Ajahn Maha Boowa (died 2 years ago and received a royal funeral in Thailand) was known for his rough and outspoken character. He certainly was not "diplomatic" and did not mince his words. And yet, due to his personal integrity in practice and uncompromising discipline he was very respected by the monks as well as laypeople who turned to him for advice. Once he shouted harshly at a monk who was doing something wrong, and then clarified it: "I am not shouting at you
, I am shouting at your defilements!"
Usually in Dhammayut forest monasteries, the Mahanikaya visiting monks will not be allowed to join Patimokkha recitation and in the stricter ones will also be given their food separately, because they are regarded as not "real" monks (this goes back to the original Dhammayut reform idea that most monks in Thailand were not properly ordained and do not keep the Vinaya rules). With monks from Ajahn Chah tradition, it was always kind of awkward because they keep the Vinaya just as strictly as the Dhammayut monks (or even stricter these days).
Here is more detail on the situation in England and the missionary efforts at that time:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Ajahn ... viveka.htm
Venerable Paññavaddho had been the Senior Incumbent of the Vihara between 1957 and 1962, having succeeded the founder of the Trust, Venerable Kapilavaddho. After an incumbency of five years, Venerable Paññavaddho had felt an interest in deepening his practice by living in the traditional forest environment of meditating bhikkhus, and had gone to Thailand to live under the guidance of Venerable Ajahn Maha Boowa. Ajahn Maha Boowa, like Ajahn Chah, stressed the importance of meditation, Vinaya and simplicity of life-style, and he also had a very fine forest monastery in North-East Thailand.
The English Sangha Trust, the stewards and owners of the Vihara, had been established in 1956 with the express aim of providing a suitable residence for bhikkhus in England. By 1972, this aim had not been achieved, and it was time to consider why. In some people's minds, in fact, it now seemed an impossibility.
There were numerous views and opinions on this matter, but the chairman was drawn to consider the nature of the environment and the life-style of the bhikkhus. Several of the incumbents had been gifted Dhamma teachers, but none of them had experience of the traditional bhikkhu life, with its training conventions and mendicant relationship with the laity. So Mr. Sharp had begun corresponding with Venerable Paññavaddho, who had taken up that very life-style and obviously found it preferable to the 'progressive' atmosphere of Western Buddhism. In 1974, this correspondence had resulted in an invitation from the Trust to Venerable Ajahn Maha Boowa and Venerable Paññavaddho to visit Hampstead. Their presence was so inspiring that there was some hope that Venerable Paññaavaddho might remain in England, accompanied by other forest bhikkhus.
After Ajahn Sumedho's visit in 1976, Mr. Sharp went out to North-East Thailand himself to visit the forest monasteries and make a further request to the two meditation teachers to send forest bhikkhus to England. Venerable Ajahn Maha Boowa, perhaps because he had visited the Hampstead Vihara – and seen all the difficulties that lay ahead in a country where people were ignorant of the bhikkhus' discipline and the relationship between Sangha and laity – was rather doubtful of the idea. The Vihara, a town house opposite a pub on a main road in North London, didn't seem suited for forest monks. Ajahn Chah, however, decided to visit in 1977, and when he came he brought Ajahn Sumedho with him.
Perhaps it was just another of Ajahn Chah's tests to make his disciples 'let go', but as a result of the visit, he left Ajahn Sumedho at Hampstead with three other of his Western disciples, to stay until more suitable forest premises became available. The daily life was conducted in a manner that was based on the monastic routine of the forest monastery, with morning and evening chanting, a daily alms round [pindapada] and instruction to lay visitors to the Vihara.
It was not an easy time for the bhikkhus – apart from culture shock and the sudden cramping of their environment, there was a lot of confusion as to the role of the Vihara, and how the tradition was to be altered, if at all, to fit English conditions. Perhaps in this country it was not appropriate to live in forests at all. In this atmosphere of doubt, it was only the bhikkhus' training in endurance and obedience to the discipline and the structure of the Sangha that preserved a degree of harmony.