January 30 – Eight steps

Dear Friends, I’m on retreat until Tuesday afternoon, but I’ve queued up some emails to keep you inspired while I’m away. Continuing with Bhante Gunaratana’s discussion in Chapter 13, now on the eightfold path. The eightfold path lists steps we can follow to realize the release from suffering caused by craving. In brief, they are: Skillful understanding –… Read More »

January 27 – Seven positive qualities (part 2)

Dear Friends, I’m on retreat until Tuesday afternoon, but I’ve queued up some emails to keep you inspired while I’m away. Yesterday, we looked at the first three of the seven factors: mindfulness, investigation, and energy. Today, we’ll look at the next three: joy, tranquility, and concentration. Joy As our mindfulness deepens, we investigate, and then that rouses… Read More »

January 25 – Perception and the breath

Dear Friends, Body, feelings, thoughts, hindrances, aggregates… That’s a lot of things to think about. But it all starts simply. Bhante Gunaratana has this simple reminder about perception of breathing: When you breathe mindfully, you see the arising, existing, and passing away of the form of the breath, or breath-body, immediately as it happens. In the same way,… Read More »

January 21 – Appreciative joy

Dear Friends, When the Buddha was giving instructions to his son, Rahula, one of the teachings was “Develop the meditation of appreciation. For when you are developing the meditation of appreciation, resentment will be abandoned.” This is the heart quality of muditā. In her book, Lovingkindness, Sharon Salzberg tells us that this practice of muditā is a way… Read More »

January 17 – Luminous is this mind

Dear Friends, We will spend the next few days looking at the third way of establishing mindfulness – mindfulness of mind. In Chapter 8 of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana first explores the nature of mind and consciousness. First a side-note: “mind” in this context is a translation of the Pali word citta, and it… Read More »