Thursday, September 9, 2021

it’s their nature

Death of the Historic Buddha, Japan. 14th century, ink and gold on silk. 
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Now you too must learn to be satisfied with the many years
 you’ve already depended on your body. You should feel that it’s enough.

You can compare it to household utensils that you’ve had for a long time—
your cups, saucers, plates and so on. When you first had them 
they were clean and shining, but now after using them for so long,
 they’re starting to wear out. Some are already broken, some have disappeared, 
and those that are left are deteriorating: they have no stable form,
 and it’s their nature to be like that. Your body is the same way. 
It has been continually changing right from the day you were born, 
through childhood and youth, until now it has reached old age. 

Allow the mind to let go of its attachments. The time is ripe.

Even if your house is flooded or burnt to the ground, 
whatever the danger that threatens it,
 let it concern only the house. 
If there’s a flood, don’t let it flood your mind. 
If there’s a fire, don’t let it burn your heart.
 Let it be merely the house, that which is external to you, 
that is flooded and burned. Allow the mind to let go of its attachments.
 The time is ripe.

It is the same with your wealth, your possessions, and your family—
they are all yours only in name; they don’t really belong to you, 
they belong to nature.

It’s like the water of a river. It naturally flows down the gradient; 
it never flows against it, and that is its nature. If a person were to go
 and stand on a river bank and, seeing the water flowing swiftly 
down its course, foolishly want it to flow back up the gradient, 
he would suffer. Whatever he was doing, his wrong thinking 
would allow him no peace of mind. He would be unhappy
 because of his wrong view, thinking against the stream.

Find your real home
~  Ajahn Chah
excerpt from:
 First published on January 1, 1994 by permission of the Abbot, 
Wat Pah Nanachat, Thailand
found in Lions Roar