Everything That Arises Passes Away

Ajahn Sumedho

Everything That Arises Passes Away

As long as you conceive of yourself as being somebody who has to do something in order to become something else, you still get caught in a trap, a condition of mind as being a self, and you never quite understand anything properly. No matter how many years you meditate, you never really understand the teaching; it will always be just off the mark. The direct way of seeing things now - that whateve…

There Is Faith. There Is Doubt.

Ajahn Sumedho

There Is Faith. There Is Doubt.

There is faith; there is doubt. In Buddhist practice, we examine the belief and the doubt that we experience in our mind and we see that these two are conditions changing. I have contemplated doubt itself as a sign. I’d ask myself a question like, ‘Who am I?’ and then I’d listen for the answer – something like, ‘Sumedho Bhikkhu.’ Then I’d think, ‘That’s not the answer; who are you really? I’d see…

Purpose 2

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

Purpose 2

Please understand as well that the way of Buddhism is not a hard and fast system. The recommendations coming directly from the Buddha are the best because he took the nature of human beings into account. But they are not set in stone. The whole of Buddhism is a method. You can adapt the method to your own needs. You needn’t practice exactly according to what the books say. Being a method, the Budd…

Purpose 1

Ajaan Paññāvaḍḍho

Purpose 1

The training in samādhi consists of learning the art of stopping thoughts and holding the mind still. Thinking is the factor that prevents us from becoming calm. When we can stop our thoughts and hold them still, the results of samādhi will come automatically. Samādhi is quite a natural state. When we stop the restlessness of the mind and keep it still, it will either go into sleep or into sama…

The Value of Celibacy

Amma Thanasanti

The Value of Celibacy

To those interested in understanding the end of suffering, the Buddha recommended seeing the value of celibacy. It is a powerful tool for understanding desire and coming to terms with the nature of attachment. It isn’t an easy path, but it can be very helpful because one has to consciously face the habitual patterns of this deep-seated energy. Celibacy isn’t meant to be a repression or denial of o…

Benefits of the Holy Life

Ajahn Munindo

Benefits of the Holy Life

So for someone considering going forth and living the Holy Life*, what would you say are the benefits? AM: Spaciousness: mental, emotional, relational. You have permission to move through the world, touch it, sense it, observe it, without being defined by it. That’s the most direct answer. And three other things come to mind. The first is to do with consistency of practice. Have you ever seen some…

Feelings of Pain 2

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Feelings of Pain 2

This morning there was a request for techniques on how to deal with physical pain while you meditate. There are four steps in dealing with pain… If you can maintain (this) determination, you’ll find that the breath energy in the spot where you’re focused becomes more and more comfortable, more powerful. That’s when you can move to the third step, which is to think of that comfortable energy spread…

Feelings of Pain 1

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Feelings of Pain 1

This morning there was a request for techniques on how to deal with physical pain while you meditate. There are four steps in dealing with pain. The first is preventative. When you sit down to meditate, you probably know by now where pains tend to appear. Try to let the breath energy flow into that area even before the pain comes. Remember, however, that sometimes pain in one part of the body is c…

On Retreat and Will o the Wisp

Ajahn Abhinando

On Retreat and  Will o the Wisp

On Retreat A little closer to the clouds, above the scruffy heads of evergreen scrub, I discover the benefits of drinking tea and watching the sky turning pink after sunset. Only slowly the hard-edged words of learned truths dissolve, and a softer voice unwraps itself, emerging from the inside of what is here. What does it say? “You didn’t come here to succeed” is all I understand for now. Enough…

Stopping inside and My Religion

Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī

Stopping inside and My Religion

Stopping inside These days I don’t like to go anywhere, content to pore through my books and smile at the cats. They are old now, the summer flowers are over-tall, too much rain, and the weeds choking every corner of the garden. I love that landscape, where the world falls away and the deer lie down in the night’s shadow. Stopping inside the silence of being, awareness finely tuned, an island of p…