"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

September 16, 2011

"That thing I got from meditation"

"Three years ago, when I sensed that Ajaan Suwat was about to pass away, I went to see him in Thailand. It was inspiring and heartening to see him, because even though he went through a lot of difficulties after his accident — paralyzed from the base of the spine on down, brain damage, lung damage, having to deal with very difficult people looking after him — he always maintained his good cheer.

One of the last things he said to me was that he had begun to notice that the perceptions his brain was sending to him were getting weirder and weirder all the time. He had to learn how not to listen to them. Then he said, "But that thing I got from the meditation: That hasn't changed. That's always there."

'That thing' is what he called it. That's the freedom we're working toward, so that no matter what happens in terms of aging, illness, and death, there is always 'that thing' there. That's what we want to ferret out. That's what we want to know.

So we foster the customs of the noble ones, which focus on taking delight in this path, this path of letting go and developing. You let go of the patterns of thought, speech, and action that get in the way of clear knowing. You develop the qualities that encourage clear knowing: Right View, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration. You learn to take enjoyment in these things. You let them capture your imagination."

From "Freedom Undefined" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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