Ajahn Brahm

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
tamdrin
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Ajahn Brahm

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:39 am

At first I thought this teacher seemed to be pretty full of himself but after listening to a few talks I have decided he seems pretty compassionate. Also his talks on jhana meditation are some of the most clear and detailed I have ever heard.


What is the prevailing consensus about him?

paul
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by paul » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:57 am

The historical perspective is along with Thanissaro Bikkhu and Ven. Pa Auk he's one of the new wave of Theravada who teach jhana, as contrasted with the vipassana taught by western monks emanating from Sri Lanka, including Ven. Analayo. Both Thanissaro and he have backgrounds in Thailand.
Last edited by paul on Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:00 am

It's better to focus on the teachings, not the man, but here's my 2 cents worth:

I thought he was a fool, a comedian monk, a monkey, when I just heard a couple of his YouTube talks.
Then a friend of mine dragged me along to visit his monastery, and I heard the very different talks he gives to his monks.
WOW serious and deep, no jokes, samatha meditation talk. Hardcore.
I signed up for a month long stay immediately.
Later I ordained and stayed there for several years

A lot of laypeople seem to like that jokey light approach to the dhamma, and a lot of monastic people are put off by it. But I assure you he's very different when just talking to his monks in private dhamma talks. Those talks are not on YouTube.

His vinaya is very good, and much of Ajahn Thanissaro's Buddhist Monastic Code is heavily based on Ajahn Brahm's unpublished manuscript.

tamdrin
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:41 am

Thank you for sharing, James, Wow, so you were a monk at his temple for some years. How was the experience? What caused you to leave?

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:12 am

tamdrin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:41 am
How was the experience?
It was the same as being at any other Western Theravada monastery that I have stayed at in Australia or New Zealand, not much different. But 25 monks instead of the usual 3 or 4.
It was good.
.What caused you to leave?
I suffer from recurring depression for the last 15 years, and i had an attack of depression while i was at the monastery. I got too sad and decided to leave.
I will return to that monastery next year perhaps, as a layman. Or the Wellington NZ monastery.
It is easier to treat the depression as a layman.

Anyway, sorry this is Off Topic.

tamdrin
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 am

Not off topic... Yeah I suffer from schizophrenia as I posted elsewhere. Doubt I could deal with that as a monk.

tamdrin
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:16 am

Judging from Ajahn Brahms dhamma talks on shamatha/jhana he has some real deep experience in meditation...

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:21 am

tamdrin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:14 am
Not off topic... Yeah I suffer from schizophrenia as I posted elsewhere. Doubt I could deal with that as a monk.
Yes, everything is so much more intense as a monk, when you're stuck alone with your thoughts and nothing else for most of the day.
That's when meditation is really good as an escape from myself. It's a blissful release to focus on the breath and the thoughts go away.

SarathW
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:55 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:12 am
tamdrin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:41 am
How was the experience?
It was the same as being at any other Western Theravada monastery that I have stayed at in Australia or New Zealand, not much different. But 25 monks instead of the usual 3 or 4.
It was good.
.What caused you to leave?
I suffer from recurring depression for the last 15 years, and i had an attack of depression while i was at the monastery. I got too sad and decided to leave.
I will return to that monastery next year perhaps, as a layman. Or the Wellington NZ monastery.
It is easier to treat the depression as a layman.

Anyway, sorry this is Off Topic.
There is a very good monk Venerable Welimada Jinalankara Thero of Dhamma Gawesi Meditation Centre , in Wellington.
I am not sure whether he speaks English.
His Abhidhamma knowledge is superb.
This is something different to you as Ajahn Brahm is not supporting Abhidhamma.

Abhidhamma was not taught by Buddha.

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:08 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:55 am
There is a very good monk Venerable Welimada Jinalankara Thero of Dhamma Gawesi Meditation Centre , in Wellington.
Yes, I visited him several times, he gave me good advice about ordaining. He is a nice man.

tamdrin
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by tamdrin » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:28 am

Is there any chance I could get Ajahn Brahm to answer a question or two via e-mail?

rightviewftw
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:43 am

very controversial monk, here is a talk where he says that it is sometimes ok for lay people to take life
Last edited by rightviewftw on Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:45 am

tamdrin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:28 am
Is there any chance I could get Ajahn Brahm to answer a question or two via e-mail?
No, unfortunately he is too busy to reply to emails.
Pretty much the only way to communicate with him these days, is face-to-face, or through one of the monks at the monastery.
I will Private Message you about how to get in touch.

Laurens
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by Laurens » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:12 am

Ajahn Brahm has gone for a specific style of teaching that can be a bit marmite. That is to say you either like it or you don't.

For those who enjoy the humourous, informal style of teaching, he is great. For those who prefer sutta references and a more strict approach he probably won't cut it.

I like him, but I feel more drawn to someone like Ajahn Amaro at the moment because he explains things I can relate to actual teachings from the suttas moreso than Ajahn Brahm does.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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DooDoot
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Re: Ajahn Brahm

Post by DooDoot » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:46 am

tamdrin wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:39 am
What is the prevailing consensus about him?
Personally, I have never doubted Ajahn Brahm's compassion. His metta might be 100 times greater than mine. However, for me, he is very Mahayana, i.e., attempting to reach a very wide audience, which is why his You Tube talks often don't appeal to well-studied Pali Sutta and Theravada Buddhists. But, as I said, I personally would not doubt his metta & compassion for ordinary people. :heart:
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:00 am
I thought he was a fool, a comedian monk, a monkey, when I just heard a couple of his YouTube talks. Then a friend of mine dragged me along to visit his monastery, and I heard the very different talks he gives to his monks.
WOW serious and deep, no jokes, samatha meditation talk. Hardcore.
Personally, I have never doubted Ajahn Brahm's hardcoreness. But when the hardcore teachings are given in secret and the softcore teachings are given in public, when the guru passes away, what is left? :shrug:
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:45 am
Pretty much the only way to communicate with him these days, is face-to-face, or through one of the monks at the monastery.
Too bad. There was a time the public could phone the monastery during an hour in the early evening. I spoke to Ajahn Brahm by phone once. :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

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