100. The end of rebirth

Once a senior meditation teacher came to discuss many high-level topics of Dhamma with Luang Pu and ended with a question: “Some of the senior meditation monks conduct themselves well and inspire great respect. Even other monks agree that they’re firmly established in the Buddha’s teachings. But then something happens. Either they disrobe, or their behavior starts going astray, running afoul of the Dhamma and Vinaya. So what level of Dhamma does one have to reach in order to cut transmigration for sure, so that there’s no more becoming and birth?”

Luang Pu said,

“Being strictly restrained in line with the Vinaya and observing the ascetic practices is an admirable form of conduct that’s extremely inspiring. But if you haven’t developed the mind to the level of heightened mind and heightened discernment, it can always regress, for it hasn’t yet reached the transcendent. Actually, arahants don’t need to know much. They simply have to develop their minds to be clear about the five aggregates and to penetrate dependent co-arising (paṭicca samuppāda). That’s when they can stop fabricating, stop searching, stop all motions of the mind. Right there is where everything ends. All that remains is pure, clean, bright—great emptiness, enormously empty.”