I’m telling you, it’s great fun to observe closely how the mind works. I could happily talk about this one subject the whole day. When you get to know the ways of the mind, you’ll see how this process functions and how it’s kept going through being brainwashed by the mind’s impurities. I see the mind as merely a single point. Psychological states are guests who come to visit this spot. Sometimes this person comes to call; sometimes that person pays a visit. They come to the visitor centre. Train the mind to watch and know them all with the eyes of alert awareness. This is how you care for your heart and mind. Whenever a visitor approaches you wave them away. If you allow them to enter, where are they going to sit down? There’s only one seat, and you’re sitting in it. Spend the whole day in this one spot.
This is the Buddha’s firm and unshakeable awareness that watches over and protects the mind. You’re sitting right here. Since the moment you emerged from the womb, every visitor that’s ever come to call has arrived right here. No matter how often they come, they always come to this same spot, right here. Knowing them all, the Buddha’s awareness sits alone, firm and unshakeable. Those visitors journey here seeking to exert influence, to condition and sway your mind in various ways. When they succeed in getting the mind entangled in their issues, psychological states arise. Whatever the issue is, wherever it seems to be leading, just forget it – it doesn’t matter. Simply know who the guests are as they arrive. Once they’ve dropped by they will find that there’s only one chair, and as long as you’re occupying it they will have nowhere to sit down. They come thinking to fill your ear with gossip, but this time there’s no room for them to sit. Next time they come there will also be no chair free. No matter how many times these chattering visitors show up, they always meet the same fellow sitting in the same spot. You haven’t budged from that chair. How long do you think they will continue to put up with this situation? In just speaking to them you get to know them thoroughly. Everyone and everything you’ve ever known since you began to experience the world will come for a visit. Simply observing and being aware right here is enough to see the Dhamma entirely. You discuss, observe and contemplate by yourself.
This is how to discuss Dhamma. I don’t know how to talk about anything else. I can continue on speaking in this fashion, but in the end it’s nothing but talking and listening. I’d recommend you actually go and do the practice.
Excerpt From: ‘The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah’.