Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ajahn Chah: How truth sets us free

Ajahn Chah via Ven. Sujato (Facebook); Eliza Darcey, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Ajahn Chah in the forest
If you don’t understand what peace is, you’ll never be able to find it. For example, suppose you had a very expensive pen you usually carry in your right front shirt pocket.

But one day you put it somewhere else and forget. Later when you reach for the pen in its usual place, it’s not there. You get a fright. You think you’ve lost it.
You get a fright because of wrong understanding. You don’t see the truth of the matter and so you suffer as a result.

Whatever you do, you can’t stop regretting having lost your precious pen: “Such a shame! I spent so much money on it, and now it’s gone!”

But then you remember, “Oh, of course! When I went to bathe I put the pen in the back pocket of my pants!”

The moment you remember this you already feel better, even if you still haven’t seen the pen. You no longer worry about it. And as you’re walking along, you run your hand over your back pocket and there it is.

Your mind was deceiving you all along. The worry came from your ignorance. Now, seeing your pen again, you are beyond doubt and beyond worry.

This sort of peace comes from seeing the cause of the problem, the cause of suffering. As soon as you remembered that the pen was in your back pocket, your suffering ended. Knowing the truth brings peace.

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