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The heart is just the heart; thoughts and feelings are just thoughts and feelings. Let things be just as they are! Let form be just form, let sound be just sound, let thought be just thought.

This is the way it is. You detach. You let go. Whenever there is any feeling of clinging, we detach from it, because we know that that very feeling is just as it is. It didn’t come along especially to annoy us. We might think that it did, but in truth it is just that way. If we start to think and consider it further, that too, is just as it is. If we let go, then form is merely form, sound is merely sound, odor is merely odor, taste is merely taste, touch is merely touch and the heart is merely the heart. It’s similar to oil and water. If you put the two together in a bottle, they won’t mix because of the difference in their nature.

Oil and water are different in the same way that a wise man and an ignorant man are different. The Buddha lived with form, sound, odor, taste, touch and thought. He was an arahant (enlightened one), so He turned away from rather than toward these things. He turned away and detached little by little since He understood that the heart is just the heart and thought is just thought. He didn’t confuse and mix them together.

The heart is just the heart; thoughts and feelings are just thoughts and feelings. Let things be just as they are! Let form be just form, let sound be just sound, let thought be just thought. Why should we bother to attach to them? If we think and feel in this way, then there is detachment and separateness. Our thoughts and feelings will be on one side and our heart will be on the other. Just like oil and water – they are in the same bottle but they are separate.

Ajahn Chah
The Training of the Heart

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