Most Americans who ordain, or who have a teacher from former ordinations, have done so in the Thai Forest Tradition. Indeed, many Westerners have found Thailand to be very receptive to ordaining foreigners and providing English-speaking Western teachers of long standing -- Ajahn ("teacher") Brahmavamso, Amaro, Sumedho, Thanissaro, Khantipalo, and so on.
Leslie Barclay (geocities)
"Why are we born? We are born so that we will not have to be born again."
"If your mind is happy, then you are happy anywhere you go. When wisdom awakens within you, you will see Truth wherever you look. Truth's all there is. It's like when you've learned how to read -- you can then read anywhere you go."
"People who suffer will accordingly gain wisdom. If we don't suffer, we don't contemplate. If we don't contemplate, no wisdom is born. Without wisdom, we don't know. Not knowing, we can't get free of suffering -- that's just the way it is. Therefore, we must train and endure in our practice. When we then reflect on the world, we won't be afraid like before. It isn't that the Buddha was enlightened outside of the world, but within the world itself."
"Remember you don't meditate to 'get anything', but to get 'rid' of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you 'want' anything, you won't find it."
"Everything is uncertain. Don't cling to anything."
"Using metaphors makes it easier for us to understand the matter we're discussing. So we will make use of them here today. The first prison which you must look for and see is life itself. If you look on life as a prison, and see the prison that it is, then we must say that you know the truth of nature quite well. Most people, however, look on life as something enjoyable, as an opportunity to have fun. They are willing to live for the enjoyment of life. They then become infatuated with and engrossed in life, which is what turns it into prison."
"Even the present life does not exist, How could the after-life exist?"
"Before you say anything, ask yourself whether it's necessary or not. If it's not, don't say it. This is the first step in training the mind. If you can't have any control over your mouth, how can you expect to have any control over your mind?"
"The breath can take you all the way to Nirvana."
"It's good that most people can't remember their previous lives. Otherwise, things would be much more complicated than they already are."
Two thousand years ago, the original ancestors of the people who now largely call themselves Thai migrated to the region now known as Thailand. These Thai tribes from Southeast China mixed over the centuries with local Mon and Khmer peoples as well as Malay, Indian, and Chinese immigrants. Each group brought with them bits of Buddhism from their native lands. These were the first Buddhist incursions into what was then likely an Animist culture.