Dear Fellow practitioners,
Last November/December I had the honour of leading a three week Pilgrimage to the main Buddhist Holy sites in Northern India and Nepal. We travelled as a group of four monks… three nuns… two Thai and two Indian guides as well as 23 lay practitioners. It was a wonderful journey and I am confident that everyone who had joined benefitted greatly.
During the Pilgrimage I decided to write a journal describing some of what had occurred in these places during the time of Lord Buddha… as well as what we had been doing in these places to express our gratitude, respect and devotion. (There was a lot of time on long bus journeys in which one could mindfully tap away on a tablet.. doing something constructive!) I also mentioned some of my own impressions and experiences at these places.
Originally I had only intended to share the journal with the pilgrims themselves… to help them remember where we'd been and what we'd done. Re-reading the journal I came to feel that because there is a lot of interest about the subject of Pilgrimage among Buddhist practitioners, there may be a wider interest in the content of the journal.
These two talks are readings from the Journal along with other relevant commentary. In sharing these I hope that you may feel some of the joy, respect and gratitude that can arise on a sacred Pilgrimage.
I sincerely hope that you find something herein both interesting and helpful.
With Loving – Kindness
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
Dear fellow practitioners,
In a recent visit to Melbourne, Australia I had several opportunities to meet with large groups of city-dwelling lay-practitioners. Feeling the not uncommon energies of both dullness, tiredness and scattered-ness in the room, it seemed appropriate to try to offer some encouraging words which might help those in attendance to feel good about their life opportunities and practice, and to help them to re-energise and re-focus.
The qualities that will actually liberate us are initially quite subtle. We can overlook their profound value and importance. The truth is that we have everything we need right here in our minds and in our human capacity to Liberate ourselves from every type of suffering… if we are willing to do put forth the requisite consistent effort.
I hope that something in this talk might serve as an encouragement.
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
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