Trust in Real Wisdom

อาจารย์ มุนินโท

Trust in Real Wisdom

We have to get used to letting go of craving for certainty, and come to terms with what uncertainty actually feels like in the whole body-mind. The temptation to turn away from such unpleasant feelings can be strong. But if we inhibit our reactions, again using mindfulness, sense restraint and skilful reflection, it is possible that we won’t have to turn away, but instead enter into a realistic relationship with what we feel is challenging us. This approach applies to everything we encounter on this spiritual journey, but here we are specifically contemplating our reactions when faced with the unknown.

If we could recall how as a child we learnt to walk, we’d probably realize we didn’t think so much about it, we just did it. Later on, when we were learning to ride a bicycle, it wasn’t thinking that taught us. Learning life’s lessons requires a desire to succeed at them, and trust that success can be achieved. It also takes quite a bit of falling over and getting up again. But many of these tasks don’t necessarily depend on thinking.

Admittedly, with learning to walk and ride a bike we had the encouraging example of others who were already ably doing these things. In the case of learning to trust that we can accommodate intense fear of uncertainty, there are maybe not so many examples of mature competence around, but that doesn’t mean we must assume it can’t be done. In the material world there are many inspiring examples of those who have dared to go into the unknown, motivated by trust in their own convictions.

Nobody likes feeling insecure; all beings want to feel safe. Where, then, should we be looking to find real security? How are we to live with an awareness of the changing nature of conditioned existence? The Buddha advises us that regardless of how daunting fear and uncertainty might appear, we should train ourselves to trust in wisdom. Wisdom is what sees beyond the way things merely appear to be and discerns actuality.

If we learn to trust that there is real wisdom, and in its transformative power, that trust can help protect us from falling into despair.

This reflection by Ajahn Munindo is from the book, Sanity in the Midst of Uncertainty, pp.10-11.

A Suffering Willingly Born

อาจารย์ ชยสาโร

A Suffering Willingly Born

There probably isn’t a parent anywhere who can insist that loving his or her children brings only happiness. It is rather that the suffering that arises as a consequence of parental love is considered to be redeemed by the joys of parenthood. Whenever their children suffer, be it physically from an illness or emotionally from a disappointment or not being able to get what they want, loving parents…

Luang Por Chah’s Approach

อาจารย์ ปสันโน

Luang Por Chah’s Approach

Student: I’ve heard that in the beginning, Luang Por Chah used to lock the doors of the Dhamma hall during the all-night sits. Luang Por Pasanno: I wasn’t there back then. But he did have us sit in meditation right after the meal in all three of our robes—in the hot season! Over time, however, he came to rely more on wisdom than brute force. Student: What caused him to make this change? Luang Por…

Justifying Anything

อาจารย์ อมโร

Justifying Anything

The subject of sila, or virtuous, beautiful conduct, is a very tricky area which people often misunderstand. It is therefore an area where we can benefit from some guidance and instruction – some understanding about how best to conduct ourselves in the manner in which we relate both to our own life and to other people. Often, we are attracted to the Buddha’s teaching because it cuts right to the v…

Biographies of the Buddha

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Biographies of the Buddha

The Buddha, as a teacher, was adamant about the power of action, and focused special attention on what skillful actions could accomplish in bringing about a true and unchanging happiness. So it’s only natural to want to know what he himself did, and what he was able to accomplish through his actions. An account of his life allows people who are not yet convinced of his awakening to assess him as a…

Cessation

อาจารย์ วีรธัมโม

Cessation

“Cessation” is an important word in Buddhism, and it’s one that I like to define as the fading away of the sense of self. The sense of self fades away when we don’t attach to an experience. Cessation occurs when we learn to look at experience objectively. For instance, if I’m becoming irritated while I’m talking with someone, I can notice my reactions as objects in the mind and feelings in the bod…

Encased in Our Personal Histories

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

Encased in Our Personal Histories

We have to keep challenging this ‘I’m a separate entity’ paradigm by which we tend to operate. If you were asked, ‘Where are you really?’, most of you would probably experience yourselves as living somewhere behind your eyes. This is the ‘me’ bit, somewhere up in the head, with all the rest underneath it. In other words, I don’t regard my head as being on top of me; I regard my feet as being under…

Firmly Intent

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Firmly Intent

In Thailand, when they translate “concentration” into Thai [from the Pāli], they translate it as being “firmly intent.” In other words, the mind is not simply still and quiet. There’s also a very strong intention to stay that way, to maintain this stillness. Of course, to stay right here you need motivation. You have to understand that this is a good thing to do. And there’s so much out there tha…

The Importance of Concentration

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

The Importance of Concentration

The desire to get the mind into concentration is an important part of the path. There are two reasons for why you need concentration. One of the purposes of concentration is to provide good food for the mind: a sense of pleasure, a sense of well-being that comes when you get the mind to settle down and you don’t need to think about how to gain pleasant sights, nice sounds, pleasant smells, tastes,…

Bowing, an Opening of the Heart

อาจารย์ สุเมโธ

Bowing, an Opening of the Heart

Bowing…this is another tradition. Learn how to bow mindfully, putting one’s head down, surrendering oneself physically, giving oneself in the act of bowing, instead of just saying, “I am not aggressive, I am not proud and arrogant.” If you get proud that you bow so well, or if you start hating people that do not bow, then … ! This is an act of devotion, and devotion is an opening of the heart, of…