Unacknowledged Suffering

Ajahn Munindo

Unacknowledged Suffering

The Buddha’s teachings on cultivating caring aim to equip us with skilful defences which strengthen and protect us without compromising our sensitivity and discernment. They aim to give us the skill to meet life, whatever that might mean in our case. Nobody goes through this experience of life without periods of feeling intensely challenged. What matters is how well prepared we are for the challen…

The Difference Between Form and Spirit

Ajahn Munindo

The Difference Between Form and Spirit

Most of us, at least in the beginning, do not always appreciate the difference between form and spirit in practice. For instance, our initial interest in meditation may well have been inspired by hearing that it could help us become more peaceful and help increase understanding. However, if we are not careful about how we engage with the forms and techniques used in developing meditation, we can j…

Three Kinds of Parents

Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo

Three Kinds of Parents

The Buddha says we have three kinds of parents in our lives. Our first parents are those who conceive us and give us physical birth. These are the parents who give us life. These second kind of parents the Buddha refers to as the nurturing parents who bring us up, take care of us. Sometimes, nurturing parents can take even better care of us than our biological parents because they are kind and com…

Working Stiffs

Ajahn Pasanno

Working Stiffs

The Bhikkhuni Dhammadinna…taught that the pleasant feeling is pleasant when it persists and painful feeling is pleasant when it subsides. Our misguided goal is to maximize the extension of pleasant feeling and to minimize, to wipe out, to push away the unpleasant feeling. That’s where we get tied into the desire process—into kama tanha, bhava tanha, vibhava tanha. We get tied into the feelings wit…

Enhanced by Reduction

Ajahn Sucitto

Enhanced by Reduction

Quite a lot of Buddhist language is couched negatively: ‘refraining from’, ‘abstaining from’, ‘relinquishing’, ‘putting aside’, not because the aim is annihilation, but because there’s a recognition that when we clear away the clutter, a brightness comes through by itself. We don’t have to create, believe or adopt anything. Much of our application and sense of ‘getting it right’ is established upo…

Don’t Be Selfish; Look After Yourself

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Don’t Be Selfish; Look After Yourself

The Thai phrase, “Don’t be selfish,” literally means, “Don’t look after yourself,” as opposed to looking after the common good. Ajaan Suwat always questioned that phrase, because, after all, who else are you going to look after? You’ve got to look after yourself. In fact, you’re the person you have to look after more than anybody else. But that’s not telling you to be selfish. It’s saying that you…

The Whole Training

Ajahn Sucitto

The Whole Training

The whole training of our life is learning to listen, to feel things out, to begin to question our assumptions, our self-positions, our ‘me’ and ‘thems,’ our designations of what we are as individuals, the hardness of our relationships with one another, our sense of indifference to the world of creatures and our obsessions in relation to the world of materials. We are in a process of changing our…

Effective Social Action

Ajahn Pasanno

Effective Social Action

We’d all like to sit down, cross our legs, close our eyes and become enlightened – just like that. Instead, we have to take the time to lay a foundation, to become patient and clear enough to develop the path in a comprehensive way. Just as the Buddha taught us the Four Noble Truths as the basis for our own practice – suffering, the causes of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path lead…

Rewilding

Ajahn Sucitto

Rewilding

I’ve been reflecting on the environmental crisis, and as I do, I find myself in the darkness, as I imagine we all are to some degree. And that says something; something we shouldn’t brush aside or try to make go away. This is a place for sharing truth—and the truth right now is darkness. I sometimes reflect on how I’ve been practicing meditation, morality, restraint, generosity, sharing, and simpl…

Where There Is No Self

Ajahn Sumedho

Where There Is No Self

There’s a certain level of consciousness in all life, in the fact that there is receptivity to the environment; and trees are very receptive to the environment they are in. One begins to change the perception of mind to one of a consciousness that pervades everything. Then it’s not just a human mind; there’s something more to it. But in Buddhism it is never named; you never try to form a concept a…