NO RELIGIONby Buddhadasa Bhikkhu Translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Punno First electronic edition: September Buddha-Dhamma. No Religion. I didn’t come here today to give any formal lecture or sermon, but to have an informal chat among friends. I hope that you all agree to this so that we. No Religion – Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Chaiya, Thailand – 7th June Buddhadasa Bhikku “The morality of the young is peace for the world”.
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This is the message that will lead us away from suffering and pain. I joined the bhokkhu day meditation course in June and would come to realise the importance of silence and sitting still. Below is a little about the life of this incredible monk and a summary of some of my favourite teachings of his. It is impossible buddhadssa give a fair reflection of the Buddhist Philosophy on this little blog, mainly because Buddhism is so vast and profound.
Also I know very, very little! For each visit to Thailand and most of my time rsligion S. I had seen the many elaborate, flashy temples and shared a few brief connections with the orange robed monks and nuns. They were more withdrawn and shy than their Tibetan counterparts, less eager to share. It seemed shallow, merely rituals. Promotion, more money, health to family members etc was asked for. Was this really Buddhism?
The original enlightened few, who taught with purity and great wisdom, have had their words manipulated and altered to suit the few rich and powerful men controlling the masses. Some may say he was a maverick. A monk from humble buddhavasa in the poorer south of Thailand, who thought independently and deeply understood the dangers of societies movement away from truth and compassion, towards confusion.
This was in the early 20th Century, what would he make of Bangkok now?! He spent many years living alone in the wild jungle, conquering fear, mosquitos and hunger. At this time he had a desire to constantly experiment with ideas, knowledge and experience, always investigating the Buddha Dhamma. He began to translate the Buddhist Tri Bhikjhu holy texts from Pali a route of Sanskrit into Thai and was a fine scholar.
He revealed much of the truth that had been distorted. Not necessarily the birth of a person or self, but the birth of a thought, an emotion, a desire. This was and is a huge issue and very contentious in Buddhist circles. He ruffled the feathers of the elite and for many years was classed as an outcast, the people always respected his views however and the Wat and Monastery grew over the decades. People always responded to his straightforward, practical and scientific approach.
Even though many in the government viewed him as a potential communist around the second world war! The integral practice used to focus the mind. The essence of Buddhas teaching revolved around breathing in, and breathing out. Breathing in, and breathing out repeat. I was to learn how difficult this seemingly simple practice is to carry out. Wat Suan Mok is famous throughout Thailand, a world centre for meditation. It has extensive grounds, a forest bhikku home to 40 monks.
At its heart a hill top, named Buddha Hill, a forest amphitheatre set in a clearing of tall trees. There is a idiosyncratic library shaped like a boat, a spiritual theatre, tranquil ponds and thriving monastery buildings. A compound that had grown to accommodate five spacious meditation halls and two large dormitory buildings male and female. No boundaries, only compassion.
It is said that the helpers of the retreat take better care of the foreign visitors than the locals religikn monks! He was an amiable chap, with time for everyone and after travelling extensively throughout the world spreading his message, he spent the last years of his life in the Wat.
The Dalai Lama paid a visit and [ so did ] many other revered sages and seers from across the globe. He sat each morning on a simple bench and offered regular dhamma talks to students and visitors. He fed the fish and chickens. He only ate once a day, but did get plump due to a weakness for chocolate and cheese.
He took a cold bucket bath from a tap behind his room.
He always slept with a wooden pillow and on a hard bed. Never straying from his the true Buddhist way of life, the central teachings being:. All beings are subject to old age, sickness and rdligion. They will inevitably experience some disappointment, discomfort, sadness, anxiety or pain. This is the attainment of Nibbana Nirvana. Enlightenment is the complete letting go of the illusion of a permanent rligion independent soul or self. An enlightened person is called an Arahant.
Essentially there is no such thing as religion, Christianity, Islam, Judaism. A simple example of the language of materialism is that of Water. People view water as having many different forms, not related to each other. Rain water, sewer water, gutter water, diarrhea, urine etc appear different to most people due to their physical appearance.
However, a person with knowledge understands that pure water can be found in any form of water. Sewer water distilled becomes pure. The parts that make water impure are not water, they combine and buddhadxsa the appearance, but they are not water. The essential nature of bhikknu is always the same and never changes. If we view religion like this we can see that essentially they are all the same, only appearing different externally.
Taking religuon to the next level, we can look at pure water as consisting of only two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. It has disappeared, it is void. In this way we can see through religion and realize that there is simply an inherent nature underlying everything.
Given different names, Dhamma, God, Truth etc. People who only reach the external levels will never see this. No great teacher ever religin a name to his teachings, men did that much later. The true nature of things has no characteristics, no qualities, nationality or race. Real Buddhism is to know how to get without getting and take without taking, so there is no frustration at all. Being without ego is the highest form of happiness.
It is only empty in the material sense.
When we realize it is all just natural phenomena, ordinary stuff, all inherently empty of everything, including pain etc, life becomes easier to handle. Children show very little sign of ego. Old folks be alert, practice at being children again. Never quarrel this is losing sight of what it is to be human. People who argue are the lowest form of human.
A true Buddhists can never condone such an action. We are all the same, looking back at the water analogy. Only the ego sees differences and confusion. Our duty is to cool these things down. Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion, more a science with practical results. He just figured something out himself, after sitting under a Bodhi Tree for a while.
Through correct and devout practice of the eightfold path, the four noble truths and progressively deep states of meditation, results within the mind and body become noticeable. There are 16 clear steps to enlightenment. It is of course, not easy, but achievable in a lifetime.
We know this because a few have succeeded. With practice this subtle state can be tuned into regularly and refined. They are evidently more at peace, their minds become more pure, altering on a molecular level. I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with and listening to many incredible Monks and Nuns whilst at the retreat, all practicing the teachings of A. Hopefully I can post some of their Dhamma talks below or around.
Look at their eyes and their smiles. It all becomes very clear. They made us laugh and cry, each day filling us with profound inspiration.
no religion – Buddhadasa Bhikku
With the growing popularity of Buddhism and meditation in the world, the importance and relevance of A. There is no space for guilt or self-hatred in Buddhism, only hearts cultivated with harmlessness. No war has ever been fought to spread Buddhism since Prince Gotama attained enlightenment years ago in Bodhgaya, India.
Buddhist societies, in theory, are based on tolerance, loving kindness and forgiveness, essential for world harmony and individual happiness and all generated through virtuous behavior and meditation. What Ajahn Buddhadasa cultivated in a too short lifetime is quite incredible. The setting up of Wat Suan Mok is widely regarded as one of the key events in the history of Thai Buddhadasq and his books fill an entire room in the National Library. His positive, buddadasa legacy will live on for generations, to see a new dawn for humanity, where we all realize the truth.
Many thanks for this post from leroywatson4, who blogs here: More on Buddhdasa Bhikku here: Great post as always!