Thread: Your Moods Are Lies

  1. #1

    Your Moods Are Lies


    Your Moods Are Lies

    ~Ajahn Chah

    Your moods and preoccupations are one thing; the mind is something else. They’re two different kinds of things.

    Usually when a mood hits, one that we like, we go running after it. If it’s one we don’t like, we turn our backs on it. When this is the case, we don’t see our own mind. We just keep running after our moods.

    The mood is the mood; the mind is the mind. You have to separate them out to see what the mind is like, what the mood is like.

    As when we’re sitting here still: We feel at ease. But if someone comes along and insults us, we go running after the mood. We’ve left our spot. The mind that gets deluded by the mood goes running after the mood. We become a moody person, a person who panders to his moods.

    You have to understand that all your moods are lies. There’s nothing true to them at all. They’re far from the Buddha’s teachings. All they can do is lie to us about everything of every sort. The Buddha taught us to meditate to see their truth — the truth of the world.

    This reflection by Ajahn Chah Subhaddo is from the Thai Forest Ajaans book, Still Flowing Water, “In the Shape of a Circle,” translated from Thai by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu.


    https://www.abhayagiri.org/reflectio...moods-are-lies




    Any comments?

  2. #2
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    I think it is extreme to call them lies, and I think it promotes poor mental health. I suspect that Ajahn Chah Subhaddo was exaggerating for effect, but the result may be unhelpful.

    Moods are unsubstantial, unreliable, impermanent, and have no inherent existence, and we should recognize them as such. But we still need to recognize them for what they are, and pay attention to them before dismissing them.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  3. #3
    In my opinion, the late Ven. Ajahn Chah was a wonderful teacher and its partly because of reading his teachings on the internet in the past that I finally decided it was time for me to move on from Tibetan Buddhism.

    Its worth noting that the short excerpt posted #1 is from a longer article at the Access to Insight website "In the Shape of a Circle" - which was translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Thanissaro:

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/...ofacircle.html

    ...and all of it is from: https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books15/...er_v130527.pdf






    Sabbe sattā sabbadukkhā pamuccantu




  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyLauren View Post
    I think it is extreme to call them lies, and I think it promotes poor mental health. I suspect that Ajahn Chah Subhaddo was exaggerating for effect, but the result may be unhelpful.

    Perhaps "Your moods are deceptive" would have been a better translation from the original Thai language.

    Anyway, I doubt very much that Ajahn Chah's former students, many who are now well-known monks and Dharma teachers themselves, or the people (such as myself) who have enjoyed reading Ajahn Chah's teachings since his death in 1992, are now suffering from "poor mental health" issues as a result. Quite the reverse is more likely!

  5. #5
    Forums Member Traveller's Avatar
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    As some one who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia, anxiety and depression I can honestly say Luang Por Chah's teachings have improved my mental health.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Traveller

    As some one who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia, anxiety and depression I can honestly say Luang Por Chah's teachings have improved my mental health.
    Good to see you posting again, Traveller!

  7. #7
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Perhaps "Your moods are deceptive" would have been a better translation from the original Thai language.
    Ah, yes, that is much better! "Deceptive" is much more subtle than "lies". Most of what we consider to be real is deceptive, and calling it such is a good thing. It is the emotional impact of the word "lies" that is the problem, I think.

    Saying that your moods are lies suggests that you don't really feel what you feel. That can be injurious. Saying that your moods are deceptive suggests that we feel them in a way that is not 100% aligned with reality. "Lies" means 0% aligned with reality. "Deceptive" means some number less than 100%.

    It just goes to show the importance of a good translation.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  8. #8
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
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    Ajahn Chah is one of my favourite teachers. He teaches simple and direct to what is important in Buddhism. I have several pdf's and a book and I read them from time to time. Also is one of the most important teachers of Theravada tradition. I don't know where but I read that it is suspected that he reached buddhahood or awakening like the Buddha.

    However I don't agree completely with this particular teaching. Something did not fit when I first read it. And after reflecting in it I think that what he said is not sustained with meditation experiences. That is:

    He says that moods and mind are tow different things. That mind is one thing and moods other. I don't agree at all. Moods and mind are not separate. They work together and also moods are secondary to mind. Moods are subordinated to mind. When meditating we are at ease with the environment; the mind is fabricating very slowly or not at all; mind is deeply relaxed. When this happens, there is equanimity and what is equanimity? Is the state of balanced moods.
    Moods in an even mind are stable, clear and balanced; this because there is no fabrications when someone reaches us and comes along and insults or cherish us. So moods and mind work together. A peaceful mind brings stable moods; they depend on mind state.

    Finally, I have a question: How does moods relate to the five aggregates? Are them in the realm of Vedana? If so, Does Vedana is influenced by volitional formations and consciousness? Maybe the answer to this questions can bring some light to the topic.


  9. #9
    In general, I think its worth remembering that the excerpt I posted in #1 appears to be from a much longer article which can be found at the Access to Insight website which I mentioned in #3 of this topic, so it might be a good idea to read it.

    ....and the original link which mentioned the excerpt was from Abahayagiri Theravada Buddhist Monastery USA:

    https://www.abhayagiri.org/reflectio...moods-are-lies



  10. #10
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
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    Quoting from the whole article:

    When you go live in the wilderness, don't get stuck on the wilderness. If you get stuck on the wilderness, you become a monkey. When you see the trees, you miss the trees. You start jumping around just like the monkey you were before. The Buddha never taught us to be this or be that. When you live in a peaceful place, the mind becomes peaceful. "Mmm. Peace at last. The mind is at peace." But when you leave the wilderness, is the mind at peace? Not any more. So what do you do then?
    This paragraph caught my attention:

    I, by fortune, live in a peaceful place. Because of this I can meditate hours with the mind still and through long long periods of sustained practice, when I leave this peaceful spot and go into the marketplace, the job, the traffic, the noisy neighbours, the late night noisy party of the Saturdays, etc., the mind keeps even with it.

    In this way, I agree with the following paragraph:

    The Buddha didn't have us stay in the wilderness. He had us use the wilderness as a place to train. You go to the wilderness to find some peace so that your meditation will develop, so that you'll develop discernment. That's so that when you go into the city and deal with people, with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations, you'll have strength, you'll have your strategies. You'll have your firm foundation for contemplating things, to see how they're not for sure. Going to the wilderness in this way is something that can really help give you strength. If you think that you can live anywhere, that you can live with lots of people, it's like a knife with a double-edged blade. If you don't have inner strength, you can create difficulties for yourself.
    This is the secret... contemplation of things as they really are... contemplation of the mind:

    You don't have to look elsewhere. You don't have to read a lot of books. Watch your own mind. The basic principles lie right here. This way you can meditate without getting deluded.

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