Ajahn Cittapalo conducts an intermediate/ advanced meditation class for approximately 1 hour. Recorded at Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre, Perth, Western Australia.
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.
Ajahn gave a brief description of meditation and then guided us through a body sweep and relaxation meditation.
Although not totally suited to beginners this meditation was easy to follow and a pleasure to do.
After the meditation Ajahn opened to Q&A with some of his frank answers and descriptions making the entire audience laugh. After the Q&A Ajahn gave a brief talk on how he became a monk and what life is like for a monk at Bodhinyana. Again Ajahn had the audience laughing.
Ajahn begins by explaining what meditation is likely to be to beginners, those of us that have never meditated before. Ajahn brings our attention to our attitude when we wish to meditate, if our mind isn't settled or is in the negative, we struggle. Ajahn further explains some of the hindranses that cause us to lose our focus during meditation. The clock on the wall, the traffic going past. Ajahn encourages us to simply be an observer and not to engage in these distractions.
To start the meditation, Ajahn encouraged us to relax, get comfortable and just be. Ajahn guided us through a full body scan before guiding us in a 30 minute meditation. Just be here, beautifully cool room, nice people around us.
After meditation Ajahn gave us a talk and opened to questions after bringing us all to laughter with light hearted humour.
Ajahn began with base instructions on how and why we meditate, keeping it nice and simple for the beginners and the more experienced alike. A refresher never hurts. Ajahn then led the full house through a 30 minute guided meditation.
“Nothing to do. Cars going by, clock ticking, body breathing. Nothing to do. We don't need to do anything, just be a friendly observer.” Ajahn Cittapalo
After the meditation Ajahn offered this advice to beginners:- Don't make it a chore or a burden, make it a pleasant, easy for you, experience. If you aren't enjoying it, shorten the time. Gradually extend your meditation time, don't make it a job.
Ajahn Cittapalo suggested we count, 1 to 10, or select and visualise our favourite colour to meditate. Most of us focus on our breathing or bodies when we start or first learn to meditate. So counting or visualising a colour makes for a welcome change of pace. For beginners [and aren't we all] this is often a much easier way to start meditating. Ajahn explains how to do it and what will happen to most of us when we count or visualise our favourite colour.
Ajahn then gave us a very enlightened Dharma talk, so much so that the group lost track of time with no-one in a hurry to stop or go home.
Ajahn Cittapalo is always a welcome teacher at AMG, he never fails to fill the house. Tonight he encouraged us to be patient with our impatience. Thoughts arise during meditation whether we want them to or not. Don't be impatient with yourself, let them go and gently bring your mind back to your meditation object.
Ajahn guided us through a 30 minute meditation that was well suited to beginners and intermediates. He then gave a Dharma talk that was both humorous and relevant to our habit of being impatient with our minds.
Ajahn encourages us to relax physically as much as possible before we start to meditate, explaining that meditation is not a chore. Venerable then gives a guided beginners meditation. Following meditation Ajahn gave us a talk and encouraged us to not foster negative thoughts to meditation, thus making it a chore but rather, to be as kind to ourselves as possible right from the beginning, no matter how long we meditate for.
Ajahn Cittapalo doesn't get to teach at AMG very often but when he does it is always to a full house. Tonight was no exception. Ajahn gave us a good grounding in beginners meditation and an often humourous talk after, then a brief Q&A. We could easily and happily have gone over-time.
We are very fortunate to have Ajahn Cittapalo and he gives us his best. A guided beginners meditation followed by a Q&A session.
Ajahn Cittapallo returns to us and we are lucky to have him. A talk on meditation for beginners, a guided beginners meditation then Q&A.
We've not seen for more than a year so it's nice to see him return. Ajahn Cittapalo is an experienced teacher so gives us an excellent explanation of meditation, a guided beginners meditation and Q&A.
Ajahn Cittapalo gives us an excellent explanation of meditation, a guided beginners meditation and Q&A.