We didn’t realise that we were driving right into the middle of the worst affected areas. My brother Tim and I were in his little white van on our way to Wales. I’d been invited to do a retreat on a supporter’s farm. It was July, 2007, the time of the flooding that wreaked havoc in the Midlands and Wales.

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I’ve just got back from Thailand, where I attended the annual Ajahn Chah Memorial Day with Luangpor, so you’ll have to sit on the edge of your seats until tomorrow. (The picture above is of Luangpor with Ajahn Chah about 36 years ago.)

Full Moon Day: Dhamma Magic

January 22, 2008

 

In this practice of the Dhamma there are times of darkness when our minds are clouded and we do not see the progress we are making. In these testing times we may wonder if we’re going the right way. We stand still and scratch our heads wondering which way to go. But these periods pass and the darkness clears. The ways in which the Dhamma works are too subtle for us to see most of the time, and we’re not always aware of how it’s affecting us. And so we must be patient as we allow the Dhamma to work its magic.

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Base Camp

In the last teaching we heard about the importance of developing mindfulness and how it can transform our lives.

Our development of mindfulness should begin with the body. If we can establish this well then we will find we’ll be able to be mindful of our thoughts and feelings much more easily. It’s as if mindfulness of the body is base camp. It’s where we can come back to, to stabilise our mindfulness. Once we are experts in being mindful of the body we’ll be able to live comfortably on the motorway of mind, watching the traffic come and go without being run over. Therefore we must train ourselves to be mindful of the body.

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– I imagine quite a few. You probably don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, our minds are a bit like motorways. The thoughts, feelings, emotions, moods, views and opinions that we experience are the traffic. And unfortunately we tend to get run over by it all. By ‘run over’ I mean that we get consumed; we get carried away; we get lost in the thoughts and moods. These various mental states arise and we get run over. And so through the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years, and, if we’re not careful, lifetimes, we live on this motorway of mind and get hit by every darned thing that comes our way. And what’s it like to be hit? – painful!

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