One-Pointed Mindfulness

Ajahn Pasanno

One-Pointed Mindfulness

Remember the importance of one-pointedness of mind. Find skillful means to sustain one-pointedness. Mindfulness of the body is an important anchor to help that focus and sustain attention. Mindfulness of the body and one-pointedness don’t mean blocking out things around one, but rather having an anchor or focal point. It’s so easy for the mind to get distracted into different things going on aroun…

Breathing Into Busy Activity

Ajahn Pasanno

Breathing Into Busy Activity

There has been a lot of busyness these days. There are things that need to be done and we’re doing them, but it’s really important to be careful and attentive to how much one gets swept up into the busyness. Those are two different things—actually doing something and the frantic, busy, scattered energy that you bring to the task. Try to watch and reflect on the feeling behind what you’re doing. Wh…

To What Do We Give Ourselves?

Debbie Stamp

To What Do We Give Ourselves?

I don’t ever preach about what I’m doing but I can’t hide the fact that this is my life because I do live in a monastery. That was a big step to take, actually. I’m sure in the early days my family didn’t completely understand what I was doing. I live at Abhayagiri in a way that’s straddling both worlds, straddling the monastic life but it’s also straddling the lay life. Over the years my parents…

A Sense of Centering

Ajahn Pasanno

A Sense of Centering

Something that is helpful, whether we’re doing chores or sitting in meditation, is a sense of centering. It’s essential that we have this recollection of centering, of bringing things to a central place so that we’re working from a still point, rather than being scattered and disbursed and having our attention diffused out into the world around us. As we collect ourselves at that center point, it…

A Mirror On Desire

Ajahn Pasanno

A Mirror On Desire

It is important that we consider and reflect on the theme of the four requisites (clothing, food, shelter and medicine) —trying to both be clear in terms of what is that we actually need and what is it that we want or desire. It usually gets a bit cloudy or confused around these two points. If we try to rely on what is necessary for a simple life and question the desire or feeling of need that com…

The Heart of Buddhism is One-Pointedness of Mind

Ajahn Pasanno

The Heart of Buddhism is One-Pointedness of Mind

Yesterday evening at the reading, Ajahn Munindo recounted a meeting with Lung Por Tate. Luang Por Tate was about ninety-four years old at the time. When asked “What is the essence of Buddhism?” Luang Por Tate very simply answered saying, “The heart of Buddhism is one-pointedness of mind.” That’s a very simple statement but it has many, many implications, particularly from the point of training. Th…

Have a Wonderful Day

Paul Breiter

Have a Wonderful Day

Every morning at Wat Nanachat Bung Wai, large numbers of laypeople show up for the meal offering. Some are villagers who come daily, some come from nearby towns and cities, some from other provinces and regions of Thailand. Within this matrix of generosity and reverence for the Buddha, his teachings, and his spiritual community, there is an atmosphere of harmony and joyfulness. On my most recent v…

Venerable Day

Ajahn Pasanno

Venerable Day

This evening is our observance night, an opportunity to recollect the refuges and precepts, and to take the time to reflect on the direction we want to guide our spiritual practice. In the Thai language the observance day is called the “Wan Phra,” which means “Holy Day” or “Monk Day” or maybe “Day Worthy of Veneration.” Ajahn Chah used to say, “It’s helpful having these special days. They were est…

Stopping

Ajahn Pasanno

Stopping

The other night Ajahn Sucitto talked about kamma at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery—kamma that leads to the ending of kamma and the aspect of stopping. I think we overlook the importance of that. We get so caught up in doing and becoming and activity and engagement that we neglect to attend to stopping. Stopping isn’t just sitting around doing nothing, because that’s a doing as well. It’s stopping…

Take Responsibility for the Requisites

Ajahn Pasanno

Take Responsibility for the Requisites

I’d like to continue with the theme of the four requisites and the material realm in which we live. On a certain level, looking after the requisites is really basic, just putting things away. Take responsibility for the requisites. Make sure that tools get put back into the place where you found them, rather than leaving them out for other people to put away. Cultivate the attitude of being circum…