Bangkok (at the Foundation): 1 June
A.Sujin, Sarah Jon, Sukinder and Betty.
Woman 1: And he had a little discussion with us when we met in Sydney, and then she met us and our friends and had a little more discussion, but she is not very familiar with the pali terms. And she just can’t form … in Thailand where she, I think you have visited a Buddhist temple there.
Someone: Yeah, yeah.
Woman 1: … came from Chennai, where she spent two weeks, at a temple there.
Someone: *Laughs* yeah, a temple, where you pray.
A.Sujin: Is retreat better than not retreat?
Woman 2: The retreatments are very, um, rewarding. And challenging. And I find it very difficult to leave to retreat. I could have stayed there for, uh, much, much longer. And I therefore, found it very hard to get back to daily life and, you know.
A.Sujin: So whats the different between retreat and no retreat?
Woman 2: it was silence. It was a silent retreat.
A.Sujin: And do you have any idea what silent is?
Woman 2: uh, not silent in my head but, silent. External silence.
A.Sujin: Is there no attachment to silence?
Woman 2: I think I got very attached to silence.
A.Sujin: So, you want more attachment, because you don’t want to leave retreat right?
Woman 2: Yes.
A.Sujin: and that is why people like to have so much attachment. And be afraid to lose, that pleasant feeling of that thing attached to you. Is attachment right understanding?
Woman 2: attachment is right understanding?
A.Sujin: Is it? Is attachment right understanding?
Woman 2: aa, I am not sure.
A.Sujin: And can attachment understand anything?
Woman 2: umm, no.
A.Sujin: not at all?
Woman 2: no. Its not good to have an attachment. But, you cannot help having attachments.
A.Sujin: Having more attachment or less?
Woman 2: He taught that, you cannot help having attachments.
Woman 2: Therefore, you mustn’t
A.Sujin: to go and control, when retreat is controlled?
Woman 2: Right.
A.Sujin: in a proper place, or um, somewhere, you think its nice?
Woman 2: Yeah
Man 1: but you know, some people can go to places, just to enjoy.
A.Sujin: Enjoy? What is enjoyment?
Man 1: …..
A.Sujin: Yeah, and its adhere. It’s the only thing which is attached.
Man 1: so its okay, its just attachment.
A.Sujin: Attachment is attachment, you cannot understand reality or anything as it is.
Man 1: so someone can go to retreat, to not understand but to get
A.Sujin: to get more attached. From the moment one get closer, and stay there for how long, there is more and more attachment. Otherwise, it is not attachment. It is understanding. With that conditions for understanding. Science is not a condition for understanding at all. Otherwise, Buddha wouldn’t teach anything.
Man 1: ……
Woman 3: when I think of one of these kinds of retreats, days ago, when they just have silence. And the problem with this is, you cannot discuss what they are teaching with anyone. Like its very difficult to even ask questions to the teacher. And I found the whole experience to be, I, I didn’t have attachment to it at all and I had the very opposite. I found it to be, almost a waste of time. For myself, for people who find it good, but for myself I found it to be a waste of time. Simply because, it wasn’t teaching me anything and what it did teach was wrong. It taught of form of, um, what the teacher called it, meditation.
Man 1: ….
Woman 3: it cannot… um, what Sujin was saying, anyone who went to retreat, its mostly attachment you didn’t want to leave because there are more attachments. So she doesn’t necessarily think that, she knows there is something that is not pleasant for her, i0’ts not something necessarily different from, for example, when are in Sydney together, we go swimming because we enjoy, or go out for a nice meal , because we enjoy it. And it’s the danger just when one thinks it is. Also, for developing understanding.
A.Sujin: what is here at this moment, or at that moment or those moments? And can that, um, it be understood? Or it can be known as it is? This is the point between knowing, understanding and not understanding what's better. Realities are realities, when you talk about swimming or going to somewhere, they are moments, conditioned to be such and such, uncontrollable. But right understanding can see it as not self. Just very temporarily, realities, conditioned, are rising and falling away in pieces, where are they now? Every moment is like that, this is the way to let go, not get attached to. And this is a teaching of Buddha. Because he taught everyone to to not be attached to anything. To what? That was just gone. Completely, right now, see? So it has to be right understanding, so you can understand the reality, which arises now and falls away now. Otherwise there is no way to say or think that it is uncontrollable, in understanding, it's not you. It rises and falls away. Understanding is not a … at all. It helps. To know what’s through and what’s not through. For example, what is seen now, see, why there is attachment? Or is there no attachment? Of that which is seen or is it there, instantly? Uncontrollable, taking something for permanent. But realities or conditioned realities, are not permanent at all.
A.Sujin: Why do we study, any subject? Because we like to know or understand it. Right. And this is a great subject. So it begins at this moment. There can be interaction to see the reality of this moment, more and more. To have attachment for, taking something permanent, when nothing is permanent. Is it funny to claim to something, which is not coming back, not at all. Just cling and cling and cling, like in a dream. And can you think of the reality, as it is, by yourself? Anywhere, when you in a silent place, secluded place, alone there, by yourself, can you? Having such an understanding by yourself? Or you need the teachings, from the person who has enlightened, truth, of everything. See, there is something it seems, when there is seeing, but what is there which is seen? What reality is there, which can be seen? Can hardness be seen? Can sound be seen? Can smell be seen? What is now which appears, that there is a reality which is seen right now? What is it which is seen? *Laughs* no understanding but there is clinging, instantly to which is seen? Without the teachings of the Buddha, no one can think about it, as it is.
A.Sujin: And what is touch, see. There is clinging to that which is touched, but there is no understanding of touching, that which can be touched. And it’s gone. Everything arises and falls away, instantly, all the time. So the teachings of Buddha is all about what appears now, when there is no understanding, it’s like a blind person, who cannot understand, that which appears. Is there anyone, on the screen of the television? *laughs*
Woman 2: See, I find, when you explain it, when you break it down like that, I, I understand that, when its working down, in that moment. And then I try and think about it in my own daily life, in that moment, I find, I find it very difficult to, to
A.Sujin: Let go?
Woman 2: Let go and remember these right understanding, in my life, to understand it, these moments.
Man 1: …..
A.Sujin: and that’s, that’s normal.
Woman 3: When you first hear of Dharma, you see it in different terminologies, its like all a bunch of different ideas thrown at you, its only after a while, when you study them for a while, contemplate them, its then the understanding arises, and everything falls into place. Its nothing to worry about, don’t worry about it.
A.Sujin: its when you hear a sound, touch an object, the hardness, that you understand, the moment, the reality, experienced through different senses. But instantly we are lost into our dreams, and the stories and the fantasies, and that’s why we have to hear a lot, hear a lot of reminders, to get back to the normal, reality. So one needs to have a lot of discussions, to realize what is real now, because if we don’t hear the actual sound, when a visible object is seen, then when we are in a temple or in an acquired place, somehow the realities are actually better, whether here or there, not a visible seeing, just hear, hear. The sound only. The truth about this moment, while swimming or here or there, to get back to the real moment.
Woman 4: You understand when you come back to the routine of meditation, that you try to, embrace the ….. the attachments, to the thing called, um, meditation, practicing. But many, not realize that, just to be attached to, umm, while listening, some people think it’s a part of meditation.