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forest sangha newsletter

July      2007                  2550                      Number 80
The Forest Sangha is a world-wide Buddhist community
in the Thai Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah




Thirty Years


patience

 

Ajahn Sumedho had been in England for a few years when a letter arrived from Thailand. Even though Luang Por Chah could read and write, he rarely did. In fact, he hardly wrote anything, and he never wrote letters. The message began with a note from a fellow Western monk. It said: “Well, Ajahn Sumedho, you are not going to believe this, but Luang Por decided he wanted to write you a letter, so he asked me to take his dictation.” The message from Ajahn Chah was very brief, and this is what it said:

“Whenever you have feelings of love or hate for anything whatsoever, these will be your aides and partners in building parami. The Buddha-Dhamma is not to be found in moving forwards, nor in moving backwards, nor in standing still. This, Sumedho, is your place of non-abiding.”


It still gives me goose bumps. 

A few weeks later, Ajahn Chah had a stroke and became unable to speak, walk, or move. His verbal teaching career was over. This letter contained his final instructions. Ajahn Chah was well aware of all the tasks and difficulties involved in establishing a monastery, having done this many times himself. One would think that when he offered advice, it would be along the lines of “Do this, don’t do that, and always remember to …” But no, none of that; this was not Ajahn Chah’s way. He simply said, “The Buddha-Dhamma is not to be found in moving forwards, nor in moving backwards, nor in standing still.”

~ Recounted by Ajahn Amaro ~

 



 

 

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