Category Archives: Ajahn Chah

Walking on Tracks

Though today has warmed from its cold winter’s snap yesterday’s early walk was draped in frozen fog. The leaves that didn’t crunch underfoot glittered like candy to my eye. My mind began to dance and the heart picked up the beat.  Snow must be in the air’ I whispered to myself.  ‘Is that a snow flake I see’ I wondered as I strained to will it into being.

 

It’s a familiar track of the  mind that I knew better than to walk but surely a few moments couldn’t hurt. Down memory lane I went.  Searching for a snowy day I landed on a dandy: a white Christmas in Les Gets, the French Alps.  All aboard! Nothing like snow to elicit a feeling of peace. Ahhhhh, bliss!

 

Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy . . .Toot . . . Toot . . . . . . toot . . . toot . . . toot . . .

 

One certain thing about memories, eventually they all disappear. Gone, and yet there I stood aching over it’s demise .  . . Uggghhh

 

Unshakeable Peace

By Ajahn Chah

 

Please clearly understand that when the mind is still, it’s in its natural, normal state. As soon as the mind moves, it becomes conditioned (sankhāra). When the mind is attracted to something, it becomes conditioned. When aversion arises, it becomes conditioned. The desire to move here and there arises from conditioning. If our awareness doesn’t keep pace with these mental proliferations as they occur, the mind will chase after them and be conditioned by them. Whenever the mind moves, at that moment, it becomes a conventional reality.

 

So the Buddha taught us to contemplate these wavering conditions of the mind.

 

Meditation – A Way of Awakening

By Ajahn Sucitto

 

Attuning to the rhythm and energy of the thinking, ask if it’s possible to slow it down a fraction in order to meet that energy more completely. Keep slowing it until the thoughts are at ‘walking pace’ and the spaces between them are discernable. Contemplate the arising of each thought out of the space, and assist in the formation and moulding of each thought. Help it along, like supervising a toddler trying to walk. As each thought begins to subside, help it to its rest like helping an elderly person into their seat. Feel what it’s like when the thought has rested. Be willing to help the next one to its feet.

Dancing with the Tyrant

“It was Christmas and the foreign monks had decided to celebrate it. They invited some laypeople as well as Ajahn Chah to join them. The laypeople were generally upset and skeptical. Why, they asked, were Buddhists celebrating Christmas? Ajahn Chah then gave a talk on religion in which he said, “As far as I understand, Christianity teaches people to do good and avoid evil, just as Buddhism does, so what is the problem? However, if people are upset by the idea of celebrating Christmas, that can be easily remedied. We won’t call it Christmas. Let’s call it ‘Christ-Buddhamas’. Anything that inspires us to see what is true and do what is good is proper practice. You may call it any name you like.”

My husband Alistair and I were meant to fly out of Portland today, heading to his family’s home in the highlands of Scotland. Like thousands of other Holiday travelers we fell victim to the “Snow Storm of the Century” (which by the way is the second one this decade). So we spent the day dancing with the winter tyrant who, it seems, had much to offer once preferences were put to rest.