Tag Archives: Ajahn Pasanno

Who’s Not Afraid of Dying?

Follow the link for a video taken on the road from Leh to Lamayuru, in Ladakh (in the India Himalaya). The new road in the valley floor was being repaired so we went up the high twisty narrow old road. Ajahn Pasanno sat in the front passenger seat which in India is on the left hand side….shortly after I made the comment to Ajahn “how you doing up there sir?” he offered his seat to me….when will I learn to keep my mouth shut I ask?

Here’s the road on Google satellite.

Learning to Walk

The video at the bottom of this post reflects (according to moi) the best of worldly family. To be born challenged as the son documented here is, into a family with a father such as he has certainly demonstrates one of good kamma, one of good worldly fortune.

Taking a second look I’m motivated by its message in an unexpected way. What will the son do should his father pass away before him? Perhaps another would step in to take his fathers place though its not very likely, and the son will certainly never be able to do on his own what he can do with his dad.

The question arose for me after Ajahn Pasanno was ‘thought’ to have the first of possibly a series of strokes (now believed to of been a one time event). What would I do should he pass away before me? Would I be able to apply his teachings and guidance without ever having contact with him again? Unlike the gentleman in the video I can learn to walk on my own and must take advantage of teachers presence to the fullest while their still alive so that when they (or myself) pass along I can remain moving forward in Dhamma.

Click HERE to view video

Choosing to Follow


Have recently returned from an intense week at Wat Metta followed by another at Wat Abhayagiri under the guidance of two brilliant Masters (neither of whom would approve of my saying so but there you go, too late now). Ajahn Thanissaro coaxed, teased and flattened a particularly insatiable (and less than beautiful) habit of mine followed by Ajahn Pasanno shoveling up the pieces only to walk away leaving me to follow or wallow, the choice of course is mine.

The benefits of these master’s guidance have led to palatable results and encourages me to follow their lead. The most noticable benefit thus far is felt within the very challenges I alluded to in my previous post. Though these challenges are still present they now arise within a settled heart and mind. I hope to learn how to lean toward, settle into and remain in this contented space. Given time and a whole lot of effort perhaps my appreciation of good teachers will deepen along with a recognition of all they put up with in guiding folks like me ;)

This Buddha statue stands 52 feet and considered to be the highest free-standing Buddha statue of the world.

Won’t You Guide My Mind Tonight ?

Ajahn Thanissaro visited our center recently. I’m guessing his teachings took on a variety of themes dependent on the individuals of his audience. A theme that emerged for me was to actively take responsibility for the atmosphere of my heart and mind by paying attention to what perceptions I gave my attention to.

As mentioned in my last post, my current practice is focused on loosening my grip around some particular out-of-date perceptions. Sure, these perception were useful in their time but, as with all things that arise, these too are beginning to age. The question now is ‘can I learn how to let them die’? Well maybe not before I learn how to stop giving them so much attention. Applying Ajahn’s advice seemed a good direction to head . . .

I spent the best part of yesterday trying to put together a slide show for the Upasika program’s second anniversary celebration this Saturday. After several failed attempts to burn a disk of the completed project I finally gave up. When I noticed my mood begin to slip I brought Ajahn’s teachings back to mind and took responsibility for dwelling on the perception of failure. Hours of frustration were indulged before I recalled Ajahn’s advice to purposefully place attention on objects that don’t give rise to suffering. I took immediate action . . . I’m afraid Ajahn would not be proud but what I did next was to turn off the computer and turn on the T.V., made a big bowl a popcorn, put my feet up on the coffee table and watched my all-time-favorite Christmas claymation “Rudolf the Red Nose Raindeer” . . . I mean really, who doesn’t love seeing misfits reach their true potential?

It’s a blizzard in this brain of mine: good thing there’s bright lights to lead the way.
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Ajahn Chah feeding deer at his monastery in Ubon, Thailand

The Living Expression of Dhamma

Alistair and I emerged from our camping/hiking/retreating into the Wallowa Mountains like two gliding geese landing atop a frozen lake. Cloaked in confident demeanors we did our best to gracefully slide through the exciting events ahead.


Ajahn Pasanno traveled to Oregon along with attendant Tan Titabho for a six-day visit. Within this short time frame and with nary a sigh, Ajahn accepted three teaching engagements, a request to preside over a thoroughly organized ‘Hermitage Picnic’ and an invitation to accept ‘Alms on Hawthorne’. Impressively and to the benefit and appreciation of many, he met all of these duties with seemingly ease and lighthearted joy. I say “seemingly” because naturally I don’t really know what goes on for him internally. Still I was struck by his deportment. His manner of expression, whether that be with body or speech seemed consistently poised between integrity and joy.


Michael Stevens and Mimi Maduro’s generous offer to house the monks for this three month Vassa was also the location for the Hermitage Picnic. The events included a bountiful meal, children’s Dhamma program and offering, bubbles, hikes and Dhamma talk and discussion. The weather was warm, windy and all around pleasant. Ending the day with a hike lent an affirming visual to the experiences of this past week, just how lovely the view is when coming from Dhamma.

Portland Friends of the Dhamma taped Ajahn’s Dhamma talks and discussions for anyone interested. As of this writing they are not yet posted so you’ll want to check back in just a few days time. You’ll also find more photo’s of the Alms Round on Hawthorne and Hermitage Picnic.