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

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

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1. (0:12) Quote: “It looks like there's a veritable blizzard of questions. That's always encouraging.” [Questions]


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2. (6:21) “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. (17:10) “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. (12:30) “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. (3:22) “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. (9:55) “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. (6:42) “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. (0:21) 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. (4:37) “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. (6:28) “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. (2:27) “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. (10:15) “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. (1:25) “How will I know if I’m experiencing loving-kindness?” [Goodwill] // [Right Intention] [Aversion]


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6. (4:33) “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. (2:29) “What is the difference between tanha and lobha?” [Craving] [Greed] // [Pāli] [Desire] [Cause of Suffering]


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8. (2:10) “What does 'non-contention' mean?” [Non-contention] // [Aversion] [Fear]


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9. (7:19) “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. (9:12) “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. (2:06) “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. (5:28) “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. (3:30) “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. (2:16) “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. (3:53) “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. (2:42) “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. (9:28) “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. (2:59) “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. (5:50) “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. (1:39) “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. (6:04) “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. (1:57) “What is the most fun part about being a monk?” [Monastic life] [Happiness] // [Association with people of integrity]


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12. (3:39) “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. (2:32) “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. (5:27) “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. (4:23) “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. (1:41) “Which suttas describe path and fruit?” [Stages of awakening] [Sutta]

Sutta: MN 70: Kīṭāgiri Sutta


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3. (2:44) “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. (7:49) “Would you way 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. (4:01) “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. (5:30) “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. (0:54) “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. (3:34) “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. (3:35) “What is the difference between awareness and consciousness?” [Knowing itself] [Consciousness] // [Aggregates] [Sense bases] [Volitional formations] [Volition] [Conditionality] [Discernment]


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10. (10:15) “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. (4:56) “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. (4:32) “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. (2:52) “Is attavādupādāna clinging to sakkāyadiṭṭhi?” [Doctrine-of-self clinging] [Self-identity view] // [Fetters] [Stream entry] [Conceit] [Views]


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14. (3:38) “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. (6:40) (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. (7:58) “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. (6:15) “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. (5:45) “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. (8:51) “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. (0:29) “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. (7:17) “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 knew...you 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. (3:03) “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] [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. (5:00) “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. (2:55) “Is it hopeless to send loving-kindness to Mara?” [Goodwill] [Māra] // [Craving] [Suffering] [Kamma]


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5. (3:15) “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. (5:14) “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. (3:10) “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. (1:56) “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. (3:43) “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. (1:27) “What does Pasanno mean?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Translation] // [Faith]

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


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11. (0:29) “Can I give a metta hug to the cute little Ajahn?” [Goodwill] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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12. (3:31) “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. (7:27) “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. (6:20) “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. (2:18) “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. (4:54) “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]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 1: His Life and Teachings Part 1Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (5:00) Recollection: My connection with Ajahn Chah. [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Wat Pah Pong]

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

Jack Kornfield arrives with a large picture of Ajahn Chah.

Story: The needlepoint Ajahn Chah portrait at Abhayagiri. [Abhayagiri] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Devotional practice]


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2. (3:25) Outline of the day; progress of Ajahn Jayasaro's biography of Ajahn Chah. [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Dhamma books]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro


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3. (2:55) Reflection: The impact and inspiration of Ajahn Chah // [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Western Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Ajahn Chah Remembrance Day] [Wat Pah Pong]


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4. (4:29) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah's birthplace and early life. [Culture/Thailand] [Family] [Children]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 22


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5. (2:28) Reading from the draft biography: At the age of nine, Ajahn Chah asks to go to the village monastery. [Family] [Novices]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 25


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6. (1:36) Story: Novice Chah disrobes at age 16. [Disrobing] [Culture/Thailand]


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7. (4:10) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah falls in love. [Relationships] // [Culture/Thailand] [Sense of urgency] [Sensual desire]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 34


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8. (4:15) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah ordains at age 20. [Ordination] // [Culture/Thailand] [Military] [Merit] [Sense of urgency] [Learning] [Pāṭimokkha]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 37


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9. (1:53) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah obsesses about food. [Food] [Sensual desire]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 39

Quote: “Close the doors. I'm going to eat noodles today!” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Ajahn Pasanno.


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10. (6:02) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah accepts his dying father's request to stay as a monk for life. [Family] [Monastic life/Motivation] [Sickness] [Death] [Determination] // [Mindfulness of body] [Sense of urgency] [Saṃsāra]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 40

Quote: “I dedicate my body and mind, my whole life, to the practice of the Lord Buddha’s teachings in their entirety. I will realize the truth in this lifetime … I will let go of everything and follow the teachings. No matter how much suffering and difficulty I have to endure I will persevere, otherwise there will be no end to my doubts. I will make this life as even and continuous as a single day and night. I will abandon attachments to mind and body and follow the Buddha’s teachings until I know their truth for myself.” — Ajahn Chah [Ardency] [Patience] [Doubt] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Relinquishment] [Knowledge and vision]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 42

The singular quality of Ajahn Chah's resolution. Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno.


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11. (2:22) Story: Ajahn Chah begins wandering in search of teachers [Tudong] // [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Mun] [Wat Khao Wongkot]


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12. (5:04) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Mun's character and legacy [Ajahn Mun] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Culture/Thailand] [Perception of a samaṇa] [Great disciples] [Ascetic practices] [Rains retreat] [Almsround] [Psychic powers] [Discernment] [Liberation] [History/Thai Buddhism]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 52

Suttas: Dhp 65, Dhp 92

Story: Ajahn Mun disappears after being appointed abbot. [Abbot] [Seclusion]


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13. (6:56) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah visits Ajahn Mun. [Ajahn Mun] [Tudong] // [Relics] [Cleanliness] [Perception of a samaṇa] [Personal presence] [Vinaya] [Conscience and prudence] [Teaching Dhamma] [Knowing itself] [Nature of mind] [Conventions] [Unconditioned] [Faith]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 54


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 2: Meditation Instruction 1Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (6:02) Aware of the in-breath, aware of the out-breath. Guided meditation from Ajahn Chah.

Reference: Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 255 "Just Do It!"


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 3: Walking MeditationAjahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (5:33) Teaching: The role of walking meditation. [Posture/Walking] // [Thai Forest Tradition] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Shelter] [Sloth and torpor]

Quote: Ajahn Chah admonishes the monks: "I've looked at the huts in the forest where you monks live. I see the walking meditation paths, and I don't see human tracks. All I see are dog tracks!" [Fierce/direct teaching]


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2. (2:08) Walking meditation instructions by Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Pasanno. [Posture/Walking] // [Buddho mantra] [Tranquility] [Continuity of mindfulness]

Reference: Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 258 "Just Do It!"

Quote: “Where we really start to see the Dhamma or taste the Dhamma is in that continuity of awareness.” [Dhamma]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 4: Meditation Instruction 2Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (2:01) Reflection: Context of Ajahn Chah's early efforts at meditation. [Meditation] // [Thai sects] [Ajahn Mun] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]


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2. (6:38) Teaching by Ajahn Chah Subhaddo: Skillful effort in meditation. [Meditation/General advice] [Determination] [Right Effort] // [Conceit] [Posture/Sitting] [Relinquishment] [Equanimity] [Tranquility] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Restlessness and worry] [Clinging] [Craving] [Judgementalism]

Reference: Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 467 "Unshakeable Peace"


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3. (0:50) Teaching by Ajahn Chah Subhaddo: The contemplation of conditionality leads to the Dhamma. [Conditionality] [Dhamma] // [Characteristics of existence]


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4. (0:36) Teaching by Ajahn Chah Subhaddo: Meditation is like a single piece of wood. Insight is one end of the stick, and serenity is the other. [Similes] [Insight meditation] [Calming meditation] // [Naturalness]


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5. (0:47) Quote: “I sacrificed my life for the Dhamma because I had faith in the reality of enlightenment and the path to get there.” — Ajahn Chah [Spiritual search] [Dhamma] [Faith] [Eightfold Path] // [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Determination] [Courage]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 5: Alms ReflectionAjahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010

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1. (3:44) The tradition of almsround. Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Almsfood] [Almsround] [Generosity] [Almsbowl] // [Ajahn Chah] [Vinaya]


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2. (1:11) The monks' requisites sustain our livelihood and are a focal point for our cultivation of mindfulness and attention. Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Requisites] [Almsbowl] [Mindfulness] // [Robes]


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3. (7:20) Story: A group of military generals ask Ajahn Chah to bless amulets to create a kitchen fund. [Amulets] [Ajahn Chah] [Military] [Almsfood] [Wat Pah Pong] // [Culture/Thailand] [Saṅgha decision making] [Festival days] [Almsbowl] [Stupas/monuments]

Quote: “The Buddha set up the foundation 2,500 years ago with just one baht.” — Ajahn Chah [Buddha] [Saṅgha]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 6: Mealtime BlessingAjahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010

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1. (1:03) Explanation of the meal blessing chant. [Chanting] [Almsfood] // [Pāli] [Gratitude] [Merit]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 50


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2. (2:14) Anumodana chanting: "Yathā vāri-vahāpūrā..." and "Bhavatu sabba-maṅgalaṃ..." (Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 50) offered by the Abhayagiri Saṅgha. [Chanting] [Almsfood] [Pāli] // [Gratitude] [Merit]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 7: His Life and Teachings Part 2Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (5:34) “You talked about having lost a gread deal of institutional knowledge in the Forest Tradition through not having monasteries. Do you think Ajahn Chah wanted to have the knowledge from Ajahn Mun passed down? Is that why he had lots of monasteries?” [Thai Forest Tradition] [Tudong] [Ajahn Mun] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Learning] // [Culture/Thailand] [Commerce/economics] [Environment] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Politics and society]

Quote: “Nowadays there aren't any tudong monks left. There's only taludong (through the forest) monks.” — Ajahn Chah


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2. (7:40) “When you and other Western seekers went to Thailand [and returned to teach], are the teachings of lay and monastic disciples of Ajahn Chah the same or different? How can we as laypeople relate to the teachings and tradition of the monastic establishment?” [Teaching Dhamma] [Ajahn Chah lineage] [Lay teachers] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] // [History/Thai Buddhism] [Military] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Virtue] [Right View]

Story: Abhayagiri's bell is an American bomb casing. [Abhayagiri]

Diligent lay meditators attend Wat Pah Pong's all-night vigil on the lunar observance days. Recollection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Lay life] [Ardency] [Wat Pah Pong] [Devotion to wakefulness] [Lunar observance days]


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3. (2:34) “What characteristics differentiate Thai Buddhism from Tibetan Kadampa or Japanese Zen?” [Culture/Thailand] [Vajrayāna] [Zen] // [Community]


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4. (3:44) Reflection: Why Ajahn Chah spent only three days with Ajahn Mun. [Ajahn Mun] // [Thai sects] [Politics and society] [Psychic powers] [Dreams]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 61

Quote: “Mahānikāya needs good monks as well.” — Ajahn Mun to Ajahn Chah


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5. (5:05) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah's mentors: Ajahn Tongrat and Ajahn Kinaree [Mentoring] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Kinaree] // [Personality] [Respect for elders] [Upatakh] [Tudong] [Visiting holy sites] [Robes] [Relinquishment] [Monastic crafts] [Pace of life] [Craving]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 73

Story: Ajahn Chah meets Ajahn Tongrat.

Story: Ajahn Mun teaches his teacher, Ajahn Sao. [Ajahn Sao] [Ajahn Mun] [Liberation]


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6. (3:04) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah leaves his companions and stays alone. [Tudong] [Seclusion] [Culture/Thailand] // [Spiritual friendship]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 89

Quote: “Where is the good person? He lies within us. If we're good, then wherever we go, the goodness stays with us.” — Ajahn Chah [Virtue] [Blame and praise]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 8: Meditation Instruction 3Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (15:32) Guided meditation: Resolve right now is the time for training the mind and nothing else. From "The Key to Liberation" by Ajahn Chah. [Calming meditation] [Proliferation] [Determination] // [Mindfulness] [Discernment] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Body scanning] [Relinquishment] [One pointedness] [Restlessness and worry] [Concentration] [Present moment awareness] [Clear comprehension] [Impermanence] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Sense restraint]

Quote: “Sitting and walking meditation are in essence the same, differing only in the posture used.” [Posture/Sitting] [Posture/Walking]

Simile: Chicken in a coop. [Similes]

Simile: Mindfulness, clear comprehension, and wisdom are like three workers lifting heavy planks.


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 9: Purpose of WalkingAjahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (5:33) Guided meditation: The rythym of the sensation of the body as it is walking. [Posture/Walking] [Mindfulness of body] // [Calming meditation] [Present moment awareness] [Proliferation] [Tranquility] [Investigation of states]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 10: Short readingsAjahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (5:23) Reading: Beyond Doubt. [Doubt] // [Hearing the true Dhamma] [Teachers] [Buddha] [Spiritual search] [Relinquishment] [Present moment awareness] [Emptiness] [Characteristics of existence] [Conditionality] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Liberation]


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2. (0:50) Reading: Everyday. [Everyday life] // [Ardency] [Sloth and torpor]

Simile: A child learning to write. [Similes]


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3. (1:40) Reading: Catching a Lizard. [Similes] // [Meditation/General advice] [Sense restraint] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension]


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4. (2:06) Reading: One Seat. [Similes] // [Mindfulness] [Buddho mantra] [Volitional formations]


Recollections of Ajahn Chah, Session 11: His Life and Teachings Part 3Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 19, 2010 [Ajahn Chah]

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1. (7:06) Question about how Ajahn Chah taught to deal with people externally. [Community] // [Ajahn Mun] [Virtue] [Doubt] [Monastic life] [Views]

Story: A ghost tries to align the visitors sleeping in his hall. [Culture/Thailand] [Shelter] [Ghost] [Communal harmony]

Quote: “You have to have an anchor in your own practice.” [Similes]


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2. (7:30) “Did you as a Westerner have any difficulties meeting Ajahn Chah either with Buddhism or with Thailand? How did it get resolved or did it get resolved?” [Culture/West] [Theravāda] [Culture/Thailand]

Story: Ajahn Chah replies evasively when asked three straightforward questions to teach his translator (Ajahn Pasanno) a lesson. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Aversion] [Questions] [Simplicity] [Teaching Dhamma] [Food] [Suffering]


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3. (3:23) “As an abbot taking care of a community, how do you handle it when a kerfluffle comes up?” [Abbot] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Community] [Conflict] // [Patience] [Views] [Skillful qualities] [Four Noble Truths]

Follow-up: “What are the antidotes to the next two Noble Truths?”


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4. (1:34) “When I'm mindful, then I become more aware of suffering. I could just go into story and not know that I'm suffering, so why would we choose to become aware of the suffering?” [Mindfulness] [Suffering] [Proliferation] // [Cessation of Suffering] [Clinging]

Quote: “The flavor of the end of suffering—I like that.”


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5. (2:03) Story: Ajahn Chah's practice matures and he receives permission to teach. [Teaching Dhamma] // [Wat Pah Pong] [Rapture] [Almsround] [Ajahn Kinaree]


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6. (2:43) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah in the early years: spare, stern, and vigorous. [Personality] [Personal presence] [Ardency] [Ascetic practices] // [Similes]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 137

Quote: “Nibbāna lies on the shores of death.” — Ajahn Chah [Nibbāna] [Death]


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7. (3:04) Reading from the draft biography: Building the road to Tam Sang Pet. [Wat Tam Saeng Pet] [Work] // [Culture/Natural environment] [Ajahn Anek] [Patience] [Perception of a samaṇa] [Ardency]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 428

Quote: “Patient endurance is the general of practice.” — Ajahn Chah


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8. (5:19) Reading from the draft biography: Ajahn Chah's ability to draw people in and respond with compassion. [Personal presence] [Compassion] [Generosity] // [Wat Tam Saeng Pet] [Rains retreat] [Sickness] [Almsround] [Teaching Dhamma] [Similes] [Upatakh]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 705


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9. (5:07) Reading: Ajahn Chah's first Western disciple. [Ajahn Sumedho] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] // [Military] [Humor] [Monastic life] [Wat Pah Pong]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 486


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10. (3:37) Reading: Ajahn Gavesako's first impressions of Wat Pah Pong. [Ajahn Gavesako] [Wat Pah Pong] // [Almsround] [Perception of a samaṇa] [Cleanliness] [Humor] [Unwholesome Roots] [Dhamma] [Gratitude] [Upatakh]

Reference: Stillness Flowing by Ajahn Jayasaro, p. 502


Tudong Stories at Spirit Rock, Session 1: The Purpose of TudongAjahn Pasanno – Jun. 2, 2011 [Tudong]

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1. (1:07) Story: Ajahn Pasanno attempts tudong in California. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Abhayagiri] // [Ageing] [Health]


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2. (3:41) Story: Ajahn Chah lets a restless junior monk go tudong in the hot season. [Ajahn Chah] [Restlessness and worry] [Sequence of training] [Culture/Natural environment]


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3. (3:43) Story: Ajahn Jotipālo's tudong north along the Mississippi. [Ajahn Jotipālo] // [Robes] [Sickness] [Culture/West] [Almsfood]


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4. (2:16) Story: Ajahn Chah asks Ajahn Sumedho if he might go back to America as a monk. [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Culture/West] [Monastic life] // [Almsfood] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism]

Quote: “You mean to say there are no kind people in America?” — Ajahn Chah to Ajahn Sumedho [Compassion]


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5. (5:58) Story: Ajahn Mun doesn't spend consecutive rains retreats in the same place until his mid-70s. [Ajahn Mun] [Rains retreat] [Ageing] // [Stages of awakening] [Seclusion] [Teaching Dhamma]

Story: Saṅgha authorities appoint Ajahn Mun abbot of a monastery in Chiang Mai. He leaves before dawn the next day. [Abbot] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Saṅgha decision making]

Story: One million people attend the funeral of Ajahn Mahā Boowa. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Funerals]


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6. (1:16) Story: Ajahn Kinaree walks to India over the course of 15 years in the 1920s and 30s. [Ajahn Kinaree] [Visiting holy sites]


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7. (10:26) Story: Ajahn Supah chooses tudong over further studies. [Ajahn Supah] [Culture/Thailand] [Study monks] [Learning] // [Liberation] [Goodwill] [Simplicity] [Virtue] [Recollection/Virtue]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno's mother cries when she meets Ajahn Supah. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Faith] [Rapture]

Story: A python begins to eat Ajahn Supah. [Animal] [Determination]


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8. (1:05) Quote: “In the old days, tudong monks would show up at the monastery and ask about almsfood routes, toilets, and meetings. Now the first thing tudong monks ask is, 'Is there a cell phone signal?'” — anonymous [Protocols] [Technology] [Culture/Thailand]


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9. (2:08) Quote: “Instead of going tudong, monks go taludong (through the forest).” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Culture/Thailand] // [Environment] [Commerce/economics]


Tudong Stories at Spirit Rock, Session 2: Questions and AnswersAjahn Pasanno – Jun. 2, 2011 [Tudong]

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1. (0:34) “Did you walk from Mendocino?”


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2. (7:07) “What is the function of a layperson who accompanies a monk on tudong?” [Lay life] // [Sequence of training] [Abhayagiri] [Eight Precepts] [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Chah]

Quote: “People who ordain quickly disrobe quickly.” — Ajahn Chah [Ordination] [Disrobing]

Story: Founding of Pacific Hermitage. [Pacific Hermitage] [Almsround] [Almsfood]


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3. (7:09) Comment: Living on faith increases your potential anxiety level. I came to Buddhism thinking this would settle my life, but I realize that being open, aware, and sensitive to the world keeps bringing me new challenges. [Faith] [Restlessness and worry] [Everyday life] [Conscience and prudence]

Sutta: Dhp 244-245: Life is easy for for one without shame. [Conceit] [Virtue]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: "You get more than what you bargained for." [Happiness] [Culture/West] [Communal harmony] [Trust] [Concentration] [Ardency] [Energy] [Discernment] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy] [Right Effort]

Sutta: AN 11.1: Virtue leads to non-remorse and samādhi.


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4. (9:19) “Can the practice be used in a punitative or punishing way?” [Guilt/shame/inadequacy] // [Culture/West] [Habits] [Clear comprehension] [Craving not to become]

Quote: “Having a human mind...it's amazing how perverse it can be sometimes.” [Human] [Unwholesome Roots]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno can't translate guilt into Thai. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Translation] [Culture/Thailand] [Suffering]

Quote: “All you need to do is create a cage of mindfulness around [unskillful habits].” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Sense restraint] [Mindfulness] [Unskillful qualities] [Similes]

Follow-up: “What about letting the tiger go instead of keeping it in a cage?”

Follow-up: “What about the case when one feels one is the tiger trapped in a metaphorical cage. How to escape?” [Liberation] [Perception] [Self-identity view] [Spiritual friendship]


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5. (3:21) “If sati or mindfulness is the cage, what is the use of samatha?” [Similes] [Mindfulness] [Calming meditation] [Concentration] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Tranquility] [Discernment] [Relinquishment]


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6. (8:42) “Could you tell of your personal experience with a tiger?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Animal]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno hears and smells a tiger while doing walking meditation. [Dtao Dum] [Culture/Natural environment] [Posture/Walking] [Fear] [Death] [Impermanence] [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension]

Sutta: MN 4: Fear and Dread


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7. (4:42) “Is there a distinction between the awareness and the naming? Does naming bring intellect or self into play? Is confusion the nagging sense of self or self-consciousness?” [Knowing itself] [Perception] [Noting] [Self-identity view] [Delusion] // [Investigation of states] [Proliferation] [Relinquishment] [Equanimity] [Doubt] [Mindfulness of body] [Continuity of mindfulness]


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8. (1:35) “In the trio of attraction, aversion, and confusion, what does confusion mean?” [Unwholesome Roots] [Delusion]


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9. (1:18) “I have an internal voice that's concerned whether I'm doing it right; if I'm not doing it right, then I won't get where I want to go. Is this delusion?” [Eightfold Path] [Perfectionism] [Delusion] // [Suffering] [Fear] [Mindfulness of body] [Volitional formations]


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10. (5:32) “For Lent, I practiced metta every day for six weeks for a person who I was very angry at. By the end of Lent, I was even more angry. Could you speak to this?” [Goodwill] [Aversion] [Christianity] // [Right Effort] [Discernment] [Unwholesome Roots] [Relinquishment] [Self-identity view] [Clinging]

Quote: “If the kilesa (defilements) come at you high, then you duck, and if they come at you low, then you jump over them.” — Ajahn Tongrat [Ajahn Tongrat]


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11. (4:50) “I'm curious about your pre-monastic life and specifically what led you to the monastic life.” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life/Motivation] // [Temporary ordination] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong]

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


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12. (2:04) “If I saw you and the monks walking down the streets of Fairfax, I'm not sure I would know what to do. How should I approach you?” [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] [Almsround] // [Almsbowl] [Almsfood] [Not handling money]


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13. (4:14) “To what extend is spreading the teachings part of the tudong tradition?” [Teaching Dhamma] // [Culture/Thailand]

Vinaya: Kd 1.23: Venerable Assaji's demeanor inspires Sariputta. [Great disciples] [Perception of a samaṇa]

Story: Ajahn Pasanno goes tudong and is asked for lottery numbers. [Ajahn Pasanno]


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14. (4:04) “I travelled for six weeks in Thailand and India and found that time really shifted. Having been home about two months, even with a daily meditation practice, time speeds up. How is life at the monastery versus tudong, and what do you have to say to laypeople about the speeding up of time?” [Pace of life] [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/India] [Culture/West] [Everyday life] [Monastic life] // [Craving] [Devotional practice]


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15. (3:19) “Is it possible to visit the monastery?” [Gratitude] [Monasteries] [Abhayagiri] // [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support]


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16. (2:33) Meditation instructions: Walking meditation. [Posture/Walking] // [Abhayagiri]


Tudong Stories at Spirit Rock, Session 3: Tudong in ThailandAjahn Pasanno – Jun. 2, 2011 [Tudong]

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1. (2:38) Story: Ajahn Chah's first tudong. [Ajahn Chah] [Renunciation] [Spiritual search] [Simplicity]


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2. (4:42) Story: Ajahn Chah obsesses about getting robes. [Ajahn Chah] [Poverty] [Robes] [Greed] // [History/Thai Buddhism] [Determination] [Simplicity] [Craving] [Ajahn Kinaree]


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3. (1:03) Quote: “You fall down, you get up, you crawl along. ” — Ajahn Mahā Boowa [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Patience] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]


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4. (4:47) Story: Ajahn Chah struggles through lust with patience. [Ajahn Chah] [Sensual desire] [Patience] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Human] [Meditation/Techniques] [Impermanence]

Quote: Ajahn Chah to biographer: “If you don't put that in the book, don't bother printing it.” [Dhamma books]

Quote: “If you ordain as a monk, your defilements ordain with you.” [Monastic life] [Unwholesome Roots]


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5. (2:31) Quote: “You're inspired, and you put forth effort. You're depressed and fed up, and you put forth effort. You're rested, and you put forth effort. You're tired, and you put forth effort. ” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Right Effort] [Ardency] [Faith] [Depression] [Sloth and torpor] // [Gladdening the mind]


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6. (1:34) Story: How Ajahn Pasanno became abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Abbot] // [Ajahn Chah] [Saṅgha decision making]


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7. (2:27) Story: Ajahn Pasanno's tudong practice. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Seclusion] // [Meditation] [Sickness] [Ajahn Amaro] [Abhayagiri] [Patience]


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8. (3:52) Story: Ajahn Pasanno gets a foot infection on tudong. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Sickness] [Culture/Thailand] [Health care] // [Killing] [Goodwill]


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9. (2:44) Story: Ajahn Pasanno loses his vision on tudong. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Sickness] [Health care] // [Patience] [Seclusion] [Dtao Dum]


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10. (5:27) Quote: “It all comes back to that simple quality of mindfulness. From the mindfulness, then the different qualities of practice that we need to rely on are cultivated.” [Mindfulness] [Faculties] // [Concentration] [Thai] [Translation] [Discernment] [Perfections]

Quote: “The base and foundation is the mindfulness. Being the knowing is always the foundation, and then the mind is able to become still, become settled, become steady.” [Knowing itself]

Recollection: "It's rare that Ajahn Chah would use [the Pāli term] pañña on its own. More often than not, he would use satipañña, which is mindfulness and wisdom together." [Ajahn Chah] [Pāli]


Brightening the Mind, Session 1: Brightening the MindAjahn Pasanno – Aug. 19, 2012

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1. (3:03) “Could you expand about the layers of understanding of thought, perception, and dukkha?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Discernment] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Perception] [Suffering] // [Proliferation] [Relinquishment]

Quote: “First you study the Dhamma, then you know the Dhamma, then you see the Dhamma, they you be the Dhamma.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma] [Progress of insight]

Commentary: Path of Purification by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli, p. 631: The highest level of understanding is giving up.


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2. (1:51) Comment: Ajahn Chah said that Nibbāna is letting go, but this is difficult to do at deep levels. [Ajahn Chah] [Nibbāna] [Relinquishment] [Suffering]

Responses by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Self-identity view] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]


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3. (1:22) Comment: In the practice, we use gladdening the mind to balance the preception of suffering. [Gladdening the mind] [Noble Truth of Suffering] [Cessation of Suffering] [Recollection]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Four Noble Truths]


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4. (5:34) “What is the difference between mindfulness, bare attention, and clear comprehension? Can you flesh out the word understanding?” [Mindfulness] [Direct experience] [Clear comprehension] // [Right Effort] [Discernment] [Right Mindfulness] [Ardency] [Investigation of states] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Greed] [Aversion]

Sutta: MN 118: Ānāpānasati Sutta


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5. (3:26) “Sometimes you hear something...[audio unclear]....What is your opinion?” [Gladdening the mind] [Discernment] [Release] [Cessation of Suffering]

Sutta: AN 8.19: "Just as the ocean has only one taste..." [Liberation]


Brightening the Mind, Session 2: Recollection of the DevasAjahn Yatiko – Aug. 19, 2012 [Deva] [Recollection/Devas]

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1. (1:00) “What would be a way to connect with the deva-like humans?” [Human] // [Realms of existence]


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2. (1:54) “What would be a way to connect with the devas if you were out walking by yourself...[audio unclear]?” [Culture/Natural environment] // [Recollection/Buddha] [Spiritual search]


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3. (4:45) “I've heard that devas and brahmas aren't able to become enlightened. Is that right?” Answered by Ajahn Yatiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Liberation] // [Delusion] [Heedlessness] [Sutta] [Great disciples] [Four Noble Truths]

Sutta: SN 56.11: Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Story: Ajahn Sudanto's pūjā on Mount Hood. [Pacific Hermitage] [Pūjā] [Culture/Natural environment] [Merit] [Goodwill]


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4. (3:53) Comment: Contemplating the devas opens my mind to waking up. [Liberation]

Response by Ajahn Yatiko. [Mindfulness] [Energy] [Proliferation] [Depression] [Sutta] [Culture/Natural environment]


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5. (1:16) Comment: I ask myself, "Do I believe in Māra?" There's no doubt. I try to balance this with the devas. [Māra]

Response by Ajahn Yatiko. [Skillful qualities]


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6. (1:21) “Are angels devas...[audio unclear]?” [Christianity] // [God] [Delusion]


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7. (1:23) Comment: Maybe recollection of the devas isn't frequently taught because it could slip into a desire for heaven. [Craving for material existence]

Response by Ajahn Yatiko. [Sutta] [Hell] [Kamma] [Delusion]


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8. (2:50) Comment: For me it is a question of whether I can believe it or not. It depends on where I place my mind. [Faith] [Science] [Emptiness] [Proliferation] [Dalai Lama] [Death]

Response by Ajahn Yatiko. [Doubt] [Trust] [Tranquility]


Brightening the Mind, Session 3: Generosity and PeaceAjahn Karuṇadhammo – Aug. 19, 2012

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1. (2:13) “Could you speak more about the concept of relinquishment, giving up, and how it relates to giving?” [Relinquishment] [Recollection/Generosity] [Generosity] // [Clinging]


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2. (2:48) Comment: I'm looking at contemplating peace as opposed to grasping for peace as a result of aversion to dukkha. There's not the same result. [Recollection/Peace] [Clinging] [Aversion] [Suffering]

Response by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Noble Truth of Suffering] [Craving not to become] [Relinquishment] [Kamma]


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3. (4:35) Comment: So you maximize the internal benefit you receive...[audio unclear]? [Recollection/Generosity] [Generosity]

Responses by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo, Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Faith] [Discernment] [Clinging] [Habits] [Proliferation] [Idealism]


The Gradual Training, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko – Oct. 20, 2012 [Gradual Teaching]

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1. (1:41) Comment by Ajahn Yatiko: In the image of planting a seed (AN 1.314-315), for Dhamma practice it needs to be a seed that comes from the Buddha. [Similes] [Hearing the true Dhamma] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Teaching Dhamma] [Buddha]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Right View] [Christianity]


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2. (6:51) “In the example you gave of the snake (MN 22), can you give an example of how the Dhamma can bite you?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Similes] // [Abhidhamma] [Conflict] [Meditation/Techniques] [Clinging] [Unwholesome Roots] [Right Intention] [Learning]

Story: The teachings of Dhammakaya. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Self-identity view] [Commerce/economics] [Nibbāna] [Generosity]

Story: An Abhidhamma teacher visits Ajahn Chah. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah]


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3. (1:55) “How does one look at intention?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Volition] [Right Intention] // [Four Noble Truths] [Discernment] [Delusion]

Quote: “Sometimes you don't want to look at intention too closely because you'll convince yourself of anything.” — Ajahn Pasanno


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4. (1:25) “Can you talk about how 'Aha!' moments relate to the gradual path?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Liberation] // [Faculties]


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5. (2:05) “When I read a story that someone has awakened, what does this mean? Does it mean that the practice continues on another level?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Liberation] // [Language] [Hearing the true Dhamma] [Faith] [Discernment]


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6. (0:48) Comment: The simile of the snake (MN 22) describes my practice. I've been bitten quite a lot. [Similes]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko. [Suffering] [Humility]


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7. (3:46) “In the West, there are so many religious practices from the East. How do we relate to them all.” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Spiritual traditions] [Hinduism] // [Buddha/Biography] [Teaching Dhamma]

Sutta: MN 95: Caṅkī Sutta [Conditionality] [Faith]

Quote: “I've been an abbot for thirty years, and I'm quite happy. One of the reasons I'm happy is I don't feel I have to go and convince anybody of anything.” — Ajahn Pasanno [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life] [Happiness] [Contentment]


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8. (0:38) Comment: Your statement that faith comes from building confidence and confidence comes from direct experience is so true. [Faith] [Direct experience] [Conflict]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


The Gradual Training, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Yatiko – Oct. 20, 2012 [Gradual Teaching]

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1. (1:40) “Could you elaborate on how the Four Foundations of Mindfulness are analogous to the first jhāna? How does this differ from second jhāna?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Right Mindfulness] [Jhāna] // [Directed thought and evaluation]


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2. (5:53) “In the analogy of the accountant (MN 107), it seems that the training works linearly. Are there basic practices that are important to focus on in the beginning? Are ther other practices which should not be attempted in the beginning?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Similes] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] // [Faith] [Kamma] [Unconditioned] [Learning] [Relinquishment] [Concentration]

Story: A monk carrying money asks to stay at Wat Pah Pong. [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong] [Not handling money]


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3. (3:37) Comment: You spoke about suffusing the body with extreme well-being. But I've been in states like that and my body seems to disappear. [Jhāna] [Happiness] [Rapture] [Mindfulness of body] [Meditation/Unusual experiences]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

Quote: “It isn't so much the experience of extreme well-being that is the goal. It's the ability to gain clarity and stability so that one can see through the experience as something that is uncertain or impermanent, has a changing nature. The mind often wants to disregard that. The tendency to identify self with experience on a refined mental level is tempered by the body experience.” [Clear comprehension] [Concentration] [Knowledge and vision] [Impermanence] [Delusion] [Self-identity view] [Relinquishment]

Follow-up: “Are you saying you can become attached to these states?” [Clinging]


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4. (1:23) Comment: The descriptions in Mae Chee Kaew's biography of how difficult it was for her to give up her experiences with the astral world speak to me. [Mae Chee Kaew] [Clinging] [Deva]

Reference: Mae Chee Kaew: Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment by Ajahn Dick Sīlaratano

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Happiness] [Mindfulness of body]


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5. (6:51) “In regards to the simile of the path to Rājagaha (MN 107), could you describe classic mistakes made by sincere beginning, intermediate and advanced practitioners?” Answered by Ajahn Yatiko and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Similes] // [Faith] [Doubt] [Truth] [Virtue] [Liberation] [Conditionality] [Christianity] [Suffering]


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6. (0:14) Story: They ask the Zen master what would it say if they wrote the biography of his life? "One mistake after another." [Zen] [Learning] [Humility]


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7. (1:10) Comments about the role of heaven as a haven in the practice. [Deva] [Faith] [Three Refuges] [Four Noble Truths]


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8. (5:23) “How do we know when to ask for directions on the path as opposed to just continuing farther? What would we ask?” Answered by Ajahn Yatiko. [Questions] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] // [Suffering] [Discernment] [Conditionality] [Faith]

Sutta: SN 12.23: Suffering is the cause of faith.

Follow-up: “What about when things are pleasant, but we're not headed in the right direction?” [Happiness] [Mindfulness] [Deva] [Relinquishment]

Sutta: MN 75: Simile of the leper. [Similes]

Sutta: SN 56.35: Stream entry after 100 years. [Stream entry] [Four Noble Truths]


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9. (3:20) “Can you speak more about the impermance of goodness?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Impermanence] [Virtue] // [Conditionality] [Happiness] [Compassion] [Fear] [Suffering] [Clinging]

Sutta: AN 8.39: Five great gifts which give freedom from fear. [Generosity] [Five Precepts]

Quote: “The basis of Right View is knowing that this cup is a broken glass.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Right View]


Right Livelihood, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Apr. 21, 2013 [Right Livelihood]

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1. (5:49) Readings: Buddhist Economics: A Middle Way for the Market Place by P. A. Payutto, p. 19; Buddhist Economics: A Middle Way for the Market Place by P. A. Payutto, p. 36. [Commerce/economics] [Requisites]


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2. (0:59) “Lottery numbers?...Is the problem that the monks have the right numbers so everyone flocks to them?” [Monastic life] [Psychic powers]


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3. (6:08) “Could you talk more about the particular professions that the Buddha laid out as wrong livelihood (AN 5.177)? Why is being in the military not on the list?” [Work] [Military] // [Unskillful qualities] [Kamma] [Killing] [Intoxicants] [Rebirth]

Sutta: AN 5.177: Trades

Story: The widow of a wealthy man divests from Singha Beer. [Commerce/economics]


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4. (2:18) “Is growing grapes right livelihood?” [Intoxicants] [Commerce/economics]

Story: The son of a winemaking family lives on the land but doesn't participate in wine production. [Family]


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5. (3:39) “Can you speak about the people who sell these things [intoxicants] versus those who make them?” [Intoxicants] [Commerce/economics] // [Kamma] [Volition]

Story: A clerk at an organic food store asks about selling wine. Told by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.


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6. (2:24) “If the person selling the product enjoys selling it and the person buying it enjoys the product, what is the unpleasant consequence?” [Commerce/economics] [Sensual desire] [Kamma] // [Unskillful qualities] [Intoxicants] [Crime] [Heedlessness]


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7. (0:58) “What about people whose livelihood falls into one of these categories [AN 5.177] but they are convinced that it's good for the world or that it had to be done?” [Volition] // [Delusion]


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8. (2:09) Comment about the nuances involved in the activities comprising wrong livelihood. [Intoxicants]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Unskillful qualities] [Community]


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9. (1:09) “Is caffeine an intoxicant?” [Intoxicants] // [Medicinal requisites]


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10. (2:53) Comments about meat eating. [Food] [Killing] [Craving] [Vegetarianism]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Volition] [Human]


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11. (0:38) Quote: “Different people will be comfortable at different degrees of contentment and ability to live simply.” — P. A. Payutto [P. A. Payutto] [Personality] [Contentment] [Simplicity] [Happiness]


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12. (2:15) “The Buddha taught the five forms of wrong livelihood [AN 5.177]. This is from the producer side. Is there a similar teaching from the consumer side?” [Commerce/economics] // [Idealism] [Politics and society] [Buddha/Biography] [Skillful qualities]


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13. (1:33) “What is the view on medical or pharmaceutical professions?” [Health care] [Medicinal requisites]


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14. (2:17) “What about things that have an ostensibly benign purpose, such as pesticides and fertilizers used for raising food, but then in fact have quite harmful effects?” [Food] [Environment] // [Commerce/economics] [Politics and society]


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15. (0:41) “Is there any instruction from the Buddha about how to deal with profit-motivated pharmaceutical research decisions?” [Buddha] [Health care] [Commerce/economics]


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16. (3:41) “Some people want to help but find themselves in situations in which profit dictates the priorities. How can they protect their integrity in such situations?” [Compassion] [Health care] [Commerce/economics] [Right Intention] // [Learning] [Idealism] [Requisites] [Happiness]

Story: Ajahn Karuniko studies engineering, then quits a job in the arms industry to become a monk. [Military] [Monastic life/Motivation]


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17. (2:30) Comment by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo: It's not easy giving up the things we're used to in order to follow the path. [Renunciation] [Eightfold Path] [Clinging] [Happiness]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Suffering] [Commerce/economics]


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18. (0:59) “When quitting a job, should you consider the welfare of the next person who will fill it?”


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19. (2:37) Comment by Ajahn Yatiko: Right Livelihood isn't about judging other people's livelihood. [Judgementalism]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Eightfold Path] [Pāli] [Cessation of Suffering] [Happiness]


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20. (2:10) Comments about Temple Grandon designing low-anxiety slaughterhouses. [Killing] [Food]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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21. (0:31) Quote: “The Buddha's function was not to make grand pronouncements that apply universally, everywhere, all the time. He gave guidelines to relfect a variety of circumstances, personal effects, social effects, and then make a decision from there.” [Buddha] [Idealism] [Discernment] [Conditionality] [Kamma] [Community] [Politics and society]


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22. (2:06) Comments about thinking versus feeling out the quality of the heart in decision making. [Directed thought and evaluation] [Mindfulness of mind] [Discernment] [Clear comprehension]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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23. (3:58) Reading: Constitution for Living p. 33; Constitution for Living p. 35.


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24. (3:28) Reading


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25. (2:46) “There are many people without access to resources for education or training without many choices. How does this all fit together?” [Poverty] [Learning] [Politics and society] // [Buddha] [Idealism]

Sutta: DN 27: Agañña Sutta


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26. (3:09) “In DN 31.26, what is investment versus savings?” [Commerce/economics]

Comments by various participants about the nature of investment. [Unskillful qualities] [Greed] [Work]

Sutta: DN 31.32: Siṅgālasutta Sutta–Five duties of an employer to employees


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27. (2:22) Comments about the differences between ancient and modern economic systems and the importance of understanding and applying the Buddha's principles. [Commerce/economics] [Cultural context] [Culture/West] [Work] // [Food] [Poverty]


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28. (1:11) “Do you know the qualities the employee is supposed to give the employer?” [Work]

Sutta: DN 31.32: Siṅgālasutta Sutta


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29. (4:02) Story: The head of Lalanka Water invites monks to stay above his office and teach the employees. Told by Ajahn Yatiko. [Work] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] [Teaching Dhamma] // [Lunar observance days] [Eight Precepts] [Meditation] [Dhamma discussion] [Respect]

Story: The ultra-competent assistant who wants to ordain. [Monastic life/Motivation]

Story: The king's assistant who dives into the water to get 20 pounds of gold (DN 17).


Right Livelihood, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Apr. 21, 2013

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[Session] (36:11) Note: This session follows a period of small-group discussions.


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1. (1:03) Comment: As our group spoke, our different perspectives converged on objects of the mind and how we meet them. [Mindfulness of dhammas]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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2. (3:45) Comments about the ways our work affects us. [Work] [Commerce/economics] // [Depression] [Unskillful qualities]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Human] [Appropriate attention]


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3. (10:30) “Everyone in our group is struggling with issues about livelihood. Does anyone here feel their livelihood is in tune?” Answered by Ajahn Yatiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Work] [Idealism] // [Contentment] [Eightfold Path] [Kamma]

Quote: “Maybe it would be better phrased 'Right-enough livelihood.'” — Ajahn Karuṇadhammo [Right Livelihood]

Story: An upright career police officer in Thailand transfers in and out of a corrupt assignment. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Community] [Crime] [Corruption] [Family] [Precepts]

Comment by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo: Even monks face moral dillemas. [Monastic life] [Vinaya]


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4. (1:48) Comment about the motivations of trying to fix the world versus compassion. Contributed by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Idealism] [Compassion] [Suffering]


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5. (4:40) “What is your take on satisfaction, being in tune, and stagnation?” [Contentment] [Energy] [Ardency] // [Skillful qualities] [Discernment] [Buddha/Biography] [Spiritual search] [Right Effort]

Sutta: AN 2.5: Effort and noncontentment with wholesome states.

Story: The Thai government made it illegal for monks to teach contentment. [History/Thai Buddhism] [Monastic life] [Teaching Dhamma]

Comment about the simile of the lute. [Middle Path] [Similes]

Sutta: AN 6.55: Soṇa Sutta


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6. (1:27) “Regarding the lute simile (AN 6.55), I notice that even properly tuned instruments gradually creep out of tune. Is finding the balance a lifelong effort?” [Middle Path] [Right Effort] [Similes] [Long-term practice]

Comment about the need to put work into perspective. [Work] [Culture/West]


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7. (1:57) Comment about the Buddha developing skills after enlightenment. [Buddha/Biography] [Liberation] [Learning]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Vinaya] [History/Early Buddhism]


The Whole of the Path: The Fruits of Spiritual Friendship, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 22, 2013 [Spiritual friendship]

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1. (2:54) “Could you tell us how you became a monk?” [Ordination] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life/Motivation] // [Culture/Thailand] [Meditation]

Quote: “I stumbled into it.” [Monastic life]


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2. (7:14) Comment: It's not so easy to let go of people who have been in my life forever to cultivate new friendships. [Relinquishment]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Judgementalism] [Virtue] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Views]


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3. (1:33) “Why is discernment a better word for wisdom?” [Discernment] [Translation] // [Pāli] [Etymology]


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4. (3:07) “If my sister has unwholesome friendships, how can I help her redirect these?” [Family] // [Compassion] [Judgementalism] [Right Intention] [Right Speech] [Admonishment/feedback]

Story: An Abhayagiri monk skillfully conveys concerns to his father. [Abhayagiri]


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5. (2:33) Meditation instruction: Walking meditation instructions. [Posture/Walking] // [Continuity of mindfulness] [Tranquility]


The Whole of the Path: The Fruits of Spiritual Friendship, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 22, 2013

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1. (1:35) “The Buddha said 'One is expected to cultivate the path when you meet noble friends.' How much responsibility do we need to take for this?” [Spiritual friendship] [Association with people of integrity] [Volition]


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2. (1:46) [When talking about the qualities for developing the Eightfold Path, seclusion, cessation, and dispassion.] “Could you distinguish between cessation and dispassion?” [Eightfold Path] [Progress of insight] [Cessation] [Dispassion] // [Pāli] [Etymology]


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3. (0:47) “Could you give the Pāli words for dispassion, cessation, and maturing? Also the word you used with otappa?” [Pāli] [Dispassion] [Cessation] [Release] [Conscience and prudence] // [Seclusion]


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4. (0:24) Comment: Saṃvega comes in there somewhere. [Sense of urgency] [Pāli]


The Whole of the Path: The Fruits of Spiritual Friendship, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 22, 2013

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1. (2:42) “What do we do at the monastery? What happens on a daily basis?” [Monastic life] [Abhayagiri] // [Chanting] [Meditation] [Work] [Food] [Questions]


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2. (0:52) Comment: The more we become like monks and nuns, the more we will be helping the climate change situation. [Monastic life] [Environment]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Simplicity] [Contentment] [Generosity] [Human]


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3. (4:36) “Can you give some suggestions on dealing with betrayal in relationships?” [Relationships] [Sexual misconduct] [Trust] // [Spiritual friendship] [Faith] [Virtue] [Generosity] [Discernment] [Judgementalism] [Monastic life]

Sutta: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 46: The Highest Blessings (Mangala Sutta, SN 2.4)


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4. (8:06) “Can you say more about the practice of awareness of arising and ceasing in relation to discernment and right view?” [Becoming] [Cessation] [Mindfulness] [Discernment] [Right View] // [Impermanence] [Ajahn Chah] [Conditionality] [Self-identity view] [Happiness] [Mindfulness of mind] [Patience]

Reading from an unnamed recent Ajahn Chah book. [Relinquishment] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]

Quote: “I don't teach you guys much. Just be patient.” — Ajahn Chah


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5. (3:00) “What is the role of emotion in our practice?” [Emotion] [Feeling] // [Faith] [Compassion] [Generosity] [Four Noble Truths] [Relinquishment] [Discernment]


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6. (1:13) Comment: I find that the experience of uncertainty and loss can give rise to compassion. [Impermanence] [Grief] [Compassion]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Right View] [Emotion] [Teaching Dhamma] [Ardency]


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7. (4:51) “Given the situation in Burma with Buddhist monks fomenting violence against Muslims, how do you determine whether to respond to that vocally or publically?” [History/Other Theravāda traditions] [Conflict] [Politics and society] [Monastic life] [Islam] [Right Speech] [Media] // [Military]


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8. (8:28) “I appreciate your emphasis on clarity, stability, and spaciousness. How does concentration relate to these?” [Clear comprehension] [One pointedness] [Spaciousness] [Concentration] // [Pāli] [Thai] [Etymology] [Tranquility] [Happiness] [Rapture] [Conditionality]

Suttas: AN 10.3: Virtuous Behaivor; AN 6.10 Mahānāma [Virtue]

Quote: “The way my mind worked before was, 'Boy, when I get my concentration together, I'm going to be happy...'” [Ajahn Pasanno]

Quote: “The happy mind is easily concentrated.” [Hindrances] [Relinquishment] [Knowledge and vision]


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9. (2:13) “For me, the practice starts with concentration to get to a place of well-being. Is there a missing piece here?” [Concentration] [Happiness] // [Cultural context] [Generosity] [Precepts] [Culture/West] [Western psychology] [Meditation]

Quote: “It is helpful to get a picture of the whole path and realize how integrated and mutually nourishing those path factors are.” [Eightfold Path] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]


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10. (1:08) “When we say right Eightfold Path, is there any general rule to tell what is right, what is wrong?” [Eightfold Path] [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities] // [Unwholesome Roots]


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11. (1:06) “How is the path like a traffic circle?” [Eightfold Path] // [Conditionality]


Calming the Busy Mind, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Aug. 11, 2013 [Tranquility] [Proliferation]

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1. (2:33) “You spoke about recognizing that when the mind goes off into busyness that there's not just that particular quality. Could you talk more about this?” // [Appropriate attention] [Impermanence] [Knowing itself] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Chah] [Clinging] [Suffering]


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2. (2:53) “You said that starting with chanting can help focus the mind. But I find myself daydreaming while chanting.” [Chanting] // [Pāṭimokkha] [Energy]

Story: An elderly woman chants the Dhammacakka Sutta every day. [Ageing]


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3. (1:07) “How do we deal with the frustration that arises after repeatedly catching the busy mind?” // [Perfectionism]


Calming the Busy Mind, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Aug. 11, 2013 [Tranquility] [Proliferation]

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1. (1:53) Comment: Even though I've seen the fruit of awareness in and of itself many times, the doubt is still so deeply embedded that there is not that place of letting go. [Knowing itself] [Doubt] [Clinging] [Relinquishment]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Faith]

Reference: "Goal-Oriented and Source-Oriented Practice," Dhamma Talk by Ajahn Pasanno, August 10, 2013.


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2. (1:10) Comment: I have found your saying 'Just don't make a problem of it.' very helpful. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Cessation of Suffering]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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3. (2:17) “In the suttas, if you recognize a defilement like ill-will, you need to do something about it. How can we reconcile this with the Ajahn Chah teaching you just read ('Receiving Visitors' in In Simple Terms)?” [Sutta] [Right Effort] [Ajahn Chah] // [Discernment]

Quote: “Practice is really easy. If the defilements come at you high, you duck, and if they come at you low, you jump over them.” — Ajahn Tongrat [Ajahn Tongrat] [Unwholesome Roots]


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4. (3:58) “Is there a state of the calm mind when you're not thinking about anything or is meditation more about reflecting?” [Directed thought and evaluation] [Recollection] // [Concentration] [Restlessness and worry] [Perfectionism] [Ardency]


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5. (1:48) “Sometimes the mind becomes peaceful, but a squiggle of restlessness often arises around 45 minutes when the meditation usually ends. What should I do with this habit?” [Restlessness and worry] [Habits] // [Aversion] [Noting] [Happiness]


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6. (0:41) “Is it possible to replace the busy thoughts with more positive thoughts you're trying to cultivate?” [Directed thought and evaluation]


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7. (0:59) “How can we understand the last practice in MN 20 of gritting the jaw, etc.? I don't think this will work for me.”


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8. (0:56) Comment: When someone says they can't meditate because they try to settle their mind and they realize how busy it is, I've encouraged them that now they are seeing the reflective quality of how their mind works. [Appropriate attention]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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9. (1:50) “What attitude should we take when observing things so we don't objectify them or make it stressful?” [Perception] [Knowing itself] [Appropriate attention] [Suffering] // [Direct experience]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 23, 2013

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1. (4:25) “Thank you for your talk. Can you flesh out: 'dispassionate about what?' Also, trying to encourage dispassion along with arousing energy.” [Dispassion] [Energy]


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2. (8:54) “Is it possible for an arahant to have seemingly negative thoughts and speech?” [Arahant] [Unskillful qualities]


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3. (9:19) “Can you talk about how to work with infidelity.” [Relationships] [Sexual misconduct]


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4. (8:59) “Thank you for the wonderful teachings...Can you further discuss dispassion and nonattachment in the context of the 'middle way.' (particularly for a layperson in a loving relationship)” [Relationships] [Dispassion]


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5. (6:48) “I notice that when my mind is drifting I don't feel physical pain but when 'present' pain comes to the fore. Suggestions?” [Pain]


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6. (5:12) “What do you think about the bed here? I believe its against the 8th precept.” [High and luxurious beds]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 24, 2013

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1. (3:51) “I have seen both monastics and laypeople start getting ill after they became serious about practice. Can you relate this to your talk today? (whether such illness is karmic. Etc.)” [Sickness] [Kamma]


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2. (3:15) “Could you clarify the difference between perception (sanna), mental formations (sankara) and conscousness (vinnana)?” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Consciousness]


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3. (3:27) “Can you talk about neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings and the benefits of being with this boringness?” [Neutral feeling] [Mindfulness of feeling]


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4. (2:47) “Could you please talk about different places in the chain of dependent origination can be broken?” [Dependent origination]


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5. (4:26) “Thank you for the wonderful dhamma talk on the 5 reflections! Could you please talk about compassion in caregiving for themselves and for others.” [Recollection] [Compassion] [Health care]


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6. (4:07) “Reflecting on your talk earlier about letting go...Wondering if you can speak about maintaining a practice during retreat and also in 'normal' life under circumstances (where one has to make many important decisions).” [Relinquishment] [Meditation retreats] [Lay life]


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7. (4:58) “During meditation when thoughts come and want to engage me...is there a point or sign or a warning that can be seen before I get lost?” [Restlessness and worry]


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8. (5:28) “Dear Ajahn Pasanno, Thank you for all the guidance and encouragement. The past months have been very busy...I am now noticing lots of patterns of tension in my body which make the breath an unpleasant object to stay with. Any advice?” [Mindfulness of body] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Suffering]


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9. (0:55) “In letting go of thoughts that habitually arise from negative self-criticism or from past trauma defenses, how do we ask these powerful mental states to not overwhelm our mindfulness?” [Guilt/shame/inadequacy] [Mindfulness]


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10. (6:03) “Could you clarify whether having more than one meditation object is a help or a hindrance?” [Meditation/General advice]


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11. (5:26) “Thank you for your uplifting and encouraging talks. My husband died 6 months ago. Could you give suggestions for how to contemplate anicca and anatta in the context of his life, illness, and death?” [Impermanence] [Not-self] [Sickness] [Death] [Relationships]


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12. (1:26) “Is there a distinction between dispassion and equanimity?” [Dispassion] [Equanimity]


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13. (3:47) “Thank you for your wonderful teaching. Q: How to identify and deal with 'Panca upadana' in daily life?” [Clinging] [Aggregates]


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14. (3:16) “Ajahn, Its seems like the first couple of days all hindrances attack to a point where I opened my eyes this morning meditation and thought: 'How did I get here?...Can you please comment.” [Hindrances] [Meditation retreats]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 25, 2013

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1. (3:43) “Is body scan as a meditation practice done in the Ajahn Chah tradition? Is there a sutta where the Buddha talks about it?” [Body scanning] [Ajahn Chah lineage] [Sutta]


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2. (0:33) “Is there something in the body that will help you identify the defilement of delusion?” [Mindfulness of body] [Delusion] // [Self-identity view]


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3. (2:19) “If one has read the Majjhima Nikaya, what text of the Pali canon do you recommend reading next?” [Learning] [Sutta]


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4. (6:05) “I'm having trouble integrating some of the teachings in the context of preparing to have a child...How might one be fully open to the lightness and joy surrounding birth while remaining deeply aware of these other truths of existence?” [Family] [Birth]


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5. (4:38) “Sorry, I missed something. Did you say that instead of dwelling on our hindrances and getting depressed, we could instead work with the Factors of Enlightenment to brighten the mind? What are the Factors you would suggest?” [Factors of Awakening] [Gladdening the mind]


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6. (6:30) “Can you please give perspective on thoughts/feelings of inadequacy and comparison to others?” [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]


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7. (2:36) “Can you please talk about qualities (physical sensations) one would experience in different Jhana sates?” [Jhāna]


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8. (3:52) “Are there harmful states of concentration? How would you potentially go down the wrong path? Is there a question you could ask yourself?” [Right Concentration] [Wrong concentration]


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9. (3:54) “About a year ago, I was bullied and sexually harassed by a married male coworker...Any guidance as to how I can work with this and move beyond it?” [Abuse/violence] [Sexual misconduct] [Work] // [Goodwill]


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10. (3:33) “Would you please elaborate on mental formations and volition.” [Volitional formations] [Volition]


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11. (2:59) “Once I aspired to open my mind beyond this conditioned world. Now I mostly try to be at ease with my limitations. Am I forgetting something important?” [Stages of awakening] [Unconditioned] [Contentment]


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12. (1:28) “Some monks have told me I'm selfish for being so focused on release. They say I should help others more. What are your thoughts?” [Release] [Selfishness] [Generosity]


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13. (1:35) “What are the 4 stages of Enlightenment? What defilements have the four Noble Beings shed?” [Stages of awakening] [Fetters]


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14. (3:35) “Could you please expand on compassionate seclusion in interactive daily life (both on and off retreat)?” [Seclusion] [Compassion]


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15. (3:37) “Thank you Luang Por for your time and teachings. I would like to hear more about the idea of restraint (especially in regards to raising a teenager).” [Family] [Sense restraint]


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16. (2:19) “Would you please talk a bit about karma in past lives...I'm asking for future karmic results an preventing negative ones.” [Kamma] [Rebirth]


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17. (3:31) “How do you teach noting/labeling in meditation?” [Noting]


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18. (2:24) “I was interested to hear the definition of mental formations as volitional...Could you help me reconcile (random and unbidden thoughts) with volitionality?” [Volitional formations]


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19. (5:05) “What suggestions do you have when thoughts of transgression of sila arise. I cannot change the past, but I have regrets.” [Precepts] [Restlessness and worry]


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20. (1:44) “Please explain the inner workings of right intention and its karmic effect.” [Right Intention] [Kamma] [Volition]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 4Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 26, 2013

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1. (3:14) “Please explain again: When one restores concentration by focusing on the in-and-outtake of the breath, is one using the vinnana/consciousness of the grasping mind?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Concentration] [Consciousness] [Clinging]


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2. (1:17) “During retreats I sometimes have dreams in which my actions are unskillful. Does one eventually keep the precepts even in dreams?” [Precepts] [Dreams]


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3. (1:47) “'Like exercise makes the body strong, inner stillness makes the mind strong.' Why stillness and not awareness?” [Calming meditation] [Tranquility] [Present moment awareness]


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4. (9:31) “It has been a few years since my last retreat. May I request a reminder on how to practice metta mediation on oneself...I seem to have forgotten.” [Goodwill]


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5. (2:23) “Would you please give an example of how wholesome qualities can condition unwholesome qualities?” [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities] [Conditionality]


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6. (0:48) “I feel like a kid whose father has told a story and there is more to tell...Please father do tell (about non-complicated thoughts etc.).” [Proliferation]


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7. (3:55) “I have a hard time ending or letting go of relationships after they no longer serve me or prove to be unskillful people...Is this attachment to person or aversion/ fear etc of the unknown?” [Relationships] [Relinquishment] [Clinging] [Fear]


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8. (3:25) “How do you decrease the times an obsessive thought arises in the mind?...What is obsession anyways?” [Restlessness and worry] [Proliferation]


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9. (7:13) “I've been sitting on this question...It has to do with dispassion, shedding, simplifying and being easily satisfied on the one end of the spectrum and being engaged and active in the world...How can one practice shedding internally but still be responsive and engaged regarding the suffering from environmental and social issues?” [Politics and society] [Environment] [Dispassion] [Contentment] [Renunciation]


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10. (2:57) “Could you please explain again the differences between sanna, sankara, and vinnana? I'm still not getting it.” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Consciousness]


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11. (6:08) “Is there an obligation to reconcile with family before your death or theirs (especially when family has been particularly unskillful towards us)?” [Family] [Death] [Forgiveness]


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12. (1:01) “What is meant by 'fools'...the Buddha's definition of a fool.”


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13. (1:59) “Is there anything skillful about crying, the flow of tears?” [Grief]


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14. (12:30) “How does one reconcile the apparent complete lack of control that is experienced in meditation...with the apparent need to control one's circumstances off the cushion. Is it possible to live with complete non-contention and still have an organized life?” [Everyday life] [Meditation] [Volition] [Non-contention]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 5Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 27, 2013

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1. (8:42) “What is the funeral protocol for monks? What about non-monastics in the West?” [Funerals] [Monastic life] [Lay life]


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2. (1:51) “Over the last couple of years, I've been noticing that memory retention isn't quite what it used to be...In your experience, has meditation practice helped sharpen the memory?” [Memory] [Ageing] [Meditation]


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3. (3:29) “I've been reflecting on 'no-self' and it hasn't quite been resonating. Instead it feels like daunting abstraction. Can you suggest a simple way to approach this?” [Not-self]


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4. (1:01) “I saw one of your new publications 'Don't Hold Back.' Why did you choose this title? The chapter on chanting answered many questions I had.” [Dhamma books] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Chanting]


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5. (8:22) “Funeral and memorial services are not only important for those left behind, but maybe important for the new traveler in afterlife. Could you say more about supporting a dead person? What kind of support and how long? Years? Does 'human support' matter or does 'karma' of each individual 'take care of it'?” [Funerals] [Death] [Rebirth] [Kamma]


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6. (3:13) “I found your explanation of the theme of 'constancy' in practice as a constancy in keeping a bright and awake mind more helpful and do-able than a constancy in keeping to one meditation object as is sometime taught. Could you please say more.” [Right Effort] [Gladdening the mind] [One pointedness]


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7. (3:42) “Would you please comment on 'The Highest Blessings' where is reads: 'Avoiding those of foolish ways...and cherishing family.' What if family members engage in foolish ways like addiction to alcohol and one can not always avoid them? Can one cherish one of foolish ways?” [Family] [Spiritual friendship] [Intoxicants]


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8. (1:57) “It seems that every year I expect less from myself at a retreat [but also]...every year a retreat becomes easier and more peaceful. Would you say this is because: a) I am getting wiser? b) I am abandoning all intentions? Or c) I am running out of hormones?” [Long-term practice] [Meditation retreats]


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9. (2:08) “Where do the Brahma-Viharas fit into the 4 Noble Truths?'” [Four Noble Truths] [Divine Abidings]


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10. (5:24) “Thank you for the most profound expository discourse on Ananpanasati...How do you practice it? Do you memorize it and note all the aspects (tick them off and get a certificate)?” [Mindfulness of breathing]


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11. (3:14) “Is the pursuit of peace, cessation, stillness any different from any other pursuit or desire?” [Tranquility] [Cessation] [Desire]


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12. (6:35) “Can you please speak about dealing with physical pain during a sit (particularly back pain and headaches)?” [Pain] [Posture/Sitting]


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13. (5:08) “It seems like the 'Reflection on the 32 Parts' of the body is missing several parts...Is it meant to be comprehensive? Or is it just the ugly bits?” [Unattractiveness]


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14. (1:48) “Please explain which comes first birth or becoming for example with anger or any feeling or character?” [Birth] [Becoming] [Ill-will]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 6Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 28, 2013

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1. (3:38) “Can you tell us about how Ajahn Chah taught Western monks when he doesn't know English?” [Ajahn Chah] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] [Language]


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2. (1:45) “If this question is okay, could you please tell us any more about how Ajahn Chah challenged you in those first five years – and/or later?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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3. (4:11) “I'm trying to be with the breath without controlling it. When I let go of control, the breath seems to accelerate so that I can't keep up with it. Help!” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Volition]


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4. (2:27) “Is it okay to do standing meditation in here during meditation sessions when nothing else is working for sleepiness or restlessness?” [Posture/Standing] [Sloth and torpor] [Restlessness and worry]


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5. (1:13) “In the chant 'Suffusion with the Divine Abidings,' what does it mean “I will abide pervading the all encompassing world with a heard imbued with loving-kindness. Likewise the second...third...fourth'? Why does it not say something like 'pervading the entire heart'?” [Divine Abidings] [Heart/mind]


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6. (4:47) “Thank you for the teachings...Could you speak about the heart and mind which appear to be used interchangeably. How can we listen with discernment to the heart? How can we cultivate its strength?” [Heart/mind] [Discernment]


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7. (4:59) “Was metta taught as a concentration earlier than Buddhagosa? Also, how is it taught in the Thai Forest Tradition now?” [Goodwill] [Commentaries] [Thai Forest Tradition]


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8. (0:33) “Ajahn Karunadhammo (it certainly takes a lot of ink to write out your name), your talk today was incredibly timely.” [Gratitude]


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9. (0:27) “Thank you All for the abundant, exalted, immeasurable gratitude that I am presently experiencing as streaming out of my citta and heading right toward you. Don't duck.” [Gratitude]


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10. (3:23) “In the article 'Consciousnesses' by Ajahn Lee, he talks about beings that inhabit the mind and body...What are your thoughts on this? When seeing unusual phenomena that can be interpreted in this way, what is a good course of action?” [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Psychic powers] [Realms of existence]


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11. (1:17) “Would you please describe the 4 ways of skillfully answering or asking questions or the different types of questions?” [Questions]


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12. (1:12) “In 'Homage to the Sangha' chant, what are the 'Four pairs, the eight kinds of Noble Beings?'” [Recollection/Saṅgha] [Stages of awakening]


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13. (5:31) “It makes sense that loving-kindness is the antidote to a person-directed ill-will, but what is the antidote to a more recurring, low-level, general aversion to experience?” [Goodwill] [Ill-will] [Aversion]


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14. (2:00) “Where are the paramis listed and described in the Pali Canon?” [Perfections] [Sutta]


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15. (4:18) “What would you say to someone who committed suicide if you could?” [Suicide] [Teaching Dhamma]


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16. (0:30) “Why does the chanting book begin with the evening chanting first?” [Chanting]


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17. (3:01) “Is there anything in the teachings/scriptures that would relate to the idea of organ donation?” [Health care] [Form] [Generosity]


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18. (2:15) “After your 17 talks on Anapanasati, were you out of breath?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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19. (8:42) “Are there any times or situations where formal practice is not particularly helpful? If so, please explain why and then some alternative practices.” [Meditation/General advice]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 7Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 29, 2013

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1. (4:30) “Would you mind sharing some of the difficulties you have had in your practice and how you resolved them?” [Ajahn Pasanno]


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2. (3:52) “Can you talk about karma? (particularly in regard to the theory of specific cause yields similar result; and results from past life actions)” [Kamma]


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3. (2:36) “As the Buddha referred to his past lives in measurements of eons and eons, is there any information he offered about the locality of hjs lives? Were they on planet Earth?” [Psychic powers] [Rebirth]


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4. (1:37) “How is being 'the one who knows' as it is suggested, related to anatta?” [Knowing itself] [Not-self]


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5. (1:22) “I've been reflecting on the buildup of 30 water bottles outside the hall...Can you speak about how we find security in such objects please?” [Clinging]


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6. (1:59) “Is the following correct? -The 3 Characteristics can be seen as verbs? The end of Dukkha occurs when the 3 Characteristics are fully understood..? Dukkha in the outside world continues but one who realized the Truth is not 'dukkha-ed' because anatta is understood?” [Characteristics of existence] [Cessation of Suffering] [Not-self]


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7. (0:26) “Today, and several times on retreat, I've found myself in a heavy mood and feeling torn between equanimity with the experience and using intention to shift my mental state...Any thoughts are much appreciated.” [Equanimity] [Gladdening the mind]


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8. (2:52) “Also, related to this is-how does volition fit with anatta?” [Volition] [Not-self]


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9. (3:05) “Is there consciousness (awareness, knowing) in the experience of nibbana or is there a complete cessation of all six senses, as some traditions say. (Particularly in relation to the experience of stream-entry, which is sometimes described as a cessation.)” [Nibbāna] [Sense bases] [Stream entry] [Cessation]


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10. (3:29) “Mudita, gladness, joy, can be felt by listening to Dhamma, chanting, an uplifting shrine...I heard that mudita can be a moment or a way of enlightenment. Could you comment please.” [Empathetic joy] [Gladdening the mind]


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11. (3:35) “How do you atone for past unskillful behavior that you know you have done? Will this lower the negative karma you reap?” [Kamma]


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12. (3:31) “My mind went to the elements today and how the sense feel them...but can all senses feel all elements? On death, air and fire are gone but water and earth remain. Is this correct? Are these skillful reflections?” [Elements] [Sense bases] [Death]


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13. (1:58) “Would you kindly review the 4 Ways to respond to questions?” [Questions]


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14. (6:31) “How can we awaken the sense metta within the heart and would you help me understand the beautiful image of the heat being a vessel filled with loving kindness that you bring people into rather than sending it out.” [Goodwill] [Heart/mind]


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15. (2:11) “Can you please talk a little bit about merit. How do you make it?” [Merit]


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16. (0:20) “Does [merit] have to be intentional?” [Merit] [Volition]


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17. (3:02) “Is there a difference in doing a good deed for a monastic versus a lay-person in regards to generating merit? Can only humans create merit..devas..animals?” [Kamma] [Merit] [Realms of existence]


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18. (2:50) “When meditating, I've begun to ask myself: 'What is the cause of suffering?' A couple of sense desires arise, namely, the lack of intimacy and lack of a healthy relationship with a partner. Do I need to let these (seemingly normal) desires go to get down the path?” [Cause of Suffering] [Relationships] [Sensual desire] [Eightfold Path]


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19. (2:40) “One practice is to cultivate joy, happiness...But if these are 'defilements of insight,' I feel empty. Any comment.” [Gladdening the mind] [Happiness] [Insight meditation]


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20. (3:46) “Can you talk about path and fruit in regards to the stages of awakening? What are they? How are they different?” [Stages of awakening]


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21. (1:09) “Could you please talk a bit more about the 3 types of liberation (signless, desireless, not self?). Is it a liberation in the sense of being free from suffering?” [Release] [Cessation of Suffering]


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22. (4:00) “May I ask what was done with the ashes/bones of the monk cremated in Thailand?” [History/Thai Buddhism]


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23. (1:27) “Would you be willing to tell as a little about the first steps that led you out of Northern Manitoba towards becoming an abbot in Thailand?” [Ajahn Pasanno]


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24. (4:25) “Thank you for your talk today. Could you please expand further on how to maintain/practice tranquility in everyday life, especially as we 'pick up' many of the things in out lives. Could you please tell us the translation of Luang Por and also if its appropriate for laity to address you by this term?” [Everyday life] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Monastic titles]


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25. (1:40) “One of the questions last night talked about the breath becoming rapid when not controlled. I'm confused. Am I right that we are not supposed to control our breath. Anapanasati is not like pranayama or a breathing exercise. Please clarify.” [Mindfulness of breathing]


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26. (5:37) “Seems like the more I 'see clearly,' the more depressed (bordering on suicidal at times) I feel rather than freedom...Any practice suggestions?” [Depression] [Suicide]


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27. (4:13) “After 20 plus years of having a daily practice and Dharma being first priority, I just up and stopped meditating one day about 2 years ago...Can you talk about this 'rolling up the mat' [phenomenon]? Why it happens, how and when, etc?” [Long-term practice]


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28. (1:18) “Why would consciousness not be considered self?” [Consciousness] [Not-self]


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29. (1:23) “What is the '10,000 fold universal world system mentioned in The Discourse on Setting in Motion the Wheel of Dhamma'” [Realms of existence]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 8Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 30, 2013

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1. (1:48) “Just curious- is there any explanation of how bones turn to crystal?” [Relics]


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2. (3:22) “At what point did your practice change from serving yourself (to end your own suffering) to self-less service?” [Long-term practice] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Cessation of Suffering] [Generosity]


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3. (0:28) Comment: I relinquished my anger...and I had no idea what a heavy burden I was clinging to until it was gone. [Aversion]


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4. (4:15) “Would you talk about (describe) how to relax into 'whole-body breathing?' What does that mean?” [Mindfulness of breathing]


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5. (0:57) “How much did the Buddha encourage his disciples to become enlightened to 'get off the wheel' versus experiencing freedom from suffering in this lifetime?” [Cessation of Suffering] [Rebirth]


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6. (1:04) “What do you see as the future for women ordaining in Theravada Buddhism?” [Women's monastic forms] [Theravāda]


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7. (3:52) “In the chant '10 Subject for Frequent Recollection,' what does 'one who had gone forth' mean? Anyone on the path or only monastics?” [Recollection] [Monastic life]


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8. (0:30) “Can we talk at breakfast please?” [Right Speech] [Meditation retreats]


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9. (2:13) “How can one work with feeling the element of water in sitting or walking meditation?” [Elements] [Posture/Sitting] [Posture/Walking]


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10. (1:46) “In the 'Supreme Praise of the Dhamma [and] the Sangha' why are the Dhamma and Sangha referred to as 'My Lord and guide?'” [Three Refuges] [Chanting]


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11. (7:21) “I had a hard time getting up this morning...Any advice on getting up?” [Devotion to wakefulness]


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12. (2:49) “You mentioned that Ajahn Chah stated that samadhi should be accompanied by alertness. Does this mean that Jhana should not be a 'zoned out' state?” [Ajahn Chah] [Right Concentration] [Clear comprehension] [Jhāna]


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13. (1:47) “Also, What are the 4 aspects of bhavana that you mentioned?” [Meditation]


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14. (2:05) “I've been experiencing a similar type of irritation as Debbie mentioned in her talk. I feel I'm present as it arise and think I'm letting it go only to find its turned into a big clump or irritation. I'm still unclear as to how to work with this. Please advise.” [Aversion]


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15. (4:02) “'There is no-self in the created or the un-created'...Does this statement conceal an asymmetry? Surely we investigate the created to separate from it – But can we investigate the uncreated? And if so, is it not to identify with it?” [Not-self] [Unconditioned] [Self-identity view]


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16. (2:41) “Do you miss Ajahn Amaro?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Amaro]


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17. (2:18) “Thank you for your inspiring teachings...Question: I seem to recollect that the Buddha cautioned against unwholesome thoughts in a way that seemed to raise their results as similar to their unwholesome causes. Is this so?” [Proliferation] [Kamma] [Unskillful qualities]


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18. (0:09) “No room for the second question.”


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19. (7:06) “Does the 5th precept include coffee or prescription drugs as drugs to avoid? Does the precept mean never drink alcohol or don't abuse alcohol for a lay person?...Does Right Livelihood mean one cannot work in a place that serves and/or sells alcohol, coffees, or drugs? Or, does it mean don't work where alcohol and drugs are made?” [Intoxicants] [Medicinal requisites] [Right Livelihood]


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20. (1:38) “Today is the 23rd anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. I am particularly thinking of her today and dedicating loving kindness. Is this a meritorious act or is this fantasy?” [Death] [Family] [Merit] [Goodwill]


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21. (1:55) “Please explain the difference between aggregates and faculties.” [Aggregates] [Faculties]


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22. (3:17) “What is the difference between ignorance and delusion?” [Ignorance] [Delusion]


New Year, New Life, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Dec. 16, 2013

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1. (3:26) “I see what you're saying about the hindrances, but it seems like that's everything I called my life....So you're saying keep on working at it and it [the mind] gets used to focusing?” [Hindrances] [Proliferation] [Meditation] // [Mindfulness] [Goodwill] [Recollection/Virtue] [Recollection/Generosity] [Gladdening the mind]


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2. (5:48) “What do you think about the idea of secular Buddhism? Earlier you spoke about bhāvanā versus meditation, that meditation is not a useful translation [of bhāvanā]. Do you think secular Buddhism is useful or not?” [Secular Buddhism] [Meditation] // [Human] [Suffering] [Cultural context] [Buddhist identity] [Culture/West] [Learning]

Quote: “Anything is useful if it's picking up the actual teachings of the Buddha and applying [them] in a skillful way.” [Eightfold Path] [Skillful qualities]


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3. (1:12) Comment: You spent time with Ajahn Buddhadāsa. Some people call his teachings secular because he didn't really focus on the supernatural, pretty much similar to Ajahn Chah. This way of thinking [phrase in Thai]. Some people consider that secular. [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Secular Buddhism] [Supernatural] [Ajahn Chah]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: "I doubt that Ajahn Buddhadāsa did."


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4. (7:17) “Could you talk about contemplation in meditation? You mentioned earlier about using methods; my understanding is that they help one to calm the mind. How does one get into the state of contemplation without disturbing that calm state of mind?” [Recollection] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Characteristics of existence] // [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Cessation of Suffering] [Desire] [Bases of Success]


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5. (5:22) “You said you have to adjust and think about contemplating. But how can you do that in your working time?” [Right Effort] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Discernment] [Everyday life] // [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension] [Happiness] [Recollection]

Quote: “In daily life, in contact with the world, do you still breathe?” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Mindfulness of breathing]

Follow-up: “Could you give some examples? In Bangkok, there is lots of news that makes people crazy and divisive. When you see this news, you feel upset and angry.” [News] [Conflict] [Aversion] [Right Speech] [Politics and society] [Proliferation]

Quote: “I don't care. Not in the sense that I don't think it's serious or that it's not a problem. But I don't care in the sense that I don't want to be getting involved in whatever side people are working themselves up about, because the problem is much deeper than that. We have to pay attention to the deeper problem, both in the human condition and politically.” [Human]


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6. (8:50) “I find I do need some pleasures even thought they don't last, things like fine arts and being in nature. I'm curious, how did you manage as a monk in your early years at Ajahn Chah's monastery where there's almost no pleasure....How did you manage to keep going over the years until the present?” [Sensual desire] [Artistic expression] [Culture/Natural environment] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Monastic life] [Ajahn Chah] [Food] [Entertainment and adornment] [Monastic life/Motivation] // [Cessation of Suffering] [Happiness] [Simplicity] [Association with people of integrity] [Empathetic joy] [Human] [Hindrances] [Jhāna] [Virtue] [Discernment]

Quote: “One of the extraordinary perks of being a monk is that everyone tries to be good around you.”

Sutta: MN 36.32: "Why am I afraid of that happiness?" [Buddha/Biography] [Ascetic practices] [Suffering] [Skillful qualities] [Eightfold Path]

Quote: “As a monk, I can look back on forty years of living in a way where I don't have to feel remorseful or regret anything.”


New Year, New Life, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Dec. 16, 2013

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1. (6:53) “I was struck by the simile of the stone being heavy, but you won't know it's heavy unless you pick it up, and it's just like suffering. You don't have to pick it up. I'm battling a loss in my life, and I'm suffering. I didn't pick up the stone. It was flung at me. I'm not sure how to deal....” [Similes] [Ajahn Chah] [Suffering] [Grief] [Christianity] // [Human] [Naturalness] [Equanimity] [Self-identity view] [Goodwill] [Discernment]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 55: Five Recollections [Characteristics of existence] [Recollection/Death] [Kamma]

Quote: “Whenever you get into a fight with nature, you always lose.”

Quote: “What makes it heavy is the 'me' bit.”


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2. (4:22) “You said in the chanting, 'I am the heir to my kamma.' Gam in Thai is what we cultivate in body, speech and mind. In the Thai concept, we also have jao gam nai ren. Can Ajahn help me sort this out?” [Kamma] [Culture/Thailand] [Nature of the cosmos] // [Suffering] [Health care] [Birth]

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

Follow-up: “My mother is dying at age 88. She had a plane accident 20 years ago and has been completely immobile....In Thai we say, jao gam nai ren must have been chasing after her.” [Family] [Sickness] [Death]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 1: No Bargaining with the King of DeathAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 6, 2014

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[Session] (11:43) Ajahn Pasanno begins the retreat by encouraging us to return to the basics of the Noble Eight-fold Path. He mentions Iris Landsberg, a long-standing lay supporter dying of lung cancer, both to set the tone for the monk's final visit to her and to encourage us to practice while there is still time. Iris passed away February 1, 2014. [Eightfold Path] [Sickness] [Death] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support] [Sense of urgency] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation retreats] [Family] [Health care]

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

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 2: The Training of the HeartAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 7, 2014

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1. (1:18) Ajahn Karuṇadhammo describes the scope and format of the Winter Retreat 2014 readings.


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2. (2:35) Recollection: This talk was given to a group of Western monks led by Ajahn Khantipālo paying respects to Ajahn Chah in Bangkok. Recounted by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Ajahn Khantipālo] [Ajahn Chah] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Translation] [Hearing the true Dhamma]


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3. (27:26) Reading: “The Training of the Heart” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 505-516. Read by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.


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4. (3:21) “Was this talk given on a formal occasion?” [Teaching Dhamma] [Ajahn Chah] // [Thai sects]


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5. (1:24) “What did Ajahn Chah mean by 'Nowadays there are only sterile remains of the Dhamma.'” [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma] // [Culture/Thailand] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Liberation]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 3: Watch Your Mind and Escape Mara's Snare Part 1Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 10, 2014

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1. (0:47) Ajahn Ñāṇiko compares Ajahn Liem to Ajahn Sao. [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Sao] // [Technology]


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2. (29:20) Reading: “Watch Your Mind and Escape Māra's Snare” from Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion by Ajahn Liem, pp. 6-23. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.


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

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[Session] (25:45) Reading: “Watch Your Mind and Escape Māra's Snare” from Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion by Ajahn Liem, pp. 23-36. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 5: Keeping the Breath in Mind and Lessons in SamādhiAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 12, 2014

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[Session] (41:09) Reading: “Introduction” and “The Art of Letting Go” from Keeping the Breath in Mind and Lessons in Samādhi by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo pp. v-viii and 28-30. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.


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1. (1:44) “Does anyone know the Thai word that Ajahn Ṭhānissaro translates as “preoccupations?”” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Thai] [Translation] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro]


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2. (1:46) “Was there much contact between the sphere of Wat Pah Pong and the sphere of Wat Asokaram (Ajahn Lee's monastery)?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Asokaram] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] // [Ajahn Anan] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Thai sects] [Conflict]


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3. (1:32) “Why was the Dhammayut/Mahanikai split so strong?” [Thai sects] [Conflict] // [Ajahn Chah]


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4. (1:02) “Why did conflict between the sects break out on almsround?” [Thai sects] [Conflict] [Almsround] // [Culture/Thailand]


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5. (1:25) “Before Ajahn Chah, were there any Mahanikai teachers worthy of respect?” [Ajahn Chah] [Thai sects] // [Ajahn Kinaree] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Mun]


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6. (0:36) “Where did Ajahn Tongrat and Ajahn Kinaree live?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Kinaree] // [Ajahn Mun]


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7. (3:04) “Did the Dhammayut/Mahanikai differences matter to serious practice monks?” [Thai sects] [Monastic life] // [Pāṭimokkha] [Saṅgha] [Ajahn Baen] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 6: The Peace BeyondAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 13, 2014

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[Session] (25:37) Reading: “The Peace Beyond” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 9-19. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 8: Birth and DeathAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 17, 2014

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[Session] (32:33) Reading: “Birth and Death” from Straight from the Heart by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 55-71. Read by Ajahn Cunda.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 9: Not SureAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 18, 2014

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1. (0:42) Reading: Interview with Ajahn Bprasert Thavaro from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Ajahn Chah] // [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Impermanence]


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2. (35:38) Reading: “Not Sure” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 599-612. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna.


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3. (1:14) “What does paṭipadā mean?” [Eightfold Path] // [Continuity of mindfulness] [Ajahn Chah] [Investigation of states]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 10: Detachment within ActivityAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 19, 2014

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[Session] (33:10) Reading: “Detachment Within Activity” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 291-304. Read by Ajahn Kovilo.


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1. (2:03) “What degree of pīti and sukha is necessary to establish the first jhāna?” [Rapture] [Happiness] [Jhāna] // [Hindrances] [One pointedness] [Directed thought and evaluation]


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2. (0:47) “Do the underlying tendencies still exist in first jhāna?” [Unwholesome Roots] [Jhāna] // [Concentration]


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3. (2:43) “When Ajahn Mahā Boowa says that the peaceful mind is the gathering place for the defilements, are these the underlying tendencies?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Concentration] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Knowledge and vision] [Relinquishment] [Delusion] [Stages of awakening]


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4. (1:13) “What are the three kinds of seclusion? What is upadhiviveka?” [Seclusion] // [Clinging] [Self-identity view] [Aggregates] [Becoming]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 11: Direct Route to the End of All SufferingAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 20, 2014

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[Session] (38:04) Reading: “The Direct Route to the End of All Suffering” from Arahattamagga Arahattaphala by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 9-23. Read by Tan Pamutto.


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1. (4:02) “Ajahn Chah took Ajahn Mahā Amon and Ajahn Sumedho to visit Luang Ta Mahā Boowa and Ajahn Kaew. What happened?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Mahā Amorn] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Ajahn Khao] // [Teaching Dhamma] [Simplicity]

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

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


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2. (2:20) “Do you have any advice for working with pain?” [Pain] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Investigation of states] [Meditation/Techniques] [Direct experience]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 12: Unshakeable PeaceAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 21, 2014

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[Session] (44:55) Reading: “Unshakeable Peace” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 427-439. Read by Tan Khemako.


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1. (3:20) “Where was this Dhamma talk given?” [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Mahā Amorn] [Dhamma books] [Study monks]


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2. (2:42) “Luang Ta Mahā Boowa often says, “You kill the kilesas” whereas Ajahn Chah in this talk speaks of the path doing battle with the kilesas. Is this just the translation?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chah] [Unwholesome Roots] [Eightfold Path] [Teaching Dhamma]

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


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3. (4:17) “Is this talk a response to the vipassanā movement in Thailand?” [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Culture/Thailand] [Mahasi Sayadaw] // [Study monks] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Jhāna] [Formless attainments] [Psychic powers]


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4. (1:50) “Is the samatha versus vipassanā debate still active in Thailand?” [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Culture/Thailand] [Views] // [Ajahn Chah]

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


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5. (5:45) “When is it useful to determine to stick with a single practice, even when it doesn't seem to work, instead of exploring other options?” [Meditation/General advice] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Pain] // [Suffering] [Right Effort] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Mindfulness of mind] [Discernment] [Direct experience] [Self-identity view]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 13: Khandavimutti and SamangidhammaAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 22, 2014

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[Session] (48:37) Reading: Khandhavimutti and Samangidhamma by Ajahn Mun, translated by Ajahn Paññavaḍḍho, p. 29-40. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.

Alternative translations: Bhikkhu Khemasanto, Ajahn Thanissaro.


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1. (4:47) “Why is sañña often translated as perception?” [Perception] [Translation] // [Thai] [Recollection] [Aggregates]

Sutta: MN 43.5 Mahāvedalla Sutta: Conjoined not disjoined.


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2. (0:27) “Have you heard of sañña and saṅkhara being translated as short-term and long-term memory?” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Translation]


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3. (0:15) “Do we have a copy of Khandhavimutti and Samangidhamma in Thai?” [Ajahn Mun] [Thai] [Artistic expression]

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


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4. (6:01) “What does “the longing for the good is the cause of the trouble” mean?” [Ajahn Mun] [Craving] [Skillful qualities] [Right Effort] // [Eightfold Path] [Aggregates] [Liberation] [Self-identity view] [Virtue] [Relinquishment] [Jhāna] [Ignorance] [Cause of Suffering]

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

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


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5. (1:13) Comment: This reminds me of the phrase “possessing goodness.” [Self-identity view] [Virtue]

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


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6. (1:39) “Is this similar to the Buddha's teaching to let go of the path?” [Eightfold Path] [Relinquishment] // [Ajahn Chah] [Not-made-of-that] [Right Effort] [Ajahn Mun] [Thai]

Sutta: SN 1.1 Oghataraṇa: Crossing the Flood.


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7. (1:42) Recollection: Ajahn Pasanno describes Ajahn Mun's skillful use of language. [Ajahn Mun] [Thai] [Language] [Artistic expression] [Teaching Dhamma]

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 14: Visions of a SamaṇaAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 25, 2014

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[Session] (37:31) Reading: “Visions of a Samaṇa” from Samaṇa by Ajahn Mahā Boowa pp. 11-12, 16-17, 18-25. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño. Translated by Ajahn Ṭhānissaro.


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1. (0:45) Brief biography of Ajahn Mahā Boowa. Teaching by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa]


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2. (1:46) Ajahn Pasanno describes the title "Luang Ta." [Monastic titles] [Older monks] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Thai]


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3. (6:06) “When Luang Ta Mahā Boowa says he's looking for a sign or vision, what does he mean by that?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Nimitta] [Deva] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West] [Dreams] [Determination]

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


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4. (0:54) “Did any of the Western monks go to Ajahn Chah to ask about their dreams?” [Ajahn Chah] [Dreams] // [Ajahn Pasanno]


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5. (2:45) “Was the biography compiled from what Luang Ta wrote or stories from his students?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Dhamma books]

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


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6. (3:26) “Do you have any information about what the Level 3 Pāli includes?” [Learning] [Pāli] [History/Thai Buddhism] // [Ajahn Chah] [Commentaries]

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


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7. (6:35) “What do monks do with Pāli study levels?” [Learning] [Pāli] [Culture/Thailand] [Types of monks] // [P. A. Payutto]

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

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 15: Unshakeable PeaceAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 26, 2014 [Ajahn Chah]

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[Session] (39:02) Reading: “Unshakeable Peace” (continued) from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 453-471. Read by Ajahn Sudhīro.


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1. (1:12) “Was Ajahn Chah talking about samādhi or stream entry when he spoke about “not going backwards”?” [Concentration] [Stream entry]


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2. (2:41) “Did Ajahn Chah tend to emphasize certain Dhammas for Westerners and for Thais?” [Teaching Dhamma] [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand]


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3. (2:11) “Was Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo's experience of being pushed unusual for Western monks?” [Ajahn Ñāṇadhammo] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Culture/West] [Ardency] [Suffering]

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


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4. (0:23) “Before Ajahn Chah had his stroke how many branch monasteries were there at that time?” [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries]


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5. (3:00) “Was Ajahn Chah involved in training the abbots of those monasteries?” [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Abbot] [Mentoring] // [Wat Tam Saeng Pet] [Wat Pah Nanachat]


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6. (1:33) “Was the tradition of a monk going to another monastery in their third rains happening in Ajahn Chah's time?” [Sequence of training] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries]


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7. (2:48) “Did Ajahn Chah ever have to use any especially powerful methods of pushing people away when the time came for them to go somewhere else?” [Fierce/direct teaching] // [Respect]

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 16: A Higher TrainingAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 27, 2014

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[Session] (40:26) Reading: “A Higher Training” from Fighting for Freedom Within by Ajahn Wanchai pp. 25-38. Read by Ajahn Suhajjo.


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1. (5:09) “All the Thai Forest Masters give very clear presentations of how they were attaining/finding peace of mind. Is there much written about how Bangkok was reacting when these Masters were saying “attainment is possible?” How were the Thai Masters answering?” [Thai Forest Tradition] [Progress of insight] [Types of monks] [Liberation] // [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Royalty]


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2. (2:57) “What were the interesting practices you used so that you would get up as soon as you woke up?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Devotion to wakefulness] // [Mindfulness of body] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Sitter's practice]


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3. (1:26) “Did Ajahn Chah talk about how to approach the nimitas?” [Ajahn Chah] [Nimitta] // [Proliferation]


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4. (0:35) “Could it be useful if the object is clear, stable, and peaceful and keeps coming back?” [Nimitta] // [Proliferation]


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5. (2:14) “With investigating sleep, it seems sleeping less is an effect from good meditation practice rather than a cause; is it because there is less proliferation?” [Devotion to wakefulness] [Conditionality] [Proliferation] // [Craving not to become] [Sloth and torpor] [Habits] [Ardency] [Energy]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 17: Fearless Warrior Spirit and Blessing of a LifetimeAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 28, 2014

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[Session] (38:57) Reading: Chapters “Fearless Warrior Spirit” and “Blessing of a Lifetime” from Mae Chee Kaew: Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment by Ajahn Dick Sīlaratano, pp. 33-49. Read by Tan Khantiko. [Mae Chee Kaew]


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1. (3:59) “I am curious about ways to know if one is lying to oneself and what to do?” [Truth] [Delusion] // [Suffering] [Discernment] [Bases of Success]

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


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2. (3:37) “There are photos of Luang Ta Mahā Boowa looking very fierce and also photos of him looking very joyful, laughing, and the same with Ajahn Chah, a bit more stern I'd say. Do you think the same could be said of Ajahn Mun, not that there are photos but there could have been?” [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chah] [Happiness] [Ajahn Mun] [Technology] // [Culture/Thailand]

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


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3. (1:51) “What about Luang Por Dune, he looks so mellow; was he ever animated?” [Ajahn Dune] [Personality] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Culture/Thailand] [Humor]

Reference: Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune.


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4. (2:33) Ajajn Pasanno talks about a senior Thai Ajahn talking about his trip to the US. [Humor] // [Conditionality] [Food]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 18: The Spirit of a Warrior and Kor PatipadaAjahn Pasanno – Jan. 29, 2014

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1. (14:56) Reading: “The Spirit of a Warrior,” unpublished talk by Ajahn Dtun in Krooba Ajahn. Read by Anagārika J.R..


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2. (4:22) Reading: “Aiming to Look After the Kor Patibat,” unpublished talk by Ajahn Baen. Read by Anagārika J.R..


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3. (7:40) “In the reading there was a lot of emphasis on solitude. Here we have a lot of time for that especially right now with our Winter Retreat, but we also have a lot of responsibilities and engagement in community. How would you recommend us balancing the two or using them to help each other?” [Seclusion] [Abhayagiri] [Community] [Work] [Personality] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/India] [Ajahn Chah] [Unwholesome Roots] [Discernment] [Generosity] [Culture/West] [Self-identity view]


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4. (5:22) “Do you have any advice about how to hold a particularly strong “fighting spirit” teaching, like Ajahn Dtun?” [Fierce/direct teaching] [Teaching Dhamma] [Ajahn Dtun] // [Culture/Thailand] [Ardency] [Right Effort] [Restlessness and worry] [Heedfulness] [Discernment] [Goodwill]

Sutta: AN 1.49: The mind is radiant.

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


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5. (2:59) “I got more a sense of metta from Ajahn Dtun than warrior spirit?” [Ajahn Dtun] [Goodwill] [Fierce/direct teaching] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Sense of urgency]


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6. (1:26) Story: Ajahn Dtun unexpectedly manifests goodwill towards Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Ajahn Dtun] [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Goodwill] // [Abbot] [Malas]


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7. (2:31) “I have another question about balance. LP Baen encouraged his monks to admonish each other, but Ajahn Chah said to put 90% of your attention on your self and only 10% on other people?” [Ajahn Baen] [Admonishment/feedback] [Ajahn Chah] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West]

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


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8. (2:21) “Isn't there a story about when Ajahn Chah wanted to give feedback to a senior monk and he waited 20 or 30 years?” [Ajahn Chah] [Admonishment/feedback] [Right Speech] // [Ajahn Baen] [Vinaya] [Protocols] [Cleanliness]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 19: Pure and SimpleAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 1, 2014

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1. (0:26) Dedication of the reading to Iris Landsberg. [Lay life] [Death]


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2. (2:19) Recollection: Brief biography of Upasika Kee Nanayon. Recounted by Debbie Stamp. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Lay life] [History/Thai Buddhism] // [Seclusion] [Community]


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3. (27:45) Reading:Reading the Mind” from Pure and Simple, by Upasika Kee Nanayon, pp. 163-177. Read by Debbie Stamp.


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4. (0:55) “What Pāli word do you think Ajahn Geoff is translating as thought formations?” [Pāli] [Translation] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] // [Volitional formations] [Thai]


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5. (0:51) “In another Ajahn Geoff translation, I have seen him use “supposings” or “fashionings.' Is that the same word?” [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] [Translation] [Thai] // [Conventions] [Ajahn Chah] [Liberation]


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6. (0:54) “Did Upasika Kee focus on vedana more than other things or was that just in this chapter?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Feeling] // [Insight meditation]


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7. (1:31) “During her lifetime did she have a lot of followers?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Community] // [Animal]


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8. (2:43) “Would it be possible to give a working definition of saṅkhāra? It seems that saṅkhāra is used by different people in different ways.” [Volitional formations] [Aggregates] // [Conditionality] [Form]

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 20: Ajahn Dtun Questions and AnswersAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 2, 2014

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1. (1:13) Ajahn Dtun's visit and Iris Landsberg. Recollections by Beth Steff.

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


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2. (25:42) Reading: Unpublished Q & A session from Ajahn Dtun's 2013 visit to Canada. Read by Beth Steff.


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3. (4:55) “I'm interested in the theme mentioned of the body and mind being separate from each other. The questioner asks 'Don't they have influence on one another?' I'm curious about how to reflect on that.” [Form] [Nature of mind] // [Ajahn Chah] [Sickness] [Knowing itself]

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 21: Kondañña KnowsAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 3, 2014

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1. (1:57) Background information about Paul Brieter and Being Dhamma. [Ajahn Chah] [Translation] [Dhamma books]


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2. (38:35) Reading: “Kondañña Knows” from Being Dharma by Ajahn Chah (commercial) pp. 151-168.


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3. (2:05) “The worldly winds appear quite distinct from each other, but status and praise seem closely related. Why?” [Worldly Conditions] [Blame and praise] [Fame and disrepute]


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4. (1:42) “A stream-enterer is said to come back no more than seven lifetimes. Why the number seven?” [Stream entry]


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5. (4:26) “It's interesting that he equates the extreme of self mortification to aversion, ill-will, and pushing away.” [Middle Path] [Aversion] [Ill-will] // [Ajahn Chah] [Desire] [Ajahn Liem] [Relinquishment] [Arahant] [Idealism]


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6. (0:40) “Could that “quality of knowing” be a variation on the teaching of sati-sampajañña, mindfulness and clear comprehension?” [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension] // [Discernment]


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7. (3:37) Reflection about the Buddha saying, "Māra, I see you!" Contributed by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Buddha/Biography] [Māra]

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 22: Steps Along the PathAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 4, 2014

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[Session] (31:43) Reading: Steps Along the Path by Ajahn Thate pp. 3-12. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 23: Looking WithinAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 5, 2014

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[Session] (32:51) Reading: “Looking Within” from Me and Mine by Ajahn Buddhadāsa pp. 69-77. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.


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1. (0:40) “Do you recall when Ajahn Buddhadāsa died?” [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] // [Translation]


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2. (1:41) Ajahn Ñaniko speaks about the time Luang Por Liem spent at Suan Mokh. [Wat Suan Mokkh] [Ajahn Liem]

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 24: Gifts He Left BehindAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 6, 2014

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1. (1:18) Format of Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune.


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2. (2:36) Reading: Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune: Introduction. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.


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3. (1:46) Story: The Queen invites the best neurosurgeons to help Ajahn Chah in a special suite in Chulalongkorn Hospital. [Ajahn Chah] [Sickness] [Royalty] [Health care] // [Saṅgha decision making]

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


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4. (21:14) Reading: Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune: Biographical Sketch and pp. 105-109, 1, 3, 6-9, 11-12, 15-19, 77. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.


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5. (3:25) “Ajahn Pasanno, did I hear correctly the other day that you met Luang Por Dune?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Dune] // [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Burapha] [Personality] [Teaching Dhamma]


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6. (1:42) “His monastery is quite loud, isn't it?” [Ajahn Dune] [Wat Burapha] [Seclusion]


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7. (2:18) Reading: “Its Easy if You are not Attached,” Gifts He Left Behind by Ajahn Dune, p. 77. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako. [Ajahn Dune] [Wat Burapha] // [Rains retreat]

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


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8. (2:17) “I was reading that Reverend Heng Sure found that his meditation object was particularly bright and clear when he was around his teacher Master Hua. I wondered if you experienced anything like that when you paid respects to various Ajahns?” [Rev. Heng Sure] [Master Hsuan Hua] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation] // [Conscience and prudence] [Respect for elders]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 26: The Principle of the PresentAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 10, 2014

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[Session] (39:03) Reading: “The Principle of the Present,” Straight from the Heart by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 129-149. Read by Ajahn Cunda.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 27: In the Shape of a CircleAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 11, 2014

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[Session] (31:18) Reading: “In the Shape of a Circle,” Still, Flowing Water by Ajahn Chah p 77. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna.


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1. (4:19) “With your meditation object, when you turn to contemplate it in terms of the three characteristics: anicca, dukkha and anatta, and that doesn't come up, does that mean you need to stabilize the mind more to see the object more clearly?” [Meditation] [Disenchantment] [Characteristics of existence] [Concentration] // [Self-identity view] [Knowledge and vision] [Relinquishment] [Dhamma]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 28: Mindfulness of DeathAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 12, 2014

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[Session] (26:50) Reading: Mindfulness of Death by Ajahn Plien, pp. 1-20. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño.


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1. (1:40) “Was Ajahn Plien a disciple of Ajahn Lee's?” [Ajahn Plien] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] // [Ajahn Waen]


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2. (8:10) “In the Pure Land tradition, there are practices that prepare one for death. Are there are specific recommendations that yourself or Ajahn Chah would give for preparation for that last moment before death?” [Pure Land] [Ajahn Chah] [Death] [Recollection/Death] // [Buddho mantra]

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

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

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

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 29: Reflections about Wat Pah PongAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 13, 2014

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1. (3:00) Information about Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinaya and the sections that Ajahn Kovilo reads. [Ajahn Chah lineage] [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma books] // [Translation] [Ajahn Jundee] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Ajahn Sumedho]


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2. (17:56) Reading: Reflections about Wat Pah Pong by Ajahn Toon from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Tan Kovilo.


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3. (0:30) “Was there some consistency around how Ajahn Chah taught monks in a large community and how he taught monks in a small community? It sounds like when there were eleven monks he was very involved.” [Ajahn Chah] [Monastic life] [Mentoring] // [Ageing]


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4. (2:06) “Was Ajahn Jun around when you were training?” [Ajahn Jun] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Boon Choo]

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


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5. (2:31) Story: Ajahn Jayasaro spends a Rains Retreat with Ajahn Koon. Told by Ajahn Cunda. [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Ajahn Koon] [Novices]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Personality]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 30: Ordination: Going ForthAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 16, 2014

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1. (3:34) Introductory comments by Ajahn Pasanno and Tan Pamutto clarify some of the terms in the reading.


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2. (16:34) Reading: “Ordination: Going Forth” from The Ways of the Peaceful by Ajahn Liem pp. 23-33. Read by Tan Pamutto.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 31: Breath Meditation CondensedAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 17, 2014

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[Session] (56:41) Reading: “Breath Meditation Condensed” from An Unentangled Knowing by Upasikā Kee Nanayon, pp. 29-36. Read by Tan Khemako.


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1. (0:40) “I recall hearing about some aspects of the korwat at Upasika Kee's center, do you know any of those particular details?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Protocols] // [Medicinal requisites] [Vegetarianism]


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2. (0:30) “Was it a women only center or separated between men and women?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Women in Buddhism]


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3. (1:40) “Do you think all those rules were written down like Ajahn Chah regulations?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Protocols] [Ajahn Chah] // [Wat Pah Pong]


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4. (0:47) “Did she have any well-known disciples that went on to do other things?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon]


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5. (1:50) “It's interesting with vegetarianism, some follow that and there are others that don't?” [Vegetarianism] [Buddha/Biography] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Gunha] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] // [Protocols]


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6. (2:04) “Do you think the vegetarian choice at certain centers and monasteries relates to different temperaments or personalities?” [Vegetarianism] [Personality] // [Ajahn Gunha] [Simplicity] [Killing] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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


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7. (0:59) “My guess is they were not smoking at Upasika Kee's, is that right?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Smoking] // [Health care]


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8. (2:32) “When she is talking about the mind at normalcy, her description is having the meditation object always at least in the background, constantly in awareness, being aware of the mind-state and also doing whatever you are doing, walking, washing dishes etc. Her emphasis is on cultivating it so this is something that you would be doing twenty-four hours a day. When Ajahn Chah spoke of normalcy of the mind, did he describe it in the same way?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Mindfulness of mind] [Ajahn Chah] // [Discernment] [Happiness] [One pointedness]


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9. (1:02) Comment: She talks about within this state of normalcy constantly contemplating the three characteristics of all phenomena occurring in awareness. To me that sounds like juggling a bunch of things! [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Conditionality]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Discernment]


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10. (0:56) Comment: So the ability to hold the meditation object, go through your daily routines, keep an eye on the mind tone, and watch the stress flavor of all arising phenomenon seems like a fairly advanced practice state to arrive at and maintain twenty-four hours a day. [Continuity of mindfulness] [Everyday life] [Mindfulness of mind] [Suffering]

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


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11. (3:01) “She talks about making a story out of denying your defilements. Does the story of having fun denying your defilements come from that space of dwelling in that state of continuous mindfulness, or does continuous mindfulness come about from going through the suffering of forcing yourself not to enjoy anything?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Unwholesome Roots] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Conditionality] // [Discernment]

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

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


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12. (1:44) “What do you mean when you say try something and note “it's not working” or “it is working?” How do you know it's not just another defilement sneaking in and saying “this isn't working?”” [Right Effort] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Clear comprehension] [Happiness] [Habits]


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13. (2:09) “Is that where when one isn't meditating per se but where virtue would come in to inform whether we have slipped or not?” [Virtue] // [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Ajahn Chah] [Conscience and prudence] [Similes] [Spiritual friendship]

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


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14. (3:12) “She talks about virtue being the other hand of discernment in the meditation experience, and whenever discernment discerns stress, virtue is what lets go of the cause of stress, that virtue does the disbanding of it. Is virtue an unusual word to use there?” [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Virtue] [Discernment] [Cessation of Suffering] [Dispassion] // [Pāli] [Conscience and prudence] [Ajahn Chah]

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


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15. (0:56) “When the habit pattern of defilement is so strong, and even with the mind seeing the suffering, still the mind says, “I'm not going to give that up,” do you have any suggestions for softening that, for working with that?” [Habits] [Unwholesome Roots] [Clinging]

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


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16. (1:30) Comment by Ajahn Jotipālo: In this talk, Upasika Kee goes through dependent origination and emphasizes catching it at sense-contact. I've always been taught that it's feeling where you can break it. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Dependent origination] [Contact] [Mindfulness of feeling]

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


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17. (4:23) “You were talking about the positive aspect of relinquishment, and that's what will motivate giving up, that positive aspect of giving up and letting go. When it's painful giving up and you give up, you can say, 'Wait, I'm just focusing on the negative aspect of giving up, I need to switch my mind to the benefits of relinquishment?'” [Relinquishment] [Suffering] [Appropriate attention] // [Self-identity view] [Clinging] [Humor] [Humility]


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18. (1:32) Discussion about where there may be regret and longing linked to giving up something, although on reflection after relinquishment it can then feel like a non-event, no big deal. [Clinging] [Relinquishment] [Cessation of Suffering]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 32: Venerable FatherAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 18, 2014

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[Session] (55:22) Reading: Readings from Venerable Father by Paul Breiter (commercial), pp. 28-36, 37-45, and 52-54. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.


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1. (1:15) “What became of Venerable Araññabho?” [Disrobing] [Cittavivieka]


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2. (0:26) “Did Venerable Araññabho stay at Wat Pah Nanachat?” [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Pah Pong]


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3. (2:47) “How long did Venerable Varapañño spend in robes?” [Disrobing] // [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Ajahn Chah] [Wat Pah Pong]

Story: "I need a lawyer!"

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

Response


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4. (0:47) “How do monks treat intestinal worms?” [Monastic life] [Health care] [Sickness] [Killing]


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5. (0:37) “Was there much coming and going between Wat Pah Pong and Wat Pah Nanachat?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Wat Pah Nanachat]


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6. (7:28) Ajahn Pasanno tells how he went to Wat Pah Nanachat to make a bowl stand but got sick with scrub typhus. An extended discussion ensues. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Monastic crafts] [Sickness] // [Rains retreat] [Joseph Kappel]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 33: From the Darkness to the LightAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 19, 2014

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[Session] (42:02) Reading: “From the Darkness to the Light,” unpublished talk by Ajahn Liem in Krooba Ajahn. Read by Ajahn Sudhīro.


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1. (1:40) “Did you participate in massage sessions with senior monks besides Luang Por Chah?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Upatakh]


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2. (6:34) “How does one incline the mind towards recollecting one's own good actions?” [Recollection/Virtue] [Merit] [Aversion] [Gladdening the mind] // [Emotion] [Feeling] [Kamma] [Investigation of states] [Vajrayāna]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 34: The Skill of ReleaseAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 20, 2014

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[Session] (37:54) Reading: “By Way of Introduction” and “Why Meditate?” from The Skill of Release by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo pp. 1-3 and pp. 20-31. Read by Ajahn Suhajjo.


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1. (1:17) “Can you reflect upon Ajahn Lee's positive approach to the nutriments?” [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Nutriment] [Sutta]


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2. (1:26) “Which of the three unwholesome roots is most prominent when the mind is lazy?” [Energy] [Unwholesome Roots] [Sloth and torpor] // [Delusion]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 35: River and Ocean and Collected TeachingsAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 21, 2014

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[Session] (50:47) Reading: “River and Ocean” and “Collected Teachings” from Mae Chee Kaew: Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment by Ajahn Dick Sīlaratano pp. 206-207 and pp. 231-242. Read by Tan Khantiko.


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1. (1:42) “Is bhavataṇhā both the desire to exist and the desire to be a certain way?” [Becoming] // [Self-identity view]


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2. (0:53) “Is vibhavataṇhā the thought, “I am this way and I don't want to be this way?”” [Craving not to become]


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3. (3:15) “How do the kilesas relate to the concept of the shadow?” [Western psychology] [Unwholesome Roots] // [Characteristics of existence] [Self-identity view] [Mae Chee Kaew]


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4. (1:58) “I seem to make a virtue of laziness and don't quite believe the teachings about doing without food and sleep. Do you have any advice for me?” [Sloth and torpor] [Ascetic practices] // [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities]


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5. (3:01) “Could say more about seeing the unwholesomeness or shadow?” [Unwholesome Roots] // [Mindfulness] [Idealism] [Delusion]


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6. (5:28) Comment: There can be this view that the enlightened mind doesn't have any thoughts or defilements. It's just perfectly clear and stable and there's nothing going on. [Liberation] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Unwholesome Roots] [Concentration]

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

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

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


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7. (1:52) The character of Ajahn Chah and his relatives. [Ajahn Chah] [Personality] [Aversion] [Humor] // [Leadership]

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


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8. (0:37) Comment by Ajahn Ñāṇiko: Ajahn Chah's brother didn't have an inferiority complex. [Ajahn Chah] [Family] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]


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9. (1:48) A retreatant expresses appreciation for the concept of non-stickiness. [Gratitude] [Release] [Nibbāna]

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


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10. (0:53) Story: Ajahn Ñaniko meets Ajahn Mun's nephew. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Ajahn Mun] [Family]


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11. (1:42) “Ajahn Chah distinguished between the peaceful mind and the mind that has appeased the kilesas. But when the kilesas are present, is it useful to be peaceful about them?” [Ajahn Chah] [Concentration] [Unwholesome Roots] [Tranquility] // [Suffering] [Delusion]


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12. (1:55) A retreatant expresses appreciation for Upasika Kee Nanayon's exhortation to be honest with ourselves. [Unwholesome Roots] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Truth] [Gratitude]

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

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


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13. (2:58) “Can you recommend any practices to develop honesty with ourselves?” [Truth] [Delusion] // [Unwholesome Roots] [Direct experience]

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 36: The Middleness of the Middle WayAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 24, 2014

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[Session] (28:53) Reading: “The Middleness of the Middle Way” from Samaṇa by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 127-134. Read by Anagārika J.R..


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1. (14:05) Reading: Unpublished talk on peace by Ajahn Piak given to Wat Pah Nanachat monks going to Dtao Dum. Read by Anagārika J.R..


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 37: Paticca-Samuppada: Practical Dependent OriginationAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 25, 2014

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[Session] (44:22) Reading: Paticcasamuppāda: Practical Dependent Origination by Ajahn Buddhadāsa, selections from pp. 22-45. Read by Debbie Stamp.


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1. (4:59) “Could you describe ways to work with delighting and wanting around the pleasure of food?” [Food] [Craving] [Happiness] [Unattractiveness] [Disenchantment] // [Elements] [Mindfulness of body] [Clinging] [Impermanence] [Dependent origination]

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


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2. (5:30) “How should we relate to the Buddha's statement that sensual pleasure is to be feared?” [Sensual desire] [Sense bases] [Fear] // [Culture/West] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]

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


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3. (1:42) “Could you reflect on how Ajahn Buddhadāsa portrays mindfulness and ignorance as opposites?” [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Mindfulness] [Ignorance] // [Dependent origination]


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4. (3:43) “Could you say more about the positive causal process that is the opposite of paticcasamuppada?” [Dependent origination] [Conditionality] [Mindfulness] // [Skillful qualities] [Right Mindfulness] [Factors of Awakening]

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

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


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5. (3:42) “When I look at neutral objects, dullness often arises. Is this suffering?” [Feeling] [Contact] [Sloth and torpor] [Unskillful qualities] [Suffering] // [Craving not to become] [Delusion] [Ignorance] [Mindfulness] [Clear comprehension]

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 38: Following the Footsteps of Enlightened BeingsAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 26, 2014

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1. (18:58) Reading: “A Short Biography” from No Worries by Ajahn Liem pp. 101, 104-115. Read by Beth Steff.


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2. (13:25) Reading:Following the Footsteps of the Enlightened Beings,” a talk by Ajahn Liem at an Australian Sangha Association conference. Read by Beth Steff.


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3. (4:21) “Was there a time in Thai history when meditation was a routine part of childhood education?” [History/Thai Buddhism] [Children] [Learning] [Meditation] // [Three Refuges] [Chanting] [Right View]

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


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4. (0:39) Story: Trying to wash Ajahn Liem's cup. Told by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Jotipālo] [Upatakh]


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5. (1:37) Recollection: Ajahn Liem leads by example. Recounted by Ajahn Pasanno.


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6. (1:46) “Is Ajahn Liem continuing to take care of his health?” [Ajahn Liem] [Health] // [Medicinal requisites] [Food] [Health care]


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7. (4:37) “Does Ajahn Liem attend morning and evening pūjā?” [Ajahn Liem] [Pūjā] // [Culture/Thailand] [Wat Pah Pong]

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

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

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

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 39: Interview with Luang Por KoonAjahn Pasanno – Feb. 27, 2014

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1. (1:08) Ajahn Pasanno introduces Ajahn Koon and Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. [Dhamma books] [Ajahn Koon]


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2. (29:54) Reading: Interview with Ajahn Koon in Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana.


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3. (0:42) Story: Ajahn Tongrat walks past a pregnant woman and says, "Oh, there's a really good monk in your stomach there." [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Koon] [Almsround]


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4. (2:24) Recollection: Ajahn Chah didn't let Western monks stay with Ajahn Koon since it was close to the Laos border. [Ajahn Chah] [Military] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] // [Ajahn Koon] [Ajahn Anando]


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5. (1:08) Story: Ajahn Chah prevents supporters from bringing Ajahn Sumedho special food. [Ajahn Sumedho] [Food] [Ajahn Chah]


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6. (1:07) “Were there short periods of time when you lived with Luang Por Koon?” [Ajahn Koon] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Puriso]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 40: The Natural Character of AwakeningAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 2, 2014

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1. (3:22) Introduction to The Natural Character of Awakening and Chao Khun Upāli. Teaching by Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Pasanno. [Chao Khun Upāli] [Ajahn Mun] [Forest versus city monks]

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


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2. (22:08) Reading: The Natural Character of Awakening by Chao Khun Upāli, pp. 58-67. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.


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3. (5:07) “Do you have any advice for monks taking on additional practices (āditthanas)?” [Ajahn Chah] [Determination] // [Ascetic practices] [Appropriate attention] [Virtue] [Sense restraint] [Unwholesome Roots] [Middle Path]


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4. (3:05) “What is the distinction Chao Khun Upāli makes between lokuttara discernment and higher discernment?” [Chao Khun Upāli] [Discernment] [Impermanence] [Aggregates] [Suffering] [Cause of Suffering] // [Commentaries] [Ajahn Chah] [Study monks]


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5. (7:52) “What is the difference between abandoning craving and realizing the abandoning of craving?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Impermanence] [Aggregates] [Cause of Suffering] [Cessation of Suffering] // [Commentaries] [Doubt] [Relinquishment] [Concentration] [Gladdening the mind] [Desire] [Becoming] [Right View]

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

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

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


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6. (1:45) “How many Somdets and Chao Khuns are there at any given time?” [History/Thai Buddhism] [Monastic titles] // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Ajahn Liem]


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7. (0:37) “What's the Thai for 'Supreme Patriarch'?” [Thai] [Monastic titles]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 41: Steady PracticeAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 3, 2014

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1. (1:05) Reading: Background of the talk “Steady Practice” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 818. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.


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2. (3:44) Recollection: Background of Wat Keun. [Wat Keun] // [Ajahn Chah] [Monastic titles] [Environment] [Ajahn Puriso] [Military] [Animal]

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


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3. (30:54) Reading: “Steady Practice” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 277-290. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.


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4. (5:16) “How do you balance Ajahn Chah's instruction to put away the books with the desire to study and understand the teachings?” [Ajahn Chah] [Learning] [Sutta] [Study monks] // [Culture/West] [Faith] [Doubt]


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5. (5:43) “Did Ajahn Chah ever tell a student to study?” [Ajahn Chah] [Learning] // [Eightfold Path] [Study monks] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma]

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

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


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6. (7:30) “How does one cultivate self-supervision?” [Ajahn Chah] [Desire] [Self-reliance] [Postures] [Continuity of mindfulness] // [Mindfulness of body] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Mindfulness of breathing]

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

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

Sutta: MN 10 Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta [Right Mindfulness]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 42: The Dhamma-Truth of Samatha-Vipassana for the Nuclear AgeAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 4, 2014

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[Session] (45:14) Reading: “The Dhamma-Truth of Samatha-Vipassana for the Nuclear Age” from Key to Natural Truth by Ajahn Buddhadāsa pp. 111-131. Read by Ajahn Ñāṇiko.


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1. (1:39) Ajahn Pasanno describes the atmosphere of Cold War fear. [Fear] [Politics and society] [Military] // [Culture/West] [Amaravati] [Ajahn Sumedho]


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2. (1:52) Comment about the purpose and function of the path. Contributed by Ajahn Kaccāna. [Eightfold Path] [Cessation of Suffering] [Concentration] [Discernment]

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


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3. (0:25) Reflection by Ajahn Ñāṇiko on Ajahn Buddhadāsa's use of analogies. [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Similes] [Suffering]


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4. (1:10) Quote: “The purpose and function [of practice] always come back to the alleviation of suffering and the relinquishment of self-view....The take-away bit of the forest teachers or ethos is that we have everything within us....They are coming at it from all different angles, but the underlying thread is that theme of relying on and refining capabilities that we actually have. Sīla, samādhi, and pañña are not external to us.” [Thai Forest Tradition] [Self-reliance] [Eightfold Path]


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5. (8:09) “How does one work with dullness and drowsiness in sitting meditation?” [Sloth and torpor] [Posture/Sitting] // [Hindrances] [Ajahn Buddhadāsa] [Ajahn Chah] [Posture/Walking] [Culture/Natural environment] [Posture/Standing] [Continuity of mindfulness]

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 43: Straightening Out Your ViewsAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 5, 2014

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1. (0:52) Background informatin about Ajahn Suwat. [Ajahn Suwat] // [Ajahn Fun] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Dune]


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2. (22:20) Reading: “Straightening Out Your Views” from Fistful of Sand & The Light of Discernment by Ajahn Suwat, pp. 48-51. Read by Ajahn Kassapo.


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3. (0:53) Ajahn Pasanno asks Ajahn Pesalo for more information about Ajahn Suwat. [Ajahn Suwat] // [Death] [Wat Buridat] [Sickness]


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4. (2:29) “Where is Wat Buridat?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Pesalo. [Wat Buridat] // [Ajahn Suwat] [Wat Metta] [Ajahn Ṭhānissaro] [Insight Meditation Society]


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5. (8:03) “Did Ajahn Mahā Boowa always praise the dtuaṅga practices?” [Ascetic practices] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Mun] // [Qualities for non-decline]

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

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

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 44: Ajahn Chah: The Tudong YearsAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 6, 2014

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[Session] (44:29) Reading: “1946-1954: The Tudong Years” from the draft biography of Ajahn Chah. Read by Ajahn Cunda.

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


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1. (1:12) Story: Ajahn Chah asks Ajahn Mun whether he should reordain as a Dhammayut monk. [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Mun] [Thai sects]


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2. (1:27) Ajahn Pasanno gives more information about the cremation ground story. [Ajahn Chah] [Personality] [Postulants]


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3. (0:16) “Did the pakow who accompanied Ajahn Chah to the cremation ground ever ordain?” [Ajahn Chah] [Postulants]


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4. (1:34) Comments about the cremation ground story and the draft biography of Ajahn Chah. [Ajahn Chah] [Dhamma books]


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5. (0:52) “Are the boundaries between Dhammayut and Mahanikai breaking down?” [Thai sects] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Vinaya]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 45: Ajahn Chah: A Simple MonkAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 7, 2014

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[Session] (48:03) Reading: “A Simple Monk” from the draft biography of Ajahn Chah. Read by Ajahn Kaccāna.

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


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1. (1:11) “Is samwat a Thai word for saṁvega?” [Thai] [Sense of urgency]


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2. (4:34) “How common is burial as opposed to cremation in Thailand?” [Culture/Thailand] [Funerals] // [Death] [Suicide] [Ghost] [Rebirth]

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


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3. (1:09) “Why are dead children buried?” [Death] [Children] [Culture/Thailand]


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4. (2:35) “When and why did Ajahn Chah talk about his past?” [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] // [Stories]


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5. (2:08) “Did Ajahn Chah say, “I'm such a good teacher because I had so many defilements?”” [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] [Unwholesome Roots]

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


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6. (1:37) “Did Ajahn Chah use asubha practice during his battle with lust?” [Ajahn Chah] [Sensual desire] [Unattractiveness] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Impermanence] [Patience] [Conditionality]

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 46: Maraṇussati: Keeping the End in MindAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 10, 2014

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1. (2:43) Reading: Short recollection of Ajahn Chah from the talk “Life with Ajahn Chah” by Ajahn Anan. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño.


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2. (19:35) Reading: “Maraṇānussati – Keeping the End in Mind” from Seeking Buddho by Ajahn Anan pp. 69-74 and 91-92. Read by Ajahn Ṭhitapañño.


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3. (0:47) Ajahn Anan's deference to Luang Por Chah. Recollection by Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Anan] [Ajahn Chah] [Respect for elders]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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4. (3:02) The trio of Ajahn Anan, Ajahn Dtun, and Ajahn Piak. [Ajahn Anan] [Ajahn Dtun] [Ajahn Piak] [Wat Pah Pong] [Spiritual friendship] [Ajahn Chah]

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


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5. (1:51) “It seems unusual for a monk to talk about his meditative attainments. Is this unusual or frowned upon?” [Monastic life] [Stages of awakening]


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6. (1:02) “Did Ajahn Piak and Ajahn Anan leave Wat Pah Pong together to found Wat Fah Krahm?” [Ajahn Piak] [Ajahn Anan] [Wat Pah Pong] [Wat Fah Krahm] // [Ajahn Dtun] [History/Thai Buddhism] [Sequence of training]


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7. (0:54) “Is this the monastery near the airport?” [Wat Fah Krahm]


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8. (0:34) “When Ajahn Anan left for Rayong, had Ajahn Dtun already left?” [Ajahn Anan] [Ajahn Dtun]


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9. (0:26) “How long was Ajahn Anan at Wat Fah Krahm?” [Ajahn Anan] [Wat Fah Krahm]


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10. (5:25) “How can we interest the mind in the recollection of death?” [Recollection/Death] [Desire] // [Mindfulness of breathing] [Sickness] [Death] [Poo Jum Gom] [Mindfulness of body] [Sense of urgency]


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11. (2:11) “Is recollection of death useful for laypeople?” [Recollection/Death] [Lay life] // [Human]


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12. (0:36) Comment by Ajahn Ñāṇiko: There is a belief that contemplating death can call death to you. [Recollection/Death] [Death] // [Fear]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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13. (1:32) “How do I keep the mind from proliferating about what happens after death?” [Recollection/Death] [Rebirth] [Proliferation] // [Progress of insight]


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14. (4:45) “If you don't think you will reach Nibbāna in this life, did Ajahn Chah advise a place to aspire for rebirth in?” [Ajahn Anan] [Pure Land] [Ajahn Dtun] [Death] [Nibbāna] [Rebirth] [Buddha] [Ajahn Chah] // [Culture/Thailand] [Merit] [Fierce/direct teaching]


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15. (4:41) Discussion about faith followers and Dhamma followers. [Stream entry] [Stages of awakening] [Death] [Sutta]

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

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

Response by Ajahn Cunda. [Ajahn Amaro]


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16. (1:31) Comment: Comments about bringing death contemplation into the present moment. [Recollection/Death] [Present moment awareness] [Rebirth]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Vajrayāna]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 47: Meeting Ajahn ChahAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 11, 2014

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[Session] (41:00) Reading: Reflections on meeting Ajahn Chah by Ajahn Boon Choo from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Ajahn Kovilo.


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1. (0:37) “Did you live with Ajahn Mahā Som?” [Ajahn Pasanno]


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2. (1:17) Story: Ajahn Somboon spends a vassa at Wat Pah Pong. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Somboon] [Wat Pah Pong] // [Abbot] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Ardency]


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3. (1:37) “Which monastery is Wat Keun?” [Wat Keun] [Environment] // [Almsround]


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4. (0:53) “What is the town across from Wat Keun?” [Wat Keun] // [Ajahn Puriso]


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5. (4:31) “Did you think of relocating Wat Pah Nanachat to Wat Keun?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Keun] // [Seclusion] [Ajahn Puriso] [Deva]

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

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


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6. (0:43) “You were offered a cornfield in Ohio? What year was that?” [Generosity] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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7. (1:17) “Do foreigners still go to Wat Keun?” [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Boon Choo] // [Personality] [Ajahn Liem] [Seclusion]


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8. (1:55) “Did Ajahn Boon Choo go to Europe?” [Ajahn Boon Choo] // [Thai sects] [Personality]


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9. (2:23) Story: After staying up two nights in a row, Ajahn Boon Choo nods in meditation then establishes samādhi and sits without moving. [Ajahn Boon Choo] [Sloth and torpor] [Devotion to wakefulness] [Concentration] // [Ajahn Kinaree] [Kaṭhina] [Wat Pah Pong]


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10. (1:49) “Did Luang Por Liem ask Luang Por Boon Choo to stay back when Luang Por Chah became ill?” [Ajahn Liem] [Ajahn Boon Choo] [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah] [Sickness] // [Wat Pahk Kut Wai] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Geography/Thailand]

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


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11. (3:01) Story: A Saṅgha meeting decides that Ajahn Boon Choo should look after Wat Keun. [Ajahn Boon Choo] [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Saṅgha decision making] [Respect for elders] // [Ajahn Puriso] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Pah Pong]


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12. (0:54) “If you had moved Wat Pah Nanachat to Wat Keun, would you have left Thailand?” [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Wat Keun] [Ajahn Pasanno]

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

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


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13. (1:39) “What happened to Ajahn Puriso?” [Ajahn Puriso] [Disrobing] // [Translation] [Dhamma books] [P. A. Payutto]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 48: Conversations with Ajahn PiakAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 12, 2104

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[Session] (49:32) Reading: Ajahn Piak, selected conversations with Western monks from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Tan Pamutto.


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1. (1:13) “Is it rare for someone to master samādhi before developing wisdom?” [Concentration] [Discernment] [Ajahn Piak]


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2. (6:24) “Would you be willing to talk about the difference between mindfulness, bare knowing, and the one who knows?” [Mindfulness] [Direct experience] [Knowing itself] // [Buddha] [Clear comprehension] [Thai] [Discernment] [Ardency] [Seclusion] [Cessation of Suffering]

Sutta: MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta


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3. (2:45) “Could constant movement like Luang Por Teean's technique be useful for drowsiness?” [Sloth and torpor] [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation] // [Continuity of mindfulness]


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4. (1:16) Ajahn Pasanno describes the meditation method he used during his first year as a monk. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation/Techniques] // [Contact] [Feeling] [Movement meditation] [Concentration]


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5. (1:58) Ajahn Jotipālo tells about Luang Por Teean's technique at Wat Pah Nanachat. [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation] [Wat Pah Nanachat]

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


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6. (1:10) “Could the Ajahn Teean technique work for restlessness?” [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation] [Restlessness and worry]

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


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7. (1:06) “Did Ajahn Chah speak about paramī?” [Ajahn Chah] [Perfections] // [Culture/Thailand]


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8. (1:22) Comments by Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Pasanno about movement meditations. [Movement meditation] // [Continuity of mindfulness] [Mindfulness of breathing]


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9. (0:40) “Did you use the method of balancing a needle between your thumbs?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Meditation/Techniques]


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10. (1:53) “What if your problem is restlessness?” [Restlessness and worry] // [Tranquility] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Energy]


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11. (1:59) “What is a reasonable amount of time to try out a new method?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Ajahn Chah] [Meditation/Techniques] // [Personality] [Patience]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 49: The Singular Quality of an Ordinary MonkAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 13, 2014

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[Session] (49:22) Reading: Readings from the biography Luangpor Teean: The Singular Quality of an Ordinary Monk by Vatana Supromajakr, M.D.. Read by Tan Khemako.


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1. (1:00) “Did Ajahn Teean learn his method from someone else?” [Ajahn Teean] [Movement meditation]


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2. (2:13) “Did Ajahn Teean have contact with Ajahn Chah?” [Ajahn Teean] [Ajahn Chah] // [Ajahn Mun] [Geography/Thailand]


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3. (1:30) “Does Luang Por Teean have disciples who are still alive?” [Ajahn Teean]


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4. (0:53) “Questions about a translated book by a Luang Por Teean disciple.” [Ajahn Teean]


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5. (0:26) “Do you know Venerable Nirodha who translated this book?” [Ajahn Teean] [Dhamma books] [Translation] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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6. (2:32) “Why did older men ordain as pakows and follow Ajahn Chah on tudong?” [Older monks] [Postulants] [Ajahn Chah] [Tudong] // [Culture/Thailand] [Food] [Almsfood]


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7. (1:51) “Is it common for older men to ordain?” [Older monks] // [Postulants] [Association with people of integrity]


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8. (0:48) “How long would such pakows ordain?” [Older monks] [Postulants] // [Amaravati] [Dhammapala]


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9. (0:46) “Was Luang Por Teean a forest teacher? Dhammayut or Mahanikai?” [Ajahn Teean] [Forest versus city monks] [Thai sects]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 50: The Customs of the Noble OnesAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 14, 2014

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1. (19:28) Reading: “The Customs of the Noble Ones” by Ajahn Ṭhānissaro. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.


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2. (15:18) Reading: Recollections of Ajahn Tongrat by Ajahn Gi from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Ajahn Pesalo.


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3. (0:42) “Who offered the second reading?” Answered by Ajahn Pesalo and Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Gi] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Wat Pah Nanachat]


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4. (1:09) “Did any Wat Pah Pong monks spend time with Luang Por Gi?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Gi] // [Seclusion] [Ajahn Piak] [Ajahn Anek]


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5. (1:05) “How much time did Ajahn Chah spend with Ajahn Tongrat?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Tongrat] // [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Tudong]


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6. (0:31) Quote: “In the future, the forest monks will be like village monks, and the village monks will be like lay people.” — Ajahn Tongrat [Ajahn Tongrat] [Forest versus city monks] // [Ajahn Liem] [Wat Pah Pong]


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7. (3:33) “Was there a time in Thailand when no one had any noble attainments?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Jotipālo and Ajahn Cunda. [History/Thai Buddhism] [Stages of awakening] // [Chao Khun Upāli] [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Media]

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


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8. (2:11) “Are there any of Luang Por Tongrat's teachings available?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Dhamma books] // [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Jayasaro]


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9. (0:20) “Has the Ajahn Utane biography been translated into English?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Translation] [Ajahn Utane] [Dhamma books]

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


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10. (1:25) “Is Ajahn Utane's monastery the same as Ajahn Tongrat's?” [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Utane] // [Ajahn Liem] [Stupas/monuments]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 51: Conversations with Ajahn WanchaiAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 17, 2014

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[Session] (1:02:31) Reading: Ajahn Wanchai, questions and answers with the monks of Wat Pah Nanachat from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Ajahn Sudhīro.


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1. (4:24) “Sometimes I will see a bit of greed come up, I apply an antidote, for example, if its craving, apply some asuba; but it seems to exacerbate it–do you have any encouragement or similes from Ajahn Chah?” [Unwholesome Roots] [Right Effort] [Meditation/Results] [Ajahn Chah] // [Investigation of states] [Patience]

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


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2. (4:53) “The citta is sometimes defined as pure awareness, and it being in the fourth khanda, but it sounds like here he's talking about the activity of awareness?” [Heart/mind] [Knowing itself] [Volitional formations] // [Rebirth]

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

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

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

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


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3. (3:29) “If you keep chipping away at a theme of contemplation, you keep doing it, doing it, and nothing is changing in your experience, at some stage you feel this isn't working, do you just have to move on and try something else? Is it the case that you just have to try them all? No-one can tell you which is going to work for you?” [Depression] [Recollection] // [Patience] [Spiritual friendship]

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


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4. (9:45) Comment: The story you told where a monk was punched, I really didn't see the point of that. [Ajahn Jia] [Admonishment/feedback] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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

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

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

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


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5. (6:46) Comment: In the Thai Forest tradition there are some fierce teachers. In other Buddhist traditions the “don't question the guru” mentality seems to get way out of hand, but in Thailand that doesn't seem to happen so often. [Thai Forest Tradition] [Fierce/direct teaching] [Mentoring] [Ajahn Jia]

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

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

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


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

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[Session] (56:15) Reading: “Toilets on the Path” from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 723-734. Read by Ajahn Suhajjo.


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1. (2:58) Recollection: Saṅgha gatherings at Wat Pah Pong on Ajahn Chah's birthday. [Wat Pah Pong] [Saṅgha] [Ajahn Chah] // [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Protocols] [Meditation]

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


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2. (5:24) “Did I understand correctly, that this talk was originally given in Lao?” [Language] // [Ajahn Chah] [Thai] [Admonishment/feedback]

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

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


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3. (0:20) “In the reading, did it say that he [Chao Khun Nor] slept in a coffin?” [Chao Khun Nor] [Recollection/Death]


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4. (1:43) “Was your eight years living with novices like how it was described in this reading ['Toilets on the Path']?” [Ajahn Pasanno] [Novices] // [Thai]

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


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5. (0:50) “Was there a cap, a certain number of novices allowed at the monastery at one time?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Novices] // [Ajahn Chah] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries]


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6. (1:01) Comment: I got the impression from that introduction that the monastery was over-run with novices. [Wat Pah Pong] [Novices]

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


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7. (1:52) “How did Ajahn Chah communicate with his branch monasteries and how often?” [Ajahn Chah] [Thai Ajahn Chah monasteries] [Monastery organizational structure] // [Abbot] [Technology]

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


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8. (1:19) Comment: Ajahn Chah probably wasn't a micro manager. [Ajahn Chah] [Abbot]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.

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


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9. (1:11) Discussion about the reality of dealing with training behaviors amongst a constantly changing population within the monastery. [Monastic life] [Protocols] [Cleanliness] // [Temporary ordination]


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10. (4:19) “So they do temporary ordinations in Thailand?” [Culture/Thailand] [Temporary ordination] [Novices]

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

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

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

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


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11. (2:26) “Did they do temporary ordinations at Wat Pah Nanachat?” [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Temporary ordination] // [Novices] [Ajahn Kevali] [Mutual lay/Saṅgha support]

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


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12. (2:44) “Was there a temporary ordination in England for Maurice Walsh?” [Maurice Walsh] [Temporary ordination] [Amaravati] // [Learning] [Older monks] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Pūjā]


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13. (1:29) “How many other traditions in Thailand use the model of anagārika for one year and sāmaṇera for one year?” [Sequence of training] // [Ajahn Sanong] [Media]


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

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[Session] (49:20) Reading: “Toilets on the Path” (continued) from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, pp. 734-745. Read by Tan Khantiko.


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1. (2:57) “When you were living with Ajahn Chah, were many of his talks more related to the Korwat or practical matters, as opposed to the High Dhamma?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Teaching Dhamma] [Protocols] [Dhamma]

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

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

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


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2. (10:05) “There were a number of different alms routes out of Wat Pah Pong. How was it decided who went on each one and how was the food distributed for the meal?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround] [Almsfood] [Saṅgha decision making] // [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Ajahn Liem]

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

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

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

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

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


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3. (0:58) “At Wat Pah Pong there's a large mural of lay people eating, do you know where that came from or how long its been there?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Lay life] [Food] [Protocols]


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4. (1:14) “I have heard that the food would go into a big pot and get all mixed up. How often did that happen?” [Ajahn Chah] [Food] // [Abhayagiri] [Ajahn Sucitto]


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5. (1:19) Recollections: Deciding who went on the different alms routes at Wat Pah Pong. Recounted by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround] // [Rains retreat]


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6. (1:06) “Did the alms routes stay the same over the years?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround]


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7. (1:16) “Do you try to pass most of the houses in the village?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Almsround] // [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West]


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8. (1:37) “You'd have one village supporting more than one monastery, is that right?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Almsround] // [Forest versus city monks] [Wat Pah Nanachat]


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9. (1:42) “How many villages are around Poo Jom Gom?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Poo Jum Gom] [Almsround]


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10. (0:42) Comment by Ajahn Jotipālo: The cold season is over, so we've lost our Kaṭhina privileges. [Kaṭhina] [Vinaya]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 54: SotāpattimaggaAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 21, 2014

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[Session] (21:10) Readings from Sotāpattimagga by Ajahn Anan: “The Peaceful Heart Discovers the Truth” (partial), pp. 21-23; “When Calm Arises, Investigate the Body,” pp. 41-45; “When the Practice Declines,” pp. 68-70; “Nibbana is the Highest Happiness,” pp. 89-91. Read by Anagārika J.R..

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 55: Training under Ajahn ChahAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 25, 2014

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[Session] (41:01) Reading: "Training under Ajahn Chah" by Ajahn Tong Jon from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Debbie Stamp. Translated by Ajahn Kovilo.


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1. (6:27) “Are there any stories you can share from the times when you were attendant to Luang Por Chah?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Upatakh] // [Teaching Dhamma] [Mentoring]

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

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

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


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2. (6:08) “Were there any other ways in which he tormented you specifically?” [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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

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

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


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3. (2:31) “Would Luang Por Chah teach or test monks and students in different ways?” [Ajahn Chah] [Mentoring] [Fierce/direct teaching]

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


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4. (5:45) Recollections of Ajahn Chah charming people. [Ajahn Chah] [Personal presence]

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

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

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


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 56: The Beauty Comes from WithinAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 26, 2014

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1. (5:03) Reading: “The Beauty Comes from Within” from Paying Our Last Respects in Commemoration of Ajahn Mahā Boowa, pp. 149-151. Read by Beth Steff.


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2. (21:46) Reading: Unpublished talk given by Ajahn Liem at Abhayagiri in 2009. Read by Beth Steff.


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 57: Source and StreamAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 27, 2014

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1. (1:12) Biographical information about Ajahn Sim and Simply So. [Ajahn Sim] [Ajahn Jayasaro] [Dhamma books]


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2. (3:31) Reading: "About the Author" from Simply So by Ajahn Sim. [Ajahn Sim] // [Ajahn Mun] [Geography/Thailand] [Posture/Sitting]

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


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3. (21:24) Reading: “Source and Stream” from Simply So by Ajahn Sim. Translated by Ajahn Jayasaro.


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4. (0:45) “There was a reference to the 4 assembles – what are they?” [Fourfold Assembly]


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5. (1:59) “Within Luang Por Mun's disciples, were some renowned for wisdom, others for samādhi, determination, psychic powers, faith, and so on?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Abhayagiri Saṅgha. [Ajahn Mun] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chorp] [Ajahn Khao] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Ajahn Wanchai]


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6. (1:10) “Who was the monk that was said to be flying around with the military planes?” [Psychic powers] // [Ajahn Waen]


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7. (1:05) Comment: I heard he [Ajahn Waen] was flying on an airplane engine, investigating it, and they had to ask him to leave it alone. [Psychic powers]

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


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8. (3:51) “In that talk he [Ajahn Sim] seemed to stress doing samatha meditation before practicing vipassana. Is that strictly held within this tradition?” [Ajahn Sim] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Tranquility] [Knowing itself] [Concentration] [Language]

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


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9. (1:18) “When he [Ajahn Sim] talked about nama rupa, is that looking at the fundamental movement of the mind towards unwholesome dhammas?” [Ajahn Sim] [Aggregates] [Unwholesome Roots] [Investigation of states] // [Restlessness and worry] [Self-identity view]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 58: Discernment versus Self-Deception and Awareness Right at AwarenessAjahn Pasanno – Mar. 28, 2014

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[Session] (37:26) Reading: “Discernment Versus Self-Deception” and “Awareness Right at Awareness" from An Unentangled Knowing by Upasikā Kee Nanayon pp. 87-90 and 14-17. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.


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1. (2:13) “There seems to be a point of difference in teachings – some teachers emphasize mindfulness of the mind and others say “go for the body.” Do you have any reflections about that?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Mindfulness of mind] [Mindfulness of body] // [Cessation of Suffering] [Science]


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2. (2:50) “All Dhammas are not to be clung to.” Reflection by Ajahn Pasanno. [Clinging] [Relinquishment] // [Cessation] [Meditation/Techniques] [Right View] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Suffering]

Sutta: MN 37 Cūḷataṇhāsaṅkhaya Sutta


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3. (1:00) Comment by Ajahn Kaccāna: When working with the mind in a comfortable environment, one can skip past and the fear of death. [Mindfulness of mind] [Pain] [Fear] [Death]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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4. (4:11) “With the succinct teaching “know and let go,” I notice a tendency in the mind to go through the motions of that without really being able to enter into it – what do I do about that?” [Mindfulness] [Relinquishment] [Truth] [Perfections]


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5. (6:08) “In my desire to get to the “heart of it” I find part of my mind really wants this, but another part of my mind is not going along with the program. How do I keep myself on the Path?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Jotipālo. [Desire] [Simplicity] [Volition] // [Suffering] [Cessation of Suffering] [Impermanence] [Cessation] [Upasikā Kee Nanayon]

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

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


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6. (1:43) When the practice is difficult, one can look at wholesome states and say, "This is the result when I did this. There actually was some good that came of it." Comment by Ajahn Cunda. [Skillful qualities] [Conditionality] [Gladdening the mind] [Kamma]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Recollection/Virtue]


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7. (1:03) Quote: “The art of the pause.” — Ajahn Sucitto [Ajahn Sucitto] [Pace of life] // [Discernment] [Skillful qualities]


Death and Dying, Session 1: Practical and Social Aspects of Death and DyingAjahn Pasanno – May. 9, 2014 [Death]

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1. (5:17) Introduction to the Death and Dying Upasika Day


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2. (2:43) Reading: Five qualities of good patients and nurses (Kd 8.26.5) [Sickness] [Health care]


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3. (8:01) Reading: AN 6.16: Nakula's Father [Sickness] [Relationships]


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4. (5:55) Reading: SN 41.10: Death of Citta the Householder [Great disciples] // [Deva] [Faith] [Three Refuges] [Generosity]


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5. (4:30) Reading: SN 55.24-25: Sarakāni [Stream entry] [Intoxicants]


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6. (3:28) Recollection: Traditions around dying in Thailand. [Culture/Thailand] // [Tranquility] [Chanting] [Teaching Dhamma] [Clear comprehension] [Rebirth]


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7. (10:48) Readings: MN 143, SN 2.20: Death of Anāthapiṇḍika [Great disciples] // [Sense bases] [Relinquishment] [Teaching Dhamma] [Lay life] [Deva]


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8. (3:21) “What is Jeta's Grove?” [Buddha/Biography] // [Great disciples] [Ajahn Sucitto]

Vinaya: Anāthapiṇḍika purchases Jeta's Grove (Kd 16.4.8). [Generosity]


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9. (4:56) “Why is the story of Sarakāni controversial in Sri Lanka?” [Stream entry] [Intoxicants] [History/Sri Lankan Buddhism] // [Stages of awakening]

Sutta: SN 55.24-25: Sarakāni

Comment by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo regarding the wide range of views about stream entry. [Views]


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10. (2:26) “The suttas say 'The wise protect their diligence as their greatest treasure.' How does one protect one's diligence?” [Heedfulness] [Ardency] // [Sickness] [Mindfulness] [Discernment] [Mindfulness of mind] [Right Effort] [Happiness] [Spaciousness]


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11. (3:25) “Is there a meditation practice to use with someone who is dying?” [Meditation] // [Faith] [Simplicity] [Happiness] [Recollection/Death] [Ageing] [Sickness]

Story about Ram Dass's dying mother: "Richard, shut up!" [Ram Dass] [Fear] [Restlessness and worry]


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12. (1:54) Comments about uncertainty, impermanence, and denial of the reality of one's own death. [Impermanence] [Culture/West] [Heedfulness] [Virtue] [Recollection/Death]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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13. (2:36) Comment: We can't know the kamma or state of mind of someone who is dying. Because the dying person's consciousness can be very open, it's useful to remind them of their wholesome actions. Contributed by Jeanne Daskais. [Kamma] [Consciousness] [Spaciousness] [Recollection/Virtue]

Story: Sri Lankans keep a lifelong record of the good things they have done. Friends and relatives read this to them at the time of death. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Skillful qualities] [History/Sri Lankan Buddhism]


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14. (1:08) Story: A woman dies peacefully while retelling the story of their life together with her partner of 60 years. [Relationships] [Family] [Recollection/Virtue]


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15. (5:02) “Living in the West, chances are most of us will die in a hospital, which could be quite chaotic. Any advice?” [Culture/West] [Health care] // [Spiritual friendship] [Community] [Saṅgha]

Story: The Abhayagiri community attends to a dying lay supporter. [Abhayagiri]

Comments about hospitals contributed by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.


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16. (0:49) Story about creating sacred space around her dying husband. Told by Beth Steff. [Health care] [Devotional practice] [Relationships]


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17. (0:40) Comment: One can sign oneself out of hospital against the physician's wishes. [Health care]


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18. (0:59) Comments about hospital care and advance directives. [Health care] [Commerce/economics]


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19. (3:01) “Is it possible to dedicate merit to our four-legged companions after they pass?” [Animal] [Merit] [Grief] // [Generosity]

Sutta: AN 10.177: Jāṇussoṇī


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20. (0:35) Comment: As a Westerner who hasn't participated in dedication of merit until this winter–it's worth trying. [Culture/West] [Merit]


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21. (3:50) “Can you dedicate merit to someone who is approaching death?” [Merit]

Story: Ajahn Paññānanda speaks out against superstition but tells the story of a shipwrecked sailor who benefited from dedication of merit. [Ajahn Paññānanda] [Superstition] [Suffering]


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22. (0:54) “I read about the advice given to dying devas. Should more people know about the cosmological background of the Buddha's teachings?” [Deva] [Realms of existence]

Sutta: Iti 83: Five omens that appear when a deva is about to pass away. [Rebirth]


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23. (2:05) “In Vajrayāna you visualize a column of light and going out the top of your head in preparation for death. Is there a related practice in this tradition?” [Vajrayāna] [Visualization] [Recollection/Death] [Theravāda] // [Tranquility] [Mindfulness]

Reference: "Our Real Home" in Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 145.


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24. (2:50) “If beings are reborn immediately, how does ritual [sharing of merit] benefit the person who has passed?” [Rebirth] [Ceremony/ritual] [Merit] // [Theravāda] [Realms of existence] [Goodwill]

Sutta: AN 10.177: Jāṇussoṇī


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25. (5:06) Comment: Merit is faith driven, so there aren't any limitations to where that can take you, and it has real value. [Merit] [Faith] [Realms of existence]

Story: Two Thai doctors take temporary ordination to make merit to rejoin their deceased brother in a future life. [Culture/Thailand] [Monastic life/Motivation] [Temporary ordination] [Family] [Rebirth]

Story: The mother of a woman killed in a bus crash dedicates merit so that the dead woman will be reborn in the family. Told by Ajahn Pasanno. [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Ghost] [Relinquishment] [Ceremony/ritual] [Kamma] [Volition]

Quote: “We live in a fairly limited concept of the world; it's very material in the West. There's a lot more happening than what we can see.” — Ajahn Pasanno [Nature of the cosmos] [Culture/West]


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26. (2:43) “If a family member who has passed turns into a hungry ghost, how might one help them when they're in that realm?” [Family] [Rebirth] [Ghost] [Compassion] // [Merit]

Sutta: AN 10.177: Jāṇussoṇī

Follow-up: “Does it work the same way if the person hasn't made much merit?” [Kamma] [Skillful qualities] [Unskillful qualities] [Human]


Death and Dying, Session 2: Personal Experiences with Death and DyingAjahn Yatiko, Jeanne Daskais and Debbie Stamp – May. 9, 2014 [Death]

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1. (0:26) Introduction to Ajahn Yatiko's reflection. [Christianity]


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2. (1:57) Information about the memorial service for Iris Landsberg. [Abhayagiri] [Funerals] [Culture/West]


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3. (15:24) Reflection by Ajahn Yatiko: "Authenticity and Freedom": Ajahn Yatiko reflects on his brother Glenn’s life, values, and suicide from the perspective of a “Siamese twin joined at the soul” and from the perspective of a Buddhist monk. Originally offered at Glenn’s memorial service on September 30, 2013, at Ascension Lutheran Church in Edmonton, this talk was replayed during the 2014 Upasika Day on Death and Dying. [Family] [Suicide] [Truth] [Liberation] // [Christianity] [Monastic life/Motivation] [Mental illness] [Idealism] [Spiritual search] [Judgementalism] [Impermanence] [Kamma]


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4. (11:33) Reflection by Jeanne Daskais: How Dhamma practice helped me be with my mother's death and support my family through the process. [Family] [Sickness] [Buddhist identity] // [Grief] [Christianity] [Health care] [Relationships] [Recollection/Death] [Generosity]

Sutta: SN 47.19: The Bamboo Acrobat


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5. (23:07) Reflection by Debbie Stamp: Caring for dying and grieving Abhayagiri supporters and family members. [Abhayagiri] [Sickness] [Family] [Grief] [Health care] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Christianity] [Forgiveness] [Fear] [Impermanence] [Merit] [Doubt]

Reference: Debbie transcribed Ajahn Pasanno's 2008 Metta Retreat, published it as Abundant, Exalted, Immeasurable, and dedicated the merit to her mother. [Meditation retreats] [Dhamma books]

Story: Ajahn Ñāṇiko hikes to the top of Mount Dana to dedicate merit to deceased relatives. [Ajahn Ñāṇiko]


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6. (0:54) “Have you found a difference between being afraid of death and being afraid of dying?” Answered by Debbie Stamp. [Fear]


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7. (2:20) Comment by Jeanne Daskais: The reflection on kamma has helped me watch this person [my stepmother] disappear through the course of Alzheimer's disease and other loss. [Kamma] [Sickness] [Grief] // [Recollection/Virtue] [Compassion] [Right Speech]


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8. (1:09) Comment by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo: It's hard to convey the naturalness of death in Western culture. [Naturalness] [Culture/West]


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9. (3:13) Stories about being with dying relatives. Told by Debbie Stamp and Jeanne Daskais. [Family] [Children]


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10. (0:27) Comment: I appreciate the Buddha's saying that the real stable investment is your merit. [Merit] [Commerce/economics]


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11. (1:14) Comment: When we stop fixing the dying process, we can be with it in such a different way. [Naturalness]


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12. (4:03) Comment: In Western culture, we're not given enough space to be with death. [Culture/West] [Spaciousness] [Grief]

Story: Hospice workers took the body of my father-in-law away too quickly. [Health care]

Story: When my husband died, we kept and washed the body. [Ceremony/ritual]

Response by Debbie Stamp.


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13. (1:56) Stories about ageing and dying relatives. [Grief] [Humor] [Ageing] [Sickness]


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14. (1:10) “Ajahn Pasanno, in your Dhamma talk "Letting Go of the Wheel," you described a driver who saw an oncoming car cross into his lane and let go of the wheel. Is this a metaphor?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Relinquishment] [Similes]

Quote: “When there's death in your face, you don't start negotiating. You have to be willing to let go.”

Follow-up: “So do you let your merit carry you?” [Merit]


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15. (2:45) Stories about car accidents. [Clear comprehension] [Perception]


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16. (1:20) Stories of two dreams about deceased Abhayagiri supporter Iris Landsberg. [Dreams] [Abhayagiri]


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17. (1:20) Comment: You spoke of death as the dissolution of the body and awareness coming home. The life that we think we're leading is not the life that we know about when we're aware. [Form] [Knowing itself] [Nature of mind]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno: When death comes, our life is like something that is built up out of crystal that becomes a pile of rubble in the end. It's so important to recognize that within that there is this possibility of awareness and purity of heart. [Similes]


Thai Forest Tradition, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 14, 2014 [Thai Forest Tradition]

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1. (4:56) Devotional practice and the context and history of the Thai Forest Tradition. [Devotional practice] [Culture/Thailand] [Types of monks] // [Vinaya]


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2. (3:08) The current popularity of the Thai Forest Tradition can be attributed to Ajahn Mun. [Ajahn Mun] [Teaching Dhamma] // [Tudong] [Ajahn Chah] [Spiritual search] [Culture/Thailand]


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3. (3:00) Structure the June 2014 Upasika Day: The Thai Forest Tradition.

Reference: Winter Retreat 2014 DVD: Our Roots in the Thai Forest Tradition [Abhayagiri]


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4. (2:53) “What shaped the Thai Forest Tradition and gave it its flavor?” [Culture/Thailand] // [Simplicity] [Vinaya] [History/Early Buddhism] [Ajahn Mun] [Attachment to rites and rituals]


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5. (2:16) “Was there much contact between Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka at the time of Ajahn Mun?” [History/Thai Buddhism] [History/Sri Lankan Buddhism] [History/Other Theravāda traditions] [Ajahn Mun] // [Language] [Dhamma books]


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6. (4:33) “Could you review the transmission of the ordination between Sri Lanka and Thailand?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [History/Thai Buddhism] [History/Sri Lankan Buddhism] [Ordination] // [Leadership] [History/Other Theravāda traditions] [Commerce/economics] [History/Mahāyāna Buddhism]


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7. (2:29) “Could you say a few words about the structure of the Thai Saṅgha and where the Thai Forest Tradition fits in?” [History/Thai Buddhism] [Types of monks] // [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Kinaree] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Ajahn Chah]

Story: Ajahn Chah asks Ajahn Mun, "Shall I reordain in the Dhammayut Order to live with you?" He responds, "Mahānikāya needs good monks also." [Ordination] [Thai sects]


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8. (0:25) “So then technically Abhayagiri belongs to the Mahānikāya?” [Abhayagiri] [Thai sects] // [History/Western Buddhist monasticism]


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9. (1:45) Story: Ajahn Mun becomes enlightened and goes back to teach his teacher. [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Sao] [Liberation]

Story: Ajahn Mun's relics [Relics] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Abhayagiri]


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10. (9:06) Reading: "The Ballad of Liberation from the Khandas," from A Heart Released by Ajahn Mun, p. 37 // [Ajahn Mun] [Culture/Thailand]

Quote: “The Dhamma stays as the Dhamma, the khandas stay as khandas. That's all.” [Dhamma] [Aggregates]


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11. (1:11) “What language was 'The Ballad of the Liberation from the Khandas' written in?” [Dhamma books] [Ajahn Mun] [Language] // [Thai]


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12. (3:08) “Was Ajahn Mun well respected by the Buddhist establishment or was he more of a renegade?” [Ajahn Mun] [History/Thai Buddhism] // [Thai sects] [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo]

Story: Ajahn Mun leaves the day after he is appointed abbot. [Abbot] [Seclusion]


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13. (2:06) “Ajahn Mun spent a lot of time teaching the devas. Can you share any thoughts on this relevant to Western culture?” [Ajahn Mun] [Teaching Dhamma] [Deva] [Doubt] [Culture/West] // [Faith] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Nature of the cosmos]

Reference: Venerable Ācariya Mun Bhūridatta Thera: A Spiritual Biography by Ajahn Mahā Boowa


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14. (1:44) “I can't imagine not having meditation as part of this practice. How does Buddhism exist without it?” [Meditation] [History] // [Ceremony/ritual] [Generosity] [Faith] [Devotional practice]


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15. (3:17) “A list of ten misconceptions about Buddhim in Tricycle magazine included 'All Buddhists meditate.' It said that historically this wasn't true. Is this accurate?” [Meditation] [History] [Culture/West] // [Monastic life] [Lay life] [Devotional practice] [History/Thai Buddhism]


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16. (1:58) Comment about Asian and Western Buddhist perspectives regarding meditation and other aspects of practice encountered at Abhayagiri Monastery. [Cultural context] [Culture/West] [Meditation] [Devotional practice] [Ajahn Chah] [Abhayagiri]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Learning]


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17. (1:20) “One of the great gifts I've received over the last few years spending more time with the Bhikkhu Saṅgha is a sense of devotion, how it opens the heart. Is there a Pāli word or teaching around that principle?” [Devotional practice] [Saṅgha] [Gratitude] [Pāli] // [Faculties] [Faith] [Energy]


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18. (1:05) Story: Ajahn Mahā Boowa bows to a newly-discovered photograph of Ajahn Mun. [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Devotional practice] [Bowing]


Thai Forest Tradition, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo – Jun. 14, 2014 [Thai Forest Tradition]

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1. (13:34) Reading: "Visions of a Sāmaṇa" from Samaṇa by Ajahn Mahā Boowa, p. 11. Read by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] // [Monastic life/Motivation] [Ajahn Mun]


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2. (4:19) “So both Ajahn Mahā Boowa and Ajahn Chah were students of Ajahn Mun? Did they have similar experiences?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] // [Thai sects] [History/Thai Buddhism]


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3. (2:14) “Are there modern monasteries associated with Ajahn Sao, Ajahn Mun, and Ajahn Mahā Boowa?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Sao] [Ajahn Mun] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Monasteries] // [History/Thai Buddhism] [Ajahn Chah]


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4. (3:13) “Does the current interest in meditation in Thailand extend to the villages around forest monasteries as well as urban areas?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Culture/Thailand] [Meditation] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Wat Pah Pong] [Wat Pah Nanachat] [Lunar observance days] [Festival days]


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5. (0:25) “So the whole country [Thailand] meditates?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Culture/Thailand] [Meditation]


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6. (4:28) Ajahn Pasanno describes Upasika Kee Nanayon's life and teachings. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Women in Buddhism] // [Ajahn Wanchai] [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Community] [Virtue] [Simplicity]

Quote: “An inward-staying unentangled knowing, all outward-going knowing cast aside.” — Upasikā Kee Nanayon [Knowing itself]


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7. (11:11) Reading: "Discernment versus self-deception" from An Unentangled Knowing by Upasikā Kee Nanayon, p. 102. Read by Ajahn Pasanno. [Discernment] [Delusion]


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8. (0:44) Quote: “There's only two things you have to do in practice: know and let go.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Mindfulness] [Knowing itself] [Relinquishment]


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9. (4:28) “Regarding thought fabrications, in daily life we have to focus on our work. How can we intergrate the principles of anatta and dukkha into daily life?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Volitional formations] [Everyday life] [Work] [Not-self] [Suffering] // [Right Livelihood] [Restlessness and worry] [Energy] [Impermanence] [Self-identity view] [Relinquishment]


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10. (0:29) “In the reading, Upasikā Kee Nanayon says the mind takes the fabrications itself as the object. Is that similar to Ajahn Sumedho's 'It's like this?'” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Volitional formations] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Knowing itself]


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11. (1:32) “As the mind takes fabrications as its object, does the mind expand?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Volitional formations] [Heart/mind] [Mindfulness of mind] // [Relinquishment]


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12. (2:24) Comments by Ajahn Pasanno about being aware of awareness itself. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Knowing itself] // [Tranquility] [Becoming] [Cessation] [Fear] [Relinquishment]


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13. (1:19) Comment: I'm reminded of the encouragement to come back to the body as a basis. [Mindfulness of body]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Mun] [Knowing itself]


Thai Forest Tradition, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 14, 2014 [Thai Forest Tradition]

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1. (7:18) Biography and role of Ajahn Liem. [Ajahn Liem] // [Wat Pah Pong] [Ajahn Chah] [Abbot] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Leadership]

Quote: “He's in the middle of all of this duty and projection. Whatever comes his way, he doesn't pick up any of it. It's quite delightful to be around him.” [Proliferation]


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2. (13:36) Reading: Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion by Ajahn Liem, p. 17. Read by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Ajahn Liem]


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3. (1:19) Being able to recognize the difference between the mind itself and the moods or objects of the mind. [Knowing itself] [Mindfulness of dhammas] [Mindfulness of mind] // [Heart/mind]


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4. (1:20) “When Ajahn Liem says, 'Practice is just for practice,' what arises for me is that any time I put a meaning on practice, there has to be an ego state that arises around that meaning....It's like letting go even o fthe idea of practicing in order to become enlightened.” [Ajahn Liem] [Practicing in accordance with Dhamma] [Self-identity view] [Becoming] [Liberation] [Relinquishment]

Quote: “Practicing for Nibbāna is just another kind of desire.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Nibbāna] [Desire]


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5. (3:06) “In an earlier reading, Ajahn Mun mentioned the primal mind. Is that what you're discussing here?” [Ajahn Mun] [Nature of mind] // [Knowing itself] [Ajahn Chah]

Reading: Questions and answers regarding the primal mind from Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 478.


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6. (2:21) Comment: I appreciate Ajahn Liem saying, 'I didn't make much of it.' It's a contradiction between being very active and not being active at the same time. [Ajahn Liem] [Middle Path]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Relinquishment] [Meditation] [Concentration] [Proliferation] [Nature of mind] [Faith]


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7. (1:08) “Was Ajahn Liem's focus mindfulness of breathing but he was also aware of the moods of the mind passing through and sometimes getting kicked around by the hindrances?” [Ajahn Liem] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Mindfulness of mind] [Hindrances] // [Teaching Dhamma] [Patience]


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8. (5:47) Story: Ajahn Toon tries to disrobe repeatedly, but Ajahn Chah won't let him. [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Toon] [Disrobing] // [Patience] [Three Refuges] [Ajahn Tongrat] [Posture/Walking] [Gratitude] [Respect]


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9. (8:25) Reading: Excerpt from "The Training the Heart," Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah, p. 509. // [Ajahn Sumedho] [Translation]


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10. (5:18) “You mentioned how Ajahn Chah cultivated the brahmavihara of metta and Ajahn Liem cultivated the brahmavihara of equilibrium. Could you talk about this?” [Ajahn Chah] [Goodwill] [Divine Abidings] [Ajahn Liem] // [Personality] [Judaism]

Quote: “Lots of lovingkindness is really tiring. I'm putting more attention on equanimity.” — Ajahn Liem [Equanimity]


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11. (3:45) “How is there clinging to personality?” [Clinging] [Personality] [Self-identity view] // [Suffering] [Great disciples]

Sutta: The Buddha to Ānanda: "When did Anuruddha ever take an interest in Saṅgha issues?" – AN 4.243: Schism [Saṅgha decision making]


Mindfulness of Breathing, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Oct. 26, 2014 [Mindfulness of breathing]

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1. (1:56) Comment: I notice a connection between a person who is preparing for transition and going though agonal breathing. It's one breath per minute or two, and it's relaxed. [Death]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Release] [Clinging] [Relinquishment]

Quote: “You have to keep letting go until there is no remainder.” — Ajahn Chah. Quoted by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Liberation]


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2. (4:04) “I've had the experience on retreat of getting to slow, shallow breathing and panicked because I couldn't find the breath. Could you say more about just going to the knowing?” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Tranquility] [Fear] [Knowing itself] // [Mindfulness of body] [Investigation of states] [Nimitta] [Faith]


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3. (2:51) “I have a hard time breathing normally due to congestion and athsma. How does one get past the initial fear, 'I just can't breath. How am I going to do this?'” [Health] [Fear] // [Mindfulness of body] [Body scanning] [Tranquility]


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4. (5:27) “At what point in your meditation do you shift to knower or witness?” [Meditation/Techniques] [Knowing itself] // [Investigation of states] [Happiness] [Tranquility] [Calming meditation] [Insight meditation] [Doubt] [Desire]


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5. (4:38) “At times during my meditation, my body acts funny, leaning to one side or the other or spinning. What causes this? Is it a good or bad sign?” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] // [Kamma] [Teachers] [Mindfulness of body] [Rapture]


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6. (4:16) “When I practice mindfulness of breathing, thought arises. Do I want to eliminate thinking?” [Right Concentration] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Proliferation] // [Nature of mind] [Self-identity view] [Discernment] [Mindfulness of mind] [Investigation of states] [Relinquishment]


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7. (1:55) Comment: My mind will fill with chatter, stuff I'm not interested in. What I've come to do is just say, 'This is a chaotic mind.' [Proliferation] [Mindfulness of mind]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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8. (2:26) “How do you keep the self from coming up if this is an interesting thought to follow?” [Self-identity view] [Directed thought and evaluation] // [Conditionality] [Aggregates] [Knowing itself]


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9. (1:39) “Sometimes there will be sponaneous verbal recollection of Dhamma. Is this skillful?” [Recollection/Dhamma] // [Relinquishment] [Proliferation]


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10. (2:36) “I get stuck with subtle unpleasant moods. Any advice?” [Clinging] [Feeling] // [Mindfulness of body] [Goodwill] [Continuity of mindfulness]


Mindfulness of Breathing, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Oct. 26, 2014 [Mindfulness of breathing]

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1. (1:51) “Could you translate sati as recognizing?” [Mindfulness] [Translation] [Pāli]


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2. (0:54) Comment: Dispassion, fading away—these things are happening anyway, and we're learning to see them. [Dispassion] [Learning]


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3. (1:36) Comment: I tend to make things harder for myself. I come up with some big projections. [Proliferation]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Chah] [Teaching Dhamma] [Simplicity] [Buddha]


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4. (1:04) “[Question unclear] Is modulating a good way to describe working with the breath?”


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5. (0:49) Comment: My mind goes away, and I'm lost in a story. But if I sit and don't move, eventually when I come back I realize the body is really settled and I can tune in to that. [Proliferation] [Tranquility]


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6. (0:54) “Modulating the breath seems more sublte than controlling it. Does this relate to where you put your attention as it grows?” // [Kamma] [Directed thought and evaluation]


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7. (1:31) “How often do you employ mindfulness of breathing in daily life? How much volition are you still using?” [Everyday life] [Ajahn Pasanno] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Volition] // [Mindfulness of body]


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8. (3:38) “How can we balance happiness and ease with the desire to accomplish something using meditation techniques?” [Meditation/General advice] [Happiness] [Desire] [Middle Path] // [Recollection/Dhamma] [Hearing the true Dhamma]


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9. (3:04) “Sometimes I've been sitting a long time and am too tired to keep sitting, walk, or stand. Any suggestions?” [Postures] [Devotion to wakefulness] [Sloth and torpor] // [Ajahn Pasanno] [Pain] [Posture/Standing]


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10. (3:32) “When you contemplate, 'Who is thinking? Who is breathing?' how does thid differ from thinking? Why doesn't it generate more thought?” [Hua tou] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Proliferation] // [Insight meditation] [Tranquility] [Restlessness and worry]

Quote: “The mind can still think and be peaceful. What a concept!”


Questions and Answers with Dharma Realm Buddhist UniversityAjahn Pasanno – Nov. 18, 2014

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1. (3:47) “What is Abhayagiri's daily schedule?” [Abhayagiri] // [Chanting] [Meditation] [Work] [Almsround]


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2. (6:18) “Ajahn Lee's biography contrasts the lives of city and forest monks. Is the lifesytle here (Abhayagiri) similar to the dhutaṅga monks?” [Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo] [Forest versus city monks] [Abhayagiri] [Ascetic practices] // [Vinaya] [Saṅgha] [Culture/Thailand] [Learning] [Merit] [Nibbāna]


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3. (3:27) “What are the connotations of "dhutaṅga monk?" Is it a slur?” [Forest versus city monks] [Ascetic practices] // [Tudong] [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Pasanno]


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4. (2:54) Story: Ajahn Ñāṇiko's tudong up the California coast. [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Tudong] [Abhayagiri]

Reference: "Circles of Blessing: Our Redwood Tudong"


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5. (1:13) “Did they (Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Tan Pamutto) have backpacking gear?” [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Tudong] [Abhayagiri] [Shelter]


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6. (1:30) Story: The two-month tudong to Pacific Hermitage [Tudong] [Abhayagiri] [Pacific Hermitage] // [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Almsround]


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7. (0:50) “So it's pretty rare to get food every day when you're on a walk?” [Tudong] [Almsround] // [Impermanence]


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8. (2:06) “Do you have to educate the local people about almsround when you go on tudong?” [Tudong] [Almsround] // [Robes] [Culture/West] [Not handling money]


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9. (2:08) “How does tudong help you on the spiritual path?” [Tudong] // [Simplicity] [Craving] [Teaching Dhamma] [Faith]


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10. (4:17) “Is there a requirement for monks in the Forest Tradition to walk tudong?” [Thai Forest Tradition] [Tudong] // [Ascetic practices] [Ajahn Chah] [Restlessness and worry]

Story: Ajahn Chah tells a monk to pack his gear and walk tudong within Wat Pah Pong.

Story: Ajahn Chah lets a restless three-Vassa Western monk go tudong. [Teaching Dhamma]


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11. (1:55) “Can bhikkhshunis walk tudong?” [Bhikkhunī] [Tudong] // [Vinaya] [Sīladharā] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] [Christianity]


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12. (2:37) “What is the ordination process of someone who wants to become a monk?” [Sequence of training] [Ordination] // [Abhayagiri] [Saṅgha] [Saṅgha decision making]


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13. (3:20) “Is the decision to ordain a novice by democratic vote?” [Sequence of training] [Abhayagiri] [Saṅgha] [Saṅgha decision making] // [Vinaya] [History/Early Buddhism]


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14. (1:11) “What happens after five years?” [Sequence of training] [Abhayagiri]


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15. (2:05) “How often does the community reject someone who wants to go forth?” [Sequence of training] [Abhayagiri] [Saṅgha] [Saṅgha decision making] // [Vinaya]


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16. (6:40) “May I ask for your secret? [Why is Abhayagiri monastic training so often successful?]” [Sequence of training] [Abhayagiri] [Monastic life] // [Theravāda] [Simplicity] [Vinaya] [Culture/Thailand] [Ajahn Chah] [Middle Path] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [History/Western Buddhist monasticism] [Right Effort] [Compassion]


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17. (2:23) “Do American monks have a culture shock when they visit Thailand?” [Monastic life] [Culture/West] [Culture/Thailand] // [Wat Pah Nanachat]


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18. (8:51) “How do we take refuge in awareness (Buddho) in daily life?” [Buddha] [Recollection/Buddha] [Knowing itself] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Everyday life] // [Precepts] [Mindfulness] [Discernment] [Recollection] [Clear comprehension] [Right Effort] [Seclusion] [Nature of mind] [Proliferation] [Culture/Thailand]

Sutta: MN 10: Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

Note: In the answer to this question, Ajahn Pasanno equates awareness with mindfulness.

Quote: “The literal meaning of Buddho is 'the one who knows,' but it's also being the one who knows, where you have the opportunity for us to be that knowing.”


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19. (0:39) “So being the one who knows, you don't have to react to dislike and like?” [Recollection/Buddha] [Knowing itself] [Aversion] [Greed]

Quote: “The difference between an awakened mind and an unawakened mind is that the unawakened mind keeps following likes and dislikes. An awakened mind can see that arise, establish itself, and pass away. The mind is the same.” [Nature of mind] [Stages of awakening] [Impermanence] [Cessation]


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20. (1:02) “So why can awareness be the place where we take refuge?” [Knowing itself] [Mindfulness] // [Proliferation] [Three Refuges]


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21. (2:19) “How do you not objectify this awareness?” [Knowing itself] [Mindfulness] [Proliferation] // [Four Noble Truths] [Suffering] [Relinquishment] [Investigation of states]

Quote: “If you objectify awareness, you're going to suffer.” [Nature of mind]

Quote: “These Four Noble Truths are not an endpoint, they are something that you're internalizing and using in your meditation practice and in your daily life.” [Meditation] [Everyday life]


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22. (2:47) The values of the Thai Forest Tradition. [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Knowing itself] [Mindfulness] [Recollection/Buddha] [Four Noble Truths] [Ajahn Chah] [Ajahn Tate] [Ajahn Mun] [Heart/mind] [Three Refuges]

Quote: “Pay attention to the difference between the mind and the objects of mind.” — Ajahn Mun [Nature of mind] [Moods of the mind] [Discernment]


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23. (1:01) “Is the peaceful mind your home?” [Nature of mind] [Tranquility] // [Proliferation] [Suffering]


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24. (5:41) “Ajahn Mun's biography describes a constant fierce vigilance, watching the mind. But meeting you guys, you're so peaceful and calm. How does this work in terms of practice?” [Ajahn Mun] [Continuity of mindfulness] [Right Effort] [Tranquility] // [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Culture/Thailand] [Dhamma books] [Teaching Dhamma]

Quote: “Any great teacher is not monochromatic.” [Buddha] [Arahant]

Sutta: AN 4.243: "But Ānanda, when has Anuruddha ever concerned himself with disciplinary issues in the midst of the Saṅgha?" [Great disciples] [Personality]


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25. (5:18) “So what about the Bodhisattva practice?” [Bodhisattva] // [Theravāda] [Mahāyāna] [Thai Forest Tradition] [Generosity] [Ajahn Chah] [Upatakh] [Teaching Dhamma]

Sutta: AN 4.17-20: Practice that benefits self, others, both or neither.

Quote: "What are the mind states of an enlightened being?" "Only compassion." — Ajahn Mahā Boowa [Arahant] [Compassion] [Ajahn Mahā Boowa] [Wat Pah Nanachat]


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26. (2:28) “What are the practicalities of metta practice? How does it relate to compassion?” [Goodwill] [Compassion] // [Theravāda] [Divine Abidings] [Etymology]


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27. (3:26) “Ajahn Amaro writes about transforming the energy of sense contact into compassion and metta. How does this work?” [Ajahn Amaro] [Contact] [Compassion] [Goodwill] // [Aversion] [Relinquishment] [Four Noble Truths] [Happiness]


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28. (0:59) “What are the natural inclinations that can lead to well-being and peace?” [Nature of mind] [Happiness] [Tranquility] // [Aversion] [Right Effort] [Compassion]


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29. (3:51) “The Buddha teaches to end suffering, but from the ordinary person's view, cultivating the practices of forest monks is also suffering. Who is right?” [Buddha] [Suffering] [Ascetic practices] // [Four Noble Truths] [Faith] [Investigation of states] [Happiness] [Feeling]

Quote: “The teaching of the Buddha isn't about language....The teaching of the Buddha is the language of experience.” — Ajahn Chah [Ajahn Chah] [Language] [Dhamma] [Direct experience]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 22, 2014

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1. (4:58) “In what cases, if any, is it useful to try to assess whether stream entry has occurred? Or is this question best left aside?” [Stream entry]


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2. (3:04) “How should I repay your kindness, the immense kindness of the Buddha?” [Gratitude] [Buddha]


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3. (8:55) “Is walking meditation as “good” as sitting meditation. Can one achieve the level of undistractedness that one needs to be able to investigate the human experience? Or is it part of the bigger picture of mindfulness / or seven full days to experience stream entry?” [Posture/Walking] [Posture/Sitting] [Insight meditation] [Stream entry]


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4. (5:28) “Thank you for your talk on mindfulness today—very helpful. I've been practicing for a long time (and have even had a few insights that made big impressions on me) and while my sila has definitely improved, my mindfulness is a priority and I might have a tad more wisdom, my mind looks for ways to suffer. Sometimes I feel like a total failure as a Buddhist. I understand that letting go of identity view is the answer, but how? What am I missing?” [Long-term practice] [Suffering] [Self-identity view]


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5. (6:42) “In your ānāpānasati talks, you talk about sikkhita, defined as…to train, and to learn from. I'm not sure how active to be because when I train, I have a goal in mind, but when I learn from…I'm more relaxed and open to what is revealed. Similar, today with mindfulness defined as…looking after something, I'm not sure how to point the compass without coming from self view. Thank you.” [Right Mindfulness] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Right Effort]


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6. (7:10) “It appears that walking is far more comfortable than sitting these days, but I have never found it to be that settling for my mind. Please offer some advice on how to get “the most” out of walking meditation.” [Posture/Walking]


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7. (3:10) “In the context of deep love—like between spouses or between parent and child—what is the application of the concept of non-attachment? What does it mean?” [Family] [Relinquishment] [Relationships]


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8. (4:27) “A scientist—popular, interesting—said as parting shot to his audience, “don't trust the senses,” i.e., we'd still think the world flat, and that the sun actually rises and sets, if we trusted the sensory world. Your thoughts on clear comprehension via “sense-doors?” The “just-rightness” of it all. I wonder if we still thought the world flat and the sun to rise whether we might care for it.” [Sense bases] [Science] [Clear comprehension]


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9. (6:24) “How does one work with the vedanā and neutral sensations?” [Mindfulness of feeling] [Feeling] [Neutral feeling]


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10. (4:36) “If unwholesome thoughts arise and it creates fear and a repeating pattern, what is the best method for breaking the patterns? For instance, mettā meditation replacing the fear or attention with something else? Thank for the inspiration.” [Fear] [Goodwill] [Unskillful qualities] [Volitional formations]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 23, 2014

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1. (2:17) “On “The Discourse on Setting in Motion the Wheel of The Dhamma,” toward the end it says, “my knowledge and vision of reality of regarding the Four Noble Truths, in their three phases and twelve aspects.” What are the “three phases and twelve aspects?” Thanks for your teachings.” [Four Noble Truths] [Knowledge and vision]


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2. (4:42) “In the chant on “The Buddha's Words on Loving Kindness,” what does the line that says “unburdened with duties” mean? Does it mean that we are to not have duties, or that we do not feel burdened by them, or does it mean something else? Thank you!” [Work] [Chanting]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 37


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3. (6:04) “This has happened a few times only but I'm puzzled, please help. When my mind was very calm, a sudden sort of energetic feeling is all over the body and my spine feels very cold. And then suddenly I have a flash of memory from childhood of drowning in the tank in our backyard. On a different occasion I saw the dead putrefied face of an old woman, horrific, mouth wide open. How do I deal with all this? I get a shock and concentration stops, sometimes sending shivers.” [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Concentration] [Rapture] [Recollection/Death]


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4. (1:43) “You spoke about “training the heart” over the last couple of days. Could you tell more what “heart” actually means from the point of practice? Thanks you.” [Mindfulness of mind] [Heart/mind]


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5. (3:40) “I didn't totally understand the difference between the mind and mental qualities in regards to the four foundations. Would you elaborate?” [Mindfulness of mind] [Mindfulness of dhammas]


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6. (4:03) “You mentioned that asubha practice can cool sensual desire. But what if what you are attracted to is not so much a physical thing but an attraction of the heart—of good qualities you see. What cools the heart if you are hooked?” [Unattractiveness] [Dispassion] [Clinging]


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7. (3:55) “How often and for how long do you recommend practicing meditation at home? Daily, twice a day, 45 minutes, 30 minutes? Thank you!!!” [Meditation/General advice]


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8. (4:06) “How do you know if sloth and torpor are present or if you're just plain tired? When is it better to rest the mind or the body than to meditate?” [Sloth and torpor]


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9. (1:34) “For all the monastics individually—when was the last time something made you really angry, and if you don't mind sharing, what was it? Just trying to feel the humanness within the robes. Thanks.” [Aversion] [Monastic life]


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10. (5:45) “Thank you for so many wonderful teachings. I am contemplating cessation and would like to hear more about the cessation of the body-death. I have been with a few beings as they have died, 1 human and a few pets. Is the manner of death important to having a “good” rebirth? Does being afraid or suffering a great deal affect the next life directly or is the experience of death just added to ones overall karma?” [Death] [Rebirth] [Cessation] [Fear] [Suffering] [Kamma] // [Stream entry]


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11. (0:35) “Is it possible to post a list of the focuses of the 16 steps? It would be a helpful resource for the remainder of the retreat.”


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12. (4:17) “Its been years since I needed to do so much laying down meditation. My back is not cooperating this retreat. Can you refresh my memory on tricks to not fall asleep? Eyes open feels as if I struggle to maintain it.” [Posture/Lying down] [Sloth and torpor]


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13. (5:34) “Regarding the anussatis, how does one recollect or contemplate the devas?” [Recollection/Devas]


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14. (6:22) “Regarding the 1st precept of non-killing / non-harming, what to do on a practical / decision level regarding something like termites? I sold my last house because I didn't want to fumigate, but I can't keep moving to avoid killing termites / ants that eat at a house. Thank you for your compassion and explanation.” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Killing] // [Abhayagiri]


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15. (4:18) “The problem of extremes. Yesterday, pīti. This morning, the horrors of the bait and craving for annihilation in all their ugliness. Then, pīti again. The only thing I've figured is to back off from meditation when things get too extreme. Any other suggestions?” [Meditation/General advice] [Rapture] [Craving not to become]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 24, 2014

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1. (4:58) “During my meditation, I can occasionally calm the mind to the point where it seems devoid of thought. It is temporary, like a door opening. How should I use this opportunity? Concentrate on the breath? Wait for thoughts to arise and watch them? Explore / investigate a topic that is causing my suffering? Other? With gratitude.” [Tranquility] [Meditation/General advice] [Concentration]


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2. (1:08) “With all of many excellent frames of reference the Buddha has given us to understand our experience, it can be confusing to know which to use when! Do you recommend training systematically or letting ones intuition be as their guide? Thank you.” [Right Mindfulness] [Intuition]


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3. (5:46) “Can you please speak a little more about the process of bringing in a wholesome, brightening reflection into meditation? This morning you spoke about using directed thought / evaluation to explore the primary object (breath) then bringing in the “brightening” object. In this way, the attention shifts back and forth from breath to “brightening” object? Should one use this reflection often? Always? Please speak about this process. Thank you.” [Directed thought and evaluation] [Gladdening the mind] [Mindfulness of breathing] [Recollection]


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4. (3:04) “I've enjoyed practicing with connecting the breath to whatever is conditioning the mind. Twice however, when evaluating, I've come across something new: a plain, white, fizzy, barrier. It's not un-friendly and I can feel a faint tug from whatever is behind it but that's as far as I get. Have my saṅkhāra’s developed a new stealth technology? Are they allowed to do that? Any advice on how to proceed (or secret passwords)? Gratefully appreciated.” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Volitional formations]


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5. (2:58) “As I understand it, it is rare and fortunate to have a human birth because of the amount of suffering in the human realm that may lead one to practice to end suffering. On the other hand, devas have less suffering. Therefore they would be less motivated to practice to end suffering, correct? If so, would it not be better for one to wish oneself and others to be reborn in the human realm if one aspires full liberation?” [Human] [Deva] [Rebirth] [Liberation] [Suffering]


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6. (2:27) “When you described pīti yesterday, it was different than how I think of it. Sometimes, I get a feeling of a great, expansive happiness like the realization that this practice actually works. It's exciting and empowering but I'm not jumping up and down. It's a combination of the mind settling and opening. Is that a cousin of pīti? Does pīti only happen in meditation?” [Rapture]


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7. (1:51) “Thank you for these wonderful teachings. I understand that “citta” is both the heart and mind but my felt experience is often so different. My mind is often crabby and critical and down right mean, at least to me, but my heart is soft and sweet and easily moved. In fact, my mind can make my heart cry! Please help with this dilemma. Much mettā.” [Nature of mind] [Heart/mind] [Judgementalism]


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8. (9:14) “I know parting with loved ones is a natural course of life, but deep sadness and grief arises when I reflect on that. Could you instruct on how to work with this grief? Is there a level of understanding when there is no grief? Thank you!” [Grief]


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9. (7:32) “1. What is meant by “releasing” the mind? Releasing it from any hindrance? Can you place illustrate with examples? 2. How is “calming mental fabrication” different from “releasing the mind?” Any examples to illustrate? 3. When mental fabrication causes a bodily or verbal fabrication such as in anxiety or sensual desire, it it too late to breathe and calm fabrications?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Tranquility] [Volitional formations] [Release]


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10. (4:09) “How do you use mindfulness of breathing when are doing a recollection? Do you first use mindfulness of breathing to settle the mind / body and then turn your attention to the recollection? Is the awareness of breathing in the background?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Recollection]


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11. (1:56) “Should I focus on one object of mindfulness at a time or can I be mindful of all 4 at one time? Thank you!” [Right Mindfulness]


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12. (5:43) “You mentioned “inner confidence…” can you describe it in more detail and the ways to cultivate it? Respectfully.” [Jhāna] [Faith] [Self-reliance]


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13. (5:16) “Dear Aj. Karuṇadhammo, could you say a bit more about how you find a belief in rebirth to be motivational? And that it “just makes sense?” Do you think, perhaps, about the person who will inherit your rebirth and how it would be good to load them up with good kamma? Thanks!” Answered by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Rebirth] [Kamma] [Faith]


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14. (6:50) “Could you please speak a bit about karma and volition? For instance, if an unwholesome thought such as anger, or fear arises or wants to arise of its own accord in the mind, does one get unwholesome karma? Or is the bad karma produced only through the grasping or rejection of it? Or is bad karma produced only if action is taken? Or are different kinds of karma produced for thought vs. action?” [Kamma] [Volition]


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15. (6:13) “Please talk about 1) whole-body breathing 2) choice-less awareness. Thank you Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo for wonderfully helpful talks.” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Relinquishment]


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16. (1:47) “Is contemplating the heart center a form of the second foundation of mindfulness?” [Mindfulness of feeling]


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17. (3:11) “How does one work with ones own judgments that come up so often during the meditation practice? (They are mostly judgments of myself, for not getting there…)” [Judgementalism] [Guilt/shame/inadequacy]


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18. (1:10) “I have enjoyed the mindfulness instruction and Dhamma talks very much. When talking about the main subject in English, could you also please use the equivalent word in Pali? For words such as “the Four Noble Truths,” “hindrances,” and “the Four Foundations of Mindfulness,” etc.”


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 4Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 25, 2014

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1. (2:00) “How refined should the practice of being sensitive to the entire body be? Say, should I be able to sense my earlobe or liver? I find it hard to sense the body when it gets calm. Is it normal or is it a lack of discernment?” [Mindfulness of body] [Mindfulness of breathing]


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2. (0:28) “It's my first time listen to Ajahn Ñāniko. What have you done to him Luang Por?” [Ajahn Ñāṇiko]


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3. (2:51) “Would you say more about the meaning of merit? Are there other words or definitions in English? Thanks again for your teachings.” [Merit]


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4. (5:06) “I find the mind especially distractable during meal times. Partly this reflects longstanding habits of talking, reading, listening to news, etc, while eating. In the retreat context, it's also due to the heightened “social” aspect of meal time (even though in silence). Can you give some suggestions for staying more present and mindful while eating? A deep bow of gratitude for your wonderful teachings…” [Food] [Habits] [Meditation retreats] [Present moment awareness]


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5. (4:35) “A Buddhist teacher explains as I understand it, that the first three factors of enlightenment are causes and the last four are the effects. And that a meditation practitioner therefore works on the first three (with right view) and the last four will follow in time. Please comment. Thank you.” [Factors of Awakening] [Right View]


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6. (4:48) “What is a stream enterer? Can a stream enterer go back? Are there lay people who attain stream entry and remain in lay life?” [Stream entry] [Lay life] // [Stages of awakening] [Great disciples]

Written question in Thai: ขอโอกาสกร้าบพระเดชพระคุณหลวงพ่อ ถาม คําถาม Q: Stream enterer คืออะไร? การมุ่สู่โสดาปัตติผล? หรือการมุ่งสู่นิพพาน? Q: นอกจาก นางวิสาขา มหาอุบาสิตแล้ว มีฆราวาส/lay person คนใดบ้างที่เป็นเพียงคนธรรมดาไม่ได้ออกบวช แต่สามารถบรรลุโสดาปัตติผลได้? Q: ผู้ฏิบัติที่ยังมีสามี/ภรรยา สามารถจะมีวาสนาสั่งสมบุญบารมีเพือให้บรรลุสุ่โสดาปัตติผลได้ไหม? โดยที่ไม่ต้องเลิกร้าง/แยกเตียงกับคู่ครอง ขอแนวทางคิคด้วย [Question in Thai]

Reference: The Island by Ajahn Pasanno


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7. (2:25) “Regarding yesterdays teaching that rebirth is happening every moment, could you give instructions on how to discern the preceding step, becoming (bhavanga)? Would you consider transition from sleep into an awakened state being as “rebirth” and whether there is becoming manifesting upon waking up?” [Rebirth] [Becoming]


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8. (3:53) “Do the monks at Wat Pah Pong chant “Chinnabunchon?” Would you show how to chant it?” [Wat Pah Pong] [Chanting]


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9. (4:31) “I have an autoimmune disorder of undiagnosed origin. I was wondering if it was worth this precious time of practice to send mettā and thoughts of healing to the body. If so, how do you recommend approaching it? Also, is this compatible with seeing this ailment as a heavenly messenger (and as a contemplation of the body's demise)? As symptom management reduces it to a mild physical irritation should I also contemplate unpleasant feelings? Or is it best to just stay grounded in the breath and mettā and not risk proliferation. Much gratitude.” [Sickness] [Mindfulness of feeling] [Recollection/Death] [Proliferation] [Goodwill]


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10. (0:50) Comment: Thank you so much Luang Por for reminding us that chanting is also listening, paying attention, and being mindful. I noticed that when we were chanting at a fast pace, several people wouldn't be able to follow. Many of us are not familiar with Pali or Pali translated into English (combined with low light and small print). Some of us might just need a little more time. So thank you. [Chanting] [Gratitude]


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11. (5:05) “Is it a good remedy to sit with eyes open when afflicted with sloth and torpor? Standing? Any other ideas?” [Sloth and torpor] [Posture/Standing]


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12. (2:34) “What is the English translation of the meal time blessing? Thank you.” [Gratitude] [Chanting]


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13. (6:16) “The last two 3:30pm sittings have been challenging. Restless body and proliferating mind. I guess it's my time of day for anxiety. I use several techniques—mettā, 32 body parts, watch my long breaths—and by the time the bell rings, my internal landscape has changed. Thank you all for your teachings. Now, my question. I am still very attached to my husband and children. I don't want to relinquish the intimacy I share with my husband. I will suffer when they are gone. How do I reconcile this practice of relinquishment with the reality that I am a wife, mother and householder? With love.” [Gratitude] [Family] [Lay life] [Relinquishment]


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14. (2:31) “My relationship with my kids can be so contentious and draining—so different than I thought it would be. How can I love and train them even though it seems they were born to resist these things?” [Family] [Conflict]


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15. (9:34) “Although in reasonable condition, I am realizing that fear / anxiety of death / non-becoming is pervasive in the background of my daily life. Does the Buddha speak to that which continues after the body dies? Other than the five recollections and contemplating impermanence, does he offer guidance on how to best prepare to greet ones own death? Thank you so much.” [Recollection/Death] [Rebirth] [Impermanence] [Fear]


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16. (4:03) “Can you please talk a bit about samatha meditation and its uses for calming a very agitated or restless mind and how one might go about finding a “disk of earth” or an object of suitable color? Do they sell these somewhere? Amazon? Thank you for your explanation.” [Calming meditation] [Kasiṇa]


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17. (4:15) “I am wondering if Buddha spoke about what part of us reincarnates. Is it possible to remember our past lives? Thank you.” [Rebirth] [Psychic powers]


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18. (1:52) “The other day when I was meditating, my heart started beating very fast. Then I got really cold and my body started shivering. I started breathing very deep to calm the body down but still couldn't control the shaking. At times like this, is it better to stop and take care of the body or keep meditating through it? Thank you.” [Meditation/Unusual experiences]


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19. (0:40) “Can you provide a reference as to where this printed version of the 16 stages of ānāpānasati comes from? Author, publication?”


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20. (2:09) “The delusional gravity of the mind has grown stronger as I have aged. I can space out now like never before! Do you have suggestions for cutting through this spacey delusion?” [Delusion] [Ageing]


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

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1. (8:35) “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. (2:02) “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. (13:23) “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. (1:36) “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. (8:09) “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. (5:33) “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. (0:30) “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. (3:49) “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. (3:03) “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. (5:15) “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. (2:53) “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. (0:42) “Are the teachings being recorded? What happened to the usual football game? Do you know?”


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13. (1:02) “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. (1:08) “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. (6:02) “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. (7:43) “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. (2:44) “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. (5:42) “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. (4:40) “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 suttacentral.net) use less technical terms.


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

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1. (2:57) “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. (4:53) “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. (0:23) “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. (3:15) “How and when did Buddhism come to Thailand?” [History/Thai Buddhism]


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5. (4:44) “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. (2:39) “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. (0:53) 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. (4:51) “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. (3:31) “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. (5:59) “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. (0:38) “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. (7:56) “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. (3:35) “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. (2:01) “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. (2:02) “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. (1:51) “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. (1:40) “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]