Accepting the Way Things Are

Ajahn Sumedho

Accepting the Way Things Are

We are not here to become anything or to get rid of anything, to change anything or to make anything for ourselves, or to demand anything, but to awaken more and more, to reflect, observe and know the Dhamma. Don’t worry that it might change for the worse. Whatever way it changes, we have the wisdom to adapt to it. And that I can see is the real fearlessness of the alms-mendicant life. We can adap…

Sunita the Outcaste

Pāli Canon

Sunita the Outcaste

In a lowly family I was born, poor, with next to no food. My work was degrading: I gathered the spoiled, the withered flowers from shrines and threw them away. People found me disgusting, despised me, disparaged me. Lowering my heart, I showed reverence to many. Then I saw the One Self-awakened, arrayed with a squadron of monks, the Great Hero, entering the city, supreme, of the Magadhans. Throwin…

The Present Moment and the Illusion of Time

Ajahn Yatiko

The Present Moment and the Illusion of Time

When undertaking the life of a monastic, we have a direction and a goal in mind. There’s something we’re aiming for, and it’s important to reflect on that with some frequency. From time to time we can ask ourselves, What’s the direction of my life? What’s the goal of my life? We can also reflect on where this goal is located. With understanding we can see that it is located in the present moment.…

Looking Back on the Effort

Ajahn Yatiko

Looking Back on the Effort

Yesterday, Luang Por Sopah was giving some reflections about Wat Pa Pong and what it was like in the early days. While Luang Por spoke, I looked over at Ajahn Pasanno and saw him smiling brightly as he listened. I could almost see the wheels in Ajahn Pasanno’s head turning as his memories were being churned up. It seemed to me that he might have been thinking, I know what Luang Por Sopah is talkin…

Christmas Day: A Bodhisatta of Compassion

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Christmas Day: A Bodhisatta of Compassion

It’s Christmas Day. I don’t know much about Christianity. Even though I grew up as a Christian, I wasn’t very attentive to the religion. As Buddhists, we can sometimes have our own limited perspectives about Christianity. We may find ourselves making different judgments about the religion, or at least about how it’s practiced in the world these days. But one of the more positive memories that I ha…

Heart-centred Practice

Ajahn Viradhammo

Heart-centred Practice

If you’re having trouble feeling anything in the heart, then I suggest you try to notice the sensations in that area. Get to know what that part of the body feels like as you breathe. Notice as you breathe in, it feels this way, and as you breathe out, it feels that way. Just rest your attention at the heart and become conscious of the changing sensations there. As different events unfold, this ar…

Gather the Heart Within the Breathing

Ajahn Sucitto

Gather the Heart Within the Breathing

We’re affected by our senses: sights, sounds, thoughts and the rest. Out of their contact, impressions (such as ‘threat’, ‘safe’ or ‘desirable’) wave like flags. The process of flagging things as desirable or dreadful then creates mind-states such as eagerness, worry, doubt, affection or regret. When we’re angry with someone or regret something we did in the past or hanker after something we don’t…

Always Something to Share

Ajahn Santacitto

Always Something to Share

I don’t know how many of you have ever travelled. It’s a strange experience when you’re in an entirely foreign country with an unfamiliar culture and people who speak a different language. Yet there’s always something to share. One of my fondest memories was when I was in Ethiopia hitching down to Kenya. It was night and there weren’t any cars, only a man walking in the same direction along the ro…

The Paradox of Urgency

Ajahn Pasanno

The Paradox of Urgency

We may feel there exists a paradox or inconsistency having to do with some of the teachings that guide our spiritual practice and how we conduct our daily lives. First we’re told it’s important to have a sense of urgency, and then we’re told to relax, let go, and cultivate a feeling of spaciousness. On one side, the Buddha encourages us to cultivate the quality of saṃvega, which is usually transla…

The Dhamma Weapon

Ajaan Mahā Boowa

The Dhamma Weapon

The term ‘Majjhimā’, or suitability, refers to the application of the Dhamma weapon to encounter and overwhelm any kind of kilesa that might appear. When the strength of this Dhamma weapon matches the strength of the kilesas, then we can withstand them. But there is still the possibility of the kilesas overwhelming and defeating us. But if we are tough and a lot more forceful than the kilesas, the…