This talk revolves around the second and third factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, namely the Intentions of Renunciation, Goodwill and Harmlessness - as well as the practising of Right Speech. Always pragmatic and practical, the Dhamma taught by the Buddha 2500 years ago, correlates perfectly with contemporary concepts of psychology: deluded and and ego-intoxicated, humans project their own fears and weaknesses onto others, rather than face these within themselves. This creates endless conflict and suffering. Loving kindness, gentleness, humility and frugality are the Buddha's antidote...
Ajahn Brahmali gives a big-picture outline of how the Buddhist teachings understand the nature of the universe to operate, and points out the numerous parallels to the contemporary scientific understanding of the universe. However, he goes further to say that science in future will catch up with the Buddhist understanding by discovering that there are a sequence of multiple universes - a big bang followed by a period of universe expansion, then a period of universe contraction, and finally a big crunch.... and then a new universe being born again (big bang) - entire universes being reborn.
Ajahn Brahm discusses both the perceived dangers and pleasures of sensuality, and a Buddhist approach to understanding the sensuality of the world.
Even in this modern scientific era many people are still very superstitious. And superstition induces fear. But original Buddhism questions everything and doesn't require blind faith in things that cannot be directly experienced. As Ajahn Brahm says, "We need to bend the faith to fit the facts, not bend the facts to fit the faith." Superstition is only an obstacle to spiritual development.
These days we're always trying to control so much of our lives - our environment, our food, our jobs, our families. But control is the opposite of freedom. And in the West we worship freedom. This creates a tension within our lives in the modern world. Ajahn Brahm offers a Buddhist perspective on the battle between control and freedom.
In the wake of recent terror attacks in Paris and Beirut, Ajahn Brahm offers a Buddhist response to terror in the modern world, and how we can find peace when there is the threat of violence and chaos in the world.
Is religion just for wowsers who are putting off their happiness until the next life? Is there room for laughter in religion? What is happiness anyway? Ajahn Brahm offers a fresh perspective on the role of happiness in the religious life, and the choice between different types of happiness that we make - and having a good time along the way.
Anger and ill-will is a range emotions that goes from minor irritation all the way up to a furious rage. We've all experienced this emotion and it can be both intoxicating and very unpleasant. It's also a major obstacle on the path of Buddhist practice. Ajahn Brahmali discusses the problems with ill-will, and how to overcome it.
Much of energy in people's lives is directed towards the worldly challenges of getting stronger, getting more money and status. But are these really worthy challenges that lead us to happiness? Or shall we seek out difficult situations in life to grow from those challenges? Ajahn Brahm casts a fresh light upon facing life's challenges.
What can we do to find some meaning, to find some truth and how can we use it to create some sense of peace and happiness and harmony in this fractured world.
It's become an axiom in amongst Western Buddhists that everything is interconnected. Ajahn Brahm challenges this axiom by pointing out that sometimes things are interconnected and sometimes they aren't. But furthermore, sometimes it's really important to disconnect and let go of all the problems of the world and be at peace.
As it says in one of the Buddhist chants: "Though touched by worldly circumstances, never the mind is wavering." Ajahn Sister Vayama advising on how to keep the balance of ones mind through the ups and downs of life.
Are you one of the many people who feel bad and guilty for all your mistakes (even the tiny ones)? You'll be pleased to know that Buddhism doesn't do guilt. And in fact the levels of guilt in society are a rather disfunctional aspect of our minds. Ajahn Brahm offers a fresh perspective to let go of the burden of guilt.