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One of the questions that Ajahn Chah would sometimes ask…

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Ajahn Jayasāro's Yellow Pages Teaching

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Twice weekly handwritten Dhamma teaching by Ajahn.
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One of the questions that Ajahn Chah would sometimes ask his students was "Do you know how to be right?' The way he posed this question made clear that he was not inquiring whether they knew how to find the right answers to problems. The verb 'to know how to' he used is the same as would be used to ask, 'Do you know how to swim? Do you know how to use a map?' He was asking about his students' relationship to being right.

 

If we are right about something and as a result consider ourselves superior to people who are wrong, then we don't know how to be right. If we feel anger, frustration or depression at all the people who have wrong ideas about an issue, then we don't know how to be right.

 

There is another question that might be added to that of Ajahn Chah: 'Do you know how to believe in something that you have not yet proved conclusively?' Not so elegant a question, but an important one, nevertheless. If we assume that the strong feeling that we are right is the same thing as knowing that we are right, then we are on shaky ground. If our confidence in our belief is so strong that we reject opposing arguments without listening to them with respect, we become fools. The wise know beliefs as beliefs and - humbly aware that they could be wrong - hold them lightly.

 

- Ajahn Jayasāro

(no human translation)

(no human translation)

(please suggest and also assist to translate)

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