Friday, October 25, 2019

Ajahn Chah: Know the Truth for Yourself

Ajahn Chah ( via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
Think before you act, mmm'kay children?
QUESTION: Could you explain a little more about karma?

ANSWER: Karma is [volitional] action. Karma is clinging. Body, speech, and mind all make karma when we cling. We make habits.

These can make us suffer in the future. This is the fruit of our clinging, of our past defilements. All attachment [clinging] leads to making karma.

Suppose you were a thief before you became a monk. You stole, made others unhappy, made your parents unhappy. Now you are a monk, but when you remember how you made others unhappy, you feel bad and suffer yourself even today.

Young Ajahn Chah meditating
Remember, not only body, but verbal and mental action can make conditions for future results. If you did some act of kindness in the past and remember it today, you will be happy. This happy state of mind is the result of past karma.

All things are conditioned [supported] by causes -- long term and, when examined, moment by moment. But you need not bother to think about past, or present, or future. Merely watch the body and mind.

You must figure karma out for yourself. Watch your mind. Practice and you will see clearly.

Make sure, however, that you leave the karma of others to them. Don't cling to them, and don't watch others. If I take a poison, I suffer. There's no need for you to share it with me!

Take what is good that your teacher offers. Then you can become peaceful; your mind will become like that of your teacher.

If you will examine it, you will see. Even if now you don't understand, when you practice, it will become clear. You will know for yourself. This is called practicing the Dharma.

When we were young, our parents used to discipline us and get angry. They really wanted to help us.

You must see it over the long-term. Parents and teachers criticize us, and we get upset. Later on we see why. After long practice you will know.

Those who are too clever leave after a short time. They never learn. You must get rid of your cleverness. If you think yourself better than others, you will only suffer. And what a pity! There's no need to get upset. Just watch.

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