Cultivating Inner Harmony: Nurturing Positive Qualities to Overcome Negativity
In the pursuit of personal growth and inner peace, one significant hurdle we often encounter is negativity. Whether it manifests as anger, frustration, or a general sense of dissatisfaction, negativity can hinder our well-being and hinder our relationships. Fortunately, the teachings of the Dhamma offer profound wisdom and practical guidance for addressing and transforming negativity into positive qualities. In this article, we will explore the principles of the Dhamma and how they can help us navigate the challenges of negativity in our lives.
Recognizing the Nature of Negativity: Negativity, in its various forms, stems from a fundamental resistance to accepting and embracing the present moment. It arises when we reject our experiences and harbor an unwillingness to be fully present with them. By understanding that negativity is rooted in this resistance, we can begin to explore ways to transform it.
Cultivating Wholesome Desire: A key aspect of the Dhamma is the exploration of desire and its effects on our well-being. While craving arises from a lack of understanding and leads to dissatisfaction, wholesome desire emerges from wisdom and insight. By nurturing wholesome desires, such as the aspiration for inner peace and the well-being of oneself and others, we align our intentions with the path of growth and harmony.
Transforming Negative Emotions: The Dhamma offers powerful tools for transforming negative emotions into positive qualities. Mindfulness plays a crucial role in this process, as it enables us to observe our emotions without judgment or attachment. Through mindfulness, we become aware of the physical and mental cues that precede negativity, allowing us to respond skillfully rather than react impulsively.
The Power of Compassion: Compassion is another essential aspect of the Dhamma that helps us overcome negativity. By cultivating compassion towards ourselves and others, we develop a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings. Compassion allows us to let go of anger, judgment, and resentment, replacing them with empathy, forgiveness, and loving-kindness.
Wise Reflection and Self-Compassion: In our journey towards overcoming negativity, it is crucial to engage in wise reflection and self-compassion. Instead of being harsh and judgmental towards ourselves, we can cultivate a gentle and understanding attitude. By reflecting on our actions, thoughts, and emotions, we can identify patterns of negativity and consciously choose to respond with wisdom and kindness.
Dealing with negativity is a universal challenge, but the teachings of the Dhamma provide profound insights and practical tools for transformation. By recognizing the nature of negativity, cultivating wholesome desires, and embracing mindfulness and compassion, we can embark on a journey of inner growth and harmony.
As we develop these positive qualities, we not only uplift ourselves but also create a ripple effect of positivity that extends to our relationships, communities, and the world at large. Let us embrace the teachings of the Dhamma and strive to cultivate inner harmony in the face of negativity.
Once upon a time, in a land where wisdom bloomed like lotus flowers, there lived a young monk named Kavi, who possessed a gift unlike any other—he could levitate seven stories high. Word of his extraordinary power spread far and wide, reaching even the Buddha’s ears.
Curiosity stirred within the hearts of the people, whispering that Kavi’s ability made him greater than the Buddha himself. These rumors grew, creating a divide among the seekers of truth. The Buddha, aware of the growing confusion, decided to address the matter during his monthly sermon.
Under the shade of a grand tree, the Buddha invited Kavi to share his teachings with the assembly of monks. The air buzzed with anticipation as Kavi ascended the makeshift podium, symbolizing the journey to greater understanding.
Yet, as Kavi stood before the expectant audience, his heart fluttered, and his voice escaped him. Though he possessed the power to command the winds, he lacked the wisdom to guide the thoughts and hearts of others. The whispers in the crowd turned to silence, and the truth became clear.
The Buddha gently approached Kavi, compassion glowing in his eyes. He spoke softly, “Dear Kavi, your ability to manipulate the winds and float in the air, which is a remarkable spectacle. But the path to enlightenment is not paved with grand displays of power. True wisdom lies in the purity of practice and the deep understanding of the causes of suffering and liberation.”
Kavi’s gaze met the Buddha’s, and he felt a stirring within his being—a realization that true greatness resides in the awakening of one’s own heart. From that moment, Kavi dedicated himself to the noble pursuit of wisdom, setting aside the allure of his party trick.
Word of this encounter spread throughout the land, carrying with it a valuable lesson for all who heard. The fable of Kavi, the Wind Whisperer, taught people that the pursuit of true enlightenment rests not in showcasing extraordinary abilities, but in cultivating inner peace and compassion.
It reminded both children and adults alike, that the journey to wisdom, lies in the simplicity of understanding suffering, practicing mindfulness, and nurturing the seeds of kindness within. And in this understanding, they discovered that the true essence of enlightenment resides not in the realm of miraculous feats, but in the boundless love and wisdom that blossoms within the human heart.
Once upon a time, in a small village nestled at the foot of a majestic mountain, there lived a wise teacher named Siddhartha. He was known as the Buddha, the awakened one. People from far and wide sought his guidance, hoping to find answers to the mysteries of life.
One day, a group of curious villagers gathered around the Buddha under the shade of a banyan tree. Eager to learn, they asked him about the nature of truth and the validity of different views. The Buddha, with a serene smile, began to share a parable:
“In a lush valley, there lived three blind men who had never encountered an elephant before. Hearing of this magnificent creature, they wished to understand what it was like. The village elders, aware of their curiosity, decided to bring an elephant to the valley.
The first blind man, with his hands outstretched, touched the elephant’s sturdy leg. Feeling the rough and sturdy skin, he exclaimed, ‘An elephant is like a sturdy tree trunk!’
The second blind man reached out and grasped the swaying tail. Feeling its coarse and wiry strands, he confidently said, ‘No, an elephant is like a thick rope!’
The third blind man extended his hand and encountered the elephant’s long, curved tusk. He felt the smooth, cool surface and declared, ‘You’re both mistaken! An elephant is like a solid, sharp spear!’
The villagers, observing this, burst into laughter. Each blind man held onto their own partial truth, unable to perceive the entirety of the magnificent elephant.
In this parable, we can understand that our views are like those of the blind men. They are limited, conditioned, and subjective. Just as the blind men couldn’t grasp the fullness of the elephant, our own understanding is shaped by our experiences, biases, and perceptions.
Buddha taught that all views are wrong views, because they are incomplete and fallible. Even the view that ‘all views are wrong’ is itself a view. It’s an irony, highlighting the inherent limitations of conceptual understanding.
The Buddha encouraged his disciples not to cling rigidly to any fixed view, for doing so would obstruct the path to liberation. Instead, he advised them to cultivate a mind of openness, curiosity, and deep awareness. By transcending the limitations of views, they could experience the world directly, beyond the constraints of conditioned perception.
Let us learn from the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Let us realize the wisdom that comes from recognizing the imperfections of our views. By cultivating a humble and receptive mind, we can inch closer to understanding the vastness of truth, beyond the confines of our limited perspectives.”
Note; “Did the Buddha really tell this Parable?”; Nobody really knows, but the meaning and moral within the fable remains valid, and that is what matters.
Harnessing Compassion and Strength to Support PTSD Sufferers
As a sufferer of PTSD, and a person who has spent years studying Mind Sciences and Consciousness Sciences, and Having Been a Buddhist Monk who practiced Mindfulness Meditation, i have gained insights over the years into the causes and solutions to one of Humanity’s greatest Traumatological conundrums, and unsolvable psychological illnesses like PTSD. I would therefore like to attempt to take us all on a transformative journey towards understanding and supporting our loved ones battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Today, we embark on a path of heartfelt compassion, recognizing both the resilience of those affected and the unwavering support of their closest allies. Together, we shall delve into the depths of this condition, explore ways to foster empathy, and equip ourselves with empowering knowledge to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.
Understanding the Unseen Battle: Decoding PTSD
Unveiling the Veil of Trauma
PTSD, a formidable mental health condition, arises as a result of traumatic experiences that shake the very foundation of one’s being. It can cast a haunting shadow over the lives of those affected, leaving them grappling with vivid nightmares, debilitating anxiety, and intrusive memories. The path to healing begins with comprehension—a deeper understanding of the symptoms and struggles that encompass this silent battle.
Nurturing a Safe Haven: Creating a Supportive Environment
A Sanctuary of Serenity: In moments of crisis, ensure the physical surroundings provide solace and sanctuary. Seek out quiet spaces where tranquility reigns supreme, shielding the afflicted from potential triggers that may amplify their distress.
Patience: The Anchor of Understanding: Amidst the tempest of emotions, let patience be our guiding light. Remember, dear readers, that time bends to the rhythms of healing, and impatience only fans the flames of unease.
Validating Their Journey: Each step taken along the path of recovery is an arduous feat, deserving of recognition. Validate the experiences of those fighting this invisible battle, ensuring they feel seen, heard, and understood.
The Symphony of Compassion: Interacting with a PTSD Sufferer
A Listening Ear: In the realm of healing, the power of compassionate listening knows no bounds. Offer an attentive ear, lending your unwavering presence as they recount their experiences. Resist the urge to interrupt or judge, embracing empathy instead.
Respecting Boundaries: Understand that tender wounds may lie beneath the surface, waiting for the gentle caress of time to heal. Respect the boundaries set by those with PTSD, avoiding triggers and granting them the space they require.
Support without Strings: Extend a hand of support, without attaching conditions or expectations. Guide them gently, encouraging them to seek professional help from therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists specializing in trauma and PTSD.
Nurturing the Nurturers: Self-Care for the Allies
An Oasis of Self-Care: Remember, dear readers, that to uplift others, we must first uplift ourselves. Engage in self-care practices, nurturing your own mental and emotional well-being. Seek solace in the embrace of supportive friends, family, and support groups who share your journey.
Hope, the Eternal Flame: Within the hearts of both the afflicted and their allies, hope burns brighter than a thousand suns. Believe in the power of resilience, and ignite the flames of optimism. Remind them that the path to recovery may be winding, but it is paved with the potential for growth and transformation.
Unleashing the Unbreakable Spirit
As we draw our voyage to a close, let us reflect on the profound impact we can make in the lives of those affected by PTSD. Our journey has revealed the transformative power of compassion, understanding, and unwavering support.
Remember, the battle against PTSD is not fought alone. By fostering an environment of empathy, validation, and patience, we empower our loved ones to embrace their strength and embark on the path to healing. Let us be their anchors in the storm, guiding them towards a brighter future.
In our quest for knowledge, it is essential to consult credible sources that provide a comprehensive understanding of PTSD and its treatment. Here are some reputable resources that can further deepen your understanding:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): The NIMH offers a wealth of information on PTSD, including symptoms, treatments, and current research. Visit their website at www.nimh.nih.gov.
American Psychological Association (APA): The APA provides valuable insights into PTSD, along with resources for individuals and their families. Explore their website at www.apa.org for a wealth of knowledge.
National Center for PTSD: This organization is dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of PTSD. Their website, www.ptsd.va.gov, offers extensive resources for both sufferers and their loved ones.
Remember, dear readers, that knowledge is power, but it is the compassionate application of that knowledge that truly transforms lives. Together, we can create a world where those affected by PTSD find solace, support, and ultimately, healing.
Let us stand shoulder to shoulder, unwavering in our commitment to understanding, tolerance, and empowerment. May our voices resound with compassion, lighting the way for those who may feel lost in the darkness. Together, we can unleash the unbreakable spirit that resides within each one of us.
With hearts aflame and hope ablaze, let us champion the cause of those affected by PTSD. For in our unity lies the power to ignite change, restore lives, and weave a tapestry of resilience.
Until we meet again on the shores of empowerment, continue to nurture compassion, for it is the catalyst for transformation. Farewell for now, but let the echoes of our shared journey reverberate through the corridors of time, reminding us of the unyielding power of empathy and love.
Arahantship and Nibbāna: The Path to Enlightenment and the Cessation of Suffering
Enlightenment, or Arahantship, is the ultimate goal of Buddhist practice. It is the state of complete liberation from suffering and the cycle of rebirth. In this book, we will explore the path to enlightenment and the various practices and teachings that lead to it.
Becoming an Arahant
To become an Arahant, one must first understand the nature of suffering and its causes. This is where the Four Noble Truths come in.
The Four Noble Truths
The truth of suffering (dukkha)
The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
The truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha)
The truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering (magga)
By understanding these truths, one can begin to see the impermanence and unsatisfactoriness of all things, and the need to seek liberation from the cycle of rebirth.
The Three Marks of Existence
To further understand the nature of suffering, one must also understand the Three Marks of Existence.
By understanding these marks, one can begin to see the impermanence and emptiness of all things, and the need to let go of attachments and desires.
The Five Aggregates (Skandhas)
The Five Aggregates, or Skandhas, are the components that make up a being.
Mental formations (sankhara)
By understanding the nature of these aggregates and their impermanence, one can begin to see the illusory nature of the self.
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect, or karma, is the concept that all actions have consequences.
By understanding the nature of karma and the interdependent nature of all things, one can begin to take responsibility for their actions and strive to act in a way that leads to positive outcomes.
Dependent Origination, or Paticca Samuppada, is the concept that all things arise in dependence upon causes and conditions.
By understanding the nature of dependent origination, one can begin to see the interdependent nature of all things and the need to break the cycle of suffering by uprooting the causes of suffering.
Dhyāna, or meditation, is a key practice in Buddhism. By cultivating concentration and mindfulness, one can begin to see the nature of reality and develop insight into the true nature of the self and the world around us.
The 40 Vipassanā Practices
The 40 Vipassanā practices are a set of contemplations that help to cultivate insight into the nature of reality.
By practicing these contemplations, one can begin to see the true nature of phenomena and develop wisdom and understanding.
The Four Sathipatāna
The Four Sathipatāna, or foundations of mindfulness, are a set of practices that help to cultivate mindfulness and awareness. By practicing these foundations, one can develop the ability to see the nature of reality as it truly is.
The 16 Anapanasati Practices of Mindfulness of Breathing
The 16 Anapanasati practices of mindfulness of breathing are a set of practices that help to cultivate mindfulness and concentration. By practicing these practices, one can develop a deep awareness of the breath and the body, and begin to cultivate a sense of calm and inner peace. The 16 practices are divided into four stages, each of which is designed to develop a specific aspect of mindfulness and concentration.
In the first stage, the practitioner focuses on the physical sensations of the breath. The aim is to become aware of the breath as it enters and leaves the body, and to focus on the sensations of the breath as it moves through the nose, throat, chest, and abdomen.
In the second stage, the focus shifts to the mental aspect of the breath. The practitioner observes the breath as a mental object and aims to develop a clear awareness of the breath, without getting lost in thoughts, emotions, or distractions.
In the third stage, the practitioner develops a deeper awareness of the relationship between the breath and the body. The aim is to observe the breath and the body as a unified whole, and to develop a sense of ease and relaxation in the body.
In the fourth stage, the focus shifts to the development of insight into the nature of the mind and the body. The aim is to observe the breath and the mind as they arise and pass away, and to develop a clear understanding of the impermanence and non-self nature of all phenomena.
Through the practice of these 16 Anapanasati practices of mindfulness of breathing, the practitioner can develop a deep and stable concentration, and cultivate the wisdom and insight necessary to attain Arahantship and Nibbāna.
Dependent origination is a fundamental teaching in Buddhism that explains the causes and conditions that give rise to suffering and the path to liberation. Dependent origination describes how all phenomena arise in dependence upon other phenomena, and how this interconnectedness gives rise to the cycle of birth and death.
Dependent origination is often depicted as a chain of 12 links, each of which represents a different aspect of the process of becoming and rebirth. The links are:
Volitional formations (saṅkhāra)
Name and form (nāmarūpa)
Six sense bases (saḷāyatana)
Aging and death (jarāmaraṇa)
Each link in the chain is dependent upon the previous link and gives rise to the next link in turn. The first link, ignorance, is the root cause of the entire process of becoming and rebirth, and the aim of Buddhist practice is to uproot this ignorance and attain the freedom of Nibbāna.
The Vipassana Kammathāna Thai Forest Monks’ Tradition
The Vipassana Kammathāna Thai Forest Monks’ Tradition is a lineage of Theravada Buddhism that emphasizes the practice of mindfulness and insight meditation. This tradition is known for its rigorous and austere approach to practice, and its emphasis on the direct experience of the Dhamma.
Origins of the Tradition
The Vipassana Kammathāna Thai Forest Monks’ Tradition traces its origins back to the forest meditation masters of Thailand, such as Luang Pu Mun Bhuridatta Thera and Ajahn Chah. This tradition emphasizes the importance of meditation practice in the cultivation of wisdom and insight, and places great emphasis on the practice of mindfulness in daily life.
Continuing the Tradition
Today, the Vipassana Kammathāna Thai Forest Monks’ tradition continues to thrive with many monasteries and meditation centers throughout Thailand, and around the world. The teachings and practices of this tradition have had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals, both monastic and lay.
One of the most prominent figures in this tradition was Luang Por Chah, who was known for his simple and direct style of teaching. His teachings emphasized the importance of mindfulness and meditation in everyday life, and he encouraged his students to develop a deep understanding of the nature of the mind and the body.
Spreading the Teachings
Luang Por Chah’s teachings were carried on by many of his Western ordained students, including Ajahn Sumedho, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and Ajahn Amaro. These teachers have continued to spread the teachings of the Thai Forest tradition to the West, and have established many meditation centers and monasteries throughout Europe and North America.
Emphasis on Mindfulness, Concentration, and Insight
The Vipassana Kammathāna Thai Forest tradition, is one of the last remaining traditions of practice, that remains true to the original practices of the monks who practiced in the times of the Buddha. It is a tradition that places a strong emphasis on mindfulness, concentration, and insight, and has helped many individuals to cultivate a deep understanding of the nature of the mind and the body, and to experience the freedom and peace that comes with enlightenment.
To summarize, the path to Arahantship and Nibbāna is a profound and transformative journey, that requires dedication, perseverance, and a deep commitment to the teachings and practices of the Buddha. By following the Noble Eightfold Path and cultivating mindfulness, concentration, and insight, one can free oneself from the cycle of suffering and experience the true peace and happiness that comes with enlightenment.
I offer my sincerest gratitude to the Triple Gem and all those who have contributed to the development of the Buddha’s teachings throughout history. I also ask for forgiveness for any unintentional mistakes or errors which may have occured in this article (if any). May all beings be free from suffering and experience true peace and happiness.
I Transcribed this teaching from an audio file recording of a Dhamma Teaching by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Please click the player t0 listen as you scroll down to read. This is a supreme Dhamma teaching, and essential to finding the end of suffering and stress, and transmuting unhappiness into happiness in your mind and heart.
Start your meditation with thoughts of goodwill. Goodwill is a wish for happiness. And as we’ll see, the Buddha takes that wish really seriously. You want to be able to develop goodwill for all beings, starting with yourself and spreading out to others. Because you’re looking for happiness that lasts, happiness that’s solid. And that requires that your happiness not depend on harming anybody else.
Because other people want happiness too. And if your happiness harms them, they’re not going to stand for it. So we realize genuine happiness comes from within. Safe happiness comes from within. We take the qualities that we have inside and we develop them. And that way we’re not taking anything away from anyone else.
And we’re producing a happiness that really is genuine. A happiness that is harmless. And as the Buddha pointed out, true happiness is possible and happiness that doesn’t change on you. Which is why he has you take your desire for happiness seriously. Not that you should be grim about it, but simply realize that it’s something you have to think about and examine.
Sometimes we’re told that we have to accept the way reality is, that things in the world are inconstant, stressful, not self. That sets out the parameters for where we’re going to find happiness. So we have to content ourselves with what kind of happiness can be found within those parameters, within that framework. That means we have to lower our sights. They say that we have to be content with whatever pleasures we can find, knowing that they’ll leave us. And so squeezing a little bit of bittersweet pleasure out of them before they go.
But that’s not the Buddha’s approach at all. You look at his life. He left home in search of a happiness that didn’t change. As far as he was concerned, the only thing that would really be worthwhile searching for would be something that didn’t age, didn’t grow ill, didn’t die. Something that was not inconstant, not stressful. And something that didn’t require control at all. And after many years he found it. So he wasn’t the sort of person to lower his sights. He raised his sights, like where happiness is true.
And as he taught that framework of accepting reality as it is and then trying to find happiness within the constraints of that reality, he switched those two frameworks around. So the framework became the quest for happiness. Is there a true happiness? And if you’re finding happiness among things that are inconstant, stressful, and not-self, you’re looking in the wrong place. You have to tell yourself there must be something better. Now as we practice, we are making use of things that are not very constant.
We start out with our intentions, like when we’re meditating, you set up the intention to stay with your breath. Follow the breath coming in, follow the breath going out. And try to make the breath comfortable, because if you’re going to stay here in the present moment, the mind will be willing to stay only if it feels comfortable here. So experiment for a while to see what kind of breathing feels good. Long breathing, short breathing, fast, slow, heavy, light, deep or shallow. See what breathing feels good for you right now. If the mind wanders off, realize that you’ve wandered away from your original intention, so you bring it right back. If it wanders off again, you bring it back again.
You don’t give up. Each time you come back, try to reward yourself with a breath that feels especially good. Make it continually good all the way in, all the way out. We’re trying to develop two qualities here. One is concentration, the other is your discernment. Concentration comes when you find an object that feels good to stay with, and you can settle in. You can think of that sense of well-being that comes from a breath spreading throughout the body.
Say for instance you’re focused on the middle of the chest, and you’re able to breathe in a way that makes that area of the body feel good all the way in, all the way out. You don’t make the breath too long, too short. You don’t squeeze that part of the body. You allow it to feel full. Even as you breathe out, there can be a sense of fullness in there.
And then you allow that sense of fullness to spread through the body, down the nerves, down the back, down the legs, down the shoulders, the arms, out to the feet, out to the hands, up around in the head. Allow that sense of well-being to stay. That’s how you get the mind to settle down, in a good state of being centered or concentrated. And then comes discernment. You find as you meditate that different feelings will come up in the body, different feelings will come up in the mind. Some of them can be very pleasant. Focus on the pleasant ones, but realize that they are part of the path and not the goal. As for the goal, the Buddha said that discernment begins when you ask questions.
And the primary question is, what when I do it will lead to my long-term welfare and happiness? Notice, the Buddha has you start with that desire for true happiness, long-term happiness. And the discernment there comes from one, realizing that it’s going to have to depend on your actions. The word action here covers bodily actions, verbal actions, mental actions. So something you’re going to be able to find through your own efforts. And then in terms of the happiness you’re looking for, one, you want it to be long-term. You realize that long-term is possible, then it’s better than short-term. And anyone can find happiness and pleasure, but it’s the wise person who looks for pleasure that’s long-term.
And sometimes that’s going to require giving us the short-term pleasures. But if you’re really wise in discerning, you’ll see that it’s worth it. So that’s the framework. Your desire for happiness, you take it seriously, you realize that it will depend on your actions. And you’re not going to settle for short-term, you want something that lasts. And then you take those three characteristics, what the Buddha calls three perceptions, and then you apply them to whatever comes up. If something is inconstant, then you realize, okay, it’s not long-term. You’re going to need to look for something else. If it’s inconstant and stressful, it’s certainly not happiness. You have to look somewhere else.
And if it’s inconstant and stressful, it’s not worth laying claim to as yours. So that’s the test. Real happiness will be something that is constant, free from stress, and actually lies beyond any thoughts of self or not-self. Because it has to lie beyond clinging. So that’s what we’re looking for. Now in the meantime, though, it’s not like you throw away everything that’s inconstant. Because after all, the path that we’re practicing has its ups and downs. And there will be things that you have to hold on to that are not permanent yet. It’s part of the Buddha’s insight that it is possible to take a path that’s based on your intentions, learn how to make your intentions more and more solid. And that path would lead you to something that doesn’t have to depend on intentions at all. It’s like the road to the Grand Canyon.
The road to the Grand Canyon doesn’t look like the Grand Canyon. In fact, if you’re approaching the Grand Canyon from the south, all you see is just pretty flat territory with some scrubby trees. And the road itself doesn’t cause the Grand Canyon. But if you follow the road, it can take you to the Grand Canyon. And you arrive there. And it’s an immense space. Not at all like the road. So there are some things that are inconstant and stressful. The stress may be subtle, but it’s there. That we have to take as the path. Anything that’s off the path, that’s not related to virtue, concentration and discernment, you learn to let go. Again, it’s like traveling on that road.
If you find yourself loaded down with all kinds of weights that are totally useless, or it turns out that your car that you’re driving has a motor that can pull you back, you have to learn how to turn off that motor that pulls you back. Use only the motor that will take you where you want to go. That way you’ll be able to get there. So even though the path changes, it can take you to something that doesn’t change. As you develop your concentration, as you develop your discernment. So give it your full attention, what you’re doing right now. Because a lot of the discernment comes from watching yourself as you try to get the mind to settle down. All too often we just let the mind wander where it wants. And as a result we don’t really understand it. It’s when you try to channel it in a particular direction that you begin to understand how intentions form in the mind.
And how other intentions can arise to cut off your first intentions. And how you have to learn how to say no. And how to say no skillfully. In other words, by convincing yourself that those other intentions are really not worth following right now. This is how you learn, by getting the mind to settle down. And you’re taking your desire for happiness and you’re putting it first. After all, that’s what the Buddha did. And he found that by taking his desire for happiness seriously, that desire could take him where he wanted to go. To a place where he didn’t have to need any more desires after that. He found the ultimate happiness.
Something that wasn’t inconstant, wasn’t stressful. It was so good that you didn’t even have to hold on to it. That’s the path that he followed. And the path that he pointed out to everybody else is that this works. So take your desire for happiness seriously. And see what you can learn from the Buddha. And also what you can learn from trying to get the mind to settle down. Stay with one object. And see what you learn about the quality of your mind’s intentions. Both in seeing how they arise and how you may switch intentions and how you can get back to your original intention. You can develop a lot of discernment and wisdom as you master just this skill.
As I say, in my description to this playlist, titled “life advice”; “I do not believe anybody is capable of giving good life advice to others. But seeing as everybody’s doing it, I might as well myself.”
as I post this, I just uploaded a video titled “on identity crisis”. To which I commented “Conditioning is Becoming, and social conditioning leads to an identity crisis for many people. 30% of humanity is likely to develop some form of anxiety during their lifetime. I consider no human to be qualified to give life advice to others. But many people do. This video gets added to my “life advice” section of my website on. ajarnspencer.com
However, I do not claim it to be good advice. It’s more of a philosophical game of cards you can play solitaire with. ”
anyway, for better or worse here is my life advice channel on YouTube. Take it with a pinch of salt. Or pepper if you prefer.
The Secret of the 33rd Degree Mason, & the Resonance of Mind that is Awakened;
Perhaps this talk does not reveal the true secret given to a Free and Accepted Mason of a Lodge during his Mystery Play Initiation as a 33rd degree freemason, but it is still very important Masonic Lecture by Grand Master Manly P. Hall, valid for everybody around the world when we look at hos he describes the world and the Human Zeitgeist (Mindset). It is the Human Mindset, that has fallen into disarray and out of resonance with Mother Nature, and diverted our path towards self destruction, and Social Decline, which leads to the Fall of Civilizations.
The Lecture was made many years ago, even before Ecology was a Public Issue, and before the Moon Landing, but is almost more relevant today in 2021, than it was way back when in the time that he spoke these great words. One can consider the lecture a true criticism of the democratic capitalist system, and industrialism, and FIAT based non-hard-asset based economies (The Monetary System).
A hint at how humanity went wrong in its thinking (like when Cain Slew Abel, and left the Sons of Seth to continue to inherit the Earth, and the Sons of Cain to Perish in the Great Flood)… And a hint at how our minds should return to resonating WITH nature, not in Conflict with it
Proof that Humanity has taken a wrong turn along the line, and is about to pay with Social Decline and perhaps Mass Extinction. It is also possible, that if we the population of the World, allow our unenlightened and uneducated leaders to continue to perpetuate their methods, we may be doomed, unless we return to living with Nature, and give up the desires for things described by Grand master Hall in his Lecture, and indeed by Jiddu Krishnamurti in his Talk included below in this blogpost.
The Year Earth Changed
The Year Earth Changed is a nature documentary that begins with a striking image from the earliest days of the pandemic: A nearly empty and mostly silent Times Square sets the scene for a film that examines the huge impact COVID had, not on us, but on the world itself. The documentary makes a convincing case that the coronavirus pandemic gave the planet a needed break.
The 48-minute documentary debuts on Apple TV+ on April 16, ahead of Earth Day, and it has a simple conceit. Yes, the pandemic has wreaked all kinds of havoc on humanity. But for animals and nature, a year of us humans largely staying home has provided an unexpected boon. (Source; Apple Insider Review)
This gives us a clue as to how we should be truly living, with nature, not in conflict with it
The Resonance of Mind that is Awakened.
Why Are We Truly Here?
If you wish to begin to understand, then you could benefit by listening to the ascended Thai Buddhist Master, Ajahn Chah;
Are we going through the greatest deception in history? And is it due to our own lack of will and mindfulness? Or is it down to the Evil Agendas of those who Rule, Control and Condition the Minds of the Masses? Are we born all unenlightened and all equally to blame for this mess we have got into? Where the world and nature is fighting back and we face Mass Extinction? Or is it due to certain self-supposedly ‘Awakened’ Individual Groups (yeah they think they are, but if they were, they wouldn’t be behaving like they do)?
Want to Investigate More in Full? – Download the Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall.
Place Importance on the stories/myths in this post, and try to make your choices as to how you are to learn to live on with Planet Earth, Mother Nature and the Algorithm of Evolution within Nature, in its self created deep-learning code of self learning
If we cannot learn to adapt and renounce the luxuries and technologies we have created to destroy nature, and our own chances of future survival as a race, then we are most certainly doomed to seeing the end of Civilization, and almost certainly nearly total Mass Extinction.
If anybody is to survive what is to come, and is already has begun its process, with only the meek who went off-grid, returning to natural living, & hopefully, inheriting the earth that remains after the proverbial ‘shit hits the fan’. This is meant Ecologically, Socially, Spiritually, Politically, and economically speaking.
I now leave you with a talk about some of the related issues in this post, beginning with some talk about the supposed worldwide plastic bans, which were all over all news channels worldwide in 2019-2020, & suddenly disappeared with the appearance Covid Pandemic, and the overblown promises made by governments about the banning of Carbon Emission Vehicles by 2030, and achieving Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, and why i say this is a deception, or an erroneous assumption by governments, and is impossible to achieve.
( Discovering How to Reverse Engineer Afflictive Emotions – Quantum Dhamma Diary #1)
Sharing Experiences, both those which i have mastered, (and those which i have not, in the hope that even if i cannot master the teaching, perhaps another listener can master it, even if i can’t)
Introspection as a Practitioner of Vipassana, and Ex Bhikkhu, who suffers with ADHD, and PTSD, and practices Vipassana Kammathana; The results from personal experience and study of not only the inner experience in Meditative Contemplation, but also to peruse the Chemical Molecular Formulas, which are sent into the Nervous System, and cause various ’emotional’ states, which we know as a formless, and think of as a spiritual experience, called ’emotion’. We see things wrongly because of false views and belief in a self that does not truly exist in the unchanging manner we imagine (Sakaaya Dhitti)
Picture; Little Prince by Anuk on deviant art. Source; http://deviantart.com/anuk/art/Le-Petit-Prince-740681883
But in fact, emotions, be they afflictive or pleasant, are not only temporary (Anijja), dis-satisfactory (Dhukkha), and not self (Anatta), as stated by the Lord Buddha, but are also natural physical reactions, due to chemicals released by the brain into the nervous system, based on what one is thinking.
solitude brings insight and self befriendment
What one is thinking is conditioned, and will cause the brain to send chemicals into the nervous system. One unconscious process we can notice consciously which reflects when we are feeling stressed, is the breath.
Controlling the breath, and noticing if it is agitated, or not, is a key to reverse-engineering the chemicals within the nervous system, which causes stress, and agitated breathing, to douse out, or to change the nature of those chemicals, and create a peaceful physical feeling, and hence, a peaceful mind and emotion.
The anger, stress, sadness, loneliness, and other afflictive emotions are not sinful. Sin is not the meaning of ‘Defilement’. Defilement is more like a stain that was conditioned as we grew up, and society conditions us, as do human cultural habits and traditions, and which can be ‘polished off’ leaving the consciousness void of impurity, and liberated from afflictive emotions (Dhukkha Vedhana).
Note; Just because I may be able to explain a technique, does not necessarily mean that i myself have mastered it in my own applied practice and manifested it into my life. Watch the Teachings, Not the Teacher.
The idea of the body being directly related with the overcoming of inner suffering may be strange to many Buddhists, but in fact, the sutras state more or less the following (taken from Wikipedia);
Vedanā is identified within the Buddhist teaching as follows:
One of the seven universal mental factors in the Theravāda Abhidharma.
One of the five universal mental factors in the Mahāyāna Abhidharma.
One of the twelve links of dependent origination (in both Theravāda and Mahāyāna traditions).
One of the five skandas (in both Theravāda and Mahāyāna traditions).
One of the objects of focus within the four foundations of mindfulness practice.
In the context of the twelve links, craving for and attachment to vedanā leads to suffering; reciprocally, concentrated awareness and clear comprehension of vedanā can lead to Enlightenment and the extinction of the causes of suffering.
The concept of what Sin is, is a question many people ask, and never really get a straight answer. Sin, is a word, which we Humans use to express the concept of some kind of Judicially Regulated list of acts and intentions, thoughts and words, some of which are considered to be of a positive charge (nature), and others with a Negative Charge (unnatural). Those which we consider positive are said to be Auspicious, or Meritorious.
Those actions words or intentions and thoughts which are negatively charged, are considered to be Sinful, Unethical and Immoral. I would say that before any Humans and Religions and Philosophies ever arose, Evolution was already at work long before, and that Sin, is a Human Concept, based on a measurement Principle which differs according to the varying Ethical Beliefs of each Culture or Belief System (Religion).
Heavenly Justice for the Sinful; Does the Universe and the Celestial Realms, truly have a Cosmic Justice and Punishment-Reward System as an incentive device? Just like the one we Humans invented a few thousand years ago on Earth? Is there a courtroom and a trial for each traveler of lifetimes to pass into some eternal hell or heaven based on the Human Concept of Sin? Does this apply to all life forms on all planets in all dimensions? What is Sinful to a Christian, May Not Be Sinful to a Buddhist, and Vice-Versa.. so what is Sin? if not a mere Human Concept based on Morality that is socially conditioned, and differs from culture to culture, religion to religion, and has no clear cut definition. Most of what we Humans think is Imaginary and has little to do with Absolute Reality
In truth, all things are in motion and living beings react to each other according to how Nature has programmed them to survive and evolve as species… even inanimate objects such as rock, lava, water, and clouds, behave in reaction to their surrounding environment, which is also involved in the causes of effects. Cause and Effect is not just our own actions, rather, the environment and our memories and experiences and genetic makeup also condition our responses.
Does True Justice Exist? and if so Where? – in Our Heads? or Outside of It?
The fight or flight reaction, and Evolution’s way of constantly improving on itself is programmed into all living beings, and is survival instinct and adaptation to change, that is the pre-programmed algorithm, that Christians call ‘Original Sin – the concept of good and evil ‘ – it is Original Sin, that is said to be the knowledge of good and evil, but i would say that both polarities are conceptual abstractions, and not fixed imperatives or constants. It is not knowledge of good and evil, as they do not really exist outside of our heads, rather, the concept, ot good and evil (illusory pathological thought in a dualistic dimension of awareness)
They are programmed by nature, such as anger is what a buffalo mother is programmed to have, when her perception sees an approaching living being, and memory association or genetic memory, then associates the approaching being as enemy or friend, and if a lion, the buffalo gets angry, and prepares to fight or flee… It is a chemical reaction of mother nature, and evolution’s survival of species .. not sin! it is Natural. But this inbuilt pre-programmed survival instinct system evolved by Nature in the creation of life forms, is a natural process that is not sinful, it is merely defilement that hides the true Buddha Nature from the Experiencer, who has fallen into Samsaric Existence and Physicality by way of Birth, due to Dependent Origination (Pratītyasamutpāda).
But what is Supernatural?
Supernatural, is the Human who has overcome the base instincts, which mother nature provided each species with to survive, and which cause illusory perception of existence (subjective, not objective), and this is what the Human who has seen the escape route to the existential question, seeks.. Buddhists call it Nibbana. The cessation of suffering and consciousness of dis-satisfactory sensations, and afflictive thoughts and emotions.
Sin is when knowing all of the above, one still wishes harm towards others, with no reason that is programmed by evolution, survival of species, or human conditioning. Such is hardly possible, except when the ‘sinner’ is still oblivious to the nature of all things. Sin is hence Ignorance, and Ignorance is always present, for Anger or Greed to arise.
3 mind poisons
The three mind poisons (for me, better named as ‘Desire, Aversion, and Delusion’ as ‘Greed Anger and Ignorance), which prevent us from becoming liberated, and which shroud our minds and affect our behavior, and are afflictions of the spirit, are that which must be destroyed, by destroying ignorance. In Thailand, we call this Ignorance of the True Nature of all Things (Dhamma), ‘Awicha’ (Avidyā in Sanskrit, or Avijjā in Pali).
If Ignorance (Delusion) is destroyed, greed and anger are instantly vanquished, and when ignorance is extinguished, the light of wisdom arises. In Thai we say ‘Awicha Dab, Wicha Prakot – Wicha Prakot, Awicha Dab (‘When Ignorance is Extinguished, True Knowledge Arises – When True Knowledge Arises, Ignorance is Extinguished’)
Prayer, and the Power of Prayer, can be Effective, or Pointless, depending on how it is applied, and how oneself applies oneself to allowing one’s prayers to manifest. Let us take a Prayer as an example for me to analyse and comment on, to make my point more easy to see. In this case, a Christian Prayer from St Francis of Assisi;
“Lord , make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred , let me sow love ;
where there is injury , pardon ;
where there is doubt , faith ;
where there is despair , hope ;
where there is darkness , light ;
where there is sadness , joy .
O Divine Master , grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console ;
to be understood as to understand ;
to be loved as to love ;
For it is in giving that we receive ;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned ;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life .”
A nice prayer (but wishful thinking).. however, prayers are for people who are not prepared to make the effort to change.. the lord wont make you patient or forgiving or generous or merciful.. only you will. The Lord may wish you to be.. but Free will dictates that it is You yourself, who must make the efforts and reach the necessary understanding, to become an angelic mind, and only with an angelic mind, can one enter the pearly gates.. after all, heaven is a pure place isn’t it?
stairway to heaven
Hence, if Heavenly Abodes are Pure Places, they only have pure beings in them. Therefore only pure beings can enter…. Some Realms are Purer than Others, as one will discover by ascension process throughout eternity, but even the lower realms such as the Astral Plane, require a minimum degree of innocence and absence of malevolence, and to be already mentally and motivated through being ‘in the spirit’
So purify yourself, it will work better than praying…
Praying is like buying lottery tickets.. in fact, you have more chance of getting something out of a lottery ticket, than you will get from praying without changing yourself
To sow love where there is hatred.. you need understanding.. not prayers, you need to destroy your false views so you don’t feel offended, and to destroy your false views so you don’t feel resentment or wronged, and don’t hate others. However, the power of prayer can strengthen your own resolve, and indeed, is intended for self mindfulness, more than for the angels to hear you.
Mid Celestial Realm with Angelic Beings, can perhaps still hear echoes from the Material World
However, having said this, ‘Athithaan‘ in Thai means ‘to pray’, or cultivate the deep wish (and willpower), to manifest one’s desires.
When i was preparing to Ordain as a Bhikkhu (Buddhist Monk), i was told to pray and pray and pray for the chance to become a Monk, and indeed, the repeated praying developed a higher and more serious attitude and stronger resolve to become one.
This also helped to develop the bases of attitude (Dhitti), needed to become a person deserving of Ordination. So Prayer does have its place and importance as a practice, when performed with wisdom, but not blind faith, and when accompanied by personal efforts to change, and to manifest what one is praying for.
In Buddhism, which is just one way of looking at things, there are four kinds of persons who have begun the unstoppable process of purification of defilement within, the first being the Sotapanna
The Below Video shows a very young girl who is still a young child, asking questions which reveal her own deep understanding, far superior to many adults who profess to be Pundits, and receives some answers which may help you to understand what self purification entails.
A Sotāpanna means ‘stream enterer’, and refers to someone who has entered an unstoppable process of introspective self development and purification and ‘eye-opening’ insights, which can never be stopped again, rather like the turning of the wheel of the Dhamma.. or a snowball, which once it begins to roll, never stops, and just keeps growing and growing. A stream enterer will attain the final stage of the path, and will never leave this streamflow which leads to that which Humans call ‘Enlightenment’ which is in truth, is merely the process of reawakening to the true nature of all things in existence, living and not living, and the cessation of all the causes of suffering and rebirth in Material Realms.
Celestial Realms of Mind and Spirit, are not Nibbana, and the denizens of these realms are still subject to the law of impermanence, dissatisfactoriness, and not selfness, but have an existence which has much more comfort and less sufferings than the Human Realms.
My Comment on the Header Picture Caption; Praying Hands on a Holy Book. A Very Human Phenomena, based in Hopes and Fears, and the feeling of Helplessness. Some Turn to Prayer, others to Magic, and a very few, choose the path of self introspection, self honesty and self transformation through efforts of renunciation of false views and clinging to impermanent things.
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven – But a Mindful Person, who is diligent in his Practice, and learns to renounce Materiality, may attain the Path, Be He Rich or Poor.
Topic; “The GURU” (Fake and Real);
Osho Rajneesh Rolls Royce and Devotees
This time we put one of the richest Gurus in Modern History, Rajneesh; A Very clever conman – a very rich one…. with Mijja Dhitti (False Views)
Never heard a word of wisdom or Dhamma from his mouth. And he reiterates how luxury and wealth is his way to happiness. But if you examine the inner mind and heart, if you notice the presence of suffering within (comes and goes in greater and lesser levels),, and that most of the mental and emotional sufferings and dissatisfactions we all experience (even Kings and Queens, and Gurus like Rajneesh), come from attachment and clinging to material things, ideologies and religious beliefs, ethics, selfishness. Rajneesh Owns 93 Rolls Royces
Osho Rajneesh Fake Guru
If one examines within, one will see that however rich you are, it wont make you happy, because true happiness does not require riches or poverty.. it just requires right view, (Samma Dhitti), which this fellow (Rajneesh) doesnt have yet.
his fast breathing teaching is the same as the ajarn sak yant who know that this in combination with clash of sounds causes trance… its part of the brainwashing process and of spiritual domination of people. Any Ajarn tells you to breathe deep fast and strongly as you receive blessings is a conman.. refuse to do that real deep fast breathing….
Breath Should Be Natural. Mindful Observance of Breath is the Mission
That is not the way.. remain calm, breathe naturally, and focus on your mantra or point of meditative focus which works best (chant inwardly ‘Buddho’ or whatever you feel.. ‘jesus’ ‘allah’ ‘peace’ whatever you prefer.. but for gods sake dont do erratic fast breathing when being treated, tattooed or blessed or taught to meditate by such ‘Gurus’. The fact that Rajneesh was a Hypnotist before he left India is also something to consider about how he can influence the Views (Dhitti) of his audience..
Samma Dhitti (Right View)
“Beggars and Pooor People cannot come to me because they cannot understand him so its natural that he is the rich man’s Guru’.. well all the enlightened Buddhas were mendicant beggars, and all of them were without possessions, and taught the path to the end of suffering – This dude teaches how to be reborn as an animal, hungry ghost, or asura monster or hell being, but the Buddhas taught how to practice to be never reborn as any of those, and only be reborn as a Deva (angelic being), a Human, or to Reach Nibbana.
To intercede a little with my own ‘Views’ (Dhitti), i would say that i feel that the Tathagatha (Buddha as he referred to Himself), did not possess any views, or have a view, for he held that all views are ‘points of view’ or ‘personal’ and limited, subjective and not objective, and hence, false views (Mijja Dhitti). “Oh but that is a View in Itself”! I hear you Thinking; Well, one could say that the Only View which the Lord Buddha Had, was that all Views are Wrong Views. This is indeed part of having Right View (Samma Dhitti ).
This guy taught to cling to sensual pleasures and advocated it. he did not see the truth that clinging and desire to impermanent things is the root of suffering and rebirth in realms of suffering, and illusion. He has 90 rolls royces, but he could sell them to educate the poor.. of course this is pointless to indicate, as everyone knows he was a con man
Sometimes people send me messages saying “Ajarn i want to make a donation to you” – No thanks i dont need them as i sell ebooks and amulets as my right profession, and use afilliate marketing (adsense and youtube earnings), to finance myself, and not take money from Looksit or subscribers or wellwishers or students… – True Guru only bestows knowledge wisdom and spirituality but does not allow an institution to arise around him…. Here is one of what most people think is a Guru …. the comments will show some other ‘Gurus’ who are about as rich and famous as Oprah Winfrey and live justr as luxuriously…..
This teaching below from Ajarn Amaro, is the real reason for not seeking sensual pleasures, and why Rajneesh has 90 Rolls Royces instead of Spiritual Enlightenment. Buddha was happy with nothing, but if Rajneesh was made to live under a tree in the mosquito ridden Jungle, he would soon break apart, proving his lack of self mastery, and love of the cause of rebirth (attachment to sensual pleasures)
I think that people like to hear what they prefer to believe…
If you tell people they will win the lottery within a month after a blessing, and the devotee adds extra donations to the box.. a month later he wonders where his win is…- its with the Ajarn who spent it already or put it on his bank.
Give your children your money, not your Guru.
Death May be the Greatest of all Human Blessings (Socrates) – Now is the Season of Giving, not Taking, for You cannot Take it With You, and You Cannot Give It to Somebody who you Know and Love and who will Need It, and Give it with Your Heart, when You Are Already Dead.
Facing Death can be considered our ultimate test we have to pass in Life.
The Buddha Asked Ananda ‘Tell me Ananda, how often do you think of death?’, to which Ananda answered ‘about 7 times a day Master’, to which the Buddha responded ‘Ananda, you are tooo careless. We need to think about Death, with every breath we take’
One inspiring teaching and incredibly well filmed video which affronts the tabu topic of facing one’s own eventual death and cessation, is this video of Pra Ajarn Tippakorn, made with the help of mdesignffm, which is translated into three languages already (Thai, English, German).
I wanted to share it because it can bring you more easily to addressing this, one of the main issues a true Buddhist Practitioner and Dhamma Warrior should face, and conquer the fear in his own heart. Understanding death, is not as hard as understanding life itself, so it shoulnd’t be such a difficult task to try to understand. What is harder, is accepting the fact of one’s own death, and this is of course one of the subtle causes of suffering we carry around with us throughout our daily lives. Mindfulness of Death may sound depressing, but it can make you live your life more wisely, and skilfully.
A Critical Investigation into why Gurus and Spiritual teachers always try to appear Flawless and without Defilement in Public, and why they never speak of their own failings or defilement, or how they learned from them. True and Fake Gurus and what is a ‘Perfect Teacher’?
Mindfulness of the Experience of Life is the Greatest Teacher
“Why do Gurus and teachers always seem faultless in the media and when showing themselves in public? And why do they never, or mostly hardly ever, speak about their own failings and deficiencies (defilement), and how they learned from them?”
I myself don’t consider myself a teacher, and see plenty of defilement within myself (the point of the path is to annihilate defilement, and to annihilate it, one needs to perceive it within oneself first). But many of my subscribers do consider my shares to be ‘teachings’, and so, be i a teacher or not, i can say that i like to reveal my difficulties and obstacles within myself, and how i come to terms with my inner battles, as part of my ‘Teachings’ my teachings are based on what i am learning and have learned from my own imperfections… i don’t see this much with millionaire Gurus or World Famous teachers however…
One Life to Get it Right
A true teacher reveals his teachings as coming from the developments he has achieved or surpassed within his own life trajectory. The Buddha gave his teachings based on his own experiences, and told of his misconceptions and fails in the run up to his enlightenment. The problem with the modern unenlightened professional ‘teacher’ is ‘Dhitti’ meaning ‘attiude’ or ‘disposition’. One tends to believe one’s own concepts, be they arisen from experience, or through mere Vijjikicha (analytic thought). Dhitti can be a right or wrong attitude.
The Buddha spoke of ‘Sammā Dhitti‘ which means ‘Right View’ and ‘Mijchā Dhitti‘ which means ‘Wrong View’. Many Modern Gurus teach the very egoistic rich and self centered Hollywood society and make immense amounts of money, but they are like the Demon Mephisto, who used trusths to trick the Alchemist Faust into selling his Soul. Teaches like Prof. John hagelin of the Maharishi Transcendental meditation Group for example, teaches to see Not-Self-ness in things, and flip it back into the wrong view (Mijchā Dhitti) of ‘I am the Universe’.
Awareness of Death Triggers Awareness of Life
I conclude with this question, which cannot be answered, and is Rhetorical; Should one say ‘God is in My heart’? or would it be better to say ‘I am in the Heart of God’?
In Buddhist practice, people try to ‘Attain’ Enlightenment. Academically, there are four stages to Enlightenment, each of those four stages having a path, and a fruit. In the thing we perceive as ‘the path to Enlightenment/Arahantship’ we tend to see the four stages as explained in Buddhist Dhamma Theory, as something to ‘Attain’ when in Truth, there is Nothing to ‘Attain’ or ‘Get’.
It’s not about Getting anything or Attaining anything, rather, more about Shedding things, and Getting Rid of Things. There is Hence Nothing to be Attained, no Stages of Enlightenment to ‘Get’ . There are merely states of existence, trapped in causality, or free from causality.
The below podcast talks about and elaborates on this.
The mere desire to ‘Become’ a Buddha, is in basis, a false view, because part of the path is to escape the process of Becoming, which is what causes our ceaseless rebirths in Samsaric Illusory Existence (Dependent Origination).
One should not wish to ‘Become’ anything at all, for that is ‘Bhava Tanhā’ (desire of becoming/craving for eternal existence).
The opposite mood, is also a defilement – ‘Vibhava Tanhā’ (desire to not become something/craving for non-existence).
Both are Desires, or forms of Craving. Desire is part of the cycle of Dependent Origination, of which Becoming is a part