January 10, 2011

The Truth of a Person

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, from Week 2 of his Tricycle Retreat,

The parami of Truth means not just saying true things but also being a true person.  This is the difference between the truth of statement and the truth of a person.  Truth of statement means that when you who say things you want them to be an accurate account of what you really know.  Truth of person means that once you've made up your mind that you are going to do something that you stick with it and are not a traitor to yourself.  You realize that certain things are skillful and learn how to stay true to that determination and understanding, even when you feel strongly tempted to do something that you know is not quite so skillful. 

Bringing discernment to this quality of truthfulness is really important.  You have to realize that your motivation for being true is that it makes it easier to develop discernment.  If you're used to lying to other people then you start lying to yourself.  When that becomes a habit of the mind then it is difficult for any type of insight or understanding into suffering or its causes to develop. 

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