Solitude and Engagement

Ajahn Pasanno

Ajahn Pasanno

This last week has been a full one, with lots of contact and engagement. That’s the nature of monastic life, even though there’s a bottom line of simplicity. One goes through various phases of solitude and engagement. It’s important to make a conscious effort to bring things back to a life of more solitude and less engagement. It’s interesting to see how the mind picks up a particular way of relating or mood and then rolls along with it. Make that conscious effort to pull back. It’s not as if engagement is bad. It’s been really wonderful and fruitful. But, I think it’s time to pull back and ask: How can we integrate the inspiring presence of Luang Por Sumedho into our lives? How do we actually live with awakened attention? How do we put our day-to-day lives on the line and make an example of real clear knowing, clear seeing? This is what he is talking about. To hear these words and to carry on with a scattered, miserable existence doesn’t really cut it. How do we keep recollecting that presence in the next couple of days? We do our chores, we do our duties and we do what needs to be done. But, try to give yourselves more time for solitude and to let those teachings start to really take root in the heart.

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