Photos: Janet Novak

Vipassana as taught by The Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma

Thinking is always about something. It is an attempt to categorise. What we experience is seen in the light of past experience. What we have experienced in the past is filtered through the way we look at things, our dispositions (sankhara). That is why thought will not allow us to see things anew. If we want to experience things as they really are, then thought about those things must come to an end. When thinking stops, we must be right there with what is happening…

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

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…