Author Topic: Stories of anicca in action  (Read 1902 times)

Offline Optimus Prime

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Stories of anicca in action
« on: February 27, 2010, 01:16:02 am »
Anicca is often translated as impermanence but it can also mean uncertainty.  Here, Ajahn Chah plays a bit of a game with his disciples to teach them about uncertainty:

The occasion when we asked him if he would go to the Buddhist Society to give the five precepts.

He said, “Well, maybe I will, and maybe I won’t.”

So we said, “But we’ve got to organise it!”

“Perhaps I’ll go. But maybe I won’t, I don’t know really…. If I don’t go Sumedho will go.”

So they didn’t know what to do, so eventually they sent this car along. So he said, “Maybe I will go, maybe I won’t go…. Sumedho, you go.”

So Ajahn Sumedho got up to go, and he had just got in the car and Luang Por Chah came and said, “I’ll go”.

He’d left it until the last second. His teaching on uncertainty. His main teaching. People were trying to organise, and fix, and hold him to something, and he just refused to play. So that’s where he seemed to keep his whole sense of balance, on present moment. Everything else is uncertain. So that’s how he seemed to not get caught in anything, because he just held that principle so strongly, that nothing could catch him. And he wouldn’t get pulled in, he wouldn’t get pushed away. He’d always just be at that place. Very very beautiful.

- by Ajahn Sucitto
Source:  http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/index.php/teachings/article/ajahn_sucitto/P1/

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Stories of anicca in action
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 02:42:06 am »
I once did a retreat with Soygal Rinpoche, he kept us guessing in a similar way about how long he'd make us wait for a teaching. :)

Spiny

Offline katersy

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Re: Stories of anicca in action
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 11:36:52 am »
Brilliant!

It's true, though. The more you look at life (not even in a meditation context - just reflect on some event that happened recently, whatever it may be - even something as banal as going for a cup of coffee in a cafe) - did anything ever happen the way you thought it would?

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live."

"She believed in nothing; Only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist."

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Stories of anicca in action
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 02:32:12 pm »
I remember Ajahn Sumedho telling the same story.  The people would ask Ajahn Chah, "Will you be coming to the Buddhist society?"

Ajahn Chah would say, "I may be coming".  A few days later, they would ask again and Ajahn Chah said the same, to which they replied, "We really need a definite commitment as we're booking this thing in".  Ajahn Chah would reply, "I might be coming".

So the people would get really anxious and say, "Please tell us whether you're coming or not!  We need a firm answer yes or no, in order to book it in."  

Ajahn Chah would reply, "I may be coming".  Then he'd turn to Ajahn Sumedho and say, "What's wrong with these people?  Don't they know that everything is uncertain?!"

Offline Sonam Wangchug

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Re: Stories of anicca in action
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 12:17:42 am »
Haha  :cheesy: Thanks for the stories

Buddhist masters smashing pre-conceptions  :brick: Gotta love it

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Stories of anicca in action
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 03:35:55 am »
Ajahn Passano relates this story about Ajahn Chah teaching him about the impermanence:

I think his humanness is really quite striking. One time I was looking after Luang Por Chah when he had some skin problems.  I would go and help him put medicine on his skin - all around his bottom, back and legs there was this inflammation, so I would apply medicine and, of course, I would have to take off his sabong (under-robe) to do that.  He asked, “Look at my bottom, does it look beautiful?”  “It is not beautiful,” I would say. “Nobody would want it like this! Everybody who gets old, they all look like this.” Again, taking the ordinary and making it something that allows us to relinquish, to let go.

Source:  http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/index.php/teachings/article/ajahn_pasanno/

 


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