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For anyone interested in the Oldest form of Buddhist practice, this book is an invaluable aid. Ajhan Chah, was one of the few remaining practitioners of the Forest Tradition in the mid 20th century. His diligence enabled students, western monks, laymen, Kings and paupers to learn to follow the Buddha's practice and investigate it for themselves at his forest monastery, Wat Pah Pong: a monastery where western monks were able to train alongside Thai monks in the forests of Northern Thailand. Over time he became one of the most well respected teachers of this tradition. Ajhan Sumedho, and Ajhan Brahm, were students of his and are among those recognized for encouraging and establishing monasterys dedicated to the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition meditation practice in western nations around the world.
This book is a great example of Ajahn Chah's teachings and those of the Thai Forest tradition. His simple explanations of Buddhist doctrine combined with occasional humorous anecdotes are a pleasure to read and learn from.
These teachings of Ajahn Chah are about anicca, dukkha, and anatta, the contemplation of which are essential for knowing Dharma. According to Ajahn Chah, the true and correct words of the sages will not lack mention of anicca (dukkha, and anatta). If there is no mention of such, it is not the speech of the wise. It is not the speech of the enlightened ones; it's called speech that does not accept the truth of existence. The statement is supported by Veneral Ajahn Mun, the most renowned monk and teacher of many great meditation masters including Ajahn Chah, who once said, "The speech of arahants is Dharma, others' is worldly opinion." Ajahn Chah also mentioned, "I've been teaching and training people almost thirty years now. If at least you can enter the stream to enlightenment and ensure there won't be an eighth rebirth, that would be pretty good." Thus,for those who want to enter the stream and experience eternal peace - the end of suffering, this book is priceless!
I am quite new to buddhism...but have gone through some teacher's teachings through their published books. I felt Ajahn Chah's teaching to be quite direct. He doesnt waste time in entertaining you, but feels like directly points out, this is where you are wrong and see yourself by meditation. Somewhere he mentioned: Meditation is like sitting in a huge hall with many windows and your job is to see who is coming who is going. Thats it! He probably explains buddhism in a very straightforward ways. I wish I would have gotten a chance to meet such great person. He is great.