Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree

Suppose that you have a tree at your home.
There is a nest on it. And a bird lays an egg.
That little bird, tweet tweet tweet.
It is born on that tree.
Then it slowly grows up.
Until one day, the bird can speak with you.
(…Don’t know how it grows…)
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
You go to talk with the little bird about the tree it lives in.
The little bird talks about the tree and fruits it bears.
The bird tells you with joy that the tree is its.
So you are surprised.
Did you just say the tree is yours?
“Of course, I live here. It’s mine. You see?
It grows up every day. So do I. We grow up together.

When I find fertilizer and drop at its root,
it becomes stronger and bear fruits, you know?
I’m so glad. I’m so happy
when it bears fruits.

But when aphis and worms swarm it,
I’m sad. I’m worried about my tree.
My tree is going to die.
We are dying together.”

You listen to the bird for a while. You become suspicious.
The bird misunderstands something.
Then you say.

“Little bird, don’t be upset but I’m telling you the truth.
The tree and the bird are not relevant.”

Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
The bird gets angry.
You try to explain many times but it won’t understand.
You try to think how to make the bird knows the truth.
Then you speak out.
Since you have been a practitioner.
You tell the little bird. With my good wish, let’s do this, little bird.
From now on, you observe yourself and the tree.

Keep observing it.
Then you will see the truth in a while.

After that, you leave your house for a business at another place
for many years.

Later, you return to that house.
You watch the garden. You see the tree and it reminds you something.
You see the bird on the tree. It is bigger now.
You walk to the little bird.
Uh, it’s not a little bird now. It has grown up.

You think that it must realize the truth now
because it is mature.
And it has been observing. It has been watching.
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
How is it, bird? Have you known the truth
that you and the tree are not relevant?
They are separated. You just think the tree is yours.
The bird says.
“What are you talking about?
You said the same thing many years ago.
And you keep talking like this.
I have been observing.
But I… Why…?
The tree is still mine.”
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
This time, the house owner is suspicious.
How did the bird observe? Why can’t it see
that the tree and itself are not the same thing?
It just possesses the tree. Why can’t it see?
You begin to feel that a simple thing has become difficult.
After that, the house owner secretly watches the bird
to find out why it can’t see.
Just one day, not much.
That’s it…
A pity bird…
It observes the tree like a mother taking care of her child.
Then how can it know the truth?
Why? What do you mean about mother taking care of her child?
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
If someone tells you that

“Hey! Your child is abusive and naughty.
He bullies his friends. He has no respect and he is filthy.”

Actually, you get mad since the first word.
You won’t wait for the fourth word. You might even return him with your punch.
You get angry since the first word is spoken.
Then you are resentful. However,
Look, is it true like what they said about my child?

Your child also abuses his friends.
“Uhmm… children are like this.”
…Eating filthily…
“Oh… he is hungry”
…No respect…
“Children these days are like this.”
“What was the problem? That man blames my child too much.”
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
Two days later.
A neighbor comes to leave his child with you
because he is about to take 7-day course.
So he leaves his child with his neighbor.
Both of the children start fighting.
That boy scolds this boy. This boy scolds that boy.
They both eat greedily.

“Where are his manners? I take care of him
but he never pays me a respect”
You say, “oh, how does his mother raise him?
Why is he so naughty? He is so abusive.
He eats so filthily.
His family must be terrible.”

Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
Like this, you know everything about the other’s child
but you can’t see anything in your own child.

This is because you look with “bias”.

How long have you been practicing? I don’t give any comment.
(..But you know. Why are you asking this?…)
How long have you been observing it?
Why doesn’t it speak out that this is not its?
It’s not mine. It’s not my identity.

Because you look at the body and mind with bias.
You don’t look at them directly.
You don’t look at your child like an outsider does.
If you hire an outsider to watch,
you will see that. The outsider can say that
“both of the children are equally naughty.”

But you are telling that your child is good and the other’s child is bad.
Because you look with the sense of possession.
You can’t see clearly no matter how hard you try.
You even tried your best. Why is that?
(I just speak loudly
but I am not angry. Don’t misunderstand me.)
Here, look at this.
Is this how you do walking meditation?
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
Do you see the movement?
Do you see the movement?
It is not your left and right feet that you are looking at.
You are not looking at your feet stepping.

When your mind is stable, you will see only two things.
The knowing and that which is known.

It can be form, manner or behavior.
Or it can be emitting energy.

Therefore, if you do walking meditation correctly,
you will soon speak out
that these are elements. They are not me.
There are only the knowing and that which is known.
There is no me because these are only positions.
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
While you are listening to me, feel the seat.
How does the seat feel?
Is it soft and cozy?
Before I spoke, did the seat exist?
Before I spoke, did your bottom exist?
Your bottom exists as I am speaking. So it reminds your bottom.
It reflects your bottom.
When it reflects your bottom, observe your bottom.
Do you feel the breath?
No, You don’t.
See? The sense-awareness switches off suddenly like this.
See that there are only these things. See the dharma first.
There are only the knowing and that which is known.
It is coming soon. Keep on meditation.
Do as if you are playing. Do not be too intent.
Do not press. Do not force.
Do not force because activeness will not arise.
That means the activeness of the mind will not occur.
Because you do that..
Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
Act as if he is a good friend.
Do like praying in the story of Konanthiwisarn.
Does the new generation learn this? You didn’t?
Am I the only one who studied it from my school?
Konanthiwisarn is a bull abused by its master.
The bull would not walk no matter how.
Until you ask someone who is passing by.
I can’t really remember. It was so long.
They said go to speak nicely with the bull.
Bull, could you please walk, something like this.
So the bull starts walking.

You can speak nicely.

Mindfulness – (Cartoon) The Bird and The Tree
The mind is aware. It can be enlightened.
Don’t treat it like a child.
Don’t treat it like a buffalo.
It is not actually.
Just try to pile up.
It is the nature, which can be learnt and practiced.
But due to ignorance,
He is adhered to the existence. He is adhered to himself.
When being adhered to the existence, the cause of existence arises.
Story by Dhamma Instructor : “Prasert Udhayachalerm”

The Prince Siddhartha seeks to be free from suffering

“…

One family, father, mother and a child,
lives together in the midst of valley.
All three persons are infected
with severe disease and they are waiting for death.
One day, the father makes decision.
I will not allow everyone to suffer from this disease.
I will not be inert like this.
I will find the medicine from anywhere.
No matter how far or how hard it is
I will find the medicine and help everyone
as well as all villagers.
No one even tries to solve this.
If an outsider or a villager says,
“This father is bad, he left his family”,
I cannot accept this accusation
because it is false accusation.

…”

journey-4
Once in Makkanuka course at Young Buddhist Association of Thailand center 2, certain hermit said, “My friend has been converted to Christian because Buddhism teaches one to survive. Just sitting and doing meditation, one can go to nirvana but leave all friends and family.” I know which direction this accusation is aiming at. So, I said I would like to answer this question anywhere in the world where the Buddha is accused this way.
But first, let me explain the truth. I have been preaching a lot. I met many Christians. When they understood the truth and saw the way to be free from suffering, which can be proven, many of them changed to Buddhism, many families.
Once, I went to lecture for the council of political development, a Muslim leader attended the event as well. I lectured from 9 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the evening. The imam came to discuss with me after the lecture. He said, “You spoke well, otherwise I would have walked out in first 15 minutes. Buddhism is frightening. It is frightening when knowledgeable man talks”.
I always lecture for Muslim students. I do not want to convert anyone. I just want them to be good people and free from suffering. Today, I can visit everywhere. There is no limit in the place, person, occupation, or religion.
We should fully understand what we learn.   I do not make excuse for The Buddha because his greatness does not need my protection. I just want to explain the truth to the world, especially of Buddhists.
To talk about this, we need to go back to the time when
the Prince Siddhartha visited Kapilavastu City.
When his charioteer Channa was riding the carriage along the path, he saw an old man. He never saw something like this before.
His father covered this up. He ordered not to allow patients or old people in his palace. He did not want the prince to feel depressed and go out to be ordained. Therefore, he wondered when he saw an old man. So, he asked Channa.
old3
“Why his back is bent, weak and his legs are trembling?”
Channa replied.
“He is an old man.”
The prince questions further.
“What is old man? Do I get old? And my father too?
Yasodhara Bimba, my wife too? And all people too?”
face1
Channa replied truthfully.
“Yes, everyone including you.”

Then the carriage moved.
Not so long, the prince Siddhartha saw a patient with cold sore lying on the sidewalk. He was moaning pitifully.
The prince jumped out of the carriage and held that man, whose skin is soaked with lymph. Channa stopped the carriage hurriedly and followed him. He shouted, “Let him go. His blood is toxic”.
The prince asked Channa.
“What is wrong with him?”
sick2
Channa replied.
“He is a patient.”

The prince repeated the word and asked again.
“What does patient mean? How does he get sick?”
Channa replied.
“He is infected.”
sick1
“How could he become infected? Is he infected without any cause? Just sleep and get sick when wake up? I could get sick too? My father too? Yasodhara Bimba, my wife too? And all people can get sick too?”
“Yes.”
Channa replied truthfully.
face2
The Prince Siddhartha was very confused with what he saw. After that, he saw a person wrapped in cloth being carried by people. Then, he was put down on the ground and piled up with firewood to burn.
The prince was frightened. He asked Channa doubtfully.

“Why is that person not escaping?
Why does he let them burn him?”
Channa replied.
“He is a dead man.”
die
The prince said.
“What is dead man? This word is so strange.”

He continued to ask.
“Will I die too? My father too?
Yasodhara Bimba, my wife too?
And all people too?”
“Yes.”
Channa replied.
face3
The prince continued to ask.
“Isn’t there anyone to find the solution for this frightening matter?
Isn’t there anyone to put all efforts
so that we can be free from this suffering?”
Certainly, if I were Channa, I would not know how to reply.
Thus, Prince Siddhartha told Channa to bring him back to the palace immediately. But before returning to the palace, he saw a monk in sloppy cloth. So, he asked Channa, “Who is that?”
monk
Channa replied.
“He is ‘monk’.
He is determined to seek the path to be free from suffering.”
face4
It seems that the prince is very pleased with this answer. I believe that many of you heard the story of the four passing sights. It inspired Prince Siddhartha to become ordained.
We all have seen birth, age, death and monk. We have visited newborns and patients at the hospital. We even used to be sick. We have grandparents and many relatives, who are old people. We used to attend funeral. We used to see monks. Nevertheless, have we felt that these things are suffering?
I want to ask you. If your beloved person dies today, at the moment you are reading this book or your physician tells that you have cancer, would you suffer? Of course, the everybody’s answers will be the same. Yes, we will suffer.
But is there anyone that wants to overcome this?
The answer is yours.
Suppose that one of your family members feels that birth, age, sickness, and death are extremely suffering. He tells his family members that he has decided to go out and seek the way to help everyone to be free from birth, age, sickness and death. What would you say or feel about that person?
buddha
Or you deeply think that how could this be possible that someone can be free form suffering? This is the nature, isn’t it?
Yes! Our birth is normal and our death is normal. However, if we do not have cause of birth, how can death happen?
Even in the last life, when the mind has released attachment, the Buddha used the term “extinguishment”. When it is extinguished, this body or existence is still working like a train that has remaining firewood. However, if new firewood is not put in, the train will be out of power and stop one day.
The reason why the Buddha and his disciplines must exist in the world.
If, O monks, three things were not to be found in the world, the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, would not appear in the world, nor would the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him shed its light over the world. What are these three things? Birth, old age, and death.
But since these three things are to be found in the world, the Tathagata appears in the world, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, and the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him sheds its light over the world.
Tipitaka, Anguttara Nikaya, Dasaka Nipaata
translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi
journey-4
One family, father, mother and a child, are living together in the mist of valley. All of them have severe disease and they are waiting for death. But one day the father has made decision that he would not allow everyone to suffer from this disease. He will not be inert. He will go out to find the medicine from anywhere. No matter how far or how difficult it is, he will find the medicine and help everybody, including all villagers.
Although nobody ever dare to find solution. If the outsider or villager says, “This father is bad. He left his family.”, I would not be able to take this accusation because it is false.
Certainly, the father will not wait for his wife’s agreement. If he does not leave, everyone will continue to suffer endlessly. Even if he fails to find the medicine, he has tried his best for everyone. He can be considered admirable for this attempt.
walk-1-4
In fact, the story did not end up like that. The determined father brought back the medicine. He saved himself, his wife, his child, his relatives as well as many villagers from severe disease.
Today, the world must recognize his greatness, not accusing him for searching the medicine.
Today The Buddha has discovered the precious truth. Importantly, he saved himself, his father, his wife, Bimba, his child, Rahula, his relatives and number of people, who followed him and became monk. His disciples reached out to preach and supported the religion to flourish until now.
Although the time has passed 2500 years,
we still receive an advantage from the greatness
in his mercy, wisdom, and purity.
What are we waiting for?
Do not let this life go uselessly without doing anything.
You might not find the noble truth for a long time.
Dhamma Instructor  :  “Prasert Udhayachalerm”
Image from Cartoon Animation:
“Buddha Thus Have I Heard”