Ajahn Liem


Question: We’d like to know about your experiences living together with Luang Pu Chah.

Answer: Generally, Luang Pu Chah taught us to conduct ourselves practicing contentment and being of few wishes. Contentment and fewness of wishes, these are words that describe a lifestyle where one isn’t prone to obstructions. It is also called ariyavamsa, to live without ties and fetters.

Contentment and fewness of wishes is a factor of perfection, as it is one of the qualities of Dhamma that the ariyapuggalas possess. Now, if one isn’t an ariyapuggala but just an ordinary person, one still trains according to the guidelines of behaviour of the ariyapuggalas. One takes their ways of practicing and makes them become one’s habits.

The ariyapuggalas teach us not to become angry, so even though we still want to follow our anger, we make a point of refraining from it. Doing so for long periods of time, becoming angry ceases to be one of our habits, and eventually we don’t want to become angry any more. This is the process.

Following this kind of model is aiming at a state where certain ways of acting become natural. We then understand that this is the way of living of someone who isn’t in conflict with anyone and is free from dangers.

This is the way I have practised with Luang Pu Chah.

This reflection by Luang Por Liem is from the book, The Ways of the Peaceful, (pdf) p. 42 (frame 49).