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Other talks from Glasgow

Songs of the Elder Sisters

by Gunasiddhi (2010)

This is one of a series of talks on the Therigatha, the songs or poems of the nuns at the time of the Buddha.

Gunasiddhi begins begins by saying that the songs are trying to communicate a level of spiritual experience to the hearer.

The talk contains three themes: Going Forth, Friendship and Impermanence. Going forth happened in a variety of ways for different reasons for these nuns. For us, we don't go forth in the same way, but there is a huge variety of ways in which we can go forth, in body, speech and mind.

Friendship is one of the reasons why some women went forth at the time of the Buddha. Gunasiddhi makes the point that real friendship takes a long time to mature, and that generally single sex friendships go deeper.

Impermanence: we hear a poem from a nun who is living in retreat and struggling with experiencing clinging so she reflects on impermanence, whic leads to awakening. So it's not our lifestyle choices by themselves that have an effect. Gunasiddhi also reads some of Ambapali's verses on the impermanence of the body.