Craving is at the root of our sufferings. But overcoming craving is easier said than done. Ajahn Brahm offers sage advice on how to find happiness wanting for nothing.
Relationships are never going to be perfect, however, Bhikkhuni Hasapanna discusses how we can relate to people around us with trust, kindness, compassion and forgiveness which will foster good relationships, and in turn, lessen our suffering.
More importantly though we can relate to our own emotions by being mindful and meditation is the key to mindfulness.
Also, listen to some refreshing jokes.
According to Ajahn Brahm, everyone deserves a 'retreat' - to pause mentally and physically. Retreating from the busyness of life leads to moments of silence, peace and contentment. This in turns helps to instill qualities that make one’s life more meaningful and fulfilled.
To quote from Ajahn’s book, Opening The Door of Your Heart,
“Grant yourself a moment of peace
and you will understand
how foolishly you have scurried about."
So plan for yourself a retreat today.
We often strive to live up to our own expectations and those imposed on us by our associates and society at large. This pursuit of the unachievable causes enormous stress and a sense of failure followed by low self-esteem.
We can raise our self-esteem by recognizing and rejecting the increasing and unrealistic nature of these expectations, and replacing them with an acceptance of the fact that we are not perfect. If we can accept ourselves then others will accept and welcome us.
When we are at ease with ourselves and have good self-esteem, chances are that we can take it further and develop ‘no-self esteem’. This is when we do not define ourselves, but are who we are at the present moment. We are not ‘locked’ in our past and we are not anxious about the future, but are free to enjoy what life has to offer. This is ‘no-self esteem’.
We may be good talkers but not necessarily willing listeners. Alternatively, we may be good listeners but not necessarily good hearers as we are preoccupied with our own inner chatter. On occasions, when we do hear, we have the tendency to filter what we hear.
In contrast, ‘total listening’, refers to listening with mindfulness, attentiveness, compassion, kindness and all in silence. ‘Total listening’ is also about listening to our body, our mind and most of all, listening to life.
According to Ajahn Brahm, to love is to listen deeply. He encourages us to respect the power of silence and to develop the art of total listening.
Often we assume that if we are NOT 'in control', things will go wrong. So we attempt to control our mind, our body and the people we associate with.
The Buddha said, "Craving leads to suffering and letting go leads to peace.” Craving to control and to instil fear in people does not always produce the outcomes that were originally intended.
Ajahn Brahm encourages us to open the door of our heart; to place freedom, trust, respect, kindness and compassion in others and ourselves. Often this will yield outcomes opposite to what we imagine as 'out of control'.
When the sky is dull and grey, when the day is cold and miserable, when feelings of hopelessness prevail or when revenge and ill will take hold, performing a spontaneous act of kindness will put a different spin on your world.
The impact of such acts can be profound and far-reaching. It may restore one's faith in humanity and make the world warm and bright in the cold, overcast days of winter.
Ajahn Brahmali talks about how purity of mind, purity of heart and a strong sense of morality is the basis for developing the practice of mindfulness.
Often we argue because our personal viewpoints are challenged and we want to be 'right' and we want others to see the 'truth'. Arguments, however, do not always lead to truth and often there is no absolute truth. It is also acceptable to be wrong from time to time.
According to Ajahn Brahm, we should not argue for the sake of truth, instead we should FEEL truth. Feelings such as contentment, peace, freedom, stillness and joy transcend time, culture and arguments themselves.
Ajahn Brahm discusses what to do when everything goes wrong and falls to pieces in your life.
Want to improve the emotional and physical qualities of your life? According to Ajahn Brahm, you will need to practise mindfulness along with compassion and kindness. Listen on to find out more…
We all have a bit of a fascination with evil - dictators, murderers, con men, etc - and most great stories are interesting because they deal with the topic of evil. But what really is evil? Bhante Sujato investigates what evil really is from a Buddhist perspective.
Ajahn Brahm explains how he maintains his energy in his very busy life. It is fuelled by the inspiration that arises when serving others. While it seems counter intuitive, going the extra mile when tired and low, releases energy and happiness.
"Once there was a frugal farmer who tried to feed his cows with mouldy hay and the cows wouldn't eat it. The farmer then mixed up the mouldy hay with fresh hay hoping to trick the cows into eating the mouldy hay. The cows separated the hay and ate only the fresh hay. The farmer came up with an idea. He put the mouldy hay on the other side of the fence but it was within the reach of the cows if they pushed through the holes in the fence. That was exactly what happened. The cows reached out and ate all the mouldy hay....."
Like cows, we often have the notion that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. This gives rise to jealousy, envy and in turn, suffering.
According to Ajahn Brahm, we need to change our attitude towards life. Statistics show that the optimal happiness one can achieve in life is not measured by immense wealth, great beauty, high flying careers or social standing. According to Buddhist teaching, it is the middle way that counts. Embrace your 'average' circumstance and enjoy the experience.
Ajahn Brahm talks about 4 things that religion should not be and offers up a "best practice model". In his usual entertaining style he touches on many things including disability and organ donation...
Bhikkhuni Hasapanna from the Dhammasara Nuns monastery explains how compassion without wisdom is futile, but compassion with wisdom is instrumental to inner peace and happiness.
Fresh from teaching a nine day retreat, today on Friday the 13th, Ajahn Brahm talks on the topic of superstition. Many of the common ones are covered (such as astrology, lucky bracelets, holy water etc) in this humorous talk. Be very scared :)
Life is not meant to be an organised event where everything goes like clockwork, and we can expect to achieve 100% success.
The truth is we are unable to control our life. Life is messy. This is the nature of life. Do not aim for the unachievable.
We could have 70% of getting it right and we should accept, allow and embrace these 30% of imperfections. We can always learn and grow from these painful experiences.
Ajahn Brahm encourages us to open the door of our heart to the nature of life as it is. He said, "Do not disturb the nature of life and life would not disturb you."
This talk is about the Buddhist view on gay marriage. Ajahn elaborates how decisions on this topic can be made, by looking at the teachings dating back to the time of the Buddha.
Ajahn Brahm ends the talk with a light-hearted joke, "The rabbit, the bear and the magic duck". Not to be missed!
Ajahn Brahm explores the topic of deathbed regrets. Sprinkled with jokes and funny stories this is not the obligatory morbid type of talk about death by any means! Preparing for death is all about living a good life here and now. Make life meaningful as well as enjoyable...