A Spiritual Sanctuary

Ajahn Amaro

A Spiritual Sanctuary

At its heart, a monastery is sustained as a spiritual sanctuary. What creates a monastery is that everyone who comes through the gate undertakes to live by a certain standard, to conduct themselves in a certain way in terms of honesty, nonviolence, modesty, restraint and sobriety. Within that zone, it’s a safe place: no one is going to rob you, to chat you up, to try to sell you anything, to attac…

Open-hearted Approach

Ajahn Jitindriya

Open-hearted Approach

I have found that a much more open-hearted approach works for me. For example, if desire or anger is present, well, first of all I try to listen to all the judgements that may arise: ‘desire!… anger!… wrong! Be restrained, do something about this.’ I notice that if I relate to the experience in a wrong way, it increases the sense of struggle or tension – which doesn’t lead to the ending of sufferi…

Clearing the Residues

Ajahn Sucitto

Clearing the Residues

Do you ever find yourself dominated by a chain of thought that tells you that you’re not good enough, and don’t deserve much? Are you convinced that other people look down on you? Does your mind recite memories of things you did wrong in dramatic detail? Do you find that when you admire someone, you simultaneously feel unworthy of them? Or that, although you really ought to be a success and help t…

"Ordinary" is Self-Constructed

Ajahn Abhinando

"Ordinary" is Self-Constructed

Question: I was wondering if you can describe a peak experience from your practice. During my own explorations I sometimes arrive at a state where I have no thoughts, but I perceive, I have visual perception and I feel a kind of spacious being with no other taste, no emotion; it is neutral, neutral spaciousness. This is my peak experience and my mind asks: what next? Response: That sounds like an…

Breath; Not Jhana

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Breath; Not Jhana

As you’re settling down with the breath, you don’t want to think too much about it, just enough to make it comfortable. You don’t want to analyze things to the point where you start losing the breath and getting caught up in the analysis. So you ask yourself just a few simple questions: Where do you feel the breath right now? Does it feel comfortable? What would make it feel more comfortable? What…

Our Set Up for Suffering

Ajahn Pasanno

Our Set Up for Suffering

The word “becoming” is an innocuous little term. It doesn’t really evoke much of an image or much feeling. But the reality is that it is because of the nature of becoming that we continually experience suffering. It is why we continually experience conflict. It is why we are continually dissatisfied. Becoming is why we continually opt to be scattered, confused and stupid rather than peaceful and w…

Obligations as Supportive Structures

Ajahn Viradhammo

Obligations as Supportive Structures

The Buddha and his disciples were unable to design as detailed a code of life for the laity as they did for the monastics because the lifestyles of the lay community were too diverse. Thus the various teachings on ethics and social commitment were given in the context of social structures that already existed in the societies of those times. For example, if a couple got married, it was a marriage…

Speaking Without Knowing

Ajahn Jayasaro

Speaking Without Knowing

One day, a certain scientist came to visit Luang Por [Chah]. Speaking as someone who had practised meditation and felt qualified to make a comparison, he was of the opinion that as a means of realizing the truth of things, science offered a path that was more effective and more verifiable than Buddhist training. Luang Por was unimpressed. ‘Don’t you think it’s possible,’ he asked, ‘that you’re put…

The Rafters and the Ridgepole

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The Rafters and the Ridgepole

Building on conviction, you then put forth the persistent effort to develop within yourself whatever’s going to be skillful on the path and to abandon anything unskillful that will get in the way of the path. Mindfulness is what remembers what’s skillful and what’s not skillful. It also remembers what to do with skillful qualities and unskillful qualities when they are present in the mind—and how…

Saraniya Dhammas: Harmonious Living

Ajahn Pasanno

Saraniya Dhammas: Harmonious Living

…the brahmaviharas are integrally related to a classification of the Buddha’s teachings called the saraniya dhammas, translated as “states of conciliation” or “the virtues necessary for fraternal living.” They are the dhammas or qualities necessary for human beings to get along with one another. The first three are loving-kindness of bodily, verbal, and mental action. These are the actual foundati…