Oct. 27, 2022

Our Most Urgent Task - Ajahn Nissarano

Our Most Urgent Task - Ajahn Nissarano

Ajahn Nissarano joins us on this episode of Sage Advice to discuss the topic “our most urgent task”. We are so busy these days, we often lose sight of the big picture. And we can become so distracting that we don't even see what our most urgent task in life is. In this interview Ajahn Nissarano offers advice on what is most essential and urgent for us to focus on if we are to really develop the spiritual qualities.


In this episode of Sage Advice we have as our guest, Ajahn Nissarano who is coming to us from Newbury Monastery, which is just north-west of Melbourne, Australia.

Ajahn Nissarano was born in 1952 in Perth, Western Australia. In 1997, he was ordained by Ajahn Brahm as a novice monk and a year later took full ordination. This year will be his 25th Rains Retreat, Vassa. He lived in Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2019, for a total of 13 and half years. During that time, he lived for 8 years in a cave on the side of a mountain, surrounded by forest and going for alms round to the village below. He returned to Australia regularly to teach, primarily at the Buddhist Society of Victoria. In January 2021 he became the Senior Monk at Newbury Buddhist Monastery, outside Melbourne, which is run by the Buddhist Society of Victoria.

Ajahn Nissarano joins us on this episode of Sage Advice to discuss the topic “our most urgent task”. We are so busy these days, we often lose sight of the big picture. And we can become so distracting that we don't even see what our most urgent task in life is. In this interview Ajahn Nissarano offers advice on what is most essential and urgent for us to focus on if we are to really develop the spiritual qualities.

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May you be happy!

Sol

Transcript

 

Robot Generated Transcription - expect errors!

 U1 

 0:02 

 Welcome to Treasure Mountain, the podcast that inspires and guides people to find the treasure within human experience. I'm your host, Sol Hanna. In this episode of Sage Advice, we have as our guest Arjun Nissarano, who is coming to us from Newbury Monastery, which is just northwest of Melbourne, Australia. Ajahn Nissarano was born in 1952 in Perth, Western Australia. In 1997, he was ordained by Ajahn Brahm as a novice monk and a year later took full ordination. This year will be his 25th range retreat. He lived in Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2019, for a total of 13 and a half years. During that time, he lived eight years in a cave on the side of a mountain, surrounded by forest and going for arms round in the village below. He returned to Australia regularly to teach primarily at the Buddhist Society of Victoria. In January 2021, he became the senior monk at Newbury Buddhist Monastery outside Melbourne, which is run by the Buddhist Society of Victoria.  It's been a long time since I've spoken with Arjun Nasarano and I'm really looking forward to speaking with this humble monk who is a lover of quiet places arjun Nasarano joins us on this episode of Sage Advice to discuss the topic our most urgent task I hope you will enjoy this episode and are inspired to focus your efforts to get the most out of life  welcome to Tricia Mountain arjan. How are you today? 

 U2 

 1:36 

 I'm excellent. Thanks and even more so seeing you and catching up with you after a long time so looking forward to the 

 U1 

 1:46 

 interview I must say Sol. I haven't seen you for a long time and you look just exactly the same all that meditation must be doing wonders for you 

 U2 

 1:55 

 shaving the head helps 

 U1 

 1:59 

 well. It is really great to have you here as well and I really have always appreciated your advice in the past and I'm looking forward to what you've got to say about this topic which I think is on the minds of many people. 

 U2 

 2:12 

 Yes, I think the most urgent task that we have is a very important subject because by and large we don't have much time to stop and reflect 1s what's most important to us, what are the priorities in our lives, what is essential. And because of that, because we don't have that time quite often we are living lives that we perhaps would prefer to not live the way we are. So it's very important that we can stop from time to time and reflect on what's really important in our lives. And in that connection. I'll just use this verses from the Dumbada and it's from the Yamakawaga. The chapter of the pairs and I think it's really I love this quotation and it's been always been important in my life. My spiritual life. My monastic life too those who consider what is not essential to be essential and see what is essential as not essential. Living in such fields of wrong intention. They don't realize the essential. Those who know the essential to be essential and what is not essential as not essential. Living in such fields of right intention they realize is the essential. So that's some nice verses and I think for everyone who hears those, they'll have their own take on it as to what is essential in their lives. But one of the things I always say, this is something that's quite powerful in a way is what is the most essential or important or urgent thing now for soul, for those that are listening, what is the most important thing now? 

 U1 

 4:11 

 I think, Joan, that's a really good way to kind of frame our discussion. And I really want to get to that question of what is the essential, that most important and urgent thing we need to do. But before we get to that, I like to kind of explore what is stopping us from getting there. 1s Let's talk a little bit about the problem. I mean, people are so busy. How can we find the time to fit it all in? I know you mentioned earlier when we were emailing to prepare for the interview, he said that's what most people don't seem to have a lot of time, and we want to often develop ourselves spiritually. But where do we find the time? What do you think is going on here, Bante? Is the modern world making us busy, or is human nature 2s always succumb to business? What do you think? I show 1s yes. Well, actually, that's what I was getting to with that question that I started with before. And really, this busyness is not the problem. 1s It's a symptom of the underlying problem. And that's what I was trying to point, actually, that I made before. And why are we so busy? Well, it's because of what's going on in our minds. And this is even if we are physically busy busy, we don't have to be mentally busy. And I realized this for myself when I joined the monastery because I felt like, oh God, I'm too busy. And I thought, when I go to the monastery, I won't be busy. And lo and behold, when I went to the house, I was still busy. And then it really occurred to me, where is this busyness? And I realized it's inside me. I had bought the busyness with me, and it will be with each of us, really, wherever we live, until we look at what is really essential, what's really important. Realize that this is coming from within me. This busyness, this feeling of panic, this feeling like there's not enough time. I can't do it as well as I'd like to do. Maybe I can't do it. Those sorts of feelings. I was talking to a group about stress management recently and those sorts of things that come up when we're busy. And of course, when we're busy too, it's very difficult to be present because we're running so much on a Todo list, aren't we? The Todo list is really driving us and that's very time constrained as well. So we're skipping the present moment and fast forwarding through the future and in the process feeling overwhelmed. 

 U2 

 7:11 

 So that's what I would say. 

 U1 

 7:13 

 That is a profoundly good point. And I have to say I recognize some of those symptoms in myself, like being driven by the to do list and so forth. Yeah, but the point that you made about the busyness emanating from the mind, I think is a really powerful point that I think we need to focus on. Do you think that it comes down to our priorities as well? I mean, you're a monk. You live in a monastery where stillness and peace are prioritized. And as you said, even in a monastery, you can feel busy. But what do most people living in society today appear to be prioritizing? 1s Instead of peace and stillness, what do you think the priorities are and what should they be? 1s Right. Well, I think yes, the priorities. What should the priorities be? The priorities will always be what we think is important, what we think is essential. Which is why I use those verses that I mentioned at the beginning. And their priorities are always shaped by our views, actually, our views, our opinions, our beliefs. And believe it or not, we have a million views about everything. About the toothpaste, about the socks, about everything. It's amazing. Our lives are run by views. And so we have these views running our lives that give value to what we think is important 2s to do list, as it were. But of course, you know, the. 1s Of course, for people, the priorities are going to be really the world, the five sense world, the world that we're living in, making a living and all these things. And of course, that's absolutely essential. It's very important. And the other things that will draw arrived people will be their relationships, of course, work as I mentioned, family, possessions, praise, 1s status and seeking pleasure 1s in whatever form or shape they can get. So all these things are really driving it, are driving most people. They are the priority. And this is why any spiritual path is really trying to turn us around to look where all that is coming from. Of course, it's always coming from within us, as is the busyness. All these views, what we value, what we think is important, that's coming from us. That's where all of this is emanating from. And of course, the Buddha calls this, the worldly wins. The worldly wins. We're caught up with wanting to get and this is what life is about for most people. Getting as much as possible and getting more. Even if you've got a lot and also 1s getting praise, nobody wants blame. And also to have status. You want to be somebody. We all want to be somebody. You want to make a mark. We don't want to be a nobody. This is the worst thing in society these days. Always a nobody. 

 U2 

 10:36 

 And of course we also want seeking pleasure as well, not pain. So these were the winds are really what's driving us that's around nutshell. What most people are focusing on forgetting that. 1s How we experience this world is all coming from in here. The wealthiest person in the world, if they are miserable inside, forget it. It won't 

 U1 

 11:01 

 make any difference. Absolutely, yeah. 

 U2 

 11:03 

 Won't make any difference. The poorest person in the world, if they're happy at home, as I call it, inside, they're happy in their minds and heart, then, no matter how poor they are, that would be quite a pleasant experience. It may be difficult, but they will have happiness that comes from within. Because in the end, we are making the happiness that we find out in the world. Not everybody enjoys the same sight, smells, tastes and touches. Not everybody enjoys the cappuccino 

 U1 

 11:37 

 or 

 U2 

 11:38 

 whatever. So it's very obvious that it's coming from within us. It's coming from our conditioning, of course, particular culture, particular time. 1s If I was born in China and was born in Malaysia, like some of the monks here at Newbury, I think noodles fantastic in the 

 U1 

 11:57 

 morning, 

 U2 

 11:58 

 I necessarily think that especially the hot, spicy ones, they like. So we realize where the world is coming from, and we realize that, 1s yes, we can spend a lot of time out there in the world, we can try and fix that world out there. But really the way we fix the world out there, to a large extent, not completely, is by fixing what's inside, addressing what's inside, developing those qualities inside that will bring that inner happiness, that inner contentment and joy for us. And then wisdom as well. Wisdom as well. So that's the long answer to that question. 

 U1 

 12:40 

 It was an excellent answer. There's so many things that unpack. But one thing I did want to just pick up on, what you said at the beginning, that everything emanates from our views, and so the busyness emanates from our views. I actually had two questions I wanted to ask about that. The first one is, 1s The eight fold path starts with right view. So that really is the starting point. If we want to make change, we need, I guess, to analyze our views. In what way is my views making me busy or making me stressed? Is that what you would say is a good place to start? Well, yes and no. Yes and no. Absolutely right view is the essential. Is essential. Absolutely. I think a good place to start is actually the second factor in the noble eight path. And that's right intention or right attitude, as I call it, because we live our lives from an emotional point of view, really jude feelings, it's run by feelings. We are the slaves of pleasant feelings and we absolutely 1s run away from, avoid, terrified of painful feelings, neutral feelings, who cares? That's what most people feel. Who cares? It doesn't make much difference. So it's much easier to see where we're coming from. This is right intention. Are we coming from a mind that's trying to get and gain and of course this is not going to lead to happiness for ourselves. It's not going to lead to focusing on the inner life. To me, this whole we call it name comer, this whole idea of renunciation. Sometimes I heard this word for years and years and I thought, well, what is it all about? It's sort of not a common word we use in English, especially in this society. But renunciation is really it's looking for happiness in the right place inside. Looking for, not looking for our I call it pleasure in seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, but looking for happiness inside. And as in the opposite of getting and gaining, giving, letting go and giving. And also then the other qualities. Where we come from, being a good person, coming, being kind is very important. Being a good person, moral person, and also being a person, it doesn't hurt or harm oneself or others. So that's much easier place to come from. But you're 100% right intention. Right view is driving right intention, it's driving our lives. The reason we are so busy, 1s the reason 2s we experience the world in whatever way we're experiencing it, whether it be with anxiety, fear, depression, excitement, any of these sorts of things, it's coming from a view that we're running on. And of course the biggest view in terms of our experience is the view of. 1s Self. Me. I mine. And this is why we're so busy, because, you know, this self has got a big to do list. It's forever. Expectations are incredibly high, 

 U2 

 16:11 

 you know, and we always I always say I never get halfway through through the to do list. But I think well, that's not bad. 

 U1 

 16:21 

 So this view of itself is really what driving all of us, actually, until the first stage of enlightenment, when that view of an ime and all that belongs to me is seen as for what it is. It's just a view. It's not a reality. And this is the for me, the essential for all of us and where we develop happiness in this world is touching base with reality. And this is what the Buddha is talking about when he's talking about a cause, a Nietzsche impermanent, stuka, suffering or unsatisfactory. It's not getting what you want. Or as Mickey used to say, you can't withdraw. I thought yes. We also had a famous line from another song that many years ago most people won't know. I can't get no satisfaction. I thought, wow. But the rest of the words, probably the lie a Buddhist 

 U2 

 17:20 

 theme anyway. 

 U1 

 17:22 

 Not the chorus, right? Not the chorus, right? Yeah. 

 U2 

 17:25 

 That's all everybody remembers, 

 U1 

 17:26 

 usually. 

 U2 

 17:28 

 And the last aspect of reality that we need to get in touch with. And we suffer so, so much less if we do even understand it. Intellectually is nonself. It's not a personal thing. And it's always been a process, this body. We can see that more often than seeing that the mind is also which we appropriate, which we think belongs to us. And in the process, we suffer 

 U1 

 17:56 

 lots 

 U2 

 17:58 

 because then we're busy. Then we've got to control stuff. Then there are so many things that are driven by the sense of who I am and what I want to be, what I want to get, what I own, what belongs to me. All that will keep us really busy. 

 U1 

 18:17 

 I really want to follow up on that point right there. You mentioned how the ego always wants to get something we're trying to acquire, and that's part of the reason we're so busy and often. And I found this was true for myself when I started trying to practice the spiritual path. 2s We come and it's almost like we're trying to add something onto our lives. I feel discontent. Oh, I'll go and learn how to meditate and I'll get happiness that way. Is that may be part of the problem? Do we really need to do the opposite, like start letting go of things or emptying out? What are your thoughts on that issue? 

 U2 

 19:04 

 Yeah, it's very natural for us, when we come to the spiritual path, to any spiritual path, really, to think of it as a getting experience. We're going to get something that will change everything, will add on to what we have. Often it's like we think we'll add the candles to the cake or whatever. We'll add on to it, the experience. And that will be, you know, that will bring us happiness and well being. And of course, this is a very materialistic view, and it's not surprising because this is where we operate in daily life, getting and gaining. And of course, in spiritual terms, I think many people have heard of that famous term spiritual materialism that came from chagran Chompa. And it's very much how we operate from, we're going to get this, we're going to get that, and then this will make life happier. We meditate in a way that is driven by this idea of getting, gaining, and in the process, of course, you see, especially in spiritual terms or in meditation, the more getting and gaining we have in mind, the more unsatisfactory the experience is going to be because we disappointed. And of course, it's pointing us towards the fact that, yes, all this getting and gaming, all this wanting is actually not leading to my happiness. It's actually making for more high expectations, for a lot more disappointment. In fact, Buddha called it the Second Noble truth. And I've recently been giving talks based on Argent Brown's phrase second Noble Truth meditation, that this is meditation coming from wanting to do list, 2s a famous bucket list. We want 1s to get this insight, that insight, first genre, second genre. We want the stream entry, first stage, enlightenment, etc. These bucket lists. And of course, we have everything we need here inside. We just want to let go of a lot more. The only thing the Buddha said that blocks us primarily, particularly in meditation, but in life, to either five hindrances or the defiance in the mind. If we can lose them, 1s No problem. And then deep meditation, deep wisdom. 1s Much, much easier. They'll come quite naturally, actually, because then those obscurations, the things that make it difficult for us to see things as they are, will be gone. And that reminds me of a phrase that Ajay murder discovered. It's a Jewish phrase from the Talmud, which I like very much. It's not that we see things as they are. We see things as we are. And that's fantastic. 

 U1 

 22:05 

 That's powerful. That 

 U2 

 22:06 

 is so good. And I've been using it a lot. I really find it so useful. And it helps people to realize, yes, the work really is inside. It's not out there. Of course, as I mentioned before, you have to make a living. I've got a body and live in a material world. But the experience of that material world will depend on where we're coming from inside. 2s And so that's where the happiness can come from and where our meaning can come from, because that's the other aspect of what is essential, what's the urgent task is to connect. And before we started this interview, Sol mentioned that actually, you know, that finding meaning and purpose when you became a Buddhist, I think connecting with that was a powerful 2s treasure to discover, because it is a treasure. Meaning and purpose drive our lives. Without meaning, without purpose, well, we think, well, what's it all about? Is there any point in going on? 

 U1 

 23:15 

 Each day is a real drag, and so on. So this medium, purpose is not a small thing. And one of the brilliant things that's a lovely quote, too, actually, from Victor Frankel because everybody experiences in this life is not quite the way I'd like it to be. The imperfections are always in our face. We can't quite get things perfect, whether it be our relationships, a job, our mind states, what our bodies actually particularly, and all these things. But we realize that this is the nature of it, that the difficulties. And Victor Frankl, who wrote this wonderful book called Man Search for Meaning, he really gave it a really good formula, actually. He said, Suffering without meaning equals despair. And that's where we're at. Most people in this world are at. They think, oh, God, why is life like this? It's not giving me what I thought it would give me. And in the end, this lack of meaning just brings them to a state of despair or negativity or some depression or anger, feeling like life short changed and what was it all about? What I've got into and 

 U2 

 24:39 

 often towards this feeling like and this is a very common feeling. I just want to be out of it. Thank you. Finish. Nothing more after this, which a lot of people do called annihilation, but it's actually quite a common reaction to not having meaning or purpose in one's life. And those meanings and purposes, yeah, the spiritual path, buddhism's got heaps of meaning and purpose, but for most people, it doesn't have to be even a grand meaning or purpose. And that's what Victor Frankl pointed out in his book, that man's search for meaning. It can just be small things, living for our grandchildren, living to help somebody, living often for our pets, 

 U1 

 25:26 

 things like that. 

 U2 

 25:27 

 Meaning, purpose is really crucial, essential for us. We are beings driven by it. I see the kangaroos here. I don't think so much. They are, which is just as well, because as I say to people when they're standing in the rain here at Newbury, buddhist monarchs standing in the snow, I don't think they think the kangaroos think, I want to be on the Gold 

 U1 

 25:52 

 Coast 

 U2 

 25:57 

 and this is our dad's life. 3s That's my response to that. 

 U1 

 26:06 

 That's a really good point as well, about how we compare, about all I could be here, I could be this person, and then we make ourselves more miserable. I think that's a very important point. But on the topic of purpose and meaning, I think that I want to just drive straight towards the core question right now, which is, we have been bought into this human existence. We've got joys and sorrows, ups and downs, gain and loss, pleasure and pain. We get kicked around by it. And it can be pretty confusing sometimes. 2s What would you say is our most urgent task? We've got limited time. What is our most urgent task in this 

 U2 

 26:48 

 life? Yes. What is urgent task? What's essential in this life? I think the urgent task, and it's also very beneficial, immediately beneficial, is to become a generous person, a good person, a kind person, a person that's not harming or hurting themselves, a person that's not out there for number one all the time. We've got to look after number one. Yep. For sure. But the getting and gaining mind, believe it or not, I mean, it is not a recipe for happiness. Absolutely not. So that's number one before we go anywhere, because immediately we are generous. We're happy. Actually, if we genuinely give from our hearts, we don't feel that we're forced to give. If we feel we're forced to give, well, it takes a bit of the icing of the cake, as they say. But if we really give from the heart, that brings happiness. And if we are good in terms of in Buddhist terms, we can talk about that as in terms of our precepts, isn't it not killing and not stealing, not having sexual misconduct, not lying and not taking alcohol and drugs, that's a recipe for happiness. Some people would say, oh, goodness me, there's no fun there. But. 1s The point of that is we feel good about ourselves. There's self esteem there. I say if we want to live in a drama telling drama or whatever sort of drama break the five precepts break, you'll soon have it have an affair. You'll see 1s how it destroys relationship, how it can destroy families, how it can destroy lives. Any of these are real dynamite, actually. But these days sexual misconduct is the piggy. It's actually interesting because that word, it was always the Buddhist word for me for many, many years and never heard anybody else use it. But now it's in the news all the time, isn't it? We hear sexual misconduct and that's a common phrase. Before I thought only bullets use this word, really. But so this is being a good person is a recipe for something we have. It's our urgent task to really address ourselves to being a good person. And then the kind person. Of course, this is an aspect of right motivation, right attitude, right intention is very important. That kindness that we develop, we develop. And how do we develop it? We develop it by through our actions. What we do, we don't. We develop it through our speech, have kind speech. But of course, where it's coming from is the mind. So very important to recondition the mind with doing a lot or as much as possible of kindness, meditation, meta meditation. And this is so important because then this is happiness here and now. For us, actually, it's a very pleasant experience. And what really points to is that we are programmed phenomena. We are conditioned phenomena. And you often hear us from Brahm say he's brainwashing us and it's good. Brainwashing is brainwashing us. And that is true. And how do we brainwash? By repetition. What we repeat will become part of our habits, our character, our personality. So some people are pretty good at getting really angry and enraged, outraged or whatever. And because they've been doing it. Practicing it quite a lot. And so when we practice kindness, meditation, it reconditions our mind. And the other aspect I mentioned, too, is not harming. That intention not to harm or hurt ourselves or others is so important. And, you know, some people, we say, well, I don't hit anybody or whatever, but, wow, can we hurt people by what we say? And that reminds me of the Buddhist saying that we were all born with an axe in our mouth. The axis 

 U1 

 30:59 

 on speech is really powerful. I sometimes change it to chainsaw in our mouth, but an axe is pretty good. He really put it very clearly. So that, to me, is the urgent task. And for the Buddha, and of course, when he talked about the essential, of course, it's going deeper, isn't it? It's going deeper. It's to really understand 1s the unsatisfactory nature of our life, the imperfections of life. 1s Because once we connect with reality, once we understand the nature of reality, we don't feel like most people feel, I must have got it wrong. 1s I'm lacking in something. I'm not smart enough, I'm not goodlooking enough, I'm not whatever. But when one connects with reality, you realize 2s this is just the way it is, really. It's part of reality, I think. Nothing personal. Thank you very much. It's nothing personal. So this is very important. When we when we realize that, when we realize the nature of our existence. And the Buddha, he says, you know, of course, personal truth, this is unsatisfactory, this is suffering. And in life, we often get that. And what he said was unsatisfactory was 1s suffering. And of course, it's old age, sickness and death. Nobody wants to dwell on those things. And not getting what we want is a biggie. And as is being associated with things and people we don't, and being separated from those we do like. But the very powerful. 2s One of his definition for the first Noble Truth is that it's the five personality factors, I call them, or group personality group of 2s based on clinging. They are the problem. And that's really saying to us that imperfection is built in. So once we can accept that, wow, that makes things a lot easier, and it gives rise to a lot of joy and happiness. He also said, if we understand that the nature of duca or the nature of suffering unsatisfactoryness, we will see all the other three Noble Truths. The rest of it the source of our difficulties, our problems, which nobody will believe is wanting. Call it tanahar or craving. Expectations a great word for it. Discontent is, you know, all these things that give us so much that we have to do that's the slave driver really, I call it, would have a nice phrase where I always mention it tanha dasa. Slaves are craving. That's what we are, believe it or not. 

 U2 

 33:55 

 It's pushing us around all the 

 U1 

 33:58 

 time. That's a radical that's a radical view because, I mean, in our modern Western society, we think, well, I've got all this freedom. I can go out and I can do this and I can do that, and I can travel, I can go and sleep with whoever I want, and I can do this and that. But actually, that's the form of slavery because, as you say, we're just slaves of desire. We don't have inner freedom. 

 U2 

 34:22 

 That's it. And I think, as you know, Jean Brahm uses a wonderful phrase. This isn't. This is the most people are looking for happiness or pleasure from the freedom of desire. So in other words, the more we have, the more possibility for fulfilling our getting happiness, fulfilling out all our desires. So the wealthiest person in the world is obviously set up that idea to become very happy because they can have everything. But of course, we know that's not the case. So that freedom of desire is really a slave driver. And what I find very, very powerful for me is just that freedom from being driven by desire, freedom from being driven by anger and all these negative qualities. Because they push us to do and say things that later we think, god, why did I say that? Why did I do that? And when we really feel like we've been able to say no to these desires, then we can feel this sort of happiness, getting some independence, getting some freedom, so that's a way we can look at it. Otherwise we will always be the slaves of desire, always be 2s under the thumb of conditioning and advertising that we are surrounded by. So this is nothing small. When we can say no to this desire to get stuff, this desire to be angry, say something or do something coming from an angry place, all those things, this is freedom. And that freedom is important for us. 2s I wanted to pick up on that point and something you said earlier, which was about 1s being a good person and developing kindness meditation on just a practical level. Obviously one thing that people can do is to learn to do meta or loving kindness meditation in a formal sense, sitting down, closing your eyes and reflecting on loving kindness. But given that many people are very busy 1s day to day, 

 U1 

 36:41 

 would you offer some practical tips, just some little tips? 1s I'm going to work today, I don't have time to sit down half an hour. But is there something I could do which might help me bring a little bit more kindness into my day? 

 U2 

 36:58 

 Right, well, to bring more kindness into our day, we have to have it, don't we? And the way we can do that, even short meditation is very useful for us to 2s do, even if it's only 5 minutes or 10 minutes, just to connect with that kindness within ourselves. Sometimes it's easier if we use something or someone who brings up kindness for us. I often use best friend, being one's own best friend. Think of the qualities of best friend and you get this feeling of coming up about what a best friend is and then I can connect with that and just stay with that for some time and then radiate it. Because this is one of the things with kindness meditation, with loving kindness. I like kindness meditation. Friendliness meditation is actually sharing it too, and then having, for instance, through the day, just having as a project, I'm going to say something nice to somebody today or do something nice, you may even get more targeted. I'm going to say something nice to that person who is a pain, who is difficult. 1s But I don't enjoy seeing 1s projects like that. That's how we can we're deliberately bringing in happiness, bringing in kindness to the day. We're making it our project, our focus, and that actually becomes part of our meaning to take this in. And when we do that, I think that sometimes the results can be surprising because it can change things, actually, the interests phenomena when you try to change other people. 2s Nigh on impossible. But when we change, they could change too. And so our relationships can change so very well worth even a small amount of time. You know, most of us have time when we, for instance, on the train or bus, if you're going to work or going somewhere. There are always these in between moments which, as John Braun calls them I like them when we can just take time not to spend on the device, that's what we usually do. But to actually just develop this kindness within and then that conditions how we experience the day and how we speak and act as well and to make it a deliberate, conscious process, something like a project almost. And then we can explore developing more of it. The more results we get, the more benefit we feel. Of course, the more time we'll find. Often that's the difficulty. If we don't enjoy what we're doing, we won't find the time for it so very important. I love that advice. That is brilliant advice. I have to admit that the idea of having a little project every day is brilliant. And that's something I've practiced myself or try to do every day. So I have a little thing where I try to just do something good every day or an act of generosity. But I have to admit one thing I've never ever done is what you just suggested, which is to have a little project where you're going to say something nice to someone. 2s But I think it's brilliant advice. It's not that difficult to do, especially if you're starting out and you say, okay, well, I'm going to say something nice to my spouse or my children, or that's an easy place to start. And then work your way up to someone who you really can't stand. That really is a good test of how much kindness if you could be kind to someone who you don't like very much, that's a sign of success in developing kindness. I love that advice. But on a bigger scale, a lot of listeners might also be nodding along this is good advice, but obviously people are very busy as well. They may have that intention to reallocate their time, reallocate their priorities. 4s If we're going to start doing something bigger than just the advice you just gave about doing something small, like saying something nice, someone great advice, very achievable. What if we wanted to do something a little bit more ambitious? Where's a good place to start in terms of 2s wanting our focus to be on that which is essential? Yes. 

 U1 

 41:31 

 What's a really good place to start? 

 U2 

 41:33 

 A good place to start or 

 U1 

 41:35 

 something more significant we might do? 

 U2 

 41:37 

 Yeah, good place to start is taking time to stop. 2s That's the best place where we can really reevaluate what we're doing with the onslaught of busyness and all that we do. 1s Because we identified with that doing, isn't it? It's us doing it. We have to do it. That's how we feel. Stopping is very, very important. Sometimes life will stop us, but why wait until we've got a divorce on our hands? Why wait until we've been sacked from the job? Why wait until we found we've got terminal cancer? They stop us for sure. They make us reevaluate. But 1s they are really difficult times and often people really grow from them. But it would be better if we were able to prepare or do it in a more gentle way to stop. And of course, as a spiritual practitioner, if you're a spiritual practitioner, a great place to stop in daily life, as I mentioned, is the waiting. The times we have to wait. We're on the train, we're on the bus, these sorts of things, these places we're in waiting rooms. I use that in my meditation. I quite often think I'm in a waiting room and it puts me in a very good state of mind for just not thinking about past and the future. I'm just here now, really, and it's great. I find it very helpful. But we have other opportunities to stop and some of them are more structured, like meditation retreats. Fantastic. Really, really good. We've just finished a three month reigns retreat. Every year the Buddhist and Hunt have a three month rains retreat. So it coincides with winter here in Australia and of course, the rainy season in India. 2s And during that period each month, and none has a two week personal treat. And I had one just recently, and I thought, fantastic. It was just great. You just get off the rails completely, 

 U1 

 43:42 

 not go off the rails. And the worst 2s usually, that's what they've always gone off the rails. But it's really good just to stop doing all those things that one has usually does and just have quiet time for himself, meditating, contemplating, studying those sorts of things and going for walks and whatnot. So these meditation retreats are a wonderful opportunity to really stop. And they can be pivotal change, changing. They can change our direction in life. Because when we get more peaceful, more still, we realize we get in touch with this intuitive sense of what I need to do. Yeah, this is what I need to do. And then sometimes you think, well, that's crazy, isn't it? Because it's not what we were doing before, or it's such a big change, it's a real challenge. But that intuitive sense will give us the energy to drive change. We know this is right. Most other people won't think this is right or it's out of character or whatever it is, but this is where, when we get stuck, when we get peaceful, then real intuition, insight into what we need to do, how we need to live our lives will become much more obvious. Sometimes they are structured meditation retreats, but sometimes self retreats, because people are busy and they can go to a retreat center or monastery for a few days or a week or whatever, and they can have self retreats and that can be very useful. Just being in nature is well worth it. And 

 U2 

 45:22 

 I think this is a very good place for people to get in touch with the essential in nature 1s so that the mind calms down when we're in nature, things become clearer. When we're in nature, we feel more in tune with reality, really, so and just time on one zone. Is valuable too, because we can spend so much time interacting with each other, and so that makes it difficult to be clear about what we need to do. So these are just a few points on, you know, where we can focus our attention, so we see what's really the urgent task, what is essential. So that can be very helpful. 

 U1 

 46:14 

 I love this. 

 U2 

 46:21 

 Even just cutting through a lot of the concepts we dwell in is a very useful thing. We're driven by so much thinking. It's just incredible. The descriptions of what's going on here and now are just incredible. That's why I was going to start the session with that question. What's the most important thing now? Absolutely. For everyone that's watching or not watching, listening to this. And for myself, what's the most important thing? 4s The breath. The breath. Who would 

 U1 

 46:56 

 ever think of that? Breath over, look at it. Who would ever think of that? 2s I should know better, shouldn't I? 1s It's just incredible. So true. It is the most important thing, the urgent task for now, hours breathing, 4s one of the essentials we don't get either, 2s because we think we've got plenty of it is time. 2s People think, oh, you know, plenty of time, no worries, I'll do it later. And then they find there's almost 70, like I am, 1s wow. Later came pretty quick. 3s Very important. 2s When we say essential, it's a something that's valuable. When we say something is an urgent task, it's something valuable. So important 

 U2 

 47:52 

 and so time 

 U1 

 47:53 

 is part of it. But the breath is very good. 2s Brilliant, brilliant advice. And also just this brilliant quote that you've come up with. A great place to start. The spiritual path is to stop. And I guess stopping here and now means being with the breath. And I did want to ask this is the final question I wanted to ask, and it goes, I guess, to a deeper level because I've asked quite a few questions about how to get started. But is that our membership urgent task ultimately to stop? 

 U2 

 48:29 

 Right is our most urgent task really to stop. 2s It is actually our most urgent task really when you think of it. To stop, because to stop going to the past and the future for sure, just to be in the present moment. To stop with all that busyness. One of my favorite quotes from the poems of the enlightened monks and nuns, one of the quotes is that a fully enlightened person is like someone, a work person who is waiting for their wages. They haven't got any business to do. All the business has gone out of their minds. So 2s this stopping is very important in our lives. Saying no to all the desires, but saying no to desires, being pushed around by wanting, being pushed around by our expectations. You always hear this phrase, don't you? Lower your expectations. But really, when we can do that, just feeling that happiness of wow, freedom. Freedom. This is 

 U1 

 49:40 

 great, this is great because so much of it is stopping, this 1s proliferation. All the concepts that are echoing in our minds constantly and they sort of coagulate around the sense of me, the sense of me, all these concepts, they're like constellation around me. And when they stop, when we stop proliferating like that, creating endless, it's not something we're doing, by the way. It's something that happens when we realize the nature of this proliferation is nonself, it's driven by conditions, conditioning. It's not me. No longer is it, you know, the central focus of that, the driving force of it, is no longer the sense of ego. So when that happens, then proliferation goes. And of course, one of the descriptions of wooding is a for, the path is knee puncher. Without proliferation, without all this conceptual, description, baggage, judgment, all that stuff about ourselves, the world and all the comparisons that we come up with, you know, all that stuff gone. And what's replaced is this deep, deep insight into reality as it always has been. Nothing lasts. It's always been impermanent, unpredictable, irregularly, you could say. 1s And also it'll never be perfect and it's not self. And the best thing about it, all the stopping is that it's great, great happiness. 1s The Buddha is a wonderful suit where the Buddha talks about this is a really powerful suitor, actually. I thought, incredible. 1s He says that if somebody were offered this bargain, this contract or bargain really contract here, perhaps, that they would be pierced with 100 spears in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening, and they would live for a life of 100 years. But if they agreed to have this happen, 1s the bargain would be that they would see the Four Noble Truths, and then the Buddha says this would be a good bargain because the amount of suffering and difficulty they've been through before this life is incalculable. And he said, but this is the important bit. That is not to say that seeing the Four Noble Truth, the breakthrough to the Four Noble Truths is not accompanied with suffering and lamentation and pain. He said, on the contrary. It is accompanied by joy and happiness only this is only joy and happiness. So this is important thing to see. When we really see the nature of reality it's not something we'll say oh my God, I wish I 

 U2 

 52:46 

 hadn't seen that. This really wrecked my life. It will be something that transforms us and will make life. It will be a fulfillment, a culmination. It will be ultimate happiness. Because then we realized for the first time in our lives I didn't get it wrong. 

 U1 

 53:04 

 I've been thinking I've got it wrong all the time and the problem is me, you know? But this is the nature of reality like this. And then we can relax and enjoy and then we are not so busy, then we don't have so much to do. Then we're like the work person waiting for their wages. We can relax, feet up. So that's the benefit of stopping. Stopping is very hard for us. Very very 

 U2 

 53:32 

 hard because we have a momentum. 1s You see that in meditation, don't you sit down to meditate and people just it's like a train going through the mind, isn't it? And people say, I can't meditate. You know, it's just all thinking and remembering what happened today and planning what happened. 1s You realize this is what I've been doing all day. And you realize not only all day, but all of my days, half the night, mornings and so forth. So this is natural that this will play out and has to so we have to have that patience and that kindness when we experience this, really, it's sort of unpleasant in a way. Like, for instance, when we all have this, you hear a song or something and it just keeps playing in the mind. Even if you like the song initially, after a while you think, oh God, when will it finish? 

 U1 

 54:26 

 And 

 U2 

 54:26 

 that negativity doesn't help at all. You just realize that it is a recording plan, it is programming plan, conditioning, playing out. And if we have patience and kindness, it will finish by itself. We don't have to do anything we can't. The more we try to do, the longer it'll go on that would experience the song playing again and again. So I hope that was okay. That's stopping 

 U1 

 54:54 

 adubeante, that is an excellent I have to say, I think it's the advice I needed right now. So I really am personally very appreciative and I'm sure that our listeners will be very appreciative as well. So thank you, Jan Nasarno, for taking the time to share your experience and wisdom with our listeners of Treasure Mountain. Thank you. 

 U2 

 55:13 

 My pleasure. Saad saad 

 U1 

 55:15 

 saadi Sardi thank you. And thank you to all our listeners for joining us on this episode of Treasure Mountain with our journey. And O, a peaceful monk with a quiet determination to follow the 8th four path all the way. You can find out more about Arjun Nasarno, including links to his teachings, as well as Newbury Monastery outside Melbourne, Australia by following the links in the description below this episode. Also, you can find out more about Treasure Mountain podcast by going to www. Treasure Mountain dot info the website where you can find out all our previous episodes and information about our guests. 1s Also, on the Treasure Mountain dot info website, you can click on the Follow button and choose your podcast app and subscribe to this podcast from there, which will allow you to get notified when new episodes come out. And don't forget to tell your friends about Treasure Mountain, too. I'll have more inspiring guests and topics in the coming weeks. And before I leave you for this episode, I wanted to let you know about a new podcast that I've just established called the Buddhist Wisdom Podcast. This podcast has narrations of the Buddhist teachings. If you've been wanting to read the original word of the Buddha, but you've been finding it too hard to find the time, receiving chapters in podcast form means you can listen to the word of the Buddha whilst you're on the go. It's basically a free audiobook. You can find the Buddhist Wisdom Podcast by searching for it on your favorite podcast app, or you can go to www, the Buddhist Podcast dot stream to find the episodes and click on the subscribe button from there. Until next time, may you find the treasure within. 

Nissarano_20221027

Summary

Become a kind person, meditate, and have the intention not to harm yourself or others.: Our priorities are shaped by our views, which are driven by our emotions. To make change, we need to analyze these views and develop a more centered and peaceful mindset. Buddhism teaches us to find meaning and purpose in our lives, and this is a powerful treasure to discover. We suffer less when we connect with this.: The problem isn't the busyness, it's our priorities. We need to focus on what's most important to us to find peace and stillness. = Practical tips for developing kindness in everyday life include using something or someone to bring up kindness for you, taking short meditation sessions to connect with kindness, and making kindness a deliberate project.: When we want to learn or practise something, it's a good idea to think about the task as an essential, urgent task that's valuable. The breath is a very good tool for focusing on the present moment, and when we stop proliferating, we can begin to see the nature of reality as it always has been and be filled with happiness.: Take a little time to stop and reevaluate what's important, so you can focus your energy on what's really important. This is a great article about how to live a meaningful life: https://www.thespiritualpractitioner.org/daily-spiritual-tip/the-most-important-thing-now: -Jan Nasarno has shared his experience and wisdom with our listeners of Treasure Mountain. -Arjun Nasarno, a Buddhist monk with a quiet determination to follow the 8th four path all the way, can be found by following the links in the description below this episode. -You can find out more about Treasure Mountain by going to www.Treasure Mountain dot info the website where you can find out all our previous episodes and information about our guests. -The Buddhist Wisdom Podcast has narrations of the Buddhist teachings.

Transcription

 U1 

 0:02 

 Welcome to Treasure Mountain, the podcast that inspires and guides people to find the treasure within human experience. I'm your host, Sol Hanna. In this episode of Sage Advice, we have as our guest Arjun Nassarano, who is coming to us from Newbury Monastery, which is just northwest of Melbourne, Australia. Aja Nasarano was born in 1952 in Perth, Western Australia. In 1997, he was ordained by Ajan Brahm as a novice monk and a year later took full ordination. This year will be his 25th range retreat. He lived in Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2019, for a total of 13 and a half years. During that time, he lived eight years in a cave on the side of a mountain, surrounded by forest and going for arms round in the village below. He returned to Australia regularly to teach primarily at the Buddhist Society of Victoria. In January 2021, he became the senior monk at Newbury Buddhist Monastery outside Melbourne, which is run by the Buddhist Society of Victoria. 1s It's been a long time since I've spoken with Arjun Nasarano and I'm really looking forward to speaking with this humble monk who is a lover of quiet places arjun Nasarano joins us on this episode of Sage Advice to discuss the topic our most urgent task I hope you will enjoy this episode and are inspired to focus your efforts to get the most out of life 5s welcome to Tricia Mountain arjan. How are you today? 

 U2 

 1:36 

 I'm excellent. Thanks and even more so seeing you and catching up with you after a long time so looking forward to the 

 U1 

 1:46 

 interview I must say John. I haven't seen you for a long time and you look just exactly the same all that meditation must be doing wonders for you 

 U2 

 1:55 

 shaving the head helps 

 U1 

 1:59 

 well. It is really great to have you here as well and I really have always appreciated your advice in the past and I'm looking forward to what you've got to say about this topic which I think is on the minds of many people. 

 U2 

 2:12 

 Yes, I think the most urgent task that we have is a very important subject because by and large we don't have much time to stop and reflect 1s what's most important to us, what are the priorities in our lives, what is essential. And because of that, because we don't have that time quite often we are living lives that we perhaps would prefer to not live the way we are. So it's very important that we can stop from time to time and reflect on what's really important in our lives. And in that connection. I'll just use this verses from the Dumbada and it's from the Yamakawaga. The chapter of the pairs and I think it's really I love this quotation and it's been always been important in my life. My spiritual life. My monastic life too those who consider what is not essential to be essential and see what is essential as not essential. Living in such fields of wrong intention. They don't realize the essential. Those who know the essential to be essential and what is not essential as not essential. Living in such fields of right intention they realize is the essential. So that's some nice verses and I think for everyone who hears those, they'll have their own take on it as to what is essential in their lives. But one of the things I always say, this is something that's quite powerful in a way is what is the most essential or important or urgent thing now for soul, for those that are listening, what is the most important thing now? 

 U1 

 4:11 

 I think, Joan, that's a really good way to kind of frame our discussion. And I really want to get to that question of what is the essential, that most important and urgent thing we need to do. But before we get to that, I like to kind of explore what is stopping us from getting there. 1s Let's talk a little bit about the problem. I mean, people are so busy. How can we find the time to fit it all in? I know you mentioned earlier when we were emailing to prepare for the interview, he said that's what most people don't seem to have a lot of time, and we want to often develop ourselves spiritually. But where do we find the time? What do you think is going on here, Bante? Is the modern world making us busy, or is human nature 2s always succumb to business? What do you think? I show 1s yes. Well, actually, that's what I was getting to with that question that I started with before. And really, this busyness is not the problem. 1s It's a symptom of the underlying problem. And that's what I was trying to point, actually, that I made before. And why are we so busy? Well, it's because of what's going on in our minds. And this is even if we are physically busy busy, we don't have to be mentally busy. And I realized this for myself when I joined the monastery because I felt like, oh God, I'm too busy. And I thought, when I go to the monastery, I won't be busy. And lo and behold, when I went to the house, I was still busy. And then it really occurred to me, where is this busyness? And I realized it's inside me. I had bought the busyness with me, and it will be with each of us, really, wherever we live, until we look at what is really essential, what's really important. Realize that this is coming from within me. This busyness, this feeling of panic, this feeling like there's not enough time. I can't do it as well as I'd like to do. Maybe I can't do it. Those sorts of feelings. I was talking to a group about stress management recently and those sorts of things that come up when we're busy. And of course, when we're busy too, it's very difficult to be present because we're running so much on a Todo list, aren't we? The Todo list is really driving us and that's very time constrained as well. So we're skipping the present moment and fast forwarding through the future and in the process feeling overwhelmed. 

 U2 

 7:11 

 So that's what I would say. 

 U1 

 7:13 

 That is a profoundly good point. And I have to say I recognize some of those symptoms in myself, like being driven by the to do list and so forth. Yeah, but the point that you made about the busyness emanating from the mind, I think is a really powerful point that I think we need to focus on. Do you think that it comes down to our priorities as well? I mean, you're a monk. You live in a monastery where stillness and peace are prioritized. And as you said, even in a monastery, you can feel busy. But what do most people living in society today appear to be prioritizing? 1s Instead of peace and stillness, what do you think the priorities are and what should they be? 1s Right. Well, I think yes, the priorities. What should the priorities be? The priorities will always be what we think is important, what we think is essential. Which is why I use those verses that I mentioned at the beginning. And their priorities are always shaped by our views, actually, our views, our opinions, our beliefs. And believe it or not, we have a million views about everything. About the toothpaste, about the socks, about everything. It's amazing. Our lives are run by views. And so we have these views running our lives that give value to what we think is important 2s to do list, as it were. But of course, you know, the. 1s Of course, for people, the priorities are going to be really the world, the five sense world, the world that we're living in, making a living and all these things. And of course, that's absolutely essential. It's very important. And the other things that will draw arrived people will be their relationships, of course, work as I mentioned, family, possessions, praise, 1s status and seeking pleasure 1s in whatever form or shape they can get. So all these things are really driving it, are driving most people. They are the priority. And this is why any spiritual path is really trying to turn us around to look where all that is coming from. Of course, it's always coming from within us, as is the busyness. All these views, what we value, what we think is important, that's coming from us. That's where all of this is emanating from. And of course, the Buddha calls this, the worldly wins. The worldly wins. We're caught up with wanting to get and this is what life is about for most people. Getting as much as possible and getting more. Even if you've got a lot and also 1s getting praise, nobody wants blame. And also to have status. You want to be somebody. We all want to be somebody. You want to make a mark. We don't want to be a nobody. This is the worst thing in society these days. Always a nobody. 

 U2 

 10:36 

 And of course we also want seeking pleasure as well, not pain. So these were the winds are really what's driving us that's around nutshell. What most people are focusing on forgetting that. 1s How we experience this world is all coming from in here. The wealthiest person in the world, if they are miserable inside, forget it. It won't 

 U1 

 11:01 

 make any difference. Absolutely, yeah. 

 U2 

 11:03 

 Won't make any difference. The poorest person in the world, if they're happy at home, as I call it, inside, they're happy in their minds and heart, then, no matter how poor they are, that would be quite a pleasant experience. It may be difficult, but they will have happiness that comes from within. Because in the end, we are making the happiness that we find out in the world. Not everybody enjoys the same sight, smells, tastes and touches. Not everybody enjoys the cappuccino 

 U1 

 11:37 

 or 

 U2 

 11:38 

 whatever. So it's very obvious that it's coming from within us. It's coming from our conditioning, of course, particular culture, particular time. 1s If I was born in China and was born in Malaysia, like some of the monks here at Newbury, I think noodles fantastic in the 

 U1 

 11:57 

 morning, 

 U2 

 11:58 

 I necessarily think that especially the hot, spicy ones, they like. So we realize where the world is coming from, and we realize that, 1s yes, we can spend a lot of time out there in the world, we can try and fix that world out there. But really the way we fix the world out there, to a large extent, not completely, is by fixing what's inside, addressing what's inside, developing those qualities inside that will bring that inner happiness, that inner contentment and joy for us. And then wisdom as well. Wisdom as well. So that's the long answer to that question. 

 U1 

 12:40 

 It was an excellent answer. There's so many things that unpack. But one thing I did want to just pick up on, what you said at the beginning, that everything emanates from our views, and so the busyness emanates from our views. I actually had two questions I wanted to ask about that. The first one is, 1s The eight fold path starts with right view. So that really is the starting point. If we want to make change, we need, I guess, to analyze our views. In what way is my views making me busy or making me stressed? Is that what you would say is a good place to start? Well, yes and no. Yes and no. Absolutely right view is the essential. Is essential. Absolutely. I think a good place to start is actually the second factor in the noble eight path. And that's right intention or right attitude, as I call it, because we live our lives from an emotional point of view, really jude feelings, it's run by feelings. We are the slaves of pleasant feelings and we absolutely 1s run away from, avoid, terrified of painful feelings, neutral feelings, who cares? That's what most people feel. Who cares? It doesn't make much difference. So it's much easier to see where we're coming from. This is right intention. Are we coming from a mind that's trying to get and gain and of course this is not going to lead to happiness for ourselves. It's not going to lead to focusing on the inner life. To me, this whole we call it name comer, this whole idea of renunciation. Sometimes I heard this word for years and years and I thought, well, what is it all about? It's sort of not a common word we use in English, especially in this society. But renunciation is really it's looking for happiness in the right place inside. Looking for, not looking for our I call it pleasure in seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, but looking for happiness inside. And as in the opposite of getting and gaining, giving, letting go and giving. And also then the other qualities. Where we come from, being a good person, coming, being kind is very important. Being a good person, moral person, and also being a person, it doesn't hurt or harm oneself or others. So that's much easier place to come from. But you're 100% right intention. Right view is driving right intention, it's driving our lives. The reason we are so busy, 1s the reason 2s we experience the world in whatever way we're experiencing it, whether it be with anxiety, fear, depression, excitement, any of these sorts of things, it's coming from a view that we're running on. And of course the biggest view in terms of our experience is the view of. 1s Self. Me. I mine. And this is why we're so busy, because, you know, this self has got a big to do list. It's forever. Expectations are incredibly high, 

 U2 

 16:11 

 you know, and we always I always say I never get halfway through through the to do list. But I think well, that's not bad. 

 U1 

 16:21 

 So this view of itself is really what driving all of us, actually, until the first stage of enlightenment, when that view of an ime and all that belongs to me is seen as for what it is. It's just a view. It's not a reality. And this is the for me, the essential for all of us and where we develop happiness in this world is touching base with reality. And this is what the Buddha is talking about when he's talking about a cause, a Nietzsche impermanent, stuka, suffering or unsatisfactory. It's not getting what you want. Or as Mickey used to say, you can't withdraw. I thought yes. We also had a famous line from another song that many years ago most people won't know. I can't get no satisfaction. I thought, wow. But the rest of the words, probably the lie a Buddhist 

 U2 

 17:20 

 theme anyway. 

 U1 

 17:22 

 Not the chorus, right? Not the chorus, right? Yeah. 

 U2 

 17:25 

 That's all everybody remembers, 

 U1 

 17:26 

 usually. 

 U2 

 17:28 

 And the last aspect of reality that we need to get in touch with. And we suffer so, so much less if we do even understand it. Intellectually is nonself. It's not a personal thing. And it's always been a process, this body. We can see that more often than seeing that the mind is also which we appropriate, which we think belongs to us. And in the process, we suffer 

 U1 

 17:56 

 lots 

 U2 

 17:58 

 because then we're busy. Then we've got to control stuff. Then there are so many things that are driven by the sense of who I am and what I want to be, what I want to get, what I own, what belongs to me. All that will keep us really busy. 

 U1 

 18:17 

 I really want to follow up on that point right there. You mentioned how the ego always wants to get something we're trying to acquire, and that's part of the reason we're so busy and often. And I found this was true for myself when I started trying to practice the spiritual path. 2s We come and it's almost like we're trying to add something onto our lives. I feel discontent. Oh, I'll go and learn how to meditate and I'll get happiness that way. Is that may be part of the problem? Do we really need to do the opposite, like start letting go of things or emptying out? What are your thoughts on that issue? 

 U2 

 19:04 

 Yeah, it's very natural for us, when we come to the spiritual path, to any spiritual path, really, to think of it as a getting experience. We're going to get something that will change everything, will add on to what we have. Often it's like we think we'll add the candles to the cake or whatever. We'll add on to it, the experience. And that will be, you know, that will bring us happiness and well being. And of course, this is a very materialistic view, and it's not surprising because this is where we operate in daily life, getting and gaining. And of course, in spiritual terms, I think many people have heard of that famous term spiritual materialism that came from chagran Chompa. And it's very much how we operate from, we're going to get this, we're going to get that, and then this will make life happier. We meditate in a way that is driven by this idea of getting, gaining, and in the process, of course, you see, especially in spiritual terms or in meditation, the more getting and gaining we have in mind, the more unsatisfactory the experience is going to be because we disappointed. And of course, it's pointing us towards the fact that, yes, all this getting and gaming, all this wanting is actually not leading to my happiness. It's actually making for more high expectations, for a lot more disappointment. In fact, Buddha called it the Second Noble truth. And I've recently been giving talks based on Argent Brown's phrase second Noble Truth meditation, that this is meditation coming from wanting to do list, 2s a famous bucket list. We want 1s to get this insight, that insight, first genre, second genre. We want the stream entry, first stage, enlightenment, etc. These bucket lists. And of course, we have everything we need here inside. We just want to let go of a lot more. The only thing the Buddha said that blocks us primarily, particularly in meditation, but in life, to either five hindrances or the defiance in the mind. If we can lose them, 1s No problem. And then deep meditation, deep wisdom. 1s Much, much easier. They'll come quite naturally, actually, because then those obscurations, the things that make it difficult for us to see things as they are, will be gone. And that reminds me of a phrase that Ajay murder discovered. It's a Jewish phrase from the Talmud, which I like very much. It's not that we see things as they are. We see things as we are. And that's fantastic. 

 U1 

 22:05 

 That's powerful. That 

 U2 

 22:06 

 is so good. And I've been using it a lot. I really find it so useful. And it helps people to realize, yes, the work really is inside. It's not out there. Of course, as I mentioned before, you have to make a living. I've got a body and live in a material world. But the experience of that material world will depend on where we're coming from inside. 2s And so that's where the happiness can come from and where our meaning can come from, because that's the other aspect of what is essential, what's the urgent task is to connect. And before we started this interview, Sol mentioned that actually, you know, that finding meaning and purpose when you became a Buddhist, I think connecting with that was a powerful 2s treasure to discover, because it is a treasure. Meaning and purpose drive our lives. Without meaning, without purpose, well, we think, well, what's it all about? Is there any point in going on? 

 U1 

 23:15 

 Each day is a real drag, and so on. So this medium, purpose is not a small thing. And one of the brilliant things that's a lovely quote, too, actually, from Victor Frankel because everybody experiences in this life is not quite the way I'd like it to be. The imperfections are always in our face. We can't quite get things perfect, whether it be our relationships, a job, our mind states, what our bodies actually particularly, and all these things. But we realize that this is the nature of it, that the difficulties. And Victor Frankl, who wrote this wonderful book called Man Search for Meaning, he really gave it a really good formula, actually. He said, Suffering without meaning equals despair. And that's where we're at. Most people in this world are at. They think, oh, God, why is life like this? It's not giving me what I thought it would give me. And in the end, this lack of meaning just brings them to a state of despair or negativity or some depression or anger, feeling like life short changed and what was it all about? What I've got into and 

 U2 

 24:39 

 often towards this feeling like and this is a very common feeling. I just want to be out of it. Thank you. Finish. Nothing more after this, which a lot of people do called annihilation, but it's actually quite a common reaction to not having meaning or purpose in one's life. And those meanings and purposes, yeah, the spiritual path, buddhism's got heaps of meaning and purpose, but for most people, it doesn't have to be even a grand meaning or purpose. And that's what Victor Frankl pointed out in his book, that man's search for meaning. It can just be small things, living for our grandchildren, living to help somebody, living often for our pets, 

 U1 

 25:26 

 things like that. 

 U2 

 25:27 

 Meaning, purpose is really crucial, essential for us. We are beings driven by it. I see the kangaroos here. I don't think so much. They are, which is just as well, because as I say to people when they're standing in the rain here at Newbury, buddhist monarchs standing in the snow, I don't think they think the kangaroos think, I want to be on the Gold 

 U1 

 25:52 

 Coast 

 U2 

 25:57 

 and this is our dad's life. 3s That's my response to that. 

 U1 

 26:06 

 That's a really good point as well, about how we compare, about all I could be here, I could be this person, and then we make ourselves more miserable. I think that's a very important point. But on the topic of purpose and meaning, I think that I want to just drive straight towards the core question right now, which is, we have been bought into this human existence. We've got joys and sorrows, ups and downs, gain and loss, pleasure and pain. We get kicked around by it. And it can be pretty confusing sometimes. 2s What would you say is our most urgent task? We've got limited time. What is our most urgent task in this 

 U2 

 26:48 

 life? Yes. What is urgent task? What's essential in this life? I think the urgent task, and it's also very beneficial, immediately beneficial, is to become a generous person, a good person, a kind person, a person that's not harming or hurting themselves, a person that's not out there for number one all the time. We've got to look after number one. Yep. For sure. But the getting and gaining mind, believe it or not, I mean, it is not a recipe for happiness. Absolutely not. So that's number one before we go anywhere, because immediately we are generous. We're happy. Actually, if we genuinely give from our hearts, we don't feel that we're forced to give. If we feel we're forced to give, well, it takes a bit of the icing of the cake, as they say. But if we really give from the heart, that brings happiness. And if we are good in terms of in Buddhist terms, we can talk about that as in terms of our precepts, isn't it not killing and not stealing, not having sexual misconduct, not lying and not taking alcohol and drugs, that's a recipe for happiness. Some people would say, oh, goodness me, there's no fun there. But. 1s The point of that is we feel good about ourselves. There's self esteem there. I say if we want to live in a drama telling drama or whatever sort of drama break the five precepts break, you'll soon have it have an affair. You'll see 1s how it destroys relationship, how it can destroy families, how it can destroy lives. Any of these are real dynamite, actually. But these days sexual misconduct is the piggy. It's actually interesting because that word, it was always the Buddhist word for me for many, many years and never heard anybody else use it. But now it's in the news all the time, isn't it? We hear sexual misconduct and that's a common phrase. Before I thought only bullets use this word, really. But so this is being a good person is a recipe for something we have. It's our urgent task to really address ourselves to being a good person. And then the kind person. Of course, this is an aspect of right motivation, right attitude, right intention is very important. That kindness that we develop, we develop. And how do we develop it? We develop it by through our actions. What we do, we don't. We develop it through our speech, have kind speech. But of course, where it's coming from is the mind. So very important to recondition the mind with doing a lot or as much as possible of kindness, meditation, meta meditation. And this is so important because then this is happiness here and now. For us, actually, it's a very pleasant experience. And what really points to is that we are programmed phenomena. We are conditioned phenomena. And you often hear us from Brahm say he's brainwashing us and it's good. Brainwashing is brainwashing us. And that is true. And how do we brainwash? By repetition. What we repeat will become part of our habits, our character, our personality. So some people are pretty good at getting really angry and enraged, outraged or whatever. And because they've been doing it. Practicing it quite a lot. And so when we practice kindness, meditation, it reconditions our mind. And the other aspect I mentioned, too, is not harming. That intention not to harm or hurt ourselves or others is so important. And, you know, some people, we say, well, I don't hit anybody or whatever, but, wow, can we hurt people by what we say? And that reminds me of the Buddhist saying that we were all born with an axe in our mouth. The axis 

 U1 

 30:59 

 on speech is really powerful. I sometimes change it to chainsaw in our mouth, but an axe is pretty good. He really put it very clearly. So that, to me, is the urgent task. And for the Buddha, and of course, when he talked about the essential, of course, it's going deeper, isn't it? It's going deeper. It's to really understand 1s the unsatisfactory nature of our life, the imperfections of life. 1s Because once we connect with reality, once we understand the nature of reality, we don't feel like most people feel, I must have got it wrong. 1s I'm lacking in something. I'm not smart enough, I'm not goodlooking enough, I'm not whatever. But when one connects with reality, you realize 2s this is just the way it is, really. It's part of reality, I think. Nothing personal. Thank you very much. It's nothing personal. So this is very important. When we when we realize that, when we realize the nature of our existence. And the Buddha, he says, you know, of course, personal truth, this is unsatisfactory, this is suffering. And in life, we often get that. And what he said was unsatisfactory was 1s suffering. And of course, it's old age, sickness and death. Nobody wants to dwell on those things. And not getting what we want is a biggie. And as is being associated with things and people we don't, and being separated from those we do like. But the very powerful. 2s One of his definition for the first Noble Truth is that it's the five personality factors, I call them, or group personality group of 2s based on clinging. They are the problem. And that's really saying to us that imperfection is built in. So once we can accept that, wow, that makes things a lot easier, and it gives rise to a lot of joy and happiness. He also said, if we understand that the nature of duca or the nature of suffering unsatisfactoryness, we will see all the other three Noble Truths. The rest of it the source of our difficulties, our problems, which nobody will believe is wanting. Call it tanahar or craving. Expectations a great word for it. Discontent is, you know, all these things that give us so much that we have to do that's the slave driver really, I call it, would have a nice phrase where I always mention it tanha dasa. Slaves are craving. That's what we are, believe it or not. 

 U2 

 33:55 

 It's pushing us around all the 

 U1 

 33:58 

 time. That's a radical that's a radical view because, I mean, in our modern Western society, we think, well, I've got all this freedom. I can go out and I can do this and I can do that, and I can travel, I can go and sleep with whoever I want, and I can do this and that. But actually, that's the form of slavery because, as you say, we're just slaves of desire. We don't have inner freedom. 

 U2 

 34:22 

 That's it. And I think, as you know, Jean Brahm uses a wonderful phrase. This isn't. This is the most people are looking for happiness or pleasure from the freedom of desire. So in other words, the more we have, the more possibility for fulfilling our getting happiness, fulfilling out all our desires. So the wealthiest person in the world is obviously set up that idea to become very happy because they can have everything. But of course, we know that's not the case. So that freedom of desire is really a slave driver. And what I find very, very powerful for me is just that freedom from being driven by desire, freedom from being driven by anger and all these negative qualities. Because they push us to do and say things that later we think, god, why did I say that? Why did I do that? And when we really feel like we've been able to say no to these desires, then we can feel this sort of happiness, getting some independence, getting some freedom, so that's a way we can look at it. Otherwise we will always be the slaves of desire, always be 2s under the thumb of conditioning and advertising that we are surrounded by. So this is nothing small. When we can say no to this desire to get stuff, this desire to be angry, say something or do something coming from an angry place, all those things, this is freedom. And that freedom is important for us. 2s I wanted to pick up on that point and something you said earlier, which was about 1s being a good person and developing kindness meditation on just a practical level. Obviously one thing that people can do is to learn to do meta or loving kindness meditation in a formal sense, sitting down, closing your eyes and reflecting on loving kindness. But given that many people are very busy 1s day to day, 

 U1 

 36:41 

 would you offer some practical tips, just some little tips? 1s I'm going to work today, I don't have time to sit down half an hour. But is there something I could do which might help me bring a little bit more kindness into my day? 

 U2 

 36:58 

 Right, well, to bring more kindness into our day, we have to have it, don't we? And the way we can do that, even short meditation is very useful for us to 2s do, even if it's only 5 minutes or 10 minutes, just to connect with that kindness within ourselves. Sometimes it's easier if we use something or someone who brings up kindness for us. I often use best friend, being one's own best friend. Think of the qualities of best friend and you get this feeling of coming up about what a best friend is and then I can connect with that and just stay with that for some time and then radiate it. Because this is one of the things with kindness meditation, with loving kindness. I like kindness meditation. Friendliness meditation is actually sharing it too, and then having, for instance, through the day, just having as a project, I'm going to say something nice to somebody today or do something nice, you may even get more targeted. I'm going to say something nice to that person who is a pain, who is difficult. 1s But I don't enjoy seeing 1s projects like that. That's how we can we're deliberately bringing in happiness, bringing in kindness to the day. We're making it our project, our focus, and that actually becomes part of our meaning to take this in. And when we do that, I think that sometimes the results can be surprising because it can change things, actually, the interests phenomena when you try to change other people. 2s Nigh on impossible. But when we change, they could change too. And so our relationships can change so very well worth even a small amount of time. You know, most of us have time when we, for instance, on the train or bus, if you're going to work or going somewhere. There are always these in between moments which, as John Braun calls them I like them when we can just take time not to spend on the device, that's what we usually do. But to actually just develop this kindness within and then that conditions how we experience the day and how we speak and act as well and to make it a deliberate, conscious process, something like a project almost. And then we can explore developing more of it. The more results we get, the more benefit we feel. Of course, the more time we'll find. Often that's the difficulty. If we don't enjoy what we're doing, we won't find the time for it so very important. I love that advice. That is brilliant advice. I have to admit that the idea of having a little project every day is brilliant. And that's something I've practiced myself or try to do every day. So I have a little thing where I try to just do something good every day or an act of generosity. But I have to admit one thing I've never ever done is what you just suggested, which is to have a little project where you're going to say something nice to someone. 2s But I think it's brilliant advice. It's not that difficult to do, especially if you're starting out and you say, okay, well, I'm going to say something nice to my spouse or my children, or that's an easy place to start. And then work your way up to someone who you really can't stand. That really is a good test of how much kindness if you could be kind to someone who you don't like very much, that's a sign of success in developing kindness. I love that advice. But on a bigger scale, a lot of listeners might also be nodding along this is good advice, but obviously people are very busy as well. They may have that intention to reallocate their time, reallocate their priorities. 4s If we're going to start doing something bigger than just the advice you just gave about doing something small, like saying something nice, someone great advice, very achievable. What if we wanted to do something a little bit more ambitious? Where's a good place to start in terms of 2s wanting our focus to be on that which is essential? Yes. 

 U1 

 41:31 

 What's a really good place to start? 

 U2 

 41:33 

 A good place to start or 

 U1 

 41:35 

 something more significant we might do? 

 U2 

 41:37 

 Yeah, good place to start is taking time to stop. 2s That's the best place where we can really reevaluate what we're doing with the onslaught of busyness and all that we do. 1s Because we identified with that doing, isn't it? It's us doing it. We have to do it. That's how we feel. Stopping is very, very important. Sometimes life will stop us, but why wait until we've got a divorce on our hands? Why wait until we've been sacked from the job? Why wait until we found we've got terminal cancer? They stop us for sure. They make us reevaluate. But 1s they are really difficult times and often people really grow from them. But it would be better if we were able to prepare or do it in a more gentle way to stop. And of course, as a spiritual practitioner, if you're a spiritual practitioner, a great place to stop in daily life, as I mentioned, is the waiting. The times we have to wait. We're on the train, we're on the bus, these sorts of things, these places we're in waiting rooms. I use that in my meditation. I quite often think I'm in a waiting room and it puts me in a very good state of mind for just not thinking about past and the future. I'm just here now, really, and it's great. I find it very helpful. But we have other opportunities to stop and some of them are more structured, like meditation retreats. Fantastic. Really, really good. We've just finished a three month reigns retreat. Every year the Buddhist and Hunt have a three month rains retreat. So it coincides with winter here in Australia and of course, the rainy season in India. 2s And during that period each month, and none has a two week personal treat. And I had one just recently, and I thought, fantastic. It was just great. You just get off the rails completely, 

 U1 

 43:42 

 not go off the rails. And the worst 2s usually, that's what they've always gone off the rails. But it's really good just to stop doing all those things that one has usually does and just have quiet time for himself, meditating, contemplating, studying those sorts of things and going for walks and whatnot. So these meditation retreats are a wonderful opportunity to really stop. And they can be pivotal change, changing. They can change our direction in life. Because when we get more peaceful, more still, we realize we get in touch with this intuitive sense of what I need to do. Yeah, this is what I need to do. And then sometimes you think, well, that's crazy, isn't it? Because it's not what we were doing before, or it's such a big change, it's a real challenge. But that intuitive sense will give us the energy to drive change. We know this is right. Most other people won't think this is right or it's out of character or whatever it is, but this is where, when we get stuck, when we get peaceful, then real intuition, insight into what we need to do, how we need to live our lives will become much more obvious. Sometimes they are structured meditation retreats, but sometimes self retreats, because people are busy and they can go to a retreat center or monastery for a few days or a week or whatever, and they can have self retreats and that can be very useful. Just being in nature is well worth it. And 

 U2 

 45:22 

 I think this is a very good place for people to get in touch with the essential in nature 1s so that the mind calms down when we're in nature, things become clearer. When we're in nature, we feel more in tune with reality, really, so and just time on one zone. Is valuable too, because we can spend so much time interacting with each other, and so that makes it difficult to be clear about what we need to do. So these are just a few points on, you know, where we can focus our attention, so we see what's really the urgent task, what is essential. So that can be very helpful. 

 U1 

 46:14 

 I love this. 

 U2 

 46:21 

 Even just cutting through a lot of the concepts we dwell in is a very useful thing. We're driven by so much thinking. It's just incredible. The descriptions of what's going on here and now are just incredible. That's why I was going to start the session with that question. What's the most important thing now? Absolutely. For everyone that's watching or not watching, listening to this. And for myself, what's the most important thing? 4s The breath. The breath. Who would 

 U1 

 46:56 

 ever think of that? Breath over, look at it. Who would ever think of that? 2s I should know better, shouldn't I? 1s It's just incredible. So true. It is the most important thing, the urgent task for now, hours breathing, 4s one of the essentials we don't get either, 2s because we think we've got plenty of it is time. 2s People think, oh, you know, plenty of time, no worries, I'll do it later. And then they find there's almost 70, like I am, 1s wow. Later came pretty quick. 3s Very important. 2s When we say essential, it's a something that's valuable. When we say something is an urgent task, it's something valuable. So important 

 U2 

 47:52 

 and so time 

 U1 

 47:53 

 is part of it. But the breath is very good. 2s Brilliant, brilliant advice. And also just this brilliant quote that you've come up with. A great place to start. The spiritual path is to stop. And I guess stopping here and now means being with the breath. And I did want to ask this is the final question I wanted to ask, and it goes, I guess, to a deeper level because I've asked quite a few questions about how to get started. But is that our membership urgent task ultimately to stop? 

 U2 

 48:29 

 Right is our most urgent task really to stop. 2s It is actually our most urgent task really when you think of it. To stop, because to stop going to the past and the future for sure, just to be in the present moment. To stop with all that busyness. One of my favorite quotes from the poems of the enlightened monks and nuns, one of the quotes is that a fully enlightened person is like someone, a work person who is waiting for their wages. They haven't got any business to do. All the business has gone out of their minds. So 2s this stopping is very important in our lives. Saying no to all the desires, but saying no to desires, being pushed around by wanting, being pushed around by our expectations. You always hear this phrase, don't you? Lower your expectations. But really, when we can do that, just feeling that happiness of wow, freedom. Freedom. This is 

 U1 

 49:40 

 great, this is great because so much of it is stopping, this 1s proliferation. All the concepts that are echoing in our minds constantly and they sort of coagulate around the sense of me, the sense of me, all these concepts, they're like constellation around me. And when they stop, when we stop proliferating like that, creating endless, it's not something we're doing, by the way. It's something that happens when we realize the nature of this proliferation is nonself, it's driven by conditions, conditioning. It's not me. No longer is it, you know, the central focus of that, the driving force of it, is no longer the sense of ego. So when that happens, then proliferation goes. And of course, one of the descriptions of wooding is a for, the path is knee puncher. Without proliferation, without all this conceptual, description, baggage, judgment, all that stuff about ourselves, the world and all the comparisons that we come up with, you know, all that stuff gone. And what's replaced is this deep, deep insight into reality as it always has been. Nothing lasts. It's always been impermanent, unpredictable, irregularly, you could say. 1s And also it'll never be perfect and it's not self. And the best thing about it, all the stopping is that it's great, great happiness. 1s The Buddha is a wonderful suit where the Buddha talks about this is a really powerful suitor, actually. I thought, incredible. 1s He says that if somebody were offered this bargain, this contract or bargain really contract here, perhaps, that they would be pierced with 100 spears in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening, and they would live for a life of 100 years. But if they agreed to have this happen, 1s the bargain would be that they would see the Four Noble Truths, and then the Buddha says this would be a good bargain because the amount of suffering and difficulty they've been through before this life is incalculable. And he said, but this is the important bit. That is not to say that seeing the Four Noble Truth, the breakthrough to the Four Noble Truths is not accompanied with suffering and lamentation and pain. He said, on the contrary. It is accompanied by joy and happiness only this is only joy and happiness. So this is important thing to see. When we really see the nature of reality it's not something we'll say oh my God, I wish I 

 U2 

 52:46 

 hadn't seen that. This really wrecked my life. It will be something that transforms us and will make life. It will be a fulfillment, a culmination. It will be ultimate happiness. Because then we realized for the first time in our lives I didn't get it wrong. 

 U1 

 53:04 

 I've been thinking I've got it wrong all the time and the problem is me, you know? But this is the nature of reality like this. And then we can relax and enjoy and then we are not so busy, then we don't have so much to do. Then we're like the work person waiting for their wages. We can relax, feet up. So that's the benefit of stopping. Stopping is very hard for us. Very very 

 U2 

 53:32 

 hard because we have a momentum. 1s You see that in meditation, don't you sit down to meditate and people just it's like a train going through the mind, isn't it? And people say, I can't meditate. You know, it's just all thinking and remembering what happened today and planning what happened. 1s You realize this is what I've been doing all day. And you realize not only all day, but all of my days, half the night, mornings and so forth. So this is natural that this will play out and has to so we have to have that patience and that kindness when we experience this, really, it's sort of unpleasant in a way. Like, for instance, when we all have this, you hear a song or something and it just keeps playing in the mind. Even if you like the song initially, after a while you think, oh God, when will it finish? 

 U1 

 54:26 

 And 

 U2 

 54:26 

 that negativity doesn't help at all. You just realize that it is a recording plan, it is programming plan, conditioning, playing out. And if we have patience and kindness, it will finish by itself. We don't have to do anything we can't. The more we try to do, the longer it'll go on that would experience the song playing again and again. So I hope that was okay. That's stopping 

 U1 

 54:54 

 adubeante, that is an excellent I have to say, I think it's the advice I needed right now. So I really am personally very appreciative and I'm sure that our listeners will be very appreciative as well. So thank you, Jan Nasarno, for taking the time to share your experience and wisdom with our listeners of Treasure Mountain. Thank you. 

 U2 

 55:13 

 My pleasure. Saad saad 

 U1 

 55:15 

 saadi Sardi thank you. And thank you to all our listeners for joining us on this episode of Treasure Mountain with our journey. And O, a peaceful monk with a quiet determination to follow the 8th four path all the way. You can find out more about Arjun Nasarno, including links to his teachings, as well as Newbury Monastery outside Melbourne, Australia by following the links in the description below this episode. Also, you can find out more about Treasure Mountain podcast by going to www. Treasure Mountain dot info the website where you can find out all our previous episodes and information about our guests. 1s Also, on the Treasure Mountain dot info website, you can click on the Follow button and choose your podcast app and subscribe to this podcast from there, which will allow you to get notified when new episodes come out. And don't forget to tell your friends about Treasure Mountain, too. I'll have more inspiring guests and topics in the coming weeks. And before I leave you for this episode, I wanted to let you know about a new podcast that I've just established called the Buddhist Wisdom Podcast. This podcast has narrations of the Buddhist teachings. If you've been wanting to read the original word of the Buddha, but you've been finding it too hard to find the time, receiving chapters in podcast form means you can listen to the word of the Buddha whilst you're on the go. It's basically a free audiobook. You can find the Buddhist Wisdom Podcast by searching for it on your favorite podcast app, or you can go to www, the Buddhist Podcast dot stream to find the episodes and click on the subscribe button from there. Until next time, may you find the treasure within. 

Ajahn Nissarano Profile Photo

Ajahn Nissarano

Senior Monk

Ajahn Nissarano was born in 1952 in Perth, Western Australia. In 1997, he was ordained by Ajahn Brahm as a novice monk and a year later took full ordination. This year will be his 25th Rains Retreat, Vassa. He lived in Sri Lanka from 2006 to 2019, for a total of 13 and half years. During that time, he lived for 8 years in a cave on the side of a mountain, surrounded by forest and going for alms round to the village below. He returned to Australia regularly to teach, primarily at the Buddhist Society of Victoria. In January 2021 he became the Senior Monk at Newbury Buddhist Monastery, outside Melbourne, which is run by the Buddhist Society of Victoria.