Browse our Dhamma articles

Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 29 Nov 2022
Where Is the World?
Ajahn Sucitto
Posted on 25 Nov 2022
Practicing: Calligraphy and More…
Ajahn Jayasaro
Posted on 15 Nov 2022
Listen to the News
Ajahn Dtun
Posted on 11 Nov 2022
Start with Studying One’s Own Body
Ajahn Achalo
Posted on 07 Nov 2022
The Energy of Bodhgaya
Ajahn Pasanno
Posted on 01 Nov 2022
Faith Develops Energy and Wisdom
Ajahn Sucitto
Posted on 27 Oct 2022
Communion
Ajahn Thiradhammo
Posted on 25 Oct 2022
Protecting Oneself and Others
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 17 Oct 2022
Mindfulness and Buddhism in the West
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 06 Oct 2022
Stream-entry Is Realistic, Realizable
Ajahn Anan
Posted on 03 Oct 2022
Pīti, Samādhi
Ajahn Candasiri
Posted on 29 Sep 2022
A Question of Balance
Ajahn Sucitto
Posted on 26 Sep 2022
Embodied Energy
Ajahn Sundara
Posted on 22 Sep 2022
Progress
Ajahn Jayasaro
Posted on 15 Sep 2022
Proof of Purity?
Ajahn Sumedho
Posted on 17 Nov 2021
The Way It Is
Ajahn Sumedho
Posted on 06 Aug 2020
Thoughts on Practice in a Thai Megalopolis
Ajahn Sumedho
Posted on 27 Jul 2020
Remembering Tan Ajahn Buddhadāsa
Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Sucitto, Ajahn Sumedho
Posted on 22 Apr 2020
Reflections on mettā
Ajahn Sumedho
Posted on 12 Apr 2020
Dhamma Reflections – Doom, Destruction, Death, Decay
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 05 Apr 2020
A Listening Heart
Ajahn Sucitto
Posted on 28 Mar 2020
Compassion: Spread the Karunavirus!
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 21 Mar 2020
Heavenly Messages
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 30 Mar 2019
Unshakeable Well-Being
Ajahn Jayasaro
Posted on 17 Sep 2018
Letting Go Within Action
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 09 Sep 2018
A Currency of Well-being
Ajahn Sundara
Posted on 11 Dec 2016
On the Way to Liberation
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 13 Jul 2016
The End of Dukkha is Now
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 25 May 2016
Every Thing is Uncertain
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 25 May 2016
Mindfulness is the Path to the Deathless
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 07 May 2015
What Does ‘I Am the Way …’ Mean?
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 06 May 2015
The View From the Centre
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 05 May 2015
Seeing Clearly Into Causation
Ajahn Sundara
Posted on 15 Oct 2014
The Wisdom of Emotions
Ajahn Amaro
Posted on 14 Oct 2014
Journey to the Centre of the World
Ajahn Jayasaro
Posted on 14 Oct 2014
Skilful Desires

Where Is the World?

Lights in the dark; dozens of orange patches, human habitations, glow below the window. Turkey passes by: Muş, Solhan, Varto, Hınıs, Erzurum… a poem of pulses, the beat of life, written on the land.

What are their stories? Their names? Their loves and losses? It’s the small hours here – some winter revellers might be looking up as I write hearing the sound of a plane far above, see our lights, white and red, as we sing upon the airs above. Do they wonder who we are? Where we are going?

‘Where are they going?’ My cousin Richard once asked of a passing ship, seen from the restaurant of our family hotel, the Bellevue Britannia, Ostend, when I was not yet quite two years old.

Apparently, allegedly, I spoke in a deep voice, saying, ‘They are going wherever the ship is taking them’ or somesuch. Which was strangely well-formed grammar for a not-quite-two-year-old, if the story is true, of course. This also (again, as the story has repeatedly been told) nearly gave my aunt, seated at my side, a heart attack.

Where are we going? Who can go anywhere, really? The mind, all our minds are exactly, precisely here – a ‘here’ without a ‘there’, the place of non-abiding: Şırnak, Lake Van, Cadir Dagˇi, Muradiye, Ahlat, Bulanık – syllables that indicate memories, perceptions, the feelings of ownership, othership, conventions of ‘here and there’.

Where is the world? On the map-screen? Outside the window? In this mind?

‘In this fathom long body, with its perceptions and thoughts, is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the way leading to the cessation of the world’ (S 2.26, A 4.45 ).

A glowing screen, white and lime-yellow words pasted over depictions, depixellations, of mountains and lakes, beside it the window, words encoded in neon puddles of street-lamp alphabets; names written in light, words understood, mysterious.

This reflection by Ajahn Amaro is from the book, Copper Isle Miles, (pdf) pp. 3-4.

This reflection originally appeared on Abhayagiri's website.
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery logo
© Amaravati 2022
Powered by Krystal