Here is a new video from a retreat on the Noble Eightfold Path, led by Abbot Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in April 2015. Bhante G answers a host of questions, among them:
– Can human beings become devas and deities?
– Can one attain jhana through standing or walking meditation?
– What is the difference between wholesome and unwholesome desire?
– What are the elements of dependent origination?
– What is the cause of suffering?
– If there is no self what or who reincarnates?
– How do you deal with unwholesome actions you have committed?
– How does perception differ from volitional formations?
– Is the Buddha both a historical person and a supreme being?
Here is his answer to the question: If we have committed unwholesome actions in our life but now recognize it, how should we proceed? Did the Buddha have any encouragement to overcoming unwholesome actions?
BHANTE G: To overcome unwholesome actions, recognizing it is a very good thing. But do more and more wholesome actions. Wholesome thoughts words and deeds. And keep thinking of wholesome thoughts, words and deeds. If you commit an unwholesome action one time, and keep thinking about it again, over and over and over and day and night, even in sleep and dreams — if you keep thinking, thinking thinking only of that unwholesome action — that becomes a habit. And that becomes a dominating mental state. And you will be totally, completely merged with this thought. But if you have committed an unwholesome action, and then realize it, recognize it, understand it and then commit wholesome actions. And keep thinking of the wholesome actions you have committed. Keep thinking and thinking, day and night — I have done such and such a wonderful wholesome action. It is very peaceful, very noble, you keep thinking about it. Charge your mind, condition your mind, to thinking of your wholesome action. Keep thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, day and night, every day, in any posture, even when you go to bed. Keep thinking of the wholesome action. Then that becomes the dominating mental state….
It is our mind that makes our life happy or miserable. It is 100 percent true.
For more Bhavana Dhamma talks, visit the monastery’s YouTube channel page.