Those who enter this contest must renounce all things, despise all things, deride all things, and shake off all things, that they may lay a firm foundation. A good foundation of three layers and three pillars is innocence, fasting and temperance.
But he who has an attachment to anything visible is not yet delivered from grief. For how is it possible not to be sad at the loss of something we love?
Let us pay close attention to ourselves so that we are not deceived into thinking that we are following the strait and narrow way when in actual fact we are keeping to the wide and broad way. The following will show you what the narrow way means: mortification of the stomach, all-night standing, water in moderation, short rations of bread, the purifying draught of dishonour, sneers, derision, insults, the cutting out of one’s own will, patience in annoyances, unmurmuring endurance of scorn, disregard of insults, and the habit, when wronged, of bearing it sturdily; when slandered, of not being indignant; when humiliated, not to be angry; when condemned, to be humble. Blessed are they who follow the way we have just described, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
If anyone thinks he is without attachment to some object, but is grieved at its loss, then he is completely deceiving himself.
The man who associates with people of the world or approaches them after his renunciation will certainly either fall into their traps or will defile his heart by thinking about them; or if he is not defiled himself yet by condemning those who are defiled, he too will himself be defiled.
As of all foods bread is the most essential, so the thought of death is the most necessary of all works. The remembrance of death amongst those in the midst of society gives birth to distress and frivolity, and even more—to despondency. But amongst those who are free from noise it produces the putting aside of cares, and constant prayer and guarding of the mind.
A true sign of those who are mindful of death in the depth of their being is a voluntary detachment from every creature and complete renunciation of their own will.
Another who lived here in the place called Thola, often went into ecstasy at the thought of death; and the brothers who found him would lift him and carry him off scarcely breathing, like one who had fainted or had an epileptic fit.
He who has died to all things remembers death, but who ever is still tied to the world does not cease plotting against himself.
The beginning of freedom from anger is silence of the lips when the heart is agitated; the middle is silence of the thoughts when there is a mere disturbance of soul; and the end is an imperturbable calm under the breath of unclean winds.
A vigilant monk is a foe to fornication but a sleepy one mates with it.
A monk who denies himself sleep is a fisher of thoughts, and in the stillness of the night he can easily observe and catch them.
Long sleep produces forgetfulness, but vigil purifies the memory.
The inexperienced monk is wide awake in friendly conversation; but his eyes become heavy when the hour of prayer is upon him.
If you pursue virtue in a monastery or community, you are not likely to be attacked much by fear. But the man who spends his time in more solitary places should make every effort to avoid being overcome by that offspring of vainglory, that daughter of unbelief, cowardice.
BlackBird wrote:Getting off: A Portrait is a brilliant account. It's a real shame it's been removed for some reason - I was re-reading it only a few months ago, Bhante's wit and humour made the account such a pleasure to read
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Not a book, but see the Going Forth site.
konchokzopa wrote:anyone else, real books maybe? :p