The title for this post comes from a desana given by Ajahn Sumedho many years ago. He spoke about amongst other thing how Pol Pot’s mother loved him. While in Phnom Penh I visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the talk came to mind. I had also recently read “Pol Pot’s daughter weds” The Museum, like so many places, offers any number of opportunities for meditation and reflection. I guess I’ll let my words tell the story of my visit
Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category
My first interaction with Theravadan Buddhism occurred in England some 30 years ago. Wats Amaravati, Chithurst and Harnham were the 3 principle places where I was introduced to the sect and did a fair bit of engineering to help build repair and refurbish. Back in America I continued my relationship with the Sangha and from more than 20 years I have been supported by and supported the Forest Sangha. The The Customs of the Noble Ones is a good read if you are interested in learning a bit about Forest Buddhism here in Thailand.
In my opinion the best information about the practice of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation are available free and can be found at the Forest Sangha and Forest Dhamma websites.
The compound of Wat Tham Khuha Sawan stands on the bluff overlooking Khong Chiam town in Ubon Ratchatani. Many spendid buildings, chedis and shrines to include a huge white Ubosot stand on the property.
The real gem at the temple is Luang Poo Khamkhaning who lies in state in glass coffin intact since his death in 1985 at the age of 91.
He spent time when a child as a novice before becoming a recluse for 15 years. He was so respected that the King of Laos patronized his ordination into Buddhist monkhood.
He traveled the caves and quiet places of the region, supported by laypeople in the area. As a Buddhist monk he lived on the alms given him daily by the local villagers in remote areas of the region…
In his Biography of Ajahn Mun Luang Ta Maha Bua (Boowa) writes
At the age of fifteen he ordained as a novice in his village monastery where he developed an enthusiasm for the study of Dhamma, memorizing the texts with exceptional speed. A young novice of affable character, he never caused his teachers or fellows any trouble.
Two years into his new way of life his father requested him to give up the robes, and he was required to return to lay life in order to help out at home. However, his fondness for the monk’s life was so pronounced that he was certain he would ordain again some day. His good memories of life in a monk’s robes never faded. Thus, he resolved to enter the monkhood again as soon as possible. This strong sense of purpose was due, no doubt, to the power of that indomitable faith, known as saddhã, which was such an integral part of his character.
I run like hell when I see these type posts in Buddhism and or Mindfulness groups. All sorts of high minded esoteric bloviating. But, in recent years I have noticed differences in the 2 things that I have kind of been investigating in my life and mediation.
To me concentration is when I see a little kid with a new game or toy anf they are biting their tongue trying to suss it all out. Or when trying to learn to use a new phone, tablet or anything that can confuse an old geezer like me. I might say there’s shit going on.
While mindfulness to me means being aware. Often in Anapanasati, mindfulness of the breath, it all becomes less muddled. For me over the years it has been a way to see judgementalness for what it is.
The other day I saw and article by way of Google+ from Tricycle magazine titled Commercial Dhamma. Okay I am often amazed, for as far as I know there is only one true Dhamma.Read the article and make sure to read the comments as well. Maybe a BeBop Buddha and a Saucy Sangha, might be coming soon.
What are the Three Refuges?
A refuge is a place where people go when they are distressed or when they need safety and security. There are many types of refuges. When people are unhappy, they take refuge with their friends, when they are worried and frightened, they may take refuge in false hopes and beliefs. As they approach death, they might take refuge in the belief in an eternal heaven. But, as the Buddha says, none of these are true refuges because they do not give comfort and security based on reality.
Just like Anatta, equanimity is the tough one. I can see anger and inpermanence but not self is a bugger. Metta, karuna and mudita fine and good but Upekkha thats another tough one. Lets see whar Access to Insight tells us
Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight.
Looking at the world around us, and looking into our own heart, we see clearly how difficult it is to attain and maintain balance of mind.
Another of the Brahma Vihara that I find useful to reflect on. There are many free sites that provide references and useful information for those interested in Buddhism and one I find most useful is Access to Insight, which i have copied here.
Not only to compassion, but also to joy with others open your heart!
Small, indeed, is the share of happiness and joy allotted to beings! Whenever a little happiness comes to them, then you may rejoice that at least one ray of joy has pierced through the darkness of their lives, and dispelled the gray and gloomy mist that enwraps their hearts.
Access to Insight is my goto place for clear concise explanations of profound concepts. And the Brahma Vihara are something I devote time to. It seems so many cannot love themselfs, let alone others
Love, without desire to possess, knowing well that in the ultimate sense there is no possession and no possessor: this is the highest love.
Love, without speaking and thinking of “I,” knowing well that this so-called “I” is a mere delusion.