Some words from Ajhan Sumano

Since I arrived in the forests of Northeast Thailand in the 1980’s, dozens of western monks have come and gone. A few are still here waiting for ‘the fat lady to sing’. But most returned to the West with their Dhamma treasure. Usually when they left, they left with the “Heart” of the forest monks.

While they were here, they learned that the body and mind are not personal, not really ours. These things and all other things change. One cannot expect to find much happiness in the world; the ego is an amalgamation of experiences, conditioning, karma, environmental influences and genes. And when all is said and done, the happiness we do passionately pursue is insubstantial and not worth the trouble we went through chasing after it. Knowing these facts deeply is the foundation of wisdom.

The Teaching of the Buddha stated succinctly that the catalyst for wisdom to arise comes from the knowing (realizing) in the present moment, that all things are in a state of flux, all conditions are somewhere between mildly and desperately unsatisfactory, and that the idea of who we think we are is a deception (annata or no-self) based on ignorance.

This ignorance has dominated our life for years, for lifetimes. The duty of ignorance is to conceal the Truth…and it possesses the power to do a good job of it!

1 Comment

  1. Edward Chester Hill
    Aug 25, 2014

    I am very grateful for your writings. You are on point about the search for truth and the great job ignorance plays in keeping us from the truth. I am looking forward to discussing with you the Kalama Sutta. As explained by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, in his book, Keys To Natural Truth. He writes, Page 32.
    “In conclusion, the Kalama Sutta never forbids us to believe in anything; it merely implores us to believe with independent intelligence and wisdom. It never forbids us to listen to anything; it merely asks us to listen without letting our intelligence and wisdom become enslaved. Furthermore it helps us to think, consider, investigate, and decide with great subtlety and precision, so that we can find the golden needles in the haystack as huge as mountains…”
    Now closer to the end of my life than the beginning, I know that the wise person wants to live in the present moment free of attachments which cause so much suffering. I want to spend my remaining years free to do good deeds, giving appropriate love to my offspring; and meditating to find wisdom and be enlightened so my spirit/energy will not have to return to this life ever again.

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