Essays are short pieces of writing that were self-published independently. For essays published in periodicals, see articles. For essays published in edited collections by various authors, see papers. For essays published in books by the same author, see excerpts. For essays published as booklets, see booklets.

We, moderns but especially Americans, have a fundamental misunderstanding of cognitive development: we assume that higher-level functioning is always desired and so disparage and neglect fundamental cognitive skills.

I would say that the Nikāyas and Āgamas give us a “historical-realistic perspective” on the Buddha, while the Mahāyāna sūtras give us a “cosmic-metaphysical perspective.”

A good sutta is one that inspires you to stop reading it.

Ajahn Geoff explains how the monastic institution works by creating an economy of gifts.

It’s interesting to walk through the graveyards of towns, and see that for the first few years after a person dies there may be a head stone, maybe someone remembers, but after twenty, thirty, or forty years, they could bulldoze the graves because the land is so valuable and plant somebody else in there. So even your head stone just crumbles to dust. All record of you living here is gone, because no one remembers who you were or what you did. Isn’t that beautiful? So why not do that right now? Bulldoze this idea of who you are

If a sensation of itchiness intervenes and the yogi desires to scratch because it is hard to bear, both the sensation and the desire to get rid of it should be noted, without immediately getting rid of the sensation by scratching.

We wouldn’t say “this is proof of reincarnation,” but I would say it’s strong evidence of something like it.

Mansplaining is not a universal flaw of the gender, just the intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness where some portion of that gender gets stuck.

There is no single “swiss-army knife” technique that works equally well at all times; instead, we must carefully examine our present conditions and determine what practice is most relevant.

An intriguing (re)definition of religion, science, and culture.

During my first weeks with my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, I began to realize that he had psychic powers.

Kammaṭṭhāna meditation should be practised so as to reach Nibbāna, thereby escaping from all kinds of misery

while the Theravādins have preserved the clearest and best-understood early texts referring to the in-between state, their philosophical posture prevented them from investigating and describing this in any detail. For that we shall have to listen to the other schools, starting with the Puggalavādins and Sarvāstivādins, as passed down through the Chinese and Tibetan traditions.

I swear, you will wake–
& mistake these walls
for skin.

A fascinating series of open letters between Ajahn Geoff and Bhikkhu Bodhi on the subject of “just war.”

if you’re old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting

A defense of abortion and IVF rights from the Buddhist perspective.

no one wakened or died,
no one walked the streets or stoked a furnace,
for there was no such year