Meditation


Audio


Guided meditaiton and talks on meditation

Ageing Mindfully Seminar

Dependent Origination and The Cycles of Addiction

Body, mind and Metta (loving kindness)

Seamless Wellbeing: Protecting the World through Sila

Ajahn Sumedho 2019

Thai & English retreat | Ajahn Amaro

Death and Dying

Books


On Meditation

By Ajahn Chah

When sitting in meditation and making the mind peaceful, you don’t have to think about too much. Just focus on the mind and nothing else. Don’t let the mind shoot off to the left or to the right, to the front or behind, above or below. Our only duty is to practice mindfulness of the breathing. But first, fix your attention at the head and move it down through the body to the tips of the feet, and then back up to the crown of the head. Pass your awareness down through the body, observing with wisdom. We do this to gain an initial understanding of the way the body is right now. Then begin the meditation, noting that at this time your sole duty is to observe the inhalations and exhalations. Don’t force the breath to be any longer or shorter than normal, just allow it to continue easily. Don’t put any pressure on the breath, rather let it flow evenly, letting go with each in-breath and out-breath. You must understand that you are letting go as you do this, but there should still be awareness. You must maintain this awareness, allowing the breath to[…]


Mindfulness – The Path to the Deathless

By Ajahn Sumedho

The aim of this book is to provide instruction and reflection on Buddhist meditation as taught by Ajahn Sumedho, using material extracted from talks he gave in the early 1980s. These talks were almost all given to monastics who were familiar with the language and terms of Theravada Buddhism – but Ajahn Sumedho’s approach is not technically intricate, and so we felt that many more people could benefit from these instructions than the small gatherings in the monasteries. You are therefore invited to make use this book for your own spiritual practice.

I have added a brief section at the outset for beginners; the book then continues with Ajahn Sumedho’s introduction to meditation. Part two is a collection of practical instructions. The third part of the book offers an example of how the understanding that meditation develops can be applied to our everyday lives.

The first edition of this book, titled ‘Path to the Deathless,’ was printed in 1985 to coincide with the opening of Amaravati (‘Deathless Realm’) Buddhist Centre. The centre has subsequently been redefined as a monastery, and the book given its current title to highlight ‘mindfulness,’ a prominent feature of Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness, the simple faculty[…]


Finding The Missing Peace – a Primer of Buddhist Meditation

By Ajahn Amaro

This booklet, describing meditation tools and techniques for beginners in a series of lessons, is based on a six-week series of classes given in Mendocino, California, in 2002

These lessons describe Buddhist meditation techniques, and the ideas and principles of meditation practice explained in them are certainly within the Buddhist fold, however, these meditation instructions are not intended to be useful or pertinent only to Buddhists The lessons provide simple tools and techniques that one can use to help make one’s life more peaceful, to help one understand oneself and others a little better, and to help one live more harmoniously in the world.

The intent of this booklet and each of these lessons is to provide methods, techniques and principles that anyone can apply within the sphere of his or her own life – whether one is a Humanist, a Christian, a Communist, a Buddhist or a follower of any other belief system Nothing provided here is directed to trying to convince anyone that Buddhism is right, or to cause anyone to waiver in his or her own faith, whether it’s Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other spiritual path Nor is the intention to make everyone who uses this booklet into a Buddhist.


Introduction to Insight Meditation

By Ajahn Sucitto

The aim of this booklet is to serve as an introduction to the practice of Insight Meditation as taught within the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. You need not be familiar with the teachings of the Buddha to make use of it, although such knowledge can help to clarify any personal understanding you may develop through meditation.

The purpose of Insight Meditation is not to create a system of beliefs, but rather to give guidance on how to see clearly into the nature of the mind. In this way one gains firsthand understanding of the way things are, without reliance on opinions or theories, a direct experience, which has its own vitality. It also gives rise to the sense of deep calm that comes from knowing something for oneself, beyond any doubt.
Insight Meditation is a key factor in the path that the Buddha offered for the welfare of human beings; the only criterion is that one has to put it into practice! These pages, therefore, describe a series of meditation exercises, and practical advice on how to use them. It works best if the reader follows the guide progressively, giving each sequence of instructions a good workout before[…]”


Inner Listening

By Ajahn Amaro

There are a number of themes that are very familiar to people who practise Buddhist meditation: ‘mindfulness of breathing’, where you focus on the rhythm of the breath; ‘walking meditation’, that revolves around the feeling of the footsteps as you walk up and down a path; the internal repetition of a mantra, such as ‘Bud-dho’ – these are all designed to help ground the attention in the presence of this very moment, this present reality.

Along with these more well-known methods there are many others that can serve a similar function. One of these is known as ‘inner listening’ or ‘meditation on the inner sound’ or, in Sanskrit, ‘nada yoga’. These terms all refer to attending to what has been called ‘the sound of silence’, or ‘the nada-sound’. ‘Nada’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘sound’ as well as being the Spanish word for ‘nothing’ – an interesting and accidentally meaningful coincidence.


Meditation – A Way of Awakening

By Ajahn Sucitto

If you’re reading this guide, maybe you’re curious as to why people meditate. Why do they sit still and upright in silence for long periods of time?What are they thinking about? Is it some kind of religion; if so, what do they believe in? Well, it may be that some meditators are deliberately thinking along certain lines; and some may have profound faith in a God or a Truth. But then again, it is possible to meditate without these. To put it simply, what it all boils down to is finding peace of mind – within the mind itself. That the mind is the proper place for that search becomes evident when one acknowledges that, despite many technological, medical and social developments, humanity is profoundly stressed and troubled.

So, what are the roots of violence, selfishness and mistrust? Why, when we have so much in one sense, do we experience alienation and depression? And how do joy and compassion arise? These are some of the vital questions for which meditation may help you to discover personal answers.

What follows are guidelines on meditation that are in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha from some 2,500 years ago. The timeless quality of these teachings is such that they encourage us to look into states of discontent and stress in order to understand and remove the causes. The accomplishment of this is called ‘Enlightenment’ or ‘Awakening.’ However with even preliminary steps along the path to Awakening, a meditator can clear out a lot of stuff in the mind that causes anxiety, depression, stress, and limits his or her happiness and personal understanding.

So the answer to ‘Why meditate?’ is as obvious as ‘Why be happy?’ It’s based on a natural interest in one’s welfare. Most of us at some time or another look to get an overview of our lives, or of our mental/ emotional states, in order to find either a direction forward or a stable place […]


The Breakthrough

By Ajahn Amaro

This book is based upon the talks and meditation instructions offered during a thirteen-day retreat at Amaravati, in the summer of 2012. It is intended to be something of a follow up to Finding the Missing Peace, which was published in 2011 and presented as ‘a primer of Buddhist meditation’. The Breakthrough is intended to be a somewhat more specialized toolkit, describing the path of Buddhist meditation in an in-depth way, specifically highlighting the role of wisdom and reflective investigation in the development of insight and thereby psychological freedom. The  title  The Breakthrough comes from  the Pali word ‘abhisamaya’. The word, as used by the Buddha, is synonymous with the first level of liberation, known as ‘stream-entry’ – the ‘stream’ in question being the Eightfold Path, which leads to full emancipation, enlightenment. As is described in these pages, this breakthrough is considered to be a spiritual turning point of great significance. It marks the point on the spiritual journey beyond which enlightenment is assured and freedom guaranteed.


Samādhi is Pure Enjoyment

By Ajahn Sucitto

Let’s look at the idea of concentration, or samādhi. When you hear those four little syllables, con-cen-tra-tion, what do they imply to you? It may take a few moments to articulate it, but you might immediately feel a particular set of energies starting to take over. You probably get a sense of doing something, working hard at it to get it right. That’s the normal take. We clench up, get tight, and go for it. It’s intensive practice, a ‘concentration’ camp. No slacking! With this kind of thinking, we rev up the controlling systems, the duty systems, the work systems, and the ‘get-it-right’ systems. Right there is stress. A line of tension starts to form across your brow.

“Now such attitudes and tactics may work for a while – but in a few days we will start to tire out. Something in us tightens up, but at the same time something else in us is probably saying, ‘Ah, the heck with this.’ We want to get some enjoyment, so we look for legitimate ways to avoid ‘The Practice.’ We need food for the heart, and if we don’t get our happiness and ease in Dhamma practice, then we’ll get it elsewhere. Read something, eat something or go for a walk to relax. But what if samādhi was a relief, even accompanied by the enjoyment of feeling ‘at home’? What if samādhi was a matter of settling into a unified state? After all, in the suttas it’s defined as ‘unification.’1 And in the way the Buddha presented it, samādhi is food for the heart, and its immediate cause is happiness – the happiness born of unplugging stress.”