Posted on 22 April 2013 by Buddhism Now
An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
“Young lady,” he asked, “Why are you throwing the starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.” (more…)
Filed under: Buddhist, Metta | Tagged: Buddhist blog, Loren Eiseley, Starfish story | 3 Comments »
Posted on 20 April 2013 by Buddhism Now
People often believe contemplation is the same as thinking about something. But when I use the word it means rather ‘contemplating what an existing condition is like’. If you feel angry or resentful, contemplate that feeling. This isn’t to say you should try to figure out why or where the feeling came from, but look at the way it is. Let it be and notice what it feels like as an experience in the present.
The three characteristics of impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness (dukkha), and not-self (anatta) are the guiding suggestions. Not in the sense of going around thinking that anger is just impermanent, unsatisfactory and not-self, or to project those ideas onto experience, but to look at impermanence and to contemplate it. I remember noticing the passage of time—of how the sun rises and sets—and using impermanence as a subject to contemplate for the day or for several days. We can notice visual change and sound. When an aeroplane flies over or somebody says something, for example, we can be aware of how sound is very definitely impermanent, fleeting, ephemeral. And taste and touch—are these things permanent? No! (more…)
Filed under: Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho, Biography, Buddhism, History, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: anatta, Anicca, Brahma-viharas, Cambodia, Chithurst House, Darjeeling, dukkha, Khmer Rouge, monks and nuns, Photos Lisa Daix, Pol Pot, WPLongform | 1 Comment »
Posted on 4 April 2013 by Buddhism Now
The Five Aggregates
One way of dividing up the conditioned realm is into five aggregates (khandhas)—
- body (rupa),
- feeling (vedana),
- perception (sanna),
- mental formations (sankhara) and
- consciousness (vinnana).
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…)
Filed under: Ajahn Sumedho, Biography, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: Buddhist teachings, khandhas, rupa, sankhara, sanna, vedana, vinnana | 5 Comments »
Posted on 18 January 2013 by Buddhism Now
This was said by the Lord.
“Bhikkhus, whatever grounds there are for making merit productive of a future birth,[i] all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness.[ii] The mind-release of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines forth, bright and brilliant.
“Just as the radiance of all the stars does not equal a sixteenth part of the moon’s radiance, but the moon’s radiance surpasses them and shines forth, bright and brilliant, even so, whatever grounds there are for making merit productive of a future birth, all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness.
“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the sky is clear and free of clouds, the sun, on ascending, dispels the darkness of space and shines forth, bright and brilliant, even so, whatever grounds there are for making merit productive of a future birth, all these do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-release of loving-kindness…. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Books, Buddhist meditation, Encyclopedia, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: Buddhist Publication Society, compassionate mind, John D. Ireland, loving kindness, Pali Canon, The Udana and The Itivuttaka | 2 Comments »
Posted on 14 November 2012 by Buddhism Now
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.
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Metta, Theravada, Video | Tagged: Anger, Barn meditation retreat, Belief and Faith, equanimity, meditation, religion, Sharpham, Trauma | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 21 August 2012 by Buddhism Now
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 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. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Encyclopedia, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: brahma-vihara, Buddhaghosa, buddhist ethics, Compassion, mudita, Nyanaponika Thera, sympathetic joy | 1 Comment »
Posted on 26 July 2012 by Buddhism Now
When I was eighteen years old and at University, I fell in love. I had this powerful experience. For the first time in my life I would do anything for another person. That part was very pure. But, then, being eighteen I didn’t know how to handle the experience; my emotions were still very immature and I ended up being possessive, demanding and jealous. There was no wisdom involved. I thought, ‘If I have this girl, if I possess her, then I’ll get this feeling all the time.’ There was a kind of mystical moment of selflessness, but the emotions were unprepared. I simply reverted to the old habits of grasping, possessing, feeling jealous, making a general nuisance of myself and making myself totally unlovable. This was in about 1952. (more…)
Filed under: Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho, Biography, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho, Buddha, Luang Por Chah, Theravada Buddhism | 1 Comment »
Posted on 25 December 2011 by Buddhism Now
Good will, loving-kindness, friendliness, a friendly feeling, metta. How do you practise metta? You start by trying to understand the value of your own life; you must see how much you love yourself. The dearest thing for every individual in the world is their own life. Therefore, first of all, feel the love for yourself. I do not mean carnal appetite when I use this word ‘love’; I mean good will and benevolence. You must hope for the welfare of your own life.
Anyone who doesn’t love himself or herself cannot love others. First practise love for yourself, and then extend that very same love to your nearest and dearest — your child, for example. Do this until you feel that there is no difference between your child and yourself. Then go a little further and try to feel love for, say, a brother. Again, do this until you feel there is no difference between you, your child and your brother. Continue practising like this from person to person, from individual to individual. Extend love to relatives, friends, neighbours and all the people in your vicinity. Then direct your loving-kindness to those living further away, and on and on until you gradually encompass all the people in the whole country. Then continue; extend your love to those in surrounding countries, and further and further until all the human beings on the whole earth are the objects of your love. (more…)
Filed under: Ananda Maitreya, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Metta, Theravada | Tagged: Ananda Maitreya, Buddha, loving kindness, Metta | 5 Comments »