Interview with Ajahn Metta: "Understand impermanence helps to accept the life"
The figure of teacher is extended in the Buddhist tradition for centuries. Ajahn Metta was ordered Siladhara, master, in 1996. He previously lived in Suan Mokkh (Thailand) where he received the teachings of Ajahn Buddhadasa. Since 1993 he resides at Amaravati and Chithurst (England), with the Forest Sangha Tradition of Ajahn Chah. Interview Elizabeth Ward for Yoga in network.
He has held various functions and is engaged in education internationally, mainly in England and United States, with one-year retreat in India and Sri Lanka. Now visiting Madrid to deliver a seminar on the ' impermanence: embracing change ', in Yoga Anadamaya.
From my understanding, meditation is not stopping the activity of the mind. We work to develop the awareness of mental activity without entangling us in thought processes. Impermanence is what we experience observing the process of the mind: ell change a matter to another, the excitement, the constant movement of ideas... Understand impermanence allows us to observe these constant changes during our practice. The practice at that time is not identifying or sticking with that process. The mind in a natural way is stilled and be peaceful when it is sustained and rests on an object of meditation. It is something that we can not force, which occurs as we are practicing and developing awareness and mindfulness.
Why it is important that we understand impermanence?
We live in the impermanence, it is a characteristic of life. Most do not realize the extent to which the impermanence affects and pervades our lives. Most believe we have "control" and only when things do not happen as we had hoped, we notice that the progress of our lives is not in our hands. Of course, this has aspects both positive as negative.
When the practice we will develop attention, most understand the little control we have over what happens.
Would you like to say that we accept change and learn to live with it?
Yes, in general I agree with this. The more develop acceptance and patience with the changes, most can live our lives with dignity and happy. One of the reasons is to realize that de should not feel guilty or repent of our constant reactions. If we do so, we will be addressing to actions that we later regret. A thought or an understanding that can help us is knowing that impermanence occurs, regardless of whether you are agree or not, accept it or not.
How can undertake this change and start to accept impermanence? Are there any techniques that help us?
Look at your life and returns to situations in which you would have saved a profound understanding of the impermanence of negative events. If there had been greater awareness, mindfulness and understanding of impermanence, would have acted the same way? With the degree of understanding that you now have, how you you relacionarías in a similar situation?
To begin to understand the impermanence, choose situations not very intense, rather soft, neutral, experiences of the day to day. For example, imagine that one day your car does not work as you expect, a few days does not start and you can not use it to go to work. What would be your reaction? Are there different possibilities? Would a wise and careful response rather than a reaction to blame everything and everyone outside yourself? This event is without a doubt a simple example, but it is a good example to begin to understand impermanence.
You can also look at the disagreements you have with others. How do you react to them?
Accept that everything begins and ends can be very difficult. When are we experiencing a situation that we really want to or with someone we love, how we can accept that one day will end or will no longer be?
Daily reflections that we do at the monastery, there is one that I would like to address at the June seminar. It reads as follows: "All that is mine, wanted and I am satisfied, it will be different, will separate you from me". When you reflect on it, what does that mean for you?
From my point of view, this us shows the made of that all, our constant creation of realities, is intended to end and to change. It is a fact; all to which are attached will change, will be different and will not remain forever as we'd like. Can we accept this reality? This not means that them changes we should like, but to the be aware of the impermanence can enjoy and be with them experiences present the time that last and accept that the life continuous... We are able to see that When change happens, life follows its course, we are or not agree.
In the same way, we think that difficult situations will also end up?
Yes, do we do not most of the time? When I'm in a difficult situation, knowing that gives me relief and comfort. It is easier to accept it, isn't it? The ideal is not sit and wait until the storm passes, but look into the interior of what is happening and ask: is there something that can learn from this? In this way we develop the correct understanding.
In our practice, we must look towards those situations that we wish to remain in the way that we are pleased, those situations that we do not want to change.
Would you be so kind to delve into the concept of faith and impermanence. How can we trust something that is constantly changing?
Do you mind if I rewriting the question? How can feel safe against the ever-changing way in which life develops? Can we really accept at a profound level that we don't have control? Our practice of mindfulness and consciousness does not help to grow in this direction.
We trust that our lives and our karma move in the right directions from which we can "learn lessons" and trust that everything is just fine? From my own experience I can remember many times to those who can apply these lines of reflection. Frecuentemente have experienced changes that I have not anticipated and I have unwanted have led me to paths that currently I deeply value.
For example, my spiritual path. Faced with a critical situation who lived many years ago, emerged this way and now I am deeply grateful for this. At the time that those events occurred, it was not able to glimpse the change that was taking place in my life.
In the end the question is: I feel happy with my choices and I can accept that they have led me to where I am now? I have brought this here, now. With this, can I feel me in peace?
Ajahn Metta seminar in Madrid
Day under donation: Friday 12 at 19.30. Deepening: Saturday, 13 and Sunday, 14 of June: 40€
More information: www.retiroanandamaya.com