“Simple Ain’t Easy”*

* [Famous quote by Thelonius Monk.]

No, I’m not talking about the profound religion of Jazz.

I’m talking about the Thai Forest Buddhist Tradition, exemplified during the past 50 years by the Venerable Ajahn Chah.

My teacher, while acknowledging the apparent attainment of meditation masters like Ajahn Chah, has a problem with their teachings, in that they do not come right out to affirm the Buddha’s actual instructions on meditative absorption. They persist in mystifying the subject, sometimes demonizing it (though Ajahn Chah has not gone that direction), almost always diluting it to conform with a made-up meditation technique called “vipassana.”

Nevertheless, Ajahn Chah is an example of how the Buddha’s monastic ideal has been preserved over the centuries, and his teachings are very much worthy of our consideration. I feel that his was a skillful and rigorous meditation practice that produced great spiritual fruit. Perhaps he taught his closest followers from that place of gnosis, thereby “protecting” the rest of us from the “dangers” of meditative absorption.

The cat, however, is out of the bag.


2 thoughts on ““Simple Ain’t Easy”*

  1. Nick Raaum says:

    Hi Micheal, Wow I’ve been away from your site too long, you’ve made some great posts. My take home reminder for the day is ectasy and wisdom are insperable.

    I’m off for a the weekend on a little spring wilderness retreat thanks for the inspiration!

  2. adreampuppet says:

    Have a wonderful retreat, Nick. I could use one, myself — but my Summer is shaping up to be a busy one. I’m meeting a friend today with whom I’m doing a contemplative writing retreat next month — but for me, it will be more like work that retreating. I’d just love to pitch a tent in the woods and do nothing but hike and meditate for a few days….

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