By Ajahn Chah, translated by Paul Breiter

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We will not be tormented or burdened by them. At this time please determine your minds to listen to the Dhamma. Today is the traditional day of dhammasavana. It is the appropriate time for us, the host of Buddhists, to study the Dhamma in order to increase our mindfulness and wisdom. Giving and receiving the teachings is something we have been doing for a long time. The activities we usually perform on this day, chanting homage to the Buddha, taking moral precepts, meditating and listening to teachings, should be understood as methods and principles for spiritual development.

Whatever their situation, whatever work they have to perform, they will have no suffering because their minds have reached the place where suffering is exhausted, where there is peace. It is like this. It is a matter of nature. The Buddha thus said to change one’s perceptions, and there will be the Dhamma. When the mind is in harmony with Dhamma, then Dhamma enters the heart. The mind and the Dhamma become indistinguishable. This is something to be realized by those who practice, the changing of one’s view and experience of things.

His Dhamma was a teaching that is above and beyond the world. We are in the world. We were born into this world; he taught us to transcend the world and not to be a prisoner to worldly ways and habits. It is like a diamond that falls into a muddy pit. No matter how much dirt and filth covers it, that does not destroy its radiance, the hues and the worth of it. Even though the mud is stuck to it the diamond does not lose anything, but is just as it originally was. There are two separate things. So the Buddha taught to be above the world, which means knowing the world clearly.

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