June 26, 2008
How to Open and Close Doors
Several years ago I sat listening to two senior monks having a conversation. After a while the visiting monk turned to me and he asked what was the most important thing I had learned so far in my time as a monk. Being put on the spot I was little embarrassed. I thought for a few moments before I stuck with the safe answer of ‘patience’. He then turned to the other two junior monks sitting next to me. One eventually said something like ‘that everything passes’. I don’t remember what the last monk said.
He then went on to relate a story where a very senior and respected monk was asked the same question: “What is the most important thing you have learned in your many years as a monk?”. The old monk thought a little while. And he thought some more, before the answer came:
June 19, 2008
June 18, 2008
Post under construction. Stay tuned.
June 11, 2008
The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness
I can see why relatively inexperienced monks are encouraged to give Dhamma Talks.
Over the last few days I’ve been contemplating the Four Noble Truths as that is what I’ll be speaking about tonight in Warwick. A few years ago I was bought this really helpful book called: The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking, by Dale Carnegie. One of the points he makes is that if you start preparing for your talk well enough in advance then you have the benefit of your mind automatically turning over the subject matter throughout your waking day.
June 3, 2008
(We’ve just been given a new computer and unfortunately I can’t download clip art from Microsoft’s website… The picture on last week’s post, by the way, was all my own work.)
About two months ago I was asked to go and talk to a group of people who provide spiritual support for the dying and their families in Myton Hospice, Warwick. It was their fantastic reception and enthusiasm for the Buddha’s teachings that made me think when I got back to the monastery: “It’s a crime that they cannot easily follow up that interest. I must run a course or something in Warwick town!”