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What the Buddha Never Taught: A 'Behind the Robes" Account of Life in a Thai Forest Monastery by [Ward, Tim]
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What the Buddha Never Taught: A 'Behind the Robes" Account of Life in a Thai Forest Monastery Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

About the Author

Tim Ward is the author of six books, including the best-selling What the Buddha Never Taught and Savage Breast: One Mans Search for the Goddess. His travel stories have appeared in 13 anthologies, including Travelers Tales Best Travel Writing 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Tim is also the publisher of Changemakers Books (an imprint of John Hunt Publishing). He also co-owns Intermedia Communications Training with Teresa Erickson, his wife and business partner. They live in Bethesda, Maryland.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3029 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Changemakers Books; 20th Anniversary ed. edition (30 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #654,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

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Format: Paperback
This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a while! I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading all of this author's books. It is not a religious text about Buddhism, though it is about the author's time spent in a Thai Buddhist monastery that catered to foreigners interested in just visiting, spending a bit of time or becoming full-fledged Buddhist monks. It has some of the travel/adventure that I enjoy with some good writing about the jungle way of life, Thai villagers, Thai culture, and the Buddhist traditions, and how so many of them have become so warped and so how many monks and lay people have just turned it all into a souvenir market in some ways. Ward has some very astute observations about it all - Buddhism, the Buddha, the monastery experience, Karma (Kamma) and those who he experienced it with. Some of the best parts of the book revolve around his happy relationship with Jim, who arrived the same time as the author and how they bonded and critiqued the experience they were both going through. There is a lot of humor, wisdom and wit in this very well written book. I would highly recommend it. I hated for it to end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good read ........
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Experience of a pretend monk. 14 Dec. 2013
By Stewart McLeod - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A semi interesting account of a month spend in a monastery.

The author seemed to lack an understanding of Theravada Buddhism. His struggle to use the discipline of the monastery to his advantage was interesting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 29 Sept. 2011
By Colonel Kurtz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've shared this book with at least a dozen people since someone first shared it with me nearly 15 years ago. An excellent, insightful, and entertaining read well worth the time spent with it. Perhaps problematic for folks actively struggling against dogmatic tendencies or elements of pride and/or identity. As with all teaching--take from it that which proves truthful and useful, and leave the rest.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 17 Nov. 2013
By Marcia Favaloro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've practiced and taught meditation for years, read everything on Eastern thought that I found from Alan Watts and Baba Ram in 1972 to Jon Kabat-Zinn and E. Tolle in this 'new age'. One day while in the library, I came across this slim volume and took it home.I found this thoughtful, humorous account to be one of the best books ever on the personal journey of spirit. I loved it so much, after returning it to the library, I down loaded a copy to my Kindle from Amazon. A great read and a very thought provoking volume that should be on everyone's list who is sincerely looking for a well rounded view. I've ordered his other books as well and look forward to continuing sharing this journey with Tim. Thanks for this book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Going Back to Busshist Basics 9 Jan. 2014
By Stanley Krippner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book has been around for a long time, but its message is still pertinent, especially for newcomers to Buddhist thought and practice. Tim Ward describes his visit to a Thai jungle monastery in an engaging manner. Ward focuses on the excesses of hierarchy, regulations, and austerity -- none of which are central to the Buddha's basic teachings. Ward relates his first-hand experiences with serenity and doubt, with temptation and laughter, and with suffering and insight. In many ways, it is an ideal book for readers who are just beginning their explorations of Buddhism, seasoned travelers will revel in it as well.
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good introductory book. 4 Nov. 2010
By Trevor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Personally I really liked this book. I'm just now starting to learn about Buddhism and I feel that reading "What the Buddha Never Taught" has greatly helped in my understanding of some of the important concepts of Buddhism. The main concept of what the Buddha never taught was related to the teaching of "no self." It took me a couple times to read it and understand that Tim and his buddy Jim figured out that everything is suffering. They concluded that the ego/self/monkey-mind causes the suffering, but the Buddha mentioned that ego was an illusion. However, they agreed that suffering was real. They then tried to figure out how to kill ego. They discovered that the ego lives by pointing into the future, and making points stick; so if you stop trying to make points, you will cut off the ego. They found though that if everything is pointless, there is no reward/no happiness because it's the ego that gets happiness. That's kind of a sad lesson to learn. The book also tells of some Buddha stories, one was the story of the mangy dog. "What the Buddha Never Taught" talks about the spiritual journey that the author, Tim Ward, took to Thailand to study Theravada Buddhism at a monastery by the name of Wat Pah Natachat. The book tells how Mr. Ward chose to become a pahkow; how he had to take vows, shave his head, wear robes, and what his daily duties consisted of as a pahkow. It showed what the monks daily lives were like, such as going out for bindabhat, how everyone in the monastery got their own little kuti to live in, the daily duties like sweeping, and the rules that monks have to follow. The book also gives insight into the loop-holes that monks have to break the rules; for instance they aren't allowed to cut plants, but if a pahkow says the word "koppy" then the monk is allowed to cut the plant. There were some issues I had with the book though. Tim Ward tended to get off topic a lot throughout the book. He mentioned numerous times throughout the book a red coffee cup. He was obsessed with the cup. I thought there would be a lesson at the end of the book; something like realizing that he was attached to the coffee cup and had to give it up, but there was no lesson. It was just senseless rambling. Furthermore, I didn't like the amount of characters he chose to include in the book. There are about twenty five characters in the back of the book, but he probably could have gotten by talking about only ten of them because a lot of them were relatively unimportant. To add more confusion, he gets the bright idea to call himself and Jim, the names Bob and Boomer. Lastly, I didn't like that Tim Ward complained about Theravada Buddhism a lot. He seemed to judge everything from complaining about the hierarchy, how the monks kept Ajahn Chah alive just to make more money, and that monks shouldn't be locked up in the monastery but to go out into the world and help people. I feel his book should have reflected what he learned by his stay, not his political views. I also, recommend this book to anyone interested in the culture of Thailand. The book discussed some interesting social norms that the people of Thailand have. For instance, the opinion they have on suicide and their fear of pee bahs. A pee bah is a forest ghost. In the book, Tim Ward tells about how a monk had to be transferred to a different monastery because the Thailand villagers around them feared that he was one of these ghosts, and the other monks didn't want the villagers to get scared and stop donating food to them. Even though Tim Ward included some stupid things in this book, I still recommend it to anyone new to Buddhism, feel they might like a little more insight into Buddhism, or if a person is interested in Thailand in general. He did bring up some really good principles about Buddhism, and give good insight into the daily lives of monks.
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