Theravada

  • The passing of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa Paid Member

    This weekend word arrived of the passing of one of Thailand's most prominent monks, the Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa (or Bua) Ñanasampanno, also known as Luangta Boowa. Widely recognized as an arahant, or fully realized master, Maha Boowa was one of the last surviving students of the Venerable Acariya Mun Bhuridatta, who is credited with establishing the Thai Forest tradition, which has since spread across the globe. The Ven. Maha Boowa was known for his work helping the poor of Thailand through his temple Wat Pa Ban Tat. More »
  • Why is there so much snow this winter? Paid Member

    The Buddha was known for occasionally frustrating his questioners with silence, which led to accusations of his ignorance about the topic being pursued. But to think this is to mistake the Buddha's intention. From Skill in Questions (the chapter is Questions Put Aside: II): More »
  • If you can breathe, you can meditate... Paid Member

    That's the subtitle of the first chapter of Sharon Salzberg's Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation. Here at Tricycle we've begun the countdown: 5 days until we begin the four-week Meditation Challenge. For details, see yesterday's post. And by way of introduction to Real Happiness, the consummate meditation guide that will serve as our North Star throughout the 28-day meditation period, here's a taste: What is Meditation? Straightforward and simple (but not easy), meditatoin is essentially training our attention so that we can be more aware—not only of our own inner workings but also of what's happening around us in the here and now. Once we see clearly what's going on in the moment, we can then choose whether and how to act on what we're seeing. More »
  • It's Back: The 28 Day Meditation Challenge! Paid Member

    Last week I joined Sharon Salzberg and 30 or so others at Tibet House in New York City to prepare for a 28-day meditation challenge that begins on February 1. Participants will run the gamut, from a fireman to an investment banker to a TV producer, from beginners to old pros. Sharon gave initial instruction and plenty of encouragement, especially to those who are new to meditation practice. More »
  • Before he was the Buddha Paid Member

    Thanissaro Bhikkhu's book Skill in Questions alternates between Readings—texts from the Pali canon—and Discussion sections—in which the author, a monk in the Thai forest tradition, gives background material and analysis. Chapter 2 of Skill in Questions looks at the Buddha when he was a bodhisattva, or bodhisatta in Pali. (Though the Mahayana is sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattva Vehicle, Thanissaro Bhikkhu takes issue with this, arguing that the desire for enlightenemnt is in the Theravada as well. I'll have to find the reference.) Chapter 2 of Skill in Questions is called The Bodhisatta's Quest and follows the historical Buddha, or bodhisattva, as he is called before his enlightenment, on his journey toward Buddhahood: More »
  • The Rhetoric of Compassion Paid Member

    Most contemporary connotations of the word rhetoric are negative today, but Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes in Skill in Questions that the Buddha's enterprise was essentially a rhetorical one: More »