Four Things

"...the Buddha's teaching is to know suffering and to know what causes it to arise. And further, we should know freedom from suffering and the way of practice which leads to freedom. He taught us to know just these four things."

 

-Ajahn Chah

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The Teachings Of The Buddhas

Not to do any evil, to cultivate good, to purify one's mind--This is the advice of the Buddhas.

Forbearing patience is highest asceticism. Nibbana is supreme--say the Buddhas. For he is not a recluse who harms another, nor is he an ascetic who molests others.

Not indulging, not harming, restraint in the fundamental precepts, moderation in food, secluded abode, intent on higher thoughts--This is the advice of the Buddhas.

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Interpreting Our Realities

“If we identify with the body or the mind, we must necessarily suffer some underlying anxiety, because we know that we cannot completely control either of them. Our body will fall sick, it is getting older all the time and eventually it will die. The mind is even more unreliable; we don't even know what we will be thinking or feeling in two minutes' time. And eventually the mind as we know it will also disintegrate. Our experiences, even those we wish to have, are not under our control either; they are changing, unreliable. So if we think these are the only possibilities we have, we are engaged in a constant effort to keep things under control to at least the extent that we feel is good enough. And if everything we do not identify as ourselves is the world out there, we are constantly having to negotiate a precarious relationship to it. We are never quite one with it or truly separate from it, so we can never merge with and keep the 'good stuff' or feel safe from the 'bad stuff'. But we keep on trying. There is no peace in doing so, and yet this seems to be the basic underlying structure that informs the way we create or interpret our realities."


Ajahn Abhinando, from the article "Awareness and Desire"

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Understanding

"When you understand your own mind, that, in and of itself, will make you understand everything else."


-Luang Pu Dune (From "Gifts He Left Behind: The Dhamma Legacy of Phra Ajaan Dune Atulo")

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An Animal's Life

 "The lives of all living beings--ours or anyone else's--are of equal worth. Each animal's life is of equal worth with the life of a human being, for if life is taken away from an animal, it can no longer remain an animal." 

 

Luangta Maha Boowa Nyanasampanno

"Samana" 

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Impermanence

 "We use the teaching of impermanence as our basis. We see that both happiness and unhappiness are not permanent. We see them as not dependable. There is absolutely nothing that's permanent. With this kind of understanding we gradually stop believing in the various moods and feelings which come up in the mind. Wrong understanding will decrease to the same degree that we stop believing in it…Attachment will be gradually uprooted."

 

-Ajahn Chah

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Letting Go

  A beautiful story from shortly after the Buddha's parinibbana, as told by Luang Por Chah:

 

"The day before the first Sanghayana [Sangha Council], one of the Buddha's disciples went to tell Ananda: 'Tomorrow is the Sangha council, only arahants may attend.' Ananda was at this time still unenlightened. So he determined: Tonight I will do it.' He practiced strenuously all night, seeking to become enlightened. But he just made himself tired. So he decided to let go, to rest a bit because he wasn't getting anywhere for all his efforts. Having let go, as soon as he lay down and his head hit the pillow, he became enlightened."  

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The Practice

 "...even if we understand the Four Noble Truths in principle, nothing significant will result if we keep those teachings in our heads as mere abstractions. That would be using the wrong method, because the most essential bit is missing: bringing the Noble Truths into our practice."

 

Luang Por Pasanno

"Beginning Our Day, Volume 2" 

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Kondañña Who Knows

"Atha kho Bhagava udanam udanesi, 'Aññasi vata bho Kondañño, Aññasi vata bho Kondaññoti.'

 

Then the Blessed One exclaimed: 'So you really know, Kondañña? So you really know?'" 

 

-Dhamma-cakkappavattana Sutta

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