Is that really the Middle Way? By Ajahn Sumedho

Vine on railing.

To some people, the Middle Way sounds like a mediocrity in that you just compromise with everything – no extremes, just living in a way that is pusillanimous.

I like the word ‘pusillanimous’: it means ‘small-minded’ or being a cowardly person who doesn’t have much presence and is just trying to get by.

Is that really the Middle Way? In terms of dualistic extremities like praise and blame or success and failure, does the Middle Way mean that we shouldn’t delight in success or praise and we should just ignore blame or failure?

On that level, one is opposed to the other. In the Middle Way, it’s ‘Buddho’ – the way of looking at the extremities through the cultivation of awareness, rather than a way of promoting oneself as a person trying to succeed in the world, or of just drifting out of it, fearing it, getting lost in pusillanimity.

Excerpt From: Ajahn Sumedho Volume 5 — The Wheel of Truth.

Click here for more teachings from Ajahn Sumedho.

Categories: Ajahn Sumedho, Theravada


2 replies

  1. There is nothing ‘pusillanimous’ about the ‘Middle Way.’ That view is just another example of missing the obvious and misunderstanding appearances. On the contrary, the ‘Middle Way’ is about a way of seeing and being that is in balance and harmony with Tao, or natural way of things. It takes a lot of energy and courage to walk that path. Nothing passive, cowardly, or mediocre about it!


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