life period : 1918 - 1992 | place of birth : Ubon, THAILAND
parents : Mah and Pim Chooangchote
nationality : Thai | occupation : Influential teacher of the Buddhadhamma and a founder of two major monasteries in the Thai Forest Tradition
teacher/guru : Ven.Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, Ven.Ajahn Thongrat, Ven Ajahn Kinaree
education : Dhamma and teaching of dhamma through practical implementations
website : www.dhammatalks.net
“ The Dhamma has to be found by looking
into your own heart and seeing
that which is true and that which is not,
that which is balanced and that which is not balanced. ”
“ When sitting in meditation, say,
“That’s not my business!”
with every thought that comes by.”
“ We practice to learn how to let go,
not how to increase our holding on to things.
Enlightenment appears when you stop wanting anything. ”
BOOKS BY THE MASTER
" Bodhinyana: A Collection of Dhamma Talks " ... " Food for the Heart " ... " In Body and Mind " ...
" In Simple Terms: 108 Dhamma Similes " ... " Living Dhamma " ... " Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away " ...
" A Taste of Freedom " ... " Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha's Teachings " ... " Why We Are Here " ...
" A Tree in a Forest: A Collection of Ajahn Chah's Similes " ... " Our Real Home " ... " Still, Flowing Water " ...
" Meditation (A collection of Talks on Cultivating the Mind) " ... " The Path to Peace " ... " It's Like This " ...
" Unshakeable Peace " ... " Everything Is Teaching Us " ... " Clarity of Insight " ... " A Gift of Dhamma " ...
" The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah - Single Volume " ..." Not for Sure " ... " Dhamma Viviente " ...
" A Still Forest Pool:The Insight Meditation of Ajahn Chah "
Venerable Ajahn Chah (Phra Bodhiñana Thera) was born into typical farming family in a rural village in the province of Ubon Rachathani, N.E. Thailand, in 1918. He lived the first part of his life as any other youngster in rural Thailand, and, following the custom, took ordination as a novice in the local village monastery for three years, where he learned to read and write, in addition to studying some basic Buddhist teachings. After this he returned to the lay life to help his parents, but, feeling an attraction to the monastic life, at the age of twenty (on April 26, 1939) he again entered a monastery, this time for higher ordination as a bhikkhu, or Buddhist monk.
He spent the first few years of his bhikkhu life studying some basic Dhamma, discipline, Pali language and scriptures, but the death of his father awakened him to the transience of life. It caused him to think deeply about life's real purpose, for although he had studied extensively and gained some proficiency in Pali, he seemed no nearer to a personal understanding of the end of suffering. Feelings of disenchantment set in, and a desire to find the real essence of the Buddha's teaching arose. He walked some 400 km to Central Thailand, sleeping in forests and gathering almsfood in the villages on the way. He took up residence in a monastery where the vinaya (monastic discipline) was carefully studied and practiced. While there he was told about Venerable Ajahn Mun Bhuridatto, a most highly respected Meditation Master. Keen to meet such an accomplished teacher, Ajahn Chah set off on foot for the Northeast in search of him. He began to travel to other monasteries, studying the monastic discipline in detail and spending a short but enlightening period with Venerable Ajahn Mun, the most outstanding Thai forest meditation master of this century. At this time Ajahn Chah was wrestling with a crucial problem. He had studied the teachings on morality, meditation and wisdom, which the texts presented in minute and refined detail, but he could not see how they could actually be put into practice. Ajahn Mun told him that although the teachings are indeed extensive, at their heart they are very simple.
For the next seven years Ajahn Chah practiced in the style of an ascetic monk in the austere Forest Tradition,spending his time in forests, caves and cremation grounds, ideal places for developing meditation practice.
Ajahn Chah Wisdom is a way of living and being, and Ajahn Chah has endeavored to preserve the simple monastic life-style in order that people may study and practice the Dhamma in the present day. Ajahn Chah's wonderfully simple style of teaching can be deceptive. It is often only after we have heard something many times that suddenly our minds are ripe and somehow the teaching takes on a much deeper meaning. His skillful means in tailoring his explanations of Dhamma to time and place, and to the understanding and sensitivity of his audience, was marvelous to see. Sometimes on paper though, it can make him seem inconsistent or even self-contradictory! At such times the reader should remember that these words are a record of a living experience.