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Becoming a Noble Disciple: Cultivating the Mind and Life of the Ariyasāvako

Residential Program
Dates: May 12, 2023 - May 17, 2023
Days: Friday - Wednesday
Number of Nights: 5 nights

Instructor(s): Ayya Santussika

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Program Description:

“When a noble disciple recollects the Dhamma, their mind becomes placid, joy arises, and the defilements of the mind are abandoned.” AN 3:70

In the suttas of the Pali Canon, we find that the Buddha talked about the noble disciple (Ariyasāvako) hundreds of times, usually in contrast with the “untaught ordinary person,” in the way they think, speak, and act – in the way they live. For example, the noble disciple is described as experiencing pleasant feeling without craving more and painful feeling without distress or confusion (MN 36). The noble disciple is described as not identifying with their body and not feeling sorrow when the body ages and becomes ill (SN 22:8). When the Dhamma is recollected, the mind of a noble disciple abandons mental defilements and joy and equanimity arise in the mind (AN 3:70). In this program, we will explore a collection of these references to gain a clear image of the mind and life of the noble disciple. Most of our time together we will be practicing the way noble disciples practice, beginning with the opportunity to take either five or eight precepts and keep noble silence. And as we investigate the Buddha’s descriptions of how a noble disciple trains, we will also investigate how to apply that training to what we are experiencing in our lives. 

Watch an invitation by Ayya Santussika on YouTube.

Noble Silence:
This program includes dedicated periods of both wise speech and noble silence. Some contemplative exercises may involve mindful speaking and listening. Noble silence is to be upheld at all other times.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Ayya Santussika is a Theravada bhikkhuni who is trained and practicing in the Thai Forest tradition. Her faith in the Dhamma developed during many visits to monasteries of Ajahn Chah and his disciples in Thailand, America, England, New Zealand, and Australia beginning in 1998. She has been training as a nun since 2005 in large and small monasteries in both England and America. In 2012, she received full ordination as a bhikkhuni and founded Karuna Buddhist Vihara, where she currently lives, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Boulder Creek, California. Her Dhamma teachings are primarily based on the Pali suttas.