I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:56 pm

I'm a huge fan of Ahahn Brahm's youtube channel.

I've thought about going on one of his meditation retreats. I live on the east coast of the United States, so I would need at least $3k just to get there and back. I have only found once review/account of what retreats of his are like. I would love to hear more. Something tells me I wouldn't get more "content" then what I already get from his books and videos. I would love to meet him, but I wouldn't know what he would say to me beyond "Hello and thank you for the compliments on my videos".
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:30 pm

Jhana4 wrote:Something tells me I wouldn't get more "content" then what I already get from his books and videos. I would love to meet him, but I wouldn't know what he would say to me beyond "Hello and thank you for the compliments on my videos".


You're right the meditation and basic instructions will be the same as what you could find online. The big advantage would be with the one-on-one interviews with him regarding, meditation, jhanas, etc. AB is great and with his humor, he knows how to break the ice quickly. When he was at my place he noticed some other men with bald heads and asked something like, "Did David make it a rule to shave your head to join this group?"

You could wait for when he is back in the U.S. to lead a retreat or you could attend a retreat led by another good monk, including Bhante G. who I believe is fairly close by to you (if you have not already done so).
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Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby Jhana4 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:28 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:You could wait for when he is back in the U.S. to lead a retreat


I have the impression that AB doesn't visit the US.

or you could attend a retreat led by another good monk, including Bhante G. who I believe is fairly close by to you (if you have not already done so).


I have. He had a heart attack last summer. This summer, he gave group interviews ( questions and answer sessions in small groups really ) to not tax himself too much. I couldn't think of more than one or two simple questions.

When AB does retreats, will he interview you whether or not you can articulate questions to ask him? Will he quiz you about your experiences so he can offer you suggestions in that situation?

The only other retreats I've been on have been Goenka retreats, which are video based. Those retreats were a long time ago so I can't recall if the assistant teachers interviewed people or not......or asked them how it was going if they couldn't articulate questions.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:38 am

Jhana4 wrote:When AB does retreats, will he interview you whether or not you can articulate questions to ask him? Will he quiz you about your experiences so he can offer you suggestions in that situation?


Yes (to both).

Jhana4 wrote:I have the impression that AB doesn't visit the US.


You're right, not very often anyway. He came to one city in Canada last year and one in the U.S. and that is all that I know of; maybe there might be more visits in the future.
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Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:15 pm

Hello James

How's everything going? I hope you are well.

Best wishes! :)
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby hermitwin » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:04 pm

many of his retreat talks/instructions are available online.

apart from youtube,

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... _6fkBsKXOY

there is also Singapore Buddhist Fellowship.

http://www.buddhistfellowship.org/cms/i ... egory.html



Jhana4 wrote:I'm a huge fan of Ahahn Brahm's youtube channel.

I've thought about going on one of his meditation retreats. I live on the east coast of the United States, so I would need at least $3k just to get there and back. I have only found once review/account of what retreats of his are like. I would love to hear more. Something tells me I wouldn't get more "content" then what I already get from his books and videos. I would love to meet him, but I wouldn't know what he would say to me beyond "Hello and thank you for the compliments on my videos".
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Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:29 pm

Hi Janah4,
Jhana4 wrote:I'm a huge fan of Ahahn Brahm's youtube channel.

I've thought about going on one of his meditation retreats. I live on the east coast of the United States, so I would need at least $3k just to get there and back. I have only found once review/account of what retreats of his are like. I would love to hear more. Something tells me I wouldn't get more "content" then what I already get from his books and videos. I would love to meet him, but I wouldn't know what he would say to me beyond "Hello and thank you for the compliments on my videos".

Ajahn Brahm was in Hong Kong for a weekend when I was staying in Hong Kong in 2007. I attended several talks, a one-day retreat, and his visit to the meditation group that I was involved with there. It was these contracts that convinced me that he has a real skill in instruction, and I'm sure a retreat with him would be a very useful experience. [Before that, my impression from recorded talks was that he was interesting but somewhat lightweight.]

I'm not sure what you mean by "content". To me, the key skill a good teacher brings to a retreat isn't information (which, as you say, you can read or listen to any time). It's about setting the conditions, motivation, and feedback on specific problems. I'm convinced he'd be great at that, though I didn't really have a chance to experience the latter in such short sessions.

Having said that, I don't practice his particular approach much (though his instructions on "settling down" at the start of a meditation session are excellent, no matter what approach you use, and I do make use of those), and I don't believe that you need a famous monk to get excellent retreat assistance (most of what I consider to be useful I've learned on retreats with "no-name" monks).

So, absolutely, I think a long retreat with Ajahn Brahm would be great, especially since you already find his approach helpful. It just depends how it stacks up financially and against what you have available locally.

[I should add that AB is far from local to me. He lives on the western side of Australia, and a trip there is only slightly shorter for me than a trip to SE Asia.]

:anjali:
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Re: I've been accepted to stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery

Postby Still Searching » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:12 pm

Congratulations James! :smile:

Long time no speak.
Hope you are well and good luck! :hug:
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