Desire Is a Liar

Ajahn Amaro

Desire Is a Liar

We can learn to use the structures and the limits of a retreat, a monastic life or those that are part of lay life…to look at the mind’s habit of chasing after a desire or an aversion. We can make an effort to not follow the craving but to know: ‘This is a feeling; this is a very potent feeling perhaps, it’s very strong, but it is just a feeling.’ The mind might make a strong case: ‘I can’t stand…

The Cycles of Addiction

Ajahn Amaro

The Cycles of Addiction

When the mind gets caught in the feeling of pleasure, there is the tendency to want more of it. Or, when the mind experiences an unpleasant, painful feeling, it wants to get away from it. This is what is called the bridge between ‘feeling’ and ‘craving’. This is the key point in the addictive process because this is where the trouble really starts: where the feeling of ‘like’ transforms into ‘I wa…

The World Is Swept Away

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The World Is Swept Away

What’s interesting is that the Buddha says all this inconstancy, stress and not-self is rooted in desire. And yet because of the desire, we’re never satisfied. It’s through our lack of satisfaction that we want this and want that, and yet the things that we create in order to fill up that lack never really give satisfaction. So we desire more. We create more. The process keeps feeding on itself, b…

A Superior Resolve

Ajahn Pasanno

A Superior Resolve

Yesterday, four senior monks from Abhayagiri participated in the ordination at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The preceptor was Reverend Heng Sure. As he was instructing the candidates, he kept using a certain refrain: “There is inferior resolve, medium resolve, and superior resolve.” The examples he gave of inferior and medium resolve were humorous, so as to encourage the prospective monks to…

Where Did It All Go

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Where Did It All Go

Today is Beth’s birthday. We were talking a few minutes ago about how quickly it all happens, how fast the time passes, particularly as one gets older. Time tends to telescope and move much faster with age. Beth mentioned her mother was recently looking in a shop and saw a reflection in the window. Her first thought was, Who is that old lady? Then she realized that it was herself! I remember a tim…

The Lure of Becoming and the Middle Way

Ajahn Amaro

The Lure of Becoming and the Middle Way

When we are in a queue we think: ‘When are we going to get to the desk?’ That is the ‘becoming’ urge, bhava-tanha. We think to ourselves, ‘How long is the line?’ ‘Are we nearly at the table?’ ‘Are we nearly there?’ This is not the same as simply waiting for the line to move. It is ‘becoming’ and, naturally, there is the suffering that arises from becoming. But let go of that urge and then you happ…

To Potaliya

Monastic Sangha

To Potaliya

Suppose a dog, overcome with weakness & hunger, were to come across a slaughterhouse, and there a dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice were to fling him a chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood. What do you think: Would the dog, gnawing on that chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood — appease its weakness & hunger? No, lo…

Nourishing the Spiritual Faculties

Ajahn Pasanno

Nourishing the Spiritual Faculties

We just had Ajahn Dtun staying at the monastery, and he very generously shared teachings with us. For most people here, I think, his presence and way of being were uplifting and generated the arising of faith. Now, whenever faith or confidence arises in us—whether from the presence of a teacher or whatever the source—it’s important to use that faith to benefit our practice. The wholesome result of…

What the Body Is Supposed to Do

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

What the Body Is Supposed to Do

I remember the first experiences Luang Por Liem had with his heart difficulties in Thailand. Apparently the condition had been going on for quite some time. He had symptoms of fatigue and probably shortness of breath, among other things. It wasn’t until it was quite progressed that he did anything about it. When asked why it took him so long to look into it, his response was something like: “I tho…

Dont Try to Help But Dont Turn Away

Ajahn Amaro

Dont Try to Help But Dont Turn Away

Compassion in action means working with the painful conditions in ourselves and others, and seeing how they mingle. Often a period in our life is not just one single shade of pleasure or one single shade of pain. In many if not most instances we experience mixed feelings, and sometimes a difficult condition, something that we would never have chosen, ends up bringing immense riches with it. Even w…