Meditation Is a Skill

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Meditation Is a Skill

…Meditation is a skill, and mastering it should be enjoyable in the same way that mastering any other rewarding skill can be. The Buddha said as much to his son, Rāhula: “When you see that you’ve acted, spoken, or thought in a skillful way—conducive to happiness while causing no harm to yourself or others—take joy in that fact, and keep on training.” Of course, saying that meditation should be enj…

Balance: Proactive and Relaxation

อาจารย์ สุจิตโต

Balance: Proactive and Relaxation

In practice, there needs to be balance between proactive applications and relaxation. The proactive applications consist of creating something or placing the mind onto an object such as body or breathing. You can do that by lifting your attention with a thought: ‘Where is the body now? … Where is the breath now? … What is breathing out like now?’ You deliberately bring that thought up. That’s why…

Responsive, Adaptable, Peaceful

อาจารย์ อมโร

Responsive, Adaptable, Peaceful

So to be accepting of the way things are does not mean to be passive. It doesn’t mean being numb or uncaring, or to be violent just because such a feeling arises. Rather it is a total caring, but a caring not based on self-view. A caring that is not neurotic or idealistic. It is a caring based on attunement. The hand doesn’t have to decide about whether it cares about your ankle. If you’ve twisted…

Questions

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Questions

At the same time, I began noticing discussions on the topic of questions in non-Buddhist sources as well. Two passages in particular underlined its importance. One was a story told by a man born in New York whose parents had been immigrants from Eastern Europe. They had placed great importance on his education, and his mother would ask him every day after school, not what he had learned that day,…

Thinking, Itself, Is Not the Problem

อาจารย์ อมโร

Thinking, Itself, Is Not the Problem

In Buddhist meditation circles conceptual thought tends to get the same rap as the ego. It is perceived as something bad, something that we don’t want or that needs to be eliminated. And it’s no wonder. Thinking can feel like a great burden. In our efforts to meditate we see how unruly the mind can be. It charges off here and there and everywhere chattering away insanely – all day and night. And b…

Letting Go Happens in the Recognition

อาจารย์ มุนินโท

Letting Go Happens in the Recognition

When we don’t have enough clarity and calm, we easily fall prey to misperceiving that which is in front of us. We attempt to find security within that which is insecure. We try to find stability within that which is unstable. On one occasion early in my monastic training, when I was caught up even more than usual in doubt and despair, I went to see Ajahn Chah, hoping he might help relieve me of my…

Two Levels of Nibbāna

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Two Levels of Nibbāna

Any discussion of the way the Buddha used the term nibbāna must begin with the distinction that there are two levels of nibbāna (or, to use the original terminology, two nibbāna properties). The first is the nibbāna experienced by a person who has attained the goal and is still alive. This is described metaphorically as the extinguishing of passion, aversion, & delusion. The second is the nibbāna…

Becoming More Conscious

อาจารย์ วีรธัมโม

Becoming More Conscious

In learning to know our inner world, we can start with the practice of naming things. For example, if I’m engaged in a physical chore and I’m rushing to get it done, I can inwardly name that mind-state by using the word “rushing.” This labeling of mental states is a very simple exercise, but it helps to make me conscious of my inner life. As soon as I label a particular state of mind, it has alrea…

They Belong to You

Ajaan Khamdee

They Belong to You

There are three sorts of Dhamma: the Dhamma of theory, the Dhamma of practice, and the Dhamma of attainment. The Dhamma of theory refers to the teachings of the Buddha: the discourses, the discipline, the Abhidhamma, all 84,000 sections of the Pali Canon. This sort of Dhamma is everyone’s common property. As for practice and attainment, they’re the individual property of those who do them. For exa…

Embracing the Present Is Still Clinging

ฐานิสสโร ภิกขุ

Embracing the Present Is Still Clinging

And just as we feed off physical food without assuming that it’s going to be permanent, clinging to things doesn’t necessarily mean that we assume them to be permanent. We cling whenever we sense that the effort of clinging is repaid by some sort of satisfaction, permanent or not. We cling because there’s some pleasure in the things to which we cling (SN 22:60). When we can’t find what we’d like t…