Episode 86

May 19, 2024


Buddhism and Psychology | Ajahn Brahm

Buddhism and Psychology | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
Buddhism and Psychology | Ajahn Brahm

May 19 2024 | 00:59:11


Show Notes

Ajahn Brahm speaks about how Buddhism in and of itself is a form of psychology. So it’s to be expected that there will be some similarities between Buddhism and Western Psychology. However there are some significant differences also, which Ajahn Brahm explains in this talk.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded using a low quality MP3 to save on file size (because internet connections were slow back then – remember dialup?) on 12th November 2004. It has now been remastered and published by the Everyday Dhamma Network, and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia under the Creative Commons licence. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

Buddhism and Psychology by Ajahn Brahm [Note: AI generated transcription – expect errors!] For those of you actually want people coming in and out sitting at the front, you may notice the camera in front of you, because we're experimenting to try and put the, uh, the Dharma talks on the web, on video streaming. Last week, it didn't really work too well because it was just too dark. So little by little bit, making some experiments. So I need to see eventually if on a Friday night, if you're tired, you can sit at home and you can see and hear exactly what's going on. Not only in Perth, but if you have to go overseas. Wherever you go, you can actually tune in and listen to the Friday night talk. Even if you die from those realms beyond this Earth. If they have computers, you'll still be able to catch up for what's happening. The Buddhist Society of Western Australia. Okay, so I did mention a few moments ago before we start the meditation, I just come back from another teaching tour of Melbourne for a couple of days. And the main reason I went over there was for a symposium on the Buddhist meaning of happiness. And part of that symposium there was a psychologist, and I followed him. And it was fascinating to see the differences between Buddhism and psychology. And I think I'm going to make that the subject of this evening's talk. So the Buddhism in some aspects of modern psychology. Because Buddhism has been a psychology in and of itself for over 2500 years. It's been a very successful in understanding the workings of the mind and learning how to, um, adapt once. Uh. Ideas, ambitions, drives in order to be conducive to happiness, fulfillment, meaning in life, whatever. And so Buddhist psychology has actually stood the test of time and been very, very effective. And we also have like Western psychology, which has got a large influence on people's lives. And sometimes many of you may have to go and see a psychologist and deal with some of the problems in your life. However, many of you, I hope, won't need even to go to a psychologist because they come and learn at a Buddhist monastery about how your mind works and some of the ideas and frameworks of understanding. And I think you'll probably find that the Buddhist understanding of the mind is even more deep, more powerful, and more effective. But in particular that the goal of a psychology would be mostly just dealing with people who are suffering. And actually bringing them to a state of ease in their life. Now, of course, the idea of state of ease and happiness and how it's attained. It's not quite the same in modern psychology as what we have in Buddhism. And in particular very ideas of happiness and peace are very, very different. And so that the differences or the, uh, looking at Buddhism and psychology or looking at psychology, uh, in the framework of Buddhism becomes a very fascinating area to find out some deeper insights into the meaning of life. In particular that modern psychology. So I heard it was only last night I was at a symposium in Melbourne. That modern psychology has the idea that people suffer. And they get into psychological trauma because sometimes they they tend to think they're losing control of their life and their happiness. And that when we sense a disempowerment of our life, that we are not in control of our time, our happiness, we feel a lot of times a lot of, uh, stress, a lot of suffering, a lot of angst. And I can understand that that is one of the great sources of trouble in people's life. Somebody dies. We don't want him to die, or our body has got a sickness, and it's out of control of our sort of relationship. And it's just whatever we do, it seems to get worse, or our job or the whole of life has since we become powerless. And for many people, that's so frustrating. It causes them psychological suffering. And of course we agree with that. In Buddhism, it's called not getting what you want is suffering. As the first teaching of the Buddha in the Four Noble Truths. However. The response of psychology and response to Buddhism is very different. If you read a psychology book or a self-help book, with the exception of opening the door of your heart. That's my book. If you read The Psychology of Rock Hall, you know, listen to the TV or go to a seminar. You'll find many people who want to solve the problem of failing out of control in life by, um, exerting our will even more, having goals in life, regaining control. Or sometimes we say grabbing the day. And in Buddhism we have the opposite idea. Because what happens in Buddhism is instead of trying to control more in Buddhism, we try and control less, not more, but less. Because what happens if we try and control more? If we tend to take our life in hand and really start to do things and make affirmations? Yes, we're certainly going to do this. Do you want to be rich? I think Donald's thing, which increases your wealth and you will become rich. Stupid isn't it? I want to know if one can become rich like that. Who wants to become rich anyway? But the point is that very often we buy into these affirmations and thinking that once we have this affirmation that everything will work once we take control. Then our lives will be happy ever after. But the point is, you're just putting off the inevitable. Putting off the inevitable realization that you may succeed for a short time, but eventually the things will go wrong. Not very long. They're going right. But your ideas are being challenged about who's in control of this life. Even if you are successful. Eventually you'll die. And just your children or the tax office will get all your money. Either way, you will not have it afterwards. You may succeed a while in your business and have some prosperity, but eventually you'll have to suffer the ups and downs of the economic cycle. Boom and bust had always been that way. Always has been. And there's nothing much we can do about it. Even your relationships may go well for a while, but they'll have trouble because that is life. Life is that things do not go according to our wishes and even affirmations which people have when they have cancers. Really try their very best. But for many people who have great affirmations, even people who meditate, sometimes they die. In fact, they all die eventually. So the point is here that things do go wrong. Or so they do go, right? We go. We get sick, you know, we lose things. We gain things at his life. So in Buddhism, we realize actually that truth of things we're not into wishful thinking and thinking that this world is this heavenly place where if we could only sort of understand the rules of the game and play accordingly, then everything will go right. We'd be happy ever after. This is not a happy ever after world. This is not a fairy tale as many of you know from your direct experience. So that type of psychology is actually doomed to create more problems. If they say that take more control over your life so you are more in command of your time. And your happiness, you find that does not work. What we do in Buddhist psychology is actually to understand, yes, this is life. This is part of our world. This is our body. You get sick, it gets healthy ages. It starts off beautiful. It ends up ugly. And that is true for each one of us. Isn't it wonderful where we accept that, where we don't try and control it? We don't try and have cosmetic surgery or sort of hair implants or other implants. Perhaps I did have implants and was bought. But the point is that we were more in tune with the flow of life, which means that some of life will be unpleasant, some will be happy, but we let go of controlling. In Buddhism, we don't have more control. Now that is actually also is rhymes with the other aspect of modern psychology, which I heard yesterday, which is actually to have a sense of integrity, a sense of self, a sense of who you are. I've been a man for many years now. I've been trying all these years to get rid of myself, to have no idea who I am. Many, many years ago, there was a monk who visited here, and we still have some of the tapes, I believe, in the library. We certainly have these recorded tapes in our monastery. And I alerted my younger monks to this great teacher and just how wonderful, how funny he was. Many of you remember him. Venerable Ananda mangala, I said, anchored monk, who was in Singapore for many years. And I sort of remember sort of some of the other teachings which we know, which he would give. But somebody once asked him, so if he if he was enlightened. And his response was, well, it's I can't really say that, but what I can say is I'm a highly eliminated. And has a beautiful answer, being highly illuminated. Because their lives were being illuminated. But it wasn't a slip of the tongue. It didn't mean I'm hardly illuminated. It meant I am highly illuminated. And I gave a wonderful indication of his understanding of the put his path to happiness. It's not actually getting a stronger sense of self. Not a bigger ego, but actually the smaller ego. By getting this sort of a sense of being eliminated. Eliminating the controller to do the for me. So now that was the the way to health, to psychological health in Buddhism. Now I think you can understand what is meant there. Because when you have a sense of self and identity. The point is that we are attached to that, which means it's fixed our idea of who we are. And psychology will tell you to have a strong sense of who you are. Buddhism will say the opposite. Whatever you think you are is only a temporary fix and a quick you let that go. The more able you will be able to change. And be able to flow with the inevitable alteration of this thing we call me and mine. You'll be able to allow yourself to be brilliant sometimes, and other times it's stupid. Our problem is, if we think we're stupid, then of course we're attached to that. We'd always be stupid. We won't allow ourselves to be brilliant when we're brilliant all the time. We won't allow the stupidity to come up. The truth of you and the truth of me is sometimes you are brilliant, sometimes you are stupid. And a lot of the time you are in between. Which one is the real you? None of them is the real you. You allow yourself to change. You allow yourself to morph with the seasons of intelligence, stupidity, happiness and suffering, clarity and dullness. You allow yourself to change between being high and being depressed. One of the problems is when people are depressed, they don't like being depressed. And I want to try and control it. To grab the day, to be someone else. What's wrong with being depressed? Who made these laws for this? Wrong to be depressed. Enjoy your depression. Make a stand for depressed people's rights. Now, of course, when you do that, it's like somebody asked me in Melbourne, I'm bored. What should I do with my boredom? Psychologically, how is a young person and how can I get out of my boredom? And my answer was I said. Make a study of boredom. Find out what it feels like when you're bored. First of all, start off physically in your body. What sensations you didn't notice about board? Or was it feeling your chest, or in your legs or in your heart? Is there anything there, any sort of symptom of boredom? Things which you can only feel in your body when you're bored, which you don't feel at other times? And number two, actually is that different levels of boredom, like being sort of ordinary bored or very bored or mega bored. Oh, you know, how many different levels and how does it change, you know, between like being being really bored or just ordinary bored or middle bored? And actually, what does it feel like? How do you know which one it is? Make a study of this. And I told you, actually, boredom is a very interesting subject. And if you make a study of border, maybe actually you can actually print your research in a scientific paper and become a doctor or famous. Do your own little study in boredom. Become an expert in boredom. Now, of course, when you start doing this, you know, because you're interested in boredom, you're not trying to get rid of it. But you're actually fascinated by it. You know, not bored anymore. So that's how to get me to be bored. So the point of the story was that, first of all, you don't try to get rid of it. You accept it. You don't try and control it. You let it be and you become interested in it. You investigate, you find out what it is. Mindfulness investigation. Not getting rid of it. Allowing it to be investigating. There is a classic Buddhist solution to boredom and also to depression. Stop getting rid of it. Because if you want to get rid of it, your negative to your depression. I don't want to be depressed. That's the problem. Not the depression, but the way you relate to it. So be depressed. I demand my right to be depressed. And of course, you're not depressed in. You. Actually, you get out of it straight away by allowing it to be even sickness. I don't want to be sick. Allow yourself to be sick. People's rights. We've got all peoples rights. We've got children's rights. I'm going to stand up for sick people's rights. Sick people are being victimized and being oppressed. They're not allowed to be sick. Not as soon as you're sick. Some people in white coats by you in a hospital and make you better again. Now, of course. Everybody just exaggerating here. If I was sick, I'd probably try and get better. But nevertheless, you can see the point here. When we don't accept life, we say sickness is wrong. We try and get rid of it. It makes a sickness much worse. Buddhist approach is not trying to control these things. Not trying to save her herself. Which. There's something wrong with me today. This is not the real me. I supposed to be bright extroverts. Good, fun to be with. That's the real me. We don't actually look at that at all. We don't have an idea of who we supposed to be. Therefore we can let go and just be whatever happens. All this idea of who you're supposed to be, where does that come from? Just at the airport in Melbourne. The plane was delayed as it usually is. It's great for patients. What's wrong with the plane being delayed? A lot of people are getting angry. I've got an appointment. I got here early. I shouldn't be delayed. And of course, does that really help? It said if you're delayed and you're waiting for something great, what a wonderful opportunity just to be patient, to let go. Who cares about what's going to happen next? But the reason I said this, because there's a big TV screen, and I looked at it and there was some TV program about people with cosmetic surgery. It was a psychology program, and somebody was saying that the reason you have cosmetic surgery, breast implants, cheek implants, sleeping. This apparently lady had all sorts of implants in her. She was Mrs. Implant. I said, there's some sort of guy in a TV set. Your problem is it's a psychological problem and you're focusing on the physical problem. Now, why do you want to look like that? Just be yourself. Now. What do you look like? Are you happy with what you look like? Hands up if you're happy with what you look like. Good. Why do we want to change yourself? And who tells us to be different? A lot of times, the trouble with our idea of self and trying to make a self. We try and make a self which other people demand us to be with, following other people's ideas of who we're supposed to be. We're trying to please others instead of trying to please ourselves. We're just following fads, fashions, and the demands of society demands of others. You may know, in a country where I come from, England, we are famous for our eccentrics. I remember reading of this one guy who lives in Manchester on the top of his roof. Where he sleeps at night. He sleeps on a roof. He's got a house underneath the roof. He doesn't liisa for someone else. He sits on top of his roof. We've been doing it for years. He's very healthy, very happy. Eccentrics always are healthy. And they live to a ripe old age. Now, why do they do that? Why do they live to a ripe old age? Why are they healthy? Because they don't give a damn what other people think of them. They're at peace with whatever they want to be. Their idea of self is not controlled by other people's idea of what they're supposed to be. That's one of the great things of being a monk, especially when I first came to Australia. It was wonderful. It's not so good these days. Because in the old days, I used to be an eccentric. There's only about two of us now. There's 20 or so monks in a monastery. You can't be accepted because you used to be. But they say that when you can just be yourself or whatever that is changing from day to day. Then you have this wonderful sense it's like centric. Yeah, but you're free. You're not following like a sheep. What other people are doing. You're not in the power of others. You're not have this idea. I have to look like this. I have to be like that. You can just. If you want to be bored, you can be bored. If you want to be extrovert, you can be extroverted. I know this psychologist. Yesterday he said that you're born introvert or extrovert. That's your genes. This year. You can actually predict, he says. Sort of, you know who's going to be introvert and who's gonna be extrovert? If you can ask my mother. She's still alive. I used to be so shy as a young kid. Now look at me. It can't be in my genes unless there's something genetic. I've morphed into something I shouldn't have been. Maybe I saw that radiation or something when I was living in England. I don't know. But anyway, even now, am I an introvert or an extrovert? I can get up and have fun with everybody and be as extrovert as you could be. But then I could also go into my cave. I got this little cave in my monastery and I'm an introvert. I really do look inside and don't give a hoot about anybody else in a monastery. And I just hide. So I told this psychologist I'm a schizophrenic. I got this divided personality. Half introvert and half extrovert. This. So what I was doing, I was rebelling against his categories, giving him a hard time. And it's great giving people a hard time. And I love sort of, especially every now and again. I remember having to go to the, um, Centrelink once because I've got this healthcare card and I've got healthcare. I don't have any money I'm going to send. Literally. And so this actually asked me, well, how do you live? How can you survive? So quite well. Thank you. Because I don't like that. And I think to actually get a card you have to have all these. You have like points to actually prove who you are. So I remember I turned up there one day and they said, well, you know, prove who you are. Let's look at your bank account. Now, I've got a bank account. Is that your mortgage? No mortgage driving license. I'm going to drive. I have a marriage license. So come on now. So I cannot prove who I am. I haven't got enough points. Isn't that great? Nothing out of Peru for you. This shows you I'm really living on self. Even the Social Security card proves who I am. And I know I can't prove. I've been trying for 30 years to try and prove. Here I am, I found out it's impossible to prove who you are. So even according to each one of you, according to damn, according to the truth. Haven't got enough points to prove who you are. I'm gonna talk you inside points. The point the idea is it's. It's wonderful not to have a sense of who you are. Which goes completely against the idea of psychology to have this solid sense of identity. People have identity crisis. I had an identity crisis years ago when I saw, you know, the emptiness of my of me. But it was a crisis which wasn't solved by trying to put in these ideas of a false identity, which is what most people do. People have this false identity. You can actually see them just the way they dress. It was this girl and came the other day. She said, you know, I dressed up like a gypsy. That was me. I was a gypsy girl. Well, like me, when I was young, I was Jimi Hendrix. That's what I look like. One of these days. I'm going to put in the newsletter some old pictures of me. So my brothers got got those old pictures and his frizzy hair out here. And just a big weather. Hair ended. My beard started. I used to call it the donut look, because all hair around a little hole in the middle where I could see. That's true. Now green velvet chairs is my beats as well. That was on my motorbike. Vroom, vroom. You had to have hair when you're driving a motorbike because it's a kit you wore. This is in England. It's very cold. And because that was my persona at the time, they get this idea of who you think you are and you know, you're the life of the party or you're the intelligent one. This is actually where we get in psychological problems. Isn't it great not to have any idea of who you are? Which means you can be anybody. It means you can be a fool. You can make mistakes. You can be brilliant. It means when you make mistakes, you don't worry about it. You don't think that that's you, that your sense of self has been challenged? When you get old. If your sense of self, a young woman is your beauty, your good looks. When they start to get old, it's not just, you know, worrying about being ugly. Your sense of self is challenged. When you lose control because something wrong happens in your life. Your sense of being the master or the mistress gets challenged. That is the problem. And trying to overcompensate by saying, I'm going to decide who I'm going to be. I'm going, okay, just to go and get a makeover and going to the hairdressers. I'm going to go and get the face implants. I'm going to go get my teeth fixed up. I'm going to do everything. I'm going to be the new person, the strong me. Remember people that someone telling me about this guy. And he was single. Could never really could find a partner and his best mate just told him, we look at yourself in the mirror. So if your teeth or crooked and black, your hair's a mess. You know, look at your really weak. Don't look after your personal appearance. And so we actually took him at his word. You know, I know this is a joke. I can't hide it these days. This is today's joke. So he went to an expensive dentist, got an breeches on his teeth, no crowns on the black ones. He went to the hair implants to get this really sort of rich hair on his head. He went to a personal trainer. As I was sitting next to a personal trainer on the way to to Melbourne, had a really nice discussion about trading the mind or trading the body. So actually, I'm a personal trainer. So you can always say you've got a personal trainer. Jump around. Change your mind. But anyhow. So he went to the personal trainer, got really fit and when he was really fit and great teeth, nice hair and go to a psychologist to get confidence. He also went to this expensive tailor, get this really sharp suit. And when he was all done, he went out for the first time. He looks sharp, confident, nice hair, nice teeth, good, good clothes. He was just going into the singles bar when he got hit by a truck and killed. And when you go down to heaven. He was just so angry at God. And I said, look, I spent all this money, right? About nine months of hard work, no training, going through all this cosmetics. It was really hurt because a lot of money. Training your teeth. Personal training. And you didn't even let me have one night's. Why did you do that? And of course, God said, I'm very sorry we didn't recognize you. Mhm. But. Are you lost? He said old Joe is a good. Thanks. Yeah. So don't waste your money that that way. Presentation box instead. Much better. So instead of actually trying this psychological trauma, trying to be something you're not and putting all that effort in there, why don't you just accept your argument. And just enjoy it? This is a young lady asked me earlier because please don't worry about what you tell me afterwards. I won't say who is. I'm not going to look at her. She was saying that, you know, she's a pretty girl and her friends are jealous of her. So what should I do? You know, if I'm. You know, if I'm pretty and the other people are jealous of me. And I should also make myself ugly out of compassion setting, I look sort of. I told her that old story that pretty girls have pretty girls suffering. Ugly one so badly. Girl suffering. And don't think that if you're different, you're going to get rid of the suffering. Do you know what it's like if you've been pretty when you're very young? You get too many boys and you get them for the wrong reasons. Now I want to go out with you, but they don't want to marry you and have a. Because, you know, it's lovely going out with a pretty girl, but they know that, you know, the pretty girl says it's said in the old Chinese proverb. Never. This is for boys. Never marry a pretty woman. And it's a very great proverb because there's a lot of sense behind it. If you marry a beautiful girl. She's relying on her looks to attract men. She doesn't develop any other sort of good qualities. She becomes lazy, doesn't learn how to cook. She's not kind. She's not. And these are important things for men. So if they got an ugly girl, in order to get a partner in life, she has to learn. I'd be a really great cook. Just be really, really kind and just really very gentle. That's the only way she can attract a partner. So you get an ugly one. You want a winner? Okay. So you can see the beautiful girls have beautiful girls suffering. All the ones have ugliness and people suffering the same with boys. So sometimes we're jealous because we think if we like them, all will be so better. Let's be so much happier if we're rich or if we win the lottery, then we'll be happy. And you know, I've said this before. Rich people have rich person suffering. Poor people have poor person suffering. If you're poor and become rich, you don't just get happy, you just exchange one type of suffering for another type of suffering. That's all. And you ask rich people. I've known a few rich people in my life and they're so lonely. They're afraid of friends and relations. Because every time a friend or a relation comes by, they're always asking for something. For a loan for bit of money. Here's that's what happens. And they're so scared. They can't trust anybody. And that's a that's the suffering of a rich person. You find many rich people become very lonely and isolated. It's one of the sufferings of the rich. So this is just one example there. That this is what happens when, you know, we look at other people and become jealous or want to be somebody else. The point of Buddhist psychology is learn. Let go. Be yourself, whoever you are. Allow that to be. Allow yourself to flow with the. With life, with your body, with things. If you get bankrupt, fine. Doesn't matter. You can always go to Majorca. Because that's where skis went, wasn't there? Now, that's not to be recommended. I don't. But when you become at peace with your life, your understanding, the Buddhist psychology, which is you can put forth effort. It is something to do. You give it everything you've got. If there's nothing to do, you let go. So you're not trying to control lies. Like the psychologists tell you to do. You're not trying to be something different. You're not trying to have this goal of who you want to be, and you go for it. Give everything you've got. Empower yourself. Make positive affirmations. You can do this. You try that, you just go even more crazy. I think really, the psychologists do this to get more business in the future. But so they always got clients. But as Buddhist monks, there's Buddhism. As I told you all the time, we try and get rid of our disciples. We want an easy life. We try and get rid of you. So. And so you're enlightened. You're happy. Your peace. We never need to come to the Buddhist society anymore. And of course, I'm a great failure. Some of you have been kept coming here for like 20 years. I'm a great failure as a teacher. Imagine if I was a school teacher. And for 20 years people kept on coming back to the same class in school would be a great teacher. They would not get the sack. So they do the different sort of understanding that. So with Buddhist psychology, the happiness doesn't come from achieving your goals. The happiness actually comes, a peace comes. Inner happiness comes to learning how to be content. And that is really challenging to our modern world. They say, keep on telling me. I don't know if you can. Ten. Now we wouldn't get on in the world, I said. Exactly. You don't get on, you get in. This getting on means in the future, more and more business, more moving. You never find any stillness. Instead of getting on in the world, getting in the world. Get into this barber and get into life. Life. Be in it, not be on it somewhere else. So what we're actually doing here is we're learning a very wonderful teaching of the Buddha. But you never find happiness over there in your goals. If I'm happy to sit here and being where you are. Sure you have a few goals. You do things, you strive, but that's not the place where you'll ever find happiness. The happiness finds is not in the end of the day, not in the beginning of the journey. The happiness lies in the pause. In the middle of the journey. He never reached a destination. I finished one plane trip. There's another plane trip coming next. You're always moving. But somewhere inside your mind is what I call the pause button. And you press the pause button. In Buddhism, you pause and you rest, and there you find all the happiness you want. I'm not trying to be somebody else, not trying to go somewhere else for being right here, right now. Pausing. It is a Buddhist way of meditation. Is actually showing you from your personal experience, about the way to happiness and the psychology of how to be at peace with yourself. Because for years I've been teaching people not to sit down and do nothing. And that's what people misunderstand me. That she didn't do that. Nothing. Come on. I've got to be peaceful. I say, come on. Let go! I'm telling you, let go! Let go! Now come on me, let go! And of course, that's never the right way to meditate. That's not letting go. That's forcing yourself to let go. That's doing things. That's trying. Instead, in meditation, we allow ourselves to be who we are. There's nothing wrong with going to sleep in meditation. One of the stories in was in tradition of founder of Windsor tradition, in which no people pronounce Windsor. He was in the meditation hall. In China. He later on went to Japan. And you know, these Zen sessions, you may have seen them on the television. Some of you may have actually been there. The master goes around with his big stick, apparently during the reigns victory. They had a guy coming around with a big stick. Do you remember? Some of you see that. This is literally all the time. But in the in Japan, those masters were really fierce. And in the zendo. This monks were meditating. And inside this was going to be this great master, this leader of one of the traditions. He was nodding. He was sleeping. And his head was way down. And when the master came in the room beside him, gave him a nudge. Look out! The master's coming! Wake up! Out of compassion and kindness. And this great sand master. He opened one eye. Only one eye. Because that's enough, is very efficient. Yeah, what I insert is a master and said under his breath, it's only him and carried on to losing. And that that the master blew up. He was enraged and he said, oh, you stupid monks! In this monastery, there's only one monk who understands Dharma Nazarenes. I look at him. He's let go. And there's a great teacher there. Because when I read it, I thought, hey, that's interesting. He didn't go around hitting Lindsay Windsor. Because then she was just being himself. He was tired. So was nothing. What is wrong with that? But as for Alice, we've got this idea. If we want to be enlightened, we want to be peaceful. We want to. You know, I've been talking about all these genres. There's even a book about China's. It's been translated into Chinese. And so everybody we want to get Janet's. Have you got Janet yet? Has your friend. How's your meditation on my meditation? That's better than yours. You see how craving, desire that comes along? But now you don't get those chances that way. Sometimes a question people asked. After the talk last night in Melbourne, they say, isn't like trying to get China to try and get enlightenment. The biggest ego trip of all. And I was telling them that no no no no no, Fred. Lightning wins. Here you go. She go. We all go. Since. There's not that one left in the body. People actually groaned in Melbourne at that joke. You gotta laugh because you're kind. Because. But this is beautiful saying. This is in no way suited to one of the great, um, commentaries of meditation in our tradition. They say it is very beautiful to say the path is, but no traveler on it is seen. And Ivana is, but not the person who enters it. It's a very beautiful little poem. The path is for the traveler. On it is safe. There's no ego. There's no self walks that path. Nirvana is. But not the person who enters it. The ego drops, gets less and less and less. And so the path actually is not walked by you. It happens when you get out the way. It's not a controlling. It's a letting go. It's a natural process. As my teachers used to always describe, the more you try, the more you're putting a barrier with the deepest meditation of all. So this is actually how we learn. We learn little things in our meditation. When you have a little bit of peace in your meditation, you're learning some psychological truths about yourself. The more you try, the more you screw it up. When you relax, everything gets very peaceful and still. Now, what does that mean in your daily life? It means that the more you relax and let go, the more smoothly your life goes. The more psychological health you have, the more peace you are with the world and with others. Similarly, I've often given in meditation is when I used to ride a bicycle. When I first got on my bicycle, when I was about, I don't know, eight years of age, nine years of age. I was so scared of falling off. I used to grip the handlebars until my knuckles went white and I'd always fall off. Until I learned if you want to ride a bicycle, you relax the more you relax. The more you will actually stay upright. This is not the case and it's the same as in life. The more you relax and learn to flow with things, the more the body can adjust. When you get tense and stiff, you can't adjust at all. You fall off. You used to hurt myself many, many times until I learned how to ride a bicycle. I used to hurt myself many, many times in meditation until I learned how to ride my mind in the same way as riding a bicycle. And when I was a monk, I used to hurt myself many, many times until I learned not to hold the handlebars of monk hood until my mind got so white with tension. Instead, I relaxed. And then you never fall off. Psychology in marriage. Sometimes you have a relationship and you clean so hard. You are so attached. Just you get so tense and tired and afraid and controlling. Your marriage never lasts. Who wants to live with a control freak? But when you relax and let go. You're fun to be with and then you have a very strong relationship. It stays upright, just like me on my bicycle. So this is a powerful psychology of success in life, especially the success in your happiness and peace and well-being. You don't get depressed. Why do you get depressed? Because I don't want things to go wrong. In my life is a monk, I say when things go wrong. Welcome. Yeah, I was with my first. Told him because the plane was two hours late. I missed my lunch. I didn't eat that day. Oh, isn't that wonderful? Going without lunch? Can't try to lose weight. It's a great way of going on a diet. But I did make up for it when I was in Melbourne. So that monk, you actually learn as a Buddhist, you learn when you don't control the life because whatever happens, it's always something you can do with it or something you can learn. And for me, nothing can go wrong. Not because I control things, because whatever happens is right. So if someone actually throws a tomato at me, that's great. I can actually keep that for tomorrow and make it make it to a stew or whatever. Please don't get any ideas though. So whatever happens if I get sick, I can take a rest when I go to the dentist. They got the most wonderful chairs. We don't have chairs like that in our monasteries. That's why I like going to the dentist. It's not a case where I can really relax. It's a really lovely chair. It's very nice. That's when I die. That's great. That's why I really get rid of you that day. So whatever happens, you're never afraid. It's never something goes wrong. It's just. Here comes life. And you accept life. You have peace with life. You say something stupid, and you actually. You laugh at it as well when you say something stupid. I think I gave this talk. I simply have about mindfulness, about the God, uh, watching a wealthy person's house. I made a mistake. I said it was the. It was the, um, the burglar watching the the wealthy person's house while the guard went inside to steal the things. I made a real mess of it. Isn't that funny? I thought it was very funny. I laughed at myself for doing that to make a fool of myself. It's one of the things I learned. It's when I was even a school teacher. When you make a mistake in front of a class of kids and a wonderful teaching, because you're standing in front of a class of, you know, of high school children, and you really go with your on your ball because they're looking for any opportunity to make, make a fool of you, to ridicule you. I remember once I had hay fever and I went up into the class, and I was I should have actually taken the day I was sniffing, you know, trying to actually to give the lesson, you know, without sort of interrupting and by blowing my nose and in five minutes I had 30 kids facing me. Well, they seem like, you know what kids are like. And I just laughed because I was taught, if you make a fool of yourself and the kids laugh, you laugh as well. And then no one laughs at you. They're only laughing with you. And that's that's actually brilliant psychology. And it's not just in front of a class of schoolkids. It's not just like when giving a talk at the Buddhist society on TV or whatever. Well, if you make a mistake in life and life laughs at you, you don't get depressed. You laugh with life. I lost my dog. Ha ha ha ha! What a great joke. It's. Now you can see that I can step in on a Monday morning. It's brilliant. So it's not something will turn up eventually, just especially if you've got a happy mind. But if you get depressed and angry, you can never get a job. Even when you go for a job and get interviewed. And if you're a happy person, happy go lucky and sort of got a good mind. Of course people will hire you again, because do you really want to work? You know, with a sourpuss, you know, someone always gets angry and upset. You know, when things go wrong in the office, they just, you know, get depressed. That's no way to to actually to earn a living. So that way you can actually learn from this Buddhist psychology how. To be successful in life. But things go wrong. So-called wrong. They're not wrong. They're right. It's a joke. It's a laugh. You laugh with life, and then life never laughs at you. How can I become depressed or upset? You're finding a psychology which gives transcends the sufferings and the miseries of life. No longer is anything deserves the word miserable. It's bad weather. We sort of having a sort of a function. Tomorrow's opportunities only rain. We call it holy water. Creed comes from the heavens, it must be holy. So when as a function we have when it rains, I would say it's holy water. Today it's auspicious. And then the next time there's a ceremony in a monastery and it's a beautiful day, said, look at the beautiful day. See? It's auspicious. Well, it's cloudy, doesn't rain, doesn't shine. So isn't it nice and cool? It's a great meditation weather. And whatever happens, you enjoy it. Now you can see what happens now. You're not. You're moving with life rather than trying to control it. You're not fighting the world. You're making peace with the world, not fighting yourself. And the way your self changes from day to day, from year to year. You're making peace with the seasons of yourself. The way the mind, your heart changes from day to day. The days when you're just so kind and compassionate. You're at peace with that. The times when you are just so stingy and mean. You become at peace with that. So. You are seeing, then you're not seeing anymore. But this way you're learning to be at peace with life. Now that becomes. The goal which psychology tries to reach for the never reached, never gets, never attained, is the goal which Buddhists have known for a long time, and I know the path to reach it. The part of contentment, a part of letting go. The part of being at peace. Not trying to make herself and affirm herself. Not trying to make goals. A psychologist would actually say, he said one of the things he said. He said it's been proven. He said if you don't have physical touch, you don't have someone to hug you. So touch skin to skin is such an important, crucial part of a person's happiness. It's been shown and been proven. He said that without physical touch, you get depressed, you get lonely, and you get sort of psychologically screwed up. And I said, well, I must be psychological screwed up because I haven't been touched by a woman in 30 years. I'm a man. He didn't like that. So it's again, it's great being among not only the the social security of Centrelink really sort of have a lot of trouble with us. So so do psychologists. I'm supposed to be a deviant. I am because I'm celibate. Celibacy is supposed to be the biggest of the sexual defenses. Because people say. Because they say that sexual activity is a normal part of a human life. It's in your genes, it's in your hormones. And if you don't express that, you get all screwed up. That's me. It's. But I. How does six over 30 years. And of course it's wrong. And I love actually proving things wrong. You're a rebel and I know it. I always wanted to be a rebel. Now let's tell about the Jimi Hendrix haircut. And there's also the green velvet jeans as well. And I really thought I was a rebel until I went to one of these big rock concerts. I think one of the first I actually went to the the Lovings at Woburn Abbey. For anyone who's old enough to remember those. Yeah. Nothings in Woburn Abbey. That was really good. The. And actually when I went there, because I was just so disappointed because I saw then about 10,000 other people with green velvet trousers. And I think it hit me because I realised I wasn't being a rebel after all. So these things I realized how you can be sorry. How you can really rebel. Just be yourself, whatever that happens to be, and allow yourself to change. You wake up in the morning, whoever you are that day, you are at peace with that. Throughout the day. You change many times and itself to be there. So in the end, you don't know who's the real you because there's no real you. You can adapt and change the situations. Yesterday I was welcoming people as they came into the big hall. I was the extrovert. Tomorrow or not. Tomorrow, Monday, when I go back to my monastery and serpentine, I'll go to my cave and be the hermit. Which one is the real me? None of them are. You can just change, not have a solid senses. Are you the wife? Are you the husband? When you're with your partner, you are the wife or the husband. But when you're alone, you really. You have been born many times. Now you may be the man. Next time you're the woman. Maybe even the atom. Or maybe the heavenly being. Which one is the real you and the miserable you? It's this little changes which we have. But you can be at peace with change. Don't try to be at peace with stability, with solidity, because that's called attachment grasping. And you will never find peace that way. So the piece would change one piece would non-self piece with dukkha, with suffering. We know that things sometimes we don't get what we want. We were at peace with that. So the three characteristics of existence which the Buddha taught unsatisfactory ness. non-Self. Change. Impermanence. That's life. We're at peace with that. In fact, we can even say we have compassion for the way things are. We have compassion to where we are. We have compassion for the way life is. You say life. The door of my heart is opened here. Whatever you are. Cancers or health. Life or death. Success or failure? Pain or whatever. And all my heart is open to all of you. That's called being at peace. That's Buddhist psychology. I think that works and has a talk for this evening. I hope you enjoyed it. So if you didn't enjoy it, that's okay. Also. Any questions, comments or complaints? Now is your big chance. No comments, complaints or questions. The three C's. Yes, it probably thought it was in my genes that that I changed from being an introvert into being an extrovert. But, uh, maybe I've got two pairs of jeans and I changed one. That's actually one of the things in psychology. Thank you for bringing that up. Eventually you believe what the doctors say, that you're sick. You can become sick. If you believe what the psychologists say. That you know you are an introvert, you would actually, if you believe that you become an introvert. If you believe what I say, you can become that as well. So don't believe me. I meant I might say that to a fellow man. Look, whatever I say, don't believe it. And he believed it. If he didn't believe me. I think it's a bit late for for philosophical, philosophical jokes. So yeah, thank you for that. Any other question? Yes. We've got one over there. Yeah. He said that many of us are at the mercy of society's expectations, being a monk. Can you sidestep that? For the time being? We can, because he doesn't know what we're supposed to be doing. So you don't have expectations of us, but if we're here long enough, you'd expect something of us. And so you expect me to give a talk every Friday night? Some of you expect a joke. Sometimes you get one, sometimes you don't. You always expect the jokes to be terrible, and sometimes they're actually good. I'm sorry to disappoint you. But it's true. It's society's expectations. Sort of a terrible causes of psychological pressure. And. But you know who is society anyway? And who are we listening to? Sometimes it's a TV, sometimes it's Oprah Winfrey, or sometimes it's the magazines which you read on the TV, whatever it is. Those are sometimes we actually just allow ourselves to be disempowered by those expectations. That's why it's great to be eccentric. Because then you're sort of, you know, you're you're putting up two fingers against what society expects of you. And of course, I think that we always want to have freedom. And, you know, Australia is supposed to be a free country. And this is actually I want to point I never mentioned in that talk the identification of freedom with happiness. Real freedom is happiness. Real happiness is freedom. But what real freedom is this? To be understood in a freedom is that the freedom of desires. So freedom from desires, so, so society's desire to be free from this, and our own desires to be free from those as well. So whatever people ask of you ideas, you don't listen to them. Whatever you ask of you, you don't listen to that either. You're free from the desires which tend to push and pull you in life. I expect to your own expectations and society's expectations. Throw them all away. And that way, you know expectations that you can be at peace. You can be free. Who knows what's going to happen next. You know that when I give a talk, I've got a clue what I'm going to talk about. I haven't got any expectations of what I'm going to say, and it always comes out much better when you have no expectations, no plans. Just flow with the moment, as how Adrienne Shah taught us to teach, never to prepare, to talk, never, never to prepare a talk, but to be prepared to talk at any time. Just allow yourself to be free. When you actually free the mind. That's why I like meditating before I give a talk, because the mind gets nice and free and peaceful. You know, afraid of anything? You're not trying to control anything. You just allow the words to come out. You have fun. That's actually how to live a life. Well, there we have to do. Not following society's expectations. Not your expectations? No. As expectations. Just allow life to happen. It's a great question. Thank you. Did I answer it though? Hope you didn't expect an answer. Okay, so I think that's enough for tonight. So again, thank you for listening. Now we.

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