An online talk given to the Ottawa Buddhist Society and friends – September 3, 2021
Dear fellow practitioners, warm greetings,
I was recently asked to give some Dhamma reflection to the Ottawa Buddhist Society in Canada via livestream. The subject covered was ‘Cultivating the Seven Factors of Enlightenment in daily life’. I am happy to share that teaching with you all on this occasion as well.
I hope that something contained within this teaching may be helpful or encouraging to you at this time.
Below is the list of questions answered in the most recent livestream, and a link to the video recording of the online gathering. I hope that something contained within may be encouraging or useful to you at this time.
With metta, Ajahn Achalo
1: I wanted to ask about the difference between Dana, Sila, Bhawana and Sila, Samadhi, Panna. I understand the meaning of the words but I am wondering if they refer to the same path but in different stages of development or if there is another reason to describe the path in these two different ways.
2: During meditation practice tears arise during entire Metta practice and towards the end of deep Vipassana practice. They are tears of sadness and felt as a tight pain in the abdomen and numb vibration in the heart. I know sadness is an impermanent fabrication of the mind. Why does this occur? Other than awareness, can something be done with this arising mind state? Is this a purification of the mind? This arising mind state is creating aversion towards meditation.
**Q3 to be addressed in the next teaching**
4: My respect, what do you call a Maha bodhisattva? One who has received confirmation by a Buddha, it can be a future paceekha Buddha or a Sambawa Buddha? And have fulfilled all his paramis already?
5: I suffer from chronic debilitating pain and have suffered for many years. I do try to observe equanimously and accept as much as I can but at times the pain is just too intense to bear and does not respond to pain relief. With increasing age and vicissitudes of life, the pain is becoming quite unbearable now. My question is - could I have some solace in the fact that at least I am exhausting some of my bad kamma in this lifetime by undergoing these sufferings which I have possibly accumulated over many past lifetimes.
6: As I do sitting meditation mindfulness of breathing 5 to 6 hours per day every day, my neck and body are aching so much. I change my meditation position to lying down as Buddha also recommended it in the sutta. But when l lay down, very soon I would fall asleep. I need to increase my mindfulness. Is there any other way not to fall asleep when doing lying down meditation.
7: Dear Ajahn, what is the meaning of the inscription at the bottom of the Buddha status behind you?
8: There are quite a few versions of loving kindness or metta meditation. Can you give us some instructions on how to do a metta meditation? And when should we do it?
Ajahn comments on the Chinese style full bowing practice – from standing – as a way to shift heavy negative mind states. This is especially useful at this time as a tool to lift sadness and brighten the mind.