When Help Is Needed

Ajahn Pasanno

When Help Is Needed

One focus of our practice is to look after each other and help each other out. In one discourse where the Buddha finds Venerable Anuruddha and his friends living in the forest, we see that they are intent on formal practice, but whenever something needs to be done, they come out of meditation and help each other. That is a very beautiful story from the suttas. Our tendency, however, is to try doin…

What Is Your Strongest Fear?

Ajahn Piek

What Is Your Strongest Fear?

Sometimes, when you are in solitude alone at night, or even at daytime you might hear strange noises and become full of fear. You will pick up all kinds of sounds that you would never get to hear when you are living in the city. So whenever strange sounds come to your ears, don’t be afraid. …When the night comes and it gets windy, your glots might get hit, become damaged or break down. When it is…

Pariyatti as Active, Applied Contemplation

Ajahn Viradhammo

Pariyatti as Active, Applied Contemplation

Applying the Buddha’s teachings to one’s own life is also an aspect of study. Pariyatti encompasses both intellectual study and the study of one’s inner world. So consider what it means to apply the theory of dependent origination, the three characteristics of existence, and so on, to your own conscious experience as viewed from a Buddhist perspective. While it’s fine to read what Carlos Castaneda…

Wrong to Feel Afraid?

Ajahn Munindo

Wrong to Feel Afraid?

So who is it that says that it’s wrong to feel afraid? When we experience fear, and we hear a voice within us saying we shouldn’t be afraid, who is saying that? When we first hear this question, we might hear the emphasis as, ‘Who says it’s wrong to feel afraid?’ as if we could find out who it is that says ‘it’s wrong’ and teach them to say that it’s okay. This would be an understandable kind of r…

Peace Inside, Not Outside

Ajahn Chah

Peace Inside, Not Outside

Know what is good and bad, whether traveling or living in one place. You can’t find peace on a mountain or in a cave. You can even go to where the Buddha attained enlightenment without getting closer to the truth. Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It’s not found in a forest or on a hill top, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience sufferin…

Mindfulness and Awareness Sustained

Ajahn Pasanno

Mindfulness and Awareness Sustained

With mindfulness we attend to the ability of the mind to be aware and to sustain awareness. In formal meditation, we attend to the breath, refining and clarifying how we attend to the meditation object because we may be trying too hard. If that is the case, we squeeze and crush that clarity, that spaciousness and stillness. We try so hard, and that’s a becoming, isn’t it? Or we disturb the mind by…

What Is Meditation?

Ajahn Amaro

What Is Meditation?

People have all sorts of ideas about what meditation is, based on a wide variety of experiences and influences. For example, we might have the idea that meditation is about seeing into past lives, reading people’s minds, making the mind go off into some sort of blissful state or inhabit some kind of wonderful esoteric realm while we take a break from our busy lives, and so on. Perhaps we have come…

Figure It Out

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Figure It Out

So as a teacher, he [Ajaan Fuang] tried to instill in his students these qualities of self-reliance, ingenuity, and a willingness to take risks and test things for themselves. He did that not only by talking about these qualities, but also by forcing you into situations where you’d have to develop them. Had he always been there to confirm for you that, “Yes, you’ve reached the third jhana,” or, “N…

Women, Equal to Men

Mae Chee Kaew

Women, Equal to Men

Monks who are skilled in meditation are not biased by cultural conditioning. They have no doubt that women who observe the eight precepts and practice seriously can attain exceptionally high levels of meditation. In truth, women have a remarkable capacity for understanding Dhamma and can achieve deep levels of samādhi and develop extraordinary knowledge and wisdom. Many nuns and laywomen in Thail…

Types of Desire

Ajahn Pasanno

Types of  Desire

Of course, one of the things we have to do is recognize the things that distract us. We need to examine the nature of dukkha in order to relinquish its causes. The Buddha points to three different types of desire that cause suffering: kāma taṇhā, desire for sensual gratification; bhava taṇhā, desire for being or becoming; and vibhava taṇhā, desire for non-becoming or non-being. When sensual…