Tag Archives: Henepola Gunaratana

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 26 – Seven positive qualities

Dear Friends, I’m on retreat until Tuesday afternoon, but I’ve queued up some emails to keep you inspired while I’m away. Bhante Gunaratana starts chapter 12 of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English with the Gilana Discourse. One of the Buddha’s senior pupils was very ill, so the Buddha went to visit him and asked how he was… 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 20 – Working with mental states

Dear Friends, Joseph Goldstein has said, “For the purpose of meditation, nothing is particularly worth thinking about.” This means thoughts can come and go as they wish, but we don’t need to become involved with them. (Joseph also says, “it’s simple, but it’s not easy.”) Bhante Gunaratana lists five ways to work with mental states, based on the… Read More »

January 18 – Two kinds of thought

Dear Friends, Bhante Gunaratana started chapter 8 with a recounting of the Two Kinds of Thought discourse, where the Buddha described a way we can classify and reflect on thoughts: Suppose I divide my thoughts into two classes. On one side, I set thoughts of sensual desire, ill will, and cruelty. On the other side, I set thoughts… 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 »

January 15 – Harmful and beneficial feelings

Dear Friends, Welcome to the beginning of our third week together! As you recommit to your intention for practice, here are some helpful words just posted on Tara Brach’s Facebook page: It is helpful to start your meditation with a reflection on what matters to you. Some meditation students bring to mind an all-encompassing aspiration, while others focus… Read More »

January 13 – How feelings arise

Dear Friends, I’ll start with this quote, often attributed to Viktor Frankl: Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness. Yesterday, I invited you to turn your attention to the “flavor” of an experience – to notice whether… Read More »