Thursday, May 23, 2019

Life in the Forest (Ajahn Chah)

Ajahn Chah ( via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly

Living in Parileyyeka Forest
The Buddha praised living in the forest because the physical and mental solitude (withdrawal) that it gives us is conducive to the practice for liberation.

However, he didn’t want us to become dependent on living in the forest or get stuck in its peace and tranquillity. We come to practice in order for wisdom to arise.

Here in the forest we can sow and cultivate the seeds of wisdom. Living amidst chaos and turmoil these seeds have difficulty in growing. But once we've learned to live in the forest, we can return and contend with the city and all the sensory (over) stimulation it brings us.

Learning to live in the forest means allowing wisdom to grow and develop. We can then apply this wisdom no matter where we go.

When our senses are stimulated, we become agitated. The senses become our antagonists. They antagonize us because we are still foolish and don’t have the wisdom to deal with them.

In reality they are our teachers, but because of our ignorance we don’t see it that way. When we lived in the city, we never thought that our senses could teach us anything.

As long as true wisdom has not yet manifested, we continue to see the senses and their objects as enemies.

Once true wisdom arises, they are no longer our enemies but become the doorway to insight and clear understanding.

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