Bhante Banchong, a monk-in-resident at Wat Asoka Buddha Vihar, Chandigarh, provided some insights about meditation and human characteristics. Bhante, who is from Thailand, said that one should at least meditate for 15 minutes daily, which helps in controlling one’s mind and heart. Further, it helps in the general well-being of a person. He says, “Practice meditation, get into a state of Sati (mindfulness), it will help in clearing your confusion in the mind. It will help in making your life peaceful, while creating positive aura and a happy mind.”
On the topic of how to discern between a good and a bad person, Bhante Banchong said, “A person is called “bad or wise” based on their action, speech and mind. If they do, speak and think useful things without evil, they could be termed as “wise people”. There are four types of false friends i) those who make friends for the purpose of cheating and defrauding, ii) those who are good only in words they speak, iii) those who flatter and cajole, iv) those who persuade one to go into ways leading to lose and ruin. Therefore, these four kinds of people are not friends, they are counterfeit friends and one should not mix with them (D: III; 186). A person who has Hiri or shame at doing evil and Ottappa – fear of the results of doing evil, is called a good person, but someone who lives without Hiri and Ottappa, is a bad person.”
Bhante Banchong is pursuing PhD in Buddhism from Punjab University and has been living in the monastery for the past two years. He has taken up monastic life for the past 24 years.