Episode 80

April 07, 2024


Self Discipline | Ajahn Brahm

Self Discipline | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Self Discipline | Ajahn Brahm

Apr 07 2024 | 00:50:01


Show Notes

Sometimes we have the right intention to do good things and make positive changes in our lives but we just can’t figure out how to actually do it! Ajahn Brahm explains that self-discipline isn’t about using willpower or force in order to effect positive change, but rather through using wise strategies that understand the nature of the mind and cleverly coax the mind to make those positive changes.

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 23rd July 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

Self Discipline by Ajahn Brahm [Note: AI generated transcription – expect errors! ] Okay. Again this evening I'm going to give a talk on this subject, which was a request by somebody a couple of weeks ago. They asked me to talk about self-discipline. So if you are not a discipline person and listen to this. It's a strange subject to talk about self-discipline when an essential part of the Buddhist teachings is is no self. So I can truly say I have no self-discipline. But really, what I mean is that you discipline the non self. And so really what you're doing a disciplining the mind. So we're talking about mind discipline now. And of course is a very important part of each one of our lives. And sometimes we know what we should be doing. We just can't do it. We want to find out how we can do it, how we could put our ideals of our life into practice so we're not just talking about or actually doing it. Recently when I was in Singapore, I went to a fundraising walk. It was only a small walk. We were doing my 5 or 6km to raise funds for the temple and the uh. The wall of the event was opened by one of the politicians and they asked that politician, are you going on the walk? He said, no. And I said, ah, you're one of those people who talk the walk. You know, walking. It's all true. He laughed. So actually, why is it that sometimes that we can sort of walk the talk? We only talk the walk, and it's just because we need to find new strategies for so disciplining the mind. And it might seem strange to you that, uh, it was a strange actually to the ABC who came to do that documentary for George Negus programme. A couple of weeks ago when they came to visit our monastery down the serpentine. But there was discipline there, but it was a discipline which was very different than, you see, say, in an army. There wasn't tight or heavy or tense, but there was a sense of a natural discipline happening. And this is an important part of what we mean by self-discipline. We're not really talking about sort of like army sort of rules, because if that discipline is running in that direction, it's running through fear, through, you know, wanting to evade punishment. And it always needs to be enforced with things like punishment or with cajoling or with hard speech. I think many of you have stayed at my monastery. Many of you have known me for many years, and I don't know if you've known me ever shouting at anybody, even though sometimes you deserve to be shouted at. But do you realize that's not the way to actually to make things work either to get the best out of another person or to get the best out of oneself. And so when we're talking about self-discipline or discipline, one's mind is the same as disciplining other people. There is many ways of doing it. And the obvious way is like through threats and fears and punishments. If I don't get up this morning, I'm not going to have any breakfast. You you do that. You don't get up in time in the morning. You think, oh, well, there's extenuating circumstances. I will have my breakfast anyway. Too often you can't do that to yourself. So there has to be other ways. We're actually getting what we call self-discipline. And what we actually do is like through encouragement rather than through punishment. There are two different ways. The interesting and a talk I gave at Armadale last Tuesday. Someone was complaining about all this present moment awareness business. They were saying that. Isn't it important to you to learn from your mistakes of the past? And I said, many people think that way. He should learn from the mistakes you've made in the past. But I made a comment that no, you should learn from the successes you make in the past, not learn from the mistakes. Now, that's a very profound difference, sir. Why is it that when we look at, say, the past, we always say we should learn from our mistakes? What are we doing now is looking at the negative. And wanting to punish ourselves or try harder next time. Don't do that again. Silly me. But actually we can do the other way which is exploding from our successes in life. Isn't it strange that very few people say that you learn from your mistakes? You don't learn from your mistakes. You learn from the successes. Because I recall just being a school teacher and learned about the two types of teaching, the positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. This was basic educational psychology, over 30 years old, but still hasn't really been implemented in schools. It is in a little way, but not as much as it could be. Positive reinforcement in education was when anybody did something right. You praise them. You encouraged them. You said, you know, what you've done is a marvelous thing. You gave them a prize, a hug, a smile, whatever you gave encouragement for when they did the thing right. And you ignored completely. You didn't pay any attention at all to when they made a mistake. We usually are accustomed to negative reinforcement, which when somebody makes a mistake, we tell them off, we punish them. We tell them to do it again, stand in the corner, write 100 lines or whatever else it is. We tell people off, and we expect people to learn from their mistakes. What happens. We lose our self-esteem. We get discouraged. Usually, the only thing we ever learned is how not to get caught next time. That's all we learn from. From punishments, from negativity. So actually, it's a different way of looking at it. Instead of learning from our mistakes and actually remembering all the wrong things which happened to us, all the mistakes we did, all the terrible things. Maybe I'll do it better next time. How about the opposite? Learning from our successes. What went right when happiness came? When we succeeded? Why why why why isn't it strange that our society is always focusing on our mistakes, not focusing on what's positive? Why don't we learn from our successes? Psychology has shown is far more effective. So when we're disciplining ourselves, what do we mean by disciplining ourselves, trying to make us better people instead of focusing too much on mistakes, which makes you negative, which, uh, sucks away your positive energy, which makes you depressed? Frustrated? I can't do anything. This is really hopeless. How about focusing on your successes? That's how we discipline ourselves. So when you do get up in the morning, give yourself an extra piece of breakfast, whatever else you eat for breakfast, an extra bowl of muesli, an extra tub of yoghurt, or whatever else you eat. But instead of actually punishing yourself when you do things wrong because they're not encouragements, you can see what's happening. You're giving yourself pleasure. You're giving yourself a support. You applauding yourself. And by that, applauding yourself, you're encouraging yourself to do better next time, to do even more. Better next time so you can get your reward again. You might get fat by that method, but you certainly be happy. But first, what we really mean is that this is actually how you encourage yourself to be good. Now, can you see that? That's why when people make mistakes, they try and discipline themselves by punishing themselves. You know, if he's trying to give up smoking, if I don't make it, then you feel so, so depressed. How many people of yours strive to achieve something, to do something to better yourself? And after you failed, you sort of punish yourself. You feel depressed, you give up all of your hope and it makes it harder. Even next time, it makes it harder to do anything. That's why the first thing about self-discipline to discipline the right is with encouragement. So for a lot of times it's very hard. Being an avid of a monastery with so many monks could really do things wrong. I have to turn a blind eye not to see it. Just like I remember one of those old people that when I was old movies, I used to see Hogan's Heroes, one of my heroes was Schultz and say, I see nothing, I see nothing. Now, sometimes when I feel like an abbot, I see nothing, I see nothing. But except when you see somebody do something good, then you encourage him, you praise him, and that way you get greater success. You are disciplining somebody. You're moving them into a way they want to be. Because all of discipline, all of your movements of body, speech and mind, why you do things is always the positive way. The one which really works is always a greater happiness. So I once asked me what the meaning of life is. Again, it is the movement towards happiness. That's why we do things. And also we can harness that. We can harness that and make whatever we want to succeed in life, make that happy, give some sort of reward. If there's not an inherent reward in succeeding, give that reward to yourself. But put aside all that negativity and the punishment otherwise. People are getting in discipline because they think, why bother? Why should I do this? Life is just so hard, so negative. When you get into that hardness and that negativity, as I've pointed out before. That sucks up your energy to do things, to strive, to actually achieve anything in life. Negativity sucks away energy. But the positivity, the joy, the happiness, the encouragement, the applause that raises your energy level. Any sportsperson knows that through the encouragement of, you know, people cheering you on at the start, that gives you greater energy. But if somebody comes around and says, you stupid this, you stupid that, you're giving a terrible talk, you're terrible soccer game, whatever it is, then you have no energy left. Because it's that happiness, encouragement increases their energy, the energy to do. Which is why that that great teaching of discipline which was from the Chinese art of war. And remember this because I teach this very often in meditation retreats, is where the Emperor had one general who always had perfect discipline in the army. They asked him what was his secret. He said, I already tell my troops to do what I want to do. Imagine a general in an army telling the soldiers, I need to do what you want to do there, but said no, just sleeping all day. They never go to battle. They're never trained. They're just take it easy. What do you mean? The only tell them what you want to do. And of course, the secret. There was a motivation to teaching them to want to get up early in the morning, to want to train. He even teaching them through patriotism or whatever, to want to go and fight to that motivation. He had perfect discipline in the army. They couldn't wait to get up in the morning. They couldn't wait to go and uh, uh, train. They couldn't wait to fight. Now, this is actually how you create that discipline in yourself. Whatever it is you want to achieve in life, do you really want to do that? Are you encouraged to do that? Are you encouraged for the reward? You see the reward. You see the benefit in that you really want to do it. Then discipline becomes easy. He becomes natural. And also because of the sheer happiness. You have the energy to do it. Imagine living in a monastery, having to get up at 4:00 in the morning. In the cold winter months when there's not a heater in your heart. Actually, it's soft in our monastery entirely to get up at 3:00 in the morning. How can you do that? I used to sing. Well, if I don't get up, I said I gotta get up sometime anyway. Might as well get it over and done with. And so you got into the habit of making a fun out of getting up in the morning. I used to jump out of bed. I used to sing zippity doo da. Another lovely day way you see you laughing I was laughing. It was a stupid thing to do. But it made me sort of happy. You got to get up in the morning. It might as well make you have it amazing. The other thing, the other way of getting out. Just you to peel off the blankets one by one. And I said, oh, why is that? To get up in the morning? Because the blankets, they peel back again right over you after a couple of minutes, you know, five more minutes, ten more minutes or an hour or two hours gone by. So you gotta get up anyway. So make fun of it. Enjoy it. And then you want to get up in the morning. You want to do things. So again, is that motivating yourself is the first most important part of that discipline. You really, really want to. And you've got that positive mind state and you reward yourself. You get up in the morning, there's whatever it is you're supposed to be doing. You make it meaningful when it's meaningful. So the discipline comes again quite naturally. Can you see the purpose in this and you want to do it? And his joy in doing it. You're not wanting to do it out of fear and fear of punishment. That's the negative, the negative reinforcement, a negative way of teaching which does not work. So you give yourself rewards, you feel good about it, and then actually you find just actually how you can actually work with this. I was just saying a little bit about meditation retreats. Many of you been on the retreats with me and you may know something about retreat, something we call Noble Silence. You know what noble silence means. In my retreats. There are no bells. Without missing a bell in the mornings to get people up. We don't ring a bell for lunch. We don't linger. Bell for this meditation or that meditation. I've been on retreats like that which has got external discipline. 4:00 in the morning. Everybody must get up. And you're looking around to see who's missing. And 10:00 lights out and everybody immediately goes back. And you can see that people are just so tense. They're just so afraid of, you know, being late. And sometimes people have, you know, these nightmares of being late and being the last one there that's running out of fear. That's just the external discipline. And I've tried that when I first was at Marcus first started teaching retreats, you were just following what other people did, and you find that people weren't getting into decent meditation. They were getting tight and tense, and that's the last thing they wanted on a meditation retreat. That's what they were doing for the rest of their life, at work and at home. And I was doing the same thing. So I started stopping this. I started stopping the bell's having no bell. Silence. And soon I got the Nobel Peace Prize. Everyone was getting much more peaceful and I never got in other retreats. And it was amazing when you didn't force people to meditate at a certain time when a discipline was not enforced by me. You found people when you used to get into that whole 4:15 in the morning, there'll be people already sitting there. They got out way before me. You go to bed around or leave the hall about 10:00, 1030. There still be people meditating in there. What was going on? Why was I getting more out of my students when there was no bars? Simply because people wanted to meditate. When it got to late at night, they were afraid. Oh, I'd better go to sleep now. Otherwise I won't be able to get up when the bell rings in the morning. They weren't afraid anymore, and a natural discipline started to occur. It was a discipline of happiness. They meditated because they wanted to meditate. It is a great way of meditating. People were sitting there and usually, you know these retreats when you have a bear, after 50 minutes or 1 hour, you got to go and do something else. They're meditating for two hours and three hours at a time. Even more than that. They're beating their records. Not because they were trying to. Because they kept wanting to meditate. And that showed me meditation is just one example of what discipline really is. And there I was like that Chinese journal. I had got so much discipline from the people on my retreats. Why? Because I only told them what they wanted to do. I was encouraging them. Compassion, wisdom, mindfulness, all coming together in this beautiful way out. How to get the best out of those meditators. And again, I don't just talk the walk. I walk that talk. That's how I do it with myself. Whenever I meditate, I don't set a time. You're going to have to meditate for such a long time, except here on a Friday evening, because I know if I go too long, I'll get into trouble. But usually in my monastery, you just go and sit down and see how long it takes. You keep on meditating when you want to. That's why being a monk. Why are you a monk? Because I like being a monk. Sometimes people think, oh, it's so hard being a monk. Oh, you can't eat what you want to eat. You can't watch the TV. You can't watch the movies. There's no sex. There's no sport. Don't you miss something? I do miss something. I must admit, I miss all that suffering. That's also why this is our Z story about this person who came to see this monk. And as soon as he saw this monk, this monk have been around for so many years, and he bowed to him out of great respect. Oh, I respect you so much. You're a monk who keeps all these rules. So it must be so hard in your monastery. In the monks. Is that why you're bound to me? Because it's so difficult. Yeah. I bow to anyone who does something so hard. So the man got down and bowed to the man who said. It's much harder being a life person and being a monk. You've got to get up early in the morning. You got to travel with your wife, you got trouble with your kids. We've got many more headaches than I've got. Therefore, it must be much harder if I'm going about to you. But. He. It's this. Sure. This on the external look at the discipline of a monks. And many of you know our monastery. You've lived there. You've actually watched us for many years, though we keep all those rules. We're very some people think we're very strict, but doesn't look like a strict monk, because I always had the idea that someone was strict with someone who never smiles like a puritan, you know, is just really tough and just tower and grim and would never had the loss. We are strict with our every rules, but in a very light way. And are you sure you can keep your rules much better? When you have happiness. Now, when you're trying out of negativity, the discipline is coming from within rather than from without. The discipline is coming with meaning. So you just want to keep those rules. You just want to live simply. You just want to be peaceful. You just want to be silent. And then the discipline comes naturally. It's very. Sometimes you wonder just how a person can keep their mind still when they're meditating. I usually meditation as my example about discipline because that's something we all do here. How do you keep your mind still? And sometimes I've given the example recently in my monastery. It's like holding a cup. Still, you can try and hold this cup as still as you can. You can discipline your arm and your reflexes, and you hold this cup as still as you possibly can. But every time I try this, my cup always vibrates. It always wobbles slightly because I cannot keep it absolutely still, even though I try. You know how I figured out how to keep the cup still? That's why you put it there. And now it's still. And that's actually how you have that discipline with your mind when you're trying to hold it. And that's that discipline. You're trying to do something. You're forcing it. External power. It's never still. You will let it go. Then it's still. That's how you get discipline through letting it go. Because what's the way that we don't get discipline? Because the discipline is anger and desires and wanting and frustration and revenge that causes the discipline of a human being. You're going to get to the cause of it. Once all those things are put down, then the discipline becomes natural. We know that in Buddhism they say that you have all of these rules which you have to keep. We have this thing called the simile of the raft. That this raft decides to get from one side, this shore to the other shore. Now, from the place where this are problems to enlightenment, the other shore. And the Buddha said in his great simile that once you get to the other shore, you can throw away the raft you've crossed. You don't need it anymore. So when I first read that, I was like, oh great, just keep this precepts until you're enlightened and then you can have a good time afterwards. He's a keeper of his precepts and rules. Anyway, like this, you'd draft is done. But the amazing thing is that you don't carry that raft. But when you enlightened the raft carries you the rafters and disappear. The precepts, the rules, the five pieces, whatever it is, become natural. In other words, the discipline comes from within. Rather than be something forced from some ideas without you, you become the natural monk, the natural nun, the natural good person. So it becomes a discipline which is not coming from some sort of idea or fear. That's one of the reasons why I rejected much of the Judeo Christianity, which I was taught as a young man. It was always fear if you don't do this, you'll go to hell. If you misbehave, you'll be in big trouble. But I did misbehave. I wasn't in trouble, I enjoyed it. I'm sorry. It was ugly. But it's also. You find everybody was misbehaving. But because it wasn't coming from the right place to actually to get their discipline. You. First of all, you need that encouragement and either understanding. How is interesting with talking with top sportspeople, musicians and dancers because as a monk, it's an interesting lifestyle because you meet people from all stages of this life, know from the bricklayers or the even the the ex-cons or the cons. You go and visit in jail to these very wealthy people, to these millionaires, to these highly successful sportspeople and and famous people in the world and movies. Yeah, movie stars and TV stars. It's a fascinating, actually. I went to Sydney a couple of years ago and I was teaching meditation in this group. This lady, she was kept on looking at me and smiling, looking at me, smiling, looking me smiles and what she was up to and. Feeling a little bit suspicious being a mac. And then after that, after it was all finished, I asked one of the other people who was that lady and that she was some really famous TV star. You know who is on all of these movies and all of these? Um, uh. The TV docu dramas and TV series like Water Rats and Other Thing because I didn't know TV. I didn't know if she was from anybody. So she was just doing that, you know, she was actually saying, recognize me? I said, no, you recognise me? Not that. I'll say she was really spread out with me. So it was great to hear who these people are. And they get really upset when you don't recognise them because they don't have a TV. But anyway. Anyway, sort of talking to some of these, like, top performers, because one of my old friends who was a monk together in a very, very early years and he's one of actually the founders of our Buddhist society, but he's so he went to live over in India because he married his Indian dancer, the classical Indian dancer. And when he came back, he showed me she was actually on the cover of these big glossy magazines in India. She was really famous. And she was coming over to Perth every now and again to perform. I'm going to ask you this question, and it's a question which I've asked many sort of top performers, but I knew the answer. And it's funny. You just want to hear what you already know. I said, how do you perform to such a high level? How do you discipline yourself so much to be sort of one of the top performers? Because you have to actually work so hard to reach that level. And she said, well, I've heard many, many times before. She said, I train, train, train, train, train, train. I join my training. But when it gets too hard to perform, I forget everything I was ever taught. I just really let go. Because if I remember all the steps, if I remember all the instructions, if I think about it, it all goes wrong. It doesn't flow. When I let go completely, I just abandon it, abandon myself. She said, it's like I'm sitting in this body just watching all these feet and hands just move so gracefully. I don't do it at all. It just happens. That's how she performed to such a great level. And I've heard that with that from so many other people. I think athletes say they get into the zone. I remember reading an article about these Olympic gymnasts, you know, people who won the gold medal, who were saying that they have to really forget about themselves, forget about the trade, and forget about everything they've ever been taught. It is goal and it is the whole thing just happens. But they don't get in the way. It's letting go. That is the discipline. That's when things start to flow so smoothly. That's how you perform to the high level. So really this is what I was saying earlier. Self discipline. It's actually no self discipline disciplining the no self. However to get to those sorts of stages we do need that training. And how can we actually get that initial training without actually messing up this beautiful way of natural discipline? And one of the beautiful features which I found, which again, I learned from my meditation, which I also can learn from my daily life as a monk. Because sometimes when you do make mistakes and you do need to sort of clean up your act, you know, do it better, how do you do that? The last thing is actually to punish yourself, to get down upon yourself, to be negative. Never do that because that makes matters worse. That's not the way to discipline yourself. Not with a stick. The metaphorical stick, I mean. Encouragement. But how does the encouragement work? Sometimes that encouragement, if it's persisting, can be just the same as the stick. Come on, you can do it. Come on. You can do it. Come on. Oh! Shut up! I'm trying my best. So what is that wise encouragement? What I call it is like conditioning the mind. Brainwashing the mind. What do you do? He's just give a few quiet and mindful suggestions to yourself. Not too many, just a few, but very clear. So, for example, if you're getting up and fighting hard to get up in the morning, it is suggest to yourself before you go to sleep. I would get up early. I would get up early. I would get up early. Just encouraging yourself with mindful suggestions. And then you forget about it. And you find you get up early. The way of training the mind. The mind. It's very easy to train when you understand how it works. The reason why it is hard to train. Two reasons. The suggestions, or rather the instructions we give number one are unclear. Number two, we're not listening. It's just like you got a son or daughter, a teenage daughter. You can't get them to do what you want. Why is that? Because the instructions are unclear. Not really. Clear what you want them to do. And number two, they're not listening. The same with you. You've got to listen. So to give yourself instructions, you've got to be very mindful to stop and really listen and make it very, very clear. A simple instruction like I get up early in the morning, well, have you got some problem? Like you're a smoker. You give yourself that instruction. Next time I want to pick up a cigarette. I won't. Next time I want to pick up a cigarette. I won't. Next time I want to pick up a cigarette, I won't, very clearly. But don't beat up on yourself and say next time I pick up a cigarette. I won't do it gently. Otherwise the mind will not listen clearly. A strange thing happens. You find, your mind remembers. It's just basic hypnotism, basic brainwashing, basic conditioning. Just the way the mind works. But the problem is, because we're not skillful, we discipline ourselves over much instead of doing it just the right amount or not at all. We just do it too much. So similarly, I usually give about the similar the taxi driver the same. The taxi driver goes like this. Suppose from here you're going to the airport. And you got a taxi to pick you up after the talk. And as you get into the taxi, you tell the taxi driver, I want to go to Perth Airport. Got a plane to catch tonight. Now, I don't want you to travel too fast nor too slow. Keep the left side of the road. But I'm a Buddhist, so if anyone wants to come in, please let them in. So. And those sort of talk while I'm while we're driving because I want to be quiet, I want to meditate. And I've got to get there at that time. So please make sure you get there at that time and don't smoke in the cab while I'm here. And please don't turn your radio on and don't. If you carry on like that, the taxi driver will throw you out before you get to the end of Nance and way. I. That's actually what we do to ourselves. We're always giving ourselves orders. Come on, do this. Come on, get this. Come on, do this. Come on down. Do that. Come on, come on, come on. No wonder your mind rebels. Let's. Let's throw you out. I'm not listening to you anymore. Shut up! So to ask you to get discipline in the mind, to train the mind, you have to be very gentle. Just a few suggestions and then stop. And you'll be amazed at how that mind reacts. I tell this to every meditation retreat, but it's a good little experiment for you to do tonight. When I was first told this, I didn't believe it, but I'd put it into practice and my goodness, it worked. What time you have to get up tomorrow morning, set your alarm clock and most of you have alarm clocks to five minutes past that time, just in case. So it's sort of 8:00. So your alarm clock to 8:05. But tell yourself just before you go to sleep very clearly three times I will wake up at 8:00. I will wake up at 8:00. I will wake up at 8:00. Say alarm clock to 8:05. So you don't worry. And I guarantee most of you will wake up five minutes before your alarm goes off. 1 or 2 minutes. Nine aside, it is showing you to the power of the mind, a power of positive suggestion. And if you can do that for waking up, that's a disciplining of your mind. You can start doing that with other things as well. For example, you may have bad speech habits to your partner, but in other words, you get angry at them, you shout at them. You don't sort of talk the right things to them. You don't encourage them. You don't talk sweetly to them. If you've got bad speech habits like that, how do you discipline yourself to stop that which is going to, uh, ruin your relationship? Trying to punish yourself doesn't work. Try to say I must not did it again. I'm not going to do this again. Banging yourself to see what I'm doing. I'm banging myself. Trying to hurt myself. That's not how you do it. You say, nice man. I'm going to be. Try and be back next. You encourage yourself with kindness because you listen there with a bit of kindness. And number two, don't overdo it. Just say a couple times. Nice. I'm going to be kind to my my wife. I'm going to speak nice things to my husband. I'm going to be next time I get angry, I'm not going to say anything nasty. And by encouraging yourself positively. With kindness, with mindfulness. Amazing how much it works, how easy it works. Can you find yourself about to say something you shouldn't? And so it comes into the mind and stops you. His mindfulness program, mindfulness. Mindfulness in Buddhism is the great controller in the sense that it can actually change the way you live your life. Mindfulness is like instead of following the same old way, walking through the same door, you can go through other doors. How many of you who come here every Friday night sit in the same place? I didn't feel. I've got no choice. I have to. Okay, now you see that stack of mindfulness, lack of awareness. Awareness means you can see in other places. You can do things in other ways. You've got other opportunities. You're much more resourceful. So actually, to discipline oneself, one needs us more resources. Not doing it in the same old negative way. You can go through another door positive way, but actually, to get that mindfulness established, you can program. You can condition yourself to say, next time. I sort of get my balance pushed by my husband, by my wife or my kids, by my parents, by my boss at work, I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to react. You can program yourself like that. And my goodness is so powerful how well it works. And you see, that's a very powerful and easy way to get discipline, which is that you just to train your mind, to train your speech, to train your body. Even if you have a hard time. There's any young people here studying. I don't feel like studying. You can program yourself to say, look, I have to study. I'm going to put some joy into it. And next time I open that book, it's time to do my homework or time to do my study and will enjoy it next time I open that book I'm going to enjoy. Next, I can open that book. I'm going to enjoy it. What that really means the brainwashing yourself to enjoy it. You brainwash yourself to enjoy anything. Next time I come to Knowledge Center, I'm going to enjoy it next time I can't do. I don't know what you have to do in your life, but there's all these things. I'm a senior. I have to go and do this. I have to go and do that. Have you going to a funeral? Have to go and see someone who's sick? Sometimes people ring up and they've got problems with their third, I think. I said go and see an optometrist. Looks like we've got this optometrist for eyes as close to the eye. So? So sometimes there was a time when I said, why do I have to do this? I didn't become a monk to answer all these silly questions. I became about to say in the cave and enjoy myself. But discipline yourself and say, I've got to do this. I might as well enjoy it. You've got to study. You might as well enjoy it. And I've done that for the last. I don't know how many years would I ever have to do? I might as well enjoy it. Like going to the dentist. My dentist is here this evening somewhere. I don't know where he is. He's our secretary. Last I went to the dentist. That is such a good time. I don't know, it was the cocaine you put in my mouth or something. My God. It was just so comfortable in that chair I didn't want to get up. We don't have lights here like that. And I'm not afraid to sit on the hard concrete. Maybe a cushion or two. But those chairs and the dent is really nice. So you got to do it. You might as well enjoy yourself so you can see how you can put joy into whatever you're doing. Or you could actually go to that are gone. And then I don't want to go to that dentist anymore. I don't want to do this. Now you see how that you create the indiscipline. Of that soldiers. I don't want to follow the order that I would do what I need to do. I don't want to do what I have to do. And that's where we get the indiscipline from. We become rebellious against what is obvious we need to do. Maybe we force ourselves to do it, but there's no fun in it. Negative reinforcement. We get depressed. Angry. We get grumpy. That's no way to have discipline. The best and only way to have that discipline for happiness into a program, that happiness into it till you want to do it. You see the benefit in it and you program that benefit into it. And that way you can just do anything. You become a disciplined person. Whatever it is you have to do in your life, whatever you want to do. You can actually change your whole life. Program yourself, create that mindfulness. And I get that wisdom coming up, that compassion, that kindness. Kindness is a way for discipline. You know that sometimes that some of these teachers like my teacher, actually. And so it's just so kind. He just wanted to do what he told you to. Who's the strange that sometimes we talk about it? How do we allow that man to do these things for that to us? We'll have to have to sit up all night sometimes. You know, you send this to these monasteries without a moment's notice. Sometimes you'll be happy in this monastery, having a good time. He turned up and said, you go to the other side of Thailand. Oh, tomorrow. Next week? No, now. I was just sitting in their car. And, you know, sometimes you're saying that he can't do this to me. We never actually think like that. We just allowed it to happen because it was all down to this amazing compassion and kindness. Just in this little book, which is coming out soon. There's one passage and the people actually hear the editors say, can we put that passage in that makes that young child look like a sadist? And I said, no, this is what happened. And he was actually out of compassion. That was when one of our monks, he was actually disciplining him. Had he had to give talks. But training him for discipline is. So he had to give a talk in Thai or one of the the the the holidays. One of the the moon days. So he had to go up onto the, the, uh, the seat and give a talk for one hour in Thai. You finish the talk. He's about to get down. Now don't cha said another hour. Doing that I said something. Now they just do it. So again this for Westerner. There's only so much Thai, you know. And after an hour you've exhausted most of it. And so he started repeating himself many times, the same old stories. And if we managed to get through the second hour, it was about to get down and I just said another hour. And by this time that, you know, you don't know what to say. There was long pauses between sentences where I was trying to think what to say, and people had lost their faith by this time and were walking out. Those people were still in, were half asleep or just chatting to each other, not paying any attention. And even the lizards on the wall were all asleep. But he managed to get through three hours of a talk inside. No one was listening at all. Got down at you and said another half you had to do for hours. Well, he said afterwards he plumbed the depths of audience response. So after that he didn't care. People sort of enjoyed his talk or didn't talk. When he does that for us. So that's how you trained. That's how you're disciplined. It doesn't matter if people like your talk or you don't like your talk. You just give not expecting anything back in return. See the beautiful discipline and why we allowed that inside to do that. Cause it was done out of compassion and kindness. Anybody did anything wrong? He just laughed his head off. He thought it was so funny. For example, when I was learning to say. Because as any requisite which I needed anything to live by, you to have to go and ask your teacher. He had to speak big drum of no toothpaste. And so when I asked for some soap once because I ran out of soap. Honey, the Thai word for soap, is very close to the Thai word for pineapple. That's right. So when I went out to his house. I actually asked for a pineapple. And I thought I was asking for soap. And he looked at me this way straight. What do you want pineapple for? So I had to use my sign language. I said no to to wash my voice. Because that's it. I crease that with laughter. And he always told the other people I was the Western man who watched with pineapples. It's so funny, but at least I knew from that time on the difference that they were between pineapple. And so I really learned. But because it was all done with kindness, with compassion, with laughter, it was a tremendous discipline. You wanted actually to learn. You wanted to do these things because there was kindness behind it. People had your goodwill at heart. And that's actually why. You learnt. That's why you train. That's why you grew. I saw that was the way that my teacher had your own child taught us. And I realized that that was a teaching on how I could train myself in exactly the same way. So you make a mistake, you make a silly mistake. He. You laugh. You know that beautiful sign which I first learned as a school teacher? If you make a mistake and all the class in front of you is laughing, you laugh as well, then they're never laughing at you. They're only laughing with you. Isn't that a beautiful way of life? So if you make a fool of yourself, you laugh. And then the world and laughs with you never laughs at you. So we train ourselves with that joy and with that joy, with that energy. The discipline comes very quickly. It comes very naturally. Whatever we want to do in life, whatever is our job, whatever it is we try to succeed in, in life you find it becomes very easy to do well. It's meditation. No boss violence. Don't push yourself. Encourage yourself. They'll be hard upon yourself. Forgive yourself. Be gentle. Be compassionate, and you grow much faster. You succeed more easily, and you enjoy every minute of it. That way, when you want to get up in the morning, it's easy to get up in the morning. You want to when you're. When you're studying, you want to. You saw it yourself. Up you put energy. You put joy into it. Whatever you're doing. No, that's what I've done as a monk. Whatever you have to do in your life. Even going to see autopsies, you have funnily, have joining one of the autopsies I saw over here years ago. This is Scottish pathologist. I think he became, uh, quite notorious, I think. Got into trouble in Sydney because he moved to Sydney afterwards. I forget what his name was, but when he was cutting up this lady, there was all this, um, inside her stomach was, um, that's what, uh, was it mixed vegetables? No, this dice mixed vegetables. And he said it's the same on a Glasgow bus on a Saturday night. Because all these Glaswegians, they always get drunk and they sort of vomit on the bus. You said exactly. What's the same as what you say on the bus? But he's a very funny man because he's doing the autopsy. Thanks for tuning into it. Whatever you do in your life. And that's the best way to have discipline. You want to do it. It's fun to do it. It becomes easy to do it. Not done out of fear. That's how we discipline our mind. And if you know how to discipline your mind. See what? All those things. You want to abandon us. It's harmful. Hurtful, stupid. The little things we do. Though, there's beautiful things we did encouraging them. Making fun out of this and you find that is the best way to train. That's where my self-discipline comes from. That's why I get up early in the morning, meditate late at night where I can work hard. I can keep my rules very easily. I can be a very strict monk without being a heavy monk. That's how self-discipline works. No self-discipline. Disciplining the mind. So there you go. It's an hour's talk. Any questions about the talk this evening? Any questions? Comments? Complaints. Father. Hi. Hi. Can we get our announcements now? My well-disciplined. Uh, president.

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