"We should see the fault-finding mind as a problem, a snake, a danger to be avoided. People sometimes write books with a fault-finding attitude in order to destroy authority, tradition, and institutions.

"It's common in the West to think that fault-finding is good – but this is not so. Some years ago, someone visited Wat Pah Nanachat for three or four weeks and then wrote a book about his experiences. He really blasted the monastery and Ajahn Chah. He focused on everything he thought was wrong, and consequently the book was completely unfair and unbalanced. People do this sort of thing because, as with anger, there's a certain pleasure in fault-finding. But be careful, because the danger far outweighs the pleasure. When you know this, you realize the fault-finding mind is a snake, and you can start to avoid it in the future.

"In my experience, as much as 90 percent of any real practice of kindfulness is about understanding the fault-finding mind. This includes understanding where it comes from, how to avoid it, and how to develop the positive mind – how to see the nine hundred and ninety-eight good bricks, not just the two bad ones, in a wall you've constructed. Instead of fault-finding, try to understand human beings, yourself included, and have forgiveness and loving-kindness.

"Practicing kindfulness means seeing yourself as just a person on the path, this poor little being who has suffered a lot already and who doesn't want more suffering. If you can be at peace with your suffering, you'll find that compulsive fault-finding decreases."