Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah
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Renowned for the beauty and simplicity of his teachings, Ajahn Chah was Thailand's best-known meditation teacher. His charisma and wisdom influenced many American and European seekers, and helped shape the American Vipassana community. This collection brings together for the first time Ajahn Chah's most powerful teachings, including those on meditation, liberation from suffering, calming the mind, enlightenment and the 'living dhamma'. Most of these talks have previously only been available in limited, private editions and the publication of Food for the Heart therefore represents a momentous occasion: the hugely increased accessibility of his words and wisdom. Western teachers such as Ram Dass and Jack Kornfield have extolled Chah's teachings for years and now readers can experience them directly in this book.
there were about seventy-ﬁve branch monasteries, this number increased to well over one hundred by the time he passed away, and has now grown to more than two hundred, in Thailand and around the world. After he passed away, ten years ago, his monastic community set about arranging his funeral. In keeping with the spirit of his life and teachings, the funeral was not to be just a ceremony, but also a time for hearing and practicing Dhamma. It was held over ten days, with several periods of group
theme, just take this simple word. If love arises, before you get really lost in it, just tell yourself, “So!” This is enough. Everything is transient, and it’s permanent in that it’s invariably transient. Just to see this much is to see the heart of the Dhamma, the True Dhamma. Now if everybody said, “So!” more often, and applied themselves to training like this, clinging would diminish. People would not be so stuck on love and hate. They would not cling to things. They would put their trust in
seeing all things 100 f o o d f o r t h e h e a rt as they truly are. Mindfulness will guard the mind, knowing the arising of sensations at all times, day and night. That is to have sati. To have sati is to be composed. To be composed is to be heedful. If one is heedful then one is practicing rightly. This is our responsibility. chapter 8 W hy Are We Here? T his rains retreat, I don’t have much strength, I’m not well, so I’ve come up to this mountain to get some fresh air. People come to
the studying! When are they going to ﬁnish? Only in the science of Buddhism is there a point of completion; all the other sciences just go round in circles. In the end it’s a real headache. If there’s a house with four or ﬁve children in it, the parents argue every day. The suﬀering that is waiting in the future we fail to see; we think it will never happen. When it happens, we see it. That kind of suﬀering, the suﬀering inherent in our bodies, is hard to foresee. When I was a child minding the
This is how it is; that’s why I don’t take the world too seriously. I know its ins and outs already; that’s why I’ve chosen to live as a monk. Here’s your homework. Whether you’re in the ﬁelds or working in the city, take these words of mine and reﬂect on them. Ask yourself, “Why was I born? What can I take with me?” Ask yourselves over and over. If you do, you’ll become wise. If you don’t, you’ll remain ignorant. If you don’t understand it all right now, maybe you will later. “Oh, that’s what