Ajahn Brahm decides to indulge himself by talking about his favourite subject - meditation! Meditation is the Buddhist way of finding all the answers to all the spiritual and philosophical questions through direct personal experience - not via a priest, a holy scripture or any other mediated form. Meditation also helps us to deal with the stresses and problems in life by developing inner peace.
Having been asked about the role of helping and serving others, Ajahn Brahm talks about both the beauty and goodness of helping others, but also the dangers like over-committing and burning out. Ajahn Brahm talks about how to help and serve others using both compassion and wisdom.
Ajahn Brahm reflects upon our mundane reality and the quest to attain supremundane experience.
Ever wondered why terrible, difficult, troublesome things happen to us? Ever asked yourself, "Why me?" Why are some people rich and others poor? How come there is so much inequality and injustice in the world? And where is all this leading? Ajahn Brahm explains.
Ajahn Vayama uses the Buddhist teaching of the Iddhipadas (Roads to Success), especially the quality of aditthana (determination) which is a wholesome desire to overcome the unwholesome desires of sensual craving which lead to suffering.
We've all had problems with the boss from hell, the partner from hell, etceteras. Ajahn Brahm points out how all these difficult people have something to teach us, and a skillful way to go about dealing with these people is to calm the whole situation down using the same attitude that helps us calm our own mind.
Being empathetic is generally considered to be a positive in modern society, and within Buddhism. But Ajahn Brahm takes a different perspective on empathy, pointing out that often our empathy is directed to the negative feelings of others. There is a time and place for this, but we need to keep this in balance and also take some time to get some space away from the world to find calm and stability within.
Responding to the charge that Buddhism is "passive", Ajahn Vayama contends that the practice is very active, and very active at the point where we are not used to thinking of being active: namely, the mind. Through actively developing the mind, our speech and actions begin to change in accordance with the changes occurring within.
Ajahn Brahm focuses on how to develop the quality of mindfulness - a practice that has been central (e.g. it's a factor of Eightfold Path and Seven Factors of Enlightenment) to the teaching of Buddhism from the start. He goes on to talk about the varying degrees of attention and the ability to know what's going on in the mind and body.
Ajahn Vayama reflects upon the occasion upon which the Buddha gave his first teaching - the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta - The Discourse on Setting In Motion The Wheel Of Dhamma. Ajahn Vayama discusses the circumstances around this first teaching of the Buddha and the meaning of that teaching.
Ajahn Brahm reinterprets the Buddhist principle of “viriya” – often interpreted within Buddhist schools as being “energy” or “effort” – by point out that the root of the work “vira” means “hero”, and that we can interpret “viriya” (which is one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment”) as “heroism” or “courage”. It’s this attitude of courage that can help us to face and overcome many of life’s challenges.