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Dhammagiri Buddhist Podcasts

Dhammagiri Buddhist Podcasts

Author: Dhammagiri Forest Hermitage

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Dhammatalks, Chanting, Precepts and Meditation with Ajahn Dhammasiha and other Experienced Senior Buddhist Monks in the Theravada Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah. Recorded at Dhammagiri Forest Hermitage, Brisbane, Australia.

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Every Saturday
07.30 am - Triple Refuge & Precepts
12.00 pm - Dhamma-Discussion, Q&A

Every Sunday:
09.00 am - Triple Refuge & Precepts and guided Meditation
12.00 pm - Dhamma Talk & Discussion
03.00 pm - Chanting, Guided Meditation and Dhamma-Reflection
131 Episodes
Ajahn Dhammasiha discusses the question: What's the best possible motivation for our practice of generosity?According to the Buddha, we generate good karma not just for happiness in future rebirths, but right here and now good karma is an ornamentation for our mind, beatifying our mind and equipping our mind with wholesome happiness and joy that will support our development of samādhi and insight.Fully understanding that process, and then deliberately practising generosity to make our mind happy in a wholesome way connected with Dhamma is the highest and most beneficial motivation for us to make good
Compassion vs Empathy

Compassion vs Empathy


Empathy is the ability to imagine the feelings, emotions and views of others; to be able to perceive the situation from their perspective, almost as if we're experiencing or sharing their emotions. But if we only practice empathy, we may get overwhelmed ourselves, if we empathize with those who are experiencing extreme suffering.Compassion ('Karuṇā') goes beyond experiencing others' suffering; it focuses on wishing them to be free from all pain and hardship. Developing the intention: "May you be free from all suffering" is not weighing us down. That intention is uplifting and beautifying our own mind. It allows us to witness intense suffering without getting overwhelmed. We're not ignoring or denying the pain of others. We can help and engage, without getting weight down. And even if it's impossible to practically help, we can still develop compassion and keep our own heart bright and wholesome, even in the face of all the hardship that countless beings undergo in the repeated circle of death &
Karuṇā, 'Compassion', is the heartfelt wish for all beings to be free from suffering. It is one of the 'Brahmavihāras', the 'Divine Abodes', which the mind can use as an internal dwelling place in meditation. It is also known as 'Appamañña-Vihāra', an unlimited, infinite home for our mind.In this guided meditation, Ajahn Dhammasiha encourages the use of a short formula that we silently repeat internally, to slowly but steadily generate the liberating emotion of compassion:"May all beings be free from suffering!""May all beings be free from suffering!""May all beings be free from suffering!"
Responding to a question from the audience, Ajahn Dhammasiha offers some reflection on the meaning of 'Ignorance', in Pali language expressed by the terms 'Avijjā' and 'Moha'.Ignorance is not simply not knowing, but it is knowing wrongly. In other words, we have no awareness of being ignorant; we're actually convinced that we do know perfectly well. But unfortunately, our supposed 'knowing' is deeply distorted and false due to defilments that effect all our perceptions, thoughts and views.In particular, ignorance means ignorance of the 4 Noble Truths. We experience suffering, and we think it's due to some outside cause, we're convinced it's always someone else who's at fault for our suffering: Perhaps we think we suffer because of our tough boss, or because of our mother in law, or because of lying politicians, and so on...But truly knowing the first Noble Truth means understanding that our suffering is ultimately caused inside our mind, and has craving and attachment as it's
Ajahn Dhammasīha and Dr Gamini share memories from the difficult but inspiring early days of Dhammagiri. When we acquired the property in 2007, there was no power, no water, and no buildings except for one gigantic but empty water tank. Almsfood was offered out in the open, unprotected from sun or rain, and teachings/meditations were conducted in a tent without heating or air conditioning...
Ajahn Dhammasīha relates the story how the Jetavana Monastery was offered to the Buddha by Anāthapiṇḍika. This is the monastery where the Buddha spent some 25 rains retreats, and where so many of his discourses were delivered. Anāthapiṇḍika, later the foremost male disciple in generosity, feels spontaneous faith just on hearing the word 'Buddha'. He leaves the city in the darkness before dawn to meet the Buddha personally. But suddenly he is overcome by fear. Fortunately, a benevolent spirit encourages him to overcome his anxiety: "Move on, please move on, do not turn back!" He takes heart, continues on his way, and is soon welcomed by the Buddha...



On occasian of 'Australia Day', Ajahn Dhammasiha offers some reflections on the 'Pioneering Spirit' which pervaded early Australian society, and which is still noticable today. Similar, when establishing the Sāsana in a Western, non-Buddhist country; or starting a new Forest Monastery, we have to develop the typical qualities of a pioneer to be successful: Fearlessness, courage to forge ahead in the face of uncertainty and risk, willingness to let go of conveniences and security of our old home, and so on... We can see that very fearlessness & courage in all the great Krooba Ajahns, and in the monks that were leading the establishment of the forest tradition in the West, like Luang Por Sumedho. Finally, we all need the fearless pioneering spirit in our internal meditation: Ultimately, we have to let go of all conditioned phenomena and cross the ocean of Saṃsāra to the unknown land, the further shore known as Nibbāna.
Asked what meditation technique he's teaching, Ajahn Chah once famously answered: “I'm teaching torture” ('toroman' in Thai) Of course, this is not meant literally, as someone with profound insight and great compassion like Luang Por Chah would never act motivated by cruelty. So what did he actually mean? Ajahn Dhammasīha offers some reflections how we can interpret Ajahn Chah's “torture”, and how being “tortured” can lead us to develop wisdom, insight and letting go of all dukkha.
A crucial factor for progress and success in our meditation practice is simply learning to really enjoy meditating. Curiously, we often neglect that aspect, and instead rely only on will power and persistance.In this guided meditation, Ajahn Dhammasiha encourages us to deliberately develop the perceptions of gladness, joy and happiness for each step in our practice of breath
16 January is the death anniversary of Ajahn Chah, the founder of our lineage in the Theravada Forest Tradition, which has now spread to many Western counries. Traditionally, a one week long remembrance festival is held at his monastery Wat Nong Pah Pong on the occasion. Hundreds of monks and thousands of laity gather to practise meditation and listen to Dhamma, and on the last day a huge procession circumambulates Luang Por Chah's stupa to express their gratitude, respect and devotion. Ajahn Dhammasiha offers some reflections on the exceptional 'Pāramī' ('Spiritual Perfections') Ajahn Chah had cultivated, which are outstanding even among the great Krooba Ajahns.
Even if our physical body is confined in our house or appartment during the COVID lockdown, our mind still has the freedom to dwell in Loving Kindness ('Mettā'). The 'Divine Abode' of loving kindness is located internally in our consciousness. Thus it remains accessible, right inside our own heart, never mind where our physical body may be located.Ajahn Dhammasiha reminds us that, rather than getting upset or depressed in lockdown, we can decide to dwell in the bright, beautiful and joyful 'Divine Abode' of unconditional, universal loving kindness, easily accessible in our own
In this guided meditation, Ajahn Dhammasīha points out that the location of our physical body does not necessarily have to be where our mind is located. Even if our physical body is confined in a lockdown, our mind can dwell in the divine abode of infinite, unconditional loving kindness to all beings.We repeat:"In gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease"continuously in our mind like a little mantra, consistently and mindfully. As we're repeating these words, we put our heart into it, we really mean it, and we mindfully notice how the intention of non-judgemental, unconditional good will naturally arises. We also notice that this intention is connected with an exquisite happiness, a buoyant emotion of calmful joy, which we fully relish and allow to unfold until it suffuses our whole body &
Ajahn Dhammasiha asks the audience: Imagine someone paid you $100 each time you bowed to the Buddha - how many times a day would you bow?They all admit that they would bow so often that their back starts hurting.But each time we bow with a genuine emotion of faith, confidence, respect and devotion, we generate good karma ('puñña') worth much more than $100! And we will not even loose that good karma when we die, but take it with us to our next life!Therefore, once we understand how much karmic benefit we receive from a simple act as bowing, we will do it a lot. Once we understand how much good karma we make by simply thinking many times: "May all beings be happy and at ease!", we will try to think such thoughts all the
Many struggle with feelings of guilt. Some even berate themselves, self-criticize, and continue to beat themselves down until they loose all self esteem and start hating themselves due to unskilfull, harmful actions they have done.But that serves no benefit to anyone: It doesnt help the person we may have harmed, it's bad for ourselves, and of no use to anyone at all.Ajahn Dhammasiha explains what the Buddha advised us to do if we have committed harm:We have to recognize if we have acted unskilfully, fully understand and honestly acknowlege it (suppression/denial doesn't work!)If possible, we try to fix any damage and ask for forgivenessWe firmly resolve to do better in futureWe completely forgive ourselves and let goWe maintain our resolution and restrain ourselves not to do the unskilful action ever againGuilt is all about the past. Instead of wallowing in guilt, we focus all our energy on doing better in the future. That's what's benefical for both ourselves and all other beings!
As part of our New Year's Eve Program at Dhammagiri, we conducted a ceremony of asking forgiveness from Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Ajahn Dhammasiha recites the traditional verses both in Pali and English translation, and the whole community repeats line by line after him. This simple ritual is deeply meaningful and so helpful for overcoming feelings of guilt."By body, speech, or mind,For whatever wrong action I have committed towards the Buddha,May my acknowledgement of fault be acceptedThat in future there may be restraint regarding the Buddha"In the end, it's not so much about whether the Buddha forgives us (in his infinite compassion, he certainly does do so in any case). Instead, the crucial question is whether we can forgive ourselves. Even if others forgive us, it wouldn't really help as long as we continue beating ourselves down due to feelings of guilt. But when we ask forgiveness from the Triple Gem wholeheartedly again and again, it triggers something in our own mind, ond the heart opens up and we can gradually grant full forgivenss to ourselves and let go.Of course, for this to work, it's also necessary to stop doing the harmful actions that cause us to feel guilt, and to set up a firm resolution to never do it
On New Year's Eve we offered a special ceremony for those who wish to really commit themselves to observance of the 5 precepts for the following year. Quite a substantial group showed up and made that powerful commitment.The sequence of the ceremony is as follows:Buddha Puja with Evening Chanting (some Chants in Pali, some in English)Requesting the Triple Refuge & Five PreceptsTaking refuge in Buddha, Dhamma & SanghaCommitting to the 5 Precepts for all of 2021A few words of acvice by Ajahn Dhammasiha, encouraging participants in their resolution to train in the five 'Trainingsteps' to purify their virtueShort Guided Meditation, where Ajahn recommends to 'feel out' the uplifting, energizing effect such a powerful resulution has on our mind (silent period has been edited and reduced to half a minute for this podcast)Paying respect to Buddha, Dhamma and
Ajahn Dhammasiha brings up the metaphor of a 'Sneaky Santa Claus', who is not distributing all the gifts in his sack to the kids, but instead keeps some of the stuff for himself. That would be a bad Santa.Similarly, we would be sneaky meditators if we continued to hold on, cling, and identify with anything at all that we encounter in our mind during meditation. Like Santa's task is to empty his sack completely by distributing all the gifts, so our task in meditation is to empty the mind completely from all clinging to emotions, thoughts, memories, past & future...; from any identification with anything
Could it be that a Buddhist monk believes in Santa Claus?Yes, it could be, in the sense that he believes in Santa as a symbol for generosity. Santa's sole job is to bring gifts to all the kids all over the world. Giving is good karma. Good karma means happiness. Consequently, we find that Santa is always represented as smiling, jovial and happy - a perfect embodiment of the quality of generosity and kindness, and the resulting happiness!Additionally, Santa is also a symbol for karma. In order to actually get the requested gifts from Santa, we have to be good boys and girls. The baddies won't get any gifts! Likewise, only when we generate lots of good karma ('puñña') will our wishes become reality.But it's also important to generate wholesome aspirations: We have to be judicious what to put onto our wishlist. We don't want to waste all our good karma for getting only superficial things like material riches. Instead, be better aspire for spiritual qualities like kindness, virtue, mindfulness, wisdom and
This Dhamma discussion begins with someone sharing the recent story of a 7 year old kid in rural Sri Lanka, who started talking about his past life as an astronaut/pilot, and how he died in an accident. Amazingly, the little boy speaks fluent Hindi (not normally spoken in Sri Lanka) and fluent English, even with native English accent!This leads to an interesting exchange with Ajahn Dhammasiha and other members of the audience about karma, rebirth, the transition from one life to the next, and the well known "judgment-scene" described in various cultures and religions, where the departed after their death encounter a court scene, where all their good and bad actions are recorded and
Ven Sīvali was one of the 80 'Great Disciples' of the Buddha. Due to his extraordinary good karma, he would always receive almsfood and requisites in abundance, even more than the Buddha himself. Consequently, he has become a symbol of good luck and wealth in in the Theravāda tradition.His birth was truly extraordinary as well: His mother Suppavāsa was pregnant for 7 years, and then almost died in childbirth when her labour lasted 7 days. Barely recovered, she invited Buddha and Sangha for a series of 7 days almsoffering.Already the day after his birth the little baby could speak, and had a Dhamma discussion with Ven Sāriputta, the Buddha's chief disciple. Suppavāsa was exceedingly happy that her baby was a child prodigee that could speak about Dhamma right after birth. When asked by the Buddha, she even stated that she would love to have 7 kids just like him!(Completely forgetting that the day before she had reached the peak of pain and suffering because of that child!!)The Buddha then spontaneously exclaims the following verses:Pain in the disguise of pleasure,The repulsive masquerading as lovely,Suffering in the semblance of happinessOverwhelm those who are heedless.[Udāna/'Inspired Exclamations' 2.8 'Suppavāsa Sutta']
Comments (6)

dv Th

do buddhist podcasting have in the thai or myanmar?

Dec 27th

Janette McDonald

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Oct 3rd

Tum So


Apr 24th

james oh

Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Apr 23rd


Thank you for finding a new podcast option for us to be able to keep accessing our community and talks 🙏🏼

Apr 12th


Welcome to the ne w platform and best wishes 🥳

Apr 9th
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