The Buddha a short story

The life of the Buddha has been written about hundreds and thousands of times over the course of the last 2500 years and my writings on this great man who had an entire philosophical religion created around him, aren’t going to add anything more than is already known.

This is just my own humble take on his life towards full enlightenment. If you’ve never heard the story of the Buddha then this is a great place to start.

Siddhattha Gotama The Buddha or Fully Enlightened One

The historic Buddha was born into a high-caste family of royalty during the sixth century B.C. in what is now part of northeast India and Nepal.

The Buddha’s father Śuddhodana was a ruling chief of the Sakya clan holding considerable lands in the north east of India. The Buddha Mother was Queen Māyā of Sakya descending from royalty herself.

According to the Shakya tradition, the queen Māyā upon finding out she was pregnant left and headed for her father’s kingdom to give birth.

Along that journey, the Buddha to be, is said to have been born in a Lumbini garden, which is in modern day Nepal, and under the shade of a Sala tree.

After a childhood and youth filled with the indulgences of a Prince, Siddhattha Gotama was becoming dissatisfied with life’s sufferings. It is said he experienced three sights that profoundly changed him. That of the sick, that of old age and then experienced a dead body.

Siddhattha Gotama became more and more convinced there must be a way to truly understand our human experience and free himself from this old age, sickness and death. His father notice the unrest in his son and organised the marriage to the beautiful princess Yaśodharā and a son soon followed whom they named Rāhula.

However an unrest still lay deep within Gotama’s heart and in the middle of the night he left his beautiful princess and son Rāhula for an ascetic life style in search of spiritual answers on the causing of our sufferings.

After years of practice with the masters of his time, studying religious text and practicing long periods of fasting to near death, Gotoma still felt no closer to the truth. He had though come to realise meditation was giving him great insights into the mind consciousness and so decided with a complete resolution to meditate in one spot until he had gained full enlightenment into the causes of human sufferings.

He chose his spot next to a small river gently passing through a lush countryside, by the river bank an old bodhi tree cast just enough shade for his task at hand. There Siddhattha Gotama sat with a determination not to rise until he had gained full enlightenment.

During the time sat under the bodhi tree gaining enlightenment, It is said the Buddha experienced every Defilement or poison of the mind keeping him from experiencing the true reality of life itself. One by one he combated these defilements observed in deep meditation allowing him to truly understand there workings. There cause and effect, there birth and passing.

After Enlightenment

It was not gods that concerned him, but the mind of man and its sufferings. We are unhappy, he explained, because we are slaves to our desires and our wants. Extinguish desire and suffering goes with it.

If people could be taught that the physical or phenomenal world is an illusion of mind construct, then they would cease their attachment to it, thereby finding release from their self-destructive mental sufferings.

The Buddha spent 45 years of his life teaching to the rich, poor, ill and healthy he had No distinction, discrimination, or duality, he excepted all, open heartedly and helped those that sought his guidance.

The Four Noble Truths was the Buddha’s first sermon and still considered the most important with all Buddhist sects today.

Leaving a lasting legacy that has spanned well over 2500 years slowly spreading out from India intro Asia and the Middle East. Buddhism is more than just a religion, it’s a way of life. Known as the philosophical religion it now touches every corner of the world.

Buddhism has split over those thousands of years into many different schools or ways of teaching the main three being Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Each of the schools use the Buddha’s first teachings of The Four Noble Truths and The Eight Fold Path at there centre for reference and as there core principles.

The Practice of Meditation & Mindfulness

Meditation & Mindfulness allows us to truly understand our mind and how it works within the world around us. Practicing this ancient art isn’t just about relaxing and feeling better, those are just great side effects of something that has the potential to change your life.

Practiced by the Buddha and passed down along a line of monks dating back more than 2500 years. A practice or path to follow to achieve enlightenment and relieve suffering of mind. The same path that has seen thousands upon thousands of male and female, young and old, educated or uneducated follow that same path to become enlightenment and end the cycle of suffering.

If your looking to learn this ancient art of Meditation & Mindfulness then our Meditation series have been developed to take you from beginner to meditating like a monk in no time at all. Using all the tricks I learnt while spending my own time as a Buddhist monk in North Thailand these meditations have been passed to me from a linage dating back the the Buddha himself.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā*

Images supplied by Pixabay. Photographers: DuongNgoc19 & DEZALB

*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. A Buddhist Life Coach, Mindfulness Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Published Author.

Creator of the highly acclaimed “The Four Trees” a story of learning how we can all live a more fulfilled and content lifestyle.

By using his unique approach of storytelling, mixed with ancient Buddhist Monk Secrets, all combined with 21st century scientifically proven techniques, Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture your imaginations whilst teaching you valuable Life Skills and True Wisdom.

Find out How

Dhamma Tāpasā

CAN

HELP YOU


©️www.4enlightenment.com-2021

The Three Types of People Capable of Bringing True Happiness to The World

If you had to score yourself from 1 to 10

how HAPPY are You?

What is your level of happiness?

We all want to find HAPPINESS within ourselves

But how many of us truly bring happiness to others?

This continuous search for happiness isn’t a new idea and as humans we have been spending thousands of years looking for those very answers. Some devote their time looking for clever ways to make our lives easier and therefore giving us more time to do the things we like.

We search for happiness in the form of instant gratification. All those new items we purchase, a new car, clothes, even travel is a form of instant gratification.

Some of us believe the true route to happiness is money. In fact so much so that it can take over those peoples entire lives.

There are however those special people who seek too continuously help others creating a longer lasting happiness and inner contentment within themselves.

What the Buddha had to say

Suttra: SN84 – For the welfare of the many

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard:

“These three persons, appearing in the world, appear for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world — for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine. Which three?

“There is the case where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unsurpassed trainer of tamable people, teacher of beings human & divine, awakened, blessed. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. This is the first person who, appearing in the world, appears for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world — for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.

“Furthermore, there is the disciple of that Teacher who is a worthy one, his mental fermentations ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. This is the second person who, appearing in the world, appears for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world — for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.

“Furthermore, there is the disciple of that Teacher who is a learner, following the way, erudite, endowed with [good] practices & principles. He, too, teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars & in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. This is the third person who, appearing in the world, appears for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world — for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.

“These are the three persons who, appearing in the world, appear for the benefit of many, the happiness of many, in sympathy for the world — for the welfare, the benefit, the happiness of beings human & divine.”

*Buddhist Suttra SN84 Iti78 from the khuddaka Nikaya and the Pali canon kindly translated by the Buddhist monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Wave Meditation

Mini mediations to help with better sleep

The Wave meditation

We all know how debilitating lack of sleep can become, and experienced over long periods of time can causes other more serious health issues to occur. Some of us find it hard to actually fall asleep, tossing and turning with thoughts running through our minds. Some of us wake in the early hours and then struggle to fall back to sleep with the same affliction as before.

There are many mini meditations that over the course of the next few weeks I would like to share with you, helping you get some well deserved sleep and relaxation.

Each of the mini meditations that are going to be shared, are simple to grasp, and can be practiced by both those that wake in the early hours and for those it takes ages to fall asleep.

As we are all individuals some work better than others, depending on your personality traits. If you find one that works practice that one, however a better practice is too use all the meditations in a regularly basis. This way it’s keeps the mind from slipping into a dullness, changing it up regularly puts that spice or vitality back into your mind.

The Wave meditation

To practice this lovely meditation we need to visualise in our mind a gently lapping wave the ones that are found on the flattest calmest of summers days, or the type found on a sun drenched Mediterranean beach.

Once you have you gently lapping wave visualised in you mind, gently coming in and gently going out.

Now I want you to time the wave with your breath,

Breathing in as the wave calmly pulls away from the shore;

Breathing out the wave gently rolls onto the beach lapping at the shore line.

Breathing in visualise, and in time with the breath, your wave pulling, gently away for the shore.

Breathing out visualise and in time with your breath as your wave gently rolls onto the beach.

Keep this up and within a very short period you will be in a deep and restful sleep.

A little side note:

I explained this meditation to my mother who was having trouble waking early in the morning and unable to return to sleep. She is a complete sceptic when it come to this “new aged fangled stuff” as she puts it. The next morning she actually told me how she gave it a go and it really did work for her and she managed to get back of to sleep and wake feeling rested.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā*

*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. A Buddhist Life Coach, Mindfulness Trainer, Motivational Speaker and Published Author.

Creator of the highly acclaimed “The Four Trees” a story of learning how we can all live a more fulfilled and content lifestyle.

By using his unique approach of storytelling, mixed with ancient Buddhist Monk Secrets, all combined with 21st century scientifically proven techniques, Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture your imaginations whilst teaching you valuable Life Skills and True Wisdom.

Hi I’m Dhamma Tāpasā

Find Out How

I Can HELP YOU

Other Meditations In This Series: Helping with Better Sleep

Some of Dhamma Tapasa’s most compelling Stories


©️www.4enlightenment.com-2021

Four Trees Video

Finding Calm in Karma

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We are please to announce Dhamma Tāpasā recently gave us his valuable time to record a voice over to the video and story “The Four Trees” our most loved Moral Story to date.

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Here at 4enlightenment we believe that kindness creates kindness, that’s why morality is at the core of everything we do.

From the stories we write to the mindfulness techniques we share, we believe in doing things right, always with kindness and compassion as our guide.

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Please follow the links to YouTube to see our Audio & video version of “The Four Trees” narrated by Dhamma Tāpasā. If you could also share, like and comment that way we can spread the kindness further.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā*

*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. A life purpose & Motivational coach who now teaches meditation and mindfulness techniques through the art of storytelling. Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture our imaginations whilst teaching us valuable moral principles and deepening our understanding of the human consciousness and the everyday problems we face.


Our Most Compelling Original Moral Stories


©️www.4enlightenment.com-2021

Let’s Talk Meditation

Meditation and the Truth

Most of us have heard about meditation and mindfulness over the last few years, but how many of us truly understand how to practice this ancient art form passed down for thousands of years. This article is where I want to correct the balance and put straight some of the facts about this noble way to practice.

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Most of the information I see on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram is given freely but at the cost of heavily advertised websites, Click baited headlines to draw your curiosity in to only find a half hearted explanation and little to no advice. Most of these websites are written by wanna-be social media stars and there is a growing concern that meditation and mindfulness has become, or is becoming, a watered down version of a truly remarkable aid in the development of our human consciousness. An aid, that if understood correctly, can and will change your life dramatically for the better.

What can Meditation do for me?

Meditation has the ability to reshape your life towards a more peaceful, respectful and compassionate way to live. A life with less worry and less anxiety, a life where gossip doesn’t amuse or intrigue and fear struggles to reside. Meditation can calm and clear your mind like that of a still lake and reflect back a better version of yourself. And by searching within for that elusive happiness we truly can change the world around us.

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My experience with Meditation

My experience with meditation has completely changed my life for the better. I have been practicing meditation for well over 15 years, a large number for some but a small number for others. In this time I have gone from a lost soul not understanding the way of the world, feeling like I didn’t fit in, or that something was wrong with me. I now have a life living completely satisfied and fulfilled, a life full of love and compassion. I now have a relationship with my father something that in my early life I did not and this is something I cherish dearly.

In these 15 years I have been trained by meditation masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh and from the direct descendants of the forest monk Ajahn Chah. I have been an ordained Buddhist monk for many years practicing in the seclusion of the northern forests of Thailand. I now wander the European countryside as a monk still searching the depths of my mind and all its wily tricks and parlour games it plays. I am totally addicted to meditation and mindfulness like a smoker is to cigarettes. Everyday I practice watching or observing the play of consciousness and it’s relationship to our experiences. Everyday I grow and learn more.

I am not enlightened and don’t pretend to be, I am enjoying the search tremendously and as so I have for a long time dedicated my life to understanding the truth of our human condition.

How to truly meditate

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We have all heard that the art of meditation is to follow the breath. Breathing in, you really observe and feel the breath coming in. We need to be invested in this process of observance, completely absorbed and focused. See how the air passes through you nostrils, tickling the hairs in your nose, watch and witness the abdomen enlarge and the lungs expanding gently as a response. Breathing out observe the process as you would a movie get yourself involved and watch the lungs deflate as a response to you abdomens movement. Observe the air as it comes out through your nose, tickling those nostril hairs. And then the slight pause before we breath in once again.

This is just one step in meditation and is the foundation of all training it is called Samantha or Samadhi meditation. However this is just a foundation and only when our foundations are solid and secure can we start to build upon this to investigate and discover the real interplay between our thoughts and there corresponding actions. This is known as Vipassanā meditation. Translated as ‘truly seeing‘, or insight meditation.

Vipassanā Meditation

Vipassanā Meditation is an observance of the our thoughts within the consciousness. We watch, without interference, how each thought arises from something and then passes away. How one thought leads to another and to another and then to another. Vipassanā Meditation is the observance of the minds three facts of existence, impermanence, suffering and non self as they reveal themselves through consciousness. Truths that once experienced as reality changes your whole way of life. Knowing this is not enough, experiencing this for yourself is the true purpose of meditation and one that can take minutes or sometimes a life time.

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Vipassanā is an art form that takes a long time to develop and should only be attempted after many hours of Samantha meditation as described above. The reason is to develop the skill as an observer without interference so as to experience these truths for yourself. There is no point in just mere understanding, one must truly experience this birth and death for ourselves, experience the ever changing impermanence that exists in everything.

For another explanation of Vipassanā Meditation from a more scientific view point Click Here

What to do now

The most important factor to remember with meditation is to always be kind towards yourself. When we loose focus on our breathing, gently laugh or chuckle to yourself and bring back your attention. Try not to be harsh with yourself it is the journey that is far more important than the destination. Kindness goes an incredible long way in this world and something that if practiced towards ourselves helps elevate a lot of our problems.

Practice breathing meditation or Samantha meditation until you have got a solid foundation, a foundation where you feel present in the moment, grounded in the breath. Once this has become established then allow your mind to investigate, to clearly see with Vipassanā Meditation.

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For any help or advice please feel free to contact me using the contact form provided in the menu. There is no pressure on your behalf and I am here to help. I have been lucky enough to be guided by Masters over my time and it would be a delight to help in anyway I can.

kind regards

Dhamma Tāpasā

Personal Meditation

A personal Meditation Journey

My personal journey in the search for enlightenment is one of roads less travelled, the path has had its fair share of wondrous surprises some associated with good others associated with bad, but in the end all are just the experience and even that I know I am not.

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Roads less travelled

Over the last couple of months, Marley Moo (my little street dog) and me have for the first time in a long while had commitments to fulfil, the first was a family re-union held in Spain for my mothers birthday and the second was to house sit 8 dogs and 11 cats allowing a friend to travel back to England for his daughters wedding. Living with limited means such as money finding my way travelling 1,000km to meet with my family has taken 5 wonderful weeks of adventure, solitude and some incredible meditation spots, it has come with it’s fair share of surprises some associated with good some not so, but each is just an experience lived through my eyes, and as my meditation has taught me I am defiantly not the experience. 

 Over the course of 5 weeks my meditation had been gathering momentum allowing me to clearly see and truly understand the clear separation from each emotional state we find our minds floating between. If frustration was to take hold it seemed laughable to become all consumed with an experience I am clearly not. Just having. And as instantly with the spontaneity of a new born star or the very start of the thought itself it vanishes it is let go of.  

My life just as anyone else’s life will naturally experience these emotional ups and downs, these roller coaster of events, moments of doubt, Anger, happiness, elation, Anxiety, Depression, loneliness or frustration, any of these emotional responses are just lurking there ready to consume our mind, no one is infallible or immune, but logically can we say that we are anger or happiness, isn’t it a more logical response to realise I am experiencing a moment of happiness, to experience a moment of anger but never lay claim to that which we experience.

Myself and Marley Moo have found our way back the 1000km to Portugal and spent a further two weeks looking after eight dogs and eleven cats. A rather more difficult task than I had first imagined. The first feeding time with the dogs was like a rugby scrum, the cats though were a little more dignified in their approached. Spending quality time with each animal everyday has been a wonderful experience, however along with the 2,000km distance travelling and pet sitting my time has been limited and I would like to apologise if there is anyone reading this who takes a regular interest in my journey for not bringing regular updates over the last two months.

I live with limited resources and funds, myself and Marley Moo rely completely on the universe, we are on a spiritual path of ones less travelled, everyday has become our gift and every moment more alive because of it, the more we let go the more freeing and freedom it brings. I choose this life because I wish to seek enlightenment, I have given up the trappings of modern society and choose to wander.

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Marley my adopted street dog

Marley Moo my adopted street dog found me one day whilst meditating and has followed me ever since, together we have found our way to Portugal and continue to seek enlightenment together. It would be my pleasure if you could join us on our path, follow me or even support me, I am always open to questions, criticism or advice.

Kind regards 

Dhamma Tapasa

How to Practice Vipasana Meditation 

Vipasana Meditation

Vipasana meditation or more accurately translated from the ancient language of Pali as ‘insight’ or ‘ clearly seeing’ meditation has been in use for over 2500 years, rediscovered by Gotama Buddha somewhere around the year 586BC he would go on to teach Vipasana and Samatha as two powerful meditation techniques used in conjunction with each other as the path to enlightenment.

Samatha meditation produces a calming effect which will compose and steady the mind allowing for great periods of concentration.

Vipasana meditation, with a calming and concentrated mind, allows us to see and understand the deep interconnection between mind and body, material and mental phenomenon, experiencing first hand how we produce our own suffering, and allowing for spiritual and personal growth towards enlightenment. 

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Vipasana became popularised for the ordinary men and women in Burma by the late 1800’s due to the influential buddhist monk Ledi Sayadaw he would make the teachings of the Satipatthana Sutra easily available to all with simple to understand translations. The Ledi Sayadaw went on to teach many students who would become meditation masters in their own rights monks such as U Narada (1868-1955) Mahasi Sayadaw (1904-1982) Ajahn Mun (1870-1949) Ajahn Chah (1918-1992) Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994) and S.N. Goenka (1924-2013) 

The work and teachings of the Mahasi Sayadaw saw mass popularity in the 1950’s from the west and further teachings from S.N. Goenka have firmly seated Vipasana meditation into western minds.

How do you practice Vipasana meditation?

As has already been said Vipasana works best with a calmed and concentrated mind and a firm foundation of Breathing Meditation should be established before moving on.

However like everything in today’s world we want things fast and instant, and this meditation can be done without any previous meditation foundation, it will be just a little tougher. 

My meditation training and background come from the Thai Forest linage passed on from Ajahn Mun down to Ajahn Chah and his predecessors. It is from this linage I have learnt and it is stressed that Samatha meditation is foremost to establishing concentration to reveal Vipasana’s true insights.

Vipasana meditation as described in the Satipatthana Sutra.

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The meditator should practice noting the object that arises in the mind the practitioner is reminded to be sharp with the noting as if hitting a ruler across your hand. Three times repeat to yourself sharply that which has taken the minds fancy.

Breathing in, note, Breathing in, Breathing in, Breathing in.

As you breath out the same sharp energy is repeated three times. Breathing out, Breathing out, Breathing out.

If and when the mind wanders the practitioner should note the distraction, if a sound, note, Hearing, Hearing, Hearing! then bring the focus back to the breath,

Breathing in, Breathing in, Breathing in.

If the mind wanders to body sensations the practitioner should note with sharp energy Feeling, Feeling, Feeling, then bring the attention back to the breath.

On every occasion of a distracting smell, note, Smell, Smell, Smell, then bring you attention back to the breath.

Whatever the minds turns toward note it with eagerness and sharp attention, if the mind starts to think, note, Thinking, Thinking, Thinking, then bring the attention back to the breath.

After time the meditator will see a distinct improvement in concentration with our minds wandering less, instead staying fixed onto the object with which it is directed.

At the same time the power of see only the two processes of the material and mental unfold which will give rise to the insight of impermanence (anatta) of suffering (dukkha) and the knowledge and understanding of non-self (anicca). The three marks of existence. 

Experiencing a Vipasana Meditation Retreat

During a Vipasana meditation retreat the practitioner is expected to practice 14-16 hours of this continuous noting of the minds experience. The effect of noting moment to moment events has an enlightening effect on our minds, not only do we see clearly that everything is impermanent consisting of a birth and death, The First Noble Truth, but the linear concept of time we are so familiar with starts to diminish leaving us to experience the true joy and happiness with being present.

Having spent many rains retreats in Vipasana meditation I know how hard this can seem and how challenging a prospect it can be to those who are about to attend a Vipasana course. As long as you put wholehearted effort into your practice and are always kind towards yourself you will progress and sometimes rapidly along the road to enlightenment.

Further notes

As with all meditation it always sounds way to easy and simple, if you have never tried meditation, it is one of the hardest but most rewarding things we can ever do. If you are having trouble with your meditation practice, don’t worry your not alone, please feel free to use my contact details listed for further help.

This simple technique of eagerly and sharply noting has the ability to reveal the entire makings of this known universe to you. I wish you luck.

If you have found this interesting, helpful or indeed fascinating then please share with you friends and family because after all

SHARING IN CARING

Many Kind Regards