Today is my last day in Colorado and the end of a four and a half month journey. I take a red eye flight(11:30pm) tonight to florida and a morning flight back to New Jersey.
Colorado was great, made some friends, learned a lot, got to go into the mountains, and discuss my vision with a few people.
In a week all my livestream stuff will be back, Monday night Dhammapalooza, Morning Monastery Experience, etc.
I also have some videos to make for the channel, explaining just exactly my vision and plans for Maggasekha as an organization and setting roots in Colorado.
It will be good to get back to “regular” nomadic monk life, and Its time to start looking into where ill be staying month to month in 2022.
Im also open to start sharing Dhamma again, I have multiple zoom sessions with various Buddhist groups already scheduled, so if you have a group and would like me to do an event with you, just send me a pm.
from an old facebook post:
Lately I’ve been getting a bunch of questions on my old tumblr account, not sure why, but I figured my response to this question about soulmates might be helpful or insightful to some :
Does Buddhism have anything similar to soulmates/ spiritual partners/companions? I’ve heard about the idea of “khu barami” in Thailand, but I’m not sure if this is a cultural or a Buddhist idea?
Since there is no soul in Buddhism, the concept of soul mates cannot exist within it’s framework. There is a sutta where a married couple comes up to the Buddha and asks how they can be together in a future life, and he said that if they practice dhamma together this can be possible.
What he doesn’t mention though is that, since each person’s kamma is their own, you may have some contact in a future life, but you will most likely be different beings with a different relationship, and it’s not like you will have a recollection that you were in love with this person in a past life, etc.
There is the concept of a kammic connection though, and in later Buddhist stories you see the buddha and his disciples being relatives in the past, one time Buddha was the mother, and Sariputta was the father, others were their children, one time Buddha was the son, etc etc. As far as I have seen the Buddha never speaks about this in the Early Buddhist Texts, his accounts of his own past lives are fairly rare, most were later additions(aka Jataka Tales).
What the Buddha DOES say however, in the context of developing goodwill and compassion to all beings, is that you’d be hard pressed to find any being who at one point wasn’t your mother, father, or relative. All of us have had these relative connections at some time in the past.
it is a comfort people want, to be able to know they can be with loved ones again after death, it can even be a romantic thing “ throughout the ages and rebirths, I will always have your in my heart” etc etc, but the Buddha did not offer any easy pleasant answers or comforts in this regard like you would find in a Christian Heaven kind of scenario.
There are no guarantees, so practice well in this life, and live with gratitude for the loved ones in your life who help to shape who you are and who you will become, you never know how long your time with them will be.
My nomadic journey continues, my stay at Abhayagiri was very fruitful and ive been invited to visit again in the future , today its a drive down to LA to stay a few days at the Indonesian Vihara there. ive been asked to do a day long retreat with them on Saturday, then Sunday I catch my flight to Colorado where i’ll be spending Thanksgiving week, then back to NJ for December.
Ive been in California since July 13th, and while the whole trip has been amazingly beneficial and fruitful, i’m a bit travel weary, im looking forward to being back in my normal day to day mode in a few weeks.
Maggasekha now has a paid zoom channel. Keep an eye out in the the future as I have a few plans.
I think ill be offering monthly weekend retreats starting in 2022, and one off events such as a children’s meditation class and an in depth sutta study series in the Mahasatipatthana sutta.
if you have any ideas for events you’d like me to host, please feel free to pass them along.
I’m here on the next step of my journey, hanging out off grid(yep, not even power grid) with two tough hard working wilderness Bhikkhunis, Ayya Santussica and Ayya Cittananda of Karuna Buddhist Vihara.
I am still due a final video from my Vassa with the DhammaDharini Ayyas, its been a hectic kathina weekend and Im still recovering and settling in. I also feel like I need to contemplate the end of my wonderful vassa some more before speaking about it.
Im here until November 9th then ill be going completely offline for a week at Abhayagiri, before heading down to LA.
Its been quite a journey so far, and I admit a part of me is missing being in comfortable familiar surroundings and doing my livestreams and the like, but I still have a good amount of journey left before I return, and I’m trying to make the best of each day here in Cali.
My 5th Vassa , and my time at Aranyabodhi Hermitage is at an end, and the rest of my travels begins. I do not return to NJ until November 28th. In a few days I’ll be spending time at Karuna Buddhist Vihara with Ayya Cittananda and Ayya Santussika Bhikkhuni, then its off to Abhayagiri for a week and after that down to LA to spend a few days with Indonesian friends before leaving California and landing in Colorado! where ill be spending Thanksgiving week touring and site seeing, then after that the final trip back east.
This vassa was a wonderful and needed experience for me and I am very grateful to Ayya Tathālokā Bhikkhunī, Ayya Kaccāyana Bhikkhunī, Thāvirā Sāmaṇerī and the other residents for taking good care of me while I hung out at Ravenmist camp , which was up the mountain off hermitage grounds in a nice secluded place, doing my best to develop my skills as a monastic and better myself as a practitioner.
we had quite a unique and rare multinational fellowship of monastics at the hermitage this year, an interesting group that really bonded well. But just like any fellowship, there comes a time when it must break apart as people go their separate ways, anicca 🙂.
In many ways I feel like a new person moving forward, with joy, gratitude, and zeal for the path i’ve not had in some time, but have been working towards and setting the groundwork for a few years now, this vassa was like the final catalyst for a near phoenix-like rebirth of mind and practice, and i’m looking forward to the future and building myself and Maggasekha further.
Today marks the halfway point on my special 5th Vassa living in a tent here in California. I made a vlog with some reflections of my time here, and my path and practice. Made shorter videos to handle mountain internet upload speed 🙂.
part 1 : https://youtu.be/J4r78Hxm9Yc
part 2 : https://youtu.be/NrHwJMQvdI0
part 3 : https://youtu.be/dhmg9F28uGE
part 4 : https://youtu.be/IHjfzDRJUX4
I wrote this on facebook just about two weeks or so before moving to the monastery to become a monastic, 7 years ago:
“Its a funny thing that even when we think we have little attachment in life, we have no clue to what extent we live attached to everything, big and small.
When you begin the process of leaving everything you’ve ever known, and you notice attachment to something as small as office supplies you’ve used for years. When you think about what to do with them and you notice a small feeling of sadness in having to leave them behind.
It is a laughable thought, if it weren’t so true and indicative of just how attached we really are.
We naturally dislike change, we are “loss-averse” yet we live in an existance that is changing with every breath. The molecules that make up us and everything around us are ever moving, ever changing, the cells that make up our body dieing and being replaced, even if we can’t see it, all is still in eternal flux.
We humans are a weird juxtaposition in that regard. All of life seems to be an attempt at making peace with this reality in one way or another, searching for happiness, whatever that means to each of us.”
I just wanted to thank all of you who have been supporting me with Dana in the last year or so of me being a nomad monk.
Since i am no longer living at and being supported by an established and well supported monastery, this support has been extra special in helping with medical, travel, and requisite needs.
It was hard for me to truly understand and appreciate how my life depends on others while living at Bhavana. Now I have a deeper gratitude then ever before for all the support you all have shown me because I understand the value of this generosity more.
Now it is up to me as a monastic to be worthy of that support. The suttas tell us that a monk “ eats the countries alms food a debtor” until awakening, so its up to me to strive to better myself and spend some away to work on myself so I can grow to become a good monk with deep wisdom that I will be able to share with you all.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They’re as far from the true teachingas the earth is from the sky.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They fall away from the true teaching,like the moon in the waning fortnight.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They wither away in the true teaching,like a fish in too little water.
With fault-finding mind, the dullardlistens to the victor’s instruction.They don’t thrive in the true teaching,like a rotten seed in a field.
But one with contented mindwho listens to the victor’s instruction—having wiped out all defilements;having witnessed the unshakable;having arrived at ultimate peace—they are quenched without defilements.