On Tuesday, May 1st, Tahn Subharo told us his story of how he became a monk and his journey since ordaining.
On Friday, May 4th we finished the last chapter of “The Stillness of Being” by Ajahn Viradhammo. It was an excellent book as the talks were directed to laypeople so really spoke to our day to day travails. Highly recommended. See an earlier post for the link to a free download of the book.
On Tuesday, May 8th, Tahn Subharo discussed the Thai word Sabai which means to be peaceful and happy. Our goal is to be Sabai all the time. This word is related to the Pali word Sappaya, which means supporting conditions. Morality is a major supporting condition ,as well as good lifestyle choices. Our unwise lifestyle choices are due to conditioned habit energies that take persistent effort to change. Tahn Subharo quoted Ajahn Brahm’s memory aid for this effort: A-F-L – acknowledge, forgive, learn. Acknowledge unskillful thoughts, words, actions when they occur. Forgive yourself. Learn from the experience.
Friday, May 11, Santutthi shared with us the Buddha’s second sutta, the Anatta Lakhana sutta.
Friday, May 18, she spoke about his third sutta, “All is Burning“.
Tuesday, May 21, Ayya Santacitta introduced herself and discussed her spiritual journey, likening it to a journey through the four iddhipadas (the bases of power or success). The first is Chanda, interest: we get inspired by an idea. Second is Viriya, energy: we feel the arising of energy to take action towards the idea. Third is Citta, a clear mind: we organize our life to accommodate this new idea. And fourth is Vimamsa, investigation: we fine tune our life to deal with what arises and ceases.
Friday, May 25 we celebrated the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of the Buddha with a washing of the Buddha rupa, symbolizing the gradual cleaning away of all the hindrances that hide our own true Buddha nature.
Tuesday, May 29 we were delighted to welcome Ayya Medhanandi, who joined us in spite of her long travel that day. She shared her thoughts on the Five Subjects for Frequent Reflection (we shall all grow old, we shall experience sickness, we shall die, we shall lose all that is important to us, and we are heirs to our karma and responsible for our actions). It is important to learn to face these realities in order to be prepared to experience them and deal with them well.
In her talk she stressed the importance of persistence and repetition. She likened our repeated attempts to stay single-minded during meditation to the tacking of a sailboat.