What Would Good Results Be?

Ajahn Sumedho

What Would Good Results Be?

When I talk about reflection, what we do is just look at what’s driving us, what kind of ideals we have. It’s not that we shouldn’t have ideals. But what are our expectations and the results of our life so far? What is it we are attached to and holding on to? What are we doing that’s causing a particular result? This is a way of self-knowledge, of looking into the way things are. We are not judgin…

Drinking Fresh Water

Ajahn Sundara

Drinking Fresh Water

Sometimes carrying the baggage of a spiritual tradition can take us away from the present moment. Clinging to Buddhist perception is not the path. This is why we sometimes don’t feel the joy of practice: because we are still holding onto ideas of how things should be, instead of drinking at the source and quenching our thirst for enlightenment, for freedom. Drinking at the source means seeing dire…

Using the Breath to Train and Cultivate

Ajahn Pasanno

Using the Breath to Train and Cultivate

Use the structure of mindfulness of breathing to develop this quality of knowing. There are sixteen steps in the Ānāpānasati Sutta (M 118) on mindfulness of breathing. The first two steps are: “Breathing in long, one knows one is breathing in long; breathing out long, one knows one is breathing out long. Breathing in short, one knows one is breathing in short; breathing out short, one knows one…

Many Layers to Self-Deception

Upāsikā Kee Nanayon

Many Layers to Self-Deception

There are many layers to self-deception. The more you practice and investigate things, the less you feel like claiming to know. Instead, you’ll simply see the harm of your own many-faceted ignorance and foolishness. Your examination of the viruses in the mind gets more and more subtle. Before, you didn’t know, so you took your views to be knowledge — because you thought you knew. But actually thes…

Desires

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Desires

All phenomena, the Buddha once said, are rooted in desire. Everything we think, say, or do—every experience—comes from desire. Even we come from desire. We were reborn into this life because of our desire to be. Consciously or not, our desires keep redefining our sense of who we are. Desire is how we take our place in the causal matrix of space and time. The only thing not rooted in desire is nibb…

The Right Equipment

Ajahn Munindo

The Right Equipment

The result we are looking for in contemplative enquiry is the understanding that actually resolves suffering. To arrive at such understanding requires skill in using the tools in our spiritual toolkit. It might also mean we need to acquire more tools. As with any task, if we don’t have the right equipment, we can’t do the work. If we don’t have access to modes of investigation any more subtle than…

Supporting Defilements or Supporting Dhamma

Ajahn Pasanno

Supporting Defilements or Supporting Dhamma

…Ajahn Baen emphasized a question that is quite commonly asked in the Forest Tradition. It’s a very simple question that we should consider and contemplate in our practice: Am I supporting the defilements, or am I supporting the development of Dhamma? That very simple contemplation is critical, because our preferences and biases don’t tend to lead us to question in that way. We tend to have though…

Can You Do It?

Ajahn Chah

Can You Do It?

The Buddha told his disciple Ananda to see impermanence, to see death with every breath. We must know death; we must die in order to live. What does this mean? To die is to come to the end of all our doubts, all our questions, and just be here with the present reality. You can never die tomorrow; you must die now. Can you do it? If you can do it, you will know the peace of no more questions. This…

Clearly Focused

Ajahn Sundara

Clearly Focused

One thing that I appreciate, of which I’ve become more aware during this week, is of the temple here at Amaravati. You could say it is the focus, the heart of the monastic life. You could say that externally, the heart of monastic life is really the meditation hall. That is the physical place where we remain connected with the heart of the path that we follow, the path of our inward practice. How…

Faith/Trust

Ajahn Thiradhammo

Faith/Trust

In working with the Hindrances, one of the most helpful supporting qualities is faith or trust. This is two-fold: trust in ourselves and trust in the teachings. If we lack either of these, we don’t have the incentive to try to find a solution to the Hindrances. Trust is one of the spiritual powers (and faculties), together with mindfulness, energy, concentration and wisdom. The commentarial litera…