We started arranging this event in December 2008. Ajahn Pasanno, who had lived for a while in Bangkok back in the 1970’s, knew that Dhamma was kind of hard to find in the English language, and that this is a big gap in the Buddhist society here in the capital. Things have not changed much since then. When we requested him to give a talk here he was very happy to give his time. Possible dates and venues passed back and forth for the next year.
Ajahn Amaro never spent that much time in Thailand, and the time he was here was spent in the North East. He later dotted back and forth between helping lead the community in England, and the US where he was continually invited to teach. Finally he set up the temple there, and has not travelled so much to Thailand since then.
Gladly everything worked very well. The room, kindly provided by the Tawana Hotel for us free of charge (rooms that size are about 60 000 baht per day to rent) was plenty big enough, even with the large crowd. They also provided coffee and refreshments.
Ajahn Amaro talked very nicely on the process of desiring. Trying to get what you want is a natural attempt at happiness. Yet, the peak of the excitement is just as you actually get that thing you want. Then it rapidly loses its power to entice, and the mind is looking to the next thing rather than noticing the cessation (and Ajahn Pasanno talked a lot more on the cessation aspect in the following talk). It is not difficult to express the danger of negative emotions like anger … butAjahn Amaro was explaining how to see the desiring process too as being dukkha – and this takes a lot more spiritual maturity. Too many people get stuck here – blindly holding on to small desires, without being willing to really investigate.
Two Dhamma talks on the same day like this … it was impressive how many people came in the afternoon, when traffic is bad. Between the two talks there were about 250 people. It is a great boon for us that monastics hare happy to venture out from their temples and encourage us in our practise.
The pro photos by Boaz Zippor are posted up. Click the picture below to jump to the gallery.