People often want to take the easy way. This includes in Buddhism where there are no shortage of "short cuts to Enlightenment". However, as Ajahn Brahm explains, there are no effective short cuts, only the Eightfold Path. And whilst we may not always get what we want, we usually get what we need.
Responding to a debate between Sam Harris and Deepak Chopra which appeared to be lacking in science and philosophy and resembled more the arguments had every day between ordinary people. Ajahn Brahm criticises intellectual materialism for lacking heart nor a sense of humour. The purpose of both religion and science should not be defending doctrines and books, but developing a deeper understanding of life and respect for one another. As Ajahn Brahm states,"We mistake the ideas for the truth. We mistake the theories for the underlying emotional freedom which those theories are supposed to be pointing. The sign posts are not the destination."
"You can destroy the Buddha statues, but don't destroy what they stand for: peace, love, kindness, forgiveness."
Ajahn Brahmali gives a big-picture outline of how the Buddhist teachings understand the nature of the universe to operate, and points out the numerous parallels to the contemporary scientific understanding of the universe. However, he goes further to say that science in future will catch up with the Buddhist understanding by discovering that there are a sequence of multiple universes - a big bang followed by a period of universe expansion, then a period of universe contraction, and finally a big crunch.... and then a new universe being born again (big bang) - entire universes being reborn.
Venerable Nirodha gives her first talk at Dhammaloka, on the topical theme for Christmas Eve of 'Silent Night, Holy Night'. She shares some of her favourite Dhamma readings, reflecting on her Christian childhood in Austria and on some events that led, little by little, to her becoming a Buddhist nun. She emphasises what religions have in common in acknowledging that silence is truly holy.
Using the Dhammapada as the source of inspiration, Ajahn Nissarano gives advice on how to keep our mind focused on that which is most important and essential in life, and to put less important upon that which is not essential, and thereby realise the essence of life.
Ajahn Brahmali gives a gentle and delightful half-hour guided metta meditation.
Ajahn Brahm guides a metta meditation, followed by auspicious chanting by monks from Bodhinyana monastery and nuns from Dhammasara monastery to welcome in the New Year 2011.
Hundreds of people celebrated Ajahn Brahm's 60th birthday at Jhana Grove meditation retreat centre on 7th August 2011. This guided body sweep meditation was given the day after for those who stayed on. The meditation is about 50min and is followed by 30min talk and question and answer.
Note: The guided meditation is quieter than the following talk.
Ajahn Brahm leads a 45min guided meditation, with an introduction on getting ready to meditate, ready to jump quickly into peace. On mantras, it's not what the words are, but the way you say them. The meditation ends with a reflection on insight, and questions on wisdom and on energy.