Friday, May 15, 2020

What's more important, serenity or insight?

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

First calm down then be mindful for insight.
One can't separate serenity (samatha or samma-samadhi) and insight (vipassana). Whereas serenity is tranquility, vipassana is systematic contemplation.

In order to contemplate one must be tranquil, and in order to be tranquil, one must contemplate (dispassionately watch) to know the mind.
  • [Both are arrived at by mindfulness, which is the combination of attentiveness and acceptance of whatever is in the present moment.]
Wanting to separate them would be like picking up a log of wood in the middle wanting only one end of the log to come up.

Both ends must come up at the same time. We can't separate them. In our practice, it isn't necessary to speak of calm or insight. Just call it the practice of Dharma. That's enough.

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