Me and mine
Born in Chaiya on May 21, 1906 into a merchant family, Buddhadasa took monastic orders at the age of twenty and soon distinguished himself for his intellectual abilities, interest in meditation and skill as a teacher. After the years of study in Bangkok, he preferred to move away from the monastic and political power centers and, rejecting the rigid and hierarchical spirit of the Thai state religion, he chose to live and teach in a monastery in the forest near his native village. Suan Mokh's meditation center embodies his conception of the ideal community: a community based on the traditional Buddhist virtues of benevolence and non-attachment, where it is possible to live in harmony with others and nature, moved by mutual respect and aiming only to the common good. This is the first book to present an overall picture of Buddhadasa's vast production. The essays, which cover roughly a period of thirty years, do not follow a chronological order but want to convey the development of the author's thought, from the deepening, in the 50s, of fundamental Buddhist concepts, to the comparison with other religions, above all Christianity and Zen Buddhism, in the 60s, and finally to the interest in political and social issues in the 70s, marked in Thailand by deep conflicts and coups d'etat.