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.
I would like begin by reading a quote from Hubert Benoit, a French doctor who, amongst other things, studied, practised and experimented with Zen. He had a deep and creative way of conceptualising the core of the practice, and at one time he said, ‘All suffering, by humiliating us, modifies us. But this modification can be of two sorts that are radically opposed. If I struggle against humiliation it destroys me and increases my inner disharmony. But if I let it alone without opposing it, it builds up my inner harmony. So, when I start understanding,’ he says, ‘I begin to see that all my negative states, basically, are humiliations, and that up to this point I have taken steps to give them other names. Then I become capable of feeling myself humiliated and vexed without any other image within me, and I become capable of remaining there, motionless.’ He concludes, ‘From the moment I succeed in no longer moving in my humiliated state, I discover with surprise that there is the unique harbour of safety, the only place in the world in which I can find perfect security.’ Somewhere else he also speaks about ‘resting on the stone bed of discomfort’. (more…)
A collection of eight new or significantly revised translations of Ajahn Chah’s Dhamma talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Two of them have never been translated before into English, and four of them are based on entirely new Thai transcriptions of the best and most complete source recordings available.
Dhamma is a condition that can cut through and reduce the problems and difficulties in the human heart—reducing them, reducing them until they’re gone.
In the last discourse given by the Buddha called the Parinibbana Sutta, the Discourse concerning his passing away into total nibbana, there is a special section on body movement and posture:
And again when the meditator is walking, she or he is aware of walking, when standing, aware of standing, when sitting, aware of sitting, when lying down, aware of lying down. Whatever position or movement the meditator is in, that is what she or he is aware of.
In other words, sitting meditation is only a part of the meditation. What the Buddha wanted us to do was to develop a meditative life—to know what we are doing at all times, leading a life of full-time awareness. (more…)
Life always presents us with pairs. There are always two aspects that complement each other—sun and moon, day and night, mother and father, life and death. But how easily our minds become occupied in a one-sided way! And when we see one aspect and ignore the other, somehow we feel incomplete and the circumstances of our lives seem insufficient. (more…)
In the bardo state, you believe you have eyes that see. However, everything is merely experience, whether it is the bardo or the hell realms or any other place. It is all your personal experience. Just because one believes one has eyes and can therefore see does not change the fact that what one is experiencing is basically mind experience. When you dream at night you see all sorts of different things. Are those things seen with the eyes? You believe you have eyes in the dream, don’t you? You walk around and look all over, yet in reality your eyes are closed and you’re in bed. (more…)
Once you have truly received the pointing-out instruction and recognised mind essence, becoming enlightened through training is not out of reach; it is in your own hands. You can remind yourself to recognise your mind essence as often as possible. If you train in this way, you can be liberated even if you spend your entire day doing something as simple as grazing cattle. If not—if you know all the words of the Dharma but don’t really experience the essential meaning—the moment you depart from this life you will just roam about in confusion. This is the essential point.
There is another thing that I would like to say. The Buddha was totally awakened and saw the three times as clearly as if they were held in the palm of his own hand. The teachings are based on this immense clarity. We don’t have to speculate about whether the words of the Buddha are true or not. I am not saying this because I am a Buddhist, but because it is really true. It is not the same as certain spiritual systems taught by unenlightened beings who had some partial insight and gave some portion of the truth but not the complete picture. Because of not being enlightened themselves and not having this completely unimpeded clarity, they were not able to teach in the same way as a fully enlightened buddha. This is something to bear in mind. I am not being prejudiced here, but it is really true that we don’t have to judge the words of a fully enlightened being. They have already been checked thoroughly. (more…)
One way of dividing up the conditioned realm is into five aggregates (khandhas)—
mental formations (sankhara) and
When I first started meditating many years ago, I could understand the definitions of the five aggregates, but I did not know their reality; I had never really contemplated these things in an intuitive way through observing my own body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, or consciousness. Initially, I really only contemplated the physical body, the four elements (earth, fire water and air), the parts of the body (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, etc) and the body itself. I contemplated material things, anything formed. (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.