Re: Hi everyone, I want to share my personal experience about Dhamma
Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:08 pm
I had the same energy level for meditation when I was young (around 19 years old), but for a different reason. Keep up the good work if you can. My life just went a different way -- non-renunciative -- but yours maybe will stay on the renunciative path. I happen to be Vietnamese, too.lavantien wrote: ↑Tue May 21, 2019 7:20 amHi everyone,
This is not a self-claim or boasting about attainments, but only for the sake of inspiration.
1. Personal Information:
I'm Tien, currently 23 years old, live in Vietnam , studying Computer Engineering (no interest at all). I was a single child in a below-average (in term of wealth) family.
2. My history with Buddhism:
a. My pre-Theravada era:
In my childhood, my parents and my grandmother often get me to local Mahayana temples to do chanting and stuffs. I love the Buddha so much that what ever someone told me it was the Buddha words - I believe & practice it 100% and no questions. I do various chanting everyday as my family promoted, like Avalokite mantra, Amitabha mantra, ... My relatives warn me not to read the sutras because I might go crazy, just do what I've been told is good enough.
As time goes by, I have a need to research the Buddha teachings deeper, so I sneakily read many sutras (my grandmother has a lot of printed sutras). Soon enough, as I began to read the sutras I find many contradictions to the spirit of the Buddha teachings as well as contradictions between themselves. Like one sutra said that it is the king of all sutra, while other sutra said the same . Furthermore, there is some wildly claims in Lotus sutra about Avalokite - the savior listen to prayers, or about the benefit of printing the sutra and the sufferings you will face if talk against the sutra ...
I was horrified and full of doubts about this way of Buddhism, why on earth the Buddha would taught like that, totally against his spirit of his teachings 'come and see for yourself', but my love and faith for the Buddha was never change. Luckily at this time I was given a computer with internet connection so I began to research deeper about the history of Buddhism. No surprise, these are later products, not from the Buddha himself.
b. My Theravada era:
The suttas in Pali Canon represent a complete body of consistency, it's like the Buddha is teaching directly to you, I have a great time learn about the man I love - the Buddha and his great disciples, so natural, so inspiring. I've found the biggest treasure in the whole existence . Full of joy, I begin to read into the suttas, research and watch various Youtube videos about Theravada.
As I have a deep interest in cosmology and stuffs, I eventually addicted to learn Abhidhamma, it was so amazing and explain various stuff in details.
c. My Early Buddhist Texts era:
Later as my knowledge about Buddhism grow and matured, I come to know that Abhidhamma is a later interpretation, it has its value as categorization though, but it introduces many concepts which doesn't appear in the suttas and have some contradictions here and there.
I come across this website (suttacentral.net), a great source of EBTs. So I focus more on the suttas, specifically DN, MN, SN, AN, and KN (6 first books). Looks like I have found my comfortable zone, this body of texts is extremely consistent and are a great reference to the actual teachings of the Buddha. I also know that the Sutta Pitaka, the Agama and some Sanskrit fragments have very same teachings, it's very amazing.
I also found that not all points in Theravada is consistent with the EBTs, like instant rebirth, last thought moment, ... So I give up on that. Now after years of research I can say that I have found the Dhamma - a refuge for myself. Any doubt disappears. Now is the time to actually put it into practice. As an inevitable consequence of realize the Path, I find it unable to practice this Path fully if I continue to live at home. I always want to going forth into the homelessness like the venerables in the suttas did. I nourish a dream of becoming a true Bhikkhu. Seeing many monasteries taking money and focus more on rituals than practice, I realize that monasteries nowaday is not fit for me. So I make various plans to escape, where to sleep? under a tree or a cave, it hard to find jungle and mountain nearby, in graveyard? What to do if I were mistaken for wander drug abuser and captured by the polices? where to urinate and defecate? What if on alms round I get nothing? ... Then I will exert the last bit of energy to live the spiritual life full and pure. My life will not going to waste.
Two weeks ago, I asked my parent for going forth, and my mother said if I going to leave home and live a homeless life she and my dad will retire from work and whole family will be dying out of starvation. Realize that I've been locked down and cannot do anything else to lead a spiritual life full and pure, I have to continue the lay life with a lot of burdens and pointless pursues. I often cry when I remember about the Buddha he's no longer there, I have to do this all by myself.
3. About my practice:
a. My current way of practice:
100% from the suttas, no need external sources. The skeleton of my daily practice is formed by 2 suttas MN51 and MN107, which the Buddha described in details the gradual training of a trainee:
Noble spectrum of ethics (8 precepts 24/7), I have no need of damaging plants and seeds either, I'm trying to avoid as much possessions as I can.
Noble senses restraint, perception of skeleton is very helpful there, it helps me to not focus on features and details of girls.
Eat in moderation, strictly 1 meal a day before noon.
Dedicate to wakefulness
Noble mindfulness & situational awareness, If not sitting meditation then I will do walking meditation, walk to the college, on the bus or waiting room, I always to keep my mindfulness up in any postures and keep constant awareness of the surroundings, meditation, meditation ... then at night I try to sleep in lion-posture, it's very hard and painful but I get used to it now I have absolute faith in the Buddha and his words, if he said I should do something, then I will do it without questions, I think if you have absolute faith in The Buddha and The Dhamma, then it will save you a lot of energy wasting into speculations
Frequent seclude lodgings
After the meal, sit down, establish mindfulness
Abandon 5 hindrances
Get to the Jhanas (haven't get to the first Jhana yet )
Recollect past existences (not yet)
Seeing beings rebirth according to their kamma (not yet)
Attain the knowledge of the ending of defilements (not yet)
Still have a lot of work to do
All of the vibhanga suttas are great source for develop insights
I remembered by heart many others suttas for supporting my practice instantly when I need, like MN19 & MN20 (to master the thoughts), MN21 (to deal with people), AN7.61 (to prevent sleepiness), AN5.57 & MN82 (for frequent contemplations), AN6.2x (death is very near, each breath, each breath), MN75 & MN54 & MN13 & SN12.52 (drawbacks of sensual pleasures), mn109, mn43, mn44, mn112 (Dhamma Q&A for dealing with "Buddhists" ) ...
I haven't finished learning SN, AN and KN yet, will definitely complete all the Sutta Pitaka, I'm so exciting now
b. My results of practice up to now:
Its been 2 weeks since I implement the above method, I wholeheartedly practice and strictly observe 8 precepts.
Even from my childhood, I can't recall any thought of killing or harming, even with an ant, let alone while practice in this great Path.
I can't recall any stress or insecurity or anxiety that have arise since I started to practice intensively. If a thought of greed arise, I invoke the perception of drawbacks to deal with it; if a thought of lust arise, I invoke the perception of skeleton or rotting corpse ; if a thought of hatred or annoyance arise, I invoke the perception of limitless love and limitless compassion, ... ; if a pleasant feeling arise, I will try to see it's impermanence, that it's arise out of contact, if the contact to be experienced as pleasant cease then this pleasant feeling will cease and stop, seeing this way, I incline the mind toward disillusion, toward detachment, having no reason to let the tendency of greed run its course, it cools down right there.
Lust or sexual desire occasionally come up but it's much less often nowaday, and with strong sense restraint and various perceptions which I'm developing, I don't think lust is a problem anymore. I don't see any reason I should even look or talk to a girl nowaday, let alone fell in love
I have no problem to letting go of anything, I don't have strong desire to grasp at anything either, my life now feel very lightweight and peaceful, despite all the messes (family things, school things, work things, social things) happen around me. I don't see any point to continue my university nor endure the work place, but I have to do anyway because of my compassion and duties for my parents.
Fear of death or a bad rebirth is absolutely gone. It seems like I have some past lives' works that need to be done in this live . The Path has been settled with absolute confidence, with all its techniques and tools needed for development. I will either finish the job in this very life, or if anything remain, non-return, or if I accidentally die tomorrow then I can't recall anything that can lead me to the lower realms, thank the Buddha and his Dhamma, I feel completely safe now