Settling the Mind

Ajahn Pasanno

Settling the Mind

What are we doing when we sit down and cultivate our meditation practice? The most important piece is bringing mindfulness, awareness, and attention back to a simple object. The mind loves its proliferations – the things it gets excited about, attracted to, wound up about. The mind’s tendency is to move toward complication, to be endlessly attracted to anything other than simplicity. So the first…

Open Hands – Reflections on Thailand's Culture of Generosity

Paul Breiter

Open Hands – Reflections on Thailand's Culture of Generosity

Robert Aitken Roshi said he is often asked why he teaches so much about generosity. His answer is that all other positive qualities, all the spiritual perfections, grow out of it. Generosity, dāna, is explained as having several facets or levels: giving material support, giving freedom from fear, and giving the gift of Dhamma, for example. For Westerners who aspire to the Buddha’s way, the first…

The Tests & Treasures of Tudong

Ajahn Ñāniko

The Tests & Treasures of Tudong

“When there are two paths before you, always choose the more difficult one.” –Tibetan proverb I undertook the practice of walking tudong(1) in Chiang Mai province, Thailand, during the month of February and the first half of March 2009. Originally, my intention was to go alone because I didn’t know of any tudong monks to go with and ‘learn the ropes.’ It was my good fortune that I met up with Ajah…

Not Being Ajahn Amaro, A Year-long Sabbatical in Asia

Ajahn Amaro

Not Being Ajahn Amaro, A Year-long Sabbatical in Asia

Following are a few of many tales, reflections, and images from Ajahn Amaro’s year away, as told to Fearless Mountain assistant editor Kathryn Guta. From June 2004 to June 2005 I was grateful to have a year- long sabbatical away from the many responsibilities of teaching and the structures of a monastic routine. During my sabbatical year, which I spent in Asia, I was supported by the monastic disc…

Measuring the Mind

Ajahn Pasanno

Measuring the Mind

This evening I’d like to talk a bit about meditation practice. Particularly as we’ve begun the Vassa, the formal rains retreat, we are trying to encourage everybody to give more time to the formal side of practice. In doing that, one of the things we need to learn is how to measure our own minds. The term “measure the mind” means to give ourselves a more clear sense of what the mind actually needs…

Letting Go In India

Ajahn Ñāniko

Letting Go In India

During the first three months of 2004, an Indian man named Manu was part of the winter retreat support crew. I had been ordained for one Rains Retreat at the time and Manu had become a good friend over the past year. A newly ordained bhikkhu understands that he has made a five year commitment to the training under his teachers. After this, if his teachers think he is ready, he can go to other mona…

In Praise Of Luang Ta

Paul Breiter

In Praise Of Luang Ta

“In the naturally free openness, peace of mind, remain naturally and gracefully, like an old man.” (Longchenpa – translation from Tulku Thondup) In Thailand, many fine customs are associated with Buddhism, which has been an integral part of the culture and daily life for centuries. Sometimes they are referred to as ariya prapaenie, ‘noble traditions.’ One of the most wonderful, and most meaningful…

Friendship

Ajahn Pasanno

Friendship

Today we have had a very special ceremony for Todd Tansuhaj, a young boy who died about two years ago and who was a novice here just prior to his hospitalization for an illness. His parents and friends have come for a memorial service. Some of them came last year. A couple more have come this year as well. So that all together, we have Todd’s parents, a cousin and several friends. During the day w…

Skillfulness : Excerpted from Wings to Awakening: An Anthology of the Pali Canon

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Skillfulness : Excerpted from Wings to Awakening: An Anthology of the Pali Canon

We can say that the Dhamma — in terms of doctrine, practice, and attainment — derives from the fully explored implications of one observation: that it is possible to master a skill. This point is reflected not only in the content of the Buddha’s teachings, but also in the way they are expressed. The Buddha used many metaphors, explicit and implicit, citing the skills of craftsmen, artists, and ath…

Buddhism : the Supremely Comprehensive Education System

Ajahn Jayasāro

Buddhism : the Supremely Comprehensive Education System

The attitude that the Buddha recommended was the attitude of the student, a student of life. In the meditation practice itself, it helps a great deal to consider the meditation practice as an exploration, as a study. If we consider meditation as an effort to achieve a certain state of mind or the accumulation of certain special experiences, then we are looking at meditation in a very worldly way.…