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Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:13 pm
by kirtu

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:30 pm
by Astus
That's a bit misleading title. The text defines nibbana as "Nibbana means not grasping. Nibbana means not giving meaning to things. Nibbana means letting go." And continues: "Making offerings and doing meritorious deeds, observing moral precepts, and meditating on loving-kindness—all these are for getting rid of defilements and craving, for making the mind empty—empty of self-cherishing, empty of concepts of self and other—and for not wishing for anything, not wishing to be or become anything." The idea of "being free" seems somewhat out of place there. When it comes to freedom, there is the "mind is free of desire, free of defilement, free of craving", "freedom from selfishness", or "freedom from all these conditions and phenomena". But just being free, that's likely just another vague selfish concept.

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:14 pm
by Johnny Dangerous
Astus wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:30 pm
That's a bit misleading title. The text defines nibbana as "Nibbana means not grasping. Nibbana means not giving meaning to things. Nibbana means letting go." And continues: "Making offerings and doing meritorious deeds, observing moral precepts, and meditating on loving-kindness—all these are for getting rid of defilements and craving, for making the mind empty—empty of self-cherishing, empty of concepts of self and other—and for not wishing for anything, not wishing to be or become anything." The idea of "being free" seems somewhat out of place there. When it comes to freedom, there is the "mind is free of desire, free of defilement, free of craving", "freedom from selfishness", or "freedom from all these conditions and phenomena". But just being free, that's likely just another vague selfish concept.
....It's Ajahn Chah dude, did you read it or try to get the gist of it?

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:20 am
by Astus
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:14 pm
....It's Ajahn Chah dude, did you read it or try to get the gist of it?
It's the title of that article I called misleading. The same text in the Collected Teachings has the title "About Being Careful". As for what "being free" would look like, that is different from the usual meaning of the term where it stands for doing and experiencing whatever one pleases.

"We practise to be free of suffering, but to be free of suffering does not mean just to have everything as you would like it, have everyone behave as you would like them to, speaking only that which pleases you. Don’t believe your own thinking on these matters."
(Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p 211)

"This is freedom: not to cling to conventions. All things in this world have a conventional reality. Having established them we should not be fooled by them, because getting lost in them really leads to suffering."
(p 22)

"In this way we can dwell in a natural state, which is peace and tranquillity. If we are criticized, we remain undisturbed. If we are praised, we are undisturbed. Let things be in this way; don’t be influenced by others. This is freedom."
(p 82)

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:58 am
by Wayfarer
Astus wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:20 am
As for what "being free" would look like, that is different from the usual meaning of the term where it stands for doing and experiencing whatever one pleases.
Maybe that’s because there is no conception of freedom in the sense of Nirvāṇa or vimukti or liberation in the English lexicon; there’s really no equivalent term for ‘freedom’ in that sense. The usual meaning, or only meaning, in contemporary society, is economic and political freedom, in which sense most of us who participate here are already ‘free’, though, perhaps, far from being spiritually liberated.

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:23 am
by kirtu
I haven't read much Ajahn Chah but this is consistent with what I have read from him previously and is consistent with the Southern Tradition as I have read/heard it from elder monks. Ajahn Chah was a great practitioner, almost certainly an Arhat so perhaps there is more here to sit with.

Astus wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:30 pm
That's a bit misleading title. The text defines nibbana as "Nibbana means not grasping. Nibbana means not giving meaning to things. Nibbana means letting go."
The title is the product of editing. But what are you objecting to?
Astus wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:30 pm
And continues: "Making offerings and doing meritorious deeds, observing moral precepts, and meditating on loving-kindness—all these are for getting rid of defilements and craving, for making the mind empty—empty of self-cherishing, empty of concepts of self and other—and for not wishing for anything, not wishing to be or become anything." The idea of "being free" seems somewhat out of place there. When it comes to freedom, there is the "mind is free of desire, free of defilement, free of craving", "freedom from selfishness", or "freedom from all these conditions and phenomena". But just being free, that's likely just another vague selfish concept.
I'd have to disagree with you. This is completely a standard Theravadin presentation. Why do you think this constitutes a "vague selfish concept"?

Kirt

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:36 am
by kirtu
Astus wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:20 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:14 pm
....It's Ajahn Chah dude, did you read it or try to get the gist of it?
As for what "being free" would look like, that is different from the usual meaning of the term where it stands for doing and experiencing whatever one pleases.
No, "doing and experiencing whatever one pleases" <> "being free". The former is a teen boy definition of freedom and is thus inadmissible (and in fact teen boys who use that definition seriously give themselves a bad name and a bad reputation). The later refers to at least the momentary freedom from the three poisons.

Kirt

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:51 pm
by javier.espinoza.t
Astus wrote:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:30 pm
That's a bit misleading title. The text defines nibbana as "Nibbana means not grasping. Nibbana means not giving meaning to things. Nibbana means letting go." And continues: "Making offerings and doing meritorious deeds, observing moral precepts, and meditating on loving-kindness—all these are for getting rid of defilements and craving, for making the mind empty—empty of self-cherishing, empty of concepts of self and other—and for not wishing for anything, not wishing to be or become anything." The idea of "being free" seems somewhat out of place there. When it comes to freedom, there is the "mind is free of desire, free of defilement, free of craving", "freedom from selfishness", or "freedom from all these conditions and phenomena". But just being free, that's likely just another vague selfish concept.
How beautifully said

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:57 pm
by 明安 Myoan
Shantideva wrote:10. For the sake of accomplishing the welfare of all sentient beings, I freely give up my body, enjoyments, and all my virtues of the three times.
11. Surrendering everything is nirvana, and my mind seeks nirvana. If I must surrender everything, it is better that I give it to sentient beings.

-- Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, ch. III
:bow: :bow: :bow:

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:39 pm
by Astus
kirtu wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:23 am
The title is the product of editing. But what are you objecting to?
The product of editing.
kirtu wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:23 am
I'd have to disagree with you. This is completely a standard Theravadin presentation. Why do you think this constitutes a "vague selfish concept"?
kirtu wrote:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:36 am
No, "doing and experiencing whatever one pleases" <> "being free". The former is a teen boy definition of freedom and is thus inadmissible (and in fact teen boys who use that definition seriously give themselves a bad name and a bad reputation). The later refers to at least the momentary freedom from the three poisons.
We don't seem to disagree. It is freedom from the three poisons that is the goal, not a conventional concept of freedom.

Re: Nibbana Is Giving Up, Letting Go, and Being Free, Ajahn Chah

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:43 pm
by LastLegend
"In this way we can dwell in a natural state, which is peace and tranquillity. If we are criticized, we remain undisturbed. If we are praised, we are undisturbed. Let things be in this way; don’t be influenced by others. This is freedom."

This is conditioning practice, good though.