In our practice it isn’t necessary to talk of samatha or vipassanā; just call it the practice of Dhamma, that’s enough.
Thai Forest Tradition
Question: Would you call awareness ‘enlightenment’?
Greed and hatred are the same in an Eastern or a Western mind. Suffering and the cessation of suffering are the same for all people.
So, if there’s friction in your practice, then it’s right. If there’s no friction it’s not right, you just eat and sleep as much as you want. When you want to go anywhere or say anything, you just follow your desires. The teaching of the Buddha grates.
The Buddha, on the other hand, takes down all the barriers and leaves an empty space. As you let go of your emotional habits you find it is very peaceful, it’s universal, it’s what you really are; you’re not the limitations that you identify with. You are not the human body. What does that mean?
The Buddha knew that because both happiness and unhappiness are unsatisfactory, they have the same value. When happiness arose he let it go. He had right practice, seeing that both these things have equal values and drawbacks.
In the field of conventional reality, one side is right and the other side is wrong, and there can never be complete agreement. Arguing till the tears fall, however, is of no use whatsoever. The Buddha taught non-clinging.
The crude, beginning level of the practice is a little hard to maintain, but the refined levels of virtue, concentration, and discernment all come out of this…
Download PDF copy of ‘It’s Like This’, by Ajahn Chah