A Shorter Long Road North

Ajahn Amaro

A Shorter Long Road North

Preface: Herein are some reflections by Ajahn Amaro on his 2008 walk in England with Nick Scott. This walk celebrated and roughly followed the route of a previous and longer walk undertaken 25 years earlier in 1983, also with Nick. One year after that first walk a book was published journaling their experiences entitled Tudong: The Long Road North, with illustrations by Nancy Sloane Stanley; parts…

Tales from Varapañño - Body of Complete Enjoyment

Paul Breiter

Tales from Varapañño - Body of Complete Enjoyment

“Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people, because you no longer regard people as a drain on your resources. They recharge your energy, because in the process of relating with them you acknowledge your wealth, your richness…. There is no feeling of poverty at all in this approach to life.” - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche - Ajahn Chah often said that it was after he became a teacher an…

Golden Opportunities

Paul Breiter

Golden Opportunities

“What is a day worth?” - Chakdud Tulku Rinpoche - Dispensing good advice about practice comes easily to us armchair Buddhists. Milarepa noted that, “Dharma practitioners may talk with elation, but when a task is set them they are wrecked and lost.” Still, while I rarely encounter real difficulty in life, and skillfully avoid it as soon as it appears on the horizon, when others are in deep trouble…

Bring to Life the Contemplation of Death

Debbie Stamp

Bring to Life the Contemplation of Death

> This reflection is adapted from a talk offered by Debbie during the 2013 Thanksgiving Retreat. > > In a sutta in the Saṃyutta Nikāya, the Buddha asks King Pasenadi, “How is your day going? What’s your day been like?” King Pasenadi says, “Well, it’s a normal day for a king. Wars, keeping our territories, sensual delights…” and so on along the very worldly lines of a king’s life. > > So the Buddha…

Tales from Varapañño - Ajahn Sumedho and Ven.Varapañño Visit Forest Ajahns

Paul Breiter

 Tales from Varapañño - Ajahn Sumedho and Ven.Varapañño Visit Forest Ajahns

February, 1976. It was that ominous time of year when the hot season could begin at any moment. I was lolling around the kuti, trying to shake off early-afternoon lethargy, when someone came to tell me to pack up my alms bowl (the bhikkhu’s suitcase)—Ajahn Sumedho was inviting me to accompany him on a trip around the Northeast. Every year Ajahn Sumedho would go to pay respects to his preceptor in…

Tales from Varapañño - Reflections on Luang Por Sumedho, Part 2

Paul Breiter

Tales from Varapañño - Reflections on Luang Por Sumedho, Part 2

Paul Breiter (who, thirty years ago, was Varapañño Bhikkhu) recollects his experiences with Ajahn Sumedho in the early 1970s. Part 2 After the Magha Pūjā observances, I finally got sent to stay with Ajahn Jun. While I was there, Ajahn Tieng came and told me that Ajahn Sumedho and some farang1 monks were establishing a new monastery near the railroad line not far from Wat Pah Pong. Projecting my ow…

Tales from Varapañño - Reflections on Luang Por Sumedho, Part 1

Paul Breiter

Tales from Varapañño - Reflections on Luang Por Sumedho, Part 1

Paul Breiter, who, thirty years ago, was Varapañño Bhikkhu, recollects his experiences with Luang Por Sumedho in the early 1970s. My first year in college I had one of those rare instructors who prodded and provoked students into thinking and investigating the world and themselves. One day he was talking about myth. He said that myths are something relevant to their time and place and fill a nee…

Awakened Consciousness

Ajahn Sumedho

Awakened Consciousness

A Dhamma talk given by Ajahn Sumedho at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery on the Lunar Observance Night, June 18, 2008 This is the Uposatha Night and the full moon, the month of June, and you’ve gathered to listen to the Dhamma—for practicing. This evening you took refuge in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha. This can be a Theravadin ceremony, or it can be a reminder of what a refuge is, and why we would repeat…

Attending to the Here and Now

Ajahn Sumedho

Attending to the Here and Now

(Editor’s Note: In honor of Luang Por Sumedho’s 80th birthday on July 27th and his recent visit to Abhayagiri, we will be posting a series of Luang Por Sumedho reflections.) Bring your attention to this moment, here and now. Whatever you’re feeling physically or emotionally, whatever its quality, this is the way it is. And this knowing of the way it is is consciousness; it’s how we experience the…

The Island That You Cannot Go Beyond

Ajahn Sumedho

The Island That You Cannot Go Beyond

(Editor’s Note: In honor of Luang Por Sumedho’s 80th birthday on July 27th and his recent visit to Abhayagiri, we will be posting a series of Luang Por Sumedho reflections.) A difficulty with the word Nibbana is that its meaning is beyond the power of words to describe. It is, essentially, undefinable. Another difficulty is that many Buddhists see Nibbana as something unobtainable—as so high and so r…