Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I want to be enlightened so I'm unenlightened

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

I want to be enlightened. What do I need to do?
When suffering ceases, where do we go? What are we practicing [the Buddhist path to enlightenment] for? We are practicing to relinquish [to let go], not in order to gain anything.

There was a woman this afternoon who told me that she is suffering. I asked her what she wants to be. And she said she wants to be "enlightened."

I said, "As long as you want to be enlightened, you will never become enlightened. Don’t want anything. [Let go instead.]

The Cure for Death
Look! It's Death/Mara! (R. W. Machell, 1895)
If we trained properly, we wouldn’t feel frightened when we fall ill, nor upset when someone else dies.

When you go to the hospital for treatment, determine in your mind that if you get better, that’s fine, and that if you die, that’s fine, too.

I guarantee that if the doctors told me I were sick and going to die in a few months, I’d remind them: "Watch out. Death is coming to get you, too. It’s just a question of who goes first and who goes later."

Doctors are not going to cure death or prevent it. Only the Buddha was such a doctor, the master physician, so why not go ahead and use the Buddha’s medicine?

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