Don't let yourself be content to cycle through birth, ageing, illness, and death. Be uncomplacent at all times. You shouldn't have any doubts about birth, because the Buddha has already told us that birth and death are out-and-out suffering. Don't let yourself wonder if they are flowers or sweets or any sort of food you can eat to your satisfaction. Actually, they are nothing but poison. They are things that have deceived us all in our stupidity to be born and to die in heaps in this world of suffering and stress. If we die in a state of humanity, there's some hope for us because of the openings for rebirth we have made for ourselves through the power of our good deeds. But there are not just a few people out there who are foolish and deluded, and who thus have no way of knowing what sorts of openings for rebirth their kamma will lead them to.
So for this reason, see the danger in repeated birth and death that can give no guarantees as to the state in which you'll take birth and die. If it's a human state, as we see and are at present, you can breathe easily to some extent, but there's always the fear that you'll slip away to be reborn as a common animal for people to kill or beat until you're all battered and bruised. Now that's really something to worry about. If you die, you die; if you survive, you live and breathe in fear and trembling, dreading death with every moment. How many animals are dragged into the slaughter-houses every day? This is something we don't have to explain in detail. It's simply one example I mention to remind you of the sufferings of the living beings of the world. And where is there any shelter that can give a sure sense of security to the heart of each person overseeing his or her heap of life?
As meditators we should calculate the profits and losses, the benefits and drawbacks that come from the khandhas in each 24 hour period of day and night. The discontent we feel from being constantly worried: Isn't it caused by the khandhas? What makes us burdened and worried? We sit, stand, walk, and lie down for the sake of the khandhas. We eat for the sake of the khandhas. Our every movement is simply for the sake of the khandhas. If we don't do these things, the khandhas will have to break apart under the stress of suffering. All we can do is relieve things a little bit. When they can no longer take it, the khandhas will break apart.
bhara have pancakkhandha:
The five khandhas are really a heavy burden.
Even though the earth, rocks, and mountains may be heavy, they stay to themselves. They've never weighed us down or oppressed us with difficulties. Only these five khandhas have burdened and oppressed us with difficulties with their every movement. Right from the day the khandhas begin to form, we have to be troubled with scurrying around for their sake. They wield tremendous power, making the entire world bend under their sway until the day they fall apart. We could say that we are slaves to the khandhas from the day we're born to the day we die. In short, what it all comes down to is that the source of all worries, the source of all issues lies in the khandhas. They are the supreme commanders, making us see things in line with their wants. This being the case, how can anything wonderful come from them? Even the khandhas we will take on as a burden in our next birth will be the same sort of taking-birth-and-dying khandhas, lording it over us and making us suffer all over again.
So investigate these things until you can see them clearly with discernment. Of all the countless lifetimes you may have been through over the aeons, take this present lifetime before you as your evidence in reviewing them all. Those who aren't complacent will come to know that khandhas in the past and khandhas that will appear in the future all have the same characteristics as the khandhas that exist with us in the present. All I ask is that you force your mind to stay in the frame of the three characteristics (ti-lakkhana), which are present throughout the body and mind at all times. No matter how wild and resistant the mind may be, it can't withstand the strength of mindfulness and discernment backed up by persistent effort.
As long as mindfulness and discernment aren't yet agile, you have to force them; but as soon as they gain enough strength to stand on their own, they'll be like a fire and its light that always appear together. Once mindfulness and discernment have been trained to be authoritative, then wherever you are, you're mindful and discerning. It's not the case that you will always have to force them. They're like a child: When it's first born, it doesn't have the strength and intelligence to care for itself, so its parents have to take on the duty of caring for it in every way until it matures and becomes able to survive on its own. The parents who used to look after it are then no longer burdened with that duty. The same holds true with mindfulness and discernment. They gain strength step by step from being trained without ceasing, without letting them slide. They develop day by day until they become super-mindfulness and super-discernment at the stage where they perform their duties automatically. Then every sort of thing that used to be an enemy of the heart will be slain by super-mindfulness and super-discernment until nothing remains. All that remains is a heart entirely 'buddho,' 'Dhammo' will become a marvel at that very same moment through the power of super-mindfulness and super-discernment.
So I ask that all of you as meditators make the effort. See the burden of birth, ageing, illness, and death that lies ahead of you as being at least equal to the burden of birth, ageing, illness, and death present in living beings and formations all around you. It may even be more -- who knows how much more? For this reason, you should make sure that you gain release from it in this lifetime in a way clear to your own heart. Then wherever you live, you'll be at your ease -- with no need to bother with any more problems of birth or death anywhere at all -- simply aware of this heart that is pure.
I ask that you all contemplate this and strive with bravery in the threefold training of virtue, concentration, and discernment. The goal you set for yourself in that third sort of person will one day be you. There's no need to doubt this.
That's enough for now, so I'll ask to stop here.

Excerpts from a talk given April 10, 1982

. . . When we investigate, we have to investigate over and over, time and time again, many, many times until we understand and are fully sure. The mind will then let go of its own accord. There's no way we can try to force it to let go as long as we haven't investigated enough. It's like eating: If we haven't reached the point where we're full, we're not full. There's no way we can try to make ourselves full with just one or two spoonfuls. We have to keep on eating, and then when we're full we stop of our own accord. We've had enough.
The same holds true with investigating. When we reach the stage where we fully know, we let go of our own accord: all our attachments to the body, feelings, labels, thought-formations, cognizance, step by step until we finally penetrate with our discernment into the mind itself -- the genuine revolving wheel, the revolving mind -- until it is smashed to pieces with nothing left. That's the point -- that's the point where we end our problems in fighting with defilement. That's where they end -- and our desire to go to nibbana ends right there as well.
The desire to go to nibbana is part of the path. It's not a craving. The desire to gain release from suffering and stress is part of the path. It's not a craving. Desire has two sorts: desire in the area of the world and desire in the area of the Dhamma. Desire in the area of the world is craving. Desire in the area of the Dhamma is part of the path. The desire to gain release from suffering, to go to nibbana, strengthens the Dhamma within us. Effort is the path. Persistence is the path. Endurance is the path. Perseverance in every way for the sake of release is the path. Once we have fully come into our own, the desire will disappear -- and at that point, who would ask after nibbana?
Once the revolving wheel, the revolving mind has been smashed once and for all, there is no one among any of those who have smashed that revolving mind from their hearts who wants to go to nibbana or who asks where nibbana lies. The word 'nibbana' is simply a name, that's all. Once we have known and seen, once we have attained the genuine article within ourselves, what is there to question?
This is what it means to develop the mind. We've developed it from the basic stages to the ultimate stage of development. So. Now, no matter where we live, we are sufficient unto ourselves. The mind has built a full sufficiency for itself, so it can be at its ease anywhere at all. If the body is ill -- aching, feverish, hungry, or thirsty -- we are aware of it simply as an affair of the body that lies under the laws of inconstancy, stress, and lack of self. It's bound to keep shifting and changing in line with its nature at all times -- but we're not deluded by it. The khandhas are khandhas. The pure mind is a pure mind by its nature, with no need to force it to know or to be deluded. Once it's fully true from every angle, everything is true. We don't praise or criticize anything at all, because each thing is its own separate reality -- so why is there any reason to clash? If one side is true and the other isn't, that's when things clash and fight all the time -- because one side is genuine and the other side false. But when each has its own separate reality, there's no problem.
Contemplate the mind so as to reach this stage, the stage where each thing has its own separate reality. Yatha-bhuta-nana-dassana: the knowledge and vision of things as they are. The mind knows and sees things as they are, within and without, through and through, and then stays put with purity. If you were to say that it stays put, it stays put with purity. Whatever it thinks, it simply thinks. All the khandhas are khandhas pure and simple, without a single defilement to order their thinking, labeling, and interpreting any more. There are simply the khandhas pure and simple -- the khandhas without defilements, or in other words, the khandhas of an arahant, of one who is free from defilement like the Lord Buddha and all his Noble Disciples. The body is simply a body. Feelings, labels, thought-formations, and cognizance are each simply passing conditions that we use until their time is up. When they no longer have the strength to keep going, we let them go in line with their reality. But as for the utterly true nature of our purity, there is no problem at all. . . .
. . . . Those who have reached full release from conventional realities of every sort, you know, don't assume themselves to be more special or worse than anyone else. For this reason, they don't demean even the tiniest of creatures. They regard them all as friends in suffering, birth, ageing, illness, and death, because the Dhamma is something tender and gentle. Any mind in which it is found is completely gentle and can sympathize with every grain of sand, with living beings of every sort. There's nothing rigid or unyielding about it. Only the defilements are rigid and unyielding. Proud. Conceited. Haughty and vain. Once there's Dhamma, there are none of these things. There's only the unvarying gentleness and tenderness of mercy and benevolence for the world at all times.