Only If Appropriate and Correct

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

Only If Appropriate and Correct

Although delusion (moha) is at the root of your troubles, I think you should take a very good look at sensuality, that is, craving for sensuality and sensual expression, largely in terms of feeling and an impatience with a state of calm in which nothing in particular is happening.

You really must try to keep rooted in normality and ordinariness and avoid fantasy and thinking of your own subjective experiences as being universal.

Questions such as, “Does it matter if the breath goes clockwise or counter-clockwise?” is obviously based on an experience of yours, but it is purely subjective. And you can answer that question yourself by considering that your breathing has gone on for over 40 years without such considerations and you seem to have survived just fine.

This is the sort of thing I mean by being normal; for if you start thinking that all these fantasy nimittas and odd experiences are supra-normal, you can easily fall into the fault of spiritual-pride. Again, there is something all wrong with your understanding when you take “a sort of gliding state, very like skiing” to be Nibbāna. Even though upon later reflection you rejected that understanding, it means that your basic understanding of the nature of Nibbāna is far too gross.

Always remember that if you can see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it or think it, it is not Nibbāna.

Feeling not completely in control of your body is another of these abnormal manifestations. It is more or less a form of compulsive neurosis. The “force” which you say “makes me resolve to bow or pūjā” is feeling, bodily feeling. If those actions, which you do compulsively, are irrational, inappropriate, wrong or faulty, you must be mindful of the feeling, its arising and its dying away and ceasing, but do not react.

You should only permit those actions to take place if they are quite appropriate and correct in any given situation.

This reflection by Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho is from the book, Dear Jane, (pdf) pp.193-194, 194-195.