The Craft of the Heart

Ajahn Viradhammo

The Craft of the Heart

One of the observations I have reflected on lately is that our life and spiritual practice are like a craft. Both for bhikkhus and lay people, it’s a bit like the guild system in the Middle Ages. In that system, a student would be apprenticed to a master, a goldsmith for example, or a glassblower, or a potter. The master’s duty was to train the apprentice in his craft. The apprentice’s duty was to…

Quotes from No Ajahn Chah

Ajahn Chah

Quotes from No Ajahn Chah

The mind is intrinsically tranquil. Out of this tranquility, anxiety and confusion are born. If one sees and knows this confusion, then the mind is tranquil once more. Buddhism is a religion of the heart. Only this. One who practices to develop the heart is one who practices Buddhism. When you do something bad, there is nowhere you can go to hide. Even if others don’t see you, you must see yoursel…

The Essential Eights

Bhante Gunaratana

The Essential Eights

Dear Venerable Monks, Friends, This evening I’d like to speak on other aspects of Dhamma, which are naturally supportive factors of Dhamma, and that when we mindfully reflect on them we can see how they are related very clearly to each other. There are eight such Dhammas. Number one is called “the root of all dhammas.” Buddha said that all dhammas have their root in desire, “chandamūlakā, āvuso…

Venerable Day, Harmonious Way: What is the Lunar Observance Day?

Ajahn Pasanno

Venerable Day, Harmonious Way: What is the Lunar Observance Day?

This evening is our observance night, an opportunity to recollect the refuges and precepts and to take the time to reflect on the direction we want to guide our spiritual practice. In the Thai language the observance day is called the “Wan Phra,” which means “Holy Day” or “Monk Day” or maybe “Day Worthy of Veneration.” Ajahn Chah used to say, “It’s helpful having these special days. They were esta…

Recollecting the Buddha

Ajahn Liem

Recollecting the Buddha

So today, we’ve come to use the new place, which is still under construction. But it’s still a convenient place. It still makes for a convenient place for gathering. Because without a suitable place, then we cannot all gather together like this. But then we’re adapting to a new place we have to adapt ourselves to new conditions, particularly the weather conditions, which are a bit cooler. But then…

Spiritual Friendship

Ajahn Pasanno

Spiritual Friendship

Recently, I came across a sutta (MN 97, the Dhanañjani Sutta) that illustrates the themes of kalyānamitta (spiritual friendship) and making choices. The sutta begins with the Venerable Sāriputta walking with a group of monks in the hills south of Rājagaha. He had been away from the main community of monks for some time and a monk who had spent the Rains Retreat in Rājagaha at the Bamboo Grove…

The True Nature of the Body

Ajahn Plien

The True Nature of the Body

We all have to understand the nature of the body. And it should play a central feature in our investigation and contemplation of the teachings. The Buddha taught the Anattalakkhana Sutta, the discourse on not-self. This discourse was given to the five ascetics that had attended on the Buddha. On listening to this particular discourse, they were liberated. All of us here are similar to the five asc…

The Right Angle : Everyone Benefits, Nobody Loses

Ajahn Liem

 The Right Angle : Everyone Benefits, Nobody Loses

The entire world and everyone in it needs the Dhamma as a protection. We all survive and find comfort in life with the support of the knowledge and skills, mindfulness and wisdom, of countless others. Without their help we would all perish as soon as we leave our mother’s womb. We’d have no food to eat, clothes to wear or house to live in. Our parents, whose faces we have never even seen before, g…

Walking with Awareness

Ajahn Liem

Walking with Awareness

Walking – Something W**e Should Know H**ow to D**o.** Walking jong-grom is a way to practice meditation while walking up and down. Cultivating this will bring happiness and serenity to our practice. When walking meditation, we should move unhurriedly, with a peaceful and relaxed attitude, and a smile on our face. Walking, we have all the time in the world, and nothing else whatsoever that we have…

The Body Of Truth And The Body Of Fear

Ajahn Amaro

The Body Of Truth And The Body Of Fear

One of the aspects of our lives that causes discordancy is our routine identification with emotional states. Given a little practice with meditation, before long most people can recognize that a passing thought is just like that passing car along the street, or that barking dog across the valley. At first it’s just once in a while, but soon we can see such things as insubstantial and let them go o…