Where Is the World?

อาจารย์ อมโร

Where Is the World?

Lights in the dark; dozens of orange patches, human habitations, glow below the window. Turkey passes by: Muş, Solhan, Varto, Hınıs, Erzurum… a poem of pulses, the beat of life, written on the land.

What are their stories? Their names? Their loves and losses? It’s the small hours here – some winter revellers might be looking up as I write hearing the sound of a plane far above, see our lights, white and red, as we sing upon the airs above. Do they wonder who we are? Where we are going?

‘Where are they going?’ My cousin Richard once asked of a passing ship, seen from the restaurant of our family hotel, the Bellevue Britannia, Ostend, when I was not yet quite two years old.

Apparently, allegedly, I spoke in a deep voice, saying, ‘They are going wherever the ship is taking them’ or somesuch. Which was strangely well-formed grammar for a not-quite-two-year-old, if the story is true, of course. This also (again, as the story has repeatedly been told) nearly gave my aunt, seated at my side, a heart attack.

Where are we going? Who can go anywhere, really? The mind, all our minds are exactly, precisely here – a ‘here’ without a ‘there’, the place of non-abiding: Şırnak, Lake Van, Cadir Dagˇi, Muradiye, Ahlat, Bulanık – syllables that indicate memories, perceptions, the feelings of ownership, othership, conventions of ‘here and there’.

Where is the world? On the map-screen? Outside the window? In this mind?

‘In this fathom long body, with its perceptions and thoughts, is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the way leading to the cessation of the world’ (S 2.26, A 4.45 ).

A glowing screen, white and lime-yellow words pasted over depictions, depixellations, of mountains and lakes, beside it the window, words encoded in neon puddles of street-lamp alphabets; names written in light, words understood, mysterious.

This reflection by Ajahn Amaro is from the book, Copper Isle Miles, (pdf) pp. 3-4.

Practicing: Calligraphy and More…

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

Practicing: Calligraphy and More…

Working on the micro-level of balance, I decided to practise calligraphy. Externally, it’s a way of presenting wise sayings succinctly in a way that does justice to their meaning. It’s perfected by balancing script with empty white space. (For Dhamma sayings, one needs a lot of empty space.) It’s also lightweight and portable – a few nibs, a couple of bottles of ink, paper. Years ago, George Sharp…

Is It Not Time to Let Go?

อัยยา เมธานันทิ

Is It Not Time to Let Go?

The Buddha likened the mind to a guest house. (Agāra Sutta, SN 36.14). Whatever is happening around us, be it in a condo or bungalow, alone or in community, our dwelling place is teeming one moment, tranquil the next. Likewise, the pleasant, painful, worldly, and unworldly feelings passing through the mind are to be treated like guests. Sitting quietly, we practise being more mindful and observan…

Illness is Everywhere and Always

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Illness is Everywhere and Always

When you see a sick person, the Buddha says that you should regard that person, like the aged person, as a messenger from the devas. And this messenger, too, is delivering two messages. The first is that you, too, are subject to illness. The proper response is to learn not to look down on those who are already sick, for they’re simply showing you what the human body—your human body—is capable of.…

Listen to the News

อาจารย์ ชยสาโร

Listen to the News

Listen to the news every day. Listen many times. Not the news on a screen or in a newspaper but the news of your body and mind. This is the most important news. What is happening right now? Observe how your actions and speech affect your mind. Observe how your mental states condition your actions and speech. This is how we investigate the law of kamma in every day life. This reflection by Ajahn Ja…

Start with Studying One’s Own Body

อาจารย์ ตั๋น

Start with Studying One’s Own Body

When we hold to the belief that the body is oneself, the mind will, accordingly, suffer every time the body is afflicted by sickness. And as the body experiences the gradual changes brought about by ageing, this, too, will serve as a source of suffering for the heart. Furthermore, when the body finally moves into its dying phase, or it is actually about to meet with death, this, too, will be a cau…

Is Anger a Good Thing? Ajahn Plien

อาจารย์ เปลี่ยน

Is Anger a Good Thing? Ajahn Plien

Please reflect: is anger a good thing? How long have we been holding on to our aversions? Aren’t we fed up with negativity? Does the burning rage inside make you happy? Don’t you want to purify your mind of it? Don’t you want to live happily? Or would you rather hold on to it and lead a miserable life? If you want your life to move in a positive direction, then inwardly reflect and look at the con…

The Energy of Bodhgaya

Ajahn Achalo

The Energy of Bodhgaya

This might sound like a strange thing to say, but through this book, I am sharing several of my greatest loves: my love of meditation and the spiritual life, my love and gratitude for the Buddha and his transformative teachings, and my love for the physical place of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment. Bodhgaya, a holy site sacred to Buddhists from all around the world, is situated in Bihar state, northea…

Faith Develops Energy and Wisdom

อาจารย์ ปสันโน

Faith Develops Energy and Wisdom

Faith is an essential part of our practice, and it’s not something that magically appears on its own. Rather, the arising of faith takes effort. We need to direct our attention toward it to frequently reflect on the arising of faith as a real possibility for us. As Westerners, most of us are not on familiar ground when we reflect on faith. But it is an important quality for balancing the different…

Communion

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Communion

Buddhist cultivation covers more than what we would understand through reading books or even through meditation. For instance, although solitary meditation is what we see in the discourses, one of the main features in the Vinaya and of the Buddhist life is the practice of community. You can recognize this especially when there is a big gathering such as today’s alms-giving ceremony, the Kathina. T…