Rule of Thumb

Ajahn Jayasaro

Rule of Thumb

The profound teaching is whatever you can’t do yet. It’s not something that’s always intellectually difficult, but it’s profound if you haven’t yet penetrated it, you haven’t yet reached it. Indeed, it’s often the simplest and most straightforward teachings which are the most effective and produce the most meaningful change in our lives. This is a point to observe about the Dhamma - that the study…

The Truth Is Always Our Guarantee

Ajaan Suwat

The Truth Is Always Our Guarantee

When the Buddha clearly saw suffering and the cause that gives rise to suffering, he looked for a way to solve the problem. He realized that it had to be solved at the cause: the mind that’s deluded. So he developed intelligence in the area of the heart and mind, to see if the things the heart and mind are infatuated with are really worth that infatuation. Exactly how wonderful are they really? Th…

Not To Be Reborn

Ajahn Amaro

Not To Be Reborn

But then the last four lines of the sutta present a very different message: By not holding to fixed views, The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, Being freed from all sense desires, Is not born again into this world. Until those last four lines, there’s a seamless flow of ideas, a deeply inspiring sentiment that the Buddha encourages for all of us. It continues to get more exalted and bri…

How and Why to Judge

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

How and Why to Judge

The discernment of admirable friends can be seen in two things: the standards by which they judge you, and their purpose in judging you. If they’re really discerning, they’ll judge you by your actions—not by your appearance, wealth, or anything else over which you have no control. They’ll judge your actions both by the intentions on which you act and on the results of your actions. In both cases—a…

If We Could Just…

Ajahn Amaro

If We Could Just…

Sometimes we may think that if we could just get to a place where we didn’t feel this fear problem or this grief issue that we have, we’d be happy. Often we’re trying to climb over a ‘this’ to get to some imagined ‘that’; we’re trying to climb over the present in order to reach some imagined future where there’s ‘me’ without ‘that thing’. I’ve had to work a lot with this in the past, particularly…

Positioning: A Miserable Experience

Ajahn Sucitto

Positioning:  A Miserable Experience

People find a tremendous sense of positioning through holding views. In my own practice I found it quite easy to give up things, even to be quite austere, but then I’d develop critical views about everyone else. I hadn’t relinquished that conceit, that way of positioning myself by judging others. So rather than going into debates about who is right and who is wrong, which is the right meditation p…

Two Kinds of Shame

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Two Kinds of Shame

The high value that the Buddha placed on shame contrasts sharply with the way it’s regarded in many segments of our culture today. In business and in politics, shame is all too often viewed as weakness. Among therapists, it’s commonly seen as pathological—an unhealthy low opinion of yourself that prevents you from being all that you can. Book after book gives counsel on how to overcome feelings of…

Facilitating Harmony

Ajahn Pasanno

Facilitating Harmony

In several suttas, the Buddha points to cāga as a quality that facilitates harmony. Cāga is an interesting word. It means giving or sharing and also giving up. It’s not only the quality of generosity, but also the ability to give up our fears, views, and opinions—things that end up creating moods and feelings of disharmony. Another quality the Buddha points to that facilitates harmony is piyavā…

Modesty and Truthfulness

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Modesty and Truthfulness

One of the dangers that can come from shame and honor in admirable friendship is that, out of a desire to look good in your friends’ eyes, you might want to show off your good qualities. To counteract this tendency, though, the Buddha warned that if you do, your good qualities immediately get ruined. One of the signs of integrity, he said, is modesty—to speak as little as possible of your own good…

Where is the Good Person?

Ajahn Chah

Where is the Good Person?

Where is the good person? It’s lying within us. If we’re good, then wherever we go the goodness goes with us. People may praise us, blame us or treat us with contempt, but whatever they say or do, the goodness remains. Without goodness, our mind constantly wavers: we’re angered by criticism and pleased by praise. Through knowing where the good person dwells, we have a principle to rely on in letti…