Nowadays societies lack the Dhamma and there is little study of the subject. As a result, people are burdened with a great deal of mental problems due to lack of peace. So when we listen to chanting and the Dhamma, it is to understand the mind only.
How can we be aware of the mind? The moment there is awareness in our mind, then the meanings of the words “merit”, “Peace” which accompany happiness and high spirits will be fully understood.
For example, we may have a short temper and never can control our anger, but when awareness takes place in our mind we are conscious of being furious and resentful of others’ expressions when we look and listen to them. If we can see right through our mind immediately when this happens, we will realise that it is our mind which causes trouble. It is not their fault but the result of the confusion of our mind. As soon as we realise this, it is called “Kusalam Cittam.” It means, to be aware of one’s own mind is meritorious. Not to give in to anger is also meritorious. Therefore the Buddha wanted us to learn about our own mind first so that we will eventually develop mindfulness as the means to get rid of suffering within it.
All the Buddha’s 84,000 categories of the Dhamma show us the way to rise above suffering in our mind, to be in high spirits in all postures whether we are sitting, eating, lying down or just thinking and imagining. Just listen to the seven chapters of “Kusala…..” Yome!…. They are all about the mind. Only if we can make our mind peaceful for a little while will serenity occur. Anytime we fail to control the restless mind for just five minutes, we will be overwhelmed with distress. When we cannot stop thinking we are tense and perhaps cannot sleep. We will realise that our consciousness is negative and intense suffering has arisen.
Where does suffering come from? It comes from the mind! The unwholesome state of mind which is ” Akusala Dhamma ” This type of mind brings tension, sorrow and is devoid of contentment. So it is demeritorious. We must try to chant, meditate and gain more Samadhi to be aware of the mind in both positive and negative states and observe all kinds of thoughts. Eventually it will become “Kusalam Cittam.” The mind will be restful, free from excessive thinking, worry, tension, restlessness and grief. Eating, sitting, lying down and thinking, imagining will be accompanied by tranquillity. Here we are! These are the results of the positive states of consciousness.
Why is the mind positive? Because we train our mind, understand and study it! Monks chant to help us to develop a meritorious state of mind. When we listen to them chanting and giving the discourses of the Dhamma, all the merit will concentrate in the one mind.