Friday, June 14, 2019

Searching for Mushrooms like Meditation

Ajahn Chah via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
Magic Mushrooms: High potential for treating depression and anxiety (

Buddhist beat poet Jack Kerouac once said: No one should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored, solitude in the wilderness -- finding oneself depending solely on oneself and thereby learning one's true and hidden strength. Learning, for instance, to eat when one is hungry and sleep when one is sleepy.

The Mushroom Analogy
Letting go is the way to meditation.
Enlightened Thai Forest Tradition master Ajahn Chah once gave this example: City folk may like to eat [magic] mushrooms. So they ask, "Where do the mushrooms come from?"

Someone tells them, "They grow on the ground." They grab a basket and go walking in the countryside, expecting that mushrooms will be lining the roadside for them to pick.

They walk and walk, climbing hills and trekking through fields, without seeing any mushrooms.

Village people who have gone picking mushrooms know which part of the forest to go to.

But city folk only have the experience of seeing mushrooms on their plates. They hear mushrooms grow on the ground and get the idea that they should be easy to find. But it doesn’t work that way.

Training the mind in samādhi [a serenely coherent state of mind arrived at by meditation] is like this.

We get the idea that it will be easy. But when we sit, our legs hurt, our back hurts, and we feel tired, hot, and itchy.

Then we start to feel discouraged, thinking that samādhi is as far from us as the sky is from the earth.

We don’t know what to do, and we become overwhelmed by difficulties. But if we can receive some training, it will get easier, little by little.

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