The Death of the Planet

Bhikkhunī Santacittā

The Death of the Planet

Many believe that thinking or speaking about death will make us depressed or afraid, keeping us from really living. But often it is the fear of death itself that is making us depressed and afraid, keeping us from really living. Once the truth of death is embraced and digested, those difficult emotions will dissolve by themselves. Just as we don’t like to think about our own death, it’s also distre…

Assumption of Material Dependency

Ajahn Amaro

Assumption of Material Dependency

“I haven’t used money since 1978” is the usual response I make when asked about the Buddhist monastic lifestyle. It invariable brings a moment’s pause in the conversation, if not a wide-eyed dropping of jaws. It’s a very different way to live, never owning or even handling money of any kind, and describing it usually brings forth such questions as: ‘How can one possibly live that way, especially i…

Escape from Violence

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Escape from Violence

“§1. When embraced, the rod of violence breeds danger & fear: Look at people in strife. I will tell of how I experienced terror: Seeing people floundering like fish in small puddles, competing with one another— as I saw this, fear came into me. The world was entirely without substance. All the directions were knocked out of line. Wanting a haven for myself, I saw nothing that wasn’t laid claim to.…

The Priority Has to be Dhamma

Ajahn Sumedho

The Priority Has to be Dhamma

A problem that arises when there is any set form is that some seem to fit into the ideal form more than others. Those who feel that they don’t quite fit into the ideal form might draw the conclusion that this isn’t a suitable life for them. Maybe some of us can’t chant very well, recite the Patimokkha, or maybe we’re not very good at chatting with the lay people. Not everyone can be a gifted, char…

Two Kinds of Fools

Ajahn Yatiko

Two Kinds of Fools

One of the things Ajahn Chah taught was what he called “earthworm wisdom.” For many people, earthworms aren’t worth appreciating. But it’s earthworms that till the soil, and if they weren’t continually working away, the soil would be infertile and incapable of supporting growth. That’s a nice reflection, something to chew on. The higher aspects of the teachings are certainly worth reflecting on, a…

The One That Does Not Die

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

The One That Does Not Die

…Firstly, you must not try to understand the nature of the citta from the viewpoint of the khandhas. The citta is the essential and ‘real’ one, the one that does not die and, existing beyond saṁsāra, it cannot be understood from the viewpoint of saṁsāra. Therefore, we cannot say that it ‘is’ or that it ‘is not.’ Nor can we say where it is, or at what time it exists, because all such categories…

Time and Place

Ajahn Sumedho

Time and Place

There is a lot of silliness and foolishness in meditation. People don’t wisely consider the limits they are under, and what mindfulness and wisdom really amount to. They get fixed ideas about doing certain techniques and practices and do not take into account the nature of the human body, with its limitations, and the time and the place. At that monastery they once asked us to attend an important…

Important Groundwork

Ajahn Thiradhammo

Important Groundwork

Some very important groundwork can give us precious support for working skilfully with the various Hindrances. Many people simply throw themselves into meditation, usually hoping for a quick fix, with little preparation, only slight knowledge of the context or consequences and lack of awareness of the possible dangers. Firstly, meditation should not be undertaken by anyone with any psychological i…

The Fount of Our Awakening

Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī

The Fount of Our Awakening

In the small silent oasis of one moment, practise turning inward for rest and refuge. Realizing how the events of life harden our attitudes and thoughts, tend to your emotional baggage and discard assumptions that have exceeded their expiry date. Receive all the guests – even the poisonous feelings of disappointment or outrage – with courage, curiosity, and fresh awareness. Gradually they will cha…

Letting Go of an Emotion

Ajahn Sundara

Letting Go of an Emotion

Letting go of an emotion can take time. Even though it may have completely ended in your mind, your body can still be filled with residual feelings of rage, greed or sadness. The body and mind don’t always talk to each other. You may need to be really patient and conscious of how the body absorbs and releases emotion much more slowly than the mind. You may think that these emotions are happening b…