Ajahn Sumedo

The Way it Is – excerpt – Ajahn Sumedo

“ The empty mind is an abiding in ease, where there is no self, no fear or desire to be deluded with. And yet there is the ability to respond out of compassion and kindness to the present situation in a suitable way. It is strange isn’t it? Compare the goal of Nibbana, of non-existence, with that of becoming the best person in the whole world, the strongest or the most beautiful. Worldly values are about having power, beauty, wealth – but they all have their opposites, don’t they? Success is always attached to failure, happiness is always attached to unhappiness, praise is always attached to blame. Good fortune to bad fortune. So if you choose the worldly values of wealth, power, success and praise, you are going to get the others along with them because they are like two sides of the same coin. You can’t separate the one from the other. Worldly values are never really going to allow you to feel at ease.
The world is an unsafe place, it’s not peaceful. And it’s not where we really belong. You only begin to understand and realise peace through emptiness, non-existence, non-self. And this is not annihilation, but enlightenment, freedom, true peace, true knowledge. ”

THE WAY IT IS, Chapter : Stillness and Response;

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