View as Experience, Not Thought

Ajahn Sucitto

View as Experience, Not Thought

As much as one can justify, and think that one’s views about other people are correct—even when they are (as views)—try feeling the mind-state, the conceit that accompanies them. Then when doing it to oneself, notice how ‘I am…’ leads to ‘I never will be…’ and ‘I always am….’ It’s a trap.

The contemplative process then gets used up in conceiving and evaluating in terms of self. That valuable system that should actually help us to collect in terms of good heart and Path factors, collects in terms of self. And this ‘self-view’ sustains a process of fragmentation.

Relinquishing a view is made possible by fully knowing it to be that, knowing what it feels like. Knowing the good heart, kindness and generosity on one hand; then feeling the judging, the criticising, and the forming of opinions on the other hand. Consider which feels better. Take the time to do it, rather than either suppress one’s views, or justify them, or think they are irrelevant to one’s practice.

Views appear to be about other people, but they create the realm that one’s own heart has to live in. We can learn a lot by exploring this experience.

This relinquishment stabilises and calms the mind. Ask yourself: is the mind steady and endowed with confidence in itself? Or is it jittering, going this way and that, frantic and then slumping down? What are the ways of behaviour that are conducive to a steady heart and mind? What about giving up and relinquishing a lot of the ifs, ands, maybes, if only’s, what should, could and might be and so on?

Then with the independence and the trust in oneself that comes from renunciation, calm arises.

This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the book, Kalyana, (pdf) p.16.