January 03, 2023


Mindfulness | Ajahn Brahm

Mindfulness | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Mindfulness | Ajahn Brahm

Jan 03 2023 | 00:56:24


Show Notes

Buddhism’s practice of mindfulness can help us in our daily lives, our spiritual lives, and our relationships. Buddhism teaches that it’s important to be mindful in our daily lives and in our spiritual lives. Being mindful can help to increase our happiness and understanding. Mindfulness can help you be more alert and less reactive to things, which can help you feel happier and more productive. When you increase your mindfulness, you become more sensitive to the beauty and vibrancy of life. Make good karma, and you’ll get good results. Doing good for others will brighten your mind and energize your practice. Mindfulness gives you better abilities in life, for everything. It enhances your work skills, your ability to succeed in life, your ability to sense what’s happening and your ability to communicate with other people. In order to be enlightened, you need to have strong mindfulness and energy. Mindfulness makes the mind bright, while energy powers the mind to do incredible things. When you develop mindfulness, you will be able to shine a light into the darkness of your mind and see what needs to be done.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 2nd November 2001. 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. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

AB20011102_Mindfulness Summary Make a snap decision based on mindfulness, with kindness and with compassion. Listen with all your senses, mind and heart on heart. Buddhism's practice of mindfulness can help us in our daily lives, our spiritual lives, and our relationships. Buddhism teaches that it's important to be mindful in our daily lives and in our spiritual lives. Being mindful can help to increase our happiness and understanding. Mindfulness can help you be more alert and less reactive to things, which can help you feel happier and more productive. When you increase your mindfulness, you become more sensitive to the beauty and vibrancy of life. Make good karma, and you'll get good results. Doing good for others will brighten your mind and energize your practice. Mindfulness gives you better abilities in life, for everything. It enhances your work skills, your ability to succeed in life, your ability to sense what's happening and your ability to communicate with other people. In order to be enlightened, you need to have strong mindfulness and energy. Mindfulness makes the mind bright, while energy powers the mind to do incredible things. When you develop mindfulness, you will be able to shine a light into the darkness of your mind and see what needs to be done. Transcription U1 0:00 One that someone suggested about mindfulness in daily life and someone else also suggested about relationships. I'm going to be talking this evening about the Buddhist practice of mindfulness and how we use it in our daily life and also our spiritual life. How we use it to enhance or understand, make sense and make progress, our relationships with others and also in a spiritual life, how we use it to gain progress, make success in a relationship with ourselves, the inner happiness and the outer happiness, bringing them together. Because the practice of mindfulness is one of those essential parts of Buddhism where Buddhism has been recognized as a leader in a way of training a person, developing a person through mindfulness to gain wisdom which leads to happiness both in the world and also in the heart, in the individual. That practice of mindfulness is something which is very powerful if we know how to do it. In Buddhism, we don't just tell people the truth. We don't tell you what to believe. At the heart of Buddhism is teaching people means by which they can find out for themselves. Even though you do tell people what they can expect to find to inspire them. You expect to find happiness, harmony, peace, understanding, wisdom. Those are the things which you'd expect to find from the practice of meditation through the techniques of Buddhism. Those are things which are they're is your goals. But the way those goals are achieved through a training of the mind, through a development of a person. And the very fact that it's up to you to make that effort to develop yourselves means that you don't waste time praying for some help from someone else. You don't ask an expert like a monk or a nun or a cow, counselor or psychiatrist, psychologist, doctor or whatever may weigh some sort of magic wand, marvelous sing. And the wonderful thing about this practice of Buddhism, it actually helps you, empowers you. And so that what you learn in one experience which develops a sense of understanding and freedom from the problem. You'll also apply to other similar experiences in life. So you become a person who's more resourceful. Resourceful in life and resourceful in your inner life. Because, quite frankly, what works outside also works inside as well. What creates greater harmony, peace, understanding, compassion out there in your world, in your office, in your family, in the car, going to work also. Is effective in your inner life as outside, so inside? As inside, so outside. And a particular aspect I'm going to be focusing on tonight is that mindfulness. Basically mindfulness is that awareness, that clarity, which we can develop inside, we call mindfulness. It's a mind which is full so often. We're only sort of half here. We whatever we're doing so often that even when you're giving a talk somebody once said in Time magazine when people give and talk, research shows that most people, 80% of people are thinking sexual fantasies. I hope you're not doing that this evening. Or they're thinking about their dinner or doing something other than actually listening. That's what they're doing in a sort of a public talk. Imagine what's happening when your husband's talking to you or your wife's talking to your kids talking to you, your boss at work is talking to you. Another time. We're not really listening, are we? That's one of the practices of mindfulness, real listening. In the same way that we can deeply listen to a talk, in the same way we can deeply listen to our mind, we can deeply listen to our partner. I know that one of the monks in Thailand, he learnt the Thai language not through a book, but through really listening to some abbots who were speaking Thai. He didn't even try to remember. He didn't take notes in the mind. It opened his mind up to the tones, to the flow of the sound sounds which make up that language. He opened up so much that it was internalized. And then eventually he could speak very fluent. Tie this is a powerful way of learning. Recently in Singapore, I was talking to some students at the National University in Singapore. It was about the time they were going to have the examinations. I was showing them the power of mindfulness in just learning. So you can do well at school, you can pass your examinations, you don't have to study so hard. Same way with anything else you learn. The power of mindfulness is immense. If you are quiet and silent to put full attention on what you're doing, you find that all that information goes in. It goes in to the mind. It's stored in there and it's easy to be retrieved. You can imagine that the mind like a computer. It's got a huge memory, but the information has to get in there first of all. And if your mind is doing two things at the same time, mind isn't focused. Of course. That's why memory doesn't happen, because one isn't really truly listening. So when one is fully mindful, by which I mean one is silently, fully alert, putting all the attention of the mind, all the power of the mind on the task of listening, it's amazing what you can remember and recall. I remember as a primary schoolchildren, a primary school child, very often when the teacher would say something, I would remember it so clearly. When it came to the end of the year exam, I'd not only know the answer, but I'd remember the time when the teacher told us that. I thought that was natural to all people. But I realized once I became a monk, the reason why I could have that recall was that when the teacher was giving that lesson, I was fully there. I was listening with all of my attention. And that's one of the reasons, I think, why I did well at school and well at university. Because the ability to fully be with what's going on, this is one of the the reasons why mindfulness is very powerful. Unfortunately, these days that when we live in this modern world, we don't just finish with school at high school or university. People who have jobs in this world are always having to relearn things, always having to read, to study something or other, go to lectures, go to seminars. And so often when you go to a lecturer cinema seminar again, people aren't listening because they're not listening. They're really wasting their time. You really want to enhance your work skills, enhance your ability to succeed in life. That mindfulness is tremendously powerful. It means whatever you do, you do 100%. Listening means you learn so easily. Somebody told me of this man. I think he was in Exeter or Dorset, somewhere around the west of England, and he was studying at med school. And all the other students were really surprised that he'd hardly ever go to lectures or tutorials. At the end of the a year when the exams came, he'd always get top marks. They really wondered exactly what this guy was doing. Did he have some arrangement with the examiners? Was he bribing someone? Did he get some access to the examination questions before the paper was delivered? When they inquired about how he did so well with so little work, they found out that he was a meditator, that he practiced notice his mindfulness. So when he read the text, he only needed to read it once. He read it with deep mindfulness, deep listening. What happened was that was in his brain very easily. And he could record it very easily. That's why the word for mindfulness in Buddhism, satis also the word for memory. The more you are awake and aware, the more energy you put into listening, into reading, whatever. The way the information is coming to you the more you remember it and the more you can record it. A lot of times we need to have that ability. There's not just with learning things in the world in schools, in universities and seminars. It's also learning how to live with another person. The other person is always giving you information. Sometimes that information is very important, sometimes very sensitive. When we are mindful, we can actually listen deeply to the person who's talking to us. We can actually listen not just with our ears but with our eyes, with our nose even. That's what dogs listen to people with their nose. That's why dogs can know when you're sick. They can smell that sickness. Somebody told me that they've trained some dogs who can actually smell incipient cancers. I was talking to a doctor about that in Singapore a couple of days ago and said, yeah, sometimes when those cancers begin to form in the body before any magic gizmo of medical science can actually detect it surely it must be altering the metabolism or having some effects. And sometimes those smells would never be detected by a human but they can be detected by dogs. Sniffer dogs can actually tell how healthy you are. And many people have understood that because whenever but you are sick so many people have told me that a dog comes to your room and just stays by you they know there's something wrong. They can sniff it out. Because their nose is so sensitive, their mindfulness of their snout is intense. And it's the same with us when we're listening to another person we should listen to with all our senses. We've got sick senses, you know, not just sight and smell. We got sound, we've got taste. Touch the other one mind. Sight, sound, smell, taste its touch and mind. Even that mind sense is a very powerful sense. That 6th sense can actually know what another person is feeling, can know what they're thinking. You may not know the details, but you know, sort of the sort of the mood that other person is in. It's very common for mothers to know when a child is in trouble. Even though they're a long way away, they feel there's something wrong. Husbands and wives who are very close together can feel when somebody's in trouble. One of my friends in Sydney, he actually literally a very interesting man. He actually really did run away with the circus when he was about 17 years of age. There's still circuses in the Australia and instead of going to school there's a circus going past. And he actually did that. He ran away and joined circus. You can still do that these days. This is a bit old hat, but nevertheless, he still decided to do that. And he said that he became an elephant trainer, the elephant. And he told me a story once that they were moving the circus from one destination to one location to another, and he was with the elephant. The main trainer, the head trainer, was up ahead in another car. They had to stop somewhere because of whatever the elephant had to go to the toilet, because when the elephant goes to the toilet, they really have to find a dry place. Big elephant son. As they were stopping, the elephant went crazy. They've been looking after this elephant for quite a few years. This elephant went ballistic by the trumpeted, jumping around, stabbing his foot. And they went and worked really hard to try and calm this elephant down. The most important thing was it was completely out of character. They couldn't figure out what was upsetting this elephant until about 50 minutes later, they got a call on their mobile. Head train up ahead. Had a fatal accident. The elephant knew it. The elephant could feel it. This is what we mean by the mindfulness, which goes through the mind sense. If with out of body experiences, they could know what's happening through the sense of mind. I don't know if it's ever happened to you, but even you don't have to be a great meditator. You don't have to be a saint. You don't have to have psychic powers. Many people have felt with their mind something's happening, usually with someone very, very close to them. Sometimes it happens with the World Trade Towers as well. The World Trade Center. Twin Towers know what Asian people are like with Thai time and Sri Lankan time. I was told when I was in England recently that one of the great Thai banks at an office on something like the 83rd floor of the World Trade Center. But they're keeping Thai tradition. The workers there were late. That's why they survived. So there's a lot to be said for being late for work. But people can actually feel sometimes when something's happening. And that's why when we get premonitions or when we get feelings like this, this is a sense of mind happening. Buddhist psychology is very strong in that sense. They don't ignore it. And so when we are mindful, we're listening with not just one sense, not just five senses, but six senses tend to feel what's going on. One of the common questions which I am asked about mindfulness is how can we make decisions in life which are sometimes life and death decisions, crucial decisions. We haven't got the time to bring up the monks, we haven't got the time to make an appointment, it and we haven't got the time even to discuss it with our friends. Sometimes this is what you experience in life. There's a crisis and you have to make a decision now, and it's important. The stakes are high. And there's a marvelous way of answering that question through this power of mindfulness. And this is the way which I have successfully, at least so far in my life as a monk dealt with situations which come at me out of the blue not really knowing all of the details. And you've got to make a snap decision and it's crucial. How do you do that? The answer is with this beautiful mindfulness which comes out of silence. I'm stressing the importance of silence for mindfulness because when we're talking to ourselves, when we're thinking we are listening to the words we're not listening to the event. That's why very often in my meditation classes I repeat the story from Taoism without sue going on a walk with one of his students through the forest having a golden rule that every student who went on a walk with this great master was not allowed to speak. Had to keep silent. And of course, one of these students one day spoke. The event was they came to a ridge in the hills or the mountains, there's a wonderful sunset occurring. And the student said, wow, what a beautiful sunset. Actually never said that because you said something in Chinese. But I can't speak Chinese. So I say, wow, what a wonderful sunset. You got to be accurate as a monk. And after that, that student was never allowed to go with the great master again. It was such a severe punishment. Surely you can give him another chance. Once you said forgiveness. But the master were never allowed to go again. When asked why great cows master Latsu deprived. The reason is that when he was saying those words, he wasn't watching the sunset, he was watching the words. And the words are very different from the sunset. This is like a very wonderful teaching. So often we're not really mindful because we're watching the words, the descriptions, not the reality, not the experience. And we're seeing we're saying sort of Mary saying John, we're saying brahm, you're watching the words rather than the experience. We're rushing too quickly to give it a name, to explain it, to think. That's why we don't know. So very often, if you're in that position, you have to make a decision very quickly. First thing is always in order to get that mindfulness strong, be silent, stop talking and listen to life, listen to the moment, listen to the experience, shut up inside. Even those people who have very active minds, who think, think, think, and have a very difficult time meditating because they find it so such a struggle to quiet their mind down. Everyone can do that, to make their mind still, just for a few seconds. If you're if they really want to, you could do it as well. So that's the first thing. And the next thing is to listen with kindness, with compassion. And you always find I've always find that the answer comes up, what I should do. I follow that wisdom which comes up from the mindfulness based on silence. Years ago, a doctor came up to me and he said he had a terrible experience a few days before. This is why he came up to me, said that he was on duty in Walpole Earth. His beeper went off. One of his patients had a cardiac arrest. He rushed the bedside. He did resuscitation on that patient. The patient heart started again, but the heart had stopped so long there was irreversible brain damage. But not enough brain damage to kill the fellow. Enough that kill much of the brain, keep the body alive. He said that that situation would probably mean that he would live for many, many, many years. This in a state of very, very lowquality life. He felt very guilty, as sometimes we do feel when we've done something with no intention of hurting, but it all goes wrong. He felt guilty and he asked me basically not that particular event, but what should I do next time? So what happens with doctors? You make life and death decisions and you haven't got time to ask specialists. You haven't got time to ring up the monk on Dino Monk service. You can't even ring up your wife or your husband. You can't consult. You got to make a snap decision. This is what I told him next time that happens, rush to that bedside. Make the mind still for a few seconds. Give that one or 2 seconds and then listen to your heart. What I'm saying is mind on mind, smell on smell, feeling on feeling, sight on site, with all your senses alert, fully mindful, I said, you'll be able to know what to do. What comes up, you follow that. That's what I've done all my life. And it's always worked. Because this mindfulness can only really be strong in that silence. This is why that when people develop their meditation, they're developing silence to give mindfulness a chance. It's a very common experience for people. It's happened to me so often when when you develop silence in your mind, stillness on one thing, mindfulness has a chance to increase its energies. Because all of the energies of our mind are off on thinking and doing. Now we're putting it on the knowing. So all that energy, instead of being wasted on activity, it's all focused on just knowing clearly. And that's why that mindfulness starts to get strong. It's just like we turn up lights in a room if I turn these lights down, made them dimmer and dimmer and dimmer. Soon we wouldn't see colors. Soon we wouldn't be able to see shapes. We wouldn't really know the person sitting next to us, whether a man or a woman or a monk. As you turn up the lights, you see more and more details. As I turn the lights up more and more, you can see who shaved this afternoon and who hasn't shaved. You can start to see the pimples on the beautiful girls. That's why I keep on saying the only places you can have romantic candlelit restaurants, when you can't see the pimples and the shaving and cuts and the other things. I'm really an unromantic monk. If anyone wants romance, don't come and see me. But when you turn the lights up, you can actually see more clearly. And this is what happens when you start to develop mindfulness. You start to see much deeper into things, more brightly into things. And after meditation retreats, especially when you do lots of meditation, or even if you do a half an hour meditation, it really works. You get into deep meditation. You come out afterwards, you open your eyes. And everything is glistening. The colors are intense. The moment is vibrant. Fascinating experience. This is one of the fun parts of meditation. You go out and on the retreats we have at the Redemption Monastery in North Perth, you go out into that garden. My goodness, those flowers had just been washed and polished. The yellows are just even more yellow than they were before your meditation, as if some gardener has gone in there and sprayed it in a color enhancer. The textures are much deeper. You ask yourself, that was the same flower before. Now, why am I seeing more deeply into it? It's because you're of mindfulness has got empowered, the ability to see much deeper, more fully into those things. One of the wonderful things which happens with the expansion and deepening of mindfulness is that what you see is actually much more beautiful than it was before. You start to see the beautiful in the ordinary. This is why after meditation one time, I said, when I was in Thailand developing my meditation, and we're walking meditation, because we're meditating all night, sitting, walking, sitting, walking. And we'd walk because it was a rainy season. We'd walk in the main hall of this monastery in Northeast Thailand. It was made of concrete. The concrete floor, no carpet. And as I was walking backwards and forwards, back wasn't forward, there came a time when I had to just stop. Because when you're walking, meditation, you're putting your attention 2 meters in front of you. That was the training. I was looking at the floor. The floor opened up to me. It was like just all these colors started to open up. Just like in the movies, you see something. It was like special effects. I've seen some people's web pages, and as soon as you plot the password, all these amazing colors start to come up on the screen. What was happening with concrete in Northeast Thailand 25 years ago? It was amazing just how many colors came out, wasn't going crazy. What was happening was mindfulness was becoming so strong, you were able to see something which was in there all the time, but because of the dullness of the mind, you couldn't perceive. And it was amazingly beautiful. I said afterwards that I wanted to cut that piece of concrete out and send it to the loo in France and hang it on the wall. It's the most beautiful piece of concrete I've ever seen in the world. The problem was that later on, after asleep, when I lost my mindfulness, I looked again. It was just ordinary concrete again. These are just experiences you get in meditation. An example of what we mean by the increase of mindfulness. That's just on a piece of concrete in your daily life, when you start to increase your mindfulness, what happens is you become far more sensitive to the people you live with, begin to feel, to be sensitive, to know what they're thinking, how they are, and then you can respond accordingly. You know, how they feel and what to do, whether they need kindness, whether they need space, whether they need to be talk kindly to or talk this way too. So often we're so insensitive that mindfulness is so dull that we're not really listening to the people we live with. That's why there's so many relationship problems in this world. It's very often that women say the husbands don't listen to you, but you don't listen to your husband's either. Not really fully, but listen fully. You have to be absolutely silent and listen with everything you've got. Shut up. Be quiet. Have you listen when you actually can do this? It's amazing. Amazing what you pick up. I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you how to find out what to do. Then you're so sensitive. You know when it's a time to be kind, you know when it's a time to be firm, you know when it's a time just to leave them alone and go away. There are no rules on what to do. There are rules for how you find out what mindfulness does. It expands your repertoire of responses to the people you live with. I always say that mindfulness what it does instead of just seeing one door to go through, which is your conditioning, your habit, and you see three doors, four doors, five doors, six doors, ten doors you can do so many different things. The opposite to form mindfulness is becoming a creature of habit which is taking things for granted, always following the old routines and that means you're not alive. Talk to your partner the same old way, you do the same old things and of course, that's no way to live a life. That's why the basic training in mindfulness I like to keep things simple because because a lot of people say they haven't got the time to meditate on the basic trainings which I was teaching in Singapore, how to increase your mindfulness. I told this young girl, when you get up in the morning, when you brush your teeth, which part of the mouth do you start with? You shed, actually, the upper right tooth and say tomorrow, when you brush your teeth, start with the upper left tooth and then the following day, start at the bottom of the teeth and start the middle on Thursday, no, Wednesdays, start at the bottom. Right, change it around. When you brush your teeth, you always brush your teeth in the same way. Starting at the same place every time. Your creatures of habit, aren't you? You're just like automatons. You're robots. No mindfulness, you just do it the same old way. The simple technique. You try and find out how hard it is to do. If you do it, what happens is it wakens you up. Brushing your teeth becomes more interesting. You have to put more life into it, more alertness into it. Mindfulness takes effort. Rather, effort is to do things in different ways. Don't follow the same old roads, the same old techniques, the same old rats. If you follow the same, say, more rats in life you feel dead, you feel bored, you feel depressed. Get up in Monday morning, brush my teeth this way, have my cornflakes look the other way around next time, have your coffee before your cornflakes. Whatever. As long you do things differently, it's amazing what happened. Some years ago, somebody was doing breath meditation. They couldn't do breath meditation because they get sleepy when they were doing breath meditation. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing and breathing out, they fall asleep. So I told them, do it differently. Don't start with the in breath, start with the out breath. No, breathing in, breathing out. Breathing out, breathing in, breathing out. Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in. You try that, it's completely different. That's fascinating, isn't it? Because in theory it's the same, isn't it? In, out, it's all the same. But out, in you try that and you find it is different because the mind is looking at it in a different way. It means more mindfulness. You're getting out of the habit, out of the routine. When you're out of the habit, out of the routine, it means you have to pay more attention. There's more effort there. More mindfulness. The mind is brightening up. So we have all these nice little techniques. Our teacher Ajanta was agree with this practice of mindfulness because you never knew what he was going to do next. Sometimes you'd have morning meetings and he would stop the morning meetings. Then you'd have afternoon meetings, and then you stop those and have evenings. Then you'd have meetings all day. Didn't have no meetings at all. He was always changing the routines in the monastery. He did this on purpose. It was changing the place where you lived. Okay, go move to somewhere else at a moment's notice. You're nice and happy in your hut. You're really getting settled down. Settled down, settled down. Someone to you. And he said Ajan Charles said you've got to go to a monastery on the other end of Thailand. Okay, well, maybe take me a couple of days to finish off monthly 1 hour. Before you knew it, sort of in three or 4 hours time you're on the road. It could be a different monastery. No preparation. You didn't have time to say goodbye to your friends. You didn't have time to read your letters. All you had time to do is quickly patch to your bowl, clean up your heart and you were off. Could you do that? That's amazing practice of mindfulness, because you were learning how to be alert in the moment and change all these routes. And when you did this, you found you could do it. A lot of times when we have the mindfulness, it opens up new doors to us, new possibilities. You think, no way can I do that. You find you can. A lot of inability to do things in life, to achieve things in life, is all self imposed. I often say as a meditation teacher that a meditation teacher is a coach, like a coach of a soccer team or a cricket team. Even though you're going to be playing someone who's got a much better team than you have, you never say, no, they're so much better than us. They've got such great players. You know, we've got no chance. We're going to lose. This is hopeless. Any coach who says that is asking for trouble. If you really believe you're going to fail, if you believe it's going to happen that way, it will. Coach has to give the opportunity to break barriers selfimposed barriers of eye cut this is impossible. This shouldn't be done what mindfulness does? I just come back from a long tour of Singapore and Malaysia as read through three nights. It only been away two weeks. Three whole nights on planes. Doing 16 hours. Days of teaching. Usually talks for 3 hours of apiece and then running. I was supposed to have arrest. But then people follow me and ask all their questions, all their personal difficulties. And then another three hour talk afterwards. Usually starting about 06:00 in the morning when somebody takes me out for some breakfast. But they may not take me out for breakfast. It's free counseling. Sometimes I don't even have time to eat my toast. Talking to me all the time about the problems with the children or the wife or whatever. And then it's out somewhere else until about midnight. I've been doing that for the last, say, 15 days because I left two weeks ago. The last talk I gave here, after I finished talking with the last person who asked me questions, it was straight to the airport for the overnight flight to Singapore. So you get to Singapore. I was supposed to have a morning's rest. People asking questions again. Now, that should be impossible. I should be really, really tired. I should probably be dead by now. If this is actually the last time I went to Singapore. This is it was really funny. I really laughed my head off when this happened because this this boy came up mostly about 90 or 20. No, so not about 23, 24. He came up to me and said John Brahma said, you know, I was thinking of renouncing and becoming a monk myself. I really had a lot of faith in Buddhism. I really want to become a monk. But once I saw how hard you worked, I thought it was much better to have my job as a computer programmer. Where I work, I do 12 hours a day. So I worked out, but I do work hard. But I got this mindfulness to say, well, just stop all these boundaries. You're not supposed to be able to perform. But you do with happiness. Know what you find? Because with your mindfulness, you put all the energy into the moment and the mind becomes stronger for it. I recall what Ajan Shah used to tell me. He said, as far as your body is concerned, the body does need rest. But your mind works on a different principle. Mind works on karma, works on joy, works on happiness, works on its mental energy. And once you get that mental energy going, you really start sort of having this energy of mindfulness. Then you can go for a long time and you never get tired. What about people who get depressed? People who get depressed sleep a lot. They can't do very much at all because the mental energy is low. My favorite cure for depression is going out, doing service, compassionate service in hospices, hospitals, old people's homes, Buddhist societies, any charity. Where you're interacting with people with people who are needy. You know how that works. It's obvious to me as a monk. This is my social service. This is my charity work. And I get so much energy out of this. Even though you're supposed to be tired, the reason is because you're giving it's embodiment. It's called all good karma. Merit. You're hearing the books. You might hear from me and other monks, other nuns. You make good karma and you get good results. A lot of people think that's just theory. And they think to make good karma, just give a donation, give some food to the monks and then come will somehow come later on. You really give yourself to somebody else. You'll energy and happiness back. One of the first experiences of that was when there was one year as a monkey north east town. And my fellow monks had three of them. They were just junior to me. They were about to become ordained. They had to make all their own robes. Before ajang cha would allow them to become. Monks have three robes. The low robe was underneath one of these robes you see me wearing on the outside and a double layer robe like this. They were all made of white cloth, which some monks had to sew themselves. And they had to dye them themselves out of the natural dye made of jackfruit. The whole process took about three or four days. My three or four days don't mean three eight hour days. I mean 324 hours days. I had to stay up all night, two or three days in a row, work all day as well, boiling down the die. It was concentrated enough, in enough quantity, to dye the robes the brown color necessary. Their ordination. After the first night and the second night in the evening after we finished our evening chanting, these monks have been up about 36 hours without any rest at all. I took pity on them. I went up to them and said, you guys take a rest. I look after the the die this evening. And they were just so grateful to have at least some lay down. And so I stayed up all night, and when it came to 03:00 and the bell went, they'd sort of come up. They were excused from the charging, but I wasn't. So when they came up to look after the diet, I had to go to the chanting. I didn't have a rest that night. I'd been up for about 36 hours, but it was the first time I realized I wasn't tired. Usually when I'd had my four four and a half hours sleep because, you know, all you were usually allowed, you went up for the morning chanting at 03:00. You know, that I couldn't really have any energy. When he started meditating, I was one of these monks whose head almost fell off. They sort of be drooping all the time because I was really tired. It was hot. But this one morning, I remember I had some of the clearest mindfulness and best energy of my meditation. I hadn't slept. I remember asking Ajo Tomato, who was a head monk at that monastery at that time, said, what's going on? I don't understand this. When I sleep, I get up in the morning, I'm just dull. When I haven't slept, I'm just so alert. He said straight away, because he was an older monk than I was, he'd been in the game longer. He knew about the mind. He said, look, you've bent all night helping others. That's good karma. Good karma creates happiness and energy. You are having that mental energy, that mental happiness, because you stayed up all night. And it was true. I felt so alert, so sharp. It taught me a lesson that the energy of mindfulness is happiness. That happiness comes from serving others and being compassionate for charity. And by charity, we don't mean giving donations. Charity means going out there, serving, helping, manning the reception, debt, sweeping the carpets, cleaning the toilets, doing something for somebody, spending time with them. So what we're saying here is that mindfulness is enhanced by this a lot of time. Depression is low mindfulness. Low energy, haven't got a good store. Good karma. You make more good karma, then you get more energy, more brightness. Once you get that mindfulness coming up, you become more bright, more chirpy, more alert. And you can be more sensitive to what's going on around you. But more than sensitive to what's going on around you. It should create more harmony, more peace, more understanding between people. But it also should give more harmony and understanding to yourself. Because when one is really mindful alert, mindfulness with energy, when you start to look into how you work, into your mind, into the nature of existence, you have a chance to find out. A young student sort of saying, know yourself as a way to wisdom, understanding not just things outside in the world, but knowing what's going on inside you and the self at her. Is there somebody inside? Is there not somebody inside? What is consciousness? What is mind? What is this which keeps us going? And what I found out from my teaching is you can't answer those questions which, with a mind which is just so dull, you just can't see very clearly even what's outside there in the world. You can't understand what's outside there in the world because you're really dull. You got no energy, you got no brightness. Your lights are very dim. How do you expect to really find out these wonderful deep secrets inside of you? So the path which I was taught, which I found works, is to brighten up mindfulness, to find ways of turning up your mindful lights so that you don't just shine them out onto the piece of concrete and say, wow, this is amazing. This is is wonderful. Don't just shine it out there into your relationship with somebody else so you can really understand the people you live with. You don't just shine them out there in order to sort of just to create a nice, happy lifestyle. You shine them inside once you brightened up your mind. Then you can shine it inside and see exactly what is this inside. It's like having a spotlight shining very bright. And if you look inside, what is consciousness? That which knows what is the doer, that which does even like what is thought. To be able to shine the focus on the thinking mind and really understand where it all comes from. All of your thought is completely conditioned ideas which you've been taught, not truth at all. The thinking, the philosophy, the words, the labels that is actually what stops people understanding what's really going on. That's why that all wisdom comes from silence. All love comes from silence. Not through thinking. When you're thinking like an actor on the stage, you're playing a game, playing a game you've been taught. When that thinking stops and you get very silent, but very mindfully silent and you're just there, just watching what's happening, right? It's not the piece of concrete opens up. Your body opens up. Your mind opens up and starts to reveal its truth. Those spiritual experiences of enlightenment, the great insights which occur which change your whole life, these all happen through the powerful mindfulness. Usually develop through deep meditation, through samadhi, which powers the mind turns up the voltage on your flashlight so you can see so sharply. That's why the measure of your mindfulness is the power of it is measured by the happiness, the joy. That's why when you really get into your meditation, you get split out. So happy. Why is it happiness? Why is it bliss? Why do people call them the ecstasy states? Because the sheer energy of them, the power of them. Once you start to getting peace, happiness, joy, ecstasy, bliss coming up, then you know the power of mindfulness, how bright it can be, how powerful it can be. The two go together. Our people never become enlightened. Our people that just go around life after life, problem after problem, relationship after relation, job after job. They get reborn as slugs starts in their next life. That's what slugs do. They just missing a slug, just cording on the ground. It's just so hard. They're going to drag themselves out as if life is just treacle. They're going to pull themselves through the tree hard to get any energy to pull themselves through and just pour themselves a little bit and that's all they can do after rest and pour themselves again. It's so hard to get out of bed in the morning. I don't want to get out of bed. So hard to go down to the kitchen and make yourself a cup of coffee. So hard to get in a car and go to work. So hard to come to the temple. So hard I'm just going to stay at home. I'm just going to stay in bed. I'm just going to stay in my dull slug state. Be careful of that, because that's never going to get you anywhere. That's why those of you have been in my retreats. What do I say when you first get up in the morning? Don't care what time is on your clock. You jump out of bed and zippity. Dude, what a wonderful day. You try that. It's much nice. So you get more happiness jumping out your bed stiffly. Dude, what a wonderful day. If you sort of try and just sort of roll out of bed, especially if you wake up in the morning and start to think of all the excuses why you should stay in bed for another half hour. You know these snooze alarms? Those were invented by mara. That's not invented by the Buddha. The Buddha never had snooze alarms. Get out of bed. And don't just get out of bed. Really get out of the metaphorical bed of boldness, of negativity, of depression. When you start to put that effort in, you find that mindfulness gets brighter. That mindfulness gets brighter, energy comes up, happiness comes up, and you become more wise in life, wise in your relationships, wise in life and wise to yourself. Buddhism is supposed to be a religion of wisdom. Where did all the Buddha's wisdom come from? Where did did Adjan Charles wisdom come from? Did they come from lying in bed? Did they come from just sort of being lazy and sluggish? One of the things which I noticed with the great monks I saw in the nuns, they were full of energy. And sometimes I wonder where that energy came from. Where did adjunct get all that ability just to be so bright and alert? People ask me questions. It was so sharp. Your time hardly ever made mistakes. It came from that brightness of the mind. You start energy, it's like a snowball. It runs and runs and rolls and rolls. Gets bigger and bigger and bigger. There's no limit to the energy of the mind. The limit to the energy of the body. That's how much food you put into it, how many calories you eat, the energy of the mind, how much happiness you put into the body. The mind eats happiness. The more good, wholesome, protein filled happiness you put in the mind, more bright and joyful it is, and more wisdom it can have. So when we talk about mindfulness, mindfulness is that brightness. You know, you're mindful when you've got energy, you alert and you can look at something and you can see directly what needs to be done. All my wisdom comes from that, that mindfulness, from the energy, from the sharpness, that brightness of the mind. My goodness, I should be tired out this evening. There'd be no way I could give a talk this evening. If you knew the schedule, which I've just been following for the last not for two weeks, for three, four, five weeks, I don't know, since the end of the range, retreated by monastery. I think a lot of you will be dead if you did what I did for the last four or five weeks. Do I have energy because of that powerful mindfulness. And when you start to develop that, then you can focus that into the big questions of life, shine that light into the body, into the mind, into the doer. In Buddhism, we call it satypatana. Don't we all? Focuses of mindfulness people, they look at that satya patana suto focus on these things. They say if you focus on these things for seven days, you become fully enlightened. People actually do these nine day retreats. Not seven day, but nine day retreat. Satty patana retreats, focus of mindfulness retreats. Now, after nine days, they're not enlightened. He says in the book, seven days is enough. I've done extra two just to make sure. No, the reason is because there's not enough sharpness of mindfulness there. The mind isn't bright enough. That's why. You've all heard me teach. You need that power of samadi. First of all, samadhi brightens the mind up. So you've got a huge flashlight in your book or your mind. So if you got that flashlight in your mind, and you look at any of those focuses of mind, the body. Feeling sensations, mind itself or mind objects, especially thoughts. If you've got that bright mind, you look at those things. That bright mind. It sees everything in there. But you see the pimples on the woman. You see the smells on the man. Sensitive. Even more sensitive than a dog who can smell cancers. Mind is empowered. Then you can see all the cancers attachments and departments and craving and all those sorts of things. You can see why they call departments the hard job as a monk, because we say that thus is a department. It's fun. It's hard to see that, isn't it? Because you don't want to see it. That's why you don't want to see it. That's why it's all dumb duck the same way you don't want to see what you're going out with. That's why you go to go out in the evening time. Romance grows under moonlight. Out in the sunlight. Delusion grows out of dullness. Enlightenment comes out of the bright mind. When you actually get the bright mind going, then you start to see the truth of things as they really are. You start to see all your little delusions, which you've heard about in life, all the Siddiness in life. It's worthwhile seeing those delusions and silliness because once you broke through them, you think, that was why I was having a hard time. That was why my relationships never worked, that was why I lived my life. And I don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing. Because your mindfulness wasn't bright. You weren’t alert, weren’t sharp. You just gone through life through a mist. Don't really know where you going, what you're supposed to be doing. Never really knowing the territory of life, never enlightened. But by bringing up beautiful mindfulness, powerful mindfulness, sharp mindfulness. Not only is it bliss, not only is it energy, not only can you do amazing things, the most amazing thing you can do is actually see what the Buddha saw, see the truth, see enlightenment. The result of that is even more happiness and more blue. The end of suffering. Buddhism, the banner is the ultimate happiness, the highest happiness. If you want to know what happiness is, it's what Nabana is. People say, what's Nabana? Ultimate happiness. They want to be told that they want to see for themselves. The great Buddha was saying, this is what you should do. You start by brushing your teeth in the opposite end of the mouth than you do every day. Let's start. You do things differently. You do charity. You keep precepts the basic teachings of Buddhism. You try that out and see what happens. You get brighter, more cheery. It works. It's worked for 25 centuries. It's certainly worked for me. It works for so many people. You give it a go. It's a power of mindfulness. You want to be happy? This is what we should do. If I want to be happy, well, I can't help you. That's a talk this evening on Mindfulness, in daily life and in spiritual life.

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