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In one of my childhood’s favourite comedy sketches a man

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Ajahn Jayasāro's Yellow Pages Teaching

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Twice weekly handwritten Dhamma teaching by Ajahn.
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In one of my childhood's favourite comedy sketches a man is imprisoned in a small, bare cell in Revolutionary Russia. At dawn, he will face a firing squad. Finally, late at night, he manages to fall asleep. Immediately, he wakes up in a chair in the garden of his family home, a beautiful large house deep in the English countryside. It is a beautiful day, birds are singing, and his mother, smiling, is walking towards him carrying a tray of tea and scones. He heaves a huge sigh of relief, "Oh! It was all a dream". "No," says his mother, 'this is the dream. You are still in Russia." Next moment, soldiers come crashing through the door of his cell and drag him outside. ( He doesn't die - the soldiers all miss their shots - but that's another story.)

 

So much comedy is derived from confounding expectation. Apart from meditation, it is probably the most enjoyable source of lessons about impermanence and the unreliable nature of phenomena. Comedy is far from being a path to enlightenment, but it may, on occasions, thin out the darkness. Comedy can remind us that we have no right at all to expect things to carry on as they have been. Even tragedies, after a sufficient time has passed, can provide us with comedy and healing laughter.

 

- Ajahn Jayasāro

(no human translation)

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