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Only showing articles from Ajahn Amaro


My name is Amaro Bhikkhu, I am a Buddhist, I am concerned about justice peace and the integrity of creation because all of these are seriously at risk in these current times. In Buddhism our vision of justice comprises nonviolence, truthfulness, a respect for the lives and property of others, and an appreciation of the laws of cause and effect. All of these qualities are benefited by the presence of mindfulness, a caring attunement to... Continue

A talk given at The Humanities Center, Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, Stanford University, California, on November 7th, 2018 When we consider Buddhism and Mindfulness – what are the prospects? What are the challenges? What can we look forward to? What direction are they heading in? My first response is ‘Good question!’ The future is unknown. It is uncertain but we can possibly see various trends that are already taking shape. There are projections that we can make into the future. One small caveat that I would make is that sometimes things that seem to be obvious trends in a powerful direction, can... Continue

September 2022

LEGENDA: – Arhat, Arahat, Arahant – „ten, który zniszczył wrogów (skazy)”, godny, jeden ze stopni świętości (Ariya) na ścieżce do wyzwolenia, – Bodhisatta (zapis palijski), Bodhisattwa (skr.) – istota dążąca do Przebudzenia – sutty (zapis palijski), sutry (zapis sanskrycki) – teksty kanoniczne Ajahn Amaro zastanawia się nad argumentami za i przeciw dotyczącymi ideałów arhata i bodhisattwy, które określają i zbyt często dzieląbuddyjskie tradycje. Sugeruje drogę wyjścia ze spolaryzowanej dyskusji. Pewien uczeń spytał: „Która ze ścieżek jest najlepsza: ta arhata czy... Continue

The Practice of Mettā by Luang Por Sumedho There is a great lack of mettā in the world today because we have overdeveloped our critical faculties: we constantly analyze and criticize. We dwell on what is wrong with ourselves, with others, with the society we live in. Mettā, however, means not dwelling in aversion, but being kind and patient even to what is bad, evil, foul or terrible. It’s easy to be kind to nice animals like little kittens and puppies. It’s easy to be kind to people we like, such as sweet little children, especially when they are not ours. It’s easy to be kind to old ladies and men... Continue

April 2020

During this period of the coronavirus pandemic, and the worldwide lockdown of millions of people, great acts of self-sacrifice are being carried out all around us. Nurses and doctors, carers of many kinds and support staff, have literally died for their patients in numerous countries and thoughtful acts of kindness and unselfishness are reported daily. Just here at Amaravati it is deeply touching how so many you, our friends and supporters, although unable to bring offerings in person to the kitchen and to receive our usual blessings and expressions of ‘Sādhu anumodanā!’, still make sure deliveries of... Continue

March 2020

These are frightening times. The uncertainty and stress in the air on account of the coronavirus pandemic is palpable and, at least for our human family, life as we know it has been radically disrupted. Furthermore, the menace of that disruption continuing is like an ominous fog ahead of us on the road – we have no idea how thick it really is and for how long it will continue. The Buddha called such threats – specifically those of ageing, sickness and death – ‘Devaduta’, ‘Heavenly Messengers’, which might seem a very odd name to use for them. Surely these form a hellish prospect, rather than... Continue

September 2018

The need to have a corrective to the broad assumptions (usually unexamined) of how an economy works has become a real issue for us.’ Martin Palmer, 1-2-18 This article was written at the request of Martin Palmer, an old friend of this community and the founder and Secretary General of the Alliance for Religion and Conservation, an organization whose chief patron is HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. The ARC recently launched a project, ‘The Faith Consistent Investment Alliance’ (now known as ‘FaithInvest’), to encourage the financial arms of the major world religions to use their resources to support... Continue

I am delighted to be here today in Amsterdam, sharing this time with so many of you; meeting many people for the first time and reconnecting with old friends, continuing to enjoy the meeting of the worlds of academic psychology and Buddhist meditation, and all their attendant branches. The theme for this session is ‘Unshakeable Well-Being: Is the Buddhist Concept of Enlightenment a Meaningful Possibility in the Current Age?’ First of all, I should lodge the caveat that even though the theme of this session includes the word ‘enlightenment’, I make no claims to having realized enlightenment myself. Continue

March 2016

We can say that the retreat formally closes this evening; this is the last day. But what really makes today special? The mind creates time, schedules. We come to human agreements. We say ‘beginning’, ‘ending’. These are all qualities that are imputed, determined, agreed upon. They don’t have any existence in and of themselves. As Luang Por Chah said, ‘The things of this world are merely perceptions of our own creation. Having established them, we get lost in them, giving rise to all kinds of trouble and confusion.’ So we say, beginning of a retreat, end of a retreat, succeeding, failing... Continue

March 2016

The changing weather is a fine teaching in adaptability. One day warm sunshine, spring flowers, birds singing. Now, howling winds and snow. Tomorrow what will it be? If we are wise then the heart will always adapt to receive the changing qualities of the present circumstance. Stillness and movement, calmness and wind, brightness, darkness, praise, criticism, gain and loss, the familiar or the unexpected. As long as our practice, our peace of mind, is dependent on particular conditions or predictability, having things the way we expect or the way we like, we create the causes of dukkha right there. Why? Because... Continue

Today is Easter Sunday according to the western European calendar. According to Christian mythology this is the day Jesus rose from the dead, however, the very word ‘Easter’ itself points to the fact that its symbolism reaches beyond the Christian stories. The east is where the sun rises. The birth of the light of the world happens in the east. This time of the year, spring is the reawakening of the land. Flowers come out, leaves start budding and life comes back into the world. Animals start pairing off, building nests. It’s the time of life being reasserted, coming out of the dark into waking, living... Continue

Last week at the Spirit Rock family retreat we saw many young people, surrounded by wholesome structures and examples, and offered much in the way of skilful guidance. Seeing the good results of that in just a few days made me reflect on the idea that if you catch things early and have an influence at the beginning, as something is setting out and taking shape, then a small influence can go a very long way. The lessons that people learn and examples that are internalized early on can affect us very deeply. This works the same way with our meditation. When we recite the factors of dependent origination, (the laws... Continue

Here is the watch my mother gave my father on their wedding day, his initials engraved upon the back. Here is a dress that the daughter of Tan Dhammarakkho, Hannah Renshaw, wore before she died at the age of two, in a mysterious fire at Chithurst in 1983. Here is a thimble belonging to Chris Smith’s great-grandmother … all precious relics, family treasures. Now we enshrine them on the slopes of Mount Kailash and walk away, climbing the final slope to the Dolma La pass, leaving family and the rest of our past behind. Breathe. Keep breathing deeply. Breathe as fully as possible, opening every cleft of lung. Continue

January 2008

‘Don’t be an arahant, don’t be a bodhisattva, don’t be anything at all – if you are anything at all you will suffer’ — Ajahn Chah A student of Buddhism asked: ‘Which do you think is the best path: that of the arahant or that of the bodhisattva?’ Ajahn Sumedho replied: ‘That kind of question is asked by people who understand absolutely nothing about Buddhism!’ One of the larger and more significant elephants in the living-room of Buddhism in the West is the uneasy and often unexpressed disparity between the classically stated goals of the Northern and Southern schools. These goals can... Continue

I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. [John 14:6] A number of years ago I was invited to join with Father Laurence Freeman OSB to co-lead an evening of reflections at Old St Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco. This was something of a follow-up to the seminar entitled ‘The Good Heart’ which HH the Dalai Lama had led in London in 1994, when he was invited by the World Community for Christian Meditation to give commentaries on the Gospels. Father Laurence had hosted and chaired that event and I had also been honoured to take part in it. Someone who had... Continue