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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reflections - by Ajahn Chah

Got this booklet "Reflections" by Ajahn Chah, from a free book stand at Fu Lu Shou. Very inspiring. It is so simple and yet so profound. One paragraph that moved me most is:

"At first you hurry to go forward, hurry to come back, and hurry to stop. You continue to practise like this until you reach the point where it seems that going forward is not it, coming back is not it, and stopping is not it either! It's finished. Right there you will find that there is really nothing at all."

Also, there is something about celebrating Christmas. What? In a Buddhist book???
Yes, it is.
"It was Christmas and the foreign monks had decided to celebrate it... Why, they asked are Buddhist celebrating Christmas? ... As far as I understand, Christianity teaches people to do good and avoid evil, just as Buddhism does, so what is the problem?... However, if people are upset,... then let's called it Christ-Buddhamas. Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice. You may call it any name you like."

Towards the end of the book, Ajahn Chah extends his invitation:

"All that I have said up to now has merely been words. When people come to see me, I have to say something. But it is best not to speak about these matters too much. Better to begin practice without delay. I am like a good friend inviting you to go somewhere. Do not hesitate, just get going. You won't regret."

This simple booklet contains 182 paragraphs. It will be good to have a Bucky Group style discussion over its content. Anyone interested? Perhaps we can meet at East Coast Park on Saturday mornings for a jog, discussion, then breakfast.

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