Friday, January 27, 2017

Ajahn Chah on the 'I'

Ajahn Chah saw through his 'I'

“Our body is unstable, altering and changing constantly. Hair changes, nails change, teeth change, skin changes—everything changes, completely. Our mind, too, is always changing. It isn’t a self or anything substantial. It isn’t really “us” or “them,” although it may think so. Maybe it will think about killing itself. Maybe it will think of happiness or of suffering—all sorts of things! It’s unstable. If we don’t have wisdom and we believe this mind of ours, it’ll lie to us continually. And we will alternately suffer and be happy.

The mind is an uncertain thing. This body is uncertain. Together they are impermanent. Together they are a source of suffering. Together they are devoid of self. These, Buddha pointed out, are neither a being, nor a person, nor a self, nor a soul, neither us nor them. They are merely elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Just elements.

When the mind sees this, it will rid itself of the attachment that holds that I am beautiful, I am good, I am evil, I am suffering, I have, I this or I that. You will experience a state of unity, for you’ll have seen that all of humankind is basically the same. There is no ‘I.’ There are only elements.”

(Ajahn Chah, 1918-1992)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jan Chozen Bays on Grief

Jizo statues in Japan are dressed by grieving parents

“Grief lasts as long as it lasts. There will always be a hole in your heart that’s the shape of that life, which you knew however brief. People sometimes try to have another child right away, but that hole will never be filed in by anybody else. It will be with you your whole life, but it will soften and get filed in over time. It gets filed with love and happy memories, and with the prayer or hope that the life energy will go on—that it will reemerge in a beneficial place.” 
(Jan Chozen Bays, Zen teacher)