Ajahn Sumedho Quotes
Luang Por Sumedho or Ajahn Sumedho (Thai: ?????????????) (born Robert Karr Jackman, July 27, 1934, Seattle) is the senior Western representative of the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. He was abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, UK, from its consecration in 1984 until his retirement in 2010. Luang Por means Venerable Father (???????), an honorific and term of affection in keeping with Thai custom; ajahn means teacher. A bhikkhu since 1967, Sumedho is considered a seminal figure in the transmission of the Buddha's teachings to the West
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The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of the ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.
Of course we can always imagine more perfect conditions, how it should be ideally, how everyone should behave. But it is not our task to create an ideal. It's our task to see how it is, and to learn from the world as it is. For the awakening of the heart, conditions are always good enough.
The empty mind - the pure mind - is not a blank, zero-land, where you're not feeling or caring about anything. It's an effulgence of the mind. It's a brightness that is truly sensitive and accepting. It's an ability to accept life as it is. When we accept life as it is, we can respond appropriately to the way we're experiencing it, rather than just reacting out of fear and aversion.
We look directly into our suffering rather than try to become happy. The happiness that arises from this approach is reliable.
The goal lies away from the sensual world. It is not a rejection of the sensual world, but understanding it so well that we no longer seek it as an end in itself. We no longer expect the sensory world to satisfy us. We no longer demand that sensory consciousness be anything other than an existing condition that we can use skillfully according to time and place.
Suttas are not meant to be 'sacred scriptures' that tell us what to believe. One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them, and investigate the present reality, the present experience with them. Then, and only then, can one insightfully know the truth beyond words.
The problem is grasping the clock. So what do I do? Let it go, lay it aside - put it down gently without any kind of aversion. Then I can pick it up again, see what time it is and lay it aside when necessary.