The art of noble silence

By Annalise Hunt – taken from Examiner Newspapers 21 Sep 2021

An Australian Buddhist Monk, who was ordained and now resides at the Monastery in Kelmscott, will be going into silent retreat as part of his practises to try slow down thoughts and move into deeper meditation practices.

Buddhist Monk Venerable Kassapa first became a Buddhist in 2011 after experiencing suicidal depression in 2009.

“In the process of putting my life back together, I started trying to fill my life with more meaningful things,” he said.

“In the process of following philosophy and looking into religions I came across Buddhism.”

It was then the venerable Kassapa visited the Serpentine Monastery in 2014 for a holiday.

“At the time I had a business in technology and a full-time job working for the Australian Submarine Corporation and I went to the monastery for a two-week holiday and never came back,” he said.

“It’s been a long journey learning to be a Buddhist monk, Buddhism is basically the science of the mind so learning to meditate and mindfulness.

“It’s cause and effect, you’ve got to learn how your mind works, what kind of defilements or difficulties you have and then learn to overcome them so it’s quite a slow process.”

As part of his practise, Venerable Kassapa went into a silent retreat on September 5.

“Part of our practise is noble silence, so where you just kind of speak only about spiritual things because obviously if you think a lot then your mind just starts proliferating,” he said.

“By limiting your speech you can limit your thinking and by limiting thinking it’s easier to be peaceful and when it’s easier to be peaceful then it means you can go deeper into meditation.

“I’m doing a three-month meditation retreat, which is something that we usually do each year but this year I’ll be putting in a special extra effort.

“I’m trying to move away from technology to try and become a simpler Monk, I’ve asked my family to try to write me letters.

“It’s just the process to try slow down.”

The Monastery holds meditation once a week on a Monday night at 7pm and is open to people of all beliefs, not just Buddhists.

The Cambodian Buddhist Society of WA will host the Ancestor’s festival, Pchum Ben, on Sunday October 3 from 10am to 1pm.

For more information about the monastery visit the CBSWA website.