Buddhist meditation

Life in a Korean Monastery, Jisu Sunim

At the beginning each practitioner is given a hua-tou, a kind of koan. For example: What is this? I-Mo-Ko? What is this? The idea is to concentrate your entire attention and mind on this one particular koan or hua-tou: What is this? What is this? What is this? It is different from vipassana meditation where the intention is to be aware and solely aware of what is going on. When you eat, you just acknowledge how that feels—approaching the spoon, touching the spoon, feeling the coolness of the handle, and so on. In koan meditation, however, your attention is single-pointedly directed to this question—What is this?—right now. Initially, it is very difficult to concentrate because all kinds of thinking comes up . . . comes up . . . comes up . . . like clouds, or smoke from a chimney…

Universal Original Purity, by Ajahn Sumedho

The purity of the moment is in this pure state of awareness. Therefore, you can always refer to it, remember it, just by the simple act of attention, this wide, embracing attention, intuitive awareness in the present. That’s the gate to the deathless, transcendent reality, the unconditioned. It’s not an achievement; you don’t achieve it; you just remember it

The Middle Way, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

When the instincts are out of control, they become selfish, and this gives rise to all the defilements. The out-of-control instincts pull the mind off the Middle Way into the dead-end of the kilesa (the mental defilements). This is very important to know…

The Development of Loving-kindness

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…

Direct Knowing, by Ajahn Sumedho

Now the Buddha was a sage who tried to convey a particular teaching that would encourage the realization of ultimate reality. And the teaching of the Buddha sometimes baffles modern humanity because it does seem somewhat strange to our way of thinking; we are used to regarding religion from the point of view of being told something. A sage, or philosopher, or some prophet tells us something, and we either agree with it or not…

Dreams: The Forest of the Night, by John Aske

‘I suppose very few of us have passed through even a short period of existence without having noticed the different qualities of dreams. There are those that are evanescent; then there are those that possess you and you can’t shake off; and yet others that may be the urge of your life—its guiding star. Nor can the most superficial fail to observe how dreams and life react on one another.’