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Sample text

In order to understand suffering and the end of suffering, it is useful to ascertain from where the suffering is arising. We all experience the five hindrances – desire; ill will; sloth; restlessness and doubt, so it is imperative that we develop tools to work with them. For example, when anger is arising, it is important to understand how to bring that into a balance, to allow the intensity and fire of that experience to soften. When there is greed, we need to find a way of relating Feelings: Beyond Good and Bad 31 to that experience that enables release and letting go.

Firstly, there are thousands of species of ants, and when you walk, the ground is continuously moving with ants. I was raised to think, ‘It’s just an ant. ’ Now at one time, there was an anthill by the path on the way to the meditation hall; it was spilling over onto the path, so I had the bright idea to sweep it up – to move it slowly, gently, day by day. But the nature of bright ideas is that they can be totally disconnected from nature. When I started sweeping the base of the anthill, instantaneously, the whole anthill was on red alert and thousands of ants were charging towards me!

Note: 1 The sound of silence is a powerful tool that can bring balance to conditions, and act as a gateway to experiencing the heart of stillness. 40 Ajahn Tha¯nasanti¯ When we listen in an attitude of relaxed attention, we can sometimes hear a high-pitched humming sound in the background. To practise with the sound of silence, we let our attention rest with this sound. When we allow the sound into the fullness of the body, the muscles relax, the tensions of mind dissipate, the mood brightens and energy is gently aroused.

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Awakening Presence by Amaravati & Cittaviveka Buddhist Monasteries The Nun's Community


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