Ajahn Bodhidhaja talks about how things going wrong in our lives can spiral downwards in a vicious cycle, but how through practicing wholesome behaviour and mindfulness a virtuous cycle upwards can develop. Ajahn Bodhidhaja reflects upon the dual nature within ourselves, and offers tools to help develop the virtuous cycle.
Rather than describing meditation as a means to an end, or a tool we use to achieve nibbana, Venerable Bodhi describes meditation to us as coming home to stillness and peace. Venerable goes on to describe how we have unlearned the way to enjoy silence, stillness and peace. Venerable tells us that meditation is actually quite easy, it's something that everyone can do. The hard part is to maintain it, to be there and actually prolong that moment and to come back to it when our thought process interrupts. To start again is always difficult for a beginner. Venerable describes all these situations really well and encourages us to persevere and practise.
Venerable then leads the group through a 30 minute guided meditation with the primary focus on our body. The meditation is well suited to beginners and more experienced alike.
After meditation Venerable gives a talk on karuna or caring. Karuna is a Sanskrit word and is used in Buddhism. It is translated to mean any action that is taken to diminish the suffering of others and could also be translated as "compassionate action". Venerable’s talk on karuna is well presented and easy to follow, encouraging us to care for ourselves and others mindfully.
USA CIA with Venerable Bodhidhaja. USA is an acronym for unburden settle arrive. CIA is an acronym for the mind or central intelligence agency. Venerable used these acronyms to get us interested and grab our attention. Venerable then described the basics of meditation in terms easily understood by all beginners and experienced alike. Venerable then guided us through a 30 minute meditation well suited to beginners encouraging us to treat each thought that arose by saying to it "I value your presence" and then let it go.
Venerable then opened to questions giving very detailed answers using synonyms and practical examples.