Many people have read earlier versions of these essays and have kindly offered suggestions for improvements. In particular, I would like to thank the monks here at the monastery, as well as Michael Barber, Claude LeNinan, Addie Onsanit, Nathaniel Osgood, Robert Rhyne, Dale Schultz, Mary Talbot, Isabella Trauttmansdorff, and Barbara Wright. Any mistakes that remain, of course, are my own responsibility.
Some of these essays, in earlier incarnations, have appeared in Tricycle and Insight Journal. I would like to thank the editors of these journals for their help in making the writing clearer and more coherent. The fact that the essays were originally written on different occasions for different audiences explains the difference in style among them, as well the occasional overlap in content. I hope that this is not a problem.
These and other essays on Buddhist practice are available on the Internet at www.accesstoinsight.org and www.dhammatalks.org.
Metta Forest Monastery
Valley Center, CA 92082-1409