Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat – Our Roots in the Thai Forest Tradition
Ajahn Pasanno and Abhayagiri Saṅgha
Abhayagiri Winter Retreat, Jan. 6, 2014 to Mar. 28, 2014
Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California
56 sessions, 307 excerpts, 22:53:28 total duration

The Abhayagiri Community take turns reading from translations of the Thai Forest masters. Ajahn Pasanno answers many questions following the readings.

External website

Part 1: January 6 – February 2

Readings from or about (session numbers in parentheses):

Ajahn Mun (13); Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo (5); Ajahn Mahā Boowa (8, 11, 14); Mae Chee Kaew (17); Ajahn Chah (2, 6, 9, 10, 12, 15); Ajahn Baen (18); Ajahn Liem (3, 4); Ajahn Wanchai (16); Ajahn Dtun (18, 20); Upasikā Kee Nanayon (19);

Part 2: February 3 – February 26

Readings from or about:

Ajahn Dune (24); Ajahn Tate (22); Ajahn Buddhadāsa (23, 37); Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo (34); Ajahn Mahā Boowa (26, 36); Mae Chee Kaew (35); Ajahn Chah (21, 27, 32); Ajahn Plien (28); Ajahn Liem (30, 33, 38); Ajahn Toon (29); Ajahn Piak (36); Upasikā Kee Nanayon (31);

Part 3: February 27 – March 28

Readings from or about:

Chao Khun Upāli (40); Ajahn Buddhadāsa (42); Ajahn Sim (57); Ajahn Mahā Boowa (56);Ajahn Chah (41, 44, 45, 52, 53); Ajahn Suwat (43); Ajahn Gi (50); Ajahn Teean (49); Ajahn Liem (56); Ajahn Boon Choo (47); Ajahn Koon (39); Ajahn Wanchai (51); Ajahn Piak (48); Ajahn Anan (46, 54); Ajahn Ṭhānissaro (50); Ajahn Tong Jan (55); Upasikā Kee Nanayon (58);

Session 1: No Bargaining with the King of Death – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 6, 2014

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[Session] Ajahn Pasanno begins the retreat by encouraging us to return to the basics of the Noble Eight-fold Path. He mentions Iris Landsberg, a long-standing lay supporter dying of lung cancer, both to set the tone for the monk's final visit to her and to encourage us to practice while there is still time. Iris passed away February 1, 2014. [Eightfold Path] [Sickness] [Death] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] [Sense of urgency] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation retreats] [Family] [Health care]

Sutta: DN 16.34: The world will not be devoid of awakened beings as long as people are practicing the Eightfold Path. [Stages of awakening]

Story: Ajahn Pāvaro decides to practice in Bodh Gaya after receiving worrying medical news. [Ajahn Pavaro] [Visiting holy sites] [Impermanence]

Sutta: MN 131: Bhaddekaratta Sutta (Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 75)

Session 2: The Training of the Heart – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 7, 2014 Download audio (37:09)

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1. [0:26] Ajahn Karuṇadhammo describes the scope and format of the Winter Retreat 2014 readings.

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2. [2:12] Recollection: This talk was given to a group of Western monks led by Ajahn Khantipālo paying respects to Ajahn Chah in Bangkok. Recounted by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Ajahn Khantipālo] [Ajahn Chah] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Translation] [Hearing the true Dhamma]

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3. [4:47] Reading: “The Training of the Heart” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 505-516. Read by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

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4. [32:24] “Was this talk given on a formal occasion?” [Teaching Dhamma] [Ajahn Chah] // [Thai sects]

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5. [35:45] “What did Ajahn Chah mean by 'Nowadays there are only sterile remains of the Dhamma.'” [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma] // [Culture/Thailand] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Liberation]

Session 3: Watch Your Mind and Escape Mara's Snare Part 1 – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 10, 2014 Download audio (30:11)

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1. [0:00] Ajahn Ñāṇiko compares Ajahn Liem to Ajahn Sao. [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Sao] // [Technology]

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2. [0:51] Reading: “Watch Your Mind and Escape Māra's Snare” from Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion by Ajahn Liem, pp. 6-23. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.

Session 4: Watch Your Mind and Escape Mara's Snare Part 2 – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 11, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Watch Your Mind and Escape Māra's Snare” from Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion by Ajahn Liem, pp. 23-36. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.

Session 5: Keeping the Breath in Mind and Lessons in Samādhi – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 12, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Introduction” and “The Art of Letting Go” from Keeping the Breath in Mind and Lessons in Samādhi by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo pp. v-viii and 28-30. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.

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1. [30:00] “Does anyone know the Thai word that Ajahn Ṭhānissaro translates as “preoccupations?”” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Thai] [Translation] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro]

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2. [31:44] “Was there much contact between the sphere of Wat Pah Pong and the sphere of Wat Asokaram (Ajahn Lee's monastery)?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Asokaram] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] // [Ajahn Anan] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Thai sects] [Conflict]

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3. [33:30] “Why was the Dhammayut/Mahanikai split so strong?” [Thai sects] [Conflict] // [Ajahn Chah]

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4. [35:02] “Why did conflict between the sects break out on almsround?” [Thai sects] [Conflict] [Almsround] // [Culture/Thailand]

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5. [36:04] “Before Ajahn Chah, were there any Mahanikai teachers worthy of respect?” [Ajahn Chah] [Thai sects] // [Ajahn Kinaree] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Mun]

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6. [37:29] “Where did Ajahn Tongrat and Ajahn Kinaree live?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Kinaree] // [Ajahn Mun]

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7. [38:05] “Did the Dhammayut/Mahanikai differences matter to serious practice monks?” [Thai sects] [Monastic life] // [Pāṭimokkha] [Saṅgha] [Ajahn Baen] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa]

Session 6: The Peace Beyond – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 13, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “The Peace Beyond” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 9-19. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

Session 8: Birth and Death – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 17, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Birth and Death” from Straight from the Heart by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 55-71. Read by Ajahn Cunda.

Session 9: Not Sure – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 18, 2014 Download audio (37:34)

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1. [0:00] Reading: Interview with Ajahn Bprasert Thavaro from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Ajahn Chah] // [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Impermanence]

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2. [0:42] Reading: “Not Sure” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 599-612. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna.

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3. [36:20] “What does paṭipadā mean?” [Eightfold Path] // [Continuity of mindfulness] [Ajahn Chah] [Investigation of states]

Session 10: Detachment within Activity – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 19, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Detachment Within Activity” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 291-304. Read by Ajahn Kovilo.

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1. [26:24] “What degree of pīti and sukha is necessary to establish the first jhāna?” [Rapture] [Happiness] [Jhāna] // [Hindrances] [One pointedness] [Directed thought and evaluation]

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2. [28:27] “Do the underlying tendencies still exist in first jhāna?” [Unwholesome Roots] [Jhāna] // [Concentration]

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3. [29:14] “When Ajahn Mahā Boowa says that the peaceful mind is the gathering place for the defilements, are these the underlying tendencies?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Concentration] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Knowledge and vision] [Relinquishment] [Delusion] [Stages of awakening]

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4. [31:57] “What are the three kinds of seclusion? What is upadhiviveka?” [Seclusion] // [Clinging] [Self-identity view] [Aggregates] [Becoming]

Session 11: Direct Route to the End of All Suffering – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 20, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “The Direct Route to the End of All Suffering” from Arahattamagga Arahattaphala by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 9-23. Read by Tan Pamutto.

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1. [31:42] “Ajahn Chah took Ajahn Mahā Amon and Ajahn Sumedho to visit Luang Ta Mahā Boowa and Ajahn Kaew. What happened?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Mahā Amorn] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Ajahn Khao] // [Teaching Dhamma] [Simplicity]

Story: Ajahn Chah turned on a tape recorder, but the only part of the conversation that was recorded was when Ajahn Kaew farted. [Technology] [Psychic powers]

Note: A partially similar story appears in Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 189.

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2. [35:44] “Do you have any advice for working with pain?” [Pain] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Investigation of states] [Meditation/Techniques] [Direct experience]

Session 12: Unshakeable Peace – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 21, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Unshakeable Peace” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 427-439. Read by Tan Khemako.

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1. [27:01] “Where was this Dhamma talk given?” [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Mahā Amorn] [Dhamma books] [Study monks]

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2. [30:21] “Luang Ta Mahā Boowa often says, “You kill the kilesas” whereas Ajahn Chah in this talk speaks of the path doing battle with the kilesas. Is this just the translation?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chah] [Unwholesome Roots] [Eightfold Path] [Teaching Dhamma]

Recollection: When Ajahn Chah would use personal pronouns, he often used we as opposed to you. [Language] [Naturalness]

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3. [33:03] “Is this talk a response to the vipassanā movement in Thailand?” [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Culture/Thailand] [Mahasi Sayadaw] // [Study monks] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Jhāna] [Formless attainments] [Psychic powers]

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4. [37:20] “Is the samatha versus vipassanā debate still active in Thailand?” [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Culture/Thailand] [Views] // [Ajahn Chah]

Sutta: AN 6.46 Cunda Sutta: Study monks versus meditation monks. [Study monks]

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5. [39:10] “When is it useful to determine to stick with a single practice, even when it doesn't seem to work, instead of exploring other options?” [Meditation/General advice] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Pain] // [Suffering] [Right Effort] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Mindfulness of mind] [Discernment] [Direct experience] [Self-identity view]

Session 13: Khandavimutti and Samangidhamma – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 22, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Khandhavimutti and Samangidhamma by Ajahn Mun, translated by Ajahn Paññavaḍḍho, p. 29-40. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.

Alternative translations: Bhikkhu Khemasanto, Ajahn Thanissaro.

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1. [32:34] “Why is sañña often translated as perception?” [Perception] [Translation] // [Thai] [Recollection] [Aggregates]

Sutta: MN 43.5 Mahāvedalla Sutta: Conjoined not disjoined.

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2. [37:21] “Have you heard of sañña and saṅkhara being translated as short-term and long-term memory?” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Translation]

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3. [37:48] “Do we have a copy of Khandhavimutti and Samangidhamma in Thai?” [Ajahn Mun] [Thai] [Artistic expression]

Note: Ajahn Ṭhānissaro has published an edition of Khandhavimutti and Samangidhamma which includes the poem in Thai, but it does not appear to be available online.

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4. [38:02] “What does “the longing for the good is the cause of the trouble” mean?” [Ajahn Mun] [Craving] [Skillful qualities] [Right Effort] // [Eightfold Path] [Aggregates] [Liberation] [Self-identity view] [Virtue] [Relinquishment] [Jhāna] [Ignorance] [Cause of Suffering]

Story: Sixth Patriarch Sutra: "No mirror, no dust."

Recollection: Ajahn Chah taught you could grasp at either samut (the conventional) or vimut (the transcendant). [Ajahn Chah] [Conventions] [Unconditioned] [Clinging] [Discernment]

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5. [44:03] Comment: This reminds me of the phrase “possessing goodness.” [Self-identity view] [Virtue]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: "The relinquishment doesn't negate the need for cultivation of goodness." [Conceit] [Right Effort] [Relinquishment]

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6. [45:16] “Is this similar to the Buddha's teaching to let go of the path?” [Eightfold Path] [Relinquishment] // [Ajahn Chah] [Not-made-of-that] [Right Effort] [Ajahn Mun] [Thai]

Sutta: SN 1.1 Oghataraṇa: Crossing the Flood.

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7. [46:55] Recollection: Ajahn Pasanno describes Ajahn Mun's skillful use of language. [Ajahn Mun] [Thai] [Language] [Artistic expression] [Teaching Dhamma]

Reference: Venerable Ācariya Mun Bhūridatta Thera: A Spiritual Biography by Ajahn Mahā Boowa [Fierce/direct teaching]

Reference: Regarding the photo in Abhayagiri's Dhamma Hall: "This is the most warm and fuzzy picture of Ajahn Mun."
Photograph of Ajahn Mun

Session 14: Visions of a Samaṇa – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 25, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Visions of a Samaṇa” from Samaṇa by Ajahn Mahā Boowa pp. 11-12, 16-17, 18-25. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño. Translated by Ajahn Ṭhānissaro.

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1. [0:53] Brief biography of Ajahn Mahā Boowa. Teaching by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa]

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2. [1:37] Ajahn Pasanno describes the title "Luang Ta." [Monastic titles] [Older monks] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Thai]

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3. [17:45] “When Luang Ta Mahā Boowa says he's looking for a sign or vision, what does he mean by that?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Nimitta] [Deva] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West] [Dreams] [Determination]

Story: Ajahn Tiradhammo asks Ajahn Chah what event convinced him that he was on the path to liberation. [Ajahn Tiradhammo] [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma books] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Liberation]

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4. [23:51] “Did any of the Western monks go to Ajahn Chah to ask about their dreams?” [Ajahn Chah] [Dreams] // [Ajahn Pasanno]

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5. [24:45] “Was the biography compiled from what Luang Ta wrote or stories from his students?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Dhamma books]

Story: Ajahn Mahā Boowa types Dhamma books and writes letters to practitioners. [Technology] [Teaching Dhamma]

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6. [27:30] “Do you have any information about what the Level 3 Pāli includes?” [Learning] [Pāli] [History/Thai Buddhism] // [Ajahn Chah] [Commentaries]

Story: P.A. Payutto passes the ninth level Pāli studies as a novice. [P. A. Payutto] [Novices] [Ordination] [Royalty]

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7. [30:56] “What do monks do with Pāli study levels?” [Learning] [Pāli] [Culture/Thailand] [Types of monks] // [P. A. Payutto]

Story: Tan Chao Khun Prayoon Dhammacitto, the head of the Buddhist University in Bangkok, visits Wat Pah Nanachat. [Chao Khun Prayoon] [Thai sects] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

Story: Ajahn Mahā Adisak, a ninth-degree Pāli scholar, spends a year at Amaravati. [Ajahn Mahā Adisak] [Amaravati] [Ajahn Sumedho]

Story: He found it difficult to translate Ajahn Amaro's teachings to Westerners into Thai. [Ajahn Amaro] [Culture/West] [Translation] [Dhamma books]

Session 15: Unshakeable Peace – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 26, 2014 [Ajahn Chah]

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[Session] Reading: “Unshakeable Peace” (continued) from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 453-471. Read by Ajahn Sudhīro.

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1. [25:14] “Was Ajahn Chah talking about samādhi or stream entry when he spoke about “not going backwards”?” [Concentration] [Stream entry]

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2. [26:26] “Did Ajahn Chah tend to emphasize certain Dhammas for Westerners and for Thais?” [Teaching Dhamma] [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand]

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3. [29:07] “Was Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo's experience of being pushed unusual for Western monks?” [Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Culture/West] [Ardency] [Suffering]

Jack Kornfield's recollections of Ajahn Chah at Insight Meditation Society. Recounted by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Insight Meditation Society] [Meditation retreats]

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4. [31:18] “Before Ajahn Chah had his stroke how many branch monasteries were there at that time?” [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries]

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5. [31:41] “Was Ajahn Chah involved in training the abbots of those monasteries?” [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Abbot] [Mentoring] // [Wat Tam Saeng Pet] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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6. [34:41] “Was the tradition of a monk going to another monastery in their third rains happening in Ajahn Chah's time?” [Sequence of training] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries]

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7. [36:14] “Did Ajahn Chah ever have to use any especially powerful methods of pushing people away when the time came for them to go somewhere else?” [Fierce/direct teaching] // [Respect]

Story: The unpopular branch monastery. [Wat Pah Supattaram] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Building projects] [Abbot] [Fasting]

Session 16: A Higher Training – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 27, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “A Higher Training” from Fighting for Freedom Within by Ajahn Wanchai pp. 25-38. Read by Ajahn Suhajjo.

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1. [28:05] “All the Thai Forest Masters give very clear presentations of how they were attaining/finding peace of mind. Is there much written about how Bangkok was reacting when these Masters were saying “attainment is possible?” How were the Thai Masters answering?” [Thai Forest Tradition] [Progress of insight] [Types of monks] [Liberation] // [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Royalty]

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2. [33:14] “What were the interesting practices you used so that you would get up as soon as you woke up?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Devotion to wakefulness] // [Mindfulness of body] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Sitter's practice]

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3. [36:11] “Did Ajahn Chah talk about how to approach the nimitas?” [Ajahn Chah] [Nimitta] // [Proliferation]

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4. [37:37] “Could it be useful if the object is clear, stable, and peaceful and keeps coming back?” [Nimitta] // [Proliferation]

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5. [38:12] “With investigating sleep, it seems sleeping less is an effect from good meditation practice rather than a cause; is it because there is less proliferation?” [Devotion to wakefulness] [Conditionality] [Proliferation] // [Craving not to become] [Sloth and torpor] [Habits] [Ardency] [Energy]

Session 17: Fearless Warrior Spirit and Blessing of a Lifetime – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 28, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Chapters “Fearless Warrior Spirit” and “Blessing of a Lifetime” from Mae Chee Kaew: Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment by Ajahn Dick Sīlaratano, pp. 33-49. Read by Tan Khantiko. [Mae Chee Kaew]

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1. [26:57] “I am curious about ways to know if one is lying to oneself and what to do?” [Truth] [Delusion] // [Suffering] [Discernment] [Bases of Success]

Recollection: Ajahn Chah said the fastest way to enlightenment is to look directly at the mind, point your finger, and say "Liar!" [Ajahn Chah] [Liberation] [Proliferation]

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2. [30:56] “There are photos of Luang Ta Mahā Boowa looking very fierce and also photos of him looking very joyful, laughing, and the same with Ajahn Chah, a bit more stern I'd say. Do you think the same could be said of Ajahn Mun, not that there are photos but there could have been?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chah] [Happiness] [Ajahn Mun] [Technology] // [Culture/Thailand]

Quote: “Those farangs, they really like teeth.” — Ajahn Chah [Culture/West]

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3. [34:33] “What about Luang Por Dune, he looks so mellow; was he ever animated?” [Ajahn Dune] [Personality] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Culture/Thailand] [Humor]

Reference: Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune.

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4. [36:24] Ajajn Pasanno talks about a senior Thai Ajahn talking about his trip to the US. [Humor] // [Conditionality] [Food]

Session 18: The Spirit of a Warrior and Kor Patipada – Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 29, 2014 Download audio (41:37)

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1. [0:00] Reading: “The Spirit of a Warrior,” unpublished talk by Ajahn Dtun in Krooba Ajahn. Read by Anagārika J.R..

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2. [14:56] Reading: “Aiming to Look After the Kor Patibat,” unpublished talk by Ajahn Baen. Read by Anagārika J.R..

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3. [19:18] “In the reading there was a lot of emphasis on solitude. Here we have a lot of time for that especially right now with our Winter Retreat, but we also have a lot of responsibilities and engagement in community. How would you recommend us balancing the two or using them to help each other?” [Seclusion] [Abhayagiri] [Community] [Work] [Personality] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/India] [Ajahn Chah] [Unwholesome Roots] [Discernment] [Generosity] [Culture/West] [Self-identity view]

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4. [26:58] “Do you have any advice about how to hold a particularly strong “fighting spirit” teaching, like Ajahn Dtun?” [Fierce/direct teaching] [Teaching Dhamma] [Ajahn Dtun] // [Culture/Thailand] [Ardency] [Right Effort] [Restlessness and worry] [Heedfulness] [Discernment] [Goodwill]

Sutta: AN 1.49: The mind is radiant.

Quote: “If you invite visitors into your home [the mind] and they just make a mess, then you want to close the door on them before they come in. You can't be too polite.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Similes] [Unwholesome Roots]

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5. [32:20] “I got more a sense of metta from Ajahn Dtun than warrior spirit?” [Ajahn Dtun] [Goodwill] [Fierce/direct teaching] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Sense of urgency]

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6. [35:19] Story: Ajahn Dtun unexpectedly manifests goodwill towards Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Ajahn Dtun] [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Goodwill] // [Abbot] [Malas]

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7. [36:45] “I have another question about balance. LP Baen encouraged his monks to admonish each other, but Ajahn Chah said to put 90% of your attention on your self and only 10% on other people?” [Ajahn Baen] [Admonishment/feedback] [Ajahn Chah] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West]

Quote: “If someone criticizes you, then you should raise your hands in añjāli and say 'Sadhu!' because you don't have to hire them to do it for you!” — Ajahn Chah [Respect] [Gratitude]

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8. [39:16] “Isn't there a story about when Ajahn Chah wanted to give feedback to a senior monk and he waited 20 or 30 years?” [Ajahn Chah] [Admonishment/feedback] [Right Speech] // [Ajahn Baen] [Vinaya] [Protocols] [Cleanliness]

Session 19: Pure and Simple – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 1, 2014 Download audio (37:24)

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1. [0:00] Dedication of the reading to Iris Landsberg. [Lay life] [Death]

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2. [0:26] Recollection: Brief biography of Upasika Kee Nanayon. Recounted by Debbie Stamp. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Lay life] [History/Thai Buddhism] // [Seclusion] [Community]

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3. [2:45] Reading:Reading the Mind” from Pure and Simple, by Upasika Kee Nanayon, pp. 163-177. Read by Debbie Stamp.

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4. [30:30] “What Pāli word do you think Ajahn Geoff is translating as thought formations?” [Pāli] [Translation] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] // [Volitional formations] [Thai]

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5. [31:25] “In another Ajahn Geoff translation, I have seen him use “supposings” or “fashionings.' Is that the same word?” [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] [Translation] [Thai] // [Conventions] [Ajahn Chah] [Liberation]

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6. [32:16] “Did Upasika Kee focus on vedana more than other things or was that just in this chapter?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Feeling] // [Insight meditation]

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7. [33:10] “During her lifetime did she have a lot of followers?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Community] // [Animal]

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8. [34:41] “Would it be possible to give a working definition of saṅkhāra? It seems that saṅkhāra is used by different people in different ways.” [Volitional formations] [Aggregates] // [Conditionality] [Form]

Reference: Abhayagiri Chanting Book, p. 23: "All conditions are impermanent."

Session 20: Ajahn Dtun Questions and Answers – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 2, 2014 Download audio (31:50)

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1. [0:00] Ajahn Dtun's visit and Iris Landsberg. Recollections by Beth Steff.

Quote: “In the morning, a health friend. In the evening, a wisp of cremation smoke.” — unnamed Chan master. [Death] [Recollection/Death]

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2. [1:13] Reading: Unpublished Q & A session from Ajahn Dtun's 2013 visit to Canada. Read by Beth Steff.

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3. [26:55] “I'm interested in the theme mentioned of the body and mind being separate from each other. The questioner asks 'Don't they have influence on one another?' I'm curious about how to reflect on that.” [Form] [Nature of mind] // [Ajahn Chah] [Sickness] [Knowing itself]

Story: Ajahn Chah retreats into the peace and stability of the mind to cope with a lung infection.

Session 21: Kondañña Knows – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 3, 2014 Download audio (53:02)

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1. [0:00] Background information about Paul Brieter and Being Dhamma. [Ajahn Chah] [Translation] [Dhamma books]

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2. [1:57] Reading: “Kondañña Knows” from Being Dharma by Ajahn Chah (commercial) pp. 151-168.

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3. [40:32] “The worldly winds appear quite distinct from each other, but status and praise seem closely related. Why?” [Worldly Conditions] [Blame and praise] [Fame and disrepute]

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4. [42:37] “A stream-enterer is said to come back no more than seven lifetimes. Why the number seven?” [Stream entry]

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5. [44:19] “It's interesting that he equates the extreme of self mortification to aversion, ill-will, and pushing away.” [Middle Path] [Aversion] [Ill-will] // [Ajahn Chah] [Desire] [Ajahn Liem] [Relinquishment] [Arahant] [Idealism]

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6. [48:45] “Could that “quality of knowing” be a variation on the teaching of sati-sampajañña, mindfulness and clear comprehension?” [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension] // [Discernment]

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7. [49:25] Reflection about the Buddha saying, "Māra, I see you!" Contributed by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Buddha/Biography] [Māra]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno about the definition of an arahant being “one who is far from defilements” and insight into not self. [Ajahn Chah] [Not-self] [Stream entry] [Self-identity view]

Sutta: MN 123 Acchariya-abbhūta Sutta: Wonderful and Marvelous.

Session 22: Steps Along the Path – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 4, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Steps Along the Path by Ajahn Thate pp. 3-12. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.

Session 23: Looking Within – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 5, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Looking Within” from Me and Mine by Ajahn Buddhadāsa pp. 69-77. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.

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1. [30:13] “Do you recall when Ajahn Buddhadāsa died?” [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] // [Translation]

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2. [31:10] Ajahn Ñaniko speaks about the time Luang Por Liem spent at Suan Mokh. [Wat Suan Mokkh] [Ajahn Liem]

Recollection: The Thai translations in the Wat Pah Pong chanting book come from Ajahn Buddhadāsa. [Chanting] [Wat Pah Pong] [Thai] [Translation] [Ajahn Buddhadāsa]

Recollection: Ajahn Liem reads and comments on the monthly poem in the Ajahn Buddhadāsa calendar. [Artistic expression]

Session 24: Gifts He Left Behind – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 6, 2014 Download audio (36:35)

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1. [0:00] Format of Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune.

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2. [1:18] Reading: Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune: Introduction. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

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3. [3:54] Story: The Queen invites the best neurosurgeons to help Ajahn Chah in a special suite in Chulalongkorn Hospital. [Ajahn Chah] [Sickness] [Royalty] [Health care] // [Saṅgha decision making]

Story: Ajahn Dune occupies the suite after Ajahn Chah. [Ajahn Dune]

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4. [5:39] Reading: Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune: Biographical Sketch and pp. 105-109, 1, 3, 6-9, 11-12, 15-19, 77. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

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5. [26:53] “Ajahn Pasanno, did I hear correctly the other day that you met Luang Por Dune?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Dune] // [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Burapha] [Personality] [Teaching Dhamma]

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6. [30:18] “His monastery is quite loud, isn't it?” [Ajahn Dune] [Wat Burapha] [Seclusion]

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7. [32:00] Reading: “Its Easy if You are not Attached,” Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune, p. 77. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako. [Ajahn Dune] [Wat Burapha] // [Rains retreat]

Quote: “It's the nature of light to be bright; it's the nature of noise to be loud.” [Contact] [Sense restraint] [Discernment]

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8. [34:18] “I was reading that Reverend Heng Sure found that his meditation object was particularly bright and clear when he was around his teacher Master Hua. I wondered if you experienced anything like that when you paid respects to various Ajahns?” [Rev. Heng Sure] [Master Hsuan Hua] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation] // [Conscience and prudence] [Respect for elders]

Session 26: The Principle of the Present – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 10, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “The Principle of the Present,” Straight from the Heart by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 129-149. Read by Ajahn Cunda.

Session 27: In the Shape of a Circle – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 11, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “In the Shape of a Circle,” Still, Flowing Water by Ajahn Chah p 77. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna.

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1. [26:59] “With your meditation object, when you turn to contemplate it in terms of the three characteristics: anicca, dukkha and anatta, and that doesn't come up, does that mean you need to stabilize the mind more to see the object more clearly?” [Meditation] [Disenchantment] [Characteristics of existence] [Concentration] // [Self-identity view] [Knowledge and vision] [Relinquishment] [Dhamma]

Session 28: Mindfulness of Death – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 12, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Mindfulness of Death by Ajahn Plien, pp. 1-20. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño.

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1. [17:00] “Was Ajahn Plien a disciple of Ajahn Lee's?” [Ajahn Plien] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] // [Ajahn Waen]

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2. [18:40] “In the Pure Land tradition, there are practices that prepare one for death. Are there are specific recommendations that yourself or Ajahn Chah would give for preparation for that last moment before death?” [Pure Land] [Ajahn Chah] [Death] [Recollection/Death] // [Buddho mantra]

Story: Family members try to encourage a drunkard to recollect "Arahaṃ" in his last moments. [Mantra] [Humor]

Story: Ajahn Chah's response to Paul Breiter's desire to teach meditation to dying people. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Meditation] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Story: Ajahn Karuṇadhammo advises Iris Landsberg to recollect "sorrowless, spotless, secure." Told by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Recollection]

Sutta: Sn 2.4: Maṅgala Sutta (English chanting translation).

Story: A couple asks Master Hua what kind of dog they should get. [Master Hsuan Hua] [Animal] [Rebirth]

Session 29: Reflections about Wat Pah Pong – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 13, 2014 Download audio (26:03)

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1. [0:00] Information about Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinaya and the sections that Ajahn Kovilo reads. [Ajahn Chah lineage] [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma books] // [Translation] [Ajahn Jundee] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Sumedho]

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2. [3:00] Reading: Reflections about Wat Pah Pong by Ajahn Toon from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Tan Kovilo.

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3. [20:56] “Was there some consistency around how Ajahn Chah taught monks in a large community and how he taught monks in a small community? It sounds like when there were eleven monks he was very involved.” [Ajahn Chah] [Monastic life] [Mentoring] // [Ageing]

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4. [21:26] “Was Ajahn Jun around when you were training?” [Ajahn Jun] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Boon Choo]

Story: Ajahn Sumedho gets upset at Ajahn Chah for not admonishing lax monks. [Ajahn Sumedho] [Admonishment/feedback]

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5. [23:32] Story: Ajahn Jayasaro spends a Rains Retreat with Ajahn Koon. Told by Ajahn Cunda. [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Ajahn Koon] [Novices]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Personality]

Session 30: Ordination: Going Forth – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 16, 2014 Download audio (20:08)

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1. [0:00] Introductory comments by Ajahn Pasanno and Tan Pamutto clarify some of the terms in the reading.

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2. [3:34] Reading: “Ordination: Going Forth” from The Ways of the Peaceful by Ajahn Liem pp. 23-33. Read by Tan Pamutto.

Session 31: Breath Meditation Condensed – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 17, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Breath Meditation Condensed” from An Unentangled Knowing by Upasikā Kee Nanayon, pp. 29-36. Read by Tan Khemako.

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1. [25:06] “I recall hearing about some aspects of the korwat at Upasika Kee's center, do you know any of those particular details?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Protocols] // [Medicinal requisites] [Vegetarianism]

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2. [25:46] “Was it a women only center or separated between men and women?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Women in Buddhism]

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3. [26:16] “Do you think all those rules were written down like Ajahn Chah regulations?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Protocols] [Ajahn Chah] // [Wat Pah Pong]

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4. [27:56] “Did she have any well-known disciples that went on to do other things?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon]

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5. [28:51] “It's interesting with vegetarianism, some follow that and there are others that don't?” [Vegetarianism] [Buddha/Biography] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Gunha] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] // [Protocols]

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6. [30:41] “Do you think the vegetarian choice at certain centers and monasteries relates to different temperaments or personalities?” [Vegetarianism] [Personality] // [Ajahn Gunha] [Simplicity] [Killing] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

Comment by Ajahn Cunda: At Abhayagiri when people ask, we tell them we prefer vegetarian. [Abhayagiri]

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7. [32:45] “My guess is they were not smoking at Upasika Kee's, is that right?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Smoking] // [Health care]

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8. [33:44] “When she is talking about the mind at normalcy, her description is having the meditation object always at least in the background, constantly in awareness, being aware of the mind-state and also doing whatever you are doing, walking, washing dishes etc. Her emphasis is on cultivating it so this is something that you would be doing twenty-four hours a day. When Ajahn Chah spoke of normalcy of the mind, did he describe it in the same way?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Mindfulness of mind] [Ajahn Chah] // [Discernment] [Happiness] [One pointedness]

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9. [36:16] Comment: She talks about within this state of normalcy constantly contemplating the three characteristics of all phenomena occurring in awareness. To me that sounds like juggling a bunch of things! [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Conditionality]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Discernment]

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10. [37:18] Comment: So the ability to hold the meditation object, go through your daily routines, keep an eye on the mind tone, and watch the stress flavor of all arising phenomenon seems like a fairly advanced practice state to arrive at and maintain twenty-four hours a day. [Continuity of mindfulness] [Everyday life] [Mindfulness of mind] [Suffering]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: It's a great option if you don't want to suffer. [Cessation of Suffering] [Happiness]

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11. [38:14] “She talks about making a story out of denying your defilements. Does the story of having fun denying your defilements come from that space of dwelling in that state of continuous mindfulness, or does continuous mindfulness come about from going through the suffering of forcing yourself not to enjoy anything?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Unwholesome Roots] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Conditionality] // [Discernment]

Quote: “Relinquishment isn't so much a giving up something that we have but enjoying the non-moving to get or trying to make.” [Relinquishment] [Cessation of Suffering] [Not-made-of-that]

Simile: Learning to drive or walk. — Ajahn Kaccāna. [Similes]

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12. [41:15] “What do you mean when you say try something and note “it's not working” or “it is working?” How do you know it's not just another defilement sneaking in and saying “this isn't working?”” [Right Effort] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Clear comprehension] [Happiness] [Habits]

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13. [42:59] “Is that where when one isn't meditating per se but where virtue would come in to inform whether we have slipped or not?” [Virtue] // [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Ajahn Chah] [Conscience and prudence] [Similes] [Spiritual friendship]

Quote: “The defilements have their wisdom also.” — Ajahn Chah [Unwholesome Roots] [Discernment] [Delusion]

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14. [45:08] “She talks about virtue being the other hand of discernment in the meditation experience, and whenever discernment discerns stress, virtue is what lets go of the cause of stress, that virtue does the disbanding of it. Is virtue an unusual word to use there?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Virtue] [Discernment] [Cessation of Suffering] [Dispassion] // [Pāli] [Conscience and prudence] [Ajahn Chah]

Commentary: Path of Purification by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, p. 14: Many levels of sīla. [Commentaries] [Eightfold Path]

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15. [48:20] “When the habit pattern of defilement is so strong, and even with the mind seeing the suffering, still the mind says, “I'm not going to give that up,” do you have any suggestions for softening that, for working with that?” [Habits] [Unwholesome Roots] [Clinging]

Response: "No, just keep suffering." [Suffering]

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16. [49:16] Comment by Ajahn Jotipālo: In this talk, Upasika Kee goes through dependent origination and emphasizes catching it at sense-contact. I've always been taught that it's feeling where you can break it. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Dependent origination] [Contact] [Mindfulness of feeling]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Desire] [Mindfulness] [Investigation of states]

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17. [50:46] “You were talking about the positive aspect of relinquishment, and that's what will motivate giving up, that positive aspect of giving up and letting go. When it's painful giving up and you give up, you can say, 'Wait, I'm just focusing on the negative aspect of giving up, I need to switch my mind to the benefits of relinquishment?'” [Relinquishment] [Suffering] [Appropriate attention] // [Self-identity view] [Clinging] [Humor] [Humility]

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18. [55:09] Discussion about where there may be regret and longing linked to giving up something, although on reflection after relinquishment it can then feel like a non-event, no big deal. [Clinging] [Relinquishment] [Cessation of Suffering]

Session 32: Venerable Father – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 18, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Readings from Venerable Father by Paul Breiter (commercial), pp. 28-36, 37-45, and 52-54. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.

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1. [42:02] “What became of Venerable Araññabho?” [Disrobing] [Cittavivieka]

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2. [43:17] “Did Venerable Araññabho stay at Wat Pah Nanachat?” [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Pah Pong]

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3. [43:43] “How long did Venerable Varapañño spend in robes?” [Disrobing] // [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong]

Story: "I need a lawyer!"

Comment by Ajahn Pesalo: Even living for years in close proximity to Ajahn Chah isn't enough to guarantee people will remain in robes.


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4. [46:30] “How do monks treat intestinal worms?” [Monastic life] [Health care] [Sickness] [Killing]

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5. [47:17] “Was there much coming and going between Wat Pah Pong and Wat Pah Nanachat?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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6. [47:54] Ajahn Pasanno tells how he went to Wat Pah Nanachat to make a bowl stand but got sick with scrub typhus. An extended discussion ensues. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Monastic crafts] [Sickness] // [Rains retreat] [Joseph Kappel]

Session 33: From the Darkness to the Light – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 19, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “From the Darkness to the Light,” unpublished talk by Ajahn Liem in Krooba Ajahn. Read by Ajahn Sudhīro.

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1. [33:48] “Did you participate in massage sessions with senior monks besides Luang Por Chah?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Upatakh]

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2. [35:28] “How does one incline the mind towards recollecting one's own good actions?” [Recollection/Virtue] [Merit] [Aversion] [Gladdening the mind] // [Emotion] [Feeling] [Kamma] [Investigation of states] [Vajrayāna]

Session 34: The Skill of Release – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 20, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “By Way of Introduction” and “Why Meditate?” from The Skill of Release by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo pp. 1-3 and pp. 20-31. Read by Ajahn Suhajjo.

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1. [35:11] “Can you reflect upon Ajahn Lee's positive approach to the nutriments?” [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Nutriment] [Sutta]

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2. [36:28] “Which of the three unwholesome roots is most prominent when the mind is lazy?” [Energy] [Unwholesome Roots] [Sloth and torpor] // [Delusion]

Session 35: River and Ocean and Collected Teachings – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 21, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “River and Ocean” and “Collected Teachings” from Mae Chee Kaew: Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment by Ajahn Dick Sīlaratano pp. 206-207 and pp. 231-242. Read by Tan Khantiko.

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1. [22:45] “Is bhavataṇhā both the desire to exist and the desire to be a certain way?” [Becoming] // [Self-identity view]

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2. [24:27] “Is vibhavataṇhā the thought, “I am this way and I don't want to be this way?”” [Craving not to become]

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3. [25:20] “How do the kilesas relate to the concept of the shadow?” [Western psychology] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Characteristics of existence] [Self-identity view] [Mae Chee Kaew]

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4. [28:35] “I seem to make a virtue of laziness and don't quite believe the teachings about doing without food and sleep. Do you have any advice for me?” [Sloth and torpor] [Ascetic practices] // [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities]

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5. [30:33] “Could say more about seeing the unwholesomeness or shadow?” [Unwholesome Roots] // [Mindfulness] [Idealism] [Delusion]

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6. [33:34] Comment: There can be this view that the enlightened mind doesn't have any thoughts or defilements. It's just perfectly clear and stable and there's nothing going on. [Liberation] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Unwholesome Roots] [Concentration]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: Clear and stable and nothing going on are two different things.

Follow-up: “Does the enlightened mind not have any unwholesome thoughts or does it just not pick up unwholesome thoughts?” [Unskillful qualities] [Proliferation] [Clinging] [Cause of Suffering]

Story: A palmist looks at Ajahn Chah's hands. [Ajahn Chah] [Aversion] [Personality]

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7. [39:02] The character of Ajahn Chah and his relatives. [Ajahn Chah] [Personality] [Aversion] [Humor] // [Leadership]

Recollection: Ajahn Chah's older brother had the same personality. [Family]

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8. [40:54] Comment by Ajahn Ñāṇiko: Ajahn Chah's brother didn't have an inferiority complex. [Ajahn Chah] [Family] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]

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9. [41:31] A retreatant expresses appreciation for the concept of non-stickiness. [Gratitude] [Release] [Nibbāna]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Idealism] [Thai Forest Tradition] [Personality] [Mae Chee Kaew] [Language]

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10. [43:19] Story: Ajahn Ñaniko meets Ajahn Mun's nephew. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Ajahn Mun] [Family]

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11. [44:12] “Ajahn Chah distinguished between the peaceful mind and the mind that has appeased the kilesas. But when the kilesas are present, is it useful to be peaceful about them?” [Ajahn Chah] [Concentration] [Unwholesome Roots] [Tranquility] // [Suffering] [Delusion]

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12. [45:54] A retreatant expresses appreciation for Upasika Kee Nanayon's exhortation to be honest with ourselves. [Unwholesome Roots] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Truth] [Gratitude]

"You can lie to the entire world if you like, but you must never lie to yourself." – Mae Chee Kaew: Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment by Ajahn Dick Sīlaratano, p. 235. [Mae Chee Kaew] [False speech]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Self-identity view] [Culture/West]

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13. [47:49] “Can you recommend any practices to develop honesty with ourselves?” [Truth] [Delusion] // [Unwholesome Roots] [Direct experience]

Quote: “You can't take yourself too seriously. That's really deadly.” [Humor] [Self-identity view]

Quote: "Do we have to sweep all of this?" "No, just sweep what's in front of your broom." [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Cleanliness]

Session 36: The Middleness of the Middle Way – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 24, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “The Middleness of the Middle Way” from Samaṇa by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 127-134. Read by Anagārika J.R..

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1. [14:48] Reading: Unpublished talk on peace by Ajahn Piak given to Wat Pah Nanachat monks going to Dtao Dum. Read by Anagārika J.R..

Session 37: Paticca-Samuppada: Practical Dependent Origination – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 25, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Paticcasamuppāda: Practical Dependent Origination by Ajahn Buddhadāsa, selections from pp. 22-45. Read by Debbie Stamp.

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1. [24:46] “Could you describe ways to work with delighting and wanting around the pleasure of food?” [Food] [Craving] [Happiness] [Unattractiveness] [Disenchantment] // [Elements] [Mindfulness of body] [Clinging] [Impermanence] [Dependent origination]

Sutta: AN 5.208: The benefits of chewing toothwoods. [Cleanliness]

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2. [29:45] “How should we relate to the Buddha's statement that sensual pleasure is to be feared?” [Sensual desire] [Sense bases] [Fear] // [Culture/West] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]

Sutta: MN 66.19: Sensual pleasure is to be feared.

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3. [35:15] “Could you reflect on how Ajahn Buddhadāsa portrays mindfulness and ignorance as opposites?” [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Mindfulness] [Ignorance] // [Dependent origination]

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4. [36:57] “Could you say more about the positive causal process that is the opposite of paticcasamuppada?” [Dependent origination] [Conditionality] [Mindfulness] // [Skillful qualities] [Right Mindfulness] [Factors of Awakening]

Sutta: SN 12.23 Upanisa: Dukkha is a cause for faith. [Suffering] [Faith]

Sutta: AN 10.61 Avijjā: The Five Hindrances are a cause for ignorance. [Hindrances] [Ignorance]

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5. [40:40] “When I look at neutral objects, dullness often arises. Is this suffering?” [Feeling] [Contact] [Sloth and torpor] [Unskillful qualities] [Suffering] // [Craving not to become] [Delusion] [Ignorance] [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension]

Comment by Ajahn Jotipālo: Lack of desire is not enlightenment. [Desire] [Liberation]

Session 38: Following the Footsteps of Enlightened Beings – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 26, 2014 Download audio (45:23)

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1. [0:00] Reading: “A Short Biography” from No Worries by Ajahn Liem pp. 101, 104-115. Read by Beth Steff.

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2. [18:58] Reading:Following the Footsteps of the Enlightened Beings,” a talk by Ajahn Liem at an Australian Sangha Association conference. Read by Beth Steff.

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3. [32:23] “Was there a time in Thai history when meditation was a routine part of childhood education?” [History/Thai Buddhism] [Children] [Learning] [Meditation] // [Three Refuges] [Chanting] [Right View]

Reflection: Ajahn Liem's mother and sister were nuns with similar demeanor. [Ajahn Liem] [Family] [Mae Chee] [Wat Pah Pong] [Personality]

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4. [36:44] Story: Trying to wash Ajahn Liem's cup. Told by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Jotipālo] [Upatakh]

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5. [37:23] Recollection: Ajahn Liem leads by example. Recounted by Ajahn Pasanno.

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6. [39:00] “Is Ajahn Liem continuing to take care of his health?” [Ajahn Liem] [Health] // [Medicinal requisites] [Food] [Health care]

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7. [40:46] “Does Ajahn Liem attend morning and evening pūjā?” [Ajahn Liem] [Pūjā] // [Culture/Thailand] [Wat Pah Pong]

Story: Ajahn Liem silently walks around and looks at the monks during morning pūjā. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.

Follow-up: “Did Ajahn Chah go to morning and evening pūjā?” [Ajahn Chah]

Follow-up: “In the early years of Wat Ban Tad, was it always practice on your own?” [Wat Pah Ban Tat] [Thai sects] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Baen]

Story: Too many monks skip pūjā to massage Ajahn Liem. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Upatakh]

Recollections: Bhante Gunaratana comes to morning jūjā early. Recounted by Ajahn Jotipālo and Beth Steff. [Bhante Gunaratana]

Session 39: Interview with Luang Por Koon – Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 27, 2014 Download audio (37:13)

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1. [0:00] Ajahn Pasanno introduces Ajahn Koon and Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. [Dhamma books] [Ajahn Koon]

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2. [1:08] Reading: Interview with Ajahn Koon in Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana.

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3. [31:08] Story: Ajahn Tongrat walks past a pregnant woman and says, "Oh, there's a really good monk in your stomach there." [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Koon] [Almsround]

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4. [31:50] Recollection: Ajahn Chah didn't let Western monks stay with Ajahn Koon since it was close to the Laos border. [Ajahn Chah] [Military] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] // [Ajahn Koon] [Ajahn Anando]

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5. [34:50] Story: Ajahn Chah prevents supporters from bringing Ajahn Sumedho special food. [Ajahn Sumedho] [Food] [Ajahn Chah]

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6. [35:58] “Were there short periods of time when you lived with Luang Por Koon?” [Ajahn Koon] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Puriso]

Session 40: The Natural Character of Awakening – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 2, 2014 Download audio (43:56)

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1. [0:00] Introduction to The Natural Character of Awakening and Chao Khun Upāli. Teaching by Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Pasanno. [Chao Khun Upāli] [Ajahn Mun] [Forest versus city monks]

Story: Ajahn Mun takes on the role of abbot at a city temple out of respect for Chao Khun Upāli's request. [Abbot]

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2. [3:22] Reading: The Natural Character of Awakening by Chao Khun Upāli, pp. 58-67. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.

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3. [25:30] “Do you have any advice for monks taking on additional practices (āditthanas)?” [Ajahn Chah] [Determination] // [Ascetic practices] [Appropriate attention] [Virtue] [Sense restraint] [Unwholesome Roots] [Middle Path]

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4. [30:37] “What is the distinction Chao Khun Upāli makes between lokuttara discernment and higher discernment?” [Chao Khun Upāli] [Discernment] [Impermanence] [Aggregates] [Suffering] [Cause of Suffering] // [Commentaries] [Ajahn Chah] [Study monks]

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5. [33:42] “What is the difference between abandoning craving and realizing the abandoning of craving?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Impermanence] [Aggregates] [Cause of Suffering] [Cessation of Suffering] // [Commentaries] [Doubt] [Relinquishment] [Concentration] [Gladdening the mind] [Desire] [Becoming] [Right View]

Sutta: SN 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. [Four Noble Truths]

Sutta: MN 121 Cūḷa Suññata Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on Emptiness [Emptiness]

Quote: “The characteristic of cessation is not just ending something and annihilating [it], but it's being willing and able to stop. The nature of the mind is that it doesn't like to stop. And it's [through] that not stopping that we keep creating that sense of me.” — Ajahn Pasanno [Cessation] [Nature of mind] [Self-identity view]

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6. [41:34] “How many Somdets and Chao Khuns are there at any given time?” [History/Thai Buddhism] [Monastic titles] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Ajahn Liem]

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7. [43:19] “What's the Thai for 'Supreme Patriarch'?” [Thai] [Monastic titles]

Session 41: Steady Practice – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 3, 2014 Download audio (54:12)

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1. [0:00] Reading: Background of the talk “Steady Practice” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 818. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

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2. [1:05] Recollection: Background of Wat Keun. [Wat Keun] // [Ajahn Chah] [Monastic titles] [Environment] [Ajahn Puriso] [Military] [Animal]

Story: Ajahn Chah ordains a group of university students and takes them to Wat Keun. [Temporary ordination]

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3. [4:49] Reading: “Steady Practice” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 277-290. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

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4. [35:43] “How do you balance Ajahn Chah's instruction to put away the books with the desire to study and understand the teachings?” [Ajahn Chah] [Learning] [Sutta] [Study monks] // [Culture/West] [Faith] [Doubt]

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5. [40:59] “Did Ajahn Chah ever tell a student to study?” [Ajahn Chah] [Learning] // [Eightfold Path] [Study monks] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]

Quote: “These are not absolute statements. When Ajahn Chah says something, he's pointing. He just doesn't work that way. And we take it as an absolute.” [Teaching Dhamma] [Proliferation]

Story: Ajahn Chah monks who became study monks. [Ajahn Bunjong] [Ajahn Mahā In]

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6. [46:42] “How does one cultivate self-supervision?” [Ajahn Chah] [Desire] [Self-reliance] [Postures] [Continuity of mindfulness] // [Mindfulness of body] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Mindfulness of breathing]

Quote: “The body is like a mirror for the different moods and state of the mind as we're experiencing things.” [Similes] [Mindfulness of mind]

Follow-up: “I try to practice body awareness when my mind is being supervised...” [Long-term practice] [Ajahn Sucitto]

Sutta: MN 10 Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta [Right Mindfulness]

Session 42: The Dhamma-Truth of Samatha-Vipassana for the Nuclear Age – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 4, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “The Dhamma-Truth of Samatha-Vipassana for the Nuclear Age” from Key to Natural Truth by Ajahn Buddhadāsa pp. 111-131. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.

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1. [31:54] Ajahn Pasanno describes the atmosphere of Cold War fear. [Fear] [Politics and society] [Military] // [Culture/West] [Amaravati] [Ajahn Sumedho]

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2. [33:33] Comment about the purpose and function of the path. Contributed by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Eightfold Path] [Cessation of Suffering] [Concentration] [Discernment]

Responses by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Right View] [Relinquishment] [Self-identity view]

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3. [35:25] Reflection by Ajahn Ñāṇiko on Ajahn Buddhadāsa's use of analogies. [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Similes] [Suffering]

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4. [35:50] Quote: “The purpose and function [of practice] always come back to the alleviation of suffering and the relinquishment of self-view....The take-away bit of the forest teachers or ethos is that we have everything within us....They are coming at it from all different angles, but the underlying thread is that theme of relying on and refining capabilities that we actually have. Sīla, samādhi, and pañña are not external to us.” [Thai Forest Tradition] [Self-reliance] [Eightfold Path]

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5. [37:05] “How does one work with dullness and drowsiness in sitting meditation?” [Sloth and torpor] [Posture/Sitting] // [Hindrances] [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Ajahn Chah] [Posture/Walking] [Culture/Natural environment] [Posture/Standing] [Continuity of mindfulness]

Sutta: AN 7.58 Capala Sutta: "Are you nodding, Moggallana?" [Great disciples]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno walks in the forest without a flashlight to dispel drowsiness. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Dtao Dum] [Devotion to wakefulness]

Session 43: Straightening Out Your Views – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 5, 2014 Download audio (34:37)

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1. [0:00] Background informatin about Ajahn Suwat. [Ajahn Suwat] // [Ajahn Fun] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Dune]

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2. [0:52] Reading: “Straightening Out Your Views” from Fistful of Sand & The Light of Discernment by Ajahn Suwat, pp. 48-51. Read by Ajahn Kassapo.

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3. [23:12] Ajahn Pasanno asks Ajahn Pesalo for more information about Ajahn Suwat. [Ajahn Suwat] // [Death] [Wat Buridat] [Sickness]

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4. [24:05] “Where is Wat Buridat?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Pesalo. [Wat Buridat] // [Ajahn Suwat] [Wat Metta] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] [Insight Meditation Society]

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5. [26:34] “Did Ajahn Mahā Boowa always praise the dtuaṅga practices?” [Ascetic practices] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Mun] // [Qualities for non-decline]

Story: Ajahn Mun tells Ajahn Mahā Boowa to stop sweeping when he is sick with malaria. [Sickness] [Ardency] [Attachment to rites and rituals]

Story: Ajahn Mahā Boowa takes on the dtok bhat practice, but Ajahn Mun puts food in his bowl. Told by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Almsfood] [Conceit]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno meets a monk who didn't need to sleep. [Devotion to wakefulness] [Sense restraint] [Concentration]

Story: Pa Auk Sayadaw didn't sleep during a Rains Retreat. [Pa Auk Sayadaw]

Session 44: Ajahn Chah: The Tudong Years – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 6, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “1946-1954: The Tudong Years” from the draft biography of Ajahn Chah. Read by Ajahn Cunda.

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 44.

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1. [39:08] Story: Ajahn Chah asks Ajahn Mun whether he should reordain as a Dhammayut monk. [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Mun] [Thai sects]

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2. [40:20] Ajahn Pasanno gives more information about the cremation ground story. [Ajahn Chah] [Personality] [Postulants]

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3. [41:47] “Did the pakow who accompanied Ajahn Chah to the cremation ground ever ordain?” [Ajahn Chah] [Postulants]

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4. [42:03] Comments about the cremation ground story and the draft biography of Ajahn Chah. [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma books]

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5. [43:37] “Are the boundaries between Dhammayut and Mahanikai breaking down?” [Thai sects] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Vinaya]

Session 45: Ajahn Chah: A Simple Monk – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 7, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “A Simple Monk” from the draft biography of Ajahn Chah. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna.

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 73. (The draft biograpy contains many details not in the final text.)

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1. [34:49] “Is samwat a Thai word for saṁvega?” [Thai] [Sense of urgency]

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2. [36:00] “How common is burial as opposed to cremation in Thailand?” [Culture/Thailand] [Funerals] // [Death] [Suicide] [Ghost] [Rebirth]

Story: A person killed by a gunshot wound doesn't realize that he is dead.

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3. [40:34] “Why are dead children buried?” [Death] [Children] [Culture/Thailand]

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4. [41:43] “When and why did Ajahn Chah talk about his past?” [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] // [Stories]

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5. [44:18] “Did Ajahn Chah say, “I'm such a good teacher because I had so many defilements?”” [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] [Unwholesome Roots]

Story: Ajahn Chah explains that he had a lot of defilements to work with. [Ajahn Viradhammo]

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6. [46:26] “Did Ajahn Chah use asubha practice during his battle with lust?” [Ajahn Chah] [Sensual desire] [Unattractiveness] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Impermanence] [Patience] [Conditionality]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 81.

Session 46: Maraṇussati: Keeping the End in Mind – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 10, 2014 Download audio (51:47)

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1. [0:00] Reading: Short recollection of Ajahn Chah from the talk “Life with Ajahn Chah” by Ajahn Anan. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño.

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2. [2:43] Reading: “Maraṇānussati – Keeping the End in Mind” from Seeking Buddho by Ajahn Anan pp. 69-74 and 91-92. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño.

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3. [22:18] Ajahn Anan's deference to Luang Por Chah. Recollection by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Anan] [Ajahn Chah] [Respect for elders]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

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4. [23:05] The trio of Ajahn Anan, Ajahn Dtun, and Ajahn Piak. [Ajahn Anan] [Ajahn Dtun] [Ajahn Piak] [Wat Pah Pong] [Spiritual friendship] [Ajahn Chah]

Quote: “Ajahn Dtun's path is the path of wisdom...Ajahn Piak is gifted in samādhi. And I have very strong faith.” — Ajahn Anan [Discernment] [Concentration] [Faith]

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5. [26:19] “It seems unusual for a monk to talk about his meditative attainments. Is this unusual or frowned upon?” [Monastic life] [Stages of awakening]

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6. [28:10] “Did Ajahn Piak and Ajahn Anan leave Wat Pah Pong together to found Wat Fah Krahm?” [Ajahn Piak] [Ajahn Anan] [Wat Pah Pong] [Wat Fah Krahm] // [Ajahn Dtun] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Sequence of training]

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7. [29:12] “Is this the monastery near the airport?” [Wat Fah Krahm]

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8. [30:06] “When Ajahn Anan left for Rayong, had Ajahn Dtun already left?” [Ajahn Anan] [Ajahn Dtun]

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9. [30:40] “How long was Ajahn Anan at Wat Fah Krahm?” [Ajahn Anan] [Wat Fah Krahm]

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10. [31:06] “How can we interest the mind in the recollection of death?” [Recollection/Death] [Desire] // [Mindfulness of breathing] [Sickness] [Death] [Poo Jum Gom] [Mindfulness of body] [Sense of urgency]

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11. [36:31] “Is recollection of death useful for laypeople?” [Recollection/Death] [Lay life] // [Human]

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12. [38:42] Comment by Ajahn Ñāṇiko: There is a belief that contemplating death can call death to you. [Recollection/Death] [Death] // [Fear]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

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13. [39:18] “How do I keep the mind from proliferating about what happens after death?” [Recollection/Death] [Rebirth] [Proliferation] // [Progress of insight]

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14. [40:50] “If you don't think you will reach Nibbāna in this life, did Ajahn Chah advise a place to aspire for rebirth in?” [Ajahn Anan] [Pure Land] [Ajahn Dtun] [Death] [Nibbāna] [Rebirth] [Buddha] [Ajahn Chah] // [Culture/Thailand] [Merit] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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15. [45:35] Discussion about faith followers and Dhamma followers. [Stream entry] [Stages of awakening] [Death] [Sutta]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Not-self] [Concentration] [Recollection/Death]

Reference: Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 441-445: Ajahn Chah comes down Pu Pek Mountain and nothing is the same. [Ajahn Chah]

Response by Ajahn Cunda. [Ajahn Amaro]

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16. [50:16] Comment: Comments about bringing death contemplation into the present moment. [Recollection/Death] [Present moment awareness] [Rebirth]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Vajrayāna]

Session 47: Meeting Ajahn Chah – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 11, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Reflections on meeting Ajahn Chah by Ajahn Boon Choo from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Ajahn Kovilo.

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1. [17:36] “Did you live with Ajahn Mahā Som?” [Ajahn Pasanno]

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2. [18:13] Story: Ajahn Somboon spends a vassa at Wat Pah Pong. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Somboon] [Wat Pah Pong] // [Abbot] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Ardency]

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3. [19:35] “Which monastery is Wat Keun?” [Wat Keun] [Environment] // [Almsround]

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4. [21:12] “What is the town across from Wat Keun?” [Wat Keun] // [Ajahn Puriso]

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5. [22:05] “Did you think of relocating Wat Pah Nanachat to Wat Keun?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Keun] // [Seclusion] [Ajahn Puriso] [Deva]

Story: Ajahn Chah asks Ajahn Pasanno to take over as abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat. [Ajahn Chah] [Abbot]

Story: Supporters offer Ajahn Pasanno several properties to start monasteries, but he passes them to others. [Generosity] [Culture/Natural environment] [Ajahn Gavesako] [Ajahn Liem] [Environment]

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6. [26:36] “You were offered a cornfield in Ohio? What year was that?” [Generosity] [Ajahn Pasanno]

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7. [27:19] “Do foreigners still go to Wat Keun?” [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Boon Choo] // [Personality] [Ajahn Liem] [Seclusion]

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8. [28:36] “Did Ajahn Boon Choo go to Europe?” [Ajahn Boon Choo] // [Thai sects] [Personality]

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9. [30:31] Story: After staying up two nights in a row, Ajahn Boon Choo nods in meditation then establishes samādhi and sits without moving. [Ajahn Boon Choo] [Sloth and torpor] [Devotion to wakefulness] [Concentration] // [Ajahn Kinaree] [Kaṭhina] [Wat Pah Pong]

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10. [32:54] “Did Luang Por Liem ask Luang Por Boon Choo to stay back when Luang Por Chah became ill?” [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Boon Choo] [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah] [Sickness] // [Wat Pahk Kut Wai] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Geography/Thailand]

Story: Karaoke bars spring up around Wat Pahk Kut Wai. [Seclusion]

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11. [35:26] Story: A Saṅgha meeting decides that Ajahn Boon Choo should look after Wat Keun. [Ajahn Boon Choo] [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Saṅgha decision making] [Respect for elders] // [Ajahn Puriso] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Pah Pong]

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12. [38:27] “If you had moved Wat Pah Nanachat to Wat Keun, would you have left Thailand?” [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Pasanno]

Quote: “I had one plan and the devas had a different one.” [Deva]

Sutta: DN 16.6.15: Mahāparinibbāna Sutta [Buddha/Biography] [Great disciples]

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13. [39:21] “What happened to Ajahn Puriso?” [Ajahn Puriso] [Disrobing] // [Translation] [Dhamma books] [P. A. Payutto]

Session 48: Conversations with Ajahn Piak – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 12, 2104

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[Session] Reading: Ajahn Piak, selected conversations with Western monks from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Tan Pamutto.

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1. [27:46] “Is it rare for someone to master samādhi before developing wisdom?” [Concentration] [Discernment] [Ajahn Piak]

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2. [28:59] “Would you be willing to talk about the difference between mindfulness, bare knowing, and the one who knows?” [Mindfulness] [Direct experience] [Knowing itself] // [Buddha] [Clear comprehension] [Thai] [Discernment] [Ardency] [Seclusion] [Cessation of Suffering]

Sutta: MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

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3. [35:23] “Could constant movement like Luang Por Teean's technique be useful for drowsiness?” [Sloth and torpor] [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation] // [Continuity of mindfulness]

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4. [38:08] Ajahn Pasanno describes the meditation method he used during his first year as a monk. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation/Techniques] // [Contact] [Feeling] [Movement meditation] [Concentration]

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5. [39:24] Ajahn Jotipālo tells about Luang Por Teean's technique at Wat Pah Nanachat. [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: "It isn't a method that's going to work. It's how you apply and use it and become skilled with it."

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6. [41:22] “Could the Ajahn Teean technique work for restlessness?” [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation] [Restlessness and worry]

Quote: “There's no such thing as the Ajahn Chah method of meditation.” [Ajahn Chah] [Meditation/Techniques] [Right Effort] [Mindfulness of mind]

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7. [42:32] “Did Ajahn Chah speak about paramī?” [Ajahn Chah] [Perfections] // [Culture/Thailand]

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8. [43:38] Comments by Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Pasanno about movement meditations. [Movement meditation] // [Continuity of mindfulness] [Mindfulness of breathing]

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9. [45:00] “Did you use the method of balancing a needle between your thumbs?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation/Techniques]

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10. [45:40] “What if your problem is restlessness?” [Restlessness and worry] // [Tranquility] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Energy]

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11. [47:33] “What is a reasonable amount of time to try out a new method?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Chah] [Meditation/Techniques] // [Personality] [Patience]

Session 49: The Singular Quality of an Ordinary Monk – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 13, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Readings from the biography Luangpor Teean: The Singular Quality of an Ordinary Monk by Vatana Supromajakr, M.D.. Read by Tan Khemako.

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1. [35:12] “Did Ajahn Teean learn his method from someone else?” [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation]

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2. [36:12] “Did Ajahn Teean have contact with Ajahn Chah?” [Ajahn Teean] [Ajahn Chah] // [Ajahn Mun] [Geography/Thailand]

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3. [40:36] “Does Luang Por Teean have disciples who are still alive?” [Ajahn Teean]

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4. [42:06] “Questions about a translated book by a Luang Por Teean disciple.” [Ajahn Teean]

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5. [42:59] “Do you know Venerable Nirodha who translated this book?” [Ajahn Teean] [Dhamma books] [Translation] [Ajahn Pasanno]

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6. [43:25] “Why did older men ordain as pakows and follow Ajahn Chah on tudong?” [Older monks] [Postulants] [Ajahn Chah] [Tudong] // [Culture/Thailand] [Food] [Almsfood]

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7. [45:57] “Is it common for older men to ordain?” [Older monks] // [Postulants] [Association with people of integrity]

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8. [47:48] “How long would such pakows ordain?” [Older monks] [Postulants] // [Amaravati] [Dhammapala]

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9. [48:36] “Was Luang Por Teean a forest teacher? Dhammayut or Mahanikai?” [Ajahn Teean] [Forest versus city monks] [Thai sects]

Session 50: The Customs of the Noble Ones – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 14, 2014 Download audio (45:55)

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1. [0:00] Reading: “The Customs of the Noble Ones” by Ajahn Ṭhānissaro. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.

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2. [19:28] Reading: Recollections of Ajahn Tongrat by Ajahn Gi from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.

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3. [34:46] “Who offered the second reading?” Answered by Ajahn Pesalo and Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Gi] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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4. [35:28] “Did any Wat Pah Pong monks spend time with Luang Por Gi?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Gi] // [Seclusion] [Ajahn Piak] [Ajahn Anek]

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5. [36:37] “How much time did Ajahn Chah spend with Ajahn Tongrat?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Tongrat] // [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Tudong]

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6. [37:42] Quote: “In the future, the forest monks will be like village monks, and the village monks will be like lay people.” — Ajahn Tongrat [Ajahn Tongrat] [Forest versus city monks] // [Ajahn Liem] [Wat Pah Pong]

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7. [38:26] “Was there a time in Thailand when no one had any noble attainments?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Cunda. [History/Thai Buddhism] [Stages of awakening] // [Chao Khun Upāli] [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Media]

Story: Prince Mongkut ordains seven times. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Vajirayan] [Ordination] [Doubt]

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8. [41:59] “Are there any of Luang Por Tongrat's teachings available?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Dhamma books] // [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Jayasaro]

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9. [44:10] “Has the Ajahn Utane biography been translated into English?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Translation] [Ajahn Utane] [Dhamma books]

Note: Ajahn Mudito translated Ajahn Utane's biography of Ajahn Tongrat into Portuguese in 2019. A machine translation from Portuguese to English is available on the internet.

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10. [44:30] “Is Ajahn Utane's monastery the same as Ajahn Tongrat's?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Utane] // [Ajahn Liem] [Stupas/monuments]

Session 51: Conversations with Ajahn Wanchai – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 17, 2014

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[Session] Reading: Ajahn Wanchai, questions and answers with the monks of Wat Pah Nanachat from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Ajahn Sudhīro.

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1. [33:14] “Sometimes I will see a bit of greed come up, I apply an antidote, for example, if its craving, apply some asuba; but it seems to exacerbate it–do you have any encouragement or similes from Ajahn Chah?” [Unwholesome Roots] [Right Effort] [Meditation/Results] [Ajahn Chah] // [Investigation of states] [Patience]

Simile: Putting a tiger in a cage. [Similes] [Mindfulness] [Discernment]

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2. [37:38] “The citta is sometimes defined as pure awareness, and it being in the fourth khanda, but it sounds like here he's talking about the activity of awareness?” [Heart/mind] [Knowing itself] [Volitional formations] // [Rebirth]

Quote: “There is that which is beyond birth and death. And then you start asking, 'Well, what is it and how is it? How should it be?' It's just the same as in the Sabbāsava Sutta (MN 2.7)...As soon as you get into conceiving, you've already started the process of dukkha.” [Unconditioned] [Proliferation] [Conceit] [Suffering]

Follow-up: “So is it better to hear what he said and let it go when I notice awareness that's good, but I don't have to make anything out of it?”

Quote: “The investigation is not a conceiving. The best investigation is when the mind is exceedingly still and not conceiving, not creating concepts.” [Discernment] [Concentration]

Follow-up: “So is it a realizing, not a conceiving?” [Knowledge and vision]

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3. [42:31] “If you keep chipping away at a theme of contemplation, you keep doing it, doing it, and nothing is changing in your experience, at some stage you feel this isn't working, do you just have to move on and try something else? Is it the case that you just have to try them all? No-one can tell you which is going to work for you?” [Depression] [Recollection] // [Patience] [Spiritual friendship]

Story: Ajahn Wanchai has a spinal injury and is in chronic pain but doesn't refer to himself. Told by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Ajahn Wanchai] [Suffering] [Sickness] [Pain] [Conceit]

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4. [46:00] Comment: The story you told where a monk was punched, I really didn't see the point of that. [Ajahn Jia] [Admonishment/feedback] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Cunda: Enlightened people still have personalities. [Cleanliness] [Liberation] [Personality] [Ajahn Tate] [Spiritual friendship] [Vinaya]

Quote: “Gold wrapped in a dirty rag.” — Ajahn Mahā Boowa describing Ajahn Jia. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Similes]

Recollection: Ajahn Chah was always the center of attention. [Ajahn Chah] [Personal presence]

Story: Some monks go to spend Vassa with Ajahn Jia, but he leaves to take care of his teacher. Told by Ajahn Cunda. [Rains retreat] [Ajahn Khao]

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5. [55:45] Comment: In the Thai Forest tradition there are some fierce teachers. In other Buddhist traditions the “don't question the guru” mentality seems to get way out of hand, but in Thailand that doesn't seem to happen so often. [Thai Forest Tradition] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Mentoring] [Ajahn Jia]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: Well, they just leave. [Ajahn Chah] [Respect] [Culture/Thailand]

Comments by Ajahn Pesalo and Ajahn Pasanno about Ajahn Jia. [Faith] [Liberation] [Personality]

Comments by Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Pasanno about avoiding both blind faith and badmouthing others. [Malicious speech] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Kamma] [Ajahn Wanchai]

Session 52: Toilets on the Path Part 1 – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 18, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Toilets on the Path” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 723-734. Read by Ajahn Suhajjo.

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1. [28:39] Recollection: Saṅgha gatherings at Wat Pah Pong on Ajahn Chah's birthday. [Wat Pah Pong] [Saṅgha] [Ajahn Chah] // [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Protocols] [Meditation]

Recollection: Inspecting almsbowls after the meal to see if there was any food left. [Almsbowl] [Food]

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2. [31:37] “Did I understand correctly, that this talk was originally given in Lao?” [Language] // [Ajahn Chah] [Thai] [Admonishment/feedback]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno translates the talk "Two Faces of Reality" for the book Bodhinyana. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Translation]

Story: Chao Khun Nor eats the same meal every day. [Chao Khun Nor] [Food] [Seclusion] [Pūjā]

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3. [37:01] “In the reading, did it say that he [Chao Khun Nor] slept in a coffin?” [Chao Khun Nor] [Recollection/Death]

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4. [37:21] “Was your eight years living with novices like how it was described in this reading ['Toilets on the Path']?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Novices] // [Thai]

Story: Ajahn Preecha comes to Wat Pah Pong at the age of 11 or 12. [Ajahn Preecha] [Postulants] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong]

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5. [39:04] “Was there a cap, a certain number of novices allowed at the monastery at one time?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Novices] // [Ajahn Chah] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries]

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6. [39:54] Comment: I got the impression from that introduction that the monastery was over-run with novices. [Wat Pah Pong] [Novices]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Rains retreat]

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7. [40:55] “How did Ajahn Chah communicate with his branch monasteries and how often?” [Ajahn Chah] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Monastery organizational structure] // [Abbot] [Technology]

Story: Growth of Wat Pah Pong branch monasteries from 1975 to 1980. [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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8. [42:47] Comment: Ajahn Chah probably wasn't a micro manager. [Ajahn Chah] [Abbot]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

Recollection: Ajahn Chah used the branch monasteries as part of the training of senior monks. [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Sequence of training]

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9. [44:06] Discussion about the reality of dealing with training behaviors amongst a constantly changing population within the monastery. [Monastic life] [Protocols] [Cleanliness] // [Temporary ordination]

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10. [45:17] “So they do temporary ordinations in Thailand?” [Culture/Thailand] [Temporary ordination] [Novices]

Follow-up: “What would be the duration, was there a range?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah]

Story: Ajahn Chah ordains 80 temporary monks for his mother's funeral. [Family] [Death] [Funerals]

Follow-up: “Did they come in as anāgārikas or sāmaṇeras?” [Sequence of training] [Postulants]

Story: Ajahn Chah takes on temporary ordinations for three years.

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11. [49:36] “Did they do temporary ordinations at Wat Pah Nanachat?” [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Temporary ordination] // [Novices] [Ajahn Kevali] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support]

Story: Ajahn Siripañño's first ordination was as a temporary novice. [Ajahn Siripañño]

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12. [52:02] “Was there a temporary ordination in England for Maurice Walsh?” [Maurice Walsh] [Temporary ordination] [Amaravati] // [Learning] [Older monks] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Pūjā]

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13. [54:46] “How many other traditions in Thailand use the model of anagārika for one year and sāmaṇera for one year?” [Sequence of training] // [Ajahn Sanong] [Media]

Session 53: Toilets on the Path Part 2 – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 19, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Toilets on the Path” (continued) from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 734-745. Read by Tan Khantiko.

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1. [26:25] “When you were living with Ajahn Chah, were many of his talks more related to the Korwat or practical matters, as opposed to the High Dhamma?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Teaching Dhamma] [Protocols] [Dhamma]

Quote: “There's not really a separation.” [Vinaya]

Comment: Ajahn Chah taught to the situation. Contributed by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Learning] [Sequence of training]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Cessation of Suffering] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]

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2. [29:22] “There were a number of different alms routes out of Wat Pah Pong. How was it decided who went on each one and how was the food distributed for the meal?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround] [Almsfood] [Saṅgha decision making] // [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Ajahn Liem]

Discussion of almsfood distribution at different monasteries. Led by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Pesalo. [Ajahn Tongrat] [Wat Pah Ban Tat]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno helped pass out food at Wat Pah Pong. [Ajahn Pasanno]

Story: Ajahn Tongrat exposes a monk concealing fish in his ball of sticky rice. [Food] [Admonishment/feedback]

Comments by Ajahn Pesalo and Ajahn Pasanno about food distribution at Wat Baan Tat. [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support]

Quote: “It's incredibly tiresome how organized we [Westerners] have to be....Organic spontaneity–that's how things work in Thailand.” [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand]

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3. [39:27] “At Wat Pah Pong there's a large mural of lay people eating, do you know where that came from or how long its been there?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Lay life] [Food] [Protocols]

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4. [40:25] “I have heard that the food would go into a big pot and get all mixed up. How often did that happen?” [Ajahn Chah] [Food] // [Abhayagiri] [Ajahn Sucitto]

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5. [41:39] Recollections: Deciding who went on the different alms routes at Wat Pah Pong. Recounted by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround] // [Rains retreat]

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6. [42:58] “Did the alms routes stay the same over the years?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround]

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7. [44:03] “Do you try to pass most of the houses in the village?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West]

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8. [45:19] “You'd have one village supporting more than one monastery, is that right?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Almsround] // [Forest versus city monks] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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9. [46:56] “How many villages are around Poo Jom Gom?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Poo Jum Gom] [Almsround]

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10. [48:38] Comment by Ajahn Jotipālo: The cold season is over, so we've lost our Kaṭhina privileges. [Kaṭhina] [Vinaya]

Session 54: Sotāpattimagga – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 21, 2014

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[Session] Readings from Sotāpattimagga by Ajahn Anan: “The Peaceful Heart Discovers the Truth” (partial), pp. 21-23; “When Calm Arises, Investigate the Body,” pp. 41-45; “When the Practice Declines,” pp. 68-70; “Nibbana is the Highest Happiness,” pp. 89-91. Read by Anagārika J.R..

Story: Ajahn Pasanno meets Ajahn Anan when Ajahn Anan was still a lay person. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Anan]

Session 55: Training under Ajahn Chah – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 25, 2014

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[Session] Reading: "Training under Ajahn Chah" by Ajahn Tong Jon from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Debbie Stamp. Translated by Ajahn Kovilo.

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1. [20:10] “Are there any stories you can share from the times when you were attendant to Luang Por Chah?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Upatakh] // [Teaching Dhamma] [Mentoring]

Quote: “I never asked him for anything. It never occured to me to ask Ajahn Chah for anything.” [Contentment]

Story: Ajahn Chah makes fun of Ajahn Pasanno's first Pāṭimokkha chanting. [Pāṭimokkha]

Quote: “He would be unrelenting if you were stuck in some aversion....He wouldn't indulge it. It was inevitably painful if one did.” [Aversion] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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2. [26:37] “Were there any other ways in which he tormented you specifically?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Story: Ajahn Chah won't let Ajahn Pasanno go to a branch monastery to escape the misery of the hot season. [Culture/Natural environment] [Work] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Restlessness and worry] [Aversion]

Story: Ajahn Chah calls Ajahn Pasanno lazy. [Pūjā]

Quote: “Do you give up?” — Ajahn Chah to Ajahn Pasanno. [Vinaya] [Relinquishment]

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3. [32:45] “Would Luang Por Chah teach or test monks and students in different ways?” [Ajahn Chah] [Mentoring] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Recollection: Joseph Kappel shakes with fear when on the receiving end of Ajahn Chah's admonishments. [Joseph Kappel] [Admonishment/feedback] [Fear]

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4. [35:16] Recollections of Ajahn Chah charming people. [Ajahn Chah] [Personal presence]

Story: "I'll have her bowing before the end." — Ajahn Chah speaking of George Sharp's daughter who travelled with George to Thailand. [George Sharp] [Bowing]

Note: Compare to George Sharp's version in The Chithurst Story by George Sharp, p. 67.

Quote: “Thank you. That was the most delicious meal I've had here.” — Ajahn Chah to an anxious English donor. [Food] [Gratitude] [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand]

Session 56: The Beauty Comes from Within – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 26, 2014 Download audio (26:49)

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1. [0:00] Reading: “The Beauty Comes from Within” from Paying Our Last Respects in Commemoration of Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 149-151. Read by Beth Steff.

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2. [5:03] Reading: Unpublished talk given by Ajahn Liem at Abhayagiri in 2009. Read by Beth Steff.

Session 57: Source and Stream – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 27, 2014 Download audio (39:15)

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1. [0:00] Biographical information about Ajahn Sim and Simply So. [Ajahn Sim] [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Dhamma books]

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2. [1:12] Reading: "About the Author" from Simply So by Ajahn Sim. [Ajahn Sim] // [Ajahn Mun] [Geography/Thailand] [Posture/Sitting]

Story: Ajahn Pabhakaro asks the Bung Wai villagers to sit full lotus. [Joseph Kappel] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Lunar observance days]

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3. [4:43] Reading: “Source and Stream” from Simply So by Ajahn Sim. Translated by Ajahn Jayasaro.

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4. [26:07] “There was a reference to the 4 assembles – what are they?” [Fourfold Assembly]

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5. [26:52] “Within Luang Por Mun's disciples, were some renowned for wisdom, others for samādhi, determination, psychic powers, faith, and so on?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Abhayagiri Saṅgha. [Ajahn Mun] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chorp] [Ajahn Khao] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Ajahn Wanchai]

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6. [28:51] “Who was the monk that was said to be flying around with the military planes?” [Psychic powers] // [Ajahn Waen]

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7. [30:01] Comment: I heard he [Ajahn Waen] was flying on an airplane engine, investigating it, and they had to ask him to leave it alone. [Psychic powers]

Story: When Ajahn Fun tries to investigate a bus engine with his mind, the engine stops repeatedly. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Fun] [Technology]

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8. [31:06] “In that talk he [Ajahn Sim] seemed to stress doing samatha meditation before practicing vipassana. Is that strictly held within this tradition?” [Ajahn Sim] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Tranquility] [Knowing itself] [Concentration] [Language]

Quote: “The qualities of the one pointed mind are vitakka, vicāra, pīti, sukha, and ekaggatā....It's not one pointed excluding. It works together, it harmonizes, it's balanced.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [One pointedness] [Right Concentration]

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9. [34:57] “When he [Ajahn Sim] talked about nama rupa, is that looking at the fundamental movement of the mind towards unwholesome dhammas?” [Ajahn Sim] [Aggregates] [Unwholesome Roots] [Investigation of states] // [Restlessness and worry] [Self-identity view]

Session 58: Discernment versus Self-Deception and Awareness Right at Awareness – Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 28, 2014

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[Session] Reading: “Discernment Versus Self-Deception” and “Awareness Right at Awareness" from An Unentangled Knowing by Upasikā Kee Nanayon pp. 87-90 and 14-17. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.

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1. [18:13] “There seems to be a point of difference in teachings – some teachers emphasize mindfulness of the mind and others say “go for the body.” Do you have any reflections about that?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Mindfulness of mind] [Mindfulness of body] // [Cessation of Suffering] [Science]

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2. [20:26] “All Dhammas are not to be clung to.” Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Clinging] [Relinquishment] // [Cessation] [Meditation/Techniques] [Right View] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Suffering]

Sutta: MN 37 Cūḷataṇhāsaṅkhaya Sutta

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3. [23:16] Comment by Ajahn Kaccāna: When working with the mind in a comfortable environment, one can skip past and the fear of death. [Mindfulness of mind] [Pain] [Fear] [Death]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

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4. [24:16] “With the succinct teaching “know and let go,” I notice a tendency in the mind to go through the motions of that without really being able to enter into it – what do I do about that?” [Mindfulness] [Relinquishment] [Truth] [Perfections]

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5. [28:27] “In my desire to get to the “heart of it” I find part of my mind really wants this, but another part of my mind is not going along with the program. How do I keep myself on the Path?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Desire] [Simplicity] [Volition] // [Suffering] [Cessation of Suffering] [Impermanence] [Cessation] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon]

Follow-up: “The experience of arising and disbanding isn't yet practical for me. I need something more operational.” [Tranquility]

Simile: Making a fire flare up or die down (SN 46.53). — Ajahn Pasanno. [Factors of Awakening] [Energy] [Mindfulness]

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6. [34:35] When the practice is difficult, one can look at wholesome states and say, "This is the result when I did this. There actually was some good that came of it." Comment by Ajahn Cunda. [Skillful qualities] [Conditionality] [Gladdening the mind] [Kamma]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Recollection/Virtue]

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7. [36:23] Quote: “The art of the pause.” — Ajahn Sucitto [Ajahn Sucitto] [Pace of life] // [Discernment] [Skillful qualities]