Inner Listening Exploration 2

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Inner Listening Exploration 2

One practice that can help free the heart from compulsions is to meditate upon your own name. Begin by taking a moment to listen to the inner sound. Focus on that until the mind is clear and open, empty, and then simply voice your own name internally, whatever it might be. You listen to the sound of silence before, then the sound of silence within and then behind the sound of your name, and finall…

Inner Listening Exploration 1

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Inner Listening Exploration 1

Listen to the sound of silence. Focus on it to steady the attention. Let the mind be as silent and alert as possible, and then raise the question, “Who am I?” First listen to the sound of silence. Then raise the question, and then attend; notice what happens when that question is sincerely asked, “Who am I?” We’re explicitly not looking for a verbal answer, a conceptual answer. But notice that the…

Frames of Reference 1

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Frames of Reference 1

Those who hold zealously to the texts may feel that what I have written is wrong; but as for me, I feel that whoever is able to practice in line with what is written here will find that it can be taken as a guide to the true principles of concentration, discernment, and release. To hold to the texts isn’t wrong, but they should be held to discerningly, just as in medicine: A doctor who thinks that…

To Do No Wrong Is to Do Nothing

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To Do No Wrong Is to Do Nothing

Our mistakes are our best teachers. We should be grateful to ourselves for our mistakes and take cheer in the fact that we have met with a special counselor, our mistakes, in line with the saying, ‘Once burned is twice forewarned.’ We have to act on our own and make our own mistakes. These are our best teachers and our best lessons, so that we will remember and be careful not to repeat them. We ca…

Stop and Think

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Stop and Think

Insight isn’t something that can be taught. It’s something you have to give rise to within yourself. It’s not something you simply memorize and talk about. If we were to teach it just so we could memorize it, I can guarantee that it wouldn’t take five hours. But if you wanted to understand one word of it, three years might not even be enough. Memorizing gives rise simply to memories. Acting is wha…

I Want to Do Well in My Studies

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I Want to Do Well in My Studies

A young girl once said to Luang Pu, “I heard Grandfather Sorasak Kawngsuk say that anyone who wants to be intelligent and do well in her studies should first practice sitting in meditation to get the mind concentrated in stillness. I want to be intelligent and do well in my studies, so I’ve been trying to meditate and bring my mind to stillness, but it’s never been willing to grow still. Sometimes…

Everything That Arises Passes Away

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Everything That Arises Passes Away

As long as you conceive of yourself as being somebody who has to do something in order to become something else, you still get caught in a trap, a condition of mind as being a self, and you never quite understand anything properly. No matter how many years you meditate, you never really understand the teaching; it will always be just off the mark. The direct way of seeing things now - that whateve…

There Is Faith. There Is Doubt.

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There Is Faith. There Is Doubt.

There is faith; there is doubt. In Buddhist practice, we examine the belief and the doubt that we experience in our mind and we see that these two are conditions changing. I have contemplated doubt itself as a sign. I’d ask myself a question like, ‘Who am I?’ and then I’d listen for the answer – something like, ‘Sumedho Bhikkhu.’ Then I’d think, ‘That’s not the answer; who are you really? I’d see…

Purpose 2

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Purpose 2

Please understand as well that the way of Buddhism is not a hard and fast system. The recommendations coming directly from the Buddha are the best because he took the nature of human beings into account. But they are not set in stone. The whole of Buddhism is a method. You can adapt the method to your own needs. You needn’t practice exactly according to what the books say. Being a method, the Budd…

Purpose 1

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Purpose 1

The training in samādhi consists of learning the art of stopping thoughts and holding the mind still. Thinking is the factor that prevents us from becoming calm. When we can stop our thoughts and hold them still, the results of samādhi will come automatically. Samādhi is quite a natural state. When we stop the restlessness of the mind and keep it still, it will either go into sleep or into sama…