The Path to Peace
Today I will give a teaching particularly for you as monks and novices, so please de- termine your hearts and minds to listen. There is nothing else for us to talk about other than the practice of the Dhamma-Vinaya (Truth and Discipline).
Every one of you should clearly understand that now you have been ordained as Buddhist monks and novices and should be conducting yourselves appropriately. We have all experienced the lay life, which is characterised by confusion and a lack of formal Dhamma practice; now, having taken up the form of a Buddhist saman. a1, some fundamental changes have to take place in our minds so that we differ from lay people in the way we think. We must try to make all of our speech and actions – eating and drinking, moving around, coming and going – befitting for one who has been ordained as a spiritual seeker, who the Buddha referred to as a saman. a. What he meant was someone who is calm and restrained. Formerly, as lay people, we didn’t understand what it meant to be a saman. a, that sense of peacefulness and restraint. We gave full license to our bodies and minds to have fun and games under the influence of craving and defilement. When we experienced pleasant a ̄ramman. a2, these would put us into a good mood, unpleasant mind-objects would put us into a bad one – this is the way it is when we are caught in the power of mind-objects. The Buddha said that those who are still under the sway of mind-objects aren’t looking after themselves. They are without a refuge, a true abiding place, and so they let their minds follow moods of sensual indulgence and pleasure-seeking and get caught into suffering, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. They don’t know how or when to stop and reflect upon their experience.
In Buddhism, once we have received ordination and taken up the life of the saman. a, we have to adjust our physical appearance in accordance with the [..]
Excerpt From: Ajahn Chah. “The Path to Peace.”