AJAHN CHAH     6 posts


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AJAHN CHAH

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Do everything with a mind that lets go.
Do not expect any praise or reward.
If you let go a little,
you will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot,
you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely,
you will know complete peace and freedom.
Your struggles with the world will have come to an end.

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Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.
If you haven’t wept deeply,
you haven’t begun to meditate.

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The Essence of Vipassana: Observing Your Mind

Begin practice by sitting up straight and paying attention. You can sit on the floor-, you can sit in a chair. At first, you need not fix your attention on much. Simply be mindful of in-and-out breathing. If you find it helpful, you can also repeat "Buddha," "Dharmo," or "Sangho" as a mantra while you watch the breath going in and out. In this awareness of breathing, you must not force. If you try to control your breathing, that is not yet correct. It may seem that the breathing is too short, too long, too gentle, too heavy. You may feel that you are not passing the breath properly, or you may not feel well. Just let it be, let it settle by itself. Eventually the breath will enter and exit freely. When you are aware of and firmly established in this entry and exit, that is correct breathing.

When you become distracted, stop and refocus your attention. At first, when you are focusing it, your mind wants it to be a certain way. But do not control it or worry about it. Just notice it and let it be. Keep at it. Samadhi will grow by itself. As you go on practicing in this way, sometimes the breath will stop, but here again, do not fear. Only your perception of the breath has stopped; the subtle factors continue. When the time is right, the breath will come back on its own as before.

If you can make your mind tranquil like this, wherever you find yourself-on a chair, in a car, on a boat-you will be able to fix your attention and enter into a calm state immediately. Wherever you are, you will be able to sit for meditation.

Having reached this point, you know something of the Path, but you must also contemplate sense objects. Turn your tranquil mind toward sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, thoughts, mental objects, mental factors. Whatever arises, investigate it. Notice
whether you like it or not, whether it pleases or displeases you, but do not get involved with it. This liking and disliking are just reactions to the world of appearances-you must see a deeper level. Then, whether something initially seems good or bad, you will see that it is really only impermanent, unsatisfactory, and empty. File everything that arises into those three categories-good, bad, evil, wonderful, whatever it is, put it there. This is the way of vipassana, by which all things are calmed.

Before long, knowledge and insight into impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and emptiness will arise. This is the beginning of true wisdom, the heart of meditation, which leads to liberation. Follow your experience. See it. Strive continuously. Know the truth. Learn to give up, to get rid, to attain peace.

When sitting in meditation, you may have strange experiences or visions such as seeing lights, angels, or buddhas. When you see such things, you should observe yourself first to find out what state the mind is in. Do not forget the basic point. Pay attention. Do not wish for visions to arise or not to arise. If you go running after such experiences, you may end up babbling senselessly because the mind has fled the stable. When such things do come, contemplate them. When, you have contemplated them, do not be deluded by
them. You should consider that they are not yourself; they too are impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not self. Though they have come about, do not take them seriously. If they do not go away, re-establish your mindfulness, fix your attention on your breathing, and take at least three long inhalations and exhalations-then you can cut them off. Whatever arises, keep re-establishing your attention. Do not take anything as yourself-everything is only a vision or a construction of the mind, a deception that causes you to like, grasp, or fear. When you see such constructions, do not get involved. All unusual experiences and visions are of value to the wise person but harmful to the unwise. Keep practicing until you are not stirred by them.

If you can trust your mind in this way, there is no problem. If it wants to be glad, you just know that this gladness is uncertain, unstable. Do not fear your visions or other experiences in practice, just learn to work with them. In this way, defilement can be used to train the mind, and you come to know the natural state of the mind, free from extremes, clear, unattached.

As I see it, the mind is like a single point, the center of the universe, and mental states are like visitors who come to stay at this point for short or long periods of time. Get to know these visitors well. Become familiar with the vivid pictures they paint, the alluring stories they tell, to entice you to follow them. But do not give up your seat-it is the only chair around. If you continue to occupy it unceasingly, greeting each guest as it comes, firmly establishing yourself in awareness, transforming your mind into the one who knows, the
one who is awake, the visitors will eventually stop coming back. If you give them real attention, how many times can these visitors return? Speak with them here, and you will know every one of them well. Then your mind will at last be at peace.

Andriy shared a AJAHN CHAH quote         SHARE URL

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If you have time to breath, you have time to meditate.

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Strengthening the mind is not done by making it move around as is done to the body but by bringing it to a halt, bringing it to rest.

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