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40 events, 230 sessions, 1967 excerpts, 112:42:51 total duration

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Ajahn Chah (320)     Ajahn Pasanno (175)     Monastic life (128)     Suffering (117)     Culture/Thailand (113)     Relinquishment (108)     Mindfulness of breathing (101)     Happiness (98)     Self-identity view (98)     Death (96)    

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2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 5Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 26, 2014

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1. “How do I use the teaching today about investigating the cause of suffering when working with betrayal? Been married to high school sweetheart for 40 years. Raised children together and best of friends. Lately he has gone off the deep end. Midlife crisis? - who knows, but he started drinking and acting out sexually. The feelings of shock, betrayal, hurt, anger and fear are beyond words. If new relationship I would leave, but he has been in my life since I was a child. Impossible to accept but hard to leave. How do I find the cause of suffering (noble truth) you spoke of today? And how to bring some equanimity and space around this?” [Cause of Suffering] [Family] [Intoxicants] [Sexual misconduct] [Aversion] [Equanimity]

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2. “How does a “stream enterer” know in their next life that she/he is a stream enterer?” [Stream entry] [Rebirth]

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3. “Can you talk about the quality of disgust, and how it is beneficial for practice? For example, awareness of the disgusting nature of eating and the digestive process arises when I'm eating. In all honesty, I try to finish my food as quickly as possible when this happens. Unpleasant. Is there a better / more skillful way to hold this experience?” [Disenchantment] [Food]

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4. “I just wanted to share my gratitude for Ajahn Karuṇadhammo, Ajahn Ñāniko, and Debbie (you too Luang Por) for giving each day, very needed and timely encouragements—sometimes immediately answering a question I had just posed to myself. It's like you are all just reading my mind / heart. Questions go deeper and so do your reflections on Dhamma. (Bow, bow, bow, añjali.)” [Gratitude] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Teaching Dhamma]

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5. “There is a borderline between being fierce (in a wholesome way) and being aggressive. I can't say anything about Dhamma teachers as I have never experienced Thai Ajahns, but a few yoga teachers I've studied with in my opinion were rather just exercising their power over students. How to tell the difference between a teacher who genuinely means well to their students while acting fierce-fully from someone on a power trip?” [Teaching Dhamma] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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6. “It seems that suffering in the lives of many people, my own included, comes from feeling unworthy or unlovable. Would you have any thoughts on why so many people feel that way and what will help to let go of this feeling? Thank you!” [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]

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7. “It was such a joy to hear Khun Debbie give a Dhamma talk at the retreat along with the monastics. She is a jewel. Actually you all are…(triple gem). Thank you.” [Gratitude] [Teaching Dhamma]

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8. “Perception can be very slippery. I experience it as a veil, view, filter, or lens that colors a situation. The traditional Buddhist teaching of, “tinted glasses” and “bowls of water,” is very helpful. However, identification is strong. Do you have suggestions for how to see through perception? How to know when it is coloring my world view?” [Perception] [Self-identity view] [Delusion]

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9. “What is the difference between directed thought and verbal fabrication? Thank you for showing us patience.” [Directed thought and evaluation] [Volitional formations]

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10. “Thank you so very much for your very compassionate, clear, and useful teachings. Can you please talk a little bit about dependent origination so that we may put an end to the causes of suffering? Thank you again for your compassionate teachings and humor. We appreciate you and the rest of the Sangha!” [Gratitude] [Dependent origination] [Cessation of Suffering]

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11. “How can one investigate without getting the mind too active? I find that when I try to investigate or reflect, my mind gets so active that I find myself getting caught up in it. Thank you.” [Investigation of states] [Recollection] [Proliferation]

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12. “Are the teachings being recorded? What happened to the usual football game? Do you know?”

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13. “This is a comment to say thank you to the whole Sangha, really, for your interest in practice. We were doing walking meditation and there was such a contrast between the cars driving through and the walking practice. Usually, I feel more alone in practice. It feels so good not to be the odd one out. You guys almost made me cry with sweeping the walking paths yesterday. Thank you Sangha.” [Gratitude] [Posture/Walking] [Spiritual friendship]

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14. “I once heard a Tibetan teacher say “the Dharma is one.” Can the Dhamma mean phenomena in general or am I just misunderstanding?” [Mindfulness of dhammas] [Dhamma]

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15. “My body does not physically handle sitting or stationary positions for long periods of time. I would like to do more walking meditation. Walking has a lot more distractions. Can you give some specifics on where to put my focus? Rise and fall of breath, feet, skeleton moving? Where to look, etc. Is it possible to achieve the same level of calmness, concentration and insights when the body is moving and you cannot close the eyes or keep focus on one spot?” [Posture/Walking] [Proliferation] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation]

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16. “Was the fire sermon a “teaching moment” of hyperbole? I love to take photographs, for example, and it helps me engage much more deeply with the world outside my skull. And it fills me with rapture, compassion, and joy! Does the Buddha's recipe for liberation truly entail cutting off this experience of beauty? Where's the Theravada equivalent to the Zen “suchness” —the awe of life and its ephemerality? Thank you!” [Dispassion] [Impermanence] [Suchness] [Recreation/leisure/sport] [Liberation] [Compassion] [Happiness]

Sutta: SN 35.28: Ādittapariyāya Sutta

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17. “I've wondered for some time how to put together (a) birth, aging, death or dukkha and (b) the cause of dukkha as craving. Is it correct to say that the source of dukkha is in the mind (i.e., craving)? If so, what does it mean to say that birth, aging, and death—facts that we don't control and can't change—are dukkha? Thank you for your generosity and wisdom.” [Cause of Suffering] [Craving] [Noble Truth of Suffering]

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18. “I was very fortunate to receive a Pali name from the Sangha. At first, I was very energized in my practice but then I saw it as just another identity to work with, particularly from a pride and self-view side. I seldom use my Pali name these days but I realize that I am neglecting this gift. How do I use my Pali name skillfully in my practice?” [Pāli] [Self-identity view] [Language]

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19. “Was Pali ever a conversational language? Do you know of a translation of suttas that use more common, everyday words? For example, saying…letting go or releasing instead of relinquishing. I like to use simple words in the day to remind myself.” [Pāli] [History/Early Buddhism] [Sutta] [Translation] [Language]

Note: Bhante Sujato's translations (available on use less technical terms.

2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 6Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 27, 2014

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1. “A question regarding the 5 precepts. In daily life, I am really good about keeping #1, 2, 3 and 5; but somehow I found that the precept #4 is really hard. I find myself lying everyday such as: “Do I look good?” → Yes, of course. “Do you want to eat some more?” → No, thanks, I’m full (but in fact the food didn’t taste good). Or speaking at a wrong time, speaking too long, toos hort, too harsh or speaking with a wrong tone of voice. This is the hardest one for me. Kindly advise. Thank you.” [Five Precepts] [False speech] [Right Speech]

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2. “What is left once there is no self? Is it the same as enlightenment? Can a person still function in a daily life (drive a car for example)?” [Not-self] [Stages of awakening]

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3. “Thank you for bringing much needed yoga to the retreat and many thanks to Corina for her wonderful classes and her selfless service!” [Gratitude]

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4. “How and when did Buddhism come to Thailand?” [History/Thai Buddhism]

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5. “Can you define / explain saṅkhāras—mental formations? For example, what phenomena does it include? How can one evaluate what is or is not a saṅkhāra? How does it differ from the hindi / yogic samskara? Thank you.” [Volitional formations] [Culture/India]

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6. “I’m wondering why the chanting says, “for me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge,” and the same for the Dhamma and the Sangha when all three are refuges. Also, why are the Dhamma and the Sangha referred to as “Lord?” Thank you.” [Chanting] [Three Refuges]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 23

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7. Comment: I’ve recently been blessed with two local Dhamma teachers separately teaching on the hindrances. Both suggested noticing when the hindrances are not present. That’s been a hard concept to recognize. Today’s teachings on looking at the opposite of a hindrance when it is present allowed me to become consciously aware and look at “why is the opposite not present in this moment” and “what I need to release the hindrance?” I guess I’m a right-brain person. Thank you for the change in perspective. [Hindrances] [Cessation] [Gratitude]

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8. “Can you please explain releasing the mind (again) in the context of the 12th step of the ānāpānasati. Thank you for your teachings. Mettā!” [Release] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Mindfulness of mind]

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9. “Is my understanding of the first noble truth correct in that it doesn’t deny enjoying things in life, but point to their temporary nature and underlying unsatisfaction once enjoyment ceases? Can I be a Buddhist and still enjoy my chocolate? Sincerely, chocolate lover.” [Noble Truth of Suffering] [Sensual desire] [Impermanence] [Suffering] [Food]

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10. “I have heard that based on the pleasure of jhāna, it is possible to overcome sexual desires more skillfully. But to have sammā samādhi one needs pāmojja. My heart has to battle sexual desire almost everyday and it is no less than painful to keep fighting the same battles. So in a way I have been doing all my recent walking meditations with a little sadness over not having yet overcome sexual desire, and not being to enter jhāna as easily and happily as Ajahn Karuṇadhammo describes. What do I do?” [Jhāna] [Sensual desire] [Gladdening the mind]

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11. “A limerick composed on the occasion of the 2014 Thanksgiving Retreat: If you’re late for a sit you must hurry in/From washing dishes by a drain smelling like durian (this part is true!)/Then you sit sit sit sit/‘Til you’re tied to be fit/And your belly is empty to put curry in.” [Artistic expression] [Humor]

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12. “My heart really wanted to serve you and the rest of the Sangha food today (of all days—Thanksgiving) out of gratitude and also because I thought that food had to be directly placed in the alms bowl of a monk in order for it to be consumed. So can you please give us a quick guide on the Vinaya rules regarding the offering of food and other things / requisites to monks? Thank you for your explanation so we can better serve the Sangha.” [Gratitude] [Almsfood] [Food] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support]

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13. “Does the process of refining awareness by calming the breath and becoming sensitive to the body of more subtle layers purify the mind and body? In preparation for more subtle states? Or? P.S. A little wish to hear Dhamma from Ven. Kassapo too. His appearance of equanimity is a solid reference for me this week. Añjali.” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Mindfulness of body]

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14. “How is it possible to be your student if I live far away (in the northwest)? In what ways does Abhayagiri connect with those not in proximity? Thank you!” [Abhayagiri]

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15. “Can you please explain whether there is a difference between “mind” and “consciousness,” because everything seems to be experienced in the mind; the body is experienced in the mind; feelings also seem to be experienced by the mind, as well as perceptions, sensations, etc. Thank you for your teaching and explanation.” [Heart/mind] [Consciousness] [Aggregates] [Nature of mind]

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16. “Do the monks have any prescribed physical exercises / stretching that they do to keep limber and agile with all their sitting?” [Monastic life] [Excercise]

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17. “Is having a ½ glass of wine at the Christmas or special dinner breaking that precept? Does the precept mean not getting intoxicated or not ever drinking substance?” [Intoxicants]

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18. “If the body is a sack of grains, my legs after 7 / 7:30pm are electric jumping beans. This has occurred on retreat for 30 years. At first, I assumed it was the usual resistances / saṅkhāras. For a decade, I’ve known it’s a neurological syndrome that many have (R.L.S.) and although it affects other parts of life, e.g., sleep, it’s never so intense as on retreat in the evening. As I calm and cleanse, it actually gets worse, even on longer retreats. If I don’t focus on exhaling calm and mettā, I would drive my neighbors crazy, twitching and squirming like a bored 4 year-old. But I’m not bored and I want to hear the teachings. The level of controlling the legs necessarily, even with calming, creates sometimes a kind of negative pīti—thunderbolts in the body with no delight or rapture! I intuit an ancient root to it but, what to do? Alternative and western guidance have not helped much. From your vast experience of squirming mediators, any advice? Any research on sitting and milder neurological phenomena like this? Right now, besides leaving the hall / tortured endurance / drugs / cutting off my legs, suggestions for a middle way?!” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Rapture] [Restlessness and worry]

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19. “I would like to invite my aging mother to live with my family. Our family observes the precept of no-killing. However, my mother is not vegetarian. My spouse insists that everyone in the house must uphold the precept. I think it’s unfair to impose that on my aging mother. Is my spouse holding onto fixed views? I very much would like to honor my filial duty and at the same time maintain harmony in the family. As a practitioner, what is the best way to handle this situation? Thank you, Ajahn, for your time and advice.” [Family] [Killing] [Vegetarianism]

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20. “Can you clarify (and simplify!) the four frames of reference? I have read Ven. Thanissaro’s book and it’s pretty challenging to remember from one paragraph to the next as it is so wonderfully dense. In particular, four frames especially as it pertains to mindfulness of breathing? Thank you!” [Right Mindfulness] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] [Mindfulness of breathing]

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21. “I appreciate so much the confidence you have given me to follow my own sense of what is wholesome. This teaching has really given me some much-needed ease and discovery!” [Gratitude]

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22. “I would like to add studying to my practice. I’d like to learn more of the fundamental lists. Would you recommend a book or two for starters? Thank you for your generosity of spirit.” [Learning]

2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 7Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 28, 2014

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1. Comment: A very long thank you note in Thai: ขอบคุฌหลวงพ่อที่มอบความดีงามใน้แก่มวลมนุษย์ ขอบคุฌหลวงพ่อที่สอนให้ทําแต่ความดี ละเว้นความชัว และสอนให้เดินตายรอยพระพุทธเจ้า ขอบคุฌความรักจากคณะสงฆ Debbie และ Retreat Mgr. ในแชร์ธรรมะและส่งดีๆ ให้กับพวกเรา การมีพระสงฆ์ที่ดีๆ ในระพุทธศาสนา สร้างคุณค่าดี สร้างความรักและความสงบสุขอันแท้จริงให้กับโลก [Question in Thai] [Gratitude]

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2. “Thank you for all of your thoughtful and pragmatic meditation tips. Do you have advice regarding the future-oriented mind? Speculation, planning, considering, obsessing really, about scenarios. Normal ideas are not working.” [Restlessness and worry] [Proliferation]

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3. “I love clues that help identify that some experience is or is not what I thought it is. For example, Ajahn Ñāniko’s point that just a blank purely absorbed state is not jhāna, (a wrong conclusion anybody any get to) and that instead it should be more “broad-based” and mettā-bhāvanā is very useful for that. This sort of “TEST” for the labels we may jump to apply to our experience is very useful insight—“cool” if I may say. Are there more such “tests?” P.S. This is to help prevent my mind from becoming too proud, or thinking I have attained some state when not.” [Jhāna] [Goodwill]

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4. “Thank you for talking about the nun who got enlightened the other day. Also thanks to Debbie for her talk! As a female myself, I find it inspirational hearing stories about women on the path. Most teachers, well-known disciples, the Buddha himself, were males, so at times I struggled to connect to the teachings. It felt too mind-focused, too “male” (as more women in my view connect through the heart, or at least I do). I see a lot of heart and compassion in the Dhamma now and I am learning more about women in Buddhism. It would be great to hear more stories about them in Dhamma talks and perhaps one day even have a guest nun visit and give a talk. Thank you.” [Women in Buddhism] [Compassion] [Women's monastic forms]

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5. “The guidance through seeing the non-self in relationship to the elements was very helpful. Can you explain what to look for in order to see the non self in relationship to strong emotions like grief. When do you look for the emptiness in emotions and when do you experience or express them. How does one balance the two?” [Not-self] [Grief]

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6. “How is compassion (karuṇā) is different from loving-kindness (mettā)? Is compassion similar to empathy? I am also wondering if it means you feel the pain of the person you feel compassion for.” [Goodwill] [Compassion]

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7. “Ajahn Ñāniko and Tan Kassapo: “Why be a monk?” Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Kassapo. [Monastic life/Motivation] // [Suffering]

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8. “A question for all the bhikkhus: Can you please recall a time when you were intensely attacked by the armies of Mara and had a lot of suffering and what did you do to overcome it? What strategy did you use or whether nothing worked at all and you just had to be patient with it and accept it? Thank you for your teaching.” [Monastic life] [Māra] [Suffering] [Patience]

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9. “Can one contemplate pain using the four elements or is here a more direct way to penetrate physical pain? Many thanks for your teachings.” [Pain] [Elements]

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10. “Thank you Ajahn Ñāniko for encouraging us to see Dhamma in hearts around us, and within. Apart from your beloved teachers and tradition, where else in our modern world do you see Dhamma in the hearts of those who also in various ways seek the end of suffering for all? Who particularly inspires you? Who is worthy of respect? For example, your support of Julia Butterfly Hill was inspired by her courage and heart, correct? Also, could a future Buddha be in the Sangha? Is it already happening? Your thoughts, Ajahn Pasanno and those of your esteemed company appreciated.” [Teachers] [Respect] [Buddha] [Gratitude]

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11. “Thank you so much for these wonderful teachings. Sometimes a very intense light nimitta arises and it feels like all of my energy rushes to my forehead. I try to ignore the nimitta but it gets brighter and undulating. I try to pull it down to my feet but that doesn’t work. I’ve tried all sorts of things but ultimately I just stop sitting; start walking. The nimitta gives me a headache and is draining. 1) Why does it happen? 2) What to do? Deep gratitude.” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Nimitta]

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12. “Following this morning’s talk on non-self, do you have any advice for reflecting on remorse / regret in the context of non-self? Remorse / regret are usually not big in my life except in one area: that of missed obligations to others. Investigation in this area rarely fortifies or informs me. It usually triggers either a well-tuned system of aversion / distraction or else despair. I do have confidence in the Buddha’s teachings and so an inkling that this can all be dismantled somehow. It’s quite a small inkle but it did try to get my attention this morning so any reflections or directions are deeply appreciated.” [Not-self] [Restlessness and worry]

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13. “Sometimes when I sit I get this really strange feeling that parts of my body (arm for example) are moving but I know in reality I have not moved. It’s usually when I’m in deep concentration. Do you know what is happening?” [Meditation/Unusual experiences]

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14. “Please tell us what the chant is referring to when it mentions the “3-fold bliss.” Thank you!” [Chanting] [Happiness]

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15. “Is the ego the same as self? If different, in what ways?” [Self-identity view] [Western psychology]

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16. “I enjoy the teaching about devas, they seem to be a good counter-balance for left-brain people. Is it correct to say that the Hindu deities are included into the Buddhist universe as higher devas, mighty but not omniscient and impermanent beings? I am particularly interested in Shiva, who for me is a positive symbol of cessation, relinquishment and play of the elements. I know that Brahma is mentioned a lot in the Canon, but what about Shiva? Also, since Thailand borrowed a lot from Indian culture, are there any devotional practices for Hindu deities, and if yes are they somehow integrated with Buddhism, perhaps on a folk level?” [Deva] [Culture/India] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Culture/Thailand] [Devotional practice]

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17. “I was practicing yogic prāṇāyāma for about a year to alleviate a medical problem. However, as my practice develops I notice effects on the mind particularly during breath retentions. Yogic literature states that there is a complete and spontaneous cessation of breath in full samādhi. Is it true that some scriptural Buddhist sources say that there is a cessation of breath in the fourth jhāna too?” [Culture/India] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Jhāna]

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18. “Overall, why do you think there is no application of conscious control of breath in Buddhist practice, e.g., no scriptural references to prolonged exhalations to help calm down the mind? Is it conceivable to speculate that Gautama Buddha did practice prāṇāyāmas with his two teachers before joining the ascetics but somehow did not find them useful?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Buddha/Biography]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 1: Broadly Established MindfulnessAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 6, 2015

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[Session] Dhamma talk: After the Abhayagiri community begins the retreat with the ceremony of taking dependence, Ajahn Pasanno explains the meaning of dependence, the importance of mindfulness, and how mindfulness connects with the eightfold path. He explains how to look after both oneself and others with mindfulness using the Simile of the Acrobat (SN 47.19). [Ceremony/ritual] [Dependence] [Mindfulness] [Right Mindfulness] [Eightfold Path]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 2: Right Effort and MindfulnessAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 7, 2015

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[Session] Dhamma talk: Ajahn Pasanno reflects upon the question: “What kind of effort do we need to conform with what the Buddha means by mindfulness?” He answers in terms of the four aspects of right effort, the seven qualities of Dhamma the Buddha taught to Upali (AN 7.79), and the Buddha's description of how he crossed the flood (SN 1.1). [Right Effort] [Mindfulness] [Dhamma]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 3: Mindfulness and Clear ComprehensionAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 8, 2015

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[Session] Dhamma talk: The commentary explains sampajañña (clear comprehension / alertness) as clear comprehension of purpose, suitability, domain, and non-delusion. Ajahn Pasanno describes how each of these factors relate to the practice of mindfulness. [Clear comprehension] [Mindfulness]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 4: Ardent, Alert, and MindfulAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 9, 2015

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[Session] Dhamma talk: Cautioning against trusting our assumptions about the nature of mindfulness, Ajahn Pasanno reviews several key passages in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (MN 10). [Ardency] [Clear comprehension] [Mindfulness] [Right Mindfulness]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 5: Advantages of Mindfulness, Disadvantages of AttachmentAjahn Karuṇadhammo – Jan. 10, 2015

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[Session] Readings from Body Contemplation: A Study Guide by Ajahn Ṭhānissaro. [Mindfulness of body]

AN 4.184: Janussonī; AN 10.60: Girimananda; SN 35.247: Six Animals; AN 4.45: Rohitassa; Thag 1.104: Khitaka.

Dhp 259, Dhp 299, Dhp 46; Ud 3.5.

AN 1.575 and onward, Mindfulness immersed in the body (SuttaCentral numbering).

AN 1.616 and onward, Deathless (SuttaCentral numbering).

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1. “Do you need to be a non-returner to be free from the fear of death?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Non-return] [Fear] [Death] [Sensual desire] // [Arahant] [Conceit] [Stream entry] [Faith]

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2. “In this passage where the Buddha lists illnesses and calamaties (AN 10.60), he separates kamma out as a cause of those things. However the cause of being subject to these things is because of making good or bad kamma. Is kamma [in this list] a direct, proximate cause?” [Kamma] [Sickness] [Conditionality]

Sutta: SN 36.21 Sīvaka: The Buddha refutes the notion that kamma causes everything.

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3. “Is mindfulness of the body fabricating a wholesome mental image of the body as opposed to an unwholesome image? But how can we know the body in any way other than vedanā?” [Mindfulness of body] [Visualization] [Feeling] // [S. N. Goenka] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Postures] [Clear comprehension] [Right Mindfulness] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Delusion] [Characteristics of existence]

Quote: “The availability of insight is through stepping back from the assumptions that we make, whether it's around the body or feeling or mind or the sense of self.” [Relinquishment]

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4. Discussion of which excercises described as mindfulness of the body (MN 10) are reflective techniques and which are based on vedanā. Led by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Mindfulness of body] [Recollection] [Feeling] // [Elements] [Unattractiveness] [Insight meditation] [Liberation]

Comment about S.N. Goenka's use of the term vedanā. Contributed by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [S. N. Goenka] [Contact] [Sense bases] [Aggregates]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 6: The Kāyagatāsati SuttaAjahn Karuṇadhammo – Jan. 11, 2015 [Unattractiveness]

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[Session] Reading: MN 119: This sutta describes the development of mindfulness of the body through mindfulness of breathing, the four postures, full awareness, bodily parts, elements, corpse contemplation, and the four jhānas. [Mindfulness of body]

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1. “What is mesentery?”

Reference: Abhayagiri Chanting Book, p. 37.

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2. “Why are some body parts omitted from this list?” // [Commentaries] [Sensual desire] [Self-identity view]

Reference: Abhayagiri Chanting Book, p. 37.

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3. Comment: This reminds me of Ajahn Anan's practice. [Ajahn Anan] [Nimitta] // [Thai Forest Tradition] [Concentration] [Sutta]

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4. “What do the Pāḷi terms translated as impurity and foulness mean?” [Pāli] [Translation] [Aversion] // [Etymology] [Sensual desire]

Simile: MN 119.7: Sack of grains.

Comment: Words themselves like "impure" are culturally loaded. [Language] [Cultural context] [Culture/India]

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5. Comment: I find it helpful to think about all the different cells of the body. How could any of them be me? [Form] [Not-self]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 7: Thirty-Two Parts Slideshow 1Ajahn Karuṇadhammo – Jan. 14, 2015 [Unattractiveness]

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[Session] The contemplation of the parts of the body can be used to reduce sexual craving, to still the mind, and to induce insight into the nature of the body. In the first slideshow, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo gives a brief description of the structure and function of each of the thirty-two parts. The Abhayagiri Chanting Book, p. 37 lists the thirty-two parts in Pali and English. Many of the slide show images come from, an internet resource for body contemplation. [Sensual desire] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation]

Reference: Video of the slideshow.

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1. “What is the length of an average small intestine?”

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2. “How long does it take food to make its way through the digestive tract?” [Food]

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3. “Is blood only red when it's outside the body?”

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4. “Is there a biological function for tears?” // [Emotion]

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5. “How does phlegm relate to mucus?”

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6. Comment: When I go though the list [of the 32 parts], I separate the object from my body and evision my body with it absent. [Visualization]

Response by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Ajahn Chah] [Not-self] [Sensual desire] [Calming meditation] [Sloth and torpor]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 8: Thirty-Two Parts Slideshow 2Ajahn Karuṇadhammo – Jan. 15, 2015 [Unattractiveness]

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[Session] Ajahn Karuṇadhammo reviews the slideshow again with an emphasis on internal contemplation and insight. [Recollection] [Insight meditation]

Reference: Video of the slideshow.

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1. “Why is there no liquid blood in the photographs of flesh and sinews?”

Reference: Thirty-two parts slideshow video.

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2. “Where does a stomach ache originate from?” [Sickness]

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3. “Is there a particular orientation for the intestines?”

Story: Ajahn Karuṇadhammo's first surgery as a nursing student. [Health care]

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4. “During the meditation, is it appropriate to envision the stomach itself with undigested food?” (The stomach isn't listed in the 32 parts.) [Visualization] [Food]

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5. Comment: Perhaps the thirty-one parts were part of the medical culture at the time of the Buddha.

Comment by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo: The brain had a lot less significance in those days. [History/Early Buddhism]

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6. Comment: I cultivate saṁvega by contemplating the heart. [Sense of urgency]

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7. “Why are the first five parts chosen for special contemplation?” // [Ajahn Mun] [Sensual desire]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 9: Ajahn Chah Remembrance DayAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 16, 2015

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1. Description of the Ajahn Chah Remembrance Day at Wat Pah Pong. [Ajahn Chah Remembrance Day] [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah] // [Devotional practice] [Gratitude]

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2. Reading from the draft biography of Ajahn Chah: The founding of Wat Pah Pong. [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Sao]

Reference: Stillness Flowing p.123 .

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3. Readings from the Introduction to Listening to the Heart by Kittisaro and Thanissara (commercial).

Story: Kittisaro's first meeting with Ajahn Chah. [Ajahn Chah] [Conceit] [Body scanning] [Humor]

Stories: The Squirrel Story and the Donkey Story. [Learning]

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 10: Contemplation of DeathAjahn Karuṇadhammo – Jan. 17, 2015 [Recollection/Death]

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Reading: Nine point death meditation from the Lam Rim.

Reading: AN 6.19: Mindfulness of Death (1).

Reading: AN 6.20: Mindfulness of Death (2).

Reading: MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, The Foundations of Mindfulness, Charnel ground contemplations.

Reading: “Only the Practice of Dharma Can Help Us at the Time of Death,” Larry Rosenberg, Tricycle, Summer 2000.

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1. Comments by Beth Steff about the Lam Rim teachings. [Vajrayāna] [Bhikkhu Bodhi]

Response by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

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2. Recollections of visiting the morgue in Thailand. Recounted by Debbie Stamp.

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 11: Elements 1Ajahn Karuṇadhammo – Jan. 18, 2015 [Elements]

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Reading: MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, The Foundations of Mindfulness, Elements.

Reading: MN 62: Mahārāhulaovāda Sutta, The Greater Discourse of Advice to Rāhula.

Reading: “Wholehearted training” in Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 635 (excerpt).

Reading: “Why Are We Here?” in Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 131 (excerpt).

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1. “Has there been discussion of getting a skeleton for Abhayagiri?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Unattractiveness] [Abhayagiri]

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2. “Is it common for body contemplation to veer towards aversion?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Mindfulness of body] [Unattractiveness] [Aversion] // [Translation] [Not-self] [Ajahn Chah]

Sutta: MN 62: Mahārāhulaovāda Sutta, The Greater Discourse of Advice to Rāhula.

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 12: Elements 2Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 21, 2015 [Elements]

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[Session] Reading: "Theory: Elements," Meditation: A Way of Awakening by Ajahn Sucitto, pp. 128-138.

Abhayagiri 2015 Winter Retreat, Session 13: Elements 3Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 22, 2015 [Elements]

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[Session] ““How you develop four-elements meditation,” Knowing and Seeing by Pa Auk Sayadaw, pp. 116-120.”

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1. “Does the imbalance mentioned [in Knowing and Seeing by Pa Auk Sayadaw, pp. 120] come from focusing in too much on a single element?”

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2. Appreciation for the elements meditation in Knowing and Seeing by Pa Auk Sayadaw, pp. 116-120. Comment by Ajahn Kaccāna. // [Mindfulness of body]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Investigation of states] [Delusion]

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3. “What did Winnie-the-Pooh say about intellect versus understanding?” [Winnie-the-Pooh] [Nature of mind] [Humor]