Posting Essays

Dhamma Nature – Part 1

Update: 13/11/2016
Sometimes, when a fruit tree is in bloom, a breeze stirs and scatters blossoms to the ground. Some buds remain and grow into a small green fruit. A wind blows and some of them, too, fall! Still others may become fruit or nearly ripe, or some even fully ripe, before they fall.
 

Dhamma Nature – Part 1

 

And so it is with people. Like flowers and fruit in the wind they,\r\ntoo, fall in different stages of life. Some people die while still in the womb,\r\nothers within only a few days after birth. Some people live for a few years\r\nthen die, never having reached maturity. Men and women die in their youth.\r\nStill others reach a ripe old age before they die.

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When reflecting upon people, consider the nature of fruit in the\r\nwind: both are very uncertain. This uncertain nature of things can also be seen\r\nin the monastic life. Some people come to the monastery intending to ordain but\r\nchange their minds and leave, some with heads already shaved. Others are\r\nalready novices, then they decide to leave. Some ordain for only one Rains\r\nRetreat then disrobe. Just like fruit in the wind. all very uncertain! Our\r\nminds are also similar. A mental impression arises, draws and pulls at the\r\nmind, then the mind falls. just like fruit.

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The Buddha understood this uncertain nature of things. He observed\r\nthe phenomenon of fruit in the wind and reflected upon the monks and novices\r\nwho were his disciples. He found that they, too, were essentially of the same\r\nnature. uncertain! How could it be

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otherwise? This is just the way of all things.

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Thus, for one who is practicing with awareness, it isn't necessary\r\nto have someone to advise and teach all that much to be able to see and\r\nunderstand. An example is the case of the Buddha who, in a previous life, was\r\nKing Chanokomun. He didn't need to study very much. All he had to do was\r\nobserve a mango tree.

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One day, while visiting a park with his retinue of ministers, from\r\natop his elephant, he spied some mango tees heavily laden with ripe fruit. Not\r\nbeing able to stop at that time, he determined in his mind to return later to\r\npartake of some. Little did he know, however, that his ministers, coming along\r\nbehind, would greedily gather them all up; that they would use poles to knock\r\nthem down, beating and breaking the branches and tearing and scattering the\r\nleaves.

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Returning in the evening to the mango grove, the king, already\r\nimagining in his mind the delicious taste of the mangoes, suddenly discovered\r\nthat they were all gone, completely finished! And not only that, but the\r\nbranches and leaves had been thoroughly thrashed and scattered.

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The\r\nking, quite disappointed and upset, then noticed another mango tree nearby with\r\nits leaves and branches still intact. He wondered why. He then realized it was\r\nbecause that tree had no fruit. If a tree has no fruit nobody disturbs it and\r\nso its leaves and branches are not damaged. This lesson kept him absorbed in\r\nthought all the way back to the palace: It is unpleasant, troublesome and\r\ndifficult to be a king. It requires constant concern for all his subjects. What\r\nif there are attempts to attack, plunder and seize parts of his kingdom? He\r\ncould not rest peacefully; even in his sleep he was disturbed by dreams.

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He\r\nsaw in his mind, once again, the mango tree without fruit and its undamaged\r\nleaves and branches. .If we become similar to that mango tree., he thought,\r\n.our .leaves. and .branches., too, would not be damaged.

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In his chamber he sat and meditated. Finally, he decided to ordain\r\nas a monk, having been inspired by this lesson of the mango tree. He compared\r\nhimself to that mango tree and concluded that if one didn't become involved in\r\nthe ways of the world, one would be truly independent, free from worries or\r\ndifficulties. The mind would be untroubled.

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Reflecting thus, he ordained.

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From then on, wherever he went, when asked who his teacher was, he\r\nwould answer, A mango tree. He didn't need to receive teaching all that much. A\r\nmango tree was the cause of his Awakening to the Opanayiko-Dhamma, the teaching\r\nleading inwards. And with this Awakening, he became a monk, one who has few concerns,\r\nis content with little, and who delights in solitude. His royal status given\r\nup, his mind was finally at peace.

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In this story the Buddha was a Bodhisatta who developed his\r\npractice in this way continuously. Like the Buddha as King Chanokomun, we, too,\r\nshould look around us and be observant because everything in the world is ready\r\nto teach us.

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With even a little intuitive wisdom, we will then be able to see\r\nclearly through the ways of the world. We will come to understand that\r\neverything in the world is a teacher.

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Trees and vines, for example, can all reveal the true nature of\r\nreality. With wisdom there is no need to question anyone, no need to study. We\r\ncan learn from nature enough to be enlightened, as in the story of King\r\nChanokomun, because everything follows the way of truth. It does not diverge\r\nfrom truth.

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To be continued

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Excerpt\r\nFrom the Book: Everything Is Teaching Us\r\n- Ajahn Chah

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