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


if you've been practicing meditation but

been doing it in a different way please

let go of the old way of doing the

practice and just do this it doesn't mix

very well the old way as compared to

what we're going to be doing we're going

to be practicing something that I call

the six hours of this is right effort so

it's real important for you to get

familiar with what this is the six R's

are recognized when your mind has a

distraction and that where you're not

with your object of meditation anymore

and release the distraction the way the

way you release the distraction is by

not keeping your attention on it this is

real important as soon as you release it

then you relax the tightness is in your

head in your mind

that tightness is actually how you

recognize what craving is and as soon as

you relax that tightness you'll feel

like an opening up of your mind more

alertness your mind is going to be much

more clear agile and pure because you

let go of the craving craving is the I

like it I don't like it mind and I'll

explain that a little bit later as soon

as you let that go

and you don't have any distractions in

your mind at all and you can observe

with the pure mind then what you need to

do is bring up something wholesome and

the way that you bring up something

wholesome is by smiling now smiling a

lot of people think it's just here but

smiling is in your mind and this gets to

be as you go deeper into the practice

this gets to be extremely important as

you smile with your mind you stop trying

so hard and when you stop trying so hard

then you can observe how mind actually

works so with the smiling is a kind of

stepping back from whatever the

distraction is but stepping back with a

light mind with the mind that's clear

and observant but light soft

as soon as you do that then you bring

that mine back to your object of

meditation now your object the

meditation is going to be

loving-kindness and I'm now gives you

the instructions in just a minute

and then you repeat staying with your

object of meditation for as long as you

can now these six R's are things that

need to be done not just repeat in your

mind recognize release relax you have to

do each one of those not verbalize them

and it's like rolling your R's it's

recognize release relax release smile

return repeat and it's a flow that you

start to get into of doing right effort

now when you're practicing

loving-kindness meditation you first

start by sending loving and kind

thoughts to yourself

remember a time when you were happy when

that happy feeling arises it's a warm

glowing feeling in the center of your

chest now a lot of you don't this is for

the people that haven't been been here

before if you've already done a retreat

with me you'll start out by sending

loving-kindness to all beings in all

directions in the six directions and

then all directions at the same same

time but for the beginners start by

sending loving and kind thoughts to

yourself get that happy feeling going

then when it's going very nicely after

five to ten minutes then you switch over

to a spiritual friend a spiritual friend

is someone that when you think of them

and their good qualities you really like

them you sincerely do wish them well

stay with the same spiritual friend all

the time don't jump from one person to

another person to another person a

spiritual friend is someone of the same

sex and they are alive some men have

asked me if they could use the Dalai

Lama as their spiritual friend and my

answer to that is is that this is the

same sex as you and is your life but if

you use the Dalai Lama it's a little bit

more difficult because you only know him

by what you think of him and what you

maybe see on the internet or something

like that but you don't know him

personally it's better to take a person

that you do know personally that you

respect and you sincerely do wish them

well a lot of women when Mother Teresa

was alive they'd ask if they could do to

send it to Mother Teresa but it's better

to some the loving and kind thoughts to

somebody that you know it's a little bit

easier that way and it's your choice

your mind is going to wander

you're gonna start thinking about other

things as soon as you recognize that

your mind is thinking about something

else then you've already recognized that

your mind is distracted release the

distraction by not keeping your

attention on it relax a tightness caused

by that distraction smile return to your

object do your spiritual friend and

continue staying with your spiritual

friend for as long as you can so it

doesn't matter how many times your mind

gets distracted

I had a monk that was practicing

loving-kindness meditation and he

insisted on trying too hard and he was

pushing them to stay with that spiritual

friend and not not go away and he was

doing it way too hard and he suffered

for a long time because he wouldn't

listen to what I was saying the thing is

with the meditation if you follow the

directions this is fun this is easy and

you learn how to let go of the suffering

they'll let go of the pushing and trying

to art though this monk

was continually trained - oh I gotta be

better than I am I'm a monk I'm supposed

to be better and I kept telling him over

and over there is no supposed to be he

caused himself a lot of suffering and

every day he'd come and tell me how

restless he was well I won't settle down

stop trying so hard

smile laugh with yourself at trying too

hard let go of supposed to be my mind

isn't supposed to be this way yeah don't

sit with your legs crossed so this is

about learning how to be mindful isn't

that a wonderful word these days I just

read an article about what mindfulness

isn't and I thought that was kind of

cute there's it people are using this

word as some kind of catchphrase and

they don't have a good understanding of

what mindfulness truly is everybody

knows what the word is but they don't

know what the definition is so I'm going

to give you the definition that works in

all different aspects mindfulness is

remembering to observe how mind's

attention moves from one thing to

another how does it move this is

important that you understand this

because like my little monk friend he

was trying to make mine be the way you

wanted it to be and he suffered a lot

and he'd become frustrated and he'd be

even become angry and he'd start

accusing me of not giving him the right

directions and I gave him the right

directions same thing every day

fortunately it was there for three

months he actually did start to pay

attention after they stopped pushing

this meditation is supposed to be fun I

don't want to say supposed to be it is

fun I want you to laugh especially when

you're caught by some kind of a

hindrance that you know you're causing

yourself some suffering by trying to

force it to be the way you want it to be

laugh at yourself with that the fastest

way to let go of an attachment is by

laughing you go from I don't like this

this isn't the way I want it to be too

it's only this now do I want to hold on

to this and make myself suffer or not

let it go

so laughing and smiling and having fun

is an important aspect of the meditation

so the more you can have fun with this

and smile with how dumb your mind can be

we're all dumb and it's okay to be dumb

just don't indulge in it relax into

these things stop trying to make

yourself be a particular way observe

what you're doing how you're causing

yourself the suffering and let it go

the definition of mindfulness what that

does is it makes you go in deeper to see

how this process works because this is a

process this is a psychophysical process

that were we call ourselves now you're

made up of five things okay you have a

physical body you have feeling this is

not emotion feeling is feeling feeling

is pleasant feeling painful feeling

neutral feeling you have perception

perception is a part of the mind that

names the feeling this is pleasant this

is painful this is neutral so perception

is part of the mind that puts the mental

name in your mind you have thoughts you

have consciousness what we generally try

to do and we get real good at these

these habits is when a painful feeling

arises and we start wrestling I don't

want that painful feeling to be there I

don't like it you start trying to think

you're feeling away but thoughts or one

thing feelings or something else

sometimes the feeling can arise and it

doesn't go away right away so what it's

only a feeling is it your feeling did

you ask that feeling to come up did you

say well I haven't been depressed or

frustrated or sad for a while I might as

well do that now

not gonna do that nobody's that dumb it

arises because conditions are right for

it to arise what you do with what arises

in the present dictates what happens in

the future if you fight the present

moment if you try to change the present

moment if you try to make the present

moment be the way you want it to be you

can look forward to suffering a lot and

it's your choice it's what I told that

monk every day why are you doing this to

yourself why don't you learn and stop

drying zord

as I said he did but he caused himself

six weeks of pain the progress in this

meditation is going to be fast for you

if you follow the directions don't add

anything don't subtract anything if

you've been doing meditation for a long

time sometimes you're gonna get caught

by not doing the sixers and your mind is

gonna slip into a kind of one-pointed

concentration when it slips into a

one-pointed concentration you'll get

very blissful you'll get really happy as

long as you have that one pointed

concentration but when you get out of

that then the hindrances are going to

come big time and you're not gonna like

those and you're gonna wish oh I wish I

could get back

that beautiful state the six ours are

let me put it this way the Eightfold

Path is all eight folds that are equal

but right effort is the first among the

equals right effort is the thing that if

you follow this and practice it without

resistance without trying to change it

without trying to make it any different

than it is it will lead to extreme

happiness and suffering will stop so we

cause ourselves measurable amounts of

pain the Buddha said that we've cried so

much in our existences that we could

fill up the entire ocean just with our

tears of the pain we caused ourselves of

the sadness that we took as this is my

sadness and I'm not gonna tell anybody

why it happened so what we have to do is

be able to recognize that we're doing

this to ourselves

and keep softening keep relaxing into it

keep using the six R's the six RS will

take you to our a hot ship

the whole point of doing this meditation

the reason that you're here is so you

will change from the old way of doing

things that causes pain to a new way

where there is no more pain letting go

of that suffering from that depression

that sadness whatever it happens to be

and this is too simple it's too simple

to let go of this stuff that's what a

lot of people tell me it can't be this

simple just recognize that you're

distracted release the distraction relax

smile return that's too easy

it's not always easy but it is that


when the Buddha started out teaching

people meditation if he would have

started teaching you some kind of

complicated system that was slow to get

progress how many people would you think

would have followed him but today we

have so many different methods of

meditation and I have friends that have

been practicing for as long as 50 years

50 500 years doing the same practice and

not really progressing still having the

same entrances that when they started

was a big problem now it comes up it's

not such a big problem but it's still


I isn't coming back over and over and

over again because you're not doing the

meditation and letting go of crazy