Wat Tampa In English

What's Happening at Wat Tampa


Wat Tampa Weather


Wat Tampa Visitors

This Week
Last Year
This Month
Last Month
All Years

Your IP:
2022-01-28 10:16

EDITOR's NOTE:  This article was handed out to the June 1, 2017 Meditation Workshop attendees at Wat Tampa as one of two documents.  The other document (Meditation Explained) is also available on this website. Although this article is titled as "Introduction to Buddhism", I believe that this information is more intermediate to advanced level Buddhism. The content has not been changed from its original edition but there are some typographical changes – primarily breaking out lists within paragraphs to bullet points to more clearly identify the key points and concepts. I also added the mailing address for War Thai, D.C. for those interested in more information.

Historical Background: Buddhism was born in northeastern India in the year 588 BC founded by Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.  He was born on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month 623 years before Christ at beautiful Lumbini Garden, located between Kapilavattu and Devadaha City south west of the country known as Nepal today. His father was King Suddhodana and his mother was Queen Sirimahamaya or Queen Maya.  He married Princes Yasodhara when he was sixteen years old and became a monk at the age of 29.  He lived a luxurious life during his 29 years in the palace.  After he left the palace, he studied and practiced meditation with the very popular gurus of his time, Arala and Utaka, passing many levels of concentration or tranquil meditation.  When he completed the causes of study from those teachers, he left them to find the way known as Atthanggika Magga or Middle Eightfold Path, and he attained enlightment in the sixth year of his monkshood.  His mind became free from all the ten fetters:

  1. Personality-belief (sakkaya-ditthi),
  2. Skeptical doubt (vicikiccha)
  3. Clinging to mere rules and rituals (silabbatapramasa; upadana)
  4. Sensual craving (kama-raga)
  5. Ill will (vyapada)
  6. Craving for fine material existence (rupa-raga)
  7. Craving for immaterial existence (arupa-raga)
  8. Vanity (mana)
  9. Restlessness (uddhacca)
  10. Ignorance (avijja)

His mind filled with clear understanding, rationality, understanding of cause and effect, understanding of cause and effect on sensual craving and how to let go of craving. His mind filled with acceptance of the way things really are, and with loving-kindness and compassion, clear comprehension of both visible and invisible objects, the value of a simple and humble way of life, and he shined with the light of right understanding.  He became known as The Buddha, the Awakened One.

What the Buddha Taught

The Buddha taught us the Four Noble Truths, the truth of all beings with and without consciousness.  They are:

  1. Noble Truth of Dissatisfactoriness or hardship of maintenance (Dukkha)
  2. Noble Truth of Cause of Dissatisfactoriness (samudaya)
  3. Noble Truth of Cessation of Dissatisfactoriness (nirodha)
  4. Noble Truth of Path leading to the Cessation of Dissatisfactoriness (magga)

 Dukkha:  The Noble Truth of Dissatisfaction or Suffering.  Buddhism did not view anything in an optimistic nor pessimistic manner, but Buddhism views everything is a realistic way.  When Buddhism talks about Dukkha or Suffering or Dissatisfactoriness it means the hardship of maintenance and the problems in daily life, such as birth, old age, diseases, death, sorrow and frustrations of every kind.  What is undesirable is painful, so too is not getting something desired.  All problems are unwanted but although people try their best to avoid trouble and to be free from suffering, they cannot protect themselves from it.  The truth Buddha taught solves the problems and problematic situations which, when observed and comprehended by self-investigation, helps us learn for ourselves whether the teaching is true.  With careful observation of life we can see that all life is unstable, decaying and subject to change.

Samudaya:  The Noble Truth of Origin of Dissatisfaction (dukkhosamudaya-ariyasacca). The origin (origins) of dissatisfaction are many, depending on the conditions. Every kind of dissatisfaction has its origin in craving (tanha) or self desire, which is the result of ignorance (avijja) or delusion, resulting in hatred, destruction, violence and suffering in society in the past, today, and the future.  Craving produces re-existence and re-becoming (ponobbavika) and is bound up with passionate greed (nandiragasahagata), finding flesh delight now here and now there (tatratatrabhinandini), namely:

  1. Craving for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha)
  2. Craving for existence and becoming (bhava-tanha)
  3. Craving for non-existence or self-annihilation (vibhava-tanha)

It is this craving, desire, greed, manifesting itself in various ways, that gives rise to all forms of suffering and continuity of beings.  It should not be taken as the first cause, for there is no first cause possible as, according to Buddhism, everything is relative and hater-dependent.

Nirodha:  The Noble Truth of Cessation of Suffering (dukkhanirodha-ariyosacea), which is Nibbana or Nirvana in Sanskrit.  To uproot the suffering, the Buddha introduced the Path (magga) leading to the cessation of suffering.  It is the cessation of craving, cession of hatred, cessation of illusion or ignorance.  There are great details in the suttas about the way to practice to put an end to these mental defilements.


The Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering ( Dukkhanirodhagaminipatipada-ariyasacca.   This is known as The Middle Way (majjhima-patipada), because it avoids two extremes; one extreme is to search for happiness through the pleasures of the senses which is low, common, unprofitable and the way of ordinary people; the other method is the search for happiness through self-mortification in different forms of asceticism, which is painful, unworthy and unprofitable.  The Buddha himself tried these two extremes and having found them to be useless, the Buddha discovered through personal experience.  The Middle Path, which gives vision and knowledge and leads to experiencing Calm, Insight, Enlightenment, Nibbana.  This path is known in Pali as Ariya-Atthangika-Magga because it is composed of eight categories, namely:

Wisdom Level

  1. Right Understanding (Samma-ditthi)
  2. Right Thought (Samma-sankappa)

Moral Level

  1. Right Speech (Samma-vaca)
  2. Right Action (Samma-kammanta)
  3. Right Livelihood (Samma-ajiva)

Samadhi Level

  1. Right Effort (Samma-vayama)
  2. Right Mindfulness (Samma-sati)
  3. Right Concentration (Samma-samadhi)

The whole teaching of the Buddha, to which he devoted himself for 45 years, deals with this Path.  Buddha explained the Dhamma in different ways with different words to different people, according to the stage of their development and their capacity to understand and follow him, but the essence of those many thousand discourses in the Buddhist Scriptures are found in the Noble Eightfold Path and summarized in the Threefold doctrine namely:

  1. Not to do bad
  2. To do good, and
  3. To purify the mind from its impurities or mental defilement.

The eight categories of the Path should not be followed and practiced one after the other in the numerical order as given the list above, but they are to be developed more or less simultaneously, as far as possible according to the capacity of each individual.  The eight factors aim at promoting and perfecting the three essentials of the Buddhist training and discipline:

  1. Moral Conduct (Sila)
  2. Mental Discipline (Samadhi)
  3. Wisdom (Panna)

Moral Conduct:

 Moral conduct is the basic principle of Buddhism for the training and development of an ordinary person to become a perfect human being.  It consists of commitment to:

  1. Avoid killing and harming living beings while trying to develop loving-kindness and compassion
  2. Avoid taking what is not given while trying to develop sincerity and respect for ownership and possessions of others
  3. Avoid sexual misconduct while trying to develop honesty and respect toward the opposite sex
  4. Avoid false speech while trying to develop truthfulness and sincerity
  5. Avoid taking intoxicating drink and harmful drugs while trying to develop mindfulness and awareness in daily life.

Mental Discipline:

When we develop moral conduct, we are certain to have peaceful family and peaceful society, and then we are ready to go on for meditation practice for more training in mental culture.  Mental culture develops the human mind to become a noble being and finally to become a perfect noble one through wisdom training.  There are two kinds of mental culture, namely:

  1. Concentration meditation (Samatha Bhavna) and
  2. Insight meditation (Vipassana Bhavna)

The details of meditation cannot be given here but those who want more information about meditation practice may contact Wat Thai, D.C. at the mailing address provided below.

Wat D.C of Washington D.C, 13440 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 209906

Wisdom Training:

Wisdom is the way to see the ultimate truth of reality.  When the mind of the meditation practitioner becomes calm, clear and peaceful, he or she may apply peaceful mind to look at the ways of all things visible and invisible as they really are.  Their ways are as follows:

  1. Impermanence (Aniccam)
  2. Hard to maintain (Dukkham)
  3. Out of control (Anatta)

When the mind understands the way of everything as it really is, the mind does not cling and does not attach to anything, the meditation practitioner will see and view all things with a realistic approach.  At that level of meditation the mind becomes free from all kinds of mental defilement, becoming a mind that can be called free mind, independent mind, perfect mind, or enlightened mind.  The person who lives with this mind will always live his or her life in peace and happiness here and now, not waiting until after death.  This is what Buddha taught and the goal of Buddhism.

What is the Goal of Buddhism?

The Awakened One, the Buddha, classified people into two groups and set goals for both to help them according to their capabilities, namely,

  1. Goal for householders and
  2. Goals for those who live monistic life or monks.

Goal for householders is to live their life in a happy by following at least three of the precepts of the Eightfold Path namely, right action, right speech and right livelihood in moral training. This includes the administration and governmental affairs, as the Buddha introduced 10 virtues of rulers or administrators to carry out duties and responsibilities in righteous ways.

Goal for the monks or those who live monastic life is Nibbana, enlightenment or perfect freedom of the mind by following the Eightfold Path as above mentioned. The monks have to strictly observe moral conduct (Sila Visuddhi) and clarification of their moral disciplines set out by the Buddha, proved by the Sangha.  Monks must train themselves in meditation practice (Samadhi-Vipassana Bhavna) to cultivate wisdom to purify their minds from mental impurities or delusion.







EDITOR'S NOTE:  This article was handed out to the June 1, 2017 Meditation Workshop attendees at Wat Tampa as one of two documents.  The other document (Intermediate Buddhism) is also available on this website.  I believe that this information that is beneficial to anyone who is interested in practicing meditation. The content has not been changed from its original edition but there are some minor typographical changes.
What is Meditation?
In Buddhism the word “Meditation” is translated from the Pali language.  The Pali word is “Bhavana” which means to develop, to improve, to cultivate mindfulness and awareness, so the mind becomes healthy and strong.  Meditation is a way to cultivate the mind so it becomes calm, clear, peaceful, stable, bright, light, and pure.
A concentrate mind can focus clearly on a particular object.  Such a developed mind can focus clearly on a particular object.  Such a developed mind can be purified when defiling mental obstructions such as hatred, greed, craving, delusion, unwholesome thoughts, ignorance, etc. are removed.  A controlled and disciplined mind, free from impurities, is released from tension, worry, and stress.
Meditation is a way to psychologically train the mind to develop the tool of insight, or Vipassana enabling meditators to realize Enlightenment, the highest wisdom for ordinary persons to become complete human beings so that human beings can become “noble ones”, or ariya puggala (Pali).
The oldest form of Vipassana (insight) meditation is taught in the Theravada tradition of Southwest Asia.  The devilment of mindfulness and awareness is the heart of Buddhist meditation.  The “Four Foundations of Mindfulness” (The Satipatthana Sutta) were emphasized by the historical Buddha, as follows:  “There is one way, O monks, for the purification of beings, for overcoming of sorrow, and lamentation, for the disappearance of suffering, grief and pain, for the winning the noble path, for realizing Enlightenment, Nibbana, that is to say, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.”  (Details will be given in later chapters regarding meditation objects).
Meditation can be practiced in many ways to develop the mind to have the mind relax and become calm.  We see in the West today many people who practice meditation by themselves through reading books, without supervisors, teachers, guides or experienced friends to help them.
Meditation can be applied for different purposes.  Some apply meditation in the wrong way and for negative purposes, such as mundane magical power, and so on.  In short, meditation is a way to purify the mind from hatred (Pali: dosa), greed (Pali: lobpa), and ignorance, (Pali: moha) so we can cultivate mindfulness and awareness to see things as they really are.  The ways things are impermanent (Pali: aniccam), hard to maintain or suffering (Pali: dukkham) and out of control, non-self or selflessness (Pali: anatta).
It is very useful and wonderful to learn, study and practice medication because living without meditation is very dangerous:  it is like driving a car without a road map and with no directions. Living with meditation is just like the opposite, providing all the tools you need to get to your destination.
Why should we train our minds?
The mind is of primary importance, the most important element in human life.  All deeds, wholesome or unwholesome, are the result of mental processes.  In the Dhammapada, the Buddha said, “Mind is the forerunner of all actions, mind is the chief; mind made are they.  If one speaks or acts with an evil mind, suffering follows him/her, even as the wheel of the cart follows the ox that draws the cart.  “Mind is the forerunner of all actions, mind is the chief, mind-made they are.  If one speaks or acts with a wholesome mind, happiness follows him (her), even as his (her) own shadow.”
(Pali: Manopubbam gama dhamma, manasettha manomaya, mansa ce padutthena, bhasati va karoti va, tato nam dukkhamannaveti, cakkam va vahto padam “…manasa ce pasannena pasati va karoti va tato nam sukkhamanveti chayava anapayini.)
Why should we meditate?
Mind is by nature originally pure.  Great extensive spiritual power is all complete within the mind.  You may ask yourself what you want to have in your life.  The answer is likely be peace and real happiness because the mind wants is peace and real happiness.
How can we reach that stage where we will have a peaceful mind and happiness?  The answer is through the practice of meditation. This is the tool that helps train our minds to be peaceful and pure.  With a peaceful and pure mind we will be able to experience real happiness and the highest wisdom in life.
Meditation is a spiritual training in all the world’s religions.  Many people talk about peace and happiness in their daily gatherings and meetings.  In other words, an individual with a deluded mind cannot find the right way to experience real happiness and peace for himself (herself) and others expect by cultivating a clear and pure mind.  To experience that stage, each person must train his or her mind to develop in the proper way.  Meditation plays a key role in this matter.
Meditation helps to train and refine the mind; it helps the person who engages in meditation practice to concentrate and to be mindful in daily activities.  Everyone benefits from this training.  For example, the student needs concentration when doing homework assignments.  Administrators need concentration and a clear mind while running their offices. Parents need concentration and a clear mind while doing their work at home, conducting family life in a calm and peaceful way.
Meditation helps everyone at all times to live and work effectively and successfully. Everyone wants to be happy in life.  The way to lead oneself to real happiness and have a peaceful life may be different, but without a peaceful, calm and clear mind, real happiness cannot be realized. Meditation can help in this regard.  The Exalted One, the Buddha said, “The peaceful mind excels all other happiness.”  (Pali: natthi santi param sukkham)
What would happen if one worked without right mindfulness and right concentration?  
The answer is simple. If one worked without right mindfulness and concentration, work would not be effective.  For example, if one studies without mindfulness and full attention, one cannot remember the subject being studied.  Consequently, a poor performance would result.  As you can see, there is a role to be played by concentration and mindfulness during study.   In the same way, right understanding and insight, as worldly tools, need to be applied before starting any work.  Working without mindfulness and concentration results in more harm than good.  The way to apply these tools is to learn how to be aware, moment by moment in our daily activities, that is, to know what we are doing, what we are saying and what we are thinking.  Without mindfulness and concentration there is no life.  We are in “automatic pilot.”
We may conclude this small paper in hoping that the readers may find the essences of Buddha’s teaching, the law of impermanence, cause and effect and self reliance to realize ultimate reality.  Finally, we can find me the way of Buddhist realistic view. May all beings be free from enmity, be free from ill-treatment, be free from troubles.  May all beings be free from suffering,  May all beings be happy.
*Dasa Dhamma: 1. Dana: charity, generosity, liberality 2.  Sila: high moral character 3. Pariccaga: Self sacrifice 4. Ajjava: honesty, integrity 5. Maddava: kindness, gentleness 6.  Tapa:  austerity, self-discipline, non-indulgence 7. Akkodha: non-angry, non-fury 8. Avihimsa: nonviolence, non-Oppression 9.  Khanti:  patience, forbearance, tolerance, endeavor, endurance 10. Avirodhana:  non-opposition, non-deviation from righteousness, conformity to the law
For more information please feel free to contact: Ven. Phramaha Thanat Inthisan, Ph.D. Security General of The Council of Thai Bhikkus in USA Wat Thai Washington, D.C. 13440 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906 Phone: (301) 871-8660, 871-8661, Fax. (301) 871-5007 E-mail:

This article was first published in the Monthly newpaper (February 2019) for the Thai Buddhist temple in Ft. Walton Beach.  

Man the NOBLE Being  by P.A. Payutto

Human beings are special unlike any other kind of animal.  What makes them special is sikkha' or education namely learning training and development. Human beings who have been trained, educated or developed are called "noble beings."  They know how to conduct a good life for themselves and also help their society fare securely in peace and happiness.

To be truly involved in this education human beings, especially children and young people, who are the new members of the human race should aquire the seven fundamental quantities known as the auroras of a good life or the dawn of education. These are the guarantees of life moving forward toward full human development to peoples becoming truly nobile beings.  They are:

1.  Kalyanamittata seeking out sources of wisdom and good examples.

2.  Sila-sampada having discipline as a foundation for ones life development.

3.  Chanda-sampada having a heart that aspires to learning and constructive action.

4.  Atta-sampada dedicating oneself to training for the realization on ones full human potential.

5.  Detthi-sampada adhering to the principle of conditionlity, seeing things according to cause and effect.

6.  Appamad-sampada establishing oneself in heedfulnes.

7.  Yonisomanasikara-sampada thinking wisely so as to realize and see the truth.




Numerous people have approached me with questions on Buddhism and how to best approach learning more.  I the paragraphs below I'll discuss my recommendations on how to approach gaining a better insight to Buddhism and the practice of Buddhism.  I'll also discuss some potential pitfalls to the effort to learn about Buddhism.

1.  Introduction:

a.   If you have been in the Temple you'll have seen numerous books that are displayed on the table at the back of the Templa hall.  These books are free and you can take them home to study.  There is, however; something that you should be aware of.  Buddhism is a very deep religion.  Most of the books are written by scholars and you will probably be overwhelmed by the content and complexity.  In addition, remember that Buddhism is comes from a very different culture.  These factors make it difficult to near impossible to understand without a significant amount of study and effort.  If that is your aim then select a book and study it at your leisure.  Please remember that it is a religious text and treat it with respect.

b.  I expect most visitors to the Temple have a general interest in basic Buddhism and really are only interested in the basics.  Occassionally, we have books in the Temple that are more focused on an overview of Buddhism with a slant towards non-Buddhist Americans.  I have asked the Temple to include some basic Buddhism books.

2.  One Person's Approach:

a.  The Temple has a Q&A session on the Temple and Buddhism every Sunday from 11:30am to 12:30pm.  Bring your questions and (hopefully) we can answer them on the spot.

b.  Browse the free books on Buddhism in the Temple.  Make sure that the level of the book is not too advanced for your current knowledge.

c.  Go to http://buddhanet.net.  This site has materials for the Buddhist novice to the Buddhist expert.  If you are new to Buddhism start easy.  For example,  from the Buddhist Studies menu, select Basic Buddhism Guide or Study for Schools as a starting point.

There a lot of good information on the web (and some not so good). I think the links above and some of your time will get you the information you seek!


This article was prepared by Wat Tampa.

Buddhist chanting is one of the most important activities practiced in Buddhism. It not only serves as a means for Buddhist to learn and embrace the teachings of the Buddha, but it also serves to train the mind and body to concentrate and be at peace amidst the business that exists in human lives.

Traditional Thai chanting is performed in Pali, the original language found in the Theravada Buddhist scriptures.  It is thought to be the best way to pay respect to the Buddha and the Triple Gem, the symbol of Buddhism.

Thai Buddhist practice daily chanting at home every morning and evening.  On special holidays, Thais will attend temples in order to practice longer versus of chanting and receive Buddhist teachings.

The Monks at Wat Mongkolratanaram lead Buddhist chanting every Sunday afternoon for one hour followed my meditation.  We welcome everybody who would like to join us in this practice.  We have chanting books in Thai and English for those who are interested in joining us.

We have provided two common verses of Buddhist chanting that Thai's practice on a daily basis and the English interpretation.  Please join us in Buddhism chanting today and feel free to ask any questions.

Editors Notes:

1. The English chanting books include English phonetics and English language translation of the chants,

2.  The daily practice chants are in the Buddhist Daily Chanting menu option on the Buddhism menu.



­ Feedback