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ajahn chah

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:50 pm
by clw_uk
Hi all,

Does anyone know a book or website where ajahn chah discusses dependent origination. As most of you probably know by now im conflicted in how to understand it so would like to know how ajahn chah teaches it as i have great respect for him.

:namaste:

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:46 pm
by Cittasanto
well you could try Forest Sangha http://www.forestsangha.org/index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; or Ajahn chah's site http://www.ajahnchah.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
there are a few links to other sites of his disciples which may help and I think his book unshakable peace may help also

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:57 pm
by clw_uk
Thanks manapa, ajahnchah.org is really useful site

:namaste:

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:16 pm
by Element
clw_uk wrote:Hi all,

Does anyone know a book or website where ajahn chah discusses dependent origination. As most of you probably know by now im conflicted in how to understand it so would like to know how ajahn chah teaches it as i have great respect for him.

:namaste:
I recall Ajahn Chah being quoted in the Dependent Origination thread. Ajahn said it is like falling out of a tree, it happens so fast.

You may find a link if you search the thread.

With metta

E

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:25 pm
by mikenz66
I believe that site contains all of what's been translated into English from Ajahn Chan, so you can search it, or the PDFs here: http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here's the passage Element mentions:
http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Unshakeable_Peace1_2.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
So the Buddha taught us to contemplate these wavering conditions of the mind. Whenever the mind moves, it becomes unstable and impermanent (anicca), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and cannot be taken as a self (anattā). These are the three universal characteristics of all conditioned phenomena. The Buddha taught us to observe and contemplate these movements of the mind.

It's likewise with the teaching of dependent origination (paticca-samuppāda): deluded understanding (avijjā) is the cause and condition for the arising of volitional kammic formations (sankhāra); which is the cause and condition for the arising of consciousness (viññāna); which is the cause and condition for the arising of mentality and materiality (nāma-rūpa), and so on, just as we've studied in the scriptures. The Buddha separated each link of the chain to make it easier to study. This is an accurate description of reality, but when this process actually occurs in real life the scholars aren't able to keep up with what's happening. It's like falling from the top of a tree to come crashing down to the ground below. We have no idea how many branches we've passed on the way down. Similarly, when the mind is suddenly hit by a mental impression, if it delights in it, then it flies off into a good mood. It considers it good without being aware of the chain of conditions that led there. The process takes place in accordance with what is outlined in the theory, but simultaneously it goes beyond the limits of that theory.
Metta
Mike

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:45 pm
by bodom
clw_uk wrote:Hi all,

Does anyone know a book or website where ajahn chah discusses dependent origination. As most of you probably know by now im conflicted in how to understand it so would like to know how ajahn chah teaches it as i have great respect for him.

:namaste:
This quote is from The Key to Liberation.

You have already studied and read about paticcasamuppada (Dependent Origination) in the books, and what's set out there is correct as far as it goes, but in reality you're not able to keep up with the process as it actually occurs. It's like falling out of a tree: in a flash, you've fallen all the way from the top of the tree and hit the ground, and you have no idea how many branches you passed on the way down. When the mind experiences an arammana [1] (mind-object) and is attracted to it, all of a sudden you find yourself experiencing a good mood without being aware of the causes and conditions which led up to it. Of course, on one level the process happens according to the theory described in the scriptures, but at the same time it goes beyond the limitations of the theory. In reality, there are no signs telling you that now it's avijja, now it's sankhara, then it's viññana, now it's nama-rupa and so on. These scholars who see it like that, don't get the chance to read out the list as the process is taking place. Although the Buddha analysed one moment of consciousness and described all the different component parts, to me it's more like falling out of a tree – everything happens so fast you don't have time to reckon how far you've fallen and where you are at any given moment. What you know is that you've hit the ground with a thud, and it hurts!

This is how he teaches Paticcasamuppada (Dependent Origination). By direct experience. Ajahn Chah was not a scholar but a practitioner in the highest sense.

:namaste:

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:23 pm
by clw_uk
Thank you all, very helpful :smile:

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:14 pm
by gavesako
There are more references scattered throughout Ajahn Chah's talks. He liked Ajahn Buddhadasa's presentation of Dhamma, which he found more practical and useful than many of the standard books. With paticcasamuppada, they basically wanted the Thai people to look into their own minds in the present moment to observe what is really going on there, and how they are creating kamma which will create future becoming and birth (in this life and the next). That is why they stressed this aspect of the teaching. Ajahn Buddhadasa perhaps went a bit too far, even discounting the question of future rebirth altogether, because many Thais think of it very much like the Hindus (that their "soul" gets to reap the results of past kamma). Ajahn Chah, on the other hand, in one of his talks urges the monks to practise hard in this life so that they don't have to be born again, to "lie in another person's belly for nine months".

Re: ajahn chah

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:19 pm
by clw_uk
Thank you gavesako for that post. :namaste: