Sujato's thought of the day: on paths

If a spiritual path doesn’t disturb you, it’s not a path, it’s a sofa.


If those disturbances don’t lead to dispassion, they might be the hindrances!

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If you’re not afraid, you will be, you will be…

May the Dhamma be with you!


Aha, i must be on the Path :innocent:

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I do like my sofa though. :yum:


I wonder how the Bussha would have expressed that, given that the Iron Age was empty of sofas.

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Uh… Not sure where you got that idea. Certainly not from the Pāḷi Canon:

Palaces and also litters
were produced according to wish.
Couches constructed
~ Thap 13

on a sofa with red cushions at either end, he sleeps
~ AN 7.64

“How can these nuns make use of a sofa?”
~ BiPc 42

Surely Master Gotama gets when he wants, without trouble or difficulty, various kinds of high and luxurious bedding, such as: sofas, couches, [etc]
~ AN 3.63


Good heavens! I am sure that is a very loose translation. :star_struck::rofl:
Sofa is a very 1950s lower middle class British thing.
Sorry my joke got lost in translation. :wink:
Should I withdraw it?

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If you had checked the links, you’d maybe have noticed that I cited four different translators, just to assure you it wasn’t an idiosyncratic choice.

Yes, rising affluence and widely shared prosperity in those Keynesian, post-war years before Thatcher did see a lot of people in Britain purchasing comfortable furniture that previously would have been out of their price range.

Indeed. Jokes based on one society’s peculiar stereotypes rarely translate onto a different culture: even to an American only slightly younger, let alone “the Iron Age.” :wink:

Not at all! :smile: I’m sure others may have wondered the same and can benefit from a “teaching moment” :laughing:

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Are you sure? What about that statue of the Buddha lying down? :yum:

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Well if my joke doesn’t even work on you a Brit then I need to withdraw it.


I got the joke and was replying in kind.


So sorry Martin.

The statue is so big that it would need about twenty sofas. :wink:

Bhante @sujato: my apology for inadvertently detrailngderailing your thread. You started it with a really useful and challenging aphorism. :pray:


Don’t let @sujato get too comfortable @Gillian ! Keep up the good work :slight_smile:


There are a few (vaguely) related suttas around this area such as:

“Mendicants, there are these four ways of taking up practices. What four? There is a way of taking up practices that is pleasant now but results in future pain. There is a way of taking up practices that is painful now and results in future pain. There is a way of taking up practices that is painful now but results in future pleasure. There is a way of taking up practices that is pleasant now and results in future pleasure. MN45

“Mendicants, there are four ways of practice. What four?

  1. Painful practice with slow insight,
  2. painful practice with swift insight,
  3. pleasant practice with slow insight, and
  4. pleasant practice with swift insight.

AN4.162, and the suttas following that one



Yes, i once read it.

For me it feels, insight here means that one sees and understands that what really matters, real qualities, cannot be developed by effort and are not a result of effort.

Such qualities as love and wisdom are just the natural expression, or luminous quality, of a mind which has no possessions, not even a sense of I am. A mind without posession and taking anything into possession is limitless, undivided. That is its quality. It expresses itself with love and wisdom and compassion. Like the sun does with light and warmth.

Ofcourse i can learn to be more empathic, more patient, more caring, more thinking about others welbeing etc. but that is not real quality yet. The love and wisdom which is the natural expression of detachment cannot be learned. it is just the way this heart expresses itself naturally. It is not out of a habit that the detached mind is loving, wise, always connected, sensitive, intuitive. It is just its nature of undividedness.

Things become very painful when one thinks all has to be learned, accumulated, skilfully developed, shaped, formed like one is shaping oneself into an ideal image of oneself. No, i feel, this is wrong view, wrong attitude, wrong Path. One must see what is possible and not. And one will never ever posess love, wisdom, compassion. Because one has no possessions anymore one is really warm, cooled, loving, wise. It is all so logic :star_struck:

I have so many times seen that when i acted habitually it was not really a good action, appropriate. But when i acted spontaneously, very direct, without concern, without ideas, strategies, that was very often exactly what was right to do at that moment.

But, @stu we have no faith in our allready present love and wisdom.

Our real delusion lies there. That we do not understand how wise and loving we allready are.
Being wise and loving is not about being a businessman.

We totally distrust a detached mind (Buddha). We only trust the mind with a self-conceit, with other conceit, with plans, with intentions, with ideas, with strategies, with effort, ideals, with a Path,in short with grip. We do not understand the quality of our gripless heart. It is the Buddha himself.

The real challenge is to let go that need for grip and be and livee naked, possessionless, like Green :rofl:

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:rofl: I guess that at least one needs to learn that much or it wouldn’t be a challenge! :slight_smile:

I guess it’s all just a process, independent of any ego or any self, so we can just find ourselves an ariya and put our faith in them to help us turn away from the āsavas

Speak for yourself!!! :rofl:

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What do you think of The Aspect of Courage? It seems to me we need some courage too. Oke @stu … I do. The courage to talk to @stu :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
The courage to let go, be naked, just be insecure, just be yourself. The courage to be just open-minded,
to express yourself in a good way, interact with people, the courage to life, make big decisions.

For some people this might be their normal mode, but not for Green. Sometimes i feel i need much more courage then wisdom, or maybe @stu holding my hands and showing me how the live :upside_down_face:

When i was young i had more bravery. Probably because i was young.

I have the exact opposite experience. In my youth I was so concerned with what everyone else would think. I thought that everyone was looking at me and judging me. Now I know that everyone else is much more interested in themselves to give me a second thought :wink:

Besides. The worst thing that is going to happen in this life has already happened. I was born! :slight_smile:

Hmmm, that view i do not like, in all honesty.