Tuesday 2nd November 2010 we hosted Ajahn Jayasaro for a Dhamma talk in English at the Tavana Hotel.
In what was arguably our biggest event so far, about 230 people attended – certainly the largest crowd we have had together at one time. Many were regulars for different Little Bangkok Sangha events. But in addition there were quite a few people from the Tavana Dhamma group (they meet twice a month for talks in Thai), and also a good few Thai’s who are supporters of Ajahn Jayasaro.
What was the talk about?
We asked a number of people afterwards – one person said it was connecting right effort and the Four Noble Truths, while another said it kept coming back to meditation. One person was distracted from the beginning about the idea that we should not praise kids for academic excellence (which is ego enforcing) but rather focus on praising effort and participation. Another said he did not know what the talk was about, but it was all good.
To be fair Ajahn Jayasaro had said he would drift in and out of the title topic, so there was something for everyone there. Everyone had a very good impression, and many expressed interest in joining the trips up to Pak Cong to see him next year.
The topic was “What we Should Have Learned in School”. There was, as anticipated, some issue over the word ‘learned’. Being British I should have spelt (spelled) it with a ‘t’ – learnt. But the American way is with an ‘ed’. Figuring that the British would know you can use either, but the Americans would think ‘spelt’ incorrect, I opted for the US spelling. Funny that several Thai people said it was incorrect…
There has been some interest in the recording of the talk. There are however, lots of Ajahn Jayasaro’s talks already on the internet. If there is particular reason, or enough interest we can put the sound file up … but otherwise, Dhammatube has endless great talks by Tahn Jayasaro and other well known speakers. It does take a bit of computer work to edit the sound file, do noise reduction and then host the file somewhere. Bill Z. offered to do this if there is interest enough.
Photos of the event can be seen here .
While he is semi-retired now Ajahn Jayasaro does a few public talks a year at the Intercontinental Hotel, to huge audiences, in Thai. He also does a talk in Thai twice a month in Pak Chong, where he lives. Additionally he is fairly busy supporting a few different programs, and the Wat Pah Pong Sangha as a whole. Otherwise he stays alone at his hermitage. Anyone interested in having more contact with him are asked to attend the public talks and events.
We are very happy that Ajahn Jayasaro has shown interest in giving our Sangha in Bankgok this support – he is invited to give talks and retreats thousands of times a year by different groups, which he has to decline. He said afterwards of our efforts to do provide Dhamma in English “it’s about time someone did something like this..”
Donations forwarded on the night came to 21 700 baht. The ballroom, coffee and cake were kindly provided by the Tavana Hotel – while we do things free of charge please remember to contribute something to the hosts to show support and appreciation. We were not charged for the room (no way we could ever afford such a room) but as a group we need to try not to leave the whole burden of the costs to the hosting venue.
The next trip to Pak Chong for a Dhamma Talk with Ajahn Jayasaro is planned for mid-to-late February, and it will be announced once the date has been set.
In the meantime, there will be a Dhamma Talk with Ajahn Pasanno, who was formerly co-abbot with A. Jayasaro on Tuesday 21st December at Baan Aree. Details to be announced soon.