Reader comment on Thanissaro Bhikkhu's passage ...

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    On Jan 17, 2012 Samata wrote:

    Thank you very much for sharing this.

    I so much appreciate Ajahn Geoffe's reflections.  I also feel the questions for reflection above are quite important in order for us to take the advice above and move it to a practical application in our daily lives.

    One of the questions above is related to keeping awareness of "the goal".  This "goal" being stability and stillness of the mind.  I have a different opinion in relatin to "goal"  and I feel that we need to be very careful and skillful here. (Forgive me for not responding to Tan Ajahn's reflection, but I feel nothing needs to be added to his reflection.)

    What is a "goal" ? Is it something that we are striving to attain? How does this "goal" actually exist according to our actual experience and understanding?  If we look carefully we may see that this goal exists for us as a concept, a view, an ideal, perhaps a feeling or something that we are drawn towards.  If we look we may have to face the fact that we don't really know much about our goal at all.  So the question for me is not; 'how do we keep our awareness on the "goal", even if that goal seems to be beneficial such as stability and stillness.  The question, for me, is much more simple; What is happineing right now?  that being, what is my relationship with the present conditions, what is my present experience?  

    Whether I have stability or stillness it will be my awarness and investigation that will lead me to the peace of understanding.  Stability and stillness can be good (or bad if we become addicted to them) but I am more concerned with an immediate practice that relates to the actuality of my life 'here and now'.  So, perhaps, nothing is stable or still - do I seek out a "goal" and strive for something "other" than what is?, something that is not actually present for me 'here and now', or do I simply begin the process of deveoping an increasing sensitivity, an awareness, and an investigation, of seeing how I am relating to a mind that is unstalble and unstill? 

    A chaotic mind is part of this human condition, but it is our relationship to these conditions that will bring us peace or suffering, insight or confusion.  Our actual practice has to be in the present with whatever conditions we are presently facing.  If we have a goal that we have not attained then we may err in putting our attention towards something that does not actually exist, some future event,  but if we become 'here', present with this reality unfolding right now, then this "goal" unfolds in our prestent awareness.

    In love and sincerity may  you be ever-well.


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