New Year, New Life – Life Can Be Improved
Ajahn Pasanno
Dec. 16, 2013
Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives in Bangkok, Thailand
2 sessions, 8 excerpts, 43:10 total duration
External website
Sessions:    1    2
Session 1 – Ajahn Pasanno – Dec. 16, 2013 Download audio (34:15)

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1. [0:24] “I see what you're saying about the hindrances, but it seems like that's everything I called my life....So you're saying keep on working at it and it [the mind] gets used to focusing?” [Hindrances] [Proliferation] [Meditation] // [Mindfulness] [Goodwill] [Recollection/Virtue] [Recollection/Generosity] [Gladdening the mind]


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2. [4:12] “What do you think about the idea of secular Buddhism? Earlier you spoke about bhāvanā versus meditation, that meditation is not a useful translation [of bhāvanā]. Do you think secular Buddhism is useful or not?” [Secular Buddhism] [Meditation] // [Human] [Suffering] [Cultural context] [Buddhist identity] [Culture/West] [Learning]

Quote: “Anything is useful if it's picking up the actual teachings of the Buddha and applying [them] in a skillful way.” [Eightfold Path] [Skillful qualities]


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3. [10:00] Comment: You spent time with Ajahn Buddhadāsa. Some people call his teachings secular because he didn't really focus on the supernatural, pretty much similar to Ajahn Chah. This way of thinking [phrase in Thai]. Some people consider that secular. [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Secular Buddhism] [Supernatural] [Ajahn Chah]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: "I doubt that Ajahn Buddhadāsa did."


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4. [11:43] “Could you talk about contemplation in meditation? You mentioned earlier about using methods; my understanding is that they help one to calm the mind. How does one get into the state of contemplation without disturbing that calm state of mind?” [Recollection] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Characteristics of existence] // [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Cessation of Suffering] [Desire] [Bases of Success]


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5. [19:11] “You said you have to adjust and think about contemplating. But how can you do that in your working time?” [Right Effort] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Discernment] [Everyday life] // [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension] [Happiness] [Recollection]

Quote: “In daily life, in contact with the world, do you still breathe?” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Mindfulness of breathing]

Follow-up: “Could you give some examples? In Bangkok, there is lots of news that makes people crazy and divisive. When you see this news, you feel upset and angry.” [News] [Conflict] [Aversion] [Right Speech] [Politics and society] [Proliferation]

Quote: “I don't care. Not in the sense that I don't think it's serious or that it's not a problem. But I don't care in the sense that I don't want to be getting involved in whatever side people are working themselves up about, because the problem is much deeper than that. We have to pay attention to the deeper problem, both in the human condition and politically.” [Human]


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6. [24:33] “I find I do need some pleasures even thought they don't last, things like fine arts and being in nature. I'm curious, how did you manage as a monk in your early years at Ajahn Chah's monastery where there's almost no pleasure....How did you manage to keep going over the years until the present?” [Sensual desire] [Artistic expression] [Culture/Natural environment] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life] [Ajahn Chah] [Food] [Entertainment and adornment] [Monastic life/Motivation] // [Cessation of Suffering] [Happiness] [Simplicity] [Association with people of integrity] [Empathetic joy] [Human] [Hindrances] [Jhāna] [Virtue] [Discernment]

Quote: “One of the extraordinary perks of being a monk is that everyone tries to be good around you.”

Sutta: MN 36.32: "Why am I afraid of that happiness?" [Buddha/Biography] [Ascetic practices] [Suffering] [Skillful qualities] [Eightfold Path]

Quote: “As a monk, I can look back on forty years of living in a way where I don't have to feel remorseful or regret anything.”


Session 2 – Ajahn Pasanno – Dec. 16, 2013 Download audio (54:01)

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1. [42:28] “I was struck by the simile of the stone being heavy, but you won't know it's heavy unless you pick it up, and it's just like suffering. You don't have to pick it up. I'm battling a loss in my life, and I'm suffering. I didn't pick up the stone. It was flung at me. I'm not sure how to deal....” [Similes] [Ajahn Chah] [Suffering] [Grief] [Christianity] // [Human] [Naturalness] [Equanimity] [Self-identity view] [Goodwill] [Discernment]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 55: Five Recollections [Characteristics of existence] [Recollection/Death] [Kamma]

Quote: “Whenever you get into a fight with nature, you always lose.”

Quote: “What makes it heavy is the 'me' bit.”


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2. [49:30] “You said in the chanting, 'I am the heir to my kamma.' Gam in Thai is what we cultivate in body, speech and mind. In the Thai concept, we also have jao gam nai ren. Can Ajahn help me sort this out?” [Kamma] [Culture/Thailand] [Nature of the cosmos] // [Suffering] [Health care] [Birth]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 55: Five Recollections

Follow-up: “My mother is dying at age 88. She had a plane accident 20 years ago and has been completely immobile....In Thai we say, jao gam nai ren must have been chasing after her.” [Family] [Sickness] [Death]