Category: Pali

Ultimate Dhammapada

The Theravada Tipitaka Press has recently released a new book in their series of bilingual Pali primers. In case you are unfamiliar with the concept: In South-East Asia traditionally to learn the “sacred” language of the Buddha beginning students would…

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Secret meditation instructions? Not with Sariputta on the watch.

The Buddhist world has seen its fair share of “gurus” and “masters” who introduced “secret meditation techniques” and found instructions nobody had ever seen before because they “allegedly” got lost or distorted over time – only to be (re-)introduced by…

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To Nirvana in 5 sentences

One evening about two weeks ago I picked up the Samyutta Nikaya and stumbled over a short sutta which mesmerized me for the next two weeks. It is one of those short yet deep suttas which makes the Samyutta Nikaya…

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Ox and crops

From the Theragatha, the Verses of the Elders. 445. Uppajje te sace kodho, āvajja kakacūpamaṃ; Uppajje ce rase taṇhā, puttamaṃsūpamaṃ sara. (1) 446.‘‘Sace dhāvati cittaṃ te, kāmesu ca bhavesu ca; Khippaṃ niggaṇha satiyā, kiṭṭhādaṃ viya duppasun”ti; 445. If anger arises…

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The Essence

‘‘Ayaṃ loko santāpajāto, This world is filled with sorrow[1] Phassa-pareto rogaṃ vadati attato; Overcome by (sense-)“contact”, it calls a disease its “self” [2] Yena yena hi maññati In what ever terms they imagine it Tato taṃ hoti aññathā. Thereby it…

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Seeing the Seeing of the Disappearing disappear

One may wonder why and how the modern vipassana movement was revived a little bit more than a century ago in Burma. When we look back at the history of Theravada countries in the 19th century, many of these countries…

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In search of the (original?) Oxen!

…sounds like Zen, might be Zen, but is no Zen? Hidden within in the scholastic bodies of ancient Theravadin commentarial literature dwell gems of wisdom taught by ancient Masters of Buddhist meditation. One such beautiful little gem, an allegory, really needs some…

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Chattamanavaka Gatha

Sappuriso ca kho, bhikkhave, kataññū hoti katavedī. Sabbhi hetaṃ, bhikkhave, upaññātaṃ yadidaṃkataññutā kataveditā. Kevalā esā, bhikkhave, sappurisabhūmi yadidaṃ kataññutā kataveditā’’ti. Katannu – Sutta, AN Just wanted to say “thank you” to all of you who came and shared time with me. Hope the…

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Ingredients of insight progress

Even at Buddha’s time insight meditators went through times of doubt regarding their meditation practice. In the following case one monk thought he might simply ask his fellow monks how they practice and solve his own uncertainty. Unfortunately, they practiced…

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The hidden meaning of ‘yathabhuta’

In the context of liberating wisdom the Buddha frequently employs a term called “yathabhuta” when describing the practice of insight meditation. Usually this term is translated as “as it really is”. So, a passage like this: Sāvatthinidānaṃ. ‘‘Rūpaṃ, bhikkhave, anattā….