Saturday, October 14, 2006

Back to Bangkok


Back to Bangkok (Samutprakan, actually) to teach Vipassana to a group of mostly Thai people. It's surprising what sort of views have sprung up in modern day Buddhism. I find myself again and again having to explain the difference between Samatha (tranquility) and Vipassana (insight) meditation, that wisdom is not something simply appears by itself without effort, and that acknowledgement by labelling the object is the correct method of practice in either samatha or vipassana, as it delimits the object to its barest reality. In vipassana, it further does away with the subtle attachment to ditthi (views), mana (conceit) and tanha (craving).

After six days, the fruit begins to show, even on the most skeptical of practitioners. For me, this is a chance to get away from the bustle of Chom Tong and begin to prepare myself for the terror of the forest...

Remote jungle-thicket resting places in the forest are hard to endure, seclusion is hard to practise, and it is hard to enjoy solitude. One would think the jungles must rob a bhikkhu of his mind, if he has no concentration.

-- Bhayabherava Sutta, MN 4