The First Truth, by Ajahn Sumedho

Wheel of the Buddhist Law (Rinpō). Japan, Kamakura period (1185–1333) © Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe significance of the Buddhist teaching lies in the fact that it isn’t doctrinal. It’s not an attempt to tell us how things should be, it’s more a way of bringing our attention to the way things are.

Most of us are educated to think in terms of how things should be, and we often don’t understand why life is the way it is. So it surprises us, shocks us, upsets us. We become overwhelmed, even with good fortune, not to mention bad. The Buddhist teachings are guides that help us to look at the experience of being alive. Continue reading “The First Truth, by Ajahn Sumedho”

The Awareness of the Self is not the Self, by Ajahn Sumedho

‘The Awareness of the Self is not the Self.’ ‘Pure consciousness isn’t a self; it’s not a person.’ ‘The condition of a self arises and ceases according to time and place.’ Film around 90 minutes.

AJanh Sumedho 2006 BPG Buddhist Summer School‘The awareness of the self is not the self.’
‘Pure consciousness isn’t a self; it’s not a person.’
‘The condition of a self arises and ceases according to time and place.’

Film around 90 minutes. (Sometimes it takes a while to link to this film)

How Things Are, by Ajahn Sumedho

This is what we are all involved with. This is what life is for us at this time. We are all alive now, living within the restrictions of our bodies and minds. Whether you like it, approve of it, or whatever, it doesn’t matter…

Laos Mosaic  Photo: Janet NovakNow, investigating the way things are, we observe. What I have been doing so far this evening is reflecting out loud. What it is that we all have to bear with is having to accept the sensory world for what it is, from whatever extremes it manifests, the best and the worst of it. And reflecting on it means that we have a perspective on it. We suddenly see that this is what life is all about; it’s being sensitive, and having to bear with this whole experience of being born, growing up, getting old, and dying. This is what we are all involved with. This is what life is for us at this time. We are all alive now, living within the restrictions of our bodies and minds. Whether you like it, approve of it, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. We are not saying it’s good or it’s bad — just re­flecting that this is the way it is. We are not judging it. Continue reading “How Things Are, by Ajahn Sumedho”

Suffering Ends, by Ajahn Sumedho

And this is a most important part of meditation practice, to really know when there is no suffering…

Photograph from the British Library #endangeredarchives project.The third Noble Truth is the truth of cessation. Not only do we let go of suffering and desire, we know when those things are not there. And this is a most important part of meditation practice, to really know when there is no suffering. Suffering ceases, and you are still alive, still aware, still breathing. It doesn’t mean that the world has ended, that everything has become blank; it means that the suffering has ceased. The suffering ends, and there is knowledge of the end of suffering. Continue reading “Suffering Ends, by Ajahn Sumedho”

Two Kinds of Language, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

The word ‘Buddha’, for example, in everyday language refers to the historical enlightened being, Gotama Buddha. It refers to a physical man of flesh and bone that was born in India over two thousand years ago, died, and was cremated.

Considered in terms of dhamma language, however, the word ‘Buddha’ refers to the truth that the historical Buddha realised and taught, the dhamma itself…

Temple tops. Photo © Lisa DaixI have noticed that, regardless of how the subject is explained, there are many aspects of the teaching that the majority of people do not understand. Why is this? Most of us are familiar only with one kind of language, ordinary worldly language, and we fail to recognise the existence of another quite different and special language—the language of dhamma [of spiritual or religious truth].

Dhamma language has to do with the mental, intangible, nonphysical world. In order to be able to speak and understand this language, it is necessary to have insight into that world. If we know only everyday language, we are in no position to understand true dhamma when we hear it, the supramundane truth that could liberate us from this unsatisfactory worldly condition (dukkha). Continue reading “Two Kinds of Language, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu”

Worldly Way And Liberation, by Ajahn Chah

Everything that you do must be done with clarity and awareness. When you see clearly, there will no longer be any need for endurance or for forcing yourself…

Hiroshima Photo © @KyotoDailyPhotoSome people die because of their desires; others nearly do—that’s how to be stuck in the way of the world. Worldly wisdom seeks after the senses and their objects. However wise the search may be, it’s wise only in a worldly sense. No matter how appealing the object, it’s appealing only in a worldly sense. It isn’t the happiness of liberation; it won’t free you from the world. Continue reading “Worldly Way And Liberation, by Ajahn Chah”