Friday, 2 February 2018

Mahakaccana; Clarifying The Most Cryptic Teachings by Shaila Catherine

Shaila Catherine concludes the lecture series on the Great Disciples, with a talk about the Venerable Mahakaccana. He was a monk famous for explaining difficult and perplexing teachings.

He addressed profound topics including the construction of I-making and mine-making, craving, conceit, views, mindfulness of sense perceptions, obsession with thoughts of past and future, and overcoming desire and lust. His methods of exposition became the basis of early commentary, and Mahakaccana became known as the first Buddhist commentator.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Monday, 22 January 2018

RETREAT TALK - Whatever Helps by Ajahn Munindo

Yesterday, here at the West Wight Sangha, we held our Winter meditation retreat. We aim to have a
retreat seasonally every quarter and we open the doors to our friends from all the other Buddhist groups on the island.

As it poured down all day we couldn't get out for our usual garden-based activities so stayed indoors for a food-based set of mindfulness exercises and a Dharma talk.

The talk was by Ajahn Munindo and is entitled "Whatever Helps".

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Ajahn Munindo is the abbot of Aruna Ratanagiri Buddhist Monastery which is a Theravada Buddhist monastery of the Thai Forest Tradition in Northumberland.

We also used a guided body scan meditation by Leigh Brasington.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Friday, 12 January 2018

Rahula, Son Of The Buddha by Margaret Gainer

This is the fifth talk in the series on the Great Disciples, the speaker, Margaret Gainer, tells the story of the Buddha's son, Rahula.

Margaret Gainer who began Buddhist meditation practice in 1995 and teaches at several San Francisco Bay area meditation groups and churches. Margaret completed Sati Centre Buddhist Chaplaincy Training, and since 2005 has taught a weekly meditation class for women inmates at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas.

Interestingly, Margaret is a member of the First Congregational Church of San Jose and brings Buddhist teachings and understanding into the life of the church.

There's a mistake concerning mixing up two of the characters in the story, see if you can spot it.........

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Friday, 1 December 2017

Anathapindika by Ed Haertel

In this fourth talk in the lecture series on the Great Disciples, the speaker, Ed Haertel, tells the life story of Anathapindika.

He was not a monk, and he is remembered as the foremost in generosity among the Buddha's followers. He received teachings from the Buddha that consisted a comprehensive code of conduct for conscientious lay followers of the Buddha. In this way, Anathapindika has become a benefactor to all those in the future, who try to follow the path of liberation.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

TUESDAY TALK - Cultivating The Four Brahma Viharas by Martine Batchelor

This is the second of our new series of monthly talks that we are having at the West Wight Sangha.

As our meetings are shorter than those at the Newport Soto Zen group the talks are perforce also shorter.

This talk is Cultivating The Four Brahma Viharas by Martine Batchelor and is just under 26 minutes long.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Angulimala: An Ethical Transformation by Shaila Catherine

In this third talk in the lecture series on the Great Disciples, Shaila Catherine, tells the life story of Angulimala and his transformation from notorious robber and murdered to a peaceful, compassionate, truthful, and awakened monk. It is an inspiring example of the power of restraint, and the potential for redemption. Habits and dispositions do not need to control our lives. We can stop unwholesome, unhealthy, and harmful courses of conduct. We can purify our minds.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Friday, 3 November 2017

Ananda; The Man With The Questions by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

In this second talk in the lecture series on the Great Disciples, the speaker, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, talks about the contributions by Ananda to the Dharma. Because of his incredible memory, what we know in the Pali Canon today came mostly from Ananda's recollection of the Buddha's teachings. He described in detail who came to the Buddha, what were their question/problem, and how the Buddha addressed that particular question/problem. This is an important contribution to our understanding of how the Dharma was taught, because so much of it depended on who was asking what, and what kind of teaching was the best for them. Another debt that we owe Ananda is that he asked the Buddha questions that no one had asked. And Ananda's questions in turn sparked the Buddha to explain things or do things that he otherwise might not have explained or done.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Friday, 27 October 2017

Kisa Gotami; Buddha's Deep Compassion Toward Women by Ayya Santussika

This talk is one of five in the lecture series the Great Disciples of the Buddha.

Ayya Santussika, in residence at Karuna Buddhist Vihara (Compassion Monastery), spent five years as an anagarika (eight-precept nun), then ordained as a samaneri (ten-precept nun) in 2010 and as a bhikkhuni (311 rules) in 2012 at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles.

 Ayya Santussika was born in Illinois in 1954 and grew up on a farm in Indiana. While being a single mother, she received BS and MS degrees in computer science and moved with her two children to the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as a software designer and developer for fifteen years. Her search for deeper meaning and ways to be of service led her to train as an interfaith minister in a four-year seminary program that culminated in an Masters of Divinity degree and a brief period of practice as a minister before ordaining as a Buddhist nun.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Parami of Generosity by Steve Armstrong

Steve Armstrong has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. He served for many years at the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts as Executive Director, Board member and senior teacher of the annual three month retreat. As a monk in Burma for 5 years, under the guidance of the late Sayadaw U Pandita, he undertook intensive, silent practice of insight and lovingkindness meditations and in Australia, he studied the Buddhist psychology (abhidhamma) with Sayadaw U Zagara. He continues his practice under the guidance of Sayadaw U Tejaniya at the Shwe Oo Min Meditation Centre in Rangoon. Steve is a co-founding teacher of the Vipassana Metta Foundation’s dharma sanctuary on Maui. He has been leading meditation retreats internationally since 1990, presenting the core teachings of the Buddha; and offering a variety of Buddhist mindfulness practices, encouraging cultivation of insightful awareness, and liberating understanding in all life activities.

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Happiness And The Gladness Of Non Remorse by Shaila Catherine

Shaila Catherine is the founder of Bodhi Courses ( an online Dhamma classroom,
and Insight Meditation South Bay, a meditation centre in Mountain View, California ( She has been practicing meditation since 1980, with more than eight years of accumulated silent retreat experience, and has taught since 1996 in the USA, and internationally.

Shaila has dedicated several years to studying with masters in India, Nepal and Thailand, completed a one year intensive meditation retreat with the focus on concentration and jhana, and authored Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, (Wisdom Publications, 2008). She has extensive experience practicing and teaching mindfulness, loving kindness, concentration, and a broad range of approaches to liberating insight.

Since 2006, Shaila has continued her study of jhana and insight under the direction of Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw, and authored Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana (Wisdom Publications, 2011).

 DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")