Posted on 12 December 2012 by Buddhism Now
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.
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.] (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Books, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Theravada | Tagged: Buddha, Four applications of mindfulness, Mindfulness, nibbana, Nirvana, Pali Canon, Photos: Paul Heatley & Janet Novak, Satipatthana Sutta | 1 Comment »
Posted on 19 October 2012 by Buddhism Now
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.
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. (more…)
Filed under: Ajahn Sumedho, Beginners, Buddhist meditation, Theravada | Tagged: Ajahn Chah, Buddha, Buddhist blog, Buddho, Geshe Tashi Tsering, meditation | 6 Comments »
Posted on 29 September 2012 by Buddhism Now
One thing, 0 Monks, developed and repeatedly practised, leads to the attainment of wisdom. It is the contemplation of the body.
Wherever we go, all day long and all night long, we have a constant companion. We are joined at the hip and everywhere else. Yet we seldom consider this most profound of relationships. We pass it over without a thought, as if it were of no importance whatsoever. But in ignoring it, we ignore both the source and solution of many of our problems and put off our encounter with the mystery of our real nature.
Our bodies go back in a long chain of being to our most distant ancestors, and beyond them to microscopic plants and the inorganic matrix of the world. If over the billenia one tiny part had been different, we might never have existed. We are part of the great chain of being that nature is, part of that interbeing of which Thich Nhat Hanh speaks. Not only are we all made of the same stuff, but without one another we would almost certainly die. Not only do we have all that is necessary for that study at hand, but we can begin nowhere else.
How do we know about the world? — via the body, perception, sense consciousness and so on, all dependent on this embodied state. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, John Aske, Theravada | Tagged: Buddha, Buddhist blog, Pali Canon, spirituality, Therese Bertherat, Thich Nhat Hanh | 5 Comments »
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 | 6 Comments »
Posted on 7 May 2011 by Buddhism Now
I would like to consider the words of Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu when he said that many people suffer mental disorders, but a much more common disease is a spiritual disease which goes by the name of ‘me’ or ‘mine’. Most of us, it seems, need to work to be healed from this illness.
What is it, then, that we usually refer to in this way? What is it that we call ‘ego’, ‘me’, or ‘mine’? Ego is the totality of what is classically called ‘afflictions’, the afflictions being attachment, aversion, and ignorance; ego is our deep habit for attachment, aversion and ignorance. In other words, ego is being attached to attachment, being attached to aversion, being attached to ignorance. Unless we taste real peace, we tend to be attached to desire. We see desire as having a value in itself, something energetic, as something which can for a while take us from our boredom and depression, etc. (more…)
Filed under: Art, Beginners, Buddhist meditation, Corrado Pensa, Theravada | Tagged: Abhidhamma, Bankei, Buddha, Buddhadhassa Bhikkhu, Gotama, Krishnamurti, Mindfulness, Photos: Hazel Waghorn & Paul Heatley | 5 Comments »
Posted on 23 March 2011 by Buddhism Now
I find the unexpected connection between this medieval manuscript and the Buddhist tradition during the Angkor period fascinating. It reminds me of how small the world really was and is, and confirms the connections that can be found between seemingly different cultures—but just across the hallway.
The Buddha in Medieval Europe? – The Getty Iris.
Filed under: Art, Buddhism, Encyclopedia, History | Tagged: Angkor, Buddha, Buddhist tradition, Cambodia | Leave a Comment »
Posted on 17 January 2011 by Buddhism Now
In Zen they say that ordinary mind is the way, ordinary mind is Buddha. In the early days of practice we might take this to mean that our minds as they are is the Buddha, is the way of Zen, is the immediate and straightforward life of liberation. This may sound plausible, logical, because we’re also told that the Buddha is within. It isn’t long however before we begin to feel that while ordinary mind might be Buddha, our mind doesn’t seem to know it. Our mind doesn’t feel liberated and in fact feels most unliberated and sometimes still very unhappy. At this point we could feel that ordinary mind is not the way, ordinary mind is not the Buddha. We could then easily drift away from Buddhism thinking it doesn’t work, or it doesn’t work for me. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Diana St Ruth | Tagged: Amida Buddha, Buddha, Mumon, Mumonkan, Nyoirin Kannon, ordinary mind is Buddha, ordinary mind is the way, Zen | 6 Comments »