76. Nothing more than that

Sometimes, when Luang Pu noticed that the people who came to practice with him were still uncommitted, still pining after the happiness and enjoyment of purely worldly things to the point where they weren’t ready to let them go and practice the Dhamma, he’d give them a teaching to think about so as to see things clearly for what they are:

“I ask you all to examine happiness, to see exactly where was the point of greatest happiness in your life. When you really look at it, you’ll see that it’s just that—nothing more than anything else you’ve ever experienced. Why wasn’t it more than that? Because the world has nothing more than that. That’s all it has to offer—over and over again, nothing more than that at all. Just birth, aging, illness, and death, over and over again. There’s got to be a happiness more extraordinary than that, more excellent than that, safer than that. This is why the noble ones sacrifice limited happiness in search of the happiness that comes from stilling the body, stilling the mind, stilling the defilements. That’s the happiness that’s safe, to which nothing else can compare.”