A Special Attitude

อาจารย์ ชยสาโร

A Special Attitude

[Ajahn Chah] said that listening to Dhamma talks requires a special attitude:

“Keep listening, keep listening. Don’t just believe what you hear and don’t disbelieve. Make yourself neutral. Keep listening. It will bring good results, and there’s no danger in it.

The peril lies in believing too much in what you hear, or in disbelieving. Listen and contemplate. This is what practice is about: being a listener and being one who reflects on things. As you don’t know yet whether the things you like and dislike are true or not, the Buddha said that, for the time being, you should keep listening.

If you don’t, you’ll just follow your own opinions about things, and if you do that, then you will develop wrong view, and your practice won’t advance. The wise person is one who keeps looking, contemplating, continually reflecting.

The true Dhamma is not something that can be communicated with words. You can’t appropriate someone else’s knowledge. If you take someone else’s knowledge, then you have to meditate on it. Listening to someone else and understanding what they say doesn’t mean that your defilements will come to an end. You have to take that understanding and then chew on it and digest it until it’s a sure thing and really your own.”

This reflection by Ajahn Chah as recounted by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the book, Stillness Flowing,
(pdf) pp. 198-199
.

It’s the Clinging, Not the Convention

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It’s the Clinging, Not the Convention

Excerpt from: Ajahn Sumedho [AS] Interviewed by Roger Wheeler [RW], Part 2: RW: …Now, your and [Ajahn] Sucitto’s presence here has been an obvious display of the carrying on of a tradition that has existed for over 2,500 years…I wonder if one could get too caught up in form, missing the intended purpose? Or another way of stating it, how does one avoid getting caught up in form? AS: Well, it’s lik…

Feeling at Home

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Feeling at Home

We focus on the present moment so that we give the mind a sense of feeling at home here. This is the place where you belong. Now, for most of us, we don’t live here. We live in the past, we live in the future, and come running through the present moment just for a moment, like a kid who doesn’t spend much time at home. He wants something from home, comes running in, and then he goes running out ag…

Steadiness in Practice

อาจารย์ ปสันโน

Steadiness in Practice

Ajahn Chah used to emphasize the need for steadiness in our practice, especially with our application of effort—finding a level that pushes the edge a little bit, but is also sustainable and doesn’t lead to our burning out. Sometimes we want to focus on tangible results, and it’s certainly gratifying to feel we’re really getting somewhere, that something’s really happening. But I think it’s much m…

Mindfulness of Death

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Mindfulness of Death

If you were to break the law, and in seven days they were going to execute you, how would you feel? If you were sentenced to death, and in seven days they were going to execute you, what would you do? I want you to reflect on this. As you are, you’re already sentenced to be executed, simply that you don’t know how many days you’ve got left. It might even be less than seven. Do you have a sense of…

Leave the Day Open

อาจารย์ อมโร

Leave the Day Open

When we look forward to the coming day, if we’ve already written in what we expect to achieve or what we expect to experience, then we’ll make that happen. We create the world out of our expectations, fears and hopes. We limit our experience by the patterns of what we anticipate. Instead of following this habit, we try to open the mind and ready ourselves for everything. We don’t know how today wi…

A Gift to Everyone

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

A Gift to Everyone

All in all, the act of going for refuge occurs on three levels: external, internal, and—beyond external and internal—the level of nibbāna. These three levels can be summarized in two different ways: in terms of what they protect you from, and in terms of what they depend on to protect you. In terms of what they protect you from: The first level protects you from the unskillful actions of others; t…

Separate Work from Rest

อาจารย์ ชา

Separate Work from Rest

They offered me a bowl, but it was cracked and it had no lid. Then I remembered once as a child taking the water buffaloes out to graze and seeing other lads carving vines and weaving them into hats. So I asked for some rattan. I wove a disk and a rectangle and then joined them. I had my bowl-lid – the only thing was it looked like a sticky rice basket. On alms-round, it was a real eyesore. The vi…

I Could Die Any Time Soon

อาจารย์ ตั๋น

I Could Die Any Time Soon

You have to reflect on death because it arouses the mind, warning it to not be heedless. Death is something we must frequently recollect, for if we don’t we will just go about occupying ourselves happily throughout our days and nights, letting time drift by as days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years, allowing our thoughts to proliferate about ‘at the end of the year…’ or ‘at…

Feeling Happy

อาจารย์ สุนทรา

Feeling Happy

The mind that is not attached is already quite happy. This is a happiness that never goes. It is something we can taste in our meditation practice. We begin to notice that we are happy when we don’t want anything. What kind of happiness is not wanting? At the point of not wanting, we are experiencing not being reborn into something. Desire is rebirth. We are reborn all the time in this sense, so w…