Posted: April 10, 2017 by pathpress in Dhamma Article

by Ven. Ariyavaṃsa

cakkhuñca paṭicca rūpe ca uppajjati cakkhuviññāṇaṃ. tiṇṇaṃ saṅgati phasso. phassapaccayā vedanā.

In dependence on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as condition, feeling.

SN 35: 60

In dependence on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises. But one might also say: “In dependence on eye-consciousness, the eye and forms arise”, because what is being referred to here is the simultaneous presence of, the juxtaposition of rūpa and viññāṇa out there. When there is matter, there must also be consciousness, since without consciousness there can be no experience whatsoever. Thus, matter requires, or is dependent upon, consciousness. But consciousness also requires matter. Since there can be no presence without that which is present, if there is consciousness there must also be that which there is consciousness of. To use Husserl’s terminology, consciousness is characterised by the quality of intentionality—it is a kind of ‘stretching forth’ or ‘being directed at’. When there is consciousness, something is there, something appears in one way or another (as actually present, as past, as possible, etc). This thereness or appearing is such a primitive and general notion that one cannot provide any more detail or explain it in terms of anything else. And since consciousness is nothing but the taking place of appearing—the presence of that which there is consciousness of—any attempt to find it will only lead one to that which there is consciousness of. The idea that one might encounter the presence of something without ipso facto finding that something whose presence it is is utterly inconceivable1. Thus, we can say: “In dependence on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness is there and in dependence upon eye-consciousness, the eye and forms are there.” With this, that is. With that, this is. Read the rest of this entry »


Satipaṭṭhāna – setting up mindfulness

Posted: February 2, 2017 by pathpress in Dhamma Article

by Ven. Ariyavaṃsa

ekāyano ayaṃ, bhikkhave, maggo sattānaṃ visuddhiyā, sokaparidevānaṃ samatikkamāya, dukkhadomanassānaṃ atthaṅgamāya, ñāyassa adhigamāya, nibbānassa sacchikiriyāya, yadidaṃ cattāro satipaṭṭhānā.

Bhikkhus, this is the one-way path for the purification of beings, for passing beyond grief-&-lamentation, for setting down pain-&-displeasure, for the attainment of the method, for the realisation of Nibbāna—that is, the four ways to set up mindfulness.

MN 10

There is only one way to put an end to suffering and that is to attain the method (ñāya) which only the Buddha teaches. And what is this method?

katamo cassa ariyo ñāyo paññāya sudiṭṭho hoti suppaṭividdho? idha, gahapati, ariyasāvako paṭiccasamuppādaññeva sādhukaṃ yoniso manasi karoti—’iti imasmiṃ sati idaṃ hoti, imasmiṃ asati idaṃ na hoti; imassuppādā idaṃ uppajjati, imassa nirodhā idaṃ nirujjhati. yadidaṃ avijjāpaccayā saṅkhārā; saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ … pe … evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa samudayo hoti. avijjāya tveva asesavirāganirodhā saṅkhāranirodho; saṅkhāranirodhā viññāṇanirodho … pe … evametassa kevalassa dukkhakkhandhassa nirodho hotī’”ti.

And which is the noble method that he has clearly seen and thoroughly penetrated with wisdom? Here, householder, the noble disciple attends closely and appropriately to dependent origination itself thus: “When this is, this is; when this is not, this is not. When this arises, this arises; when this ceases, this ceases.” That is, with ignorance as condition, determinations; with determinations as condition, consciousness… Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. But with the complete fading away and cessation of that very ignorance, cessation of determinations; with the cessation of determinations, cessation of consciousness… Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

SN 12: 41

Only when mindfulness is set up in a way that allows one to see and penetrate paṭiccasamuppāda can it be said to be sammāsati, rather than micchāsati. This means that one must set up mindfulness not by focusing on a single object of meditation (as most people seem to believe) but in a way that allows one to attend to the simultaneous presence of two mutually dependent things (“When this is, this is”). Indeed, if one makes the effort to contemplate the nature of experience, one finds that the possibility of an experience of just one thing is inconceivable, and that there must be, at the very least, two things. As Merleau-Ponty showed, the idea that perception is built up out of single homogeneous “sensations” or “impressions” is mistaken. Any perception always involves two things: a figure on a background. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted: December 10, 2016 by pathpress in Dhamma Article

by Ven. Ariyavaṃsa

1. citta — the mind

The Pali word “samādhi” is usually translated as “concentration”. This is well and good—for as long as one knows what one is designating by this word “concentration”. The trouble is that the word “concentration” usually implies a kind of focusing or narrowing of attention on to a fixed object. This is not what samādhi is. The word “samādhi” comes from saŋ (meaning “together”) + dhā or dahati (meaning “to put; to place”). This is because samādhi means something like putting together, unifying, bringing together as one. The English word “composure” captures this meaning rather effectively since it resembles the Pali by being constituted by the Latin prefix com (meaning “together”) and the verb ponere (meaning “to put; to place”), whose past participle is positus. Samādhi involves composing the mind, bringing the mind together into one place such that one discerns the mind as one thing, as a phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry »

15123436_1801207720146851_7908506103863601411_oThe Audio Dhamma talks given by Nyanamoli Bhikkhu are now available on

For the Dhamma texts please click on the following link for more information,

Bellow are the links to the Dhamma talks posted till November 2016. For the latest ones please keep an eye on the page mentioned above.

  1. Mindfulness – 10 March 2015
  2. Timelessness Part I – 9 Sept 2015
  3. Timelessness Part II – 9 Sept 2015
  4. Responding to an arisen problem – 10 Sept 2015
  5. Authenticity – 1 Jan 2016
  6. Significant “I am” – 24 Jan 2016
  7. Establishing the mind – 25 Feb 2016
  8. Senses and the thought Part I – 4 March 2016
  9. Senses and the thought Part II – 4 March 2016
  10. Proper attention – 28 March 2016
  11. Designation – 11 April 2016
  12. The Holy life Part I – 5 May 2016
  13. The Holy life Part II – 6 May 2016
  14. The practice of meditation – 9 May 2016
  15. Wholesome and unwholesome – 9 May 2016
  16. The assumption of the senses – 7 Sept 2016
  17. Discerning the mind – 10 Sept 2016
  18. What is Impermanence – 30 Sept 2016

Bhava – the limits of Heidegger’s study of being

Posted: November 29, 2016 by pathpress in Dhamma Article

by Ven. Ariyavaṃsa

  1. The world

“‘loko, loko’ti, bhante, vuccati. kittāvatā nu kho, bhante, lokoti vuccatī”ti?

Venerable sir, it is said ‘the world, the world.’ In what way, venerable sir, is it said ‘the world’?

SN 35:82

Normally, when people think of “the world” they are referring to everything, every thing. But what is this if not the totality of all things that are to be found within the world? If, however, one takes the trouble to consider this idea, it should not be long before one notices that it is deeply problematic, since it presupposes a world within which things can be found so that one can then add them together to get to this world, which one has already presupposed.

Martin Heidegger offered a radically different conception of the world. In Being and Time, he introduced the idea that the world is not another thing within-the-world, but is that because of which things are discovered. Read the rest of this entry »

The Wit and Wisdom of Ven Nanavira Thera

Posted: April 7, 2016 by pathpress in News, Review

Speech for the Opening of a Monument in Bundala, Sri Lanka, Friday 26th February 2016, by Michael Rae (Path Press Board Member)

24– Ven Nanavira was nothing if not a very serious person. He came to Ceylon with Ven Nanamoli to attempt to achieve just one thing – the enlightenment that the Buddha talked about. This was not common or socially acceptable so soon after the end of World War Two – but as Nanavira writes in L 50 “ for me the Dhamma is real, and it is the only thing that I take seriously: if I cannot practise the Dhamma as I wish, I have no further desire to live.” Nanavira later removed himself from contact with other monks and the support of a monastery by moving to a single room kuti (hut) in the hot coastal plains in the south of the country. There he was free of distractions and could spend his days in meditation, or reading and writing. He seemed to prefer his own company. Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts about Ven. Nyanasumana

Posted: April 3, 2016 by pathpress in News, Review

Speech by Steven Ganci during the Ven. Nyanavira Thera Memorial Day, Bundala, Sri Lanka, 26th February 2016.


Ven. Nyanasumana (1941-1970)

Well, it’s a great pleasure to be here with all of you today (including the kabargoya [monitor lizard] and all the other creatures in this peaceful place). Though many of us are relative strangers to one another we gather as friends with a wholesome intention.

We’re here, of course, to remember the life of the Ven. Nanavira Thera, and the varied and extraordinary effects his writings have had on so many people over the past 50 years — including, I’m sure, many of us presently gathered. But I would like now, with these short comments, to ask us all to consider not Ven. Nanavira’s life, but rather the contributions and lives of others: those who’s efforts have protected, preserved, and ultimately made available the Ven. Thera’s legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

by Michael Rae

NV14c_colNanavira makes it clear at the start of Notes on Dhamma for whom the book is written and to whom it might appeal. This is the person who is reflecting on their situation in life and trying to find some meaning for their existence. At any point in time, this is not everybody and in fact this kind of enquiry may sometimes be brought on by a dramatic or unpleasant event in the person’s life, such as the death of someone dear or a medical scare. For whatever reason, all the usual pleasures of life become meaningless, the roles and activities that we have spent years building up seem shallow and trivial, and we may be filled with despair as we reflect on our superficial and selfish priorities.

This is a situation described by many writers and in the world of philosophy by the existentialist thinkers. In order to address the predicament, the existentialists describe the need for the person to at least be ‘authentic’ in their approach to the problem. They describe how most people are too weak or too scared to face up to the harsh reality of their situation, preferring instead to lose themselves in distractions of one sort or another. These may include losing oneself in the fantasy world of modern media, in addictive behaviours such as work, sex and drugs, or in other escapist fare such as a belief in a ‘personal saviour’. Anything that will take their minds off the horrible reality that stares them in the face in their darkest moments – that each of our lives is ultimately totally meaningless, our personal world is so fragile that it could be destroyed in an instant, and that, no matter how hard we try, we have no final control over our fates. Read the rest of this entry »