Ajahn Brahmali discusses why the suttas are important, their place in Buddhist practise and the benefits of studying them. Ajahn looks at why it is many people listen to particular Buddhist teachers but it’s not common for people to just follow the suttas. Ajahn hopes this talk will encourage us to read the suttas and become inspired from the word of the Buddha himself.

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The Middle Way is the term the Buddha used to refer to the Noble Eightfold Path – a practice avoiding extremes of austerities and sensual indulgence.

Ajahn Brahmali discusses The Middle Way in regards to the Buddha’s own practice and also our own meditation practice.

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Ajahn Brahmali encourages us to look at what the Buddha actually taught by reading the suttas; the word of the Buddha. Ajahn recommends we begin by reading what is inspiring, enjoyable and really captures our attention such as the similes. To inspire us to go and read the suttas Ajahn reads to us some of the similes of the Buddha from the Buddhist discourses.

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Ajahn Brahmali discusses the difference between common sensual pleasure and spiritual pleasure. Ajahn explains how sensual pleasure is fleeting and susceptible to many external conditions out of our control, while spiritual pleasure is longer lasting and is something we can directly affect.

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Ajahn explains the importance of being relaxed, patient and enjoying yourself in meditation. Ajahn points out that being relaxed and patient is the opposite of the will of the mind, the doing activity of the mind and it is an aspect of letting go.

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Ajahn Brahmali offers a practical approach to understanding the Buddha's teaching of non-self, and explains how to use this understanding in our Buddhist practice.

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Is devotion an important part of the path?

Ajahn Brahmali looks at different religions perspectives on the role of devotion and discusses the role and uses of devotion in Buddhist practice.

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Ajahn Brahmali talked to us about happiness and comfort before and during our meditation.  Meditation should not be a task, a duty, something we have to do.  We need to be patient with ourselves and allow ourselves to become peaceful, comfortable and happy to be in that moment.  A positive attitude [not forced], comfortable position and being happy will make for a good meditation.

After our guided beginners meditation Ajahn used his wit, humor and experience to answer our questions.  In answering our questions, Ajahn had us all on the edge of our seats for the rest of the evening.

All to soon it was time to go.

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Ajahn Brahmali reflects on the idea of Right View (Samma-ditthi); the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Ajahn looks at how Right View is a very powerful foundation and drive for our whole Buddhist practise. Ajahn talks about how to develop Right View and also enhance our confidence in the Buddha and our teachers.

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The Buddha talks about the whole spiritual path as an act of purification. Ajahn Brahmali offers an inspiring talk on purifying our mind of defilements, such as anger and ill-will because he says ‘one of the main problems on the spiritual path is the problem of anger.’

Ajahn offers ways to overcome anger so we can unblock the natural beauty of our mind. And he helps us to understand what purification actually means by sharing with us Buddhist similes and examples of people who have purified the mind.

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Ajahn Brahmali discusses the importance placed on generosity by the Buddha, how we can develop generosity and how this quality of mind supports our meditation practice.

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Ajahn Brahmali teaches that when you keep the 5 or 8 precepts, you are following in the footsteps of the Buddha and his great disciples. Ajahn instructs us to give ourselves a sense of uplift by reminding ourselves we are doing something very good with our life. Doing this gives rise to joy in your meditation.

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Ajahn Brahmali explores the Buddhist idea of freedom of choice and will. Ajahn looks closely at the connection between the Buddhist idea of freedom that is freedom from suffering or problems in life, compared to freedom of choice or will. Ajahn also looks at how our choices and intentions affect us.

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Ajahn Brahmali reflects on the meaning of Secular Buddhism, the need for it and whether Buddhism’s really a religion in the first place. Ajahn takes a look at how Buddhism has changed and adapted in western culture and the risks of Buddhism changing too much.

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What if this is your last meditation?  Ajahn Brahmali begins by giving a short Dhamma talk on the skilful ways of establishing yourself in the present moment. Ajahn teaches us that by contemplating death, thoughts about past and future fade away. Ajahn suggests to contemplate death at the beginning of the meditation to remind us that the past and future are irrelevant and help remove restlessness and tiredness.

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What is the Buddha’s advice to lay Buddhists?

Ajahn repeats some of the Buddha’s teachings he gave to laypeople and talks of the benefits of living life well. Ajahn begins by looking at the distinction between what the Buddha taught to laypeople and monastics. Ajahn covers many topics such as morality, generosity, kindness, solitude practise and meditation.

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Ajahn Brahmali gives an introduction about how sila, contentment and support in your spiritual life help to remove meditation obstacles and ensure good progress.

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Ajahn Brahmali gives a talk on the importance of the Sangha or monastic community in Buddhism. Ajahn considers the Sangha’s purpose or role in Buddhism, as well as why they matter and the Buddha’s reasons for making the monastic order.

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Ajahn Brahmali elaborates on the Buddha's teaching that it is attachment that causes suffering and letting go is the cause for happiness. Ajahn points out that attachments are part and parcel of being a human being. Ajahn explains why attachments lead to suffering and how we can remove and reduce our attachments to that there is less suffering when impermanence comes round and tears these things away from us, which eventually it must do.

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On the actual day of Vesak (birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha) in 2010, Ajahn Brahmali gives a teaching on the life and qualities of the Buddha and how his example can be an inspiration for our own practice. Ajahn reminds us that the person who sees the Buddha, also sees the Dhamma, and the person who sees the Dhamma, also sees the Buddha.

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