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

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Thanksgiving Retreat 2016, Session 7Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 25, 2016

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1. “Can you please say a little more about using the contemplation of death to gladden the mind?” [Recollection/Death] [Gladdening the mind]

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2. “How do I become a more generous person if there is a constant underlying worry about having enough (money for living, retirement, etc.)? How to create a sense of abundance within so I can truly give to others?” [Generosity] [Fear] [Commerce/economics]

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3. “I find when the mind settles, it is highly suggestible, and the gentlest whisper of piti or sukha will sometimes bring those, if they haven’t arisen on their own. You spoke a little last night about sustaining and expanding piti and rapture and moving the mind towards equanimity. If you could expand or reiterate, that might be helpful for further exploration.” [Calming meditation] [Rapture] [Equanimity]

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4. “Is realization of anatta a sudden event or does it happen gradually with sense of self becoming less and less dense until it eventually dissolves?” [Not-self] [Progress of insight]

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5. “Can you please give some guidance on recognizing delusion in the mind? Greed and aversion seem easier to spot.” [Delusion]

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6. “Can you suggest some ways of approaching walking meditation that you have found fruitful? Do the themes of anapanasati apply, for example? Is this an adaptable, useful structure?” [Posture/Walking] [Mindfulness of breathing]

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7. “Generally, is right intention a subset of kamma or is it the whole enchilada?” [Right Intention] [Kamma]

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8. “Does all the chanting we are doing go back to Buddha’s time or has some of it evolved later?” [Chanting] [History/Early Buddhism]

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9. “Was sati, vedana, jhana part of the religious climate current at the Buddha’s time? How revolutionary was he seen to be then? Do we know?” [History/Early Buddhism] [Buddha/Biography] [Mindfulness] [Feeling] [Jhāna]

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10. “I was wondering how I include the discernment obtained from lifting up the mind to solve a life issue. I wish I could be more intelligent and brighter to solve my life problem in a skillful way. Please advise.” [Discernment] [Everyday life]

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11. “It is the eighth evening of the retreat; feels timely to ask what was Ajahn Chah’s teaching for local lay people regarding sexual desire and sexual misconduct. Did he make a different emphasis when he taught westerners?” [Ajahn Chah] [Lay life] [Sensual desire] [Sexual misconduct] [Culture/West]

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12. “Will you briefly remind us who are “the four pairs, eight kinds of noble beings”?” [Stages of awakening]

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13. “In the teachings on mindfulness of breathing, what does it mean “....sets her/his body erect, having established mindfulness in front of her/him”? I think “in front of” has been interpreted in different ways.” [Mindfulness of breathing]

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14. “The term “sati”. What does it mean? Does it mean mindfulness?” [Mindfulness]

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15. “Would you please give some advice on how to deal with obsessive compulsive thoughts that cause fear in the mind and tension in the body? I have tried to remember that “mental formations” are not self, but this doesn’t seem to alleviate the problem or help much.” [Habits] [Fear] [Volitional formations] [Not-self]

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16. “Will you tell a bit of your story in becoming a monk, early family life, how you came to Thailand, at what age you ordained?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life/Motivation]

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17. “Would you say more about the ardent, purifying aspect of mindfulness?” [Mindfulness] [Ardency]

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18. “Did the Buddha give instructions for walking meditation?” [Posture/Walking]

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19. “What is the latest news re women’s ordination the Thai Forest tradition from upper and lower echelons of the tradition? How would you advise young women seeking ordination in this kind of tradition?” [Women's monastic forms] [Thai Forest Tradition]

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20. “Regarding the second foundation of mindfulness, feeling: Is pleasant/painful functionally wanting/not wanting?” [Mindfulness of feeling] [Craving]

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21. “Going on alms round, especially in the US, seems like a very noble, patient practice. Would you speak more of what happens when monastics go for alms for the first time in an american town like Ukiah or in Oregon? When people have no idea what you are doing, and you can’t ask for anything, what happens? Did the monastics go hungry the first few times? Do you explain to people? Do you bless everyone with a chant who gives you food?” [Almsround] [Culture/West]

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22. “Do you understand impermanence as the phenomena of a river flowing or as a light being turned on and off as Bhikkhu Analayo describes?” [Impermanence] [Ven. Analayo]

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23. “When I watch my breath, I have all I can do to be aware of one breath and then the next. But the Buddha said, “Know if it is long or short”. Can you give an insight into why this step beyond bare awareness? Also why long and short, vs, for example, shaky and smooth, consistent and inconsistent, belly breath or nostril breath?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Present moment awareness]

Thanksgiving Retreat 2016, Session 8Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 26, 2016

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1. “I was surprised to learn recently that there is a concept of hell in the suttas Could you talk a bit about what Buddha meant by it and who goes there?” [Hell]

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2. “Could you describe in detail and provide explicit examples of the four mutual qualities of a couple?” [Relationships]

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3. “You have mentioned in the morning that the meditation of breathing could help with cessation of dukkha. Could you elaborate how breathing in/out can cease dukkha?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Cessation of Suffering]

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4. “Can sukha and equanimity exist at the same time? I am wondering if I am missing an opportunity to work with equanimity and other factors of enlightenment by always hanging out in sukha-land. Could you please mention how to recognise equanimity?” [Happiness] [Equanimity]

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5. “Would you briefly say the name again of the protective meditations?”

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6. ““Buddha is Teacher of Gods and Humans”, so according to Buddha, there is no one God but many Gods or it depends on what is meant by God?” [Recollection/Buddha] [Deva]

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7. “Mind is impermanent correct? So when the Buddha says that the mind is radiant and it gets obscured by defilements, does this mean that the mind that arises without defilements in that moment is radiant? radiance is composed of many minds arising and passing away without defilements?” [Heart/mind] [Impermanence] [Nature of mind]

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8. “Do you have any inspiring stories to share of practicing with strong fear (animals,etc)? I’m inspired when I hear such stories from monks of this tradition.” [Fear] [Stories]

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9. “Is the blessing chant after receiving food only reserved to monks or are there appropriate occasions when lay people can chant it? Which Pali verses are your favorite to enjoy sound and poetic beauty of the language?” [Chanting] [Pāli]

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10. “Would you please explain what is appropriate with regards to a Buddha image? Is it ok to put a Buddha statue directly on the ground or level concrete, or must the statue be on a platform always?” [Buddha images] [Respect]

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11. “Will you please define bodily formations and mental formations again?” [Volitional formations]

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12. “A longtime Buddhist friend told me that Buddha gave a sermon extolling his followers to bury gold to protect themselves from the government. I find this unlikely and have not been able to find any such reference in the liturgy. Is there any such sermon?” [Commerce/economics] [Sutta]

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13. “I sometimes experience states in which the body is very relaxed and it is easy to become very absorbed in the breath. They are pleasurable and quite calming but is there something I should do with them?” [Calming meditation] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Concentration]

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14. “In the Catholic tradition, when someone dies, a priest is often brought in to administer last rites (extreme unction). Is there any similar tradition in Buddhism to be with the dying practitioner?” [Christianity] [Death]

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15. “In the anapanasati sutta, how should one approach the various steps listed in the sutta? All in one sitting? Over time?” [Mindfulness of breathing]

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16. “Could you list the ways one contemplates mind as mind again? (third foundation of mindfulness).” [Mindfulness of mind]

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17. “Yesterday when you spoke of women’s ordination in California, I thought of the nuns at Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery who left the Thai Forest Tradition to ordain as nuns. As a woman who has felt a strong calling to the monastic life, I feel a painful split in my heart between the love I have for the Thai Forest Tradition that has changed my life, and its seemingly uncompassionate regard for women wishing to live the Holy Life. It leaves me with a profound feeling of hurt and “less-than” mana. I have to believe that the Buddha, who revolutionarily taught against the caste system, would not want me to feel like second class member of the human race when trying to live a life in his example. I have tried bringing self compassion to this felt sense of my heart breaking, but the pain seems to get worse with the association of the teachers of the Thai Forest tradition who showed me the dharma and yet follow this “anti-nun" rule. Would you share some words of healing to help my heart and restore my faith in this tradition that has so profoundly changed my life?” [Women's monastic forms] [Thai Forest Tradition] [Women in Buddhism] [Compassion] [Faith]

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18. “Do you have any doubts in the Dhamma’s promise that the result of accomplished practice is total liberation from suffering?” [Doubt] [Dhamma] [Liberation] [Cessation of Suffering]

Two Kinds of Thought and the Removal of Distracting Thoughts, Session 1: Two Kinds of ThoughtAjahn Pasanno – Jun. 4, 2017 [Directed thought and evaluation]

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1. “The term 'sense consciousness' is used in the morning chanting, but I didn't hear that [in MN 19]. When the Buddha recognizes a thought and puts it into a certain bin, this seems like a step beyond sense consciousness.” [Consciousness] [Sense bases] [Investigation of states] // [Mindfulness]

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2. Comment: One of my favorite things about the sutta [MN 19] is where [the Buddha] says, 'Before I was awakened, it occured to me, "Suppose I divide my thoughts into two classes."' It's like an experiment. [Buddha/Biography] [Investigation of states] // [Meditation/Techniques] [Desire]

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3. “I got a little confused about the part [of MN 19] where it says, 'these thoughts are not to be feared.'” [Fear] // [Right Intention] [Calming meditation] [Happiness]

Quote: “In trying to stop thinking, there's an incredible tension that is created in the mind.” [Suffering]

Follow-up: “[MN 19] mentioned that these thoughts might make you tired.” [Sloth and torpor]

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4. Comment: That [MN 19.8] feels like it goes to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness of knowing when the mind is here, knowing what's happening to the body. [Right Mindfulness] [Mindfulness of body]

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5. Comment: Appreciation for the similies of poking the cow and the herd of deer (MN 19). [Similes] [Heedfulness]

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6. “Sometimes I get very worried and keep thinking about something and get tired and stressed out. Is this what the Buddha meant by 'a day and a night' [in MN 19.8]?” [Restlessness and worry] // [Unskillful qualities] [Suffering] [Similes] [Heedfulness]

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7. “Could you give some advice on using directed and sustained thought? Would these thoughts be like reapeating 'Buddho' or are they conceptual?” [Buddho mantra] // [Ajahn Chah]

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8. “I'm curious about the wholesome/unwholesome assessment [in MN 19]. If it's a thought of ill-will, greed, hatred, or delusion, but we're not attached to it, we're just seeing it arise, seeing it pass, recognizing it, being aware that it's in the mind. Does the unwholesomeness come from believing it?” [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities] [Investigation of states] [Unwholesome Roots] [Mindfulness of mind] // [Habits] [Hindrances]

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9. “How much should we be using that tool of the two categories?” [Investigation of states]

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10. Comment: In this teaching [MN 19], the Buddha doesn't talk about any middle ground such as neutral thoughts.

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Teaching Dhamma] [Jhāna]

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11. “Where does attachment fit into the Dvedhāvitakka Sutta [MN 19]? Is it also thought?” [Clinging] // [Sutta] [Hearing the true Dhamma]

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12. “When [the Buddha] talks about sensual desire, that's craving, right?” [Sensual desire] [Craving]

Follow-up: “Do you know what the Pāli word used for sensual desire [in MN 19] is? I think that craving and sensual desire are different.” [Pāli]

Two Kinds of Thought and the Removal of Distracting Thoughts, Session 2: The Removal of Distracting ThoughtsAjahn Pasanno – Jun. 4, 2017

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1. “The last option [in MN 20] I thought was really interesting because it's reare I hear such agressive terms used. There's almost a sense of violence in some of those terms. Is that just because of the interpretation? Also, is another option to get rid of the thought to get up and actively do something?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Language] [Abuse/violence] [Excercise] // [Buddha/Biography] [Similes] [Cleanliness] [Gladdening the mind]

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2. Comment: Ajahn Amaro talked about a teacher who was an ex-boxer with rough manners. [Personality] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Unwholesome Roots]

Story: Ajahn Mun admonishes Ajahn Mahā Boowa: "You need to develop some subtlety!" [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Admonishment/feedback]

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3. “After a long time in practice trying to order thoughts around, which hasn't been so fruitful, there's been an experiment: trying to observe even when thoughts are really spinning, just bringing an awareness and let them spin. If there's a strong sense of watching, where does that fit in [to MN 20]?” [Directed thought and evaluation] [Proliferation] [Present moment awareness] // [Mindfulness] [Tranquility]

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4. “When you go into your body to feel the underlying emotion behnd a thought, what happens when the bodily feeling is so uncomfortable taht you really don't want to feel it?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Mindfulness of body] [Emotion] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Suffering] [Aversion] [Fear] // [Recollection/Buddha] [Recollection/Saṅgha] [Recollection/Virtue] [Faith]

Follow-up: “It seems really difficult to think of Dhamma or the refuges while in such a wrapped-up state. I don't know if I could do that.” [Noble Truth of Suffering] [Visualization] [Goodwill] [Compassion]

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5. Comment: I've discovered on this path that we can change, but sometimes we can not change, and it's just accepting ourselves better and being more at ease in our bodies. [Eightfold Path] [Judgementalism] [Tranquility]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

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6. “I'm struggling with developing a personal faith that I can trust in my body and not hurt myself and accept myself.” [Faith] [Mindfulness of body] // [Faculties] [Language]

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7. Comment: One time I really to the edge of all kinds of sadness and my mind came up with [audio unclear] and Three Refuges in a way that seemed very useful for me. [Depression] [Three Refuges] // [Mantra] [Determination] [Suffering]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Skillful qualities]

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8. “All these practices [in MN 20] have been useful to calm the thoughts in the moment, but with ill-will and forgiveness, it hasn't genuinely changed the underlying emotion. I thought I had forgiven somebody, but ill-will comes up towards that person six months later. When do you genuinely change the underlying emotion?” [Calming meditation] [Ill-will] [Forgiveness] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Right Intention] [Conditionality] [Perfectionism]

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9. “When the word evil comes up in a Buddhist context, it always takes me by surprise. What is the word being translated as evil thoughts [in MN 20]?” [Unskillful qualities] [Pāli] [Translation] // [Thai] [Language]

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10. “How can you connect the five methods [of MN 20] with the development of insight, which people tend to equate with just observing?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] // [Investigation of states] [Characteristics of existence] [Dependent origination] [Cessation]

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11. Comment about developing faith in the practice by watching energies move, change, and dissipate in the body. [Faith] [Mindfulness of body] // [Grief]

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12. Comment: The language in method five [of MN 20] still catches me. If I'm pushing against a thought and beating it down, I'm actually more attached to it because of that. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Right Effort] [Abuse/violence] [Clinging]

Responses by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

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13. Comment: I find the method of tracing a thought back to its origin in sense contact very useful. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Sense bases] [Contact]

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14. Comment: The fifth method [of MN 20] is using mind on mind, thought over thought. It's actually kind of subtle. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Mindfulness of mind]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Clinging]

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15. “My friend is having anxiety about her pregnancy issues. These are understandable but not helpful for her well-being. Do you have any recommendations for dealing with legitimate fears?” [Restlessness and worry] [Health] [Birth] [Fear] // [Visualization] [Goodwill] [Compassion]

Follow-up: “Would this go under the category of taking a smaller peg? (MN 20 method one)” [Directed thought and evaluation]

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16. Comment: My experience with method five [of MN 20] is that it works when the mind doing the crushing is compassion mind, wisdom mind. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Compassion] [Discernment] [Right Intention]

Responses by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

Two Kinds of Thought and the Removal of Distracting Thoughts, Session 3: Responses from Small Group DiscussionsAjahn Pasanno – Jun. 4, 2017 [Directed thought and evaluation]

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1. “Are the teachings in MN 19: Two Kinds of Thought and MN 20: The Removal of Distracting Thoughts meant to be used just during meditation or 24/7?” [Right Effort] [Continuity of mindfulness] // [Everyday life]

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2. Comment: Our group talked about body scanning, coming back to the body, as a way to find your center. Everyone was conscious of skillful means in knowing themselves. We all had different ways of knowing what works and adapting to different circumstances that arise. [Body scanning] [Mindfulness of body] [Right Effort]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Long-term practice]

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3. Comment: Our group talked about what we use to deal with our thoughts, the Four Noble Truths, and perfectionism. [Four Noble Truths]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: "You can't go wrong by coming back to the Four Noble Truths."

Simile: The footprint of all animals fit within the footprint of an elephant. In the same way, all the teachings of the Buddha will fit into the Four Noble Truths. — Sariputta, MN 28 [Similes] [Teaching Dhamma] [Great disciples]

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4. Comment: Our group talked about our suffering, the kind of thoughts that we're laboring under, the nature of obsessive and addictive thoughts, and how these teachings might help us choose freedom. [Suffering] [Addiction] [Liberation]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Mindfulness of body] [Four Noble Truths]

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5. “Where does allowing the thought to be there for a little bit come in? For example, if you're thinking about a past event that means something to you, and you're trying to stop it, and all of a sudden you realize, 'Oh, it's okay. This is meaningful to you.' And it really loses power.” [Present moment awareness] // [Ill-will] [Craving not to become] [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension]

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6. Comment: I've been reflecting on freedom from as opposed to freedom within. Sometimes there's a secret hope that those thoughts will go away, vibhava-taṇha, as opposed to freedom within, meaning releasing the identification with painful thoughts. [Craving not to become] [Self-identity view] [Release] // [Hindrances]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Suffering]

Quote: “Just that much.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Disenchantment]

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7. “Do thoughts by themselves have karmic consequences?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Kamma] // [Perception] [Feeling] [Volition] [Self-identity view]

Sutta: MN 56: Upāli

Follow-up: “Is it good kamma to decide not to act on an unskillful thought?” [Skillful qualities]

Story: A person talks with Ajahn Liem, analyzing their consistently bad thoughts and obsessions. He replies, "If you see a pile of excrement, why would you want to stick your nose in it?" Told by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Ajahn Liem] [Unskillful qualities] [Similes] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Culture/Thailand] [Thai Forest Tradition]

Comment: I think my problem is that my nose is already in there, and I don't want to realize that I'm so stupid that it's hard to get it out. [Delusion]

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8. Story: When visiting Abhayagiri, Ajahn Liem learns that Ukiah is the nearest town. Khya means "the garbage" in Thai. He later tells the monks, "Don't live in Khya." [Ajahn Liem] [Abhayagiri] [Thai] [Humor]

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9. Comment: It's so hard not to identify with the contents of the mind, to not make it me and mine. Realizing how useless so many of my thoughts are helps. [Self-identity view] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy] [Suffering] [Disenchantment]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Mindfulness] [Pāli]

Response by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Not-self] [Humility]

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10. “Is there a reason why mindfulness is number seven in the Path?” [Right Mindfulness] [Eightfold Path] // [Right View] [Right Effort]

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11. “Is this recorded?” [Dhamma online]

Practice in a Global ContextAjahn Pasanno – Aug. 12, 2017 [Politics and society]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Right Effort]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teen Weekend 2017Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 2, 2017

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1. “What meaningful impact do Buddhist monks have on the community?” [Monastic life] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] [Community] [Saṅgha] // [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Abhayagiri]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno's first visit to Wat Pah Pong. [Wat Pah Pong]

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2. “How closely do you and the other monks live together?” [Monastic life] [Saṅgha] [Abhayagiri] // [Ajahn Chah] [Communal harmony] [Vinaya] [Seclusion] [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand]

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3. “When you first ordained, you were just starting to learn about Buddhism. What changed that made you want to dive in?” [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Meditation/Results] [Ajahn Chah]

Story: "If you want to stay with me, you have to stay at least five years." — Ajahn Chah

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4. “Will we get to see your kuti today?” [Abhayagiri] [Shelter]

Story: Early history of Abhayagiri Monastery. [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] [Master Hsuan Hua] [Seclusion] [Culture/Natural environment]

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5. “What was the hardest thing to give up?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Renunciation] // [Family]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno's first visit back to Canada.

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6. “In a Latin American country, the government privatized the water supply and passed a law making it illegal to collect rainwater. Everyone had to buy their water from Nestlé. Does this count as taking what is not given?” [Stealing] [Politics and society] [Environment] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Culture/Thailand]

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7. “I have doubts about the concept of personal property. How does activism following the Five Precepts work in a country whose water supply has been bought out by private interests?” [Politics and society] [Environment] [Five Precepts] // [Community] [Virtue] [Discernment]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno investigates a logging operation at Dtao Dtum. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Culture/Thailand] [Dtao Dum]

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8. “If you could give your younger self one piece of information, what would it be?” [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Restlessness and worry] [Fear]

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9. “What were you like when you were 18?” [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Delusion] [Spiritual search] [Intoxicants] [Relationships]

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10. Comment: I haven't heard any Buddhist teachers talk about wholesome romantic relationships. [Relationships] [Skillful qualities]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Family] [Treasures]

Sutta: AN 4.55 Samajīvī Sutta [Virtue]

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11. “Can you talk about your environmental work in Thailand? What qualities of heart and inner strength help us live without being completely overwhelmed?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Environment] [History/Thai Buddhism] // [Politics and society] [Greed] [Teaching Dhamma] [Panyaprateep School] [Food] [Dtao Dum]

Story: Sri Lankan monastic kidney donors. [Health] [History/Sri Lankan Buddhism]

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12. “What is the most important thing we can do to help the next generation in terms of the environment?” [Environment] // [Simplicity] [Contentment] [Greed]

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13. Story: Ajahn Pasanno teaches communication skills to Thai villagers. [Ajahn Pasanno] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Media] [Community] // [Environment] [Politics and society]

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14. “What are the biggest misconceptions about being ordained?” [Monastic life] // [Selfishness]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno visits Ajahn Buddhadāsa: "Don't be selfish!" [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Ajahn Pasanno]

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15. “What was your greatest desire as a kid?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Desire] // [Monastic life/Motivation] [Truth]

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16. “Are there monastics who wander around the world without any home base or destination?” [Monastic life] [Tudong] // [Rains retreat] [Abhayagiri] [Requisites] [Almsround] [Culture/West] [Almsfood] [Not handling money] [Generosity]

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17. “Have you broken any precepts where only you know if you broke them?” [Vinaya] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Right Speech]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno's uncle offers him alchohol. [Intoxicants] [Truth]

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18. “For the sake of the precepts, what's the definition of gossip?” [Precepts] [Malicious speech] [Idle chatter]

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19. “Does gossip include talking about someone who is not present for entertainment value?” [Malicious speech] [Idle chatter] // [Communal harmony] [Abhayagiri]

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20. “Is the point of the precepts to create as much well-being and as little pain in your environment as possible?” [Precepts] [Happiness] // [Non-contention] [Communal harmony] [Trust]

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21. “Is the philosophy of this community totally against fun?” [Monastic life] [Entertainment and adornment] [Happiness] [Recreation/leisure/sport] // [Association with people of integrity] [Culture/Natural environment]

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22. Comment: Some of the things that monastics avoid due to their precepts can be really beautiful. [Monastic life] [Vinaya]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

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23. “Apart from cheating in a relationship or sexual assault, what is sexual misconduct?” [Sexual misconduct] // [Relationships]

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24. “When all of the solar panels will be put in, how much of the monastery's energy needs will be met?” [Environment] [Abhayagiri]

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25. “When's your birthday?” [Ajahn Pasanno]

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26. “Do the monks give each other massages?” [Monastic life] [Health] // [Culture/Thailand]

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27. “What do you think of our president right now?” [Politics and society] // [Right Speech]

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28. “What precepts don't most people know about that have a big effect on your life?” [Monastic life] [Vinaya] // [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] [Requisites] [Mindfulness]

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29. “Do monastics talk with each other about the precepts they have broken or having wrong thoughts?” [Monastic life] [Vinaya] [Saṅgha] [Christianity] // [Pāṭimokkha] [Confession] [Rains retreat] [Learning] [Abhayagiri] [Faith]