Day 6 – I sat this morning before I headed out the door to embrace the day. Mid-morning has been working well for me to sit. I then read the remainder of the Discourse on Knowing the Better Way to Catch a Snake.
From the discourse:
“World-Honored One, can fear and anxiety rise from an internal source?” The Buddha replied, “Yes, fear and anxiety can rise from an internal source. If you think, ‘Things that did not exist in the past have come to exist, but now no longer exist,’ you will feel sad or become confused and despairing. This is how fear and anxiety can rise from an internal source.”
The same bhikshu then asked, “World-Honored One, can fear and anxiety from an internal source be prevented from arising?”
The Buddha replied, “Fear and anxiety from an internal source can be prevented from arising. If you do not think, ‘Things that did not exist in the past have come to exist, but now no longer exist,’ you will not become confused and despairing. This is how fear and anxiety from an internal source can be prevented from arising.”
I found this passage comical in the sense that the Buddha is pretty much saying, “Stop that.” :) It is easy to over complicate things or muddle the waters of understanding with too much thinking. The way I am reading this at present is that our minds are standing in our own way of enjoying life and being free. Our minds create obstacles and we then become attached to them, which causes suffering.
Once again I see the importance of the practice of being here now shining brightly through the clouds of illusion. The discourse is highlighting our inability to let go of the past and cultivate a relationship with the present moment. If we were able to let go of the past, free of regret and worry, how much lighter would we be? If we were not fixated on how this moment, right here and now, could and should be other than what it is how much different would our lives be? If we stopped our un-necessary thinking, worrying, fearful, attachment driven, misunderstanding laden mind from spinning and telling stories what we do with all the extra time on our hands?