Make your mind free from defilements. You owe it to yourself to build up a powerful mind. How can you make your mind becomes powerful and increase your will power? You have to cultivate your mind by tranquillity or by insight meditation. These practices will improve your mind strength.
Tranquillity (Samatha) means calmness. It means your mind will be calm and free from the five hindrances.
Sensual desire means craving for pleasure of the five senses. Craving for eating, singing, dancing or any kind of desire that is obsessive. When you want your mind to work effectively and powerfully you have to be free and stop from these defilements (ill-will, lethargy, doubt and anxiety).
Ill-will is anger, envy meanness, anxiety, lethargy, laziness, agitation, uncertainly and hesitation. These are defilements. When your mind can abandon them then you will be steady and calm. Samatha not only means tranquillity but also means modesty.
For example: temple monks lead a modest life. It means a monk lives on what they receive as donations, basically living an unmaterialistic life.
Santosa is a Pali word meaning earning a living yourself in a good way with morality. Never taking advantage of anyone and being generous to others. If you want to have a powerful mind you have to be able to abandon sensual desires and defilements.
Yogis, monks and lay people who can abandon all defilements can attain the one mind (Ekaggatā). When the mind has the ability to focus on one subject then it will become powerful and can attain Jhāna Abhiññā. (Jhāna is a state of serene contemplation, Abhiññā is a higher knowledge)
One can do 3 kinds of concentration
- Momentary concentration (Khanฺikasamāti)
- Access concentration (Upacārasamāti)
- Attainment concentration (Appanāsamāti)
When you can overcome sensual desires and defilements, your mind will purify and become one. Insight meditation (Vipassanā) is seeing things as they really are and has the ability to suppress the obscuring five hindrances and can overcome mental intoxications. And you can attain the path of fruitfulness, Nirvana. The strong mind has the power to remove all defilements.
Sati is mindfulness (know what you doing).
Sampajañña is mindfulness with clear comprehension.
Sati Sampajañña is mindfulness with clear comprehension.
The state of mind in the present with Sati Sampajañña can make your mind peaceful and have the right attitude by understanding yourself. You will see the truth as it really is.
Whenever you have the right view and no attachment to yourself, the mind will be able to stop defilements, illusion and false impression. The mind will see the wisdom, impermanence, suffering and non-self.
This is the factor to achieving serenity and inherent power. When the mind is in the state to perceive feelings and differences of emotional. The mind will be weak.
To have a powerful mind you have to be aware of any emotions. If you recognize what you are experiencing in the present, you won’t be effected by those emotions. Because these emotions can lead to anger, greed and delusion. If you are aware of your mind you will be above it. Suffering and wrong thinking will not arise.
It is important to free the mind from defilements. It increases immunity of the mind and improves mental health.
Living in a house with others with limited space can cause worry and be uncomfortable. Be with consciousness, concentration and wisdom you will be able to live freely even in a small space. You will be content and have a good mental state.
When you do meditation by deep breathing this will help your lungs to detoxify. Your lungs will become stronger. COVID-19 is harmful directly to the lungs and breathing system. Lung detoxification can be compared to an air pollution filter. You need to change or clean the filter to get good air.
By deep breathing during meditation this can help you have good concentration. It benefits blood circulation, lymphatic system and excretory system.
The Lord Buddha said that the advantage of meditation helps develop endurance to walk distances, helps the process of digesting food and can sustain concentration. This will improve your physical and mental health.
When you come for a retreat you come to improve your well being and become a better person. Follow the temple’s rules by wearing your mask, keep social distancing and no talking. Keep the place clean. Keep yourself and mind clean.
This will help us all have good mental state and reduce illness. You reduce a likelihood of being a burden to the family, community and the country.
The achievement of mental cultivation is not to be happy or unhappy. But, to see if you have awareness, calmness or restlessness. You cannot normally be calm on the first retreat because too many things occur in your mind.
When you have the right thought and right view, then you know the mind is in the natural state because the mind is always thinking.
The mind is a natural thing that has movement and perceives emotions and feelings. What kind of emotions you perceive and the benefits of them to you? When you are aware of these emotions in the present. Train you mind to recognize them.
Two yogis prepare to leave the temple after a retreat. One of them has cancer which makes him worried during the course. He was frightened of dying and could not sleep. This is called an unhappy state. The attachment of this feeling is called Upādānā. In fact, many yogis who have had cancer learn from this situation. It makes them decide to do a retreat.
Contemplation of mind is Cittānupassanā Satipatฺtฺhāna. During a retreat, a yogi says he is restless and cannot achieve peace of mind, and keeps thinking all the time. If this happens to you, you have to be aware of mindful “thinking…thinking” even if you are thinking the whole session.
Samudaya is the origin of suffering which has good and bad sides. The Lord Buddha said greed (Lobha) is the same as craving (Tanฺhā). Tanฺhā is craving and the ultimate of the suffering. Tanฺhā is also known as lust and sensual desire. This all causes suffering.
Doing goodness is a merit and makes a great person. Goodness leads to a happy life. You can free yourself from suffering (Dukkha) by doing good deeds. Doing goodness is called Magga (the path to end of suffering). If you do mental cultivation and complete the path, it will free you from suffering which is called Nirodha.