Great Compassion

Reflections on how to approach the development of insight meditation, vipassana, like a spiritual athlete with comparisons to the rigorous training of bhikkhunis. It requires strong determination and hard work to beat a path to awakening. But if you can bear with the difficulties,…

The Torah and Triple Gem

An autobiographical portrait of Ayya Medhanandi’s life, from her meeting with her first teacher in India in her early twenties to her career as a nutritionist and going forth to become a Theravada Buddhist nun. She notes the striking similarities between the tenets of…

Delusion is Not the Way Out

How can we have compassion for others without falling apart? The Buddha’s path of awakening teaches us how to disarm our internal armour, to be harmless. This will be for us a true basis for following precepts and thereby developing enough inner quiet to…

On the wings of the breath

Using the breath to move into the silent space in the heart and attentively following its rhythm, the breath becomes our whole world. We let go of all objects that arise, all thought, as we stay present and aware in the simple current of…

A Little Renunciation

How training the mind in following precepts, such as the rules regarding the use of four monastic requisites – food, robes, shelter, and medicines, can win us greater patience, faith, gratitude, calm, courage, and mindfulness. Such ways of renunciation test our commitment to the…

A Gift from the Sea – Unbroken Pāua Shell and Consummate Trust

There are many skills and restorative qualities needed for us to grow in our spiritual work. Let us not underestimate the essential ingredient of mettā. This universal quality of love will unfailingly nurture the unfolding of the Noble Eightfold Path. It enhances our energy…

Dwell in Intrinsic Emptiness – The Liberating Quality of Loving-kindness

What are the prerequisites and supports for walking such a path of awakening? Kindness and a loving forgiveness rank with those qualities that are foremost. They allow us to repair the seemingly unforgivable, to heal what we could not see or wish to see,…

Don’t Be Afraid, Mahanama – Lean Towards Nibbana

The Buddha told Mahanama not to be afraid of the muddled mind, just to keep developing the qualities which incline the mind to Nibbana. This Dhamma is for one who is content. A mind unburdened can pacify itself and be calmed. A mind fortified…

Repair What Feels Broken – The Hardest Walk of All

The path is a gradual one. Don’t go to the depths immediately. First develop the strength. Going slowly but deeply. Forgiveness, supported by patience endurance, acknowledging and seeing the breakage and repairing it regularly, repairing what has been broken or harmed, and freeing ourselves…

A Mystical Ladder – Patience, the Incinerator of Defilements

We are ascending a mystical ladder which must be done so carefully and gradually. For a spiritual warrior, the path of practice is a gradual one.  We are in a cloud of unknowing but patiently the cloud is emptied and we begin to see everything…