Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why practice for enlightenment?

Korean nun Shinwon Sunim (photo) via Sayalay; Upasika Kee Nanayon, July 28, 1965 translated from the Thai by Ven. Thanissaro (USA); edited by Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly

We practice on and on, but we fail to attain our [ultimate] desire [full enlightenment and liberation from all suffering]. So we practice until we reach a point where we're practicing for no return; we're practicing in order to let go [to be completely free].
Stop, Look, and Let Go!
But how is one to practice for better results?
And it requires that we use our powers of observation and [dispassionate] evaluation. If we don't keep on observing and evaluating as part of our practice, the mind will slip off quickly and easily to travel along with its preoccupations.

The way it keeps traveling brings us nothing but suffering and stress. We don't gain anything good out of it at all. The mind simply goes out looking for all kinds of trouble.

Regardless of whether we like things or dislike them, we grasp onto them and turn them into suffering [disappointment, unsatisfactoriness, lack of fulfillment, dukkha].

The eyes, ears, and so forth are the bridges out of which the mind goes traveling the moment we sense sights or sounds or stimuli. How can we exercise care and restraint over the sensory doors so that they lie under the power of our mindfulness?

Gratitude is a great practice right now.
This is something we have to watch and observe, to see the results that come from looking and listening in a mindful [dispassionate and careful awareness] way.

If we don't use our powers of observation and evaluation, we tend to latch onto the sensations [that arise along with] what we've seen, heard, or otherwise sensed.

Then we label them, fabricate things out of them, and keep on latching onto things every step of the way until we have the mind all in a turmoil through the power of its loves and hatreds [its passions].
Observe the sensations that arise at each of the sense doors to see that they're just sensations happening, pure and simple. It's not the case that we're sensing these things.
For instance, the eye sees forms. It's not us seeing them. There's simply the seeing of forms by means of eye-consciousness, pure and simple... More

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