Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Postby zavk » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:19 am

D'oh! There was the 2nd Buddhist Film Festival just on here over the weekend. Dhamma Brothers was the opening film. I totally missed the festival!!!! Will get the DVD.....
With metta,
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Re: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Postby Nibbida » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:28 am

I have seen both Dhamma Brothers and DTDV. I found both of them are excellent. It's hard to represent something as internal as meditation in a film, fictional or documentary. So these films deserve credit for that.

I show both films in my undergraduate classes (in the USA). The students like both. DTDV was done in India, where things like yoga and meditation are more part of the cultural context (whether or not most people practice it). On the other hand. The Dhamma Brothers is done in a US prison, so the change in the prisoners has more of an impact. It doesn't seem like some foreign, esoteric practice, but rather something done right in our back yard.

There is actually another prison vipassana film called Changing from the Inside, about a group of female inmates in the USA. It's also available from Pariyatti. I haven't seen that one yet.

Woudn't it be nice if we taught prisoners to spend all their idle time meditating rather than learning to bench press 300 lbs?
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana
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Re: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Postby tellyontellyon » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:17 am

Hi,
I spent some time in prison for GBH. It was while I was there that I found a little orange coloured book by Ajahn Sumedho. It was so strange to find that book there, it seemed very out of place really.
Anyway, I was feeling really stressed at the time, very frightened and trying really hard to prove to everybody (and particularly myself) that I was really a 'good' person.
I had read the bible in prison as I was desperate for some sort of support, but I couldn't accept the idea of a god.

I found Ajahn Sumedho's book helpful. I tried to do the meditation but didn't really know what I was doing. The part that really helped was a story about the monk who had to sweep up the leaves but didn't like doing it... eventually the monk learned to use sweeping up leaves as a meditation and so transform it into something beneficial.
Somehow that story really spoke to me at the time... Sorry but I don't know the name of the book.

When I left prison I eventually got involved with Buddhism again. These days I am a lay member of a Karma Kagyu group and have taken refuge with them. I work as a support worker with people with learning disabilities and am now a registered psychotherapist.

I find the teachings and advice that Buddhism offers with regard to attitudes towards difficult daily situations and difficult relationships very helpful. I have found having a generous attitude towards others (especially if they are getting on my nerves) especially helpful and has totally transformed my relationship with people.

I'm really sure that Buddhism can be of help to prisoners. Even something as simple as the donation of a Buddhist book to the local prison's library could be the seed that could completely change the course of someones life.

:heart:
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Re: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Postby cooran » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:38 am

tellyontellyon wrote:Hi,
I spent some time in prison for GBH. It was while I was there that I found a little orange coloured book by Ajahn Sumedho. It was so strange to find that book there, it seemed very out of place really.
Anyway, I was feeling really stressed at the time, very frightened and trying really hard to prove to everybody (and particularly myself) that I was really a 'good' person.
I had read the bible in prison as I was desperate for some sort of support, but I couldn't accept the idea of a god.

I found Ajahn Sumedho's book helpful. I tried to do the meditation but didn't really know what I was doing. The part that really helped was a story about the monk who had to sweep up the leaves but didn't like doing it... eventually the monk learned to use sweeping up leaves as a meditation and so transform it into something beneficial.
Somehow that story really spoke to me at the time... Sorry but I don't know the name of the book.

When I left prison I eventually got involved with Buddhism again. These days I am a lay member of a Karma Kagyu group and have taken refuge with them. I work as a support worker with people with learning disabilities and am now a registered psychotherapist.

I find the teachings and advice that Buddhism offers with regard to attitudes towards difficult daily situations and difficult relationships very helpful. I have found having a generous attitude towards others (especially if they are getting on my nerves) especially helpful and has totally transformed my relationship with people.

I'm really sure that Buddhism can be of help to prisoners. Even something as simple as the donation of a Buddhist book to the local prison's library could be the seed that could completely change the course of someones life.

:heart:


Hello tellyontellyon, all,

I just saw the post above - better late than never - and wonder if this is what you were refering to?

[EXCERPT]
INSIGHT IN SITUATIONS
Sometimes insight arises at the most unexpected times. This happened to me while living at Wat Pah Pong. The Northeastern part of Thailand is not the most beautiful or desirable place in the world with its scrubby forests and flat plain; it also gets extremely hot during the hot season. We’d have to go out in the heat of the mid-afternoon before each of the Observance Days and sweep the leaves off the paths. There were vast areas to sweep. We would spend the whole afternoon in the hot sun, sweating and sweeping the leaves into piles with crude brooms; this was one of our duties. I didn’t like doing this. I’d think, ‘I don’t want to do this. I didn’t come here to sweep the leaves off the ground; I came here to get enlightened - and instead they have me sweeping leaves off the ground. Besides, it’s hot and I have fair skin; I might get skin cancer from being out here in a hot climate.’

I was standing out there one afternoon, feeling really miserable, thinking, ‘What am I doing here? Why did I come here? Why am I staying here? There I stood with my long crude broom and absolutely no energy, feeling sorry for myself and hating everything. Then Ajahn Chah came up, smiled at me and said, ‘Wat Pah Pong is a lot of suffering, isn’t it?’ and walked away. So I thought, ‘Why did he say that?’ and, ‘Actually, you know, it’s not all that bad.’ He got me to contemplate: Is sweeping the leaves really that unpleasant?....No, it’s not. It’s a kind of neutral thing; you sweep the leaves, and it’s neither here nor there....Is sweating all that terrible? Is it really a miserable, humiliating experience? Is it really as bad as I am pretending it is?...No - sweating is all right, it’s a perfectly natural thing to be doing. And I don’t have skin cancer and the people at Wat Pah Pong are very nice. The teacher is a very kind wise man. The monks have treated me well. The lay people come and give me food to eat, and....What am I complaining about?’

Reflecting upon the actual experience of being there, I thought, ‘I’m all right. People respect me, I’m treated well. I’m being taught by pleasant people in a very pleasant country. There’s nothing really wrong with anything, except me; I’m making a problem out of it because I don’t want to sweat and I don’t want to sweep leaves.’ Then I had a very clear insight. I suddenly perceived something in me which was always complaining and criticising, and which was preventing me from ever giving myself to anything or offering myself to any situation.
http://www.buddhanet.net/4noble10.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Postby Ronald21 » Thu May 06, 2010 5:01 am

SOund so delicious keep it up
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Re: Doing Time, Doing Vipassana

Postby tellyontellyon » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:02 am

Hi Cooran:

Yes.... that's it.
Thank you.
:candle:

p.s. Do you happen to know the name of the book?


NEEDED: BUDDHIST PRISON CHAPLAINS
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