Simplify by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (short extracts)
- "We can think of renunciation as a process of simplification. That's a word with a nicer ring to it nowadays: You want to simplify your life, to cut away the unnecessary clutter. But either way, whether you call it simplification or renunciation, there are hard choices you have to make. And so it's best to look at it as a tradeoff. You can spend your time on activities that give immediate results that don't last very long, or on activities that give more long-lasting results but take more effort, more time, more patience, require more precision. Ultimately you realize that the best trade is the one where you give up lesser forms of happiness for more long-lasting ones,.... there are things you've got to give up in order to have the time for the things that really matter, really make a difference, really do give substantial results. That's the underlying insight that informs the teachings on renunciation....
When you think about it, you realize that the time best spent is the time spent developing good qualities in the mind, because those are things that can help you in any situation."
From: Simplify by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For Free Distribution, as a gift of Dhamma, from Access to Insight and Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Antony: The phrase "you can spend your time" turned on a lightbulb in my head! I've realized that I haven't "been" lazy, just "spending time" being lazy.
With metta / Antony.
- Hi Anthony, -I appreciate simplification when it helps solve a problem at hand. However, before one attempt to simplify something very subtle like renunciation, one needs to really understand it first.The true meaning of renunciation (Nekkham) is given by the venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi in his book 'The Noble Eightfold Path', from which I gladly quote as follows:i)"The intention of renunciation counters the intention of desire ...The way of the world is the way of desire, and the unenlightened who follow this way flow with the current of desire, seeking happiness by pursuing the objects in which they imagine they will find fulfillment. The Buddha's message of renunciation states exactly the opposite: the pull of desire is to be resisted and eventually abandoned.ii) "Desire is to be abandoned not because it is morally evil but because it is a root of suffering. Thus renunciation, turning away from craving and its drive for gratification, becomes the key to happiness, to freedom from the hold of attachment.iii) "One might agree to the need for renunciation, might want to leave attachment behind, but when the call is actually sounded the mind recoils and continues to move in the grip of its desires.iv) "Contemplating the dukkha inherent in desire is one way to incline the mind to renunciation. Another way is to contemplate directly the benefits flowing from renunciation.To move from desire to renunciation is not, as might be imagined, to move from happiness to grief, from abundance to destitution. It is to pass from gross, entangling pleasures to an exalted happiness and peace, from a condition of servitude to one of self-mastery.v) "Desire ultimately breeds fear and sorrow, but renunciation gives fearlessness and joy. It promotes the accomplishment of all three stages of the threefold training: it purifies conduct, aids concentration, and nourishes the seed of wisdom. The entire course of practice from start to finish can in fact be seen as an evolving process of renunciation culminating in Nibbana as the ultimate stage of relinquishment, 'the relinquishing of all foundations of existence' (sabb'upadhipatinissagga).Tep