Maraṇasati

Bhikkhunī Santacittā

Maraṇasati

The practice of maraṇasati consists of three primary reflections: Death is inevitable. We cannot know when, where, and how we will die. When death comes, we will have to let go of everything. These contemplations can be done while sitting in meditation, while walking, while lying down, or whenever we think of it. We can begin by taking a few breaths and grounding in the body. We might say to ours…

Devadūtas

Ajahn Sucitto

Devadūtas

We often comment, sometimes humorously I hope, that we can irritate each other or experience other people as irritations – and that’s also true, isn’t it? What makes it that way? What makes other people irritations to us, disappointments to us, fears to us? What makes people that way? Why do we experience it like that? How limited we feel within that experience! How made small we feel! How unsafe…

Simple and Easy, Relaxed and Peaceful

Ajahn Sumedho

Simple and Easy, Relaxed and Peaceful

In a community then, there is a lot of intimidation. There are always those who sit straighter and are always on time. Those who never nod and always eat little – what we call the diligent ones. And then there is always somebody in the community who can’t do any of it very well. Ranging from those who desperately try to conform and live up to an image, and those who just try to do the best they ca…

The Patronage of Emperor Asoka

Ajahn Amaro

The Patronage of Emperor Asoka

One of the reasons why the Theravāda tradition has been sustained pretty much in its original form ever since then is because of the Emperor Asoka. He was a warrior-noble king about whom it was said, in typical mythical fashion, that he killed 99 of his brothers in order take over the throne. He then proceeded to work on the rest of India, conquering the vast majority of the Indian subcontinent. A…

Gentle and Humble

Ajahn Liem

Gentle and Humble

You need to train to bring forth an attitude of gentleness and humbleness. The words “gentle” and “humble” are about our good conduct as Sangha members – something that we need to practise by ourselves and develop in ourselves. With these qualities, the Sangha is well accepted by society. Anyone who behaves gently and humbly will always be well respected, even by the devas. The devas praise gentle…

What Is Head Hair Anyway?

Ajahn Dtun

What Is Head Hair Anyway?

What is head hair anyway? Regardless of whether it is long or short, it is just the earth element; but we consider it to be our own, ourselves, and so we keep it clean and give it lots of attention and care. You have probably combed your hair and noticed that two or three hairs have fallen out. When you next see this, try reflecting on them by asking yourself: ‘Are these hairs really who I am, my…

The Importance of Becoming

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

The Importance of Becoming

The importance of becoming is evident from the role it plays in the four noble truths, particularly in the second: Suffering and stress are caused by any form of craving that leads to becoming. Thus the end of suffering must involve the end of becoming. The central paradox of becoming is also evident in the second noble truth, where one of the three forms of craving leading to becoming is craving…

One’s Own Mind

Pāli Canon

One’s Own Mind

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There he addressed the monks: “Monks!” “Yes, lord,” the monks responded to him. The Blessed One said: “Even if a monk is not skilled in the ways of the minds of others [not skilled in reading the minds of others], he should train himself: ‘I will be skilled in reading my own mind…

Awareness That Knows the Knowing

Ajahn Munindo

Awareness That Knows the Knowing

After asking a few questions, he [Ajahn Tate] spoke to us for some time, during which he said something that has stayed with me; something that still seems as significant as it did then. Through the translator, he said, “Your task in practice is to realise the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart. It’s that simple.” As I recall this now, I can almost hear him saying it; his v…

Seeing Clearly

Ajahn Sundara

Seeing Clearly

To see something clearly depends on certain conditions. We learn to appreciate what it means to be still. What does that mean? It simply means that you stop moving with the movements of your mind. You stop agitating yourself with that which is agitated in yourself, being confused with that which is confused within you, being unhappy with that which is unhappy inside you. When we reach the place of…