The Cobra

THE COBRA, By Ajahn Chah

Mental activity is like a deadly poisonous cobra. If we don’t interfere with a cobra, it simply goes its own way. Even though it may be extremely poisonous, we are not affected by it. We don’t go near it or take hold of it, and so it doesn’t bite us. The cobra does what is natural for a cobra to do. That’s the way it is. If you are clever, you’ll leave it alone. Likewise, you let be that which is not good – you let it be according to its own nature. You also let be that which is good. Don’t grab onto liking and disliking, just as you wouldn’t interfere with the cobra.

One who is clever will have this kind of attitude towards the various moods that arise in his mind. When goodness arises, we let it be good. We understand its nature. In the same way, we let be the not-good. We let it be according to its nature. We don’t take hold of it because we don’t want anything. We don’t want evil. We don’t want good. We don’t want heaviness nor lightness, happiness nor suffering. When our wanting is at an end, peace is firmly established.

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