Two Kinds of Fools

Ajahn Yatiko

Two Kinds of Fools

One of the things Ajahn Chah taught was what he called “earthworm wisdom.” For many people, earthworms aren’t worth appreciating. But it’s earthworms that till the soil, and if they weren’t continually working away, the soil would be infertile and incapable of supporting growth. That’s a nice reflection, something to chew on. The higher aspects of the teachings are certainly worth reflecting on, a…

The One That Does Not Die

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

The One That Does Not Die

…Firstly, you must not try to understand the nature of the citta from the viewpoint of the khandhas. The citta is the essential and ‘real’ one, the one that does not die and, existing beyond saṁsāra, it cannot be understood from the viewpoint of saṁsāra. Therefore, we cannot say that it ‘is’ or that it ‘is not.’ Nor can we say where it is, or at what time it exists, because all such categories…

Time and Place

Ajahn Sumedho

Time and Place

There is a lot of silliness and foolishness in meditation. People don’t wisely consider the limits they are under, and what mindfulness and wisdom really amount to. They get fixed ideas about doing certain techniques and practices and do not take into account the nature of the human body, with its limitations, and the time and the place. At that monastery they once asked us to attend an important…

Important Groundwork

Ajahn Thiradhammo

Important Groundwork

Some very important groundwork can give us precious support for working skilfully with the various Hindrances. Many people simply throw themselves into meditation, usually hoping for a quick fix, with little preparation, only slight knowledge of the context or consequences and lack of awareness of the possible dangers. Firstly, meditation should not be undertaken by anyone with any psychological i…

The Fount of Our Awakening

Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī

The Fount of Our Awakening

In the small silent oasis of one moment, practise turning inward for rest and refuge. Realizing how the events of life harden our attitudes and thoughts, tend to your emotional baggage and discard assumptions that have exceeded their expiry date. Receive all the guests – even the poisonous feelings of disappointment or outrage – with courage, curiosity, and fresh awareness. Gradually they will cha…

Letting Go of an Emotion

Ajahn Sundara

Letting Go of an Emotion

Letting go of an emotion can take time. Even though it may have completely ended in your mind, your body can still be filled with residual feelings of rage, greed or sadness. The body and mind don’t always talk to each other. You may need to be really patient and conscious of how the body absorbs and releases emotion much more slowly than the mind. You may think that these emotions are happening b…

It’s Time to Learn Something

Ajahn Sucitto

It’s Time to Learn Something

I think that one of the most helpful things in my practice was having to be in a lot of situations in which I wasn’t at all interested or engaged. I had to learn to be open to them. When I was in Thailand, at the beginning of my monastic life, I had to go to ceremonies. I didn’t know what the ceremonies were about. I didn’t know the people. I didn’t understand the language and I didn’t know the ch…

Class and Difference Disappear

Mae Chee Kaew

Class and Difference Disappear

Mae Chee Kaew was a countrywoman who lived a simple village life in the northeastern region of Thailand and overcame enormous diffculties in her attempt to leave home and follow the Buddha’s noble path to freedom from suffering. Her persistence, her courage, and her intuitive wisdom enabled her to transcend all conventional boundaries — both those imposed upon her by the world she lived in and tho…

The Jit and the Jai

Ajahn Jayasaro

The Jit and the Jai

Luang Por Tate, one of Luang Por Mun’s senior disciples, stresses the sense of knowing. He talks about the jit and the jai. By jai he means the sense of equanimity, the clarity of knowing; jit refers to thinking, feeling, perceiving. This is his way of talking. And he gives a very simple means of understanding what he’s talking about. He says to hold your breath for a few moments. Your thinking st…

The Buddha’s Safety

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha’s Safety

A short reflection that’s often chanted in Theravada monasteries states, in part, “I am subject to aging… subject to illness… subject to death.” That’s the standard English translation, but the standard Thai translation is more pointed: “Aging is normal for me… illness is normal… death is normal for me.” The extended version of the reflection goes on to say that these things are normal for everyon…