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    Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening

    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).

  • Don't Take Your Life Personally

    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.

  • Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts

    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.

  • Fingers and Moons, by Trevor Leggett

    Trevor Leggett points to the truth beyond words, beyond explanations and methods.

  • Experience Beyond Thinking: Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation. An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation and the reflections of an ordinary practitioner. Used as a guide by meditation groups.

    An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation.

  • Understanding Karma and Rebirth A Buddhist Perspective

    Meditations and exercises to help us understand karma and rebirth and to live from the unborn moment.

  • The Old Zen Master by Trevor Leggett

    Stories, parables, and examples pointing to the spiritual implications of practical events in daily life.

  • Teachings of a Buddhist Monk

    Modern practical teachings from an American monk living within one of the oldest Buddhist traditions.

Nibbana, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Buddha Offering Protection, Sri Lanka, mid-15th–16th century. © Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe meaning of the word Nibbana clearly extends to the absence of mental defilements the cause of Dukkha. So that at any moment that our minds are empty of ‘self’ and ‘belonging to self’ then that is Nibbana. For example, at this moment as you sit here I will attest that everyone, or almost everyone, has a mind empty of the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ because there is nothing engendering them. In listening attentively you give no opportunity for self – consciousness to arise. So look and see whether or not the mind is empty of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. If there is some emptiness (and I merely use the word some, it’s not comp­letely or unchangingly empty) then you are dwelling within the sphere of Nibbana. Even though it is not absolute or perfect Nibbana, it is Nibbana just the same.

Dhammas are of my meanings, levels and stages. The Nibbana – dhamma lies in the minds of each one of you at the moment that you are to some degree empty of the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. So please be aware of this ego-less feeling, remember it well and keep it with you when you return to your home. Some­times when you have arrived home it will feel like you’ve entered someone else’s house, or doing some work at home you will feel like you are helping out with someone else’s work, at someone else’s home. This sort of feeling will increase more and more and the Dukkha that uses to be associated with home and work will be no more. You will abide with a mind empty of ‘self’ and ‘belonging to self’ at all times. This is to take Nibbana or sunnata as the holy charm constantly hanging from our neck. It is a protection against every kind of suffering, danger and ill – fortune. It is the genuine holy charm of the Buddha, anything else is just a fake.

Speaking like this you will soon be accusing me of giving you a big sales pitch. Don’t think of me as someone hawking the wares of the Buddha in the marketplace, think rather that we are all companions in Dukkha, in birth, old age, sickness and death and that we are all disciples of the Lord Buddha. If anything is spoken to stimulate interest it is with good intentions. But if anyone has any truth – discerning awareness they will be able to see for themselves without having to believe me, and that seeing will more and more open the way for further study towards the ultimate truth.

An Extract from Heartwood from the Bo TreeAjahn Buddhadasa by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. © 1985 suanmokkh.org

Read more teachings from Buddhadasa Bhikkhu here.

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