Ajahn Achalo was born in Brisbane Australia in 1972. He developed a keen interest in meditation at the age of twenty and a year later left for Thailand to study Buddhism more intently. After a two year period practising in various centres and monasteries, in 1996 Ajahn Achalo ordained as a Theravada Bhikkhu (monk) under Ajahn Liem at Wat Nong Pah Pong, the monastery founded by venerable Ajahn Chah. Although most of his training has taken place in Thailand, Ajahn Achalo has also lived in several international Forest Monasteries in the Ajahn Chah lineage. Ajahn Achalo is deeply grateful for his many opportunities to study with well-practiced monks as well as for having been able to train in several traditional contexts, including meditation monasteries, remote forests, and periods on pilgrimage. During his years of training, he has received personal guidance from many remarkable teachers, among them, Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Jayasaro and Ajahn Kalyano. For most of his Bhikkhu life, he has considered Tan Ajahn Anan, abbot of Wat Marp Jan, to be his principal mentor. In addition, he has found the Dalai Lama's instructions and example to be of tremendous value.
Ajahn gives a dhamma talk and answers questions at the 17th International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony. 00:00 Introduction 03:15 Dhamma talk 41:27 Q&A - Questions are précised. 41:27 Q1: On retreat I can sit for about 45 minutes before I have to move, but outslde retreat, I can sit still for only about 20-25 minutes. Can you advise me please? 57:12 Q2: Can you clarify please ' I read a translation that says one mark of awareness is 'holding'. But my experience is that it is discernment or acknowledgement that is a mark. 1:00:40 Q3: I have read the word 'feeling' being applied to the body and also 'feeling' applied to the mind. But my understanding is that feeling is in the mind only and what the body experiences in called a sensation, not a feeling. Can you clarify this? 1:02:23 Q4: Why is 'form' included in the 5 kandas / skandas? It seems I experience 'feeling', not form. 1:04:29 Q5: Can you please describe the 37 path factors? (Ajahn says he will address it in his talk on Dec 8th). 1:05:50 Q6: Regarding attachment, how can we relinquish attachments when we also want to live in a state of love and compassion with others? Is there not a conflict there? 1:10:25 Q7: We do meditation to empty our minds, but can we live in this world with an empty mind? 1:13:24 Q8: I am new at this and struggle to conduct a practice and not being imposed on by kalyanamitta who advise me not to meditate but only to serve. 1:14:47 Q9: (in view of your answer) Should we then practice alone and not have kalyanamitta? What is sangha then? 1:16:39 Q10: Is consciousness really conscious in itself or is it dependent?
04:02 Q1 - How can one truly love oneself? Many times even though we do an entire project we blame ourselves for some mistake and focus on the negative things. 10:25 Q2 - I'd like to know if faith is all about being positive? What about the things that we really can't do? Is accepting that an aspect of faith as well? Ajahn mentions 1) the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta: The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic. It is available here: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.059.than.html 2) Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon, available here: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.than.html
00:44 Q1: I am interested to learn Sattipathana Sutta from Tan Ajahn, a perspective from a monk's. I'm following your talks for some time now and your talks inspire me. I have recently done Sattipathana course from Goenka tradition. Would you please teach us as Vassa is also just around the corner. Will be highly grateful. 42:51 Q2: Sila is generosity. In the retreat Q&A, it says sila is for the abandoning of the 3 fetters in order to gain wisdom. Please elaborate. I do not know what the 3 fetters are. I have not finished reading all the literatures of Buddhism. Thank you. 55:11 Q3 Dear Ajahn, currently I am facing some obstacles and fear because there is a violent Vajrayana fighter nun who cannot rejoice in my daily dana to Buddha and Bodhi tree. She is trying to harm me by kicking my bag when I am chanting, disturbing me...etc. How can I protect myself from these types of circumstances? With metta. See also this video: Four Foundations of Mindfulness - Part 2 - Aug 10, 2022
40:19 Q&A (questions are précised) 40:33 Q1 History and geography teach us that ten thousand years ago people were living in filth, like animals. Yet the scriptures speak of many thousands of eons of lives. How are these [two very different time frames] possible? 43:00 Q2 Could you please give more tips and advice for real beginners in meditation? 50:08 Q3 Regarding the four foundations of mindfulness, is there one which is more important? 53:57 Q4 I have come to see doubt as a most important hindrance in my practice. I even doubt the existence of that thing called enlightenment. How can I get rid of that? 58:46 Q5 Regarding sense restraint, can you say more about practicing with sound here. 1:07:54 Q6 How can householders go deeper into vipassana with the limited time in their lives? 1:12:31 Q7 Could you clarify how we would do the Buddho mantra in our daily tasks