Ajahn Amaro: The Meaning of Life and the Essence of Meaning

A² mug4Excellence Reporter: Ajahn, what is the meaning of life?

Ajahn Amaro: I have to confess that the first response that comes to my mind is, ‘Wrong question!’

Somebody asked Krishnamurti one time, “What would you say is the meaning of life?” He said something along the lines of: “MEANING!?! – how do you think our puny thoughts could cast the nature of life into some words that would truly express what IS? Life IS – it doesn’t mean anything! What does air or moonlight mean!?

This is very true; this is very, very true. To believe that we can express what life’s ‘meaning’ is is to assume that we can put into words, into some formula, the entire nature of the cosmos – the universe and the mind in all their infinite dimensions and inconceivable stratifications, their incredible complexity and interdependence – to try and put that into an expression formed of human mouth noises is just absurd.

However, when the mind is allowed to rest in complete clarity and wakefulness, we find that it is beyond form, and time, and place and individuality – it is no longer making preferences or being biased towards this over that. It is resting at the point of equipoise, where this and that and black and white, and where you and I and all things meet; this is the space where all complexities integrate. This realization is Nature knowing its own nature; it is the thought-free essence of meaning.


~Ajahn Amaro is a Theravadin teacher, and abbot of the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery at the eastern end of the Chiltern Hills in south east England.

Copyright © 2015 Excellence Reporter

Categories: Awakening, Buddhism

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