Is it OK to post deep Dhamma talks given specifically to monastics on this forum?

Continuing the discussion from Ajahn Brahm—Novice and Anagarika Class—Bodhinyana 2010:

Sorry for the long introduction but I needed to put this question in a broader perspective. It follows a caution by Anagarika @Pasanna

This question specifically addresses the Wednesday talks given at Bodhinyana monastery to monks (and anagarikas and lay visitors?) during the rains retreat and weekly over the year and not the other talks already posted on this forum. These talks given to monastics go straight to the point and are concerned with one goal only—liberation, so they are a very different ‘Ajahn Brahm experience’ and therefore tailored for those really dedicated to the path.

These talks are scattered here and there on the internet and collected—as well as all other talks—under the assumption they are freely offered and shared. Some of this talks are also available on the internet as transcripts and some have even been published by BSWA in two books: ‘Simply This Moment!’ and ‘The Art of Disappearing’.

I was not aware of any restrictions for sharing these specific talks (there is an entire collection of Bodhinyana Rains Retreat talks from 1994–2009 shared as a torrent—but like many rare resources currently isn’t available due to lack of seeders—and I doubt someone would deliberately share this against an explicit request not to). I always assumed that these talks are not made widely available through the ‘official’ BSWA channels simply because they are not oriented to a wide audience and could indeed even scare someone with less experience to the deep Dhamma away from the path rather than draw them closer to it.

But on the other hand these talks can be of tremendous benefit for those who lean toward the path of renunciation but are at present not able to go forth. I found from my own experience that when the mind is calm enough and prepared to hear this kind of Dhamma it really makes one want to practice like their clothes are on fire, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear these talks.

Having said all this, I think it is best to ask directly, and since we are fortunate enough to have monastics from the Bodhinyana monastery present on this forum (I believe at least Bhantes @Brahmali and @Sunyo visit occasionally, and of course Bhante @Sujato who I believe is returning to Perth): what is the position of the Bodhinyana Sangha on this? Is it appropriate to share these talks or not?


Just to add: I have listened a lot to Ajahn Brahm( hats off! for dear Ajahn!), so much that if I just had the most charming and funny/wise stuff from “the rolling stone of dhamma” :yum: , I think i would have lost interest long time ago, but because of those deeper talks, it still keeps me hanging around …


Thanks for the question. I’m not sure if there is a policy here, so let’s wait to hear what @Brahmali has to say.

I hope the Ajhan allows those wonderful talks to be freely distributed over the world wide web!

with metta


Agree, because I have been making fully use of all these excellent Ajhans that’s spread all over the web.
I have made myself a nice little virtual sangha based on a couple of to me suitable Masters (Ajahn Chah and Luang Ta Maha Boowa). Most of their western student provide me with a comprehensive explanations of different aspects and tools for developing my own practice from their individual standings.

This has removed all doubt about having to choose between becoming a monastic or continue in lay life.


This is really very good idea. I have had numerous instances, when certain subtle points which I had up to that moment thought I had grasped clearly, just opening whole new perspectives as if a light flashing all of a sudden. Even though internet is already loaded with reading material , carefully selected talks addressing specific issues will always be helpful.
With Metta


I agree whole-heartedly :pray:


Yes. I have struggled for the past two years trying to learn at home while caring for my parents, one of whom has a terminal disease and requires around the clock care, so ordaining or even just seeking a teacher when there are none locally available or taking time out to go to a retreat are out of the question.

I began learning to meditate by listening to youtube talks from Thanissaro Bhikkhu and without a teacher I have faced some real difficulties in learning how to meditate properly and overcoming blocks to meditation. It has been a case of two steps forward and three backward in learning by inference through listening to generally worded dhamma talks meant for the general public that are somewhat light on practical detail.

Despite this I have managed to progress somewhat and have recently made some real progress thanks largely to listening to some early Ajahn Brahm retreat talks published here on Sutta Central by Musiko.

I for one would request that more of these talks that go into greater detail on meditation be published here as I have a real hunger for it and have no other way of accessing meditation training. Although having said that, I am starting to finally get the hang of it after two years of bashing my head against a brick wall. Although, if I had come across these talks much earlier it would have saved me a lot of wasted time and frustration. Listening to dhamma talks is something I do throughout the day while not meditating, it helps keep me grounded and mindful while I do the daily chores and care for mum, so I am always on the lookout for new material too. Much thanks to Musiko for publishing what he already has, please don’t stop.


Hi! :slight_smile:

Unless published through YouTube or the talks to monastics given at Bodhinyana aren’t meant to be shared with everybody, if things haven’t changed very recently. Even guests at the monastery have get permission to get them. The point is, I belief, that sometimes things are discussed that have to do with the monastery. Not that we have a secret society, but you know, what you say to your son at dinner just isn’t meant for the public. It’s similar with these talks. Occasionally someone may even ask a personal Q, especially when it concerns Vinaya stuff.

So it’s not the deepness. I mean, the Ajahns give virtually the same talks to the laity, which you can find on YouTube. All the suttas of the 2010 class you posted I’m sure you can find on YouTube. His retreats are there too somewhere. Actually, the monastic talks are usually very general. They’re not that different from the lay talks at all. Certainly the sutta classes are basically the same, as I said.

There’s even monastic retreats by Ajahn Brahm on the internet, btw. Google Bandarawela.


Hi there friend :slight_smile:
Sometimes I also think about it, but when it all works, when progress “kicks in”, I end up sending a little blessing to my hardship and acknowledging that without these moment or periods of “not getting it” is maybe the reason I just keep on, because I know from experience that the teaching is true.

Ajahn Chah used to say things like: good is good - bad is good!, and; 70% of practice is not getting it!

When it gets too easy, I just like to take an extra nap … :wink:


If one goes to the site of “Amaravati”, one will find a vast library of talks that is challenging in a deeper sense.


Thank you for this info, bhante!

Well, perhaps we have a different perspective on deepness :smile: but I was really talking about talks like, for example, the one titled ‘Equanimity’ from 2000 Bodhinyana Rains Retreat, also found in the book ‘Simply This Moment’ on page 163. After listening to the audio again just now and reading along with the transcript (which is basically identical to the source with just minor edits), all I can say is that these talks resonate with me on a very different level.

This perception is perhaps definitely biased by my personal experience of having a good fortune to attend a meditation retreat led by Ajahn Brahm and meeting him in person, but perhaps even more so by the fact that these deep teachings—again especially by Ajahn Brahm, but also by other monastics connected with BSWA—are so far the only ones available in English I managed to find, that are on the one hand based almost exclusively on EBTs—without trying to bend the Buddha’s teachings to fit a certain (self) view—and on the other hand explain the difficult aspects of the Dhamma (mostly difficult to oneself because one is unwilling to bend one’s views to fit the facts) with near the same level of precision and internal coherence as the ones in EBTs, but with the vocabulary and similes suited for a mind preconditioned with a western type of reasoning.

And here we come to the main reason I collected this talks as learning tools for my personal use in the past decade: first for convenience, because I discovered that it is easier to find something again in one’s disorganised archive than search the whole internet all over again; second, they are made environmentally friendly (measured in tens instead of hundreds of MB, which is crucial for someone with a limited access to internet) and most importantly, they are NOT lost!

Let me give a real world example regarding the last point: if memory serves me well I first found the book ‘Simply This Moment!’ as a freely downloadable pdf on a site years ago. And one day I figured why not make a donation by actually buying this same book in a printed form and maybe offer it to someone as a gift. And so I did, but when the book actually arrived it came as a different book with an apology that this book is sadly no longer in stock and probably will not be reprinted. By this time the BSWA site was reorganized and now the pdf can no longer be found there and the teachings are lost (well, not really, because one can still find the pdf elsewhere, but still).

And that was my main concern, to help preserve these teachings (especially those that are not easily obtainable and are scattered here and there) and share them in a simple and accessible way. It was never my intention to facilitate access to these talks against the wishes of the sangha.

But since the reason for the access ‘by approval only’ seems more to do with the housekeeping than with content, I’m more than happy to offer my help in either transcribing or editing these talks in any form and preparing them for the final revision/approval and publishing by BSWA—when the Bodhinyana Sangha decides to make these talks widely available :smile:!


I think there is a bit more to it than Ven. Sunyo mentions. In the past - probably before Ven. Sunyo joined our monastery - we have had instances of people listened to the monastic talks and getting upset by them. I think they were just not ready for that sort of Dhamma, especially the kind of teachings Ajahn Brahm used to give 15-25 years ago. (His style is a bit different now.) Based on these experiences we decided to give these talks out only to people we felt sure would be able to appreciate then. Thus a bit of individual vetting.

But as Ven. Sunyo says, much of the deeper Dhamma is available in the retreat talks Ajahn Brahm gives to lay people. Anyone who listens carefully to those would not miss out on much.

Anyway, thanks so much for all your good work!


It’s interesting to wonder how Buddhism will change now that almost every possible kind of Buddhist teaching is already out there on the internet somewhere.


i checked my account on youtube, and found one example of what i experience as “deeper”. Maybe Venerable says the same, but the monks mode sounds a bit closer to stillness, and when listening I tend to forget about famous Brahm and single in on words and reflections.


Thank you for sharing this. What a treasure trove of dhamma talks you have here! I will be listening to this one in particular. :pray:

1 Like

Good! :anjal:

And that talk is the first in a nice series of “deep” talks.


Thank you, Bhante!

I fully concur with the compassionate intent behind the decision to share these deep talks with care and will respect it by not posting any of these talks here. I’m confident that those who are ready to hear them will be able to find other appropriate ways to do so.


you bet … :wink: