The Monastery as a Refuge

Ajahn Jayasaro

The Monastery as a Refuge

The monastery, he [Ajahn Chah] said, was a refuge from the stresses and strains of daily life. It was a place where people could take a step back from their lives, take an overview and learn life skills that would stand them in good stead in their daily life.

If they left it too long, it might be too late. He teased people who waited to go to the monastery until they could no longer sit on the floor and were too deaf to hear the Dhamma talks. Worse than that, they could die first…

“And the only way a corpse gets to go to the wat is when it’s carried there for cremation.”

Apart from the people who believed that they had too little suffering to need to practise Dhamma, there were those who felt that they had too many worries to make it worthwhile. Even if they went to the monastery, they believed, it would be a waste of time. They could never find any peace until their troubles were sorted out.

To Luang Por, this was like someone saying that they would not go to see the doctor until they were feeling better. At the monastery, everyone could learn ways to handle the stresses of their situation better.

This reflection by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the book, Stillness Flowing, (pdf) p.587.