Learning of the correct way is a matter of balancing the inner and the outer worlds. It takes years of silent understanding of ourselves to attain to the final self-realisation. Often, the price is physical death, and rarely conveyed by living teachers, saints, and Gods.

Whatever there is in the mind … If our reasons aren’t yet good enough, we can’t let it go.

In other words, there are two sides — this side here and that side there. People tend to walk along this side or along that side.

There’s hardly anybody who walks along the middle. It’s a lonely path.

When there’s love, we walk along the path of love. When there’s hatred, we walk along the path of hatred. If we try to walk by letting go of love and hatred, it’s a lonely path.

We aren’t willing to follow it.

When we give rise to right view in our hearts, we can be at ease wherever we are. It’s because we still have wrong views, still hold onto ideas that are poisonous, that we’re not at ease. Holding on in this way is like being a maggot.

Where it lives is filthy; its food is filthy. Its food isn’t fit to be food — but it seems fitting to the maggot.

In Simple Terms, Book Sleeve, Ajahn Chah
In Simple Terms, Book Sleeve, Ajahn Chah

Try taking a stick and flicking it out of the excrement where it’s feeding, and see what happens. It’ll wiggle and wriggle, eager to get back to the pile of excrement where it was before.

Only then does it feel right.

It’s the same with you monks and novices. You still have wrong views. Teachers come and advise you on how to have right view, but it doesn’t feel right to you. You keep running back to your pile of excrement.

Right view doesn’t feel right because you’re used to your old pile of excrement.

As long as the maggot doesn’t see the filth in where it’s living, it can’t escape. It’s the same with us. As long as we don’t see the drawbacks of those things, we can’t escape from them.

They make it difficult to practice.

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