Responding to an request from the audience, Ajahn Brahm talks about the origins of self-hate, its symptoms, and how to overcome self-hate. When we are free from self-hate we are able to overcome many of the obstacles we put in our own path and experience a greater sense of freedom.
This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 7th May 2004. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.
These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.
Freedom From Self-Hate by Ajahn Brahm
[Note: AI generated transcription – expect errors!]
I'll tell you what today's topic is going to be because as usual, people asked me and somebody asked me just a couple of minutes before I came in here to talk about self hate. So tonight's talk will be upon self hate. So if you want to go out to the door quickly, please go stand now because it's going to be on self hate. I mean, I didn't mean that people were getting up to. Yeah. It's okay. And it's not only just self-hate, but actually how to overcome self hate and have freedom from self hate. But it's a nice topic for a talk because all these suggestions are because this is one of the problems which people have in the world, either what they call direct self hate or indirect self hate. The type of self hate which you can recognize and know, but also the subtle one. And many people will know what happens when you have really great self-hate and all these psychological and social problems, which happens when you have self-hate, that people go and get lost in taking drugs or alcohol. They run away, they escape, they become monks. No they don't. That's not selfies. That is actually overcoming your self-hate. But it's interesting that people come to me as a monk, you know, the counseling, the free counseling, because monks don't charge. And a lot of times it's like self-hate. And because of that self-hate, they don't allow themselves to be at peace and have happiness. And in a deeper sense, they don't allow themselves to get into deep meditation, to bliss out, even to get enlightenment. In fact, you can call self-hate one of the great obstacles at all levels of people's search and progress towards happiness. So we're going to investigate today what self-hate is. And if you think you haven't got self hate, you have. A little bit anyway, and I'm going to point that out to you. One of the little stories, because, uh, he saw he was a president and said, there's many new faces here before. I love it when he says that, because I can tell all my old stories again. But, uh, if you've heard this story before, it's a great tale because it actually shows what self-hate really is. And in, uh, in a way which many people don't realize when they first hear the story. You know, the old story of the seven monks in a cave. Now, you haven't heard this story before. Seven monks meditating in a cave long time ago and then meditating on our love, the opposite of self-hate and a slightly Buddhist idea of love. May all beings be happy and well. The door of my heart is open to all beings, no matter who you are and no matter what you do. I love the whole world and all its beings. No enemies, just everyone. It's just, uh, included in selfless, unconditional universe or cosmic love. So get an idea of what these monks were doing. And in this cave, they had a group of bandits. Robbers? Evil men found that cave in the middle of the jungle, and straight away they thought that would be a wonderful headquarters. A hideout from us. We can stay in that cave, and we can go out into the towns and villages and cities. We can all become plunder, and then we can come back and hide in here now, or whatever catches. It was so secluded. But. They realized that they had to kill every one of those seven monks, because if one monk was allowed to live, sooner or later they'll tell the authorities on where that cave was in the jungle. So we'll be able to use it as a hideout anymore. So they wanted to kill every of those monks. Now, it happened like it's very common in monasteries, especially in modern times. The head monk on cases, the nuns, the monastery. The head nun is a very good talker. And don't ask me how, but it did happen that the head monk of those seven managed to talk those robbers into letting everyone go except one. One would have to be sacrificed as a warning to all the rest to keep quiet. Now that head monk, that's the best he could do. He had to choose one of those monks to die. So everyone else could go free. Now, those of you have heard this story before. Who know the answer. Be quiet. Please don't give it away. Now who was chosen to die? There was a head mark himself. He was a first man. Number two was his best friend. Number three was his brother. Number four was his enemy. They never got on together. Number five was a very old man. He was so old in years. He could die any day anyway, so it was a point. The next mark was a very sickly mark. He was always going to the doctor. He was always getting checkups for this and checkups for that, because he was so sickly that he was about to die to. And the last of the monks in this seventh group of seven monks. And it's always one of these monks in every monastery. He was the useless monk. Yes. When it came to doing the chanting as a youngster, he couldn't remember any chance when it came to meditation and he was the one who would snore. When it came to taking his food. He'd sort of dribble, he'd be fat and all sorts of stuff. He was a useless monk. Now I'll go through those groups of monks again, because I'm going to ask you who was chosen to die. Several months ahead. Monk. His best friend. His brother. His enemy never liked him anyway. The next monk was a very old man who could die any time. So now I just know why not. Now Sigma causal could die as well. Just put him out of his misery. What about the useless mug? Could put him out of everyone else's misery. Which mug? Which mug did he choose to die? And now those who have heard this story before, please be quiet. Those who haven't heard this story. Any suggestions? So thank you so much for making my evening because you're long. The people always say himself. But if you didn't say that, the whole reason for telling this story would not actually be fulfilled. I say especially because I'm talking about self-hate tonight. That is the wrong answer. But that is the answer which comes to everybody's mind first when they first hear this story. I think he sacrificed himself. It seems to be so obvious, but that is wrong. Now, to stop wasting time, I usually ask people who else to think they, um, they sacrifice. And some people say the same amount. Some people say the old man. Some people even suggest the useless monk. Oh, just people are so cruel and uncharitable. Because the right answer was that. He couldn't choose. Can't choose. Because remember I started saying that this was unconditional love. These monks were practicing and the head monk was supposed to be the expert on this. So unconditional love means you cannot choose between yourself and another. His love for his brother was exactly the same as his love for his best friend. No more, no less. Which was exactly the same. No more. No less than his love for his enemy or the old man called the sick man. He couldn't distinguish between them in terms of his love. They all had their place in his heart. Without any preference for one or the other. Even the useless monk was loved equally, even with the best monks. And most of all, his love for himself was no more and no less than his love for all other beings. And that's a powerful little story there. Because why is it that we say he sacrificed himself? Self-hate. That's why. Strange, isn't it? Though he always seemed that's what he did. And when you look at it evening, I mention this also because in Christianity's where exactly the same Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. Not more, not less as. Which means to love yourself as your neighbor. No more, no less. So why is it there's human beings? That we will be prepared to give our life first. And the reason is, is because we don't treat ourselves the way we treat others. We can love another person. We find it hard to love ourselves. Sometimes this our society does this society of martyrs. You are treating yourself. Because you will take the punishment and thinking that that way other people could be happy. And when everyone takes that martyrdom, no one is happy. We're always giving up our happiness for someone else. When everyone else does it that no one is happy in this world. We all sacrificing for something else. For somebody else. Now here we're looking that there's something very deep in there. It is called self-hate. We don't want ourselves to be treated like other people. You can forgive others. You can let go of other people's fault. You can understand them. You know when they make a mistake. But can you understand yourself when you make a mistake? Can you also be forgiving to yourself when you make a mistake? Here comes today's joke. I always like to. I always like to sort of to split this sort of serious stuff with a little bit of a joke. Just so you know, varieties are, you know, was it's sweet and sour. That's my talks now. A boy came home from school. And he told his father. He said, father, I had a great day at school today. The teacher asked the question and I was the only child in a whole class who knew the answer. And her father was quite surprised because usually he was a scallywag. He was kind of bottom of the class, always getting into trouble. And so the father said, what really teach you? Ask the question, you're the only one with the right answer. He said yes. And because no parents, you should encourage your children. So the parent took $10 out of his whatever he or her son. Well done. And of course, the child smiled and took the $10 as he was heading for the door. The father said, well, what was the question anyway? Oh. The question was, who's who broke the school window? I tell you what, he did the right answer. We all make mistakes, but the wise people use their mistakes to their financial advantage. So why are we always down upon ourselves and hate ourselves when we make mistakes? Why can't we forgive ourselves? It's the point. And it's because we've got this terrible thing called self-hate. Now, where that comes from, I see that it comes from our conditioning in our life. Because we're trying to encourage ourselves, you know, to grow in the world, to be good people, to be successful. So whenever we make a mistake, we're almost taught to hate that mistake. Thinking that when we hate mistakes, when we hate the faults, when we really find out what's wrong in ourselves and in the world, we fix that up. We'll have a better world. We have a better me as well. It's cool like some of that competition growth. Which is why that we have these, you know, school systems. Where we're always push to sometimes somehow succeed. And what really is that success anyway? And I'll tell you may come top of the class and then but you get put in a bigger class now and you have to sort of compete with other people. Then you go into university, you've got to compete there, and then there's always competition. And are you ever good enough? You know, in our school system. Even if you get them very, very, very best marks, there's always someone else who gets a better mark than you. And this is one of our problems there. We're almost encouraged and taught in our life to compare ourselves with other people. There is our problem. It's a girl. You've got to compare yourself to those beautiful pictures in the glossy magazines. I know you all know those glossy magazines. They are all digitally enhanced and. I'm sure that one of these days, someone's gonna get a photo with me and digitally enhance it and put hair on it, and goodness knows what else. It's not true. We're comparing ourselves to something which does not exist. As I was saying with your boy, and you want to sort of compare yourself to being cool or whatever, you're comparing yourself to something which isn't true, which isn't real. And when we don't live up to that fantasy, that's when we get self-hate. And it's unfortunate that some of our parents, they want the best one in the world. They want to encourage you and they want to know make you do well in the world. But when they sort of push you so hard, it gets into this, I can never be good enough. I can never actually live out. So the people who loves me, who loves me, love me, the people who love me, I can never live up to them. And then after a while, these little seeds of self-hate get implanted in us more and more and more and more. If that gets really, really gross and gray, then we have to run away from ourselves and to drink alcohol, all sorts of abuse, and also fail a lot of psychological self-abuse as well, all coming from this self hate business. And it's fascinating just how people can't accept themselves as they are. I remember one of the stories, a very lovely little story in here. When we first came here, it was a lady who she was dying of cancer or something, and I was just counselling her, being a friend at the very end. And one day I was actually in our little office over here. I asked, okay, you know, you've only got a few few weeks to live. What's the worst thing you've ever done in your life? I asked her that, what's the worst thing you've ever done in your life? And I said, I promise I won't tell anybody. Am I broken that promise so many times? I'm sure she doesn't matter. I've told hundreds, thousands of people this good. I think it's very cute. And this is maybe about 60 year old lady. So what's the worst thing you've ever done? And she looks sort of very shifty for a little while, though. Eyes went left and right. But then she decided, no, she's got to tell somebody and he can't tell a monk. You can't trust the man that you shouldn't trust a fucking. I know the marks got to the heart in the right place. She said that once in a line. She kissed somebody else's husband. And she said, just kiss the kiss. Somebody else's husband. She had her own husband. She kissed somebody else's husband. And I said, madam, if that's the worst thing you've ever done in your life, that's pretty good. What's the worst thing you've done in your life? Oh, that's not that bad. It's okay. Then. They were just pissed off. Another man says another woman's husband. That's not such a bad thing. But it's amazing that once she said that, and once it was that, she saw it as not being such a big thing. But when it was inside of her, she was still afraid to tell anybody out of fear. What? That little fall became huge. And it was marvelous released for her to tell someone else and realize, oh, it's not such a bad fault. She wasn't perfect, sure, but it's not that bad. It's only a small thing. And they didn't sleep with him. You didn't sort of have an adulterous affair or anything, just kissed at once. So no big deal. So when we actually look at it that way, the she felt so much better because that was something which was causing her self-hate. She never felt good about herself. She felt guilty. And I know that may have been one of the causes of the cancer. I'm not sure quite likely, because this is what happens when we have self-hate. That is our whole body system. Our mind system starts to go wrong. You know, I would say it's a good thing to do to go around kissing other people's husbands. But, you know, we make mistakes in life. We do things wrong. But you know what we say with love, with lack of self hate, is we accept those mistakes. We forgive those mistakes. We learn from those mistakes. So I said before the old AFL quote, except forgive, learn. We accept it, we acknowledge, okay, I did that. We forgive it. And if forgiving means we don't have self-hate, we don't want to punish ourselves. Unfortunately, again, our society, we make a mistake. We ask for punishment. Strange thing in the life we can't forgive ourselves. We think we're so almost brainwashed into us. If you make a mistake, you have to be punished. And if no one else punishes you, you want to punish yourself. Because it's called guilt. What guilt means is when you found guilty. A judge has to somehow wrap this gavel on the wooden bench and then pronounce your sentence, your punishment. And we make this guilt and punishment go together so much that when we have self-hate, we made a mistake. We want to punish ourselves, and that self-hate is our punishment. If no one else will punish us, we want to punish ourselves. Just like that lady. She kissed another man's husband and she sought for some sort of punishment instead of just absolution. Forgiveness. Relief. Just acknowledge it, forgive it and learn from it. So don't do it again. Find out why you did that and what the purpose was and just how just it was a silly thing to do and then let it go. It's gone. Finished. Otherwise we get into this like self-hate business. So we've got comparison with others, you know, trying to be the best for trying to be somebody. We've got sort of making mistakes. So those are all the causes for like self-hate. And you see what this happens to a person when it happens is just I mean, we can never be at peace with ourselves. Because we built up this idea of this being inside of us, who's not good enough, who makes mistakes and needs punishment. And that's one of the reasons why we can never come to know ourselves. Truly. We're always running away from someone we're afraid of. Someone we think does not match up. Someone who thinks they deserve some punishment. We are on the run. From, I don't know, some idea of a law. Now, after we stop all this self hate business with loving kindness, when we can actually see what it really is, we see just how stupid it is. No one wants you to be unhappy. So why do you cause unhappiness for yourself or his competition business which we have trying to be the best? Isn't it wonderful to be in a society where everybody is valued? Everybody has a price. I was taught that by our monks in Thailand, especially people like you and cha, who had always compare human beings to trees in a forest, because as monks, we used to live in the jungles, in the forest, and we got most of our teachings actually, from looking at nature. When you look at nature and every animal, every being, insect, tree, bush in that jungle was necessary these days, we called it the ecosystem. If you take one of those little animals out of that ecosystem, the whole thing gets out of balance and the whole forest suffers as a result. Each one of you are part of the ecosystem of humanity. If you take just one of you out of that ecosystem, the whole world suffers. You are essential. Isn't that lovely to understand? Each one of you is absolutely necessary. That's why when people come to my monastery, I say, I'm so happy to see you. Because they never came. We won't eat. That's why I'm happy to see. I know I started joke already because I'm very happy to see if you don't bring any food. Each one of you is necessary. Well, you know, when you look at things that way, you can notice each one has a place in the world. Even the crooks in this world are there to sort of, you know, especially the burglars. They're so compassionate because they teach you to let go of your attachments. So. I thought if I push the envelope a bit too much there. But when a person is sick, sick people just wonderful gifts to this world because they teach other people about compassion. So everyone has a place in this world. Everyone is necessary. Now I'm saying that because otherwise we think I'm really hopeless. I'm useless. What's my place in this world? I've never done anything for anybody else. No, it's not true that way. There's one person I heard about. He. He was like a person like this who valued everybody, who saw the good in everybody who has not had his fault. Finding mine would always see the faults in people. Until somebody said, okay, what about Adolf Hitler? Can you see anything good in him? Without any hesitation, he replied, Adolf Hitler? Yes. He was a leader in his field. But you could say the good part about anybody now. Well, actually saying here. Just that concept which we have in in Buddhism, it's Mahayana Buddhism, but I think this is a great place for Buddhism. Everybody's got Buddha nature. Everybody's going to see it of goodness and purity. Absolute purity inside of them. And if we actually start to notice that inside of us, the Buddha nature, whatever you think of Buddha is some perfect, virtuous, peaceful, ultimate, compassionate, your ideal of the the ultimate human existence, the full potential of you. Do you see that as a little seed inside of you, a Buddha nature inside of you? You can actually see that inside of you. How can there be any self hate anymore? You see that inside? Almost like a central part of you is this thing which we call a Buddha nature. A beautiful, perfect, compassionate, kind, still being. Sometimes it gets lost inside of you because we don't pay attention to them. We just ran away from that because we ran away from that, we'd go into finding fault with people and finding fault with ourselves, with go and comparing. My goodness, all this comparison business, which again creates a lot of self-hate. How on earth can you compare yourself with other people? One of the great teachings of the Buddha was what he called conceit. And what conceit means in Buddhism. It doesn't mean I'm better than you. That's only a third of conceit. Conceit means I am better. I'm the same. I'm worse. Or judging or comparing is called conceit in Buddhism. It's fascinating because really, all that I'm worse when somebody else is just an inverted form of conceit. Do you judge yourselves against other people? I don't judge myself against the other monks. Who's the best monk in the monastery? Don't have competitions. At the end of every year, give them an examination or like have a meditation competition. Who can sit the stillness the longest? We don't have like a meditation Olympics where we see who can actually rise into the air the highest. And I like the Olympic Games high jumps. That's not what we do. There's never what it would never do. We don't sort of, you know, at the end. I'm not quite sure how you don't do this sort of, you know, at the end of the talk, you have a few people at the back with these numbers, 8 or 9 to compare. You know, when I generally gives a talk, no. Nine or Sister Yama, we don't have like a hit parade of monks and nuns. Who's the best nun? We don't compare. Hopefully you don't anyway, because each one that gives a different talk, a different aspect. And that's wonderful. We don't see who's the best monk. That's why we don't have that comparison in our monastic orders. That's why we don't have, like, a head honcho. Okay, I'm the abbot. That just means that you don't have to do all the work. Yeah, basically, that's what it means. That's why I would call that the rest days in the monastery. Sometimes we have a rest day, and the rest day is when all the rest don't have to do anything. When I have to keep on working. Just to say. That's why I call it a rest stone. I always have to work. But we don't actually compare. Because if you compare, you're asking for self-hate. If I compared myself to someone else. It's just the nature of things. We always compare, usually unfavorably. Should we say are false. We see that you can't see other people's faults. Sometimes our thoughts are most because they're closer to us, and that's what we see. First of all, when we compare, we're never good enough. If I was went on that path. I'm a monk. My talk said never good enough. They can't be good enough. I know they're not good enough. If they were really good enough. If I really gave good talks. Every one of you would have been enlightened years ago. Thank you. How long have you been coming here? Honestly, I must be a terrible disease. So I was thinking about that. I could also say I'm really hopeless. I'm really terrible because we don't really think about that at all. So there's no judging. It's an important part of like, you know, learning about, you know, letting go. We don't compare ourselves. I judge with other people. How on earth can we judge? How can I judge even among sitting next to me? I can't compare myself with him. But just completely different characters. Different backgrounds come from different places. How can you compare like an orange and an apple at just different fruits? And each one of you, a different tree in the forest. And all those different trees are big ones. The small ones, the ones leaning to the left, leaning to the right. Even the dead trees. And when I first went to those forest, you wanted to cut down the dead trees to make the forest? No. Get rid of all the dead wood. Until somebody told me those dead trees in the forest are very important. That's where the bird's nest. They're very important for a place where they because they have the hollows in the trees usually, and the white hands eat out the scent of the cherry trees, and that gives a nice little nest for the birds. It's just a very, very well balanced ecosystem. So everything is necessary in a forest. Even the dead trees, even the little white ants. Everything has its place. How can you judge one tree from another? Even a dead tree from a live tree? How can you judge like you know the beautiful kookaburras? So the crows. Her both necessary there. So we tend not to judge. We don't judge, we don't compare. An everybody's got their place where everyone's got the place. Where can there be self hate. Instead. This is love. The love means everyone has a place. Adore my heart. So pretty. Thank you for being here. With gratitude for the people we know in our life. Gratitude for ourselves as well. When we do make a fool of our stuff, we do make a mistake. Isn't that charming? You know, when I was a young monk, I tried so hard to learn Tai. But you know, my gift of languages is not so good. I can sometimes speak Thai. And for many of you, you think, oh, actually I'm Brahman. You can speak so good Thai because you can understand it either. I remember giving a talk in Thai, you know, a few years ago, and some Thai people came and said, oh, is he talking in Pali? So now is not part of what I was talking in Thai. But they told me that there's a few Thai people here. They told me they'd say it's much. Be glad you don't speak good Thai, because it's like, charming when you make silly mistakes. It's good fun. And I told me that because there's a few other monks could speak perfect Thai, and they said they don't like listening to him because they can. They can hear Thai from a Thai person, not like a Western monk, but when they hear a Western monk know, go gobble it up and say the wrong words and say, sometimes you're supposed to be saying a good word, but it turns out to be a rude word. They think it's so funny. So sorry. I said, don't learn Thai too much. What you know now is good enough because it's just like loveable. It's like charming. So you don't have to be perfect to be charming, to be lovable. And that takes a lot of pressure off. Pressure off you. Now you can see that where the human people can relate to you when you make mistakes are you're the same as me. And when you're the same as me, you become lovable. You become acceptable. You become reassuring. We don't all have to be absolutely perfect in this world. This whole idea of perfection and why we judge. And then I told the story like I used to tell the story in retreats. You're very lovely little story about the Japanese garden. Many of you may have been to Japan. You know that, famous for their gardens. There is amazing gardens. And as you people go from all over the world to see these Japanese gardens, and sometimes we try and make these Japanese gardens here in Australia. But this one amazing Japanese garden was one of the most famous in the whole of the country. And it's all meditation. I wanted to find out why what the secret of this mark was. So we arrived in this garden very early in the morning. And this whole meditation mark, he snuck in before opening hours and hid behind a bush. You want to find out the secret and hiding behind the bush after a while. Just after dawn, the gardening man came out. He came out carrying two big wicker baskets. Now, this garden had a big plum tree in the center and had rocks and gravel and moss. And he came out with those two baskets, and he spent about three hours picking up every leaf and twig which had fallen the night before. He wouldn't just sort of gather them up and throw them in the baskets. He would look at it. First of all, he'd examine it, and if he thought it was useful, he put it in the good basket. If he thought it was a rubbish, clever trick, he put it in a rubbish basket. He selects every leaf and twig like that. That's why it took about three hours. And then he'd go behind the the temple, throw the rubbish leaves and twigs on the compost pile, and then he would pause for tea and a little bit of meditation to prepare himself for the most important part of his gardening. After drinking tea, meditating and composing his mind. He go out with a good basket and he put every leaf just in the right place. Sometimes he put it down, he stand back, and it wasn't quite right. He didn't turn it just a few degrees and then he'd smile. That was right. He took another three hours to place every leaf and twig just in the right position. He was one of these artists. Now I can't do things like that. I've got, like, the artistic flair. I just bring them anywhere. But there are some people in this world who, whether it's painting or sculpture or whatever, they've got this sense of like, you know, color and sort of texture and how the whole thing relates to, to one another. So when he'd finished, that garden was spectacular. Now all the leaves, the way they sort of the colors and the shapes interplay with themselves, it was a work of art. And that's why people came from all over the country to admire his garden. And when he finished, after the 6 or 7 hours of just hard work, that's when the old meditation man came out from the bush. And he came out to that man and said, I've come to congratulate you. I've been watching all this time. I just watching you from the early morning. Just your attention to detail, your patience, your hard work is exemplary. I never seen anything like this, said the old man. Your garden is almost perfect. But that word almost, almost perfect. All the color drained from the monk's face. He went white. His back went up. What do you do? You mean? He started almost perfect. And then he went down on the floor. As you do in Buddhism. You are to the old man who said, Old Master, you've been sent by the Buddha himself out of compassion to teach me how to make my garden even more perfect. Oh, please, out of compassion, tell me your secret. How could I make you my garden more perfect? And the old man looked at me. Say, do you really want to know? Oh, yes. Please don't withhold your wisdom from me. Share it. Oh, compassionate. Oh, great one, he said. I'm making this up as I go along, as I usually do. And. I really spoil the atmosphere. Perfect, right? So the, the, the young monk begged the old master to teach him how to make his garden really perfect. You know what he did? He went to the center of the garden, and he put his old but strong arms around that palm tree, and he shook the hell out of it. Twigs and leaves were all over the place. The young man was horrified. His morning's work was ruined. All rubbish, old twigs and dirty old leaves went all over his beautiful garden. And when he was about to kill that old monk, the old man just looked at him and said, now that's perfect. And that's the moral of that story. You can't make it perfect by putting every leaf here and twig there. But isn't that what you do to yourself? Try to make yourself just perfect when you go out at night. Every hair has to be in the right place. I don't have that trouble. Every little pimple has to be put this cream on so it doesn't sort of come out. Every little crease has to be botoxed out. Don't be yourself. Be natural. Because that's what a beautiful garden is. It's not like a plastic perfect garden in the most beautiful parts of nature. Nature is all over the place. Treated. That leaves and twigs are in the. Where the water is supposed to run. The rocks. All sort of war this way and that way. Water depth goes in a straight line. He goes left and right over the rocks, underneath eddies around this beautiful. Just the chaos of nature. That's what makes nature beautiful. The chaos of human beings. Some good. Not no good, some perfect. Not really perfect, but just close. That's the beauty of human beings. So why compare ourselves? Everyone has got their place. And that's what loving kindness means. Saying the door of my heart is open to you. Leaf and twigs. No matter how you fall in that garden. And then you'll actually see the perfection. It's not the world out there. It's what you add to it makes it perfect. Self hate. It's not that you are worthy of hate. It's just what you add to yourself. That's the only problem. So we start comparing ourselves. We start to accept ourselves as we are, and even when we make mistakes, we can forgive those mistakes. That's what forgiveness is, just allowing the trees to bend in the forest. You don't go out and say, you stupid tree. You know, why are you bending that way? You know, you stupid plant. Why did you die? Plants do die and the new ones get born just like that. Just get a forest. That's what the forest is. And the ones which are dead are wonderful. They're the places where we're the bird's nest. So when we have deaths in our family or in our community, that's wonderful. That's a place where compassion and understanding can nest, where we can understand the beauty of death. Why do we hate that? Nothing wrong with death. Just death needs a PR job, that's all. Use public relations to. All right. I just, uh, reading this little book. How much has been written? I got this, um, new idea. I've told this before. It's a great little story. New idea, like the crematoriums. And you've all been to a crematorium in person, you know that? Um, the old ones, the one at Calcutta. You press a button and the coffee goes down. I'd had so many funerals. And the problem is that when you press that buttons, I really get everybody nice and peaceful, you know, talking and nice things. Even. I actually tell jokes sometimes at funerals. But when I press that button and it goes down, if people are going to cry, that's when the waterworks start. When you press that button. It took me a while to understand why, because like, even though it's supposed to, um, replicate like a, like a burial in a crematorium because then you go down. What does that mean in our culture? Going down, where do we go down to saying, you've got it? Hell. Isn't that a terrible sort of symbol there? You're going down. So many years ago, I had this idea. I think you got it. You press the button and you go at it. Imagine that happened. You go up and you get all these like, clouds of, like, dry ice, and you get all this heavenly music, something really inspiring and uplifting, and you go up to like, what's the ice? Is there some trapdoor in the ceiling? I can take it to wherever they're going to burn it afterwards. Imagine that. Like heavenly Music and going out. And there's your Uncle George going up. That's wonderful. So that was my suggestion for funerals. But then somebody said that atom bomb. That would take away from the integrity of funerals, because there were some people they know would never go up there. So not being one to be sort of dissuaded. I refined the concept. This is what we do is like inventions. You've got to take the original concept, refined it and have three buttons one for going up, one for going down, a while for going sideways. And to make the funerals really interesting. You can take a vote on this. It's fine to press them. Imagine. Go to. First of all, people really want to go to the funerals. First of all, to find out which you also have to vote, you know, so you could actually take a vote where they suppress the down button on the side of that button. They're just having a bit of fun with death. So we wonder how far we are dead. So the point is that this is why we've got such self-hate and such life hate. We hate that a part of life called death. If you don't understand what this stuff really is, do we're hating. Because we hate the self. We ran away from it all our lives. We never face up to it. Who we are. Who is running away? Why are you running away from her? Sometimes people say his marks were running away. But my goodness, we're the ones who stay still and don't run at all. When you were meditating earlier on. Why could you stay still? Because we were running away from you. I saw you running away from. What if he would go and get drunk? Go watch movies, go, sister. Take drugs. They're running away from themselves because they're not quite sure who they are and a bit scared of who they are, especially when they've been told off so many times in their life. As if we actually think that we're not really perfect. We're not good enough that we got faults. You feel guilty. You don't want to face ourselves. Fascinating. When we meditate, it is the self-hate which stops us going deep in meditation. If we had that self laugh we allow ourselves to be. We wouldn't even actually put any demands on a meditation. It doesn't matter if you want to fall asleep. That's all right. What is wrong with falling asleep in meditation? It's not against the precepts. Don't do anything wrong. We want to allow ourselves to do that, will we? Sometimes we're so uptight about what other people might think of us. If you snore when atom bombs. Giving the talk. Sometimes. That's why when people get really bored and they'd like to leave, you know, go through the door, they can't stand the thought, but they won't go because of what other people think of you. How much of our lives do we torture ourselves because we worry what other people think of us? You know that old story when you're in your 20s? Well, even before then, your teens, you're really concerned what other people think of you. That's why you have to dress up as girls where you have to, you know, get some nice patios. Blokes, when you're in your teens, early 20s, you're very concerned what other people think of you when you get to about 40. You get self-confidence. You can't give a damn what other people think of you. I think your 40s. You don't care what other people think of you when you're finally 60. You finally realize that people are talking about you anyway. Which is true. They're thinking about themselves most of the time. So why what other people think of you? Remember, that's a very good sign. When you're in your teens, you are. What other people think of you in your 40s. You can't give a damn what other people think of you in your 60s. You realize they weren't thinking about you anyway. It's good. It's good to remember. But now what we're doing here is like, so, hey, they're not thinking about you, so why are you hating yourself? You're hurting yourself because you think other people hate you. You're comparing yourself. You think you're not good enough. You are good enough. You got Buddha nature inside. You are an important human being. You've all got your place in this cosmos. Just like in the forest. You accept yourself, be at peace with stuff. If you're at peace with yourself and accept yourself, you let go. You're not trying to live up to something. You're not trying to get the top marks in your meditation. You're not trying to be a super monk. My goodness. I've seen monks try that and try to be the super monk. Trying to be the super nun, trying to be the super president. That's nice. And what's that called? That's called stress. Are you trying to be the super wife? The super mom? The super husband? If you try that, you would actually, you will not live up to your potential. You're trying too hard and cause stress. You get pain, you get sick, you die. Self-hate kills you. Passive self-hate. How? Self love the opposite. The door of my heart is open to me. Treat yourself just as you treat other people. No more, no less. So you're kind to others. Be kind to yourself when you're kind to yourself. And if you're meditating, are you fall asleep? That's okay. It's allowable because you know why you fall asleep. You know what the cause of falling asleep is? Because you're tired, isn't it? You know, when I was a young monk, first year as a monk, I used to get very tired. I had no energy. And I wonder what is going on. I asked one of these monks who said, because you're not eating enough. That's why. Here's some more rice. An obvious solution. I thought I'm a monkey not supposed to eat very much. And because I had self-hate, I thought I was going to be a tough monk and I got to be just number one mark in the monastery. And so you'll be up there sort of, you know, looking at everybody else's ball and making sure you finish first. And I find out the only way you can finish first is to eat faster. But just because you eat faster doesn't mean you're finished first, doesn't mean you you eat less. So there's a lot of little things which we have, and you can actually see that happening in your life competing in the monastery. People compete to be the best and as good as create problems for themselves in life. You compete to be the best and that's a problem. I think we wonderful in schools if we had less competition and more cooperation. Instead of always say, you got to get the top marks to be loved in the world. He always got to be the most successful in your business. You got to be a millionaire before you've made it in the world. My goodness, if money and possessions counted, I would be a complete and utter failure all my life. What have I got to show for it? Just hope. Dirty old robe beat up old beau. My possessions in life have accumulated. But of course, that's not what you actually accumulate in life. Happiness is much more important. Contentment. Peace. So you want to get anything in life? Isn't that more important for you? So when we have self-hate, comparison and guilt, you can see what's going on there. And when you meditate, this is where you really test out how much you love yourself to be, allowing yourself to fall asleep if you want to. Mine was to go off somewhere. Allow it to go off. Don't hate yourself because if you're tired, there's a cause and a reason for that. You've been working hard. You've been struggling to do so much. That's why you're tired. Allow yourself to be tired. If your mind goes wandering off, you must have some cause to allow it. Let it be to love yourself as you are and to love your mind as it is. Whatever happens, okay, go for it. Mad. I care enough for you. You can do whatever you want. A strange thing happens when you do that. I've done that many times, and that's the most peaceful, quiet, beautiful meditations. That's when the mind stops wandering. That's when the mind stops being sleepy. It brightens up. You get so peaceful and so wonderful. You're letting go. That's a trick of meditation. You're feeling at peace with yourself. When you're feeling at peace with yourself, you're liking yourself as you are. There's no reason to be naughty anymore. No reason for monks to break their rules. Why would you break like the five precepts hitting another being? Because you don't love yourself. You don't love others. Stealing. Committing adultery. Lying. Taking alcohol on drugs. It's all escaping, that's all. If you really love yourself, you'll be a virtuous person. If you accepted yourself as you are, you wouldn't go around being mean to others. Of course we hate ourselves. We take it out on others. That's what we get. Me too. Mr. Bush must really hate himself. This. This facade. How? If you love yourself, you're peace with yourself. You're peace with the whole world. You can't harm other people. Why you accepting yourself? You accept others. So you find that when you do have that acceptance, instead of self-hate, peace, kindness, fulfillment actually comes. But each level of our meditating at different types of self hating this one particular story, it was it was amazing. It was one man in a monastery many years ago, staying for a short while, and she started getting into a deep meditation. You know, you've heard me talk about these deep meditations in the book, and it's got Nimitz coming up and about to get into Janice. You know these deep breath states in meditation? Powerful, beautiful, wonderful states, more blissful you've ever had in your whole experience. And. But she couldn't go any deeper when she came to talk to me in her interview time. She said something which I'll always remember and I thought, ah, why do people have that problem? She said that I knew I could go into that for China, but I never. I thought, I don't deserve so much happiness. That's why I couldn't go in. A fascinating problem that. There is something a barrier to almost like enlightenment. Enlightenment is the ultimate happiness. A huge amount of happiness, more than you can ever think, can exist in the world. That's what enlightenment is. And he thought, I don't deserve so much happiness. As self-hate has conditioned into us, we need to see to overcome that. You deserve to be happy. You can't put a nature inside of you. You are a human being who should take away all the barriers to inner happiness. And that's a big barrier. Self hate. I'm not good enough. I don't deserve this. So it's my job to condition each one of you as I was conditioned myself. You deserve happiness. You deserve all the bliss in the world. When you actually take that barrier of self-hating? I'm not I don't know, maybe there's other monks and nuns here now because they're good people. They're goody goodies. I never do any the wrong things, which we do. That's not true. Everyone deserves their happiness. Everyone deserves to miss out. Have you ever noticed that sometimes in your life, happiness comes? You think this is not good? There's something wrong with this. I don't deserve this. Must be terrible. Given these days, even some Buddhists, they spoil it all by saying, well, if you get happy, you'll get attached to it. Well, if you really play. So be careful. You never get to enlightenment that way. Are I just spoiling it all? He gets so close and that little bit of self-hate spoils it all. So instead of having self-hate, we have that self-love, which is our opening the doors to happiness and bliss in your life. If you have that, forgive all your faults in the past, the whole past is gone. You deserve to be forgiven because you got Buddha nature inside of you. That you are the most perfect, beautiful, wonderful being inside there. Therefore, you deserve to be forgiven. Any fool if you kiss somebody else's husband. Yeah, okay. You have to get even worse than that. You deserve to be forgiven. In the time of the Buddha. This is serial murder. Murderer. Angry man killed 999 beings. He's about to kill the Buddha because the body forgave him. And he became fully enlightened. Just like that. And there were prostitutes. Terrible people. They not tell people, just be forgave them, didn't judge them at all. And they became the most amazing, great nuns, beautiful, wonderful, compassionate, enlightened beings. The point was, you don't have to be perfect to be enlightened street sweepers, people with hardly any education, poor people, kings didn't really matter. Anyone could become enlightened. Isn't that wonderful to understand that to be healthy don't have to have a degree. Don't have to have your man or woman or be born in India or whatever anyway, because each one of you is welcome and enlightenment, the doors of enlightenment are open for you as well. Actually, they say there are some people who can't be enlightened if you killed your mum or killed your dad. Does anyone here call her mom or dad? No. Okay. So you could all become enlightened. You're welcome. Now, what that means is that you have the inability there. You have the possibility. So why have that self-hate? We can forgive. We can let go of it. Forgiving is letting go of the past. Why don't we do that? As we. Something happened in the past. We did this or someone else did that to us. Yeah, and it goes on. And I just like kid. Mommy, mommy! Johnny hit me. Yeah, but no, Sarah hit me first now. Because that's why. Because he called me a camel. Ah, because that's why he called me a dog. It goes on and on like that. And then that's actually online. That's supposed to be like 2 or 3 year old, but now a 20 year old or 40 or 60 year olds keep on going on like they're. And na na na. They blew up my twin towers. Mad mad mad mad mad. 100 shovel a day. And. By, I think I would say travel now. But you've got to be very careful. About just the way that we hate other people. And when we hate ourselves. Let go of the past, for goodness sake. To free yourself for the present moment. When you free yourself to present, you're free to laugh. You're free to be happy. Your self-hatred is gone. You can meditate. You can let go of the past completely. What are you going to think about if you let go of the past and forgive the past? Why you got to fear for the future? When you can say to yourself, the door of my heart is open to me all the time. When you know that the garden is perfect as it is, you're perfect as you are still trying to make yourself something different. How many times we want to make ourselves something different? You're sick and you want to make yourself well. Allow yourself to be sick. Sickness at all. My heart's open to me. You usually get better than. Oh, I'm a hold all day to draw my house over to me. Oh, you're fat. Fat. That all my heart stops. So it's the attitude is a problem. I think people die not because they're fat, because they hate being fat, because a tense, because, you know, they're just too screwed up inside of themselves. I said, that's the reason why I put on weight as a monk, because I don't worry enough. For anyway. So self hate actually stops you at each one of these points. Getting happiness. So if you don't allow yourself to become happy, if you don't allow yourself to enjoy the moment, you don't allow yourself to be as you are. Don't allow life to be as it is in this moment. Sometimes we have to work here. Sure. But why? Now we can never stop. We can never stop. Allow ourselves to be allowed life to be. Enjoy ourselves. Stop being so judgmental. So critical. So critical. Yeah. Sort of. Monks are evil. Yeah. Gays are evil. Yeah. Heterosexuals are evil. Yeah. This is evil. That's evil. And everything is evil. And because we think we're evil, that's why. It's amazing when you don't judge yourself. You don't judge others. That's what it says in the Christian Bible. Judge not lest TV judged he judge others. Does it mean that God is judging you? I worked out went out a long time ago before I was a Buddhist demon. Not lest ye be judged men. If you judge others, you judge yourself. You be judged by you. So it's not judging yourself. Just the last little story you remember. One of the gentlemen once told me this story because they had this book that from Germany hasn't been published in English. It should be because it had these stories of like, um, kids who remember these out-of-body experiences. And this one fascinating tale was this young kid. It was some accident or some disease, only about 8 or 9 or something. He died in the hospital, came back to life again afterwards, and he told his story, it actually floating out of his body and going along these night and this countryside somewhere, coming to this light shed. And in this shed was a some sort of like angel of death. And just check it out. All the people who just died and so went into this shed. And what's your name said? You're not supposed to be down here. You're not supposed to be dead. But before we send you back, you can stay here and watch what happens. The next person to come in was a German farmer. It just died. And this little boy recounted this. And the man also looked in the book. What's your name? Are you we got you down here. And he said, have you ever killed anybody? Killed anything? He said, oh, maybe only 1 or 2 little things. And the angel turned around to this boy. See, even when he's dead, he lies. And there is a kill. So many sheep and cows, you know it says 1 or 2. And. And then as I were talking like this, this other person just went right past the shit went way up into the sky. Little boy said, why are you asking him to? What he does? And the angel turned around. Listen to me. The most beautiful part of this story. He said, see that man going up there to heaven? He never judged anyone in his whole whole life. Therefore, we're not going to judge him. I always liked that ghost story. This when this little boy came back to life again. This is how he explained his experiences out of the body experience. A person going up to ultimate happiness. We're not going to judge him because he never judged anybody. You touch yourself at death. That person reading the book is you. No one else. You can't lie to yourself. You might try. We won't be able to. So when we don't touch, then we don't have self-hate. We have self-love. That all my house open to you no matter who you are. The door of my heart is open to me. We don't have self-hate. What more do you want in life? You have all the riches in the world. When you don't hate yourself because you're a piece. Okay, that's it for this evening. Hope you liked it. Come on. The self-hate and its opposite.