As Cittaviveka’s winter retreat draws to a close, Ajahn Cittapala reflects on the central role of right view in the Buddha’s teaching. She examines how all other path factors are influenced and dependant on right view, and examines how to distinguish between and develop its mundane and supramundane aspects.
Ajahn Karuniko reflects on his own personal experiences, including his first visit to Wat Pah Nanachat, to show how he once overcame fear by returning to an awareness of the physical body. He relates an experience he once had on a snow capped mountain in Slovenia, where, by facing a perilous situation one step at a time, the final result was an enjoyable ascent.
Direct experience comes through three bodies: the flesh body, the emotional body and the body of awareness. Energy runs through these and by moderating it, our awareness extends beyond the limitations of the person and even language.
The habit of identifying with our experience and views is distressing because experiences and views change. This is the story of a woman who happened to find the good Dhamma: a teaching about the “Five Khandhas” (Groups of Clinging) which opened her eyes about the nature of our suffering and prepared the way for her to be ordained as a Buddhist Nun.
During a brief visit to Cittaviveka, Luang Por Pasanno recounts a meeting he had many years past with Ajahn Buddhadasa in Thailand. Luang Por draws on this encounter and his own experiences to show how the floods of greed, hatred and delusion can be skilfully met and transformed through the power of selflessness and gratitude.
The real business of our life is on making Dhamma qualities of kalyāṇa-mitta and the brahmavihārās manifest in the world. These abiding places, of goodwill, compassion, appreciation, and serenity are our valid and healthy ‘vihara.’
Reflecting on the impact of the silent legacy of quiet lives they pass on, through the way that they speak, the way that they relate to others, their insignificant acts of kindness, and unselfishness. They bring attention to what we do, how we do it, the way we work in the world, and the way we communicate. It’s from a non-personal point of view, a Dhamma point of view. So whether things go well or things go badly, we can learn from both of those. Not being selfish, not seeing things from a self-centered perspective is one of the most important kinds of acts of generosity that we can practice. Training the mind using meditation uses the capacity to wisely reflect upon our attitudes to not see things in personal, self-centered terms.