Myself, Dhamma Tāpasā, and my mischievous adopted dog, Marley Moo, have spent the winter months on a large farm near Sagres in Portugal. We have been content to pass the worst of the weather out of the way before we move onwards again, and now that spring is right around the corner we are almost ready to embark on our continuous journey once more.
Myself, a trained Buddhist Monk, and Marley Moo (an honouree Monk) continuously travel as peace pilgrims devoted to promoting the art of diplomacy, peace and non violence throughout every aspect of our lives. Together we teach, speak and write Moral stories on mindfulness, meditation and the prisons we create within our own minds. We teach meditation and mindfulness as a way of understanding and changing our thought patterns to create inner peace and non violence within our own lives. Everything we speak, write or teach is given completely Free of charge and made available to all who seek.
We have spent the last few years living the ever popular Vanlife movement, this was a necessary move after continuous encounters with wild boar (wild pigs) in the forests and woodlands of Northern Europe while walking, Our time living the vanlife has been ideal for cultivating the seclusion and tranquility needed to deepen my meditation practice but it is almost at an end, and after spending the present winter months contently passing the bad weather away in one fixed location, the wandering lifestyle and the continued generosity we encounter along the way is once again calling.
We are starting to gather the required items together to begin again our slow paced continuous walk. We are looking to acquire a bike trailer/stroller to place our limited possessions, a decent pop up tent, as our last one has broken, a small solar panel to keep recharged our internet connection a reflective jacket for Marley and a head torch, which we believe come to total of around 250Euro. Once our required items have been collected together we shall begin our walk.
As a Monk and Peace Pilgrim i live with no monetary income and instead rely totally on the wonderful generosity, kindness and support from complete strangers along our way. This doesn’t mean we beg, or hassle people, far from it, to ask anyone for anything causes an imposition for people, especially someone who is kind natured and finds it hard to say no. Therefore we only except what is freely given. The staggering amount of good will, compassion and kindness we find on our journey never ceases to amaze me, this is the beauty and compassion of humanity in action. Some days we receive money or food (monetary donations always go towards Marley Moo’s food, I choose this life he just chose me) other days we simple fast. Some days we receive shelter to sleep, other days we will pull out the tent. Some days we teach meditation other days we will meditate on our own. Each and every day will always be filled with surprises and delights from letting go, making every encounter, a bird, the landscape, fellow walkers, a truly special and unique moment.
As we begin to start walking, myself and Marley have a loose plan and direction, at first we will be spending time walking Portugal’s inner Algarve from Sagres to Alcoutim, following the Via Algarviana long distance footpath for around 300km. After this we will start to walk back along to the coastal areas of the Algarve to meet up with my parents, and my brother & his wife from Malaysia for a family reunion and a week too ten days relaxation. Then we shall work our way slowly north zig zagging through Portugal towards Galicia and Spain.
If you would like to meet with Marley or myself, maybe for a few hours walking or a chance to meditate With us, then the above itinerary gives a rough idea which direction we shall be walking. As soon as we start walking we shall be posting far more frequently on our Instagram account and this will also guide you to our location. We hope to be walking before March 10th. It would be a pleasure to meet with any of you.
All over Asia within the Theravada Buddhist temples Loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity are practiced as foundations towards enlightenment. These foundations aren’t just practiced for the benefit of others, Loving Kindness, Compassion and Equanimity are practiced within the minds of every Monks inner speech.
Every Monk trains his inner speech to be more compassionate and loving towards themselves, forgiving their faults and imperfections. Gradually over time as we practise we become more content and compassionate towards ourselves and towards others.
The monks and Nuns of the Theravada Buddhist tradition chant daily the Sutta on Metta or Loving Kindness as a way towards enlightenment of their own minds. The loving Kindness Sutta is presented here for your practice and enjoyment. Maybe you can use this the next time you meditate.
First we have the English version translated from Pali, and following that is the original Pali script version, with pronunciation of the letters at the bottom. We really hope you have a go at the original Pali version. It might at first appear complicated and confusing, watch your inner dialogue as you try the Pali script and remember loving kindness towards yourself.
Loving kindness Sutta
This is what should be done, By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace. Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied, unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways. Peaceful and calm, wise and skilful, not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing, that the wise would reprove. Wishing, in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, wether they are week or strong, omitting none, the great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen, those living near and far away, those born and to be born, May all beings be at ease.
Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will, wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life, her child, her only child, so with a boundless heart, should one cherish all living beings.
Radiating kindness over the entire world, spreading upwards to the skies, and downwards to the depths, outwards and unbounded, freed from hatred and ill-will.
Wether standing or walking, seated or lying down, free from drowsiness, one should sustain this recollection, this is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views, the pure hearted one, having clarity of vision, being freed from all sense desires, is not born again into this world.
Loving kindness sutra in Pali
For those of you who would like to learn Pali or maybe attempt this accent language that has been used for over 2,500 years this is the loving kindness Sutta in Pali. Exactly the same as above.
Yan tam santam padam abhisamecca
Sakko ujū ca sūjū ca
Suvaco c’assa mudu anatimāni.
Santussako ca subharo ca
Appakicco ca sallahuka-vutti
Santindriyo ca nipako ca
Appagabbho kulesu ananu-giddho.
Na ca khuddam samācare kiñci
Yana viññū pare upavadeyyum
Sukhino vā khemino hontu
Sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā.
Ye keci pānabhūt atthi
Tasā vā thāvarā vā anavasesā
Dighā vā ye mahantā vā
Majjhimā rassakā nukathūlā
Ditthā vā yeva additthā
Ye ca dūre vasanti avidūre
Bhūtā vā sambhavesī vā
Sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā
Na paro param nikubbetha
N’ātimaññetha katthacinam kañci
N’āñña-maññasa dukkham iccheyya
Mātā yathā niyam puttam
Āyusā ekaputtam anurakkhe
Evam pi sabbabhūtesu
Mānasam bhāvaye aparimānam
Mettam ca sabba-lokasmim
Mānasam bhāvaye aparimānam
Uddham adho ca tiriyañ ca
Asambādham averam asapattam
Tittham caram nisinno vā
Sayāno vā yāvat’assa vigatamidho
Etam satim adhittheyya
Brahmam etam vihāram idha-māhu
Ditthiñ ca anupagamma sīlavā
Kāmesu vineyya gedham
Na hi jātu gabbhaseyyam punar-eti’ti.
Pronunciation of Pali
To help with the pronunciation of the Pali text I’ve included this helpful most efficient way I found to learn the proper sounds for each of the funny letters.
There are three facts in life, Impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and Non self (anatta) Today we will contemplate Impermanence
Our existence and reality thereof can be only understood if these three facts of existence are truly comprehend not just from a logical stand point, but must be personally experienced, this is why we meditate, to see or witness this as a personal experience.
While meditating we contemplate these three truths of existence, from every action or conscious thought we contemplate these three truths. With great diligence, being careful and mindful we will start to experience this very truth for ourselves. With the realisation of these three truth, comes enlightenment, and only by diligent observation of these three truths within our own lives, realisation is possible.
Within every breath there is Impermanence, suffering and non self. anicca, dukkha and anatta. Within everyone of us, these three facts of existence reside.
The Buddha spoke these words on impermanence.
“The perceiving of impermanence, bhikkhus, developed and frequently practiced, removes all sensual passion, removes all passion for material existence, removes all passion for becoming, removes all ignorance, removes and abolishes all conceit of “I am.”
It is easy for us to see impermanence in action and within every aspect of our lives. We can see impermanence in objects both material and mental as well as inanimate or animate, organic or inorganic. From great mountains and oceans, to thoughts and feelings all is impermanence.
Impermanence within ourselves
Impermanence is in ones self, our posture is always moving forever changing position from sitting, standing, walking or lying down or aches and pain sets in. Our state of health is always impermanent never stationary, we are subject to seasonal colds and flu, runny noses sore throats, cuts and bruises as well as infection, disease and hunger.
The growth and therefore decay of our bodies is impermanence, our hair constantly needs cutting or styling, our nails are the same. Our bodies need to be kept clean from sweat, dirt, grease and grime that are a constant reminder of impermanence. And of course the nutrients we consume for our bodies are constantly in a state of change. Each breath we take turns from oxygen to carbon dioxide, the food we eat to sustain ourselves, goes in one end and out the other within 24hrs.
Impermanence all around us
There is impermanence all around us, with flowers that bloom, wilt and die, fruits that ripen and decay, trees are constantly changing shedding bark and each season a colourful display as dead or dying leaves. The hills and mountains are either growing or shrinking, rivers flow, always moving separate particles of water to make the stream or river. They may dry up or flood, become narrower or wider, deeper or shallower, their direction ever changing and impermanence.
Even the objects us humans make such as houses, bridges, communication networks, roads, governments, or revolutions are all in a state of continually changing. Houses fall into disrepair and crumble, roads were once simple animal tracks that have increased in size and now covered in tarmac to accommodate an ever moving transport industry. Governments come and go just as dictatorships. Our technology seems sometimes to be moving at such a pace that it can seem like the moment you have mastered one thing it changes into something new.
Our own mind
And even our own consciousness is forever changing, if you are reading this as someone middle aged or from an older generation then you can look back at times through your life and feel it was a completely different person back then. Our thoughts change like the seasons, following styles, fashions and trends, we can experience anger, delight, hatred, love, frustration and contentment sometimes within only a few short moments. Anyone who has sat an exam can tell you the emotions that run through your mind, all seemly changing from one to the next then back again. Thoughts of happiness one moment can be replaced by negative in the next. What we perceive to be good one day may not be the next, what we see as wonderful can turn boring, what we hear as stunning can turn repetitive. Each and every moment our minds our changing, never the same as the last moment, always moving.
Logic vs Experience
This is all logical and we can easily see the impermanence within everything around us when we spend a little time analysing, so why then, with this logical understanding does enlightenment not occur?
Everyone of us knows that our body is subject to die, however most of us run around believing that the health and vigour we experience as youths will stay with us forever, punishing our bodies with drugs and alcohol, or doing adrenaline sports that push our bodies to their limits. We see people smoking cigarettes, knowing the harm they are doing to themselves and others but continuously smoke. We can see the pain of loosing someone close to us, even though logically we knew they were subject to death. So Logic or knowledge isn’t enough on its own to set us free.
We need to truly and deeply experience these truths for ourselves and within our own lives. With meditation we practice diligently and mindful we watch our breath, as a bodybuilder strengthening their muscles so we train our mind muscle, slowly we develop a strong one pointed concentration which we can now use to penetrate these deepest truths by witnessing this very impermanence in action.
When we experience impermanence within our own bodies we start to see the second truth or fact of life, dhukka or suffering. Because everything is impermanence, always changing we see that our clinging and attachment to ideas, thoughts, objects either inanimate or animate, will always end in suffering, the very idea of trying to hold onto to something that is always moving forever changing, is as ridiculous as trying to jump from the bus stop into a seat of a moving bus, blindfolded.
Once we have experienced impermanence first hand within our own bodies, what is there in the body to call Me, Mine or I? Because it is always changing forever moving. As we experience first hand impermanence within our own mind or consciousness, what is there in the mind or consciousness that is Me, Mine or I? Because it is always changing forever moving what can we grasp as being the Me Mine or I? This is realisation of the third fact of life, Non Self, egoless, No Me, Mine or I
Realisation of this third fact of existence (anatta) that there is No Me, Mine or I, liberates us from suffering, a calm and peace fill every moment as we no longer find attachment to something that is forever changing, we no longer cling or crave, we have let go, abandoned that which caused us to suffer.
Our job as meditators is to see first hand, to experience with real clarity that which is impermanent, forever moving, always changing directly within our own bodies and our consciousness. With great determination and practice of Samadhi Meditation our minds become firm in one pointed concentration and the exploration within our own minds and bodies can begin.
Gradually over time our concentration on our breath becomes very solid, our minds our happy to watch, breathing in, breathing out. Once we have established ourselves thus, it is time for Vipassana Meditation and the art of investigation of mind phenomenon, each and every stage of meditation practice will take us a step along our journey, ever closer to freeing ourselves from suffering and liberating our minds.
Wishing you every success in your meditation journey, and if you need further Help it would be my honour to aid you in any way I can, use the Contact Us page to get in touch.
Dhamma Tapasa is Thudong Monk, currently wandering in Europe, If you would like to support him and Marley Moo on their quest for enlightenment please click the PayPal link below that.
Before we can learn Vipassana Meditation we first need to understand that of Material and Mental phenomena as the two sole elements existing in a living being, and to experience them as their true nature.
Material can’t know or understand the object
Mental understands or knows the object
To further explain
When we see an object, let’s say a tree, our usual understanding is that the eye sees the tree, but in actual fact both the tree and the eye are the Material form and can never know or understand itself. The mind or consciousness is the knower of the object and therefore is the mental form. So when we See there is actually two material and one mental phenomenon existing.
As material and mental phenomenon occur through our six sense doors it is our jobs as monks or meditators to clearly distinguish or identify that which is mental and that which is material.
On hearing there is a sound (material)
The ear that hears the sound (material)
And the consciousness that knows the sound (mental)
The meditator should note hearing, hearing, hearing
The first should be realised as sound hearing (material) (the noise)
The second should be realised as hearing sound (material) (the ear)
The third should be noted as knowing the sound (mental) (the consciousness)
To practice Vipassana Meditation correctly the practitioner should be constantly watching, observing, that which enters through the six sense doors (hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touch, and consciousness) and identify the characteristics of Mental and Material within them, realisation will come as each is impermanent, forever changing, and from this ever changing conditions, suffering is realised and the true identity of Non Self or the egoless.
Only by practicing Vipassana meditation in this way and with a strong level of Samadhi Meditation, the real facts of life (impermanence, suffering and Non self) become a realisation.