75. Hoping for far-off results

When lay people came to visit Luang Pu, he ordinarily wouldn’t ask them about anything far away. He’d usually ask, “Have you ever meditated?” Some would respond that they had, others that they hadn’t.

One woman, a member of the latter group, was more outspoken than the rest. She said, “As I see it, there’s no reason we have to go to all the trouble of meditating. Every year I hear the Mahachaad sermon [a long, poetic chant of the Buddha’s penultimate life, as Prince Vessantara] at least 13 times at many different temples. The monks there say that listening to the Mahachaad story guarantees I’ll be reborn in the time of the Buddha Sri Ariya Metteyya, where I’ll meet with nothing but pleasure and ease. So why should I make things difficult for myself by meditating?”

Luang Pu said,

“Things that are excellent are right in front of your face, and yet you don’t show any interest. Instead, you place your hopes on far-off things that are nothing but rumors. This is the mark of a person who’s hopeless. When the paths, fruitions, and nibbāna of the dispensation of the Buddha Gotama are still with us, totally complete, and yet you dither around and don’t show any interest in them, then when the dispensation of the Buddha Sri Ariya Metteyya comes, you’ll dither around even more.”