Putting the Four Noble Truths Into Action

Ajahn Pasanno

Putting the Four Noble Truths Into Action

As we bring the practice into our daily lives, it’s immensely beneficial to use the Four Noble Truths when viewing experience— in our formal meditation, interactions with others, and engagements with various duties. This is not something to save for later—after studying the suttas, developing all the states of concentration and the psychic powers, we finally contemplate the Noble Truths and become…

Clean Kuṭi, Clear Mind

Ajahn Pasanno

Clean Kuṭi, Clear Mind

Keeping our kuṭis, our dwelling places, in order helps to keep our minds in order as well. So anytime we leave our kuṭis, we should make sure everything is put away, neat and tidy. It’s easy to let things slide, to tidy up only once a week, or whatever. But if we have a habit of letting things get a bit messy before tidying up, we’re apt to develop a somewhat lax attitude about everything, which…

The Mango Picking Pole Is Too Long

Ajahn Pasanno

The Mango Picking Pole Is Too Long

Sometimes we feel compelled to think, figure things out, analyze what we’re doing, and marshal all the logical reasons for directing our practice in a particular way, but in the end, it’s simply busyness. And an important part of our practice is developing skills that prevent the mind from being trapped in busyness. Ajahn Chah used the example of picking mangoes. In Thailand, mangoes are picked by…

Mangala Sutta

Monastic Sangha

Mangala Sutta

THE HIGHEST BLESSINGS (Mangala Sutta) (Thus have I heard that the Blessed One) Was staying at Sāvatthī, Residing at the Jeta’s Grove In Anāthapiṇḍaka’s park. Then in the dark of the night, a radiant deva illuminated all Jeta’s Grove. She bowed down low before the Blessed One, then standing to one side she said: “Devas are concerned for happiness and ever long for peace. The same is true for humank…

The Generosity of Respect

Ajahn Pasanno

The Generosity of Respect

When we are working together and interacting with each other, it’s important for each of us in the community to have mutual respect for one another and to 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—we’re pretty adept at that. Especially when we live together ov…

The Breath Through the Fog

Ajahn Yatiko

The Breath Through the Fog

Ajahn Chah said that when watching the breath, it’s important to understand that our thinking doesn’t have to stop. This is a very useful point. Often when we’re watching the breath, we get lost in a train of thought and eventually remind ourselves to come back to the breath. In many guided meditations, we often hear the phrase, “Come back to the breath.” We can start to feel that thinking is a pr…

Why Am I Talking

Ajahn Amaro

Why Am I Talking

I’ve been reflecting on the realm of right speech, an area in our lives that very swiftly gets carried away on the wind. Just as autumn leaves off the oak tree end up all over the landscape, so too our resolution to be more attentive and more mindful of speech gets carried away on the winds of circumstance. We might listen to a Dhamma talk on right speech and take in the various principles express…

Spacious Practice

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Spacious Practice

Having a sense of spaciousness is an important quality to look after in one’s meditation practice. It’s easy to become contracted and narrow in what we focus on, particularly during the work period when we can be quite involved with the task at hand. During this time we can easily remain involved, absorbed, enmeshed, and identified with the work we’re doing. While intense focus like this can serve…

Self-Effacement

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Self-Effacement

Developing insight around the aspect of anattā, not-self, is often understood to arise from a sudden insight, awakening, or penetration that results from the culmination of earnestly practicing samatha and vipassanā, concentration and insight. In a sense there’s a truth to that. A deep and penetrating insight does come through investigation. But there’s a slow, gradual process that can also lead…

Sweeping What's in Front of Your Broom

Ajahn Pasanno

Sweeping What's in Front of Your Broom

We have a very full schedule here at the monastery over the coming days. That’s how it is. Sometimes there’s a lot happening. When this occurs, it’s helpful to have a perspective that doesn’t make things complicated or difficult. I remember at Wat Nanachat, one of the things visitors were asked to do in the morning while the monks were out on alms round was to sweep the monastery grounds—and it’s…