The law of multiplication and its reverse, the law of eradication
-equanimity is the greatest welfare-- equanimity enables one to
live a life of real action--by remaining equanimous, one
ensures a happy future for oneself.

Eight days are over; you have two more left to work. In the
remaining days, see that you understand the technique
properly, so that you may practise it properly here and also
make use of it in your daily life. Understand what Dhamma is:
nature, truth, universal law.

On one hand there is a process of constant multiplication. On
the other hand, there is a process of eradication. This was well
explained in a few words: by nature arising and passing away.
If they arise and are extinguished,their eradication brings
true happiness.


Every sankhara, every mental conditioning is impermanent,
having the nature of arising and passing away. It passes away,
but next moment it arises again, and again; this is how the
sankhara multiplies. If one develops wisdom and starts
observing objectively, the process of multiplication stops and
the process of eradication begins. A sankhara arises, but the
meditator remains equanimous; it loses all its strength and is
eradicated. Layer after layer, the old sankhara will arise and
be eradicated, provided one remains equanimous. As much as
the sankhara are eradicated, that much happiness one
enjoys, the happiness of freedom from misery. If all the past
sankhara are eradicated, one enjoys the limitless happiness of
full liberation.

The old habit of the mind is to react, and to multiply reactions.
Something unwanted happens,and one generates a sankhara
of aversion. As the sankhara arises in the mind, it is
accompanied by an unpleasant physical sensation. Next
moment, because of the old habit of reaction, one again
generates aversion, which is actually directed towards the
unpleasant bodily sensation. The external stimulus of the
anger is secondary; the reaction is in fact to the sensation
within oneself. The unpleasant sensation causes one to react
with aversion, which generates another unpleasant sensation,
which again causes one to react. In this way, the process of
multiplication begins. If one does not react to the sensation
but instead smiles and understands its impermanent nature,
then one does not generate a new sankhara, and the sankhara
that has already arisen will pass away without multiplying.
Next moment, another sankhara of the same type will arise
from the depths of the mind; one remains equanimous, and it
will pass away. Next moment another arises; one remains
equanimous, and it passes away. The process of eradication
has started.

The processes that one observes within oneself also occur
throughout the universe. For example,someone sows the seed
of a banyan tree. From that tiny seed a huge tree develops,
which bears innumerable fruit year after year, as long as it
lives. And even after the tree dies, the process continues,
because every fruit that the tree bears contains a seed or a
number of seeds, which have the same quality as the original
seed from which the tree grew. Whenever one of these
seeds falls on fertile soil it sprouts and grows into another tree
which again produces thousands of fruit, all containing seeds.
Fruit and seeds, seeds and fruit; an endless process of
multiplication. In the same way, out of ignorance one sows the
seed of as sankhara, which sooner or later gives a fruit, also
called sankhara, and also containing a seed of exactly the
same type. If one gives fertile soil to the seed it sprouts into a
new sankhara, and one's misery multiplies. However, if one
throws the seeds on rocky soil, they cannot sprout; nothing
will develop from them. The process of multiplication stops,
and automatically the reverse process begins, the
process of eradication.

Understand how this process works. It was explained that
some input is needed for the flow of life, of mind and matter, to
continue. The input for the body is the food one eats, as well
as the atmosphere in which one lives. If one day one does not
eat, the flow of matter does not stop at once. It continues by
consuming the old stocks of energy contained within the body.
When all the stored energy is consumed, only then the flow
stops, the body dies. The body needs food only two or three
times a day, but the flow of the mind requires an input every
moment. The mental input is sankhara. Every moment the
sankhara that one generates is responsible for sustaining
the flow of consciousness. The mind that arises in the next
moment is a product of this sankhara.Every moment one gives
the input of sankhara, and the flow of consciousness
continues. If at any moment one does not generate a new sankhara
the flow does not stop at once; instead it draws on the
stock of old sankhara. An old sankhara will be forced to give its
fruit, that is, to come to the surface of the mind in order to
sustain the flow; and it will manifest as a physical sensation. If
one reacts to the sensation, again one starts making
new sankhara, planting new seeds of misery. But if one
observes the sensation with equanimity, the sankhara loses
its strength and is eradicated. Next moment another old
sankhara must come up to sustain the mental flow. Again one
does not react, and again it is eradicated. So long as one
remains aware and equanimous, layer after layer of
old sankhara will come to the surface and be eradicated;
this is the law of nature.

One has to experience the process oneself, by practising the
technique. When one sees that one's old habit patterns, old
sufferings have been eliminated, then one knows that the
process of eradication works.

An analogous technique exists in modern metallurgy. To
super-refine certain metals, to make them ultra-pure, it is
necessary to remove even one foreign molecule in a billion.
This is done by casting the metal in the shape of a rod, and
then making a ring of the same metal that has already
been refined to the required purity. The ring is passed over the
rod, and generates a magnetism that automatically drives out
any impurities to the extremities of the rod. At the same time,
all the molecules in the rod of metal become aligned; it
becomes flexible, malleable, capable of being worked. In the
same way, the technique of Vipassana can be regarded as the
passing of a ring of pure awareness over the physical
structure, driving out any impurities, with similar benefits.

Awareness and equanimity will lead to purification of mind.
Whatever one experiences on the way, whether pleasant or
unpleasant, is unimportant. The important point is not to react
with craving or aversion, since both will create nothing but
misery. The only yardstick to measure one's progress on the
path is the equanimity that one has developed. And the
equanimity must be at the level of bodily sensations if one is to
go to the depth of the mind and to eradicate the impurities. If
one learns to be aware of sensations and to remain
equanimous towards them, it becomes easy to keep one's
balance in external situations as well.

The Buddha was once asked what real welfare is. He replied
that the highest welfare is the ability to keep the balance of
one's mind in spite of all the vicissitudes, the ups and downs,
of life. One may face pleasant or painful situations, victory or
defeat, profit or loss, good name or bad name; everyone is
bound to encounter all these. But can one smile in every
situation, a real smile from the heart? If one has this
equanimity at the deepest level within, one has true
happiness.

If equanimity is only superficial it will not help in daily life. It is
as if each person carries a tank of petrol, of gasoline, within. If
one spark comes, one fruit of a past reaction, immediately a
great explosion results, producing millions more sparks,
more sankhara, which will bring more fire, more suffering in
future. By the practice of Vipassana, one gradually empties
the tank. Sparks will still come because of one's past sankhara,
but when they come, they will burn only the fuel that they bring
with them; no new fuel is given. They burn briefly until they
consume the fuel they contain,and then they are extinguished.
Later, as one develops further on the path, one naturally
starts generating the cool water of love and compassion, and
the tank becomes filled with this water. Now, as soon as a
spark comes, it is extinguished. It cannot burn even the small
amount of fuel it contains.

One may understand this at the intellectual level, and know
that one should have a water pump ready in case a fire starts.
But when fire actually. comes, one turns on the petrol pump
and starts a conflagration.Afterwards one realizes the
mistake, but still repeats it next time when fire comes, because
one's wisdom is only superficial. If someone has real wisdom in
the depths of the mind, when faced with fire such a person will
not throw petrol on it, understanding that this would only
cause harm. Instead one throws the cool water of love and
compassion, helping others and oneself.

The wisdom must be at the level of sensations. If you train
yourself to be aware of sensations in any situation and to
remain equanimous towards them, nothing can overpower
you. Perhaps for just a few moments you observe without
reacting. Then, with this balanced mind, you decide what
action to take. It is bound to be right action, positive, helpful to
others, because it is performed with a balanced mind.

Sometimes in life it is necessary to take strong action. One has
tried to explain to someone politely, gently, with a smile, but
the person can understand only hard words, hard actions.
Therefore one takes hard vocal or physical action. But before
doing so, one must examine oneself to see whether the mind is
balanced, and whether one has only love and compassion for
the person. If so, the action will be helpful; if not, it will not help
anyone. One takes strong action to help the erring person.
With this base of love and compassion one cannot go wrong.

In a case of aggression, a Vipassana meditator will work to
separate the aggressor and the victim,having compassion not
only for the victim but also for the aggressor. One realizes that
the aggressor does not know how he is harming himself.
Understanding this, one tries to help the person by preventing
him from performing deeds that will cause him misery in the
future.

However, you must be careful not to justify your actions only
after the event. You must examine the mind before acting. If
the mind is full of defilements, one cannot help anyone. First
one must rectify the faults in oneself before one can rectify the
faults in others. First you must purify your own mind by
observing yourself. Then you will be able to help many.

The Buddha said that there are four types of people in the
world: those who are running from darkness towards
darkness, those who are running from brightness towards
darkness, those who are running from darkness towards
brightness, and those who are running from brightness
towards brightness.

For a person in the first group, all around there is
unhappiness, darkness, but his greatest misfortune is that he
also has no wisdom. Every time he encounters any misery he
develops more anger, more hatred, more aversion, and
blames others for his suffering. All those sankhara of
anger and hatred will bring him only more darkness, more
suffering in the future.

A person in the second group has what is called brightness in
the world: money, position, power, but he too has no wisdom.
Out of ignorance he develops egotism, without understanding
that the tensions of egotism will bring him only darkness in
future.

A person in the third group is in the same position as one in the
first, surrounded by darkness; but he has wisdom, and
understands the situation. Recognizing that he is ultimately
responsible for his own suffering, he calmly and peacefully
does what he can to change the situation, but without
any anger or hatred towards others; instead he has only love
and compassion for those who are harming him. All he creates
for the future is brightness.

Finally a person in the fourth group, just as one in the second,
enjoys money, position, and power, but unlike one in the
second group, he is also full of wisdom. He makes use of what
he has in order to maintain himself and those dependent on
him, but whatever remains he uses for the good of others, with
love and compassion. Brightness now and for the future too.

One cannot choose whether one faces darkness now or
brightness; that is determined by one's past sankhara. The
past cannot be changed, but one can take control of the
present by becoming master of oneself. The future is merely
the past plus what is added in the present. Vipassana
teaches how to become master of oneself by developing
awareness and equanimity towards sensations. If one
develops this mastery in the present moment, the future will
automatically be bright.

Make use of the remaining two days to learn how to become
master of the present moment, master of yourself. Keep
growing in Dhamma, to come out of all misery, and to enjoy
real happiness here and now.


May all beings be happy!


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