Today is the full-moon of January and the beginning of our winter retreat. We can have an all-night meditation sitting tonight to commemorate the auspiciousness of the occasion. It's very fortunate to have an opportunity such as this to devote ourselves for two months to one-pointed reflection on Dhamma. The teaching of the Buddha is the understanding of The Way Things Are - being able to look, to be awake. It means developing attentiveness, brightness, and wisdom - developing the Eightfold Path, which we call bhavana.
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This book contains a collection of teachings of Ajahn Sumedho given to people who are familiar with the conventions of Theravada Buddhism and have some experience of meditation. Although it is not possible to render the tonal depth and variety of these talks in a printed work, the mixture of short exhortations and pointers, longer contemplative reflections mingled with the chants that the monks and nuns will be reciting daily and have been doing so for years may suggest the atmosphere and scope within which the teachings are offered.
During the monastic retreats Ajahn Sumedho frequently teaches the Dependent Origination paticca-samuppada based on the approach of anatta. The Dependent Origination traces the process whereby suffering dukkha is compounded out of ignorance avijja and conversely suffering is eliminated or rather not created with the cessation of ignorance.
Not that he is trying to annihilate or reject some personal qualities but rather to point out how suffering arises through attempting to sustain an identity denoted by body and mind. It can be detected in a latent state as self-consciousness, or as habitual mood of the mind such as conceit or self-criticism, or it can manifest as selfish bodily or verbal activity.
The profundity of the Dependent Origination is that it describes how even at its most passive, such wrong view creates habitual drives kamma and attitudes through which even a silent and well-intentioned meditator experiences suffering.
This habitual process then manifests in terms of body, speech or mind; all such manifestations being termed sankhara. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website.
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Dhamma – the way it is, by Ajahn Sumedho
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The Way It Is