A Dhamma Reflection offered by Ajahn Sumedho on 6 March 2021
This is the half-moon Observance Day, and we have the opportunity to reflect on Dhamma, the way it is.
For each one of us, the way it is right now is going to be different: with our own moods, memories, thoughts, expectations or whatever. When we try to compare one person with another, we get confused because we’re all different. On the level of saṅkhāras, or conditioned phenomena, everything is different. Nothing can stabilize into a permanent quality or condition; it’s beyond the ability of saṅkhāras, which by their very nature are changing. The Buddha taught, ‘Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā – all conditions are impermanent. This is the way it is. They change. Saṅkhāras are like this. They can be of any quality: low or high, good or bad, right or wrong, material or mental or emotional, and their nature is anicca (impermanent), dukkha (unsatisfactory) and anattā (non-self).View More
Based on who we associate with and surround ourselves with, a field is generated where we pick up the behaviours and tonalities. One trains to generate a supportive field for training and learning. Whatever the field, open to what you’re in, get a feel for that, and aim for what is honourable, steady and balanced.
How we meet and move through our world determines our experience of it. If we can shift our volition, the world changes. Contemplate the proper intention for whatever you’re a part of – best thing to stop suffering is to be in harmony with it. Breathing in, breathing out, setting aside any hint of ill-will, open to your world with the gentle quality of suffusing goodwill.
We use the forms of everyday life to notice what the mind makes out of them, the accumulations that occur. The theme is stay with the whole, stay connected, let the details go. What’s behind the inclination to move out? The stable reassuring quality of attention over the whole form – without ill-will, closing down, or dismissal – results in the freedom and happiness we seek.