Abhayagiri Is Complete

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Abhayagiri Is Complete

Yesterday, when some of us were walking around…we saw many new kuṭis and the new workshop which were all built over the last couple of years since I departed. These were things that Luang Por Pasanno, myself, and others would fantasize about. It’d be a nice place to have a kuṭi there, or we could do this here, or maybe we should put the workshop there. Many of these things have suddenly become a reality. Of course, these physical changes took place slowly and steadily over time. So much has evolved since June 1st, 1996 when I, along with Anagārika Tom, now Ajahn Karuṇadhammo, Debbie, and a gang of others rolled up to the newly purchased property. On that very first evening, once we’d cleaned up the house, set up the domed tents that we’d be living in, gotten ourselves sorted and settled, I remember thinking, “Now the monastery is complete, now it is done.”

When we do something as simple as fill up the gas tank, we can think, “Okay, now Abhayagiri is complete. Everything is fully completed. Everything is done.” We reflect in that way, even though part of our worldly instinct might say, “Yeah but, but, but, look at my list! I have so many things to do, and they are important, and they have my name on them, and I can’t just brush them away.” But with the reflection, “Abhayagiri is complete,” we can keep that worldly perspective in its appropriate place and recognize that, within a larger context, it’s just as Luang Por Liem was expressing: it’s finished. Even when the gas tank is half filled, it’s finished. As you’re carrying along the carpets or untangling the flags, it’s finished. Even though the knot is still there, it’s finished.

That’s because the Dhamma is here and now. The Dhamma is akāliko, timeless. And it’s sandiṭṭhiko, apparent here and now. The Dhamma doesn’t simply happen when the knot is untangled or when the carpet is laid out and all of the food is cooked. It’s not, “Okay, the Dhamma is here now, it wasn’t here before.” The Dhamma is always here. During the morning reflection, it’s here already. The Dhamma doesn’t appear just after the reflection is finished, when we begin our practice during the day. It’s here now.

If we remember that—really let the mind awaken to that— then that presence to the Dhamma will inform our every action. We can then attune to the citta, the heart—to that quality, that fundamental, timeless presence of Dhamma—in the midst of activity. Then any external complications won’t contribute to any internal complications, to any internal papañca…

This reflection by Ajahn Amaro is from the book, Beginning Our Day, Volume 1, pp. 77-80.