Notes on January 2009 Activity
A talk By Ven. Sompoch Sripund
in Ratanapannya Meditation Center, Wildomar, California, Feb. 7, 2009, 10:00am
After a group Pali chant welcome led by the senior monks at the center, Ven. Sompoch delivered a thirty minute talk about meditation.
“Although the method is quite easy, many people are still afraid of sitting down quietly and 'do nothing' on a mat.” Ven. Sompoch began his talk with this humorous observation.
He mentioned that there are four foundations of meditation in the Thai tradition, which are based on the description in the Pali canon. These foundations are the fourfold contemplation to be practiced after one has completed the exercise of tranquilizing one's mind: (1) contemplating one's body as defiled; (2) contemplating one's feelings as painful; (3) contemplating one's mind as constantly changing and (4) contemplating things in general as devoid of inherent existence.
He said the purpose of mediation is to have the direct experiences of the Four Noble Truths. Through meditation, suffering could be moved completely or at least “can be lowered.”
But the practice is hard, “our mind tends to be move around in meditation ... we need to train our mind,” he said.
The first foundation is meditation on the breath. “We have breath, but we never use it in this way.”
A well-trained mind becomes sharp, clear and stable. “We use our mind to know and see the cause of suffering,” the Venerable said, “then we uproot the root.”
A beginner can start to meditate around 20 or 30 minutes, and make it longer as our concentration develops.
Participants then meditated 30 minutes after the talk. Venerable Jue Wei gave a talk on meditation from “humanistic Buddhist perceptive.”
After some more beautiful chanting we had a potluck lunch with the monks there. Everybody enjoyed the fresh after-rain air and sunshine in the suburban mountain city.
Venerable Sompoch then brought us to a local Indian reservation site. We were warmly welcomed and guided by the retired tribe leader, Vincent. Everybody begun another wonderful experience of the native Indian ten thousand year’s culture in the valley.