Drinking Fresh Water

Ajahn Sundara

Drinking Fresh Water

Sometimes carrying the baggage of a spiritual tradition can take us away from the present moment. Clinging to Buddhist perception is not the path.

This is why we sometimes don’t feel the joy of practice: because we are still holding onto ideas of how things should be, instead of drinking at the source and quenching our thirst for enlightenment, for freedom. Drinking at the source means seeing directly. That is the beauty of this path: it is completely available and close to us, always here.

Mindfulness is a doorway to awareness of the present moment, so that even the hindrances (craving, ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, doubt) can be seen for just what they are – changing, unsatisfactory and not-self. So when the heart and mind are flat, depressed, miserable, undisciplined, resistant, rebellious, childish, petty, silly – that is the time for practice, and then you will find that a moment of mindfulness will provide the energy you need. You might not feel it straightaway, but trust that opening.

Mindfulness brings us the perception of change, which in turn gives us the trust, confidence and faith to keep going, to not be fooled by the appearance of things. Confidence brings stability of mind, concentration.

This reflection by Ajahn Sundara is from the book, Paccuppanna, (pdf) pp. 21-22.