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Beset by Birth, Decay and Death

Ayya Khema

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Twelve Dhamma Talks On Practice
given on Parappaduwa Nuns Island, Sri Lanka,
Sister Ayya Khema, 1987



[01] The Dhamma of the Blessed One
[02] Accepting Oneself
[03] To Control One's Mind
[04] Be Nobody
[05] War and Peace
[06] Non-Duality
[07] Renunciation
[08] Ideal Solitude
[09] Dukkha for Knowledge and Vision
[10] Our Underlying Tendencies
[11] Sorrowless, Stainless and Secure
[12] Path and Fruit





My thanks go to all the nuns, anagarikas, laymen and women who have listened time and again to my expositions of the Buddha's teachings.

Without them, these talks would not have happened and this little booklet would not be possible.

A very special "thank you" to my friends, who have encouraged and supported my work and the publication of this book by their continued understanding and generosity.

Those who have typed the manuscript from tapes made during the talks, have given freely of their time, energy and love to the propagation of the Dhamma.

May everyone connected with this joint undertaking reap the excellent kamma caused by their gift.

Sister Ayya Khema Parappuduwa
Nuns Island Dodanduwa, Sri Lanka
January 1, 1987


This little volume is offered to all people everywhere, who know //dukkha// which is not only suffering, pain and grief, but all the unsatisfactoriness all of us experience during our lifetime.

It is that unfulfilled striving in heart and mind which keeps pushing us in so many directions to find the ultimate satisfaction.

When we have realised that all the avenues we have tried have brought us to a dead end, then the time has come to turn to Lord Buddha's teachings and see for ourselves whether his promise:

"There's only one thing I teach That's suffering And its end to reach"

can be experienced within ourselves and whether fulfilment is possible.

As practice progresses, we will find that by letting go of our preconceived ideas on how and where //dukkha// can be avoided, we come upon uncharted landscapes within ourselves, which provide a totally new concept of life, its purpose, its value and its ultimate reality.

May there be many "with little dust in their eyes" who can turn the tide on //dukkha// and be liberated.

Sister Ayya Khema

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DharmaNet Edition 1994

This electronic edition is offered for free distribution
via DharmaNet by arrangement with the author.

DharmaNet International
P.O. Box 4951,
Berkeley - CA 94704 - 4951

Transcribed for DharmaNet by Maureen Riordan

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Revised: 28-07-200