We all have obstacles that come up during meditation again and again. Ajahn Brahm teaches us a useful trick to "pre-program our mind" by giving ourselves clear instructions on how to overcome obstacles before a meditation session.

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Often rites and rituals are performed without knowing their significance. Whether it is a marriage ceremony or the upcoming Vesak, Ajahn Brahm encourages us to dig deeper to know the meaning of ceremonies and to perform them with our heart.

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Confronted with the recent revelations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, Ajahn Brahm responds by sharing ways in which people who have been abused as children may be able to deal with this hurt and pain. For more information on the Royal Commission go here: http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/ This talk was given on 22nd May 2015.

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Who are you? Who do you take yourself to be? Are you there at all? Ajahn Brahm addresses one of the deepest question of all with insight and humour.

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Ajahn Brahm gives a humourous and wise talk on how understanding impermance can bring peace in life.

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Ajahn Brahm explains how the core teaching of Buddhism - the Four Noble Truths - are about finding progessively greater levels of happiness through the practice of the Eightfold Path.

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An often funny but most of all relaxing evening with Ajahn Brahm.  Ajahn asks us to remember why the British Empire lost many of it's colonies. They stopped having "tea breaks".  They stopped taking a break, stopped taking a moment to relax both the body and the mind.  When we become stressed we become less efficient at everything.  Driving, working and even doing our domestic chores.  Stop, take 5 minutes and meditate.

It is very difficult to relax the mind if the body isn't relaxed first.  So take the time to look deeply into your body, asking silently each part of your body if it is relaxed.  If it isn't then focus on it and move it if you need to.  Scratch that itch, rub that nose but most of all, relax.  Then move onto the mind and simply observe.  Don't get tangled up in your thoughts, just let them come and go.  Relax.  Guess what, you are meditating.

Ajahn reminded us that organisations such as Google and Face Book now have meditation areas set aside for their employees.  This allows them to take a break, relax.  This improves efficiency greatly.  So we should take the time to relax, meditate, even for just 5 minutes a day.  Learn our bodies, get physically comfortable, then relax the mind.

Ajahn then guided us through a 30 minute meditation that is well suited to beginners, novice or advanced meditators alike.

After the guided meditation, Ajahn opened to Q&A.

 

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Strange things happen during meditation, such as feeling like ants are crawling all over your body, or the sensation of moving back and forth. Ajahn Brahm explains that during meditation our perception becomes amplified and by not interacting with these strange experiences they'll eventually settle down.

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Don't be afraid of silence. Ajahn Brahm talks about the power of silence and explains that in Buddhism silence is sacred and very good for your health and mental well being.

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Ajahn Vayama talks about the contribution of love to our wellbeing and to dealing with pain in our meditation. Ajahn looks at what we mean by ‘love’, as well as why our capacity to give and receive love effects our health and wellbeing. Ajahn explains that in Buddhism we are trying to move away from a narrow exclusive love to having a universal love for all beings because all beings need love. We apologise for the quality of this audio, this Buddha Dhamma talk was given in 2000.

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Ajahn Brahm talks about the two type so of meditation - no, not samatha and vipassana - "making peace meditation" versus "making war meditation". If you make war in you meditation you will experience collateral damage. Ajahn talks about how to make peace with meditation and thereby find peace within ourselves.

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Ajahn tells us that change is inevitable in all things, in all matters.  Meditation helps us learn how to deal with the changes in our lives, our
circumstances and ourselves.  Such change is not always to our liking or such that we can prevent.   Change happens.  Deal with it.  Rather than
become angry, distressed or sad, we meditate and deal with it in a calm rational fashion.

We had no new meditators on this occasion so rather than a full guided 30 minute meditation, Ajahn and the fifty odd people in attendance simply focused on a breath meditation with occasional guidance from Ajahn.  The experienced meditators amongst the group were encouraged to do their own thing.

After meditation Ajahn opened to, and answered well, a number of questions very relevant to meditation.

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Ajahn Brahmali says "the deeper your meditation goes, the more relaxed and at ease you will become."  Therefore Ajahn encourages us to approach meditation as a relaxation process, instead of an exercise.

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Sensual pleasures can be difficult to let go. Ajahn Brahmali teaches us how to gradually reduce our craving in a sustainable way by living well, being kind and practicing meditation.

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