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 Post subject: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way ((IC in Ilmateri Temple & CK))
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 2:02 pm 
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((Copies of Mi-Le's journal are on the bookshelf in the Temple of Ilmater and available at Candlekeep. This journal may be treated as in-character information if your character visits those locations.))

The Way It Is

I have been tending to the sick and poor for days now. The refugees that poured in from Kheldrivver also require care and attention. All around, I see suffering and misery. I can feel myself begin to falter in the face of so much pain.

And then I remember: "This is the way it is."

It was quite a while before I understood what my teacher, my sifu, meant by this. It is not an approval or refusal to do anything. This is a reflection to help us to contemplate: where ever we happen to be, whatever time and place, good or bad, "This is the way it is." It is a noting rather than a reaction.

The practice of meditation is reflecting on "the way it is" in order to see the fears and desires which we create. This is quite a simple practice, but the practice of of meditation should be very simple rather than complicated. Sometimes we don’t really know how things are. However, the more simple we get, the more clear, profound and meaningful everything is to us.

I am considering the people here, the people I have met on the Sword Coast. Some I feel attracted to, some I feel aversion to, some I understand, some I don’t understand. But whatever view we have of someone, we can see it as just a "view" of a person, rather than a real person. We can hear ourselves saying, "I don’t want him to be like that. He shouldn't be like this. I want him to be otherwise."

Why can’t life be otherwise? Why do these people suffer and starve? There is always some new horrible thing happening. I have heard of the undead army threatening the city of Baldur's Gate. Then we hear about the plague, and then the starving refugees of Kheldrivver arrive at the Ilmateri temple. It goes on endlessly. Countries fight each other in great wars; there’s always some clash, someone trying to take over another’s land or power.

This has been going on since beginning-less time. There’s always been someone trying to exterminate someone else, or some disaster striking the innocent. Then human ignorance compounds the problem. At a time when people should know better, they are doing horrendous things to each other.

Saying "this is the way it is" is not an approval, or a refusal to do anything. It is a way of establishing oneself in the knowledge that nature is "like this." In the animal kingdom there is the law of survival of the fittest. Nature can be very brutal.

We can live on the level of the animal kingdom, live by the law of survival of the fittest. The strong over the weak; living by fear and power. We can live like that because we do share that animal mentality. We have an animal body and it has to survive like any other animal body.

But this is only a lower level. If we just live on that level then we must expect the world to be as it is – in a state of fear and anxiety. But as sentient beings we can get beyond this animal level; we can decide to live by moral standards so that we don’t have to live our lives in a state of anxiety.

But even higher than that is our ability to realize the Way – to contemplate existence and interconnectedness, to see that all things are dependent on everything else and nothing is completely independent. We can cultivate the reflective mind through which we can transcend personality; for even our personalities, especially our personalities, are dependent on the world.

At the level of moral behavior we still have a very strong personality view. In society, we've developed a sense of "me" and "mine" to absurdity. So strong is this sense of "me" and "mine" that it seems to dominate and taint everything that we do, and there’s always a sense of anguish and suffering connected with it.

I was taught to contemplate this: whenever there is a sense of "me" and "mine" in anything, it always seems to give rise to discontent or uncertainty, doubt, guilt, fear or anxiety. There is this view of "me" as an individual being, of what "I" should or should not be or do, based on a belief in oneself as the body or a set of mental conditions.

However, this view is based on illusion; it comes from conditioning, not from insight. So as long as we identify with the limitations of the body and the mind then of course we are going to experience doubt, despair, anguish, sorrow, grief, and lamentation. How could it be otherwise?

Understanding the Way frees us from the personality illusion: the identification with the illusion of self. So we contemplate mental formations, the yesterdays of our own creation and the thoughts and views that we create. We see how the mind is influenced by the world, how thoughts and feelings are dependent on the world. We see the mind as impermanent, in constant flux. The more we realize this, the more clear things become for us.

The empty mind, empty of the proliferations about oneself and others, is clear. It is intelligent, it is compassionate. The empty mind can help others. The empty mind can maintain peace and balance in the world without faltering.

This is the Way it is.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


Last edited by Arn on Tue May 31, 2016 9:27 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way ((IC in Ilmateri Temple))
Unread postPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 9:30 pm 
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Observing The Mind

Being a monk used to inspire me.

Consider that it is easy to be a monk as long as one is inspired. One thinks: "I want to be a monk. That’s the most wonderful thing one can ever do. To realize ultimate reality – that is truly inspiring. And to dedicate one’s whole life to the Way is really inspiring. To wear a simple robe, to live at the foot of a tree, sitting in the full lotus-posture; how noble!" One can make a real adventure out of monastic discipline as an ideal.

But then the inspiration wears off, doesn't it? It reaches its peak. We can’t stay inspired, fascinated, and interested forever, can we? We can only stay that way for a while; it reaches its peak and then we seek another exciting object to follow. This is a kind of suffering. The endless seeking after rebirth, some kind of new, absorbing condition to become. And then we get bored, disillusioned, depressed and uncertain. That’s cessation; it's something people don’t notice and tend to ignore. Indeed, most do their best to avoid it.

Who notices how things end or cease? People are much more interested in the arising conditions of life. We all want pleasurable experiences. Adventures, delicious flavors, and beautiful sights. How many people, whenever they’re bored, try to find something interesting to do to distract themselves? Nobody wants to be bored.

But when we live a life of just one exciting adventure after another, we get incredibly bored. We get bored with excitement. What was exciting yesterday is boring today, so we have to think of something even more exciting than that. There are endless experiments with romance and alcohol and fighting.

Once the inspiration has worn off, any place looks more inspiring than the place we’re in. Now this is where it’s important not to move at that time. One should determine to not follow that restless desire for distractions and adventures or simply for a change. To be able just to put up with the desperation, boredom, and the expiration, until it doesn't matter anymore whether we stay or go.

My sifu was always saying: "When you want to go, don’t go." Stay and observe the boredom, the disillusionment, the restlessness. Then one might have insight into the cessation of desire.

This is where we need to see what grasping is, and then realize the cessation that follows. Because it’s not a rejection in consciousness of anything. It’s a realization, where desire, based on ignorance, is let go of. We can actually see desire, then it ceases and there is the realization of the cessation of desire. When there is no more desire, what is our mind like? This we must observe. Mindfulness is the way to the deathless. We sit and watch, being able to observe desire; not suppressing or trying to get rid of it, not following it blindly, not identifying with our thoughts.

As I watch the Ilmateri tend to the poor and needy here in the temple, I can observe inspiration arise. Simply observe this feeling; don't suppress inspiration, don't follow it, don't identify with it. Just observe. And when the feeling ceases, watch it go. And then help the next person.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


Last edited by Arn on Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 11:42 pm 
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Only One Breath

Once, shortly after leaving my monastery, I met a young seeker of truth, a seeker of the Way. She told me that she had never developed mindfulness of the breath. So I asked her, "Can you be mindful of one inhalation?"

And she said, "Yes."

"And of one exhalation?"

And she said, "Yes."

And I said, "Got it!"

There’s nothing more to it than that. However, she expected to develop some special kind of ability to go into some special state. And because she wasn't doing that, then she thought she couldn't follow the Way. But the Way is a path of renunciation, relinquishment, letting go not through attaining or acquiring. Even the most refined states of mind-consciousness are relinquishments rather than attainments. If we relinquish more and more, letting go more and more, then even these states are natural.

To practice mindfulness of breath, one brings the attention onto one inhalation, being mindful from the beginning to the end. One inhalation, that’s it; and then the same goes for the exhalation. That’s the perfect attainment of mindfulness of breath. The awareness of just that much is the result of concentration of the mind through sustained attention on the breath – from the beginning to the end of the inhalation, from the beginning to the end of the exhalation.

The attitude is most important. The attitude is always one of letting go, not attaching to any ideas or feelings that arise from that, so that you’re always fresh with the next inhalation, the next exhalation, completely as it is. You’re not carrying anything over. So it’s a way of relinquishment, of letting go, rather than of attaining and achieving.

As with the young seeker, the dangers in meditation practice is the habit of grasping at things, grasping at states. If yesterday you had a really super meditation, absolutely fantastic, just what you’ve always dreamed of, and then today you try to get the same wonderful experience as yesterday, but you get more restless and more agitated than ever before – now why is that?

It’s because we’re trying to attain something that we remember rather than working with the way things are, as they happen to be now. So the correct way is one of mindfulness, of looking at the way it is now rather than remembering yesterday and trying to get to that state again.

Insight is more and more a matter of living insightfully. It’s not just that you have insight sometimes. As you reflect more and more on the Way, then everything is insightful. You see insightfully into life as it’s happening to you. If you think you have to have special conditions for insight, and you’re not aware of that thinking, then you’re going to create all sorts of complexities about your practice.

The young seeker developed letting go. She learned to not concern herself with attaining or achieving anything. She made little achievements possible by learning to be a little more patient, a little more humble, and a little more generous. She developed this rather than going out of the way to control and manipulate her environment with the intention of getting spiritually high.

And when she got lost in thought or restlessness, she learned that’s all right too. She learned to not judge herself, to not be a slave driver or try to force anything. She led, guided, and trained herself.

Leading onward, guiding oneself rather than driving and forcing oneself. In this way, one comes to the subtle realization of non-grasping.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


Last edited by Arn on Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:13 am 
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Attachment To Thoughts And Feelings

The other day I was speaking with Belladonna, who has expressed an interest in meditation. Thus far, we have not completed her meditation instruction; something else always seems to come up. But when teaching and learning the Way, it won't do to push matters too much. If you do, you become attached to controlling and manipulating your environment, to attaining and achieving. Instead, work with the way things are.

If you become attached to attaining and achieving, you are also attached to emotional states, mental formations, and illusions of self. This can cause complexities with your learning. Be mindful of your emotional states. Be mindful of attachments, including attachment to the Way. Even attachment to the Way can be a tether.

"I want to be a monk for the rest of my life and devote myself to the Way. The Way is the only way, the true way . . ." And you go out and bore people with a harangue on the importance of the Way in the world because you’re high and you feel positive and confident. Even that feeling of being inspired and confident and full of faith and devotion and all these kinds of things – that’s the way it is. One can feel a lot of faith and confidence in what one is doing.

But also at times one can feel the opposite: one loses faith, one feels that it is a waste of time. "I’ve wasted my life. It’s of no value, I haven’t gotten anywhere. It hasn’t done anything for me. I don’t believe in it anymore, I’m fed up with it." And one can feel indifference: "It’s all right, don’t know what else to do. Better than working on a farm." If that’s the way you’re feeling now – either extreme or just indifference – that’s the way it is.

So just notice when you’re feeling tremendous energy and feeling positive, or when there’s a lack of it and you’re too critical. These perceptions are to be reflected on as the way it is now. It has to be this way, because it can’t be any other way at this moment. We feel like this, we feel tired or invigorated or whatever – this is the way it is.

These are the results of having been born and living our lives and being subject to changing conditions of sensuality. If you feel like things are not working out, if you feel like things are going badly, note the feeling itself, rather than just reacting or trying to annihilate the feeling or condition. If you just react instinctively, note, really note, what you add to the existing conditions.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


Last edited by Arn on Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 12:29 pm 
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The Empty Mind

The other day, Belladonna and her friend Rego told me about an army of orcs threatening a village called Soubar. The orcs are in need of supplies; food, medicine, healing. In hopes of averting violence, I brought as many supplies to the orcs as I could carry. The orcs did not kill me, and indeed left me alone after taking the supplies. However, I do not think I brought enough for the orcs' needs. I fear that violence and killing will still happen between the orcs and the people of Soubar. I fear that I have failed.

I am certainly no stranger to the strong emotional thoughts of "I’m no good, I’m worthless." Indeed, in some people’s minds it can become a background to their lives. Some reflexively and obsessively think: "I shouldn’t think that. My sifu says I’m good. But I know I’m no good."

How much energy does it take to stop the thinking process? I wonder how many people have ever noticed that? "Just can’t stop thinking" - the mind goes on and on. "Can’t stop, what can I do?" "I don’t know how to stop thinking – it keeps going. I don’t know how to stop it . . ." And the desire to stop thinking and the effort to get rid of it creates the conditions for more thinking!

But the space around thought – we don’t notice that very much, do we? It is just like the space in a room, I have to call attention to it. Now what does it take to be aware of the space in a room? You have to be alert. With the objects in the room you don’t have to be alert, you can just be attracted or repelled: "I don’t like that, I like this." You can just react to the quality of beauty and ugliness, whether it pleases or displeases you. It’s our habit, isn’t it? Our life tends to be reaction to pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness. So we see beauty and we say, "Oh, look at that! Isn’t it absolutely fantastic?" or we see ugliness and think, "Oh disgusting!"

But the beautiful objects and the ugly ones are all in the space and to notice space you withdraw your attention from the objects of beauty and ugliness. Of course they’re still there, you needn’t throw them out. But if you don’t concentrate with love or hate on what’s in that room, if you don’t make anything out of it, your attention withdraws from the objects and you notice the space. So we have a perspective on space in a room. You can reflect on that. Anyone can come and go in a space, and it makes no difference to the space.

The mind works on the same principle. But if you’re not used to seeing the spaciousness of your mind, you are not aware of the space that the mind really is. So you’re unaware of the emptiness of the mind because you’re always attached to an idea or an opinion or mood.

Observe the space before you are thinking, and then deliberately think, "I am human." Then note the end of it the moment you stop thinking. Pay attention to before and after the thought rather than to the thought itself – just hold that attention to where there is no thought. Investigate the space around the thought, the space where the thought comes and goes, rather than thinking. Then you’re aware of an empty mind, where there’s just awareness but no thought. That may last just for a second because you start grasping, so you just have to keep being more aware by again deliberately thinking something, and noticing the space around that thought.

With practice you can use even very unpleasant thoughts. If you take an obsessive negative thought and use it as a conscious thought: "I am no good," you start seeing the space around it. And it no longer sounds so absolute, does it? When it becomes obsessive it sounds absolute, it’s infallible, the honest truth, the real truth: "This is what I really am, I’m no good." But when you actually take it out of the context of obsession, you can see it objectively.

That sense of "I" and "me" and "mine" is just a habit of the mind; it’s not the truth. Really take the "I/I am" and look at it objectively. You will notice that the feeling created by "I am" and "I am this way" or "I should be/should not be" is very different than when you’re just reacting.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:14 pm 
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Mindfulness

“Mindfulness” is an interesting word for most of us. We think it is something or other that we have to try and get. Actually, it is just a very natural way of being receptive.

When we are driving a wagon we have to be mindful, unless we are drunk or really in a terrible state. We don’t think: “I’ve got to try to be mindful.” If we are not a very disturbed, heedless and foolish kind of person, we just are mindful. Why is that? Because while driving a wagon it is quite apparent that we have a dangerous thing under our control. If we are not mindful we are going to hit somebody or kill ourselves or do some damage. So just that sense of self-preservation, respect for life and not wanting to hurt others while driving a wagon makes us mindful. We don’t practice mindfulness while driving – we are mindful.

If we think of mindfulness as something we must practice, then we form an opinion about it as being something that we’ve got to develop. But if we actually are mindful, we are aware when we are thinking: “I’ve got to be more mindful – I must develop mindfulness in order to get out of the deathbound state and become an enlightened person.” We are aware of the forces, the intentions and habits that are affecting us at this moment.

Let's say I am thinking right now, “I’ve got to be mindful.” Well, if I am actually being mindful I can see and I am aware that I’ve got the thought: “I’ve got to be mindful” – that’s mindfulness. But if I just blindly follow the thought that I’ve got to be mindful, without being aware that I have that thought, I can be quite heedless.

Be aware of the state of your mind.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:30 pm 
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Investigating The Mind

The other day I found myself helping Bella and a druid destroy a horde of undead; may they go in peace. Afterwards, Bella expressed some disappointment at how her guild had not appeared in force to destroy the undead. She lamented the current situation with her guild. When it comes to our friends, families, and colleagues, we feel many "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts."

Those who listen to themselves can sometimes hear such statements as, "Things should be other than they are; our colleagues should be this way or that way and shouldn’t be the way they are," or "I should do this but I shouldn’t do that, I should be this way, I shouldn’t be that way." So we have this particular verb tense ringing through our minds because we have an idea of what shouldn’t be or should be.

The root of suffering is not knowing, or ignorance of the way things really are. This basic ignorance is one of not understanding our true nature. We suffer because of views and opinions, and because of habits and conditions which we do not understand. We live our lives in a state of ignorance, not understanding the way things are.

In meditation, we listen to that opinion within ourselves of what should be and what shouldn’t be - just listen to it. Our tendency is to try to become something; so we set a goal, create an ideal of what we would like to become. Or maybe we think society should be other than it is. People should be kind, understanding, and loving; there should be brotherhood; governments should have wise leaders and the world should be at peace. But the world is as it is at this moment in time and things are struggling. So we listen inwardly to ourselves. "I am this way, I am not this way." Penetrate this "I am, I am not" with awareness.

The thought "I am" is an impermanent condition. The thought "I am not" is an impermanent condition. Thoughts, memories, consciousness of thinking, the body itself, our emotions – all conditions change. In the practice of meditation, we have to be quite serious, brave, and courageous, to really investigate, to dare to look at even the most unpleasant conditions in life, rather than to seek escape in tranquility or forget about everything. In mindfulness meditation, the practice is one of looking into suffering. It’s a confrontation with ourselves, with what we think of ourselves, with our memories and our emotions, pleasant, unpleasant, or indifferent. In other words, when these things arise and we are aware of suffering, we don't reject, repress, or ignore the suffering; we take the opportunity to examine it.

So suffering is our teacher. We have to learn the lesson by studying suffering itself. In meditation you just observe the here and now. The birth and death that’s going on here and now is the beginning and ending of the most ordinary things.

When you think of birth you think of "I was born," but that is the great birth of the body, which most of us can’t remember. The ordinary birth of "me" which we experience in daily life is "I want, I don’t want, I like, I don’t like." That’s a birth, or seeking to be happy. We contemplate the ordinary hell of our own anger, the anger that arises, the heat of the body, the aversion, the hatred we feel in the mind. We contemplate the ordinary heaven we experience, the happy states, the bliss, the lightness, the beauty in the here and now. Or just the dull state of mind, the kind of limbo, neither happy nor unhappy, but dull, bored and indifferent.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Identity

I have been traveling for over two decades now. And people have more in common with each other than they think. Everywhere I go, people attach to identity. "I am strong, I am weak, I am ugly, I am kind, I am not smart, I am scum, I am not a good monk..." On and on.

We tend to just react and take it for granted that all the "I am" and "I am not" is the truth. We create ourselves as a personality and attach to our memories. We remember the things we’ve learned and what we’ve done – generally the more extreme things; we tend to forget more ordinary things. So if we do unkind, cruel, foolish things then we have unpleasant memories in our lives; we feel ashamed or guilty. If we do good or charitable things, then we have good memories in our lives.

When we start reflecting on this, then we are going to be more careful about what we do and say; if we have lived life foolishly, acting on impulse out of desire for immediate gratification or out of an intention to hurt, cause disharmony, or exploit others, our minds will be filled with very unpleasant memories. People who have led very selfish lives have to drink a lot or take drugs to keep themselves constantly occupied so that they don’t have to look at the memories that come up in the mind.

We contemplate our own desire for power and control, to be in control of someone else, to become famous, or to become someone who is on top. How many people, when they find out someone is more gifted than they are, want to put them down? This is jealousy. What we have to do in our meditation practice is see the ordinary jealousies, or the hatred we might feel for someone who might take advantage of us, or annoys us; the greed or lust we might feel for someone who attracts us.

Our own mind is like a mirror which reflects the universe and we watch the reflection. Before, we would take these reflections for reality so that we became entranced, repelled, or indifferent to them. But in mindfulness meditation we just observe that all these reflections are changing conditions. We begin to see them as objects rather than as a self, whereas when we’re ignorant we tend to seek identity with them.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:01 pm 
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Conventional Reality, Ultimate Reality

All concepts in the mind which we take for reality are to be investigated: know what concepts do to the mind. Notice the pleasure you get from thinking about certain concepts and the displeasure that others bring. You have prejudices and biases about race or nationality – these are all concepts or conceptual proliferations.

But in meditation, even "female" and "male" are concepts, a feeling, a perception in the mind. So in this meditation, we penetrate with insight into the nature of all conditions. Insight breaks down the illusions that these concepts give us, the illusions that they are real. Conditions may arise; we can't stop the things that affect us in life – such as the weather, the economy, family problems, our background, our opportunity or lack of opportunity. But we can penetrate all these conditions – which are impermanent and not-self. This is the path of transcendence; transcending the mortal condition through awareness of the mortal condition.

The Way is the teacher. It reminds us to observe the interdependent and impermanent nature of all conditions and not to take any of them as reality. When we take them as reality, what happens? We have wars, strikes, battles, and endless problems that exist in the world because ignorant beings take these conditions as reality. They attach to the mortal body as an identity. We get absorbed into these various symbols and concepts, and in that absorption we have to be born and die in those conditions. It’s like getting attached to something that is moving, such as greed, and being pulled along by that movement. So we’re born and die at that time. But when we don’t attach any more then we’re avoiding suffering from the movement and the limitations of changing conditions.

Now talking like this, people might question: "How do you live in this society then, if it’s all unreal?" The monks of my monastery make a very clear distinction between conventional reality and ultimate reality. On the conventional level of existence we use conventions that bring harmony to ourselves and to the society we live in. What kind of conventions bring harmony? Well, things like being good, being mindful, not doing things that cause disharmony, such as stealing, cheating, and exploiting others; having respect and compassion for other beings, being observant, trying to help: all these conventions bring harmony.

So in my monastery's teaching on the conventional level, we live in a way that supports doing good and refraining from doing evil with the body and speech. It’s not as if we are rejecting the conventional world and saying "I want nothing to do with it because it’s an illusion" – because that’s another illusion. Thinking that the conventional world is an illusion is just another thought. In our practice, we see that thought is thought, "the world is an illusion" is a thought.

But here and now, be aware that all we are conscious of is changing. Live mindfully, put effort and concentration into what you do, whether you’re sitting walking, lying down, or working. Whether you’re a man or a woman, a scribe, housewife or laborer or paladin or whatever, apply effort and concentration. Do good and refrain from doing evil. This is how a follower of the Way lives within the conventional forms of society. But they are no longer deluded by the body or the society, or the things that go on in the society, because a follower of the Way is one who examines and investigates the universe by investigating their own body and mind, and seeing how everything is impermanent and interdependent.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:37 pm 
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The Way: All Things Connected Through Dependent Origination

The monks of my monastery teach that dependent origination may properly be called the heart or the essence of the Way. Dependent origination is a deeply profound teaching; its characteristic feature is that it is profound. I emphasize that even the wisest monks of my monastery say they cannot adequately explain the Way. Indeed, the true nature of the Way is unknowable. Nonetheless, studying the Way is of great benefit; those who truly understand dependent origination are liberated from suffering.

The Way teaches that all things are connected, conditioned on each other. Since everything is conditioned, relative, and interdependent, there is nothing in this world which could be regarded as a permanent entity, nothing that can be regarded as an ego or an eternal soul, which many people believe in.

The world of phenomena is built on a set of relations, but is this the way we would normally understand the world to be? We create fictions of its permanency in our minds because of our desires. It is almost natural for human beings to cling to what they consider as beautiful or desirable, and to reject what is ugly or undesirable. Being subjected to the forces of greed and hatred, they are misled by delusion, clouded by the illusion of the permanency of the object they cling to or reject. Therefore, it is hard for us to realize that the world is like a bubble or mirage, and is not the kind of reality we believe it to be. We do not realize that it is unreal in actuality. It is like a ball of fire, which when whirled around rapidly can, for a time, create the illusion of a circle.

The fundamental principle at work in dependent origination is that of cause and effect. In dependent origination, what actually takes place in the causal process is described in great detail. But to illustrate the nature of dependent origination of the things around us, let us consider an oil lamp. The flame in an oil lamp is merely a phenomenon dependent upon the oil and the wick. When the oil and the wick are present, the flame in an oil lamp burns. If either of these is absent, the flame will cease to burn. This example illustrates the principle of dependent origination with respect to a flame in an oil lamp. Or in an example of a plant, it is a phenomenon dependent upon the seed, earth, moisture, air, and sunlight for the plant to grow. All these are also phenomena which arise dependent upon a number of causal factors, and not independently. If one of these factors is absent, the plant will cease to grow.

People and feelings and thoughts are the same. Everything is just nature: arising, existing, passing away. If you understand the Way, you will understand that there are no sentient beings, persons, selves, or identities which can be called "I." When someone does not understand this, that person lets himself go according to normal feelings and thoughts which are under the sway of ignorance. And so that person feels or thinks that there are beings, persons, selves, and identities.

One of the aims of the Way is to show how suffering arises and ceases in terms of interdependence. This interdependent arising and ceasing is explosive like a bolt of lightning—it is exceedingly fast. Observe carefully how explosively fast our thoughts can arise. Anger or fear, for example, arise swiftly and explosively. Such mental behavior is as fast as lightning and causes grief in our daily lives. This is straightforward. If you can see this, you will have a greater understanding of suffering. But if you can't see it, then it's as if there were nothing at all to be concerned with.

If you ask what is dependent origination at the most basic level of common language, you can answer that it is mental behavior which causes suffering. It is violently swift like lightning, and it exists in our daily lives.


((Adapted from the works of Venerable Buddhadasa and Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:00 pm 
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Shortcomings And Insecurity

In my travels, I have been approached by strangers and found myself in a position to teach. This has even happened here on the Sword Coast. I remember a young woman named Vanessa Swan, whom I met months ago. After we spoke, Vanessa asked me if I was a wise master, and I told her I was not. Today, while speaking with a perceptive half-orc named Shagrat, I was reminded of the truth of my answer to Vanessa's question.

I noticed when we’re put in teaching or leadership positions we tend to feel a sense of insecurity in that role. So oftentimes one becomes almost kind of militaristic. This is quite common. I’ve seen it with monks who are for the first time in the position of being an abbot. It’s almost like sitting over people and forcing them to conform. But then, contemplating the results of that is not terribly impressive.

The beauty of the holy life doesn’t lie in driving people. Instead we encourage people to rise up to things and to learn how to put effort into what they’re doing. We learn from experience what seems to be most useful and helpful and of value. It doesn’t make it a kind of absolute position that one has to do it a certain way. The whole purpose of contemplation and reflection is to observe the results of what we do.

I think we’re quite used to using just willpower alone as a kind of compulsive and obsessive tendency of the mind. We hold things back, we force and drive ourselves, we chastise and berate ourselves. Notice the mentality that always has the idea of something we should be doing or developing. It’s very hard for us to just sit around and not feel guilty about just sitting around. There’s always this compulsion of having to do something. Something more, to get better, or to get rid of some flaw, weakness, or bad habit.

But with mindfulness, we begin to look at our motivations, what willpower is and the compelling tendencies of our mind. We start to become aware of them. Rather than tell ourselves we must not be this way and we must be that way, we observe these compulsions without reacting to them. We don't follow the compulsions or identify with them. We don't judge ourselves for the mental formations.


((Adapted from the works of Ajahn Sumedho))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:17 am 
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Conflict and Violence

Yesterday, I met an elven woman named Talindra who told me she had been seeking me out for a while. Talindra has had some training as a monk, and wanted to learn the discipline of the Sacred Fist. When I asked why, Talindra described great wrongs committed against her people and a desire to learn her master's teachings in order to help reclaim her homeland.

But my monastery's way of the Sacred Fist may be very different from the one that was taught by Talindra's master. Sacred Fists are independent orders within temples. One order of Sacred Fists may have very different teachings from another, depending on the temple, its teachings, and its god. I told Talindra this, told her my monastery's approach to the Sacred Fist is meditative and not combative.

The martial arts as taught by my monastery are a means of meditation and mindfulness. With mindfulness, we look at our motivations, the compelling tendencies of our mind, and we penetrate the illusions of self.

The idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of "me" and "mine," selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other problems. It is the source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this view can be traced all the evil in the world. Two ideas are psychologically deep-rooted in sentient beings: self-protection and self-preservation. In our ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, we cling to these things.

The Way does not support this ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, but aims at enlightenment by removing and destroying them, striking at their very root. According to the Way, the idea of self is false and empty. But this idea is so deep-rooted in us, and so near and dear to us, that we do not wish to hear, nor do we want to understand, any teaching against them.

Because of self, the world today lives in constant fear, suspicion, and tension. We have created weapons and spells capable of extinguishing life in an instant. Brandishing these instruments of death, we threaten and challenge one another, bringing destruction and misery.

The monks of my monastery teach:

  • "Never by hatred is hatred appeased, but it is appeased by kindness. This is an eternal truth."

  • "One should win anger through kindness, wickedness through goodness, selfishness through charity, and falsehood through truthfulness."

  • "The victor breeds hatred, and the defeated lies down in misery. He who renounces both victory and defeat is happy and peaceful." There can be no peace or happiness for us as long as we desire military victory. The only conquest that brings peace and happiness is self-conquest.

  • "One may conquer millions in battle, but he who conquers himself, only one, is the greatest of conquerors."

Most people will say this is all very beautiful, noble and sublime, but impractical. Is it practical to hate one another? To kill one another? To live in eternal fear and suspicion like wild animals in a jungle? Is this more practical and comfortable? If by the expression "not practical" one means "not easy," then that is correct. It is not easy. Yet it must be tried.

To talk of maintaining peace through the balance of power, or through the threat of war, is foolish. This can only produce fear, and not peace. It is impossible that there can be genuine and lasting peace through fear. Through fear can come only hatred, ill will, and hostility, suppressed perhaps for the time being only, but ready to erupt and become violent at any moment. True and genuine peace can prevail only in an atmosphere of kindness and love, free from fear and suspicion.

The monks of my monastery aim at creating a society where the ruinous struggle for power is renounced; where one who conquers oneself is more respected than those who conquer thousands; where life is directed towards the highest and noblest aim, the realization of the Way.

So long as Talindra seeks to reclaim her homeland through violence, she cannot learn the Sacred Fist as it is taught by my monastery. It would be impossible. She will have to learn it another way.

May Eldath guide Talindra to a peaceful place.


((Adapted from the works of Walpola Rahula))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:54 pm 
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The First Truth Of Suffering

There are four truths taught to all novice monks at my monastery. Understanding these truths is fundamental to realizing the Way.

The first truth is roughly translated into Common as "The Truth of Suffering", and it might be interpreted to mean that life is nothing but suffering and pain. This interpretation is misleading.

The term "suffering" as taught by my monastery has a deeper philosophical meaning and connotes enormously wider senses. The Truth of Suffering contains, of course, the ordinary meaning of "suffering." But in addition it also includes deeper ideas such as "imperfection," "impermanence," "emptiness," "insubstantiality." It is therefore difficult to find one word to embrace the whole concept of suffering as taught by my monastery.

The monks do not deny happiness in life when they say there is suffering. On the contrary they admit different forms of happiness, both material and spiritual. There is the happiness of family and the happiness of the life of recluse, the happiness of sense pleasures and the happiness of renunciation, the happiness of attachment and the happiness of detachment, physical happiness and mental happiness, and so on. But all these are included in the concept of suffering. Even the very pure spiritual states attained by the practice of higher meditation are included in suffering. It is suffering, not because there is "suffering" in the ordinary sense of the word, but because whatever is impermanent is suffering.

With regard to life and the enjoyment of sense-pleasures, one should clearly understand three things:

    1. attraction or enjoyment

    2. evil consequence or danger or unsatisfactoriness

    3. freedom or liberation

When you see a pleasant, charming and beautiful person, you like him or her, you are attracted, you enjoy seeing that person again and again, you derive pleasure and satisfaction from that person. This is enjoyment. It is fact of experience. But this enjoyment is not permanent, just as that person and his or her attractions are not permanent either. When the situation changes, when you cannot see that person, when you are deprived of this enjoyment, you become sad, you may become unreasonable and unbalanced, you may even behave foolishly. This is the unsatisfactory and dangerous side of the picture. This, too, is a fact of experience.

Now if you have no attachment to the person, if you are completely detached, that is freedom, liberation. These three things are true with regard to all enjoyment in life. We must take account of the pleasure of life as well as of its pains and sorrows, and also of freedom from them, in order to understand life completely and objectively. Only then is true liberation is possible.

The conception of suffering may be viewed from three aspects:

    1. Ordinary suffering

    2. Suffering as produced by change

    3. Suffering as conditioned states

Ordinary suffering includes all kinds of suffering in life like births, old age, sickness, death, association with unpleasant persons and conditions, separation from beloved ones and pleasant conditions, not getting what one desires, grief, lamentation, distress - all such forms of physical and mental suffering, which are universally accepted as suffering or pain.

The second aspect of suffering is produced by change. A happy feeling, a happy condition in life, is not permanent, not everlasting. It changes sooner or later. When it changes, it produces pain, suffering produced by change, as mentioned above. No one will dispute the first two aspects of suffering. They are easy to understand. They are common experience in our daily life.

But the third form of suffering as conditioned states is the most important philosophical aspect of the First Truth of Suffering, and it requires some analytical explanation of what we consider as a "being," as an "individual," or as "I." What we call a "being," or an "individual," or "I," according to the Way, is only a combination of ever-changing physical and mental forces of energies. There is no permanent, unchanging self or ego. Like all things, the consciousness arises out of conditions: there is no arising of consciousness without conditions.

Consciousness depends on matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, and it cannot exist independently from them. Consciousness may exist having matter as its means, matter as its object, matter as its support, and seeking delight it may grow, increase and develop; or consciousness may exist having sensation as it means… or perception as it means… or mental formation as it means, mental formation as its object, mental formation as its support, and seeking delight it may grow, increase and develop. But if a man were to say: I shall show the coming, the going, the passing away, the arising, the growth, the increase or the development of consciousness separate and apart from matter, sensation, perception and mental formations, he would be speaking of something that does not exist.

Like a mountain river, flowing far and swift, taking everything with it; there is no moment, no instant, no second when it stops flowing, but it goes on flowing and continuing. So is human life, like a mountain river. The world is in continuous flux and is impermanent. One thing disappears, conditioning the appearance of the next in a series of cause and effect. There is no unchanging substance in them. There is nothing behind them that can be called a permanent self, individuality, or anything that can in reality be called "I."

Mere suffering exists, but no sufferer is found; The deeds are, but no doer is found.


((Adapted from the works of Walpola Rahula))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:54 am 
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The Second Truth Of The Origin Of Suffering

The second truth taught by my monastery is "The Truth of the Origin of Suffering." It can be summarized as follows: "It is craving and thirst which produces re-existence and re-becoming, and which is bound up with passionate greed, namely, thirst for sense-pleasures, thirst for existence and becoming, and thirst for non-existence and self-annihilation."

It is this "thirst," this desire, greed, and craving, manifesting itself in various ways, that gives rise to all forms of suffering and the continuity of beings. But it should not be taken as the first cause, for there is no first cause possible as, according to the Way, everything is relative and inter-dependent. Even this "thirst," which is considered as the cause or origin of suffering, depends on sensation for its arising, and sensation arises depending on contact, and so on and so forth, going on in the circle which is known as dependent origination.

So "thirst" is not the first or the only cause of the arising of suffering. But it is the most palpable and immediate cause, the principal and all-pervading thing. Remember that this "thirst" has as its center the false idea of self arising out of ignorance. Here the term "thirst" includes not only desire for, and attachment to, sense pleasure, wealth and power, but also desire for, and attachment to, ideas and ideals, views, opinions, theories, conceptions and beliefs.

According to the the monks of my monastery, all the troubles and strife in world, from little personal quarrels in families to great wars between nations and countries, arise out of this selfish "thirst." From this point of view, all economic, political and social problems are rooted in this selfish "thirst." Great statesmen who try to settle international disputes and talk of war and peace only in economic and political terms touch the superficialities, and never go deep into the real root of the problem.

Most people will admit that all the evils in the world are produced by selfish desire. This is not difficult to understand. But how this desire, this "thirst," can produce re-existence and re-becoming is a problem not so easy to grasp. It is here that we have to discuss the deeper philosohical side of the Second Truth corresponding to the philosophical side of the First Truth. Here we must have some idea about the theory of karma and rebirth.

In terms of cause and condition, one of the necessary elements for the existence and continuity of beings is mental volition or will. "Mental volition" is the will to live, to exist, to continue, to become more and more. It creates the root of existence and continuity, striving forward by way of good and bad actions. This is karma, which is simply defined as volition. Thus the terms "thirst," "volition," "mental volition," and "karma" all denote the same thing: they denote the desire, the will to be, to exist. To re-exist, to become more and more, to grow more and more, to accumulate more and more. This is the cause of the arising of suffering.

Whatever is of the nature of arising, all that is of the nature of cessation. A being, a thing, of a system, if it has also within itself the nature of arising, the nature of coming into being, has also within itself the nature, the germ, of its own cessation and destruction. Thus suffering has within itself the nature of its own arising, and has also within itself the nature of its own cessation. This point will be take up again in the discussion of the Third Truth.

The theory of karma has a specific meaning: it means only "volitional action," not all action. Karma never means its effect; its effect is known as the "fruit" or the "result" of karma. Volition may relatively be good or bad, just as a desire may relatively be good or bad. So karma may be good or bad relatively. "Thirst," volition, karma, whether gook or bad, has one force as its effect: force to continue - to continue in a good or bad direction. Whether good or bad it is relative, and is within the cycle of continuity. One who has fully realized the Way, though he acts, does not accumulate karma, because he is free from the "thirst" for continuity and becoming, free from all other defilement and impurities. For him there is no rebirth.

The theory of karma should not be confused with so-called "moral justice" or "reward and punishment." The idea of moral justice, or reward and punishment, is ambiguous and dangerous. In the name of justice more harm than good is done to humanity. The theory of karma is the theory of cause and effect, of action and reaction; it is a natural law, which has nothing to do with the idea of justice or reward and punishment. Every volitional action produces its effects or results.

What we call life, as we have so often repeated, is the aggregate of physical and mental energies. These are constantly changing; they do not remain the same for two consecutive moments. Every moment they are born and they die. When the aggregates arise, decay, and die, every moment we are born, decay, and die. Thus even now during this life time, every moment we are born and die.

As long as there is this "thirst" to be and to become, the cycle of continuity goes on. It can stop only when its driving force, this "thirst," is cut off through wisdom which sees reality, truth, and the Way.


((Adapted from the works of Walpola Rahula))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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 Post subject: Re: Mi-Le: Reflections on the Way
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:42 pm 
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The Third Truth Of The Cessation Of Suffering

The third truth is that there is emancipation, liberation, freedom from the continuity of suffering. This is called the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering. To eliminate suffering completely one has to eliminate the main root of suffering, which is "thirst," as we saw earlier. This leads to absolute truth, ultimate reality, the unconditioned. This leads to the Way.

The Way can never be expressed satisfactorily in words, because language is created and used by us to express things experienced by our sense organs and our minds. The Way is not such a thing. There cannot be words to express the Way, just as a fish has no words in his vocabulary to express the nature of solid land. Words are symbols representing things and ideas known to us, and these symbols do not and cannot convey the true nature of even ordinary things. Language is deceptive and misleading in the matter of understanding of the Way. So the monks of my monastery say that ignorant people get stuck in words like an elephant in the mud.

Nevertheless we cannot do without language. But if the Way is to be expressed and explained in positive terms, we are likely immediately to grasp an idea associated with those terms, which may be quite the contrary. Therefore the Way should be expressed in negative terms - a less dangerous mode perhaps. So the Way is often referred to by such negative terms as "Extinction of Thirst," "Unconditioned," "Absence of Desire," or "Cessation."

The monks of my monastery express the Way thus: It is the calming of all conditioned things, the giving up of all defilements, the extinction of "thirst." It is detachment, cessation. It is the extinction of desire, the extinction of hatred, the extinction of illusion.

Because the Way is thus expressed in negative terms, there are many who have got a wrong notion that it is negative, and expresses self-annihilation. The Way is definitely no annihilation of self, because there is no self to annihilate. If at all, it is the annihilation of the illusion, of the false idea of self. It is incorrect to say that the Way is negative or positive. The idea of 'negative' and 'positive' are relative, and are within the realm of duality. These terms cannot be applied to the Way, which is beyond duality and relativity. The Way is therefore beyond our conceptions of good and evil, right and wrong, existence and non-existence.

Nobody would say that freedom is negative. But even freedom has a negative side: freedom is always a liberation from something which is obstructive, which is evil, which is negative. But freedom is not negative. So the Way is freedom from all evil, freedom from craving, hatred and ignorance, freedom from all terms of duality, relativity, time, and space.

The monks of my monastery use the term Truth interchangeably with the Way. "I will teach you the Truth and the Path leading to the Truth."

Now, what is Absolute Truth? According to the monks, the Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the world, that everything is relative, conditioned and impermanent, and that there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute self. This is the Absolute Truth. The realization of this Truth, to see things as they are without illusion or ignorance, is the extinction of craving and the cessation of suffering.

But it is incorrect to think that realization of the Way is the natural result of the extinction of craving. The Way is not the result of anything. If it would be a result, then it would be an effect produced by a cause. It would be "produced" and "conditioned." Truth is not a result nor an effect. It is not produced like a mystic, spiritual, mental state.

TRUTH IS.

The only thing you can do is to see it, to realize it. There is a path leading to the realization of the Way. But the Way is not the result of this path. You may get to the mountain along a path but the mountain is not the result, not an effect of the path. You may see a light, but the light is not the result of your eyesight.

People often ask: What is there after realization of the Way? This question cannot arise, because the Way is the Ultimate Truth. If it is Ultimate, there can be nothing after it. The Way is not a state, or a realm, or a position in which there is some sort of existence.

There is a popular question: If there is no self, then who realizes the Way? Before we go on to the Way, let us ask the question: Who thinks now, if there is no self? We have seen earlier that it is the thought that thinks, that there is no thinker behind the thought. In the same way, it is wisdom and realization that realize. There is no other self behind the realization.

In the discussion of the origin of suffering we saw that everything – whether being, or thing, or system - if it is of the nature of arising, it has within itself the nature and the germ of its cessation, its destruction. Because suffering is of the nature of arising; it must also be of the nature of cessation.

Suffering arises because of "thirst" and it ceases because of wisdom. There is no external power that produces the arising and the cessation of suffering. When wisdom is developed and cultivated according to the Fourth Truth (which will be discussed in the next entry), it sees the secret of life, the reality of things as they are. When the secret is discovered, when the Way is seen, all the forces which feverishly produce the continuity of suffering and illusion become calm and incapable of producing any more karma-formations, because there is no more illusion, no more "thirst" for continuity.

He who has realized the Way is the happiest being in the world. He is free from all "complexes" and obsessions, the worries and troubles that torment others. His mental health is perfect. He does not repent the past, nor does he brood over the future. He lives fully in the present. Therefore he appreciates and enjoys things in the purest sense without self-projections. He is joyful, exultant, enjoying the pure life, free from anxiety, serene and peaceful. As he is free from selfish desire, hatred, ignorance, conceit, pride, and all such "defilements," he is pure and gentle, full of universal love, compassion, kindness, sympathy, understanding and tolerance. His service to others is of the purest, for he has no thought of self. He gains nothing, accumulates nothing, not even anything spiritual, because he is free from the illusion of self.

The Way is beyond logic and reasoning. However much we may engage, often as a vain intellectual pastime, in highly speculative discussions regarding the Way or Ultimate Truth or Reality, we shall never understand it that way. The Way is to be realized by the wise within themselves. If we follow the Path patiently and with diligence, train and purify ourselves earnestly, and attain the necessary spiritual development, we may one day realize it within ourselves.

I will now turn to the Path which leads to the realization of the Way.


((Adapted from the works of Walpola Rahula))

_________________
"These are the roots of trees,
these are empty huts.
Meditate, monks.
Do not be negligent, lest you regret it later."
-Kamma Sutta, SN 35.145

Mi-Le (弥勒) - Monk of the Old Order, influenced by the Way.

Lelande - Working for himself now.


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