Using the framework of what happened on the night that Siddhartha Gotama became a fully awakened Buddha, Ajahn Brahm gives an outline of what the Buddha taught with a focus on rebirth, kamma and vipaka (actions and their results), and the Four Noble Truths.
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 21st Nov 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! ]
Okay. Now most people have come in or gone out. This evening's talk show is going to be on the subject or in the title What the Buddha Taught. And recently, about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I was in Melbourne and I gave her a big public talk at a venue in the centre of the city. And the topic was that title, What the Buddha Taught. And that particular venue had many people of a thousand people who are new to Buddhism, who probably never heard a talk on Buddhism before. So I gave that title to them, however, because it was an audience who had hardly any exposure to Buddhist teachings, I quoted a very moderate, easy to understand level. But this evening, because this is a weekly talk, I can actually use that title to explain more, deeper and maybe do more justice to the title of what the Buddha taught. And I'm going to structure the talk around an event which happened at the most crucial time of the Buddha's life. Actually, what happened on that night of his enlightenment? And many of you know that having sat meditation under the Bodie tree, which is so, was a place in Berjaya in India, having gained a deep space of meditation called the jhana. In the first part of the night, using the power conferred upon the mind by the state, Mazzetti states, and also the data of those states he married to remember many of his past lives. He got the basic Buddhist truth theory or teaching, whatever you wish to call it that. Me what is teaching on reincarnation or rebirth? And then the second part of the night, he took that further to understand the law of karma. And the third part of the night. The four noble Truths, which gave rise to full enlightenment and freedom from suffering. So that that was an important occasion and that can host a sequence of events, can actually symbolize sort of what Buddhism is all about, especially those three insights which came on the night of his enlightenment the insight into reincarnation, into karma, and into the Four Noble Truths, the end of suffering. And if anyone wishes to ask what the Buddha taught, that was really what he was talking about throughout the whole of his life. You start off with a Buddhist teaching of rebirth or reincarnation. Sometimes people are picky and they say should really call it rebirth, because rebirth differs from reincarnation in that reincarnation assumes there was some being, some self, some soul which gets transferred from one body to another, where rebirth is the idea of a process which goes from one body to another. The same way that you might say like a mango and mangoes got its genetic code. And when that foursome a tree and makes a new tree and has more mangoes and the two code changes, it's not quite the same as what was there before. Even the molecules, the atoms are different, but is something which is similar a flow of characteristics which mutate little by little every time in the same way that we can see just as flow of consciousness, we call it from one life to another, is what we mean by rebirth. And now the consequences were. First of all, is that teaching of rebirth in Buddhism. First of all, it's not just a dogma, not something a person believes in. It's not something you have to take an authority from other people, but it is something you can prove for yourself in this very life. You don't have to wait till you die to find out whether this rebirth or not. Sometimes people people think that. So anyway, there was actually one person I remember reading about this very sad story because he killed himself on his suicide note. He said, I really wanted to find out whether reincarnation is true or not. That's actually a true story. It's not a joke. He actually suicided to find out whether there's such a thing as reincarnation. And of course, you know, if there wasn't, he wouldn't find that anyway, would he? But anyway, that's for those people who are really intelligent to get that one right. On the other hand. That we can find out for ourselves in this very life. And the reason we find out for ourselves whether there is such a thing as rebirth. Reincarnation is through that practice of meditation, just as a Buddha did get into deep state of. Peace. Tranquility. Deep states of power in the mind. And first of all, if you can actually remember, can't actually remember your past lives and the way of doing that after a very deep meditation to make that suggestion to yourself. What is my earliest memory? What is my earliest memory? And very often, only when you're in deep states of meditation, you make that suggestion so that memories from the past come into your mind. Very clear. And also come along with them will come the very strange but very characteristic certainty. So that was actually these memories, which come as a result of meditation, always carried that certainty that that was you at a different time, a different place, a different life. And people do that these days. So remember their past lives as a result of deep meditation. And you can do that. If you can only get into those deep meditative states. If you can't actually remember your past lives, at least when you see what actually is at the center of yourself. When you go into deep meditation, you'll find that what you actually looking at is this thing we call the mind that what is inside of you. What I sometimes call in an assembly the emperor underneath the five pieces of garments. An emperor is five garments. He's got boots which cover the feet, and the legs go right up to his thighs. He's got trousers which cover his waist and go over the boots. He's got a jacket which covers the top of his body, way over the waist, down to his wrists, up to his neck, but big gloves which cover his wrists, and a helmet which goes on top of his head. All those five pieces of clothing overlapping to the point that you can't see anything of the Emperor underneath those five pieces of clothing, so you don't really know who's actually underneath all of this. And in that similarly, the Emperor stands for you, the mind, the soul, if you like, whatever you wish to call it, that which is at the heart of this thing which you call you. And the five pieces of clothing are the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching which covers up this thing deep within us. And the whole idea of meditation is to take off those five pieces of clothing, that you take off the clothes of the Emperor to find out whether the emperor is a man or a woman, whether he's Australian, Sri Lankan, Thai or African American or what. Find out exactly what's underneath this. When you take off the clothes for the five senses and you see what's underneath. The whole point of the meditation is to subdue the five senses, to calm them down, so you can see what lies underneath. That's why when you are sitting, we let go. We close our eyes so we don't see. After a while we don't hear. We don't feel the body. We don't smell. We don't taste what's left. When the five senses stop. It has to be. Does this mind? Well, in Buddhism, we call the sixth sense. And when you see that mind in deep meditation, you come face to face with it and you get familiar with it. There's one thing which becomes very obvious and obvious truth, which you see for yourself, which you DON'trillionEAD in the book, which you don't have to believe from somebody else. It is your insight. Your experience of truth is that that mind is something which is completely independent of the body. The body might die, break up. But the mind continues on. The flow of consciousness, that which you see in deep meditation. It's interesting that Hamilton is before those people who do get into deep meditation. Very often, when the mind gets very still, what they see, what they experience in deep meditation is this beautiful light we call the limiter. Very, very beautiful, very powerful. And it's a sign of concentration. Samadhi. Limited. The Buddha called it. It's also the sign of the mind, reflecting that which we know as a mind. And it's very similar to those people who have. Experiences of death out of the body, experiences of people who remember their past lives. What happens? They go floating out of their body with the five senses who stopped. And where do they go? They go towards the light. Second, the same light you see in meditation. Only in meditation. You're not dead. It's a much safer way of finding out what happens to you when you die. You will be experiencing this. And you know what? That light is just a reflection of this mind, the emperor within. And so those are the two ways which people usually know for themselves the truth of reincarnation or rebirth, either through remembering directly your past lives, knowing who you were. I was telling somebody the other day there was a reading, an article of a British comedian called Roy Hart. Some of you may know the guy, and we may not know that one time that he got lost in London, even though he was a Londoner, he got lost and took a wrong turning. And when he went down a street, according to this article. He felt extremely strange. The hair on the back of his head came up. It was weird. It was strange because memories started to come back to him. He realized on that street he'd lived before and a time long ago. For those of you who know London, you know they have a custom. Of putting blue circular signs. Will the names of the people who used to live in those places a long time ago. They may be scientists like Sir Alexander Fleming, who developed penicillin, and maybe Winston Churchill or whoever was famous and lived in those old houses. They would put signs to tell people. When he came to this house, he saw the sign, but he knew who lived there before. For anyone who knows the history of entertainment. In the late 19th century. Early 20th century London. One of the most famous and popular musical comedians was a person called Dan Lehner. He lived in that house, and the comedian Roy Hart knew that that was him in the previous life. Before he was a musical entertainer in this life, a television comedian still having similar characteristics like the mango for one tree to its next tree. But interestingly, he knocked on the door. I remember reading the article and of course, being a well-known personality in England, they opened the door straight away. Wonder what he was doing there? And he took them on a tour of the house he'd never been in before. This is what happens sometimes people do get those experiences of their past lives. So if you don't get your own experience of a past life, at least in deep meditation, you can know that that must happen. When you see that the mind is suddenly completely separate from the body, and it does not depend upon an active brain. As was reported in The Lancet, the British Medical Association journal, out of the body experiences only happen. When a person is brain dead. When the brain is not active. That's one of the findings. Professor Pim, something or other in Holland did the research in the Netherlands and printed in The Lancet, a journal the British Medical Association wrote us about a year ago. I think the point is that it can be proved. The next part is the consequences of rebirth. If there is such a thing as rebirth, that actually tells you many of the ideas of Buddhism. The first thing. It shows you the whole big picture. Instead of just looking at one life, we have this huge panorama of many lives. And this is what I put a thought. When you look at many, many lives when a person dies young. Just yesterday I came in here especially for a ceremony of a young man, James Dean. His name was, who died in England, only 21. His story was in the newspaper this morning. I remember reading it at a monastery. Sometimes if a 21 year old dies, we think that must be very, very tough to bear. If a 12 year old, a six year old or five year old dies, we think it's unfair that something's gone wrong in life. So often when a person dies unexpected, we get angry. This shouldn't happen this way. Why does it happen? If you have the big picture of many lives of reincarnation. Rebirth. It makes it much more understandable. If you only had one life. Sometimes many people who die young, or who die without having had much fulfillment in life haven't had much chances in life. It looks so unfair. And it goes against our natural gut feeling of justice. Really, there's only one life. This world is incredibly unjust, unfair. And we have to keep asking that question. Why? So the good person die young rider, old scallywags, people who are reprobates, thieves. Now why do they keep living for so long? If it's only one one life. Goodness doesn't make sense. If it's only one life. Your life doesn't make sense. We'll take that big picture. A lot of loose ends get tied together when you realize you've lived before. When you realize you're going to live again, it gives a whole different picture to things. A couple of days ago, I was talking with a rabbi. In a societal function we had up in the Premier's Department, and apparently that there was an interview, which I did, I forgot about, which was on the ABC, about the Buddhist ideas of capital punishment. And so one of the things which I said was the capital punishment doesn't solve the problem. If you kill somebody because they've done some terrible, terrible things in Buddhism, they come back again. And very often I repeat the things again because they haven't learned the lesson. You just know, change their bodies, that's all. We haven't taught them. So that's one of the reasons why Buddhism doesn't, you know, thing that capital punishment is a good idea. In fact, what you're really doing, encouraging them with more violence, making the people because you're not getting rid of the person, they come back again. Well, if you don't look after elderly people, if you don't look after the old people, maybe that 60, 70, 80, 90. Economically, there's no reason to look after old people. There are ways to resources. So, you know, why don't just throw them in the corner and forget about them? Because the market forces say that old people don't count. But Buddhism say they do reincarnation because those old people are going to come back as your kids. And I always say the problem with young people today is because you never looked after the old people 10 or 20 years ago. I know the kids have taken their own back. So when it's reincarnation of rebirth, there must be. It's more a compulsion to look after people at all times of their life. When you realize these old people are not sort of at the end of their life, they're the end of one phase of one life amongst many. And it's going to go on and on and on. So life hasn't finished for when you get old. It's just a stage you're going through and the circle goes round and you're young again later on. So even when you're very old, it's still things to learn. It's still things to do. It's not a waste of time. Old age is vital for your next life. So it gives a completely different picture of what is important in life and the materialistic part of life, with only one life. That makes certain parts of life and certain people in the world. Unimportant without value. When you have rebirth, it's a whole different picture. It changes ethics. The reason why we do things and the values we give to what we do. It means that no one. Even the worst of criminals or rapists or whatever, they are going to come back again somewhere at some time. Punishment or just trying to get rid of them or execute them, or trying to think they will never exist again, is not an option anymore. It has always to be therapy, healing. Given her word therapy. You know where the word therapy comes from? It comes from therapeutic. Its therapeutic also came from the therapeutic monks who lived in Alexandria 2000 years ago. It's another talk, but those monks were Theravada Buddhist monks in Alexandria, India, 2000 years ago. Claudia by Philo of Alexandria. From Theravada. This religion. Here comes Terapeutica terapeutico. Therapeutic from therapeutic therapy. We have the franchise, the patents on therapy. We started it. Which is why psychotherapy has come out of full circle and become Buddhist again. It started off as a Buddhist wended its way in many different areas and was coming back again. But when you have rebirth. The big lives, many lives. You can see the different picture and it has consequences for our world. And those consequences are benevolent, benign, compassionate and kind. Well, it's only one life, you see. Well, why not kill that guy? They just a pain. Killing them would just get them their just deserts earlier and go off to hell quicker the better. Some people think when it's realized they're going to come back again, that's no solution. You've got more responsibility. You cannot put off that responsibility. And that responsibility, which comes from an understanding of rebirth, is what karma is all about, which is one of the other pillars of Buddhist teachings. And it's a very beautiful pillow as well because the calm is personal. It's not somebody else's fault. Again, in our Western materialistic societies, it's a victim society. We want to blame somebody else. That's why we keep suing everybody. And we have all these problems with insurance because, you know, someone actually trips over in your temple and they sue you, and that's the end of your temple. Of course. You know, here, if you trip over, it's not our fault. It's your fault, karma. You should know that. So don't try suing us. I'll see you back. Because what you do to me has to come back to you. So come. And it's really true, isn't it? How often is it you read in newspapers? What is it? Some people in the United States were suing McDonald's for making them fat. I'm. This is crazy, isn't it? I choose to to eat McDonald's. Not to actually suit his school for not being more severe with him because he, you know, flattered his exams. Who's lazy? It's not the kitten. The school's fault. It's not your parents fault. Is it? Is it your fault? In Buddhism, we say you take responsibility for your actions. Somewhere down the line is Kamala. Maybe won't be able to see it in this life. Why did this happen to me? We have the big picture and some there are some therapies where they try and take people back to previous lives to find out the big question why? Why did this happen to me? Why am I like this? Why have I got this particular sickness or illness or this thing always happens to me? Why am I poor? Why do I work very hard? But I don't make it. Why do these other guys, they just go and buy a lottery ticket and they win every time. Yes, you find out through the law of karma when you have. The big picture. And in the big picture, what the Buddha found when he had his amazing mind, we could not only remember his past life that he saved us. Why the people actually get reborn like this. Why they get reborn like that. The thing he found was life is fair. Sometimes people don't believe that. I think that. Why does somebody win the lottery and I didn't. It serves because of their kindness and generosity in previous lives. That's why. Recently was one of my old friends when I was a young monk. Is about ordained one year, two years after me. When he actually came to help. I'll do the tiling in our pollution block down in serpentine. Short time afterwards, he disrobed. I lost contact with him. But more than that, being a disciple of my teacher Rajan Shah, he worked hard to build a special heart. A special committee for my teacher. For the time he was sick. And he worked so hard on that. We never realized where he went to. But when Yana came recently, he told me that this monk is Naoko. Steve. And he's from Sydney. He went to visit Thailand early this year. They hadn't seen him for 15 years. 1015 years. He came because he'd won the lottery. Her big price. And he always thought, he told Agen Joanna Dunmore. The reason he won that lottery was because of all the good karma he did to a monk, like echinacea for building that hut and having won the lottery, he thought it was only right to share it with the monastery up in Thailand. There was a reason behind it. And he saw that. Why is it that some people become bankrupt? It is because they weren't kind. There was a chance to help someone else and they didn't. Why is it that some people are healthy? For the sailors because you're kind to other people. In sickness, you look after them. You give up your time to somebody else who needs your help. It seems so fair. And if you help other people overcome their sicknesses. So you should have good health yourself. Who you have long life because you give life to others. People were fishermen. Butchers or go hunting for sport. They say if you lessen the life of others, you usually have a short life yourself. It seems, in a sense quite fair. So that law of karma is much more complex than that. I'm only just giving a generalization, but it gives you an insight into the big question why? Why do these things happen for us? And it also gives you the quest, the answer to the question, what can I do about it? Which is the second part of the big questions people want to know in the world is pain, is suffering. Why? Where did it come from? And now what can I do about it? And the Buddha said, there's always something you can do about it. Because calm is always active. You're always making karma. You're not a prisoner of karma. They say you an heir to come. And if you're an heir, you have an inheritance. You know that some people blow their inheritance within a few years. Other people have got a very small inheritance and make it grow, and they become very wealthy. What you mean by being an heir to our karma, what we've got from previous lives. Well, we've actually earned this, actually, how we use it now, it is most important. And I was always in great teaching of law, of karma. So really, it depends what we're doing with what we've got. And the whole of karma and the law of rebirth reincarnation. That is where we get the ethics of Buddhism from the values. Last week. Last Sunday I was on the radio 96 F-m doing a show there, and I never actually really realized what I was getting into, but I was there with a sexologist. Me and the sexologist that had told me before. I said, hang on, should I be doing this? So fortunately, knowing there was a mark there, there were sort of quiet, sort of restrained. I think the word is. One of the questions which came through, came through was, was Buddhist attitude to homosexuality. And this is very, very important question these days with what's happening in the the the Anglican Church, with Bishop Gene Robinson in the United States being ordained as a bishop and almost splitting the church. And I asked the rabbi the other day what a Jewish idea of homosexuality. And he said, oh, you've got to be compassionate to them. We don't agree with it. And I thought, hang on, that's being contradictory. And so it was almost schizophrenic. The idea of, you know, to love the person but hate the sin. They say it's the that doesn't work. It's a schizophrenic saying that. So I was actually just saying straight down the line, Buddhism, the law of karma, rebirth being good. It doesn't matter if you're a homosexual, heterosexual or a monk. She. Which is the third option. Technology and romance include nuns as well. It doesn't matter which one it is. It's what you're doing with it. Because monks were good. Monks were bad monks. Good nuns and bad nuns. And you've seen them in the paper? Sometimes a good ones. And the bad ones. Actually. You don't see the good ones in the paper, do you? And you only see the bad ones. Good. Homosexuals. Bad homosexuals. Good heterosexuals. Bad heterosexuals. In Buddhism. It doesn't matter what it is. It's what you're doing with it makes it ethically good or ethically bad. And I was actually mentioning that on the I think I mentioned on the program, but I mentioned it very often that this is an ethics which the Buddha taught as a result of the deep insights based on meditation, understanding karma and rebirth, but which also makes sense. They harmonize. They rhyme with what people feel inside their hearts. I always think that, you know, if if all those people actually. Who. Have homophobia or who have a xenophobia. You know, people don't like people from other countries or whatever. If they can only live with with the people they hate and don't understand, but they get to know them and all of that sort of stupidity disappears. And if one gets to know a homosexual as a friend, one gets to know sort of an Asian. If know one is anti-Asian. If one gets to a muslim, gets to know a Buddhist as a friend. Then all of that sort of hatred and thinking they're somehow different will all disappear. And it's only through ignorance, through delusion, that we make these silly ideas that this is bad and this is good. It's how you're doing it. Because the most important part, and we feel that inside of us, once we get to know other people, we get to have a wider experience of life. We feel that there's nothing wrong with this. There's nothing bad with this is a really good people, kind people, whether Muslims, whether they're from Eskimos or whatever. It doesn't matter. It's the quality of the person. And God always said this. He said, a person's goodness doesn't really matter from where they come from, who their father was, what their status is in society. A person should be measured by their who they are now, by the actions in this moment. And this is actually just common sense, and it sort of takes away all the problem, you know, with these ideas of homosexuality. If Gene Robinson is a good bishop, good on him. He should be a bishop. Doesn't matter whether it's a homosexual, whether he's an Asian, even if he's not even a Christian, if he's a good bishop going for it. You know, I found out that in a Roman Catholic church, you don't have to be a cardinal to be elected as a pope. Now because the present Pope is quite old now. In fact, you don't even need to be a Christian. Who knows, I might be elected. Oh, I'll change things if there. That's how the joke. How are you playing around? I'm putting it into trouble next time when the Catholics. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing, though, if one chose a person for that position? So actually, I saw this in the English newspaper in one of the Anglican schools in England. They chose a muslim as the headmaster headmistress. What a great idea. Anglican school. The headmistress is a muslim. Who cares whether what the religion is a good person and the good manager and go for it. Why not? Interesting question, isn't it? Why not? So the point is here that. When you have the law of karma, when you have the idea of rebirth. He gives a far more tolerant and meaningful ethics to life. It makes a lot more sense. And from that, that would have actually taught his son Rahul. But this is what the Buddha actually taught. No atom bomb taught. Not what you saw. You try and spread around just to make people feel good. It's not telling people what they want to hear, but telling what the Buddha actually taught. He told his son Rahul her basic ethics. If it hurts another person, if it hurts yourself, that's bad karma. If it gives happiness to yourself. Happiness to others is good karma. Very simple. Very meaningful. Very useful. So when you want to find out what's flying, what's wrong in life, when he got these very difficult ethical decisions to make, instead of looking in a book, in some Bible or or some Torah or some Koran or some even Buddhist script, what are the Buddhists say? This he said, this is how you decide. One of the great things about the law of birth and commerce. We're not going to tell you what to do. The Buddhism is going to help you find out what to do. Buddhism assist you make decisions. It doesn't make those decisions for you a car because it's your karma. In other religions. It's too patriarchal, too hierarchical. You should do this. You can't do that. And if you must be messed around again, you're not allowed in a local Buddhist center, not a male ever again. You're blacklisted. We don't have that because it's against some of the fundamental. Teachings of the Buddha. So your advise and help to make those decisions yourself. Is it going to help someone help yourself or is it going to hurt others? You're going to hurt yourself. That's what you balance. That's how you make your decision. That's how you look. Whether it's the case of an abortion. Where's the case of you have a pet who's dying? Should you taken as the vet or not? It is a case of euthanasia. Oh would if her other problems one has in life. That's how we solve those problems. And no one solves the problems for you. They assist you, make your decision. And they support you from loving kindness as a result. This is how we we learn and we allow to make mistakes because that's how we learned. You're not punished for your mistakes. Guilt has no part in Buddhism. You know why? Guilt has no part in Buddhism. Because it doesn't fit ethics. Does guilt help anybody? Does it help yourself or help another to feel guilty? And always know no no no no. To give up guilt, to let go of the past, to learn from it. Maybe you feel sorry about it, but don't go punishing yourself. That's helping yourself and that's helping others. Bringing happiness to life. Grieving over a loved one. Who does that help? To help the loved one, to help you, to help your family as it cause pain to yourself and pain to others. Now could understand why traditionally and now Greece is unethical in Buddhism. It's bad karma. It's not helping. So one understands this amazing teaching and where it actually leads. It gives a different aspect in life. It gives tolerance. I mean, real tolerance. Not saying I'm compassionate to you, but I hate what you're doing. No no no no. You're compassionate to you and you're compassionate to what you're doing. You've got the right to make their decision and to learn from it. And that learning forgiveness, you know, the the Buddhist way, the AFL code. Acknowledge. Forgive, learn. When it was happening. You acknowledge it, you forgive it, so you don't care around guilt or grief. Or anger to somebody else, and you learn from it, you grow from it. This is what the Buddha said when anybody did anything wrong to the Buddha, when they tried to once assassinate him. Some, uh, mercenaries. They were hired killers went to kill the Buddha. They just couldn't do it. Because someone like the Buddhist is so kind and so soft. Even the worst murderers, they come close to the Buddha, their eyes just too soft. You can't kill someone like that. It was just so nice. And so they said sorry. They put down their sword and said, look, I came here to kill you. I just can't be myself to do it. Notably, Twitter said acknowledge your mistake. Learn from it. And that's growth in the dumber as how we grow. In the spiritual life. Acknowledging, forgiving, learning from it. There's no punishment. There was no sort of no going back 100 times to the Buddha statue next time. You know, sometimes I give. And sometimes some of the young monks or any Gurkhas, though, make mistakes in my monastery and they feel so guilty they want me to punish them. So I killed them. 50 strokes of the cat. I did 50 strokes for the cat. We got a little cat there called Kitty Cat. They've got a stroke at 50 times. Scroll through the playlist for the 50 strokes of the cat. Look, they're going to be kind of compassionate to someone. Isn't that a wonderful punishment? Instead of like, hurting yourself, hurting someone else. 50 strokes the cat with 50 strokes of a monastery. Kick your cat. So there's no punishment there. And that all comes down to the final part of what the Buddha took, because at the very end, after he became a light and taught, the fall I would was. And that has been with Rebirth and Carmel, the essence of Buddhism and their essence of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, as many you know. I've switched, switched, switched them around, and I've got full light to do that, because it's exactly what they put a thought, not in the same words, but in the same meaning. For noble truths, happiness is cause, happiness number one, the cause of happiness. Number two, that sometimes is unhappiness. Number three why is that happiness? Number four. And that became the heart of the Buddhist teachings. All about happiness and unhappiness. Sometimes we call it suffering unhappiness. Why? So there's something which was showing the workings at a deeper level of karma, because this was all karma's how to be happy. Why sometimes is unhappiness and straight away the law of karma in that for noble truths don't blame anybody else. If you try blaming other people, you just wasting the time looking in the wrong place. You know that old story. Say it once more. If you're in happiness or you're in pain, if you're suffering and you blame somebody else, what is it? It's like having an itch on your head and scratching your bottom. Remember that one flight? If someone else had an itch or your head and scratching your bottom, you find you get two itches instead of one. You could make things worse when you blame others. So where it is. That's where you scratch. Where is it? Suffering. Not your husband, not your job, not your wife, not your kids. You. That is where you go. It hurts. To the sweaty. Karma. Taking responsibility, not allowing other people to control your happiness. Why do we allow other people to control happiness? Why do we allow life's uncertainties to control your happiness when things go wrong? Does it really help if you crash your car to feel miserable afterwards or let it spoil your day? Do you really? Why is it that you allow yourself to become unhappy when somebody calls you an idiot and a fool? Why? It's because we're not strong enough. We just give our happiness away too easily. Do you really so concerned what other people think of you and say about you? Why? What right has another person to judge you? How can they know who you are? Why you do those things? All the forces and conditions and reasons why you said and did that. How many times have you been treated unfairly without full understanding? So when people treat you unfairly, without, without a standing, why take that seriously and allow other people's ignorance to destroy your happiness? After a while. Just don't do that anymore. People can look at me and I see, you know, why are you going around in your. Your bed sheets. Why are you dressed like a girl? Why do you get a proper job? Well, if you can actually have a laugh, enjoy it, and never allow anyone else to control my happiness. To allow life. To control happiness. Where things go wrong. When things go right. Why do you allow that? To control your happiness. When you get sick. When you get healthy, this life. When the stories are told of that talk. The old story in China. Soldier came to see him, who'd been shot and wounded in the army, came to complain. Oh, so bad luck. Why did I get shot? Why did I get wounded? And of course, the obvious answer was what do you expect? That's what happens to soldiers. When people shoot at you, you know, that's that's always in the contract, isn't it? And this soldier expects themselves never to be shot out. You know, this is stupid. You shouldn't join up if you don't expect that. That was actually easy to understand when the man came up and he said, okay, I understand now, I got shot, so join the army. The next person who came up was a woman to complain about her husband. Why does my husband do this? While I do that and I can try, I gave the same answer. What do you expect when you get married? That's what husbands are like this in the contract. And all of you get upset at your kids. What do you expect with children? I said the contrary. That's what is alike. You think, oh, the kids should always do what I'm told. How come? Get real. Was in the contract a lot of times. Children die. We get upset when somebody dies. What to expect as Pas part of the contract. That's life. Are getting shot as a soldier. Once you're born, you're open to die any time. Knife shoots you. Sometimes it makes a direct hit and you die. Sometimes it misses 8090 years of age and is still going strong. But that's part of the contract of life. When you as a mother bring someone into the world, you never know how long they're going to be here. You give them life, but their karma gives them the length of their life. It's par for the course. So why do we allow the laws of nature? To control our happiness. When we let go, we let go. Through understanding. Understanding that when you shoulder. Soldier, you get shot at. Par for the course. The problem is disappearing when you understand. Oh, this is why. When somebody dies young, the problem goes when it's, oh, this is why. Through seeing clearly life, the laws of life. We never allow life to control our happiness. Craving disappears, wanting to change things. One of the things to be something they can never be. That, I'm sorry to say. That's like searching for the tortoise with a mustache. You try searching for tortoise with a mustache. It's like the single looking for the perfect partner in life. Know those are things are perfect, partner. A person looking for the perfect home, looking for the perfect body, the perfect whatever it is. Looking for the tortoise with a mustache. Tortoises don't have mustaches. Husbands are not perfect. Kids are rebellious. Like this where life is, isn't it? Come on. And when we realize that. Okay. Understand why we stop fighting what we cannot conquer. When it's nothing to do, we do nothing. We're at peace. When it's something to do. We give everything we've got. That's karma. As understanding as the Four Noble Truths. We see that we understand what life is all about, what we should be doing. But why is it that so often we. Thrash and struggle against things we can never overcome. Okay, so this shouldn't be the case. Why is it that people cry when somebody dies with a crying being that person back to life again? Why is it people go to these skin clinics and get shot up with Botox to try and look young again? What is wrong with being old? In fact, the older you are with a monk, just the more respect you get. So if there's anything which is the opposite of Botox, which made me look older, I'm in for it. It adds buzzword to my mountainous. No, because you're supposed to call venerable Venables really supposed to be old. So, you know, the more old you are, the more then you are. It's really good being a man. So they say, this is what's wrong with all these things, and it's only wrong because we say it's wrong. We add that problem to life. Our craving, our attachments. And that's where the problem lies. So when we understand this, so much of what is here, here on a Friday night, where are you reading Buddhist books. What makes Buddhist popular? Because it's talking about not what's going to happen to you after you die. Not some sort of philosophy where there's a soul is not a soul, not some sort of, you know, far reaching. One thing about the nature of the universe and who created it, whether it was created, it's down to earth your happiness. What really affects your everyday life? The problem with happiness is something vital to every being, not just human being, every moment of the day. That's why spirituality will always be vital to every being, every moment of the day. When it's a spirituality, not about something what will happen to you after death or in some other world, or where the all come from, whatever. But because it refers to every. Every people can. Every person experiences their happiness and their suffering right now. Calmer that you are in control of. That if you want to be. You can always do something about it. Victim is just a dead end street. Karma gives all sorts of possibilities, all sorts of openings, all sorts of reasons why and also answers to what you're going to do next. Not being told, but seeing it for yourself. Be encouraged. The independent personal religion of the 21st century. All 26 centuries old. Taught a long time ago by the Buddha. So ahead of his time. This is what the Buddha taught. You weren't so relevant today. And why? I must like myself. I get so busy teaching just what people know in their own hearts when they know they should be doing. This is what the Buddhism, what the Buddha taught, basically, in brief, all about rebirth. You can know that for yourself. Comma. The deeds of body, speech and mind. How you make happiness. I sometimes make the opposite problems and suffering in your life. And actually the details of that. Four noble truths. What is something to do? Give it everything you've got. And it's nothing to do. Let go. Do nothing. For noble truths. You find you. I'm in the driving seat of your happiness, and you practice this way. And if it doesn't produce the goods, if you don't get happier and happier, if you follow the instructions and it doesn't work. Remember, you can always ask for your money back you. Because you don't pay any money, it's no problem. So that's the talk this evening on what the Buddha taught.