Recollections of Ajahn Buddhadasa of Thailand. A 38-minute filmed interview with Christopher

I had the opportunity in late May, 2017 to spend 14 days in Thailand as a speaker and guest of BIA (Buddhadasa Indapanno Archive) and Suanmoke-Bangkok to mark 111 years since the birth of Ajahn Buddhadasa (1906 – 1993), Thailand’s radical visionary monk, who campaigned to establish the Dharma equally for monks, nuns and householders.

The Ajahn lived in the forest in Wat Suanmoke, near Chai Ya, southern Thailand, for around 65 years speaking fearlessly about the Dharma, ridiculing superstitious religious beliefs, rejecting Abhidhamma as the word of the Buddha and showing the emptiness of  ‘I’ and ‘my.’ Those who revered his teachings spoke of him as an arahant and those who rejected his teachings claimed he was a communist and a threat to Thai religious culture.

Transcribed from his public talks, his books included Handbook for Mankind, Dharmic Socialism and Buddha-Dhamma for Students.

BIA interviewed me for about my recollection of Ajahn Buddhadasa in my years in the 1970’s as a Buddhist monk in Thailand. The interview lasts 38 minutes.

May all beings live with wisdom

  • Buddhadasa is my dhamma hero; his teachings straightened out so much personal confusion about dhamma like non-self, emptiness, dependent origination, karma and rebirth, dukkha, and the real meaning of liberation. He’s also a champion of the dharma of social engagement. Read: Under the Bodhi Tree and Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree.

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