Mindful of Right Effort

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo

Mindful of Right Effort

Both on and off the cushion, we can examine how the activity of daily life is brought into the practice of Dhamma. In terms of the Noble Eightfold Path, many path factors are concerned with activities off the cushion. Developing samādhi with sitting is just one part of the path. There is so much more that one needs to do to practice well and correctly. If we think of practice as that which is onl…

Pause and Ask

Ajahn Sucitto

Pause and Ask

I’d like to begin by presenting some exercises that take from ten seconds to a minute to do. These exercises use a practice I’ll call ‘Pause and Ask’. This is a very portable exercise; it’s brief and you can do it just about anywhere, standing up or sitting down. It entails first: the Pause. Stop doing and talking – and as that shift happens, relax. Relax the muscles in your shoulders, your jaw, a…

Emptiness and Equanimity

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Emptiness and Equanimity

Q: Emptiness and equanimity. Is it correct to associate the two? Is equanimity the skillful attitude to take, to develop in the face of the emptiness of all conditioned phenomena? A: Don’t be in too great a hurry to develop equanimity. We first need to develop a sense of conviction and a sense of determination in the path. This has to be motivated by goodwill for ourselves and goodwill for all oth…

Inner Listening Exploration 2

Ajahn Amaro

Inner Listening Exploration 2

One practice that can help free the heart from compulsions is to meditate upon your own name. Begin by taking a moment to listen to the inner sound. Focus on that until the mind is clear and open, empty, and then simply voice your own name internally, whatever it might be. You listen to the sound of silence before, then the sound of silence within and then behind the sound of your name, and finall…

Inner Listening Exploration 1

Ajahn Amaro

Inner Listening Exploration 1

Listen to the sound of silence. Focus on it to steady the attention. Let the mind be as silent and alert as possible, and then raise the question, “Who am I?” First listen to the sound of silence. Then raise the question, and then attend; notice what happens when that question is sincerely asked, “Who am I?” We’re explicitly not looking for a verbal answer, a conceptual answer. But notice that the…

Frames of Reference 1

Ajaan Lee

Frames of Reference 1

Those who hold zealously to the texts may feel that what I have written is wrong; but as for me, I feel that whoever is able to practice in line with what is written here will find that it can be taken as a guide to the true principles of concentration, discernment, and release. To hold to the texts isn’t wrong, but they should be held to discerningly, just as in medicine: A doctor who thinks that…

To Do No Wrong Is to Do Nothing

Chao Khun Nararatana Rajamanit

To Do No Wrong Is to Do Nothing

Our mistakes are our best teachers. We should be grateful to ourselves for our mistakes and take cheer in the fact that we have met with a special counselor, our mistakes, in line with the saying, ‘Once burned is twice forewarned.’ We have to act on our own and make our own mistakes. These are our best teachers and our best lessons, so that we will remember and be careful not to repeat them. We ca…

Stop and Think

Ajaan Lee

Stop and Think

Insight isn’t something that can be taught. It’s something you have to give rise to within yourself. It’s not something you simply memorize and talk about. If we were to teach it just so we could memorize it, I can guarantee that it wouldn’t take five hours. But if you wanted to understand one word of it, three years might not even be enough. Memorizing gives rise simply to memories. Acting is wha…

I Want to Do Well in My Studies

Ajaan Dune

I Want to Do Well in My Studies

A young girl once said to Luang Pu, “I heard Grandfather Sorasak Kawngsuk say that anyone who wants to be intelligent and do well in her studies should first practice sitting in meditation to get the mind concentrated in stillness. I want to be intelligent and do well in my studies, so I’ve been trying to meditate and bring my mind to stillness, but it’s never been willing to grow still. Sometimes…

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…