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Taking Care of the Mind with Sati and Samadhi

Taking Care of the Mind with Sati and Samadhi

A short dhamma-talk from Ahba about the importance of sati (mindfulness) and samadhi (concentration) to protect the mind and develop wisdom. After Abha has given his dhamma-talk it is translated into English by Tan Ajahn Moshe. LP Opart – How to Look after our Mind (Thai & English)Watch this video on YouTube  

Two Styles of Insight Meditation

Two Styles of Insight Meditation

Today the practice of insight meditation has gained global popularity, yet in achieving this success it has undergone a subtle metamorphosis. Rather than being taught as an integral part of the Buddhist path, it is now often presented as a secular discipline whose fruits pertain more to life within the world than to supramundane release. […]

The Dhajagga-paritta Chant (Iti pi so…)

The Dhajagga-paritta Chant (Iti pi so…)

Prior to the group meditation, and for those who wish to do so prior to the meditation at home, we chant ‘iti pi so’. In this chant you reflect on the qualities of the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. For everyone who likes to make this chant a part of their […]

A Look at the Kalama Sutta

A Look at the Kalama Sutta

In this issue of the newsletter we have combined the feature essay with the “Sutta Study” column as we take a fresh look at an often quoted discourse of the Buddha, the Kalama Sutta. The discourse has been described as “the Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry,” and though the discourse certainly does counter the decrees of […]

Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry

Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry

I heard thus. Once the Blessed One, while wandering in the Kosala country with a large community of bhikkhus, entered a town of the Kalama people called Kesaputta. The Kalamas who were inhabitants of Kesaputta: “Reverend Gotama, the monk, the son of the Sakyans, has, while wandering in the Kosala country, entered Kesaputta. The good […]

Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas

Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas

The arahant ideal and the bodhisattva ideal are often considered the respective guiding ideals of Theravāda Buddhism and Mahāyāna Buddhism. This assumption is not entirely correct, for the Theravāda tradition has absorbed the bodhisattva ideal into its framework and thus recognizes the validity of both arahantship and Buddhahood as objects of aspiration. It would therefore […]

Anicca Vata Sankhāra

Anicca Vata Sankhāra

Anicca vata sankhara — “Impermanent, alas, are all formations!” — is the phrase used in Theravada Buddhist lands to announce the death of a loved one, but I have not quoted this line here in order to begin an obituary. I do so simply to introduce the subject of this essay, which is the word sankhara itself. Sometimes […]

Images of Ahba’s New Uposatha Hall

Images of Ahba’s New Uposatha Hall

A year ago, Ahba announced the construction of a new Uposatha Hall. This hall would be entirely built in Burmese style, with a central Buddha statue in the style of the famous Mahamuni Buddha from Mandalay. What made this announcement very special is that Ahba indicated that the temple would be finished in just one […]

Jhana Not by the Numbers

Jhana Not by the Numbers

When I first went to study with my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, he handed me a small booklet of meditation instructions and sent me up the hill behind the monastery to meditate. The booklet—written by his teacher, Ajaan Lee—began with a breath meditation technique and concluded with a section showing how the technique was used to […]

Short Message from Ahba about Meditation

Short Message from Ahba about Meditation

In this video Ahba talks briefly about meditation. He emphasizes the importance of daily practice, limiting yourself to one meditation system and keeping the intention focused on the Buddha, in order to slowly develop concentration. The message is of clean simplicity and is intended to give everyone in the Netherlands the opportunity to see Ahba […]

Our Real Home

Our Real Home

A Talk to an aging lay disciple approaching death translated from the Thai by  the Sangha at Wat Pah Nanachat: Now determine in your mind to listen with respect to the Dhamma. During the time that I am speaking, be as attentive to my words as if it was the Lord Buddha himself sitting in […]

What Does a Buddho Meditation Retreat Look Like?

What Does a Buddho Meditation Retreat Look Like?

The word “retreat” means as much as “withdrawing yourself” and, in a narrower sense in this context, withdrawing yourself from everyday life for spiritual or religious self-examination. Nowadays you can do all kinds of retreats, at home and abroad. Yoga retreats, Christian retreats, Zen retreats, vipassanā retreats and so on. They are retreats because in […]

Lifestyles and Spiritual Progress

Lifestyles and Spiritual Progress

Newcomers to Buddhism often ask whether a person’s lifestyle has any special bearing on their ability to progress along the Buddha’s path, and in particular whether the Buddha had a compelling reason for establishing a monastic order governed by guidelines quite different from those that hold sway over the lay Buddhist community. Doesn’t it seem, […]

Subrahma’s Problem

Subrahma’s Problem

Today, in both East and West, a general breakdown of law and order has planted in us an implacable sense of uneasiness that creeps up on us on the streets, in our workplace, and even in our homes. The rising number of drug addicts, the increase in petty crime, the decline of respect for others […]

Thoughts on the Dhamma

Thoughts on the Dhamma

While the present book was in preparation, its author, the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma, passed away at the age of 78. Thus, unexpectedly — as death so often comes — this publication has turned out to be a memorial issue in honor of one of the outstanding contemporary teachers of Theravada Buddhism, especially in […]

Saddhā, Viriya, Sati, Samādhi, Paññā, Khanti, Mettā

Saddhā, Viriya, Sati, Samādhi, Paññā, Khanti, Mettā

When it comes to practicing samatha meditation on buddho, Ahba regularly speaks about the series saddhā , viriya , sati , samādhi , paññā and overarching khanti and mettā . If you don’t immediately know what these terms mean than don’t worry, just keep on reading. Saddhā Saddhā means as much as confidence, faith or […]

Dhamma and Non-duality

Dhamma and Non-duality

One of the most challenging issues facing Theravada Buddhism in recent years has been the encounter between classical Theravada vipassana meditation and the “non-dualistic” contemplative traditions best represented by Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism. Responses to this encounter have spanned the extremes, ranging from vehement confrontation all the way to attempts at synthesis and hybridization. […]

A Short Introduction to Abhidhamma

A Short Introduction to Abhidhamma

Those who like it can study the Abhidhamma as an addition to the meditation. The prefix ‘abhi‘ means ‘transcending’ or ‘higher’; in this case the word ‘dhamma‘ has the meaning of ‘truth or teaching’. So together the approximate meaning is ‘higher teaching’. Bhikkhu Bodhi writes in his translation of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha (a summary of […]

A Short Introduction to Buddhism

A Short Introduction to Buddhism

Two thousand five hundred years ago, Siddharta Gautama penetrated reality under the Bodhi tree in northern India and became a Buddha, a ‘awakend’ or ‘enlightend’ one. Through the deep insight he gained he destroyed his desire, hatred and ignorance, the chains that bound him to the round of rebirth (samsāra), and thus freed himself from […]

Buddhism and Vegetarianism

Buddhism and Vegetarianism

The Buddha advised five precepts (pañca-sīla) for the development of morality (sīla). The first of these precepts is ‘abstaining from killing’. How does Buddhism then look at eating meat? And was the Buddha vegetarian? In Theravāda Buddhism the Sangha (the monastic order) lives on alms. It is considered very beneficial to provide the Sangha with […]

The Teacher-Disciple Relationship Must Be 100% Safe

The Teacher-Disciple Relationship Must Be 100% Safe

Anyone who meditates daily, year after year, anyone who regularly does long retreats, knows that a teacher is indispensable. Intensive meditation reveals the deepest depths of your mind. Sometimes slowly and surely, sometimes like a hatch that suddenly opens and simply overwhelms you. All sorts of things surface and often those things are also scrutinized […]

Ajahn Suwat on Right Concentration

Ajahn Suwat on Right Concentration

In general terms, Right Concentration means establishing the mind rightly. On one level, this can apply to all the factors of the path. You have to start out by setting the mind on Right View. In other words, you use your discernment to gather together all the Dhamma you’ve heard. Then when you set the […]

Putting Forth Patient Effort Without Desire

Putting Forth Patient Effort Without Desire

Meditation is not a fast process. It is important to continue to make patient efforts without desiring anything. The Buddha once gave the example (in SN 22.101) of a carpenter who does not know, cannot perceive that the handle of his ax is wearing out day after day. He only knows that his ax is […]

Exploring Reality with Samādhi

Exploring Reality with Samādhi

When the Buddha talks about meditation in the suttas (sutras), he almost always talks about samādhi. Even minfdulness (sati) is often taught by the Buddha as being part of samādhi. The word samādhi has many nuances. The essence of samādhi is to bring together all aspects of the mind and focus them one-pointedly on the […]

Sexual Abuse by Buddhist Teachers

Sexual Abuse by Buddhist Teachers

Sexual abuse plays a role in an unacceptably high percentage of the member organizations of the Buddhist Union of the Netherlands (BUN). This concerns abuse committed by teachers in the Netherlands or highly placed teachers who belong to organizations active in the Netherlands. We emphatically distance ourselves from these Buddhist teachers and our compassion goes […]

Buddhism: History and Schools

Buddhism: History and Schools

Since the death of the Buddha in the 5th B.C., Buddhism has travelled the world originating from India. It is not surprising that Buddhism has changed over time and after coming into contact with all kinds of peoples and cultures. As the Buddha teaches, everything is subject to change. As philosophy, religion, or whatever you […]

16 Recommended Books on Buddhism and Meditation

16 Recommended Books on Buddhism and Meditation

You started meditating, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s a way to relax a bit more, to let go of stress, or to make suffering that you have experienced more bearable. Maybe the meditation is driven by the feeling that there is more we can access, or it is part of an investigation of reality. It […]

Origin and Use of Meditation Beads

Origin and Use of Meditation Beads

Mālā is Sanskrit for chain/necklace. Specifically, it refers to the beaded necklace that is often used during meditation. The moment man began to use the beaded necklace for meditation is not certain. The oldest image of a beaded necklace in a religious context comes from ancient Greece (around 1700 BC). However, its use can probably […]

Metta: The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love

Metta: The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love

The Pali word metta is a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence. The Pali commentators define metta as the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others (parahita-parasukha-kamana). Essentially metta is an altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest. Through metta one refuses to […]

7 Practical Meditation Tips

7 Practical Meditation Tips

If you start with samatha meditation on ‘buddho’ or any other object it may well be that after a short time you notice that it is quite difficult to keep up the meditation. There are so many other things that require attention, it’s so tempting to do something else. Here are seven practical tips to […]

Ahba Speaks About Meditation, Mindfulness and Patience

Ahba Speaks About Meditation, Mindfulness and Patience

In this Dhamma talk Ahba answers some questions asked by two Dutch disciples during their visit to his monastery. We realize that Ahba can be difficult to understand for people who do not know him, and that the greatest power of his words is in the energy he conveys while he speaks. Nevertheless, we want […]

Devotion in Buddhism

Devotion in Buddhism

The Buddha repeatedly discouraged any excessive veneration paid to him personally. He knew that an excess of purely emotional devotion can obstruct or disturb the development of a balanced character, and thus may become a serious obstacle to progress on the path to deliverance. The history of religion has since proved him right, as illustrated […]

Venerable Empty-Scripture

Venerable Empty-Scripture

There are two ways to support Buddhism. One is known as āmisapūjā, supporting through material offerings. These are the four requisites of food, clothing, shelter and medicine. This is to support Buddhism by giving material offerings to the Sangha of monks and nuns, enabling them to live in reasonable comfort for the practice of Dhamma. This fosters the […]

Presentation: Buddho, the Sound of Silence (Dutch)

Presentation: Buddho, the Sound of Silence (Dutch)

This presentation was given by Herman Schreuder in the Abbey of Berne in Heeswijk. If you can’t see the presentation above, you can download it here: Buddho, het geluid van stilte

Questions & Answers on Meditation

Questions & Answers on Meditation

One of the most delightful ways to receive instruction from Achaan Chah is to sit at his cottage and listen as he answers questions for the monks of the monastery and the constant stream of lay visitors. It is here that one can see the universality of this way of practice, for although on some […]

New Years Resolutions

New Years Resolutions

The new year is coming and many people are thinking about what they will do differently in the coming year. This often results in intentions to refrain from certain things or to reduce them, for example losing weight, drinking less, not getting angry so often, etc. In good spirits they get going, quickly find out […]

The Cognitive Process According to the Abhidhamma

The Cognitive Process According to the Abhidhamma

Words like citta (consciousness) or cetasika (mental factor) can be quite abstract (see also Ultimate Reality and Ethical Quality in the Abhidhamma). Your own experience is (I suppose) not a bunch of independent citta’s but the dynamic character of the cognitive process. Citta and cetasika come more to life when you look at the process […]

A Short Demonstration of Buddho Meditation

A Short Demonstration of Buddho Meditation

A short demonstration of the samatha meditation on the word ‘buddho’, as taught by Ahba (Luang por Opart). The volume and pitch used here are just an example, during your own meditation you can experiment with pitch, speed, volume and cadence. We strongly advise against practising this meditation technique without the guidance of an experienced […]

Ajahn Thate on Buddho

Ajahn Thate on Buddho

When you go to study meditation with any group or teacher who is experienced in a particular form of meditation, you should first make your heart confident that your teacher is fully experienced in that form of meditation, and be confident that the form of meditation he teaches is the right path for sure. At […]

The Mayahana Shurangama Sutra Explained

The Mayahana Shurangama Sutra Explained

According to the Mahāyāna-tradition, the Buddha has told the Shūraṅgama Sutta especially for Ananda, who at that time already was a Sotāpanna (a person who achieved steam entry). The Shūraṅgama Sutta is based on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutta in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashtasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sutta) en de Perfection of Wisdom Sutta in Twentyfive Thousand […]

Images of the Bodhgaya Temple Opening Ceremony

Images of the Bodhgaya Temple Opening Ceremony

The Maha Bodh Chedi (also called Bodhgaya temple) is a 1:1 replica of the temple with the same name in Bodhgaya India, where the Buddha attained enlightenment. The opening ceremony was a big event in Thailand, many famous meditation masters and abbots visited the ceremony and paid homage to Ahba and his monastery. In the […]

Pali chanting: Anumodana, Paritta and More

Pali chanting: Anumodana, Paritta and More

Ahba has indicated that chanting Pali is beneficial. The chanting of Pali texts that one does not know by heart can even promote concentration because one has to be very alert and can have nothing but the texts in one’s mind. Here are some short and extensive Pali recitations by the monks and novices of […]

Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

This discourse is one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. At heart, it is a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training, illustrating each stage of the training with vivid similes. This portrait is placed in juxtaposition to the Buddhist view of the teachings of rival philosophical teachers of the time, showing how […]

Opening Ceremony of the Dhammacakka-hall in Australia

Opening Ceremony of the Dhammacakka-hall in Australia

Here are images of the opening ceremony of the Dhammacakka-hall in Australia, in the monastery of Ajahn Kalyano. Ajahn Kalyano invited Ahba to oversee this ceremony. Ahba gave a paritta chant and Dhamma talk about generosity, the benefits of meditation and the importance of living harmoniously and attentively.

Ahba’s Chant and Dhamma talk in Australia

Ahba’s Chant and Dhamma talk in Australia

Ajahn Kalyano, himself a pupil of the famous meditation teacher Ajahn Anan, in the tradition of Ajahn Chah, invited Ahba to oversee the opening of the Dhammacakka hall of his monastery in Australia. In these audio fragments we first hear an introduction by Ajahn Kalyano himself, followed by Ahba’s paritta chant, a blessing in Pali, […]

Ajahn Sao’s Teaching on Using Buddho

Ajahn Sao’s Teaching on Using Buddho

In our day and age, the practice of going into the forest to meditate and follow the ascetic dhutanga practices began with Phra Ajaan Sao Kantasilo, the teacher of Phra Ajaan Mun and, by extension, Phra Ajaan Singh and Phra Ajaan Lee. Phra Ajaan Sao was inclined to be, not a preacher or a speaker, […]

Blessing of the Ground for the Bodhgaya Temple

Blessing of the Ground for the Bodhgaya Temple

In 2012 the ground in Ahba’s monastery was blessed for the construction of the Maha Bodhi Chedi (also called Bodhgaya Temple), a 1:1 replica of the temple in Bodhgaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment. In this short video the western monk Ajahn Kalyano is speaking, himself a pupil of the well-known meditation teacher Ajahn Anan. […]

Ahba’s Paritta Chant in Wat Ratanawan

Ahba’s Paritta Chant in Wat Ratanawan

At the invitation of Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Nyanadhammo (also pictured) Ahba gave his blessing by means of an extensive paritta chant (in Burmese style) during a ceremony in Wat Ratanawan in 2012. Ahba sings Pali, the language in which the ancient scriptures are written, and in the meantime sends mettā to the listeners present. […]

Ultimate Reality and Ethical Quality in the Abhidhamma

Ultimate Reality and Ethical Quality in the Abhidhamma

The second paragraph in the first chapter of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha by Acariya Anuruddha reads: “In the ultimate sense, the Abhidhamma speaks of four categories: mind (citta’s), mental factors (cetasikas), matter (rūpa) and Nirvana (Nibbāna).” The Four Ultimate Realities in the Abhidhamma Let’s take a closer look at these four categories. We begin with the […]

BBC Documentaire – The Mindful Way, with Ajahn Chah

BBC Documentaire – The Mindful Way, with Ajahn Chah

This short documentary, made in 1977, shows the daily life in the main monastery of Ajahn Chah, Wat Pah Pong in Ubon Rachathani, Thailand. The highlights of the film are inspirational short fragments of Ajahn Chah himself, in which he talks about life as a monk, Dhamma and meditation. We also get a glimpse of […]

Links to Recommende Websites

Links to Recommende Websites

Whether it’s about finding new (Buddhist) books, audiofiles of Dhamma-talks, translations of sutta’s, or discussions and questions on a forum, we highly recommend the following websites. For ordering Buddhist Books: Buddhist Publishing Society (BPS) – The BPS is a Sri Lanka based publishing house founded by Nyanaponika Mahathera. After his resignation Bhikkhu Bodhi was at […]