The Lure of Becoming and the Middle Way

Ajahn Amaro

The Lure of Becoming and the Middle Way

When we are in a queue we think: ‘When are we going to get to the desk?’ That is the ‘becoming’ urge, bhava-tanha. We think to ourselves, ‘How long is the line?’ ‘Are we nearly at the table?’ ‘Are we nearly there?’ This is not the same as simply waiting for the line to move. It is ‘becoming’ and, naturally, there is the suffering that arises from becoming. But let go of that urge and then you happ…

To Potaliya

Monastic Sangha

To Potaliya

Suppose a dog, overcome with weakness & hunger, were to come across a slaughterhouse, and there a dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice were to fling him a chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood. What do you think: Would the dog, gnawing on that chain of bones — thoroughly scraped, without any flesh, smeared with blood — appease its weakness & hunger? No, lo…

Nourishing the Spiritual Faculties

Ajahn Pasanno

Nourishing the Spiritual Faculties

We just had Ajahn Dtun staying at the monastery, and he very generously shared teachings with us. For most people here, I think, his presence and way of being were uplifting and generated the arising of faith. Now, whenever faith or confidence arises in us—whether from the presence of a teacher or whatever the source—it’s important to use that faith to benefit our practice. The wholesome result of…

What the Body Is Supposed to Do

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

What the Body Is Supposed to Do

I remember the first experiences Luang Por Liem had with his heart difficulties in Thailand. Apparently the condition had been going on for quite some time. He had symptoms of fatigue and probably shortness of breath, among other things. It wasn’t until it was quite progressed that he did anything about it. When asked why it took him so long to look into it, his response was something like: “I tho…

Dont Try to Help But Dont Turn Away

Ajahn Amaro

Dont Try to Help But Dont Turn Away

Compassion in action means working with the painful conditions in ourselves and others, and seeing how they mingle. Often a period in our life is not just one single shade of pleasure or one single shade of pain. In many if not most instances we experience mixed feelings, and sometimes a difficult condition, something that we would never have chosen, ends up bringing immense riches with it. Even w…

Dont Push-Just Use the Weight of Your Own Body

Ajahn Amaro

Dont Push-Just Use the Weight of Your Own Body

“Kondanna was my teacher. I had the good fortune to study shiatsu with Barry at the San Francisco School of Massage. He really did teach body-work as nothing less than a spiritual practice. He said the heart of our work is simply to offer our presence: ‘Don’t push, just use the weight of your own body. Don’t diagnose, just be aware. Don’t try to help, but also don’t turn away. Just be with the per…

The Savor of the Dhamma

Ajaan Mahā Boowa

The Savor of the Dhamma

All of these things have been true ever since before we investigated them, but the defilements have closed our eyes to them. Even though we see them, we don’t see them for what they are. Even though filth fills the body, the defilements deny it entirely and turn it into something beautiful — and we believe them, without looking at the Dhamma that’s waving its arms at us, ready to help us at all ti…

Loyalty to Your Meditation

Ajaan Lee

Loyalty to Your Meditation

When you apply this story to the Dhamma, it becomes a lesson worth remembering. If you’re not loyal to your meditation object or to yourself, if you forget the breath you’re meditating on with buddho, buddho, and let your mind go wandering off in thoughts and concepts, it’s as if you’ve abandoned the monk you’re supposed to look after. You don’t follow him; you don’t act the role of his student as…

Caring for Everything We Use

Ajahn Pasanno

Caring for Everything We Use

Throughout the day it is helpful for us to recollect that we are a community of alms mendicants. We rely on what is offered to us as gifts of goodwill: robes, alms food, shelter, and medicine—the four requisites. Traditionally, in Thai monasteries, the monastic community brings the requisites to mind as part of its formal morning and evening chanting. The chants encourage the monastics to ask them…

The Skillful Heart

Abhayagiri Sangha

The Skillful Heart

If it so happens that while we’re trying to maintain that sense of ease in the heart, disturbances come in to interfere, making the mind distracted and restless, we should remember that we don’t have to look for that lost sense of ease anywhere else. Remember: wherever there’s restlessness is where there is stillness. We have to be alert to the preoccupations that have put the mind out of shape. W…