The masters of the forest
Author: Achaan Chah
In the forests of Thailand, Burma and Laos, the Way of the Buddha is still practiced with original simplicity and austerity. Many monks have preferred the silent paths of the forest and humble dwellings where nothing disturbs meditation to city temples, dedicated to the study of sacred texts. In these still virgin spaces the spirit of practice reigns, and the monks have the opportunity to follow the 'Means of purification' recommended by the Buddha, the dhudangas from which their tradition takes its name. There are thirteen rules that facilitate the acquisition of many virtues: detachment, moderation, frugality, being content with little, energy. The fame of these practitioners soon gathered around them a large number of devout lay people and monks, and thus true monasteries and meditation centers were born. Achaan Chah is one of the best known masters of this tradition and, thanks to the founding of a monastery in England led by one of his Western disciples, many practitioners have found valuable help in his wisdom. He has the charm of a man who has dedicated his entire life to one supreme purpose: to know himself, to question himself incessantly despite uncertainties, sufferings, doubts. His teaching has an immediate and universal character, a clarity and a joy that reveal a profound peace of mind.