Now, investigating the way things are, we observe. What I have been doing so far this evening is reflecting out loud. What it is that we all have to bear with is having to accept the sensory world for what it is, from whatever extremes it manifests, the best and the worst of it. And reflecting on it means that we have a perspective on it. We suddenly see that this is what life is all about; it’s being sensitive, and having to bear with this whole experience of being born, growing up, getting old, and dying. This is what we are all involved with. This is what life is for us at this time. We are all alive now, living within the restrictions of our bodies and minds. Whether you like it, approve of it, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. We are not saying it’s good or it’s bad — just reflecting that this is the way it is. We are not judging it. Continue reading
Short talk of around 3 minutes.
Extract from a talk given at the Buddhist Publishing Group 2002 Summer School.
Click here to read more teachings by Ajahn Sumedho.
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We all want the enlightened state, and the wonderful visions and the peace. We want them. We look at all the things we want, but we don’t see the central fact—the wanting. It’s not the visions and the enlightenment that cause the problem (they just arrive or don’t as happens), it is the ME and the WANTING that cause all the problems. Added to that, of course, the hating things to be as they are, and wanting them to be different, and the fear of them not being.
Aspiration is all very well—in fact it is very well. The old saying goes: ‘It is not by suppressing the bad sides of us that we incline to enlightenment, but by inclining to enlightenment that the bad sides begin to diminish.’ But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to work at it ‘with diligence’, as the Buddha recommended. Continue reading
We all have to learn the comfort of being ourselves — and not someone else. It is much harder than it looks and the problem never really goes away.
I might notice in my laugh someone else’s laugh; and a turn of phrase — which whilst not appropriate — was picked up from a memorable encounter. All these little things and many more not only prevent us being ourselves, but limit our spontaneity and prevent us relating truly to the world. As a result, we fall out of harmony with it — and one another. This kind of approach is a prime cause of dissension and rows with others and with ourselves, because our various selves squabble just as well as outsiders.
‘One thing I teach, dukkha and release from dukkha.‘ The Buddha
In the Four Noble Truths the Buddha gives the essence of his understanding, his awakening.
The truth of suffering (dukkha).
The truth of the origin of suffering.
The truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha).
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering. Continue reading
. . so the retreat continues and today wasn’t so noisy. We didn’t have such a good chance to meditate and make friends with the cement mixer and the pneumatic drill, but that is being facetious. In a way, it is also an opportunity of adopting a realistic attitude towards meditation, and not creating hostility towards the way it is. There is noise and unpleasant things happen, but if we become averse to them, then we are creating hostility. When we are mindful and accept the way it is, then we are not creating hostility. So the real suffering is not the sound of the pneumatic drill and the cement mixer, but the stuff you create in your own mind—that is what dukkha is. Continue reading
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