Oct. 9, 2022

Developing the Heart - by Ajahn Brahm

Developing the Heart - by Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm gives a talk about how to develop the heart through spiritual practice.
This remastered talk was first given on 2nd April 1993. It was originally recorded on tape cassette, and whilst it has been remastered, the quality is still a bit scr...

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Ajahn Brahm gives a talk about how to develop the heart through spiritual practice.

This remastered talk was first given on 2nd April 1993. It was originally recorded on tape cassette, and whilst it has been remastered, the quality is still a bit scratchy. But for fans of Ajahn Brahm, this is still a gem from his early years of teaching.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.



 Sometimes 1s it's like the car starts to slow down and slow down. It comes to a stop, and it comes to a halt. This is so nice. Just staying still, not doing anything, not thinking anything. Just resting in the peacefulness. 1s And whenever I have a very good meditation just before giving a talk. It's one of the hardest things in the world for me to get the mind going again. Decided moving to start thinking, to get some ideas riding in the mind again so that one can string together those ideas as a dhamma talk. A talk on the practice of Buddhism, a talk which reflects the teachings of the Buddha. When one talks about the teachings of the Buddha, these aren't just empty teachings just to be interested in. They're very powerful teachings. They actually transform the people who listen to them, people by people who listen to these things. And we remember these things as we remember them. It tend to do something to our attitude to life. They act very deeply, not just on our words and our opinions, but deeply other than that and what motivates all of these things. It gives us a wonderful foundation. 2s How we speak, how we act, and even how we think. And that's why the Buddha kept on calling 1s his teaching a practice or a development. Just like a person who wishes is to be a good tennis player or football player, they have to train their bodies. And training their bodies means spending a lot of time, a lot of effort, pushing and flexing in order to get Their body really fit and tough and strong and energetic and skillful in order to play Their game or play their sport. It's like a development of the body, which is all very well and good, but no matter how much one develops the body, in the end it's going to fall apart, 1s and it usually falls apart quicker than we admit. 1s I'm just thinking the other day that most people are supposed to live for 70 years, and we have this idea of youth, middle age and old age, but youth is very long, and middle age is also very long. Old age is only very short, really. If we really spread those old age, middle age, and youth equally, 1s A third each, then up to 23. You're young. 23 to 46 is middle age and over 46 year old 2s already the last third of your life. 3s We don't like to admit that, but whatever happens, if we train the body, we can train it so much, but in the end it's going to let us down no matter how fit we are. But when the Buddha was talking, he wasn't really paying so much attention to the body. That's why he mentioned a little bit about hearing. But that wasn't the main emphasis or point of why he was teaching, because he said, no matter how much you heal the body, eventually it's going to fail you and you're going to have to leave it. But the mind or the heart, this thing inside of us that goes on and on from lifetime to lifetime, at the very least, 2s one has to live with his mind, his heart, for the rest of your life. And that 1s can be developed, that can't be trained, and there's no physical reason or physical cause why that should deteriorate once it has been trained. 2s I know there was an older Chinese proverb which I learned many, many years ago, that if you're going to get married, he said, never marry a beautiful woman. 2s And the reason for that was it said that a beautiful woman it doesn't really make much sense to me now anyway, but a beautiful woman, they don't have to develop their character. They can just get by on their good looks. An ugly woman, 3s in order to sort of be popular, to attract the opposite sex, they have to develop they have to compensate by developing a wonderful personality and character. 1s That's why that the Chinese used to say if you want to get married, they will marry a beautiful woman because she will not just generally speaking, she will not maybe have developed a good character. An ugly woman, she would have to have a good character. And in the end, 1s in the second part of your life, certainly in the last third of the life, how beautiful you were, like an equal. 2s And everyone starts to look the same. 2s And it's usually not as attractive as it was 20 years ago. So the point being that good looks don't last, but character does last. What we do inside our minds, our hearts, that really does last. And so if you really want 2s develop something which will last, build something which will stand the test of time, then the Chinese and the Buddha advice developing character, developing the inner part of us. And even as the Buddhist, so many times, we give like a standard blessing to people where you have long life, happiness, beauty, and strength. And so many people, when they hear that, they think, because you see what you're supposed to do in order to not just take these things for granted, but think, what do these things all means? Does this make sense? They start to think, well, if you have long life and happiness, that's okay. But long life and beauty, you don't go together, certainly not long life and strength. As you get old, you get weak. That's the natural cause, natural result of things. But 2s the Buddha never said these things. Idly always had some sort of meaning there when he was saying that if someone does a good act or a kind act, or a generous act or an act of morality or even active meditating, it gives you long happiness, beauty, and strength. What it was meaning there was like a long life in the sense of the long spiritual life, the happiness, not the external happiness, but the happiness of the heart, the inner happiness, the peace, the joy and the beauty, especially that beauty, which is the beauty of a character well developed. 2s Everyone sees that, especially elderly people. When I say elderly people don't look beautiful, like physically, externally, the things get crinkly and there's actually more smells come out of the body when you get older. But we see some people that have, like, a radiance to them like a sparkle in their eyes. No matter what their physical body is doing, it's something inside of them which shines through. It's the beauty inside, the beauty of their character. And it's not really what makes especially an old person beautiful what they've been doing with their life, how they've been developing their inner world. 1s And, of course, the strength, not the external strength to be able to run a marathon or to pick up stones but the strength of heart, the strength of mind which can endure hardship, which can push through difficulties and which can do that which is really wonderful and useful. In this world, what is wonderful and useful is usually hard work. What is it easy? It's not usually worth very much. 1s So that hard work to have that strength, the strength of character. So that's what the Buddha was talking about when he wished those things. He was talking about not the physical body, which, when one does get old, tends to fall apart, but the inner being. And this is really what the Buddha was encouraging people to develop, much more than a body develop the heart or the mind. Buddhism that they have this word for the inner world, if you like. The inner being called the chitter. And that word chitter, it hasn't got an equivalent in the English language. It is the sum of all that which goes on inside, all of the feelings of perceptions of thoughts, all of the emotions, the consciousness, the whole works which happens inside. And that's an immense area. 4s There was somebody, I think I told his armadale, I don't think you heard this. A friend of mine told me that his child, she was only six years old, that the teacher in the asked all of the children to write down in their book what was the biggest thing in the world. 2s Some of the children wrote down dinosaurs. Some of the children wrote down mountains. One of the children wrote down the planet Earth. One of the children wrote down the whole universe. And this my friend, an old school friend, his daughter wrote down 3s the teacher asked her, what do you mean, the eye? Why is that the biggest? That's only what is it, maybe two inches? And the daughter, the six year old replied, the eye is the biggest thing in the world because it can see dinosaurs, they can see mountains, it can see worlds, they can see the whole universe and much more. Everything can be contained in the eye. 2s For six year old, that was a really smart answer. Of course, the Buddha would say yes, but the mind, what she was really meaning the mind the mind is the biggest thing in the world that can contain everything. Much more 2s universes. And for those of you who do read a bit of science, even parallel universes, infinite parallel universes, people can conceive of in the mind. So the mind is even bigger than the universe. It can contain many universes. So this inner part of ourselves is huge. And this is really what the Buddha asked us to try and develop. But when we talk about this in the world we used to, usually in the west, we've got two words for it mind and heart. 3s When we say developing this chitter, we're developing both of these, both the mind and the heart. We say the mind because the mind is usually the seat of thinking, of ideas, of rationality. But the Buddha didn't say just to develop the rational mind, also to develop the heart, the seat of the emotions, that which is often irrational. 2s And unless we can develop both of these things, we're not really a balanced person. We need to develop both. And so often I perceive anyway in the Western world that the mind develops reasonably well the ability to think, to rationalize, to be logical, to work out what we think the proper things should be. But where we lose it a lot of the time is we haven't really developed the heart enough. 1s When we say developing the heart, there's many trainings which the Buddha taught to develop the heart. The first of those trainings was just claim generosity. 2s Generosity sometimes is irrational. You don't need that. Why should I give you that? 1s You can do it quite well yourself or when we be helped. Now I don't really need you to help me. I can do it quite well without you. If we're really rational about generosity, then we think, well, maybe if we help people too much, they just get dependent. Maybe that's best. If they just everyone stands on their own 2ft and becomes independent and self sufficient. 2s But sometimes, if we really want to understand these things, we have to put rationality aside for a moment. There's a story which 1s is a very illustrated story here, of when the Dalai Lama was in Tibetan many years ago. And as he was touring the provinces of what was in his country, everyone used to come up for everyone. But many villages used to come up and offer him things that was almost like the tradition. They give him all sorts of things, whatever they had available. As he was touring this particular time, there was an American journalist who was traveling with him, doing a story for, I think, Time magazine on him. As the American journalist was going from place to place following the to new the Dalai Lama. 1s He was about to get, first of all suspicious and then disillusioned. And then just kind of angry when he saw that the Dalai Lama, the head of Buddhist of in Tibet and the head of state of the secular government in Tibet, who was given everything he could ever want was accepting all of these gifts, sometimes from people who are very poor. 1s And one day in one village, a very poor village, an old woman came up to the Dalai Lama, in line with many other people. And her present, which she gave to the Dalai Lama, was a skirt like a Tibetan skirt. And at that, the American journalist could not hold his anger any longer and he blasted the Dalai Lama, calling him an imposter, a hypocrite. You're supposed to be someone who's following the spiritual path, a man of religion. You should be giving out gifts to these poor people, not to receive them. What do you need with a skirt? You're a man. 2s He went on like this for quite a while until his anger has subsided. Because if you don't feed anger back and Dalai was a person didn't feed the anger back, which was quiet until the American had his say, not interrupting or not trying to defend himself. When American had finished talking, Dalama said to him in his usual peaceful manner you're right. 1s I don't need a skirt, but that woman needs to give it to me. 3s The journalist had an understanding 1s and insight, if you like, what the whole process of generosity is all about. It doesn't matter so much that the Dalai alarm needed a skirt or did need a skirt. All it mattered was that the lady needed to give it to someone she respected, even worship. Highly 1s understanding that we understand a bit of the hard part of generosity. We've both need to give and we need to receive that generosity sometimes we look upon it. 2s Only in a half 2s half hearted way of the person giving. When I talk about generosity that we think of, I know, sending checks over to Oxfam or putting their coins in the or tin box which is in front of you, seeing these appeals on the television. 3s And we sometimes think, does that person, does that charity, does that appeal really need it? 1s How often do we think instead of, does that person need it? How often do we think, do I need to give? Do I need to share? Sharing is a much better word for generosity than giving, because giving, again, is just the word which reflects the actions of the donor. It doesn't mention the receiver. It doesn't recognize that this is an interaction between two people. It's not just with one person. Giving is just one person. Sharing means two or more of bodies. Two more people. 2s What we're doing when we're sharing. We're having this wonderful relationship with another person, even if it's only just for a few moments, which says that 2s am not self sufficient. I cannot live without you, I need you. And the other person said, I understand that, and I'm willing to help to share what I have. 3s Sometimes people, when we tell them that we live in a monastery, one of the first things they say is, oh, you grow your own food. 2s And we don't grow our own food at all. We're not actually at all. We got some tomatoes growing and not very many there. But we don't have our own gardens. We don't spend time making food. And that was 1s intended by the Buddha on purpose for the monks not to be self sufficient. We have a lovely piece of Landown at Serpent Time with plenty of water. It will be very easy for us to grow vegetables. 1s And if you could grow our own vegetables, then we would also extend our wall and lock it and say we don't need you anymore. We're quite OK. Staying in this little monastery by ourselves. Not coming out on a Friday night to give a talk, not coming out on a Saturday. We'd be self sufficient. When you're self sufficient, you tend to do that. You tend to pull up walls and lock gates and keep people out. I'm okay, thank you. I don't need you. The Buddha made it very clear for the monastic, both monks and nuns, that 1s wasn't possible for you to be self sufficient. This is the basic need of food. We had to depend upon the labeled community, labeled the feeders. At first, when we used to receive arms, every monk has a similar experience. The receiving arm is very embarrassing. You're receiving the gifts from the people. And when you're first a monk, you see all of your faults, all the terrible things you're doing, but you're not on the standing in front of people. When you go back to your hats, all the thoughts, the worldly thoughts, which you think, you think, do I really deserve this support, this food? Especially when you're in like third world country, in a poor part of a third world country like Thailand, and all of these poor people, they're feeding you and you start to feel actually really guilty. 2s Do I deserve this? Wouldn't be better if I disrobe and started doing some work and I could send money out to this village and maybe just even become a volunteer and go and build something about a school or water tax in this village instead of is taking the little food they've got. 2s Rationality can work that way. And it misses something else. It misses somehow these people are really getting something out of feeding you. 2s Sounds weird, doesn't it? They're just sitting there being a mouth that people are actually getting a lot of happiness. And so out of feeding you, 2s we all actually need to give. And the Buddha and his great wisdom, knowing the mind and the heart, understood that 1s and he made the monastic life completely dependent upon the Bay community. And that has forged a bond which has lasted through the centuries. 1s What is saying is that without you, I cannot survive. I cannot even eat. 2s Just even a few minutes before coming in here. There was some chocolate just on the table next to where I was sitting. I looked at it and I thought, that would be nice, 3s but I could meet it. Everything which a bank AIDS had to be given to him. And I asked him, Where is that chocolate offered? Has it been given? He said, no, it hasn't. 6s And of course, I was quite a disappointment. Unfortunately, there was someone else nearby who could offer that chocolate to me so I could eat it, we could share it. I had to feed myself. I gave a piece of venomous and mango and I gave a tip to the person who offered it 3s that was just driving him so that he'd offer some of his time. 1s What it meant was that even little things like chocolate, if I was really hungry, if all the guys were hungry, and there was a kitchen full of food at the monastery, which there usually is, we wouldn't be able to go and help ourselves. Some would have to offer it to us and give it to us. 2s What that really meant. And we keep that all seriously, what that means, strictly what that means is that we're saying as Buddhist monks and nuns, we need you. Without you we start. 2s And what does that do to you? When we say things like that, usually what happens. It means that people bring tons and tons of food. I remember once 1s it's really amazing, but after, I understand it from the heart. This was years ago, the first time I went to visit England. At that time, the monks in England had just bought the house, which is now Titan's Monastery in Sussex. Some of you may have been there and seen it. It was an old mansion. Well, not really a mansion, because it's really fooling down one of these five star mansions. You look up and you see five stars for the whole of the room. 5s Because she wasn't really settled yet. 1s The one day that they'd run out of food. 3s And the monks would never say anything. But there was some other people there who were staying and visitors who realized that the monks went out of food, they also went out of food and they just phoned up and mentioned it in a telephone conversation to one woman in London. And they mentioned that about 05:00 in the afternoon 2s we did the evening service and chanting and some meditation and towards the end of the meditation before 09:00 we started hearing all this commotion at the front door 1s and found out what had happened afterwards we found out, we went and saw it and your heart just rose into the heaven realms. That lady, when she found out that the monks had been short of food and the nuns and everyone else staying there, she'd rang around, she found some shot which was open at that time of the evening. She packed a couple of cars full of all sorts of food and she'd driven from London to this monastery is further than from here to our monastery in Serpentine. Because of the roads, it took two or 3 hours. She had driven in the evening. I don't know if she had that evening all that way in order to make sure that the community achieved had something to eat and you should have seen amount of food come out. 3s And sometimes I sort of expect why does she do that? 1s Just a little bit of food have been alright. Or maybe to 1s make some arrangement with a local fish and chip shop and say you can just go down there and I'll pay the bill. That they really wanted 2s to make sure that those community had plenty of the very best food. 1s And when I looked at those people's eyes, you could see this 2s 1000 kilowatt gloves growing, the shiny, the joy in the big smile they had on their face that was really infectious. After that meditation, there was this happiness in the whole house. Not because you knew you were going to get something to eat tomorrow morning, but because of something, an act of generosity, act of sharing, act of caring. It happened. 3s And that actually becomes one of the great joys of being a monk, of being a monastic, of being part of this wonderful sharing. Because I'm saying I need you. And when you say that from the heart and it's serious, people respond. 2s At Ancient Eto, the cinema in England. 2s When he was first invited to go over to the west. This was before Janjaco came here. He was concerned he was going to England and America just to have a look. First of all. Now Jan Chau, ask him, how do you feel about it? Said, I'm very concerned. Will people feed us? It's all like in Thailand or in Sri Lanka and Burma. There is a tradition to feedbacks. We go after Western countries. People don't know who you are, what you're supposed to be doing. 1s You go around with a bowl and it's really strange. People actually got a snake in there or something. What's the drum? 1s What is this? 2s And you say, It's my arms ball to put food in. And they think you're crazy. 6s Adam samantha said, Will people feed us? And adjunct reply to that was, don't you think there are any kind people in England or in America? 2s I always had this great gift of just giving an answer which really went very deep inside of one. Yes, there are kind people all over the world, and that kindness is a great resource which needs to be developed, which need to be mine, if you like. Just like all inside the ground. It's dead there. It will just stay there. But this is a resort inside a human being, which, if encouraged, can grow and grow and become an enormous inspiration, a wonderful quality of the human mind and the human heart. What he was saying is that being an arms men going over there saying, I'm going to starve if you don't feed me, you're encouraging that to grow in a human being. 2s And it's wonderful when it starts to grow, when it starts to encourage. 4s This is one of the meditations. The Buddha taught 40 meditations. 1s He took many more than that, but this was like basic buddhism. If you look inside the suitors or in the books, you see that the Buddha taught 40 meditations. One of those meditations is meditation on the breath, the one we do here. There are many other meditations, but one of those meditations is a meditation on generosity, on liberality jacob and shatter. 4s It's one of those meditations, which is if I tucked away in the corner of those forties and it's not given much importance, everyone likes to do a meditation on the feelings with the specialty Burmese methods, or meditation on the breath, meditation on metal loving kindness. What does it mean, meditation on liberality? 2s It means you recollect the beauty, the joy of sharing, 1s of giving and receiving. 2s I remember 4s 20 years ago as a young student, going to listen to some talks on Buddhism. So it's inspired by one lady. She was a Tibetan man who was giving a talk not on high polluting dummy. What she was talking about was her work in an orphanage in Sikhim, I think it was, over in the foothills of the Himalayas. And I was so inspired. 2s That next Monday I went to my bank, drew out £10. In those days I budgeted myself to live on £5 a week and I still wanted to get a little bit over for my holidays. And then it's very and didn't have very much money. That was like two weeks living expenses for me. And I budgeted that and I took ten pound out and sent it to this orphanage. And for years, even up to now 20 years, when I recall that it's only a small amount of money compared to some of the other donations they may have got, when I recall that it gives me so much happiness. 2s This is what we mean by the meditation on liberality. If you start to recall any act of kindness or generosity which you've done in the past, think about it and allow it to that thought to settle in your heart region, I think what a wonderful thing that is you've done. Think of the effects in what was inapport third world country. Probably still is a third world country. They may have gone up now because of me. They had some food in their belly that day. 3s They give so much joy inside of the heart 1s that joy is needed by human beings today. 2s And as a monastic, when I say that it's saying that I need you, it's also recognizing that you need me, that we do need one another. That we're not isolated, individual little castles with a motor round saying, I can stack up all of what I need inside and I don't need anyone else ever again in the world. What generosity is saying, what sharing is saying. We do need one another. 1s I remember years ago seeing this cartoon 1s of two dogs tied together with a leash or with a rope, which would say 5ft long. 2s Say those two dogs were Rover and Spot. 2s Those two dogs each had their own bowl of food. One mark Rover and one mark Spot. And those two bowls of food were six ft apart. 1s Okay, so the rope time together was five pi. 2s And Rover was trying to get to Rover's bowl and Spot was trying to get to Spot's bowl but because of the leash only 5ft long, they couldn't both get to the bowl. Rover was putting Spot to try and get to Rover's ball. Spot was trying to pull Spot spot to get to Spots far. And of course both of them were getting hungry and getting very sore. Next. And in this cartoon, in the next frame, they had the little bubbles coming out of both of these little dogs heads with little light bulbs. They had an idea. They had an insight. And of course, you know what that insight would be 1s that Spot and Rover decided to cooperate. And they both went over together to Rover bowl and Spot and Rover shared that food. The next frame of the cartoon, the two dogs went over to the other bowl and they both get that food. The last name of the cartoon is the one I like the best. With Rover and Spot snoring away quite happily cuddled up together, 2s rover needed Spot to eat his food and Scott needed Rover to eat his food. Otherwise they would both go hungry. 1s When we understand that we both need one another, that we can't really live by ourselves in our affected islands, then we start to know what generosity or sharing really means. 2s And then we can start to develop that heart of our heart, which is generous. And I don't mean just with material things, but with our time, 1s with our effort. 2s Because we do need to help one another. We do both need to give and also to receive. Not just going out, helping other people, but also being open to being held, open to being served. Even if you can do it better yourself, 1s sometimes it's really good to pretend you can't allow that person to help you. It's the case of if ever Boy Scouts do it these days, if a Boy Scout comes along and wants to help you across the road, you should always go 2s where you want to go. Or not. Because that Boy Scout needs to help, need to do something good. Imagine what that Boy Scout would feel afterwards. I managed to do something good today. I managed to help someone on one. Bye. There's a man if you want to go across or not. Go across the road. Where's the Boy Scouts out of the way. Now. The sighting cost back over again. 3s Some time ago. Someone, I don't know if they're here this evening they offered me a pair of socks. 1s Keep my little tutsis warm. 2s I've only got one pair of socks and I've had them ever since I first came here. In fact, even then, they were second hand. They actually belong to the mark who was here before I came. Then we poisoned and I still wear them. They're still good. I took them to England last year. 2s They're quite happy with them. They're very good socks. This lady gave me some other socks. No one here is good. They were short and there were nylon. These ones were really nice. All right. 3s I saw her come to the monastery to bring some diner to bring some food for us. As I was walking out of my hat my hat is not that far from the dining room I saw that she came. I turned around and went back to my hut and put my socks on. And so she got me. 2s Just for her. When I sat down in my place in a dining hall you see how I usually sit anyway, my feet usually covered by my owner. That day, I uncovered one of my feet 1s quite a bit 1s on purpose. 2s Sure enough, 1s I was very good at it, not letting her 2s know that what I was really doing. And out of the corner of my eye, listening very carefully I saw her turn around to her friend and say he's wearing my socks. 4s That made her so happy that I was wearing her socks. And it also made me happy. I brought little joy in her life. That her gift. Even though, quite frank, I didn't want them. 2s I was wearing them. It was appreciated. And generosity which someone gives to you. They're value it. It's a wonderful thing in this world, generosity. It needs to be encouraged. 1s Don't throw it away. Don't reject it. Even if you don't want it, accept it. You can always give it to somebody else afterwards. There's a wonderful way that we can keep on channeling an act of generosity from one person to another person. This food which comes from our monastery, we got a couple of places where we take it, whether women's refuge or local referral center in Armadale, where people who are actually quite poor for one reason or another fought outside the social safety net and just haven't got anything to eat. Sometimes the people who work there told us that sometimes the people with children, like single mothers, especially all of the fans they have, they just spend on their children. They don't eat themselves. 1s So we put some excess food at that place where people can come and just take it. It's all used, so it doesn't really matter. If we're going to eat at the monastery, we accept it and if it's not used, then we pass it on. This is developing something inside of us called a half. The mind might say, oh, that's really being stupid. That's not really what they got. But if one is developing the heart, the one has to pull the awareness, attention down to here to feel what it's like when you're generous the effect upon that, like this meditation on pass that to generosity. It brings happiness to the heart. It makes us human beings. It realizes the truth that we do need one another. 3s And we do need to share. We do need to cooperate. It stops as being selfish. Selfish is living in a castle. Living on an island is collecting everything for myself. All I want and need and think I should have. And forgetting about everyone else in the world, closing all the windows of your castle. 1s Okay, you might think rationally, that might be a wonderful thing to do. Apparently that a couple of weeks ago anyway, there was some cult in Texas around a castle. I was trying to keep everyone else out and see what that leads to. 2s So we open up to one another. And the act of generosity is a way of cutting away at that greed and the feeling of mine. This is mine. This belongs to me. I've worked for this. You can't have it. You work yourself. You mark your go and get a job instead of budgeting anyone else. 3s That selfish. That greed. 1s Oddness of the heart. 3s Why should I get I've worked for this, I slave for this. This is my time. What's the result of that? That person becomes like a person. I used to say with a concrete heart or the heart in a concrete box. They feel very safe in there. But it's an awful place to live. Very lonely being self sufficient. 2s So developing the heart is going against that. We develop generosity with a generosity that sort of sharing with one another. We realize that we do need one another. We are sharing lives with one another. It starts to automatically, as a common result, to develop this feeling of kindness and caring for one another, this feeling of loving kindness. Sharing 2s the generosity leads this loving kindness, this compassion. It's the first act of compassion, isn't it? It's giving to someone else's in need. 2s Not just giving with funds. I mean, like giving just an arm around the shoulder. Giving a time when you're really busy. You got so many things to do, 1s you see that someone really needs 1s someone to listen to. A lot of the time is a night. A lot of the time, that's what you do. Even the other day that someone rang out in the evening and I was just listening to her. In the end, I ended up telephone conversation by doing some chatting for her over the phone. 5s I shouldn't have said that because now that other people 6s and I thought that was appropriate, if that may sound silly. And all of those old words, even if you hear them when you're actually present, they have any really magical effect with all superstition that it didn't really matter. It felt right to the right time. That lady needed just something like that. It works. 2s And it works if it comes from this place of sharing and caring for one another. When I say, like sharing and caring, this is one we develop. We can't just wish it or we can't think that maybe that's a good idea. Let's do it. It's practice. Practice makes perfect. Every act of generosity which you can do jump at the chance they don't come readily every act of generosity you can receive jump at the chance you're encouraging give someone else an opportunity to develop. Every act of kindness and care which you can give it do it straight away don't wait until tomorrow the chance might be gone every act of kindness and compassion you can receive receive it because you're encouraging and giving someone else a chance to develop. 3s We share compassion. This is we share generosity. 1s What does that do to us? That gives us this wonderful feeling in the heart of 2s contributing to to our little community, whether it's just our family or office or our monastery or whatever, we're actually doing something positive. And the thing is that when we do generosity, when we do loving, kindness, compassion, it brings up this wonderful, joyful feeling in the heart. It's one of the great pleasures available to human beings is to have compassion. Not to receive compassion. That's another choice. It's to give compassion. 1s In traditional buddhism, the buddhist started to say I said it many times that compassion is when one gives compassion towards other beings. It takes you to the sort of feeling, the sort of experience, which is typical of a certain heaven realm. Buddhism a very high heaven realm. 1s When you have an act of selfless love you are feeling the very same feeling which the same type of day was off these heavy beings feels all the time and these heavily beings are the beings in the Brahma loan 2s you're having a godlike feeling. The godlike pleasures that's what you're taking off when you have a selfless compassionate moment of caring for someone else and that's why that when we see acts of real self compassion and kindness 2s that it resonates within us it brings up something inside of our heart which is so wonderful to experience and to feel 2s I remember one bank saying that I think it was a tomato again he was looking outside of the window in a house in London one morning and he saw one of these derelicts these are Winos there were people who got no place to sleep I've Sigma lady spirits because they can't afford other alcohol because it keeps them warm at night because it passes the time in the suicide. 1s I don't know if any of you ever seen any of those people, 1s don't know if any of you see these people, but I remember seeing them, this stage of them you just really want to go away, let alone being bothered by the ship. All one morning I just went looking outside the window. One of the typical London City businessmen walking down on the pavement with the umbrella, the polar hat, the pinch light soup and the beef case, the whole works. Just a typical businessman going on his way to work stop at that door where that derelict was just sleeping and pick him up 1s and take him away to give him a meal. 3s That sort of acts which messing up his business suit, making him late for work, going to all that problems that fellow cared when it was difficult to care and that just made a thing that told me that that really moved his heart, 1s that gave him so much joy, that resonated inside of him that was an act of compassion where he never expected to see one. 2s And there are many occasions like that which we've seen in our life. And when we remember them, it brings like sadness brings the sun out into this world. It brings to it, this is what the world could be like, can be like. And it's something which is in our how to do ourselves, we can develop that. This is developing the heart part, of course, in thinking it's not my job to do that. I'm going to be late for work, I'm going to dirty my suit, I'm going to get in trouble with my boss and my wife having to be in a suit afterwards or I might lose my job. If we think like that, if we think rationally, when will we ever do a compassionate act? 1s We don't even do the easy ones, not the ones which really counts. 4s That liberality, that generosity, that giving, that selflessness, is it all coming from the same place? Comes out as compassion, it comes out as virtue. 2s When we have that heart of compassion, sharing, giving, when we develop the heart, how on earth can we? Huts. 2s Or abuse 1s another being. In fact, when one develops loving, kindness, compassion, generosity, one can't even say harsh words to other people. 2s I can't even get angry at somebody, angry at someone else. When one realizes we need to live together, we're not self sufficient items. I need you. 1s I get angry. You. That's throwing you away. That's what he's saying. That I don't need you. Go away. Go somewhere else. Get lost. That's what anger is doing, isn't it? Generosity is saying, I do need you. If we can work together instead of work separately, look what we can achieve. One of the major reasons why we've got such a strong British center here is because everyone's working together. Just look around. All the different colored faces we've got here, all the different ages and different sexes here. People are working together no matter what Buddhist tradition they come from. That's where the stake with this Buddhist society is coming from. When we work together, we have that strength. We work against one another. We're just wasting time. 2s So this develops the heart part of Buddhism and that brings enormous joy and happiness inside of us. And outside of us there's nothing we can't achieve, it seems. Just go from strength to strength. But developing the heart brings great joy and prosperity to us 2s especially. It brings joy inside of our hearts. It brings a softness inside of our hearts. It brings that sort of softness which can accept other people, which can overcome anger and irritation. One of these awful veins of our life always saying the wrong thing, getting angry at this person, get irritated because things don't work out. Where does all that come from? Why do I get angry? 2s Because one hasn't developed compassion. One is still self centered. One has still got something to protect inside of us. And one hasn't got that liberality that giving away. 2s One is giving away. It's as if one is it's not living in a castle anymore. One has got open house. Anyone can come in. 4s Speaking 2s that sort of liberality, that generosity, that kindness, that compassion, which can accept and embrace whoever. And that's why that when I talk about compassion, I love it's. Just to make sure. What my father told me when I was young, as a teenager, he took me aside and said the door of my house would always be open to you, no matter what you do. 4s I keep mentioning that when I'm on the subject of loving kindness, because I haven't found an expression to beat that in his eloquence. The door of his house also meant the door of his heart. He was open no matter what I did. 2s I became a terrible son to him. Someone who was very embarrassed to call his son. That did not matter. He would never close the door of his house. He would never close the door of his heart. 1s His love was unconditional. He was so wide, so generous with his love that he could give it to me no matter what I was, no matter what I did, if I abused him, if I hit him, if I did terrible things to other people he was saying that no matter what you do, 4s I'd always love you. That's what we mean by this unbounded. It's such generous, giving love, which is completely irrational. You can't think of that, you can only feel it. It comes from developing the heart 1s when it comes to such sublime heights. 1s It really just takes you way up to the high seven realms, be able to say that to another person. 1s It takes a bit of courage, isn't it? It takes a bit of inspiration, it takes a bit of trust in the Buddhist teachings to say to someone else that I'm going to trust you enough that no matter what you do, how you react, what you say to me, I'm never going to close my door of my heart for you. 2s That's what we really mean by compassion. Unbounded. Not in compassion in the castle, but compassion which spreads everywhere throughout the whole universe, all beings. That lifts the heart up and outs and all over the place. It spreads you all over. So it's not just a Show me inside here, self sufficient, so we think, just isolated. I'm all right. It's to get the best of the world. 3s Without extend, without any balance, that raises the heart up. When the heart raises up in such joy, the Buddhist said it's very easy to concentrate by and become still. 1s Why is it it becomes still? Just basic logic. If you're having a good time, you don't want to go anywhere. 2s The meta, the love and kindness is one of those other 40 meditations. It takes you into the absorption pajamas, these amazing states of mind, his super normal states of mind where one goes into bliss. 1s Why does one go into bliss? Because imagine that feeling, that sensation of unbounded lovingkindness complete, no strings attached, 1s flowing everywhere. It's like spreading you over the whole universe, 1s not being contained anymore. You're part of the whole the whole issue. 2s That feeling no bounds is bliss, and one can attain to those blissful states of mind in this way. It elevates us. It brings enormous happiness, the sort of happiness which beats sex, which beats drugs, cold none of that can compare to the bliss which can come up in the mind the joys of such acts of generosity, of kindness and virtue. 1s But just for the sheer pleasure of it, it's worth doing. And the buddha was not averse to encouraging people to enjoy those wholesome pleasures, those pleasures which lead to even greater pleasures, which lead to what the buddha call that renunciation. This generosity, when it gets to its limit, tends towards this enunciation of self. 3s So there's no more me and mine left. The idea of selfway, 1s even like the way of loving kindness, is a way towards for enlightenment. 2s If one of those vehicles which a person uses to develop that nothing kindness to such a degree that the sense of self completely disappears. 4s So from developing the heart, not really considering too much upon the rationality of Buddhism, 1s of working everything else, and how one thing causes another thing, and figuring all of the teachings of the Buddha out just developing loving kindness, developing generosity is a bonus. Friday Path to Liberation it liberates us, and it's a very joyful, happy path for us. For me, I want to get in line. This is a wonderful way of doing it. Not only that, but it also serves other beings. 1s It creates that encouragement for other people too, to develop their heart, to feel as well as to think. 2s Thinking rationality is useful. It has its place, but sometimes it's given too much value. I remember a few times the Buddha said that, these wonderful little sayings, which I always recall, so whatever you think it's going to be, it would always be something else. 3s When he said that, I thought, what's the point of thinking about it then? So there's no point in thinking about it. So stop. So you start if you really contemplate that it just starts to end, the thinking, it takes away the importance we give to thinking. Why do we think so much? 1s Because we have the idea it's useful to do so. We think about something. We think we can get some solution to it, we can work it out, we can plan it out so we can be happy and get everything which, if we plan it out enough, really sit down and think about it, take down a pen and paper and plan it all out, then it's going to go right for a change. 3s Usually there's always something comes along which we don't expect. Whatever we think it's going to be, it will always be something else. 3s So we do plan a little bit, but we plan knowing that it's not going to work out exactly what we hope it's going to be. We think it's going to be. We want it to be. 1s We use our thoughts, but we don't allow it to use. As we develop the heart and we keep this thing imbalance the heart and the mind, the thinking and the emotions. We develop both of these things. We develop the faith parts, the generous parts, the lovingkindness, compassionate part of Buddhism, as well as the intellectual part as well. Both have their place. And when they're in balance we become a very strong human being, a very strong Buddhist. I know that 2s the monks entire 1s when a monk has both wisdom and compassion, then they become wonderful teachers. The bank has compassion but no wisdom. They're wonderful to be around, but what they say doesn't usually make much sense. The bank has a lot of wisdom, no compassion. What they say is just so dry. It doesn't really reach people. It doesn't sort of inspire people. But when you have both that compassion and that wisdom working together, it's an enormously powerful force. 2s So the talk I was giving this evening is encouraging and talking about the development of the heart by developing such things as generosity, seeing its value, looking at as an act of sharing, encouraging it in oneself to give and encouraging it in others so that one will receive and acknowledge and not 2s reject any act of kindness or generosity and encouraging kindness and caring. And encouraging that kindness and caring which becomes virtue. I carry enough about other people to restrain what I want to do. I like to do these things. It works right for me, but it's going to hurt someone else. They have got some virtuous virtue and Buddhism is doing that which won't hurt another being and won't hurt yourself. As simple as that. It's just a basic compassion towards other beings and towards oneself. That's what virtue is. One develops this wonderful compassion and passion loving kindness which is a bona fide in meditation which takes you into absorption, which takes you to liberation. 2s So may all be liberated, may all develop your heart for the benefit of yourselves and all other beings. 1s Thank you very much for this evening listen to this evening's talk. Has anyone got any questions or comments before we have some announcements? 9s Does anyone got any questions or comments they'd like to ask before we wind up? 3s If you do have any questions or comments please come up and ask them. Sometimes people have been in the but they have it 2s over generous to other people so that other people have a chance to come up and speak to the monks. They never come up themselves so at least like some time come up and say hello to the monks and if there's anything you like to say or to comment on it's nice to see all usually sometimes we just see the same old people every week they're nice to see also. 2s I almost flew there.