From February 15th to 24th 2015, Ajahn Brahm offered this San Francisco Bay Area speaking tour in support of the Dhammadharini’s Sangha new bhikkhuni monastery. Founded by Ayya Tathaaloka, the Dhammadharini women’s monastic community was the first bhikkhuni Sangha of the Theravadan forest tradition in North America, and one of the few places in the West that women can become fully ordained Buddhist monastics. Dhammadharini’s Aranya Bodhi Hermitage and temporary vihara are led by fully ordained female monastics (bhikkhunis), the type of monastic life and ordination established by the Buddha 2,500 years ago.
In this talk, Ajahn Brahm talks about the importance of taking refuge not in specific teachers, but in the Dhamma. Ajahn also urges listeners to question monastics and have candid but respectful discussions. Ajahn describes the differences between a monastic (who has taken vows of renunciation) vs. a layperson is largely the degree of renunciation. Ajahn also talks about how we make the choice whether to be angry or not, and how choosing to perceive things differently (e.g. perceiving snoring as modern music) helps one to overcome ill-will: “it’s not the sound that disturbs you, it’s you who disturbs the noise.”
Teaching retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPkD03I8sKA (YouTube Channel: Ajahn Brahm’s Benefit Talks for Dhammadharini)
Audio teachings are available to download from our BSWA Podcast (Dharma talks and guided meditations) and BSWA Deeper Dhamma Podcast (retreats and suttas). Videos can be viewed on our BSWA Youtube Channel and YouTube playlists.