"In a lifetime of service to the Buddha, Ajahn Buddhadāsa creatively did whatever he could to help us see how grasping and clinging — especially to ‘me’ and ‘mine’ — is at the center of all our distress, suffering, and dukkha. Simultaneously, he pointed to ‘the life that doesn’t bite its owner’ and how we can practice to live with minds and hearts free and empty of the clinging that bites. He challenged us to find such potential in this life, whether we are ‘religious’ or not, and whatever our vocation, gender, and status. In this booklet, Ajahn Buddhadāsa gets to the heart of the Buddha’s teaching in a simple, direct, and powerful metaphor. He surveys some of the many ways we imprison ourselves, despite however much affluence and privilege we might claim. When we see this, we will seek our freedom more wisely in right practice today and not wait to go off to a monastery or retreat, to find a guru, or to seek whatever external trapping might appear necessary. This talk is one of the many he gave to foreign retreatants during the last eight years of his life. Some of these have already been made into books, such as this one. The original translation has been checked with the original Thai for better accuracy and then edited for easier reading. This eBook edition has been slightly revised from earlier printed editions. We hope you enjoy it; even more that you benefit from practicing its wisdom today..."
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Translated from the Thai by Santikaro. Published by Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives in collaboration with Liberation Park.