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MZC: There's a combination of what one experiences and comes to understand and a belief perhaps in the sense of a confidence that there is an efficacy to the practice of the teachings. But again it's based in one's own experience, not taken, as Batchelor says and the Buddha teaches, because some authority says so.
MZC: I saw in your schedule that you have talks and question and answer times. What are talks that you have been giving, and what are some of the questions being asked? Do you feel the retreatants have the chance to get past the academic and ask the questions they really want to ask?
Also pay attention to what you hear and smell. There may be bird song, road noise or the chatter of people or animals. Consciously tune in to these different sounds. Notice the sound of different birds, different vehicles. Listen for subtler sounds as you tune in to the soundscape that constantly surrounds us. You'll find yourself hearing things that have merely passed you by before. There are also plenty of smells around you what can you identify as you focus on this sense?
The Great Buddha of Thailand is another colossal statue constructed in honor of Gautama Buddha. Standing 92 meters (300 feet) high and 63 meters (210 feet) wide, it was constructed in 1990 and was finished in 2008. Located in Wat Muang, Aung Thong, Thailand, it is made from concrete cement and finished with gold.
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theravada New Zealand was stunning, once I got there; the twenty-six hour flight seemed endless. About eighteen hours out, we hit a cloudbank that continued all the way to Auckland, and only later was I to discover that it was more or less a stationary phenomenon over the rain soaked islands. Miraculously, the sun came out the day I arrived and remained for my entire 400-kilometer train trip from Auckland to the rainforests of Wellington, which was nothing short of a spectacular series of picture postcards. Every bend in the tracks, from mountains, to ocean, to pastoral pastures of grazing sheep, was breathtaking.
BN: Laughing. We may be getting some goats soon. You know the economics of this? They milk the goats. The female goats give birth to billy goats, but there is no use for the billy goats. So after 40 days, they kill the male goat to eat. So we are going to adopt a male goat. And see from there if we can add more. We do eat seafood here, but I'd like the monastery to become completely vegetarian. We still follow the practice of not eating after noon.