Beautiful things exist in this world, but to compliment it from the jit, the Buddha does not support it. We get ourselves into trouble of attachment because when we see, hear, smell, feel and taste the things that we like or don’t like, we imprison it into our soul. We feel the feeling of laka when it makes our soul feels blossomed, elated, joy. This becomes the magnet for us to obsess over and rotate around that object again. The most powerful magnet that makes us attach to the object is the image. The image is the hardest one to shake off. So the Buddha taught us to ‘see just see, hear just hear, smell just smell, touch just touch, taste just taste.’ But you would hear this saying being associated mostly with the image, the ‘see.’ What this means is that when you come past an image, whether beautiful or not, have no opinion, appreciation or resentment towards it. In this way, you will not risk the problem of picking things up and not being able to put it down in your jai. You will be able to sail past anything that is good or bad without instigating the heat inside you. The Buddha had used this teaching once for a monk who was stuck on the image, after this simple teaching he became an arahant. As I have mentioned already, my emotion was very stable from Thailand in samathi, and I have been trying to evaluate about the human body a lot so it becomes fixed into me, in a charn. While I was walking down the street of Ostuni, I saw a very very handsome Italian man driving a buggy for tourists. Everything about him reminded me of a handsome exotic knight that you would see in fairy tale book, his tall athletic build, his dark eyes, his eyebrows. However, to me, yes, I can see he was attractive, but he was nothing more than just a passing sight, like a beautiful object that passes me on my travels. No feeling of wanting to own it or anything, just an acknowledgement, and that’s it. I was just proud that I did not have any feeling of excitement compared to what I used to be like. If this was me a few years before, I would get quite giggly, and as I am not a shy person, next thing I know, we would be dating. When I got back to England, I described this incident to my spiritual, the monk, Loung Pee Kob. I described to him that this man looked like a knight that I have seen in fairy tale books. He described to me that what I saw that was beautiful was from sunya, which means memory. I have a memory of what a knight should look like and that is it. When we see beautiful people in the world, we have a memory of what their eyes should be like, how far apart, the place of their eyebrows, how wide their smile is etc. This is what I summarized as the structure of how we see beauty in people’s physical appearance, which in the end is of course an illusion. Arahants don’t see beauty, but see everything as illusion. The sight was nothing more than just seeing something that matches the structure of the ideal beauty in my head. My teacher said that if I went in for it, meaning if I went for him and began a friendship or relationship, I would be creating chapters, which means I would be creating the cause and reasons to be stuck in reincarnation. So I was thinking in my head, there were many good Italian guys who were born before him that died. He would also die, and one day disappear like the rest of them. I prolonged the conversation by talking abo
on my last day in Puglia. It was strange, yet at the same time I was enticed. It happened towards the end of my trekking trip at Riserva Naturale Torre Guaceto, national park, when I came across a small group of men holding this baby bird-like creature, that I have never seen before in my life. I do not understand Italian but from how one of the men described it with his body language, the bird must’ve fallen from somewhere, and they rescued it. Just when I took a look at this thing, I was beginning to become fond of it. It had a beak type nose like a furby toy, a lot more narrow and hooked, but a much smaller face and tiny furry ears that pop up every now and then. It looked comfortable in the man’s palms and cute. I started filming and gushing over this thing. Then I thought no. The emotion of laka is gripping over me. The man passed me the bird to hold it.
First of all, its feet were pinching me really hard, it was hurting. Then I began looking for its dirtiness, its ugliness. I noticed that there was no fur under its wings, in contrast to its furry front presentation that made it look cute. This bald patch was to me like the reality resurfacing from underneath the human skin, skinless by one layer. If all the fur was plucked, it would closer to a furless chicken. With animals, we usually fall for its fur or coat. The tour
guide took a picture of this creature and I on his phone, which ended up with me chasing for the picture, for a few days. After that, the tour operator said that I could not have the picture because it is a protected animal. Instead of feeling disappointed, there was a different feeling. Not long after, the feelings that I once had for that animal was gone. Once I looked at the picture again, I thought it did not actually look good at all. In fact it was a rather ugly looking creature. I asked the monk, why did I feel this way? He said first of all, there are two different types of love you feel with the beings on this Earth. If humans see each other and have this type of feeling it is called tanha. However, looking at another being from a different channel to us, like a deracharn (non- human beings) and feeling love is kindness. How I felt the love with that creature is because perhaps we had some relation with it in the past. However, it is now different because the jit has moved to another channel, just as I have physically moved from Thailand to another country, just like that. I was amazed by how something like that can change so quickly. If I can joke, this is just like how a guy could think that a girl was gorgeous one minute, and in the morning he finds her incredibly ugly. Everything really is untrustable, feelings change, opinions change. Nothing is fixed, nothing is stable, nothing is a self. It is all an illusion.