- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Buddhist Publishing Group (1 Dec. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0946672237
- ISBN-13: 978-0946672233
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.9 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Teachings of a Buddhist Monk Paperback – 1 Dec 2000
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Teachings of a Buddhist Monk is just what it says. Suggestions for practice by a practising Buddhist monk based on his long experience. -- Buddhism Now, November, 2001
It addresses the reader directly with humour and simplicity. -- Buddhism Now, November, 2001
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Buddhas teaching is all about understanding sufferingits origin, its cessation, and the path to its cessation. When we contemplate suffering, we find we are contemplating desire, because desire and suffering are the same thing.
Desire can be compared to fire. If we grasp fire, what happens? Does it lead to happiness? If we say: Oh, look at that beautiful fire! Look at the beautiful colours! I love red and orange; theyre my favourite colours, and then grasp it, we would find a certain amount of suffering entering the body. And then if we were to contemplate the cause of that suffering we would discover it was the result of having grasped that fire. On that information, we would, hopefully, then let the fire go. Once we let fire go, then we know that it is something not to be attached to. This does not mean we have to hate it, or put it out. We can enjoy fire, cant we? It is nice having a fire, it keeps the room warm, but we do not have to burn ourselves in it.
When we really contemplate suffering, we no longer incline towards grasping hold of desire, because it hurts, is painful, there is no point in doing it. So, from that time on, we understand, Oh! Thats why Im suffering; thats its origin. Ah! now I understand. Its that grasping hold of desire that causes me all this misery and suffering, all this fear, worry, expectation, despair, hatred, greed, delusion. All the problems of life come from grasping and clinging to the fire of desire.
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This book is a real treat. I have done extensive reading on Buddhism, particularly the Theravada tradition. Ajahn Chah started many monasteries and those who followed him, Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Amaro, Jack Kornfield, and many others, all seem to offer such wisdom in presenting the Dharma. Their way of teaching, to me, is very direct and practical. Not high in the head thinking, but real, basic, and very applicable to my life. (Isn't that what we all want?)
I read through this short book in just a few days and enjoyed it so much I've started rereading it again! If you are new to Buddhism, this is a great place to start, if you are an 'old pro' you'll enjoy this one too!