A Classic Zen text written in the 8th century by Hui Hai. He was a student of Ma-tsu and from the same line as Hui Neng, Huang Po and Rinzai (Lin-chi).
Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering.
The Short Prajnaparamita Texts were composed in India between 100 BC and AD 600. They contain some of the most well known Buddhist texts such as The Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines, The Heart Sutra, and The Diamond Sutra.
Trevor Leggett points to the truth beyond words, beyond explanations and methods.
An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation.
Meditations and exercises to help us understand karma and rebirth and to live from the unborn moment.
Stories, parables, and examples pointing to the spiritual implications of practical events in daily life.
Modern practical teachings from an American monk living within one of the oldest Buddhist traditions.
As Buddhism moves into the western world, the question is asked, ‘Is monasticism necessary? Do we really need monks and nuns? Maybe that old stuff worked in Asia but is no longer profitable?’ There is a lot of this, especially in the States, about it ‘no longer meeting the needs of modern people.’ But that is an opinion, a view, which can be argued and rationalised on both sides. You can see it as totally useless, or you can make a case for its absolute necessity. The point is not to take sides but to use the forms of Buddhism, when they are around, for mindfulness rather than for taking positions. (more…)
One wonders how people can commit genocide! How can one group slaughter another group of people? When one gets into cultural habits and ethnic biases, then those things can easily take over the mind. If one is not reflective and has no understanding of the way things are, one is easily pulled into the prejudices of one’s particular ethnic background. Identifying as an American and growing up during the Second World War, my childhood was influenced by propaganda against the Germans and Japanese. They were the enemy! The Russians were allies until 1945, so they were the good guys. Propaganda is instilled in the mind so that you hate the enemy. After all, if you are going to kill somebody, you first have to hate them. You cannot think of them as nice people; they are monsters and demons. We used to have lurid posters in Seattle of barbed wire and swastikas and Nazi-like figures dragging women down dark alleyways. I remember looking at those posters as a child and thinking that if they came to America, they were going to do that to my mother. There was, therefore, a sense of horror, fear, and dread of the enemy. Propaganda demonises; it is a conditioning process. Propaganda is not the way things are; it is encouraging people to attach to certain views. (more…)
Dhamma [Truth, reality, the Buddha's teaching; dharma (Sanskrit).] allows us to respect all life itself. We recognise that animals have the same pain that we have. Some people think that a dog’s experience of pain—of being kicked, for example—is different from their own. Contemplate that! I don’t really know, not being a dog, but how could it be different? The dog is a conscious and sensitive being. It feels, not only pain, but also the nastiness of that state of mind which just sees a dog as something to abuse. A dog will pick that up along with the physical pain. I’m reflecting now; just contemplating pain and suffering. When you contemplate like this, then you feel an empathy for the suffering of creatures—not just human beings, or not just nice people that you get along with, but even the horrible ones. (more…)
If you never awaken the mind, but merely live a perfunctory life based on the momentum of your habits acquired when young, then as you get older, those habits become less vital but more entrenched. The force of habit is like a cage; it is something that imprisons you. People talk a lot about freedom in the sense of being physically able to do what one wants. And yet that kind of freedom can lead to slavery—we can become addicted, habituated, to various unskilful actions, attitudes, and tendencies that we never see through or get beyond. (more…)
. . so the retreat continues and today wasn’t so noisy. We didn’t have such a good chance to meditate and make friends with the cement mixer and the pneumatic drill, but that is being facetious. In a way, it is also an opportunity of adopting a realistic attitude towards meditation, and not creating hostility towards the way it is. There is noise and unpleasant things happen, but if we become averse to them, then we are creating hostility. When we are mindful and accept the way it is, then we are not creating hostility. So the real suffering is not the sound of the pneumatic drill and the cement mixer, but the stuff you create in your own mind—that is what dukkha is. (more…)
Header photo left to right: Jisu Sunim, DaeHungSa, Korean Son (Zen / Ch'an) Monk, Geshe Tashi Tsering, Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, and Ajahn Sumedho, Amaravati Buddhist Monastery.
The photo was taken at a BPG Buddhist Summer School in Leicester, England, around 1998 by Gerda Chapuis.