They Belong to You

Ajahn Khamdee

They Belong to You

There are three sorts of Dhamma: the Dhamma of theory, the Dhamma of practice, and the Dhamma of attainment.

The Dhamma of theory refers to the teachings of the Buddha: the discourses, the discipline, the Abhidhamma, all 84,000 sections of the Pali Canon. This sort of Dhamma is everyone’s common property.

As for practice and attainment, they’re the individual property of those who do them.

For example, Ven. Moggallāna’s practice was his own practice. His attainment of the paths and fruitions leading to nibbāna was his own attainment. The same holds true for Ven. Sāriputta and each of the noble disciples, all the way down to all of us practicing here.

The practice and attainments of each person are that person’s very own. It’s like your own land and fields. They belong to you; they’re not common property.

The Buddha set out the Dhamma of theory for each of us to practice. When we practice it, it becomes our own. If we follow the precepts, they become our own precepts, our own virtues. If we practice concentration, it becomes our own concentration. If we attain jhāna (mental absorption) or any of the paths and fruitions leading to nibbāna, they become our own attainments.

So understand this point and practice in line with it.

This reflection by Phra Ajaan Khamdee Pabhāso is from the essay in the section “Other Teachings of Thai Forest Ajaans” titled, Making the Dhamma Your Own: Teachings of Phra Ajaan Khamdee Pabhāso,” translated into English by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu.