True Freedom, True Essence

Ajahn Silaratano

True Freedom, True Essence

On a more profound level, however, Mae Chee Kaew’s practice points the way beyond the changing conditions of birth and death to the essence of true freedom.

At the heart of that realization lies a fundamental distinction between two very different aspects of the mind: the mind’s knowing essence, and the transient states of mind that arise and cease within it. By not understanding that distinction, we take those transient states to be real, to be the mind itself. In fact, they are all just changing conditions that never remain stable from one moment to the next.

The knowing essence of mind is the only real constant. Mostly we lump everything together and call it mind; but actually states of mind exist in conjunction with the knowing of them.

With that insight comes the realization that happiness and suffering are realities separate from the mind that knows them. The true essence of mind knows all states and all conditions, but attaches to none. Because of that, it lies beyond the shifting states of happiness and suffering. If we can see this, we can put down those conventional realities and let them go.

With that understanding, liberating detachment occurs of its own accord.

This reflection by Bhikkhu Dick Sīlaratano is from the book, Mae Chee Kaew, (pdf) pp.17-18.