A WORD TO STUDENTS ON THE JANUARY 2024 SPECIAL COURSE

For foreigners who don’t have basic knowledge about Buddhism but decided to come to practice this advanced level of meditation, you are considered as a brave one and an honorable traveler.

This journey is not about flying across the world to Thailand, but it’s about you and your discovery of the great journey to get to know your own Soul in a way that you have never reached before. It is a journey with your eyes closed but with mindfulness and consciousness, to train your mind to be firm by guided teachings. No luggage. No vehicles. There is only the body that is the station of the mind. Let the mind travel the realm of your soul. It will be a meaningful journey and possibly the great beginning to the end of rebirth.

Since the day we opened our eyes to see the world, we are familiar with looking outside. We have never closed our eyes to really get to know our own souls. Modern science has led Westerners to believe that the Mind or Soul does not exist. When talking about ‘the Soul’, they think it’s nonsense, mysterious, and subjective.

When a profound and fundamental truth is concealed, it hinders the life’s journey towards Enlightenment or the discovery of one’s true self to find answers to life’s questions and the genuine meaning of existence. It distances us from finding true happiness. Our lives often seem to be centered around progress and moving forward, continuously seeking happiness with a belief that it will BRING fulfillment to our dreams. However, whether we achieve the highest point of success or reflect on past achievements, real happiness remains never truly attained.

Today you embark on a new journey, this will be the next chapter of your life, which has been concealed by the Dark Force, causing you to overlook the significance of your own soul. Your pivotal time is about to begin. However, whether you achieve success in this journey as anticipated depends on many factors:

Firstly, you have to be True. Be true to your words. No matter how much difficulty you will face, you will commit to persevering and practicing until the last day of the course.

Secondly, you have to temporarily set aside your social status and any titles you may hold. No matter who you are, a doctor, a celebrity, a martial arts person, or business person, leave the status on hold. Simply be an individual seeking to meet a deeper level of your true self through high level meditation, which can lead to the Enlightenment. !Even if you don’t have this goal yet, your decision grants you the privilege to learn the way. Therefore, it is crucial to strictly follow the teachings.

Thirdly, shift your mindset from “Why do I have to torture myself?” to embracing the concept of “Self-practice”. The dark force is smart at twisting the thought of those who are fortunate and willing to walk the high-level path of liberation. They don’t want anyone to be free from them, therefore often times during practice, they will deceive the meditator to question themself as “What am I doing here?” or “Why do I have to torture myself?” It is an easy trick which usually works. I know this trick so well, it’s my duty to guide you and to protect you to not fall into this trap of thinking that Vipassana meditation is “self-torture”. With just one word, if you’re not aware of this, this thought will become a barrier to blocking the path of wisdom to Enlightenment or to elevate your soul.

The term “Follow the rules and don’t disobey the teaching” is to protect every student from falling into the trap and to help students succeed in practicing. Don’t be afraid that I will teach you something strange or far beyond your capabilities. The principle I will teach you is mind training, and practitioners from every social status and position learn the same thing. So, do follow the teaching strictly.

These are the only three key points that you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically for.

Remember, you will not come to Practice!for a change of ambiance in a new place or to seek new experiences to share with others. Your decision is greater than the notion of finding “a magical experience”. Leave those words for tourism promotion or meditation for relaxation. The Journey to within is greater than cliche words.

In every kind of journey, travelers need to have the right mindset. If it is a trip to the beach, your mind will feel relaxed. But if it is a trip into the Amazon Rainforest, you know it would be dangerous. So, the mental preparation is different.

In the same way, the knowledge you are about to learn is the highest knowledge of humanity because it leads to the liberation of the cycle of rebirth, and free from all the misery that is deep-rooted in the subconscious.

Every knowledge in the world has value in its own way, but the knowledge to reach the ultimate truth about your own soul until you can reach Enlightenment, is the one that once you achieve, you will never have to come back to learn any of it again.

And even if you haven’t achieved spiritual liberation yet, you will find the meaning of life in the way that you have never reached before. This knowledge is discovered by Buddha. Therefore, you must respect the Buddha and your master who has made sacrifices to reach this noble wisdom.

The practice will become gradually more intense. However, put down your expectations because expectations are the barrier to success.

In the material world, it’s the world of investment. Every investment you can expect some gains, but in Dhamma world, you cannot. To practice Vipassana, you have to invest your faith and effort with Body and Soul then you will see the outcome. In another meaning, Dhamma means Nature with a principle “You reap what you sow”. Your loss and gain will be fair because Nature never cheats

To not expect anything doesn’t mean you won’t know the result of the practice. There will be an outcome from your practice with perseverance, but it is not something that you should keep thinking about or looking for. Your duty is to practice and train yourself, and the outcome will gradually manifest. I am here to guide you.

MAY PEACE AND HAPPINESS BE UPON YOU.

Master Achravadee Wongsakon

November 30,2023

Techo Vipassana

by The School of Life Foundation
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