When is one backsliding?

Question: In the Suttas we read about monks who had fallen away from the

teachings, who had backslid.  When is one backsliding?

Answer: When one is no longer interested in developing understanding.

Question: I think  this happens when people become discouraged, when

they think the development of right understanding is too difficult and when

they do not see any results. Is that not so?

Answer: Even if it is difficult to develop understanding there are so many

moments for you to start again. You can start again at every moment,

whether you work or you don’t work, whether you are in a hurry or at leisure,

it is the same. You always have an opportunity to start again. You may regret

your lack of understanding, your forgetfulness, but what about this moment


Question: When you work you have more problems and then you are

distracted. Is that not so?

Answer: There is no difference between your working situation and your free

time. We have problems when we work and when we don’t work; we still

have to make decisions. Our problems are caused by attachment, aversion

and ignorance and these arise no matter where we are. Only when we

develop right understanding of this moment, regardless of our situations,

will there be fewer defilements and thus fewer problems.

Topic 172