Wednesday, December 30, 2009

impermanence memorial

The old year is ceasing a new one arises.
We're giving time the frame of seconds, minutes, hours, days, ... years and think thus we can manage time. HA! Ignorant. As if we had any influence on it. It's passing. That's it. As subject to ones perception it passes fast or slow.
Presence ... How long is a present moment? A day? A second? A breathlong a heatbeat? or just as long as it takes to turn from life to death? Zosh! Zummm! How many cells of the body die while one heartbeat?
I'm dying, I'm dying! Ahgrr!
Yes, a present moment is short. Some of the people i know will drawn this fact in alcohol tonight, waking up tomorrow with headace that makes them forget all the good intentions they had for the new year. And will have lost by doing so about 80.000 of their brain cells. Hehe.
And then wait for the next year to have some other good intentions.
You friends and family will not do so, will you? The time for a good intention, a good act is now. And now, and now ...
See a child carrying water in both hands from the watersource to the sandcastle. When it gets there all water has run out already - that's how we do, we try to carry time to build a nice sand castle and - oups! Time out.
May all who come to read this be happy in the present moment, free from suffering, now, and now and may you all have some good intentions and 'find the time' to replace the bad ones by the good.
Hody! Years are changeing.
Have a happy impermanence day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 ond noble truth

Second noble truth
There is a reason for suffering and that is: craving to wanting, clinging on desires.
The reason for suffering has to be given up.
The reason for suffering is given up.
If one reads the suttas carefully, one can find that the Buddha made these 3 phases, 3 steps of progress for each of the noble truth. For example in the Dhamma-cakka-ppavattana-sutta. I was ignorant enough for many, many years and didn’t read carefully, I just skipped some lines which seemed to similar to read them entirely. Shameful I noticed my error some weeks ago and am glad that I have the chance to understand the 4 noble truth better now.
What is meant, or better what I understand is the following:
There are 3 kinds of wanting (craving, clinging, attachment).
The wanting of (the desire for, the attachment to) sensual pleasures, kama tanha. For example wanting tasty food; liking a certain smell; desire for touching and being touched and caressed; hoping to see something beautiful; daydreaming of meeting a beloved one, loving a certain music …
Sure, one needs food, without it one gets weak and dies, but any healthy food will do, it mustn’t be tasty. Although - the tasty food is not the problem, nor the wanting to eat to maintain the body, even to eat tasty food does not necessarily create suffering. But wanting the tasty food and craving for the tasty food, going for it, – this is where suffering starts.
Liking a smell of a flower which is growing somewhere and one passes by is not yet suffering but it may become suffering, when one goes for the smell, chases after it, buys similar perfumes, buys the same flower to be with the smell, then it turns into suffering.
That’s quite easy to understand. Everything that occurs at one of our sense doors, eyes, ears, nose, tongh, tactile sense is firstly jus what it is but might turn into an object of craving, wanting and hence may cause suffering.
There is bhava tanha, bhava is translated with becoming, being, the german translation is Daseinsprozess which for me seems to be a rather logical translation, it means: ‘being in the process of being’ or just being if one understands it as process and not as a fixum.
Then bhava tanha means: wanting it to be ... ‘it’ can be replaced by anything. Wanting to be happy, wishing to be rich, hoping the weather to be nice, wanting to become a Bhikkhuni, wanting to be enlightend, wanting to be slim and beautiful, liking it, wanting to be a strong meditator. any wanting to be and wanting it to be can be grouped here. LIKING!
Vibhava tanha is the opposite of it: wanting it not to be … If food is not tasty but one is attached to tasty food one wants it to be tasty and is hence suffering because it actually is not. Not wanting the pain meditation can cause, not liking the smell of the feet of the person meditating next to oneself, not wanting the mosquitoes to bite, etc. etc. DISLIKING!
It turns out that one is busy with one of the three tanhas (craving, attachment) whole day through. It’s either one or another, they are linked and can change quickliy. They are not completely different mind states, more different shades of an craving, attached mind state. Only when the mind calms down from meditation, when mind states become clearer and purer arising of ‘wanting’ is slowing down and finally eventually ceasing. Not that it is so already in my case …
I’m meditating on this since I wrote about the first noble truth and can tell you I don’t want to see all this wanting anymore. :o)
I will give up the wanting for becoming a Bhikkhuni in the very moment of my ordination. And for the rest - There are some moments throughout a day without any wanting, just walking, just breathing, whatever is on in those moments. It’s like learning to equilibrate a raw egg on a needle top, it rarely works but if it happens for some moments it’s “wow”, great (afterwards). Interesting noting, when there is no wanting at all then there is no experience of “I”, neither.
I could give up the wanting to be perfect enlightened now and found that the last words my teacher told me when he left last year “Learn patience!” are eventually the most profound teaching he could give me.
For one month I served the guest teacher and the translator with tea and honey, juices, soymilks etc. in the evening, greedy staring at all the good things Ajaan receives, noticing ‘wanting, wanting’, using the tea bags I have 1 for 3 mugs, sometimes hungry and weak leaving the Ajaans with their nice drinks, hoping to be eventually offered some honey (never happened). Now, two or three weeks later I happen to serve the Bhikkhuni with a drink that the kitchen gives out in the afternoon, yet hungry at that time myself I don’t have a desire to take a drink for me (except on the first day, I didn’t reflect on it and took a drink as well but now I do not anymore because it is not offered).
A story of success? Oh, noooo …
I don’t want to lose my teeth and the ability to go to toilet alone in old age and am attached to the hot water kettle Nadya gave and teabags my sister has sent, the monks blanket, the phone and notebook …
It seems that wanting loses its power just by observing it, by not giving it much attention, by just going back to the rising and falling of the abdomen or any other sensation that arises.

Monday, December 21, 2009

funeral faire

A “high” monk of Chiang Mai died some days ago and the 4 days of funeral ceremonies were held. I went twice, to a Dhammatalk Ajaan Tong gave and last night to the last ceremony and cremation. Ajaan Tong talked about the Satipathana Sutta. We went as whole group to greet him and another “high” monk which I never met before. It was funny, Ajaan Tong who usually walks guided by one or two people suddenly jumped up and arranged the group around the other monk. Then we bowed, he said some friendly words and back we krept. On my way back I passed Ajaan Tong and prostrated to him and in the end his eyes were catching mine and he looked at me long, again and then nodded, as if to confirm something to consent. Ajaan Tong is special. His gace and consent is uplifting. In the beginning I cried when I met him, for an hour after the first meeting. Some may see the weak old body and not notice the radiance. When he looks into the eyes of somebody it can’t let one unmoved.
Yesterday we went at 9 in the morning and I expected a short excursion, it turned out to be a long day, we went back at about 9 o’clock at night. Here the highlights of the day: I was standing and watching the imposing coffin pagoda, a 15m high wooden structure in form of a bird with elephant head, covered beautifully with colorful paper, I was wearing my mae chii robes and a monkssize blanket of the same material to keep me warm around the shoulders, an official which I remembered to be employed in the Buddhist office approached, “oh oh”, I thought “to jail for wearing something that looks eventually like a monksrobe” … but I was invited to sit with the honored group of Buddhistoffice employees, all men and women in white uniforms with some brass.
Then the Bhikkhunis from Nirodharam came and were guided to the monks tribune by one of the female Buddhist office highranks. The monks had to move aside a bit to give room to the Bhikkhunis.
Then some monks with rank and name came, the crowd prostrated etc., the somdet was guided by all Buddhist office officials to his place. One of them went to the speakers corner and started his speech by greeting the fourfold community of Bhikkhu, Bhikkhuni, laymen and laywomen. What a happy day! A Buddhist office official greets Bhikkhunis, just imagine that.
After lunch it was quite boring until 8 at night, the time for the cremation. Some people tried to talk to me, which always was short because of my very limited Thai. Most of them saw that I’m mae chii, but some thought I’m Bhikkhuni. “No, not yet, next year I will be.” I said. Since I met Ajaan Tong 2 days before I’m convinced it will be so. May it hold true.
At 8 pm the bird-elephant in which somewhere the dead monk must have been hidden was set on fire with spectacular fireworks. Some people are funny, they wait for hours to see a cremation, but rush away before it really starts just to be the first at their car. Many thousands people came to see the cremation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Yesterday I was questioned by the Bhikkhuni here about my plans. I told her of some options, like: ordaining, America, Sri Lanka, to stay where I am etc., that I presently don’t know what to do next. I told that I could be of help for the center here as well as in America or anywhere else.
She said: “or have an own center?” “Yes,” I said, “why not, in some years, I need to learn more first, I can give good Dhammatalks for beginners already as I noticed but not for advanced people so I need to study and practice more. And if, it will be in Spain, probably.” She mentioned that they have land here to set up a center but are in need of a monk or a nun to go there, … but someone with supporters to build kuties and a viharn …
So this is no option for me.
She said that a nice luxorious kuti as I have it now here is adequate for a woman of my age, getting from one place to another is for the younger ones, not convenient for someone who practices for the higher paths.
Then I washed my robes and blanket when I was putting the blanket to dry on a rope where the Bhikkhuni usually dries here robe (and she allowed me to dry mine there as well). I was talking with Nadya, suddenly she disappeared in the middle of the sentence. Later I understood why. She’s just cleverer and faster than I am. A certain monk came scolding me for putting my blanket on the Bhikkhuni’s rope … ouuu! mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. As everything was already swept and the flowers watered, there was not much more to complain, so he left and Nadya came out of her hideout laughing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

forest, forest nun

Back from the forest since two days, back to internet today. 6 people and a teacher and a lot of defilements there in the forest.
What for to leave the room and meet people?
To be yelled at, to become someone else’s personal object of hatred, to be sucked in other peoples tragedies, and to be told of the faults of all other people around?
I learned: when a woman is practicing Gurudevotion, I should just not get in her way.
It was a nice forest, though. I practiced on a marvelous terrace above my room, the room was full with furniture, so I could not practice there, no door to close behind me. Close the sense doors phalañani.
After almost one year I met my preceptor. It was a pleasure meeting him. I could sit during report what I appreciated very much but which caused some suffering for others.
After some days I was very much surprised to hear that he agreed in my Bhikkhuni ordination and then coming to America. Eventually, I should go there for 2 months or so in january already and then to Sri Lanka for ordination. If it holds true and I really can ordain there next june. We’ll see.
Becoming Bhikkhuni, going to America or Sri Lanka, being made someone’s enemy, being someone’s friend, living in nice forests or shabby hut ... does it really matter, does it really exist other than as impurities of mind, illusions, just thoughts. I told Eric and I should remember: "What are our thoughts? Important? They are as important as farts. They may cause pain and suffering for a while, can be really bothering and bad smelling - but then they're gone. There is no sense in holding on to them. To neither :o)
Is a person who stands in front of another crying, yelling: “I need to see Noah, now! Accusing herself for all the bad she’s done, accusing me to hate her to follow after her, mentioning that her live is not worth to be lived, calling me sweet and good the next moment, then accusing me again and so on, is it a real danger? For whom? I managed to cool her down twice that night, and to wait until next afternoon to see the teacher instead of running there in the middle of the night. Next day: “I’m not talking to you again!!! And then I was told about the shitsophreny of one companion and the complete incapacity to do anything alone of another. “I need Noah, I need Noah.” From then on I tried myself not to meet her or excused myself after some friendly words. But there was only one small way through the womensection and we had the same direction to get food or to go to report and I was always outside. I will not tell more details.
Am I compassionate or an idiot when I tell the teacher what I see and hear? A compassionate idiot probably, a silly nun. Am I responsible or denunciating when I talk about peoples true intentions to do or not do something when I know them. Do I want to make me look better or is it a duty to the teacher to tell him what’s going on? There is this rule, that one should not try to hide one another’s faults … how far does that reach? It is very sensible and requires people who want to strive in the same direction and have fairly the same understanding of the Lord Buddha’s teaching. If not, quarrels are programmed, as it seems.
I tried to be pure at heart and acted and spoke with good intentions but at least once, I noticed that I’m speaking with sarcasm which implies kind of anger and which is not proper.
Conclusion after sleeping over it:
I‘m sorry to cause someone trouble just by being, I’m not welcome to come to America by at least one person and if I go to America I will eventually cause her more suffering then she already feels. She wants become a Theravada nun and will not accept me as her older sister. “The ordination is my life, Noah is all I have, I need him.”
I should consider not to go or if, not to go for much more than to see my sister and some Bhikkhunis, as I seem to be more flexible where and with whom I stay.