This is a reading from the transcript of a talk that Ajahn Anan gave at the annual gathering at Ajahn Chah's monastery in Ubon Rachathani province, Northeast Thailand. Here Tan Ajahn relays his understanding of Ajahn Chah's teachings to the best of his considerable abilities. Ajahn Anan describes the need to energetically and determinedly maintain consistent mindfulness with the use of various meditation methods and tools. Once mindfulness is consistent it must then be actively engaged in the task of maintaining virtuous mental, verbal and physical actions. When virtue is stable and meditation is consistent, various forms of concentration of 'skillful collectedness' arise in the mind. Tan Ajahn then explains that this kind of 'collectedness' must then be utilised to investigate the nature of the body and to experience the non-verbal awareness that 'let's go' of delusion and see's life in accordance with deeper truth… that is that neither one's own body or the bodies of others are 'self.' Seeing the 'not-self' nature of the body in this clear and deep way, attachment to thoughts, feelings and emotions is also uprooted.
In maintaining good clear mindfulness and consistent virtue, and in seeing the truth of 'not-self,' practitioners learn to understand both the conventional and ultimate realities. Seeing the tremendous value of virtue and the wholesome attitude of Loving-Kindness, one continues to relate to others with great care and skill, yet at the same time this profound virtue acts as the foundation that enables the practitioner to experience the spaciousness of a mind that does not 'cling' to perceptions of self and other.
This is a beautifully clear and direct talk, I hope that you may find it as helpful as I have.
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
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