Illness is Everywhere and Always

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Illness is Everywhere and Always

When you see a sick person, the Buddha says that you should regard that person, like the aged person, as a messenger from the devas. And this messenger, too, is delivering two messages. The first is that you, too, are subject to illness. The proper response is to learn not to look down on those who are already sick, for they’re simply showing you what the human body—your human body—is capable of.…

Listen to the News

Ajahn Jayasaro

Listen to the News

Listen to the news every day. Listen many times. Not the news on a screen or in a newspaper but the news of your body and mind. This is the most important news. What is happening right now? Observe how your actions and speech affect your mind. Observe how your mental states condition your actions and speech. This is how we investigate the law of kamma in every day life. This reflection by Ajahn Ja…

Start with Studying One’s Own Body

Ajahn Dtun

Start with Studying One’s Own Body

When we hold to the belief that the body is oneself, the mind will, accordingly, suffer every time the body is afflicted by sickness. And as the body experiences the gradual changes brought about by ageing, this, too, will serve as a source of suffering for the heart. Furthermore, when the body finally moves into its dying phase, or it is actually about to meet with death, this, too, will be a cau…

Is Anger a Good Thing? Ajahn Plien

Ajahn Plien

Is Anger a Good Thing? Ajahn Plien

Please reflect: is anger a good thing? How long have we been holding on to our aversions? Aren’t we fed up with negativity? Does the burning rage inside make you happy? Don’t you want to purify your mind of it? Don’t you want to live happily? Or would you rather hold on to it and lead a miserable life? If you want your life to move in a positive direction, then inwardly reflect and look at the con…

The Energy of Bodhgaya

Ajahn Achalo

The Energy of Bodhgaya

This might sound like a strange thing to say, but through this book, I am sharing several of my greatest loves: my love of meditation and the spiritual life, my love and gratitude for the Buddha and his transformative teachings, and my love for the physical place of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. Bodhgaya, a holy site sacred to Buddhists from all around the world, is situated in Bihar state, northea…

Faith Develops Energy and Wisdom

Ajahn Pasanno

Faith Develops Energy and Wisdom

Faith is an essential part of our practice, and it’s not something that magically appears on its own. Rather, the arising of faith takes effort. We need to direct our attention toward it to frequently reflect on the arising of faith as a real possibility for us. As Westerners, most of us are not on familiar ground when we reflect on faith. But it is an important quality for balancing the different…

Communion

Ajahn Sucitto

Communion

Buddhist cultivation covers more than what we would understand through reading books or even through meditation. For instance, although solitary meditation is what we see in the discourses, one of the main features in the Vinaya and of the Buddhist life is the practice of community. You can recognize this especially when there is a big gathering such as today’s alms-giving ceremony, the Kathina. T…

Reversing the Tendency to Decline

Ajahn Yatiko

Reversing the Tendency to Decline

Last night a number of the monks had an opportunity to go up to Ajahn Dtun’s kuṭi for a discussion on Dhamma. One of the themes brought up was the tendency for personal standards to decline in one’s practice. This is an important trend to examine. We can look at the direction our practice has taken over time— how we started, how we’ve been practicing, and where our practice seems to be headed. Tha…

No Intentional Taking of Life. Period.

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

No Intentional Taking of Life. Period.

Because the early texts rule out killing in all circumstances, attempts to formulate a Buddhist just-war theory ultimately have to fall back on one basic assertion: There’s something wrong with the texts. Because this assertion can take many forms, it’s useful to examine a few of them, to see how misleading they can be. That way, we won’t fall for them. The big one is this: • The moral ideals expr…

A Buddhist Theory of a Just War?

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

A Buddhist Theory of a Just War?

There’s a depressing pattern in human behavior that Mark Twain noted more than a century ago, and it’s with us still: The powers-that-be want a war. Politicians and the media start beating the drum, denouncing the evil intentions of the enemy and calling for all patriotic citizens to attack them. At first, people are reluctant to go along, but then religious leaders jump on the bandwagon, telling…