Correcting Our Faults

Ajahn Amorn

Correcting Our Faults

In one particular sutta - the Mangala Sutta - the Buddha explains the way to behave in order for us to be happy. 

Being respectful and showing humility,
Knowing contentment in life.
Paying back the debt of gratitude we have towards others,
And frequently listening to the Buddha’s teachings.
These are the highest blessings.’

So this verse from the Mangala Sutta is my particular teaching for today. And spiritual life is about correcting our faults and making little adjustments to the way we do things - we have to erase our faults and then correct them. It’s like the white liquid correction pen you have these days which you cover over your mistakes with, and then you can write the correction over that: it’s the same with our lives. Remember that you can’t see yourselves as clearly as other people see you. When you look, your eyes only see ahead, but everyone else can see you from all angles. So whenever someone points something out, you should listen…

So cleanse your minds regularly. You know, with Dhamma, many people study it: they read Dhamma, talk about Dhamma, etc. But those who actually put Dhamma into practice are very few, which is why the world is such a confused place today - that’s what Ajhan Chah used to say. It’s like soap and washing powder and detergents: we have these things, but it’s not enough - we actually have to use them.

Do listen to the things others tell you, but you don’t have to believe everything straight away, because remember, maybe somebody is telling you something out of anger. Luang Por Chah used to say,

‘It’s like this: imagine someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, your face is all black- it’s really ugly just like a bear or a black dog!” Just be calm and patient. Go and find a mirror or something to see your reflection in. Take a look. Is it black or not? If it is, you need to wash your face, so just wash it. If it’s not black, then just let it go - so what? It’s just what someone said to you - no problem.’

Life is about action: doing. Doing the right thing. We shouldn’t listen to the teachings and then just sit there - we have to dwell on the Dhamma correctly, figure out what is good, and do whatever we think is really best. And when the Sangha is practicing well, it’s living in line with the Buddha’s teachings.

So today I’d like to share this short reflection with you, and may you all be well and develop in virtue, meditation and wisdom, in line with the Buddha’s way.

These reflections by Luang Por Maha Amorn are from “Short Teachings by Luang Por Maha Amorn,” Teachings at Wat Pah Nanachat.