What Are We Assuming into Existence?

Ajahn Pasanno

What Are We Assuming into Existence?

In comparison to most monasteries I’ve lived in before, there’s a real stable community and a consistency to the routine [at Abhayagiri]. People get locked into that and they’re not quite ready to make that shift…the next moment with mindfulness and clear comprehension and attentiveness to detail.

Well, what’s happening? What changed? What didn’t change?

That’s going to be the theme of adapting to circumstances. Adapting to the uncertainty of who’s showing up, who’s doing what, what needs to be done? Where have they gone off to? How do I help out?

Those are things to bring to mind as a point of both investigation and training the mind, that ability to just be attentive to what’s actually happening right now rather than how it was in the past or how you assume it’s going to be in the future.

What is the circumstance right now that I need to be alert to and attentive to and skillfully apply my discernment to? This is very much a part of our training.

We got locked into assumptions. We assume things into existence. That’s what the mind does. Then we assume ourselves into existence. That’s the whole problem of anattā and creating dukkha. We assume our identity into existence out of thin air, nothing at all, some ephemeral feelings and proliferations. We come up with a solid “me.” We’ve assumed it into existence. We’re doing that all the time.

So, it’s a really helpful tool to say, “Well, what am I assuming, right now?” How can I just be present with mindfulness and wisdom, truth discerning awareness as the thing to be lifting up into the heart?

This reflection by Luang Por Pasanno is adapted from the Morning Reflection for June 22, 2018, “What Are We Assuming into Existence?”

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