Dec. 1, 2022

How To Have Everything And Be Happy | Ajahn Hasapanna

How To Have Everything And Be Happy | Ajahn Hasapanna

On this episode of Sage Advice we have as our guest, Ajahn Hasapanna of Dhammasara Monastery in Western Australia. Ajahn Hasapanna was born in Ipoh, Malaysia in 1960. During her days as a lay person she and her family generously supported Ajahn Sujat...

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On this episode of Sage Advice we have as our guest, Ajahn Hasapanna of Dhammasara Monastery in Western Australia. Ajahn Hasapanna was born in Ipoh, Malaysia in 1960. During her days as a lay person she and her family generously supported Ajahn Sujato when he was practicing in Ipoh. The main influence in Ajahn Hasapanna’s spiritual development is the monastic lifestyle of the forest tradition. When Ajahn Hasapanna had developed enough courage and inspiration to become a nun, Ajahn Sujato pointed her towards joining Dhammasara Nuns Monastery.

She joined Dhammasara in 2002, beginning her monastic training as an Anagarika (a trainee nun). She then ordained as a Ten Precept Nun with Ajahn Vayama as her teacher. She subsequently ordained as a bhikkhuni in 2009 with Ayya Tathaaloka as her preceptor in a ceremony at Bodhinyana Monastery, WA, Australia.

Currently, Ajahn Hasapanna is the Abbot of Dhammasara Nuns Monastery and the Assistant Spiritual Director of The Buddhist Society of WA (Inc). She is heavily involved in teaching and training nuns, anagarikas and lay people. She is the main teacher to 18 monastic trainees at Dhammasara.

In this episode we are going to ask Ajahn Hasapanna the big one: how we can have everything and be happy! Yes, that’s right it is possible to have it all and be happy!


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May you be happy!




 Welcome to Treasure Mountain, the podcast that inspires and guides people to find the treasure within human experience. I'm your host, Sol Hanna. On this episode of Sage Advice, we have as our guest our Ajahn Hasapanya of Damasara monastery in Western Australia. Ajan Hasapanya was born in IPO, Malaysia in 1960. During her days as a lay person, she and her family generously supported Ajan sajato when he was practicing an EPO. The main influence in Arjan Hasipanya's spiritual development is the monastic lifestyle of the forest tradition. When Arjun Hasipanya had developed enough courage and inspiration to become a nun, ajan sajato pointed her towards joining Damasara nuns monastery. She joined Damasara in 2002, beginning her monastic training as an anagirica. A trainee nun, she then ordained as a ten precept nun with a jan Vaama as her teacher. She subsequently ordained as a bikini in 2009 with Ayattarloca as her preceptor in a ceremony at Bodana monastery.  Currently, Ajan Hasapanya is the abbot of Damasara nuns monastery and the assistant spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of WA. She is heavily involved in teaching and training nuns, anagarikas and laypeople. She is the main teacher to 18 monastic trainees at Sarah. In this episode, we are going to ask our Jahasapana, the big one how can we have everything and be happy? Yes, that's right. It's possible, or so we think, to have it all and be happy. Find out how, as we seek for the treasure within.  Welcome to Treasure Mountain. Arjan. How are you today? Hello, Sam. Yes, I'm fine. Good.  Happy to be here. It's very nice to see you again.  How was the rains retreat at Damasara? Was it a nice rain retreat? Yes, quiet, peaceful. And now we're heading preparation for the bushfire season.  All right. That way it's getting busier. Yes, yes.  Okay, now let's get started with our big question today. And I thought I'd just quickly introduce our first question. Now, by way of introducing this topic, it came to my mind because many of us in modern society are conditioned to have high expectations to shoot for with the stars in terms of achievement during our lives. But many of us feel burnt out. We keep trying but no matter how much we get done we don't seem to be any nearer to achieving our dreams. And many people out there who feel as though there just aren't enough hours in the day and that they could feel better off if they just had a bit more money and a bit more time. How can such people, including myself, how can we get to a place in life where we no longer feel as though we don't have enough time and money? Sorry. I should say when we no longer feel that way that we don't have enough time and money.  I think one of the things that now most people lack of is the quality of this gratitude. And gratitude itself actually is really unlocks the fullness of life. Because sometimes when you don't have that gratitude, it's always not enough. Like if someone had that, that the quality, the gratitude. Even with a sip of water, you really feel so thankful for the sip of water, you feel so grateful for that. But if you don't have that quality, I give you the entire, the best of everything. We still think that it's not good enough. We still take it for granted. I think that is one of the qualities that actually we need to develop that quality.  That qualities also leads to containment because we keep chasing after things. Especially when we feel our desires and it's never fulfilled. We want more and more and especially  all this excitement. So each time when we get what we want and then we fulfill that, we fulfill that. And then we need to have more excitement. And then we have to move one more level up, then we get back to that level, and then we need to move another level up. And then it's never satisfied. Like the Buddha said, like just drinking salty water and you keep drinking it, and you don't feel you want to drink more.  Feeling it's just like a bottomless pizza. You keep filled up. I think it's also because of our desires, no matter how much we have, is always not enough. So the only way to stop that desire is to develop. The key to to stop that actually is containment. But containment itself is another quality. Like gratitude actually leads to containment.  And that actually is a very, very important gratitude, actually. We can apply these. We can practice this in our daily life to develop this quality.  And I remember so you're saying that gratitude  yes, I remember. Gratitude is is like an antidote. Yes.  And also is the key to the containment, because we always take it for granted. And we think that, you know, we think that was enough. And there's sometimes, for example, in the monastery, we have some of the traditions, some of the practice we do is that our nuns, when they need a new rope, they have to solve it themselves.  And then, actually, the feedback from the nuns, they're very grateful for that because they never know how difficult it is to solve a rope. If someone sold it for us, we take it for granted. Okay? We just get the rope. But when they do it themselves, they realize, actually so much effort put in  all the effort,  because we just kept it so easily. And then we take it very easily. We take it for granted. I remember when I first joined the monastery, and, of course, in the early days, I practiced in Thailand and then more on the ecstatic. I had the idea of this ecstatic practice. Then when I arrived at Darbasa, I was thinking I was thinking I started to have doubts whether this is a place suitable for me to practice, because we have abundance, everything and so well supported. And I was thinking,  I can't live. I can't practice companion because I have everything. You know, it's so abundant, so well supported.  Actually, this is my misinterpretation and misunderstanding of what is so called contentment. And then I even have the idea of, you know, have that thoughts. You know, that one moment of thoughts that thinking of I think I might I want to leave. Because is not a tougher place for me to practice. Because it's like as a man, I say you should be happy with few things,  not all. To me, even taking honey is something that is luxurious to me, I should just be happy with sugar. No, honey. Honey is so luxurious. It's really a luxurious thing for me. And then this is really at the beginning, it really bother me. I remember once again, I start to do one of the suitors I forgot which one that looked at the qualities of containments. And then Wenburk Cassaba is the one is the foremost aesthetic practice. Then I read that passage about described Wemba cassabha. He said he's one content with whether it's inferior or superior thing. He contends with whatever that's been offered to him. And that line struck me. And it just like that really waking up. This struck me and I realized, hey, you are now discontent with good things. You are discontent with nice things. And actually, containment is not but you shouldn't deserve this. You should have things that is inferior things. And you shouldn't deserve to have superior things. Containment is content with whatever, whether it's superior or inferior. Even someone like  he is the most eccentric practice. And it's okay. Even people give him a nice food. He's content with that. And even anything that influenced, he's also happy with that. I realized that this is how I misunderstand  what is so called contentment. But I was discontent with having good things, having been well supported. And I'm not content with that.  This is part of our idea being content, isn't it? And even at some stage I was thinking, I'm going to live here. I think I cannot practice here. It's too good. I will be spoiled.  That really changed my whole mindset. Like you decide, you know, it's just like you build, you've been like struck and you just wake up. Oh yes, this is my mission interpretation means understanding of what is so called contentment and we had this idea is this a concept? But I have been misinterpreting the meaning what is so called contentment? And I misunderstand and once I realized that, I really dropped that and I tend to just add this absolutely.  I just want to ask as well though  what is the root problem here? Is it our fault finding mind? And is a lack of contentment the problem? Because today day in a rich society like Australia we have so much more than people in any previous era yet we still feel like we don't have enough what is going on here? What's the problem?  Because come from our craving, our one thing. Because the one thing, once you fulfill  more and more and more, it will never fulfill.  The excitement will always move one more step up. That's how people get into all these things. Eight things, normal things. No longer excitement. It's no more excitement anymore. They want more and more, and that is the problem. They said the Buddha said this is so called the Buddha called this unholsome happiness. It's not good or bad, but this kind of happiness, you know, you rely on the senses. You rely on the object outside ourselves. And it's kind of like a borrow type of happiness. Yeah, it's very shocked that you feel happy a little while, you know, the excitement. And the moment you get it, oh, that's it. Then you look for more and more excitement. And that is the reason, because it comes from the clothing itself. The one thing they said, the only way is that the. Stop that one thing to stop the one thing. We can't just stop it like that. We can't do it. We have to develop certain quality. Certain quality is help us to stop the craving we cannot use. Willpower. Come on, come on. We have to stop our craving. We can't do that.  All of us get enlightened easily. Isn't it? We can't use new power. That's what we have to we have to deliberately we have to actively develop certain qualities to help us to lead us to stop that craving. That one thing. One thing more and more and more.  So having a sense of contentment. That's the feeling that we're aiming for when all of that craving and so forth. That's actually what we do is we want that feeling of fulfillment for contentment. But you're saying that we don't get contentment and fulfillment from getting what we want. We get contentment and fulfillment by developing it, by developing the mind. Could you talk a little bit more about what it is that we need to develop to get to this feeling of fulfillment and contentment? Yeah, there's something that developed because of  when we are not our mind, when our heart is so empty. Because when we are full when they said this some of these qualities.  The happiness  comes from like giving because giving is also the antidote of getting and to develop generosity is also part of that. And this is help you know that you have to want more and more and they can we experience ourselves when we give, we feel more relaxed. When we want something, I can feel even if I want something, I can feel my body tense up, I feel my body like try to grab something. But when I give I feel like such a relief I'd be able to give. And this is to develop this quality. And of course we have to start from a closer level to more refined level. Of course we can't just let go of craving easily but we let go of at least attachment to things, to material things, to things that we would like to have.  We can give a little bit maybe at the beginning we can give happy to give a share a little bit and give and then eventually we can give more or we can even give things that we would like to have it ourselves and then we give it to others  and this will help like practice generosity to develop that and also.  Also develop. Also being a virtuous virtue is also help because we are more  than we practice when we keep in place when being a virtuous person virtually help us to more aware  bodily action. Our mind, our thoughts that thoughts are we are more aware and that's helped us to develop the mindfulness. Be more aware of that  particular thoughts arises that moment. We pray for that actually we are more aware and it's also part of that. Besides the Buddhists always stress so much about the Norbis or path. The world Trade itself is also helped to develop mindfulness. And then the generosity itself also developed to help us  to crave for things, the attachment to things. And of course we start from material things first. If you can't even let go of material things, how can we let go of? Our craving is more softer. So actually it's a graduate training and this is part of that. And then also we are not only restraining  our mind, our thoughts, that  because credit itself also leads to unholy. It's unhousing roots one thing itself and we cannot get what we they get upset, they get angry and lead to this unholy.  Action, Unhome emotion, fear, anger. And that is one leading to another. And that also helps when we practice, you know, restraining our mind and subtitle mindfulness. And we also actively develop qualities like general diversity and then also  develop the quality of gratitude. And actually, we can apply this in everyday life. I do that every morning. I do that. Start the day with toxins of gratitude and we end the day with radicure. Actually, it's really hard. Like, for example, I do that for years. Even now, I still doing it. By morning, I have my breakfast,  I will stop and I will reflect. I look at the food that I'm having, then I really bring all my attention, my focus on the food, and I reflect on that. And I reflect that the food that I'm having is also many beans, you know, and the people who prepare it and the donors who donate this and all the beans contribute. And so much effort, so much, so many people, so many beans contributing the food that I eat. And I feel so grateful that.  Just the food excel. I don't know, take it for granted. Oh, you know, that because I'm a nun, that should serve me. People should, you know, offer me, you know, a donna that should offer me food. But we take it for granted. And actually it's help, and it's a way to recondition our mind. And also, sometimes I do like, you wake up in the morning and just remind us of, okay, we rise up to be thankful and you remember the fact that I'm still alive. I'm so grateful for that. I'm so grateful that  I'm grateful that I'm still breathing. And actually it's really hard. And also, one of the things also help me sometimes when I get up early in the morning and the first thing I asked myself, what can I give today?  Can I be of service today?  Actually, it does help because this is how we brainwash ourselves to recondition. Because when we have the thought finding mind, this is how we develop the habit. So we have to change our mentality, our habit of thinking. So when we change that, then actually it does help. It does help that you always look for something that is good rather than actually gratitude also helps with finding mind. I mean, if someone has no gratitude, you can't then you complain. You complain of everything and then always blame others for your mistake, to blame others for your problem. It's always something for someone else problem. We don't look at that ourselves. But this actually is really hard to stop and to really, you know, and at the end of the day, we just ask ourselves, okay, what have I learned today? I learned a lot. If I didn't learn a lot, at least I learned a lesson. And even if I didn't learn  liter, but at least I'm not sick. So even if I'm sick, at least I'm still alive. And actually that really helps with all this, you know, reflection, contemplation, and this is more likely brainwash ourselves.  To change our way of thinking.  I really want to thank you for that answer, because I was just going to ask you to unpack your advice, and you've just given some really good practical tips on how to develop gratitude on a day to day basis. And I think that's really valuable, and I think if people put that into practice, they will see some real changes. But I also wanted to just jump around a little bit and ask, how could people put their practice of generosity, what's a practical way they could make that part of their daily routine to be giving every day? Yeah, sometimes giving is not necessary, that  you have to give back to your things, but sometimes even kind words, even a smile, and that is also giving. I must share with you, this really struck me. I think that's a few years ago, I was I attended one of the conference, and that was one of the speakers. She's the headline Helping People with Suicide.  The reason why she's involved in this, because her brothers.  As a society, and that's why she she's one of the volunteer to help people, you know. You know, from there is a hotline. So he's one of the volunteer. And then he said, this is a true story someone shared with him. And this person actually was really depressed and was really into, like, thinking of that. He's so lony, and he was on his way say, I'm going to kill myself. I don't think that  it's just like meaningless, right? I'm being alive. And he was just on his way to kill himself. Then someone on the other side walking towards him. But he didn't know this person and this person gave him a big smile, said hello to him. And because the time you think, oh, no one cares about me,  once you get drawn into that activities and that's it, you can't come out and certainly, yeah,  you feel that you didn't care. Someone smile and someone raised a team and just smile at team. And that moment, he just stopped him from, you know, he feels it's really warm his heart, and he got that kind of he feels that care and warm. And actually that person gave him a big smile, saved his life.  I must say this person don't even know that he has saved someone like the person don't even know but this person share that actually that person gave him a big smile and wave at him and said hello to him. And actually he feels so it really warms his heart. And that moment he stopped that thoughts of killing himself. And therefore sometimes giving is not necessarily sometimes kind words, encouragement some people don't need that only just to be there for that person. Kind words, nice words, gentle words actually  we don't have to give lots of things to others  just to be there for the person. If they can help,  if someone be there for the person, if we can if we can encourage someone we do our best to encourage someone and this is also part of giving. It's not necessarily that they have to give material things. It's not yourself or so you save someone's life.  That's excellent advice. Giving can be so useful. It could be kind words. It can be giving your time and care. That's the way you can be generous as well. I remember many years ago there was a lady, she came to me. She was very expressed because her son committed suicide, but fortunately was unsuccessful. So he was in the hospital and she comes to me. She said, come on, give me some Dharma books, I want my son to reach.  I said, no, this is not the time for your son to reach out to no. I said, Please, don't bombard him with all this. It's not the time for him. I said, if you truly want to help your son, first of all you help yourself. You calm down fast, be peaceful and calm. You owe for your calmness, your peacefulness. I said, if you look so worried when your son see you, he feels so guilty.  I said, the only way you can help your son, just dabble with him. Just. Be kind, just loving and care for him and not bombard him with all this. And he can't you know, he's not receptive. This is not the time. So now he needs that kind of someone to be there holding his hand. And sit there quietly and give your peaceful the other person through your energy and also giving we also can give our peace actually, this is more precious.  This is really priceless,  your kindness, your peace. So I said, first of all, make yourself as peaceful as you can. Calm yourself down and very peaceful and calm. And then you go there and sit with him,  sharing your calmness and peace. Because when you have the energy, actually you affect the other person. Your son will feel your energy when you're peaceful and you come if they are agitated, he can feel that too. So I said, you just sit there very peacefully and calm and you offer this peace and calm. It's truly priceless.  Better than you tried to give in, you know, I said, it's not the time. Don't give him damn now. I said, no, you first of all you need to do is to make yourself as peaceful as you can and you calm yourself down. And this is how you help it's not to try to sometimes it's not the time to, you know, try to, you know, give him all sorts of advice. Sometimes people do not need that. Sometimes.  For example, people come to me. Sometimes I just listen. Sometimes people just want someone to be there to listen to, you know, actually, you don't have to give lots of advice and then they feel really better if you just sit there. You know, they feel supported, they feel someone there for them and they feel good. And then they say what they want to say. They feel much better. And there is a festive way to support someone. And this is also a good way to give, you know,  this is the best giving. We can give peace and calm to others.  Yes, that's well said and thank you for those stories as well. I want to just move on to one more thing that you mentioned before in terms of developing this state of contentment in our minds. You did mention the developing like mindfulness or present moment awareness.  There's a lot of research now which says that those people who practice meditation regularly do develop a greater sense of peace and happiness.  How does that work?  Because sometimes the mind is a conditioning. Because we are not aware, we keep repeating, we keep following our whole because sometimes things are born and sometimes even from our previous life we develop certain habitual pattern. But if we are not aware of that, that very easily we just follow that pattern and then we follow and then we repeat the same thing and go on and on and on. Of course we keep doing the same thing. We always get the same results. Develop mindfulness, help us to change.  To change that, following that old habit. I remember, I think last year, I think three years ago, there was someone said to me that, oh, you know, I've been told that we all condition, and then we think that we make our choice. Actually, we are not making a choice. They just follow our old habit. We have been conditioned.  So how are we come out of it? We just keep repeating the same thing and go round and round. How are we coming? How are we, you know, to get out of this, you know, this cycle? And I told him, yeah, you can. And then he was a bit shocked, you know, when I said, oh, you can't. I said, until you recognize that when you recognize that you have certain underlying tendency, you tend to repeat that. You draw into that habit pattern. That meant the habitual pattern. That is the underlying tendency. You inclined towards that.  Unless you you you recognize that if you can't see that there's a be able to recognize that you have to develop present moment awareness and then establish that and that's the invitation to develop the peaceful mind until your mind is peaceful enough enough then only you'll be able to see that the underlying tendency that causes the problem. If not, we will never see that. We can't see that because we keep feeding it, we keep repeating and then, of course, how come we have a different result? And then that's what people think. We always get into all this, but when you start to practice, you'll be able to see I remember, for example just give you an example. When I was a lay person, I find it very difficult to say no to others because and then even and then I just identify myself. Like I'm very kind and very helpful and like to help people. And sometimes I can think too much.  Too full on my plate. And then I got stressed out. But even though I aware of that but whenever people ask me but I think I know that I can't do anything, it's too much for me. But actually I wanted to say no, but come up and say yes.  And I realized why I did that. Then I started actually come from the practice. I started to see that the reason why I can't say no. And I realized that actually I like to please people because I'm afraid that if I said no, they don't like me anymore. Want to be like sometimes we can't see our underlying tendency, but it takes a bit of practice. At the beginning, I can't see it, but over a period of time, as my mind become more peaceful, as more clarity after that, I can see that actually  if I said no, people would not like me anymore. And I like to police people to say that I'm a good person, I'm very helpful. That kind of massive concern about how people look at us. And if again, I can see the underlying tendency of the sense of.  Who identified myself as and this is how I started to see that and then I managed eventually one day I said no, it's such a relief. I must say that the first time when I said no, it's a relief for me. And then after that I have no problems.  I struggle so much, I want to say no, but I just can't because of the sense of self ego, who we think we are  and  even though I'm aware of that but still quite difficult to let it go and it's really thick. Lots of practice until you really ready, you keep practicing, you keep practicing. Development, advance, apply this in your daily life to practice actually it takes time and slowly you can  eventually I remember when I first there was so much joy and happiness that is my happiest moment when the words come out no, eventually I did it  before that. Even though I know that this is causing me problems but I still can't do it. But I continue to practice and that eventually that when your mind becomes more and more you have more and more clarity, you might become more and more peaceful actually. You start to develop the self confidence.  Then it come naturally, you know, when you develop, when you have those qualities.  Actually  loving kindness also comes from parity, as it might become pure and pure, you know, you have more clarity, and actually you're naturally kind. They said, someone asked me that. I said, true meta, true loving kindness come from purity. If your mind is pure, you're naturally kind. So it takes some time to develop that, even at the beginning, you're aware of that. But I remember  sometimes to give myself a little bit of, you know, encouragement, because I, like Buddha said, you know, a fool know that he's a fool. He's still wise to that extent. Fool think that he's wise indeed. I keep telling me, okay, I still cannot let go now. It's okay. But at least I know that this is something I need to work on. Okay, I still wise to that. I still give myself the encouragement. So we need that and find that it's useful. I remember this really also helped me. I remind myself that at least I'm aware that  this is something I need to work on, and this really causes me suffering.  And I find that it's also useful, like some of some of the reflection, I find that it's also useful, some not. At the end of the day,  it's good enough and well done, you did your very best and not to beat one sense up. And it's also help at the end of the day that we tell ourselves that, yes, you did your very best, even though you don't achieve even I didn't achieve what I had planned, but I still love you. Well done. Sometimes we need to develop that because no one can help us. So that is something that is actually worth a bit of practice that I use in my life that's really helped me a lot.  That's really interesting, actually. Yeah, that's super interesting because  when we talk about practice in Buddhism, we often we say, well, you need to do some generosity, you need to practice your virtue, you need to practice meditation. But one of the things that can be really helpful is these little reflections or contemplations. It could be that you listen to a wise teacher and then you just spend some time reflecting upon those. Or as you were just saying, like, that sense of getting to the end of the day and saying,  thank you to me for all the effort I put in and putting up with all that hard stuff. Good on you. It's a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards yourself. And it can really be like you said, it can be really encouraging. Did you want to say anything else about  these reflections that we can do at certain times of day and how they can be helpful? Yeah.  Like for example, when we get early in the morning we can do that. What I can be offered? What can I help? And also I remember that when I was in Thailand, my father passed away after training, when my brother passed away and that really struck me. And one of the reflection is really useful and helpful that you become more grateful and you have developed that gratitude is to reflect on impermanence because we tend to take it for granted. We think oh, we're always there especially we hurt our lover much more than anyone else because we think that they are the ones always forgiven, they are always there for us. We never thought that one day they would not be there and that really allows us to sense of urgency. We really appreciate our loved one we tend to take it for granted what they have done, all the love they give us we think we take it for granted, we think oh, they're always there and we tend to hurt our love for much more than anyone else because.  They don't see that it's impermanent. But because of my father passed away after three months, my brother passed away, that really struck me. That really struck me. That impermanent. Like, I can die any time. So then every morning when I wake up, I feel so blessed, still alive.  The fact that I'm still alive is a blessing to me. So to me, I count my blessings every day. So then actually, when I had that attitude, I don't really waste so much time into really worrying about what other people said, what's going to happen in the future. That really helped. And I really become more appreciative to my family and to all my siblings. That really helped me. I really appreciate so much because of reflection of the contemplation of this impermanence that consciously bring us to remind us if we know that we're going to die, lots of things doesn't matter anymore, isn't it? We still don't go on and on thinking about this person said that you think, okay, well, I'm going to waste my time doing this thing. I'm worrying about all these things that I might find any moment and actually.  Actually, people think that some people think al Buddhism is very pessimistic about suffering  impermanence. Actually, it's the other way around, actually become more positive, you become more appreciative, appreciated the people around you appreciate all the things that you receive. Actually, that's also help. Reflection, impermanence, that is also help. And also thinking of the food that we eat. I do that every morning when I have my breakfast. I get up early in the morning. Sometimes I say, wow, I'm still alive. What can I give? And this really helps. And this helps  to change your mindset and also practice present moment awareness. You're more aware of your reaction. Like, for example, someone said nasty things to you. You're aware of your reaction. You feel like if you annoy, you can feel that kind of you feel annoying that coming. If you agitated because it's terrible, it's not pleasing. You can feel it because when you are not aware of your reaction sometimes when we hear something, we can even feel even the manifest in the body. We feel even our chest type, we feel a nun. And then we know that here we react to that person. Actually, when you're more mindful about it, you can be able to pick that up. Pick that as soon as you can. The quicker you be able to pick that, you have direct action. Actually, it resolved very quickly. And then sometimes when I aware of that, I quickly change. I wait, it's coming, I react, I feel agitated. I feel annoying. Actually, I'm aware of that. Then that's the time that  we don't follow our fault or how terribly this person is. That's the time to catch that. And that's the time we change the way we think. And then normally, I was like, okay,  at least this person honest to the extent  I get what I see, at least this person didn't stab my back. At least a person, even though that person to me, even this person being nasty to me, at least this person honest to the extent they have to be honest, they're not stepping my back. Actually, it truly make me feel much better. Okay. I feel much better. Okay?  And sometimes  for things, I will remind myself  to say that to myself. Thank you for giving me  the person, giving me the opportunity to practice forgiveness and all these things. It's important when you be able to catch that, then where you change not to follow that this has changed your way of thinking, rather following thinking how terrible the person is, turn around and think, oh, wow, thank you for giving me the opportunity,  and this is health. And then the more you do that, actually, over a period of time, naturally, your mind just naturally don't go to the negative side. They have terrible but you always twist that, and you always think of something that is more positive and good about it. You can always find something I don't know. It's just after a period of time when you practice that, actually, it's natural. You always think of something that is not positive, and it needs a bit of training like this in your daily life.  That's an excellent answer. And it kind of brings me to my last question, which is kind of a tricky one, I think. But it goes also to what you were saying earlier about giving people encouragement because we talk a lot about practices, you know, practice generosity, practice meditation, et cetera, et cetera. And of course, that's absolutely essential. We're not going to get anywhere unless we practice. But in order to inspire our listeners, if our listeners were to take the advice that you've given today, put it into practice every single day, what kind of inner changes might they expect over a period of time? Okay, so this is a frequent ask questions. People ask me how do I know whether I have progressed? Because it's a graduate training. So I asked the person, OK, look, so after you practice,  for example, some of the things that used to bother you maybe takes you money to get over, but after practice it still bother you, but it shouldn't. For example, in the past to 63 weeks and now it takes you two weeks, or slowly one week or maybe a few days. I said, you already shut down for my suffering.  And actually a lot of people, when I asked them, they look back, they said true, many people told me the same thing. They said yes, actually they see that. As I said, you look back and see how you feel after you practice. Like some of the things you should bother you now they still bother you. But  the intensity of that emotion maybe get lessened or that the time that last longer time you can't get over there for a long time, but now you still have that reaction. But you get over faster. Imagine if you get over faster and you already sharpen your suffering and this is how you can see those already practice. You look back, you see that this thing is to bother me, but now it's still bothering. But you can feel that it's more manageable. Maybe in the past you can't manage, but not at least.  Still there, but it's more manageable.  Do you feel like that's? Yes. If you practice, say, gratitude every day,  and you practice, like, what you were talking about, like catching your reactions in the your negative reactions, and then working out a way to practice gratitude in the moment rather than feeling angry or annoyed,  does that lead to one's overall sense of well being increasing, do you think? Yeah,  you feel good.  And then also, you always see something good in others also, and it's very natural. You always see something good in others.  If we develop that tendency of finding, we can only see the fault. We can't see anything good. But this is the opposite. When we do this, it's very strange that you can always find something good about the other person. No matter how terrible, how nasty the person, how rude the person is. But you always can find some. For example, even I can say, oh, okay, thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice forgiveness. Oh, thank you so much. I can practice forgiveness. I can practice kindness and compassion. And that's actually  mine. It's a condition thing. This is how we keep doing it again and again, and this is how we condition our mind. We almost use brainwash ourselves, but in a good way. And that  is so natural. It's just a part of you. You just do it very naturally,  you know?  Yeah. Okay.  Yeah, I think it does. I think it does. And it kind of wraps things up nicely because we started with this big question, which is, how can we have everything and be happy? And of course, we can't get everything that we want. However, we can give up wanting. And when we do, as you said, if you practice gratitude, if you practice giving, if you practice virtue, if you practice meditation and present moment awareness, you can relinquish the things that we want. And we can also, in its place, in the place of wanting, we can have this sense of contentment and fulfillment. And that's what we were looking for in the beginning. Is that right? Yes.  Okay. Well, I think that's a really good place to wrap up this interview. So let me express my gratitude and appreciation to you. I know that you're very busy with this very fast growing monastery, so thank you for your insight and wisdom on this episode of Treasure Mountain.  And also thank you for giving me the opportunity to share. Thank you,  thank you very much.  And thank you to all our listeners for joining us for this insightful episode of Treasure Mountain in which Ajan has a NA has offered her sage advice on how how practicing gratitude and generosity and developing the mind can lead to contentment and make us feel as if everything we need in life  is what we have right here and now. Treasure Mountain Podcast is now part of the Everyday Duma Network. You can find out more about the Treasure Mountain Podcast by going to the links in the description below, and I'll also be including links to Damasara Monastery and to the teachings of our janhasapanya. You can find out more about  our guests and previous episodes by searching for Treasure Mountain Podcast. And if you go to the Everyday  Dumma Net home page, you can discover more about the other podcasts that are available on our network. If you enjoy this podcast, you can subscribe to Treasure Mountain by using your favorite podcast app in order to get notified about future episodes. And don't forget to tell your friends about Treasure Mountain. I'll have more inspiring guests and topics in future episodes, and until then, I wish you the best on your spiritual journey. 

Ajahn HasapannaProfile Photo

Ajahn Hasapanna

Ajahn Hasapanna was born in Ipoh, Malaysia in 1960. During her days as a lay person she and her family generously supported Ajahn Sujato when he was practicing in Ipoh. The main influence in Ajahn Hasapanna’s spiritual development is the monastic lifestyle of the forest tradition. When Ajahn Hasapanna had developed enough courage and inspiration to become a nun, Ajahn Sujato pointed her to join Dhammasara Nuns Monastery.

She joined Dhammasara in 2002, beginning her monastic training as an Anagarika (trainee nun keeping 8 precept). She then ordained as a Ten Precept Nun with Ajahn Vayama as her teacher. She subsequently ordained as a Bhikkhuni in 2009 with Ayya Tathaaloka as her preceptor in a ceremony at Bodhinyana Monastery, WA, Australia.

Currently, Ajahn Hasapanna is the Abbot of Dhammasara Nuns Monastery and the Assistant Spiritual Director of The Buddhist Society of WA (Inc). She is heavily involved in teaching and training nuns, anagarikas and lay people. She is the main teacher to 18 monastic trainees at Dhammasara.

In 2015, she successfully managed the building of Dhammasara Sala Complex, consisting of a large ordination (Sīma) Hall, Dining Hall, Kitchen, Amenities Block, Monastic Library, Accomodation Pods for Monastic and Lay women, and the Annex block. In 2017, she completed the new carpark and seal the main driveway. She was instrumental in getting the approval from City of Swan to build 4 more brick kutis, they were completed in 2020. This has enabled more women to take up monastic training at Dhammasara.

More of Ajahn Hasapanna's teacherings can be found here: