19 Dec
Posted in: Talks
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This is Good; This is Bad

As part of the homework for the “Waking Up White” work I’ve been doing, I listened (again) to a terrific talk by Thanissara, which — in addition to an impassioned call to Reclaim the Sacred lost through colonialism, racism, domination of nature and repression of the feminine — includes an interesting anecdote about the first time she heard Ajahn Chah give a dharma talk.

Thanissara says that she was on her first retreat ever, where the practice was a very strict style of Burmese meditation, taught by a Burmese master (who didn’t speak any English). She was having quite a hard time of it, so about half-way through, she decided to sneak out of the retreat center to go listen to a talk being given at Oxford by a Thai master who she’d heard was very powerful, very free and very direct — Ajahn Chah. (He didn’t speak any English either, but at least there was a translator!)

Thanissara says that this was the first time she had actually heard the Dharma and as Ajahn Chah was talking, she was thinking: This is really, really good. 

Then at the end of the talk, he said: If you’ve been sitting here thinking “This is good” or “This is bad,” you have really been listening.

(So then, of course, Thanissara thought: Wow, that’s really good!)

OK, I won’t say the talk is good. Or bad. I’ll just say: Listen to it! (here)

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