Theravada

The "Teaching of the Elders," rooted in the earliest complete teachings of the Buddha
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    The Gift of Gratitude Paid Member

    Even if one should carry about one’s mother on one shoulder and one’s father on the other, and so doing should live a hundred years . . . moreover, if one should set them up as supreme rulers, having absolute rule over the wide earth abounding in the seven treasures—not even by this could one repay one’s parents. And why! Bhikkhus, parents do a lot for their children: they bring them up, provide them with food, introduce them to the world. More »
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    Stepping Towards Enlightenment Paid Member

    THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM is the enlightenment of the Buddha. Many centuries ago in India, the wandering monk Gautama remembered a childhood experience of jhana, mental or meditative absorption, and realized that jhana is the way to awakening. He went to a quiet stretch of forest on the banks of a great river, sat on a cushion of grass under a shady fig tree, and meditated. The method of meditation that he used is called anapanasati, mindfulness of the in and out breaths. Through this practice, he entered jhana, emerged, and quickly gained the insights of enlightenment. Henceforth he was called the Buddha, the Awakened One. More »
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    Full Body, Empty Mind Paid Member

    In many Buddhist groups, the body is addressed only in basic instructions on posture for meditation, sometimes lasting no more than a few minutes. Many practitioners are drawn to body-based practices such as yoga, martial arts, or the Alexander technique to complement or even enable their sitting practice, but they are often on their own when it comes to integrating these traditions with their larger spiritual path. What is being lost in this gap? One of the most convincing voices for the importance of the body in meditation belongs to Will Johnson, author of several books on the topic, including The Posture of Meditation; Aligned, Relaxed, and Resilient; and Yoga of the Mahamudra. More »
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    Observing Minds Want to Know Paid Member

    BEFORE WE START practicing mindfulness meditation, we must know how to practice. We need to have the right information and a clear understanding of the practice to work with awareness intelligently. This information will work at the back of your mind when you meditate. 1. Meditating is watching and waiting patiently with awareness and understanding. Meditation is not trying to experience something you have read about or heard about. 2. When meditating, both the body and mind should be comfortable. 3. You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is. 4. You have to accept and watch both good and bad experiences. You want only good experiences? You don’t want even the tiniest unpleasant experience? Is this reasonable? Is this the way of the dhamma? More »
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    The Nuns' Island Paid Member

    Here in the nunnery the afternoon is for sleep, study, contemplation. The night before, Ayya Khema suggested that we imagine we are going to die shortly and then see what we cling to. I find I am sad to lose my possibilities—for achievement, and, yes, for liberation. Why am I here, after all, if I do not believe in my capacity to be enlightened?—though we are made so uneasy by this idea that we make jokes. Sydney, a 26-year-old Fulbright scholar from Florida, says that should sudden illumination awaken her, she will telegraph her family: "Bingo!" More »
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    Going Upstream Paid Member

    Ordained at age twelve in Kandy, Sri Lanka, the Venerable Henepola Gunaratana trained as a novice for eight years and as a bhikkhu (monk) for seven years before leaving Sri Lanka in 1954 to work with untouchables in India. In 1968 he came to the United States and became the Honorary General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society, an urban monastery in Washington, D.C., while earning a Ph.D in Philosophy from the American University, where he later served as the Buddhist chaplain. He has been teaching Buddhism and conducting meditation retreats in Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, Mexico, and Australia for over forty years. His books include Mindfulness in Plain English from Wisdom Publications (see article here). More »