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White Knuckle Practice

Ajahn Viradhammo explains how an attempt to get something from sensory experience pulls the mind into a sense of self and inevitable suffering. By making a firm intention to be aware of neutral experiences such as touch, sound and the movement of the body, he shows how we can train the mind to remain in the present, not takes things personally and know things as they really are.

(Talk recorded at Tisarana on 20 July 2018. Duration 32:04)

Am I Doing It Right?

Ajahn Pavaro reflects on a few obstacles that can challenge experienced Buddhists and meditators. He encourages us, especially those coming from a Western background, to reflect on the role of faith and balance in our practice. After the talk, Ajahn Pavaro also answered a few questions from the attendees.

(Talk recorded at Tisarana on 21 July 2018. Duration 51:47)

Marmite Soldiers

Tan Ajahn Amaro offers a guided meditation using awareness of the body and the breath on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Tisarana. He then gives a talk on how to put forth effort without over-investing in the results, without being attached to the outcome due to a mistaken sense of self. Tan Ajahn and Luang Por Viradhammo answer questions about skillfully relating to stressful situations, having a fatalistic view of successes and pitfalls in our lives and on the challenges posed by the allure of comfort food.

(Q&A recorded at Tisarana on 12 May 2018. Duration 01:44:45)

Good Will Fetters

Practitioners sometimes run into periods of time where difficult emotions and states can overwhelm the mind. Unfortunately, perfectionism and idealism can undermine our ability to skillfully relating to these states. Ajahn Viradhammo shares reflections and suggestions on how we can stay present and wisely navigate these challenging states of mind.

(Talk recorded at Tisarana on 12 July 2018. Duration 33:26)

Stomach Aches Belong But Make Sure You Throw Out the Old Daal

Ajahn Viradhammo recently returned from an inspiring trip to the west coast of Canada and the United States. He recollects a beautiful teaching he received on the beauty that comes from keeping precepts. Buddhist ethics doesn’t require us feel or not feel anything, but simply to not act out with unskilful energies. And we can use this attitude of peace towards our internal conditions, to ground ourselves in good will and accept the totality of experience.

(Talk recorded at Tisarana on 5 July 2018. Duration 41:02)

We Can Still Train Our Minds

Tan Khemako offers a reflection on effort to a small but dedicated group of practitioners on a hot, sunny afternoon at Tisarana. Even amidst difficult conditions, there can be progress in training our minds if we’re willing to be persistent and reflective. By employing a steady energy with clear mindfulness and appropriate curiosity, we can affect the mind in wholesome ways over the long term. This steady application of effort is encompassed in the Noble Eightfold Path and can ultimately result in the cool freedom of Nibbāna.

(Talk recorded at Tisarana on 14 July 2018. Duration 35:40)

Tea Time with Ajahn Amaro

Many interesting and relevant topics concerning our modern world were discussed during tea time with Ajahn Viradhammo and Ajahn Amaro. Ajahn Amaro visited Tisarana for ten days last May.

Ajahn Amaro,was asked how he handles being the abbot of such a large community, both lay and ordained, at Amaravati Monastery (England). Some important things for him were to watch his attitude, not to be fixed on a particular outcome, listen to others and don’t take sides. He goes on giving useful advice on how to be a good leader in general, whether as an Abbot of a monastery or as a CEO of a large company.

In the later half of the discussion, someone asked how he thinks modern technology and social media affects our mental health. Ajahn Amaro, and others add in as well, discuss how it tends to create a strong sense of self, cultivates fear, and so on.

(Q&A recorded at Tisarana on 19 May 2018. Duration 1:25:40)

The Crucible

On the New Moon night of May, Luang Por Viradhammo presides over the ordination of Anagarikas Lancelot and William. After an inspiring ceremony, Tahn Ajahn Amaro offers advice to Tisarana’s two newest sangha members on using the outer conventions of shaved heads and commitments to moral precepts as a crucible for transforming the inner experience. By letting go of preferences and surrendering to LP Chah’s statement that ‘Everything is teaching us’, he maps out a chart for success in the holy life. (Talk recorded at Tisarana on 14 May 2018. Duration 38:44)

Truth Beyond Happiness and Dukkha

Ajahn Sucitto describes how the pursuit of certainty and comfort acts as a barrier to the deep discharge of the pain of being. Discharge becomes available through allowing and handling the weight and intensities of unresolved dukkha. When approached with honesty and accuracy, there is the possibility to experience what is real, the unconditioned. (Talk given at Tisarana on 26-Mar-2017. Duration = 39:26)