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”It is through not understanding, not realizing four things, that I as well as you, had to wander so long through this round of rebirths. And what are these four things? They are the Noble Truth of Dukkha, the Noble Truth of the Origin of Dukkha, the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Dukkha, the Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Dukkha.“ —  The Buddha 

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Look at these Four Noble Truths: they are not fancy in appearance. They have no exotic terminology. Consequently some people feel that this set of teachings is too limited in its scope, too mundane, even too basic. And so they look for something else, something with a little more zing: something with deities and magical powers and auspicious stones and golden trumpets. But the initial judgment of those people is not sound. For these teachings are all encompassing in their scope, and they have the Buddha’s enlightenment as their origin and our enlightenment as their goal.

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stupa2

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Inside Venerable Ajahn Chah’s stupa on January 16th

– the anniversary of his passing.

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Overcoming Doubt

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Doubt is the fifth of the five hindrances to the development of meditation and wisdom. Of the five doubt is in many ways the most disabling. Its milder form is easily waved aside; its most virulent is like a disease: it can spread to every part of your mind, undermining every positive thought and crippling every effort. So be careful, and keep it in check.

People new to Buddhism naturally question doubt as a hindrance: “ Surely if you are saying that doubt is an enemy to progress on the Buddhist path you’re promoting blind belief?” That’s not the case and that’s why it is very important to make the distinction between a healthy scepticism and the cancerous doubt that prevents you from doing anything at all.

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I haven’t forgotten….

February 10, 2009