From the Ganakamoggallana Sutta

Translated from the Pali by IB Horner

‘Come Bhikkhu, be guarded as to the doors of the sense-organs; having seen a material shape with the eye, do not be entranced with the general appearance, do not grasp at its signs and features; for if one dwells with the organ of sight uncontrolled, covetousness and dejection, evil, unskillful states of mind, may flow in.

‘So fare along controlling it, guard the organ of sight, achieve control over the organ of sight. Having heard a sound with the ear… Having smelt a smell with the nose… Having savoured a taste with the tongue… Having felt a touch with the body… Having cognized a mental state with the mind… do not grasp at its signs and features.

For if one dwells with the organ of mind uncontrolled, covetousness and dejection, evil, unskillful states of mind, may flow in. So fare along controlling it; guard the organ of mind, achieve control over the organ of mind.’

‘Even so, brahman, nibbana does exist, the way leading to nibbana exists and I exist as adviser. But some of my disciples, on being exhorted and instructed thus by me attain the unchanging goal – nibbana, some do not attain it. What can I, brahman, do in this matter? A shower of the way, brahman, is a Tathagata.’

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Quotes

Question: ‘I’m trying very hard in my practice but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.’

Answer: ‘This is very important. Don’t try to get anywhere in the practice. The very desire to be free or to be enlightened will be the desire that prevents your freedom.

— The Venerable Ajahn Chah