transcripts of Phra Dhammadharo, 1975


Dhammadharo: We would give help when help is needed but often we don’t. Isn’t that right? Or do we always give help when help is needed. We know from out own lives, that we don’t always help when help is needed, we know it as a fact from our own experience.


We can talk about what we have done and what we haven’t done and we know haven’t always given help when help is needed. We may have often thought that we would like to, but there are some times it just seems to be something that holds us back or it depends.

Questioner: (Too much noise, unable to hear it)

Dhammadharo: He praised loving kindness, he said that it is one of the highest vows of men. To live to through by the loving kindness. To all beings, to those that hate you, to those that are your enemies, to those to whom you are indifferent, without exception to not only human beings, but to animals, to 2 legged animals, to 4 legged animals, to the uncountable number of legs, to beings in our present existence, higher beings, lower beings. And his explain how the fruit of loving kindness is a pleasant result, he explains what cause brings what result, he talked about his own development of loving kindness, he told his followers, how um, even if they were being threatened, be sawn in half, by one of those saws ….. That if they on that account had hate in their heart, they would not be practicing his teaching. He never said you must, when you mustn’t. He just said what was true. Countless examples of… when he would have been talking about loving kindness, throughout his lifetime, to different people, in different situations.

Questioner: You can give on any specific accounts and instructions about things to do, like not just say but things to do …….

Dhammadharo: Yes, he said that, anybody remember the quote he said about “He who helps the sick, helps me”, is that right? Is something like that?


Dhammadharo: My knowledge of the sutta is, is not good enough, to give you accurate quotes, but he spent his whole life teaching people how to be kind, how to be compassionate and how to understand, how to develop old forms of jostling for 45 years. He thought the people the benefits of loving kindness, to how a person who develops loving kindness sleeps well, wakes up feeling refreshed, is beloved by human beings, loved by non human beings. He also pointed out to people that loving kindness isn’t just a word. He didn’t just chant, that loving kindness just …. therefore you have loving kindness. It’s a reality which we can only get to know by practicing it in our daily life. Some people want to develop loving kindness by sitting down and closing your eyes and thinking about it, but they may never know if they have never been kind in daily life, how can you develop a quality of loving kindness, if you have never been kind or if you have very rarely been kind. It has to be reality for us, is our actions and in our speech, from day to day as we live, if ever we hope to make anything begin, it has to start off naturally in daily life. And he did not in any way try to force people to be kind, because that would not have been kind to make it possible. He can’t push people into compassionate or force them to be kind, you can only develop your own loving kindness and perhaps help others to understand its value and its importance, and then only to the degree you understand, otherwise you won’t even know how to go about telling the other person, how to talk to them, when to talk to them and what to say.


Dhammadharo: Depending on how much we ourselves understand what kindness is, if it is only a word to us, then we can talk to children about it but it won’t sound very convincing. It is true we can help children, we can help anybody to be generous to be kindness, if we have kindness ourselves, it takes kindness to teach people how to be kind. Because we are doing people a favor when we teach them how to be kind, its in their best interests to be kind. Everybody loses when you don’t have meta, because of when you don’t have meta, you have the opposite of meta and whats the opposite of meta? Savagery, violence, and his curses form.


Dhammadharo: Whenever we don’t have loving kindness, we have this…. Exaggerating because we might have… we mightn’t have this. Um. We got to be kind, instead of wishing that everybody was kind or thinking everybody else should be kind, or wondering why they are not kind.

Questioner: …..

Dhammadharo: He chose those who had conditions to come and listen and remember, listen and understand and remember and practice. He would not talk to people who did not come to learn, he kept quiet. Because some people came to argue, some people came to complain, some people came to tell tales, some people came to show off. He didn’t open his mouth, even when he opened his mouth, he talked in different ways when people asked him questions, sometimes he answered directly, sometimes he explained, sometimes he asked questions. Sometimes he just talked about cellar, sometimes he talked in great detail about the six doorways. We read many times, that people came to him and he talked to them and they didn’t understand and they didn’t like what they heard. The only way we would ever be able to prove to Buddhist teachings is by beginning to practice them and see what happens. No other way, we cannot look at the people and tell if they had heard and understood and had tried to practice or not. While we may not always have objects to give or people to give objects to, while there may not always be opportunities to obtain or refrain, restrain oneself. There is never a moment that goes by when awareness cannot arrive. How to know the right place, the right time, how to know what words to use, how to put it, cause we expect so much, we are so demanding. We, we want everybody else to benefit as much as we have so far, at least ….. to understand as much as we feel we have so far at least. We often don’t take into account they are the basis accumulations. We might not be in the slightest interest, we have to take into account our own limitations, we are all far too pushy. Forceful. Insistent. Sometimes ….talking about people who are dimmer, we completely forget, what our original purpose was, and and instead of teaching we sort of put people down, trying to beat them, in an argument, or when somebody doesn’t understand or when somebody has a strong view of his own that isn’t right, it can be a condition for us to get, quite hot and impatient to tell him he is wrong. You don’t understand, it’s not like that. When somebody doesn’t understand that’s not a time for us to get impatient ….. It is time for us to re alliance let at that moment, that person because of accumulated …, does not, really does not understand. At that moment he may also have, some aversion because of his accumulations of fear and anger and dislike a version of the lifetime. He may have an attachment. It’s perfectly natural that people have an attachment. And they don’t understand and they have an aversion and that they have their own views. It’s not only those people, its us people. It’s true.


So its loving kindness that helps one to present … in a gentle way, without being pushy. And it’s hard. So love and kindness ranges, from helping people who are in trouble, see, helping some to cross the street is a standard example we have heard too many times to teach … in a gentle helpful, kind, patient way. Now we expect too much. We don’t have kindness when we expect results when we expect too much of someone, they should understand, why? Because you say so? Because we teach so well? Because it’s the truth? People should be kind, why? Because we think so? Because it would be nice? It depends on the conditions. You shouldn’t stay there, You should be kind, you mustn’t do this, etcetra etcetra that isn’t kindness.


So that’s us, uhm. Uhm…. Its just different times of Nama and Rupa we can be aware of them, and that’s the way. Because each moment of awareness is there or is there not kindness, and a moment of awareness of reality of Nama and Rupa, and a moment of awareness of a characterstic is the kindness…. Without loving kindness. Loving kindness is a …. A .. is one of the trees of … a .. and a lota arrives with all…. Sometimes we have a moment of …. So this kindness when we give …. But its kind to give, thoughtful, considerate. You think of somebody else’s needs instead of your own, to realize what they need, to find a suitable gift, to go to the trouble to get it, prepare it, give it. Its kind. And its kindness when … kind to ourselves kind to everybody else, because every moment of … is a moment of understanding, every moment of understanding … life of understanding, while making ourselves to nice to people around. Less conditions for us to … Less conditions for us to be opinionated. To be pushy, to be cruel, to be thoughtless. We get to the very root of things

Dhammadharo: So that’s us, uhm. Uhm…. Its just different times of Nama and Rupa we can be aware of them, and that’s the way. Because each moment of awareness is there or is there not kindness, and a moment of awareness of the reality of Nama and Rupa, and a moment of awareness of a characteristic is the kindest…. Without loving kindness. Loving kindness is a …. A .. is one of the trees of … a .. And a lota arrives with all…. Sometimes we have a moment of …. So this kindness when we give …. But its kind to give, thoughtful, considerate. You think of somebody else’s needs instead of your own, to realize what they need, to find a suitable gift, to go to the trouble to get it, prepare it, give it. Its kind. And its kindness when … kind to ourselves kind to everybody else, because every moment of … is a moment of understanding, every moment of understanding … life of understanding, while making ourselves to nice to people around. Less conditions for us to commit … Less conditions for us to be opinionated. To be pushy, to be cruel, to be thoughtless. We get to the very root of things ….. The very root of things

Not just taking temporary measures. Not just suppressing or avoiding, but getting to the very root of things. Eradicating the ignorance, that makes us perform the way we do. Think speak and act the way we do. So that we would go on living, eating, sleeping, drinking, talking but with less and less agosla. We may not notice it very much at first, but slowly our lives begin to change, our priorities change, what matters most in life is different from what it used to be, we find more time for listening to …. For studying for thinking about it. We find that when we see nice things, we don’t always immediately think of ourselves or ourselves only, we occasionally find that we are thinking in terms of how other people might benefit from the things we see, that are nice things, that we hear are nice, that we taste are nice. Little by little. Little by little. So when there is … there is kindness, we are doing the whole world a favor, we are removing a little bit of ignorance from the world, just for one moment, but it has a tremendous effect in the long run, it accumulates, until finally we completely eradicate all wrong view and dark and wrong practice. And then we can never cure any single being again. Ever.

So if it is our life or a life of a cockroach, we give in, we give up. Possible but we don’t kill, we don’t worry about ourselves so much anymore. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have longings, I just read out, longings for parents, longings for parents, but that longing would never bring about killing. So no killing, no stealing, no lying, etcetra, do you remember once when I talked about how we can look at, the five precepts as different types of gifts, different types of giving. That it’s a good time to go over it again, because, when we don’t kill, we give the gift of life. When we restrain ourselves, we are allowing the being however big or small that we were about to kill, to go on living. Its kindness. As it is now we don’t always do that, we sometimes don’t let these beings go on living. And at the end it’s a being, it breathes. There is ….. And it doesn’t want to experience pain or to die. So when we don’t kill we give the gift of life. People don’t have to protect themselves.

People don’t have to be afraid, to go anywhere. Afraid to be out in the dark, afraid to be in a strange place, a strange country. Afraid of strange looking people, strange expressions on their faces, strange looks, you don’t have to be frightened for your life. It’s bad enough, trying to get enough food to eat, let alone to have to worry about whether somebody is going to harm you in some way, or kill you. I mean when we keep the second precept, when we restrain, refrain from taking things which don’t belong to us.
It is a kind of giving, people don’t have to worry about protecting their goods, about locking doors, mines, safes, cupboards, putting fences up, having guards, putting things in banks, filling in forms, etcetra etcetra. Remembering combinational locks.

When we keep the third precepts, they don’t have to worry about their wives and husbands, the people they live with, their daughters.

When we keep the fourth precept people don’t have to worry about making promises, when we don’t lie.

And the fifth one, if we keep the fifth one, it is impossible to just about, less likely break the other four. So how kind it is, to keep those precepts…. Only someone who has developed awareness. Moment by moment. So that’s really the ultimate kindness. To develop …. You couldn’t be kinder, cause if you don’t develop … you can’t develop kindness completely. So what could be kinder in developing …. Know the truth about oneself, know things as they really are.


Dhammadharo … 6th of October 2518

Dhammadharo: More ignorance, more wrong understanding, more attachment, and this will mean more unhappiness. So no matter how difficult we find it, what choice do we have? We either go forward, or we go with the rest of the world backwards and down. Even if we go forward only a little bit. It’s much better than going backwards. If we understand how important it is, to go forward. If we see the value of progress and the dangers, of falling backwards then perhaps there would be more conditions for us to study, to listen, to develop … and to see progress taking place.

From the beginning it must be understanding, right understanding. But the only moment that we can progress, the one and the only moment ever in our whole life, is this moment. Because the moment just, a moment ago, has fallen away completely. Completely. And the next moment up to this moment hasn’t arisen yet. The only reality is this moment.

When we talk about Nama, there is Rupa too. But the only Rupa we can only know at this moment, is the Rupa of the object of citta. If it is the object of citta. So we cannot know the sound while we are seeing. Sound there maybe sounds while we are seeing, but we won’t hear them. And if we don’t hear them, we can’t know them. We can’t be attached to them nor can we understand them. Because they don’t appear. So this is the only moment we ever have, to progress, to learn, to begin to understand. If our understanding is very very very weak, then the little bit of understanding we may gain now, will not be enough for us to see, now, the truth,

But without accumulating one little bit now, the moment will never ever come when wisdom is strong enough, to know the truth, because there can be no shortcuts. It is the same for every person in the world. We are all equal … in this way. You musn’t get the wrong idea, we have degrees of ignorance and different degrees of wisdom but the way to develop more understanding, is exactly the same for every living being ever born. To be aware of the reality that appears now in your life, whatever that reality may be. And nobody can accumulate wisdom faster than anybody else, because you can only do it one moment at a time. This moment…


Dhammadharo: Let there be awareness of that thinking, as thinking.. There can be. And you don’t know when it may happen. Let it be. Let there be awareness of that moment, as thinking. Beginning to understand, that, that thinking is thinking. It’s not you. It’s not a person. Its not awareness, at that moment. Its Satitpattana. Its thinking. Satitpattana is a different moment. It is a moment of knowing the characteristic of thinking. But at the moment of thinking you don’t know any characteristics because you are thinking about an idea.

Dhammadharo: The practice of Satitpattana is the most subtle thing. Remember that the Buddhist said that on many moment, this dharma is deep deep difficult. Beyond just thinking. You cannot work it out. Just by thinking about it. It is impossible.


Dhammadharo: Excuse me, I think you mean, citta has difficulty studying. If we know it’s citta that has difficulty in studying. There would be less difficulty, less concern, discouragement. Because there would be more awareness, we would know that it is because of conditions, that there is this difficulty. And then immediately there would be less difficulty. When you have difficulty with your studies, at the moment of seeing as well. And at that moment of seeing, that’s not the moment of having difficulty because seeing .. having difficulty is … probably dosa, frustrated, unhappy, discouraged, disappointed or expecting too much, it might be rupa. This rupa and dosa mixed up in frustration. You can’t have the dosa without the rupa, because you want something.
You want to study or you want to know, or you want to understand, or you want to have sati, or you want banya or you don’t want to feel the way you feel or in between all the moments of rupa or dosa you cant tell me that there isn’t any seeing or hearing or perhaps the experience of heat or hardness, and these are different moments. There are not the same reality. If there can be more awareness of different realities, instead of clinging to the discouragement. Thinking on and on and on about how can that be. Um. What if, your own story. To forget the .. see him, betray him. And when we see there are two realities which we can be aware, it’s the reality of the visible object which is seen …. Or both real. They are not ideas. They are not thoughts, concepts ….. when you think you are, when you think about your difficulty in studying, you are carried away by the story. Which isn’t a reality, it’s a …. It’s a story, about someone called …. Problem about something or the other. At the moment of thinking about that, the thinking is a reality, but how can there be awareness of reality when there is so much attachment to the story? You want to be aware of the thinking as only just thinking or do you want to go on thinking about the story? You can’t have it both ways. Because if you’re aware of thinking, the story will be cut short. Right there. Generally the story is important to us, we think about it with strong rupa, with some kind of strong … The aim of course is not to be the brilliant scholar or excellent student, but to be aware.

And when you are having difficulty in studying, is that a moment of being aware, or is that a moment when we should not be aware? All moments are moments of awareness. Every moment. This moment. Because if we think some moments are better for awareness, or more important for awareness, we have wrong understading already. And then awareness cannot arise.

We avoid certain areas of our lives. Because we are trying to control. So we think at that moment of studying that the most important is that we study. We don’t see the value of Satitpattana because we want to study. We don’t rememeber to be aware. We may have to form some deed if we think, that wasn’t something very nice. Something we said, something we did. Instead of letting satti arise and be aware of the Namas and Rupas of those moments, we won’t have to think about what we have done. Cause we have such strong clinging to the idea of this .. do nice things, good things. The only moment that matters is the moment of satitpatthana, that begins to see different realities, these different characteristics, as characteristics, conditions, not so. Otherwise we will cling to our constructive thinking like crazy. We will live for, constructive thinking. Nobody would deny … chitra is very valuable and without a firm foundation of … how difficult for any kind of satti to arise and in all characterstics, how very difficult. And if one has enough right understanding to begin to develop satti, how can that development proceed without … to support it. But what is … without satti? Or these … without sati.
Without right understanding, its just so so so, it may bring rebirth and happy praying, but it will never bring understanding of realities, it will never ever bring lokutara citta. Its not … or … that matters. Its whether you have sati, because a moment of sati is a moment of … its so much more valueable than any … So that a person who has lots of … but no sati, what the use ultimately? Whereas a person who has … and knows it with satitpattana, wonderful, he is beginning to know the truth.

Dhammadharo: To have … and not know its … To have … and know its … To … and not know it is a … and to have a … and to know it is a … these four are compared. And a Buddhist said it is to have … and know that it is … and to have a … and know it is a … that is superior to just having … to having a … and not knowing it. If you have a … and you know it is … that means you know it is citta. A kind of dharma, which is not so, it doesn’t mean to have a …. And know that you have a …. Not a person, no so, a …. Usually we have … and we don’t know we have it. I am giving, I am good, I am happy, I, I, I, ignorance. And when we have … it’s the same, like I have difficutly in studying, forget, its … and if we have difficulty without study and we know it is a …. (all the dots in this paragraph indicate a word sounding like “agoosala”)

That it is citta, that it is not so, that it is a type of reality, arising because of conditions, this is Satitpattana, this is the way. Who can stop, realities from arising. Even a person with … cannot stop … when there is not .. after emerging from … he can have different types of … immediately for example attachment to … nobody can stop it. But it is possible through having right understanding, to be aware it when it arises and know it as it is. And you are beginning to know it, as it is, one word gradually, eliminate all that wrong understanding. And the doubts. So that one will have …. Reach the stage of … and then from then on, they can return.

Little by little, no matter how long it takes, the path will be followed, and faults will little my little eradicated. And if one doesn’t eradicate wrong understandings, we can’t have them. We cannot always try to get rid of attachments before realizing, there is a condition, a reality, you cannot get rid by trying, by forcing, by pushing, it will never happen. Or we are so impatient. We think the strong attachment is ugly and therefore we want to get rid of it. As fast as we can. Or we are upset of the unpleasant feeling that we have when are angry or disappointed, and all we can think of is getting rid of the unpleasant feeling. No calmness, no detachment, more and more clearly as they are, just impatience. And sometimes it can really overwhelm us, don’t want to study anymore, go home. Shut it, you won’t find any other method, any other way, sit in the corner with eyes closed, anything but be aware of the reality, anything but begin to understand.

Questioner: …..

Dhammadharo: And if it does there is just citta and there are conditions for it. And if are aware then we can carry on. We aren’t attached to other things because of our accumulations, of attachment, of many many lives, we cannot count how many lives. And because of these, these accumulations of attachments, instead of satti arising, attachments arises. And so strong accumulations for attachments which we all have, means less accumulations of sati, so your answer, both your answers are right. We understand or we think we understand the value of satti, but still, we do not seem to have not very much sati. Is it because of not enough accumulations of sati, is it because of too strong accumulations of attachments, they both, they go together they are the same. You see when we say, we understand the value, we think we do. But obviously we don’t, yet, really.

And later on if we practice in the right way. When sati and panna are more developed, then we will see that previously we didn’t really understand. But how can we know at this moment, how much we don’t understand? We can’t, we can know, how much understanding there must be developed, we can only know, that which appears now, so we can know how much understanding we have developed so far, but we cannot know, we do not that understand that understanding. So we think oh yes I know. So I know what is … I know the value of Sati.

Questioner: ….

Because we really don’t know it as well as it has to be known, it has to be, the value of sati has to be known, more clearly than we know. And it can be known, but never in a hurry. And that moments of patience. They are moments of accumulating of satti. That are moments of desire for awareness, the moments of trying to be aware of a particular object, to stare, to try and force, to try and be aware, hear, hear, hear. It’s all wrong. It’s not natural. We do it all the time, because we have these desires, we have wrong understanding. How can we say we don’t have wrong understanding, we have to be so … to say I have no wrong understanding. We know ourselves what we are. So when there is wrong understanding, should we not be aware of it? It’s real. Isn’t it careless to be unaware, because when we postpone it, that means unawareness, doesn’t it? Postponing, postponing, postponing, not wanting to be aware. Isn’t it careless? Isn’t it careless to have …? Careless to be unaware? When our aim in life is to develop awareness and understanding. Every time we don’t have awareness, we are being careless, to get it. We can look at this word in another aspect, in the aspect of being over confident. Complacent, which also means careless. Carelessness happens through complacence. We think everything is alright, I know. Now I understand, now I can be aware, I, I, I. Overconfident and complacent and this is carelessness at the same moment. Which is citta now. Not a person.

It doesn’t matter what we think, we can think anything we like, but its citta that is thinking. And every moment a different citta, arises because of different conditions forming away. We can’t make any of these realities come back. We can’t hold back your dues …. And see what caused it. It’s gone completely. You worry about what you said, what you did. The citta that arose in conditions of your speech at that moment, in such a long long time ago, can never ever be recalled or examined. You can only think about it. And when you think about it, you probably think about it with remorse, with dosa and … worry. And when we look forward to the results we expect in the future, results for… if we have a moment of panna now, that would be looking for, dying for, as soon as it arises, it falls aways. What are you going to do to keep it. We cant keep it. So what’s the point of looking forward to it. For hoping and wishing. Cause even if it comes, if it ever comes, its not yours, its gone. We should stop and think what we wants to develop satti and panna for. When we think about having a lot of sati, wanting to be aware, for a long time or often, what for? If we understand what sati is for, wont be so greedy, so desperate to have sati. And then there will be more conditions for sati. Because it is our desire to be aware and to get somewhere, makes it so difficult for satti to arise, because that’s rupa, I want sati. What for? For yourself?

What would you do when you get it? It’s not you who can keep it. It’s just reality that arises and fall away. They have to be developed if you ever want to understand the truth, but the moment of understanding is just a moment, like all other moments, conditions, reality, arises and falls away. We can’t show it to anyone else. We can’t say I am sort of panna, look at me, it won’t work, and even if it were true, how could people know it for sure? Because you would still have rupa and dosa, anyway, rupa and panna wouldn’t want to behave like that.


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