Cultivating Empathy

Ajahn Sucitto

Cultivating Empathy

The overarching Dhamma practice for the human realm–the realm of being affected by people and events, and by our moods, limitations and disappointments–is the cultivation of empathy (anukampa). This is the fellow-feeling that motivated the Buddha to teach; it’s the sense that we live in a shared scenario with its qualities, problems and potential. When it’s activated, it follows one or more of fou…

Recalling Ajahn Chah

Ajahn Pasanno

Recalling Ajahn Chah

I remember one time we were coming back from piṇḍapat (alms-round) and I was walking along behind him. My Thai was not so good, so I was just being respectful and walking close by him. We came in from the back of the monastery, and as we were walking through the forest, two lizards fell from a tree. Luang Por looked, then turned and said, ‘See those lizards, they were mating. If they weren’t cau…

A Gift of Dhamma

Ajahn Chah

A Gift of Dhamma

The subject of practice isn’t far away at all, it’s right here in our body and mind. Westerners and Thais are the same, they both have a body and mind. A confused body and mind means a confused person and a peaceful body and mind, a peaceful person. Actually, the mind, like rain water, is pure in its natural state. If we were to drop green coloring into clear rain water, however, it would turn gre…

Red-Hot Coal and Bird

Ajahn Chah

Red-Hot Coal and Bird

The household life is easy and difficult at the same time. It’s easy to understand what to do, but difficult to do it. It’s as if you were holding a piece of red-hot coal in your hand and came to me complaining about it. I’d tell you to simply let go of it, but you’d refuse saying, “I want it to be cold.” Well, either you drop it, or you must learn to be very, very patient. “How can I just drop it…

Gratitude for Opportunities

Ajahn Sumedho

Gratitude for Opportunities

At a time like this, we should also consider expressing kataññu [Pali for gratitude] to the country we live in, because usually we take this for granted. But we can remember the benefits, the good things made available to us by the state and society, rather than just emphasizing what’s wrong or what we do not like. Kataññu allows us to bring into consciousness all the positive things concerned…

Following the Footsteps

Ajahn Liem

Following the Footsteps

Our teacher, the Lord Buddha, was born on the bare earth under a Sala-tree in Lumbini. He was enlightened sitting on the bare earth with just a thin cushion of grass beneath, under the Bodhi-tree in Bodhgaya. He entered final nibbana lying down on the bare earth, under a Sala-tree, with merely his outer robe underneath. Nothing more than that. His whole life the Buddha spent on the earth and under…

Abhayagiri Is Complete

Ajahn Amaro

Abhayagiri Is Complete

Yesterday, when some of us were walking around…we saw many new kuṭis and the new workshop which were all built over the last couple of years since I departed. These were things that Luang Por Pasanno, myself, and others would fantasize about. It’d be a nice place to have a kuṭi there, or we could do this here, or maybe we should put the workshop there. Many of these things have suddenly become a…

Abhayagiri--What's in a Name?

Ajahn Amaro

Abhayagiri--What's in a Name?

How we name things is important. When contemplating what to call the monastery in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California, a number of different possibilities were considered. Since we were the fortunate beneficiaries of the generosity of Ven. Master Hsüan Hua in receiving the initial gift of 120 acres of land in Redwood Valley, it was obvious that it would be appropriate to somehow reflect…

Luang Por

Ajahn Jayasaro

Luang Por

You were a fountain of cool stream water in the square of a dusty town, and you were the source of that stream, on a high, unseen peak. You were, Luang Por, that mountain itself, unmoved, but variously seen. Luang Por, you were never one person, you were always the same. You were the child laughing at the Emperor’s new clothes, and ours. You were a demand to be awake, the mirror of our faults, rut…

Knowing the World

Ajahn Liem

Knowing the World

“They are the Blessed One’s disciples who have practised well. Who have practised directly. Who have practised insightfully. Those who practice with integrity.” These four attributes, or ways of referring to the Sangha, are like the ‘footsteps of the Enlightened Ones’. We show our reverence and respect for these virtuous qualities of Sangha which follow on from the Noble Triple Gem. Within these q…