Orphan

Our mind, when there’s no one looking after it, is like a child without parents to look after it — an orphaned child, a child with no protector. A person without a protector suffers, and it’s the same with the mind. If it’s not trained, if its views aren’t straightened out into right views, it’s put to a lot of difficulties.

– Ajahn Chah, Theravada, Thai Forest Tradition.

A leaky basin

If we do evil and then try to plug the leak by doing good, it’s like plugging a leak in the bottom of a pot and pouring water in. Or like plugging a leak in the bottom of a basin and pouring water in. The bottom of the pot, the bottom of the basin, isn’t in good shape. Our abandoning of evil isn’t yet in good shape. If you pour water in, it all still seeps out and the basin goes dry. Even if you pour water in all day, it still seeps out bit by bit, and eventually there’s no water left. You don’t gain the benefits from it that you wanted.

– Ajahn Chah, Theravada, Thai Forest Tradition.

Thorns

Things are simply the way they are.  They don’t give us suffering. Like a thorn: Does a sharp thorn give us suffering?  No. It’s simply a thorn.  It doesn’t give suffering to anybody.  If we step on it, we suffer immediately.

Why do we suffer?  Because we stepped on it. So the suffering comes from us.

– Ajahn Chah, Theravada, Thai Forest Tradition.