176 episodes

Dhamma talks given by Venerable Ajahn Sona, the Abbot of Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery, Canada.

Ajahn Sona Ajahn Sona

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Dhamma talks given by Venerable Ajahn Sona, the Abbot of Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery, Canada.

    Vesak - The Buddha's Birthday: Dhamma Talk and Q&A with Ajahn Sona

    Vesak - The Buddha's Birthday: Dhamma Talk and Q&A with Ajahn Sona

    Vesak is the celebration of the birth, Enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, celebrated by Buddhists on the full moon of May. On this auspicious day, Ajahn Sona offers a Dhamma reflection and answers questions from around the world.

    Opens with a Dhamma Talk; Q&A begins at 23:52.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (9) with Ajahn Sona

    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (9) with Ajahn Sona

    Teatime at Birken (9 of 9) streamed live as part of the Virtual Metta Retreat (December 23-31, 2020).

    Index of questions: 
    00:00 - Welcome
    00:30 - How does one practice Loving-kindness when entangled with unskillful people?
    09:12 - In the past, I used to end my sittings with a smile and start to laugh. Is this “laughing-kindness” like “Loving-kindness”?
    11:41 - In a Jataka story, the Bodhisatta practices patience (Khanti). Isn’t it a practice of Loving-kindness as well?
    15:34 - What strategies can we undertake to keep from getting overwhelmed beyond one’s capacities for Loving-kindness?
    20:53 - As a psychotherapist, how can I express to patients, family, etc, that I am not available for periods of time?
    27:01 - Please explain how something persisting through many lifetimes, carrying the kamma from many lifetimes, is separate and distinct from an idea of a self?
    35:14 - What thoughts, feelings and wishes are appropriate when seeing a dead animal on the street?
    37:47 - How does eating meat relate to Loving-kindness towards animals?
    43:50 - When I am in a rush and time pressure,  it is hard to sustain Metta. Any advice?
    48:34 - Can you speak to balancing our own inner wisdom with that of outside voices (teachers, etc)?
    51:55 - Any advice in keeping Metta that we’ve cultivated  in daily life after the retreat?

    • 56 min
    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (8) with Ajahn Sona

    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (8) with Ajahn Sona

    Teatime at Birken (8 of 9) streamed live as part of the Virtual Metta Retreat (December 23-31, 2020).

    Index of questions: 
    00:00 - Welcome
    00:32 - Beings in nature are inevitably food for other beings, so how does sending Loving-kindness fit in with the food chain?
    05:02 - What do monks do when they are having ongoing health problems?
    10:59 - How does Metta practice relate to the compilation of death?
    15:09 - Sometimes Metta fades and it’s tiring to keep generating it. Any suggestions?
    20:11 - Do people get benefits in chanting a sutta (say, in Pali) without knowing it’s meaning?
    25:41 - When in an urban environment I try to take negative thoughts that arise from sights and sounds and turn them into positive ones. Am I fooling myself?
    30:56 - Why is it that positive or negative emotions put into the universe come back amplified?
    38:15 - Can chanting the Metta Sutta act as good kindling for getting Metta started?
    40:53 - Having survived trauma, sometimes fear arises during meditation. Does one stop meditating or keep going?
    44:46 - Can you clarify the difference between the physical sensation of pain and the concept of dukkha?
    48:04 - I have an end of life directive. What would the Buddha say? I don’t want family to be left with bad kamma resulting from that.
    52:44 - Can you explain what to observe in our dreams to see how much Metta has penetrated?

    • 58 min
    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (7) with Ajahn Sona

    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (7) with Ajahn Sona

    Teatime at Birken (7 of 9) streamed live as part of the Virtual Metta Retreat (December 23-31, 2020).

    Index of questions:
    00:00 - Welcome
    00:20 - How does one get the right balance between breath meditation and Metta practice?
    07:35 - How does kamma relate to past actions? What releases us from negative past actions and corresponding results?
    19:00 - How does one balance retreating from the world when opportunities arise to make active contributions in the world?
    24:02 - How do we expand small generations of Metta into longer lengths of experience?
    28:37 - Is it possible to take a Metta speed boat all the way to sotapatti?
    33:03 - The suggestion to euthanize a sick pet is in conflict with our Buddhist upbringing. Is it a lack of, or abundance of Loving-kindness when a vet gives such advice in a cool manner?
    44:49 - When one sees killing in nature, say, a lizard catching a fly for its meal, does one intercede?
    48:19 - Does anger arise for enlightened beings?
    53:07 - How to recapture feelings of past Loving-kindness when experiencing present difficulties?

    • 56 min
    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (6) with Ajahn Sona

    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (6) with Ajahn Sona

    Teatime at Birken (6 of 9) streamed live as part of the Virtual Metta Retreat (December 23-31, 2020).

    Index of questions:
    00:00 - Welcome
    00:28 - Can Metta protect one from greed and sense desires?
    10:54 - How can one be “a graceful receiver” in a relationship, rather than the giving end?
    21:04 - Is there a way to cultivate Metta without words?
    24:52 - Does Loving-kindness require vulnerability and forgiveness for oneself and others?  
    27:33 - You’ve said that one should not be guilty for past unskillful actions because one is no longer that person. If one takes this stance but continues to do the same unskillful actions after vowing to do better, is that failed right effort?
    38:49 - My mind is craving for Loving-kindness that isn’t present. Is that craving an impediment?
    42:20 - How does one not fail to achieve Nibanna through Loving-kindness? And, how does one achieve Jhana through Loving-kindness?
    45:37 - How can one cultivate relaxed safety when confronted with overwhelming bodily discomfort?
    50:05 - Can you talk about gratitude from a Buddhist prospective?

    • 56 min
    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (5) with Ajahn Sona

    Virtual Metta Retreat: Teatime (5) with Ajahn Sona

    Teatime at Birken (5 of 9) streamed live as part of the Virtual Metta Retreat (December 23-31, 2020).

    Index of questions:
    00:00 - Welcome
    00:23 - Does Metta include patiently bearing with the unpleasant?
    07:34 - Can you speak of Metta towards objects or natural elements? Like, towards snow.
    16:18 - What is the middle way in cultivating Metta powerfully without trying to force it?
    22:24 - Do you need to be a Buddhist to recieve or radiate Metta? Does speaking Pali help?  
    26:31 - Previously you said that one has a better chance with Metta knowing it is a component of the Eightfold Path. Can you say more?
    28:40 - I love being happy but don’t want to brush off my broken heart. What do you suggest?
    32:07 - Do you have an example of a misused application of metta which we should avoid?  
    35:18 - Can you comment on spiritual conceit?
    41:32 - What is the need to lead a virtuous life and what does trying to do this give us?
    48:30 - Given all the horrors of the world, should we use our time and energy to make it a better place?
    52:13 - How does one become consistent in the recollection of one’s good actions?

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

mansionboi ,

Absolute gem

An immensely supportive and transformative resource for any practicing Buddhist. And likely very stimulating for the merely curious, as well. Ajahn Sona’s explications of the Dhamma (Buddhist teachings and practice) are crystal clear and highly practical.

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