by Ajahn Amaro 2013 English

One evening in Northeast Thailand…

Night is falling swiftly. The forest reverberates with the undulating buzz of countless crickets and the eerie rising wail of tropical cicadas. A few stars poke dimly through the treetops. Amid the gathering darkness there is a pool of warm light, thrown from a pair of kerosene lanterns illuminating the open area below a hut raised up on stilts. Beneath their glow, a couple of dozen people are gathered around a small, solidly-built monk who is seated cross-legged on a wicker bench. The air is filled with a vibrant peace. Venerable Ajahn Chah is teaching.

In some ways the group gathered here is a motley crew. Close beside Ajahn Chah (or Luang Por, Venerable Father, as he is affectionately known to his students) is a cluster of bhikkhus (monks) and novices; most of them are Thai or Lao, but there are a few pale-skinned figures among them – a Canadian, two Americans, a young Australian and an Englishman. In front of the Ajahn sits a well-groomed middle-aged couple, he in a stiff suit and she coiffed and gold-bedecked – he’s a member of parliament from a distant province, they’re taking[…]

Excerpt From: Ajahn Amaro. “An Introduction to the Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah.” iBooks.