A Mindful Exploration of Perception

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Let’s have an exploration of perceptions… what arises in your mind when you see this picture ?

What thoughts arise regarding the people who put it up?

What changes when I tell you that these are my neighbors, only two houses down?

What the changes when I tell you they are a nice young couple who has come to Bhavana multiple times and asked questions about meditation?

And lastly, what changes when I tell you that they put that sign up because people went to their house and literally ripped out copper pipes to sell? In a place where the nearest police is 40 miles away, you are on your own out here. (ive never even seen police within 20 miles of Bhavana, don’t even know what they’d look like).

This is the importance of not rushing to judgement regarding other people. Sure our minds will do so, but do you question those initial judgements? Or just accept them as truth?

Now what if I told you that I, a Buddhist monk, was for years in lay life , a firearms owner and a member of the NRA, even while being a Buddhist practitioner and moving towards ordination?

Or that I was never a vegetarian in lay life?

Now because of this picture, my message may appear to be quite one sided, as someone who was an independent in lay life, I belonged to various groups that line up with the various political sides, like Sierra club and others. The reality is that this is a human problem, and I myself am guilty of rushing to judgement on people, it is something i still work on to this day, using the same questions I’ve posted here towards my own mind.

For those of you who’ve heard my teachings before, what does that new information bring up in your minds?

What do you suppose that new information will do if you hear me speak in the future, how will it affect what you hear me say? how will you perceive my intentions behind my message?

How often do we justify not having to listen to what someone has to say, just because they are one of “those” people?

This is why it’s important to treat each person you come across as a complicated human being, a sovereign individual worthy of common decency, and strive to work against our natural inclinations to to group people in categories , make judgments, and separate yourself from others as different, or better.

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Student Of The Path Podcast : Beginnings

A bit of an announcement.

I’ve started to work on and produce a Buddhist podcast. I’ve named it “Student of the Path” Podcast, for obvious reasons(my youtube channel, discord, etc)

I’ve only so far created this introductory episode, explaining my thoughts and ideas as to what this podcast will be.

“Students of the Path” Online Sangha Turns 2 Years old

Our “Students of the Path” Discord Sangha turns 2 years old this weekend and we just celebrated with some chanting, guided meditation, and precepts.
 
We’ve gotten up to Majjhima Nikaya 66(yes starting from 1) in our Sunday Sutta class(6:30pm Eastern every Sunday) and continue to have lay persons discussions and various channels related to Dhamma.
 
We also mix and work in concert with other buddhist channels on discord, being part of the larger Buddhist community on the platform.
 
If you’d like to be a part of our world wide online sangha with multiple monastics, come join us via this link – https://discord.gg/YBAzGcV
 
it is free and the platform can be used via browser, phone app, or desktop app

Out of Seclusion & Dhamma Podcast in the works

Welcome to a new year everyone. Bhavana is now out of seclusion and the first retreat is coming up. It’s a fairly busy time for Bhavana and for me right now, but I wanted to announce a project I’ve been thinking about the past few months.

I kind of toyed with it a little in the past, but this year what I’d like to get going is a podcast, for now I’ll call it the “Students of the Path Podcast” and I believe I will continue with the “10 Minute Dhamma” series I began last year.

I think for the beginning I will be covering very basic information about Buddhism, as I would like this for sure to become something that has good outreach to everyone who may be interested in Dhamma, and I will branch out from there.

I’m not sure if I will be doing this video and audio, or just audio, but I would like to eventually also have guests on and make it into a real deal serial podcast, but for now it’s time to just start small.  In fact I’ve been procrastinating about it, which is why I wanted to make this announcement so it would give me the extra kick in the rear to devote some time to getting this started.

I have good feelings for Bhavana , and myself, this year, lets all try to make it a good one :).

2018 Travel Schedule as of January

Tentative Travel Dhamma schedule for 2018 so for :
 
In February I will be spending all or part of my seclusion time at Forest Dhamma monastery in VA.
 
March 2-6 : Naples Florida Dhamma Tour
 
April 6-8 : Buddhist Insights NYC – Metta Retreat
 
April 14th : Day Long Retreat at Stockton University NJ
 
July 6-8 : Buddhist Insights NYC – Mindfulness of Death
 
November 2-4 : Buddhist Insights NYC – Satipatthana Retreat