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Words of encouragement
by the Webu Sayadaw

(The Webu Sayadaw was believed to have achieved
the highest goal of the Buddha's teachings)

Webu Sayadaw & Sayagyi U Ba Khin
The Webu Sayadaw and Sayagyi U Ba Khin

You have taken up moral conduct. Now that you have undertaken to perfect yourselves in morality, fulfill it to the utmost. Only if you fulfill morality to the utmost will all your aspirations be met. You will be happy now and in the future.

Only the teachings of the Buddha can give you real happiness—in the present and in the remainder of continued existence. The teachings of the Buddha are enshrined in the Three Collections of the canon. The canon is very extensive. If we take the essence out of the canon, we shall find the thirty-seven Factors of Awakening. The essence of the thirty-seven Factors of Awakening is the Noble Eightfold Path. The essence of the Noble Eightfold Path is the threefold training: higher morality, higher mindfulness, and higher wisdom. The essence of the threefold training is the unique Universal Truth.

If your body and mind are under control, as they are now, there can be no roughness of physical or verbal action. This is Perfect Morality.

If morality becomes strong, the mind will become peaceful and tranquil and lose its harshness. This is calmness.

If calmness becomes strong and the mind stays one-pointed for a long period, then you will realize that in a split second matter arises and dissolves billions and billions of times. If mind knows matter, it knows that matter becomes and disintegrates billions and billions of times in the wink of an eye. This knowledge of arising and disintegration is called insight.

Whenever we breathe in or out, the in-coming and the out-going air touches somewhere in or near the nostrils. The sensitive matter registers the touch of air. In this process, the entities touching are matter and the entity knowing the touch is mind. So don’t go around asking others about mind and matter. Observe your breathing and you will find out about them for yourselves.

When the air comes in, it will touch. When the air goes out, it will touch. If you know this touch continuously, then wanting, dislike, and delusion don’t have the opportunity to arise and the fires of greed, anger, and delusion will subside.

You cannot know the touch of air before it actually occurs. After it has gone, you cannot know it any more. Only while the air moves in or out can you feel the sensation of touch. This we call the present moment.

While we feel the touch of air, we know that there are only mind and matter. We know for ourselves that there is no “I,” no other person, no man and woman, and we realize for ourselves that what the Buddha said is indeed true. We needn’t ask others. While we know in-breath and out-breath, there is no “I”.

When we know this, our view is pure; it’s right view. We know in that moment that there is nothing but mind and matter. We also know that mind and matter are two different entities.

If we know the touch of air as and when it occurs, our mind is pure and we get the benefits thereof. Don’t think that the benefits you get in this way, even in a split second, are few. Don’t think that those who meditate don’t get any advantages from their practice. Now that you are born in a happy plane and encounter the teachings of a Buddha, you can obtain great benefits. Don’t worry about eating and drinking, but make all the effort you can.