This Body, Our Teacher

Bhikkhunī Ānandabodhī

This Body, Our Teacher

The Buddha said that everything we need to awaken is right here in this fathom-long body, but most people I know have a lot of difficulty being in their body. That presents a bit of a problem. If the main teaching is here in the body, and we can’t be with our body, how do we access that teaching? How can we start developing a relationship with our body that is kind, friendly, and curious, so that…

Sometimes Thunder; Sometimes Rain

Ajahn Chah

Sometimes Thunder; Sometimes Rain

Sometimes there’s thunder and there’s no rain; sometimes there’s rain and there’s no thunder. This is the complete “spiritual autobiography” that Ajahn Chah wrote for the ecclesiastical authorities when pressed repeatedly by them to provide one, so that the King of Thailand could award him an honorary title. This reflection is from the booklet, Thunder in an Open Sky, (pdf) p. 2.

A Special Kind of Appreciation

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

A Special Kind of Appreciation

In saying that kind and grateful people are rare, the Buddha isn’t simply stating a harsh truth about the human race. He’s advising you to treasure these people when you find them, and—more importantly—showing how you can become a rare person yourself. Kindness and gratitude are virtues you can cultivate, but they have to be cultivated together. Each needs the other to be genuine—a point that beco…

Virtue as Protection

Ajahn Jayasaro

Virtue as Protection

The idea of virtue as protection is a hallowed one in the Buddhist world. It is a concept that became a cornerstone in Luang Por’s teachings, especially to the laity, and helps to explain the great emphasis he was to place on keeping precepts. It was his firm belief that, in addition to its vital role in the development of peace and wisdom, virtuous conduct long-sustained has an enormous intrinsic…

People Are a Mystery

Ajahn Sucitto

People Are a Mystery

People around us are a mystery. How common it is to find conflict with each other! We are all ‘not-self’ and nobody will ever fit into the thoughts we have of them. Any thought you have of somebody is a personal creation, something that defines you. Any kind of perception of another person is actually a product of your own mind, isn’t it? And that other person will never really fit into it. They n…

Conscious Spiritual Friendship

Ajahn Sucitto

Conscious Spiritual Friendship

Conscious spiritual friendship is a careful practice because the guidelines the Buddha gave on correcting another person stipulate that you have to be based on compassion rather than irritation, and that you have to find the right time and place – and not be fearful of meeting the defensiveness or the hurt feelings of the other. Hence we train to willingly open ourselves to feedback. When there is…

A Friend

Pāli Canon

A Friend

“Monks, a friend endowed with seven qualities is worth associating with. Which seven? He gives what is hard to give. He does what is hard to do. He endures what is hard to endure. He reveals his secrets to you. He keeps your secrets. When misfortunes strike, he doesn’t abandon you. When you’re down & out, he doesn’t look down on you. A friend endowed with these seven qualities is worth associating…

An Attitude of Goodwill

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

An Attitude of Goodwill

Ajaan Fuang, my teacher, once discovered that a snake had moved into his room. Every time he entered the room, he saw it slip into a narrow space behind a storage cabinet. And even though he tried leaving the door to the room open during the daytime, the snake wasn’t willing to leave. So for three days they lived together. He was very careful not to startle the snake or make it feel threatened by…

The Temple Within

Ajahn Amaro

The Temple Within

The Refuges are where stability, security can be found. That’s why they are called Refuges. Like this Temple – it’s a warm, secure, still place while the storm rages outside, wailing winds and snow. On a physical level, this Temple is a refuge. On the internal level, the contemplative mind, the templum of wisdom, of vijjā, clear awareness, that is the refuge. Just as sitting here in the Temple, we…

Listen Carefully; Be Open

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Listen Carefully; Be Open

Part of developing a skill is remembering which approaches worked among those that you’ve tried. As we meditate, we’re developing a skill. For skill to develop, you have to remember which ways of focusing on the breath, of conceiving the breath, of playing with the breath in the past have enabled the mind to settle down. It’s good to have that knowledge on tap. But you don’t want it to get in the…