Meditation retreats are a time for introspection. Because they are held in silence, except for Dhamma talks and questions, the mind becomes more and more used to mindfulness and concentration. This gives added impetus to the hearing of Dhamma, so that the truth of the Buddha's teaching can leave a lasting impression.
When you open this book, dear reader, may be you could imagine being in a meditation retreat, where nothing else matters except the clarity and wholesomeness of your own mind. This means leaving all daily preoccupations aside and focusing strictly on the wonderful freedom the Buddha's teaching and practice can provide. May you enjoy the following pages and find something useful in them.
Sister Ayya Khema
Those who attended the meditation retreat in November 1987 at Pelmadulla Bhikkhu Training Centre, Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka, Have made it possible to print these Dhamma talks given during the retreat. They felt that others too could benefit from them and supported and encouraged this project so that it has now come to fruit.
Not only am I thankful for their help with this book, but also most appreciative of their presence at the retreat, which enabled me to give these talks.
Special gratitude is offered to Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, who selflessly and lovingly typed and re-typed the manuscript.
The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement through their President Dr. Ariyaratne kindly provided us with transport and offered the use of the Centre premises, which was another meritorious service in the long list of their humanitarian efforts.
As always, my friend and Dhamma sister Ayya Nyanasiri (Helen Wilder) has given the last polish and much invaluable advice, without which I would probably never have published any books at all.
May the merits of this Gift of Dhamma bring much benefit to all.
Sister Ayya Khema
Parappuduwa Nuns Island,
December 31st, 1989
Copyright © 1989 Sister Ayya Khema. For free distribution only. You may print copies of this work for your personal use. You may re-format and redistribute this work for use on computers and computer networks, provided that you charge no fees for its distribution or use. Otherwise, all rights reserved. This electronic edition was originally transcribed from the print edition in 1994 by Mark Blackstad under the auspices of the DharmaNet Dharma Book Transcription Project, with the kind permission of the author.
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The Guardians of the World by Bhikkhu Bodhi