In Thailand, people come to me and say, ‘‘Oh, Luang Por, the communists are coming! What will we do?’’ I ask, ‘‘Where are those communists?’’ ‘‘Well, they’re coming any day now,’’ they say.
We’ve had communists from the moment we were born. I don’t try to think beyond that. Having the attitude that there are always obstacles and difficulties in life kills off the ‘‘communists.’’ Then we aren’t heedless. Talking about what might happen in four or five years is looking too far away. They say, ‘‘In two or three years Thailand will be communist!’’ I’ve always felt that the communists have been around since I was born, and so I’ve always been contending with them, right up to the present moment. But people don’t understand what I’m talking about.
It’s the truth! Astrology can talk about what’s going to happen in two years. But when we talk about the present, they don’t know what to do. Buddhism talks about dealing with things right now and making yourself well-prepared for whatever might happen. Whatever might happen in the world, we don’t have to be too concerned. We just practise to develop wisdom in the present and do what we need to do now, not tomorrow. Wouldn’t that be better? We can wait for an earthquake that might come in three or four years, but actually, things are quaking now. America is really quaking. People’s minds are so wild - that’s your quake right there. But folks don’t recognize it.
Big earthquakes only occur once in a long while, but this earth of our minds is always quaking, every day, every moment. In my lifetime, I’ve never experienced a serious earthquake, but this kind of quake is always happening, shaking us and throwing us all around. This is where the Buddha wanted us to look.
But maybe that’s not what people want to hear.
Things happen due to causes. They cease due to causes ceasing. We don’t need to be worrying about astrological predictions. We can just know what is occurring now. Everyone likes to ask these questions, though. In Thailand, the officials come to me and say, ‘‘The whole country will be communist! What will we do if that happens?’’
‘‘We were born - what do we do about that? I haven’t thought much about this problem. I’ve always thought, since the day I was born the ‘‘communists’’ have been after me.’’ After I reply like this, they don’t have anything to say. It stops them.
One good thing that has come out of the Corona Virus, for me at least, is a greater awareness that I can die at any time. This awareness has been helpful by increasing my motivation and energy to be even more diligent in developing confirmed confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and cultivating ethics, generosity and wisdom.
“Do not fear, Mahānāma, do not fear! Your death will not be a bad one; your passing will not be a bad one. Take someone whose mind has for a long time been imbued with faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. Their body consists of form, made up of the four primary elements, produced by mother and father, built up from rice and porridge, liable to impermanence, to wearing away and erosion, to breaking up and destruction. Right here the crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures devour it. But their mind rises up, headed for a higher place."
May all beings be safe in the dhamma, moving toward light. May all beings especially those who are isolated and/or ill be comforted by the dhamma and our metta and compassion.
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It is like a person who goes to work all day Monday and gets no money at the end of the day. “What am I doing this for?”, he thinks. He works all day Tuesday and still gets nothing. Another bad day. All day Wednesday, all day Thursday, and still nothing to show for all the hard work. That’s four bad days in a row. Then along comes Friday, he does exactly the same work as before and at the end of the day the boss gives him a pay cheque. “Wow! Why can’t every day be a pay day?!”
Why can’t every meditation be `pay day’? Now, do you understand the simile? It is in the difficult meditations that you build up your credit, where you build up the causes for success. While working for peace in the hard meditations, you build up your strength, the momentum for peace.
While the moderation team as always acts independently, I agree with them here. One of the key issues with any kind of discourse, especially online discourse, is to keep a focus on conversation that is meaningful.
There is nothing wrong, of course, with discussing the medical issues, and if you need to, there are many spaces online to do that.
The problem is that the discussion can quickly turn into a mess of fake “remedies”, conspiracy theories, and downright bad advice. Someone seeing that could easily get the impression that no-one really knows what they are talking about. Or they could take the fact that an opinion is given on a Buddhist forum as a sign of wisdom. Or it could devolve into an argument.
Look at how the thread has evolved: none of these things have happened. That is proof that the moderation approach is working.
I personally don’t know what medical facts really mean! Instead, i understand that medical professionals provide information. I think Buddhism, especially the teachings on DO can help the practitioner better process these information and see things in perspective.
I totally agree. A Forum such as this can be very helpful for advice on how to approach, for example, anxiety over their situation. The Dhamma, and the wonderful people on this forum, has things to say about that.
For technical issues, people should consult sources that they trust. Preferably local sources, in my opinion, since the situation in different countries varies widely.
But there’s lots of stuff like this, which might refocus one’s attention.
This was said by the Lord…
“There are two things, bhikkhus, causing no remorse. What are the two? Here someone has done what is good, done what is wholesome, done what is beneficial, and has not done evil, callous, wrongful deeds. He is not remorseful on thinking, ‘I have done good,’ and is not remorseful on thinking, ‘I have done no evil.’ These, bhikkhus, are the two things causing no remorse.”
Having abandoned misconduct
By body, misconduct by speech,
Misconduct by mind, and whatever else
Is reckoned a fault—
Not having done a bad deed
And done much that is good—
When his body perishes
That wise one is reborn in heaven.
This was said by the Lord…
“Possessing two things, bhikkhus, a person is placed in heaven as if carried there. What are the two things? Good behaviour and a good view. These are the two things…”
If a person possesses these two things—
Good behaviour and a good view—
When his body perishes
That wise one is reborn in heaven.
I’ll quickly explain so we can get back to focusing on more beneficial aspects of the topic
Timothy was a moderator here for about a year, and left last year to pursue other things.
With regards to the ‘title’ he has given on the profile, that is a personal decision. At a time of rather low moral among moderators, a little badge was made that said great moderator. I believe Bhante Sujato did this for all moderators registered at the time, as a token of appreciation for doing a job that can, at times, be quite personally challenging.
Ajahn Brahm admired Ajahn Chah very much and came all the way to Thailand hoping to learn from Ajahn Chah. He followed the rest of the monks travelling deep into the rural area where Ajahn Chah was staying and giving his teaching. On one occasion, he was hospitalized with typhus fever. He was so ill that he couldn’t even walk without support.
In his dire condition, he heard that his most admired teacher, Ajahn Chah was coming to visit him. Ajahn Brahm was so thrilled and thought that his teacher was coming to comfort him and give him moral support.
But on the contrary, when Ajahn Chah visited him in hospital and saw his condition, Ajahn Chah famously said, “You’ll either get better or you will die.” and left.
Hearing this, Ajahn Brahm was able to let go of the body and enter samadhi. And he recovered.
I am wondering whether concern for the virus affects anyone during their anapanasati practice, and how? Since most cases of death are caused by respiratory failure, does it affect how you look at your breath during meditation? When I watched my breath this morning and started thinking that I might not be able to breath any longer due to this disease, my meditaiton was negatively affected. On the other hand I usually find death contemplation very useful in my meditation practice, but that was at a time when I felt there was no immediate danger, and death contemplation lead to an arousal of energy in the mind. Now after seeing closely what has happened in Italy and feeling more worried for my safety and that of my loved ones, I find that breath meditation is probably not the best way to take a break from this situation. I’ll try metta instead Would be interested in hearing other people’s experiences.
Not too loose nor too tight .
Is it possible to dismember dhamma practise from discussing something relevant today in our everyday life !?
The middle way probably is give some space to friendly short chat on such topic .