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A Gift of Dhamma – Ending Part

Update: 11/11/2016
With the tranquil mind investigate the meditation subject which is the body, from the top of the head to the soles of the feet, then back to the head.

A Gift of Dhamma – Ending Part


Do this over and over again. Look at and see the hair of the head, hair of the body, the nails, teeth and skin. In this meditation we will see that this whole body is composed of four“elements': earth, water, fire and wind.

The hard and solid parts of our body make up the earth element; the liquid and flowing parts, the water element. Winds that pass up and down our body make up the wind element, and the heat in our body, the fire element. Taken together, they compose what we call a“human being”. However, when the body is broken down into its component parts, only these four elements remain. The Buddha taught that there is no“”being””per se, no human, no Thai, no Westerner, no person, but that ultimately, there are only these four elements–that's all! We assume that there is a person or a“being”but, in reality, there isn't anything of the sort.

Whether taken separately as earth, water, re and wind, or taken together labelling what they form a human being, they're all impermanent, subject to suffering and notself. They are all unstable, uncertain and in a state of constant change not stable for a single moment!

Our body is unstable, altering and changing constantly. Hair changes, nails change, teeth change, skin changes–everything changes, completely!

Our mind, too, is always changing. It isn't a self or substance. It isn't really us”, not really them”, although it may think so. Maybe it will think about killing itself. Maybe it will think of happiness or of suffering–all sorts of things! It's unstable. If we don't have wisdom and we believe this mind of ours, it'll lie to us continually. And we alternately suffer and be happy.

This mind is an uncertain thing. This body is uncertain. Together they are impermanent. Together they are a source of suffering. Together they are devoid of self. These, the Buddha pointed out, are neither a being, nor a person, nor a self, nor a soul, nor us, nor they. They are merely elements: earth, water, re and wind. Elements only!

When the mind sees this, it will rid itself of attachment which holds that“I”am beautiful, Iam good,“I am evil,“Iam suffering,“Ihave, I this or Ithat. You will experience a state of unity, for you'll have seen that all of mankind is basically the same.

There is no I. There are only elements. When you contemplate and see impermanence, suffering and not-self, there will no longer be clinging to a self, a being, I or he or she. The mind which sees this will give rise to nibbida, disenchantment and dispassion. It will see all things as only impermanent, suffering and not-self.

The mind then stops. The mind is Dhamma. Greed, hatred and delusion will then diminish and recede little by little until finally there is only mind–just the pure mind. This is called practicing meditation.

Thus, I ask you to receive this gift of Dhamma which I offer you to study and contemplate in your daily lives. Please accept this Dhamma teaching from Wat Pah Pong and Wat Pah Nanachat as an inheritance handed down to you. All of the monks here, including your son, and all the teachers, make you an offering of this Dhamma to take back to France with you. It will show you the way to peace of mind, it will render your mind calm and unconfused. Your body may be in turmoil, but your mind will not. Those in the world may be confused, but you will not. Even though there is confusion in your country, you will not be confused because the mind will have seen, the mind is Dhamma. This is the right path, the proper way.

May you remember this teaching in the future.

May you be well and happy.


Excerpt From the Book: Everything Is Teaching Us- Ajahn Chah

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