September 2, 2018 at 3:04 am #18096TienParticipant
Hi everyone, In this post. I’m going to share my personal experience of the arising of Anatta Sanna in me, and how Kama Raga disappear afterward, all triggered by Metta.
It’s been 2 days since I ask for a way to destroy Kama Raga (I post to Sotapanna forum) and received a reply from Lal. Since that, I’ve been practicing Lal advice and searching for a solution non-stop.
But this morning, after I woke up, I was sitting for awhile doing nothing. Then I saw an ant at the floor, as per usual,
I think “this ant once a being on Brahma realms, once a Human, once my parents, once my friend”.
Then, I think “wish him can have a chance of understanding Buddha Dhamma, attain Sotapanna in the future”.
Then I think “in the past I was an ant like this, and there maybe a person wish me to become an Sotapanna, like I wish for the ant in this moment, with whole of my heart”. Then I feel deeply grateful to that person although I don’t know who is he.
But soon after that, I feel helpless for the ant, then I cry, it’s automatic, I can’t stop crying. I feel deeply empathy and love (Metta) for the ant. I realize if I don’t get out of the Samsara I will become helpless just like the ant.
Then, I automatically lose all desire to senses pleasures (Kama Raga) base on the above understanding, there is only one goal remain in my mind: attain Nibbana.
I’m not quite believe I’ve permanently got rid of Kama Raga at first, so I conduct an experiment: I recall couple of born scenes that I was watched a week ago, games that I was enjoy to play, musics and foods. Surprisingly, my mind does not have any reaction to those things, seeing things at it is, Panna arises, I realize the Anatta & Asubha nature of things – unsubstance & harmful (leading to future sufferings), I lost my Kama Raga.
Then I feel totally peaceful, the feeling that I’ve ever been experienced before, like a long-time-burden that has been taken off, my Kama Raga has been taken off, the feeling is like there is no greed, hate or ignorance in my mind. I feel extremely lightweight and peaceful, surpass and transcend any pleasure that I have had before. With this peacefulness, my past senses pleasures become useless, without essence.
Then, I think about Lal, without him teaching the Pure Dhamma is without me of this moment. I feel deeply grateful for the Pure Dhamma that Lal teaches. I wish, with whole of my heart, Lal will soon attain Nibbana, in this life. (I don’t know if it is possible to a lay person to attain Nibbana, or you must have to be a Bikkhu first – in that case, wish you to become a fully Anagami).
Then, I think of my parents, I owe them so much, this life that I have, the conditions for me to practice the Path, they grew me up, take care of me. I’ve tried to introduce them to Buddha Dhamma but it not work, in their perception I just their little child (I’m 22 years old now) and they’re deeply ingrain with Mahāyāna practices (chanting Amitabha Buddha, …). I feel helpless but there is nothing I can do. I will try to study hard (I’m currently 4th year student), take a decent job and take care of them for the rest of my life. I chose to stay with them (I live in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, it’s impossible to become a Bikkhu here).
Then, I looked at my phone, it’s 11:30 AM now. I walked to the window, look up in the sky, the peacefulness still stay with me, the light-heart feeling still stay with me. At this moment, I knew I no longer the same as before, I’ve changed, there is no going back.
Wish to all of you to be peaceful, attain Magga Phala as soon as possible.
EDIT: I don’t know if using the word Anatta Sanna is suitable to describe my experience. I use this word because I think it is a kind of Sanna like Anicca Sanna. Please correct me if I’m wrong about anything.
September 2, 2018 at 3:24 am #18098vilaskadivalParticipant
Glad to hear Tien and went through the complete explanation you have provided. Seems to be on the right track in releasing oneself from the pain of sansara.
Certainly, Lal has been doing most profound work in spreading out correct teachings of Buddha and let him achieve supreme bliss of Nibbana in this life itself.
Your assessment of how ant would have been a deva or brahma or manaussa is correct and that is how anyone can become if not becoming a sotapanna.
May you attain supreme bliss of Nibbana by becoming Arahat soon.
September 2, 2018 at 5:33 am #18101LalKeymaster
Thank you for sharing your experience, Tien. That is a powerful experience. This is why personal accounts are important: they can motivate others too.
– This is why Buddha Dhamma is “paccattam vedittabbö vinnu” (one can “see through” how this whole world, together with all the suffering arises). Then one arrives at “ehipassiko“: One can “see and grasp” in a moment; see, “Supreme Qualities of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha“.
– May you proceed all the way to Nibbana in this very life!
Sadhu! Sadhu!! Sadhu!!!
September 2, 2018 at 2:21 pm #18108
I am sincerely moved by this experience of yours, and am happy for you and for whoever else is likewise touched by it. No less so for your gratitude (extreme, limitless gratitude, would be the term, but I know of no single word for it) of Lal’s great work here.
For some weeks now I have been meaning to share my own experiences as to how I go about practicing Metta Bhavana, and this opportunity has now arisen, thanks to you. What I do is a combination of both Metta Bhavana and Pattidana.
Here it is relevant to know that up to a few years ago, I had this habit of flushing any crawling bug that happened to wander into my bedroom in the toilet. One day, right after I had done so with a slug, I stopped, motionless like a statue. I knew on the spot (in both senses) that that would be the last time. Since that day I keep an empty cardboard box waiting there to slide any crawling thing into and in which to then take it outdoors. Mosquitoes I still kill – if they survive the vapour-releasing mats I have in the room. I have however given thought to even this; they (only pregnant females bite, I read) need the blood for the reproduction process going on inside them. Their intention is not to cause others pain and harm at all, BUT the bite may be infectious, and I have suffered from a number of those in the past. So the accompanying thought, but with feeling and genuine concern attached, is : ‘sorry, fellow beings, I HAVE to do this; it will be quick and painless. In no time at all you will be in another body. Pardon me for the trouble’ .
I was saying: my Metta bhavana /Pattidana goes like this. I know that I am there ready to transmit this loving-kindness. I allow this Metta to swell for a while. When I can truly feel it – now it is not just a thought, I can feel that there is some power, some energy there, ready to be released – I see it in the form, but much smaller, of a light bulb or similar which emits photons of light in ALL directions (not the conventional 6 directions; I know the idea is the same). Now first I see where that Metta is reaching out to: literally everywhere- all inhabited planets and their 31 realms in any galaxy throughout infinite space, and instantly. My thought-words run something like: may all beings come to see how to free themselves from suffering, starting from the worst types and gradually further until they are free from all suffering, physical, emotional and mental. Even where a Buddha has not appeared in ages, may those beings there at least abstain from moral wrong-doing by deed, speech and mind and attain at least temporary relief in happier states of existence until that time when Dhamma becomes available there. Where their suffering consists in having to pay debts due to me, I forgive those debts. Where it I who owe them, for services rendered or wrongs committed,I hereby transfer to them all merits due to me ,so they will have at least one reason less for prolonging their stay in sansara.
This is more or less what is in my mind and heart. Of course, it is not memorized. I place emphasis on what words come at any given moment as a result of a particular detail in a thought/feeling. I try as much as possible not to use Pali words (only those I feel I have a full comprehension of) as I can express, even to myself, what I ‘have’ at any moment much better in English. At the end the thought-words are gone and only an ‘overall feeling’ remains. I stay there until the feeling dissipates.
After this is done, I see how much more I am getting than this little that I am giving. Beings are literally numberless in the universe(s) and as beings on this planet do Metta and Pattidana, so must others be doing right now on other planets. So I open up to that. I am getting so much more than I am giving. It almost seems unfair. I have reflected further on this (NOT during the meditation- too much ‘cold mind’): |Really and truly, in an infinite Existence, those doing meditations will be equally infinite, but even given only the estimated number of galaxies and the estimated number of stars in galaxies and taking a resultant average and the possible ratio of inhabited to (temporarily)uninhabited planets, a very, very conservative 1: 10,000, the number of beings engaged in meditation (and that where Dhamma IS available, which is the most significant minimizing factor and the one which prevents me from doing a true mathematical calculation) would still run into billions, I feel.
” I lost my Kama Raga.”
“I feel deeply grateful for the Pure Dhamma that Lal teaches. I wish, with whole of my heart, Lal will soon attain Nibbana, in this life
I am so glad that you have. I likewise wish Lal the same as you do. As to myself, I have not lost Kama Raga yet. A subtle strain of it remains and that because of attachment, I know. Therefore I do not aim beyond the Sakadagami stage for the time being (‘time’ in the sansaric sense of the word) of course.
Much Metta to all
September 2, 2018 at 5:24 pm #18112
With regard to the last para of my last post, you stated in: working-towards-good-rebirths/kamma-debt-and-meditation/ #8:
“(Actually, the Buddha has said that if one does the Ariya metta mediation frequently, one could pay off the debts associated with the kamaloka (first 11 realms); more on that in a future post”.
I am NOT asking for references from the Tipitaka. I see from another forum topic that you are already occupied enough with that at the moment! Nor that you write a full post about it. Perhaps you could elaborate a bit on it off the top of your head when you find the time. I am sure you see the connection.
September 20, 2018 at 6:17 am #18454TienParticipant
It’s nearly a month now, there are ups and downs, the urge to enjoy sensual pleasures still there but very subtle and hard to catch, but in the recent few days, after taking Lal’s advice, it seems like I’ve made a breakthrough. Everyday I have to ride the bus for 2 hours, and this is the time where most of my formal meditation take place, sometime I close eyes and contemplate on Dhamma concepts, sometimes I take people, animals at the object for contemplating. I can clearly see that each body is making up of various parts
(bones, flesh, …) depends on their kamma vipaka, and nothing to be clung into. I can see and understand the arising of five aggregates, etc.
I hardly craving anything regard of sensuality or entertainments. I always have a calm mind that seems unshakable, I feel like there is nothing that can make me angry or go uncontrolled, even if someone cut my hands, talking bad about me, or if my relatives pass away, etc. All because of my understanding that I’ve learnt. Maybe because I haven’t faced such real events yet to trigger my asavas. It’s hard to tell if I’m now an Anagami or not, but it’s not important anyway, my goal is always Nibbana from the beginning. I’m kind of a perfectionist, it’s rather the whole, or nothing.
When look back to the experience I describe here, I can tell it’s Sakadagami Phala, it’s hard to differentiate between this and Anagami Phala, only later time when you will know for sure. In my case I know I’m not Anagami yet because sometimes I catch some subtle urges to enjoy sensual pleasure, some anusaya resurface, I know there are more hidden asavas in me.
I know what to do next, I will push the anapanasati to its peak, 24/7, no loose. I will read and practice satipathana sections (I haven’t yet). I know these will take me to Nibbana if I practice correctly and maintain firm determination to escape samsara.
Again, there is no going back.
September 20, 2018 at 7:17 am #18456LalKeymaster
@ y not: Sorry I missed your post.
Paying back previous debts is very important. These connections prevail though many lives, and can block the path to Nibbana.
For example, there is a Tipitaka story about two bhikkhus who meditated together. They could not concentrate because each one keep seeing a huge pile of rice in the mind. Finally, they came to the Buddha, who explained that they had been together as two beggars in a far back life; one didn’t have anything to eat one night and asked for some rice from the other. He promised to pay it back, but died overnight. That was the debt waiting to be paid. So, the Buddha asked the monk who was the donor in that previous life to focus on the other and to say that he is forgiven. Once that was done, those “mental rice piles” disappeared from their minds and they were able to proceed.
Here a question may come up: how could it be bad for the donor, since he did a good deed? However, the donor in this particular case did not “donate” in the true sense (i.e., with no attachment to that cup of rice). Rather, it was a loan that he wanted the other to pay back. This is why it is important to “give” in the true sense giving.
When one is doing metta bhavana, one is paying off all such previous debts. Even mundane metta bhavana is good. As one’s comprehension of anicca, dukkha, anatta, asubha nature, that will increasingly become Ariya metta bhavana. In other words, power of the javana citta will get stronger with increased understanding.
This is the mindset that Tien had when he started contemplating on an ant in his earlier post. When one realizes that all beings are “in the same boat”, and are subjected to this sansaric suffering, one’s mind will generate high javana power.
P.S. It is important to realize that not each and every little debt is going to affect one like in the above example. We know that there are many examples where people attained even Arahanthood in the same life after killing people (Angulimala is a good example); that is a huge debt! So, the story given above is not a typical case. Mind issues can be very complex.
Tien said: “When look back to the experience I describe here, I can tell it’s Sakadagami Phala, it’s hard to differentiate between this and Anagami Phala, only later time when you will know for sure..”
Yes. Getting rid of kama raga anusaya is harder. This is why we all have been trapped in the rebirth process for so long. A Sakadagami does not have any desire to “own” those things that provide sense pleasure, but still have cravings to enjoy (some of) them. In fact, I have been in this stage for some time now.
I can clearly see that I have no desire to “enjoy an alcoholic beverage”, to a watch a movie, listen to music, etc (Of course, I can do any of them if I feel like, but I just do not feel like doing them). I have clearly seen not only the uselessness but also the dangers in them. I am easily abstaining from all other sense pleasures as well. It is not that I have to make an effort to do that. But such thoughts (vaci sankhara) keep popping to the mind occasionally, probably due to previous gati, as Tien mentioned. But the frequency of that is reducing.
P.S. Of course, I can only know what I have attained.But there seem to be at least several making good progress.
September 20, 2018 at 5:34 pm #18468
“These connections prevail though many lives, and can block the path to Nibbana.”
“These connections prevail though many lives……….”: I have been aware of this before coming across anything even in ‘popular Buddhism’ in my early twenties. It was as if a chapter in a long story is yet to be written, but it does not belong to such a coarse material world like this one. Of course, I did not have, I could not possibly have had, any idea of the 31 realms, but I knew there were ‘worlds’ perfectly suited for that, where the senses are refined and in perfect harmony with the very fabric of those worlds. I could only imagine them as planets made ‘of finer stuff’. as would be the humanity ,the various animal forms there and all of nature all around .
“……and can block the path to Nibbana.”: and the path to Nibbana is therefore blocked. Deferred, willingly blocked, is a better word. The danger would be that, without magga phala, after that chapter, another may follow, and another, and yet another….and in between one may find oneself in a chapter of some horror book ..
Unlike Tien, I am therefore not even willing to contemplate the Anagami stage as there is still Kama raga, subtle yet VERY strong. Attachment to material things is long gone. Even food I am now seeing only as necessary fuel for the body in which I have to strive, like having to buy petrol and service a car because you need to maintain it; television as an attempt to rob me of my precious time (I perhaps watch the news, most times only the headlines).
I still enjoy music, soft, relaxing, ballads and so, and reading poetry. And, of course, Puredhamma. It is impossible for me to give expression to the gratitude I feel to Lal for setting up the Site. Even if he were standing in front of me right now, I would be lost for words.
Metta to all beings
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