Workshop 1: Myth-busting


That’s very broad: do you have anything specidic in mind?


Dear Bhante,

thanks for asking, yes, I had a good trip back to Germany - except for one thing: it is sooooooo far!!

Here is what I found in the internet about Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander . (As I can only put 2 links in a post, here the third one: Both these authors had extraordinarily deep near death experiences. Anita Moorjani was in the final state of a cancer disease, of which she was about to die, and when coming back from “near death” she was completely healed! Eben Alexander, as a Christian, interprets his experience according to the Christian theology, and Anita sees what she experienced as transcending every religion (even Buddhism :smile:).


Dear Bhante,

Thank you (and Ajahn Brahmali) for offering this course. It has been truly helpful so far, and I’m looking forward to busting some of those myths!
I’d also like to thank you for the particularly wonderful dhamma talk you gave about the evolution of consciousness this week. Sadhu!

With metta,


Thank you so much for offering this course. Growing up in a Western culture, my first exposure to kamma was through popular culture a songs like Lennon’s Instant karma and Timberlake’s what goes around comes around. In my own personal search for meaning I have struggled with why bad things happened to good people and I think that Buddhism came the closest to helping me understand purpose and meaning for me. One of the questions about karma that I have comes from my work in the neonatal intensive care when I see sick newborns and their families struggle, not always with a happy ending. It is difficult to find meaning and explain to these families that it is not their fault. I am excited to learn more about these topics. Thank you.


Dear Banthe,
many thanks for the answers / clarifications and for the hint that kamma and intention do not equate. With much mettaa, Robert


Hello. I’ve just returned home to Canada after the Buddhist Pilgrimage to India with Ajahn Brahmali. He left a few days early so he could give the first talk in this new Early Buddhism course. I have found the discussion forum, I have signed up but I’m unable to find the first day of talks??? Could you please tell me how to access the audio of the talks. Because of the time difference, I’m unable to listen to them in real time. With metta for the presentation of these talks, Mary Dumka, Canmore, Alberta, Canada


We’ll notify you all as soon as the talks are available online.

I hope Canada is nice and cool: we were 40 degrees and thunder yesterday!


Hello Bhante Sujato,

Thank you for providing a wide access to this course. I am looking forward to the recordings of the classes. About NDE there is a comprehensive study by a Dutch cardiologist - Dr Pim van Lommel which was published in the Lancet ( and also in a book (

Personally I am very interested in this subject even more so after I came across the Sasankara Sutta (AN 4.169) which gives 4 options for enlightenment or liberation, two of which can happen following “the dissolution of the body” (khayassa bheda). In the suttas, the “dissoltion of the body” usually is followed by “after death” (param marana) but this is omitted in this sutta which can be interpreted as pointing to an intermediate state between “dissolution of the body” and death. I have written an article linking this sutta with the description of the Tibetan Bardos and NDE. Unfortunately it is in Portuguese. If anyone can read here is the link:

Warmest regards,


Dear @sujato ,

I would like to ask you about this little line ,there is mother and father”. Does good rebirth and the Path with its attainments significantly depend on good actions towards our parents?

how can we define and detect ,craving” – in gross or subtle form? Why craving is translated simply as delight in the suttas but the word delight is also used a lot in a positive sense?

Thank you in advance for your answers!

Best wishes,


Thanks, Michael. I agree, does seem to be one of those suttas that implies the existence of an in-between state, or perhaps better, an in-between process or journey. The sutta is talking about a change that happens after death, rather than a realm or state that one enters into.

For those of you who don’t read Portugese, Michael is a dedicated scholar and translator, who has translated most of the Pali Suttas into Portugese, which we are honored to host on SuttaCentral!

  1. Generally speaking, it is thought that gratitude and respect for parents is one of the highest duties. Of course, this is a complicated area, and as always in the Suttas there are no absolutes. Sometimes people ask me about their experiences with abusive or violent parents, and worry that they don’t know how to respect them. I think the point in such cases is that it is still possible to work towards some kind of forgiveness and peace with what’s happened, even if there is no hope of reconciliation. In terms of right view, there is still an acknowledgement that it is a good thing to respect parents, even if it is not always possible.

  2. I’m not entirely clear as to your question here. But generally there is no problem with desire as such; it is only desire that is connected with rebirth that falls under the second noble truth. So desire to practice the noble eightfold path and find liberation is not part of the origin of suffering.There are many words used in the suttas to denote some aspect of desire, love, wanting, or craving; some, like taṇhā are used in an exclusively negative sense; some, like mettā, in an exclusively positive sense; and some, like chanda, vary according to context.


Thank you Sujato.
As to my second question - we can find phrasings like these in the suttas :

  1. , while you dwell contentedly, your scraps of almsfood will seem to you as a dish of rice cleaned of black grains and served with many gravies and curries seems to a householder or a householder’s son; and they will serve for your delight, relief, and ease … " AN8:30 ,To Anuruddha

  2. ,The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words."

  3. ,here I see bhikkhus smiling and cheerful, sincerely joyful, plainly delighting, their faculties fresh, living at ease, unruffled, subsisting on what others give, abiding with mind [as aloof] as a wild deer’s." MN89

What is difference between the delight in the above phrases and the delight from the Noble Truth?

Best wishes!


hi bhante, i missed the first workshop, but cannot find the mp3 to download. please help. thanks.


still waiting, we will let you know here when it is ready…


Ok, so this one in Pali is:

and the relevant term here is rati, translated by Ven Bodhi as “delight”. This is one of the words which is used both in a positive sense (delighting in seclusion, delighting in jhāna, etc., and in a negative sense, as a term for craving.

In this stock phrase, found eg here:

The relevant term here is abhinandati, from the root nanda. Nanda, like rati, is used in both positive and negative senses; eg. in the second noble truth we have nandirāgasahagatā, tatra tatrābhinandinī.

Here delight renders abhiratarūpa, from the same root rati as above. It’s an unusual compound, with the suffix -rūpa interpreted by Ven Bodhi to mean appearing, thus “plainly”.

So each of these terms is subtly different depending on context. However each expresses some kind of delight in what is wholesome, and as such are quite different from the craving of the second noble truth.


We have a beginning:


Thank you very much!

With metta,


Dear Bhante,

Please forgive me if the point below was already discussed elsewhere on the forum but I was unable to find it. Great to see so many people participating in the discussions.

You mention kamma as rebirth-producing but it is my understanding that kamma can also have results in this very life. f.I. if you intentionally do a bad action and get punished, partly by self-punishment (feeling guilty) and possibly also coming from the outside in various possible forms (I.e. imprisonment, someone taking revenge, etc). This type of kamma is easier to see in our daily lives. Can you elaborate on this?
Thank you for a great course.

with Metta


Dear Vimala,

I like your picture! Hopefully you don’t look like that quite yet!

Yes, it is explicitly stated in the suttas that kamma can produce results in the same life. This would include any painful experiences that come from punishment for actions done in this life, but more importantly it refers to the mental world you are creating for yourself. Bad acts feel bad, and good acts feel good. This is precisely why virtue, in both its positive and negative sense, is extremely important on the path. Virtue, including generosity, provides the all-important foundation of happiness for meditation to work. I don’t think it is possible to emphasise this enough, and it should be a powerful inducement for us to do everything in our power to do what is good.

With metta.

Kamma of unintentional actions

Dear Ajahn Brahmali,

Thank you for your answer and clarifications.
The reason I brought it up was that during the last workshop in Sydney I participated in one of the discussion groups. One of the questions was about how we can see kamma in our daily lives (if I recall this correctly). Nearly everybody in my group said they could not see the effects of kamma because they could not remember their past lives. They all thought of kamma as rebirth-producing only.
In my opinion it is far more important for our practice to look at the kamma in this life because as you say, seeing the effects helps us lead more virtuous lives.

With metta,
Samaneri Vimala

PS The pictures is ‘Fritz’, the plastic skeleton in the meditation hall of Anenja Vihara.