From the BlogMeet Ron


Honolulu folks –> Join a supportive group of like-minded folks tonight 6/916, for meditation, mindful movement and discussion at our place, 3241 Alani Drive, in Manoa, at the usual time: 6 to 7:30 PM. If you have a meditation cushion please bring; if not, no worries. The front door opens at5:50. Note: please do not park in the driveway, as we share this rented house with another couple and we do not want them to be blocked in. Thanks!

Honolulu Sangha: Very Special Visiting Monk to Teach Tonight

(if you don’t live in Honolulu, this email has relevance to you as well, so don’t unsubscribe, as there is a teaching by him below –>>)

Last night I received a call kind of out of the blue, from a Buddhist monk who is visiting our Island and wanted to get to know us. After speaking with him, and later listening to some of his talks on You Tube, it became crystal clear that this is no ordinary monk teacher. I very highly encourage you to come over to our place tonight and spend some time with Bhante Kovida. Here are some great reasons:

One, he is one of a very few Theravada Buddhist monks who have a mature and deep appreciation of the value of movement and it’s relationship with deepening meditative states. He is a very active and popular teacher of qigong, which he incorporates into his Buddhist meditation retreats. Here is a short You Tube clip:

Second, he comes from a very joyful, nonsectarian place. If you only get out to see one visiting monk teacher this year: make this the one to see.

What follows is a transcribed talk he gave a few years back on the Loving-Kindness and Compassion practices in Buddhism.

A talk by Bhante Kovida on Love and Compassion

As human beings we are conditioned by the home and school environment, also by language, climate, food, by the media, by society at large. Our minds are conditioned to react, our brains are programmed/educated to label, criticize, judge, compare, condemn, to like or dislike, to want or not to want, to desire or to have aversion or hatred.

This is the cause of our conflicts, disharmony and discontentment. This conditioning is the obstacle that prevents us from being kind and compassionate. The idea of a permanent, concrete self or ego-entity is strengthened by this conditioning, which is the root-cause of our problems, fear and worries, craving and attachments. How strongly we are affected by this conditioning depends to a great degree on how much love and compassion we receive at home.

To be personal for a moment, I was fortunate growing up on the tropical island of Jamaica during the 1950s and 1960s. Life was simple and unhurried, people were easy-going and friendly, kind, respectful and down-to-earth.

I grew up with a lot of kindness and affection without much material value and consumption, and so I felt that people were far more important than money and material things. Later I came to learn that this deep feeling was indeed the virtue of loving kindness and compassion.

As human beings we all have the potential to be happy, to have inner satisfaction and contentment. This is a deeper, calmer state of being, more wholesome than momentary pleasure and enjoyment.

These days we put so much attention on material value and money, and not enough attention on inner value, on spiritual development and cultivation. We think that happiness can only come from acquiring material things and a lot of money, plus having the right partner, regular pleasure and entertainment.

Yes, these things have their place and usefulness in daily living, but we need to balance those factors with inner values otherwise we experience mental-emotional suffering – anxiety, fear, greed, jealousy, expectation, frustration, disappointment, resentment, anger and loneliness.

Loneliness and despair do not come from the outer environment, but from our self-centered materialistic attitude. More stress affects the immune system. They have found that people who are more self-centered, competitive and jealous are more prone to heart attack. Self-centered attitude brings more stress and bad health.

Compassion, kindness and the spirit of forgiveness should be a secular perspective and understanding, without religious beliefs and ideas, because basic human values are most essential to have a peaceful and meaningful life.

Warm-heartedness is the key factor otherwise we remain shallow and superficial, insecure and narrow-minded. Without the virtue of loving kindness and compassion, we cannot be free from hurt, resentment, jealousy, guilt, regret and sorrow. Seeing our basic humanity goes beyond labels, racial distinction, physical appearance, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.

Interestingly, some people see compassion as a sign of weakness, that it makes us emotionally unstable, that it prevents us from being progressive and successful. But this idea is only based on ignorance and conditioning. In fact, compassion brings inner strength, confidence and security along with patience and acceptance.

So there’s less fear, conflict and anxiety because there is freedom from self-view and interest, and we can also experience the virtues of sympathetic joy and goodwill and equanimity despite the ups and downs of life. One is able to deal with daily problems better with calmness and patience, with less reactivity and upset.

Loving kindness has its own energy and intelligence, its own beauty and compassion, its own freedom and sensitivity, its own action where there is no conflict.

It is easier to be compassionate with people who we like than with people who give us problems or hurt us in some way. Compassion with wisdom is more universal and unbiased, and it’s therefore capable of embracing those who are unkind to us, because we understand that they too would like to be happy and to be free of suffering, and that their unwholesome behavior is due to mental defilements – ignorance and delusion, selfish craving and clinging, hatred and ill will.

Wisdom and compassion help us not to take things personally; we can be more understanding, accepting and patient.

It is also important to be kind to ourselves whenever we make mistakes; otherwise we suffer from frequent guilt and regret. We must forgive ourselves for being human because we are not perfect. We think and believe that we should be perfect but perfection is only a mental concept. It’s perfectly natural to make mistakes; it’s just an aspect of being human.

~ ~ ~ ~

Katina and I are here to support your meditation practice in any way we can.


Tom, Katina, Uilalani and Kupaianaha

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