More sincerity more natural

We may not like it to be mindful of akusala but from the beginning we should be sincere. Many moments of lobha in our daily life pass unnoticed. When we take a bath and stretch out our hand to the hot water tap is there lobha? We take hot water for granted, but when there isn’t hot water we are annoyed and this shows that we are attached to it. When we want tea is there attachment? We may think, “I have attachment”, but do we have a precise knowledge of the characteristic of lobha when it appears? Though we have a general idea of what lobha is, we do not know its characteristic precisely, when it appears. We do not know it as only a conditioned reality, it is still “my lobha”. We have to verify according to fact all the different moments of our daily life.

“Mindfulness should be developed in daily life, in any kind of situation”, we often say. Are we doing what we say? If not, we are not sincere. We should scrutinize ourselves in all sincerity, with mindfulness, in order to verify the true facts. We may be satisfied with the calm which accompanies kusala citta, we may make the accumulation of calm our aim instead of right understanding of the present reality, whatever that may be, pleasant or unpleasant. Then we are not faithful to our commitment to develop right understanding in order to eradicate defilements, we are insincere. It may happen that we start to develop right understanding and then, after ten or more years, when we still do not see much result, we become impatient. We may wonder whether being in another situation would help us to have more sati. We do not realize that each situation is conditioned already. Any object, also kusala citta, can become object of clinging. We may not even notice that we prefer other situations, other objects to the present one. Even subtle clinging to kusala can be dangerous, because it makes it most difficult for us to develop understanding in daily life. Understanding cannot grow if it is not developed in daily life. We have to know our life, our real accumulations. When there is more sincerity the development of satipatthana will be more natural. This means that one will develop understanding of whatever appears now instead of looking for other objects. Acharn Sujin said:

“It is hard to know subtle clinging, one usually follows desire. Anything can be object of desire. When one thinks that one is not attached to sensuous objects, one is attached to other objects, not developing right understanding of seeing now, hearing now, thinking now. Each moment is conditioned and satipatthana can see how it is conditioned just like that. If we understand that the present reality is conditioned already we will not try to change the situation in order to have more mindfulness. While we are thinking of having more mindfulness we are clinging to a concept of self who has mindfulness and we forget to be mindful of whatever appears now.”

Topic 268