Gratitude

Ajahn Munindo

Gratitude

Sometimes when gratitude appears, it is familiar and expected, like how we feel when we take off a heavy backpack at the end of a long day’s walk. At other times gratitude feels both familiar and surprising at the same time, such as when, towards the end of a long dark winter, the warm sunshine might suddenly break through, triggering a release of the fragrance of hyacinths and jonquils. Then ther…

With a Heart of Letting Go

Ajahn Candasiri

With a Heart of Letting Go

Life is uncertain. It was this reflection that led the young prince, Siddhartha Gautama, to leave the apparent security of his family and the palace where he had grown up in search of a different, more reliable state of security and inner peace. For some people, what he eventually discovered during his search may seem shocking. He had surrendered his position, relationships and material comfort, a…

Dimensions of Consciousness

Bhikkhu Dick Sīlaratano

Dimensions of Consciousness

Deva consciousness is another form of sentient existence governed by the laws of kamma. Mae Chee Kaew’s samādhi meditation introduced her to a rich spectrum of otherworldly experience. Sometimes her consciousness separated from her body and wandered to explore the heavenly realms or the different levels of the brahma world. She visited the various types of subtly formed beings, called devas, who e…

The Punch Bag

Ajahn Sundara

The Punch Bag

Sometimes we come to a monastery with a real sense of purpose but discover later that things may be very different from the purpose we envisaged at first. After reading lots of books on Buddhism, we perhaps enter the monastery with the idea that we must become a good Buddhist, or become kind, or compassionate, or loving and so on. And thus we enter into conflict with ourselves because the reality…

Critical Faculties—Use Them Wisely

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Critical Faculties—Use Them Wisely

As the Buddha explains, the steps to follow in awakening to the truth, once you’ve heard the Dhamma—such as the teachings of the step-by-step discourse or the four noble truths—you try to remember it. Then you try to penetrate the meaning of the words. Once you understand them, you ponder them until you find that they make sense: This is called “coming to an agreement through pondering the teachin…

Honest Feedback Out of Compassion

Ajahn Sucitto

Honest Feedback Out of Compassion

So it’s interesting that the Kathina season begins with what’s called the Pavaranā – which means ‘Invitation.’ Pavaranā is the invitation that the samanas, the monks and nuns, offer to each other; it’s a kind of voucher. And this voucher says: ‘If you see or even suspect that there’s something that I’ve been doing wrong – please let me know.’ The Buddha said this is the most precious gift we can…

Faith

Ajahn Munindo

Faith

Although our goal in practice is clear seeing – wisdom – it is faith that ignites our aspiration and enables us to embark on this journey of awakening. We have faith that there is more to life than that which appears on the surface; we are keen to look more deeply. Faith helped pique my interest and led to my joining my first meditation retreat; faith meant I have been able to endure apparently un…

Counteracting Superstition

Ajahn Amaro

Counteracting Superstition

One of the characteristics for which Ajahn Chah was most well-known was his keenness to dispel superstition in relation to Buddhist practice in Thailand. He strongly criticized the magic charms, amulets and fortune-telling that pervade so much of that society. He rarely spoke about past or future lives, other realms, visions or psychic experiences. Anyone who came to him asking for a tip about the…

The Secret of Walking Meditation

Ajahn Liem

The Secret of Walking Meditation

The secret of walking meditation is to walk in a manner that will imprint nothing but peaceful happiness with each step. This reflection by Luang Por Liem is from the booklet, Walking with Awareness, (pdf) frame 3.

Maraṇasati

Bhikkhunī Santacittā

Maraṇasati

The practice of maraṇasati consists of three primary reflections: Death is inevitable. We cannot know when, where, and how we will die. When death comes, we will have to let go of everything. These contemplations can be done while sitting in meditation, while walking, while lying down, or whenever we think of it. We can begin by taking a few breaths and grounding in the body. We might say to ours…