This is an extract of a talk by Bhante Mahinda at Kuching Dhamma Vijaya Buddhist Centre on 11 January 2015, compiled by Sis Soo Hua.
Since we have come to another year of our lives, Bhante encouraged everyone to become more refined, take stock of what we have done and make aspirations to improve ourselves for the better. We should try to improve ourselves through actions, speech and mind, that is, the three doors. It is through these three doors that we give suffering to ourselves and others. Every time we lie, that is wrong speech and our minds will feel very uneasy. Harsh thoughts will make our minds disturbed, unlike now when we have just done cultivation of loving kindness – metta bhavana. In doing metta bhavana, we have generated certain amount of peaceful energy and when done in a group, you have developed a strong coherent energy that will affect the immediate surrounding and environment. When a person produces, for example, 10 units of energy, 2 persons will produce 102 units of energy and 3 persons will produce 103 units of energy. So, in a big group like this, even only some of you can produce peaceful energy through earnest cultivation, you can imagine the great amount of energy produced. However, if the people in a group think different things at different wavelengths, the energy of the whole group will not be peaceful. Instead, incoherent and chaotic energies will be produced. So, we have to train our minds to develop positive and peaceful energies. The thoughts you generate can change yourselves, your families and the world. Now, when we talk about the world, actually there are 2 worlds, the world within and the world without. According to the Buddha, the whole world lies within this fathom-long body of everyone. Within this human body lies the beginning and the end of the world. This world within is very important because without the 6 senses that we have – eyes, ears, nose, tongue, bodily contact and mind, there can be no world outside.
Strong, similar and like-minded minds can change weather and other things as well. This is what we call the power of collective consciousness. An example of this occurred when the stupa at Aloka Australia was under construction. On the day for pouring of concrete, the contractor was very worried as storms, dark clouds and heavy rains were pouring near the area. Rather miraculously, around the stupa, there was no rain! Normally, when a stupa is put up, the devas or heavenly beings will come and rejoice. One explanation for this phenomenon could be the devas had come to create a shelter over the stupa area. Bhante Mahinda then related another story that happened at Sri Mahabodhi temple at Anuradapura, Sri Lanka. A big crowd of people were doing a puja in the open and it was raining. Only he and his teacher did not get wet in the rain. A few nuns who had developed clairvoyance later told them that many devas had gathered in the area and having rejoiced, they put up parasols or umbrellas and colourful flags too. Then his meditation teacher preached forcefully in Sinhalese. After he had finished preaching, his teacher told him he was actually preaching to the devas.
We live in a world where there are big changes going on in the world. We cannot rely on just ourselves. We need protection from higher beings so that we can have more faith. When we have good thoughts, do chanting or meditate, the devas will come. The energies of metta is a frequency that will connect with other like-minded beings and that can bring about change in many chaotic happenings in the world. This is why it is very important to practise loving kindness and compassion. The Buddha preached only one thing – the way to overcome sufferings and freedom from sufferings. People suffer because of attachment. If you want to overcome sufferings, you have to make your mind more silent again. When you think or see something, you are aware but you don’t go after it. In meditation, you are developing a habit of calmness and quietude. When wisdom develops, you begin to see the true nature of everything; you will realize impermanence.
In my New Year message for 2015, I shared with everyone the importance of practising generosity – generosity of money, time, energy and material things. By the law of Kamma, only by giving away all these things we shall ultimately stand to receive them. Material things by themselves cannot give us real happiness. Only giving and sharing will bring us inner peace which is the real happiness.