(Cartoon) For You The Newcomer

The truth is that
Dhamma is extremely close to us.
It is so close that we can say
it is about ourselves.
The Dhamma’s aim is simple
how to be free from suffering.
When we study Dhamma,
we should look directly into
“where suffering is, how suffering arises
and how to end suffering.”
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To be successful in the study of Dhamma
means to practice until suffering is eradicated.
It is not about the amount of worldly knowledge acquired
or the ability to explain Dhamma elaborately and beautifully.
The truth is that
the suffering we experience
lies within our body and mind.
The field of study for Dhamma
is actually inside of us.
Instead of looking to the outside world for learning,
we may look inwardly at our own selves.
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The method is simple,
just observe our body and mind closely.
We can start by simply
looking at our physical body.
The first step is to relax.
There is no need to be tense or to think about practicing Dhamma.
We just watch our own body.
It does not matter how observant we are,
just be as natural as we can.
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Once at ease,
we can see the whole body.
We watch it as if it were a robot…
walking, moving, chewing,
swallowing food and excreting waste.
If we can watch as a neutral observer at this robot-body,
which we call “ours”, performing its tasks,
we can see that the body is not really ours.
It is something that is constantly changing.
It’s components have substances
moving in and out all the time,
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such as air
when breathing in and out,
food and drinks when we consume,
and waste matter when we go to the toilet.
It is dynamic and unstable.
By simply observing the body,
our clinging to the wrong view
that the body is “ours” will eventually fade.
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Then, we will see that
there is some other nature, which we call mind,
that is aware of this body and resides within it.
Once we can see that this body is just
an aggregate of constantly changing elements
and not ours,
let us study further and try to observe
what is hidden inside it.
What we will see are feelings,
sometimes happy,
sometimes unhappy
and other times indifferent.
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For example,
as we observe this robot-body moving around,
soon we will see aching, pain, thirst, hunger
and some other discomforts arising.
However, once these unsatisfactory feelings pass,
we will again feel comfortable.
This is happiness arising.
Or when we are thirsty,
we drink some water
and the unhappiness caused by thirst is gone.
Or when we sit for a long time
and begin to feel the pain,
we feel the discomfort.
Once we adjust the body position,
the unpleasantness goes away
and again we feel happiness arising.
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Sometimes when we fall sick,
we are aware of physical suffering
for longer periods of time.
For example,
when we have a toothache continuously for days,
if we closely monitor the pain we will discover that
the discomfort arises from somewhere between the tooth and gum.
Though both the tooth and gum do not suffer.
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The body is like a robot,
it is not in pain and yet the discomfort is there.
The body does not feel happy, unhappy or indifferent.
Though these feelings arise from somewhere within.
Moreover, these feelings are being observed
the same way as the body itself.
And when we study more deeply
we can see that as suffering arises,
the mind becomes agitated and unhappy.
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Some examples are
when we are hungry, we get upset more easily.
when we are tired, we get angry more easily.
when we have fever, we get agitated more easily.
and when our desires are not met, we get irritated more easily.
We can be aware of the anger
that arises when faced with suffering.
On the other hand,
when we see beautiful sights, hear pleasing sounds,
smell pleasant fragrances, taste delicious flavors,
feel a soft touch or a comfortable temperature,
not too hot and not too cold
or think of pleasant thoughts,
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we will feel liking and satisfaction
with such sights, sounds, fragrances,
tastes, touches and thoughts.
Once we are aware of pleasant
and unpleasant feelings as they arise,
we can similarly become aware of other feelings
such as
doubtfulness, vengeance,
depression, jealousy, disdain,
cheerfulness and tranquility of mind as well.
When we study these feelings further,
we will begin to realize that
they themselves are not stable.
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For example, when we are angry
and become conscious of the anger,
we can detect the constant change
in the intensity of this anger.
Eventually, it will fade and disappear.
Whether or not the feeling of anger disappears,
what is important is that
the anger is seen as an object to be observed,
not belonging to us.
There is no “us” in the anger.
We can observe other feelings
with this same understanding.
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At this point we can see that
our body is like a robot.
And, the feelings of happiness, unhappiness and all others
are just objects to be observed
and do not belong to us.
The more we understand about the process of our minds,
the more evident is the truth that suffering
only arises when there is a cause.
We will find that there is a natural impulse,
or force within our mind.
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For example, when a man sees a beautiful woman,
his mind may start to develop a liking for her.
This creates a compelling force towards thats woman.
His mind will then focus at her,
seeing only her,
and he will forget about himself.
When we have doubtful thoughts
about how to practice Dhamma,
we will notice that we have the urge to find a solution.
Our mind will then wander into the world of thoughts.
This is when we forget about ourselves.
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The robot-body is still here,
but we forget about it,
as if it has disappeared from this world.
There may be other emotions inside as well.
however, we might not be aware of them
because our mind is busy thinking,
searching for answers to the doubtful thoughts.
Regarding the subject of the mind wandering,
a person who only studies from textbooks may be puzzled.
However, if he also practices,
he will see just how far the mind can wander,
as described word-for-word by the Buddha himself.
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If we observe ourselves more often,
we will soon understand
how suffering occurs,
how to be free from suffering,
and how it feels to be without suffering.
Our mind will rectify itself
without having to think about meditation,
wisdom or the path that leads to the end of suffering.
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We may not be well versed in Dhamma or Pali words,
but our minds can still be free from suffering.
And even though we still experience suffering,
it will be less intense
and for a shorter period of time.
Story by Venerable Pramote Pamojjo
http://www.dhamma.com/en/

This cartoon is just some part of the book “The Part to Enlightenment I”
http://www.dhamma.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Path-to-Enlightenment-I.pdf

And Recommended Book (for further study).
– To See the Truth
http://www.dhamma.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/To-See-the-Truth.pdf

Translator : Hataitip Devakul
Editors : Punvadee Amornmaneekul, Michelle Asher, Jess Koffman, Rachanee Pongprueksa
Proofreader : Devikara Devakula
Layout & cover design (Book: The Path to Enlightenment I) : Nabwong Chuaychuwong

To read this Cartoon Dhamma on FB
https://www.facebook.com/notes/klom-klom/cartoon-for-you-the-newcomer/741874912516772

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