Freedom to Choose

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

Freedom to Choose

Learning to settle the mind can be very difficult.

It’s not always easy to find a way of stopping the mind from chasing things or to shake off a grudge or obsession. How can we calm down and feel a sense of balanced well-being in ourselves? Can we make the mind attend to itself and be fit for wise reflection and realization? Are we capable of contemplating what is happening to us, what our weaknesses are in terms of moods and emotions, and how we can allay them? Do we have some say over whether we are needy, sorrowful or joyful — or is it something that just happens?

The path of liberation is about having a free choice to experience what we would like to experience in terms of goodness, harmony and happiness.

Freedom begins with the freedom to choose the Path; it’s not a compulsion. It’s the Buddha’s invitation: ‘You’re welcome to pick this up.’ So the very beginnings of the Path are offerings and possibilities. This freedom to choose causes faith and interest to arise. We always have to remember that to put a teaching into practice requires these because of the nature of mind.

The mind cannot operate properly unless there is freedom: the ‘heart’ of the mind (citta) does not follow orders.

This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the book, Kalyana, (pdf) p. 99.