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Mai pen rai in Pali?

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  • Philip
    Hello all As I mentionned in a post to James, I have been having trouble overcoming my addiction to the news, which is causing a lot of hostility to arise in
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2004
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      Hello all

      As I mentionned in a post to James, I have been having trouble
      overcoming my addiction to the news, which is causing a lot of
      hostility to arise in me. When I am having success in resisting the
      urge to check out news, I find myself saying "it doesn't concern me,
      it doesn't concern me" which probably came about because of my
      growing interest in examining my susceptibility to the eight worldly
      concerns.
      This morning as I was washing the dishes, I thought of the Thai
      expression "mai pen rai" for the first time in about 10 years. Many
      in this group are very familiar with it but if anyone isn't I guess
      it could be translated as "don't worry about it" or "it doesn't
      matter" and it is a very common phrase and has even been called a
      kind of daily life philosophy in Thailand.

      Today, as I was cycling, I found "mai pen rai" coming into my head
      again and again when I found my mind wandering on to some kind of
      worldly concern. So I can see that it will be a new kind of mini-
      mantra to bring me back to examining present realities for the next
      little while.

      I have two questions for the Thaiophiles in the group.

      1) Does "mai pen rai" have any Buddhist etymological roots?

      I know that in Japan some everday expressions actually have
      Buddhist etymolgical origins that people aren't aware of. (In case
      Rob K or anyone else interested in Japanese is reading this, did you
      know that "hidoi" - a catchphrase word for "terrible" - comes from hi-
      doui"ñ "¹j , as in "not of the way?")

      2) How would you say "mai pen rai" in Pali? Or what term or phrase
      in the canon would you say catches its meaning?

      I think "mai pen rai" is very helpful if we take it to mean not
      letting ourselves get caught up in worldly concerns. On the other
      hand, there is samvega, which means that we should have a sense of
      urgency. Maybe samvega for examining present realities, and mai pen
      rai for the eight worldly concerns.

      Metta,
      Phil
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