December 31, 2017

One Breath | Ajahn Sujato

Ajahn Sujato offers us a reflection on Buddhism and the environment. Ajahn points out that the breath we are breathing is the same breath we are all breathing; the atmosphere. Ajahn reflects on the consequences of our actions and his concern for the future generations. Ajahn emphasises that we are we not powerless and as a Buddhist community we have a voice and we should speak for the good interest of others, our environment, nature and our planet as a whole.

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Using the life events of Bhikkhuni Patacara, Bhikkhuni Seri talks about security, shelter and finding refuge in one's life. Venerable Seri begins by telling us about her life before she ordained into the monastic life.

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Contrary to our expectations, life is happier when we let go of control. So let go of your inner control freak and relax as Ajahn Brahm explains how our lives are out of control - and that's not such a bad thing after all.

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How do you remove unwholesome thoughts? Most people would try to suppress it by using their will power to focus on the breathe. Venerable Hasapanna teaches us that this is counter-productive. Venerable advises us to start by developing mindfulness on coarser sensations before establishing mindfulness on the breathe.

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Often things don't happen according to plan. Venerable Hasapanna teaches us about expectation, disappointment and life. Venerable says "we are happier when we understand life because we expect less."
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Venerable Hasapanna guides a meditation for approximately 30 minutes.
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Ajahn Brahm tells us about the conditions that contribute to unwholesome actions, such as the influence of drugs and alcohol, bad company and lack of compassion.  Ajahn shares the story of ‘The Cow That Cried’.

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December 23, 2017

Motivation | Ajahn Brahmavamso

Ajahn Brahm talks about why we do things, what motivates us and why we sometimes lose our motivation? Is your motivation for status or to impress others? Make peace, be kind, be gentle - let that be your motivation.

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This talk was recorded by the Ajahn Brahm Society of Sri Lanka at the Temple Trees Auditorium on 7th November 2017.

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Ajahn Appi explained briefly why many of us need to learn meditation.  Without going to deeply into technical terms, he listed many of the things that meditation can help with.  He furthered this with a talk about two reasons why people meditate.

Following the introduction talk Ajahn lead the group through a thirty minute meditation beginning with a 1 minute mantra meditation.  Meditation then progressed to a focus on the abdomen rising and falling as we breath.  Approximately halfway through we moved our focus to the area around the mouth as we breath.

Following the meditation Ajahn opened to questions.

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Ajahn Appichato understands how difficult it is to develop deep meditation as a lay person. Ajahn offers us advice on how to develop and sustain mindfulness throughout the day by practicing short meditations and mantras. Ajahn also advises us on how to calm our excessive thinking.

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Spiritual practice should be a joyful experience. "If you made more problems by coming here, then there is something terribly wrong with what we're teaching," says Ajahn Brahm. Ajahn teaches us how to relax and to become more happy, kind and lighthearted.

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Ajahn Brahm guides a meditation for approximately 30 minutes.
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Ajahn Brahm answers the questions. Why do Buddhists have and keep five precepts? Why do some people not keep precepts? Ajahn focuses particularly on why Buddhists keep the precepts of no sexual misconduct and intoxicants that cloud the mind such as alcohol and drugs.

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Everybody wants to be happy. Venerable Hasapanna points out that happiness is an essential ingredient on the Buddhist path for developing wisdom and attaining enlightenment. Venerable talks about skilful ways to achieve happiness in life, with many examples from her own life.

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Ajahn used his experience when writing the book “Good? Bad? Who knows?”, to encourage us not to try constantly for perfection but rather to accept who we are and what is happening in our lives.  We can’t see the future, we can’t change the past, so just be happy in the present.

Ajahn then guided us through a meditation suitable for beginners and experienced alike.

Following the meditation Ajahn kept us well entertained with stories plus jokes about life experiences.  As Ajahn says “Good? Bad? Who knows?”.  If something happens that seems a disaster, look for the silver lining or rather, accept it for what it is and live in the moment”.

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Ajahn Brahm explains Vipassana and Samatha meditation and tells us the story entitled "Meditation Mountain." Furthermore, Ajahn teaches us how to develop stillness through kindness. 
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Why can't we just have a sense of tolerance for one another? Ajahn Brahm teaches us how to expand our circle of compassion towards others. Ajahn also teaches us how to practice compassion towards difficult situations.

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Ajahn Brahm guides a meditation for approximately 30 minutes.
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On the invitation of the Prime Minister, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe Ajahn Brahm delivers two Dhamma talks and an interview at the 7th World Buddhist Summit in Sri Lanka – November 2017. Recorded at the Temple Trees Auditorium by Dharmavahini Foundation. 

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