The Truth is Merely As It Is

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about right speech, and one interesting point that came up from that was that the Buddha didn’t consider something being the truth as solely a good enough reason to express it; under some circumstances where it would cause harm it seems that a truth shouldn’t be spoken at … Continue reading The Truth is Merely As It Is

For Ourselves, For Others

Following on From last week’s post about balance in our practice, this week I have been inspired by a sutta about acrobats. But the balance this time isn’t about being on a high wire, it is about striking the right balance between personal practice and practice aimed at helping others. There’s no doubt that this … Continue reading For Ourselves, For Others

A Balanced Practice

I was reading a book recently that gave me a chance to think about what can happen when our practice develops in an unbalanced way, when we focus too much on one skill or area and end up neglecting others. The Buddha described his teaching as ‘the middle way’, which for those who practice it … Continue reading A Balanced Practice

Right Speech and Conflict

Knowing what to say at the right time is something of an art, but we are lucky that the Buddha did give us some advice to point us in the right direction.I came across an interesting sutta recently while I was doing research for a previous post that gave me the opportunity to be reminded … Continue reading Right Speech and Conflict

Grace and Practice

Grace is a powerful and inspiring word, just bringing it to mind seems to have an automatically uplifting effect for me. There’s something about grace that seems to resonate with the qualities that we seek to develop when we follow a practice, and yet it isn’t a word that we come across very often in … Continue reading Grace and Practice

The Burden

Every now and again I come across a sutta that has a simple message but can deliver a powerful teaching. One of these suttas for me is the Bhara Sutta (SN 22.22), or The Burden. It’s quite a nice sutta to know because as Buddhists we can spend such a lot of time focusing on … Continue reading The Burden

Don’t Follow the Wobble

Ajahn Chah said everything is teachings us, and it never ceases to amaze me how often we can learn something significant in the least likely of situations. For me my most recent experience of this was standing precariously on a yoga brick on one leg trying to hold a tree pose. The suttas in the … Continue reading Don’t Follow the Wobble

Play it Again, and Again

Getting a piece of music stuck in your head is a fairly common occurrence and largely unproblematic, but when you turn your mind to learning to meditate this background noise can suddenly turn into a serious distraction. Yet still this unwelcome pest can prove to be a useful guest as we learn how to deal … Continue reading Play it Again, and Again

Thinking about Thinking Too Much

Everybody knows what it means to think, and what it means to think too much. Many people come to meditation with the idea that they ‘think too much to ever be good at it’, but this is a misunderstanding of what meditation is about, Buddhist meditation at least. The ability to think too much could … Continue reading Thinking about Thinking Too Much

The Gift of Generosity

The chaos of Christmas week in the UK delayed my foray into exploring the importance of generosity in Buddhist practice. I had intended to use the seasonal themes of giving and goodwill as a starting point, but since for Buddhists generosity isn’t just for Christmas the topic is no less relevant now that the Christmas … Continue reading The Gift of Generosity