Thursday, May 9, 2019

Who can practice the Buddha's Dharma?

Ajahn Chah via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
What kind of person are you? Look up. The answer may just be on top (

Yeah, whaddya know about anything, Buddha?
The practice of Dharma is not dependent on being a monastic, a novice, or a layperson. It depends on straightening out our understanding.

If our understanding is correct, we arrive at peace. Whether we are ordained (gone forth as a monk or nun) or not, it’s the same: Every person has the chance to practice Dharma, to contemplate [and realize the liberating truth].

We all contemplate the same thing. If we attain peace, it’s all the same peace. It’s the same path, with the same methods.

"Not all those who wander are lost" - J. R. R. Tolkien (
You don't need to be a wanderer. But it helps.
Therefore, the Buddha did not discriminate between laypeople and monastics, those tied to the household life or those gone forth into wandering asceticism.

He taught all people -- regardless of their religion, sex, race, or education -- to practice in order to directly and personally know the truth of the saṅkhārā.

When we know this truth, we let them [formations] go. If we know the truth, there will be no more becoming or rebirth.
  • [EDITOR'S NOTE: "Knowing" does not consist only of hearing, reading, or studying but of directly perceiving, penetrating, and fully realizing the truth. Until then it is only received-truth. When we know it directly, it is undeniable-truth that does not depend on any teacher or teaching. This is not useless blind faith. This is verifiable. And until we investigate and verify it, it cannot lead to liberation from all suffering. So really Buddhism is not a belief or faith but a path-of-practice.]
How is there no more rebirth? There is no way for rebirth to take place because we fully know the truth of saṅkhārā.

If we fully know the truth, then there is peace. Having or not having, it’s all the same. Gain and loss are one. The Buddha taught us to know this. This is peace -- peace [relief] from happiness and unhappiness, gladness and sadness, ecstasy and sorrow.

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