The Pain of Attachment, by Corrado Pensa

 Wall painting, Sri lanka Photo: © Hazel WaghornThere are various ways of expressing the combination of light and warmth. There is a flame, and this flame means both light and warmth at the same time. Now, if this is the culmination of the path—this light and warmth—it has to have been there right from the beginning, at least in a potential form. This is why I tend to emphasise `affectionate’ awareness, `affectionate’ mindfulness, `accepting’ awareness, `accepting’ mindfulness. I think we shall spare ourselves a little suffering if we start right away to cultivate this gentleness in combination with the thing itself, and more and more we realise that they are not two separate things.

When we say `nonjudgemental’ awareness, `nonjudgemental’ mindfulness, we are talking about `accepting’ mindfulness. We can also say, I believe, that when we understand acceptance, truly understand it, at that point we truly understand awareness, and vice versa—once we really understand awareness, we understand and realise true acceptance. Acceptance is an intrinsic path to mindfulness, to awareness; as with wisdom and compassion—they are two sides of the same coin. So the big picture comprises wisdom and compassion; the small, initial picture has a little mindfulness which, to some extent, is accepting. It goes from there, but I think it has to be correct from the beginning. Continue reading

Satipatthana Sutta

The Buddha’s Teaching of Mindfulness

There is this one way for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrows and griefs, for the going down of sufferings and miseries, for winning the right path, for realizing nibbana, that is to say, the four applications of mindfulness.

The Buddha

Satipatthana Sutta

 Top: a text in Sanskrit (praise of Vishnu), written in devanagari. Bottom: a text in Pali from a Buddhist ceremonial scripture called "Kammuwa" from Burma (probably in old Mon scipt).Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying among the Kuru people in a township called Kammassadhamma. While he was there, the Lord addressed the monks: ‘There is this one way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrows and griefs, for the going down of sufferings and miseries, for winning the right path, for realizing nibbana*, that is to say, the four applications of mindfulness. What are the four?

[* Nibbana (Pali), Nirvana (Sanskrit): The unborn; the utmost security from the bonds of greed, hatred and delusion; beyond eternity and annihilation; beyond description and conception; the very basis and foundation of what we are and of all that is.] Continue reading

Baby English—sorry! by Tangen Harada Roshi

Just Visiting
BNow Aug 99

Ten years ago Patricio Goycoolea, a Chilean seeker of truth, was permitted to stay at Bukkokuji, a Soto Zen monastery in Obama, Japan, for two weeks. Ten years later he feels it is time to leave! This place which he calls paradise, has been a nurturing environment for him far beyond his expectations.  Now, as Reverend Jiku, a fully ordained monk, he is embarking on a slow journey back to Chile via China where he has been asked to compile a photographic report on the spiritual revival of Ch’an.  (He was once a photographic journalist and has provided many beautiful photographs for Buddhism Now.)  Intending to remain a monk for good, it is his wish to begin a place for meditation in Chile when he returns.

Tangen Harada RoshiAs Jiku departs, he sends us a teisho by Tangen Harada Roshi. Roshi Sama as Jiku calls him, has been the inspiration behind his life for the past ten years at Bukkokuji. This master’s teachings have appeared in Buddhism Now from time to time in the past. What follows now is a teisho given in English; the Roshi’s first teisho, it seems, ever to be given in English. He says towards the end, `Baby English—sorry!’ The English isn’t exactly right, but we know what he means. It is with great respect that we publish his Baby English Teisho here. If it is read with this in mind, we’re sure you will agree, it is a magnificent dharma thrust. Read ‘Baby English—sorry!’

Barn Q and A with Mahesi Caplan

This talk was given while teaching a small group at Sharpham Barn meditation retreat centre Totnes, Devon, UK.

Topics: Equanimity, Anger, Meditation, Religion, Belief and Faith, Trauma, etc.

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Mahesi Caplan initially trained as a photographer and then ordained in the Buddhist Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah at the age of 22.

His Buddhist training was all in European monasteries and his interest in synthesizing western and eastern influences is ongoing. He disrobed after 15 years and has continued teaching contemplative practices to small groups in Totnes Devon.

Inspired by life, monastic training in the Theravada Forest Tradition and inspirational teachers he shares what he can with the intention of exploring ways to practically engage & accelerate the process of cultivating unconditional contentment.

Without Possession, by Beopjeong Sunim

I’m a simple mendicant. What I have is an eating bowl that I used in prison, a can of goat’s milk, six pieces of worn-out loincloth, and a not so great reputation. That’s all.

Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi said this in September 1931 to the Marseilles customs officer who was examining his personal belongings. Gandhi was on his way to the 2nd round-table conference in London. As I read this in Kripalani’s book on the life of Gandhi, I became ashamed. Because I thought my possessions were too many, even for a person like me.

In truth, when I came to this world, I didn’t bring anything. After living out my life, I will leave empty handed from this earth. However, as I lived my life, I’ve accumulated my share of things, this and that. Of course, these things can be said to be of use in everyday life. However, are these so indispensable that I couldn’t live without them? When I think about it, there are many things I could do without. Continue reading

Developing an attitude towards meditation, by Ajahn Sumedho

When one composes one’s mind and looks inwards, there is a sense of coming to one point. If we are not caught in the thinking process, we can be aware of the here and now, the body, the breath, mental states, moods; we can allow everything to be what it is.

Ajahn Sumedho Buddhist Summer School 2001.The attitude of many people in meditation is that there is always a need to change something. There might be an attempt to attain a particular state or some kind of blissful experience they have had before, or even if they haven’t had anything like that, they might hope that if they continue to practise, they will. When we practise meditation with this idea of getting something, then even the idea of practice, even the word ‘meditation’, can bring up this conditioned reaction of: ‘There’s something I’ve got to do. If I’m in a bad mood I should get rid of that mood. I’ve got to concentrate my mind.’ If the mind’s scattered and we’re all over the place, ‘I should make it one-pointed; I’ve got to concentrate.’ And so we make meditation into hard work and there is a great deal of failure in it because we’re trying to control everything through these ideas. But this is an impossibility. Continue reading


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