Speaking Without Knowing

Ajahn Jayasaro

Speaking Without Knowing

One day, a certain scientist came to visit Luang Por [Chah]. Speaking as someone who had practised meditation and felt qualified to make a comparison, he was of the opinion that as a means of realizing the truth of things, science offered a path that was more effective and more verifiable than Buddhist training.

Luang Por was unimpressed. ‘Don’t you think it’s possible,’ he asked, ‘that you’re putting forth this claim without a full knowledge of the results of Buddhist training?’

He gave two similes: it was like a man putting one short arm down a hole who concludes that the hole only goes as far as his arm; it was like a short-sighted man who concludes that there are no such things as airplanes in the sky because he’s never seen one.

This reflection by Ajahn Chah as recounted by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the book, Stillness Flowing, (pdf) p.654.

The Rafters and the Ridgepole

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The Rafters and the Ridgepole

Building on conviction, you then put forth the persistent effort to develop within yourself whatever’s going to be skillful on the path and to abandon anything unskillful that will get in the way of the path. Mindfulness is what remembers what’s skillful and what’s not skillful. It also remembers what to do with skillful qualities and unskillful qualities when they are present in the mind—and how…

Saraniya Dhammas: Harmonious Living

Ajahn Pasanno

Saraniya Dhammas: Harmonious Living

…the brahmaviharas are integrally related to a classification of the Buddha’s teachings called the saraniya dhammas, translated as “states of conciliation” or “the virtues necessary for fraternal living.” They are the dhammas or qualities necessary for human beings to get along with one another. The first three are loving-kindness of bodily, verbal, and mental action. These are the actual foundati…

True Freedom, True Essence

Ajahn Silaratano

True Freedom, True Essence

On a more profound level, however, Mae Chee Kaew’s practice points the way beyond the changing conditions of birth and death to the essence of true freedom. At the heart of that realization lies a fundamental distinction between two very different aspects of the mind: the mind’s knowing essence, and the transient states of mind that arise and cease within it. By not understanding that distinction,…

Estranged from Our Feelings

Ayyā Medhānandī

Estranged from Our Feelings

Those of us who become estranged from our inner-most feelings fool ourselves into believing that we are detached when all we have done is learn to cope. And the more unskilful the ways of coping we adopt, the worse our condition becomes– until the mind gives up, or wakes up. From the marrow of our own pain and stress – disappointment or anger at ourselves or our friends, loved ones, colleagues, ou…

Wise Use of the Requisites

Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto

Wise Use of the Requisites

…the wise use of the four requisites refers to using material things and consumer products skilfully. When eating food, wearing clothing, etc. one understands the purpose of such actions and recognizes the true advantages of these things. Even while using a computer, we should consider and examine the true benefits provided by such technology. If we are established in the practice of wise consumpt…

Comfortable in Any Circumstance

Ajahn Pasanno

Comfortable in Any Circumstance

It looks like it’s going to be hot again today. Most of us are uncomfortable when it’s hot like this. So what we need to do, as Dhamma practitioners, is learn how to adapt. We learn to dwell with mindfulness and equanimity whether things are to our liking or not. The tendency is to wait for conditions we like and when they arise, only then do we say to ourselves, “Okay, now I can practice.” It’s a…

The Path as a Guide

Ajahn Sucitto

The Path as a Guide

Having the Path as a guide is something to make full use of. Do I practise Right View? Do I practise Right Thought? Do I practise Right Speech? Right Action? Right Livelihood? Do I practise Right Effort? Right Mindfulness? Right Collectedness of mind? This process of systematic enquiry is something that the Buddha encouraged. Do I hold views that are depressing, that don’t lift me up, that make li…

External Protection

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

External Protection

The Buddha’s teaching on karma is one of the ways in which the Dhamma offers external protection: It emphasizes the importance of your present actions—providing for the possibility of “should be done” and “shouldn’t be done”—at the same time offering clear guidelines for figuring out, in any situation, where the shoulds and shouldn’ts lie. This is one of the ways in which the Buddha’s Dhamma offer…

Happy to Stay at Home

Ajahn Yatiko

Happy to Stay at Home

One of the most important things for us to be doing here—as either monastics or as visiting laypeople living like monastics— is to develop our formal meditation practice. A key to this is learning how to delight in meditation—the freedom that comes from simply sitting, not becoming anything, resting in a state of mind that is able to put things down. Yesterday I was reflecting on the word concentr…