Saturday, June 22, 2013

An Accelerated Course in Wisdom

Being in a line of work that puts me in constant touch with aging, sickness, and death, is akin to taking an accelerated course in wisdom. Visual reminders are the most powerful. Seeing in others the inevitability of decay and ending, one becomes less inclined to cling to youth, beauty, and health. This body is on its way to becoming a bag of bones. Awareness itself may fade before the body even.  And sensual pleasures may give way to physical pain.

Ajahn Chah's flower - the beautiful flower carries within the prospect of its wilted image . . .

Subject to birth, subject to aging,
subject to death,
run-of-the-mill people
are repelled by those who suffer
from that to which they are subject.
And if I were to be repelled
by beings subject to these things,
It would not be fitting for me,
living as they do.

As I maintained this attitude -
knowing the Dhamma
without acquisitions -
I overcame all intoxication
with health, youth, life
as one who sees
renunciation as rest.

For me, energy arose,
Unbinding was clearly seen.
There's now no way
I could partake of sensual pleasures.
Having followed the holy life,
I will not return.

~ Trainings Sutta ~

Understanding that freedom lies in giving up the fantasy of eternal pleasantness. Meanwhile appreciating whatever good arises in each moment. 

1 comment:

  1. So easy to cling to the youthful ideal. I just turned 40 and I am clearly still very attached. The body is a great teacher.