Aging and Awakened

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Aging and Awakened

147 Look at the beautified image, a heap of festering wounds, shored up: ill, but the object of many resolves, where there is nothing lasting or sure. 149 A city made of bones, plastered over with flesh & blood, whose hidden treasures are: pride & contempt, aging & death. 181 Hard the winning of a human birth. Hard the life of mortals. Hard the chance to hear the true Dhamma. Hard the arising of A…

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Change

Ajahn Pasanno

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Change

There is a feeling of change today since the rain has come. The rain on the roof is an unfamiliar sound after months and months of dry summer. As I came down this morning for pūjā, there was the smell of moisture in the air. We can pay attention to that feeling of change. The mind tends to look at things from a one-sided perspective. We might be people who love the warm summer and hate the cold…

The Trump Card

Ajahn Yatiko

The Trump Card

During the recent Western Monastic Conference, I raised a question with the Christian monks who were there, regarding an orthodox belief. I asked, “What happens to an unbaptized baby who dies in childbirth or an aborted fetus? Is it going to heaven or not?” One of the monks answered, “Well, technically it’s not going to heaven, because it wasn’t baptized.” It’s easy to think that’s an outrageous b…

Rapture

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Rapture

Take a few deep, long in-and-out breaths and think of the breath energy filling the body. When we talk of the breath energy being full, it’s not a matter of having your lungs stuffed with air. It’s more that the energy channels throughout the body are open and they feel saturated with comfortable energy. So try to notice where in the body you have that sense of fullness right now. Protect that spo…

From Phena Sutta Samyutta Nikaya

Monastic Sangha

From Phena Sutta Samyutta Nikaya

Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they’re empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately. Beginning with the body as taught by the One with profound discernment: when abandoned by three things — life, w…

Desire Is a Liar

Ajahn Amaro

Desire Is a Liar

We can learn to use the structures and the limits of a retreat, a monastic life or those that are part of lay life…to look at the mind’s habit of chasing after a desire or an aversion. We can make an effort to not follow the craving but to know: ‘This is a feeling; this is a very potent feeling perhaps, it’s very strong, but it is just a feeling.’ The mind might make a strong case: ‘I can’t stand…

The Cycles of Addiction

Ajahn Amaro

The Cycles of Addiction

When the mind gets caught in the feeling of pleasure, there is the tendency to want more of it. Or, when the mind experiences an unpleasant, painful feeling, it wants to get away from it. This is what is called the bridge between ‘feeling’ and ‘craving’. This is the key point in the addictive process because this is where the trouble really starts: where the feeling of ‘like’ transforms into ‘I wa…

The World Is Swept Away

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The World Is Swept Away

What’s interesting is that the Buddha says all this inconstancy, stress and not-self is rooted in desire. And yet because of the desire, we’re never satisfied. It’s through our lack of satisfaction that we want this and want that, and yet the things that we create in order to fill up that lack never really give satisfaction. So we desire more. We create more. The process keeps feeding on itself, b…

A Superior Resolve

Ajahn Pasanno

A Superior Resolve

Yesterday, four senior monks from Abhayagiri participated in the ordination at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The preceptor was Reverend Heng Sure. As he was instructing the candidates, he kept using a certain refrain: “There is inferior resolve, medium resolve, and superior resolve.” The examples he gave of inferior and medium resolve were humorous, so as to encourage the prospective monks to…

Where Did It All Go

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Where Did It All Go

Today is Beth’s birthday. We were talking a few minutes ago about how quickly it all happens, how fast the time passes, particularly as one gets older. Time tends to telescope and move much faster with age. Beth mentioned her mother was recently looking in a shop and saw a reflection in the window. Her first thought was, Who is that old lady? Then she realized that it was herself! I remember a tim…