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  1. Replies
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    Dear Stefano, Nice to hear from you again. ...

    Dear Stefano,

    Nice to hear from you again.

    I decided to ask Ajahn Brahm directly, since you are referring to his talk. This is what he has to say:



    I hope this helps.
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    Dear Eddie, I think you are spot on with this....

    Dear Eddie,

    I think you are spot on with this. The only question mark is with MN26. It turns out that the teaching on "the drawbacks of the five strings of sensuality and discerning the escape...
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    Dear Stefano, "Dust in their eyes" refers to...

    Dear Stefano,

    "Dust in their eyes" refers to defilements, especially sensual desire. Even as you approach jhāna the defilements will be virtually eliminated. So I think it is just possible that...
  4. Dear Erik, The suttas do say that...

    Dear Erik,



    The suttas do say that contemplating the Dhamma is important, see for instance MN95. Typically you learn a sutta and then you examine the meaning. As a consequence you gain a...
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    Dear Tore, I would really only recommend...

    Dear Tore,



    I would really only recommend this sort of practice for someone who is celibate. If you still live in a relationship with someone, the mind will often incline to see the beauty of...
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    Dear Eddie, There are at least a couple of...

    Dear Eddie,



    There are at least a couple of possible explanations for this apparent conundrum. The first possibility is that the two early teachers did in fact not teach the immaterial...
  7. Dear Erik, The dictionary that makes this...

    Dear Erik,



    The dictionary that makes this distinction more clear is the Crititcal Pali Dictionary, which is available online. This is generally the best and most reliable of the Pali...
  8. Replies
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    Dear Stuart, I think this is a very good...

    Dear Stuart,

    I think this is a very good point, and it is essentially how I think too. Forgiveness is possible precisely because there is no free will.

    But even if there were some degree of...
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    Dear Stuart, Yes, in this context it really...

    Dear Stuart,

    Yes, in this context it really means the ariyas. But of course there are the suttas, and the Buddha is said to be the best of kalyāṇa-mittas.

    And, yes, I think it is fair to say...
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    Dear Ryan, I have asked Ajahn Sujato what is...

    Dear Ryan,

    I have asked Ajahn Sujato what is the source for this story, and apparently it is found in the Ashokāvadāna, a Sarvāstivādin work about the life of Ashoka. So it seems it is not found...
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    Dear Jerrod, Yes, that's definitely an...

    Dear Jerrod,

    Yes, that's definitely an important part of it. But it also involves the deeper aspects of right view, which can only be accessed through the right sort of spiritual friends.

    With...
  12. Dear Erik, Please butt in at any time! Yes,...

    Dear Erik,

    Please butt in at any time!

    Yes, the idea that the mind-made body is not deficient in any sense organ is found in several places in the suttas, such as DN2 and MN77.

    With metta.
  13. Dear Tore, The Buddha doesn't seem to say...

    Dear Tore,

    The Buddha doesn't seem to say much, if anything, about the brain. Even in places where he divides the body up into its anatomical parts, such as the 31 parts of the body mentioned in...
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    Dear Eddie, Yes, insights are on a continuum...

    Dear Eddie,

    Yes, insights are on a continuum from the basic to the most profound. A minor insight is therefore similar to a real awakening experience in the sense that it helps uncovering the true...
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    Dear Bryan, There is no such thing in the...

    Dear Bryan,

    There is no such thing in the early suttas. At the most one could say that there is a personal and subjective sense of universal consciousness in deep states of meditation. But this is...
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    Dear Yum, In the suttas the Buddha says in a...

    Dear Yum,

    In the suttas the Buddha says in a number of places that one should do whatever leads to an increase in wholesome states and a decline in the unwholesome ones, see e.g. MN113. I have...
  17. Dear Dheerayupa, The Vinaya is quite a complex...

    Dear Dheerayupa,

    The Vinaya is quite a complex document. Its main division is between the pātimokkha section and the khandhaka section. The pātimokkha section (known as the sutta-vibhanga)...
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    Dear Dheerayupa, Yeah, this is a funny story:...

    Dear Dheerayupa,

    Yeah, this is a funny story: the monk whose breath is so bad he has to sit far away from everyone else! It seems to me that one would need to eat a fair amount of garlic before...
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    Dear Yum, I say it is. We are back to...

    Dear Yum,



    I say it is. We are back to square one again. All we have is experience and we can know that there is nothing in this experience that can be taken as a self. Through meditation you...
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    Dear Yum, As far as I can see this is not...

    Dear Yum,



    As far as I can see this is not the way the Buddha taught. The Buddha teaches that the ordinary person must have a sense of self, and this is what sakkāya-diṭṭhi is all about. Given...
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    Dear Yum, But the body is always there to...

    Dear Yum,



    But the body is always there to be perceived; you just have to turn your attention to it. It is different when you postulate the existence of something which never has been...
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    Dear Yum, I appreciate your politeness, but...

    Dear Yum,

    I appreciate your politeness, but there is really no need to ask for permission!



    Right. And that's why we need start out with faith/confidence in the discovery made by the Buddha.
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    Dear Yum, Nice to hear from you and to know...

    Dear Yum,

    Nice to hear from you and to know that you have seen the post!



    But the thought – as well as the view and the perception – can only be let go of when the underlying reality is seen...
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    Dear Dung, Yes, a regular practice is much...

    Dear Dung,

    Yes, a regular practice is much better than a single long meditation. The defilements are overcome gradually, and only diligent effort over a long period of time will give lasting...
  25. Dear Andrew, The term bodhisatta in the suttas...

    Dear Andrew,

    The term bodhisatta in the suttas is normally restricted to the time after the Buddha-to-be left the household life in search of awakening. This sort of makes historical sense....
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