Is This A Moral Universe--Cause and Effect

Ajahn Amaro

Is This A Moral Universe--Cause and Effect

In Buddhist tradition we talk about pāramitā, the field of good deeds. During the Buddha’s many, many lives as a Bodhisattva he developed the Ten Pāramitās: generosity, renunciation, virtue, wisdom, energy, truthfulness, patience, determination, loving-kindness and equanimity; and those wholesome qualities helped him to build up this field of merit – puñña. So when we draw close to such a person a…

Impossible Things

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Impossible Things

Like the character in Through the Looking Glass who liked to think of two or three impossible things every morning before breakfast just as an exercise to open up his brain, it’s good to think about infinity: how long things have been going on and how much longer they could go on if you don’t get your act together. This also helps to put small issues from day-to-day life into perspective. They see…

Enjoying the Breath

Ajahn Pasanno

Enjoying the Breath

It’s impossible for our ordinary mind to be clear, but we can direct our attention through the very nature of having a mind. We can formulate an intention and then direct thought and attention to that which is skillful and wholesome, that which brightens and allows the mind to feel a sense of ease. A lifting up of mind and attention, directing thought and evaluating result. Ask yourselves: “Is thi…

How Is Suffering Understood?

Ajahn Viradhammo

How Is Suffering Understood?

How is suffering to be understood then? Well, you have to be in the midst of suffering to understand it. Take aversion, for instance. Let’s say that someone walks into the room and they proceed to do something that annoys you. That annoyance then leads to thoughts like “This person is so irritating. Why can’t they be different? They need to stop doing that. I don’t like this person.” Or, if they’r…

Rooted in Desire

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Rooted in Desire

Every desire aims at happiness. The problem is we misconstrue the happiness. We misconstrue what’s going to work getting there. So the Path is here to help us get a clearer idea of what true happiness might be like, and what works and what doesn’t work along the way. That way you can take the principle that “all things are rooted in desire” and use it to your own true advantage until you can final…

Clean Clothes, Cheerful Minds

Ajahn Chah

Clean Clothes, Cheerful Minds

It is only natural that when we put on dirty clothes and our bodies are dirty, that our minds, too, will feel uncomfortable and depressed. However, if we keep our bodies clean and wear clean, neat clothes, it makes our minds light and cheerful. So too, when morality is not kept, our bodily actions and speech are dirty, and this is a cause for making the mind unhappy, distressed and heavy. We are s…

With Eyes Closed

Mae Chee Kaew

With Eyes Closed

Someone once asked Ajaan Mun: “What books do forest meditation monks study?” His reply was: “They study with eyes closed, but mind awake.” As soon as I awaken in the morning, my eyes are bombarded by forms; so, I investigate the contact between eye and form. My ears are struck by sounds, my nose by aromas, and my tongue by flavors; my body senses hot and cold, hard and soft, while my heart is assa…

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.…