We are frequently encouraged to watch our breath during meditation. It is a time honoured practice we all use during meditation. Venerable Bodhidhaja references a novel written by Michael Ende titled Momo to encourage us to truly listen to what is happening in our minds rather than watching. Venerable uses this method because of the difference in how we define watching and listening. For many of us, when we watch an activity we are inclined to form an opinion or to perhaps wish it to be different. We are thinking. Not what we really want to do. So by just truly listening with the utmost attention and empathy, we don't tend to engage or form thoughts and opinions. A thought arises, we listen rather than watch and we let it go.

Venerable then guided us in an entirely relaxing, different meditation practice that encouraged us to listen with full attention and empathy, rather than watch our thoughts. Venerable commenced with a body scan and then softly moved to breath meditation. The meditation is well suited to beginners and experienced alike.

After meditation Venerable opened to questions.


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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.

This talk was recorded by the Buddhist Society of Victoria. You can subscribe to their Youtube channel here.

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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.

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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.

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