School of the Kicking Donkey

Teachings for freedom

an acrobat’s philosophy

Once a year, on the 31st of December, we go as a group into the forest to spend the night there, practicing building a shelter and surviving in the wilderness. On the latest occasion, we had more people with us… Continue Reading →

the trouble with going to live in a cave

There is a story about a man who has a wife, whom he dearly loves, and yet every time he sees a beautiful woman, he can’t help but feel sexual desire for her. Because of this, he is ridden with… Continue Reading →

the happiness in one with no home

One cold day in December many years ago, Eric, who at that time was a young man feeling old and world-weary (in the way that many young men feel at some point when life disappoints them for the first time)… Continue Reading →

the courage to ask for forgiveness

Most apologies mean very little. Much of the time, even when they come as a response to genuine wrongdoing, you can see this; that most apologies mean very little. They are based, not in real remorse, but on the impulse… Continue Reading →

“We are as we are…”

One cold evening this week, a group of us stayed up until midnight repairing a lot of headlamps, which were all apparently dead after only two years. They had been on the point of throwing them away and buying new… Continue Reading →

to be like water

  The wisest people are also the humblest, those most open to change. Ajan gives this advice all the time. “Be De L’Eau!” Be like water. We have to be like water. We have to flow easily, be soft, adaptable, take… Continue Reading →

the false friend of intuition

“Here, you’re not at school. If you give me an answer, you have to be able to tell me why.“ This is what Ajan said to Eric at one moment, when he was first starting to teach him meditation. Eric did… Continue Reading →

how to build a log house: a history of impossible efforts

In 1996, Eric first met Ajan and became his student. (I have already written the story of how that happened in a previous post here, and I have told the story here of how Eric’s house burned down, and why… Continue Reading →

“what is your aim in life?”

It took me some time in the beginning to have the courage to ask Ajan a question about meditation. When I finally did, instead of giving me answers, he asked me this. “Do you have an aim in life? What… Continue Reading →

why we are not vegetarian

We eat meat sometimes. Even though we’re Buddhist. It’s something a lot of people find difficult to understand. You follow the Five Precepts, including Non-Killing, and yet you eat meat – is this not a big contradiction? So they ask…. Continue Reading →

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