17.THE METHOD OF DEVELOPING BHAVANA

  
THE METHOD OF DEVELOPING BHAVANA

One begins with the body posture that is comfortable whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down, whatever is convenient. One should then make oneself fully aware with just bare awareness, not trying to be aware of "something", just knowing itself alone. One then keeps the citta there continuously, just in bare awareness. There is no need to be discursive or analytical. Don't force it but also don't let the citta be free to follow events.

After a while the citta will go out following sense objects before one can catch it. This is normal for a beginner and when the citta is satisfied with that sense object, one will then again become aware of oneself. When one becomes aware, one should investigate by comparing ones state in still awareness and ones state when the citta is following sense objects. What is the difference? This is a method to make the citta notice and remember.

After this carefully and gently keep the citta in a state of still awareness as before. When one is not mindful, not being careful enough, the citta will again go out to seek some sense object and remain until it is satisfied and then one will again become aware.

When one is again aware, reinvestigate and then gently keep the citta in the state of still awareness as before. By this method, it will not be very long before one is able to control the citta and finally attain Samadhi. One will then be clever in the ways of the citta without having to learn it from another.

Do not meditate when the citta is in a state of emotional turmoil. This would be of no use and may even cancel out ones former efforts resulting in one losing the desire to practice further.

When one is unable to practice in the way given above, one should try thinking "Buddho" or any other word as long as it isn't a source disturbance or aversion. One just continues to think this word and then tries to notice where the word is clearest and that will be the "base" of the citta. One should notice that this base does not remain stationary at all times, one day being one place and another day somewhere else. The base of the citta, becoming clear with "Buddho", will never be external but always internal within the body. When we investigate this, however, we will not be able to pin point the exact place within the body, making it hard to say whether it is external or internal. When this happens, this means one has arrived at the correct base of the citta.

When one has correct attention and "Buddho" is clear in the mind's eye, one tries to continue on without break because if there is a break, the citta will zip out to a sense object again. When it is satisfied with the sense object, one will then again regain awareness and continue "Buddho" as before, according to the same method as mentioned above. Slowly one will finally be able to control the citta by oneself.

Remember that in being aware of (or fixing) the citta, one must have in mind the aim of developing the citta to the desired state. This aim is virtue (Sila). Reciting "Buddho" alone, without this purpose of virtue, will be of no use at all and will negate our efforts making meditation difficult in the future. If ones purpose is firm, however, ones development of the citta will, without doubt, bear fruit every time to varying degrees but always to the satisfaction of the practitioner. In using "Buddho", clear, fixed thought and consistency must be coupled with diligent effort. I have compared firm and consistent purpose to a man watching the sword blade of an enemy ready to strike. The man watches the sword blade thinking, "Whatever way it comes at me, I must counter it to be safe".

This determination must be firm in order for Samadhi to arise, if it is not, then don't waste your time and ruin your faith.

When the citta slowly, step by step, goes into calm, the citta's habit of going out to the senses and their objects will slowly lessen until one will be aware as soon as it occurs. When one gets to this stage the word "Buddho", mentally recited, will disappear on it's own because the recitation word is a gross object and when the citta goes beyond this gross object stage it will abandon it. When the preparatory word has disappeared one need not recall it. Just keep the citta at the base constantly and notice the feelings and tendencies of the citta in that base.

In the mental recitation method for one-pointedness of the citta notice "who" is reciting "Buddho". One should look at the citta when it is calm. Let mindfulness watch the base and when any sense object arises let the object go and continue watching the citta. One should not worry or force but just try to keep and attend to the citta at its base having mindfulness (Sati) there to quietly be aware of things. One should not speculate about the citta as to what is happening or what arises, just be aware. Letting this go on continuously, one will begin to understand the ways actions of the citta. Does the citta create the defilements (Kilesa) or do the defilements create citta? Understand the objects of thought and notice the three types, which are greed (Raga), hate (Dosa) and delusion (Moha).

Don't send the citta outside. Be aware of the one object (the citta) and don't let it go outside to objects. When the citta does go out mindfully return it to its base and awareness. One should try to maintain clear comprehension (Sampajanna) always. With the exception of normal vision (Rupanimitta) one should pay no attention to mental images (Namanimitta). While the citta is not thinking about external things notice the activities of the citta in following the six senses.

One must attain knowledge (Nana) in order to see the citta just as the eye sees form. When one has watched the behavior of the citta for some time and when one understands the conditions and causes of the various thoughts, the citta will then be as fast as these thoughts and they will steadily be abandoned until the citta is free of these objects. The citta will then be free and separate from the body-based feelings, remaining at its original base. Seeing this way is seeing with the eyes of wisdom. However much we think we will not know, when we stop thinking, then we will know but to do this we must use thought.

Separate "copied form" (Vinnana) with knowledge (Vijja) by way of the citta (Maggacitta). When one is able to understand that the citta and body are separate, one then continues to watch the citta to see if there is anything remaining in its base or not. One should use mindfulness to watch the citta, keeping the citta calm continuously, until one understands the activities of the citta intricately, level by level. One must understand about causes and results and that these, in fact, come from the thoughts that originate in the citta, compounding, adding to, creating and being born without end. These are the illusions that deceive people. The citta will rid itself of these things continuously until they are gone. This means developing the citta to the point where one can ignore the smallest atom of consciousness (Rupa-Paramanu-Vinnana) in the citta.

One must abandon both causes and results. When one has developed the citta to the point where it is free of thoughts and compounding (empty), one no longer depends on cause and results. The citta will then be free and above states based on thought, being free of all adulteration and called Pure Dhamma of freedom (Samucchedadhamma).

All "debts" are then paid and one would be beyond the cause of birth. When one abandons the smallest atom of attachment, the gross kamma that was fixed, recorded or imprinted in that "Atomic Rupa" will not have a chance at fruition in the future. The debts are no longer increased when (the citta) is contacted by internal or external conditions, it is just contact with no continuing resultant. One has escaped the gross kamma in the former "being"and has paid all debts with no further affairs, responsibilities or ties to cause rebirth in order to repay kamma. Because ones debts are paid and there are no further attachments, the gross kamma that caused one to go on to rebirth cannot again bear fruit and this is called "going beyond the cause of birth".

One who knows (enlightened) does not say what that knowledge is. When all Dhamma has been transmitted then how can that which is called Dhamma be Dhamma? That which is said to: have no Dhamma", that's it that is the Dhamma complete (the one who knows is real but the known is not). When the citta is empty of various activities, it will attain true emptiness with nothing further to notice. One will then know, in truth, that the citta has no form, it is one with emptiness. This means that it has no boundaries or limits. It is part of all things and the citta and "the one who knows" is one and the same.

When the citta and "the one who knows" are one in emptiness, then there is nothing to give or knowledge to impart. There is no "thing" to know the state of anything; there is no state to know a "thing". When one knows the original state of the citta then "citta clearly sees citta". The citta will then be above all states of conventional labeling, beyond all having and being, beyond all words and past talking about. It is "Pure Nature" and light coalesced in emptiness, unadulterated and the brightness of the original universe, it is called "Nibbana".