This is a dialogue between Ajahn Brahm and the Anglican Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft held at Curtin University in Perth. It's entertaining and enlightening, with Ajahn Brahm demonstrating a very good grasp of events in ancient history which he doesn't often elaborate upon. This talk is definitely for those curious about the origins of Buddhism and Christianity from a fresh perspective.

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It was Vesak day on Tuesday and Ajahn Cittapalo joined us at AMG.  Vesak Day commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in the Theravada or southern tradition.  Ajahn having attended Vesak celebrations at Dhammaloka on Sunday, where many people took refuge by becoming Buddhist, noticed that for many, the five precepts are hard and fast rules.  Many of us do the same when we meditate.  We try too hard and become disenchanted when we fail.

Ajahn would never say that it is ok to consume alcohol, rather that we consider that we really should try to stop.  So it is with our meditations.  When random thoughts occur, we should simply let them come and go.  Don't get entangled, but don't try too hard and be overly critical that the thoughts continue.  Over time the ability to simply stand back in your mind and watch will grow and the thoughts will be come less frequent.  The same will happen with alcohol, each time we consume it, we consider it and do it less until we don't do it at all.

Ajahn tells us that our intentions matter more in all things.  When we meditate, it is our intention to gain a peaceful mind that matters.  Not being overly self critical for having thoughts.  Just as with the five precepts, it is our intentions that matter.

Ajahn led us in a body scan to relax us then a very peaceful silent meditation.

After the meditation Ajahn continued his talk on our intentions, cautioning us all to not be too critical of our efforts both in life and meditation.  After Ajahn concluded he joined the group in celebrating Vesak day.

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Question and Answers session with Ajahn Brahm, Venerable Hasapanna and the Sangha panel. Followed by taking the three refuges and five precepts.

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Forty five minute meditation guided by Ajahn Brahm. We apologise the introduction was unfortunately not recorded.

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As a novice monk in Thailand, Ajahn Brahm often got sleepy during meditation and felt hopeless until one day he realised it wasn’t his fault. Ajahn Brahm teaches us to not blame ourselves because our difficulties are great learning opportunities.

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“Going forth with faith from home to homelessness” is the description in the Pali scriptures, for the decision and action of men and women when they take the step to go forth as monks or nuns. Ajahn Vayama talks about the Buddhist Order of Nuns. Ajahn firstly discusses the nun’s at the time of the Buddha and then the present day situation for Theravadin nuns and its implications for BSWA nun’s monastery in Perth WA. This talk was given in 1999. 

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Ajahn Brahm starts with the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and explains how this is a road map finding happiness in life.

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Ajahn Brahm reflects upon how for most of us, most of the time, happiness seems to be just over the horizon, but rarely here and now. He goes on to try to help us understand that the origin of suffering is in within ourselves, and our way of looking at life. And rather than thinking of happiness as being somewhere over the rainbow, it's here and now, when we know how to look at the present through the lens of peace, compassion and wisdom.

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Ajahn Brahm talks to a crowd at the Buddhist Maha Vihara about how to develop mindfulness, how to develop it and the results of developing it. He also emphasises the need to combine compassion with mindfulness to make it effective for by oneself, and for others.

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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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