Two Levels of Nibbāna

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Two Levels of Nibbāna

Any discussion of the way the Buddha used the term nibbāna must begin with the distinction that there are two levels of nibbāna (or, to use the original terminology, two nibbāna properties). The first is the nibbāna experienced by a person who has attained the goal and is still alive. This is described metaphorically as the extinguishing of passion, aversion, & delusion. The second is the nibbāna…

Becoming More Conscious

Ajahn Viradhammo

Becoming More Conscious

In learning to know our inner world, we can start with the practice of naming things. For example, if I’m engaged in a physical chore and I’m rushing to get it done, I can inwardly name that mind-state by using the word “rushing.” This labeling of mental states is a very simple exercise, but it helps to make me conscious of my inner life. As soon as I label a particular state of mind, it has alrea…

They Belong to You

Ajaan Khamdee

They Belong to You

There are three sorts of Dhamma: the Dhamma of theory, the Dhamma of practice, and the Dhamma of attainment. The Dhamma of theory refers to the teachings of the Buddha: the discourses, the discipline, the Abhidhamma, all 84,000 sections of the Pali Canon. This sort of Dhamma is everyone’s common property. As for practice and attainment, they’re the individual property of those who do them. For exa…

Embracing the Present Is Still Clinging

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Embracing the Present Is Still Clinging

And just as we feed off physical food without assuming that it’s going to be permanent, clinging to things doesn’t necessarily mean that we assume them to be permanent. We cling whenever we sense that the effort of clinging is repaid by some sort of satisfaction, permanent or not. We cling because there’s some pleasure in the things to which we cling (SN 22:60). When we can’t find what we’d like t…

Just Keep Tugging the Rope

Ajahn Jayasaro

Just Keep Tugging the Rope

On another occasion, a visitor, seeing all the foreign bhikkhus, asked Ajahn Chah whether he spoke English or French or German or Japanese, to which, in every case, Ajahn Chah replied that no, he could not. The questioner looked confused: how did the foreign bhikkhus learn anything then? Ajahn Chah replied, characteristically, with a question: “At your home do you keep any animals? Have you got ca…

Only in Appearances

Ajahn Chah

Only in Appearances

People are always looking outwards at people and things. They look at this hall, for example, and say, “Oh, it’s so big!” Actually it’s not big at all. Whether or not it seems big, depends on your perception of it. In fact this hall is just the size it is, neither big nor small. But people run after their feelings all the time. They are so busy looking around and having opinions about what they se…

Only If Appropriate and Correct

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

Only If Appropriate and Correct

Although delusion (moha) is at the root of your troubles, I think you should take a very good look at sensuality, that is, craving for sensuality and sensual expression, largely in terms of feeling and an impatience with a state of calm in which nothing in particular is happening. You really must try to keep rooted in normality and ordinariness and avoid fantasy and thinking of your own subjective…

The True Worth of a Tradition

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The True Worth of a Tradition

Some people have questioned the historical reliability of the Canon’s accounts—usually on subjective grounds—but we have yet to encounter any solid evidence that the canonical sources we have cited are not trustworthy. There is no archeological or textual evidence to contradict any of the Canon’s accounts. And as for objections to the Canon’s frequent reference to psychic powers or to beings on ot…

Foundation to Genuine Freedom

Mae Chee Kaew

Foundation to Genuine Freedom

For all Buddhists, taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha is the first and most elemental act on the Buddha’s path to freedom. The Buddha is the ideal of spiritual perfection, and the teacher of the true path to attain it. By taking refuge in the Buddha, you take that ideal as your teacher. You also pledge not to seek false spiritual ideals. The Dhamma is the true path to spiritual perfect…

Crossing the Grey Plateau

Ajahn Sucitto

Crossing the Grey Plateau

How does your body-mind feel first thing in the morning? Learn to feel that rather than just thinking, ‘I don’t feel so good. I don’t feel very much awake. I feel I could use a stiff cup of coffee or stay a few more hours in bed.’ That’s what happens when we think about suffering: we think of the antidotes to it; so of course if we don’t get them, this suffering becomes worse and worse, doesn’t it…