Monday, October 29, 2018

The Nature of Things: Body

Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Fuang Jotiko via Ven. Sujato (; Dhamma Teacher Aloka, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Noble Thai Meditation Master Ajahn Chah
Trees, mountains, and vines all live according to their own truth. They appear and die following their nature. They remain impassive. But not we people. We make a fuss over everything. Yet, the body just follows its own nature: It is born, grows old [gets sick], and eventually dies. The body follows nature in this way. Whoever wishes it to be or do otherwise will suffer.
Ajahn Fuang Jotiko edited by Dhr. Seven

What's the true nature of things? (AG)
The Dharma [the "Truth" (Dhamma) about phenomenal "things" (dhammas)] -- our meditation theme -- is something we all have within us, each and every one of us.

It's something we're doing as we sit here. We're practicing it, training in it. The question is, How can we take what's already here and make it complete?

We have to make an effort to use our powers of observation to acquaint ourselves with what's already here.

Our teachers simply tell us, point out the way. As for us, we have to train ourselves to use our powers of observation within ourselves: to know in line with the truth within us.

Once we see that it's true, we look after it so that it develops. We keep looking after it as much as possible, and there are no two ways about it: It'll simply have to progress [to full self-realization].

Keep going, Sid!
There aren't a lot of complicated steps to all this. We simply look after what's already there so that it can become full and complete.

It'll grow day by day, month by month, year by year. The developments in our minds will get better and better.

It's not the case that things appear only for a moment and that's plenty enough. That's not the case at all.

Whatever appears here and now, while we're sitting here, we have to keep looking after it continually, all day, all night, all month, all year long. We have to keep after it continuously, without stopping.

If we keep looking after it, the developments in our minds will keep developing further along.

The teeth in this body
Ajahn Chah
 My teeth, too?! But I'm a dentist!!
Conditions all go their own natural way. Whether we laugh or cry over them, they just go their own way.

And there is no knowledge of science that can prevent this natural course of things. We may get dentists to look after our teeth, but even if they can fix them, teeth still finally go their natural way.

Eventually even the dentist has the same trouble. Everything falls apart in the end.

When Things Fall Apart

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