Ajahn Chah Ajahn Brahm's Sayings

In my first year in Thailand, we would be taken from monastery to monastery in the back of a small truck. The senior monks had the best seats, of course, in the cab up front. We junior monks sat squashed on hard wooden benches on the rear tray. Above the benches was a low metal frame, over which was stretched a tarp to protect us from rain and dust.

The roads were all dirt roads, poorly maintained. When the wheels met a pothole, the truck went down and the junior monks went up. Crack! Many times I cracked my head on those hard metal frames. Moreover, being bald-headed monk, I had no "padding" to cushion the blow.

I swore every time I hit my head -in English, so the Thai monks wouldn't understand. But when the Thai monks hit their heads, they only laughed! I couldn't figure it out. How can you laugh when you hit your head so painfully hard? Perhaps, I considered, those Thai monks had already hit their heads too many times and there had been some permanent damage.

Because I used to be a scientist, I decided to do an experiment. I resolved to laugh, like the Thai monks, the next time I cracked my head, just to see what it was like. You know what I discovered? I found out that if you laugh when you hit your head, it hurts much less.

Laughter releases endorphins into your blood stream, which are nature's painkillers. It also enhances your immune system to fight off any infections. So it helps to laugh when you feel pain. If you still don't believe me, then try it the next time you hit your head.

The experience taught me that when life is painful, it hurts less when you see the funny side and manage a laugh.

Ajahn Brahm

"Just know what is happening in your mind - not happy or sad about it, not attached. If you suffer see it, know it, and be empty. It's like a letter - you have to open it before you can know what's in it." ~ Ajahn chah ~
Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.
If you haven’t wept deeply,
you haven’t begun to meditate. Ajahn Chah

Soon the mind becomes peaceful, the breath refined. The mind and body become light. This is the right state for the work of meditation. ~ Ajahn Chah ~

"When we see beyond self we no longer cling to happiness. And when we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." ~ Ajahn Chah ~

If your mind is happy, then you are happy anywhere you go. When wisdom awakens within you, you will see Truth wherever you look. Truth us all there is. It’s like when you’ve learned how to read - you can then read anywhere you go. ~ Ajahn Chah ~

An "empty" heart doesn’t mean it’s empty as if there were nothing in it. It’s empty of evil, but it’s full of Wisdom. ~ Ajahn Chah ~

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