The Dusty Life

The life of a householder is dusty; this is a common phrase in the suttas which at the moment this has been quite literal for me – our house is being renovated and there is a fine layer of brick dust over every single surface, even the toilet. This householder’s life is indeed very dusty … Continue reading The Dusty Life

Everyday Self

I don’t know about you, but I find it intriguing and sometimes perplexing that I can feel pretty sure I understand the principle of not-self and yet there are times when I still get caught up in taking things very personally. I know I am not alone in having this experience, it is something that … Continue reading Everyday Self

Borrowed Goods

Ownership is a subject that gets a lot of coverage in the teachings of the Buddha, largely from the angle of recognising all the things that are not ours – although we often take them to be. Thinking things belong to us when they actually don’t is one of the big problems that the Buddha … Continue reading Borrowed Goods

Non-Desire and Strategies for Happiness

When we commit ourselves to a practice sometimes it can be easy to forget that what we are ultimately aiming for is some kind of happiness. We can get so caught up in mastering particular techniques or work so hard on our mindfulness and ethical behaviour that we end up perpetually earnest, feeling like we … Continue reading Non-Desire and Strategies for Happiness

The Meaningful Grind

Living as lay people can sometimes feel like we are trapped or hampered by the constraints of the conventional world – the need to work, to follow rules and customs that have no bearing outside of that situation, and the need to do things that appear to have no relationship to our practice. The menial … Continue reading The Meaningful Grind

Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps

Last week I touched on the subject of techniques that help us to develop equanimity and there are many techniques of a similar kind that help us to loosen the grip of self-view, to see through our mistaken sense of permanence, and to understand dukkha. The Thai Forest lineage of Ajahn Chah is particularly rich … Continue reading Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps

Trust in Awareness

Awareness is a very common word in meditation, but if you read my blog often then you’ll have noticed that I rarely use some of the more common phrases attached to modern meditation practice, like rest in awareness, non-judgemental awareness, and others of this sort. Some people prefer this kind of language, finding the Pāli … Continue reading Trust in Awareness

Going Through the Motions

My focus this week remains on wholesome intention, this time inspired by reading about how the Buddha challenged the mainstream beliefs of his time by stating that what dictated the outcome of an action wasn’t the action itself, but the intention that was behind it. The opposite of the Buddha’s view can manifest in practice … Continue reading Going Through the Motions

Upekkhā: Equanimity, Insight, and Peace

Brahmaviharas Part 5 This week we are on the fourth and final of the Brahmaviharas - upekkhā or equanimity as it is unanimously translated as. Often treated by some as the pinnacle achievement of practice, equanimity is one of the most important factors to develop to support meditation that can lead to insight. It seems … Continue reading Upekkhā: Equanimity, Insight, and Peace

Muditā: Happiness and Contentment

Brahmaviharas Part 4 Muditā, or sympathetic joy, is a curious concept. Of all the Brahmaviharas it gets the least attention, and in some ways it is the hardest to translate. As a quality I might also suggest it can feel like the hardest of the Brahmaviharas covered so far to cultivate, and yet once we … Continue reading Muditā: Happiness and Contentment