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41 events, 259 sessions, 2107 excerpts, 119:43:22 total duration

Most common tags:
Ajahn Chah (442)     Ajahn Pasanno (183)     Monastic life (147)     Suffering (133)     Culture/Thailand (125)     Relinquishment (115)     Teaching Dhamma (109)     Culture/West (107)     Mindfulness of breathing (106)     Happiness (104)    

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Remembering Ajahn Chah Weekend, Session 32: Ajahn Chah Stories, Part 1 – Apr. 29, 2001 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. Story: Ajahn Chah visits Seattle. Told by Joseph Kappel. // [Joseph Kappel] [Family]

Story: Venerable Pabakkaro’s grandmother hugs him at the airport. [Monastic life] [Vinaya]

Story: Ajahn Chah visits Mount Ranier. [Culture/Natural environment]

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2. Story: Ajahn Anando tries to heal Ajahn Chah. Told by Ajahn Amaro. [Ajahn Anando] [Health care] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Sickness] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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3. Quote: “If I’ve developed any wisdom, it’s because I had such gigantic defilements.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Ajahn Amaro. [Discernment] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Restlessness and worry] [Aversion] [Doubt] [Sensual desire]

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4. Story: Ajahn Chah vows not to look at a woman for the duration of the Rains Retreat. Told by Ajahn Amaro. [Determination] [Sensual desire] [Sense restraint] [Rains retreat] // [Discernment]

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5. Story: Ajahn Chah hallucinates female sexual organs for ten days. Told by Ajahn Amaro. [Sensual desire] [Mental illness] // [Ajahn Kinaree] [Posture/Walking] [Determination] [Patience] [Rebirth]

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6. Story: When asked about the potential for sacred sexuality, Ajahn Chah picks his nose. Told by Ajahn Amaro. [Sensual desire] [Fierce/direct teaching] // [Insight Meditation Society]

Quote: “There’s nothing more to it than that except what your mind adds to it.” — Ajahn Chah [Proliferation]

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7. Story: “Close the doors. Today I’m eating noodles!” Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Food] [Sensual desire] // [Ardency] [Unwholesome Roots]

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8. Story: Ṭhānissarā visits Ajahn Chah in Thailand, meets Mae Chee Kumfah, then stays at Chithurst. Told by Ṭhānissarā. [Ṭhānissarā] [Mae Chee Kumfah] [Chithurst] // [Travel] [Fear] [Meditation] [Mae Chee] [Wat Pah Pong]

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9. Story: Ajahn Sumedho brings a group of Western women to meet Mae Chee Kumfah, only to discover she has converted to Christianity. Told by Ṭhānissarā. [Ṭhānissarā] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Mae Chee Kumfah] [Christianity] // [Impermanence] [Suffering]

Quote: “Maybe she’s right.” — Ajahn Chah to Ajahn Sumedho [Fierce/direct teaching]

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10. Story: Ṭhānissarā visits Ajahn Chah’s hut outside of Oxford. Told by Ṭhānissarā. [Ṭhānissarā] [Conventions] [Shelter] // [Kamma] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Humor] [Goodwill] [Not-self] [Teaching Dhamma]

Remembering Ajahn Chah Weekend, Session 33: Ajahn Chah Stories, Part 2 – Apr. 29, 2001 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. Story: My experiences with Ajahn Chah. Told by Nan Meister. [Gratitude] [Faith] // [Ajahn Liem] [Suffering] [Commerce/economics] [Sense of urgency] [Joseph Kappel] [Bowing] [Wat Pah Pong] [Mae Chee Kumfah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Mae Chee] [Ghost] [Conceit] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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2. Story: Ajahn Chah’s trip to Mount Ranier. Told by Gail Kappel. // [Recreation/leisure/sport] [Humor]

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3. Story: Ajahn Chah’s presence. Told by Gail Kappel. [Personal presence] // [Joseph Kappel]

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4. Quote: “The sawdust of water.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Gail Kappel.

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5. Story: Ajahn Chah asks for forgiveness. Told by Gail Kappel. [Forgiveness] [Ceremony/ritual] // [Joseph Kappel] [Humility]

Quote: “If you cry a little bit, it’s good. If you cry a lot, you’re a fool.” — Ajahn Chah [Suffering]

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6. Reflections by Ajahn Sundarā about the Ajahn Chah Conference. [Gratitude] [Faith] // [Stories]

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7. “When we enter this life, everything is so funny.” Reflection by Ajahn Sundarā. [Monastic life] [Humor] // [Ṭhānissarā] [Ajahn Amaro] [Ajahn Sundarā] [Vinaya]

Quote: “It was a hell of a life in the beginning.”

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8. Story: Paul Breiter expounds the spiritual potential of hospice work. In response, Ajahn Chah presses his cane into Paul’s chest. Told by Joseph Kappel. [Health care] [Death] [Fierce/direct teaching] // [Joseph Kappel]

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9. Quote: “You’re strong. Now you need to make your heart as strong as your body.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Joseph Kappel. [Heart/mind] // [Joseph Kappel] [Humility] [Family] [Culture/Natural environment]

Remembering Ajahn Chah Weekend, Session 34: Last Years of Ajahn Chah’s LifeJoseph Kappel and Ajahn Pasanno – Apr. 29, 2001 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. Ajahn Amaro introduces Jospeh Kappel and Ajahn Pasanno. [Joseph Kappel] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Health care] [Funerals]

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2. Story: Venerable Pabakkaro (Joseph Kappel) spends time in solitude. Told by Joseph Kappel. [Joseph Kappel] [Seclusion] // [Ajahn Sumedho]

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3. Story: Ajahn Chah’s failing heath and Rains Retreat at Tam Saeng Pet. Told by Joseph Kappel. [Sickness] [Health care] [Rains retreat] [Wat Tam Saeng Pet] // [Wat Pah Pong] [Shelter] [Seclusion] [Generosity] [Joseph Kappel]

Story: “Pabakkaro, make me a Communist.” [Culture/Natural environment] [Medicinal requisites] [Contentment] [Sensual desire]

Story: Venerable Pabakkaro attends to Ajahn Chah. [Upatakh] [Humility]

Story: Ajahn Chah visits the branch monasteries for the last time. [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Vinaya] [Saṅgha]

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4. Story: Ajahn Chah goes to Bangkok for treatment and an operation. Told by Joseph Kappel. [Sickness] [Health care] // [Joseph Kappel] [Medicinal requisites] [Generosity] [Saṅgha decision making] [Shelter]

Story: Ajahn Chah’s last word. [Language]

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5. Caring for Ajahn Chah. Reflection by Joseph Kappel. [Sickness] [Health care] // [Joseph Kappel] [Compassion] [Gratitude]

Quote: “It helped the community prepare for his death and offer gratitude.” [Saṅgha] [Death] [Generosity]

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6. Quote: “Ajahn Chah was a terrible patient.” — Ajahn Pasanno [Health care] [Sickness]

Quote: “Don’t doctors die also?” — Ajahn Chah [Death]

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7. Story: Mute, wheelchair-bound Ajahn Chah meets a mother and her young son. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Sickness] [Children] [Bowing] [Compassion] // [Health care] [Joseph Kappel] [Ajahn Pasanno]

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8. Ajahn Chah’s time of illness was a gift to the Saṅgha. Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Sickness] [Generosity] [Saṅgha] // [Bodhisattva] [Renunciation] [Communal harmony]

Ajahn Chah’s emphasis on Saṅgha was unique. [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Teachers] [Conflict] [Personal presence] [Three Refuges]

Quote: “People in the world are attached to status. People in the religion are attached to their views.” — Thai saying [Monastic life] [Views] [Saṅgha decision making]

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9. The sea of faith: Ajahn Chah’s funeral. Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Faith] [Funerals] // [Meditation] [Chanting] [Almsfood]

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10. Surrender, dignity, honesty: Qualites of Ajahn Chah. Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Relinquishment] [Dignity] [Truth] // [Saṅgha] [Funerals]

Remembering Ajahn Chah Weekend, Session 35: Final Reflections by Ajahn SumedhoAjahn Sumedho – Apr. 29, 2001 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. Reflection: The effect of one human being. [Human] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Kamma] // [Culture/Thailand] [Liberation] [Conventions] [Vinaya] [Compassion] [Happiness] [Emptiness] [Not-self]

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2. Reflection: The unexpected value of traditional Buddhist forms. [Conventions] [Culture/West] [Theravāda] [Ajahn Sumedho] // [Zen] [History/Thai Buddhism] [History/Other Theravāda traditions]

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3. Reflection: The convention is like a skeleton, but the life comes through the individuals. [Conventions] [Vinaya] [Theravāda] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Judgementalism] [Compassion] [Goodwill] [Teachers] [Liberation] [Personality] [Ardency] [Continuity of mindfulness]

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4. Recollection: The June 2000 Saṅgha Meeting discusses allowable sweets and protecting Ajahn Chah’s name. [Wat Pah Pong] [Saṅgha] [Saṅgha decision making] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Seclusion] [Personality] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Medicinal requisites] [Technology]

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5. Story: Wat Pah Pong monks develop malnutrition when Ajahn Chah goes away for several months. [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsfood] [Sickness] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] // [Mae Chee] [Food] [Almsround] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Ajahn Liem] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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6. Recollection: The June 2000 Saṅgha Meeting concludes in harmony. [Wat Pah Pong] [Saṅgha] [Saṅgha decision making] [Communal harmony] // [Views] [Harsh speech] [Forgiveness] [Three Refuges] [Culture/West]

Quote: “Luang Por Chah wasn’t giving us views and opinions....[He gave] us all a confidence in the unspoken unity of our humanity.” [Faith] [Human]

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7. Quote: “Luang Por Chah was always pointing us beyond the limitations of ourself.” [Self-identity view] [Liberation] [Not-self]

Remembering Ajahn Chah Weekend, Session 36: Closing Chanting – Apr. 29, 2001

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1. Ajahn Amaro explains the Sharing of Blessings chant. [Chanting] [Merit] // [Kamma] [Goodwill] [Ajahn Chah]

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2. Chanting: Sharing of Blessings. Offered by Ajahn Amaro. [Chanting] [Merit]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 33.

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3. Chanting: Paying respects to the shrine and Ajahn Chah. Offered by Ajahn Amaro. [Chanting] [Bowing] [Three Refuges] [Ajahn Chah]

Metta Retreat, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 9, 2008

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1. Quote: “It looks like there’s a veritable blizzard of questions. That’s always encouraging.” [Questions]

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2. “Can you speak a little about samatha/vipassana and explain the difference between serenity and equanimity?” [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Equanimity] // [Commentaries] [Ajahn Chah] [Relinquishment] [Liberation] [Concentration] [Divine Abidings] [Factors of Awakening] [Discernment]

Quote: “Samatha-vipassanā is like a green mango and a ripe mango. Same mango.” — Ajahn Chah [Similes]

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3. “Could you please explain about the death process…how quickly does rebirth occur?” [Death] [Rebirth] // [Recollection/Death] [Delusion] [Self-identity view] [Recollection] [Impermanence] [Not-self] [Theravāda] [History/Early Buddhism] [Sutta] [Vajrayāna] [Clinging] [Culture/Thailand] [Chanting] [Goodwill] [Relinquishment] [Ceremony/ritual] [Kamma]

References: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 55: Five Recollections; Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 12: The body is impermanent... [Similes] [Craving]

Simile: Fire blown by the wind (MN 72: Aggivacchagotta Sutta)

Story: A former monk asks Ajahn Chah about working with dying people to give them the opportunity for wholesome rebirth. [Ajahn Chah] [Teachers] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Quote: “I practice dying.” — The Dalai Lama [Dalai Lama]

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4. “As a guilt-ridden American, how do you respond to personal mistakes without guilt?” [Guilt/shame/inadequacy] [Culture/West] [Great disciples] // [Saṅgha] [Conscience and prudence] [Pāli] [Skillful qualities] [Self-identity view] [Respect] [Perception] [Virtue] [Buddha]

Story: A monk falsely accuses Sāriputta (AN 9.11). [Forgiveness]

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5. “How would you describe the jhana states and do you teach this kind of meditation?” [Jhāna] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Concentration] [Energy] [Clear comprehension] [Knowledge and vision] [Ajahn Chah] [Relinquishment] [Craving] [Conceit]

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6. “When there is a lot of pain in the body, it is difficult to maintain “right effort,” yet sometimes through patient endurance the pain lessens or dissipates. Could you speak about right effort and the connection between right effort and samadhi?” [Pain] [Right Effort] [Patience] [Concentration] // [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities] [Fear] [Aversion] [Discernment] [Naturalness]

Recollection: Ajahn Pasanno learned from pain and illness in his early monastic life. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Sickness] [Monastic life]

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7. “What is loving kindness? What is the body and mind’s experience when I feel metta for myself and others?” [Goodwill] // [Idealism] [Culture/West] [Right Intention] [Aversion] [Thai] [Happiness] [Translation] [Bhante Gunaratana] [Tranquility] [Spaciousness]

Quote: “The base of loving-kindness is dwelling in non-aversion.”

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8. Quote: “I appreciate people’s questions. I enjoy the questions, and I never quite know what’s going to come out when people present a question. It’s interesting to me as well.” [Questions] [Ajahn Pasanno]

Metta Retreat, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 10, 2008

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1. “For me there appears to be a fine line between attention to the breath and controlling the breath. Is it like with quantum physics, just being aware changes the phenomena?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Volition] [Science] [Present moment awareness] // [Conditionality] [Relinquishment] [Restlessness and worry] [Right Effort]

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2. “What happens when someone carefully builds the fire, but it turns into a forest fire–uncontrollable–and the person experiences mania, delusions, and paranoia? What is the spiritual treatment?” [Mental illness] [Delusion] // [Precepts] [Association with people of integrity] [Generosity] [Becoming] [Medicinal requisites] [Thai] [Work]

Quote: “One of the first spiritual treatments is to get them to stop meditating.” [Meditation]

Recollection: Ajahn Pasanno learned by experience that meditation is not a panacea. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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3. “What is the definition of wholesome? The word for me connotes the 50’s era of Ozzie and Harriet.” [Skillful qualities] [Culture/West] // [Pāli] [Happiness] [Tranquility] [Unwholesome Roots]

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4. “If one were to become a monastic at Abhayagiri, how would one go about it? What are the day-to-day activities of a monk? What do I need to know and consider before making such a commitment?” [Monastic life] [Abhayagiri] // [Sequence of training] [Saṅgha decision making] [Mentoring] [Chanting] [Meditation] [Work] [Seclusion] [Shelter] [Cleanliness] [Building projects] [Robes]

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5. “How will I know if I’m experiencing loving-kindness?” [Goodwill] // [Right Intention] [Aversion]

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6. “Please explain how to cultivate muditā. I’ve heard it described as ‘poor man’s happiness.’” [Empathetic joy] [Happiness] // [Divine Abidings] [Jealousy] [Selfishness]

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7. “What is the difference between tanha and lobha?” [Craving] [Greed] // [Pāli] [Desire] [Cause of Suffering]

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8. “What does ‘non-contention’ mean?” [Non-contention] // [Aversion] [Fear]

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9. “Could you talk more about working with the hindrance of doubt?” [Doubt] // [Fear] [Aversion] [Sensual desire] [Mindfulness of body] [Tranquility] [Mindfulness of feeling] [Right Speech] [Delusion]

Simile: A dish of muddy water placed in a dark cupboard (SN 46.55). [Similes]

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10. “I have an ongoing problem with certain vibrations. Here the most problematic is the recording device. The trunk of my body feels like it is vibrating.... Any suggestions would be most gratefully received.” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Technology] // [Mindfulness of body] [Aversion] [Feeling] [Goodwill] [Worldly Conditions] [Relinquishment]

Recollection: Ajahn Chah was this peaceful, happy presence in the center of the universe. Things happened around him all the time...and Ajahn Chah was always happy. You realize that that’s really possible in the human condition. [Ajahn Chah] [Happiness] [Faith] [Disrobing] [Human]

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11. “Please repeat the metta phrases you taught yesterday and today.” [Goodwill] // [Learning] [Mantra]

Metta Retreat, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 11, 2008

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1. “One of my lay insight mediation teachers said, ‘The Western lay practitioner is an experiment in Buddhism.’ What do you think? To me it seems our lay teachers are also an experiment.” [Culture/West] [Lay life] [Lay teachers] // [Monastic life] [Abhayagiri] [Sīladharā] [Culture/Thailand]

Quote: “Because the monastic presence is so strong in Asia, oftentimes people overlook the strength of the tradition of lay practice and lay teachers.” [Cultural context]

Story: The Buddha tells Māra he will found the fourfold assembly (UD 6.1). [Buddha/Biography] [Māra] [Fourfold Assembly] [Stages of awakening] [Learning]

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2. “This is a common scenario: I’m caught in a story of praise and blame. I notice. A voice says, ‘That was very quick. You’re getting good at this.’ I wake up again. ‘Ah, I know you Mara….’ Mara seems to co-opt every moment of awakening to feed the ego. Is there something you can suggest?” [Blame and praise] [Māra] [Liberation] [Self-identity view] [Patience] // [Impermanence] [Mindfulness of dhammas] [Not-self] [Aggregates] [Dependent origination] [Knowing itself]

Quote: “It’s really hard to underestimate how important patient endurance is to the practice.”

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3. “The lovingkindness chant includes ‘May I abide in freedom from affliction.’ Why is affliction not included in the wish for all beings?” [Goodwill] [Chanting] // [Divine Abidings] [Compassion]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 41.

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4. “When we have a retreat work period that requires us to leave a sitting after 15 or 30 minutes, should we come to the meditation hall and leave early or just practice elsewhere for that period?” [Meditation retreats] [Work] // [Abhayagiri] [Posture/Walking] [Posture/Sitting]

Story: A good doorknob. [Building projects]

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5. “This morning, you spoke about bringing to mind the metta nimitta. I have some understanding of the feeling of metta, but no understanding of the metta nimitta. Could you explain more fully?” [Goodwill] [Nimitta] // [Mindfulness of breathing] [Emotion]

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6. “Can you speak about working with fear and loss of ego identity, fear, and death?” [Fear] [Self-identity view] [Death] // [Goodwill] [Aggregates] [Impermanence] [Delusion] [Faith] [Eightfold Path] [Perfections] [Recollection]

Reference: Description of dukkha. [Suffering]

Quote: “We respond to teachings on liberation and Nibbāna with a curious sense of fear and trepidation.” — Ajahn Mahā Boowa speaking about Ajahn Mun [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Mun] [Liberation] [Nibbāna] [Family] [Clinging]

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7. “Could you talk about opportunities for women who wish to practice in the monastic tradition?” [Women's monastic forms] // [Ajahn Chah lineage] [Sīladharā] [Ayya Tāthalokā] [Culture/West]

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8. “I’m not sure in the context of this retreat when to be resting simply with the four foundations of mindfulness and when to be reciting metta phrases. Can you please advise as to how/when to skillfully move from one practice to the other?” [Right Mindfulness] [Goodwill] [Mantra] // [Emotion] [Sloth and torpor] [Mindfulness of body] [Calming meditation] [Discernment]

Sutta: MN 19: Dvedhāvitakka Sutta [Directed thought and evaluation] [Skillful qualities]

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9. “It seems that metta would be much easier without a self to protect. How does one realize anatta?” [Goodwill] [Not-self] [Self-identity view] // [Progress of insight]

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10. “What is upekkha – equanimity – and how does one practice it?” [Equanimity] // [Kamma] [Conditionality] [Not-self] [Proliferation] [Divine Abidings] [Knowledge and vision] [Impermanence]

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

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11. “What is the most fun part about being a monk?” [Monastic life] [Happiness] // [Association with people of integrity]

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12. “What does it mean – the four pairs, the eight kinds of noble beings – in the recollection of the Sangha?” [Recollection/Saṅgha] [Chanting] [Stages of awakening] // [Commentaries]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 27: Recollection of the Saṅgha

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13. “What are the general Theravada monastic communities thought on S. N. Goenka’s mediation techniques and vipassana centers?” [Theravāda] [S. N. Goenka] [Meditation/Techniques] [Meditation retreats] // [Calming meditation] [Generosity] [Dhamma]

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14. “When doubt is mentioned under the hindrances, is it mainly referring to doubt about the Buddha’s teachings? Are there other implications?” [Doubt] [Hindrances] [Dhamma] // [Everyday life] [Mindfulness of mind] [Investigation of states] [Mindfulness of body] [Suffering] [Perfectionism]

Metta Retreat, Session 4Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 12, 2008

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1. “Realized beings abound these days. Care to comment? When the conditions are conducive and the inquiry is in earnest, is it possible to wake up quickly?” [Stages of awakening] [Saṅgha] [Progress of insight] [Ardency] [Conditionality] // [Patience] [Ajahn Pasanno]

Quote: “Buddhism hasn’t come to America yet.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Culture/West] [Insight Meditation Society]

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2. “Which suttas describe path and fruit?” [Stages of awakening] [Sutta]

Sutta: MN 70: Kīṭāgiri Sutta

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3. “I am hoping to go to the Udon/KhonKaen area in Thailand. Are there temples and teachers there you would recommend for lay practice? Who was the teacher you mentioned who has students stay on themselves as metta objects for so long?” [Thai forest monasteries] [Lay life] [Goodwill] // [Ajahn Mahā Chatchai] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [History/Thai Buddhism]

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4. “Would you say a bit about the benefits of practicing loving-kindness during the dying process, both for the one who is dying as well as for the caregiver?” [Goodwill] [Death] [Health care] // [Gladdening the mind] [Fear] [Clear comprehension] [Energy] [Community]

Quote: “These bodies are really high maintenance when they don’t work.” [Sickness]

Recollection: Ajahn Chah was unable to look after himself for the last nine years of his life. [Ajahn Chah] [Respect for elders] [Wat Pah Pong] [Gratitude]

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5. “If everything about me is impermanent, and even ‘myself’ is illusory, just the rising and falling of kamma, then who or what am I addressing when I wish myself well-being?” [Aggregates] [Impermanence] [Not-self] [Kamma] [Goodwill] // [Conventions] [Craving not to become] [Right View] [Conditionality]

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6. “For most of the time on this retreat, I’ve tried to work with a persistent problem from a variety of angles, but as I work with it it seems to get worse; it seems obsessional. Any suggestions?” [Meditation retreats] [Everyday life] [Goodwill] [Proliferation] // [Volitional formations] [Habits] [Spiritual friendship] [Patience]

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7. “Was Ajahn Chah an anāgamī when Ajahn Chah got angry with that young monk? I thought the root of anger was uprooted at that stage.” [Ajahn Chah] [Non-return] [Aversion]

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8. “Please explain in English the Pali chant you give as a blessing at the meal and at other occasions.” [Chanting] [Pāli] // [Translation] [Merit] [Similes] [Three Refuges]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 50

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9. “What is the difference between awareness and consciousness?” [Knowing itself] [Consciousness] // [Aggregates] [Sense bases] [Volitional formations] [Volition] [Conditionality] [Discernment]

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10. “Would you share some of your personal journey, including the time before you became a monk, and why you became a monk, and how the holy life can help people grow and change?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life/Motivation] [Monastic life] // [Culture/West] [Travel] [Culture/Thailand]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno begins meditation with a month-long Mahasi Sayadaw retreat. [Meditation retreats] [Mahasi Sayadaw] [Devotion to wakefulness] [Fierce/direct teaching]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno’s first visit to Wat Pah Pong. [Ordination] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong]

Quote: “If you want to stay here, you have to stay at least five years.” — Ajahn Chah [Sequence of training]

Reflection: “Five years is five years. I’ll go back and give myself to Ajahn Chah.” — Ajahn Pasanno [Relinquishment] [Mentoring]

Quote: “There’s no such thing as the ideal monastic or the ideal practitioner.” [Idealism] [Lay life] [Faith] [Disrobing] [Suffering] [Energy] [Patience] [Long-term practice]

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11. “It’s been so helpful to hear stories from your own experience. Could you talk about some of the more challenging moments in your practice and how you worked with them?” [Gratitude] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Long-term practice] // [Doubt] [Patience]

Quote: “It’s not me resolving doubt, but it’s allowing the practice or the Dhamma to work.” [Self-identity view] [Dhamma] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Faith] [Three Refuges]

Simile: “Getting in the vehicle and allowing it to carry you.” [Similes]

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12. “What is the Pali word for letting go or relinquishment? Is this the opposite of upādāna?” [Pāli] [Relinquishment] [Clinging] // [Release] [Progress of insight] [Ajahn Pasanno]

Sutta: MN 37: Sabbe dhammā nālaṁ abhinivesāya–All dhammas are not to be clung to. [Conditionality]

Sutta: SN 46.1: ...based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release.

Sutta: MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta [Mindfulness of breathing]

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13. “Is attavādupādāna clinging to sakkāyadiṭṭhi?” [Doctrine-of-self clinging] [Self-identity view] // [Fetters] [Stream entry] [Conceit] [Views]

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14. “Do you think being introduced to Buddhism guided you to the contemplative life or would you have become a monk in any tradition?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life] [Spiritual traditions] // [Meditation]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno’s aunt remembers that he said he wanted to be a priest when he was young.

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15. (A) “Please say a few more words on posture. For example, I noticed that my body was leaning towards the left. If I weighted my right hand with intention, this seems to stop. Is this a correct tactic?” (B) “In my martial arts training, a goal is to relax and make the breathing easier. Is that true of vipassanā as well?” [Posture/Sitting] [Mindfulness of body] [Volition] [Tranquility] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Insight meditation] // [Aggregates] [Energy] [Buddha images]

Quote: “That looks like a farang [Western] Buddha. It looks very tense.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Artistic expression] [Culture/West]

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16. “I had an experience yeserday in which I may have seen a group of beings above us, particularly above you....I don’t think I’m crazy, but I’m very interested in what the Dhamma says about otherworldly/non-material beings.” [Deva] [Goodwill] [Compassion] [Mental illness] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Culture/Thailand] [Realms of existence] [Culture/Natural environment]

Recollection: Spirits at Wat Pah Nanachat would request Ajahn Pasanno to dedicate merit. [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Funerals] [Ghost] [Merit]

Quote: “They always had to use an intermediary because I was thick, thick, thick.” [Psychic powers]

Story: Ajahn Plien declares Casa Serena free of ghosts. [Ajahn Plien] [Abhayagiri] [Rebirth]

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17. “What is the difference between ‘meditating on’ versus ‘contemplating’ or just thinking about something. Can you give some examples how one may skillfully meditate on something versus unskillfully? What does saṅkhāra mean?” [Meditation] [Recollection] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Skillful qualities] [Volitional formations] [Pāli] // [Concentration] [Progress of insight] [Self-identity view] [Aggregates]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 11: A passage to arouse urgency.

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18. “When I think of people with spontaneous open generous hearts, they are full of mettā, karuṇā, and muditā, but do not seem equanimous. Can upekkhā come naturally or is it a result of cultivation?” [Divine Abidings] [Equanimity] [Conditionality] // [Becoming] [Liberation] [Craving] [Technology]

Quote: “When we say not moved, it doesn’t mean dull, shut down, closed off, but being completely in tune, being very clear, and then not being shaken by anything.” [Clear comprehension]

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19. “What is the difference between pīti and sukha?” [Rapture] [Happiness] // [Continuity of mindfulness] [Concentration] [Jhāna] [Tranquility] [One pointedness] [Mindfulness]

Simile: A traveller through a desert learns of an oasis (pīti) then drinks and bathes at the oasis (sukha) (Path of Purification by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, p. 139). [Similes]

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20. “I’m glad that people have questions and people are reflecting on their experience of what the practice is. It’s very heartening to see.” [Questions] [Appropriate attention] [Empathetic joy]

Metta Retreat, Session 5Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 13, 2008

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1. “In the palm reader story, you mentioned that Ajahn Chah still had a lot of anger, but he chose not to act from it. So does this mean that if there was a troublesome monk, Ajahn Chah would still experience a flare of anger but have the wisdom to set it aside and consider what to do with a cool head? This sounds similar to something Ram Das said about his practice....” [Ajahn Chah] [Aversion] [Discernment] [Ram Dass] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Personality] [Kamma]

Story: Ajahn Jayasaro is massaging Ajahn Chah’s feet when a monk undergoing a disciplinary procedure walks by. [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Vinaya] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Emotion]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno observes Ajahn Mahā Boowa’s fierce behaivor. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Arahant] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Rapture] [Goodwill]

Quote: “You never quite were always very careful around [Ajahn Chah] because you never knew which side was going to come out. It wasn’t as if he was just playing with you, but he always responded to the situation or the person.” [Heedlessness] [Personal presence] [Teaching Dhamma]

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2. “Would you explain the duties adult children have towards ageing parents and the duties of parents towards their children as taught by the Buddha?” [Family] [Parents] [Ageing] [Children] // [Health care] [Culture/Asia]

Sutta: AN 2.33: The greatest gifts to one’s parents. [Virtue] [Generosity] [Right View]

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3. “Reflecting on your 35 years in robes, do you have any strong lessons that stand out?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Christianity] [Monastic life] [Long-term practice] [Discernment] // [Patience] [Ajahn Chah] [Virtue] [Meditation retreats]

Quote: “Oftentimes we don’t really recognize the goodness that we’re doing.” [Perfectionism] [Judgementalism]

Quote: “Patience isn’t just enduring. It’s being able to be present with experience.” [Direct experience] [Present moment awareness]

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4. “Is it hopeless to send loving-kindness to Mara?” [Goodwill] [Māra] // [Craving] [Suffering] [Kamma]

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5. “When you guided meditation in the past two afternoons, I’ve enjoyed slipping past the high energy of rapture/joy. I found these meditations grounding and at the same time streaming with energy. I’m finding it difficult to get past joy without your vocal guidance. Can you offer suggestions?” [Rapture] [Energy] [Right Concentration] // [Mindfulness of body] [Mindfulness of breathing]

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6. “What are the characteristics of personality? Are they conditioned by kamma and our family, culture, and nationality? How do I learn not to take mine as truth and real?” [Personality] [Conditionality] [Kamma] [Family] [Cultural context] [Self-identity view] // [Suffering] [Characteristics of existence] [Humor]

Recollection: Ajahn Chah tended to translate anicca as uncertain or not sure. [Ajahn Chah] [Impermanence] [Translation] [Proliferation] [Direct experience]

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7. “Just to clarify – when doing loving-kindness practice, is any phrase OK to repeat? They can be said as a chant, right? At any speed? Is any chant best for achieving concentration?” [Goodwill] [Meditation/Techniques] [Chanting] [Concentration] // [Nature of mind]

Quote: “What is really important is not so much the phrases or the methodology but the feeling that is established within the heart of lovingkindness.” [Emotion]

Simile: A tradesman with only one tool. [Similes]

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8. “Sometimes when I get concentrated I have spontaneous body and/or facial movements both gross and subtle. Any comments?” [Concentration] [Meditation/Unusual experiences] // [Mindfulness of body] [Goodwill]

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9. “Is gladness the same as thankfulness?” [Empathetic joy] [Gratitude] // [Translation] [Divine Abidings]

Sutta: AN 6.10 Mahānāma [Recollection/Dhamma] [Gladdening the mind]

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10. “What does Pasanno mean?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Translation] // [Faith]

Story: Why Ajahn Pasanno’s name is mispronounced. [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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11. “Can I give a metta hug to the cute little Ajahn?” [Goodwill] [Ajahn Pasanno]

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12. “The near enemy to equanimity is aloofness. Can you offer clues on how to differentiate between these in oneself?” [Equanimity] [Discernment] // [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities] [Aversion] [Present moment awareness]

Quote: “Tuning into kusala/akusala sorts things out really quickly.”

Sutta: AN 3.65: Kālāma Sutta

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13. “In your opinion, why do you think Mogallana is portrayed in the scriptures as mostly an idiot/unwise and Sariputta is portrayed as wise?” [Sutta] [Great disciples] // [Psychic powers] [Saṅgha] [Conflict] [Mahāyāna] [Personality]

Quote: “But Ānanda, since when has Anuruddha been involved in disciplinary issues in the midst of the Saṅgha?” AN 4.243 [Vinaya]

Story: Moggallāna sees a yakkha clobber Sāriputta. Ud 4.4 [Non-human beings]

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14. “What are the primary distinctions between Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana?” [Theravāda] [Mahāyāna] [Vajrayāna] // [Dalai Lama] [Chanting] [Pāli] [History/Mahāyāna Buddhism] [Bodhisattva] [Ceremony/ritual] [History/Thai Buddhism]

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15. “How many people are currently on the Abhayagiri monastic waiting list? How long do they usually wait?” [Abhayagiri] // [Sequence of training]

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16. “What could American culture learn from Thai culture?” [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand] // [P. A. Payutto] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Cultural context]

Quote:Mai bpen rai.”

Quote: “‘If there was a culture that was steeped in Buddhism, that would really solve all the problems of the world.’ No it wouldn’t. There are still human beings there. They’ll create suffering wherever they go.” [Politics and society] [Human] [Suffering]