B1 Intermediate UK 3458 Folder Collection
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Yes, whatever is the main task at hand,
that's what you are supposed to be aware of.
Next question. Please ask retreatants to
look out for one another if there's a
missing person, if they suspect he's missing,
please let us know. Two retreatants
were lost in the forest this afternoon.
Fortunately, a neighbour drove them back
to Jhana Grove. [laughter] Really?
Who was lost in the forest?
You can't get lost, there's a big fence around here.
You walked through the fence. Now this
is the reason why we have like precepts,
like a fence. [laughter] If you go over that
fence and break your precepts, if you
do naughty things, how far did you get, how far?
Cos the only property out there, is a prison
and if you walk into there [laughter]
you'll be stuck there for years. [laughter]
(Voice from background : It's quite far)
Okay, now listen, there is a fence around here,
so don't go through it. You know why we put
a fence there? So you don't go through it.[laughter]
So stay within the fence and you can't get lost.
Okay. Oh dearie me [laughter]
Does an Arahant ever get angry or become irritated?
No! [laughter] Now that's one way you can tell
if someone's enlightened or not. They
get irritated or angry, of course they're not
enlightened. Then you all know that, of course, okay, is
that story, happens through meditation? About the monk who went onto the
island to live alone, to become a fully
enlightened monk. He asked his abbot, he said,
"Look you got many monks here. Out, far
is an island in the middle of the lake
where no one ever goes, perfect for solitude.
I'll build a simple hut and all I ask,
all I ask, is once a week, get one of the
attendants to row across to the island
to leave me supplies for the week. Just simple things,
rice and a few vegetables. And he can
go back afterwards, so I can live in solitude."
And the abbot said, "Okay."
So for three years, that monk lived in
perfect solitude. Just once a week, the
attendant would come to make sure he
was okay and have enough things to eat,
and any other sort of medicines or stuff
he needed. And so after 3 years in perfect
seclusion, he decided he was enlightened, an
Arahant, perfectly free of all anger and
all wants. So he thought "what should I do next?
How do you let people know that you're enlightened?"
So the next time the attendant came over in
a boat, he asked the attendant, "Can I please
have some parchment, a pen and some ink.
I want to write some calligraphy", because
in the Chinese tradition, the way that you
write those characters, is a sign of how
advanced you are. And what you say can
raise your attainments. So one week later,
the parchment, the ink and the quill pen
came and then, as the attendant went away,
the monk sat in deep meditation, preparing himself
to write the words of an enlightened being.
When he came out of meditation, he picked
up the pen and dipped it in ink and wrote
with exquisite strokes. The diligent monk,
alone for 3 years is no longer moved by the
4 worldly winds, which in Buddhism means,
you've cracked, you're an enlightened person.
And he let the parchment dry and he waited,
waited for the attendant to come the next week. When the
attendant came, he had the scroll neatly
rolled up, tied by a little ribbon and said,
"Give this to your abbot." And then he relaxed
because he imagined once the abbot saw
the calligraphy and the message, the claim
to enlightenment, imagine what would happen next?
Maybe become an abbot of an important monastery
somewhere, maybe that scroll be hung up
for monks in the future to be inspired by it.
And the days went by and the attendant came back
and gave what looked like his old scroll
back to him. He wondered, "Did you give
it to the abbot?" "Yes, this is what the abbot
gave you back." So with excitement, he
opened up that scroll. It was his scroll
with his calligraphy on it. But on top of
the first line, 'The diligent monk', the abbot
had written in red ball point pen, 'Fart'.[laughs]
What? The next line, 'is longer moved'. No,
'The diligent monk alone for 3 three years',
there was another 'fart', this time in capital letters.
And the next one, 'The diligent monk is no longer moved',
there was a 'fart' with an exclamation mark on it.
And the last line, 'by the four worldly winds',
a big 'fart', capital letters, exclamation
marks and underlined. And that monk was
so upset. This was a calligraphy of an Arahant
and it's been spoilt by this, you know
these people do graffiti all over the world,
by the stupid incompetent abbot. He spoiled this.
He doesn't know enlightenment when it is
in front of his fat nose. He was so upset
and called the attendant, "Take me back."
And so the attendant had to row him back to
the monastery. And he stormed into the abbot's
office, he slammed the parchment on the table,
"Look at this, what have you done to my
beautiful parchment!" And the abbot was calm
and he slowly unrolled the parchment,
stood up and read it out to the monk.
"The diligent monk, alone for 3 years
is no longer moved by the four worldly
winds. Yet, monk, four little farts have
blown you clean across the lake." [laughter]
That's only little winds. [laughter]
And the monk realised, "Oh god, I'm not
enlightened after all" [laughter] and went
back and meditated some more. And that is
a traditional way we try and find out if someone's
enlightened. If someone comes up and says,
they are fully enlightened. I'll tell them
it's impossible for females to become enlightened.[laughter]
They go, "What?! What do you mean?!"
Sorry, you're not enlightened, you failed the test. [laughs]
We'll do anything to try and
upset them. That's the best way you can find out
whether you're enlightened or not. So they get angry, if
they don't doesn't mean enlightened. If
they do get angry, they're certainly not.
Venerable sir, please read the questions
slowly [laughter]. Your angmo English is
hard to catch by the China man, hehe. [laughter]
I will read the question slowly if you write
them slowly. [laughter] How can you read
something like this slowly? It is so
small, you got a .. Dear Ajahn, thank you for being so
inspiring. Just want to share this, I took a
nature walk today and then I realised
that I'd wandered off too far. Oh, no.
I finally spotted Jhana Grove to my very,
very far right, looking rather small.
There was no track leading through the trees
and thick brambles. I just went in the general
direction, parting and parting away with
many tall brambles without being able
to see further ahead, but finally did
come to a clearing but still with no view
of Jhana Grove. I walked in the general direction
I remembered and lo behold I found the Buddha,
a lovely statue in a quiet sitting place.
That's the secret Buddha Garden. So it's not
that far, it is within the fence.[laughter]
So don't go too far. [laughter]
So I thought to myself, if you are on the
right path you can't really get lost. [laughter]
Exactly. Now remember in that book, "The Art of
Disappearing", have you read that book? In the preface, I told you
to get lost. But I didn't mean in the forest. [laughter]
Dear Ajahn Brahm, what is nama rupa? What about
the 5 elements, earth, wind, etc? How is the
nama rupa and the 5 elements linked to
meditation? Thank you Ajahn Brahm.
Nama rupa is just one way of looking at
the objects of consciousness. In particular
regarding the 5 skandhas which make up the
body and the mind. The first skandha is the body rupa,
it's called. And then the other 4 skandhas
has got to do with mind. Things like
vedana that's the feeling of happiness or
pain associated with each one of the 6 senses.
And there's perception, there is what we call
?? formations which include thoughts and will
and that's nama. And the consciousness is the
fifth. So consciousness and nama rupa, the
Buddha said, those 2 lean against each like
2 sheaves of reeds, using agricultural simile.
So when you got 2 sheaves of reeds leaning
together, that's consciousness and nama rupa. ,You take one
of those away, the other one falls over.
So basically, you can't have consciousness
without something to be conscious of.
And when you start to be conscious of,
there's no consciousness. That's nama rupa
and the, and the, consciousness. And the 5 elements, usually
it's usually the 4 elements, you can always
add few other elements onto it if you like, earth,
wind, fire and water. That was just the old
way they understood, know, rupa, body, stuff.
Now, that's that past that's used by the 4 elements,
because now if you've ever done science,
there're quarks, there's Higgs Boson, there's
all sorts of stuff out there. And Higgs Boson,
is that earth, fire, water or air? It's none of
those. So you can use the earth, fire,
water and whatever else is, but you don't really need to
these days, just you know, stuff.
Dear Ajahn, I have had a few experience when
I'm feeling quite still and very contented
with my breath, when I feel tear drops
forming at the corner of my eyes. Can you
please help me understand this?
If you feel tear drops, if it's happy, it's supposed to
happen. It's a form of piti, joy.
So you cry from joy. You could be crying
because you're sitting so long in here[laughter]
and your legs hurt like hell. You could
be crying because of the old jokes,
oh, not that one again. [laughter]
You could be crying because of the bad
chanting. [laughs] Whatever it is, but anyway,
if it happens, let it happen. Cry, it's good for you.
Dear Ajahn, sometimes when we wake up from
sleep, the mind is awake but the body is not.
I can't feel the body, is it similar to jhana? [laughs]
No, no, you can't get jhana that easy.
So, yeah, your body is quiet and relaxed
and your mind is waking up but when it's
jhana, it's incredible bliss. Bliss better than
sex, so when you wake up, is that better than
sex? [laughter] If it is, you're weird.
So incredible happiness and bliss in jhanas.
Dear Ajahn, sometimes when I get into deep
meditation, very still and blissful, Good, I thought I saw the nimittas
but I realised that the stream of light
seem to be coming from outside. I felt
my eyes not totally shut. Why is that so?
Look, it's very hard for you to see light
streaming in from outside inside this hall.
You have to be looking up for a start and the right
place if there's any sun coming up here.
So if it's in this hall, that was a nimitta,
nothing else. I notice some tradition
taught meditation with the eyes open,
looking downward. What's your view on that,
wouldn't it be more difficult to focus on the breath?
Exactly. So the whole idea is allowing the
5 senses to disappear. The easiest way is to
close your eyes. I mentioned yesterday or
day before, about, in Zen retreats, you look at
the wall with your eyes opened but still that's
another way. It's not as good as closing your eyes.
In some tradition,they ask you to keep
your eyes open just so you don't fall asleep.
But you still fall asleep anyway, [laughs] it's
a waste of time. [laughs]So please close your eyes.
In most traditions, they always have the
eyes closed. Someone's drawn a cartoon.
I see, it's on the other side, they just
traced it, oh.
I thought I progressed in my meditation today
because for the first time I couldn't feel
my hands. But why is it that I could still
feel my legs, it's just that my hands were numb?
You're getting there, start with your hands,
then you get your legs, eventually then your mouth, and you
shh, not talk any more. [laughter]
So it's starting, very good.
When, while meditating it felt like the room
was lighted as if someone lit up the room.
It was for a very moment and then the light
faded quickly. It happened twice in the last
3 days. What could that be or maybe someone
has switched on the lights?
Very unlikely, there, these are the first bits,
nimitta comes up, now, it's like, like a sheet of light,
everything is bright and then,eventually, it focusses on
just one nice bright spot. That's good,
it's working, that's what's supposed to happen.
It's like your eyes are closed and you should
know, if you want to open one eye, it's
totally dark. Or as Claire does, I gave her
the Singapore Airlines, um, eye shades,
and if you have any doubts, put those eye
shades on, and then you'll know for absolute
certainty that this is not light from
outside, it has to be a nimitta.
I got a few more of those if anyone needs them.
Dear Ajahn, after 3 days I still cannot
sit still, what should I do?
Go home. [laughter] No, don't go home.
If Dania's not here, but what, we can,
if you can't sit still, we'll get some
string and tie you up [laughter] which is the
chair so you got no choice, sit still.[laughs]
Don't try to sit still. You can sit still
when you are not trying when it just happens
naturally. When you're watching a movie,
can you sit still? So why can't you sit
still when you are meditating? So,
what you can do is, all these different
types of meditation, what's happening is
your thoughts is usually driving you to be
restless. So just be, make peace, be kind and
be gentle, follow all the advice, so don't try
and fight this but say, "Welcome, restlessness"
like the monster who came into the emperor's
palace. Little by little over the next
couple of days, you'll find you'll
calm down and you'll be able to sit
still for longer and longer and longer.
You don't need to sit still all day
but just maybe half an hour a day or
couple of half hour sessions. Don't push it
too much and gradually get into stillness.
Dear Ajahn, body scan meditation, can I
request a favour from you just to guide us through for a body
scan meditation please, thank you.
Sometimes, people ask the guided meditations
but it is difficult to do in this context
when you've got interviews to do and other
stuff going on. Because in the mornings,
we have our chanting and other stuff and
some people like to sit quietly.
So if you want to do a body scan meditation,
a guided one, I'm sure that somebody's got sort of an
Iphone you can put a sort of, an ear adapter in
and get it downloaded so you can hear it
yourself. It's okay to sit here just listening
to a guided meditation through an ear phone.
So that's the best way of doing it.
If you haven't got a recording of the
body scan meditation, I'm sure that Dania
can get one for you. Sorry? [voice from background] on youtube, yeah.
so you can sort of download that and
you all got your gizmos here
and get sort of a, little earphone,
they can plug it in there and have your own.
Dear Ajahn, I am not sure whether I have intestinal
problems or maybe it is the amount of cheese
I'm eating. But for the last couple
of days I've been farting a lot. [laughter]
If you're farting a lot, please sit at the
back, [laughter] so there's no one behind you. [laughter]
It's fine when I'm alone in my cottage,
I just let it go. However the problem
arises when I'm meditating in the hall,
do I just let it go and fart away or
do I have to suck it back in? [laughter]
Does the ?? apply to farting as coughing? Thank you. [laughter]
Get a plug [laughter]. No, it's natural that
people pass wind. So just sit in the back there
somewhere so that you know, there's no one
right behind you and that way I'll find
out who the ones are. [laughter]
Jerry [laughter]. No it's just part of nature,
so a lot of time people don't notice it after a couple of seconds,
it's just part of life.
Is the greater letting go the letting go of self?
Is underlying all our grasping and love,
happiness, excess pleasure, etc
the grasping of a self? Yeah, but who grasps
the self. So, sometimes it's very hard
to let go of the self. It's like eating your
own head. How can you eat your own head?
That was the simile from Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist.
Now to eat your own head is impossible to do.
The same way of letting go of yourself
is impossible to do because you do it.
So what happens is your idea of self fades
away, you don't let it go, you don't do anything,
cos all doing creates more self.
These are some deeper teachings here,
that if you strive in meditation, you are
actually reinforcing and strengthening your
idea of self. That's where the sense of self
comes from, all of your achievements,
all your trying, all of the great things you've
done, that makes who you are. Which is why
when we struggle and strive and try to make
things happen, we are going against the
stream of dhamma, you're making a bigger self.
But when you let go, when you just make peace,
be kind, be gentle, and not even trying to attain
things, just being here. If jhana comes, it
comes, if it doesn't, it's all the same to me.
I'm just sitting under the mango tree
perfectly still. If that's how you meditate,
your sense of self gets less and less and less.
It'll vanish. That was the whole reason we wrote the
book "Art of Letting Go" oh, "Art of Disappearing". Sorry.
Just basically you disappear, that's how
you let go of self. It disappears,
it vanishes. And any of you who know
the Pali, sometimes the translations
which people have done, need to be adjusted
to see the full picture. They have this word
which you might read many times
'Viraga'. It's the whole thing of you get insight,
you see things as they truly are, from stillness
you see things as they truly are then
you get this dispassion, and then 'viraga', things
fade away, and then nirodha, they cease.
And sometimes the word viraga is sometimes
called dispassion but it has another
meaning, fading away, which is the right meaning
because it's the way that you fade, you
disappear. In the same way that you experience
your hands disappear, they just fade
away, not just one point and suddenly
they're gone, just, they fade, it's a process,
they're not there any more.
In deep meditation you fade away, you are
not there any more. That's how you realise
non-self, you don't let it go, you don't
put it down, just holding it and just, it's gone,
it disappears. That's why stillness is so
important. Stillness is the cause of
things vanishing. When you're still you don't
do anything and you vanish. It was, I saw
this when I was a student in Cambridge in about
1970. This was English graffiti in Cambridge
University. When they had graffiti in those days,
it actually meant something and it was
usually very wise. And this I saw with my
own eyes on the wall of the Philosophy Department
in Cambridge. The first line was "To do is
to be" Rene Descertes, the French philosopher.
It was then, "I think therefore I am", he also refined that
"To do is to be" and underneath that was
written "To be is to do" Jean-Paul Sartre,
the French existential philosopher, that's
what being was. So the first one is,
"To do is to be" by Rene Descertes,
the second one was turning it around "To be is to do"
by Jean-Paul Sartre and that was summed up,
so brilliantly by the modern American philosopher,
"Do be do be do" Frank Sinatra [laughter]
That's a brilliance [laughs] but the first
part of that was actually showing that your
existence, who you think you are is so
caught up with what you do. Now, you're
a doctor, and say, that's who I am, it's not who
you are, that's just what you do. You see that's who we
think we are. I'm a monk, cos I monk around [laughs]
that's what I do. So you can actually see
that when you do things, that's who you are.
So what happens when you don't do anything,
when you are still? You actually vanish,
your identity disappears which is one of
the reasons why it's a really tough thing
to do nothing. It's like you're vanishing, like
you don't exist any more, you are disappearing,
that's what's supposed to happen.
It's difficult but it's great fun.
Because it's so happy when you're not around. [laughs]
Dear Ajahn, I notice the constriction in
my throat during meditation at times. Perhaps
it's some sort of energy blockage. Is
such a phenomenon indicative of anything in
particular? Just probably you've got
a sore throat like many people have. Take a lozenge. [laughs]
There's nothing indicative when you've got a
constriction in your throat. This is pollen
season now in this part of the world, so
it's a lot of hay fever and maybe and
sometimes people don't have hay fever anywhere
else in the world but they get it when they
come here. Be careful it may be just
an irritation in the respiratory system.
And just take some hot water, just relax
rest, it usually goes away. That's nothing to do
with meditation.
Dear Ajahn, when the breath is more refined,
the body may need to swallow saliva,
how to prevent it? Thank you Ajahn.
Just swallow and don't make a big problem of it.
Because sometimes, you think, should I swallow
should I not swallow, then it just goes on forever. [laughs]
And now,can feel your saliva now? I can feel mine.
As soon as you start talking about it, then
it becomes a problem. Do you have problems
do you wake up in the middle of the night
when you swallow saliva? No, just swallow it, an
automatic process, it doesn't bother anybody.
So the point is, just don't make it a big problem,
and it's natural and it won't disturb your
meditation at all. If that doesn't work,
we can send Dania in to get one of these
things from the dentist, [laughter]
which will suck saliva out so you can
meditate without any problems at all.[laughter]
So if you're really having trouble, we'll get one
of those for you. [laughter]
Next question. The Buddha taught that we let go
of our senses. Does that mean persons who are
hearing impaired, visually impaired or mute have
a higher chance of gaining enlightenment
or even faster, going into jhanas?
That's actually a really, really good question.
As many people know, say if you are blind,
you are visually impaired, your
other senses become incredibly refined.
So when one sense has gone, that part of the
brain is taking up with the other senses. Yeah,
maybe you may have problem with seeing things but
you can hear, you're so incredibly sensitive.
Or you know, if you are, if you are deaf, sometimes your hands are
just so sensitive, you can actually feel
everything with your body. So basically
there is no advantage or disadvantage, know, if one of your
senses is impaired. You don't gain anything,
you don't lose anything, so it's all the same,
no matter you've only got 4 senses.
Many of the tree trunks in the bush along
the walk to Bodhiyana Monastery are blackened.
When did the bushfire pass through?
Oh, actually this time last year, it was
very dry and there was an arsonist in the
area who's just going around lighting fires, about 13 or
14 in this area, never caught. So we
don't know exactly who it was. But they're
only small fires, so they didn't do
too much damage, in the sense it actually
helps the bush here because if you did a little
bushfire, burn this time last year,
it means there's not so much fuel, safer. So, we didn't really
mind so much. It's part of living in the
Australian forest, so sometimes things burn.
So this time of the year, because it's a
very wet year and you've seen some of the rain
in the first few days, it's really, really safe right now.
I seem to have an internal time keeper in
meditation. I seem to always be prompted to end it at 30 minutes.
Why is it and how can I deal with it?
It's true you do have internal clocks and
that's why that you can actually say to
yourself "I will meditate for 1 hour"
and if you really listen to what you say and
mean it, that's how long you will meditate for.
For those who've never tried this before,
I invite you to try this tonight.
Don't know what time you want to wake up tomorrow morning,
probably 5 to 7, oh no, no, 6.40, sorry.[laughs]
Say you want to wake up at 6.40 to have
a breakfast, you can set your alarm to 6.45,
just to make you feel safe and not afraid
and then when you go to sleep, just tell
yourself "I will wake up at 6.40. I will wake up at 6.40.
I will wake up at 6.40" You say that to yourself
3 times clearly and listen with as much
mindfulness as you can and you set your
alarm to 6.45 just in case. And you'll find you'll wake in the
morning, you don't know what time it is,
the alarm hasn't gone off and you look
at your clock, it'll be one or two minutes
either side of 6.40. It's amazing just how your body
clock can wake you up when you tell it to.
And of course, you know, you want to get the morning
chanting for a change, just say, "I will wake up at
a quarter to 6, I will wake up at a quarter to 6,
I will wake up at quarter to six" to get ready
for the chanting at 6. And you'll be surprised
you'll just wake up without an alarm.
So please try that because it just shows
us how this body clock works.
And all you need to do is to make the suggestion,
listen to it and it works. So for those of you doing,
this person, 30 minutes, and that's all you
can do, programme your body clock,
this is just a habit, that's all you have.
Just tell yourself when you sit down, you close
your eyes, you get yourself reasonable relaxed and
you tell yourself, "I will meditate for 40 minutes.
I will meditate for 40 minutes. I will meditate
for 40 minutes." Tell that to yourself and
usually you find that you'll go for 40 minutes. That's how
you can condition your mind.
You mentioned that thoughts coming up is discontent
and unhappiness in meditation. Today I
thought of friends and I was happy and
grateful. What does that mean?
Yeah, you can think of sex, you can
think of your favourite movie, that will
make you happy as well, so you don't have
any other thoughts. That is not learning
how to be still. So if you think of your
friends and happy and grateful or
you might think of, actually you might think of your favourite food,
it makes you happy at first but very disappointed later. [laughs]
So there's all sorts of ways of borrowing
happiness, and this is really what we're doing.
This is what the Buddha said that the sensory
desire is just the borrowing happiness and
you have to pay it back with interest afterwards.
So any fantasy or stuff, yes it stops you
being sleepy, but, you know you have to pay
that back later on. So it's much better to try
and be quiet. Yes you can think and be happy,
but it's only borrowing happiness, so if
you can be still and happy to be still,
then that's the true happiness of the mind.
When the breath is more refined, how to
programme the knower stronger than the doer?
When the breath is more refined, just let
the breath be. So when the breath is
very, very fine, is very, very soft, hopefully
it will start to be a happy, beautiful breath.
This is a usual way it occurs. The breath calms
down and because you're not doing very much,
the energy in your mind goes into knowing,
is not wasted on doing. So the knowing, the
mindfulness gets stronger, it gets empowered,
it gets brilliant and with that comes a natural
form of happiness. Have you ever been depressed?
If you are depressed, nothing tastes nice.
Doesn't matter how much effort the cook puts
into your lunch, urgh, it doesn't taste nice,
and the sun is just too hot, the rain is
too wet, Ajahn Brahm talks the same old jokes,
I'm fed up, the meditation cushion is too
lumpy, the beds are just too cold or whatever.
When you're depressed you can't enjoy anything.
And the world is grey for you but it just means
you got low energy. But when you build up
energy in the mind, everything is delicious
and beautiful. The rain is brilliant,
the cold, aw, it's so wonderful, it's just so
embracing and invigorating, the cold, Ajahn Brahm's
jokes, oh, the golden oldies, [laughter]
I remember the first time I heard that, and oh,
and that was such beautiful memories,
and everything is wonderful when you got lots of
energy in the mind. So this is what usually happens when
the knower becomes strong, it's just too happy which
means you just can't do anything.
You just, remember when you listen to great
music or you listen to your movie, you don't
do anything because you're satisfied with
happiness. It is the happiness stops the
doing and stops the thinking. Please cultivate
the happiness in meditation and don't be depressed.
That's why one of the greatest ways of overcoming
depression is meditation. Why, why does that work?
Because you're being still and peaceful,
that means the energy is allowed to flow
to where it really belongs, in the mind.
You wake up and everything is bright and brilliant again.
Dear Ajahn, is it craving if we respectfully
request for hot Asian lunch? [laughs]
These are Asian lunches, Cauc-Asian lunches.[laughter]
You don't know what it was like to be, when
my 9 years I was a monk in Thailand.[laughs]
I never saw any Western food, never a slice of
bread, never a chip, nothing. All I ever saw
was Asian food. [laughter] You know what happened, it was
actually after 7 years. After 7 years I
went to England to visit my family. My mother said,
"Oh, you've been in Thailand, I'll make you
rice and curry." Oh, no,[laughter]
that, that's so many years and this is absolutely true.
When I went to UK after 7 years as a monk,
only once did I get chips and that was from
the Thai man. All of the other people thought,
oh, you know, must like rice and curry. You lived there for so long. [laughter]
And I was just dreaming of [laughs].
So remember it's just 4 elements that's
all you're eating. [laughs] But we are actually
trying. I did hear some of you wanting some
Asian. But actually the cook is supposed to be from Singapore.
I don't know why she's not making Singapore food.
It must mean your karma is not ripe yet. [laughter]
But at least you're getting a breakfast of congee
every day, is there enough of that?
Very good. [laughs] It'll come, you'll
get an Asian lunch soon. You can understand
how I felt. But itis true because sometimes you
get used to certain type of food. But what about poor Priya, she's Sri Lankan.
She doesn't get anything, I saw that English food or
Caucasian food or Asian food but not Sri Lankan food,
poor Priya [laughs]. But anyway, we're trying our very best,
we're try and get some Asian food too.
Meditation is good and we all know it but
how do we keep the practice sustainable after
we leave this wonderful place and return
to the real world? You haven't left yet. [laughter]
It's another week before you leave. [laughter]
Stop being so far ahead of yourself. [laughter]
You can ask that question on the last hour, last day.
Thank you for your utmost patience and gentleness
with us. Could you please advise us how to
develop the genuine or something beautiful
breath when it appears? You just let it be.
Ah, on the back of T-shirts once it gets
warm when people don't cover themselves up
with all sorts of blankets and stuff, you will see
the words "Make peace, be kind, be gentle."
That's all you ever need to do at any stage
of the meditation. Just make peace with the
delightful breath or whatever else you
you're experiencing. If you make peace with it
rather than changing it, you're making peace
which means peace is growing. You get more peace
and more peace and more peace. And the meditation 's
just peace upon peace upon peace. Many moments of
making peace and you have the house of peace.
Just like this hall, many, many bricks,
all laid one by one by the builders. Now
we have a hall of bricks, just like you
have the house of peace, by laying one brick
of peace after the other. That's how we make it.
So you just make peace with whatever you
experience. Be kind. Open the door of your heart
to the delightful breath. This is good enough,
what more do you want? Some people haven't
even been able to watch the present moment.
So, just, you are doing well. Enjoy and
just be so gentle. I'm just going to go very,
very slowly. This is good enough for me.
So the opposite of gentle is be violent.
Come on! Get on to the next stage, stop
messing around! So please don't do that,
just always make peace, be kind, be gentle.
And that's advice for any stage of meditation
and it works.
A lay person while on her way to give
food dana to an Arahant, she saw a hunger
streaking and dying beggar. Who should she
give the food to, the beggar or the Arahant?
Who would you give it to?
Put your hand up, who's for the beggar? Okay.
Who's for the Arahant? Aw,poor Arahant. [laughter]
Okay. [laughter] Because how do you it's
the Arahant, that beggar could be the Arahant.
Who knows? So when the Buddha said is, give where
heart finds the greatest satisfaction. So a lot of
you, doesn't matter about the Arahant, if
you give where your heart finds satisfaction,
because someone really needs it, that's a wonderful
place to give. You get much more joy out of that.
And sometimes you give to all these people
and sometimes, I give that alms, I give to the beggar
because I had that experience myself when I was in
Thailand. [chuckle] We used to eat this terrible,
terrible food. Asian food would have been nice. [laughter]
It wasn't Asian food, it was just rice and
frogs or beetles, you know, egg curry, no it was ant egg curry, red ant
curry as well. We had red ant curry and
anything which slithered on the ground,
we ate, literally. And so, one day,
having eaten this disgusting food, I was sitting
in Ajahn Chah's monastery, about 50 monks
there waiting for our daily meal of rice
and rotten fish, you know how is it, disgusting stuff.
I don't know how I actually ate that, in those days.
But anyway, that's all you had so you ate it.
And a car came and it was one of these
pick up trucks with a train in the back, full of
pots of food. It had come from the city,
which meant this was nice, nice Asian
food, stuff you could eat. And the man got
out of the car, came into the dining hall
and just asked "Is Ajahn Chah here?" He was
actually out that day. He went to do a blessing
at someone's house. So I said, "No, he's not here."
So the man got back into his car and drove
off away. [laughter]. That, I would never
forget that forever. You can see the food,
you can smell the food but it was driving
away. [laughter] Instead we had rice and
rotten fish again. [laughter] Why did he do that?
Cos he thought, give it to an Arahant is where
you get all of the good merit and give to
beggars like me, that's how I felt, [laughs]
was no merit. Of course you give it to the person who needs it.
That's what I would do.
Hope this is not a stupid question. There is
no such thing as a stupid question. Sometimes
if a person ask a question and it is wrongly put,
you may feel stupid for a second but
if you don't ask the question, you are stupid
for the rest of your life. Remember that.
People say that if you meditate, it is inevitable
that you are able to see spirits whether you
want to or not. Is it true?
Unfortunately, it's not true. Many people
meditate and they can't see any spirits at all.
Venerable Sariputta was one of those, fully
enlightened, very wise but he could not see
any spirits. But if you do see spirits you are
very lucky. Spirits are very, very helpful.
They know lottery numbers [laughter], they
know the stock market, they can help you
when somebody, when there's going to be car crash,
you can avoid the place. Oh, they're
really, really very helpful. So don't be scared. [chuckle]
That's why the story of the tsunami ghost.
It's a long time since I told that story.
This was, just after the boxing day tsunami,
this was a Thai girl married to an Englishman,
an angmo in the town of, where was it, Krabi, which was
just maybe hundred kilometres outside of Phuket.
And she woke up in the middle of the night,
after a dream, where she dreamt of seeing
this Caucasian girl with long blonde hair,
but her clothes all ripped, gashed and bleeding.
And the Caucasian girl came to her in a dream and said,
"I'm dead. I am dead. Help me, I am dead."
Do I sound like a ghost? [laughter]
[Off the lights - voice from background] Off the,
yeah, go on, turn off the lights, come on. [laughter]
Very good. I'm dead, help me...
and she said, "I was on Phi Phi Island when the
big wave hit. I'm dead, my cell phone is
at the bottom of the ocean. My mother is
trying to call me right now. Help me. Please
my body is now in the temple in Phuket
where they are keeping many of the dead bodies.
This is my name, this is the temple. Help me.
I want a Buddhist funeral. Cremate me but
don't let my mother know or come. So don't let
my mother come until after the cremation.
I don't want my mother to see me like this,
and tell my mother, here is the number."
And after giving a telephone number,
is when the Thai girl woke up. It was
one of those dreams which was so clear,
she remembered everything. She woke up
her husband, told him everything and her
husband was quite shocked. Now, that number was
a London telephone number. So he told his
wife, "Give the number a call." She said, "No way, you call".
So he had to call that number. Someone, it was the
middle of the night in Thailand, late in
the evening in London, a woman picked up
that phone. It was the mother. She had a
daughter with that name. And the mother
said, "I knew that she was dead." She could feel
it and she heard the news about the big
tsunami. She knew her daughter was on Phi Phi Island.
She said, "I knew. Thank you for telling me. go ahead."
And so the next day they drove to Phuket,
found the temple which the ghost had named,
went inside and saw the body, exactly as
she had seen in the dream. And because the
Thai authorities were trying to get rid of
the bodies as soon as possible, they
gave permission to cremate that body.
They cremated it and the next day,
the mother arrived from Heathrow to pick
up the ashes, thanking them for what they
had done. And then they went back to Krabi. A couple
of nights later, she had another dream.
The English girl came to see her again.
"Thank youu, thaank, youuu. Loook at me." [laughter]
and she was just so perfectly dressed
and groomed. I think the Thai girl said,
just like she'd been to, like a salon and
got her hair done, her skin was just radiant
like she'd been to a spa and she's wearing this
beautiful white dress. "Thank youu, so much for
what you have done." She said, "I want to help you back."
She gave or the ghost gave the girl, or maybe deva, more like
a deva now, the deva gave the Thai girl
another set of numbers which were not
telephone numbers.[laughs] They were
lottery numbers. She remembered them
and wrote them down when she woke up.
And she put a lot of money on that lottery
number and it won and they made a fortune.
Which is why whenever you see spirits you should
never run away. [laughs] Not until you've
asked them for numbers first.[laughter]
That's a true story. So that sometimes, you should
not be afraid of the ghost, they can help out.
Turn on the lights so I can see the next question.
Oh, upside down that's why I can't read it. Wow.
Why do ghosts always come in the dark?
And the answer is - they don't. Even in
the middle of the day, ghosts come out. ]laughs]
The thing is, in the middle of the day,
you don't notice them. You think it's just
an ordinary person sitting next to you [laughter].
Today 2 people disappeared into the forest.
Are we sure the ones who came back are real? [laughter]
Didn't I tell you when, sometimes ghosts
you can't tell them apart. One of the most
amazing stories in Australia, you don't need
to turn the lights off, was the lady who
married a ghost. It's a true story, well
documented. Are you going to turn the lights off again? [laughter] Okay, yeah, okay.
So this woman was about to
get married. And in the Western tradition,
as in a big church, girl wears white and
the groom is there waiting in the church for her.
But if the wedding, doesn't matter what
time the wedding is, the bride must always
arrive late. It's tradition. Just shows
she's not so keen [laughter]
otherwise husband will take advantage of you.
So even the wedding I did the other day,
it's supposed to be at 3.15 and she didn't
arrive till about 3.30, so made me late.
But the bride arrived late, 5 minutes late
to find that the groom hadn't arrived yet.
And she was really disappointed and also a bit
concerned. Cos sometimes, you know, boys they get
cold feet at the last moment. I don't want to
get married. And so some of the times, you know, their friends
tell them bad jokes about marriage like I told
the other day. But, didn't I tell the joke about
love is blind? I did that one. Okay what
other jokes are there, about the man who said, I always
wanted to marry Mrs. Right and I've finally
found her, that's why I married the right woman.
She's always right and I'm always wrong.[laughter]
There's loads and loads of marriage jokes.
So sometimes the guys get cold feet at the last
moment. So she thought she was going to
be stood up, the guy wasn't going to turn up.
And as the minutes passed by, she was more and
more worried. And there was sense of relief
but also concern when she saw the groom,
the guy she was about to marry, running
down the street towards her. And because
she was pleased to see him, but worried because he
was bleeding and his suit was cut. And he told her
the reason he was late, he was caught in
a car accident. She took one look at him and
said "I'm taking you to the hospital."
"No, no, I'm okay. I want to go through this
marriage. It's really important for me. I want
to marry you." and said, " I feel okay."
So she trusted him. He went into the men's
room, cleaned himself up. And even though they
started late, they went through the marriage.
They were exchanging rings, making their vows,
signing the register, kissing, you know the whole lot.
And after doing all the signing, the kissing,
exchanging rings, the bride and groom went
in the car to the reception, the party they
have afterwards. And as they wanted to have
some together so they went in the car alone.
And she drove because he was still a bit shaky.
And everyone else followed after them on
the way to the reception hall.
People following found the car parked
with the bride sobbing, hysterical and no
sign of the groom, the new husband.
When they calmed her down, they asked "where's he gone?"
And she said, "I was driving the car. He was
sitting next to me and suddenly he just disappeared from
the passenger seat." He just vanished.
They checked afterwards, that spot where
he vanished was the spot where he had died
an hour, two earlier in a fatal car crash.
He died there. And he wanted to get married
so much, he made himself as a ghost. He
went to the marriage and she didn't know.
Even when she kissed him, it was like kissing
a real guy. He signed the register, everything.
So be careful, [laughter] the next time you kiss someone, yeah. [laughter]
He could be ghost. So they just don't come
out at night. Sometimes you can marry one.
So she is Mrs. Ghost now. [laughter]
That's a true story, happened in Australia,
it's weird but that's a true ghost story.
And it's because of his craving and desire to go
through the marriage, that created the solid
body for him enough to go through
that ceremony but only that much. Great story, isn't it?
Dear Ajahn, I believe I got better at being at present
moment awareness, although still interrupted
by thoughts and inner chatter. I almost
do not respond to them at all. However when
I came out of meditation, the present
moment are not very vivid in my memory. Is
that normal? That's quite normal. Later on,
the present moments, because you are not holding on to
them, you're not making them so important,
they don't really stay. What stays in your memory
are very strong moments, trauma moments of
pain and disappointment. Those are things
which stay in your memory or very high bliss
states,they are the things you remember
because they are intense experiences.
Dear Ajahn, would you please share with us
what was Ajahn Chah's teachings which was
misquoted. Ah I know what was one of them.
I know about like jhanas, cos I think it was in
Jack Kornfield's book. I remember once, he asked him about
is jhana important. And he actually wrote
in his book, you know, questions, Ajahn Chah
said "Not really." And Ajahn Chah was always
into jhanas. And some of the earliest talks
he gave, he was always encouraging people to do that.
So I know that was one quote that was misquoted.
But I forget what that book was, which was
badly translated. When we asked the translator,
said, why did you translate it like this?
And he actually said, "Because that's what I think
Ajahn Chah really wanted to say."
So you have to be very careful, whenever
you are translating a book, you know, you have to know
the person first of all, you are translating,
so you know exactly what they mean when they
say things. That's why that maybe you translate
what I say, you have to be someone who's
gone to retreats, someone who's lived me,
so actually you know exactly what I mean,
cos you've heard me say the stories so many times.
Cos otherwise, you know, you're not really translating at
all. You're actually saying you're interpreting
what you think the person meant.
Question 2, This is a modern world, would I be
doing others keen to tell, would I be doing
others keen to do full time injustice if
I were ordained just for a short period.
I'm a female, just for 1 to 2 years?
It's might just do 1 to 2 years of ordaination.
If you can get enlightened in 1 to 2 years, fine.[laughs]
It's like saying I'm going to go to university
for 3 weeks. Would the university let you in?
Would you really learn very much, just going to
university for 3 weeks? You got to go and do
the whole course and why not? It's good being a nun.
Although, you know, that's why we're doing a lot of work, trying
to raise funds for the nuns monastery.
Even the Buddha said that nuns come by things
with difficulty. You just look in Asia,
monks get lots of things. Women get very little.
And you know why? Next time we chant metta
sutta, listen to it. "Whatever living beings
they may be or meeting nuns,[laughter]
let none deceive another, let none, through
anger or ill will which harm upon another",[laughter]
that's why. [laughter] That's why.
Anyway, question 3, since getting a visa is
difficult and Dhammasara's a long waiting list,
is there other monastery I could apply for
practice? What is your recommendation? Thank you very much.
Still, the moment for women is very difficult.
We've got another monastery, nuns' monastery, Santi in Sydney,
which we're repopulating again now. That went
through a bit of difficulty, we're really
trying to establish that as a bhikkuni monastery.
So now the few nuns have gone back there now.
But they had a nice nuns monastery in United States,
but they didn't get much support at all.
And actually the building's got so badly infected
with mold. The health department told them to leave.
So they spent the last rains retreat all over the place,
they had to break the rains. And there's
so many wealthy people in California who
are supposed to be Buddhists. They don't help
the nuns at all. So it's really weird in
United States. So it's tough, that's why
we're working hard to get places for nuns
to live and Australia's a great place.
We got the land, it's pretty easy to get.
We got a good country here so, it's close to
Asia. So you know eventually you'll be able
to come here or maybe when you go, you're
all so kind, you always give donations
and you brought lots of books with you came here,
so please take some land back with you.
We've got lots of land here, so take a
quarter acre back each [laughter] and then
we can have a nuns monastery in Singapore.
Wouldn't it be great?
Dear, next question. Ups and downs of life, challenges,
meditate, positive thinking to move on.
How to end suffering? Should we still have
children and let them suffer?
It's a good question, should we have children?
Is that appropriate thing to do in today's world?
You got climate change, you got wars, is it
good to have children and let them suffer?
You can look upon it in one way, so there's
enough people in this world. But you look at it
another way, so you're giving the opportunity
of a human birth to somebody, so they
can actually get close to the dhamma and
actually maybe, even become a great monk or a
great nun and even help spread the teachings.
So you can look at it both ways, sometimes
it's good to have a child cos you've
given the opportunity of a human life to somebody.
You look at it another way, there's already
enough children in the world. So, know, whichever
way you want to do, it's, you can't really
make a decision there.
Dear Ajahn, what is the significance of the
kathina to the lay person?
It is usually traditionally, it was a way of showing
gratitude to the monks who spent the whole
rains retreat there and also because they've
been meditating really hard or really deeply
for 3 months, there was more chance of getting
Arahants, once returners, non returners and
the Sangha who's just finished the rains
retreat, so more chance of getting
the biggest bang for your bucks [laughs] when you give stuff.
So that's what it usually came from.
But these days it's just the opportunity,
it's supposed to be a fund raiser to get
the building stuff for the next year.
So most of the buildings we get, you know,
come from the kathina ceremony. So all the
stuff which we're doing over the next year,
that's one of the biggest fund raisers at the kathina.
That's why we have a lot of people come here,
they give a lot of donations and that's
where we build the stuff for the next year.
And that's also why, because, know, you guys always
so generous, I want you to go and see where
we spent the money. Cos, you know, sometimes, you know, you give,
you know, you give like the angpows and donation
but you don't know where it goes. Does it
go in Ajahn Brahm's trust fund? Does it go to
buy Rolex watches? Does he live in a penthouse?
Which is why that, on Saturday afternoon,
after lunch, you're all welcome to go and
see where I live. And you are quite free to
rummage around and see if you can find
where I keep my Rolex watches. [laughter]
Now, hiding from you cos I know you're being there.
Where I live is where I live. And the
anagarikas they've been in there many times,
they see how I live and what I do.
So it's not secret and you can actually go
and see the other monks' huts as well.
And that actually gives you inspiration because
we don't spend much money on ourselves.
A lot of the time, the money goes in these other
things like the nuns' monastery, halls,
meditation centres like this, that's where it all goes.
So that you can get some confidence, that you
know it's hard to make money. You work
really hard, and you know, these monks
come along and say, "Can you sort of help out in this
project and that project?" It's really
tough sometimes. You know, sending Lai Peng
and she put this story on the website.
Sometimes, I, did I tell that story
about squeezing the lemon here? Yeah, the
lemon challenge. That's why, I think I told it in Singapore
with a different context. That's like, like in a bar
in Singapore. The barman was a very tough guy,
he was an ex-weight lifter, you know, representing Singapore
in Olympic Games, really, really strong.
You know, he retired and got a bar selling alcohol.
And he had a challenge in his bar. If anybody,
after he squeezed the lemon into a cocktail,
if anyone could take that lemon and squeeze
another 3 drops out, they will get a free drink
or like a hundred dollars. And many people tried,
you know these really big strong guys,
they tried to actually, just squeeze another 3 drops
out of that lemon. They could not do it at all.
Then one day this small Singapore girl,
really thin, came in and she said, "I want to
try the lemon challenge." And they laughed at her.
"You're just such a thin, petite, feminine girl.
You can't squeeze any more drops out of this lemon!"
She said, "Give me a try." And she took that
lemon, squeezed not just 3 drops, 7 drops
came out of that lemon. And everyone was so amazed, they
gave her the prize. They said, "Who are you?"
She said, "I work for Ajahn Brahm on this fund raising." [laughter]
We squeeze and squeeze and squeeze.[laughter]
Angie, okay. The last time I told that story,
I said it was the tax inspectors from Singapore,
squeezing extra out of you people. [laughter]
Then I said, I've always ??? to that.
But If it's a good cause, it's worth doing.
And I want you to see the cause of it
and also you get great joy out of this.
So many of you here actually were the donors
for this place. And many of you came up to me
and said, "Oh, you're so generous and kind
building this beautiful place for us. A nice
hall and you got your own ensuites and beautiful
surroundings. Thank you so much." Don't
thank me. Thank many of the people from Singapore,
Malaysia, Australia as well and other parts
of the world who made this place happen.
Thank yourselves. Well done. It's not just
you who enjoy this place. Hundreds of people
come here every year, thousands of people.
So well done. So when actually you see what you
contribute, it gives you so much happiness
that you know that your 5 dollars here,
10 dollars there, it really works. Yes!
And when you actually spend things on a good
cause and you see it's results, that really, really
makes you happy. So that's really important.
Last one, no, last two. Meditate for all the
goodness to lead a happier life and well being.
How do monks spend long duration alone?
It's really easy. I'm never alone.
When I spent 6 months in solitude, I never
saw another living being for 6 months.
I never spoke to a human being for 6 months.
But I wasn't alone. I was with me. [laughter]
I'm with me all the time. And I never felt
lonely because I'm my best friend.
So when you're by yourself, if you like
yourself, if you've got a good relationship
with yourself, you'll never feel alone.
You're with your best friend. That's why, you
know, I've always done open the door of my
heart to myself, giving myself a hug, looking
at myself in the mirror and smiling. And then
you find you have this beautiful relationship
with yourself. Yeah, you're not the most perfect one,
but you're good enough. You're not the
most perfect girl, the most perfect boy but you
are good enough. Good enough to love, respect
and be a good friend to. When you're a good
friend to yourself, when you're with people
you're relaxed. When you're with yourself,
you're also relaxed, which means solitude,
being in a big crowd, both the same.
Cos sometimes, I look at myself, how many
people in this world has spent 6 months alone,
in solitude? And how many people have sat
in front of audience who's 5,000 and 10,000,
all alone and entertain them for couple of hours?
I do both. This is weird isn't it? You know,
I'm an extrovert. When in front of you,
I tell jokes, Sadhu!, Sadhu!! Sadhu!!, so you know, it's
a bit of an extrovert. But when you're
alone you're an introvert, you can do both with ease.
that's the best thing to be able to do.
Anyway, the last question. Venerable sir,
actually I should actually mention how to
address me appropriately, cos sometimes venerable sir,
sometimes Ajahn Brahm, sometimes, you know,
Bhante. The correct address for me, at this stage of my monastic life,
is his roundness Ajahn Brahm [laughter].
So you say, your roundness, could you please answer
this question? [laughter] Can't stop laughing myself.
Do you think that stillness is the ultimate
key that switches the mind consciousness out
of samsara and the rest of the 7 factors
are just the essential conditions to be ripe?
Yes,actually that is a very profound, that's what the Buddha said.
Samadhi maggo asamadhi comaggo. Samadhi, the
stillness is the path, no stillness is not the path.
Just before the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree
when he was really depressed cos nothing
was working, he remembered the time, under, when he
was a kid under the rose apple tree, he saw
his father doing a ceremony, he got bored stiff,
so he decided to meditate instead got
into jhana. And remembering that time he said,
"Is that the path to enlightenment, that jhana?"
And he realised, actually said, "Yes, that's
the path, that's deep stillness." Many times
the Buddha said that. So yes, it is actually
the essential part, the stillness is the path.
And even you know that there is the decline
of Buddhism. This is in the Kassapa Samyutta,
the 5 reasons for the decline of Buddhism.
And the first one is disrespect to the Buddha,
second, disrespect to the Dhamma,
disrespect to the Sangha, the fourth is disrespect
to the training and the fifth, disrespect to
Samadhi, the stillness. If you don't value the
stillness, the Samadhi, basically the jhanas,
Buddhism declines. Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha,
the training and Samadhi, Kassapa Samyutta.
This is means that the mango will not fall
if the conditions are not ripe no matter how
still we sit. No, no, if you sit very still,
those are the conditions, the mango will fall.
This also means that monk hood is only good
bet of getting the conditions ripe. So for
us lay people, meditation's only to provide a
little side effect of a calm mind.
That's not true cos sometimes it's amazing, you guys
can meditate so still, people in this room,
lay people have achieved jhanas.
And you know, sometimes, it was about a year ago,
it was so unexpected. It was a guy who came on
one of our retreats. He had tattoos all over
him, you know, sort of, really like one of
these ochre Australians, one of the people
you would never think belonged in a Buddhist temple
but belonged in a pub. Just a whole look of him,
said, "What are you doing here?" But when he
came for the interviews, he started describing
what he's experienced, I was amazed, I was stunned,
this guy was getting jhanas. And I don't know
what his background was but you know,
I've been around a long time, I know when
you so you try and fake it, then I know, it's not a jhana.
This guy was the real thing and
the most unexpected which is why that sometimes
you see people wearing white clothes or shaven hair [laughter],
and they look, oh these must be real thing.
And you get some guy who dresses in just
totally inappropriate stuff, they got tattoos and long hair
and maybe piercings in their body and you think,
what's this person doing here? And they go
and meditate and they get it. You don't
know, you can't tell. And lay people they
do get jhanas. So you're not wasting your time here,
otherwise I won't be teaching you.
You know a long time ago, I was one of the
first monks who started teaching jhanas and
I got told off by some of the senior monks,
for doing that. I still remember, one of the
senior monks in England. In England when I was visiting
Amaravati Monastery and I was just going to
the reception area, he was just coming out and he took me aside
and he looked around and said, [whispering]
"Ajahn Brahm thank you for teaching jhanas"
so that no one else would hear. It was almost
like a controversial thing to do.
But you know, I said, "Why? In the time of the
Buddha, lay people got jhanas, so why not give them
a try and it worked." Not all of you but some
of you do. [laughs] And eventually you'll get there.
If you don't even teach it, there's no way
anyone get jhanas. If you teach it, eventually
these things happen. So, it's brilliant and so I'm
proud of you guys. That's why it's not a waste of
time, keep on going.
So anyway, I still meditate, next life I may be
a monk, who knows, be prepared.
Huh, huh [laughter] I'm not coming next life,
I'm out of here. Enough is enough, is enough,
[laughter] So, you can.
And that's one of the amazing things,
it doesn't matter if you are a lay man or
a lay woman, old or young, it matters whether
you put the causes in place. It's the brilliant
teachings of the Buddha. It's only you've got
the eightfold path, you do the eightfold path,
doesn't matter even if you call yourself a Christian,
you've got the eightfold path,
you will eventually get to enlightenment.
Of course you change your views on the
path along the way but it's the causes give
rise to effects. If you let go, follow the instructions
eventually these jhanas appear. It's just there,
because it's cause and effect. It's nothing to do
with who you think you are. It's just cause
and effect, that's all. Thats so inspiring for me.
It's just like me teaching the monks over the
road. So as long as you keep carrying on,
practising this path, you'll get results,
it always happens. You just got to keep along,
keep on the path then you'll get to your
destination. That's how much faith I've got
in this path. So keep on going. You may not get
jhanas on this retreat, but may be the next one
or the one afterwards. You're always making progress,
getting closer every time. So, carry on.
It's the last question, just getting into it.
Okay, wow, wow, it's really late, 9.30.
I do apologise but don't worry, even though
it's late that means breakfast is not so far away [laughter].
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.
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Day 4 Q & A - Oct 2013 Ajahn Brahm Retreat

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Buddhima Xue published on August 28, 2015
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