Mundane Love

Ajahn Jayasaro

Mundane Love

The Buddha’s teachings point out two significant drawbacks of mundane love:

(1) The lover, the beloved, and the love itself are all impermanent by nature. Fluctuations and changes in accordance with causes and conditions mean that nothing in the world, including personal love, is permanent or capable of being a real refuge.

(2) The lover, as an unenlightened human being, will always bear in his or her heart negative emotions (known in the Buddhist idiom as defilements or kilesa) which render love unsatisfactory and may cause problems in loving relationships at any time. It is already naturally difficult for mundane love to last, and we make it worse with our ignorance and unwise desires.

Those who have what the Buddha called “right view” (samma ditthi) train themselves to see love in terms of the Four Noble Truths. They train themselves to acknowledge love’s inherent deficiencies, to try to find the appropriate value and meaning they should give to love in their lives. They attempt to abandon impurities in the heart that cause suffering in spite of the presence of love. Their goal is to avoid or minimize the suffering that arises from love and to achieve and give as much happiness as possible.

Finally, they use the Buddha’s teachings to train their action, speech, and mind to lead their love in the direction of lovingkindness as much as possible, inspired by the awareness of the beauty of a love that is unconditioned.

This reflection by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the booklet, On Love, (pdf) pp. 6-8.

True Moral Virtue

Mae Chee Kaew

True Moral Virtue

The nature of true moral virtue is subtle and complex — so complex that it cannot be attained merely by reference to precepts and rules of conduct. Ultimately, moral virtue is not measured in terms of adherence to external rules, but as an expression of the mind’s pure intentions. The basic goal of the Buddhist path is to eliminate from the mind all impure intentions. Thus, true virtue can only be…

Tudong

Ajahn Amaro

Tudong

Tudong is an ancient monastic practice of journeying on foot through the countryside, often for weeks or months at a time, living simply and close to the elements and often relying on the kindness of strangers to provide sustenance along the way. The Thai word tudong comes from the Pali dhutaṅga. The term refers to a set of practices such as living on one meal a day, not sleeping in a building or…

‘Not-doing’ Had Happened

Ajahn Munindo

‘Not-doing’ Had Happened

Recently I have had a number of conversations with people who have described how their practice has turned a corner and how they’ve discovered a new approach to meditation. Almost certainly all of these individuals had already heard teachings on how trying too hard to overcome obstructions didn’t help; how what was needed was a willingness to receive all they encountered along the way and to under…

In Our Daily Lives

Ajahn Sundara

In Our Daily Lives

The Buddha shows us the path to the Deathless. But how does that relate to my daily life in the kitchen with my kids and my dog? Well, check out the mind when it’s not clinging: when you are relaxed, not wanting anything, not going anywhere, not wanting to become something, in a moment of profound relaxation, in the now. How does it feel to be in the moment? Check out the peace that is there when…

The Path Develops Over the Years

Ajahn Viradhammo

The Path Develops Over the Years

To reach a deeper understanding of anatta we simplify our perspective on life’s events by observing our experiences as bodily sensations, feelings, perceptions, mental constructs, sensory phenomena. In other words we observe the changing nature of the khandhas. If this objective perspective is missing we easily get caught up with the narrative or story line that each life situation generates. For…

Mundane Right View

Ajahn Pasanno

Mundane Right View

The worldly, mundane aspect of Right View involves a clear understanding of cause and effect: whatever causes we put in, results will follow. It states that there are results of good or wholesome causes and of bad and unwholesome ones, that there’s this life and rebirth into another life, and that this life is not a one-shot deal where we are born, die, and are annihilated without rhyme or reason…

The Tranquility Trap

Ajahn Thiradhammo

The Tranquility Trap

Some people also fall into what I call the tranquillity trap. They think that meditation is all about tranquillity, so they do lots of sitting meditation and follow a quiet, peaceful lifestyle. They may even eat less and be less active. They notice that when the body calms down the mind calms down, and when they see some results, they adopt this as a habit. However, often the mind calms down not b…

Beginning With Good Habits

Ajahn Yatiko

Beginning With Good Habits

It is possible to have freedom from a mind that seems compulsively locked into habits and mind movements. We have the ability to completely put aside those habits and rest in a silent, quiet, spacious, aware, calm, and devotional place. The path that leads to this place is the path laid out by the Buddha—a transformative path releasing us from the habits of mind that cause us suffering. As far as…

Deal with the Big Issues

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Deal with the Big Issues

So here we are with our breath. Sometimes we’ve also got pain and at other times distractions — sometimes both together — and we tend to regard them as mosquitoes swarming around as we meditate. We’d like to swat them and get rid of them so we can actually get down to the real business of meditating. But dealing with the distractions, dealing with the pain is the real business of the meditation. W…