The Full Wiki

Ajahn Sumedho: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ajahn Sumedho

Pictured (left) with a visiting Thai monk
Born Robert Jackman
July 27, 1934
Seattle, Washington, USA
Occupation Buddhist teacher
Title Luang Por Ajahn Sumedho
Predecessor Ajahn Chah
Religious beliefs Theravada Buddhism


Part of a series on

Buddhism


Dharma Wheel
Portal of Buddhism
Outline of Buddhism

History of Buddhism

Timeline - Buddhist councils

Major figures

Gautama Buddha
Disciples · Later Buddhists

Dharma or concepts

Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
Three marks of existence
Dependent origination
Saṃsāra · Nirvāṇa
Skandha · Cosmology
Karma · Rebirth

Practices and attainment

Buddhahood · Bodhisattva
4 stages of enlightenment
Wisdom · Meditation
Smarana · Precepts · Pāramitās
Three Jewels · Monastics
Laity

Countries and regions

Schools

Theravāda · Mahāyāna
Vajrayāna

Texts

Chinese canon · Pali canon
Tibetan canon

Related topics

Comparative studies
Cultural elements

Luang Por Ajahn Sumedho (Thai: อาจารย์สุเมโธ) (born Robert Jackman, July 27, 1934, Seattle) is the senior Western representative of the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. He has been abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery just north of London since its consecration in 1984. Luang Por means Venerable Father (หลวงพ่อ), an honorific and term of affection in keeping with Thai custom; ajahn means teacher. A bhikkhu for 40 years, Sumedho is considered a seminal figure in the transmission of the Buddha's teachings to the West.

Contents

Biography

Sumedho was born Robert Jackman in Seattle, Washington in 1934[1][2 ]. During the Korean War he did military service for four years from the age of 18 as a United States navy medic. He then did a BA in Far Eastern studies and graduated in 1963 with an MA in South Asian studies at the University of California, Berkeley. After a year as a Red Cross social worker, Jackman served with the Peace Corps in Borneo from 1964 to 1966 as an English teacher. In 1966 he became a novice or samanera at Wat Sri Saket in Nong Khai, northeast Thailand. He took profession as a bhikkhu in May the following year.

From 1967-77 at Wat Nong Pa Pong, trained under Ajahn Chah. He has come to be regarded as the latter's most influential Western disciple. In 1975 he helped to establish and became the first abbot of the International Monastery, Wat Pa Nanachat in northeast Thailand founded by Ajahn Chah for training his non-Thai students. In 1977, Ajahn Sumedho accompanied Ajahn Chah on a visit to England. After observing a keen interest in Buddhism among Westerners, Ajahn Chah encouraged Ajahn Sumedho to remain in England for the purpose of establishing a branch monastery in the UK. This became Cittaviveka Forest Monastery in West Sussex.

Ajahn Sumedho was granted authority to ordain others as monks shortly after he established Cittaviveka Forest Monastery. He then established a ten precept ordination lineage for women, "Siladhara".

Ajahn Sumedho is currently the abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery near Hemel Hempstead in England, which was established in 1984. It is part of the network of monasteries and Buddhist centres in the lineage of Ajahn Chah, which now extends across the world, from Thailand, New Zealand and Australia, to Europe, Canada and the United States. Ajahn Sumedho has played an instrumental role in building this international monastic community.

Teachings

Sumedho (seated beneath the altar) in conversation with a bhikkhu, just before Amaravati's daily meal

Ajahn Sumedho is a prominent figure in the Thai Forest Tradition. His teachings are very direct, practical, simple, and down to earth. In his talks and sermons he stresses the quality of immediate intuitive awareness and the integration of this kind of awareness into daily life. Like most teachers in the Forest Tradition, Ajahn Sumedho tends to avoid intellectual abstractions of the Buddhist teachings and focuses almost exclusively on their practical applications, that is, developing wisdom and compassion in daily life. His most consistent advice can be paraphrased as to see things the way that they actually are rather than the way that we want or don't want them to be ("Right now, it's like this..."). He is known for his engaging and witty communication style, in which he challenges his listeners to practice and see for themselves. Students have noted that he engages his hearers with an infectious sense of humor, suffused with much loving kindness, often weaving amusing anecdotes from his experiences as a monk into his talks on meditation practice and how to experience life ("Everything belongs").

Sound of Silence

A meditation technique taught and used by Ajahn Sumedho involves resting in what he calls "The Sound of Silence"[3]. He talks at length about this technique in one his books titled "The Way It Is"[4]. Although some may regard it as the same thing as the Nada yoga in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a closer read of the chapter about Nada yoga in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika will clearly reveal that they are indeed different. The "Sound of Silence" is also the title of one of Ajahn Sumedho's books (published by Wisdom in 2007). It is likely influenced by his study of Ven. Hsu Yun's works and by the Shurangama Sutra.

See also

References

External links

Advertisements

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ajahn Sumedho (Robert Jackman) (born 1934) is a seminal figure in the Thai Forest Tradition and Western Theravada Buddhism. The word "Ajahn" is not a proper name, but a title which means "Teacher" in Thai.

Unsourced

  • Whatever you think you are, that's not what you are.
  • The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible; the mind of an ignorant person is fixed.
  • When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing.
  • The Dhamma has to be found by looking into your own heart and seeing that which is true and that which is not, that which is balanced and that which is not balanced.
  • Only one book is worth reading: the heart.
  • Don’t think that only sitting with the eyes closed is practice. If you do think this way, then quickly change your thinking. Steady practice is keeping mindful in every posture, whether sitting, walking, standing or lying down. When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are only changing postures. If you reflect in this way, you will have peace. Wherever you are, you will have this attitude of practice with you constantly. You will have a steady awareness within yourself.
  • When sitting in meditation, say, “That’s not my business!” with every thought that comes by.
  • The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice.
  • We practice to learn how to let go, not how to increase our holding on to things. Enlightenment appears when you stop wanting anything.
  • If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.
  • You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.
  • Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha.
  • Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache:you won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message