What Prayers Can We Do For the Deceased, Is It Harder to Become Awakened Now Compared to the Buddha’s Time and more… (Q&A Session January’20)

Duration 1:15:36

Questions answered during our Q&A session:

3:46 I’ve been thinking about non-duality lately trying to experience this notion that we are all one consciousness. Sometimes I feel so connected to others I wonder if what I am experiencing is this one consciousness or is it just emotional thought?

20:33 Do you know if there are any prayers that can be recited to help deceased friends or family members that might have been reborn in unfavorable destinations?

38:00 Assuming I eventually achieve consistent mindfulness each day for an hour, what would be the highest stage of calm abiding that I can realistically expect to achieve?

53:15 One challenge I have when mediating is that I’ll get a melody stuck in my head, and have a difficult time trying to get it to stop. I’ve tried letting it run through and tried to stop it at the end, or tried to force it to fade away. Other times I just let it play in the background while I focus on my breath. Should I struggle with it, or just let it play until it dissipates on its own? Can I achieve true mindfulness if I’m doing two things at once?

1:02:07 In the Suttas we read of many monks, nuns, and laypeople reaching at least the first stage of Awakening. Do you think it’s harder today to become Awakened as compared to the Buddha’s time, or do you think it’s ultimately up to the individual’s effort, regardless of the push and pull of societal forces at any point in history?

1:10:04 Can you tell me how to start a Sangha?