Enhanced by Reduction

Ajahn Sucitto

Enhanced by Reduction

Quite a lot of Buddhist language is couched negatively: ‘refraining from’, ‘abstaining from’, ‘relinquishing’, ‘putting aside’, not because the aim is annihilation, but because there’s a recognition that when we clear away the clutter, a brightness comes through by itself. We don’t have to create, believe or adopt anything. Much of our application and sense of ‘getting it right’ is established upo…

Don’t Be Selfish; Look After Yourself

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Don’t Be Selfish; Look After Yourself

The Thai phrase, “Don’t be selfish,” literally means, “Don’t look after yourself,” as opposed to looking after the common good. Ajaan Suwat always questioned that phrase, because, after all, who else are you going to look after? You’ve got to look after yourself. In fact, you’re the person you have to look after more than anybody else. But that’s not telling you to be selfish. It’s saying that you…

The Whole Training

Ajahn Sucitto

The Whole Training

The whole training of our life is learning to listen, to feel things out, to begin to question our assumptions, our self-positions, our ‘me’ and ‘thems,’ our designations of what we are as individuals, the hardness of our relationships with one another, our sense of indifference to the world of creatures and our obsessions in relation to the world of materials. We are in a process of changing our…

Effective Social Action

Ajahn Pasanno

Effective Social Action

We’d all like to sit down, cross our legs, close our eyes and become enlightened – just like that. Instead, we have to take the time to lay a foundation, to become patient and clear enough to develop the path in a comprehensive way. Just as the Buddha taught us the Four Noble Truths as the basis for our own practice – suffering, the causes of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path lead…

Rewilding

Ajahn Sucitto

Rewilding

I’ve been reflecting on the environmental crisis, and as I do, I find myself in the darkness, as I imagine we all are to some degree. And that says something; something we shouldn’t brush aside or try to make go away. This is a place for sharing truth—and the truth right now is darkness. I sometimes reflect on how I’ve been practicing meditation, morality, restraint, generosity, sharing, and simpl…

Where There Is No Self

Ajahn Sumedho

Where There Is No Self

There’s a certain level of consciousness in all life, in the fact that there is receptivity to the environment; and trees are very receptive to the environment they are in. One begins to change the perception of mind to one of a consciousness that pervades everything. Then it’s not just a human mind; there’s something more to it. But in Buddhism it is never named; you never try to form a concept a…

An Unstable and Uncertain Nature

Ajahn Amaro

An Unstable and Uncertain Nature

When considering the second of our essential questions – ‘How can we best handle the world’s unstable and uncertain nature?’ – we turn to the Buddha’s contemplative training known as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. This practice shows us how the mind and the world meet and how great the benefits are if that meeting is brought about in an ongoing, mindful way, fully attuned to the natural orde…

What Is the World?

Ajahn Amaro

What Is the World?

When we consider the fragile and fleeting biosphere that we live in, these changes we are seeing and experiencing all around us can easily lead us to fear: What is going to happen? Will my home be destroyed by flood or fire? Will the droughts lead to food shortages? Will all the birds and fishes die? Will our children and grandchildren – and we humans – survive? And is there anything I can do in r…

When Help Is Needed

Ajahn Pasanno

When Help Is Needed

One focus of our practice is to look after each other and help each other out. In one discourse where the Buddha finds Venerable Anuruddha and his friends living in the forest, we see that they are intent on formal practice, but whenever something needs to be done, they come out of meditation and help each other. That is a very beautiful story from the suttas. Our tendency, however, is to try doin…

What Is Your Strongest Fear?

Ajahn Piek

What Is Your Strongest Fear?

Sometimes, when you are in solitude alone at night, or even at daytime you might hear strange noises and become full of fear. You will pick up all kinds of sounds that you would never get to hear when you are living in the city. So whenever strange sounds come to your ears, don’t be afraid. …When the night comes and it gets windy, your glots might get hit, become damaged or break down. When it is…