Theravada

The "Teaching of the Elders," rooted in the earliest complete teachings of the Buddha
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    Faith in Awakening Paid Member

    THE BUDDHA NEVER PLACED unconditional demands on anyone’s faith. For people from a culture where the dominant religions do make such demands, this is one of Buddhism’s most attractive features. It’s especially appealing to those who—in reaction to the demands of organized religion—embrace the view of scientific empiricism that nothing deserves our trust unless it can be measured against physical data. In this light, the Buddha’s famous instructions to the Kalamas are often read as an invitation to believe, or not, whatever we like. More »
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    Keep Your Balance Paid Member

    ONCE IN ANCIENT INDIA a bamboo acrobat set up his bamboo pole in the center of a village, climbed up the pole with great agility, and balanced carefully upon its tip. He then invited his young assistant to scamper up and stand on his shoulders, saying to her: “You look after my balance, my dear, and I’ll look after your balance. With us thus looking after one another and protecting one another, we’ll show off our craft, receive some payment, and safely climb down the bamboo pole.” “No, no, master; that will never do!” said the girl. “You must look after your own balance, and I will look after my balance. With each of us thus looking after ourselves and protecting ourselves, we’ll show off our craft, receive some payment, and safely climb down the bamboo pole.” More »
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    Noticing Space Paid Member

    In meditation, we can be alert and attentive; it’s like listening. What we are doing is just bringing into awareness the way it is, noticing space and form. For example, we can notice space in a room. Most people probably wouldn’t notice the space; they would notice the things in it—the people, the walls, the floor, the furniture. But in order to notice the space, what do we do? We withdraw our attention from the things and bring our attention to the space. This does not mean getting rid of things, or denying the things their right to be there. It merely means not concentrating on them, not going from one thing to another. More »
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    Calm in the Face of Anger Paid Member

    A parable of practical advice for responding to attack IN THE SAKKA CHAPTER of the Samyutta Nikaya (11.4), the Buddha teaches, as he often did, by means of a parable, and this one remains as relevant today as it was in ancient India. The story addresses the issue of what a strong person is to do if insulted, attacked, or otherwise provoked by someone weaker. It could, however, just as easily pertain to how a mighty nation might respond to the provocations of a smaller nation or the threats of a criminal. More »
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    Medicine for the World Paid Member

    ONE TIME WHEN the Buddha was walking among the dwellings of his monks, he came across a monk who was very ill with dysentery, lying alone in his own excrement. He asked the monk why none of the others were caring for him and was told that he was of no use to the other monks, so they left him to cope with his illness alone. The Buddha immediately sent his attendant Ananda for a bowl of water and together they washed the monk and raised him onto a bed. Then the Buddha called together all the monks of the community and asked why this monk had been left unattended in his distress. He was given the same answer: “He is of no use to us, Lord.” (Mahavagga 8.26) More »
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    The Joy of Effort Paid Member

    WHEN EXPLAINING meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince.  More »