Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Post sayings and stories you find interesting or useful.

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:10 am

bodom wrote:
christopher::: wrote:On the other hand, if we observe the Natural world carefully i think one can get a glimpse of what Ajahn Chah was talking about.


See especially this talk:

Dhamma Nature
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Dhamma_Nature1.php

:anjali:


Yes..!

christopher::: wrote:Excerpt from another excellent dhamma talk by Ajahn Chah, both insightful and challenging, imo...


"With even a little intuitive wisdom, we will then be able to see clearly through the ways of the world. We will come to understand that everything in the world is a teacher. Trees and vines, for example, can all reveal the true nature of reality. With wisdom there is no need to question anyone, no need to study. We can learn from nature enough to be enlightened, as in the story of King Mahajanaka, because everything follows the way of truth. It does not diverge from truth.

Associated with wisdom are self-composure and restraint which, in turn, can lead to further insight into the ways of nature. In this way, we will come to know the ultimate truth of everything being ''anicca-dukkha-anattā''...

''The real Dhamma'', the Buddha told Ananda, ''can only be realized through practice''. Whoever sees the Buddha, sees the Dhamma. And how is this? Previously, no Buddha existed; it was only when Siddhattha Gotama realized the Dhamma that he became the Buddha. If we explain it in this way, then He is the same as us. If we realize the Dhamma, then we will likewise be the Buddha. This is called the Buddha in mind or ''Nāma Dhamma''.

We must be mindful of everything we do, for we become the inheritors of our own good or evil actions. In doing good, we reap good. In doing evil, we reap evil. All you have to do is look into your everyday lives to know that this is so. Siddhattha Gotama was enlightened to the realization of this truth, and this gave rise to the appearance of a Buddha in the world. Likewise, if each and every person practices to attain to this truth, then they, too, will change to be Buddha."

~Ajahn Chah
Dhamma Nature


Image





:anjali:
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby Virgo » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:20 am

old dead wood wrote:
christopher::: wrote: So basically anything that relates to his life would be on topic here, with the online talks providing a central anchor for our discussion.



From all the reports, Ajahn Chah was a wonderful teacher, as are / were many others that we've listened to, read of, and heard about.
It would be interesting to find out if anyone could tell how mindful Ajahn Chah was able to remain at the time of his stroke. Was he able to let go of the suffering and not be taken by surprise by such a radical change in mental functioning ? I remember Ram Dass said something to the effect that his practice was a bit overpowered at the time of his stroke (did he mention that he "failed"?). I know other advanced practitioners far superior to me that suffered just like regular human beings via stroke, disability, and depression. This is where the rubber meets the road. Can practice be effective at times like this, can ANYONE let go of overpowering pain, suffering, fear, and depression instantly, or is it always a flawed human long-term adjusting process, no matter HOW "advanced" someone is ?

Hi,

I think you've got it wrong. The defilements of mind, such as attachment, aversion, and ignorance, can be permanently uprooted and abandoned. That is the teaching of the Buddha's.

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:36 am

christopher::: wrote:Yes..!:


Im sorry Christopher I didn't realize you had already posted that link.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4605
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:41 am

I think the point is being missed here....or rather the context.
This is a transcript of a translation of an extemporised talk given by Luang Por Chah to monks who were already his disciples.
It is not a generalised homily written for future generations of unaffiliated westerners.
It assumes a number of things. Chief of which is the given nature of the student/teacher relationship.
It is saying that those who are in relationship to a teacher can find teaching in nature. Or find those teachings illustrated and reinforced.
A wider knowledge of Luang Por's thought...including a direct knowledge of his legacy via his successors would make that clear. He is not advocating a Romantic view of nature of a kind so adroitly skewered by Bhikkhu Thanissaro .
A view of nature which the late M.C.O'Walsh dismissed as Blue Doming " as in "my vihara is the blue dome of the sky "...
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:22 am

old dead wood wrote:
christopher::: wrote: So basically anything that relates to his life would be on topic here, with the online talks providing a central anchor for our discussion.



From all the reports, Ajahn Chah was a wonderful teacher, as are / were many others that we've listened to, read of, and heard about.
It would be interesting to find out if anyone could tell how mindful Ajahn Chah was able to remain at the time of his stroke. Was he able to let go of the suffering and not be taken by surprise by such a radical change in mental functioning ? I remember Ram Dass said something to the effect that his practice was a bit overpowered at the time of his stroke (did he mention that he "failed"?). I know other advanced practitioners far superior to me that suffered just like regular human beings via stroke, disability, and depression. This is where the rubber meets the road. Can practice be effective at times like this, can ANYONE let go of overpowering pain, suffering, fear, and depression instantly, or is it always a flawed human long-term adjusting process, no matter HOW "advanced" someone is ?


I can tell you that during his last few months the monks who attended him on a 24 hour basis, said that his awareness and great presence.(.which had to be experienced to be believed, ) was as powerful as ever.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:52 am

bodom wrote:
christopher::: wrote:Yes..!:


Im sorry Christopher I didn't realize you had already posted that link.

:anjali:


Not a problem, in the least.

PeterB wrote:I think the point is being missed here....or rather the context.
This is a transcript of a translation of an extemporised talk given by Luang Por Chah to monks who were already his disciples.
It is not a generalised homily written for future generations of unaffiliated westerners.
It assumes a number of things. Chief of which is the given nature of the student/teacher relationship.
It is saying that those who are in relationship to a teacher can find teaching in nature. Or find those teachings illustrated and reinforced.
A wider knowledge of Luang Por's thought...including a direct knowledge of his legacy via his successors would make that clear. He is not advocating a Romantic view of nature of a kind so adroitly skewered by Bhikkhu Thanissaro .
A view of nature which the late M.C.O'Walsh dismissed as Blue Doming " as in "my vihara is the blue dome of the sky "...


You may be absolutely right, Peter. Or- it may be that there was some simple wisdom being expressed here by Luang Por Chah which can be of benefit to others, outside his immediate circle (just as the teachings of the Buddha have "spoken" to millions down thru the ages)....

I do agree, that he's not advocating a Romantic view, he's talking about how we can see the Dhamma in Nature, that Nature is teaching what Buddha taught, we can see the "truth" of ''anicca-dukkha-anattā'' by mindfully observing the Natural world around us....

PeterB wrote:I can tell you that during his last few months the monks who attended him on a 24 hour basis, said that his awareness and great presence.(.which had to be experienced to be believed, ) was as powerful as ever.


Thanks for that info, Peter.
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:39 am

christopher wrote:I do agree, that he's not advocating a Romantic view, he's talking about how we can see the Dhamma in Nature, that Nature is teaching what Buddha taught, we can see the "truth" of ''anicca-dukkha-anattā'' by mindfully observing the Natural world around us....


Spot on Christopher, thank you.

Keep the meditation and the reflection going at all times. Just going for a walk and seeing dead leaves on the ground under a tree can provide an opportunity to contemplate impermanence. Both we and the leaves are the same: when we get old, we shrivel up and die. Other people are all the same. This is raising the mind to the level of vipassanā, contemplating the truth of the way things are, the whole time.


http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/index.p ... le/488/P3/

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4605
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:38 am

It is not clear to me how nature is teaching Dependant Origination (for example )....in contrast for example to our learning about D.O as a consequence of the event under the Bo Tree, and then seeing it work out in terms of arising phenomena.
Incidentally i would be most interested to hear which Thai or Lao term was translated as " nature" in the above quotation.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby christopher::: » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:41 pm

PeterB wrote:It is not clear to me how nature is teaching Dependant Origination (for example ).... in contrast for example to our learning about D.O as a consequence of the event under the Bo Tree, and then seeing it work out in terms of arising phenomena.


Indeed, I haven't seen where Luang Por Chah mentioned that Dependent Origination can be learned from observing Nature. In regards to the mind he talks about observing the "natural" workings of the mind, closely. See this talk for example.

But even in that talk D.O. isnt mentioned specifically. Perhaps Geoff or someone more deeply familiar with his teachings can answer that.

PeterB wrote:
Incidentally i would be most interested to hear which Thai or Lao term was translated as " nature" in the above quotation.


Here (below) is the Dhamma Nature talk in Thai. Anyone here fluent in Thai?

http://www.ajahnchah.org/thai/Dhammma_Nature.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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:15 pm

That is my point. D.O. cant be learned from "nature..." ( whatever that is ).

Anicca and Dukkha can be observed in " nature". Spiritual seekers before the Buddha , particularly in the Vedic Dhammic traditions, developed samadhi states that enabled them to observe Anicca and Dukkha...
But D.O.is unique to Buddha Dhamma . It has to be discovered or rediscovered by a Sammasambuddha. It is the acme of Buddha Dhamma. Its sine qua non. It can not be deduced from " nature".
And Luang Por was not suggesting that it could.
He was referring to the way that natural phenomena are in accord with the Buddhas teaching. Not that they merely by observation can convey the breadth and subtlety of the Buddha's Dhamma.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:46 pm

Here's an excellent article by Lily de Silva regarding...

The Buddhist Attitude Towards Nature
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... itude.html

Nature as Beautiful

The Buddha and his disciples regarded natural beauty as a source of great joy and aesthetic satisfaction. The saints who purged themselves of sensuous worldly pleasures responded to natural beauty with a detached sense of appreciation. The average poet looks at nature and derives inspiration mostly by the sentiments it evokes in his own heart; he becomes emotionally involved with nature. For instance, he may compare the sun's rays passing over the mountain tops to the blush on a sensitive face, he may see a tear in a dew drop, the lips of his beloved in a rose petal, etc. But the appreciation of the saint is quite different. He appreciates nature's beauty for its own sake and derives joy unsullied by sensuous associations and self-projected ideas. The simple spontaneous appreciation of nature's exquisite beauty is expressed by the Elder Mahakassapa in the following words:[60]

Those upland glades delightful to the soul,
Where the Kaveri spreads its wildering wreaths,
Where sound the trumpet-calls of elephants:
Those are the hills where my soul delights.

Those rocky heights with hue of dark blue clouds
Where lies embossed many a shining lake
Of crystal-clear, cool waters, and whose slopes
The 'herds of Indra' cover and bedeck:
Those are the hills wherein my soul delights.

Fair uplands rain-refreshed, and resonant
With crested creatures' cries antiphonal,
Lone heights where silent Rishis oft resort:
Those are the hills wherein my soul delights.


Again the poem of Kaludayi, inviting the Buddha to visit Kapilavatthu, contains a beautiful description of spring:[61]

Now crimson glow the trees, dear Lord, and cast
Their ancient foliage in quest of fruit,
Like crests of flame they shine irradiant
And rich in hope, great Hero, is the hour.

Verdure and blossom-time in every tree
Wherever we look delightful to the eye,
And every quarter breathing fragrant airs,
While petals falling, yearning comes fruit:
It is time, O Hero, that we set out hence.


The long poem of Talaputa is a fascinating soliloquy.[62] His religious aspirations are beautifully blended with a profound knowledge of the teachings of the Buddha against the background of a sylvan resort. Many more poems could be cited for saintly appreciation of nature, but it is not necessary to burden the essay with any more quotations. Suffice it to know that the saints, too, were sensitive to the beauties and harmony of nature and that their appreciation is colored by spontaneity, simplicity, and a non-sensuous spirituality.
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4605
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:20 pm

Looks like European sensibilites being projected backwards and sideways to me Bodom.

Perhaps we could start with a definition of "nature". Which requires a definition of " unnature".

My dictionary gives a definition of nature thus,

"The totality of all animals plants and landscapes, excluding that which is man made. "

Does anyone else see a problem with this ? :smile:

Firstly...the man made must of necessity be of nature. Man isn't an add-on.
Secondly.....Upekkha means no emotional distinction between forest and mall...doesn't it ?
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby bodom » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:01 pm

I guess peter. :shrug:

This has become unnecessarily complicated, at least for me it has, and as you often say, "Life is too short."

I will continue to enjoy the beautiful scenery in my part of the world, see the Dhamma of it, and wont loose a bit of sleep over it.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4605
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:02 pm

Me too Bodom...we bought a property by the River Thames overlooking water meadows, and paid a premium for the view...My attempts at Haiku are full of the imagery.
But I know in my heart that the idea is to be equally peaceful and non resistant to being in the middle of Piccadilly Circus or Times Square..
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:11 pm

Sorry if its already been posted — I could not see it with a quick browse through the thread.

Ajahn Jayasaro — Biography of Ajahn Chah
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
 
Posts: 2012
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:17 pm

Thank you Bhante..
:anjali:
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:30 pm

PeterB wrote:That is my point. D.O. cant be learned from "nature..." ( whatever that is ).

Anicca and Dukkha can be observed in " nature". Spiritual seekers before the Buddha , particularly in the Vedic Dhammic traditions, developed samadhi states that enabled them to observe Anicca and Dukkha...
But D.O.is unique to Buddha Dhamma . It has to be discovered or rediscovered by a Sammasambuddha. It is the acme of Buddha Dhamma. Its sine qua non. It can not be deduced from " nature".
And Luang Por was not suggesting that it could.
He was referring to the way that natural phenomena are in accord with the Buddhas teaching. Not that they merely by observation can convey the breadth and subtlety of the Buddha's Dhamma.


I think this is false. Without the nature, or more specifically the human nature, the D.O. would be pointless. The D.O. was based on the human nature... that's what makes it effective.

When the Buddha said that the dhamma-vinaya was designed for humans (i.e., it would make no sense for a naga to ordain as a bhikkhu), I think it was partly for this reason. When a human views the nature, it's through his own lens. (Buddha's the All.) If you view the nature as something that is apart from this, you're deviating from the "all".

:anjali:
User avatar
beeblebrox
 
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby PeterB » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:37 pm

I dont actually think we are in disagreement Beeblebrox. I would agree that if we see that which is human apart from nature we make a false dichotomy.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby ultraben » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:56 am

PeterB wrote:Incidentally i would be most interested to hear which Thai or Lao term was translated as " nature" in the above quotation.


Hi Peter,

The Thai term used in this talk is ธรรมชาติ - Thammachart

Let me know if you need any more info on the Thai langauge version.

Regards,

Ben
ultraben
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:42 pm

Re: Ajahn Chah's Life & Dhamma Teachings

Postby christopher::: » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:24 am

ultraben wrote:
PeterB wrote:Incidentally i would be most interested to hear which Thai or Lao term was translated as " nature" in the above quotation.


Hi Peter,

The Thai term used in this talk is ธรรมชาติ - Thammachart

Let me know if you need any more info on the Thai langauge version.

Regards,

Ben


Hi Ben. Thamma here is related to Dhamma? Any thoughts about it's meaning (ธรรมชาติ - Thammachart) in relation to the linked translation of Ajahn Chah's talk, in English? Do you agree with the translation?
"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
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

PreviousNext

Return to Dhammic Stories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest