“Don’t be an arahant, don’t be a bodhisattva, don’t be [anything] at all—if you are [anything] at all you will suffer.” — Ajahn Chah.
Just wondering, does anyone see an exception to ‘anything’ in the quote above?
Before the sense of self appears on the event horizon, in the stream of consciousness, a reaction free attention may arise - when practice is continuous and unbroken.
After periods of natural stillness, if the sense of self - the notion 'here (I) am again - does not arise, there is an opening, an opportunity for a way of being, relating, living, that has no ‘personal’ history.
Many events arise and cease but they don’t belong to anyone and we are not beholden to them.
We do not have to be the prisoners of a personal history. The past is but the left behind - the future is the yet unreached. Know each dhamma as it arises now … All dhammas are not-self!
There may be the remembered - implicit or explicit - but no grasping onto the past, no taking ownership or, preoccupation with it. When the need arises plans can be made and activities undertaken.
Awareness is naturally clear and still when it is free from the burden of the past and unconditionally open to whatever arrives on the scene. The question of letting go does not arise as nothing has been taken hold of and, identified with.
Psychological time, the sense of being a ‘somebody’ who is going somewhere, requires an initial act of self identification - here I am. This initial state of self-awareness may arise after sleep and, after deep states of natural stillness.
Then, a story can be constructed where there’s a person, a ‘somebody’ who has a personal history, a current situation that ‘they’ are undergoing and, a future that is yet to unfold.
The worldly dhammas of success and failure etc. are a product of this imaginative exercise in futility.
One day - when the cows come home - ‘I’ will wake up!
This story is identified with - it’s a locus of attention.
Life continues to take its natural course without the need to take things personally. It just is what it is - plain and simple.
What will be made of the life that is lived today - are you a Buddhist somebody going somewhere? Is this necessary, does it value-add to existence or, is it just another made-up world?
Another conditioned identity without essence - on its way to the scrap heap? More baggage to drag around while we are busy being somebody or, so it seems?
How long will the teachings last in this dispensation? They have relevance in this life if we give attention to them. Otherwise, we ‘could’ be busy assuming some other identity?
There is often a bundle of personas, a number of roles to assume depending on the company kept. We don’t have to be busy being a Buddhist when we are talking to a baby or, stroking the cat? Just being there - in a loving way - is good enough.
The best thing we can do is truly show-up in life and respond appropriately? This is not a matter of time?
We can play the role of being a somebody without seeing it as an end in itself. We don’t need to get rid of things that are not in the way.
There is benefit - many blessings - from being in good company and playing a constructive role in the four-fold assembly. Much goodness and kindness can be found in the company of friends in the Dhamma.
Anything that is put together will fall apart all by itself if we don’t give it much attention or interest.
An alternative way of being in the world may be meeting the ‘living’ Dhamma with unconditional love and wisdom - being nobody going nowhere.