How can we know what is real and what isn’t? How can we know the best way to live? How can we know what is really true? Can we knowing anything? Buddhism says ‘yes’! And much of what Buddhism is about is guidance on how to find the truth for ourselves through direct experience. In this talk Ajahn Brahm talks about how we can know what is true for sure.
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 28th November 2003. 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.
(AI Generated Transcription – expect errors!)
And this evening's talk comes as a. Experience. Just during the week when I was told that somebody was going around saying that you cannot know for sure. You cannot know whether there's such a thing as rebirth or just one life. You cannot know for sure karma. You cannot know anything for sure. And of course, straight away I thought, how can you know that for sure? Yeah. And the point being is that in our modern life that we are exposed not just to many different types of soap powder, not so many different channels on the TV, but also to many different religions and many different truths which are on the supermarkets of our religious life. And sometimes you ask that Ajahn Brahimi comes up here every Friday evening. Does he really know? And how can you know? And what exactly is knowing? Can you know anything? And the point is that the whole essence of Buddhism is. Yes, you can know. You can know for yourselves. There is a way of finding out for yourself, so you don't need to believe in others. One of the strengths of Buddhism, which made me interested in my early years, as you don't need to believe, but neither are you. Left to your own devices is to struggle with the different types of ideas which are current in the world. For your given guidance guidance to find out for yourself, to find out what knowledge is. And so the talk this evening is not what to know, but how to know how to know for sure. How to know truth for yourself, how to know whether Buddhism is the right religion or the church next door is the one to go to. How to know. Some people go to every church just to make sure. I'm betting on every horse in the Melbourne Cup. You're bound to win, but you all know that if you bet on every horse, the only person who wins, it's the person who owns a betting shop. Now here I'm talking about how to know for sure. And in classical Buddhism. The Buddha was actually showing how. You don't know why people don't know what the causes of getting it wrong are. And this is a classical Buddhist teaching of the five hindrances. These are the five causes of not knowing clearly what's going on. The five roots of delusion. What keeps delusion going? He's called his five hindrances. And in brief, those five hindrances are desire, ill will, sort of sloth and restlessness, and lastly doubt. And this is what I'm going to go through during this talk this evening, going through in detail, putting it into daily life. And the first is like desire wanting. Our problem is that we would only want to experience what we like, what we want to experience, and because of wanting, because of desire, we always tend to bend the truths to suit ourselves. And so for a lot of people in the world, we don't actually face up to truth. We don't know what's out there. We only know what we want to see, what we want to believe. And this is the first hindrance to true knowledge. To overcome that hindrance, what a great goal of all wanting to see things as they truly are, not what we want to see. Now listen about wanting all those things which we don't like. We block out from our lives. We want to be rich. We want to have this beautiful partner in life. We want things which we know we can never have, but we still want them. One of my stories, which I keep on repeating, is a story of romance. When people go romancing, where do they come? They don't come to the Buddha Society of West Australia on a Friday night. That's the last place they come to if they want to fall in love. But where they go to is the candlelit restaurants. They go on the out in the moonlight. They go to nightclubs where the lights are turned down, anywhere where they can't really see what they're going out with. And it's all true, isn't it? And why do people do that? The me. The reason, the reason they do that is because when you can't really see your partner, it means wanting wishful thinking can make your partner look like a supermodel. They can look like this film star and they do look like that in the mood might. Now is that truth? Is that really knowing things the way they truly are? And he could see that this dispense perception. To see what we want to see this time with the advertisements. If you go into the supermarket or the shopping mall, this bright colors in there. Why do we have that? Because it just perverts our perception. And we think that what's so brightly colored must be good, must be wonderful, and we buy it is what we want to believe that's the problem. So much of advertising is actually turning you because of the clothes you were into this beautiful, attractive woman because of the sharp suits or the big car to make you irresistible to the opposite gender. One of the other stories which I tell for my youth, when I used to buy into all of this because there was an advertisement I saw in a television, and the advertisement was for Saint Bruno Tobacco. This was the days when we didn't know that tobacco was a cause for cancer. And this was tobacco. You smoked in a pipe. And as a young 18, 19 year old, it looks so cool to put some tobacco in a sort of a piece of wood and set fire to it. Basically what you were doing. And in this advertisement, this man who wasn't particularly good looking, he put some some Bruno tobacco in his pipe. He lit it and he was just walking down the road. And in the advertisement, these amazingly beautiful girls would actually stop what they were doing. They'll be walking behind a counter in the bank. They'd leap over the counter, entranced by the aroma of this tobacco, and follow this man, and they would leap out of their cars. They would get outside of the shops and they just follow this man. And after a few minutes, because not even less than that, it's only a 32nd commercial. This man had all these beautiful women following him because of this aroma of this Sabina tobacco. Stupid wasn't it? But guess who brought some sad grilled tobacco? The next one. It never worked for me, but it was ready. What is this after? But why do we do that? A lot of it. Because you wanted it to work. You wanted it to happen. It's all the one thing it was obvious there wouldn't be to anyone in their right mind. Wouldn't do things like that. But why did you do that? Because you want it to. You want to be attractive. You want to. To have those relationships. You're denying the truth of things. That's why we don't know for sure. Whenever we've got desire there. It's like that story I told 2 or 3 weeks ago when I asked people, how many people in this room, how many people in this room think that they are above average intelligence? Everyone does, and it can't be the case because half of you must be below average intelligence. But it's not you. It's it's the person sitting next to you, isn't it? That's not me. You can see how wishful thinking bends the truth. We all think we are better than we really are. And this is actually not facing up to the truth. For those of you who start a relationship, why is it in relationship there's so many problems? Because there's so many likes and dislikes involved in what we want to believe, what we want to have happen there in that relationship because of the wanting. We very rarely see what's really happening there. We rarely see the truth of what's going on. What we want to believe is usually what we see. And on the opposite, the second hindrance is of ill willed denial. What we don't want to see, what is anathema to us, which is block out from our consciousness. Alice says. Why? We don't see things as they really are. It is why we we bend the truth to suit us. It is why there are so many different philosophies and religions. Why everybody says I know, I see, I've experienced these things. The point is, we only experience what we want to see and we block out what we can't see. That is not being wise. That's not being truthful. To be truthful, to have real knowledge, we have to suspend. All of our likes and dislikes, what we want and what we don't want to be able to see. Truth. Whether that is the truth of your relationship. To be honest, how it's occurring in this moment and what's really happening. Not having some fantasy idea of now, this is the one for me. This is a relationship which is going to last forever. Not having this fantasy that everything is right and perfect. But also not being in denial to the problems which are really there, which you can see if you only look carefully. But being truthful has to. Be giving up all your likes and dislikes. What you want to happen. And if you can do that, if you can be honest. Into your relationship. In other words, seeing the faults accepted the faults and not wanting it to be different. But this is the relationship then in that honestly, at least you know what's going on. You've got the truth of the situation and you can do something about it. It's like the relationship we have to our own bodies. Again, we live in a lot of denial, a lot of wishful thinking to your body. This is why that whenever there's that little pain in the body. We sort of sometimes say, oh, this is all right. Nothing wrong with me. And it might be something serious, might be something which is worth checking up. There might be the heart attack. It might be the cancer starting. A lot of times when you talk like that. Do you want to face up to that? There's a lot of wanting, a lot of denial. In a way. We look at our bodies. And because of that, the body usually gives us many, many signs. Many signs that the body is in stress, that things are going wrong. But what do we really do? We don't want to see that. We want our body to be healthy. We want our body to be fit. We want our body to live a long, long time. How many of you are prepared to die tonight? Why shouldn't they? It's going to happen to you. But are you ready yet? How many people actually believe they are going to die tonight? We all believe we're going to die tomorrow. Next year. Some other time, any other time. But the only time people die is now. So the only time you have. So the point is, we're in denial about this. If we can actually face these things with the truth of them, instead of having the the likes and dislikes to face up to life, then at least we can actually be sensitive and mindful to our bodies. This mindfulness, which is very, very powerful part of Buddhism, is like awareness, alertness to the present moment, to its truth, without trying to bend it, to filter it, to fit what we want to see. Some years ago. There's a very significant experiment which was done at Harvard. The experiment entailed a group of students going into a theatre, which was flashed a series of images on the screen. The images were flashed so quickly that the first time that no student could really understand what was being projected onto the screen. And the experimenters increase the time of exposure incrementally until the flash gave some of the students an idea, a rough idea of what was being shown on the screen. It was an experiment in perception on how long exposure you need to gain the information required to guess what the image truly was. Now, the point to the problem was that what they found was that once you fixed an idea. Of what you saw there. And the particular exposure was the stairs leading up to one of the lecture theatres, which every student on campus would have known. It was flashed up so quickly that one student thought it was a ship on the sea. They didn't have enough information to form a big picture, but the mind leapt to the conclusion it was a ship on the ocean. As the time of exposure was increased, the person still continued to hold on to the idea it was a ship on the ocean, even though anybody, if they stayed in that exposure for the first time, it was long enough they would see no two recognized that it was really the stairs leading up to a lecture theater. You show the sometimes how we hold on to views where the evidence should be strong enough to show that we are wrong. The reason why we hold on to those views is because of desire wanting to be right. Coming from the sense of self and ego. Few people admit they're wrong. Have you ever been wrong? Somebody asked that question and said, yeah, the only time I was wrong was many years ago when I thought I was wrong. Why is it that people find it hard to admit they're wrong? Reason is, is because the sense of like self and the sense of self, the sense of me, the ego. His work creates desire and wanting business. When we have the wanting, we can actually bend the truth, even though it's quite clear that we're wrong, that we should believe in something else, we still won't do that because we've invested so much time, so much of ourselves. But it's embarrassing to admit that we wrong. Again. Cha was great in just teasing my disciples because one day a Christian came to try and convert my teacher attention. And they came into his house and after he left, I turned to. I turned around to his and said, perhaps they're right and I'm wrong are always doing this. Teasing is how do you know? Who's right and who's wrong. So you have to put aside all of your wants and all of your don't want to be able to see truth, to be able to put aside. Your reputation. To put aside who you think you are in order to see the truth. That's part of desire. That's why one of the problems with science, even science, is dogmatic, because one of the sayings I learned when I was a student was the eminence of a great scientist is measured by the length of time they obstruct progress in their field. And it's true, because if you're an expert, then you. It's hard to admit that you're wrong. And because it's hard to admit that you're wrong, because you're the expert that bends the truth. Because again, of desire. And that's a great scientist. Are you an expert? In what fields of endeavor? Are you the expert? And how often is it because we think we're an expert who will never admit we're wrong. Therefore we will not know the truth, will bend the truth to suit our ego. So selflessness has to be there to actually to see the truth. And that selflessness and that desire to actually to continue that experiment, which was done at Harvard. There was another scene which was flashed on the screen very, very quickly at first. And the time of exposure extended, extended, extended. But it was the image which most people took the longest to actually to discern correctly. And it was the image of two dogs copulating. The reason why it took the longest is because it was an image they did not want to see. When you don't want to see it, you block it out longer, longer, longer until it's right in your face, as it were. And then you see. It's what is called denial. Regain from wanting, but this time not wanting the ill will which bends the truth. We don't see what we don't want to see. One of the problems of our life. While we're not naive or not alert the problems in life, we don't want to face up to it. We don't want to face up to the fact we're aging. When I was teaching at Dartmouth School for children some years ago, I asked him a question. We were talking about many things and we're talking about old age. Just said to the kids, there may be about ten, 11 years of age. So what is old? How many years? You know, give me a figure. What's an old person? They said maybe 35, and I said, no, that's too much. Maybe 30. That's old. And I said to them, hang on, I'm 40. I was very old to them. I was in denial. I never thought I was old. Are you old? What's your age now? You really think that was the life expectancy now that 7475. It is now. Are you sure that's not wishful thinking? Okay, all of those 85. All of those who are over 42.5, and you're more than halfway there. You're closer to death and to your birth. Do you really think like that? We don't think like that because we don't want to. I saw a problem with not knowing truthful trust because we don't want to see it. Now to actually to find out their truths. We have to overcome all desires and all ill will to face truth. It takes courage to do that, and it also takes tricks to do that. Have you noticed that the way in Buddhism where people become enlightened is always through meditation? Somebody asked the other day, can you become enlightened to through study? Know why you can become alliance with study. Because study does not overcome your likes and dislikes. It doesn't stop you bending the truth. Do you become enlightened through listening to talks? No. Why? Because that doesn't stop you. And with trading your likes and dislikes. In which way do you stop your likes and dislikes when you are meditating? Letting go. Not wanting contentment. That's what this meditation is always teaching you to let go of the desires and ill will to face the truth of the present moment as it is. When you were meditating, could you stay in the present moment and just allow it to be? If not, why? A lot of times is because we wanted something. He wanted to be somewhere else. We wanted to get this over with so we can listen to the talk, get the talk over with so we can have a cup of tea or those cakes which I saw in me in a reception area. I always wanted to, you know, one of the worst experiences I had as a monk here in Perth was one day when we were. This is in our former center in Magnolia Street, in a small house, two rooms in the front, two rooms in the back, and were raising money for a monastery. We hadn't bought the monastery yet. We're raising money, and someone had the bright idea to have a cake stall. Which is a good idea to raise money to for the monastery. But the problem was that myself and the other monk had to live in that house, and all these people brought cakes on the Friday evening. They had 30 or 40 cakes, freshly baked, and they were going to be sold the following morning. So they put them in the kitchen overnight. And I was right next to my room. Now of being a mug. I couldn't touch those cakes where, my goodness, I could smell them all night. Oh, that was one of the worst nights I'd ever had. As, like all those editors cakes. And I'll be able to taste one of them. But anyway, so that all this, all this wishful thinking, which we have, it actually makes things just on their on like desires for years as a monk. I started to think of like the English dish of fish and chips when I was in Thailand for seven years. And then finally, I think as only when I first came here to Australia, summer gave me fish and chips like the dream come true. I wish it had never come true because in my dreams it tasted much more delicious. I'm actually in my mouth. Isn't that the case? So it's all wishful thinking. It's not. The truth is what you want it to be. As the problem actually gave me a stomachache. I remember that afterwards. And if we're going to actually to see the truth, we have to let go of those desires. And this is what meditation does. This is why in Buddhism we teach meditation not just to get peaceful, but in order to see things the way they truly are, to come to truth. We meditate in order to know for sure. Not what we want to see, not what we don't like to see. But to see what's really there. Because when you let go in a moment, no thinking because it's thinking is when we start bending things. I don't want this. I want that we start to make up reality through thoughts. Here we are seeing things as they really are. His was why, when you start to develop the peace of mind through meditation, that peace reoccurs throughout your day and every now and again you start to. Be alert and wise to your body, to your relationship, to life. You are knowing without wanting. Further are knowing even more deeply through staying with something long enough to see it clearly as an experience which I tell in meditation retreats of thee and my meditation on a Saturday afternoon, which some of you come to, which was a powerful experience of the road up to my monastery. Which had been going up many, many years up and down that road in a car. First time I walked up that monastery, it looked completely different. You try that in the street where you live. Walk along that street. I was telling this to one of our visitors who was visiting from Singapore, and he agreed with me. He'd been living in this street in Singapore for so long, he'd always get in his car to go to work and in his car to go back again. One day he walked along that street. Same like the first time I walked up the hill up to Serpentine Monastery. They couldn't understand a first why that street looked so different. Why he saw so many more things. Why he could actually pick out much more detail than you'd ever seen before. When I was walking up my hillside up to the monastery of serpentine, I stopped. When I stopped, I saw even more detail. When I reflected on what was going on. Why did things look different when you slow down? I started remembering the Buddha's teachings about letting go of restlessness. The restlessness of the mind is third hindrances when the mind moves too quickly. It can't stay on one thing long enough, to the point that he never really understands what is going on, because it never stays with anything long enough to find out. Life of many people is as if viewing things through the window of a speeding car. You have to deal with so many things in quick succession, you don't have time to really know what is going on. Life is a blur. Experience, such as Shadow's life has no depth. Because we go too fast. The person you live with, do you really know them? Or do we always pass so quickly by each other? Never really spending enough time. Real time just being so you can really know. Let alone a person. How can you know yourself? Know your body. Know your mind. The only way you can know those things is to be still long enough to see deeply into their nature, just like going up and down that hill, or that Singaporean going in a car up and down his road. You can never really know that road. When you're passing it too quickly. But if you walk and then stop. You see completely different scene and it was amazing just how different that was. When you walk slowly away from stopped, the senses have got all the time in the world to actually to pick up all the detail. To know it fully. An amazing thing is that when you slow down. That life becomes very beautiful. The hillsides actually reveal their beauty. The slower you go, that's where you start seeing into the truth of things you can't know by going fast. You can only know by stopping, by being still. And that is why that we meditate to stop. However, sometimes when people slow down and stop, sometimes they start snoring. Because I don't know how to be alert and stop. It takes again some skill. To bear or to deal with something and allow the mind to play with it long enough, rather than the lion manages to turn off into sloth, into tiredness. Because of our life is move so fast, because when we see TVs, the images move so quickly. I remember the first time I saw a television again, after about 7 or 8 years as a monk in Thailand, I went to visit England and in a house in Scotland, I saw a television for the first time in 8 or 9 years. It gave me a headache. The reason we would did because the images were going so fast. I couldn't believe that. How could anyone make sense of all of that? Because I was used to the forests of northeast Thailand, and in the forests near the trees only sway slowly. And that's a fastest thing in which you see. And the the TV was just moving so quickly because people have been trained to see things move quickly, to act quickly. It's hard for us to do things slowly, to slow down, even to stop. We're habitual movers, and because we were in the habit of always moving on to the next thing. We've forgotten how to stop. That's why when you do start, life becomes very different. It's only when stopping can one really see truth. But stopping with alertness, with awareness. Usually the only time we stop is actually to go to sleep. You know, life saving. Interesting. When people come to the red traffic lights, the red traffic lights are the greatest Buddhist symbol we have in the Western world. Forget about Buddhist statues, forget about temples, forget about these stupas, these chambers or these flags. The best Buddhist symbol we have in the West is the red traffic lights. It's always saying stop! The beautiful things. We should have more of them. You see you in denial again. And the reason is because they stop you. You can't go anywhere. But when the red. When your car gets caught in a red traffic like the car stops. But do you stop? This is our problem. We don't stop. That's the problem. It's not a red traffic light. It's not the cars. Because you've forgotten how to stop and just to enjoy just resting by the red traffic lights of life. There are moments when you have to stop. The moments when you should really just relax. When life stops and you have an opportunity just to have a look around and see where you are. Rather, always be concerned about where you're going. True is knowing is knowing where you are, not knowing where you're going. How can you know where you're going when no one knows where they are? So this is where we stop that restlessness. Then we get used to stopping. When a person first starts meditating, they start always getting sleepy. Sleepiness is one of the first parts of meditating, but I always tell people that's a hindrance as a problem, which is very easily sort of overcome. It's not a big problem. Sometimes. It was a big problem there. Remember, I was teaching in the jail. It was actually in those days was Canning Vale. Taylor changed the name. Now I forget what it's called now, but it used to be Canning Vale. It was a high security jail because the high security jail has some very, very bad prisoners in there. Very dangerous. I had to have a prison officer with me at all times. So the prison officer had to come into my meditation group. And as I was teaching a meditation, had all the prisoners meditating, just watching their breath getting so quiet, and the prisoner prison officer was in the room as well. And that's when I started hearing somebody snoring. And luckily I opened my eyes because as a prison officer, he was the one who snoring. He'd fallen asleep. In my eyes. The prisoners, they were meditating anymore. They'd heard him snoring and they were looking at me. They were looking to their breath. They were looking at his keys. And once they saw me with their eyes, a look to really look to his case, they looked back at me again. They told me afterwards a very, very close thing. Really. It was idea because I respected you. I'll get in trouble if they did take the case. Where the prison officer had fallen asleep. So there are some dangers, sometimes with falling asleep, but other times there's no real dangers, and it's just a matter of learning how to be alert without moving. A lot of people not even know how to be alert when they're moving. Learn how to be alert when you're still. And that's how you really know, by stopping and opening your mind and really seeing. And then I seen the hindrances. This doubts because when you're doubting you, actually not allowing the data to really teach you your second guessing the data too quickly. In any experiment, a good scientist will actually allow all the data to come in first of all, and then only when all the data is hidden, then you collect the data. You work it all out. But too often we doubt within other words, we interfere with the collection of data before it's really time. That's why. And every meditation which I teach here, we only start to investigate at the end of the meditation. How do you feel? What's peace? What's joy? What is freedom? How do you know what those terms truly mean? Wouldn't it be wonderful to know for sure what peace is? How many people? No peace. How many people? No freedom. How many people? No joy. Hardly anybody. That's why people suffer so much in the world when they go through life, hardly any wiser than when they started. Well, they always have problems in life, problems in relationships, problems in health. Problems are just getting by because we don't know. Which is why in Buddhism we teach meditation rooted as the core. We encourage it as a way of knowing. As a way of overcoming these five hindrances of desire. Ill will. Restlessness, which means you don't stay long enough with anything to really know it properly. Like going through the in the car, looking through the window. Being fully awake to what's happening and not questioning until the end. If we can do that, then we find we know. Mindfulness. This word which is used in Buddhism becomes real mindfulness, empowered mindfulness only when those five obstacles are overcome. If there's still some desire, ill will, restlessness, sloth, tiredness and doubt, then mindfulness will never see things as it truly are. They only see what you want to see while you're blocked out or you don't want to see. That's why we teach. If you want to find out whether such a thing as rebirth and reincarnation. Don't try and second guess this. Don't come into the experiment trying to prove one thing or another. Keep their open minds. No desire. No ill will. No restlessness. No tiredness. No doubt. Just ask the question. Unlocked. Look without any vested interest in what you're going to find. Look, without any type of ego about being proved right or prove wrong. Look. And then, you know, you don't look outside and look inside. It becomes very clear when you are a meditator, when you look clearly, when you stop your car and you look very clearly at what's actually happening or who you are. It becomes so obvious you are not this body of yours. You're not a girl or boy. You're not old. You're not young. The people in here and boys, 11 or 12, old people 70 or 80 or even older. Are you that body? You know you're not that body. That's very obvious. But we keep on missing that you're not so of your nationality. Last week, as a World Cup rugby, I was in a very fortunate position because I've got dual nationality. Any English Australian. So I waited to find out who won first of all. Then I supported that team is now Worcester that they could be happy now. But am I English? No. Am I Australia? No. It is the monk. Am I a monkey for? No, that's just the robes on the outside. Who are. You know, if you look at and ask that question and stop with all the vested interest on who you think you are, who you want to be, then of course, after a while you start to see who you are. There's an old experiments object lesson, which I do very often in retreats. I hold up something, usually this thing over here, and I ask people, what is this? If you haven't seen this experiment before, you can do it right now. What is this? Somebody says it's a stick. Somebody says since crock cloth on the on the top. Someone says it's a couple. What else is it? People looking. Let go of desire. Ill will let go of ego. Let go of restlessness. And allow the mind just to stop and see. Let go of doubt of all this. What's he doing this for? What am I supposed to be doing? What's the point of all this? Let go of all those hindrances. There's obstacles to trysts, and you'll find the longer you look, the more you see. The deeper you see and after, while you see deeply in this little object which I'm holding here, and it's much, much more than a gong bong. And if you can love her, your partner in life like this. They're not just another old person you think you know. You look and ah, the longer you look, the more you see, the deeper you see. You understand what knowing really is. Put aside your partner and look at yourself. Who is this big you think you know? Do you really know yourself? Stop and keep on looking. After a while. Just like looking at the gong. Gong is not just a man. It's not just a woman. It's not just this age is not just a Buddhist or a Catholic or whatever. You go far deeper than that. You go to the inner person, the mind. It should become pretty clear if you put aside all evil vested interest. This being in here is much older than 20, 30, 40, 60, 80 years. The truth of rebirth should be very clear. And the truth of karma. Your actions. Why this happens to you. Why you are here. Why you have this happiness. And that problem should become quite plain if you just allow the mind to sink in yourself. And the most important thing. Happiness. What is happiness? Someone said to ask me before I came in here. Do you agree with the Dalai Lama's statement that the ultimate purpose of life is happiness and said, yeah, that's very accurate. What is happiness? Put happiness up in front of you like the gong bong. And allow the mind to stay. To stop with happiness. And find out what it truly is. With joy. With freedom. Freedom is a beautiful word. Freedom is something which we all think we have, but only few truly possess. Are you free? The answer is no. You know, in the power of your passions, you are controlled by your cravings. You are in the possession of your body so much you afraid of death. Are you really free? There are two freedoms in the world, said the Buddha. The freedom of desire, which is the only freedom most people know. The freedom to come and go wherever you will. The freedom to watch whatever TV programme you want. Which is why we have one TV and more for every person in the house these days. So you can always watch what we want to watch. That's called a freedom of desire. But the real freedom the Buddha pointed out. If you look at yourself, look at freedom and go into it. The real freedom is the freedom from desire. You're free from these desires, from the cravings which push and pull us throughout our life. So if you see some ice cream, you can take it or not take it. That you are in control. Rather than the ice cream being in control. You can look at that cake in the reception area and you can take it or not take it. Instead of the cake being control, you are in control. You see that beautiful girl or beautiful man? You are free. You see the $100 note? You are three. So on your piece of paper, that's all it is. Are you free? But the desire for money. If I gave you $1 million. To become a nun. Become a monk. Would you take it? Certainly. So you would have had a bit of back. I should add that and mods are not allowed to have money, so it's can't anyway. Are you free? Many years ago, one of our monks use a Canadian monk. He's still among today. Over in Thailand. His parents were multimillionaires, and they came to see him in Thailand with a cheque for 1 million US. We're now in his name. They give it to him if he disrobed. He left a monkey and must have been about 25 years ago, when $1 million was worth much more than it is these days. He said no. He'd rather be a monk and have nothing than have $1 million us. He was free from money, from the desire for money. Is the freedom from desires. What a wonderful freedom that is. Freedom from possession is possession. Possess and is not. We possess the possessions. So when we see truths, knowledge, we can see this for ourselves. When we give out desire and ill will, when we give our restlessness. And this doubtless of the mind will give up doubt, and allow things to reveal their truth to us. That's what we call knowledge revealed knowledge we see for ourselves and all these things which bend the truth. Are you moved? That is what you can trust. That is why Buddhist meditate to abandon those hindrances. To be still so you can truly see. And when we see. That's called enlightenment. Enlightenment is coming. Stage by stage. Incrementally. You start to see the truth of things. You do become one who knows for yourself. You don't become one who believes. You become one who knows. So you can know. And that's how you know for yourself. You can find out everything which will put her found. Buddha once said, the truth is not to be found in the words of a Buddha, though not to be found in the books are not to be found in the the talks. The truth is to be found that he said it in his fathom long body of yours. Be found within you. That's how we know. And all people who give talks, it is telling you how to find out. So that's about what knowledge is. We don't argue. We looked with the five hindrances overcome. So do you know? So any questions and comments about knowing. Yes. Go on. Okay. That particular diode, you say it's another part of that which is important. And that is actually questioning many things like questioning our possessions, questioning whether you need to own all this stuff. Questioning, in that sense is. And I'm not always asking the question again and again and again and again and again, which is like interrupting the data search, but putting aside all assumptions before we begin, because we start our investigation of life with so many assumptions. So many sort of vested interests, so many things we expect to see. And here, sir, to find truth, we've got to put aside everything. This is actually really the job. Not sort of of overcoming doubt by doubt here. This means always interrupting the investigation with more and more questions, sort of as you're going along the path of stopping the mind. The stilling the mind of coming to. Yes, you have to begin with the doubt that the doubting, the delusion, doubting. You know what you've been taught. Doubting your original view of the world. This is actually right. Science always actually just to put aside everything you've taught, been taught everything you've learned, everything you want to believe. Because we always go into, well, our relationships with our party, relationships with others, relationships to life. There's so much baggage, girl. Put aside that package first of all. Think that's what you're asking, isn't it? Which is actually one of one of the great things that soy. Aha! Well, this is again how you're saying the mind always takes upon itself. This is my problem. This is the. And that is actually that is the big problem where we have the ownership coming again from the sense of self. One of the big questions of all philosophy, religion of life is like, who am I? And again, that's. Is carrying baggage. Who am I? Is assuming that one is something when trying to find out who that is. And that again is the wrong question. The question is that am I? Or what is this thing I take to be me? If you ask the right question, actually expanding the investigation so there's no baggage at all inside, then it's a true investigation. So you look upon this thing which you take to be Lawrence. Without any assumptions at all. And you put all those what you expect to find, where you don't expect to find a way that you to find out who this person is. And you got to take up this thing you take to be Lawrence and put it in front of you a long enough in stillness to see what it truly is. And when you see there's no one really in, there is no being which can own anything. No one gives up this ownership of things and is the ownership which creates all the problems, the ownership of my ideas, of my reputation, of my property. And of course, one of the things we most of us think we own is our body. Do you own your body? Are you willing to sort of give your organs to other beings who need them? Your death to give your liver, your, uh. You know, what other parts of your body you want? One of the. I'm hoping because I suffer from hay fever. I'm hoping one day someone offered me a nose. Have a nice transplant would be very, very useful. Get liver transplants. What I really like was like an Aboriginal nurse. Because we're nice having a black nose in front of a white face. It'll be my commitment to sort of multiracial ism. That's the point. The point is that why is it that sometimes people, they they feel reticent about, say, giving their organs to somebody else when they're about to die? Well, they're not organ donors as because as my organ, I can't give it away. As if it's like yours. Insider ownership creates a problems. When you realize it is this body is not yours, it's just you're renting it. You're looking after it for a while. It belongs to nature and you're quite willing to give it back to nature. You're willing to let it go. When your possessions you realize you don't really own anything. It belongs to others. You don't get so upset when the burglar comes and teaches you dharma that is not yours. 7s Or when somebody dies. And again, a burglar of death comes and takes away somebody and you realize it wasn't yours anyway. There's always a time. It's our problem. We think it's our children. Now you've got children. Bones. Are they really yours? Do they belong to you? And they are proven. If they belong to you, they'll be able to do what you want. And even I see some, they'll go off. You know, you mothers and fathers have your children. You look after them for so many years and they go off to other parts of the country, other parts of the earth. We don't own them. They come into our lives for a certain time. We look after them. Now we have to let them go. Otherwise you'll suffer for the rest of your life. Trying to own something which you can never own. Trying to control something which belongs to nature, not to you. That's the truth. The things. People should be like birds. When the birds have their young. When the young are old enough to fly. The birds kick them out of the nest. And we never sort of do any more than that and disperse. Go fly away. And the young look after themselves. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I hear some of you say no because I like my son and daughter at home. This attachment. Anyway, I'll ask your question. Was it another talk? Any other question? Yeah. One more. Yeah. Go on. How did you overcome restlessness? Just understand that restlessness is always running away from the present moment, always wanting something else. Restlessness is a different type of wanting, a different type of ill will. I wonder why do we move so much? Why do you always rush around so much? Because we're not happy where we are. Why is it we buy a house? We decorate it Paradise garden. As soon as we get a weekend, we go somewhere else. We go down Dunsborough go up north. Since we have a holiday, we go off to Singapore. We go off to Bali or whatever. Why is it? Why can't we just stay put? We put all that money into your house and make it so comfortable and stay there. Save a lot of money. Because we're restless. Why do we get a good job? We want to get another job. We have a nice partner when another partner. Restless. We have a nice life and they want another life afterwards. Restless. Because you can see us. We are afraid. Refer to. Stop moving. A lot of it is fear. And the filter stopping. Afraid what we might find when we start running away. That's why that always give that a symbol of, like a ghost being chased by a ghost. People are afraid of ghosts. But you know the ghosts are afraid of blanks. Because we know them. And so as soon as the the ghost is chasing you, if you just turn around and say boo to the ghost and the ghost runs away. And sad like the fear. Were we running away from the ghosts? There's phantoms. We turn around and say boo to that phantom. Her fear and fear disappears. So there we can stop. Okay, I think if I answered your question, but that's enough now because it's gone past the time. We're not going to give you overtime this evening. I worked all today.