Khun Mae mentioned it is very important to have is patience and endurance to achieve sila, samadhi and panna. Below is her advise:
Dhamma sharing for one’s practice is that one practices patience. The reason one practices patience is to be able to watch and control ones emotions. Emotions that arise from greed, lust, hatred or delusion. Thinking and conceiving brings about emotions. Especially lust. These emotions are caused from body, speech and mind. When one practices patience, one is then able to fully develop mindfulness (sati), concentration(samadhi) and wisdom(panna).
Another question posed is by an earnest practitioner of the Dhamma… he was meditating between 2 to 4 hours (previously he stayed for a while at a forest monastery). However he was finding it harder to keep his mind focused with his mind wavering more. He wanted to know it is because he is now no longer in the monastery environment but in the outside world?
At the same time, he wanted to know which manner of breath meditation practice is suited (for example should he be focusing on the breath moving from nostrils to the abdomen or should his attention fixed at the nostrils on the in and out breath?
As this struggle also happen to many at one stage when undergoing meditation and Dhamma practice, we wish to include Khun Mae’s advise her to benefit others who may be going through the same struggle:
Regardless of whether one is practicing the method of breathing by abdomen or nostrils is alright. We must examine what do we feel with the method of practice.
We need to examine if we feel comfortable, our heart and body feels relaxed, at ease and natural?
If we do feel we are not relaxed, and there are some tension or stiffness, then we need to observe the natural in and out breath. Do not control.
Feel the breath coming in, stop a while and naturally go out.
Make our own self feel comfortable so that heart is stable. By doing in and out breath, it helps to balance the 4 elements, ie fire, earth, water and wind in your body.
Adjust till element is balanced, then we would feel comfortable and steady/ stable.
If thoughts come to the mind, then we can breathe in, pause for a while, then breathe out long. Use the breath to calibrate the heart and body so that feel relaxed and at ease.
Examine the body and heart to see if it feels natural and relaxed. If the heart and body feels relaxed and stable, then we are on the right path.
If not, use the breath to balance. Do not control it.
If after coming out from retreat and feel or gets bothered by the outside world and feel suffering, it indicate that one’s mindfulness is not enough.
Fresh from a retreat, when one perceive the outside world, one’s heart is pliable and receptive, that is why it affects the heart.
Mindfulness need to be in the middle (majjhima). Not too hard (strained) or soft (accepting).
Why we suffer? Because we are attached to the things we see or hear so the thing goes in and affect our heart.
When that happens, use breath( in out breathe) to relax the body and when mindfulness is present, slowly contemplate these external stimulis are dukkha (suffering), anicca (impermenant), anatta (no self).
To contemplate and understand that whatever that arise will fade. Our heart cannot be attached to it. Once we understand, the heart lets go. Wisdom comes and we would know how to solve the issue.
We already have faith, it is important to have patience. By having patience and faith, we need to preserver to practice and would achieve inner stability.
Once that is achieved, whatever that comes will not affect us. The heart has the wisdom and knows, and we do not feel attached and cause suffering to your heart.
There may be a lot of things we have learnt and know but perhaps we may find it confusing as the Dhamma we have learnt is not been appear clearly to us.
Important when anything that arise or contact with us, must face with mindfulness. Contemplate mindfully. Heart must be in the middle (majjhima). Do not get shaken. Do not merely accept. Do not get attached. Then only have wisdom to solve the issue and do not cause suffering.