Right effort, Energy and Spiritual Urgency: A Meditation Retreat with Ven LP Tiradhammo
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The most powerful motivator for spiritual practice is a sense of spiritual urgency (saṃvega). We may be having a life crisis or know others who have experienced severe suffering, and this may stimulate us to seek a spiritual solution. Even if we are not overwhelmed by distress we may have some reflective capacity for considering what the real purpose of life is, but unfortunately it often takes some serious emotional shake-up to rattle us out of our complacency.
Probably the clearest explanation of right energy is in the Eightfold Path, where this quality of energy is explained as the four right efforts – putting forth effort, but in the right way. We can generate all kinds of energy, but where does it go? Maybe it even inclines towards being an obstacle, just making us more restless. And maybe we put energy in the wrong place, focus or channel it in the wrong direction. People who are out to make a million dollars are very energetic too. So what is right effort? Its four different aspects ?
Venerable Ajahn Thiradhammo is one of the most senior monks in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. He was born in Canada in 1949 and became interested in Dhamma in his student years while travelling through Sri Lanka.
Coming to Thailand and meditating at Wat Umong, he took ordination at Wat Meung Man in Chiang Mai with Venerable Tong in 1974. In 1975 he moved to study with Ajahn Chah at Wat Pah Pong and Wat Pah Nanachat. He went on several tudong journeys through the northeast of Thailand and the mountains of Chiang Mai, visiting many famous forest meditation masters.Ajahn Thiradhammo was invited to England in 1982 to help with developments there. He spent two years at Chithurst Monastery, and three years in charge of Harnham Vihara in Northumberland. In 1988 he helped establish Dhammapala Monastery near Bern, Switzerland and also later at its new location in the Bernese Alpine village of Kandersteg where he was the senior monk until 2005. In July 2005 he assumed the position of senior monk at Bodhinyanarama, Wellington, NZ where he remained as abbot for six and a half years.He is currently of no fixed abode and travels widely.
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