Dennis Sheppard (president of the Buddhist Society of WA) guides a meditation for approximately thirty minutes. Recorded at Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre in Perth, Western Australia during the Rains Retreat. This meditation goes with his talk called Stillness, which can be found here: http://podcast.bswa.org/e/stillness-dennis-sheppard/
We are delighted to have guest speaker Kelsang Ani during the rains retreat for 2018. Kelsang Ani is the resident teacher at Dharmapala Kadampa Meditation Centre in Fremantle. She will be talking about 'How to Solve our Human Problems'- by understanding Buddha’s wisdom explanation of the real nature of our problems, we can learn to identify them correctly; and in this way gradually solve all our human problems, and find everlasting peace and happiness. She is a well loved teacher and has a way of explaining the dharma that is insightful and clear.
Kathryn begins her third of four weeks at AMG by explaining why we need, or rather when we may need, to change our perspective. Kathryn uses examples such as the need for very focused perspective when doing surgery as compared to when we need a broad perspective on those occasions when something negative has occurred in our life. The benefits, to our health and well being, of positive emotions and the chemicals our bodies release when we have a positive experience have been the subject of many recognised research studies around the world today.
Kathryn then leads the group in three separate meditations. The first meditation is aimed at recognising when the mind tries to narrow our focus or perspective, putting us into a well known loop of negativity. By recognising when this occurs we can learn to deal with it and return to our broader perspective.
The second meditation highlights our feeling and belief of being independent when, in actuality, we are interdependent on so many people in our lives. Gratitude is used to focus our attention during this meditation. To bring this to mind Kathryn recited a poem by Jane Kenyon (1947–1995), former Poet Laureate of New Hampshire in the US, titled “Otherwise”. The object was to encourage us to realise that despite our trials and tribulations things could be worse and that perhaps our lives aren't quite as bad as we believe.
The third meditation brings to mind equanimity; the calm amidst the storm; the idea of being able to maintain balance and a sense of being grounded when the proverbial is hitting the fan. During the meditation Kathryn helps us to broaden our perspective by reading the “Serenity Prayer”;
“May I have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.”
Kathryn begins her second of four weeks at AMG by asking all to do a standing body shake - starting with the upper body and finishing with the lower body. This exercise is one practised by the director of Paliative care at Royal Perth Hospital to help patients dissipate the physical signs of stress that has built up in the body during day.
Kathryn then continued her talk on reactivity to external stimuli and what actually happens chemically within our bodies. She then details ways of shortening the time it takes for us to return from those situations that cause us to remain in that stressed state of mind. Mindfully being aware that it is happening will allow us to return to normal in a shorter period of time or, at the very least, shorten the time it takes for those chemicals to dissipate.
We all endure daily situations where we'd rather not be. Being able to be there without over-reacting and, to some degree, reducing the time that we are stressed, can be achieved with mindfulness.
Kathryn then guided the group through a 30 minute body scan meditation using mindfulness.
After the very relaxing body scan meditation Kathryn continued her discussion and talk on our reactions to the sensations we felt during the meditation with a focus on what we noticed or became aware of and not over-reacting.
Kathryn then talks on perception and conditioning within our lives. Kathryn openly relates from an example in her own life when she was nine and how this has changed her perceptions. Our conditioning affects our perceptions and our reactions to reality.
This talk is entitled 'Be Your Own Good Fortune'. It is said that "Fortune favours the prepared." How prepared are you to navigate safely through life's many illusions, especially the illusion that makes you believe that all is well in your world and you don't need to make time for personal growth and learning?
When we are in tune with the right principles and methods for achieving our aspirations, painful effects cannot possibly accrue. If we pursue sound methods, no grief can find its way into our hearts and no painful event can shake our composure. When our actions are true to right principles, only joy can manifest from them; for to say that good causes can produce bad effects is to say that nettles can be reaped from the sowing of corn.
Kathryn Choules is a regular meditator at the AMG and teaches meditation professionally. Once a year [during Rains], we are blessed to have Kathryn speak and guide our meditation.
This talk and guided meditation is part 1 of a 4 week beginners' course. The emphasis for the first week was on the role of Attention, Intention and Attitude in meditation. Kathryn gave examples of each and the resulting effects on our meditation as an introduction before guiding our 30 minute meditation.
After the meditation Kathryn opened to Q&A and provided good explanations to all questions.
We are delighted to have guest speaker Dr. David Joske during the rains retreat for 2018. Dr Joske is a leading WA haematologist and founder of Solaris Cancer Care - a community-based cancer centre offering complementary therapies, education and support. He was a John Curtin Medalist in 2005 and a state finalist for Australian of the Year in 2013.
We are delighted to have guest speaker Christiane Purcell during the rains retreat for 2018. Christiane is a senior yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner. Her talk is on ayurvedic and yogic philosophy.
We are delighted to have guest speaker Shaun Nannup during the rains retreat for 2018. Shaun Nannup is a senior Aboriginal leader and Director of Wisdom in Your Life - healing through Aboriginal ways.
We are delighted to have guest speakers Len Warren and Sue Lee from the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre during the rains retreat for 2018. Len started by guiding a meditation and then giving a Dhamma talk on 'Healing a Relationship by Completing Unfinished Business' ( starting at 15:55 into the recording). Next Sue Lee discussed the Pure Land Centre Project, which is about joining palliative care and spirituality (starting at 45:55 into the recording).
We are delighted to have guest speaker Dr. Richard Yin during the rains retreat for 2018. Dr. Yin is a Perth GP and member of Doctors for the Environment - Australia's only organisation of medical professionals who promote good health through care of the environment. We apologise the first part of the talk was accidentally not recorded.
We are delighted to have guest speaker Dr Geoff Gallop during the rains retreat for 2018. Dr Geoff Gallop is a former Premier of WA and patron of Jhana Grove Retreat Centre. He is currently a professor and director of Government at the University of Sydney.
We are delighted to have guest speaker Venerable Susara during the rains retreat for 2018. Ajahn Susara is an Austrian monk who resides in Sri Lanka. He will be giving a talk on 'Handling Karma'.
We are delighted to have guest speaker Venerable Robina Courtin give a Dhamma talk at Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre during our three months rains retreat for 2018. Venerable Robina Courtin was ordained in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in the 1970's. Her talk is on 'How to approach our fear of missing out.'
The Buddhist Society of Western Australia is honoured to guest speaker Professor Ajahn Dhammavihari give a Dhamma talk. Ajahn begins by talking about the Buddha’s first sermon. (13 June 2006).
The Buddhist Society of Western Australia is delighted to have guest speaker Bhikkhuni Kusuma give a Dhamma talk. Bhikkhuni Kusuma talks about The Four Noble Truths, in particular the second noble truth, which says the cause of dukkha (unsatisfactoriness or suffering) is attachment. Venerable contemplates what attachment is, why it causes us suffering and how we can get out of suffering.
Venerable Kelsang Nampur, a resident teacher at Dharmapala Buddhist Centre in Fremantle, was a guest speaker during the rains retreat in 2011 at BSWA Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre. Venerable talks about the Buddhist way to increase mental energy in our everyday busy life.
Annie Keating, a former nun in both Santi(NSW) and Dhammasara(WA) monasteries, now returned to lay life, speaks of preparing the mind throughout the day, with kindness and silence, for a better meditation. She then guides us through a body scan and breath meditation followed by a Q&A.