Nov. 5, 2022

The Nature Of Enlightenment | Ajahn Brahm

The Nature Of Enlightenment | Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm talks about what Enlightenment is not, and what it really is.
This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 27th March 1998. It has now been remastered but the quality is still a bit scratchy. But the content is classic Aja...

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Ajahn Brahm talks about what Enlightenment is not, and what it really is.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 27th March 1998. It has now been remastered but the quality is still a bit scratchy. But the content is classic Ajahn Brahm and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.




About the nature of enlightenment. 2s And I thought, what a better subject to talk about this evening? I thought I'd repeat some of the things which I said in that talk 1s in order that we at least can have some idea and appreciation. And what is the goal of Buddhism and what isn't the goal of this practice? 1s Sometimes that people will talk about the meaning of life 2s when we talk about the idea of meaning, meaning also implies some sort of goal or some sort of purpose. 1s And in the Buddhist religion, in that 1s framework of understanding, which we call the dharma of Buddhism, dahmer being the word for truth or reality. So we have this thing called enlightenment on Ibana as the goal, the apex, the culmination of life. One of the descriptions of monks and nuns, people who became fully enlightened, was to say that what had to be done has been done. The meaning of life has been completely 8th. 1s So this evening talk is going to be about enlightenment. It's a very difficult subject to talk about. 1s Difficult because 2s very few people wish to even comprehend the existence of such a thing. And if they do, do try and think about it very often, they miss the point. You may know, those of you who have read some of Buddhism and studied its scriptures, that when the Buddha himself was fully enlightened. But his first thought was that such an understanding, such wisdom, would be beyond people's understanding. It would only trouble him too much to go around teaching it. It was only with some reluctance that the Buddhist started teaching about enlightenment. 2s So it's, as I usually say, falls go in where angels fear to tread. So here I go, and we'll see how we go with this talk on the native enlightenment. But first of all, let's talk about what enlightenment is not. 2s Because 1s the reason I gave her talk at the Modesty Serpentine was because of Reading Magazine called what is Enlightenment? And being quite disgusted by its content. 1s Basically 1s that people in modern age age in United States and Europe and in Australia, they have this word now enlightenment. And everyone wants to become enlightened and everyone wants to enjoy life after they've become enlightened. Similar to a yearning of a young man 1s who I know very well it was me when I was a city student. Once I thought that I wanted to become enlightened very quickly so I could get it out of the way and then go on enjoying my life. I had other things to do. 3s And once these days, that enlightenment has become very materialistic, being enlightenment enlightened. 1s What I was reading in some of these articles is that just being able to. 2s Enjoy all of the pleasures the world has to offer you without any of the suffering which is involved, but finding some way of giving up the bad side effects of life and just keeping all of the pleasures at the same time. It's what we say in the English language is find to have one's cake and eat it. Obviously, if you eat your cake, there's no cake left. Which is the meaning of that, simply. And it's asking the question, like, can one before the enlightenment, can one escape from all the problems which we know so well in life? The disappointment, the frustrations, the anger, the depression, the sickness, the death, the passing away of our friends? Can we have all of that? 4s Or rather, can we have all the happiness without being affected by all that is suffering and disappointing? Now, some commentators say, yes, of course you can. And usually the explanation which they give is in order to reach a census of enlightenment, a sense of happiness. 2s It was requiring a certain amount of surrender of the self, a surrender of the small self in order to try and 1s merge with a bigger self, 2s the surrender of the individual submerged with something greater than yourself. Now, for many that this becomes the goal of religion. For many this becomes interpreted as an experience of enlightenment, a sense of loss of individuality and a sense of becoming one with something far greater. 2s Now, first of all, I would like to point out that whenever there is a sense of like surrender there will always be a sense of happiness there. And that little bit of surrender happens in many common experiences of life. Even like playing for a soccer team, you are surrendering your individuality for a team of eleven. When you join any community, you're surrendering something of your own will for that of the group. Even soldiers who are joining an army surrendering their individuality and will going by the conformity of uniform and the following of orders. There is a sense of peace and freedom there. But I think you will all know, and I chose that similarly very carefully of an army that's surrender. 2s Even though it does give you a sense of 4s peace, of not having to think and debate the pros and cons of your actions. There is a very dangerous surrender, 1s and unfortunately that in our modern age, there are many teachers, many religions, many cults which ask for that surrender. And indeed, they do get many conversations. You ask, why on earth do people actually join these cults and these religions? 1s The only answer is that there is a sense of happiness. There a sense of peace which gets from the surrender of the individuality as it's given up to the larger group. 1s And sometimes that's even with big religion, 2s that you can surrender to a feeling of a god or a supreme being. And basically what you're surrendering to is some other person's idea of a supreme being. They're answering all your questions for you and to your belief, the surrendering of that questioning, the surrendering of that doubting mind. You are getting a sense of peace because you know what these questions are like inside of you. Sometimes it's so hard to find an answer. Sometimes it's so hard to find contentment. However, if you make that leap of faith into belief, they're all questions are answered for you. They're the individual angle. The problem of being an individual in this world. 1s Is sublimated by the abandonment of yourself to the will of the group. However, not only is it dangerous, but it's also it's not the full enlightenment. There is something much more than that 3s the happiness of the convert. 2s The happiness of someone who has given themselves up to us a supreme reality, whether that's a general in the army or whether that's the captain of the team. 2s The happiness of the converter was recognized very early on by a wonderful quote which I keep with me from an English novelist and intellectual called George Bernard Shaw, who is an atheist. 1s And as an atheist that wants see was ours. Why don't you believe in God? Don't you know that people who believe are much happier than those who don't believe it's? 1s And there's a lot of truth for that. People who believe in something now have got a sense of contentment, meaning, and they do appear happier. But this fellow George Bernard Shaw backed back straight away by saying, it is true. 1s But the fact that the believer appears happier than the atheist is no more to the point than a drunken person appears happier than a sober one. 4s And it's true, a drunk person does appear happier than a sober person. But why? 1s And you can see there that even a drunken person has lost a sense of self. You have lost a sense of being, sensitivity to their own body, their own mind, lost the questioning. They surrendered something to the power of that drink. 2s And it is no different, as George Osaw was saying, and I repeat this to concur no different than a person were banned as themselves. 2s To a belief 1s in some supreme deity, supreme in some idea of a cosmic consciousness, an ally, natural, the ground of all being or anything else, 1s a sense of surrender under there. It's not the end of the story. 1s Now, most people, they make that leap of faith, they give up something because of that reward of temporary happiness and they justify that because there is some 3s idea that this can be true. 2s However, the way of Buddhist enlightenment, that's quite a way of enlightenment. Because I want to talk about the past before I talk about out what the goal actually is, because the path gives some very important indications of what the goal is. It's. The path of Buddhist enlightenment is not surrendering 1s your will to somebody else. It's not surrendering your thinking processes to somebody else. It's not sort of giving up one self to gain another self, even though it may may be more refined, more lofty, more idealistic. 3s In Buddhism, we certainly warn everybody to be careful of giving your responsibility to somebody else. 2s It's just a path which slides into immorality to hurt yourself and in the community that if you just give up your responsibility to someone else. I saw this as a young student when I was investigating the different religions of the world before I became a Buddhist. I thought it was the only fair thing to do if I was going to choose a religion in the world to at least investigate those on offer. 2s And one of the things which really struck me was when I read one of the holy books of Hinduism the Bhagawad Gita. And some of you may have known that religious work what really struck me and what I always remember was where the hero of that that song, that poem Arjuna, was about to go into battle against his brothers. There was a war going on and that he had some moral qualms even though that he was a soldier, even though the battle was about to begin there, on the opposite side were brothers, his own kin. And he thought it was wrong to go and kill them. But at his side was the Krishna who told him that. What do you mean, killing? If every being is the absolute reality Islamic, how could you kill anybody? 2s He said that just killing is just an illusion. And from that point on, even as a young man, I saw just the fact that such ideas of 2s ultimate reality being giving yourself up to a being, to a supreme Being, that thinking that you are the cosmic consciousness and cosmic consciousness is you would actually lead 2s to giving up of the basic virtuous moral codes of compassion and harmlessness. 2s You actually justify it. It's not me doing it. It's a supreme being doing it. 2s It's not my fault. This is just the play of the cosmic consciousness. The battles, the anger, the hurt. This is just the way things are. Thereby very neatly giving up all moral responsibility for one's own actions. 2s And to me, that never made sense. 3s Now, the alternative to leaping to the faith in some sort of cosmic consciousness, giving up one sense of responsibility to someone else, is to take full responsibility for one action, body, speech and mind, which is where we begin. We're in the path of Buddhism, which is supposed to lead to enlightenment. 1s You are responsible 1s for your happiness, and you're also responsible for your pain and suffering. Buddha was saying that you make your suffering no one else does. And you make your happiness no one else does. It's basically the law of karma. It puts you in control. 2s And so what that means is that just for your own sake, 2s you become virtuous and moral. 2s But if you want to be happy, you have to make that happiness. And if you suffer, you've got no one to blame other than yourself. 1s It is very 1s clear 1s for teaching, but it is something which people refuse to accept. Even these days, when we have the victim psychology, where people do not take responsibility for their actions, but they blame their upbringing, they blame their parents, they blame somebody else, anyone else but me. As such, 2s it means that the person will never be solving the problem, where they can really do some work, where they can really do some help. 1s Even if your parents did abuse you as a child, even if you had a terrible upbringing, you cannot change that. 2s But what you can change is your attitude to your past and your responsibility to your present and future. That's what you can change. 1s I remember my father telling me about for his father, who is my grandfather, paternal grandfather, who I never met because he died in the Second World War in Liverpool. 1s And please excuse me for this word, but I'm just repeating what my father told me. He called his father, my grandfather 2s called him a bastard. He called him this in front of me as he described some of the things he would do. 1s He was a plumber and he would come home in the evening after going to the pub drunk, and he would hit his wife, my father's mum. 1s And then he would just take his belt and just whatever child was in the waste, he was drunk. 2s And that's why my father never got any love from this man. 1s And he never respected him at all my father was an abused child 1s however that remember my father telling me about his childhood and said that because of that abuse which he had received and because he saw just the pain and the terror which it caused in the household when father came home drunk the kids had to scarf her to get away otherwise they get the end of the belt for no reason at all his poor brother who could not escape because he saw that from a very early age he made a resolve that if ever he gets married and has children he would never do such things 2s instead of being burdened by that experience 1s that he learned from that experience instead of blaming aiming somebody who took responsibility to be a much better person than he had seen as his role model. 2s You can do this. This is taking responsibility. Even people who have had such difficult experiences, such trouble times, 1s you can always do that which is good. You can change. You can be responsibility. You can be responsible. This is the first thing which Buddhism is teaching people. The law of karma gives you the ingredients of your life. 1s Sometimes those ingredients are poor. Sometimes those ingredients are rich. But what you do with that is really up to you. The calm you're doing right now is important. So whatever's happened to you, 1s good or bad, 1s the question which Buddhism always asks you is what are you doing about it now? And you can always do something about it there's. The first thing is taking responsibility, not giving responsibility away. And the second thing is that always asking those questions. 2s But as you ask the questions, the big questions of life, the big questions about the nature of the world, the questions about God, about soul, the nature of life, you find that those questions which you ask, which you are encouraged to ask 2s eventually just reach a place 1s where you experience that particular way of answering the questions. 2s You don't abandon the questions, but you start to suspect that the way of finding an answer may be a cul de sac. Using thought, 1s questioning concepts to try and find the answer, you find you get nowhere. The great philosophers of ours, of our time, the people who have incredible intelligence, their questions and questions, 2s And they never got anywhere again. I went to a good university where there were great philosophers and where there were great scientists as well. One of the reasons why I gave up following the path of science was when that one of my lecturers for one of the tutors, who I got to know very well, was having a divorce, a break up from his marriage. And he was a very intelligent person, far more intelligent than me, who are suffering terribly. And sometimes I ask myself as a student what is the use of such intelligence 1s that you can write great papers on the nature of the electron 1s when you're suffering and can't sleep at night and going to get drunk because you cannot workout the meaning of life. There is something wrong there. 2s I see that even today, 1s last week, someone discussing with me just the prevalence this is not a religious views and ideas, basically Christianity, 1s Islam, 1s even Buddhism is not important in our society. What is important is science. And science is the great religion of our time. 1s And someone like Stephen Hawkins can go and say something about the nature of the universe and be taken as an authority without questioned by thousands of people, millions of people. In his book, which he wrote A Brief History of Time even though people don't really understand it, they read it and they quote it and they believe in big bangs and goodness knows what else, even though it's completely beyond their experience, beyond their understanding. 3s And I was mentioning just last week in a discussion with someone about this. 3s You're under the impression that science works? 1s That was his basic argument, that we should believe in science because science works. 1s Sure it does. In the sense that you can turn on your television from a distance and it turns on and it works. You can have a computer which works. That always works. How does it crash? 2s How can you find difficulty with these things? But does it really work? Well, I was saying when I was at Cambridge that science was not working. 2s In other words, it was not creating happiness. It was not creating that understanding 2s which solved the real problems of life. 1s Okay, you can make a television work. So what? When you're going through a divorce, 1s OK, you can have these amazing computers, we can do all these amazing things. 1s Is that really relevant when you're dying? 1s It's. 2s Okay, you can sort of have a great database of all these criminal 1s occurrences in Perth, but does that really cut any ice when a thief breaks into your home? There's a problem there. There's a difficulty in society. 1s There's a difficulty in people's behavior. There's a difficulty in people's happiness. Somebody was telling me the other day, I haven't read the newspapers. I see on television there were some two children in Arkansas or something who outside the school and just 1s machine gun little children. 2s Science is not working. 3s Can there be another 2s world view, another way of looking at life? And again, I keep on saying this. The reason why science doesn't work, the reason why that there is such problems which arise from basically accepting the materialistic scientific view of the world, but 2s it does not include the world of the mind, the experience, even. Southern field of the doer. 3s What you feel about this. 1s Sometimes people argue that the mind is part of the brain or the wonder where the mind exists. That's not the problem. The problem is that people are suffering, they're hurting, they're confused, have a lack of understanding, learning about life, its meaning of God, what this thing is all about, what death is all about, what birth is about, what relationships are about. An incredible amount of confusion in each one of your minds let alone out there in the world about what these things actually are and what you should be doing about these things. Where do these problems live? They don't live in the computer. Not the computer is the problem. It's the person operating it. Not so much the computer crashes it's the operator crashes into depression, into anger. There's a problem there that's science just marginalizes the mind as if it's something unimportant. 3s Now the way towards invitement you have these questions and you want to find some answer to them. Please excuse me for doing this families once again here but it's the best family which I have ever had. I always pick up something, hold it up and ask you what is this? 2s Do an experiment this is a similarly to make a point 1s you watch your mind as I say what is this? And you come up with all of these words, concepts, thoughts 3s come with a bit of cross it's used for ringing the gong. Dan Bram uses it every Friday evening three times and I've got to come out of meditation. Look at this. What is it? Swatch your mind when you go through the inquiry of understanding ending what I'm holding up here 1s what usually happens for most people is the first thing which comes up in their mindset. 2s They stop there, they think they know it, it's problem solved, and they go on to something else. Now I ask you, is this a stick? 3s Look a bit deeper. Is there anything else in this? 2s As you look deep deeper, you find other concepts come up. It's wood, it's varnish, it's about 1s ten inches long. 1s You find out that as you watch yourself going through this process of inquiry into the data of a stick, you find out that what you're actually doing is you're not really looking at this stick. What's actually happening in your mind is just your recording. All of those old experiences, labels, perceptions in your encyclopedia, in your database, 2s comparing it to what you're seeing here. 2s And the experiment which you should do is to be able to hold something as simple as a stick. 2s And inquiring into its meaning what it actually is to go at least as far as you run out of labels, 2s as you run out of thought. 1s We exhaust all of your repertoire descriptions to this scene, which I'm holding up. 1s Some people, if they've been to universities, it takes a long time because they know so much 1s about a stick, and sometimes they think they're experts on sticks and they got degrees in psychology, 3s and they are the ones that take a long time to find out that actually even something as simple as this, 1s they don't know what it is. 2s Can you really define this by all these words and labels which go through your mind? Does this completely exhaust the nature of something as simple as a stick? 2s We find it doesn't. 2s If you can do this experiment, and I encourage you to do this from time to time in quiet sort of moments in your life. If you have that quiet moment, make up something very simple just watch it and just exhaust all of your labels. And then keep looking. Looking. 1s Then you actually find things which you've never seen in this before. 1s You're looking with fresh eyes. Then you're actually starting to see it 3s only when you stop thinking about it. 2s That's how you find out about the nature of a stick. 1s Now suppose you want to find out some really important questions in life. You start out by asking, by thinking. And you find you get nowhere. You may 1s hope that some other people, some experts might help you with your thinking. You come and listen to talks on Buddhism. Or you only go off into the synagogue and hear some thoughts on the Kabbalah. Or you go out to some other expert in the field who gives some very brilliant talks on all aspects of the line being nature of the world or whatever. 1s But after a while, again, that doesn't really help you. That's just giving you more labels to find your stick. After a while, you have to sit by yourself 3s in the loneliness of your own experience. 1s Like that word, the loneliness of your own experience. When you exhaust all that you've ever been taught, all that you've ever learned and all that you've ever known and trusted. 1s That's when you can start seeing what a sick truly is. 3s We always have a simile of like truth being hidden behind a curtain, 1s like enlightenment or being covered up. 1s That curtain you can actually know as being your thoughts, all your thoughts, thoughts and ideas. The whole concept of the world is all old knowledge. 3s Old ideas, 1s old perceptions. 1s It's that which is stopping you seeing reality. It's simple really. You go to a restaurant absurd in Thai food. 1s Don't like Thai food. Is too spicy. 3s How do you know? Sometimes you never tasted Thai food. You may have tasted some other food which you've got which was spicy. So often that we don't even try that food. Because we think I don't like that food. 1s Sometimes we see a person I don't like that person. We don't. Haven't even really met them yet. Sometimes overseas. 1s Go to India. India is really a dirty place. I don't want to go to India. I've never even been there. How do you know? You see that sometimes all that old knowledge is hype events. You see reality. Even this is with relationships. How much old knowledge you carry around about people. 2s So much so that you've already got it fixed in your mind that that person say is incompetent. That person is cool, that person is angry. 1s So often, if you have that fixed idea of a person, that all knowledge. Whenever you see them, actually, that's what you're looking for. You're looking for something which they say or do which confirms, yeah, they are angry. Yes, they are incompetent. Yeah, they are hopeless, doesn't matter. All the good things they may be doing that you don't see there's the one mistake there. They are incompetent. 1s Be careful of your old ideas. Because if you have your old ideas when you're looking at another person, you really think you know them 1s and basically you're putting them in box and you are creating them. It's marvelous to uncreate another person. It's. Be the person you live with if you can uncreate them. In other words, put aside all your ideas of who they are, all of your past histories of your relationships with that person. It's amazing. Only then can you see new things in that person. Just the same way you can see new things in the stick. 1s You want to have a vibrant relationship. You want to see something new in the other person you've been living with for years. Try that. Put all the ideas of that person aside if you can see something else in them you've never seen before. 1s Now, this way of looking, it is beyond thought 2s to be able to see new knowledge. Do you recognize that? It's called meditation. 1s You can't get away from meditation in Buddhism. It's a central pillar of the whole system. What actually you're doing in meditation? 2s Present moment. Awareness. Stillness. Can you do that? 1s Actually? Be silent inside and not say anything? 3s Only when you can train yourself to put aside the old knowledge, which we call thinking, 2s can you actually start to see a new. 1s Only then can you start to see things which you don't expect to see. 1s This is a problem. When we expect to find something, sure enough, you'll find it there. 1s When you don't know what to expect, when you're fully open, then you can start to see things which would otherwise shock and disturb you with. One of the great sayings about insight true Knowledge. But true Knowledge doesn't confirm your old ideas, but it shatters them. 2s True Knowledge is not just an extension of all of your views and thoughts. Would you have now the insight, powerful insight completely transforms. 1s The way you look at life. 1s If you want to find out about the nature of the mind, this is a self or soul. Where's it going to live? It's going to live in the mind there. You want to find out about the nature of life? Want to find out about the nature of God? This is what you've got to do. Quiet your mind down, shut up and look. 4s Once you start doing this, you find out some very strange things. You start to become wise. And this is wisdom which is not coming from somebody else. It's not surrendering to some tradition or some outside teachings. This is wisdom which is coming right from the heart, as they say. 1s One of the first things you see, it's it's just how little you own in life. 1s What do you really have in life? 2s People think that they own their house, their car, their bank account and their debt. Nice to know that really this doesn't belong to you at all. 3s It belongs to nature 2s house. Even though you may have the title deeds and you think you've paid off the mortgage, you think you own it. It's owned by nature. Just wait till the bush fire, a tornado or a big bomb blows it all apart. And it proves it doesn't belong to you. It belongs to nature. 1s Nature is the owner of all your car. You really own your car. 1s One day it might crash. 2s When it crashes, when it stops, when it breaks down, you get upset. The thing that this shouldn't have happened is I need to spot it a week ago. I'm going to really get that second hand car dealer. 2s You really get upset. You only get upset and you suffer when you don't know the reality of the situation. Reality is your car belongs to nature. Even new ones can break down, can crash, can be stolen at any moment. And houses, no matter how big they are, no matter how many rooms and how well they're 45, they can go at any time. 2s And let alone those possessions, even your own body, it can go at any time. Do you own even your own body? Sometimes we think we have rights over my own body. Can you choose when you're going to die? Can you choose to be sick or not to be sick? 1s Or is this body also this belonging to none nature? 2s Of course, the truth is not what we want to hear. This is a problem with truth because people always think that truth is nice. 3s Truth is challenging. Truth is like going to a dentist. It hurts at the time, but it's nice after you come out, 2s you're getting rid of a pain. You feel much better afterwards. So the nature owns this body. Always. Material world belongs to nature. And when nature wants it too, it will take it back. And basically, you've got very little say in the matter. 1s Once you understand that, it makes life much more peaceful. 1s Because it means that when for one reason or another, the possessions disappear or they come or they go, you don't get so upset. 1s Translated you're not attached to these material things. You're just renting them for nature, your own body, let alone someone else's body. Where neighbors disappear. You think you own your partner because you signed a marriage contract with them. When nature takes them away, they take them away. 2s When nature takes away your body or your health or your wisdom, 1s it's nature. 1s You only rent these things. 2s What this means is that you are willing to let them go once you realize you don't own these things. Have you ever noticed that those beings in the world who have been truly wise own very little? 1s I always doubt people enlightened to go around in rolls, voices. 1s We live in big houses. There's something wrong there somewhere. Or enlightened being to charge money to go listen to their talk. There's something very wrong there. 2s Because the part of being enlightened is realizing you own very little anything at all. 1s Have you ever noticed that what ownership really is? Why do people actually buy fancy cars? Why do people buy like these big sports cars when they know the speed limit is the same for Porsche than old bombers? 3s And that sometimes both get stuck in the traffic jam side by side and you can't go faster. What is the purpose of buying a big sports car except to say, look at me? What is the purpose of buying a big house except to say, look how well I'm doing? 2s Isn't a lot part of our possession something to do with our sense of ego and self? 1s Isn't it so the richer a person is, generally speaking, the more ego they have. 3s Isn't it sometimes the case that we build up ourselves 1s with the bricks of our possessions? 1s This is sometimes why that people seek comfort in possessions because they think that thereby they're expressing their identity, 2s but really they're just expressing your stupidity. 2s How hard it is to work for those possessions. 4s How much you have to worry about them. Isn't it nice and wonderful to have an old bomb of a car which you can leave anywhere and you know no one's going to pinch? 5s It is because 5s are connected together. 1s But when you realize through wisdom that you don't own anything at the same time as tending towards simplicity, you are also tending towards wisdom. 1s You just use what you need in life and no more. And you go through life, as they say, light like my favorite simile, like a bird. 1s The birds are very beautiful similes in Buddhism because whoever they ago, they never take any suitcases. 1s I've never seen them with a backpack on. When they fly up and place the place. 4s Just how wonderful it would be to be a bird 2s having no possessions or very few further, you have nothing to worry about, nothing to look after, nothing to ensure, 1s nothing to keep. Mending. 2s Now, can you get some idea of enlightenment, your freedom from possessions? 1s You don't have to have no possessions at all. You just have to realize that when you do get anything, it is not mine. 1s It's there that people buy into suffering when they think that, this is my child, this is my wife, my husband, this is my car, this is my arm, this is my leg, this is my body. 1s That's when you're asking for trouble, because someday that's going to be taken away from you. If they don't go, it's mine, it's mine, I own this. And they just said sorry. 2s It's. Mine says nature. 1s If you can understand that much, 1s you'll be free from a lot of suffering. 1s This is something which you notice when you stop thinking, because this is something which we don't want to face up to. We have to be so quiet and so still that the truth can actually sneak up and teach us something. 2s The way towards Buddhist enlightenment is through letting go, letting go of thinking. We own things, but that doesn't bother them. It doesn't stop. We think we own things in the world, even like our ideas. You own your ideas. Something now which they've got again, starting in America, called intellectual property. 3s So all the jokes I've told over the years, if you tell them again, I see you for 5s they work sort of part as intellectual anyway. 5s We have it seem like recall, as if our ideas get on to me. What happens when we think it's my idea? 1s We get so proud about it. We want to make sure that my idea 1s wins. 2s They know whether you think it's my idea that's when you get arguments in the home I'm right, you're wrong. 2s It's just an idea, that's all. It belongs to nature thoughts which come up in the mind. I just like that. They come up and they go again. You own your thoughts. They belong to you. 2s Ask that question. 3s They don't belong to you at all. No more than you own the wind thoughts. It's a very beautiful simulation. I just like the wind 1s because the wind, you don't know where it comes from. And all you know about the wind is just feeling it when it passes you. And then where it goes, you can never tell. It's the thought. Just like the wind. They come and touch the mind. You don't know where they come from. 1s And then they're gone. You don't know where. It's wind touching the mind, the thoughts going through the mind. 1s If you could understand you don't own the thoughts 1s then you'll be able to let them go. 1s Then you want to be on one who continually thinks things as a reaction to a problem in life. So much of the suffering is not really a concern with the possessions of the body, the material things of life. So much of the suffering people experience in life is the internal suffering when they think they own their thoughts. The point they won't let them go. The thought of the past they have to 3s nurture and keep it tortures them. 3s We won't let them go at all. 1s Silence is just so wonderful and beautiful. But you can let all the thoughts go. 1s Imagine just the images of enlightened beings becoming enlightened in the desert. 2s Violent place, empty place. 1s Why is that? In the middle of the ocean, just such a marvelous, beautiful place to be. There's nothing happening there. There's no one there up on top of a mountain because you see space all around you. Nothing silent. 3s Why do we keep thoughts? Why do we nurture them? It's because we think we own them. They're mine. They're my thoughts. 2s If you can look at thoughts like being wind, 1s you don't own it. Then you find you can let them go. Then you find that you can rest in silence. Then you can find that you're getting very close. Once that curtain of thoughts has been removed, then you can get very close to the silence 1s which you experience, which you feel, which you know 2s you can know without thinking. 2s Very few people 1s haven't had that experience to be fully knowing, without having the words to describe what's going on. The silent knowing, 1s when you get into the silent knowing what you're coming close to is the nature of the mind. 2s The mind is that which knows. The mind is also what reacts to what it knows and goes out and does things in the world and just makes such a mess. You start to get to understand the mind which doesn't react, 3s which can know the world and dispensing peaceful with no reaction. The mind which can absorb.