This talk and selection of readings was given to a group of pilgrims in Savathi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Within the precincts of Savathi was situated the site of the Jetavana, or Jeta's Grove, the monastery where Lord Buddha spent the greatest number of rains retreats. The monks and lay-pilgrims spent several hours in the morning and afternoon meditating at the archaeological site of the ancient monastery, soaking up the serenity that still pervades the grove today. So many profound and wonderful suttas were recited here by the Lord Buddha, and many thousands of beings were liberated through listening and contemplating what they had heard in this very special place. The air seems still to be permeated and illuminated by the power of purity and liberating wisdom, so much so that all of the pilgrims in the group became peaceful in meditation very quickly and easily, despite having been on a ten hour bus ride just the day before.
In the evening we read a little about the extraordinary generosity and kindness of the foremost lay man (Anathapindaka) and lay woman (Visakha) patrons of the Buddhist order. These two exemplary beings who had accumulated much merit and cultivated great virtue in previous lives both attained to realisation of the Dhamma very quickly. There stories are both inspiring and entertaining. We also consider the might and power of the growing enlightened order that grew up around the Buddha in his day.
I sincerely hope that some of the inspiration of the occasion and Blessings of that sacred place has been captured in these recorded words, so that you to might find increased energy for your ongoing practice.
Having returned safely from an inspired period of intensive meditation practice in Bodhgaya I found that I had a burst of good energy and was able to edit a number of talks and meditations that I had been hoping to get around to for some time. We plan to upload these over the coming months.
On this occasion I am sharing a reading of one of Venerable Ajahn Chah's translated talks that gives an inspiring and deeply empathic overview of practice. This short talk is one of my favourites as every time read it I feel encouraged to keep putting forth effort. I am also sharing a talk that I gave while teaching a retreat which points to the qualities that we need to depend upon in order to develop insight, and which also enable us to abandon the unskilful qualities that oppress our minds.
I sincerely hope that this reading and talk may be helpful to you at this time.
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
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