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The following is a simple and yet effective advise on meditation taught by Khun Mae:
1. When breath goes in- pause- contemplate that if breath goes in but not out, then we will die.
When breath goes out, contemplate, if there is no in-breath, we will die as well.
2. Three point breathing meditation
Use heart to watch the breath entering and leaving 3 points of the body- nostril, heart/solar plexus and stomach.
Become aware of the inflow and outflow. Then at the point where the breath chooses to stop or like to stop, pause there and start to chant “Buddho, Buddho, Buddho….”.
3. Whenever we feel very tensed or have influx of emotions arising, breath in…..pause for a while, then breathe out long and slow. Be conscious of the breath leaving through your nose. If there is any heaviness, unease or unhappiness, visualize they leave your body with the outgoing breath.
4. If the head feel tensed, breathe in- and feel the breath go round the head. Then relax and let the breath out. Also have the heart smile all the way into the face. Relax tensed muscles by moving the head from side to side. Can also repeat the same with shoulders.
Sometimes, certain long time emotions may arise. For instance, we may suddenly recall an incident that had happened a few years ago resulting in emotional build-up. These incidents should alert us that our sanna (perception or thinking) is acting up. If we have truly let go and be at ease, we would not be recalling incident that had happened years ago and allow the incident to bother us.
Real mindfulness (sati)- if the real sati is in the body, then when things arise, we are not merely noting the arising. We are actually seeing the arising, seeing the associated emotion that comes with it and could let it go.
The teachings of Buddha is not complicated. It is humans who wanted to complicate things. Many teacher nowadays teach by putting attainment as the reward or as a bait. So the students practice with strong desire in their minds for attainment. And when they thought they are Sotapanna (First Stream enterer), they just stopped there.
If we are true to our practice- we repeatedly practice our sila (precepts), bhavana (meditation), transfer of merits and metta (loving kindness), we will arrive naturally to Nibbana or attainment. “Bonus” payout is payable by Buddha upon death- then we know where we would go.
Purpose of meditation is to prepare ourselves for death. When we are sick, realize that the body is not mine or I. See the impermanence and suffering….and let it go. Then recall all the merits done in the past and dedicate these merits to go to the Buddha. When we die, our hearts would go to the Buddha.
Correct way of transferring merits
Chant, then recall merits done- the merits would rise up in the heart. The heart must be calm and not scattered or thinking about this and that. Recall the merits done (through any practice of generosity or helping others- not necessary must be donating to temples). Channel these merits to those whom we want to channel it to: our parents, kammic debtors (beings in whom we have done wrong towards), etc.
Most people make the mistake of merely chanting- when we do not recall our past merits, we don’t have enough sati (mindfulness) to give the merits energy and to be able to transfer them. As the result, transference of merits to the intended recipient becomes ineffective.
Based on teachings given on Friday, 12 December 2009 in Malaysia. Note that sometimes the method Khun Mae taught may vary according to individual temperament.