Context: Throughout this transcript, Bhante Vimalaramsi is the speaker unless otherwise indicated.

in one of the suttas

it says very clearly how you act

for yourself

it doesn't matter what anybody else says

or does

they said if somebody comes at you

whether it's timely or untimely

whether what they're saying is true or


whether they're saying it with

loving-kindness or they're saying it

with anger

you need to remember

that your mind is the thing

that causes you pain

the buddha said

that you need to

take that person when they say something

in a rough way

or an untimely way

or in a harsh way or even if they're


and not respond negatively to that other


you use that other person as a reminder

to radiate loving and kind thoughts

and you radiate that to that person

and then you start radiating

loving-kindness to the whole world to

all beings

if you can live like that

you will have a happy life

you won't have

oh they said this and i didn't like it

and the gossip that goes along with that

sort of thing they said this and it

wasn't true and being angry at them

because they said something that wasn't


you don't pay attention to that so much

you send loving and kind thoughts


that person

do you want to affect the world around

you in a positive way or a negative way

it's your choice

how you affect the world around you

you want to affect the world around you

in a positive way

there are some things that you need to


and it does take practice

you need to learn how to smile

now before i go too much further i see a

lot of people sitting with their arms

crossed like this

this is called a thinking posture

you're not paying attention when you're

thinking please uncross your arms

and don't sit with your legs crossed


there are some

the buddha told the monks that there are

some things that we have to be careful

of when people are coming and listening

to the dhamma and this is one of the


you want to practice listening to the

dhamma with an open heart

when you're like this it closes

and you start thinking thinking thinking

not paying attention

so when you uncross your arms and

uncross your legs you become open and

you hear clearly what is being said


getting back to what i was talking about

if you practice


all day

all the time

your mindfulness will become very good

and very sharp

when you have joy in your mind from


your mind is uplifted

your mind is clear

and it's very easy to see

when your mind gets heavy

and you start thinking seriously about


so the more you can practice smiling

during the day

whether you feel like smiling or not


you will begin

to have

an uplifted mind

that's what the buddha was teaching us

he said if you want to have a happy mind

there's four things that you need to do

this is called the four right efforts

you have to notice when your mind

has unwholesomeness in it

what's unwholesome

emotional states

dislike states

unhappy states

notice when that happens

let go of that unwholesome state and

relax the tightness in your mind caused

by that unwholesome state

bring up a wholesome state what's a

wholesome state smile

the more you can smile the more

wholesome your mind becomes

and keep that wholesome state going all

the time

now there's another thing that is

incredibly helpful and i'm sure that not

too many people really

hear about this sort of thing

and that is when you are


or angry

or fearful

or dissatisfied

whatever the the catch of the day

happens to be

the emotional state that arises

when you see that and you laugh with

yourself for being caught by that


you're not caught anymore

when you laugh with yourself

for being angry

you are not angry anymore

it goes from

i'm mad and i don't like this


it's only this anger

now what happens when you do that

you're losing your attachment

what is attachment

how do you see attachment how do you

recognize it when it comes up

the second noble truth

the buddha talked about

is the cause of suffering

we all know about the first noble truth

we don't have to talk about that too

much although an awful lot of monks

likes to talk about that

but what's the cause of this

and the buddha said the cause of

suffering is craving

what is craving

how can you recognize craving when it

comes into your mind



manifests as tension and tightness in

your mind and in your body

when you notice that you're

sad depressed angry

whatever it happens to be that emotional

state you'll notice that there's a lot

of tension

in your head

how many people give themselves

headaches because they don't like this

painful feeling when it arises

more than a few

almost everybody gives themself


and how does it happen

the buddha said we're made up of five

different things the psycho physical


you have a physical body

there is feeling i'm not talking about

emotional feeling right now i'm talking


pleasant feeling

a painful feeling

neither painful nor pleasant feeling

then you have perception sagna

perception is the part of the mind


names things

it's the start



it also has memory in it

the next one is


and the last one is consciousness now

you're made up of these five different


our habit

is when a painful feeling arises

we try to think

the feeling away

and the more you try to think

the feeling the bigger and more intense

that feeling becomes

and it will get so big that you start

running around looking for some kind of


and this is when a lot of people go to

doctors and say i've got this depressed

mind and

i don't know what to do with it give me

some medicine make it better

the buddha's medicine was learning how

to understand

this process

and how

to let go

of this suffering


always arises as tension and tightness

in your mind and in your body

you feel your

self starting to get a headache

start relaxing all of those muscles in

your neck

let go of all of those thoughts


i don't feel like smiling i don't care

how does your mind feel now

feels good huh


the more you can laugh in other words

you stop taking it personally

and you see it as just it's just this


well that's easy to let go of

so you let it be you let it go you relax

come back and smile some more

they've done an awful lot of tests on

how mind works and how body

works and they found out


even when you don't feel like smiling

if you smile

even if you have a lot of sadness or

anxiety or depression

if you smile

your mind will look at you and say well

i'm smiling i must be happy

and then your mind will start to become


isn't that odd

the more you can smile during the day

and give that smile away


everyone else around you

the happier you will become

it's the way it works

now the buddha talked a lot about

practicing your your donna practicing

your generosity what was he really

talking about was he talking about money

no he wasn't talking about that sort of


he was talking about you personally

giving a good feeling to somebody else

but you can't give it to somebody else

unless you feel it yourself

so you start smiling

and you smile to other people around you

and then they start feeling good and

they start smiling

now you're affecting the world around

you in a positive way

especially in this country right now

there's so much fear and there's so much

worry about losing jobs and not having

enough money and losing your house

the more you get involved

in the fear and anxiety the more you

think that this problem

is so big

that you can't

get around it

don't sit with your arms folded please

the more you try to think your feelings

the bigger the problem becomes the more

of an emergency it becomes

and the easier it is to become depressed

and sad

and over concerned

well it's the economy's fault

the economy is not causing your



are causing your own suffering

by taking a feeling and making it yours


and then trying to think


the feeling

so what you need to do

is to recognize that there is a definite


that happens

that will

when you understand it start to give you


now one of the wonderful things about

the buddha

was that he when he was talking about

the dhamma

he said this is immediately effective

he wasn't talking about doing a

three-month retreat

he was talking about right here right


the more you practice having an uplifted

mind in other words the more you smile

the easier it is to let go of the worry

and the fear and the anxiety

have you ever had one of those kind of

days when nothing went right

everything you tried to do was an effort


finally you had a choice

either i can laugh about this or i can

start crying

so you laugh about it and all of a


the day's not so bad anymore

what happened

when you laugh

you stop taking everything personally

and you're kind of standing back a

little bit

and you're seeing that this process


not worth worrying about

not worth getting involved in

you can't think problems away

you have to allow the space for

thoughts to be

and let them go

the more you can smile into what you're

doing while you're doing it

the easier it is

to let go of that pain

let go of the suffering

there's one chair right here if you want


what what is the best remedy

for practicing what the buddha taught us

being happy

giving that happiness to somebody else

you can't give what you don't have

so it's a matter of learning how when

days are really

bad nothing you try works you're behind

schedule everything is slowing you down

and you're becoming frustrated

have a good laugh

and all of a sudden

all of this heaviness that you've been

putting on your own shoulders


now what happens

when the day is going wrong i have an

expectation i want the day to go the way

i want it to go right

but it doesn't happen that way

and because it doesn't happen that way

you try harder

and you start thinking more

and then you start oh i'm behind

schedule i'm thinking about what i need

to do next instead of what i'm doing

right now

and you get about halfway done and you

go oh i forgot and then you go running

off and do something else and you come

back and you're not done with what you

were doing and it's hard to get back

into it again

this is called a restless mind

a restless mind is very scattered

you're not in the present moment you're

not doing what you're doing while you do

it you're thinking about doing something

else while you're doing this so you

don't do this very well

and you don't really finish this in a

satisfactory way before you're running

off to do something else

and then you get angry with yourself

because i'm not doing this good

this isn't the way it's supposed to be

and now you're beating yourself up

and you're causing yourself a lot more

pain and suffering

what to do when that happens

well i'm in a hurry i've only got 20

minutes and i have these five things i

have to get done

the best thing to do

sit down for five

ten minutes

calm your mind

smile with yourself let go of all of

your thoughts let let the worry be don't

get involved with it

have a little chuckle for getting caught

and then when you get up

your mind is very centered and you do

this job


you do this

done all of a sudden you become more

efficient with what you're doing because

you're staying in the present moment not

thinking about something else

you're not worried about

anything because you're just doing this

right here right now

what's the best way to be efficient

having fun with what you're doing while

you do it

enjoying what you're doing

not dread

not oh i hate doing the dishes

as a result you don't do them very well

and you get chewed out by somebody else

because it's still dirty

now that's just a little example but

that you see what i'm talking about

when you


happiness in the present moment with

what you're doing

you become very efficient and very good

at doing what you're doing

and this leads to a lot of peace and

tranquility arising in your mind

you're not fighting with the present

moment you're not leaning out of the

present moment wishing the next moment

to be better

you're letting it go and you're just

being here right now

the buddha said we're the happy ones

are we

or are we resisting

being happy in the present moment

don't think about going to the movie

because then i'll be happy

be happy right here right now

practice your smiling

practice giving your smile away to

someone else

practice you're laughing

isn't that odd have you ever heard a

monk tell you you're supposed to laugh


now the next thing that you really have

to be careful of

and that is keeping your precepts

and coming back to this country from


people don't like to hear about that

sort of thing

they don't like to hear about


they don't like to hear about what it

really is talking about but this is

the foundation of your practice

what are the precepts

don't kill any living being on purpose

don't take anything that's not given

don't have any wrong sexual activity

wrong sexual activity someone

that has sexual activity with another

person's mate that would be wrong sexual

activity someone that has sexual

activity with someone that's young

still under the care of their parents

that's wrong sexual activity what it

boils down to is not having any sexual

activity that causes anyone

to be unhappy

the next part is the hard one

it has to do with your speech

now just in

the last

10 or 12 years people speaking in this

country even on the radio and on the


are cursing a lot

what does cursing really


it implies


it implies that your mind is not very

clear and bright

there's a version in your mind


i did it

i hate

that no good

all of those kind of

mental states

take you out of the present moment

so you don't know what you're doing

right here right now

you're caught up in your mind thinking

thinking thinking thinking thinking you

don't even know you have a body

do you ever get angry and get into a car

now are you really driving

that's when

accidents happen isn't it

because you're not paying attention

because you're thinking about something


don't tell anybody lies

don't try to divide people

bring people together with your speech

say things that are kindly say things

that are uplifting

not this person said a lie

whether it's true or not

you don't need to use that kind of

speech it's better to say nothing



hard one

but what is gossip

it's getting together with other people

and making up stories about somebody

that's not there

they don't have anything to do with the


it's just making up stories

it's better not to say anything it's

better to walk away from that kind of


there was a nun in


that was very

skillful at gossip

and the monks and the nuns got very

tired of her saying things that weren't

necessarily true

and she was having a lot of

dissatisfaction and a lot of anger

coming up and she was letting that out

through her speech

and she would come up and she'd start

talking to somebody and she'd start

doing that

they'd turn around and walk away

and before long she was just standing by


and anytime she went to talk to somebody

she started talking negatively they

walked away

that's how the monks taught her

you have to be more careful with your


so when somebody around you is gossiping

walk away

you don't have to listen to that stuff

because you know it's probably not true

now what's the advantage of keeping your


the more you keep your precepts without

breaking them

the more calm your mind becomes

the more aware you are of what you're

going to do or you're going to say

before you say it

now the last precept

not a real popular precept

don't take any drugs or alcohol why

because you're going to break the other

precepts when you do

now somebody that takes drugs and

alcohol when they come to a retreat

within a day i really know whether

that's what they've been doing or not

and they have a hard time doing the

retreat they have a hard time having a

calm peaceful mind

drugs and alcohol dull you out

and you say well a little glass of wine

now and then only one beer now and then

on our on our website we had somebody

that said

i had a half orange juice half beer

only one

and i watched what it did to my mind

and all of a sudden i had all of these

hindrances coming up in my mind

what are hindrances


i want

hatred i don't want



restlessness anxiety doubt

these five hindrances when they come up

they take your mind completely away from

the present moment and you get lost in

your thinking and

in your want to make them go away

or to indulge in them

you don't know you have a body you don't

even know where you are most of the time

if you're caught in a hindrance

when you break a precept it causes the

hindrances to arise

so this man tried this half beer half

other stuff orange juice i think it was

i don't remember

and he said all of a sudden he had all

of these lust thoughts coming up and

dislike thoughts coming up and he was

really causing himself suffering

that's from a half a beer

so how much more

a whole glass of wine how much more a

whole beer

how much more a shot of some stronger

kind of alcohol

how much more

taking drugs

for recreational purposes

oh i just need to take the edge off

right now

i've had a bad day

when you do that you dull yourself out

you have a tendency

to get highly emotional

not only while you're doing the drugs or

alcohol but


you have a tendency to say things that

aren't very nice to other people and

make them angry

stay away from these kind of things

they only lead to your suffering


cause your own suffering

nobody else causes your suffering


cause your own suffering

why a painful feeling arises i don't

like it

who doesn't like it i don't like it

that's craving

craving is the i like it i don't like it

mine it always shows itself by being

tense and tight

in your mind and in your body

right after that

all of your stories

about why you like or dislike that

feeling why you want more of it why you

don't want any more of it

and then your habitual tendency i always

act this way when this kind of feeling

arises i always act this way when they

say this to me

and then

you have

birth of action

and you start acting in ways

that are really kind of crazy

welcome to the human race everybody's






i want it i don't want it

right after the birth of action you have

pain sorrow lamentation

grief and despair

now what i just told you

what i just demonstrated to you was how

dependent origination actually works

have you heard about dependent

origination before

this is a process that your mind goes


and it always arises because

of your not understanding

how the four noble truths actually work

and how you get caught up

in liking and disliking whatever happens


your activities

and you cause yourself pain

when you fight what's happening in the

present moment

now as you know i teach a lot of

meditation and when you sit in

meditation sometimes pain arises

and that pain

can be real strong

it hurts

but when you're sitting in meditation

i tell you


move your body

at all

now you get to watch how your mind

handles this sensation

first thing you'll notice

thinking about it boy i hate that

feeling i wish it would stop i wish it

would go away why does it have to bother

me now

oh i really don't want it to be there

i really do want to move

every thought about the pain causes the

pain to be bigger and more intense


you let go of

the thoughts

they're only thoughts

they're not even your thoughts they're

just thoughts

and you relax the tightness caused by

those thoughts

now you see there's a tight mental fist

wrapped around that feeling

i don't like that feeling it hurts i

don't want it to be there

but the truth is

when a feeling arises

it's there

that's the truth isn't that profound

when it's there it's there

so what you do with what arises in the

present moment dictates what happens in

the future


you have a choice

you can fight that pain

you can try to resist it

you can try to change it

you can try to make it different


what are you really doing

you're fighting


the dhamma

of the present moment

you're fighting with the truth

there's pain there it's real

and it

i don't like it

it's like you take a real red-hot coal

and you put it in your hand and you say

oh that

hurts so you try to make it stop hurting

by squeezing it

and the more you squeeze it

the more it hurts

so what i'm telling you is

let it go

it's just a feeling

it's painful okay so what

it's still only a feeling


i have a question for you

did you ask that painful feeling to come

up did you say

you know i've been sitting here for a

while and i haven't had any pain come up

so i guess it's time for it to come up


you try to make that pain come up

no nobody's dumb enough to do that

it comes up by itself because the

conditions are right for it to arise

what you do with what arises in the

present moment dictates what happens in

the future

so you say okay that pain is there but

it's okay for it to be there

it has to be okay

because it's the truth

you can't fight with the truth you can't

argue with it you can't make it any

different than what it is

all you can do is allow the truth to be

and relax

your mind and your body

and then come back

to a wholesome object


well it hurts too much i don't feel like

smiling i don't care

smile anyway

you ever stub your toe

how much does that hurt

what did you do when you stubbed your


if you're like most people

there's a lot of

unwholesome speech that happens

and a lot of hobbling around and not

liking the present moment

when pain arises in your body

that pain is telling you something

that you need to recognize for yourself

when that pain arises it's saying i hurt

i need you to love me right there

right where that pain is

i need love there

but what are you doing

when you stub your toe are you giving

your toe loving kindness

or are you giving your toe anger and

dissatisfaction and aversion

it's real interesting that in your body

you have this thing that's in between

the two lobes of your brain it's a

little tiny gland called the pineal


and this pineal gland

what its job is

is to let out a painkiller in your body

it's called endorphins

it's about 10 times stronger than


okay it's really a good painkiller

but the only way that pineal gland is

will release that painkiller into your



through having

a loving kind open mind

so you stub your toe you get angry

and you keep that angry and you hobble

around and that pain stays there for a

long time the next day the day after

that the day after that you're still

hobbling around because it hurts

because you didn't put love into that

you put your dissatisfaction into that

and then every time you walk it hurts a

little bit what do you do with your mind

put more dissatisfaction in it

when you do that that closes down all

the circulation around the pineal gland

it doesn't release any


so what you want to do is

send love into that

let go of those thoughts of


let go of those thoughts of aversion

just wish that big toe well

i just went to germany

the night before i went to germany i did

stub my toe and i broke it

and i sent a lot of loving kindness into


went up

i have a aloft so i have to climb some

stairs which was not an easy thing

and i laid down and went to sleep and i

didn't wake up the whole night

i didn't

have any pain arising in me

i got up the next morning i kind of

hobbled around

but after two days i was walking


no pain

you can't do anything with a broken toe

outside to put a bow on it so you don't

hit it again

but you put love into the painful thing

another thing that happens i have a

wood-burning stove i live in the forest

we have a lot of

trees and a lot of wood

so when you're messing around with the

wood burning stove sometimes you touch a

piece of metal and and you burn yourself

it's painful


you let the pain be there

and you start sending love into that

thing that hurts and it doesn't hurt


it's weird

it happens so fast

next day somebody looks in my hand and

say oh you got a big burn there and i'd

look and go oh i guess i do yeah i


it doesn't hurt

if you have the aversion if you have the


then that closes down the pineal gland

it closes down

the painkiller in the body

and that will last for a long time

the pain will stay there for a week

two weeks even longer

because of your dissatisfaction and

you're not being aware

of how this process works

it's real interesting because when i

give a retreat i just got done giving a

two-week retreat

and during the retreat i was telling


you know

what i want you to do most

i want you to smile

i want you to laugh

and i want you to have fun

now why would i say something like that

when you're having fun you're interested

in what you're doing your progress is

really fast when that happens

you're not trying to do something you're

just having fun so it picks up your


and you watch a little bit more closely

and when you're smiling your mind is


when you have joy in your mind now this

is an enlightenment factor it's not

something to be afraid of

when you have joy in your mind your mind

is very alert

your mind is very


agile means

you can see when your mind just starts

to let get heavy and you can let it go

you can allow it to be and relax into

that and smile some more


your mind is very pure at that time

that's what the buddha is teaching us

isn't it how to have a pure mind

you have a pure mind when your mind is


when you let go of the tensions and

tightness in your head

when you relax into what you're doing

and have fun with what you're doing

this isn't a maybe

i've got too many students that are

going yeah you know this stuff really

works but it doesn't work

unless you try it

i mean this isn't philosophy

you have to practice

what's the easiest way to practice

smile all day

i told one student that came

oh she was miserable she was full of

anger and

oh just

not doing well at all

so i took her

to where there was a mirror

and i gave her a little watch

and i said

you have to smile for five minutes

five minutes is a long time

especially when you have a clock there

watching it

you know you if you don't have the clock

you go

oh this is good

okay five minutes is up

but with a clock

you you know when you're fooling


but why do you stand in front of the

mirror to see whether you're smiling or

not and when you see you're not smiling

then start smiling again

now what you do with that


wish yourself happiness

wish yourself a happy feeling feel that

happy feeling in the center of your


and wish yourself to be happy

and feel that happiness

if you do that every day for a week

you will feel a

difference you'll start to feel

when your mind gets heavy

and you start getting emotional and

you'll be able to let it go

and smile some more

there is a manager in


he wrote and told me that

he'd been doing meditation for a long

time and he just wasn't satisfied with

the end results he'd been doing it for

six or seven years

he was very successful at meditating but

he said when i get done with the

meditation life is the same

i want to see what you have to teach

so i started teaching him but he had old

habits of his meditation and he wasn't

doing so well

and finally i said

look you're not doing the meditation the

way i'm showing you you're just falling

into your old habits

so here's what i want you to do i don't

want you to sit for seven days

the only thing you have to do

is smile

and anytime you feel that your mind is

getting negative


have fun

and i didn't hear from him for seven


and i thought ah

he's gone someplace else

and he finally wrote back to me and he

said you know

i really took what you said to heart

and this is what i saw

when i would walk around always before

you told me to smile i always walked

down around with my head down

and i was always in a mental haze

thinking this and thinking that

but when i started smiling

my posture changed a little bit and i

started looking around

and you know

other people started smiling back at me

and they never do that


other people started

to started

to come up

and talk to me when i was smiling

they never did that

so i wrote back to him i said do you

notice any change in your mindfulness he

said i didn't even know what mindfulness

was before i started doing it

what's the definition of mindfulness

being to able to observe how mind's

attention moves

from one thing to another

it's remembering to observe

so because he was smiling he was

starting to see how his mind got heavy

and he started laughing a little bit

with that and he noticed oh when i laugh

i'm not so attached to my

thoughts and feelings

i'm not so involved with all of this

thinking nonsense that i've been doing

for so many years

and then he said

and now the doctor

he cut down on the drugs i was taking


are you taking drugs oh i'm in a mental


why i would have helped if you'd have

told me you know i had given me some


but they told him that when he was in

the hospital when he got admitted to the

hospital that he was going to stay there

for the rest of his life

that he wasn't going to change

and as he continued smiling and being


people would write to me in the yahoo

group and he would write back to them

and say you know

i don't know if this is right or not

but this is what my experience was

when i smiled into things my mind became

very alert very uplifted and very happy

maybe you can try that

he became a great teacher

very much


advice as good as i give or maybe even

better in some cases

it was amazing

just because

he practiced


laughing when he couldn't smile

he said you know even when i didn't feel

like smiling i smiled and i felt better

there's advantage to that

practice smiling all the time

and what happens in your mind

becomes lighter

when your mind is lighter

you're able to see more clearly how

mind's attention gets caught by a


or when somebody comes up to you when

it's not time for them to talk and you

don't have time to talk they want to

continue talking

or when they come up to you and they

start telling you a whole bunch of lies

or when they come up to you and they're

angry and they're giving you their anger

what are you supposed to do with that

you don't necessarily smile with your


but you smile with your heart

what's the definition of compassion

compassion is seeing another person in


allowing them the space to have their


and love them no matter what

doesn't matter what they say doesn't

matter what they do

now when i started this talk i was

telling you about what you do with

somebody that comes to you and they have

anger i'll give you another instance

you go to work

first thing that happens is your boss is


and they come at you with their anger

what do you do

you take their anger

make it your anger and throw it back at


now you're fighting

now this also happens in relationships

men and women relationships

married couples all of this

and then you start

talking at the same time

so you don't hear what that other person

says you only hear what you say

sound familiar

so after a little well they go away

what do you think about it

what do you think about after you get in

a fight

what they said what you said

what you should have said

and i'm right and they're wrong

that's what happens

and then it plays over again just like

it was on a tape deck

same words

saying it in the same order in the same


now what happens when somebody else

walks up to you and they start to say

something to you

and they might not mean anything but it

might sound a little harsh to you

you take the anger that you have from

that past experience and you start

throwing it at them

now you're having a rotten day

and then you go home and you say you

know i'm so i was such a lousy day leave

me alone

i want to be alone all i want to do is

sleep and when you go to sleep you're

tossing and turning and you don't get

good sleep so you wake up the next

morning kind of groggy and not clear

and you go to work and if anybody says


you snap at them

sound familiar

why did it happen like that

because you took somebody else's

pain and suffering you took their anger

and you made it your anger

you caused yourself a lot of suffering

because you tried to take somebody

else's pain

and you made it your pain and you threw

it back at them

but if you're compassionate

if you practice what the buddha is


it doesn't matter what that other person


it doesn't matter at all

as a matter of fact don't even pay

attention to what they're saying

you spend your time

sending loving and kind thoughts to that

person you can see them suffering you

know what it feels like to get angry

not pleasant

so you have compassion for that person

and you radiate loving kindness to that

person and one of two things will happen

either they will calm down

and then you can start discussing things

in a rational way


they'll leave

walk off grumbling

occasionally people get angry

and they'll come and they'll start

talking to me

and then they'll start talking to each

other and they're they get really highly

emotional and they're talking at the

same time and what do i do i sit there

and just smile

radiate loving kindness to them

doesn't matter what they're talking


that's not the real problem

that's only a made-up problem

so i radiate loving-kindness and before

long they're just starting to talk like

normal people

and then they're starting to laugh a

little bit

and i just keep radiating love and

kindness to them

and after a little while they say well

thank you bonte we got to go to work

and i didn't say a word to him

it takes practice to be able to do that

so you practice

every day

you practice smiling you practice

radiating loving kindness to whatever

person you see and wish them well in

your mind

you don't have to take another person's


and make it yours

as a matter of fact if you do

you're only causing yourself pain and

you're certainly not helping the


radiate loving kindness

now in this particular sutra that i was

talking to you about it's called the

simile of the saw

and the buddha was talking to monks

about this he said it doesn't matter

what their what another person does or


what matters is what happens in your own


he said if you practice in this way

giving loving kindness to other people


any boundaries without any limits and

then sending loving kindness to all


no matter what you're doing

do you think that there's anything that

another person that can

that would say that would

upset your mind

if you're focusing on loving kindness

it doesn't matter what somebody else

says does it

he said

if there were two bandits when you're

walking out alone

came with a a saw and started sawing

your limbs off if you hold even one

thought moment

of dislike or dissatisfaction then

you're not following what the buddha


that's a little radical for laymen

but you get the idea of how important it


not to get caught up in what other

people say

it's more important for you to focus

your mind on loving kindness

and wishing them well

now this is practicing your generosity

this is practicing



and when you do that your mind

naturally develops

and becomes more spiritually based

it's not the practice you get from

sitting like a rock

in meditation

it's the practice of

radiating loving-kindness

during your daily life

so we come back to what i started

talking about



have fun

that's what life is supposed to be

we're not supposed to be worrying about

this or that

somebody wrote me an email and they were

nasty so what

can you radiate loving kindness to that

person doesn't matter what they said

what matters is what you do with what

arises in you in the present moment

well husband and wife don't agree on



fine it's okay not to agree

but you can't talk at the same time

that's breaking a rule

the rule is

this person talks says what they think

the other person says okay thank you

very much


this other person talks without getting


and says what they think

and then they can come to some kind of

agreement they can start compromising a

little bit and say well maybe we can do

it this way or do it that way

is that better than yelling

especially when you're yelling at the

same time as somebody else so they don't

know what you're saying but you think

they do because you said it

so you see

what the buddha is really talking about

is learning


to live in peace and harmony all the


and when you do how do you think you

affect the world around you don't sit

with your arms crossed please

how do you affect the world around you

when you are peaceful and calm and

smiling and having fun with everybody

else around you

are you practicing the eightfold path at

that time

you better believe it

what's a proper perspective what's right


not taking things personally

taking interest in what you're doing in

the present moment but seeing it as part

of an impersonal process

when you have peace and calm and you're

having fun what kind of an image are you


for the universe

are you projecting sadness sorrow

worry anxiety

a feeling of loss a feeling of


or are you holding an image of yourself

where you're having

an uplifted mind and you're able to help

other people around you in a positive


what kind of image do you want to hold

for yourself what's right thought

holding that image

so it's real important

to have an image that's not full of

worry not full of anxiety

reading the newspaper reading or

watching television that you know

there's a way to solve

the problem with television

everybody complains about it so negative

and all of that the way to solve it is

with a brick

through the screen

there's a a thing that we just saw a

little while ago that it says if you

want to have a good community

turn off the television

how much time is wasted

being by yourself

now you're from sri lanka

you know what community is community is

getting together and being with people

and helping each other

that's what the buddha was trying to

show us

holding an image that is

one of hope and helpfulness

and kindness


you're following the eightfold path when

you have joy when you're smiling


you're laughing

there was a nun that came to the last


she was there for 10 days or so

she was from the zen tradition

and zen tradition is very very


nobody smiles

nobody laughs

it's just


and that's the way they practiced and

she came to this retreat

and she saw people smiling she saw

people laughing and she finally had to

say something

she said you know this is a way retreats

are supposed to be

this being

over serious and and having this heavy

mind while you're striving so hard

doesn't seem to work so well

but you guys got it right

this is the way we're supposed to live

with a happy mind with an uplifted mind

with a mind that's interested in what

you're doing in the present moment

and enjoying it

how long am i supposed to talk

up to eight o'clock

why don't i stop now and ask if you have

any questions

what i said was so clear

that you don't have any doubts in your

mind and you're going to be practicing

it from here on out right

i guess so

sure is quiet

you must have really good situations in

your life you can't think of any

situation that you need to ask about

you can ask i promise i won't snap

i won't


don't move in that sitting

but the next time you sit

change your posture a little bit


i say the next time you sit

if you sit in the same way every time

and your leg goes to sleep every time

then you need to adjust so it doesn't do

that and sometimes it means

if you you get a small pillow

or even roll up a towel and put it

underneath your knee if you're sitting

on the floor or raise your leg up a

little bit if you're sitting in a chair

sometimes just that much movement will

will allow that not to happen anymore

but you don't move

while you're sitting

and i know how painful it is believe me

i've done

many many many retreats

what's more important to see is what

your mind does with that

how your mind doesn't like it and how

you start thinking about it i wish i

did just stop so i wouldn't have this

problem anymore

and you see your mind do this

and becomes hard

the thing is with the buddha's teaching

he told us

to do this

never this


a couple of different kinds of

meditation technique that are being

taught these days

one of them naturally causes your mind

to do this

and become very deeply concentrated and

absorbed in an object of meditation so

you don't

really see

what's happening around you very much

the other kind of meditation which is

the kind that i teach

it does this

and you go through

different genres

jhanas are levels of understanding

because you're teaching yourself how to


i'm not your teacher i'm a guide

all i do is keep you on the path

if you start going off the path a little

bit i'll kind of nudge you and get you

back on the path

the buddha is our teacher

and i spend a lot of time


what the buddha was talking about so i

can be able to explain it in words that

are a little bit easier to understand

you notice i don't use much in the way

of poly words

and i could

but do you understand poly

see why i don't use it


much more important that you understand

the teachings of the buddha than it is

to be attached

to a particular way of speaking about it

that you don't understand

i spent 12 years in asia a lot of that

time was in burma

almost three years in burma

where they were either speaking burmese

or they were speaking in pali

difficult experience

would have done much better if they were

speaking in english so i could


more completely what they were talking


i wish i could speak sri lankan

and i would

but i'm really lousy with languages

even english is a little tough for me

but do you understand why you don't move

do you understand why you don't move

when you're sitting in meditation

because that way you get to see what

your mind is doing

and how it doesn't like that feeling and

all of those thoughts

and you start to learn how to let go of

the thoughts

and relax

so you can see

that tight mental fist

and allow the feeling to be

when you do that one of two things will

happen either the pain will go away by

itself or it won't

but if it doesn't you start gaining more

mental balance

now there's a difference between

meditation pain

and real pain

real pain is

when you sit in meditation


this pain comes up and finally you get

up from the meditation and you start

walking and the pain doesn't go away

that's real pain

if that happens

please do not sit like that again

sit in another way so that you don't

have this

physical pain that's real arise

a meditation pain is a pain that arises

and you start walking and five or ten

seconds later you forget that you had

the pain

that's a meditation pain and they can

seem exactly the same while you're


but if you're sitting and that pain


and it doesn't go away

if you're sitting on the floor then

don't sit on the floor anymore sit in a


sit so that you're comfortable so pain

doesn't arise

there's no magic in the floor

you know why they sat on the floor in


they didn't have many chairs

they weren't used to sitting on the on


chair they were used to sitting on the


now we're getting used to sitting in


so sit in a chair that's okay

sit comfortably

now sometimes some people would sit in a

chair one sitting and the next sitting

they'd sit on the floor


no problem with that as long as you're

walking in between so you get some

exercise and get your blood moving

this isn't a torture

to sit in meditation

it's not supposed to be painful

even though a lot of monks talk a lot

about suffering

i prefer to talk about the cessation of


how to let it go

so you don't have this tension and

tightness all the time

when you learn to smile and you learn to

laugh during your daily activities


give that smile away you give your

laughter to other people

not at other people to other people

and you have fun

you're keeping your precepts you're

practicing your generosity

you come and you sit in meditation in

one day or two days you'll be surprised

at how deeply you go into the meditation

it's not a maybe

i have a lot of students that progress

very quickly

when they're willing to follow these

kind of instructions

it's not


the meditation doesn't have to be

painful at all the meditation will teach

you how to let go of pain

the meditation will teach you how to

have this uplifted mind all the time

that's what the buddha wants us to do he

wants us to be happy

practice your generosity

give with

whatever you feel is appropriate at the

time you can give with your energy you

can give with your speech

you certainly can give with your mind

and radiate loving kindness to everybody

now you're practicing what the buddha


and the number of disagreements that you

have with other people starts to become

less and less

i bet it's eight o'clock

but don't believe anything that i've

said tonight please

try it

do it

see whether i'm right or not

see whether the buddha is right or not

don't believe anything blindly

if it doesn't work for you don't do it

but if it works do it over and over


now it has to work for not only you but

everybody else around you



i believe that kema or

chitra gave out the business cards that

have our website on it

i have a lot of talks on their website

you can go and listen to them

there's instruction in the meditation if

you want to join our yahoo group and ask

questions about meditation feel free to

join us

there's always somebody around that will

give answers if i'm not there


be happy

that's my wish for all of you

okay i'm going to share something right

now may suffering ones be suffering free

and the fear struck fearless be

may the grieving shed all grief and may

all beings find relief

may all beings share this merit that

we've thus acquired for the acquisition

of all kinds of happiness

may beings inhabiting space and earth

devas and nagas of mighty powers share

this merit of ours may they long protect

the buddha's dispensation


since i came here last we have now added

a whole bunch of acreage to our



we now have over a hundred acres of land

that's been donated


we are

going to be busy for a few years getting

it all

fixed up

if you want to come out and visit

please feel free

when i give a retreat

the only time i give quote retreats

for two weeks or three weeks or whatever

is when i'm not at the monastery

when i'm at the monastery you can come

for any length of time from four days

up to

six weeks or two months whatever


uh practice with us and if you're going

to be there for two months you'll

already know everything after a couple

of weeks it's just a matter of practice

and we'll put you to work for us

but you'll have fun

i promise