The Four Protections coming up

September 6, 2009

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Sept retreat

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I’m currently teaching a retreat and so Dhamma  Diary will be up later today or tomorrow. It will be the first post of four on the Four Protections: Contemplation of the Buddha, of Loving-kindness, of the Body, and of Death.

During the retreats people are free to write down questions and put them in a box. I then collect them up and try to answer them. Sometimes hardly any are asked, at other times it’s the opposite. Last night, before the evening sitting, I picked up the box and gave it a shake. ‘Oh my god,’ I thought. It felt like half a tree was in there. So I sat down and proceeded to empty it. But I was pleasantly surprised as many of them were not technical and obscure but were inquiries about 1. a display in the sitting room that outlines the essential teachings of Buddhism – she wants a copy; 2. the winter retreats, and 3. (my favourite) an enquiry concerning the procedure for taking the five precepts here! If there is one thing that makes me happy it is when someone asks to take the five precepts.

The way to a man is through his stomach. The way to a monk is by asking to take the five precepts!

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