Preparing to Die

Ajahn Pasanno

Preparing to Die

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was once asked, “What’s the point of your practice?” He answered, “I am preparing to die.” What a wonderfully succinct response. He didn’t go through a detailed explanation of all of the philosophical schools—Vajrayana, Mahayana, Theravada—or the whole history of Buddhism. Instead, he cut straight to the chase of what spiritual practice is for and a human life is all ab…

Not Reaching for the Stars

Ajahn Pasanno

Not Reaching for the Stars

…How do we handle the contrast between what is ideal and what is real? We can moan and whinge or retreat into fantasy and desire, but from the Buddha’s perspective, it’s always about establishing a sense of clarity and equanimity within the reality of the present moment. With something like the weather, it’s fairly easy for us to see our unrealistic hopes clearly and accept them for what they are.…

True Education

Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto

True Education

Our lives depend on learning and training. We are constantly encountering new situations, meeting new people, or meeting familiar people in new circumstances. All of these experiences require specific actions, behaviour, and responses. Even the process of wholesome thought and cognition—the aspiration to live one’s life well and to cultivate virtue—requires a degree of effort. In relation to all o…

The Place of Victory

Ajahn Jitindriya

The Place of Victory

Retreat time in particular offers a wonderful opportunity for reflection; affording so much time to cultivate this practice, and with so much support. It’s unbearable sometimes! All this good fortune – yet oftentimes what we have to sit with is absolutely excruciating, just the opposite of what one would want or what one would expect. What we have to meet within ourselves on this path is extremely…

Asalha Puja

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Asalha Puja

Tonight is Asalha Puja. We’re paying homage (puja) in the full moon in the month of Asalha to remember the day when the Buddha first set forth the Dhamma as a teaching. The Dhamma as the truth of the world, of course, exists all the time. But to have it put into words so people can practice it: That’s a rare opportunity. That’s what the Buddha did on this night. …he gave a sketch of right view, an…

Open Up Your Heart

Ajahn Chah

Open Up Your Heart

When you listen to the Dhamma you must open up your heart and compose yourself in the center. Don’t try to accumulate what you hear or make a painstaking effort to retain what you hear through memory. Just let the Dhamma flow into your heart as it reveals itself and keep yourself continuously open to its flow in the present moment. What is ready to be retained will be so and it will happen of its…

Refuges and Precepts

Ajahn Pasanno

Refuges and Precepts

The refuges of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha provide the foundation for the wholesome qualities of the heart to arise. The precepts establish a strong foundation of integrity and virtue, as well as an ability to cultivate, both individually and in a group setting, a sense of trust: trust in oneself and the whole environment that one is in. Reflecting on and recollecting the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha…

Refuge of Empathy

Ajahn Sucitto

Refuge of Empathy

…Can we invite others into that Refuge of empathy? Especially in hearing people talk, try to hear beneath the topic, the dismissed remark, the stresses, the places where the pauses occur and there’s a reaching out for response–what is needed? And what arises in your own heart when others talk? Are there character assessments, and inferences about hidden motives? Does your attention wane until ther…

Terms and Conditions

Jaturun Siripongs

Terms and Conditions

If you sincerely wish to practice, you have to let go of your terms and conditions. Profound teaching can be given only to those who really understand the value of that profoundness. In fact when you do understand the profoundness, many of your terms and conditions do not seem so important because they are much less valuable than the teachings. When a practitioner is able to let go, any teaching t…

Look After Your Own Mind

Ajahn Pasanno

Look After Your Own Mind

I felt very concerned that Jay look after the quality of his own mind and not let peopled distract him due to their own traumas about his imminent death. Jay recognized the dynamic that was going on around him; he was certainly not trying to maintain social contact because of agitation or restlessness. Still, he realized that he had to take responsibility for his own stability. Although he gave hi…