Wisdom in the World

อาจารย์ สุเมโธ

Wisdom in the World

The way of the Dhamma is one of observing nature and harmonising our lives with the natural forces.

In European civilisation we never really looked at the world in that way. We have idealised it. If everything were an ideal, then it should be a certain way. And when we just attach to ideals, we end up doing what we have done to our earth at this time, polluting it, and being at the point of totally destroying it because we do not understand the limitations placed on us by the earth’s conditions.

So in all things of this nature, we sometimes have to learn the hard way through doing it all wrong and making a total mess. Hopefully it is not an insoluble situation.

…to give up immoral, selfish or unkind pursuits for being one who is moving towards impeccability, generosity, morality and compassionate action in the world. If we do not do this, then it is a completely hopeless situation. They might as well just blow it all up because if nobody is willing to use their life for anything more than just selfish indulgence, then it is worthless.

In the practice of the Dhamma the sense of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ starts fading away — the sense of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ as this little creature sitting here that has a mouth and has to eat. If I just follow the desires of my body and emotions, then I become a greedy selfish little creature. But when I reflect on the nature of my physical condition and how it can be skilfully used in this lifetime for the welfare of all sentient beings, then this being becomes a blessing.

So one is actually living each day in a way that one’s life is something that brings joy, compassion, kindness, or at least is not causing unnecessary confusion and misery.

The least we can do is keep the Five Precepts so that our bodies and speech are not being used for disruption, cruelty and exploitation on this planet. Is that asking too much of any of you? Is it too fantastic to give up just doing what you feel like at the moment in order to be at least a little more careful and responsible for what you do and say?

We can all try to help, be generous and kind and considerate to the other beings that we have to share this planet with. We can all wisely investigate and understand the limitations we are under, so that we are no longer deluded by the sensory world.

We begin to observe ourselves, the desire for something, or the aversion, the dullness or the stupidity of the mind. We are not picking and choosing or trying to create pleasant conditions for personal pleasure, but are even willing to endure unpleasant or miserable conditions in order to understand them as just that, and be able to let them go. We are starting to free ourselves from running away from things we don’t like.

We also begin to be much more careful about how we do live. Once you see what it is all about, you really want to be very, very careful about what you do and say. You can have no intention to live life at the expense of any other creature. One does not feel that one’s life is so much more important than anyone else’s. One begins to feel the freedom and the lightness in that harmony with nature rather than the heaviness of exploitation of nature for personal gain.

When you open the mind to the truth, then you realise there is nothing to fear. What arises passes away, what is born dies, and is not self — so that our sense of being caught in an identity with this human body fades out. We don’t see ourselves as some isolated, alienated entity lost in a mysterious and frightening universe. We don’t feel overwhelmed by it, trying to find a little piece of it that we can grasp and feel safe with, because we feel at peace with it.

Then we have merged with the truth.

This reflection by Luang Por Sumedho is from the book, Mindfulness—The Path to the Deathless, “The Need for Wisdom in the World.”

One Breath at a Time

อาจารย์ ปสันโน

One Breath at a Time

Distributing the daily work assignments seemed a bit complicated today. That’s the nature of organizing many people living together. When there is one person living in one place, it’s fairly simple. With two people it’s a little harder, and it gets exponentially more complicated as the number of people increases. For this reason, we need to learn the skills of living together, so that our own inte…

Conflict Resolution

อาจารย์ ชยสาโร

Conflict Resolution

Is there a Buddhist approach to conflict resolution? Every society experiences conflicts of interest and view, both from within and from without. Buddhist teachings emphasize ways of preventing conflicts from arising in the first place and of preventing those that have already begun from escalating. They seek to achieve this by instructing the people involved how best to educate their conduct, emo…

A Much-Appreciated Guide

อาจารย์ ถิรธัมโม

A Much-Appreciated Guide

It is not possible, Cunda, that someone stuck in the mud could pull out another who is stuck in the mud. But it is possible that someone not stuck in the mud could pull out another who is stuck in the mud. It is not possible that someone untamed, untrained, not completely calmed, could tame, train or completely calm another. But it is possible that someone tamed, trained, completely calmed could t…

Ideals: Either Partial or Impotent

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

Ideals: Either Partial or Impotent

The drawback with the Romantic and Transcendental movements is that, like the Western tradition in general, they referred to the Ideal, and neither nature nor humans are ideal. They interpreted a principle rather than establishing a way of life from living in the natural world. The principle of equality doesn’t fit with unbridled individuality; relational balance is required. And even wonderful ab…

"We Don’t Believe. We Fear.”

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

"We Don’t Believe. We Fear.”

An anthropologist once questioned a native Alaskan shaman about his tribe’s belief system. After putting up with the anthropologist’s questions for a while, the shaman finally told him: “Look. We don’t believe. We fear.” In a similar way, Buddhism starts, not with a belief, but with a fear of very present dangers. As the Buddha himself reported, his initial impetus for leaving home and seeking awa…

Ariyavamsa

อาจารย์ เลี่ยม

Ariyavamsa

Question: We’d like to know about your experiences living together with Luang Pu Chah. Answer: Generally, Luang Pu Chah taught us to conduct ourselves practicing contentment and being of few wishes. Contentment and fewness of wishes, these are words that describe a lifestyle where one isn’t prone to obstructions. It is also called ariyavamsa, to live without ties and fetters. Contentment and fewne…

Santi Emerged from Santati

อาจารย์ ชา

Santi Emerged from Santati

One night, there was a festival in the village. Sometime after eleven o’clock, while I was practising walking meditation, I began to feel a bit strange. In fact, this feeling – an unusual kind of calmness and ease – had first appeared during the day. When I became weary from walking, I went into the small grass-roofed hut to sit and was taken by surprise. Suddenly, my mind desired tranquillity so…

Going for Refuge

อาจารย์ สุเมโธ

Going for Refuge

When people ask: ‘What do you have to do to become a Buddhist?’, we say that we take refuge in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. Long ago, I remember superstitious people coming to my teacher, Ajahn Chah, wanting charmed medallions or little talismans to protect them from bullets and knives, ghosts and so on, and he would say: ‘Why do you want things like that? The only real protection is taking refuge in t…

Adopted as Received Knowledge

อาจารย์ อมโร

Adopted as Received Knowledge

Over the centuries the Southern and Northern lineages have developed critiques of each other’s way of practice which have been passed on and adopted as received knowledge. When we can only base our own ideas on information from books or the established outlook portrayed by particular lineages, these critiques seem to be reasonable. Some of the most common Southern points of view argue that the Mah…