Wholesome Desire

Sunlit oak on the Blackdown Hills, DevonWhile trav­el­ling in the coun­try­side and see­ing an enor­mous tree with over­ar­ch­ing branch­es and abun­dant green leaves, some­one whose mind is expan­sive and appre­ci­ates the beau­ty of nature will delight in the splen­dour and mag­nif­i­cence of that tree and wish for it to pros­per and be free from dan­ger. Con­tin­ue read­ing

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The Four Paths to Success

Statue of a reclining monk drinking tea

Hav­ing recent­ly dis­cussed the indi­vid­ual fac­tors com­pris­ing the ‘four paths to suc­cess’ (iddhipā­da), the fol­low­ing pas­sage from Bud­dhad­ham­ma illus­trates how these four fac­tors apply in a prac­ti­cal set­ting: Con­tin­ue read­ing

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Focused Attention & Investigation as Paths to Success

In pre­vi­ous blogs I have includ­ed expla­na­tions of the first two ‘paths to suc­cess’ (iddhipā­da), name­ly, whole­some enthu­si­asm (chan­da) and effort (viriya). One of the read­ers of this web­site recent­ly request­ed that I include expla­na­tions of the remain­ing two fac­tors. As before, these descrip­tions are con­tained in Ven. Phra Payutto’s chap­ter in Bud­dhad­ham­ma on con­cen­tra­tion. Con­tin­ue read­ing

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A Buddhist Perspective on Guilt

Prisoners at BIA

I have fre­quent­ly heard that there is no equiv­a­lent Thai word for ‘guilt’ in the West­ern psy­cho­log­i­cal sense of an ‘inhi­bi­tion to express one’s true emo­tions for fear of com­mit­ting an unac­cept­able act’ or an ‘emo­tion of feel­ing respon­si­ble for oth­ers’ mis­for­tune, whether or not this is the case.’ Con­tin­ue read­ing

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Scratching the Itch

This is an excerpt from chap­ter 6 of ‘Bud­dhad­ham­ma,’ on awak­ened beings.

Anoth­er impor­tant descrip­tive term for an arahant’s mind, which cov­ers many of the char­ac­ter­is­tics already men­tioned, is āro­gya, trans­lat­ed as ‘with­out sick­ness’ or ‘free­dom from ill­ness.’ It can also be ren­dered as ‘health’ or ‘healthy.’ Āro­gya is an epi­thet for Nibbāna.1 Con­tin­ue read­ing

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The Buddhist Concept of Faith

Evening Vigil at Wat Pah Boon Lawm

This pas­sage on faith is found in chap­ter 18 of Bud­dhad­ham­ma, by Ven. Phra Payut­to, on the unique attrib­ut­es of awak­ened beings:


Let us return to the first virtue of faith (sad­dhā) and exam­ine how it is a cru­cial fac­tor at the begin­ning of spir­i­tu­al prac­tice. Con­tin­ue read­ing

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The Beehive Buddha

Phra Jao Nang Gone – the Beehive Buddha

A few months ago I was in Chi­ang Mai for an alms­giv­ing cer­e­mo­ny and our group vis­it­ed the ‘Bee­hive Bud­dha’ in Hang Dong. This Bud­dha image is remark­able in many respects. Con­tin­ue read­ing

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The Buddhist Outlook on Hope

Some of the aspects of an arahant’s mind will be at odds with the views of ordi­nary peo­ple, since super­fi­cial­ly these aspects are con­sid­ered unpleas­ant or blame­wor­thy. One such aspect that the Bud­dha men­tioned often is nirāsa (or nirāsā), which can be trans­lat­ed as ‘hope­less,’ ‘wish­less,’ or ‘with­out expectation.’1 Con­tin­ue read­ing

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The Golden Bough

The Oak Man

Four years ago my broth­er and sis­ter-in-law gave me the book ‘The Gold­en Bough’ by James Fraz­er. I picked it up many times over the past few years, but because of its extreme­ly com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age on the cus­toms and beliefs of dif­fer­ent cul­tures, I end­ed up only skim­ming through the sec­ond half (which in itself com­pris­es 400 pages!). Con­tin­ue read­ing

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Life in the Saffron Forest: Chapter 14

Forest Monk at Wat Pah Nanachat

Luang Pee Muan could be con­sid­ered a dis­tant uncle of mine. He was great­ly inspired by Luang Por’s dis­course on the ascetic prac­tices. He made a vow in front of Luang Por that very morn­ing, say­ing: ‘From now on I deter­mine to eat only one meal a day, and in addi­tion to this I will eat only veg­e­tar­i­an food, refus­ing to eat meat and fish from this day for­ward.’ Con­tin­ue read­ing

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