Being near Ajaan Paññā, one sensed his palpable inner peace and serenity. His gaze was open, calm and benevolent, free of conflict, bias or judgment. With his warmth, his wisdom and his compassion, Ajaan Paññā personified the nobility of the teachings. By his personal example, the Dhamma was rendered practical and vibrant with life. Earnest practitioners saw in his exemplary manner and in his freedom from attachments, the special teacher whom they longed to encounter.
This book is a guide for integrating Buddhist practice into daily life. The contents were drawn from talks which Ajaan Mahā Boowa gave over the years to various groups of lay people – students, civil servants, those new to the practice and those more experienced. In each case he has adapted his style and strategy to suit the needs of his listeners. Though most talks emphasize the more basic levels of practice, they in truth cover all levels.
Ajaan Mun is a towering figure in contemporary Thai Buddhism. He was widely revered during his lifetime for the extraordinary courage and determination he displayed in practicing the ascetic way of life and for his uncompromising strictness in teaching his many disciples. The epitome of a wandering monk intent on renunciation and solitude, he assumed an exalted status in Buddhist circles, his life and teachings becoming synonymous with the Buddha’s noble quest for self-transcendence.
In this book, Ajaan Mahā Boowa describes in detail the lifestyle and training practices of Ajaan Mun and his disciples. It is a way of life rooted in the Buddhist ideal of the wandering monk who, having renounced the world and gone forth from the household, dresses in robes made from discarded cloth, depends on alms for a living and takes the forest as his dwelling place. The emphasis is on an austere meditative lifestyle that is directed toward uprooting every aspect of greed, hatred, and delusion from the heart.
“To behold a Samana whose heart is free of defilement – that is the highest Blessing.”
On January 30, 2011 at the age of 97, Ajaan Mahā Boowa shed his physical form and totally departed this world. The death of a Buddha or an Arahant disciple is known as Parinibbāna. Ajaan Mahā Boowa left those who lived and practiced with him in no doubt that he was truly a Noble disciple in the lineage of the Lord Buddha, and a Samana of the highest blessing.
A senior disciple of Ajaan Mun, Ajaan Khao Anālayo was one of the foremost meditation masters of our time. He always preferred to practice in remote, secluded locations and with such single-minded resolve that his diligence in that respect was unrivaled among his peers in the circle of Thai forest monks. In his frequent encounters with wild animals, Ajaan Khao exhibited a special affinity for elephants.
Mae Chee Kaew lived a simple village life in the northeast of Thailand and overcame great difficulties in attempting to leave home and follow the Buddha’s noble path. Blessed with the good fortune to meet the most renowned meditation masters of her era, she took their teachings on meditation to heart, diligently cultivating a mind of clear and spontaneous awareness. Her persistence, courage, and intuitive wisdom enabled her to transcend conventional boundaries and find release from suffering.
Arahattamagga is a compilation of Ajaan Mahā Boowa’s Dhamma talks giving an in-depth analysis of his own path of practice. It describes the entire range of his meditation, from the beginning stages all the way to the final transcendence. We realize that such exalted attainments are not merely remnants of ancient history, dead and dry – but a living, luminous legacy of self-transcendence accessible to any individual who is willing and able to put forth the effort needed to achieve them.
This collection of talks was originally given for the benefit of a lay disciple who had come to Ajaan Mahā Boowa’s monastery to receive his guidance as she faced her approaching death from bone marrow cancer. These talks offer important lessons about how to learn from pain, illness and death, by seeing through to their ultimate nature and detaching the mind from the suffering associated with them.
These extemporaneous talks were delivered to the monks living at Ajaan Mahā Boowa’s monastery. The talks in this collection all deal with the practice of meditation, and particularly with the development of wisdom. In these talks, Ajaan Mahā Boowa often recounts conversations with his teacher, Ajaan Mun, which reveal the power and depth of Ajaan Mun’s teachings and of the teachings of the Forest Tradition in general.
Wisdom Develops Samādhi is Ajaan Mahā Boowa’s ground-breaking treatise on the role wisdom plays in promoting the development of calm and concentration in Buddhist meditation practice. It describes various techniques for using the practice of investigation to forcefully subdue an unruly mind when more traditional methods for attaining samādhi are not effective.
Forest Dhamma was the first book published containing English translations of Ajaan Mahā Boowa’s discourses on the practice of Dhamma. In it are presented most of his basic teachings on meditation. The talks in this collection deal with practical aspects of meditation, and particularly with the development of wisdom in the light of fundamental principles of truth.
Amata Dhamma contains a collection of talks by Ajaan Mahā Boowa. Most of these talks were given for the benefit of an ill lay disciple of Ajaan Mahā Boowa, Mrs.Pow-panga Vathanakul, and thus touch on many aspects of Dhamma practice concerning life, illness, and death.
The talks presented here were given exclusively for the benefit of the monks at Wat Pa Baan Taad. They usually took place in the cool of the evening, with lamps lit and the sounds of insects and cicadas reverberating in the surrounding jungle. Ajaan Mahā Boowa’s only preparation was a few moments of stillness before speaking. As the theme developed naturally, the pace of his voice quickened and those listening increasingly felt its strength and depth.
A wide-ranging collection of formal Dhamma talks and informal question-and-answer sessions, directed to a group of lay followers in London. Here you will find this memorable exchange, among many others: A questioner asked, “I would like to ask if people can practice meditation in a city like London?” Ajaan Mahā Boowa replied, “Only the dead cannot practice meditation.”