Directing Attention to Contentment

Ajahn Pasanno

Directing Attention to Contentment

The theme of contentment is a good theme for all of us - the aspect of learning how to be content with both the circumstances around us as well as our own mind. Sometimes the agitation, restlessness, negativity and fault-finding that the mind cranks out is not so much about any big thing that’s happening outside, it is almost invariably a lack of contentment internally. When the mind is internally…

Homage to PooJomGom

Ajahn Ñāniko

Homage to PooJomGom

(Ajahn Nyaniko recently returned to Abhayagiri after spending five years in Thailand. The Abhayagiri Publications Staff invited Ajahn Nyaniko to write a reflection on his time there. Numbers indicate footnotes which can be found at the end of the article.) Poo Jom Gom was founded in 1990 by Ajahn Pasanno[1], as a place where Wat Nanachat monks could go to seek solitude, have few duties, and deepen…

Approaching Gorillas

Ajahn Pasanno

Approaching Gorillas

It’s good to remind ourselves of the importance of bringing mindfulness to our day to day activities. It’s easy to say “OK, just be mindful”. You hear it so often, if it becomes rote or trite it loses its impact. A core part of practice is mindfulness, the application of mindfulness and learning how to direct mindfulness. It’s one of the key foundations of our practice and our training. When we re…

A Nice Pasture (Q & A)

Ajahn Pasanno

A Nice Pasture (Q & A)

Question: I’ve heard that, in the beginning, Luang Por Chah used to lock the doors of the sala (Dhamma Hall) during the all-night sits. Luang Por: I wasn’t there for that. But he did make us sit right after the meal in all three of our robes in the hot season! But over time, he came to rely more on wisdom than brute force. Q: What caused him to make this change? LP: Well, because he learned that i…

Desire Creeps In

Ajahn Pasanno

Desire Creeps In

It’s worthwhile to watch the habits of desire and craving which continue to creep into the mind, and on a certain level, to see how insidious these habits are. Really pay attention to desire and notice it, because it is insidious. This isn’t a commentary on one’s inability to deal with it or to understand and recognize it, but more of a call to attend and be willing to investigate how desire keeps…

Generosity of Heart

Ajahn Pasanno

Generosity of Heart

I spoke about respect last night, and I’d like to continue with this theme today. When we are working together and interacting with each other, it’s so important for a community to have mutual respect for each other and recognize that everybody is here because they have the intention to do something good, something wholesome. On the level of personality it’s easy to exercise our critical faculties…

A Skill of Balance

Ajahn Yatiko

A Skill of Balance

We have a direction and a goal in this lifestyle. There’s something that we’re aiming for, and we should think about that. What’s the direction of our life? What’s the goal of our life? Where is that goal located? The goal is located in the present moment, it’s right now, and it’s always going to be there. Many of us live our life thinking about the future most of the time. Maybe as you get older…

Talking to Yourself

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Talking to Yourself

We suffer largely because of the way we talk to ourselves. That’s what the message of the four noble truths is all about. It’s not that we suffer from sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or tactile sensations. We suffer because of the commentary we apply to these things. And a lot of meditation is learning to talk to yourself in new ways. In fact, the whole practice is about talking to yourself in new…

Preparing for and Managing Growing Old

Ajahn Candasiri

Preparing for and Managing Growing Old

…a question that someone asked in one of the meditation workshops. She said she was noticing that as she grew older she tended to forget things; her mind is no longer so bright and clear. She asked, ‘How do you practise with this? I know that it’s not going to get any better; I can feel that my mind is going.’ After she had asked this question, there was an awesome hush in the room. I think quite…

It’s Not Just Samādhi

Ajahn Saññamo

It’s Not Just Samādhi

When living in a monastery, there tends not to be such an intense focus on Samādhi (concentration) as much as one might find on a ten day or seven day meditation retreat. However, life in a monastery offers different kinds of lessons, different qualities that can be developed. Things tend to be less intensely focused, so we need to look at our attitudes: how we view things like our requisites or o…