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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mind Full or Mindful? Bhante Saranapala Shares

Bill Land and I went off on a wild adventure Monday night.  We braved Laurentian University's Fraser building to go see Bhante Saranapala speak.  I have been to the Fraser Auditorium to see Stuart McLean of "The Vinyl Cafe" but not into the inner sanctum of university life since... well, the mid-80's.  I have to admit I felt a bit intimidated!


We arrived and found room F228, a three-tiered lab-like structure with flip-up computer desks.  How things have changed.  We didn't have computers at our desks when I went to university, much less laptops...and now they have computer screens that flip up to greet you.  The room became full quickly with people milling about greeting one another.  The age grouping of the audience was much like Mr. McLean's, in their 40's, 50's and 60's.  People who are past the pushing, shoving and groping of the 20's and 30's and into the "okay, really...what's next" existentialism of living.

The facilitator,  Lucky Amaratunga, asked the classroom to rise in respect to Rev. Saranapala and as we stood, the Buddhist monk entered in his kashaya robe.  I was surprised to see such a young man; who already has two master's degrees and a Ph.D. to his name.  He is the Buddhist chaplain at the University of Toronto.  He was here to speak on the benefits of meditation.  Some of my notes from his talk follow:

1.  Prevention (Samvara)
2.  Elimination (Pahana)
3.  Development (Bhavana)
4.  Preservation (Anurakkhana)

1.  Awareness
2.  Mindful Observation of Physical Subtle Changes
3.  Inhaling and Exhaling Exercises
4.  Cultivation of Goodwill Thoughts

Purify your own mind for calm happiness.

All problems are creations of our own mind.

The mind is everywhere.
Mind has no time or space.
All things are preceded by the mind,
Led by the mind,
Made of the mind.

(Love this one....)

Mind Full or Mindful?

I realize that my notes were scant but I heard the most important message, to me.  He repeated, several times, to live in the now.  Do not live in the past -- it is gone.  Do not live in the future, it is not here yet and you are ruining it living in the past.  Live right in this moment.

Rev. Saranapala concluded his sharing with reminding us that we learned the most important lesson in nursery school or kindergarten.  He asked us to join him in song... and slowly, everyone began singing and then laughing....

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

Namaste dear Bhante Saranapala.


  1. Thanks for this Sister Sue. I needed it today ... well I need it every day like all of us do. But I especially needed it today. I went & hunted up a sponsor to work through some of my sh!t & surprise! it's working!

    I'm more & more drawn to Buddhism. I think I'll ask Bev how I could get started, more than just reading books.

    Lovely to read that all's well in your world. And if you've got any pull with the Universe, ask for the right job for me!

    Love ya,

    1. I certainly will, Sister K8... glad to hear the sponsor news! You and I need to talk to Bev... Love you very much.