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meditation

What was your first meditation experience like?

How did your first Meditation go?

I thought it would be interesting to know everyone’s first meditation experience, where did you find out about meditation? where did you first meditate? And what was it like?

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Personal Meditation Experience

My first personal experience with meditation took place at Thích Nhat Hanh’s Monastery called Plum Village in France. It was during a winter retreat where I would spend 3 months learning for the first time this ancient art form we call mindfulness.

How I found my way to spending 3 months with Thich Nhat Hanh was by pure chance. I had met very briefly while walking the Camino Do Santiago a guy who had told me of a special enlightened master living in France.

On returning from the Camino I began a little research and found Thay, as he’s affectionately known, to be inspirational and enlightening with everything he was saying, and relating so much to what I had just personally experienced while walking the Camino. I immediately booked a 3 month stay, having no real idea what to expect. Call it impulsive or a little hasty but sometimes that’s me, I leap before I look.

On arriving my first impressions were of amazement, a Zen Buddhist nun was waiting at the train station for me and a couple of others who had also come to stay, her presence and calmness were awe inspiring. The monastery was clean, calm and nature seemed to thrive everywhere, a few monks we in the gardens dressed in robes and everything seemed just so magical.

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After resting from the journey our first instructions began. Brother Pap gently explaining how we were to watch or follow our breathing, breathing in we are truly aware we are Breathing in. Breathing out we are truly present in breathing out. A small explanation on our posture of sitting crossed legged with a straight spine. It all seemed to sound easy enough. Questions and answers were followed, before the main bell sounded for Meditation in the big hall.

We all flowed into the main hall and started to take our cushions, Monks and Nuns had the first two or three rows with a few cushions set in front of them. We as lay meditators we allocated all the other cushions. I remember thinking, as I took my seat, there were a lot of places maybe 200-250. Slowly almost all the cushions filled up, there were so many monks and nuns it was so impressive, then Thich Nhat Hanh entered with a few attendant monks following. He gracefully entered as if floating or gliding across the floor, perfectly aware of each and ever moment, he paused and looked my direction, like a lions roar, gentle but with such power behind the words, he simple said “Smile” there were at least 20 people sitting around me that really believed he looked directly at them, a personal message from the great man himself. Myself included. It was amazing to feel, but more amazing that so many around me had that exact same experience.

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Everyone had now taken there cushions and were facing the same direction, so all you could look at was the back of someone’s head. A deep gong sounded and reverberated the most awesome sound throughout the meditation hall. Three times the gong sounded, initiating the start of meditation.

I slowly closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths, focusing on breathing in I counted one, that’s right isn’t it, I’m thinking, I’m following the instructions, wow this meditation lark is well easy, follow the breath breathing in, I’ve got it already! Oh Hang on a second…….

I open my eyes and glance at the clock, less than ten seconds had passed…ok, ok, calm now come on refocus.

I close my eyes and breathing in I count one, breathing out I loose my thoughts and start thinking of how many people are here, or some other nonsense. I suddenly realise I’ve lost concentration and open my eyes, not even a minute had gone by.

Ahhhhh I’ve got to do 30 minutes. Ok, ok, calm breathing in count one breathing out mind gone….

And this was the same for the next 30 minutes.

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This was my first first experience, and can still remember it vividly to this day. If it wasn’t for being sat with about 100 monks and nuns and a further 100 or so lay people like you and me. I would have given up before the first minute had passed.

I had just signed up for 3 months of this as well!

My meditation over those 3 months slowly got better and better, my mind of course would still wander, but the monks and nuns had explained I should always be kind with my inner dialogue and bring the attention back to breathing.

I was also introduced to walking meditation which seemed to suit me and I loved to wander the monastery grounds practicing just that. It was while doing exactly this, walking Meditation barefoot in the snow, that I quite literally bumped into Thich Nhat Hanh doing exactly the same thing, He motioned me to sit next to him on a log. I didn’t feel nervous or apprehensive in any way, it just felt like I was returning to my mothers arms, honestly it was just so comfortable and secure to be in his presence. He told me three things that day, that would ultimately changed my entire life, and led to my own ordination as a Buddhist monk. I shall tell you just one of those 3 things he said to me, and that was to “smile more” maybe, just maybe he really did pick me out of a crowd, on that very first day. But now that’s just my ego talking.

I really hope you feel compelled to tell me you first experience of meditation and how it went for you. It really can’t be as bad as mind, can it? Although I do think I was incredibly lucky to of spent so long in the company of one of life’s true enlightened masters, I know it’s the reason I strive so hard today. Because I know it’s possible.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa
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Everyone’s Mind Matters meditation

About 4enlightenment

What is 4enlightenment

4enlightenment.com is a website set up for everyone interested in spiritual awakening, mindfulness, meditation, compassion, loving kindness and the development and understanding of our human consciousness.

We really hope that we inspire and motivate you to contribute with your own personal words of wisdom, maybe lessons learnt, mishaps that may of happened or just a simple hello. Our aim is that each of us may learn together, encouraging us all to succeed on our own personal journeys into spiritual enlightenment, wether that’s inner contentment or simple to feel happier about life.

We aim to create a safe place where we become a family to share our wisdom helping one another along the way. We really want compassionate, caring, like minded people, just like yourself, to join our family.

So come and join a like minded family of friends

Our website:

Motivational and Inspirational Short Stories

Every week we bring to you an inspirational Short story that has motivated or inspired us in some way during our week. Most of our stories are original but some are famous fables or old classics and where the author is known a credit is always given.

We are always searching for more stories and we welcome anything you have written, we will always give credit where credit is due. Please see our writers submissions page.

Meditation

Our Meditation Pages are filled with inspirational advice, tips and tricks and words of wisdom on all matters to do with mindfulness and meditation. If your a complete beginner then everything is covered from correct posture and techniques to more advanced vipassana meditation.

Meditation is very simple to explain but it seems that this simplicity can cause a lot of confusion. Our meditation guides are the 100 percent guaranteed correct way to meditate, each meditation has been passed to me from a linage that spans 2,500 years. I was taught, as a Buddhist monk, for years the correct posture and breathing techniques to succeed and finally after many many years and thousands of hours meditating I finally and deeply understand our human consciousness. Please don’t get me wrong I am not claiming enlightenment or sainthood, far from it, yet from meditation I have gained an incredible lasting peace and tranquility within my own mind, worries now don’t drain my energy anymore, I feel happier and more alive than ever before and I understand our human experience.

All I now want to do is freely pass this knowledge through experience onto others and would be thrilled if you joined me.

Mind Matters

Everyone’s Mind Matters and hear you will find everything to do with all our overwhelming number of emotions such as Anger, Stress, Anxiety, Optimistic vs Pessimistic, positivity and depression. These Personal stories from individuals just like yourselves who have suffered and then overcome emotional turmoil. We also include the fundamental coping mechanisms and proven techniques to help elevate anger, stress anxiety and depressions.

Inspirational quotes

Every week we lovingly create original inspirational picture quotes and include a small biography of the author. Previous weeks have included such wonderful people as Thich Nhat Hanh, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Ajahn Brahm and the Dalai Lama as examples.

Dhamma Tapasa

Dhamma Tapasa is the spiritual name given to the author of 4enlightenment while ordained as a Buddhist monk in North Thailand. This section is a little introduction into my personal journey towards spiritual awakening

Misadventures of a Monk

Dhamma Tapasa hasn’t always been a monk and even still as a monk he finds himself getting into mischief and mishaps. Hear will slowly fill these pages with stories that definitely contain mishaps & mayhem, disaster & triumph from past adventures travelling around the world, as the search for enlightenment continues.

This section also includes regular updates on Dhamma Tapasa’s whereabout and where his latest wanderings have taken him. And of course updates on Marley Moo, Dhamma Tapasa’s faithful rescued stray dog, always by his side.

Free Gift

We would like to offer you a free gift “Meditate With A Monk” there is no strings attached we just require an email address so we can send you a link. We don’t have email responders which means each email we send is a personally written message to you, not a robot.

Gift Shop

Our Gift Shop is filled with delightfully handcrafted meditation & mindfulness gifts by Monk Dhamma Tapasa. Each gift is uniquely and individually handmade and then showcased in their very own presentation or gift box. Each One-of-a-kind items are made as a limited number, making these quality products truly exclusive Gifts.

Writers Submissions

If you feel you have a inspirational story you would like to share, or your a budding journalist wanting find an avenue for your creativity, or even a website looking for extra visitors, then this section will explain our guidelines for your submissions, all very simple and straight forward and easy to apply. We really want you to join our family and eagerly look forward to discovering what you have on you mind.

Contact Us

If there is anything you feel we need to include, have an idea you want to share, or simply want to say hello then this is the place to come and send us as message. We really do want you to feel part of a family and really look forward to hearing from you. We respond to each email personal, not a robot.

We hope you can join us on social media

We have a YouTube channel where videos are produced of inspirational quotes as well as spirituality, love, compassion and life.

Our Instagram account is filled with inspirational quotes with original photos added. Each photo is a sneak peak into the places sought out for meditation.

We also have a Facebook page that I try to fill with inspirational advice, meditation techniques, words of wisdom from meditation masters and inspirational stories.

I personal hope you can join our small but growing family, all striving for more compassion, mindfulness and loving kindness in our daily lives.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa & Marley Moo
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Misadventures of a Monk

A little Introduction

Dhamma Tapasa

I am a real life Monk, affiliated to No Tribe, Religion or Society. My spiritual name is Dhamma Tapasa Viraja (Dhamma Hermit Free From Dust) given to me when I was an ordained Buddhist monk in North Thailand. My birth name is Andrew Hallas but I’m affectionately know by friends as the Monk.

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Dhamma Tapasa

I am affiliated to No Monastery, No Religion, Tribe or Society, I do however wholeheartedly believe in the Buddhist teachings of Meditation, Mindfulness , Loving Kindness and Compassion as fundamental in the search for enlightenment.

My whole life has been in this pursuit and understanding of our human experience, I have now spent Thousands of Hours in Meditation and Mindfulness training from within monastery’s and meditation Centers across Europe and Asia, many intensive 3 month Vipassana rains Retreats and during my life as a Buddhist monk in Thailand. These Thousands of hours training in Meditation and Mindfulness have helped me gain great insight into my own mind and all our human consciousness, this has bought me a truly deep sense of peace and lasting tranquility for the first time in my life.

My abbot had predicted it would be in my 6th year wandering the countryside as a Thudong Monk that everything i learnt would come to fruition, Thích Nhat Hanh personally told me to stay true to my path for it leads to realisation, and this year, my 6th year wandering Europe in search, everything of life’s mysteries have revealed themselves, it is as if I just rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, for the first time in my life I have a relationship with my father and all childhood traumas cease to be of an issue, I simple let go. A truly freeing experience.

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Dhamma Tapasa

I am continuously traveling or wandering the world and I spend and dedicate every ounce of effort into the pursuit of enlightenment, using the Buddha’s teachings of Meditation, Mindfulness, loving kindness & compassion as my guide.

After returning to England from my monastery in Thailand I would spend many months as a monk with a rucksack walking through England, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and into Germany. I suffered along my journey mostly from the general harsh conditions of sleeping outside under a small tarpaulin and finding somewhere safe to sleep every night, and as so I now choose the ever growing and popular Vanlife movement to fulfil my 3 basic human needs of shelter, food and medicine. My Shelter is my Van a rusty LDV Convoy I named Bee and To obtain my another two requisites I now work for my food and medicine, unlike my monk days, wether that’s gardening, selling ice creams, making jewellery or farm harvests, I do what’s needed.

During the last couple of years my wanderings have bought me a companion in a little mischievous dog I affectionately call Marley Moo. I’ve officially adopted Marley so he can have a passport and travel with me. This simple act of kindness, as well as quite a few other misdemeanours, driving as a monk and living in a van to name two, got me into a lot of trouble with the Buddhist Thai Sangha and after an intense few years of real deep soul searching and inner questioning about Buddhism, other religions, the Thai sangha, and my place as a monk in it all, I finally came to a realisation. I am a monk living the Vanlife. It was a incredibly hard and lonely time for me. It has taken me almost 3 years to finally figure out who I am, my place in the world and what I am really searching for, I finally realised my USP so to speak. I am now comfortable with myself and realise I am a completely unique real life Monk living the 21st century Vanlife movement all in the search for enlightenment, even if this has come at the cost of loosing the support of the Thai Sangha and all monetary funds.

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Marley Moo, Dhamma Tapasa faithful companion

Just like any monk of any religion I live by a code of conduct or moral principles called precepts. Each precept is simple in its clarity and we can all easily follow some if not most of them to improve our own lives. I’ve lived with most of these morals for the whole of my life, even as a child. My code of conduct, moral principles I live by:

  • No killing

  • No stealing

  • No lying

  • No sexual misconduct

  • No Alcohol or Drugs

  • To eat only one meal a day

  • To practice non violence in every situation in life

  • To try to never ask for anything

  • To take only what is freely given

  • To give everything I can

I have found that working in robes, gardening or farm harvest, just isn’t practical for me anymore, and as so can be found out of robes as much as I am in robes, I choose only to wear my robes in private, while meditating or when I’m teaching mindfulness and Meditation techniques, although sometimes just sometimes I’m seen out and about in robes

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Dhamma Tapasa & Marley Moo

If you would like to support myself and Marley Moo with a small donation of any kind then we have a PayPal code and in return we have a small gift waiting for you.

www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

You will not only be supporting a real life Monk but also the upkeep and running costs of this website and both myself and Marley Moo thank you.

www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

of course if you don’t really want to just give us money then please head over to our wonderful handmade Gift Shop Click Hear and support us that way.

kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

How To Truly Escape Society

How to leave the craziness of society behind

Is Society getting you down? Does it seem everywhere you look our establishments are run by complete fools? Political systems, corrupt corporations, energy sucking globalists.

What if you could find a way to truly leave the system, what if you could just leave behind this whole messed up situation?

Well what if I were to tell you there is a way. A way to leave all those problems of a messed up corrupt society behind, for good! And it doesn’t involve living in a tent in the forest.

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I was once truly sucked into any conspiracy theories, the 911 twin towers, the subsequent London bombings, Russian interference, political masterminding, the Rothschild family and anything else you can think of. I was angry and pissed off, it seemed to me there was 100 percent something going on that we weren’t being told about, and I was also 100 percent convinced it could be done better.

I got myself so worked up and upset with everything and anybody. I had turned into, without my knowledge, an energy sucker. I used to drag people into my world of conspiracies no matter what was bought up in conversation. I used to talk at people not with them, and in doing so used to steal people’s energy. It was hard to be around someone so upset and angry with everything, someone like me.

I found a way to leave all this behind me, and now am peaceful, chilled out, relaxed and calm. The news that used to frustrate me no end, doesn’t affect me in the slightest. I now listen to people and there opinions, and care about them. I am happier then ever and live a fantastic life I honestly didn’t believe was possible. A dramatic transformation happened to me, and I can share with you the one thing that changed my life so you too can succeed in leaving this messed up society of corruption and political B/S behind.

So what changed? what did I learn that changed my outlook? Is there some secret?

It’s not a secret and I will share with you in just a moment.

First I need to explain something, so you can understand what I am about to say. For some people what I’m about to say is going to be a little difficult to grasp with a mind so full of stuff.what’s life all about?, goal of Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, developing minds, changing thought patterns, meditation practice, best self help advice, escape society, through adversity, help me understand, why’s the world messed up?, confused about life, spiritual guidance,

So I want you to Just relax and try and listen to what I’m saying, before forming an opinion, only after you have have read all the information form an opinion. Then I would love for you to challenge it, rip it apart, analyse it and inspect what I have said, that way at least I know you listened.

Hear we go

There is inherently nothing wrong with what is going on with society. There is no conspiracy theories, or even shape shifting aliens running the planet. Everything that is happening to our societies, governments, country wars, mass media marketing, death and destruction is completely normal to us humans.

Please don’t get me wrong, the whole world is in complete mayhem and drastically needs sorting out. What I’m am telling and revealing to you is that it is the human consciousness that is responsible for this mess and nothing else. The Brown Bear isn’t responsible or indeed the poor chicken. It is our human consciousness that has created this mess and it needs to change to get ourselves out!

Let me explain. Every conspiracy you have heard about was created within a human consciousness and as so we can see that each and everyone of us have a personal role to play.

All Governments lie to there citizens, just as we parents lie to our kids. There is no conspiracy in that. Both are the human consciousness in action just upscaled. Corporations are run by the same consciousness of humanity that lives within our families. There are power struggles between siblings just as there is in management, there is present in both family and corporation, greed, dishonesty, jealousy, lying, manipulation and many more unpleasant traits. Every characteristic you see within the family just upscales into governments, industry, manufacturing, advertising, sports and any other activity the human consciousness is involved in. After all who is in charge if not a human with a human consciousness.what’s life all about?, goal of Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, developing minds, changing thought patterns, meditation practice, best self help advice, escape society, through adversity, help me understand, why’s the world messed up?, confused about life, spiritual guidance,

Just because our elite went to Harvard or Eton doesn’t make them into saintly figures who have purified the defilements of their minds. On the contrary these men and women are bred to hold dear to their hearts greed, materialism, manipulation, lying and dishonesty as the back bone of the worlds economy.

If we as humans continue in the manner we have there will be no end to our destruction of planet earth. It is our human consciousness at this very level right NOW, with all its defilements of greed, manipulation, jealousy, callousness, aggression, dominance, vindictiveness, envy and deception that is present in all of us.

It must be our life goal, our jobs, in this life to change our level of consciousness so we can pass it onto the next generation. There is no better time to learn than Now! We must begin to change these defilements of mind.

If you are still with me and can see logically what I have said and want to make that change, to be someone special who is really trying to make a difference and escape this mayhem we call society. Then the next thing we have to do is clearly experience this logic for ourselves. We need to clearly experience personally that it is this human consciousness, with its defilements of greed, dishonestly, jealousy, manipulation and many more that creates the mess we are in and it is this human consciousness that needs to change!

Meditation

Meditating allows us to clearly see and experience this truth or reality for ourselves. When we meditate we learn to watch or observe our minds wanderings. With time and patience we slowly see these defilements of greed, manipulation, lying, stealing and jealousy all clearly present within ourselves. Once we see it within ourselves we now clearly understand how it is present in our families, our work place, our schools, and our governments, finally creating the society we live in. Once you can clearly see and perceive your defilements as negative and harmful to yourself as well as others we natural drop them as if they were like a hot coal in the palm of your hand.

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Meditation may seem a far cry away from the front line of demonstrations and protests but meditation is a double edged sword, everyone who meditates slowly sees the unsatisfactoriness in this constant game of buying continuously ever more stuff just to make us feel slightly satisfied in life, just to require us to work even harder to pay for it all and so the cycle begins again. We see the very rat race for what it is. We naturally pull ourselves away from the mass commercialism that seems to of afflicted the West and now the East

Meditation is like Mahatma Gandhi was to India with his peaceful protest against the system. Meditation changed Nelson Mandela from terrorist to enlightened master. Meditation has the power to change the world into that wonderful place we know can exist.

If you want to see a change in the world then it is up to each and everyone of us to change our level of consciousness away from the one that created the mess we are in. To do that we can all practice meditation. Even if only a third of the world started meditating today, the rest would slowly follow, just like all sheep follow the majority so do humans. Don’t be a sheep, instead lead by example, lead others in changing their consciousness. Meditation is a 100 percent guaranteed way to stop this madness on planet earth, and for each of us to live in harmony not just with the planet but we will start to feel calmer, happier and more at peace.

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Are you with me!

So where do we begin, the Benefits of Meditation have been well publicised on mainstream media and social networks and some of you may have even tried a little mindfulness in your daily lives. What I would like to share with you is the correct way to mediate, not the capitalistic industry way, but the Buddhist monk 2,500 year experienced method of training. And this is completely Free as it always has been and always will.

If you are a complete beginner then I recommend checking out our Beginners Meditation or Samadhi Meditation, these are the most fundamental aspect of mindfulness meditation, to establish a strong grounding or foundation in our breathing before we move onto Vipassana Meditation also known as clearly seeing meditation, and this is where the magic begins. Our investigations within our own consciousness begins to reveal the truths or Facts Of our Existence on how we experience this life.

I cannot state highly enough to practice the basics first, establishing a firm and unshakable foundation in Samadhi Meditation first before moving on. This sounds the most simplest and easy way to sit and meditate, I promise you it is anything but. Just practicing this meditation and establishing a firm foundation can and will bring with it the most joyful, pleasurable and an insanely high euphoria that can last for hours sometimes days. Far better than any thrill seeking drug.

I wish you all the success with your journey through meditation and mindfulness training and practice. If there are any questions, problems you may be facing then it would be my pleasure to help in anyway I can. My training and experience can be found at the About Us Page and to contact me and receive a personal email, use the Contact Us Form.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa
Categories
meditation

The Wandering Monk

For over 2,500 years the Thudong or Wandering way of life has been lived by Buddhist monks in many different lands. There isn’t much of a record of their lives, since those that undertake this way of life are not usually writers or artists, instead choosing the seclusion that comes with the practice of a wandering thudong monk.

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Collecting alms on a full moon day

The Buddha himself choose this way of life and spent his 40 years teaching, wandering from place to place. Only when the monsoon rains of the Indian sub continent started, would he take shelter for the three months they lasted, this is now known as the rains retreat and practiced by all Theravada Buddhist monks still to this day.

Traditionally this way of life is practiced only after a period of training has been undertaken, usually a period between 5-7 years studying the Buddhist texts, learning the monastic code and a firm foundation in meditation training. Only after a proficiency has been established is the monk allowed to wander unsupervised.

For millennia this tradition has been practiced by Buddhist monks from many different lands. Today the practice of the thudong monk is observed but in most cases our monks will seek now the monastery environment for sleeping at night.

It is becoming rarer to find the thudong monk practicing the traditional way, during the communist turmoil of the 1960’s and 1970’s thudong monks were forced to come out of their secluded retreats and return to cities or they were seen as communist supporters. The thudong monks attempted to teach others from town and city Monastery’s about the binding link between humans and their natural world, it seemed to fall on death ears and they were unable to stop the tremendous forces of modernisation. The destruction of around 80 percent of Thailand’s forests have left very little in way of seclusion for the monk. People in contemporary town and city societies seemed basically insensitive to the larger meaning and value of themselves and their environment.

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It is possible to see the thudong monk wandering and from personal experience have met many true ascetic monks, mostly in Myanmar but also within Lao, Cambodia and Thailand, in some very rare cases it is even possible to see the practice of thudong monks in Europe.

A Thudong monk only carries with him what he needs, his set of 3 robes, his alms bowl, a small sewing kit, toiletries, a krot or mosquito net, a water filter, and medicine. The monk will search out places of solitude and seclusion, wether forest or mountain cave, the search is for the practice of and development of meditation.

Reflecting on the three facts of existence through an established and strong Samadhi Meditation our thudong monk practices diligently with a determined, one pointed attention until realisation of those three facts of existence become firmly established. Impermanence, suffering and Non self.

For the thudong monks, the remote wilderness was a sanctuary in which they could train their minds. When they chose, they could withdraw deep into the forests where no one would be able to find them. The forest was home to wandering monks, it was their school, their training ground and their sanctuary. Life in the forests was a safe place provided the monks were mindful.

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I am a practicing Thudong Monk, and have wandered across Thailand, Sri Lanka, and through the Shan State within Myanmar, after I was offered a plane ticket back to my home country of England, have now wandered across Europe including Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Spain finally finding my way, and where I’m presently at, the South Coast of Portugal.

This way of life, wandering across Europe, is a different experience than that of Asia but the generosity of Europeans is exactly the same as the Thais or Burmese, where the Thais and Burmese understand the needs of a monk the Europeans are lacking, however their kindness, generosity and general enthusiasm always makes up for this and each and every day I am humbled by everyone’s kindness.

Over the course of my wanderings I have found a companion in a street dog I’ve now officially adopted and affectionately call Marley Moo, he came and cuddled into me while I was meditating one day, and has never left. How magically wonderful life is.

Our thudong life is a 21st century experience, and the solitude of remote forests, that would have been common place in Europe, are now hard too come by, a reminder that everything is impermanence in action. The very monk name given to me on ordination means, Dharma hermit free from dust, but the seclusion to be able to be a hermit is limiting, although by 21st century lifestyles, I am just that.

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I have slightly adapted the original thudong life to suit the needs of Marley moo, the European people and to also become more in line with the 21st century. I decided after incidents involving wild boar on far more than one occasion, that something more solid at night would be more suitable allowing me to relax, meditating better, and as so chose the ever growing and popular Vanlife as the perfect compromise. As a further adaption to the original thudong life Marley and myself run and write this website, we also have a bank account, as well as having PayPal which allows for monetary Donations to keep this website up and running. This caused opinions from plenty on the matter, and as such lost my connection with my monastery, and the Thai Sangha receiving no more monetary support from them. I am now affiliated to No religion, No Monastery, No Tribe or Society, I am a Vanlife Monk seeking enlightenment.

I have been a practicing Monk for a long time and dedicate this life to discovering the realities within my own mind, I’m not about to stop because of a little controversy. The journey towards enlightenment has become my life, there is no better quest than the one I am on, and it would be wonderful if you could join us. 

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

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Dhamma Tapasa is Thudong Monk, currently wandering through Europe, If you would like to support him and Marley Moo on their quest for enlightenment please click the KO-FI image below, or the PayPal link below that.

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www.paypal.me/dhammatapasa

Many thanks for your support, without you and your wonderful kindness this website would have to rely on advertising.

Categories
meditation

Standing Meditation

What is Standing Meditation?

Standing Meditation is exactly as it sounds, we stand and meditate, the most important factor with Standing Meditation is to keep your eyes open. Shutting our eyes causes us to loose our balance and fall.

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With our eyes open we have an opportunity to focus our attention on something, a burning candle, a statue or painting of the Buddha, a vase of flowers, or maybe incense burning. The choice is yours, so long as the feeling you get from looking at your object, is a positive or natural one and in no way bringing negative emotions out of you.

Now With your back straight and your feet firmly placed on the floor, about shoulder width apart, gently relax your shoulders and have your arms loosely hanging in front of your abdomen, place one hand gently on top of the other and bring your thumbs together in a kind of circle. Keep your head and eyes looking forward and slightly down, and focusing on your chosen object of meditation

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How do we Meditate?

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

Take a moment and breath a few long deep breaths, feel yourself slowly begin to relax and unwind. Now when your ready bring your attention to your breath.

Breathing in be aware you’re breathing in, 

breathing out, be aware you are breathing out. 

Count one.

Repeat this for five or ten counts then start again. This is the basics of Standing Meditation.

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To become completely at one with the meditation object takes time, practice, and kindness towards your inner dialogue. The moment you experience this oneness, everything you have ever been told about mindfulness, meditation and being present in the moment are all realised, spontaneously as if you always knew the secret you just need a gently nudge

What happens if my mind wanders?

To start you will find your mind wanders from the breath onto something else, a shopping list, a fantasy or maybe you start to day dream. This is perfectly natural our mind are thought producers and this is completely ok to be happening. Always remember be kind to yourself, never scolding, always patient and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. The more you practice the better you become at anything, and this is the same with mindfulness and meditation.

There is plenty of help and advice found on our Tips & Tricks Page and of you find yourself struggling in any way with any issue make this your first port of call.

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Find out more

We hope you have found this to be of real benefit and now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage within Meditation practices, the length of time we have spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa

Categories
meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation

Sitting Meditation doesn’t have to involved bending your legs into those funny positions you see in the photos, it can easily be done from a straight back chair or even a meditation stool. The most important factor to consider will be first and foremost your own comfort.

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There are generally Three ways to Meditate within the sitting position. These are sitting crossed legged on the floor, sitting in a chair or using a Meditation Stool.

Sitting Crossed Legged

If you do sitting meditation on the floor, it is recommended to use either the full lotus or the half lotus position, this however, can be a little tricky for some to manage, so if you are struggling with this, you could use the method I use to sit, which is called the Thailand/Burmese cross legged style.To do this method, as you sit cross legged normally, the way you did at school, but instead of putting your legs on top of each other, all kind of crumpled under you, try to sit with both of your legs on the floor.

Start by placing your bottom on a Meditation Cushion, now start with your left leg first, place it in a crossed legged position, and then move the right leg into position but not on top of your left leg, just in front of it. Placing a Meditation Cushion under our bottoms allows our bodies to become slightly raised, creating a natural arch in our lower backs and allows our knees to touch the floor becoming anchor points which will create stability while we meditate.goal of Buddhism, meditation posture and positions, the real facts of life, change your mindset, inner contentment, Theravada Buddhism, personal development through mindfulness, science based mindfulness, words of wisdom, what meditation does for the brain, commit to sit, changing thought patterns, developing minds,

This also has the added advantage of helping to eliminate the pressure to the knees and ankles that sitting with your legs on top of each other can create.

Meditating in a Chair

If this all sounds a bit hard for you then meditating in a straight back chair is an excellent alternative. If possible try to find a chair that your legs bend at the knees, at a nice 90 degree angle, and your feet rest flat on the floor. As you take your position keep a straight spine, not pulled too tight, but relaxed and upright. Gently relax your shoulders and relax your arms.

Using a Meditation Stool

A Meditation Stool is also another excellent alternative, used with a Meditation Mat and usually made from wood you would use the Meditation Stool like you would a Meditation Cushion, only with your legs in a kneeling position.

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While your kneeling on the floor with your legs straight out behind you, gently lower your bottom towards the floor, place the stool under your bottom and over you legs. All the weight and pressure is taken off the knees, allowing for a more relaxed meditation. The other advantage of a meditation stool is the angle of the seat, this is angled just so as to keep your spine naturally straight.

Now let’s Meditate

Breathing Meditation otherwise known as Samadhi Meditation is the fundamental basis of most mindfulness and meditation trainings. Breathing Meditation is simple being at ‘oneness with the object of meditation‘ and can be one of the simplest and easiest of all the meditations to grasp, however the untrained mind will find it a lot harder than it sounds. The good news is, just like going to the gym regularly you start to build those muscles up, and so too with meditation you powers of concentration become greater and meditation becomes easier.

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Sitting, using either a Meditation Stool, a straight backed chair or sitting crossed legged on the floor. Begin by taking a few long deep breaths to gently relax yourself.

As we do this take time to get yourself comfortable in your position.

Keep gently breathing and relax your shoulders and arms, placing your hands loosely on your lap. You can place your hands on your knees if so desired, this can help open up the chest allowing us to breath more freely.

When you feel comfortable, you are ready to begin.

Breathing In, really be aware you are Breathing In.

Breathing Out, really be aware you are Breathing Out.

Count One

Focus your attention either at the tip of your nose, and experience the air passing through your nostrils, or at the abdomen and witness the rise and fall. Try to do this for a count of Ten, and then repeat.

Is that it?

If you are thinking this all sounds a bit and easy, I urge you to give this ago. Meditation will be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you have ever tried, but a word of caution, to experience the rewards that meditation offers we must actually Do, not just read, actually Do It.

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The most common problem we all face with meditation is our wandering mind. Our minds produce thoughts, that’s what they do, so don’t scold yourself or be harsh with your inner dialogue, when ever you discover your mind has wandered off the Meditation object, the breath, gently and kindly bring it back.

Slowly over time we accumulate the muscle power in our minds to stay focused on our breath for long and longer periods, and as our mind wanders we stay with the mind and watch were it goes, watching but never interfering or commenting, just observing, this allows us to see clearly with our own mind the realities of our own making.

Further Help

We hope you have found this article to be of real benefit to you, and perhaps now you have that energy and determination to start meditating for the first time or even on a regular basis. I can highly recommend it and the benefits that come from a sustained practice.

If you do struggle with anything in Meditation then please have a look at our Tips and Tricks Page, dealing with some of the more common problems that may arise.

If there is anything we hear at 4enlightenment can help you with regarding meditation questions The please Contact Us and will respond with a personal email. If you would like to know our linage Of Meditation, length of time spent meditating, or any thing else then have a look at the About Us page.

Wishing you every success in your meditation practice.

Kind regards

Dhamma Tapasa