Buddhism a path of awareness. Diana St Ruth

Buddhism whatever else it is, is a path of awareness, awakening. Monju seated on a lion. British Museum. Photo by Mistvan commons.wikimedia.org.You sometimes hear widely accepted teachings in Buddhism being argued about and all but dismissed, but Buddhism is for testing. Isn’t that the whole point? But you do hear these tussles going on. There is one aspect I feel would be hard to reject by anyone and that is the emphasis on awareness—simply becoming clear about what is happening as it happens. We might be in the habit of getting caught up in day-to-day circumstances. Continue reading

Who are you? By Beopjeong

Tea cup with flowerHaving come down with a cold, I couldn’t properly smell or taste anything. Even though I hadn’t eaten seaweed soup (miyeokguk) for a long time, I was completely unable to know whether it was too salty or too bland. Feeling like that one bright morning, listening to the call of the the cuckoo from the forest nearby, I drank the nectar of the new tea sent from the Gwangju Tea Company, but it seemed like I could only taste the fragrance.

I set out the undergarments I had soaked yesterday in the brook to dry on the line in the backyard. Straightening up the jars of rice, I took some grains that had spilt out and set them on the windowsill for the birds to eat. In the field, I planted three rows of peppers and kale. Since frost comes here until the end of May, I purposefully planted them rather late. Continue reading

Notes on Sympathetic Joy

Here, O, Monks, a disciple lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of unselfish joy, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, everywhere and equally, he continues to pervade with a heart of unselfish joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, without hostility or ill-will.
The Buddha

Monk and Friend Art © Marcelle HanselaarThe virtue of mudita, (Usually rendered by unselfish, sympathetic, or altruistic joy.) i.e., finding joy in the happiness and success of others, has not received sufficient attention either in expositions of Buddhist ethics, or in the meditative development of the four sublime states (brahma-vihara),of which mudita is one. Continue reading

Is Your Hair On Fire? by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Burmese Stupa Photo © John AskeImagine a person who feels completely healthy, completely free of all illness, sickness and physical disability. Wouldn’t it be ridiculous for that person to get medicine? What would be the point of that? What would be the rationale in getting medicine when you feel completely healthy? Those people who don’t see any problems, who are not aware of any dukkha, unsatisfactoriness, in their lives, what would be the point in their attempting to study the dhamma and to practise meditation?

If you are new to this thing called ‘dhamma’, and new to meditation, then you are not expected to immediately agree that you have all sorts of problems and are suffering from many burdens in life. However, if you are not completely sure that your health is perfect, you could examine yourself, you could get to know yourself and find out what kind of shape you are in. Continue reading

The Burden of Selfishness, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Six Arm Kuan Yin. Photo RSR, V&A, LondonAs soon as there is ‘self’, there is selfishness. These two are very different, nonetheless, they are inseparable. The ‘self arises, then selfishness comes. And selfishness is a powerful and destructive burden which can easily be observed in oneself and in the world.

Selfishness gives rise to love, greed, anger, hatred, fear, worry, frustration, envy, jealousy, possessiveness. All of these are aspects of selfishness. Love through fear and worry, are just different aspects of selfishness. All this is such a powerfully destructive burden upon the mind. It weighs the mind down. If we get outside of our little worlds and start to observe what is really happening around us and also within us, if we come out of our clouds, break free of our daydreams, and really look, we shall see all this selfishness and all the harm and pain that it causes, both to ourselves and to others, This is the burden of selfishness. Continue reading

Four Noble Truths, talk by Ajahn Sumedho

Ajahn Sumedho © AmaravatiAjahn Sumedho gives a Dhamma talk on meditation, the Four Noble Truths and the impermanence of all conditioned phenomena.

Short film 43mins

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The talk was given in January 2010 at a retreat center in Janda Baik, a small town in Pahang.

Read more articles by Ajahn Sumedho

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