Developing a Capacity of Heart

Ajahn Abhinando

Developing a Capacity of Heart

Maybe one day we will succeed in wishing someone we don’t like well. It’s not about liking where we disliked, or pretending to like, but about seeing whether we can develop a capacity of heart, of kindness that is independent of the experiences we encounter.

That needs a gradual training of the heart. And a very strong empowerment comes with it, because it means that our heart becomes more independent from other people. Others are less capable of influencing our moods or states of mind, because we develop our own inner resource for feelings of wellbeing and kindness towards ourselves and others.

The same applies to any experience we might dislike and from which we therefore habitually shrink. Our increased capacity for kindness might give us the extra space to allow ourselves to stay more open and be more willing to accept unpleasant feelings.

That gives us a ground on which to stand, from which we can then investigate our experience. It might give us the strength to look at people in different ways, see different aspects of them which may be clouded over or blocked out if we are just reacting to our perception or feeling that they are being unpleasant and unkind to us.

This reflection by Ajahn Abhinando is from the booklet, Kindness, (pdf) p.4.

Practical Goodwill

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Practical Goodwill

The Buddha prefaced his instructions [to Rāhula] with the image of a mirror: Just as you use a mirror to see how you look to other people, Rāhula was to look at his actions to see how he appeared in the eyes of the wise. And the wise would have him judge his actions like this: Whatever he did in thought, word, and deed, he was first to examine his intentions: If he anticipated that the act he plan…

We’re Tough Survivors

Ajahn Sumedho

We’re Tough Survivors

We don’t have all that much control, do we? Much as we would like to be able to control our lives, we recognise we really don’t have that much control. Some things just get out of our control. Things happen and Mother Nature has her ways of letting us know that she’s not just going to follow our desires. Then fashions and revolutions, and changing conditions, and population problems, and airplanes…

Enter Dhamma at a Deep Level

Ajahn Sucitto

Enter Dhamma at a Deep Level

Naturally enough, I’d like the mind to be happy or at least co-operative, and may assume that that necessitates being in a good mood. There’s attachment to pleasant contact, or contact with things that we understand and feel familiar with. There is a powerful inclination to just contact that which is stable and secure. There is a middle way here: it’s not that one should be choiceless and unguarde…

A Spiritual Sanctuary

Ajahn Amaro

A Spiritual Sanctuary

At its heart, a monastery is sustained as a spiritual sanctuary. What creates a monastery is that everyone who comes through the gate undertakes to live by a certain standard, to conduct themselves in a certain way in terms of honesty, nonviolence, modesty, restraint and sobriety. Within that zone, it’s a safe place: no one is going to rob you, to chat you up, to try to sell you anything, to attac…

Open-hearted Approach

Ajahn Jitindriya

Open-hearted Approach

I have found that a much more open-hearted approach works for me. For example, if desire or anger is present, well, first of all I try to listen to all the judgements that may arise: ‘desire!… anger!… wrong! Be restrained, do something about this.’ I notice that if I relate to the experience in a wrong way, it increases the sense of struggle or tension – which doesn’t lead to the ending of sufferi…

Clearing the Residues

Ajahn Sucitto

Clearing the Residues

Do you ever find yourself dominated by a chain of thought that tells you that you’re not good enough, and don’t deserve much? Are you convinced that other people look down on you? Does your mind recite memories of things you did wrong in dramatic detail? Do you find that when you admire someone, you simultaneously feel unworthy of them? Or that, although you really ought to be a success and help t…

"Ordinary" is Self-Constructed

Ajahn Abhinando

"Ordinary" is Self-Constructed

Question: I was wondering if you can describe a peak experience from your practice. During my own explorations I sometimes arrive at a state where I have no thoughts, but I perceive, I have visual perception and I feel a kind of spacious being with no other taste, no emotion; it is neutral, neutral spaciousness. This is my peak experience and my mind asks: what next? Response: That sounds like an…

Breath; Not Jhana

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Breath; Not Jhana

As you’re settling down with the breath, you don’t want to think too much about it, just enough to make it comfortable. You don’t want to analyze things to the point where you start losing the breath and getting caught up in the analysis. So you ask yourself just a few simple questions: Where do you feel the breath right now? Does it feel comfortable? What would make it feel more comfortable? What…

Our Set Up for Suffering

Ajahn Pasanno

Our Set Up for Suffering

The word “becoming” is an innocuous little term. It doesn’t really evoke much of an image or much feeling. But the reality is that it is because of the nature of becoming that we continually experience suffering. It is why we continually experience conflict. It is why we are continually dissatisfied. Becoming is why we continually opt to be scattered, confused and stupid rather than peaceful and w…