Ajahn Ganha sayings and teachings

Post sayings and stories you find interesting or useful.
Post Reply
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:51 am

Ajahn Ganha sayings and teachings

Post by Kiranraj.bodhi »

We were born for enlightenment, so don't let anything make you hot and bothered. We can't blame anyone else - we wanted to be born. Stay with the Knowing and let the mind be calm, happy and peaceful. Whatever it is, watch it pass away. However, trying to develop insight without samadhi is like trying to cut down a tree with a razor blade. It's sharp but only when combined with the weight of an axe can the tree be cut down. Make your mind serene and don't look too far ahead or you will step on a thorn. Let your mind be cool, Sabaay Sabaay ..." (Sabaay - Thai, meaning to be at ease).
A humble attempt to summarize Luang Por's core teaching in brief

A human birth is precious, because it is rare. The potential of a human being is to make ethical decisions and to develop oneself. This is the meaning of being human and makes the difference from animals (and beings from other lower realms) who can only act from instinct and have no chance to perform intentional meritorious deeds. It is everyone's duty to use this human life to develop oneself, because otherwise it is wasted.

A person's current situation is a result of one's old Karma. It is as it is – neither right nor wrong – what counts is your willingness to improve yourself. As long as you have that and put forth effort, Luang Por will help you and you are welcome to stay here until your last breath.

All humans have duties. Laypeople have wordly duties such as a job to make a living and/or a family with parents and children to look after. Monastics have spiritual duties and the responsibility to maintain their temple and uphold the Sāsanā.

Independent of what the object of your work and duty is, there are transferable skills that are needed to progress and succeed. The main factors are: renunciation ( เสีย สละsia sala), diligence (ขยันkhayan), patient endurance (อดทนot thon) and taking responsibility (รับผิดชอบrap pit chop).
Renunciation has several levels; it start with giving wordly goods and continues via renouncing views and opinions and ultimately the concept of Self. Diligence is the opposite of laziness and therefore the driving force in making progress. Patient endurance is needed to persist in your practice and for dealing with outer influences that are beyond your control such as the weather or physical ailments. Taking responsibility has to happen both in regard to external duties and internally for your thoughts, speech and actions. It leads away from blaming external conditions and other people towards taking care for and purifying the things you can and should change, i.e. your heart and mind.

If you have worldly duties to do, it is a wrong view to resist them and to withdraw from them internally as if they are not part of your life. Resistance is a waste of energy, being withdrawn and absent-minded is a waste of time. The right attitude is to use the work as a vehicle to develop the above-mentioned factors. Worldly benefits such as earning money, a good status and praise will appear as a by-product by themselves. Having to work neither disturbs your practice nor prevents it; it IS the practice. Approach it with a happy, positive attitude, seeing it as a chance to develop yourself and benefit others. By giving your time and energy you cultivate generosity (Dāna) which is the first of the ten Pāramī.

Making ethical choices, renouncing, being diligent, enduring and maintaining a right attitude contribute towards accumulating the other nine Pāramī: Sīla (ethics), Nekkhamma (renunciation), Paññā (wisdom), Viriya (energy, effort), Khantī (endurance) , Sacca (truthfulness), Adhiṭṭhāna (determination), Metta (loving kindness), Upekkha (equanimity). This is spiritual progress.

To know what is right and wrong, there needs to be some basic knowledge and conventional wisdom regarding the Dhamma, the Teaching of the Lord Buddha. Knowing the Four Noble Truths, the meaning of the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, the Lokadhammā and the Brahmaviharas to mention just a few, are the basis for your conventional Right View that will steer you through your daily life.

Practising should be a continuous effort every day from waking up until going to bed. Try to maintain Sati (being aware of what you are thinking, saying and doing) and Sampajañña (knowing what is the wise way of thinking, speaking and acting) as best as you can throughout the day. Investigate the state you become aware of (Dhamma-vicaya) and arouse energy to change it if necessary (Viriya). This improvement gives you a boost of happiness (Pīti) and you can carry on feeling satisfied (Passaddhi) that you are on the right track and your heart becomes peaceful (Samādhi) and more equanimous (Upekkha) towards what is going on. This way of practising and making progress works both in the present moment and in the long run. If you investigate like this a lot, your whole life will naturally become wiser, happier and more peaceful. This called developing the five Indriyā, which are Saddhā (faith, trust in the Dhamma), Viriya (effort, energy), Sati (awareness, presence of mind), Samādhi (stillness, peace, being unified) and Paññā (wisdom).

The four Iddhipāda (Bases for Spiritual Power) are desire/satisfaction (Chanda), effort/energy (Viriya), intent (Citta) and consideration/investigation (Vīmaṃsā). They manifest as the desire and willingness to practise in this way, the arousing of effort to do it, the intention to improve oneself and the probing into what is going on in one's life. They are underlying driving forces for spiritual progress.

When there is spare time, it should be used for more formal Dhamma practice, such as paying respects to the Buddha, chanting, sitting- and walking meditation. Meditation is necessary to give the mind/brain a break from activity by trying to stop thinking, letting activities cease and being with what arises in the body. Instead of trying to find happiness in external activities such as watching TV, going to parties, the cinema, going abroad and on day-trips, one should try to become happy from within by making the heart peaceful. If one succeeds in being happy while working, the need to amuse oneself to compensate for what was previously perceived as “the hardship of having to work” naturally decreases. This approach helps to get out of the roller-coaster of happiness and suffering; peace and equanimity, that are independent of outer conditions become the basis of one's daily life.

This inner work of changing oneself is more difficult than anything in the outside world, because practising Dhamma goes against the current of the world. It takes a continuous effort and a lifetime (or many lifetimes).
User avatar
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:41 pm

Re: Ajahn Ganha sayings and teachings

Post by NotMe »

You speak of instead of finding happiness in TV worldly things etc., I explain to one person that I just zoned out when having to watch TV. No no no no no it was a reply! See the Dama it’s there! I use Siri to translate on my dumbfone dumbfone thank you not damn phone.

It is all good.

Edit to add: Excellent post!
Post Reply