Thursday, August 30, 2007

People wrote...........

Saturday, November 24, 2007 8:50:03 AM

Dear Dr. Walpola,

Thanks much for sending this along....I've looked at your blog and it is very interesting and informative.

May you too be well, happy and peaceful..Warmest wishes,

Richard Davidson

Richard J. Davidson

William James and Vilas Research

Professor of Psychology and PsychiatryDirector,

W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior,

Wisconsin Center for Affective Science, and

Center for Mind-Body Interaction

University of Wisconsin-Madison

1202 West Johnson StreetMadison,

WI 53706Phone: 608-262-8972

FAX: 608-265-2875www:

Thursday, September 27, 2007 1:37:49 PM

Hello Dr. Piyal,

Thank you for sending me the link to your blog. You have indeed enriched your site with so many important and pragmatic teachings of the Buddha. After having surfed your site I found it very interesting. No doubt whoever will visit your site will find it pretty useful. Thank you for taking time to create this site for the benefit of the many.

Blessings !

Bhante Saranapala

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:57:40 AM
That was an amazing site – I even spent a few minutes (during my busy schedule) to read some.
Thank you

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:39:04 AM
Hi! Indi and Piyal,

I was reading through the mindfulness article posted by Piyal, and I think it's an amazing compilation of facts, theories and philosophical analysis. Reading it first thing this morning when I got into work, set my mind in the right direction. Thank you and keep up the good work. You will be blessed!
I am forwarding this to some of my co-workers.

Thursday, September 13, 2007 1:49:33 PM
Hi Dr.Walpola,
Thank you for reinforcing your message of Dhamma by creating this very informative blog. Keep up the good work. Through this Dhamma Dana we hope you will be able to truly understand the Four Noble Truths in this very lifetime!
All the best,
The Pannila Family

Sunday, September 2, 2007 4:15:40 PM
Dr. Piyal
We pay our homage to this great, everlasting gift you have presented to the readers by way of "Dhamma".This will be an eye opener as well as a great resource for those who are interested in mind culture. May you reach the supreme goal in this life time.

Sunday, September 2, 2007 2:03:45 AM
To. Dr.Piyal Walpola,
Dear Sir,

We were very happy to see your website on Dhamma. It reminded us the great saying of our Lord Buddha" Dhamma Danang Sabba Danang Jinathi" This indeed is a great work from which many could get benefited. If one can turn their minds inside by reading your great work,they would start seeing something that they have not seen before. You are showing the way to those who have the thirst for it.Once one sees the glimpse of it they will then realise the happiness does not lie on outside objects but inside. We have only read a part. We will read all the articles and hoping to come back again.May you be blessed by more wisdom to spread more Dhamma to the world.

Rev. Jinarathana, Saman and Ratnapala.We were very happy indeed.

Thursday, August 30, 2007 1:08:39 PM
Hi! Piyal,
This is great! I didn't get the chance to look at everything, but will do so. I have forwarded your link to some people who I felt can benefit from your interpretations and knowledge. Thanks and merit to you for making a difference in peoples' lives.

Thursday, August 30, 2007 3:21:29 P.M

What a terrific idea. I have looked through your site and it is very comprehensive and easy to read.

Would it be okay with you if I announce your blog in my upcoming September newsletter? Please let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D.
Centre for Mindful Therapies
109 Old Kingston Road, Unit 14
Ajax, ON
L1T 3A6

905.428.1404 ex. 201
Fax: 905 .428.1602

Thursday, August 30, 2007 2:31:55 PM
Hi Piyal,
Thanks a lot for showing us the path to attain the supreme bliss of will surely be blessed. there are a few of us who really admire what you are doing, not only professionally, but also spiritually to enlighten us and make us better human beings!may the Noble Triple Gem bless you and and your family always.Your long time friend

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 3:48:35 PM
Dear Dr. Piyal,

I have checked into your personal blog. This is so wonderful. I wonder how you find time to maintain this site. Your blog contains very important articles related to the most crucial teachings of the Buddha which I think people will find of great interest. Thank you for maintaining this blog.
Blessings !

Bhante Saranapala

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 10:04:10 AM
Dear Piyal,
The blog site looks very professional. It's a wonderful venue for Dhamma. Well done.
All the very best,
Ajahn Viradhammo

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 1:46:58 AM
Hi Piyal,
I did go through some of it yesterday, and it was quite nice.Thank you.However, so far, I could not think of anything to comment on.Take care,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mindfulness in Breathing

"The mindfulness of in and out breathing, of body contemplation, of keeping consciousness of the moment, is a noble occupation and a sublime way, leading to independence of mind and to wisdom."-Samyutta Nikaya

Anapana Sati sutta is the first part of mindfulness of the body in the Satipatthana Sutta . There is also a more detailed disclosure of this sutta by the Buddha. You can read this at the following link:

If you are not in a mood to read, there is a very good MP3 audio discussion of this sutta by Ajahn Brahm, at the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. Please visit:

Other Dhamma Blogs

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mindfulness in the Present Moment

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly".-Buddha

Buddha emphasized the importance of being mindful....being in the present moment. It is also called the "present moment awareness". In Satipatthana sutta he explains how to train yourself to be mindful in each moment in what ever you do. It does not matter if you are standing, sitting, walking, lying down, eating, drinking or even going to the washroom, he said to train yourself to be mindful.
It may sound very easy but in reality you may find it very difficult. Your mind will wonder even before you know it. It is the nature of the conditioned mind. It is also called the "monkey mind" (like a monkey jumping from branch to branch) as stated in some Buddhist texts.

If you like to test this out you may want start in small steps, for example, while brushing the teeth in the morning. Slowly with time and diligent effort you may be able to be mindful for the full length of brushing your teeth. You may eventually try this at other tasks like at work and driving a car. The benefits are that you are less likely to allow your mind to wonder into repeated unnecessary chain of thoughts about the future or the past ("ping-pong mind") which will drain the mind energy. Secondly you are less likely to make a mistake at work or driving and in fact may even save your job or your life.

"In mindfulness I was conscious of the entire process. In this way I practiced contemplation on the body. When standing, I was aware that I was standing, when sitting, there was total knowledge of sitting; and when lying down, the full experience of lying down. By experiencing each moment, my mind clung no more to the world"-Buddha, Samyutta Nikaya

"Do not go after the past,
Nor lose yourself in the future.
For the past no longer exists,
And the future is not yet here.
By looking deeply at things just as they are,
In this moment , here and now,
The seeker lives calmly and freely- Buddha

Mindfulness and the present moment awareness is used in treating depression and anxiety, in mindfulness based cognitive behavioural therapy, and mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR).
This is also used in treating patients with unhealthy eating practices, that will lead to obesity and other medical illnesses associated with obesity. This method trains you to be totally mindful during eating and drinking. This will be discussed in detail in a future posting.
For now you can browse though these sites:

Also see other related posts:

Buddha, The Great Physician

Buddha can be regarded as the greatest physician who lived on the earth. His medicine was for the mind. He said "whatever you do, the body will get sick, but dont ever let your mind get sick". Buddha like other great physicians in the world found:

1. The sickness.

2. Cause of the sickness.

3. How to get rid of the sickness.

4. The path that leads to getting rid of the sickness.

This is the final common goal in learning how to practice Buddhism. This was called the Four Noble Truths by the Buddha.
The features of his teachings (Dhamma) are as follows. The Dhamma is very clear, with direct results, timeless, calling one to investigate for himself, only through yourself you can understand, to be realized individually by the wise.
Also see other related posts:

Would you like to be the happiest man on earth?

Scientists believe that the Buddhists are the happiest people in the world. Scientists have now shown areas of the brain that are associated with positive states of mind. Studies lead by Dr. Richard Davidson, of the University of Wisconsin has found that Buddhist meditators are able to activate these areas during and after meditation. In other studies, scientists at the University of California have shown that the practice of Buddhist meditation makes individuals able to deal with fear and anger much better.

Friday, August 24, 2007

How can mindfulness help?

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy can help in many stressful conditions including anxiety and depression. Meditation is recommended as the third line of treatment in 2006-2007, Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Other related posts:


To learn more about mindfulness therapy visit :

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy

website of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Research Articles:

A randomized, wait-list controlled clinical trial: the effect of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction in relation to quality of life, mood, symptoms of stress and levels of cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and melatonin in breast and prostate cancer outpatients.

A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction.

In search of inner wisdom: guided mindfulness meditation in the context of suicide.

Mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction: experience with a bilingual inner-city program.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health-related quality of life: findings from a bilingual inner-city patient population.

Mindfulness meditation to reduce symptoms after organ transplant: a pilot study.

The Practice of Mindfulness -"The four bases of mindfulness"

This is the foundation of mindfulness practice taught by the Buddha, leading to wisdom and ultimate liberation from suffering. This sutta is called the Satipatthana Sutta.
At the end of sutta Buddha said if someone diligently practices this it is possible one to get fully enlightened in seven days.

Do you want to increase your brain thickness?

Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.
AGEING Neuroreport. 16(17):1893-1897, November 28, 2005.Lazar, Sara W. a; Kerr, Catherine E. b; Wasserman, Rachel H. a b; Gray, Jeremy R. c; Greve, Douglas N. d; Treadway, Michael T. a; McGarvey, Metta e; Quinn, Brian T. d; Dusek, Jeffery A. f g; Benson, Herbert f g; Rauch, Scott L. a; Moore, Christopher I. h i; Fischl, Bruce d j
Abstract: Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain's physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning. Finally, the thickness of two regions correlated with meditation experience. These data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice.
(C) 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

To read more about this please click the link below:

People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don't. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains.

Also read

Differential engagement of anterior cingulate and adjacent medial frontal cortex in adept meditators and non-meditators

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Recommended Reading

1. Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook By Ajahn Brahm
Read the first five chapters of this book

2. Mindfulness in Plain English By Henepola Gunaratana, Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
This step-by-step guide to Insight Meditation is truly practical and direct.

3. Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path By Henepola Gunaratana
In the Eightfold Path, the Buddha offered us a complete guide for living happily

4. Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra
Essential reading for anyone curios about the foundations of Buddhism.

Lessons From a Lotus

As in a pile of rubbish cast by the side of a highway a lotus will grow clean smelling………… does the disciple of the Rightly Self Awakened One.


Did you ever wonder why a lotus is used as a Buddhist symbol in many places.

1). According to the Buddhist texts Buddha when he was enlightened saw all the people in the world as one large lotus pond. This is a common metaphor that is used to understand the varying degree of wisdom or "Parami" (innate ability) that people have to understand the Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha. He saw people as lotus buds at different stages of maturity. Some were at the very bottom of the pond as small immature buds. Some were at the middle of the pond with medium maturity. Others were right at the top of the surface of the water about to bloom with the morning sun. The sun was compared to Dhamma in this metaphor. Buddha spent 45 years of his life teaching Dhamma helping the more "mature lotus buds" to blossom.

2). Have you seen the lotus petals and leaves touching water? The water droplets stay on the surface because of the surface tension. Although the water is in contact with the petals it does not "wet" or stick to the petals. This metaphor was used by Buddha to explain how enlightened beings live among worldly objects and people with defilements without really getting affected or attached to them.

3). Ajan Braham at Buddhist Society of Western Australia, ( use the lotus in many of his Dhamma and meditation talks. You can watch this video by clicking the following link:
The Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus