The Golden Cord

,
Let us for a moment suppose you’re ill. You decide to go to the doctor’s in order to find out what exactly is wrong with you, what the cause is, and most importantly, how to get better. You sit in front of him and he pulls out his little torch, asks you to say “aaahhhh” and sees that your throat is inflamed and as red as a beetroot – it’s an infection. That is the problem. He then does some more tests and identifies the bacteria that are causing the illness. Then he prescribes a suitable antibiotic and gives you precise instructions regarding the amount to be taken and how often to take it. You then go home and start to take the medicine as directed. After completing the course you recover.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

dragon.jpgm

,

DETERMINATION

,

“Even if my flesh and blood dry up… I will not leave this seat until I have attained Full Enlightenment.”

The Buddha-to-be, prior to his enlightenment.

,

Here we look at determination – one of the Ten Perfections – both in general terms and in relation to our meditation.

DETERMINE!

I recall a time on personal retreat when I was struggling somewhat. I was sat cross-legged in my kuti feeling particularly down – I had little enthusiasm to do anything and this negative state of mind felt like a sumo wrestler sitting on top of me. In Thai they have an expression meaning he or she is ‘in hell‘; that summed up my state of mind. Never-the-less, when it was time to go outside to do walking meditation I peeled myself up off the floor and dragged myself to my path.

Read the rest of this entry »

.

owl-sillies.jpg
.
On Tuesday I was supposed to go to a school to talk to some children. They had sent me an information sheet a while ago based on the theme they wanted me to address, but staying faithful to habits diligently honed at school I looked at it the night before my visit. The theme was the role of silence in Buddhism. And so, having a cold, I lay in bed and starting making up this story out loud. When I got half way through I thought I should write it down and so I ejected myself from the horizontal and into a chair. Unfortunately I was too ill to go the following day, but I will be going to back to that school, and I’ll no doubt tell it to other children, and definitely to adults!

,

Oswold the Owl and the Two Silly Birds


Once upon a time there lived three friends in an old oak wood upon a small hill. They were Pablo the Parrot, Molly the Magpie, and Oswold the Owl.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

I’ve decided not to continue with the series of five posts on meditation that I’d planned. I’ve learnt that it’s not always a good idea to say you’ll be writing / talking about something several weeks from now. It can kill spontaneity. (Plus I’m fed up of talking about the plane!)

.down

Playing with Toys in a House that’s Burning Down

Before I became a monk I had an experience which caused an earthquake in the depths of my being and which undoubtedly turned me in the direction of devoting my life to the practice of the Dhamma.

Read the rest of this entry »