24 June, 2024

Blog

Mental Therapy 

By Gamini Jayaweera –

Gamini Jayaweera

The month of Vesak holds profound significance, marking the triple blessed day when, over 2,600 years ago, Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment, and Passing away Occurred. Each year, Buddhists worldwide come together to celebrate this momentous occasion, paying heartfelt gratitude and homage to Lord Buddha for his timeless teachings and unparalleled contributions to humanity. This is an endeavour to share a drop of the most noble Dhamma, as uttered by Lord Buddha, for the benefit of all humanity.

Currently, many of us believe that we live in an “advanced age of science.” It is widely acknowledged that much of human thought and values are directed towards the pursuit of happiness. It seems correct to say that our education system serves as a vehicle for guiding the entire population towards achieving happiness and physical comfort through fields like Science, Engineering, Business Studies, Computer Technology, and Artificial Intelligence etc. However, after following this system for centuries, we must ask: have we truly eradicated human suffering and enhanced the quality of human happiness?

Despite living in what is often termed the “advanced age of science,” it seems we are also witnessing an age of conflicts and hostilities, hatred and violence, deceit and fraud, pain, sorrow, and dissatisfaction. These issues are prevalent at all levels of society and can be attributed to our collective greed, ill will, and delusion.

Human beings are increasingly behaving like robots, perhaps losing touch with the true art of living. Have we forgotten the importance of genuine human feelings, both for ourselves and others? If we do not experience and acknowledge our own emotions, it becomes challenging to feel love and loving kindness towards others. This emotional disconnect might explain the prevalence of suffering, violence, and mental illness in the modern world.

Our mind influences and affects our body. If we allow the mind to entertain unwholesome and harmful thoughts, it can cause disaster and may even lead to death. It is a well-known fact that focusing on positive thoughts with the right understanding can cure a sick body and have profound impacts. Aldous Huxley, a well-respected English writer, philosopher, and author of science fiction and other works, stated in his book “Ends and Means” (London, 1937): “The mind not only makes one sick but also cures. An optimistic patient has a better chance of recovery than one who is worried and unhappy.”

I am not a medical doctor, psychologist, or psychotherapist, so I cannot advise anyone on applying mental therapy to eradicate physical and mental suffering. However, more than 2600 years ago, the greatest “Physician” the world has ever known, Lord Buddha, stated that these illnesses are related to not understanding what is happening in our mind and body.

Buddha expressed this as “mano pubbangama,” meaning “Mind is the foremost,” in the opening verse of the Dhammapada. He referred to this as Sati, now popularly known as mindfulness. This indicates that the remedy for human suffering does not lie in indulging the senses but in looking inward at one’s own mind. Happiness and contentment are conditions of the mind.

In everyday life, we face unpleasant emotions that create our suffering, such as anger, disgust, fear, anxiety, sadness, boredom, loneliness, and feelings of guilt and jealousy. Everyone can relate to these emotions as they are universal experiences. These emotions cause suffering and create inner conflict. We must understand how meditation helps us work with these emotions to alleviate our suffering.

Through investigation, we can discover, learn, explore, and experiment with various problems. By exploring them, we realize that these problems are often created by us. This realization allows us to use wisdom to free ourselves from these issues. Consequently, we gain a clear understanding of what is happening in our body and mind, offering us the opportunity to implement changes or continue investigating and exploring the root causes of our problems.

We can use unpleasant experiences themselves as objects of meditation. It’s important to understand that meditation is not always about experiencing pleasant, positive feelings. Unpleasant experiences do not create problems for us unless we identify with them. The challenge lies in learning how to work with these unpleasant experiences, whether they are physical or mental pain. This skill is much more important than merely seeking pleasant experiences.

To delve deeper into this topic, I have selected a Gatha (Stanza) from the Dhammapada, specifically from Magga Vagga (The Way of Path), Verse 282. The English translation of the Gatha is:

“Verily, from Meditation arises Wisdom.

Without Meditation Wisdom Wanes.

Knowing this twofold path of Gain and Loss,

Let one so conduct oneself that Wisdom may increase.”

This Gatha underscores the significance of meditation in gaining Wisdom (Panna) to liberate ourselves from the cycle of samsara. In “The Heart of Buddhist Meditation,” by Ven. Nyanaponika Thero states that the Buddha’s message, as a doctrine of the mind, teaches us three things:

* Knowing the mind,

* Shaping the mind, and

* Freeing the mind.

Knowing the mind involves understanding how it operates. Without this knowledge, we are akin to machines. Once we understand the mind, we can shape it, developing mastery over it. If we fail to develop this mastery, we become slaves to our minds, allowing our thoughts and emotions to control us, resulting in increased suffering.

When you master shaping the mind, you can achieve a mind that is free. Therefore, the importance of meditation lies in learning to achieve a mind that is free, happy, peaceful, and filled with loving-kindness.

We do many things to keep our bodies healthy, but an interesting question arises: what do we do to keep our minds healthy? We must understand what makes our minds sick and unhealthy and recognize the symptoms of mental ailments. Meditation helps us learn about these issues and achieve a completely healthy mind.

The Buddha has stated that following the path to achieve Wisdom involves fulfilling the requirements of Seela (moral conduct) and Samadhi (concentration). Without meditation, we cannot achieve Wisdom.

Sati (mindfulness) is an integral part of meditation. It is not thinking; it does not involve thoughts or concepts. Mindfulness is non-judgmental observation, the ability to observe without criticism. It is present-time awareness, occurring in the here and now. To explain mindfulness, Ven. Henepola Gunaratana thero compares memory, mindfulness, and thinking:

* If you remember your grade 2 schoolteacher, that is memory.

* When you become aware that you are remembering your grade 2 schoolteacher, that is mindfulness.

* If you then conceptualize or develop the thought process and say to yourself, “Oh, I am remembering,” that is thinking.

Sati, or mindfulness, comprises four parts:

Contemplation of the Body (Kayanupassana)

Contemplation of Feelings (Vedananupassana)

Contemplation of the Mind (Cittanupassana)

Contemplation of Mental Objects (Dhammanupassana)

It is said that a human being lacking in this essential quality of mindfulness cannot achieve anything truly worthwhile.

Lord Buddha, on his deathbed, warned his disciples, saying: “Transient are all component things. Work out your deliverance with heedfulness!” This profound statement emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and awareness in one’s spiritual journey.

In the Dhammapada, there is a beautiful verse about heedfulness and heedlessness. Verse 21, which tells the story of Queen Magandhiya, states:

Heedfulness: the path to the Deathless

Heedlessness: the path to Death

The Heedful do not die.

The Headless are as if already dead.

A person cannot be heedful unless they are aware of their actions—whether mental, verbal, or physical—at every moment of their waking life. To distinguish good from bad and right from wrong, one must be fully awakened and mindful of their activities. It is through the light of mindfulness that we perceive the beauty or ugliness of our deeds. To avoid ill will and perform well in our day-to-day activities, we must develop the practice of mindfulness and vigilance consistently.

The importance of sati (mindfulness) in all our dealings is clearly stated by Lord Buddha in the following striking words:

“Mindfulness, O disciples, I declare, is essential in all things everywhere. It is like seasoning to any dish.”

Right mindfulness or complete awareness, in a way, is superior to knowledge. Without mindfulness, it is impossible to make the best use of one’s learning. Even those who are well-informed and intelligent can fail to see things in their proper perspective when they lack this crucial quality of mindfulness.

It is true that people of good standing sometimes speak and act thoughtlessly, without considering the consequences, and are subjected to severe and justified criticism. The person who delights in mindfulness and regards heedlessness with dread is not liable to fall away. They are in the vicinity of Nibbana (Dhp 32).

“The Bhikkhu who delights in vigilance and who looks with fear on negligence is not liable to fail; he is close to Nibbana.”

From this Gatha, we understand that no one can achieve Nibbana without mindfulness meditation.

Now, I am going to share a story related to this Gatha.

This is the story of Ven. Poṭhila Thero, a monk renowned for his profound knowledge of the Tripitaka, which he could recite from beginning to end and back again. Ven. Poṭhila was exceptionally learned, thoroughly versed in the scriptures and texts. His fame spread far and wide, earning him reverence from people everywhere, and he oversaw eighteen monasteries. Despite his vast knowledge, Ven. Poṭhila was one of the Buddha’s most conceited disciples. His deep understanding of the Dhamma (Tipitaka) and the large number of students following him made him proud.

Recognizing this flaw, the Buddha sought to guide Ven. Poṭhila back to the right path. Whenever Poṭhila came to pay his respects, the Buddha would address him as “Thutchcha Poṭhila,” meaning ‘Useless or Empty Poṭhila.’ These remarks made Poṭhila realize that the Buddha was highlighting his lack of meditation practice and his failure to achieve any of the maggās (paths) or levels of mental absorption.

Determined to change, Venerable Poṭhila left the Jetavana monastery without informing anyone and travelled to a distant monastery where thirty monks resided. He first approached the most senior monk and humbly requested to be his disciple. However, the elder monk, aiming to humble him, directed him to the next senior monk. This pattern continued until Poṭhila was finally sent to a seven-year-old arahant sāmanera.

The young sāmanera agreed to mentor Poṭhila only after ensuring his obedience. Under the sāmanera’s guidance, Venerable Poṭhila diligently focused his mind on understanding the true nature of the body, practicing meditation with great ardour and vigilance.

The young arahant then instructed Ven. Poṭhila to put on all his robes. Nearby was a muddy bog. When Ven. Poṭhila emerged in his new robe, the seven-year-old said, “Now, run into this muddy bog. If I don’t tell you to stop, don’t stop. If I don’t tell you to come out, don’t come out. Now, run!”

He didn’t tell Ven. Pothila to stop until he was completely covered in mud. Finally, he said, “You can stop now,” so he stopped. “Okay, come on up!” And so, he came out.

This clearly showed that Ven. Pothila had given up his pride and was ready to accept the teaching. If he hadn’t been ready to learn, he wouldn’t have run into the bog like that, being such a famous learned teacher. But he did it. The young 7-year-old, seeing this, knew that Ven. Pothila was sincerely determined to practice.

The 7-year-old Arahath taught Ven. Pothila how to observe the sense objects, to know the mind and the sense objects. He used the simile of a man catching an iguana that enters one of the six holes in a termite mound. How would you catch it? The man would have to seal off five of the six holes and leave just one open. Then, he would simply watch and wait, guarding that one hole. When the iguana comes out from that hole, the man can catch it. Likewise, when thoughts are coming in through the six sense doors, one must close five sense doors and guard the mind door to capture the thoughts and understand their deep meaning.

Meditation is like catching the iguana. We use sati (mindfulness) to note the breath. Sati, mindfulness, is the quality of recollection, as in asking yourself, “What am I doing?” Sampajañña is the clear awareness that “now I am doing such and such.” For example, we observe the in and out breathing with sati and sampajañña.

We must further train to know with vision and insight, ñānadassana, the power of the refined mind, so that it knows sound as simply sound. The sound arises and we simply note it. This is called truly knowing the arising of sense objects. If we develop mindfulness, clearly realizing the sound as sound, we realize that it arises according to conditions; it is not a being, an individual, a self, an “us” or “them.” It’s just sound.

Sense objects “wander into” the mind. For instance, there is a sound of a song from the radio. It enters through the ear and travels inwards to the mind, which acknowledges that it is the sound of a radio. That which acknowledges the sound is called “mind.”

At the end of the discourse, Ven. Poṭhila attained arahantship. This story illustrates an important lesson: just as a clay pot must be emptied before it can be refilled, our minds must be open and receptive to truly gain wisdom. As explained in the Gatha, attention to meditation (Bhavana Manasikaraya) is crucial for developing wisdom. Without attention to meditation, one loses this wisdom. It’s like arriving at a junction with two roads: one road is filled with knowledge but lacks meditation, leading to a loss of wisdom. The other road combines both knowledge and meditation, allowing us to cultivate wisdom that brings sharp, sensitive, and deep realization of the Four Noble Truths.

Through meditation, one must practice one-pointed concentration to understand Anicca (Impermanence), Dukkha (Suffering), and Anatta (Non-Self) as stated in Dhamma. This understanding is what we call wisdom.

As previously mentioned, there is a significant difference between knowledge and wisdom. One of the most essential qualities to develop is humility, which involves listening to and following advice. Ven. Poṭhila’s willingness to ask for help from a 7-year-old demonstrates his humility.

The quality of recollection arises from practice and cannot be learned from books. It’s important to be aware of the feelings that arise within us. Mindfulness (sati) works in conjunction with these feelings, helping us to recollect them. Sati is the recollection that “I will speak,” “I will go,” “I will sit,” and so on. Sampajañña, or clear comprehension, is the awareness of “now I am walking,” “now I am lying down,” “now I am experiencing such and such a mood.” It is said that with sati and sampajañña, we can know our minds in the present moment and understand how the mind reacts to sense impressions.

When we hear a sound, we should contemplate to realize that it is only a sound. We need to stop letting our minds run after these sense impressions through contemplation. By escaping from perceptions (Sanna) through contemplation, we should be able to develop true wisdom.

It states that to truly understand the impermanence of everything in the world, we must realize the nature of arising and passing away. Ordinary people often get carried away by their thoughts, much like deer running towards a mirage. This illusion, or “papanca,” (Conceptual Proliferation) can be a cause of mental health issues.

Meditators, however, stop and observe their thoughts, seeing through them. We begin by contemplating our thoughts and eventually realize their emptiness (sunnata). This insight helps us understand that there is no inherent “me,” “mine,” or “I” to cling to. If we hold on to the notions of “me,” “I,” and “mine” out of ignorance, we remain unaware of this truth. This realization cannot be taught but must be experienced through wise contemplation. As stated in Dhamma, it is through this process that we can let go of the Five Skandhas (aggregates).

As stated in the Dhammapada, those who are not aware, mindful, or awake are akin to the dead. Being like a dead person or a machine is essentially the same. With awareness, we can explore, investigate, and discover problems. Then, with wisdom, we can address these problems. In everyday life, we face issues like anger, anxiety, fear, sadness, and guilt, which cause us suffering. Just like a surgeon investigates, we can learn, explore, and experiment with these problems.

Lastly, I would like to share a Gatha from the Mangala Sutta, which illustrates the importance of knowing, shaping, and freeing the mind to create an unshaken mind, practicing Dhamma in accordance with Dhamma to eradicate suffering:

පුට්ඨස්ස ලොකධම්මේහි, චිත්තං යස්සන කම්පති

අසෝකංවිරජංඛේමං, ඒතං මංගල මුත්තමං.

“The mind that is not shaken, when touched by the vicissitudes of life,

sorrowless, stainless, and secure – this is the highest blessing.”

Reference:

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Ven. Nyanaponika Thero (1962)

Mindfulness in Plain English – Bhante Henepola Gunaratana (2002)

Phan Kanuwa Dhamma Desana – Ven. Katukurunde Gnananda Thero

සතිය පූජ්‍යඋඩඊරියගම ධම්මජීව හිමි (2003)

ආනාපානා සූත්‍රයපූජ්‍ය පානදුරේ චන්දරතන හිමි (2019)

ධම්මපදපූජ්‍ය බඹරැන්දේ සිරි සීවලී හිමි (1954)

Introduction to Meditation by Godwin Samararatne (1997)

The Universal Teaching of the Buddha – A Dhamma talk given by Mr S.N. Goenka

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    5

    I am sorry. I have no time for the article.
    Is Sri Lanka a Buddhist country?
    If your answer is a ‘Yes’, no mental therapy can help you!

    • 2
      4

      Hello Nathan,
      The Author wrote “He referred to this as Sati, now popularly known as mindfulness. This indicates that the remedy for human suffering does not lie in indulging the senses but in looking inward at one’s own mind. Happiness and contentment are conditions of the mind”. Buddhism has been practised here in Sri Lanka for 2,300 or so years. It’s not working is it – this “Mindfullness”?
      Bset regards

      • 1
        1

        “Buddhism has been practised here in Sri Lanka for 2,300 or so years.”
        Has it been?
        That is where the catch is.
        *
        Concepts like ‘mindfulness’ cannot be lightly dismissed, nor the idea that “Happiness and contentment are conditions of the mind”.
        Such ideas exist in East Asian philosophies too, and make sense in relevant context.

        • 1
          1

          Hello SJ
          Two of the most violent countries in the recent past have been Theravada Buddhist – Myanmar and Sri Lanka. “Happiness and contentment are conditions of the mind” as are anger and disaffection – so what?
          I have posted on CT and Academia.edu, philosophical and logical questions regarding Buddhist Philosophy and non-self. The best answer that I received was “I don’t know how to answer your questions” from an expert on the 5 aggregates. Me I am all for “Cogito ergo sum” but without the dualism. There is a real material world of which we are part. Ju-ju doesn’t help build the likes of the Webb Space Telescope or even find lost gold necklaces.
          Best regards

          • 0
            5

            LankaScot –

            You have said: “There is a real material world of which we are part.”
            .
            Can a cockroach experience that real world?

          • 0
            0

            LS
            “Two of the most violent countries in the recent past have been Theravada Buddhist”
            What has Buddhism to do with the sources of violence in either?
            *
            “There is a real material world of which we are part.”
            True.
            But can mechanistic materialism answer all questions?
            Even if it can, we are ill equipped to find the answers.
            There are matters of the mind that evade simple materialist answers.
            Buddhism as offered by the Buddha does not prescribe super natural answers to any problem. We are dealing with aberrations.

      • 5
        4

        LankaScot,
        It is a lack of mindfulness of the teachings of Lord Buddha that ails our society.
        Buddhism is a way of life. A Buddhist needs no religion.

    • 4
      6

      If you are a kind of person that brings racism to every topic, no amount of mental therapy can help you either.
      .
      This essay has got nothing to do with whether Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country or not. It’s about Buddhism in general and how Buddhist practices in the form of mental therapy, could help alleviate sufering in the world. This being the Vesak month it’s an article of relevance to those who practice and are interested in Buddhism.
      .
      If you do not have the time to read the article, best thing to do is to refrain from commenting. Because no one is interested in knowing what you have time for and what you don’t have the time for.
      .
      As for your racist attitude, please take it somewhere else, and help keep this forum a civilized one.

      • 5
        4

        Gamini Jayaweera writes well. I have said this on several occasions.
        In why Gamini chose to write this piece at this time lies the basis of my previous observation. Bringing in racism is your goal.

        • 3
          8

          Whether Gamini writes well or not wasn’t the focus of my comment.

          • 6
            4

            Yes. You focused on bringing racism to the front.
            (Not every word of mine was a response to you.)

            • 1
              5

              If you click on the reply button at the bottom of a comment and respond, it will be considered as a response to that partcular comment.
              .
              Your original comment was unwarranted. It is that particular comment that brought racism to this conversation. I just merely objected.
              .
              This article has got nothing to do with the question you have raised. Such undue questioning of people in unwarranted contexts, is a sign of an attempt to establish some authority based on racial prejudices.

              • 1
                0

                Hello Ruchira,
                I have noticed that clicking on “Reply” button does not always work as I thought. Sometimes when I click reply it puts the comment right at the end of the Comments trail.
                Best regards

                • 1
                  2

                  LankaScot- if there are others who have already replied to the same comment by then, yes, your post will be at the bottom of all such replies that were made before you. You may not see them when you comment because they have not been approved yet. Approval takes time. Like hours. So several replies may have accrued by a comment by then. Yours I believe will be placed either based on the time you made the comment or by the time it was approved, if approval doesn’t take place first come first served basis. Not sure if I make sense.

      • 2
        1

        Hello Ruchira,
        Back to my question, why hasn’t it worked? Nothing racist in that.
        Best regards

        • 1
          5

          LankaScot – Iain’s book provides the answer to that. I’ll leave it upto you to decide whether to read it or not. Btw have you ever tried meditation? Or have you ever had premonitions? Can science explain premonitions? Or at least Dreams? Especially the ones that come true.

  • 4
    4

    Dear Gamini Jayaweera,
    .
    Thank you for the article.
    .
    Not being the most religious, it’s difficult for me to appreciate the various references you make to Buddhist teachings frequently in the latter part of your essay.
    .
    But I agree fully with the premise you have based your first part of the essay.
    .
    May I suggest a book by the author Iain McGilchrist, a Scottish Psychiatrist by profession, titled – The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World https://a.co/d/56amK3f – you might find it insightful in answering some of the predicaments you’ve highlighted at the beginning.
    .
    I think we should introduce practices like mindfulness to school curricula across the world.
    .
    Nothing makes one humble than truly experiencing one’s own mind, its strengths and vulnerabilities.
    .
    Science, Technolgy, Engineering and Mathematics has given as products ranging from atomic bomb to antibiotics, and they of course are the sources of our hubri; but they have failed us in giving peace of mind and true health, wealth, and happines.

    • 4
      3

      Hello Ruchira,
      You haven’t been writing much for some time😎. I am sorry to say that Iain McGilchrist should be inside the Psychiatric Institutions as an inmate. He has totally lost touch with reality.
      You wrote “I think we should introduce practices like mindfulness to school curricula across the world”. I would much prefer that “Critical Thinking” be taught.
      Best regards

      • 3
        4

        LankaScot – while evidence isn’t conclusive, there appears to be a positive correlation between mindfulness and critical thinking, and other cognitive functions as well.
        .
        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-one-lifespan/201601/does-mindfulness-enhance-critical-thinking%3famp
        .
        On the matter of McGilchrist, I think the Royal College of Psychiatrists is quite capable of deciding on the sanity of their membership. If you think you have some greater authority over them, you could declare the source of your authority, and make recommendations to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Until such time I’ll continue to stick with Royal College of Psychiatrists.

        • 1
          2

          Hello Ruchira,
          Remember, Carl Jung thought he could blow things up just by concentration. He even tried to fool Freud about it using his Magic Tricks. The great scientist Linus Pauling used to say that high doses of Vitamin C could cure viral diseases like the Common Cold – however no evidence was found for this claim.
          As for McGilchrist ” A new book by Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller argues that the left / right brain divide is largely bogus, and should instead be replaced by a top brain / bottom brain distinction. Carl Sagan in the “Dragon’s of Eden” said something similar (the Triune Brain), however Science moves on and many of these over-simplistic theories have been discarded. Remember what the Buddha said, to paraphrase – just because someone in authority says something don’t just believe it, examine the evidence yourself.
          Best regards

          • 1
            3

            LankaScot – First of all, McGilchrist isn’t making any claims like the ones Jung or Pauline has made. Secondly, I don’t think the book you have referred to addresses Iain’s work. Iain himself take the same position: “For the past fifty years, popular culture has led us to believe in the left brain vs. right brain theory of personality types.” This isn’t what Iain describes in his book. I think I have highlighted this earlier but for some reason I don’t think you got the gist of the argument back then either. I have not read the book you have quoted here, which sounds like an interesting one too. Judging by the Amazon review I don’t see its contents being incompatible with Iain’s work. As per your last comment, its Iain who is working at the periphery and has no authority. The authority still believes scientific materialism upon which Iain casts doubts.

          • 1
            3

            LankaScot – Ever heard of Katalin Kariko? Hungarian Biochemist who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology last year. She researched on mRNA for years, without a success, a field of research that many scientists have guven up saying there’s nothing to be gained. Therefore Kariko’s work was discouraged, ignored, ridiculed and laughed at. She had a hard time securing faculty positions and research funding. But with a little friends she somehiw prevailed, not only that she made a breakthrough discovery – hiw to smuggle mRNA to cells without triggering an immune response. A duscovery without which the two mRNA Covid vaccines, Miderna and Pfizer may not have been possible. Among the beneficieries of Karikos success were her former colleagues at Upenn who laughed at her. She worked at the periphery on subjects that mainstream scuentists shunned, but her perseverance eventually paid off.

            • 2
              1

              “A duscovery without which the two mRNA Covid vaccines, Miderna and Pfizer may not have been possible.”
              Call that a blessing? Perhaps for Big Pharma.

            • 1
              1

              Dear LS and other rational thinkers,
              .
              As I see it, some talking half-baked men seem to be abusing areas in which they are not experts. Not only RNA but also DNA technology was very helpful in creating innovative vaccines to save the populations. Since all this happened through short-term clinical trials, experts even today are skeptical about the side effect in some people in the post-Covid period with various complications.
              The truth is that even today there are no acceptable marketed drugs against Covid-19. It is due to long-term clinical trials to study the safety effectiveness levels of the drugs that have been created.

              What is Katalin Kariko famous for?
              Katalin Karikó, PhD, is a biochemist and researcher, best known for her contributions to mRNA technology and the COVID-19 vaccines.

              Who made the updated COVID vaccine?
              The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the updated vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for everyone 6 months and older, and authorized an updated Novavax vaccine for those 12 and older in the fall of 2023

              Why is Novavax better than mRNA?
              Compared with mRNA vaccines, the Novavax booster seems to have a lower risk of causing myocarditis or pericarditis—heart conditions that occasionally occur, especially in young men—although it does not have zero risk.

      • 1
        8

        “You haven’t been writing much for some time”
        .
        I had to fire my maid and take over running errands and doing chores. As a result not much time to check what’s going on here..
        .
        Thanks for noticing.

        • 8
          0

          Hello Ruchira,
          Just to educate myself, I had a look back at the CT Archives starting from around 5 years ago. Most contributors to the Comments Section are still around, some have disappeared, some have mellowed and some have stayed constant in their outlook. I’m beginning to understand some of the historical reasons for Sri Lanka’s current Political situation. Being educated in Scotland we study the English Civil War, the Covenanters and the 45 Rebellion etc as (almost ancient) History. So it comes as a bit of a shock to realise that many of these type of events are still happening (or have happened in recent times) in Sri Lanka. The wounds are still raw for many people.
          So in CT the subjects and responses are still pretty much the same.
          Best regards

          • 2
            7

            LankaScot – I’m not sure if I follow you. What has English civil war got to do with me being absent from CT?

            • 6
              0

              Hello Ruchira,
              I was talking about the content of the past comments over the last 5 years and how the topics haven’t changed so much. I also was trying to explain that we don’t have (in the UK) any recent experience of Civil Wars that would help us to understand what Sri Lanka has gone through. The Troubles in Northern Ireland are the closest, however most parts of the UK were relatively unaffected. The equivalent events (Civil Wars and Rebellions) that approached Sri Lankan experiences happened a long time ago. The English Civil War was pretty brutal and divided people not on ethnic lines but political ones.
              The topics that divide CT Contributors have been pretty consistent over the past 5 years that I looked at. Now that I live in Sri Lanka I have to learn about the history in order to understand people’s views. Some of the comments have pushed me to learn more.
              Your absence reminded me that a few of the past commenters have disappeared (e.g. Eagle Eye), but also that people have lives outside of their CT interactions that take precedence.
              Best regards

              • 1
                7

                LankaScot – I am not Eagle Eye, if that’s what you are trying to get at. 😎

                • 7
                  2

                  Ruchira,
                  Sadly, but surely ‘Eagle Eye’ Passed Away from this world!!?? Early this year aged 93!? Let’s say RIP and give him eternal Peace!!??

                  • 1
                    9

                    Mahila – to have lived 93 years is no sad affair. He must have been doing something right. Did I tell you that my maid has stolen an important document from my files? Yes she has. All the mofos responsible will be dealt with pretty soon. That will be one sad affair for every one. From Marshals in the fields to Law Professories, and the rest of the garden variety of criminals that has ruin the country for 75 effing years, that some of you all still support. That’s one sad affair.

                    • 1
                      6

                      the rest of the garden variety of criminals – I’m referring to the biggest criminal of them all, the leader of compassion -Ravi. Tell him that he is dead meat.

              • 5
                2

                LS,
                Sadly, but surely ‘Eagle Eye’ Passed Away from this world!!?? Early this year aged 93!? Let’s say RIP and give him eternal Peace!!?? Assure you Not disappeared as suggested!!??

                • 1
                  0

                  Hello Mahila,
                  Thanks for letting everyone know. Most of us don’t know anything about other Contributor’s lives (like Eagle Eye). You can pick up clues, but, unless they explicitly address the subject, we don’t know their history. I met one of my wife’s relations a few years ago in Peradeniya aged 95. He was still very sharp and told me, in perfect English, about life under the British in Sri Lanka. He had only recently been confined to bed as his legs had become very weak. He explained that slowly things stop working properly. He died a few months later.
                  Best regards

  • 14
    4

    “I think we should introduce practices like mindfulness to school curricula across the world”.

    Hands off schools!

    Let children be children.

    Let the young have their youth ….. without the old farts spoiling it with their crap.

    Why do religions always try to get the young? ……. The very young?

    I’ve very rarely met a man/woman/beast …… who had embraced a religion in mature adulthood.

    • 1
      7

      nimal fernando, In adulthood, they are already lost to hell. So at least let some children reach heaven while they are able to recognise the truth.

    • 3
      0

      Dear NF,
      .
      ““I think we should introduce practices like mindfulness to school curricula across the world”.”

      I heard yesterday that even some students today tend to earn money in their pocket by showing their genitals to their peers in schools.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9RG-5OIN2g&t=2052s

      Look at the dangerous levels it has reached today. Main stream visual media is the cancer of this country. But the politicians supported those PVT TV channels to mislead the nation. It was interpreted by them as modern culture.

      How could this be if Buddhism had given them proper guidance?
      tIMEs are changing today teenagers have no respect. Their mothers were even beaten.

    • 4
      0

      Hello Nimal,
      As the Jesuits (Roman Catholic ) say
      “Give me the child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man.”
      See this comment in New Scientist – https://www.newscientist.com/letter/mg19225832-700-give-me-a-child/
      Best regards

    • 3
      1

      nimal fernando

      “Let the young have their youth ….. without the old farts spoiling it with their crap.”

      The idea is to “catch them young, watch them grow.”

      It sounds like PAEDOs grooming kids from early age.

      “Why do religions always try to get the young? ……. The very young?”

      Children are vulnerable, ….. can be persuaded by many means, …

      “I’ve very rarely met a man/woman/beast …… who had embraced a religion in mature adulthood.”

      The love mundane life, will not give up for anything else, ……

      Have a good day, keep indulging ……

    • 3
      1

      Nimal,
      A child who can neutralize early religious brainwashing is a rare one indeed.

      • 3
        1

        OC,

        I hope DTG is not reading this ……… in some weaker moments, I still fear the God introduced to me as a child ……… but I don’t fear Buddha, Allah, Vishnu, Shiva et al ……… because I know nothing about them.

        My kids, who were brought up without a religion, fear nothing.


        That’s how our minds are/gets conditioned.

        Native only fear women! ……. What conditioned his mind? :))))

        • 0
          5

          nimal fernando, So glad that you fear the true God. Your eternal state is promising.. Those who fear nothing may live well now, but they do not know where they are going after death into the eternal state.

        • 4
          1

          nimal fernando

          “Native only fear women! ……. What conditioned his mind? :))))”

          Is it to do with my feeding habit as a child?
          My mother used to show me Siri Mao’s photo if I didn’t eat well.

          • 0
            0

            “My mother used to show me Siri Mao’s photo if I didn’t eat well.”

            Ha ha ha ………. good one! After all you have a sense of humour; hard to imagine!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.