What Laws Govern Life and the Universe

Ajahn Amaro

What Laws Govern Life and the Universe

I’m particularly surprised that people so often assume vipāka is always the result of action only in a past life. I ask them: ‘What about things you’ve done in this life? Aren’t they going to have some effect as well?’ It’s bizarre – especially since our everyday world keeps suggesting very strongly that the choices we make in this life matter a lot: choosing to leave that country; choosing to ch…

A Foundation of Love and Acceptance

Ajahn Yatiko

A Foundation of Love and Acceptance

In this community at Abhayagiri, we need to take care of each other. If we don’t have a foundation of love and care for each other, then the foundation of our lives is on very shaky ground. I have a tremendous amount of respect and affection for each person here, no matter what their personality traits may be. It is important, I believe, that we give each other the space needed to be who we are. W…

On Becoming and Stopping

Ajahn Pasanno

On Becoming and Stopping

What does it feel like to pay attention to stopping? What is that experience of stopping and ceasing the compulsion to become, the engagement of mental activity and mental impulse? This includes stopping unskillful activity as well as recognizing where it all originates so that we can still be engaged and put forth effort and be attentive to duties and responsibilities we have. But we really bring…

Feeling Conditions Craving

Ajahn Amaro

Feeling Conditions Craving

Dependent Origination is the fine analysis of how we get from the Second Noble Truth to the First Noble Truth. Even before taṇhā (‘craving’ – literally ‘thirst’), it’s describing how that experience of craving appears. It all starts off with avijjā, not seeing clearly. The first section, avijjā paccaya saṅkhāra, is describing that when the mind loses its clarity of awareness, then that creat…

The Dhamma of Contentment

Ajahn Pasanno

The Dhamma of Contentment

Contentment is a good theme for all of us to consider. In doing so we want to learn how to be content with the circumstances around us, as well as with our own minds, internally. Most of the agitation, negativity, and fault-finding that the mind cranks out is not so much about any big event that’s happening outside. Almost invariably, it is a lack of internal contentment. When the mind is internal…

Aging and Awakened

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Aging and Awakened

147 Look at the beautified image, a heap of festering wounds, shored up: ill, but the object of many resolves, where there is nothing lasting or sure. 149 A city made of bones, plastered over with flesh & blood, whose hidden treasures are: pride & contempt, aging & death. 181 Hard the winning of a human birth. Hard the life of mortals. Hard the chance to hear the true Dhamma. Hard the arising of A…

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Change

Ajahn Pasanno

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Change

There is a feeling of change today since the rain has come. The rain on the roof is an unfamiliar sound after months and months of dry summer. As I came down this morning for pūjā, there was the smell of moisture in the air. We can pay attention to that feeling of change. The mind tends to look at things from a one-sided perspective. We might be people who love the warm summer and hate the cold…

The Trump Card

Ajahn Yatiko

The Trump Card

During the recent Western Monastic Conference, I raised a question with the Christian monks who were there, regarding an orthodox belief. I asked, “What happens to an unbaptized baby who dies in childbirth or an aborted fetus? Is it going to heaven or not?” One of the monks answered, “Well, technically it’s not going to heaven, because it wasn’t baptized.” It’s easy to think that’s an outrageous b…

Rapture

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Rapture

Take a few deep, long in-and-out breaths and think of the breath energy filling the body. When we talk of the breath energy being full, it’s not a matter of having your lungs stuffed with air. It’s more that the energy channels throughout the body are open and they feel saturated with comfortable energy. So try to notice where in the body you have that sense of fullness right now. Protect that spo…

From Phena Sutta Samyutta Nikaya

Monastic Sangha

From Phena Sutta Samyutta Nikaya

Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they’re empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately. Beginning with the body as taught by the One with profound discernment: when abandoned by three things — life, w…