From ‘Don’t Take Your Life Personally’, by Ajahn Sumedho (2010)

” the Buddha’s emphasis was on awareness, not on attaining anything. And whatever we think awareness is, it isn’t that; it isn’t the concept we have. This is why the encouragement in Buddhism is to recognize, to be aware rather than to think we should be aware all the time. It isn’t a matter of trying to make ourselves aware, but rather of recognizing that awareness is the attentive state in the present. If we try to force it, we miss it. Nibbana is a reality; it isn’t an ideal, and it isn’t beyond the average person’s capability. On the thinking level, we might put it as the ultimate attainment ― ‘Have you realized nibbana? Have you reached it?’ Nobody dare say they have; and if you are a monk you can be disrobed for saying so ― it sounds so egotistical. The point is, nibbana is not a matter of attainment, but of awareness and the cultivation of awareness. Generally, in the Thai Forest tradition, nibbana means ‘the reality of non-attachment’ or non-self. And this isn’t about wiping out the personality because we think we shouldn’t have one; it is rather about realizing non-personality. And this is what awareness is; awareness is non-personal, empty, pure, unconditioned; it isn’t even an ‘it’. This is where you try to be accurate with words, but can’t!”

From ‘Don’t Take Your Life Personally’, by Ajahn Sumedho (2010)

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