BUDDHA IN THE WILD: THAILAND’S FOREST MONASTICISM

Lessons of the Forest Traditions:Teachings of the Forest Masters: A Book Guide The Home Culture of the DharmaKnowing the Tiger’s Growl: An Account of the Eighth Austere PracticeThe Thirteen Thudong or Austere PracticesConserving the Inner EcologyJust Another Thing in the Forest: An Interview with Ajaan Amaro

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Shakyamuni Buddha was born under a tree, became enlightened under a tree, and died under a tree.Thai forest monasticism emulates the Buddha’s lifelong connection to the natural world and is considered the tradition closest in form to the path of the historical Buddha. Now, it has been conveyed to the West.

In this special section, two Western abbots represent this bare-boned monastic lineage in America and introduce the Kammathana, or Meditation, forest tradition and reflect on its history and practices. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, abbot of Metta Forest Monastery near San Diego, charts the tradition’s history and explains how its founder, Ajaan Mun, revived what he believed to be the Buddha’s own practice. Ajaan Amaro, abbot of Abhayagiri in northern California and a disciple of the Thai forest master Ajaan Cha, walks us through daily encounters of this path.

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