Q&A Session Dec’17 – Why I Stopped Being a Nun, How an Animal Can Gain a Human Rebirth and more…

Duration 1:21:50

Questions answered during our Q&A session:

1:55 In the Book “The Buddha and his Dhamma, “ the author has suggested that Gotama renunciated because of political pressures to preserve peace between two clans, and not because of the four sights. Thoughts?

9:16 I have a tremendous problem meditating when something is going on in my personal life, as it is right now, especially when I am feeling hurt or depressed. It is a body feeling that interferes with my ability to concentrate or focus on my breath. I have been meditating, but these feelings make it very difficult and I doubt I am really getting anything out of the meditation. How do I deal with this?

16:00 Why did you quit being a nun?

24:16 How to practice Buddhism when you have just started and you don’t have a lot of time left?

31:08 How to incorporate analytical meditation (e.g. on no self or impermanence) in my practice? Is it better to wait until I progress in my stages of calm abiding?

37:22 How does Buddhism view artists and musicians? What about the way music & art can move us?

43:33 How does a being from the animal realm accumulate enough merit to be reborn as a human? Since animals operate more on instinct rather than careful thought, how does karma work in the animal realm?

51:00 How can we pray for others who are suffering from situations that they don’t know how to handle? My heart is overflowing with compassion for all other sentient beings but I would love to learn how to share my feelings with others.

56:00 Is rebirth believed to be very closely connected to death, or unconnected and easily separated in space and time from death? That is, can rebirth happen years or millennia later, or over great distances, even other distant worlds?

1:02:34 I was wondering if you can explain more about the five defilements of the mind, particularly the three poisons and the five poisons.

1:10:56 If we are not eternal souls, what is really reincarnated every time?

1:13:01 Often in Buddhist discussions when people bring up forgiveness a thought comes to mind: Forgiveness does not absolve you of consequences. Now I know that we are supposed to forgive, but at what point are we becoming enablers?