by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni
On the 5th of July 2014, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni conducted a Meditation Day to mark ten years since she went forth on 4th of July 2004. About 16 people participated on a beautiful sunny Saturday.
On the Meditation Day, we continued to investigate the theme from the Meditation Day in March, ‘Contemplation of Feeling’. Most of us identify ourselves with what we feel. We are ‘depressed’, ‘frustrated’, ‘bored’, ‘happy’ or ‘peaceful’. We moved during our meditation because we were uncomfortable. We constantly act on and react to our ‘feelings’, when in fact we can know them as simply either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feelings. We do not have to judge them as good or bad, or right or wrong, they are just feelings. In fact labelling them as ‘depressed’, ‘bored’ or ‘happy’ is already going to the next level, namely sankhara. When we investigated the theme ‘Contemplation of Feelings’ further, the investigation showed us we can be free from being a slave to our ‘feelings’. We especially focused on meditation with a couple of one hour guided meditations using the ‘Sweeping Technique’. The meditation increases our awareness of the rising and passing away of all mental and physical feelings – the impermanent nature of all phenomenon. The feelings are not Me, not Mine and not a Self.
The following is a beautiful sutta from Samyutta Nikaya – The Connected Discourses of the Buddha. It is in Khandhasamyuatta, Connected Discourses on the Aggregates,
Sutta – 95: A Lump of Foam.
FEELINGS ARE LIKE BUBBLES
“Suppose, bhikkhus, that in the autumn, when it is raining and big rain drops are falling, a water bubble arises and bursts on the surface of the water. A man with good sight would inspect it, ponder it, and carefully investigate it, and it would appear to him to be void, hollow, insubstantial. For what substance could there be in a water bubble? So too, bhikkhus, whatever kind of feeling there is, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near: a bhikkhu inspects it, ponders it, and carefully investigates it, and it would appear to him to be void, hollow, insubstantial. For what substance could there be in feeling?
At the end of the Meditation Day, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni dedicated the merits of the Meditation Day’s teachings to her Grandmother, Ah Ying Kok, who passed away on 15th of June 2014. May Grandma be at peace and at ease. May she be surrounded by people who love, care and support her in her next journey. May she have a favourable rebirth where she can listen to and practise the Buddha’s teachings for the attainment of Nibbana.