Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

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mikenz66
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:38 pm

Thanks for the nice quotes.

However, I sometimes cringe when presented with Ajahn Chah soundbites because he was so context-sensitive. For example, as I recall, one of the common quotes attributed to him, something like "the only book you need to read is your heart" was part of a conversation with an Abhidhamma expert, and so was clearly not meant as a general statement of policy regarding study.

It is interesting to listen to some of the Dhamma talks by students of Ajahn Chah. Ajahn Tiradhammo, in particular, observes that he spent a lot of time trying to figure out what Ajahn Chah's opinions were, since the advice that he gave at different times seemed completely contradictory. In the end he concluded that Ajahn Chah had no opinions - only wisdom, which he applied to the particular situation.

That observation (which other students, and Ajahn Chah himself, confirm) is, to me, more important than any of the soundbites.

Metta
Mike

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retrofuturist
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:43 pm

Greetings,

One way to get around the soundbite issue is to read the Dhamma talks in their entirety... and here's the entire collection of them (in their most up-to-date and accurate translations...)

The Teachings Of Ajahn Chah
http://www.ajahnchah.org/pdf/the_teachi ... ah_web.pdf

I find Ajahn Chah's teachings very useful. So much so that I've actually had a copy of the above compendium printed and bound.

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." - Thomas J. Watson

Never again...

nathan
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby nathan » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:The Teachings Of Ajahn Chah
http://www.ajahnchah.org/pdf/the_teachi ... ah_web.pdf

Metta,
Retro. :)
Thanks Retro, but my Mac couldn't open the file. My machine says the PDF is corrupted or in a format unreadable on the mac. This seems to be the case more often than not with PDFs based on Windows type files of one kind or another. Sadly this is frequently so with abhidhamma related documents. hmmm, it looks like the download crashed after about a minute. I'll try again...nope, no joy. C'est la vie.

metta & upekkha.
:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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salmon
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby salmon » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:53 am

nathan wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:The Teachings Of Ajahn Chah
http://www.ajahnchah.org/pdf/the_teachi ... ah_web.pdf

Metta,
Retro. :)
Thanks Retro, but my Mac couldn't open the file. My machine says the PDF is corrupted or in a format unreadable on the mac. This seems to be the case more often than not with PDFs based on Windows type files of one kind or another. Sadly this is frequently so with abhidhamma related documents. hmmm, it looks like the download crashed after about a minute. I'll try again...nope, no joy. C'est la vie.

metta & upekkha.
:anjali:


hi nathan,

it opens fine on my mac. maybe you can try opening it in your browser (apple + click) then saving it as a pdf?

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gavesako
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby gavesako » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:25 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks for the nice quotes.

However, I sometimes cringe when presented with Ajahn Chah soundbites because he was so context-sensitive. For example, as I recall, one of the common quotes attributed to him, something like "the only book you need to read is your heart" was part of a conversation with an Abhidhamma expert, and so was clearly not meant as a general statement of policy regarding study.

It is interesting to listen to some of the Dhamma talks by students of Ajahn Chah. Ajahn Tiradhammo, in particular, observes that he spent a lot of time trying to figure out what Ajahn Chah's opinions were, since the advice that he gave at different times seemed completely contradictory. In the end he concluded that Ajahn Chah had no opinions - only wisdom, which he applied to the particular situation.

That observation (which other students, and Ajahn Chah himself, confirm) is, to me, more important than any of the soundbites.

Metta
Mike


Hello Mike,

I was just reflecting (aloud) on this same subject in the last few days:
"Can an arahant read newspapers?"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi56slcJ ... annel_page

With the Thai Ajahns one really has to take into account the audience and situation that the talk was addressed to. This is unlike many of the Suttas spoken by the Buddha which are (at least in the form recorded in the Pali texts) meant to have a universal application to all listeners or readers. That makes them sometimes appear a bit "dry" and not so lively, but there is a purpose behind it.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts

nathan
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby nathan » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:32 am

salmon wrote:hi nathan,

it opens fine on my mac. maybe you can try opening it in your browser (apple + click) then saving it as a pdf?
Hi Salmon;
Btw, I have been living on Mt. Kusam! (native word- aka/Salmon Mountain - overlooking a major salmon bearing river here on Vancouver Island,BC, Canada)
That's what it was attempting to do, albeit with Firefox. I'll give it another shot with Safari.
Thanks for letting me know.
metta & upekkha
:anjali:

edit- nope, just comes up as a blank .pdf browser page with Safari. I don't know what is going on with it, very atypical problem. OSX 10.5 has been a bit buggy though, this is 10.5.6 and these iterations of the code have all been less stable than most of 10.4 was.
:shrug:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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christopher:::
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby christopher::: » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:01 pm

nathan wrote:edit- nope, just comes up as a blank .pdf browser page with Safari. I don't know what is going on with it, very atypical problem. OSX 10.5 has been a bit buggy though, this is 10.5.6 and these iterations of the code have all been less stable than most of 10.4 was.
:shrug:


You might find this page more user friendly. It has links to each chapter. I've been reading and printing the dhamma talks out slowly this way, one at a time...

http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/index.php
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

nathan
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby nathan » Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:52 pm

christopher::: wrote:You might find this page more user friendly. It has links to each chapter. I've been reading and printing the dhamma talks out slowly this way, one at a time...

http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/index.php
Thanks Christopher, one of our Venerable members kindly sent me a copy. I really like Ajahn Chah even if it is only 'sound bytes' it is Dhamma sound bytes after all. One of my favorite bytes is from Ajahn Sona, also of the forest tradition, "It starts with a man alone in a room, breathing. It ends with a man alone in a room, breathing."
:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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clw_uk
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby clw_uk » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:12 pm

"It starts with a man alone in a room, breathing. It ends with a man alone in a room, breathing."




I really like that :)

Metta

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the wingèd life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise.

William Blake

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christopher:::
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Re: Wisdom of the Thai Forest Tradition

Postby christopher::: » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:37 pm

Indeed. And i like your sig as well, clw...

Once you understand non-self, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy. Learn to let go without struggle, simply let go, to be just as you are - no holding on, no attachment, free. Luang Por Ajahn Chah


:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009


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