The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Defilements

The Buddha, having contemplated his mind, gave up the two extremes of practice – indulgence in pleasure and indulgence in pain – and in his first discourse expounded the Middle Way between these two. But we hear his teaching and it grates against our desires. We’re infatuated with pleasure and comfort, infatuated with happiness, thinking we are good, we are fine – this is indulgence in pleasure. It’s not the right path. Dissatisfaction,
displeasure, dislike and anger – this is indulgence in pain. These are the extreme ways which one on the path of practice should avoid.
These ‘ways’ are simply the happiness and unhappiness which arise. The ‘one on the path’ is this very mind, the ‘one who knows’. If a good mood arises we cling to it as good, this is indulgence in pleasure. If an unpleasant mood arises we cling to it through dislike – this is indulgence in pain. These are the wrong paths, they aren’t the ways of a meditator. They’re the ways of the worldly, those who look for fun and happiness and shun unpleasantness and suffering.

The wise know the wrong paths but they relinquish them, they give them up. They are unmoved by pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering. These things arise but those who know don’t cling to them, they let them go according to their nature. This is right view. When one knows this fully there is liberation. Happiness and unhappiness have no meaning
for an Enlightened One.

The Buddha said that the Enlightened Ones were far from defilements. This doesn’t mean that they ran away from defilements, they didn’t run away anywhere. Defilements were there. He compared it to a lotus leaf in a pond of water. The leaf and the water exist together, they are in contact, but the leaf doesn’t become damp. The water is like defilements and the
lotus leaf is the enlightened mind�.
Ajahn Chah

 

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