Greetings fellow practitioners,
Recently I was invited to give a Dhamma Talk under the Sacred Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya during the 14th annual Tipitaka recitation ceremonies. As I have had many great opportunities to cultivate my own personal practice there, it seemed appropriate to try and rise to the occasion and share some Dhamma refelction with fellow cultivators in this most inspiring and auspicious place. The talk was also translated into Hindi, which was a lovely offering to make to the locals.
The sutta that the gathering was reciting this year was the Buddhavamsa from the Kudakka Nikaya. This is a truly awe inspiring and fascinating text that I was very happy to become acquainted with. It relates in the Buddha's own words the occasion where he received, as a great yogi named Sumedha, the prediction of his future Buddhahood, by the Great Buddha Dipankara. This was 'Four incalculable periods plus 100,000 aeons ago'! The talk covers some truly mind blowing subjects, which is appropriate for such an Enlightening place. To be able to talk of these occurrences in the very place where Gautama Buddha finally fulfilled his incredible destiny was both very humbling and moving for me. I've also tried to share some practical advice as to how we can distil the basics of the core practices and apply them in our lives.
Here you have an opportunity to listen to some of the 'special' ambient background noises that are always present in Bodhgaya. From chanting, talking, dogs barking, buses honking as well as the moslem call to prayer. The talk is clearly audible however. Listening back I found that it was a more pleasant experience listening from speakers, rather than with earphones.
I hope that something contained in the talks will be both instructive and inspiring.
With every good wish,
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
These chants were recorded recently while leading a retreat in Malaysia, so they have a lovely sense of community, faith and devotion as well as profound Liberating Wisdom. They are shared here without any musical soundscape backdrop as an addition to our 'Formal Pali Chanting' Collection. But the Malaysian Chorus does give them a certain liveliness.
I am also sharing here one more Mantra chant rendition. The Medicine Buddha Mantra from the Tibetan Tradition. When a young Californian man who I have known since he was born came to visit Anandagiri recently, I discovered that he had attended a 'Choir School' and as such had trained his voice for several hours every day for more than a decade! This seemed like both a good opportunity and great choice for a chanting collaboration. So we had a late night chanting session in my monk's kuti (hut/cabin) and sent the recording file through cyberspace to the UK, where once again Christopher Conway deftly added his musical accompaniment in delicate layers. The wonders of modern digital music production!
There will be a PDF chanting book embedded on the page where the Three Cardinal Suttas are.
I hope that these Chants prove to be a nourishing support for your chanting, contemplating and meditating practices.
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
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