Continue Seeing Conventions

Ajahn Anan

Continue Seeing Conventions

Any consciousness that does arise simply arises, endures, and then ceases; it doesn’t remain long. There is no self there to be found. However, the heart attaches to the “seeing” as me seeing. This is where the problem lies. When “I” am the one who hears, then it’s: “he insulted me,” “he criticized me,” “he doesn’t like me.” That’s how the heart will perceive it. So get in and investigate this. He…

More Seeing Conventions

Ajahn Anan

More Seeing Conventions

Lead the heart to see that everything is empty.The Buddha said, “Mogharāja, look on the world as empty and death’s king will not be able to find you.” Death’s king here is dukkha, and if we view the world in this way it won’t reach us. Please contemplate this and practice so as to see the conventions and supposition in all material things.These things are impermanent, unsatisfactory and without s…

Not Looking for Answers, Not Asking for Favours

Ajahn Sumedho

Not Looking for Answers, Not Asking for Favours

I used to hate the feeling of being confused. Instead, I loved having a sense of certainty and mental clarity. Whenever I felt confused by anything, I’d try to find some kind of clear answer, to get rid of the emotional state of confusion. I’d distract myself from it or try to get somebody else to give me the answer. I wanted the authorities, the Ajahns, the big guys, to come and say, ‘That’s righ…

Don’t Take It Personally

Ajahn Sumedho

Don’t Take It Personally

We have cultural attitudes as a way of perceiving things. We form various opinions and views. That is why it’s easy to have ethnic warfare and racial prejudices, class snobbery and so forth, because we never question the conventions we have adopted. We simply go along with them. We hold various views about our religion, race and culture, and then compare it to somebody else’s. On that level we hav…

Don’t Fill Up the Void

Ajahn Jotipālo

Don’t Fill Up the Void

Why did you come to Abhayagiri? What brought you here? Simply bring that inquiry into your mind. After traveling for the last month and being fairly busy, I returned to Abhayagiri a few days ago. I’ve tended to go back to my kuṭi in the afternoons, and it’s been really quiet. There have been no expectations or demands on me. I’ve noticed in the past, after a period of busyness, when I go back to…

Birth and Death

Ajahn Chah

Birth and Death

A good practice is to ask yourself very sincerely, “Why was I born?” Ask yourself this question in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night… every day. Why are we born? We are born so that we will not have to be born again. Death is as close as our breath. These reflections by Ajahn Chah are from the book, No Ajahn Chah, pp. 4, 7, 10, respectively.

One Who Sees the Danger in Saṃsāra

Ajahn Pasanno

One Who Sees the Danger in Saṃsāra

Contemplations and reflections on death and dying are a means of focusing attention, and prioritizing where we choose to put our attention. We can ask ourselves, What is it we are becoming absorbed in? What are we letting the mind run away with? These are essential contemplations because they help us make the practice—including relinquishment and generosity—our first priority. The literal translat…

I Can Hardly Wait

Ajahn Yatiko

I Can Hardly Wait

I was at the Island Hermitage in Sri Lanka this past winter, where it was very beautiful. While there, I did a fair amount of contemplation around the topic of illness, which I found very useful to my practice. The Buddha recommends this contemplation as one of the subjects for recollection: I am of the nature to sicken; I have not gone beyond sickness. While on my walking path I would bring it to…

A Bowl Full of Light

Ajahn Pasanno

A Bowl Full of Light

I have been reading a book on Hawaiian spirituality. There’s a beautiful image that Hawaiians use. Each one of us is born into the world with a bowl full of light and for each unskillful choice we make throughout our lives—getting caught up in anger, conflict, or selfishness—it’s as if we put a rock in the bowl. The more rocks that are placed in the bowl, the less room there is for light. In our d…

All the Time in the World

Ajahn Sumedho

All the Time in the World

…As we sit here during this retreat, we have to pay attention to things that are not at all interesting. They may even be unpleasant and painful. To patiently endure things rather than to run off in search of something interesting is a good discipline, isn’t it? It is good to be able to just endure the boredom, the pain, the anger, the greed, all these things – instead of always running away from…