(oura+ement is to
"et the musi(- the $a"an(e o, tones and (o"ours tide
)ou over&
ver$a"
e"ement F the mood in the room- the ener+eti(
eB(han+es $etween the s*ea0er and the "isteners- the
season- the hour o, the da) or ni+ht- a"" that has +one
$e,ore within the +rou* F so it is wiser to treat a
(o""e(tion o, ta"0s su(h as this as i, eB*"orin+ an art
+a""er)- or "istenin+ to a musi(a" *ie(e- rather than as
a s)stemati( eB*"anation o, a ,iBed su$je(t& As Ajahn
Sumedho himse", (ommented- DThe $oo0 is meant to
$e su++estions o, wa)s to investi+ate (ons(ious
eB*erien(e& It1s not meant to $e a dida(ti( treatise on
3a"i Buddhism&E
Intuitive Awareness
So- as )ou ma0e )our wa) throu+h these *a+es- and
)ou en(ounter Intuitive Awareness- The End o,
Su,,erin+ is Now- The Sound o, Si"en(e- and a"" the
others- the su++estion is to "et them $e re(eived into
the heart- to a""ow them to resonate- and to "et the
intuitions and +uidan(e that the) s*ar0 ri*en as the)
wi""& Nust as- when we *ro+ress throu+h an art +a""er)
we don1t thin0- D'hat1s the eBa(t in,ormation that this
*aintin+ is im*artin+ to meQE
So- as )ou ma0e )our wa) throu+h these *a+es- and
)ou en(ounter Intuitive Awareness- The End o,
Su,,erin+ is Now- The Sound o, Si"en(e- and a"" the
others- the su++estion is to "et them $e re(eived into
the heart- to a""ow them to resonate- and to "et the
intuitions and +uidan(e that the) s*ar0 ri*en as the)
wi""& Nust as- when we *ro+ress throu+h an art +a""er)
we don1t thin0- D'hat1s the eBa(t in,ormation that this
*aintin+ is im*artin+ to meQE
Over time an individua" tea(her wi"" tend to ta0e a
*arti(u"ar Dhamma theme- or meditation te(hniCue-
and s*end )ears- sometimes de(ades eB*"orin+ and
eB*andin+ on that to*i(& 2or eBam*"e Luan+ 3or Sim
was noted ,or his em*hasis on death (ontem*"ationsA
Ajahn Buddhadasa s*ent severa" )ears dis(oursin+
on ida*a((a)atR F the "aw o, (onditiona"it)A Ajahn
Toon Khi**a*aSSo vi+orous") insists the 3ath shou"d
$e re*resented as 3aSSa- ST"a SamRdhi- NOT as ST"a-
SamRdhi- 3aSSaA Ajahn 2un was 0nown ,or his in,inite
eBtra*o"ations on the word DBuddhoE F as a
(on(entration te(hniCue- and investi+ation o,
awareness or as a devotiona" *ra(ti(eA Luan+ 3u Dun
Intuitive Awareness
was 0nown ,or his tea(hin+s on D/itta Gthe heartH is
BuddhaAE and Ajahn /hah was ,ond o, *uttin+
(onundrums to *eo*"e- su(h as DI, )ou (an1t +o ,orward-
)ou (an1t +o $a(0 and )ou (an1t stand sti"" F where
(an )ou +oQE Or DHave )ou ever seen sti""- ,"owin+
waterQE
was 0nown ,or his tea(hin+s on D/itta Gthe heartH is
BuddhaAE and Ajahn /hah was ,ond o, *uttin+
(onundrums to *eo*"e- su(h as DI, )ou (an1t +o ,orward-
)ou (an1t +o $a(0 and )ou (an1t stand sti"" F where
(an )ou +oQE Or DHave )ou ever seen sti""- ,"owin+
waterQE
F that have ta0en on su(h distin(tive meanin+s over
the )ears&
The ,irst o, these- Dthe sound o, si"en(e-E is des(ri$ed
in the o*enin+ Dhamma ta"0 o, the same name in Cuite
some detai"& However- as it is not a meditation method
,ound in ("assi(a" TheravRda hand$oo0s- it mi+ht $e
he"*,u" to *rovide a "itt"e $a(0+round to the wa) in
whi(h Ajahn Sumedho (ame to deve"o* it- and to re,er
to some o, the other s*iritua" traditions that use it as
*art o, a meditation *ra(ti(e&
Intuitive Awareness
It was in the winter retreat o, Nanuar) 185- at /hithurst
.onaster)- that Ajahn Sumedho ,irst started to tea(h
this method to the monasti( (ommunit)& He said that
he had $e+un to noti(e the hi+h!*it(hed- rin+in+ tone
when he "e,t Thai"and in 5?99 and s*ent his ,irst
winter in En+"and- in the Ham*stead Buddhist Lihara&
He *ointed out that- as Thai"and was su(h a nois)
(ountr)- *arti(u"ar") amidst the (ri(0ets and (i(adas
in the ,orest at ni+ht Gwhen one does most ,orma"
meditation *ra(ti(eH- that he had not noti(ed this inner
sound $e,ore& However- when he (ame to London-
des*ite $ein+ a "ar+e metro*o"is- he ,ound that it
$e(ame ver) Cuiet "ate at ni+ht- es*e(ia"") when the
air was mu,,"ed $) the *resen(e o, a $"an0et o, snow&
It was in the winter retreat o, Nanuar) 185- at /hithurst
.onaster)- that Ajahn Sumedho ,irst started to tea(h
this method to the monasti( (ommunit)& He said that
he had $e+un to noti(e the hi+h!*it(hed- rin+in+ tone
when he "e,t Thai"and in 5?99 and s*ent his ,irst
winter in En+"and- in the Ham*stead Buddhist Lihara&
He *ointed out that- as Thai"and was su(h a nois)
(ountr)- *arti(u"ar") amidst the (ri(0ets and (i(adas
in the ,orest at ni+ht Gwhen one does most ,orma"
meditation *ra(ti(eH- that he had not noti(ed this inner
sound $e,ore& However- when he (ame to London-
des*ite $ein+ a "ar+e metro*o"is- he ,ound that it
$e(ame ver) Cuiet "ate at ni+ht- es*e(ia"") when the
air was mu,,"ed $) the *resen(e o, a $"an0et o, snow&
Intuitive Awareness
and end"essA ,orm"ess- to some de+reeA and s*atia"")
un"o(ated&
and end"essA ,orm"ess- to some de+reeA and s*atia"")
un"o(ated&
Seein+ that it was a *ra(ti(e that was ver) a((essi$"e
to a num$er o, *eo*"e- and as his own eB*"orations
o, it dee*ened over the )ears- Ajahn Sumedho has
(ontinued to deve"o* it as a (entra" method o,
meditation- ran0in+ a"on+side su(h ("assi(a" ,orms o,
*ra(ti(e as mind,u"ness o, $reathin+ and investi+ation
o, the $od)& The Buddha1s en(oura+ement ,or his
students was to use s0i",u" means that are e,,e(tive in
,reein+ the heart& Sin(e this ,orm o, meditation seems
to $e ver) su**ortive ,or that- des*ite not $ein+
Intuitive Awareness
in("uded in "ists o, meditation *ra(ti(es in the 3a"i
/anon or antho"o+ies su(h as the Lisuddhima++a- it
seems who"") a**ro*riate to +ive it its due& 2or sure")
it is the ,reedom o, the heart that is the *ur*ose o, a""
the *ra(ti(es that are done F and that ,reedom is the
,ina" ar$iter o, what is use,u"- and there,ore +ood&
in("uded in "ists o, meditation *ra(ti(es in the 3a"i
/anon or antho"o+ies su(h as the Lisuddhima++a- it
seems who"") a**ro*riate to +ive it its due& 2or sure")
it is the ,reedom o, the heart that is the *ur*ose o, a""
the *ra(ti(es that are done F and that ,reedom is the
,ina" ar$iter o, what is use,u"- and there,ore +ood&
There are numerous *"a(es throu+hout the $oo0
where- when the *hrase Dintuitive awarenessE is used-
the words Dsati!sam*ajaSSaE are *ut in *arentheses
a,ter- meanin+ that the ,ormer is a trans"ation o, the
"atter& The Cua"it) o, sati!sam*ajaSSaMintuitive
awareness is used to re,er to *art o, a (ontinuum
whi(h $e+ins with DsatiE- the raw mind,u" (o+nisan(e
o, an o$je(tA the se(ond e"ement $ein+ Dsatisam*ajaSS
aE- re,errin+ to the mind,u"- intuitive
awareness o, an o$je(t within its (onteBtA the ,ina"
e"ement is Dsati!*aSSaEF usua"") trans"ated as
Dmind,u"ness!and!wisdomE F whi(h re,ers to the
a**re(iation o, an o$je(t in res*e(t to its essentia"
nature as transitor)- unsatis,a(tor) and not!se",& Ajahn
/hah used to (hara(terise the re"ationshi* $etween
these three e"ements as $ein+ "i0e the hand- arm and
Intuitive Awareness
$od)# sati is that whi(h *i(0s thin+s u*- sam*ajaSSa
is "i0e the arm that ena$"es the hand to +et to the
reCuired *"a(e- *aSSa is the $od) whi(h *rovides it
with the "i,e ,or(e and the dire(tive e"ement&
$od)# sati is that whi(h *i(0s thin+s u*- sam*ajaSSa
is "i0e the arm that ena$"es the hand to +et to the
reCuired *"a(e- *aSSa is the $od) whi(h *rovides it
with the "i,e ,or(e and the dire(tive e"ement&
awareness&E
His (hie, (on(ern is- as he states on *&5?-
that this *hrase does not +ive a sense o, the true
$roadness o, that ("arit)& Thus he is eB*erimentin+
with an eB*ression that (onve)s a de"i$erate")
eB*ansive Cua"it) and that in("udes the e"ement o,
m)ster)A ,or it is im*ortant ,or the En+"ish wordin+ a"so
to im*") an attunement o, the heart to eB*erien(es
that the thin0in+ mind (annot understand or that- as
he sa)s- are D,o++)- (on,used or un(ertain&E The word
DintuitiveE is used $e(ause it *er,e(t") (onve)s the
miBture o, a +enuine a**rehension o, rea"it)- )et a"so
that the reason wh) thin+s are the wa) the) are mi+ht
not $e at a"" a**arent&
The ,ina"- and *erha*s most si+ni,i(ant- term to "oo0
at in this "i+ht is D(ons(iousness&E The 3a"i word
DviSSRUaE is a"most invaria$") trans"ated into En+"ish
as D(ons(iousness&E In Buddhist *s)(ho"o+)
DviSSRUaE +enera"") means a dis(riminative
(ons(iouness that a(ts via one o, the siB sense!doors#
e)e- ear- nose- ton+ue- $od) or mind& It means the a(t
o, (o+nisin+ a 0nowa$"e o$je(t& However- this is not
the on") wa) that the Buddha uses the term&
Intuitive Awareness
As Ajahn Sumedho mentions on *&56> there are two
*"a(es in the dis(ourses where a su$stantia"")
di,,erent set o, Cua"ities are asso(iated with the term&
The *hrase that he Cuotes GviSSRUaV anidassanaV
anantaV sa$$ato *a$haVH Di+a Ni0R)a 55&8<- in the
Kevaddha Sutta and- in *art- at .ajjhima Ni0R)a
As Ajahn Sumedho mentions on *&56> there are two
*"a(es in the dis(ourses where a su$stantia"")
di,,erent set o, Cua"ities are asso(iated with the term&
The *hrase that he Cuotes GviSSRUaV anidassanaV
anantaV sa$$ato *a$haVH Di+a Ni0R)a 55&8<- in the
Kevaddha Sutta and- in *art- at .ajjhima Ni0R)a
The ,ormer *assa+e (omes at the end o, a
(o"our,u" and "en+th) tea(hin+ ta"e re(ounted $) the
Buddha& He te""s o, a mon0 in the mind o, whom the
Cuestion arises# DI wonder where it is that the ,our +reat
e"ements F Earth- 'ater- 2ire and 'ind F (ease
without remainderQE Bein+ a s0i""ed meditator- the
$hi00hu in Cuestion enters a state o, a$sor*tion and
Dthe *ath to the +ods $e(omes o*en to him&E He $e+ins
$) *uttin+ his Cuestion to the ,irst +ods he meets- the
retinue o, the 2our Heaven") Kin+s- the +uardians o,
the wor"dA the) demur- sa)in+ that the) do not 0now
the answer- $ut that the 2our Kin+s themse"ves
*ro$a$") do# he shou"d as0 them& He does- the) do
not and the sear(h (ontinues&
Onward and u*ward throu+h su((essive heavens he
trave"s- (ontinua"") $ein+ met with the same re*")# D'e
do not 0now $ut )ou shou"d tr) as0in+&&&E and is
re,erred to the neBt hi+her "eve" o, the (e"estia"
heirar(h)& 3atient") endurin+ the *rotra(ted *ro(ess
o, this (osmi( (hain o, (ommand- he ,ina"") arrives in
the *resen(e o, the retinue o, .aha!BrahmR- he *uts
the Cuestion to themA on(e a+ain the) ,ai" to *rodu(e
an answer $ut the) assure him that The 4reat BrahmR
Himse",- shou"d He dei+n to mani,est- is (ertain to
*rovide him with the reso"ution he see0s& Sure
enou+h- $e,ore too "on+- .aha!BrahmR a**ears $ut
Intuitive Awareness
he too does not 0now the answer- and he (hides the
mon0 ,or $ein+ a dis(i*"e o, the Buddha )et not +oin+
to his own tea(her with su(h a Cuestion&
he too does not 0now the answer- and he (hides the
mon0 ,or $ein+ a dis(i*"e o, the Buddha )et not +oin+
to his own tea(her with su(h a Cuestion&
F Earth- 'ater- 2ire and 'ind F (ease without
remainderQ1 Instead- this is how the Cuestion shou"d
have $een *ut#
I'here do earth- water- ,ire and wind-
And "on+ and short- and ,ine and (oarse-
3ure and im*ure no ,ootin+ ,indQ
'here is it that $oth nRma GnameH and rW*a
G,ormH ,ade out-
Leavin+ no tra(e $ehindQ1
DAnd the answer is#
IIn the awa0ened (ons(iousness F
the invisi$"e- the "imit"ess- radiant&
XviSSRUaV anidassanaV anantaV sa$$ato
*a$haVY
There it is that earth- water- ,ire and wind-
And "on+ and short- and ,ine and (oarse-
3ure and im*ure no ,ootin+ ,ind&
IThere it is that $oth nRma and rW*a ,ade out-
Leavin+ no tra(e $ehind&
'hen dis(riminative (ons(iousness (omes to
its "imit-
The) are he"d in (he(0 therein&1E
Intuitive Awareness
The term anidassana!viSSRUa has $een trans"ated in
various other wa)s# Dwhere (ons(iousness is si+n"essE
G'a"sheH Dthe (ons(iousness that ma0es no showin+E
GZanamo"iH and- most he"*,u"")- $) Bhi00hu
ZRUananda- in his $oo0 /on(e*t and Rea"it) G* <?H-
as Dnon!mani,estative (ons(iousness&E It is un"i0e")
that the En+"ish "an+ua+e has a sin+"e term that (an
a((urate") (onve) the (onste""ation o, meanin+s that
anidassana!viSSRUa *ossesses- however it is
+enera"") this set o, Cua"ities that Ajahn Sumedho is
re,errin+ to when he uses the sim*"e term
D(ons(iousness&E
The term anidassana!viSSRUa has $een trans"ated in
various other wa)s# Dwhere (ons(iousness is si+n"essE
G'a"sheH Dthe (ons(iousness that ma0es no showin+E
GZanamo"iH and- most he"*,u"")- $) Bhi00hu
ZRUananda- in his $oo0 /on(e*t and Rea"it) G* <?H-
as Dnon!mani,estative (ons(iousness&E It is un"i0e")
that the En+"ish "an+ua+e has a sin+"e term that (an
a((urate") (onve) the (onste""ation o, meanin+s that
anidassana!viSSRUa *ossesses- however it is
+enera"") this set o, Cua"ities that Ajahn Sumedho is
re,errin+ to when he uses the sim*"e term
D(ons(iousness&E
viSS
RUaH- ,or eBam*"e- on *568- D'hen we are $orn
into a *h)si(a" $irth- we have (ons(iousness within
this ,ormPE& In addition- Ajahn Sumedho a"so
o((asiona"") uses the word in the ordinar) En+"ish
sense- i&e& des(ri$in+ the state o, not $ein+
un(ons(ious- $ein+ awa0e and aware o, one1s
surroundin+s and identit)&
An o$vious *ara""e" to Ajahn Sumedho1s usa+e o, the
word D(ons(iousnessE is the Thai *hrase D*oo rooE
as em*"o)ed $) man) o, the 2orest Ajahns& The "itera"
Intuitive Awareness
trans"ation is# D*ooE [ D*ersonE \ DrooE [ D0nowin+&E It
has $een various") rendered as D0nowin+E Dthe one
who 0nowsE DawarenessE or even DBuddha wisdom&E
It is a"so a term that (an $e used to (onve) a "ar+e
s*e(trum o, meanin+s ,rom- at one end- the sim*"e
a(t o, the mind (o+nisin+ an o$je(t Gas in ("assi(a"
de,initions o, viSSRUaH- throu+h var)in+ "eve"s o,
re,inement Gas in $ein+ the witness o, *henomena
arisin+ and *assin+ awa)H- u* to the utter")
uno$stru(ted awareness o, the ,u"") awa0ened heart&
trans"ation is# D*ooE [ D*ersonE \ DrooE [ D0nowin+&E It
has $een various") rendered as D0nowin+E Dthe one
who 0nowsE DawarenessE or even DBuddha wisdom&E
It is a"so a term that (an $e used to (onve) a "ar+e
s*e(trum o, meanin+s ,rom- at one end- the sim*"e
a(t o, the mind (o+nisin+ an o$je(t Gas in ("assi(a"
de,initions o, viSSRUaH- throu+h var)in+ "eve"s o,
re,inement Gas in $ein+ the witness o, *henomena
arisin+ and *assin+ awa)H- u* to the utter")
uno$stru(ted awareness o, the ,u"") awa0ened heart&
er+o- (aveat "e(torO
Sin(e there are su(h a variet) o, meanin+s (ontin+ent
u*on the one word D(ons(iousnessE in this $oo0- it
wou"d thus $e wise ,or the reader a"wa)s to re,"e(t on
the (ir(umstan(e that the word is $ein+ used in& In
this "i+ht- it mi+ht $e ,e"t $) some that it wou"d have
$een more he"*,u" not to have used D(ons(iousnessE
in su(h a $road ran+e o, wa)s- that *erha*s sti(0in+
to more ,ami"iar termino"o+) mi+ht have $een easier
on the "isteners and readers F *erha*s usin+ a word
"i0e D(itta-E the heart- as de,inin+ the a+ent o, *ure
awareness- instead o, Danidassana viSSRUaE F
however this is not the wa) that su(h or+ani( and
,reest)"e methods o, tea(hin+ usua"") wor0&
Intuitive Awareness
As said a$ove- it has $een the eB*"i(it aim o, the editor
o, this $oo0 to maintain the s*ontaneous and in,orma"
st)"e o, Ajahn Sumedho1s s*o0en words& A"" o, his
ta"0s are eBtem*oraneous- ta0in+ sha*e as the) are
eB*ressed a((ordin+ to the needs o, the "isteners
*resent& And *art o, this methodo"o+) o, instru(tion
is that it o,ten demands that the "istenerMreader
eB*and their ran+e o, view o, what the tea(hin+ and
*ra(ti(e is- and how (ertain words (an and shou"d
$e used& 2urthermore- this s*ontaneous and dire(t
method o, eB*oundin+ the Dhamma en(oura+es the
*arti(i*ants to a""ow themse"ves to $e (han+ed $)
what the) see and hear- rather than jud+e it a((ordin+
to whether or not it (om*"ies with ,ami"iar and ,avoured
*atterns o, thin0in+& Are we +oin+ to (om*"ain to Lan
4o+h that DA (hur(h $ui"t "i0e that wou"d never stand
u*OEQ 3ro$a$") notP
As said a$ove- it has $een the eB*"i(it aim o, the editor
o, this $oo0 to maintain the s*ontaneous and in,orma"
st)"e o, Ajahn Sumedho1s s*o0en words& A"" o, his
ta"0s are eBtem*oraneous- ta0in+ sha*e as the) are
eB*ressed a((ordin+ to the needs o, the "isteners
*resent& And *art o, this methodo"o+) o, instru(tion
is that it o,ten demands that the "istenerMreader
eB*and their ran+e o, view o, what the tea(hin+ and
*ra(ti(e is- and how (ertain words (an and shou"d
$e used& 2urthermore- this s*ontaneous and dire(t
method o, eB*oundin+ the Dhamma en(oura+es the
*arti(i*ants to a""ow themse"ves to $e (han+ed $)
what the) see and hear- rather than jud+e it a((ordin+
to whether or not it (om*"ies with ,ami"iar and ,avoured
*atterns o, thin0in+& Are we +oin+ to (om*"ain to Lan
4o+h that DA (hur(h $ui"t "i0e that wou"d never stand
u*OEQ 3ro$a$") notP
Amaro Bhi00hu-
A$ha)a+iri .onaster)
De( 5:th ;::6
Intuitive Awareness
Intuitive Awareness
In (ontem*"atin+ ri+ht understandin+ GsammR!di]]hiH
I "i0e to em*hasise seein+ it as an intuitive understandin+
and not a (on(e*tua" one& I have ,ound it ver) he"*,u"
just (ontem*"atin+ the di,,eren(e $etween ana")ti(a"
thin0in+ and intuitive awareness- just to ma0e it ("ear
what that is- $e(ause there is a hu+e di,,eren(e
$etween the use o, the mind to thin0- to ana")se-
reason- (riti(ise- to have ideas- *er(e*tions- views and
o*inions- and intuitive awareness whi(h is non!(riti(a"&
It in("udes (riti(ismA it1s an in("usive awareness& It1s
not that (riti(ism isn1t a""owed in it- (riti(ism is
in("udedA so the (riti(a" mind is seen as an o$je(t&
This is the tenden() to (riti(ise or (om*are- to ho"d
one view- to sa) that this is $etter than that- this is
ri+ht and that is wron+- (riti(ism o, )ourse", or others
or whatever ^ a"" o, whi(h (an $e justi,ied and va"id
on that "eve"& 'e1re not interested in just deve"o*in+
our (riti(a" ,a(u"t)- $e(ause usua"") in (ountries "i0e
this it1s hi+h") deve"o*ed a"read)- $ut to trust in intuitive
awareness Gsati!sam*ajaSSaH&
Sam*ajaSSa is a word that is trans"ated into En+"ish
as I("ear!(om*rehension1- whi(h is so va+ue and even
thou+h it sa)s I("ear1- it doesn1t +ive me a sense o,
Intuitive Awareness
the $roadness o, that ("arit)& 'hen )ou have ("ear
de,initions o, ever)thin+- then )ou thin0 )ou have ("ear
(om*rehension& So that1s wh) we don1t "i0e (on,usion-
isn1t itQ 'e don1t "i0e to ,ee" ,o++)- (on,used or
un(ertain& These 0ind o, states we rea"") dis"i0e- $ut
we s*end a "ot o, time tr)in+ to have ("ear
(om*rehension and (ertaint)& But sati!sam*ajaSSa
in("udes ,o++iness- in("udes (on,usion- it in("udes
un(ertaint) and inse(urit)& It1s a ("ear (om*rehension
or the a**er(e*tion o, (on,usion ^ re(o+nisin+ it1s
"i0e this& Un(ertaint) and inse(urit) are "i0e this& So
it1s a ("ear (om*rehension or a**rehension o, even
the most va+ue- amor*hous or ne$u"ous menta"
(onditions&
the $roadness o, that ("arit)& 'hen )ou have ("ear
de,initions o, ever)thin+- then )ou thin0 )ou have ("ear
(om*rehension& So that1s wh) we don1t "i0e (on,usion-
isn1t itQ 'e don1t "i0e to ,ee" ,o++)- (on,used or
un(ertain& These 0ind o, states we rea"") dis"i0e- $ut
we s*end a "ot o, time tr)in+ to have ("ear
(om*rehension and (ertaint)& But sati!sam*ajaSSa
in("udes ,o++iness- in("udes (on,usion- it in("udes
un(ertaint) and inse(urit)& It1s a ("ear (om*rehension
or the a**er(e*tion o, (on,usion ^ re(o+nisin+ it1s
"i0e this& Un(ertaint) and inse(urit) are "i0e this& So
it1s a ("ear (om*rehension or a**rehension o, even
the most va+ue- amor*hous or ne$u"ous menta"
(onditions&
Intuitive Awareness
whatever the) mi+ht $e# I, )ou thin0 )ou1re the $est-
+reatest- 4od1s +i,t to the wor"d- or )ou thin0 )ou1re
the a$so"ute $ottom o, the sta(0A i, )ou don1t 0now
who )ou are and what )ou wantA or sometimes )ou
thin0 )ou1re su*erior $ut sometimes )ou ,ee" that
)ou1re in,erior ^ these thin+s (han+e&
whatever the) mi+ht $e# I, )ou thin0 )ou1re the $est-
+reatest- 4od1s +i,t to the wor"d- or )ou thin0 )ou1re
the a$so"ute $ottom o, the sta(0A i, )ou don1t 0now
who )ou are and what )ou wantA or sometimes )ou
thin0 )ou1re su*erior $ut sometimes )ou ,ee" that
)ou1re in,erior ^ these thin+s (han+e&
.) insi+ht (ame when I was a sRmaUera Gnovi(e
mon0H& DHow do )ou sto* thin0in+Q Nust sto* thin0in+&
'e""- how do )ou sto*Q Nust sto*& How do )ou just
sto*QE The mind wou"d a"wa)s (ome $a(0 with DHowQ
How (an )ou do itQE- wantin+ to ,i+ure it out rather
than trustin+ in the immanen(e o, it& Trustin+ is
re"aBin+ into it- it1s just attentiveness- whi(h is an a(t
o, ,aith- it1s a Itrustin+ness1 GsaddhRH& It +ives )ou
*ers*e(tive on an)thin+ )ou want to do- in("udin+
other st)"es o, meditation& Even trainin+ the *h)si(a"
$od) with these various mind,u" *ra(ti(es ^ o+a-
Tai /hi- /hi Kun+ and thin+s "i0e that ^ (an ,it we""
Intuitive Awareness
into the intuitive a**roa(h& U"timate")- when we
deve"o* these te(hniCues- it ends u* that one has to
trust in the mind,u"ness rather than in just Dme and
m) wi",u" e,,ortsE tr)in+ to do a"" these thin+s&
into the intuitive a**roa(h& U"timate")- when we
deve"o* these te(hniCues- it ends u* that one has to
trust in the mind,u"ness rather than in just Dme and
m) wi",u" e,,ortsE tr)in+ to do a"" these thin+s&
In TheravRda Buddhism- as (e"i$ate a"ms!mendi(ants
es*e(ia"")- we (an easi") see sensua" *"easure in
terms o, somethin+ we shou"dn1t enjo)& The 'estern
mind wi"" easi") see it in terms o, den)in+ *"easure-
ha**iness and jo)& 'e do the asu$ha *ra(ti(esA we
sa) the $od) is ,ou"- "oathsome- ,i""ed with eB(rement-
*us and s"ime and thin+s "i0e that& I, )ou1re a mon0
)ou shou"d never "oo0 at a woman- 0ee* )our e)es
down- and )ou shou"dn1t indu"+e in the *"easures o,
$eaut) ^ o, an)thin+& I remem$er in Thai"and hearin+
Intuitive Awareness
that I shou"dn1t even "oo0 at a ,"ower- $e(ause its
$eaut) wou"d (a*ture me and ma0e me thin0 wor"d")
thou+hts& Be(ause I1m ,rom a /hristian $a(0+round
whi(h has a stron+ *uritani(a" ethi( to it- it1s eas) to
assume that sense!*"easure is $ad and that it1s
dan+erous- )ou1ve +ot to tr) to den) it and avoid it at
a"" (osts& But then that1s another o*inion and view that
(omes out o, an ana")ti(a" mind- isn1t itQ
that I shou"dn1t even "oo0 at a ,"ower- $e(ause its
$eaut) wou"d (a*ture me and ma0e me thin0 wor"d")
thou+hts& Be(ause I1m ,rom a /hristian $a(0+round
whi(h has a stron+ *uritani(a" ethi( to it- it1s eas) to
assume that sense!*"easure is $ad and that it1s
dan+erous- )ou1ve +ot to tr) to den) it and avoid it at
a"" (osts& But then that1s another o*inion and view that
(omes out o, an ana")ti(a" mind- isn1t itQ
Intuitive Awareness
Some o, )ou have seen auto*sies& I do not ,ind that
these "ead to de*ression or aversion& /ontem*"atin+
a dead human $od) at an auto*s) when the)1re
(uttin+ it u*- i, )ou1ve never seen it $e,ore- it (an $e
*rett) sho(0in+& The sme""s and the a**earan(e ^
)ou (an ,ee" averse to it at ,irst& But i, )ou (an sta)
$e)ond the initia" rea(tion o, sho(0 and aversion- and
with sati!sam*ajaSSa $e o*en to a"" o, this- then what
I ,ind is a sense o, dis*assion- whi(h is a (oo" ,ee"in+&
It1s ver) ("ear- ver) (oo" and ver) *"easant to $e
dis*assionate& It1s not dis*assion throu+h du""ness or
just throu+h inte""e(tua" ()ni(ism# it1s just a ,ee"in+ o,
non!aversion& Dis*assion arises when we no "on+er
see the human $od) in su(h a standard wa) as $ein+
either ver) attra(tive and $eauti,u" or u+") and ,ou"-
$ut o, $ein+ a$"e to re"ate to it- whether our own-
some$od) e"se1s or a (or*se- in terms o, satisam*ajaSS
a& Sati!sam*ajaSSa o*ens the wa) to the
eB*erien(e o, dis*assion GvirR+aH&
Lust- on the other hand- is a "a(0 o, dis(rimination&
The eB*erien(e o, seBua" "ust is a stron+ *assion that
ta0es )ou over and )ou "ose )our dis(riminative
a$i"ities& The more )ou a$sor$ into it- the "ess
dis(riminator) )ou +et& It1s interestin+ that (riti(a"
*eo*"e Gthe dosa(arita or an+erMaversion t)*esH
usua"") "i0e the asu$ha *ra(tises& The) "i0e ver)
methodi(a" meditations# Dou do this and then )ou do
that-E ver) inte""e(tua"") we"" *resented DSta+e one-
sta+e twoE- in a ni(e "itt"e out"ine& I, )ou1re (riti(a"- it1s
eas) to see the $od) as ,ou" and dis+ustin+& A
0RmarR+a(arita- a "ust,u"- +reed) t)*e *erson- the)
"i0e mettR meditation the $est& ou tea(h mettR
Intuitive Awareness
G"ovin+!0indess meditationH and the) +o DOohOE with
de"i+ht $e(ause mettR is not (riti(a"- is itQ 'ith mettR
)ou are not $ein+ (riti(a" a$out an)thin+&
G"ovin+!0indess meditationH and the) +o DOohOE with
de"i+ht $e(ause mettR is not (riti(a"- is itQ 'ith mettR
)ou are not $ein+ (riti(a" a$out an)thin+&
'hen )ou tr) to (on(eive mettR as D"oveE- "ovin+
somethin+ in terms o, "i0in+ it- it ma0es it im*ossi$"e
to sustain mettR when )ou +et to thin+s )ou (an1t
stand- *eo*"e )ou hate and thin+s "i0e that& .ettR is
ver) hard to (ome to terms with on a (on(e*tua" "eve"&
To "ove )our enemies- to "ove *eo*"e )ou hate- who
)ou (an1t stand is- on the (on(e*tua" "eve"- an
im*ossi$"e di"emma& But in terms o, sati!sam*ajaSSa-
it1s a((e*tin+- $e(ause it in("udes ever)thin+ )ou "i0e
and dis"i0e& .ettR is not ana")ti(a"A it1s not dwe""in+
on wh) )ou hate some$od)& It1s not tr)in+ to ,i+ure out
wh) I hate this *erson- $ut it in("udes the who"e thin+
^ the ,ee"in+- the *erson- m)se", ^ a"" in the same
moment& So it1s em$ra(in+- a *oint that in("udes and
is non!(riti(a"& ou1re not tr)in+ to ,i+ure out an)thin+-
$ut just to o*en and a((e*t- $ein+ *atient with it&
Intuitive Awareness
'ith ,ood- ,or instan(e- we eat here in the dhutan+a
tradition ^ that is- eatin+ ,rom a"ms $ow"s ^ I- at "east-
(an no "on+er (onvin(e m)se", that I1m on") eatin+ one
mea" a da) an) more $e(ause o, this $rea0,ast thin+O
But however man) mea"s a da) )ou eat- there1s a
"imitation& Not $e(ause there1s an)thin+ wron+ with
enjo)in+ a mea"A it1s not that ,ood is dan+erous and
that an) 0ind o, *"easure )ou re(eive ,rom eatin+ wi""
$ind )ou to re$irth a+ain in the samsRra!va]]a Gthe
(ir("e o, $irth and deathH ^ that1s another view and
o*inion ^ $ut is a matter o, re(o+nisin+ the sim*"i(it)
o, the "i,e that we have& It1s sim*"i,)in+ ever)thin+& This
is wh) I "i0e this wa)&
'ith ,ood- ,or instan(e- we eat here in the dhutan+a
tradition ^ that is- eatin+ ,rom a"ms $ow"s ^ I- at "east-
(an no "on+er (onvin(e m)se", that I1m on") eatin+ one
mea" a da) an) more $e(ause o, this $rea0,ast thin+O
But however man) mea"s a da) )ou eat- there1s a
"imitation& Not $e(ause there1s an)thin+ wron+ with
enjo)in+ a mea"A it1s not that ,ood is dan+erous and
that an) 0ind o, *"easure )ou re(eive ,rom eatin+ wi""
$ind )ou to re$irth a+ain in the samsRra!va]]a Gthe
(ir("e o, $irth and deathH ^ that1s another view and
o*inion ^ $ut is a matter o, re(o+nisin+ the sim*"i(it)
o, the "i,e that we have& It1s sim*"i,)in+ ever)thin+& This
is wh) I "i0e this wa)&
sam*ajaSS
a& So it1s not ma0in+ eatin+ into an)
hass"e& 'hen I used to +o on ,asts- Luan+ 3or /hah
wou"d *oint out that I was ma0in+ a hass"e out o, m)
,ood& I (ou"dn1t just eatA I was ma0in+ it more di,,i(u"t
than it needed to $e& Then there is the +ui"t that (omes
u* i, )ou eat too mu(h or )ou ,ind )ourse", tr)in+ to +et
the +ood $its& I remem$er tr)in+ to +et the +ood *ie(es
,or m)se", and then ,ee"in+ +ui"t) a$out that& There1s
a +reed that rea"") wants the tast) $its and then ,ee"s
+ui"t) a$out it& Then it +ets (om*"i(ated& I (ou"dn1t just
$e +reed) and shame"ess- I a"so had to have a stron+
sense o, +ui"t around it and ho*e that no$od) wou"d
noti(e& I had to 0ee* it a se(ret- $e(ause I didn1t want
to "oo0 +reed)- I wanted to "oo0 as i, I wasn1t&
Intuitive Awareness
I remem$er that whi"st sta)in+ with Luan+ 3or Nun- I
was tr)in+ to $e a rea"") stri(t ve+etarian then- rea"")
stri(t& At the monaster) G'at Bun+ Khao Luan+H the)
had (ertain 0inds o, dishes that didn1t have an) 0ind
o, ,ish sau(e in them- or an) 0ind o, meat or ,ish& But-
as most o, )ou 0now- in Thai"and most o, the ,ood has
,ish sau(e in it or some 0ind o, anima" miBtures in it&
So it was di,,i(u"t $e(ause I had ver) "itt"e (hoi(e and
*eo*"e wou"d a"wa)s have to ma0e s*e(ia" thin+s ,or
me& I a"wa)s had to $e s*e(ia"& It had to $e 3hra
Sumedho1s ,ood and then the rest& That was hard to
dea" with ^ to $e a ,orei+ner- a D3hra 2aran+E- and
then to have a s*e(ia" diet and s*e(ia" *rivi"e+es&
That was hard ,or me to im*ose on the +rou*- as I was
he"*in+ to *ass out the ,ood- I1d +et ver) *ossessive&
The ve+eta$"e dishes the) did have- I ,e"t I had a ri+ht
to have a "ot o,- $e(ause the other mon0s were eatin+
a"" the ,ish- (hi(0en and thin+s "i0e that& I ,ound m)se",
aimin+ ,or the ve+etarian dishes ,irst so that I (ou"d
*ass them out a((ordin+ to m) own needs& It $rou+ht
u* a rea"") (hi"dish tenden() in me& Then one da)
another mon0 saw me doin+ this- so he +ra$$ed the
ve+etarian dish ,irst and on") +ave me a "itt"e s*oon,u"&
I was so an+r) when I saw that& I too0 this ,ermented
,ish sau(e- this rea"") stron+ stu,, and when I went *ast
his $ow"- I s*"attered it a"" over his ,oodO 2ortunate")-
we were ,or$idden to hit ea(h other& This is an
a$so"ute ne(essit) ,or men ^ to have ru"es a+ainst
*h)si(a" vio"en(eO
I remem$er that whi"st sta)in+ with Luan+ 3or Nun- I
was tr)in+ to $e a rea"") stri(t ve+etarian then- rea"")
stri(t& At the monaster) G'at Bun+ Khao Luan+H the)
had (ertain 0inds o, dishes that didn1t have an) 0ind
o, ,ish sau(e in them- or an) 0ind o, meat or ,ish& But-
as most o, )ou 0now- in Thai"and most o, the ,ood has
,ish sau(e in it or some 0ind o, anima" miBtures in it&
So it was di,,i(u"t $e(ause I had ver) "itt"e (hoi(e and
*eo*"e wou"d a"wa)s have to ma0e s*e(ia" thin+s ,or
me& I a"wa)s had to $e s*e(ia"& It had to $e 3hra
Sumedho1s ,ood and then the rest& That was hard to
dea" with ^ to $e a ,orei+ner- a D3hra 2aran+E- and
then to have a s*e(ia" diet and s*e(ia" *rivi"e+es&
That was hard ,or me to im*ose on the +rou*- as I was
he"*in+ to *ass out the ,ood- I1d +et ver) *ossessive&
The ve+eta$"e dishes the) did have- I ,e"t I had a ri+ht
to have a "ot o,- $e(ause the other mon0s were eatin+
a"" the ,ish- (hi(0en and thin+s "i0e that& I ,ound m)se",
aimin+ ,or the ve+etarian dishes ,irst so that I (ou"d
*ass them out a((ordin+ to m) own needs& It $rou+ht
u* a rea"") (hi"dish tenden() in me& Then one da)
another mon0 saw me doin+ this- so he +ra$$ed the
ve+etarian dish ,irst and on") +ave me a "itt"e s*oon,u"&
I was so an+r) when I saw that& I too0 this ,ermented
,ish sau(e- this rea"") stron+ stu,, and when I went *ast
his $ow"- I s*"attered it a"" over his ,oodO 2ortunate")-
we were ,or$idden to hit ea(h other& This is an
a$so"ute ne(essit) ,or men ^ to have ru"es a+ainst
*h)si(a" vio"en(eO
Intuitive Awareness
was a vindi(tive a(t to s*"atter a"" that stron+ (hi"i
sau(e with rotten ,ish in it over some mon01s ,ood& It
was a vio"ent a(t in order ,or me to 0ee* a sense that
I1m a *ure ve+etarian& So I $e+an to Cuestion whether
I wanted to ma0e ,ood into su(h a $i+ dea" in m) "i,e&
'as I wantin+ to "ive m) "i,e as a ve+etarian or whatQ
'as that the main ,o(us that I was aimin+ atQ Nust
(ontem*"atin+ this- I $e+an to see the su,,erin+ I
(reated around m) idea"ism& I noti(ed Luan+ 3or
/hah (ertain") enjo)ed his ,ood and he had a jo),u"
*resen(e& It wasn1t "i0e an as(eti( tri* where )ou1re
eatin+ nett"e sou* and reje(tin+ the +ood $itsA that1s
the other eBtreme&
was a vindi(tive a(t to s*"atter a"" that stron+ (hi"i
sau(e with rotten ,ish in it over some mon01s ,ood& It
was a vio"ent a(t in order ,or me to 0ee* a sense that
I1m a *ure ve+etarian& So I $e+an to Cuestion whether
I wanted to ma0e ,ood into su(h a $i+ dea" in m) "i,e&
'as I wantin+ to "ive m) "i,e as a ve+etarian or whatQ
'as that the main ,o(us that I was aimin+ atQ Nust
(ontem*"atin+ this- I $e+an to see the su,,erin+ I
(reated around m) idea"ism& I noti(ed Luan+ 3or
/hah (ertain") enjo)ed his ,ood and he had a jo),u"
*resen(e& It wasn1t "i0e an as(eti( tri* where )ou1re
eatin+ nett"e sou* and reje(tin+ the +ood $itsA that1s
the other eBtreme&
Or is the o**osite eBtreme the aim the
0Rmasu0ha""i0Rnu)o+a one o, DEat- drin0 and $e merr)- ,or
Intuitive Awareness
tomorrow )ou ma) dieQ Enjo) "i,e& Li,e is a $anCuet and
most o, the su(0ers are starvin+ to deathE& This is a
Cuote ,rom a ,i,ties move (a""ed Auntie .a)& Auntie
.a) mana+ed rea"") to enjo) "i,e to the hi"t- in the
movie an)wa)& She1s a 0ind o, i(on- not a rea" woman
$ut an i(on o, inte""i+en(e and $eaut)- one who just
"ives "i,e to the hi"t and enjo)s ever)thin+& That1s a
ver) attra(tive ido"# to see this "i,e is meant to $e ,u""
o, *"easure- ha**iness and "ove& So +ras*in+ that is
the 0Rmasu0ha""i0Rnu)o+a&
tomorrow )ou ma) dieQ Enjo) "i,e& Li,e is a $anCuet and
most o, the su(0ers are starvin+ to deathE& This is a
Cuote ,rom a ,i,ties move (a""ed Auntie .a)& Auntie
.a) mana+ed rea"") to enjo) "i,e to the hi"t- in the
movie an)wa)& She1s a 0ind o, i(on- not a rea" woman
$ut an i(on o, inte""i+en(e and $eaut)- one who just
"ives "i,e to the hi"t and enjo)s ever)thin+& That1s a
ver) attra(tive ido"# to see this "i,e is meant to $e ,u""
o, *"easure- ha**iness and "ove& So +ras*in+ that is
the 0Rmasu0ha""i0Rnu)o+a&
Li,e is "i0e this& ou (an1t sa) it1s a $anCuet a"" the
time& Breath +oin+ in&&& I wou"dn1t des(ri$e it as a
$anCuet- or that the sound o, si"en(e is "i,e at its $est-
where it1s just one "au+h a,ter another& It1s just "i0e
this& .ost o, our eB*erien(e is neither one eBtreme
nor anotherA it1s "i0e this& .ost o, one1s "i,e is not *ea0
moments- either in the hei+hts or the de*ths- $ut it1s
Intuitive Awareness
neitherMnor- it1s that whi(h we don1t noti(e i, we1re
*rimed to the eBtremes&
neitherMnor- it1s that whi(h we don1t noti(e i, we1re
*rimed to the eBtremes&
'e "ive on a *"anet that is Cuite $eauti,u"& Nature is
Cuite $eauti,u" to the e)e& So seein+ it ,rom satisam*ajaSS
a I eB*erien(e jo) ,rom that& 'hen we
s*ea0 ,rom *ersona" ha$its ^ then it (an +et
(om*"i(ated& It1s (om*"i(ated- no dou$t- with wantin+
and not wantin+- with +ui"t- or just not even noti(in+& I,
)ou +et too invo"ved with what1s in )our head- a,ter
whi"e )ou don1t even noti(e- an)thin+ outside& ou (an
$e in the most $eauti,u" *"a(e in the wor"d and not
see it- not noti(e it& So then $eaut) as eB*erien(e- or
sense!*"easure- is seein+ somethin+ ,or what it is& It
is *"easura$"eA +ood ,ood does taste +oodA tastin+ a
+ood- de"i(ious ,"avour is "i0e thisA it1s *ure") enjo)a$"e&
That1s the wa) it is& So )ou ma) (ontem*"ate DOh- I
shou"dn1tE ^ then )ou1re addin+ more to it& But ,rom
sati!sam*ajaSSa it is what it is& It1s eB*erien(in+ the
Intuitive Awareness
,"ow o, "i,e ,rom this (entre!*oint- ,rom the sti"" *oint
that in("udes rather than ,rom the *oint that eB("udes-
the eBtreme where we want on") the $eauti,u" and the
+ood- just to have one $anCuet a,ter another& 'hen
we (an1t sustain that de"usion we +et de*ressed& 'e
+o to the o**osite- wantin+ to 0i"" ourse"ves or
annihi"ate ourse"ves in some wa)&
,"ow o, "i,e ,rom this (entre!*oint- ,rom the sti"" *oint
that in("udes rather than ,rom the *oint that eB("udes-
the eBtreme where we want on") the $eauti,u" and the
+ood- just to have one $anCuet a,ter another& 'hen
we (an1t sustain that de"usion we +et de*ressed& 'e
+o to the o**osite- wantin+ to 0i"" ourse"ves or
annihi"ate ourse"ves in some wa)&
Intuitive Awareness
to $e where there are $"ue s0ies and sunshine a"" the
time&E
to $e where there are $"ue s0ies and sunshine a"" the
time&E
/ons(iousness is "i0e a mirrorA it re,"e(ts& A mirror
re,"e(ts ^ it doesn1t just re,"e(t the $eauti,u" or the
u+")& I, )ou rea"") "oo0 into a mirror- it1s re,"e(tin+
whatever# the s*a(e- the neutra"it)- ever)thin+ that is
in ,ront o, it& Usua"") )ou (an on") noti(e the
outstandin+ ones- the eBtremes o, $eaut) or u+"iness&
But to awa0en to the wa) it is- )ou1re not "oo0in+ at
the o$vious- $ut re(o+nisin+ the su$t"et) $ehind the
eBtremes o, $eaut) and u+"iness& The sound o,
si"en(e is "i0e a su$t"et) $ehind ever)thin+ that )ou
awa0en to- $e(ause )ou don1t noti(e it usua"") i, )ou1re
Intuitive Awareness
see0in+ the eBtremes&
see0in+ the eBtremes&
These are idea"sA *ositions that we mi+ht ta0e& The)
are the Itrue $ut not ri+htA ri+ht $ut not true1 *redi(ament
that we (reate with our dua"isti( mindA not that the)1re
wron+& In 4eor+e Orwe""1s nove" Anima" 2arm there
is a s"o+an# DEver)one is eCua" $ut some are more
eCua" than othersE& In the (onditioned rea"m- this is
how we thin0& 'e a"" thin0 a"" human $ein+s are eCua"-
idea"")& A"" human $ein+s are eCua"- $ut with the
Intuitive Awareness
*ra(ti(a"ities o, "i,e- some are more eCua" than others&
ou won1t ,ind the a,,"uent 'estern 'or"d wi""in+ to
+ive u* mu(h ,or the sa0e o, eCua"it) in the Third
'or"d&
*ra(ti(a"ities o, "i,e- some are more eCua" than others&
ou won1t ,ind the a,,"uent 'estern 'or"d wi""in+ to
+ive u* mu(h ,or the sa0e o, eCua"it) in the Third
'or"d&
Intuitive Awareness
Identit)
Is there an)one- an) *erson or an) (ondition that is
a$so"ute") ri+ht ^ or a$so"ute") wron+Q /an ri+ht and
wron+ or +ood and $ad- $e a$so"uteQ 'hen )ou
disse(t it- when )ou rea"") "oo0 at it in terms o, the
wa) it is now- there is nothin+ to itA it1s ,oam on the
sea- it1s soa* $u$$"es& et this is how we (an +et
ourse"ves (om*"ete") (au+ht u* in i""usions&
'e1"" sa(ri,i(e our "i,e ,or an i""usion- to tr) to *rote(t
our identities- our *ositions- our territories& 'e1re ver)
territoria"& 'e thin0 this En+"and here $e"on+s to the
En+"ish& 'hen we ta0e that a*art- does this *"ot o,
"and here sa) it1s En+"andQ 'hen I do jon+rom
Gwa"0in+ meditationH outside- does the earth (ome u*
and sa)- Dou1re wa"0in+ on me ^ En+"and&E It1s never
said that- neverO But I sa) I1m wa"0in+ here in En+"and&
I1m the one who1s (a""in+ it En+"and- and that is an
identit)- a (onventiona" identit)& 'e a"" a+ree to (a""
this *"ot o, "and here IEn+"and1- $ut it1s not rea"") thatA
it is what it is& et we1"" ,i+ht- torture and (ommit the
most atro(ious a(ts over territor)- Cui$$"in+ a$out just
one in(h o, *ro*ert) on a $order& The "and doesn1t
$e"on+ to an)$od)A even i, I own "and "e+a"") ^ DThis
$e"on+s to Ajahn SumedhoE ^ it doesn1t rea"")A that1s
just a (onvention&
Intuitive Awareness
'hen we $ind ourse"ves to these (onventions and
these i""usions- then o, (ourse we1re trou$"ed $e(ause
these are so unsta$"e and not in "ine with Dhamma&
'e end u* wastin+ our "ives around tr)in+ to in(rease
this sense o, identi,i(ation- the sense o,- DIt1s mine- it
$e"on+s to me and I want to *rote(t it& I want to hand it
down to ,uture +enerations&E On and on "i0e this- into
,uture "ives and the +enerations that ,o""ow& 'e (reate
a who"e rea"m o, i""usion- *ersona"it) and identit) with
the *er(e*tions that we (reate in our minds- whi(h
arise and (ease- whi(h have no rea" (ore to them- no
essen(e&
'hen we $ind ourse"ves to these (onventions and
these i""usions- then o, (ourse we1re trou$"ed $e(ause
these are so unsta$"e and not in "ine with Dhamma&
'e end u* wastin+ our "ives around tr)in+ to in(rease
this sense o, identi,i(ation- the sense o,- DIt1s mine- it
$e"on+s to me and I want to *rote(t it& I want to hand it
down to ,uture +enerations&E On and on "i0e this- into
,uture "ives and the +enerations that ,o""ow& 'e (reate
a who"e rea"m o, i""usion- *ersona"it) and identit) with
the *er(e*tions that we (reate in our minds- whi(h
arise and (ease- whi(h have no rea" (ore to them- no
essen(e&
Intuitive Awareness
this "a$e"- with this *er(e*tion&
this "a$e"- with this *er(e*tion&
Then there is this en(oura+ement to what we (a""
Imeditation1& This word Imeditation1 (an mean a"" 0inds
o, thin+s& It1s a word that in("udes an) 0ind o, menta"
*ra(ti(es- +ood or $ad& But when I use this word- what
I1m main") usin+ it ,or is that sense o, (entrin+- that
sense o, esta$"ishin+- restin+ in the (entre& The on")
wa) that one (an rea"") do that is not to tr) and thin0
a$out it and ana")se itA )ou have to trust in just a sim*"e
Intuitive Awareness
a(t o, attention- o, awareness& It1s so sim*"e and so
dire(t that our (om*"i(ated minds +et ver) (on,used&
D'hat1s he ta"0in+ a$outQ I1ve never seen an) sti""
*oint& I1ve never ,ound a sti"" *oint in me& 'hen I sit
and meditate- there1s nothin+ sti"" a$out it&E But there1s
an awareness o, that& Even i, )ou thin0 )ou1ve never
had a sti"" *oint or )ou1re a (on,used- messed!u*
(hara(ter that rea"") (an1t meditate- trust in the
awareness o, that ver) *er(e*tion& That1s wh) I
en(oura+e- whatever )ou thin0 )ou are- to thin0 it
de"i$erate")A rea"") eB*"ore the 0ind o, *er(e*tions )ou
have o, )ourse",- so that the)1re not just ha$itua"")
+oin+ throu+h )our mind and )ou1re either $e"ievin+
them or tr)in+ to +et rid o, them& The more we tr) to
+et rid o, *ersona"ities- the more (on,used we +et& I,
)ou assume that )ou1ve +ot to +et rid o, )our
*ersona"it) in some wa) $e(ause it1s an i""usion- then
)ou1re (au+ht in another i""usion- that DI1m someone
that has a *ersona"it) that I1ve +ot to +et rid o,A I1m the
*ersona"it) that1s +ot to +et rid o, m) *ersona"it)&E It
doesn1t +et an)where ^ ridi(u"ous& It1s not a matter
o, +ettin+ rid o,- $ut o, 0nowin+&
a(t o, attention- o, awareness& It1s so sim*"e and so
dire(t that our (om*"i(ated minds +et ver) (on,used&
D'hat1s he ta"0in+ a$outQ I1ve never seen an) sti""
*oint& I1ve never ,ound a sti"" *oint in me& 'hen I sit
and meditate- there1s nothin+ sti"" a$out it&E But there1s
an awareness o, that& Even i, )ou thin0 )ou1ve never
had a sti"" *oint or )ou1re a (on,used- messed!u*
(hara(ter that rea"") (an1t meditate- trust in the
awareness o, that ver) *er(e*tion& That1s wh) I
en(oura+e- whatever )ou thin0 )ou are- to thin0 it
de"i$erate")A rea"") eB*"ore the 0ind o, *er(e*tions )ou
have o, )ourse",- so that the)1re not just ha$itua"")
+oin+ throu+h )our mind and )ou1re either $e"ievin+
them or tr)in+ to +et rid o, them& The more we tr) to
+et rid o, *ersona"ities- the more (on,used we +et& I,
)ou assume that )ou1ve +ot to +et rid o, )our
*ersona"it) in some wa) $e(ause it1s an i""usion- then
)ou1re (au+ht in another i""usion- that DI1m someone
that has a *ersona"it) that I1ve +ot to +et rid o,A I1m the
*ersona"it) that1s +ot to +et rid o, m) *ersona"it)&E It
doesn1t +et an)where ^ ridi(u"ous& It1s not a matter
o, +ettin+ rid o,- $ut o, 0nowin+&
Intuitive Awareness
However- there is that whi(h (an $e aware o, the
*ersona"it) as a (onstru(tion& I de"i$erate") thin0- DI
am a s(rewed!u* *erson that needs to meditate in
order to $e(ome en"i+htened in the ,uture&E I thin0 that-
$ut I1m "istenin+ to itA I1m de"i$erate") thin0in+ it and
I1m investi+atin+ it& I have (reated that *er(e*tion& I
have (hosen to thin0 that and I (an hear m)se",
thin0in+ it& That whi(h is aware and "istens to that
*er(e*tion I don1t (reate& It1s not a (reation- is itQ I
(reate this *er(e*tion- $ut that whi(h is aware o, the
*er(e*tion&&& ou (an investi+ate- $e+in to 0now the
di,,eren(e $etween awareness and thin0in+& 'hat is
the sti"" *oint- the (entre- the *oint that in("udesQ This
0ind o, thin0in+ is re,"e(tive- isn1t itQ I1m just as0in+
m)se", this Cuestion to $rin+ attention to this& I1m not
"oo0in+ ,or an answer in terms o, some$od) to +ive
me an answer to that Cuestion- $ut that1s a re,"e(tive
Cuestion that ("ari,ies m) attentionA it he"*s me to
,o(us- to $e aware&
However- there is that whi(h (an $e aware o, the
*ersona"it) as a (onstru(tion& I de"i$erate") thin0- DI
am a s(rewed!u* *erson that needs to meditate in
order to $e(ome en"i+htened in the ,uture&E I thin0 that-
$ut I1m "istenin+ to itA I1m de"i$erate") thin0in+ it and
I1m investi+atin+ it& I have (reated that *er(e*tion& I
have (hosen to thin0 that and I (an hear m)se",
thin0in+ it& That whi(h is aware and "istens to that
*er(e*tion I don1t (reate& It1s not a (reation- is itQ I
(reate this *er(e*tion- $ut that whi(h is aware o, the
*er(e*tion&&& ou (an investi+ate- $e+in to 0now the
di,,eren(e $etween awareness and thin0in+& 'hat is
the sti"" *oint- the (entre- the *oint that in("udesQ This
0ind o, thin0in+ is re,"e(tive- isn1t itQ I1m just as0in+
m)se", this Cuestion to $rin+ attention to this& I1m not
"oo0in+ ,or an answer in terms o, some$od) to +ive
me an answer to that Cuestion- $ut that1s a re,"e(tive
Cuestion that ("ari,ies m) attentionA it he"*s me to
,o(us- to $e aware&
Intuitive Awareness
As soon as we identi,) with it- we have a ne+ative
thou+ht and it hoo0s us& I ,ee" some ne+ative ,ee"in+#
DOh- here I +o a+ain- $ein+ (riti(a" and ne+ative a$out
some$od) and I shou"dn1t do that& I1ve $een a mon0
a"" these )ears and how (an I sto* doin+ thatQ I1ve
"ost it&E I1ve identi,ied with a ne+ative thou+ht and it
tri++ers o,, a"" 0inds o, ,ee"in+s o, des*air& Or DI
shou"dn1t $e "i0e this- I shou"dn1t thin0 "i0e this& A +ood
mon0 shou"d "ove ever)$od)&&&E- then- with awareness-
)ou sudden") sto* that and )ou1re $a(0 in the (entre
a+ain&
As soon as we identi,) with it- we have a ne+ative
thou+ht and it hoo0s us& I ,ee" some ne+ative ,ee"in+#
DOh- here I +o a+ain- $ein+ (riti(a" and ne+ative a$out
some$od) and I shou"dn1t do that& I1ve $een a mon0
a"" these )ears and how (an I sto* doin+ thatQ I1ve
"ost it&E I1ve identi,ied with a ne+ative thou+ht and it
tri++ers o,, a"" 0inds o, ,ee"in+s o, des*air& Or DI
shou"dn1t $e "i0e this- I shou"dn1t thin0 "i0e this& A +ood
mon0 shou"d "ove ever)$od)&&&E- then- with awareness-
)ou sudden") sto* that and )ou1re $a(0 in the (entre
a+ain&
Intuitive Awareness
the ha$its or the *ersona"it) that we have& 'e1re not
jud+in+ or (ondemnin+- *raisin+- adu"atin+ or
eBa++eratin+ an)thin+& It is what it is& As we do that-
our identit) with it $e+ins to s"i* awa)& 'e no "on+er
see0 identit) with our i""usionsA we1ve $ro0en throu+h
that& 'hen we1ve seen throu+h that i""usion o, se",-
what we thin0 we are& Then our in("ination is towards
this (entre *oint- this Buddho *osition&
the ha$its or the *ersona"it) that we have& 'e1re not
jud+in+ or (ondemnin+- *raisin+- adu"atin+ or
eBa++eratin+ an)thin+& It is what it is& As we do that-
our identit) with it $e+ins to s"i* awa)& 'e no "on+er
see0 identit) with our i""usionsA we1ve $ro0en throu+h
that& 'hen we1ve seen throu+h that i""usion o, se",-
what we thin0 we are& Then our in("ination is towards
this (entre *oint- this Buddho *osition&
Intuitive Awareness
I, one o, )ou shou"d (ome to me and sa)- DAjahn
Sumedho- I1m rea"") s(rewed u*& I was ver) $ad")
treated when I was a (hi"d& I1ve +ot so man) neuroti(
*ro$"ems and ,ears& I rea"") need to +o to thera*) and
+et these thin+s strai+htened u* in some wa) $e(ause
I (an1t rea"") meditate the wa) I am-E and I sa)- D'e""-
)eah- )ou shou"d& ou1re rea"") s(rewed u*O I thin0
)ou shou"d +o to a thera*ist and strai+hten )ourse",
out ,irst- then meditate a,ter that&E 'ou"d that $e ver)
he"*,u"Q 'ou"d I $e *ointin+ to the sti"" *oint or wou"d
I $e *er*etuatin+ )our own se",!viewQ That view
mi+ht even $e ri+ht on a wor"d") "eve"- I1m not sa)in+
)ou shou"dn1t& This is $est# not to te"" )ou- sa)in+ )ou
are this wa) or that wa)- not to +ive )ou some 0ind o,
identit) to atta(h to- $ut to em*ower or en(oura+e )ou
to trust in )our own a$i"it) to wa0e u*- to *a) attention&
The resu"t o, that I don1t 0now& I ho*e it wi"" $e a +ood
one& But it1s true# )our true identit) isn1t de*endent
u*on an) (ondition&
I, one o, )ou shou"d (ome to me and sa)- DAjahn
Sumedho- I1m rea"") s(rewed u*& I was ver) $ad")
treated when I was a (hi"d& I1ve +ot so man) neuroti(
*ro$"ems and ,ears& I rea"") need to +o to thera*) and
+et these thin+s strai+htened u* in some wa) $e(ause
I (an1t rea"") meditate the wa) I am-E and I sa)- D'e""-
)eah- )ou shou"d& ou1re rea"") s(rewed u*O I thin0
)ou shou"d +o to a thera*ist and strai+hten )ourse",
out ,irst- then meditate a,ter that&E 'ou"d that $e ver)
he"*,u"Q 'ou"d I $e *ointin+ to the sti"" *oint or wou"d
I $e *er*etuatin+ )our own se",!viewQ That view
mi+ht even $e ri+ht on a wor"d") "eve"- I1m not sa)in+
)ou shou"dn1t& This is $est# not to te"" )ou- sa)in+ )ou
are this wa) or that wa)- not to +ive )ou some 0ind o,
identit) to atta(h to- $ut to em*ower or en(oura+e )ou
to trust in )our own a$i"it) to wa0e u*- to *a) attention&
The resu"t o, that I don1t 0now& I ho*e it wi"" $e a +ood
one& But it1s true# )our true identit) isn1t de*endent
u*on an) (ondition&
Intuitive Awareness
that )ou need to do is to wa0e u* ^ sim*"e as that^
that is in itse", a (onvention o, "an+ua+e& This is where
this em*owerment or en(oura+ement is *ointin+ to
an immanent a(t o, awa0enin+- not to te"" )ou that )ou
are some 0ind o, *erson- )ou1re as"ee* and )ou shou"d
wa0e u* or that )ou shou"d +ras* that idea- $ut that
sense o, a(tua"") $ein+ that&
that )ou need to do is to wa0e u* ^ sim*"e as that^
that is in itse", a (onvention o, "an+ua+e& This is where
this em*owerment or en(oura+ement is *ointin+ to
an immanent a(t o, awa0enin+- not to te"" )ou that )ou
are some 0ind o, *erson- )ou1re as"ee* and )ou shou"d
wa0e u* or that )ou shou"d +ras* that idea- $ut that
sense o, a(tua"") $ein+ that&
Intuitive Awareness
That was a si+n to o, me where I had somethin+- it
was a 0ind o, si+n that drew me into this "i,e& But then
the +ood thin+ a$out $ein+ hi+h") individua"isti(-
s(e*ti(a" and dou$t,u" is that )ou do tend to Cuestion
ever)thin+& That whi(h is sa(red and never
Cuestioned o,ten times in re"i+ions was a""owed to $e
Cuestioned& One thin+ I a**re(iated with Luan+ 3or
/hah was that ever)thin+ was u* ,or Cuestionin+& He
was never one ,or a *erem*tor) a**roa(h o, Dou have
to $e"ieve in this and )ou have to $e"ieve in that&E
There was never that hard- heav)!handed- di(tatoria"
st)"eA it was mu(h more this re,"e(tive Cuestionin+ and
inCuir)& One o, the *ro$"ems with 'esterners is that
we1re (om*"i(ated $e(ause o, the "a(0 o, ,aith& Our
identities +et so (om*"i(ated in so man) wa)s and
hi+h") *ersona"- we ta0e ever)thin+ *ersona"")& SeBua"
desire and the seBua" ,or(es in the $od) are re+arded
as ver) *ersona"& The same is true with hun+er and
thirst- we identi,) with hun+er in a ver) *ersona" wa)&
The $asi( ,or(es that are just natura" we ta0e on and
jud+e them *ersona"")# D'e shou"dn1t $e (oward") and
wea0- *usi""animous&E 'e +et ver) (om*"i(ated
$e(ause we jud+e ourse"ves end"ess")- (riti(ise
ourse"ves a((ordin+ to ver) hi+h standards- ver)
idea"- no$"e standards that we (an never "ive u* to&
'e +et ver) se",!dis*ara+in+- neuroti( and de*ressed
$e(ause we1re not in tou(h with nature& 'e1ve (ome
,rom the wor"d o, ideas rather than ,rom rea"isin+ the
natura" "aw&
That was a si+n to o, me where I had somethin+- it
was a 0ind o, si+n that drew me into this "i,e& But then
the +ood thin+ a$out $ein+ hi+h") individua"isti(-
s(e*ti(a" and dou$t,u" is that )ou do tend to Cuestion
ever)thin+& That whi(h is sa(red and never
Cuestioned o,ten times in re"i+ions was a""owed to $e
Cuestioned& One thin+ I a**re(iated with Luan+ 3or
/hah was that ever)thin+ was u* ,or Cuestionin+& He
was never one ,or a *erem*tor) a**roa(h o, Dou have
to $e"ieve in this and )ou have to $e"ieve in that&E
There was never that hard- heav)!handed- di(tatoria"
st)"eA it was mu(h more this re,"e(tive Cuestionin+ and
inCuir)& One o, the *ro$"ems with 'esterners is that
we1re (om*"i(ated $e(ause o, the "a(0 o, ,aith& Our
identities +et so (om*"i(ated in so man) wa)s and
hi+h") *ersona"- we ta0e ever)thin+ *ersona"")& SeBua"
desire and the seBua" ,or(es in the $od) are re+arded
as ver) *ersona"& The same is true with hun+er and
thirst- we identi,) with hun+er in a ver) *ersona" wa)&
The $asi( ,or(es that are just natura" we ta0e on and
jud+e them *ersona"")# D'e shou"dn1t $e (oward") and
wea0- *usi""animous&E 'e +et ver) (om*"i(ated
$e(ause we jud+e ourse"ves end"ess")- (riti(ise
ourse"ves a((ordin+ to ver) hi+h standards- ver)
idea"- no$"e standards that we (an never "ive u* to&
'e +et ver) se",!dis*ara+in+- neuroti( and de*ressed
$e(ause we1re not in tou(h with nature& 'e1ve (ome
,rom the wor"d o, ideas rather than ,rom rea"isin+ the
natura" "aw&
Intuitive Awareness
$od) is "i0e thisA it1s a seBua" $od) so it1s +oin+ to
have these ener+ies& It has seBua" or+ans- it1s made
"i0e this- this is the wa) it is- so it1s not *ersona"& I didn1t
(reate it& 'e $e+in to "oo0 at the most o$vious thin+s-
the $asi(s- the human $od)- in terms o, the wa) it is
rather than identi,)in+ with it *ersona"")& Hun+er and
thirst are "i0e this ^ we investi+ate the instin(tua"
ener+ies- the ur+e ,or surviva"& 'e have stron+ surviva"
and *ro(reative instin(ts# hun+er and thirst- the ur+e
to *rote(t ourse"ves- the need ,or sa,et)& 'e a"" need
to ,ee" some 0ind o, *h)si(a" sa,et)- whi(h is a surviva"
instin(tA these are $asi( to the anima" 0in+dom- not
just the human& It +ets more (om*"i(ated $e(ause we
identi,) with it and jud+e it a((ordin+ to ver) hi+h
standards and idea"s& Then we $e(ome neuroti(- it
+ets a"" over the *"a(e- we (an1t do an)thin+ ri+ht& This
is the (om*"i(ated mess that we (reate in our "ives ^
ver) (on,usin+&
$od) is "i0e thisA it1s a seBua" $od) so it1s +oin+ to
have these ener+ies& It has seBua" or+ans- it1s made
"i0e this- this is the wa) it is- so it1s not *ersona"& I didn1t
(reate it& 'e $e+in to "oo0 at the most o$vious thin+s-
the $asi(s- the human $od)- in terms o, the wa) it is
rather than identi,)in+ with it *ersona"")& Hun+er and
thirst are "i0e this ^ we investi+ate the instin(tua"
ener+ies- the ur+e ,or surviva"& 'e have stron+ surviva"
and *ro(reative instin(ts# hun+er and thirst- the ur+e
to *rote(t ourse"ves- the need ,or sa,et)& 'e a"" need
to ,ee" some 0ind o, *h)si(a" sa,et)- whi(h is a surviva"
instin(tA these are $asi( to the anima" 0in+dom- not
just the human& It +ets more (om*"i(ated $e(ause we
identi,) with it and jud+e it a((ordin+ to ver) hi+h
standards and idea"s& Then we $e(ome neuroti(- it
+ets a"" over the *"a(e- we (an1t do an)thin+ ri+ht& This
is the (om*"i(ated mess that we (reate in our "ives ^
ver) (on,usin+&
Intuitive Awareness
the (om*"i(ated se", that we have (reated and identi,)
with&
the (om*"i(ated se", that we have (reated and identi,)
with&
Intuitive Awareness
o, attention and awareness rather than end"ess")
tr)in+ to sort it out on the turnin+ whee" with a"" its
(om*"i(ated thou+hts and ha$its- where )ou just +et
di__) and tota"") (on,used&
o, attention and awareness rather than end"ess")
tr)in+ to sort it out on the turnin+ whee" with a"" its
(om*"i(ated thou+hts and ha$its- where )ou just +et
di__) and tota"") (on,used&
Intuitive Awareness
'hen ou1re an Emotiona" 're(0
A"thou+h ri+ht now were in a *er,e(t retreat situation
where we1ve +ot ever)thin+ under (ontro" and *er,e(t
,or what we re+ard as a *ro*er- ,orma" retreat& In
(ontrast to this neBt wee0 there wi"" $e a "ot o, (omin+s
and +oin+s- and thin+s ha**enin+ that we (an1t
(ontro"& Nust $e aware o, eB*e(tation- a view a$out
what a *ro*er- ,orma" retreat shou"d $e& 'hatever
views or o*inions )ou ma) have- just 0now the wa)
the) are& 'hatever 0ind o, irritation- ,rustration or
aversion )ou mi+ht ,ee"- )ou (an use a"" o, that ,or
meditation& The im*ortant thin+ is the awareness that
Dit is the wa) it isE ^ rather than tr)in+ just to su**ress
)our ,ee"in+s- to i+nore- or just +et ver) u*set and
an+r) a$out thin+s not +oin+ the wa) )ou want- and
then not "oo0in+ at that- not ta0in+ the o**ortunit) to
o$serve the wa) it is& I, one is u*set a$out the wa) it
is- one (an use that- that is a *art o, the meditation&
Unwanted thin+s ha**en in an) retreat& Li0e the
window in the Tem*"e- the e"e(tri( motor that o*ens
and ("oses it doesn1t wor0& Hi+h!te(h- isn1t itQ 'e
(ou"d use a "on+ *o"e- or we (ou"d +et 0notted ro*es
and han+ them ,rom the $eams and "earn to ("im$
them to o*en and ("ose the windows& It wou"d $e +ood
*h)si(a" eBer(iseO Then the s*ot"i+ht went out& I noti(e
Intuitive Awareness
in m) own mind that when thin+s +o wron+- thin+s
$rea0 or thin+s are +oin+ in a wa) ,ee" that ma0e me
,rustration or ma)$e irritation- then I "i0e to use those
situations& I, the window doesn1t ("ose- and the
s*ot"i+ht doesn1t +o on- I (an ,ee" a (ertain wa)& I1m
aware o, that ,ee"in+ o, not wantin+ the s*ot"i+ht to $e
$ro0en or the window or whatever& This ,ee"in+ o,
wantin+ to +et it ,iBed ri+ht awa)# D'e (an just +et
some$od) in to do it ri+ht now $etween $rea0s so it
doesn1t inter,ere with m) *ra(ti(e&E But noti(e in a"" o,
this that mind,u"ness is the im*ortant ,a(tor- $e(ause
(on(entration (an +et disru*ted $ut mind,u"ness- i, )ou
trust it- o*ens to the ,"ow o, "i,e as an eB*erien(e- with
its *"easure and *ain&
in m) own mind that when thin+s +o wron+- thin+s
$rea0 or thin+s are +oin+ in a wa) ,ee" that ma0e me
,rustration or ma)$e irritation- then I "i0e to use those
situations& I, the window doesn1t ("ose- and the
s*ot"i+ht doesn1t +o on- I (an ,ee" a (ertain wa)& I1m
aware o, that ,ee"in+ o, not wantin+ the s*ot"i+ht to $e
$ro0en or the window or whatever& This ,ee"in+ o,
wantin+ to +et it ,iBed ri+ht awa)# D'e (an just +et
some$od) in to do it ri+ht now $etween $rea0s so it
doesn1t inter,ere with m) *ra(ti(e&E But noti(e in a"" o,
this that mind,u"ness is the im*ortant ,a(tor- $e(ause
(on(entration (an +et disru*ted $ut mind,u"ness- i, )ou
trust it- o*ens to the ,"ow o, "i,e as an eB*erien(e- with
its *"easure and *ain&
Intuitive Awareness
o, Buddhism that doesn1t ,it into what we (onsider ri+ht
is then wron+- or that other re"i+ions are wron+& That1s
the thin0in+ $ehind se",!ri+hteous views- and noti(e
how "imitin+ it is& ou1re o,ten then stu(0 with these
thou+hts and *er(e*tions and o,ten times ver) in,erior
*er(e*tions o, )ourse",& 'e (an $e atta(hed to ver)
ne+ative *er(e*tions o, ourse"ves and thin0 that1s
ri+ht& A**er(e*tion means $ein+ aware o, *er(e*tion&
3er(e*tions o, m)se",- or that Buddhism is ri+ht- is "i0e
this& DBuddha1s tea(hin+s are ri+htE ^ that a"" rises
and (eases- and what1s "e,t is this& There1s sti""
(ons(iousness- awareness- inte""i+en(e& It1s *ure- $ut
it1s not m) *urit) as a *ersona" a(hievement- it1s
natura"") *ure&
o, Buddhism that doesn1t ,it into what we (onsider ri+ht
is then wron+- or that other re"i+ions are wron+& That1s
the thin0in+ $ehind se",!ri+hteous views- and noti(e
how "imitin+ it is& ou1re o,ten then stu(0 with these
thou+hts and *er(e*tions and o,ten times ver) in,erior
*er(e*tions o, )ourse",& 'e (an $e atta(hed to ver)
ne+ative *er(e*tions o, ourse"ves and thin0 that1s
ri+ht& A**er(e*tion means $ein+ aware o, *er(e*tion&
3er(e*tions o, m)se",- or that Buddhism is ri+ht- is "i0e
this& DBuddha1s tea(hin+s are ri+htE ^ that a"" rises
and (eases- and what1s "e,t is this& There1s sti""
(ons(iousness- awareness- inte""i+en(e& It1s *ure- $ut
it1s not m) *urit) as a *ersona" a(hievement- it1s
natura"") *ure&
^ I (an (ertain") ,ee" it& Awareness in("udes
emotiona" states- no matter the) are& 'hether )ou1re
ha**) or sad- e"ated or de*ressed- (on,used or ("ear-
(on,ident or dou$t,u"- jea"ous or ,ri+htened- +reed) or
"ust,u"- it in("udes a"" those- $ut just $) noti(in+ in a
Intuitive Awareness
wa) that is not (riti(a"& 'e1re not sa)in+- Dou shou"dn1t
have "ust,u" emotionsE or an)thin+ "i0e that& 'e1re not
ma0in+ mora" jud+ments- $e(ause we1re usin+ satisam*ajaSS
a& I, )ou +et (au+ht u* in )our $rain- )our
inte""e(t- then it sa)s- DOhO ou1re havin+ "ust,u"
thou+hts in the Shrine RoomO ou shou"dn1t do that&
ou1re not a ver) +ood mon0 i, )ou do thin+s "i0e that&
ou1re im*ureOE 'e1re ver) atta(hed to these
jud+ments- this jud+menta"- (riti(a" ,un(tion that we
have- $ut sati!sam*ajaSSa in("udes that- it in("udes
the jud+ement& It doesn1t jud+e jud+ementA it1s just
noti(in+ the 0ind o, t)ranni(a"- se",!ri+hteous su*ere+o
that sa)s- Dou shou"dn1t $e the wa) )ou are& ou
shou"dn1t $e se",ish& ou shou"d $e (om*assionate
and "ovin+-E a"" that 0ind o, thin+& DBuddhism is ri+ht&&&
I1m +ettin+ nowhere in m) *ra(ti(e-E sati!sam*ajaSSa
em$ra(es that& It1s just noti(in+ the wa) it is& I (an "isten
to m) inte""e(t- m) su*er!e+o ^ DI 0now that- I 0now
)ou-E emotiona" states and the $od)& It1s a matter o,
$ein+ *atient with a"" this& It1s not tr)in+ to (ontro" or
ma0e an) *ro$"em out o, it- $ut just as we re"aB and
o*en to these thin+s- then we a""ow them to (han+e
on their own& The) have their own 0armi( ,or(e- and
we1re +ivin+ them that o**ortunit)& Our re,u+e is not
in thin0in+ or emotions or the *h)si(a" $od)& So just
see this re,u+e as this sim*"e a$i"it) to "isten to $e
attentive to this moment&
I a"wa)s use the *ra(ti(e o, "istenin+ to the sound o,
si"en(e ^ that su$t"e- (ontinuous inner rin+in+ tone
in the $a(0+round o, eB*erien(e ^ $e(ause ever)
time I o*en the mind- that1s what I hear& Its *resen(e
(ontains and em$ra(es the $od)- the emotiona" Cua"it)
Intuitive Awareness
or the thin0in+ mind a"" at on(e& It1s not "i0e A!B!/ or
an)thin+ in tandem or seCuen(e- $ut in just the wa) it
is- as a who"e- it in("udes- it doesn1t *i(0 and (hoose-
DI want this $ut I don1t want thatE& Nust noti(in+- trustin+
and va"uin+ this a$i"it) that ea(h one o, us has& It1s
somethin+ to rea"") treasure and (u"tivate&
or the thin0in+ mind a"" at on(e& It1s not "i0e A!B!/ or
an)thin+ in tandem or seCuen(e- $ut in just the wa) it
is- as a who"e- it in("udes- it doesn1t *i(0 and (hoose-
DI want this $ut I don1t want thatE& Nust noti(in+- trustin+
and va"uin+ this a$i"it) that ea(h one o, us has& It1s
somethin+ to rea"") treasure and (u"tivate&
` ana")ti(a" tea(hin+s o, the Buddhist (anon
Intuitive Awareness
whi(h is (onsidered (ommon and vu"+ar- "ower!rea"m
hone) ^ )ou mi+ht 0now a"" that $ut not 0now the
,"avour o, an) o, it& ou (an have *i(tures and *ortraits
o, it- the who"e "ot& The taste o, hone) in terms o,
intuition is "i0e this& I, )ou just taste hone)- then )ou
are intuitive") aware that it tastes "i0e this&
whi(h is (onsidered (ommon and vu"+ar- "ower!rea"m
hone) ^ )ou mi+ht 0now a"" that $ut not 0now the
,"avour o, an) o, it& ou (an have *i(tures and *ortraits
o, it- the who"e "ot& The taste o, hone) in terms o,
intuition is "i0e this& I, )ou just taste hone)- then )ou
are intuitive") aware that it tastes "i0e this&
I used to eB*eriment with this- $e(ause o, m)
$a(0+round& I s*ent so man) )ears stud)in+ in
universit) and was so (onditioned $) that to want to
de,ine and understand ever)thin+ throu+h the
inte""e(t& I was a"wa)s in a state o, dou$t- $e(ause
Intuitive Awareness
the more I tried to ,i+ure ever)thin+ out GI1m Cuite +ood
at ,i+urin+ thin+s outH I sti"" wasn1t (ertain whether I
had +ot it ri+ht or not- $e(ause the thin0in+ *ro(ess
has no (ertaint) to it& It1s ("ean and neat and tid)- $ut
it is not "i$eratin+ in itse",& Emotiona" thin+s are a $it
mess)& 'ith emotions )ou (an (r)- )ou (an ,ee" sad-
)ou (an ,ee" sorr)- )ou (an ,ee" an+r) and ,ee" jea"ous
and a"" 0inds o, mess) ,ee"in+s- $ut a ni(e inte""e(tua"
,rame o, re,eren(e is so *"easura$"e $e(ause it1s so
tid) and neat& It isn1t mess)- doesn1t +et sti(0)- wet and
so++) ^ $ut it doesn1t ,ee" an)thin+ either& 'hen
)ou1re (au+ht in the inte""e(t- it su(0s )ou awa) ,rom
)our ,ee"in+s- $e(ause )our emotiona" "i,e doesn1t
wor0 an)more- so )ou su**ress it $e(ause )ou1re
atta(hed to thou+ht- reason and "o+i(& It has its
*"easure and its +i,ts- $ut a"so ma0es )ou ver)
insensitive& Thou+hts do not have an) sensitive
(a*a$i"it)- do the)Q Thou+hts are not sensitive
(onditions&
the more I tried to ,i+ure ever)thin+ out GI1m Cuite +ood
at ,i+urin+ thin+s outH I sti"" wasn1t (ertain whether I
had +ot it ri+ht or not- $e(ause the thin0in+ *ro(ess
has no (ertaint) to it& It1s ("ean and neat and tid)- $ut
it is not "i$eratin+ in itse",& Emotiona" thin+s are a $it
mess)& 'ith emotions )ou (an (r)- )ou (an ,ee" sad-
)ou (an ,ee" sorr)- )ou (an ,ee" an+r) and ,ee" jea"ous
and a"" 0inds o, mess) ,ee"in+s- $ut a ni(e inte""e(tua"
,rame o, re,eren(e is so *"easura$"e $e(ause it1s so
tid) and neat& It isn1t mess)- doesn1t +et sti(0)- wet and
so++) ^ $ut it doesn1t ,ee" an)thin+ either& 'hen
)ou1re (au+ht in the inte""e(t- it su(0s )ou awa) ,rom
)our ,ee"in+s- $e(ause )our emotiona" "i,e doesn1t
wor0 an)more- so )ou su**ress it $e(ause )ou1re
atta(hed to thou+ht- reason and "o+i(& It has its
*"easure and its +i,ts- $ut a"so ma0es )ou ver)
insensitive& Thou+hts do not have an) sensitive
(a*a$i"it)- do the)Q Thou+hts are not sensitive
(onditions&
Intuitive Awareness
ou (an1t trust them-E and ,ee" em$arrassed& DIt1s
em$arrassin+O I don1t want to $e (onsidered
emotiona"& Ajahn Sumedho is ver) emotiona"&E 'oh
ou (an1t trust them-E and ,ee" em$arrassed& DIt1s
em$arrassin+O I don1t want to $e (onsidered
emotiona"& Ajahn Sumedho is ver) emotiona"&E 'oh
I don1t want an)one to thin0 that& DI1m reasona$"e&E
Now I "i0e that& DInte""i+ent- reasona$"e- 0ind&&&E But sa)-
DAjahn Sumedho is emotiona"-E it ma0es me sound
"i0e I1m wea0 and wet- doesn1t itQ DAjahn Sumedho is
emotiona"& He (ries- he wee*s and he1s wet& He1s a""
over the *"a(e& U+hOE So ma)$e )ou thin0 o, Ajahn
Sumedho as mind,u"& That1s ni(eO Emotions then are
o,ten times just i+nored or reje(ted and not
a**re(iated- we don1t "earn ,rom them- $e(ause we1re
a"wa)s reje(tin+ or den)in+ them& At "east I ,ound this
eas) to do m)se",& So in this- sati!sam*ajaSSa is "i0e
o*enin+ and $ein+ wi""in+ to $e a mess& Let a mess
$e a messA a mess is "i0e this& 'et- wea0- a"" over the
*"a(e- $ein+ ,oo"ish and si"")- stu*id and a"" that- it1s
"i0e this& Sati!sam*ajaSSa em$ra(es a"" that- it1s not
*assin+ jud+ement or tr)in+ to (ontro"- to *i(0 or
(hoose- $ut is just the a(t o, noti(in+ that it1s "i0e this&
I, this is the emotion that is *resent- this is the wa) it
is- it1s "i0e this&
So the *oint that in("udes ^ noti(e that it1s the here!
and!now G*a((u**anna!dhammaH- just swit(hin+ on
this immanent 0ind o, attention& It1s a s"i+ht shi,t- it
isn1t ver) mu(h- just re"aBin+ and o*enin+ to this
*resent- "istenin+- $ein+ attentive& It1s not +oin+ into
some 0ind o, rea" su*er!du*er samRdhi
G(on(entrationH at a""- it1s just "i0e this- it doesn1t seem
that mu(h at a""& As )ou re"aB- trust and rest in it- )ou
,ind it sustains itse",& It1s natura"- it1s not (reated $)
)ou- )ou are not (reatin+ it& In this o*enness- in this
Intuitive Awareness
one *oint that in("udes- then )ou (an $e aware o,
emotions that )ou don1t usua"") $other with- "i0e ,ee"in+
"one") or sad- or su$t"eties su(h as resentment or
disa**ointment& EBtreme ones are Cuite eas) $e(ause
the) ,or(e themse"ves into attention- $ut as )ou o*en-
)ou (an $e aware o, su$t"e emotions& Not jud+in+ this-
just em$ra(in+ it- so that it1s not ma0in+ a *ro$"em
a$out the wa) it is- it1s just 0nowin+ the wa) it is& It1s
"i0e this- at this moment the ,ee"in+- the vedanR!saSSRsaa0hRrR
G,ee"in+- *er(e*tion- menta" ,ormationsH are
"i0e this- the $od) GrW*aH is "i0e this&
Noti(e what it1s "i0e when )ou o*en to emotiona"
,ee"in+- to moods- without jud+in+ it- not ma0in+ an)
*ro$"em out o, it- whatever its Cua"it) is- whether it1s
emotiona" or *h)si(a"- $) "earnin+ to em$ra(e it- to
sustain )our attention $) ho"din+ it without tr)in+ to
+et rid o, it- (han+e it or thin0 a$out it& Nust tota"")
a((e*t the mood )ou1re in- the emotiona" state- or the
*h)si(a" sensations "i0e *ain- it(hin+ or whatever
tensions- with this sense o, we""!$ein+- o, em$ra(in+&
'hen I do this- I noti(e the I(han+in+ness1& 'hen )ou
are wi""in+ to "et somethin+ $e the wa) it is- it (han+es&
Then )ou $e+in to re(o+nise or rea"ise non!
atta(hment& 'e sa) Iem$ra(in+1# in this wa) satisam*ajaSS
a is not atta(hin+ Gu*RdRnaH to them- it1s
em$ra(in+& This sense o, widenin+- it in("udesA it1s
not *i(0)!(hoos)- it1s not sa)in+- D3i(0 on") the +ood
thin+s $ut the $ad ones I won1t-E it ta0es the $ad a"on+
with the +ood- the who"e thin+- the worm and the a**"e-
the sna0e and the +arden& It a""ows thin+s to $e what
the) are- it1s not a**rovin+& It1s not sa)in+ that )ou
have to "ove worms and want them in )our a**"es- to
Intuitive Awareness
"i0e them as mu(h as )ou "i0e a**"es& It1s not as0in+
)ou to $e si"")- ridi(u"ous or im*ossi$"e- $ut it1s
en(oura+in+ )ou to a""ow thin+s to eBist- even the
thin+s we don1t "i0e to eBist- $e(ause i, the) eBist- that1s
what the) do- the)1re eBistin+& The who"e thin+- the
+ood and the $ad- $e"on+s& Sati!sam*ajaSSa is our
a$i"it) to rea"ise that- to 0now that- in a dire(t wa)- and
then the *ro(esses ta0e (are o, themse"ves& It1s not a
(ase o, Ajahn Sumedho tr)in+ to +et his a(t to+ether-
tr)in+ to ("eanse his mind- ,ree himse", ,rom
de,i"ements- dea" with his immature emotions-
strai+hten out his wron+- (roo0ed views- tr)in+ to ma0e
himse", into a $etter mon0 and $e(ome en"i+htened
in the ,uture& That doesn1t wor0- I +uarantee ^ I1ve
tried itO
"i0e them as mu(h as )ou "i0e a**"es& It1s not as0in+
)ou to $e si"")- ridi(u"ous or im*ossi$"e- $ut it1s
en(oura+in+ )ou to a""ow thin+s to eBist- even the
thin+s we don1t "i0e to eBist- $e(ause i, the) eBist- that1s
what the) do- the)1re eBistin+& The who"e thin+- the
+ood and the $ad- $e"on+s& Sati!sam*ajaSSa is our
a$i"it) to rea"ise that- to 0now that- in a dire(t wa)- and
then the *ro(esses ta0e (are o, themse"ves& It1s not a
(ase o, Ajahn Sumedho tr)in+ to +et his a(t to+ether-
tr)in+ to ("eanse his mind- ,ree himse", ,rom
de,i"ements- dea" with his immature emotions-
strai+hten out his wron+- (roo0ed views- tr)in+ to ma0e
himse", into a $etter mon0 and $e(ome en"i+htened
in the ,uture& That doesn1t wor0- I +uarantee ^ I1ve
tried itO
One o, m) s0i",u" means was "istenin+ to m) thou+hts
as i, the) were nei+h$ours ta"0in+ on the other side
o, the ,en(e& I1m just an inno(ent $)stander "istenin+
Intuitive Awareness
whi"st the) (arr) on these (onversations& A"" the
+ossi*- o*inions and views I1m a(tua"") *rodu(in+ in
m) own mind- $ut I1m "istenin+ to it& I1m not invo"ved-
not +ettin+ interested in the su$je(t matter- $ut just
"istenin+ as it +oes on and on a$out what it "i0es and
doesn1t "i0e- and what1s wron+ with this *erson and
what1s wron+ with that *erson- and wh) I "i0e this
$etter than that- and i, )ou want m) o*inion a$out this&&&
I just 0e*t "istenin+ to these inner voi(es- these
o*inionated- arro+ant- (on(eited- ,oo"ish voi(es that
+o on& Be aware o, that whi(h is aware and noti(e-
ma0e a note o, that whi(h is aware& The awareness is
m) re,u+e- not these +ossi*s- these arro+ant voi(es
or o*inions and views& That1s a s0i",u" means- I ,ound&
whi"st the) (arr) on these (onversations& A"" the
+ossi*- o*inions and views I1m a(tua"") *rodu(in+ in
m) own mind- $ut I1m "istenin+ to it& I1m not invo"ved-
not +ettin+ interested in the su$je(t matter- $ut just
"istenin+ as it +oes on and on a$out what it "i0es and
doesn1t "i0e- and what1s wron+ with this *erson and
what1s wron+ with that *erson- and wh) I "i0e this
$etter than that- and i, )ou want m) o*inion a$out this&&&
I just 0e*t "istenin+ to these inner voi(es- these
o*inionated- arro+ant- (on(eited- ,oo"ish voi(es that
+o on& Be aware o, that whi(h is aware and noti(e-
ma0e a note o, that whi(h is aware& The awareness is
m) re,u+e- not these +ossi*s- these arro+ant voi(es
or o*inions and views& That1s a s0i",u" means- I ,ound&
U*R)a Gs0i",u" meansH is "earnin+ that )ou do have the
wisdom to do it& I, )ou (onsider that DI1m not wise
enou+h to do that-E don1t $e"ieve thatO But a"so don1t
$e a,raid to as0 ,or he"*& It1s not that one is $etter than
Intuitive Awareness
the other- just trust $) )our own eB*erien(e o, su,,erin+&
I, )ou ,ind )ou o$sess- sudden") thin+s wi"" o$sess
)our (ons(iousness- memories wi"" (ome u*- (ertain
emotions or rea"") si"") thin+s (an just *ursue )ou-
,oo"ish thou+hts or whatever& 'e (an sa)- DI don1t want
to $other with that stu*idit)- I1m tr)in+ to +et m)
samRdhi G(on(entrationH and $e ,i""ed with "ovin+!
0indness and do a"" the ri+ht thin+sE ^ and not see
what we are doin+& 'e1re tr)in+ to $e(ome- we1re
tr)in+ to ma0e ourse"ves ,it into an ima+e that is unrea"-
it1s ima+ined- it1s an idea"ised ima+e& The Buddha
(ertain") did not eB*e(t that& 'hatever wa) it is ,or
)ou is the wa) it is- that1s what )ou "earn ,rom- that1s
where en"i+htenment is ^ ri+ht there ^ when )ou1re
an emotiona" wre(0&
the other- just trust $) )our own eB*erien(e o, su,,erin+&
I, )ou ,ind )ou o$sess- sudden") thin+s wi"" o$sess
)our (ons(iousness- memories wi"" (ome u*- (ertain
emotions or rea"") si"") thin+s (an just *ursue )ou-
,oo"ish thou+hts or whatever& 'e (an sa)- DI don1t want
to $other with that stu*idit)- I1m tr)in+ to +et m)
samRdhi G(on(entrationH and $e ,i""ed with "ovin+!
0indness and do a"" the ri+ht thin+sE ^ and not see
what we are doin+& 'e1re tr)in+ to $e(ome- we1re
tr)in+ to ma0e ourse"ves ,it into an ima+e that is unrea"-
it1s ima+ined- it1s an idea"ised ima+e& The Buddha
(ertain") did not eB*e(t that& 'hatever wa) it is ,or
)ou is the wa) it is- that1s what )ou "earn ,rom- that1s
where en"i+htenment is ^ ri+ht there ^ when )ou1re
an emotiona" wre(0&
Intuitive Awareness @>
Su,,erin+ Shou"d Be 'e"(omed
One o, the e*ithets ,or the Buddha we (hant is
"o0avidW G0nower o, the wor"dH& O, (ourse we (an see
that this is a Cua"it) o, the Buddha- $ut somethin+
mu(h more *ra(ti(a" than just (hantin+ the *ositive
Cua"ities o, some$od) (a""ed IBuddha1 is to re,"e(t on
what is the wor"d- the situation that we are
eB*erien(in+ now& This entai"s (ontem*"atin+ or
re,"e(tin+ on "i,e as we eB*erien(e it rather than
des(ri$in+ how "i,e shou"d $e& I, we1re rationa"ists- then
we have theories a$out how thin+s shou"d $e& But in
re,"e(tive awareness we1re noti(in+ how thin+s are&
Breathin+ is "i0e this when we $e(ome aware o, the
$reath& 'e1re not sa)in+ )ou shou"d $reathe a (ertain
wa)- that there1s some standard o, $reathin+ that is
idea"- that we must a"" strive ,or& 'e (ontem*"ate the
eB*erien(e o, D sensitivit) is "i0e this&E 'hen we $e+in
to noti(e the ,a(t that the human $od)- this $od) that
we1re in with its e)es- ears- nose and ton+ue- is
sensitive and that sensitivit) is "i0e this- then we "oo0
inward& 'hat is it to $e sensitiveQ 'e1re "oo0in+ at
and noti(in+ what it is to ,ee"- to see- to hear- to sme""-
to taste or tou(h- to thin0- to remem$er& 'e (an have
ideas a$out $ein+ sensitive- Iour1 sensitivit)- or we (an
tr) and ma0e ourse"ves insensitive $e(ause we mi+ht
Intuitive Awareness
see it as a wea0ness& To $e too sensitive to some
*eo*"e is a si+n o, wea0ness& 'e1re not *"a(in+ an)
jud+ement on sensitivit)- $ut just noti(in+ that it1s "i0e
this&
see it as a wea0ness& To $e too sensitive to some
*eo*"e is a si+n o, wea0ness& 'e1re not *"a(in+ an)
jud+ement on sensitivit)- $ut just noti(in+ that it1s "i0e
this&
^ the wa) it is ^ we ,ind that it "eads towards just
re(o+nisin+ the im*ermanent nature o, our (ons(ious
eB*erien(e- how thin+s rise and (ease- $e+in and end&
This is I0nowin+ the wor"d1- not jud+in+ the wor"d
a((ordin+ to some standard- $ut seein+ that the wor"d
is "i0e this# it is sensitive& The wor"d is a$out $irth and
death- a$out meetin+ and *artin+- (omin+ and +oin+-
+ood and $ad- ri+ht and wron+- $eaut) and u+"iness-
and a"" the various +radations o, eB*erien(e and
Cua"ities that we are su$je(t to in this ,orm&
Even thou+h this seems to $e an o$vious rea"it) when
)ou re(o+nise it- how man) *eo*"e rea"") are aware
o, the wor"d in terms o, eB*erien(eQ 'e inter*ret it
usua"") in a *ersona" wa)& The ha$itua" *attern is to
inter*ret it a"" in terms o, *ersona" "imitations- *ersona"
,ee"in+s or *ersona" ideas& In noti(in+ the wor"d as it
is- we1re seein+ that it is not a *ersona" thin+& A *erson
is a (reation o, the mind- to whi(h we are $ound i, we
don1t awa0en& I, we just o*erate within the emotiona"
(onditionin+ that we have- then we see it in terms o,
DThis is ha**enin+ to me-E or DI am +ood- $ad &&&E
It is ver) im*ortant to re(o+nise and to 0now that the
wor"d is the wor"d& It1s a ver) stron+ eB*erien(e- ,or
havin+ a human $od) is a (ontinuous eB*erien(e o,
$ein+ irritated& /ontem*"ate what (ons(iousness is
Intuitive Awareness
in su(h a ,orm as a human $od) whi(h is made u*
,rom the ,our e"ements o, earth- water- ,ire and air& 2rom
$irth to death- ,rom the time )ou are $orn- the moment
)ou (r) when )ou1re out o, )our mother1s wom$- )ou
start s(reamin+& Then the sensitivit)- im*in+ement and
the irritations (ome throu+h this sensitive ,orm unti" it
dies& I en(oura+e )ou to (ontem*"ate what $irth into
this wor"d is- rather than to jud+e it a((ordin+ to an)
idea"s or ideas that )ou mi+ht have& This is (a""ed the
state o, awa0ened awareness& To Dwa0e u*E means to
0now the wor"d as it isA it1s not jud+in+ the wor"d& I, we
have ideas a$out how the wor"d shou"d $e- then the
wa) it is o,ten seen throu+h our (riti(a" mind is DIt
shou"dn1t $e&&&E& 'hen )ou see how (ountries shou"d
$e- +overnments shou"d $e- *arents- *artners or
whatever- then we are (omin+ ,rom idea"s- usua"")
Cuite hi+h standards o, DI, ever)thin+ were *er,e(t&&&E&
But this rea"m1s *er,e(tion doesn1t "ie in ta0in+
(onditioned eB*erien(e to some 0ind o, *ea0 moment&
3ea0 moments are just thatA the)1re wonder,u" in their
wa)- $ut the)1re not sustaina$"e& The ,"ow and
movement o, our "i,e is around the I(han+in+ness1 o,
the (onditioned rea"m that im*in+es on us- that we1re
invo"ved in- that we1re immersed in- in this (ons(ious
,orm&
in su(h a ,orm as a human $od) whi(h is made u*
,rom the ,our e"ements o, earth- water- ,ire and air& 2rom
$irth to death- ,rom the time )ou are $orn- the moment
)ou (r) when )ou1re out o, )our mother1s wom$- )ou
start s(reamin+& Then the sensitivit)- im*in+ement and
the irritations (ome throu+h this sensitive ,orm unti" it
dies& I en(oura+e )ou to (ontem*"ate what $irth into
this wor"d is- rather than to jud+e it a((ordin+ to an)
idea"s or ideas that )ou mi+ht have& This is (a""ed the
state o, awa0ened awareness& To Dwa0e u*E means to
0now the wor"d as it isA it1s not jud+in+ the wor"d& I, we
have ideas a$out how the wor"d shou"d $e- then the
wa) it is o,ten seen throu+h our (riti(a" mind is DIt
shou"dn1t $e&&&E& 'hen )ou see how (ountries shou"d
$e- +overnments shou"d $e- *arents- *artners or
whatever- then we are (omin+ ,rom idea"s- usua"")
Cuite hi+h standards o, DI, ever)thin+ were *er,e(t&&&E&
But this rea"m1s *er,e(tion doesn1t "ie in ta0in+
(onditioned eB*erien(e to some 0ind o, *ea0 moment&
3ea0 moments are just thatA the)1re wonder,u" in their
wa)- $ut the)1re not sustaina$"e& The ,"ow and
movement o, our "i,e is around the I(han+in+ness1 o,
the (onditioned rea"m that im*in+es on us- that we1re
invo"ved in- that we1re immersed in- in this (ons(ious
,orm&
^ and as a resu"t o, this we eB*erien(e its $eaut)- its
u+"iness- *"easure and *ain& But even *"easure is
Intuitive Awareness
irritatin+ when )ou thin0 a$out it& 'e "i0e *"easure-
$ut havin+ a "ot o, *"easure is a"so ver) eBhaustin+
and irritatin+& This is not a (riti(ismA it1s just noti(in+
that havin+ a human $od) is "i0e thisA $reathin+ is "i0e
thisA (ons(iousness is "i0e this&
irritatin+ when )ou thin0 a$out it& 'e "i0e *"easure-
$ut havin+ a "ot o, *"easure is a"so ver) eBhaustin+
and irritatin+& This is not a (riti(ismA it1s just noti(in+
that havin+ a human $od) is "i0e thisA $reathin+ is "i0e
thisA (ons(iousness is "i0e this&
Bein+ $orn as a human $ein+ is a rea" (ha""en+e in
terms o, how to use this eB*erien(e o, $irth- human
eB*erien(e- this sensitive state that we1re "ivin+ in&
Some *eo*"e thin0 a$out (ommittin+ sui(ide# Djust +et
it over withE ^ it1s just too hard to $ear- too mu(h to
stand- a "i,etime o, this (ontinuous irritation and +ui"t-
remorse and ,ear o, the un0nown& It (an $e so utter")
de*ressin+ that we thin0 it1s $etter to 0i"" ourse"ves&
Or- as the Buddha en(oura+ed us- we (an wa0e u* to
it- "earn ,rom it- see it as an o**ortunit)- as a (ha""en+e-
as somethin+ to "earn ,rom& 'e (an deve"o* wisdom
in terms o, the (onditions and the eB*erien(es that
we have in this "i,e ^ whi(h are not +uaranteed
Intuitive Awareness
a"wa)s to $e the $est& .an) o, us have had to
eB*erien(e a"" 0inds o, ,rustrations- disa**ointments-
disi""usionments and ,ai"ures& O, (ourse i, we ta0e that
*ersona"")- we want to end it a"" ver) Cui(0")& But i, we
*ut it in the (onteBt o, 0nowin+ the wor"d as the wor"d-
we (an ta0e an)thin+& 'e have in(redi$"e a$i"ities to
"earn ,rom even the most un,air and misera$"e- *ain,u"
and nast) (onditions& These are not o$stru(tions to
en"i+htenmentA this issue is whether we we use them
to awa0en or not&
a"wa)s to $e the $est& .an) o, us have had to
eB*erien(e a"" 0inds o, ,rustrations- disa**ointments-
disi""usionments and ,ai"ures& O, (ourse i, we ta0e that
*ersona"")- we want to end it a"" ver) Cui(0")& But i, we
*ut it in the (onteBt o, 0nowin+ the wor"d as the wor"d-
we (an ta0e an)thin+& 'e have in(redi$"e a$i"ities to
"earn ,rom even the most un,air and misera$"e- *ain,u"
and nast) (onditions& These are not o$stru(tions to
en"i+htenmentA this issue is whether we we use them
to awa0en or not&
Now the tea(hin+s o, the Lord Buddha are tea(hin+s
*ointin+ to this& The)1re to awa0en )ou rather than to
(ondition )ou& It1s not a matter o, tr)in+ to +ras* them
as do(trina" *ositions to ta0e ho"d o,- $ut as eB*edient
means to use to deve"o* and to en(oura+e awa0ened
awareness- mind,u"ness- intuition& Rather than ,ear
Intuitive Awareness
sensitivit)- rea"") o*en to it# $e ,u"") sensitive rather
than tr)in+ to *rote(t )ourse", end"ess") ,rom *ossi$"e
*ain or mis,ortune&
sensitivit)- rea"") o*en to it# $e ,u"") sensitive rather
than tr)in+ to *rote(t )ourse", end"ess") ,rom *ossi$"e
*ain or mis,ortune&
^ as i, it is $ad- that there1s somethin+ wron+ with it&
That1s not 0nowin+ the wor"d as the wor"d& DKnowin+D
is a matter o, stud)in+ and ta0in+ an interest-
investi+atin+- eBaminin+ eB*erien(e- and rea"") $ein+
wi""in+ to "oo0 at and ,ee" the ne+ative side o,
eB*erien(e& It1s not a$out see0in+ sensor) *"easures-
*"easura$"e eB*erien(es- $ut a$out seein+ even )our
most disa**ointin+ ones- )our worst ,ai"ures as
o**ortunities to "earn- as a (han(e to awa0en# one
(an sa) that the)1re devadWtas or Imessen+ers1 that
ta* us on the shou"der and sa)- D'a0e u*OE That1s wh)
in Buddhism a+ein+- si(0ness- disa$i"ities and "oss
are not seen as thin+s to ,ear and des*ise- $ut as
devadWtas or Iheaven") messen+ers1& This word
devadWta is a 3R"i wordA dWta means a messen+er o,
some sort- deva is Ian+e"i(1 or Iheaven")1A so the)1re
heaven") messen+ers sent to warn us& A /hristian
as0ed me on(e i, we had an+e"s in Buddhism& D'e
have an+e"s in /hristianit)A a"" 0inds o, white and
$eauti,u" $ein+s that *"a) har*sA the)1re ver) radiant-
"i+ht $ein+s&E I re*"ied- D'e""- Buddhist an+e"s are not
that wa)& The)1re o"d a+e- si(0ness and deathOE The
,ourth devadWta is the samaUa G(ontem*"ativeH- the
human $ein+ who is havin+ the s*iritua" rea"isations&
It a"wa)s interested me- $e(ause I thou+ht that it was
Cuite amusin+ seein+ an o"d *erson as an an+e"- the
Intuitive Awareness
si(0- the menta"") si(0- (or*ses or mon0s and nuns
as devadWtas& Loo0 at ea(h other as devadWtas-
otherwise we $e(ome *ersona"ities- don1t weQ In
"oo0in+ at the shaven heads and the sa,,ron ro$es-
this is seein+ them in terms o, devadWtas rather than
when )ou *ut it into terms o, mon0s and nuns- senior
and junior and a"" thatA it +ets into *ersona"it) view
Gsa00R)a!di]]hiH& Do we see ea(h other a(tua"")
he"*in+ ea(h other to awa0en- or do we see ea(h
other as a *ersonQ DThis mon0 is "i0e this- and that
nun is "i0e that&E 'e (an either see it in a ver) wor"d")
wa) or just (han+e the *ers*e(tive to seein+ others
as devadWta&
si(0- the menta"") si(0- (or*ses or mon0s and nuns
as devadWtas& Loo0 at ea(h other as devadWtas-
otherwise we $e(ome *ersona"ities- don1t weQ In
"oo0in+ at the shaven heads and the sa,,ron ro$es-
this is seein+ them in terms o, devadWtas rather than
when )ou *ut it into terms o, mon0s and nuns- senior
and junior and a"" thatA it +ets into *ersona"it) view
Gsa00R)a!di]]hiH& Do we see ea(h other a(tua"")
he"*in+ ea(h other to awa0en- or do we see ea(h
other as a *ersonQ DThis mon0 is "i0e this- and that
nun is "i0e that&E 'e (an either see it in a ver) wor"d")
wa) or just (han+e the *ers*e(tive to seein+ others
as devadWta&
Noti(e in some o, the Buddhist meditationa" eBer(ises-
the wa)s o, visua"isin+- o, usin+ )our mind to (reate
Intuitive Awareness
visions o, thin+s- to (ontem*"ate the thirt)!two *arts
o, the $od)& I remem$er that when I was ,irst ,a(ed
with this in Thai"and- I 0e*t wantin+ to thin0 o, the
thirt)!two *arts o, the $od) as $ein+ *h)sio"o+i(a"")
a((urate a((ordin+ to 'estern s(ien(e&
/ontem*"atin+ m) own thirt)!two *arts- it was easier
,or me to ,ind a $oo0 on anatom) and "oo0 at a *i(ture&
But to (ontem*"ate the rea"it) o, those or+ans and
(onditions eBistin+ here and now in this ,orm that I
(a"" m)se",- the thin+ I assume to $e me& It is a di,,erent
use o, "earnin+- it reCuires us to ,"eB the mind a $it&
visions o, thin+s- to (ontem*"ate the thirt)!two *arts
o, the $od)& I remem$er that when I was ,irst ,a(ed
with this in Thai"and- I 0e*t wantin+ to thin0 o, the
thirt)!two *arts o, the $od) as $ein+ *h)sio"o+i(a"")
a((urate a((ordin+ to 'estern s(ien(e&
/ontem*"atin+ m) own thirt)!two *arts- it was easier
,or me to ,ind a $oo0 on anatom) and "oo0 at a *i(ture&
But to (ontem*"ate the rea"it) o, those or+ans and
(onditions eBistin+ here and now in this ,orm that I
(a"" m)se",- the thin+ I assume to $e me& It is a di,,erent
use o, "earnin+- it reCuires us to ,"eB the mind a $it&
Intuitive Awareness
it is ver) $ad tasteA it1s em$arrassin+& ou never see
in an En+"ish home *eo*"e *uttin+ their ,ramed
Universit) de+rees u* on the wa""s- do )ouQ The)
wou"d $e too em$arrassed $e(ause it1s "i0e $oastin+&
There is a sense o, modest) here in Britain whi(h is
a"so Cuite "ove") in man) wa)s& But it (an $e ta0en to
the eBtreme where )ou have no wa) o, a(0now"ed+in+
an) +oodness in )ourse", or to a**re(iate )our own
su((esses- virtues and +ood Cua"ities&
it is ver) $ad tasteA it1s em$arrassin+& ou never see
in an En+"ish home *eo*"e *uttin+ their ,ramed
Universit) de+rees u* on the wa""s- do )ouQ The)
wou"d $e too em$arrassed $e(ause it1s "i0e $oastin+&
There is a sense o, modest) here in Britain whi(h is
a"so Cuite "ove") in man) wa)s& But it (an $e ta0en to
the eBtreme where )ou have no wa) o, a(0now"ed+in+
an) +oodness in )ourse", or to a**re(iate )our own
su((esses- virtues and +ood Cua"ities&
Intuitive Awareness
3uttin+ it in terms o, *ersona" Cua"ities- it1s "earnin+
to $e honest- to admit to and ma0e a (ons(ious
a**re(iation o, )our own humanit) and )our
individua"it)& It he"*s to +ive )ou a (on,iden(e that )ou
don1t have i, )ou1re too o$sessed- over!interested or
too (ommitted to $ein+ (riti(a" and seein+ )ourse",
throu+h ne+ative *er(e*tions& This is $ein+ a$"e to
use our (riti(a" mind- our dis(riminative a$i"ities and
our thou+hts not just to ana")se and (om*are one
thin+ with another- $ut to eBamine and investi+ate in
terms o, eB*erien(e& 'e awa0en to the $reath ^ DIt1s
"i0e thisE ^ awa0en to the sensitive state that we1re in
3uttin+ it in terms o, *ersona" Cua"ities- it1s "earnin+
to $e honest- to admit to and ma0e a (ons(ious
a**re(iation o, )our own humanit) and )our
individua"it)& It he"*s to +ive )ou a (on,iden(e that )ou
don1t have i, )ou1re too o$sessed- over!interested or
too (ommitted to $ein+ (riti(a" and seein+ )ourse",
throu+h ne+ative *er(e*tions& This is $ein+ a$"e to
use our (riti(a" mind- our dis(riminative a$i"ities and
our thou+hts not just to ana")se and (om*are one
thin+ with another- $ut to eBamine and investi+ate in
terms o, eB*erien(e& 'e awa0en to the $reath ^ DIt1s
"i0e thisE ^ awa0en to the sensitive state that we1re in
DIt1s "i0e thisE ^ awa0en to the irritations that we
eB*erien(e as (onditions that (onta(t and irritate our
senses- to our own o$sessions and emotiona" ha$its-
whatever the) mi+ht $e- *uttin+ them in *ers*e(tive
rather than seein+ them as somethin+ to +et rid o,& It1s
somethin+ to awa0en to- a (han+e ,rom *ushin+ awa)-
resistin+ and den)in+- towards awa0enin+- a((e*tin+
and we"(omin+&
In the 2irst No$"e Truth- the Buddha *ro("aimed that
there is du00ha Gsu,,erin+H& It is *ut into the (onteBt o,
a INo$"e Truth1 rather than a disma" rea"it)& I, we "oo0
at it as a disma" rea"it)- what ha**ensQ DLi,e is just
su,,erin+- it1s a"" just su,,erin+& ou +et o"dA )ou +et si(0
and then die& ou have to "ose a"" )our ,riends& IA""
that is mine- $e"oved and *"easin+- wi"" $e(ome
otherwise- wi"" $e(ome se*arated ,rom me&1 That1s a""
it1s a$outA it1s just du00ha ,rom $e+innin+ to endE&
There1s nothin+ no$"e in that- is thereQ It1s just
*essimisti( and de*ressin+ seein+ it in terms o, DI
don1t "i0e it& I don1t want su,,erin+& 'hat a $ad jo0e-
Intuitive Awareness
what a "ous) jo0e 4od *"a)ed on us (reatin+ this mess-
and me $ein+ $orn in this mess- to "ive just to +et o"d&
'hat am I "ivin+ ,orQ Nust to +et o"d- +et si(0 and dieE&
O, (ourse- that1s ver) de*ressin+& That1s not a No$"e
Truth& ou1re (reatin+ a *ro$"em around the wa) thin+s
are& 'ith a No$"e Truth Dthere is su,,erin+&E And the
advi(e- the *res(ri*tion to dea" with this su,,erin+- is
to we"(ome it- to understand it- to o*en to it- to admit
it- to $e+in to noti(e and a((e*t it& This +ives rise to
the wi""in+ness to em$ra(e and "earn ,rom that whi(h
we don1t "i0e and don1t want# the *ain- the ,rustration
and the irritation- whether it1s *h)si(a"- menta" or
emotiona"&
what a "ous) jo0e 4od *"a)ed on us (reatin+ this mess-
and me $ein+ $orn in this mess- to "ive just to +et o"d&
'hat am I "ivin+ ,orQ Nust to +et o"d- +et si(0 and dieE&
O, (ourse- that1s ver) de*ressin+& That1s not a No$"e
Truth& ou1re (reatin+ a *ro$"em around the wa) thin+s
are& 'ith a No$"e Truth Dthere is su,,erin+&E And the
advi(e- the *res(ri*tion to dea" with this su,,erin+- is
to we"(ome it- to understand it- to o*en to it- to admit
it- to $e+in to noti(e and a((e*t it& This +ives rise to
the wi""in+ness to em$ra(e and "earn ,rom that whi(h
we don1t "i0e and don1t want# the *ain- the ,rustration
and the irritation- whether it1s *h)si(a"- menta" or
emotiona"&
Intuitive Awareness
)ourse", and )ou thin0- D'h) does 4od a""ow thisQ 'h)
did He (reate a rea"m where there is so mu(h *ainQ I,
I were 4od and I (reated the wor"d- I wou"dn1t have
(reated *ain&E .) mother (ou"d never answer that
Cuestion ver) we""- $e(ause the *ain is somethin+ that
shou"dn1t $e- there1s somethin+ wron+& Or is *ain a
No$"e TruthQ Is o"d a+e a No$"e TruthQ Is "oss-
se*aration and a"" these eB*erien(es that we a"" have
to have in this ,orm- in this human rea"mQ Seein+ it in
terms o, (om*"ainin+ and $"amin+- or in terms o, a
No$"e Truth ^ this is what I1m *ointin+ to&
)ourse", and )ou thin0- D'h) does 4od a""ow thisQ 'h)
did He (reate a rea"m where there is so mu(h *ainQ I,
I were 4od and I (reated the wor"d- I wou"dn1t have
(reated *ain&E .) mother (ou"d never answer that
Cuestion ver) we""- $e(ause the *ain is somethin+ that
shou"dn1t $e- there1s somethin+ wron+& Or is *ain a
No$"e TruthQ Is o"d a+e a No$"e TruthQ Is "oss-
se*aration and a"" these eB*erien(es that we a"" have
to have in this ,orm- in this human rea"mQ Seein+ it in
terms o, (om*"ainin+ and $"amin+- or in terms o, a
No$"e Truth ^ this is what I1m *ointin+ to&
I, I de*ended on m) *ersona"it)- I (ou"dn1t do an)thin+&
I1d never ho*e to +et en"i+htened $e(ause m)
*ersona"it) (an1t *ossi$") (on(eive o, m)se", as a
*erson that (ou"d $e en"i+htened& .) *ersona"it) is
(onditioned to thin0 o, m)se", in terms o, what1s wron+
Intuitive Awareness
with me- (omin+ ,rom a (om*etitive so(iet) where )ou
are ver) mu(h aware o, who1s $etter and who1s worse-
who1s a$ove and who1s $e"ow& So I (an1t trust that&
.) *ersona" ha$its are (onditioned thin+s- so the)1re
not ,"eBi$"e in themse"ves& I, )ou just atta(h to or
inter*ret eB*erien(e throu+h those *er(e*tions and
never "earn to "oo0 at thin+s in an) other wa)- then
)ou are stu(0 with a "imited view and that (an $e a
ver) de*ressin+ wa) to "ive )our "i,e&
with me- (omin+ ,rom a (om*etitive so(iet) where )ou
are ver) mu(h aware o, who1s $etter and who1s worse-
who1s a$ove and who1s $e"ow& So I (an1t trust that&
.) *ersona" ha$its are (onditioned thin+s- so the)1re
not ,"eBi$"e in themse"ves& I, )ou just atta(h to or
inter*ret eB*erien(e throu+h those *er(e*tions and
never "earn to "oo0 at thin+s in an) other wa)- then
)ou are stu(0 with a "imited view and that (an $e a
ver) de*ressin+ wa) to "ive )our "i,e&
'e (an "oo0 at thin+s in di,,erent wa)s& 'e don1t have
to "oo0 at somethin+ a"wa)s ,rom the (onditionin+ that
we have a(Cuired& So when the Buddha ta"0s a$out
the Buddha!mind- it1s ver) ,"eBi$"e and ma""ea$"eA it1s
universa"& 'e (an see thin+s in so man) di,,erent wa)s&
The mind has a radiant Cua"it) to it& /ons(iousness
has a radian(eA it has a "i+ht itse",& So when we $e+in
to "et +o o, a"wa)s "imitin+ ourse"ves throu+h the
distortions o, our (onditioned menta" states- then we
$e+in to understand- see thin+s as the) rea"") are-
0now the Dhamma ^ en"i+htenment& This is not
Intuitive Awareness
somethin+ distant- remote and im*ossi$"e ^ un"ess
)ou want to ho"d to those views ,rom a *ersona"
attitude a$out them& ou (an $e ho"din+ these
*er(e*tions so hi+h that it1s wa) $e)ond )our *ersona"
a$i"it) to a(hieve them& This then is $e(ause )ou
haven1t awa0ened to what )ou1re doin+& ou1re mere")
o*eratin+ ,rom a (onditioned view o, ever)thin+&
somethin+ distant- remote and im*ossi$"e ^ un"ess
)ou want to ho"d to those views ,rom a *ersona"
attitude a$out them& ou (an $e ho"din+ these
*er(e*tions so hi+h that it1s wa) $e)ond )our *ersona"
a$i"it) to a(hieve them& This then is $e(ause )ou
haven1t awa0ened to what )ou1re doin+& ou1re mere")
o*eratin+ ,rom a (onditioned view o, ever)thin+&
DSo I sa) Iwe"(omin+1 now $e(ause I ,ound the rea"
trans"ation ,or this- and an)one who +oes $a(0 to usin+
Iunderstand1 is somehow not ri+ht& .) view- m)
*arti(u"ar trans"ation is&&&E Then that is +ettin+ into
another ri+id- arro+ant a**roa(h& I1m not interested in
*rovin+ that I1m ri+ht- that m) trans"ations are the $est-
$ut just seein+ how the) wor0- what the e,,e(t is in
the here!and!now& I am sharin+ this with )ou as a wa)
o, en(oura+in+ )ou to have that ri+ht and that ,reedom
Intuitive Awareness
to 0now )ourse",& ou don1t a"wa)s have to tr) and ,it
)ourse", into the views and o*inions even o, our
tradition with its orthodoB ,orms or de,initions- whi(h
are our *arti(u"ar +rou*1s wa) o, "oo0in+ at thin+s&
to 0now )ourse",& ou don1t a"wa)s have to tr) and ,it
)ourse", into the views and o*inions even o, our
tradition with its orthodoB ,orms or de,initions- whi(h
are our *arti(u"ar +rou*1s wa) o, "oo0in+ at thin+s&
'e (an +o around tr)in+ to ma0e *eo*"e ma0e us ,ee"
+ood& Te"" me the +ood thin+s- $e(ause that ma0es
me ,ee" +ood& Don1t te"" me the $ad stu,,- $e(ause that
ma0es me ,ee" $ad& I don1t want to ,ee" $ad& I don1t
want su,,erin+A I don1t we"(ome it- I want to +et rid o, it&
There,ore- I1m +oin+ to tr) and "ive m) "i,e so that I (an
+et as mu(h o, the +ood stu,, as I (an and *ush awa)
Intuitive Awareness
the $ad stu,,& But in this new trans"ation o, DThere1s
su,,erin+ and su,,erin+ shou"d $e we"(omed-E it
(han+es- doesn1t itQ ou see the su,,erin+ ^ )our own-
or others1 *ro$"ems- di,,i(u"ties and so ,orth ^ as
thin+s to we"(ome rather than as thin+s to run awa)
,rom or to *ush awa)&
the $ad stu,,& But in this new trans"ation o, DThere1s
su,,erin+ and su,,erin+ shou"d $e we"(omed-E it
(han+es- doesn1t itQ ou see the su,,erin+ ^ )our own-
or others1 *ro$"ems- di,,i(u"ties and so ,orth ^ as
thin+s to we"(ome rather than as thin+s to run awa)
,rom or to *ush awa)&
Intuitive Awareness
$ear thisE- then the wor"d is "i0e that& I have to
immediate") turn around a+ain and "oo0 at the shrine&
I,- on the other hand- when I1m "oo0in+ at the shrine- I
$e+in to a""ow the awareness to ta0e me to non!
+ras*in+- to the rea"it) o, non!atta(hment& I, I rea"")
0now this- rather than mere") de*end on the "a(0 o,
stimu"ation ,or it- then rather than havin+ to turn awa)
,rom the (ommunit) in order to +et it- I (an turn toward
the (ommunit)& It1s not de*endent on ,a(in+ the shrine&
In this wa) we1re $e+innin+ to awa0en to rea"it) rather
than toward a (onditioned eB*erien(e that we $e(ome
ver) de*endent u*on&
$ear thisE- then the wor"d is "i0e that& I have to
immediate") turn around a+ain and "oo0 at the shrine&
I,- on the other hand- when I1m "oo0in+ at the shrine- I
$e+in to a""ow the awareness to ta0e me to non!
+ras*in+- to the rea"it) o, non!atta(hment& I, I rea"")
0now this- rather than mere") de*end on the "a(0 o,
stimu"ation ,or it- then rather than havin+ to turn awa)
,rom the (ommunit) in order to +et it- I (an turn toward
the (ommunit)& It1s not de*endent on ,a(in+ the shrine&
In this wa) we1re $e+innin+ to awa0en to rea"it) rather
than toward a (onditioned eB*erien(e that we $e(ome
ver) de*endent u*on&
ma++a-
sotR*anna!*ha"a- sa0adR+Rmi!ma++a-
sa0adR+Rmi!*ha"a- anR+Rmi!ma++a- anR+Rmi!*ha"a-
arahatta!ma++a- arahattR!*ha"a`Q 'hi(h one are
)ouQ How (an I ta0e re,u+e in ,our *airs and ei+ht
0inds o, no$"e $ein+sQ It1s ver) a$stra(t& These sa+es-
idea" $ein+s somewhere ^ ma)$eQ Or are the) hereQ
This mon0- or that nunQ 'hat1s the re,u+e in San+ha
thenQ Do we want to ma0e it a$stra(tQ Is it u* to me
to de(ide who1s a sotR*anna- sa0adR+Rmi and so
,orth- to ,i+ure out who I (an ta0e re,u+e withQ
`These are the 8 0inds o, no$"e $ein+s# one rea"isin+ the *ath o,
stream!entr)- one rea"isin+ the ,ruition o, stream!entr)A one
rea"isin+ the *ath o, on(e!return- one rea"isin+ the ,ruition o,
on(e!returnA one rea"isin+ the *ath o, non!return- one rea"isin+
the ,ruition o, non!returnA one rea"isin+ the *ath o, arahantshi*-
one rea"isin+ the ,ruition o, arahantshi*&
Intuitive Awareness
Then it1s just a matter o, m) e+o a+ain& Here I am ^
this *erson- tr)in+ to de(ide what some$od) e"se is&
Then it1s just a matter o, m) e+o a+ain& Here I am ^
this *erson- tr)in+ to de(ide what some$od) e"se is&
Intuitive Awareness
Intuitive Awareness 8>
The Sound o, Si"en(e
Some$od) re,erred to the sound o, si"en(e as a
(osmi( hum- a s(inti""atin+ a"most e"e(tri( $a(0+round
sound& Even thou+h it1s +oin+ on a"" the time we don1t
+enera"") noti(e it- $ut when )our mind is o*en and
re"aBed )ou $e+in to hear it& I ,ound this a ver) use,u"
re,eren(e $e(ause in order to hear it- to noti(e it- )ou
have to $e in a re"aBed state o, awareness& 3eo*"e
tr) to ,ind this on a des(ri*tiona" "eve"& The) +o on a
ten da) retreat tr)in+ to ,ind the sound o, si"en(e and
then the) sa) D I (an1t hear it- what1s wron+ with meQE
The) are tr)in+ to ,ind some thin+& But it1s not some
thin+ )ou have to ,ind ^ rather )ou just o*en to it# it1s
the a$i"it) to "isten- with )our mind in a re(e*tive state-
whi(h ma0es it *ossi$"e to hear the sound o, si"en(e&
ou1re not tr)in+ to so"ve an) *ro$"ems $ut just
"istenin+& ou1re *uttin+ )our mind into a state o,
re(e*tive awareness& It1s awareness that is wi""in+ to
re(eive whatever is- and one o, the thin+s )ou $e+in
to re(o+nise in that- is the sound o, si"en(e&
Some *eo*"e $e(ome averse to the sound o, si"en(e&
One woman started hearin+ it and she wanted it to
sto*- so she resisted it& She said- DI used to have
*ea(e,u" meditations& Now a"" I hear is that $"asted
sound and I1m tr)in+ to sto* it& Be,ore I never heard it-
now I sit down and immediate") I hear ____&E She was
Intuitive Awareness
(reatin+ aversion toward the wa) it is# DI don1t want
thatE& She was (reatin+ su,,erin+ around the sound o,
si"en(e& Rather than (reatin+ su,,erin+- the sound o,
si"en(e (an he"* to ,o(us the mind- $e(ause when
aware o, it- the mind is in a ver) eB*anded state& This
state o, mind is one whi(h we"(omes whatever arises
in (ons(iousnessA it1s not a state where )our are
eB("udin+ an)thin+& The sound o, si"en(e is "i0e in,inite
s*a(e $e(ause it in("udes a"" other sounds- ever)thin+-
it +ives a sense o, eB*ansion- un"imitedness- in,init)&
Other sounds (ome and +o- (han+e and move
a((ordin+") $ut it is "i0e a (ontinuum- a stream&
(reatin+ aversion toward the wa) it is# DI don1t want
thatE& She was (reatin+ su,,erin+ around the sound o,
si"en(e& Rather than (reatin+ su,,erin+- the sound o,
si"en(e (an he"* to ,o(us the mind- $e(ause when
aware o, it- the mind is in a ver) eB*anded state& This
state o, mind is one whi(h we"(omes whatever arises
in (ons(iousnessA it1s not a state where )our are
eB("udin+ an)thin+& The sound o, si"en(e is "i0e in,inite
s*a(e $e(ause it in("udes a"" other sounds- ever)thin+-
it +ives a sense o, eB*ansion- un"imitedness- in,init)&
Other sounds (ome and +o- (han+e and move
a((ordin+") $ut it is "i0e a (ontinuum- a stream&
I noti(ed the sound o, the water,a"" and the stream&
The sound o, si"en(e was in the $a(0+round as we""&
In ,a(t the sound o, si"en(e $e(ame the stron+er and
more o$vious sound $ut it did not o$"iterate the sound
o, the stream- the) wor0ed to+ether& The sound o, the
stream did not o$"iterate or (over u* the sound o,
si"en(e&
Intuitive Awareness
So it1s "i0e a radar& The mind is in a ver) wide-
eB*ansive state o, awareness# in("udin+ o*en to and
re(e*tive- rather than shut o,,- ("osed and (ontro""ed&
So noti(e this and (ontem*"ate this eB*erien(e and
then just (on(entrate )our attention on the sound o,
si"en(e& I, )ou thin0 a$out it- thin0 o, it in terms o, $ein+
"i0e a $"essin+- +ra(e- or a "ove") 0ind o, ,ee"in+- o,
$ein+ o*ened- rather than as a $u__ in the ear- in
whi(h (ase )ou thin0 that its tinnitus or some diseases&
I, )ou start (ontem*"atin+ it as the sound o, an+e"s- a
(osmi( or *rimordia" sound- $"essin+ ever) moment
as we o*en to it- we then ,ee" this sense o, $ein+
$"essed& So re,"e(tin+ in this wa)- in a *ositive wa)
toward it- he"*s us to ta0e an interest in it and +et a
+ood ,ee"in+ ,rom it&
So it1s "i0e a radar& The mind is in a ver) wide-
eB*ansive state o, awareness# in("udin+ o*en to and
re(e*tive- rather than shut o,,- ("osed and (ontro""ed&
So noti(e this and (ontem*"ate this eB*erien(e and
then just (on(entrate )our attention on the sound o,
si"en(e& I, )ou thin0 a$out it- thin0 o, it in terms o, $ein+
"i0e a $"essin+- +ra(e- or a "ove") 0ind o, ,ee"in+- o,
$ein+ o*ened- rather than as a $u__ in the ear- in
whi(h (ase )ou thin0 that its tinnitus or some diseases&
I, )ou start (ontem*"atin+ it as the sound o, an+e"s- a
(osmi( or *rimordia" sound- $"essin+ ever) moment
as we o*en to it- we then ,ee" this sense o, $ein+
$"essed& So re,"e(tin+ in this wa)- in a *ositive wa)
toward it- he"*s us to ta0e an interest in it and +et a
+ood ,ee"in+ ,rom it&
Re"aB into the sound- don1t tr) to ,or(e attention onto
it& Nust have a sense o, re"aBin+ and restin+-
*ea(e,u"ness& Tr) (ountin+ to sa)- ten to sustain
"istenin+ to the sound o, si"en(e& Ione- two- three &&&
nine-ten&1 The mind is not used to restin+ in that wa)-
it1s used to thin0in+ and to rest"ess menta" a(tivities&
It ta0es a whi"e to (a"m- to re"aB and to rest in this
si"en(e o, the mind&
Intuitive Awareness
In the si"en(e- )ou (an a"so $e aware o, an) emotions
that arise& It1s not an annihi"atin+ em*tiness- it1s not a
steri"e nothin+ness- it1s ,u"" and em$ra(in+& ou (an
$e aware o, the movements o, emotions- dou$ts-
memories or ,ee"in+s that start to $e(ome (ons(ious&
It em$ra(es them- it1s not jud+in+ them- resistin+ or
even $ein+ ,as(inated with them& It1s just re(o+ni_in+
and rea"i_in+ the wa) it is&
In the si"en(e- )ou (an a"so $e aware o, an) emotions
that arise& It1s not an annihi"atin+ em*tiness- it1s not a
steri"e nothin+ness- it1s ,u"" and em$ra(in+& ou (an
$e aware o, the movements o, emotions- dou$ts-
memories or ,ee"in+s that start to $e(ome (ons(ious&
It em$ra(es them- it1s not jud+in+ them- resistin+ or
even $ein+ ,as(inated with them& It1s just re(o+ni_in+
and rea"i_in+ the wa) it is&
Then )ou start to rea"i_e that it1s ever)where and not
just in the ears& That *er(e*tion o, the sound o,
si"en(e $ein+ heard in the ears is the same
mis*er(e*tion as thin0in+ that the mind is in the $rain&
ou1re (han+in+ ,rom that ver) (onditioned wa) o,
eB*erien(in+ "i,e- whi(h arises throu+h this sense o,
se", and the (u"tura"") (onditioned attitudes we ho"d-
to a mu(h wider understandin+ o, the wa) it is&
It1s "i0e the *er(e*tion o, the mind as $ein+ in the $od)&
Throu+h intuitive awareness we (an see that the $od)
is in the mind& Ri+ht now )ou are in m) mindA a"" o,
)ou in this ha""- )ou1re in the mind& On the (onventiona"
"eve"- ,or ea(h one o, us our mind is in our head ^
)ou1re sittin+ over there with a mind in )our head ^
Intuitive Awareness
a"" these di,,erent heads with minds in them& But then
in terms o, mind- I1m sittin+ here on the hi+h seat- I
(an see )ou with m) e)es- and )ou1re in the mind-
)ou1re not in m) head& I (an1t sa) )ou1re a"" in m) $rain&
The mind has no "imit to it&
a"" these di,,erent heads with minds in them& But then
in terms o, mind- I1m sittin+ here on the hi+h seat- I
(an see )ou with m) e)es- and )ou1re in the mind-
)ou1re not in m) head& I (an1t sa) )ou1re a"" in m) $rain&
The mind has no "imit to it&
The sound o, si"en(e isn1t mine- nor is it in m) head-
$ut this ,orm is a$"e to re(o+ni_e it and 0now thin+s
as the) are& This 0nowin+ is not a (u"tura" 0nowin+-
it1s not "i0e inter*retin+ ever)thin+ ,rom m) (u"tura"
(onditionin+A it1s seein+ thin+s as the) are- in a dire(t
wa)- whi(h is not de*endent on (u"tura" attitudes& So
we rea"") $e+in to understand anattR Gnot!se",H- whi(h
ena$"es us to see that we are a"" (onne(ted- we are
one& 'e are not- as we a**ear to $e- a (o""e(tion o,
tota"") se*arate entitiesA i, )ou start (ontem*"atin+ "i0e
this- )ou $e+in to eB*and )our awareness to in("ude
rather than to de,ine&
So in terms o, meditation- we are esta$"ishin+
awareness in the *resent- (o""e(tin+- re(o""e(tin+-
(ontem*"atin+ one!*ointedness in the *resent ^ the
Intuitive Awareness
$od)- the $reath- the sound o, si"en(e& Then we (an
$rin+ to this an attitude o, mettR G"ovin+!0indnessH-
whi(h is a wa) o, re"atin+ to and re(o+ni_in+
(onditioned *henomena without jud+in+ them&
'ithout this attitude we tend to ma0e va"ue!
jud+ements a$out what we eB*erien(e on a *ersona"
"eve"& One *erson is ,ee"in+ *ea(e- another *erson is
,ee"in+ rest"ess- another *erson is ,ee"in+ ins*ired-
another *erson is ,ee"in+ $ored- another *erson hi+h-
another "owA or )ou1re havin+ +ood or $ad thou+hts-
stu*id or use,u" thou+hts- whi(h are jud+ments a$out
the Cua"it) o, the eB*erien(e that ea(h one o, us is
havin+& In terms o, 0nowin+- we are 0nowin+ that
thou+ht is a (onditioned arisin+ and (easin+& Even
$ad thou+hts or horri$"e thou+hts arise and (ease-
just "i0e +ood thou+hts& It1s not a matter o, *assin+
jud+ement a$out how $ad )ou are $e(ause )ou are
havin+ $ad thou+hts- it1s a$out the a$i"it) to re(o+nise
thou+ht- and to see that the nature o, thou+ht is
im*ermanent- (han+in+- not!se",& So now just use this
(osmi( hum- this +ent"e stream o, ,"owin+ s(inti""atin+
sound& Nust +et ,ami"iar with it&
$od)- the $reath- the sound o, si"en(e& Then we (an
$rin+ to this an attitude o, mettR G"ovin+!0indnessH-
whi(h is a wa) o, re"atin+ to and re(o+ni_in+
(onditioned *henomena without jud+in+ them&
'ithout this attitude we tend to ma0e va"ue!
jud+ements a$out what we eB*erien(e on a *ersona"
"eve"& One *erson is ,ee"in+ *ea(e- another *erson is
,ee"in+ rest"ess- another *erson is ,ee"in+ ins*ired-
another *erson is ,ee"in+ $ored- another *erson hi+h-
another "owA or )ou1re havin+ +ood or $ad thou+hts-
stu*id or use,u" thou+hts- whi(h are jud+ments a$out
the Cua"it) o, the eB*erien(e that ea(h one o, us is
havin+& In terms o, 0nowin+- we are 0nowin+ that
thou+ht is a (onditioned arisin+ and (easin+& Even
$ad thou+hts or horri$"e thou+hts arise and (ease-
just "i0e +ood thou+hts& It1s not a matter o, *assin+
jud+ement a$out how $ad )ou are $e(ause )ou are
havin+ $ad thou+hts- it1s a$out the a$i"it) to re(o+nise
thou+ht- and to see that the nature o, thou+ht is
im*ermanent- (han+in+- not!se",& So now just use this
(osmi( hum- this +ent"e stream o, ,"owin+ s(inti""atin+
sound& Nust +et ,ami"iar with it&
Intuitive Awareness
u*& I "i0e that word I,ed!u*1- )ou (an sa) it with su(h
(onvi(tion&
u*& I "i0e that word I,ed!u*1- )ou (an sa) it with su(h
(onvi(tion&
'ith the sound o, si"en(e- )ou $e+in to hear it
wherever )ou are ^ in the midd"e o, London- in a tra,,i(
jam in Ban+0o0- in a heated ar+ument with some$od)-
when the (hainsaw is +oin+- when the *neumati( dri""-
the "awn mower and the (hain saw are +oin+ at the
same time- even when there is musi(O So "earnin+ to
dete(t it and tunin+ into it is "i0e a (ha""en+e&
Sometimes *eo*"e sa)# DI (an1t hear itA there1s too
mu(h noise&E I, )ou are resistin+ the noise )ou (an1t
hear the sound o, si"en(e- $ut i, )ou o*en to it then
)ou $e+in to hear the +ent"e s(inti""atin+ hum- even
with the *neumati( dri"" $"astin+ awa)&
Intuitive Awareness
Listenin+ to the sound o, si"en(e a""ows us to inte+rate
mind,u"nessMmeditation into movement- wor0-
$usiness& I, )ou are in the 0it(hen washin+ dishes-
wa"0in+ ,rom here $a(0 to )our room or drivin+ a (ar-
)ou are a$"e to "isten to the sound o, si"en(e at the
same time& It does not ma0e )ou heed"ess& It a""ows
)ou to $e ,u"") with what )ou are doin+& It is not a
distra(tin+ thin+ that ma0es )ou heed"ess when )ou
are washin+ the dishes- it in(reases )our mind,u"ness&
It he"*s )ou to wash the dishes ,u"") and rea"") $e with
the washin+ o, the dishes- rather than just washin+
the dishes and $ein+ with a"" 0inds o, other thin+s&
'hen )ou1re wa"0in+ ,rom here $a(0 to )our room-
)ou (ou"d $e thin0in+ a$out ever)thin+ e"se- $ut usin+
the sound o, si"en(e he"*s )ou to $e with wa"0in+-
$ein+ mind,u" and with the ver) a(tion that1s
ha**enin+ in the *resent&
Listenin+ to the sound o, si"en(e a""ows us to inte+rate
mind,u"nessMmeditation into movement- wor0-
$usiness& I, )ou are in the 0it(hen washin+ dishes-
wa"0in+ ,rom here $a(0 to )our room or drivin+ a (ar-
)ou are a$"e to "isten to the sound o, si"en(e at the
same time& It does not ma0e )ou heed"ess& It a""ows
)ou to $e ,u"") with what )ou are doin+& It is not a
distra(tin+ thin+ that ma0es )ou heed"ess when )ou
are washin+ the dishes- it in(reases )our mind,u"ness&
It he"*s )ou to wash the dishes ,u"") and rea"") $e with
the washin+ o, the dishes- rather than just washin+
the dishes and $ein+ with a"" 0inds o, other thin+s&
'hen )ou1re wa"0in+ ,rom here $a(0 to )our room-
)ou (ou"d $e thin0in+ a$out ever)thin+ e"se- $ut usin+
the sound o, si"en(e he"*s )ou to $e with wa"0in+-
$ein+ mind,u" and with the ver) a(tion that1s
ha**enin+ in the *resent&
s*"ittin+&
I thou+ht Dsomethin+1s +oin+ wron+&E Then it
(han+ed and I tried to +et it "oud a+ain and (ou"dn1t&
It1s not somethin+ that is dan+erous& It de*ends how
)ou "oo0 at it- I, )ou resist it or are ne+ative to it- )ou1re
(reatin+ that ne+ativit) towards it& I, )ou re"aB and
o*en- then )ou ,ee" this +ent") s(inti""atin+ $a(0+round
sound that is *ea(e,u"- (a"min+ and rest,u"& ou $e+in
to re(o+nise em*tiness ^ it1s not some va+ue idea
that i, )ou *ra(tise meditation )ou mi+ht eB*erien(e
em*tiness some da)& It1s not a va+ue 0ind o, thin+- its
ver) dire(t&
Intuitive Awareness
Then in that em*tiness (ontem*"ate what Ise",1 is&
'hen )ou $e(ome a *ersona"it) what ha**ensQ ou
start thin0in+- +ras*in+ )our ,ee"in+s- then )ou $e(ome
a mon0 or nun- man or woman- a *ersona"it)- 3is(es-
Aries- an Asian or a Euro*ean- an Ameri(an- o"d man-
)oun+ woman- or whatever& It1s throu+h thin0in+-
+ras*in+ at the 0handhas- that we start +ettin+ wound
u* into that- and then we $e(ome somethin+& But in
this em*tiness there is no nationa"it)& It1s a *ure
inte""i+en(e- it does not $e"on+ to an)$od) or an)
+rou*& So then )ou start re(o+nisin+ when )ou1ve
$e(ome some$od) and no$od)- when there is attR
and anattR&
Then in that em*tiness (ontem*"ate what Ise",1 is&
'hen )ou $e(ome a *ersona"it) what ha**ensQ ou
start thin0in+- +ras*in+ )our ,ee"in+s- then )ou $e(ome
a mon0 or nun- man or woman- a *ersona"it)- 3is(es-
Aries- an Asian or a Euro*ean- an Ameri(an- o"d man-
)oun+ woman- or whatever& It1s throu+h thin0in+-
+ras*in+ at the 0handhas- that we start +ettin+ wound
u* into that- and then we $e(ome somethin+& But in
this em*tiness there is no nationa"it)& It1s a *ure
inte""i+en(e- it does not $e"on+ to an)$od) or an)
+rou*& So then )ou start re(o+nisin+ when )ou1ve
$e(ome some$od) and no$od)- when there is attR
and anattR&
Nust $) eB*"orin+ this )ou rea"") +et to understand
what attR Gse",H is- how )ou $e(ome a *ersona"it) and
a"so to see that when there is no *erson there is sti""
awareness& It1s an inte""i+ent awarenessA it1s not an
Intuitive Awareness
un(ons(ious du"" stu*idit)- it1s a $ri+ht- ("ear-
inte""i+ent em*tiness& 'hen )ou $e(ome a *ersona"it)
throu+h havin+ thou+hts "i0e# ,ee"in+ sorr) ,or )ourse",-
views and o*inions- se",!(riti(ism and so ,orth- and
then it sto*s ^ there is the si"en(e& But sti"" the si"en(e
is $ri+ht and ("ear- inte""i+ent& I *re,er this si"en(e
rather than this end"ess *ro"i,eratin+ natterin+ that
+oes on in the mind&
un(ons(ious du"" stu*idit)- it1s a $ri+ht- ("ear-
inte""i+ent em*tiness& 'hen )ou $e(ome a *ersona"it)
throu+h havin+ thou+hts "i0e# ,ee"in+ sorr) ,or )ourse",-
views and o*inions- se",!(riti(ism and so ,orth- and
then it sto*s ^ there is the si"en(e& But sti"" the si"en(e
is $ri+ht and ("ear- inte""i+ent& I *re,er this si"en(e
rather than this end"ess *ro"i,eratin+ natterin+ that
+oes on in the mind&
That1s a wa) o, $rea0in+ a "ot o, these emotiona"
ha$its we have that *"a+ue us and o$sess our minds&
ou (an a(tua"") train )our mind- not throu+h reje(tion
or denia" $ut throu+h understandin+ and (u"tivatin+
this si"en(e& So don1t use this si"en(e as awa) o,
Intuitive Awareness
annihi"atin+ or +ettin+ rid o, what is arisin+ in
eB*erien(e- $ut as a wa) o, reso"vin+ and "i$eratin+
)our mind ,rom the o$sessive thou+hts and ne+ative
attitudes that (an end"ess") *"a+ue (ons(ious
eB*erien(e&
annihi"atin+ or +ettin+ rid o, what is arisin+ in
eB*erien(e- $ut as a wa) o, reso"vin+ and "i$eratin+
)our mind ,rom the o$sessive thou+hts and ne+ative
attitudes that (an end"ess") *"a+ue (ons(ious
eB*erien(e&
The End o, Su,,erin+ is Now
On a (onventiona" "eve" we easi") (on(eive the
(onditions whi(h we atta(h to& 'ith sati!*aSSR and
sati!sam*ajaSSa we $e+in to awa0en ourse"ves to the
wa) it is- rather than $ein+ (ommitted to the
(onventiona" rea"ities# just to em*hasise the
awareness $e,ore )ou $e(ome somethin+& I1m tr)in+
to +et this *oint a(ross- so I thin0 it needs to $e
re*eated man) times- $e(ause even thou+h it "oo0s
ver) sim*"e- the mind!set is de,inite") +eared to
$e"ieve in the *ersona"it) view as our rea"it)& .ost o,
)ou are ver) (ommitted to )ourse"ves as *ersona"ities
and the rea"it) o, )ourse", as a *erson is ver) mu(h
in+rained&
The term sa00R)a!di]]hi (an $e trans"ated as
I*ersona"it)!view1 or Ithe e+o1& It means that the
*er(e*tions that we ho"d in re+ard to our identit) with
the ,ive 0handhas G+rou*sHA the $od)- the ,ee"in+s- the
*er(e*tions- the (on(e*tions and (ons(iousness- as
$e"on+in+ to this *erson& In investi+atin+ this we are
not +ras*in+ the *er(e*tion o, Ino *erson1 either& 'e
(an ta0e the (on(e*t o, anattR and +ras* that- and
sa)- DThere1s no se", $e(ause the Buddha said there1s
anattROE $ut then we1re a"so +ras*in+ a *er(e*tion&
4ras*in+ a *er(e*tion o, )ourse", as a non!se",- +ets
to $e a $it ridi(u"ousO 4ras*in+ *er(e*tions is not the
Intuitive Awareness
wa)& I, )ou +ras* whatever (onditions )ou (reate- )ou1""
end u* in the same *"a(e- su,,erin+- as the resu"t& Don1t
$e"ieve me either- this is ,or )ou to eB*"ore&
wa)& I, )ou +ras* whatever (onditions )ou (reate- )ou1""
end u* in the same *"a(e- su,,erin+- as the resu"t& Don1t
$e"ieve me either- this is ,or )ou to eB*"ore&
'hen )ou are (au+ht in the wanderin+ mind- )ou "ose
)ourse",A )ou just +o ,rom one thou+ht to another& One
thou+ht (onne(ts to another and )ou just +et (arried
awa)& But de"i$erate thin0in+ is not "i0e wanderin+
Intuitive Awareness
thin0in+- is itQ It1s intentiona"- ,or )ou are (hoosin+
whatever )ou are +oin+ to thin0& The im*ortant thin+
is not the thou+ht- or even the Cua"it) o, the thou+ht-
whether it1s stu*id or inte""i+ent- ri+ht or wron+- it1s
the attention- the a$i"it) to "isten to the thin0in+ that
)ou are de"i$erate") doin+& Bein+ aware o, thin0in+ in
this wa)- what ha**ens to me Gand I assume wi""
ha**en a"so to )ou ^ I don1t 0now- ma)$e I1m just
an eB(e*tiona" (aseOH ^ is that $e,ore I start thin0in+
DI am an unen"i+htened *erson&&&E there is a s*a(e-
isn1t thereQ There is an em*t) *ause $e,ore )ou
de"i$erate") thin0& So noti(e that& That is just the wa)
it isA there is no *er(e*tion in that s*a(e- $ut there is
attention to it- there is awareness- )ou are (ertain")
aware o, this $e,ore DI am an unen"i+htened *erson&&&E
arises& Thin0in+ a$out this is not wanderin+ thin0in+-
it1s not jud+in+ or ana")sin+- $ut just noti(in+# DIt1s "i0e
this&E So when )ou de"i$erate") thin0- )ou (an a"so
use thou+ht to 0ee* *ointin+ to this- noti(in+ the wa)
it is&
thin0in+- is itQ It1s intentiona"- ,or )ou are (hoosin+
whatever )ou are +oin+ to thin0& The im*ortant thin+
is not the thou+ht- or even the Cua"it) o, the thou+ht-
whether it1s stu*id or inte""i+ent- ri+ht or wron+- it1s
the attention- the a$i"it) to "isten to the thin0in+ that
)ou are de"i$erate") doin+& Bein+ aware o, thin0in+ in
this wa)- what ha**ens to me Gand I assume wi""
ha**en a"so to )ou ^ I don1t 0now- ma)$e I1m just
an eB(e*tiona" (aseOH ^ is that $e,ore I start thin0in+
DI am an unen"i+htened *erson&&&E there is a s*a(e-
isn1t thereQ There is an em*t) *ause $e,ore )ou
de"i$erate") thin0& So noti(e that& That is just the wa)
it isA there is no *er(e*tion in that s*a(e- $ut there is
attention to it- there is awareness- )ou are (ertain")
aware o, this $e,ore DI am an unen"i+htened *erson&&&E
arises& Thin0in+ a$out this is not wanderin+ thin0in+-
it1s not jud+in+ or ana")sin+- $ut just noti(in+# DIt1s "i0e
this&E So when )ou de"i$erate") thin0- )ou (an a"so
use thou+ht to 0ee* *ointin+ to this- noti(in+ the wa)
it is&
Intuitive Awareness
DI am an unen"i+htened *erson who needs to *ra(tise
meditation in order to $e(ome an en"i+htened *erson
in the ,uture&E One assumes that DI am this $od)- with
this *ast& I have this histor)& I am so man) )ears o"d-
$orn in su(h and su(h a *"a(e- I1ve done a"" these
thin+s and so I have a histor) to *rove that this *erson
eBists&E I have a *ass*ort and a $irth (erti,i(ate- and
*eo*"e even want me to have a we$!site on the
InternetO But rea"") there doesn1t seem to $e an)
*erson in the awareness&
DI am an unen"i+htened *erson who needs to *ra(tise
meditation in order to $e(ome an en"i+htened *erson
in the ,uture&E One assumes that DI am this $od)- with
this *ast& I have this histor)& I am so man) )ears o"d-
$orn in su(h and su(h a *"a(e- I1ve done a"" these
thin+s and so I have a histor) to *rove that this *erson
eBists&E I have a *ass*ort and a $irth (erti,i(ate- and
*eo*"e even want me to have a we$!site on the
InternetO But rea"") there doesn1t seem to $e an)
*erson in the awareness&
Intuitive Awareness
Unim*ortant 3ersonO
Unim*ortant 3ersonO
I have ,ound this ver) revea"in+& 'hen I did this
eBer(ise it $e(ame ver) ("ear what awareness is F
sati!sam*ajaSSa- mind,u"ness- awareness-
a**er(e*tion& Then the thin0in+- the *er(e*tions arise&
So de"i$erate") thin0in+- DI am an unen"i+htened
*erson&&&E arises in this awareness& This awareness
is not a *er(e*tion- is itQ It1s an a**er(e*tionA it
in("udes *er(e*tion& 3er(e*tions arise and (ease& It1s
Intuitive Awareness
not *ersona"- it doesn1t have an) Ajahn SumedhoCua"it)
to it- it1s not ma"e or ,ema"e- $hi00hu or
ST"adharR GnunH- or an)thin+ "i0e thatA it has no Cua"it)
on the (onventiona"- (onditioned "eve"& It is "i0e nothin+-
"i0e nothin+& This awareness ^ DI am an
unen"i+htened *erson&&&E ^ and then nothin+- there1s
no *erson& So )ou are eB*"orin+- )ou are investi+atin+
these +a*s $e,ore DIE and a,ter DIE& ou sa) DIE ^ there1s
sati!sam*ajaSSa- there1s the sound o, si"en(e- isn1t
thereQ DI amE arises in this awareness- this
(ons(iousness& That- as )ou investi+ate it- )ou (an
Cuestion&
This awareness is not a (reation- is itQ I am (reatin+
the DI am&&&E& 'hat is more rea" than DI am an
unen"i+htened *ersonE is this awareness- satisam*ajaSS
a& That is the (ontinuous one- that1s what
sustains- and the sense o, )ourse", as a *erson (an
+o an) whi(h wa)& As )ou thin0 a$out )ourse", and
who )ou are- who )ou shou"d $e- who )ou wou"d "i0e
to $e- who )ou do not want to $e- how +ood or $ad-
wonder,u" or horri$"e )ou are- a"" this whir"s around- it
+oes a"" over the *"a(e& One moment )ou (an ,ee" DI
am a rea"") wonder,u" *ersonE- the neBt moment )ou
(an ,ee" DI am an a$so"ute") ho*e"ess- horri$"e *ersonE&
But i, )ou ta0e re,u+e in awareness- then whatever )ou
are thin0in+ does not ma0e mu(h di,,eren(e- $e(ause
)our re,u+e is in this a$i"it) o, awareness- rather than
in the +)rations and ,"u(tuations o, the se",!view- o,
)our sa00R)a!di]]hi ha$its&
Nust noti(e how $ein+ a *erson is rea"") "i0e a )o!)oA
it +oes u* and down a"" the time& 'ith *raise )ou ,ee"
Intuitive Awareness
)ou1re wonder,u"- )ou are wonder,u" ^ then )ou1re a
ho*e"ess (ase- )ou1re de*ressed- a ho*e"ess vi(tim
o, (ir(umstan(es& ou win the "otter) and )ou1re
e"atedA then some$od) stea"s a"" the mone) and
)ou1re sui(ida"& This is $e(ause the *ersona"it) is "i0e
thatA it1s ver) de*endent& ou (an $e hurt terri$") on a
*ersona" "eve"& Or )ou (an $e eBhi"arated# *eo*"e ,ind
)ou just the most wonder,u"- thri""in+- eB(itin+
*ersona"it)- and )ou ,ee" ha**)&
)ou1re wonder,u"- )ou are wonder,u" ^ then )ou1re a
ho*e"ess (ase- )ou1re de*ressed- a ho*e"ess vi(tim
o, (ir(umstan(es& ou win the "otter) and )ou1re
e"atedA then some$od) stea"s a"" the mone) and
)ou1re sui(ida"& This is $e(ause the *ersona"it) is "i0e
thatA it1s ver) de*endent& ou (an $e hurt terri$") on a
*ersona" "eve"& Or )ou (an $e eBhi"arated# *eo*"e ,ind
)ou just the most wonder,u"- thri""in+- eB(itin+
*ersona"it)- and )ou ,ee" ha**)&
^ DHow +ood a mon0 am IQE Then some$od) sa)s
DOh- Ajahn Sumedho is eBem*"ar)A a to*!not(h
mon0OE and that1s wonder,u"& DHe1s a ho*e"ess (aseA
doesn1t 0ee* +ood Lina)aE and I want to murder& This
is how untrustworth) the se", is&
'e (an rise to +reat a"truism and then sin0 to the most
de*raved de*ths in just a se(ond& It1s a tota"")
untrustworth) state to *ut )our re,u+e in- $ein+ a
*erson o, an) 0ind& Even ho"din+ the view that DI am a
+ood mon0E is a *rett) dod+) re,u+e& I, that is a"" )ou
0now then someone sa)s that )ou are not a ver) +ood
mon0 and )ou1re an+r)- )ou1re hurt- )ou1re o,,ended&
Sati!sam*ajaSSa- des*ite a"" the ,"u(tuations- is
(onstant& This is wh) I see it as a re,u+e& As )ou
Intuitive Awareness
re(o+nise it- rea"ise it- 0now it- and a**re(iate it- then
it1s what I (a"" a re,u+e- $e(ause a re,u+e is not
de*endent on *raise and $"ame- su((ess and ,ai"ure&
re(o+nise it- rea"ise it- 0now it- and a**re(iate it- then
it1s what I (a"" a re,u+e- $e(ause a re,u+e is not
de*endent on *raise and $"ame- su((ess and ,ai"ure&
'hen the se", starts to $rea0 u*- some *eo*"e ,ind
that it $e(omes ver) ,ri+htenin+- $e(ause it1s "i0e
ever)thin+ )ou have re+arded as so"id and rea" starts
,a""in+ a*art& I remem$er )ears a+o- "on+ $e,ore I was
even a Buddhist- ,ee"in+ threatened $) (ertain radi(a"
ideas that tended to (ha""en+e the se(urit) o, the wor"d
that I "ived in& 'hen it seems that some$od) is
threatenin+ or (ha""en+in+ somethin+ that )ou de*end
Intuitive Awareness
u*on ,or a sense that ever)thin+ is a"ri+ht- )ou (an
+et ver) an+r) and even vio"ent $e(ause the) are
threatenin+ Dm) wor"d- m) se(urit)- m) re,u+e&E ou
(an see wh) (onservative *eo*"e +et ver) threatened
$) ,orei+ners- radi(a" ideas or an)thin+ that (omes in
and (ha""en+es the status!Cuo or what )ou are used
to- $e(ause i, that1s )our wor"d that )ou are rea"")
de*endin+ on to ma0e )ou ,ee" se(ure- and then when
)ou are threatened )ou +o into *ani(&
u*on ,or a sense that ever)thin+ is a"ri+ht- )ou (an
+et ver) an+r) and even vio"ent $e(ause the) are
threatenin+ Dm) wor"d- m) se(urit)- m) re,u+e&E ou
(an see wh) (onservative *eo*"e +et ver) threatened
$) ,orei+ners- radi(a" ideas or an)thin+ that (omes in
and (ha""en+es the status!Cuo or what )ou are used
to- $e(ause i, that1s )our wor"d that )ou are rea"")
de*endin+ on to ma0e )ou ,ee" se(ure- and then when
)ou are threatened )ou +o into *ani(&
Intuitive Awareness
In terms o, this (onditioned rea"m that we *er(eive-
(reate and ho"d to- it is a ver) unsta$"e- un(ertain-
unde*enda$"e and (han+in+ (ondition in itse",& That1s
just the wa) it is&
In terms o, this (onditioned rea"m that we *er(eive-
(reate and ho"d to- it is a ver) unsta$"e- un(ertain-
unde*enda$"e and (han+in+ (ondition in itse",& That1s
just the wa) it is&
DI am an unen"i+htened *erson who has to *ra(tise
meditation hard& I must rea"") wor0 at it- +et rid o, m)
de,i"ements and $e(ome an en"i+htened *erson some
time in the ,uture& I ho*e to attain stream!entr) $e,ore
I die- $ut i, I don1t- I ho*e that I wi"" $e re$orn in a
$etter rea"m&E 'e +o on "i0e that- (reatin+ more and
more (om*"i(ations& 3eo*"e as0 me- D/an we attain
stream!entr)Q Are there an) ArahantsQE $e(ause we
sti"" thin0 o, stream!entr) and Arahantshi* as a
*ersona" Cua"it)- don1t weQ 'e "oo0 at some$od) and
Intuitive Awareness
sa)- DThat mon0 over there is an ArahantOE 'e thin0
that *erson is an Arahant or stream!enterer& That1s
just the wa) the (onditioned mind o*erates- it (an1t
he"* it- it (an1t do an)thin+ e"se than that& So )ou (an1t
trust it- )ou (an1t ta0e re,u+e in )our thou+hts or )our
*er(e*tions- $ut in awareness& That doesn1t seem "i0e
an)thin+- it1s "i0e nothin+ ^ $ut it1s ever)thin+& A"" the
*ro$"ems are reso"ved ri+ht thereO
sa)- DThat mon0 over there is an ArahantOE 'e thin0
that *erson is an Arahant or stream!enterer& That1s
just the wa) the (onditioned mind o*erates- it (an1t
he"* it- it (an1t do an)thin+ e"se than that& So )ou (an1t
trust it- )ou (an1t ta0e re,u+e in )our thou+hts or )our
*er(e*tions- $ut in awareness& That doesn1t seem "i0e
an)thin+- it1s "i0e nothin+ ^ $ut it1s ever)thin+& A"" the
*ro$"ems are reso"ved ri+ht thereO
.an) o, )ou ma) thin0- DOh- I don1t have an) wisdom&
I1m no$od)& I haven1t had an) rea" insi+htE& So )ou
thorou+h") (onvin(e )ourse", that )ou (an1t do this&
That1s the wa) it seems on the *ersona" "eve"- ma)$e
)ou don1t ,ee" that )ou have an)thin+ to o,,er on that
"eve"- $ut that1s another (reation& That1s the same as
DI am an unen"i+htened *erson&&&E& 'hatever )ou thin0
Intuitive Awareness
)ou are- whether it1s that )ou are the $est or the worst-
it1s sti"" a (reationA )ou (reate that into the *resent&
'hatever assum*tions )ou have a$out )ourse",- no
matter how reasona$"e the) mi+ht $e- it1s sti"" a
(reation in the *resent& B) $e"ievin+ it- $) thin0in+
and ho"din+ to it- then )ou1re (ontinua"") (reatin+
)ourse", as some 0ind o, *ersona"it)&
)ou are- whether it1s that )ou are the $est or the worst-
it1s sti"" a (reationA )ou (reate that into the *resent&
'hatever assum*tions )ou have a$out )ourse",- no
matter how reasona$"e the) mi+ht $e- it1s sti"" a
(reation in the *resent& B) $e"ievin+ it- $) thin0in+
and ho"din+ to it- then )ou1re (ontinua"") (reatin+
)ourse", as some 0ind o, *ersona"it)&
A"so re(o+nise the endin+- when DI am an
unen"i+htened *erson who has +ot to *ra(tise
meditation in order to $e(ome an en"i+htened *erson
some time in the ,utureE sto*s& Then there is the
rin+in+ si"en(eA there1s awareness& /onditions a"wa)s
arise and (ease now in the *resent& The (essation is
now& The endin+ o, the (ondition is now& The end o,
the wor"d is now& The end o, se", is now& The end o,
Intuitive Awareness
su,,erin+ is now& ou (an see the arisin+- DI am&&&E- then
the endin+A and what remains when somethin+ has
$e+un and ended is awareness& It1s "i0e this& It1s $ri+ht-
it1s ("ear- it1s *ure- it1s a"ive& It1s not "i0e a tran(e- it1s
not du""- it1s not stu*id& So this is just an
en(oura+ement- an Iem*owerment1 a((ordin+ to
modern jar+on& Do itO 4o ,or itO Don1t just han+ around
on the ed+es thin0in+ DI am an unen"i+htened *erson
who has to *ra(tise rea"") hard in order to $e(ome an
en"i+htened *ersonE and then a,ter a whi"e start
+rum$"in+- DOh- I need more timeOE and +o into the
usua" *"ans and *"ots- views and o*inions& I, )ou start
with i+noran(e )ou wi"" end u* with su,,erin+&
DAvijjR*a((a)R saa0hRrRE in the tea(hin+s on
de*endent ori+ination G*a]i((asamu**RdaH# AvijjR1 is
i+noran(e- and that (onditions G*a((a)RH the
saa0hRras Gmenta" ,ormationsH- that then a,,e(ts
ever)thin+ and )ou end u* with +rie,- sorrow- des*air
and an+uish Gso0a!*arideva!du00ha!domanassu*R)RsRH
as a resu"t& This is en(oura+in+ )ou to start
not ,rom avijjR- $ut ,rom awareness GvijjRH- ,rom
wisdom G*aSSRH& Be that wisdom itse",- rather than a
*erson who isn1t wise- tr)in+ to $e(ome wise& As "on+
as )ou ho"d to the view that DI1m not wise )et- $ut I
ho*e to $e(ome wiseE- then )ou1"" end u* with +rie,-
sorrow- des*air and an+uish& It1s that dire(t& It1s
"earnin+ to trust in $ein+ the wisdom now- $ein+
awa0e&
Even thou+h )ou ma) ,ee" tota"") inadeCuate
emotiona"")- dou$t,u" or un(ertain- ,ri+htened or
terri,ied o, it ^ emotions are "i0e that& But $e the
awareness o, the emotions# DEmotion is "i0e thisE& It1s
Intuitive Awareness
a rea(tion- $e(ause emotiona"") we are (onditioned
,or i+noran(e& I am emotiona"") (onditioned to $e a
*erson& I am emotiona"") (onditioned to $e Ajahn
Sumedho& DAjahn Sumedho- )ou are wonder,u"OE and
the emotions +o# DOhQE- DAjahn Sumedho- )ou are a
horri$"e mon0 with terri$"e Lina)aOE and the emotions
+o D4rrrrrOOE Emotions are "i0e that& I, m) se(urit)
de*ends on $ein+ *raised and "oved- res*e(ted and
a**re(iated- $ein+ su((ess,u" and hea"th)- ever)thin+
+oin+ ni(e") and ever)one around me $ein+ in
harmon)- the wor"d around me $ein+ so utter")
sensitive to m) needs- then I ,ee" a"ri+ht when
ever)thin+ e"se seems a"ri+ht& But then it +oes the
other wa) ^ the earthCua0es- the *erse(ution- the
a$use- the disro$in+- the $"ame- the (riti(ism and then
I thin0 DU+hO Li,e is horri$"e& I (an1t stand it an) moreO
I1m so hurt- so wounded& I1ve tried so hard and no$od)
a**re(iates me- no$od) "oves me&E That1s the
emotiona" de*enden() o, the *ersonA that1s *ersona"
(onditionin+&
a rea(tion- $e(ause emotiona"") we are (onditioned
,or i+noran(e& I am emotiona"") (onditioned to $e a
*erson& I am emotiona"") (onditioned to $e Ajahn
Sumedho& DAjahn Sumedho- )ou are wonder,u"OE and
the emotions +o# DOhQE- DAjahn Sumedho- )ou are a
horri$"e mon0 with terri$"e Lina)aOE and the emotions
+o D4rrrrrOOE Emotions are "i0e that& I, m) se(urit)
de*ends on $ein+ *raised and "oved- res*e(ted and
a**re(iated- $ein+ su((ess,u" and hea"th)- ever)thin+
+oin+ ni(e") and ever)one around me $ein+ in
harmon)- the wor"d around me $ein+ so utter")
sensitive to m) needs- then I ,ee" a"ri+ht when
ever)thin+ e"se seems a"ri+ht& But then it +oes the
other wa) ^ the earthCua0es- the *erse(ution- the
a$use- the disro$in+- the $"ame- the (riti(ism and then
I thin0 DU+hO Li,e is horri$"e& I (an1t stand it an) moreO
I1m so hurt- so wounded& I1ve tried so hard and no$od)
a**re(iates me- no$od) "oves me&E That1s the
emotiona" de*enden() o, the *ersonA that1s *ersona"
(onditionin+&
Intuitive Awareness
Don1t Ta0e it 3ersona"")
'e have just three wee0s "e,t o, the Lassa Grains
retreatH& The words in this senten(e are *er(e*tions
o, time and (han+e- in the (onditioned rea"m& ILassa1
is a (onvention& The Autumn doesn1t sa)- DI1m
AutumnEA we (a"" it Autumn& This is a (onvention that
we use ,or (ommuni(atin+ our (u"tura" attitudes or
mora" a+reements& 3aramattha!sa((a is u"timate
rea"it)A this is where we1re +ettin+ $e)ond (onventions&
/onventions are made- the)1re made u* and are
de*endent on other thin+s& Thin+s that are (onsidered
+ood in one (onventiona" ,orm are not (onsidered
a**ro*riate in another& 'e have various $iases or
*rejudi(es that we +et ,rom our (u"ture and the
(onventions that we have& Nust "ivin+ in Euro*e we
have the o"d $iases o, what the 2ren(h are "i0e and
the 4ermans- Ita"ians and so ,orth&
'e have (u"tura" attitudes as a wa) o, *er(eivin+
thin+s& 'e ,orm these various o*inions and views&
That is wh) it1s eas) to have ethni( war,are and ra(ia"
*rejudi(es- ("ass sno$$er) and so ,orth- $e(ause we
never Cuestion the (onventiona" rea"it) that we have
ado*ted& 'e just +o a"on+ with it& 'e ho"d various
views a$out our re"i+ion and our ra(e and our (u"ture
and then (om*are it to some$od) e"se1s& On that "eve"
Intuitive Awareness
we have idea"s- sa) o, demo(ra()- eCua"it) and a"" that
$ut we1re sti"" ver) mu(h in,"uen(ed $) the
(onventiona" rea"ities that we1re (onditioned $)&
we have idea"s- sa) o, demo(ra()- eCua"it) and a"" that
$ut we1re sti"" ver) mu(h in,"uen(ed $) the
(onventiona" rea"ities that we1re (onditioned $)&
It1s hard to +et $e)ond these assum*tions- these
thin+s we *i(0 u*& 'e don1t even 0now we have these
atta(hments unti" the)1re re,"e(ted in some wa) and
that1s wh) "ivin+ in di,,erent (u"tures he"*s& Livin+ in
Thai"and he"*ed me to see a "ot o, these thin+s
$e(ause the (u"ture was so di,,erent& There was the
who"e attitude that (ame ,rom "ivin+ in a Buddhist
monaster)- where the em*hasis was on re,"e(tion-
mind,u"ness and wisdom& So that I wasn1t just
$e(omin+ a 0ind o, ersat_ Thai- D+oin+ nativeE as the)
sa)- $ut was "earnin+ to see the su$t"eties o, attitude
and assum*tions that I was (onditioned $)- that ma)
not $e a"" that easi") seen unti" one ,inds onese",
su,,erin+ a$out somethin+&
Intuitive Awareness
One o, the *ro$"ems that we have in meditation is
(om*u"siveness& In our so(iet) we are $rou+ht u* to
$e ver) o$sessed and (om*u"sive& There are so man)
Ishou"ds1& 'hen )ou1re (omin+ ,rom ideas and idea"s
the resu"t is that there are so man) Ishou"ds1 in )our
vo(a$u"ar)& This idea"ism has its $eaut) and it1s not
a matter o, disre+ardin+ it- $ut o, re(o+ni_in+ its
"imitations& This ,ee"in+ that there is a"wa)s somethin+
we1ve +ot to do- that there1s somethin+ we haven1t
done that we shou"d $e doin+- that we shou"d $e
wor0in+ harder than we1re wor0in+- that we shou"d $e
*ra(tisin+ more than we1re *ra(tisin+- that we shou"d
$e more honest than we are- more o*en- more devout-
$etter!natured and on and on "i0e that& A"" o, these
are true& The Ishou"ds1 are usua"") ri+ht& I, thin+s were
*er,e(t- then I wou"d $e& Ever)thin+ wou"d $e just
*er,e(t& I wou"d $e an idea" and m) so(iet) wou"d $e
idea"& AmarRvatT wou"d ,it the idea"A we wou"d a"" $e
*er,e(t& Then there is nothin+ more )ou shou"d do
$e(ause )ou1ve a"read) rea(hed the to*& But that1s
not the wa) "i,e is&
One o, the *ro$"ems that we have in meditation is
(om*u"siveness& In our so(iet) we are $rou+ht u* to
$e ver) o$sessed and (om*u"sive& There are so man)
Ishou"ds1& 'hen )ou1re (omin+ ,rom ideas and idea"s
the resu"t is that there are so man) Ishou"ds1 in )our
vo(a$u"ar)& This idea"ism has its $eaut) and it1s not
a matter o, disre+ardin+ it- $ut o, re(o+ni_in+ its
"imitations& This ,ee"in+ that there is a"wa)s somethin+
we1ve +ot to do- that there1s somethin+ we haven1t
done that we shou"d $e doin+- that we shou"d $e
wor0in+ harder than we1re wor0in+- that we shou"d $e
*ra(tisin+ more than we1re *ra(tisin+- that we shou"d
$e more honest than we are- more o*en- more devout-
$etter!natured and on and on "i0e that& A"" o, these
are true& The Ishou"ds1 are usua"") ri+ht& I, thin+s were
*er,e(t- then I wou"d $e& Ever)thin+ wou"d $e just
*er,e(t& I wou"d $e an idea" and m) so(iet) wou"d $e
idea"& AmarRvatT wou"d ,it the idea"A we wou"d a"" $e
*er,e(t& Then there is nothin+ more )ou shou"d do
$e(ause )ou1ve a"read) rea(hed the to*& But that1s
not the wa) "i,e is&
Intuitive Awareness
it out and +et another one&
it out and +et another one&
To "isten to Ishou"d1 is a ,air enou+h wa) to thin0 a$out
somethin+& Some *eo*"e thin0 we shou"dn1t even thin0
Ishou"d1O To re(o+ni_e how thin+s a,,e(t us- just noti(e
the ,ee"in+ that there is somethin+ more that I thin0 I
have to do& An eBam*"e o, this is the stor) a$out a
re(urrin+ dream that I used to have when I ,irst went
to sta) with Luan+ 3or /hah& In 5?@6- I ,inished m)
Intuitive Awareness
.aster1s De+ree in Ber0e"e) and that was a )ear o,
rea"") (om*u"sive and intense stud)& I (ou"dn1t enjo)
an)thin+ $e(ause ever) time I went out and tried to
enjo) m)se", I wou"d thin0- Dou1ve +ot )our eBam
(omin+& ou1ve +ot to *ass )our .aster1s De+reeE& I1d
+o to a *art) and tr) to re"aB and this voi(e wou"d sa)-
Dou shou"dn1t $e here& ou1ve +ot to ta0e this eBam
and )ou1re not read)& ou1re not +ood enou+h ,or itE&
So that who"e )ear- I (ou"dn1t enjo) m)se",& I just 0e*t
drivin+ m)se",& A,ter I ,inished m) .aster1s De+ree I
(ou"dn1t read a $oo0 ,or a$out siB months& .) mind
just wou"dn1t (on(entrate& I went throu+h 3ea(e /or*s
trainin+ in Hawaii a,ter that and the) wanted me to
read a"" these thin+s and I (ou"dn1t read them& I
(ou"dn1t even read the instru(tions& I was over"oaded&
But that "e,t a 0ind o, intensit)A the wa) I wou"d
a**roa(h an)thin+ wou"d $e either to thin0- DI (an1t
do itE and +ive u* tota"") or +et into the o"d (om*u"sive
mode&
.aster1s De+ree in Ber0e"e) and that was a )ear o,
rea"") (om*u"sive and intense stud)& I (ou"dn1t enjo)
an)thin+ $e(ause ever) time I went out and tried to
enjo) m)se", I wou"d thin0- Dou1ve +ot )our eBam
(omin+& ou1ve +ot to *ass )our .aster1s De+reeE& I1d
+o to a *art) and tr) to re"aB and this voi(e wou"d sa)-
Dou shou"dn1t $e here& ou1ve +ot to ta0e this eBam
and )ou1re not read)& ou1re not +ood enou+h ,or itE&
So that who"e )ear- I (ou"dn1t enjo) m)se",& I just 0e*t
drivin+ m)se",& A,ter I ,inished m) .aster1s De+ree I
(ou"dn1t read a $oo0 ,or a$out siB months& .) mind
just wou"dn1t (on(entrate& I went throu+h 3ea(e /or*s
trainin+ in Hawaii a,ter that and the) wanted me to
read a"" these thin+s and I (ou"dn1t read them& I
(ou"dn1t even read the instru(tions& I was over"oaded&
But that "e,t a 0ind o, intensit)A the wa) I wou"d
a**roa(h an)thin+ wou"d $e either to thin0- DI (an1t
do itE and +ive u* tota"") or +et into the o"d (om*u"sive
mode&
Intuitive Awareness
thin0in+ this was a messa+e te""in+ me there is
somethin+ I1m not doin+ that I shou"d $e doin+& I 0e*t
tr)in+ to thin0- D'hat (ou"d it $eQE I (ou"dn1t drive
m)se", an) more than I was a"read) doin+& I (ou"dn1t
,i+ure it out& Then one mornin+ a,ter I had this dream-
I wo0e u* and I had the answer and the answer was
that there wasn1t an) eBaminationO
thin0in+ this was a messa+e te""in+ me there is
somethin+ I1m not doin+ that I shou"d $e doin+& I 0e*t
tr)in+ to thin0- D'hat (ou"d it $eQE I (ou"dn1t drive
m)se", an) more than I was a"read) doin+& I (ou"dn1t
,i+ure it out& Then one mornin+ a,ter I had this dream-
I wo0e u* and I had the answer and the answer was
that there wasn1t an) eBaminationO
So I had the insi+ht that there wasn1t an) eBam- that I
just thou+ht there was- and that I had a"wa)s "ived m)
"i,e with this attitude that there was +oin+ to $e a $i+
test that I wasn1t *re*ared ,or& .a)$e it was a"so ,rom
m) re"i+ious $a(0+round# )ou1re +oin+ to $e tested
when )ou die- to see whether )ou1ve $een +ood
enou+h to +o to heaven and i, not )ou1"" +o to he""&
There1s a"wa)s this sense that )ou1ve +ot to do
somethin+& ou1re not +ood enou+h& I1ve +ot too man)
,au"ts& I1ve +ot to +et rid o, them& I1ve +ot to $e(ome
somethin+ that I1m not& The wa) I am is not +ood
enou+h&
Intuitive Awareness
'hen I (ame into monasti( "i,e- I $rou+ht this tenden()
o, $ein+ driven into how I *ra(tised and I (ou"d do it
,or a whi"e $ut then I rea"i_ed that i, I was +oin+ to $e
a mon0 that wasn1t the *ur*ose o, the "i,e& It wasn1t
meant to $e that wa)& It was just how I was inter*retin+
monasti(ism ,rom this (om*u"sive view*oint& So I
sto**ed havin+ the dream on(e I +ot the answer to
the ridd"e&
'hen I (ame into monasti( "i,e- I $rou+ht this tenden()
o, $ein+ driven into how I *ra(tised and I (ou"d do it
,or a whi"e $ut then I rea"i_ed that i, I was +oin+ to $e
a mon0 that wasn1t the *ur*ose o, the "i,e& It wasn1t
meant to $e that wa)& It was just how I was inter*retin+
monasti(ism ,rom this (om*u"sive view*oint& So I
sto**ed havin+ the dream on(e I +ot the answer to
the ridd"e&
'hen the Buddha em*hasi_ed mind,u"ness as the
wa)- he was*ointin+ to the wa) thin+s are- rather than
to the $est& In the mornin+ at 'at 3ah 3on+ the)1d
have these readin+s ,rom the suttas a$out what a
mon0 shou"d $e and the) were a"" a((ordin+ to the
idea" standard& 'onderin+ how to inter*ret this
wantin+ to "ive u* to su(h hi+h standards +ave rise to
a ,ee"in+ o, D/an I rea"") do a"" thatQE One (an ,ee"
dis(oura+ed and des*airin+ $e(ause one is "oo0in+
Intuitive Awareness
at "i,e in terms o, idea"s& But then the tea(hin+ o, the
Buddha isn1t $ased on idea"s $ut on Dhamma- the
wa) thin+s are&
at "i,e in terms o, idea"s& But then the tea(hin+ o, the
Buddha isn1t $ased on idea"s $ut on Dhamma- the
wa) thin+s are&
ou1re aware o, even )our own (om*u"sive attitude-
DThere1s somethin+ I1ve +ot to do&E ou1re aware o, that
(om*u"sive ,ee"in+- attitude- or $e"ie, that I'm a *erson
with a "ot o, ,au"ts and wea0nesses- whi(h is eas) to
$e"ieve is $ein+ honest and rea"isti(& Then we thin0
that in order to $e(ome an en"i+htened $ein+ we1ve
+ot to +et over these and +et rid o, them in some wa)
and $e(ome an Arahant& One sees that this is how
the mind wor0s& This wa) o, thin0in+ is o,ten what we
read into the s(ri*tures& But in terms o, re,"e(tive
awareness- )ou rea"") noti(e that su(h a wa) o,
thin0in+ is somethin+ )ou1ve (reated in )our mind# DI
am a *erson with a "ot o, ,au"ts and wea0nesses and
I1ve +ot to *ra(tise hard in order to over(ome them&E
That1s somethin+ I1m (reatin+ in m) mind& I1m (reatin+
that attitude& That1s not the truth- that1s a (reation& That
whi(h is aware o, a"" this is the awa0ened state o,
$ein+& ou start to noti(e the di,,eren(e $etween this
Intuitive Awareness
awareness and what )ou (reate $) ha$its $ased on
atta(hments&
awareness and what )ou (reate $) ha$its $ased on
atta(hments&
So awa0enedness- then- is "earnin+ to "isten and trust
in the most sim*"e state o, $ein+& It1s not jhRna or
a$sor*tion in an)thin+& It1s *ure attention& So i, )ou
trust in this *urit)- there are no ,au"ts in *urit)- are
thereQ It1s *er,e(t& There1s no im*urit)& This is where
Intuitive Awareness
to trust- in this attentiveness to the *resent& On(e )ou
tr) to ,ind it- then )ou start +oin+ into dou$t& Trust it
rather than thin0 a$out it& Nust trust in the immanent
a(t o, $ein+ awa0e- attentive in this moment& 'hen I
do this- m) mind re"aBes& I hear the sound o, si"en(e&
There1s no se",& There1s *urit)& I, I start ,ee"in+ that I
shou"d $e doin+ somethin+ then I1m aware o, it& I1m
aware o, the 0amma!vi*R0a Gresu"t o, a(tionH o, havin+
$een throu+h the Ameri(an edu(ation s)stem and
havin+ driven m)se", throu+h this in(redi$")
(om*u"sive wa) o, "ivin+ "i,e& So the 0amma!vi*R0a
arises& In this state o, *urit)- it1s not *ersona"& It1s not
sa)in+- DAjahn Sumedho is *ure now&E It1s $e)ond that&
ou1re not ta"0in+ a$out it in an) 0ind o, *ersona" wa)&
It1s a re(o+nition- a rea"i_ation& It1s what )ou tru") are-
it1s not a (reation& I1m not (reatin+ the *urit)& I1m not
(reatin+ an idea" o, it and then de"udin+ m)se", with
it&
to trust- in this attentiveness to the *resent& On(e )ou
tr) to ,ind it- then )ou start +oin+ into dou$t& Trust it
rather than thin0 a$out it& Nust trust in the immanent
a(t o, $ein+ awa0e- attentive in this moment& 'hen I
do this- m) mind re"aBes& I hear the sound o, si"en(e&
There1s no se",& There1s *urit)& I, I start ,ee"in+ that I
shou"d $e doin+ somethin+ then I1m aware o, it& I1m
aware o, the 0amma!vi*R0a Gresu"t o, a(tionH o, havin+
$een throu+h the Ameri(an edu(ation s)stem and
havin+ driven m)se", throu+h this in(redi$")
(om*u"sive wa) o, "ivin+ "i,e& So the 0amma!vi*R0a
arises& In this state o, *urit)- it1s not *ersona"& It1s not
sa)in+- DAjahn Sumedho is *ure now&E It1s $e)ond that&
ou1re not ta"0in+ a$out it in an) 0ind o, *ersona" wa)&
It1s a re(o+nition- a rea"i_ation& It1s what )ou tru") are-
it1s not a (reation& I1m not (reatin+ the *urit)& I1m not
(reatin+ an idea" o, it and then de"udin+ m)se", with
it&
Intuitive Awareness
isn1t "i0e $e"ievin+ in somethin+& It1s "earnin+ to re"aB
and $e& Trust in the a$i"it) sim*") to $e here- o*en
and re(e*tive to whatever is ha**enin+ now& Even i,
what1s ha**enin+ is nast) or whatever the (onditions
)ou1re eB*erien(in+ are- that1s not a *ro$"em i, )ou
trust in this *urit)&
isn1t "i0e $e"ievin+ in somethin+& It1s "earnin+ to re"aB
and $e& Trust in the a$i"it) sim*") to $e here- o*en
and re(e*tive to whatever is ha**enin+ now& Even i,
what1s ha**enin+ is nast) or whatever the (onditions
)ou1re eB*erien(in+ are- that1s not a *ro$"em i, )ou
trust in this *urit)&
/onventions themse"ves are "imited ,or their nature is
im*er,e(t and (han+in+& .a)$e )ou eB*e(t even the
(onvention to $e *er,e(t& Then ma)$e a,ter a whi"e
)ou $e(ome (riti(a" o, the (onvention $e(ause )ou
see ,"aws in it& It isn1t as +ood as )ou thou+ht- or some
o, it doesn1t ma0e sense or thin+s "i0e this& But
re(o+ni_e that a (onvention is "i0e an)thin+ e"se- it is
ani((a- du00ha- anattR Gim*ermanent- unsatis,a(tor)-
non!se",H& TheravRda Buddhism is a (onvention $ased
on mora"it)- doin+ +ood and re,rainin+ ,rom doin+ evi"
with a(tion and s*ee(h& It1s a wa) o, "ivin+ where we
a+ree to ta0e res*onsi$i"it) ,or how we "ive on this
*"anet- in this so(iet)& The (onvention o, TheravRda
Intuitive Awareness
Buddhism- whether )ou ,ind it a"" a+reea$"e to )ou or
not- is a tradition with a "ot o, *ower ,rom $ein+ so o"d
and an(ient and is sti"" use,u"& It1s sti"" a via$"e tradition
that wor0s& It1s not a matter o, it havin+ to $e *er,e(t
,or us to use it- $ut o, "earnin+ to use it ,or awa0ened
awareness&
Buddhism- whether )ou ,ind it a"" a+reea$"e to )ou or
not- is a tradition with a "ot o, *ower ,rom $ein+ so o"d
and an(ient and is sti"" use,u"& It1s sti"" a via$"e tradition
that wor0s& It1s not a matter o, it havin+ to $e *er,e(t
,or us to use it- $ut o, "earnin+ to use it ,or awa0ened
awareness&
These di,,erent terms (an $e ver) divisive& I, we atta(h
to TheravRda and start "oo0in+ down on ever) other
,orm o, Buddhism- then we thin0 that the)1re not *ure-
the)1re not ori+ina"O The)1re hi+her- $ut the)1re not
ori+ina"& 'e (an +et arro+ant $e(ause we1ve +ot our
own wa) o, justi,)in+ our (onvention& But this is a""
*"a)in+ with words& I, we "oo0 at what is +oin+ on in
words- we1re just (reatin+ .ahR)Rna- HTna)Rna and
Lajra)Rna in our minds& The re,u+e is in Buddha- not
in these I)Rnas1& The Buddha 0nows that ever)
thou+ht is (han+in+ and not!se",& So trust in that- in
Intuitive Awareness
the sim*"i(it) o, that& Be(ause i, )ou don1t- then it is
+oin+ to arouse )our o"d (om*u"sive ha$its o, thin0in+
DI1ve +ot to do more- I1ve +ot to deve"o* this- I1ve +ot to
$e(ome a Bodhisattva- I1ve +ot to +et the hi+her
*ra(ti(e +oin+-E and on and on "i0e that&
the sim*"i(it) o, that& Be(ause i, )ou don1t- then it is
+oin+ to arouse )our o"d (om*u"sive ha$its o, thin0in+
DI1ve +ot to do more- I1ve +ot to deve"o* this- I1ve +ot to
$e(ome a Bodhisattva- I1ve +ot to +et the hi+her
*ra(ti(e +oin+-E and on and on "i0e that&
In Buddhist monasti(ism the ,our reCuisites are an
eB*ression o, this& ou don1t have to have the $est
,ood and the $est ro$es and a"" that- $ut what1s
adeCuate in terms o, surviva"& Is there an) *ro$"em in
terms o, havin+ a *"a(e to sta) or medi(ine ,or
si(0nessQ It doesn1t have to $e the ver) $est& In ,a(t-
the standard is o,ten esta$"ished at the "owest *oint-
"i0e ra+ ro$es rather than si"0 ro$es& Then the
Dhamma!Lina)a is res*e(ted and tau+ht& These +ive
us a sense o, a *"a(e that we (an "ive& Standards aren1t
*"a(ed at the ver) $est- $ut i, the Dhamma is tau+ht
and the Lina)a is res*e(ted- the ,our reCuisites are
adeCuate- then that1s +ood enou+h& So +o ,or itO 4o
,or the *ra(ti(e rather than Cui$$"e a$out the rest& It1s
$etter to deve"o* one1s awareness rather than +oin+
a"on+ with one1s ,ee"in+s o, (riti(ism or dou$t in
Intuitive Awareness
dea"in+ with the *eo*"e and the *"a(e )ou are in&
dea"in+ with the *eo*"e and the *"a(e )ou are in&
'hen *eo*"e +o on se",!retreat- the) "et +o o, the
stru(ture and are thrown onto their own& 'hat
ha**ens when )ou1re on )our own and no$od)
0nows what )ou1re doin+Q ou don1t have to "oo0
around to see i, the senior mon0 is wat(hin+ )ou&
ou1re "e,t to )our own devi(es so )ou (ou"d s"ee* a""
Intuitive Awareness
da) or )ou (ou"d read nove"s or +o ,or "on+ wa"0s or
)ou (ou"d rea"") *ra(tise hard& There1s a who"e ran+e
o, *ossi$i"ities and it1s "e,t u* to )ou to noti(e that
,ee"in+ o, what ha**ens when the stru(ture is
removed& It1s not that one does this in a jud+menta"
wa)- $rin+in+ $a(0 the Ishou"ds1- "i0e DI shou"d *ra(tise
so man) hours a da)- sit so man) hours- wa"0 so man)
hours and do this and do that- +et m) *ra(ti(e- +et m)
samRdhi- to+ether rea"") +et somewhere in m)
*ra(ti(e&E Not that that1s wron+- $ut that ma) $e a ver)
(om*u"sive thin+& I, )ou don1t "ive u* to it- then what
do )ou ,ee" "i0eQ Do )ou ,ee" +ui"t!ridden i, )ou don1t
do what )ou1ve determined to doQ Noti(e how the
mind wor0s and to awa0en to it&
da) or )ou (ou"d read nove"s or +o ,or "on+ wa"0s or
)ou (ou"d rea"") *ra(tise hard& There1s a who"e ran+e
o, *ossi$i"ities and it1s "e,t u* to )ou to noti(e that
,ee"in+ o, what ha**ens when the stru(ture is
removed& It1s not that one does this in a jud+menta"
wa)- $rin+in+ $a(0 the Ishou"ds1- "i0e DI shou"d *ra(tise
so man) hours a da)- sit so man) hours- wa"0 so man)
hours and do this and do that- +et m) *ra(ti(e- +et m)
samRdhi- to+ether rea"") +et somewhere in m)
*ra(ti(e&E Not that that1s wron+- $ut that ma) $e a ver)
(om*u"sive thin+& I, )ou don1t "ive u* to it- then what
do )ou ,ee" "i0eQ Do )ou ,ee" +ui"t!ridden i, )ou don1t
do what )ou1ve determined to doQ Noti(e how the
mind wor0s and to awa0en to it&
Intuitive Awareness
not what we1re here ,or& The onus is on ea(h one o,
us- isn1t itQ It1s a$out wa0in+ u*&
not what we1re here ,or& The onus is on ea(h one o,
us- isn1t itQ It1s a$out wa0in+ u*&
^ either )ou shou"d or )ou shou"dn1t& 'hat we1re
tr)in+ to do here is to +ive a situation where )ou are
en(oura+ed to trust and to (u"tivate this& 'hen we sa)
I(u"tivate1 it1s not "i0e havin+ to do an)thin+& It1s more
"i0e "earnin+ to re"aB and trust in $ein+- the ,"ow o,
"i,e& Be(ause "i,e is "i0e this& Li,e (han+es& ou (an
see this in the *ast )ear here at AmarRvatT- the
(onstru(tion and the o*enin+ and a"" the am$ien(e
around that& Now that *eriod is over& It has (han+ed&
It1s "i0e this&
I remem$er when I ,irst went to 'at 3ah 3on+- there
was su(h an es*rit de (or*& 'e were rea"") there with
Luan+ 3or /hah& There were on") twent)!two mon0s
and we were rea"") +ettin+ somewhere- we were rea"")
a (ra(0 troo*- to* +rade- to* +uns& Then a ,ew )ears
"ater- I $e+an seein+ thin+s that I didn1t "i0e and +ot
ver) (riti(a" o, it- thin0in+ it was a"" ,a""in+ a*art& Then
I saw it ,a"" a*art- a,ter Luan+ 3or /hah had his stro0e&
I remem$er a ,ew )ears a,ter that- +oin+ to 'at 3ah
3on+& At 'at 3ah 3on+ the) had an inner monaster)
where the mon0s "ived and then the outer *art where
there was a s*e(ia" 0u]i GhutH ,or Luan+ 3or /hah
whi(h a""owed ,or nursin+ (are and a"" 0inds o, thin+s&
Intuitive Awareness
In addition to this the) had an outer sR"R Gha""H where
*eo*"e (ame to visit&
In addition to this the) had an outer sR"R Gha""H where
*eo*"e (ame to visit&
Thin+s (han+e& Now we o*en to (han+e& 'e1re not
demandin+ that it (han+e in an) wa) that we want it
to or that when it1s at *ea0 that we (an 0ee* it that
wa)& It1s im*ossi$"e& Even in )ourse",- )ou (an $e aware
when )ou1re at )our $est or )our worst- when )ou1re
,ee"in+ rea"") +ood and ins*ired and "ove the "i,e- and
when )ou1re ,ee"in+ down- des*airin+- "one")- and
de*ressed and disheartened& This awareness is )our
re,u+e& Awareness o, the (han+in+ness o, ,ee"in+s- o,
Intuitive Awareness
attitudes- o, moods- o, materia" (han+e and emotiona"
(han+e# Sta) with that- $e(ause it1s a re,u+e that is
indestru(ti$"e& It1s not somethin+ that (han+es& It1s a
re,u+e )ou (an trust in& This re,u+e is not somethin+
that )ou (reate& It1s not a (reation& It1s not an idea"& It1s
ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver) sim*"e- $ut easi") over"oo0ed
or not noti(ed& 'hen )ou1re mind,u"- )ou1re $e+innin+
to noti(e# it1s "i0e this&
attitudes- o, moods- o, materia" (han+e and emotiona"
(han+e# Sta) with that- $e(ause it1s a re,u+e that is
indestru(ti$"e& It1s not somethin+ that (han+es& It1s a
re,u+e )ou (an trust in& This re,u+e is not somethin+
that )ou (reate& It1s not a (reation& It1s not an idea"& It1s
ver) *ra(ti(a" and ver) sim*"e- $ut easi") over"oo0ed
or not noti(ed& 'hen )ou1re mind,u"- )ou1re $e+innin+
to noti(e# it1s "i0e this&
'e (an a**") this awareness to ever)thin+- su(h as
$ein+ *ersona"") wounded& 'hen some$od) sa)s
somethin+ that is hurt,u"- as0 the Cuestion- D'hat is it
that +ets hurtQE I, some$od) insu"ts me or a$uses me
in some wa) and I ,ee" hurt or misunderstood-
o,,ended- anno)ed or even an+r)- what is it that +ets
an+r) and anno)ed- that +ets o,,endedQ Is that m)
re,u+e ^ that *ersona"it) whose ,ee"in+s +et hurt and
Intuitive Awareness
u*setQ I, I have awareness as a re,u+e- this never +ets
u*set $) an)thin+& ou (an (a"" it an)thin+ )ou want&
But as a *erson- I (an $e easi") u*set& Be(ause the
*ersona"it)- the sa00R)a!di]]hi- is "i0e that ^ $ased
on me $ein+ worthwhi"e or worth)- $ein+ a**re(iated
or not a**re(iated- $ein+ understood *ro*er") or
misunderstood- $ein+ res*e(ted or not res*e(ted- and
a"" this 0ind o, thin+&
u*setQ I, I have awareness as a re,u+e- this never +ets
u*set $) an)thin+& ou (an (a"" it an)thin+ )ou want&
But as a *erson- I (an $e easi") u*set& Be(ause the
*ersona"it)- the sa00R)a!di]]hi- is "i0e that ^ $ased
on me $ein+ worthwhi"e or worth)- $ein+ a**re(iated
or not a**re(iated- $ein+ understood *ro*er") or
misunderstood- $ein+ res*e(ted or not res*e(ted- and
a"" this 0ind o, thin+&
Intuitive Awareness
'her
'her'her'her'her'here do water
'her'her'her'her'her- ear
- ear- ear- ear- ear- earth- ,ir
th- ,irth- ,irth- ,irth- ,irth- ,ire- J wind
e- J winde- J winde- J winde- J winde- J wind
have no ,ootin+Q
have no ,ootin+Qhave no ,ootin+Qhave no ,ootin+Qhave no ,ootin+Qhave no ,ootin+Q
'her
'her'her'her'her'here ar
e are are are are are "on+ J shor
e "on+ J shore "on+ J shore "on+ J shore "on+ J shore "on+ J short-
t-t-t-t-t-
(oarse J ,ine-
(oarse J ,ine-(oarse J ,ine-(oarse J ,ine-(oarse J ,ine-(oarse J ,ine-
,air J ,ou"-
,air J ,ou"-,air J ,ou"-,air J ,ou"-,air J ,ou"-,air J ,ou"-
name J ,or
name J ,orname J ,orname J ,orname J ,orname J ,orm
mmmmm$r
$r$r$r$r$rou+ht to an endQ
ou+ht to an endQou+ht to an endQou+ht to an endQou+ht to an endQou+ht to an endQ
/ons(iousness whi(h is
/ons(iousness whi(h is/ons(iousness whi(h is/ons(iousness whi(h is/ons(iousness whi(h
is/ons(iousness whi(h isnon!mani,estative-
non!mani,estative-non!mani,estative-non!mani,estative-non!mani,estative-non!mani,estative-
"imit"ess- not $e(omin+ an)thin+ at a""#
"imit"ess- not $e(omin+ an)thin+ at a""#"imit"ess- not $e(omin+ an)thin+ at a""#"imit"ess- not $e(omin+
an)thin+ at a""#"imit"ess- not $e(omin+ an)thin+ at a""#"imit"ess- not $e(omin+ an)thin+ at a""#
Her
HerHerHerHerHere water
e watere watere watere watere water- ear
- ear- ear- ear- ear- earth- ,ir
th- ,irth- ,irth- ,irth- ,irth- ,ire- J wind
e- J winde- J winde- J winde- J winde- J windhave no ,ootin+&
have no ,ootin+&have no ,ootin+&have no ,ootin+&have no ,ootin+&have no ,ootin+&
Her
HerHerHerHerHere "on+ J shor
e "on+ J shore "on+ J shore "on+ J shore "on+ J shore "on+ J short
ttttt(oarse J ,ine
(oarse J ,ine(oarse J ,ine(oarse J ,ine(oarse J ,ine(oarse J ,ine,air J ,ou"
,air J ,ou",air J ,ou",air J ,ou",air J ,ou",air J ,ou"name J ,or
name J ,orname J ,orname J ,orname J ,orname J ,orm
mmmmmar
ararararare a"" $r
e a"" $re a"" $re a"" $re a"" $re a"" $rou+ht to an end&
ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&
'
'''''ith the (essation o, (ons(iousness
ith the (essation o, (ons(iousnessith the (essation o, (ons(iousnessith the (essation o, (ons(iousnessith
the (essation o, (ons(iousnessith the (essation o, (ons(iousnessea(h is her
ea(h is herea(h is herea(h is herea(h is herea(h is here $r
e $re $re $re $re $rou+ht to an end&
ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&ou+ht to an end&
GKevaddha Sutta ! Lon+ Dis(oursesH
GKevaddha Sutta ! Lon+ Dis(oursesHGKevaddha Sutta ! Lon+ Dis(oursesHGKevaddha Sutta ! Lon+
Dis(oursesHGKevaddha Sutta ! Lon+ Dis(oursesHGKevaddha Sutta ! Lon+ Dis(oursesH
Intuitive Awareness 56;
/ons(iousness
/ons(iousness is a su$je(t that has $e(ome Cuite
im*ortant these da)s& 'e are a"" eB*erien(in+
(ons(iousnessA we want to understand it and de,ine
it& Some *eo*"e sa) that the) eCuate (ons(iousness
with thin0in+ or memor)& I have heard s(ientists and
*s)(ho"o+ists sa) that anima"s don1t have
(ons(iousness- $e(ause the) don1t thin0 or
remem$er& This seems ridi(u"ous& But in terms o, this
moment- ri+ht now- this is (ons(iousness& 'e are just
"istenin+ ^ *ure (ons(iousness $e,ore )ou start
thin0in+& Nust ma0e a note o, this# (ons(iousness is
"i0e this& I am "istenin+- I am with this *resent moment-
$ein+ *resent- $ein+ here now& Ta0in+ the word
I(ons(iousness1 and ma0in+ a menta" note#
D(ons(iousness is "i0e this&E It1s where thou+ht- ,ee"in+
and emotion arise& 'hen we are un(ons(ious we don1t
,ee"- we don1t thin0& /ons(iousness- then- is "i0e the
,ie"d that a""ows thou+ht- memor)- emotion and ,ee"in+
to a**ear and disa**ear&
/ons(iousness is not *ersona"& To $e(ome *ersona"
)ou have to ma0e a ("aim to it# DI am a (ons(ious
*erson&E But there1s just awareness- this entran(e into
notin+ the *resent- and at this moment (ons(iousness
is "i0e this& Then one (an noti(e the sound o, si"en(e-
the sense o, just sustainin+- $ein+ a$"e to rest in a
Intuitive Awareness
natura" state o, (ons(iousness that is non!*ersona"
and non!atta(hed& Notin+ this is "i0e in,ormin+ or
edu(atin+ onese", to the wa) it is& 'hen we are $orn-
(ons(iousness within this se*arate ,orm starts
o*eratin+& A new$orn $a$) is (ons(ious- )et it doesn1t
have a (on(e*t o, itse", $ein+ ma"e or ,ema"e or
an)thin+ "i0e that& Those are (onditions that one
a(Cuires a,ter $irth&
natura" state o, (ons(iousness that is non!*ersona"
and non!atta(hed& Notin+ this is "i0e in,ormin+ or
edu(atin+ onese", to the wa) it is& 'hen we are $orn-
(ons(iousness within this se*arate ,orm starts
o*eratin+& A new$orn $a$) is (ons(ious- )et it doesn1t
have a (on(e*t o, itse", $ein+ ma"e or ,ema"e or
an)thin+ "i0e that& Those are (onditions that one
a(Cuires a,ter $irth&
viSSRUaV anidassanaV anantaV sa$$ato *a$ham ^
a mouth,u" o, words that *oint to this state o, natura"
(ons(iousness- this rea"it)& I ,ind it ver) use,u" to ("ear")
note# D/ons(iousness is "i0e thisE& I, I start thin0in+
a$out it- then I want to de,ine it# DIs there an immorta"
(ons(iousnessQE Or we want to ma0e it into a
meta*h)si(a" do(trine- or den) it- sa)in+-
D/ons(iousness is ani((a- du00ha- anattRE-
Gim*ermanent- unsatis,a(tor)- not!se",H& 'e want to
*in it down or de,ine it either as im*ermanent and
not!se",- or raise it u* as somethin+ we ho"d to as a
meta*h)si(a" *ositionin+& But we are not interested
in *ro("aimin+ meta*h)si(a" do(trines- or in "imitin+
ourse"ves to an inter*retation that we ma) have
a(Cuired throu+h this tradition- $ut in tr)in+ to eB*"ore
it in terms o, eB*erien(e&
Intuitive Awareness
This is Luan+ 3or /hah1s D3en *a((attaVE-
somethin+ that )ou rea"ise ,or )ourse",& So what I am
sa)in+ now is an eB*"oration- I1m not tr)in+ to
(onvin(e )ou or (onvert )ou to m) Dview*oint&E
This is Luan+ 3or /hah1s D3en *a((attaVE-
somethin+ that )ou rea"ise ,or )ourse",& So what I am
sa)in+ now is an eB*"oration- I1m not tr)in+ to
(onvin(e )ou or (onvert )ou to m) Dview*oint&E
Is (ons(iousness somethin+ to do with the $rainQ 'e
tend to thin0 o, it as some 0ind o, menta" state that
de*ends on the $rain& The attitude o, 'estern
s(ientists is that (ons(iousness is in the $rain& But
the more )ou eB*"ore it with sati!sam*ajaSSa and sati*aSS
R )ou see that the $rain- the nervous s)stem- the
who"e *s)(ho*h)si(a" ,ormation here arises in this
(ons(iousness and it is im$ued with this (ons(iousness&
That is wh) we (an $e aware o, the $od)& Re,"e(tin+
on the ,our *ostures ^ sittin+- standin+- wa"0in+ and
")in+ down& Bein+ aware o, sittin+ as it is $ein+
eB*erien(ed now- )ou are not "imited to somethin+ that
is in the $rain- $ut the $od) is in the (ons(iousness-
)ou are aware o, the who"e $od) in the eB*erien(e o,
sittin+&
That (ons(iousness is not *ersona"& It1s not
Intuitive Awareness
(ons(iousness in m) head and then (ons(iousness
in )our head& Ea(h o, us has our own (ons(ious
eB*erien(e +oin+ on& But is this (ons(iousness the
thin+ that unites usQ Is it our Ioneness1Q I1m just
Cuestionin+A there are di,,erent wa)s o, "oo0in+ at it&
'hen we "et +o o, the di,,eren(es ^ DI am Ajahn
Sumedho and )ou are this *ersonE ^ when we "et +o
o, these identities and atta(hments then
(ons(iousness is sti"" ,un(tionin+& It1s *ureA it has no
Cua"it) o, $ein+ *ersona"- no (ondition to it o, $ein+
ma"e or ,ema"e& ou (an1t *ut a Cua"it) into it- $ut it is
"i0e this& 'hen we $e+in to re(o+ni_e that whi(h $inds
us to+ether- that whi(h is our (ommon +round is
(ons(iousness- then we see that this is universa"&
'hen we s*read mettR to a $i""ion /hinese over in
/hina- ma)$e it1s not just sentimenta"it) and ni(e
thou+hts- ma)$e there is *ower there& I don1t 0now
m)se",A I am Cuestionin+& I am not +oin+ to "imit m)se",
to a *arti(u"ar view*oint that I have $een (onditioned
$) ,rom m) (u"tura" $a(0+round- $e(ause most o, that
is *rett) ,"awed an)wa)& I do not ,ind m) (u"tura"
(onditionin+ ver) de*enda$"e&
(ons(iousness in m) head and then (ons(iousness
in )our head& Ea(h o, us has our own (ons(ious
eB*erien(e +oin+ on& But is this (ons(iousness the
thin+ that unites usQ Is it our Ioneness1Q I1m just
Cuestionin+A there are di,,erent wa)s o, "oo0in+ at it&
'hen we "et +o o, the di,,eren(es ^ DI am Ajahn
Sumedho and )ou are this *ersonE ^ when we "et +o
o, these identities and atta(hments then
(ons(iousness is sti"" ,un(tionin+& It1s *ureA it has no
Cua"it) o, $ein+ *ersona"- no (ondition to it o, $ein+
ma"e or ,ema"e& ou (an1t *ut a Cua"it) into it- $ut it is
"i0e this& 'hen we $e+in to re(o+ni_e that whi(h $inds
us to+ether- that whi(h is our (ommon +round is
(ons(iousness- then we see that this is universa"&
'hen we s*read mettR to a $i""ion /hinese over in
/hina- ma)$e it1s not just sentimenta"it) and ni(e
thou+hts- ma)$e there is *ower there& I don1t 0now
m)se",A I am Cuestionin+& I am not +oin+ to "imit m)se",
to a *arti(u"ar view*oint that I have $een (onditioned
$) ,rom m) (u"tura" $a(0+round- $e(ause most o, that
is *rett) ,"awed an)wa)& I do not ,ind m) (u"tura"
(onditionin+ ver) de*enda$"e&
Intuitive Awareness
se", nowQE ^ that 0ind o, thin+A it1s a ("ear 0nowin+&
se", nowQE ^ that 0ind o, thin+A it1s a ("ear 0nowin+&
'hen we are $orn into *h)si(a" $irth- we have
Intuitive Awareness
(ons(iousness within this ,orm- within a se*arate ,orm&
This *oint o, (ons(iousness starts o*eratin+- and then
o, (ourse we a(Cuire the sense o, ourse"ves throu+h
our mothers and ,athers and (u"tura" $a(0+round& So
we a(Cuire di,,erent va"ues or sense o, our se", as a
*erson- and that1s $ased on avijjR ^ not Dhamma-
$ut on views- o*inions and *re,eren(es that (u"tures
have& That1s wh) there (an $e end"ess *ro$"ems
around di,,erent (u"tura" attitudes& Livin+ in a mu"ti(u"tura"
(ommunit) "i0e this- it1s eas) to misunderstand
ea(h other- $e(ause we1re (onditioned in di,,erent
wa)s o, "oo0in+ at ourse"ves and the wor"d around
us& So remem$er that (u"tura" (onditionin+ (omes out
o, avijjR Gi+noran(eH o, Dhamma& 'hat we are doin+
now is in,ormin+ (ons(iousness with *aSSR- whi(h
is a universa" wisdom rather than some (u"tura"
*hi"oso*h)&
Buddha!Dhamma- when )ou "oo0 at it- is not a (u"tura"
tea(hin+& It1s not a$out Indian (u"ture or (ivi"isationA
it1s a$out the natura" "aws that we "ive with- the arisin+
and (easin+ o, *henomenaA it1s a$out the wa) thin+s
are& The Dhamma tea(hin+s are *ointin+ to the wa)
thin+s are ^ that isn1t $ound in to (u"tura" "imitations&
'e ta"0 a$out ani((R- du00ha- anattR& That1s not
Indian *hi"oso*h) or (u"ture- these are thin+s to $e
rea"ised& ou are not o*eratin+ ,rom some $asi( $e"ie,
s)stem that is (u"tura"& The Buddha1s em*hasis is on
wa0in+ u*- on *a)in+ attention rather than on +ras*in+
some do(trina" *osition that )ou start with& This is wh)
man) o, us (an re"ate to it- $e(ause we1re not tr)in+
to $e(ome Indians or (onvert to some re"i+ious
do(trine that (ame out o, India& The Buddha awa0ened
Intuitive Awareness
to the wa) it is- to the natura" "aw& So when we are
eB*"orin+ (ons(iousness- these tea(hin+s "i0e the ,ive
0handhas are s0i",u" or eB*edient means in order to
eB*"ore and eBamine our eB*erien(e& The) are not
"i0e Dou have +ot to $e"ieve in the ,ive 0handhas and
$e"ieve that there is no se",& ou (annot $e"ieve in 4od
an) more& To $e a Buddhist )ou have to $e"ieve that
there is no 4od&E There are Buddhists that do have
this menta"it)& The) want to ma0e do(trina" *ositions
a$out $ein+ Buddhist& But to me that tea(hin+ is not
$ased on a do(trine- $ut on this en(oura+ement to
awa0en& ou are startin+ ,rom here and now- ,rom
awa0ened attention rather than ,rom tr)in+ to *rove
that the Buddha a(tua"") "ived& Some$od) mi+ht sa)-
D.a)$e there was never an) BuddhaA ma)$e it was
just a m)th&E But it doesn1t matter- $e(ause we don1t
need to *rove that 4otama Buddha a(tua"") "ivedA
that1s not the issue- is itQ 'e are not tr)in+ to *rove
histori(a" ,a(ts- $ut to re(o+ni_e that what we are
a(tua"") eB*erien(in+ now is "i0e this&
to the wa) it is- to the natura" "aw& So when we are
eB*"orin+ (ons(iousness- these tea(hin+s "i0e the ,ive
0handhas are s0i",u" or eB*edient means in order to
eB*"ore and eBamine our eB*erien(e& The) are not
"i0e Dou have +ot to $e"ieve in the ,ive 0handhas and
$e"ieve that there is no se",& ou (annot $e"ieve in 4od
an) more& To $e a Buddhist )ou have to $e"ieve that
there is no 4od&E There are Buddhists that do have
this menta"it)& The) want to ma0e do(trina" *ositions
a$out $ein+ Buddhist& But to me that tea(hin+ is not
$ased on a do(trine- $ut on this en(oura+ement to
awa0en& ou are startin+ ,rom here and now- ,rom
awa0ened attention rather than ,rom tr)in+ to *rove
that the Buddha a(tua"") "ived& Some$od) mi+ht sa)-
D.a)$e there was never an) BuddhaA ma)$e it was
just a m)th&E But it doesn1t matter- $e(ause we don1t
need to *rove that 4otama Buddha a(tua"") "ivedA
that1s not the issue- is itQ 'e are not tr)in+ to *rove
histori(a" ,a(ts- $ut to re(o+ni_e that what we are
a(tua"") eB*erien(in+ now is "i0e this&
Intuitive Awareness
hi+hest heaven rea"mH- whi(h is more re,ined& This is
a (oarse rea"m where we run the +amut ,rom that
whi(h is (oarse to that whi(h is re,ined& 'e have +ot
to dea" with the rea"ities o, a *h)si(a" $od)- whi(h is
Cuite a (oarse (ondition& In deva rea"ms the) do not
have *h)si(a" $odies- the) have etherea" ones& 'e
wou"d a"" "i0e etherea" $odies- wou"dn1t weQ .ade out
o, ether rather than a"" these s"im) thin+s that +o on
inside our $odies ^ $ones- *us and $"ood- a"" o, these
)u(0) (onditions that we have to "ive with& To de,e(ate
ever) da) ^ devatRs don1t have to do thin+s "i0e that&
Sometimes we "i0e to (reate this i""usion that we are
devatRs& 'e don1t "i0e these ,un(tionsA we "i0e *riva()&
'e don1t want *eo*"e to noti(e $e(ause o, the
(oarseness o, the *h)si(a" (onditions that we are
"ivin+ with& But (ons(iousness in("udes the +radations
,rom the (oarse to the most re,ined&
hi+hest heaven rea"mH- whi(h is more re,ined& This is
a (oarse rea"m where we run the +amut ,rom that
whi(h is (oarse to that whi(h is re,ined& 'e have +ot
to dea" with the rea"ities o, a *h)si(a" $od)- whi(h is
Cuite a (oarse (ondition& In deva rea"ms the) do not
have *h)si(a" $odies- the) have etherea" ones& 'e
wou"d a"" "i0e etherea" $odies- wou"dn1t weQ .ade out
o, ether rather than a"" these s"im) thin+s that +o on
inside our $odies ^ $ones- *us and $"ood- a"" o, these
)u(0) (onditions that we have to "ive with& To de,e(ate
ever) da) ^ devatRs don1t have to do thin+s "i0e that&
Sometimes we "i0e to (reate this i""usion that we are
devatRs& 'e don1t "i0e these ,un(tionsA we "i0e *riva()&
'e don1t want *eo*"e to noti(e $e(ause o, the
(oarseness o, the *h)si(a" (onditions that we are
"ivin+ with& But (ons(iousness in("udes the +radations
,rom the (oarse to the most re,ined&
Intuitive Awareness
'e (an a"wa)s see ourse"ves in terms o, what1s
wron+ with us as a *erson& As a *erson there are
a"wa)s so man) ,"aws and inadeCua(ies& There is no
*er,e(t *ersona"it) that I have ever noti(ed& 3ersona"it)
is a"" over the *"a(e& Some o, it is 0ind o, a"" ri+ht and
some o, it is rea"") wa(0)& There is no *ersona"it) that
)ou (an ta0e re,u+e in& ou are never +oin+ to ma0e
)ourse", into a *er,e(t *ersona"it)& So when )ou are
jud+in+ )ourse", on a *ersona" "eve"- there seems to
$e so man) *ro$"ems- inadeCua(ies- ,"aws and
wea0nesses& .a)$e )ou are (om*arin+ )ourse", to
some idea" *erson- some unse",ish and su*er"ative
*ersona"it)& That whi(h is aware o, *ersona"it) is not
*ersona"& ou (an $e aware o, the *ersona" as a
menta" o$je(t& These *ersona"it) (onditions arise and
(ease& ou ,ind )ourse", sudden") ,ee"in+ ver)
inse(ure or a(tin+ ver) (hi"dish $e(ause the
(onditions ,or that *ersona"it) have arisen&
'e (an a"wa)s see ourse"ves in terms o, what1s
wron+ with us as a *erson& As a *erson there are
a"wa)s so man) ,"aws and inadeCua(ies& There is no
*er,e(t *ersona"it) that I have ever noti(ed& 3ersona"it)
is a"" over the *"a(e& Some o, it is 0ind o, a"" ri+ht and
some o, it is rea"") wa(0)& There is no *ersona"it) that
)ou (an ta0e re,u+e in& ou are never +oin+ to ma0e
)ourse", into a *er,e(t *ersona"it)& So when )ou are
jud+in+ )ourse", on a *ersona" "eve"- there seems to
$e so man) *ro$"ems- inadeCua(ies- ,"aws and
wea0nesses& .a)$e )ou are (om*arin+ )ourse", to
some idea" *erson- some unse",ish and su*er"ative
*ersona"it)& That whi(h is aware o, *ersona"it) is not
*ersona"& ou (an $e aware o, the *ersona" as a
menta" o$je(t& These *ersona"it) (onditions arise and
(ease& ou ,ind )ourse", sudden") ,ee"in+ ver)
inse(ure or a(tin+ ver) (hi"dish $e(ause the
(onditions ,or that *ersona"it) have arisen&
Intuitive Awareness
see DHe1s a midd"e!a+ed man-E Gthen I was midd"e
a+edOH $ut the) wou"d sti"" sometimes a(t "i0e I was
their (hi"d& Then )ou ,ee" this re$e""iousness and
ado"es(ent 0ind o, resentment a$out $ein+ treated "i0e
a (hi"d& So don1t $e sur*rised at some o, the emotiona"
states that arise& Throu+hout )our "i,e- as )ou +et o"d-
0amma ri*ens and then these (onditions a**ear in
(ons(iousness& Don1t des*air i, )ou ,ind )ourse", at
,i,t) )ears o"d ,ee"in+ ver) (hi"dish& Nust $e aware o,
that ,or what it is& It is what it is& The (onditions ,or that
*arti(u"ar emotion are *resent so then it $e(omes
(ons(ious& our re,u+e is in this awareness rather than
in tr)in+ to ma0e )ourse", into an idea" man or woman
see DHe1s a midd"e!a+ed man-E Gthen I was midd"e
a+edOH $ut the) wou"d sti"" sometimes a(t "i0e I was
their (hi"d& Then )ou ,ee" this re$e""iousness and
ado"es(ent 0ind o, resentment a$out $ein+ treated "i0e
a (hi"d& So don1t $e sur*rised at some o, the emotiona"
states that arise& Throu+hout )our "i,e- as )ou +et o"d-
0amma ri*ens and then these (onditions a**ear in
(ons(iousness& Don1t des*air i, )ou ,ind )ourse", at
,i,t) )ears o"d ,ee"in+ ver) (hi"dish& Nust $e aware o,
that ,or what it is& It is what it is& The (onditions ,or that
*arti(u"ar emotion are *resent so then it $e(omes
(ons(ious& our re,u+e is in this awareness rather than
in tr)in+ to ma0e )ourse", into an idea" man or woman
mature- res*onsi$"e- (a*a$"e- su((ess,u"- Inorma"1
and a"" the rest ^ these are the idea"s&
Here I am not "oo0ed at as a (hi"d& I1m the o"dest *erson
hereO ou ma) see me in terms o, a ,ather ,i+ure-
$e(ause an o"d man "i0e me $rin+s out the sense o,
authorit)& I1m an authorit) ,i+ure- a *atriar(h- a ,ather
,i+ure- a ma"e ,i+ure ^ a +rand,ather") ,i+ure to some
o, )ou& It1s interestin+ just to see this state when the
(onditions are there& Rationa"") )ou (an sa)- DHe1s not
m) ,atherOE $ut emotiona"") )ou ma) ,ee" "i0e that-
a(tin+ to me "i0e I1m a ,ather- $e(ause it1s an
emotiona" ha$it& 'hen the (onditions ,or that 0ind o,
ma"e authorit) ,i+ure are *resent- then this is what
)ou are ,ee"in+- it1s "i0e this& There1s nothin+ wron+
with it- just noti(e it1s the wa) it is& Trust )our re,u+e in
this awareness- not in some idea that )ou shou"dn1t
*roje(t ,ather") ima+es onto me- or that )ou shou"dn1t
,ee" disem*owered $) a ma"e authorit) ,i+ure and
thin+s "i0e this& I, )ou ,ee" disem*owered $) me- then
Intuitive Awareness
just re(o+ni_e it as a (ondition that has arisen- rather
than $"amin+ me or $"amin+ )ourse",- $e(ause then
)ou are $a(0 into the wor"d )ou are (reatin+ ^ )our
*ersona" wor"d- and $e"ievin+ in that as )our rea"it)&
just re(o+ni_e it as a (ondition that has arisen- rather
than $"amin+ me or $"amin+ )ourse",- $e(ause then
)ou are $a(0 into the wor"d )ou are (reatin+ ^ )our
*ersona" wor"d- and $e"ievin+ in that as )our rea"it)&
Our re,u+e then is in this awareness rather than in
tr)in+ to sustain re,ined eB*erien(es in
(ons(iousness as our re,u+e- $e(ause )ou (an1t do
it& ou (an ma)$e "earn- throu+h deve"o*in+ a s0i",u"
use- to in(rease )our sense o, )our eB*erien(e o,
re,inement- $ut inevita$") )ou have to a""ow the (oarse
to mani,est- to $e a *art o, )our (ons(ious eB*erien(e&
Restin+ in this (ons(ious awareness is re,erred to as
D(omin+ homeE or Dour rea" home&E It1s a *"a(e to rest-
"i0e a home& The idea o, a home is a *"a(e where )ou
$e"on+- isn1t itQ ou are no "on+er a ,orei+ner or an
a"ien& ou $e+in to re(o+ni_e throu+h a sense o, re"ie,-
o, just $ein+ home at "ast- o, not $ein+ this stran+er-
this wanderer out in the wi"derness& Then the wor"d
Intuitive Awareness
o, Ajahn Sumedho (an arise and it1s "i0e )ou are not
at home an)more- $e(ause Ajahn Sumedho is an
a"ien- a stran+erO He never ,ee"s Cuite at home
an)where& Am I Ameri(an nowQ Am I British or am I
ThaiQ 'here do I ,ee" at home as Ajahn SumedhoQ I
don1t even 0now what nationa"it) I am an)more- or
where I ,ee" most at home& I ,ee" more at home here
than in Ameri(a $e(ause I1ve "ived here ,or so "on+& In
Thai"and I ,ee" at home $e(ause it1s the *aradise ,or
Buddhist mon0s and the) treat )ou so we""- $ut sti""
)ou have to +et visas and )ou1re a"wa)s D3hra 2aran+&E
Here in En+"and- no matter how man) )ears I am here-
I am sti""- to most *eo*"e- an Ameri(an& 'hen I +o
$a(0 to Ameri(a I don1t 0now what I am ^ Dou don1t
"oo0 "i0e an Ameri(an an)more& ou1ve +ot a ,unn)
a((ent- we don1t 0now where )ou are ,romOE That1s
the wor"d that is (reated& 'hen it dro*s awa)- what1s
"e,t is our rea" home&
o, Ajahn Sumedho (an arise and it1s "i0e )ou are not
at home an)more- $e(ause Ajahn Sumedho is an
a"ien- a stran+erO He never ,ee"s Cuite at home
an)where& Am I Ameri(an nowQ Am I British or am I
ThaiQ 'here do I ,ee" at home as Ajahn SumedhoQ I
don1t even 0now what nationa"it) I am an)more- or
where I ,ee" most at home& I ,ee" more at home here
than in Ameri(a $e(ause I1ve "ived here ,or so "on+& In
Thai"and I ,ee" at home $e(ause it1s the *aradise ,or
Buddhist mon0s and the) treat )ou so we""- $ut sti""
)ou have to +et visas and )ou1re a"wa)s D3hra 2aran+&E
Here in En+"and- no matter how man) )ears I am here-
I am sti""- to most *eo*"e- an Ameri(an& 'hen I +o
$a(0 to Ameri(a I don1t 0now what I am ^ Dou don1t
"oo0 "i0e an Ameri(an an)more& ou1ve +ot a ,unn)
a((ent- we don1t 0now where )ou are ,romOE That1s
the wor"d that is (reated& 'hen it dro*s awa)- what1s
"e,t is our rea" home&
Intuitive Awareness 5>@
Trustin+ in Sim*"i(it)
The attitude o, I(onvivia"it)1 is an attem*t to en(oura+e
)ou to see the ho") "i,e as somethin+ $eauti,u" and
enjo)a$"e- and to o*en to it rather than just shut down&
Sometimes we see meditation as a wa) o, shuttin+
ourse"ves o,, ,rom thin+s rather than o*enin+&
Remem$er- whatever is said is "imited- so when we
sa) Ishut down1 these are on") words whi(h (onve)
some meanin+ to )ou in whatever wa) )ou +ras* them&
In an) re"i+ious tradition there is a "ot o, (on,usion
$e(ause what is said at times seems to $e
(ontradi(tor)# at one moment )ou are $ein+ to"d to
shut down- ("ose )our e)es- (on(entrate )our mind
on the $reathA and then to o*en u* with mettR ,or a""
sentient $ein+sO This is just to *oint out the "imitation
o, words and (onventions& 'hen we +ras* these
(onventions- then we tend to $ind ourse"ves to a
*arti(u"ar view& 'e mi+ht even $e en(oura+ed to do
this $) tea(hers and the wa) we inter*ret the
s(ri*tures& But remem$er to $rin+ $a(0 the awareness
that ea(h o, us as individua"s eB*erien(es- whi(h is
the (enter o, the universe&
'hen )ou see )ourse", in *ersona" terms as someone
who needs to +et somethin+ or +et rid o, somethin+-
then )ou "imit )ourse", to $ein+ someone who has to
Intuitive Awareness
+et somethin+ the) don1t )et have or +et rid o,
somethin+ the) shou"dn1t have& So we re,"e(t on this
and "earn to $e the witness- Buddho ^ that whi(h is
awa0e and aware- whi(h "istens to and 0nows
*ersona"it) views and emotiona" states without ta0in+
them *ersona"")&
+et somethin+ the) don1t )et have or +et rid o,
somethin+ the) shou"dn1t have& So we re,"e(t on this
and "earn to $e the witness- Buddho ^ that whi(h is
awa0e and aware- whi(h "istens to and 0nows
*ersona"it) views and emotiona" states without ta0in+
them *ersona"")&
'hat I en(oura+e is a movin+ toward sim*"i(it)- rather
than (om*"eBit)& 'e1re a"read) (om*"i(ated
*ersona"ities& Our (u"tura" and so(ia" (onditionin+ is
usua"") ver) (om*"i(ated& 'e1re edu(ated and
"iterate- whi(h means that we 0now a "ot and have a
"ot o, eB*erien(e& This means that we are no "on+er
sim*"e& 'e1ve "ost the sim*"i(it) that we had as
(hi"dren and have $e(ome rather (om*"i(ated
(hara(ters& The monasti( ,orm is a move toward
sim*"i(it)& At times it ma) "oo0 (om*"i(ated $ut the
Intuitive Awareness
who"e thrust o, the Dhamma!Lina)a is toward
sim*"i,)in+ ever)thin+ rather than (om*"i(atin+ it&
who"e thrust o, the Dhamma!Lina)a is toward
sim*"i,)in+ ever)thin+ rather than (om*"i(atin+ it&
One tends to thin0 that *eo*"e in the *ast had more
*arami and a$i"it) to awa0en and $e ,u"") "i$erated
than us& 'e see ourse"ves throu+h (om*"i(ated
memories and *er(e*tions& .) *ersona"it) is ver)
(om*"i(ated# "i0es and dis"i0esA it ,ee"s ha**) and
sad- it is so (han+ea$"e that it (an a"ter in just the
sna* o, a ,in+er& .) emotions (an $e tri++ered o,, into
an+er in a moment just $) some$od) sa)in+
somethin+ that irritates me& 'hen the (onditions arise
then the (onseCuent state (omes to $e# an+er-
ha**iness- e"ation- et(& But with sati!sam*ajaSSa
we1re "earnin+ to sustain an awareness that
trans(ends these emotions&
I, we (ou"dn1t do this then there wou"d $e no ho*e- no
*oint in even tr)in+ to $e Buddhist mon0s or nuns- or
an)thin+ e"se at a""& 'e1d just $e he"*"ess vi(tims o,
our ha$its and no wa) out o, $ein+ tra**ed in the
Intuitive Awareness
re*etitive *atterns wou"d $e *ossi$"e& The wa) out o,
it is awa0eness- attention& /onvivia"it) is +oodwi""-
ha**iness- $ri+htness- we"(omin+- o*enin+& 'hen I1m
(onvivia"- I1m o*en& 'hen I1m in a $ad mood then I1m
not o*enO Leave me a"one- don1t $other meO
re*etitive *atterns wou"d $e *ossi$"e& The wa) out o,
it is awa0eness- attention& /onvivia"it) is +oodwi""-
ha**iness- $ri+htness- we"(omin+- o*enin+& 'hen I1m
(onvivia"- I1m o*en& 'hen I1m in a $ad mood then I1m
not o*enO Leave me a"one- don1t $other meO
In awa0ened awareness there1s no +ras*in+& It1s a
sim*"e- immanent a(t o, $ein+ here- $ein+ *atient& It
ta0es trust- es*e(ia"") trustin+ in )ourse",& No one (an
ma0e )ou do it or ma+i(a"") do it ,or )ou& Trustin+ this
moment is there,ore ver) im*ortant& I am $) nature a
Cuestioner- a dou$ter or s(e*ti(& I don1t $e"ieve easi")-
I tend to dis$e"ieve- and I1m sus*i(ious o, thin+s& This
is an un*"easant (ondition to have to "ive with-
$e(ause I wou"d "ove to $e"ieve in somethin+ and just
Intuitive Awareness
rest in a $e"ie, that I am ,u"") (ommitted to&
rest in a $e"ie, that I am ,u"") (ommitted to&
Learnin+ to trust in this awareness is an a(t o, ,aith
$ut it is a"so ver) mu(h a"i+ned with wisdom& It1s
somethin+ that )ou have to eB*eriment with to +et a
,ee"in+ ,or& No matter how we"" I mi+ht des(ri$e or
eB*ound on this *arti(u"ar su$je(t- it is sti"" somethin+
that )ou have to 0now ,or )ourse",& Dou$t is one o, )our
main *ro$"ems- $e(ause )ou don1t trust )ourse"ves&
.an) o, )ou stron+") $e"ieve that )ou are de,ined $)
the "imitations o, )our *ast- )our memories- )our
*ersona"it)A )ou1re thorou+h") (onvin(ed o, that& But
)ou (an1t trust that& I (an1t trust m) *ersona"it)A it wi""
sa) an)thin+O Nor (an I trust m) emotions- the) ,"i(0er
around and (han+e (onstant")& De*endin+ on
whether the sun1s out or i, it is rainin+- or i, thin+s are
+oin+ we"" or ,a""in+ a*art- m) emotions rea(t
a((ordin+")& 'hat I trust is m) awareness& It is
somethin+ ,or )ou to ,ind out ,or )ourse"ves- )ou (an1t
just trust what I sa)& An)thin+ I des(ri$e now is just
an en(oura+ement ,or )ou to trust&
Intuitive Awareness
This in("usive awareness is ver) sim*"e and tota"")
natura"& The mind sto*s and )ou are just o*en and
re(e*tive& Even i, )ou1re tense and u*ti+ht- just o*en
to it $) a((e*tin+ it and a""owin+ it to $e as it is&
Tension- des*air- *ain ^ )ou just a""ow )our
eB*erien(e to $e eBa(t") as it is rather than tr) to +et
rid o, it& I, )ou (on(eive o, this o*enness as a ha**)
state- then )ou (reate a menta" im*ression o, it as a
*"easant state- that )ou mi+ht not $e ,ee"in+ and that
)ou wou"d "i0e to ,ee"& Bein+ in a *"easant state o,
mind is not a *rereCuisite ,or in("usive awareness&
One (an $e in the *its o, he"" and miser) and )et sti""
o*en to the eB*erien(e o, $ein+ aware- and thus a""ow
even the most u*settin+ sates to $e just what the)
are&
This in("usive awareness is ver) sim*"e and tota"")
natura"& The mind sto*s and )ou are just o*en and
re(e*tive& Even i, )ou1re tense and u*ti+ht- just o*en
to it $) a((e*tin+ it and a""owin+ it to $e as it is&
Tension- des*air- *ain ^ )ou just a""ow )our
eB*erien(e to $e eBa(t") as it is rather than tr) to +et
rid o, it& I, )ou (on(eive o, this o*enness as a ha**)
state- then )ou (reate a menta" im*ression o, it as a
*"easant state- that )ou mi+ht not $e ,ee"in+ and that
)ou wou"d "i0e to ,ee"& Bein+ in a *"easant state o,
mind is not a *rereCuisite ,or in("usive awareness&
One (an $e in the *its o, he"" and miser) and )et sti""
o*en to the eB*erien(e o, $ein+ aware- and thus a""ow
even the most u*settin+ sates to $e just what the)
are&
Intuitive Awareness
In this awareness it1s not that )ou 0now an)thin+&
ou1re just a""owin+ thin+s to $e what the) are& ou
don1t have to *er(eive them with thou+hts or words-
or ana")_e themA )ou1re just a""owin+ the eB*erien(e
to $e- just the wa) it is& It1s more a (ase o, deve"o*in+
an intuitive sense- what I (a"" intuitive awareness&
'hen )ou (an $e+in to trust in this awareness )ou
(an re"aB a $it& I, )ou1re tr)in+ to (ontro" the mind then
)ou tend to +o $a(0 to )our ha$its o, tr)in+ to ho"d on
to some thin+s and +et rid o, others- rather than just
a""owin+ thin+s to $e what the) are&
In this awareness it1s not that )ou 0now an)thin+&
ou1re just a""owin+ thin+s to $e what the) are& ou
don1t have to *er(eive them with thou+hts or words-
or ana")_e themA )ou1re just a""owin+ the eB*erien(e
to $e- just the wa) it is& It1s more a (ase o, deve"o*in+
an intuitive sense- what I (a"" intuitive awareness&
'hen )ou (an $e+in to trust in this awareness )ou
(an re"aB a $it& I, )ou1re tr)in+ to (ontro" the mind then
)ou tend to +o $a(0 to )our ha$its o, tr)in+ to ho"d on
to some thin+s and +et rid o, others- rather than just
a""owin+ thin+s to $e what the) are&
Nust the thou+ht o, *artin+ has a (ertain e,,e(t on
(ons(iousness& 'hatever is ha**enin+ ,or )ou now
is that wa)- it is what it is& Se*aration and the idea o,
se*aration is "i0e this& It1s a matter o, re(o+ni_in+ what
it is $ut o, not jud+in+ what )ou see& As soon as )ou
Intuitive Awareness
add to it in an) wa)- it is more that what it isA it
$e(omes *ersona"- emotiona"- (om*"i(ated& This
sense rea"m in whi(h we "ive- this *"anet Earth- is "i0e
this& One1s who"e "i,e is an end"ess *ro(ession o,
meetin+ and se*aratin+& 'e +et so used to it that we
hard") noti(e it or re,"e(t on it& Sadness is the natura"
res*onse to $ein+ se*arated ,rom what one "i0es- ,rom
*eo*"e one "oves& But the awareness o, that sadness
is not itse", sad& The emotion we ,ee" is sadness $ut
when the emotion is he"d in awareness then the
awareness itse", is not sad& The same is true when
$ein+ *resent with thin0in+ o, somethin+ that +ives
rise to eB(itement or jo)& The awareness is not eB(ited-
it ho"ds the eB(itement& Awareness em$ra(es the
,ee"in+ o, eB(itement or sadness $ut it does not +et
eB(ited or sad& So it1s a matter o, "earnin+ to trust in
that awareness rather than just end"ess") stru++"in+
with whatever ,ee"in+s mi+ht $e arisin+&
add to it in an) wa)- it is more that what it isA it
$e(omes *ersona"- emotiona"- (om*"i(ated& This
sense rea"m in whi(h we "ive- this *"anet Earth- is "i0e
this& One1s who"e "i,e is an end"ess *ro(ession o,
meetin+ and se*aratin+& 'e +et so used to it that we
hard") noti(e it or re,"e(t on it& Sadness is the natura"
res*onse to $ein+ se*arated ,rom what one "i0es- ,rom
*eo*"e one "oves& But the awareness o, that sadness
is not itse", sad& The emotion we ,ee" is sadness $ut
when the emotion is he"d in awareness then the
awareness itse", is not sad& The same is true when
$ein+ *resent with thin0in+ o, somethin+ that +ives
rise to eB(itement or jo)& The awareness is not eB(ited-
it ho"ds the eB(itement& Awareness em$ra(es the
,ee"in+ o, eB(itement or sadness $ut it does not +et
eB(ited or sad& So it1s a matter o, "earnin+ to trust in
that awareness rather than just end"ess") stru++"in+
with whatever ,ee"in+s mi+ht $e arisin+&
Desire is natura" to this rea"m& So wh) shou"dn1t we
have desireQ 'hat1s wron+ with desire an)wa)Q 'e
Intuitive Awareness
stru++"e to +et rid o, a"" our desires& Tr)in+ to *uri,)
our minds and (onCuer desire $e(omes a *ersona"
(ha""en+e- doesn1t itQ But (an )ou do itQ I (an1t& I (an
su**ress desires sometimes and (onvin(e m)se", that
I don1t have an)- $ut I (an1t sustain it& 'hen )ou
(ontem*"ate the wa) thin+s are- )ou see that this rea"m
is "i0e this ^ what is attra(tive and $eauti,u" one
desires to move towards- and to +ras*A what is u+")
and re*u"sive +ives rise to the im*u"se to withdraw&
That1s just the wa) it is- it1s not some 0ind o, *ersona"
,"aw& In that movement o, attra(tion and aversion there
is an awareness that em$ra(es $oth o, them& ou (an
$e aware o, $ein+ attra(ted and aware o, $ein+
re*e""ed $) somethin+&
stru++"e to +et rid o, a"" our desires& Tr)in+ to *uri,)
our minds and (onCuer desire $e(omes a *ersona"
(ha""en+e- doesn1t itQ But (an )ou do itQ I (an1t& I (an
su**ress desires sometimes and (onvin(e m)se", that
I don1t have an)- $ut I (an1t sustain it& 'hen )ou
(ontem*"ate the wa) thin+s are- )ou see that this rea"m
is "i0e this ^ what is attra(tive and $eauti,u" one
desires to move towards- and to +ras*A what is u+")
and re*u"sive +ives rise to the im*u"se to withdraw&
That1s just the wa) it is- it1s not some 0ind o, *ersona"
,"aw& In that movement o, attra(tion and aversion there
is an awareness that em$ra(es $oth o, them& ou (an
$e aware o, $ein+ attra(ted and aware o, $ein+
re*e""ed $) somethin+&
Some mi+ht a((use me o, tea(hin+ a *ath where it
doesn1t matter how )ou $ehave- that )ou (an just do
an)thin+ and just wat(h it# )ou (ou"d ro$ a $an0 and
sti"" $e mind,u" o, )our a(tionsA )ou (ou"d eB*eriment
with drin0in+ and ta0in+ dru+s- or see how mind,u"
Intuitive Awareness
and aware )ou are when ha""u(inatin+ on mushroomsO
I, I did tea(h that- the door wou"d $e wide o*en-
wou"dn1t itQ I1m not *romotin+ that view*oint F I1m not
a(tua"") sa)in+ )ou shou"d disre+ard the *re(e*ts F
$ut )ou (an see how- i, )ou1re (au+ht in a ri+hteous
view- that )ou wou"d assume that I1m *romotin+ the
o**osite F sa)in+ that *eo*"e shou"dn1t a(t in the wa)
)our ri+hteous view*oint determines the) shou"d&
and aware )ou are when ha""u(inatin+ on mushroomsO
I, I did tea(h that- the door wou"d $e wide o*en-
wou"dn1t itQ I1m not *romotin+ that view*oint F I1m not
a(tua"") sa)in+ )ou shou"d disre+ard the *re(e*ts F
$ut )ou (an see how- i, )ou1re (au+ht in a ri+hteous
view- that )ou wou"d assume that I1m *romotin+ the
o**osite F sa)in+ that *eo*"e shou"dn1t a(t in the wa)
)our ri+hteous view*oint determines the) shou"d&
Some o, )ou are *ro$a$") thin0in+- D'e"" I1m not read)
,or that )et- what )ou1re tea(hin+ is ,or advan(ed
students& I need to just to "earn how to $e a +ood mon0
and a +ood nun&E This is ,ine- "earn how to $e a +ood
mon0 or nun- $ut a"so (onne(t with just $ein+ aware&
Intuitive Awareness
The thin+ is not to tr) (om*"i(atin+ )ourse", even more
$) ado*tin+ another ro"e- $ut to "earn to see and
o$serve how the restri(tions o, this ,orm $rin+ into the
o*en one1s resistan(e- indu"+en(e- atta(hment and
aversion- to see that a"" o, these rea(tions are I"i0e
this1& In this wa) )ou1re +oin+ $e)ond the dua"isti(
stru(tures o, thou+ht and (onditioned *henomena&
ou re,u+e is in the death"ess- the un(onditioned ^
in Dhamma itse", rather than someone e"se1s view
a$out Dhamma&
The thin+ is not to tr) (om*"i(atin+ )ourse", even more
$) ado*tin+ another ro"e- $ut to "earn to see and
o$serve how the restri(tions o, this ,orm $rin+ into the
o*en one1s resistan(e- indu"+en(e- atta(hment and
aversion- to see that a"" o, these rea(tions are I"i0e
this1& In this wa) )ou1re +oin+ $e)ond the dua"isti(
stru(tures o, thou+ht and (onditioned *henomena&
ou re,u+e is in the death"ess- the un(onditioned ^
in Dhamma itse", rather than someone e"se1s view
a$out Dhamma&
One (an sa) Ddon1t $e se",ish- don1t $e stu*idE&
Intuitive Awareness
Emotiona"") we are "i0e that& I, we1re emotiona"")
atta(hed to the wa) that we do thin+s then we do ,ee"
threatened $) an)one who Cuestions it& I1ve ,ound in
m) own "i,e that whenever I +et u*set $) someone
(riti(i_in+ TheravRda Buddhism- our San+ha- or the
wa) we do thin+s- it is due to m) *ersona"it) and its
tenden() to atta(h and identi,) with these thin+s& ou
(an1t trust that at a""& But )ou (an trust awareness& As
)ou $e+in to re(o+ni_e it and 0now it- )ou (an rest
more in $ein+ aware and "istenin+ to the sound o,
si"en(e& As )ou sustain awareness in this wa)-
(ons(iousness (an eB*and and $e(ome in,inite&
'hen this o((urs )ou are just *resent in a (ons(ious
moment and )ou "ose the sense o, $ein+ a se", ^
$ein+ a *erson- this $od)& It just dro*s awa) and (an
no "on+er sustain itse",&
Emotiona"") we are "i0e that& I, we1re emotiona"")
atta(hed to the wa) that we do thin+s then we do ,ee"
threatened $) an)one who Cuestions it& I1ve ,ound in
m) own "i,e that whenever I +et u*set $) someone
(riti(i_in+ TheravRda Buddhism- our San+ha- or the
wa) we do thin+s- it is due to m) *ersona"it) and its
tenden() to atta(h and identi,) with these thin+s& ou
(an1t trust that at a""& But )ou (an trust awareness& As
)ou $e+in to re(o+ni_e it and 0now it- )ou (an rest
more in $ein+ aware and "istenin+ to the sound o,
si"en(e& As )ou sustain awareness in this wa)-
(ons(iousness (an eB*and and $e(ome in,inite&
'hen this o((urs )ou are just *resent in a (ons(ious
moment and )ou "ose the sense o, $ein+ a se", ^
$ein+ a *erson- this $od)& It just dro*s awa) and (an
no "on+er sustain itse",&
Intuitive Awareness
to do that 0ind o, *ra(ti(e- $ut i, )ou ho"d on to it then
)ou are "imited $) it- )ou (an1t ta0e "i,e as it (omes
and instead )ou $e(ome (ontro""in+ o, ever)thin+& The
resu"t o, this t)*e o, *ra(ti(e is that "i,e has to $e a
(ertain wa)# DI have to $e at this *"a(e- "ive with these
*eo*"e- not with those t)*e o, *eo*"e- I need these
stru(tures and (onditions in order to $e a$"e to +et m)
samRdhi&E So then )ou are $ound to that wa) o,
stru(turin+ )our "i,e&
to do that 0ind o, *ra(ti(e- $ut i, )ou ho"d on to it then
)ou are "imited $) it- )ou (an1t ta0e "i,e as it (omes
and instead )ou $e(ome (ontro""in+ o, ever)thin+& The
resu"t o, this t)*e o, *ra(ti(e is that "i,e has to $e a
(ertain wa)# DI have to $e at this *"a(e- "ive with these
*eo*"e- not with those t)*e o, *eo*"e- I need these
stru(tures and (onditions in order to $e a$"e to +et m)
samRdhi&E So then )ou are $ound to that wa) o,
stru(turin+ )our "i,e&
/omin+ into the tem*"e this evenin+ was ver) ni(e
indeed& The sti""ness o, the *"a(e is ,antasti(- isn1t itQ
This is the $est *"a(e in the who"e wor"dO That1s on")
an o*inion- )ou 0now- not a *ronoun(ementO I ,ind the
sti""ness and si"en(e in this *"a(e to $e *a"*a$"e as
soon as )ou (ome in& But then- (an I s*end the rest o,
m) "i,e sittin+ in hereQ Sti""ness is here in the heart&
The sti""ness is a$out $ein+ *resent- it1s not
de*endent on a tem*"e or a *"a(e& Trustin+ in )our
awareness )ou $e+in to noti(e that even in the midst
o, *"a(es "i0e London and Ban+0o0- in (on,usin+ or
a(rimonious situations- )ou (an a"wa)s re(o+ni_e this
sti""ness on(e )ou va"ue and a**re(iate it& It does ta0e
determination to $e a$"e to do this& .u(h o, the time it
Intuitive Awareness
doesn1t seem "i0e an)thin+ and havin+ +oa" F
orientated *ra(ti(es seems more attra(tive# DI want
somethin+ to do- somethin+ to +et m) teeth intoOE 'e1re
(onditioned a"wa)s to $e doin+ somethin+ rather than
just trustin+ and o*enin+ to the *resent& 'e (an even
ma0e this into a $i+ dea"# DI1ve +ot to o*en to the
*resent a"" o, the timeOE Then we just +ras* the idea
o, it- whi(h is not what I mean&
doesn1t seem "i0e an)thin+ and havin+ +oa" F
orientated *ra(ti(es seems more attra(tive# DI want
somethin+ to do- somethin+ to +et m) teeth intoOE 'e1re
(onditioned a"wa)s to $e doin+ somethin+ rather than
just trustin+ and o*enin+ to the *resent& 'e (an even
ma0e this into a $i+ dea"# DI1ve +ot to o*en to the
*resent a"" o, the timeOE Then we just +ras* the idea
o, it- whi(h is not what I mean&
Intuitive Awareness
O$servin+ Atta(hment
/ons(iousness is what we are a"" eB*erien(in+ ri+ht
now F it is the $ondin+ eB*erien(e that we a"" have
ri+ht at this moment& /ons(iousness is a$out the rea"m
o, ,orm& 'e eB*erien(e (ons(iousness throu+h ,orm&
'hen we (ontem*"ate the ,our e"ements GdhRtuH#
earth- water- ,ire- air and addin+ two more +ive us
s*a(e and (ons(iousness- this is a tota"it) o,
eB*erien(e in terms o, an individua" human $ein+&
The *h)si(a" (ondition o, a $od) and the *h)si(a"
rea"m whi(h we "ive in is a (om$ination o, these ,our
e"ements- (om$ined with s*a(e and (ons(iousness&
'e (an (ontem*"ate the ,our e"ements in our own
$od) as a wa) o, "oo0in+ at the $od) as a wa) where
one does not see it as a *ersona" identit) or as
somethin+ $e"on+in+ to onese",& S*a(e and
(ons(iousness have no $oundaries- the)1re in,inite&
/ons(iousness- then- is what we1re usin+ in
meditation in order to (ontem*"ate the wa) thin+s are&
'e +et ver) (on,used $e(ause (ons(iousness is not
somethin+ we (an +et ho"d o, in the wa) that we (an
see earth- water- ,ire and air- or (onditions o, the mind
F emotions& Be(ause we are (ons(ious we (an
a(tua"") $e aware o, thou+hts- and emotions- or the
$od) as it eBists and mani,ests at the *resent moment&
Sometimes we thin0 o, (ons(iousness in a ver) "imited
Intuitive Awareness
wa)- just as arisin+ throu+h (onta(t via the e)e- ear-
nose- et( ^ just in terms o, sensor) (ons(iousness&
In this (ase (ons(iousness is ver) mu(h "imited to
*er(eivin+ throu+h the senses& But it is *ossi$"e to
$e+in to re(o+ni_e (ons(iousness that is non!
atta(hed to the senses- whi(h is what I *oint to when
I re,er to the sound o, si"en(e& 'hen )ou $e+in to
noti(e that sound- then- there is (ons(iousness that
is unatta(hed& As )ou sustain awareness with the
sound o, si"en(e then )ou ,ind )ou (an $e+in to re,"e(t
and +et *ers*e(tive on )our thou+hts- emotions-
,ee"in+s- sense a(tivit) and eB*erien(e whi(h a"" arise
in (ons(iousness in the *resent&
wa)- just as arisin+ throu+h (onta(t via the e)e- ear-
nose- et( ^ just in terms o, sensor) (ons(iousness&
In this (ase (ons(iousness is ver) mu(h "imited to
*er(eivin+ throu+h the senses& But it is *ossi$"e to
$e+in to re(o+ni_e (ons(iousness that is non!
atta(hed to the senses- whi(h is what I *oint to when
I re,er to the sound o, si"en(e& 'hen )ou $e+in to
noti(e that sound- then- there is (ons(iousness that
is unatta(hed& As )ou sustain awareness with the
sound o, si"en(e then )ou ,ind )ou (an $e+in to re,"e(t
and +et *ers*e(tive on )our thou+hts- emotions-
,ee"in+s- sense a(tivit) and eB*erien(e whi(h a"" arise
in (ons(iousness in the *resent&
Nust rest in this state o, o*enness and re(e*tivit)&
Don1t atta(h to the idea o, it& ou (an atta(h to the
idea o, the sound o, si"en(e and o, attainin+
somethin+ with it- or 0ee* (reatin+ some ,a"se
i""usions around it&
Intuitive Awareness
That1s not it ^ it1s not a matter o, tr)in+ to ma0e
an)thin+ out o, it- $ut o, ,u"") o*enin+ to this *resent
moment in a wa) that is unatta(hed& This re(o+nition
o, non!atta(hment is somethin+ )ou 0now throu+h
)our awareness rather than throu+h a des(ri*tion& A""
one (an sa) a$out it is thin+s "i0e# Ddon1t atta(h to
an)thin+-E and D"et +o o, ever)thin+&E But then *eo*"e
atta(h and sa)- Dwe shou"dn1t $e atta(hed to an)thin+E
That1s not it ^ it1s not a matter o, tr)in+ to ma0e
an)thin+ out o, it- $ut o, ,u"") o*enin+ to this *resent
moment in a wa) that is unatta(hed& This re(o+nition
o, non!atta(hment is somethin+ )ou 0now throu+h
)our awareness rather than throu+h a des(ri*tion& A""
one (an sa) a$out it is thin+s "i0e# Ddon1t atta(h to
an)thin+-E and D"et +o o, ever)thin+&E But then *eo*"e
atta(h and sa)- Dwe shou"dn1t $e atta(hed to an)thin+E
and so the) atta(h to the idea o, non!atta(hmentO
'e are so (ommitted to thin0in+ and tr)in+ to ,i+ure
ever)thin+ out in terms o, ideas- theor)- te(hniCue-
*art) "ine- the TheravRda a**roa(h &&& and so it +oes
on and on "i0e this- and we $ind ourse"ves to the
(onditions- even thou+h the tea(hin+ is a$out "ettin+
+o or non!atta(hment& This wh) I rea"") en(oura+e )ou
to o$serve atta(hment&
Trust )ourse", in this awareness& And- rather than
ho"din+ to the views that one shou"dn1t $e atta(hed-
re(o+ni_e that atta(hment is "i0e this& In the ear") da)s
I used to *ra(tise atta(hin+ to thin+s intentiona"")- just
so that I wou"d 0now what atta(hment is "i0e- rather
than havin+ some idea that I shou"dn1t $e atta(hed to
an)thin+ and then in some des*erate wa) a"wa)s
tr)in+ to $e deta(hed ^ whi(h wou"d have on") $een
se",!de(e*tion- as the $asi( de"usion that +ave rise to
the atta(hment had not $een *enetrated& Thin0in+-
DI1m someone who is atta(hed and I shou"dn1t $eE is
an atta(hment- isn1t itQ DI am mon0 who has a"" these
atta(hments- these han+!u*s- and the)1re o$stru(tions
and I shou"dn1t $e atta(hed to them- I1ve +ot to +et rid
o, them- "et +o o, them&E The atta(hment to that resu"ts
Intuitive Awareness
in )ou ,oo"in+ )ourse", and end"ess") disa**ointin+
)ourse", $e(ause )ou (an1t do it that wa) ^ it doesn1t
wor0& This is wh) I em*hasi_e this *ure state o,
(ons(iousness& Now don1t just ta0e it ,or +ranted&
Don1t tr) to ,i+ure it out or thin0 a$out it ver) mu(h#
"earn to just do it& Nust (onta(t this resonatin+ sound
or vi$ration- "earn to sta) with it ,or a (ount o, ,ive- or
*ra(tise so that )ou +et used to it and a**re(iate it& I,
)ou rea"") (u"tivate it- it +ives )ou this state where )ou
$e+in to $e (ons(ious without $ein+ atta(hed- so that
the (onditions whi(h arise in (ons(iousness ma) $e
seen in the *ers*e(tive o, arisin+ and (easin+&
in )ou ,oo"in+ )ourse", and end"ess") disa**ointin+
)ourse", $e(ause )ou (an1t do it that wa) ^ it doesn1t
wor0& This is wh) I em*hasi_e this *ure state o,
(ons(iousness& Now don1t just ta0e it ,or +ranted&
Don1t tr) to ,i+ure it out or thin0 a$out it ver) mu(h#
"earn to just do it& Nust (onta(t this resonatin+ sound
or vi$ration- "earn to sta) with it ,or a (ount o, ,ive- or
*ra(tise so that )ou +et used to it and a**re(iate it& I,
)ou rea"") (u"tivate it- it +ives )ou this state where )ou
$e+in to $e (ons(ious without $ein+ atta(hed- so that
the (onditions whi(h arise in (ons(iousness ma) $e
seen in the *ers*e(tive o, arisin+ and (easin+&
To man) *eo*"e- "ove is the u"timate atta(hment# when
)ou "ove some$od) )ou want to *ossess them& O,ten
what *asses ,or "ove in modern (ons(iousness is a
ver) stron+ atta(hment to another *erson- thin+ or
(reature& But i, )ou rea"") want to a**") this word to
that whi(h a((e*ts- then )ou have mettR ^ "ove whi(h
is unatta(hed- whi(h has no *re,eren(es- whi(h
a((e*ts ever)thin+ and sees ever)thin+ as $e"on+in+&
Intuitive Awareness
'hen )ou $e+in to trust in the awareness- the
(ons(ious moment that is in,inite- then ever)thin+
$e"on+s in it& 2rom the *ers*e(tive o, this (ons(ious
$ein+- whatever arises in this (ons(iousness is
a((e*ted and we"(omed- whether it1s throu+h the
senses ,rom the outside or ,rom inside ^ the
emotiona" and *h)si(a" (onditions whi(h $e(ome
(ons(ious in this *resent moment& This sense o, "ove-
a((e*tan(e and non!jud+ement a((e*ts ever)thin+
that )ou are thin0in+- ,ee"in+ and eB*erien(in+A it
a""ows ever)thin+ to $e what it is& 'hen we don1t a""ow
thin+s to $e as the) are- then we are tr)in+ to +et
somethin+ that we don1t have or +et rid o, somethin+
that we don1t want& So in terms o, *uri,)in+ the mind-
(ons(iousness is a"read) *ure& ou don1t need to
*uri,) itA )ou don1t have to do an)thin+&
'hen )ou $e+in to trust in the awareness- the
(ons(ious moment that is in,inite- then ever)thin+
$e"on+s in it& 2rom the *ers*e(tive o, this (ons(ious
$ein+- whatever arises in this (ons(iousness is
a((e*ted and we"(omed- whether it1s throu+h the
senses ,rom the outside or ,rom inside ^ the
emotiona" and *h)si(a" (onditions whi(h $e(ome
(ons(ious in this *resent moment& This sense o, "ove-
a((e*tan(e and non!jud+ement a((e*ts ever)thin+
that )ou are thin0in+- ,ee"in+ and eB*erien(in+A it
a""ows ever)thin+ to $e what it is& 'hen we don1t a""ow
thin+s to $e as the) are- then we are tr)in+ to +et
somethin+ that we don1t have or +et rid o, somethin+
that we don1t want& So in terms o, *uri,)in+ the mind-
(ons(iousness is a"read) *ure& ou don1t need to
*uri,) itA )ou don1t have to do an)thin+&
F we a((e*t $oth- non!(riti(a"")& That to me is what
"ove is- it1s non!(riti(a"& That a**"ies most to what
arises in m) (ons(iousness- m) own 0amma-
emotions- ,ee"in+s and memories whi(h arise in the
moment& Behind it a"" is the sound o, si"en(e& It1s "i0e
Intuitive Awareness
this enormous- vast- in,inite s*a(e that a""ows thin+s
to $e what the) are- $e(ause ever)thin+ $e"on+s& The
nature o, (onditions is to arise and (ease- that is the
wa) it is& So we don1t demand that the) are otherwise
or (om*"ain $e(ause we1d "i0e to ho"d onto the +ood
stu,, and annihi"ate the $ad& Our true nature is *ure&
'hen we $e+in to rea"i_e and ,u"") trust and a**re(iate
this we see that this is rea"& It1s not theoreti(a"- a$stra(t
or an idea F it1s rea"it)&
this enormous- vast- in,inite s*a(e that a""ows thin+s
to $e what the) are- $e(ause ever)thin+ $e"on+s& The
nature o, (onditions is to arise and (ease- that is the
wa) it is& So we don1t demand that the) are otherwise
or (om*"ain $e(ause we1d "i0e to ho"d onto the +ood
stu,, and annihi"ate the $ad& Our true nature is *ure&
'hen we $e+in to rea"i_e and ,u"") trust and a**re(iate
this we see that this is rea"& It1s not theoreti(a"- a$stra(t
or an idea F it1s rea"it)&
Intuitive Awareness
that *urit) is im*ossi$"e to destro)& The *ro$"em "ies
not in $e(omin+ im*ure $ut in the atta(hment to the
i""usion that we (reate in our mind# the demon is so
atta(hed to $ein+ a demon that he ,or+ets his ori+ina"
*urit)- this *resen(e here and now&
that *urit) is im*ossi$"e to destro)& The *ro$"em "ies
not in $e(omin+ im*ure $ut in the atta(hment to the
i""usion that we (reate in our mind# the demon is so
atta(hed to $ein+ a demon that he ,or+ets his ori+ina"
*urit)- this *resen(e here and now&
Intuitive Awareness 5@8
Not Loo0in+ ,or Answers
Not As0in+ ,or 2avours
I used to hate the ,ee"in+ o, $ein+ (on,used& Instead-
I "oved havin+ a sense o, (ertaint) and menta" ("arit)&
'henever I ,e"t (on,used $) an)thin+- I1d tr) to ,ind
some 0ind o, ("ear answer- to +et rid o, the emotiona"
state o, (on,usion& I1d distra(t m)se", ,rom it or tr) to
+et some$od) e"se to +ive me the answer& I wanted
the authorities- the Ajahns- the $i+ +u)s- to (ome and
sa)- DThat1s ri+ht- that1s wron+- that1s +ood- that1s $ad&E
I wanted to $e ("ear and needed some$od)- an
authorit) ,i+ure that I trusted and res*e(ted- to
strai+hten me out&
Sometimes we thin0 that thin+s "i0e +ood tea(hers-
meditation retreats- the *re(e*ts- the Re,u+es- or a
wonder,u" San+ha are +oin+ to ma0e us rea"") ha**)
and so"ve a"" our *ro$"ems& 'e rea(h out ,or he"* ,rom
outside ho*in+ this or that wi"" do it ,or us& It1s "i0e
wantin+ 4od to (ome and he"* us out o, the mess&
And then when He doesn1t (ome and so"ve our
*ro$"ems- we don1t $e"ieve in 4od an)more& EI as0ed
Him to he"* and He didn1t&E This is a (hi"d"i0e wa) o,
"oo0in+ at "i,e& 'e +et ourse"ves into trou$"e and eB*e(t
momm) and dadd) to (ome and save the da)- to ("ean
u* the mess we1ve made&
Intuitive Awareness
One time )ears a+o- I $e(ame ver) (on,used when I
,ound out that one o, our Ameri(an Buddhist nuns had
"e,t our (ommunit) and $e(ome a $orn!a+ain
/hristian& I had just $een sa)in+ to another nun-
DShe1s rea"") wonder,u"- she1s so wise- she1s so *ure!
hearted& She1"" $e a +reat ins*iration to )ou in )our
nun1s "i,e&E I was rea"") em$arrassed and (on,used
when I heard the news& I thou+ht- DHow (ou"d she ,a""
,or itQE I remem$er as0in+ m) tea(her Ajahn /hah-
DHow (ou"d she do thatQE He "oo0ed at me with a
mis(hievous smi"e and said- D.a)$e she1s ri+ht&E He
made me "oo0 at what I was doin+ ^ ,ee"in+
de,ensive and *aranoid- wantin+ a ("ear eB*"anation-
wantin+ to understand- wantin+ him to te"" me that
she1d $etra)ed the Buddhist re"i+ion& So I started
"oo0in+ at the (on,usion& 'hen I $e+an to em$ra(e it
and tota"") a((e*t it- it dro**ed awa)& Throu+h
a(0now"ed+in+ the emotiona" (on,usion- it (eased
$ein+ a *ro$"emA it seemed to disso"ve into thin air& I
$e(ame aware o, how mu(h I resisted (on,usion as
an eB*erien(e&
One time )ears a+o- I $e(ame ver) (on,used when I
,ound out that one o, our Ameri(an Buddhist nuns had
"e,t our (ommunit) and $e(ome a $orn!a+ain
/hristian& I had just $een sa)in+ to another nun-
DShe1s rea"") wonder,u"- she1s so wise- she1s so *ure!
hearted& She1"" $e a +reat ins*iration to )ou in )our
nun1s "i,e&E I was rea"") em$arrassed and (on,used
when I heard the news& I thou+ht- DHow (ou"d she ,a""
,or itQE I remem$er as0in+ m) tea(her Ajahn /hah-
DHow (ou"d she do thatQE He "oo0ed at me with a
mis(hievous smi"e and said- D.a)$e she1s ri+ht&E He
made me "oo0 at what I was doin+ ^ ,ee"in+
de,ensive and *aranoid- wantin+ a ("ear eB*"anation-
wantin+ to understand- wantin+ him to te"" me that
she1d $etra)ed the Buddhist re"i+ion& So I started
"oo0in+ at the (on,usion& 'hen I $e+an to em$ra(e it
and tota"") a((e*t it- it dro**ed awa)& Throu+h
a(0now"ed+in+ the emotiona" (on,usion- it (eased
$ein+ a *ro$"emA it seemed to disso"ve into thin air& I
$e(ame aware o, how mu(h I resisted (on,usion as
an eB*erien(e&
Intuitive Awareness
The Buddha s*o0e instead o, one who "istens- who
*a)s attention- who is awa0e- who is attentive here
and now& One whose mind is o*en and re(e*tive-
trustin+ in the *resent moment and in onese",& This is
his en(oura+ement to us& Our attitude towards
meditation need not $e one o, strivin+ to +et rid o,
thin+s# our de,i"ements- our 0i"esas- our ,au"ts- in order
to $e(ome somethin+ $etter& It shou"d $e one o,
o*enin+ u*- *a)in+ attention to "i,e- eB*erien(in+ the
here and now- and trustin+ in our a$i"it) to re(eive "i,e
as eB*erien(e& 'e don1t have to do an)thin+ with it&
'e don1t have to strai+hten out a"" the (roo0ed *arts-
so"ve ever) *ro$"em- justi,) ever)thin+- or ma0e
ever)thin+ $etter& A,ter a""- there wi"" a"wa)s $e
somethin+ wron+ when we1re "ivin+ in the (onditioned
rea"m with me- with the *eo*"e I "ive with- with the
monaster)- with the retreat (entre- with the (ountr)&
/onditions are a"wa)s (han+in+A we wi"" never ,ind
an) *ermanent *er,e(tion& 'e ma) eB*erien(e a *ea0
moment when ever)thin+ is wonder,u" and just what
we want it to $e- $ut we (an1t sustain the (onditions o,
that moment& 'e (an1t "ive at the *ea0 *oint o,
inha"ationA we have to eBha"e&
The Buddha s*o0e instead o, one who "istens- who
*a)s attention- who is awa0e- who is attentive here
and now& One whose mind is o*en and re(e*tive-
trustin+ in the *resent moment and in onese",& This is
his en(oura+ement to us& Our attitude towards
meditation need not $e one o, strivin+ to +et rid o,
thin+s# our de,i"ements- our 0i"esas- our ,au"ts- in order
to $e(ome somethin+ $etter& It shou"d $e one o,
o*enin+ u*- *a)in+ attention to "i,e- eB*erien(in+ the
here and now- and trustin+ in our a$i"it) to re(eive "i,e
as eB*erien(e& 'e don1t have to do an)thin+ with it&
'e don1t have to strai+hten out a"" the (roo0ed *arts-
so"ve ever) *ro$"em- justi,) ever)thin+- or ma0e
ever)thin+ $etter& A,ter a""- there wi"" a"wa)s $e
somethin+ wron+ when we1re "ivin+ in the (onditioned
rea"m with me- with the *eo*"e I "ive with- with the
monaster)- with the retreat (entre- with the (ountr)&
/onditions are a"wa)s (han+in+A we wi"" never ,ind
an) *ermanent *er,e(tion& 'e ma) eB*erien(e a *ea0
moment when ever)thin+ is wonder,u" and just what
we want it to $e- $ut we (an1t sustain the (onditions o,
that moment& 'e (an1t "ive at the *ea0 *oint o,
inha"ationA we have to eBha"e&
Intuitive Awareness
to ta0e re,u+e in our own a$i"it) to $e awa0e- to *a)
attention to "i,e no matter what the (onditions mi+ht
$e in the *resent moment& The sim*"e wi""in+ness to
a(0now"ed+e thin+s ,or what the) are ^ as (han+in+
(onditions ^ "i$erates us ,rom $ein+ (au+ht in the
*ower o, atta(hment- in stru++"in+ with the emotions
or thou+hts that we1re eB*erien(in+&
to ta0e re,u+e in our own a$i"it) to $e awa0e- to *a)
attention to "i,e no matter what the (onditions mi+ht
$e in the *resent moment& The sim*"e wi""in+ness to
a(0now"ed+e thin+s ,or what the) are ^ as (han+in+
(onditions ^ "i$erates us ,rom $ein+ (au+ht in the
*ower o, atta(hment- in stru++"in+ with the emotions
or thou+hts that we1re eB*erien(in+&
Tr) this out in )our meditation& Noti(e what )ou don1t
"i0e- don1t want- hate- or are ,ri+htened o,& 'hen )ou
resist these thin+s- )ou1re a(tua"") em*owerin+ them-
+ivin+ them tremendous in,"uen(e and *ower over
)our (ons(ious eB*erien(e o, "i,e& But when )ou
we"(ome and o*en u* to the ,"ow o, "i,e in $oth its
+ood and $ad as*e(ts- what ha**ensQ I 0now ,rom
m) eB*erien(e that when I1m a((e*tin+ and
we"(omin+ o, (onditioned eB*erien(e- thin+s dro*
awa) ,rom me& The) (ome in and the) +o awa)& 'e1re
a(tua"") o*enin+ the door- "ettin+ in a"" the ,ear- anBiet)-
worr)- resentment- an+er and +rie,& This doesn1t mean
that we have to a**rove o, or "i0e what1s ha**enin+&
Intuitive Awareness
It1s not a$out ma0in+ mora" jud+ments& It1s sim*")
a$out a(0now"ed+in+ the *resen(e o, whatever we1re
eB*erien(in+ in a we"(omin+ wa) ^ not tr)in+ to +et
rid o, it $) resistin+ it- and not ho"din+ on to it or
identi,)in+ with it& 'hen we1re tota"") a((e*tin+ o,
somethin+ as it eBists in the *resent- then we (an $e+in
to re(o+ni_e the (essation o, those (onditions&
It1s not a$out ma0in+ mora" jud+ments& It1s sim*")
a$out a(0now"ed+in+ the *resen(e o, whatever we1re
eB*erien(in+ in a we"(omin+ wa) ^ not tr)in+ to +et
rid o, it $) resistin+ it- and not ho"din+ on to it or
identi,)in+ with it& 'hen we1re tota"") a((e*tin+ o,
somethin+ as it eBists in the *resent- then we (an $e+in
to re(o+ni_e the (essation o, those (onditions&
This has $een a rea"") va"ua$"e thin+ ,or me to 0now&
It1s tau+ht me not to as0 ,or ,avours in "i,e- or to ho*e
that i, I meditate a "ot- I (an avoid un*"easant
eB*erien(es& D4od- I1ve $een a mon0 ,or thirt)!three
)ears& 3"ease reward me ,or $ein+ a +ood $o)&E I1ve
tried that and it doesn1t wor0& To a((e*t "i,e without
ma0in+ an) *"eas is ver) "i$eratin+- $e(ause I no
"on+er ,ee" a need to (ontro" or mani*u"ate (onditions
,or m) own $ene,it& I don1t need to worr) or ,ee"
Intuitive Awareness
anBious a$out m) ,uture& There1s a sense o, trust and
(on,iden(e- a ,ear"essness that (omes throu+h
"earnin+ to trust- to re"aB- to o*en to "i,e- and to
investi+ate eB*erien(e rather than to resist or $e
,ri+htened $) it& I, )ou1re wi""in+ to "earn ,rom the
su,,erin+ in "i,e- )ou1"" ,ind the unsha0a$i"it) o, )our
own mind&
anBious a$out m) ,uture& There1s a sense o, trust and
(on,iden(e- a ,ear"essness that (omes throu+h
"earnin+ to trust- to re"aB- to o*en to "i,e- and to
investi+ate eB*erien(e rather than to resist or $e
,ri+htened $) it& I, )ou1re wi""in+ to "earn ,rom the
su,,erin+ in "i,e- )ou1"" ,ind the unsha0a$i"it) o, )our
own mind&
Intuitive Awareness
4"ossar)
The ,o""owin+ words are most") 3R"i- the "an+ua+e o,
the TheravRda Buddhist S(ri*tures GTi*i]a0aH& The)
are $rie, trans"ations ,or Cui(0 re,eren(e- rather than
eBhaustive or re,ined de,initions&
A
Ajahn# GThaiH Tea(herA ,rom the 3R"i R(ari)a# in the 'est a
$hi00hu or sT"adharR who has (om*"eted ten rains retreats
GLassaH&
AttR# Litera"")- Ise",1- i&e& the e+o- *ersona"it)&
AnattR# Litera"")- Inot!se",1- i&e& im*ersona"- without individua"
essen(eA neither a *erson- nor $e"on+in+ to a *erson& One o, the
three (hara(teristi(s o, (onditioned *henomena&
Ani((a# Transient- im*ermanent- unsta$"e- havin+ the nature to
arise and *ass awa)& One o, the three (hara(teristi(s o,
(onditioned *henomena&
brammaUa# .enta" o$je(tsA in Thai usa+e as"o mood- emotion&
Ari)a# No$"e&
Asu$ha# Non!$eauti,u"& Asu$ha!0ammR]]hRna is a *ra(ti(e that
invo"ves (ontem*"atin+ the various unattra(tive *arts o, the $od)&
Atta0i"amathRnu)o+a# Se",!morti,i(ation- se",!torture&
AvijjR# I+noran(e- not 0nowin+- de"usion&
AvijjR*a((a)R saa0hRrR# I+noran(e as a (ondition ,or menta"
,ormations&
B
BhRvanR# .editation or menta" (u"tivation&
Bhi00hu# A ,u"") ordained Buddhist mon0&
Bodhisattva# Litera"")- Ione who is intent on ,u"" en"i+htenment1&
En"i+htenment is de"a)ed so that a"" the virtues G*RramTH are
deve"o*ed&
D
DevadWta# Litera"")- Iheaven") messen+er1& There are ,our su(h
Intuitive Awareness
messen+ers# o"d a+e- si(0ness- death and a renun(iant&
DesanR# A ta"0 on the tea(hin+s o, the Buddha&
messen+ers# o"d a+e- si(0ness- death and a renun(iant&
DesanR# A ta"0 on the tea(hin+s o, the Buddha&
turesA
not do+mati( in (hara(ter- $ut more "i0e a ra,t or vehi("e
to (onve) the dis(i*"e to de"iveran(e& A"so the truth towards whi(h
that Tea(hin+ *ointsA that whi(h is $e)ond words- (on(e*ts or
inte""e(tua" understandin+&
Dhamma!Lina)a# The tea(hin+s and monasti( dis(i*"ine&
Dhutan+a# S*e(ia" renu(iant o$servan(es&
Du00ha# Litera"")- Ihard to $ear1& Dis!ease- dis(ontent or su,,erin+-
an+uish- (on,"i(t- unsatis,a(toriness& One o, the three
(hara(teristi(s o, (onditioned *henomena&
H
HTna)Rna# Litera"")- I"esser vehi("e1& A term (oined $) .aha)Rna
Buddhists ,or a +rou* o, ear"ier Buddhist s(hoo"s& One o, the
three major Buddhist traditions# see TheravRda&
N
NhRna# .editative a$sor*tionsA dee* states o, ra*ture- jo) and
one!*ointedness&
K
KRmasu0ha""i0Rnu)o+a# Sensua" indu"+en(e&
KRmarR+a(arita# A "ust,u"- +reed) t)*e *erson&
Kamma# A(tion or (ause whi(h is (reated $) ha$itua" im*u"ses-
vo"itions- intentions& In *o*u"ar usa+e- it o,ten in("udes the resu"t
or e,,e(t o, the a(tion- a"thou+h the *ro*er term ,or this is vi*R0a&
Kamma!vi*R0a# The Ie,,e(t1 or resu"t o, 0amma&
Khandha# 4rou*- a++re+ate- hea* ^ the term the Buddha used
to re,er to ea(h o, the ,ive (om*onents o, human *s)(ho!*h)si(a"
eBisten(e& G2orm- ,ee"in+s- *er(e*tions- sense!(ons(iousness-
menta" ,ormations&H
Ki"esa# De,i"ementsA unwho"esome Cua"ities that ("oud the mind&
Ku]i# hutA t)*i(a" a$ode o, a ,orest $hi00hu&
Intuitive Awareness
Lo0avidW# IKnower o, the wor"d&1 An e*ithet o, the Buddha&
Luan+ 3or# GThaiH Litera"") means Irevered ,ather1& Tit"e o, res*e(t
and a,,e(tion ,or an e"der mon0&
Lo0avidW# IKnower o, the wor"d&1 An e*ithet o, the Buddha&
Luan+ 3or# GThaiH Litera"") means Irevered ,ather1& Tit"e o, res*e(t
and a,,e(tion ,or an e"der mon0&
N
Ni$$Rna# Litera"")- IeBtin+uishin+ o, a ,ire1A 2reedom ,rom
atta(hments- Cuen(hin+- (oo"ness& The $asis ,or the en"i+htened
vision o, thin+s as the) are&
3
3aSSR# Dis(riminative wisdom&
3WjR# A devotiona" o,,erin+&
3R"i# The an(ient Indian "an+ua+e o, the TheravRda /anon- a0in
to Sans0rit& The (o""e(tion o, teBts *reserved $) the TheravRda
s(hoo" and- $) eBtension- the "an+ua+e in whi(h those teBts are
(om*osed&
3a]i((asamu**Rda# IDe*endent ori+ination&1 It eB*"ains the wa)
*s)(ho!*h)si(a" *henomena (ome into $ein+&
3a]i*adR# Litera")- Iwa)-*ath1A *uttin+ the tea(hin+s into *ra(ti(e&
3RramT# I3er,e(tion1# the ten *er,e(tions in TheravRda
Buddhism ,or rea"isin+ Buddhahood are +ivin+- mora"it)-
renun(iation- wisdom- ener+)- *atien(e- truth,u"ness-
determination- "ovin+!0indness and eCuanimit)&
3aramattha!sa((a# U"timate truth&
3en *a((attaV# GThaiH Somethin+ that )ou rea"ise ,or )ourse",&
3iUca*Rta# A"ms ,oodA or the a"ms round on whi(h the ,ood is
re(eived&
Intuitive Awareness
R
R
i&e& earth- water- ,ire and air Gso"idit)- (ohesion- tem*erature and
motion or vi$rationH&
S
SaSSa# 3er(e*tion
Saa0hRrR# .enta" ,ormations&
Sa00R)a!di]]hi# 3ersona"it) view&
SR"R# A ha""# usua"") where the monasti(s eat their ,ood and
other (eremonies are he"d&
ST"a# .ora" virtue- a"so used to re,er to the *re(e*ts o, mora"
(ondu(t&
ST"adharR# I One who u*ho"ds virtue1- a term used ,or Buddhists
nuns ordained $) Ajahn Sumedho&
SamRdhi# .editative (on(entration
SamaUa# Renun(iant Gtermed ,or ordained mon0s or nunsH&
SamsRra!va]]a# The (ir("e o, $irth and death&
San+ha# The (ommunit) o, those who *ra(ti(e the Buddha1s
wa)& .ore s*e(i,i(a"")- those who have ,orma"") (ommitted
themse"ves to the "i,est)"e o, a mendi(ant mon0 or nun&
Sati!*aSSR# Litera"")- Imind,u"ness and dis(riminative wisdom1&
Sati!sam*ajaSSa# Litera"")- Imind,u"ness and ("ear
understandin+1& A"so intuitive awareness- a**er(e*tion&
So0a!*arideva!du00ha!domanassu*R)RsR# Litera"")- Isorrow-
"amentation- *ain- +rie, and des*air1&
Sutta# Dis(ourse o, the Buddha&
T
TheravRda# Litera"")- IThe Tea(hin+ o, the E"ders1- is the name
o, the o"dest ,orm o, the Buddha1s tea(hin+s with teBts in the
3R"i "an+ua+e& The ISouthern s(hoo"1 o, Sri Lan0a and South!
East Asia&
Intuitive Awareness
U
U
d
and rea"ise the tea(hin+s o, the Buddha&
Lajra)Rna# A Buddhist s(hoo" that ma0es eBtensive use o,
s)m$o"s and mantras to (onve) tea(hin+s& Asso(iated with Ti$et
*rimari")&
LedanR# 2ee"in+s or sensations- o, *"easure- *ain or neutra"it)&
LiSSRUa# Sense!(ons(iousness- (o+ni_an(e&
Lina)a# The monasti( dis(i*"ine- or the s(ri*tura" (o""e(tion o,
its ru"es and (ommentaries on them&
Li*assanR# Insi+ht meditation- I"oo0in+ into thin+s1
Live0a# Litera"")- Ideta(hment1 or Iso"itude1&
'
'at# GThaiH .onaster) or tem*"e&

Rna# Litera"")- 1vehi("e1&
Intuitive Awareness
Intuitive Awareness 58:
Bio+ra*h)
Ajahn Sumedho was $orn in Seatt"e- 'ashin+ton- in 5?6>& A,ter
servin+ ,our )ears in the US Nav) as a medi(- he (om*"eted a
BA in 2ar Eastern Studies and a .A in South Asian Studies&
In 5?@@- he went to Thai"and to *ra(ti(e meditation at 'at
.ahathat in Ban+0o0& Not "on+ a,terwards he went ,orth as a
novi(e mon0 in a remote *art o, the (ountr)- Non+ Khai- and
)ear o, so"itar) *ra(ti(e ,o""owedA he re(eived ,u"" ordination in
5?@9&
A"thou+h ,ruit,u"- the so"itar) *ra(ti(e showed him the need ,or a
tea(her who (ou"d more a(tive") +uide him& A ,ortuitous
en(ounter with a visitin+ mon0 "ed him to U$on *rovin(e- to
*ra(ti(e with Lenera$"e Ajahn /hah& He too0 de*enden(e ,rom
Lenera$"e Ajahn /hah and remained under his ("ose +uidan(e
,or ten )ears& In 5?9<- Ajahn Sumedho- esta$"ished 'at 3ah
Nana(hat- Internationa" 2orest .onaster) where 'esterners
(ou"d $e trained in En+"ish&
In 5?99- he a((om*anied Ajahn /hah to En+"and and too0 u*
residen(e at the Ham*stead Lihara with three other mon0s&
Ajahn Sumedho has ordained more than a hundred as*irants o,
man) nationa"ities and has esta$"ished three monasteries in
En+"and- as we"" as $ran(h monasteries oversees& He is (urrent")
resident as senior in(um$ent at AmarRvatT Buddhist .onaster)
in Hert,ordshire&
Intuitive Awareness
&&&I.editation1 (an mean a"" 0inds o, thin+s& It1s a
word that in("udes an) 0ind o, menta" *ra(ti(es-
+ood or $ad& But when I use this word- what I1m
main") usin+ it ,or is that sense o, (entrin+- that
sense o, esta$"ishin+- restin+ in the (entre& The
on") wa) that one (an rea"") do that is not to tr)
and thin0 a$out it and ana")se itA )ou have to trust
in just a sim*"e a(t o, attention- o, awareness& It1s
so sim*"e and so dire(t that our (om*"i(ated minds
+et ver) (on,used& D'hat1s he ta"0in+ a$outQ I1ve
never seen an) sti"" *oint& I1ve never ,ound a sti""
*oint in me& 'hen I sit and meditate- there1s
nothin+ sti"" a$out it&E But there1s an awareness o,
that& Even i, )ou thin0 )ou1ve never had a sti"" *oint
or )ou1re a (on,used- messed!u* (hara(ter that
rea"") (an1t meditate- trust in the awareness o, that
ver) *er(e*tion&&&
&&&I.editation1 (an mean a"" 0inds o, thin+s& It1s a
word that in("udes an) 0ind o, menta" *ra(ti(es-
+ood or $ad& But when I use this word- what I1m
main") usin+ it ,or is that sense o, (entrin+- that
sense o, esta$"ishin+- restin+ in the (entre& The
on") wa) that one (an rea"") do that is not to tr)
and thin0 a$out it and ana")se itA )ou have to trust
in just a sim*"e a(t o, attention- o, awareness& It1s
so sim*"e and so dire(t that our (om*"i(ated minds
+et ver) (on,used& D'hat1s he ta"0in+ a$outQ I1ve
never seen an) sti"" *oint& I1ve never ,ound a sti""
*oint in me& 'hen I sit and meditate- there1s
nothin+ sti"" a$out it&E But there1s an awareness o,
that& Even i, )ou thin0 )ou1ve never had a sti"" *oint
or )ou1re a (on,used- messed!u* (hara(ter that
rea"") (an1t meditate- trust in the awareness o, that
ver) *er(e*tion&&&
Heme" Hem*stead- H35 6B7- En+"and
www&amaravati&or+
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