International volunteers have the opportunity to follow guided meditations and learn more about Buddhism. Meditation and yoga teachers are always welcome to join and organize lessons for the volunteers. Normally we have two meditation classes during the day: the first one is at 5am and the last at 8pm. Meanwhile, there are lots of Dhamma halls where the volunteers can practice meditation on their own at any time.

Also, volunteers can have the rare chance to join the monks collecting alms during the morning and have a unique experience about Buddhism and interact with the local people.

What is meditation ?

The real meditation is right understanding. We all have mind and body, basically the same; the same eyes, the same ears, the same nose, the same body and the same mind, the same tongue. All are just to use-only. Nearly all living beings have eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. All are basically the same.

Not ‘my eyes’, not ‘my mind’, not ‘your eye’, not ‘your life’, not ‘my life’. Everything is just to use-only. Everybody is also to use-only. All are just created truth. Because of creation something appears, everything appears. All created things are to use-only. Not to occupy as: ‘it is my life’, ‘it is your life’, not to misunderstand men and women as real, life and death as real. All are to use-only.

What I am saying is right understanding, free understanding, not the understanding of someone, not a person’s view. It is free view. Seeing from one view is not perfect. We must not accept the idea of young or old, men or women, all are to use-only. Young age is to use-only. Old age is also to use-only. Because all are created things only. All created truths are just to use, not to occupy, not to grasp, not to think your life as real, your family as real, Malaysia as real. Time and place are also just created truth, to use-only. Mind and body is also created truth, to use-only. Mind and body and whatever is concerned with our body and mind, all is just created truth.

This is very clear if our mind has connection with the Original Wisdom. When compared with Original Truth, it is very clear that created truth is just to use-only.

Meditation especially concerns our mind. Because of meditation our mind can have connection with the Original Truth, Original Wisdom. Original Wisdom understands about Original Truth. Our mind cannot understand directly about Original Truth because all minds are just created Truth. Only created truth works with created truth. Original Wisdom and Original Truth work together. Only Original Wisdom understands Original Truth. Created wisdom understands created truth. To have connection with the Original wisdom we must believe the teaching of Buddha. What Buddha wants us to understand is just Ever New Impermanent Nature. The Original Truth is not something, not someone, not the time, not the place, just Ever New Impermanent Nature. The other Original Truth is: because of not knowing Impermanent Nature, automatic misunderstanding appears — ‘there is I, there is you’. The idea of ‘I’ or ‘you’, life or death, hot or cold, these opposite ideas appear. This is based on not knowing the Impermanent Nature. Because of not knowing the Original Truth, Impermanent Nature, automatic misunderstanding appears, as ‘I’ as real, ‘you’ as real, mine as real. That automatic misunderstanding is the same in everyone. Because of not knowing the Original Truth, our mind thinks that mind is real, that the body is real, that man is real, woman is real, something is real, everything is real. This is because of automatic misunderstanding. The first Original Truth is Ever New Impermanent Nature. The meaning is: only Impermanent Nature appears and disappears, and then a new Impermanent Nature appears and disappears. Nothing happens. Just Impermanent Nature happens and disappears. Only the Original Wisdom understands that Original Truth.

Impermanent Nature is one of the Original Truths. Automatic misunderstanding is the second of the Original Truths.

Automatic misunderstanding is because of not knowing the Impermanent Nature. In fact, nobody is real. Only misunderstanding is real. The truth concerning everyone is just misunderstanding. That misunderstanding is free. Nobody creates it. Because of not knowing the Impermanent Nature, automatic misunderstanding appears. Ever New Misunderstanding is happening in all of us. Because of not knowing that misunderstanding, our mind thinks, “mind is real”, “body is real”, “I am real”, whatever concerns with our “I” is also real. All our thinking comes from not knowing the Original Truth. The third Original Truth is Permanent Nature. That Permanent Nature is free of Impermanent Nature. Permanent Nature is free of misunderstanding. Permanent Nature is free of Impermanent Nature.

You can find the complete version of this teaching of Sayadaw Ottamathara here: Dhamma Teaching

And here is an interview of Sayadaw Ottamathara: