True Freedom, True Essence

Ajahn Silaratano

True Freedom, True Essence

On a more profound level, however, Mae Chee Kaew’s practice points the way beyond the changing conditions of birth and death to the essence of true freedom. At the heart of that realization lies a fundamental distinction between two very different aspects of the mind: the mind’s knowing essence, and the transient states of mind that arise and cease within it. By not understanding that distinction,…

Estranged from Our Feelings

Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī

Estranged from Our Feelings

Those of us who become estranged from our inner-most feelings fool ourselves into believing that we are detached when all we have done is learn to cope. And the more unskilful the ways of coping we adopt, the worse our condition becomes– until the mind gives up, or wakes up. From the marrow of our own pain and stress – disappointment or anger at ourselves or our friends, loved ones, colleagues, ou…

Wise Use of the Requisites

Bhikkhu P.A. Payutto

Wise Use of the Requisites

…the wise use of the four requisites refers to using material things and consumer products skilfully. When eating food, wearing clothing, etc. one understands the purpose of such actions and recognizes the true advantages of these things. Even while using a computer, we should consider and examine the true benefits provided by such technology. If we are established in the practice of wise consumpt…

Comfortable in Any Circumstance

Ajahn Pasanno

Comfortable in Any Circumstance

It looks like it’s going to be hot again today. Most of us are uncomfortable when it’s hot like this. So what we need to do, as Dhamma practitioners, is learn how to adapt. We learn to dwell with mindfulness and equanimity whether things are to our liking or not. The tendency is to wait for conditions we like and when they arise, only then do we say to ourselves, “Okay, now I can practice.” It’s a…

The Path as a Guide

Ajahn Sucitto

The Path as a Guide

Having the Path as a guide is something to make full use of. Do I practise Right View? Do I practise Right Thought? Do I practise Right Speech? Right Action? Right Livelihood? Do I practise Right Effort? Right Mindfulness? Right Collectedness of mind? This process of systematic enquiry is something that the Buddha encouraged. Do I hold views that are depressing, that don’t lift me up, that make li…

External Protection

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

External Protection

The Buddha’s teaching on karma is one of the ways in which the Dhamma offers external protection: It emphasizes the importance of your present actions—providing for the possibility of “should be done” and “shouldn’t be done”—at the same time offering clear guidelines for figuring out, in any situation, where the shoulds and shouldn’ts lie. This is one of the ways in which the Buddha’s Dhamma offer…

Happy to Stay at Home

Ajahn Yatiko

Happy to Stay at Home

One of the most important things for us to be doing here—as either monastics or as visiting laypeople living like monastics— is to develop our formal meditation practice. A key to this is learning how to delight in meditation—the freedom that comes from simply sitting, not becoming anything, resting in a state of mind that is able to put things down. Yesterday I was reflecting on the word concentr…

Very Simple Themes

Ajahn Pasanno

Very Simple Themes

Thinking back on my time with Ajahn Chah, the vast majority of the teachings would end up being around very simple themes: eat little, sleep little, speak little, practice a lot. That was enough. That certainly kept us busy, just trying to figure out how to deal with those basic pulls in the mind to desire—some kind of stimulation or excitement, anything in the mind—or the tendencies to aversion.…

Reflecting on Interdependence

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Reflecting on Interdependence

In recent years there’s been a modern Western interpretation of dependent co-arising that’s derived from an explanation of the interdependence in the world, with the people in it being interconnected in a vast web of cause-and-effect relationships and experience—“It’s all connected,” as people like to say. There’s a belief that there’s no type of action or activity in the world that doesn’t have s…

Pain: An Acid Test

Ajahn Jayasaro

Pain: An Acid Test

Like many seasoned meditators before him, Luang Por saw physical pain as an acid test of his ability to sustain clarity of mind in the most challenging of situations. A meditation practice that could not withstand physical discomfort was seriously flawed; one that could transcend it, immensely powerful. Although it is true that the Buddha emphasized the value of good physical health and roundly cr…