Episode 77

March 17, 2024


Dependent Origination | Ajahn Brahm

Dependent Origination | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Dependent Origination | Ajahn Brahm

Mar 17 2024 | 01:03:10


Show Notes

Ajahn Brahm got a request for talk but he couldn’t remember what it was, so he decided to talk about something that he wanted to talk about - dependent origination. Even though it’s a very deep and complicated topic, Ajahn Brahm makes this topic about the fundamental nature of reality easy to understand.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 25th June 2004. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

Dependent Origination by Ajahn Brahm [AI generated transcription – expect errors!] Usually for the talk on a Friday evening. I usually get, uh, requests, however, so this week I can't remember what the request was. So I'm going to give a talk. When I were to talk about last week, we're talking about reincarnation rebirths. And so this week I'm going to talk about how this rebirth happens. The topic of this evening's talk is one of the most profound in Buddhism. It's going to be on dependent origination, because a lot of times people are asked now and again, can you give us a a more profound, deeper talk on Buddhism? And of course, the challenge of giving a deeper talk on Buddhism is being able to make him sort of acceptable, understandable to those who come into the center for the very first time. So hopefully that I can put this in such a way that you can understand it and you can make sense of it, and that you can make use of it in your lives even now. Because this is one of the fundamental teachings of all type streams of Buddhism. In brief, it's just saying this how one gets reborn to this place or another. And not only that, but it can be applied even in this life. And he actually shows you just how you can gain greater freedom. Freedom in the states of mind which you actually have to deal with in life, how you can really let go, how you can have happiness, how you can be at peace no matter what is happening in your life. It all starts with the fundamental teaching or realization of a Buddhist, that the mind is the forerunner of all things. The mind is a chief. The mind is the most powerful thing in the whole world. And this is why that is so. Buddhists. We actually train the mind in meditation. And when you start training the mind in meditation and see what it can do, it's amazing just what one starts to learn how what one understands. Not only does one understand, you know the truth of such things as rebirth, but also starts to see how it all happens. For those of you who are traditional Buddhists, you know the three great insights, the three big insights people talk about insight meditation. These are the three big ones which the Buddha gained under the body tree was the insight into past lives. Number two, the insights into karma. Number three, the insights into the four noble truths which led to enlightenment. Now the three insights of today, which is called. So this is a big one. Sometimes the Buddhists called it the three breaking out of the chicken from the egg. Little chick being hatched. The first breaking out is when they see rebirth, the second when they understand the love come, and the third when the 49th as well. The Buddhist said so. These are the big insights. Last week I talked about the first of those big in science the understanding and rebirth. Now I'm going to start to talk about the karma depending origination, how these things actually happen. And it gives you a huge understanding on what's going on in your life right now. In brief, dependent origination says that you get reborn according to two major factors. One is what you want to be in your next life your craving, your will, your desire, your preferences. And this is why I said last week that some people would like to be reborn as cats or dogs, simply because the cat or the dog does not need to go to work on a Monday morning. They don't even need to go and find their own food. And sometimes people just look at only half the story. I think, yeah, that's what I want to be. Other people are even more stupid. They want to be reborn as rich people and famous people in their next life. Do you want to be rich? And no one asks me anymore. Because you know, if you answer me, you get into big trouble. You see these three questions? Now being rich, people actually assume that if you win the lottery, you become rich. You're going to be very happy. But is that really the case? Okay, I'm going to give today's funny story now. It's one of my old stories, but it's a very good one which works in right now. It's the story of the old Mexican fisherman. This particular story began on the coast of Mexico by a fishing village. And there, just before lunch, an American was watching the fisherman come in, unload his catch, and actually go back home. The Americans stopped the fishermen and said, excuse me, sir, if you don't mind, can I see what you're doing? And the fisherman said, sir, I've just been fishing. I've caught enough fish to look after myself and my family. It's a bit too, uh, a few fish to to sell to pay my bills. Now I'm going to go and have lunch with my wife. After lunch, I'll have a little siesta. After siesta in the afternoon, I'll play with my children. And after dinner, I'll probably go to the cantina, play the guitar, have a little to drink. Not too much. So the wife is good. An American said. If you don't mind, I'll give you a bit of free advice, because I'm actually a, uh, business, uh, professor from a very big business school, the United States. I'm down here on vacation. I don't give you some good advice to help you. Why don't you go out in the afternoon after lunch? Then you can catch twice as much fish. You'll be able to make more money after a while. You'll be able to hire some crew with all that extra money. Then you'll be able to catch four times as many fish. In about a year or two, you'll be able to buy a second boat with the crew. But that type of business plan was about 5 or 6 years. You'll probably have a whole fleet of boats. Why don't you have a whole fleet of boats? You can move your business, your headquarters, to Los Angeles. And there you can diversify. As a CEO of your company, you can award yourself a big salary. Then you can actually float the company on the stock market and afterwards to a share buyback. That's how you make billions of dollars. In about 15 years, you'll be a millionaire, I guarantee it. That's how it's done. I'm a Harvard. I'm a business professor. I know about these things. And the Mexican fisherman was listening very carefully to this. And very respectfully, Anthony, at the end he said, but, Senor, what would I do with all those millions of dollars? The strange thing happened to business professor who never thought the business plan out that far. The only thing about making the money, not what are you going to do with it once you've got it? So the professor thought for a while and said, well, with all that money, you can retire. You can retire to a nice fishing village like this one. You can buy yourself a little boat just for fun, to go out in the mornings and catch a bigger fish. You'll be able to spend lunch every day with your wife and have a siesta afterwards. You'll be able to play with your your kids every afternoon and in the evening. You can always go to the canteen and have a good time with your friends. And this is a new idea that already. It's not the case. People want to be rich so they can live like poor people. Now we sometimes ask ourselves, do we really want to be rich? Do we want to be reborn in a rich family? Is that the best we can do sometimes? Do we want to be reborn as a famous person? It was a friend of mine who was. We were monks together in the first years in Thailand. He was from LA. He was in one of these, um, cottages. And at that time, you actually got to know, um, some of the film stars. He was hired as a bouncer for this party. By. Who is that fellow who played like dirty Harry? What's his name? Foster. Clint Eastwood. That's right. Eastwood. Because Clint Eastwood went to the same university and the same fraternity. So when as a bodyguard for him, and he always used night to try and hang out around the stars, he found out where Bob Dylan was staying. This was about 30, 30 years ago, where Bob Dylan was staying when he was giving some concerts in LA. And so I knew somebody who managed to sneak in and spend the evening with Bob Dylan. And those who may have been telling me he had this conversation with Bob Dylan said, it must be really great to be famous. And Bob Dylan sort of looked at him and said, you must be crazy. It's hell to be famous. And he said, went into a big spiel about what it's like to be a famous person. It's like being a prisoner. You can never go out and be free. You never do what you want to do. People are always recognizing you. They're always treating you as if you were an alien, some freak. He said it's terrible to be famous. So why do some people want to be famous? Why do they want to be rich? Why do they want to be a cat in the next life or a dog in their life? That's stupidity, that's why. Now, this is interesting because the Buddha said this ignorance delusion, which is a cause for the calm and making, the calm and having the desire to get reborn and sitting there in the next world, or even in this world. Was a young man, I couldn't figure out why it was that some people would go to these particular pubs in London. And at the end of the evening there will always be a fight. Inevitably, on a Friday night, Saturday night, it'll always be punch ups. What do you want to go to a pub like that for? Because people wanted to. That's what they aspire to. That's what they liked. That's what they thought was fun. Just like some people think being a cat or being a dog is fun. What do you think is fun? What is your ideas of happiness and joy? Some people are ideas of happiness, and joy is going to these extreme sports. It's exactly like what the Americans did in Iraq. So you torture yourself, but you pay people to do it for you. What do you want to do that for? Imagine I was seeing these pictures of these people going into these towers of death drop you falling 100ft and miraculously just stops before you hit the ground. Well, you go these upside down with these these guys. What do people do that for? It must be crazy to do things like that. Why? Because you want to do it. Strange what people think is happiness in this world. So what do you think is happiness in this world? If you are deluded, you'd always look at that happiness as being something important and you want to do it. You can spend thousands for it. So it seems some people, they go and spend their holidays going to these holiday camps called Club Med. I was reading about what happens in Club Med from the very beginning. In the morning is something to do. There's activities all throughout the day. You're playing games, you're playing soccer, you're playing tennis, you're doing scuba diving, you're skiing. My goodness, if you're not already too tired and stressed out, there are two weeks of all this. And what else? You have to pay for it. Why do people do such things? Where other people, wise people, they go and spend the holidays at my monastery. That's also club med, club med serpentine. Club meditation recording. Serpentine. And then I spent just a peaceful time. They've got nothing to do. Just meditate and have an easy time. And when they go home, they say, oh, where did you go for your holiday? Do you go to Bali to go to Europe? Do you go to Hawaii? Said no. I went to Serpentine Monastery for two weeks. I think you're crazy. But you are much happier. Why? Now, already one says, sir. Well, one thing's happiness is. That's where one goes. People who like fights go to places where there's fights. People who just want to have activity, doing things all day. They go to places where there's lots of activity. People who like to sleep all day like a cat get reborn as a cat. Now to understand how rebirth happens. What we want to do are inclinations where we think happiness lies, what we think we should be doing. That's where we get. Are you born? I say it's a combination of karma and desire. Karma. Is actually this your wealth? If you like. Your spiritual wealth and desire is what you want to do. And all of those too. It is the craving. The desire which is the strongest. Sometimes in Buddhism we say there are hell elms. Why do it? Anyone can be born in a hotel room. It's very easy to say because even in this life, people want to live in homes. They aspire. They want that. You know what the hell I'm. I'm talking is like, as many homes in the human life. One of them is called guilt. Another one is called anger. Another one is called grief. The amazing hotel rooms. Now, why do we have to do that? Why do we have to wallow or be in that prison of grief or anger or guilt? Guilt and anger, the same things. It's only guilt. Is that thing to Walton oneself. Anger is the same thing towards somebody else. The same movement of the mind, different objects. So now why do we put ourselves in that prison of, like, guilt? Strange thing. But when you look at it, is because you want to feel guilty. You feel you have to be guilty. You think there's no other way but to be guilty? It's called delusion. And a person who has done so-called bad karma, who's hurt other people, done wrong things. At the end of their life, they will seek to be punished. I don't know, forgiveness. So go into lower realms and even hell realms because they're seeking punishment in the very same way, the way we do something wrong in this life. Why do we seek punishment? Why do we seek to keep on bringing up our past? Thinking we have to. We have to remember all those terrible things which somebody did to us. Why? The wonderful thing which I learned from Buddhism is you don't have to do that at all. You don't need to work through the past. You can let it go at any time you want. Remember, a friend from here used to come very regularly many years ago. I've lost contact with him now. I remember him telling me this story when he grew up. He grew up in Sydney and one day in Sydney with my family, about 5 or 6 years old. He was playing with his best friend on one of the many piers in the harbour for a joke. The boys being boys, he pushed his best friend into the water. Unfortunately, his best friend drowned. And he was responsible. So he thought. Humanizing what is like his best friend. His parents live next door. They've grown up together. He had to witness the sadness and grief of the people next door. And he was the one responsible, even though the parents understood it as boys. Being boys was an accident. He didn't mean to kill anybody. So the six year old, that's all. They soon told him. Forget it, forgive it. But he couldn't. He couldn't forgive himself for what he'd done. And so for many, many years, he was a little depressed boy with no happiness or very little happiness. Never did very well at school until in his teens. This is how he told it to me. He said he woke up one morning. Then he had to realization he did not need to feel guilty anymore. And then he just walked out of that prison of guilt which he had made for himself. That's how you overcame the problem. And then he could actually continue on his life and afterwards became very successful. But it was a fascinating way, he said, that he just decided he didn't need to feel guilty anymore. He could let it go. It's as if there was a prison there. There was a hell there. And the door was always open. But for many years, he didn't want to walk through that door into the freedom beyond guilt. Whether it's guilt, whether it's grief, whether it's anger or any other hell realm which we can live in in this life, we can let it go at any moment. So wonderful thing which I've learned about the power of the mind, the bad karma which we have. We carry it around with us. We thing we need to deal with it. We sing. We have to deal with it. Because we don't know that at any moment we can be free. Do you understand what I mean here? When you look at the bad things you've done. Sometimes we don't think we should forget those things. We think we have to keep remembering that. We have to keep working through them. We have to keep punishing ourselves. Why? There is no reason to put aside. You could acknowledge. You can forgive. You can learn the old AFL code. Her knowledge. Forgive. Learn anything at any time. And then you are free. If you don't know that way, that way of wisdom. The way of stopping rebirth into the hell realms, you may acknowledge, but you don't forgive. We keep carrying this around with us for all our lives sometimes. We victimize ourselves. I've known many people who are wise. People had terrible things happen to them in life. But they didn't cry. They freed themselves from the possibility of how two people the same experiences. Why does one person learn? Let it go and walk on, and another person just dwells in the pain of that experience? Year after year after year. We put ourselves in hell because of delusion. We want to be there because we want to be there. We stay there forever and ever and ever. She made her point at her her meeting, a talk I gave to the novices in Angola because our monastery last night about the fact that you can let go of these things and why it is according to put us on the stream. Winner the first days of enlightenment. That they are can never go into the hell realms or the lower realms ever again. The only rebirth they can have is as human beings or in the day, the realms, the angelic, the heaven realms. Why is that? And the reason is the street winner knows how to forgive. They don't need to punish themselves anymore. I can let go. Now, each one of you who's got pain and suffering, who's making you suffer. Is it somebody else's fault if it's somebody else's fault? You can't solve the problem. It is your fault. No matter what other people do say, it's no one else's fault except your fault. For those of you who haven't heard this before, my teacher put it very succinctly, very beautifully, in a way that you'll always remember, he said, when you blame somebody else for your suffering. It's like having an itch on the bottom and scratching your head. Remember that one if you got it on your bottom. When you scratch your head, you get two itches for the price of one. And that's all for what we do. We're hurting and we play my husband or our wife or our monk or the government or somebody. Somebody is to blame for this. And when you look for someone to blame, you've got an itch on your bottom. You're scratching your head. So you. No one except you. So. But what would you mean about blaming? Blaming doesn't mean that we've got to ensure that it. We don't scratch it or scratch that itch and get it over and done with. It's gone, but scratch in the right place. So all of the trouble which we've had. It's not the trouble, which is a problem. It's the way we look at it, our attitude towards it, how we deal with it. That is the problem. What I'm saying here is that no matter what has happened to you in life. No matter how hard it has been. You do not need to make a hell out of that experience. You can let it go at any time. It's the past. It's gone. It's finished. Why do we need to keep thinking about this? It's not that old story, which I said about somebody calls you an idiot. And then afterwards you start thinking, why did they call me an idiot? They've got no right to communicate. They shouldn't call me needy. I'm not an idiot. And you've allowed them to call you an idiot for more times. Every time you remember that, you've allowed them to punish you. Why do we do that? Okay, so you've had a hard bit of experience in the past. Why do you allow that pain to linger in the present? Can't we just let it go? Can we just say some are community and not just forget about it? Why do we have to keep thinking about it? Why do you have to keep carrying it? Why do we have to keep torturing ourselves? Because of delusion. We choose to do that. We think we should do it. We think we need to be punished. Here. Punishment is just a means of control. Sometimes we don't want to forgive somebody. We forgive them. We think we can't control them anymore. They get out of hand. If we don't have prisons and penalties and punishments, what would happen to this world? And everything would just be chaos. It will get worse. Can you see the fear of letting go? Sometimes we think that controlling is the only way to have happiness in this world. To have sense. To have meaning. But the truth of the matter is completely opposite. The more you control. The more uncertain life is. The more troublesome it is, the more frustrating it is. You know what happens to control freaks? They usually end up getting depressed. That's the usual terminus for the control freak bus. Because you find this world is decent. It's not amenable to what you want. We get depressed and we feel we're failures. You tried and you failed. Welcome to the club. So instead of trying. Sometimes we go in the opposite direction. We let go. We accept. We allow things to be. We're not controlling the world by exerting punishments. We're forgiving the world with love. Can you see the opposite side? Too often. We don't love other people. We don't love ourselves. We don't forgive. Who want to punish ourselves is in a hatred. Strange thing with human beings in the Western world. Why? Guilt. Lack of self-esteem. Anger. Grief is such a strong part of the Western culture. That's why this is so many psychologists and psychiatrists that are Australian society. And we're needing more is getting worse. What is going on? Tell you what's going on. We're just getting caught up in this blaming negativity for finding mind. To put it very briefly, the anecdote from our own show, which I've been saying the last month or two, the story of the person who's raising chickens and instead of collecting the eggs in the morning, they just collect the chicken shit. What a stupid thing that is to do. Now imagine you're someone who does that. You just collect the chickens instead of collecting the eggs. That's what each one of you does. All the good eggs of your life, which you've no you have laid in the past. You collect those or the good things you've done, or the good memories or the beautiful things. The wonderful things you've done. No, you just collect all the thoughts. So things are going wrong. You are just taking shit collectors. Full finders. You look at the past. And what do you think of what's happened today? You think of all the things which went right or all the things which went wrong. Do you think of all the mistakes or terrible things which happened, or the wonderful experiences you've had today? Some people can't even find the wonderful experiences because so much chicken shit there just covers all the eggs and that's all they see. They can't even recognize eggs anymore. Good experiences. Now you understand what we have this negative type of mind always collecting the chicken shit in life instead of the eggs. Now give me a piece of advice. Remember that similarly, when you're dead. When you're dying. Make sure when you look back upon your life just past you, don't collect the chickenshit. Don't think of all the things you've done wrong or the mistakes. Otherwise you'll consign yourself to a lower level, a hell of even. Collect the eggs instead. That's classic Buddhist advice and the dying process to remember all the beautiful, good, wonderful, kind, generous, compassionate things you've done in your life. Don't collect the eggs. Leave the chickenshit for somebody else. That is how we get beautiful rebirths. Through wisdom instead of delusion informs the karma and the craving, the will to choose what is wonderful. Now to understand how that works in this life as well. Why is it that people lingo and all the mistakes in life, all the wrong things which happened, all the wrong things which somebody else did to you? We are so unfair. No. As a monk, as a meditator, you actually have to learn that by collecting the chicken eggs. This is what is allowable. It's wise. It's helps yourself and it helps other people. It's just wisdom is compassion is the obvious way to go when you see all your faults. Let it go. All the people who've died in your life. Leave them at the crematorium. Can you live with life once? Why is it that somebody dies and some people, they can't even be with the other children, with the other relations with the other loved ones. They become obsessed just with this one person who's died. They don't leave the corpse of the crematorium or the graveyard. They carry it around with them for the rest of their lives. Sure his chicken chin. But can't we leave that and instead carry the eggs? Now you can understand just how it's our mind and attitude which creates a suffering and a pain in our life which burdens us, which stops us being free, which can actually make us go into a whole realm rather than getting reborn in the heavenly realm. So I have this idea in ancient Buddhism that when you die that you get some sort of judge. She's even got a name called Yama, the King of death, who comes along and judges you when you die. What have you done? How many donations have you given to the Buddha Society of Western Australia? When you come in here. And how many times you just sneaked out? How many times have you been unkind to your parents? How many times have you not paid your taxes properly? Or whatever else? It is terrible things you've done. You know, when I was a young man, just trying to get into some money just to basically to go out with girls, at the time I got a job, was selling encyclopedias door to door. One of the worst possible jobs was actually children's encyclopedias. I was desperate to get some money for. The worst thing which happened to me was actually sold one, and I felt so guilty afterwards. And it was all a bunch of lies and all you had to say. And your idea as a sales person was to make those parents feel as if they were, you know, almost like child molesters, not to buy this encyclopedia. Do you know that you were sort of stopping your child sort of from actually growing and becoming intelligent, you just hindering their success in life because these encyclopedias, this was really what they needed to get on in life. And there was this very, very lovely couple when I knocked on their door and they were just there, I see the, uh, they just had a child and I had this encyclopedia and I sold it. I felt so terrible. I gave up the job after that because I couldn't live with myself. I thought this poor, you know, struggling couple, that they just brought this bunch of old rubbish from me, you know, and I sold it to them and probably their child was going to starve now because I wouldn't be able to afford all the food. You know how you exaggerate things? And I felt so miserable for myself for years after that. And. And so one day I told that story here maybe ten years ago, and someone came up to me afterwards and said, no, it's embarrassing. I don't know if it was you. Probably unlikely, but when I was very young, they say as a child, some salesmen came around and sold us children's encyclopedias, and I loved it. It was one of my favorite books that gave me so much happiness. And it made me actually start to think, maybe that could have been me. But anyway, why is it we always look at the worst possible aspects of it? Why is it that when we have this terrible feeling of guilt, we're judging ourselves just so unfairly? As I was. And I realize this judge at the time of death is exactly the same. Is no other person in you. At the time of death is not some sort of body armor. Who's actually charging you? It is here. So you're going to charge yourself when you die. You can actually say, where do I want to go? Now I'm dying. Now I'm dead. What sort of life do I deserve? You can understand that most people in Australia will choose hell. Because they've got all this guilt trip because they're psychotic. And that's where psychotic people go and think, oh, I'm terrible, I'm hopeless, I did this, I did that UK around that person. You never forgive yourself. You never deal with it, let it go and move on. So now why do you have to linger in hell? The doors of hell are open. The beings in the Hill realms can leave at any time. Listless. They don't want to. The demons say, are you ready yet? Do you want to go? No. They don't think it's right for them to go yet. Do you understand what I mean? Because you can see that in your own mind. All of this pain in your past. Are you ready to go yet? Are you ready to let it go? Drop it and leave it. The door is always open. It doesn't matter what happened to you. You may have been abused as a child, beaten by your parents. You've been sexually abused. You may have had a terrible upbringing. You may have had a terrible marriage and just didn't work out. And it's been horrendous. The door of that prison is open right now. You can walk out at any moment. You can be free. Why don't we, number one? Because we're not encouraged. Number two, because we're deluded to think we have to be punished. Number three, we haven't learned that courage. That wisdom, that insight to really let go, to take charge of come rather than being a victim of it. The Buddha even said again and again, all you need to do is to acknowledge, forgive, let go. Learn. There was no punishment by the Buddha, even when monks misbehaved. The worst you would do is actually just have to go and tell the other monks what you got up to. That's the worst. There is no beatings. There is no sort of harsh punishments. And the author wondered why in other places they would punish for not in Buddhism. Why is it such a soft religion? Because this is actually realizing doesn't matter what a person has done, what they've done, you can let go immediately. This story in Buddhism about this angry mala, this serial killer. With all of that pain and that psychosis of being a serial killer. The Buddha taught him when he became enlightened. Within a couple of weeks, he taught him to stop. Stop carrying the past. Stop dwelling on it. Stop carrying the chicken shit from the chickens instead. Leave that. Pick up the eggs. This is a beautiful woman called Pata Chara. One of my heroes in the ancient texts who lost her two children, her husband, her mother and father on the same day. To accidents. She went absolutely crazy. She lost her mind and was ranting. Uh, completely mindless. Until she wandered in to where the Buddha was staying. Completely naked. She sort of dropped all of her clothes, and basically somebody came in completely naked into this hole. Right now, what would you do? Is that a bubble? Look, the other way, it's. You can't come in here just like that. But the Buddha said, no. Let's go in. Someone put a rope around her. Let her in. And the Buddha taught her. And she became this amazing teacher. Fully aligned. One of those little heroes in the time of the Buddha. One of the greatest teachers of the time. She didn't need to go through psychotherapy for years and years and years and years because she knew how to let it go. To let go. Forgive. Stop the grief. Stop the anger. Stop the guilt. And completely discarded. He said. In Buddhism we call this a holy karma. Karma that was which will never arise again. It's all gone. Now this is what you can do. At any time. I don't know what is probably troubling you. What is your difficulty? What is your pain? What is the part of you from the past which you haven't really dealt with yet? You don't need to bring it up. You don't need to figure it all out. You don't need to work with it through it. You just need to let it go. This beautiful word, which takes huge amounts of courage, encouragement, is what I'm doing now. Giving that courage. Giving that advice. Giving that possibility. But you can let God any moment feel free is scary to let go. Because a lot of times when we start getting guilty, afraid, fearful is what we say in Buddhism. We make yourself out of that. We become the guilty person. We become the afraid person. We become the person who's got grief. Some years ago when I gave a talk could agree seminar, I gave the usual talk about letting go of grief, showing that in the Buddhist cultures where I had come from, the grave just didn't exist in northeast Thailand. I was staying in a cremation monastery. There was a cremation there every week or so because all the villages around use that monastery as a crematorium and as whatnot. I'd say anyone who's been there, you can see in the very center the monastery is a crematorium. And actually I helped build that one. Very simple one. And all those years, I was nine years in that monastery. Never once did I see someone cry. I saw on the next day. The day after I saw the arms around. There was some grief. You see Asian people. Buddhists. They don't have guilt. They done something wrong. He had done something wrong. Sorry. I tried better next time. But I don't have all this psychosis guilt which I've seen in the West. I don't get so angry. You know, like children. You see them? They fighting. And five minutes later, they play again. I seen that as well. It's an amazing ability to forgive. So in the Western world, we've lost it. We've lost the ability to let go. We have all this guilt. Someone has done something wrong for you, and you hate them for the rest of your life. My goodness. Say, what do you do that for? They made a mistake. Yeah. Everyone makes mistakes. Even big mistakes. Even if it is a big mistake. There's no reason for them to upset your happiness. Why do you have to keep thinking about them and going over that problem again and again and again and allowing them to hurt you again and again. Every time you think about that, you permit the pain to come into your mind again. Why can't you just let it go? So you don't even think about it ever again? You think about all the good things I've done. You pick up the eggs, not the chickens. What about what you've done? Why is there room for such guilt? What was worrying and thinking about what we've done. And all the time we've done nothing. It's just so crazy. Sometimes when anything goes wrong, we tend to blame ourselves. Well, I shouldn't have done that. I should have done something else. Why did I do this? I'm really hopeless. Tried it again. I'll do something else. If you had the time over again, you probably make a worse job of it, basically. But we always think that we've made terrible mistakes. And when you think you made terrible mistakes, you get guilty. You lose your sleep. You lose your health, you lose your happiness. Which means you can't be effective in this world. You can't do anything. You become a pain to live with. You're punishing yourself again. And also you're punishing others. So can't we just let go? What's wrong with forgiving ourselves? What's wrong with us letting go. Isn't that what love truly is? The door of my heart is open to you. No matter what you've done. To all my heart is open to me. No matter what I've done. If you open up the door of your heart to yourself, you feel this amazing sense of happiness and peace. You're in heaven. Isn't that what love is all about? Compassion. Entering heaven. So at the time of your death, instead of thinking of all the bad things you've done, why not forgive them and say, the door of my heart is open to me, no matter all the terrible things I've done. Then take your girls. The hotel rooms are no longer open for you. Instead, you've only got Heaven realm's happiness. Isn't that what it feels like when you forgive someone like that? Or you forgive yourself? You say enemy no matter what you've done. The door of my heart is open to you. Aren't you entering heaven in this very life? Think of that enemy. You've got the person who's hurt you, the person who's the worst person in the world. Who's really made your life. Hell hath had a major life of misery. I was always almost going to say that they have a major life of misery. You've allowed them. To make your life a misery. But whatever that person is. Can't you just let it go? Forgive them. Toward my heart. Servant. You can come in as well. That's heaven. When you understand that, you understand what rebirth is, how heaven realms occur. You understand how heavenly realms occur in this life. You understand how hell realms occur, how hell occur in this life. You're understanding the way of rebirth. Your understanding. Karma. In its deepest sense. You are making karma every moment. You are not a victim of karma. It's not other people to. Here's how you relate to what other people to. Akama has got the chicken. She has got the eggs. There's always chicken shit. There's always eggs when there's chickens around. The point is, which ones are you going to pick up? That's a comma. What you pick up. Now you understand how when you understand the law of karma, how you can be free, how you can be happy, how you are in complete control of your happiness when you know through wisdom what karma truly is, how you can be happy no matter what happens outside heaven. It might be a big pile of chicken shit. There's always a few eggs there. Dig around, pick out the the eggs and walk on. Whatever happens to me in life, there's always some very beautiful moments. Some wonderful moments. No matter who you are, you've always got what they call it Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha nature. That's the ethics that Buddha nature is in every part of your experience, every day, this wonderful moments, beautiful moments. Why can't we take those? Why come and let go of the faults? The bad. Why can we just forgive? Let go! No guilt, no anger, no grief. You can do that. The next thing which happens is no fear. Fear is just a reflection in time of guilt and anger. It's just getting guilty or angry about the future. It's called fear. So here we are, learning just how the mind is a forerunner of all things. Not the world. Is the mind the way we look at it, our attitudes, our relationships to the things which we have to experience in life. It's not the thing in itself causes the problem. It's our relationship with it. There was a great discovery of the Buddha. The desire or the ill will? I want this or I don't want this. Those are the two enemies. It doesn't matter what it is. Here's how we deal with it. How wanting and a lack of content, which is the what content mode is the opposite. It's amazing just how you can be content with anything. I will be content with being sick. I can be content with failing. You know that when I first started this job as being an ABA, it was because a senior monk at the time, he just went off. He fell him off. I mean, I never expected that to happen. And so I was left now with being an elbow unexpectedly, who broke all my plans. So I remember thinking, it doesn't matter what happens if I have a terrible habit and a terrible teacher if no one actually comes to my talk. So I start giving a talk and after a few minutes, everyone heads for the door. Arthur. Great. Marvelous. Not going to be a hermit. I just sit there quietly in my monastery. I've done my best, but I just can't be a teacher. Oh, don't be wonderful. Just to be peaceful. Monk. So I thought, you know, if I stuff up, if I fail as a teacher, it'd be great. And then I thought. But then if I become a good teacher and people keep listening to the talks, great. I can help other people that give me so much happiness. No matter what happened, I can look upon it in that way and make it happy. Oh, it's collecting eggs, that's all. And I do that in my life now. This evening I'm going to Japan. What if the plane has got a terrorist on it? What if it blows up? And I was wonderful. I can have a rest now. I don't have to give these talks every Friday night, I. I don't have to face no old age and sickness. You know, like there's some of these people going these old people's homes. We're actually talking because it's amazing that we've been 21 years in the monastery. Now there's some old monks. You're talking about, like making an old monks home. Getting a piece of property management. I think that's the place you're supposed to go. That's a real departure lounge. Okay, you got it. All right, so now I can sit and talk about old times. Remember that talk I gave that man about 20 years ago? There. Will be one. If you die in a plane crash. You don't have to face that anymore. Oh, beautiful. As always, click the eggs. No matter what happens, they can understand us. How that. Is an appropriate attitude to life. An appropriate attitude to death as well. Why this whole idea of rebirth happens. We are completely free at our tests to go to the highest heaven or the lowest hell. We choose to go there. It's a scary realization that some people choose to go to pubs and have fights. Because I think that's happiness I mentioned before because one of our monks was from Norway, the Viking heaven. This is where all the Vikings, they aspire to being good Vikings to go Valhalla is called. And in Valhalla, when you arrive there, there's always this big feast. And then you go get roaring drunk, and then you have this amazing fight where everybody dies, and then you wake up again and start all over with a big feast. More drinking and more fighting. You know the three best things in life for a Viking eating, drinking and fighting. And that's the Heaven realm thing. That's what they aspire for. I do this by for a nice big house and two kids. This is crazy as the Vikings. As far as I'm concerned. But if that's what you want, that's what you get. And so what you want, that's all. What do you want? Marvelous question. What do I want? Well, the answer is I want for nothing. Then you're the wealthiest person in the world. Isn't that what we say? The billionaires, they want for nothing. They've got anything they ever want. This few people here who want for nothing. That's all I want in life. Nothing. Nah. That's the only way you can really have happiness. What? No. One thing. Whatever you want. That's where you get reborn. We all make our heaven realms. And some of those. We think they're heaven. But the hell we feel we have to do this. We have to go through this. We pick up this pain because of delusion. You don't have to do that. You don't have to have grief, anger, fear. You just choose to have craziness and somebody because everyone else does the same. That's probably why you do it. But I stand up here and say, no, I'm not doing that. I'm going to rebound. I'm not going to get angry. I'm not going to get guilty. I'm not going to get afraid. I refuse to do that. I'm a rebel. But the way the psychiatrist says I'm a rebel, I'm not going to do that. According to psychiatry, anyone who doesn't have sex is a deviant. So that's me. I bet you guys saw that. I said you can't be happy. Apparently, they say that you have to have wine and sex to live a long life. Especially if you're. If you're a male. I read it in the newspapers. So I'm going to be better. I'm going to live a long night just to show them. And the point is, you're rebelling. Has important to be a rebel. Otherwise you just to other people say you expect you to do. You become guilty because that's our culture to be guilty. You've been taught that. So you feel guilty about that? Do you feel remorse? Sorry that what you've done is wrong? And you've made her feel there's something terrible with you if you don't feel guilty. You're supposed to get angry. Someone's hurt. You get angry at them. Don't let them do that to you. You can do whatever you like to me. It's called compassion. I'm going to rebelled against, sir. I'm going to rebelled against fear. I'm going to rebel against picking up all the bad things from the past. I'm going to rebel against allowing any bad karma to take me to hell. At the end of my life, I'm not going to do that. Are just going to pick up the axe or the good things I've done. Forgive all my mistakes. Forgive other people's mistakes and remember the wonderful things my friends have done. That way. There's only one place you can go to heaven. It's your choice. The amazing thing about Buddhism. It's not any God doing this. No one is forcing you or judging you. There's no one pushing and pulling you. It's you. You got no one to blame. It's your completely free. Even in this moment, you can complete full charge of your destiny. Your happiness and suffering is nothing to do with what happened to you in the past. Your happiness is in your hands right now. Does it matter what you've gone through? You can be free. You can be happy. You can even be enlightened in this very moment. The doors of the deathless are open, said the Buddha. There is a lot of faith and courage. Walk through. That's it for this evening. Dependent origination. Well, you don't have to do to go to heaven to be enlightened. Okay, there we go. Futile hope. I challenge a few of you this evening and tested your own, going against the usual way of doing things. Any questions or comments or complaints? Here. Okay. If you let go of any preferences. Hey, whatever it is depends on what you've been doing before. Just the inclinations of your life. Sometimes it's very, very good to let go of preference instead of preference. Let go of measuring. Because measuring is very good. No good, no bad. No touching. Can you do that? So naturally, you're freeing yourself. That's a very good way to do. Birds sometimes that you really can't do that. When you say no preference, you just allow the inclinations, which are very often incubators of negativity, to come up. Need to trade myself. First of all, if you're in my in person, then you can say no preference. And that's natural for a lot of times no preference. You try that when you're at a bar and when you're at a banquet. No preference, no preference, and you end up taking everything you like and not taking what you don't like. So sometimes the preference is a bit more difficult than that. I just I can't resist saying this when it comes into your mind about this. One of our monks years ago is very funny, Mike. He was saying, you know, as a young man, he was a Buddhist since they were, you know, you're supposed to sort of as a Buddhist, look upon, you know, the opposite sex as being ugly. Now you do the all your super meditations instead of actually looking at the beautiful part, you look at the ugly part. And so I said, yeah, look at that ugly part. That woman over there head is here is dead. Skin is dead. The teeth are dead. The nails are dead. It's all dead on the outside. It's just bones and blood and gore inside and thinking like they're just a bag and is inside there, right in the middle, there is this just line of feces. Because that's not sitting there anyway and thinking like that. But then he said, but she'll do in. He put it. This is all right to ask you to play these games. But sometimes you say no prefaces, no preface. But okay, that'll do. I think. So a lot of times is playing around, right? But that's what it is. And even with boys as well, you know, he knows he's such a rotten, rotten. He's just so selfish. He never cleans up after him. But here he'll do it. Okay, I'll sort of ask you a question. Sort of. No. Never mind. I tried my best, but. I'm not gonna allow it to bother me. Right. I got a question. Yeah. Go on. Huh? Well, it was just two weeks ago. This year I had a very. 7s They're making amends to make. Let go of the guilt. Letting go is making amends. That's the best demand you could do. Because when you let go, you're freeing yourself of the guilt. You're freeing yourself from the desire to punish. You're freeing yourself of the pain and the crippling effect that those memories have on your ability to serve and help. When you let go. Only then are you free to serve and be a whole human being, and be able to really be compassion and serve in the world. Otherwise, a person is, like, emotionally crippled. They can't do anything. They can't help themselves. They can't help others. How can they make amends? Too often we sing that, oh, we've got to punish ourselves. And that way we can pay off our debt. Yeah. Yeah. So? And if that's possible, that can be done. But it's not absolutely necessary because sometimes in our lives, the family members, sometimes if they were Buddhist, they would need that because they're trying to get rid of their anger, and their anger is their concern. They have to let go of their own anger. This is not saying sorry or just saying no. Punish me or what do you want me to do? Does that really get rid of that anger? It just it's always actually puts the responsibility of overcoming anger with somebody else. His victims again. I'm a victim, and I've got to get revenge. I've got to let somebody else know. Whether it's that person who hurt you with a psychologist or whether it's a religion. And we we rely upon that to heal us. He said. I've taken responsibility in hating ourselves. That's the best way. Okay. So thank you for listening to this talk this evening on the nation over how we get reborn.

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