Dhamma Letter No. 4

Q&A No. 1

Q1. How can one dissolve from the mind, bad habits learned to exist in a different country and culture from one's birth?

Habits, in Buddhist terms, are actually Kamma. The way to let go of any habit, no matter how it initially started or formed, is through wisdom, through clear seeing. The way for this wisdom to develop is through mindfulness, through sustained observation, during formal meditation and during daily life activities and interactions. All of this takes time, lots and lots of time and lots and lots of starting over again.

Q2. One intellectually comprehends the teachings shared by others. Also, upon reflection one can "see how it is part of a lived experience." However, one has not actually experienced the teaching within one's practice. One can see it in the mind but there is no body experience. How can one move into the lived experience? Are there things which one can do or is it just about practice until something happens?

The body and mind are completely interrelated; body reflects mind and mind reflects body. Sometimes observed experience is first felt or seen in the body and sometimes the other way around. You do not need to be waiting for something to happen in your practice. Something is already happening in your practice every second! Like we said in the answer to your first question the value of mindfulness and close observation cannot be emphasized enough. So, how to practice? Be in the present, be aware, be aware, be aware, and there is no rush. There is no place to go. Always check your mind, are you rushing, are you expecting, are you hoping, are you impatient? As your mind calms down, as tranquility arises and develops wisdom and clear seeing naturally arise as well.

May more wisdom arise for you!

May all accumulate the Paramīs and accomplish their own wishes!

May all beings be happy and well through the practices in this very life!

Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu!
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !

If you have any dhamma-related questions, please feel free to ask at hi@dhammaletter.com. We will include your questions with the answers in future Dhamma Letters.