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Search Results: Thanissaro Bhikkhu

  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    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 »
  • Tricycle Community 9 comments

    The Power of Judgment Paid Member

    When the Buddha told Ananda that the entirety of the practice lay in having an admirable friend, he wasn’t saying something warm and reassuring about the compassion of others. He was pointing out three uncomfortable truths—about delusion and trust—that call for clear powers of judgment. More »
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    Skill in Questions Paid Member

    When we read the account of the Buddha’s last night, it’s easy to sense the importance of his final teaching before entering total nibbana: “Now, then, monks, I exhort you: All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by being heedful.” These words call attention to themselves because they were the last he ever said. That may be why it’s so easy to overlook the importance of what the Buddha did right before saying them. In a gesture extremely gracious—given that he had been walking all day, had fallen severely ill along the way, and now was about to die—he offered one last opportunity for his followers to question him. More »
  • Tricycle Community 54 comments

    Lost in Quotation Paid Member

    Many people who don’t know much about old Buddhist texts often know one passage from the Pali canon: the part of the Kalama Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya 3.65) stating that old texts can’t be trusted. More »
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Sowing the Seeds of Freedom Paid Member

    THE BUDDHA NEVER meant for us to take as our mainstay anything or anyone else aside from ourselves. Even when we take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, he never praised it as being really ideal. He wanted us to take ourselves as our refuge: "The self is its own mainstay." We can depend on ourselves and govern ourselves. We're free. When we can reach this state, that's when we'll be released from our enslavement to greed, anger, and delusion—and be truly happy. More »
  • Tricycle Community 37 comments

    Skillful Shelter Paid Member

    The values of human society, for the most part, fly right in the face of a meditative life. Either they make fun of the idea of a true, unchanging happiness, or they avoid the topic entirely, or else they say that you can’t reach an unchanging happiness through your own efforts. This is true even in societies that have traditionally been Buddhist, and it’s especially so in modern society, where the media exert pressure to look for happiness in things that will change. More »