Poetic and Attentive

Ajahn Sucitto

Poetic and Attentive

The Middle Land, other than being the area of the Ganges Valley that the Buddha frequented in the course of his forty years of wandering, is that present awareness that stands between impressions and their designation. But it’s dynamic, it’s not purely internal, and it keeps shifting. Travelling this fluid country is the theme of Dhamma practice.

As meditators know, the nature of this Land depends as much on the mode of travelling as on any innate geography. Yet it’s not that place and time are irrelevant – many times they are the essential catalyst for the arising of the causes and conditions of the Middle Land.

It’s also the case that we can’t separate our eventful lives from our awareness of them and stay on workable ground.

In a territory that is dependently arising a moment at a time, and that lies between existence and non-existence, a straight road is the least realistic path to follow. Maps are notional, instructions more about how to travel rather than where to go. Mostly we learn to move with respect for where we find ourselves.

Perhaps this is why the language becomes poetic and attentive. Goals (and statements) are to be held lightly.

This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the book, Travels in the Middle Land, (pdf) p. 9.