"While I was studying at Budapest in 2005, I remember looking for books which could help me get a useful perspective on my confused experiences. There was no lack of explanation and advice, but they were missing a concrete direction: ‘Interesting ideas, but what do I do and how?’ I believe that good instruction should enable one to do more than before, shed light on the ‘what’ and ‘how’, and even on the ‘why’. The first book which gave me a tangible foothold was Ajahn[Read more...]
This book began as an essay to add some guiding notes to the practice of mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānasati). The intention was to be concise, with the understanding that plenty of meditation manuals are available, as are several thorough expositions of the theory and practice of mindfulness of breathing. However, as this meditation is so crucial, it seems useful to contribute any fresh approaches. And I have noticed that the way I understand and approach mindfulness of[Read more...]
While researching the Pali Canon for my previous book, Working with the Five Hindrances, I occasionally came across an intriguingly cryptic phrase: ‘I-making, mine-making and the underlying disposition to conceit’ (ahaṅkāra-mamaṅkāra-mānānusaya). This phrase was intriguing because it suggests a completely new perspective to the universal inquiry into self and selflessness, and provides a glimpse into the unique realization which the Buddha was awakened. He designated this[Read more...]
This book is a substantially revised and expanded version of the 2009 original. It explores the link between external action and mind cultivation – both of which are forms of the kamma that leads to liberation. The book teaches formal meditation practices, the role of devotion, aspects of dependent origination, and the need to establish skilful relationships – kalyānamitta – and the cessation of suffering and stress.
The idea for the topic and title, ‘The Secret of Happiness’, came about after reflecting on my first meeting with Ajahn Sumedho in 1977, just a few weeks after his arrival in the UK. I had been very impressed by the sense of ease and joy that he seemed to carry with him. That, in itself, it was remarkable. What made it even more remarkable was what I had been told about the monks: that they followed an extremely exacting way of life and a discipline that required them to[Read more...]
This photo-journal records a pilgrimage made in Sri Lanka in November of 2019. I had been invited numerous times to visit this ancient seedbed of Theravāda Buddhism but, prior to this present occasion, had always declined the offers. Thee reason for this was not a disinterest in the country, with its ancient Buddhist traditions and numerous holy places, rather it was that, if I was going to go, I wanted to go quietly as a pilgrim and not on a teaching tour or part of a[Read more...]
To honour the auspicious occasion of the 80th birthday of Luang Por Liem Ṭhitadhammo (Phra Thepvajiranyan), a faithful group of disciples has arranged to print his biography. Luang Por Liem is a senior Buddhist monk presently ordained for 60 years in the Thai Forest Tradition of the late Ven. Ajahn Chah (or “Luang Pu Chah”) of Wat Nong Pah Pong in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. This book covers the prominent chapters of Luang Por Liem’s life, beginning from his roots as a[Read more...]
With a focus on gratitude, Ajahn Munindo reflects back over his life as a Buddhist monk. He particularly contemplates how very different communities have supported his spiritual journey. He concludes by expanding on his ‘source-oriented’ approach to Buddhist practice.
Over the last few years I have led residential retreats specifically on the theme of dependent origination on at least five occasions – at Amaravati in the U.K., in Mae Rim, Thailand, and with Le Refuge, at Monastère de Ségriès, in the south of France. Various aspects of this rich, essential theme of Buddhist teaching have been focused upon in these different situations, according to the interests and needs of the various communities. The booklet entitled ‘Just One More…’ –[Read more...]
THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK, Mind Is What Matters, brings attention to attitude. It points to the enormous difference our attitude makes as the mind receives and processes experience, and it points to that aspect of Dhamma practice of making everything our teacher. In 2017 at our open retreat at Amaravati Monastery, there were over 400 people attending. Ajahn Sumedho gave teachings every evening, and other visiting ajahns offered instruction and led question-and-answer sessions[Read more...]
A great variety of forms of religious practice are associated with the word ‘Buddhism’. However, they all take Siddhattha Gotama, who lived and taught in northern India some 2,500 years ago, as their source or inspiration. It was he who became known as the ‘Buddha’ – that is ‘the Awakened One’, one who has attained great wisdom through their own efforts.