Ajahn Chah is one of the most influential teachers in Western Buddhism. He taught in Thailand and founded two monasteries there in the Thai Forest Tradition. Although he taught in Asia, many notable westerners went to train with him. Some of his students include Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Sumedho, and Ajahn Brahm.
He is one of our favorite teachers because of his blunt teaching style. He had a way of making the Dharma simple without compromising the integrity of the teachings. He often pointed out that suffering does not come from external circumstances but from our relationship to the world around us. He was once quoted saying: “If you want a chicken to be a duck, and a duck to be a chicken, you will suffer.”
We chose Ajahn Chah as our first person of the month for 2017 because he reminds us to be diligent and honest with ourselves. We thought this was a beautiful intention to cultivate heading into this new year. His teachings about mindfulness and letting go bring us back to the most foundational reason for having a meditation practice: to suffer less. This month we encourage you to take Ajahn Chah’s teachings to heart. We leave you with a final quote from him, “if it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”
Here are some resources we recommend if you are interested in investigating Ajahn Chah’s teachings: