Friday, March 19, 2010


One may not be skilled in the habit of other's thoughts but at least one can make this resolve: "I will be skilled in the habit of my own thoughts." This is how you should train yourself, and this is how it is done. A woman, a man or a youth fond of adornment, examining their reflection in a bright, clear mirror or a bowl of clear water might see a blemish or pimple and try to remove it. And when they no longer sees it there, they would be pleased and satisfied and thinks: "It is an advantage to be clean." In the same way, one's introspection is most fruitful in good states when one thinks: "Am I usually greedy or hateful, overcome by sloth and torpor, with agitated mind, filled with doubt or anger, or am I not? Do I usually live with soiled thoughts, or with clean thoughts, with body passionate or not, sluggish or full of energy, uncontrolled or well controlled?" If, on self-examination, one finds that he does live with these evil unprofitable states, then he must put forth extra desire, effort, endeavour, exertion, energy, awareness and attention to abandon them. And if on self-examination he finds that he does not live with the evil unprofitable states, he should make an effort to establish those profitable states and further destroy the defilements. (A.V.92)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Bhante,

first of all let me say how inspiring, enjoyable and thought-provoking I find your blog. I've been an avid reader for several months now.

Then I'm quite intriqued about the use of the word "desire" in the canonical text quoted. Could you say more about the nature of that desire? Thank you from Germany.