Conditions Go Their Own Way

Ajahn Chah

Conditions Go Their Own Way

Conditions all go their own natural way. Whether we laugh or cry over them, they just go their own way. And there is no knowledge of science which can prevent this natural course of things. You may get a dentist to look at your teeth, but even if they can fix them, they still finally go their natural way. Eventually even the dentist has the same trouble. Everything falls apart in the end. This ref…

Breaking the Momentum

Ajahn Yatiko

Breaking the Momentum

We can take these next few minutes as a time to establish mindfulness and provide ourselves with a break. We can break the momentum of the mind, which so easily gets caught up in the process of becoming, especially when we have ongoing projects and duties to attend to. It can be so easy for the mind to obsess about unfinished tasks, keeping itself in a chaotic world. If we find ourselves stuck thi…

Can We Bear the Pain?

Ayyā Medhānandī

Can We Bear the Pain?

We have to practise being present no matter how excruciating. In our fury or fear, we want to scream, “Enough!” But can we bear the pain a little longer? Without wishing it to subside and disappear, or demanding that it change, are we able to accept it? Can we prepare a generous space for it in the heart and make peace with it – just as it is? Consciously letting in difficult feelings and keeping…

The Moment of Death

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The Moment of Death

Q: What is the power of your last wish or last intention before the moment of death? A: The strength of your last mind state really depends on the totality of your kamma. Other things you have done prior to that moment may actually outweigh the power of that mind state. For instance, if you have any particularly heavy kamma—and “heavy” in this case means either very, very good or very, very bad—th…

Why Five?

Ajahn Thiradhammo

Why Five?

We could, of course, elaborate a list of more than five such Hindrances, as there are quite a variety of different mental distractions or disturbances. One discourse lists forty-four qualities which a monk should ‘efface’ (M. sutta 8); another mentions sixteen qualities which make a monk difficult to admonish (M. sutta 15); and another quite similar list mentions the sixteen qualities which defile…

The Brahmaviharas

Ajahn Pasanno

The Brahmaviharas

The brahmaviharas are a means of uplifting the mind, for brightening and bringing it joy. However, if the practice causes confusion, then something is wrong in the practice. You have to review it and look for the reason. This is where investigation comes in. The “near enemies” and “far enemies” are terms to aid you when reviewing your practice. They are guidelines to reflect back on the mind. The…

Jesus Through Buddhist Eyes

Ajahn Candasiri

Jesus Through Buddhist Eyes

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, speaking to a capacity audience in the Albert Hall in 1984 united his listeners instantly with one simple statement: “All beings want to be happy; they want to avoid pain and suffering.” I was impressed at how he was able to touch what we share as human beings. He armed our common humanity, without in any way dismissing the obvious differences. When invited to look at…

Could It Be Another Way?

Ajahn Sucitto

Could It Be Another Way?

This term ignorance is considered in Buddhism to be the prime mover, the prime originator of our suffering. It’s not that we’re evil or fatally flawed or sinful, but there is this quality of not knowing, ignorance, or avijjā. These are all translations. So when you use the word ignorance, it sounds either like an insult—“You’re stupid. Thick—or that it can be cured by more information, which is ou…

Rise to the Challenge

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Rise to the Challenge

…develop an inquisitive attitude toward pain. Put yourself in a position where you don’t feel threatened by pain so that you can probe the pain and ask questions, watch and observe and learn about it. Get so that pain holds no mysteries for you, holds no fear, because you understand not only the sensation of pain but also how the mind can latch onto it and create problems around it. Then you learn…

“Choiceless Awareness"

Ajahn Viradhammo

“Choiceless Awareness"

As meditators, most of us have an object of meditation we’ve chosen that helps us to anchor the mind in the present moment. For instance, we can follow the breath or concentrate on manifesting the energy of loving-kindness. These are very fruitful practices because they make it easier for us to compose and collect the mind. But there’s also a form of meditation that we call “choiceless awareness,”…