Universal Goodness

Table of Contents

What Does Stealing Our Own Wealth Look Like?

Whenever we think of robbery or theft, we usually think of other people coming in to steal our belongings. However, think of when we neglect our uniforms and clothes, letting it become weathered in the heat, rain, or even just letting it collect dust. When we not taking care of it or cleaning it properly, it becomes worn quickly, soiled quickly, and it does not last as long as it was intended. In the end we waste our possessions. Can this be considered robbery?
It’s easy to tell what robbery is when others are taking your own belongings, but if it’s us that is robbing ourselves, how should we respond? People who are wasteful, when under the care of their parents, are essentially robbing their guardians. Therefore, we must look after our possessions sufficiently. Use it well, so we don’t end up robbing ourselves.

Goodwill Brings Forth Helping Hands

When we have goodwill and display benevolence towards others, friends will come help us whenever we are in trouble. Therefore, wherever we are and whoever we encounter, whether there is gain or no gain involved, it’s best to be kind unto others.
January 3rd, 2018

How Taking the Easy Way Out Trains You To Look for Only Gain

If we only take the easy way out, this habit will turn us towards dirtiness. What follows dirtiness is disease, causing us to unnecessarily lose money, however much we have is never enough. What follows this is seeking only gain, causing us to take advantage of others. In the end, our
September 8th, 2017

Letting One’s Mind Become Irritable is Letting Oneself Become Selfish

One who lets himself become irritable regularly will eventually become a person who is selfish and can’t be reasoned with. In the end, he becomes someone who only sees the faults in others, is prejudiced, and puts himself first before others.
August 16th, 2017

Using Hospitality to Show Your Children What a Role Model Looks Like

Since I was a child, whenever my father received guests, he would welcome them with water regardless of whether their character was good or bad. If he had his true friends or family over, he would also welcome me to come listen to their conversation. He would tell me about the goodness of these guests and what their virtues were, how he knew them and how they treated him in the duration of their relationship. For example, this friend is a brave and honest soldier. This man is good in this regards, that regards, as he would explain to me.
As for the fair-weather friend or relative, when they make their visit, I came and served refreshments. My father would dismiss me after so I would not have the opportunity to listen to the conversation being held.
I kept this in my heart whenever I considered the qualities of a true friend. It was thanks to my father for teaching me the difference between a true friend and a fair-weather one.
January 3rd, 2018

The Heart of Spreading Buddhism

What is the propagation of Buddhism?
It means to establish Buddhism on this world in order to free people from suffering.
The following question becomes, after spreading Buddhism, where will Buddhism be? How will it persist?
The answer is that it must exist in the hearts of all. It will stay when we understand the Dhamma and use it to train ourselves until ultimately our defilements become extinguished. It must also be passed onto others through teaching the Dhamma, otherwise it cannot persist.
November 29th, 2017

One Who is Envious is the One Who is Intolerant of Those Who Are Successful

The person who cannot stand it when someone else is successful and hopes to see them encounter misfortune is known as a jealous person. There are such people in this world.
My children, we must not let ourselves behave this way. Whatever the matter is, when seeing someone else benefitting from success, don’t let that get to you. We should rejoice in their merits and train ourselves to further pursue our perfections.
January 3rd, 2018

Upon Seeing Khun Yay Spit, I Knew I found Myself My Teacher

Luang Phor has sought many masters to learn from. But just from seeing Khun Yay spit, I knew I found myself my teacher.
Khun Yay would have letter sized papers cut into four placed next to her urn. Whenever she would spit into it, she would cover it up with the paper immediately.
I asked her for her reasoning,
She replied, ‘I’m decrepit, not able to do much. I need my children’s help to empty the urns for me. Whatever I empty into the urn stays there. It ends up attracting flies. Laypeople who come and visit me will see this and feel disgusted, as well as the children who come to empty my urn.”
“But if I cover it with paper this way, they won’t feel as bad when they only see paper upon emptying,” said Khun Yay. Even in Thai culture, where elders are held with high respect, Khun Yay was still considerate of her children. This is an example of putting oneself in another’s shoes, which is known as empathy.
November 29th, 2017

What is Character?

It is anything that we do frequently to the point that it becomes a habit. Our actions can start off as something insignificant, but when done frequently, it grows to the point that when we don’t do this action, it can disrupt us and make us irritable. At this point, it has already become a habit.
Let’s make it clear, “anything done frequently will stick to us.” How do we know if a habit has already stuck to us? So the saying goes, “if we don’t do it, we become irritable. At that point, we sure it’s stuck”.
If we are attached to a habit that depraved, it’s urgent to give it up. Continuing this habit only accrues us bad kamma (demerit), closing the path to heaven and Nibanna. Being attached to the path of unwholesomeness only leads to loss. We should give up alcoholism and cigarettes. Being attached to cigarettes may end up in us being attached to a hospital bed.

Our Character Determines Whether Our Nature is Good or Bad

Since childhood, it’s fortunate children have well-intentioned parents who taught them to stray from doing wicked things.
However, the children whose parents are busy with work, who are left with their siblings, and who have never been well taught miss the opportunity to have goodness instilled into them and are not taught right from wrong. Thus the children’s bad habits may become ingrained, causing them to do untold amounts of mischief.
It is starting from one’s habits where the making of good and bad takes place in a person.
August 24, 2019

Repetition Makes for Good Performance

Doing good over and over eventually builds up to be good habit. We practice it to the point that it becomes part of our character.
Be careful of any dangers even it its consequences hasn’t reared its head. Consider this carefully, my children. When doing anything, don’t let it cause you any troubles in retrospect. If it causes you no trouble, then be certain that it’s good. But if it causes you trouble, then be certain that it’s bad.
In a word of monk, it’s known as the restraint of the senses. As for Thai people, it’s called a precaution. It’s good habit to practice what is certainly good.
Sometimes elders would scold you with, “rush into things without knowing how to think!”
What they mean is that, “Don’t rush into action without knowing whether it will cause you trouble ahead.”
August 8, 2019

Our Knowledge and Abilities are in the Hands of Our Character

A person of decent character, who is humble, clean, honest, takes his knowledge and abilities for a benefit. However, one whose character is depraved, heedless, lazy, selfish, will take his knowledge and use it to his own advantage.

Your Character is What Makes or Breaks You

A person who’s developed his character well will thrive anywhere he goes. How educated he is or how well dispositioned he is is besides the point, with any company or title he attains, the work becomes developed to be better. Any country he’s in becomes better. That’s the magic of a fine character.
Vice versa, with someone whose basis of character is rooted in unwholesomeness, with any family, work, or country he’s in is bound to meet problems. Therefore, the prosperity of a country depends on the habits of their inhabitants. If we want to develop Thailand, we have to start with developing the morality of our citizens even at a young age. Whether you’re a layperson or a Bhikku, you should develop your character to be a better person. This will help make Thailand a better place.
Therefore, if we want Buddhism to prosper, if we want Thailand to prosper, we must start with ourselves first and foremost.

Your Character Shapes Your Kamma

This world is subject to the law of kamma. Good results in good, bad results in bad. In accordance to this principle, our character becomes what shapes how our kamma takes effect. Good character influences us to do good kamma. Bad character forces us to commit bad kamma. If we would like to go to heaven and Nibanna, we should resolve to perform wholesome deeds and guide our destiny using our good character.

Character is More Important Than Knowledge

This is because worldly knowledge is just a tool. Ultimately it is up to our character on how we apply the knowledge.
The well-disposed person is likened to beneficially apply their knowledge.
And those with a bad character is likened to use their knowledge so it bears unwholesome results.

Principles for Purifying the Body, Speech, and Mind

When we began building our temple, I remembered Khun Yay remarking, “if you believe that I have the qualities of cleanliness and orderliness, then believe that we will be able to build a temple with 3,200 baht. Worry not, for it will surely be completed.”
Why did Khun Yay mention cleanliness and orderliness in regards to the construction of our temple?
Consider this,
The Dhamma is the body of teaching with the purpose of the purification of the mind, developing it to be brighter and pristine. The Vinaya is the body teaching with the purpose of training the body, speech, and mind to act in accordance, that is to have order and discipline in how we conduct ourselves.
First, keep the things around you clean and hygienic, whether it’s your body, things you usually use, and your surroundings, so that it’s clean and orderly.
Secondly, be aware of your conduct, whether in speech or action. Stay within the discipline in order to minimize conflict. Before you know it, you grow smarter as a result and your mind becomes more pristine by practicing according to these two principles.
The Buddha said to the community of monks that his Teachings are representative of himself. That is, by following his discipline to guard oneself from depravity and by purifying the mind to the utmost, we would be able to free ourselves from Dukkha and discover true peace and happiness. This was the power of Vinayapitaka.
January 17, 2018

Don’t Argue Before Bed

Before, our elders would follow this teaching: talk about good news in the morning to lift the spirits. If there was anything serious that needed to be addressed, it should also be addressed in the morning. This is because after a full nights sleep, we are still refreshed and in a good mood enough to take on criticism well.
There’s the condition, however, that anything serious or if someone needed to be reprimanded, don’t do it before bed time. Especially for your children, since they may be hurt enough run away for the night or have unrestful sleep.

The Qualifications of a Teacher

Three Qualifications of a Teacher

  1. Wisdom
  2. Compassion, in order inspire us to share our wisdom with our disciples
  3. Being without reservations, that is, having no conditions or expectations for any gain

Whether lecturing, teaching, or training any disciple, we do so without needing any praise from our out students, without needing them to honor us, we teach so they develop themselves further. Here it is, my children, the heart of teaching as it should be.
January 31st, 2018

How a Decision Should Be Made

One day, A Bhikku* asked Phra Sariputta how a decision should be made. He confessed that he knew what was right and wrong according to the Buddhist Vinaya principles, but between what should and should not be done, the matter was lost on him.
Phra Sariputta responded, “Bhikku, look ahead and see the effects of the action. See the consequences resulting from this action. An action which bears unwholesome results, whether now or in the future, is an action which should not be done. However, an action which bears wholesome results, whether now or in the future, is an action that should be done.”
How do we know what is wholesome and unwholesome? The Buddha already expounded on these topics, which are called The Ten Wholesome Actions and The Ten Unwholesome Actions. Therefore my children, we already have the knowledge, we must be able to give proper reason for our actions.
1 October 2519


When making any decision, don’t just think about what you’ll gain. Think also about the risk and dangers too. Whether it is something one should or should not do should be considered before taking action. Awareness of the consequences any thought, speech, and action becomes necessary should we heed the advice of, “seeing only the benefit is not enough, for one must also see the danger.”
2 September 2019

Children Who Do Not Help Each Other Do Their Chores Means That They Do Not Love Each Other

Let’s say that one’s children are to do their dishes, but when it comes time to do it, there’s no one to be found. Even when it comes to simply doing dishes, they fail to help each other. Whatever the reason is to throw the burden on each other does not matter, since no one actually enjoys doing chores involving cleaning, not to mention doing the dishes!
The question then is, how do we get them to stop throwing the burden on each other?
Parents should teach them the proper methods to cleaning first, whether it is dishes, teach them what is considered clean and how to clean.
Then, teach them how to organize their possessions quickly and efficiently, so they are able to help each other rather that argue with each other. If they’re able to help each other in their chores, they will love each other starting from childhood.
Teach them not to see doing housework and cleaning as something low class or meant for maids. This will teach them to not throw their responsibilities onto other people.
If all they can see is that it’s dirty, they won’t see beyond that and will refuse to stoop themselves to cleaning something dirty. This will be a point of conflict, preventing the home to be a refuge for everyone.
But if parents are able to teach their children to help each other and to be able to clean, they will get along better, allowing the home to be a refuge. That is the point.
7 February 2018

Learn To Be an Worker in Order To Be a Leader

Before you can be a leader, it’s necessary to invest time into seeing how the work is done as a subordinate. Get broken into the work, get experience and knowledge and develop your endurance. Let the tough work teach you, while doing so without a word of complaint.
Then when we are ready, we will find success in the bigger projects. This is the reward that comes from our patience of having invested the time to train without giving up halfway in.
8 October 2019

It is Hard Work Which Develops Oneself

Work which is tough and tedious becomes a tool that pulls out ones abilities to the test. One who has perseverance will see their lives improve. Whenever your parents pulled you into doing some tough labor, don’t give up so quickly and try to get out doing work. Grit your teeth and do it. If you get stuck on anything, ask. The work will be completed successfully and your abilities, skills, and experiences will improve too.
9 October 2019

Knowing One’s Worth

 A big hearted person is one who knows their capabilities and limits and does the most that they can without curbing their honest effort. With his diligence, he enjoys the fruits of his labor, including those around him who witnessed and benefit as well. This type of person is also known as being the bigger man.
Those who don’t know their own worth, that is, one who can’t gauge ones abilities, will attempt any work half heartedly. Yet having ability and skill, the outcome of their work does not meet expectations.
We came here to be as big hearted as mountains and open minded as the ocean, allowing us to exercise the full extent of our abilities. When we attempt any work, do it with our full efforts, not with our curbed efforts.
10 October 2019

Pass on Doing Bad and Don’t Let Doing Good Pass You By

Our lives are not long. No one can foresee how long ones life is. It is not something that can be determined ahead of time. Therefore, hurry and pass up on doing anything bad and unwholesome, and with that which is good, make haste to take up the opportunity and do good. Think first to save oneself. Do good to the best of ones ability so one can be a refuge for oneself.
13 October 2019

The More the Love, the More the Tears

Love, especially love between a man and a woman, can be described as suffering disguised as happiness, like poison coated with sugar.
Along with love comes the worry that one day the source of this love will leave us, and so this worry stays in our hearts. Eventually, this unchecked worry grows into possessiveness. That possessiveness then grows into jealousy, and the more jealous one becomes, the more one experiences suffering.
One love brings one sorrow, hundreds of loves bring hundreds of sorrows. To be said more simply, the more the love, the more the tears.
And so, with no love comes no tears, leaving our happiness and peace of mind undisturbed.
15 October 2019

Don’t Be a Sack of Potatoes!

Where ever you may be, whether at home or at the temple, there are generally two roles that people end up choosing:
1. One is the occupant
2. One is the owner
Anyone who acts as an occupant turns the other cheek when encountering dirtiness, thinking that it is not their mess nor is it their problem. There’s no need to wait around and see if they will take the opportunity to clean up a mess someone else left behind because that day won’t come. Instead, they’ll push that opportunity away given the chance.
16 October 2019

Avoid Causing Problems Later Down the Road

“Whatever wouldn’t cause problems later down the road is worth doing because they’re wholesome actions.”
“Whatever ends up causing problems for you later down the road isn’t worth doing as they’re unwholesome actions.”
Whatever that would not cause you to end up in court, jail, hell, spiritual or material losses, go ahead and do it anyways.
17 October 2019

Suitable Time and Place for a Warning

It’s natural that no one would enjoy being criticized. The best way to approach the subject is to find a suitable time to give them advice. Don’t forget to make sure they’re in a good mood too! See whether they’re ready to accept the criticism, otherwise they may become unhappy.
For example, warning a person when they’re hungry, sleepy, or feeling ill will be not well received and can even lead to conflict.
Furthermore, one should be aware of their tone when speaking. Approaching someone aggressively will escalate the situation, opening the situation for conflict.
Or if saying something backhanded, it can be taken as a joke, or the person will feel that they’re being insulted. Therefore, a sincere tone is important.
And lastly, before giving them criticism or advice, see their reasoning first. Perhaps they were in the right all along, making our advice unnecessary, thus avoiding potential conflict.

13 October 2019

Care Enough to Warn

Whenever anyone gives us a warning, whether they actually misunderstood and we were not at fault, try and see through the situation and understand that the person who summon the courage to confront us did so out of goodwill. It is said, “if they don’t care about us, they wouldn’t bother to warn us anyway.”
Therefore, the first thing that should come out of our mouths when answering them is a “thank you.” After that, should you feel free to explain the situation.
It’s best to give a gesture of gratitude, as the consequence of talking back at them or becoming insulted is that in the future, they won’t dare to warn you about the things that may truly matter.
Given that they don’t understand or accept your explanation, stay cool and keep a smile on. Save the explanation for a better and more suitable time.
20 October 2019

Advice for Warning Your Friends

Let’s say when our friends are in the middle of warning us, and as they’re talking, thought pops up in our mind, “oh, well I have something I wanted to warn them about too!”
Wait before you warn them in that conversation or else your friend will think that you’re only returning the favor.
Space out the warning so as to defuse the situation. Give it a night or two before giving them a warning after the fact would be best. If necessary, then wait an hour after the conversation to let them know.
13 October 2019

What Makes Something “Good” or “Bad”?

How do we decide whether something is good or bad if we don’t have a measurement for it? We do not have a scale that tells us how bad or good something is, so how can we know?
The Lord Buddha once said, “a good deed is something that doesn’t cause us trouble later on, while a bad deed is something which surely causes us trouble later on.”
Therefore, the consequences of our deeds have to be carefully considered before taking action, as these four points worth considering.

1.The consequences of health for an individual or a public
2. The consequences would have an impact on those around you, society or legally.
3. The consequences of effect on economy.
4. The consequences increase or decrease our defilements and make a habit of good or bad towards us or a pubic.

These four factors should be taken into consideration before acting.
The Teachings on the end of Buddhist Lent

23 October 2019

An Honest Man Will Always Do His Best

Whose who possess the Buddhist perfection of Sacca will have a simple principle, “whatever is done must be done to the best of my ability.”
We must keep in mind though, that if we do not develop our abilities and skills, the best work we do compared to our friends who are deviated to improving themselves may funnily enough be the worst in the group.
24 October 2019

Nothing a Liar Won’t Do

Sacca, one of the ten Buddhist perfections, means integrity and sincerity. It means to be honest and truthful.
One who practices the art of being dishonest is someone who has no one behind him, as the heart of Sacca and truthfulness is trust.
Lord Buddha said “There’s nothing evil in this world that a liar couldn’t do” In other words, a man, though knowing a truth, still lies, is someone who has not a shred of morality left in him.
26 October 2019

Do Not Lie Even for Jest

The Buddha said to his son Rahul “Rahula, think of an overturned cup emptied of water so that not a drop is left. This is like a man who chooses to lie, he empties himself of virtue so not a drop is remaining.”
“Thus, remember Rahula, don’t speak an untruth even in jest” said the Buddha.
Therefore children, listen to me carefully, don’t speak a word of untruth even when joking, as doing that in itself accrues demerit.

To Lie, You Must Lie to Yourself First

In order to lie, you must first destroy the original image of the truth and come up with a new story. Just like with a television, when the signal cuts off, the image becomes distorted, even though the sound is crystal clear. You’re unable to see the original image.
The person who enjoys lying must use his imagination to distort the truth, causing the original memory of what happened to be distorted also. In the end, he’s unable to tell the difference between a truth and a lie, between what truly happened and what false memory he constructed in his mind. The effect of lying can only cause problems for him, both in his personal and social life.
28 October 2019

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Whoever makes up our company ends up being a reflection of the type of person we are. That’s because we tend to flock with people who share the same habits as we do.
If we like to be around people who are good, then their habits and virtues may rub onto us. The same goes if we choose to stay in the company of trouble makers, their behaviors and characteristics end up shaping how we think and behave. Simply hanging with the wrong crowd can be enough to ruin a man.
Therefore, it’s very important to carefully consider person you associate with; as the following proverb, “keep company with good men and good men you’ll learn to be, however company with knaves will make a good man depraved.”
29 October 2019

Propriety of Giving

When talking about philanthropy, it’s best that the things we give are things that they actually need and are appropriate, making sure that there’s enough for everyone. It would be best if the alms was something that could be developed and provided continual gain, rather than something disposable.
For example, giving a man rice will only sustain him for a day. Teach him how to plant rice may sustain him for the rest of his life. But we should consider the needs first, if he’s hungry and has no rice, go ahead and give him rice!
30 October 2019

Power and Magnanimity

I am someone who you can say has a lot of friends around them. My underlings are considerate of me because I respect their boundaries. I have both power and benevolence in their eyes. You can compare this to being both the sun and the moon.
To be the sun means that you’re able to protect them from possible dangers, so you have their reverence.
To be the moon means you offer them encouragement and support. You’re able to provide them protection in the form of food, clothes, and shelter. You have their love and gratitude in this respect.
People who can be both the sun and the moon, possessing both power and magnanimity, can be leaders.
On the contrary, whoever exercises power over others can merely force them without winning their hearts. Once losing power, they will become meaningless in the eyes of their followers.
31 October 2019

Dedicate Merit to Your Ancestors

If no one has gratitude for the good that others have done for them…
…We will be left with a world where no one feels inspired to help each other.
To Progress, One Must Consult Their Masters
If you seek knowledge and advancement you need to find a master (teacher). Get close to them, ask them questions, help them. You will improve immediately.
1 November 2019

Putting Out a Fire with the First Blow

Fire and wind together have a curious relationship. Wherever there’s a fire, wind is sure to follow. The wind at first isn’t strong, yet as the fire grows, the wind grows too, causing the fire to whip up a flame. At this point, the fire may become unmanageable since the wind is growing stronger. Therefore, the elders would say, “put out a fire with the first blow.”
As such, one should correct any mistake immediately. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in an even bigger mess due to this mistake later on! Even worse, we may even develop the habit of being negligent in our work. One should develop the habit of fixing any mistake as soon as it happens.
3 November 2019

Only Waiting but Never Doing

Don’t wait to perform good deeds. With every passing day, we come closer to the day that we will be buried in our caskets! From now on, we should open our eyes to the opportunities to do good in this world. Seize the day, my children. Don’t wait!
4 April 2019

Restraining Oneself from Badness

In the event of improving ourselves, sometimes it’s necessary to exert our efforts, maybe even to the extent of strong arming our minds to break off a habit.
By the common saying, if there’s no pain, there’s no gain. If it isn’t something that goes against the grain of our behavior, one can not be so sure to call it improvement.
Going against the wishes of ourselves and strong arming our mind may be painful, even if it doesn’t actually physically hurt us. It is natural when improving ourselves and breaking off bad habits for the better, we would feel uncomfortable, unsatisfied, and perhaps even ashamed. Remember this though, in the end, we will surely be rewarded for it.
5 November 2019

Forgive Easily to Let Go of Anger

Imagine a situation where we meet someone who 5 years before had caused us grief, we immediately felt displeased. What we have done is caged that person in our mind as someone who is blameworthy.
The effect that this has on our mind causes us to think irrationally. Because our mind has lost sense of reason, the effects of this tends to pop up in our meditation. Our mind wanders to this person again and again, causing us grief, and as we can see, this is the effect of failing to forgive others easily.
11 April 2018

Poor because You Don’t Know When Enough is Enough. Rich Because You Know When Enough is Enough

The Lord Buddha said there were two types of rich people as well as two types of poor people.
Types of poor people

  • Type 1: One is poor as they don’t have enough income/assets. It’s possible that one day they will be rich.
  • Type 2: One is poor as they never know when enough is enough. Whatever they earn or comes into their pockets become spent, never gaining wealth. This person is poor indefinitely.

Types of rich people

  • Type 1: One is rich as they have a lot of wealth.
  • Type 2: One is rich as they are satisfied with money and assets that they have. Even though their bank account isn’t filled with mountains of cash, they’re able to manage their wealth and even have money saved for charitable causes, never carelessly spending their cash. This is another type of person who is considered rich.

16 January 2018

Training Starts from When They’re in Diapers

If you would like a good child, you must think about the example you’re setting for them starting from when they’re in diapers. Raising a child well depends on the standard of cleanliness tidiness you’re setting for them from an early age.
This age is critical. Being clean is not enough, as one should have their surroundings organized and tidy. When the child sees the parent organizing their room and placing things in the right area, they learn just by seeing. When one’s surroundings are unclean and messy, the mind comes to reflect its surroundings and becomes clouded.
With a clouded mind, it becomes lackluster and the child loses a sense of creativity. He throws his things around without caring about the consequences. He feels free to take out his emotions on his friends.
However, if we don’t look at the issue of cleanliness and tidiness lightly and instill these values for our children, our children will know to be well mannered since they were in diapers. Such is the importance of these habits.

11 April 2018

Revenge is Never Worth It, Especially in Your Next Life

Imagine a situation where one begs for forgiveness and the other, rather than forgiving, instead harbors a grudge. That grudge becomes something that sticks with one throughout their lives. Whenever both people encounter each other, there is a malevolent spark of distaste, even when one may not remember the grudge was about in the first place!
The Lord Buddha said that, “forgiveness is a characteristic of a saint.”
When someone asks for forgiveness, forgive immediately. Do not leave it as a scar in your mind.
If you do not do it right away, when you meet that person again in your next life, you will know “hate at first sight!”

Life is so short!

We never know how long we would end up living. We did not come into this world with an expiration date. We can’t be so certain that we would be able to make it to our 80’s, 70’s or even 60’s.
Because in reality, failing to breathe in or out and even failing to breathe at all is all it takes to end a human life.
As such, upon hearing the unfortunate news of someone’s passing, let it be a reminder for us to do our best in the moment and to do good deeds while we still have time. Make it a point for yourself to accumulate merit through good actions as much as possible rather than delaying such virtuous actions.
Persuade others, particularly your relatives to make merit as well. Especially with the younger generation, act as a role model for them and invite them to do good deeds with you.
23 February 2015

Speak Without Thinking Causes Our Loss Without Our Knowing

We should not spread malicious news if we do not first know the truth of it.
This news alone makes our mind clouded. The news that we spread to other people have the same effect, in turn causing their minds to become clouded and lose their brightness. Without us knowing, we have already caused demerit to happen by sharing news that pollutes the mind.
If the information we spread happens to be fake news, we have a part in sharing false information to other people. Thereby the kamma we commit includes the kamma of false speech.
Before, speaking was the primary cause of committing merit and/or demerit. But now with the development of technology, pressing the “like” and “share” button is a kammic action too.
Therefore, we should be wary of sharing news that contain malicious misinformation. If we take part in the chain of spreading information, we could unintentionally be part of the wave of fake news, therefore being part of the kammic wave of demerit.
23 February 2015

Choosing What to Speak of

The Lord Buddha taught us that whatever we have seen or heard, it is better not to speak of it should it gain us demerit.
We need to consider what we saw by our eyes whether it is something worth speaking of. The Buddha taught that before we speak what others have said or of things we have seen, we should verify the truth of it first.
Moreover, if the matter has been proven to be true, the Buddha warned us not speak of it if it gains us demerit.
23 February 2015

Speaking to Diminish Demerit and Gain Merit

Whatever we have heard, seen, and verified, if it should diminish our demerit and gain us merit, are things which should be spoken. Actually, should we gain more merit, it becomes more necessary to speak. *
Speak of the good and virtuous things others have done, their actions and venerable behaviors, or venerable actions we have performed. These are things which when spoken of, diminish our demerit and gain us merit in return.
*The point here is that we do not speak for the purpose of gaining merit in the same manner as gaining currency, but rather how much merit points to the magnitude of its intrinsic virtue. The amount of merit is an indicator for us to see how valuable and pure our speech is. Words which gain us more merit lifts us from suffering and guides us towards purifying and developing oneself i.e., Samma Ditthi.

23 February 2015

The Many Levels of Endurance

Enduring wind and sunlight is a small matter when compared to the patience it takes to deal with social conflicts and one’s inner defilements.
It is not difficult to tolerate getting blamed or cursed, but what is difficult is not be pleased when getting praised. Being too pleased will lead to haughtiness. We have lost people this way due to haughtiness.
In our organization, we deal with money when handling donations and funds for large projects. We have lost people this way as they were tempted when having access to large funds.
Failing to tolerate our defilements is what breaks us. The art of learning to endure working with others and our own defilements is what we gain from our field of work.
7 February 2019

Unpunctuality Can Spoil a Person

A person who feels confined by deadlines, routines, and schedules often fails to follow through timeliness. This kind of person does things according to their mood, having not the discipline to train themselves to be consistent.
If one wants to find completion in their endeavors, they ought to follow through with the plans they have prepared, rather than letting their wantonness pull them by the nose.

The Mind Will Not Stay With Us If It Feels That We Are Unclean

After getting up in the morning with feeling refreshed and ready for the day, the mind encounters some particularly foul words. At that point, the mind loses its good mood and takes its leave, exiting the body.
Encountering a messy room with leftover food laying about, the mind feels disgusted and exits the comfort of the body.
On the other hand, if the body, speech, and thoughts are clean along with our surroundings, the mind feels at calm and serene, being at ease and pleased to stay centered within our bodies.
7 September 2018

In This World, There Are Two Types of People; True Friends and False Friends

There are four types of the false friends:

  1. The Swindler
  2. The “All talk but no substance”
  3. The Flatterer
  4. The Bar crawler

The counterpart to the false friends are the four types of true friends:

  1. Friend who dares to be your refuge
  2. Friend who is there for you through the good and the bad. They dare to risk their life for you.
  3. Friend who is your counsel, who dares to warn you even if it may displease you.
  4. Friend who has your back, who supports and protects you.
The Development of Right View

Developing right view starts with two components. It starts with the Kalayanamitra [a friend who brings you onto the right path] guides one socially. But internally is Yosomanasigarn, which is known as reasoned attention, which guides one’s mind towards Right View.
Even when one has the company of kalayanamitra, without reasoned attention, development of right view cannot progress.
The Buddha’s attendant, Phra Ananda, asked whether a kalayanamitra is a contributing factor for paving one’s way on the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Buddha answered that, “Ananda. The kalayanamitra points out the faults of one and guides them towards correcting their actions. The kalayanamitra is the sole factor that develops the Right View in one.”
While we have kalyanamitra as friends who help us point out our faults, the deepest level of the kalyanamitra is the Buddha within*.
*Also known as Buddha nature, Dhammakaya (Dhamma Body)
3 January 2019

Telling a Lie

How does one know when someone is insincere with us? When they tell a lie.
When we tell a lie to someone who loves us, this will cause their love to falter. Vice versa, our love and trust for someone diminishes when we are lied to. With this in mind, let it be known that sincerity is something that everyone in this world wishes for.

In Lowering Our Ego

One should make oneself like a doormat, that is, a doormat serves the function of cleaning people’s feet*. It does something which is considered the lowliest, but it does not complain. Have you ever seen a doormat complain about being dirtied? Never!
Elders would use this comparison when talking about livelihoods. One should devote their strength and their ability to do the best they can, no matter what grade of work is offered to them without disdain and judgement. All they ask for is that the work being done is honest.
Master Nun Chandra would always say that even if she was offered work to clear bedpans, she would take it as it is honest work. But if one were to have her steal, she would never lower herself to take up such a prospect. She made herself like a doormat, no matter how she was rebuked, she would get only the respectable jobs
One should take this as their example and be willing to lower themselves for honest work. Doing so will allow us to avoid conflicts and find peace.

The Mind Like the Earth

Hot wax, which drips, spills, and is overlay messy, can be compared to the characteristics of the mind. However, the Buddha gave a sermon to Bhikkhu Rahula that the mind can be molded after the earth,
“Rahula, do you think that the earth becomes pleased when someone spills perfume on it? No, it is indifferent. And when someone spills something foul on it? Yet the same, the earth remains indifferent.
Make your mind like so. Should anyone come to disturb your peace of mind and find some business with you, you maintain your mind firm and steady like the earth. By doing so, you will be able to eliminate your defilements quickly.”
Do as the earth does and the Dhamma will take root in your mind, enabling it to sprout and bear its fruits. But because our mind is like beeswax, caving in to any little pressure, we are vulnerable to the words and actions of others. A little bit of wind from someone’s speech is enough to hurt us! This is setting us up for a long life of pain and dissatisfaction with every little thing.
Make our mind like the earth and that will enable our mind to be the foundation to receive the lessons in virtue, enabling the growth of our own Dhamma. In the end, we would have peace and happiness as our reward.
Take this as a lesson to implement in your family. If each person in the family were to do this, there would be more harmony in the world. Because families would get along better, there would be less conflict, leading to parents and children staying together as a whole unit.

Mistakes and Blunders

The mistakes a person makes are due to a lack of knowledge to properly assess the situation.
Blunders are due to a lapse in focus and awareness, i.e. failing to pay attention.
However, when one knows that one is making a mistake or blunder yet continues to do so knowing full well the consequences, this is considered to be immoral.
One who upholds Buddhism would refuse to do anything immoral or debased. They accept when they make a mistake and or blunder, however, they draw the line when it transgresses into immorality and depravity.
Bhikkhus, if you remember this in your heart, this will strengthen your intention to uphold the Buddhist Vinaya*.
The speech, body and mind will respectively become purer as well as you will feel encouraged to devote yourself to pursue perfections.

Luang Por must remind himself often....

Every birthday, I like to go look back onto the year and reflect on what I’ve done so far. I ask myself, “How was I able to pursue perfections until now, despite the insurmountable obstacles that paved the way?”
Especially with the huge undertaking of the temple construction, we were still able to find success with its completion.
My dear children, though I may not know the reason for the large amount of obstacles I’ve faced, I do not back down. I continue to move forward towards my goals.

Being resentful

That is to say, the problems in society that we see come from the habits that are instilled from how people live their lives at home. These habits are not only personal problems, but are also problems that cause conflict between one from a small scale onto the bigger scale too. Why are we different from one another?
The reason that humans are different from each other is due to their differences in kamma, which is unique to each individual. But what has the most impact on a person’s views, habits, competence, and level of virtue, is how they were raised from birth, that is, from the level of care given by their mother and father.
Another factor that influences the differences between individuals lies in their habits: the quality and the variety of each individual’s habits has an impact on the bigger picture of society: whether people have coarse attributes in their personality, e.g. taking the easy out, being stingy.

The life goal of the ordinand

Those who ordain with the intention of training themselves to the fullest extent must do so seriously, as to slack in their duties is unsuitable for one who has devoted their life to ridding their defilements.
The main task of the ordinand, and one of the noblest endeavor, is to rid his mind of defilements and attain Nibanna*. Those who diligently pursue this goal will uproot the hindrances in their mind while paving the path towards Nibanna.
One once asked Luang Pu Wat Paknam where Nibanna is. He answered smilingly, “It’s within yourself! Close your eyes and and you’ll see it.”
Nibanna is the Pali (Language of the Lord Buddha) name of the more common Sanskrit “Nirvana”

How to change the habit?

Breaking a bad habit, though easy to say, is not the easiest thing to do! Despite being an arduous endeavor, it is still something required of us if we wish to tread the path of self development. However much or little progress we make, our effort is worthwhile. Little by little with perseverance, the day will come when we’re able to fully break that awful habit.
At the beginning of Buddha’s path to pursing perfections, he was an ordinary person, which made him susceptible to the ups and downs of the cycle of existence. Having been born as a tiger, elephant, deer, etc, he was also born as a beggar, sometimes a king, and even as a philosopher.
When he stumbled on his path as a Bodhisattva, he got up and continued to diligently correct his mistakes, as one can see from stories of his past lives.
As self-proclaimed Buddhists, we are want to follow in footsteps of the Lord Buddha.
When we know what habits we must break, we must put in that effort and simply do it. Do it once, twice, one hundred times. Do it over and over until it becomes a habit. In no time, we will become used to the quality of goodness.

Where do Ogres come from?

Ogres actually used to be human, like us. But as a human, their main flaw was that they had the tendency to get angry. Even when doing good, their temper flared up without warning.
For instance, when giving an alms offering, having the good intention of wanting to do their best, they rush and hasten their cook and helpers.
Anyone who helps them displeases them. They complain about all and nothing with anger as a thorn in their side. Even if the monks came early or late, they likened to complain.
Even when listening to a sermon from a monk, they gets distracted by others, becoming annoyed by this person, by that person, irritated by anything with anger as the root cause.
Though their mind was generous and wished for the best, the friend that always remained at their side was anger. Though they reap the fruition of their merits just like others who perform the same deeds, the fruits of their good deeds end up being bruised and battered.
Instead of being born as an angel like others who have done the same deeds as them, they are reborn as Ogres.

When we encounter an issue with our health

When we encounter an issue with our health, don’t jump to someone to save us, but try to save ourselves first.
We should investigate what exactly is imbalanced with our health. Think back over the past few days and weeks and review our routine: was there anything we did differently that would affect our health? Take this information and present it to our doctor. Sometimes we might be right or wrong with our observations. With his expertise, the doctor will take this information and be able to cure the underlying problem. In no time, your symptoms will start to improve.

Paying homage by bowing and performing wai

Paying homage by bowing and performing wai* is a gesture of respect for those we recognize as virtuous. That is, having realized the degree of goodness in those worthy of respect, one comes to the conclusion that simply recognizing their virtue does not cut it- it becomes one’s duty to honor those with the humble act of bowing.
To respect those who are worthy means to recognize their virtues, whether it is through their actions or habits. If we look beyond that, we look into how they are virtuous, how their goodness is expressed and how they conduct themselves. By doing so, not only are we able to recognize their goodness, but to also model ourselves after their best parts.
When we are not willing to humble ourselves and bow from the beginning, this lets our ego take hold of our judgement. When our ego is doing the judging, it naturally spoils us with a greater sense of self importance.
And so rather than seeing the good in others and acting accordingly, this ego guides us to see only the flaws and mistakes in others, even to the extent of looking for something to criticize in others.
Nowadays, we can see that we have a culture of judgement in the various circles of our lives. People actively seek the worst in others.
Students looking for something to criticize of their teachers, teachers looking for something to criticize in their students, seniors and juniors judging one another, even coworkers are looking for flaws in their fellow colleagues. In the end, no one can praise each other, since they fail to see the good in others and look for only faults.
If we continue to let this culture of judgement thrive, it will be a huge detriment to the harmony of society. The key to solving this problem, however, is by respect; that is finding the virtues in others, “jab dee,” translated literally into “catching the good” in others.

Becoming the Lord Buddha

Before the Lord Buddha came to understand and teach the Dhamma in its totality, he underwent the trial of pursuing perfections for uncountable aeons as a testament to the purity of his teachings.
With Buddhahood being no easy task, a Buddha to come into being is a truly rare occurrence. What is more rare, however, is the chance for one to be able to listen to the Dhamma from the Buddha himself. Even in our current world where Buddhism prospers, there are many who have gone without hearing the Dhamma.
Hence, the Tripitaka, containing the totality the Lord Buddha’s teaching, is very precious. To be able to practice Buddhism in this modern day, and for us to have the chance to learn Buddhism firsthand, we should not only read through the Tripitaka once but many times.
By reading the Tripitaka, we’ll be extremely grateful to the Buddha and we would be encouraged to dedicate our lives to follow his teachings, all of which develop us towards the attainment of inner peace, until our minds and the Dhamma are completely united as one.

Heart of Administration Lies in How Problems Are Solved

Having a skill in problem solving means to be able to adequately size up a problem and apply the means to achieve a solution without compromising ones morals. What this means is that the solution must provide results without detriment to oneself, one’s organization, and one’s society.
In the case where his or her organization has depleted its funds and finds itself in a corner, the administrator resists resorting to corrupt means or actions which goes against his morals for the sake of getting out of a rut.
The skillful administrator is mindful of the consequences of any decision. He uses his senses to make a decision rather than letting the heat of the moment disturb his peace of mind. Rather than acting on their emotions and creating more problems as a result, he takes proper action in order to contain or solve the problem.
Hence, the good administrator relies not on ability alone, but he always acts in accordance to the set of principles he has defined for himself. In other words, he knows what is makes the difference between unwholesomeness and unwholesomeness and is able to determine between should and should not.
One who understands the importance of having principles is one who holds his principles close to his heart at all times.

The Most Magnanimous Investors in The World

If one were to compare one’s parents to investors, they can easily be regarded as the world’s kindest investors.
Not only do parents glance over the amount of money invested, unlike regular investors, they don’t think “when will there be a return on the money I put into this?”
When their child has finished school and are ready to enter the workplace, parents even offer their children the gift of their own investment as they enter adulthood. Such is the generosity of the kindest investors.
This type of investor who doesn’t count pennies and are always compassionate in the end can only be our parents. This benevolence is just one of the many virtues of their parents that a child will come to honor.

Nothing Raises the Spirits Faster Than Encouraging Words

When it comes to heeding one’s awareness, you may have heard these words of advice from elders, “when alone, guard your thoughts. When with friends, guard your speech.”
Even if it’s well-spoken, lacking thoughtfulness can result in miscommunication between one another. This is especially the case when one speaks harshly, as it means that one is one is willing to cause conflict and even exacerbate the issue.
The result of how one conducts their speech can turn friends into enemies, and as a result, opens up opportunities for mistreatment.
Therefore, one should keep in mind that nothing is as swift of encouragement as words, vice versa, nothing is as swift of discouragement as words.
In the Lord Buddha’s words, “One should speak skillfully without poor speech. One who practices skillful speech paves the road to success, while one who practices poor speech wills himself to risk disharmony.”

Developing Both Our Moral and Worldly Knowledge

A knowledgeable man without morals can be compared to a grenade without a safety lock, invariably able to explode at any moment’s notice.
When concerned with only the development of worldly and knowledgeable endeavors, the worldly man will encounter defilements possessing his mind due to him neglecting to develop his character. This will force him to act in ways unbecoming of his his knowledge and disposition.
Hence, the key to human development is to develop man both in the way of the world and in the way of morals. This development in morality is described as Dhamma, where one purifies the mind. Simultaneously developing man in these two facets will build the foundation to develop society as a whole.

Have firm principles - Upholding what is right as the standard

As Buddhists, we must adhere to best practice first in anything we think, speak, or do.
We must be clear here, not allowing our emotions to lead us in work, but rather let principles lead. Regarding matters related to Dhamma, uphold best practices according to the teachings left by the Lord Buddha. However, in matters concerning the world, then we must abide by the best practices in this field.
We shouldn’t use our temper on anyone. If we let our temper affect other people, it will cause conflict and damages to ourselves, our families, and ultimately to Buddhism. We must be clear in upholding best practice as standard, not letting emotions get in the way.
February 8th, 2015