Having just returned from pilgrimage to the Buddhist Holy Sites in India and Nepal, Ajahn Vayama responds to a request from the audience to talk about how cause and effect operate in our daily lives. This talk also has some interesting information about pilrimage for those who haven’t heard much about it before.
Buddhism isn’t a book-based or idea-based religion, but a religion based on observing our human experience first-hand. So studying books is not the emphasis of the teaching, but practice in order to get direct knowledge of the truth within ourselves. Ajahn Brahm explains using the story of the pyramid in the jungle.
How should we make a living without hurting others and making bad karma? Referring to the Eightfold Path factor of Right Livelihood, Ajahn Brahm explains how to live skilfully and well.
How should Buddhists respond to the injustice that they encounter in the world? Ajahn Brahm explains…
The ego – the sense of “I” and “mine” – is the source of so much suffering in this world. And in reality it doesn’t even exist! So discovering the reality of non-self is a huge relief.
What do Buddhists believe? Do Buddhists believe in a dogma, or is it more like a framework for finding out? Ajahn Brahm discusses the practice of the first step of the Eightfold Path – Right View.
We know the future is uncertain, yet we carry around the heavy baggage of expectations about the future with us every day. Expectations can be a burden and also make us inflexible in our approach to life. Ajahn Brahm explains how the best place to be on the edge between the past and the future, in the present moment.
Where does an understanding of truth come from? Ajahn Brahm describes how it comes from the contemplation which is based on stillness, because when you are still you can see deeply and it does not come from thinking; if you think too much you only see the surface and superficial. Hence to really understand things deeply and find their true meaning you must train your mind to be still, so that it can penetrate deeply into the nature of things. Ajahn points out that it’s not what your taught which makes you wise, it is what you see that makes you wise.
What does it mean to be married? How does a couple develop a happy marriage? And what advice did the Buddha have for those wanting to get married, and those who are already married? Ayye Vayama discusses the topic of marriage from a Buddhist perspective.
Busy-ness is the curse of our age that puts stress and strain on our minds and mental health, our bodies and physical health, and our relationships too. This is a problem and there is a solution related to developing the right attitude to life, so that whilst there is busy-ness all around us we can cultivate a space of peace within in ourselves. Ajahn Brahm explains how.
Ajahn Brahm gives an overview on what it’s like to be a monk or nun. Ajahn talks about the monastic rules, such as why they need rules, their purpose and what happens when they keep or break them. He points out the importance of understanding the purpose of the rules, so that one keeps them for the right reasons and he explains how they are conducive to happiness, well being and prosperity.
Responding to a recent question on whether it is possible for women to become enlightened? Ajahn Vayama gives a talk on the history of the nun’s order and shares stories of the fully enlightened nun’s in the past and women who have left their families and sometimes royal privileges to enter the monastic life. Hence demonstrating that women have the same capacity and potential for spiritual growth as males.
Responding to questions about what is the Buddhist perspective on life and the world, Ajahn Brahm gives a deep explanation on the Buddhist idea of Emptiness and how it relates to meditation. Ajahn Brahm says he will ‘reveal the whole meaning of life.’ He starts by explaining the science and nature of our world and parallels between what we know of the world and the world of our minds.
Ajahn Brahm reflects upon how monk’s experiences can relate to a layperson’s experiences in a busy world?’ He explains how monks can experience the same stresses and difficulties, but they have deeper understanding, wisdom and peace to deal with the problems of life much better. Ajahn Brahm also points out that doing good work for others arouses a lot of energy which enables one to perform at a high standard even when very busy.
Ajahn Vayama ponders what it is Buddhist practitioners are trying to accomplish in terms of the mind? Ajahn Vayama reveals what we are practising and why. And shares advice on how to be mindful of our body and mind.
Ajahn Sucitto reflects upon how there are many interesting treasures or parts of Buddhism to learn and practice, such as morality, meditation, samadhi, loving kindness, generosity, non-attachment, karma and more. He talks about how these parts all bind together into one whole.
Ajahn Sucitto explores the Buddhist teaching ‘suffering and the end of suffering,’ ‘unsatisafactoriness and the end of unsatisfactoriness’. He investigates what this teaching means and says another way to express this is ‘kamma and the end of kamma’ and ‘the kamma that leads to the end of kamma’. Ajahn Sucitto talks about how kamma is relevant to the cessation of dukkha.
Ajahn Brahm talks about Clairvoyance and Buddhism. He asked the audience “did you predict I would speak on this tonight?” He discusses why some predictions are right and others not right. As well as why monks don’t show their clairvoyance powers.
Ajahn Vayama gives an enlightening talk about how the limitations on our perceptions can cause us to have misleading and inaccurate views about how the world works, including how our own minds work. Only when we develop a mindful attitude and ability to step back and look at the conditions upon the mind can we begin to untangle the puzzle of life.