Friday, December 30, 2011

The Way Flowers Are


Is this flower pretty?... Do you see the ugliness within this flower?... For how many days will it be pretty?... What will it be like from now on?... Why does it change so?... In three or four days you have to take it and throw it away, right? It loses all its beauty. People are attached to beauty, attached to goodness. If anything is good they just fall for it completely. The Buddha tells us to look at pretty things as just pretty, we shouldn’t become attached to them. If there is a pleasant feeling we shouldn’t fall for it. Goodness is not a sure thing, beauty is not a sure thing. Nothing is certain. There is nothing in this world that is a certainty. This is the truth. The things that aren’t true are the things that change, such as beauty. The only truth it has is in its constant changing. If we believe that things are beautiful, when their beauty fades our mind loses its beauty too. When things are no longer good our mind loses its goodness too. When they are destroyed or damaged we suffer because we have clung to them as being our own. The Buddha tells us to see that these things are simply constructs of nature. Beauty appears and in not many days it fades. To see this is to have wisdom. 
Therefore we should see impermanence. If we think something is pretty we should tell ourselves it isn’t, if we think something is ugly we should tell ourselves it isn’t. Try to see things in this way, constantly reflect in this way. We will see the truth within untrue things, see the certainty within the things that are uncertain. 
~ in The Four Noble Truths, from Living Dhamma, by Ajahn Chah ~ 

6 comments:

  1. Just constantly trying to see what is and is not all along the continuum of anything that manifests. Thanks for posting that, Marguerite!

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  2. One of the most difficult areas to let go of - we are immersed in making judgements from the cradle. Our language, our culture, our ego, all want to create value judgments which elevate self and try to make self permanent. Thank you for this reminder to seek truth and wisdom, to let all things teach us, to release attachments, and to be at peace in the moment.

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  3. Such wonderful wisdom. Happy New Year! May your life always be filled with blessings!

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  4. Yes, Kitty, it is about right understanding isn't it? Confirming acquired wisdom with investigation of personal experience. Going beyond the common first impression. This way, we don't get deluded, and are no longer at the mercy of the highs and the lows.

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  5. Thank you for your wisdom, JDB! Nothing to expect . . .

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  6. Dear Laura, a very happy new year to you too! May it be filled with much mindfulness, and loving kindness!

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