Monday, February 3, 2020

Practice is the most important thing

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

Knowing the Truth of the way things are
Practice is therefore the most important thing. In my own practice [walking the path to enlightenment], I didn't spend all my time studying the theoretical descriptions of the mind and mental factors.

I watched "that which knows." When the mind had thoughts of aversion I asked, "Why is there aversion?" If there was attraction I asked, "Why is there attraction?" This is the way to practice.

I didn't know all the finer points of theory or go into a detailed analytical breakdown of the mind and mental factors. I just kept prodding at that one point in the mind, until I was able to settle the whole issue of aversion and attraction and make it completely vanish.

Whatever happened, if I could bring my mind to the point where it stopped liking and disliking, it had gone, gone beyond suffering. It had reached the point where it could remain at ease, whatever it was experiencing.

There was no craving or attachment (clinging)… it had stopped. This [release, liberation, letting go] is what you're aiming for in the practice.

Do you learn to know the Truth or to debate?
If other people want to talk a lot about the theory, that's their business. In the end, however much you talk about it, the practice has to come back to this point. Even if you don't talk much about it, the practice still comes back to this point.

Deer, when you're hungry, eat. When you're...
Whether you [mentally] proliferate a lot or a little, it all comes back to this. If there is rebirth, it comes from this. If there is extinction [of ignorance, craving, and aversion], this is where the extinction occurs.

However much the mind proliferates, it doesn't make any difference. The Buddha called this [the heart] place "that which knows."

It has the function of knowing according to the truth of the way things are. Once you have really discerned the truth, you automatically know the way the mind and mental factors are.

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