Venerable Empty Scripture
by AJAHN CHAH
Size: 3.7” x 8.2”
Pages: 21 pages
Published with permission from
Wat Pah Nanachat
Ubon Rajathani, Thailand
Speacial thanks to Venerable Siripanno
This discourse, given by the late Ajahn Chah, may serve as an introduction. It's the simple, direct and down-to-earth teaching style used by the monks of the Forest Tradition in Northeast Thailand. The story of Tuccho Pothila performs the function in questioning the sincerity and commitment of our own Buddhist pratice. Merely putting in a weekly appearance at the temple, and thinking, talking, teaching about the teachings may not be enough to make a great difference in the well being and spiritual quality in our lives. In just this short discourse, Ajahn Chah gives enough clear points and suggestions, that if practised would lead to that real change we all want to see in ourselves.
~from the Preface by Ven. Nanadassi
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Venerable Ajahn Chah (Pra Bhodinyana Thera) was born on June, 1917 in a small village, Baan Gor in the province of Ubon Rajathani, North-East Thailand. After finishing his basic schooling, he spent three years as a novice before returning to lay life to help his parents on the farm. At the age of twenty, however, he decided to resume monastic life, and on April 26, 1939 he received upasampada (Monk ordination).
Ajahn Chah’s early monastic life followed a traditional pattern, of studying Buddhist teachings and the Pali scriptural language. In his fifth year his father fell seriously ill and died, a stark reminder of the fraily and precariousness of human life. It caused him to think deeply about life’s real purpose, for although he had studied extensively and gained some proficiency in Pali, he seemed no nearer to a personal understating of the end of suffering. Feelings of disenchantment set in, and finally (in 1949) he abandoned his studies and set off on a mendicant pilgrimage.
When he was told about Venerable Ajahn Mun Buridatto, a most highly respected Meditation Master, he set off on food in search of him. At his time Ajahn Chah was wrestling with a crucial problem. He had studied the teachings on morality, meditation and wisdom, which the texts presented in minute and refined details, but he could not see how they could actually be put into practice. Ajahn Mun told him that although the teachings are indeed extensive, at their heart they are very simple. With mindfulness established, if it is seen that everything arises in the heart-mind… right there is the true path of practice. This succinct and direct teaching was a revelation for Ajahn Chah, and transformed his approach to the practice. The Way was clear.
On January 16, 1992 Ajahn Chah lay down his aggregates after being paralysed and bed-ridden for about ten years. He would use his body as a teaching tool, a living example of the impermanence of all things.