Words of Ajaan Lee

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Ajaan Lee and his students are considered a distinguishable sub-lineage that is sometimes referred to as the " Chanthaburi Line".

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An influential western student in the line of Ajahn Lee is Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Ajahn Chah — was a central person in the popularisation of the Thai Forest Tradition in the west. He only spent one weekend with Ajaan Mun, but had teachers within the Mahanikai who had more exposure to Ajaan Mun. He found out about the monastery from one of Ajahn Chah's existing monks who happened to speak "a little bit of English".

Words of Ajaan Lee Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo

Another influential student of Ajahn Chah is Jack Kornfield. By this time, the Forest Tradition's authority had been fully routinized, and Ajaan Maha Bua had grown a following of influential conservative-loyalist Bangkok elites. In recent times, the Forest Tradition has undergone a crisis surrounding the destruction of forests in Thailand. Since the Forest Tradition had gained significant pull from the royal and elite support in Bangkok, the Thai Forestry Bureau decided to deed large tracts of forested land to Forest Monasteries, knowing that the forest monks would preserve the land as a habitat for Buddhist practice.

The land surrounding these monasteries have been described as "forest islands" surrounded by barren clear-cut area. In the midst of the Thai Financial crisis in the late s, Ajaan Maha Bua initiated Save Thai Nation —a campaign which aimed to raise capital to underwrite the Thai currency. By the year , 3. By the time of Ajaan Maha Bua's death in , an estimated 12 tonnes of gold had been collected, valued at approximated million USD. All proceeds were handed over to the Thai central bank to back the Thai Baht.

This led to Ajaan Maha Bua's striking back with heavy criticism, which is cited as a contributing factor to the ousting of Chuan Leekpai and the election of Thaksin Shinawatra as prime minister in The Dhammayut hierarchy, teaming-up with the Mahanikaya hierarchy and seeing the political influence that Ajaan Maha Bua could wield, felt threatened and began to take action.

Death Awareness

In the late s bankers at the Thai central bank attempted to consolidate the bank's assets and move the proceeds from the Save Thai Nation campaign into the ordinary accounts which discretionary spending comes out of. The bankers received pressure from Ajaan Maha Bua's supporters which effectively prevented them from doing this.

On the subject, Ajaan Maha Bua said that "it is clear that combining the accounts is like tying the necks of all Thais together and throwing them into the sea; the same as turning the land of the nation upside down. In addition to Ajaan Maha Bua's activism for Thailand's economy, his monastery is estimated to have donated some million Baht 19 million USD to charitable causes.

Throughout the s, Ajaan Maha Bua was accused of political leanings—first from Chuan Leekpai supporters, and then receiving criticism from the other side after his vehement condemnations of Thaksin Shinawatra. Ajaan Maha Bua was the last of Ajaan Mun's prominent first-generation students. He died in In his will he requested that all of the donations from his funeral be converted to gold and donated to the Central Bank—an additional million Baht and 78 kilograms of gold. The purpose of practice in the tradition is to attain the Deathless Pali: amata-dhamma , an absolute , unconditioned dimension of the mind free of inconstancy , suffering , or a sense of self.

According to the traditions exposition, awareness of the Deathless is boundless and unconditioned and cannot be conceptualized, and must be arrived at through mental training which includes states of meditative concentration Pali: jhana. Forest teachers directly challenge the notion of dry insight , arguing that jhana is indispensable.

The practice which monks in the tradition generally begin with are meditations on what Ajaan Mun called the five "root meditation themes": the hair of the head , the hair of the body , the nails , the teeth , and the skin. One of the purposes of meditating on these externally visible aspects of the body is to counter the infatuation with the body, and to develop a sense of dispassion.

Of the five, the skin is described as being especially significant. Ajaan Mun writes that "When we get infatuated with the human body, the skin is what we are infatuated with. When we conceive of the body as being beautiful and attractive, and develop love, desire, and longing for it, it's because of what we conceive of the skin. Mindfulness immersed in the body and Mindfulness of in-and-out breathing are both part of the ten recollections and the four satipatthana, and are commonly given special attention as primary themes for a meditator to focus on.

Ajaan Lee pioneered two approaches to breath meditation wherein one focuses on the subtle energies in the body, which Ajaan Lee termed breath energies.

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Mental factors in the jhanas - Encyclopedia of Buddhism

The Eight Precepts are a more rigorous practice for laypeople. The Patimokkha is the basic Theravada code of monastic discipline, consisting of rules for bhikkhus and for nuns bhikkhunis nuns. Temporary or short-term ordination is so common in Thailand that men who have never been ordained are sometimes referred to as "unfinished.

The ordination process usually begins as an anagarika , in white robes. Monks in the tradition are typically addressed as " Venerable ", alternatively with the Thai Ayya or Taan for men. Any monk may be addressed as "bhante" regardless of seniority. For Sangha elders who have made a significant contribution to their tradition or order, the title Luang Por Thai: Venerable Father may be used. According to The Isaan : "In Thai culture, it is considered impolite to point the feet toward a monk or a statue in the shrine room of a monastery.

All Thai monasteries generally have a morning and evening chant, which usually takes an hour long for each, and each morning and evening chant may be followed by a meditation session, usually around an hour as well. For young children it is customary for the parent to help them scoop food into monks bowls. Dhutanga meaning austere practice Thai: Tudong is a word generally used in the commentaries to refer to the thirteen ascetic practices. In Thai Buddhism it has been adapted to refer to extended periods of wandering in the countryside, where monks will take one or more of these ascetic practices.

Words of Ajaan Lee

Sometimes monks will bring a large umbrella-tent with attached mosquito netting known as a crot also spelled krot, clot, or klod. The crot will usually have a hook on the top so it may be hung on a line tied between two trees. Vassa in Thai, phansa , is a period of retreat for monastics during the rainy season from July to October in Thailand. Many young Thai men traditionally ordain for this period, before disrobing and returning to lay life. When Ajaan Mun returned to the Northeast to start teaching, he brought a set of radical ideas, many of which clashed with what scholars in Bangkok were saying at the time:.

Ajaan Lee emphasized his metaphor of Buddhist practice as a skill, and reintroduced the Buddha's idea of skillfulness —acting in ways that emerge from having trained the mind and heart. Ajaan Lee said that good and evil both exist naturally in the world, and that the skill of the practice is ferreting out good and evil, or skillfulness from unskillfulness. The idea of "skill" refers to a distinction in Asian countries between what is called warrior-knowledge skills and techniques and scribe-knowledge ideas and concepts. Ajaan Lee brought some of his own unique perspectives to Forest Tradition teachings:.

Ajaan Mun and Ajaan Lee would describe obstacles that commonly occurred in meditation but would not explain how to get through them, forcing students to come up with solutions on their own. Additionally, they were generally very private about their own meditative attainments. Ajaan Maha Bua, on the other hand, saw what he considered to be a lot of strange ideas being taught about meditation in Bangkok in the later decades of the 20th century. For that reason Ajaan Maha Bua decided to vividly describe how each noble attainment is reached, even though doing so indirectly revealed that he was confident he had attained a noble level.

Though the Vinaya prohibits a monk from directly revealing ones own or another's attainments to laypeople while that person is still alive, Ajaan Maha Bua wrote in Ajaan Mun's posthumous biography that he was convinced that Ajaan Mun was an arahant. Thanissaro Bhikkhu remarks that this was a significant change of the teaching etiquette within the Forest Tradition.

110424 Remembering Ajaan Lee \ \ Thanissaro Bhikkhu \ \ Dhamma Talks

The mind Pali: citta , mano , used interchangeably as "heart" or "mind" en masse , within the context of the Forest Tradition, refers to the most essential aspect of an individual, that carries the responsibility of "taking on" or "knowing" mental preoccupations. Original Mind is considered to be radiant , or luminous Pali: "pabhassara". Ajaan Mun further argued that there is a unique class of "objectless" or "themeless" consciousness specific to Nirvana, which differs from the consciousness aggregate. This presents a logical problem regarding the nature of mind when Nirvana is reached.

According to Ajahn Mun, who had experienced that the mind precedes mental fashionings, Ajaan Mun asserted that the mind sheds its attachments to its preoccupations, yet is not itself annihilated during the Nirvana experience, and the mind of one who has attained Nirvana continues. The twelve nidanas describe how, in a continuous process, [37] [note 17] avijja "ignorance," "unawareness" leads to the mind preoccupation with its contents and the associated feelings , which arise with sense-contact.

This absorption darkens the mind and becomes a "defilement" Pali: kilesa , [52] which lead to craving and clinging Pali: upadana. This in turn leads to becoming , which conditions birth. While "birth" traditionally is explained as rebirth of a new life, it is also explained in Thai Buddhism as the birth of self-view, which gives rise to renewed clinging and craving. The Forest tradition is often cited [ according to whom?


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