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Buddhadharma : Spring 2006
spring 2006| 42 |buddhadharma unfortunate circumstances we found our- selves in before. Give up evil and develop merit; give up the negative and develop what is positive. Developing merit, remain above merit. Remain above merit and demerit, above good and evil. Keep on practicing with a mind that is giving up, letting go, and get- ting free. It’s the same no matter what you are doing: if you do it with a mind of let- ting go, then it is a cause for realizing nib- bana. When your mind is free of desire, free of defilement, free of craving, then it all merges with the path, meaning noble truth, meaning saccadhamma (ultimate reality). It is the four noble truths, hav- kha is the child of desire; desire is the parent of dukkha. When there are par- ents, dukkha can be born. When there are no parents, dukkha cannot come about – there will be no offspring. This is where meditation should be focused. We should see all the forms of tanha, which cause us to have desires. But talking about desire can be confus- ing. Some people get the idea that any kind of desire, such as desire for food and the material requisites for life, is tanha. But we can have this kind of desire in an ordinary and natural way. When you’re hungry and desire food, you can take a meal and be done with it. That’s quite ordinary. This is desire that’s within boundaries and doesn’t have ill effects. This kind of desire isn’t sensuality. If it’s sensuality, then it becomes something more than desire. There will be crav- ing for more things to consume, seeking out flavors, seeking enjoyment in ways that bring hardship and trouble, such as drinking liquor and beer. Some tourists told me about a place where people eat live monkeys’ brains. They put a monkey in the middle of the table and cut open its skull. Then they spoon out the brain to eat. That’s eating like demons or hungry ghosts. It’s not eat- ing in a natural or ordinary way. When doing things like this, eating becomes tanha. They say that the blood of mon- keys makes them strong. So they try to get hold of such animals, and when they ing the wisdom that knows tanha (rest- less, anxious craving), which is the source of dukkha. Kamatanha, bhavatanha, vibhavatanha (sensual desire, desire for becoming, desire not to be): these are the origins, the source. If you go there, if you are wishing for anything or wanting to be anything, you are nourishing dukkha, bringing dukkha into existence, because this is what gives birth to dukkha. These are the causes. If we create the causes of dukkha, then dukkha will come about. The cause is tanha. One becomes a slave to desire and creates all sorts of kamma and wrongdoing because of it, and thus suffering is born. Simply speaking, duk- Meditation is easy for old folks. Old persons can see impermanence, suffering, and lack of self, and give rise to dispassion and disenchantment, because the evidence is right there within them all the time.