Dispassion or Aversion?

Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo

Dispassion or Aversion?

There was a layman who used to come and see Ajahn Chah who had a lot of complaints: his fields weren’t producing very much and his buffalo was getting old and his house wasn’t big enough and his kids weren’t satisfying him and… He said he was getting really sick of the world and becoming dispassionate. Ajahn Chah said, “No, you’re not. You’re not dispassionate. If you got more buffaloes, newer one…

A Positive Ideal to Cultivate

Ajahn Jayasaro

A Positive Ideal to Cultivate

In Dhamma practice, wisdom acts as the direct antidote to ignorance by examining the reality of life and the world with a stable, stilled and unbiased mind sustained in the present. The direct antidote to craving is the systematic and integrated development of wholesome mental states. In the case of love, the most prominent of these virtues are lovingkindness and the effort to be a good friend. Tr…

Nibbāna Is Very Much a Reality

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Nibbāna Is Very Much a Reality

Now, the Buddha says that nibbāna is something indescribable, but he will talk about it to some extent so that we’ll desire to go there. To begin with, he says that it exists. This is unlike the case of the arahant, where he refuses to answer the question as to whether the arahant exists as a being. In fact, his refusal there is so thorough that he rules out all the possible answers to the questio…

Memory

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

Memory

The symbols we accumulate to structure the world around us are bound up with the faculty of memory. Memory is a database of all our previous experiences that runs like a continuous thread through the pattern of our mental activity. The data from memory comes in through the five senses; it’s the senses that tell us what to remember. An enormous amount of our thinking is based on memory. When we see…

Hiri and Ottappa

Ajahn Pasanno

Hiri and Ottappa

When we direct our attention to mindfulness and to meditation, if that root of wholesome mental qualities is there, then the meditation is going to go a lot more smoothly; it’s going to be much more accessible to us. Purifying virtue is not so much about getting the legal description of the precepts and then seeing how much one has to do and how much one can get away with. It’s more about approach…

The Freedom That Comes from Practice

Ajahn Sumedho

The Freedom That Comes from Practice

At Wat Pah Pong the emphasis was on communal activities, working together, eating together, etc., with all its rules. I knew that if I was going to live as a bhikkhu I needed the bhikkhu’s training and I hadn’t been getting that at the meditation centre that I had been in before. What Luang Por gave me was a living situation to contemplate. You developed an awareness around the monastic tradition…

So…I became a Monk

Ajahn Sucitto

So…I became a Monk

In 1974 I had hitchhiked and bus-hopped overland from Amsterdam to India on an indefinite spiritual quest. India was going to be the place; holy men under every tree, serenity, yoga, ashrams; might even spend my days in some remote mountain cave…I got it right in a way, though I had imagined the signs wrongly. As it turned out, truth presented the same images as she had shown to the Buddha: images…

Law and Consensus or Impersonal Mechanism?

Ajahn Sucitto

Law and Consensus or Impersonal Mechanism?

Having a centralised authority govern a collective offers the benefits of internal coherence, order and efficiency. However, this also offers power, fame and wealth to whoever occupies the centre; along with rivalries, corruption and assassinations. Hence the Buddha wisely established his Sangha’s governance on law and consensus rather than by an individual leader. Aimed at excluding unwholesome i…

Anger is a Choice

Ajahn Plien

Anger is a Choice

Remember, anger is a choice - a negative emotion allowed to run amok in one’s mind. Nobody actually “makes” another person angry. Anger arises in oneself. Anger can even be directed towards oneself. For example, if an activity undertaken does not yield the desired outcome, one might be disappointed and disgruntled at one’s own performance. Whether anger is directed at another or at oneself, it is…

How to Die Well

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

How to Die Well

When you meditate, you’re getting practice in how to die well. This is a common theme in the teachings of the Thai Forest masters, and it’s thoroughly in line with what the Buddha taught. He once went to visit monks in a sick ward and told them to approach the time of death mindful and alert (SN 36:7). Alertness he defined as being aware of your actions while doing them. Mindfulness he defined as…