Doing Limitless Good Deeds

Myanmar village dana under the tree

“Those who do good deeds do not center their mind on whether they are doing for themselves or for others. Instead they do anything that is necessary and can be beneficial for people.

If you are so used to doing created actions and looking at things from the created point of view, it might be so difficult for you to understand and appreciate my actions.

You will understand my actions and endeavours only if you try them out by yourself.

Once you carry out good deeds continuously and diligently, you will be able to experience the merit and energy (power) which you have never experienced before. Due to these accumulated merits and energy, you will be able to do even greater and continuous good deeds. It is very important for you to have courage and desire to start doing good deeds.

– Sayadaw U Ottamasara –

sayadaw u ottamasara on almsround

From my own experience, people who meditate at the present time need to do more and more good deeds, as much as they can do. Meditation only is not enough. Because the habit of grasping here is very strong. If they listen to the sound, there is a lot of attachment to the sound. If they listen to the Dhamma teaching there is also a lot of attachment to the Dhamma teaching.

If they meditate, there is grasping to the practice of meditation. This is why they need to do good deeds, because they need to abandon more and more. Because the abandoning habit is not very strong, there is grasping and they dare not to abandon. They do good or bad actions daily but there is grasping: “I did wrong” or “I did right.” In this way, the idea of “I” is very strong at the present time. I practice in order to abandon the idea of “I” or “you,” “male” or “female,” “young” or “old,” “parents” or “children,” not to do with attachment to these opposite situations. The more you pay attention to the sound, the more attachment to the sound. The more you pay attention to male or female, the more there will be attachment to the opposite situations of male or female.

In order to have less attachment to the opposite situations you must practice not to pay attention to these opposite situations: young or old, male or female, wrong or right, doing or not doing. If you pay attention to the precepts, there will be strong attachment to the precepts. If you pay attention to concentration, there will be strong attachment to concentration.

An excerpt from the book ‘The Practice of Detachment’

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Created Truth is …

… something, everything, someone, everyone, individual, ideas, mind and body.

… concepts, dualistic nature – hottness/coldness, softness/tightness, hardness/softness, attraction/repulsion, pain/pleasure, like/dislike, ying/yang, male/female, sick/healthy, young/old, life/death, near/far, long/short, black/whit, places, time and space etc.

… conventional truth, not the Original Truth of the Ever-New Impermanent Nature.

Created Truths are limited, not perfect and not permanent. They are just temporary.

Created Truths are to be used-only, to be experienced-only, to be mindful-only and not to be taken as reality. There are endless problems in life because we all are traditionally or naturally using life in the wrong way. When we are attached to the Created Truths, attached to this way, that way, to be someone, to some place or time we are living our lives with misunderstanding.

Our actions, experiences, perceptions, knowing, mental states, the goodness and badness of our current situation are not realities but Created Truths. They are not to be attached to nor rejected, nor thought of as real or the source of lasting happiness or unhappiness.

Created Truths are not ture compared to Original Truth. Created Truths seem to be real only because of ignorance of the Original Reality, the Original Truth.

Mindfulness with Detachment

almsround in myanmar thabarwa center

We are angry. It is because we pay attention to that situation. We must try to abandon the habit of paying attention to something. Because of attachment to be so, we are happy, we are sad, we are angry, we feel sorry; it is because of paying attention to that object. If we pay attention to what we are doing there might be suspicion or doubt: “am I right,” or, “am I wrong?” It is because of using with grasping. We are grasping to the action, to the cause, to the effect, grasping to one of our actions. We can think, we can speak, and we can listen. We are doing with attachment. Attachment means we cannot abandon thinking, we cannot abandon listening, and we cannot abandon speaking. We understand the action to do, which is not complete. The actions are necessary to be done, then to be abandoned. Everything and every action are necessary to be abandoned. If we do not understand we won’t be able to abandon the action. If we are not satisfied with someone, it is because of paying attention to that person. It is because of attachment for doing so. Whatever happens, good or bad is to be experienced- only, not to be rejected nor to be attached. Not to be misunderstood as being reality or really important. The Truth is Ever New Impermanent Nature.

To know the Truth, we must be able to do what we should do and abandon doing what we shouldn’t do. We can think about the past but we must think without attachment for thinking, without attachment for the past. We can hope for the future but we must not be attached in the action of hoping and we must also not be attached to the future. We must not be attached to the present. The practice of detachment is abandoning the centering on something or someone. Stop paying attention to someone. Stop paying attention to something. If we think about someone, someone is in the mind. If we think about something, something is in the mind. We understand that someone is true, something is true. This is wrong. We must be able to remove something or someone from the mind. We must be mindful of each of our physical, verbal and mental actions. If we are mindful, we will know the present action, the present happening of the action, and then we must try to abandon the habit of paying attention to that action. Because of attachment to something, when we are mindful we think of mindfulness as being something. We are misusing the action of mindfulness with the idea of something or someone: “my action,” “someone,” or “I” is mindful, “this is my action of mindfulness.” That wrong understanding is controlling or is involved in whatever we do. This is doing with attachment.

To be doing-only or to follow the Middle Way we must remove the idea of something or someone from our mind, from our action. We should not think about “am I right?” or “am I wrong?” We should not think about “am I doing right?” nor “am I doing wrong?” We should not think about ourselves, “Am I able to follow the Middle Way or not?” It is necessary to abandon the habit of thinking about someone. If we can abandon that habit, then we can think about someone.

Without attachment our action will be
doing-only. Now, we are Buddhists, so we must be able to be monks and nuns, to be permanent meditators. We should think like this. If we cannot do it, it is because of attachment to our family, to the life of lay people.   Because of attachment to your work, you cannot do good deeds all the time. We all must lose our life, our belongings; it is very sure but, we rarely prepare for this situation. We are not ready to die. We are not ready to stop our work. It is because of attachment. Attachment to our life, attachment to our family, attachment to our work. Attachment to our home. So whatever we do, we are doing with attachment because we don’t try to abandon our actions.

We don’t dare to lose our life. We dare not to lose our belongings. We dare not to lose our work. This is why when we meditate we are grasping to our practice. We are grasping the life of a meditator. We are grasping to the teacher. We are grasping our experience. If we meditate we will also have experience, which is also not to reject nor to attach. This experience is not to be grasped as mine or as yours. It is to experience-only. We might understand or not understand. This is also not to be liked or disliked. We must try to be free from dislike. We must understand to do-only, to know-only, to experience-only and to use-only. Not to grasp understanding as mine or yours. Not to reject nor to attach.

There is a lot of attachment for human beings. This is why meditation only is not enough. Mindfulness alone is not enough. If you have little attachment, if you meditate, you cannot miss the right way, the Middle Way. If there is strong attachment, we need to detach.  The practice of detachment is when you meditate you must not pay attention to the time, to the place, to the method. It might be good or bad. You must try to abandon both situations. This is the practice of meditation.  There are a lot of meditators. Paying attention to someone or one meditator is because of attachment.

The Truth is not someone, not something. Someone or something is to use-only, not to be thought of as reality. We must meditate and we must be able to abandon paying attention to someone. It is necessary to abandon the habit of paying attention to someone or something. If you can abandon, there will be less and less attachment. Without attachment you can pay attention to someone, to something. When you meditate you must understand that you are one of the meditators. Whatever happens you must understand that it is to experience-only, not your own experience; you must not grasp to the experience, you must not grasp to the practice, you must be mindful but you must try to stop paying attention to your present action of mindfulness.

Most of the people cannot detach from someone or something. This is why they are thinking about what to do, about where to go, thinking about somewhere, thinking about something. “Who is right, who is wrong.” Because of attachment to someone we are always thinking about one (person) after another. Because of attachment to something we are always thinking about one thing after another: “What to do?” “What is right or what is wrong?” It is because we cannot abandon this action. We cannot abandon this action, which is why we are doing with attachment. We understand that we must eat, we must sleep, we must learn, but we rarely understand that we must be able to abandon eating. We must be able to abandon sleeping, abandon learning. It is necessary to do and to abandon also all the actions because of not understanding this, we have strong attachment for eating, strong attachment for sleeping. That is why we are living for the food.

We don’t want to die because we want to eat, we want to sleep. We want to do what we want to do. That is because of attachment for the food, for sleeping, for the works.

Mindfulness with detachment is, you must understand, to do-only, to use-only, to know-only and to experience-only. Try to do all good deeds. Try to abandon all evil things, and try to keep the mind clean and pure. Sometimes it might be easy, sometimes difficult. Sometimes you might understand, sometimes not. Sometimes you might want to do, sometimes not. You must not pay attention to what is happening in the mind or in the body. Just keep on doing what is necessary to do. And try to be able to do. Doing- only is how we should do. What we should do is doing good deeds, abandoning unnecessary actions, keeping the mind clear and clean.

An excerpt from the book ‘The Practice of Detachment’

Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara

“Ever since I came to realise that practicing meditation or contemplating the truth is vital for everybody, every circumstance, every time and place, I accepted everyone who came seeking refuge in Thabarwa Center.”
– Sayadaw U Ottamasara –

Thabarwa Sayadaw U Ottamasara

Sayadaw U Ottamasara was born in Katha, Sagaing Division, Myanmar on Sunday 26th  October 1969.

Since his youth he placed full value on education. He passed Matriculation in 1986 with flying colors. After completing a B.A (English, Honors) from the University of Yangon in 1992, he became a young entrepreneur and successful businessman within a short period of time. Faced with difficulties and frustrations in running a complex business for 7 years, he sought refuge in the Dhamma in 1999. With the help of a Dhamma friend, he entered the Mogok Meditation Centre at Insein Monastery for a five-day meditation retreat, becoming initiated in Dhamma contemplation and practice.

From February 1999 to January 2002 he deeply concentrated on meditation. He became so devoted to Dhamma that he was able to reduce ; his business calmly, without much attachment. For the propagation of Dhamma he donated all the assets he had accumulated during 6 years of entrepreneurship. He then concentrated on charity, morality and insight contemplation to find the perfect Truth.

After abandoning his business and spending several years focusing deeply on meditation, in 2002 he was ordained as a monk in Yangon by Sayadaw U Nayyasagara.

Sayadaw U Ottamasara started teaching in 2002 and established the Thabarwa Meditation Center on 45th Street in downtown Yangon in 2007. Due to the political situation at the time and limited space in the downtown center, Sayadaw started the Thanlyin Thabarwa Center in 2008.

Today the total land area of Thanlyin Thabarwa Center is 80 acres, housing mare than 2,400 yogis including elderly, infirm, and other individuals in need. In 2012 Sayadaw established Saytanar Village next to the meditation center, where volunteers built temporary and permanent shelters for over 15,000 people. Sayadaw also established Shwe Chaung Thabarwa Center in PyinnOoLwin, nother Myanmar, in 2013.
In 2014 he established Thayetpinyeik Thabarwa Center, Irrawaddy Division, and nearly a dozen other meditation centers around the country, as well as Thitnipin Saytana Village in Hlegu Township, Yangon on 180 acres, housing 500 families.

Sayadaw is constantly and continuously fulfilling the needs of society, dedicating himself to humanitarian causes for the benefit of everyone, through meditation and Dhamma teaching as well as providing physical protection and care for anyone in need. Sayadaw teaches guided vipassana insight meditation in various institutions, schools, hospitals and individual residences in Myanmar and other countries.

Contact

Sayadaw U Ottamasara and U Kway San at Thabarwa Meditation Center

Venerable Sayadaw U Ottamasara
Mobile : 95-9-5085212 (or)
Mobile : 95-9-73900629
Email : mtsm45@gmail.com

Saya U Kyaw San
Mobile: 95-9-73061472

Downtown Center
No. 45, 4th Floor, 45th Street (near Sule Pagoda)
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel : 95-1-298196

Thanlyin Thabarwa Center (Main Center)
ThanLyin Pagoda Hill
(Between Kyite Khauk Pagoda and East Yangon University – 1 hour from the Yangon airport or 30 minutes south of Sule Pagoda, Downtown Yangon)
Thanlyin Township, Yangon Myanmar
Tel : 95-56-22707
Mobile : 95-9-73030736

Thabarwa Meditation Center Logo

 

A meditation visa is required for foreigners in order to stay in the meditation center,
please email SoewinHtut soewinhtut1977@gmail.com
and request an invitation letter.

A 90 day meditation visa can be obtained in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.