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


so the discourse today is going to be

suita number 142

in the magiman nikaya the exposition

of offerings

this is real interesting suit

because it lets you know how you make

merit by giving

and how much you make by giving to


beings and such

thus if i heard on one occasion the

blessed one was living in the sakian

country of kapilavatu in negrota's park

then maha padre

took a new pair of clothes

and went to the blessed one

after paying homage to him she sat down

at one side and said to the blessed one

venerable sir this new pair of clothes

has been spun by me

woven by me especially for the blessed


venerable sir let the blessed one accept


from me out of compassion


when this was said the blessed one told


give it to the sangha gotami

when you give it to the sangha the


will be made both to me

and to the sangha

and that's what i try to focus everybody

who is giving anything

don't make it a personal gift to me

make it a gift to the entire

sangha and the reason

is you make so so much more

merit and it will come back to you

in all kinds of wonderful ways

a second time and a third time she said

to the blessed one venerable sir

accept it from me out of compassion

a second and third time the blessed one

told her

give it to the sangha gotami

when you give it to the sangha the

offerings will be

made both to me and

to the sangha

so gives to individual

monks please i want you to have

this you make merit but you make very

little merit

and merit is good actions

positive actions

so anytime you give

anything to me personally

in your mind you say

that you are you are giving this to the



the entire song takes care of me

so the gift might come to me it might

come to another monk it doesn't really


we share everything equally

then a venerable ananda said to the

blessed one venerable sir

let the blessed one accept a new pair of


from your

your uh

has been a very helpful to the blessed

one sir

as his mother sister she was his nurse

his foster mother

the one who gave him milk she suckled

the blessed one

when his own mother died

the blessed one said two

has has been very helpful to the

mahapadja patti gotami

it is owing to the blessed one that the

mahabharati gotami

has gone for refuge to the buddha the

dhamma and the sangha

it is owing to the blessed one that that

venerable mahapadhapati gotami

abstains from killing living beings

can you hear me better now


he she abstains from killing living


she abstains from taking

what is not given she abstains from

sexual misconduct

she abstains from false speech

and this says wine and liquor and


but there are so many drugs out these

days we have to include those

two as part of the intoxicant

which are the basis of negligence

it is owing to the blessed one that the

mahapadjapatigotami possesses

perfect confidence in the buddha the

dhamma and the sangha

and that she possesses the virtues loved

by the noble ones

it is owing to the blessed one that

maha padjapati gotami is free from debt

about suffering a doubt about suffering

excuse me

about the origin of suffering about the

cessation of suffering

about the way leading to the cessation

of suffering

the blessed one has been very helpful to

mahapa japati gotami

now actually ananda saying this

said this out of

his own confidence

in the buddha's

foster mother but he spoke out of turn

and he was kind of contradict

contradicting the buddha by saying these


he was trying to make him feel guilty

that he should personally

accept this instead of having it go

to the entire sangha so the buddha is

going to give him his answer

that is so ananda that is so

when one person owing to another has

gone forth for refuge to the buddha

and sangha i say that is not

easy for the former to repay the latter

by paying homage to him raising

up for him according to the reverential

salutations and polite services

and by providing robes alms food resting

place and medicinal requisites

when one person owing to another

has come to abstain from killing living

beings from taking what is not given

from misconduct and sensual pleasures

from false speech from

wine liquor and intoxicants

which are the basis of negligence

i say that is not easy for the former to

repay the letter by taking homage to him

and and all of the other things

when one person owing to another has

come to

possess perfect confidence in the buddha


and sangha and to possess the virtues

loved by the noble ones

i say that it is not easy for the former

to repay the ladder

by paying homage to him

when one person owing to another has


free from doubt from about suffering

so what we're he's really doing right

now is making

kind of a list you make a lot of merit

by taking refuge in the buddha dhamma

and sangha

you make even more merit by keeping the

five precepts without breaking them

and giving to the people that

encourage you to act that way

and sharing the merit with them

is very very good

but there are other ways of making merit

too and you'll see that in a moment

there are fourteen kinds of personal


one gives a gift to the tatakata

accomplished and fully awakened

this is the first kind of personal


one gives a gift to a pacheco buddha

this is the second kind of personal


one gives a gift to an arahat disciple

of the tatakata this is

the first third kind of personal


one gives a gift to one who has entered

upon the way

to the realization of the fruit

of our hardship

this is the fourth kind of personal

offering one gives a gift to a

non-returner now this doesn't mean

only somebody that has

taken the ropes this is giving a gift to



they are a part of the noble sangha

this is the fifth kind of personal

offering one gives a gift to one who has

entered upon the way

to the realization of the fruit of


this is the sixth

way of personal offering

one gives a gift to a once

returner this is the seventh

kind of personal offering

one gives a gift to one who is entered

upon the way

to the realization of the fruit of

one's return this is the eighth

kind of personal offering

one gives a gift to a non or a stream

enterer this is the ninth

kind of personal offering

one gives a gift to one who is entered

upon the way

to the realization of the fruit of


entry this is the tenth

kind of personal offering

one gives a gift to one outside the


who is free from lust for sensual


this is the 11th kind of personal

offering this is someone that

is abstinent

so you you can make merit by giving

laymen that are

abstinent that you can make good merit

for doing that

one gives a gift to a virtuous ordinary

person somebody that keeps the precepts

this is the 12th kind of personal

offering one who gives a gift to an


ordinary immoral ordinary

person this is the 13th

kind of personal offering

one gives a gift to an animal

this is the 14th kind of personal

offering here in

ananda by giving a gift to an animal

the offering

may be expected to repay a hundred

fold in other words you give an animal

something to eat

it'll come back to you a hundred times

when the karma is

ripe by giving a gift to an

immoral ordinary person

the offering may be expected to repay

a thousand-fold

by giving a gift to a virtuous ordinary


the offering may expect be expected to


a hundred thousand fold

so the more virtuous the person is that


give the gift to the more merit you make

the more times

that good gift will come back to you

now you being in the west you're or

being in

a good circumstance in your life

that says that in the past

you practiced your generosity

and you're eating the fruit of that

by giving a gift to one outside the


who is free from lust for sexual


the offering may expected to repay

be repaid a hundred thousand


by giving a gift to one who has entered

the way

to the realization of the fruit of


entry the offering may be expected

to repay incalcula

in calculus

i'm not going to be able to say that



what then should be said about one

giving a gift to a stream enterer

so giving a gift to people

that are keeping their precepts very


and pointing their mind towards

being being able to experience


if the amount of merit that you make

comes back

very very big

now the thing with generosity and giving

is the buddha talked about different

ways of giving


he said that when you

prepare a gift say you're preparing food



while you're preparing the gift don't

let your mind think about

nonsense stuff about


things that cause all kinds of problems

or try to solve some problem while

you're fixing the food

just have a happy mind when you


preparing the gift

while you give that gift

give that gift with a happy mind

now something about giving that has

happened to me

as well as many other people is

you prepare a gift for someone else you

want to give that gift to them

you start giving it to them and they say

i don't want that

that's like getting slapped in the face

it is your responsibility

to accept the gift whatever you do with

the gift

after it is given that's up to you

if you don't want what was given to you

give it to somebody else

make them happy but do that with a happy

uplifted mind

and then reflect on giving that gift

when you go away from that person when

you've given that

that gift to them reflect on that with a

happy mind that's how you make the most

amount of merit when you're giving a


one of the hardest things i had to learn

as a monk

was to accept what somebody wants to

give me

sometimes they give me things that i

have no need of i

don't want to carry it around it's like

sometimes i i get whole sets of books

that are given to me

now if i'm traveling how am i going to

carry that around with me

and that gets troublesome trying to send

the gift

back to when i

come back to the the states

but i have to accept it

and i have to accept it with a happy


i've been given that people

tried to give me monasteries

i can't accept it but i can accept it on

in the name of the sangha it's not a


gift to me

and then i can look for a monk to take


so there's all kinds of ways that

we can accept the gift

but always understand

out of compassion that

the gift that is given

is given with a happy mind so you be

happy and rejoice in

their good qualities in

their want to give

and that way you encourage more and more

people to give

you be the example for

giving gifts to other people

so you get an idea that it's real

important for you to understand

that this is the first part of


so many people want to learn how to

meditate but they don't understand

that this is an active

very important part

of letting go of things

something sometimes you can give

something away to somebody else and it

really means a lot to you

and then after you give it you had oh

i wish i had given that away

if you entertain that kind of

thought you still get the good

merit but it's not quite

like you would like it to be

an example in one of the

dhammapada commentaries

there was a girl she was a princess

and she had

her favorite kind of comb for her hair

was she was wearing that comb

and she saw a pachika buddha walking

around and she was so inspired by him

she wanted to give that gold comb away

and so she did

but after she gave it away she kept on

having remorse for giving it away

and she kept on thinking oh i wish i

would have kept today

the pajayka buddha didn't even have any

hair so what does he need a comb for

in her next lifetime she was

reborn with a very special


and that gift is anytime

a man touched her hand

she fell they fell in love with her

that was the good merit of giving that


but she was also born very


now what happened to her

was that

she this this girl had a reputation for


very ugly and not being very nice

but one day she

saw the king and he touched her hand

and he felt this electricity and he felt

he fell in love with her

and he made her into a queen now that's

a good merit of the

giving the gift but she suffered

because she had remorse for giving the


and wish that she hadn't done it

so there you have the kind of merit that

is a mixed bag

now what happened a little bit later on


uh the king was criticized very heavily

for marrying a very ugly lady

and he uh

set up a screen that had a hole in it

that somebody could sit on one side she

would sit on the other

uh they would put their hand through and

she would touch their hand

and they would fall in love with her

so that's how the king

let go of the

uh bad press as it were

so every every gift you give

you get good merit for having given it

but if it's a favorite thing that really

means a lot to you and it doesn't mean

so much to somebody else

and you see that they don't keep that

gift but they give it to someone else

you should rejoice

in that gift

happy mind everything that the buddha

talked us

to us about is a happy mind

and the way things are are going

in the world today there's an awful lot

of people that would do

better if they started practicing more

of the generosity

one of the highest gifts that you can


is food

if you give food

that means in the future

it will come back to you and you will

not ever go hungry

i had a teacher by the name of manindra

he was a very great teacher from

india and he came to the monastery that

i was staying at

and he

every time we sat down to a meal

he was always taking something from his


and putting it on somebody else's plate

because he wanted to keep practicing

that generosity

and we kept on saying why are you

putting that on my plate i can take more

if i want then he would give an

explanation about

the reasons that he gave

so i thought it was a great idea so i

started doing the same thing

and after he left i kept that practice

going with the people that were working

at the center

any time i ran across a piece of fruit

that was particularly

good then i would cut it up

and walk around and give it to

the people that that i loved that i

wanted them to have something special

and one one of my friends

he said i love to see you coming when

you have fruit in your hand

because i know that i'm going to be

getting really good

tasty fruit he said

my my mouth actually starts to

uh to salivate

the more you can practice your


the more times it comes back to you

but it depends on your mind at the

giving time

when you prepare and you're just


about putting love

and kindness into your preparation of

the food

and you keep your mind on that

and then while you are giving that food

you're giving the food with a happy mind

and then you reflect on it later about

how happy you felt

when you were able to give

that will come back to you many many


and that will lead to a more and more

uplifted mind and that will

actually help your meditation

because this is the kind of meditation

so the more you can practice your


the better your sitting will become

of course the second part of this

is that keeping the precepts without

breaking them

you might get tired of me talking about

this over and over again

but it's so very important

and when buddhism first came to this


it wasn't stressed very much

and that's because of

a religion that's in this country

that they want you to feel guilty for

doing something wrong

and they don't stress the importance of

keeping the precepts

as a result there's been a lot of people

that are taking meditation and they're

reciting the precepts one time

at the beginning of the session

of of the retreat but they didn't they


talk about it during the week and that


is a mistake it has to be reinforced

a lot

if you come to my center which i

encourage all of you to come and visit

if you come to my center you'll find out

that you take the precepts every day

you take the refuges every day

why it helps to settle your mind

one of the advantages of keeping the

precepts without breaking them

is your mind will tend to become

peaceful and calm very tranquil very


and your progress in meditation is


than if you broke one of the precepts

why when you're sitting in meditation

does a hindrance arise

why is your mind pulled away from your


of meditation because sometime in the

past it

might be the the close past it might be

the distance past

you broke a precept every time you break

a precept

even something that you don't consider

to be very bad that's only a little

white lie and they know that i'm not

that i'm saying something that's not


every time you break a precept it causes

your mind to feel guilty

it causes remorse to arise in your mind

and that guilty feeling is the very

beginning of the false belief in a

personal self

i am that i did that

i shouldn't have done that

and that's what the hindrances are that


because in the past you broke precepts

so the importance of keeping your


going not

only while you're sitting in meditation

can't be overstated

you might get you might get tired of

hearing this over and over and over


but we need that reminder

that's why i have you give the pre take

the precepts every

every day not

as some kind of write-in ritual

but as a reminder

to keep your precepts without breaking


one of the advantages of keeping your


very well is you know what you're going

to do

or you're going to say before you say it

or you do it and you make the decision

of whether

you're going to suffer or not

these aren't commandments you can do

whatever you want

it's up to you you are in charge of

your own spiritual

path if you want to

continue on having an uplifted mind

a happy mind there are certain formulas

that the buddha gives that are

very helpful

and when you follow those formulas you

see yeah it works

but you don't have to blindly believe

anything in buddhism there's only

one thing that you have to believe

you'll get to see it as you go deeper in

your meditation

the only thing you have to believe is

that things happen

one thing at a time

and you will see that in your meditation

when you're seeing you're not hearing

when you're hearing you're not seeing

these are individual

consciousnesses arising and passing away

very quickly

as you become more and more

to that

you will start to see on your own

how you are responsible for

the amount of suffering that you have

can't blame somebody else for your

suffering that's one of the things that

led me to buddhism

because the self-responsibility

oh you said something bad to me and i

didn't like it

who didn't like it

i didn't like it

who's fighting with the dhamma

who's fighting with the present moment

who's looking for an excuse so they

don't have to take responsibility for


you see how this works it's very

important to understand

practicing your generosity

is the very beginning of what meditation

is of taking responsibility

of letting go of your greed

the more you practice your generosity

the happier you can become

and this helps you to attain nibana

that's the first part of this

and the second part is keeping your

precepts without breaking them

it's pretty amazing when you start

watching how when you

keep your precepts without breaking them

it turns into a protection for you

you'll be able to discern when you you

keep your precepts on your speech

you'll be able to discern when other

people aren't keeping their precepts

much more easily and you'll hear

in their voice

whether it's what they're saying is true

or not

as you keep your precepts without

breaking them you start running

into more and more people that keep

their precepts

and you start feeling really comfortable

around them you feel like god

here's somebody that i can trust

and life becomes easier it becomes

more and more fun

to live oh the first noble truth

life is suffering that's not the first

noble truth

they're suffering in life why

why is that suffering there because in

the past we broke some precepts

now we have to learn how to purify our


and we do that through generosity

we do that through keeping the precepts

and we do that by purifying the mind by

practicing the six r's

the six r's are

the fourth noble truth this is the path

leading to the cessation of suffering

every time you practice the six hours

every time you

let go of that attachment

you don't keep your attention on the


that's one of the things that happens

with people

is they start to forget

and then sometimes a bad feeling arises

and they don't like that bad feeling so

they start fighting with the bad feeling

and then they try to

change the feeling

with their thoughts and their words

now this is called bhava in pali

but i call it your emotional

habitual tendency

and the more you try to control it

the bigger excuse me

the bigger and more intense that feeling


and then you get into what is commonly

called these days

the dark knight of the soul

what is that well that's just another

experience that you're taking personally

and you're trying to control because you

don't like it

and you make yourself more and more


and the feeling is more and more intense

and then you run for external sources to

try to fix the problem that

you're causing yourself

now i spent a lot of time

when people come if they need it

i spend a lot of time teaching them

how to let go of the pain that they

are causing themself

and by doing that with


forgiveness is the most powerful

meditation that i know

and a lot of people especially these

days oh you got to forgive this you got

to forgive that

well i forgive it i still have that

dislike of it i still have that problem

that caused it

but i convinced myself that i forgive

well the way that i teach forgiveness

is stay with the forgiveness

until you feel relief and there is no

more pain


by whatever caused that

sadness pain fear

anxiety whatever it happens to be

that's the power of forgiveness

when you are able to forgive

it opens up a whole new world

for you

where you have a lot more in your heart

for whatever situation you're going


and you have more awareness

of being able to send loving kindness

while you're talking with other people

see all of this stuff is interconnected

it all starts with forgiveness it all

starts with giving

and then keeping your precepts

quite often forgiveness

forgiveness is feeling guilty about

something you did in the past

and causing yourself immeasurable

amounts of pain

now it's not always that you cause the

pain to yourself

but there is a memory of feeling guilty

that you did something that caused

somebody else harm

or somebody did something that caused

you harm and you didn't

like it and you hate them for it

now you're walking around with this pain

wrapped around your heart

and it kind of squeezes and causes

people to think that

they have heart attacks or

heartburn what is heartburn

well that's when there's acid in the

stomach and i thought

heartburn is telling you

that you have to forgive you forgive the

pain for being there

you forgive the reason for the cause of

the pain

and you keep forgiving it until you


deep down your mind says

i really sincerely forgive that

and you don't have any more pain what

happens in your heart right after that

oh it opens up

and you walk around smiling

and happy

and it's you

that heals yourself

can't ask somebody else to heal you

although that seems like that's what

i've been doing a lot

because my body is acting so weird

but i'm doing forgiveness right now too

there might have been something in a

past lifetime that that's causing this

kind of problem right now i will get to

it i will find out what it is

and i will be able to forgive

whatever the problem was

sometimes it takes a long time

when you're doing the forgiveness


i don't care if it takes three months or

six months or a year

on the same thing it's your attachment

to it

your identification with it your

dislike of it you're wanting it to

change and be different

than it is

and sometimes that's that attachment can

be very strong

you have to be persistent

and you know when you've let go when you


do forgive because

it's like somebody took a thousand pound

rock off of your shoulders then you feel

like you can fly

now some people they forgive part way

and they they feel light and they say oh

i've forgiven that but it comes back

later and if it comes back

later guess who isn't done with it yet

you have to develop your patience

you have to develop a mind that says

i don't care how many times i have to

make this statement

i sincerely really do forgive

i let go of all that past pain that i've

been holding on to

you still will have a memory of that


action whatever it was

but there won't be any pain

now i've i've worked with women that

have been raped

that that is an incredibly difficult


and they feel justified in having that

hate because they were violated so

so badly

but what good does holding on to that do

that's the real question

does that make you feel better that you

hold on to that hatred of that person

that caused us so much pain

you can let go of the pain of that



when you do that

that opens the door to nibana

remember nibana is it's a word that gets

thrown around a lot


but it gets thrown around a lot

me means no bana means fire

and what is that saying every time i say

something about nibana

i'm saying let go of the craving

well do you have craving of some past

action that happened to you


you must because it keeps coming up over

and over again

it tightens around your heart it's like

a steel

band around your heart

so we need to

truly understand the path of the buddha

is the path to nibana

to letting go of the fires

what's the cause of fire

in the human being

i want i don't want

i am that the false belief in a personal


every time you use the six hours you

weaken that a tiny bit

and your mind becomes clear your mind

becomes bright

that's when i tell you need to smile

and bring that uplifted smiling mind

that is pure that has no more craving in


back to your object to meditation

and if it's with your daily activities


objective meditation very easily can be


now i don't necessarily mean a big

toothy grin

i mean smile

smile in your mind

when you get angry how does your mind


on fire

and i i

have been around the new age ideas

long enough to kind of

laugh at the

idea of i have to vent my


which is another excuse for

throwing your anger to somebody else and

let them get angry back at you for doing


there's no such a thing as venting in



there is only learning how to

uplift your mind to stop taking

things personally so you feel like you

have to vent

to let go of those ideas

and relax and smile

and come back to something wholesome

some wish for

generosity now there's a lot of

different kinds of generosity

the buddha here is just talking about

physical things

but what else is what other kinds of

generosity do you have

at your fingertips if you remember to

use them

oh the generosity of saying something

nice to somebody else

the generosity of helping other people

overcome their suffering

by practicing your giving of kind


kind words and kind actions

the more you practice doing this with

your daily activities

the more merit you make the more people

around you

become agreeable and very likable

and in your own mind

you tend to have more uplifting thoughts

more kind thoughts

more generous thoughts

so the whole point of learning what the

buddha is teaching

and learning about the meditation

is that

it takes practice because we've had

years and years of

going the other way holding on to your

likes and dislikes causing yourself

immeasurable amounts of suffering

so much so you get used to it and think

that's the way you're supposed to be

you don't give yourself the opportunity


change and that's the whole point of the

buddha's teaching


so to follow the buddha's path you have

to be sincere

you have to want to change you have to

work at forgiving yourself

because you beat yourself up all the

time when you make a mistake

and you hold on to those things

that is unwholesome the buddha is


us more and more about things

that cause mine to be wholesome to be


to have advantage for you and the people

around you

for you to be the example of someone

that keeps the precepts

and still has a very happy life

so it's important to keep

your generosity going

not only for yourself

but for everybody else around you

now things are gonna happen in life

there is suffering it does happen

you don't have to fight with it you

don't have to get angry at it

the more you can use the six arts

the more that you can remember to be

kind to yourself and other people and

give that generosity away

the easier life becomes

so i've been talking for a long time

does anybody have any questions

hi monte hello welcome back

thank you uh

i'm really grateful to have you back

first of all

thank you so uh

i've missed you guys too


yeah so i have at least one question

the most burning question is so i've

come across

situations in my life several times

where can you hear me all right

yeah okay um where

you know someone asks me for money

um and i have some concern or doubt

about how they'll use it

you know if it'll be for something good

for them

i mean is it in those situations is it

just good to give

regardless or or you know how do you

approach don't don't

blindly don't give blindly

trust your intuition take some time

before you decide whether you're going

to give that or not and quiet your mind

down and ask yourself

is it the right thing for me to do

right now and when

whatever answer comes follow it

sometimes the answer is going to be no

that's not

that's just somebody that's trying to

take advantage of me and

they're not going to be doing good

things with it

but other times it can happen that yeah

and make your agreement with them very


okay okay

it is wonderful to see you thank you um

i i saw a lady um at a really busy

intersection and um

it she looked like really precarious and

she was very

thin and frail and it was a horrible

sight actually and she had a sign

and i stopped and i actually like


way up and then walked back and anyway

um you know things aren't always as they

appear which is why i'm sharing this but

i said to her um she said i'm so hungry

and i said

i'm gonna go and get you a sandwich you

know she said well i really like subway

and i said okay

i think i said i'd go to this other

place and she said no no i prefer subway

and then i said okay um what would you

like and she said well

i'd love a turkey sandwich and i said

okay great a turkey sandwich

and she said oh and i need mustard and i

need mayo

and if they've got that special french


i would love and it's like i i felt like

a waiter i was just like

and i was just like i think i probably

was like the fifth person that

stopped anyway i went i got her a

sandwich and i came back and

and then of course i started to see her

a lot and i'm not saying she wasn't


i'm just saying what my perception was

was that

if i didn't stop she might something

terrible would happen and

she was quite practiced at what she was


yeah some people are like that

they have their preferences so i don't

judge them too much about that

what i wind up doing is just giving them

what they

they need yeah i got the sandwich and i

gave it to her and i

and it was just it was cute

and she was very sweet and um yeah

i i like how you said you don't you

negate the gift as you're giving it and

i was aware that it i could fall into a

little cynicism and i

i was very aware of that and i didn't do


good for you

thank you you're welcome

it always makes me happy when people

tell me about how they gave

and sometimes giving is just simple


that help relieve pain

but the thing is that we have to

remember to do it

as much as we can

instead of having the judging mind that

i don't like this person i don't like

the feel of this person or what they're

talking about

you give them some words that make them

happy that make them smile

one of the things that used to happen to

me i don't go into stores very much


but i used to go into some place like a

walmart that has stuff on a way high


and i would see some woman that was


five feet tall trying to reach what was

on the top shelf

so it always made me happy to grab a

hold of it and

give them what they want and they would

become so happy

i i'm going to tell you a story about i


traveling and i had to wash my clothes

so i went to a laundromat and

you know they have these little boxes of

soap that are a dollar

each or they're more than that these


at the time they were a dollar and i


uh i have so many clothes that i need to


that i'm going to go to the to the

grocery store and buy a box of

of soap and it's about five

times more than you pay for the same

amount of

of soap so

i washed my clothes i was getting ready

to leave i had this

box of soap that

i wasn't going to use anymore i was


so i'm not going to carry it with me so

i look for somebody to give it to and

this lady

came in with a big

bunch of clothes and i said

you know i just bought this

and i used as much as i needed but

there's a lot left

i was wondering if i could give it to

you she said well

i'll buy it from you i said no i'm not

going to carry it around i'm going to

throw it away so please

just accept it so she did

and right as i was getting ready to


another lady walked in with a lot of


and she gave the box to somebody


that's what a gift can do for you

it can be spread because you were the


of the giving


can you hear me yes okay how are you

good how are you

great we're supposed to meet in may but

it's going to be a long time another

year maybe hopefully

we'll we'll see how it goes you never

can tell okay

um i i have a question and uh this

happened very recently

and um uh i learned that the gift of

dharma is

the highest gift so i've actually been a

very ego student

and always like to share my knowledge of


the suta and my what i've learned from

you during the retreat

and recently i have a friend who are

very keen to know more and

after i did the um the sharing and all

that i got

i just recently been told off by the

effort of the center

because they felt that they want to keep

the teaching

to the student to themselves

and i i felt i felt so betrayed

i felt so angry um and it kept popping

up during my meditation

so do i do forgiveness absolutely

but what to forgive for forgive them for

not understanding

okay okay that's one of the real

big ones the reason that we get into

different kinds of emotional upsets

is because there's misunderstanding

maybe just one person is


but probably it's both of you

you know i i make mistakes just like

everybody else i'm not going to be

perfect so i misunderstood

what you were saying or what you did and

you have to be able to forgive yourself

for not understanding

okay and forgive the other person for

not understanding

and forgive them for not understanding


and when you can do that there's

real relief

and your mind becomes light

your heart becomes open

and after you get rid of the attachment

to it

the dislike of the situation of that

other person not understanding

after you let go of that


that other person will start changing

okay now when you think of them you

think of them

just in a a tight

uh like

seeing things but not seeing the whole

the whole problem

you're just seeing one little part of

the problem

and then when you forgive that opens it


and allows the space for that other


to change

we have a tendency to think especially

when we live with

uh people we have a

tendency to think of them in one way oh


always this way but when you forgive


you stop forcing them

to act in that way and it

opens up not only your heart but it

opens up their heart

and gives them the space to change

now i use this example fairly often

i there was a lady that came and started

practicing meditation with me

and she had a very hard mind

and finally she started talking about

when her when she was 16

her father committed suicide she was

from a rich family

and his brother her uncle

stole the family fortune

and she had this

amazing hatred towards him

for about 30 years

so i told her to start forgiving

and i told her how to do it and after a

period of time

she actually did forgive him

now this was done at a retreat when she


home from the retreat two days later

her uncle called her up

and ask her to forgive him

that's pretty amazing

because she stopped thinking about him

in this hard

hard way and started accepting

without any resentment in her mind

that gave him the space to call her up

and they've been talking with each other

pretty regularly since

they actually get along

so that's the magic of practicing


okay thank you thank you okay

al you have a question

no okay anybody else

yeah hi greg hi

uh a little earlier in your talk today

you read out

a scale of the amount of merit

behind example an animal was a hundred

times an immoral person with a thousand

times etc

so that scale seems fairly logical but

it didn't

seem to take into account

the need of the person receiving the

gift so i'm just wondering when

most people aren't in a position to be

able to

give to everybody

where do we stand when perhaps we could

give a gift to a monk who

doesn't really need it because he's

currently well catered for even though

of course they don't own anything but

most monks can get by today

with what they have when you come across

a person who

is perhaps an immoral person but they're

desperately in need and there's

currently suffering


but we as i said we can't help everyone

i would feel guilty if i gave to a monk

when i knew there was someone who i

could have helped and reduce their

suffering a lot if i gave them the same

gift that i'd given away

so i'm just wondering where you feel

that did you didn't mention need

i know this question very well because

everybody asked the same kind of a


when you are practicing

you practice your generosity

and your compassion not

looking for anything in return

okay so don't feel guilty about giving

to somebody that's well off

don't feel guilty about giving to the


but it comes back to you whether you

like it or not

okay you're just not going to be making

as much merit that doesn't mean you

don't give

and you don't give to somebody that's


somebody that i've done that on occasion

i've known that the

person was immoral but i saw that

their need was really there and i gave

okay that just means that

the amount of merit i got from

giving to that person is not going to be

as big

but i didn't give to get merit

i give gave to help

but there are some people that say

somebody like the dalai lama you

know that he affects a lot of people in

a very positive way

and you get around him and all of a

sudden you feel inspired to give

don't just give to the dalai lama

give it to the entire sangha

and that gift will come back to you in

in immeasurable ways

for many many lifetimes

now i was reading a book by uh


and he was trying to measure up

the amount of merit that you make for


or that

and it was mostly he was talking about

mental states

giving a little giving a lot it doesn't

really matter

it's the fact that you're giving

and he said if you

spend time say a half an hour

a day

radiating loving kindness to all beings

you make the equivalent

of feeding everybody in the world

food for one day

that's how important doing the mental


practicing the loving kindness

so you really make a lot of merit by

practicing all these different ways i

love to give

food to animals i don't do it because i

want something in return i do it because

it makes me happy

also i give

i just spent a long time in india

and i i was i don't carry money around

with me

but i ask other people to please

give give this person some

some money so they have some food

and i'm not doing it whether they're

moral or immoral doesn't matter

they're a human being and i'm giving

out of my compassion

so that they can have less suffering

at least for a little bit

and that's the way you have to look at


it's not a tit-for-tat kind of

thing the whole point of the generosity

is to let go of

the greedy mind soften your mind

wonderful thank you it makes giving a

lot easier that way

okay thank you wonderful thank you

thank you beautiful line i don't don't

remember what suta it's in but

you know the incomparable field of merit

for the world it's like

speaking of of the the the monks the


um it's it's like um

i love that i've always loved that

phrase it's like i think of

the people in the world who are

pursuing the the path the dharma

and i don't just mean buddhists

i i all people who are

swimming against the stream and it's


when you do meet one of those people

and you know it and you give

there is a field and it is palpable and

that field grows stronger and i think

that that

helps me understand why the merit

when i there's something to me quite

mysterious about merit

i i have no doubt about it but i don't

really know how it works

and it's like i'm

i'm i'm nourishing and cultivating and

pouring my love and energy into that


yes making it stronger for the entire

and every time you run across one of

those kind of people

you have fun with them they are

really nice uh

i ran across a muslim man

now a lot of times muslims don't get

along with buddhists very well they

don't like

they think it's a lot different

but when we have a true practicing


they are wonderful people

and they go out of their way to be kind

and generous and helpful

and it's like i don't care whether

you're wearing this little beanie thing

on your head it doesn't matter

i see you i truly

see you and quite often

i want to give them something

i used to carry around some things

just so i could give them away

and it's little youthful things you know

sometimes a little

magnifying glass or some weird little

thing like that

but it's a heartfelt gift

and it's fun and it makes life fun

the more you can practice your


especially to people that

are on the path

i've run across some that

they ask me a question they say well do

you think i'm on the right path

and yeah

you're on the right path continue i'm

not trying to convince you to become a


i want to support you for doing good

that's where my religion is

help other people overcome their


give to them in ways

that help their mind to be uplifted too

it's amazing how close a friendship

can be in 10 minutes

when you're both on the same path

and it's great as long as it lasts and

then then when they go away you can

think of them kindly

that's part of the generosity too that's

how we start affecting the world around


in positive ways

anybody else have a question

i've talked uh probably too much but um

oh you're doing fine i

just wanted to say um thanks i

appreciate you

very much just wanted to say

you know thanksgiving is coming up and

um i just think about how different

my life would be without the dharma

it's true and i

just i'm so grateful and i know what

david's thinking david told me

uh five years ago that i'm a bit of a

teary one and i

am david i know i do cry easily

but i just um of all of the things the

turkey the all the great stuff

or whatever we're eating it's um it's

the state

of my heart and my mind and i

am so incredibly grateful for learning

about the buddha's teachings and then

meeting you monday

thank you thank you

how are you doing jeanette

i'm i'm doing great thank you um


i had a chat with david today and that

was very helpful

good are you gonna when are you gonna

come visit me

as very soon good

yes as soon as um by thanksgiving

let's see how about by six o'clock


come when you can thank you thank you

okay and that is

to everybody come when you can

now that i'm going to be staying here

more than going out

you can extend the time that you stay


and we just had two inches of rain so

we everything is good

except it's brown here all the leaves



is it appropriate to ask a a question

about another suta in this session

sure i think it's


9.12 it mentions about nine

kinds of uh

i don't know i remember it it has a part

about three kinds of sota panna

in in that discourse um

yeah description about a sota panna that


live up to maximum seven lives by a

reborn between the human realm and the

deva and the heavenly

realm right another time is returning

two or three times in a good family

before liberated then another type is

a one seed attainer when they only come

back one time

right i thought saka dagaming come back

one time but here is

a sotapa now so i'm wondering what's the

difference between the

what practice makes those three levels

different they're they're not different

practices they're just

uh different depths of the same practice

different depth in meditation on

people can become a soda panel just by


okay so they're gonna at the most

they're gonna

return seven

times at the most but generally

what happens

is that they

die from this realm they're reborn

into a devaloka

and they learn enough and they practice

enough that they will get off the wheel

of zamsara

faster they're not necessarily

going to come back seven times

they're not going to be reborn seven

times they could be one time

two times three times depending on

their merit and their practice

coming back into a another buddhist

family means that they were virtuous

they kept their precepts they didn't do

any mental development

and they didn't become a sodapana in the

same way

they are mundane

sodapana not supramunday

i'm sorry i lost you there

well a mundane means they will come back

to the human realm and be reborn in a

buddhist family

and they will continue on with their


now the mundane every time you

use the 6rs

you are experiencing nibana at

that time why

because you have let go of craving

you have to experience mundane nibana

many many many times before you

experience the super mundane

the super mundane is the experience of

nibana in the highest

spiritual sense

i got questions on this a lot when i was

spending more times on the yahoo groups

talking to different buddhist groups

because they never heard of something

like this yeah i

my question get a little bit crazier

i'm just wondering like

see since someone's going to reborn and


into a good family for example two three


before deliberated when they when that


do they then you know of course they

have to

take refuge in the buddha again but do

they have to go through again the

first level blaze and the second level

and the level

what actually happened

what what you're asking is

uh it's going to be a complicated answer

now if it depends on them

what they're doing what what their


is and whether they have experienced the

supra mundane nibana or not

and uh it's going to be a long

conversation i don't think we have much

time for that

i can talk to you about it but come here

and we'll talk okay

so why don't we share some merit

may suffering ones be suffering free and

the fear struck fearless be

may the grieving should all grief

and may all beings find relief

may all beings share this merit that we

have thus

acquired for the acquisition of all

kinds of happiness

may beings inhabiting space and earth

devas and nagas of mighty powers shares

this merit of ours

may they long protect the buddha's



thank you very much

have a happy holidays thanks you too

okay fun too okay i'll see you next week