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The Long, Long Journey

Vipassana Meditation

MasterAcharavadee Wongsakon

Have you ever wondered where you were the day Buddha attained Enlightenment 2,567 years ago?Maybe you were a caveman, a firewood carrier, a merchant, a rich man, a brahmin, a hermit who worshipped fire or the sun, an ascetic who practiced self-torture, an animal that people hated or hunted for food, or a cow or a buffalo for labor work.

Maybe you were repaying Karma in hell or were an Indian who heard about the arrival of Buddha but didn’t believe it, living an everyday life the same way that could never set you free from the cycle of misery.

Maybe you were a warrior who killed others for money and fame, an angel in heaven, a dark angel full of jealousy who stopped others from doing good deeds, a divine celestial being who mistakenly thought that he was enlightened, or perhaps a wandering ghost waiting for a chance to be reborn.

Whoever you were in those numerous lifetimes, you are so fortunate to be born a human in this mid-Buddhist era. You are strong enough to go through all hindrances and hidden resistance until you get close to the door of Nirvana. Your body and mind are now ready to strive to be free from the cycle of Samsara.

Today, is that fortune growing or shrinking?

Long time ago, if the hermit named Sumedha didn’t resolutely make a noble wish to become a Buddha, perhaps we wouldn’t get to see even a little light of hope. He had suffered through countless rounds of rebirth to cultivate his virtues as a Bodhisattva. In some lifetimes, he endured great pain until death. He took this path to bring all teachable ones out of the cycle of darkness and suffering. In this cycle, their minds have been concealed by delusion, Karma, cooked feelings in the subconscious, and impurities that put them under tight control to the point they had no idea about the existence of the hidden Truth.

While so many people on the other side of the world died in wars and some became refugees, we have an opportunity to walk on the path to liberation. So how will we live and draw a proper life map?

Will we have a chance to say goodbye to the land for this will be the last time our feet get to touch the earth? Or will we keep breathing with no hope, even for another human rebirth?

The Buddha has truly devoted himself to helping us. Therefore, it’s our duty to really awaken and live our lives with these principles – to be determined, committed, and disciplined – to make the noble wish come true. Otherwise, in each day of our lives, we will accumulate more and more impurities, letting them grow and bring us to endless rebirth.

Hence, on this Visakha Bucha Day, apart from meditating to pay homage to the Prophet, it’s also the time to take a break and reflect on our lives. Which direction are we heading to? And for all the things we are doing, what do they give us?

Let’s wake up and be fully aware of everything we do. Return to the right direction soonest as possible. There may be many things that lure us until we are lost. But don’t forget that on every path we take, the Buddha always looks at us with his greatest compassion.

On the day the Buddha reached Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, he uttered these words:

“Anekajatisamsaram sandhavissam anibbisam gahakaram gavesanto dukkha jati punappunam Gahakaraka ditthosi puna geham na kahasi sabba te phasuka bhagga gahakotam visankhatam visankharagatam cittam tanhanam khayamajjhaga.”

I, who have been seeking the builder of this house (body), failing to attain Enlightenment which would enable me to find him, have wandered through innumerable births in samsara. To be born again and again is, indeed, suffering

O, House builder! You are seen, you shall build no house (for me) again. All your rafters are broken, your rooftree destroyed. My mind has reached the unconditioned (i.e., Nibbana); the end of craving has been attained.

Seven weeks later, what the Buddha did was dedicating everything for all sentient beings to be free from suffering.

He has been waiting for the day that our minds will be freed.

He has been waiting for the day that we will finally make this lifetime the last one after going through countless rounds of rebirth.

He is waiting…for us to be liberated.

Today, where are we?

Today, what are we doing?

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