Is awareness lonely? Ajahn Sumedho

Extract from a talk given at the Buddhist Publishing Group 2002 Summer School. Around 3 minutes

Ajahn Sumedho at a Buddhist Publishing Summer School

Short talk of around 3 minutes.

Extract from a talk given at the Buddhist Publishing Group 2002 Summer School.

Click here to read more teachings by Ajahn Sumedho.

Crashed out Buddhas, by Ajahn Sumedho

All sensory objects satisfy us temporarily, but then we have to find something else to be absorbed into — to read, think, go to sleep, get drunk, take dope, have sex. It goes on and on, without reflection, without the understanding that one is caught in it, in that going from one thing to the next…

Art © Marcelle HanselaarIs there any object we can really trust forever and take refuge in? Is there another person we can feel completely happy with all the time? Is there a place, a book, a picture, a flower, beautiful scenery that we can enjoy all the while? Flowers are beauti­ful creations of nature, but how long can we sit and look at one without feeling bored? Most of us have to go from one flower to the next because one beauti­ful flower is not enough. People who do gardening, their minds are always creating something new, some new kind of arrange­ment, something that will be even nicer. No matter how beautiful anything is, it is never truly satisfying. There is always a snake in the grass, a worm in the apple, a fly in the oint­ment. Continue reading “Crashed out Buddhas, by Ajahn Sumedho”

Patient Awareness, by Corrado Pensa

There is this line in the gospel of Luke:
In your patience, you will own your heart. (1)

Buddhist deity Benzaiten (Sanskrit: Sarasvati), is depicted playing a biwa. Photo  © @KyotoDailyPhotoThe Greek word for patience also implies constancy, perseverance. It is a strong word. ‘Heart’ comes from ‘psyche’ and psyche also means life, mind, soul. So, in your patience, you will become one with your heart. I remember when I first read this line being struck by it. A word like ‘patience’ which is a rather grey word in our normal way of talking comes out rather luminous and strong from this passage.

Then, years later, I happened to read some important reflections on this topic by a well-known Christian author, Henry Nouwen and a couple of co­authors, in a book entitled Compassion (2). He says: ‘If we cannot be patient, we cannot become patient. We cannot be compassionate. If we ourselves are unable to suffer, we cannot suffer with others, which is the meaning of compassion.’ Now, in dharma language we may say: ‘If we are not open to our suffering, if we are not ready for a direct experience of our suffering, there is not much hope of having empathy for other people’s suffering.’ Henry Nouwen continues, underlining a couple of very crucial things: ‘Patience is the capacity to see, hear, touch, taste and smell as fully as possible the inner and outer events of our lives. It is to enter our lives with open eyes, ears, and hands, so that we really know what is happening. Patience is an extremely difficult discipline precisely because it counteracts our unreflective impulse to flee or to fight.’ And then he concludes: ‘Patience requires us to go beyond the choice between fleeing or fighting. It is the third and most difficult way. It calls for discipline because it goes against the grain of our impulses.’ (3) Continue reading “Patient Awareness, by Corrado Pensa”

The Buddha’s Discovery, by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

What happiness is and what it isn’t.

Putting the Buddha’s discovery into practice is no quick fix. It can take years. The most important qualification at the beginning is a strong desire to change your life by adopting new habits and learning to see the world anew…

Working Tibetan women photo via Athur BravermanRapid technological advances. Increased wealth. Stress. Stable lives and careers come under the pressure of accelerating change. The twenty-first century? No, the sixth century BC—a time of destructive warfare, economic dislocation, and widespread disruption of established patterns of life, just like today. In conditions similar to ours, the Buddha discovered a path to lasting happiness. His discovery—a step-by-step method of mental training to achieve contentment—is as relevant today as ever.

Putting the Buddha’s discovery into practice is no quick fix. It can take years. The most important qualification at the beginning is a strong desire to change your life by adopting new habits and learning to see the world anew.

Each step along the Buddha’s path to happiness requires practising mindfulness until it becomes part of your daily life. Mindfulness is a way of training yourself to become aware of things as they really are. With mindfulness as your watchword, you progress through the eight steps laid down by the Buddha more than twenty-five hundred years ago—a gentle, gradual training in how to end dissatisfaction. Continue reading “The Buddha’s Discovery, by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana”

Mindfulness and Meditation, by Ringu Tulku

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche explains the Buddhist understanding of mindfulness and meditation.

45 minutes

Filmed at Karma Thegchen Chó Ling in Bremen, Germany on 24th January 2012.

Other posts by Ringu Tulku here.

Mindfulness a talk by Ajahn Sumedho

Subjects include: Meditation, Mindfulness, Consciousness, and how we create ourselves.

Ajahn Sumedho Buddhist Summer School 2001.The Buddhist meditation practice of mindfulness, a talk given by Ajahn Sumedho at the 1994 Buddhist Summer School in Leicester, England.

(59 mins some background noise for the first 40 seconds.)

Subjects include: Mindfulness, Consciousness, and how we create ourselves.

More posts by Ajahn Sumedho here.