Mindfulness The Path of the Deathless by Sumedho

By Sumedho

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Sample text

I was reading about confrontations, where you scream at each other and that kind of thing, say all the repressed things in your mind; this is a kind of catharsis, but it lacks wise reflection. It lacks the skill of listening to that screaming as a condition, rather than just as a kind of ‘letting oneself go’, and saying what one really thinks. It lacks that steadiness of mind, which is willing to endure the most horrible thoughts. In this way, we’re not believing that those are personal problems, but instead taking fear and anger, mentally, to an absurd position, to where they’re just seen as a natural progression of thoughts.

You watch the TV news and see people being slaughtered in Lebanon — somehow it seems more important than just sitting watching your inhalation and exhalation. But this is the mind that does not understand the ways things are; so we are willing to watch the shadows on the screen and the misery that can be conveyed through a television screen about greed, hatred and stupidity, carried on in a most despicable way. Wouldn’t it be much more skilful to spend that time being with the way the body is right now?

Even when you’re igriorant of something, if you’re aware of the fact that you don’t know, then that awareness is knowledge. So this is being the knowing, knowing what we can know. The Five Hindrances are your teachers, because they’re not the inspiring, radiant gurus from the picture books. They can be pretty trivial, petty, foolish, annoying and obsessive. They keep pushing, jabbing, knocking us down all the time until we give them proper attention and understanding, until they are no longer problems.

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