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Discourse on Transforming Violence and Fear

1) Let us listen and observe to understand how, from a peaceful and secure situation, we have brought society to the present situation full of terror and violence? How have past generations behaved for the situation to become like this? I want to talk with you about this issue of suffering and tell you how I was able to let go of fear. (Sn. 935)

 

2) People in the world experience one suffering after another like a fish living in a pond that is drying up day by day. In a situation of suffering, violent thoughts easily arise, and people, in their ignorance, seek to relieve their suffering by terrorizing and punishing others. (Sn. 936)

 

3) The whole world is burning with violence. In the ten directions, all is in chaos; there is not a place where there is real peace and security. Everyone sees himself as superior to others; few people know to let go of passions. Not having seen this reality, people continue to hold hatred and ignorance in their hearts. (Sn. 937)

 

4) Binding themselves in those states of mind, they bring themselves more misunderstanding and suffering. I have looked deeply into the states of mind of unhappy people, and I have seen hidden under their suffering a very sharp-pointed knife. Because they don’t see that sharppointed knife in themselves, it is difficult for them to deal with suffering. (Sn. 938)

 

5) The pain caused by the sharp-pointed knife lasts a long time and does not change. Because they continue holding onto the knife like that, they fill the world with their suffering. Only when they have the opportunity to recognize it and extract it from their hearts will the suffering cease, and only then will they have the chance to stop. (Sn. 939)

 

6) Don’t let yourself be caught in any of the entanglements of life. We must know to cut through the roots of misperception and disorder. Let go of them; stop leaning on them. If you can let go of wrong desires, you can overcome all suffering. Practitioners must transcend the cycle of suffering in order to realize their career of liberation. (Sn. 940)

 

7) A real practitioner must have a sincere mind. He doesn’t do anything based on his wrong perception; he just walks straight on his path, and he doesn’t speak with two tongues. He must know how to extinguish the fire of hatred and anger; he must know how to break through the block of greed and ambition in him. If he knows how to unravel the net of afflictions, he will start to see the shore of liberation. (Sn. 941)

 

8) We should let go of pride; we shouldn’t sleep too much, nor let ourselves fall into indolence. We should know how to live and work moderately, and not let ourselves be carried away by the majority. Let us not be caught by any dazzling appearance, and let us know how to walk away unfazed. Let us always contemplate the empty nature of all things in order to attain the quiet Nirvana. (Sn. 942)

 

9) Don’t insult anyone. Don’t let yourself be pulled by and attached to deceiving appearances. Don’t let yourself be drowned in entertainments and forget that the goal of our practice is to help ourselves and others to get out of suffering. (Sn. 943)

 

10) What belongs to the past, we don’t think about anymore. What belongs to the future, we don’t dream about. We should recognize what is happening in the present moment so we don’t get caught in it. In this way, we just walk alone on the five vast continents with no one jealous of us anymore. (Sn. 944)

 

11) I say sexual desire is the force that causes the most destruction - the flood that engulfs the whole world. Only by seeing that, can we master all doubts. When we wholeheartedly contemplate interdependent co-arising, we must see that if we are not free from the pollution of sexual desire, it will be difficult for us to end suffering. (Sn.945)

 

12) Throughout the ages, among any great number of people, very few have the capacity to let go of sexual desires. Once the practitioner can release it, she feels no loss and no need to move anywhere: that flood subsides all by itself, and nothing can preoccupy her anymore. (Sn. 946)

 

13) Leaning on the strength of the vehicle of understanding, the Muni crosses to the other shore. Thanks to understanding, he doesn’t worry anymore, and he feels protected. Birth, death, disasters, and jealousy cannot affect him anymore. Thanks to the energy of diligence, he attains genuine peace. (Sn. 947)

 

14) Upon emancipation from sexual desires, suffering dissipates. The practitioner contemplates the emptiness of all things and won’t be preoccupied by anything. Having seen directly the great path leading to peace, she will no longer be caught in any view of the world. (Sn. 948)

 

15) When the practitioner is not caught in the idea that “this body is me,” he understands that self is by nature ungraspable, and it doesn’t really exist. Therefore he doesn’t have anything to worry about anymore. (Sn. 949)

 

16) When ignorance is completely uprooted, and new sprouts of ignorance are removed and given no chance to grow, the practitioner doesn’t discriminate between allies and enemies and so no longer grasps at anything. (Sn. 950)

 

17) No longer caught in the concept of mind and material object (as realities that are independent of each other) or any other concept, not seeing anything to grasp, understanding that space and objects are empty, nothing in this world can make the practitioner complain or grieve. (Sn. 951)

 

18) Having completely transcended all concepts including the concept of an object, there is not a single practice among all the practices that we do not achieve. Having studied, practiced, and eloquently taught the teachings of non-desire, even if someone comes to interrogate him, he won’t be shy or hesitant in responding. (Sn. 952)

 

19) Having attained understanding, she is no longer dependent on anyone. Because she no longer yearns for nor hates anything, she attains inner peace and realizes Nirvana. (Sn. 953)

 

20) Looking down, the Muni doesn’t feel proud. Looking up, he doesn’t feel afraid. He dwells in non discrimination and is not caught in any view. At that time all conflicts have stopped; hatred and jealousy disappear. Even when he is abiding in wisdom, he has no pride. (Sn. 954)

 

The Absolute Truth Sutra 16 - Attadanda Sutta, #935-954

 

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