How can a beginner have right understanding of realities?

Question: It is difficult to have right understanding of realities when one is a


Answer: There must be intellectual understanding of the mental phenomena

and physical phenomena which are the objects of understanding. One has to

know that it should be developed naturally in one’s daily life. Many people

just want to sit and concentrate on breathing, but they have to consider for

themselves whether this is the way to know the realities of one’s daily life. Is

this the way to know seeing, hearing and all the other realities, and to know

the clinging which arises on account of the experience of the sense objects?

Defilements cannot be eradicated if one does not realize them as they arise in

one’s daily life. Right understanding of realities can be accumulated little by

little if one develops it naturally, without trying to make particular realities

arise, without trying to control realities. They arise already because of their

own conditions. Also, understanding can only arise when there are right

conditions; one cannot control it.


Question: Understanding is accumulated very gradually but is there not

some result in the beginning, so that one is encouraged to continue to

develop understanding?  When one is a beginner one wants to see at least

some result of one’s practice.

Answer: The result cannot be noticed immediately, it cannot be measured.

But, as understanding develops there will be more confidence. There will be

more understanding of why you feel bad or why you feel happy. You will

face unpleasant situations with more understanding and you will be more

tolerant towards other people; you will have more understanding about their

ways of behaviour. You will come to appreciate the value of right

understanding more and more.

Topic 167