< Back to DVD compilation menu

Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat

Our Roots in the Thai Forest Tradition

Ajahn Pasanno and the Abhayagiri Community

Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, Redwood Valley, California

January 1 to March 31, 2014

The purpose and function [of practice] always come back to the alleviation of suffering and the relinquishment of self-view....The take-away bit of the forest teachers or ethos is that we have everything within us....They are coming at it from all different angles, but the underlying thread is that theme of relying on and refining capabilities that we actually have. Sīla, samādhi, and pañña are not external to us.” – Ajahn Pasanno, March 4, 2014.

Introductory Talk

Readings by the Abhayagiri Community

Bibliography / Thai Forest Teachers

Monastic Titles


Internet Links



Introductory Talk

January 6: Ajahn Pasanno, “No Bargaining with the King of Death.”

Ajahn Pasanno begins the retreat by encouraging us to return to the basics of the Noble Eight-fold Path. He mentions Iris Landsberg, a long-standing lay supporter dying of lung cancer, both to set the tone for the monk's final visit to her and to encourage us to practice while there is still time. Iris passed away February 1, 2014.

Readings by the Abhayagiri Community

January 7: Ajahn Chah, “The Training of the Heart” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 505-516. Read by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

Ajahn Pasanno describes the talk's audience and context before and after the reading.

January 10: Ajahn Liem, “Watch Your Mind and Escape Māra's Snare” part 1 from Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion (pdf) pp. 6-23. Read by Ajahn Ñāniko.

No questions.

January 11: Ajahn Liem, “Watch Your Mind and Escape Māra's Snare” part 2 from Santi – Peace Beyond Delusion (pdf) pp. 23-36. Read by Ajahn Ñāniko.

No questions.

January 12: Ajahn Lee, “Introduction” and “The Art of Letting Go” from Keeping the Breath in Mind & Lessons in Samādhi (pdf) pp. v-viii and 28-30. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.


(30:00) Does anyone know the Thai word that Ajahn Ṭhānissaro translates as “preoccupations?”

(31:44) Was there much contact between the sphere of Wat Pah Pong and the sphere of Wat Asokaram (Ajahn Lee's monastery)?

(33:30) Why was the Dhammayut/Mahanikai split so strong?

(35:02) Why did conflict between the sects break out on almsround?

(36:04) Before Ajahn Chah, were there any Mahanikai teachers worthy of respect?

(37:29) Where did Ajahn Taungrut and Ajahn Kinaree live?

(38:05) Did the Dhammayut/Mahanikai differences matter to serious practice monks?

January 13: Ajahn Chah, “The Peace Beyond” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 9-19. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

No questions.

January 14: Ajahn Chah, “Still Flowing Water” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 369-382 and No Ajahn Chah (pdf) p. 217.

Tan Kassapo played this recording of Ajahn Amaro reading “Still Flowing Water” and read one page of No Ajahn Chah (not recorded).

January 17: Ajahn Mahā Boowa, “Birth and Death” from Straight from the Heart (pdf) pp. 55-71. Read by Tan Cunda.

No questions.

January 18: Ajahn Chah, “Not Sure” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 599-612. Read by Tan Kaccāna.

A short interview with Ajahn Bprasert Thavaro from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana precedes the primary reading.

Question: (36:20) What does paṭipadā mean?

January 19: Ajahn Chah, “Detachment Within Activity” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 291-304. Read by Tan Kovilo.


(26:24) What degree of pīti and sukha is necessary to establish the first jhāna?

(28:27) Do the underlying tendencies still exist in first jhāna?

(29:14) When Ajahn Mahā Boowa says that the peaceful mind is the gathering place for the defilements, are these the underlying tendencies?

(31:57) What are the three kinds of seclusion? What is upadhiviveka?

January 20: Ajahn Mahā Boowa, “The Direct Route to the End of All Suffering” (partial) from Arahattamagga Arahattaphala (pdf) pp. 9-23. Read by Tan Pamutto.


(31:42) Ajahn Chah took Ajahn Mahā Amon and Ajahn Sumedho to visit Luang Ta Mahā Boowa and Ajahn Kaew. What happened?

(35:34) Do you have any advice for working with pain?

January 21: Ajahn Chah, “Unshakeable Peace” (partial) from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 427-439. Read by Tan Khemako.


(27:01) Where was this Dhamma talk given?

(30:21) Luang Ta Mahā Boowa often says, “You kill the kilesas” whereas Ajahn Chah in this talk speaks of the path doing battle with the kilesas. Is this just the translation?

(33:03) Is this talk a response to the vipassanā movement in Thailand?

(37:20) Is the samatha versus vipassanā debate still active in Thailand?

(39:10) When is it useful to determine to stick with a single practice, even when it doesn't seem to work, instead of exploring other options?

January 22: Ajahn Mun, Khandhavimutti and Samangidhamma (pdf) translated by Ajahn Paññavaḍḍho (alternative translations: Bhikkhu Khemasanto (pdf), Ajahn Thanissaro (html)). Read by Tan Pesalo.


(32:34) Why is sañña often translated as perception?

(37:21) Have you heard of sañña and saṅkhara being translated as short-term and long-term memory?

(37:48) What does “the longing for the good is the cause of the trouble” mean?

(44:03) This reminds me of the phrase “possessing goodness.”

(45:16) Is this similar to the Buddha's teaching to let go of the path?

(46:55) Ajahn Pasanno describes Ajahn Mun's skillful use of language.

January 25: Ajahn Mahā Boowa, “Visions of a Samaṇa” from Samaṇa (pdf) pp. 11-12, 16-17, 18-25. Read by Tan Ṭhitapañño.

Ajahn Pasanno describes the title “Luang Ta” before the reading. Questions:

(17:45) When Luang Ta Maha Boowa says he's looking for a sign or vision, what does he mean by that?

(23:51) Did any of the Western monks go to Ajahn Chah to ask about their dreams?

(24:45) Was the biography compiled from what Luang Ta wrote or stories from his students?

(27:30) Do you have any information about what the Level 3 Pāli includes?

January 26: Ajahn Chah, “Unshakeable Peace” (continued) from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 453-471. Read by Tan Sudhīro.


(25:14) Was Ajahn Chah talking about samādhi or stream entry when he spoke about “not going backwards”?

(26:26) Did Ajahn Chah tend to emphasize certain Dhammas for Westerners and for Thais?

(29:07) Was it unusual for Ajahn Chah to push a Western monk?

(31:18) Before Ajahn Chah had his stroke how many branch monasteries were there at that time?

(31:41) Was Ajahn Chah involved in training the abbots of those monasteries?

(34:41) Was the tradition of a monk going to another monastery in their third rains happening in Ajahn Chah's time?

(36:14) Did Ajahn Chah ever have to use any especially powerful methods of pushing people away when the time came for them to go somewhere else?

January 27: Ajahn Wanchai, “A Higher Training” from Fighting for Freedom Within pp. 25-38. Read by Sāmaṇera Suhajjo.


(28:05) All the Thai Forest Masters give very clear presentations of how they were attaining/finding peace of mind. Is there much written about how Bangkok was reacting when these Masters were saying “attainment is possible?” How were the Thai Masters answering?

(33:14) What were the interesting practices you used so that you would get up as soon as you woke up?

(36:11) Did Ajahn Chah talk about how to approach the nimitas?

(37:37) Could it be useful if the object is clear, stable, and peaceful and keeps coming back?

(38:12) With investigating sleep, it seems sleeping less is an effect from good meditation practice rather than a cause; is it because there is less proliferation?

January 28: Mae Chee Kaew, chapters “Fearless Warrior Spirit” and “Blessing of a Lifetime” from Bhikkhu Dick Sīlaratano's biography Mae Chee Kaew – Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment (pdf) pp. 33-49. Read by Anāgārika Anthony.


(26:57) I am curious about ways to know if one is lying to oneself and what to do?

(30:56) There are photos of Luang Ta Maha Boowa looking very fierce and also photos of him looking very joyful, laughing, and the same with Ajahn Chah, a bit more stern I'd say. Do you think the same could be said of Ajahn Mun, not that there are photos but there could have been?

(34:33) What about Luang Por Dune, he looks so mellow; was he ever animated?

(36:24) Ajajn Pasanno talks about a senior Thai Ajahn talking about his trip to the US.

January 29: Ajahn Dtun, “The Spirit of a Warrior” (unpublished talk in Krooba Ajahn) and Ajahn Baen, “Aiming to Look After the Kor Patibat” (14:56, unpublished talk). Read by Anāgārika J.R.


(19:18) In the reading there was a lot of emphasis on solitude. Here we have a lot of time for that especially right now with our Winter Retreat, but we also have a lot of responsibilities and engagement in community. How would you recommend us balancing the two or using them to help each other?

(26:58) Do you have any advice about how to hold a particularly strong “fighting spirit” teaching, like Ajahn Dtun?

(32:20) I got more a sense of metta from Ajahn Dtun than warrior spirit?

(35:19) Ajahn Ñaniko speaks about spending some time with Ajahn Dtun in Thailand.

(36:45) I have another question about balance. LP Baen encouraged his monks to admonish each other, but Ajahn Chah said to put 90% of your attention on your self and only 10% on other people?

(39:16) Isn't there a story about when Ajahn Chah wanted to give feedback to a senior monk and he waited 20 or 30 years?

February 1: Upasika Kee Nanayon, “Reading the Mind” (partial, html) from Pure and Simple, pp. 163-177. Read by Debbie Stamp in honor of Iris Landsberg.

A brief biography of Upasika Kee precedes the reading. Questions:

(30:30) What Pāli word do you think Ajahn Geoff is translating as thought formations?

(31:25) In another Ajahn Geoff translation, I have seen him use “supposings” or “fashionings.' Is that the same word?

(32:16) Did Upasika Kee focus on vedana more than other things or was that just in this chapter?

(33:10) During her lifetime did she have a lot of followers?

(34:41) It seems that saṅkhāra is used by different people in different ways.

February 2: Ajahn Dtun, Unpublished Q & A session from his 2013 visit to Canada. Read by Beth Stef.


(26:55) I'm interested in the theme mentioned of the body and mind being separate from each other. The questioner asks “Don't they have influence on one another?” I'm curious about how to reflect on that.

February 3: Ajahn Chah, “Kondañña Knows” from Being Dharma pp. 151-168. Read by Ajahn Pasanno.


(40:32) The worldly winds appear quite distinct from each other, but status and praise seem closely related. Why?

(42:37) A stream-enterer is said to come back no more than seven lifetimes. Why the number seven?

(44:19) It's interesting that he equates the extreme of self mortification to aversion, ill-will, and pushing away.

(48:45) Could that “quality of knowing” be a variation on the teaching of sati-sampajañña, mindfulness and clear comprehension?

(49:25) Ajahn Pasanno speaks about the definition of an arahant being “one who is far from defilements” and also insight into not self.

February 4: Ajahn Thate, Steps Along the Path (pdf) pp. 3-12. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.

No questions.

February 5: Ajahn Buddhadāsa, “Looking Within from Me and Mine pp. 69-77. Read by Ajahn Ñāniko.


(29:47) What's the title of the book that reading comes from?

(30:13) Do you recall when Ajahn Buddhadāsa died?

(30:53) Did any of the Ajahns here spend any time at Suan Mokkh?

(31:10) Ajahn Ñaniko speaks about the time Luang Por Liem spent at Suan Mokh.

February 6: Ajahn Dune, Gifts He Left Behind (pdf): Introduction, Biographical Sketch, and pp. 105-109, 1, 3, 6-9, 11-12, 15-19, 77. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

Ajahn Pasanno introduces Ajahn Dune before the reading. Questions:

(26:53) Ajahn Pasanno, did I hear correctly the other day that you met Luang Por Dune?

(28:51) Was that when you had just become an abbot?

(30:18) His monastery is quite loud, isn't it?

(32:00) Ajahn Ahisako reads another piece from the book entitled “Its Easy if You are not Attached” that describes the noisy nature of the monastery and Luang Por Dune's teaching: “It's the nature of light to be bright, it's the nature of noise to be loud."

(34:18) I was reading that Reverend Heng Sure found that his meditation object was particularly bright and clear when he was around his teacher Master Hua. I wondered if you experienced anything like that when you paid respects to various Ajahns?

February 9: Ajahn Liem, Walking with Awareness (pdf).

This reading by Tan Kassapo was not recorded.

February 10: Ajahn Mahā Boowa, “The Principle of the Present” from Straight from the Heart (pdf) pp. 129-149. Read by Tan Cunda.

No questions.

February 11: Ajahn Chah, “In the Shape of a Circle” (partial) from In the Shape of a Circle (pdf) pp. 47-59. Read by Tan Kaccāna.


(26:59) With your meditation object, when you turn to contemplate it in terms of the three characteristics, anicca, dukkha and anatta, and that doesn't come up, does that mean you need to stabilize the mind more to see the object more clearly?

(29:30) How do I try to understand what the mind needs when I'm not getting insight?

February 12: Ajahn Plien, Mindfulness of Death (pdf) pp. 1-20. Read by Tan Ṭhitapañño.


(17:00) Was he a disciple of Ajahn Lee's?

(18:40) In the Pure Land tradition, there are practices that prepare one for death. Are there are specific recommendations that yourself or Ajahn Chah would give for preparation for that last moment before death?

February 13: Ajahn Toon, Reflections about Wat Pah Pong from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Tan Kovilo.

Tan Kovilo describes the Thai book Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana and its draft translation before the reading. Questions:

(20:56) Was there some consistency around how Ajahn Chah taught monks in a large community and how he taught monks in a small community? It sounds like when there were eleven monks he was very involved.

(21:26) Was Ajahn Jun around when you were training?

(23:32) Did Ajahn Jayasaro spend a Rains Retreat with Ajahn Koon?

February 16: Ajahn Liem, “Ordination: Going Forth” (partial) from The Ways of the Peaceful (pdf) pp. 23-33. Read by Tan Pamutto.

Introductory comments by Ajahn Pasanno and Tan Pamutto clarify some of the terms in the reading. No questions.

February 17: Upasika Kee Nanayon, “Breath Meditation Condensed” from An Unentangled Knowing (pdf) pp. 29-36. Read by Tan Khemako.


(25:06) I recall hearing about some aspects of the korwat at Upasika Kee's center, do you know any of those particular details?

(25:46) Was it a women only center or separated between men and women?

(26:16) Do you think all those rules were written down like Ajahn Chah regulations?

(27:56) Did she have any well-known disciples that went on to do other things?

(28:51) It's interesting with vegetarianism, some follow that and there are others that don't?

(30:41) Do you think the vegetarian choice at certain centers and monasteries relates to different temperaments or personalities?

(32:45) My guess is they were not smoking at Upasika Kee's, is that right?

(33:44) When she is talking about the mind at normalcy, her description is having the meditation object always at least in the background, constantly in awareness, being aware of the mind-state and also doing whatever you are doing, walking, washing dishes etc. Her emphasis is on cultivating it so this is something that you would be doing twenty-four hours a day. When Ajahn Chah spoke of normalcy of the mind, did he describe it in the same way?

(36:16) She talks about within this state of normalcy constantly contemplating the three characteristics of all phenomena occurring in awareness. To me that sounds like juggling a bunch of things!

(37:18) So the ability to hold the meditation object, go through your daily routines, keep an eye on the mind tone, and watch the stress flavor of all arising phenomenon seems like a fairly advanced practice state to arrive at and maintain twenty-four hours a day.

(38:14) She talks about making a story out of denying your defilements. Does the story of having fun denying your defilements come from that space of dwelling in that state of continuous mindfulness, or does continuous mindfulness come about from going through the suffering of forcing yourself not to enjoy anything?

(41:15) What do you mean when you say try something and note “it's not working” or “it is working?” How do you know it's not just another defilement sneaking in and saying “this isn't working?”

(42:59) Is that where when one isn't meditating per se but where virtue would come in to inform whether we have slipped or not?

(45:08) She talks about virtue being the other hand of discernment in the meditation experience, and whenever discernment discerns stress, virtue is what lets go of the cause of stress, that virtue does the disbanding of it. Is virtue an unusual word to use there?

(48:20) When the habit pattern of defilement is so strong, and even with the mind seeing the suffering, still the mind says, “I'm not going to give that up,” do you have any suggestions for softening that, for working with that?

(50:46) You were talking about the positive aspect of relinquishment, and that's what will motivate giving up, that positive aspect of giving up and letting go. When it's painful giving up and you give up, you can say, “Wait, I'm just focusing on the negative aspect of giving up, I need to switch my mind to the benefits of relinquishment?”

(55:09) Discussion about where there may be regret and longing linked to giving up something, although on reflection after relinquishment it can then feel like a non-event, no big deal.

February 18: Ajahn Chah, Readings from Venerable Father by Paul Breiter, pp. 28-36, 37-45, and 52-54. Read by Tan Pesalo.


(42:02) What became of Venerable Araññabho?

(43:17) Did Venerable Araññabho stay at Wat Pah Nanachat?

(43:43) How long did Venerable Varapañño spend in robes?

(46:30) How do monks treat intestinal worms?

(47:17) Was there much coming and going between Wat Pah Pong and Wat Pah Nanachat?

(47:54) Ajahn Pasanno tells how he went to Wat Pah Nanachat to make a bowl stand but got sick with scrub typhus. An extended discussion ensues.

February 19: Ajahn Liem, “From the Darkness to the Light,” unpublished talk in Krooba Ajahn. Read by Tan Sudhīro.


(33:48) Did you participate in massage sessions with senior monks besides Luang Por Chah?

(35:28) How does one incline the mind towards recollecting one's own good actions?

February 20: Ajahn Lee, “By Way of Introduction” and “Why Meditate?” from The Skill of Release (pdf) pp. 1-3 and 20-31. Read by Sāmaṇera Suhajjo.


(35:11) Can you reflect upon Ajahn Lee's positive approach to the nutriments?

(36:28) Which of the three unwholesome roots is most prominent when the mind is lazy?

February 21: Mae Chee Kaew, “River and Ocean” and “Collected Teachings” from Mae Chee Kaew – Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment (pdf) pp. 206-207 and 231-242. Read by Anāgārika Anthony.


(22:45) Is bhavatahā both the desire to exist and the desire to be a certain way?

(24:27) Is vibhavatahā the thought, “I am this way and I don't want to be this way?”

(25:20) How does this relate to the concept of the shadow?

(28:35) I seem to make a virtue of laziness and don't quite believe the teachings about doing without food and sleep. Do you have any advice for me?

(30:33) Could say more about seeing the unwholesomeness or shadow?

(33:34) Does the enlightened mind not have any thoughts or does it just not pick up unwholesome thoughts?

(39:02) Ajahn Pasanno reflects on the character of Ajahn Chah and his relatives.

(40:54) Ajahn Ñaniko describes how Ajahn Chah's brother didn't have an inferiority complex.

(41:31) A retreatant expresses appreciation for the concept of non-stickiness.

(43:19) Ajahn Ñaniko describes meeting Ajahn Mun's nephew.

(44:12) When the kilesas are present, is it useful to be peaceful about them?

(45:54) A retreatant expresses appreciation for Upasika Kee Nanayon's exhortation to be honest with ourselves.

(47:49) Can you recommend any practices to develop honesty with ourselves?

February 24: Ajahn Mahā Boowa, “The Middleness of the Middle Way” from Samaṇa (pdf) pp. 127-134 and Ajahn Piak, unpublished talk on peace (14:48) given to Wat Pah Nanachat monks going to Dtao Dum. Read by Anāgārika J.R.

No questions.

February 25: Ajahn Buddhadāsa, Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination (html), selections from pp. 22-45. Read by Debbie Stamp.


(24:46) Could you describe ways to work with attachment to the pleasure of food?

(29:45) How should we relate to the Buddha's statement that sensual pleasure is to be feared?

(35:15) Could you reflect on how Ajahn Buddhadāsa portrays mindfulness and ignorance as opposites?

(36:57) Could you say more about the positive causal process that is the opposite of paticcasamuppada?

(40:40) When I look at neutral objects, dullness often arises. Is this suffering?

February 26: Ajahn Liem, “A Short Biography (partial) from No Worries (pdf) pp. 101, 104-115 and “Following the Footsteps of the Enlightened Beings,” (18:58) (html) a talk at an Australian Sangha Association conference. Read by Beth Stef.


(32:23) Was there a time in Thai history when mediation was a routine part of childhood education?

(36:44) Ajahn Jotipālo tells a story about trying to wash Ajahn Liem's cup at Abhayagiri Monastery.

(37:23) Ajahn Pasanno describes how Ajahn Liem leads by example.

(39:00) Is Ajahn Liem continuing to take care of his health?

(40:46) Does Ajahn Liem attend morning and evening pūjā? A series of questions about pūjā at various monasteries ensues.

February 27: Ajahn Koon, Interview in Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Ajahn Pasanno.

Ajahn Pasanno introduces both Ajahn Koon and Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana before the talk. Questions:

(36:00) Luang Por, were there short periods of time when you lived with Luang Por Koon?

March 2: Chao Khun Upāli, The Natural Character of Awakening pp. 58-67. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.

Ajahn Pasanno introduces Chao Khun Upāli before the talk. Questions:

(25:32) Do you have any advice for monks taking on additional practices (āditthanas)?

(30:37) What is the distinction Chao Khun Upāli makes between lokuttara discernment and higher discernment?

(33:42) What is the difference between abandoning craving and realizing the abandoning of craving?

(41:34) How many Somdets and Chao Khuns are there at any given time?

March 3: Ajahn Chah, “Steady Practice” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 277-290. Read by Ajahn Ahiṃsako.

Ajahn Pasanno gives some background on Wat Keun before the talk. Questions:

(35:43) How do you balance Ajahn Chah's instruction to put away the books with the desire to study and understand the teachings?

(41:02) Did Ajahn Chah ever tell a student to study?

(46:42) How does one cultivate self-supervision?

March 4: Ajahn Buddhadāsa, “The Dhamma-Truth of Samatha-Vipassana for the Nuclear Age” from Key to Natural Truth (pdf) pp. 111-131. Read by Ajahn Ñāniko.


(31:54) Ajahn Pasanno describes the atmosphere of Cold War fear.

(33:33) Discussion about the purpose and function of the path.

(35:25) Ajahn Ñaniko reflects on Ajahn Buddhadāsa's use of analogies.

(35:50) Ajahn Pasanno summarizes the take-away message of the retreat.

(37:05) How does one work with dullness and drowsiness in sitting meditation?

March 5: Ajahn Suwat, “Straightening Out Your Views” from Fistful of Sand & The Light of Discernment (pdf) pp. 48-51. Read by Tan Kassapo.

Ajahn Pasanno gives some background on Ajahn Suwat before the talk. Questions:

(23:12) Ajahn Pasanno asks Tan Pesalo for more information about Ajahn Suwat.

(24:05) Where is Wat Buridat?

(26:34) Did Ajahn Mahā Boowa always praise the dtuaṅga practices?

March 6: Ajahn Chah, “1946-1954: The Tudong Years” from the unpublished draft of Ajahn Chah’s biography. Read by Tan Cunda.


(39:08) Ajahn Pasanno tells about Ajahn Chah asking Ajahn Mun whether he should reordain as a Dhammayut monk.

(40:20) Ajahn Pasanno gives more information about the cremation ground story.

(41:47) Did the pakow who accompanied Ajahn Chah to the cremation ground ever ordain?

(43:37) Are the boundaries between Dhammayut and Mahanikai breaking down?

March 7: Ajahn Chah, “A Simple Monk” from the unpublished draft of Ajahn Chah’s biography. Read by Tan Kaccāna.


(34:49) Is samwat a Thai word for saṁvega?

(36:00) How common is burial as opposed to cremation in Thailand?

(40:34) Why are dead children buried?

(41:33) How often did Ajahn Chah talk about his past?

(44:18) Did Ajahn Chah say, “I'm such a good teacher because I had so many defilements?”

(46:26) Did Ajahn Chah use asubha practice during his battle with lust?

March 10: Ajahn Anan, Short recollection of Ajahn Chah from the talk “Life with Ajahn Chah” and “Maraṇānussati – Keeping the End in Mind” (2:18) from Seeking Buddho (pdf) pp. 67-74 and 91-92. Read by Tan Ṭhitapañño.


(22:18) Ajahn Jotipālo tells of Ajahn Anan's deference to Luang Por Chah.

(23:05) Ajahn Pasanno describes the trio of Ajahn Anan, Ajahn Dtun, and Ajahn Piak.

(26:19) It seems unusual for a monk to talk about his meditative attainments. Is this unusual or frowned upon?

(28:10) Did Ajahn Anan and Ajahn Piak leave Wat Pah Pong together to found Wat Fah Krahm?

(29:12) Is this the monastery near the airport?

(30:06) When Ajahn Anan left for Rayong, had Ajahn Dtun already left?

(30:40) How long was Ajahn Anan at Wat Fah Krahm?

(31:06) How can we interest the mind in the recollection of death?

(36:31) Is recollection of death useful for laypeople?

(38:42) There is a belief that contemplating death can call death to you. Any reflections?

(39:18) How do I keep the mind from proliferating about what happens after death?

(40:50) If you don't think you will reach Nibbāna in this life, did Ajahn Chah advise a place to aspire for rebirth in?

(45:35) Discussion of faith followers and Dhamma followers.

(50:16) Comments about bringing death contemplation into the present moment.

March 11: Ajahn Boon Choo, Reflections on meeting Ajahn Chah from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Tan Kovilo.


(17:36) Did you live with Ajahn Mahā Som?

(18:13) Ajahn Ñaniko tells of Ajahn Somboon spending a vassa at Wat Pah Pong.

(19:35) Which monastery is Wat Keun?

(21:12) What is the town across from Wat Keun?

(22:05) Did you think of relocating Wat Pah Nanachat to Wat Keun?

(26:36) You were offered a cornfield in Ohio? What year was that?

(27:19) Do foreigners still go to Wat Keun?

(28:36) Did Ajahn Boon Choo go to Europe?

(30:31) Ajahn Pasanno describes Ajahn Boon Choo's skill in meditation.

(32:54) Did Luang Por Liem ask Luang Por Boon Choo to stay back when Luang Por Chah became ill?

(35:26) Ajahn Pasanno gives more details about the decision for Ajahn Choo to take over Wat Keun.

(38:27) If you had moved Wat Pah Nanachat to Wat Keun, would you have left Thailand?

(39:21) What happened to Ajahn Puriso?

March 12: Ajahn Piak, Selected conversations with Western monks from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Tan Pamutto.


(27:46) Is it rare for someone to master samādhi before developing wisdom?

(28:59) Would you be willing to talk about the difference between mindfulness, bare knowing, and the one who knows?

(35:23) Could constant movement like Luang Por Teean's technique be useful for drowsiness?

(38:08) Ajahn Pasanno describes the meditation method he used during his first year as a monk.

(39:24) Ajahn Jotipālo tells about Luang Por Teean's technique at Wat Pah Nanachat.

(41:22) Could the Ajahn Teean technique work for restlessness?

(42:32) Did Ajahn Chah speak about paramī?

(43:38) More discussion of movement meditations.

(45:00) Did you use the method of balancing a needle between your thumbs?

(45:40) What if your problem is restlessness?

(47:33) What is a reasonable amount of time to try out a new method?

March 13: Ajahn Teean, Readings from the biography The Singular Quality of an Ordinary Monk.(html) Read by Tan Khemako.


(35:12) Did Ajahn Teean learn his method from someone else?

(36:12) Did Ajahn Teean have contact with Ajahn Chah?

(38:25) Jeed mentions working at a refugee camp at Chang Kon.

(40:36) Does Luang Por Teean have disciples who are still alive?

(42:06) Questions about a translated book by a Luang Por Teean disciple.

(42:59) Do you know Venerable Nirodha who translated this book?

(43:25) Why did older men ordain as pakows and follow Ajahn Chah on tudong?

(45:57) Is it common for older men to ordain?

(47:48) How long would such pakows ordain?

(48:36) Was Luang Por Teean a forest teacher? Dhammayut or Mahanikai?

March 14: “The Customs of the Noble Ones” (html) by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and recollections of Ajahn Taungrut (19:28) by Ajahn Gi from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Tan Pesalo.


(34:46) Who offered the second reading?

(35:28) Did any Wat Pah Pong monks spend time with Luang Por Gi?

(36:37) How much time did Ajahn Chah spend with Ajahn Taungrut?

(37:42) Ajahn Ñaniko describes a prediction of Luang Por Taungrut.

(38:26) Was there a time in Thailand when no one had any noble attainments?

(41:59) Are there any of Luang Por Taungrut's teachings available?

(44:10) Has the Ajahn Utane biography been translated into English?

(44:30) Is Ajahn Utane's monastery the same as Ajahn Taungrut's?

March 17: Ajahn Wanchai, Questions from the monks of Wat Pah Nanachat from Krooba Ajahn. Read by Tan Sudhīro.


(33:14) Sometimes I will see a bit of greed come up, I apply an antidote, for example, if its craving, apply some asuba; but it seems to exacerbate it–do you have any encouragement or similes from Ajahn Chah?

(37:38) The citta is sometimes defined as pure awareness, and it being in the foruth khanda but it sounds like here he's talking about the activity of awareness?

(39:50) So is it better to hear what he said and let it go when I notice awareness that's good, but I don't have to make anything out of it?

(41:37) So is it a realizing, not a conceiving?

(42:31) If you keep chipping away at a theme of contemplation, you keep doing it, doing it, and nothing is changing in your experience, at some stage you feel this isn't working, do you just have to move on and try something else? Is it the case that you just have to try them all? No-one can tell you which is going to work for you?

(46:00) The story you told where a monk was punched, I really didn't see the point of that.

(46:30) Ajahn Pasanno talks about how enlightened people still have personalities and shares some examples.

(55:45) In the Thai Forest tradition there are some fierce teachers. In other Buddhist traditions the “don't question the guru” mentality seems to get way out of hand, but in Thailand that doesn't seem to happen so often?

March 18: Ajahn Chah, “Toilets on the Path” from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 723-734. Read by Sāmaṇera Suhajjo.


(31:37) Did I understand correctly, that this talk was originally given in Lao?

(37:04) In the reading, did it say that he slept in a coffin?

(37:21) Was your eight years living with novices like how it was described in this reading?

(39:07) Was there a cap, a certain number of novices allowed at the monastery at one time?

(39:55) I got the impression from that introduction that the monastery was over-run with novices?

(42:49) Ajahn Chah probably wasn't a micro manager was he?

(44:06) Discussion about the reality of dealing with training behaviors amongst a constantly changing population within the monastery.

(45:19) So they do temporary ordinations in Thailand?

(45:47) What would be the duration, was there a range?

(47:20) Did they come in as anāgārikas or sāmaṇeras?

(49:38) Did they do temporary ordinations at Wat Pah Nanachat?

(52:07) Was there a temporary ordination in England for Maurice Walsh?

(54:47) How many other traditions in Thailand use the model of anāgārika for one year and sāmaṇera for one year?

March 19: Ajahn Chah, “Toilets on the Path” (continued) from Collected Teachings (pdf) pp. 734-745. Read by Anāgārika Anthony.


(26:25) When you were living with Ajahn Chah, were many of his talks more related to the Korwat or practical matters, as opposed to the High Dhamma?

(29:22) There were a number of different alms routes out of Wat Pah Pong. How was it decided who went on each one and how was the food distributed for the meal?

(39:29) At Wat Pah Pong there's a large mural of lay people eating, do you know where that came from or how long its been there?

(40:26) I have heard that the food would go into a big pot and get all mixed up. How often did that happen?

(41:40) Ajahn Naniko describes how who went on the different alms routes was decided at Wat Pah Pong.

(43:00) Did the alms routes stay the same over the years?

(44:05) Do you try to pass most of the houses in the village?

(45:20) You'd have one village supporting more than one monastery, is that right?

(46:58) How many villages are around Poo Jom Gom?

March 21: Ajahn Anan, Readings from Sotāpattimagga (pdf): “The Peaceful Heart Discovers the Truth” (partial), pp. 21-23; “When Calm Arises, Investigate the Body,” pp. 41-45; “When the Practice Declines,” pp. 68-70; “Nibbana is the Highest Happiness,” pp. 89-91. Read by Anāgārika J.R.

Question: (19:48) Do you know the time period when Ajahn Anan trained with Luang Por Chah?

March 25: Ajahn Tong Jan, “Training Under Ajahn Chah” from Twigs and Branches of the Bodhinyana. Read by Debbie Stamp.


(20:10) Did you upatak Luang Por Chah one time or many times?

(20:27) Are there any stories you can share from the times when you were attendant to Luang Por Chah?

(26:37) Were there any other ways in which he tormented you specifically?

(32:45) Would Luang Por Chah teach or test monks and students in different ways?

March 26: Ajahn Mahā Boowa, “The Beauty Comes from Within” from Paying Our Last Respects (pdf) pp. 149-151 and an unpublished talk (5:03) given by Ajahn Liem at Abhayagiri in 2009. Read by Beth Stef.

No questions.

March 27: Ajahn Sim, “Source and Stream” from Simply So (html). Read by Ajahn Pasanno.

Ajahn Pasanno introduces the reading with background information about Ajahn Sim.


(26:07) There was a reference to the 4 assembles – what are they?

(26:52) Within Luang Por Mun's disciples, were some renowned for wisdom, others for samādhi, determination, psychic powers, faith, and so on?

(28:51) Who was the monk that was said to be flying around with the military planes?

(30:01) I heard he was flying on an airplane engine, investigating it, and they had to ask him to leave it alone?

(31:06) In that talk he seemed to stress doing samatha meditation before practicing vipassana. Is that strictly held within this tradition?

(34:58) When he talked about nama rupa, is that looking at the fundamental movement of the mind towards unwholesome dhammas?

(36:16) What happened to Mae Chee Songchai?

March 28: Upasika Kee Nanayon, “Discernment Versus Self-Deception” and “Awareness Right at Awareness" from An Unentangled Knowing (pdf) pp. 87-90 and 14-17. Read by Ajahn Jotipālo.


(18:13) There seems to be a point of difference in teachings – some teachers emphasize mindfulness of the mind and others say “go for the body.” Do you have any reflections about that?

(20:26) Ajahn Pasanno speaks for a while on the theme “all Dhammas are not to be clung to.”

(24:18) With the succinct teaching “know and let go,” I notice a tendency in the mind to go through the motions of that without really being able to enter into it – what do I do about that?

(28:28) In my desire to get to the “heart of it” I find part of my mind really wants this, but another part of my mind is not going along with the program. How do I keep myself on the Path?

(35:27) Ajahn Pasanno quotes Ajahn Succito's “the art of the pause” and speaks about taking note of and relishing the good that we have done.

Bibliography >