Ajahn Jhanarato asks us to “just relax”. Whilst breath meditation is the main focus of most meditations Ajahn starts with a relaxing body scan then allows us to move naturally to the breath.

After meditation Ajahn opened to Q&A with explanations on some of the more difficult hindrances for beginners.

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Recorded at Dhammayanaram Monastery, home of the Cambodian Buddhist Society of WA November 2019.

Ajahn Jhanarato asks us to leave behind the days baggage and simply enjoy the meditation as a time to relax. We humans tend to hang onto everything, just let it go and relax. Ajahn also suggests that watching the current news before meditation is not going to help. Turn off the phone, the TV and anything else that may intrude and just meditate.

Ajahn lead the group in a 30 minute body scan meditation well suited to beginners and experienced a like.

After meditation Ajahn opened to Q&A.

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The Armadale Meditation Group was privileged this evening to have three monks visit us for the last meditation session prior to the annual rains retreat. Ajahns Santutthi, Jhanarato and Sukhakamo from the Cambodian forest monastery, Wat Dhammayanaram in Kelmscott, joined us for what was an interesting evening. Ajahn Santutthi started the evening with an introduction of all three monks, a brief talk, then passed onto Ajahn Jhanarato to lead the meditation.

The meditation being lead by Ajahn JR was simply to relax and do nothing. Our minds have so many thoughts happening that it is like the snow globe after shaking. Ajahn asked us to simply allow our minds to settle, just as with a snow globe, so that we may see the thoughts more clearly and just let them pass.

After the meditation, all three monks were happy to answer any and all questions relating to monks, meditation and the Dharma.

 

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Ajahn Jhanarato [Ajahn JR], prefers an unstructured meditation so begins the night by explaining why. We do have a tendency when learning something new to want or need instructions or structure. Though many of us still like to have a guided meditation, sometimes it's interesting to just start our meditation and see what arises.

Though preferring an unstructured meditation, Ajahn then led us through a longer than usual body sweep meditation.

 

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Ajahn Jhanarato [JR], started the evening by relaxing us with an explanation of the quiet moments that we experience between thoughts. These quiet moments are what we need to focus on but how do we do that without effort, without tripping our “self” into a thought process. Don't, that's it, don't. When a thought arises, just let it pass, don't engage, gently pull yourself back to your meditation. We will do this many times and eventually [with lots of practice] we start to notice that the gaps, or quiet moments, become longer. After a while they will become more frequent than the random thoughts. Ajahn recommended to us all that we read Ajahn Brahms booklet on "The Basic Method of Meditation" before we attempt to move onto more advanced states of meditation.

Ajahn then led us through a very relaxed and easy 30 minute meditation, asking us to just notice the quiet moments of our mind. He reminded us to use our breath as an anchor to return us when we strayed into random thoughts.

After meditation Ajahn opened to Q&A with explanations on some of the more difficult concepts to grasp for beginners.

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Venerable opened the evening with a talk about a not often mentioned subject, preparing for our meditation and what we do as we end our meditation.  Venerable used the simile of a gate keeper allowing people to pass.  When we start our meditation we need a gate keeper to stop all thoughts but allow only those that are relevant to pass.  By doing this we enjoy a much quieter meditation.  When we end our meditation we need to take a moment to examine what has occurred during our meditation, look into the reasons such thoughts occur and what effect they may have had.  By doing this we slowly but surely build resistance to such thoughts occurring during our meditation.

Venerable then lead the group in a relaxed breath meditation.

After the meditation Venerable talked to us about the tradition of tudong.  Tudong is a Thai word used to describe Buddhist Monks when they go wandering or travelling in the wilderness.  Venerable then opened to Q&A.

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Venerable JR led a relaxed evening of meditation encouraging us to let go of the past and future.  Venerable instructed us that our only responsibility at this time, is to relax.  Nothing to do but relax.  Allow the thoughts to come and then let them go.

Venerable then led a very relaxed breath meditation.  After the meditation Venerable talked about anxiety, then opened the session to Q&A.

Venerable Jhanarato teaches us the basics of meditation, how to relax and that contentment ends restlessness.

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Venerable JR lead a relaxed evening of breath meditation encouraging us to not pressure ourselves by looking for success in the stages of our practice.  But rather to simply accept our progress and continue to practice.  So, don't treat your practice as a video game, win the level and then move on.  Be happy with your progress and continue to practice.

Venerable also gave a practical demonstration of walking meditation, demonstrating the different speeds and so showing us that we need not all keep the same pace.  Some of us will walk slowly and some will walk a little quicker.

Venerable then led a very relaxed breath meditation.  After the meditation Venerable encouraged us to stretch our practice times.  For those of us just learning, 5 or 10  minutes seems a long time to sit and meditate.  As we progress in our practice it does become easier to stretch our meditation time to much longer periods.  Or, try more regular small sessions in one day.

Venerable JR spoke on just letting it be tonight.  Let the thoughts come and let them go, don't engage them, just let it be and be happy.  After a guided beginners meditation Venerable was happy to do a Q&A session.

Venerable explains meditation for beginners then leads us through a 30min meditation.  Venerable then talked on mental health issues by relating his own personal struggle.

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