Saturday, June 19

Quoting Sumedho


This is from a chapter called "It's Not Fair" in the book "Teachings of a Buddhist Monk" by Ajahn Sumedho. On p.95:


'I shouldn't think bad thoughts, I should only think good ones.' And then we would have bad thoughts and think: 'I shouldn't be thinking like this. I wish I didn't have these kinds of thoughts; I wish I were someone who had beautiful thoughts; I wish I were a loving person with a generous heart; I wish I could be just full of love and joy, but instead I'm frightened and jealous, get angry, upset, have bad thoughts, and it's terrible . . . !' And this goes around and around. 'What's wrong with me that I should be like this?' This is a case of being caught in the whirlpool of 'self' again, isn't it?


This is very, very familiar. I said much the same things to Chris just a few weeks ago. How funny it now seems in retrospect. All these "selves," all these "I am"s are just thoughts that arise and cease in the mind. That's all.

And continuing on p.96:

When we look at thought itself, the finest as well as the meanest, it just arises and ceases. We can notice the space, the empty mind, rather than the thought. And we do not have to make anything out of thought. It can be seen as a condition that begins and ends. This is one way of really getting to know the emptiness of mind, the mind that is clear and bright and not personal, not 'me', not 'mine', not a man or a woman, not clean or dirty, not high or low, not good or bad. To realise this is to abide more and more in emptiness, less and less in thought.

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