A Few Simple Objects

Ajahn Jayasaro

A Few Simple Objects

Luang Por did not consider a drastically simplified lifestyle to be liberating in itself; he knew well enough that the tendency towards attachment is far too strongly embedded in the unenlightened mind to be so simply bypassed.

But a life pared back to essentials did play an important part in the training he was providing. Firstly, because it was a key element in sustaining the distinctive culture and identity of the renunciant forest monk. Secondly, because the nature of attachment – its impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and impersonality – is revealed far more readily when focused on a few simple objects than when dispersed amongst the wide variety of desirable things available in lay life.

Thus, Luang Por constantly urged monks to keep reviewing the nature of their relationship with the requisites and to be alert to the arising of defilement, in order to give them a perspective on these attachments. For the monks who followed his advice, coarse attachments to good quality requisites tended to fade away quite quickly. After a few years, most monks would look back at their robe or bowl obsessions with self-deprecating good humour.

This reflection by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the book, Stillness Flowing, (pdf) p.253.