The Modern Thai Philosophers
Speak to us of Reading:
If your mind is happy then you are happy anywhere you go.
When wisdom awakens within you,
you will see Truth wherever you look.
Truth is all there is.
It's like when you learned how to read,
you can then read anywhere you go.
Ajahn Chah (1918 - 1992
Suttas are not meant to be 'sacred scriptures' that tell us what to believe. One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them, and investigate the present reality, the present experience with them. Then, and only then, can one insightfully know the truth beyond words.
Ajahn Sumedho (b 1934)
To believe straight away is foolishness, to believe after having seen clearly is good sense. That is the Buddhist policy in belief; not to believe stupidly, or to rely only on people, textbooks, conjecture, reasoning, or whatever the majority believes, but rather to believe what we see clearly for ourselves to be the case. This is how it is in Buddhism.
Those who read books cannot understand the teachings and, what's more, may even go astray. But those who try to observe the things going on in the mind, and always take that which is true in their own minds as their standard, never get muddled. They are able to comprehend suffering, and ultimately will understand Dharma. Then, they will understand the books they read.
Buddhadasa (1906 -1993)
“Some people are so much sunshine
to the square inch.” ~ Walt Whitman