On a retreat that I taught in Malaysia last year to a group of sincere meditators, I felt that it was time to share some very special Dhamma material, pertaining to the reflective and investigative meditations practiced within the Thai Forest Meditation tradition. Practices that we were beginning to earnestly explore. This talk contains readings that are translations of talks that my teacher Tan Ajahn Anan, a close student of venerable Ajahn Chah, gave to groups of long term supporters as an expression of gratitude for their support and to inspire them to put forth greater efforts in their own practice, having realized the tremendous benefits of these practices himself.
In these talks Tan Ajahn is actually describing the 'Body Contemplation' practices that he used to deepen and develop his insight, and revealing the fact that the insights experienced as a result of these practices, had been purifying his mind of greed, hatred and delusion, and subsequently his mind was established in progressive stages of both purity and liberation. We are very fortunate that Tan Ajahn had the courage and compassion to reveal this to us. Tan Ajahn also explains that the cultivation of the 'Four Brahma Vihara' (loving-kindness /compassion/appreciative joy/equanimity) were a tremendous support to this process as well.
Because of the quality of the material contained in this talk and follow up meditation, I recommend that you choose a quiet time to listen when you can really give it the attention it deserves. These practices can seem so simple that meditators often fail to realize their potential power. It is however a fact, demonstrated to us repeatedly by the Thai Forest Meditation masters, that when we take a really close look at the true nature of the physical body - in a focused and ongoing way (with a mind that has developed or is developing powerful mindfulness and concentration) - the delusion that grasps at the body, (as well as thoughts and feelings) as being a 'Self,' is literally 'seen through' with deep insight, (vipassana) and the long held miss-conception falls away. What remains is a radiant and unconfused mind that understands conventions and conventional reality, but which does not grasp at these in deluded ways that result in suffering.
In sharing this material with you on this occasion I believe that I am sharing the very best thing that I can. I sincerely hope that this talk/reading and related meditation is helpful.
With Loving-kindness - Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu.
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