Ayye Vayama gives the analogy of a bushfire and how even the most catastrophic bushfires start from small sparks. So even small sparks can pose great danger. Similarly, small sparks of unwholesome thoughts like anger and greed can cause great harm in our lives. Ayye Vayama talks about how to deal with these sparks to prevent a fire in our heart and mind.
Ajahn Brahm reflects upon the great power and deep wisdom of the life of his teacher Ajahn Chah.
What does Buddhism have to say about religious fundamentalism? What can be done about it? Ajahn Brahm explains....
Using the Dhammapada as the source of inspiration, Ajahn Nissarano gives advice on how to keep our mind focused on that which is most important and essential in life, and to put less important upon that which is not essential, and thereby realise the essence of life.
Is Buddhism a religion? Or is it a way or life or a philosophy? What is it? And what are Buddhists supposed to do? Ajahn Brahm uses his characteristic humour and wisdom to answer these questions?
Ajahn Brahm explores craving. Are there different types? Are some forms of craving necessary for survival? Is all craving 'bad'? Ajahn Brahm shares the secret of finding a balance in the here and now by understanding the nature of craving and the different types of craving, and how to work giving up the types of craving most harmful to us whilst holding on (for the mean time) to those cravings which have some use to us and others.
Mindfulness isn't an end itself, but a means of uncovering the deeper truths of existence that the Buddhist teachings are encouraging us to see. Mindfulness is the first of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. Ayye Vayama reminds us how developing mindfulness is an essential quality of mind that leads to insight, knowledge and ultimately to Awakening.
Is power any good at all? What is realpower and how is it going to be of benefit to people in the world? How to people get addicted to power and become unwilling to give it up? Ajahn Brahm discusses these questions about the nature of power from a Buddhist perspective.
Ajahn Brahm opens the talk by pointing to how much popularity and traction mindfulness techniques are developing in the contemporary world. He then goes on to explain how developing mindfulness with compassion can be transformative for anyone who practices it.
Responding to a debate between Sam Harris and Deepak Chopra which appeared to be lacking in science and philosophy and resembled more the arguments had every day between ordinary people, Ajahn Brahm criticises intellectual materialism for lacking heart nor a sense of humour. The purpose of both religion and science should not be defending doctrines and books, but developing a deeper understanding of life and respect for one another. As Ajahn Brahm states,"We mistake the ideas for the truth. We mistake the theories for the underlying emotional freedom which those theories are supposed to be pointing. The sign posts are not the destination."
One question often asked by those new to Buddhism is "What holy books do you follow?". Ajahn Brahm responds by telling them that just as the Muslims follow the Koran and the Christians follow the Bible, Buddhists follow meditation. That means that the ultimate reference and authority within Buddhism, the real truth, is direct experience derived from a peaceful mind developed through meditation. This is the ultimate source of wisdom and truth.
Should we "tolerate" other people? Or is that just a bit patronising, or even a put-down? Ajahn Brahm explores what tolerance really means and ways in which we can do even better than tolerance.
Why practice self-compassion? A public talk at University of Toronto on October 17, 2014.