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About Ajahn Maha Boowa

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

I found this longish article about the life of Ajahn Maha Boowa, which he wrote himself:

It tells about his childhood, his initial wanting to get married, how a fortune teller came and how he came to be a monk. It tells about his early years with his teacher Ajahn Mun, and how that worthy interpreted his dreams and guided his path. It tells about the visions he had and his response to the visions. Later in life he founded a monastery and stayed there, and became a more public figure in Thailand.

His interpretation of the dhamma seems quite conventional, such as the vision in which he meets the Buddhas who then all turn into golden statues, which he bathes with water. His teaching at his home monastery seems to have been uncompromising but otherwise unremarkable.

I found it interesting, not everyone receives such clear and lengthy visions. But to what extent are visions really a sign of spiritual advancement? In Ajahn Chah’s writing I find a degree of understanding of being, which I haven’t yet found in Ajahn Maha Boowa. I will search on.



  • Thank you for your post.
    I found this talk by Ajahn Maha Boowa.

    Practice earnestly, do not doubt the magga nor Nibbana... it reminds me of when the Buddha said... monks...meditate...!

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited January 10

    I have started reading this, a book in which he talks about wisdom, which I feel is a reasonably approachable subject but one which I have made little progress on. Dazzle me, oh Ajahn!

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited January 11

    He talks about a sermon his teacher, Ajahn Mun, gave him when they first met:

    “You’ve already studied a good deal,” he told me, “at least enough to earn the title of ‘Mahã’. Now I’m going to tell you something that I want you take and think over. Don’t go thinking that I underrate the Dhamma of the Lord Buddha, but at the present moment no matter how much of the Dhamma you’ve studied, it will serve no purpose in keeping with your status as a scholar other than simply being an obstacle to your meditation, because you won’t be able to resist dwelling on it and using it to take the measure of things when you’re trying to calm your heart. So for the sake of convenience when fostering stillness in your heart, I want you to take the Dhamma you’ve studied and put it away for the time being. When the time comes for it to benefit you, it will all come streaming in to blend perfectly with your practice. At the same time, it will serve as a standard to which you should make the heart conform. But for the time being, I don’t want you to concern yourself with the Dhamma you’ve studied at all. Whatever way you make the mind (citta) still or use discernment (paññã) to investigate the khandhas, I want you first to restrict yourself to the sphere of the body, because all of the Dhamma in the texts points to the body and mind, but the mind doesn’t yet have any firm evidence and so can’t take the Dhamma learned from the texts and put it to good use. The Dhamma will simply become saññã (interpretation and memory) leading you to speculate elsewhere to the point where you become a person with no foundations, because the mind is fixated on theory in a manner that isn’t the way of the Lord Buddha. So I want you to take what I’ve said and think it over. If you set your mind on the practice without retreating, the day will come when these words of mine will impress themselves on your heart.”

  • KotishkaKotishka Veteran
    edited January 11

    Strictly meditation based. Reminds me of Bodhidharma.... strict, sharp, but reminding of a caring parent. Don't know. Maybe I'm overthinking.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Certainly that seems to be how Maha Boowa in his youth experienced Ajahn Mun.

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