School of the Kicking Donkey

Teachings for freedom

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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. We can understand that it might seem a bit strange, and everyone has such strong opinions about this topic that it is… Continue Reading →

the ear of an elephant

When you watch Ajan listening to someone, it’s quite a sight to behold. He sits leaning forward in his chair, his eyes opened so wide they’re almost bulging, tilting his head towards the speaker – absolutely all of his attention… Continue Reading →


“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” (Bertrand Russell.) A story goes that in the early years of knowing each other, Eric and Ajan… Continue Reading →

the magic of generosity

At one moment last year I was feeling very low and always attacked by constant anxiety and insecurity. (These, you will see, are my most well-known enemies. I am an expert in anxiety and insecurity, let me tell you.) I… Continue Reading →

two old stories of renunciation

There is a famous true story about a champion wrestler whose life was changed forever by one chance meeting. This champion was unbeaten in all his country and territory, and thus he was rich, renowned and worshipped everywhere he went…. Continue Reading →

why meditation is like catching flies

Now it is summertime, we have a lot of flies that want to come in the house and we need to have good screens on our windows. Despite the screens, we still need to catch flies from time to time… Continue Reading →

what will you do at the time of death?

“I am ready to die right now.” I remember the peculiar feeling that arose in me at these words – like being pushed off-kilter, my comfortable assumptions about how life was wobbling and shaking. I remember my shock, admiration, and… Continue Reading →

tiny carelessness, little laziness

There are sometimes people who look at the standards that one sets up for oneself in meditation, and they wonder, “But isn’t it only human to have a little laziness, to get a little bit careless now and then? Aren’t… Continue Reading →

the little-known art of being a good student

“In the Beginner’s Mind there are many possibilities.In the expert’s mind there are few.”Shunryu Suzuki Someone I know well recently set up the entire electrical system in a house we were renovating. She had never done such a thing before,… Continue Reading →

bread, broccoli and being the job

There are days that feel as though they are nothing but a list of catastrophes, each bigger than the next. I used to find that those days were only disagreeable, but now they are also a source of interest and… Continue Reading →

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