Practice in a Global Context – Being a Good Citizen
Ajahn Pasanno
Upāsikā Day, Aug. 12, 2017
Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California
16 excerpts, 50:14 total duration

Ajahn Pasanno leads an exploration of the Buddha’s teachings on living in society and how we can apply them today.

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Ajahn Pasanno – Aug. 12, 2017 [Politics and society]

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[Session] Includes readings from Social and Communal Harmony by Bhikkhu Bodhi (commercial), DN 31: Sīgālovāda Sutta, and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari (commercial).


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1. [33:16] Quote: “That person is making me suffer....If they would just smarten up and do what I like, then I would be happy. My life would be smooth and peaceful again, just like it always was before.” [Cause of Suffering] [Humor]

Quote: “Don't believe your mind. It's a liar and a cheat.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Heart/mind] [False speech] [Delusion]


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2. [1:00:35] “What are spontaneously reborn beings? [in the context of Right View, e.g. MN 117]” [Rebirth] [Realms of existence] [Right View] // [Deva] [Birth] [Ghost]


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3. [1:01:42] “There's been a lot of discussion lately about how information sources cater to their own little niche. Do you have advice about information sources?” [Media] [News] // [Internet] [Commerce/economics] [Advertizing] [Non-profit organizations]


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4. [1:09:12] “I'm left with a deep sadness about the state of the world. I suppose that's no different than struggling with sadness about the human condition?” [Grief] [Suffering] [Human] // [Compassion] [Depression] [Desire] [Right Effort] [Disenchantment] [Conventions]


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5. [1:12:18] “Can you say more about how disenchantment can be uplifting?” [Disenchantment] [Gladdening the mind] // [Translation] [Bhikkhu Bodhi] [Suffering] [Skillful qualities] [Progress of insight]

Quote: “There's no known defense against cheesecake.” — Ajahn Sucitto [Ajahn Sucitto] [Food] [Sensual desire]


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6. [1:18:17] Comment: Keeping in mind that everything is cyclical helps me look at the state of the world. [Saṃsāra] [Lawfulness]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Right Effort]


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7. [1:19:36] Comment: One thing I've gotten from Trump is the equanimity to listen to his supporters on a one-on-one basis. [Equanimity] [Listening] [Respect]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Fear] [Human] [Suffering] [Community]


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8. [1:22:04] “How to work with suspicion skillfully? Is it a combination of looking at the factsas well as your gut feeling?” [Doubt] [Intuition] // [Unwholesome Roots] [Right Effort] [Mindfulness of body]


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9. [1:25:15] “Some of my suffering in the current situation comes from feeling compassion with regard to specific suffering that I'm aware of and not acting in response to it. What are helpful stories to frame a patient, long-term effort to effect change?” [Suffering] [Compassion] [Patience] [Long-term practice] [Kamma] [Activism] [Views] // [Association with people of integrity] [Right Effort]

Quote: “And just because one doesn't see results doesn't mean one shouldn't do something....To put the causes into something–that's the only way that change is going to happen.” [Conditionality]


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10. [1:28:33] Story: Someone asks Ajahn Pasanno, "You've been putting a lot of effort into protecting forests in Thailand. Do you think the forests will be protected?" [Ajahn Pasanno] [Culture/Thailand] [Environment] [Activism] // [Learning] [Right Livelihood]


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11. [1:31:07] Story: Ajahn Pasanno returns to Dtao Dum and sees the forest regenerated. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Dtao Dum] [Environment] // [Industry] [Happiness] [Conditionality]


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12. [1:33:29] “Is this along the concept of Right Effort in a global sense? Not getting attached to the outcome, but yet finding something that's important enough to put some energy into?” [Right Effort] [Activism] // [Kamma] [Energy]

Quote: “There's no such thing as doing nothing.”


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13. [2:57:10] “Did Ajahn Chah ever speak about politics?” [Ajahn Chah] // [Fear] [Proliferation] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Military]

Story: Driving through military checkpoints on the way to Ajahn Fun's funeral. [Ajahn Fun] [Funerals] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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14. [3:29:00] “I keep mostly to myself, but morality and ethics affects the jist of my involvement in society. What should I be doing further to address social suffering?” [Virtue] [Community] [Suffering] [Right Effort] // [Spiritual friendship] [Goodwill]


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15. [3:31:25] “One of the reflections that was sent online described Ajahn Chah's response to monks who wanted to go out and help refugees. Can you speak to this?” [Ajahn Chah] [Monastic life] [Service] // [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Military] [Conflict]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno spends time at a Cambodian refugee camp. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Preah Mahāghosānanda]


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16. [3:36:11] “I spread lovingkindness from home and don't have the good fortune of meeting with like minds who practice to perfect sīla. Any suggestions?” [Lay life] [Goodwill] [Spiritual friendship] [Virtue]

Quote: Ajahn Chah to Ajahn Sumedho: “Do you mean to say there's no good people in America?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Culture/West]