Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Ajahn Chah

BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
edited December 2012 in Sanghas
Those of you who know Ajahn Brahm and the Thai forest tradition most likely know Ajahn Chah well. I wanted to make a thread to introduce people to this amazing and wonderful monk. Some say he was enlightened, I can't say either way and I don't care much.. but I've read and listened to enough of his teaching to realize great benefit from it.

Ajahn Chah was able to put the dhamma into words that we can all understand in our daily lives. He died near on 20 years ago but his teachings survive.. as do many funny and insightful stories.


Once there was a layman who came to Ajahn Chah and asked him who Ajahn Chah was. Ajahn Chah, seeing that the spiritual development of the individual was not very advanced, pointed to himself and said, "This, this is Ajahn Chah."

On another occasion, Ajahn Chah was asked the same question by someone else. This time, however, seeing that the questioner's capacity to understand the Dhamma was higher, Ajahn Chah answered by saying, "Ajahn Chah? There is NO Ajahn Chah."

There is the one story where a disciple had to go into the army and came begging Ajahn Chah for a little buddha necklace to protect him from bullets.. and Ajahn Chah pointed to the only Buddha that could stop bullets.. a 15 foot tall buddha statue.

There is also the story of a big general coming to Ajahn Chah asking for holy water, and when he was insistent Ajahn Chah spit on him (the spit of a monk.. holy water.. lol)


Anyways on to some Ajahn Chah resources for those interested.

Here is a site with a variety of small quotes - http://zbohy.zatma.org/Dharma/zbohy/Sruti-Smriti/Inspiration/ajahnchah.html

( dhamma talks by Ajahn Chah read by disciples)

http://www.ajahnchah.org/pdf/no_ajahn_chah.pdf (no ajahn chah.. wonderful book in pdf)

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/teachings_chah.pdf ( selection of dhamma talks)

http://www.amazon.com/Being-Dharma-Essence-Buddhas-Teachings/dp/1570628084 ( an amazing book that I personally own)


also I'm just finishing up watching this great video with Ajahn Sujato talking about stories from Ajahn Chah's life.



also I put together an Ajahn Chah playlist -

Comments

  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    I forgot to add this video, which is a nice short intro to those who don't know Ajahn Chah, it's from a documentary from the 80s.

  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    Thank you for introducing him to those on NB who may not be familiar with him. A truly wonderful man and Dhamma teacher.
    BhikkhuJayasara
  • I had the immense good fortune to meet Luang Por Chah...its all true.
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    Citta said:

    I had the immense good fortune to meet Luang Por Chah...its all true.

    ooh Lucky... please tell the story if you would like :)

    Thank you for introducing him to those on NB who may not be familiar with him. A truly wonderful man and Dhamma teacher.

    agreed!
  • Jayantha said:

    Citta said:

    I had the immense good fortune to meet Luang Por Chah...its all true.

    ooh Lucky... please tell the story if you would like :)

    Thank you for introducing him to those on NB who may not be familiar with him. A truly wonderful man and Dhamma teacher.

    agreed!
    No story really Jayantha..he stayed several times at Chithurst monastery in the UK which is about an hour away from where I then lived.
    He was completely down to earth, utterly relaxed, and humourous.
    I noticed how he would invariably answer the questioner personally..not make general points. Which is one reason why one should read accounts of his talks with caution..he may have answered another questioner differently.
    He did not teach dogmatics. He addressed points of practice.
    An example someone asked him if they should learn Pali..he pointed at the cushion and said " why not just get Enlightened ? "..but on another occasion I heard him tell someone that their knowledge base was too sketchy and that they should learn the Pali terms... it was horses for courses.
    andyrobyn
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    Citta said:

    Jayantha said:

    Citta said:

    I had the immense good fortune to meet Luang Por Chah...its all true.

    ooh Lucky... please tell the story if you would like :)

    Thank you for introducing him to those on NB who may not be familiar with him. A truly wonderful man and Dhamma teacher.

    agreed!
    No story really Jayantha..he stayed several times at Chithurst monastery in the UK which is about an hour away from where I then lived.
    He was completely down to earth, utterly relaxed, and humourous.
    I noticed how he would invariably answer the questioner personally..not make general points. Which is one reason why one should read accounts of his talks with caution..he may have answered another questioner differently.
    He did not teach dogmatics. He addressed points of practice.
    An example someone asked him if they should learn Pali..he pointed at the cushion and said " why not just get Enlightened ? "..but on another occasion I heard him tell someone that their knowledge base was too sketchy and that they should learn the Pali terms... it was horses for courses.
    haha Ajahn Sujato mentioned similar actions in that video I posted above. Teaching to the individual and their situation sounds very much like the Buddha, skillful teaching. Thank you for sharing.
  • I'll be wading through the links over the next few days. I've never read or heard much about him before. He sounds like someone I would have loved to meet.
  • BonsaiDougBonsaiDoug Simply, on the path. Veteran
    One of my favorite books: Food for the Heart - The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah
  • DaltheJigsawDaltheJigsaw Mountain View Veteran
    Thank you!
  • For anyone who may not know he was the founder of a number of Forest Tradition monasteries in Thailand and in the west. He was the teacher of Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Brahm amomng others.
  • Some of what Luang Por Chah taught sits uncomfortably with some Buddhists.
    For example he said " the only book worth reading is the book of the heart "...
    On another occasion he said..." dont be a Bodhisattva...dont be an Arhant,,, as long as you are a something you suffer...dont be anything "
    Alex
Sign In or Register to comment.