You’ve got to wash a cloth before you can dye it – Ajahn Chah

“Only three lines, hardly anything to it: “Sabba papassa akaranam”: refraining from all wrong doing. That’s the teaching of all Buddhas.

This is the heart of Buddhism. But people keep jumping over it, they don’t want this one. The renunciation of all wrongdoing, great and small, from bodily, verbal and mental actions… this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

If we were to dye a piece of cloth we’d have to wash it first. But most people don’t do that. Without looking at the cloth, they dip it into the dye straight away. If the cloth is dirty, dying it makes it come out even worse than before. Think about it. Dying a dirty old rag, would that look good?
You see? This is how Buddhism teaches, but most people just pass it by. They just want to perform good works, but they don’t want to give up wrongdoing.”

– Ajahn Chah


One thought on “You’ve got to wash a cloth before you can dye it – Ajahn Chah

  1. Two very different processes altogether. Though it is so commonly seen as one, as if by doing right we cleanse the wrong. Easy to see the truth in this, but a lifelong effort not to act in such a way. We live in a time where minimal effort for maximum gain prevails in every aspect of life. Thanks for being outside of what we have been taught to be. An inspiration everyday.

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