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The Truth | Hardest Part| Middle Path| 11 Piglets| Invisible Universe| Mirror Image of Life| Waking & Sleeping| Wishes Fulfilled

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  • NamoAmituofo
    TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 01.10.05 Get this newsletter | Get news-free version | TDE-Weekly Archive ______ Quote: No need to Make your own Truth ; just
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2005
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      TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 01.10.05

      Get this newsletter | Get news-free version | TDE-Weekly Archive


      No need to "Make your own Truth";
      just "Make the Truth your own."

      - Anon

      The Hardest Part of Anything
      What Really is the Middle Path?
      The Story of the 11 Piglets
      The Sickness of Self-Pressure to Be Well
      Here We Are, Right Now
      See the Invisible Universe
      The Mirror Image of Life
      Do Things Exist or Not Exist?
      Putting Ourselves in the Shoes of Others
      Fresh from Moonpointer

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      Waking & Sleeping, Living & Dying

      With this moment awake, futher awake to this moment.

      I used to have a bad habit of going to bed only when I'm dead tired. It was as if I was reluctant to lose consciousness to the "nothingness" of sleep, as I drain the last iota of my remaining energy to stay awake - to do my seemingly endless personal projects, even if it was just to read a Dharma book I "had to" finish. And because I sleep late, I struggle to pry open my eyes the morning after, waking up just as reluctantly - to the "everythingness" of life. It was somewhat the suffering yet recovering from a hangover of life itself.

      One day, it struck me that this can be the story of the existential crisis of my life. If I were to see a day in my life as a single lifetime itself, my unwillingness to go to sleep might reflect my strong craving to stay alive, to want to accomplish so much that is yet to be fulfilled, while my fretting of the coming of day might reflect my tiredness and "phobia" of the possible pointlessness of another round of repetitive rebirth.

      But how is it possible that attachment to life can become aversion? The sense of dread dawns in the mornings because I realise I have to go through the mundane routines of life's responsibilities, waking up to the "same old" cycle of stuff I feel obliged to do - wash up, dress up, eat, defecate, read the papers, travel, work, rest... Yet the dread fades away as the day progresses, and morphs into attachment when there is some joy derived in being alive. In the deep of the night, the struggle to stay awake repeats... before my eyelids finally cave in... out of sheer exhaustion. It was crucial that I felt the day was well-lived, as a substantial step towards liberation. But the over-straining was self-defeating, often leading to disappointment.

      Perhaps we should learn to let go of "life" when it is time, by learning to graciously and mindfully let it "slip away" every night. Perhaps it will lessen the physical and mental anguish when it is time to truly die. In fact, a more calm and collected mindstate leads to a better rebirth, if any at all. Every day is a rehearsal for our "big day" - for its moment of our departure. Will you leave gracefully? Will your next destination be "nice"? Will you "wake up", be reborn afresh and at ease? Will you be ready to pick up where you left, to master the unfinished lessons of this cyclic existence? Will you not truly grow in spirituality, to make Samsara less repetitive? Will you not begin breaking free? No need to anticipate a new beginning in a future life - rebirth is already happening moment to moment, as you change your mind, as we speak. Restart now!
       - Shen Shi'an

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      Excerpt: When All My Wishes Were Fulfilled

      In my tradition, monks aren't allowed to accept, own, or handle any money, whatever its kind. We are so poor that we mess up government statistics. We live frugally on the unsolicited, simple gifts from our lay supporters. However, infrequently, we may be offered something special.

      I had helped a Thai man with a personal problem. Out of gratitude, he said to me: "Sir, I would like to give you something for your personal use. What can I get you for the amount of five hundred baht?" It was usual to quote the amount when making such an offering, to avoid any misunderstanding. Since I wouldn't think what I wanted straight away and he was in a hurry, we agreed that I could tell him the next day when he returned.

      Before this occured, I was a happy little monk. Now I started to contemplate what I wanted. I made a list. The list grew. Soon, five hundred baht wasn't enough. But it was so difficult to take anything off the list. Wants had appeared out of nowhere and solidified into absolute necessities. And the list kept growing. Now, five thousand baht wasn't sufficient!

      Seeing what was happening, I threw my wish list away. The next day, I told my benefactor to give five hundred baht to the monastery building fund or to some other good cause. I didn't want it. What I wanted most of all was to regain the rare contenment I had had the day before. When I had no money, nor the means to get anything, that was the time when all my wishes were fulfilled. Wanting has no end to it. Even one billion baht isn't enough, nor a billion dollars. But freedom from wanting has an end. It is when you want nothing. Contentment is the only time you have enough.

      - Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? : Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties (Ajahn Brahm)
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