Recently, I had a chance to go to a Lao Monastery in Elgin, Chicago, IL, USA for 12 days.
A little while ago, I was asked what was the most important lesson learned and what was the most important thing that I taught. The answer spans two different videos and they are listed below:
Kauai Update #3 I have moved from the Botanical Gardens recently. I was able to stay there for 5 months and the majority of the time there was wonderful. However things were changing and it was time for me to look for another place and now I am staying in a new long term location in Kilauea. It all happened after a wonderful person picked me up on the side of the road holding my signs the day my parents, brother and in-law dropped me off (I’ll get back to that family-visit part later). So this guy I knew from […]
Free Book: Abhidhamma Lessons PDF Download Abhidhamma Lessons PDF Here is a book I wrote long ago that relates the Abhidhamma to Computer Science. As a programmer from the nineties, I “clicked” with the abhidhamma after reading just a small amount. When I learned that the mind does only one thing at a time, it instantly clicked with a graduate class I had taken on digital circuits. It gave me the faith in the Abhidhamma early on which is very rare among Western Monks and Western Theravada Buddhist lay people. Most of the Western scholars are outspoken against the Abhidhamma. […]
Why do monks have one shoulder exposed sometimes and both shoulders covered other times? There is a very small rule about having the robes fully covered when we are in a populated areas (sekhiyā 3). Although it is a very small rule, it can say a great deal about the monk and his respect for the monastic code, especially in the afternoons or evenings. “Populated areas” refers to when we are outside of the monastery and outside of the forest. Buddhist Shrines in a city like Shwedagon Pagoda can be considered a “monastery” and it is OK and sometimes culturally […]
Here is a dhamma talk with a very brief instruction for Four Elements. It is not complete, but gives a small taste of four elements. Loving-kindness is also included as usual. The recording is cleaner using some post processing with the same recorder.
With only 5 minutes left before we were supposed to start, the security guard told us that someone else had the room booked and we would need to move to a smaller amd inferior room. It was a mistake on their part, and while I did ask to see the schedule book, I opted out because we were running out of time and needed to setup the room again. It was disturbing and noisy, but we had to make the best of it. During the process of being notified and moving our setup I said a few times, “I am […]
Vegetarianism and Theravada Buddhism I have been asked to write a little something on vegetarianism and Theravāda Buddhism. I am qualified to be quite objective, and to see both sides of the issue because I was a vegetarian for a total of ten years as a lay person and I had vegetarian eyes. That meant that when I looked at meat, cooked or not, I saw a dead animal in front of me. Now that I am a monk, I am no longer a vegetarian although I have lived at vegetarian monasteries for many years, so I know both sides […]
Are You A Buddhist? Introduction Being a Buddhist is quite open because if you believe in certain aspects it is better than not believing in anything. We take what we can get. However, here are the more traditional aspects of being Buddhist. One should believe in The Triple Gem – ie: The Buddha, The Dhamma and The Sangha). This can be expanded to include The 4 Noble Truths. This can be expanded to include the Eightfold Noble Path as well. The Four Noble Truths also include a belief in cause and effect and past lives (aka Saṁsāra). Lastly, one should live by these ideals and follow the five precepts for morality, and follow […]
Venerable Ācariya Mun Būridatta Thera is one of the most revered forest masters of the 20th century. He is the root guru of both the Dhammayut and Ajahn Chah monasteries. He popularized the monastic practice of living under an umbrella in the forest and his relentless energy is fascinating and inspiring. Although I criticize this book and state that this book is far away from attainments and right view, I still find the “way of life” inspiring. It is also not proven 100% that these are really the words of Ajahn Mun. One day I tried to read the biographical […]