Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ajahn Chah: inner peace is our real home

Ajahn Chah ( via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
The Buddha reclines into final nirvana, the end of samsaric rebirth-and-redeath.
The Future-Buddha is reborn to Maya.
[Like Little Piggies] anyone can build a house of straw, of stick or brick. But the Buddha taught that this sort of house is not a real home for us. It’s ours in name only.

It is a kind of house in the world, for it follows the way of the world. Our "real home" is inner peace.

An external, material house may well be pretty, but it's not peaceful. There’s this worry then that, that anxiety then this. So we say, It’s not our real home. It’s external to us. Sooner or later we’ll lose it and have to give it up.

It’s not a place in which we can live permanently. Why? That's because it doesn’t really belong to us. It belongs to the world.

Our body is the same way. We take it to be myself, to be "me" and "mine" and "I." But in fact it’s not really so at all.

What can Three Little Piggies teach us?
It’s another worldly house. Our body has followed its natural course from birth, and when it’s old and sick, we can’t forbid it from being that. That’s the way it is.

Wanting it to be any different is as foolish as wanting a duck to be a chicken. When we see that that’s impossible -- that a duck must be a duck, and a chicken must be a chicken, and that these bodies have to get old and die -- we find courage and energy.

However much we want the body -- or any temporary house -- to go on lasting, it won’t do that. It won't last long. The Buddha said:

Hurtling towards destruction,
alas, are all conditioned-things

ever subject to rise and fall.

Uppajjitvā nirujjhanti
Having come to be, they cease.

Tesaṃ vūpasamo sukho.
Their stilling is bliss.

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