May 4: We listened to a Dhamma talk by Ajahn Brahm on The Four Ways of Letting Go. The first way is to throw away the past, future worries, the complaining, fault finding mind and excess thinking. Keep only one thing: the present moment. Secondly, learn what freedom truly is. Any place you don't want to be is a prison. The solution is to wnt to be where you are: contentment. Third, give, expecting nothing in return. Finally, have a teflon mind so nothing sticks.
May 7: Sanghamitta gave a Dhamma talk on Not-self. We are a verb, not a noun, a process, not something fixed. The Buddha discouraged people from asking, "Is there a self? Is there no self." He said this would just get one into a thought tangle. Instead he encouraged us to observe that when conditions are present a result occurs and when that condition(s) ceases the result ceases.
May 11: Tonight we did a "pouring ceremony" to remember the lives of loved ones who have died. This was initiated by Manik's loss of her brother one week ago. Several others poured as well to remember loved ones. We then listened to Ajahn Sona's initial talk on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. The entire retreat can be found on Ajahn Sona's You Tube Channel.
May 14: Ayya Santacitta gave a preview Dhamma talk on her upcoming retreat on the Four Protective Meditations and then led us in a guided meditation on Recollection of the qualities of the Buddha.
May 18: We listened to a guided meditation on metta from Tahn Nisabho and then a Dhamma talk on Pain, Pleasure and Beyond.
May 25: Tonight we listened for the first time to Ven. Munissara from Dhammasara Monastery in Australia. She gave a Dhamma talk on contentment and patience.
May 28: This past Wednesday was the full moon in May, the anniversary of the birth, Awakening and passing away of the Buddha. It is called Vesak. This morning we listened to a talk by Ajahn Sona commemorating Vesak.