Tag Archives: nirvana
Colorful Dawn

The Buddha’s Teaching When a Beloved Disciple Passed Away

This beautiful sutta from the Pali canon tells the story of what happened after the beloved disciple and arahat Sariputta passed away.  Sariputta—(Sāriputta (Pāli) or Śāriputra (Sanskrit)—was a truly remarkable student of the Buddha’s, and along with Ananda, was considered his greatest pupil. As Nyanaponika Thera writes of him in The Life of Shariputra: “Shariputra..was […]

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Composite Rocks

How the Buddha looked at the “What is a Person?” Question

A recurring theme in Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s writing is his stress on how important it is to understand what kinds of questions the Buddha answered, and refused to answer, in his teachings. Many people think his new way of using the Pali word “khandhas” was the answer to the question, “Who am I” or “What is […]

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Blue Fractal

Chaos Theory and Buddhist Views of Causality

Samsara Divided by Zero by Thanissaro Bhikkhu “The goal of Buddhist practice, nibbana, is said to be totally uncaused, and right there is a paradox. If the goal is uncaused, how can a path of practice — which is causal by nature — bring it about? This is an ancient question. The Milinda-pañha, a set […]

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The Buddha Teaches Dhamma

Why Working with Suffering is Essential to Our Awakening

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Ajahn Sundara, a French-born ordained monastic in the Buddhist Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah. She has been teaching and leading retreats in Europe and North America for 20 and currently resides at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in southeast England. May this sharing inspire you to discover […]

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89 Featured Image

What the Buddha Said about Purity of Heart and the Grasping Self

This passage from the Sutta Nipata of the Pali canon has very special place in many Buddhist hearts.  To me, the teaching is closely related to the beloved passage from the 9th Chapter of  the great Mahayana Diamond Sutra that I recently posted:  See: “Does a Buddha say to himself ‘I have obtained Perfect Enlightenment?‘” I […]

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The Buddha Teaches Dhamma

Did you know that the Buddha almost didn’t teach the Dharma?

According to the Pali canon, not long after the Buddha attained enlightenment, he mused to himself: “This Dhamma that I have realized is profound, hard to see and hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, unattainable by mere reasoning, subtle, to be experienced only by the wise.” The Buddha then apparently seriously questioned whether he could […]

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Double Helix

The Importance of Alertness and Attention in Developing Concentration

As I have grown in my meditation practice, I have been able to develop deeper and deeper levels of concentration and corresponding insight. And yet, when I’ve read about some of the various deeper levels of jhana (deep concentration, or samatha) I’ve sometimes wondered about my progress and whether I’m going “deep” enough. This great […]

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Tibetan Prayer Flags

Sogyal Rinpoche on God and Emptiness

A recent discussion with a friend on Facebook about the nature of the Absolute, brought to mind something I had transcribed years ago from a CD, but had forgotten about. So, I thought I’d dig it up from my dharma archives and share it here on my blog. The passage is from a talk by […]

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Winding River with Boat

How Letting Go Helps Us See the Truth of Non-duality

Ayya Khema is a highly-skilled Theravadan teacher who brought a remarkable love and light to her service as a nun in the Theravadan tradition. I highly recommend her book Who is My Self? A Guide to Buddhist Meditation.  It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read on developing deep concentration and insight (samatha and […]

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Bliss

“Can’t you Theravadans ever just relax and just be?”

I was talking with a Zen Buddhist buddy last week, we were “breaking each others chops” about the differences between Theravada teachings, which I lean heavily on in my meditation practice, and Zen, the tradition of my heart techer, Thich Nhat Hanh. We talked about the differences and similarities of the two schools, and their […]

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Sukha Buddha

Dhamma and Non-duality-A Theravadan Point of View

“Where I think the teaching of the Buddha, as preserved in the Theravada tradition, surpasses all other attempts to resolve the spiritual dilemmas of humanity is in its persistent refusal to sacrifice actuality for unity. The Buddha’s Dhamma does not point us toward an all-embracing absolute in which the tensions of daily existence dissolve in […]

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Independence Day-independent from what?

Independence Thanissaro Bhikkhu July 4, 2003 Independence Day. A good time to ask yourself what you’d like to be independent from. What are the things that weigh down on the mind, that oppress the mind? If you ask most people, they’ll talk about things outside: their job, their family, their worries about the economy or […]

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A Blessing-Beyond the Face of Fear-Poem and Music

blessing the boats (at St. Mary’s) may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear may you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back      may you open your eyes to water water waving forever […]

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Featured Image 83

Dissatisfaction with Life-the Start of Discovery

The Buddha is often quoted as saying he taught one thing: “I teach suffering and the end of suffering.” Sounds kind of limiting and simplistic, no? Where’s the joy and liberation in that? Since the First Noble Truth is the truth of suffering, and since this insight is so often misunderstood by non-Buddhists, and even […]

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Thich Nhat Hanh on Buddhism, Mindfulness, and the Holy Spirit

“We can touch the living Buddha. We can also touch the living Christ. When we see someone overflowing with love and understanding, someone who is keenly aware of what is going on, we know that we are very close to the Buddha and to Jesus Christ.” Thich Nhat Hanh One of the things I love […]

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