Ajahn Chah

“If we look according to reality, without trying to sugar things over, we’ll see that it’s really pitiful and wearisome. Dispassion will arise. This feeling of disinterest is not that we feel aversion for the world or anything; it’s simply our mind clearing up, our mind letting go. We see things as not substantial or dependable, but that all things are naturally established just as they are. However we want them to be, they just go their own way regardless. Whether we laugh or cry, they simply are the way they are. Things which are unstable are unstable; things which are not beautiful are not beautiful.”

Ajahn Chah was a Thai Buddhist monk, a great master of perfect wisdom, the first introducer of Theravada Buddhism to the West. His physical body lived during 17 June 1918 and 16 January 1992, while his wisdom mind lives on infinitely, continuing to inspire the world through the rich legacy of his teachings.

“I am like a tree in a forest. Birds come to the tree, they sit on its branches and eat its fruits. To the birds, the fruit may be sweet or sour or whatever. The birds say sweet or they say sour, but from the tree’s point of view, it is just the chattering of birds.”

“To define Buddhism without a lot of words and phrases, we can simply say: Resist nothing. Cling to nothing.”

“The Buddha knew that both happiness and unhappiness are unstable and unsatisfactory, they have the same value. Once born, they are doomed to die.”

“In essence, happiness is suffering in disguise but in such a subtle form that you don’t see it. If you cling to happiness, it’s the same as clinging to suffering, but you don’t realize it. When you hold on to happiness, it is impossible to throw away the inherent suffering. They are inseparable like that. Thus the Buddha taught us to know suffering, see it as the inherent harm in happiness, to see them as equal. So be careful! When happiness arises, don’t get carried away. When suffering comes, don’t be overwhelmed. See that they have the same equal value.”

“The natural state of mind is neither happy nor unhappy. When the mind clings to like or dislike, then happiness or unhappiness is generated. When we are mindful, the mind knows pleasant feeling or unpleasant feeling but it doesn’t pick it up, it doesn’t get involved.” 

“Train your mind to be still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha.”

“If my mind doesn’t go out to disturb the noise, the noise won’t disturb me.”

“Enlightenment does not mean to become lifeless like a Buddha statue. An enlightened person still thinks. However, he knows that the thinking process is empty and unsatisfactory.”

~ Ajahn Chah ~