Thursday, June 6, 2019

Advice from a Thai forest Buddhist master

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

Dawning of realization in forest
We must examine ourselves. We must [discover] know who we are, know this body and mind. We can do this by simply watching.

Whether running, walking, sitting, sleeping, or eating, we can know our limits. Use wisdom. The practice is not to try to "achieve" anything.

[It about letting go of all the sh...] Let us just be mindful of what is. Our whole meditation [running, walking, standing, sitting, or engaged in activities] is looking directly at the mind.

What will we see? We will see disappointment (dukkha, dissatisfaction, suffering), its cause and its END. But we must have patience, much patience and endurance to persist. Gradually we will learn.

How can I let go when I'm stuck? - Watch.
The Buddha taught his monastic disciples to stay with their Buddhist teachers for at least five years. We must learn the values of giving (letting go, generosity, non-hoarding, non-clinging, freedom), patience (khanti, forbearance, forgiveness), and of devotion (persistence).

Don’t practice too strictly. Don’t get caught up with outward forms. Watching others is bad practice. Simply be natural and watch that.

Our monastic discipline and rules are very important. They create a simple and harmonious environment. Use them well. But remember, the essence of the monastic discipline is watching intention, examining the mind.

We must have wisdom. Don’t discriminate. Would anyone get upset at a small tree in the forest for not being tall and straight like most of the others? This is silly. Don’t judge other people. There are all varieties. No need to carry the burden of wishing to change them all.

So be patient (tolerant, forbearing). Practice virtue (sila, ethics, morality). Live simply and be natural. Watch the mind. This is our practice. It will lead you to unselfishness, to peace.

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