Pariyatti as Active, Applied Contemplation

Ajahn Viradhammo

Pariyatti as Active, Applied Contemplation

Applying the Buddha’s teachings to one’s own life is also an aspect of study. Pariyatti encompasses both intellectual study and the study of one’s inner world. So consider what it means to apply the theory of dependent origination, the three characteristics of existence, and so on, to your own conscious experience as viewed from a Buddhist perspective. While it’s fine to read what Carlos Castaneda…

Wrong to Feel Afraid?

Ajahn Munindo

Wrong to Feel Afraid?

So who is it that says that it’s wrong to feel afraid? When we experience fear, and we hear a voice within us saying we shouldn’t be afraid, who is saying that? When we first hear this question, we might hear the emphasis as, ‘Who says it’s wrong to feel afraid?’ as if we could find out who it is that says ‘it’s wrong’ and teach them to say that it’s okay. This would be an understandable kind of r…

Peace Inside, Not Outside

Ajahn Chah

Peace Inside, Not Outside

Know what is good and bad, whether traveling or living in one place. You can’t find peace on a mountain or in a cave. You can even go to where the Buddha attained enlightenment without getting closer to the truth. Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It’s not found in a forest or on a hill top, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience sufferin…

Mindfulness and Awareness Sustained

Ajahn Pasanno

Mindfulness and Awareness Sustained

With mindfulness we attend to the ability of the mind to be aware and to sustain awareness. In formal meditation, we attend to the breath, refining and clarifying how we attend to the meditation object because we may be trying too hard. If that is the case, we squeeze and crush that clarity, that spaciousness and stillness. We try so hard, and that’s a becoming, isn’t it? Or we disturb the mind by…

What Is Meditation?

Ajahn Amaro

What Is Meditation?

People have all sorts of ideas about what meditation is, based on a wide variety of experiences and influences. For example, we might have the idea that meditation is about seeing into past lives, reading people’s minds, making the mind go off into some sort of blissful state or inhabit some kind of wonderful esoteric realm while we take a break from our busy lives, and so on. Perhaps we have come…

Figure It Out

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Figure It Out

So as a teacher, he [Ajaan Fuang] tried to instill in his students these qualities of self-reliance, ingenuity, and a willingness to take risks and test things for themselves. He did that not only by talking about these qualities, but also by forcing you into situations where you’d have to develop them. Had he always been there to confirm for you that, “Yes, you’ve reached the third jhana,” or, “N…

Women, Equal to Men

Mae Chee Kaew

Women, Equal to Men

Monks who are skilled in meditation are not biased by cultural conditioning. They have no doubt that women who observe the eight precepts and practice seriously can attain exceptionally high levels of meditation. In truth, women have a remarkable capacity for understanding Dhamma and can achieve deep levels of samādhi and develop extraordinary knowledge and wisdom. Many nuns and laywomen in Thail…

Types of Desire

Ajahn Pasanno

Types of  Desire

Of course, one of the things we have to do is recognize the things that distract us. We need to examine the nature of dukkha in order to relinquish its causes. The Buddha points to three different types of desire that cause suffering: kāma taṇhā, desire for sensual gratification; bhava taṇhā, desire for being or becoming; and vibhava taṇhā, desire for non-becoming or non-being. When sensual…

Sila and Harmlessness

Ajahn Jayasaro

Sila and Harmlessness

In the “Ovada Patimokkha” the Buddha laid down the most basic and important guidelines for the samana’s path, and there we find that harmlessness is the principle he most emphasized. Through our way of life as samanas we offer the gift of harmlessness to the world. People may be inspired by how we live our lives, they may be indifferent, or they may even be contemptuous of us, but whatever the var…

Conflict Among Desires

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Conflict Among Desires

In addition, desires often pull in opposite directions. Your desire for sex, for instance, can get in the way of your desire for peace. In fact, conflict among desires is what alerts us to how painful desire can be. It’s also what has taught each desire how to speak, to persuade, to argue or bully its way into power. And just because a desire is skillful doesn’t mean it’s more skillful at arguing…