Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hello Dear friends,

I am glad to be back with you. Yes, compared to other planets in this universe, this Earth is pretty small, and life after life we meet each other consciously or unconsciously.

This information is being forwarded to only some selected persons who earlier (or participated), expressed their interested in participating in a ONE DAY RETREAT program. Certainly we all have different heart-souls, and insightful personalities. I'm here with the news of another possible opportunity.

After every possible consideration I (we) have decided to hold our 3rd ONE DAY RETREAT, possible time and date is not decided yet, however the possible day will be the 3rd week of March, and yes, certainly on Sunday!

Two possible locations-

1. Sophia College Venue, Brunswick, about 2 hours drive south from Perth, a perfect place for retreat and with all facilities. It is a wonderful opportunity to spend a day a little far from the busy city life, and experiencing relaxing and insightful moments.

2. One of my friends has a beautiful house in Cotesloe, quiet, just next to the beach. Once she mentioned that she and her friends would love to join the retreat if possible, and would be happy to accommodate the group for the day, so kind of her.

What I m asking is if you are interested in participating in this retreat, and taking the wonderful opportunity. Please, let us know as early as possible. It will help us to organize the day well.

Hope to hear from you, and wish you every success and happiness in life!

With metta


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Research, Study & Management Opportunities in Hingher Education


Vetted Abstracts for the 20th September 2010 ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE


Research, Study & Management Opportunities in Higher Education


Praggananda Sraman


Buddhist education is the principal tool of human growth, essential for transforming the unlettered child into a mature and responsible adult. Yet everywhere today, education may be necessary to guarantee societal stability, it does little to fulfill the higher end of learning, the illumination of the mind with the light of truth and goodness.A major cause of educational problems lies in the "commercialization" of education. The industrial growth model of society, which today extends its tentacles even into the largely agrarian societies of South and Southeast Asia, demands that the educational system prepare students to become productive citizens in an economic order governed by the drive to maximize profits. Such a conception of the aim of education is quite different from that consistent with Buddhist principles. Practical efficiency certainly has its place in Buddhist education, for Buddhism propounds a middle path which recognizes that our loftiest spiritual aspirations depend on a healthy body and a materially secure society. But for Buddhism the practical side of education must be integrated; with other requirements designed to bring the potentialities of human nature to maturity in the way envisioned by the Buddha. Above all, an educational policy guided by Buddhist principles must aim to instill values as much as to impart information. It must be directed, not merely toward developing social and commercial skills, but toward nurturing in the students the seeds of spiritual nobility.
The entire system of Buddhist education must be rooted in faith (saddha) — faith in the Triple Gem, and above all in the Buddha as the Fully Enlightened One, the peerless teacher and supreme guide to right living and right understanding. Based on this faith, the students must be inspired to become accomplished in virtue (sila) by following the moral guidelines spelled out by the Five Precepts. They must come to know the precepts well, to understand the reasons for observing them, and to know how to apply them in the difficult circumstances of human life today. Most importantly, they should come to appreciate the positive virtues these precepts represent: kindness, honesty, purity, truthfulness, and mental sobriety. They must also acquire the spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice (caga), so essential for overcoming selfishness, greed, and the narrow focus on self-advancement that dominates in present-day society. To strive to fulfill the ideal of generosity is to develop compassion and renunciation, qualities which sustained the Buddha throughout his entire career. It is to learn that cooperation is greater than competition, that self-sacrifice is more fulfilling than self-aggrandizement, and that our true welfare is to be achieved through harmony and good will rather than by exploiting and dominating others.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Unofficial but Special

An unofficial but special visit

Last Sunday, 22th August, I had an unofficial but special visit to a Pho Quang Vietnamese temple in Marangarro where I met venerable Thich Phuoc Nhon. That day the Vietnamese community in Western Australia gathered together for their Ullumbana (Mother) day.

When I saw the temple from outside, then stepped into the temple complex, I had a feeling that this is a successful temple with its successful community. My friends and I enjoyed the beautiful and serene environment around
the temple.

The chanting was still going on, meanwhile my friends enjoyed their lunch in the temple, some generous people there warmly invited them to take part in their lunch. After the chanting, venerable Thich Phuoc Nhon came down and saw me, and we exchanged our greetings. He is such a kind, generous, friendly and easy going person. We introduced ourselves to each other. He has been in Australia for about 30 years, and he himself, with his dedication, built t
his wonderful temple. He told me about all his life stories and the temple. I admired the successes and achievements of his life, for hi
s community. I said to him that I'm also doing some kinds of community development program but not as big as he has. Then I explained about my Children's ordination project and scholarships for poor Buddhist children of my community in Bangladesh. I invited him to pay a visit to my community in Bangladesh. He accepted my invitation and said he might be able to do something for my community, and he wants to.

It was a wonderful experience for me. How wonderful, a successful and a disciplined community. There are some different traditional Buddhist communities in WA with their many supporters, but what are they doing, what have they achieved unti
l now for themselves. According to my experience they are divided into groups, para-groups, and finally they achieve nothing, more Akusala, more failures. What kind of Buddhism is that!

Venerable Thich Phuoc Nhon, his temple, and his successful life and achievements are like a role model for me. I wish I could achieve true Metta-Karuna-Mudita-Upekkha by doing services like him.
I thank him so much for his time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Borobudur, My Inspiration

Borobudur, my inspitation

Moments with Candi Borobudur

General introduction

The client- is myself, Praggananda.
Country- Indonesia

Location- Jakarta, capital city
Borobudur and surrounding ancient Buddhist monuments (approximate 50 kilometres from north-west of Yogyakarta), Bali Island

Occasion- Pilgrimage to Borobudur, Buddha Full moon day celebration, meeting friends, new learning experiences, pretty much a holiday trip.

The Dream Came True-

For me visiting Borobudur is like a dream coming true. I knew about Borobudur since I was in school where our history book mentioned that one of our great idols of Bangle is Sri Atish Dipankara who was a Buddhist monk who either studied or was teaching in Borobudur, Java. It is believed that Borobudur is one of the greatest and most significant monuments in this world. As some people believe, this is also one of the wonders of this planet. Yes, the Borobudur, around 8th century onward (probably until 13th century) was the heart of the Buddhist learning centre when the Buddha Dhamma flourished in all of central Asia, until occupied by the Muslims from the Middle-east.

I’m not going to tell the story about Borobudur, nor sermonize about it. What I would say in a word is Borobudur is an inspiration for my spiritual journey. It is now a legend
though still it does exist in Indonesia which the world largest Muslim populated country in the world, and this is the reality. The future of Borobudur no one knows, in present as I said is an inspiration, a light in the dark. Some say the past is history, the future is just a mystery and the present is a gift. So Borobudur is a gift for every human in this world. If you want to know more about Borobudur please visit

My Gratefulness

Firstly, my gratefulness is to me, myself and my good kamma that I have deserved, and as a result I have been there and worshipped, touched his feet, and been blessed by visiting Borobudur. Secondly, I thank Ms Heni who invited me there and took care of every thing, to her family and friends. I was so amazed by their devotion, humility, generosity and braveness. I will never forget their unconditional love and support.

The Days Have Arrived

It was 2:30am, Airasia flight took off from Perth airport for Denpasar, Bali. I fell asleep while meditating with my prayer beads. Suddenly, bright sunshine coming through the window woke me up, and then I looked through the window and found myself in the middle of no where, (a kind of Nirbanic experience). Slowly the flight started going down then I saw many different scattered islands. The flight was on time, soon, again I hopped onto another flight to Jakarta within 45 minutes. The flight landed on time in Jakarta where Heni and her friend were waiting for me. I was so happy to see them there in the airport. Then we introduced ourselves to each other. I told Heni that I was sorry if I disappointed her, and she asked me why? Then I said may be you thought I would be a tall, white, fat, old and wise looking monk, but I’m not……. (We laughed).

It was lunch time, we went straight to the DHARMA KITCHEN VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT as planned where three monks and some others were also waiting us to have lunch together. There I met Ven. Saddha with two other young monks and some devotees. I was famished and the lunch was so good.

I came back to Dhammabhakti temple with the other monks, they were so kind and friendly to me. I took a little rest. On the same day I gave a Dhamma-talk organized by Heni and the temple. The talk was very good, many people gathered together. While in Jakarta I visited some other places, one Japanese temple and one Dhamma centre called Ashin Jinarakkhita museum. Some one asked me if I would like to see Jakarta city. I suggested to them that after office hours or midnight would be the
best time to do so.

On the 26th of May, four of us flew together to Yogjakarta from Jakarta where s Borobudur is located. Heni’s cousin was there to pick us up. We went to her uncle’s house for greeting and refreshment. After an unofficial but special lunch we went to Candi Prambanam and many other places around. Then in the evening we went to hotel Rajasa which is just next to Borobudur.

We woke up early in the morning as planned to see the sun rising and sun shining from the top of Borobudur. It was still was dark, and as we walked toward the stupa it suddenly appeared as a gigantic embracing attitude saying “welcome to Borobudur”. I stopped and just enjoyed the moment of accomplishment that this is the day I was waiting a long time for. For some moments, I just enjoyed the immaculate and glorious beauty and spirit of Borobudur. When the others went to get permission to climb the stupa, I just sat in the path and meditated for a while.

When we were at the summit of the stupa, the sky was beginning to lighten, the sun was just about to rise. I saw some visitors and some journalists. We sat down to one side, then I began morning chanting and protection chanting for our group, then we practiced meditation for while. After that I just felt myself so connected with nature and Borobudur.

The Waisak Full Moon Day at Borobudur

The Waisak full moon day of 2010 took place onthe 28th of May, Friday. I thought this was the best opportunity for me to visit Borobudur, commemorating the Buddha day, and meeting friends, all on one occasion. I saw such a massive arrangement for celebration of the Waisak day around Borobudur, Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana and
many others groups well prepared to rejoice their own ways. Over the night people started gathering from all around. It was raining sometimes, despite the rain, people were just on their way with immaculate faith and devotion. To avoid the noise, and to have a meaningful celebration I was meditating in the shadow of Borobudur for whole morning. According to reports about 10,000 people gathered together in Borobudur to commemorate the Waisak day.

Waisak is an official national holiday in Indonesia. All Buddhists around the world, observe the Waisak day commemorating the birth, death and the time of the attainment of Enlightenment. In Borobudur, the ceremony is centered at the three major Buddhist temples by walking from Mendut to Pawon and ending at Borobudur.

The Enlightening

This is not only just a stupa or shrine or a tourist spot but a symbol of ultimate wisdom. It represents the entire and ultimate teaching of the Buddha, so called the nature of mind, or the world of being. Borobudur has three divisions, the base-body-summit, These symbolize three stages of mental preparation towards the ultimate goal of Nibbaba according to Buddhist cosmology. They are kamadhatu or kamaloka (the w
orld of sensual desires), rupadhatu or rupaloka (the world of forms), and finally the arupadhatu or arupaloka (the formless world). Kamadhatu is represented by the base, rupadhatu by the five square platforms which is the body, and arupadhatu by three circular platforms and the large topmost stupa or the shrine. The architectural features between the three stages have metaphorical differences. For example, square and detailed decoration in the rupadhatu disappear into plain circular platforms in the arupadhatu to represent how the world of forms- when men are still attached with forms and name (Nama-rupa), changes into the world of the formless. This teaching shows us how humans or beings are formed, and to be free from pain and suffering of life by reaching the formless state of mind, which is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist teaching.

Every single stone, every single structure of this monument represents to you meaningful lessons such as paticcasamuppada (cause and effect), your kamma (action) and its consequences, by your good kamma you are rewarded a happy and celestial life on other hand by your bad kamma you deserve an unhappy, miserable and painful life. Every stone and stone face is carved with The Buddha’s birth and life, the Jataka stories, His disciples and the lotus.

As I said for a good Buddhist who is living a contemplative life, and interested in Abhidhamma, Borobudur is inspirational.

Bali, They Say is the Island of Devas

Day 5, May 28th we flew to Bali. We stayed in a beautiful resort hotel in Lagoon. So far I as know Bali is a tourist place, surfing and lying on the beaches with bikinis and shorts. That was not quite true. This place is something else. They call it the island of Guardian Angels, the god and goddess (in their language called Deva).We travelled all around the island from sea level to sky level to every interesting spot. What surprised me was that I found there are a remarkable number of Buddhist temples in comparison with location and population! I
liked most the Brahma Vihara, truly it looks like a Temple of Brahma. On every stairway of the temple they put pure pali Abhidhamma philosophical words. In the temple we met an elderly monk who was so kind and generous. In the temple, as usual we chanted and I gave an important teaching regarding the Buddha’s knowledge and wisdom, as we noticed the words in the stairways.

Bali is well known to the world for its culture, art, glory and beauty. I was amazed by their old temples and art. Obviously Bali is an historical place, and has a wonderful culture that is still thriving today! The culture is influenced by Indian and Chinese, specially the Indian Hindu cultures. About 93% of the total population is predominated Hindu. When we were somewhere on a mountain, I asked them to stop and have a tea break and to enjoy the celestial beauty of the mother planet. I felt we were a guardian goddess sitting in a white cloudy heaven. Then suddenly something came into my mind and I said I never thought or ever had any plan to build a temple and live in it, but if I ever do, it would be here (on top of the mountain in Bali). Then my friend Nana said,
“You need permission from the Devas to build a temple in here.”

Do Tell My Mother I Was in Indonesia

There is one of my favourite programs on TV Channel NatGeo Adventure called ‘DON’T TELL MY MOTHER’. It is about a foreign correspondent named Diego who travels to the most dangerous places in the world and documents it with his hidden camera
s. He really makes his mother worry so much. Last time he told his mother he went to Australia but when she got the Australian postcard with the kangaroo on it, it was addressed from Afghanistan, I did send a post card to my father from Bali, but it was really Bali! I also travel like him but don’t document with hidden cameras, I do document with my hidden wisdom. So if you have the chance, do tell my mother that I was in Indonesia! (Laughter).

Especially after the Bali bomb tragedy many foreign governments prov
ide travel advice that they should exercise HI CAUTION during their travel in Indonesia. There a number of terrorist groups of Islamic extremists who are active. I do not criticise or comment anything about it, but as a general human I do deserve the right to say, obviously I’m a non-violence practitioner. What exploded in the Bali Night club was not a bomb it was a volcanic eruption of human of anger and hatred. Though this is Bali, people think it is different, but still it is part of a Muslim country. The Islamic extremists didn’t take it well that foreigners come to their territory and lie down on the beaches half naked or sometimes naked, they didn’t like the way tourists buy their wine and women for cheap money in the name of economic development. They don’t like it. This is their country; they have their own religion and way of living. All we can do is just respect their religion and way of living.

What would be your definition of extreme? Belgium and France banne
d Burqa (Veil, the traditional Islamic costume for women) in public for (Muslim) women; wouldn’t you call them extremist or racist? I hear Australia also going to do the same. What is the different between these two extreme attitudes, it’s like right hand and left hand of an ignorant person, as hatred and anger come from a deluded and uneducated mind!

Reports say some Islamic extremists wanted to destroy Borobudur. On 21 January 1985, nine stupas of Borobudur were badly damaged by nine bombs. In 1991, a blind
Muslim preacher Husein Ali Al Habsyi, was sentenced to life imprisonment for masterminding a series of bombings in the mid 1980s including the temple. Two other members of a rightwing extremist group that carried out the bombings were each sentenced to 20 years in 1986 and another man received a 13 year person term. And still there are so many incidents like them.

Some Impression-Expression

I would say Buddhist communities in Indonesia are wonderful, compared with many others they are well organized, they have their goals in their ways and they are working on them. Heni said she needed a good teacher, others like her admitted that they need well educated and experienced religious leaders for their progressive society. They are such humble and understanding people. I really admire them, I learned a lot from them as well
as from the entire trip.

Compared with other Muslim countries in the world I know Indonesia is a moderate one, I dare to say it as I have witnessed it. Women are freer there in many aspects, they have had their female president, and they have female leadership. The country is changing. Indonesian terror groups want to establish Islamic Caliphate in their country. They will terrorize the people and the society and earn bad karma but they will not be successful because Indonesians are moderate M

The mosques around the country interested me; they have the shape of a temple. The base is shaped as a Hindu temple, the middle part looks like a Buddhist symbol, and the top part typically shaped as crescent with a star. This is historical as the kings were converted into Hindu, sometimes Buddhist, and finally Muslim. Some say this is symbolic living, a society living in harmony and unity despite religions. People every where addressed me as Bhikshu, which is an honour, and helped me sometimes.

Borobudur is now a part of my body and mind, I m so inspired by this visit and its supportive to my life journey.

From outside the administrative activities look pretty good. Present Borobudur surrounded by a beautiful park, clean with every basic facility. The security issue is also good. One concern of mine was that visitors should be prohibited from wearing shoes or slippers. This is showing respect and another way of protecting people from slipping as they climb the stupa. Once I asked my friends, “You see so many different people coming to visit the temples here, can you tell me what the difference is between us?” “ What can we, as visitors, do to make it different?” Then I told them, “To be wiser and more respectful than others w
ho are wearing shoes and climbing to the top, we are not going to wear shoes in any temples we are going to visit.” Later on, every temple we visited we were m
indful and didn’t wear shoes.

Yes, if you go there, just be mindful, wise and respectful then your visit will be more meaningful. There are many ways we can help ourselves. As I said earlier Borobudur is a legend now, but it does exist. The future no one knows, necessarily no need to know. That’s why the Buddha used to say “sabbe sankhara anicca” all conditioned things are subject to decay and impermanence. What we have now is a gift and we shou
ld enjoy it. To the one who gave this gift, we should appreciate and show our gratefulness. Just live in your present moment.

I say thank you Heni and every one who helped me,
Teri makashi!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ism, Materialism, materialistic Buddhism, Buddhism

Ism, materialism, materialistic Buddhism, Buddhism

By- Praggananda Sraman

To see the article with pictures -please click here


An ism is considered a doctrine, which is a belief or system of beliefs accepted as authoritative by an individual or a group of individuals. It is a very amorphous suffix and could be defined in many ways; in this sense you could call it a purely psychological phenomenon, something that is completely abstract in nature.

It seems that there are numerous isms that exist or are practised in this human society, e.g., Spiritualism, Materialism, Christian-ism, Catholicism, Baptism, Anglicanism, Hinduism, Islamicism, Buddhism(!), Ancestor-ism, Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, Junta-ism, Dictator-ism, Humanism, Globalism, Imperialism, Colonialism, Briticism, Criticism, Americanism, Weapon-ism, Terrorism, Journalism, Media-ism, Love-ism, Hate-ism, Sexism, Physical-ism, God-ism, No-god-ism, Dualism, Pluralism, Realism, Idealism, Vitalism, Egoism, Personal-ism, Behaviourism, Perfectionism, and there are so many more isms we could name that perhaps we should call this practice Name-ism. We could explain what we say or name it; that could be called Explain-ism. Those words might not be found in the dictionary, but now we can add them.

So, how do we humans function in this process!? If your answer is that the human mind works with the brains by bioelectric energies, then I would say sorry, this article is not for you!

The Enlightened being Buddha says that there are 62 kinds of isms (views) that can be found as beliefs among humans. In an ultimate sense, He sees them as Wrong Views (Ditthi). The 62 isms are taken from the analysis of human belief systems as following-

Ism or belief concerning the past, present and future life of a man, such as an eternalistic belief; a semi-eternalistic belief; or a belief or idea of the universe; Ambiguous Evasion; Non-Causality beliefs; perception’s existence after death ( or not); Annihilation and Nihilism. The Buddha’s search is Nibbana; we can call it Nibban-ism, or everlasting-happiness-ism, or conclusion-ism.

According to Him, if these beliefs or isms are believed, they will certainly cause us agitation and craving. It implies that isms only seem to offer a firm conclusion because of our inability to see the truth , as they are seized by craving, clinging, and agitated by longing (feeling). He further explains that the beliefs are originated from contact (as the cause). Contact occurs when an object is perceived and recognised as being beyond ourself. Then, from this event arises feeling, like light entering the dark sky.


I went through every possible definition of materialism but could not figure out what exactly they wanted to say. The way they are confused also made me confused. One straight definition that got my attention was: “Materialism is a kind of desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters.” Obviously, one who desires wealth and material possessions, with little interest in moral, ethical or spiritual matters, is a materialist. Simply put, for them, time, skill, profession, appointments, money, security, health, credit cards, insurance, and the internet are more important than anything. They also say that matter is the only the reality, not the mind. Some materialistic practitioners are even taking a more extreme position by saying that mental phenomena simply do not exist at all, that talk of the mental reflects a totally spurious “folk psychology” that simply has no basis in fact, something similar to he way that folk science speaks of demon-caused illness. What do you think? Don’t you think for those people who say thus, for them love is fake, their emotions are fake, their beauty and passions are fake, their care and compassion are fake, their personalities and themselves are fake, not real!

Another thing about materialism that really really interested me was that materialism is the oldest tradition of western societies! Now I’m trying to figure it out, hmmmm, so, present day materialist society is extended or moderated from the oldest one, or is it the brand new one? This is possible because they called themselves the first world, and the poorest countries they have called third world.

Well, there is lot of confusion and significant changes among materialistic societies, and it is creating chaos within the human brain and mind. I would love to mention that the professor of philosophy at the Notre Dame, Alvin Plantinga, criticises materialism, and the Emiritus Regius Professor of the Divinity, Keith Ward, suggests that materialism is rare amongst contemporary UK philosophers: “Looking around at my philosopher colleagues in Britain, virtually all of whom I know at least from their published work, I would say that very few of them are materialists.” Now I just wonder who would be able to convince the White House in the US.

Let us see what others say about materialism. Hinduism says that all matter is believed to be an illusion called Maya, blinding humans from knowing the truth. Maya is the limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled. Maya gets destroyed for a person when they perceive the Brahma with transcendental knowledge.

In Buddhism materialistic beliefs are considered wrong views (as I mentioned earlier), and does hold that all-out pursuit of wealth and other external commodities encouraged by materialism is dangerous and self-destructive since such a system encourages attachment to the material realm which is ultimately transitory in nature and thus increases the amount of pain and suffering in the world.

Interestingly, in this western materialistic society, some believe in God. Even though they believe in God in different ways. The biologist would say that God lives somewhere in the brain, that most people believe in God, but he is history now. Everyday, whenever something happens to them, they say, “Oh,
God,” or “Oh Jesus.” For some people, God comes only on Sunday in churches, or for weddings or funerals. For others, God doesn't exist, but they may believe in Santa Claus who only comes at Christmas.

Well, it’s all up to you and me and how we see the thing. I would say this is a challenge for us in this present Machine Age.

Materialistic Buddhism

Even though this sounds like new words, it really does exist. As a religion, Buddhism is about 2600 years old. From that time until now Buddhism has been divided into many different schools such as Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Tantrayana, Mantrayana, and so on. In the 21st century we hear of some new groups of Buddhism like Lay Buddhism, Engaged Buddhism, Green Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism, Soto, or Zen Buddhism, Korean Buddhism, Thai forest Buddhism, Thai not-forest Buddhism, Burmese Buddhism, Sri Lankan Buddhism, Asian Buddhism, Western Buddhism, and so on.

In most of the central Asian countries, practising Buddhism is quite the same but the approaches are difference. From that different-ism point of view we see the existence of materialistic Buddhism. Let us have a look at some definitions and examples.

Materialistic Buddhism could be defined as the belief that Nibbana can be attained through practising materialism. A materialistic Buddhist may believe that material possession and their advantages are helpful and essential and act accordingly. This is called materialistic Buddhism. I’m pretty sure there will be a more comprehensive definition in the future for materialistic Buddhism.

Let us make it clearer. According to the Buddha, the purpose of Buddhist life is to attain Nibbana. In order to attain Nibbana, material possessions are more destructive than productive. Material possessions are not necessary, and Nibbana can be attained only by observing our in-breathes and out-breathes in meditation (anapanassati).

Because of the predomination of machines and materialistic worlds, true understanding of Buddhism is in real trouble. Because of running and rushing around, living a competitive lifestyle in the material world, Buddhists are not having enough time for observation of the in- breath and out-breath. To become a good Buddhist, and to secure their attainment of Nibbana, after some lifetimes in the future, they do everything possible such as charity, generosity, helping the monks’ communities, building temples, building meditation centres, and every possible good thing. In a sense, the practice of creating merit merely for a better rebirth could be called materialistic Buddhism, and it somehow misses the heart of the teachings altogether.

The negative and positive impacts of materialistic Buddhism are significant. Let us see the negative impact, first, that comes as a consequence of practising materialistic Buddhism. Firstly, the true essence or true teaching of the Buddha is either changed or missing in some fundamental aspects. I think this is enough to make sweet milk sour. Another significant effect I should mention here is that we see many ornate and wonderful gold painted temples, pagodas, and Buddha images in Buddhist countries, with quite a large amount of money expended for painting and building. But the vast sums of money necessary for these frivolities are often donated without a thought given to the number of Buddhist families who go hungry and are homeless around the world.

However, there are a number of good impacts also. As Buddhists, they are generous, moral and humble, with great human qualities. Their contribution to society is significant. Through their work and actions, they push for social change to balance the class system, seeing the harm caused by extreme wealth on the one hand and extreme poverty on the other. As good citizens of their countries, they make charitable contributions not for tax rebates or deductions, but for the sake of giving. With fewer possessions, they could enjoy the maximum amount of happiness, maybe not physically, but at least mentally.

Once the Buddha foretold this by saying, “O monks, I’m telling you, because of unbound and uncontrolled desires of humans, materialism will increase, when materialism is increased, the Dhamma will decrease.” He further said the when the Dhamma is decreased, our humanity will decrease with it.

There is a saying that something is better than nothing. Karl Marx once said, “If the purpose of religion is to benefit mankind then Buddhism is the best.” So we can keep it up.

Buddhism (!)

I’m sorry that I also have to call it Buddhism because, technically, this is not the correct translation of Dhamma (or Dharma). Calling the Dhamma as Buddhism has become second nature, and once something becomes second nature it's hard to put it in right way. This also what is happening with me, as well. What the Buddha taught is Dhamma, not an ism. So, Buddha + ism= Buddhism is not the right translation. So just what is Dhamma?

Dhamma is a Pali term, and Dharma is the Sanskrit version, but the meaning is the same in both instances. Sanskrit uses the term dharma in a variety of contexts requiring a variety of translations. Dharma derives from the root √dhr_˚ (to hold, to maintain) and is related to the Latin forma. From its root meaning as “that which is established,” comes such translations as law, duty, justice, nature, and essential quality. It is sometimes even translated as Religion or even ism. Its oldest form, dharman, is found in the pre-Buddhist Rgveda.

A true, wise, and learned Buddhist practitioner or scholar would not call it Buddhism, he would call it the Buddha’s Dhamma, or just as Dhamma, or in English he or she would call it the Buddha’s teaching or simply the Buddhist teaching.

Sometimes, some people call it a philosophy, this is also not correct because philosophies are idealistic, and what the Buddha taught is realistic. Some people call it a psychology, this is also not a correct statement because the contemporary psychologies have no true conclusion in any aspect, but the Buddha had an absolute conclusion of His Dhamma. Every religion has a God, but Buddhism does not, so in this sense Buddhism is not a religion. Some people say it is the art of living; that’s pretty good, but the purpose of a life or being alive is not art. So what is Buddhism then?

According to the Buddha’s statement, the Dhamma is the universal law, the universal characteristic or the universal phenomenon, to hold or to maintain in oneness that which is established which is the truth, e.g. the four noble truths, karma, dependent origination, and so on. That is why He said, “so paticcasamuppada passati, so dhammam passati,” one who sees Dependent Origination sees the Dhamma.

Even though the Buddha was an enlightened being, the knower of everything, and he knew all lives from beginning to end, some matters were unexplained by the Buddha, which were known as Abyakata Dhamma. One of those matters is whether there is a creator of the world or of the universe (or a God).

Once, a close monk disciple of the Buddha, named Mallakaputta, challenged the Buddha, saying, “If the Buddha would not answer whether there is or there is not a creator of the world (A God), he will give up the monk life.” Then the Buddha said to him that, Firstly, the Buddha did not force or ask him to become a monk, leaving or staying was completely up to him. Secondly, the Buddha said to the monk, “This is not what I teach, and it is unnecessary for the teaching.” Thirdly, the Buddha said, “One human life is too short to conclude the task regarding the concept of the creator. Regarding God there is no absolute question and there is no absolute answer.” Then the Buddha said, “Instead of creating this illusion, just practice Dhamma, and use the opportunity for the proper use of the human life.”

Still it is a bit mysterious what the Buddha actually said about a creator or God. At this point the Buddha was an analyser rather than a one-sided commentator. It is mentioned in the Teachings as:

“If God be who for every being can determine
States of happiness or woe, and actions good or ill
Then is the God stained sin; man but works His will.”

“Issaro sabbalokssa sace kappeti jivitam
Iddhivysanabhan ca kammam kalyanapapakam
Nidessakari puriso issaro tena lippati.”

There are endless arguments on this subject. Every religion defines God in their own way, with no religion completely accepting there other's. That’s an illusion of 21st century. One thing I can tell for sure, God cannot be seen through a telescope, and cannot be seen with open eyes. If we really want to see this thing, we should see with closed eyes.

It is pretty interesting to mention that if you ever read the sutta called, Agganna sutta (the discourse of the Beginnings), and knew about the scientific explanation of the creation of the earth, and seen the famous movie, Avatar, where they show the beings that are mind-made, moving in the air, feeding themselves on delight, and self-luminous. There is a wonderful similarity between these.

What about life after death? The Buddha saw there were many rebirths of His life, and finally, when He attained enlightenment, he put it this way:

“So many rebirths I have taken in this world, seeking in vain the builder of this house (body); in my search over and over, took new birth, new suffering.
Oh house builder, now I have seen you, you cannot make a new house for me; all your beams are broken, the ridge pole is shattered; my mind is freed from all the conditionings of the past, and has no more craving for the future.”

What is rebirth? Rebirth is the idea that some essential part of a living being survives death to be reborn in a new body, in a new realm, in a new form. So, what are the essential parts? Simply, it is Kamma, good or bad Kamma consequences, and our forceful desires. That’s why morality and self-discipline are important for the Buddhist practice.

That’s why I said it is very hard to practice Dhamma in true form in this materialistic society of the machine age. There is materialistic Buddhism being practised now, and, although it is lacking in several respects, at least it's helping the Dhamma to survive.

We have something to share with this world and beings. Let us see what Ananda said in Sandaka Sutta:

“Charity nor sacrifice nor prayer, bring any results; neither do actions lead to good or bad results; neither this world nor the world beyond exists…..neither are there teachers in this world who on this basis of personally realized super-knowledge can say that a world and a world beyond exists. Man is made up of the four great matters and on death the earth part relapses into the earth, the fluid part to the water, energy to the fire, the windy part to the air, and the sense organs pass over to space…… such as those who affirm this doctrine of materialism indulge in vain, false and empty talk. At the break-up of the body, fools and the wise alike are annihilated and destroyed, but not are they after death.”

Now this is the time for us to see and say what is really going through ours minds, and to hold or to maintain in that which is established in the oneness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reunion With Blessing

Reunion With A Blessing

I’m very glad to have the opportunity of telling the story of my reunion with someone who is a blessing to me, a reunion with Sayadaw U Chekinda, himself. I had been informed that Sayadaw had arrived in Perth. Then I assured myself that this is a rare opportunity to meet with and receive some blessing from him. I would like to thank Cherry a lot, for pushing me to attend the Dhamma-talk of Sayadaw.

Three years and 6 months of my present life I spent in Myanmar when I was studying at the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University in Yangon. Almost everyday, Sayadaw and I used to see each other in the hostel or in classroom. Still I remember, some teachers and their classes were not very popular with everyone but in Sayadaw’s classes, we never had chance to fall a sleep. He was so very charismatic and attentive in class.

There are so many qualities and qualifications that I could not mention them all for Sayadaw U Chekinda. What always impressed and inspired us (all the foreign students) including me, was his openness, friendliness, and non-judgemental attitudes. He was the lecturer to the Patipatti department and he used to take the Vipassana Meditation Unit, and sometimes Abhidhamma as well.

He was also the warden of the Foreign Students Hostels. Sometimes, some students used to go to him with some complaints, or some requests, or want some advice, or to ask some question, he rarely disappointed anyone in their expectations, even though he was super busy. I remember one time especially, when I was sick, he asked his personal doctor to come and see me.

It is always a pleasure to remember and mention his qualities. He is handsome, of course, (Tappey deh), and charming for sure, very easy going, very friendly, definitely non-judgemental, always kind and generous, devoted and dedicated in his life, for his religion and his people. He is a good practicing Buddhist Practitioner, truly educated, and mindful. Over all he is a true human.

I remember sometimes he took me to his Dhammatalk (Tayaho Bue). Thousands of people came to listen his talks and teachings. He likes telling jokes and giving many parables during his teaching. He is very much focused on his topic.

One incident with him that I mention sometimes when I give a talk or teaching, during our final year exams we asked him what sort of question he prepared for our test paper. He said, there will be one question like; “ Is Vipassana meditation difficult to practice?” he further said, if we answer either Yes or No, both are a correct answer, and we will get 5 marks for that. If we could further explain why it is Yes or No, then we will get a total of 20 marks. That kind of clever he is!

Five years later I saw him sitting in Dhammaloka, I felt so happy that he recognized me. He was looking at me with lots of curiosity. I asked him, “Sayadaw Phaya, mam’mi da la (can you recognize me).” He replied, “Mam’mi ba deh” Yes, I remember you.

Burmese is the 4th language that I speak, and my proficiency score could be 75%. I enjoyed his talk last night that he gave in the Burmese language. His talk was very contemporary, beneficial, and comprehensible.

He was giving some teaching from Mangala Sutta. It’s a very common teaching but a super guideline for daily life. To be honest, what I felt was that along with his teaching he also showed his concerns about the small Burmese Buddhist community here. As he directly asked the audience, “ Ba phi lo le di ma la ne deh?” (Why did you come to live here?), when you were living in a country where the people practice the Dhamma in the right way, patirupadesavasa. This is mentioned in the Mangala Sutta as a matter of fact. Living in a country where people are practicing Dhamma, righteously is a blessing.

We know this question and answer both are very complicated and difficult for this materialistic society and its people. What I comprehended is what he was saying no matter where or how you are living, live within Dhamma, practice in Dhamma. He reminded them that they have a wonderful tradition and have the pure teachings of the Buddha. He also warned that the present and future generation of the Burmese community here is missing some essential qualities. And I’m totally in agreement with that. I have been living here for about two years, and I have been a victim of this sort of incident.

I love Burmese people, and I love their culture. I am in much debt to Burma, and I do whatever I can to repay this debt.

I say thanks to those people who invited Sayadaw U Chekinda to Perth and took care of him. They shall be very fortunate to have him with them. I’m very fortune to be reunited with him, my teacher, my blessing. I believe in Samsara. And all of us will be reuniting with each other unless we attain Nibbana.

With Metta-

Praggananda Sraman
(U Pannananda)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jhana article- Indonesian Version

Just call it Jhāna
Sebut Saja Jhana

Translated by Budi Wijaya

Your Jhāna attainment, safety and dangers.
Pencapaian Jhana, keselamatan dan bahaya

Welcome to Read this Article
Selamat menikmati artikel ini

Anda kami persilahkan untuk membaca artikel ini. Bilamana anda menikmatinya, anda dapat melanjutkan membaca artikel ini, dan bila anda tidak menikmatinya, anda dapat meninggalkannya.

What is Jhāna?
Apakah Jhana itu?

Jhana adalah Jhana. Jhana adalah suku kata Pali yang traditional dan murni. Kita tidak menterjemahkan beberapa suku kata traditional Pali; bila kita dapat menterjemahkannya, maka pemahaman yang sebenarnya akan kata itu sendiri akan hilang, seperti kata Buddha, Dhamma, Sugato, Arahant, Jhana dan banyak lagi. Maka itu kita sebut saja Jhana

Terdapat sebuah kata “Dhayana” dalam sastra Vedic, yang memiliki arti yang hampir sama dengan kata Jhana. Dalam ajaran Hindu atau tradisi Vedic, Dhayana diartikan sebagai meditasi atau kondisi keadaan meditasi, dianggap sebagai alat untuk meningkatkan pendalaman diri, memisahkan Maya (ilusi) dari kenyataan untuk membantu mencapai tujuan tertinggi, Moksha. Zaman dahulu, Dhayana juga dianggap sebagai Yoga, seperti Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga dan lainnya

Sekarang, jika kita ingin menterjemahkan kata Jhana kedalam bahasa Inggris, cendekiawan budhis menterjemahkan Jhana sebagai penyerapan, khususnya penyerapan meditasi. Penyerapan itu sendiri memiliki banyak arti, seperti asimilasi, kombinasi, dan penyertaan pikiran, dll. Dalam pelatihannya, dapat pula disebut sebagai pengaturan pikiran yang tidak teratur. Maka itu, conceptual Jhana adalah mengenai pikiran dan mentalitas.

Dalam ajaran budhist, ini bukanlah hanya sebagai proses untuk mengatur pikiran yang tidak teratur tetapi juga sebagai peng-aktualisasi diri dan hanya bisa dicapai atau dimengerti dengan meditasi. Maka itu, Jhana adalah kondisi meditasi pada keheningan mendalam dan konsentrasi. Terkadang hal ini juga selalu diajarkan sebagai kondisi dimana ketika pikiran menjadi terbenam dan terserap seluruhnya pada object yang dipilih, dengan perhatian tunggal, dikarakterkan dengan tidak menduanya kesadaran. Hal ini juga selalu dilatih untuk memperhatikan dan meningkatkan pandangan pada pengalaman yang mengalir. Buddha sekalipun dalam perjalanan nya untuk mencapai tingkat pencerahan, Jhana selalu menjadi prioritas utamaNya. Sekalipun kondisi Jhana bukan jalan untuk tercerahkan, untuk memasuki pencerahan itu sendiri, Jhana bekerja seperti passport, visa atau ijin untuk mendarat. Poin penting lainnya untuk dapat lebih menjelaskan adalah nafas terus mengalir dalam setiap kondisi pikiran, Jhana sekalipun, yang mana dapat dijelaskan sebagai kondisi konsentrasi yang terpusat pada objek apapun (Ekagata), kondisi kesadaran terarah pada satu titik.

In Buddhist Traditional Way of Teaching-
Dalam pengajaran tradisi Budhis-

Jhana adalah kondisi pikiran yang murni, mahir, terkonsentrasi, memahami, terdidik, penuh dengan kebijaksanaan, terbebas dari kekhawatiran dan stres, terbebas dari pergolakan dan terbebas dari 5 penghalang utama (Panca-nivarana). Kami tidak menggunakan peralatan elektronik untuk men scan kondisi mental ini, tetapi hal ini menjadi jelas dengan bagaimana kita berperilaku, dengan kombinasi cinta kasih universal-kasih sayang-rasa simpati-kegembiraan-ketenangan hati (metta-karuna-mudita-upekkha). Bila anda mencoba memasukkan kedalam teknik alpha-delta , anda kehilangan arti ini semua.

Lalu, apa saja 5 penghalang yang selalu mengangu, dan menyebabkan stress dan mengotori pikiran?

Mereka disebut-

1. Kamacchanda- keinginan pada objek objek sensual yang menyenangkan (saya hanya akan menyebutnya nafsu, karena masalah besar dalam masyarakat).
2. Byapada- perasaan benci, tidak menyukai secara extreme, perang, konflik, dendam. Ingat, semua itu hanyalah kondisi mental. Konflik dalam diri, kekerasan lokal dan kekerasan internasional disebabkan oleh kondisi mental tersebut
3. Uddhacca-kukkuccha- kegelisahan, kekhawatiran dan stres adalah kondisi mental yang kita miliki juga. Menjadi stress adalah menjadi tersesat.
4. Thina-middha- kemalasan, kebodohan, dan ketumpulan. Tidak peduli apa atau bagaimana, apapun yang dilakukan oleh / untuk dirimu sendiri terasa tumpul. Dalam kondisi demikian, saya dapat disebut bikhu yang depresi (tertawa), anda pun dapat disebut orang yang depresi pula.
5. Ditthit- keraguan, pandangan salah, persepsi yang salah, salah pendidikan, salah pengajaran, salah guru, salah tradisi, salah buku dan teknik yang salah. Dengan nada yang tidak terlalu negatif, mungkin dapat saya katakan bila “salah” juga berarti tidak bijaksana atau pikiran yang tidak terlatih, tujuan , keyakinan, dan lainnya. Maka itu, tidak peduli apa yang kamu lakukan, bila anda berada di tempat yang dalah dan melakukan hal yang salah, maka anda akan kehilangan semuanya.

Demikian lima penghalang utama yang dikemukakan oleh Buddha yang dapat menyebabkan konflik dalam batin, domestik , international dan kekerasan dunia, secara internal dan external. Saya sangat merekomendasikan agar ke lima nama tersebut dilaporkan kepada agen inteligen amerika , FBI dan CIA untuk memasukkan mereka kedalam daftar yang paling dicari

Kelima penghalang tersebut tidak dapat diidentifikasi, ditangkap, dikendalikan, dikalahkan, atau dihentikan sampai dengan anda terlatih di dalam tiga lapis pelatihan , yang disebut, moralitas, konsentrasi dan kebijaksanaan (sila-samadhi-panna). Mengikuti atau berlatih dalam Jalan Tengah (Majjhima-patipada) hanyalah satu satunya jalan yang berguna dan bijaksana untuk dapat mengalahkan mereka.

Masalah dan proses ini secara keseluruhan adalah mengenai Mentalitas. Maka itu kenapa Buddha sering mengatakan “Cittena niyati loko”: Dunia dipimpin oleh pikiran

Seseorang tidak akan terkejut jika para praktisi dari tradisi materialistis psikologi, psikiater, psychoterapi, dan konsultan mengatakan bahwa kondisi saat ini adalah “Krisis Spiritual”. Ingat, pemerintah harus menciptakan lapangan pekerjaan, membuat uang terus mengalir ke perusahaan asuransi, dan para praktisi harus membayar tagihan mereka. Mereka juga harus hidup. Kemudian, bilamana anda saat ini menghargai Kebenaran Mulia yang pertama dari Buddha, yang dinamakan “Stress”, Dukka, dan siap menghadapi “Krisis Spiritual”. Anda dipersilahkan untuk melanjutkan membaca artikel ini.

What is the Characteristic of Jhāna?
Apa saja karakter dari Jhana?

Jhana itu sendiri hanyalah damai , damai dan damai. Ketika seseorang mencapai Jhana, pikiran nya akan terbebas dari gangguan, dari semua hal yang dapat mengganggu. Pada saat itu, pikiran hanya menghasilkan kondisi yang sehat, yang ahli, dan pikiran yang bijaksana. Yang berarti pikiran tidak lagi tidak teratur dan terkotori. Ini adalah kondisi dimana pikiran terbebas dari kekotoran.

There are two forms of Jhāna:
2 bentuk Jhana :

1. Rupa Jhana – diterjemahkan sebagai Jhana material yang halus (15 jumlahnya)
2. Arupa Jhana – diterjemahkan sebagai Jhana yang tidak bermateri atau berbentuk (9 jumlahnya)

Stages of the Jhāna
Tingkatan Jhana

There are five stages of a Jhāna attained mind
5 tingkatan Jhana yang dapat dicapai

1. Vitakka – aplikasi awal yang mengarahkan pikiran pada object
2. Vicara- aplikasi yang terus menerus memperhatikan dan memeriksa object (secara positif).
3. Piti- kesenangan atau kegembiraan atas ketertarikan pada objek
4. Vedana – perasaan, sensasi. Terdapat 2 jenis perasaan yang timbul dalam kondisi Jhana, dan keduanya benar. A. Suka vedana – kesenangan atau perasaan menyetujui, yang adalah kepuasan batin, dan B. Upekkha vedana – perasaan netral, ketenangan (tidak menghakimi tetapi terarah dalam pikiran)
5. Ekaggata – yang mana – tidak menunjuk atau konsentrasi. Pikiran ter konsentrasi.

The First Jhāna State
Tingkat Jhana Pertama

Seperti yang sudah saya singgung sebelumnya bahwa terdapat beberapa jenis tingkatan Jhana dalam beberapa bentuk. Saya sangat senang untuk lebih membicara kan mengenai Jhana pertama. Jika anda pernah mencapai Jhana pertama, selamat (tapi belum selesai)! Kenapa? Nanti akan saya jelaskan.

The very first state of the Jhāna-family is as follows-
Tingkatan Jhana yang paling awal adalah sebagai berikut

“Vitakka, vicaram, piti, sukham ekkagatam rupavacaran kusala jhana cittam ekam”. Untuk mencapai Jhana, seorang meditator harus menetapkan pikirannya pada objek meditasi untuk mengurangi dan menghilangkan kualitas mental yang tidak terlatih atau yang lebih rendah yang disebut sebagai 5 penghalang utama (kesenangan sensual atau nafsu, kebencian, kemalasan, kejenuhan dan kekhawatiran, dan ketidak yakinan atau kebingungan atau pandangan salah), dan mengembangkan kemajuan lima tingkatan Jhana (seperti yang disebutkan diatas) dengan kesatuan pikiran atau satu tujuan, bergantung pada pencapaian yang sebenarnya. Pada tingkatan ini, hanya pergerakan pikiran yang sangat halus yang tersisah. Kemampuan untuk membentuk berhentinya keinginan.

Cara terbaik untuk mengatakannya adalah pikiran yang tidak teratur telah menjadi teratur dan pelanggan telah siap untuk dilepaskan. Maka itu saya katakan, “selamat, tugas selesai (tapi belum selesai)!”

Your Safety
Keselamatan anda

Jika, sebagai contoh, anda berada dalam kondisi Jhana dan anda meninggal, anda akan secara langsung masuk ke alam yang lebih baik , atau alam Brahma. Dikarenakan tidak melekatnya pada kesenangan sensual , anda tidak akan terlahir dalam alam keinginan, seperti alam surga, alam neraka, atau alam manusia. Terlahir pada alam yang lebih tinggi, anda hanya akan tetap bermeditasi dan menikmati saat di alam itu pada saat ini. Lalu anda hanya akan naik ke level yang lebih tinggi melalui konsentrasi dan meditasi menuju tingkatan Jhana akhir dalam Arupa Jhana (dunia yang tak bermateri) yang dinamakan Nevasanna-na-sannayatana, yang berarti lingkaran tanpa persepsi juga bukan dengan persepsi. Bisa bayangkan situasi itu! Tetapi anda tetap bernafas dalam kondisi ini dan akhirnya anda mencapai Nibbana, akhir dari penderitaan. Maka anda sudah selesai.

Para praktisi mungkin mengatakan saya sudah gila, karena saya menuju KETIADAAN. Inilah REALITANYA. Saya ingin katakan kepada mereka bahwa realita mereka adalah SEX, UANG, DAN POWER, dan realita saya adalah MORALITAS, KONSENTRASI dan KEBIJAKSANAAN.

Anda dapat namankan KETIADAAN. Hanya saja kami tidak memanggilnya ketiadaan tetapi damai dan kesenangan yang selamanya.

Your Dangerous Turns
Pilihan anda yang berbahaya

Jhana bukanlah kondisi yang permanen. Anda harus terus berlatih dengan cara anda mencapainya. Kondisi Jhana seperti situasi yang timbul dan tenggelam; tidak terjamin. Anda mencapainya dengan tujuan yang baik dan anda jatuh karena keinginan. Jhana tidak mencamin pencapaianmu tetapi menghasilkan energi untuk melawan lima penghalang mental, dan menghasilkan kedamaian, ketenangan dan kesenangan. Terkadang anda hidup, tinggal , menikmati, dalam Jhana kemudian anda kembali lagi. Pada saat itu, dengan satu tujuan pikiran, seseorang dapat mengembangkan EGO, EGO yang lebih BESAR, SUPER EGO. Ini adalah bagian yang paling berbahaya, pilihan yang berbahaya. Menurut pengajaran Buddhist, tidak ada ego yang sebenarnya atau ego yang absolut. Kita menamakannya illusi, delusi dan akar dari semua kondisi mental yang tidak menyenangkan.

Semua menjadi ego insting, Freud mengatakannya ID, EGO, dan SUPER EGO. Schopenhauer memanggilnya SEXUALITI, LIBIDO dan BUNUH DIRI, dan Buddha menamakannya KAMATANHA (keinginan untuk kesenangan sensual), BHAVATANHA (keinginan untuk eksis), VIBHAVANTANHA (keinginan untuk tidak eksis). Menurut ajaran Buddhist, semua jenis keinginan memiliki efek seperti ini dan efek samping. Maka ketika seseorang mencapai Jhana tetapi tidak meneruskan latihannya dan kemudian melekat pada dirinya sendiri dan membangun egonya, dia akan mengatakan , “Saya telah mencapai Jhana,” dan membicarakan tentang Jhana dengan tujuan untuk mendapatkan perhatian. Jika dia tidak terus berlatih Jhana, dia akan tersesat. Dalam kondisi ini, jika anda seorang bikhu, anda akan kehilangan apa yang telah anda capai, arahan, lalu masyarakat akan memepertimbangkan anda. Anda akan menjadi orang yang kontroversi, dan akhirnya anda akan kehilangan posisi anda dan dikucilkan. Jika anda hanyalah seorang pengikut dan anda membangun ego seperti yang diuraikan di atas. Maka realita anda adalah Sex, Uang dan Power, bukannya Moralitas, Konsentrasi dan Kebijaksanaan. Inilah jalan yang akan membuat identitas anda hilang.

Ego ini terciptakan oleh seorang bikhu pada kondisi ini dengan mengembangkan kemelekatan pada kondisi yang telah ia capai , alami dan nikmati. Karena ia telah mengembangkan konsentrasi dan satu tujuan, dia tahu apa yang dia lakukan, tetapi dikarenakan tujuan nya untuk mengambil perhatian dari yang lain, mendapatkan keuntungan atau memamerkan dirinya sendiri, dia telah menciptakan ego. Sekarang dapat dikatakan bagaimana kondisi mental atau praktisi psychology mengembangkan ego, mereka banyak membaca dan menulis, tertarik pada personalitas yang lain, dan mulai menghakimi. Itulah bagaimana seseorang mengembangkan ego

Buddha memberitahukan murid – murid nya untuk mencegah kondisi ego ini mereka tidak boleh memberitahukan atau menunjukkan pencapaian mereka kepada yang lain, meskipun mereka telah mencapai pencapaian yang lebih tinggi atau dapat mengembangkan semacam kekuatan mistis. Mereka tidak diperbolehkan untuk mengatakan kepada siapapun “Saya tahu ini” atau “Saya tahu itu” (iti janami, iti passami). Ada sebuah aturan untuk para Bikkhu, TIDAK MEMBICARAKAN MENGENAI PENCAPAIAN. Melanggar aturan ini berarti kehilangan hak ke Bikhu an (Parajika, Hukum kubur ke 3).

Kata yang tepat untuk mengatakan ini adalah :”Saya tahu teknik ini untuk mencegah problem mental Saya tahu teknik itu untuk mencegah problem mental.” Ini bagaimana mereka kehilangan personalitas.

How do these Hindrances could be Dangerous
Bagaimana Penghalang ini semua dapat menjadi bahaya

Dalam Samyutta Nikaya, Buddha menjelaskan dengan bantuan air sebagai perumpamaan bagaimana semua penghalang ini menyelimuti pandangan mental seseorang. Pikiran pada saat kelahiran begitu bersinar dan murni dikatakan oleh Buddha. Kemudian bersentuhan dengan dunia luar yang mengotori dan menggelepar seperti ikan yang terlempar keluar dari air , meronta dan terengah – rengah sengsara menjelang kematian. Pikiran yang merindukan kesenangan indera adalah seperti sebuah mangkok berisikan air berwarna warni hasil campuran warna merah, biru atau kuning, tidak ada yang menunjukkan rekflesi diri sendiri. Pikiran yang meluap – luap dengan kemarahan , seperti panci air mendidih yang tergila gila menciptakan uap dan buih, tidak ada yang menunjukkan reflesi diri sendiri. Pikiran yang dipenuhi dengan kemalasan adalah seperti sebuah kolam yang dipenuhi lumut dan rumput , gelap dan air berlumpur, tidak ada yang menunjukkan refleksi diri sendiri. Pikiran yang terlalu bergembira dan khawatir, seperti laut yang bergejolak dalam badai dan melempar air ke arah mana saja, tidak ada yang menunjukkan refleksi diri sendiri.

About Reality
Tentang Realita

Terdapat dua jenis realita : 1. Realita yang riil (paramattha sacca). 2. Conceptual Realita (pannatti sacca). Saya tahu kalau hal ini sangat kontroversi, tetapi saya tetap ingin mengingatkan. Saya ingin membicarakan conceptual realita; pada saat ini di masyarakat yang materialistis, kita menganggap conceptual realita sebagai realita, dan itu adalah sex, uang dan power. Itu realitanya dan anda mencarinya. Realita yang sebenarnya dari situasi yang ada adalah apapun yang anda miliki – uang, sex, atau power – suatu hari anda akan mati atau menghadapi kematian dan permainan selesai. Itulah realita yang sebenarnya. Jadi sebenarnya kita tidak mengarah pada kekosongan, kita mengarah pada kedamaian batin yang abadi yang dinamakan Nibbana.

Good People do Bad Things
Orang Baik melakukan Hal yang Tidak Baik

Anda mungkin berp[ikir saya telah menghakimi, mungkin , mungkin tidak. Lalu apa yang akan anda katakan? Dengan mengatakan ini, ini juga berarti sepakat, dengan conceptual realita membantu kita untuk berlatih realita yang sebenarnya. Sebagai contoh, seseorang menanyakan anda pertanyaan “Ya” atau “Tidak”. Maka anda harus menjawab “ya” atau “tidak”. Maka jawaban “iya” yang simpel dapat menjadi positif dan “tidak” menjadi negatif. Salah satu teman saya dari USA menyarankan saya bahwa saya tidak seharusnya menterjemahkan beberapa kata menjadi Negatif atau Positif, tetapi seperti penterjemahan bijaksana dan tidak bijaksana, yang terlatih dan yang tidak terlatih. Apa perbedaannya? Kenapa kita begitu alergi terhadapa hal yang conceptual? Bagaimana kita dapat menghadapi realita yang sebenarnya?

Mari kita kembali ke point nya. Saya akan menjelaskan kepada anda mengapa dan bagaimana orang yang baik melakukan hal yang buruk. Sekali lagi, alasannya adalah EGO, DIRI atau JIWA. Jika seseorang dalam Jhana berhasil berakhir dengan EGO, berpikir bahwa dirinya sangat baik, maka mereka membiarkan diri mereka terbuka untuk menjadi sangat tidak baik juga. Kita hidup di masyarakat dan masyarakat tidak menilai semana mestinya. Mahatma Gandhi (Mahanlal Karamchand Gandhi) adalah salah satu favorit personaliti saya. Dia dinamakan Mahatma. Mahatma berarti Jiwa Besar (Maha berarti Besar dan Atma berarti Jiwa). Dia juga dikenal sebagai Bapu , Ayah. Dia sangat sabar, rendah hati , setia, mengabdi, sederhana, dan pemimpin anti kekerasan. Masa penjajahan Inggris di India bermasalah dikarenakan kepemimpinannya. Bahkan Kerajaan Inggris tergoyangkan oleh kepemimpinan gaya hidup Jiwa Besar ini. Terdapat suatu cuplikan lucu di salah satu film India: terdapat seorang aktor pemabuk dan temannya yang sedang berjalan di suatu tempat. Si aktor pemabuk bertanya pada temannya, “Lihat, Saya melihat sebuah boneka besar, seseorang pasti lupa meninggalkannya.” Lalu temannya berkata, “tidak! Ini adalah patung Bapu dan ini dibuat sebagai penghargaan dan monumen untuk Bapu kita.” Kamu tahu, Bapu kita adalah orang yang sangat berpengaruh, dia selalu membawa tongkat bambu di tanganya, dan menunjuk kepada orang Inggrish dan mengatakan “keluar dari rumah saya”, dan mereka keluar.

Ya, jiwa nya memiliki kekuatan semacam itu, Maha Atma. Sedih tetapi memang benar, meskipun dia adalah jiwa besar namun dalam hidupnya tidak seperti ranjang yang penuh dengan bunga mawar. Dia ditembak mati oleh Nathuram Godse, seorang korban dari etnik Hindustan – Pakistan. Keputusan Gandhi untuk memisahkan India dan Pakistan menyebabkan banyak kehancuran , jutaan jiwa manusia telah terengut, perempuan dan anak – anak diperkosa, disiksa, dibunuh dan rumah mereka dibakar. Bahkan hingga saat ini India dan Pakistan masih menjadi musuh bebuyutan antar sesamanya.

Dengan cara yang sama, pencapaian Jhana dapat memberikan anda jiwa yang besar atau ego. Tulang anda dapat disembah sebagai simbol kenegaraan dan tongkat bambu anda dapat menghancurkan melebihi senjata M-16 Amerika atau AK47 Rusia. Bila anda menyalahgunakan jiwa besar ini, keputusan salah anda dapat menyebabkan kehancuran besar yang mengambil jutaan nyawa manusia , dan anda sepantasnya ditembak mati

Dengan cara yang sama, bila anda seorang bikhu dengan jiwa besar atau ego dengan pencapaian Jhana, anda dapat disembah oleh banyak pengikut dan pelajar, banya negara dan tradisi akan mengundang anda untuk berkunjung dan memberikan pengajaran. Bila anda menyalahgunakan pencapaian Jhana dengan ego, masyarakat akan trauma dengan perilaku anda, memanggil anda seorang penghianat, orang yang kalah, penipu akhirnya anda akan dikucilkan.

Jika anada seorang praktisi dengan jiwa demikian atau ego dalam pencapaian Jhana, anda akan dihadiahkan oleh komite Nobel untuk pencapaian kerja riset anda , anda dapat dianggap sebagai pahlawan, mendapatkan gelar Ph>D. Atau M.D., mendapatkan banyak pelanggan. Jika anda menyalahgunakan jiwa demikian atau ego, anda dapat kehilangan izin kerja dan dilarang untuk menemui pelanggan. Saya dengar Freud punya pegalaman demikian. Bahkan mungkin anda akan mencoba untuk bunuh diri. Saya juga banyak mendengar banyak psykolog yang bunuh diri.

Not Done Yet
Belum Selesai

Seperti yang saya utarakan sebelumnya, walaupun anda telah mencapai atau mengalami tingkatan Jhana tertentu, ingat, anda belum selesai. Dengan kekuatan mental (sekalipun kekuatan ajaib) atau dengan harga diri anda menjadi raja, ratu, presiden, pemenang nobel prize , tokoh masyarakat, suami atau istri yang baik, bikhu yang baik, nabi, psychologist atau terapi yang hebat dan seterusnya. Namun, jika kita tidak melanjutkan berlatih , kita dapat menjadi berantakan dengan hal hal yang tidak baik.

Tolong dicatat bahwa Jhana tidak memusnahkan penghalang mental dalam pikiran. Tidak ada yang menjamin untuk itu, bahkan tidak perusahaan yang berani menjalankan bisnis itu. Tetapi pencapaian Jhana anda akan mendorong anda dan memastikan pengembangan lanjut , dia bekerja seperti pelayanan keamanan. Selama anda membutuhkan pengamanan, atau selama anda membutuhkan bantuan, Jhana akan datang untuk menolong anda. Jhana bergantung pada moral atau etik (Sila) dan kondisi konsentrasi (Samadhi). Hanya kebijaksanaan atau Panna yang dapat memusnahkan penghalang mental melalui pemahaman pengetahuan (Vipassana).

Lalu, ya, inilah jalannya, Jhana harus dilatih. Jika kita tidak berlatih maka akan hilang

Some Tips
Beberapa tips

Jika anda seorang umat Buddhist yang baik, seorang praktisi dari keyakinan yang lain, atau seorang profesional psychology atai konsultan, jika anda pernah mencapai Jhana atau mengalami Jhana, JANGAN BILANG BILANG kepada siapapun bahwa anda telah mengalami Jhana dan jangan menyalahgunakan Jhana. Hindari pesta (terutama dimana tersedia minuman koktail dan DJ atau Karaoke), coba untuk tinggal di tempat yang sepi, kurangi seminar, menjaga apa yang kamu makan , beli, jual dan perilaku. Banyak membantu yang lain; peduli pada yang lain dan planet ini. Dan terus mengembangkan pelatihan meditasi anda.

Jika anda seorang bikhu yang tinggal di kota atau desa (Gamavasi) yang telah mengalami Jhana dan ingin untuk meningkatkannya, anda sebaiknya pergi ke hutan. Jangan mencatat buku harian anda atau data lainnya, cukup meditasi dengan cara yang benar. Jika anda seorang bikhu yang tinggal di hutan (Arannavasi) jangan keluar dari hutan ke kota atau ke desa. Jangan menulis buku harian anda atau menitipkan pada asisten. Bila anda sudah memiliki buku harian, buang saja ke tempat sampah. Jangan terlalu sering berpergian dengan pesawat ke negara lain untuk mengajar atau untuk tujuan lainnya; jangan menerima undangan. Anda lebih baik utuk pergi lebih ke dalam hutam dan meditasi dengan cara yang benar.

Just call it Jhāna
Sebut saja Jhana

Buddha selalu menasehati pengikutnya bahwa mereka harus mencoba untuk mencapai paling tidak tingkatan tertentu dalam Jhana pada saat kehidupan saat ini sebagai manusia. Maka itu tujuan akhir dari Meditasi Buddhist adalah untuk mencapai Jhana paling sedikit. Hindari analisa intelek mengenai Jhana ; cukup sebut saja Jhana , dan bila anda ingin mengalaminya, maka alami.


Sebenarnya tidak ada kata penutup. Tidak ada yang berakhir sampai kita mencapai Nibbana. Segala sesuatu memiliki efek dan efek samping, aksi dan reaksi. Apa yang membuat saya menulis tentang hal ini adalah karena permintaan dari beberapa umat Budhist yang setia yang mempertanyakan hal ini. Saya menjanjikan mereka bahwa saya akan menulis dan menjelaskan bagaimana semua ini berlaku. Saya memiliki beberapa teman yang saya minta bantuan untuk membaca dan memperbaiki tatabahasa artikel ini. Mereka memperbaiki tata bahasa saya dan beberapa mengatakan bila ada psycholog barat yang membaca artikel maka mereka akan berkata bahwa saya tidak memahami pyschology barat. Dan saya akan berkata “mungkin, mungkin tidak”.Lalu saya akan katakan bahwa mereka tidak memahami psychology buddhist ,”mungkin, mungkin tidak”. Maka , salah satu teman saya di Amerika yang berumur 24 tahun seorang siswa psychology , seorang yang sangat bijaksana, memahami ajaran Buddhist. Saya akan minta dia untuk membaca artikel ini , hanya sebagai pembaca umum dan memberikan komentar. Dia katakan bahwa artikel ini sangat informatif dan menarik untuk dibaca, mudah , jelas. Dia juga mengatakan bahwa saya terlalu khawatir dengan topik ini. Saya katakan , “Yes! Terima kasih, ini yang saya inginkan.” Saya katakan ke dia bahwa lebih dari 90% penganut Budhist tidak memahami apakah Jhana itu. Dan 95% dari para praktisi tidak punya gambaran atau bahkan mendengan apakah Jhana itu.

. Dalam sudut pandang saya, itulah Jhana. Bila kita ingin mengetahui Jhana atau mencapai Jhana , kita hanya perlu berusaha untuk mengalaminya.