Tags » Pali Suttas

Shopping for a Spiritual Teacher

One day the Buddha suddenly pops this on his disciples:  “Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is an inquirer, not knowing how to gauge another’s mind, should make an investigation of the Tathāgata in order to find out whether or not he is fully enlightened.” (Vimamsaka Sutta, Middle Length Discourses 47, tr.Bhikkhu Bodhi) How do you know if a teacher is the “real thing” or not? 1,626 more words

Is the Buddha Anti-Intellectual?

One remarkable feature of spiritual practice today in both East and West is widespread anti-intellectualism: thoughts are only creations “of the mind” and have nothing to do with the things that matter, so one must let go of the mind and find ways to still the thinking process. 2,826 more words

Which Religion? The Discourse to the Kalamas

When the refined Kalamas of Kesaputta hear that the Buddha has come to town, they immediately go to check him out. They have heard good things about him, but have grown wary of religious teachers and philosophers preaching their own views and denigrating those of others. 1,826 more words

Ven. Walpola Rahula: Study or Practice?

‘Verily, from meditation arises wisdom. Without meditation wisdom wanes. Knowing this twofold path of gain and loss, let one so conduct oneself so that wisdom may increase.’ 590 more words


How to Live a Good Human Life: The Buddha's Advice to Sigala

(Bamboo Grove. Photo credit: Patricia Sauthoff, Nalanda University)

“Do I have to give up chocolate?” In any serious discussion of the Buddha’s Pali Suttas among people who are not Buddhists, there will always be one person who will get annoyed, even outraged, by the idea that the elmination of craving might be the first crucial step in the removal of the conditions for suffering: Must I do without all my pleasures, like chocolate — or movies — or sexual relationships? 2,312 more words

Dog on a Leash

“Fasting,” said a good friend who happened to be in the midst of a fast, “is a good way to confront the ego and reach the limits of its control.” Even in a more gentle fast, where a modicum of food is permitted for mere sustenance, and where one knows with rational clarity that there is no danger of death or even harmful emaciation, one experiences in the first two days the whole range of emotional resistance from discomfort to panicked desperation as the necessities for physical survival are systematically withdrawn. 2,010 more words