Personality

Ajahn Jayasāro

Personality

It would seem obvious that any detailed discussion of a person’s life must, sooner or later, focus on his or her personality. It tends to be assumed that it is in the personality that the essence of a person is to be found. But this apparent truism requires certain qualifications in the case of liberated beings, or those practising for liberation. In such cases, the personality is fluid. Personali…

Getting to Know Ourselves

Ajahn Jitindriya

Getting to Know Ourselves

Once we undertake this practice, it can take a long time just to get to know ourselves, to start to look inwardly and get to know all the forces that are pushing and pulling us. We get to know our own ways and means of being in the world, and of taking on the practice, the discipline and the meditation techniques. We see our own tactics of mind in relationship to pleasure and pain – we see what we…

Space

Ajahn Sucitto

Space

Briefly, real space rather than imagined space is a bodily experience. It’s a sense of having room and having space. Space, in this sense, is an experience to a degree of containment, a degree of openness. In this very room one can feel a lot of space if the body is open and relaxed. You feel a lot of space. Sitting still you can feel like a vast space. You can be in what looks like a vast space w…

Putting Our Moods in Their Place

Ajahn Pasanno

Putting Our Moods in Their Place

I’ve been thinking about Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo, recalling his most memorable interaction with Ajahn Chah while living at Wat Pah Pong. One day while out on alms round, Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo had a slight argument with another monk and became stirred up and upset. When he returned to the monastery, Ajahn Chah smiled at him and uncharacteristically in English said, “Good morning.” Of course Ajahn Ñāṇadha…

A Balanced Perspective

Ajahn Pasanno

A Balanced Perspective

As most of us know, when bringing the practice into our daily lives, it’s necessary to apply mindfulness. But it’s also necessary to ensure that our mindfulness is operating under an appropriate and beneficial view or perspective. If we are mindful, but our view is misguided, then it’s likely that we’re mindfully following some sort of bias or obsession. In order to keep on the right track, we nee…

Awakening is an Activity

Ajahn Thiradhammo

Awakening is an Activity

The word ‘awakening’ is part of a verb. It is an activity, a waking- up process. We can even reflect on the analogy of waking up in the morning: consciousness begins to become clearer, it tunes in to reality more and more, until you recognize that this is how it is. The limitation of that analogy is that when we wake up in the morning, our self-consciousness usually wakes up too. Consciousness is…

Find Out for Yourself

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Find Out for Yourself

Discernment to be really effective has to come from within, has to be your discernment. There’s no way it’s going to be your discernment unless you’re willing to put in the time to watch, to learn, to experiment. So be patient with the practice. This doesn’t mean if things aren’t going well you just let them not go well. But it means having the persistence to keep coming back. If one approach isn’…

Centering on a Clear, Still Place

Ajahn Pasanno

Centering on a Clear, Still Place

Having a sense of centering, whether we’re doing chores or sitting in meditation, can be a valuable practice for us. It’s essential that we remember to center ourselves—to bring things to a central place—so that we’re working from a still point, rather than having our energy and attention diffused and scattered out into the world around us. As we collect ourselves at that center point, it brings o…

Out of Proportion

Jaturun Siripongs

Out of Proportion

So often we make something huge out of a simple problem, and blow it out of all proportion. How many of our difficulties start with one tiny misunderstanding: someone didn’t give us their usual smile today, our teacher gave us a stern look or our best friend criticized us; this morning’s cup of coffee was not so tasty; our mood was a bit cranky…that’s all it takes to ruin our whole day!… How tragi…

We All Suffer

Ajahn Pasanno

We All Suffer

I remember Ajahn Chah teasing us Westerners because we generally had far more education than most of the Thai monks who went to study, train, and ordain with him. As he became better-known, there were more Bangkok Thais coming who were well educated also. It was always a source of amusement to him. He would say, “You know, people go and study and they get bachelor’s degrees, but their defilements…