Thursday, May 9, 2019

Things follow their nature to arise and fall

Ajahn Lee via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, edited/expanded by Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly

I'm wasting away like Pink Floyd
For people to be happy or sad, skillful or unskillful, all depends on the heart.

The heart's in charge. It's the most important thing to be found in our body. Why? That's because it's lasting and responsible for all the skillful and unskillful things we do.

As for the body, it knows nothing of pleasure or pain, happiness or sadness. And it's not at all responsible for anyone's skillful or unskillful karma (actions). Why is that? That's because the body isn't lasting. It's empty.
To say that it's "empty" means that as soon as it's deprived of breath (prana), its four properties [the Four Great Elements, which are actually properties or qualities of matter] -- earth, water, wind, and fire -- separate from one another and return to their original nature.
The parts coming from the earth property return to be just earth, as they originally were. The parts coming from the water property return to be just water, as they originally were. The parts coming from the wind and fire properties return to be just wind and fire, as they originally were.

Don't have to be wasted, but it helps
There's nothing about them that's "woman" or "man," "good," or "bad." This is why we're taught, Rupam aniccam: "Physical form is radically impermanent."

Rupam dukkham: It's hard to bear. Rupam anatta: It's impersonal, not-self, empty, and doesn't stay under anyone's control.

[This third characteristic of existence is perhaps the most important] because even if we try to forbid form from growing old, growing sick, or dying, it wouldn't behave in line with our wishes or commands.

[Why is that? By its very nature] it has to fall in line with the processes of building up and wasting away (incessantly rising and falling) in accordance with the nature of natural formations. This applies to everyone.

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