|Reverence (Ajanta Monastery, Cave 26, India)|
|You look stupid. - Shut up, you Co-k!|
Whoever digs a well down to the level of the groundwater will see water. It's not the case that that person created or fashioned the water into being. All one has done is to put strength into digging the well so that it's deep enough to reach the water already there.
When we get these things we're happy, but our mind isn't really at peace because there's the sneaking suspicion that we'll lose them. We're afraid they'll disappear. This fear is the cause that keeps us from being at peace.
Sometimes we actually do lose things and then we really suffer. This means that even though these things are pleasant, suffering lies fermenting in the pleasure. We're simply not aware of it. Just as when we catch hold of a snake. Even though we catch hold of its tail, if we keep holding on without letting go, it can turn right around and bite us.
So the head of the snake and the tail of the snake, unwholesomeness and wholesomeness, form a circle that keeps cycling around. That's why pleasure and pain, skillful and unskillful are not the path.
The King of Death
|Yama is the "king" of death. Mara is Death.|
The owner is thinking, "How much does the chicken weigh?" The chicken, however, is engrossed in the food. When the owner picks it up to judge its weight, the chicken thinks the owner is showing affection.
We, too, do not know what's going on: where we came from, how many more years we'll live here, where we'll go next, who will take us there. We don't know any of this at all.
The King of Death is like the owner of the chicken. We don't know when he'll catch up with us, for we're engrossed — engrossed with sights, sounds, scents, flavors, tactile sensations, and mental impressions. We have no sense that we're growing older [deteriorating]. We have no sense of enough.
The Beginning is the End
|But I don't want a human rebirth. - Sure you do.|
So it's kind of amusing. When a person dies we're sad and upset. We sit and cry, grieving — all kinds of things. That's delusion. It's delusion, you know? When a person dies we sob and cry. That's the way it's been since, who knows when? We don't stop to examine this carefully. Actually — and excuse me for saying this — it appears to me that if you're going to cry when a person dies, it would be better to cry when a person is [re]born. But we have it all backwards. When a child is [re]born, people beam and laugh with happiness. But actually birth is death. Death is birth. The beginning is the end; the end is the beginning.
The mind is the same sort of thing as leaves. When it makes contact with an object, it vibrates and flutters in line with its nature. The less we know of the Dharma [the way things are], the more the mind vibrates. When it feels pleasure, it dies with the pleasure. When it feels pain, it dies with the pain. It keeps flowing on in this way.
It's the same with our mind. When it meets with an object it likes, it's happy. When it meets with an object it doesn't like, it gets murky and uncomfortable — just like water that turns green when we add green coloring to it, or yellow when we add yellow coloring. It keeps on changing its color.
Why It's Heavy