Discontentment—always feeling that things aren’t good enough, wanting something better, more, not being content with where you are, always thinking you would be happier somewhere else or always looking for the next thing—these kind of mental states are very much a part of one’s cultural background, you know: The grass on the other side of the fence is greener. Or always trying to raise your standards. That is how I have been conditioned through my social background, my cultural background. The training in contentment was through the monastic life. And this gives the mental quality that is very pleasant to experience. The complaining mind, the critical mind, the always wanting something you don’t have, or not being content with what you do have, is dukkha. We create that dukkha, that suffering. The monastic life is a form that you surrender to. If you are not willing to surrender to it, then after a while you don’t want to do it any more; you get tired of it. It doesn’t work for you if you are still thinking in terms of attaining, gaining, and becoming. One can survive the monastic life on inspiration and just endurance for a while, but after that it reaches a point where you’ve had enough and you just have to leave. Ajahn Sumedho

Sometimes you can be inside the mind of a monk, this is one of these occasions.

Sun-goldImage by withrow on flickr

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