Where trouble arises is when we think like the five ascetic disciples of the Buddha. They followed the instruction of their teacher, but when he changed his practice they couldn't understand what he thought or knew. They decided that the Buddha had given up his practice and reverted to indulgence. If we were in that position we'd probably think the same thing and there'd be no way to correct it. Holding on to the old ways, thinking in the lower way, yet believing it's higher. We'd see the Buddha and think he'd given up the practice and reverted to indulgence, just like he'd given up the practice and reverted to indulgence, just like those Five Ascetics: consider how many years they had been practicing at that time, and yet they still went astray, they still weren't proficient.

So I say to practice and also to look at the results of your practice. Especially where you refuse to follow, where there is friction. Where there is no friction, there is no problem, things flow. If there is friction, they don't flow, you set up a self and things become solid, like a mass of clinging. There is no give and take.

Most monks and cultivators tend to be like this. However they've thought in the past they continue to think. They refuse to change, they don't reflect. They think they are right so they can't be wrong, but actually "wrongness" is buried within "rightness," even though most people don't know that. How is it so? "This is right' . . . but if someone else says it's not right you won't give in, you've got to argue. What is this? Ditthi mana . . . Ditthi means views, mana is the attachment to those views. If we attach even to what is right, refusing to concede to anybody, then it becomes wrong. To cling fast to rightness is simply the arising of self, there is no letting go.

This is a point which gives people a lot of trouble, except for those Dhamma practicers who know that this matter, this point, is a very important one. they will take not of it. If it arises while they're speaking, clinging comes racing on to the scene. Maybe it will linger for some time, perhaps one or two days, three or four months, a year or two. This is for the slow ones, that is. For the quick response is instant . . . they just let go. Clinging arises and immediately there is letting go, they force the mind to let go right then and there.

You must see these two functions operating. Here there is clinging. Now who is the one who resists that clinging? Whenever you experience a mental impression you should observe these two functions operating. There is clinging, and there is one who prohibits the clinging. Now just watch these two things. Maybe you will cling for a long time before you let go.

Reflecting and constantly practicing like this, clinging gets lighter, becomes less and less. Right view increases as wrong view gradually wanes. Clinging decreases, non-clinging arises. This is the way it is for everybody. That's why I say to consider this point. Learn to solve problems in the present moment.