Sunday 12 March was ‘Dhamma-Sarana Day’ at Nalanda Centre, a day dedicated to learning, practising and contemplating the Dhamma. Ajahn Tiradhammo, a disciple of the late Ajahn Chah, was specially invited to give an evening Dhamma talk for the occasion.
Ajahn Tiradhammo said that most people practise meditation in order to gain something. However its true function is to allow us to see through delusion, learning to let go of attachments to views and ego in the process.
When we see negative emotions such as anger arising within ourselves, we usually try to ignore, suppress, or get rid of it. However, if we could just let go of it and put it down, we can realise that it is just a transient state of mind – uninvited it came due to causes and conditions, and eventually passing away. Understanding it as such, we no longer take these impermanent emotions personally, or get caught up with them.
Ajahn Tiradhammo also spoke about the hindrances we face in our practice, referring to them as ‘precious jewels’ instead. We should not work against them or try to get rid of them; we should instead be aware of them. When this happens, we no longer ‘feed’ the hindrances, so they cannot ‘consume’ us. These hindrances are merely expressions of our ego; if we work with them, we will eventually gain wisdom.
Ajahn said that the seven factors of enlightenment are in fact already present in the mind. Once we realise or notice the presence of these factors such as tranquillity, mindfulness, and effort, we should consider how we can encourage, develop, and nourish them until they become our ‘default mode’. Having cultivated them well, what comes next is simply ‘awakening’.
At the conclusion of the talk, Ajahn Tiradhammo motivated everyone to keep practising diligently. We thank the venerable ajahn for the meaningful teaching, peppered by his wit, joviality, and calming spirit. May we take his advice to heart, and continue to walk on the spiritual path.