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Forest Recollections: Wandering Monks in Twentieth-century Thailand Paperback – 31 Jul 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press (31 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824817818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824817817
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,770,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating account of the lives and experiences of some of the (now) well known and many lesser known Thai Forest masters, and of the influences that formed them. As with the author's other work The Buddha in the Jungle, there is a lot information and insight here into the conditions of their lives and practice, and it provides glimpses into a traditional Buddhist society that has since been damaged and compromised by the post-WWII world, and so the fascination of the story is tinged with a heartfelt elegy for a disappearing world that touches this reader deeply. This is a really valuable work to read for anyone, but especially for anyone who thinks the Theravadan traditions are dry or scholastic or monolithic - like The Buddha in the Jungle, the book shows the people and southern Buddhist lineages and traditions to be full of life, variety and wonder.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well researched and well written book. If you are interested in Thai Buddhism and already have some good background knowledge you will find this book will open up your understanding of it. Don't expect a mystical journey into the lives of Thudong monks, it's not that kind of book. If you are looking to go deeper into the subjects covered in this book, it's a 'MUST READ'.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderfully inspiring book describing the lives of monks who now would find it impossible to live this way of life. Something rare and beautiful and also essential to the world has been lost and something that will not be seen again.

Tiyavanich has not however written a hagiography. The monks are real people with real fears and worries and desires facing all sort of problems, economic and political as they strive to live this way of life and it is this that makes the book so inspiring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x945a5738) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94491594) out of 5 stars This book deserves a wide audience 9 Sept. 2000
By Tom Riddle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a Westerner who has done a lot of meditation in Thailand over the last 18 years, I've been curious to know the history of meditation in Thailand. I've also wondered about the Tudong or wondering monks whom I've occasionally seen here. This book explains it all. It is also very inspirational for serious meditators and might even inspire people who are curious about meditation.
As far as I can tell (having spent about a year in Thai monasteries), Kamala is right on the button in everything she writes. My only complaint about the book is that the footnotes are in the back instead of at the bottom of the page.
This book should deserves a wide audience.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x944914c8) out of 5 stars Facing your Fears in the Forest 20 Jun. 2009
By Jacqueline R. St John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I live in the North Highlands Forest in WI. The urban lifestyle I departed from before coming here to live permanently did not develop the sensitivities this environment requires. I noticed I was " afraid to go out" I might encounter bears, wolves, coyotes etc. I might get eaten etc. This book deals with it all. The Forest Monks have taken their place in the forest as part of the cycle of life and achieved harmony with the various animals. The meditations are very useful and appropriate for those dealing with the transformation and assimilation into life in the Forrest. Anecdotes of encounters were very helpful in letting go of the fear factor. I wrote this review so I haven't been eaten by a pack of coyotes yet. But I hear the Moon Dogs singing around my house often.I enjoy their vocalizations now that I am not scared half to death of them.
HASH(0x953fb930) out of 5 stars A really good book to understand fear and hardship 12 Aug. 2013
By Kenn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book while I am in Thailand for a short term ordination. This book gave a good overview of the forest traditional. It's a inspiration to know the fear and hardship the monks had to go through and their courage to overcome them. Delighted to find this book in Amazon. Ordered a copy and will read it again.
HASH(0x9480c6e4) out of 5 stars Forest Recollections : Wandering monk in Thailand 25 Mar. 2011
By edmond - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book . This was exactyly what I was looking for, since long time.
This is a very well and detailled information concerning the forest monks in Thailand .
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9427de70) out of 5 stars A deeply flawed but interesting account 3 Sept. 2009
By scarface - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a decent book that gives an account of a little known (outside of Thailand) Buddhist reform movement that operated in the early 20th century. However, as Thanissaro Bhikkhu points out, it has some major flaws and totally misinterprets the standards of practics among the Thai Forest monks' and their conflicts with the Mahanikai and Bangkok hierarchies:

[...]
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